More detail or more role-playing?

Dr Zaius

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Do you prefer role-playing systems with loads of detail and tons of options, or relatively simple rules systems?
 

Aries

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That's not an easy answer actually Don.

I have found, if the DM sucks, the game design is not relevant.

Generally I find the game needs a minimum of detail, but the more detail that is "optional" (a dumber word has never been applied to rolegaming hehe), the more likely the game will become bogged down and prone to stunting imagination.

Ideally I think it is best to have well designed "systems" for how to resolve user created material, rather than reams of pre made material that is just used by the players.

For instance, D&D 3.5 has likely the most developed magic in all of rolegaming. But I would rather use the approach that Alternity designed in its supplement Beyond FX. It gives a chart, and the player essentially can build any magic they can dream up, and the chart tells them how difficult it will be to employ it within the game. What that allows, is for magic to always be fresh unheard of and unique. Because it gets tiring hearing players say "well we know his level now, based on how that spell functioned just now".
 

Earthpig

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That's not an easy answer actually Don.

I have found, if the DM sucks, the game design is not relevant.

.
I fully agree with this statement. but I prefer "ROLE PLAYING" over "RULE PLAYING" any day. I, as a DM, Ref etc. try to do the story line more than follow the letter of the rules.:smoke:
 

Aries

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Ya know, RULE playing, I like that one, it says a great deal in it's own way too.

Because sometimes the guys also forget, the objective of nonwargamey non rollgamey rolegaming, is to have fun, and do the incredibly unlikely with one's totally unlikely paper person. But this sometimes requires that we just bow to the imagination of the guy running the game, and not obsessing over whether the guy has crossed the "t"s and dotted the "i"s and made sure that every last number has been crunched.

The other night at our game for instance, we had a fight where we got this giant completely flat footed with a spell effect. We transposed him with a player, the player became where the giant was, and the giant ended up where he was. In this case, he was suddenly on our boat surrounded by us, and our player friend was suddenly in the middle of his orc flunkies. Sounds bad till you realize the orcs coudn't hope to hurt him.
The guys didn't want to let me get the benefit of my intimidation skill, but, odds are by the numbers it wouldn't have worked. I decided though, I was going to speak to the giant in giant language anyway. "You are so totally screwed buddy" I spoke to him. I'm a half ogre grappler by the way. I have a sworn vow of poverty etc etc etc. Anyway, the giant had initiative, he belts me for 12 points, I smile at him "that's going to cost you now". I grappled him, he was wearing full plate, he was no challenge, I inflicted a fair amount of damage, but, with prepared spells, and the fact he was basically unable to defend himself, the group just tore into him.
He didn't last long by the way :)

We have also dispensed with certain aspects of criticals. But it works both ways, if you can't get them, they can't get you.

We often come out of most fights based on some notion the group cooked up over a period of minutes. It's likely that a lot of our "successes" likely bent or mangled rules at some point though. But, the key is the group had fun.

None of our game sessions would ever be recreatable on a computer version though.
 

Sgt. Oddball

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I too am old school and prefer role playing. I opted out of 3.5 because the system is just too rules heavy and has become a mini tactical game loaded with too many special traits.
I switched over to Gary Gygax's "Lejendary Adventures" for my prefered RPG system: elegant yet simple. Now, to find the time and a good group of guys to play it.
 

Aries

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Finding time is easy, it's all about what is really important to you. If you never find the time, then it was never actually important to you.

Now the good group of guys, that's tricky, because they might be yer friends, and they might have the time, but, they might suck as rolegamers :)
 

Dion

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Role playing vs. rule playing. Another way of looking at it is role playing vs. roll playing. Yaba for role playing. That's why I don't like miniatures, they evoke in me the vision of facing, area of effects, and other aspects of geometry. I think they enforce rule lawyering, as a result they destroy the role playing experience. :freak: Though if your fortunate to have a great DM minitures are great, for a great DM won't allow minitures to overshadow the game, thus leaving the outstanding asspects of role playing in effect. Having a great DM will make any role playing game great (with or with out heavy rules).
 
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Leftie

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It's been a long time since I have actually been able to play a tabletop RPG but I always thought of RPGs as being about the journey, not the destination. With a good DM, your adventures are almost like a movie or your favorite book. Every kid has read a book before and wanted to be the main character. Wanted to go on adventures and do things that he knows could never happen in real life.




Ben
 

jwb3

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Coming soon, D&D4 yes you read that correctly, D&D4 the 4th edition.
...
Hooofrigginray ... not
Quote from that site: "In the lead-up to the official unveiling, Wizards of the Coast will be releasing two Fourth Edition "preview books" in December and January, titled Wizards Presents: Classes and Races, and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters."

See now, if they'd just not gotten rid of Dragon Magazine, they wouldn't need to print special books to preview the new edition... :angry:

Aries, I take it you aren't thrilled with getting yet another new edition of D&D? It will be interesting to see what my friends who all decided 3rd Edition was not to their tastes think about 4th Edition.

This assumes, of course, that any of us can be bothered to buy 4th Edition...


John
 

M Faulkner

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Quote from that site: "In the lead-up to the official unveiling, Wizards of the Coast will be releasing two Fourth Edition "preview books" in December and January, titled Wizards Presents: Classes and Races, and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters."

See now, if they'd just not gotten rid of Dragon Magazine, they wouldn't need to print special books to preview the new edition... :angry:

Aries, I take it you aren't thrilled with getting yet another new edition of D&D? It will be interesting to see what my friends who all decided 3rd Edition was not to their tastes think about 4th Edition.

This assumes, of course, that any of us can be bothered to buy 4th Edition...
John


I doubt I will. I kinda like 3.5. Won't be spending too much time on 4th edition.
 

Aries

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During the height of the Saga system (which if I am not mistaken is dead as hell these days), I went and turfed all my books (had an awesome 2nd edition collection and a lot of Forgotten Realms stuff).

Sadly about a year later I find out 3.0 is on the scene, and all my books are now expensive collectors items hehe.

Oh well, my buddies sure enjoyed getting stuff at 5 bucks a book.

I thought Saga was the ultimate (for those that missed it, Saga used cards and no dice). I was wrong, the design was flawed. You simply can't eliminate the ability to roll a 1 or a 20, and result in dismal automatic failure or impressive automatic success (depending on the game, the 1 and 20 can be swapped eh).

So I needed a new game. I picked Alternity.
Still a great game, alas, they dumped it for another licensed product errrrr.
But, I have not bought 3.0 nor 3.5, and while the current state of book making is much superior to the state of book making in 2nd edition (where books fell apart at record speed), I am just not into being repeatedly milked (see my very long rant in another thread hehe).

So, while 4th might be the ultimate experience, I will only be playing it via someone else's books.

I own 3 Alternity books, and the nice thing with Alternity, is the design is so perfect you can write up your own settings variations with your eyes closed.
I have made an essentially cloned D&D like setting for my Alternity game, and barely broke sweat doing so.
So it's really not relevant the series got dumped while it was supposedly in the top selling position. I've never needed more than the Players, Game Masters and Beyond Science manuals. Anyone unable to run a game with just that, has a critical shortage of imagination, and likely sucks as a DM :)

But I got a great discussion over at an old friend's place yesterday discussing the whole matter. He's a 2nd edition fan, has 3 core books from 3.5 and agrees this is going to make a lot of hate mail hehe.
1st edition survived as a product about 10 years. 2nd edition survived about 10 years, 3.0 survived mere months, and 3.5 is now being considered for replacement in under 5 years.
I think they are just getting good at replacing things if you ask me.

Retailers will decide if this idea of 4th edition idea dies or not I guess. They won't appreciate their stock being made bargain bin junk.
 
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