"Busywork" in RPG's... - Page 2




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  1. #11
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    My vote is for dealing with treasure. Every 3.x game I've played eventually reaches a point where we have this massive Excel spreadsheet of all the loot we've accumulated, and then spend many email threads an much game time sorting, selling, redistributing, etc. It is my #1 least favorite aspect of the game.

    I'd really like to run a game where PCs are just equipped according to their budget on the wealth-by-level table. You show up to game night with your PC outfitted and ready to go, and that's the end of it.
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  • #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatLemur
    Wow, seriously? That has literally been my favorite part of RPGs since I was 12.
    Ditto. I love creating characters, both PCs and NPCs, and never consider the process to be work. The rest of the preparations I have to do as DM, however, can get tedious and annoying, especially when prepared material goes to waste.

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    To me, busywork is an aspect of the game that takes a lot of effort or paperwork to manage and whose productive yield (which in dnd terms is fun!!) is low.

    I would add dispel magic rolls (basic negation of some magic items and alteration of stats because of it), and I second npc generation (other than BBEG, I always have fun with those).

    I would also add searching and disabling traps (unless I'm the rogue).

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatLemur
    Wow, seriously? That has literally been my favorite part of RPGs since I was 12.
    I think it all depends on whether the involved busywork has merit, in which case it isn't really busywork, per se.

    The best examples I can think of are the old FASA Dr. Who RPG and second edition Chivalry & Sorcery. Both of those games involved a lot of generating numbers in order to generate other numbers that were in turn used to generate the numbers that you actually used. Most games with a clue have realized that this is a really stupid way to generate characters, and just cut to the chase.

    Thankfully, I wouldn't classify D&D3.x as "busy" chargen in that sense, as you're not spending time on numbers that aren't intended to be used in some way. It does, however, get sticky when you're generating N/PCs above 1st level, as all the decisions that normally get spread over the lifetime of a character in play get collapsed into a single chargen attempt. It also doesn't help that it's often necessary to do one level at a time, which slows things down.
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    Juggling everybody's schedule so that we can all get together and game for more than an hour every six months...

    Actually, within the actual play, I find that identifying magical items falls under the heading. After you end up with a bag of "unidentified potion #4, unidentified short sword, unidentified ring #7" treasure stops seeming cool and starts seeming like a pile of accumulated junk.

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  • #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0
    To me, busywork is an aspect of the game that takes a lot of effort or paperwork to manage and whose productive yield (which in dnd terms is fun!!) is low.
    Exactly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masquerade
    Ditto. I love creating characters, both PCs and NPCs, and never consider the process to be work. The rest of the preparations I have to do as DM, however, can get tedious and annoying, especially when prepared material goes to waste.


    Me 3. I'm always baffled by the people who say that making characters is a chore.
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  • #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron L
    Me 3. I'm always baffled by the people who say that making characters is a chore.
    I don't think its the character creation as a whole, but parts of it. For example, some people love coming up with a character concept and background, but hate having to figure out classes, skills, items, etc to make that happen. Others are the opposite, they love to adjust the numbers, find just the right classes, but don't enjoy coming up with a big background.

    Some people love all aspects of it, but not everyone

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Randall
    Encumbrance other than by armor.

    Tracking things like food, water, torches once you are past the very low levels.

    Spell components, if your DM is a hard-ass and makes the PCs actually acquire them (instead of just assuming their availability).
    Agreed on all three here.

    My personal pet busywork peeve is pre-memorizing spells for any class; if I ever start another campaign I'm going to use a different system and do away with pre-memorization.

    Not that I've had to argue with it myself, but anecdotal evidence would indicate 3e ExP calculation takes far more time and effort than it should, if done properly; particularly if there's a spread of levels within the party.

    Others have mentioned treasury division, but if everyone gets down to work that can often go quite efficiently. It really bogs down if only one or two players out of 5 are doing the paperwork. What I find slows things down are the shopping trips that come after any treasury division...

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  • #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan
    Not that I've had to argue with it myself, but anecdotal evidence would indicate 3e ExP calculation takes far more time and effort than it should, if done properly; particularly if there's a spread of levels within the party.
    Calculating XP is pretty easy, IMO. I can't do it in my head like my Monday DM, but it's never taken me more than a few minutes.
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