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Intuitive Rules - 2nd Ed. AD&D vs. D&D 3E/3.5

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Your insistence of RPGs holding Roleplaying above all else makes me think you'd be a prime candidate for a LARP.

 

What can I say - I definitely enjoy actual role-playing a lot more than pointless dice-rolling and monster-slashing...

 

You're wrong about me liking LARP, though. I actually did try it once, and I have friends have have consistently tried to persuade me to play with them, but it just never appealed to me, because I find it limiting. In LARP you have to play a character who is somewhat like you are yourself, if the illusion is to work without seeming incredibly forced. It also requires that I have the ability to convince others that I possess the skills that my character does, and that can be difficult. I prefer to keep the option of playing absolutely anything I want to without having to worry about looking the part, be it an ex-slave twi'lek girl in Star Wars, a powerful but shady and mysterious wizard in D&D Mystara, an ethical captain with a dark past in Star Trek, or a fat former frenchman with an interest for the occult in Call of Cthulhu, all of which I have played in the past...

Edited by Jediphile

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So who are they competing against if not the GM or each other? There's nobody else present unless you count the characters, in which case it would be better to stop playing altogether (for your mental health - D&D sadly lacks sanity rules, which says a lot)...

 

The characters and players are competing against the in-game opposition. The GM is the only one who is assumed to not be competing in tandem with the in-game characters he plays.

 

 

The point of an RPG is not to "win" cool "prizes". It is not a gameshow. The pcs are exploring the dungeons, not taking the chance of seeing what's behind door number three. The "prize" lies in the narrative of the evolving plot for the characters. Whether they find "cool gadgets" along is of little or no consequence to that.

 

That might be your preferred way of playing (and there's nothing wrong with that), but it is not the assumed way of playing of D&D.

 

 

And you're completely ignoring my points, which doesn't make for the best of discussions. It also makes me think that it's because you have no arguments to support your own position and instead just continues to spew the same points over and over while ignoring mine, in which case you're better off not "arguing" at all. And implying that I don't want to listen just because I'm not writing something you don't like to read is pretty... well, let's just say unfair, since I don't want to offend too much.

 

Saying "this is how it is" can hardly be called an argument. The only facts you have presented so far is that one sentence in the D&D books. While you keep talking about sword prizes and 1000 hp rats, I have no idea where you're pulling that stuff from.

 

As for my own evidence, like I've said before, the success based reward system of D&D (both experience & items) and the focus in growth in power. I guess I could also mention the gamist combat resolution system.

 

 

You're also refusing to see that since every character or NPC in an RPG is played or represented by an active player (including the GM), that means it does become competitive between players. Who makes the decision on what the orc does if not the GM?

 

It is competitive between the in-game characters. The GM is simply assumed to not go all-out on the players, that is to only provide encounters the players have a chance of defeating. There are no restraints determined for GM power afterall, simply because that is not what the system is aiming for. Likewise, there is no determined lose/win/prize system for GMs, while there is one for players.

 

 

Or put differently, is being unrealistic in itself a good thing in an RPG?

Again, it's about the prioritization. It doesn't mean you completely throw out the aspects that you don't prioritize, but rather only in those instances where they are in contradiction with the aspects you are trying to prioritize. Hit Points are a good example of a rule where there exists even no slight realism. The long fall in your previous example is one where some exists, but has not been prioritized.

What has that got to do with the whether it's reasonable for a sword to cost less than it does to create it? You're completely ignoring the issue... again.

 

I was commenting on the 2nd sentence, quoted here.

 

 

You're the one who argued that RPGs shouldn't be "realistic".

 

I am not arguing RPGs should not be realistic. I am arguing that D&D prioritizes gamism over realism (or in-world logic, or whatever you want to call it). There are other RPG system who certainly are different. I am not claiming all RPG systems are gamist.

 

I can hardly answer your sword example unless you tell me what game it is from. Though I suspect it is only an error. I for one see no reason to have it that way in any system.

 

 

This is an example, and they do occur in some RPGs. But if you don't want to answer that admittedly academic example, we could take the other one I mentioned, and which you conveniently cut from what you chose to reply to, which was about why there are not more magical weapons of the sorts that wizards and clerics use, when they are the ones who can make magical weapons. That's basic stupidity, too.

 

I thought it'd have been obvious, but... Magic items in D&D exist as a reward to the players. The game does not need complicated reasoning on their existance. Again, because they're there for the gamism, not for the realism. And gamism is what D&D prioritizes.

Edited by MrBrown

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The characters and players are competing against the in-game opposition. The GM is the only one who is assumed to not be competing in tandem with the in-game characters he plays.

 

Ah, okay. So the GM is competing with the players, since he playes that opposition, thanks for clearing that up... :p

 

I don't agree, but hey...

 

That might be your preferred way of playing (and there's nothing wrong with that), but it is not the assumed way of playing of D&D.

 

Actually it is - you've actually even said so yourself, when you admitted that D&D rules say they are not competitive.

 

Saying "this is how it is" can hardly be called an argument.

 

[sigh] Time for another round of "I think", I suppose...

 

Exactly whose opinion and experience am I allowed to speak from if not my own? I'd like to know, since my experience as a player of two decades and GM of nearly as much (in D&D) is obviously not good enough to consider...

 

The only facts you have presented so far is that one sentence in the D&D books.

 

That makes one more than you...

 

Also, I speak from experience and preference, when you seem to speak from preference alone...

 

As for my own evidence, like I've said before, the success based reward system of D&D (both experience & items) and the focus in growth in power. I guess I could also mention the gamist combat resolution system.

 

Show where the rules say anything about D&D being a gamist system.

