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  #1  
Old Apr 29th, 2020, 09:04 PM
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Theme vs. Flavor - What's the Difference to You?

So, the question is there in the title, as a GM, when I go to post a game advert I just can't decide what's the theme versus the flavor. Or I know what the theme is, but can't figure out how to not repeat myself in the flavor. What do y'all think is one or the other? Do you even use this section or find value in it? As a player, does it help you, or do you care?

I just have lots of questions...
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Old Apr 29th, 2020, 09:14 PM
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You could see it as the split between intent and direction - theme is the straightforward intent of your game, flavour embodies the direction it will take to encapsulate that theme.
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Old Apr 29th, 2020, 09:42 PM
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As one who has validated scores of Game Requests, and applied to umpteen adverts, I offer what I like to see in those categories.

Theme - One short sentence that helps identify the genre and tone that you're going for. If you want to add a tidbit about character level or posting rate, that's okay. If it's a rare to site rpg system, a heads up as to the genre mentioned in your theme is nice.

Fast paced, serious, post apocalyptic Earth - overland journey.

Light hearted city based scavenger hunt.

Low level characters in a Faerunian dungeon crawl.

---

Flavor- do you have a favorite type of cake, ice cream, or snow cone? Use that. Have fun with it. Honestly, I can't recall ever denying a game request specifically because of the posted flavor.

Maybe a curious reader will ask why your film noir detective agency game is like a banana milkshake.

Last edited by zevonian; Apr 29th, 2020 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Type oh
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Old Apr 29th, 2020, 11:12 PM
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I tend to think of theme much as zev said above. I try to make it one sentence that gives the general overarching gist of the game idea. No details are contained. Genre indicators are prominent, especially if they deviate from the typical genre for the system in use.

When thinking of flavor, I lean towards items the game reminds me of. Whether that is movies, characters, or even tropes from within media, they fit into flavor. Dusty saloons, back-alley drug deals, courtly romance, and the like are examples. I also put literal flavors in for fun often, such as my ill-fated halfling mob game ad, which listed stereotypical Italian flavors just to hammer home the point.
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Old May 1st, 2020, 05:38 PM
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Lightbulb

Thanks! I put a lot of thought into it and worked out definite improvement for my next game advert (and hopefully all future ones). I appreciate it.
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Old May 1st, 2020, 07:40 PM
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As a player (and a DM), I get stuck differentiating the two. Maybe this is frowned upon, but I rarely leave the Theme and Flavor fieldsets as I set it in the game request.

Usually I've pre-written the whole advert before posting, so I'll request the game with a quick entry, then go in and override the whole thing with my own code.

Just my two-cents. I don't find a ton of value in having both.
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Old May 1st, 2020, 09:56 PM
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In my best adverts I'll put a single fieldset right at the top, with Game Name, Game System, Theme, Flavor, and a rough % breakdown of combat, adventuring, etc. It may seem repetitive - but if it works, it works.
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Old May 2nd, 2020, 06:24 AM
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I've never thought about it that much, but to me the themes of a game have always related to the content, while the flavour relates to the delivery, feel and flow of that content and in turn the game.

So for example the theme of the game might be "Outlaws and Criminals seeking atonement", with the flavour "light and humorous" giving you a better sense of how that would look. On the simplest level it's like noun and adjective to me, flavour being an important qualifier.

I also squeeze more gameplay related keywords into flavour, like "sandbox" or "character/combat/wombat focused", and sometimes even a comment on genre (one of the biggest decider on flavour there is). So overall you could say themes to me are about "what will you be doing?" and flavour about "how will it play/feel like while you're doing it".

So another example theme might be "Explorations in the unknown and survival in the wilderness" with the flavour being "gritty, low-fantasy, sandbox, world-building possibilities". That sort of thing.

Last edited by Phettberg; May 2nd, 2020 at 06:24 AM.
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Old Mar 18th, 2021, 10:31 PM
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I agree with Ziether as well. For me theme is something like the action adventure of Strahd, while the flavor could be something of an 80s comedy sitcom. Just two cents from a newbie here.

Cheers =)
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  #10  
Old Apr 4th, 2021, 12:03 PM
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To me, Theme is the basic idea, message, or intent: desperate survival, brains vs. brawn, knowing who you fight for, etc.

Flavor is the execution and specific type of story: zombie apocalypse, noir murder mystery, dungeon crawl, etc.
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