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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Rules as Played.

    Ok, in real, honest to God table top session with actual dice and character sheets, how do we all play?

    In nearly three decades of gaming, I have never seen the rules lawyers win. The average 10th level wizard doesn't conquer the world because he read Nietsche, Adam Smith and Machiavelli. Any DM will smack down the infinite loops or chain gating. Most will wing the DMG at your head if you try to play tricks with the system and then cite the rulebook, or try to IHS the sun away.


    NPC kings, many unstated, hire adventurers to go on quests, and if the 9th level party attacks them , they hire a 10th level party to deal with it.

    Dirt farmers exist. 1HD monsters exist, none of them have studied Charles Darwin. For some reason, the PC's encounter tougher stuff as they get tougher.

    The rules work reasonably well for adjudicating actions for adventurers, those being fighting monsters, evading traps, jumping chasms, etc. They don't work, and weren't really intended to, for the village blacksmith.

    He makes more money than the local dung shoveller, regardless of how many ranks the guy put in Profession: Shovel Dung. He doesn't need to go kill goblins to get better at making horseshoes.

    How many of us adventure in a faux medieval England with some monsters and magic, and how many of us play in the Tippyverse?

    Can we have a RAP designation for threads, to limit discussion to stuff that could happen on the table, not what can be done by a reading of the rulebooks that would make Johnnie Cochran uneasy?
    Out of wine comes truth, out of truth the vision clears, and with vision soon appears a grand design. From the grand design we can understand the world. And when you understand the world, you need a lot more wine.


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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    I've a similar experience. Even if i recognize a lot of faults of the system that could be improved, and I see that when we discuss we should talk about RAW because is a starting common ground, I always had a blast with D&D.

    3.x, in particular, worked well for me from 1st to 40th.

    Nevertheless, as I said, RAW is RAW. Is our common ground to start with, otherwise, we couldn't have a common language, a way to confront.

    Moreover, RAW is fun - to discuss, to tweak. Is part of the fun of the game.

    I find sometimes some nitpick and bashing annoying, but I think that RAP should be an expansion of the discussion, a well accepted one maybe, but not a start.

    Just IMO, of course.
    Last edited by Kaiyanwang; 2009-12-16 at 01:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    The problem here is simple. It's not universal. What you consider "as played" isn't what the next person will. Whereas anyone can crack open a book and check RAW. RAW isn't just theoretical optimization, it's the entirety of the rules.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    I was going to come in here and whine about your inventing acronyms, but RAP actually makes sense. It's not a pointless meme like RAMS. We have RAW, RAI, and RAP for nice parallelism. Sort of like the CO division between PO and TO. I support your suggestion for a RAP designation.

    However, as a semi-rules-lawyer, I would have to say that rules lawyers win too often. Not necessarily a majority of the time, but too often.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Typically we go by the RAW. Things get banned as we go, but not before they're used. Just to get them out of the way, and make sure no one else uses them, I've used 3 infinite loops on a kobold each. Given the philosophy, the DM somewhat appreciates that I find these so they can be banned, because other players would use them in encounters that actually matter.

    Setting is pretty much Tippyverse, with the "The good wizard won" so universal magical education, magic solutions to everything and so forth. I was playing the Tippy wizard that won out, but that was in reaction to another player doing the same with an evil non-wizard (non-wizard being why I won)

    Edit: I win rules lawyers wars simply by remembering the shoddy house fix the DM made to unreasonably nerf a reasonable rule, and then started abusing the supposed fix at every turn. It's why I keep a tape recorder on me during sessions. To make sure I remember the exact wording.
    Last edited by Yukitsu; 2009-12-16 at 01:31 PM.
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    DM: aye, and it's not like she's been saved by a mysterious little girl and a band of real live puppets from a bad man and worse step-sister to go live with the faries in the happy land.
    Me: Yeah, a knight in shining armour might just bring her over the edge.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    I play with a whole pile of houserules. So many that I once had to ask these very boards whether or not it still counted as D&D (it does). I have feat trees that improve feats. I play using minor fighter fixes, monk fixes, magic fixes, feat progression, I've used alternate magic systems, banned things, instituded new things. I was part of a group who rewrote the stats (this was later turned into something else, and we went back to the 6 regulars). I've also played using RAW with occasional RAI to help the PCs out.

    Which one did I enjoy more? Neither, necessarily. Both were gaming, both were with friends.

