Jon A. Lambert
jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jun 22 04:43:11 New Zealand Standard Time 1997
> From: Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com>
> >[Jeff K:]
> >> At 08:18 PM 6/20/97 PST8PDT,Adam W. wrote:
> >> >can't figure out how to interact with the game. Ours is particularly
> >> >bad since the game world is so open-ended (no easy-to-define goals from
> >> >the moment you start playing) and so complex (no simple list of
> >> >rules as with a pen and paper RPG).
> >> I rather object to this characterization.. if you had said "AD&D" or "an
> >> OLD pen and paper RPG" I might have agreed.
> >> I suggest you look at Hero system, and its child the new Fusion system.
> >Well, let me state it this way - as a player of a pen and paper RPG, I
> >always know what the rules are, even if they aren't special-case stuff.
> >In a mud you have no idea - you push button X and Y occurs, you push button
> >Z and A occurs, except much more complex. Eventually you may figure out
> This is totally dependant on your Judge in a pen and paper game.
> A bad judge I agree.
> A mediocre judge, this is mostly true.
> A good to great judge this statement is totally false. the "rules" merely
> provide a STRUCTURE for describing and quantifying the infinite
> possabilities in the judge's mind. Where a rule system is so limiting it
> cannot fit the concept, new rules are created by the judge. That's how D&D
> grew into AD&D -- judge created extensions. Hero system is no more
> constricting as a set of laws then, say, the laws of physics are in our
> world (lexx actually). it is merely a notational system for quantifying the
> effects as they pertain to other people and hero has the built in
> infinite-extension capabilities of "advantages'a and 'disadvantages" that
> re made up by the judge.
I'd agree that the evolution of D&D into AD&D involved less systemic
changes but more changes involving the pre-packaging of a theme. Thus
AD&D begot Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun. All of these were
pre-packaged worlds. Players instead of expecting general laws
regarding conduct of combat and magic, were led to expect specific thematic
implementations like "Lugwiler's Dismal Itch spell", the "Eye of Vecna",
Kendar and Minotaur races, etc. to be present and behave according to rules.
They really have no place outside of the worlds in question and were hardly appropriate inclusions into many campaigns.
The Gurps basic system is also a good model of general rules with no
thematic assumptions. I don't care much for it, but its a good
model that makes no assumptions outside of basic interactions. It
has very nice plug-and-play extensions (tm).
I have never given Hero a look. For some reason I must have lumped
it in with all the SuperHero/Xmen/Comics categories. Probably because
of the game title. I'll be checking it out at GenCon though.
> I'd say you played pen and paper with very uninventive people. I defy you
> to describe to me something on a MUD I could not run as an adventure just
> about ANY FRP system I chose.
I find these last statements to be presumptuous. I've been on the list
from January to April and have found it to be a refreshing change from the
penis-waving that goes on rgm*. I am sure we are all creative people
on this list. I think it would be much more productive to relate your
positive experiences with paper RPGs than to make assertions that other's
experiences of the same hobby are inferior. This is a Type B attempt
at potential conflict resolution. ;)
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