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01/27/2002 Entry: "RPG's Rules Of Order, Vol. 2"

RPG's Rules Of Order, Vol 2:

The Look At My Tits! Rule: Upon successfully completing a battle, one or all of the characters may then pose in a suitably victorious manner. To avoid confusion, however, we ask that you pick a single pose and stick to it, to avoid getting hit with the dramatically swooping camera.

The Aw Ain't That Cute Rule: Upon entering a fight, if you discover that your opponent is a single small adorable fluffy creature, run.

The Aw Ain't That Slow Rule: Upon entering a fight, if you discover that you can take several turns leaping forward and attacking, and your opponent neither attacks nor dies but simply waits patiently and accepts the damage, run.

The I Can't See I Can't Think I Can't Breathe Rule: Somewhere in the course of your quest, you will run afoul of a highly powerful person/creature that prefers inflicting status conditions to inflicting outright damage. Run.

The Dramatic Death Rule: No matter how many thousands of monsters have (under the Boom Boom Rule) fallen back and quietly exploded in your wake, if you die, the entire world grinds to a halt, sad music plays, and either the camera will fade to black or focus on your sprawled limp dead body. This is your prerogative as an adventurer. Be sure it's in your contract.

The But Not That Dramatic Rule: Don't worry. Being dead won't stop you for long. You may find, however, that your body was mysteriously teleported back a quarter of a mile or so before you equally mysteriously ceased to be dead. This is normal.
Ignore the artifact that you always cease to be dead next to. It will be explained shortly. Do not question your luck.

The What's This Round Thing? Rule: All adventures generally contain some form of abstract statuary or floor mural that has been mass-produced and shipped to every corner of the globe, including to incredibly dangerous places that have been lost for thousands of years.
We may thus surmise that these oddly commonplace artifacts (called, prosaically, 'save points') are extremely old, possibly pre-human, in origin. And unlike most forms of modern art, these artifacts are incredibly useful. In fact, prolonged and/or repeated contact with said artifacts may be what causes adventurers to build up a resistance to death. Despite the attractiveness, advanced age, and obvious utility of these devices, you may not uproot them and take them with you. Despite all appearances, these antiques will not sell for a bazillion gold or interest a scholar in any way.

The What's This Round Thing? Rule, Harbinger Corollary: These 'save points' also tend to attract the attention of particularly powerful creatures, who may be trying to benefit from the resistance to death or who may, in point of fact, be the descendants of the alien race that left these artifacts behind. Or, possibly, the creature in question may just have a well-developed aesthetic sense.
In any case, should you be in the midst of some extremely dangerous area and suddenly stumble across one of these statues, it is imperative to make use of it, because it is certain that a highly dangerous creature will be living less than ten steps away from it.

The What's This Round Thing? Rule, Good Night's Sleep Corollary: Feel free to pitch a tent or build a house on top of / around the artifact. No matter how badly hurt you might be, a single night's sleep near the artifact will restore you fully. (Or, in some cases, largely but not fully. Those of you who discover that this is the case should immediately stop questing and sue.)

The What's This Round Thing? Rule, Open Spaces Corollary: You can also, usually, perform most of the functions of the artifact when you are out in a wide open space. What this says about the world is unclear but vaguely disturbing. Perhaps if we were able to view the world from far enough away it would simply be a tremendously huge 'save point'. Or, perhaps we are deluded. In any case, do not question your luck.

The Good Night's Sleep Rule: Related to the What's This Round Thing? Rule, Good Night's Sleep Corollary. All inns, houses with beds that you can touch, castles, and so on will fully restore you to health and cure all poison/blindness/etc. like magic in the course of a single night. This is why no townspeople are ever blind, lame, or missing limbs unless the plot specifically demands it.
Some scholars believe that this is a sign that all inns were built by the same aliens that deposited the artifacts on the planet millions of years ago. This is, of course, ridiculous. It has more to do with a very short sleepy-sounding piece of music. Hearing this relaxing tune while the world is dark is what cures you; unfortunately, no matter how short and simple the tune may be, carrying around a harmonica and playing it will not help you. Although it may amuse your teammates.
In some worlds you will hear this tune in conjunction with pitching a tent around an artifact. Despite all appearances, this makes neither one of them more powerful.

