A Brief Thought on the Importance of 4e to the OSR

There is a recurrent theme in Buddhism that crimes and attacks against Buddhism and the Buddha only serve to strengthen Buddhism because of the illustrative lessons they provide. Devadatta preached “wrong” Buddhism, decided to take a nap mid-sermon, and handed it over to guys who said “Remember what that guy just said? That’s the perfect example of ‘doing it wrong'” and brought his followers back to true Buddhism. Taira Kiyomori, whose crimes against Buddhism were so great that he boiled alive in his bathtub from his own evil, was then heralded as something of a ‘reverse-saint’ because the strife he caused that brought so many people to see the need for Buddhism was far more beneficial in the grand scheme of things than the destruction of temples and persecution of monks were detrimental. It’s similar to the school of thought that contemplates the possibly saintly and divinely necessary roles of Pilate and Judas who, while castigated as villains, are absolutely essential to the fulfillment of the Prophecies.

Which brings me to the edition wars. For all of the hatred and backlash against 3rd and 4th edition, their existence may well be absolutely necessary for the OSR. If there were nothing to rail against and say “This is how you do it wrong!” there would not be the strength of momentum behind a return to some sort of Orthodoxy. Therefore, perhaps 4th ed deserves a sainted position as one of the most if not THE most important game of OSR. And contrary to those who claimed that 5th ed might just be what sweeps away the OSR forever, it will only serve to remind those in the OSR community what they love about it and why got into it in the first place.

Hopefully next week, Bull Run Pt. 1 (and maybe 2!) will be up (somewhere).

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