viernes, 6 de octubre de 2017

The OSR in Spain

Hi! Back in March, when this came out I promised Matthew Adams that I would make an overview of the state of the OSR/DIY D&D here in Spain but then a crowdfunding campaign got in the way. Today I've come to fix that.

Again this post is going to be a brief summary of products, people and related stuff about Old School Gaming here in Spain. That's mostly because I live here, but also because I'm involved in the Spanish gaming community and have been following the English-speaking OSR community for years, so I can compare the two. So maybe it will interest you!

Just to be clear, this will not be about the OSR in the wider Spanish-speaking world, since I don't know much about how people in Latin America or Equatorial Guinea are doing.


Before starting to mindlessly throwing titles at you (which I will be doing later) I probably have to answer a question: does the Spanish OSR has unique characteristics and traits? The answer is, in my opinion, no. Or, at least, not yet.

See, the OSR's developement here is strongly linked to the English-speaking core of the movement. After all, I think most people that are interested in OSR gaming can read English and get most of their fix from English-language blogs and products. And that's mostly because, although lots of people played it at the time, pre-3ed D&D has not been the entry-level RPG of a lot of people here in Spain, that title would go to BRP-based games like Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Elric or Aquelarre (which, by the way, is the first Spanish game ever published). Many people say that the d100 is the true Spanish Old School, so old D&D is actually a new thing for a lot of people here.

Also, there's a question of timing, although the OSR as a whole started in the mid-zeros, here it has needed ten years to get some traction. It's somewhat ironic that, although there were products before, the true explosion of OSR content in Spain has happened AFTER D&D 5ed was released. At least from my point of view.

So, maybe with time we will develop our own quirks. With time and a stick, as we say.


So, where's the good stuff?

One of the first products from Spain that looks remotely like a retro-clone is Embelyon, a short game based on Microlite d20.

And a year before, on 2011, we had Roll&Play!, a AD&D 2e retro-clone that would later become Trasgos y Mazmorras (eng. Goblins and Dungeons. Note: I will be doing some unofficial title translations as I go).

It's a rather complete approach to that edition. Although it lacks a DMG, it has lots of material around there, for example, La montaña soberana (eng. The Sovereign Mountain), a collaborative megadungeon (check out level 7, by me).

And that's mostly it for OSR retro-clones, but we also have some O5R games like Eirendor, based on the 5e SRD. It has a pretty active community right now and they keep publishing supplements and modules (one written by me will come out next year).

And, likewise, a new 5e-clone named El Resurgir del Dragón (eng. The Return of the Dragon) is on the making right now.

But that's not it. I'm forgetting something. Something important...

Aventuras en la Marca del Este

Also known as Adventures in the East Mark in its English version, Aventuras en la Marca del Este it's probably the oldest and best known retro-clone made in Spain.

It's based on Mentzer's Basic D&D and it has had four boxed sets: Basic (red), Campaign Setting (blue), Advanced (green) and a megadungeon (black) called La llamada de los dioses (eng. The Call of the Gods).

Which would be more than enough, but the guys behind it, the Aventureros de la Marca del Este keep releasing stuff. For example a sci-fi spin off of their game titled La Marca Estelar (eng. The Stellar Mark).

Or a series of adventure modules called Clásicos de la Marca (eng. Classics of the Mark) (side note: the last one with mutant murder mongols on the cover was written by me).

Or another boxed set to relpace the Campaign Setting one that just got crowdfunded, the Gazetteer de Aventuras en la Marca del Este.

And they have Leyendas de la Marca del Este (eng. Legends of the East Mark) in the works, which will be an adaptation of Castle & Crusades.

And it already has fan modules (sort of)! Like T1: Bajo la sombra de los antiguos (T1: Under the Shadow of the Ancient Ones).

That in addition to releasing other non-OSR games like Walküre or Hardboiled.

