D&D General Not Railroad, Not Sandbox ... What else is there?

Torranocca

Villager
So long as we're agreed that you don't plan on calling others' wrong for presenting evidence of their claims, we're good, like I said last post.
Your one upsmanship has gotten tiresome. I will post as I see fit and do not need your tacit approval or agreement to post what I know to be fact by personal experience. Your inability to except that there is a real possibility that you and your magical leprechaun🤪 (derp) friends did not invent well known RPG concepts, that you believe you did, is well?….. what it is. You are free to go on believing what ever you want. My agreement or compliance is neither required nor forthcoming. We can certainly have new conversations on other subjects and we may well find agreements, commonalities or different experiences there. That is the lure and joy of communication. Let this one go and we can move on to more productive subjects. Continue on and you will find yourself conversing with yourself. I have no more to say on it and no more I wish to consider of it. Good night friend 😁
 

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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Your one upsmanship has gotten tiresome. I will post as I see fit and do not need your tacit approval or agreement to post what I know to be fact by personal experience. Your inability to except that there is a real possibility that you and your magical leprechaun🤪 (derp) friends did not invent well known RPG concepts, that you believe you did, is well?….. what it is. You are free to go on believing what ever you want. My agreement or compliance is neither required nor forthcoming. We can certainly have new conversations on other subjects and we may well find agreements, commonalities or different experiences there. That is the lure and joy of communication. Let this one go and we can move on to more productive subjects. Continue on and you will find yourself conversing with yourself. I have no more to say on it and no more I wish to consider of it. Good night friend 😁I never once claimed that I had invented anything. I do not claim such. I said that evidence indicates that sandbox became a term of art in the video game community and then ported over to TTRPGs. This is backed up in the literature analysis, where we v see sandbox start showing up on writings about video games and then in writings about TTRPGs in the early 00s. Prior to this, there are plenty of TTRPG writings, but no usage of sandbox. This evidence supports the argument that "sandbox" was first spoiled widely to video games and then moved to TTRPGs in the aught. If you claim to have used it in the 80s, well and good, but the evidence shows it was not widely used at that time because it's not showing up in the writings, of which there are many. Any claim to widespread use in the 80s needs to overcome how it could be in widespread usage but be so avoided in the writings which were dense on the topic of campaign design.

I never made any claim that I or anyone I know invented the term "sandbox. "
 




pemerton

Legend
Have we actually gotten anywhere since my first post on page 3, here? Because it doesn't seem like it. We all agree that "sandbox" and "railroad" are terms with meaning (whenever those terms came into being). And it's been generally agreed that it's possible to mix the two ideas: a "sandroad," a sequence of smaller sandboxes where the overall structure is "linear" but each area is a (semi-contained) free-for-all, or a "railbox," a collection of fixed-event adventures that are all purely opt-in such that the final path or destination of the campaign is hard to predict but each individual segment is "on rails."

The "bingo card" example is similar to a railbox on this analysis, while a sandroad is perhaps the ideal end result of the "card trick" example, where players feel they have had sufficient freedom but ultimately everything they did was All According To Plan. So those seem less like four distinct options and more like two options, each of which allows (at least) two further variations.

Then we have the "matrix" campaign, which seems to take elements of both railbox and sandbox: the GM works with the players to develop goals that the characters naturally want to pursue for one reason or another, and the world is then populated with threats and intrigues relevant to those goals. Clues can point proverbially inward to parts of the matrix already known, or they can point proverbially outward to new locations of interest. As time goes on, there will eventually be some limits, more analogous to the walls of the metaphorical "box."

There's been mention of "node-based" campaigns, but I'm not sure how those differ from either a matrix or a sandbox.
As an answer to the question asked in the title of this thread: this.
Just reiterating in case it's of interest: the play described in the thread I linked to is not linear/railroad, is not sandbox, is not bingo card, is not card traick, is not matrix. There are no "clues" in the relevant sense.
 

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