Sometimes you have a feeling about something in your head that you know you want to post about but it just hasn't quite coalesced yet.
Sometimes while that is happening you wander down an internet rabbit hole and end up running across a post by someone else that expresses exactly what that feeling is about.
Sometimes it's to the point that trying to express the same feeling would feel like you were stealing their work, because it would be so similar.
So I'll just do it openly:
This is a post from 2014 by someone named Robot, or Grant, or possibly both and while it is specifically about one game it expresses my feelings about a lot of games nowadays.
Looks like it is "Grant". Good. Don't know him, never met him, just ran across the post this week.
It struck such a nerve with some people that it's still attracting comments as recently as this month Not from me of course - I'm just going to link to it.
A few observational points
- I can't understand why more game publishers don't look at the playability of their game. Not "is the math right" or "have I faithfully included ways to make every conceivable character from prior editions of this game" but "how much page flipping are people doing during play" and "how long does it take to resolve combat? to infiltrate an enemy outpost? to create a magic item? to make a character?" - things people might want to do who aren't sitting in the same room having it explained to them by the designer.
Shadowrun at one point was a fairly intuitive game to grasp: roll your stat/skill rating in dice to meet or beat the other guy's opposing stat/skill. That was it! the core of the whole game! But layer after layer has been piled on, typically in the name of "realism" - in a game with magic and fictional technology - to the point that it's just not that simple anymore.
- Older games still have trouble integrating a lot of newer style ideas, even when it would make them obviously better. That "Dead Man's Trigger" example is a perfect illustration of this. The basic idea is very new school and would make Shadowrun a better game . Then there are a bunch of mechanical conditions the player has to jump through to use it. Why? Is there a balance concern here? What is the problem that those 3 extra rules solve?
- I don't get the commenters who keep equating 4E D&D with "easy" and SR5 in a "complexity" level with Rifts. Rifts! There are typically two types of "complexity" when it comes to games:
- Games where the systems are complicated and involved. Shadowrun is in this bucket.
- Games where the core mechanics are simple but there's just a lot of stuff to sort through. This is Rifts. It's not a difficult game to understand mechanically - there's just 100+ books of options that you could pull from for a game.
Anyway, there's an "easy way out" post for Tuesday!