Two prevailing assumptions which are promoted implicitly by the 'thinktank' within the OSR are damaging to the OSR if it has any serious intent to produce work rising above the mediocre.
The assumptions are that,
(i) it is 'good' to produce material which can be read swiftly and referred to with instant gratification at the gametable. The material is all surface; ideas are tiny and pop-out at the reader.
(ii) all campaigns are generic with atmospheres as coherent as the toy-stuffed child's playroom. Tonal cramming ensures a campaign is disorganised enough to receive bleeding chunks surgically removed from any other campaign.
These assumptions are *opposed* to originality.
In my opinion the most important elements of Fantasy are originality and language. The great fantasy novels benefitted from attention paid to both. I believe language in the hands of someone who can write is a powerful tool in D&D but it is not essential. Originality remains essential. The more wildly creative D&D material is the less likely it can be slapped in thoughtlessly into someone else's campaign but surely strange and powerful sub-creation remains the most valuable contribution a writer can make to the D&D community.
Opposing the assumptions I say,
(i) no, don't only use the surface of language. I need something deeper than convenience, more thoughtful, if I am to be inspired by your ideas or believe in your world.
(ii) no, I don't want to use your material directly. Give a good account of what it is like to adventure in your world. Make me envious of your campaign and your creativity. Inspire me to improve my game.
It may be true that plug and play modules are what most DMs want, in which case I ask, in the interests of modesty and honesty that it is admitted that these kinds of works are pieces of shit compared to original work.
The OSR Thinktank
"Oh my gawd, is that Kent?" (fag voice)
OSR vs TSR thread at theRPGsite.