Don't Stop the Action to visit the Reference Library

twiggyleaf
twiggyleaf
edited April 2017 in General Discussion

Sound Advice:  No need to stop the action every time...

Sometimes you have to just make a decision and not always interrupt the game to check on the rules, thus slowing down play.  When taking this decision, I would argue that the points raised by Bill Webb below are very useful to bear in mind:

From the essay "Knowing the Rules v Mastering the Game" by Bill Webb (Kobold Guide to Gamemastering C 2017 Open Design - Editor: Sean K Reynolds, p96):

"The real key to making a ruling without truly understanding the rules for a particular situation is to ask yourself five questions related to the ruling:

1. Does it make sense?

2. Is it fair?

3. How much does it matter?

4. Does it radically change the campaign?

5. Does it add to the fun of the group?"

Find all Kobold Press titles at www.koboldpress.com

 

Post edited by twiggyleaf on

"I met a traveller from an antique land....."

CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

Inner Council Member

Comments

  • Jim_Mount
    Jim_Mount
    Posts: 162

    I've been meaning to pick that book up. I'm a recovering rules lawyer who used to grind the game to a halt whenever the 3.5/Pathfinder grapple or counterspelling rules came into play. Now I sort of just handwave them into simple opposed checks.

    I think the main thing is to find the balance between challenging the players and making them feel badass. Part and parcel with this is a rule I adapted from WFF, where if the battle is already pretty much decided, the players can dispatch their foes in imaginative, outside-the-rules, badass ways ala Mortal Combat. The players LOVE this. It helps to reward the grind of combat with something even more tangible than "treasure." With one deciding roll, a player gets to say, "I took down the orc chief by prying out his spine and chain-whipping him with it to a mulch!"

    That kind of thing means a lot to players. laugh

     

  • alex_redeye
    alex_redeye
    Posts: 85

    I learn systems as best as I am able, and keep on working to learn them as games progress.  As time goes on there are less and less rules I would even need to check on, and I have no qualms handwaving and making a on the spot decision about something.  I have an understanding with my troupe that I will do this to preserve game pacing but will endeavor to try and learn the rules for something for next time it comes up in these cases, and once I do we will use the correct systems.

     

    Works well enough.

    -Red

    Campaigns: Dragon Age: Requiem

  • abu_is_evil
    abu_is_evil
    Posts: 168

    I used to be a rule lawyer, and play with a few of them.  We sat down a while ago and agreed to let the little things go- and it has made a world of difference in our games.

    Just trying to help out.

  • Johnprime
    Johnprime
    Posts: 252 edited April 2017

    For a while I've agreed with the let the little things go, hand waving minor situations, especially for really minor things, but some of the members of my group don't seem to be too interested in that kind of game mechanic. But I do use it when running my games.

    For instance, you've got a big battle going and a foe or player wants to step into a space where there is a defeated (dead, unconscious, etc) foe laying on the ground. Most of the other GMs want the player to make some kind of Acrobatic type roll, me I just make it cost an extra point of movement and wave the roll.

    Or, they were driving somewhere in one of my games, and the players were concerned that their drive skill wasn't high enough. I told them, as long as they weren't in some kind of high speed chase, I wouldn't make them roll as normal driving is easy enough for them to do.

    Post edited by Johnprime on

    Johnprime

    Deadwood Deacon Banner

    Where the west is really wild!

    The Valley of Life Banner

    The Valley of Life

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,700

    Slowing down the game to check for rules can be a real bummer at times.  We have an understanding that at times I will just "RULE" on something ..... and we can discuss mechanics and written rules afterwards.  If I was "wrong" I would usually compensate the player in some way, rather than backtrack.  However, if character death is an issue, I always stop to allow rules to be discussed.  It seems only fair.

    Thanks for your opinions, Jim_Mount, alex_redeye, abu_is_evil and Johnprme.

     

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • B1tF0x
    B1tF0x
    Posts: 27

    I checked on this thread out of curiosity and sorry to make light of a serious problem but you all sound like you got surprised by an Alchoholics Intervention. 

     

    I myself am obsessive when it comes to detail in any world i'm a part of. (despite my many faults and THERE ARE A LOT) I often find myself badgering the GM with little details and observations about the world (when i notice them i am not perfect) My Human Bard pretty much fleshed out the desert area's single handedly because the gm didn't really think much of it at the time (understandable) 

    Ive never actually GM but I am a stickler to rules and if I think something's off ill usually bring it up (often i'm wrong but still XD)  

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,700 edited April 2017

    Hi B1tF0x

    The book is excellent and has many different essays offering much advice on all manner of subjects.  I chose the section posted at the beginning, because, after playing RPGs since 1982, I do find that rules of the game add up and up and up until eventually nobody can remember them all.  Since constant rule reference can take time and cuts into the actual game play, I found these guidelines quite helpful.  Some of them may seem obvious, but I'm sure they will be pointers for some.  I, of course, in no way ever meant to suggest that rules should be disregarded.   wink

     

    Post edited by twiggyleaf on

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

Sign In or Register to comment.

Star Wars - Das Erbe der Jedi-Ritter is September's Campaign of the Month!

Read the feature post on the blog!
Or return to Obsidian Portal!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Discussions