RPPR Episode 08: The Role of Rules

Music by The Old Ones – a Lovecraftian inspired metal band. Brutal!
Intro song: Alone in the Mountains
Segue for Letter from Tom: Rise!
Ending music: Spirits

Hosted by Ross Payton, Tom Church and Dan McDowell

Synopsis: Rules, the foundation of our hobby. How many rules are enough? When do you follow them and when do you ignore them? We go over our philosophy for rules interpretation in role playing and offer strategies to make your game better, such as dealing with a new player not used to gaming. Find out when to fudge the rules and when to let the dice roll where they may. This is a rich topic that we’ve barely begun so if you have any thoughts on what the role of rules is in your game, let us know.

If you like RPPR, please review us on the Itunes Podcast Directory! It’s like gaining experience for a podcast and just as addictive. Or if you’re a Chinese listener, Ni Hao! We’d like to hear from you.

Shout outs: Blackbird Dreaming is an excellent play by post GURPS 4e post apocalyptic game. It’s almost like reading a collaborative novel online.

Project Twilight is a great Old World of Darkness sourcebook for running government investigators in a modern horror game. A treasure trove of ideas for your modern horror game and usually pretty cheap too.

Ptolus is one of the best, if not THE best, 3.5 D&D settings ever written. Immensely detailed and well crafted, it is the ultimate city campaign. Quite expensive but the worth the price if you can find a copy.

Film Spotting is an awesome film review podcast. If you want to hear about the latest films, give it a listen.

And finally, Shoot ‘Em Up is a bland action movie that pretends to be clever and funny, but fails at both. Tom likes it but I write the episode summaries, so how do you like them apples?

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  1. Great episode! Our group has been discussing this very thing lately. I’ve always loved GURPS for it’s character creation detail. I find D&D pretty easy, once you get the general hang of it. An old friend had a huge home-brewed addition to AD&D (1st edition) that took several hours for character creation. What I’m trying to think of is a simple system I’ve played. I think the original Vampire: The Masquerade was fairly simple. Dicless games? YUCK!

  2. A few things:

    1) I do agree that in general freeform style gaming is not good in most situations, I am still a BIG fan of freeform. In fact my gaming career started with creative writing freeform. I’ve played in genre/system inspired creative writing games as well. And it takes a lot of maturity, and there are rules to it, while they aren’t published rules you still have to in the end be in agreement about what is/is not allowed between you and your partner, or your group. So even in what most people think of as freeform envinronment consensus is important. Which is why I love it, because it’s so dependant on good interactions with other players and there is NO GM, that’s the part I love. The players make the story, and it’s them alone. And yes sometimes this ends REALLY badly, perosonally I had to go through a screening process for partners.

    2)The thing about new players and not grasping the rules, that is ME. It takes me FOREVER to learn game mechanics. I have been lucky with groups that more often than not people are willing to HELP me learn the mechanics. I know GMs have fudged rules for me in the past, but a lot of times it was because I did soemting really creative, I rolled, and it was screwed up. Like the Fading Suns game I was in where my faith 8 Amalthean priestess BOTCHED a healing roll on the PC that basically was her brother, and nearly killed him. He let me use my character’s faith as reason for her to pray for a miracle, he rolled like crap on the roll, but he said I roleplayed it so well he just couldn’t let her HAVE her miracle. yes, that WAS the same game my creepy gamer story came from.

    As for Ptolus, I’ve played a rogue in that setting and it’s pretty cool. Unfortnately I wasn’t able to stay with that group, do to other commitments.

    Project Twilight, the only think I remember that had anyhting to do with that is we had a guy playing a Project Twilight guy in our MAGE game and none of us ever knew. Damn you, Mike, you sneaky bastard.

    Okay, I’m done now. 🙂

  3. Also:
    Exalted -cinematic combat FTW-

    ELFS is pretty rules light IMO. It’s pretty silly, but it’s a fun one shot.

  4. Hey this is going to be really odd but we are curious about how to get a shout out done. We are a role playing group who are currently trying to build up a gaming site. If you would be willing to do a shout out to us we are The Free Knights. Also would love to say we all love your site and your posts.

  5. Hey guys, just found the ‘cast from Dragon’s Landing Inn. Catching up on your episodes and really enjoy the show. I’m also native to Springfield and I was wondering what you guys think about gaming at a shop? I myself play at Metagames and personally love it.

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