What do I mean when I talk about "realism" in the game? I appreciate that it means different things to different people, so what do I mean by it?
Realism exists in the game, whether you want it to or not. How so? Well, you're walking to where ever it is you want to go, unless you have a Fly spell handy. Yes, exactly . . . gravity exists in your game too! Wow!
Of course, this is a fantasy game – as many people enjoy reminding me – so gravity only exists in a certain sense. Gravity exists so that your character can't fly, but it doesn't exist in that your character can't be hurt when he falls out of a second story window, or down a flight of stairs. Even though, in the real world, you'll probably break your neck and die.
Well, guess what? In my game . . . you're probably going to break your neck and die. At the very least, you're going to roll the dice to see if you break your neck and die. And that's what I mean by "realism." People argue that point with me. "Oh, that can't happen!" Sorry, but it happens all the time in my game.
The "newer" Editions seem to have "deleted" the possibility; at least, that's what the people I game with tell me. I dislike that. The same thing applies to the Dodge Feat. Sorry, but in my game, if you wish to move like Kwai Chang Caine, you can't dress like Lancelot. For this, I definitely use the Encumbrance table.
If there isn't just a little bit of realism in the game, then nothing in it is believable. And if you can't believe in it – just a little bit – then how can you get caught up in the story? How do you get involved with your character?
Some things just have to be "real," in order to become immersed in the game. At least, that's the way it works for me.
Then there are the demi-humans. Halflings and Gnomes that are a strong as Conan and who, when in their defensive posture, have an AC of 26. Really? Edition 3.5 drives me absolutely nuts with its Feats. I despise any 3 foot nothing character that's as strong as Conan; it is simply too much B.S. for me to swallow. Demi-humans simply must be better than humans at every frickin' thing! Why didn't – and why don't – the self-hating a-holes who make these rules just go out and cut their own throats? Nearly every one of them believes in reincarnation, why, if they believe hard enough, they just might come back a Gnome! Hey, it's worth a try!
Sorry, but in my game, no 3 foot nothing Halfling or Gnome is going to beat Conan in an arm wrestling contest. It is not realistic under any circumstances and there is going to be a certain amount of reality in my game. Demi-humans have their advantages, but they are also saddled with a great many disadvantages.