Topics about running games with pre-determined outcomes, including how to avoid its negative implications and how to do it well.

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35
votes
5answers
4k views

Why wouldn’t I just run away from the eldritch horror?

I am struggling with character motivations in Call of Cthulhu or similarly investigative horror settings. For some reason I seem to have issues imagining the reasoning behind characters who really ...
24
votes
9answers
551 views

How do I help create story around the table without writing it?

I love RPGs. I think they can create some of the most fun and enjoyable stories, both from an out-of-game and in-game standpoint. I also realize that "story" is the result of the game played by the ...
19
votes
10answers
911 views

How much plot guidance is too much?

I've played in many games that were extremely railroaded. There was basically only one feasible course of action and we, as players, were expected to take that route. (The GM would get very upset if ...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I prevent my players from hopping on a railroad when I'm not railroading?

All my previous GMing experience is with tightly-plotted railroads, and my players are used to (and generally happy with) riding the rails. Right now I'm setting up a sandbox campaign to break out of ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I avoid railroading in dungeons?

Well, I'm a very big fan of 4E's character creation system and also its combat, but a problem I've found is that exploration seems pointless in this edition and everything's built around combat ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

How do you deal with a DM who says “no” to everything?

I am in a campaign with several players who also DM, on a rotating schedule. One DM in particular has a control issue, in my opinion. He tends to say "no" to just about any action the PC wants to ...
34
votes
9answers
2k views

What is 'railroading', and is it a bad thing?

What is 'railroading', and when is it generally considered to be something negative?
26
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I get my players to form a PC party without just forcing them to?

I believe that it is generally a good thing that all the PCs travel together, as a "party". This way the GM has to manage one environment – not, say, five. The problem is how the GM can ensure such a ...
31
votes
12answers
842 views

How do I allow player agency in situations with predetermined outcomes?

One of the current members of our group joined a little later than everyone else. His character's history wasn't developed too well, so I am running a one-off session so that the group can play out ...
5
votes
4answers
348 views

How to avoid the feeling of railroading in my campaign pregame?

This question is related to my other question. Please see that one for campaign background, rather than me repeating it all here. I don't want the players to feel "trapped" and forced into a ...