    The problem with the statement "RAP: Rules as Played", is... When? Like I just said, I've played in an array of different ways. Playstyle is generally kick-in-the-door with some social encounters and meager descriptions, but I ran the Tomb of Horrors, and my PCs had fun (I consider ToH the exact opposite of my group's playstyle).

    As was said by the first responder, RAW gives us something to base our statements off. This board would have a hard time existing if we weren't allowed to discuss using RAW, as all concepts would have to be more deeply explained all the time, and, when dealing with houserules, things have a tendancy to NOT be set in stone, or bulletproof.

    My final analysis is: I play RAW until it doesn't make sense, then I houserule the stuff that doesn't make sense and keep going. Or, if I'm not the DM, I just go RAW until the DM tells me no. After all, I'm not in charge of the universe, he is.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    I've a similar experience. Even if i recognize a lot of faults of the system that could be improved, and I see that when we discuss we should talk about RAW because is a starting common ground, I always had a blast with D&D.

    3.x, in particular, worked well for me from 1st to 40th.

    Nevertheless, as I said, RAW is RAW. Is our common ground to start with, otherwise, we couldn't have a common language, a way to confront.

    Moreover, RAW is fun - to discuss, to tweak. Is part of the fun of the game.

    I find sometimes some nitpick and bashing annoying, but I think that RAP should be an expansion of the discussion, a well accepted one maybe, but not a start.

    Just IMO, of course.
    Agreed here. The other reason we use RAW is because no two groups play the exact same game. Its a Gentlemen's Agreement that started when Co was split into CO and TO, and has become a common code for debating rules on the forums. We don't play under the same DM, we don't play with the same house rules, and anyone can come up with house rules or interpretations. Therefore, it is best to leave these things out of a rules-based debate and just use what's written.


    This is also the difference between CO and TO, BTW. CO will use your DM's house rules if given the relevant information before hand. TO will use anyone and everyone's rules, or no one's at all if doing so allows a concept to be plausible. CO is supposed to try to not do this, and work within the given constraints of the OP (oversights will happen, but there's a lot of people who just post something for the sake of saying it).

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    My observation over the last few years has been that, although in practice no groups play exactly by the rules, many groups (especially newish ones) try to play exactly by them as much as is possible. More problematic are game masters who try to build theoretical worlds that function according to the rules of D20/3e as the background against which to set their campaign. They are usually not looking for versimilitude or suspension of disbelief, but an iron clad understanding of how all the rules interact in order to project an imaginary universe that accords with everything within the D20/3e rules system. A common realisation is that the result is undesirable, but that is not the case for everyone.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2009-12-17 at 06:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    My observation over the last few years has been that, although in practice no groups play exactly by the rules, many groups (especially newish ones) try to play exactly by them as much as is possible. More problematic are game masters who try to build theoretical worlds that function according to the rules of D20/3e as the background against which to set their campaign. They are usually not looking for versimilitude or suspension of disbelief, but an iron clad understanding of how all the rules interact in order to project an imaginary universe that accords with everything within the D20/3e rules system. A common realisation is that the result is undesirable, but that is not the case for everyone.
    The rules can be a fine thing, when applied to adventurers.Sure there are some silly things, and some easily abused things, but a quick DM ruling can keep those in line.

    The big silly thing is when people try to apply the rules for dundeon crawling to the political and economic system of the world.

    As much as I wouldn't want Adam Smith or Thomas Paine writing my RPG, I don't think the heirs of Gygax have a handle on the way the wide world works.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Concerning RAP, there are certain houserules out there that are so exceedingly common that people would be surprised to learn it's actually a houserule.

    The canonical example is probably gaining oodles of cash when you land on Free Parking, but in the matter of D&D at least I've met plenty of people who believe that a 20 auto-succeeds and a 1 auto-fails any skill check and are unaware that the rulebooks do not in fact say so anywhere.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The canonical example is probably gaining oodles of cash when you land on Free Parking
    That's not a rule

    Okay, given, I've never seen a monopoly rulebook in my entire life. My parents told me the rules as they had played it for 20+ years, and I just accepted that as making sense.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I've met plenty of people who believe that a 20 auto-succeeds and a 1 auto-fails any skill check and are unaware that the rulebooks do not in fact say so anywhere.
    I've always houseruled that a 1 is -10 and a 20 is +10.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Well, the book actually states that there is no inherent effect to a 1 or a 20 besides the mathematical value when making skill checks. Many checks, such as turning, do not specify.