 

It is competitive between the in-game characters. The GM is simply assumed to not go all-out on the players, that is to only provide encounters the players have a chance of defeating. There are no restraints determined for GM power afterall, simply because that is not what the system is aiming for. Likewise, there is no determined lose/win/prize system for GMs, while there is one for players.

 

Well, you just said the competition was between the players and the opposition (whici is the GM), and now you say the opposite. Which is it? :)

 

I am not arguing RPGs should not be realistic. I am arguing that D&D prioritizes gamism over realism (or in-world logic, or whatever you want to call it). There are other RPG system who certainly are different. I am not claiming all RPG systems are gamist.

 

That's not a very compelling argument, since all RPG systems must be "gamist" by that definition - reality is by its very nature far more complex than it is relevant or playable to represent extensively in a game.

 

I thought it'd have been obvious, but... Magic items in D&D exist as a reward to the players. The game does not need complicated reasoning on their existance. Again, because they're there for the gamism, not for the realism. And gamism is what D&D prioritizes.

 

Internal consistency inside the game world's own laws is not the same as reality. There are no magical rings in the real world, but there are twenty magical rings in Tolkien's Middle Earth - if we suddenly have more than that, then the world becomes inconsistent and flawed, and so violates its own established reality. If there are to be so many magical swords in D&D, then someone must have made them - they did not grow from holes in the ground because it was convenient, so who made them? The warriors (fighters, paladins, rangers, barbarians, etc.) cannot. The clerics and wizards can, but they have little reason to, since they can't use them.

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(For some reason I can't get BB code to work in my posts... duh.)

 

The characters and players are competing against the in-game opposition. The GM is the only one who is assumed to not be competing in tandem with the in-game characters he plays.

Ah, okay. So the GM is competing with the players, since he playes that opposition, thanks for clearing that up... :(

 

I don't agree, but hey...

 

Read again. Highlighted for convenience.

 

That might be your preferred way of playing (and there's nothing wrong with that), but it is not the assumed way of playing of D&D.

Actually it is - you've actually even said so yourself, when you admitted that D&D rules say they are not competitive.

 

The books do indeed say so, but the rules represent something completely different. A bicycle salesman might tell me he's selling cars, but that doesn't affect what I see before my eyes much.

 

Saying "this is how it is" can hardly be called an argument.

 

[sigh] Time for another round of "I think", I suppose...

 

Exactly whose opinion and experience am I allowed to speak from if not my own? I'd like to know, since my experience as a player of two decades and GM of nearly as much (in D&D) is obviously not good enough to consider...

 

The existing rules are not a question of opinion. You can certainly play it anyway you want, but when you assume you're playing something different than what the rules represent, you end up with problems like you are having (in your case, problems with plausability).

 

To use another metaphor, it's like two soccer teams agreeing they're just playing a game to see who can do the best ball tricks, but still giving the team who makes the most goals 100,000,000$ and a ticket to the finals. Your problems with plausability are akin to a player complaining to the FIFA that soccer the game should have been just about ball tricks.

 

The way to deal with this, is to agree to play for goals (changing your playing style to match that of the rules), or take away the prize (change the rules to match your playing style).

 

The only facts you have presented so far is that one sentence in the D&D books.

 

That makes one more than you...

 

As I've said before, the game rewards those who min/max their characters and attempt to defeat their oppisition, therefore it's a gamist RPG. The reward and experience rules are the proof.

 

 

Also, I speak from experience and preference, when you seem to speak from preference alone...

 

It has nothing to do with preference. To go back to the soccer example, you might like to play soccer just for the ball tricks, but that doesn't matter much when you play in the league, and by their rules. I didn't create the rules; whether I like them or not has nothing to do with what they are.

 

 

Show where the rules say anything about D&D being a gamist system.

 

The books don't. Which still doesn't change what the rules are.

 

 

That's not a very compelling argument, since all RPG systems must be "gamist" by that definition - reality is by its very nature far more complex than it is relevant or playable to represent extensively in a game.

 

All RPG system have competitiveness, is just whether they prioritize it over other concerns or not. More about realism below.

 

Also, gamism and realism/simulation/plausability are not opposite ends of each other, necessarily in contradiction, nor the only ways to play RPGs. I for one, am only limiting the discussion to them because I'm claiming D&D prioritizes the former while you're saying it's incoherent because it doesn't prioritize the latter.

 

 

Internal consistency inside the game world's own laws is not the same as reality. There are no magical rings in the real world, but there are twenty magical rings in Tolkien's Middle Earth - if we suddenly have more than that, then the world becomes inconsistent and flawed, and so violates its own established reality. If there are to be so many magical swords in D&D, then someone must have made them - they did not grow from holes in the ground because it was convenient, so who made them? The warriors (fighters, paladins, rangers, barbarians, etc.) cannot. The clerics and wizards can, but they have little reason to, since they can't use them.

 

Again, realism, simulation, plausability, whatever you want to call it, amounts to the same thing. Maybe "world consistency", or "world plausability" would be the best terms.

 

And yet again, D&D is not primarly concerned with world consistency. Magical items exist to reward the players, or perhaps to give them an opposition when they're being used by someone else. If they create world consistency at the same time - great, but if they don't - big deal, that isn't what D&D was trying to do in first place. "Magical items are created by some entity with magical powers" is enough world consistency for D&D.

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(For some reason I can't get BB code to work in my posts... duh.)

 

It's because they're too long - then the code begins to fail.

 

The books do indeed say so, but the rules represent something completely different. A bicycle salesman might tell me he's selling cars, but that doesn't affect what I see before my eyes much.

 

But then you're guilty of exactly what you accuse me of - you look at the rules only through your own eyes. I do too, but I never claimed otherwise, and I did point to what the rules said as well.

