A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The point is not that realism is not present in RPGs
Oh, I dunno - there's a few where it takes a rather distant back seat... :)

The actual "good" or "value" is not so much "realism," but with how the players engage with the environment (or game) as part of cultivating the desired play experience. Based upon past conversations, I suspect that for the "Old School play" of Bedrockgames and Lanefan, the point is not "realism," but, instead, in having "known knowns" that help players make informed decisions conducive of skilled play.
Maybe not so much "conducive of skilled play", as that's not really the point in this case. I'd like to think, perhaps naively, that internal logic helps players make decisions and take actions consistent with what the setting expects and its internal physics can handle, while at the same time helping me-as-DM present that setting in a consistent and halfway-logical manner.


(If I am mistaken in summarizing their preferences here, I will gladly admit my error and welcome clarification.) This is also why I find appeals to "realism" in a system to be a smokescreen that masks the actual underlying issues of the desired game play. It would be easier to identify, design, and cultivate for that desired play experience without hiding it behind vague and prejudiciously applied notions of "realism" obscuring that process.
I'm not sure here. "It's the same as reality unless something says it isn't" is a perfectly good and simple foundation to start from.

So, again, for example if we take the matter of healing. To me its inclusion as part of a game is not a matter of "realism," but, rather, of pacing and tone. We advocate different types of healing mechanics because we want different things out of the game experience rather than "realism." If we want something "Grim 'n' Gritty" where we want to emphasize character attrition, resource management, or the dangerous, survivalist tone of the imaginative play space, then we may desire to make healing slower or more difficult to come by. But it would be far more difficult to discuss how we would potentially design healing in such a game if it is obscured behind appeals to "realism." "Realism" almost becomes a red herring in the discussion.
Oddly enough, healing is one instance where realism is anything but a red herring. Natural healing and recovery is something we've all directly experienced at some point and that works at a more-or-less consistent rate in real life; and this then becomes a familiar baseline for where one wants to scale it in the game system. "More realistic" implies something closer to this baseline, "less realistic" implies something farther away e.g. in D&D 4e and 5e healing rates are a long way from realistic while 1e by RAW is much closer; no system will ever get it bang on and - given the various oddities and assumptions of the nigh-universal hit point system - is likely well advised not to try.

Another example: one approach to hit points that generally adds some realism at cost of some extra effort is any sort of wound-vitality or body-fatigue system. Wound/body points are actual physical injury, to which we can if desired then apply real-world healing rates or some approximation; while vitality/fatigue points are just that and thus can be recovered fairly quickly.
 

darkbard

Explorer
But no one likes their style to be put to the inquisition. And I think a lot of posters are hiding behind a veneer of theory or analysis, but really just trying to argue against play styles they don't like or have had bad experiences talking with in edition wars.
No one? Really? I think part of the problem here (generally speaking when it comes to these debates) is that some of us do enjoy very much interrogating our own and other styles to better understand our desires/motivations and those of others, how these intersect with game mechanics and principles. Yet your posts here dismiss this kind of interrogation from a seemingly anti-intellectual stance.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I believe that there are people who say that they do, but then apply that broad (if not exceedingly vague) criteria selectively in their games, and that this tells us more about their preferences for the actual play experience they want the game to cultivate. And I believe that this latter point is more meaningful and practical than the call for realism itself or offering the trite remark that some realism exists in roleplaying games. It's a shift from the vague "I want 'realism' in my game" to the more concrete "I want my game to simulate X sort of play experience."
Fair enough, but not all players know how to put terms to describing said play experience, and so they couch it in terms they can understand: more realistic or less, more magical or less, more heroic or less, etc.
 

