Ads

Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: How much fluff is too much fluff?  (Read 961 times)
For the Emperor!
Flumph
*


View Profile
« on: October 07, 2013, 04:15:18 PM »

How much is too much?

I was looking at my Amethyst Isles campaign setting recently and discovered I had almost 9,000 words written about, what is essentially, an island the size of Whales. As I look at what I have written, a lot of it feels fairly surface level and is practically begging me to delve more deeply into every aspect of the Isle. However, that got me thinking - when have you written too much? A long time ago, I created a setting bible for my Amalga setting. It was almost 30 pages. If I format my Amethyst Isle fluff in the same manner (and include pictures) I would end up with a document that is almost as long as my setting bible. That bible covered the entire continent of Amalga, where as my Amethyst Isles fluff concerns itself with a single, tiny island.

Have I written too much about one small part of the world? When do you guys feel you have written too much about one area? Are there any benchmarks you follow when writing fluff for your settings?
Logged

Iä! Iä!
Yrthak
*


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 04:47:03 PM »

Elemental_Elf

I was looking at my Amethyst Isles campaign setting recently and discovered I had almost 9,000 words written about, what is essentially, an island the size of Whales.
The physical size of the area isn't very relevant to the question. One might write as much about a single town and still have many important things left to be said about it. It's all about how close you want to zoom in, and how much in the way of interesting details you are able to inject into the place.

I'd say that you have written enough when you feel that you've included everything that truly needs to be told. When (if ever) you've written too much is a lot harder to judge.
Logged

¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
Paragon * (Paragon Rules) * Savage Age (Wiki) * Argyrian Empire

Spawn of Ungoliant
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 05:38:30 PM »

It depends on the specific context you're dealing with.  Like, in a game book designed to give a GM a broad overview of the setting in preparation for play, you'd want to be synoptic rather than detailed.  But if it's just world-building for its own sake, or in preparation to run a specific area or something, I don't see how there can ever really be too much fluff.  One could maybe talk about necessary vs. unnecessary information, or useful vs. non-useful information, or even interesting vs. uninteresting information.  But in terms of sheer quantity, I don't see how more could ever really be worse.
Logged


Incandescent Phoenix
Gelatinous Cube
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 06:35:48 PM »

Elemental_Elf

How much is too much?

It kind of depends on your audience, too. Can you imagine typical D&D players wanting to go as deep in setting mythos as some Old WoD material? I guess, ideally, you'd want the presentation to lend itself to a person being able to get an overview and drill down deeper on aspects that interest them.

Aaaaaand that gave me an idea for presenting my own work.
Logged

Latest Release: Echoes of Angels

NEW site mattlarkin.net - author of the Skyfall Era and Relics of Requiem Books
incandescentphoenix.com - publishing, editing, web design

Stream-of-Consiousness Prophet.
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 06:44:05 PM »

no, you have not written too much fluff.
not even close.  get back to work.
Logged

VerkonenVreeg, The Nice.Celtricia, World of Factions

Steel Island Online gaming thread
The Collegium Arcana Online Game
Old, evil, twisted, damaged, and afflicted.  Orbis non sufficit.Thread Murderer Extraordinaire, and supposedly pragmatic...\"That is my interpretation. That the same rules designed to reduce the role of the GM and to empower the player also destroyed the autonomy to create a consistent setting. And more importantly, these rules reduce the Roleplaying component of what is supposed to be a \'Fantasy Roleplaying game\' to something else\"-Vreeg

(Salacious Angel)
Flail Snail
*


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 08:18:57 PM »

LordVreeg

no, you have not written too much fluff.
not even close.  get back to work.
*cracks whip*

Two principle questions drive my worldbuilding: 1) how likely are the protagonists to encounter this?; and 2) how consequential is it once the protagonists do encounter it?

If the answer to either question is "not at all" then I skip it.

Fluff, or fiction, is just crunch with more flexible interpretations. Fiction governs protagonist expectation while mechanics govern player expectation. For both fiction and mechanics, I don't write rules I'll never use.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 08:22:29 PM by Salacious Angel » Logged

Stream-of-Consiousness Prophet.
Flumph
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 05:59:34 PM »

i create the way i do based on a few principles, as well.

One is the theory of crossreferrential logic. 
The more you create, the more sense everything you create makes.  The more you create an internal logic, the more internal logic the setting has, the easier and more congruent any spur of the moment content will be.

Logged

VerkonenVreeg, The Nice.Celtricia, World of Factions

Steel Island Online gaming thread
The Collegium Arcana Online Game
Old, evil, twisted, damaged, and afflicted.  Orbis non sufficit.Thread Murderer Extraordinaire, and supposedly pragmatic...\"That is my interpretation. That the same rules designed to reduce the role of the GM and to empower the player also destroyed the autonomy to create a consistent setting. And more importantly, these rules reduce the Roleplaying component of what is supposed to be a \'Fantasy Roleplaying game\' to something else\"-Vreeg

Nunk1/Curmudgeon19 : too lazy for epic levels
Owlbear
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 09:41:13 PM »

I think the question is really about "too much for whom to do what?" Much of my Great Walls of Text are written for use in GMing - a lot of it players wouldn't know, some of it they shouldn't know. Further, some player-level information depends upon who/what is being played - different characters may well have conflicting information based upon inherent assumptions arising from race, religion, profession, etc. The trouble here really is in handling "clearance levels" and need-to-know access. For the GM I think the more information available the better. Note however, this doesn't mean that the GM necessarily needs to know all of it, e.g., to run a campaign squarely set in the southern hemisphere the GM can readily ignore descriptions of northern hemisphere cultures. The write-up on Salis Freeport is currently twice the length of the material regarding the entire Malenorian Empire because it's far more likely to be a campaign location. (I actually need to find a way to make the Empire itself a little more playable should someone wish too - as it stands gamers are no more likely to want to play a campaign within it's borders than characters in the game world would want to visit there. . .)  Even so, it could stand to be better organized in top-down fashion so a GM can readily see (before having to read through it) if the information (such as the subtleties of citizenship, taxation and voting rights) is actually relevant to the campaign. Ultimately, I don't think you can write too much flavor. (I hate the word "fluff" as it implies a lack of substance while referring to the very substance of the setting. . .) You can however require GMs and players to read too much if it isn't organized well enough for them to determine beforehand which portions they do and don't need for their game.
Logged

In accordance with Prophecy. . .

Have Fun, Play Well,
Amergin O'Kai (Sr./Br. Hand Grenade of Seeing All Sides of the Situation)

I am not Fallen. That was a Power Dive!


I read banned minds.

Worldbuilding keeps me...sane'ish
Squark
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 01:47:43 AM »

IMO you have not crossed the line of too much fluff.  Don't worry about that until your hands start to bleed from the typing/writing.  Dive in and write more, it never hurts and you can always trim later.  Of course this advice comes from someone whose latest project has ballooned beyond 50k.

You're fine keep going!
Logged

Current project : D&D - The Middle Lands of Keltor - The Thread - The setting's PDF

Last project : Gamma World - The Village of Attwatta - The Guardian is Dead

Side project : Little Fears - Grace Home for Lost Children - A setting and adventure

(Salacious Angel)
Flail Snail
*


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 07:02:32 AM »

Fortunato

You're fine keep going!
His junkie pixies alone are worth about 10'000 words.
Logged

Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to: