Editorial: Does Storyline Sell?

Yoda-reading-small

Well – Does it? Pull up a chair outside of your favorite overpriced cafe, and read on!

When you travel to your local bookstore, tucked away in the darkest, least social section of the science-fiction/fantasy, you’ll be sure to find a selection of titles categorized as ‘media tie-in’. These books are written by a stable of authors, with settings and story lines based on comic books, movies, television shows, and most importantly, games. From TSR to Wizards of the Coast, Games Workshop and even most recently Privateer Press, gaming companies have printed innumerable pages of narrative based on their characters and settings. But the question remains, How often does the story sell you on a game or faction?

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Its So Fluffy

Since the early 80’s, when TSR games were cutting their teeth in the gaming world, they began to produce novels set in the Greyhawk world of Oerth, developed by Gary Gygax. After many titles were published and moderate success and readership was gained, they continued to expand their settings as well and their new releases, as Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis wrote the Dragonlance Chronicles, which contained almost a dozen volumes. IN addition, TSR had many other books written for Forgotten Realms, Mystara, Birthright, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planscape, and Ravenloft settings. One of the longest lasting and most popular of these novels are the continuing adventures of Drizzt Do’Urden, a drow ranger from the world of Forgotten Realms, that has continued on for nearly 25 years, and has even become a New York Times bestselling series.

FASA Corporation also took to writing several novels to promote their gaming product. Both of their RPG titles of Shadowrun and Earthdawn have several titles to their name. Their tabletop wargame of Battletech had multiple series spanning a few various timelines in their history that were available as well. White Wolf Games published many books set within the World of Darkness setting. Even Magic the Gathering has more than two dozen novels that explore the worlds created by the collectible card game. The computer games of Blizzard Entertainment’s Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo all have novels written about their characters and history. There is a literal library of books in print for the sole purpose of promoting games, their settings and overall gaming culture.

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There I go…turn the page…

The question that remains is this: Why so many books? The answer is simple. The gaming publishers keep your attention on the setting and the brand of game that you play. Its another way to maintain your business by letting you buy into the franchise. By engaging the readers with interesting story lines and history, the players become more involved and entrenched with the game and will be more willing to purchase additional products in the future, whether or not they be specific to the game. These trends of the 80’s and 90’s continue today, with Wizards of the Coast still releasing new and reprinted books that are set in the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons, Black Library has come to dominate the media tie-in market, becoming one of the largest publishers in sci-fi/fantasy. Even Fantasy Flight Games has begun publishing books for their Arkham Horror board game. There is even a Settlers of Catan novel!

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Perhaps its not the companies’ sinister marketing gimmicks that are to blame for the variety of novels they produce. Maybe its our rabid consumerism in gaming that feeds their machines of capitalistic avarice. Whatever the case may be, they’ll keep writing them, as long as we keep reading them. With more and more authors going to write media tie-in novels, the genre will continue to expand. Black Library has been awarded the David Gemmel award for best fantasy novel and in addition, their Horus Heresy titles are topping the New York Times bestseller list for science fiction with at least three separate titles. These types of publications constitute at least 15% of all sci-fi/fantasy sales and that number is growing every year.

Without an interesting setting or an engaging history to build upon, the games we play become stale, repetitive, Monopoly even. So does the story make the game? Or does the game write the story? Maybe both. By playing the games set in these various worlds, you yourself dictate part of the history, and the outcomes of their destinies. So you have to ask yourself, “What story will you write?”

 

Does fluff really make or break games?

Geoff Barton spends most of his time locked away reading the works of H.P. Lovecraft by the light that comes through under the cellar door. For additional feedback and complaints, email him!

  • Grumpy Scot

    It does for me. Age of Sigmar’s poor quality fluff, for example, is a complete deal breaker for me. I -need- story to be able to get into the game.

    • euansmith

      Hopefully they will build on it over the years. After all WFB started out a very generic fantasy; like a D&D massed battle game with some nice bits lifted from Mike Moorcock.

      • vlad78

        imho the basic tenets of the AOS universe are so flawed that I can’t see it happening.

        • Davor Mackovic

          Fantasy was flawed, 40K is flawed. Funny enough Lord of the Rings wasn’t that much flawed but people cried about it lol.

          For me right now, I can’t get into AoS because I don’t find worth in the books. They are way over priced for me. So since I can’t get into the fluff, I can’t be bothered to by the minis.