Bedrockgames

Adventurer
No one? Really? I think part of the problem here (generally speaking when it comes to these debates) is that some of us do enjoy very much interrogating our own and other styles to better understand our desires/motivations and those of others, how these intersect with game mechanics and principles. Yet your posts here dismiss this kind of interrogation from a seemingly anti-intellectual stance.
I think your failing to see how some people see that interrogation, when directed at their own posts (particularly when it questions their own assertions about what they like) as hostile. I am not anti-intellectual. But I am anti-elitism and arrogance. And I think, whether it is intended or not, a lot of the ways people are talking about gaming preferences here, come across as arrogant and dismissive. And I am not sure it is warranted. Intellectualism is good, but I don't think simply using jargon-y language or drawing on various online gaming theories makes on intellectual. And if one is intellectual, using that knowledge to humiliate other people (and I think a lot of posters are being humiliated by this process), is something I don't think you should be doing. If you want to interrogate a concept fine, but do understand that you are dealing with other people here, and it is insulting to be told you really don't understand your own preferences (especially when the people asserting that, are just asserting it without really providing any kind of evidence at all).
 

Bedrockgames

Adventurer
I'm afraid this is a false equivalence, and it's framed such that only way that you will show me good faith is if accept a certain premise as true and you are also presuming in bad faith that I am not showing good faith in my argument. So no, this does not swing both ways. It swings with you showing bad faith towards me and then doubling down on it as if they held equivalent moral weight. :erm:
Fair enough, I will try to assume good faith. But I still maintain that the position you hold, where you think you can understand what is going on in other peoples' heads, and where you think you have special insight into how prevalent the desire for realism is in the hobby, comes of as incredibly arrogant.

You may not be trying to be rude, but you're nevertheless doing a darn good job of it. In the same breath that you preach this call to good faith, you also accuse your opponents as being dismissive and arrogant, lacking good faith, holding unfounded assumptions, and engaging in insulting behavior. And then you suggest that while you could be wrong, it's likelier that others are actually the ones in the wrong. Geez. I would hate to see how rude and hostile in tone you could be when you are actually trying. This sort of patronizing doublespeak comes across knowingly or not as hypocritical. And if you have no real interest in engaging with what I wrote so you can just repeat your refrain that I am being dismissive of others, exhibiting arrogance, and speaking in bad faith, then we are pretty much done here. I'm sorry, but that's not looking for a conversation; that's looking to condemn.
I am not trying to be rude, I am trying to be honest (which I think is what you are saying as well). But I will try to moderate my tone here. A conversation is fine. But you got to understand you can't have a conversation where what you are saying is irritating and insulting (which I think your dismissal of peoples stated preferences are) and expect people not to say something about it. And it isn't like they are just stopping at voicing frustration, they are giving you a responding indicating they know what they like, and you keep persisting. It would be like me saying something akin to 'your desire to dismiss realism, reveals a deep subconscious desire to play a deeply simulationist GURPS campaign based on pure, unadulterated, realism. Prove me wrong!". I am not trying to be ridiculous, and I am really not trying to be insulting, but it is a very difficult for me to give anything but my honest reaction to what you are saying.

And I have to emphasize here, I am not the proponent of realism in this thread. I just think it is fair for someone who expresses a desire for realism in the game, to expect other posters to believe them.
 

innerdude

Adventurer
It's funny, I was going to make a similar comment about how D&D often feels at-odds with itself when it comes to realism. Some of its mechanics are clearly trying to present real-world analogues; some of them are much more . . . inscrutable, shall we say?

Arguing about realism in TTRPG play generally is an interesting, if occasionally contentious topic of theoretical conversation.

Arguing about realism in D&D specifically feels like cognitive dissonance. I mean, if you squint your eyes and turn your head just so, I suppose you could kind-of, sort-of argue that there's hints of realism in D&D, especially the 3.x line and its treatment of basic skill task resolution. But you'd have to ignore huge swaths of its inner workings to claim that it's simulating "the real world" in anything but the broadest sense.

So what, then, are proponents of realism actually wanting D&D to be more realistic about?

Combat? Exploration? Social encounters? Basic skill checks? What the core attributes mean relative to the real world? The social/economic ramifications of rampant, widely available magic?

If it's purely just combat, the easiest solution is to play something else.

P1: "I want to play a super-realistic combat version of D&D! Why can't D&D be more realistic?"

