Game of Thrones LCG - Tuesday Nights @ Midgard Gaming

[Discussion] Railroading Vs Player Driven RPGs

Some of our view on GMing. At first we had a different topic but was de-railed pretty quickly!

Runtime: 1 Hour 4 Minutes

Audio Link:


  1. You folks kept mentioning "railroad" without giving a clear definition of what it is in terms of TTRPGs. Different people have different definitions.

    What are the elements of a "traditional game"? What are the elements of an "indie" game? What is a "Player-created game"? D&D players can't cooperatively create a setting with the DM/GM? What makes "traditional" games worse than "indie" games? It should be noted that Fiasco, while a game, isn't a true TTRPG.

    Why is it hard to play an investigator in D&D? The rules explain how it works. Add a little imagination and it's easy.

    This episode seems to be pure D&D-bashing. Why? It's just a game. If you don't like it, don't play. It's like the racist who goes around bad-mouthing "dark people". If you don't like them, avoid them. But the open negativity is surprising, especially since D&D remains the most popular TTRPG. Why risk alienating the widest base of podcast listeners?

    CW never saw Star Wars? Yeah, right. If you had an experienced DM/GM that established group gaming expectations in regard to group rules, player wants, rules, and setting you'd be more accepting of "TRAD games". But blaming bad DM/GM experiences on game systems is a mistake that can confuse other gamers and non-gamers interested in TTRPGs.

    1. Hm.. The terms were pretty universal I thought, with most all RPG games where stepping out of the bounds of planned material would lead to de-railing.

      Between Indie and Traditional RPG games there is no, this is better than that one but I have been guilty of saying my personal preference time to time. I am not sure I can agree with the Fiasco comment mostly because there are similar games that fall into the same type of engine (Mystic Empyrean, Durance) that consider themselves Tabletop RPGs.

      There was certainly a bit of D&D bashing though we weren't bashing the players who enjoy it. We comment on other RPG systems as well (indie or otherwise) that we also did not enjoy or did enjoy. Comparing us to racists is a exaggeration, once again it is a game and like wise it is up for criticism much like anything else we play. We could be more constructive in how we present it in the future, that is true. We just don't have a lot of D&D players on the staff.

      It is true not everyone is going to like what we say, but that is just the way it is. I play D&D 4th edition when I do poke around at D&D and I get a lot of flack for not playing the real D&D/Pathfinder system, at this point I just have to brush that off. Everyone has their own ideals on which is more "better" than the next.

      I will agree with the last paragraph that the system/setting isn't normally the blame for a bad game experience. In the case with Chickie, it was certainly more about how it was ran then the game itself.

      We should probably do an episode about player/game contracts now that I think about it. I guess it might have skimmed over that in this episode a little bit but I really never did explain it clearly. It is just embedded in my lingo, I forget it might not be overly common knowledge.

    2. "CW never saw Star Wars? Yeah, right."

      . . . I'm not *able* to have not watched a movie now?