Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quick Fix: About the Reviews

I just wanted to point some things out really quickly about the reviews, to help people get an idea for how they work.

Don't Expect Many 10s or 100s, If Any
So, first off, a 10 to me is a very big deal. It means that there is no way conceivable that something could be done better. Everything is perfect, it covers all bases while bringing new things no one else ever has to the table. Perfection to me is something unattainable, and the closer something gets to it the harder it was for me to find something wrong. Even a book that I feel, in general, is more beautiful could get a lower rating on Art or Layout due to smaller mistakes overall. I'll point that out in the review of course, but I just wanted to point out that I don't see myself giving out any perfects.

What I Mean By Confusing Rules
So, in the Icons rules I mentioned that Combat gets confusing, but I wasn't very clear on what I meant. Now, all RPGs get confusing around combat, it is where things get complex and particularly weird. However, when I say the rules are confusing I mean that there is enough deviation from the core mechanics that play will stop if the GM doesn't know what that means. For comparison.

In L5R combat is straight forward, there are options, but you stick with the core mechanic of Trait + Skill Keep Skill is your roll. You roll against a Target Number, and you can call raises to make it harder for more effect. This translates over to combat, with raises being how options work. If you hit, you then do damage, and if you run out of damage you can take you die. If the GM forgets the exact rules for how a disarm works, they can wing it, because the core mechanic is heavily present. "Call X raises and I'll let you do it". Sure, you break from the game, but it works.

Now, in games like Mutants and Masterminds and ICONS you have a different problem. If you get a certain level of success in ICONS you can do something called a Slam. Well what is that? It means you knocked them into the next range increment. Awesome. Only, if you don't know that you then need to stop and look it up. There are other effects like this in ICONS, Mutants and Masterminds, and numerous other systems. They work, they're awesome, and I like them. But, they also break from the core mechanic and make things complex, and confusing. There is a risk of slowing down play for it, because the GM has less freedom to just wing it.

That is what I mean by 'confusing' rules.

That's it.
that is all I wanted to say. If something else in the review, or any review, confuses you be sure to ask. Either in the review, or right here.

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