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Old 07-20-2016, 02:59 PM   #11
johndallman
 
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by patchwork View Post
IThe 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.
This does not seem to be the case for all rules-light games. The ones I have played have had the same kind of character-control boundaries as traditional ones. Are you using "mind control" as a shorthand for "A player briefly takes control of someone else's PC or an NPC"?

I think you're actually describing something different from rules complexity which is character identification. If the game is strictly about creating a story (e.g., Microscope) and there isn't strong identification between players and characters, then it's entirely reasonable for players to control any character in play, or create new ones on the fly. But if being someone else is a significant element of the game, then being dumped out of that by someone else claiming to control the character is reasonable.

Most players of strong-identification games will take suggestions about things they haven't thought of, or things they might do. But these are suggestions, made in out-of-character speech, and the player gets to decide if they want to use them. It's just much easier that way.

I know a GM who is fond of telling his players "your character realises that..." which is OK if that is a plausible thing for them to realise. But there's one character whose personality that GM fundamentally misunderstands, and thus keeps telling the player that they've realised things the character would never think of, which causes pointless friction. The GM would be far better off describing his world more clearly, so that the players could work things out for themselves more readily.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
This does not seem to be the case for all rules-light games. The ones I have played have had the same kind of character-control boundaries as traditional ones. Are you using "mind control" as a shorthand for "A player briefly takes control of someone else's PC or an NPC"?
I have seen that issue, but I thought it was more of a thing with Play By Post game thing than rules light game thing, because if you don't let players write anything but their PC actions the game will get even more horribly slow unless you have a group who can reliable post many times a day.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
Even "rules light" can be confusing. I know people who refer to FATE that way, because it doesn't have a big list of skills and powers… but the FATE Core book is still 90 pages, over 70 of which you pretty much have to read and more-or-less internalise to run the system effectively.
Fate Basics boils down the Fate engine into a pamphlet. Since Fate Basics was OGL, I converted it to epub, and posted it to rpggeek.

Fate Core can be presented easily in half the pages... but the 70 pages present it a fairly readable mode. But they aren't A4/Letter, either. Somewhere between A5 and B5, each... so about 35 letter sized, and it can be dropped to about 20 by less precise writing, less art, and shorter examples.

Everything a player needs to know for Fate Core can be synopsized in 2 Letter/A4 pages in about 10 point helvetica. Most settings need about 2-3 pages more of synopsis.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Everything a player needs to know for Fate Core can be synopsized in 2 Letter/A4 pages in about 10 point helvetica. Most settings need about 2-3 pages more of synopsis.
And I can explain all a player needs to know to play GURPS in the same space. That doesn't mean GURPS is a rules-light system by modern standards.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by Johan Larson View Post
If you remove all the formal rules from role-playing, the experience becomes interactive story-telling. If you have some rules, just a few, the experience is similar but you now have ways to resolve disputes about what is and is not possible. But since the rules are slim the GM still has to eyeball a lot of tests and modifiers.
d6 Star Wars was quite rules light. Character creation was fast and easy (even if not using templates) and the dice mechanic was pretty simple (roll and add).

Classic Traveller, if one only used Books 1-3, was not rules heavy, although one had to do a lot of dice rolling.

Fudge can be pretty rules light, more so than fate.

BESM was also rules light. Tri-Stat dX made things a bit too complicated to be "light".

Talislanta fits in there too, at least for 1e and 2e.

Oh, and although I know some people don't consider it a role-playing system, but TWERPS was pretty simple.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by copeab View Post
d6 Star Wars was quite rules light. Character creation was fast and easy (even if not using templates) and the dice mechanic was pretty simple (roll and add).

Classic Traveller, if one only used Books 1-3, was not rules heavy, although one had to do a lot of dice rolling.

Fudge can be pretty rules light, more so than fate.

BESM was also rules light. Tri-Stat dX made things a bit too complicated to be "light".

Talislanta fits in there too, at least for 1e and 2e.

Oh, and although I know some people don't consider it a role-playing system, but TWERPS was pretty simple.
5E was pretty much the same non-magic material, with a simplified magic system, but 4/5th of the big blue book is setting.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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And I can explain all a player needs to know to play GURPS in the same space. That doesn't mean GURPS is a rules-light system by modern standards.
Not and include character generation at an unaided 20/20 vision readable point size, you can't.

Fate Core is VERY straightforward.

But then it goes and says everything in the way the military teaches: Synopsis, careful statement, restate for clarity, and usually includes fully worked examples.

The Fate Basics pamphlet, which fits on a letter-sized trifold, is a fully playable implementation of Fate, in 12 point type, including character generation.
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Fate Core is VERY straightforward.
Not as straightforward as Fudge ;)
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

I at one point was obsessed with rules light and really really wanted to design the perfect one

I really felt 'complex systems' slowed gameplay to much, and wanted to be able to play 'briskly'

Briskly more or less defined as frenetic video game levels of violence admittedly, but basically I wanted to fit LOTS of fights into a session!

Also played RISUS, Everway, D6 Star Wars and BESM, also ODnD

I've wanted to play Pokethulhu

An example of my goals during my rules light kick was the name I gave for one of my (actually playable) home brews - VFGS, short for Violent Fast Gunfight System
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: experience with rules-light/rules-free rpgs?

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
I really felt 'complex systems' slowed gameplay to much, and wanted to be able to play 'briskly'

Briskly more or less defined as frenetic video game levels of violence admittedly, but basically I wanted to fit LOTS of fights into a session!

An example of my goals during my rules light kick was the name I gave for one of my (actually playable) home brews - VFGS, short for Violent Fast Gunfight System
That's a very hard benchmark to hit. wow. did you get any results?
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