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How Visible To players Should The Rules Be?

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And yet you don't. You choose to invent fictions instead. Go ONLY by what I write as you are incredibly bad at inferring anything.

These are the posts I’m looking at below.

In them, you define D&D as the 800 pound gorilla, and seemingly classify many other games as “minor RPGs”.

You site the use of D&D jargon as “usual”. You classify use of jargon from other games as “unusual”, and how it often differs from D&D.

You say that use of “unusual jargon” is inconsiderate, and that it “knowingly causes confusion”. But use of “usual jargon” is perfectly fine.

The problem with the “unusual jargon” is that it’s different from D&D’s “usual jargon.”

So yeah… I think my inference is spot on.

I agree. I'm responsible for being considerate to others with my posts. That includes not using terms and definitions that I know will cause confusion.

No. There ARE going to be folks that don't understand the jargon. Full stop. No need to worry about who knows what. You don't need to figure out what I know, or Pemerton, or Azzy or anyone else. It's just considerate to avoid the jargon for the folks who read the posts.

@Micah Sweet then went on to note that many minor RPGs are heavy with lingo. Many of it's systems are attached front and center to jargon like Hard Moves and such. D&D does have a lot of jargon, but that jargon is not front and center.

I think it's more than D&D is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, so it's jargon is usual. It's the jargon of the minor RPGs that is unusual, because it's different. That jargon stands out because of that difference. It also seems to me that it's not unusual for minor games to use different jargon to say the same thing or a very similar thing.


Well you can't measure height in numbers so you have to do it descriptively
That's why I have these on all my castle doors!


Anyway, here's something on people estimating height/length and describing it:
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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
That is my interpretation of this post, yes:

This was said by @Micah Sweet and since the point of reference here is Bounded Accuracy, which is a term heavily associated with D&D 5e, I made the reasonable, in my opinion, assumption that it is actually D&D we are talking about as a comparison to systems supposedly bogged down by lingo.
Nope. I was being literal. Bounded Accuracy, despite supposedly being a guiding light for design, does not appear as a term in the 5e books, while many very specific game terms applicable mostly or entirely to the games in which they appear are front and center in the rules for those games. There's no hidden meaning in that statement.

I never said 5e doesn't have jargon.


Upthread, there was a discussion about the use of Fronts in Apocalypse World, and also a discussion about "stakes" and player-determined priorities, and also a discussion about structures of play.

By chance, there is a new thread on these boards - D&D General - Tell Me About Your Favorite Use of a Dragon In D&D - that bears directly upon these discussions, and that illustrates some features of one sort of approach to RPGing

There is a post in that thread in which the players get sent on a quest - comparable to the wererat quest from the 3E DMG - to kill some kobolds and a wyrmling. And then, at the end of it all, the NPC quest giver reveals themself to be a shape-changed silver dragon. So, in retrospect, a certain meaning is given to what the PCs did. Determined entirely by the GM. Within this approach to play, the big reveal could just as easily have been that the quest-giver was a shape-changed (polymorphed) erinyes or pit fiend, eliminating an enemy in the LE hierarchy.

There is another series of posts in that thread making the case that the threat posed by a dragon is predominantly a function of how the GM frames the encounter, and that a "naturalistic" treatment of the threat - eg the GM having a dragon flee (by flight) and then return at an opportune time (ie when the PCs are vulnerable) - can easily hose the PCs and, thereby, the players.

In the context of those discussions in these threads, those are illustrations of the GM exercising significant, perhaps overwhelming, control over the content and direction of play. One point of departures from that sort of structure - framing structure and resolution structure - is to have something different in RPGing.


many very specific game terms applicable mostly or entirely to the games in which they appear are front and center in the rules for those games.
Just out of curiosity, which games do you have in mind? I mean, upthread you said that you've not read Burning Wheel. Have you read Apocalypse World?

Personally I find AW a less technical text than many RPGs, in the sense of having fewer moving parts of a technical nature. Perhaps the most fundamental notion is that of the players handing the GM a golden opportunity on a plate, and - as you can see - that notion is expressed using a colloquialism, not any sort of technical term.

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