member, 1027 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 18:20
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
It seems to have become a barrier to play.

You say "I have some house rules" or "I've changed the setting" and red flags pop.

Even so far as requiring an official splat book for that character type.

When did thinks become so structured that even well described changes were unacceptable?

Will you play in a "Homebrew Setting"?

Will you accept some "House Rules"?

At what point do you pull back?
 member, 1028 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 18:24
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
Also, when the product line stops releasing new material.

How can it be "dead"?
 member, 2393 posts
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 18:36
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
it all comes  down to players  and GMs  working  together.... rules lawyers  and   'by the book' folks , hide from Homebrew.

 Homebrew folks  say " this is better" ( and  most times it is)

 House rule, get rid of  'stupid stuff"...but, can also  make its own.

 i moved  along, with my own 'system' built  for heavt RP..dice rollers  and number crunchers won't like it...RP folks seem to like it alot.

 The only Barriers, are those the player  has , when he looks at an ad , and decides to play or not play....everyone has    an idea what they want, there should be games on this site, for everyone .
 member, 729 posts
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 18:51
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
It all depends on the game, the setting, the house rules, and the homebrew.

If a player agrees that the rule as written sucked enough to change it, and they like the house rule you put in to replace it, you're golden.

If a player disagrees that the rule as written sucked, and/or they don't like your house rule, you're not likely to get that player to play your game.

A "dead" game is just the common parlance for a game with no ongoing support. Most people stop playing dead games, but some cling to them. It takes all kinds.

Having a common set of rules just makes things easier.

I've found most players don't mind house rules as long as you're upfront about them. If you wait to spring house rules on players until they actually come up in game, that's a huge red flag.
 member, 1 post
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 19:00
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
Depending on the system... I'm not a huge fan of house rules.

House rules tend to be more for fun and convenience than balance so they're sometimes WAY more powerful than they should be. Some are a bit too common, some just make me question people's sanity.

Ignoring encumbrance, Gestalt, feat tax, not tracking inventory, DC 20 Kip up, strange stat rolling methods, magic item shops everywhere, never weather, Max HP.

Of course, there are some rules that are in the system that are just as horrible. Traits and flaws in 3.5 Was pretty terrible. Same when they made falling too safe.

Too many characters jumping off cliffs to Matthew McConaughey a monster!

Some house rules are okay, like "coins are lighter/smaller" and some I like, E6 is a great example.
 subscriber, 739 posts
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 19:18
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
Some people prefer to just play what they know.

Every system has issues and knowing what they are is one thing, trying to fix them without creating other unknown issues is another.

Generally, and when it comes to this particular medium of play especially, there's also something about commiting to reading and learning a whole bunch of something someone has written and having nothing to show for that effort two weeks later when the game dies.

That said, some people don't mind, or enjoy seeing what other people have designed.

I don't think there's a single true way, but if you're not finding what you're looking for you may need to broaden your horizons or go looking for places where people of a like mind are prone to congregate.
 member, 573 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 19:28
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
It all depends on the game, the setting, the house rules, and the homebrew.

To this I'll add "and the Players, and the GM".  Some GMs I wont do house rules under anymore because they change house rules as they go, and that's fine if you discuss the changes in advance, let Players tweak their Characters to fit the new rules paradigm, but when they change them at the table, in mid play?  Nope.

Otherwise, "only published" simply makes it easier to get into pick up games.  I don't need to learn new rules, I already know the rules, so you're required investment of my time to even RTJ for your game is lower.

But if the game premise looks interesting enough, the group is cool, and the house rules don't look terrible, I'm down for it.
 member, 15 posts
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 19:39
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
Frankly, I don't think there's any difference between any of the players on this site and any of the "official" first-party developers for the biggest role-playing games. One of them's just got more money, is all.

All of us, from Wizards of the Coast and Paizo all the way down to RPOL GMs are just practicing Midwestern folk art.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:40, Fri 29 Oct 2021.

 member, 193 posts
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 22:40
Re: Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
For me, the barrier to play is less about homebrew settings and house rules than it is about having to invest a large amount of mental effort just to play a game.

I will play in a homebrew setting, but I don't want to have to invest a bunch of effort doing homework in order to understand the setting. The barrier for me is expecting others to care about a setting as much as its creator. I say this as primarily a GM, as well. Players don't care about our homebrew settings. They want to play their characters and have their characters do cool stuff.

