[PnP] re P&P review on RPGnet

lev at mimesisrpg.com lev at mimesisrpg.com
Fri Oct 14 06:02:04 CEST 2011

Hello Alex,

> http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14807.phtml  has a review of P&P
> that rates P&P somewhat poorer than I would rate P&P. My response:
> As a long time player and GM in the Powers & Perils game I do NOT agree
> with the review. Factually correct, it leaves an erroneous impression
> about the game. Granted the artwork is nothing to rave about...the
> artwork doesn't really matter.

I'm pleased you describe the review as "factually correct". After all,
opinions should be derived from facts, and not the other way around.

You may have noticed that there is a 'style' and a 'substance' category
for reviews in rpg.net, hence the comments about the artwork. I make
comments about artwork in every game I review as a result.

> writing style...a style using the numbered rules style familiar to
> players of other Avalon Hill games of the era. Business like, even
> prosaic, it is effective for easy reference. Unlike some other games
> that try to give a feel or set a tone through lots of added fiction, but
> thereby make it harder to find rules when a question arises about them.

I don't have a problem with the numbered rules and nor did I suggest so.

To quote:

"Each booklet also has a table of contents (although no index), expressed
in expanded decimal format, and is presented in a largely two-column
layout with a serif text. Further each book has a brief introduction to
the contents on the cover.

Whilst these are all positive stylistic contributions, the text remains
extremely difficult to read... "

> Mr. Lafayette appears to have not gotten the P&P Book of Tables
> supplement that among other things sets values to the natural magic

I do have that supplement, but I wasn't reviewing that supplement. I was
reviewing the ruleset.

> items and corrects what few relevant typos there were. I MUST argue with
> his statement that "The task resolution system lacks consistency with
> every skill having it's own resolution method." This is incorrect. There
> are basically three common (One for combat and two for non-combat
> skills) and two uncommon resolution methods.

So you read "only" five resolution methods. I read a lot more than that,
because even if the die-rolling mechanic has commonality with others, the
requirement to check the results with each skill seems a little onerous.

> Mr. Lafayette stated "The lack of a universal and intuitive system
> resulted in too much checking of the game rules for specific cases."
> Contrast this with my take on P&P. I was an experienced game player when
> I bought it in 1984. It has a STEEP learning curve. It took me two weeks
> to grasp the elegance and ultimate simplicity of the design. Once I
> learned the rules I needed no more looking at the rules than I did for
> any other system. I believe that Mr. Lafayette simply did not study the
> game deeply enough to understand the system fully, or his review would
> have reflected that fact.

That may be the case; after all, I only GMed it for a year with several
people on this list, including the recently departed.

OTOH, I really liked Perilous Lands.

Best wishes, Lev

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