May 11, 2011- One rule to role-play them all, One rule to find them, One rule to bring them all and in the darkness fights them

One of the greatest strengths of D&D is that it only has one rule for role-playing: pick an alignment from the following nine types.  There is some description of the nine types, but they vague and purposely left open to interpretation.  That is all there is.  This means how you role-play is up to you, the player, and the GM.   The rules do not interfere in any role-playing choice; your hero’s chance to hit somebody is not affected by if you are good or evil.  The system never addresses “why you are swinging a sword at someone.”  This is the genius of D&D, why it became popular and remains popular; an unregulated system for role-playing attracts the widest range of players who role-play.   Nobody is turned away.  If you want to role-play motivations and passions, then just do it during actual play-there is no rule against it.  If you want to compete with the other players, treat them as rivals, work with the GM to make a story, or just explore a setting, then just do it during actual play-there is no rule against it.  That is really cool.

However, there are weaknesses with this type of free range; a bad taste that grows in one’s mouth after playing a few times.  Good games work only because you are with a group of players that mostly agrees with your way to game.  Bad games happen when you play with others who do not share your way.  Since there are no rules regulating a difference in style/interpretation; the conflict is resolved solely on players’ personalities.  This could make a game horrible.  Additionally, players can only fully recognized these differences through actual play.  After all, how many people say they believe in one thing, and act in another?  The only way to truly know there is a conflict is when the conflict happens.


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