Unless the DM is an improv god (Seriously doubtful), or the DM has gone above and beyond in prepping an entire hex crawl, Railroading (to an extent) i...

Unless the DM is an improv god (Seriously doubtful), or the DM has gone above and beyond in prepping an entire hex crawl, Railroading (to an extent) is a necessary evil.

  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    ...or, you can just make an adventure and have some modular scenario on the side ready to go for when your player go off the rail and reajust your adventure incrementally between game sessions.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      And what happens when I walk away from both your main adventure and modular adventure?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I have a folder full pf modular scenarios. Making these on spare time is always useful because you can always use them, either well fleshed out for your main adventure or on the side to keep busy the occasional adhd player.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Then it ceases to be a GMing problem and becomes an "asshole player doesn't actually want to play" problem.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I remove you from the game because you're a contrarian cuntbag and replace you with someone willing to play ball.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Railroading is never necessary in a game celebrated for being able to do what you want.
    But D&D has no direction, and its creator said you don't even need the books, so it's a fucking scam.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Railroading is never necessary in a game celebrated for being able to do what you want.
      If the players ignore all my plot hooks and decide to be pirates, I'm gonna tell them to either engage with what I have or get fucked.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        If the players refuse to play the game look for new players. That's not railroading. Aside from this, your example seems pretty easy to handle.
        >see how they want to get their ship
        >roll for sea encounters
        >look or make up appropriate stats to let them engage trading vessels in combat

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Or you could roleplay as an adult and discuss with them the kind of game you want, so your prep largely aligns with their actions. And if they ignore that then you tell them to fuck off.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Are we here to have fun playing how we want or to beat the game the game master wrote?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >wark wark wark
        Okay, but that doesn't change the point.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        So your game is a video game but worse.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This is why you plan zero things out other then dungeon layouts that can be easily swapped for different locations

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You didn't talk to the players about their characters beforehand? You should be able to anticipate this, unless they're being lol so random, in which case you need to play with actual adults.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        If you did a session zero where you explained the campaign to them, then fair enough. But if you didnt and you expect them to follow the narrative you have in your head, like some kind of mindreader, then you're the one at fault anon.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      > Railroading is never necessary in a game
      It must be easy never having to run a game

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Rather than railroading, it's railmoving.
    Go wherever, you'll still meet the people you have to meet.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >t. Quantum Ogre

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        As a physicist, I fucking hate that analogy. Something being where you need it to be at all times has nothing to do with wavefunctions.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This is the way
      If a branching path has the same encounter on each branch it's not like your players will ever know

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Most players don't know what to do when given unlimited freedom.

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    ...or you play with a system (like an OSR system) that provides a variety of sandbox tools to make improvising extremely easy

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    railroading is fine sometimes its storyshitting that is never ok.
    >ok and then this happens, just lk a video game cutscene. Your chars do nothing or do what I say they do.
    not cool. i'd rather play with a harf core racist than a storyshitter.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That's railroading. You're describing railroading

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >thinks he needs to be an "improv god" to not railroad people
    80 IQ.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If your definition of 'railroading' is so broad that it includes the players agreeing to play the game you're running, then yes.
    But that's retarded, so no.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Personally I just hate it when I get railroaded into creating a character using the game's mechanics.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    We call it direction when it's fun and railroad when it's bad
    The best direction is when the players think they're acting of their own will

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >preparing an entire hexcrawl = going above and beyond
    Lazy moron.

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Quantum Ogre is shit. I only give out plot hooks for anything, side or main quest, if I have the content prepped. If my players go off in a direction I have literally no content planned, I'd prefer to just tell them, and if they insist, then I'll ask them to do something else this session and I'll prep what they wanted to do for next session.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Making the players think they have agency when they don't is shit. I want them on the tracks and making choo choo noises while they awaiting my story time or I'll ask them to do something else

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I'd rather have someone I'm playing with admit human fallibility than straight up gaslight me. This might be an unpopular opinion but literal psychological abuse is not good game design.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      "Quantum ogre" is a useful backup tool though. It's not for forcing players into a certain direction but for filling up a world that has blank spots. Imagine it like a game of Carcassonne, and the players want to go somewhere that doesn't have a tile yet. You can't just put anything there, putting a field in the middle of a city won't connect for example. Luckily, as GM, you can prepare your own assortment of tiles (the quantum ogres) and have roads, cities, fields, monastaries, rivers and whatever else have you so you can always pick a tile that fits. That way you can fill out your world on the spot without having to interrupt the flow of the campaign.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This.
        When I prep, I have four things to try and get on paper: NPCs, Sets, Encounters (which I split into Threats and Opportunities), and Widgets (Loot, misc rule stuff, general fluff).
        I don't try and organise which of those things goes with which other ones, or what order. I let the shape of the session tell me what's reasonable.
        If you have enough different Quantum Ogres, the magician's forced choice becomes actual freedom.

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    you literally just ask them what they're going to do ahead of time so you can prep
    this isn't rocket science

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    People for some reason mistake 'Railroading' with 'have a general idea of what players are going to do'.

    Preparing the contents of the abandoned Temple of Lamplighter isn't railroading, because the players are on a quest to go to the temple to find a relic. Preparing the two inns and one village on the road there isn't railroading. Preparing a few events on the road and a few small things near, but off, the road to do isn't railroading. Hell even if they go into the woods just have a small list of woodland encounters, because spoilers, traveling through a forest generally is monotonous compared to traveling by road.

    It doesn't need a hex crawl because why would the players randomly leave the road and trudge through the woods to make their travel longer/harder?

