rpg.pbem.online

Tabletop QOTD 2020-04-15

Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.

If while playing a game you come across a rule that's either unclear or broken, how do you handle it during that play?

The answer is the same for me for both #Boardgames and #RPG - unless it's debilitating or will completely make the game not fun, play through the best that we can, and figure it out later. If it's something that we can't play through, then if it's an RPG and I'm GMing, I'll just make a ruling and figure it out later. If it's a boardgame, if someone has a strong opinion, that's usually it for the night- the conversations take so long that we end up never getting back to the game.

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I usually look it up, especially if it's someone other's turn. If it takes too long, we regulate as a group and then look the rule up after the game
For board games I find getting the rules correct is more important since they're usually entirely mechanical. RPGs can be as flexible as you want them to be without breaking.
I try to look it up, but sometimes everything just grinds to a halt, especially in board games. Unfortunately more often than not it makes everything just grind to a halt, which makes things not fun.
Sometimes we look it up... and once in a while it derails a game entirely and it gets abandoned. I had one such game that I had to drop a couple of years ago as it was a German game translated badly to English and even a video trying to explain it and play failed to make it coherent.

But its pretty rare usually... I can't think of another game in the past decade or so that was that bad on explaining its rules.
I got a very well made game called First Martians that even integrates a mobile app into play as a base computer, but for the life of me I haven't been able to figure out how to play it. The rules seem to assume you know certain things about the gameplay.
Try to figure it out via the players at the table. If time allows, google it. After that, house-rule our way around the problem.
This is another topic we've covered on the blog.
https://tabletopbellhop.com/gaming-advice/bad-game-rulebook/

Now a days we look it up. Actually it's a bit of a game within a game where everyone grabs their mobile device and it's a race to see who can find the proper answer first.

I still remember the days of having to mail away to a company to get an official rules clarification. I've still got a letter from the Mail Order Trolls at Games Workshop, all the way from the UK clarifying some rules for Talisman that we found ambiguous back in the 80s

How times have changed.
Roleplaying games, ideally spend just a short time on it and then make a ruling, come back later if needed. If it's wrong, well the world is strange sometimes.

Board games, we try to puzzle it out. First by what's written, then by what we reckon is consistent with other rules and expressed intent. If we're wrong it usually becomes evident (such as the time we played Carcosa and Ian beat our asses... turns out you don't score under the circumstances he racked up all his points -- but you do in Carcassonne, so we guessed wrong. We fixed it next time), if we're right it plays out fine. Either way we come to a solution and move on, and look it up after. If we can't, figure out an acceptable solution for that play, we bail on it and play something else.