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RE: Top Ten unbalancing professions

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  • Pam Lindstrom
    You said it very eloquently (sp). No matter how long you GM or how simple you make if for new GM s they have to learn the system. PJ Evil B****Goddess of the
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 30, 2000
      You said it very eloquently (sp). No matter how long you GM or how simple
      you make if for new GM's they have to learn the system.
      PJ
      Evil B****Goddess of the World
      Blink twice and your life is over.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: rolemaster@... [mailto:rolemaster@...]On
      Behalf Of The Roach
      Sent: Saturday, April 29, 2000 2:34 AM
      To: recipient list not shown: ;
      Subject: Re: Top Ten unbalancing professions


      On 29 Apr 00, at 1:08, bcd@... shook the Earth by stating:

      > The rules are here to _assist_ GMs so that they can get a playable,
      > balanced world.

      Assist, or replace the GM's own work?

      > If we were to assume that all GMs are aces who know
      > exactly what they are doing, etc., then these GMs don't really need
      > the rules in the first place. Rules exist for the novice GM who
      > doesn't have a clear grasp of the balancing issues or the many
      > considerations behind the rules, etc., but just want to GM an
      > enjoyable RPG from time to time.

      For that, I'd say 'use the basic rule set, and do not use the
      Companions', even with the definitely more balanced RMSS.

      > So if ICE have published rules that are unbalancing with a novice GM,
      > then ICE haven't done their job. Their job is to make sure that the
      > rules work as presented without the GM having to assume or understand
      > the reasonings behind the game mechanics.

      So, effectively you claim that they still are doing this? Take a look
      at the Martial Arts Companion for RMSS. It has three distinct power
      levels: basic, heroic and fantastic. It even has a chapter comparing
      the effects these levels have on the system.

      By your reasoning, this should not be in there, because the GM
      doesn't need to understand balance issues, and it is ICEs job to
      create a balanced system. Whereas the whole point of the three power
      levels is that a campaign can be balanced in either level - you just
      have to understand what you do.

      I can easily create a hugely unbalanced _campaign_, shafting either
      of the realms and even single character concepts without much work:

      - to make the mentalist feel useless, I'll make the campaign use a
      normal world, but the opponents are almost always constructs and
      undead.

      - to shaft the channelling user, I'll make it a campaign that foes
      plane- or world-hopping a lot - and have the channelling user choose
      a deity, which then of course doesn't influence all the other worlds.

      - the Armsman can be thwarted by making the whole campaign highly
      magical in nature

      - the tank (battle monster) will feel out of place in a high-society
      diplomatic campaign

      - as will the sage / 'cultured' indivĂ­dual in a heavily combat
      oriented one

      and so on and so forth. Neither of these campaign setups has anything
      to do with the rules at all, and still they affect play balance
      heavily.

      > Anyone can crank out tons of
      > cool rules and put a cover on them. The difficult part is fitting it
      > to the rest of the system so that they work out of the box without
      > tweaking or fine tuning.

      See my examples, you have to always fine tune - either the rules or
      the campaign. Usually, I tend to tune the campaign to the characters
      chosen, but I have been known to warn people, "This is going to be a
      low-combat campaign".

      > Of course, I am aware that by this definition, the RMCs failed
      > abysmally. They really did require the GM to understand the very
      > roots of the system and have a clear grasp on how things meshed
      > together. Basically because all optional rules were discrete rules
      > each of which you could include or not. You had to understand what
      > kind of game you ended up with with the rules you did include and what
      > it meant to the game that you excluded the one that you did etc.

      By the same token, you have to be clear on what the type of campaign
      will imply for the balance...

      > This really isn't terribly helpful to a novice GM because he is very
      > likely to end up with a rule set that is heavily unbalanced in some
      > way. Of course, so long as his players don't figure out in which way,
      > he's ok and things will work just fine :-)

      That's right. Also, I tell my players that I keep the option of
      disabling any rule if I find it unbalances things...



      penI'yIn 'ej pechep

      The Roach

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