Things you hate that RPGs do to players (pet peeves)

NathanS

Registered User
Validated User
I think this is a general problem: it's difficult to talk about one's tastes without suggesting that what you prefer is just fundamentally better than what you don't prefer. It happens a lot with music, for instance. You can try to minimize that, though, and it'd be better if more TTRPGs did.
Well you can try, I think its impossible to do so, mostly because if a given style is far enough from our own its often near impossible to understand how anyone could consider it valid or good. I'd say these "X thing I hate thread" provide a good example, if you're not going in willing to deal with people likely saying that the thing you like is stupid or bad design then you're not going to be able to handle well.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Well you can try, I think its impossible to do so, mostly because if a given style is far enough from our own its often near impossible to understand how anyone could consider it valid or good. I'd say these "X thing I hate thread" provide a good example, if you're not going in willing to deal with people likely saying that the thing you like is stupid or bad design then you're not going to be able to handle well.
Eh. I think its entirely possible to say "This thing is so much not what I want out of a game its virtually the anti-game for me" or "I can't begin to enjoy this thing" without ascribing an objective negative to it. There are games that are doing exactly what I don't want out of a game, but are still well designed for what they are trying to do. It just requires doing some unpacking and not just giving a flip one-liner about them.
 

NathanS

Registered User
Validated User
Eh. I think its entirely possible to say "This thing is so much not what I want out of a game its virtually the anti-game for me" or "I can't begin to enjoy this thing" without ascribing an objective negative to it. There are games that are doing exactly what I don't want out of a game, but are still well designed for what they are trying to do. It just requires doing some unpacking and not just giving a flip one-liner about them.
Yeah but the point is they still fall into the range of what you consider well designed. They are still closer to what you like in design approach. That's still sets up a limit where you're likely to go "No, that thing a game/person" is doing is stupid and wrong.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Yeah but the point is they still fall into the range of what you consider well designed. They are still closer to what you like in design approach. That's still sets up a limit where you're likely to go "No, that thing a game/person" is doing is stupid and wrong.
Still seems a world apart from "This game is badly designed or bad because its doing this thing I don't want." You can still run into problems (its abundantly clear to me that some games I think have serious design problems have people who either don't care, or think the things I think are flaws are virtues), but I'm still able to separate "This thing is not to my taste" (most Rulings Not Rules designs and the related rules light designs) from things that simply look to me like they could get the same effect they were trying for and avoid problems (the old Storyteller "modify both the target numbers and the number of successes you need to get them" math bizarreness).

Some people can't be bothered to even try, however.
 

DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
GURPS is well designed. It has some great sourcebooks to mine for ideas. I cannot make a decent character in it to save my life. I have not enjoyed playing it the times I have tried it. I do not think it is a stupid, ad game. It is just not a game for me.
 

rstites

Active member
Validated User
You generate a character. He can summon and bind demons and elementals. He's got a pretty good chance of doing so.

The first thing he does in play is to go do so.

In what way do the rules prevent this?
Exactly. As I noted, there's no incentive not to do this in play. Your character might die if you fail to bind a demon, but it's the beginning of the game, so just roll up another and get on with it. I recall us having about a 50% attrition rate to PC's in our first endeavor into Stormbringer. (We quickly moved to two character's apiece, generally with the idea that you'd get a sorcerer sooner or later......and then realized that critical hits from a schlump with a knife still kills them!)

I'd agree that some of the specific materials should be an issue. Time, however, shouldn't be; you didn't spring into existence right this second, and assuming you never had time before to do this makes no more sense than assuming someone couldn't have found time to buy a scabbard. And unless every place you could do it is right around people, how much it freaks people out shouldn't be either.
If you get really lucky on the stats-dice and are any sort of normal human, then you most likely can't summon more than an elemental, so the costs and social issues around summoning a demon aren't as issue. However, if you start with a 3+ level sorcerer who can really summon lots of nasties up, you're almost certainly either Melinbonean or Pan Tangian, and thus both wealthy enough to get the various requirements and live in a society that supports it. Summoning up a demon in Pan Tang is pretty much Tuesday, after all. You can almost certainly go to the nearest corner market for your sacrificial needs, and nobody thinks twice about it. (Tying into the other thread, this is one of those games that my current group would split over because of just how horrible pretty much everyone is in it!)

The very lack of any guidance on this is what drove me to make the requirements more stringent when I ran longer term campaigns a bit later. The irony of this entire little side discussion is that the very issue that started it is one supported in the rules and I had to manage later to make the game work better. (Also, I massively overhauled how we rolled up characters so we didn't have so many pathetic characters in play, and worked things so everyone got a chance at some point to play a sorcerer.)

Anyhow, back onto the main them, after a little jaunt down Stormbringer memory lane....
 

gundark

Registered User
Validated User
Honestly for me, and it's more of a publisher thing. Tell me what experience your game does differently from other games. Don't tell me how "innovative" your dice system is, or that tells me nothing. Tell me why I should put down my game of choice to try your game out, and if I do what type of experience will I have with my friends while playing it?

It's a thing that the rpg industry could learn from the board game industry. When I read up about a certain board game and I learn it has worker placement, with non-asymmetric player powers I get an idea what the play experience is gonna be like

A lot of game designers are poor marketers/salesmen
 
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Cerulean Lion

Social Justice Christian
Validated User
Eh. I think its entirely possible to say "This thing is so much not what I want out of a game its virtually the anti-game for me" or "I can't begin to enjoy this thing" without ascribing an objective negative to it. There are games that are doing exactly what I don't want out of a game, but are still well designed for what they are trying to do. It just requires doing some unpacking and not just giving a flip one-liner about them.
This is most true. I feel just this way about the first Hackmaster, but I still acknowledge it as a well-designed game that a lot of people enjoyed.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
This is most true. I feel just this way about the first Hackmaster, but I still acknowledge it as a well-designed game that a lot of people enjoyed.
I feel this way about every version of D&D after AD&D but it makes me feel old to say so. ;)
 
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