 

To use another metaphor, it's like two soccer teams agreeing they're just playing a game to see who can do the best ball tricks, but still giving the team who makes the most goals 100,000,000$ and a ticket to the finals. Your problems with plausability are akin to a player complaining to the FIFA that soccer the game should have been just about ball tricks.

 

Soccer is a game with very specific rules. In that sense it is not that different from the chess example you mentioned earlier. But RPGs are different. You cannot let your pawn feign death in chess, because the rules won't allow it. You cannot bring a chair into the penalty field of the opposing team so you can better head the ball into the goal, because the rules do not permit it. RPGs allow you to try absolutely anything you can think of. May not work, but you are allowed to try. Even if the GM tells you your action can never ever succeed, you're still the one who decides whether you will take the action or not, the GM is not. So you're comparing apples and oranges, if you compare RPG rules to the rules of soccer or chess, where the permissible courses of action are determined beforehand.

 

Also, I've never seen a RPG campaign (and I have seen many indeed) that did not include house rules. House rules are a proud tradition of RPGs, especially in D&D, where even the elistist comments of the author did nothing to stop the tradition.

 

So rules are obviously not nearly as fixed in RPGs, as you seem to imply.

 

As I've said before, the game rewards those who min/max their characters and attempt to defeat their oppisition, therefore it's a gamist RPG. The reward and experience rules are the proof.

 

No, because you can gain rewards and certainly will gain experience in any event. Even if you choose not to face the opposition, while the thief sneaks in and steals the treasure... As pointed out before, there is no predetermined course of action that the players *must* take to succeed. The GM must eventually decide how much experience - but not rewards, since if the players can lay their hands on it, then they can take it whether the GM likes it or not - the players should get. He could punish them for not doing things the way he planned it, but being vindictive in that way is the mark of a very bad GM. Note also that the rules prompt the GM to reward the players for being ingenuitive and finding new ways to overcome their obstacles. That means that if they can avoid fighting and reach their goals in an easier why, then they should be rewarded for good thinking. That's what bonus xps are for, after all.

 

The books don't. Which still doesn't change what the rules are.

 

That gives you no basis for your position. You have said I speak only from my own views, but I can point to things in the rules that supports my position, while you cannot...

 

Internal consistency inside the game world's own laws is not the same as reality. There are no magical rings in the real world, but there are twenty magical rings in Tolkien's Middle Earth - if we suddenly have more than that, then the world becomes inconsistent and flawed, and so violates its own established reality. If there are to be so many magical swords in D&D, then someone must have made them - they did not grow from holes in the ground because it was convenient, so who made them? The warriors (fighters, paladins, rangers, barbarians, etc.) cannot. The clerics and wizards can, but they have little reason to, since they can't use them.

 

Again, realism, simulation, plausability, whatever you want to call it, amounts to the same thing. Maybe "world consistency", or "world plausability" would be the best terms.

 

And yet again, D&D is not primarly concerned with world consistency. Magical items exist to reward the players, or perhaps to give them an opposition when they're being used by someone else. If they create world consistency at the same time - great, but if they don't - big deal, that isn't what D&D was trying to do in first place. "Magical items are created by some entity with magical powers" is enough world consistency for D&D.

 

Ah, I was waiting for the god-argument, where it's implied that everything you can't explain is handled by some higher being. That's the cop-out answer, when you have no answer, but then philosophers have used it througout history, whenever someone pointed to flaws in their line of thoughts (read some philosophy, if you're interested - it's full of that sort of reasoning in many places).

 

So you don't demand that the setting is internally consistent? Okay, so it's okay if you encounter whales in the middle of the desert or meet an elephant on a small 10 square feet plateau on the top of a mountain... That's fine, because there is magic and gods in D&D... It's also okay to have a wizard's tower filled with 500 iron golems, though the wizard would never ever have had the funds to build them all...

 

Sorry, but I'll have to disagree with you. I cannot accept basic stupidity internally in a game setting, because that would mean I cannot use my knowledge of the world logically to my advantage. And that kills my possibility to suspend disbelief, and so my enjoyment of the game.

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(I'll try getting the code to work this time...)

 

But then you're guilty of exactly what you accuse me of - you look at the rules only through your own eyes. I do too, but I never claimed otherwise, and I did point to what the rules said as well.

 

<SNIP>

 

That gives you no basis for your position. You have said I speak only from my own views, but I can point to things in the rules that supports my position, while you cannot...

 

An alternative way to look at it is that it's rule incoherence; one part of the rule implies it's one thing, and another part implies it's something else.

 

There's no way I or anyone can claim that the sentence "D&D is not competitive" isn't saying what it is, so the only worthwhile discussion is in whether the rest of the books conform to this sentence or not. That sentence alone certainly does not mean they automatically do.

 

 

Soccer is a game with very specific rules. In that sense it is not that different from the chess example you mentioned earlier. But RPGs are different. You cannot let your pawn feign death in chess, because the rules won't allow it. You cannot bring a chair into the penalty field of the opposing team so you can better head the ball into the goal, because the rules do not permit it. RPGs allow you to try absolutely anything you can think of. May not work, but you are allowed to try. Even if the GM tells you your action can never ever succeed, you're still the one who decides whether you will take the action or not, the GM is not. So you're comparing apples and oranges, if you compare RPG rules to the rules of soccer or chess, where the permissible courses of action are determined beforehand.

 

What you are basically saying here is that all RPGs are happen in an imagined world something like our own. This is certainly true (or at least, I haven't seen any RPG that doesn't assume that). It is, again, a question of whether you prioritize the plausability of this world or not. More on the rules below.

 

The soccer thing is more of a metaphor (or whatever that word is) than a comparison.

