Some questions occurred to me while I was folding laundry:
What's the right amount and proportion of information to give (prospective) players about a campaign setting? Granted, this is going to depend a lot on the individual players, but I think there's a general guideline in here somewhere...
I am assuming that the GM will be handing out/emailing/nailing to the door a one-sheet proposition for the game, something like 300-400 words (a little less than one typed, single-spaced page).
I am further assuming that the GM is focusing on the area immediately around where the characters live/start off when preparing for the game. The larger, surrounding region and rest of the world are being left somewhat vague, to allow for expansion as the game progresses and the scope of play expands.
Another assumption: that the players and GM already have a game system they're using and are familiar with, so the GM doesn't have to sell the rules-set to the group.
So, the questions:
What's a good ratio of information? I'm thinking that the biggest chunk ought to be the one that focuses on the area where the campaign starts out, local geography, history, and the first few adventure hooks. The next section would be the one that gives some information on the kingdom/province/whatever, and some national history and current events. The third would be an outline of the whole world (as the characters would know it).
So, what, half the page for the local info, with the other half divided between regional and world? More of one, less of another?
The other question is, should the info start at the world-level and tighten focus into the local, or start local and zoom out?
What I'm trying to get at here is whether or not there is some general rule on what kind of information players need to know to decide if they want to play in a given setting, and how to best package that information.