PDA

View Full Version : Designers notes needed?



lanrak
14-04-2009, 20:36
Hi all.
As the 40k rules become even more abstract,( and overly complicated.)

I was wondering if the inclusion of 'designers notes' in a 'box out' throughout the rule book & codexs, to help indicate how the dev team intended the rules to be used, might be helpful?

Some of the older rule sets I play have a paraghraph at the start of each section of the rules describing why the rules are written the way they are, what is abstracted and by how much, and why the developer did it like this.My gaming group and I find this helpful when trying to determine the intent of the rules, if the rules are occasionaly ambigiuosly written.

A simple example,
#The following abstractions were used to simplify casualty removal, and to make sure expensive upgrades to units have reasonable survivability .#

The unit leader and any member of the unit armed differently , are removed last, when casualties are removed from the unit.
(If all members of a unit are armed differently , remove casualties closest to the attacking unit(s).The unit leader will still be removed last .)
This is to reflect the experiance of the unit leader keeping him out of harms way, and member of the unit picking up better/specialised weapons from fallen comrades.

What do you think , would designers note be helpful, or just complicate things further?

TTFN
lanrak.

Prokrustes
14-04-2009, 22:59
Guess it would be helpful, because it makes interpretation so much easier if you know what they were trying to do.

Bookwrak
14-04-2009, 23:25
1: First the rules would need to be becoming over complicated. Given how often people bandy around thoughts that each edition makes it even more 'kiddyhammer' or like checkers, it's certainly not a given that people think that that's the case.

2: Explanations like that would do nothing at all to clear up any confusion, and would likely cause even more. What happens if I decide I want to kill the unit leader first? Can my oppenent point to that box and say, 'no, see, it's not allowed.'

sycopat
14-04-2009, 23:25
I've been thinking about this recently actually, but I decided it could be better for the game to go the opposite direction.

What GW needs to do is create a section of the rules books (By which I mean the rules themselves, and the codecies) which consists of the rules, the whole rules, and nothing but the rules:

No examples, no explanations. Just one line bullet points.

And these rules can then be used RAW in case of interpretation differences/contradictions.

I think they should keep the current method of writing the rules as well to explain them, show how they may interact with each other with pretty diagrams etc.

Designers notes explaining designers decisions are too likely to be ridiculed and mocked throughout the internet by people who think they know better.

MistaGav
14-04-2009, 23:50
Hmm I'm sort of mixed. I guess it is an interesting idea but not by each and every entry otherwise that is cluttered. Perhaps it's own section at the back where they can go over what they were trying to achieve with the codex and even rulebooks and expansions. I think it would be an interesting read although it could be mocked by the interwebs as Sycopat mentioned.

Perhaps the route of the podcasts?

Durath
14-04-2009, 23:50
It will never happen, and yet already has...

The blurb on the first few pages about "The Most Important Rule" is pretty much a clause by the designers stating that they know there are inconsistancies in their rules, and they won't ever detail them all, and it's up to you and your opponent to sort out the problems you find.

So looking for any more detail beyond what's in the rule book is pointless. Even their most elaborate "expansion" (Apocalypse), is essentially an exercise in making your own game and it's rules as you go along.

I've gotten quite disenfranchised by this approach. Competative 40k is merely a painting contest and random chance any more.

Snotteef
15-04-2009, 00:57
I really miss this aspect of 40k rules. It's nice to know what the dev team was thinking and why they made certain choices (whether I agree with them or not). I wish they'd bring it back.

MrGiggles
15-04-2009, 01:16
I don't think I'd say that the rules are getting more complicated, but I don't think there's an issue with publishing the notes, especially for those folks who want to read them.

It's not likely to resolve the old RAR vs RAI arguments, but I'm sure the notes would be interesting to people and just as well received for that.

The only caution here is that I'd rather not have to buy more than the rule book and a Codex to play the game and understand the rules.

Lewis
15-04-2009, 01:26
Is't there a podcast that goes through the current rules page by page?

[SD] Bob Plisskin
15-04-2009, 02:24
I don't think I'd say that the rules are getting more complicated, but I don't think there's an issue with publishing the notes, especially for those folks who want to read them.

It's not likely to resolve the old RAR vs RAI arguments, but I'm sure the notes would be interesting to people and just as well received for that.

The only caution here is that I'd rather not have to buy more than the rule book and a Codex to play the game and understand the rules.

Perhaps the rulebook could come with a unique code allowing you to register on GWs website and create a profile. There you get access to the designer's notes, register what armies you have etc and they'll provide any FAQs that are relevant making life easier for us all and possibly providing GW with some market research.

Never going to happen but would be a good idea for both company and customer.

holmcross
15-04-2009, 03:17
The blurb on the first few pages about "The Most Important Rule" is pretty much a clause by the designers stating that they know there are inconsistancies in their rules, and they won't ever detail them all, and it's up to you and your opponent to sort out the problems you find.

The height of laziness. Seriously, what kind of dev team won't even comment on known problems? How long did it take for the rubber hawk questions to be answered? The whole of 3rd edition?

Let the players work it out? Thats the worst idea possible: players will always angle towards a direction that helps them win and RAI be damned.

Imagine if CCG companies never answered questions about sketchy areas in the rules, or if they never bothered to release any erratta. They manage to do these things and more, and they have much, MUCH more to consider in the play testing contest (interaction between cards, past and present).

Designer notes aren't really even needed if they kept something other then a once a year (if we're lucky) correspondence regarded known problems and questions with the gaming community.

There are many simple things that GW could impliment which wouldn't even increase their overhead cost.

My friend and I have a theory that there are only 3 employees working at GW HQ, of which one is the receptionist.

If you value your sanity, try not to pay attention to the huge amounts of :wtf::wtf::wtf: things that GW does. Just expect them to come out of thier hole a few times each year to throw some product our way, then immediately vanish from sight.

Sttucker13
15-04-2009, 05:25
I'd actually like GW to go the route of many textbook manufacturers. You buy the rulebook, which is spiral-bound, and as rule inconsistencies arise they can merely publish an updated page which could then be printed off and bound back in its appropriate place in the rulebook. Lots of science texts books were doing this when I was in college.

Logarithm Udgaur
15-04-2009, 07:19
The CA annuals had a section devoted to something like this (copy and paste, but same concept). Presumably, they do not want to bother anymore.

[SD] Bob Plisskin
15-04-2009, 08:58
or a sticker in WD to stick over the bad bits in the RB hahahahhaa that'd require way too much inter-department correlation!

holmcross
15-04-2009, 09:14
They could simply just put updates on a rules and erattas section of their webage.

I've never had a problem with having to buy the codecies.

Charax
15-04-2009, 10:47
If you need to consult designer's notes to correctly interpret what the rules say, then the designers are so incompetent at writing rules that their opinion should be disregarded in the first place.

The point of writing rules is to construct a sequence of instructions which allow someone reading those instructions to act according to your intention. If you need to directly inform people of your intention in addition to having them read the rules, you've failed.

Logarithm Udgaur
15-04-2009, 10:55
I think it would be cool as an insight into what they were thinking when they wrote the rules. As an actual game aid it would be of limited use, just like the example provided (from AT-43 if I am not mistaken).

Corrode
15-04-2009, 10:56
GW already does this with the Epic rules, and it's quite a nice thing to have. Whether or not they should just 'do it better', sometimes it can be helpful to understand the intent behind a rule. If nothing else, it's interesting to read. Rules lawyers are going to try and wangle 'innovative' interpretations whatever, so why not have a little more ammo for one side?