    The key here is that automatic success or failure is now a specified section of the rules for attack rolls and saving throws- by the logic of the rules, it is not by RAW applicable to anything else that does not include an 'Automatic failure and successes' header. I personally don't like additional, ad hoc, unpredictable effects unless that's a stated precondition for playing- you have to put the rule out there or I'm going to be annoyed. Yes, this was the case back in 2nd ed too.

    To continue from that specific point, 'Rules as Played' often isn't superior to RAW. Stupid, nigh unplayable customs and traditions exist that would be tossed aside permanently if they weren't the status quo in a particular group. Also, if a new player appears, it is your responsibility, whatever you are in the group, to inform them of how much exactly of RAW you intend to throw out on a permanent basis, so they can at least make characters and play without being crippled due to being uninformed.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    I came up with the idea that if a Character uses a method that gives them too much power, then they ascend to godhood, and that method becomes their divine power, so no one else can do it.

    Neo the sorcerer had put together a loop with Celerity Timestop for large numbers of turns in a row. Then Bloodcasting, for even MORE turns in a row by converting
    Constitution to spells. Then Limited Wish, for Converting a spell (and XP) into Constitution, by duplicating a spell to fix the ability damage from Bloodcasting. He hogged the vast majority of the Glory of the Arc's Epic Final Boss Encounter by declaring it to be his turn again until he had done enough blast damage to blast the Monster out of existence, So he became a God, and Celerity became his new Unique Divine Power. (All versions of the spell got sucked right out of the scrolls and spellbooks it was in.) And so, celerity is banned, but it's banned ingame because you are not Neo, the God of Time, and Celerity is his domain.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    That's not a rule

    Okay, given, I've never seen a monopoly rulebook in my entire life. My parents told me the rules as they had played it for 20+ years, and I just accepted that as making sense.
    It's not a rule.

    It's apparently a globally used houserule, however.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Zincorium View Post
    To continue from that specific point, 'Rules as Played' often isn't superior to RAW. Stupid, nigh unplayable customs and traditions exist that would be tossed aside permanently if they weren't the status quo in a particular group.
    Sure, but stupid, nigh unplayable customs and traditions are also found in plenty of rulebooks (e.g. 2E unarmed combat, 3E grappling, 4E skill challenges, PF cool moves must have a high chance of failure). It is not a priori true that the game designers write better rules, or more balanced rules, than any experienced DM.

    There exists the sentiment that the written rules are Good and that deviating them is Bad, but this sentiment doesn't necessarily come with an understanding of what is so good or bad about it - for instance, how often do we hear on these forums of a DM who enforces core-only "because core is balanced"? How often do we see people propose a minor bonus only to have it decried as "unfair" regardless of how statistically significant it is?

    Overall, the game is determined by how good the DM and players are, and not by how "balanced" or "playable" the rules are considered to be. Most things that are unbalanced in theory work out fine in practice, and most things considered unplayable on forums play just fine at the game table.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Trying to argue RAP, or discuss it?

    It's like throwing someone who only speaks spanish, someone who only speaks italian, and someone that only speaks english in a room together.

    They may understand a point here or there, but it's a totally different language.

    That's why RAW is used. As imperfect as it is, it's understood by all.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    As far as RAP goes at my tables, the groups I generally play with are in my same age bracket and maturity level, so I've never had to nerf someone's character. We don't get into the Tippyverse at all. No infinite loops, no 1 level dips to get this ability, no epic spellcasting before epic levels, etc. My groups are primarily skill monkeys that can fight or cast spells as secondary abilities. And that's good, IMO, because my games are more RP oriented than combat oriented. And the characters in my groups don't need to run around killing monsters to gain levels and get better, either. It makes levelling faster, but they could go several levels stopping plots to take over the kingdom, and never lift a sword or cast a fireball.

    @Kurald: I didn't know that people didn't know that. As far as I know (no book in front of me, so don't hit me too hard on this), the RAW only says something about critical successes and critical failures for attack rolls and saves. Every group I've ever been in has played it that way...
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2009-12-17 at 08:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Rules as Played.

    Ok, in real, honest to God table top session with actual dice and character sheets, how do we all play?

