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  • File : 1265722005.jpg-(152 KB, 600x825, 8730_1125649713_submedium.jpg)
    152 KB Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:26 No.7996799  
    I do not allow the players to know the rules in the RPGs we play. I explain them just enough that they can understand their character sheet, but anything more than that is permanently my domain. To look at the rulebook is to cheat.

    I was wondering how common this sort of thing is.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:27 No.7996804
    ... You actually have people willing to play in your games?
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:29 No.7996813
    Of course he doesn't. He's trolling.
    >> Doomrider !!sN7hwy9fmFb 02/09/10(Tue)08:29 No.7996814
    Sounds like it could be an exciting challenge, but depending on the system it could lead to characters being quite useless, which tends to be less fun.

    I dunno, you say you explain to them "enough to understand the character sheet" but in DH for instance, without knowing how the game is played you can't really select skills and abilities. You don't know what is useful etc.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:32 No.7996841
    Yeah, no. This would be a fucking nightmare, to play in or DM.
    >> Catgirl !AeOGI6SJZo 02/09/10(Tue)08:35 No.7996860
    Play Paranoia, where it says IN THE RULEBOOK that it is against the rules to know the rules.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:37 No.7996870
    This is pretty much how Paranoia is designed to be played. Displaying knowledge of the rules as a player means you can safely be shot by the other players.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:37 No.7996875
    Sounds like way too much work for the GM if the game isn't incredibly simple.

    My strategy is more or less the exact opposite: I offload as much information as I can to the players, and have them handle as much of the heavy lifting as I can get away with. This both makes them feel more involved and makes my job easier.
    >> Catgirl !AeOGI6SJZo 02/09/10(Tue)08:37 No.7996878
    I love Paranoia so hard.
    Because everyone cheats.
    The issue is not getting caught.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:38 No.7996881
    That's a pretty one in OP's pic, you almost can't tell it's a man
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:40 No.7996896
    >This would be a fucking nightmare, to play in or DM.

    DM being the key word. I don't think D&D can be played in this way because D&D is very heavy on metagame concepts like different kinds of action you can take etc, but D&D is really an exception. Most "normal" RPGs can be run entirely with players describing actions with words "I shoot him in the head" and the gamemaster doing the math behind the screen and responding with words "his head blows up, put a dot next to your Shooting Heads skill".

    Effectively, this sort of mode would make players play as if they were freeforming and the GM can either apply the rules or freeform himself, depending on which suits him at the moment.
    >> MR. Anon 02/09/10(Tue)08:42 No.7996907
    PCs should know how combat generally works, and how their own powers work. They don't need to know, say, how enemy powers work or how various misc. stuff works. Or even when/how they are being effected by stuff their character's don't understand.

    Also, secret rolls are fun.
    >> Catgirl !AeOGI6SJZo 02/09/10(Tue)08:43 No.7996928
    If you really want to mess with them, make rolls all the time behind your screen.
    For no reason.
    Then go "hm hm hm" and jot stuff down where they can't see it.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:45 No.7996933
    How would this work in a poorly designed game like D&D?

    I can see playing RMFRP like this, but most games require you to know a billion exceptions to every rule in order to know what you "can" and "can't" do.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)08:52 No.7996998
    Agreed. While it's cool to sometimes let the exact rules go and do something narrative, it's also cool to be able to consider your present challenges and know what you can do about them.

    The Dragon Age RPG talks about "assumption clashes," which I'm going to take slightly out of context here. The basic idea is that the DM and the players need to be on the same field in order for both of them to enjoy themselves. Rules, basically, provide the framework for this. Knowing how attacks work, and knowing that they'll be the same every time barring some narrative difference, allows the character to predict and understand how his character affects his environment and makes sure the players and the DM are in the same universe. Plus, this removes some of the strain from the DM - I don't want to be responsible for interpreting (in possibly the wrong manner - see assumption clashes above) a players action and finding the best mechanical representation for that action with every single move they make.

    Is it really so bad that your players might know how long it takes them to travel 15 miles through the wilderness, without having to ask you?
    >> MR. Anon 02/09/10(Tue)08:55 No.7997027
    Oh I do!
    Often preceded by shuffling to a specific page in my notebook or character sheet and saying "what's your perception + investigation again?" or something similar.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:01 No.7997078

    I'm running a Hunter: The Vigil game at the moment. The group I play with have NEVER seen, smelt, touched, heard or tasted a white wolf product prior to our first game and I took great pains to have them give me the character they wanted to play, make the sheet for them, ask them what changes they wanted implemented, finalised it, explained the mechanics and then started playing.

