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no option to add dice with requested rolls

Started by Paul Czege, May 07, 2002, 05:20:38 AM

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Paul Czege

Hey James V.,

I was glad to see your recent posts clarifying the location of the official rules. Now upon reading them, I have a question. Can you explain your design rationale for this rule:

"If you requested a die roll and rolled successfully, you do not get the option of adding dice to your Pool. You must make a MoV."

I distinctly recall the requested Trait roll being discussed as a way for players to get dice back into their pools. What made you ditch that notion?

It appears you've decided the "add two dice" rule mitigates against players bottoming out their pools, so you've ruled against players adding dice to their pools for requested Trait rolls to make them an Authorial/Directorial tool for the player. Is that it? I'm not sure how I feel about it one way or another, but I'm curious, has anyone played it this way? How did it go?

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans

Ron Edwards

Hi James,

I guess I just do not see the point of most of these weird "player-requested" vs. "GM-called" roll distinctions.

A Pool roll is a Pool roll. Why not use the plain old Pool rules for any roll? GM calls for it, player requests it, what's the big fuckin' difference?

You succeed: take an MoV or get a new Pool die
You fail: GM narrates, you lose any gambled dice

I am totally puzzled by any and all distinctions between the processes depending on who calls for the roll. It makes no sense to me at all, and as far as I can tell, it's disastrous during play.


James V. West

Hey folks

The current version of the rules have been written for quite a while now and they do differ in some areas from the original rules.

I think the reason I made the rule you guys are referring to was to discourage people from asking for die rolls willy-nilly just to get dice back in there pool. However, that's probably a reaction based on the assumption that people who play this game would do that. After playing it some more myself and hearing many comments I certainly don't see the need for it anymore either. Frankly, its kind of stupid--so don't hold back there guys! Let me have it! Its a dumbass rule.

In case you're wondering, this is why stuff like this has come up:

1. James writes The Pool one night for fun and posts about it at No one seems interested. James likes the game, then goes on with other projects.

2. A few people email James about The Pool.

3. Ron Edwards reviews The Pool. More people show interest. James gets self-conscious (he wrote it in one night, after all! it must be horrid!), so he re-writes the game, overcompensating for his own self-conscious perception that, well, it sucks.

4. The new changes are no good. Re-write.

5. The re-write is impossible to understand. Re-write. Lose some of that nutty jargon.

6. James begins to slowly realize after playing the game and listening to the comments of those who have played it that he should have just left well enough alone and stuck with the first draft (except for 2-die award, which he feels is totally appropriate and necessary).

And that brings us up to date.

Henry Fitch

Okay, cool. This is stuff I need to know, seeing as I plan to actually play this pretty soon.

So, where's a link to the first draft?
formerly known as Winged Coyote

Ron Edwards

Hi James,

I recommend that the game needs a from-the-ground-up rewrite, with an emphasis on short and clear.

1) The original rules which I reviewed are probably the best. The only revision I'd accept, speaking as a very experienced player and GM of The Pool, is the two-dice gain.

2) All rolls should be alike, no matter who calls for them. No special rules at all about MoV or not, etc.

3) All the language of the original draft should be changed to reflect a less adversarial relationship between GM and players. You did change most of this for the later drafts, but all those rules changes (which I still don't understand, and definitely dislike) got in there too.

So, in sum, old rules and new prose would be best.


Blake Hutchins

I still like the Monologue of Defeat and vote it should be included, but that's my only comment.



James V. West

Good advice, Ron. I was planning on including The Pool in the hardcopy version of TQB to the tune of one page or two.

There is no link to the original version of The Pool. Ron alluded to the language of the originial being very pro-GM-power, which is not good for the way people who've never played it might interpret things. I don't ever plan on making that version public again.

The Monologue of Defeat belongs with TQB, but I don't want to put it into the rules for The Pool. Most people who know about TP know about TQB as well, so using those rules as an alternative should be intuitive enough without having to alter the original.