"We Must Run The Rules As Written", My Ass.
I'm quite willing to houserule the fuck out of any game. I think that those who claim "a game SHOULD be perfect right out of the box so as to make houserules unnecessary" are mostly covering up the fact that they're petit-fascists that don't like the idea of the GM being able to invalidate the string of feats they worked out that are "within the rules" to give their PC 100 points of damage reduction, or whatever. "We have to play with the Rules as Written!" is the cry of the rules lawyer and the reverse-cheater (one who cheats by abusing the letter of the rules).
Furthermore, there are all kinds of games pre-RPGs that are houseruled. Hardly anyone plays Monopoly absolutely straight. Poker has 20 million fucking variants (including the utterly despicable "Texas Hold'em") because people houseruled the fuck out of it.
And consider this: many RPG companies release Errata and/or new editions. What is that, if not the game designer saying "rule x is flawed or not ideal, I've got this houserule for it"? The mere fact that he wrote the game doesn't make him any more competent than me, nor the fact that he's a game designer (so am I, but the case stands even if the theoretical GM in question was not). In fact, since he's the one who fucked up in the first place, I'd say that puts him lower on the scale of people qualified to fix the mess. And its even worse if instead of the designer, its just "someone from the company"; now you're trying to tell me that for some reason some random dick, possibly even some suit who has never actually written or maybe even played an RPG in his fucking life, is somehow more qualified to make up a new rule for a game than I am, just because he has the little "official employee of Wizards of The Coast" sticker on his chest? The Hasbro Exec's retarded nephew Cletus, who got the job because his parents went to Uncle Joe for help to find Cletus something to do other than stealing hub-caps, somehow magically gets to houserule but I don't?
I am the absolute authority. The game rules are there as rules for the players UNTIL I SAY OTHERWISE. But to me? They only exist as suggestions. I can change them as I so will it; add my own genius to them, or destroy any part of them with but a snap of my fingers.
Currently Smoking: Neerup Billiard + Image Latakia
(Originally posted December 17, 2010)