I think we’ve been using the term ‘rules mastery’ wrong

“Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules. To apply a rule to the letter, rigidly, unquestioningly, in cases where it fits and in cases where it does not fit, is pedantry … To apply a rule with natural ease, with judgment, noticing the cases where it fits, and without ever letting the words of the rule obscure the purpose of the action or the opportunities of the situation, is mastery.” –George Polya, mathematician (1887-1985)

I think rules ‘mastery’ as defined here sounds nothing like what I experienced playing with people who ‘mastered’ the d20/3.0/3.5 rules. YMMV.

(This quote was brought to my attention by the daily email from A word a day — a web site that sends you a vocabulary word every weekday, along with a quote from some notable philosopher, scientist, or writer (which is usually not related to the word).)

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Published in: on October 18, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Now that’s something to inscribe on our banners. Great find.

  2. Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.


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