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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Yup. Especially bad are Kevin Siembieda (Palladium/Rifts), Erick Wujcik (Amber DRPG & Paranoia, but also cofounder of Palladium) and Luke Crane (Burning Wheel).
    World of Darkness is pretty bad too - where they basically say if you're not playing with enough angst you're not doing it right.
    Last edited by CharonsHelper; 2018-02-10 at 12:31 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    For what it's worth THAC0 and roll-under ability checks are not really different mechanics. Or rather: they are different only in the sense that THAC0 and 3e style attack rolls are different. All These mechanics conform to the 3e core mechanic: 1d20 + modifieres compared to a DC. THAC0 and roll-under just obfuscating this.

    Percentile thief skills are different because they are more granular. Ambush rolls are less granular.

    Concerning ambushes: thats not true, from what I remember. There is a baseline for ambushes (ambush happens on 1-3 on d10, iirc). Then there are creatures that are better at ambushes. Usually this is confusingly described in absolutes ("Tigers ambush their prey on 1-2 on d10..."). Then there are creatures that are apt in avoiding ambushes, also confusingly described in absolutes ("Halflings are only abushed on 6-10 on a d10..."). Ignoring the confusing description those are just modifiers to the baseline DC of 3: if a Tiger wants to ambush an Halfling a roll of 3 + 3 (Halflings "ambush spotting" skill) - 1 (Tigers "ambusher" skill) = 5 on a d10 is needed.
    So wait, ambushes happen on a 1-3 normally, tigers are better at ambushes so they ambush on a 1-2? Halflings are better at avoiding ambushes so they only get abushed on a 6-10? And if a tiger trys to ambush a Halfling it happens on a 5?
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    That not only sounds like a potential nightmare to play due to nested table syndrome, but it would be an enormous pain to develop creatures for. The greatest strength of a tabletop RPG is the ease in which you can develop new content, and needing that level of detail for the new monster you've invented would be unpleasant.
    I've never had a problem with nested table syndrome, only when the tables were in 6 different places in the book. I would appreciate it if the relevant tables were all in the same damn place so I could just flip to the "tables" section.


    I like the idea of a system that is both detailed and not HP based. HP systems always feel wrong, and I also desire a sufficient level of damage granularity somewhere between "alive" and "dead".

    I also think that if a supply of stock tables were provided then it wouldn't be an issue to stick as many arms as you wanted onto your critter. 99% of my enemies are humanoids with armor and weapons anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guizonde View Post
    dark heresy, perhaps you're right. lordcmdrmilitant will know more about that, they seemed pretty knowledgeable about that system from previous posts. i only rifled through the rulebook, and i'm currently playing rogue trader. the stats for hellguns and autos are legit for rogue. the low low bar for jams comes from whfrp2e, and that i know due to unfortunate circumstances. in rogue trader, the dm pulled out the rulebook due to the table's disbelief at the natural one mechanic. it's a short paragraph but it's in there, and the silliness is too good to pass up. might be an alternate rule, but i remember reading "natural 1 = automatic success no matter the degrees of success".

    finally, the "+2/-2" mechanic is indeed a houserule for my pathfinder game, and it works great, or should i say a lot better than pf's usual nat1 failure mechanics. i was throwing it out there so other people might benefit from it.

    i realize mixing up 4 systems together in the same post was very unclear, my bad.
    I might. I've run 3 major Dark Heresy campaigns, am currently running a Deathwatch campaign, and will likely run Black Crusade for next year's campaign. I'm also playing in a Rogue Trade game, and have played Deathwatch before. I have a fairly good handle on the rules, but when in doubt I generally defer to the tabletop over the RPG.

    I use the codex as a Monster Manual, and am pretty good at converting a real 40k statblock into a DH statblock.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Yup. Especially bad are Kevin Siembieda (Palladium/Rifts), Erick Wujcik (Amber DRPG & Paranoia, but also cofounder of Palladium) and Luke Crane (Burning Wheel).

