Wednesday, 16 May 2012

DIY Gaming

One of the key points of the current OSR movement is its strong do-it-yourself attitude. Although some decry multiple retro-clones of the Grand Auld Game, in this age of print-on-demand and pdf -- if you have a vision on how you would do things, why not?

Thirty years ago even page-setting was a complex process involving wax/glue and physical cutting and pasting onto sheets which could be sent to the printer. Hell, it's how we did it at my University newspaper just twenty years ago. Today most homes posses all the tools they require to self-publish tied into a single computer.

Yet until recently that DIY spirit seemed to fade. Oh, there were blogs and wikis and forums and a hundred other electronic mediums, but actual print copies were essentially out of reach. I don't think that's at all true anymore.

I recently subscribed to Loviatar, a 'zine published in California. Although earlier issues had a more multi-article approach, recently each issue has been dedicated to detailing one hex, a sort of "hex-crawl" guide that makes every hex blend together thematically, yet adds interesting details -- this is not the "hex AA: 20 kobolds" style guides we would have received decades ago. Each of them has an elements of their own story, their rationale if you will, woven into it. Not to guide, or to limit player choices, but to give them options, backgrounds, and perhaps motivations if they desire. In short, it's a blending of the Old and New styles of gaming, and that is one of the things I enjoy most about the current retro phenomena.


  1. I've been following Christian's writings since his first zine, 1st issue back on 2001? 2002? I'd have to dig it out.

    It was great back then, and only has gotten better over the years.

    1. I'm new to Loviatar, having picked up the recommendation from a couple blogs. Haven't read all of my little stack of 'zines yet, but I'm enjoying what I've found so far.

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