Thursday 24 June 2021


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You might think I'm anti-lore, based on some of the ways I've talked about those long sections of background prose that we've come to expect from RPGs. Timelines, pantheons, maps.

Well, I sort of am, but only when it just doesn't matter.

If the world was created millions of years ago by Elemental Titans then I don't really care what their names are... unless I can invoke their power by speaking them.

If the great city of Notlantia fell into the ocean in the great age of disaster then I'm sort of disinterested... until the drowned armies emerge from the seas for vengeance.

If the calendar of this land has a special leap-day every five years, where any remaining debts are claimed with blood... well if you're telling me about that then you'd better follow it up with "...and that day is today!"

I love lore and magic and religion in game settings, but I don't love them more than the game itself. I want it to matter, and while so much of that comes down to the specific way the GM is prepping, I've read enough lore that just feels incompatible with the reality of the game table.

I still largely prefer games that deliver their world through Tone, but when I want to dive into that rich well of Lore, I want it to really matter.


  1. Definitely. I want to be able to dive in and play, and too much fluff is bad for that.

  2. That sounds a bit like a game equivalent of the old 'show don't tell' adage

  3. In general I agree, but this also depends on what kind of campaign you are playing/running. If you are playing the same setting for years, things can be important without being immediate.