Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Half-Baked Idea: Old-School Compatibility Logos

I had this idea for a replacement for the venerable, but retired OSR logo.
Half an idea really.

The idea is to have a logo I could use on my various works to indicate compatible content with a style of play, but not calling out any rule system in particular.

I came up with some logos over lunch, but I'd imagine that I would need to have some sort of sheet attached to them at the very least.   You know along the lines of "Basic-era Compatible" includes, but is not limited to 1. Race as Class. 2. Monsters with Morale scores and other salient features.

I need to give it more thought. A lot more thought to be honest.  But first I guess is there and interest in anything like this? Is there even a need for anything like this?

Share your thoughts below.  I designed them to be simple and easy to read.

Yeah I included 3rd and 5th eds here.  I still do stuff for those games.

I also included a compatible with The Witch one.  I have had a few people ask for some of my OGC, which I provided for free.  I figure if I pack up a couple dozen spells for something a link back is not too much of an ask.


Jonathan Linneman said...

I'd love to see something like this get some traction.

Why is the OSR logo retired, btw?

Cross Planes said...

Not to speak for Tim but I know there was some issue with the creator feeling that some of the people using it were, I believe either Alt-Right or homophobic/transphobic or all of the above.

Tim, I think this is a superb idea and if I get around to publishing anything will promptly steal the logo .

Jonathan Linneman said...

Ah...thank you.

Charles A said...

A) the old OSR logo was only retired by alt-right/fascist types and their sympathizers. It's a beautiful logo and would be difficult to improve upon or replace, and quite frankly, there simply is no need to do so.

B) these aren't logos, they're just writing in different typefaces.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

The owner of the original logo has asked people to not use it anymore. I spoke with him directly and will abide by his wishes.

A lot of compatibility logos are just "writing in different typefaces."
Cases in point Labyrinth Lord Compatability, Blueholme, Basic Fantasy, and The Hero's Journey. so there is precedent.

Malcadon said...

As much as I like the OSR logo — more over the ones that look like a dungeon map — it was not the most useful for conveying what it was as a product.

I know too many D&D fans, old and young alike, who ask "What the @#$% is an 'ohh-ess-arr'?" when I bring it up in conversation. It feels more like a cryptic symbol for insiders of the hobby than a user-friendly icon for casual players.

In top of that, the term is too nebulous a term. I mean, there are people who think 2ed AD&D or D&D v3.0 are "old-school" games, and there are also so many "editions" of D&D. e.g. When someone say "Basic D&D" would that be the Blue-Box set, which is basically the White or Brown box OD&D with Supplement I, or would it be the Magenta, Red or Black box sets? When you think of a "Third Edition" book, would it be v3 or v3.5?

I love the idea that an "old-school module" adventure book not just proclaim that it is D&D compatible (without having to use TSR/WotC trademarks), but that it also states what rule system (to make conversions easier) and general play-style (i.e. dungeon crawl or story-focused scenario) that it is using before I buy it.

So yeah. I really love your logos.

Caz said...

i like the general idea but I think the plates lack a logo type quality, they are too wide and too large to make for an easy icon. We need something small, something square, and something minimal. The old OSR logo inside the graph paper square was strong because it had monochrome primary color and minimal design.(blue, evocative of DIY,simple) Ditto for the D&D ampersand logo. (red, bold, iconic)

I think we could reduce these down to two letter variations on a common OSR theme.





something like that, easily recognizable as a stamp.... like the Comics Code Authority symbol.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I like the Comics Authority Code analogy.

More to think about!

Jonathan Linneman said...

What if a large "OSR" was the focus of the logo, and beneath it were smaller additions indicating specific compatibility? One of the draws of the OSR has always been "everything pretty much works with everything," but I'm sure folks still like to know exactly which era something is designed for. A primary "OSR" with a small "Advanced" beneath it might get the point across; you could even have more than one secondary notation if needed.

I do realize this complicates the 3rd and 5th compatibility labels, since not everyone is going to think of them as fully OSR compatible.