Friday, February 6, 2015

Discussion: Like Dragon Age or Elder Scrolls?

With this weeks post talking about too much railroading and too much openness in our games, I thought it would be fun to get everyone's opinion on this. Would you rather be in a more heavily (however well obfuscated) on rails game with a killer storyline, fun NPCs, and excellent set pieces but little option to change the eventual outcome, or would you rather be in a broad and diverse world with the freedom to go where you want, do what you want, and be what you want?

In short, do you prefer your table top RPG to be more like Dragon Age or the Elder Scrolls?

This is a tough choice for me, and I kind of bounce back and forth depending on my mood. If the rails are well obfuscated, I'm a sucker for a good story. However, I take issues when the players seem more like window dressing on a tale about the NPCs and where the NPCs are the only thing that really matters to the game. A structured story that focuses on the PCs, and gives the PCs some chances to have meaningful impact is a wonderful thing. One that focuses on the NPCs with the PCs there as helpers and friends to those great and wonderful people? Meh, write  abook instead.

At the same time, while exploration and getting into your own adventures is fun, it can also lead to varying degrees of just murder hobo'ing about or less fulfilling plotlines as the PCs just go off and do things. Still, it can make for a wonderful tale of adventure later on down the line.

How about you?

1 comment:

  1. That'd be a comment for both this and previous post. What I'm trying to do with one of my current games is to mix a railroady story with some sandboxy elements. I'm using a Paizo's Legacy of Fire AP with PF ruleset as a main story arc, and slapped some exploration, downtime and kingdombuilding rules from Paizo's Ultimate Campaign book onto it. Also - some random dungeons, random encounters, random treasure, random terrain features, random magical effects etc. Part of it is story driven (railroady) and a part of it is the world reacting to proactive PCs' adventuring around Kelmarane. We're still in the book 1 of the AP, so I'm still tinkering with it all the time :)