28 June 2022

Old School Wargame Combat Resolution

 This is an old thing I wrote last year I found looking for another thing I wrote.

Fun thing I noticed a month ago around February of 2021 is that the old D&D turn undead tables are attack matrices from wargames. This is probably not news to really old people.


So I propose this matrix, which no one asked for. You must roll equal to or less than the listed number on 2d6 to deal a blow to a foe with the given hit dice. This is simplified so assume any hit dice with of hd+x is the next higher hit die total. An “X” denotes instant disablement. It has a lot of flaws and such because this is adapted from a tank wargame where a hit is destruction of the target and is based on the armor class and attack factor. But hey, the old school turn undead table is a weird wargame matrix.


Fighter Level

Enemy Hit Dice

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

1

8

9

10

11

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

7

8

9

10

11

X

X

X

X

X

3

6

7

8

9

10

11

X

X

X

X

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

X

X

X

5

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

X

X

6

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

X

7

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

8

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

9

-

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

-

-

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

22 June 2022

So what is the OSR (again again)

 


Hackmaster 4th edition is not OSR. Ignoring that it predates the OSR slightly, maybe. It wasn't written to be OSR. It's a retroclone, but it was written as a parody that is also a functional, if ridiculously overwrought, game. Can it run Keep on the Borderlands with minimal conversion? I want to say yes since Keep is for Basic, which includes Holmes basic a simplification of sorts of D&D original flavor. It exists because WotC fucked up and included Knights of the Dinner Table comics a CD. Something they did not have the rights to do. This lead to Jolly Blackburn getting the rights to make direct parody of AD&D and several supplemental products such as Spelljammer. It's a clone from before the idea of making retroclones was a thing. Calling Hackmaster OSR is like saying Palladium Megaversal is OSR, which is a horrible amalgamation of houserules onto AD&D (yest it would harder to run Keep with that but the 1st editon of Palladium Fantasy was much closer to AD&D than the later iterations of Palladium games). 

Beyond the Wall isn't a Post-OSR, it's BX with a communal character gen session using prompts, custom classes, and some variant magic. The rules include the classic classes in near identical shape as Basic classes.

Dungeon Crawl Classics being called Post-OSR is weird since it predates several Classic OSR games, while essentially being OSRified 3rd edition. But conceptually, rather than chronologically, it could be viewed as a Post-OSR.

Dark Dungeons is a retro-clone of Rules Cyclopedia with a modification of Spelljammer integrated. Clearly classic OSR.

For Gold & Glory is a retroclone of AD&D, 2e iirc, therefor classic OSR.

I'm not familiar with Mazes & Perils but ad copy says it emulates Holmes basic, so I'd lump it into classic OSR. It likely exists in a similar place as Blueholme, which also clones Holmes but with the notable thing being Journeyman adds content and is published 5 years after MnP, yet is classic OSR. I do own Blueholme and without doing a side-by-side of it with MnP, which I don't own, and Holmes, which I do, I think it's fine as classic. As a side note, I was following BH from when it was first being written a significant time before G+ died.

Considering Troika is a retroclone of (Advanced) Fighting Fantasy and was published way back in 2015 and not being able to run Keep without conversions...it makes me wonder what the cut-off for post-OSR and ASR is since I see The Black Hack and Knave under post-OSR but Into the Odd as ASR. This does illustrate the long discussed point on what is OSR and why there is still this discussion.

Can the OSR Die?

 Simply put, yes.

But the bigger question is, is it dying, or even should it die.

Is it dying? On the whole the scenes that are the OSR is in total, 20 years. If you break it down into waves, phases or schools, each could be considered to last between 5 and 10 years with overlap since different schools diverge while still being "OSR." But it's still here, and since this is not even third time over the last 5-6 years I've heard "the OSR is/should die," I doubt it will anytime soon.

 As it exists broadly, OSR is a marketing or branding tool (cue pitchforks), one that has remarkable staying power especially in light how often people will publicly decide to divest themselves of the label, myself included having in my memory done so twice mostly as a reaction to the reactionaries. As long as people are slapping OSR on products it will exist. As long as important marketplaces, notably Drivethru RPG, include OSR as a category it will exist. And as long people will see some game and declare it to be OSR regardless of the creator's intent or feelings, it will exist, Hackmaster for one.

The OSR is a weird monolith, a small one in TTRPGs, but one nonetheless. 

Is the OSR dying? This is like saying is Traveller dying. Is D&D dying. Is World of Darkness dying. Game lines for major and minor publishers are more likely to die than a largely fan and user driven concept. WoD could die as in no more published content if White Wolf, or whoever owns the ip, dies. Same with Traveller. I hear talk that Legends of the Five Rings might be dead or dying. Star Wars and Star Trek have had multiple licensed RPGs, all of which have effectively died. There are three  Robotech RPGs, one of which is demonstrably dead (Palladium's). So games can die, but OSR can't really die, unless Drivethru, Itch, Lulu, Twitter, blogs all go tits up. Only then would the OSR as a broadly known label die. 


15 June 2022

Artificial Difficulty

 Is any difficulty a reviewer or player doesn't like. All difficulty in games is artificial since games aren't reality.

28 January 2022

How to Demonitize Your Hobby

Step One

Don't put a price tag on anything you make publicly available

 Addendum Steps 

The stance that the hobby is a monolith, especially a monolith centered on the production of wares, is a myopic one. 

Therefore:

Avoid ttrpg twitter as people are mostly talking design and selling things. 

Lament goggle plus going away.


23 November 2021

The Holiday Sales Season

 Instead of some cutesy pithy play on "Black Friday" I bundled up all the products that we have printed on cards with a hefty 69% (nice) off calling it the "Holiday Cards" bundle. Most of these products are only available through Drivethru. It's not like I have fat stacks of cards taking up space because they are all POD but still, I did put a fair bit of effort into setting them up months ago.

Holiday Cards

But if you want other publications of ours that are on sale for this week, you can check Spear Witch. It does help me out more when people buy publications through the smaller shops like Spear Witch and Exalted Funeral.