I will accept some house rules, but as above, I don't want to have to learn a new game in order to play. I also don't want to playtest homebrew rules. In general, I prefer to play in games with minimal house rules, so I can focus on enjoying the game, story, interacting with other character, and not on learning its rules.

For these reasons, I generally only play in games I already know the rules for, that only have minimal house rules applied over the top, and feature settings that don't front-load a bunch of required information just to understand the setting.
 member, 862 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 23:22
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
In reply to GreenTongue (msg # 1):

It's about trust.

With a GM I don't know, or players I don't know and who don't know each other, I'd rather go by the book for the most part.

It doesn't entirely matter how well something is explained, because what one needs to know is the GM's or player's reason for wanting to do things that way. Players might want power or control the GM doesn't want to give them. GMs might want to prevent a particular play style or approach that a player prefers.

After a while, when people start to know each other, one can start to have a conversation about what is and isn't working with the core rules and what one might like to see instead.
Mad Mick
 member, 1008 posts
 GURPS beyond measure,
Fri 29 Oct 2021
at 23:47
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
Will I play in a homebrew setting? Definitely! I love exploring new worlds, and I love the creativity GMs have in designing these worlds.

House rules? Definitely! I play mostly GURPS, and GURPS GMs in particular love tinkering with the rules to suit their games. A game with no house rules would be the exception for me, not the rule.

It can be daunting for me to approach games with completely new rules (which is why I often convert other systems into GURPS). If the game looks interesting, the GM has a good track record, and the posts are engaging, though, I'm happy to learn a new system.

A system isn't dead if it still has players who play it. Even though GURPS 4e has been around for nearly 20 years now, some GMs still prefer 3e (and honestly, there aren't a ton of differences between editions). Some of my favorite systems (MERP, West End Games' Star Wars, AD&D 2nd edition) haven't had new content in 20 years, but I still enjoy those games, largely because those are the systems I first learned.
 member, 2394 posts
Sat 30 Oct 2021
at 00:06
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
one thing about a system being means 'money'. The company wants you  to buy something new, so they don't support the  old one, in hopes you shell out for the new one.

 I remember how shocked i was the first time we played a Module..the  DM  was hard core, forced march ( i hate forced march).

 when i  took  my turn to  run a module from a different system,  i opened alot of doors ,  and provide some new  NPCs... it was great..too great, i never got to play again , and  ran 'imporved modules"  or home brewed stuff, a few  years later, i started  to try Online stuff, which  , after many years, led me here...i have been here , for many years.
 member, 130 posts
Sat 30 Oct 2021
at 00:25
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
In reply to donsr (msg # 12):

Yep, share your pain with the 'forced march' style.  Still have a raw feeling about it, though that GM and I are still friends (but no longer do RPGs, just board games). Been doing my own stuff for decades now, though I admit to stealing ideas from old scenarios, films, and books. There is so much more than the railroad tracks of written modules or scenarios, some of which treat the players like cattle to be herded to slaughter.  To trick a clever player by running an NPC that they think is one category of dull NPC, there only to provide basic assistance, only to find out that the NPC was a double agent with their own agenda.....Yep, that's why I'm still in it, trying to make it a good challenge.  Not undefeatable, just challenging.
 member, 2395 posts
Sat 30 Oct 2021
at 00:39
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
 Silver... I ahve said this alot of times, but i run games , like i would want the run for me....My players can create  plot lines, just through RP ( and they may not know it until later)..they miss plot line, then find  plot lines.

 one of the worst things  a DM ever  said was 'I speant alot of time on this, You have to go this way!"

 Nope... I like being surprised  by my players, sure? some players   get a little goofy, and they pay for it... you need to be true to the game and your character, and the Game is enjoyable  by all....

 having an Open, living  world, makes it that much more fun
 member, 163 posts
Sat 30 Oct 2021
at 00:41
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
There is obviously a benefit to playing with the base rules in that everyone works with the same reference points, and if the original creators have done their job properly, then you should be in a situation where most classes/builds are balanced.

That being said, on the question of 'house rules', I tend to break it down into Quality of Life enhancements, theme builders, and 'breakers', of which I'm usually only a fan of the first two:

QoL enhancements are pretty strightforward - you remove or fudge rules which apply to everyone but no-one wants to play with because they slow down the game. My personal bugbear on this one is encumbrance or doing DnD weekly expenses. The main thing is that no-one should gain a massive advantage over others at this stage.

