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You know, the idea of explicating the narrative elements at work in depth is something I've never considered. I like to list the themes, I like to have those themes and motifs resonate throughout the text, and I like to have mechanics that create the desired narrative structure. The idea of including bits that say "and you do this thing because it'll create this effect" is not something I've ever really thought about. Part of me thinks it's like explaining how a magic trick or a joke works, that in providing that autopsy, you kill the spontaneity and the life of the narrative.

And yet, there's been plenty of examples in this thread of why I'm wrong! It's definitely something I'll need to be more considerate about in the future.


I think that's a more reasonable fear for a participant than for a designer. In other words, a game designer ought be explicit as possible so that the participants in the game can keep things behind the curtain. The incentives for a designer are, as always, completely opposite of what the incentives for a game player are.