P2: "Well, there's just so many compromises and holdovers from old war games, and the whole hit points / armor class thing, the lack of realistic wound modeling, the list goes on . . . ."

P1: "I don't care about any of that, just, why can't D&D be better at modeling an actual one-on-one sword duel? How hard can it be?"

P2: "Have you considered GURPS, or Mythras, or Runequest, or Riddle of Steel?"

P1: "No, because I want to play D&D!"

P2: ......
 

Bedrockgames

Adventurer
It's funny, I was going to make a similar comment about how D&D often feels at-odds with itself when it comes to realism. Some of its mechanics are clearly trying to present real-world analogues; some of them are much more . . . inscrutable, shall we say?

Arguing about realism in TTRPG play generally is an interesting, if occasionally contentious topic of theoretical conversation.

Arguing about realism in D&D specifically feels like cognitive dissonance. I mean, if you squint your eyes and turn your head just so, I suppose you could kind-of, sort-of argue that there's hints of realism in D&D, especially the 3.x line and its treatment of basic skill task resolution. But you'd have to ignore huge swaths of its inner workings to claim that it's simulating "the real world" in anything but the broadest sense.

So what, then, are proponents of realism actually wanting D&D to be more realistic about?

Combat? Exploration? Social encounters? Basic skill checks? What the core attributes mean relative to the real world? The social/economic ramifications of rampant, widely available magic?

If it's purely just combat, the easiest solution is to play something else.

P1: "I want to play a super-realistic combat version of D&D! Why can't D&D be more realistic?"

P2: "Well, there's just so many compromises and holdovers from old war games, and the whole hit points / armor class thing, the lack of realistic wound modeling, the list goes on . . . ."

P1: "I don't care about any of that, just, why can't D&D be better at modeling an actual one-on-one sword duel? How hard can it be?"

P2: "Have you considered GURPS, or Mythras, or Runequest, or Riddle of Steel?"

P1: "No, because I want to play D&D!"

P2: ......
Like it or not, D&D is The Game. If you want a group of players, your best bet is to play D&D. If you want to play in a group, if you are willing to play D&D your chances of finding people go way, way up. I don't really play D&D anymore that much, so I am not the best person to answer, and I am not really looking for realism as much as plausibility, but I think with D&D it really has to do with quantity. When things exist in the corners of D&D, are not terribly intrusive, aren't super obvious when they do arise or only come up here and there, it isn't a huge deal. There is always going to be some amount of lack of realism in D&D. I don't think you would find GURPS level realism in D&D. I think what people are talking about those mechanics or moments when the game impales realism. Healing rates would be a big issue like others have mentioned. Anytime something happens, but then it has to be described or leads to an illogical outcome, that might another. Again, I think it really comes down to the quantity. A person might not be troubled by Barbarian Rage because it is limited to one class and adds something. They might be bothered if every class has that kind of ability. Or a person might not be troubled by some of the weapons being a little eye balled in terms of damage. But they would have a problem in cases where the damage output discrepancy is impossible to ignore.

Also, I don't think people are saying they want a super realistic version of D&D. I think they are saying please don't add more unrealistic things to the system (or pick an edition that has the least amount of unrealistic things).
 

S'mon

Legend
I'd be infinitely curious to hear from the One-True-Sandboxers out there if they really do like "sandboxing" the whole time----or if the "sandboxing" portion of the campaign is just a ramp-up to get their hooks into the game world / plot so they can start pursuing stuff that matters to their character.
By 'sandboxing' you mean random exploration? Like random wandering in Skyrim? For me, all play in the sandbox is sandboxing.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Fair enough, but not all players know how to put terms to describing said play experience, and so they couch it in terms they can understand: more realistic or less, more magical or less, more heroic or less, etc.
That is absolutely true, and I earnestly believe that is valid for those people. But if a player approaches us and tells us that they want us to run a game with greater realism, then we are placed in the position of having to unravel and tease out from them how that means for them and how they want that realism applied more palpably.

