IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Breaking the Rules, How many do YOU break?
FrostyNSO
post Aug 23 2004, 03:25 AM
Post #1


Resident Legionnaire
*****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,136
Joined: 8-August 04
From: Usually Work
Member No.: 6,550



I've noticed when I GM, a great many rules that the books set down, slow things down a lot.

In fact, last time I GMed, I took note of how many times I 'improvised' a rule because it was quicker than the one in the book and I've come to the conclusion that my games would be sneered upon by even those who would not consider themselves 'rules lawyers'.

Now I don't do this because I don't like the rules, but usually because it is faster and keeps the action on track. Of course when I GM rules get broken ALL THE TIME in the interest of furthering the plot.

How many times has everyone else thrown out 'flux' rules and just winged up a faster house rule on the fly? Or how many times have you guys just slapped a gun on an enemy vehical without bothering to see if it actually can mount that turret?

...?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Hague
post Aug 23 2004, 04:02 AM
Post #2


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 32
Joined: 16-August 04
From: Ohio
Member No.: 6,564



Frosty, we must have gone to the same School of GMing! :D

I've ignored rules simply because the plot demanded that a certain thing happened or didnt happen. The story demanded that a character be slightly stunned for a short period of time, so when he got whacked in the head with the lid off a toilet tank, guess what? No body roll, no armor modifier, no nothing....you're on the ground, and you see someone jump over you and run away.

And like you say, sometimes the rules slow things down. Bad.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cynic project
post Aug 23 2004, 05:00 AM
Post #3


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,032
Joined: 6-August 04
Member No.: 6,543



Is shadowrun a game or a chore?If the rules make the game feel like a chore you should change the rules to be more fun. Seeing as Shadowrun for the most part has the best rules in game systems(At least for me) you do not need to change the rules as much as other games. I change few rules but I do the changes for both PC and NPCs,and warn players about the changes before they make their characters or change them later on with karma.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SirKodiak
post Aug 23 2004, 05:03 AM
Post #4


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 120
Joined: 3-May 04
Member No.: 6,298



QUOTE
I've ignored rules simply because the plot demanded that a certain thing happened or didnt happen. The story demanded that a character be slightly stunned for a short period of time, so when he got whacked in the head with the lid off a toilet tank, guess what? No body roll, no armor modifier, no nothing....you're on the ground, and you see someone jump over you and run away.


The thing to be careful of, is to make sure that your NPCs aren't doing things the players can never do. Fudging stuff to move the plot forwards can be fine to use periodically. But even if your players have to roll to try to knock someone out with the lid of a toilet tank, it should be possible. Similarly, if you had rolled the toilet tank attack, it should have been possible for the NPC to win. Basically, it's usually a bad idea to do things that the players know are only possible because you broke the rules.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ol' Scratch
post Aug 23 2004, 05:03 AM
Post #5


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Validating
Posts: 7,999
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,890



Break the rules? Not often. Change the rules? Quite often.

If you're going to ignore the rules -- whether as written or house -- then why bother playing the game? When you do that, you're basically just turning it into little more than "this is my story and you're only here for the ride." As the game master, it's your job to read the rolls and tell the story as the dice fall. If someone tried to club someone else upside the head with a toliet seat, you should roll normally to find out what happens. If they succeed, they succeed and you run with it. If they fail, they fail and you run with it.

Fudging is the domain of poor GMs and uncreative storytellers.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cain
post Aug 23 2004, 05:29 AM
Post #6


Grand Master of Run-Fu
*********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 6,840
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Tir Tairngire
Member No.: 178



On the contrary. Fudging is the domain of the best storytellers, who want a shared gaming experience to be more prevalent than random dice rolling.

I think what Hague means is, there's nothing in the rules that would indicate "dazed". So, you improvise a bit. The character gets hit by said toilet tank, and takes a Moderate stun. The GM fudges on the knockdown roll (but hey, if you've been hit upside the head with a toilet, you're probably going to be on the floor if you're not an ork or troll-- and even if you are, all the spilled water might make you slip). The character tries to make a grab for the fleeing NPC, but the GM adds all the applicable penalties-- damage, on the ground, difficult terrain, and so on; combine that with a touch of karma for the NPC, and you've virtually guaranteed an escape. You can then describe it as: "You're just too woozy from the toilet tank hitting you."

