Any game rules that you adopted as default ?

edited August 2013 in Story Games
Are there rules from some games that you liked so much that you adopted as default, where possible ? For me it is:


1) Initiative from Marvel Heroic Roleplaying,

2) Resolution from Apocalypse World/Edge of the Empire/Warhammer 3e.

3) Sandbox structure from Apocalyse World.


How about you guys ?

Comments

  • Me and many of the people I play with have been doing "camerawork" and framing scenes with a lot more intention in most of the games we've played since the our first PTA games about six years back.
  • Fate's Aspects to describe anyting character-related that isn't skills or equipment.
  • I only have rules I ignore as a default. :) I do have some techniques, like monologues, that I might throw into games that don't already have them.
  • Let it ride
  • edited August 2013
    Not since I started to play "indie games" for real. Now I love trying out different kinds of techniques and mechanics. But sure, when I GM, I usually just describe a place by it's name and then let the players fill out the environment with descriptions based on their characters. An artist will fill the environment with artwork, a ninja with shadows, an esoteric brick that communicates with bubbles with ... well, you figure that out.
  • I tend to handle turn order "like a conversation" in every game I run, Apocalypse-World-style, even before I first read Apocalypse World. I'd make an exception if I ran something for which initiative is really important to mechanics, like D&D 4e, or if I ran something with an interesting initiative system I'd never tried before, like Marvel Heroic. Most games I've run, though, just say something like, "Go in the order of whoever has the highest [agility/perception/whatever stat]," or "start with "person X" and go clockwise," and I find intelligent spotlight management more interesting and easier to manage.
  • Fan Mail (Primetime Adventures) often ends up in most of the games I run.
  • A hold over from my AD&D/Arduin days is the situational bonus. If the player takes the time to describe/create an advantage, I usually reward them with a +1 or +2 to the roll. This was my attempt to coax more role playing out of my crew of dungeon crawlers, especially when they were in town. I still do it 30 years later, so I guess I like it. :-)
  • - The roll only counts if it lands on the table.
    - If the dice hits something, rolls over something or comes to rest against something, it still counts
    - If the dice falls on an edge, the GM may allow a reroll or choose which of two sides is "correct", at their discretion
  • If something in the story squicks you out or threatens to ruin your fun, then say so, and then the thing will either be removed or the thing will not appear onscreen (this second thing only rarely happens), whatever the squicked-out person wants. (We sometimes call this The Veil.)

    Then the person who accidentally squicked the person out makes up a new thing.

    Since we aren't asshats and are pretty good at self-selecting for games we're stoked on the fictional outpourings of, it generally goes really smoothly.
  • I am pulling in a good portion of the character creation and roles from an early copy of Kingdom as I like how it makes your character fit into a larger portion of society.
  • I am a big fan of the Palette mechanic from Microscope and I will incorporate it into any game with collaborative world-building. I think it's immensely helpful for everyone to be on the same page for setting expectations.
  • I was going to say Over the Edge, but I see you mean rules, not games. I think I'm in flux. Some flavor or variant of the X-card, some discussion of lines, veils, and general player preferences. Players should talk to each other and to the GM (or equivalent, if one exists) about what does and doesn't work, what they do and don't want.

    13th Age is not my style, but I love the idea that there's one unique thing that's all yours. We try to do something similar in larps, where we want to answer:

    What is cool about this character?
    Why will people interact with this character?
    Why will this character interact with other people?

    In games like Call of Cthulhu, I believe in a pool of Didn't I Mention I Had... points, aka DIM points, for those moments when everyone realizes that someone really should have a particular skill that no one thought to take. (I also do a points build for stats and skills, but that's for a "how I run CoC", not for default rules in general.)

    I like Fate points / Style points / Bennies / Fan Mail.

    If someone asks, "Is there X?" or "Can I do Y?" or "Is Z possible?" the correct response is "Why?" Without knowing why, I might give an answer that is perfectly reasonable, but that cuts off a player's Cool Idea, simply because I didn't know what the idea was or even that it existed. If you say, "What floor are we on?" it is totally reasonable for me to roll a d-whatever or just say some number. But, if I say, "Why?" and find out your PC was hoping to slip out the window and jump down safely, I'm totally good with that.

    This is slowly starting to shift towards, "What floor do you want to be on?" or "You tell me -- what floor are you on?"
  • - The roll only counts if it lands on the table.
    I always play re-roll any dice on the floor. Although we re-roll a cocked dice on the table too.