    In nearly three decades of gaming, I have never seen the rules lawyers win. The average 10th level wizard doesn't conquer the world because he read Nietsche, Adam Smith and Machiavelli. Any DM will smack down the infinite loops or chain gating. Most will wing the DMG at your head if you try to play tricks with the system and then cite the rulebook, or try to IHS the sun away.
    Many of the worst Char Op 'abuses' were originally intended as no more than theoretical illustrations of how the RAW don't work as intended (Keith & Frank's The Wish and the Word), or as logical extrapolations of the existence of a particular ability (The Tippyverse). The originators of these thought experiments cannot be held responsible for what the Munchkin Hive try to do with their ideas.

    NPC kings, many unstated, hire adventurers to go on quests, and if the 9th level party attacks them , they hire a 10th level party to deal with it.

    Dirt farmers exist. 1HD monsters exist, none of them have studied Charles Darwin. For some reason, the PC's encounter tougher stuff as they get tougher.
    Speak for yourself. I might have the occasional "Halls of Noob" dungeon area, but the manticores, wyverns and hydras IMG didn't get the memo about level-appropriate challenges. It is the responsibility of the players to keep their characters alive.

    How many of us adventure in a faux medieval England with some monsters and magic, and how many of us play in the Tippyverse?
    Why you gotta make this a LOTR-vs-Dark Sun theme war?

    Can we have a RAP designation for threads, to limit discussion to stuff that could happen on the table, not what can be done by a reading of the rulebooks that would make Johnnie Cochran uneasy?
    "Yeah, yeah. Shut up and roll."
    Last edited by bosssmiley; 2009-12-17 at 08:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by bosssmiley View Post
    Speak for yourself. I might have the occasional "Halls of Noob" dungeon area, but the manticores, wyverns and hydras IMG didn't get the memo about level-appropriate challenges. It is the responsibility of the players to keep their characters alive.
    THIS is a sentence that should be repeated more times. SPAMMED, I guess. Without falling in the killer DM mode, but.. this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Moreover, RAW is fun - to discuss, to tweak. Is part of the fun of the game.
    I don't agree, and in general I find that discussions that are limited strictly to RAW are nearly worthless to anything that I do.

    It's fine for arguing character optimization and game rules, but not so much for just general roleplaying discussion.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by bosssmiley View Post
    It is the responsibility of the players to keep their characters alive.
    Absolutely.

    The players do not have the Inalienable Right to four level-appropriate encounters per day. They may on occasion meet much stronger foes, so should be prepared to use parlay, stealth or running away as viable strategical alternatives to the classic "I waste him with my crossbow!"

    Also, they may on occasion meet much weaker foes, like a group of level-1 thugs futilely trying to mug the level-9 PCs. Hilarity Ensues.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    Edit: I win rules lawyers wars simply by remembering the shoddy house fix the DM made to unreasonably nerf a reasonable rule, and then started abusing the supposed fix at every turn. It's why I keep a tape recorder on me during sessions. To make sure I remember the exact wording.
    Yeah, at most gaming tables I've played at - including my own - that would just get you a 'Pffff. We're trying to have fun here; don't be a jerk.' Repeats - especially if you brought a tape recorder as 'evidence' for a game where we're trying to have fun - would probably mean that you stopped being welcome as a player.
    Quote Originally Posted by InaVegt View Post
    It's not a rule.

    It's apparently a globally used houserule, however.
    I recently read a very well-founded argument that it's one of several house rules which resulted in no one liking Monopoly any more. Monopoly is actually a game that is much more sophisticated and fun when played by RAW.

    Free Parking giving you money and the dropping of the rule that states property is auctioned if the person who landed there doesn't buy it: both prolong the game unnecessarily (when was the last time someone complained a game of Monopoly ended too soon?) AND reduce much of the interaction between players that makes a game interesting.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    I win rules lawyers wars simply by remembering the shoddy house fix the DM made to unreasonably nerf a reasonable rule, and then started abusing the supposed fix at every turn. It's why I keep a tape recorder on me during sessions. To make sure I remember the exact wording.
    I can't think of any group that I've ever played with (even back when I was 10) where those sort of tactics would have "won" anything ... unless you count being thrown out of the group for being a disruptive jerk as "winning".

