3
\$\begingroup\$

The vast majority of computer games, roleplaying ones included, utilize a simple Save function I guess most of us are familiar with. If not: primarily it allows the user to quit the game, do other things, then load the game and the save again and continue where she's left off. It also makes it possible to reload a game state and try again from that point on in case something goes bad: the player's character dies or fails a mission critical quest, and so on. Finally, it lets players roll back and experience different paths in the story (where applicable), even if the path picked is not a failure. (You take the red pill. Okay, that was interesting, let's reload and see what the blue one does.)

I'd like to know whether there's a game out there that has rules for "saving/loading" the game/world state multiple times, and not just by pausing the game at the end of a session till the beginning of the next one, and also not just by retconning stuff without some kind of regulatory input from the official game rules.

Recommend me a pen-and-paper roleplaying game that has built in rules for saving/loading a given state of the game – preferably allowing these operations any time the players wish to use them (even mid-game, before/after a combat, critical social encounter, etc.)

It's not a problem if saving/loading has a cost or some other form of penalty. It's not a problem if it's free either. I'm not being specific about that, because I don't care – I'm interested in any relevant solution. What matters is that the game has to have explicit rules, some kind of mechanism for saving and loading.

\$\endgroup\$

As this is a game-recommendation question, please adhere to the FAQ, the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and our rules for game recommendations. All responses must cite actual experience or reference others' experiences!

closed as off-topic by BESW, Purple Monkey, KorvinStarmast, KRyan, nitsua60 Jun 6 '16 at 11:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

11
\$\begingroup\$

Nearly every RPG works this way. When you want to stop, stop. Character sheets should reflect a character's current condition and equipment. Anything else important to keep track of (what's happening in the story, NPC conditions, etc) should be remembered by the GM and players and/or written down as notes for next time.

This is the normal way that multi-session RPGs are handled.

Want to go back and resume play from an earlier point (analogous to loading from a save-point earlier in the game)? Decide where you want to go back to, and do it. Between notes on what happened, and recollection of the story, your group should have little trouble doing this.

If you are worried about making it easier to "go back in time" you can also periodically make copies of character sheets, with a note attached telling when in the story the copy is from. This creates a "save" of the character's state information (health, XP, etc).


In the RPG hobby, "loading from an older save" is usually described as a ret-con or "retroactive continuity". Basically, it means that we didn't like how things went and want to change the past.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the kind answer, but, unfortunately, it doesn't answer my question. I know this is how it works. :) What I'm looking for, though, is to learn what systems have actual mechanics for saving and reloading any previous game state (not just the last one where a party stops at the end of a session), and, if any, what these mechanics are like. Sure, I know it's easy to do in any system by retconning and such -- but that's not actual rules. \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Jun 15 '15 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a notice that the question has now been updated to clarify that the trivial case that all RPGs already handle isn't what's being sought. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 20 '15 at 18:59
3
\$\begingroup\$

Outside of the realm of time travel RPGs, some of which have inherent resets (complete or incomplete) I know of no games that offer this sort of mechanic. I would like to point out, however, that such is likely for a very good reason: Save/Load works great in a single-player setting; you mess up - you reset. In a multiplayer setting, however, a player who flubbed a roll or roleplaying situation may want to reset without anyone else wanting that. This could grind games to a halt: playing the same scene over and over again until it is perfect. This only gets worse in cases where there is a competitive element to the game. This is not a foreign concept to multiplayer gaming in videogaming either, though. Very few multiplayer games allow such 'save states', because they interrupt game flow. Another argument against it in more dice-oriented games is that when you can reload whenever you want - why roll dice at all?

\$\endgroup\$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.