Tag Archives: OSR

Is it time for OSR 2.0?

The last couple of weeks have been interesting to say the least. And it looks fans and creators have won for now. But the whole OGL drama and folks jumping to licenses and rewriting products got me thinking. Is it time for OSR 2.0?

I remember back in the hey day of the OSR. There wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t see something that just made stop and say, “Wow! That’s so cool.” Sure. You couldn’t swing a stick without hitting yet another BX clone with some minor changes. But as time passed things got a little stale. It just seemed that really interesting and odd ball adventures and supplements didn’t have the same spark as they did earlier.

Let’s face it. This whole OGL mess, despite the current outcome, has thrown the hobby into chaos. Folks are looking for other games outside their corporate comfort zone. Publishers are looking at the products that they’ve already produced and ones that are in the works. Heck, even some Youtubers and bloggers started to reevaluate things. With all this going on, it’s the perfect to time to color outside the lines. Just go a little crazy. Make some cool stuff. Let’s rekindle that excitement from just a few years ago.

And yes. I’m following my own advice. You can follow my progress over on the Parteon and Locals on the top two projects that I’m working plus other updates.

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White Box Wednesday: Clerics and Their Spells

This post is finally going up and the OGL drama is still going on. But let’s talk about those clerics and their spells this week.

I know this image isn’t from White Box but it is an iconic cleric image. And I also know that I’m going to rehash some stuff in this post. So clerics. Nope not healbots. That is the biggest shock for anyone new to older games. But let’s stick the White Box version. No spells until 2nd Level. That’s right. And one of my favorite options, make Turn Undead a first level spell. This option is good if you want a really gritty game. Otherwise let them turn those Undead all day.

Like Magic-Users, Clerics have a very limited spell list. Another case of less is more. They already have decent armor and weapons, they don’t need any flash bang spells. It’s just my opinion but the original Cleric is a bizzaro combination of a Knight Templar, Van Helsing, and a Saint performing miracles. Their spells cover the basic things that they need to that is divine or supernatural. Everything else relies on their grit, determination and skill. Think about it. At best, a high level cleric will only get 4 1st level spells per day. That’s it.

And with that, I’m probably going to give White Box Wednesday’s a rest. Why? I want this OGL drama to get resolved and have a solid path forward. But that also basically (IMHO) a whole new version of many of these games and possibly more games on the horizon. Even maybe something from your truly. So keep with the other posts. Keep up with the blog. And have some fun gaming. We all need that now.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.

White Box Wednesday: The Future?

I was going to write something else this week. You know a rant about Cleric spells. Instead, it’s about the whole OGL mess and wild guesses about the future.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com

Let’s start with some bad news. It’s a long time since I’ve seen anything from Seattle Hill Games of White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game. So I’ve no idea what may happen to that. From what I’ve seen other publishers are keeping their eyes open and just planning at this stage.

There is some good news. Matt Finch of Swords & Wizardry did a live stream last week. Swords & Wizardry is getting scrubbed of OGL content. They are doing the Complete version first and then going on to Core and White Box.

And now for that selfish part. I don’t for sure what I’m going end up doing with the stuff I’ve published. Most of it is for White Box style play. There’s all the stuff for White Star that I might have to rewrite. The stuff for Barbaric! just might need to swap out licenses. And there’s the stand alone stuff. I don’t know what’s going to happen to that. I had all sorts of plans to write new stuff this year not rewrite stuff from years ago.

So there are some glimmers of hop in the future. Let’s hang on and make it through yet another year of crazy.

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White Box Wednesday: Magic User Spells

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do this post with all that’s going one but then I figured what the hell. Let’s keep this going. This week let’s talk about Magic User Spells. Mainly, First Level.

I might touch on higher level spells later on but I think the first level spells are key to whole feel of White Box Magic-Users. There’s only 8 spells. That’s it. Charm Person, Detect Magic, Hold Portal. Light, Protection from Evil/Chaos, Read Languages, Read Magic, and Sleep. That’s all. No Magic Missile. None of the others that have become classics. I admit that I do use the others in my campaigns. But this simple little list emphasizes that the first level character is really an apprentice. It also emphasizes that your answer isn’t on your character sheet vibe. There’s usual no spell for every situation. You have to come up with some out of the box thinking.

But then those few spells are more powerful than later versions. The key spells (IMHO) are Charm Person and Sleep. Why? Charm Person lasts “until dispelled”. No time limit. No extra saves. The target is charmed. And then there’s Sleep. Every grognard out there knows that this is “attack” spell of the low level Magic User. The Magic-User can put to sleep that mob of goblins. No Save. Yeah.

I know this post is a little ramble. It’ s not my best but as of this writing the whole OGL 1.1 drama is still unfolding so I have no idea how I’m going to move ahead this and a few projects. Maybe things will start to clear up soon.

White Box Wednesday: Multi-Classing

I think this is the best way to finish up my series on classes by being a just a whee bit heretical. There really weren’t any multi-classing rules and, well, the races (especially the Elf) were the replacement.

This isn’t about that age old debate of race vs class. Do it how you want. I got no problems with that. Heck, I’ve done it both ways in various campaigns. But I do tend to lean a bit more towards the multi-classing option. Here’s my thoughts. You can use the four basic classes and then combine them to make most of the other classes that go beyond the basic four. Want to be paladin? Ok that’d be a Fighter-Cleric. Assassin or Ranger; Fighter-Thief. Bard; Thief-Magic User. Yes, i know those aren’t exact correlations. And you’d need to do a little more tweaking for Ranger. But you get the idea. Go right ahead and flex those creative muscles and work things out. Bend those rules.

Here’s the crunchy bits on how I handle. First, the decision to multi-class is made at 1st level and what classes the character has. The character has all the the abilities and weaknesses of all their classes, So the Fighter-Magic User can’t cast spells in armor. You could house rule that magic armor is OK. That’s up to you. For the attack bonus, use the better. Average their Hit Points. For the Saving Throw, use the worst one but use all of the bonuses. How many XP to level up? Just add them together. That way the character levels up in all of their classes at the same time.

This little technique may sound harsh but it keeps things simple especially with combining the XP into one lump sum. The character progresses slower but all the leveling happens at the same time. Just the price to pay for having all those abilities. What about racial level limits? Well. use them if you want to. I’ve rarely had it be an issue but it can happen in a long campaign or one with lower death rate.

Thanks for stopping by. Next week, I might spells or monsters. Just wait and see.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.