Would You Rather Maintain Campaign Theme or Win?

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Would you avoid glitches to support the simulation, or would you use every tool available to win?
If we define “glitches” (aka “exploits”) in TTRPGs as extant game mechanics that- when pushed to their utmost logical limits (especially in ways that beings in the campaign world without knowledge to the rules of the game)- generates unforeseen and unintended results, then I would have to say I would tend to avoid them. I never did the Bag of Rats trick. I never did a CoDzilla build, etc. That stuff didn’t interest me.

And FWIW, I never saw any of the players I gamed with for 18 years do anything similar. At least one of them was a math guy, so he probably saw the abuse potential before most of the others might have. We also had a couple of game programmers and serious online gamers in the group, so you’d expect them to see that stuff as well.

But the thing is, I don’t see the original post in this thread as presenting an exploit. There’s definite plusses and minuses to each ability presented.
 

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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
To be clear though, I wouldn't actually have a problem with this proposed setting taking an existing system, and starting with a disclaimer. Something like: "these spells are weird, rare magics from a dead tradition. Maybe you'll find their secrets in a lost tomb, but you can't learn them as a standard part of progression." The bit that I find problematic is pointedly handing a player agency and then frowning at them when they use it. Just change the rules, if you want the rules to be different.
I'd love to see that. The rule book says, "here's a cool spell, but you can't use it." What? Why? Why is it in the book? I want to know! It's mysterious.

Handing out agency and then frowning on its use is a bit like real life, so players should be used to it. See: law enforcement and religion.

But the thing is, I don’t see the original post in this thread as presenting an exploit. There’s definite plusses and minuses to each ability presented.
Good catch. The OP just presented one example of the bigger question, and the Stun spell isn't game-breaking, compared to Fire. I used it as an example because I've always imagined Stun as a badwrongfun spell, although I have yet to see it used as such.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Handing out agency and then frowning on its use is a bit like real life, so players should be used to it. See: law enforcement and religion.
Hear hear! :)
Good catch. The OP just presented one example of the bigger question, and the Stun spell isn't game-breaking, compared to Fire. I used it as an example because I've always imagined Stun as a badwrongfun spell, although I have yet to see it used as such.
To the bolded: why, if I may ask?
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
To the bolded: why, if I may ask?
Stun 2 attacks an attribute for which most NPCs, or the average NPC, has no defense (in Modos RPG). Sounds like a game-breaker, right? There are two points that assuage my fears: as a 2nd level spell, it requires 2 actions to cast. This means that 1) it can't be cast as a reaction, and 2) a typical character with 3 actions per round can cast it only once per round (Fire 1 can theoretically be cast 3/round). This could slow the onslaught of Stuns down to a reasonable level. Second, taking max damage, or becoming Disabled, in Mental is slightly different than taking max Physical damage. With Mental, you're Unconscious, similar to a coma or serious...concussion? With Physical, you're Mostly Dead. This is where someone looking at you wrong could kill you (even with Iocane powder). But as we learned from the Matrix, the body cannot live without the mind, so maybe I have an unfair bias toward Unconscious.

Stun 2 would be bread-and-butter for a psionics-friendly campaign, and many opponents would likely have Mental protection or elevated Mental health. Heck, the tables might be turned, and no one would wear Physical protection because, I don't know, lightsabers cut right through it. Suddenly, Fire 1 looks like a great spell, and the question becomes: in a world where psychic combat is the norm and most psionic warriors fight with their Stun 2 skill, would you break ranks and optimize your Fire 1 since you know (metagame?) that most psionic warriors have no Physical protection?
 

aramis erak

Legend
I'd love to see that. The rule book says, "here's a cool spell, but you can't use it." What? Why? Why is it in the book? I want to know! It's mysterious.

Handing out agency and then frowning on its use is a bit like real life, so players should be used to it. See: law enforcement and religion.


Good catch. The OP just presented one example of the bigger question, and the Stun spell isn't game-breaking, compared to Fire. I used it as an example because I've always imagined Stun as a badwrongfun spell, although I have yet to see it used as such.
Not a few games have spells that are restricted by character type. If you're playing D&D as a wizard, you can't take Cure Light Wounds. Nor any spell as a fighter or thief (except for the semi-caster subclasss) in 5th ed.

The texture of magic is in the restrictions.
 

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