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Flavor Text


(permanent link) added: 2010-03-17 03:37:51 sponsor: Unknown Troper @ 86.202.25.104 edited by: VioletOrange (last reply: 2011-04-20 14:04:10)

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Players that don't read flavor text aren't too bright, sorta smell, and dress funny. But let's just keep this between us, okay? They can get kind of violent.
-- Flavor text to Magic: The Gathering card "Double Header"

Flavor text is text in a game that has no effect on gameplay and nothing to do with the rules. Usually they provide background information. Common in almost all Collectible Card Game, as well as Roleplaying Game rulebooks. Not limited to Tabletop Games either; for instance, item descriptions in video games can also be a form of flavor text.

Often, flavor text includes quotes, either from real-world sources (such as in Magic: The Gathering core sets), attributed to characters in the game, or from Fictional Document. It may also include narratives, poems, sayings, or jokes. Regularly found in Monster Compendium, Pamphlet Shelves and inventory items, they sometimes take the form of an Encyclopedia Exposita.

Examples:

Collectible Card Game

  • Magic: The Gathering has a lot of Flavor Text, some player types even build decks based on the "story" of the cards, leading to such weird but fascinating combos as sacrificing the embodiment of your death into pure damage with which to kill an opponent.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, flavor text appears only on Normal Monster cards, which are virtually non-existent in competitive play, so the lore is very spotty and mostly forgotten.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Other
  • An The Order of the Stick strip in Dragon featured a character who claimed that ignoring flavor text was the key to true peace. He didn't do anything that wasn't required by the rules; so since dirt didn't have any mechanical effect he didn't bathe, since there were no rules specifying characters got sleepy, he only slept when hit by a magical effect (if he'd been a magic user, he'd also have done so when he wanted to recharge his spells), and he ate a revolting gruel once every two weeks, because the rules said that if he didn't he'd starve but didn't specify any other effects of not eating.

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