Yes, with over 375 active old-school bloggers (at least that's how many blogs I'm currently following) producing consistently thought-provoking and useful content, we are in the midst of an, at times, frustrating embarrassment of riches. But its not just that incredible wealth of output that makes the OSC so compelling. Its the capacity of those of us participating in this community to see value in every product produced by one of our fellow bloggers.
One of the criticisms leveled against the OSC is that we are endlessly rehashing versions of ye aulde game. Too many retro-clones, not enough original content, the critics say. Not true, though there are a plethora of alternate rules systems for us to choose from. There are also supplements, maps, adventures, megadungeons, artwork, random-table encyclopedias, and world settings, to name just a fraction of the content being produced in our tiny corner of the interwebs.
But what critics of the old-school community fail to understand is that it is the OSC, not AEC, that has created the Ultimate Toolbox.Every post, every table, every game-session report, every free download, every one-page dungeon, every print product, from 375 incredibly creative people (and growing), becomes another tool in our toolbox; another arrow in our quiver.
For we old-school gamers don't need canon to be our guide. Despite protestations to the contrary, it is not the old-schoolers that are one-true-wayers. We march to the beats of our own drums.
What we are looking for are tools to keep our games moving. Why? Because old-school gamers are craftspeople and artisans, not bureaucrats. The bureaucrats write their rulebooks telling us how things should be done, but as craftspeople we know that every job is unique, one size does not fit all, you can't use the same tool for every job. Not every situation can be resolved by a d20 roll. And not every question needs to be addressed in the rulebook.
Old-schoolers don't need a policy-manual, nor a tax code sitting next to us during our gaming sessions; just our Judges Guild Ready Ref Sheets, the Miscellaneum of Cinder, a few random tables from one of several excellent old-school rule sets and supplements, and the imagination of a half-dozen friends.
The original D&D rules, and those restated in a multitude of retro-clones and OGL rules implementations, give us the necessary minimum to run our games. What enhances our game play are the unique perspectives, alternate approaches, and speciality tools to be derived from the output of our fellow OS bloggers.
That's why i'm enthusiastic when I hear of another blog, rule set, adventure or setting being produced for old-school gaming. Because my toolbox, and my perspective, is enriched.