Should Wizards not assume people can just add in the fluff for Next?

I really don't want Next to follow the 4th editions stance where they just left most of the fluff up the DM or players. Fluff needs to be there for inspiration, especially when it comes to new players. Not everyone has all the fluff sitting there in their minds waiting to be used. If you don't like the present fluff then just change it or don't use it at all. I felt that this was just being very lazy and took away what D&D was as a game. I want the designers to give us more than just the numbers, I want them to give us the fluff as well as the crunch.
How much fluff do you want?  Every power, every class, and every race had fluff attached to it.  It seemed sufficient to me and I did find it inspiring.
They have a lot of fluff in 4e, it's just that they have more of it in the campaign source books and module and Dungeon than they do in the core rules. Which is fine with me, I'd rather have most of the background material seperated out into their own books and articles so the people that are interested in that sort of thing can buy them seperately and the people who aren't can simply buy the core books and that's all they need to play the game.

Really aside from short one or two sentence descriptions of each spell/power/magic item you don't need much other background material in the Players Handbook. The Monster Manual needs a paragraph or two describing the monsters since stat blocks often give you little idea what the heck the monster or its attacks actually look like. And the DMG is needs some sample background material sprinkled in to show new DMs the sorts of things they might be interested in adding to their own adventures. 
I like how 4e gave a short summary that planted ideas in my head. I don't need to know what time elves eat ice cream on Sunday. That is what campaign settings are for.
I like how 4e gave a short summary that planted ideas in my head. I don't need to know what time elves eat ice cream on Sunday. That is what campaign settings are for.



Well it's a shame that some of the camapign settings couldn't even do that.
I was extremely happy with the amount of fluff in 4E, because it did give an idea to build on. Still had little to do with my games, because I always do a homebrew world, but still. Sometimes the ideas inspired me to have better ones.
Resident jark. Resident Minister of Education and Misinformation.
Some DM's are either not ready to come up with their own stuff or they don't really have the time.
Some DM's are either not ready to come up with their own stuff or they don't really have the time.


Agreed. So such DMs can use what's in the books, which is largely sufficient unless it suddenly becomes critically important what time elves eat ice cream on Sunday, in which case the answer is 'whatever time the plot demands.'
Resident jark. Resident Minister of Education and Misinformation.

I agree with XunValDorl, a new player benefits a lot from the fluff aspects of the game. (And it makes the reading of the core books a more inspiring and funny experience)

The redbox provided a fluffy way for creating characters that worked awesome for first time players, but failed to provide some crunch (stats blocks for classes) that helped the first time DM to create their own fluffy path to introduce-create characters (or that quickly allowed to create a new character.)

So IMO its a matter of balance between the fluff and crunch. I think the best example of the lack of fluff in 4th edition is the first monster manual, the Monster Vault somehow fills this gap (but I think It can be improved).


(content removed)

ORC_Jubjub: Edited-Trolling is against the Code of Conduct 

Our group, who came to D&D4e cold (none of us had played D&D for years) found the default Points of Light setting a little sparse; they wanted to create backstories for their characters, but not knowing what the norm was in this world, it was hard for some of them to pin down where their characters had come from, other than 'outside the Nentir Vale', or how they fitted in. We fared a lot better when creating characters in the Eberron setting.

I can appreciate the benefits of having a lightweight, open world where very little is known, but I found myself wanting a little more information for the default setting. Again, there's bits and pieces you can pick up from the community wikis and D&D Insider, but that takes a fair amount of reading and work, and if you're new to the edition and wanting to jump straight in, a bit more scaffolding would be useful.

I agree with XunValDorl, a new player benefits a lot from the fluff aspects of the game. (And it makes the reading of the core books a more inspiring and funny experience)




For some people maybe. Me, I basically just skip over most of the fluff in the core books, couldn't care less about it.

