Rules Aren't Important

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Successful cooking definitely doesnt need rules, it needs knowledge about how ingredients react in combination with heat and other ingredients. New dishes are made from experimentation, if the dish is good, we define the steps how we did get there as a recipe so other less knowing/talented can get to the same result more easily.

Playing games doesnt need rules. Just watch some children on the playground. They are playing dinosaurs. Suddenly they are now a family. Now they are building a sand castle in which the dinosaurs live. Than they flood the castle. There are no rules. Often rules emerge, because specific behaviours in games seem to be most fun/engaging. Also I would agree rules are needed for competitions. So if to a game a competitive factor gets added, then rules will emerge really quick. But they emerge from the game, not the different way around.
I would argue games only need some sort of interaction and a safe space, meaning no real life consequence. When I kill you in game, I do not kill you in real life, to have a drastic example.

edit: I just realized something. I am not an english native speaker. In Germany, where I come from, play and game are the same word. I just realized in English "game" has a slightly different meaning than "play", it is - according to wikipedia "a structured form of play". My argumentation was based on my German experience. With the english definition its pretty much defined that rules are needed. My bad.
I agree with you and think the German language has it right.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
First off, no you don't have to have a recipe to cook and no you don't have to have memorized a recipe to cook without one. If you think that, I'd suggest cooking more. Like a lot more. You can cook without a recipe and it can turn out delicious.
Or because they've internalized principles
There it is. That's the point. Exactly. It's the underlying principles that matter, not the surface veneer. The rules and the recipe are the surface veneer. They don't matter. It's the principles the rules and recipe point to that matters. If you want someone else to replicate it, you'll need to communicate the process somehow, typically by writing it down as rules or recipe.
 

First off, no you don't have to have a recipe to cook and no you don't have to have memorized a recipe to cook without one. If you think that, I'd suggest cooking more. Like a lot more. You can cook without a recipe and it can turn out delicious.

There it is. That's the point. Exactly. It's the underlying principles that matter, not the surface veneer. The rules and the recipe are the surface veneer. They don't matter. It's the principles the rules and recipe point to that matters. If you want someone else to replicate it, you'll need to communicate the process somehow, typically by writing it down as rules or recipe.
As it turns out I am the primary cook in my household so perhaps you should check your presumptions more carefully. There are many dishes I can cook without referencing written recipes and there are dishes I can spin from their starting points but neither of those mean the recipes themselves are not important. There is at least one recipe I use that started as an dish that I wanted to be able to replicate.

The rules and the recipes are not mere surface veneer. While as you say they are valuable if replication is desired they are more than that. They are reflections of the principles. In some cases they are direct statements of the principles.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
As it turns out I am the primary cook in my household so perhaps you should check your presumptions more carefully. There are many dishes I can cook without referencing written recipes and there are dishes I can spin from their starting points but neither of those mean the recipes themselves are not important. There is at least one recipe I use that started as an dish that I wanted to be able to replicate.

The rules and the recipes are not mere surface veneer. While as you say they are valuable if replication is desired they are more than that. They are reflections of the principles. In some cases they are direct statements of the principles.
Funny. I'm the primary cook in my house as well. Which is why I know recipes are just rough guides and not all that important. They can help, sure. But just whipping something up works just as well. As long as you know the underlying principles you're good. That's literally all you need. You can improvise the rest.

If you're of an age you might appreciate this. I'll paraphrase Bruce Lee from Enter the Dragon. "Don't concentrate on the finger."
 

Funny. I'm the primary cook in my house as well. Which is why I know recipes are just rough guides and not all that important. They can help, sure. But just whipping something up works just as well. As long as you know the underlying principles you're good. That's literally all you need. You can improvise the rest.

If you're of an age you might appreciate this. I'll paraphrase Bruce Lee from Enter the Dragon. "Don't concentrate on the finger."
There are many ways to learn to cook. I learned a lot from cooking with a friend who improvised almost everything and I learned a lot by reading about cooking and I learned a lot by cooking for myself. As I cook more I have gotten more comfortable working from recipes and riffing on them and combining them and such. Internally when I'm improvising something it feels like I'm applying known recipes to what I'm doing. Considering options based on knowledge of what has worked and on some basic principles.

In the same way as I have gotten more comfortable with GMing I have been able to riff on existing rules or import rules from one game to another or make up rules as I need to. When I'm making a ruling or adlibbing narration or twisting a rule from one game to fit it into another it feels as though I'm working from knowledge of how different games have or have not worked and judging applicability.