Maybe not so much "conducive of skilled play", as that's not really the point in this case. I'd like to think, perhaps naively, that internal logic helps players make decisions and take actions consistent with what the setting expects and its internal physics can handle, while at the same time helping me-as-DM present that setting in a consistent and halfway-logical manner.
Fair enough.

Oddly enough, healing is one instance where realism is anything but a red herring. Natural healing and recovery is something we've all directly experienced at some point and that works at a more-or-less consistent rate in real life; and this then becomes a familiar baseline for where one wants to scale it in the game system. "More realistic" implies something closer to this baseline, "less realistic" implies something farther away e.g. in D&D 4e and 5e healing rates are a long way from realistic while 1e by RAW is much closer; no system will ever get it bang on and - given the various oddities and assumptions of the nigh-universal hit point system - is likely well advised not to try.
I agree that natural recovery is something that we experience in life; however, I still think that it exists as smokescreen for discussion about healing in games where health points are primarily an abstracted pacing mechanic. I see the emphasis of most game design discussion not on "how realistic do we want healing in our games?" but on "what sort of pacing do we want for our games?"

Overnight healing in 5e, for example, does not seem to stem from any debate about the degree of realism, but, rather, from the degree of pacing: i.e., how they quickly they wanted characters back up on their feet for adventurous gameplay. Even with 1e, I suspect that it was less about realism and more about game pacing as well. "If you don't want to be out of action of a long time, play smart and avoid combat!" Any approximation to realism may have been incidental.

So when designing games, this is often a question of "how do we want this mechanic to reflect the tone or desired play experience of the game?" or "How does this mechanic reinforce the themes of the game?" So I don't necessarily assume that realism is the baseline presumption in game design. I do assume, however, that the baseline presumption of game design is a desire to cultivate a "fun" experience.

No one? Really? I think part of the problem here (generally speaking when it comes to these debates) is that some of us do enjoy very much interrogating our own and other styles to better understand our desires/motivations and those of others, how these intersect with game mechanics and principles. Yet your posts here dismiss this kind of interrogation from a seemingly anti-intellectual stance.
I personally think that pemerton becomes easier (and less abrasive) to read when one understands his academic background in philosophy. "Academese" can come across as more abrasive than it really is. His posting style is more akin to a Hegelian dialectic that seeks to derive some form of synthesis or understanding through conflicting points of discussion.
 
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Bedrockgames

Adventurer
I personally think that pemerton becomes easier (and less abrasive) to read when one understands his academic background in philosophy. "Academese" can come across as more abrasive than it really is. His posting style is more akin to a Hegelian dialectic that seeks to derive some form of synthesis or understanding through conflicting points of discussion.
I know about his background. I minored in philosophy. So, while I won't pretend I have his level of expertise in i, I am not ignorant of that kind of discussion or language. Yet I find the way it is used here highly abrasive. Especially when there doesn't seem to be any acknowledgement of valid points made by people he disagrees with it. It just seems like he is trying to win the conversation, not arrive at a synthesis of understanding through conflicting viewpoints.
 

innerdude

Adventurer
So when designing games, this is often a question of "how do we want this mechanic to reflect the tone or desired play experience of the game?" or "How does this mechanic reinforce the themes of the game?" So I don't necessarily assume that realism is the baseline presumption in game design. I do assume, however, that the baseline presumption of game design is a desire to cultivate a "fun" experience.
I've bagged on GURPS a bit in this thread already, but to me GURPS is an exception. It very much feels designed with "realism first" as a primary goal, with the assumption that "realism" and "fun" will be naturally and harmoniously synonymous.

And I think this is a common, and largely appealing impulse for certain types of players. If we're going to change something, it should be with the goal of being more realistic. Whereas there are lots of other options, as you've outlined. It can be rules design with the goal of creating a very specific tone and vibe. It can be rules design with the goal to highlight specific aspects of play, or to reinforce certain thematic material. GURPS is devoid of nearly all of this, unless you're willing to spend vast amounts of time carefully poring over the thousands of pages of supplements to build your own "perfectly tuned" version of GURPS . . . and even then, it's still going to basically just feel like GURPS always does anyway, most of the time.