 

Also, I've never seen a RPG campaign (and I have seen many indeed) that did not include house rules. House rules are a proud tradition of RPGs, especially in D&D, where even the elistist comments of the author did nothing to stop the tradition.

 

So rules are obviously not nearly as fixed in RPGs, as you seem to imply.

 

This is certainly true, but it is pointless to discuss the rules of a specific RPG if we have to assume any unspecified amount of unspecified house rules. Any game (RPG or not) can be houseruled to anything, and at some eventual point to an extent where it simply is nothing like the original game.

 

So any worthwhile discussion of "the rules of D&D" will have to assume playing by the book, or extremely close to so (or with a specified set of house rules.)

 

 

No, because you can gain rewards and certainly will gain experience in any event. Even if you choose not to face the opposition, while the thief sneaks in and steals the treasure... As pointed out before, there is no predetermined course of action that the players *must* take to succeed. The GM must eventually decide how much experience - but not rewards, since if the players can lay their hands on it, then they can take it whether the GM likes it or not - the players should get. He could punish them for not doing things the way he planned it, but being vindictive in that way is the mark of a very bad GM. Note also that the rules prompt the GM to reward the players for being ingenuitive and finding new ways to overcome their obstacles. That means that if they can avoid fighting and reach their goals in an easier why, then they should be rewarded for good thinking. That's what bonus xps are for, after all.

 

As I said before, the method does not matter. A session that is all about diplomacy can be as competitive as a session of killing orcs, it again depends on the focus.

 

Furthermore, a game that would reward the PCs more experience for defeating their enemies than sneaking behind them might or might not be a gamist game. It depends on what the game is about. If the PCs are actually trying to get past the enemies for whatever reason, then simply doing that means they've won and should be rewarded. If the PCs have no reason to avoid their enemies (no other agenda) and still do so, then they've forfeited the game, and get no reward... But no penalty (loss of life, for instance) either. (There is certainly GM arbitration needed here, but so is there in any system.)

 

Arguments that the PCs should get a better reward for engaging in combat are often based on plausability ("combat is more dangerous, they should get more xp", "they learn more stuff in combat", etc.), not gamism. I'm not saying this is what you're claiming, but I'm certain you have seen arguments like that before.

 

Similarly, if the thief decides to steal the blacksmith's fancy sword, then he is partaking in the game, where the prize is the sword (and maybe some xp), and the penalty is getting into jail (or getting your hand cut off).

 

These are yet again stuff that can happen in any game; the question is also yet again about whether the game focuses on the competitiveness (win/loss/prize/penalty) or doesn't.

 

Gaining XP itself doesn't make the XP system of an RPG gamist (much less the whole system, which has alot more to it anyway), it's the reason you gain it for. If you gain it because you won an encounter, that's gamism. If you gain it because it's plausible that you learned something, then that's realism/simulationism/plausibilism/whatever. And, yes, often these lead to gaining XP in the same instances.

 

 

So you don't demand that the setting is internally consistent? Okay, so it's okay if you encounter whales in the middle of the desert or meet an elephant on a small 10 square feet plateau on the top of a mountain... That's fine, because there is magic and gods in D&D... It's also okay to have a wizard's tower filled with 500 iron golems, though the wizard would never ever have had the funds to build them all...

 

Sorry, but I'll have to disagree with you. I cannot accept basic stupidity internally in a game setting, because that would mean I cannot use my knowledge of the world logically to my advantage. And that kills my possibility to suspend disbelief, and so my enjoyment of the game.

 

You still fail to understand the word "prioritization".

 

The "whale in the desert" is a bad example, because it is a case where the plausability is not in contradiction with gamism. If, in a gamist session, the PCs are travelling through the desert and are going to have an encounter, the GM can as well throw a band of hostile nomads/asabi/sand demons/sand worms/whatever at them. Why? Because it gains the game both gamism and plausability, while a whale (or any opponent that is not plausible to be there) only gains the gamism.

 

The Wizard with 500 iron golems is closer to a better example, because there might be a reason where 500 iron golems offers a better game than something else. However, even such a situation can be easily replaced with something that offers the same game and more plausability (like more wizards working on the golems). It is easy to throw out the contradiction, unless there's more specifics to the situation.

 

Again, a coherent gamist RPG game is when you choose gamism over plausability when they are in contradiction. It does not mean you throw out plausability whenever you can.

Edited by MrBrown

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An alternative way to look at it is that it's rule incoherence; one part of the rule implies it's one thing, and another part implies it's something else.

 

No, one part of the rules says something specific, only you don't agree with it. The other part implies something else to you.

 

You are welcome to your interpretations, but bear in mind that that is indeed what they are.

 

There's no way I or anyone can claim that the sentence "D&D is not competitive" isn't saying what it is, so the only worthwhile discussion is in whether the rest of the books conform to this sentence or not. That sentence alone certainly does not mean they automatically do.

 

Except the rest of the rules do not support your interpretation per se. Your interpretation is not impossible, but it's still your's and not what the rules dictate. I don't agree with your interpretation, and you have not been able to prove me wrong on that point, nor are you about to, since my interpretation remains just as valid as your's. That's fine, except I argue from a position of what my own preferences and experiences as a player and GM tell me, whereas you try to "prove" your position and "disprove" mine, which is futile. I don't play "wrong" D&D just because I play it differently than you like to. Your preference is not the "correct" one by definition.

 

This is certainly true, but it is pointless to discuss the rules of a specific RPG if we have to assume any unspecified amount of unspecified house rules. Any game (RPG or not) can be houseruled to anything, and at some eventual point to an extent where it simply is nothing like the original game.

