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Blind samurais, naked Dwarfs, and other problematic rules.

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
Sometimes, the rules as written in an RPG can cause some funny or annoying constant outcomes. Some are so persuasive that anyone who plays the game in question knows the problem by its own nickname. For example:

Blind Samurai - In FGUs Bushido, the way that stats are allocated means that the average Samurai is horrible at 'perception / spot hidden' type actions. You could count on a Samurai to walk blindly into almost any ambush you want to arrange.

Naked Dwarf - In the first edition Warhammer RPG almost every dwarf would have a toughness so high that wearing armor was completely redundant. So they did not wear any and were still much less likely to take damage than any non-dwarf character.

What else is out there like this?

Mitch
 

Steve Conan Trustrum

Head Misfit
Validated User
Glass ninja syndrome from Torg: Damage is tied to how high your attack roll is without being relative to the hit/miss threshold. So, hitting a high DEX character is very hard to do. If you do hit, though, you get a massive damage result because the roll has to be so high.
 

tolcreator

Registered User
Validated User
Naked Dwarf - In the first edition Warhammer RPG almost every dwarf would have a toughness so high that wearing armor was completely redundant. So they did not wear any and were still much less likely to take damage than any non-dwarf character.
To be more precise: Armour adds to your toughness, and if I recall, the best armour adds 3 (plate + chain + padding), so an average person (T3) in full plate (+3) counts as T6 (subtracts 6 damage from each attack). A dwarf could start the game with T6, so that naked dwarf was as well armoured as that fully armoured knight.

Far from being redundant however, that same dwarf then dons full plate to become nigh on invulnerable (well if it weren't for the exploding damage die)

There was an entire book full of "stupid" rules like this, I think my favourite was from Gurps: A character in total darkness suffered -10 to all attacks. But a character who was on fire only suffered -X (I can't remember the exact figure, but it was less than 10).

Edit: Scooped on "Murphy's Rules"
 
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CLAVDIVS

Postmodern Futurist
Validated User
The darts one bugs the hell out of me, because historical, actually-used-in-combat darts (which the ones in D&D are) were closer to a kunai than anything anyone threw at a wall in a pub.
 

tolcreator

Registered User
Validated User
The darts one bugs the hell out of me, because historical, actually-used-in-combat darts (which the ones in D&D are) were closer to a kunai than anything anyone threw at a wall in a pub.
I never figured they were pub darts, but more like the darts Orcs threw at people in LOTR, i.e., small javelins.
 

Mailanka

Honest Eshu
Validated User
To be more precise: Armour adds to your toughness, and if I recall, the best armour adds 3 (plate + chain + padding), so an average person (T3) in full plate (+3) counts as T6 (subtracts 6 damage from each attack). A dwarf could start the game with T6, so that naked dwarf was as well armoured as that fully armoured knight.

Far from being redundant however, that same dwarf then dons full plate to become nigh on invulnerable (well if it weren't for the exploding damage die)

There was an entire book full of "stupid" rules like this, I think my favourite was from Gurps: A character in total darkness suffered -10 to all attacks. But a character who was on fire only suffered -X (I can't remember the exact figure, but it was less than 10).

Edit: Scooped on "Murphy's Rules"
I believe in Warhammer Fantasy RP second edition, there was a cantrip-level spell called "Glow." You could touch an item and make it glow for a duration (15 minutes or so) after which the item disintegrated. The intention, of course, was to still use up your torches, until some clever guy got the idea to cast glow on locked safes or castle portcullises and the evil rings that needed to be destroyed, and so on. Debate raged (briefly, before GMs would put their foot down) whether one could apply Glow to people... or dragons.
 

Rangdo

I used to be Ovid.
Validated User
Here's a link to an older thread on this.

WFRP1 also had the issue that if you missed a roll by, IIRC, 30% or more, it was an especially disastrous failure. Given that average humans started out with stats of 31%, that meant that fumbles were more likely than any kind of success at all.
 

DDogwood

Cyborg Space Pirate
Validated User
Murphy's Rules were great. I think my favorites were the fact that a newborn baby could throw a football something like 30 yards in the original HERO system, and that in a fantasy system with critical fumbles (Rolemaster?) a battle with 10,000 soldiers would result in hundreds of them accidentally chopping their own limbs or heads off.

For the most part, though, any game requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief because of these things. I played my first game of Zombiecide with some of my students this week, and after several survivors had discovered chainsaws, katanas, and submachine guns with their Search actions in a single room, one of my students said "so what was happening in this bathroom before our survivors got here, anyway?!?"
 
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