[rescue] Perverse Question

Phil Stracchino alaric at caerllewys.net
Wed Jun 11 18:44:58 CDT 2003

On Wed, Jun 11, 2003 at 04:08:28PM -0700, N.Miller wrote:
> That sounds about right, except that there is a girl involved. ;-)  
> Both are reasons that I don't actually play D&D.  But it's mostly 
> because of too much rolling of dice instead of role-playing.  I don't 
> so much mind the no females issue so long as the male geeks are of 
> high(?--er, more geek than nerd, I guess) quality.

Well, that's where the difference between role-playing and rule-playing
comes in.  I've been in campaigns where we all played fast and loose
with the rules and used them to support the action that was actually
going on, in a group of players where we actually threw out major
sections of the rules because they SUCKED as far as gameplay and
internal consistenty, and wrote our own.  We almost totally rewrote the
magic and combat systems and about thirty rule tables just went Poof!
We didn't need them any more because you could do the math in your head.
And it was GREAT.  It rocked all known ass.

On the other hand, I've played -- once -- with a GM who never missed an
opportunity to twist what his players said they were doing to totally
screw and, if possible, kill off the players.  And I never actually
really got started in one MEMORABLY anal play-by-email RPG, must be
fifteen years ago now, where I spent ten days just trying to get
approval to run a 1/1/1 multiclass character, because most of the people
running the game couldn't conceive of a player having any independent
ideas that didn't coincide with their preplanned idea of how the story
was going to go.  You know -- the "players are puppets, we'll tell you
what to do, say and think" type.  I bailed after ten days of trying
because I could already see the foot-high writing on the wall in blood
that said, "This game is going to suck wet farts out of dead pigeons."

Somewhere fairly early in the old first edition Dungeon Master's Guide,
lurked the most important rule in the entire damn game.  It said
something to the effect of, "You, the GM, are the final authority.  You
are free to use, ignore or adapt any or all of these rules to the needs
of your game as you see fit." And never have I seen any "rule" so widely
ignored by bureaucrat GMs who will shuffle paper for ten minutes in the
middle of a combat just to be certain they're slavishly following every
letter of every rule, and who will without fail roll encounter dice for
every ten minutes of a four-day hike from one town to the next just to
make sure they don't accidentally miss deploying one wandering gnoll.


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