thread: 2009-12-18 : Seed content

On 2010-01-06, Joel wrote:

I can't speak for ThoughtBubble's experience, but I can speak for mine: sure, in D&D you "can" do long-term spying, and you "can" do messed-up family relationships, and you "can" do rivalries. But the rules aren't necessarily going to help you. If you hit a fictional thing that the rules don't help you resolve, then you're basically just powering through on the strengths of the participants. In that case strong participants = strong play experience, and weak participants = weak play experience. If rules function as a tool to strengthen your play, then strong participants + strong rules = really awesome play experience, and weak participants + strong rules = well, at least a stronger experience than they would have otherwise had.

Personally I'm more satisfied with play if the rules in use do something interesting (not just adequately functional) with the material I'm jazzed about. Yeah, I and my friends can come up with stuff ourselves, but the rules are there to give us something we might not have come up with on our own. So if you're playing a game and all the interesting rules results are coming up in the area of say, "spellcasting," I'm going to be bummed that my, say, messed-up relationships aren't achieving the same "punch."

The "system" is the whole body of means by which play events are established (Vincent's "Lumpley Principle"). What we're looking at here, I think, whether the part of our System called "the rules of D&D" is interestingly supporting our fictional content, or whether it's essentially saying "Eh? Oh sure, you can have style rivalris, good luck with that!"


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