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D&D General Why defend railroading?

Dungeon World typically has a couple of race options for each class. There are Halfling Druids, Fighters and Thieves.

Burning Wheel doesn't have Halflings in any official publication - I think for good reason. But I have read an account of a playtest in which one player was playing a Halfling called Biggie Smials.
I don't think that was the question...
 

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There are just so many games out there these days. If I want to do something, there's a game for it. Or else I can create one based on an existing game, as really a whole new game, like my current 4e-like hack game, which is NOT 4e, so not 'house ruled'. I'd happily build a PbtA game if I felt no existing one did something I wanted too. Those situations are getting rare though!

There are any number of fine games that still manage to knock one into the water trap. I'm neither going to stop using them because of that, nor ignore the fact they've done so.

And honestly there have been campaigns I've ran there was no apparent tool for the job, given my and my player's desires; when that occurs, I find the closest I'm aware of, then trim to fit.
 

One advantage time gives is seeing it in actual play more (assuming I is something that happens frequently enough to worry about).

Even something that doesn't happen frequently you don't want to work poorly when it is engaged. The only question is if you have the time and energy to ensure that.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
No. Even then, there's a big difference between "I spent some time thinking about this and considering its ongoing consequences" and "I made this decision on the fly and am going to stick with it."

At that point, they've become house rules, albeit not particularly thought-through ones.
Agreed, which is why pretty much any significant on-the-fly ruling needs a few moments of thought put behind it.*

Either that, or the DM might get stuck having to accept a precedent he'd rather not (I've been in this position many a time :) ) or - much worse - end up having to overrule himself later, which IMO invalidates whatever happened when the first ruling was made and also threatens in-setting and in-campaign consistency.

* - better yet is that the DM has seen the problem coming ahead of time and already fixed the issue, but no DM can foresee everything.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yeah, I don't think rulings are 'just houserules by another name' either. House Rules are an organized alteration/addition to an RPG designed for a specific purpose and introduced by the GM, almost always at the start of a campaign. It may be that now and then a ruling rises to the level of creating a house rule, so it is discovered that something doesn't work 'right' and the GM makes a 'ruling' and then that produces a variation of play that is codified as a genuine house rule. 99.99% of rulings IME however are simply two people parse English a bit differently and the GM decides "because there's no comma here, it means X" and goes with it.
And that parsing then becomes a house rule - though unwritten - for the rest of that campaign.

What you're defining as house rules above is to me verging into kitbashing territory with the "alteration" piece. No Elves in this setting is a houserule. Roll 5d6k3 for stats in this game instead of 4d6k3 is a kitbash. This fuzziness of deliniation crossing both of these and on-the-fly rulings is why I say they're all essentially the same thing.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yeah, in fact, TBH, I'm not much of a fan of house ruling. My experience is that GMs who are really into tinkering are mostly obsessed with their opinion of how things aught to work, rather than some broad (or even narrow) conception of altering the play of the game in any logical or coherent fashion. So, if I run into a GM who's going on about how they reworked half of some game, ESPECIALLY if they habitually do this with every game they run, then that's a Red Flag moment for me. lol.
I'm a bit the opposite: if a GM has done a lot of tinkering it tells me she's invested enough in the system to do the work required to make it her own. And yes, things in the game should - within bounds of fairness and consistency - work exactly as the GM thinks they ought to. It's the GM's game.
There are just so many games out there these days. If I want to do something, there's a game for it. Or else I can create one based on an existing game, as really a whole new game, like my current 4e-like hack game, which is NOT 4e, so not 'house ruled'.
Sure it is. As long as you can still recognize the underlying 4e chassis it's modified 4e, just like my system is modified 1e.

In either case, all we've done is a great big kitbash. :)
 


Agreed, which is why pretty much any significant on-the-fly ruling needs a few moments of thought put behind it.*

If that's sufficient. I've seen such things end up having knock-on effects that would have required considering other parts of a game system than the ones at hand. This is less likely with something really narrow of course.

Either that, or the DM might get stuck having to accept a precedent he'd rather not (I've been in this position many a time :) ) or - much worse - end up having to overrule himself later, which IMO invalidates whatever happened when the first ruling was made and also threatens in-setting and in-campaign consistency.

Some people can shrug about that sort of thing when done rarely, but at some point it also starts to erode the ability of players to expect they have, well, any bloody idea how something will play out because the rules change so often on the fly.

* - better yet is that the DM has seen the problem coming ahead of time and already fixed the issue, but no DM can foresee everything.
Its particularly unlikely to be foreseen when its the interaction of a couple different rules that normally don't interact.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If that's sufficient. I've seen such things end up having knock-on effects that would have required considering other parts of a game system than the ones at hand. This is less likely with something really narrow of course.

Some people can shrug about that sort of thing when done rarely, but at some point it also starts to erode the ability of players to expect they have, well, any bloody idea how something will play out because the rules change so often on the fly.
That's just it - any given thing should only ever have to change once, whether on the fly or by any other means, after which it's locked in for that campaign.
Its particularly unlikely to be foreseen when its the interaction of a couple different rules that normally don't interact.
Truth be told, those ones aren't often much of an issue as one can (usually!) figure out what the two rules are trying to do and mesh them in a way that makes sense, or close enough.

The ones that can be a headache, and which are harder to see coming, are those situations for which no rule or guideline exists at all. IME Most of the time this comes via someone finding a creative out-of-the-box use for a spell, a use that the designers never considered.
 

That's just it - any given thing should only ever have to change once, whether on the fly or by any other means, after which it's locked in for that campaign.

Truth be told, those ones aren't often much of an issue as one can (usually!) figure out what the two rules are trying to do and mesh them in a way that makes sense, or close enough.

Unfortunately, I've seen cases where the unforeseen knock-ons were so bad that was just a nonstarter. Consistency would have been a cure worse than the disease there.

The ones that can be a headache, and which are harder to see coming, are those situations for which no rule or guideline exists at all. IME Most of the time this comes via someone finding a creative out-of-the-box use for a spell, a use that the designers never considered.

Well, bluntly, that tends to be less of a problem when you have a game system that has a common way it tends to approach things than one where there's a bunch of semi-independent rules.
 

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