Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where Does Your Comfort Zone Fall Regarding the Complexity of the RPGs You Like to Play?

(I'm purposefully avoiding the word "Crunch" regarding rules complexity in RPGs, as some have voiced an opinion in the past that they find it offensive.)

How much complexity, or lack there of, do you (generally) like in the RPGs that you play?

Does your preference change if you are GM'ing instead of playing? If so, why?

Does the genre (fantasy / sci-fi / horror / etc) have an effect on the amount of rules complexity you can tolerate? Again, if so, why?

Just some questions that occurred to me as I've been thinking about the gaming complexity chart I'm working on.


  1. Perhaps it's a function of being an adult and having little to no free time on most days, but I like the rules as light as possible! C&C works well for me, but you can use that system in as light or complex a way as you want, because you can add a lot of crunch to the system without it breaking. But at it's most basic level, C&C is very low crunch. I remember as a kid loving the complexity that could be found in AD&D, as it added something of the "arcane" to the whole experience. Granted, you could ignore a lot of the crunch in AD&D and still have a good time. But these days, the lighter the better. Third Edition D&D gave me a huge headache, if that gives you any perspective on me! I despise attacks of opportunity and millions of feats!

  2. Although I play Pathfinder, it's with a lot of the details stripped away; even so, I can't run the game to save my life.

    I'm comfortable with running Savage Worlds, but that's probably my upper limit in terms of complexity. One reason I enjoy running Call of Cthulhu is that the system is so simple it's almost invisible in play.

  3. I do not mind complexity...as long as the end result is simple. I do not care if character generation is complex and involves lots of math, table checks and looking up a series of rules. However, once the character is complete I want it simple.

    It's only when complexity becomes an issue after character generation that I dislike it.

  4. I like extremely low-complexity rules for everything I play (RPGs, minis, whatever). This is simply because my career is extremely "reading-heavy" so I like my hobby time to be "reading-lite." I have nothing against the concept of complex games. But in practice I just can't imagine diving into any seriously weighty tome for fun at the end of my work day.

  5. Low crunch, soft and malleable for me. What is the deal with people not liking the term "crunch"? I've heard it used in reference to game systems for years, and it has never bothered me, but I am decidedly anti-PC.

  6. A spread bracketed by RISUS and B/X D&D is limit of what I can stomach complexity-wise. Any more than that is just tl;dr.

    Ars Magica & Pendragon? Yeah, they're old flames, but nowadays they're for looting.


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