Also using the system of Aventuras en la Marca del Este as base but in a steampunk setting and made by different people we have Jernhest which is also pretty cool game.


Translations are indeed a bigger thing here, since we mostly have to drink from the English OSR's tit. But given that most of the interested people cand read English already and most of publishing houses don't want to take the risk (as opposed to, for example, writting their own retro-clone), there are not so many translations as you might think.

For example, we recently got Labyrinth Lord and a lot of us had a good laugh about it asking ourselves "why now?" and "why did they split a 200 pages book into four?". But of course, the answer was money.

And, in a less corporative-leechy way, Dungeon Crawl Classics was translated here as Clásicos del Mazmorreo by Other-selves/Phlogiston books, whom you may remember for The Vertical Halls or The Phlogiston Books Vol. I. For now they are translating classic modules from the game, but maybe in the future we'll see more original content... I won't say it'll be by me, but who knows?

Or the translation of Mazes & Minotaurs for which Carlos de la Cruz made the module Tomb of the Bull King, better known here as La Tumba del Rey Toro.

And, besides that, we have a whole world of fan translations like Swords and Wizardry or The Black Hack.

Other stuff

Adventure modules, aids, fanzines and such. All of this stuff comes at least from 2015.

On one hand we have the Fanzine Vieja Escuela (eng. Fanzine Old School) which is a collaborative and limited edition Fanzine about all thigs old school. It already has three issues and it's generally OK.

We also have Hexplora (eng. Hexplore), a book that serves as an introduction to hexcrawls and a guide on how to make and run them. Good stuff in general. The guys that made it, 77 Mundos, now plan on releasing a standalone retro-clone focusing on Isle of Dread style hexcrawls and that outta be good.

The cover art was not the best.

There's also a Spanish edition of the One Page Dungeon contest. It has been held on 2015 and 2016. I took part in both and won nothing, but such is life.

And we can find other less conventional products like Apéndice Ñ: Mester de mancebía which is an adventure module in a setting reminiscent of the 17th century Spain. And the first one of a trilogy!

And Criaturas del Vacío Celeste (eng. Creatures from the Blue Void), a standalone monster catalogue of flying creatures to populate hovering archipelagos or floating isles. Coincidently, by me, so maybe not that great? Nah, I'm sure it's great.

Oh, and also, Marte Satánico (eng. [Satanic Mars) a small "thrash metal RPG" based on 5ed that is pretty cool.

And with that I think I covered most of the relevant stuff. I probably forgot something, but I'm sure my countrymen will kindly remind me of it soon. In the meanwhile, I'm just gonna leave here some OSR art (or close enough) from Spanish artists that I know of. Check them out!


A. J. Manzanedo

Jagoba Lekuona, who makes the covers for the Fanzine Vieja Escuela and illustrates Eirendor.

Marlock, who also illustrates Eirendor.

Manu Sáez

Daniel Puerta, who probably likes illustrating Patrick Stuart's posts a bit too much.

Jesús Calero

Jorge Higuera (who also made the header of this blog).


Luis Míguez

Ruth García

And that's all for today. I hope you have found something interesting here. As I said, the OSR in Spain is still at an embrionary state, but we keep growing and big things are still to come! And of course this is only a niche in the wider Spanish RPG market, but that's a story for another day.

Thank you for reading. Valmar Cerenor!

6 comentarios:

  1. Gracias por la mención (y apoyo) a Un dungeon en una página ;)

  2. This is amazing (and picking up some of these might be a great way to improve my Spanish)!

    Gracias por discutir este. :)

  3. Zenkiu sou mach!

    Nunca digas de este agua no beberé ni nunca escribiré un módulo de Clásicos del Mazmorreo...

  4. Oye, ¡estás metido en todos los saraos OSR! :D. Gracias por la mención a Hexplora y a la Tumba del Rey Toro ;)

  5. Thank you for the links, it's very interesting. See interesting topics for the essay

  6. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.


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