Thursday, March 09, 2006

L'esprit de l'escalier

There is a late 18th century phrase "L'esprit de l'escalier" which refers to the uncomfortable realization of a sparkling remark or turn of phrase which you manage to think of as you are leaving, instead of right at the moment you needed it.

I don't know what the best equivalent phrase is for gaming, but often I discover certain rules after a second read-through of a rulebook after playing a game for the first time. It's happened to us before, in Puerto Rico's colonist calculation errors most tellingly (and prolongedly), and more recently in my misinterpretation of Royal Turf. I would feel badly about it, but given that we've played over 70 games together, two major rules explanation errors and a dozen or so small errors aren't so bad.

Tonight I discovered two errors in the way we played Vampire: Prince of the City, although one is apparently something which needs to be corrected specifically by White Wolf.

The first error is that you may only use a discipline once per turn unless specified otherwise. I believe there were a few occasions where Dominate was used to add several dice to a roll. I missed this rule.

The second error is that Resilience cannot prevent the vitae lost at the end of a turn. This is not entirely clear from the rulebook and will apparently be included in the official errata.

Gaming session report to follow...


  1. I'd say our record is even better than that.

    Sure, we have played many games by the wrong rules. Most of them, however, were rule problems which made the game "Different" rather than "Bad". Also, since we all played by the same rules, no one got any particular advantage out of it.

    Domaine, Puerto Rico, Bohnanza and many others have been played by incorrect rules at WAGS (in the case of Domaine, far more often INCORRECTLY than correctly). The errors you describe in the Vampire game sound important, but we were so clueless for much of the game I doubt they would have made a significant difference in our game.

    The only game I can think of where the error was significant was Royal Turf. As played, I didn't "get" the game... played correctly, it would be a very different experience.

    As you said, though, we've played and learned a HUGE number of games in the last few years. 1 game with significant errors is a very good track record!

  2. Well, because of my incorrect explanation the first time playing Puerto Rico, we were adding far too many colonists for about the first five or six times we played the game.

    But yeah, there haven't been too many.

  3. These make sense. The clan abilities being more limited would tighten things up, I'd guess.

    Also, as far as getting rules wrong - I STILL don't think that we've ever played Domaine "correctly". It's almost to the point where I don't want to, because it would ruin our record.