[Rifts] -- Rifts workable? Possibly, maybe...

Started by Andre Canivet, May 22, 2010, 03:10:13 AM

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Callan S.

QuoteBasically, what you are saying is that if the DM has to change a rule in mid-play to handle a situation that comes up, it is a change in the game system.
Technically it ends the previous game and starts a new game that shares alot of components with the old and begins with starting conditions drawn from the end of the prior game, but contains the new rule. Thinking on my own actual play history, I could actually feel these moments without actually being able to articulate it - a feeling of dropping/emptying out, grasping the call and then tentatively building up with the understanding of it - usually to face a drop out not too much further on in play.

Regardless, recognising there was a change at all would be a start and significantly different from individuals acting as if they are still just 'playing the game(as is)'.
QuoteThis may not matter to most players and DM's, but should be important to game designers, as it indicates a potential hole in our design?
I'm not saying it should and nor for that reason - for anyone who thinks design requires recognising the changes you've made, then your own values are saying that it's not only important to recognise changes, but required for design. Check your own values on the matter.

QuoteSo you don't have a problem with the players/DM's changing the rules to fit their own play style (putting money in the middle for free parking in monopoly), but you think such changes should be a clue to designers?
No, I think it should be a clue to the very people 'playing the game' that they aren't 'playing the game', they've made changes and made a new game. People who make one or two changes in monopoly - technically it's not monopoly, but I can understand ignoring the difference rather than being accurate, particularly as they stick with the couple of changes. But people playing an RPG and making dozens or hundreds of rule calls/changes?

I'm not sure it's dreadful to say 'we didn't play D&D, we played a derivative we invented', but perhaps people build up an identy around 'having played D&D' or whatever RPG.

Quoteand I am not sure it is possible to make a system that covers all ideas a player has.
Again, it's your goal to cover all ideas a player might have pop into his head - just because you've come up with that goal doesn't mean what I've said is flawed. Indeed I find the 'any idea the player has' to be flawed - why not just sit around with no rulebook and just write or talk, like co-authors or group authors of books do? Any rule you supposedly 'apply' is only as much as by chance it didn't get in the way of anyones idea. What's the point of having rules that have absolutely no authority over ideas at the table - they'll have zero effect on the outcome of the activity, because someone either can blow them away with 'an idea', or their idea is to humour the rule, when in that case they aren't following the rule, the idea of a rule is following them. Indeed the only use I can think of is passive aggressive creative control on the part of the GM, or some socially dominant person at the table, where if that individual decides they want their idea (or someone elses idea they approve of) then they go on about how it's about whatever idea you can think of. But if they don't like an idea, they start rolling dice and saying they are applying rules as if they matter. If questioned, they'll simply assert their ideas come first, because 'they are GM' or have put in alot of effort or it's their house. Then it comes down to an ugly social standoff with friendship on the line - which since alot of gamers have done this since they were twelve, they think is normal social behaviour. That or other participants know it'll get ugly and just let the social wrangler have his way - usually they cease to really do anything activity wise and mostly socialise, or even snooze.

Were sort of repeating old ground in someone elses thread. For a reply it might be best to either use your other AP account or start a new one and in either case, link to here/these posts. :)


My experience with Rifts as a teenager was that I really enjoyed making characters (even though it took for-freakin-ever) because there was so much versatility.  Everything was just so cool.  You sort of hit on what made the game so fun: the fact that you could be so many completely different things.  However, the versatility of Rifts characters came from the fact that they were cobbled together from different Palladium games, so it got confusing when the rules didn't mesh between the games.  Mega-damage was another cool thing about Rifts, but it was easy to go overboard with it, and the versatile characters thing often led to one or two really overpowered mega-damage characters with the rest of the party being more "role-player" types, which in turn made things hard to run for the GM.  I think that's what made challenge ratings from 3.5 D&D so appealing.  CRs made it easier for DMs to decide at a glance what the party could handle.

Every time my gaming group brings up Rifts, we groan collectively, but I always thought it would be fun to play with a group of regular humans.  Your story makes it sound like I was right.  Thanks for sharing!