          Now we will see if this changes with the new Chaos book. $40 still a bit high but I think it may be worth it, so will buy it and see if the worth is there and then see if I want to buy more minis.

          • vlad78

            Basically it depends on the kind of flaws a setting has.
            Fantasy of course had many weaknesses but the background was rich and intricate. The job the studio did 30 years ago to create the Empire and integrate many fantasy cliche while at the same time keep a unique feel to this universe was outstanding.

            40k was produced with almost the same level of quality and GW managed to keep the good parts mainly ove the years (whereas they spoiled the fantasy setting)

            Nobody says those game are or were perfect. But AOS is far cruder and simplistic than those. In essence in doesn”t make sense and I ‘ll elaborate with my answer below to euansmith.

        • euansmith

          I think that the AoS background works well as a cosmology, like Asgard and the Tales of the Norse Gods; but that the real fun is to be had at a lover power level. Stories of the people trying to hold it together and do their own thing against a background of distant cosmic carnage.

          • vlad78

            Imho it doesn’t work well as a cosmology because GW created the AOS world almost in a vaccum for IP sake.

            Beyong the blatant copy of Northen mythology there’s nothing.

            You might say they will provide deeper stories over the time but I seriously doubt it for several reasons.

            – First, as I said the AOS world exist in a vaccum.

            Prevously GW had created a mythology with solid foundations not only by integrating common fantasy or sci fi ideas but also by providing a logical explanation of their universe which explained everything else.

            Their universe be it wfb or 40K was separated between real space and the warp a realm of psychic energies. Living beings in real space fed the warp with their emotions, and in return the warp was influencing reality.

            And the most interesting concept was chaos, the perverted and sentient embodiment of every feelings the living had experienced. Chaos is a kind of cancer, seeking to invade real space and destroy everything in its ever growing hunger. But at the same time, victory of chaos means death for the livings and the end of chaos itself which will be starved of emotions. It was a kind of cycle.

            In AOS there’s nothing as such. Magic and chaos are not coming form the warp, powered by emotions coming from the living beings of the universe. They are self powered, they exist because they are, there’s no other explanation than that and all the gods should have dies with the old world.

            There’s no other founding principle for those new realms.

            Sigmar survived because they needed him to survive in a pure deus ex machina move after a disastrous End times conclusion.

            – Second, the rich wfb background was directly the consequence of the early decision of GW to create a roleplaying game to rival D&D. They were forced to deepen and rationalize their world.

            And when GW abandonned the RPG, the old world became again an excuse for armies to fight, nothing else. And this is the reason of the evolution of the background toward some simplier high fantasy during the last 20 years.

            There is absolutely no incentive to complexify the setting now, GW does not aim to provoke a suspension of disbelief nor have the skill required anymore.

            What did they keep from the old world? Some names, only. But not much else.

            Take the fyreslayers. They were outcast dwarves fighting to regain their honor, still in touch with the celtic aesthetic of dwarven armies.
            Now they are what? naked and fat mercenaries with grec/aztecs helmets fighting for UR GOLD (YOUR GOLD?). Cynicism taken at its best.

            What’s te lik ng between the barbarian god, Sigmar and thos stormcasts? The hammers?

            Those names are just an excuse to reused some copyrighted names but that’s it.

            Therefore AOS is not backed by the old world mythology nor cosmology as thing exists in AOS without a logical and cool explanation.

            AOS has no coherency right at its roots.

          • euansmith

            He-he, I like that…

            “Ve heff cum fur Ur Gold…”

            “Ur Gold? We don’t have any Ur Gold…”

            “Nein, you are misunderstandink… Yu-or Gold… Ve heff cum fur Your Gold!”

            “Uh, right, I understand you now… Wait?! What?!”

  • The fluff and fiction are the only reason I’m still interested in 40k and the Horus Heresy. I haven’t spent money on miniatures in 5 years and over, but I have almost religiously bought the novels, up until the massive drop in quality due to GW proper taking charge and turning them into glorified marketing brochures and cutting the page count in half or less.

    Even when I started out, the fluff was what sold me on it. I soaked up the background covered in WD, back when it actually had narrative content. I devoured the novels.

    I am even clinging to the hope that Age of Sigmar will actually become decent one day and follow the stories released for that. But so far, the best stories for that setting are the ones that only pay lip service to AoS as a setting by name-dropping Sigmar and the mortal realms. Nothing in the fluff inspires me to want to go and pick up a single model or buy print copies for my shelf. The fluff is what would sell me on it, regardless of the dreck rules. As of now, half a year, four Realmgate Wars anthologies, 4 audio dramas, about 30 short stories in, it has failed to do anything for me.

