#RPGaDay 2017 Day 19

Today’s question for the 19th day of 2017’s #RPGaDay is: Which RPG has the Best Writing. The question can be looked at from several angles, and in the video below, I do just that, offering up suggestions for inspiring writing, explanatory writing, blue-blazes great writing, technical writing, and a mention for incredible consistency in writing.

The onus of figuring out and responding to what ‘best writing’ means is entertainingly in the respondents to the question. Best in what context? Getting the information across clearly about how to play? Presenting the setting material in an inspirational way, in a comprehensible way, in a complete way…. all of the above? Might it be, writing with the fewest errors in grammar and spelling? You decide. You have that power~

For me, I have my favorite writers in the RPG industry but that does not have to mean that I think that their writing is some sort of objective best, or even – at times – the best for me. When I sat down to answer this question, which has appeared in a different form in the event before, I decided that I wanted to answer it from a few different angles. I also noticed that my thoughts keep drifting to choosing the writer instead of the book. The question is about the book, or to be more clear, the RPG – which can be much more than a single book. It could be the entire line, and that might mean many writers.

For this written post, I will just offer three comments.

Consistency

A noteworthy RPG in regard to consistency, clarity, and flexibility is the Star Wars Roleplaying game by FFG. Perhaps as a benefit of that company’s experience with board and card games, the level of technical writing, while not without flaw, is significant in comparison to many other products and remarkable considering the expansion of the line since its release. Given FFG’s willingness to complete game lines and let them stand on their own, it is even possible that we will not have to see a moment of decline.

Clarity

Offering a vast and comprehensive toolkit RPG system runs a real risk of intimidating or confounding the reader if the writing is not both strong and engaging. Add in a side of fantastic advice for using the tools in the system and a dream system could be born. More precisely, has been born – in Mythras.

Creativity

Forging a new path, and doing it with class and humor, is the hallmark – at least to me – of a world class creator or team of creators. Such genius can be seen in the endurance of Ghostbusters, Call of Cthulhu, and Pendragon in the hearts and minds of gamers. What else can be done with the hobby? How can it be communicated to the reader in a way that makes sense and conveys the means and methods to implement it? These games are benchmarks and points of inspiration and aspiration, buoyed through generation after generation of gamers by the quality of writing within.

 

Question 20: What is the best source for out-of-print RPGs?

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  1. […] A good breakdown by Runeslinger at Casting Shadows. […]



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