    I've always been tempted by the rule I heard one group use of 'any dice that leaves the table is an automatic fumble' but never quite had the guts to utilise it.
  • It's ok to reroll if you pick it up within five seconds, everyone knows that.
  • edited August 2013
    Yes, you can even eat it, too! Mmmmm, edible dice...

    Anyway, I think Let It Ride and Roll Dice or Say Yes are a must for any game to not suck. The only exceptions are during combat in some games, where iterated swingin' is okay. (This includes BW!)

    ETA: You know what game has Roll Dice or Say Yes? D&D3.0, guyz! That's what taking 10 and 20 actually are!

    Matt
  • I do Apocalypse World style hard moves reflexively now.
  • - If a rule doesn't seem right, just change it
    - you need to separate the character creation from the character sheet (more a process than a rule), from BW (character burner)
    - always negotiate before throwing the dice, from TSOY
    - Say yes or roll the dice, from BW (but I think it was taken from somewhere else)
  • - If a rule doesn't seem right, just change it
    - you need to separate the character creation from the character sheet (more a process than a rule), from BW (character burner)
    - always negotiate before throwing the dice, from TSOY
    - Say yes or roll the dice, from BW (but I think it was taken from somewhere else)
    Roll the dice or say yes (in it's most commonly understood form) came from Dogs in the Vineyard and Luke quoted it verbatim.

    As for me, Roll or say yes and Let It Ride (in one form or another) make it into every game I run. Though at it's most basic form all Let it Ride is doing is disallowing rerolls which is reasonable even without a rule.
  • Burning Wheel and Apocalypse World failures. You fail? Something bad happens!
  • - Be a fan of the characters
    and
    - Play to find out what happens

    Are the big two for me.
  • Line & Veils
    Say Yes or Roll Dice
    Let It Ride
    Make Failure Interesting
    Only Use Complex Systems For Major Events; Use Basic/Abbreviated Systems For Less-Significant or Building Scenes (ummm... if possible in the system, of course)
  • I always use the principle from Trail of Cthulhu that tasks whose success is crucial to the adventure, such as searching a crime scene for an essential clue, should automatically succeed. To be honest, I don't see any reason to ever leave things like that up to chance in any game.
  • I aim towards the following, as I'm usually in a GM position:
    Say yes or roll the dice.
    Failing forwards.
    Play to find out what happens. - though "how it happens" can make for a good game.
  • Leave blanks. I call it that now because of Dungeon World, but I have always left big chunks of plot and setting undefined, instead asking for or stealing player input. When a player is all "I bet the police chief is part of the conspiracy, it makes so much sense," I give 'em the pokerface but in my notebook I'm like "note to self: police chief involved."
  • Oh and Best Move of the Night. My group has a long-standing tradition; at the end of the session everyone votes on which PC had the best, most memorable moment. There are no criteria besides "we all thought it was awesome." The winner gets some small xp benefit, or something similar depending on system. We do this in most every game.
  • edited September 2013
    Initiative rules based on Apocalypse World.

    Initiative just doesn't matter as much as I used to think it did. I find games that track it tedious. Soft Moves, Hard Moves, Playing to find out what happens. Basically, everything I play uses powered by the apocalypse as a base and I generally hack the system to match unless I'm playing really focused games like Contenders, Fiasco or PTA.
  • Yeah, Initiative is a good one, I abandoned that long ago. It only matters in the first round anyway, so I run all combats just going around the table.
  • I general I have tried to break myself from doing this, and just play the game the way it was intended.
  • Yeah, Initiative is a good one, I abandoned that long ago. It only matters in the first round anyway, so I run all combats just going around the table.
    This is one of those things that sounds appealing but would actually screw over certain builds in a more crunchy game like SotC or 3.5/PF. Rogues, especially, often depend on going first in a combat and optimize themselves to max out their Initiative modifiers.
  • I general I have tried to break myself from doing this, and just play the game the way it was intended.
    This is my same thought on this topic. I'm glad to have the pot-pourri of techniques at my fingertips, but as I generally play games because I respect the design/designer and want to experience something different or new, this is my default approach.

    I've learned a lot that way: when you approach a game and it feels like it's *missing something*, sometimes it's your own brain damage talking. You can learn a lot by ignoring that impulse to throw in those other techniques you like.

    Just imagine picking up Lady Blackbird and then deciding you've got to draw a hexmap and a plotted adventure before you start playing, because those things don't seem to be included "in the box". (That could be be fun, actually! But you're kind of missing a huge point of the design.)

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