    Siembieda and Wujcik occasionally approach Forge-level talking down. Crane is a product of the Forge, so it's hardly surprising in his case.
    *Shrugs*

    I don't really have a problem with that. When I actually sit down and write rules, they have a certain purpose beyond being mere resolution mechanics. They are there for people who want to play _my_ game as _I_ present it. You want to play D&D with Warhammer? Your problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Random NPC View Post
    So wait, ambushes happen on a 1-3 normally, tigers are better at ambushes so they ambush on a 1-2? Halflings are better at avoiding ambushes so they only get abushed on a 6-10? And if a tiger trys to ambush a Halfling it happens on a 5?
    Ah, I got it backwards. Sorry

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    *Shrugs*

    I don't really have a problem with that. When I actually sit down and write rules, they have a certain purpose beyond being mere resolution mechanics. They are there for people who want to play _my_ game as _I_ present it. You want to play D&D with Warhammer? Your problem.
    Sure. It's their game, they can put what they want in it. It just means I'll never pay good money for their products. I don't want to support their elitist and toxic One True Way-ism attitudes toward role playing.

    Edit: in the case of Siembieda, it was support any more. He sure made his money off me in Robotech and the initial Rifts books in the 80s and early 90s, before he started sticking his rants in his books.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2018-02-10 at 12:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Ah, I got it backwards. Sorry
    I still don't understand, do tigers ambush on a 1-4 and Halflings get ambushed on a 0? Or are Halflings the easily ambushed ones?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    World of Darkness is pretty bad too - where they basically say if you're not playing with enough angst you're not doing it right.
    God so much this...I read a couple of their books and could feel my blood pressure rising. OK Pretentious Pants, I get that you think only WoD does RPGs properly but please stop rubbing my face in it.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quertius asked some great questions, which I've tried to answer fully and in good faith. So it's kind of long.

    We disagree about role-playing, and that's fine. I'm not trying to convert anyone to my views, just explain what they are and where our differences come from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    One of my "ideal" character creation methods would be to write "Quertus - Wizard" on my sheet, and be done. The sheet is the mechanics, not the character - how much does a starting character need for mechanics?
    He needs, well, a character. You may know what character you intend to play, and how that character fits into this particular DM's world at this particular moment, but that information is not contained in "Quertus - Wizard".

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    What, exactly, would you like to see here?
    Step one for me is to read the DM's introduction to the scenario. If she hasn't written one, then I tend to pester her with questions by email for a couple of days. When I start to get a handle on the part of the world the PCs come from, I start asking myself what character that fits in that culture would be fun to play. There's no point designing a wyvern hunter if the continent has no wyverns, or an anti-slavery paladin in a world with no slaves. So I share each idea I have for the character with the DM.

    As I start feeling my way towards a character idea, his abilities and equipment become more clear. A nobleman who is a spy/assassin has social skills and thin, easily hidden blades that a warrior wouldn't bother with.

    By the time I'm finished, I have a clear idea of who the character is, what he wants, how he acts, and how he fits into this part of this DM's world.

    I repeat - the result of a "fast" character generation isn't a character; its a set of abilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Keep in mind, last time we let The Creator try to add mechanics for role-playing, we got alignment
    Alignment didn't come from the creator of role-playing games. It came from Gygax, not Arneson. Gygax got the lion's share of the credit, and won most of the arguments about the rules, because he was the only one who could type, not because he created role-playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Ya know, when I go for a drop in game of Monopoly, I really don't want to spend 4 years getting a masters degree in "this guy's house rules" - I want to just be able to play the danged game.
    Your analogy isn't analogous. Every game of Monopoly is based on the exact same layout of Atlantic City's streets. You are not exploring in a world designed by the banker.

    Playing the danged game is exactly and precisely synonymous with exploring the DM's imagination. Even if there were a single set of rules that was right for every single world, and even if there were universal agreement on which rulebooks would be included and which version of which game would be played, exploring the mind of the DM is what we're doing.

