Monday, December 5, 2011

House Rules or what we can learn from The Hobbit.

"There's been a lot of talk about this next song..."

Yeah, there has been a lot of talk about frpg rules; what rules do we use, how do we use them, how do they apply, what rules do we add? I have, of course, mentioned that I'm from the rules lite school. I consider ODnD, Holmes Basic and Encounter Critical to be good examples of light rule systems. E.C.s status as a light rule system could certainly be debated. But , for one, there's no d20 in E.C. Conversely, there are all those percentile tables to create fun and confusion.

So, we worry about System X does it this way and System Y does it that way but I say pick a system and stick with it. If you have a problem with a rule or two use the time honored House Rules baby! There have been plenty of blogs written about House Rules too and many suggest that the House Rules should be printed and presented to the players as soon as the use of a new game system, or new campaign is started.

I have said it before and many, many other writers and bloggers point out that a game exists for fun, don't let the rules drag you down. Don't let the rules conflict with your idea for your game and prevent you, as a DM or gaming group, from having fun.

The best example I can provide for altering game rules to your setting would be a save vs. death by poisoning situation. Specifically, poisoning by spiders like in The Hobbit. Bilbo and the dwarfs get lost in the woods and are over whelmed by giant spiders. This would mean almost certain death to any low level characters if most frpg rules were applied as written. 'Cause giant spiders have poison which requires a saving throw thus causing the death of the low level p.c.

What happens in The Hobbit? The spider poison paralyzed the dwarfs who were wrapped in webs for later consumption allowing Bilbo to save them all.

Honestly, I guess the save vs. death aspect of low level encounters had been on my mind for the last two years and I have finally come to terms with my attitude toward this part of the game. I'll use the rules as they practically apply to my adventures and allow those low levels p.c.s to survive. I suggest, when applicable, we all use the rules as you like and fudge if and when needed.

Really, I just wanted to write a blog post that used the above photo.

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