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General Forge Forums => Independent Publishing => Topic started by: Seamus on April 18, 2009, 07:57:47 AM

Title: RPG Style Guides
Post by: Seamus on April 18, 2009, 07:57:47 AM
One problem I keep having as a writer for RPG products is figuring out when to speak in the 2nd person and 3rd and who to address. Sometimes it feels right to address the player or the GM directly. Sometimes it doesn't. Is there an accepted style of writing for RPG products?

Title: Re: RPG Style Guides
Post by: Willow on April 18, 2009, 08:54:37 AM
Not really, but it's best to have a coherent style throughout.

Look at 4th Edition D&D:  The Player's Handbook directly addresses the player, the DM's guide directly addresses the DM, the Monster Manual doesn't address anyone, and the Adventurer's vault addresses the reader as reader.

Burning Empires is written in 3rd person, but it's usually not as directly addressed to the reader as the D&D books in the main text- but there are a series of asides/sidebars that are very direct.  Mouseguard does the same, and has symbols based on whether the text is addressing the player or the GM.

Title: Re: RPG Style Guides
Post by: Seamus on April 18, 2009, 10:16:15 AM
Thanks Willow. My problem is I am working on a complete game, and some sections I want to address the players (character creation, skills, etc), in others I want to adress GMs (combat, adventure design, GM section), and in sections like equipment and setting I prefer to keep it 3rd person. I just don't know if this will come accross as being all over the place.

Title: Re: RPG Style Guides
Post by: Luke on April 20, 2009, 06:29:27 AM
Dogs in the Vineyard and My Life with Master also are informative examples of authorial voice in rpgs.


Title: Re: RPG Style Guides
Post by: Ashirgo on May 28, 2009, 11:14:33 AM
As is Sorcerer ;)

Find a style which you like most, I am fully convinced that your target audience (whoever it is) will not care much, unless you offend their intelligence, which would be indeed a bad idea :)


Title: Re: RPG Style Guides
Post by: Daniel B on May 28, 2009, 06:33:44 PM
My communications professor would say that styles change with era, but that the current business climate recommends you speak directly to the reader; professionally but like you're in a conversation with them. That way, they feel involved and are more likely to read to the end of the document. Sounds good to me, so the advice stuck with me.