Considering it a little more I do think it might be a good idea to release a campaign source book out of the gate alongside the three core rulebooks. So at 5e release put out a Players Handbook, a Dungeon Master's Guide, a Monster Manual and also a campaign setting sourcebook for whatever campaign WotC wants to promote first. That way DMs who need a solid campaign setting to work from can have it while everybody else can skip the campaign book and just get the other information they need like game mechanics, etc. I think trying to cram an initial campaign setting into everything else included in the DMG and PHB is probably a mistake since it just dilutes the background information between sources and isn't even needed at all by a lot of groups.

This was one area 4e messed up at launch, in fact. They didn't even release all three of the main core books together, we had to wait a couple of months between the release of the PHB and the other two books, and the first campaign setting book didn't come out until a while after that. They really should schedule things so all three core books plus the first of their campaign settings all come out all at the same time, probably even sold as a bundle.

persoanly i have no real need for the fluff in the books.
this is why i stoped buying books as DDI with the compendium character builder and monster builder.
includes al raw data i need.

this was a great way for me to stop spending money on books that are filled with fluff that is useless to me. 
persoanly i have no real need for the fluff in the books.
this is why i stoped buying books as DDI with the compendium character builder and monster builder.
includes al raw data i need.

this was a great way for me to stop spending money on books that are filled with fluff that is useless to me. 



+1

I agree with XunValDorl, a new player benefits a lot from the fluff aspects of the game. (And it makes the reading of the core books a more inspiring and funny experience)




For some people maybe. Me, I basically just skip over most of the fluff in the core books, couldn't care less about it.



Nonetheless a first time player benefits from the fluff aspects of the game.

I guess you are talking about the "inspiring and funny" part of my comment.

I think that's fair enough.

persoanly i have no real need for the fluff in the books.
this is why i stoped buying books as DDI with the compendium character builder and monster builder.
includes al raw data i need.

this was a great way for me to stop spending money on books that are filled with fluff that is useless to me. 



Then the books can be for more fluff while DDI focuses on the crunch.

I personally think 4e finds a nice balance between mechanics and story.  I sometimes have to *dig* for the story though.  The original Monster Manual for instance, has a lot of fluff in the 'lore' sections.  

Death Knight lore mentions that the ritual to become a death knight originated with Orcus.  He's the Demon Prince of the Undead, so it makes sense ;) but I almost overlooked this at first glance.  This is just the kinda thing that stirs my imagination; a nugget of an idea, perfect for high-level play (with a high DC Religion check); it's not too much, not too little, a nice balance.  The (later) Monster Vault presents things in a different way but it's all there, still.

= = =

In its own way, I think 4e has contributed a lot to the lore of D&D.  There are some new takes on races (like Tieflings), there's the World Axis cosmology, there's the whole Dawn War conflict (between deity and primordial).  I really enjoy this re-imagined feel.

I hope that DDN can maintain the balance between crunch and fluff, fluff and crunch ;), while at the same time keeping the game feeling fresh and new.
/\ Art
@Seroth:

I applaud your call of "Hey maybe don't insult people."  Thank you. 

Sadly, the issue does go deeper than just insult.  Awhile back, I finally ponied up and got the Monster Vault, because I'd been hearing for months how much better it was, how the fluff was just miles ahead of my MM1.  But it wasn't, really.  The Monster Vault has more fluff, but that's about it.  More.  Higher quantity.   The fluff in there wasn't by large any more evocative, any more useful to me as a DM than the MM1 stuff was.  There was just a lot of it, and it was often badly organized.  

This what I want WotC to keep in mind when writing D&DN.  Amount of fluff isn't important.  Quality is.  I'd rather have three lines that are truly good than three pages of crap.  I don't want to open up the next PHB and see a page and a half about how elves eat boisenberry ice cream at 3:17pm on Sundays, because boisenberries often grow in areas elves favor and the taste is pleasing to their pallette.  Half a page on how the elves migrated from the fey realms many millenia ago and split from the drow because of the currupting influence of a demon goddess is much better.  
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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There definately needs to be a ton of fluff...especially for new players. Reading a dry monster stat-block for an illithid for a player that has never read about, seen in use, or tried to roleplay is difficult without some detailed information.


Since it is a role-playing game, the more information that can be given to the player to help him/her play their role is information that is essential to the game. The rules in a role-playing game should not read like the instructions to Monopoly or an automobile owner's manual.

Fluff is every bit as essential as fluff to help players play the game and get into their role. The fluff provides the "graphics" for what happens when the mechanics resolve. Printing endless power blocks with no frame of reference for how the character accomplishes said power, or what the power looks like reduces (especially for newer players) the game to calling out endless power-names that no one around the table is able to visually reference in their heads. Of course some players can naturally call out what their effect looks like, but that takes time and many players cannot, or do not wish to make up everything in the game.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
4E PHBs have not-enough fluff at high levels. "Points of Light" may be a good idea but they didn't do enough with it and perhaps there need to be some lines connecting those points. There needs to be something in the description of a class or race that gives a feel for that class or race in the default setting.

At the same time, though, I want it to be repeatedly made clear that this fluff is *default* fluff, not The Way It Must Be. And I don't want the mechanics locked into that fluff, or adjusted (in a way that throws it out of balance) to fit the fluff.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
4E PHBs have not-enough fluff at high levels. "Points of Light" may be a good idea but they didn't do enough with it and perhaps there need to be some lines connecting those points. There needs to be something in the description of a class or race that gives a feel for that class or race in the default setting.

At the same time, though, I want it to be repeatedly made clear that this fluff is *default* fluff, not The Way It Must Be. And I don't want the mechanics locked into that fluff, or adjusted (in a way that throws it out of balance) to fit the fluff.



Some fluff needs to be locked into mechanics. Acid should't do cold damage. When a player uses confounding arrows, that shouldn't mean they are attacking with thier sword. When a player states they are attacking with their battle-axe, it shouldn't just be a two-handed sword shaped and "reflavored" to look like a battle axe. When a player launches a fire-ball, it shouldn't mean that hailstones fall from above. Oozes shouldn't be reflavored to look like minotaurs.

When you are talking about fluff, you are talking about the narrative heart of the game, that all players in the social contract need to be able to visualize in their heads. If everyone decides that every mechanic has its own dissociated fluff, then no one is on the same page and the system breaks down. Successful Roleplaying games assume that everyone is on the same page, and when you say "I swing my sword" you are really not just swinging a mechanical polearm "refluffed" to look like a sword.

Up is up, down is down, and words and effects should mean what they say.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson

Some fluff needs to be locked into mechanics. Acid should't do cold damage. When a player uses confounding arrows, that shouldn't mean they are attacking with thier sword. When a player states they are attacking with their battle-axe, it shouldn't just be a two-handed sword shaped and "reflavored" to look like a battle axe. When a player launches a fire-ball, it shouldn't mean that hailstones fall from above. Oozes shouldn't be reflavored to look like minotaurs.

When you are talking about fluff, you are talking about the narrative heart of the game, that all players in the social contract need to be able to visualize in their heads. If everyone decides that every mechanic has its own dissociated fluff, then no one is on the same page and the system breaks down. Successful Roleplaying games assume that everyone is on the same page, and when you say "I swing my sword" you are really not just swinging a mechanical polearm "refluffed" to look like a sword.

Up is up, down is down, and words and effects should mean what they say.



Disagree on... well, everything you said here.

I love the freedom reflavoring gives. It feels just... restricted if you haven't got access to that. Why the hell shouldn't I be able to reflavor an axe to a sword if it fits my character more? Why shouldn't I be able to reflavor fireball to cold damage if I play a Cold Wizard of the Barren North? It's just having meaningless and pointless restrictions to me.

Also, I don't get what you are talking about when you say that everyone needs to be on the same page. Do you think that when somebody says: "I place my hands in front of me and murmur to the sky 'Aaren sublimak thrimatenen!' and a freezing wind freezes my enemies" someone would imagine anything but a cold spell's effect? The rules I'm using may be the ones of a Fireball (probably changing the damage type with DM's permission), but I don't think anyone else will notice...

