Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rules I Cannot Abide

Because I am running on less than five hours of sleep and being forced to work a half-day on Xmas Eve, my blog today is about various rules I hate in various games. Without further ado:

*Taint of the Predator- Vampire: the Requiem. Apparently, someone at White Wolf decided that vampires are not bitchy and stand-offish enough. They must have overheard two WoD players at a convention talking about how their characters could work together to accomplish their mutual goals, and we cannot have White Wolf characters who cooperate. Hence, Taint of the Predator: when two vampires meet, they can instantly sense that one another are vampires (Ok, I'll admit I actually like that part.) However, their Beasts (inner predator instinct for you non-WoD players) have an impromptu dick-measuring contest, and if one vampire is significantly more powerful than the other, the loser flies into a panic. The VtR demo actually has a plot point that is reliant on this happening.
My solution: Vampires can sense one another. That's it. This does require a reworking of the lowest level of Protean, as it was designed to mitigate this rule. I haven't thought of anything yet. Good thing I'm not running VtR.

*You can't dodge more than 4 missiles at once- Palladium's Robotech RPG. Whoever wrote this rule must not have watched a whole lot of Robotech.
My solution: Ignore this rule entirely.

*Half-assed dodging- In Nomine. In the In Nomine system, every die roll is 3d6, counting two of those dice as the actual roll and one of them as the "check digit" that provides some kind of detail about the nature of the roll. (Damage, number of points healed, etc.) If you successfully dodge an attack, the CD subtracts from the number of points of damage you receive. My old group couldn't get past the idea of characters usually getting "winged" by every shot.
My solution: If your check digit beats the attacker's check digit, you dodge entirely. If the attacker beats you, you take full damage. On a tie you actually get winged and take half damage.

*You can hit yourself with your lightsaber- West End Games D6 Star Wars. On a sufficiently low lightsaber attack roll, it is possible for a Jedi to damage himself with his lightsaber. Because, you know, that happens all the goddamn time in the movies.
My solution: I make it a policy to ignore any rule that causes me to imagine Yakity Sax as the background music for my game.

*You can trip a gelatinous cube- D&D 4th edition. Actually, 4e has so many rules I have a problem with it could very easily be a post unto itself. Realizing this was, however, the Beginning of the End for me and the latest edition of Ye Olde Game. It is a cube, people. If you trip it, you've just changed what side of it is on the floor.
My solution: Play a different edition.

Ah, I just found out we can leave now. More stupid rules may or may not follow.

Happy Holidays to all you Blogging types.


  1. Brilliant post! I love anger channeled into blogging!

    About that Vampire rule. In some ways it seems as if the designers really wanted to get across the idea that being dead sucks. It's awful, painful and not trendy, chic or sexy. You're DEAD!

    That's great and all, but I hate the fleeing part if you get psyched out by another vamp. Couldn't a storyteller just say, "You look into her eyes and the hair on your neck stands on end. You tremble for just a moment, sensing a dark powerful spirit before you."

    No fleeing, no humiliation. Simple.

    Bravo on tripping the cube. Next thing you know, people will trip puddings, slimes and perhaps a Beholder.

  2. Beyond agreeing with the rest, I thank you for an entertaining post --but take a bit of issue with the Lightsabre thing. It just makes sense one /could/ fumble and well...that'd be ouchy.

    Best to you & yours, :D

  3. Do you need to roll before voluntarily falling on your lightsaber, in a desperate attempt to end the game and go play some Nintendo64?

  4. @TS- The notion of fumbling a lightsaber and being unable to dodge clouds of missiles are both reasonable, but not true to the source material. Robotech is anime and Star Wars is highly cinematic, and I find that the rules do not emulate the source material, and in fact run contrary to it. Were the games based on more "realistic" milieus, I wouldn't begrudge them.

    @Paladin- I never owned a Nintendo 64, but I can certainly understand the sentiment. Actually, there are very few incentives to play a Jedi in WEG's version of Star Wars. (And, given that it is based around the Rebellion Era, this was probably intentional.)

  5. Oh, and Christian... you can trip ooze like creatures of any sort. You can also trip insubstantial creatures, quadrupeds, etc. In fact, on the matter of insubstantial creatures, you can hit them with ordinary weapons now, doing only half damage, but you can still whack a ghost with a plain ol' longsword.

    Gods, I hate 4E.