 

So any worthwhile discussion of "the rules of D&D" will have to assume playing by the book, or extremely close to so (or with a specified set of house rules.)

 

Only now you're overlooking my point for mentioning house rules in the first place, which was that their constant presence in every campaign I know of says something definite about RPGs. House rules are not impossible in soccer, chess or monopoly, but they are fairly rare, because they create doubt about what the rules really are. But there always seem to be house rules in RPG campaigns (that I know of, at least), which tells me that the rules themselves are secondary to the greater purpose of improving the role-playing experience. It also means that the final rules are settled to a large degree by the players and not the designers.

 

Gygax tried to go against this by implying in 1e that those who embraced house rules were not playing AD&D, but something else. The players didn't care though, which left TSR with the choice of either embracing the practice of house rules or else be ignored by the players, who were going to apply them whether TSR liked it or not. AD&D 2e tried to cater to house rules for a reason...

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No, one part of the rules says something specific, only you don't agree with it. The other part implies something else to you.

 

You are welcome to your interpretations, but bear in mind that that is indeed what they are.

 

Certainly.

 

Except the rest of the rules do not support your interpretation per se. Your interpretation is not impossible, but it's still your's and not what the rules dictate. I don't agree with your interpretation, and you have not been able to prove me wrong on that point, nor are you about to, since my interpretation remains just as valid as your's. That's fine, except I argue from a position of what my own preferences and experiences as a player and GM tell me, whereas you try to "prove" your position and "disprove" mine, which is futile.

 

Yes, because I don't think it's a guestion of preference. The rules are a means to an end. What end someone is trying to achieve with them for their game is up to preference, but the effectiveness of the rules as written in achieving this is arguable.

 

Also, you are misinterpreting the argument. The fact that you have problems with the D&D rules is proof that they are not a good tool in achieving the type of playing you're trying to do. You are simply arguing this is because it's an imperfect system, while I'm saying it's because it is a tool meant for a different kind of job.

 

 

I don't play "wrong" D&D just because I play it differently than you like to. Your preference is not the "correct" one by definition.

 

It is not about what kind games you or I play or prefer. As I said before, anyone can play the game anyway they want, but if their playing style differs from the one the rules are intended for (and they don't houserule), they might end up with problems like you are having. That doesn't change the game that is being run, it just might bring out problems with it.

 

In other words, not all D&D-games being played are gamist, but those that are not have the chance of getting incoherency problems, like the ones you are having.

 

The same could happen trying to play in gamist way in a non-gamist system.

 

 

Only now you're overlooking my point for mentioning house rules in the first place, which was that their constant presence in every campaign I know of says something definite about RPGs. House rules are not impossible in soccer, chess or monopoly, but they are fairly rare, because they create doubt about what the rules really are. But there always seem to be house rules in RPG campaigns (that I know of, at least), which tells me that the rules themselves are secondary to the greater purpose of improving the role-playing experience. It also means that the final rules are settled to a large degree by the players and not the designers.

 

If the rules were really secondary, then why the need for houseruling? If people didn't care about the rules that much, then there'd be no need to houserule them.

 

What I think you're really saying with this is that adhering to the rules as they are written in the books is not a primary concern, and with this I agree. However, this brings us back to what I said in my previous post about the futility of talking about any specific system if you have to assume an undetermined amount of houserules.

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Also, you are misinterpreting the argument. The fact that you have problems with the D&D rules is proof that they are not a good tool in achieving the type of playing you're trying to do. You are simply arguing this is because it's an imperfect system, while I'm saying it's because it is a tool meant for a different kind of job.

 

The rules can be imperfect whether you or I like them or not. If obvious flaws can be pointed out in the rules, doesn't that mean that they should be fixed?

 

Besides, there is also the question of what D&D we're talking about. I liked 2e player option rules. I didn't like 3e and onwards, because I thought the system regressed instead of growing. I can excuse 2e, but the core is all the way back from the late 80s, and so its age shows. 3e is brand new, however, and is a very different game, so there is little excuse fo the rules being mind-numbingly simplistic and rigid (at least to me).

 

D20 might not be bad for some very simple hack'n slash games, but that also means that is a very superficial and inflexible system. It's an old but functional gamecube or PS1, not a slick anc advanced PC with fancy graphics and able to handle whatever you want it to. I just think it could have been a far more playable game without too much trouble.

 

If the rules were really secondary, then why the need for houseruling? If people didn't care about the rules that much, then there'd be no need to houserule them.

 

What I think you're really saying with this is that adhering to the rules as they are written in the books is not a primary concern, and with this I agree.

 

I don't much see the distinction, but I suppose you could say that. However, while rules a secondary to the role-playing experience, you still use them to set the foundation that your game will be built on. Therefore they are important, even if secondary. For example, I'm not planning to score low grades on my exams, but I'd still like to know what the passing grade is in case my own is pretty bad. In the same way the rules, though of lesser priority, are significant because they decide matters, when they come into play.

 

As a player, I prefer to have knowledge of the rules, if I can. The reason for that are a few bad experiences with GMs who made the house rules up spontaneously, so that I never knew what his rulings would be. I don't mind that he changed the rules from the book. I do mind that he did so without telling me what they were instead, because that meant I created my character and played how I would play on a faulty foundation. And if you overrule the rules as a GM, that ruling should be consistent - it should work the same way next time, which it didn't always do. We had a very positive thing happen to one character after a specific situation. However, when the exact same thing happened to my own character, the outcome was not the same. Very annoying. Consequently I made a note to always write my own house rules down and make them available to the players so that they could always find out what to expect.

 

However, this brings us back to what I said in my previous post about the futility of talking about any specific system if you have to assume an undetermined amount of houserules.