For certain types of players, this experience is rapturous, because they can play with absolute certitude that they're using the most "realistic" set of gameplay options for RPG play on earth. If the resulting game is less fun in practice than say, D&D 5, well, then it should still be applauded for its high-brow, vigilant adherence to its principles.

(I honestly know several of my old GURPS' group players that have this attitude. It didn't matter if playing another system was actually more fun. Since GURPS was clearly the "mechanically superior choice," they blindly stuck with it. Because otherwise they were somehow cheating themselves by using something "objectively inferior."
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So what, then, are proponents of realism actually wanting D&D to be more realistic about?

Combat?
While this would be nice, the result would also quickly become a complete morass of rules, counter-rules, and picky systems that very few (including me) would want to use. 1e D&D tried for some of this with weapon-v-armour-type and assorted other rules, most of which fell to the wayside at most tables.

Exploration?
Not just exploration, but the setting we're trying to explore: yes. Fine - it's a magic-based setting. Now seamlessly integrate those magical elements into the reality we already know and are familiar with so we can know what to expect from them and why. Then, tell us the exceptions.

Social encounters?
As far as reasonably possible, yes. What gets in the way here is most often the acting, emoting, and sometimes thinking skills of the players at the table; but if it can be done in LARPing it can be done at a table, says I. :)

Basic skill checks?
The phyiscal ones, if done right, already do a vaguely reasonable job of mirroring reality. Chuck the social ones out.

What the core attributes mean relative to the real world?
Yes.

The social/economic ramifications of rampant, widely available magic?
Assuming it's both rampant and widely available then yes, and this is one area that many systems and-or settings don't look into very well at all. Eberron did, to its credit; and while I'm not otherwise fond of that setting it's got some good ideas in this regard.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
if you read my arguments in good faith, you would know that it is not about minimizing realism, Max.
Calling realism a smokescreen and saying you "wouldn't call it realism," followed by equating it to pocket lint is minimizing it. Perhaps you didn't intend to minimize it, but you did.

but, rather, that (1) notions of realism are prejudiciously applied (this is also a key point), and (2) this is typically for the sake of other underlying game design goals. IMHO, the underlying design goals within calls for "realism" serve as the actual end and value rather than "realism" itself. I think that both [MENTION=85555]Bedrockgames[/MENTION]'s excellent response here and [MENTION=29398]Lanefan[/MENTION]'s suggestion to replace "realism" with "internal logic" allude to this issue. Both seem to acknowledge the deficiency of the term "realism" in describing the actual desired good here. The actual "good" or "value" is not so much "realism," but with how the players engage with the environment (or game) as part of cultivating the desired play experience. Based upon past conversations, I suspect that for the "Old School play" of Bedrockgames and Lanefan, the point is not "realism," but, instead, in having "known knowns" that help players make informed decisions conducive of skilled play. (If I am mistaken in summarizing their preferences here, I will gladly admit my error and welcome clarification.) This is also why I find appeals to "realism" in a system to be a smokescreen that masks the actual underlying issues of the desired game play. It would be easier to identify, design, and cultivate for that desired play experience without hiding it behind vague and prejudiciously applied notions of "realism" obscuring that process.

So, again, for example if we take the matter of healing. To me its inclusion as part of a game is not a matter of "realism," but, rather, of pacing and tone. We advocate different types of healing mechanics because we want different things out of the game experience rather than "realism." If we want something "Grim 'n' Gritty" where we want to emphasize character attrition, resource management, or the dangerous, survivalist tone of the imaginative play space, then we may desire to make healing slower or more difficult to come by. But it would be far more difficult to discuss how we would potentially design healing in such a game if it is obscured behind appeals to "realism." "Realism" almost becomes a red herring in the discussion.
For myself, realism is always the goal when I talk about it and include more of it in my games. For example, I think going from literally dying to full health after 8 hours to be highly unrealistic, so I'm slowing down healing to give it more realism. There is no other goal for me than added realism. I suspect that's the case for most people who like more realism.
 

