I've been looking down the list of OSR blogs at Dyvers. Most seem to be the heavy hitters, both past and present. There's over 200 blogs on that list, by my last count--I have to admit my eyes crossed at one point. More keep getting added.
I think I've visited a large fraction of those blogs. A lot are on my blogger feed and more look familiar. I'm glad somebody put a list of OSR blogs together. That took a lot of work.
But it makes me wonder: how many other OSR blogs are out there that are generally unknown?
Because 200 blogs is a drop in the bucket. Because this doesn't even the OSR manifesting in other social media.
Which begs to question: how big is the OSR?
I have no idea. Does anybody?
Is it recruiting more players to Old School thoughts and ideas? I've done my part in the last year running Swords & Wizardry, but I haven't inspired anybody to become a referee (as far as I know) now that I'm no longer running games.
Referees/Dungeon Masters/Game Masters--whatever you want to call them--are really the key. If enough decide they don't want to run a certain game, that game is pretty much done.
I think that's what happened with 4e, but I'm not certain how much the OSR influenced 4e's slow decline--because a lot of people ditched 4e for Pathfinder. It must have done something, given how WotC turned around and starting putting out 4e products that seem to appeal to the "typical" OSR demographic. And about this time last year they made pdfs for old products available again.
I'm not proposing that the OSR put on some kind of "recruit a GM day." My goal when running Swords & Wizardry was to have fun running a campaign that required little prep time for me as Referee. But it'd really like to play in an old school game in my area, instead of being the guy who runs it.
From what I've seen, Pathfinder in my area is pretty widespread. Whenever one GM bows out from running a campaign, another player steps up to run a game.
One second thought, maybe the OSR does need to recruit... just for the sake of having enough GMs around to run the games we enjoy.
Next post: the Big 300.