March 19, 2021

Rules


Oh dear, hopefully we don't make any enemies with this episode all about the rules! Andrew Block and I discuss a range of topics interspersed with luke-warm takes and personal opinions. If that doesn't sell it, I don't know what will! We open with a discussion around the 'Rule of Cool' (RoC) and how it often belies the tricky nuances around modifying rules on the fly; there's often a wider impact that isn't always immediately visible. Indeed, D&D is a game of two halves where all the players work together to maintain a satisfying balance. Do you focus on verisimilitude and a believable universe potentially at the expense of "cool" set pieces? Or do you throw caution to the wind and allow audacious feats of heroism, possibly sacrificing standardisation and consistency? Ultimately, the rules are there to facilitate a story, so if you're achieving that, you're doing fantastic!

  • 03:03 - RAW versus RoC - verisimilitude versus spontaneity
  • 15:53 - A tale of two systems
  • 21:10 - Empathy with interpretation
  • 41:42 - Does the existence of clarification services and common issues suggest a weakness in the framework?
  • 4940 - The house (rule) always wins

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References:

Intro Music: 'Local Forecast' by Kevin MacLeod
Intermission Music: 'Chill' by Kevin MacLeod
Outro Music: 'Local Forecast - Elevator' by Kevin MacLeod

Andrew Block (Nominrath)

Guest

An experienced gamer of 25+ years, Andrew Block has played nearly every edition of Dungeons & Dragons (with the exception of the OG pamphlets) and a myriad of other table-top RPGs including White Wolf’s classic World of Darkness line, their new World of Darkness line (a.k.a. Chronicles of Darkness), multiple versions of the Star Wars RPG, GURPS, RIFTS, and a host of others he has forgotten (or doesn’t care to remember). He is also a board game hobbyist with a deep love for Twilight Imperium and War of the Ring.