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Author Topic: [General theory] How RPG rules work  (Read 1888 times)

Posts: 221

Fresno, California

« on: January 18, 2005, 02:12:58 PM »

Vincent began an interesting discussion on his blog, here about how RPG rules work.  [The direct link is down, the post is dated 01/18/2005.]  He laid out his premises very clearly (and even uses pretty pictures to make it all very clear.)

What's there looks like ground work and seems disconnected from the last few days of discussion.  So I'm asking-- Vincent, what are you laying groundwork for?  

[Sidenote: the topic seems tangentially related to Robin Laws' most recent article, titled Make it a Gimme. Robin's article is about when dice contribute positively to a game.]

Hey, I'm Scott Martin. I sometimes scribble over on my blog, llamafodder. Some good threads are here: RPG styles.
Per Fischer

Posts: 203

« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2005, 05:01:22 PM »

I might have misunderstood, but I see Vincent's latest "this-is-how-it-all-works" post complete with drawings and arrows and all as very much in tune with the latest discussions on his blog. In fact, I find the How RPG Rules Work entry very inspiring and helping to visualize what is happening.

IMO Anyway is the most refreshing RPG-input out there and I am all ears when Vincent is talking rpg design and rules, especially because I want to be able to (or at least better at) quickly describe the concepts of roleplaying to people who have no idea or only have the "It's Dungeons & Dragons isn't it?" approach, and this kind of groundwork is really helpful.

My agenda is to introduce adults to roleplaying (ie actually playing) with very clear concepts and descriptions - Anyway is a good source in that respect :)

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2005, 05:11:12 PM »

Hi folks,

Probably the greatest setback to folks discussing roleplaying is the tendency for people to get caught in debating the imagined material as the source of problems or fun in the actual act of gaming.  "No, no, no, you can't really have fun unless Elves' ears are 2.42 inches long from the skull..."  Debating the reality or worth of imagined elements detracts and covers the real issues- the social interactions between people and the handling of formal mechanics that dictate how those social interactions work(often managed through the use of Tokens).  Vincent's chart is a great way to point out the differences in the issues in a clear fashion.

It's also interesting to see how if you eliminate or minimize the use of Tokens, people either become more or less aware of the actual rules being used by the group, depending on their individual social awareness.

Posts: 3453

« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2005, 07:33:42 AM »

I'm not really laying the groundwork for anything - I'm not that organized. I'm just laying groundwork in general.

"How RPG rules work" is my bridge between "group consensus is all there is" and "system does matter."

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