Friday, December 2, 2022

Links & Thoughts for 12/2/2022

A few things:

- I have some replies to comments from the last few days, but I don't have the time to make them at the moment. They're coming!

- I have to write out my 10x loot proposal again in a final form. We may not use them, but I answered three questions by email that are answered in the general post on the subject. So that's not a good sign for comprehension. I'll be explicit what would be what way.

It might actually be easier to cut the price of mundane items by 1/10th, actually, and it would have the same effect.

I'll only put it into practice this campaign if we get 100% of the current players to agree on it.

- I'll give these a go. The library had them both:

I need to finish this, first:

Hey, be careful of spoilers! Don't tell me how it turns out! It's looking good for the Americans at the moment!

Just kidding. It looks terrible the whole time, just like Hell in a Very Small Place. Not inevitable or inexorable, but you can see what came coming. I just need to find a copy, somehow, of The Short-Timers. I read a friend's copy but it's overpriced on the secondary market.

- Ah, AD&D. I love your ridiculous complexity. I think of it every time someone tells me GURPS is hard. Hah. I started with AD&D. I laugh at your concept of complexity! Heh.

- Jeff looks at some really old orc minis. I like them.


  1. Have you read the Elusive Shift by Jon Peterson yet?

    1. Not yet. The library system doesn't have it, and it seems more like a "read once" book than a "keep and reference" book so I'm a little reluctant to get it.

  2. I think there are two separate views of complexity and some players flock to one and hate the other for either direction of one/other. Some people define complexity as numerous, diverse rules subsystems. AD&D is a strong example. None of the rules are hard to learn or use, and they aren't long to describe or have that many variables, but there are so many unrelated systems that look nothing like each other that it confounds some people to recall the details of the pertinent system for any given action. Other people define complexity as numerous, conforming components of a single unified rule system. GURPS has such an easy mechanic to learn and memorize...but then to be proficient in play one needs to be aware of hundreds of customization pieces as each piece can give conditional modifiers to the core roll mechanic. 3E did this too with lots of feats that each gave conditional bonuses to characters or applied conditional penalties to foes. I feel like the ultimate example is Magic the Gathering. The rules fit on a tiny little microbooklet or a single page folded down a dozen times, but then the main rule of the game is that every card can change any rule or card behavior. So to be effective one needs to have knowledge of literally thousands of cards to understand their interactions to get an unexpected synergistic boost that allows winning. The player that has (and understands the usage of) the better combo wins, yet a 10 year old can learn the game in 5 minutes.

    1. Interesting. I would just say that AD&D has a lot of required mechanics that are overly complex and aren't consistent with each other, or even themselves (opening doors, say, or initiative.) GURPS has a simple core mechanic and a lot of potential complexity. Both get more complex the more you insist on including everything and getting it to work together. Having played a lot of both, it's easier to strip GURPS down to the core and still play, but the temptation to complex it up is high. AD&D is harder to reduce to its core, but the temptation isn't always as high . . . but not non-existent. See Dragon magazine and all of Unearthed Arcana for that.

      Magic sounds like a larger version of both - or of just about any wargame. Simple basic concept but the details weigh it down heavily in order to play it effectively.

    2. I'm exactly the second type. Games like GURPs and d20 appealed to me on paper but once I got to playing them I was repeatedly confounded. I picked [A]D&D right up and seem to have no trouble remembering many different mechanics if each requires only a handful of inputs to determine the results but when I have a single mechanic and I have to take dozens, hundreds, or thousands of inputs into consideration I get mentally swamped. I'm drawn to the simplicity of the rules but then overwhelmed and unable to remember even a half dozen "your modifier applies when ..." traits. I bought heavily into 3E when it came out because it was so elegant on paper (after playing years of AD&D) but the more years I played the more stressful it was to deal with characters with feats changing when rolls were allowed or how they were modified. GURPS also really excited me when I found it at a convention, but it was slow and fiddly checking all the things that applied with each roll. I've played ~6 sessions with ~3 GMs and the ones that emphasized the rules were least fun while the ones that had little combat were the most fun even at a low point level 100+/-. Ironically the first game I played was with a published GURPS author and for years after I didn't want to play GURPS again, but the same GM also published for Traveller and his Traveller games are lots of fun to me (Traveller also has a single simple core mechanic but, at least the versions I've played, lack anything like feats/advantages/edges).


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