Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Nope, not wrestling, but "Rules as Written."

Yeah, I'm getting this from some of my Players. They prefer the Rules as Written, not House Rules. So I'm asking you, the public . . . why?

I mean, the authors of the books you all cherish don't "do" Rules as Written. Why should I?

Oh, yes, it's true! You cannot deny it. Why, just yesterday I was reading though "Hollowfaust, City of Necromancers" for Sword & Sorcery. All right there, page 85:

"A Note on Statistics: Regarding Guildmasters . . . If drawn into a fight, a grandmaster may access any necromantic spell he chooses, plus the lion's share of most other schools' spells."

Oh really?

Grandmaster Asaru, Head of the Anatomist's Guild, a great and powerful 16th level Necromancer!

Hmm. Since when do 16th level Wizards have access to 9th level spells? No, no, no! It's right there in the book, on the same page: ". . . a grandmaster may access any necromantic spell he chooses . . ."

Again . . . since when?

Then there's Grandmaster Baryoi, Head of the Disciples of the Abyss, 11th level Necromancer. (I let the fact that he's a Lich slide, since the book makes it clear that others turned him into a Lich . . . at such a paltry low level) So, since when can an 11th level Wizard cast 7th level spells? Much less 8th and 9th level spells.

So, the so-called "writers of the game" break their own damn rules on a daily basis! What do any of you mean by "Rules as Written?" Who gets to choose which 'written rules' apply? Well, in my game . . . I do.

And that's why I have House Rules, to replace the bullshit rules that these idiots create. Yeah, idiots. Is there anyone besides an "idiot" that can't keep track of what they wrote in the "last book" they wrote? What they wrote "just yesterday," as it were?

Some of these people can't even keep track of the Rules as they write!

No, I think that "Rules as Written" is a term that was invented for and by people who just needed a reason to complain about House Rules that they didn't like.

Hollowfaust is, of course, just one example, there are many others. So, for me, I will keep making House Rules to replace all the bullshit that's being shoveled out there.


  1. Hollowfaust isn't a rule book, it's a setting book, one chock full of enthusiastic mistakes. White Wolf house authors Campbell, Grabowski, & Skemp are as far from being the "writers of the game" - that is of the 3.0 "rules as written" - as you are, so their carelessness regarding them is understandable, though still somewhat irritating.

    That aside, the body of the rules is the physical manifestation of the the spirit of the game. A commitment in principle to R.A.W. on the part of the GM is necessary if she wants the players to trust her when she must interpret, bend, or break those rules. Not trust her as a person or a friend, but as an arbiter of the game.

    1. While it's true they are not Gygax or Arneson, they are still writing books for the game, which is closer to being a "writer of the game" than I am. And a "setting book" is the game, especially when one considers that many DMs -- and easily the people in my game -- use these books to run games. Few DMs create completely independent games, the majority of them use the setting books as the world in which they game.

      If I use one of these books as the setting for my game, my players will quote from it: "But the book says right here!"

      As for being a fair "arbiter of the game," it's my game -- not Gygax's or Arneson's game -- that's being played at my table. And I don't deviate from my own House Rules. You are free to use my own rules against me as much as you like. How would that be unfair?

      "Unfair" is making it up as you go along. "But last week you said . . . "

      I don't do that.

  2. I agree with the rules as written. In my game you will abide by the rules I've written. See it works.