(1) Why is this game fun?
(2) What can I do in this game?
Without knowing why a game is fun, and how I can experience that fun, I’m not really interested in a full description of the setting, a list of skills and spells, a catalog of gadgets and weapons, or a historical timeline. So why don’t game books open with answers to these questions?
Most of the books I crack open start with a short story and/or a discussion of the setting. Some try to summarize the game in the Introduction, but this is usually condensed setting fluff that rarely answers my two most important questions. I usually have to skip the first 10-20% of the text before I find out why I should care about the Newfangled RPG.
What do you want to know when you pick up a new game?
Are publishers answering these questions for you? Are they doing it up front, or do you have to search for your answers?
Icon courtesy: Open Clip Art