    Contrast that with WHFB, where I wanted to convert various old characters from the fluff or novels, catering to their special gear or color schemes, and you have a loser in AoS. Doesn’t help that all the characters so far look the same as the Battletome archetype, with no variations in gear.

    Similarly, I have been reading a lot of Privateer Press’ Skull Island eXpeditions stories, though releases there have slowed to a crawl in recent history. The novellas they put out, like The Butcher of Khardov or The Way of Khaine, made me look into the game, miniatures, and tempted me to buy a starter box (though I still haven’t managed to decide which faction to go for). The anthology released to accompany the video game for Warmachine also managed to get me invested in the new characters.

  • benn grimm

    Without a good story, they’re just nice little things, enjoyable, but far from compelling.

    • euansmith

      My boss has over 300 Monster High dolls, but I’m not sure which appeals to him more, the dolls or the fluff.

      • vlad78

        I’m not sure this is a widespread habit. ;p

        I’m sure you can find some people collecting every AOS miniatures because of the aesthetic, but there are far more people also collecting miniatures or toys because of the fluff associated with it.

        Like Darkchaplain above, it’s the fluff above everything else which got me interested in GW miniatures.

        and that’s where Mantic is still lacking ATM.

        • euansmith

          Mantic is starting to build up a stable of characters. They are fairly generic at the moment (gruff dwarf, snooty elf, sweaty barbarian, creepy necromancer), but they are slowly adding to the depth. The new Salamander and Naiad races are showing a drift away from the most generic fantasy tropes. Fingers crossed they stick with it and make something fun.

  • Jeff Daniels

    Yeah, Games Workshop lost me with Age of Sigmar. The rules are fun enough, I like narrative gaming and don’t care about the lack of a point system. And the miniatures are gorgeous.

    But the hamfisted way the Old World was killed off, the overly complicated plots and backstories, the terrible writing, the stupid new faction names, and that godawful, godawful logo really don’t inspire me to get and stay involved in the game.

    When I want to play a fantasy wargame, I’m going to spend my time and energies on the 3rd and 7th editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle instead.

    I don’t begrudge Games Workshop for killing off Warhammer Fantasy Battle if it wasn’t selling. But I do kinda resent them replacing all the great and storied Old World background with the current Age of Sigmar dreck.

    And that logo really is terrible. Did I mention that? I know Games Workshop designers sometimes read this blog. Your Age of Sigmar logo is awful.

    • Davor Mackovic

      I thought the logo was terrible as well, then I saw it yesterday and thought it was ok, a nice throw back. Problem is, I don’t want something from the 90’s or 80’s but want something current. If we want something retro, I think D&D would be the place to go for a lot of people.

  • Heinz Fiction

    A compelling fluff separates the great games from the good.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    the setting is vital. I’m not sure GW understands that though. They seem to think they can sustain AoS with just good models. I don’t think this is possible, especially since the models seem to divide opinion.

  • Frank O’Donnell

    GW’s the perfect example of fluff selling a game & while these days the fluff is not enough to get me playing 40K it’ more they enough to have me play INQ28, bth FFG’s are doing a better job on 40K fluff these days with the RPG’s

    • Davor Mackovic

      I think you are sort of correct. Fluff can get people interested in a game, but it will not sell a game. After all no matter how good the fluff was for Fantasy, GW decisions killed the game, not the people.

      So no matter how good the fluff is, if the player base doesn’t like the rule changes, the imbalance and lack of support no great fluff will save a game.

      Sadly GW is going down the same slope. They threw out the baby with the bath water but still are making the same decisions, history is repeating its self. Now as of today, GW looks like they may be changing. Time will tell now if they are going down a different route now.

      • I’d like to counter that with The End Times. The fluff expansion to WHFB DEFINITELY sold the game on a lot of people, and increased sales across the board. It only slowed down by the final books, because of how it wiped the slate clean, and rumors of a complete reboot became more credible.

        The fluff sold a truckload in that case, even though model releases were few and far between (nothing at all with book 3, for example). People started new armies and massively expanded their old ones.

        • Cameron Chapman

          Yeah, The End Times is certainly Case #1 as to how fluff can sell games – people want to see universes progress, after all.
          Shame about the end result.

  • Captain Raptor

    I think fluff is the most important part of any game. I don’t think GW would last a month if they didn’t have some very compelling fluff for 40k.

