|one of my beloved readers|
There are several possible responses to this critique. "Well, JD, there's a community, but you're not in it." Fair enough, I am a filthy hermit living alone in a cave in the desert, so I can't deny that it's possible there's a RPG community somewhere out there. Or, perhaps, there's a community, but not of game-players, but instead of game designers. Designers! Those godforsaken creatures! But even beetles love other beetles, if they can.
Similarly, my other scare quotes around "story games" or "indie games", exist because those conflate many things together. "Indie games" doesn't even say anything about the content of the games, just whether or not the creator owns them. Unquestionably almost all OSR products are "indie games", for example. But enough of the scare quotes for the rest of the article. "You know what we mean, JD," they say, and I begrudgingly mutter that I do.
|completely accurate picture|
of me getting mad on the internet
(uh except for this guy has hair)
But as the days since the (first) post passed, I started to question this. Yeah, it makes sense that story game people would be resentful and negative towards OSR people because the OSR people are part of the wave that has completely obliterated every non-D&D-ish thing in sight (along with Paizo's success, 5e's success, the 4th edition people who are still playing through all the free material, and the prolonged success of many indie d20 properties), but is it actually happening? Forget for a second whether a just-so story about two communities clashing fits your hazy 9th grade memories of the last time it happened, JD; you were too interested in the girls playing Vampire to really be objective anyway. Does the available evidence actually bear your feeling out? Are story gamers really hostile to the OSR?
So I thought I would actually do a survey. I would look at the forums of story-games.com and determine the extent of the hostility of the posters of that forum to the OSR. That forum was for several years considered the center of "story gamers" (by those who thought there was a center; "You know what we mean, JD!"; yes, ugh, I do.)
So if there is a lot of hostility against the OSR we should be able to find it there. Now, eventually a lot of people migrated from forums to social media. I can't think of a good method to sample most social media spaces, except for maybe being nice to people and trying to get them to share things with me on social media. As you might imagine, this is impossible. However, story gamers, by and large, went to those spaces from story-games.com (where most, though not me, landed during the waning years of indie-rpgs.com), so if there's a community-wide feeling towards the OSR, it makes sense to me that we should be able to spot that feeling at story-games.com. (I don't know where OSR people discuss shit, so can't gauge feelings from the OSR to story gamers; perhaps someone who does could replicate this methodology...I'd read it!)
If you're not into inside baseball of this kind, skip it, and if JD Shows His Math seems boring to you, cool. But let's see exactly how bad things have been between story hyphen games dot com, and the OSR.