Monte on Logic in RPGs - Page 6




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  1. #51
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    I agree with Monte on this one.

 

  • #52
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    I'm very disappointed, having read that article.

    Monte completely ignores the fact that fiction is not related to mechanis, except when they are. Therefore anything can happen in the fiction, with very little happening in the mechanics.

  • #53
    The main assumption of this essay is unfounded: tight-rules systems in no way prevent DMs making rulings, or relying on logic.

    If the rules say "It takes 2 turns and a roll to clean off the itchy powder", there is absolutely nothing preventing the DM from deviating from that rule and saying "OK, jumping in water does it immediately", or "using your canteen auto-succeeds the roll". The rule can only help. It can only give the DM and players a baseline expectation. Saying "you've got itchy powder on you", and that's all, is not any kind of improvement. It can only make the GM's job harder.

    Now, that doesn't mean you need fiddly rules for everything. A game system can be generic. For example, in Strands of Fate, that itchy powder would just be an aspect applied by a maneuver. It would have clear mechanics to it. They'd just be mechanics that also apply to lots of other things.


    Also, the section on "GM may I?" dodges the issue. There is no real difference between "May I do X" and "Does it seem possible for my character to do X". If the answer to the question is based on GM "logic" and fiat, and not on game mechanics, then it is asking the GM for permission, either way.

  • #54
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    And then some GMs ,may say jumping into the water isn't in the rules so it won't work that way.
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  • #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Lwaxy View Post
    And then some GMs ,may say jumping into the water isn't in the rules so it won't work that way.
    That isn't a matter of game design or rules systems. And a DM basing his decisions on "logic" could very well say it doesn't work that way, simply because, in fact, not all itching agents can be removed with simple water.

    The thesis of the article is that rules somehow limit DMs and players from doing what they want to do. They do not. Rules can never limit a DM. They can never limit what the DM allows their players to do. The rules can only define what the players can expect to be able to do without asking for case-by-case permission. Rules give options. They never take them away.

  • #56
    Some players, and even some GMs, hide behind rules. The article doesn't really address that problem, and I'm not sure it should try, given the topic. The advice of how to do things is different from the advice on "stop hiding behind stuff," and the latter isn't really part of the rules at all.

  • #57
    Quote Originally Posted by dkyle View Post
    That isn't a matter of game design or rules systems. And a DM basing his decisions on "logic" could very well say it doesn't work that way, simply because, in fact, not all itching agents can be removed with simple water.
    In fact, the water makes it worse! Like splashing water on a grease fire. Or like when Brad Pitt kissed your hand and then poured lye on it.

  • #58
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    To me, computer games have taken the debate out of this topic.

    When it comes to tight, clearcut rulesets...you can't beat Computer Games and MMOS.

    The only real place that RPGs have left to compete is around the DM. The interaction between DM and player is really the core of Pen and Paper, and its the one thing no computer game has come close to mirroring.

    So I agree with Monte, successful modern gaming systems need to pull away from rules and more towards freeform interaction.
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  • #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Jerome View Post
    Some players, and even some GMs, hide behind rules. The article doesn't really address that problem, and I'm not sure it should try, given the topic.
    If the article isn't addressing that problem, then I really have no idea what it is addressing.

  • #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    To me, computer games have taken the debate out of this topic.

    When it comes to tight, clearcut rulesets...you can't beat Computer Games and MMOS.
    Sure you can. Many board games have much tighter, cleaner, and clearer designs than computer games and MMOs. Most computer games and MMOs have at least a few poorly documented, mysterious mechanics, that players can only figure out through experimentation, if at all.

    The only real place that RPGs have left to compete is around the DM. The interaction between DM and player is really the core of Pen and Paper, and its the one thing no computer game has come close to mirroring.
    I'm still not clear on how tight, clean, clear rulesets in any way detract from the interaction between DM and player.

    Having a DM around just means you've got your own personal content designer and game-system bug-fixer. Good rules make for better games, no matter the medium.

    So I agree with Monte, successful modern gaming systems need to pull away from rules and more towards freeform interaction.
    Freeform interaction is neither a "game" nor a "system". It is tangential to the rules. Rules can never reduce it unless the DM and players allow them to.

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