    "Any player knows the rules. A good player knows the extensions. A great player knows the DM."

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    When I bring my Magic deck over to someone's house, I don't expect to have to deal with different rulings for each of my (and their) cards than I'm used to - I expect things to just work.
    If I accepted the idea that we were playing a game like Magic just a tactical game of "defeat the bad guys" this argument might sway me. But in fact, I want my character to enter and explore an unknown world. It sounds like what I want in a fantasy game is exactly what you want to avoid.

    And there's nothing wrong with us having different goals. But if our goals in the game are that different, then of course our pet peeves will be equally different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Now, I have a MtG rule or two that I shove down everyone's throats - whether it's my house or not - to fix a part of the rules that "don't work" (at least not in a casual atmosphere - it "works" (as well as Mew-tew) in tournament level play).
    And this is exactly why I want the DM to be in charge. There are things that I think "don't work". On these discussion threads I've had people recommend to me character builds that appear to me to be deliberately taking two rules that were not written together to get an absurd result that no rules writer intended.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    So, I guess my question is, why would you want all the bad that comes with incompatible games, unknown rules, and "rule zero", when the problem you described could instead be solved at the group level, or even by errata from the company?
    No problems come from incompatible games, unknown rules, and "rule zero". Those problems all came from DMs with poor judgment. I don't want all the bad that comes from them, so I play with DMs whose judgment I trust.

    A competent DM fixes all problems that come from incompatible games, unknown rules, and "rule zero". But no rule or agreement about what rules must be used can ever fix the problem of incompetent DMs.

    Play with a DM you trust, and then trust your DM.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    That's definitely a minor personal peeve for me: If I can't, after reading the rules thoroughly on my own time and scanning the GM's 1-2 page session 0 document for the character creation rules, walk in to the first session and make a character in 15 minutes, and then start playing that very same session, the rules for making a character are too complicated. And I certainly don't want to have design my character's personality and history in depth before the game begins, just to know what I can do. That is stuff that comes out from a bare-bones framework during play. A character just needs to be what they can do mechanically, with a short list of motivations to tell me where they differ from just being myself while I'm playing and making decisions.

    That's not always the rules fault of course, many times it's the GMs. If they're running D&D and requiring reading a multi-page setting document, or detailed written backstory, or a dedicated session 0 meeting, I'm definitely out. But some games that's impossible even with a thorough knowledge of the rules. For example Amber DRPG/Lords of Gossamer and Shadow have a ability score auction and character creation they recommend an entire session for.

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    OK, this one I just have come across in FUDGE (reading it out of curiosity), where the defined average rating is "Fair", which is one level above mediocre. Was I misinformed, because I was under the impression that mediocre meant average. Sure people sometimes seem to focus on the "not above average" part, so it has some negative connotations to it, but you had a word that literally meant the thing you were trying to say. Then you put it somewhere else and used a different less precise word in its place. You were so close.

    It does however highlight the fair/mediocre pair as one you can change if you don't like the words given, I wonder if it was a point of discussion amongst the creators.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Play with a DM you trust, and then trust your DM.
    I'd extend this to every player+, in the ideal case. The main not ideal case is probably when a new player comes. Even then... well circumstances change but so far give them a chance and don't play with them there after if it doesn't work out has worked fine.

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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    One of my "ideal" character creation methods would be to write "Quertus - Wizard" on my sheet, and be done. The sheet is the mechanics, not the character - how much does a starting character need for mechanics?
    This makes it sound like you don't want any rules or even want to play a game. You just want to do Free From Role Playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Ya know, when I go for a drop in game of Monopoly, I really don't want to spend 4 years getting a masters degree in "this guy's house rules" - I want to just be able to play the danged game. When I bring my Magic deck over to someone's house, I don't expect to have to deal with different rulings for each of my (and their) cards than I'm used to - I expect things to just work.
    Of course many RPGs are way, way, way, way more advanced and complicated then simple games like Monopoly and Magic. And lots of games are simple so everyone, even little kids can play them. A lot of RPGs are complicated, as adults like complicated things.

