Mar 282012

According to role-playing jargon, a railroad is the metaphor which most accurately reflects the extremes of control that a game master has over her players. If she leads them through the plot, as if on a train track, taking them from one “stop” to the next without any flexibility, she is said to be “railroading.” On the other hand, if she gives the players carte blanche to do whatever they like and they go somewhere she never intended, the game has gone “off the rails.” Understandably, neither of these scenarios is very much fun in practice, but acknowledging this raises an important question: how much control can a GM give her players while still remaining in the driver’s seat?

(Find out what I think the answer is after the break.)

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