    One just needs to look to AoS to see the effects that poor fluff can have on a game.

    • Davor Mackovic

      What results? Age of Sigmar is still around. New products are still being sold. I find it funny you say that 40K wouldn’t last one month but AoS has last 1/2 a year so far.

      So going by what you said, AoS is better and greater than 40K if 40K can’t last a month and AoS is still around.

      • Sold in smaller amounts than WHFB moved, to the point where even the starter box still isn’t selling out and independent stores have to mark them down so hard, they’re taking losses on their investment.

        Age of Sigmar isn’t selling, and even the big 40k and Horus Heresy releases in the last half a year couldn’t overshadow the massive drop in sales from AoS.

  • Ira Clements

    The original War of the Lance trilogy were actually the first novels TSR published set in a D&D world. They were more or less the first pieces of novel sized fiction directly tied to a game setting that I can remember and they were very well done as the authors are just flat out good writers. Gaming related fiction though since has varied widely.

    • Jeff Daniels

      A bit of trivia for you—the first novel set in a Dungeons & Dragons setting was “Quag Keep”, written by science-fiction author Andre Norton, and published by DAW Books, way back in 1979.

      She worked with Gary Gygax (and I believe she even participated in a gaming session) to write a novel set in The World of Greyhawk.

      I’ve read it, and it’s not bad. She does a really good job of bringing Greyhawk to life. Some of the geography of the world has changed since the book was written, but it’s still a good read for anyone who uses the setting.

      My only complaint is that the novel uses the “people our the modern world are transported to the world of the game” trope, like the old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon.

  • Talos2

    Well of course it does. The run away success of the Horus heresy during a time when gw seem to be coming under pressure from all other aspects proves it, not to mention the success of games based on the Star Wars universe. X wing wouldn’t be the huge success without the Star Wars brand and customer knowledge of the fluff. Aeronautica imperialis, if true, will be successful and do well amongst people already into gw, but it won’t transcend as x wing has as general public don’t recognise the brand or the fluff. There are loads of examples that prove fluff is hugely important. Fluff needs to stay relevant though and respect what has gone before, gw selling me £300 of end times books only for AoS to say “oh it’s alright almost nothing really died” just made me decide not to buy the AoS fluff books.

  • Erik Setzer

    For me, the story is important. It’s how I can pull myself into a universe and really “live” it. I enjoy games like WoW, SWTOR, Fallout, Wasteland, Elder Scrolls, etc. because of the story. Even games like Saints Row, a series where the story might get pretty crazy, but it’s still surprisingly coherent (and the craziness was a conscious decision not to be just another GTA clone). I can get into a game like Battlefield: Bad Company better than a Call of Duty game because the story is more interesting. That’s where the story really starts making the difference. We should expect that story is important in a role-playing game, because otherwise, why would you want to play the role you’re in? But an action-oriented game, that’s when it gets important. Halo got a lot of people interested because it had an interesting story, and it was that desire to learn more than led to not just the books taking off, but various movies and video series.

    In terms of miniatures games, story helps us “get into character.” I remember some older boxes for Space Marine even being labeled “3D Role Play.” Rogue Trader’s approach basically was as a role-playing style game with miniatures. Warhammer Fantasy Battles grew out of a desire to make better combat systems for D&D, a role-playing game. Story was important for those kind of games. Granted, its role as a more generic game meant WFB started out kind of generic, but shifted to build its own world, and it really took off after that.

    So yes, story is most certainly important to the gaming world at large, not just myself personally. But I suppose you’re only asking what my opinion is.

    The games I’ve found most interesting over the years are the ones I’ve looked into the background and found it interesting enough to buy into. Obviously the 40K universe was one of them, with Orks being the big choice for me, because their original background (which they’re slowly inching back toward) was of a bunch of guys who viewed the universe as a big party and fighting’s just one of the things you do at a party for fun. They weren’t good or evil, they just existed to enjoy life. And they were amusing. Orcs in WFB were much like this, and got me to enjoy Orcs/Orks in all of GW’s game systems and some others beyond, though sometimes I’m less enthused about those Orcs because they’re just beastly almost-mindless warriors intent on destruction. There was more of a world around the beloved greenskins, though, and I enjoyed diving into things like how the Inquisition works (if you could say it works), how Genestealers infiltrated societies and built cults, all kinds of stuff. It all worked together, too.

