Semantic Railroads

This entry is part 3 of 42 in San Check

Before yesterday, our game’s story and plot came up with Tess and the girls. I disagreed on the subject of plot. To me, there was no plot in our game. The story only emerged once the session ended. Tess insisted otherwise.

Tess: You know what’s going to happen next.

While railroading was not explicitly brought up in our conversation, that was the driving force behind my insistence that there was no plot. I do not write-up, plot point by plot point, how everything is going to unfold. I have no idea what kind of shenanigans these women are going to pull on me.

Sometimes I flat-out ask them, What are your plans in Sunday’s game? So I can better prepare.

Even with preparation, not even the players know what Kay is going to pull next.

However, Tess is right. Since choices have consequences, being the Dungeon Master, I know what happens if they do this or if they do that and I do my best to anticipate the other.

Depending on the situation, sometimes their course of action is predictable and other times, What the hell just happened?

And I am not just talking about Kay as you will eventually see.

After a session, Tess and I often discuss how things concluded versus how we both thought they would end, comparing notes. Sometimes I think, There is no way they are going to survive this! and they quickly prove me wrong. Other times I think, This will be a walk in the park, should I skip this part? And they end up getting fucked.

Tess: Why the hell would you think that was going to be easy?

Taking A Tour

Back on the subject of railroading, yesterday, I came across Dice Monkey’s post and how his group very much enjoys the “plot train.” There obviously is no need for a change in play-style, if railroading is what your group enjoys.

This lead me to The Artifact. I have posted on this site before, but I thought we had a great conversation about railroading. In “A Tour By Rail” we get into the topic of semantics and what it really means to railroad a player.

The site is mainly focused around the science fiction game “The Artifact RPG,” but Loc provides plenty of interesting topics about RPGs in general under the category of GM Advice.

I appreciated his discussion and thought I would share it with those of you that might be visiting The Delvers.

Delve - San Check - TOC
[«««] PreviousNext [»»»]

  1. You know, for kids!
  2. Digger, Please!
  3. Semantic Railroads
  4. Mapping Progress
  5. Honeymoon Adventure
  6. No One Games in a Vacuum
  7. House Rules, You’re Doing It Wrong!
  8. WotC’s Poisoned Apple
  9. Oh Shit Run – An Outside Perspective
  10. Greyhawk Campaigns
  11. Nostalgia Vomit
  12. Dicing with Dinosaurs
  13. The Eye of the Dragon
  14. What Did You Do Over the Summer?
  15. It’s Like Cops and Robbers, but with Dice!
  16. Emergent Death or Why Losing Is Fun!
  17. How to Train Your Delvers (More WotC Snark)
  18. WotC’s Babel Fish
  19. More Nostalgia Vomit
  20. Fantasy Fighting
  21. Fighting Fantasy
  22. The Delvers 1985
  23. From Weird WotC to the creator of Giant Space Hamsters
  24. The Daedalus Complex
  25. There Is No Cow Level
  26. Double-decker Bologna Sandwich!
  27. It is Not a Secret Door if You Tell Me
  28. All Apologies
  29. Be the First to Solve the Mystery and Claim the Dungeon Treasure!
  30. Dungeon Treasure & Hidden Treasure
  31. You Unlock this Door with the Key of Imagination
  32. The Answer to the Mystery at The Delvers
  33. The First Keeper
  34. Sandbox Apophenia
  35. Nearly Enough Dice – Interview
  36. The State of The Delvers
  37. Vicariously Join Two Girls and Their Mom Around the Gaming Table
  38. Cassette Cover Art
  39. Bastion of the Boglings
  40. WotC Piss and the Last Boy Scout
  41. Campaign Timeline
  42. B4: The Lost City

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