Rules Usage

Discussions related to the topic of having Darkon chapters or an over-all Darkon Alliance of clubs all using the same rules or similar enough rules to allow for inter-club events, and character reciprocity.
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Lord Dubh
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Rules Usage

Post by Lord Dubh » 2012-02-04

At what point is a club no longer close enough to Darkon to warrant being outside the national alliance?

Are there sets of rules we use here in the Baltimore area that without them, a club CAN'T be part of the national alliance??
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Sir Tyriel Firebrand
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Sir Tyriel Firebrand » 2012-02-04

Honestly, I think our combat rules, specs for equipment, and class system are the core rules. Every chapter should be allowed to make certain house rules if they desire. For example, if a chapter wanted to allow shield edging, they would be allowed to do so. However, at national events, we would use the rules of the home chapter(which is us) as the ruleset, thus prohibiting that rule.

As far as chapters wanting to add new rules and such, they can either post here on these boards and see if anyone here wanted to propose it to add to the home rules, or something to that effect. The other option I think would work well is only changing the rules once a year(except for specs and safety), by having a national event where senators from all chapters vote on the rules. This is what happens at Ragnarok for Dag and I feel it works well, and it would certainly help with our rules changing constantly and no one knowing whats going on.
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jayjay
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by jayjay » 2012-02-04

all chapters should play by the same rules. once upon a time, amtgard had house rules and it screwed a LOT of things up. you would go to another park and people would play classes you didn't know of. they'd use abilities on you that you didn't know what they did. it caused lots of problems and confusion. if someone moved they might have credits in a class the new park didn't recognize. all of a sudden, boom a year or two of credits just disappeared.

when darkon gets chapters, they should all run by the same rules. it would be good to have a national rules board that makes final rules and puts them into effect. to do otherwise is just too damn confusing.
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Ash_Sarum
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Ash_Sarum » 2012-02-04

Is there an issue with the genie already being out of the bottle? Other groups exist and have taken the Darkon rules and run with them (ORCS, Dargarth, etc.). It'd likely be hard to pull them back in and get them to strictly follow the rules. What sort of relationship do you want to have with those groups?

JJ is correct that allowing flexibility with the rules can lead to problems with groups. Consistent rules throughout is probably the optimal solution - you have some confidence when you travel that your equipment is up to spec, they won't be casting wonky new magics at you, etc.

You could have two separate styles affiliation - federated states and sovereign states. Federated states would follow the Darkon rulebook and would have some ability to contribute to the decisions in the rulebook. Federated states would use the same classes and could honor credits between clubs if people move / travel. Sovereign states would end up being games that are similar to Darkon (based on the Darkon rules but taking things in their own direction) but would have no power in the decision making policies of Darkon's rules - they'd certainly be welcome to provide suggestions.

Federated state - plays by official Darkon rules
Sovereign state - some flavor of Darkon inspired rules

The benefit of the sovereign states would be a bit of cross advertising and some may be willing to come to big events. What if any reciprocity happened would need to be agreed upon. You could have an atlas that showed federated and sovereign chapters. Amtgard has an atlas of parks throughout North America.

I'm honestly not sure what I think of this idea since it just crossed my mind this evening - I may evaluate it further and think it's too flawed. I was trying to think of a way of handling groups that are already off and running or future groups interested in some flavor of the rules while also looking at ways of having chapters that strictly follow the rulebook and giving them some benefits. You could still note some things like a land map as optional for federated chapters but highly recommend or require they start using one after they hit a certain size.

BaiterofBAMC
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by BaiterofBAMC » 2012-02-04

The only time where the same rules matter should be when you are playing with groups from different areas together.

If you go to a park and they have house rules, then you should follow the rules of the park.

The danger of creating " house" rules is simply the danger of credits and time that you've spent won't be recognized in inter-chapter play. In that instance, you know what you are getting into and is a self regulating effect. If Wisconsin created a Necromancer class and wanted to visit here, then bully to them when they find that we don't have a necro class.

If we didn't allow house rules to exist, the younger smaller groups would die off quickly because the dynamics of less combat oriented classes would be minimized and you get a stagnant. Usually in house rules, the biggest change would be the spell lengths, but I've seen some of the Darkon variants that have allowed races and wacky classes.

I agree about national rules Jayjay. Those would be the "Core rules" Hit system, weapons specs and classes are the essential core of Darkon. With that in mind Darkon has evolved to the point of larger armies and large group battles. Spells in our Darkon would never be cast in smaller groups since combat would end quickly. Hence our current system of Darkon is more suited for the larger inter-club events.

One thing that I like about Dag/Bel is the rules at play at a national event tend to be the same rules that a local club would use. I think that this occurance is not so much as an issue of enforcement, but more about sheer momentum. Why should you make up a whole new ruleset when you know if you go to a national event that the rules are set? It makes no sense to play under a totally revised system. A few minor tweaks here and there, but nothing wholesale.

I imagine that the parks that tend to have the largest variance from the regular rules are the parks that have the least amount of national exposure. If you are part of the bigger group then you tend to stay closer to the group as a whole. If you're not one to go and do inter club things, then the further into left field you go. Think of cultists or the Westboro Baptist Church as an example.

