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Author Topic: Poisonous Idea - Just Wing it  (Read 3987 times)
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Josh
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« on: May 18, 2009, 11:20:30 PM »

You know the adage “if you don't know, make it up” gets tossed around? 
Don't listen to them.  Here's why.
The people who say that, say it, because that's what they do and it works. 
Because a)they know the game or b)they don't care about the rules anyway. 

The first guys(a) are just not expending effort and doing it right anyway
The second guys(b) suck.

On the latest episode we talk about some poisonous ideas. 

What Do you Think?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2009, 03:27:33 AM by Josh » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 09:59:56 AM »

This is a really GM-subjective thing.  Honestly, those GMs who are capable and comfortable with winging it probably already do so, without being told that it's ok.  Those that aren't capable and/or comfortable with winging it absolutely shouldn't.  I don't see how this could adage could possibly apply universally.
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woodenbandman
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 01:03:20 PM »

Your syntax is extremely confusing. Could you please explain the "first guys" better? It sounds like you're saying that they're actually not making it up. Is that what you mean, or do you mean that the first guys usually know how the game works and are capable of coming up with a balanced houserule on the spot?

I am generally phobic of houserules because I'm afraid that I'll come up with a broken easily exploited rule that nobody will like and/or will abuse later. Also I hate the dreaded "flash houserule," the houserule that nobody sees coming that completely destroys game balance. Usually a product of a player who wants to do something stupid, or a DM who wants to make his players die stupidly.
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 03:32:16 PM »

I think it depends on which sense you mean the statement, and the gaming group.

If you mean "Making up the rules as you go", well that usually doesn't work terribly well.  If the gaming group is totally cool with it then it's no big deal, but I think those are edge cases - usually someone minds, even if they're in the minority.

If you mean "Let's make a spot ruling now to avoid 10 minutes of looking in splat books", then it's fantastic advice so long as the GM is up front about it and the players are made part of the process.

If you mean (and I don't think it is, you're specifically talking about system calls I believe even if you aren't explicit about it) "Making up adventure details on the fly and not doing any pre-game preparation", well, that depends completely on the skill of the GM and the system you're playing with.  I'm perfectly comfortable doing that in DRYH and SotC, but I'd never even consider it in something like DnD.  For others, YMMV.
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 04:29:21 PM »

Winging adventure details works well if you know generally what you want to happen and how.  Doing things randomly for random's sake tends to detract from the adventure, for me at least.
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 05:01:59 PM »

I think it depends on which sense you mean the statement, and the gaming group.

If you mean "Making up the rules as you go", well that usually doesn't work terribly well.  If the gaming group is totally cool with it then it's no big deal, but I think those are edge cases - usually someone minds, even if they're in the minority.

If you mean "Let's make a spot ruling now to avoid 10 minutes of looking in splat books", then it's fantastic advice so long as the GM is up front about it and the players are made part of the process.

If you mean (and I don't think it is, you're specifically talking about system calls I believe even if you aren't explicit about it) "Making up adventure details on the fly and not doing any pre-game preparation", well, that depends completely on the skill of the GM and the system you're playing with.  I'm perfectly comfortable doing that in DRYH and SotC, but I'd never even consider it in something like DnD.  For others, YMMV.
For the last option, winging it isn't just an option, it's compulsory short of a sandbox game. Players manage to be one of the more unpredictable forces available.

The second depends on rule mastery, this tends to apply for DMs(and to a lesser degree, groups) with weak grasps of the rules. Otherwise, it's a sign of a bad rule. For example, the damned grappling rules.
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 12:28:01 PM »

I tend to wing a lot of things, mostly because I have trouble with planning and keeping track of notes and books. In RL, it works because my players are complete idiots who are distracted by shiny things, in PbP it works because I have time to consider and consult my books and notes (assuming I have found them)

I agree that winging it because your lazy is bad, but in my case I NEED to wing it, due to my horribly underdeveloped executive function. Winging it is not bad, if your running a casual game and the players are achieving the same level of fun and receiving their desired payouts, then go for it. If you are running a more serious game and your players expect a more structured game and a good grasp on rules, then don't be and idiot, plan it out.

I find the great thing about DMing online, however, is that your never on the spot, meaning if you need to check the rules or adjust the campaign after some unexpected actions. If you have the luxury of time, then don't wing it, if you don't you might have to.
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2009, 09:59:21 PM »

Wow, that's totally wrong.

For an example from a campaign I ran, lets say that I dislike the god rules from deities and demigods, because they're megaultratriplestupid.  And I want the players to ascend to minor deities at the campaign's grand finale.

So I decide that gods really shouldn't have the same limitations as, or even use the same system as, mortals.  Just like how my far realm beasties have an AC of Blue, and dSaskatchewan hit dice. 

Solution?  Just wing it.

No mechanics.
Imagination ONLY.

FINAL DESTINATION!




I also just wing things when the players get too far off the map.  Jot down the stats/spells I use on the fly, but don't care particularly about the exact build.  Or whenever grappling/flight comes up, because the mechanics are ugly and don't work the way I want them to. 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 10:00:59 PM by The_Mad_Linguist » Logged

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woodenbandman
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 09:34:41 AM »

^That's fine as long as you tell your players that you've got house rules related to grapple. Unless you're just doing whatever, in which case you're wrong.
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2009, 10:21:37 AM »


Solution?  Just wing it.

No mechanics.
Imagination ONLY.
 

This is interesting! Freeform play has always been something that I've been curious about. Could you tell me how your determine which person's imaginative contribution is allowed to stand in the game, and which is discarded? In the example of dealing with deities, if a character attempted to, say, strike a God, how do you determine the effects?
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