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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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Old December 25th, 2018, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
The CT rules were written as they were because of GDW's foundation as a wargame company, yes, but the game wasn't open-ended because of that. Wargames are anything but. And even GDW's lines of wargames (Assault, Boots & Saddles, Bloodtree Rebellion, Imperium...) were not "open-ended. CT's rules are elgant, extremely well-designed and technically written because GDW made wargames were it is extremely important to have clear, well designed and written rules.
GDW had clear, well-designed and written rules? Have you ever tried Space: 1889, where every book has a different rules set for aerial combat on Mars. and they totally botch the circumference of the inner planets on page 129 of the main rule book? How do you not get the circumference of Earth correct? Then there is the absence of weightlessness on the interplanetary trips from Earth to Luna, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. Then there is the assumption that a Martian desert is as hot as an Earth one, despite the fact that Mars receives only 40 per cent or so of the Sun's radiation compared to Earth. I enjoy the game, but I would not and never have viewed the rules as being well written, and the aerial combat system is a mess.

TSR and Gygax didn't make wargames like GDW did and they have the most clumsy, poorly written and laid-out books imaginable in the beginning. Oh lord, my old copies of Chainmail are hideous.
I have had Chainmail and the three original D&D books plus supplements, some of which still mention Hobbits and Balrogs, since 1977. predating my acquisition of Traveller. I fail to see where Chainmail is in your words "hideous". Their method of determining artillery fire hits is pretty much taken directly from some of Don Featherstone's books, and they also are one of the few miniature games to correctly evaluate the moral effect of the Swiss Pikemen. I view them as a playable set of rules requiring a minimum of tampering on my part.

When it comes to Axis and Allies, I tamper with that a lot, one of my changes being the addition of weather to the game, along with other Random Events based on what card is drawn from a card deck. All of the Random Events are based on what actually happened in World War 2. Otherwise, Axis and Allies is strongly biased to the Axis player. I should add that I have been running Axis and Allies in our summer board gaming program since 2003, so that observation is based on watching a lot of games.
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Last edited by timerover51; December 25th, 2018 at 10:21 PM..
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Old April 16th, 2019, 11:39 AM
Flattened Sphere Flattened Sphere is offline
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Returning to the original quote, I think it's brilliant!

I think a fairly useful way to deal with the situation on the spot ... if you're ultimately able to accommodate the player's bizarre interpretation, is to say something like "Well, as ref I don't think if works that way; but on this occasion, if you can roll 10+ then it will work out the way you want it. Otherwise it works my way. You can have a +1 DM for each relevant skill you have at level 3 or better ..."

Then let them roll and be done with it.
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