Ich habe gerade drüben auf Chris Kutaliks wunderbarem Old School-Blog „Hill Cantons“ wieder mal sein Interview mit Jeff Berry, dem langjährigen Mitspieler und Weggefährten von Dave Arneson, MAR Barker und Gary Gygax, gelesen.
Und bin erneut begeistert. Von den Einblicken, die ein echter Grognard gibt, der die Geburtsstunde unseres Hobbys erlebt hat. Und von der Beschreibung des Regelsystems, das MAR Barker („Phil“) eingesetzt hat (Hervorhebung durch mich):
HC: How close in the early years was play to the OEPT rules as published? I know y’all seemed to travel rules-lite, but how close/distant was it?
JB: We played EPT right out of the book for the first three years or so, in our original Thursday Night Group, until Phil thought he could trust us. He’d had some bad moments when the guys in the other group did things that messed up his ‚future history‘.
I was actually the transition character from EPT to what would become Swords and Glory. Chirine was unique, because he was a military sorcerer; as far as I have been able to find out, there haven’t been any others as PCs.
I played Chirine for over a decade at Phil’s, as we normally kept the same player-character from the start. It tended to make us all a little conservative as players, but we stayed alive that way. Phil would occasionally let us roll up what were basically NPCs to use in little side adventures, but normally we’d stick with the one character.
After that first three years, we knew Tekumel pretty well and didn’t diddle with it. Phil did more story-telling then GMing, and went to the „you roll, I roll“ system of adjudication. It worked very well with us, and seems to work well with my two groups.
„Du würfelst, ich würfle“, und zwar als Mittel der Entscheidungsfindung. Das könnte man mit etwas weniger Hintergrundwissen als stinknormale Kampfregeln verstehen. Dann wiederum würde aber die Bemerkung „Phil did more story-telling than GMing“ nicht dazu passen.
Was mich zum nächsten Artikel bringt, der mehr Licht in das Dunkel der Rollenspielgeschichte bringt: nämlich diesen hier.
Hier erfahren wir, daß Dave Arneson ein Fan detaillierter Regeln war, im Gegensatz zum von mir hochverehrten Professor Mohammed abd Rahman Barker (MAR Barker, „Phil“). Der nämlich fand schnell von den vergleichsweise komplexen Regeln der ehemaligen Miniaturenspieler um Dave Arneson zu einfachen Erzählregeln (Hervorhebung durch mich):
Phil Barker certainly did his own rules, of course, but his natural flair for story-telling usually showed through the rules mechanics.
Tekumel was the setting for his stories and fiction writing, and those of us who gamed with him were the ‚bit players‘ in the story arc and quite often provided him with the ‚local color‘ he used in his books.
Very quickly, he dropped using any rules more complicated then the following:
Prof. Mohammed abd Rahman Barker’s Perfected Game Rules:
1) We both roll dice.
2) If you roll high, your view of reality prevails.
3) If I roll high, my view of reality prevails.
4) If we’re close, we negotiate.
Simple, yes? I still use this complex and detailed set of rules to this very day, which – I assume – makes me a ‚Narrativist‘ like Phil.
Das alles passierte Mitte bis Ende der 1970er. Fantastisch! Und ich frage mich manchmal, warum mir octaNe so gut gefällt.
Zum Vergleich octaNe:
1) You roll dice. I determine a number („Hazard“) that is low if your opponent is weak, or high if they’re dangerous.
2) Each point of „Hazard“ (challenge) eats your highest die.
3) If your remaining dice show a 5 or 6, your view of reality prevails.
4) If your remaining dice show a 1 or 2, my view of reality prevails.
5) If your remaining dice show a 3 or 4, we negotiate.
Zum Schluß darf natürlich der Meister selbst nicht fehlen:
After awhile, I began using the simplest possible system with my own gaming groups. As my old friend, Dave Arneson, and I agreed, one simple die roll is all that one needs: failure or success. The players don’t really care, as long as the roll is honest. Who cares if I hit with the flat of my shield, with the edge of my shield, or whatever? The story’s the thing!
A low score on a D100 roll denotes success; a high score signifies failure. A middling score results in no effect, or an event that is inconclusive. Thus, an 01 denotes the best possible result for the character, with perhaps more goodies than he/she bargained for: the foe goes down with one blow, the spell hits the exact target, the character easily swings up onto the mountain ledge. A 100 (i.e. 00), is a total, horrible flop, perhaps death or destruction: e.g. the opponent cuts our hero down, the poison works, the climber falls screaming off the cliff. A 45-65 = a natural result; the fight continues, the struggle to climb the peak goes on, and the like. A sliding scale from 01 to 100 gives all sorts of interesting ranges of success/failure.