Writing style of the rulebook, hard to get through?

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  • Writing style of the rulebook, hard to get through?

    Hi everyone! I took a break from 9th age just when 2nd edition was due, so picking it up again and going through the rulebook now.

    I have to say: Seriously? Is this book written by an eccentric professor with a PhD in obscure legal accounting?
    I don't want to insult the awesome job you guys did playing, testing and developing the rules, but even as a person who has played dozens of different wargames for decades I have trouble interpreting this ruleset. I'm not a native speaker but I teach biology and physics in English at a high school, so my English should be fine enough.

    Will be book be rewritten in a more readable writing style once 2nd edition will be released fully?
  • pdendrijver wrote:

    Hi everyone! I took a break from 9th age just when 2nd edition was due, so picking it up again and going through the rulebook now.

    I have to say: Seriously? Is this book written by an eccentric professor with a PhD in obscure legal accounting?
    I don't want to insult the awesome job you guys did playing, testing and developing the rules, but even as a person who has played dozens of different wargames for decades I have trouble interpreting this ruleset. I'm not a native speaker but I teach biology and physics in English at a high school, so my English should be fine enough.

    Will be book be rewritten in a more readable writing style once 2nd edition will be released fully?
    I believe they are working on "decluttering" some of the wording of different areas in the BRB. This is happening in various "Road to 205" threads in this section of the forum.

    My group agrees that the rule set as written is absolutely fantastic.........for tourney organizers and tourney judges. A "Tournament Edition" if you will.

    We hope a "Home Edition" will be written with the rule of 80% in effect. Where only what happens 80% of the time during a game is covered and a blurb at the very front of this edition refers players to the "Tournament Edition" for answers not covered in the "Home Edition".

    We also hope the way the rules are written to be like two people having a out of work, informal conversation with no legalese in sight.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Randdogs ().

  • As mentioned before, they are working on improving the clarity of the rules, this is the main thread and there is a thread per chapter of the book:
    The road to 205 - Help Wanted (community)
    "They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library."
    Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
  • Randdogs wrote:

    We hope a "Home Edition" will be written with the rule of 80% in effect. Where only what happens 80% of the time during a game is covered and a blurb at the very front of this edition refers players to the "Tournament Edition" for answers not covered in the "Home Edition".
    ...we're not doing that.

    You are free to download the rules and just delete 20% of it however you see fit though.
    Just don't forget to cross out the title and write "Home edition".
    :thumbsup:

    The point is to have a single edition which isn't too difficult to read, so we won't need a cut down incomplete version.
    There are multiple threads available to have a say in and they'll continue to be created for each chapter of the rules.
  • elendor_f wrote:

    As mentioned before, they are working on improving the clarity of the rules, this is the main thread and there is a thread per chapter of the book:
    The road to 205 - Help Wanted (community)
    There are about 10 open threads in the general discussion that are specific to different chapters.

    Please join in. While I understand the catharsis that these kinds of threads may bring you to write - they don't actually help us do much to rectify the problem.


    If there are maybe a top 5 'confusing' sections that you have, please let us know and why you have issues with it. We're working to break up the walls of text, the lawyer speak and the overly technical direction of the words , but after reading the same text time and again its easy for us to lose sight of the 'problem' sections on the inside.

    Head of Lectors

    Quick Starter Team

    "...take a step back and remember that we are playing a game where we roll dice and move little people around the board."

    - Grouchy Badger

  • pdendrijver wrote:

    Seriously? Is this book written by an eccentric professor with a PhD in obscure legal accounting?
    legalistic language is a way to make the English more precise and less open to interpretation. But it's extremely boring and off-putting to read, and often the same result can be achieved in other ways.

    I also do not like the way the book is written, but I don't think that the solution is to reword things, it's to change the rules so that there is less need for legalism because the game is less complex
  • As an example of this, read the rule on poison attacks in the current rulebook.

    What it should say is that to-hit rolls of '6' wound automatically.

