I guess I'm curious at what you see as the difference between my producing a high-quality BX clone that enhances and focuses the game on some particular aspect, and my houseruling it to do the same.

Likewise, if I've played BX at length and like it, but also discerned a number of points it could be streamlined and more effectively implement gameplay, or found circumstances consistently come up that it does not address, houserules to address these points seem strongly merited. I shouldn't make changes without having played it RAW first to understand it, nor should they be secret from the players at the table when I do, but the process by which we could get a high-quality BX clone is the process of some capable designer playing the game and iterating upon it.

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I don't see any difference. The only way to get a "BX clone" of any kind is to houserule it and formalize the new ruleset. The merit of RAW mindset is, as you detail in your second paragraph, that it allows us to become capable of doing it in the first place. Not only does it give the mastery/insight required, but the RAW mindset allows us to form crystal clear distinctions between "playing BX" and "playing a BX clone" and "playing BX but with [Y]" and so on.

To put it a slightly different way, RAW mindset doesn't mean we're stuck with one game. It means we know exactly what game we are playing at any time. This is most useful/powerful when it grows to more than just a person or single table. The expectation that we play the game we say we're playing leads to clarity of mind and intent across the hobby.

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