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Author Topic: Great Game, Great Rule?  (Read 562 times)

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Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Great Game, Great Rule?
« on: September 30, 2008, 06:44:43 PM »
Great Game, Lame Rule? seems to have gone over pretty well, so let me ask a similar question: What do you consider to be the best rule in your favorite roleplaying game?  Now, I understand that it's tempting to say, "Golly, Spel, my favorite game is so good!  I could never choose just one rule."  I beg you to look into your heart, though, to find that one brilliant rule that makes you truly proud to be a gamer.  Maybe it's the nature of a specific statistic; maybe it's a facet of the combat system; maybe it's how magic works in the context of the world.  Whatever it is, every time you invoke it, you want to say, "Why didn't they think of this before?  It's so simple, so graceful, so perfect.  It should be in every game, really."

Maidens and monsters, I ask you: What's the best rule in your favorite game?


Offline shadowheart

Re: Great Game, Great Rule?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 08:53:42 PM »
Well, I will start this one out.  As a fan of HP Lovecraft, I will have to give a shout-out to the Sanity/Insanity rules in Call of Cthulhu.  They do a good job, in my opinion, in reflecting the "Reality" of HPL's world.  If you make your idea roll, it goes far, far worse for you than if you blithely ignore the implications of what you are seeing! :)

Curiosity may not always kill the Investigator, but more often than not it leaves him a quivering mass of insane jelly :D

Offline Canuckian

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Re: Great Game, Great Rule?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2008, 06:18:44 PM »
For me, the greatest rule of any game has to be in Stargate: SG-1.  It has a simple, yet amazingly deep character system despite being your basic D20 system.  Your first choice is what species do you want to play, human, Asgard, Jaffa, or Tok'ra.  The Asgard, Jaffa, and Tok'ra each have four options already, but it's the humans that have the most variety.

First you choose if you want to play a US military member, a civilian scientest, an NID infiltrator, or a Russian Stargate member.  If you choose to play in the military, then you get to choose which branch (Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines) and each branch gives plusses and minuses to your stats.  THEN each branch has four options (enlisted, officer, special forces, or technical specialist), each of which gives special skills or feats.  THEN you choose your classes, of which there are six basic classes and six prestiege classes.

Add to that literally hundreds of feats and background options, and you get a game that is amazingly flexable in its character creation despite only having twelve total classes and six ability scores.  I've never come across another game that's nearly as flexible.

Offline kongming

Re: Great Game, Great Rule?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 03:25:57 AM »
I'm actually going to go with Maid here: the Favour system is fantastic, and could even improve other games by being added. Stress as well (which also sees use in SLA industries), for that matter. But Favour in particular. Some people on /tg/ have even started using it in Dark Heresy/WHFRPG, and intend on using it in more.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Great Game, Great Rule?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 03:48:47 PM »
Any game system that uses Armour as Damage Reduction and has a scaling Dodge/Parry/Aviodance system gets my vote.  And there are a lot of games that do, like Mongoose's Conan, the old R. Talsorian Interlock System, HERO, GURPS, Dark Heresy/WHRPG, and a whole slew of others.

I've played a fair amount of those listed above save GURPS and WHRPG, but it helps my little brain game better.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Great Game, Great Rule?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2008, 12:09:12 AM »
Willpower in the storyteller system.

I like it when players have some amount of control over when they fail. 

And when they can be screwed over based on how they excercise that control   :)

Action points from Eberron and perversity from Paranoia would be close seconds.

Offline MadPanda

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Re: Great Game, Great Rule?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2008, 11:07:04 AM »
The Overarching Rule of Efficacious Blandishment, from the Dying Earth RPG.

Freely stated, if you do not have the necessary Ability for a given check, you can use any other Ability that you do have to perform the check assuming a) the rules do not forbid doing so and b) you can convince the GM to allow the substitution.

A common enough rule, but the title is just so amusing!

Offline kongming

Re: Great Game, Great Rule?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 11:37:29 PM »
Not entirely a rule, but an aspect of a game:

SLA industries has a "Bloodshed" skill. If you kill someone (or just deal damage to them) while there is an audience watching or a camera pointed at you (there often is, too. Especially if you're a contract killer - part mercenary, part insane murderer, part pro wrestler), you can roll this skill. Success results in extra blood spraying everywhere, with the degree of success determining how much. This can get you extra money due to the crowd loving the bloodshed, or can just increase your popularity (which affects contracts gained, advertising deals and even helps you perform your finishing move).

You can even get weapon mods that boost this - so you have a katana with a pair of oscillating vibro-blades rotating in opposite directions, with LEDs running along them for maximum coolness, but it needs a little something extra: tiny air-pumps, which force air into the wounds being created, which in turn forces more blood to spurt out afterwards. This does not deal extra damage, it just looks more bloody, giving you a bonus to that skill check.

But this game has a lot of cool features: a bullet tax (to dissuade ranged combat due to it damaging property and not being as exciting on TV - which I approve of because gunfights just aren't as cool as melee combat), a skill for looking good on the camera, an incredible amount of silly luxury items to spend your money on, rules for losing stress by breaking other people's things...