thread: 2010-02-23 : Can your brains just do it?

On 2010-02-23, sneJ wrote:

I understand your point, but an entirely valid objection is that you've entirely sidestepped the issue of how to arbitrate "what you hoped for" and "what the GM offers you" (not to mention "what the weapon is ideal/good/lousy for") against what the opposite party thinks is reasonable.

A reducto ad absurdum is when I claim that my peashooter is an ideal anti-tank weapon and should be able to blow it up. Or if the GM says that a club is lousy against leather armor because it's not pointy.

It doesn't even take silly or malicious players to break this. We might just not know the domain well enough to be able to say. If I'm playing Settlers Of Plymouth, I don't actually know what a 17th-century musket is capable of doing, whereas the author of the game has probably done the research and can include some reasonable numbers in the rules.

I firmly believe that an RPG is like playing make-believe as a kid, except that when you and your friends disagree you can consult rules instead of hitting each other. (And the rules can either give the answer or provide a framework for compromising.) The Guns 'N' Stuff mechanic doesn't provide adequate rules if the players aren't already able to negotiate the meta-issues of handling disagreements about physical consequences.

Me, I long ago got over teenage kicks like memorizing the minutae of AD&D weapon tables, but I do want to have a rough feel for how the game world works, and whether a mook carrying Weapon X is capable of taking me out in one round of combat or just mussing my hairdo. (Or the opposite, if I'm the one with Weapon X.)

Again, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, just saying that your answer isn't valid for all types of games or gamers.


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