Matt Finch co-developer of OSRIC and creator of Swords & Wizardry, launched a Kickstarter in mid-September, that funded October 1, 2017. The purpose of this Kickstarter is to gather links to OSR blogs and other social media outlets so they are no longer lost in the noise. Both a website, Old School Gamer Radio, and a YouTube channel, Uncle Matt’s D&D Studio were funded. The website will serve as the site to collect links to resources, and will feature not only the results of the YouTube channel, but as links to other creators are added, will feature their videos as well. [Full Disclosure: I backed this Kickstarter at the highest level, so I benefit from people seeing the name of my blog on a sponsored video.]
On the website’s home page you will find Recent Posts from all Categories, Latest Actions, Rumor Table, Key Encounters, Ambient Sounds, and Town Crier. Recent Posts appears to be the most recent videos from all the video channels currently in the database. Latest Actions seems to be the latest videos from Uncle Matt’s D&D Studio, Rumor Table is a Facebook feed, Key Encounters features links to various blogs, Ambient Sounds is a listing of various podcasts, and Town Crier is a Twitter feed. To get your blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or podcast listed on the site, click the Contact Us link and use the message field to indicate what it is that you want added. The funding level of the Kickstarter did not reach a level to get programming to allow visitors to add their own links. Currently, there is a fast turnaround to get blogs added. Adding YouTube channels is not as straightforward, as per Matt Finch, so there is a bit of a backlog.
Navigation on the site has multiple options, via a menu at the top, or scrolling to each section on the home page. All links open in the current browser tab, so you have to right-click to keep it open, if you want to use it to navigate to all your desired sites. It does feature a link for an RSS feed, so if you have a program or plugin that supports RSS, you can get notified of the latest changes. Using the Feedly RSS reader, it features the latest actions, and suggests 3 other sites to follow. I think the recommended sites is suggested by Feedly rather than coming from the RSS feed of the website.
The YouTube channel, Uncle Matt’s D&D Studio, features interviews with various creators in the OSR, Matt’s own take on adventure design and other RPG thoughts, and a live play, Swords of Jordoba. See the pilot episode here. Matt also has a five-part series on the OGL (Open Gaming License) for those interested in publishing their own RPG content. Matt is a non-practicing lawyer, and makes it clear that what he discusses there is not legal advice. He does point out the pitfalls for the unwary, and translates some legal concepts and jargon into plain English. Unfortunately, these five videos are not in a playlist, so you have to go through the growing list of videos to find them. They are in order, so once you find them, it is easy to play them in the correct order.
Matt has a video with an overview of what the OSR is, and has interviewed many different creators so far: James McCartan, James Spahn, Greg Gillespie, Jim Raggi, Alyssa Faden, Matt Jackson, Dave Donohoo, Tim Brannan, Jeff Talanian, Jeff Rients, and Vince Florio. It is notable that his interview with Vince Florio is about D&D5e, so it is not all about older versions, retroclones, or other systems.
The new liveplay series, Swords of Jordoba, does have a playlist, so you can catch all the episodes. It is important to note that there is a Patreon to help fund the live play videos. Patrons get early access to the videos. This also helps fund the website. Since the Kickstarter did not reach the levels needed to make updating the website simpler, there is also a Patreon to help fund the website. The video production efforts are still in their infancy, and as better equipment and skills are acquired, you can note the improvement in quality. There was mention of Twitch on the pilot episode of the liveplay, but unfortunately, most of the video descriptions do not have links to any of the related sites for this project. Links are also lacking from the about page of the YouTube channel. Hopefully, once they find their stride, these things will be available to help users find all related content. At this point, there are no ads on the videos. Part of this is because YouTube now requires 10,000 views to ensure a channel is not bogus before ads can be enabled. Currently, it appears that the channel has passed 10,000 views, so ads may be enabled at some point.
There have been past efforts to create a single site to collect blogs, the first was RPG Bloggers, but the site has been down for several weeks. It featured a collection of RSS feeds, and initially allowed new blogs to request getting on the list, but the site changed hands, and it became a site only showing those blogs already there. I used that site to help keep up with a lot of blogs. When it stopped letting new people get on the list, a competitor, the RPG Blog Alliance emerged, but that site folded. Thankfully, many of the bloggers on that site joined a G+ community of the same name. This G+ community is active with daily updates from its members, and they still host a monthly themed blog carnival. Another site that was well received initially, OSR Today, the brainchild of James McCartan lasted a couple of years and it too had to fold. It features news from across the OSR, links to various RPG sites, and original content. It is my hope that long terms plans to ensure this new resource continues and is open to all creators who consider themselves part of the OSR.
If you want to find resources new to you, or have a place you know you can find that link you can’t remember the name, or videos with creator interviews, or old school live play, check out this site.