    I jumped into Warzone back in its first incarnation because it had an interesting story that I could get into. While I’ve got figures and/or books for such games as Chronopia, Leviathan, or Warlord, I can’t tell you what they were about, so I’m not that bothered by them being left in the past. When I look around right now at other games, the story has to at least have some groundwork that works. Kings of War, Beyond the Gates of Antares, these have story I can work with. (And if I find KoW’s story not entirely getting my interest, I can break out a WFB army to play it with, and imagine I’m playing that army). I haven’t read enough about Warmachine to really pull me into that game, but it does look like there’s enough fluff to keep me involved if I did. (It’s more that I’m still trying to locate the elusive WM group locally, and their figures are slipping into silly price range while games get bigger… maybe not quite to GW levels, but close enough that it’s deadening my interest, which makes me want to avoid anything that could threaten to pull me in more.)

    Story is one of the reasons I don’t like Age of Sigmar. I could write so much about it, but I’ll try to summarize (and yes, this will be summary-length compared to what I *could* say). There’s no explanation on what exactly the realms are. They seem like chunks of planet, but then we’re also given hints that fighting is occurring throughout the galaxy (or even universe), but the realms aren’t big enough to really cover that, so it seems like the story is trying to give an impression of a larger scale than it really is. They’re trying to act like it’s a sequel to WFB and End Times, but that leaves so many questions about the existence of certain characters or even races. We see some characters wiped from existence, their very memory destroyed, their own mind wiped… yet here they are, no explanation as to how they exist, or why Malekith suddenly forgot his name, or how they’re all seemingly immortal (given that it’s been thousands of years). The inclusion of rules for armies that will eventually be phased out of the fluff means there’s a disconnect inside the fluff… Armies like the Empire and Bretonnians clearly don’t exist in the AoS universe, but rather than wipe clean the slate, AoS is left trying to wedge in elements that don’t belong, and it makes for a jumbled mess. In some cases, the explanations don’t make much sense, like how the Lizardmen are basically daemons now in function, which seems for an odd choice to fight Chaos daemons. Skaven advanced in WFB to have some fun new toys, but now here we are thousands of years later and they stagnated, though they at least can “gnaw holes through reality,” which is a phrase that makes absolutely no sense because it’s trying to match the Skaven’s old penchant for burrowing out of the ground with a new setting that involves everyone at vast interstellar distances from each other (again, without explaining how that really works). The attempt to create stakes actually removes the stakes: Chaos beat Sigmar back and took over everywhere for at least hundreds of years, and as we saw with End Times, they wipe everything out when that happens, but despite this being a direct sequel to End Times (supposedly), Chaos suddenly reverses the MO that’s called standard in that story. They don’t kill everyone, they just destroy all societies. Okay, so how did they leave room for creating new societies? They have to say that part of the story was wrong. And since Sigmar is now fighting back, it means the only direction for the story to go is positive (overall). The bad guys already won, and showed they can’t finish the job, and weren’t strong enough to win when they didn’t have a new god creating a legion of faceless warriors wearing the exact same armor like the most glittering boring legion ever created. I tried reading the fiction, and one story talked about these survivors, trying to paint a bleak picture, basically saying people were lucky to make it to 20, didn’t live past 30, and the young and weak were usually caught first when Chaos attacked. Add it all up, and it’s impossible for those people not to have been wiped out decades, if not centuries, ago. I feel I should stop myself here before I keep going on and on… it’s just that the more I read of the story (multiple battletomes, the first two fluff books, some of the stories), the more it feels like they quickly rushed together a “story” made of buzzwords and unformed ideas they thought might sound cool to someone out there, and threw them all in a blender, without concern for story cohesion. As such, the background makes my head hurt to think about. So far, the new factions for it have been the dull faceless glittering warriors who all look the same (even more so than Space Marines!), generic Chaos with designs that show someone’s trying to show off their love of skulls even where it makes no sense, and the Riverdance Bridage of Nekkid Dwarfs who threw blocky chunks of metal on their weapons in a vague representation of chain or made obnoxiously long weapons they couldn’t swing, because the Riverdance Brigade thinks that having useless weapons makes you more manly or something? (Maybe it’s just because they are a dance troupe and don’t know how weapons work.) But at least there’s Norwegian Death Metal Lizards. But yeah, let’s end with noting how ridiculous the names for races sound. They’re still doing fantasy trope races, but want to trademark everything, so insist on using awful names that are a mess to pronounce (and horrible to use for the “uninitiated” who know what a Dwarf, Elf, Orc, Ogre, or Troll is, but not a Duardin, Aelf, Orruk, Oggor, or Troggoth), which creates even more of a mess with their insistence of trying to wedge in the old characters and armies, who now are supposed to think they’re called something else. Oh, oh! And I don’t want to forget how there’s a complete lack of any regular people to care about, so there’s nothing for all these Warrior Men (yeah, the lack of women in the new models is a problem too) to fight for, no reason to even care if they win or lose.

