Forum > Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion

How would you explain our innate desire to modify RPG rules & mechanics?

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Jam The MF:
It is a strong compulsion, indeed.

It seems we can't accept and run anything, straight up RAW.

Eric Diaz:
I was just trying to write a post about this.

"Something strange about my head forces me to wonder how can people play B/X as written if plate armor costs 12 garlic.

(And I love B/X, but I loathe this adherence to RAW when they are obviously wrong).

Damn it, I'm Going To Build My Own B/X with Blackjack and Hookers, as the saying goes."


Must be because even our favorites are not perfect. Or some kind of OCD that prevents me form enjoying B/X's typos. This is from OSE:

My favorite version of D&D is B/X. I don't know why, really - probably the simplicity is a big part of it. But there are many things I dislike. It is a matter of taste - most of the time. But, sometimes, B/X feels like it could de fixed. For example:

- Saving throws are unnecessarily fiddly.
- Same for XP tables, a single one would suffice (with small adjustments).
- Race-as-class is unnecessary and limiting.
- Same for thief skills. 1d20+level (DC 15) simply works better.
- Fighters are too boring, relying too much on magic items.
- Weapons are terrible, like in 5e, some of them are useless or redundant.
- Encumbrance should be modified by Strength somehow.

Anyway... each of those is easy to fix. Fixing all of them at once would almost create a new game. And this game might be better than B/X - better than my favorite D&D.

But - not strictly compatible with my favorite game. Is this a problem? I'm not sure. I like using old school (and OSR) monster manuals, and adventures, etc. These minimal changes are not stopping me from doing that.

I think I pretty much found the perfect game for my group, but I'm not sure anyone else is interested. If I write something meant to be fully compatible with existing rules, it seems to be a lot more interest.

If I found my perfect D&D tomorrow I'd probably stop writing rules. And, TBH, sometimes I wish someone else would do it so I could stop thinking about it (although I still really like my own clone published in 2017). But I haven't found the perfect one. And even a game that "fixes" everything will "fix" some stuff that I didn't want fixed... Thus sending everyone into an unending quest for the perfect system...

Sometimes the rules for something is just really bad or complicated. And you just comes up with an idea that makes it smoother and smarter, so you use that instead.

Rob Necronomicon:
In order to have the perfect system once and for all... Not that it's really achievable. However, perhaps near perfect is more reasonable.  :)

Jason Coplen:
Instead of cars we chose games to pull apart and recompile. Other than that I'm not thinking of any reason. Maybe we're never satisfied?


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