#RPGaDay2017 Which RPG features the best writing?
Jason Corley talked about RPG texts as technical manuals in his answer, and I generally agree that this is their primary function, i.e., does it clearly explain how to play the game? Lack of clarity in RPGs drives me batty, but I’m the kind of person who wishes more RPGs would use decimal numbering (e.g., “126.96.36.199 When maneuvering into flank, the figure shall…”).
In this regard, I will once again give props to the same authors I did in last year’s question of the same nature: Steven Long and the Burning Wheel HQ (luke crane and Thor Olavsrud, among others).
I’ve griped myself how dry HERO texts can be, but that hasn’t stopped me from appreciating the clarity in Long’s writing. I’ve never had table arguments over the wording in his books, and I don’t feel like I have to study them too hard to understand any given rule. Sure, the HERO books he’s produced are legendarily thick, but IMO they never feel padded or obtuse. Honestly, I wish more RPG writers would study how Long does what he does.
Likewise, BWHQ always produces texts that feel “tight” to me. Again, clarity, no padding, no BS, and authorial asides are generally clearly labeled as such. Bonus (IMO), their books often send me my dictionary app — in a good way. I.e., cool terminology, properly used. I love it.