Rules Do Not Maketh the Character!

Posted: 29 July, 2017 in Comment, Role-Playing

Since starting again role-playing with local group at home I have got the bug for playing and running role-playing games. But I have found there is still that age old issue with games like Dungeons & Dragons, Role Master and Chivalry & Sorcery which are centred about their rules rather than their backgrounds. This has become very apparent with lasted editions of Dungeons & Dragons which almost glorifies its rule system over background and I have always felt it is far too centred on combat rather role-playing.

Do not get me wrong such games to have a place in the hobby as they are very good introduction for new players and game masters especially those coming from computer game background. As it is easier to set up and run such games, especially Dungeons & Dragons, which makes a good starting point for role-playing hobby for the novice players and game masters.

But for experience players like myself who have moved onto more sophisticated games especially those of story teller ilk that is role-playing games in which the story comes first rather than the rules and gives both the players and storyteller for more opportunity role-play such games like Dungeons & Dragons seam very limited in comparison.

What I find by comparison playing such games like Dungeon & Dragons are not as satisfying to play as strangely they actually do not encourage role-playing and far too centred on combat even with an excellent games master. Though such games do not help themselves currently by centring a large majority of source books on rule extensions rather than giving the games masters and players wonderful background.

There is one major issue with current editions of Dungeon & Dragons unlike the earlier editions and Advanced Dungeon & Dragons the range of backgrounds provided are very small range of backgrounds which currently only includes Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft. This is unlike Advanced Dungeon & Dragons which a whole range of published backgrounds from Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Dragon Lance to name a few which game the games master a lot of choice of the game they wanted to play and to role-ply.

Added to the range of alternative games tend to be more heavily rule based with few actually put the story and background first so new players and games masters get little real opportunity to move on from more combat orientated games to more storyteller based games. This really does not encourage new players and game masters encouragement to develop their role-playing skills and widen their experience of role-playing games.

I do have the advantage of being a very experienced role-player and storyteller but I currently miss the fun of real role-playing which the likes of classic White Wolf World of Darkness. I have learnt that creating an interactive story with the players is far more rewarding for both the players and storytellers as both have put a lot into the game.

Yes, I know it is very satisfying completing quests and winning a hard won combat in Role-Playing game but this pales into insignificance for myself when I get to the end of a storyteller game as the fruit of my and my players comes to fruition.

Basically saying rules do not maketh the character but the players themselves.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal miscellany of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.


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