I tend to fudge more often than most, simply because I have a tendency to fumble a lot as a GM. When you're running an NPC with a skill of 8+, and they all come up ones, I'm going to fudge it into a simple failure if it's critical for the game. "You narrowly dodge the shot, and you realize if you hadn't moved just right, it would have hit square between your eyes." is a lot more dramatic, and makes the NPC seem more threatening, than "He shoots himself in the foot."

I've also done something similar with a particular recurring NPC in one campaign. Because I use a reversed-initative system, the faster characters can wait and see how the battle is going before acting; this guy would watch all this support get mowed down and decide to run. I would fudge a bit on his Mass Confusion rolls, (but he actually seldom needed it, Hooray for specific spell foci!) which was his standard spell to throw just before running away. This happened so often, the players shoved almost all their karma into raising their willpower just to fight this spell.... whereupon he switched to Chaotic World. They eventually got him, at the end of a long campaign, in a near-epic fight (he has signed up with some Horror agents, and came up against the PC's at the end of Harlequin's Back).
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mr. Man
post Aug 23 2004, 05:32 AM
Post #7


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 313
Joined: 26-February 02
From: UCAS
Member No.: 1,015



Funny you should mention the flux rules. We were just trying to find out the other day what trouble someone trying to use a tranceiver underground would have. For some reason I thought barrier ratings would come into play. The verdict: No penalty.

Basically you could be inside a lead-lined vault and have a clear signal, but if the air is humid watch out!

:please:

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kickshot
post Aug 23 2004, 05:55 AM
Post #8


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 34
Joined: 12-August 04
Member No.: 6,558



I don't know. Fudging dice rolls seems awfully like another manifestation of the ole player railroad - regardless of what they do, how skilled they are, or how much luck they have on their side, the outcome is always going to be the one that "advances the storyline." No matter how resistant to magic your character is or what kind of tactics you pulled to dampen his spellcasting ability, the bad guy is always going to nail you with that confusion spell and manage to get away.

Might as well just do away with the whole system and go completely freeform.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
BitBasher
post Aug 23 2004, 06:10 AM
Post #9


Traumatizing players since 1992
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 3,282
Joined: 26-February 02
From: Las Vegas, NV
Member No.: 220



I completely agree. I generally despise any situations where a GM breaks rules specifically for story. I think the GM violates the trust of his players to cheat in those circumstances. If the players manage to kill an important NPC then they earned that. I don't think any story should be written with any elements that require X or Y because that is not fair to the players. I don't feel that story at the expense of railroading is acceptable.

This is all just my opinion, as some players and GM's have no problem with that.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ol' Scratch
post Aug 23 2004, 06:12 AM
Post #10


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Validating
Posts: 7,999
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,890



QUOTE (Cain)
On the contrary. Fudging is the domain of the best storytellers, who want a shared gaming experience to be more prevalent than random dice rolling.

Actually, I said fudging makes for a bad GM (in that they have to cheat) and an uncreative storyteller (in that they have to cheat in order to tell their story). It's a roleplaying game. If you just want to sit around a table and tell a story, then that's your perogative. But that's only half of what an RPG is.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
FrostyNSO
post Aug 23 2004, 06:24 AM
Post #11


Resident Legionnaire
*****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,136
Joined: 8-August 04
From: Usually Work
Member No.: 6,550



I try to be judicious with fudging because otherwise my players would complain. A good example of something I would fudge would be like if there is a specific NPC that is helping out the PC's in a gunfight. This NPC is one of the character's girlfriend. The story requires that she be killed. If the bad guy rolls horribly, he still hits her, but maybe she is mortally wounded and will die in minutes...

I won't ever fudge things that will directly hurt my PC's, but I will occasionally give them the little helping hand of fate. Usually, the helping hand of fate will take something away later on to compensate for that though.

Railroading is horrible, but sometimes it needs to be done (and in this case I hate to call it that) to establish a hook for the characters to follow. Don't get me wrong, one of the things I like best about GMing is watching the dice fall and telling the story as it rolls out, but sometimes you have to inject that specific type of drama or tension that random dice rolls can't provide. If an NPC you intended to be an ongoing villian gets killed by a flip dice roll, that's when reinforcements arrive, and one of those guys has a high biotech skill...

