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Author Topic: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.  (Read 1306 times)

tenbones

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2022, 12:23:11 PM »
So... I'm curious.

Does this mantra hold to games like Palladium Fantasy or Rifts?

I'm not convinced smaller is necessarily better. I'm not against mega-books, though reading them can be tedious if you like to hold them and read for long periods. To me, Good is Good. If the book is 4-inches thick but it's damn good, well... it's damn good. I don't expect my players to own anything other than dice. The onus is on me as the GM to run the games I want to run, and thus, I resort back to my rule: good is good.

Another consideration is that many of these heavyweight monstrosities are PHB's/DMG's/MM's all rolled into one. So you're probably getting bang for the buck. If that's not a consideration then are we just talking about fatshaming (LOL) the girth of our dead-tree slabs?

Big Thick Books of Glorious Power I Own - FantasyCraft, Talislanta 4e (The Big Blue is literally what everyone calls it and is by fair margin the favorite edition), Palladium *anything* (on the plus side they're paperback, on the minus they're paperback). Most of the Wod20th anniversary books are necessarily massive. FFG Star Wars core books (and they have a lot of overlap in rules - so that takes a hit in value).

I'm not going to dismiss a game simply for the presentation. I'm the type of consumer that walks around a product a *lot* before I purchase. I kick the tires and check the oil, and measure and poke and prod before I hand over gold. Size is a secondary concern to me.

Conversely - I'm a Savage Worlds fan. Their books are very very slim. Take Savage Worlds Rifts, while they do a great job of giving you high-level details of the Rifts setting, because of space reasons, they miss a lot of the juicy juicy details in the Palladium sourcebooks they draw from. The tone feels "lighter" in touch because of it. While that might be a good thing for some, I think in a setting-by-setting case those details can matter for a GM.

From a player perspective? I don't care - because even the best written setting books will only get presented to the best ability of their GM. For me, generally, less is more. BUT... having the full-assault of a verbose writer, while tedious at times, can give you deeper insight as a GM into intent of setting conceits - which you're free to discard - in terms of how you want to present it to your players.

TL/DR Fatshaming your fatass books shouldn't be the issue. The content is king.

Bedrockbrendan

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2022, 01:01:07 PM »
I like a gaming environment where both exist. Sometimes I prefer brevity, sometimes I want something that takes more time but helps evoke my enthusiasm to play. Generally though I think shorter is an easier sell for most groups.

Effete

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2022, 01:16:26 PM »
Worlds Without Number. The text ditters on like an aged grandpa trying to tell kids a story. It often uses long-winded abstract examples that don't really get the job done. What's worse is that these "examples" are often just dropped in the middle of a paragraph and consist of multiple paragraphs themselves. This means if you just want to find the important bits of info, you need to dig through a wall of text. The cynic in me wants to say that it's nothing more than a reason for Kevin to show off his extensive vernacular and penchant for flowery prose... because that's all it really is. The examples are almost never helpful in explaining things any better, they're just words or words sake.

I like the system well enough, but it's a goddamn chore to find what you're looking for sometimes.

Jam The MF

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2022, 01:22:29 PM »
The Pathfinder Core Rulebook, for either edition; could cause bludgeoning damage.  And the thing doesn't even include a Bestiary, at its massive size; so it's still maybe 300 pages short of being a complete, runnable game.  That's maybe 850 to 950 pages dense, combined; for just the basic rules of a game in 2 volumes.

And then there are tons of books available, past those first two volumes....  Pathfinder requires a commitment of time and resources, beyond what many are willing to give.
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Jason Coplen

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2022, 05:04:50 PM »
After 150 or 200 pages the game better be done. These long games bore me to tears unless I already know the game. I don't want to spend my time on long gaming books for games I'll never play.
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weirdguy564

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2022, 02:41:34 PM »
So... I'm curious.

Does this mantra hold to games like Palladium Fantasy or Rifts?

I'm not convinced smaller is necessarily better. I'm not against mega-books, though reading them can be tedious if you like to hold them and read for long periods. To me, Good is Good. If the book is 4-inches thick but it's damn good, well... it's damn good. I don't expect my players to own anything other than dice. The onus is on me as the GM to run the games I want to run, and thus, I resort back to my rule: good is good.

