his only argument for this so far is that more novels/books/whatever somehow equals more plausibility for a universe.
That's not what I argued.
I said that more background material equals more plausibility because it more closely approximates the total background material you'd need to create something as detailed as reality
. (Which is part of the yardstick for how plausible something is.) And also that more background material forces more exploration of the mechanics of things
, which makes it more plausible by explanation.
The more I tell stories about something, the more real it seemingly becomes the more is known about it. Because you have more information about it. The more information you have, provided it's not completely contradictory, the more real it seems.
Or you could just spend some time thinking about how one constructs plausible lies and realize that it's essentially the same process (expand and explain), only with guard rails that hold it closer. Either way.
Or you could just consider that eventually somebody's going to have to explain the control systems for their book. And somebody else is going to have to say what you do if you need to take a crap for their book. And somebody else is going to...and so it goes. As the number of works on a particular universe increases, the probability that someone will be forced to plausibly explain a particular thing from the universe approaches one. The probability that someone will have to explain anything exceeds one by the second story.
I'm not really sure how many ways I can explain the basic nature of information accumulation and its relation to effective storytelling, but I'm sure we'll find out.
I've heard some people discussing that the majority of the actual novels themselves are dramatic tri-vids (movies).
Versus the Doyleist notation that some of them were definitely gamed out on the tabletop? Stackpole in particular liked to do it with small-unit battles (Arden Sortek's Victor
vs. a Kurita Awesome
in one of the Warrior
books, Renny Sanderlin's Penetrator
and Victor's Daishi
vs. Smoke Jaguar Omega Star in Grave Covenant
come to mind), while careful examination of most of the novels will be hard-pressed to find outright goofs in damage output vs. armor and structure terms.
I think the closest we actually came to direct violation of the game mechanics pre-Dark Age was in one of the novels which implied a triple engine hit Blackjack that was still operational. (Only to get its faceplate blown in by a suicidal infantry trooper a couple seconds later.)