    I feel real pity for anyone who thinks that having a tape recorder as evidence in a game is a good idea, and even more pity for anyone who winds up playing with said person.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2009-12-17 at 10:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    Edit: I win rules lawyers wars simply by remembering the shoddy house fix the DM made to unreasonably nerf a reasonable rule, and then started abusing the supposed fix at every turn. It's why I keep a tape recorder on me during sessions. To make sure I remember the exact wording.
    Really? I don't win rules lawyers wars, because in doing so I would have to acknowledge that there is a war in the first place, and that in a cooperative game there is something to be "won" against other players.

    D&D isn't Nomic, and rules are a means, not an end.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    I don't agree, and in general I find that discussions that are limited strictly to RAW are nearly worthless to anything that I do.

    It's fine for arguing character optimization and game rules, but not so much for just general roleplaying discussion.
    As said, RAW is a start. Must be a start, but maybe for something like

    OP: "in my game happens this, I need X and Y"

    Forum: "X is in manual A. Y does not exist"

    OP: "so?"

    Forum: "In manual B, accordin to SRD, you can obtain something similar to Y. Otherwise, you can refluff Z as Y. Otherwise, this with -4".

    You see, here we discuss by RAW, but there are a lot of threads about reworking, covering loopholes, missing parts, and DM behaviour vs a certain issue.

    Thee matter is delicate - nevetheless, I can see what you are saying here. Things like "X is unplayable because" are too often faced in not constructive manner and lead only to silly mantras.

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    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    I recently read a very well-founded argument that it's one of several house rules which resulted in no one liking Monopoly any more. Monopoly is actually a game that is much more sophisticated and fun when played by RAW.
    That is a good point: certain common house rules are stupid. For instance, the house rule in D&D that you grievously injure yourself whenever you roll a 1 on an attack roll is stupid. (However, as Saph recently pointed out, it is also a Dead Unicorn Trope - essentially it is cited on forums much more often than it occurs in practice).

    However, it does not follow that house rules ("RAP") are overall more stupid than written rules (RAW). For instance, D&D characters dying at -10 rather than at 0 hp was, to my knowledge, originally a houserule but eventually got adopted into RAW.

    On the subject of Monopoly, however, I also believe that it is so disliked because it is very old (Wikipedia dates it at 1904, over a century ago) and the taste in games of the general public has changed. For instance, many contemporary games rely less on randomness than Monopoly does.
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    I utterly agree with the OP.
    Sure there is the occasional intentional tippyverse game someone plays just to see what they can get away with. But in that case the intention is to break the world as much as possible.

    No DM will let you chain gate anything or make a pun pun in a regular game. Wizards are not overpowered compared to the other tier 1 and 2 classes (although they do laugh at the poor tier 4 through 6 classes).
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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    On the subject of Monopoly, however, I also believe that it is so disliked because it is very old (Wikipedia dates it at 1904, over a century ago) and the taste in games of the general public has changed. For instance, many contemporary games rely less on randomness than Monopoly does.
    Monopoly has no more or less to do with randomness than Texas Hold em, arguably one of the era's more popular games.

    The randomness is what you get dealt. The skill is what you make of it. Of the last 100 games of monopoly I've played, I can count my losses on two hands (barely).

    No, monopoly fell out of favor for the same reason Axis and Allies isn't mainstream.

    It takes so long to play, it's crazy. That's the main difference between it and dominoes, poker, various casino gambling games, and the like that are as old, if not older, and yet still strong today. Not the randomness, but the time investment.

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    Default Re: Foregt RAW, let's talk RAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    On the subject of Monopoly, however, I also believe that it is so disliked because it is very old (Wikipedia dates it at 1904, over a century ago) and the taste in games of the general public has changed. For instance, many contemporary games rely less on randomness than Monopoly does.
    The randomness is also something the original rules address. Without Free Parking to give losing players a bump, poor play will result in elimination. Auctions do even more to reduce randomness: 'I land on it, I buy it if I have the cash' is no longer an automatic decision. What if you might get it cheaper through an auction? What if you having that money instead means you can get a monopoly through auction when someone else lands on another space? On the flip side, what if it means you don't have to money to buy something you land on later, that you can't afford to have go up for auction? Both buying decisions and inter-player negotiation become significantly more important. The dice still have a say in what happens, but that say is much reduced.

    It's not as tightly designed by modern standards as say, Settlers of Catan, but it's much more robust than most people give it credit for.

    EDIT: And it does speed things up a lot. Every property goes into play as soon as it's landed on, and the lack of Free Money means that players can't just hang on by their fingernails forever.
    Last edited by Lapak; 2009-12-17 at 11:00 AM.

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