    Third session in, they're starting to get the idea that it's not pulp and they can't just kill people and leave the bodies strewn around their fight scenes. Also, they've started to plan out their actions ahead instead of "Oh, we can hit the broadside of a barn, bust in there and killem all!"

    On top of this, it allows me to introduce them to the world of darkness as a mortal would- they're ignorant. Damn ignorant, of the creatures of the night and how to fight them. Right now, they've come across a grand total of 1 ghost and 1 slasher. They ran the fuck away from both when the ghost kept hanging around them (Anchored to a PC) and beckoning them into an embrace (not a good idea) and when they found the slasher's hideout and saw the amount of victims he'd accumulated.

    Fear of the unknown is such a wonderful weapon.
    >> MR. Anon 02/09/10(Tue)09:02 No.7997081
    >Is it really so bad that your players might know how long it takes them to travel 15 miles through the wilderness, without having to ask you?

    I run oWoD, so far only in modern settings, so not only do they already know that, I have to ask them, say, how fast their moving compares with speed limits, etc.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:03 No.7997092
    Try doing that in Exalted. Or GURPS. Or Shadowrun.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:04 No.7997096
    >To look at the rulebook is to cheat.

    It's an RPG, not a board game, how the fuck do you cheat? Rules are not absolute, they are at best just suggestions, if to be used at all. Role Play, don't roll-play.
    >> northern /k/ommando 02/09/10(Tue)09:05 No.7997104
    in my experience the game runs much smoother if the players know the rules almost as well as the GM does.

    and it also prevents the GM from trying tp pull something off.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:07 No.7997116

    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:09 No.7997134
    >To look at the rulebook is to cheat.

    I don't mind the rest of the post, but punishing a player for showing interest on the game?

    What if he wants to DM one day? I think purposely not teaching them the system is selfish and unreasonable.
    >> Catgirl !AeOGI6SJZo 02/09/10(Tue)09:11 No.7997155
    The thing about GURPS is that it actively encourages you to ignore any rules that you don't want to use.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:12 No.7997161
    This can work great, but the DM/GM/ST has to really, really keep their players in mind.

    I'd imagine that this would be good for coaxing the more gamist players into more of an RP mindset, since you're effectively removing their "interface."
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:13 No.7997168
    This sounds like you don't know the rules, you don't want to know the rules, and you don't want the players to know if you pull some bullshit out of your ass because you feel like it. Go write a book or something.
    >> Exalted !OOirDpvrkA 02/09/10(Tue)09:17 No.7997206
    You know, with all the optional rules gone, it's only 32 pages...
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:18 No.7997215
    OP sound reasonable, provided that you have a game with rules so logical and intuitive the players don't even need to know there are mechanics backing their actions.

    In the real world, however, one of the most important elements of playing a game is rules mastery, knowing at least the basic mechanics so you can envision how and what your character can do. Because no game was ever put together by man, beast or machine that doesn't call for profound abstractions, or a computer to run it.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:20 No.7997229
    >The thing about GURPS is that it actively encourages you to ignore any rules that you don't want to use.

    That's pretty much ANY RPG except D&D really, and D&D is really a rpg optional boardgame.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:23 No.7997252
    >D&D is really a rpg optional boardgame.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)09:24 No.7997267

    But GURPS actually has paired-down rules available. Hell, the ultra-light version (for more freeform games) fits on one side of an A4 sheet of paper.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)10:59 No.7998121

    OP, you are a cheater and a moron. If you want to play a rules-light or extremely narrative oriented game, the world is full of them.

    This way, it simply sucks to play for you.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)11:26 No.7998384
    That's the why our games largely go. Partly because some of the players don't want to be arsed with reading the books in the first place. In systems that don't need players to 'game' the system this works best, with ones that need more 'special direction' you usually have to take a moment to ask what they want to do and explain what an action would entail if it hasn't come up before.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)11:57 No.7998710
    I'd probably smack any DM who said this upside the head and tell him if he tries it again I'd really hit him.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:00 No.7998730
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:01 No.7998743
    Why do you even use rules? Just roll some dice behind your screen and tell them anything that fits your railroad.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:06 No.7998780

    I can't believe this hasn't been said yet, but in before OPs picture is revealed to be a guy.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:08 No.7998789
    I hate when my players don't know the rules. I can run a game literally twice as fast if all the players know the rules. Plus, if the players don't know the rules, they don't even know how to do tactical combat meaning they will fail every single battle.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:10 No.7998801
    No in most game you can leave out some combat rules or some such maybe but most other rules are usually not optional.

