Brad J. Murray (halfjack) wrote in roleplayers,
Brad J. Murray

Explaining yourself

While writing the body text for Diaspora, I find a lot of game design notes, justifications, and explanations creeping in. Do you want, as a consumer, to understand why rules are what they are or do you prefer to just be told what they are? Does it make your life easier or harder? Is it different if the explanation is in a sidebar, a text box, or other typographic differentiation? An appendix? An URL?

It seems to me that RPG rules are in the awkward position of being both a pedagogical tool -- a text to teach with -- and a reference for use, which are kind of exclusive writing styles. A discussion of "why" belongs more in the former, but perhaps not really in either. Your thoughts?
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