If you are not familiar with #RPGaDay, then please read this page first. For the 19th day of #RPGaDay the question is:
Which RPG features the best writing?
My tweeted answer is: #RPGaDay 19, #RPG, for me #L5R, more shout-outs at:
Like many others answering this, I’ve decided to go overboard in regards to special shout-outs.
In Nomine, Dogs in the Vineyard, Fading Suns, various GURPS sourcebooks, Exalted, Witchcraft, Cyberpunk’s Night City Sourcebook, Unknown Armies. Maybe even something like H.o.L. 😉
As a kid I thought Manual of the Planes 1st ed. by Jeff Grubb was the greatest sourcebook. Even to this day that series is still one of my favourite RPG supplements. The writing sets the ideas out well, providing enough metaphysics for the reader to make great games from. Besides his other work, Jeff joined Guild Wars to work on Nightfall and continued to work with ANet leading towards the splendour of Guild Wars 2. Interestingly Jeff co-wrote the Ghosts of Ascalon, a Guild Wars 2 novel with another RPG standout, Matt Forbeck notable for working on Deadlands, amongst other work.
I really like the way Cryptomancer was written. A key design goal was to explain concepts like hacking, security and privacy concepts. I found Chad Walker’s explanations to be well explained.
I love the writing and diversity of the classic World of Darkness games. From the simple rules, the numerous examples, the amount of short stories and in-character overviews in the various sourcebooks, to the totally in-character books like the Book of Nod or Fragile Path. I have so many choices from this setting, and of special note Orpheus.
I really enjoyed reading Aberrant. The old Trinity Verse has some exquisite writing, but Aberrant really stands out to me. Besides liking the rules explanation, I particular loved the in-character pieces that made up the first 100 pages of the book. The whole product was superb.
L5R won out for me. The first book presented the massive amounts of cultural detail well. Whilst many other RPGs are great, I feel that L5R went that extra mile. I also found the rules to be quite clear, as I mentioned for Day 16.
Also of note for L5R is the L5R City of Lies boxset, by Greg Stolze. I was part of Greg’s playtest for his game Reign, so I got to see different iterations of that game, and thus Greg’s writing. I find Greg’s work to be enjoyable and accessible, and he has quite a diverse range of games and fiction.
Sunglar’s blog has a great write-up, and I nearly made the same choice, I’ll not spoil it, and I recommend checking it out.
A good breakdown by Runeslinger at Casting Shadows.
Another RPG I’d considered is discussed by Nolinquisitor. A great explanation about why he made his choice: