Edition Wars – Does the edition you play really have an impact on the game? - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    In my own experience as a GM, the issue is typically not imagination but resolution - how to resolve a "blinding attack", for examle. And if the players don't (at least roughly) know how it will be resolved, it is hard for them to make sensible decisions about how to deploy their resources.
    Usually in that scenario Id imagine the DM informing the player freely that the 'go for the eyes Boo' tactic is a difficult shot to make, perhaps stressing it, and might even inform the player of the DC/AC depending on the situation.
    The player, given that information, would then perhaps change his tactics or decide 'what the hell let me risk it'.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    In my own experience as a GM, the issue is typically not imagination but resolution - how to resolve a "blinding attack", for examle. And if the players don't (at least roughly) know how it will be resolved, it is hard for them to make sensible decisions about how to deploy their resources.
    And in my experiences as a GM the resolution coming from a short conversation with the gm at the time works allot better than the rule books them selves.

    The rules are limited and open to interpretation and therefore in my experience how that player saw the blinding attack working often differs from my own.

    They will of course after performing this attack once have a rough idea of how it works but I find working like this we have had less arguments as it drums home the idea that the dungeon master is the arbiter of the rules.

    This does require both allot of trust on the players behalf and more work on the DM's but it has really worked for us as a group.

    A light version of how we do things is to still allow players to read the rules but for them to understand and trust the DM to change and make decesions on the spot as the rules are intended as a guideline not a bible to be quoted.

    It is these beliefs that really lead me to feel that edition is an irrelevance but I can also understand people are going to have preferences and that their is some need for a rules system as a guideline as very few people have the time to accommodate the effort of playing without one - I just feel that niche is already filled!

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by terrya View Post
    My Only response to this would be that in my game I have made it quite clear to my players that they can attempt to do anything they can think of. For example, one of my players likes to shoot at eyes to attempt to blind people, if I had let him read the 3.5 players handbook he would of seen no rule for this and assumed it was not possible. The rulebooks do nothing but limit the imagination.
    Here you're illustrating one of the weaknesses of 3.5 - that it's an incomplete simulationist system. This is not about system inherently being bad. It's about simulationism only simulating what it simulates.

    In 4e there aren't really rules for an impromptu shot at the eyes. But if you want to take a character who specialises in going for the eyes, it's easy enough. You're unlikely to actually blind people most of the time (a tiny target, very hard to hit, and normally fatal). But you take powers that debuff the target's to hit roll or daze them to simulate blood in the eyes from a forhead cut or them flinching. And then you take temporary blinding powers like Blinding Barrage, Sand in the Eyes, or Go For The Eyes for the big stuff. And voila. You have your rogue who shoots or stabs for the eyes. In 4e the better you know the rules the more you know how to do and can evaluate - and there are good rules for improvisation (p42). Of course that you need to grok 4e to see how to do things like this and the rules don't explicitely tell you how is a flaw.

    So this is a limit of 3.5 not one of knowing the rules. As @pmerton points out above, the problem is that the players who know the rules don't know how attempts to go for the eyes will work in 3.5 because they need to read the DM's mind with ... limited support from the rules.

    Now, let's instead of a gamist/narrativist system go for a narrativist system - Spirit of the Century will do because the rules are online (the rules for Leverage and Marvel Heroic roleplaying which I mentioned earlier are similar - and if you want a fantasy version of SotC it's called Legends of Anglerre). Let's see what Spirit says on blinding.
    Blinding
    Whether it’s throwing sand in someone’s eyes, spraying someone with a harsh chemical or tossing a can of paint in his face, the goal is the same: keep him from being able to see. This likely involves the attacker rolling Weapons and the defender rolling Athletics, with the maneuver succeeding if the attacker gets at least one shift. A successful maneuver puts the aspect “Blinded” on the target, which may be compelled to add to the defense of their target, or to cause them to change the subject or direction of an action. It can’t force them to take an action they don’t want to (so a blinded character can’t be compelled to walk off a cliff if the character is not moving around).
    Sounds complex? Tagging aspects is one of the core mechanics of SotC. So this boils down to "Make a maneuver in place of an attack - and if you hit instead of doing damage you've set them up for anyone to be able to invoke a debuff". This isn't a rule, it's an illustration of a general rule that you can do any maneuver like that and set someone up with an aspect they don't want for others to tag.

    Spirit of the Century, because it is not simulationist, doesn't limit your imagination in the way you are claiming rules do. And the players have a clear idea of the expected outcome when they do so.