    Though you might note that people do have house rules for Monopoly. For example: putting all the 'taken' money under Free Parking, and giving it to the player that lands on that spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    So, I guess my question is, why would you want all the bad that comes with incompatible games, unknown rules, and "rule zero", when the problem you described could instead be solved at the group level, or even by errata from the company?
    No company can do or predict everything...and few people can. But that is the reason RPGs have a real person there to make calls and do things.

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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    ......Of course many RPGs are way, way, way, way more advanced and complicated then simple games like Monopoly and Magic. And lots of games are simple so everyone, even little kids can play them. A lot of RPGs are complicated, as adults like complicated things......

    Um... quite the opposite in my case D. U., as my craving for complexity is much less than when I was younger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Um... quite the opposite in my case D. U., as my craving for complexity is much less than when I was younger.
    Agreed. I used to be into character building pr0n and reading complicated rules pr0n, and then desperately trying to find anyone else willing to try the damn things.

    Now I just want to play or run the game, as smoothly and easily as possible, with full groups of other players who want to play the game and enjoy themself doing so. Challenge can come from actual xhallenges, not from struggling to understanding complex rules.

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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Agreed. I used to be into character building pr0n and reading complicated rules pr0n, and then desperately trying to find anyone else willing to try the damn things.
    I'll throw in a +1 on this trajectory for tastes in RPG. I used to LOVE making characters for M&M, spending many hours on a character carefully calculating arrays and feats and disadvantages.

    These days my system is FATE.

    That's just like, my opinion, and people who like complex systems are totally legit, but it certainly hasn't been the case for me that more complicated=more adult.
    For playable monster adventurers who would attract more than a few glances at the local tavern, check out my homebrew monster races!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Um... quite the opposite in my case D. U., as my craving for complexity is much less than when I was younger.
    I can't even qualify for grognard status yet, but I already prefer simplicity over complexity. Maybe it's because I tend to GM for people who are either new or not particularly invested in mechanics. Whatever the reason, simple works better for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Quertius asked some great questions, which I've tried to answer fully and in good faith. So it's kind of long.

    We disagree about role-playing, and that's fine. I'm not trying to convert anyone to my views, just explain what they are and where our differences come from.
    Thanks!

    Your response is excellent, and I think (correct me if I'm wrong) helps me see a lot of where you're coming from... Which, as you'll see, is, at times, scarily close to where I'm coming from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    He needs, well, a character. You may know what character you intend to play, and how that character fits into this particular DM's world at this particular moment, but that information is not contained in "Quertus - Wizard".
    True. I guess my point was, that information is rarely contained in anything on the character sheet, so why should I care about (a complicated) character sheet? Why can't I just write down a name (Quertus), and maybe some reference to the rules set I'll be using (Wizard), and get on to the important stuff - the character, which isn't on the sheet?

    All in all, I think we're on pretty much the same page here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    There's no point designing a wyvern hunter if the continent has no wyverns, or an anti-slavery paladin in a world with no slaves.
    Actually, that depends (IMO). If you're running a hyper-focused **** like Quertus*, who really doesn't want to be "out adventuring" unless there's something related to their specialty, then, yeah, the content has to match their primary shtick. However, I've totally run a self-identified X-hunter in a game with no X.

    Where we most likely differ, though, is that you want the character to match the setting, whereas I explicitly want the character to be "not from around here", and to explore the setting. So, for me, such mismatch is not only fine, but actually desirable.

    But, absolutely, for a character to make sense, there must be something to have sparked their anti-slavery sentiment, or other such personality traits. Whatever it takes to understand where they came from to tie all this together is absolutely worth the effort.

