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

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Strict rules about what a story is or isn't are utterly pointless.
Funny, I think a non-story adventure is by definition pointless, not that you cannot make it fun, it may even be a preference, but a story, by definition has a point - it starts, points in a direction, and arrives at a solution based on PC's actions. The story is the point. It cannot be pointless, perhaps having a point isn't your goal in a game. That's fine, but doesn't make it railroads pointless - it's why people use railroads, the point is built in.

Many prefer sand-boxes, that's perfectly fine - I write adventures, and I don't know how to really write without a story. I could provide a bunch content related and unrelated and drop it into a setting, and the players figure out everything - that could be fun. But it doesn't interest me, any more than maybe doing that once, as an experiment. You don't have to like railroads, and you can even criticize railroads - that's fair. But calling it something that is the complete opposite of what it is (being pointless), is a poor argument, since the railroad is a point based story.
 
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Funny, I think a non-story adventure is by definition pointless, not that you cannot make it fun, it may even be a preference, but a story, by definition has a point - it starts, points in a direction, and arrives at a solution based on PC's actions. The story is the point. It cannot be pointless, perhaps having a point isn't your goal in a game. That's fine, but doesn't make it railroads pointless - it's why people use railroads, the point is built in.
In that case, all DnD games are stories, because the pc's have some sort of goal. Unless you literally just sit around in-character, not engaging with anything and don't have any challenges presented for players to chose to engage with or not.

Because once I decide my pc wants to make some money, there's a point. People without any goals at all don't do anything.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
In that case, all DnD games are stories, because the pc's have some sort of goal. Unless you literally just sit around in-character, not engaging with anything and don't have any challenges presented for players to chose to engage with or not.

Because once I decide my pc wants to make some money, there's a point. People without any goals at all don't do anything.
Good point - pun intended!

The players always have a story - well usually, but I thought the discussion was on types of adventures and how to run them, not about PCs specifically.
 

éxypnos

Explorer
Strict rules about what a story is or isn't are utterly pointless.
I use the English language definition PERIOD. If people want to make up definitions of the word then it's pointless to discuss. I could decide that "story" means dancing naked while eating calamari. But, I wouldn't be speaking English
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I use the English language definition PERIOD. If people want to make up definitions of the word then it's pointless to discuss. I could decide that "story" means dancing naked while eating calamari. But, I wouldn't be speaking English
You may have just opened Pandora's box.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Funny, I think a non-story adventure is by definition pointless, not that you cannot make it fun, it may even be a preference, but a story, by definition has a point - it starts, points in a direction, and arrives at a solution based on PC's actions. The story is the point. It cannot be pointless, perhaps having a point isn't your goal in a game. That's fine, but doesn't make it railroads pointless - it's why people use railroads, the point is built in.

Many prefer sand-boxes, that's perfectly fine - I write adventures, and I don't know how to really write without a story. I could provide a bunch content related and unrelated and drop it into a setting, and the players figure out everything - that could be fun. But it doesn't interest me, any more than maybe doing that once, as an experiment. You don't have to like railroads, and you can even criticize railroads - that's fair. But calling it something that is the complete opposite of what it is (being pointless), is a poor argument, since the railroad is a point based story.
See, this dichotomy you present here rings pretty hollow for me. My game definitely has a point (several, in fact--I'm not shy about the fact that some of the elements are in there because I like them or hold them in high regard philosophically), but it's also full of opportunities the players can explore. They may not hear every side of an issue. They may miss out on something, or get a biased account, or choose a side they wouldn't normally ally with if they had access to all the relevant information. What they get out of the points I'm making is up to them--and they, in turn, may make points of their own, inspiring counterpoints from me, ones I never would have come up with myself.

It's a story. But it's also a dialogue between the players and me, and the fact that it's a dialogue actually makes the story parts better.
 

jgsugden

Legend
It isn't story telling at all. It is simply moving about in the world as you wish with the GM having the world react in a logical manner. A story is: (an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.). Someone may MAKE a story of the happening AFTER the events. But partaking in the events in real time is NOT story telling. If you are playing a story you are NOT sand boxing. Your definition is an oxymoron by definition.
RPR. Role playig game. What is the role in, if not a story? Even if the PCs were to do nothing in their story, it is still a story. By the PCings moving around in the world and having the world react, there is a story unfolding, even if it does not arise from an outline.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
See, this dichotomy you present here rings pretty hollow for me. My game definitely has a point (several, in fact--I'm not shy about the fact that some of the elements are in there because I like them or hold them in high regard philosophically), but it's also full of opportunities the players can explore. They may not hear every side of an issue. They may miss out on something, or get a biased account, or choose a side they wouldn't normally ally with if they had access to all the relevant information. What they get out of the points I'm making is up to them--and they, in turn, may make points of their own, inspiring counterpoints from me, ones I never would have come up with myself.

It's a story. But it's also a dialogue between the players and me, and the fact that it's a dialogue actually makes the story parts better.
I was just explaining why I play, run, design and publish railroads generally, but I only write one-shots (and when I do, I don't even know who is going to run, or play in it, nor any of their backstories, so I cannot plan for that in a one-shot) so sandbox isn't ideal for a one-shot, a short plot, escape from the giant starship before it blows up - simple enough plot, doesn't take much. But you all have different approaches, even different definitions of what a story is, great. I'm glad. But I have no intention to convince anybody to do things my way, you're more than welcome to play the game how ever best works for you - I'm sure you're playing in a way that is fun for you and your friends, and that's all that matters. I didn't post to disagree with anybody, nor offer some worldly claim of knowledge on some non-existent best way to play. I only know what's best for me. Anything beyond that is just a hollow conversation. I don't need consensus. So you don't like my dichotomy, so what, I don't care. I wasn't trying to suggest you should. My work and participation is done here. ;)
 
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