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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
4E PHBs have not-enough fluff at high levels. "Points of Light" may be a good idea but they didn't do enough with it and perhaps there need to be some lines connecting those points. There needs to be something in the description of a class or race that gives a feel for that class or race in the default setting.

At the same time, though, I want it to be repeatedly made clear that this fluff is *default* fluff, not The Way It Must Be. And I don't want the mechanics locked into that fluff, or adjusted (in a way that throws it out of balance) to fit the fluff.



Some fluff needs to be locked into mechanics. Acid should't do cold damage.

I'd agree with that - if you find acid doing cold damage, there's a problem.

However, there are at least three ways to fix it: alter the mechanics to say "acid", or alter the fluff to say "cold", or alter both to say some other one thing such as "electrical". And in that specific case, I doubt that any of the three choices would be imbalancing.

Further, I'd say that while the name that is initially assigned to a power is fluff, once it is assigned it acquires an additional non-fluff meaning: "this particular package of mechanics". And for reference purposes that set of mechanics needs to keep its name no matter how it is refluffed.

When a player uses confounding arrows, that shouldn't mean they are attacking with thier sword. When a player states they are attacking with their battle-axe, it shouldn't just be a two-handed sword shaped and "reflavored" to look like a battle axe. When a player launches a fire-ball, it shouldn't mean that hailstones fall from above. Oozes shouldn't be reflavored to look like minotaurs.

Why not?

I am in the process of tuning a character for a one-shot game. The character's nickname is "swordchucker". A lot of the ranged powers he could choose have names and fluff that evoke arrows. He's going to chuck his sword. Is there a problem?

A few days ago I threw together an example scenario where standard D&D characters are each an entire spacecraft in the Honorverse. The fighter's "Come and Get It" power uses tractor beams. The wizard tosses pods of missiles or space mines. It all works. Is there a problem?

When you are talking about fluff, you are talking about the narrative heart of the game, that all players in the social contract need to be able to visualize in their heads. If everyone decides that every mechanic has its own dissociated fluff, then no one is on the same page and the system breaks down.

The fluff chosen needs to be consistent with the campaign. "My rogue throws his dagger." "Yeah, like that's going to affect a starship. You can do better narration than that."

Successful Roleplaying games assume that everyone is on the same page, and when you say "I swing my sword" you are really not just swinging a mechanical polearm "refluffed" to look like a sword.

Says who? If what you do with the polearm is consistent with what can be done with a sword in that setting - whether or not it matches the mechanics of a sword or what a sword can do in the default setting is completely irrelevant - then what is broken by using polearm mechanics and calling it a "sword" to  do what a sword can do?

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
but I don't think anyone else will notice...



Frankly, I doubt they would even care. Granted, the only instance in which reflavoring spells to change their damage type is versus enemies with vulnrabilities. If the party is fighting Ice Elementals, is it really OK if the party's wizard suddenly becomes a Pyromancer?

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but I don't think anyone else will notice...



Frankly, I doubt they would even care. Granted, the only instance in which reflavoring spells to change their damage type is versus enemies with vulnrabilities. If the party is fighting Ice Elementals, is it really OK if the party's wizard suddenly becomes a Pyromancer?



'Course not. If he is a Cold Wizard his spells will have little effects on the Ice Elementals and will have greater effects on the Fire ones. It's not like flavor has no in-game repercussions, it's just that I like to choose my flavor rather than have it forced upon me.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
Completely agree with TheMormegil. As long as the flavour of an ability is chosen when the ability is gained to prevent exploits (the ice elemental situation) then it is fine. Players should refluff to thier hearts content, and should only really need to check with the dm if they want to change something mechanical. On the Ice Elemental situation, it is exactly the same as a wizard choosing the most effective spell to prepare against a coming encounter. 

For a DM, refluffing is practically mandatory for those with experienced players. Some players have memorized the monster manual so thoroughly that it takes refluffing to surprise them at all. 
What percentage of fluffy stuff do you want, Xun?

