No Artpunk II Update: Almost there and Merry Christmas!

I’ve compiled all the entries and merged them together. The only problem is that it looks…rough. Putting all the entries together so it does not look hideously ugly takes a bit of time. I’ll get it proofread before we release the document to the public. Even the cover is still a bit rough and I want it to look good.

For the charity I know we announced The Autism Research Institute, but I was actually considering doing it for the National Fibromyalgia Association this time, in support of my publisher Aaron Fairbrook. If you are a finalist and you do not approve of this change, please email me and I will ensure that your percentage will be donated to the original charity. We will also be putting NAP 2 on initially, because of the more favorable conditions.

This has been a crazy ride, larger in scope then previous year’s efforts and the quality of the entries reflect that. I want to make sure the presentation is at least in the same ballpark as the content.

I’m doing pretty good. This was an eventful year; I got promoted, broke my arm at a Rammstein concert, got Corona, and got engaged. Not bad for 2022!

The OSR. The OSR, the OSR…It’s still going. My current prediction is that the gap between the NSR (or No-SR if you will forgive me) and the OSR, that is to say, people with a genuine interest in the original game of dungeons and dragons, will continue to widen and become more apparent until a natural separation occurs. While the NSR has leaned on the OSR’s popularity for legitimacy and initial growth despite having very little to do with it, there are some entries like Mothership or Into the Odd that have demonstrated at least some form of longterm viability, so a seperation would perhaps not be as disasterous for them as it might first appear. Culturally and in terms of play preferences, the two are too divergent to intermingle freely.

I have been talking with people on both sides of the isle and the recurring trend is a sort of general fatigue with the atmosphere of persecution and backbiting that has been kindled in the discords and star chambers of the Artpunkmen. Blacklists, innocent quotes taken out of context, whisper campaigns, leaked DMs, accusations of sexual misconduct, the list stretches on and on. One wonders where they find the time to game! Even in places that were once firmly on their side (like, say, Reddit), slow but steady steps are being taken to curb the more destructive tendencies of these wretches, but it is ultimately up to the public to call out this Karen-like behavior for what it is.

A noteworthy trend that deserves scorn and mockery has been the proliferation of core rules, particularly ultra-lite rulesets, comprised of what amounts to a set of minor alterations to previously extant ultra-lites. Clones of Clones of Clones. The complexity of B/X, hardly a game for strategic prodigies, is further reduced to the absolute minimum and what remains is a bowlerized version of the game of DnD, barely capable of sustaining 10 sessions, and with all the Gygaxian Building blocks left on the cutting room floor. Making a game is something that requires the highest level of understanding but because of the inexorable power of the Dunning-Kruger effect, this feat is seemingly attempted only by the dullest and the least experienced.

On a good note, the most important thing is to reaffirm the original goal of the OSR, that is to say Oldschool Dungeons & Dragons, to rekindle its spirit of actual play and to arrange for the orderly transferral of knowledge, resources and best practices. To that goal, I have added two pages of recommendations of both old and new adventures to NAP 2, so newcomers have a place to begin. It would also be interesting to see if the No Artpunk concept is portable, and to encourage people to run their own versions. The goal is, above all, to encourage engagement with the source material and the actual game.

Number of reviews and reader count. There has been a steady growth of both, I’m pleased to say. I have no idea if this is my most prolific year yet but it might very well be. I only know that I will not be running out of material to cover anytime soon. On the quality of the reviews, the suggestion by the Kent, which was sent to me in the form of whiskey-scented breeze-whispers, to review classic material to enable people to quickly assess my frame of reference and calibrate the difference between that and their own preferences was decisive, so my thanks. Rendering all of the reviews accessible would require a comprehensive set of tags which would take hours to implement. For a rainy day perhaps?

My submissions backlog is terribly full and growing ever fuller, but I’ll get through it. I always do.

On the gaming front there have been two-upsides. Running my B2 game on the Pedantic Server revealed there are plenty of people, my age and younger, that drifted in from Knave, 5e or otherwise that have a genuine interest in oldschool dungeons and dragons. Gaming with them, whether as player or GM, has been a blast. I’ve also had the pleasure of playing with the likes of Chomy, Gabor Lux, Settembrini, Terrible Sorcery, Bryce Lynch and other oldschoolers over the last year, which has been a blast. The highlight was of course the Dream House of the Nether Prince mega-adventure, which took place over the course of months and felt more like the buildup to an Olympic sporting event, complete with dropouts, drama, training sessions, preparation, strategy sessions and so on. The actual module was worth every second of buildup and proved an andrenaline-charged gauntlet of impossible challenges and our eventual success therein was well earned (though it may have taken a bit of GM lubrication in the end).

I want to thank all the participants for their re-edits and hard work. The public will enjoy the fruits of your hard labors very soon.

And Merry Christmas to all of you.


9 thoughts on “No Artpunk II Update: Almost there and Merry Christmas!

  1. Melan’s OSR Wariant Equity Rules (MOWER)

    1) Be kind.
    2) Roll 3d6 in order for ability scores, assign to taste, but it doesn’t matter because everyone is beautiful and valid.
    3) Roll under 3d6 with 3d6 for procedures.
    4) XP is awarded.
    6) No chuds.
    4) The treasure is the friends we made along the way.
    4) Monster appendix: Sky Platypus, Kind Purple Fungus, Mom and Dad, Sensitivity Squid, Pigmen (ACAB).
    6) You may not use these rules to commit crimes against humanity.

    This RPG-like experience was written on the ancient lands of the Danube Schwabians, after a pleanat gin-tonic, but before Christmas cheer setting in. Time spent: I don’t subscribe to your oppressive systems of time (a few minutes?).

    Patreon launches tomorrow, so donate, paypigs. Now, for another gin-tonic, and more Christmas cheer.


    Liked by 4 people

  2. Discovered this blog through people talking shit about it and immediately knew it was the thing for me. Awesome stuff, very informative, very funny, and (thank god) devoid of woke garbage. Keep it up, I’ve turned all my pals onto it who had given up thinking there was anyone doing anything that wasn’t purple hair and art punk trash. Cheers.


    1. Hah. Free marketing.

      There are a lot more normal people in the OSR then it might at first appear. Check out blogs like beyondfomalhaut or monstersandmanuals and you have a fine place to get started.

      Merry christmas, and welcome to you and yours!


  3. Congratulations on your engagement.

    OSR authors splitting by genre may well be inevitable, but it would be a shame if there is a fracturing of the OSR audience, with superior work unread. There is an old joke that “there is nothing wrong with my business plan that more customers wouldn’t fix”. Numbers are important for Kickstarters to succeed. With WotC output declining from mediocre to moribund, and the high quality of offerings from readers (and the writer) of this blog, it could be good times.

    Being very late with Christmas greetings, I’ll wish everyone an early Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the dual nature of popularity. The medicority that pervades the corpus as a requirement for specialized high quality work to succeed. That being said, eventually these competing philosophies will attempt to hedge the other out in an effort to gain a bigger slice of the pie, and I think peaceful seperation at this point would be a blessing, not a curse.


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