Flint_A
 member, 585 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 10:02
Jury-rigged systems
So I have a friend who decided to run a D&D 3.5 game. But he didn't like the class system, so he used this fan-made classless add-on to 3.5 where you can pick and choose class abilities with xp. (Confusingly, it's called D&D fifth edition because I think it predates 5E but not 4E.) But then he decided he won't have xp at all and he'll just give them gold to spend on training as if it is xp.(Which means your "level" doesn't change your rewards.) BUT THEN he changed some of the prices randomly because he didn't like them. BUT THEN he decided that he likes Pathfinder more than 3.5 so he's using that system with the fan-made add-on instead. BUT THEN he really likes some parts of 5E, such as the cantrips, so he threw in some of that too. BUT THEN he changed the way some spells work.

(In addition to this he is a pretty stubborn and weird DM, especially when it comes to the alignment system.)

So I'm not in this game, but the friends who are in the game asked me to help them build their characters because I'm experienced with making 3.5 characters.

I adamantly refused to get involved in the mess. I don't even know how he's running things.
NowhereMan
 member, 131 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 11:14
Jury-rigged systems
Hoo boy, would you hate the OSR/DIY DnD community. It's pretty much built on doing exactly this thing you're complaining about.
badpenny
 member, 361 posts
 eats shoots and leaves
Wed 17 May 2017
at 12:30
Jury-rigged systems
I've had similar feedback for my Mutants & Masterminds changes.  They like things the way they are, but I don't.  I have solid reasons for making the changes that I do, but it falls on deaf ears.
Flint_A
 member, 586 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 12:45
Jury-rigged systems
I'm not opposed to a few house rules but it gets ridiculous after a while. If the players can't follow what you're doing, go pick another system.
nauthiz
 member, 523 posts
Wed 17 May 2017
at 18:11
Jury-rigged systems
Honestly, as long as everything is clearly written out, it likely wouldn't be as bad as it sounds.  Since he's apparently using pathfinder as the base now, it would even be possible to grab from the SRD and write the changes into the source material for ease of reference.
LonePaladin
 member, 589 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Wed 17 May 2017
at 19:32
Re: Jury-rigged systems
Flint_A:
I'm not opposed to a few house rules but it gets ridiculous after a while. If the players can't follow what you're doing, go pick another system.

This is important -- consistency. It's fine to make up house-rules and kit-bash things into the game that you like, it's basically how we all used to do it back in 1st-edition times. Everyone had their own little add-ons and changes.

But it's necessary to have all this stuff written down somewhere. The parts that pertain to making characters and doing the things that PCs do needs to be written up somewhere that players can access. All that stuff needs to be up-front and visible, because it's no fun to build a character around something just to find out that the GM has nerfed it three ways to Sunday.
facemaker329
 member, 6929 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 18 May 2017
at 02:47
Re: Jury-rigged systems
Some of my favorite games have been jury-rigged systems...I don't necessarily think everything needs to be written down somewhere, but it IS important that the GM remain consistent.

As for changing the way certain aspects of the game are being run...I've been through that with every GM who was play-testing a new system/set of house rules.  One of my old roommates kit-bashed his own system, and I was the reason for several major rewrites of rules from his original concept, because I found ways to use 'allowed' factors that really blew things out of proportion, or because the dice proved ridiculously friendly one night when I was rolling for my character's luck, or...

So, all the stuff you described as changing?  No surprise to me at all.  Some games do some things really well, but I have yet to see a game that does ALL things well.  Most people just live with the shortcomings, or alter the way they're playing so those aren't relevant to the game anymore...but every so often, someone will say, "Well...I hate that...but THIS game did it pretty well, so let's adapt that rule to this..."
Tyr Hawk
 member, 279 posts
 You know that one guy?
 Yeah, that's me.
Thu 18 May 2017
at 03:24
Re: Jury-rigged systems
*quietly puts away his 93-page document full of houserules for a particular system back into the folder of similar documents on his HDD*

Okay. Now that that's done... What were we talking about again?
GreenTongue
 member, 806 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 19 May 2017
at 21:40
Re: Jury-rigged systems
Flint_A:
I'm not opposed to a few house rules but it gets ridiculous after a while. If the players can't follow what you're doing, go pick another system.

It is not like there is a shortage of systems available.
There should be at least one you can play as written.
=

This message was last edited by the user at 21:41, Fri 19 May.

