Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What do you have rules for?

Ponder this.

Imagine someone trying to roleplay, but discovering that it wasn't as fun as it could have been. Now, how about we create rules for you to "play it right", so it has to be fun. I mean, if the rules lay it down how to do to have fun it must be fun. Right?


How about you have rules that strengthen and enforce the theme of the game. Rules about what you do in the game. You don't have combat skills in your game, because that wont be what your game is about. Your game is about baking pie. That's what you need rules for.

How about that?


  1. The key rule for almost any system is the one that says "These rules are just a suggestion, feel free to change them as you need to for your group". Because it acknowledges that people like different things about different systems, and basically flat out says "these are meant to be a guide, not the hard and fast way to do it".

    As for the other thing, a lot of systems already do that. If combat isn't supposed to be a huge deal, then just have one skill for it. Or less skills for it. Combat or "Ranged Combat" and "Melee Combat". Then for what your game is all about (in this case, making pies) you have all sorts of other skills. Art: Cooking (Baking), Dough Making, Filling selection, etc.

    You would also then have to work out the pie making for it to be the core mechanic for the game as well obviously. It can be done though.

  2. I think I follow you, Eye. Instituting rules that govern "fun" are self-defeating because "fun" is subjective. Fun should be a side-effect of gaming, not the actual object of the game.

  3. If I am going to play a game about making pie, I wouldn't have fun if there wasn't a rule that defined exactly what was pie and what constituted a baked pie. Or, how much fun can you have at a knife fight if someone shows up with a gun?

  4. Imagine someone showing up with a pie...

    Now, there's a lot of talk about having less room to make room for player skill. Sometimes having rules for things is fun. Having rules to have fun, is more problematic.

    I'll post more about that tomorrow.


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