 

I don't agree with that, since if the rulesystem is extensive and perfect, I will have no need to write house rules to make up for rules that I find to be flawed. And even if I do write house rules to suit my own preferences in my campaign, they will be few and therefore comprehensible to my players.

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The rules can be imperfect whether you or I like them or not. If obvious flaws can be pointed out in the rules, doesn't that mean that they should be fixed?

 

Indeed. I wasn't trying to say the rules system is necessarily perfect. However, whether or not something is flawed or not would require one to know what it is trying to achieve in the first place.

 

Besides, there is also the question of what D&D we're talking about. I liked 2e player option rules. I didn't like 3e and onwards, because I thought the system regressed instead of growing. I can excuse 2e, but the core is all the way back from the late 80s, and so its age shows. 3e is brand new, however, and is a very different game, so there is little excuse fo the rules being mind-numbingly simplistic and rigid (at least to me).

 

D20 might not be bad for some very simple hack'n slash games, but that also means that is a very superficial and inflexible system. It's an old but functional gamecube or PS1, not a slick anc advanced PC with fancy graphics and able to handle whatever you want it to. I just think it could have been a far more playable game without too much trouble.

 

I only have hands-on experience with Basic D&D, core 2e AD&D and the majority of 3ed. IMHO, despite alot of differences in detail, the assumed creative agenda is mostly the same.

 

I also think 3ed D&D is pretty inflexible. D20 is too, at least when it comes to trying different kinds of settings.

 

I don't much see the distinction, but I suppose you could say that. However, while rules a secondary to the role-playing experience, you still use them to set the foundation that your game will be built on. Therefore they are important, even if secondary. For example, I'm not planning to score low grades on my exams, but I'd still like to know what the passing grade is in case my own is pretty bad. In the same way the rules, though of lesser priority, are significant because they decide matters, when they come into play.

 

As a player, I prefer to have knowledge of the rules, if I can. The reason for that are a few bad experiences with GMs who made the house rules up spontaneously, so that I never knew what his rulings would be. I don't mind that he changed the rules from the book. I do mind that he did so without telling me what they were instead, because that meant I created my character and played how I would play on a faulty foundation. And if you overrule the rules as a GM, that ruling should be consistent - it should work the same way next time, which it didn't always do. We had a very positive thing happen to one character after a specific situation. However, when the exact same thing happened to my own character, the outcome was not the same. Very annoying. Consequently I made a note to always write my own house rules down and make them available to the players so that they could always find out what to expect.

 

I would rather say that the rules are a tool in trying to achieve a creative agenda (which can be generally described as "what your game is about"). Not the only one, but an important one. The agenda is the primary goal however, so it doesn't matter as much what tool (rules) is used, as long as it achieves the agenda.

 

I agree with your second paragraph pretty much, I've also had bad experiences in similar situations.

 

 

I don't agree with that, since if the rulesystem is extensive and perfect, I will have no need to write house rules to make up for rules that I find to be flawed. And even if I do write house rules to suit my own preferences in my campaign, they will be few and therefore comprehensible to my players.

 

Well, I wouldn't mind talking about the game with your specific house rules if I knew what they were... But person B playing by the same ruleset might not have the same houserules, and might have alot more of them. So it is kinda futile to talk about your and person B's games with the name of the original system, since there's a big chance that your houseruled ones are widely different.

 

It all comes down to "perfectness" being a guestion of preference.

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Indeed. I wasn't trying to say the rules system is necessarily perfect. However, whether or not something is flawed or not would require one to know what it is trying to achieve in the first place.

 

I only have hands-on experience with Basic D&D, core 2e AD&D and the majority of 3ed. IMHO, despite alot of differences in detail, the assumed creative agenda is mostly the same.

 

I also think 3ed D&D is pretty inflexible. D20 is too, at least when it comes to trying different kinds of settings.

 

Ah, but there is an important distinction here, which you don't seem to consider. We can argue about how extensive D&D 3e should be, depending on what we expect from our various games, but the same is not true of d20. WotC intended d20 to be a base that served as a foundation for whatever games you wanted to do. That's why there is d20 Star Wars, d20 Cthulhu, etc. Those games are not the same as d20 D&D (3e) - they will not attract the same players and will not have the same agenda. D20 is meant to be an extensive foundation to build on. You can read WotC's own intentions to make d20 the industry standard, if you doubt that. My problem is that for an industry-wide standard for RPGs, d20 is about the worst foundation I can think of, since it's horrible limited and inflexible to me. I find that I cannot write or play the sort of games I like with d20, and so I don't think it, or any of its offsprings, can be called "intuitive".

 

Well, I wouldn't mind talking about the game with your specific house rules if I knew what they were... But person B playing by the same ruleset might not have the same houserules, and might have alot more of them. So it is kinda futile to talk about your and person B's games with the name of the original system, since there's a big chance that your houseruled ones are widely different.

 

That goes without saying to me - every campaign is different. I also don't see that as a bad thing.

 

However, that should not be taken to mean that this makes the question of well-designed rules an non-issue. You have to look at why the GM decided to add houserules to his campaign. If he did so simply to perfect his own game-style, then things are okay, and he's on the right track with his game IMHO. But if he made houserules because he felt the core rules were flawed, then we have a design-flaw instead of a simple matter of personal taste and preference. Those two are not the same.

 

It all comes down to "perfectness" being a guestion of preference.

