D&D General Fighting Law and Order

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Meh - I don't begrudge a game trying to carve an identity for itself by using terms in an unusual way or even inventing whole new words for things, assuming those terms or words are clearly defined up front in the game materials and then used consistently.

I mean, look at "tapping" a card. As far as I know Magic: the Gathering came up with that term; and if it didn't it still sure took it mainstream. Now we see it as commonplace, but it wasn't always.
Yeah, and it's not as if it's limited to just story games either. There are a number of more traditional or D&D-inspired games that have changed even more familiar terms to better suit their games. Sometimes they are more cutesy. Sometimes they are more edge-lordy. Sometimes they are weirder. But the same is true in video games. IME, the major difference is that video gamers better adjust and deal with it. They just want to play the game and care if it's good or not.

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Sorry. I actually think it is pretty relevant. Let me demonstrate with an example closer to the usual experiences around here....
I still don’t understand how a GM-less game is relevant. (Not being aggressive, I honestly don’t). And I’m not sure how using an example from a game with a GM helps.

You seem to be side stepping the question by adding the assumption that there is an incompetent GM at play. That the abandoned farms are not relevant to the characters. I see no reason you should make that assumption, as I indeed specified they made a note of it to investigate later. Nothing I wrote exclude the posibility that these abandoned farms are critical to the characters.
I think there is a difference between the DM having a SET idea of what should happen at the farms and the DM having the ONLY idea of what happens in the farms.

So the players pass by the farms, make a note of them, and decide to return later. The DM has the idea that the farms are a vampire lair, and the vampire’s minions are the beggars the party meets in town later.

Except when the players meet the beggars, their good roll on their Wises check means the beggars are actually Circus performers, who need the party’s help to save their Circus from a greedy banker (that last bit is important: since roll+intent means that the Circus performers need a reason to be there).

The party saves the circus, then returns to the apparently abandoned farm. The vampire lair concept doesn’t work any more, but literally anything else that follows from the fiction does. Maybe when the party defeated the banker, they found the deed to the abandoned farm but the banker’s assistant (who made a Heel-Face turn) warned the party that it was a nest of phase spiders instead.

I can't comment on what Ron Edwards said in the videos you mentioned, which I've not watched. But I am not trying to "dismantle" any sandboxes. I'm not dismantling anything.

It is a bit broader in scope than the railroad and sandbox points. He takes on sandboxes from a wide range of issues (including whether they have stories or not). It has been a while since I listened to it. Again, I wasn't particularly troubled by it even if I disagreed.

That is fair. I can't know what your intentions are and I shouldn't assume. I was responding to a series of posts that had taken your original point a little further and it is possible I was reading it through other peoples statements. I should probably also say sometimes these conversations to me, feel like they are trying to dismantle sandbox or a certain old school style of play (whether that is the intention or not), particularly when the words we commonly use to describe these styles either get dissected into meaninglessness, the particular usage is ignored or inverted from the way in which we use it (i.e. obviously immersion can mean a range of things, but when a sandbox GM or player uses it they generally mean feeling like you are in the shoes of your character in a world that is external to that character).
It's useful for me, because I see the word railroad used to describe RPGing in which the GM exercises an unreasonable degree of authority, to the detriment of the players' capacity to shape the fiction. And I am characterising where, for me, the boundary lies between the reasonable and the unreasonable.

I suppose if that is how you see it, it is just worth pointing out this is far from the typical use of it. To me this use seems especially expansive and includes a number of styles that most people would consider anti-railroad.


Mod Squad
Staff member
Honestly, I think you’ve got a lot of gall to post some crap like this.

Mod Note:

You aren't exactly bucking for an award for rhetorical style yourself with this one.

Folks are clearly getting frustrated, and this is a good (if unintentional) argument that the thread has outlived its usefulness, and now serves mostly as an attractive nuisance in which people will butt heads and treat each other badly.

Thread closed.

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