Story Games vs Traditional RPGs

“Let’s make a story about how (this thing/event X) happened!” 

This mindset takes for granted that event X actually occurs. In a traditional role playing game, there is no way of guaranteeing if event X ever happens unless you play it out. There needs to be a chance that event X doesn’t happen (probably because of bad decisions made by the party) in order to be playing an traditional RPG (or OSR RPG...I don’t really know the right term). If event X is definitely going to happen no matter what, you’re just telling a story with a foregone conclusion. Is that really fun? Is there agency? Is there drama or suspense? In my opinion, no. Nothing I do really matters. I play games to do things that matter...to fulfill a role and how the decisions made in that role have a consequence...to my character’s life, to the party’s lives, to the world. If your game takes that away, I don’t want to play. I’ll get bored. Maybe I’ll become the antagonistic player who tries to juke when everyone wants to jive.

In these parts, there’s a GM everyone loves. He’s even won the Iron GM title at GenCon. I got over playing in his games after a couple conventions. Why? His ending is always written beforehand. My actions, my choices don’t matter, except how tough it’s going to be to finally finish. There’s no question of success. No table ever fails.

I don’t think it’s any fun, so I'm going to stick with my traditional RPGs and let the people who think story-gaming is fun have at it.

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