 

No, not always. You say you prefer a "gamist" approach, but there is a question of how far that goes. As an example I will take random loot. In most CRPGs, loot is exceedingly random indeed. There is little or no reason why I should find "Bindo's Band" in Visquis's lair beneath the Jekk' Jekk Tarr in KotOR2, but it did happen once. Similarly, it there is no reason why I should expect a swarm of mosquitos (or whatever they were) to randomly drop a suit of heavy plate armor when I kill them in Diablo 2, but that has also happened for me. Is this logical? (hint: this is a rhetorical question... ;) )

 

Of course not, but you might accept it in a "gamist" environment, so if I understand you correctly, you would have no problem with this. I, however, do, since I find that it doesn't suspend disbelief. In fact, I find it blantantly annoying to the point of obvious stupidity thrown right in face. It tells me what the designers/programmers think of me, if I accept this, and what they think is not something positive...

 

And I know I would never allow it in my own campaign, nor would my players. In tabletop RPGs, most treasure is conquered from fallen enemies, not stored away somewhere. I mean, if that orc chieftain had a bastard sword +3 frost brand, then why didn't he use it during the fight? That's basic stupidity too.

 

The same is true if you can see enemies using certain items during a fight, only to then have it magically disappear once you kill them. As an old GM of mine once said, "all good role-playing is based on the moral principle of grave-robbery" ;)

 

I find this annoying in KotOR2 as well. If those Sith soldiers used blasters against me and wore armor, then I should bloody find those items once they're defeated. I can accept that some of their gear might be broken or similar during the fight, but not all of it. And why did Sith soldiers run around with a green lightsaber crystal or whatever? Basic stupidity. In KotOR2 the random loot generator was a bit too random (=d20), whereas it was better in KotOR1. I might not have found all the lightsabers and robes the dark jedi I fought used during the fight, but I did find some of them.

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Ah, but there is an important distinction here, which you don't seem to consider. We can argue about how extensive D&D 3e should be, depending on what we expect from our various games, but the same is not true of d20.

 

I don't care if 3e, or any system for that matter is "extensive". What matters to me in a system is that it is coherent in what it is trying to do, not that it answers all my prayers. Why would you want all chocolate bars to taste the same?

 

<SNIP>

 

My problem is that for an industry-wide standard for RPGs, d20 is about the worst foundation I can think of, since it's horrible limited and inflexible to me. I find that I cannot write or play the sort of games I like with d20, and so I don't think it, or any of its offsprings, can be called "intuitive".

 

I'm personally unable to find any "d20 foundation" anywhere. All of them seem to be just variants of the same system, or at the least, based on a similar resolution mechanic (add stats roll d20 compare to DC).

 

It's basically just a marketing gimmick, IMNSHO.

 

 

However, that should not be taken to mean that this makes the question of well-designed rules an non-issue. You have to look at why the GM decided to add houserules to his campaign. If he did so simply to perfect his own game-style, then things are okay, and he's on the right track with his game IMHO. But if he made houserules because he felt the core rules were flawed, then we have a design-flaw instead of a simple matter of personal taste and preference. Those two are not the same.

 

Certainly. But this requires two things - For the designers to make a system that is internally coherent (in other words, that it doesn't try to achieve a different type of game with rule A than it does with rule B), and for the users to realize what type of game the system is trying to achieve.

 

If both of this do not happen (to at least some extent), then the user will be on a wild goose hunt with his houserules.

 

 

No, not always. You say you prefer a "gamist" approach, but there is a question of how far that goes.

 

No, I don't prefer gamism, nor have I said I do (I certainly don't mind playing it, though). I'm simply claiming it is the type of gaming D&D is aimed at, or rather, the one it best supports regardless of what designers intended to do.

 

 

 

As an example I will take random loot. In most CRPGs, loot is exceedingly random indeed.

<SNIP>

Of course not, but you might accept it in a "gamist" environment, so if I understand you correctly, you would have no problem with this. I, however, do, since I find that it doesn't suspend disbelief. In fact, I find it blantantly annoying to the point of obvious stupidity thrown right in face. It tells me what the designers/programmers think of me, if I accept this, and what they think is not something positive...

 

I probably wouldn't mind this happening in a gamist RPG (especially in a CRPG, which are mostly very gamist indeed), but I wouldn't consider it a very elegant thing either. Mostly because it is something where both reward and plausability are easy to implement, if the system can be worked from the ground up. As I see it, it wouldn't be a flaw, just lackluster design.

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I don't care if 3e, or any system for that matter is "extensive". What matters to me in a system is that it is coherent in what it is trying to do, not that it answers all my prayers. Why would you want all chocolate bars to taste the same?

 

I don't want it all to be the same, but I got used to the D&D flavor, and they don't make it like they used to anymore...

 

 

I'm personally unable to find any "d20 foundation" anywhere.

 

I posted the link in the bit you text that you conveniently snipped in your last post... But here it is again, since you apparently missed it...

 

All of them seem to be just variants of the same system, or at the least, based on a similar resolution mechanic (add stats roll d20 compare to DC).

 

It's basically just a marketing gimmick, IMNSHO.

 

No, it's more - it's an attempt to create an industry-wide standard.

 

No, I don't prefer gamism, nor have I said I do (I certainly don't mind playing it, though). I'm simply claiming it is the type of gaming D&D is aimed at, or rather, the one it best supports regardless of what designers intended to do.

 

Well, some of us remember all the way back to the mid-80s or earlier when D&D was a very advanced game that allowed you to do loads of stuff. Why could D&D now grow as an RPG while we grew as role-players? I admit that TSR slowed the progress down, but WOTC killed it! They also polluted the foundation with these new rules. There were never dwarf wizards or any sorcerors in D&D before 3e. They simply didn't exist, and all the campaigns and the books and games that followed were written on that basis. But then WOTC suddenly decide to completely rewrite the core with no regard for the established traditions. Now, if you never played D&D before 3e, then this is a problem, but for those of us who played D&D before, we can choose between our campaigns or 3e. I choose the former - I will not be dictated to by some stupid new rules that seem to make it a priority to invalidate my game and is even incredibly inflexible and rigid to boot!! That being the case, just what is my incentive to use these new rules?!? :angry:

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I don't care if 3e, or any system for that matter is "extensive". What matters to me in a system is that it is coherent in what it is trying to do, not that it answers all my prayers. Why would you want all chocolate bars to taste the same?

