Friday, July 21, 2006

"You" Means the GM

I got an interesting comment from Andrew Craig regarding my blurb for Mortal Coil on IPR:

"<...with magic powerful or subtle depending on your desires.>

'Aha, so it supports GM fiat', I thought."
This is interesting, because that is totally counter to the intent of that sentence in the blurb. As soon as Andrew pointed this out to me, it seems completely obvious how you could mistake the intent of that sentence. When I say "you" in this blurb, I mean all of the players, but when you read back cover copy on a game, "you" almost always means the GM, the assumed audience for a rulebook. Coming from that perspective, "depending on your desires" means the GM's desires, leading to, as Andrew says, fiat.

I do plan on editing the blurb a bit based on his feedback, but this was fascinating to realize.

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At 6:03 PM, Anonymous luke said...

Thor and I were very careful to use "the players," "the GM," and "the group" when writing the instructions for Burning Empires. We were conscious of this assumption that the text is only addressed to the GM and wanted to make sure that we were explicit in our apportioning of power within the game.

I'm sure some of the oldthink slipped through though. It's very, very hard to eliminate, especially when I'm a recovering oldthinker!


At 6:48 PM, Blogger Brennan Taylor said...

Yeah, luckily this is in ad copy. I think I'm pretty clear in the text about which type of player I am addressing.


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