If you rely entirely on the falling of the dice, you can end up with runs that have no common thread or seem to lack continuity. Having a recurring enemy that pops up from time to time, or that the PC's are trying to track down can provide that thread, sometimes you have to improvise to create the tension. Rather than you shot him and he died before he gets to his limo, you could say he manages to limp into the limo and the driver guns it.

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Glyph
post Aug 23 2004, 06:27 AM
Post #12


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,116
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,449



To me, there are two kinds of "fudging" being discussed here:

The first kind is done not to affect the outcome, but to speed up play. Coming up with a roll and a TN off the top of your head to determine if the rigger makes that hairpin turn, because you don't want to interrupt an exciting chase to look through a half-dozen rulebooks. I can live with things like that, if they don't get used so much that they make the fine-tuning you have put into your character useless (in other words, if decking is reduced to one computer test to see if you got the data, then why bother upgrading your attack program?). But still, there are times when a GM needs to resolve an action with a snap decision, including situations that the rules don't cover. The only problem with doing this too much is that it erodes the consistency of the game. But that's only if it's done too much.


The second kind of fudging is used more by "storytelling" GMs. If the main villain needs to get away, or the PC needs to survive, then the dice results are adjusted accordingly. I don't much care for the tactic, myself. To me, the randomizing effect of the dice rolls is what keeps it from being "story time with the GM". The game is more intense when the threat of death is real, and when you know that you can take down the head bad guy with a lucky manabolt, just like that street ganger could take you down with a lucky shot.

And if you really need for the main villain to survive, just remember... he has a Karma Pool too.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
FrostyNSO
post Aug 23 2004, 06:39 AM
Post #13


Resident Legionnaire
*****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,136
Joined: 8-August 04
From: Usually Work
Member No.: 6,550



I make up rules for speed quite a bit and havn't run into complaints yet. So long as their consistant and as was said, don't downplay the characters' skills/equipment.

The problem is not so much when a lucky shot takes down the villian, as when a lucky shot (coupled with bad rolling on the PC's part) takes down the PC. This can make the game less enjoyable for that person and that's when a fudge might be appropriate.

Karma pool is great, but (and this is strictly my players so don't flip) my players seem to get more upset when an NPC uses karma pool than when I 'have reinforcements show up'. I don't understand this one bit, but whatever.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Hague
post Aug 23 2004, 04:42 PM
Post #14


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 32
Joined: 16-August 04
From: Ohio
Member No.: 6,564



Now hang on a second here.

I've also let the players slide when it was within the best interests of the plot to do so. They either rolled real bad or managed to say the wrong thing to the wrong person, or whatever.

Yes, its a GAME. And when rules slow it down or take it to the point where its not much fun, whats the point? Might as well play something on the computer, where you can die again and again, as long as you saved your game. But you have to stick with what has been programmed into it, the story. No deviating at all.

Maybe I wasnt clear enough in my first post. Yes, there is a plot/story/whatever you want to call it in adventures that I've GMed.

No, players arent just "along for the ride". Not when I GMed, anyway. I dont make such a rigid story that they've no choice but to go along with things. But if the bad guy that the entire campaign (yes, campaign) is centered around rolls a 2 when he needs a 3, theres absolutely nothing wrong with letting him live, although seriously messed up, instead of throwing out all the work I've put into it. Yes, he'll die, by the characters' hands...eventually. But not if he gets geeked the first time out.

Things like this are reserved for bad guys that are absolutely essential to the story. That ork ganger that the PC's just happened to bump into in the alley....well, if he rolls a 2 when he needs a 3, tough luck, chum.

Like I said, I've let players get away with things, too. Plenty of things.

Then again, I also make much use of a GM screen, so the players dont know that whatever happened happened because its in the best interests of the campaign. They think that the bad guy rolled a 2 instead of a 4, or managed to hit that TN of 12.

If you cant remember the target # for driving over potholes in a Mobmaster at 100 kph, make something up. Something realistic.

