RPGaDay 2020 Day 9 – “Light” #RPGADAY2020

Today’s prompt is the inverse of yesterday’s… “Light”.

Rather than take it as the direct opposite of yesterday’s post, I think I’ll talk about one of the ongoing debates people have in RPG’s rules-light (fluffy) versus rules-intense (crunchy).  Which do you prefer?  For me, I like both… it really depends on the sort of game I’m looking to run/play.  Shadowrun is a very crunchy system, where 7th Sea (2e) is a very fluffy system.  I enjoy both systems for what they are, but why is that?  For me it boils down to realism.  For games where it has some heavy grounding in reality, I prefer a little more meat on the rules bone.  I want rules to help me to define the situations that may arise.  There is definitely a point where the rules are too heavy, but I want more definition to my games where your life can hinge on a single throw of the dice.

On the flip-side of that, when games thrive when you throw caution to the wind, slowing that action down with too many rules can detract from the game as a whole.  Games like 7th Sea and Ten Candles, where death is either pre-approved by the player or a sure thing, ironing out every side effect for an attack doesn’t make a lot of sense.  You are looking to show off and be fabulous or go out in a blaze of glory that you’ll talk about for a long while after.  Rules shouldn’t interfere with that.

There is a reason I run my Shadowrun games lighter than the book typically portrays.  Ultimately, I want my players to shine in the game.  A campaign is their story and when you allow the players to show off and make mistakes that aren’t inherently lethal, the game takes on a new life.  I have earned a nickname in my group… “rules bitch”… not necessarily because I’m a rules lawyer, but more because I have a penchant for storing those rules in my brain with decent recall.  It allows me to not mire down a game with searching for rules and to ignore the rules I don’t want to clutter our game with.  Straddling the line between light and heavy rules falls to each individual GM, so that the game flows as they feel it should.

~ by 1nsomniac on August 9, 2020.

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