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Month Index: August, 1996


From:     Game Master <zvis@??.org>
Date:     Thu, 29 Aug 1996 23:08:42 -0400
Subject:  Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism
At 20:50 8/26/96 GMT, James Perry wrote:

>Has anyone done any work on why most of the humans on the "standard" worlds
>all speak the same language? I know its convenient,  but it doesn't offer
>much in the way of realism.  If anyone has though out a reason,  please,
>let me know!:)

Realism??  In AD&D!??!?

As much as I would love to see it, and many times have tried to implement
it, realism is just not in AD&D. Why?  Because the real world sux. People
play AD&D to have fun, and usually to get away from the real world for a
little while.

So the answer to your question is that common is in the game for
playability. One of my friends tried a game where players did not
necessarily know all the same languages and in fact, there were about
8 different languages in a party of 10. This required very good role
playing skills on the player's parts but it is possible. Part of the
adventure was finding out how to communicate each other. While these
kind of games work from time to time, the game really suffers if the
players can never talk to each other. It may not be my favourite
excuse, but it appears to be the real reason that it is used by so
many DMs. Note though that some DMs will use a common language for the
party members, but not necessarily a "common" language for the other
creatures they talk to. For example, while human elves might always
speak common, there might not be one other Elf on the face of the planet
that speaks "common".

Regarding Realism..  There is no realism in the languages (you don't
actually speak Dwarven, you convey in English to the DM what you want
to say...), combat methods, hit points, armor, spells, spelljamming
and on and on & on. All fake. One need go no further than the concept
of air bubbles. All that air would be quickly sucked into the vaccuum
we call space. So, why aren't these things realistic?  Again,
playability, both in time & simplicity. For simplicity, to implement
all of these true life realistic rules would require indepth knowledge
of medieval clothing, architecture, combat, as well as physics & those
lovely advanced mathematics formulae (Calculus, yuck!). While there
might be some individuals that already know all of this plus all the
other required information, I am yet to meet him/her. As far as time
goes, as you add ANY amount of realism to AD&D, I am yet to see a rule
that REDUCES the time that a player spends in the game, either in time
required for character creation or in actual play. Even a rule as
simple as saying, +1 if you parry adds time because now the player has
to remember when he wishes to parry that if he uses that sword he gets
a +1. Now, mind you, this doesn't take this much time, but you're going
to find that these simple +1s here & +1s there are in themselves
simplifications and still do not reflect reality totally.

What can you do?  Every DM has to find the level of realism that the
individual is comfortable with. I like a level that is higher than
TSRs, others prefer games where realism is completely absent. The
choice, as always, belongs to the DM.


Well, enough of that. Apology for the limited Spelljammer content in
this one.


     L8er,
      Zvi.



Previous Message: Re: [DARK-SUN:5532] What would you like on the TSR web site?
Next Message: Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism
Month Index: August, 1996

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Game Master    30 Aug 1996 03:08:42
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Eugene Shumu1insky    30 Aug 1996 13:31:19
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Paul Westermeyer    30 Aug 1996 19:54:11
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    James Perry    30 Aug 1996 20:44:19
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Eugene Shumu1insky    03 Sep 1996 13:43:56
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    James Perry    03 Sep 1996 21:50:25
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Eugene Shumu1insky    04 Sep 1996 13:31:46
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    James Perry    05 Sep 1996 23:01:39
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Thomas O. Magann Jr.    05 Sep 1996 23:14:09
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Eugene Shumu1insky    06 Sep 1996 01:14:13
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    James Perry    09 Sep 1996 20:41:28
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    James Perry    09 Sep 1996 20:49:02
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Thomas O. Magann Jr.    09 Sep 1996 21:01:17
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Eugene Shumu1insky    09 Sep 1996 21:10:44
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Deviant    09 Sep 1996 22:44:08
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Thomas O. Magann Jr.    09 Sep 1996 22:58:16
Re: The Common Tongue! & Realism    Deviant    09 Sep 1996 23:43:56

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