Re: why talk about the rules?

From: Robin D. Laws <rdl_at_...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 20:57:26 -0600

At 04:58 PM 3/27/00 -0800, Steve Lieb wrote:

> RQ is RQ, HW will be HW. I do
>think it's unjustly critical to point at someone who liked RQ and is
>having difficulty getting their mind around the HW paradigm in all
>ways, shapes, and forms as a whiner.

I for one agree completely. I really hope not to see a polarization occur between HW advocates and RQ fans. I fully expect to see a fair number of Glorantha fans stick with their favorite version of RQ, using HW books as source material. One of the thoughts behind HW's design is to allow for supplements which are mostly text, with very brief game stats. That way, even if you don't dig HW's approach, you'll still get maximum value from the books for use with RQ, GURPS, or whatever other system best suits your personal tastes. The game sets out to serve storytellers, roleplayers, power gamers, and the casual participant. In doing so, it defies many of the traditional expectations of the simulationist, the wargamer or the rules lawyer. This does not mean that simulationists and wargamers play wrong or have appalling taste or need to be converted to the light. The worst thing HW advocates can do for the product line is, through excessive zeal, antagonize folks with different tastes. That'll just give it bad word of mouth and thereby discourage people from buying the books to convert to systems more to their taste.

(I'm not accusing anyone in particular of saying anything antagonizing. But it will happen and I'd like to minimize any negative associations HW might get tagged with as a result of Internet debates.)

I think it's great that so many RQ fans who prefer more tightly structured rules or are accustomed to think in terms of simulation, are willing to give the HW approach a shot. Some of them will like it; some will try it and go back to their current favorites. A few may even find their tastes altered by it. But the goal is not to serve as missionaries for the style of play it encourages. Our game preferences are a matter of taste, and there's room for games aimed at many different combinations on the spectrum of preferences.

HW will be controversial, and in a sense any publicity is good for the game. The more times the phrase "Hero Wars" appears on USENET, the better. But if we who want the game to succeed on its own merits respond to skeptics and detractors with tolerance, humor and perspective, the chances of long-term success for the new Glorantha line will be increased.

It's frustrating now because the game still isn't out, and many members of the list are trying to figure it out from a partial text. Those of us who know the rules should bear in mind the fact that this frustration derives from enthusiasm and curiosity. I want to see as much enthusiasm and curiosity around HW as possible--though no one will be happier than me the game hits shelves and the frustration phase ends.

>For this reason, I really, really think the AP system represents the
>abstract contest between parties really well. But would it work to
>simulate the actual throwing of a pass (with handicaps for wind, an
>edge for height of the receiver, etc) - of that I am NOT so sure.

HW is not designed to simulate the interaction of forces in a real or imaginary world. It is designed to emulate the flow of good and bad outcomes in a work of adventure fiction (or movie, or TV show). So no, the detailed simulation of the forces acting on a football during a single is not what it's all about. You could probably hammer at it for a long time to come up with special case rules for everything, but that's not what it's intended to do out of the box.

>It's for this same reasoning that using the AP system for combat is in
>total disjunction with having a range table for missile weapons, for
>example. As was mentioned previously I don't think I'd even count
>arrows, using the HW system.

I'm not much for arrow counting myself.

Take care >>> Robin

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