Friday, April 1, 2016

Discussion: How Crunchy Do You Like Your Mechanics?

Games come in all flavors now a days. The 80s are gone, and with it the seeming universal desire to have a rule for every physical action. Now a days games aren't necessarily even interested in replicating physics with several games out there having their engine based on narrative rules instead of simulating a world.

For every GURPS there seems to be a FATE. For every Champions there is an Icon. So where do you fall on the spectrum? Do you prefer your games with maximum crunch in the base rules - that you can choose to employ or not depending on the scene. Or do you prefer minimal rules where you have to make rulings on the fly and have all the freedom of a bird in flight for you and your players?

I'm not sure where I fall. Some times I like the heavy crunch. Other times I like the freedom to make my own calls and just wing things as the game goes along. My default, go-to systems are not rules light, but I also don't run them strictly by the book either.

So what about you? What do you prefer?


  1. I like a mid-ground that has clear rules that allow for unambiguous mediation of tense situations that don't strain trust, but enough flexibility to let people try things. To be fair, it also really depends on my mood. Sometimes I REALLY want something like FATE and do communal story telling. Other times Shadowrun is the kind of story I want to play or tell, and the tension of detailed resource management is part of the tension.

    What kind of system you want to use I guess comes down to what kind of story you want to tell for me.

  2. For a long time tend towards crunchy systems. I learned after a long time gaming was I tended towards crunchy systems because I had difficulty trusting my GM's judgement. Once I got passed that all, those extra rules just felt like they got in the way.

    Now a days, I prefer games that are, at most, bit more crunchy than FATE. I want to play with people that are good at improvisation and a system that supports that without becoming a distraction.