Unpopular opinions go here

Status
Not open for further replies.

log in or register to remove this ad

The original Champions (1981) was 64 pages. Rulez lite would hardly describe it.

I am not a big superhero RPG guy, but I know what you mean. Some 64 games are definitely not rules light. There is a lot that makes something rules light.

I think one reason I tend to lean on the 100 count as a guideline, is I have played a lot of games int hat ball park that were rules light, and when I was making 100 page full RPGs (so each book is 100 pages and a complete RPG unto itself), I found the constraints of that page count, encouraged me to lean more on the rules light side (but again this is going to come down to what chapters you are trying to include in that book----if you have a 50 page rules chapter, then definitely it won't be rules light).

And going over doesn't make something rules heavy either. My most rules light RPG (at least that I myself have published) is 149 pages.

I can go over the page counts for each section to explain what I mean:

Character creation is 1-6 (and that includes rules on character advancement and death). There are basically four paths that each get one page. Rules of play (which is the core of the system), is a total of 4 pages. The skills chapter is 4 pages (bringing us to page 14). Descriptions of powers and abilities that Paths each can have is its own chapter and a total of 10 pages (that is basically the spell chapter plus the chapter for exceptional martial abilities). Equipment is 6 pages. The GM chapter is something like 11 pages (bringing us to page 42). The monster chapter is something like 22 pages (which brings the book to page 65). The remaining 84 pages of the book are four sample adventures (basically each one a chapter). Now this might not fit the itch.io definition of rules light (not 100% sure what the parameters of that are). But it definitely fits my understanding of rules light and the understanding of people in the hobby I was interacting with and communicating with during the development (my goal was to make it rules light and I was thinking of the Moldvay rules in particular in terms of how much attention I wanted things to have). I even timed character creation to make sure it took under 15 minutes to make characters.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
It feels odd to me to count a list of spells or monsters as part of complexity. I mean, sure, it's more complex than having on the fly stats/spells or everything be the same... but it feels different to me than rules.

Spells are certainly rules. They may, or may not, greatly increase the complexity of the system (this goes to the idea of the "exception-based design" when it comes to D&D for certain spells), but they are rules.

If a player does X, what is the rule for X? If X is a specified spell, with a specified application, then that is a rule.
 

You keep saying this ... but as you can see from just this thread, it is an idiosyncratic definition.*

We are just going to have to agree to disagree here. I get that in this thread, there is largely that definition being used. I get that in places like Itch.io it is common. But I have been using rules light to communicate what I am talking about here without much trouble for nearly 14 years online

I have played for just as long as you, and I am perfectly comfortable understanding that "rules lite" refers to a specific category of games, and ones that exclude games that have rules that run to 100 pages.

Here I would agree in that 'lite' is something I think refers rather specifically to what I would call a micro-RPG (something that can fit in a pamphlet or is under 10 pages).

To the extent you wish to communicate something to people, you might want to use the common usage of the term employed by others. If you do not wish to communicate to those people, then you are welcome to continue to use your own definition; that said, this isn't exactly a jargon thing. I provided you one place (itch.io) as a single example. If you bother looking around, you will see that this is a common conception.

Again, I can see people have been using that. I just don't think it is something like the majority of the hobby.
For example, you can also search DriveThruRPG for games that are "rules-lite," and you will not find 100 page booklets of rules in there.

Again, the distinction here is 'lite' versus 'light'. And 100 is the soft cap I am using as a guideline. I am saying something 100 pages or less, in my mind is likelier to be rules light. If you look up rules light/rules-light, you will see plenty that I think are in that range (and certainly many on the lower end too). Here is just the first several when I search:

Yarr! The Rules Light Pirate RPG: 71 pages
Folklore (No page count given but will assume it is on the very short end for that reason)
Journey-The Rules Light, any setting RPG (no page count given, hard to tell from preview how long it is)
Monophobia: 15 pages
Bibliophobia: 17 pages
Cyberstreets: 75 pages
No One Owns the Skies: 4 Pages
Dept. X: 5 pages
Submerged: 15 pages
Coyote and Crow: Rules Light Adventure (no page given but looks like a starter rules set so assuming on low end of page count)
Zombified (Very Rules Light): 34 pages
Power of 10 (P10) A rules light RPG: 158 pages
FIRETEAM: 46 pages


You may attempt whatever prescriptivist approach you wish, or argue that you have a private language with others that allows for this relative classification, but in the larger discourse, these words have a meaning ... one that you choose not to use.
I don't think I am being prescriptivist at all. I am using a descriptive definition based on what I have seen used. If you put my feet to the fire on it, I would say rules light probably covers a range that includes what you and I are both talking about (and I might make the distinction I did earlier of lite or micro or minimalist to refer to the much smaller rules light games in that category)

*Again, it's been pointed out repeatedly that it's also a meaningless one, given that it's relatively simple to point out a large number of games that are far under that threshhold that even you wouldn't classify as rules-lite. So we are left with the uncomfortable notion that "rules lite" is something that you know when you see, and it leaves the reader with the idea that it is somewhat of a goldilocks definition as opposed to a category of games that actually exists and does, in fact, have a very ... um ... light approach to rules.
Again, I am not saying it is the only thing. I am saying being 100 pages or less isn't disqualifying and it is one possible indication.
 

Spells are certainly rules. They may, or may not, greatly increase the complexity of the system (this goes to the idea of the "exception-based design" when it comes to D&D for certain spells), but they are rules.

If a player does X, what is the rule for X? If X is a specified spell, with a specified application, then that is a rule.

Theres a difference between rules that make the game function as a game, and rules that state how a bit of content works.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
"Yes, but I told you my name was 'Richard.'"
So this is a true story. My wife's name is Dana and she looooooves Starbucks. It wasn't a lie when I said I was there this morning. I'm there 5 days a week. Anyway, I've seen them spell it Dayna, Daina, Daynuh, Danuh, etc. more often than the correct spelling.

So one day we were on a road trip to San Francisco and were returning to Los Angeles when we stopped in some town or another at a Starbucks. My wife ordered her drink and when she went to pick it up, the barista was almost distraught. She was saying over and over again, "I'm so sorry I mangled your name. I tried but I messed it up." We looked at the cup and it was spelled, Dana. The one time we got an apology for an incorrect name spelling and it was correct. :p
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Just weighing in on the lite vs. heavy debate going on here. 100 pages doesn't seem lite to me. Nor if we're going by page count does it seem heavy. 100 pages seems more medium to me. 🤷‍♂️
 



Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Theres a difference between rules that make the game function as a game, and rules that state how a bit of content works.

That's still a rule. That's how rules work.

Here, let me show you the difference-

A game can have a unified spellcasting system (sort of like D&D has a unified DC system). Barbairans of Lemuria has a spellcasting system that, in total, takes up four (4) pages. Other games simplify that even further, and make the spellcasting fit on to a single page (along with the rest of the rules) such as Sexy Battle Wizards, because you can simply do it within the context of other actions.

Or, the game can make separate rules for every spell- this is the D&D example. Every single spell in D&D is a new set of rules. You cast a spell, then there is a rule for that spell. You have general rules that apply to the game, and then you have specific rules that are different for every different spell.

A spell (in D&D and similar games) is certainly a rule.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.
Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top