D&D General What is player agency to you?

pemerton

Legend
Just that people play in games they don't fully agree with in principle to maintain the social contract of the group. They neither accept the games principles whole-heartedly nor reject them and leave the game amicably, but instead continue to play and endure the parts they don't prefer for the sake of staying with the group.
Do these people misunderstand the meta? Or seek to subvert it?

I mean, I've played games where my preference would have been to play something else, but I've compromised and cooperated as one does in social situations. But that doesn't mean I was confused about how the game play worked, or tried to undermine the game.

EDIT: I see that @Manbearcat has made just the same point just upthread.
 

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Golroc

Explorer
Supporter
Do these people misunderstand the meta? Or seek to subvert it?

I mean, I've played games where my preference would have been to play something else, but I've compromised and cooperated as one does in social situations. But that doesn't mean I was confused about how the game play worked, or tried to undermine the game.

EDIT: I see that @Manbearcat has made just the same point just upthread.

I've seen all three - misunderstandings/miscommunications, subversion and compromise. But from my anecdotal perspective, compromise is by far the most common. I honestly think I cannot recall a table where at least one person wasn't compromising (about something, not necessarily agency) - and aware of it.

It's not always something talked out at session zero - it might not even be a spoken agreement. E.g. if someone knows the style of a GM (maybe from previous games), and decides to join, they know what they're signing up for and what compromises they're making. Should such compromises always be talked out explicitly ahead of time? Not necessarily, I think. It depends on the social context of the game.
 

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