Adventures in a Decaying Empire
OSR- what it actually stands for is debatable. Some OSR enthusiasts say it stands for Old School Revival, other say it stands for Old School Revolution, and still others say it stands for Old School Rennaisance. Regardless of what the “R” in OSR means to you, they all mean that we play using Old School Rules, or Retro-Clones of those rules sets, mostly based on early iterations of Dungeons and Dragons.
The OSR “movement” began, roughly, at about the time 4th edition D&D was released. Older gamers (mostly) were repelled by the direction the focus of the game was headed in and the extremely rules heavy nature it had assumed. To combat this, they started playing with their older rules, or rewriting them (using Wizards of the Coast’s Open Gaming License and publishing them. Simultaneously, many older gamers that had not played in years, or decades even, began to come back to the hobby.
When these OSR rules sets started cropping up, some new gamers (and wannabe gamers) found them and liked the simplicity of them. The OSR movement got big enough that the publishers of D&D sought out some of the leaders of the movement as advisors and consultants for the forthcoming 5th edition of the game. As a result, some critics say that the OSR is over, 5th edition D&D is the best selling OSR game.