On the OSR Required Reading List (Have You Read It?)

So I had a post last week On a Basic RPG Terminology Primer for those who are new, or perhaps not well-versed in our insular little world. Then I released my Tricks, Empty Rooms, and Basic Trap Design document. When I released it, I posted on some more modern, new school boards, and the response I got was somewhat enlightening.

A whole world of players out there, doesn't understand the importance of an empty room, or how to handle a trap without a 'perception' or 'spot' skill, or why race as class is cool. There was a time (long, long ago) when I was enraptured by the new-school, everything makes naturalistic sense, sort of thinking.

Why did it change?

I found the OSR.

There are several key posts, that I feel are required reading for understanding our sort of approach to the game. This includes certain rules and additions that have a big impact on that classic style of play. We're familiar with many of them, but they haven't really been gathered together in one place.Here's my attempt to do so - to make a required reading list.

These, I think, are indicative of the types of things we are all doing, and yet are not commonly known among the newer players. The most critical of the below are bolded

If you can think of anything I missed, please suggest it. The following are in no particular order.Blog links are to the left, article links to the right.

Playing D&D With Porn Stars:
The Alexandrian:
Delta's D&D Hotspot:
Ars Ludi:
Jeff Rients Gameblog:
Quick Primer for Old School Gaming  
The Mule Abides: Illusionism and Wandering Monsters
A Rod of Lordly Might: Skills: The Middle Road 
Akratic Wizardry:  The FRPG Social Contract
The Tao of D&D:  Fall Out!
The Hydra's Grotto: The 6 Mile Hex
Kellri: CDD #4 ( Sadly no longer updated)
Tales from the Flaming Faggot: The Tyranny of Magic Missile
Old Guard Gaming Accouterments: The Spontaneous Creation of Magical Items in Play 
Comma, Blank_: Obfuscating Through Volume

I don't read anything close to all of the blogs, but the above is a list of posts that I've read and that have stuck with me. I'm sure I missed many good ones. These posts are the ones that say what Old School Dungeons & Dragons is about. Any suggestions to expanding the list are greatly appreceated.


  1. This is a nice list of blogs. Many of them have certainly helped me rediscover my Old School joy :) Thanks for making the list (going to read some of them now).

  2. Ars Ludi's post on bad traps is another of my favorites.

  3. Re: The Alexandrian. Death of the Wandering Monster has been migrated to Wordpress. The rest of the archive will continue being migrated. Unfortunately, Jaquaying the Dungeon is comparatively recent so it will be one of the last things to get updated.

  4. I posted what I thought was a harmless post on the Paizo forums about how our group pretty much started ignoring skill rolls, and how it made our games flow more smoothly. A few people seemed to get it, but a few seemed like they were mad at me for it, and we were "doing it wrong". To each his own, I guess.

  5. The shift internally is a sea change.

    I wanted to show people the door and path that lead to mine. Perhaps if someone else finds their way here, it will help them.

  6. are all these on Links to Wisdom? Certainly sounds like they should be.

    I haven't been following The Alexandrian or Ars Ludi: thanks!

  7. Alexandrian and Ars Ludi are two of the best blogs on the web, bar none.

  8. This post was fundamental to my understanding of the OSR, thanks -C! Your blog is the reason I now have 44 subscribed OSR blogs in my RSS reader.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...