    So once again, I suggest you try games that aren't D&D for a while. And recommend Dread and Dogs in the Vineyard. I'll also add Wushu to the recommended list. They all actively enable their style of play by creating rules that enable a playstyle rather than attempt to simulate a world. And they don't get in the way.
    Last edited by Neonchameleon; Monday, 8th October, 2012 at 02:59 PM.
    XP chaochou gave XP for this post

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrya View Post
    A friend of mine approached me asking if I would DM a game for him, his brother and a group of his friends. They are all die hard warhammer fans that had heard of D&D and were interested in giving it a go but had no idea how it all worked! I jumped at the chance and decided to bring my brother along too. The game that has developed out of it has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything and has grown to a weekly game of at least 9 people. The simple way I have achieved this is by pretty much removing rules from the game. At no point have I told people what edition were playing and when people level up just talk to them about what they’d like their character to be able to do and then produce their character sheets centrally.
    The situation you describe is ideal - a complete group of new players (except for your brother). That scenario is not as common as having players at your table who have read previous edition rule books, so it was easy for you to push for a flexi-system. Not so much in other cases.
    The question I have is would offer yourself up as a player in a system-free campaign, without hassling the DM, once he made his judgement calls or during level-ups? Would you be satisfied?
    I can honestly say yes - but ONLY with the right DM.

    Don't get me wrong, I think you make excellent points and WotC should definitely read posts such as yours to better understand their market but it is also well to mention that this new edition whether it is perfect or not it is meant to be a 'healing edition' to cut across the differences in playstyles. I feel it is very much needed.

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    I can't XP Neonchameleon; can someone cover for me?

    Terrya, I think your tale is a good story of how the edition wars ruined a nice, friendly, casual game. But not everyone plays in such game, nor does everyone want to.

    Your argument, to me, leads to the idea that there should be any rules at all. That the GM is just telling a story with some input from the players. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not much of a game to me. It's just roleplaying. I want both roleplaying and game-playing from my roleplaying games.

  6. #16
    There should be rules but they should be my (the dm) rules based upon a guideline provided by 3.5 (preferred system) and the players need to be able to trust that I am a fair arbiter of the rules.

    I understand this will not be for everyone but would urge any player when they notice the DM got their damage wrong by 1 to just let it slide and dont let petty rule keeping overshadow the narrative and flow of a session. Im not suggesting everyone needs to go to our extreme I'm just hoping people can learn from my story and it might encourage people to try out my logic.

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    In my experience, rules/edition absolutely matters.

    A good set of rules supports the story and largely moves into the background.

    A bad set of rules constantly interferes with story execution or slows play.

    For the stories, characters, & gameplay that I wish to depict and that my players want to participate in, good rules = Pathfinder.

  8. #18
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    System absolutely matters.

    It's Roleplaying Game. Both; not one or the other. The roleplaying part is crucial, but it's not everything; otherwise we're playing Cowboys and Indians/Cops and Robbers/Magic Tea Party/etc. The Game part is the system in question.

    A good system establishes a few things right off the bat...

    (1) An interface between players and the imaginary gameworld, giving a structure for both their characters' capabilities and the ways those characters can interact with the world.

    (2) Reward mechanisms wherein the goals of the game are laid out (such as XP for GP in 1e, and XP for monsters/quest completion in 4e).

    (3) Mechanics that establish and reinforce the game's focus and themes. The Buffy RPG, for example, has Heroes, non-Hero protagonists, and rules for high-action vampire slaying. D&D has rules which promote exploring and taking treasure from monsters. WFRP2 is about peasants either dying or rising to power, and the rules reinforce this. Savage Worlds is always going to feel a bit "pulp"-ish because of how its skills and damage work, so by default it's unsuitable for a dark & gritty setting like WFRP2. And so on...

    These are all really, really important, IMO. Not in the "My pretend elf game is better than your pretend elf game" sense, but in that players and DMs with common goals should make sure their system is a good match for their desired goals.

    -O

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrya View Post
    There should be rules but they should be my (the dm) rules based upon a guideline provided by 3.5 (preferred system) and the players need to be able to trust that I am a fair arbiter of the rules.
    Wait, I thought the system didn't matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by terrya View Post
    I understand this will not be for everyone but would urge any player when they notice the DM got their damage wrong by 1 to just let it slide and dont let petty rule keeping overshadow the narrative and flow of a session. Im not suggesting everyone needs to go to our extreme I'm just hoping people can learn from my story and it might encourage people to try out my logic.
    OK, that sounds reasonable. You're saying to not be a rules lawyer or a jerk. I think we can all agree on that!

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Obryn View Post
    System absolutely matters.
    These are all really, really important, IMO. Not in the "My pretend elf game is better than your pretend elf game" sense, but in that players and DMs with common goals should make sure their system is a good match for their desired goals.

    -O
    Perhaps this is a better way of portraying my point. I feel system is irrelevant because im confident i can taylor any set of rules for the kind of game I want to play. Maybe a better statement which I think you'd agree with is that its pointless to compare systems because their all designed to taylor to different needs and tastes.

    A point i feel reinforces my belief that Wizards should move away from hoping 5th Edition will some how get us all on the same page and go back to focusing on edition free setting and module material as they will appeal to a much wider market this way.

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