I was thinking about Spout Lore, and, searching the history of this community, ran into a very nice rewrite by Jeremy Strandberg. I like how it perpetuated the back-and-forth between the GM and player on a 7-9, while still allowing the GM influence over the total direction of the move. But as great as that rewrite is, I can’t help but feel like it misses my main issue with the Spout Lore Move.
That is, the vagueness of it all.
I mean, it sits right next to Discern Realities, a great move that equips the player with questions that push the fiction forwards in new and unexpected ways for everyone. Compared to that, Spout Lore looks like the equivalent of prodding the GM with a stick and saying “Hey. Say something interesting.”
Imagine if Discern Realities said “On a 10+, the GM will tell you something interesting and useful about the situation or person”. Yeah.
What if there were something similar for Spout Lore? A list of leading questions that lend structure to the move and give the participants some prompts to build off of.
Even a move as simple as Bardic Lore (player asks a question, GM answers) is much more powerful and much more directed.
Perhaps there’s some fundamental reason that Spout Lore has to be so vague, but I’m not sure. Ultimately, both Spout Lore and Discern Realities are used in very similar situations: You want some useful or potentially-useful information. The only difference is whether you already knew it or you’re learning it now.
What do you think?