    Whilst in GURPS everything other than roll 3d6 under your skill is optional.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:12 No.7998813
    My game are all like this, but mainly because my player rarely own the books or bother to read the rules.
    >> Boomer !!MBwbEofHcyx 02/09/10(Tue)12:14 No.7998832
    I try to be very rules light. My players have access to all of the rules and it is my game philosophy that the players are merely allowed to know the rules, it is the GMs job to know the rules.
    Also, i make it clear GM has final say on what the rules are and apologize for any rules conflicts beforehand.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:16 No.7998851
    >Has never played GURPS in his life.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:17 No.7998857
    Then don't play a game with 'tactical' combat if it is so involved that they fail at it for not knowing your specific rules.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:24 No.7998906
    Run things the same way. I buy all the books and memorize them, and they don't want to bother with 'em.
    Even when they try to run something, they never bother to read the all damn rules for what they are running. Then complain that they have trouble running games. Argh.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:29 No.7998934

    I more or less do this with my current 2nd ed AD&D game. I didn't always do it of course. In my old highschool group we played it pretty normally. All the PCs read the PHB and the various books relating to their class and race, myself and my friend, as the two potential DMs read the DMG, MM, and campaign setting books.

    However, that group more or less broke up long ago and only a handful of the players are around to play at any time. Most of my current players are newer friends, or friends of friends, who have never played before.

    Rather than teach them all the rules or require them to do a lot of reading I just gave them a write up on the setting and the types of characters they could make and let them decide what to play based on what they liked the sound of, then helped them make their character and gave them a rundown of the rules, enough to make reasonable decisions. Mostly stuff like how rogue abilites, spells, and magic items work. Also the combat phase and stuff. After that I basically ran the game in a narative fashion, describing everything rather than using numbers, dice, or game terms. It works really well. They know there's a rule system in place so that their decisions mean something and they have character progression but they don't need to know the rules themselves.

    Of course it means that I need to do all the rolling and keep track of all stats myself, but that's not as hard as you might imagine. Maybe it would be for another system, but I've been running 2nd ed for over a decade so the rules are second nature, and rather than roll all dice at the time I generate a huge list of results before the game and just go through them in order.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:32 No.7998959
    Whether the books are the domain of the DM, or of the DM and the players, is really just a matter of whether the players care enough to bother. Those people that don't want to read the books or master the system, they are people that you won't find on /tg/, but they are out there, perfectly willing to play, but no interest in digging around under the hood. The DM is more like a console that runs the game for them to play in these situations.
    I've been that DM, and generally like those games, you don't have to worry so much about CoDzilla or Pun-Pun and just run the game.
    >> BonusPoints !!BMGaNpKMqX2 02/09/10(Tue)12:42 No.7999034
    Your idea sounds terrifying, OP.

    I have, however, a pronounced and universal preference for complete system transparency.

    I can understand and accept players not having complete knowledge of the rules due to personal preference. I can understand and accept the rules for a game being difficult enough that some reference is necessary to use it fluently, even if I would prefer it was not the case. I have no love for obfuscating the rules by which the world operates, and the mechanics which dictate a character's experience of their own world. This is one reason I prefer TT RPGs to CRPGs; the actual rules are invisible in the latter, leaving me far less involved and forcing me to waste valuable time reverse-engineering them from outcomes. Do you have any idea how tedious that is?
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)12:48 No.7999079

    Not OP or anything, but I do understand where you're coming from. I used to play like that when I started out and I guess for a long time after that. However, over the years the rules themselves stopped mattering to me, and I only really played for the narrative interaction between players, and between players and the GM. Once I'd been to 30th level a time or two then the actual stats and mechanics sort of ceased to matter.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)13:15 No.7999411
    I like how half the people in this thread are convinced this idea is either a total disaster or massive trolling and the other half are going "yeah, that's pretty much what I do too".

    I'm not 100% on this, but I suspect the split is between people who have only/mostly played D&D and people who have played a wide variety of different RPGs. D&D style "strategic combat minis now featuring some roleplaying as a bonus" games are really the only ones where this sort of thing is outright incomprehensible. In the sort of games that try to be realistic and don't have many "special" mechanics, you indeed can play using only your common sense and not fuck up much.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)13:52 No.7999881
    >Or Shadowrun.
    we played low level Cyberpunk like that. Loads of fun. It ended in a bunch of violent deaths, but it was fun.
    >> Anonymous 02/09/10(Tue)13:54 No.7999920
    Well, I tend to use a homebrew system so utterly simplified that there hardly are any rules to know.

    Does that count?
    >> Amonynous 02/09/10(Tue)13:56 No.7999951
    Well, OP, I hope you like only ever running Paranoia because that's the only time when doing that does not make you a collosal douche.

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