A Matter of Choice

I read a post on a GM’ing community about choices in RPG’s. It was inspired by an episode of Extra Credits with the same theme. If you haven’t seen it, you can see it right here. There’s more videos in this EC series, but the link directs to the first one.

Meaningful choices in RPG’s is kind of a pet peeve for me. Choices are important, because it is the thing that makes our medium relevant. We can make choices and make reasonable assertions about the consequences, but a computer game can’t. A computer game is scripted. When playing an RPG our choices are limitless, because we can improvise.

The beautiful thing about choices in an RPG is that we can make them about literally anything! It is not only about how to solve a problem, but which problems to solve, which conflicts to engage in, what to say to people you meet, literally anything that can affect the situation at hand or future events in the game world.

That is a thing I truly love about RPG’s, and it is why we can play the exact same scenario with two different groups and have two extremely different outcomes. It is also why I dislike railroading, because railroading is all about removing meaningful choices in order to script the future.

To me, RPG’s are not at all about problem solving. They are about meaningful choices and how they affect the fiction in ways you can’t possibly foresee. It’s beautiful, really.

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