Wednesday, June 17, 2009

more on-setting stuff

One of the reasons why I like simpler rules in RPGs is how a players choices are dictated by setting rather than by mechanics. I once watched a player scan the weapon list and compared price, weight and the weapon type vs armour chart to pick out a weapon for his character. It was min/maxing. No thought was given as to why his character was using this weapon. This wasn't character creation, it was character engineering. This is not to say that its wrong to do that. Its just I don't like it. It can spoil the setting if it doesn't fit the background. Like a taking a M16 to WWII battle.
Weapons, armour and equipment limits can help establish setting. But so can amenities or lack there of. When the party reaches the Inn and goes to their room they will notice there are no beds in them. Beds were rare in the medieval period. Or perhaps there is only a common room to sleep in. Taverns don't have menus, there isn't any cutlery or napkins. People don't have last names, there are no police and street signs don't exist. A fantasy world can be a very different place rather than just like modern day but with magic.

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