Thursday, June 30, 2011

Old School Manifesto Complete

Okay, time for some help from the the old school readers out there. I've completed the first official release of the Old School Central manifesto. Well, I'm not sure I would call it a manifesto, but it sure sounds cool. It can be found by following the "About' tab above. What the page does is explain the reason the website exists and its general purposes. It also makes the case for a new age in old school gaming. Hopefully I made this fairly clear in the manifesto, but if not I'll try and succinctly explain it here:

The Old School Renaissance has accomplished what seemed impossible. We now have numerous readily available rule sets to support old school gaming. We also have numerous individuals, groups and presses producing new old school material. something we haven't had for a long time. There is more and more interest in OS gaming, and a growing body of OS gamers. However, the old school gaming scene lacks central cohesion. We are scattered about and thus lack a degree of focused momentum. What we need is an OS RPGA as it were. And we also need to consolidate what is available to support OS play. So the idea is to bring together the old school community with greater cohesion than has been heretofore achieved.

Once a degree of unity has been achieved we can begin to produce gaming support with greater efficiency and focus. We will also have provided a forum wherein all who desire to see what is available in old school gaming can come to get the desired information. Classic RPG Realms will be this forum. CRPGR will serve as a clearinghouse for all things Old School. From what products are commercially available and where to find them to how to go about producing your own quality supplements--and hopefully much more. In fact my hope would be that CRPGR can begin to develop a review system for OS products where gamers can review these products and rate their quality. In this ensuring that the kind of work we turn out is a credit to the hobby we love.

Such a movement will focus on the main engines designed to reproduce old school play, namely OSRIC, Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord and Dark Dungeons. The reason for this is first and foremost they are darn good games. And secondly they are freely available for download. Lastly they are the most successful emulations of the most successful OS games. This will help us maintain our focus.

Keep in mind that we aren't being exclusive here. Other retro clones like X-Plorers, Basic Fantasy RPG, Mutant Futures and others are also within our demesne. But they are played by far fewer gamers and we don't want to spread ourselves too thin too soon. Most importantly we don't want to encourage replicating clone systems, or in other words having numerous systems trying to do the same thing. Let's support the proven primary systems as a matter of principle.

What we need help with is critiquing the general direction the manifesto sets forth. Let me know if you feel there are things that should be changed. Both with the writing itself and with the direction the site is headed and the goals it hopes to achieve. Obviously this is still very much a work in progress and there is still much more to come.

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