No More Rules

While I’ve had a few cracking games run by other GMs over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realise that I really don’t want to have to learn more rules. I just want to enjoy the Character- and Otherworld-immersion.

When I am a player, I want to be drawn into a believable and interesting world in which I can take on the persona of an interesting character. My goal is to explore the Otherworld and discover more about my character through play. Every time we stop to talk about game rules, I am jarred back to the mundane experience of abstracts and numbers.

As a GM I have, of late, been presenting some games where the rules are entirely behind the screen. The goal has been to maximise the player’s Otherworld-immersion and have them roleplay their character (as in, make decisions in-role) without all the distractions of rules. This has proven very effective.

Clearly, I’ve been trying to offer players more of what I myself want to experience: less rules, more Otherworld-immersion, more focus on Character-immersion. But when I seek to play, people are usually trying to persuade me to try another new game, complete with new game rules to learn. I am drawn to the Worlds and Characters… but I don’t want to be confronted with rules.

Perhaps I am my own special brand of unique in wanting to stop spending time learning new game rules and more time playing in-role within an interesting Otherworld. But all around me, everywhere I look in the hobby, I see and hear the mantra: “Come and try out THIS new game!”

I just want to play. No more rules, please.

Game on!

One comment

  1. Been feeling this way for a couple of decades now.

    I have really good, solid rule sets that work for me, but it seems everyone is always chasing something NEW. I not only don’t feel the need, but after a while reading rule books and learning new rules is just tedious and dull. They all say and do the same things, just in slightly different ways.

    Sometimes it seems like people make new rules just for the sake of doing it… probably a combination of “NIH syndrome” and wanting to join the “elite” ranks of rules designers. The worst are games or editions that drift the rules slightly, so they don’t add much of any benefit but at just “change for the sake of change” (or change for the sake of selling new books) while also being confusingly similar to the previous rules. That was especially bad in Savage Worlds and Hero, where the games are very similar with just little tweaks here and there. I don’t know if I would feel the same way about GURPS 4E, I stopped at 3E revised.

    I would much rather just use what I already know, and what already works. No game is perfect and it’s f fools errand chasing perfection.

    Liked by 1 person

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