Theme builders are things like WOD Combat Hacks - small modifications or additions to the core rules with a definite thematic aim in mind. These can be rules which apply to everyone, or specific options which can be picked up to add a bit of flavour to the game, but they're mostly controlled by the GM.

Breakers are the ones which I have an issue with - basically they're changes to the rules which allow players to ignore key rules for the sake of being more powerful. Again, for other people they may be really enjoyable, but as someone who enjoys having rules in place to limit the characters and keep them unique, I tend not to be such a fan.

Ultimately, I tend to stick to the vanilla systems with the first two options above at most, just because it's a massive faff learning new systems and having to bear them in mind - I forget enough about existing rules without packing new ones on top.

As for 'dead' games, a game is only dead when no-one plays it, and I've got a lot of mileage out of 1E NWOD, and intend to continue to do so.
 member, 7366 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sat 30 Oct 2021
at 07:13
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
For me, it's largely about trust between the GM and the players.  And I can really only speak from the players' side of it, because I loathe being a GM (I'll do it if I really have to, but it's probably my least-favorite thing about RPGs...)

But if I'm playing with a GM that I trust...either because I've played with them before or even just because I feel like we're on the same general wavelength of what the game is supposed to be...then I'm fine with house rules and homebrew systems/settings.  But I don't have faith that every GM makes house rules to make the game more enjoyable to play, because I've seen some that make rules that make the game easier for them to run at the expense of how enjoyable the player experience may be.  I've seen homebrew settings that were a royal mess...and I've seen settings that adapted rules from completely different systems in order to make things run smoother.

If I trust the GM, I'm even comfortable with them choosing to handwave a lot of the rules.  But for me, it's all about why they're doing it.  I've had GMs say, "Unless and until someone starts blatantly abusing it, I'm going to skip encumbrance rules.  If it's plausible for your character to be able to pack it around, I'll allow it...but if you start claiming to be packing four swords and two battle axes, I'm going to dig out the books."  I'm one of those players who rarely gets any sense of enjoyment out of digging into the crunch of the rules...I'm there to help weave a story and if I have to spend half my gaming time on a calculator to keep up with the rules, that's cutting into my story-telling time.  A lot of my favorite gaming experiences were situations where there weren't really rules that applied to the the GM just made something up, whether that was the GURPS game where all the PCs were wizards' familiars, or the smuggler our Star Wars group recruited had an AI wired into his ship, or our Shadowrun group had to try and shoot down an ICBM with some re-imagined P-38 Lightnings.  There were no rules for any of those situations (or, at least, not rules that wouldn't have required hours of time to work through to apply them to the game)...the GM just decided on the fly how it was going to work.  I wouldn't try that with every GM...I had the good fortune of having a whole stack of GMs in college who were great at either improvising rules for situations that were outside the scope of anything the game designers had included in the rulebooks, or reinterpreting rules when they were applied in non-standard circumstances.

All that said, if I like the GM and the GM decides that things are literally going to be run by the books, I'm fine with that, as well.  Because I know the GM is not going to use the rules as a goad or bludgeon.  If I don't know the GM...well, I'm more likely to trust them with official rules, but if the setting sounds intriguing, I'll give them a shot with whatever approach they're using.
 member, 1709 posts
 Ocoee FL
 45 yrs of RPGs
Sat 30 Oct 2021
at 12:44
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
The story comes first for me. Game mechanics are a means to tell the story. As such, I will adjust the rules to tell a story that I and my players will enjoy. I've done it that way since my first experience as DM back around 1975.

That's why I don't play real crunchy systems that have minute rules for every circumstance, though I prefer structure to freeform. I always play fair with the players and tend to give their characters all the breaks as well as a square deal.

Just the way I roll.
 member, 2396 posts
Sat 30 Oct 2021
at 13:03
Do You or Your Player Require Official Products?
Gaffer..i like that...

 for my system, i did  incorporate  aspects of  old Avalon Hill war  games  ( Tobruk, Richtfon's war, Wooden ships and  Iron men  )

  i roll 90% of the dice   with the mods from people's stats they describe in IC what they are doing, i mix in what ...I... see as going on...its only complicated for me, but its  a standard that has stood the test, even before i  entered PBP  gaming.

 the rest? easy, and allows people to  concentrate on characters, rather then numbers. My games aren't for everyone, but those who like it, stay .