Lore Isn't Important

What would be a good example of an interesting question implied or asked by a setting that’s answered beforehand?
Depends what you consider interesting.

Why do the ruling magicians of the City-State of Valon demand no silver be imported into the city? Even to the point of minting their own pewter currency for exchange?

That may not be great because the players have not pursued that, and just threw away the coins they found. I know the answer although I didn't at the start of the campaign.

For something they sort of know now-

How did the Gorruk slay the Ancient Dragon Vermithrax the supposedly unkillable?

Oh, there was a prophecy detailing how, however cryptically. Cool, there must be massive loot there! Later, they find the spear that is fated to strike the killing blow against Vermithrax. Awesome! We have the... wait...

How did the Gorruk slay the Ancient Dragon Vermithrax the supposedly unkillable, without the spear?

They're still thinking about that one.

Or do you mean that the players know the answer to?
 

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pemerton

Legend
@The-Magic-Sword @Baron Opal II
or
I noticed that you both answers @hawkeyefan's question What would be a good example of an interesting question implied or asked by a setting that’s answered beforehand? by providing examples of mysteries about the setting - like what is its metaphysics of death, or how was a particular heroic feat performed.

Those are not the sorts of questions I took @hawkeyefan to be referring to - because if they were, then rather than referring to interesting questions he could have just asked Is the setting interesting? or When player engage the setting, do they encounter interesting mysteries?

I took @hawkeyefan to be referring to thematic questions that a setting might raise, like Is death noble or ignoble? or Is death, ultimately, a good or an ill? Or Can we, the protagonists of today, replicate the mighty feats of the heroes of yore? Which could prompt a further question: Ought we to try do do so?

These typically won't be questions that can be answered just by pointing to more setting.
 

I think a good way to think of it is this… does the setting ask or imply interesting questions?

When are those questions answered? Beforehand? Or during play?
Mystara has the Nucleus of Spheres (NoS), an alien power-source, with a handful of wizards slowly draining its magic as they tap into the power of the Radiance, the emanations of the NoS. Overuse can one day result in periods of time where magic ceases to function. With continued abuse these periods may become longer with the risk being magic ceasing to exist permanently.

Is the risk of research into the Radiance worth the possible reduction, destruction or murder of creatures borne of magic or sustained by magic?

Will the world be a safer place without magic?

Who condones who has access to such power and how is it monitored/apportioned?

Will mortals be cut-off from the Immortals, can religion survive without the Immortals?

...etc

I imagine these could be answered during play.
 

I think a good way to think of it is this… does the setting ask or imply interesting questions?

When are those questions answered? Beforehand? Or during play?

@The-Magic-Sword @Baron Opal II
or
I noticed that you both answers @hawkeyefan's question What would be a good example of an interesting question implied or asked by a setting that’s answered beforehand? by providing examples of mysteries about the setting - like what is its metaphysics of death, or how was a particular heroic feat performed.

Those are not the sorts of questions I took @hawkeyefan to be referring to - because if they were, then rather than referring to interesting questions he could have just asked Is the setting interesting? or When player engage the setting, do they encounter interesting mysteries?

I took @hawkeyefan to be referring to thematic questions that a setting might raise, like Is death noble or ignoble? or Is death, ultimately, a good or an ill? Or Can we, the protagonists of today, replicate the mighty feats of the heroes of yore? Which could prompt a further question: Ought we to try do do so?

These typically won't be questions that can be answered just by pointing to more setting.

One way to engage with this is to distinguish between/clarify the differences of:

(A) low resolution, premise-provoking, setting that serves as scaffolding to answer interesting, big setting questions through play

and

(B) a baked in premise where the answer to certain big setting questions has already been resolved and play is about related, provocative questions whose answers are contingent upon play

and

(C) a baked in premise, a metaplot, and play is about character conception manifesting boldly while working through that setting premise and metaplot




These are all somewhat or significantly different in the actual running and playing of a game.
 

pemerton

Legend
One way to engage with this is to distinguish between/clarify the differences of:

(A) low resolution, premise-provoking, setting that serves as scaffolding to answer interesting, big setting questions through play

and

(B) a baked in premise where the answer to certain big setting questions has already been resolved and play is about related, provocative questions whose answers are contingent upon play

and

(C) a baked in premise, a metaplot, and play is about character conception manifesting boldly while working through that setting premise and metaplot




These are all somewhat or significantly different in the actual running and playing of a game.
So as examples of each:

(A) Burning Wheel;

(B) 4e D&D in its default setting (it's kind-of baked in that total chaos would be a bad thing; but it's left open whether full order and the lattice of heaven would be a good thing);

(C) The original DL modules.
 

I took @hawkeyefan to be referring to thematic questions that a setting might raise, like Is death noble or ignoble? or Is death, ultimately, a good or an ill? Or Can we, the protagonists of today, replicate the mighty feats of the heroes of yore? Which could prompt a further question: Ought we to try do do so?
Ah, my bad. I think then a major question would be

How broken can things be and still be worth repairing? When should it be buried and start wholly new?
 

The-Magic-Sword

Small Ball Archmage
@The-Magic-Sword @Baron Opal II
or
I noticed that you both answers @hawkeyefan's question What would be a good example of an interesting question implied or asked by a setting that’s answered beforehand? by providing examples of mysteries about the setting - like what is its metaphysics of death, or how was a particular heroic feat performed.

Those are not the sorts of questions I took @hawkeyefan to be referring to - because if they were, then rather than referring to interesting questions he could have just asked Is the setting interesting? or When player engage the setting, do they encounter interesting mysteries?

I took @hawkeyefan to be referring to thematic questions that a setting might raise, like Is death noble or ignoble? or Is death, ultimately, a good or an ill? Or Can we, the protagonists of today, replicate the mighty feats of the heroes of yore? Which could prompt a further question: Ought we to try do do so?

These typically won't be questions that can be answered just by pointing to more setting.

I think my response represents interesting questions of that kind, but specifically when you describe it that way I think that my lit-crit brain intuitively dissolves the distinction you allude to.

The setting elements exist within an organically thematic space, so when the players collide with it, their actions on the fabric of the setting, and the reaction of the setting to their actions both provide thematic commentary. My system of after-life means something on the thematic level in the same way you can understand Tolkien's hobbits to be everyday people, so too therefore does their interaction with it, because you then gain a kind of thematic cause and effect-- lore becomes a tool I set up for the players and I to talk about big questions like that.

A setting with strongly thematic systems of lore, poses interesting questions as the players come across each element, and the players pose interesting questions of it-- in that context strong lore can be interpreted as one of two voices in a conversation, with the players and the world around them performing call and response.
 
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