I dont look up every little thing to make sure I'm crunching numbers correctly. This is a game, not a math competition. If I wanted to do all kinds of math and figure out formulas all day long, I'd have stayed in high school a few extra years (like, eight). If thats fun for you, more power to ya.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kagetenshi
post Aug 23 2004, 07:33 PM
Post #15


Manus Celer Dei
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 17,006
Joined: 30-December 02
From: Boston
Member No.: 3,802



Actual fudging of the rules should, IMO, be done extremely rarely. An inconsistent application of the rules results in the inability of players to make predictions based on their past experiences, which is an exceedingly bad thing.

~J
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Voltage
post Aug 23 2004, 08:32 PM
Post #16


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 29
Joined: 26-January 03
Member No.: 3,955



The first thing I do when I'm laying down ideas for a campaign/adventure is think "What will the PCs do to screw this up". Then, I plan for that as well. The "bad guy" dies too early to construct a nuke to be disarmed in a later mission? Well it turns out his brother was his accomplice. Rare serum accidentally destroyed? The scientist who constructed it is still alive, track him down and you might get more...

I don't cheat rules for story, however I do cheat them if the game is no fun. If battles are going to slow, they speed up; if a PC is about to get wasted just because I rolled lucky for a shot, they're going to be barely hanging on to life instead.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Necro Tech
post Aug 24 2004, 02:44 AM
Post #17


UMS O.G.
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 444
Joined: 18-May 04
Member No.: 6,335



I try to fudge as little as humanly possible. I make my players learn their own damn rules and this helps a lot. If you are playing the rigger, make a damn crib sheet with how your stuff works. Wanna do some ritual sorcery? Look it up before hand or while others are doing stuff. When I'm the GM, I try and look up and write down all the rules I'm gonna need for my people. If my group generally ignores a rule (like vehicle manuver scores) the everyone ignores it.

What I never do (and get a ton of shit for) is fudge dice rolls. I have watched whole campaigns and story arcs get totally derailed by a weird roll. It happens in every game system but to me that is some of the most fun. I had a player cast power bolt at a fleeing car. The car was supposed to get away. The target number was 24. Player rolls 26. Car takes D damage. Major on the fly story re write.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Shockwave_IIc
post Aug 24 2004, 05:38 PM
Post #18


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,512
Joined: 16-August 03
From: Northampton
Member No.: 5,499



QUOTE (FrostyNSO)
The problem is not so much when a lucky shot takes down the villian, as when a lucky shot (coupled with bad rolling on the PC's part) takes down the PC.  This can make the game less enjoyable for that person and that's when a fudge might be appropriate.

This i find to be a good case of fudging. If my players saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, then they are gonna get burned for it. However, Joe blow the Security guard, getting a lucky hit and causing a deadly passed, on the mage?? Na, Soak a Serious and check for magic loss. If they complain? Fine then, soak a twice passed Deadly "mister i've got only body 3".

QUOTE
Karma pool is great, but (and this is strictly my players so don't flip) my players seem to get more upset when an NPC uses karma pool than when I 'have reinforcements show up'.  I don't understand this one bit, but whatever.

Yeah, A good competant Bad guy/Zombie (Fill in your own choice of evil nastyness) roll's his double figure dice attack, and gets only two success, So i karma pool it, so that he/it can be the challenge it's meant to and i get

"You trying to f***ing kill us or what??"
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dax
post Aug 24 2004, 07:37 PM
Post #19


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 194
Joined: 24-January 04
Member No.: 6,013



I've fudged before. But its something that I only use when rule conflicts begin to slow down the game. Case in point.

In a game I GM'd recently, someone was playing a Street Sam. Some Pro Tir elves had opened fire on him via his apartment window. Taking a page from the book of the Punisher, he had 4 grenades hidden under his coffee table. He flipped it up to form a barier, grabbed a grenade, pulled the pin and prepared to throw. At this point, the Elves nature spirit used its accident power to force him to drop the grenade at his feet.

What followed was an intence rules debate between two on my players on what modifiers where in place, what happened in reguards to blast backlash, and the presence of the other grenades. So I decided to put the argument to an end.

I fudged the rules and told the player he was knocked out and bleeding out from the blast. He probably should have gotten alot worse, but I wanted to keep things moving in the interest of the lack of time that our group has to work with.

That kind of stuff I don't have a problem with. Blatent rail-roading I do.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 18th July 2024 - 06:11 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.