The Stars Were Right – Design Blog

The Issue

I’ve DMed in literally dozens of game systems and settings. Starting with the D&D box set available in 1979 and on through AD&D, Runequest, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, Champions – the list seems endless at times. During that time, I’ve played in published settings (Greyhawk, the Imperium, Harn), in real world settings (the Roaring 20s, the Old West), and in settings of my own or my friend’s creation (Palaestra, Westmarches, Edge).

And through it all I’ve been struck by the fact that – except perhaps when playing a game set in modern times – never did the players know as much about the world their characters inhabited as the characters themselves surely must have. This leads to some decidedly odd moments in the narrative of any given game, as the GM steps outside the natural flow of description or dialog to tell a player something the character would surely be aware of.

The Stars Were Right