Most Unreadable Prose In An RPG?

Gareth3

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For me, anything dense in acronyms is bad - GURPS, Hero, and Traveller, among others, are largely off-limits to me because of it.
My problem with acronyms is that they force the language of the setting to be modern English, which isn't always appropriate. There's even a machine with an English acronym for a name in Autochthonia.
 

NeoSamurai

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calling out "berk" for what it is and how it's introduced to people to say in a semi-popular format isn't the same as saying don't say it. If you're comfortable with its origins and why it means what it means, keep using it. that's your choice.

just don't rationalize and justify it. own it.
 

NeoSamurai

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I love the art, but the slang is just too much for me. It isn’t “slang in general” that I dislike - Shadowrun doesn’t bother me one bit.

I think it’s the difference between “berk” and “chummer.” Ignoring the sexist aspect of the term’s origin and taking it as what it means in-game, “berk” means “idiot, fool, dumbass, asshole.” Jerk, if you will.
that's actually how it's popularly used in the UK--along with the original word. you can also see this as the intent when the Hound drops "C-bombs" in Game of Thrones.

however, the big problem with the transition of modern usage vs actual meaning can also fall in the trap of why it's wrong to say "lame" and "gay" or "retarded" in disparaging terms of reference when we aren't actually talking about disabled individuals, homosexuals or people actually suffering from mental retardation.

in either case, as I mentioned earlier, if anyone's still comfortable with the term and its connotations and wants to use it, no one's stopping them. more power to them. just quit justifying it and own it for what it is.
 

Eudaimic

Gray Fur
Validated User
I just can't read game book fiction. Tell me the rules, describe the setting, show me the map - but keep the fiction for you line of 12 best selling novels. I never read it, it's never good, and it's rarely worth the page count (I assume, because I never read it, see above).
While I'm not as hardline, why Call of Cthulhu always ships with a massive story in it breaks my brain. It's a complete waste of space.

For something like Heavy Gear where there are a few one-page stories here and there, fine. I trudge through them, but I also don't feel like it really adds much to the games I've read.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
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My nomination goes to Immortal: The Invisible War. I don't remember a lot about it, but I remember that I tried to read it and had no idea what it was talking about.
It probably wasn't the overall writing but that the author felt a compulsive need to rename every single piece of RPG terminology possible, and in the most obscure way imaginable. It was the old White Wolf tendency turned up to 11.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
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My problem with acronyms is that they force the language of the setting to be modern English, which isn't always appropriate. There's even a machine with an English acronym for a name in Autochthonia.
In most cases where I've seen games that are acronym heavy, the acronyms aren't in-setting terms; sometimes they're often terms for game mechanical elements that couldn't even rationally be referred to in-game.
 

Arbane the Terrible

11th-level Minion
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In most cases where I've seen games that are acronym heavy, the acronyms aren't in-setting terms; sometimes they're often terms for game mechanical elements that couldn't even rationally be referred to in-game.
One of (old) Exalted's conceits was that the game-mechanics WERE (mostly?) real things in the settings. Charms, Essence motes, Virtues, Stunts, all that stuff.
 

MrTim

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For me, anything dense in acronyms is bad - GURPS, Hero, and Traveller, among others, are largely off-limits to me because of it.
OK, Hero I get - OCV, DCV, NND, AVLD, OIF, etc. - but I can't off the top of my head think of a single acronym in GURPS other than the name, and while some editions of Traveller use the mnemonic SMART to indicate the sequence of events in a turn that's a) only in some more recent editions and b) again only a single instance as far as I can recall.
 

DavetheLost

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Traveller had FGMP and PGMP, fusion gun man portable, and plasma gun, man portable show up in Book 4. But I don't recall an excess of acronyms in Classic Traveller. There was a lot of modified hexadecimal numbering with letters instead of digits.

As for unreadable prose, I have to give a shout out to Call of Cthulhu 6e. The prose in that book is physically hard to read. Black text over full page, busy, grey scale background. For the entire book. OK, making it look like a tattered old manuscript was cool and atmospheric. If you were doing it for a bit of flavor text. Doing it for the whole book just makes it my least favorite edition, because I can barely read the thing. Honorable mention to all the other books that play games with putting text on top of illustrations and fancy backgrounds.
 
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