I have been thinking about game design a bit recently, triggered by the comments about realism vs abstraction. All game systems are inherently compromises between realism vs abstraction, complexity vs simplicity or rules ligth vs rules heavy.
I have seen a lot of articles that imply that simple rules and rules light go had in hand whereas the reality has in my experience been the opposite. If you have a very simple rule for each situation then you can easily end up with tens of hundreds of simple rules, one for just about every situation. AD&D is a prime example of this with just about everything being handled in its own unique way.
I have complained in the past that RM2 was totally inconsistent with the way it handled skills with different pricing structures for musical instruments and weapons to the way you buy martial arts to the way you buy most other skills. Some skills give +1 per rank and others +5/+2/+1/. Some skills cancel out penalties while others have built in failure penalties such as failing your quickdraw roll. The whole skill system is a hodge podge of different mechanics.
Intothatdarkness’s firearms rules sound the opposite of that in that they are based upon one core metric, the energy of the prjectile based upon muzzle velocity and mass which should mean that any and every possible firearm should be able to be modelled with just one mechanism. The firearms tables I have seen before worked on the idea of one table per ‘type’ and a mk 1 would be a very light version, mk2 would be a pistol, mk3 a carbine, m4 a rifle and mk5 some kind of support weapon. I think the idea of a table for pistols, one for rifles and so on makes more sense and most combats could be carried out with just one or two tables. so very little page flicking between combat charts.
Into is also using a 2 second combat round which is my preferred interval. Cutting a round down into such small chunks makes what is possible in a round more limited so and so player declarations become simpler. I like this as trying to protect someone while they spend 5 rounds trying to pick a lock can be quite intense under fire.
It sounds like Into has also solved the critical issue with firearms. Under bought and paid fore Spacemaster or modern day RM all projectiles were doing puncture criticals and soon enough every possible critical has been delivered and recieved and the excitement of ‘what will the critical say?’ is lost. By having a critical table by location rather than by weapon that should give loads of possibles.
I am not a fan of adding in additional rules but these sound right up my street.
Also relating to comments made this week Brian said that he had rolled all magic into essence and I am defintely heading in that direction myself the more I tinker with spell law. I definitely agree that magic is magic and the false barriers between the realms do not seem to add more than they detract.
Well, that is about the sum of my musings this week. It has been one of those weeks with no gaming on my part and the next planned session is so far away that it in itself is not stoking the fires of the imagination.