Personally I would like to see a 35/65 max of a fluff/mechanics split.  Less overall fluff, more overall mechanics.  I know most people would probably prefer a 50/50, and I wouldn't be adverse to that.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
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58419928 wrote:
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69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
What percentage of fluffy stuff do you want, Xun?

Personally I would like to see a 35/65 max of a fluff/mechanics split.  Less overall fluff, more overall mechanics.  I know most people would probably prefer a 50/50, and I wouldn't be adverse to that.



50/50 but I want quality.
What percentage of fluffy stuff do you want, Xun?

Personally I would like to see a 35/65 max of a fluff/mechanics split.  Less overall fluff, more overall mechanics.  I know most people would probably prefer a 50/50, and I wouldn't be adverse to that.



50/50 but I want quality.



See, and I want 35/65, but I want high quality fluff.  I don't mean storywise though, I mean potency; the ability to, in as few words as possible influence the greatest amount of minds possible.

Then again, I have high expectations.

In respect to 4th edition, I'd say their fluff has evened out to about 45-55ish, with the quality being good to passable.  Honestly, it is the system's only weak point; they didn't need more of it, per se, but out of the books I have (about 14ish) I remember well only a few bits of the fluff.  That tells me that it just wasn't written to grab everyone.  Which for me is sad.  Though I love the Open Grave section about the way undead work almost as well as the monsters written up in that same book.  That was, for me, and example of well written fluff.  I also liked how it wasn't interwoven with the monsters.  I have my data section, my monster section, and my suggested lairs section.  The division was also great for me in that I could know just where to look to find what I was looking for without having to check a glossary.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Q: Should the developers incorporate more fluff into the core, so players who are absolutely new to the system have a more firm grasp of the default fluff?

A: I believe they should.  Eventually.  As DM/campaign material.
I wouldn't mind separating the game into three core books:


  • Player's Handbook - the default player material.  Primarily rules on player character generation, introduction to the game and default fluff (just enough fluff to get the ball going, with encouragement to get the default campaign supplement for a deeper game experience)

  • Rules Compendium - the universal rules material.  Rules that both players and DMs can use, in relation to the game, assuming the player's handbook can't have all the rules fit in it.  Fluff-light, if only to cite examples of play

  • Dungeon Master's Guide - the default DM material.  Monster building guide, encounter building guide, suggestions on how to create custom spells, powers etc. (that players may or may not be able to use later, DM prerogative), campaign-building guide, and tons of advice on how to make the game fully enjoyable


With three supplements on the get-go:


  • The Nentir Vale - including NPCs, cities, monsters, etc. that fully utilize the ideas set about in the DMG

  • Adventurer's Vault - item repository, primarily DM material.  Simply because I firmly believe that players define characters, and not items, so the system shouldn't bake items into the math

  • Monster Manual - DM material.  Helps when DM has no time to build his or her own monsters, including the default (sparse) fluff in terms of habits and culture (if any), as well as natural tendencies when dealing with other creatures both in and out of combat (detailed)



Q: Should Wizards not assume people can just add in the fluff for Next?

A: Hell no.  However, there should be a reasonable limit to what fluff that can be added, changed or removed: each change has to be

  1. approved by everyone on the table, especially the DM (effectively entering a social contract with everyone to ensure nobody's cheesing out their fluff),

  2.  with as little immediate mechanical effect as possible


  • for example: a fireball shot out of a wizard's hand shouldn't be gaining the Fear keyword and causing enemies to make a morale save to flee, just because the player decided to refluff it into "illusory dragon breathing fire momentarily"

  • on the flip side, in the above example, if the wizard who, upon group approval, had his fireball become an illusory dragon's flaming breath was in a situation wherein he could utilize his refluff in an unexpected situation [let's say he wants to intimidate a monster by casting the spell and maintaining the illusion], checks to help encourage those unusual uses of spells and skills should be allowed and encouraged (within DM approval of course)


  • unchangeable for a reasonable amount of time, depending on fluff.


