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 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
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.
- Age of Empires, Age of Mythology have long in universe description of their unit
- Age of Wonders and its sequel has Flavor Text for each unit which goes from plain to snarky.
- Blizzard Works (Starcraft, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) are full of Flavor Text
- Bioware games (Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age are also full of Flavor Text
- The Total War series use Flavor Text on units to show their work
- For each Pokémon, there always one sentence or two in the Pokedex which describe them in universe. Later games include such flavor as the creature's footprint (if applicable), a Sound Test ability to play the creature's vocal cry, a size/weight comparison to the player character, and a comparison of form/gender differences between different members (where applicable). The species's weight actually does have some gameplay consequences, but those are very few and far between.
- In Star Ocean: The Second Story, there are a huge number of items that are raw materials for crafting and items that can be crafted. Many of them contain flavor text not related to what the object does, such as describing the texture or taste of food items.
- The Homeworld series has in universe description for all of his unit in the manual of the game.
- Vindictus has flavor text for all items. Oddly, it often describes effects that ought to have an effect on the gameplay but don't, notably curses.
- Disgaea 3 has humorous Flavor Text on its weapon description
- All of the items in Recettear have humorous descriptions, inkeeping with the Woolseyised script.
- 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.