How To Break All The Rules
Plus, My First Dungeon Wins at NJ WebFest, Gubat Banwa, and a game we DON'T want you to play
MY FIRST DUNGEON WINS AT NJ WEBFEST!!!
This past Sunday the judges for the New Jersey Web Fest presented My First Dungeon with the award for “Best Sound Design for an Actual Play” and made it so that we are now and forever an “Award-Winning Podcast.”
We’re incredibly excited to receive this award, especially when we were up against so many show that we listen to and love. (Seriously, go listen to any of the shows that were nominated and you won’t be disappointed).
This means that now is the perfect time to listen (or re-listen) to our game of 10 Candles which garnered us this recognition.
Thanks to everyone out there who listens to and loves My First Dungeon. We simply couldn’t have done this without you.
HOW TO BREAK THE RULES
A Treatise from My First Dungeon’s Resident Chaos Engine
When is it okay to break the rules?
Short Answer: Whenever it makes sense for the story.
Long Answer: Assuming you’re playing TTRPGs to tell a good narrative, then there’s only one rule that you and your GM need to abide by. The rules are there to help you tell a satisfying story.
When Does Breaking the Rules Serve the Narrative?
If your story is a bowling lane, consider the rules as bumpers to prevent the ball from going in the gutter. The rules ensure the story stays coherent and the world makes sense. So it’s understandable when GMs are sticklers and don’t want to deviate from what the rule book says. However, if a player asks to break a rule and it’s in service of telling a better story, GMs should seriously consider bending the rules.
Subscribe if you’d describe yourself as your table’s Chaos Gremlin
For example, if you’re playing Ten Candles, the mechanic for rerolling dice involves burning your vice, virtue, or brink. However, you can only burn one of the mechanics above per scene (the game has ten scenes total). If, in the final scene, a player still has their virtue and brink, the GM can make the call to let the player use both in that scene to try and tell that character’s story more compellingly. This is an excellent example of a GM slightly bending the rules to help achieve a more satisfying level, and it occurred in our award-winning season of Ten Candles, where Elliot Davis, the GM, allowed for the rules to be bent a bit to better serve the narrative we were creating.
When Should a Player Ask to Break the Rules?
This one is a bit simpler: it’s whenever you want. While you should be working with the GM to tell a great story, sometimes breaking the rules may help with that–though other times, it’s just you trying to run away from the consequences. This doesn’t mean that the GM should always say yes to your asks, but rather, you should never feel discouraged for asking.
What Should You Do If You Realize You Were Using a Rule Incorrectly?
If you’re playing a game and then, somewhere along the way, you’ve realized you were misapplying a rule, don’t worry! If you were playing that long with the wrong application and the game didn’t go off the rails, you probably could continue with that application of the rule. This happened in MFD’s Honey Heist season when Grant Howitt reviewed the session and commented, “The bears aren’t supposed to talk.” During the game that I GM’d, I let all the bears talk to humans as long as they had their hats on (a rule, it turns out, I entirely made up), and it’s a rule I’ve kept in every time I’ve run Honey Heist (4 times total), and I think I like it better than having my players grunt.
So go forth, my chaos gremlins! As you all know, rules are merely suggestions! And if you’re having fun, you’re already doing it right.
Gubat Banwa — Violence Before Glory
The latest episode of Talk of the Table
In the latest episode of Talk of the Table, Brian and Elliot are joined by Joaquin Saavedra & Dylan Briones discuss their game Gubat Banwa, the award-winning role-playing game of war drama and martial arts tactics set in a mythic classical Southeast Asia.
This conversation is incredibly fun and Gubat Banwa is a game that has SO MANY great ideas when it comes to tactical combat and dramatic story-telling. Battle tacticians and R.P.-focused players will both find things to love about this game.
You can download a digital version of the game HERE.
Gubat Banwa is launching a Kickstarter on October 10th that will help Joaquin and Dylan give this excellent game the print run it deserves. Be on the lookout for even more amazing art when this kickstarter launches and get ready to have this book on your gaming shelf.
Journey of 1000 Zips
The latest game(?) by Elliot Davis
Is this just 1000 nested zip files?
Did you "play"test this?
Are you really listing this for $1000?
...and you're trying to pass this off as an RPG?
Elliot has explicitly asked that you not play this game. You will gain nothing from the experience. But if you simply must, you can grab a FREE community copy and see if you can get your name in the Hall of Shame. It’s not an honor, but it is…something…