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Getting to Know Each Other = July Edition

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34 minutes ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

 ...has made me choose feats that are not as optimal, just because those particular ones were more thematically appropriate for my character.

 

There is no fluff in the 'verse that can cause me to do this. ::P:

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1 hour ago, etherial said:

I love it. I especially love the fluff for Earthdawn, my favorite RPG. Earthdawn was created by people who wanted there to be reasons for all the common tropes in RPGs (like dungeons full of traps, treasure, and monsters) and they use the fluff to reinforce the mechanics. It also means that things like particular magic abilities, Classes, even Levels, all have gameverse terms that characters can use to talk about themselves, thus helping people stay in character when they're conversing.

Important caveat: There's a thing in fluff called "Metaplot", which I will summarize thusly: "The ongoing story of the world, as told through official game-related publications". Metaplot can be very difficult to write because it has to be interesting, complex, have surprises, and affect the game world all while not doing anything to harm the plot arc of every single character in every single game in the entire real world, active or inactive. Shadowrun is really good at this because most of their metaplot has to do with physical and cyberwarfare between corporations and nation states, and PCs rarely have covenant relationships with individual corporations or nation states. White Wolf was pretty bad at it as they would publish story hooks in Game Line A, then resolve them in Game Line B, and refer back to them in Game Line C, and then kill off your character's entire Clan because they needed to "shake things up".

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Not sure I can say anything relevant that hasn't already been said better by them what came before.

Some games, the fluff is integral. A board game, Gammarauders, is a goofy romp through a goofy postapocalypse where zoot suit wearing tribesmen and their giant cyborg Kaiju penguin fight SCA samurai recreationists and their giant cyborg Kaiju kangaroo for the joy of burning down the other side's clubhouse and partying on the rubble. Without the fluff, this would make NO sense. Hell, even WITH the fluff, it's marginal.

Some games, the fluff is unnecessary. In Betrayal At House On The Hill, a motley group of strangers is trapped in a spooky house where spooky things happen... and one of them is going to turn on the others, who must cooperate to survive. There. Summed up the whole game in one sentence. Man, that was so much fun, I think I'll do it again: "It's kinda like Scooby Doo in a haunted house, but at some point, Velma might turn into a claw monster and suddenly rip Shaggy's head off in front of the horrified eyes of the rest of the gang, while roaring 'JIN-KEEZ, JIN-KEEZ.' "

Some games, the fluff irritates me, although others might like it. Shadowrun is a cyberpunk RPG set in a world where magic came back and people spontaneously mutated into orcs, trolls, elves, dwarves, and dragons, but they still work for megacorps and carry cyberdecks, samurai swords, and machine pistols, but some of them can cast spells now, too. Um... yeah. Sorry. 

 

Some games, the fluff delights me. There's a new Star Trek game out that lets you play in pretty much any era covered in fifty years worth of TV shows and movies. Yow!

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Up until the advent of D&D Adventurers League and Pathfinder Society, my old group mostly ignored in game continuity.  Even back in the day when RPGA was a thing, there was little need for it.  We were just into homebrew campaign continuity and stole from pretty much every fantasy novel written at the time.

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I love fluff. I live for the fluff. If the fluff is inconsistent or inadequate I will make new fluff. Pages of it. Reams. The players may never see all of it there but the game will have fluff enough for me to wallow in!

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I think this group is particularly enamored of fluff. We paint friggin tiny things with tiny details. We like tiny details. 

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Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

I don't game, I hoard collect and paint, but I like to read fluff.

I also like to make up my own.

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7 hours ago, TGP said:

Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

(If the answer varies by game do elaborate...)

 

Is fluff important to me? Do you know who you're talking to :blink:? It's 100% of most games to me! Other than rulesets that are system agnostic or fluff-lite, there better be some good story behind it or I'm going to see what bits I like and then dismantle the rest.

 

This all stems from the Warhammer games for me. I started out playing Warhammer Fantasy Battles because I got to build and paint goat-like Satyrs. Before I started building and painting, I decided to have a look through the main rulebook and the army book used to play the game. It was amazing. The character of the Beastmen seemed fine-tailored to my personality and every page of both books got reread so many times that most of it was memorized. Yeah, the game was fun, but there was nothing like the fluffy backstory found at the front of both books.

 

Then came Warhammer 40,000 and my mind was blown. That's a space opera like no other. It's so bleak that it spoke to my inner soul. At the time, somewhere around 4th Edition, I learned that there were books written about both games and that the company had its own publishing wing. Whole paychecks went to the hobby after that.

 

See, there is a difference between the fluff of, say, Warhammer 40,000 and the books written about it or utilizing its setting. The books are just stories, not fluffy backstory. An author could, for instance, be contracted to write a book for Black Library - Games Workshop's publishing arm - and not know anything about the setting or factions and totally wreck peoples' perception of the backstory; eg, CS Goto's "books". This is why it's important to remember that backstory for a wargame isn't backstory until it's written in a rulebook or an official supplement. People confuse the two all the time and what is an irrelevancy quickly becomes annoying and irritating to me.

 

For RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, I couldn't care less about the main fluff. The DM sets the fluff and the players are to hold it sacred. Same for my beloved GURPS - the GM has the first and final say.

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Let's see now...

I own most, if not all the novels for:

Shadowrun

Battle tech

40k 

Warhammer 

Forgotten Realms

Greyhawk 

So I guess I likes my Fluff

Especially with peanut butter 

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7 hours ago, TGP said:

Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

(If the answer varies by game do elaborate...)

For RPGs, flavor text and example is very important.  The very first Shadowrun proved this to me.  Over time I learned that game companies can be inconsistent, and that bothers me, but I learned to ignore it by wading through volumes.  In the case of WoD... it was all three.  The flavor provided the atmosphere and was essential for getting the feeling and for possiblities, but often times you threw out as much as you kept (which is an important skill to learn) and often I was irritated and annoyed when trying to find an example or rule that I knew was buried in one of the volumes behind all the flavor text.

 

This is one area that D&D does both right and wrong.  They try to stay out of the way in most cases and let the imagination build the story.  But I gotta admit, going through a Pathfinder, Shadowrun, WoD or even FFGs Star Wars Roleplaying books are often more enjoyable because of the story and the interaction with the rules (and sometimes without interaction with the rules, right White Wolf?).

 

Oddly enough, I don't need the same thing when I'm playing tabletop games.  Zombicide? Stripped down story, basic rules... add people and go!  Knowing the history of the Verse is cool, but isn't essential to playing Firefly and there are not really any stories in the rules... but most of us know the fluff.  X-Wing also had that feeling because you knew the stories and how it all fit together, and if you want more info, there are series based on pilots.  Did I need it to enjoy flying the ships?  Nope... that was a blast all by itself.  

 

Then you get wargames and to be honest, I don't know how I feel there.  As I don't have a local gamestore that I could do this at and do not know a single sole in driving distance that plays any, I have to go based on what I have dipped my toe in.  The rules take up so many pages, but if there isn't enough story then you don't have enough differentiation for some of the squad based or faction based games.  Take CAV for instance.  It has some fluff, but mostly deals with just the mechanics and some streamlined history and a bit about the factions.  There is a lot of talk about the tools of the trade, in general, but not specifically (ie, no specifics on the actual models and data cards).  If you go back to the old BattleTech (which is not fair, because it was an RPG set of books) there was a lot of description of the individual mechs and books.  As with X-Wing, is it needed to enjoy the game? Nope... I wouldn't think so.  Do I wish there were more so I knew what factions used what models typically and what units had what color schemes and who some of the famous pilots have been over time?  You betcha... so... 

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1 minute ago, knarthex said:

Let's see now...

I own most, if not all the novels for:

Shadowrun

Battle tech

40k 

Warhammer 

Forgotten Realms

Greyhawk 

So I guess I likes my Fluff

Especially with peanut butter 

 

Sir, you humble me.

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5 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

 

Sir, you humble me.

You like fluffernutters too?::P:

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10 hours ago, TGP said:

Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

(If the answer varies by game do elaborate...)

I can gain enjoyment from reading it,  and sometimes using it to create a character/unit/army/whatever.

I can also dump it, or shred it into itty bitty pieces and make it work for my story the way I want it to.

Or I can completely disregard it.

 

2 hours ago, knarthex said:

 

So I guess I likes my Fluff

Especially with peanut butter 

I was waiting for someone to go there!:lol:

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July 18th: I got into the hobby thru Heroquest,  Battlemasters and Warhammer 4th ed, so the fluff mountain that was the Old World has been a home for my mind most of my life. Same with World of Darkness as a buddy in high school ran a short Wraith campaign freshmen year. After it ended I still bought the books for it and eventually began collecting the other lines as well. Not because I ever expected to game with them, but simply because I enjoyed the world they'd made with it. Also been inhabiting Tamriel since Arena came out...so yeah to me the fluff is rather important. Of course only Tamriel still exists anymore but I raid Half Price for anything related to the worlds of my youth and when I collect them all I will build a time machine and send them back to younger me. (Who having all the books can now devote more money to the minis!)

Anymore I find it hard to get into any new worlds, but I think that has more to do with my desire to recapture a bit of the past than any lack of quality in the new stuff, and concentrate mostly on creating my own odd little dystopian world with my warbands. I have however found myself cruising the 1d4chan wiki and reading up on the 40k fluff. Despite my mixed feelings on Games Workshop and their decisions over the years, I may eventually break down and do something 40k related such as Elvis Marines or a regiment of Imperial Guard that come from a world where the 1950s never ended. (Fallout 40k somewhat)

 

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12 hours ago, TGP said:

Question for July 18: Is gameverse "fluff" important to you, an irrelevancy, or does it annoy and irritate?

 

(If the answer varies by game do elaborate...)

 

This isn't true for all games but as a general rule, I love fluff.  I find it helps get me in the right frame of mind and in the right temperament to enjoy the game.  With that said, you should never be a slave to the fluff and always feel free to deviate if that makes for a more interesting game.

 

10 hours ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

.... has made me choose feats that are not as optimal, just because those particular ones were more thematically appropriate for my character.

 

:wub: you so much right now!

 

4 hours ago, knarthex said:

Let's see now...

I own most, if not all the novels for:

Battle tech

 

 

Wow - I'm impressed.  Some of those Battletech novels were really bad.

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