Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Way of the Rules Chick.

So, I like rules.

The reason I like rules is because, apropos of Shieldhaven's post about Wizards, and some other stuff I've seen in games, when systems don't have comprehensive rules, they go SQUISH! and you're floundering in an undefined world where, it is reasonable to ask, "well, why don't you just teleport Frodo into Mordor" because there's nothing defining what the possibilities actually are.

This is a huge problem when we're talking about magic, but it applies to other systems too, particularly in games, where you want your magic users, your fighters, and your fighter-mages (among your other tropes) to be at about the same competence for amount of time spent building skills.  Yes, I am assuming that game/character balance is a desired thing. And I refrained from saying, of the same level to allow for systems without levels, like Ro3 LARPing, or World of Darkness Tabletop, which define advancement in other ways. 

I know a number of people, however, who do not like rules. At least, they express discomfort with rules which ranges from, "I am just not a rules person," to "I fucking hate rules because they get in the way of my ability to Just Play."

I won't get into the expectations connected with who hates rules and why, but will point out that for most people, the thing isn't that one really hates rules. One hates rules that...

  • Seem arbitrary (also called, "are too obvious/visible"), 
  • Are badly presented,
  • Are convoluted and difficult to parse,
  • Change or explode too frequently to keep up with,
  • Are 'solved' (there's a right way to do things) or easy to exploit (unbalanced).
So allow me to go into some completely unsolicited advice for people who do think of themselves as Rules People, who love to design, modify, or add to rules systems for fun and/or profit.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Well, nevermind. Legal reasons, you know how it is.

Regularly scheduled content? Yeah, I should post some of that sometime, huh?