September 7, 2012

5E Friday - The OSR and 5E

What is the single biggest thing to enable the OSR to succeed and continue to succeed?

Is it a core philosophy of streamlined mechanics?
Is it a retro feel that hits the heartstrings of our youth?
Is it designers that bring insight, enthusiasm and creativity?
Is it that it is different from the other rpgs out there?

No, none of those things.

What is the single biggest thing that will allow 5E to grow and find its foothold in gaming consciousness and tables?

Is it a fusion of game styles that pleases everyone?
Is it modularity that allows gamers to craft their own version of D&D?
Is it designers that bring experience, insight and creativity?
Is it slick, glossy products that raise the bar?

No, none of those things.
The single biggest thing that allowed for the growth of the OSR movement and will allow for the growth of 5E is the OGL.This is not simply because it gave a legal opportunity to the OSR designers, but rather because it allowed then to join together. Even with divergent designs between the various retro-clones there is still a core system of mechanics that bind them all together. The OGL allowed the curious to understand what was going happening and to join in...and it is that ability to join in that gave the OSR it's life.

If the OSR was just a single entity producing product the OSR would have died long before it grew to where it is now. It is the fact that multiple people can join in on the design and production that allows it to grow. Even if a person never releases a new retro-clone and just puts out a small bit of free material they feel ties to the OSR movement. The OGL allows people to become a part of what is happening.

And that is what 5E will NEED to find its own feet and its own growth. If it is just WotC dictating the game from on high it will never reach its true potential. Already people are producing adventures, backgrounds and other material for 5E and it is still just a playtest. People want to be a part of 5E...will WotC let them?
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