OceanLake
 member, 998 posts
Sat 20 May 2017
at 02:52
Re: Jury-rigged systems
The "players" could, if they wished, treat the "game" as if it were a discussion group: Contribute ideas, give feedback, etc.
Tyr Hawk
 member, 280 posts
 You know that one guy?
 Yeah, that's me.
Sat 20 May 2017
at 17:16
Re: Jury-rigged systems
GreenTongue:
It is not like there is a shortage of systems available.
There should be at least one you can play as written.

If I may be so bold...

You're exactly right. There are hundreds of systems out there covering any range of topics. Some systems mess with different dice mechanics, different skillsets, different ways of handling combat or social interactions. Others are nearly-identical replicas except for one or two things (perhaps the setting and the classes, or the dice and the combat modifiers). There are games out there for simulating everything from world creation as gods, to call center jobs, to the voices in one man's head, and then all the way back again. Certainly, one might say, there is something for everyone.

That being said, many of those systems cost money. Money is not a resource I personally possess in quantities that would facilitate trying out system after system in order to find my perfect match (and I feel many are in the same boat as me here). Even if it were, the vast majority of systems are either obscure or difficult/impossible to find. So I could have all the money in the world (if I was a wealthy giiii-iiirl), and still not be able to find my perfect match. Both of those points bring up the issue of time, which is another resource few of us possess in the quantity needed to try out a few dozens systems to find out perfect match (and I think that's being generous with how many it might actually be). Then you have to contend with your tastes changing as you get more experience, or just at random. So you can spend years looking for your perfect system and find it only to discover that, a few months later, you want something else from it that it doesn't have (not saying it will, just that it can). And maybe you lucked out and your new perfect system is in your list of previous attempts, or maybe it's not and the search begins anew.

And every system, at least of the ones I've found and tried in my own years of roleplaying, falls into pitfalls just the same as anything else. They might not be the same pitfalls, but I've yet to find The One SystemTM that I would simply play as-written, without any changes whatsoever (though, admittedly, I always try to do that first to see how things work out). Then you have to get into the logistics of how many people actually know about that system, and/or how many of them would find it perfect/be willing to play it without changes, and then meeting those people and forming a group... and I could go on but I think I've made my point by now.

In short: Sure, it's possible that there are systems out there for everyone. BUT, just given the number of new systems and revamps that come out year after year, not even all of the developers seem to be happy with the work they've done, and so we end up here. You work with what you've got and what you want and try to blend them together with the time, money, energy, and experience you have to make things the best they can be in the now. Maybe you'll get lucky and overcome the odds, or maybe you'll create your own entire system one day for others to enjoy and houserule into oblivion. What you choose to do is up to you, but (at least in RPGs) I feel like there's no wrong answer so long as everyone at the table has a good time (not to condone anything horrific or illegal, so just assume there are twelve-thousand asterisks here).

Sometimes, "perfect" just isn't obtainable and "close-enough with a few houserules" seems like the preferable option. Not saying everyone does it, but that's certainly my mentality.

P.S. I know that "perfect" was my term, not yours, I just thought it summed up the argument nicely. I'm not trying to imply you thought a system had to be perfect to play as-is, merely that (ideally) what we're all looking for is a perfect system for ourselves (even if you want a system that has flaws, that's "perfect for you").
NowhereMan
 member, 135 posts
Sun 21 May 2017
at 02:02
Re: Jury-rigged systems
Considering that, in my experience, even game authors house rule their own games, I think that The One Systemtm may be entirely mythical.

Point being, there have not been two people who share the exact same opinion about everything in the entire history of the world. Therefore, no system could possibly ever be completely perfect for more than a single individual. Compromise is always required, and house rules are the compromise between the game's author and the audience. Some games require very little modification, and some require a lot.

Heck, Savage Worlds has house rules built in through its "setting rules" system.
horus
 member, 149 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Mon 22 May 2017
at 05:48
Re: Jury-rigged systems
Any who have seen either of my two games here realize I'm not shy about adapting existing systems in crazy-quilt fashion to better fit (a.) my vision of the setting or (b.) my desire for streamlined and cinematic action in a play-by-post game.

I won't belabor it, but if playing an existing system is your thing, go ahead, man.

If, on the other hand, your desire is to adapt, improvise, or fold/spindle/mutilate a system and you can get players to go along with your vision, more power to ya.

I don't see this as either/or.