This Blog is…

The community has become polarized down political and sociocultural lines. Safety Tools, Session Zero, diversity and inclusion can be hard and scary for some people in the OSR that have insisted on playing the same edition of D&D since 1977. I get it. WotC and D&D 5E seem like a natural scapegoat for their rage rather than learning something new or expanding their repertoires.


Pretty much the only thing keeping me sane.

Physically, I’m not doing so well. Mentally/emotionally, I’m not doing very well, either. The exhaustion from the last couple of days being in pain has drained me pretty bad. It’s also sucking the life out of me creatively at the moment. Hoping that will improve soon.

I’m halfway avoiding social media for fairly significant spans of time. I think the natural tendency, for people who spend a lot of time on Twitter especially, is to mock or troll others. I’m seeing a lot less productive discourse these days with a few exceptions. (You know who you are.) Things have been kinda brutal since Elon, Lord of Bots took over Twitland.

Of course when people aren’t starting arguments on social media, they’re showing off how fabulous their life is in relation to all us little people. All in all I’ve even seen a few people in jobs I wouldn’t mind having. Just short of a truly manifested miracle I don’t see those happening for me, though. So that just leaves feelings of inadequacy and good ol Imposter Syndrome. All the more reason to take social media in small doses or post-n-go. Fewer hassles that way.

The TableTop RolePlaying Game blogosphere is fun and all.

I’ve been doing this thing solidly for almost a year now. I did some rebranding of my blog last year and shifted from mostly spiritual (New Age) content and self growth over to TTRPGs. It was overall a good shift and I’ve been able to write every day on some topic on or off the RPG table.

I’ve had some struggles in the #ttrpgcommunity or culture more recently. My mental health waxes and wanes on its own without some industry or community drama dragging the vibe down. That’s true of any hobby one can be passionate about, though. I really am passionate about gaming. Now if I could just get it monetized…

I feel caught up in this never ending struggle between Dungeons & Dragons 5E and the Old School Renaissance/Revival/Renewal/Re-whatever-this-week.

I used to feel obliged to stand up for some of the benevolent Old Grognards. I’m starting to realize that the #OSR is largely populated by some bitter, jaded, angry, anti-anybody-who’s-not-them people and hateful edgelords. The OSR may not be dying, but it might do well for parts of it to segregate themselves back into the spiteful, dark corner of their mom’s basement they crawled out of.

Without naming names, I’m becoming increasingly irritated with certain OSR YouTubers. They can’t figure out how to go five minutes without telling us how great the OSR is and then promptly sticking their foot squarely in their mouths. What? They can’t go five minutes without hating on something?

Here’s a thought. If the #OSR is so great, why do people keep putting out new editions?

“But it’s all about staying in business,” they cry.

But if the OSR is so great and playing older editions of D&D is so much fun, why even bother to look at the new material? Has anyone considered that they don’t need to look at D&D 5E or the One D&D playtests if the touted Moldvay B/X original edition is so amazing? How about if you’re not going to ever run it, play it, buy it, or recommend it- shut up about it? Please shut up about it.

D&D 5E and Wizards of the Coast have their own share of screwball issues.

I kinda get what the OSR guys (mainly old, bitter, heteronormative, white guys) are complaining about when it comes to D&D 5E and beyond. I’ve said some of the same things. Sometimes WotC goes a bit overboard with the fluff of D&D and not enough crunch. They expect Dungeon Masters to make up for the shortcomings in the rules. Every book has tons of player options and leaves DMs to fend for themselves.

The community has become polarized down political and sociocultural lines. Safety Tools, Session Zero, diversity and inclusion can be hard and scary for some people in the OSR that have insisted on playing the same edition of D&D since 1977. I get it. WotC and D&D 5E seem like a natural scapegoat for their rage rather than learning something new or expanding their repertoires.

Cultural and interpersonal sensitivity aren’t something WotC or anyone else can teach. WotC’s big corporate (possibly overpaid) editors couldn’t even prevent the #hadozee debacle from happening. WotC is allegedly hiring new Head of Creative Content and writers in some sad sauce effort to make it look like the actual game itself isn’t going to be just a tiny part in the four quadrant brand that Hasbro is shaping D&D into. Hopefully the sensitivity readers for One D&D will be paying better attention than they were for Spelljammer.

The tired phrase of “Just play Pathfinder instead” has turned into “The OSR is so much better.”

Pathfinder still has a solid following and I like the game. More and more each day in fact. The old answer to people complaining online about D&D 5E was, “Just play Pathfinder 2E instead.” It got to the point where well known Pathfinder YouTubers were begging people to stop.

As someone who loves every edition of D&D for one reason or another (Yes, even 4th Ed,) I’m begging people to stop trying to convert everyone back to the OSR. It’s like downgrading a computer or video game console. Yeah, there are some good points to be made with familiarity and simplicity, but they’re also re-hashing the same old sh🦆t that made us seek out new editions and other games in the first place. Don’t brag about a game if you’re not going to welcome new players into it.

#OSR, say what you like about D&D 5E, but don’t knock the fact that it has brought so much fresh life to the table. It’s done more for the hobby in terms of bringing in new people than the OSR ever could have dreamt of doing. Also, stop trying to shut out the new people. Good grief.

Mental health matters.

Officially tired and putting the blog to bed for the night.

Thanks for letting me rant. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you.

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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