I met the guys behind The Gamers at GenCon last week. I know that’s not like meeting Spielberg to most of the world, but I’ve been a fan of these guys since my tenure as president of the Other Realms Science Fiction and Fantasy Club back at Ithaca College circa 2004. Every time a new member joined up, we would replay the movie as a sort of initiation. It was silly, but it meant that we had a common touchstone for our bad inside jokes.

More germane to today’s discussion, it also means that I can now reference specific moments when they’re applicable to the comic. The exposition-from-notecards thing always cracked me up.

You see, being a thing-knower in an RPG is a tricky business. Chances are that you’ve read bits and pieces of the rulebook and the setting guide. However, it’s also likely that your GM knows those details better than you. Where the class fantasy involves dispensing wisdom and esoteric clues to your fellow adventurers, the reality tends to feel more like playing the GM’s sock puppet. And it’s no fun devoting a significant chunk of your class to being a better mouthpiece.

For my money, this is why I prefer to let the lore-knowers in my groups have as much leeway as possible when it comes to making some shit up. As long as it doesn’t break established canon, I love nothing better than rewarding a high Knowledge check with this question: “What do you think? What’s the history here? What do legends say? How did this ancient race die out? What monster is rumored to live nearby? What did the gods do here once upon a time?”

But as much as I love that biz, what we’re seeing in today’s comic is the opposite. As a GM, it’s occasionally necessary to use your PC as vectors for your own exposition. But learning how to do that without the uncomfortable heavy handedness is a very real challenge.

THEREFORE! What do you say we compare our exposition notes? How do you like to deliver your “dire portents” and “important historical details?” Do you hand the PCs notecards? Do you speak for them? Perhaps the player is given leeway to invent their own setting details? Or is there some other secret technique to battling the exposition  monster? Hit us with your best tools for the job down in the comments!


CLAIRE NEEDS A HERO! She also needs to be mocked viciously. That’s because she has never played a Baldur’s Gate Game! Let’s help her fix that! All the Quest Givers on Patreon are choosing which Handbook Hero will become her main. If you’d like to join in on the torture fun, vote this way!


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