The Oh Gross A Bloody Rat's Tail Rule: The more useless something looks, the more useful it will eventually be. Someone out there will be stupid enough to trade you something vitally important for it. Once again, do not question your luck.

The Incredibly Obvious Luck Rule: In fact, never question your luck about anything. Just relax and remember that, in all likelihood, no matter how many times you think you are done for, you will probably triumph.

The Incredibly Obvious Luck Rule, True Love/False Lust Corollary: There's also a good chance you will end up coming to some understanding with the boy/girl/man/woman/animal of your dreams, no matter how wildly inappropriate they are for you. Again, don't question your luck. And be sure to thank the fanfiction writers, who will ensure that you actually manage to copulate with the person in question. Often. In many ways you would never have expected. If poorly.
Of course, given enough time, the writers will also ensure you sleep with positively everyone else you have met/traveled with as well, including persons not entirely of your gender of choice. Grit your teeth and don't question your bad luck. It'll all be over soon. Just pray that the writer in question understands what the word 'lube' means.

Replies: add your comment: currently 6 comments

Yaay, first one here!! Haven't done that in a while. ^_^
LOL!! You really have it down pat, Moon. You've deciphered the entire rulebook for RPGs. If a claimed RPG does not follow these rules to some degree, it's probably not an RPG. Although a little breaking of the rules was pointed out in SO2(having never played the game, I can only take people's word for it), so I guess not all rules have to be followed. But most do. Because if they did not, we would not have RPGs. :3
Great job, Moon. *applause*

Posted by Wolf @ 01/27/2002 02:19 PM EST

See? Your writing IS unconditionally appreciated.

I find this incredibly droll - especially since I noticed after replaying Vagrant Story that the game has a nasty tendency to give you the save point AFTER the large and nasty boss (first and last boss notwithstanding). And this definitely doesn't apply to SuikoGaiden or other text-based RPGs (Exodus Guilty, Magical Dreamers etcetra), which are hard enough to understand, given my limited command of Japanese.

It reminds me of an article on the web that tried to list all the physics pertaining to Final-Fantasy... things like the perfect safety in falling from dizzying heights and surviving. I can't seem to find it anymore though.

*laughs* Ironically, this time I DO have an ulterior motive though, so let me cut to the point: I've been writing a Prac Crit on one of your fanfics and I want to post it online. I don't write fanfic, so this is all I do to alleviate boredom at work. (actually, I wanted to stuff it on fanfiction.net, but I don't think that's wise...) Could I get your permission?

(blatant touting)Here - warning, low bandwith server.

Posted by curious @ 01/27/2002 05:46 PM EST

Nezumi's surprised that you omitted the "Wealthy Shopkeeper Rule", which states that even in the poorest slums or most distant backwaters, not only will every shop carry an unlimited amount of their specialty items (occasionally rather expensive and bulky objects at that, but they are all able to afford to buy even the most expensive and rare items, should you be able to sell them.
Apparently, most shopkeepers have a pretty large nest egg stored away, on the off chance some wayfarer might be selling off their mastered materia or something.

Posted by Nezumi @ 01/28/2002 02:45 PM EST

Lord, the "Aww, ain't it cute" rule brought back horrible memories of Pugs, Tonberries, and ... *shudder* ... Tonberry Kings.

Those things are redrum.

Posted by Red Draco @ 01/29/2002 10:22 AM EST

I've seen the RPG physics file...I believe it was originally descended from the much older and larger anime physics file.

Posted by AJ @ 01/29/2002 06:26 PM EST

Anime Physics - or the excerpt I saw - was great too... Of course there's the classic RPG Cliches list at RPGamer - highly recommended. Assuming it's still up.

Posted by StB @ 01/30/2002 09:44 AM EST

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