Lore Isn't Important


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Aldarc

Legend
What is the point of RPGing? I think for many if not most people it's not to learn the abstract or impersonal details of an imaginary place. It's to enjoy the exploits and struggles of one's PC.

Hence why I agree with @hawkeyefan that good RPG lore is in service of the characters and the situation. It's a means, not an end.
Never have I ever enjoyed a game where the DM was more interested in guiding my character in a curated tour of their homebrew setting than the party's personal stories.
 

Never have I ever enjoyed a game where the DM was more interested in guiding my character in a curated tour of their homebrew setting than the party's personal stories.
I have played in a few games where the party's personal stories from time to time led to or through some setting thing the GM had just worked up. So long as we didn't feel as though the setting was more important to the GM than the PCs were that always worked out well enough.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
What is the point of RPGing? I think for many if not most people it's not to learn the abstract or impersonal details of an imaginary place. It's to enjoy the exploits and struggles of one's PC.
I'm not going to argue that it's primary, but in this poll, discovery, which I would say is the bucket lore enjoyment falls under, absolutely holds its own with the other options. Learning the abstract or impersonal details of an imaginary place is exactly why I voted discovery there.
 


Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I'm not going to argue that it's primary, but in this poll, discovery, which I would say is the bucket lore enjoyment falls under, absolutely holds its own with the other options. Learning the abstract or impersonal details of an imaginary place is exactly why I voted discovery there.
I don't think that's what discovery means to most people. I think it is more about exploration and surprise, and it's probably not especially important if what they are discovering is deep lore or intriguing ephemera or the friends they made along the way.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
I don't think that's what discovery means to most people. I think it is more about exploration and surprise, and it's probably not especially important if what they are discovering is deep lore or intriguing ephemera or the friends they made along the way.
Sure, I'm not saying it's the whole of Discovery, but I do think it can be a meaningful component. But I can obviously only speak directly for myself.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
What is the point of RPGing? I think for many if not most people it's not to learn the abstract or impersonal details of an imaginary place. It's to enjoy the exploits and struggles of one's PC.
When we played Bushido I think we did care about the details of the place. Earlier you used words like tone, trope, theme. This is not about playing through a prewritten story. Characters are central. But in some kinds of RP the world matters considerably.

Hence why I agree with @hawkeyefan that good RPG lore is in service of the characters and the situation. It's a means, not an end.
None of the above is as I conceive it expected to act against your point here.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
I think that the idea of "discovery" as it relates to the fictional world is best if used sparingly. Players in an RPG are part, but not fully, acting as the audience. And an audience may like to learn things along the way. But is that suitable for play?

I expect the answer to that question will vary a lot from person to person. My answer would be that "It may be" which is a bit of a cop out. I suppose there are times when such a setting-based discovery will be interesting for the players, irrespective of their characters' involvement in the revelation. I would not say it cannot happen.

But I expect it's best when it's kept to a minimum. I think lore is better deployed as a foundation of sorts to base things on, and not as a series of curtain-pulling revelations by the GM.

Certain elements of the fiction will simply work better if shared openly and readily whenever they become applicable. Offering an abundance of information for free helps make it feel like the characters are actual denizens of the world of the game. Surprising them at every turn with every bit of information... it's just not the way the world works.

In such a game, I'd feel like I didn't know anything and was constantly being told what's true. That doesn't feel much like discovery to me because there's a strong passive element to it that feels contrary.
 


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