I was reading this blog post (thanks to the RPG Blogger twitter feed) and it struck a chord. I think he’s not being totally accurate. I remember E. Gary Gygax being very proscriptive, his way or else, but in general the things are as described.
I did play a little D&D 3 over the internet with a pal, and my character had one trait that meant, if he caught an opponent unawares or off guard, he got lots of extra attacks. THe system seemed set up to let the powergamers run rip.
However in the old days, because there was less, people got a chance to adapt and have fun, home-brewing answers to questions as they came up, and that inspired others to create their own RPGs.
I was talking to day with Steve Turner, second in command at BGD who publish my C&S Essence RPG, and he was feeding back questions about things they players he was with would like to know about, in this case what difference reach of weapons made.
Now in this instance they have access to the publisher and through him the writer (and the inner circle he relies on to give his ideas their first sanity check) but it was nice to think that the group were prepared to do something about it if they felt they had to.
If you’ve read the other articles, you’ll know I had reasons for limiting the combat options, as I’d like a system that isn’t horrendously slower than the action it is supposed to simulate, so any addition is optional, but so far I have prepared different attacks, hit locations with a slightly different armour set up and now rules for reach in combat, which means mapping fights.
I think the next things to tackle are prayers and mass. After that I have the High Fantasy setting to complete, though that may go into the same piece of work. Illustrations are required so the graphics tablet will see some use.
The question is though, has WoTC converted RPGers to expect all the answers and to not adapt the game to suit themselves. Some responses I have had to my writing over the last few years suggests that a lot of players don’t like gaps. When you’re writing a light, cheap RPG that is potentially a problem.
If you’re writing an expensive, comprehensive RPG it’s even worse I suspect, the gaps will be resented even more. So. In addition to trying to tighten everything up with as few rules and special cases as possible, I think I may have to try and arrange some sort of feedback method, to answer the inevitable questions, which would be good, because at least it would mean people are reading and playing the game.
One place where you can add feedback or ask questions, in an informal way, is Shane DeVries’s forum