    However they managed to turn that into an entire paragraph because they are using rules to balance, rather than using other methods.

    When you start adding more rules and clauses to balance stuff, this happens:

    "X does Y"

    becomes

    "the first X per game, if you are not a W or Z, as long as X wasn't obtained from an item or a spell, and if it applies to a close combat attack, does Y"
  • The Beninator wrote:

    Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    That means poison attacks can't change to "on a 6, you wound automatically".
    So you suggest rolls of a 5 with lightning reflexes and poison should wound automatically?Then I suppose in that same case rolls of a 6 would not cause poison, as they are technically a 7?

    Still seems pretty ambiguous...
    Well you are forgetting the fact that if this is a bissextile year, distracting counts as a natural -1 to hit, so a roll of 6 would be truely a 6 with lightning reflexes against distracting targets.

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  • The way the rules are written won't change unless the intent for the rules and the target audience changes. And they won't.

    So just slog through it a few times skim the change log then avoid referencing it at all costs lol.

    The general gist is still there across each edition. Just less variety more details.. so you don't need to know all the nuances of poison rules for example. Only that it hasn't changed significantly for you to really care.

    I quit trying to track the minutiae around 2.02 honestly. But I'm still enjoying playing the game.
    AVOIDANCE FAILS 28% OF THE TIME FOLKS. -SE
    Undying Deathstar Construction Inc.
  • Stygian wrote:

    The way the rules are written won't change unless the intent for the rules and the target audience changes. And they won't.

    So just slog through it a few times skim the change log then avoid referencing it at all costs lol.

    The general gist is still there across each edition. Just less variety more details.. so you don't need to know all the nuances of poison rules for example. Only that it hasn't changed significantly for you to really care.

    I quit trying to track the minutiae around 2.02 honestly. But I'm still enjoying playing the game.
    Exactly right :). I do the same thing.

    The rules are not reader friendly, but they are super precise. I don’t think anyone is expecting that people are going to curl up with the rule book on a rainy day. But they are fantastic for play. No confusion, no ambiguity.

    Spend a little bit of time figuring out the basics of play (magic, movement, war machines, etc.) as well as the special rules that apply to your army in specific. When you inevitably have a question, the rule itself will make it clear as to what is going on (no flipping a coin to decide which way you are going to interpret a rule anymore, so yay)
  • Stygian wrote:

    The way the rules are written won't change unless the intent for the rules and the target audience changes. And they won't.

    So just slog through it a few times skim the change log then avoid referencing it at all costs lol.

    The general gist is still there across each edition. Just less variety more details.. so you don't need to know all the nuances of poison rules for example. Only that it hasn't changed significantly for you to really care.

    I quit trying to track the minutiae around 2.02 honestly. But I'm still enjoying playing the game.
    Also not true. We are making new text proposition regularly and already heard many are taken in. Just go to the threads and help out! If you think you can write solid texts of course.
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!
  • Pellegrim wrote:

    Stygian wrote:

    The way the rules are written won't change unless the intent for the rules and the target audience changes. And they won't.

    So just slog through it a few times skim the change log then avoid referencing it at all costs lol.

    The general gist is still there across each edition. Just less variety more details.. so you don't need to know all the nuances of poison rules for example. Only that it hasn't changed significantly for you to really care.

    I quit trying to track the minutiae around 2.02 honestly. But I'm still enjoying playing the game.
    Also not true. We are making new text proposition regularly and already heard many are taken in. Just go to the threads and help out! If you think you can write solid texts of course.
    I can but I don't agree. And actually this is more a problem then a solution.
    The project wants rules to be comprehensive and legalistic, which they are. I'm not going to spend time working within that constraint to tweak something here or there to suite a style that is not wanted by the project. I don't enjoy this type of writing as much but I'm fine playing from it. That was my point. Don't go into the rules to be immersed in a magical world of narrative just be academic about it and move on to the gaming.
    AVOIDANCE FAILS 28% OF THE TIME FOLKS. -SE
    Undying Deathstar Construction Inc.