    • I wouldn't mind a staff-wielder fluffing Cleave as multi-strike one time and one great sweeping strike as another, so long as the effect is the same... and I wouldn't mind color changes when you shoot magic missile, but if you tell me that your staff shoots rainbows when you hit, or if your magic missile is shooting skulls, I'm not going to allow a sudden change of fluff, especially when players are suddenly facing situations where the determined fluff is a disadvantage



    Yes, fluff can be a source of inspiration... but fluff MUST be changeable, within reason.


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    "how much fluff" depends on what's being fluffed.  for monsters, I want a lot of fluff: between art and flavor/ecology, at least half the page a monster takes up should be fluff.  (2e, for example)

    Classes should be significantly less, because individual characters can be SO different -- a gist of what it is and what class features mean, perhaps a few common archetypes.

    Abilities (whether class abilities, powers, or monster special abilities) shouldn't need much fluff, because in my opinion they should be decently flavorful on their own. That is to say, an ooze should not be able to be refluffed (sanely) into a minotaur, because what it does is indicitave of ooze-ness, not minotaur-ness: Splitting, flowing through obsticles, engulfing creatures even near its own size, and the like.  Now perhaps you could refluff a minotaur into an ogre or some other big, nasty brute, but there should still be something about the Minotaur that screams Minotaur.  Similarly, I should be able to excise the fluff from three classes and tell which one is the fighter, the wizard, or the druid.  Refluffing is all well and good, but for me its place is not to eliminate the need or desire for difference.  If you like X but it has no place, you might call it a Y, something close that can have a place.  But, if you desire a Y, the best way to have it should be to have a Y, not nab an X and call it a Y.

    So, put me in the 50/50 (but prefer less and better over more and bad) crowd, I suppose.  I like fluff.  It makes the books interesting to read, and while it may be easily discarded by experienced gamers like me, it gives new people a jumping-off point to enter the world of Dungeons and Dragons.  And, I would argue, creating strong and consistant fluff strengthens the brand too, by giving it an identity, even if what chronic homebrewers like me run in a given campaign doesn't ulitmatley resemble it.

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    4th ed's fluff was sparse, but it was good when you could get it. It showed up more in secondary books such as open grave, draconomica, etc. For instance, vampires being created by rituals, and dragons being able to eat magic items from their horde to gain the items abilities for a while in combat. I really liked the 4th ed fluff, and my only complaint was that there wasn't enough and that the book read as though you were reading a highschool history text book, very matter of fact and boring in the sense of style.

    I would say they should put a smattering of fluff in the core books, enough to give a sense and feel of the standard DnD game, but not to much to where it feels like it is cannon (because, there really is no cannon when it comes to setting or feel for a DnD game, thats why its so cool). Then, the could release more fluff based books later on. I like to have access to lots of fluff. Even as a long time player I still like it for insperiation and just to be an enjoyable read, even if I don't use it. But I think it makes sense to put most fluff in its own books, so people who want lots of fluff can get it without it getting in the way of the core rule books, which really are just reference books.

    thats my 2 cents any way
    I'll echo some others here: I want good fluff, more than I want more fluff.

    At the very least, I don't want more bad fluff - specifically stuff that comes across as just plain ol' padding.  Things like the "fluff" descriptions of most post-Essentials 4e feats.  Things with very, very neutral mechanics really don't need "fluff".


    Worldbuilding, monsters, interesting magic items - those are where I'd like to see "more fluff".  But again, only if it's good.    
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    My players have not even read the books.  They feel no need to.  And they have had no problem enjoying the game, nor getting into the spirit of the game. What does that say (beyond the fact that for them, any amount of fluff is useless)?
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    quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
    How much fluff do you want?  Every power, every class, and every race had fluff attached to it.  It seemed sufficient to me and I did find it inspiring.



