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MorbidDon

Rant Player Bias & Power Creep

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After a long while of sharing RPG ideas and posting all sort of nonsense here and elsewhere on the web - I've come to the conclusion that there are vast amounts of player bias whereby loosely worded language is chosen over hard defined suggestions & house rules  which do not benefit PCs but rather keep the game legitimate / fair

 

Jokingly the humans who work at FFG obviously didn't create an air tight roleplaying game - otherwise half of these posts wouldn't be here?!

 

Let's simplify this concept of Fair Play in gaming or absolute Rules Neutrality (for sake of argument - F fun)

 

I'm willing to bet if "Chess" was subject to loose language and bias - it would not have lasted the test of time

 

Take any long lasting game that spans the generations - poker, checkers, whatever

 

Lets see if this line of RPGs lasts 80 years or longer? (my bet is it will not)

 

How old is Chess now?

 

I had to rant on this as I find it hard to put my faith in forums with people who may exhibit Player Bias

Just my two Gelt - otherwise I can F off myself I know LOL

 

Take Care

 

Morbid

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The reason I enjoy RPGs is that they're a great platform for story telling and if done properly, can be of an equal surprise to a GM and to the players as to how the story develops. As such I use the rules to guide me, but not dictate me as befits the story. Where possible, I try to keep things close to the rules as possible so that I have a structure if I can't remember a given rule that know exists and I can't find it in the rulebook in about 10 seconds, I'll make something on the fly. Likewise if something cool or great for the story can potentially happen but the rules are going to prevent it, I'll rule in favour of the story.

 

This is definitely how I prefer to play it...even if an RPGs rules were airtight, I'd go out of my way to put in a few leaks IF it benefited me  ;). The drawback of this way of doing things is that you need to be considerate in your deviations from the rules and remember how you tackled the situation when you did deviate from the rules. If you don't, you may find you accidentally rule it another way in the future and the lack of consistency can confuse some players. Thankfully, I trust myself to largely not make that mistake and when I do, my players aren't dicks about it. :)

 

 

My two cents.

 

P.S: Some better written two-weapon wielding rules wouldn't go amiss.

 

edit: forgot to add- If I read your post right, you're suggesting that when the above happens in favor of the PCs? I hadn't considered that so i don't know how true it is in my case but it's certainly food for thought!

Edited by Gregor Eisenhorn

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So...  What is the point of this exactly?  People like to win?  Everyone has a bias?  Judging people for having a bias when it is pretty much impossible to avoid is sort of...  Pointless.

 

I take the hard rules myself; if necessary, I can change those hard rules to how it suits me.  A solid 'this is how it works' just functions better when you want to get things done.  On the spot exceptions and addendums just goes better than 'let's take it as we find it every time.'  

 

As far as comparing this game to chess, checkers, etc...  Pfft.  The reason those games have stood the test of time isn't because of iron-clad rules (I've seen local variations and optional rules before; look at how many varieties of poker there are).  It is because they're simple.  In chess, each piece moves a certain way, on a certain board (don't get me started on how many permutations and changes the game might have gone through that we don't know of).  Even easier for checkers.  Poker is a bit more convoluted, but still there.  Bones/dominoes are easy too.  RPGs as a whole probably won't stand the test of time in that regard without drastic changes, although they've only been around close to 50 years in the current 'format' (look at the evolution of D&D, for example).  Do you think chess was made in a day?  

 

And I've almost never seen loop-holes in the rules turned to benefit the DM over the players.  

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Interesting.

 

When playing board games, my gaming group always interprets the rules as punitively as possible; we play a lot of co-op games and to our mind-set, if you win by making the game easier because you interpret a loosely worded rule in your favour, then you haven't won at all. Same goes for competitive games; if you bend the rules in your favour, then you've cheated the other players and haven't really won.

 

Now, Roleplaying games aren't about "winning". I think I've had more fun "losing" whilst roleplaying than I ever have "winning". The GM has the advantage of being in control of everything except the rules. So as a player, you could consider that it's not only your privilege, but your duty to get the most out of those rules as you possibly can. To do otherwise would be to "cheat" your GM...after all, his job is to provide not only a good story to follow but an entertaining challenge for you to play through. If you're not doing the very best you can as a player, then you're doing your GM a disservice by not trying hard enough. After all, he's gone to all the effort of making and running the campaign you're playing, so the least you can do is actually put some effort of your own into the one thing you do have control over; your character.

 

If I'm running a game and a player comes up with some combo or interpretation of the rules that totally blows away whatever I've thrown at my players, am I upset about it? No. I'm totally psyched and I'm riding the same rush that the other players are by how amazingly awesome that character was in that scene. I encourage "power play" and having a free and easy interpretation of the rules in the players favour is part of that.

 

Just my thoughts on it.

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It depends VERY much on the player.

 

I had players that dont want to be bothered by rules restricting them. And I've had players that where rules lawyers, writing you essays after each session what ou did wrong as GM accourding to RAW, trying to get their right afterwards.

 

Imo, rules should be as tight as possible to create a solid common base for all players. If it is too open and "flexible", that tneds to create discussions in-game that break the flow a lot.

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And I've almost never seen loop-holes in the rules turned to benefit the DM over the players.  

 

Anyway, since this isn't supposed to be GM vs Players, I don't see how rules could benefit a GM.

 

 

 

 

Now, Roleplaying games aren't about "winning". I think I've had more fun "losing" whilst roleplaying than I ever have "winning". The GM has the advantage of being in control of everything except the rules.

 

The GM has absolute control over the rules. What he hasn't absolute control over is the appreciation of his players if he acts like an a*s.

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 Now, Roleplaying games aren't about "winning". I think I've had more fun "losing" whilst roleplaying than I ever have "winning". The GM has the advantage of being in control of everything except the rules.

 

The GM has absolute control over the rules. What he hasn't absolute control over is the appreciation of his players if he acts like an a*s.

 

Heh, OK, I'll give you that one. The rules are always secondary to the story, true. However, the GM should be accommodating of Player rules interpretations that he might have overlooked, because if he didn't want the rule being interpreted that way, he should have changed or clarified it beforehand. The GM is not bound by the rules, but the Players are. This means that it's the GM's responsibility to provide the rules by which the Players are going to play...and stick to them as much as possible. That's what I mean by the GM not being in control of the rules; he's not in control of the rules the Players are using once he's established what they are.

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That's what I mean by the GM not being in control of the rules; he's not in control of the rules the Players are using once he's established what they are.

To me, making or not making a choice is still making a choice.

 

 

So deciding or not to interpret in some way rules stay the power of the GM. But in the end, I completely agree with what you said.

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