The Fallacy of Plot in RPGs

Tyler Provick

Tyler Provick is a writer and a gamer that likes to combine his two interests and share them with the community.

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6 responses

  1. Matt says:

    Vincent Baker, creator of Apocalypse World is who should be credited with “play to find out what happens.”

    • Thanks for the clarification. Dungeon World comes from Apocalypse World but since I’ve not played the first I don’t know which ideas come from which authors. Reminds me of Rick Priestly’s interview on the D6G about Beyond the Gates of Antares. They kept asking him how he came up with mechanics that were from the game he based GOA on. Well, those were Alessio’s rules, he’d say.

  2. Good article. I sort of handle things by having very detailed NPC’s and some important location descriptions, know generally what needs to be achieved, then simply add an agent to get it all moving. I run an open sandpit style world, when the old railroad scenario flavour is dumped, some amazing things happen…serendipity can take over.

    • Sound advice Glock. I have trouble making NPCs in advance but when I do it’s nice to have the information at hand. What details do you create? Maybe I’m spending time on the wrong things.

  3. Lesh says:

    “If this is the case, try a different question. For example, a GM may want to know how the party first learns about The Diabolist’s plot. The players could answer that but first the GM has to know where they could possibly hear about it.
    To be honest, where and when the players get involved isn’t as important as whether or not they will get involved, and even worse, it assumes the answer to that question is “yes” without giving the players a chance to answer it.”

    This last sentence is very interesting, but I think it could be reworded, I’m not sure what you mean. Or an example given?

    • It could be re-written as I am referring to the story idea of plot and plot as in conspiracy. It could only be more confusing if the plot was related to a plot of land to which the party had to plot a course. I’ll change it to conspiracy where appropriate.

      If the question is “how do the players hear about the conspiracy?” it assumes that the players will hear about the conspiracy. If you already know this it isn’t as interesting as the question “What do the players do when they hear about the conspiracy?”

      Now, if the players knew that there was a conspiracy but not the details than the question “how do they learn the details” becomes a good one.

      Thanks for your comment

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