On Sun, 15 Jul 2001, BFGalbraith wrote:
> Ok, the tutorials are far from complete, but I've put up what I do
> have on the page. I don't plan to announce it on the Galbraith Games
> news page untill it is more complete and proof read. However, the
> tutorials, inspite of thier incompleteness and other various
> imperfections, do give alot more insight into how the Hack and Slash
> Role-Playing System is used.
This example is so terse it's almost not helpful:
[4.1.2] The next step is to roll verses zero to see the success level of
the craftsman attempt. Let's say we roll a 6, for a total of +27, and the
opposing roll is a 2. Our success level for this action has thus been +25.
You need to stretch it out with more natural language and detailed
explanation. Try to explain it to an idiot who is very sensitive and
doesn't like being treated like an idiot.
[4.1.2] The next step is to roll versus zero to get the success level of
the craftsmanship attempt. If the roll for success is 6, we add it to our
+21 bonus to get 27. If the roll against success is 2, we add it to zero
and it is still 2. Our success level is the difference: 27 - 2 = 25.
Or something like that. Note that I changed three things in the
opening sentence too: "verses" is spelled "versus" (they are two
different words) "see" is changed to "get" (I just liked the way
it sounded) and "craftsman" was changed to "craftsmanship" (You
could also use "craftsman's")
The last sentence of the next step is also ackward: "Our success
level is 25, times 5 is 125, and so 125 is the PPV of our sword."
Try something like this: "Our success level (25) times 5 is 125, so the
PPV of our sword is 125."
What have I changed? I removed the whole concept of "our success level is
25" by turning that into a _parenthetical_comment_ The new sentence says
"our success level times 5 is 125" but the breif parenthetical comment
"(25)" implies everything that the first five words of the original
sentence implied, and in a way that doesn't break the flow of the
Next, look at how I rearranged the second part of the sentence. Here we
are using the word "is" to assign a value to a variable. The variable is
PPV and the value is 125. The old wording sounds like you are assigning
the value "PPV" to the variable "125": "125 is PPV." I would change that
to "PPV is 125."
(Doing assignments backward is not good english and it's actually invalid
syntax in every programming language I know.)
But there's another advantage to moving the value "125" to the end of the
sentence: It means we don't start the second sentence with the last word
of the first sentence - which is a tricky stuttering kind of poetry,
instead we end them both with "125" which is a simpler kind of poetry like
rhyming and repetition.
If you can keep the rythm and sound of the tutorials simple and pleasant,
while keeping the logic and techniques simple, straightforward, and
familiar, then you'll have a procedure that an idiot can follow without
feeling like an idiot, and that's all we really need.
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