Fluffing the Crunch

After listening to Delve 112 I found myself feeling a bit wound up, not by the boys I hasten to add, but by the entitled attitude that I keep coming across in some game circles.

Alex’s borrowed example of the peasant’s railgun illustrates exactly what I don’t like about some games.  There are players who seem to think that the rules are there as a two-part challenge to them.  Part one, exploit the heck out of them in any smart-arsed way possible.

E.g.

The rule defines falling as “…moving closer to and in the general direction of the centre of the planet.”  Ok then, in that case, my PC throws himself forwards and parallel to the ground.  Now, as he isn’t moving in the general direction of the centre of the planet, he can’t be falling because falling is clearly defined as requiring that “planet centre” movement.  If he isn’t falling then there can be no movement towards the centre of the planet because that would mean he was falling, and we know he isn’t, so he will remain moving in a forwards motion, which we can fairly define as flying . . .  So my level 12 unholy-warrior-knight can now fly, whenever he wants to.  It’s in the rules.

Part two, complain when a rule isn’t as absolutely verisimilitudinous.

E.g.

Moan and complain and whinge because the rule for hit point progression is illogical because it allows hit points to increase in a proportionate way compared to the PCs SRTENGH stat when there is no actual evidence that a stronger person can take any more damage than a weaker one.  Then, contact the actual writer and designer of a game because there is no definition, anywhere in the whole book, that clearly defines what a hand axe is!  Is it an axe the size of a hand, if so, whose hand, and does that hand still belong to a sentient being?  Is it hand shaped?  Can it only be used for removing hands?

The irony of this situation is completely lost on the player in question.  They are, at the one time, exploiting gaps in the rule for their own gain but them ripping apart the game when a gap bothers them.

I am firmly placed in the “Rules are there so the GM can ask players to look shit up and She/he can get on with the real skill of shaping a story out of the clay of imagination that the GM digs out of the players’ fertile minds.” camp.

No rule should ever cost a GM the reality they have spent years crafting and no rule should let players do something which simply doest fit the current game world.

Whatever happened to the joy of house-rules, of everyone agreeing that a certain bit of a game doesn’t fit what you want, so you just change it.  No need to alert the social network sphere, no need to form a Facebook group so like minded pedants and peddlers from all over the world can stand together.  Certainly no need to take the designer or writer or developer to task because they dared to put out a game which requires players to think for themselves sometimes.

Crunch?  Who cares.  Fluff?  Isn’t that just your ideas and the story.  How about this.  Don’t be a rule-miner, a Munchkin, a Grognard, a Dice-Mechanic, the Pedant or the Prat.  Just be you, pretending to be someone else, and have fun.

Moan over.

Peace!

Dom

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