Do you read the book(s)?


  • Pitcrew

    Spinning off a little from the Social Stats thread, I was wondering how many people read the rulebooks for games they play on. Do you devour the content, mechanics, fluff and all? Do you skim the character creation and wing it? Do you just hope people will be nice and helpful?


  • Pitcrew

    Wow this did not turn out as I had intended in the input fields. JUST DISCUSS BELOW >_>


  • Pitcrew

    I read them. Often not until I need to and definitely not linearly, but I read them. If I skip anything, it's usually just the fiction.


  • Pitcrew

    I do a once through before I play. I tend to rely more on the game's wiki for understanding theme and atmosphere. But I like to have an understanding of the mechanics if I can. Not that a lot of games don't have a lot of alterations though.


  • Pitcrew

    Always. I'll often skip the fiction, and I won't say I REMEMBER it all but definitely I want to know the rules of the game I'm playing, even if I have to have the book with me for reference for the first several months. Particularly if it's with strangers - I'll get lazy with a tabletop with friends, sometimes. But I get twitchy about starting a game without having a solid grasp of the basic mechanics, and any special things I need to know about my character.


  • Pitcrew

    I, too, skip the fiction unless I am reading the book in hand physically. Not sure why that is.


  • Admin

    For starters I do read the rulebook. I pay more attention to the fun parts - powers, special abilities, etc - but I read the rules.

    I always really enjoyed reading official fiction written for the games I play on, though. I have very fond memories of going through the Drizz't, the Harper series, the Dragonlance novels etc as a teenager for example, then later on I ran into the Vampire: the Masquerade books that made me really love the setting. It's a great way not simply to familizarize oneself with how things work in-game, its NPCs and organizations, but also the intended nuances and tropes its developers are aiming for.

    This practice did make young-DM-me take great strides in telling longer stories, too. It did involve incorporating Menzoberranzan in goddamn everything my party was doing for months at the time (they killed improbably numbers of Drow during that period) but screw it, those bastards never complained.


  • Pitcrew

    Hell naw. I'm a daredevil.


  • Pitcrew

    I didn't answer the poll because there's no 'sorta' field.

    I read what I need for what I'm doing. And then I absorb more as I go along. If I read it all up front, I don't actually grok what I'm reading and none of it makes sense, so I retain nothing. But if I read what I need for CG, then hit the grid and take in more as I go, applying it situationally... that's how I learn best.


  • Pitcrew

    @auspice said in Do you read the book(s)?:

    I didn't answer the poll because there's no 'sorta' field.

    I read what I need for what I'm doing. And then I absorb more as I go along. If I read it all up front, I don't actually grok what I'm reading and none of it makes sense, so I retain nothing. But if I read what I need for CG, then hit the grid and take in more as I go, applying it situationally... that's how I learn best.

    There was but I did something terribly wrong :(


  • Admin

    @tragedyjones Yes, you used nodebb's terrible poll plugin.


  • Pitcrew

    I think anyone who doesn't read the rulebooks can fuck off.

    This is probably due to hand-holding assholes who refuse to read the rule books.

    Read them. Read the rules. This is a text-based hobby. If we're using a specific system to run a game, there will be rules to the system. Read the rules. Bend them, change them, decide some of the theme or mechanics aren't right for you and make it known, but know what the original rules fucking are.

    Jesus. I hate when people refuse to read the rules. It's rude, it's boring, it's lame. You're not going to retain everything, or even fully understand it - but that doesn't matter. Make the token effort to try.


  • Pitcrew

    @a-meowley said in Do you read the book(s)?:

    I think anyone who doesn't read the rulebooks can fuck off.

    This is probably due to hand-holding assholes who refuse to read the rule books.

    Read them. Read the rules. This is a text-based hobby. If we're using a specific system to run a game, there will be rules to the system. Read the rules. Bend them, change them, decide some of the theme or mechanics aren't right for you and make it known, but know what the original rules fucking are.

    Jesus. I hate when people refuse to read the rules. It's rude, it's boring, it's lame. You're not going to retain everything, or even fully understand it - but that doesn't matter. Make the token effort to try.

    Well, I think it's more: people who refuse to look things up.

    I will always, during an event, have the books open and look stuff up. Or try to. I can't always find what I'm looking for, but I will do my best!

