Your Feeble Attempts at Realism Amuse Me

I’m laughing at you, not with you.

Look at you and your cute little “realistic” game system.  Oh, what’s that?  It “accurately” reflects how combat really works?  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Pop open an elementary physics textbook.  The formulae that describe things as basic as balls moving downhill or being thrown in the air involve equations with multiple variables (often quadratic algebra), and that’s before you factor in things like friction or wind resistance.  Try to mimic reality enough and you’re going to need calculus.  And this is for balls rolling downhill.

Still think your combat engine is realistic?

It’s not.  Anything you think you know about approximating probabilities for events is abstract numbers you pulled out of your butt.  How fast is a given character likely to solve a given Suduko problem?  Its based on their intelligence, and Knowledge: Suduko, you say?  How exactly does one measure intelligence, again?  And how do you convert that into a score that deals functionally with everything else?  Since you’ve got that all figured out and its “the way things work in real life,” why haven’t you won a Nobel prize already?

I am especially amused by your attempts to use “realism” in a game where people cast magic spells, and your attempts to figure out what would “realistically” happen.

Realism is a blight upon gaming.  Attempts by game designers to simulate “reality” make rules more complicated than they need to be, and frankly it’s an impossible (and boring) goal.  Attempts by players to reconcile the “real world” with the “game rules” is worse than metagaming.  It pulls the rug out from people who knew the rules of the game and expected to play by them, and are instead fiated by the GM’s interpretation of “realism.”  Players argue for bonuses “because I know how to do that in real life” are trying to avoid buying a certain skill by way of life experience.  It’s the seperation of character/player knowledge, but somehow because the player knows a thing or two about knots or what have you they think impressing others with that knowledge is all they need to do to suceed.  And sadly, all too often, it is.


3 thoughts on “Your Feeble Attempts at Realism Amuse Me

  1. Victor says:

    Ah, the realism of a fireball spell.

    Now I want to go design a game with “realistic” magic. No fireball spells here. Instead, you have a “increase the heat and speed of a large volume of air until it spontaneously ignites” spell! It only takes a week of meditation…

  2. Willow says:

    Sounds like my the thermodynamics portion of my AP Chem class in high school. I think you meant “calculation,” not “meditation.” And that’s for out-of game task resolution.

  3. Sudoku says:

    if you are into Sudoku you shall check out Kakuro which is a new puzzle game that’s getting popular lately 🙂

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