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Author Topic: O Gamer, part 2 (and a question)  (Read 3860 times)
mahoux
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« on: September 09, 2002, 11:49:38 AM »

This is just for consistency.  Not much happened in our Knights of the Road game last Saturday.  Two of our players (each one being in a different group) had to leave to pick up parents at the airport.  So we only got in about 45 minutes of actual play.

Basically we just got a set up into each group's adventures.  One group role-played themselves directly into my hands by making up a place to go.  A dust storm was on the horizon and one 'bo told the other one he had seen a small shack a ways back.  Now I get to give them a haint adventure.

The second group is westbound for California.  I stopped the train in Eastern New Mexico in hopes that I could get them into a pre-planned hook.  They got caught by a bull and thrown off the train, but they decided to distract him and jump back aboard.

This was nice, because my gamers are actually thinking and taking some initiative.  It was also a fun scene as one of the Wobblies started a small fire for a distraction.  His roll was a partial success, and the other two 'boes were on the train quickly.  He, however, was spotted by the bull and chased down.  The bull rolled 1s and 2s, so he couldn't chase down the Wobblie.

After the semi-session, I mentioned that they had played themselves out of an adventure.  I actually had them wanting me to railroad them into the adventure.

So, to make a rambling post short, has anyone ever had players want to be railroaded into an adventure?  What did you do?
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http://home.earthlink.net/~knahoux/KOTR_2.html">Knights of the Road, Knights of the Rail has hit the rails!
Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2002, 12:10:59 PM »

See the Participationism thread for some examples of when "desiring to be railroaded" can be a good thing.

alternatively, was it necessary for you adventure to take place in New Mexico...could it be transplated to California.  Also don't forget that eventually the bos'll be going back that way, so if it is site specific...just save it up.
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mahoux
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2002, 12:32:51 PM »

Technically, it isn't time specific, although it is kind of site specific.  It's a cattle drive north to Denver from Fort Sumner NM.

I know, I can just save it for later, but I was jus tblown away when I had players wanting to be railroaded.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2002, 12:54:19 PM »

Quote from: mahoux

So, to make a rambling post short, has anyone ever had players want to be railroaded into an adventure?  What did you do?


I railroaded them into an adventure.  One of my roleplaying maxims is this:  "It's not railroading if you're taking the players to where they want to be."  Have the players asked you to give them an adventure?  Don't complain; rejoice!  You have cooperative players.  :-)

Remember that not every player wants large amounts of story control, and even the ones who do sometimes like to be thrown a obvious story hook from time to time.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2002, 01:07:29 PM »

Hello,

It might help to restrict "railroading" to a pretty specific meaning, much more so than most people seem to. As I use it, it indicates that the GM is making character decisions in place of the player. I also want to specify the in place of part - in other words, if there are realms of character decision that people are OK with the GM handling, then fine, but it's when the GM crosses a line and makes that character-decision for the player, that it's railroading.

The most direct form is when a GM says something like, "You don't do that. Your character loves that guy, so she wouldn't stab him." More subtle forms include (a) providing physical terrain such that characters may only go one way, (b) providing social decisions that blatantly determine character actions (typically "being hired" to go traipsing across the landscape), and (c) affecting characters through mental powers or disciplines by NPCs in a way that resembles (b).

What you're describing - ie what your players wanted - doesn't sound like railroading to me. It sounds like what Paul Czege calls "adversity." They want something Going On, that their characters must deal with.

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, and misrepresenting what they wanted, I think this is a reasonable expectation on their part. As GM, your "privilege" to produce adversity is necessary to play, in most RPGs. Only in real weirdos like InSpectres and Universalis, or in groups with unusual social contracts, does this privilege get distributed differently.

To repeat: "Railroading" does not mean "GM provides input into the events of the game." It is a specific transgression by the GM into the player's realm of character decision-making. Simply to provide NPCs, situations, hassles, crises, surprises, or anything else is not railroading.

Best,
Ron
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mahoux
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2002, 05:09:09 AM »

Thanks for all the input.

I'm not griping about the situation.  Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that my players are getting into this and looking for ways to have adventures.

I will give them the adventure.  My big thing is after checking all the Forge posts, I felt a little guilty about the possibility of putting them into this adventure when they were moving on, and had succeeded in their strategy and rolls.  But, it's all about fun and story, so I see the train's boiler seal breaking in a few miles.

aaron houx

Check out http://home.earthlink.net/~knahoux/KOTR_2.html">Knights of the Road, Knights of the Rail!
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2002, 01:25:36 PM »

Quote
But, it's all about fun and story, so I see the train's boiler seal breaking in a few miles.


And, at the risk of beating a dead horse, this is exactly the right course to take.  You're not violating your players' free will; you're catering to their desires.  Good for you!

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
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