    But the extent that it needs to be reflected on the character sheet is merely a property of how mechanically complex the character sheet is, is it not? If the system / sheet doesn't have skills, you don't need to represent skills on the sheet, regardless of what skills the character reasonably would have based on their background.

    And, if the GM were, say, running an established setting straight out of the books, the time you'd need to spend poking the GM for details - if you already knew the setting - would be zero, right?

    * I may be being a bit hard on my signature character here to get a point across.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    By the time I'm finished, I have a clear idea of who the character is, what he wants, how he acts, and how he fits into this part of this DM's world.
    I guess I prefer for this to be an emergent property, developed in play. No, that goes too far.

    I like to have developed the character "as an island", uprooted and transplanted to this setting. Some people seem to like to have the character start as a blank slate, and develop a personality and a backstory in play. I suspect you find my desire to have my character find their place in the world as an emergent property developed in play as alien as I find the aforementioned players' development of a personality in play.

    But for a character from around here? Yeah, what you're saying makes perfect sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    I repeat - the result of a "fast" character generation isn't a character; its a set of abilities.
    Sure, but... You have no issue with "generating a list of abilities" being "fast", though, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Your analogy isn't analogous. Every game of Monopoly is based on the exact same layout of Atlantic City's streets. You are not exploring in a world designed by the banker.

    Playing the danged game is exactly and precisely synonymous with exploring the DM's imagination. Even if there were a single set of rules that was right for every single world, and even if there were universal agreement on which rulebooks would be included and which version of which game would be played, exploring the mind of the DM is what we're doing.

    "Any player knows the rules. A good player knows the extensions. A great player knows the DM."
    Ok, but... I sent a deep sea probe to explore the GMs world, not the mars lander. I asked, "tell me about your mother" to explore the GMs mind, not "what are you afraid of?".

    I don't want to have to fight to determine the definition of the word "railroading", or hear back that it depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

    I want a nice, firm foundation of the rules and the English language to be the toolset with which I explore the world, and the GMs mind.

    Changing those makes the process... needlessly laborious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    If I accepted the idea that we were playing a game like Magic just a tactical game of "defeat the bad guys" this argument might sway me. But in fact, I want my character to enter and explore an unknown world. It sounds like what I want in a fantasy game is exactly what you want to avoid.

    And there's nothing wrong with us having different goals. But if our goals in the game are that different, then of course our pet peeves will be equally different.
    No, terrifyingly enough, I think we want very much the same thing here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    No problems come from incompatible games, unknown rules, and "rule zero". Those problems all came from DMs with poor judgment. I don't want all the bad that comes from them, so I play with DMs whose judgment I trust.

    A competent DM fixes all problems that come from incompatible games, unknown rules, and "rule zero". But no rule or agreement about what rules must be used can ever fix the problem of incompetent DMs.
    Here you're just wrong, and I hope I can make one example very clear.

    I one played a game of... Unreal Tournament*, I believe... where the "GM" was running so many custom mods that, by the time my computer had downloaded half of them, the match was over.

    Similarly, I've seen too many GMs butcher too many otherwise viable characters or games by focusing overly much on labyrinthine rules changes.

    If I have to spend the first 5 sessions rewriting your 20+ pages of house rules that left me begging for the clarity of gygaxian pros, into, you know, readable English, as my way of asking, "is this what the **** you meant to type?!", there might be a problem.

    And, if I try to take that character to someone else's game, with their pages of cruft built on top of those pages and pages of house rules, it's just not going to be worth the GMs time to try to decipher that mess. Especially for a drop in game. Let alone if they have another 50 pages of house rules themselves.

    Give me compatible games, thanks. Let what my character is be what my character is, and let them and the world make sense, and their place in the world make sense, no matter whose game I'm in.

    It's hard to take the game seriously when, say, my weakling scribe is suddenly tossing planets because, oops, house rules.

    Give me compatible games, thanks. Let what my character is be what my character is, and let them and the world make sense, and their place in the world make sense, no matter whose game I'm in.