Another consideration is that many of these heavyweight monstrosities are PHB's/DMG's/MM's all rolled into one. So you're probably getting bang for the buck. If that's not a consideration then are we just talking about fatshaming (LOL) the girth of our dead-tree slabs?

Big Thick Books of Glorious Power I Own - FantasyCraft, Talislanta 4e (The Big Blue is literally what everyone calls it and is by fair margin the favorite edition), Palladium *anything* (on the plus side they're paperback, on the minus they're paperback). Most of the Wod20th anniversary books are necessarily massive. FFG Star Wars core books (and they have a lot of overlap in rules - so that takes a hit in value).

I'm not going to dismiss a game simply for the presentation. I'm the type of consumer that walks around a product a *lot* before I purchase. I kick the tires and check the oil, and measure and poke and prod before I hand over gold. Size is a secondary concern to me.

Conversely - I'm a Savage Worlds fan. Their books are very very slim. Take Savage Worlds Rifts, while they do a great job of giving you high-level details of the Rifts setting, because of space reasons, they miss a lot of the juicy juicy details in the Palladium sourcebooks they draw from. The tone feels "lighter" in touch because of it. While that might be a good thing for some, I think in a setting-by-setting case those details can matter for a GM.

From a player perspective? I don't care - because even the best written setting books will only get presented to the best ability of their GM. For me, generally, less is more. BUT... having the full-assault of a verbose writer, while tedious at times, can give you deeper insight as a GM into intent of setting conceits - which you're free to discard - in terms of how you want to present it to your players.

TL/DR Fatshaming your fatass books shouldn't be the issue. The content is king.

Those games are fine.  I’m just not a fan of crunchy game rulebooks.  Even GURPS turns me off. 

I am also biased as I know how to play the Palladium games well enough to have my own house rules. 

Make no mistake.  Rifts is complex.
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Eric Diaz

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2022, 12:15:52 PM »
I've been writing about this, I think there is a "minimum viable D&D" that I like to play, as for me this is B/X (with added stuff) - more or less.

One page RPGs do not work for me either, but I think I could make a 30-page PHB with everything I need. Or Knave with 10 extra pages for house rules.

I can take crunchier stuff but not as crunchy as 5e - or AD&D and the RC that are even more complex in some aspects.

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« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 12:18:54 PM by Eric Diaz »
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Persimmon

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2022, 02:55:14 PM »
On the other hand DCC and MCC have fairly beefy rulebooks, especially the former, but they read much shorter, since the bulk of the page count consists of spells/wetware descriptions.  The actual rules are pretty short and DCC offers a handy book with all the charts and tables if you don't want to pour through the core book at the table.

Kyle Aaron

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2022, 06:17:46 PM »
48 pages should be enough for any game system tied to a setting, though the setting information might be longer. If the system is generic then you might need 96 pages.

Larger pagecounts should only be tolerated if the writing is interesting, like AD&D1e. This is only possible with a single primary authour, once you get more then the original writer's "voice" is lost as it falls into committee-speak. Hemingway, Tolkien and Chandler were all great writers, but had they tried to write a novel together it would have been awful.
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Chris24601

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2022, 06:41:28 PM »
I find page count utterly irrelevant and an almost meaningless statistic. 150 pages means nothing without page size and font size and some idea of art content.

150 pages at 8.5x11” two column, 1/4” margins, 9pt font and roughly 12.5% art content is one thing.

150 pages at 6x9” single column, 1/2” to 3/4” margins, 11pt font and roughly 25% art content is quite another.

And whether or not its in a bookmarked and searchable PDF or dead tree format is also extremely relevant to evaluation of its “length.”

Gimme a word count and that’s something much closer to a useful measure of length.

Eric Diaz

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Re: Games which are written too long, you won’t play them.
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2022, 08:35:49 AM »
Agreed but... word counts are hard to find, and there is also presentation, redundancy, etc.

And there are also some intangibles to be discussed, certainly.

Word counts are a better metric if you can find them, but if page counts are all you have, it is decent enough to compare editions of D&D.
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