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No More Massive Tomes of Rules

pemerton

Legend
If I start telling anecdotes about my Bushido and Chivalry & Sorcery 1st/2nd edition, no one’s getting out this while still conscious.
I say what I'm about to say quite seriously - I would be very interested in a thread about one or both of those games, just to learn exactly what sort of RPGing people got out of them.

I've read Bushido but never tried to play it. I'm not 100% sure what playing it would look like. And the only version of C&S I have (again, not played) is the fluorescent green covered one, which I think is 3E?
 

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I say what I'm about to say quite seriously - I would be very interested in a thread about one or both of those games, just to learn exactly what sort of RPGing people got out of them.
Seconded. Seems it was just the other day I was bemoaning the way pre-internet gaming experiences for games D&D, RQ, Traveller and perhaps a few others are hard to find and in need of preservation efforts while the people who remember those days are still with us. Wish I'd kept campaign notes properly back then myself.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Remember that you are the one who said quite clearly that you can't conceive of a worthwhile game that doesn't need 1000 pages of rules.

More or less yes; I'm just amused that this discussion has gone from your claim that there was no reason to have a game that "can't be presented in a concise, complete, robust form like Dragonbane." and that we didn't need a 1000 pages of rules, to everyone saying that it's all just a subjective opinion and one isn't better than the other and I'm the one being unreasonable in suggesting one true wayism.

So I'm glad we both find this funny.

Remember, my claim was that there were rules missing from your "concise, complete" games and your immediate response was "well I don't need my game to do everything anyway".

Ok, fine. Have fun. I still maintain that if a game has an ambition to be useful for anything more than one shots and mini-campaigns, it should be expecting to release a 1000 pages of rules to cover the sort of minigames that come up either spontaneously or by design in extended play. That those rules should be clean, well written and no more verbose than is necessary is not anything I disagree about.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
More or less yes; I'm just amused that this discussion has gone from your claim that there was no reason to have a game that "can't be presented in a concise, complete, robust form like Dragonbane." and that we didn't need a 1000 pages of rules, to everyone saying that it's all just a subjective opinion and one isn't better than the other and I'm the one being unreasonable in suggesting one true wayism.

So I'm glad we both find this funny.

Remember, my claim was that there were rules missing from your "concise, complete" games and your immediate response was "well I don't need my game to do everything anyway".

Ok, fine. Have fun. I still maintain that if a game has an ambition to be useful for anything more than one shots and minigames, it should be expecting to release a 1000 pages of rules to cover the sort of minigames that come up either spontaneously or by design in extended play. That those rules should be clean, well written and no more verbose than is necessary is not anything I disagree about.
In that case, there is no upper limit to your pages of rules you desire, because there can always be something that is covered happening in the next session. Out of curiosity, since you have said you don't think much of core mechanics that can "cover everything" how do you feel about the idea that the GM can do so? If the characters suddenly find themselves in a zero-G game of Luna-rules football in a game of Cyberpunk2020 (just to make up a random example) what happens if there are no rules for it? Do you not allow it? Do you stop the game until you can find rules for it?
 

Subsystems exist to support frequent, non-trivial experiences. If a game like that example is supposed to be common, then there should be rules for it.

But if you're playing a cyberpunk game, thats unlikely to be something you regularly run into unless its a distinctive part of the setting, and even then.

Theres usually more interesting things to go do in a cyberpunk setting than play a game within a game, so that isn't something thats likely to get a rules pass, barring setting significance.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Subsystems exist to support frequent, non-trivial experiences. If a game like that example is supposed to be common, then there should be rules for it.

But if you're playing a cyberpunk game, thats unlikely to be something you regularly run into unless its a distinctive part of the setting, and even then.

Theres usually more interesting things to go do in a cyberpunk setting than play a game within a game, so that isn't something thats likely to get a rules pass, barring setting significance.
Sure, but the example given was described as being an uncommon occurrence as well. My position is simply that you don't need all that if you have a well designed, robust core system and a competent GM (or even player at the table who can suggest mechanics that would work).
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
More or less yes; I'm just amused that this discussion has gone from your claim that there was no reason to have a game that "can't be presented in a concise, complete, robust form like Dragonbane." and that we didn't need a 1000 pages of rules, to everyone saying that it's all just a subjective opinion and one isn't better than the other and I'm the one being unreasonable in suggesting one true wayism.

So I'm glad we both find this funny.

Remember, my claim was that there were rules missing from your "concise, complete" games and your immediate response was "well I don't need my game to do everything anyway".

Ok, fine. Have fun. I still maintain that if a game has an ambition to be useful for anything more than one shots and mini-campaigns, it should be expecting to release a 1000 pages of rules to cover the sort of minigames that come up either spontaneously or by design in extended play. That those rules should be clean, well written and no more verbose than is necessary is not anything I disagree about.

There’s no need for 1,000 pages for a functional game that can provide more than one shots.

You’re yanking our chain, right? This is like that time you said a GM needs to put in 10 hours of prep for every hour of play, right?
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
There’s no need for 1,000 pages for a functional game that can provide more than one shots.

You’re yanking our chain, right? This is like that time you said a GM needs to put in 10 hours of prep for every hour of play, right?
I think Celebrim has a reasonable, coherent chain of thought. It just happens not to encompass the way that about 99.5% of us play.
 

Celebrim

Legend
In that case, there is no upper limit to your pages of rules you desire, because there can always be something that is covered happening in the next session. Out of curiosity, since you have said you don't think much of core mechanics that can "cover everything" how do you feel about the idea that the GM can do so? If the characters suddenly find themselves in a zero-G game of Luna-rules football in a game of Cyberpunk2020 (just to make up a random example) what happens if there are no rules for it? Do you not allow it? Do you stop the game until you can find rules for it?

If zero-G game of Luna-rules football is something that exists in the setting, then there should be eventually a rules supplement on sports and athletics and how to run contests like that. Heck, just having a fairly detailed description of the rules of the sport would be a good start.

As a GM, if this wasn't a sudden event, but part of a story line, then I'd try ahead of time to figure out how to handle the game leveraging the tools we had and making some rulings.

If it comes up unexpectedly, I'll try to do the same, but rules smithing good rules on the fly is hard and intellectually taxing and distracts from running the game smoothly and quickly. I'd try my best to utilize existing systems for handling stunts, athletic activities and non-lethal combat, but it would probably not be as cool as if I'd had more time to think things out. The point is that even if the game isn't coming to a full stop, every time you have to smith out a ruling mid-table you are having a pause and probably risking making a bad ruling because you are trading off speed of play for the sake of the scene for a chance to really think things over. I mean think about it, would you really want to be inventing the rules of the in fiction zero-G Luna rules football and the meta-rules for arbitrating the fiction of the game on the fly? And wouldn't it be better if there was a handout you could give to the players about how to play the game so that they could be in character, knowing the things about the game that their characters would know? Isn't that useful?
 

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