    * FPS video game that allowed custom content to be added piecemeal, and downloaded from the machine which started a given match.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Play with a DM you trust, and then trust your DM.
    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    This makes it sound like you don't want any rules or even want to play a game. You just want to do Free From Role Playing.
    Fair point, that is a bit potentially misleading.

    As I tried to explain above, I was attempting to indicate that "wizard" was just a pointer to the rules set I could use during the game - kinda like the notion of having a "playbook" in... um... Apocalypse World? Or saying that my character was a "Bishop" in Chess - just a "here's the moves I can legally make, now let me get back to (focusing on) role-playing".

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a war gamer - I'll totally care about that set of moves. Just... That isn't the character, you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Of course many RPGs are way, way, way, way more advanced and complicated then simple games like Monopoly and Magic. And lots of games are simple so everyone, even little kids can play them. A lot of RPGs are complicated, as adults like complicated things.

    Though you might note that people do have house rules for Monopoly. For example: putting all the 'taken' money under Free Parking, and giving it to the player that lands on that spot.
    Irrelevant. Regardless of the complexity of the game, I was exclusively referencing the complexity of the house rules. Free parking is a common house rule, sure. But most anyone can learn it in under 5 minutes. If I have to spend 3 weeks learning your house rules to play your Monopoly - more time than I'll spend actually playing the game - then maybe you should rethink your house rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    No company can do or predict everything...and few people can. But that is the reason RPGs have a real person there to make calls and do things.
    Having a social dynamic whereby rulings that produce a good gaming experience can be made is a good thing. What that structure looks like, and what such rulings will look like, will vary from group to group. But "Rulings" are also usually considered a different class of object than the "house rules" that I was discussing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Um... quite the opposite in my case D. U., as my craving for complexity is much less than when I was younger.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Agreed. I used to be into character building pr0n and reading complicated rules pr0n, and then desperately trying to find anyone else willing to try the damn things.

    Now I just want to play or run the game, as smoothly and easily as possible, with full groups of other players who want to play the game and enjoy themself doing so. Challenge can come from actual xhallenges, not from struggling to understanding complex rules.
    I'm not sure if I'd have enjoyed 20 pages of near-indecipherable game math house rules in my youth or not, but, yeah, I certainly enjoy it less the older I get.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2018-02-12 at 02:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Rulebooks that are not well laid out. The book needs to be check-able quickly, and so requires a decent contents page, index, appropriate sections, and in the electronic age, hyperlinking.

    Use of "This spell is just like Cure Light Wounds, however..." especially when the referenced spell is not on the same page or at least near it in the book (or in the worst case, in a completely different book). Is it really that hard to copy and paste the rules?

    Use of fiction in rulebooks to convey important setting details (or in the worse case, actual rules).

    In contrast with other posters, I don't like non-hp-based wound systems. They are often overcomplicated with too many factors to track (individual wounds, bleeding, etc) and become even more complicated for unusual situations like falling damage, fire or poison, or for non-human characters.

    Character generation that takes too long, creating a barrier to actually playing the game (especially for new players).

    Use of dice to track stats (ie the stat is the number uppermost on the dice) rather than writing them down. Guaranteed these will get knocked over or accidentally picked up and rolled during play.
    Last edited by Kami2awa; 2018-02-12 at 03:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Also, I find it strange that we're comparing D&D to Monopoly, when Monopoly is reknowned for being so complicated and aggregious that it's actually unplayable in its base state as it is a critical commentary on capitalism and not really a game. D&D is far simpler and less complex than that. Sure, you can try to make your campaign that difficult and complex, but if you do, I can almost guarantee nobody at the table are going to enjoy it.

    I work as a tester for computer systems in a bank, and I find a lot of enjoyment in D&D for being as simple as it is, once you figure out the base mechanics and underlying structure. Complications like feats and such are of course not always as easy to interpret, and sometimes require ruling on the spot, but that is often another tool the DM just has.

