Time to bring back the prose? - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    1) Do you ever read it for pleasure (The 3rd Ed Arms & Equipment Guide was hilarious)?

    2) I have a ridiculous amount of books to peruse, of all varieties, but i like to read RPG books sometimes; I hope you weren't tying to imply I have nothing better to read than PHBs?
    1. No, But like I said I have done so with Mordinkraide's(SP) Magnificent Emporium. Yes there is room for improvement, and singling out one of the first 4e books isn't the best example.

    2. No, but my point is that perhaps a PHB isn't the best kind of book to use as an example.

  2. #32
    The PHB should be interesting and engaging so that people who pick it up are inspired to start playing the game. The books used to be a gateway into the hobby, and tons of folks have anecdotes how they started playing from these books without really understanding what they were doing, because they didn't know anyone else who played. This only works if the books are actually interesting to read.

    With all the comments now about "who actually reads the books anyway" I wonder why they should bother printing them.

  3. #33
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    I think some of the later 4e books hit the balance just about right for me. Heroes of the Feywild, for instance.

    There's tons of flavor in every page, every power, every magic item. And yet, the clear, "clinical" rules text is still there as well. It's a fun read, but it's also unambiguous when it comes to "crunch". That's just what I like in a game book.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Shutko View Post
    The PHB should be interesting and engaging so that people who pick it up are inspired to start playing the game. The books used to be a gateway into the hobby, and tons of folks have anecdotes how they started playing from these books without really understanding what they were doing, because they didn't know anyone else who played. This only works if the books are actually interesting to read.

    With all the comments now about "who actually reads the books anyway" I wonder why they should bother printing them.
    But where does inspiration come from? Personally I always skip over the bits of fiction in rulebooks, they dont inspire me. On the other hand while I dislike 3.x greatly the art of Pathfinder almost alone makes me want to play it.

    for myself I find inspiration in cool mechanics, take the 4e executioner assassin, after reading through all of it's entry in the heroes of shadow all I can think of is how awesome a character I can make with all these cool jump, climb and sneaking powers. I didn't need some prose to make the class appeal to me. I just needed cool mechanics and I can take over the imagining of the class.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Shutko View Post
    The PHB should be interesting and engaging so that people who pick it up are inspired to start playing the game. The books used to be a gateway into the hobby, and tons of folks have anecdotes how they started playing from these books without really understanding what they were doing, because they didn't know anyone else who played. This only works if the books are actually interesting to read.
    Nothing wrong with a starter set that's more fluff than mechanics. There's still the actual rulebooks for actual rules resolution. This is about the core rules, not the other products. Setting books, too, should be highly evocative, because in that case, the "fiction" is the product.

    With all the comments now about "who actually reads the books anyway" I wonder why they should bother printing them.
    Well, to refer to the rules, of course. It's still more convenient, in a lot of cases, to have a physical book instead of something on a computer or whatever.

  6. #36
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    To be clear, when I say I like my books to be readable, that doesn't mean reams of torrid setting background I'll never use. It's the rules I'm talking about.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Shutko View Post
    The PHB should be interesting and engaging so that people who pick it up are inspired to start playing the game. The books used to be a gateway into the hobby, and tons of folks have anecdotes how they started playing from these books without really understanding what they were doing, because they didn't know anyone else who played. This only works if the books are actually interesting to read.

    With all the comments now about "who actually reads the books anyway" I wonder why they should bother printing them.
    That raises the question of what leads to greater understanding of the rules:
    1. More flavorful text, which people then read ambiguously, or
    2. Clear reference text, which lots of people don't read at all, but learn by taking the word of some guy at the FLGS?
    I don't know the answer to that one. I hope that is an excluded middle, as I wrote it.

  8. #38
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    I'm gong to go out on a heretic limb and say that, in my opinion, "Gygaxian prose" is really just poor writing. Do we need engaging text? Yes. Do we need the 1e Phb, Dmg, and Mm? No. And this is from an "old schooler" currently playing 1e AD&D (and a published author).

  9. #39
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    I'd like a middle ground. Not fond of textbook writing, but sometimes Gygax's prose gets pretentious.

    I want the rules where I can easily find them, but I'd like a little injection of open-minded advice and the occasional in-gameworld reference or fluff.

    If you could get it like the Revised Star Wars 2nd edition book (by now defunked WEG), that's about how I'd like it laid out.

  10. #40
    I plan on playing the game far more than reading the books, so I'll take clear, concise language.

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