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Old 05-03-2020, 10:05 PM   #1
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

Rules Lawyers take note:

The second most important rule in all of GURPS:

"As with all things, the GMís word is final." (p. B32)

The most important rule in all of GURPS:

"You can do whatever you want . . . thatís the whole point of the system. Most important: Have fun!" (p B8)
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

I should have acknowledged Mook Wilson for pointing out the most important rule.
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

Rule Zero: "The GM can override the books to make the system fit his game."

Rules Lawyers hate that rule.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

As long as a GM states that there are changes before character creation, I do not think that it a major problem. It is when a GM changes a rule in mid-game, especially when it is to favor a NPC or the nerf a PC, that I find annoying. To me, rules exist to protect the players from GM whims, so rules lawyers fulfill a vital function by reminding GMs that they are not following the default (or changed) rules that players built their characters around.

For example, if a GM says that I cannot purchase attributes above 14 before character creation, that is fine, they are telling me that is one of their rule changes. If they do not state that there is a limit beyond the RAW and, when I try to increase my DX to 15 five sessions down the line, that they will not allow it, that is when I leave the game. Changing the rules mid-game is insulting, especially since it changes the utility of PCs.

Of course, GMs can reserve certain options for NPCs and/or for later PC development. A secret magic campaign, where the PCs are initially unaware of magic, has the option of magic reserved for NPCs and/or for later PC development. Adding options later is fine, it is taking away options later that really causes trouble.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

Out of curiosity: One often hears of the dreaded "Rules Lawyer" who badgers the GM with technicalities and literal readings of rules that favor the PC. But how often do such players actually plague the game table?

Maybe I've just been lucky in not experiencing these (probably the result of gaming with friends I already know to be reasonable sorts). But maybe others here have the misfortune of frequent Rules Lawyer encounters?
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Out of curiosity: One often hears of the dreaded "Rules Lawyer" who badgers the GM with technicalities and literal readings of rules that favor the PC. But how often do such players actually plague the game table?

Maybe I've just been lucky in not experiencing these (probably the result of gaming with friends I already know to be reasonable sorts). But maybe others here have the misfortune of frequent Rules Lawyer encounters?
I've come across them enough that I actively ban them from my campaigns when their tendencies start to show. I have a zero tolerance policy for rules lawyers. This doesn't mean I don't like to talk rules with players, but when I run I'm very much "full steam ahead, damn the rules!" if it suits the action and drama of the game.

I drove off one very good player because of that. They were of the sort that they wanted to be able to calculate a bad guy's die rolls in combat and use that to determine what they would do ("Oh, he made it by two so his dodge is 11") I tend to just roll 3d6 and pronounce success or failure (unless margin is required for contested rolls, of course). That doesn't work for everyone and it's too ingrained in my habits now for me to change.

That said I'm very much a Rule Zero GM and tend to think it's probably the best way to go with a system like GURPS where you can logically draw conclusions from the rules for things the rules do not say.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

The player who stops the game mid-session to argue a minor rule with the GM for 20-30 minutes? Yes, I've run into that player. (There was one who not only rules lawyered like a shark, but was often wrong what the rule actually said in the first place. Any time I reached for the actual book to quote the rule to shut him up, the GM and other players grinned.) Like with CRR, that kind of player tends not to stick around my games.
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Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Out of curiosity: One often hears of the dreaded "Rules Lawyer" who badgers the GM with technicalities and literal readings of rules that favor the PC. But how often do such players actually plague the game table?

Maybe I've just been lucky in not experiencing these (probably the result of gaming with friends I already know to be reasonable sorts). But maybe others here have the misfortune of frequent Rules Lawyer encounters?
I've largely taken the same tack as Christopher later in life, which is at first a gentle "let's keep the game moving" and then a more firm "stop disrupting" and then "bye."

That being said, on both these forums and in other places - facebook and reddit - I see folks posting about "My GM did X, and I didn't like it. Show me rules support!"

Some of these complaints are semi-legit in that it can be a violation of expectations ("Look, I got these two feats because they stack and they're awesome!" "I don't like that. They don't stack in my game.")

That's a 100% legit thing to do - your table, your rules - but handled poorly it can cause friction.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

One thing I like about online gaming is that rule concerns can be pinged to the DM in a side IM without disrupting the flow of the game
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rules Lawyers: The Most Important Rules in all GURPS

Buy attributes. Avoid arguments.
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