    Yeah, more than the lack of any kind of mechanic to make pick-up games easier, that’s what bugs me about AoS. The background is worse than the worst fan fiction I’ve read on the Internet, and I’ve read some awful stuff over the years.

    But hey, that’s my personal opinion. Some people think a jumbled incoherent mess that contradicts itself way too often is a good building block and sounds exciting. (To be fair, though, those same people would defend the game and its background even if it was just a paragraph of, “These people exist. They fight. Some of them are different. Sometimes they fight together. The fighting never ends.”)

    • Erik Setzer

      Eh, sorry about the length, folks. I was trying to rationally explain my points and expand on them. I know that’s not “hip” on the Internet.

      I forgot to note as well that certain games can get away with not creating their own background because they have established background, notable historical games. Bolt Action, Flames of War, various games set in ancient, medieval, Napoleonic, Renaissance, Revolution, Civil War, etc. eras all have existing “story” to use, so they don’t need to come up with something new. (The ones who decide to do deviant history, though, do need their own story. But that’s a relatively small number.)

  • LibertineIX

    It definitely matters to me. No matter how much I read Privateer Press fluff I am not fully engaged and thus, I lose a significant interest in the game (on top of all the crying that seems to accompany the game, the “substance abuse” article written hahah, what a joke that that is even considered a thing in a tabletop game). AoS has that cool concept of being reborn and losing a piece of your memory and it was captured nicely in the first Realmgate Battles book and that’s about it, for the most part, it reads like the game, two sides just charging through an empty battlefield with no character development, no strategy, very blah.

  • Ben

    It’s why I stopped playing Assasins Creed. Then they started giving us a weak, tacked on modern day.. I was gone. It’s what kept me coming.

  • Cameron Chapman

    I started playing Infinity for the rules, and while I enjoyed the game didn’t see myself going beyond my original 300-point-Nomad plan. When I started to read the fluff in a friend’s copy of the actual rulebook rather than the rules-only PDF, though, I immediately went and backed the RPG kickstarter, dug up a copy of Campaign Paradiso and now I just want Acheron Falls to come out so I can see exactly how doomed the Human Sphere really is once the full force of the Combined Army arrives.

    Admittedly, this started by finding out that Australia bought out chunks of the world because they didn’t have a space program and the Ariadna attempt failed horribly bankrupting basically everyone else. That was so funny to me that I was sold on the rest of the fluff then and there.
    (That and how the Combined Army’s plan is basically “well, crap. We need more RAM so our supercomputer can figure out how to make us ascend from our mortal shells and escape the heat-death of the universe. Someone go get more planets to smelt into computer chips).

  • Shawn

    Without reading the article first and answering the question asked a simple “yes” will suffice. If lore (fluff) didn’t sell there would be no star wars toys and games, no super-hero toys and games, no warmachine books or warhammer books and no rpgs made for Lord of the Rings, Dragon Age, Star Wars, or Warhammer. The games are supposed to be an emulation of the created fictional universe and that’s what help sells it. Now I’ll take the time to read the article and see if my opinion changes.

    • Shawn

      Nope, my opinion hasn’t changed. The article just supports it.

  • Drpx

    I like reading fluff in my spare time, but it’s always come second to whether the game itself is actually fun to play.

  • James DeGrey

    PP has just started printing novels but since I started playing Warmahordes I have always picked up the expansion books when they have come out just for the fluff and continued storyline. same with the IKRPG core book I read cover to cover just because I enjoyed gettign a deeper look into the backgound. Warmahordes’s fluff get a lot of negative comments but I love it and it makes my minis and my armies into more than pretty bits of plastic and into actual characters and a factions with a purpose, fighting in a real world not “just because”. ( I also morn the loss of the Old World even if it was just a Tolkien/Moorcock mash up.)

    • Severius_Tolluck

      It’s weird that people always point at WM/H at being weak or light fluff, when in fact it started as an RPG first with very in depth story lines. They just eventually evolved into a wargame.