Day 19: Which RPG features the best writing?
How do you define “best” writing? Best writing in a technical manual sense, explaining how to use the rules (the tools of roleplaying) as clearly as possible? That might throw up a “best” RPG that was clear and simple, short, and well laid out too possibly, but would it be imaginative or entertaining? One that (arguably – best is so subjective and I know plenty of people that just don’t get this RPG) manages that technical clarity is Fate.
So, should we look to the most entertaining writing? All of this is subjective of course, but we would that exclude RPGs that don’t include short pieces of fiction? Personally I find much RPG fiction tiresome but a clear winner if I was judging a writer on entertainment value alone would be Greg Stolze and Unknown Armies.
Maybe I should judge the writing on how informative it is, when a game does more than tell me how to play, but lets me discover facts about the world around me too? Then Ken Hite would be the winner. And since I must remind myself it’s an RPG I should name, not a writer, I’ll plump for Nights Black Agents.
Or should it evoke the genre? No is probably the answer, but one that should be recognised for its efforts to do so is Firefly, mostly by Monica Valatinelli.
But all these questions are just teases, prevarication, because otherwise this would be the shortest post ever. I knew as soon as I read the question, what my answer would be. The only RPG book I have read, voraciously, cover to cover, beginning to end. The only RPG book that was entertaining (hilariously so), imaginative, informative (it taught me about HK cinema) and technically clear too. Robin D Laws’ Feng Shui. The first edition mind. Not even his Feng Shui 2 is as good.