 

I don't want it all to be the same, but I got used to the D&D flavor, and they don't make it like they used to anymore...

 

 

I'm personally unable to find any "d20 foundation" anywhere.

 

I posted the link in the bit you text that you conveniently snipped in your last post... But here it is again, since you apparently missed it...

 

All of them seem to be just variants of the same system, or at the least, based on a similar resolution mechanic (add stats roll d20 compare to DC).

 

It's basically just a marketing gimmick, IMNSHO.

 

No, it's more - it's an attempt to create an industry-wide standard.

 

No, I don't prefer gamism, nor have I said I do (I certainly don't mind playing it, though). I'm simply claiming it is the type of gaming D&D is aimed at, or rather, the one it best supports regardless of what designers intended to do.

 

Well, some of us remember all the way back to the mid-80s or earlier when D&D was a very advanced game that allowed you to do loads of stuff. Why could D&D now grow as an RPG while we grew as role-players? I admit that TSR slowed the progress down, but WOTC killed it! They also polluted the foundation with these new rules. There were never dwarf wizards or any sorcerors in D&D before 3e. They simply didn't exist, and all the campaigns and the books and games that followed were written on that basis. But then WOTC suddenly decide to completely rewrite the core with no regard for the established traditions. Now, if you never played D&D before 3e, then this is a problem, but for those of us who played D&D before, we can choose between our campaigns or 3e. I choose the former - I will not be dictated to by some stupid new rules that seem to make it a priority to invalidate my game and is even incredibly inflexible and rigid to boot!! That being the case, just what is my incentive to use these new rules?!? :angry:

 

I played 2nd edition...even 1st one 2 times, and I like the openminded play with 3.5 edition.

 

No dwarven wizards? Why? And I have readen lot of books with them BEFORE 3rd came out...and you know why? becouse not all of the RP-ers are reading only US/UK made books. Nations have their own 'fairy-tales', and RP worlds.

 

Also, what was that weird rule that only humans can be paladins?

Any sentient beeing can have same knightly codex and faith to a God(dess) to be one.(also same problem with druids)

Edited by jorian

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I played 2nd edition...even 1st one 2 times, and I like the openminded play with 3.5 edition.

 

No dwarven wizards? Why? And I have readen lot of books with them BEFORE 3rd came out...and you know why? becouse not all of the RP-ers are reading only US/UK made books. Nations have their own 'fairy-tales', and RP worlds.

 

Also, what was that weird rule that only humans can be paladins?

Any sentient beeing can have same knightly codex and faith to a God(dess) to be one.(also same problem with druids)

 

You can call those rules silly, if you want. And naturally not all GMs played strictly by the book. I didn't. But that did not mean that I just ignored "the book". The campaign worlds were all written by that book. To just ignore it was to ignore the tradition that the game grew from in the first place.

 

I've read Forgotten Realms stories, where the dwarven inability to be wizards was a central focuspoint of the entire plot. The reason for there being no dwarven wizards is usually that dwarves are themselves inherently resistant to magic (note the massive amounts of bonus modifiers dwarves can get against magic in general in 2e), but the trade-off was that they then couldn't learn wizard magic either. Always made sense to me, and stories like what I mention above are violently gutted and slashed, when a new standard is applied broadly and forced across the board. Mystara doesn't have the any race/any class approach either, and everything that was written for it was based on that principle.

 

Why can't non-humans be paladins? Because paladin-status is granted by a god, and that god will only chooses the best humanity has to offer as his/her champions. The gods of other races do not have the same tradition. Not just any god can randomly choose to have paladins (should Baal or Thanatos have paladins?) - only a few gods do, and then might not look at non-humans for their champions. I might overrule that as a GM (if, for example, an elf was raised by human in that god's faith), but I will not throw away the few priviledges that humans have without a good dose of consideration, and even if I do, I prefer to do it on a case-by-case basis. I might let you play that half-dragon wizard this time, but don't count on it the next time you roll up a character. Similarly, I might demand lower stats for a paladin in 2e, if I prefer to have paladins in the campaign.

 

If the rules are strict, then it's much easier for me as a GM to loosen the reins than it is for me to tighten the grip, of the rules are loosely structured.

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I'll make a deal with you. I can make a really long post and you have the right to complain about its length. Fair enough?

 

 

 


Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays

 

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
Obsidian Plays


 
Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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Thread: The Necroraping

 

:x


I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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I'll make a deal with you.  I can make a really long post and you have the right to complain about its length.  Fair enough?

 

*complains about its length*

Edited by metadigital

This post is not to be enjoyed, discussed, or referenced on company time.

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Kirottu, you doofus.

 

Anyhow, I was posting so late angry Eldar took control. If my local groups insisted on it, I'd play 2nd edition.

 

I had years of fun with 2nd edition rules. I remember when it first hit the shelves and the hours I spent reading it and pouring over the details. ...But, even though I still remember it fondly, I don't regret switching to 3.x. The fact is, the arguments I've heard in defense of 2nd edition only make me appreciate 3rd more.


Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays

 

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
Obsidian Plays


 
Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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I see dead topics... :ph34r:

 

Then Jediphile, who is a reasonable sort of fellow in his presentation, has the audacity to suggest that AoOs are counter-intuitive and complex while bemoaning the loss of the speed factors?  Given the choice between the two, I

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