Isn’t the morning after sort of the definition of incoherency? Anyhow. WISH 41 asks:
How coherent do you expect a game world to be? Is a game world merely a stage for the characters, or does it have a life of its own? How deep does it need to be to satisfy you? How do you contribute as a player or GM to making the game world more coherent, if you do?
This is kind of a hard question to answer, given that my primary GM for the last five or so years is the kind of guy who has every NPC in his cities statted out. So I think I don’t care so much about coherency, but perhaps I am spoiled and I would hate it if the world wasn’t coherent.
However, I think that what I really want is not so much coherency but depth. I like being able to go in any direction and find something there. Maybe the GM is ad libbing it, or maybe s/he’s just thorough. I don’t much care as long as I can’t tell the difference.
The classic GM trick, of course, is to simply listen to the players theorizing and choose one of the theories to be accurate. That works OK for me.
Depth is different than coherence. Let’s say one NPC says he used to work with another NPC; I’m not gonna think much about whether or not they were actually in the same place at the same time in the game world. I’m big on suspension of disbelief, and am happy to paper over small cracks in the world.