Some valuable insights into OSR play

I’ve recently read a thread at storygames about motives and methods for “OSR” play that make a lot of sense to me — “Let’s talk about how OSR-style mechanics work“. If you don’t understand OSR play, or you don’t understand why a game involving a lot of GM judgement could be consistently enjoyable, the whole thread is worth reading.

I found one comment by Eero Tuovinen particularly enlightening. It succintly captures a common weakness in people’s understanding of GM authority. Key quote (emphasis mine):

“[The role of the GM in OSR D&D] has often been characterized in Internet discussions with extremist positions that obscure what seems to be really going on: both the “D&D can’t work because it’s impossible to be impartial and the players are deluding themselves” and the opposite “it’s the GM’s game and he’s got the viking hat and if you don’t like it you don’t have to play” positions ignore how much trust-building, hygienic practice and accountability goes into refereeing old school D&D.”

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