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Default Rampant Games - There's a Reason It's Called Back Story

September 24th, 2009, 08:28
The Rampant Coyote has some comments on improving game writing - specifically, by allowing gamers to discover the back story as they play, rather than excessive exposition up front:
There's a running gag in dice-and-paper circles about gaming store owners and employees not wanting to hear about customers' characters.

It's amusing because it's traditionally all-too-true. I've never been employed by a gaming store, but on my infrequent visits I, too, have found myself enduring an annoying customer who takes my passing interest in all things RPG as license to launch into a four hour diatribe about their "awesome" character, their back story, and detailed enumerations of everything they have done on every adventure they've had since first level. Unfortunately, offering a polite, "That sounds cool," and hastily walking away from them often only serves to encourage them to follow and continue their exposition.

Game Masters can be just as bad. They can expound upon their world / campaign as lovingly and at such length as if it were their own child. Only a historian or accountant could have such a love for timelines, details, and numbers. They are Cliff Clavins of their own worlds.
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September 24th, 2009, 08:28
Hmm. Historians aren't all *that* interested in timelines, really. The academic discipline of History is not about narrative and timelines. It's more like dective work than the narration of a timeline.
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September 24th, 2009, 11:19
Yet we have to learn timelines in "history" at school.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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September 24th, 2009, 16:20
History in school = learning isolated facts = boring for most people.

I like the article though. I find it annoying when a character I meet in a CRPG tells me everything about themselves and what they think I could do for them straight away. Pretty stupid, to be honest.
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