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Thread: Netbook Rant
05-18-1998, 11:37 PM #1
At 10:43 AM 5/18/98 EDT, DKEvermore(DKEvermore@aol.com)wrote:
>****** RANT WARNING *******
>I see an awful lot of new "rules" come out of this list. Most of these are,
>in my opinion, useless. For instance, the silly monuments thing; we've
>already got the Build action, this kind of thing should be handled on a case
>by case basis in conjuction with the action. And Modify Unit! Really! Just
>design a cool new war card and let the DM trade it to the player when the DM
>feels the player has covered the cost enough and the DM is sure the card will
>not severely upset the play balance. Heaven knows we have enough examples to
>Adding rules for this and that is a lot of fun for th DMs, but from the
>point of view, this game already has SCORES of new stuff to absorb, besides
>learning the AD&D part!
>Finally, adding more and more rules inevitably provides more loop holes than
>swiss cheese for the rules lawyers to take advantage of. (sorry for the
>So here's my more constructive suggestion. Why not stop adding endlessly to
>the rules with all these "options". I would like to see people use the same
>rules to solve new questions. I also enjoy seeing new interpretations.
OK you must have known I would respond to this. Although I'm sure you
didn't mean it, I take this rant personally. As "the silly monuments thing"
happens to be my creation. I find I must point this out, the rule additions
and modifivations that you find on the Netbook are not just concepts. These
are actual *solutions* to problems that people have encountered in their
campaigns. Plainly put, the rules just don't cover 'em. For instance I did
attempt to *only* use the Build action for Monuments at first, but given
the very specific nature of them and their bonuses I found it was better to
create a guideline that covered the cost and time to build one. In case you
didn't notice it does take a Build Action to create a Monument, the rule
modification only covers the fact you are building a Monument instead of
just a standard structure.
Also there is not an "endless" outpouring of additions. The Netbook has
existed for about a year and while at first it grew quickly (as many folks
had come across problems while playing, and wanted to share their
solutions) it has now slowed to a crawl and in fact we see virtually no new
rules, as much as new spells and monsters. And frankly I like to see some
of the ideas other Players and DMs come up with those areas. Still when we
see rules on the Netbook you most often see that it is actually
clarification on using another Action or rule in a very specific way. Take
the Spy Network "rule" it too is not an Action in and of it self, but is a
guide on how to use the Espionage Action to establish one. Simply you are
getting what you want, suggestions on how to use existing rules in a new
way. As for there being to much to learn, well first I don't think anyone
should play BR who is still in the "learning AD&D phase" this is an
advanced setting so only the experienced should apply. Secondly, these
"rules" are not mandatory the DM will decide what, if any, are applicable.
But most would only be considered if a particular situation arises. Take
the Joust "rule", that may never come into play, but if a PC wants to hold
a jousting contest you might find it handy.
My last point would be the loop-hole argument. As DM I have last say in my
game. Quote rules all you want but what I say goes. Particularly when it
comes to things that are "unofficial", no Player is going to weasel his way
through something because of a rule's wording. Also I don't game with rule
lawyers, the suck the fun out of everything so I avoid them. I like
role-playing not rule-playing. But thats another subject all together.
In conclusion if you don't like what you see on the Netbook, don't use it.
But please don't attempt to supress others creative flow. I like to see
standing rules applied in new ways myself, but sometimes you have to take
it a step further. After all a setting this complex has more possible
situations then solutions...
"War is a matter of vital importance to the State;
the province of life or death;
the road to survival or ruin.
It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied."
-Sun Tzu,(The Art of War)-
BR Netbook - http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/6396/birth.html
05-19-1998, 12:40 AM #2darkstarGuest
> Also there is not an "endless" outpouring of additions. The Netbook has
> existed for about a year and while at first it grew quickly (as many folks
> had come across problems while playing, and wanted to share their
> solutions) it has now slowed to a crawl and in fact we see virtually no new
> rules, as much as new spells and monsters. And frankly I like to see some
Well actually there is a fair bit of stuff to add to the netbook
sometime soon. I have just not had the time over the past few weeks to
add it all. Hopefully this will be done by the end of this week
Actually what I would like to see now are some adventures that can be
added to the page. There are a couple already there, and a couple on the
way soon, but more would be welcome. Even adventure ideas would be
> In conclusion if you don't like what you see on the Netbook, don't use it.
> But please don't attempt to supress others creative flow. I like to see
> standing rules applied in new ways myself, but sometimes you have to take
> it a step further. After all a setting this complex has more possible
> situations then solutions...
Quite correct, nothing in the netbook is meant to be used by everyone.
Some people will like some things, while others will dislike them. The
netbook is only there to collect all this info together so everyone can
look at it, pick the bits out that they want and use them in their own
Originally I planned to write it all up similar to the other netbooks
out there, but as the birthright netbook is now more that 3 meg in size
that would be a very big job, so I will leave it as html as most people
can access that.
05-19-1998, 09:09 PM #3DKEvermoreGuest
To Sepsis in particular and anyone else also that I might have insulted, I do
apologize. I admit to phrasing things a bit strongly at times.
And actually Sepsis makes some good points in his points, which I'm sure
everyone has already seen, so I won't repeat it here.
I'll concede all of his points to Sepsis thus far, except the following which
is a fairly important one to the discussion.
In a message dated 98-05-18 19:43:15 EDT, you write:
> As for there being to much to learn, well first I don't think anyone
> should play BR who is still in the "learning AD&D phase" this is an
> advanced setting so only the experienced should apply.
I think the Birthright setting is so good, that anyone who is playing fantasy
is missing out if they haven't tried Birthright. Also, just because a player
isn't familiar with AD&D doesn't mean that he shouldn't play Birthright! Why,
I have had some players who've roleplayed for years, and years but never saw
an interesting enough AD&D setting to learn to play it. That is until the
Birthright setting came out. I wouldn't call these individuals inexperienced.
In fact, I prefer them! Why? Because AD&D, in my experience, attracts far
more hack-and-slashers than almost any other rpg.
When I help new players create new characters, I like to be able to give them
concise summary sheets and as straight an answer as possible so I don't have
to take valuable gaming time to explain extra rules for them.
I do understand the need for some house rules; I use them too. It's hard to
play any rpg without them.
Sepsis has sold me on the idea that some of the optional rules are useful as
is. But I'd still like to see the core rules rounded out, with new ideas as
to how to apply them. If any mailing list can generate this kind of input,
this one can.
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