    Yeh that is my take, and when you actually look through the 1e books  ummm sorry they had far less descriptive text over all, almost like they intended you to use your imagination even then... could it be that was the point of this game?
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    There needs to be a balance that allows both "core" and "personal" fluff players and DMs to enjoy the material. The books absolutely need enough fluff in them to capture young imaginations and inspire adventures, but there needs to be some consideration made for the many folks who consider the core fluff to just be in the way of their personal fluff. I'd love to say they should just keep them in seperate books, but I don't know that this would be a sound business practice.

    That said, they absolutely need to keep redundant FILLER fluff the bloody heck out of the books. The extra space-filling techniques in the Essentials+ books, much of them just a repeat of a power's fluff entry, are horrible.

    Quality is also a major issue, as has been stated. Even those who are going to ignore fluff can at least usually appreciate good fluff even while they cast it aside. But bad fluff that's going to be ignored anyway? Yuck.
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    How much fluff do you want?  Every power, every class, and every race had fluff attached to it.  It seemed sufficient to me and I did find it inspiring.



    Yeh that is my take, and when you actually look through the 1e books  ummm sorry they had far less descriptive text over all, almost like they intended you to use your imagination even then... could it be that was the point of this game?


    This. Very much this. There has been considerable lore built up since 1E came out, but really... does the ecology of the monster really matter? The DM just needs to think about why it is where it is, and at best all you really need is a sentence, or part of a sentence, mentioning its ordinary habitat (food source if you really must, but I should think that would be obvious in most cases). Society? Again, how much of that matters, and how much of that is going to be over-written?

    A few inspiring details about history/habits, and you should be good to go. I liked the way it was done in 4E, with monster lore checks and stuff. I definitely ignored much or all of it, or altered it to fit my setting. For that matter, most new players come to D&D after playing video games, reading and watching fantasy stories/movies, and already have a decent understanding of the common mythological creatures used.

    Shouldn't the default of the game be "build your own world?" That's how it started for sure, and they gave great advice in the DMG about it. It's how I, and every group I've played with, have rolled since I started. It is a game of imagination. Make it up yourself, on the fly if you want. Every new player I've introduced has seemed to understand this without it even being explicitly said by me, who usually does the education. 
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    There needs to be a balance that allows both "core" and "personal" fluff players and DMs to enjoy the material. The books absolutely need enough fluff in them to capture young imaginations and inspire adventures, but there needs to be some consideration made for the many folks who consider the core fluff to just be in the way of their personal fluff. I'd love to say they should just keep them in seperate books, but I don't know that this would be a sound business practice.

    That said, they absolutely need to keep redundant FILLER fluff the bloody heck out of the books. The extra space-filling techniques in the Essentials+ books, much of them just a repeat of a power's fluff entry, are horrible.

    Quality is also a major issue, as has been stated. Even those who are going to ignore fluff can at least usually appreciate good fluff even while they cast it aside. But bad fluff that's going to be ignored anyway? Yuck.



    Possibly they should look to their stable of novelists?
    "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
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    quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]

    Possibly they should look to their stable of novelists?



    I couldn't say, I've had very little luck with D&D novels, and I'm not sure how effectively novel-writing applies to fluff writing. Not sure most novelists would deign to be writing what amounts to Copy when they could be writing stories, either.
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    Possibly they should look to their stable of novelists?



    I couldn't say, I've had very little luck with D&D novels, and I'm not sure how effectively novel-writing applies to fluff writing. Not sure most novelists would deign to be writing what amounts to Copy when they could be writing stories, either.



    Fair enough.
    "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
    fun quotes
    58419928 wrote:
    You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
    69216168 wrote:
    If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
    quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]

    Possibly they should look to their stable of novelists?



    I couldn't say, I've had very little luck with D&D novels, and I'm not sure how effectively novel-writing applies to fluff writing. Not sure most novelists would deign to be writing what amounts to Copy when they could be writing stories, either.


    Clearly they need to hire a plucky young man with a light in his eyes and a hunger in his belly to write their monster fluff.  I can't imagine where such a person might exist, but I've heard such people favor avatars with eyepatches.
    Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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