You know, it has occurred to me that the late Gary Gygax was wrong when he asserted that rules aren't necessary in an RPG. Now when you think of them as prescriptive, they're not. But think of them as descriptive and they very much are.
What is the difference between prescriptive and descriptive?
Prescriptive is a matter of what must be. Descriptive is a matter of what is. Criminal law is prescriptive, scientific law is descriptive. A rule in a game tells you what you should do, a law in science tells you how something works.
Take for example falling in DnD. In the original your character suffered 1d6 in damage for each 10' he fell. He fell 30 feet he suffered 3d6 in damage. With a d6 for hit points for each level in the original rules the longer the fall the better the chance he would die. It was really more a matter of luck than it was a physical matter.
Later in Dangerous Journeys Gary devised a variant on the above, in Mythus the damage suffered was still 1d6 per 10', plus a multiplier of 1d6. So a fall of just 10' could still do between one and 36 points of damage depending not only on how long the fall was, but on how hard the character landed, and what he landed on. Now given that the average mundane character in Mythus has something like 60 points he can take in damage, a 10' fall no matter how hard, how he landed, or on what shouldn't kill him. But not everybody can take average damage.
But my main point regarding the rules (mechanics if you like) of an adventure guide (as I like to call them) is that they are best employed as descriptions of how things work in the AG's setting. Think of them as models, or simulations of reality. Emulations if you like. The original mechanics of Tensor's Floating Disk described them working one way. A later version had the magick working another way, a milder way. We learned about the spell when it first came out, and being young and smart and creative figured out how to weaponize it. Let's face it, you've got a half ton of mass moving at 3 miles an hour it's going to mow things down. And I can just hear DMs of the day going "Ack!" and looking for ways to stop the carnage.
And that's the sort of thinking you get when you think of what we're doing as games. You can't nerf physics. Physics basically says that this is how matters work and you're not going to change a damn thing. You can cheat, but if you want to cheat you'd better damn well know how it works.
And I've got more thinking to do here. I'll address this further later.