Archaic Words mystery Rewrite: 1


i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
I blame the English. Victorians, Edwardians, whatever. It’s their fault. Their dictionaries, grammars, and taxonomies. The incessant need to explain everything. There’s a song lyric I’m fond of: If you think I’m magical, ‘Cause roses bloom with my touch, that’s mathematical, I think you think too much, I touch roses.

Trying to explain something kills the mystery. It stops the mind from wondering and filling in the details. Just let it BE. There’s a mouth on the wall talking to you. Why is that? Who cares. “I cast magic mouth and then a contingency spell and then I cast permanence and then …” Oh boy. Good job. You explained how a mouth can appear on a wall using a pre-defined set of things that appear in a rulebook. You’re the designer (or DM.) You don’t got to explain shit. You get to make shit up. It is because you said it is. The rules are irrelevant to you, you get to make up whatever you want. It is because it is. You touch roses. The mathematical explanation is irrelevant. The roses bloom. WHY do the roses bloom? Is it important? It usually isn’t. But in explaining why then the mystery surrounding the phenomena is eradicated. And the soul dies just a little bit more. The mouth exists. Focus on the gem INSIDE of the mouth. STOP EXPLAINIG WHY
Rick Stump addresses a bit of this at the end of his article on Building Tension at his Don’t Split the Party blog. In particular, he focuses on creating positive emotional connections for the players by engaging their imaginations and the human mania for their minds to fill in the blanks and WONDER>


Should be playing D&D instead
Ah, you mean "the unnecessary over-explanations of 'how'".

"Archaic Words mystery" sounds like you were about to go into a rant against needlessly complicated old words, added presumably to sound smart rather than for an ease of understanding by the reader; words like "ignominious" or "inimical"... you know, PrinceofNothing-type words :).


8, 8, I forget what is for
From the blog post Bryce references:
Or, more bluntly, if your characters have no concern or care for NPCs and their own PCs they won't care that much when bad things happen. Even worse, they won't care as much when good things happen, either. To build real tension you must first involve your players in the game world in a positive way. The best way, as I mention here and have mentioned in the past, is through NPC interactions. I said 'best', not 'easiest'. One of the best things you can do for your long-term campaign growth, in my opinion, is have the majority of your PC with NPC interactions be positive.
This totally mirrors my own experiences. I agree strongly.
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The Heretic

Should be playing D&D instead
As a tangent, I think the following quote sums up exactly why the Star Wars prequels, and all prequels for that matter, were utter failures.

Trying to explain something kills the mystery. It stops the mind from wondering and filling in the details. Just let it BE.