Home Forums Alternate History Pulp Messing With Someone's Rules

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    Don Glewwe

    This could be placed in the ‘game design’ thread of the General forum, but I thought it best to try it here.  Since the term “I thought” figures prominently in that sentence, I welcome/encourage advice from members/moderators as to whether a shift to somewhere else is warranted.


    I bought a few pulpgame rulesets.  Amongst them is ‘Pulp Alley’.  I like(d) it.

    I didn’t like the multiple dice-types (6-sided, 8-sided, 10-sided, etc…) – I’ll admit that my objection could have come equally from my stinginess as well as my desire for simplicity (I had a lot of d10s lying around…).  End result: I rewrote the nuts-and-bolts of the rules to work with d10s.  I’ll admit that the percentages don’t exactly match up, but with this sort of game (Hollywood action-adventure) I don’t think the difference seriously ruins the experience – of course, the odds are that I’m wrong, so don’t take that as worth more than the pixels that died to write it.


    The point of the thread (I know you were worried that it wasn’t going to show up) is that I honestly wonder what you feel about my ‘wrecking’ Dave’s game.   Alone in my (sad) basement is no issue – I understand that.  The problem is that I’m thinking/planning of running a game at a local Con using my bastardized rules.  Is it enough that I honestly lay out what I’ve done, or do I risk harming his business (let’s face it: wargames are no ‘big market’ prospect) by publically presenting my ‘version’ of his hard work?


    I’m simultaneously contacting Dave, but just thought to get some community input as well.

    …or, I’m just being a clueless moron: The betting windows close at 3!



    Norm S

    Tinkering with rules for own pleasure seems both fine and common.

    I see a Con as being somewhat different in that you are essentially showcasing a set of rules and punters may make buying decisions based on what you demonstrate. I guess the middle ground is to demo the rules as they are written, but have conversations with those that stop and chat about your alternative house rules.

    There are many things in a designers head that form their method and these things are not always revealed to others or understood by others, but I think the guy has earned the right to have his rules properly demonstrated in public. However since you are asking him the same question, I suspect that what we / I think is academic.



    If the only change is the d10 conversion and every thing else is the same then i would say use them at a convention but make it very clear to any one looking or joining in that you have amended the original rules.

    Of course if the author replies he would prefer you not to then ignore my suggestion!

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!


    I am kind of curious about the perspective offered in this thread, and have considered that maybe this is a UK/US contrast, or something along those lines.

    My experience has been, since I started going to conventions in 1982, that many people run games with modified rules systems at conventions.  Often they are simply small “house rules” modifications, but sometimes can be pretty extensive re-writes of portions of the rules.  I have never encountered an instance of it being, or causing  a particular problem for anyone. Generally in such instance, GMs will state in event descriptions that the game will use a modified version of a given set of rules.

    In my own case, when I buy someone’s rules, I perceive it as buying a component of a game.  My presentation of a game has never been represented as a “demo” of someone else’s rules, it is simply “my” game.  The rules, which may be modified, are no different than any of the figs or terrain pieces (which might also be modified) that might be used.  I’ve never perceived that I have any obligation to the author to play the rules in any particular way.

    I would think as long as you state in the program, or on a sign at your game (particularly if there is no program), that you are using “modified somebody else’s rules”, that you would be fine.  If nothing else, I would do so to protect players, who are looking for the game that they already know, that there will be differences in the rules used in the event.

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