    Because like I said, if I read it all up front, it's too much and I can't retain everything. It all becomes a jumbled, nonsensical mess. But I will read everything that is relevant to my PC. And if something comes up that is also relevant? I will read it.

    If I can't find it? Or if I hit a snag? I'll ask! But I will def. try.

    But yes, the people who just flat out refuse to ever read, ever learn, etc.... drive me up the wall. I have known a few of them over the years and I generally refuse to even go into plot scenes with them. Because I know the whole event will be 'teehee can someone look at my sheet and tell me what I should do???'



  • Cover to cover, almost always. I love RPG books.


  • Pitcrew

    I will at admit that the more complicated the system the more likely I personally am to experience brain freeze in a STed situation.

    Then there is the factor of me being so overexcited that I get to participate in a scene where SOMEONE ELSE has prepared stuff that I don't know what at all will happen and OMG SQUEEE THIS IS SO AWESOME AND ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE ARE AWESOME AND WE ARE GOING TO BE DOING THINGS!!! that I blow my wad in sheer happiness and eagerness and forget about all the incredibly expedient and useful complicated merits and shit I have in favor of annoying the ST with my SQUIRREL!ness and oohing and ahhing over other folks stuff and trying to be clever.

    Unless I have a very task oriented PC or we are on a very task oriented mission. But you can be sure I am screaming with delight inside as well as wanting to gush over all the Cool Things the other folks are doing!


  • Pitcrew

    @mietze Hahaha! This has always been my problem in D&D 3.5/Pathfinder. Once you get past level...3 or so, I forget what half my feats and powers do, or that I have them. And oh god, spells.

    Note cards help, but not as much as they probably should.


  • Pitcrew

    About 2-3 times before I begin a game- depending on the book and the relevance to my specific character.

    1 or 2 of those times will almost always include the fiction- with a preference to relevant fiction for the specific character concept I am trying to build. (Clan/Tribe/Group/School/What have you). I enjoy playing around with the concepts brought up in the fiction a lot- and see what roleplay can be derived from them- so often this requires knowing the fiction of my specific group backwards and forwards. This means I tend to play the whole 'snowflakey' character type in theory.. but as is approved by the books.

    It's amazing the number of people you can in a sphere they run that don't know about certain ways to play a character. My supposedly snowflakey concepts that are totally just trying to toy around with concepts that are presented in the fiction sometimes do get in trouble. Not all, but enough that it's a pattern. There is nothing more upsetting getting in trouble for playing a concept as it is portrayed in fiction correctly, but is not talked about in the core mechanics. Doubly so if it's talked about in the fiction of more than 2 books. Triply so if your then accused of not adhering to theme correctly.. even though the fiction indicates highly otherwise.

    Grumble grumble. Grumble. Grumble.



  • @d-bone

    If you’re talking about WoD, the fiction and the theme and setting descriptions often do not match. It’s the job of the game lead to make sure all of this is consistent, but, well, Onyx Path is always under duress, and the original White Wolf was too stoned to care.


  • Admin

    @thenomain said in Do you read the book(s)?:

    If you’re talking about WoD, the fiction and the theme and setting descriptions often do not match. It’s the job of the game lead to make sure all of this is consistent, but, well, Onyx Path is always under duress, and the original White Wolf was too stoned to care.

    I don't know about Onyx Path these days but the original V:tM books were pretty much on point with theme - there were a few weird parts (the Tremere Clan novel described abilities I don't recall ever seeing the mechanics of, for example) yet overall I was quite pleased with how they matched the mechanics.

    The one (hilarious) cacophony would be the Masquerade of the Red Death trilogy which was too funny for words, as nary a page turned without a fifth/sixth generation badass sword-wielding badass showing up to have an impromptu fight with someone else for no apparent reason, throwing powers around for the hell of it.

    ... Dammit now I want to read it again. It probably won't hold up twenty years later.



  • @tragedyjones said in Do you read the book(s)?:

    Do you devour the content, mechanics, fluff and all?

    System mechanics, yes. Fluff, no.

    Do you skim the character creation and wing it?

    No, I read the character creation part very thoroughly. Yes, I wing what I can't fully understand.

    Do you just hope people will be nice and helpful?

    Of course not, what are you, dumb?

    suspicious cat


Log in to reply