The reason the exploits of these Intellectual Gaynors of the Damned should provoke such mirthful contempt is that, despite their aspirations of becoming the Intelligentsia of a movement that succeeded where they failed, and only started failing once they gained some small amount of traction , is that they are almost pathologically unwilling to defend any of their positions, and would be unable to do so if they had any desire to. A decade of intellectual sloth has rendered them into little more then word magicians that try to gain by trickery and force what should be won by rigeur, constant refinement and empiricism.
One need only look at the frequent hissy fits, petty feuds and interfactional struggles that take place within their sordid ranks. Lacking any concept of truth, any criticism is only interpreted as a bid for power and dealt with by any means open to the aggrieved. There is an obsession with deniability, meaning any such conflicts often take the case of whisper campaigns, blacklists and expurgated christmas card lists, rather then a quick open struggle, ending in a reconciliation and a re-ordered social picking order and an evaluation of perspectives. Look at the people that have perspectives that are most at odds with them. Are they engaged? Of course not. Their very existence is denied and their names are never mentioned. Gabor Lux? The K&K guys? Jeffro Johnson? These are only off-handedly villified and denied a platform. Look at what they are not pushing. The Utility Standard. Actual Play. The importance of a common frame of reference. Praxis over Theory. The primacy of the game as game over the role-playing format or focus for author creativity. Long campaigns and the Grand campaign. These are gaining ground while these people have produced absolutely nothing
of value after an initial flurry of creativity.
Let us tally some of these 'accomplishments.'
Emmy Allen, bless xir soul, successfully created what none of these other would be artists could and made a Depthcrawl
, a format that is modular and actually tackles the interesting ground of exploring a boundaryless unknown realm from a single point of egress. This format was so brilliant it was
completely forgotten in favor of throwing purple paint on a yellow background, and for fucking shame. Allen produced nothing else that even came close, and is currently contemplating moving to 5e, along with useless grifter Evey Lockheart, author of the craptastic Ruined Palace of the Metegorgos
, for which small mercy we raise a hearty 'Inshallah!'
Patrick Stuart, undeniably the best author among the lot, although Goblin Punch makes better dungeons, shits together the atmospherically brilliant Deep Carbon Obervatory
, then proceeds to fuck up the Megadungeon format with Zak S, failing to produce any practices that are widely adopted despite the fact that by this time, Megadungeons were bascially identified (ref. Stonehell, Barrowmaze, Rappan Athuk, Dwimmermount). He produced an Underdark supplement that everyone agrees is spiffy but that no one fucking plays BECAUSE THE SYSTEM WAS THROWN TOGETHER AND NEVER USED, except for Skerples, who has to hack together a tome worth of sub-systems to make that work.
Is he lauded? NO HE IS FUCKING RIPPED FROM STUART'S BLOG LIST AND NOW HAS TO DO THE SOCIAL EQUIVALENT OF CLEANING DIXIES IN PLUMBER HELL. Stuart follows this up with Silent Titans, a book everyone agrees looks killah-kickass but no one, least of all Stuart, bothered to fucking play.
In addition, the monstrously succesfull Mörk Börk
game is launched, and translated by Patrick Stuart, prompting years of hilarity and poorly conceived Swedish impressions as torrents of absolutely unplayable bilge flood the market, necessitating Bryce hire a 2nd therapist and enabling an orgy of rampant grifting and shovelware the likes of which has not been seen since the OSR boom of the late 2000s, which I guess does mean it deserves the status of OSR.
In another addition, Daniel Sell makes the shittiest Artpunk game yet
, which goes triple platinum mega-ennies and approximately one thousand positive reviews, never hampered by the necessity of actually having to play or for that matter even reading the damn things. It can boast of having a fanbase that is so toxic even I had to clutch my pearls when I found out about them, a rare delight. Troika's fandom is currently embroiled in a bitter war of assassins for the position of Most Loyal To The Current Thing with Monkey's Paw Games, authors of the even more craptastic unplayable shitbrew game CUMCONQUERED
Doing a wicked-smooth DM slide, Adam Koebel and the other members of the Society for Involuntary Intercourse Via Automaton sneak into the mayor's office at night, find the dictionary, look under O for OSR, tippex out the dot at the end of the paragraph and add 'and also Dungeon World' and then sneak out giggling, showing up in the morning to receive their old school gaming card and lifetime membership in the OSR discord. He is currently embroiled in a cold war with another alleged sex pervert that was also into Artpunk and actually laid the entire intellectual blueprint for its foundation BUT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SAY THAT. Read about his exploits here.
These geniuses have given us such modern innovations as the Five-room dungeon
, the hexflower
(which I think would be allright if it was used sparingly) and also DID YOU KNOW THE OSR IS DEAD LOL.
You would abandon the wretched mud pit you have made of your share of the hobby, and now, when Monkey's Paw Games and the Troika Maffia is starting to ogle your position with rabid eyes and fingering their knives, move back to polite company? I don't think so good sir. We do not need failed academics endlessly navelgazing behind mile high firewalls and sympathetic moderation for fear that they will be stricken down by the mocking laughter of the hobby at large or floored by a well placed inquiry. We need philosopher kings, builders, creators and men of action. We need contests, and play sessions every week, and to roll dice until the numerals are engraved in our bones. We need reviews, not composed of dry academic rambles, but reviews that embody the spirit of adventure that this hobby was built on. Take your solipsistic theories and burn them.