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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 186 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Is railroading a symptom of design?  (Read 7576 times)
David Berg

Posts: 612

« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2010, 02:28:18 PM »

Hi Ron,

Is it GM Force if the players get tired of sending their characters somewhere other than where the GM had planned, because doing so always results in boredom?  Because that's the situation where I most often hear the term "railroad", and that's what Michael's initial post about D&D and challenges reminded me of.


here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development

Posts: 83

« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2010, 06:25:03 PM »

Jumping in a little late to toss in my two cents....

I think that "railroading" is more a philosophy than a design element, although sometimes they go hand-in-hand. Certain types of adventures, such as tournament or convention games, tend to lead characters from point A to point B in a hurry since time is more limited. This isn't a function of game design, but it could be considered a function of scenario design.

For this very reason, I suspect that some games "play better" at game conventions than others do. For example, throwing together a quick D&D dungeon crawl plays well in 4 hours, but developing character motivation for a Sorcerer or Amber Diceless adventure is more problematic in that same 4-hour block. Not saying it can't be done, but some games fit well into tiny time blocks than do other RPGs.

Just my two cents.

Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * DFRPG * ADRP
I'm mosty responsible for S&W WhiteBox
OD&D Player since 1975
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