Ash_Sarum
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Ash_Sarum » 2012-02-05

In Amtgard, the knowledge that the rules are the same everywhere encourages travel between groups - not just for national events but also regional and local events - there's a group in Delaware that I go to visit sometimes just for a change of pace and because they're fun and energetic. This also encourages them to travel to my home group when there are quests or special events. You know what the classes, equipment, magic, will all be. Also because we also play the same game, we can get credit in the classes we play when we travel to the other group.

I agree with the idea of core rules, which I didn't make clear in my post but was expressed in a separate thread (much of it expressed by Tyriel in this thread) - combat, equipment specs, classes, magic, etc. I agree that there are certain aspects of the rules that could be outside the "core rules" - land rules, high king rules, etc. I'm also think you'd need flexibility on how groups govern themselves (I mentioned this elsewhere too).

If there are no controls on local rules for groups, rulesets will diverge. Even if there's a standard ruleset for national events, it can cause some confusion and headaches. It could also makes group less likely to have smaller cross-group events and random traveling to other groups as they have to try to figure out how to make things work. It can be done but it's much simpler if key parts of the rules are standardized. You could leave loopholes for local playtesting of rules - ideas they want to test out for possible inclusion in rules later - say give them a 6 month or 1 year window to test out a rule locally that they want to propose.

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Sir Tyriel Firebrand
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Sir Tyriel Firebrand » 2012-02-06

I really like where this is going. It sounds like we should sell other groups on using our specs, combat rules, and classes, as this sounds like our core rules and what makes darkon, darkon. I feel the same as Ash on this, in the sense that that will encourage inter-chapter play. If we used an online database, we could go to these chapters and still get credits.

I feel like the next thing to tackle is deciding how other chapters to be involved in the rule proposing/changing process. I don't feel its fair for us to change the rules as we see, and just tell the other chapters that they have to change their stuf because we made a decision that they were not a part of.
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Lord Dubh
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Lord Dubh » 2012-02-06

I agree that each group has to follow the same rules and house rules should be limited to those things that have ZERO impact on game play from group to group.

The rulebook is in terrible shape so we can't go by sections, what we have to do is identify those things that are core and then get them together in the rulebook.

Most Important - Things that effect the ability to play from group to group with little confusion.
1) Hit system
2) Class Rules (must use same or less, no extra ones)
3) Weapon Construction (must use the same construction methods, cover colors, etc)
4) Credits (how many do they get per event, per two week period, etc)

Less Important - Things that have minor impact to game play or may transfer between groups.
1) Knighthood (the use of "SIR/DAME")
2) Costuming (what is permitted or not permitted)



Not Important - Things that have zero impact on game play between groups.
1) Land Rules (not needed between chapters)
2) Higher titles than Knight (Baron, Earl, Count, etc)
3) Awards (may or may not transfer, don't provide any game play advantages so not important in that respect)
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Sir Caetrel
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Sir Caetrel » 2012-02-06

I think the land rules are a pretty important part of what we do. Countries in Darkon are inevitably more invested in the game as a result of the land map. Alot of RP in Darkon stems from that investment. It also sets us apart from other systems who do not have that kind of identity among their units.

And most of all, it would be supercool to have other Chapters share a global land map with us. ORCS could be another large continent across a hitherto unkown ocean. We would never interact except perhaps for an annual crossover event, for which we had land rules. This would not be any more cumbersome than our already in depth land rules and would be fun as hell.

How cool would it be to have a globe in King Slindar's court with our land masses AND the continents for 4-5 other chapters? Give me the opportinity and I will make a * globe!
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Prince Andrick
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Prince Andrick » 2012-02-06

What I think John means is while the land rules are cool and set us apart from other games, they do not effect the fighting in any way. Having the land rules in effect for other realms would be very cool in terms of creating a globe, but even for a cross realm event they do not need to be there. It's not like Elidor is going to invade a hex of some group from Chicago or something.

So, if other realms have and use the land rules, that's great. But especially when they are small they should not be required. It won't stop us from getting together with them once a year and beating the snot out of each other.
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Lord Dubh
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Re: Rules Usage

Post by Lord Dubh » 2012-02-08

Duke Andrick wrote:What I think John means is while the land rules are cool and set us apart from other games, they do not effect the fighting in any way. Having the land rules in effect for other realms would be very cool in terms of creating a globe, but even for a cross realm event they do not need to be there. It's not like Elidor is going to invade a hex of some group from Chicago or something.

So, if other realms have and use the land rules, that's great. But especially when they are small they should not be required. It won't stop us from getting together with them once a year and beating the snot out of each other.


This is exactly correct.

Yes, the Land Rules are unique to our game system but they are also unnecessary for game play between groups. The core rules should be limited to those rules that effect game play and the ability to move easily between groups AND make it so an event with many groups is not confusing.

With Land Rules being in the optional category they can either use them as written, or change them as they wish making them unique to their part of the world and fun for them or not use them at all.
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