    I certainly don't think adults are more attracted to complicated subjects naturally. That seems like a childish way of thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    Also, I find it strange that we're comparing D&D to Monopoly, when Monopoly is reknowned for being so complicated and aggregious that it's actually unplayable in its base state as it is a critical commentary on capitalism and not really a game. D&D is far simpler and less complex than that. Sure, you can try to make your campaign that difficult and complex, but if you do, I can almost guarantee nobody at the table are going to enjoy it.
    Monopoly is a pretty basic game - it's negative reputation is based more on being long, tedious, luck based, and heavy on player elimination. The entire game is simpler than the class mechanics for almost every class in any edition of D&D.

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    Complex systems often suffer from the additional problem of being very poorly presented in organization and layout. With a well-laid-out presentation, a system can be complex without being confusing. Keep in mind, also, that "complex" and "convoluted" are not precisely the same thing. I've seen some fairly simple systems that somehow managed to be very convoluted.

    But what bothers me is simplicity being treated as a goal or "good" in and of itself. Sometimes that last 10% of the simplicity isn't worth everything sacrificed to obtain it.


    (These discussions can be hard because each person's experience, and thus their personal scale, can be very different. Two people can look at the same system and have very different ideas about how complex it is, relative to other systems they've played, so there ends up being a lot of people talking past each other. If they sat down and looked at game systems they might agree, but one of them is coming at it saying "this is simple enough" and the other is coming at it from "this is complex enough".)
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2018-02-12 at 07:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    But what bothers me is simplicity being treated as a goal or "good" in and of itself. Sometimes that last 10% of the simplicity isn't worth everything sacrificed to obtain it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Einstein (supposedly)
    Make everything as simple as possible, and no simpler.
    Oversimplification (and it's cousin, forcing everything into the same mechanic even if it's really a disjoint concept) are a problem I see a lot. Of course, the flip side (complexity out of a desire for so-called realism) is also a problem. Mediums are happy. Except when they're possessed by angry ghosts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Monopoly is a pretty basic game - it's negative reputation is based more on being long, tedious, luck based, and heavy on player elimination. The entire game is simpler than the class mechanics for almost every class in any edition of D&D.
    That's a really rough sell, mate.

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    On Simplicity: All other things being equal, I will take the simple game over the more complex on. On the other hand a system that manages to leverage that complexity and get that much more out of it, yes please. Although that is actually a good deal harder than it looks in many cases, but some games do it.

    And, a pet peeve: Capitalizing game master*: when it is in short form: GM, yes that is how you show it isn't a word but a collection of letters. But (at least where I'm from) you don't capitalize a something unless it is unique, generally a name or a title of a single individual. But there are many game masters, so I'm pretty sure it is not supposed to get this treatment.

    * I'm going with Knaight's "unimportant things that annoy me" version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Monopoly is a pretty basic game - it's negative reputation is based more on being long, tedious, luck based, and heavy on player elimination. The entire game is simpler than the class mechanics for almost every class in any edition of D&D.
    The thing that gives Monopoly its reputation as long and tedious is usually additional house rules, especially ones that enhance luck or lower player elimination. Played by the standard rules it's usually over in an hour.

    That's still too long for most kids, compared to (say) a game of Life. But honestly, monopoly isn't a kids game at all. It's a game for ruthless adults who have good strategic thinking. Edit: or at least a decent grasp of the rules, values of properties based on probability they will be landed upon, and the distribution of values on 2d6.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2018-02-12 at 10:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    On Simplicity: All other things being equal, I will take the simple game over the more complex on. On the other hand a system that manages to leverage that complexity and get that much more out of it, yes please. Although that is actually a good deal harder than it looks in many cases, but some games do it.
    My general rule is that depth=good / complexity=bad, but complexity is the currency used to purchase depth. So - a game designer needs to go bargain hunting for good deals as well as budget their complexity on the focus of the game system rather than spending complexity on extravagant bits which don't add much to the core - even if they're cool on their own.

