What’s All The Backstory For?

Roleplay Rescue’s Blog

Reading roleplaying sourcebooks, one of the common and usually pretty extensive sections of any setting will be the history. You know, the long exposition of the big backstory of the world as it is in the game. Examples include the history of Glorantha, the history of the Third Imperium, or the history of the World of Darkness.

What is this stuff actually for? I love to read it but I really do wonder what the purpose of this stuff might be.

Most roleplayers are not interacting with the backstory of the world. The players are exploring the world as it is today through the lens of their character’s perception but most of the backstory is not immediately relevant to them. The GM is usually busy making up new situations for the characters as they are today, not really fussing over re-creating the stories of the past.

I suppose you could…

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