I find recipes to be important to how I cook because they provide things I can swap in and out based on knowledge. Even putting something together on the fly is to me composing the recipe as you cook.

I find the rules in TRPGs to be important because if the people at the table are not using at least most of an agreed-upon ruleset then to me they are not really playing a game. I find the best rulings are the ones closest to that agreed-upon ruleset. I find that importing rules works better if you do it before you need it so the imported rules are part of the agreed-upon ruleset.

Obviously approaches will vary. Someone might approach either cooking or GMing very differently than you or I and they might be doing so from a position of something other than ignorance or stupidity.

"This is not a charade. We require total concentration. Do it again, this time with feeling."
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I was recently watching a video about play patterns, and how the players create their own social rules. For example, when studying MMO's, it's noted that players will decide for themselves, via consensus, what form of play is "good" or "bad", irregardless of the intent of the developers.

Some good examples include "training" in Everquest- a character will get the attention of a bunch of hostile NPC's and run them into a town. Despite being perfectly supported by game mechanics, the community took a dim view of it. So much so, that when they created a "anything goes" server, at the request of the community, one fellow quickly got banned for training large amounts of enemies into neutral towns.

In City of Heroes, there were zones where heroes and villains were intended to PVP against each other. But since this was a rare opportunity for both factions to interact, a section of the PVP area was quickly turned into a social zone by the players, so they could hang out. If a player decided to actually force someone into PVP, they were severely ostracized and shunned by the community, to the point of death threats!

Studies show that, even in absence of rules, players will create their own rules about a variety of things. So to me, it isn't that rules aren't important; they obviously are. It's more about knowing which rules are important to your play group, and which ones can be dispensed with if needed.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It feels like for playing (rubber) bridge that having hard and fast rules for bidding are a big help starting out (there are a lot of principles), and even afterwards are really important even if only because they really make you think about why you think want to make an exception.
 

It feels like for playing (rubber) bridge that having hard and fast rules for bidding are a big help starting out (there are a lot of principles), and even afterwards are really important even if only because they really make you think about why you think want to make an exception.
If you're making steak with a pan sauce why are you using bourbon instead of brandy?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
There are many ways to learn to cook. I learned a lot from cooking with a friend who improvised almost everything and I learned a lot by reading about cooking and I learned a lot by cooking for myself. As I cook more I have gotten more comfortable working from recipes and riffing on them and combining them and such. Internally when I'm improvising something it feels like I'm applying known recipes to what I'm doing. Considering options based on knowledge of what has worked and on some basic principles.
Cool. I've taken basically the opposite journey. I started with recipes because I didn't know jack and as I've cooked more I've relied less on recipes because I no longer need to be walked through the process in minute detail. When trying completely new dishes or cuisines I'll still rely on recipes, but they quickly fall by the wayside.

If you haven't tried homemade banh mi, you should. Fantastic stuff.
In the same way as I have gotten more comfortable with GMing I have been able to riff on existing rules or import rules from one game to another or make up rules as I need to. When I'm making a ruling or adlibbing narration or twisting a rule from one game to fit it into another it feels as though I'm working from knowledge of how different games have or have not worked and judging applicability.
That's exactly what I do. I happen to think the principles are more important the the specific expression of that principle in rule format. There's a mathematical difference between 2d6 and 1d20, of course, but as long as long as you have a resolution mechanic you're good. Precisely which and how etc don't matter.
I find recipes to be important to how I cook because they provide things I can swap in and out based on knowledge. Even putting something together on the fly is to me composing the recipe as you cook.
I view it as improvising or riffing. The recipe doesn't matter unless you want it to.
I find the rules in TRPGs to be important because if the people at the table are not using at least most of an agreed-upon ruleset then to me they are not really playing a game.
I couldn't disagree more. You're still playing D&D if you never pick up a die or reference your character sheet or the rulebooks during a session.
I find that importing rules works better if you do it before you need it so the imported rules are part of the agreed-upon ruleset.
I don't make that distinction. It doesn't matter when it's imported. It only matters if the rule is useful in the moment.
Obviously approaches will vary. Someone might approach either cooking or GMing very differently than you or I and they might be doing so from a position of something other than ignorance or stupidity.
I find it odd that people feel the need to include statements like this. Yes, of course. There's no point in you saying this unless you think I'm saying otherwise. I'm not.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Studies show that, even in absence of rules, players will create their own rules about a variety of things. So to me, it isn't that rules aren't important; they obviously are. It's more about knowing which rules are important to your play group, and which ones can be dispensed with if needed.
Table-centered design is the best design.
 

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