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 Post subject: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:36 am 
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Master Sergeant - E8
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I had the pleasure of being taught how to DM a game my Gary Gygax the originator of D&D. He never used a single book or looked up a rule until the very end of the game when it came to handing out treasure and experience. For him the story was the thing. I appreciate the fact that the people on this board are polite with each other and really interested in the topic. Thank you for knowing about the rules and not needing them.

James M. Ward

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Great philosophy, Jim. I can't say that I stay 100% away from rulebooks during play, but I do try to prep with a few key monster stats printed out. That plus a GM screen and I'm mostly set for a whole adventure. That's really the way a good RPG should be run, in my opinion! 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:21 pm 
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I have often GM'd in this way and find that some players love this style of play. I don't even give them character sheets with stats on, just a description of the character and their abilities. Others find the lack of a rulebook they can look things up in disturbing. On the whole I think Gary's style is far and away the best, allowing much greater immersion.

Nigel


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:10 am 
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I just ran a game at a convention where I didn't use character sheets because I had them play themselves. We had a lot of fun.

James M. Ward

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:08 pm 
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JamesMWard wrote:
I just ran a game at a convention where I didn't use character sheets because I had them play themselves. We had a lot of fun.

Sounds really cool. Did you have players that seemed to over-estimate their own abilities, or did they seem to be realistic in their estimates?

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Marv (Finarvyn)
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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:41 pm 
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Excellent question Marv. No they stayed true to their "real" abilities.

James

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:29 pm 
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JamesMWard wrote:
Excellent question Marv. No they stayed true to their "real" abilities.
Ah, well in that case I have to assume that they "killed" themselves quickly. Mundanes in a dangerous world... :lol:

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Marv (Finarvyn)
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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:25 am 
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Recalling the convention game at NTRPG 2013, it seemed to me that even then the rolling up of ability scores was a mere formality. More important to the game was the equipment we decided our characters to bring along and the imagination we used in executing the game. This I have brought to my own home game and the players, that is, my children, have enjoyed this greatly.

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:34 am 
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I have to agree, and I'm going to experiment with not using character sheets at all at the next few conventions. I think I can get players to just act out as they would if they were in the adventure themselves.

I will report back,

James M. Ward

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:47 pm 
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JamesMWard wrote:
I have to agree, and I'm going to experiment with not using character sheets at all at the next few conventions. I think I can get players to just act out as they would if they were in the adventure themselves.

If you get a chance, you might try to track down a copy of Amber Diceless RPG. It is designed for the world of Roger Zelazny's Amber, but it has some mechanical ideas that are sort of similar to your current concept of "acting out" their actions.

ADRP is mechancially based on four stats: Psyche (mental strength), Strength (physical athleticism), Warfare (all things combat), Endurance (hit points or how long you can go). Everything is judged based on those four stats, without any actual dice rolls or whatnot.

What one could do is start with some basics like this and add in some dice rolls as needed. Just a thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:45 am 
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JamesMWard wrote:
I have to agree, and I'm going to experiment with not using character sheets at all at the next few conventions. I think I can get players to just act out as they would if they were in the adventure themselves.

I will report back,

James M. Ward



Hi all, I am a new member to the board so I hope no one minds me bringing up a topic from several years back.

Jim, did you make an opportunity to try this out and how did it go if you did?

Thanks,

Kevin W.


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:39 am 
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Kevin,

I'm going to no character sheets in all of my science fiction games where the characters don't have super powers. IN that way I don't have to waste time rolling up a character. We can start play right away and have fun.

James M. Ward

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:22 pm 
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JamesMWard wrote:
Kevin,

I'm going to no character sheets in all of my science fiction games where the characters don't have super powers. IN that way I don't have to waste time rolling up a character. We can start play right away and have fun.

James M. Ward


James,

Sounds like a great way to get things moving from the start. This should work very well with my young son as we begin his introduction to RPGs, an introduction that will hopefully be similar and as fascinating as I found my own some 40 years back. :)

Kevin W.


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:10 am 
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The "no character sheet" notion is an interesting one, but I wonder if it would be a problem for some players. I think that some folks rely on numbers to give them a sense as to what they can try and what they can't.

One option I tried was to run OD&D with stats rated A-F (like a grade in school) instead of 3-18. I had some numbers in my head that I could use as needed, but I could also ignore as desired. The players had a rough scale as to how they stacked up against other creatures in the gameworld.

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Marv (Finarvyn)
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 Post subject: Re: Gary Gygax on Rules
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:58 pm 
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You may need to trademark your diceless, charactsheetless, supplement-free and rulebookless game. You should also trademark the words, "Your Imagination..."

Because that's all you will need to play :)

Phufft!!! Having fun without stacks of merchandise and accessories - what were you thinking guys!?!

Craig J. Brain

BTW, rules light, concentrating on enjoying working on the interaction between GM and players and telling a story is spot on as far as I am concerned.

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