Saturday, March 1, 2014

Games From the Basement - Murphy's Rules (Space Gamer Magazine Cartoon Strip)

Ever wonder if anyone kept track of all of the broken and / or absurd rules in the various RPG and war game rulebooks? Someone did, and they were presented as Murphy's Rules in the pages of Space Gamer Magazine. Murphy's Rules is a collection of said strips.

Little bits like "Children are listed as Nuisance Creatures in The Fantasy trip" and "The map scale of a hex in TSR's Gamma World is given as Roughly 43.7 Kilometers - this unusual value converts neatly to the useful amount of 27.3 miles" and even the "Car Wars Compendium has all the rules for swimming except one: the actual skill necessary to do it.

It's a trip through RPG Nostalgia Land to read about games and their rules quirks, at least for me. Shame there isn't a current version going on...


  1. Oh, but there is! Or at least there was. The latest edition of Pyramid magazine I have immediate access to is August of 2012, but it still had Murphy's Rules in it then.

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  3. My favorite one was about some game's critical miss system...I forget which system, but the Murphy was something along the lines of "In [system X] if an army of 1000 soldiers wield swords in melee, after five minutes of striking blows 10 of the soldiers, on average, will have cut their own heads off."

    (This presumably being some game where you make an attack roll every few seconds, not once a minute.)

  4. I love the Gamma World one, but it was a deliberate choice. James Ward chose a precise, but absurd, value to parody all of the games with exacting measurements on such large-scale maps.


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