    At least that's the way I look at it when I'm writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    And, a pet peeve: Capitalizing game master*: when it is in short form: GM, yes that is how you show it isn't a word but a collection of letters. But (at least where I'm from) you don't capitalize a something unless it is unique, generally a name or a title of a single individual. But there are many game masters, so I'm pretty sure it is not supposed to get this treatment.
    Acronyms are customarily capitalized when you pronounce it as the letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian Style Guide
    Use all capitals if an abbreviation is pronounced as the individual letters: BBC, VAT, etc; if it is an acronym (pronounced as a word) spell out with initial capital, eg Nasa, Nato, unless it can be considered to have entered the language as an everyday word, such as awol, laser and, more recently, asbo, pin number and sim card. Note that pdf and plc are lowercase.
    But yes - "game master" should probably be lower case. Unless you consider it to be a title?
    Last edited by CharonsHelper; 2018-02-12 at 11:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    My general rule is that depth=good / complexity=bad, but complexity is the currency used to purchase depth. So - a game designer needs to go bargain hunting for good deals as well as budget their complexity on the focus of the game system rather than spending complexity on extravagant bits which don't add much to the core - even if they're cool on their own.
    Well, ok then: My pet peeve are "game systems" with unified task resolution and everything being connected to the "core".

    In theory, its an elegant solution. Having worked in software development, I know the value of design patterns, common frameworks, code snippets and an object-oriented approach to work.

    But for RPG, I rather have discrete "blocks" or "modules" of rules that cover specific tasks/actions and that will only come up when used, no need to be fully integrated into "core".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Well, ok then: My pet peeve are "game systems" with unified task resolution and everything being connected to the "core".

    In theory, its an elegant solution. Having worked in software development, I know the value of design patterns, common frameworks, code snippets and an object-oriented approach to work.

    But for RPG, I rather have discrete "blocks" or "modules" of rules that cover specific tasks/actions and that will only come up when used, no need to be fully integrated into "core".
    I agree that having separate modules tends to make for easier play, as well as a more faithful representation of the fiction. Different things are different and should be treated differently. Game designers, like theoreticians more generally, have this urge to cram everything into their favorite mechanic, even if it doesn't fit very well.
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    Default Re: Biggest tabletop system pet peeves

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Well, ok then: My pet peeve are "game systems" with unified task resolution and everything being connected to the "core".

    In theory, its an elegant solution. Having worked in software development, I know the value of design patterns, common frameworks, code snippets and an object-oriented approach to work.

    But for RPG, I rather have discrete "blocks" or "modules" of rules that cover specific tasks/actions and that will only come up when used, no need to be fully integrated into "core".
    I'm actually with you.

    I do think that the different pieces should use the same logic. (Ex: roll over / roll under / success dice pools - shouldn't be mixed together) But the obsession with core mechanic gets on my nerves.

    Heck - in my system attack rolls vary based upon the weapon being used. (Ex: assault rifle is 2d10 while pistol is 2d8) But while I don't have a single mechanic - everything is a TN roll-over mechanic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    I'm actually with you.

    I do think that the different pieces should use the same logic. (Ex: roll over / roll under / success dice pools - shouldn't be mixed together) But the obsession with core mechanic gets on my nerves.

    Heck - in my system attack rolls vary based upon the weapon being used. (Ex: assault rifle is 2d10 while pistol is 2d8) But while I don't have a single mechanic - everything is a TN roll-over mechanic.
    Honesty I dont even mind mixing roll over/roll under where it makes sense. E.g ability checks. If I want a straight STR check, I could come up with a modifier system based on your str score and a target number and then a series of situational mods, or I can simply have you roll under your str after applying situational mods. The second is objectively simpler and less fiddly, but is viewed as more complex because now you have to remember that stat checks are roll under

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