House Rules = Cars Continued

Monday, 15. November 2010

Continuing along with my question last week, there were a some very good answers regarding them.  Rujikol had a very pertinent comment regarding house rules.. as to what really breaks systems fast.  In this case, I especially play attention to the first sentence…

“What I try to avoid changing:
Basic combat mechanics; how to attack, defend, etc. Creating a dependent tree of exceptions can quickly break a game.
Basic damage mechanics; hit points, critical wounds, effects thereof.
Skill resolutions; messing with this makes it very odd. I find that one can trim a resolution system, by discarding what situations a test might be required in, without the same problems as expanding those situations.
Silos: if there are silos, like class/profession, don’t intrude into other silos. Undermining a silos specialty will make it collapse and remove its niche. Have to say that I avoid games with silos.”

Tearing into the core system and monkeying around with the base defining rule sets can quickly cause problems unless you are prepared to do a lot of play testing.  If you give yourself the opportunity to be undermined, you will and it will happen in very dramatic and sometimes quick fashion.  Which creates another issue of what exploitations you’re letting players get away with.. another issue in itself.

I disagree with the statement on Silos… with the exception being that you are playing a game that relies on that as basically its total existence.  MMO’s make fine examples of this, simply because the underused classes simply aren’t played because numbers are the sum totality of the game.  Some encroachment into what other classes do is necessary for redundancy as long as there is that crossover exists universally.  In that particular case classes might have the same method of getting the same job done… a thief picks the lock, a warrior kicks the door in and the mage can do either depending on what set of spells they have memorized.  The difference is just a matter of efficiency in how they accomplish a given task and how much energy and noise it takes to do it.

Hit points can be tweaked… but its usually into a wounds based system and then it’s a significant amount of work particularly if you incorporate any sort of death spirals into the combat.  I’m not entirely sure critical have a tremendous effect on the game unless you’re doing some sort of permanent wounding.   Typically its just an ego boost, as the damage increases they pull off are usually that of a second or 3rd swing. (Granted, in any of the OSR style games that can be devastating.)

Another sacred cow that I can think of would be essentially class power mechanics.  Your warriors typically amount to what the baseline is, and everything falls behind them.  Their overarching efficiency in combat is checked against the other classes and their skills are somewhat tuned from there.   Or Visa Versa; Skills, Number and frequency of spells  and other abilities are typically balanced against this in a combat based game.  Frames are a lot of work to modify!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree