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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Signs that "Real Life" is Just a Poorly-Run Game

Ever wonder if your life is just a game session, and a bad one at that? I don't wonder - I know it! Proof under the cut.


1. You can only play humans, and even the different varieties of human are actually all the same, mechanically speaking. They don't even get distinct stat modifiers. "I can't believe we're restricted to playing humans. I could swear I saw a half-ogre down at the gym the other day, but did we get those as an available character race? No, of course not."

2. The equipment lists are all screwed-up: PCs can select from a zillion different available clothes and food items, but can't afford most weapons. "Nah - I blew most of my starting cash on guns and ammo. I just got Ramen for rations. What do you mean 'did you buy any permits'? Permits? Where are THOSE listed?"

3. The magic items never work. "It just says 'Reply hazy, try again'."

4. Apparently uses a random stat-generation system, rather than a point-buy. Also, given the number of people below the median stat line, the dice aren't even weighted - just a straight 3D6. "Dude, why are there so many people with a 7 or less CHA in this town?"

5. The skill descriptions lie. "I spent all these points on Transcendental Meditation and guess what? It doesn't actually let you use Flight after all. I'd say check the errata before you buy anything, but good luck finding it."

6. For the amount it costs, the healing isn't very good. "I get shot once and I'm laid up for six weeks? And I might have permanent penalties on top of that? Man, even Arduin Grimoire isn't that hardcore."

7. The "dragons" are kind of a let-down. "They're kind of... small, dude. Props for the pathogens in the saliva, though. That's pretty cool."

8. There's no provision for effectively increasing one's Armor Class without wearing armor, which is very limiting in terms of workable character concepts. "These vests are way too heavy and bulky to look cool. This sucks."

9. The GM seriously over-used monsters with poison attacks, especially for a campaign without a decent Neutralize Poison spell/item. "The PLATYPUS is poisonous, too? Oh, for fuck's sake. You're just TRYING to kill us, aren't you?"

10. The NPCs are completely irrational. The only attribute modifier for a character's sex is a slight STR penalty for females, but most of the NPCs react as if there's also severe INT and WIS penalties. "Grrr... I have a 15 INT and a shit-ton of skill points invested in Finance! If you ask me again whether my husband wants to take care of all this 'money stuff' for me, I'm going to show you how many points I sunk into Karate, too!"

11. Mechanical return on point investment is not balanced across skills, nor are abilities balanced across classes. "Wait a minute - it was way harder for me to qualify for the College Professor Prestige Class than for him to qualify for the Corporate Manager. You can't be telling me he gets a higher Income rating AND a better Insurance save! For that matter, I invested twice as many points in the 17th century English Lit skill as he did in Lie Convincingly, and his skill is WAY more mechanically useful!"

12. The available religions are kind of goofy and only NPCs ever get any of the nifty divine powers. "This blows. I keep getting told that if you get a high enough Faith score you get the Move Mountains power, but we've yet to meet anyone, PC or otherwise, who can actually do it. These prereqs are just absurd."

13. Appearance of unfriendly/hostile NPCs (police, ex-significant-others, in-laws, etc.) is decidedly non-random and clearly biased toward occurring when the PC is already in a disadvantageous situation, indicating that the GM has a thing for grudge monsters. "A cop is pulling me over? You've got to be kidding me! You just wiped out my savings with that damned washing machine repair bill; I can't afford a ticket! From now on, make those damned Random Encounter rolls in the open!"

14. There's apparently some kind of bullshit rule in effect where figuring out your chances of success with any given skill is a function of the skill itself. "What do you mean 'you think you can make the jump'? I only put half a point into Athletics! What do you mean 'no using player knowledge'? And who the hell is this Dunning-Kruger guy?"

15. Behavior of some NPCs and creatures indicates the GM is using his own knowledge rather than the knowledge of the NPC/creature to determine its reactions. "Why is the cat hiding? There's no way it could know we're taking it to the vet - it's an INT 2 animal!"

16. Savings throw totals appear to go down as the characters gain more experience and (presumably) go up in level, rather than up. "I never used to get sick every winter. What the hell happened to my Con check?"

17. The magic system does not appear to work at all.

18. Continual accumulation of new Disadvantages with no corresponding improvement of character abilities indicates that the GM is just a jerk. "What? Now I'm diabetic? That's gotta be worth at least 10 points... so where are my new skills? I don't even get Night Vision? Bullshit, man."

- Landon W Schurtz