|Wrong OSR, sadly - love the crab!|
Let's also assume that even the experienced DM would like some stats in the adventure, as long as that information fits the system they're using.
Let's further assume that there is such a variety of base, clone, and home-brewed systems being played that the best anyone can achieve is partial fit. What stats, at minimum, can an author provide that meet that fit for the most people?
I'm wary of ever achieving an opinion-based consensus. I mean, over on the right are 25 different blogs I follow. If you got all their authors in a room together you'd get 50 different opinions.
I'm more optimistic about an objective rule to build consensus. Look. We're all playing D&D here, with or without serial numbers filed off. There have been six major versions of D&D (Original+Supplements, AD&D, Basic, 2nd Ed. AD&D, 3rd Ed., 4th Ed.) Let's partially route around the quirks of the Zero and Latest Editions, and base our judgments on this rule: A game element is only Standard D&D if it appears in 5 out of 6 of these versions.
Even 4th? Yes. Wizards may have taken a RotoRooter to the game mechanics but they have shrewdly preserved, in name, most of the elements that make up the game's persistent identity.
Next post I'll lay out what this means in more detail, because it's not without twists and oddities.
logo idea and Thomas Denmark's suggestions for its use. Let me propose a more specific rule for what I think Thomas was getting at.
OSR as a brand name for me makes most sense as:
- "Original" - because D&D is the original roleplaying game, without violating copyright, or being coy about the issue.
- "Standard" - if a supplement or adventure is mechanics-free except for the Standard elements of the game, it will automatically be compatible with all related systems. Any further details of the system the author is using should be explained, or handled by making a reference to a published product. Any further fine-tuning to fit the system the DM is using is the DM's responsibility.
- "Rules" - because that is really what we are doing at a minimal level that everyone can agree on. Not everyone is into a Renaissance, Revival, Revolution, Revanchism, Rearguard, Revelation, Raid, Regurgitation, Rap-battle, or Riot.