Over the last year and a half I had really gotten into the OSR movement with games like DungeonSlayers, Swords & Wizardry, and its little brother S&W:Whitebox. I feel the two things (besides nostalgia I suppose) that brought me to these games were the old school feel of the games, but also the fact they were pretty open with the games. They wanted, and in many cases encouraged fans to make material for these systems. Now however, I am seeing something different here, a change in the wind if you would.
Now, I must say that I am a fickle fan and do not study and read everything on the entities that own and control either of these systems. I am sure someone will come along and dispute what I say here. That is fine, I don’t claim to know everything, in fact, hardly anything is known to me.
S&W and Whitebox recently were published for money by outside publishers and DS4 will be released first as a purchase product and later the PDF will be released for free. In the past I thought both these were outstanding pieces of gaming, especially because they embraced the coolness of the “Open” community. It felt right to support and play these games. Now a movement to release them for profit…and then, yes, for free later.
Maybe it is my lack of interest in these games now, but I find myself questioning my support of these systems, and instead looking to throw my support towards the still free games such as Warrior, Rogue & Mage. Or perhaps it is my lack of interest in the retro-clone movement, others have spoken on this as well. I was at one time very interested in the OSR and getting, or at least attempting to get back, that old feeling I had playing games as a kid.
Maybe I just remember it more fondly that it really was.
Back to my reason for posting here…the OSR movement from Open (free) to published for cost. I guess this could be said of many things in the past, but when something moves from a hobby or community project to a publishing house, they sort of lose their interest with me. I love the under dog angle and for the individual making his own game, getting it pushed out to the net and finding people really like it, that is a great thing with me. With these games moving towards a ‘for profit’ angle, I find myself not wanting to support them any longer. I do not judge the guys for wanting to make a little dough for all their hard work, I don’t know, just doesn’t feel as right as it once did supporting these games.
I find myself looking at Risus more and more these days, damn it all, I digress….