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Old 07-19-2016, 10:18 PM   #7
patchwork
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

It's the majority of the gaming I do anymore. I find it's a very different community, which is fine with me. I also find that people who enjoy both heavy-rules and light-rules games are uncommon, so that there's a lot less cross-pollination than you might think or expect.

The biggest problems for heavy-rules players moving to light-rules systems, I find, is that they have a thing about boundaries and roles that has to go away for this to work. Player X has total control over Character A, Player Y has total control over Character B, and the GM (which tends not to be the term used in rules-light games) has total control over the setting, forever and ever, amen. Players will not declaim anything about the setting or NPCs because that would be interfering with the GM's prerogative; I have one player who sulks and pouts dramatically any time mind control actually works, but even if other people are less open about it, mind control is one of the things that will break a table of heavy-rules gamers. I've also seen shouting matches erupt over something as simple as putting words in another character's mouth.

That attitude will bog a rules-light game down into dysfunction. Nothing will be resolved in a timely manner, useful details and interactions will not emerge, etc. If the player needs the environment or another character to react in a certain way, then just say it and move on. If your character is 'required' to do or say certain things for the sake of a subplot that isn't yours, then that happens too. A rules-light game cannot be carved up into tiny pieces of private property and still work. In my experience.
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