Shasarak

Villager
Even ignoring the fantastical elements within the most popular genre of TTRPG play, I'm not sure if I would call it 'realism' by any reasonable metric. Often that appeal to realism is selectively applied, if not prejudiciously, by both the game system and the participants, typically with some other goal or value in mind. 'Realism' is likely a smokescreen for some other issue(s). This is to say, I don't necessarily think that 'realism' is the genuine goal of people who claim they desire 'realism' in their TTRPG, especially D&D.

But yes, D&D has some realism in it. For example, it depicts the average human with five fingers on each hand. REALISM! So I suppose we should pat D&D on the back for having "some realism in it"? But we should also be clear here. Having "some realism" is not the same thing as valuing or desiring realism. Realism is, to reiterate, likely not the actual goal people drive at when making appeals to it. And valuing realism is not the same thing as attaining or applying it reasonably. Applying notions of realism to D&D is an inherently failed enterprise because our biased notions of 'realism' are woefully stuck in a position of ignorance (and irrationality) about a wide variety of pertinent subjects that would inform our preparation and play about the game world.

What makes for "realistic" imagining of hit points? What makes for "realistic" falling damage? What makes for a realistic damage for a longsword? What makes for realistic natural healing rules? Or Armor Class rules? "Realism" is lipstick on the pig of D&D's gamism. "Realism" is the Emperor's New Clothes: We all know that the emperor is naked, but some people go along with the farce and pretend that he is cloaked with "realism" all the same. Because if they didn't they would have to admit that they are looking at the naked imperfections of an emperor.
Maybe you are right that people dont actually want "realism". Probably they want something that makes sense, something that they can identify with either from real life or at least from some kind of story. A good word is verisimilitude and on the other hand it is $5 word and realistic is so much easier to spell.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think D&D occupies an odd space here because it is The Game. It kind of has to be everything to everyone. So it is natural that this will be a point of contention among D&D players (and like others have pointed out, it has always been so). I remember when I first started playing the realism debates. With D&D it was interesting because realism seemed to be present in some places and not in others. I think with D&D it is about how noticeable it is. In some editions it feels more noticeable that realism is being breached than others. I think with a game like that, where they have to cater to multiple types of players and play styles, it is a question of how prevalent each thing in the system. I am willing to bet someone like MaxPerson can stomach an edition that to him feels realistic the majority of the time, but not an edition that feels like he is constantly running into realism issues. Would be curious of his feelings on this.
4e was the only edition I had so much trouble with that I just didn't play it. I tend to house rule the heck out of any game I come across, so it's no big deal to me to modify things that I don't find realistic enough and move on. I start by playing the game as is with no modifications, then as I discover how things work and which things I have issues with, I either modify things on the spot if it's major, or wait until the next campaign if it's not. I don't like modifying minor things in the middle of a campaign, so as to not cause too much disruption to the players in how things work.

I also don't mind things that are unrealistic and/or downright silly as a one shot game, or a few short sessions. They can be really fun and I kind of handwave away my expectations on realism and just have fun. Long term, though, I want the game to fit my preferred style of play, which tends to be a bit more realistic in multiple areas than D&D has as its baseline.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It's funny, I was going to make a similar comment about how D&D often feels at-odds with itself when it comes to realism. Some of its mechanics are clearly trying to present real-world analogues; some of them are much more . . . inscrutable, shall we say?

Arguing about realism in TTRPG play generally is an interesting, if occasionally contentious topic of theoretical conversation.

Arguing about realism in D&D specifically feels like cognitive dissonance. I mean, if you squint your eyes and turn your head just so, I suppose you could kind-of, sort-of argue that there's hints of realism in D&D, especially the 3.x line and its treatment of basic skill task resolution. But you'd have to ignore huge swaths of its inner workings to claim that it's simulating "the real world" in anything but the broadest sense.

So what, then, are proponents of realism actually wanting D&D to be more realistic about?

