Just another ability.

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 04:14:41 +0100 (BST)

David Dunham:
> What do you mean "we?" In general, I think there's no need to
> differentiate between different weapons and armor, and am sorry that
> the language in the rules doesn't unambiguously say this is an
> optional complication.

Isn't there a statement somewhat to the effect of 'ruleswise, do what thou wilt', or something to that effect? That should surely cover the bitter tears you weep about the 'optionality' of those rules. Personally, I can't see the point of spending pages on a rule merely to prefix it with a disparaging comment about their utility, which seems to be what you've been wishing for... (Or, no weapon rules at all, I presume.)

I don't see you arguing that there should be _no_ special rules for 'physical contests', though. (Or do I?) And indeed, there are lots of special rules for magic, in an assortment of cases. This 'an ability is just an ability' guff cuts no ice with me

> I'm still working on an essay about feats (intending to explain why
> feat descriptions aren't a good idea because of the amazing
> flexibility of Hero Wars).

You'll need prodigious levels of Delude Self for such a task, if I might mix my thread metaphors. How can _description_ possibly be a bad thing? It's somehow great salesmanship that those in the know can infer the sorts of things you might be able to do with the Sunset Leap feat, while the majority of punters are left scratching their heads, and concluding 'Must be another Undifferentiated Combat Special Effect'? That sounds to me simply like poor communication to the intended audience.

I can only assume you'd actually be arguing against feat effect _prescription_, which is quite another matter again. I have no patience at all with the notion that Ignorance is Bliss, especially from people like David, who have to suffer with the lack of much of the ignorance many of the rest of us are blessed with.

I'm reminded of a reported saying of Bruce Lee, which was that one shouldn't trouble oneself with the rigours of set forms, one should just 'do what comes naturally'. This neglects to mention, though, that what comes naturally _after_ years of studying Wing Chun (and assorted others that I forget) isn't the same as if you've fallen into a Jeet Kune Do dojo off the number 8 bus.

Of course, the very best 'description' would be a small superscript page reference to the mythic precedent that the given ability stems from: then we could ad lib on a truly well-informed basis...


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