System Avoidance

System Avoidance is when you either aren’t confident in your own mastery of the rules or are worried about what the rules will tell you if you go to them.

I totally did this last night.  I was just this side of exhausted, two really interesting conflicts came up that would have been well served by two of Diaspora’s mini-games – the Social Combat and the Space Combat and rather than engage the system, I went with a few limp rolls and left it at that.

The game wasn’t terrible but as a result but as Pete said in an IM this morning, it didn’t pop.  Without a solid system to back up the play, there is a lack of accomplishment in the results and also a lack of really surprising elements in the resolution.

There was a scene where the players were mediating a contract negotiation between the clones they had liberated and a clone-owned silt-sea mining company and I would have been really curious to see where the Social Combat map led us.

There was a second conflict where a ship was on auto-pilot through a complicated A.I. and the players had to catch it, connect, do a zero-g walk, open a hatch and get in to shut it all down before it got to the slipknot.  It was hot stuff and would have rocked with the Space Combat as written.  I tend to have a pattern, where I read the rules, play the game and then re-read the rules again and I think it is time for my re-read.  The holidays are upon us and I do not think we will get in another game of Diaspora in 2009.  Ah well…next time.

3 thoughts on “System Avoidance

  1. I’ve done that before, and I’m always a little sad after the game. Thankfully, even though it’s a while off, you have the opportunity to try again!

    And I totally understand the “re-read” method of system learning. Like trying to understand the movie Memento the first time through. Much easier to do after a second viewing.


    • Trying again is definitely on the agenda.

      Yeah, I need that play experience to velcro the reading to, hence the re-reading.

  2. System Avoidance — that’s when I decide I’ll fudge it because I can never find the grapple rules, and, even when I do find them, I can never figure out how to use them anyway?

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