Combat? Exploration? Social encounters? Basic skill checks? What the core attributes mean relative to the real world? The social/economic ramifications of rampant, widely available magic?

If it's purely just combat, the easiest solution is to play something else.

P1: "I want to play a super-realistic combat version of D&D! Why can't D&D be more realistic?"

P2: "Well, there's just so many compromises and holdovers from old war games, and the whole hit points / armor class thing, the lack of realistic wound modeling, the list goes on . . . ."

P1: "I don't care about any of that, just, why can't D&D be better at modeling an actual one-on-one sword duel? How hard can it be?"

P2: "Have you considered GURPS, or Mythras, or Runequest, or Riddle of Steel?"

P1: "No, because I want to play D&D!"

P2: ......
Some of us actually enjoy the way D&D is set up. We like the D&D specific mechanics and systems. Those are not present in other games, so even if those other games are more realistic than D&D, they won't feel right or be as enjoyable to us as modified D&D.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I agree that natural recovery is something that we experience in life; however, I still think that it exists as smokescreen for discussion about healing in games where health points are primarily an abstracted pacing mechanic. I see the emphasis of most game design discussion not on "how realistic do we want healing in our games?" but on "what sort of pacing do we want for our games?"
I think this may be where you are going wrong when we talk about realism. We are not designing a game, so it's not a game design discussion. Were I designing a game, then yes, I would look at hit points as part of the pacing and take that into consideration when figuring out the level of realism I wanted in that game. However, when I am just playing a game and I want to tweak hit points to be more realistic with regard to healing, I don't give a flying fig about pacing. Sure, the pacing will change, but that's not even a remote concern of mine.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I think this may be where you are going wrong when we talk about realism. We are not designing a game, so it's not a game design discussion. Were I designing a game, then yes, I would look at hit points as part of the pacing and take that into consideration when figuring out the level of realism I wanted in that game. However, when I am just playing a game and I want to tweak hit points to be more realistic with regard to healing, I don't give a flying fig about pacing. Sure, the pacing will change, but that's not even a remote concern of mine.
You're fooling yourself if you think game design isn't a part of you sitting down to play on game night. Game design runs through adventure design, and definitely through consideration of house rules or rulings at the table -- you're engaged in game design at all of those points because you're making decisions that change how the game plays. Note, not is played, but plays -- how the mechanics work to achieve a goal.

When you talk about how you want your game to have more realism, that's game design -- you're taking the general rules of 5e, say, and adding your design layer on top to achieve your play goals. Game design isn't just creating a new ruleset, it's also in how choose to use a ruleset. Frex, I know for a fact that when you sit down to play a game, for instance, it doesn't play like my game does, even if we both use the same system. Why? Game design choices we're both making for our different tables.

As for 'realism', that cannot be a goal for you in a game with elves and magic. What you're looking for is a game that is as close to normal assumptions except where specifically detailed otherwise. So, people can't "heal" overnight because that's bad, except magic. Just like hitpoints must be some kind of wounding because how else can you fight dragons and knights that "hit" you and not take wounds, which don't heal overnight, so they can't, except magic. You're bringing a lens of "as much like the world as possible so magic can be more magical" without ever examining why or what you get from doing this. Heck, you're outright hostile when even asked to consider you might be looking for some other thing and realism is just a means to that end. Why would that question make you hostile? It isn't challenging your preferences, it isn't saying you're wrong to want to play how you play, it's asking you to consider if there's another goal you're aiming for but misidentifying because you haven't stopped to really think it through. I used to be you, man, used to fret of realism, used to fret over how much my game "made sense". So, I get it. And, it's likely we want different things, even when I thought like that, and I certainly don't think my current play is in any way better or superior to how I used to play except that it's better for me. Still, being able to actually talk about how games work, what they incentivize, how they do it, is very interesting because I'm still on my journey, but you get mad when asked what your journey is. I don't get it. Or, rather, I do, but I hope you might realize how silly it is to be mad about this kind of question.
[MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] has been pleasant in his posts. If you're taking offense, you're looking for it.
 

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