    If you're GMing and have no clue what the players are trying to accomplish from session to session that's your fucking fault.

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I can count on one hand the number of times I haven't known what players want to accomplish the following week. If the PCs have free time I just ask them to tell me before next session. If they don't they're generally on a mission so it's obvious.

    Do people play with players who just abandon mission mis stream? Or have such bad ADHD that they don't go from task to task with an actual coherent system?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Do people play with players who just abandon mission mis stream? Or have such bad ADHD that they don't go from task to task with an actual coherent system?
      There are definitely players out there that are so brain dead they'll miss all plot hooks and then start walking in the opposite direction.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        There are also players who will do it on purpose because they think they're being clever rather than being an asshole.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          What zero pussy does to a mf

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >miss plot hooks
        The fuck does this even mean? The game has a premise, they should already know what the fuck they're doing.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >"Help! The bandits raped my horse and rode with my wife"
          "Not my problem, lol" My character doesn't get involved.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Fucking what? That's not a plothook. You should establish a central goal before the game even begins, what the fuck is the game's premise if not a central idea for what players try to do week to week.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        If the players miss the plot hooks, thats on the GM. If the players are avoiding them on purpose trying to be funny or clever, thats on them.

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >improv god
    Just roll your random encounters as part of your session prep.

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There is a difference between linearity and railroading.

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    As is so often the case in this hobby filled with contrarian pedants, the common definition of things has drifted to the point of uselessness. Railroading is not, "I've prepped 'The Temple of Evil, Giant Frog People', therefore we're playing, 'The Temple of Evil, Giant Frog People". A party that refuses to engage with basic plot hooks is a party of assholes who should be removed from the table.
    Railroading is, "Nooooooooo! You can't parlay with the random encounter bandits to make them join you! You have to go into the temple solo! Nooooooooo! You can't kill this assassin who's attacking you now that you've found it, you have to fight him later! Nooooooooo! You can't roll to find the secret entrance that assassin just used to escape you! You have to go through the front door! Nooooooooo! You can't disguise yourselves as frog cultists! You have to challenge the entry guards to combat!" etc, etc, etc.
    Railroading is not saying, "This is the challenge you will be overcoming this session," it is saying, "You cannot solve the challenges I've given you in ways that I did not foresee." In one-shot adventure sessions, players have no reason not to engage with what's in front of them except if they're bad players. In campaigns, you should be ending each session with an understanding of what direction the players are going next.
    Likewise, if you're designing adventures and the players are engaging with the basic concept of going to the dungeon and dealing with the threat the bad guy presents, you have no grounds to complain if they start doing it in ways you didn't predict. If you wrote a plot about how they're *going* to find the prisoners and free them to get the key and *then* go down to the basement to fight the sorcerer and *have to* accept his apprentice into their ranks and *then* go do something else behind the altar, you're the problem because you shouldn't be dictating their plot or behavior, just designing obstacles and providing tools to overcome them.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I told my DM I was going to whip our my cock and slap the king across the face and he said no. I'm tired of railroading DMs.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Thanks for proving my point that the hobby is filled with contrarian pedants.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >DM
        If you were playing GURPS the GM could just calculate how long it takes you to ready your cock and the modifiers for hitting the king's face with it.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          1 second , unless you have Quick-draw (Penis), then it could be instantly
          Then probably a Move Action to rush up to the king and jump high enough to put your dick across his face. Jumping skill check for that. 2 seconds
          Attack action (Brawling), with a =5 to aim for the face.
          Then get carved apart, because a half dozen guards can kill most PCs even at fairly high PVs, assuming the king didn't just stab you himself during one of those three rounds.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This.
      "Railroading" is the word for "too much linearity, harming the quality of the game."
      You can't have an acceptable amount of railroading, for the same reason you can't have a safe overdose or a legal murder. It's a contradiction in terms.
      What OP means is that LINEARITY can be OK. And it can.

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Or you can do what normal people do and ask what the players want to do next session then prep for that.

  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I make like three or four tracks depending on the location.

    Usually I just make shit up.

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    you can't railroad if you don't know where the game is going in the first place

  21. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    wouldn't shrodinger's ogre be more accurate

  22. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's a matter of give and take. The GM might present you with a general premise and an end goal, but in turn the GM should be willing to give you free reign to complete objectives however you want to and are able to with the characters in the party.

    For example, instead of "kill the dragon" it should be "deal with the dragon". Leave the end goal open ended enough that while there is still a clear one the players can choose to handle it however they like. This ensures the setting is cohesive while still giving the players a ton of freedom to ultimately end things how they want.

    A good approach to players needing help with something is to give them multiple options for aid with different outcomes depending on who they choose, if anyone, to help them. At the end of the day, as long as the way the players do things has a visible impact on the world and their characters as well as those NPCs involved in a meaningful and long-lasting way, players don't really mind a bit of railroading.

    TLDR: TTRPGs are a social contract that states that the players will work with the GM's scenario as long as the GM works to let the players tackle that scenario in a way they find satisfactory.

  23. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    All you need to tard wrangle players into the general plot is for the reason the party getting together being the plot hook.
    >You are summoned by a wealthy lord who is has a mission to retrieve a family relic from the ancient lands
    >The party is conscripted into a local militia due to their skills
    >A challenge has been issued across the land by the BBEG to defeat him before the next eclipse, gathering hopeful challengers into his island to train, hunt and survive until they are ready to face him
    etc.
    Make the goal obvious from the start and you won't need to worry about plot hooks. Your job from then on as the GM is to create interesting scenarios from point A to point B.

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