So I am writing this post knowing that if I just find one reader that has not heard of this stuff, I will make their day. Possibly their year. There are many things I admire about the OSR: the DIY attitude, the absurd amounts of talent, the commitment to keeping forgotten or out of print games alive...but what I think I like the most is the sense of community. When one person calls on another for help, it seems a legion of bad-asses form like Voltron and make something amazing happen. Such is the case with the two free gaming resources I am going to talk about today. The REALLY cool thing about them is that you yourself can participate!
So Secret Santicore was started several years ago and has since been handled and "wrangled" by a literal who's-who of the OSR. The idea is that you ask "Santicore" for something gaming related: a random table, adventure, drawing, etc. This request is then assigned to someone to complete. You don't know who it has been given to. You also reciprocate by taking on someone else's request. The results are then provided as a free download. Over one hundred talented artists and designers participated this year, and I have to be honest, I am completely blown away by how much talent is out there. See for yourself HERE. Previous years are here: 2011 ; 2013 part 1 2 3. 2012 apparently ran into some issues with formatting, and although I have a copy of the pdf, my Google-fu is weak today and since I cannot source it I am not going to upload it.
This year was my first time participating. I asked for "a drawing of some sort of undead with a bursting egg sac full of baby spiders visible inside its ribcage." What I got back from noted OSRtist Matt Adams blew my mind.
Anyway, I was just overwhelmed by the quality of the submissions and the general awesomeness of the idea. Be sure and follow along the above links or circle some of these folks on G+ for a chance to get in next year's event.
Which brings us to the second thing I wanted to bring to your attention, The One Page Dungeon Contest. This is another chance to submit your material and be included in what is eventually released as a free supplement. There are prizes for multiple categories. It is mind-numbing to scroll through the jaw-dropping inventiveness on display in these compilations. Find them archived HERE. Looking for a one shot for your group? How about 50 thousand of them? Ok that's an exaggeration, but good lord, what an amazing free resource. April 30th is this years deadline. Special thanks should go to Random Wizard for shepherding the contest and archiving previous years material. That's a lot of work.
When I step back and look at things like these, I am just thankful everyday for the dedicated, creative gamers of the OSR. If you find it as inspiring as I have, step into the ring and turn in your own submissions! Be a part of it! Meanwhile, prepare to be blown away as you read through this stuff.