March 26, 2021

Agency


For this insightful episode I am joined by Scott, a.k.a @optionalrule, and we talk about the incredibly important topic of agency. It's a term that gets bandied around a lot, carrying with it an awful lot of weight. In this hour, Scott and I begin to unpack some of that weight and how it can drastically and dramatically impact the gameplay experience. Starting by clarifying some common misconceptions and misinterpretations, we define what "agency" really is within the TTRPG experience. When you have so many options on the table, where do you draw the line? Indeed, the GM is player too with their own pool of agency, and it's that trading of agency which leads to interesting and dynamic games. We finish on the importance of trust, something not always directly associated with agency, but the two are often intrinsically linked. The more you trust each other, the more you're willing to part with to increase the enjoyment of everyone at the table, and I can't think of a more poetic explanation than that!

  • 02:30 - Nobody puts agency in the the corner - the common misconceptions
  • 13:33 - What constitutes "meaningful" actions
  • 24:16 - Taking player agency away through in-game mechanics
  • 42:04 - An ethical tug of war - sacrificing agency for others
  • 52:43 - Railroading versus sandbox - the analysis paralysis of too much agency

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References:

Intro Music: 'Local Forecast' by Kevin MacLeod
Intermission Music: 'Chill' by Kevin MacLeod
Outro Music: 'Local Forecast - Elevator' by Kevin MacLeod

Transcript

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[Music]

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hello and welcome to thinking critically

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a d and d discussion a podcast where we

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deep dive single word concepts or ideas

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within the dungeons and dragons 5e

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framework my name is danilo and i like

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all kinds of games and the crunchy

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mechanics that make him tick you can

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find me on twitter facebook and

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instagram and i'd really appreciate a

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like or a follow and today i am joined

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by scott aka optional rule thank you

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ever ever so much for joining us today

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scott can you tell us a little bit about

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yourself

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thank you for having me i really

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appreciate it uh my name is scott i run

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a website and i'm active on twitter and

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i stream on twitch under optional rule

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you can search for me there um i'm

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really just um commenting on tabletop

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role playing dungeons and dragons

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specifically since it's so popular but i

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do all kinds of role playing and

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role-playing theory with a bent on

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actual games being played the messiness

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of games being played in the real world

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and getting more and more people to run

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games thank you yes lots of

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very insightful and interesting thoughts

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and comments and opinions you've had and

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i think that's how we've met originally

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was on twitter and sharing ideas and

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opinions and stuff so i'm really looking

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forward to today it should be a very

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interesting one the topic of today of

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which is agency so what does that mean

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to you yeah that's great so agency is

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really about choices that that the the

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power how empowered someone is to make

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choices to decide what options to select

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um i think it's a there's a couple of uh

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misconceptions about agency in the game

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space that might be worth addressing

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today but it's really just about your

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ability to make choices uh whatever

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options might be presented to you maybe

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even worth noting right out of the gate

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that

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in a game as it relates to tabletop

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games the the dm

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dictates the options the player

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dictates the choices so they exercise

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agency and the dice dictate the outcome

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so that's really the core agency is a

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core component of gameplay for a player

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in any tabletop role-playing game hmm i

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quite like that the symmetry there's

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like three pillars just like there are

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three pillars of dnd there's quite a

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nice marriage there of the two kind of

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frameworks

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i'd like actually let's start with the

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misconceptions of agency i think it's

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quite um that term is thrown around a

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lot just that single word agency and all

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the weight then the heft that comes with

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it is thrown around all the time and i

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think everybody has a kind of a

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a fundamental appreciation of you know

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what it means it's it's the players have

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or should have agencies so let's really

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dive in then with the misconceptions of

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agency or the perceived misconceptions

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yeah no that's great so i think um first

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anything that's adjacent to a choice

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sometimes is mistaken for agency and

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games so control is adjacent to choice i

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would say agency that is co-opted or

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becomes unhealthy becomes an argument

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about control not an argument about

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agency that a um sometimes people

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confuse

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agency as being able to override the

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rules or which is not always the case

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rules have a role they're not all

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important nothing is all important but

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agency doesn't always override other

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every other element and the other

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confusion part is to understand where an

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individual player's agency stops and

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another player's agency begins or even

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the game master i think a big

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underappreciated element of agency in

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tabletop games is the the dm has agency

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too because they're also a player

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they're a player with a different set of

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responsibilities and their agencies

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around the world and the world's choices

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and what options might be available to a

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player to exercise their agency but the

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misconceptions are really around when

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does it become toxic for a lack of a

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better word where it becomes control or

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where does it get limited um in other

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words where do you surrender your agency

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in favor of somebody else's

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that's a topic we've touched on a couple

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of times in previous episodes around i

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think it was with acting it was knowing

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when to create space almost for other

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players and that that a part of that is

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relinquishing

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some of your agency to enable

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other people at the table maybe as

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a similar kind of conceit i suppose yeah

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i think something i always go back to is

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uh

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one of the big ways that tabletop role

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playing games differ from something like

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a novel or a movie is table top game

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role-playing games there's a lot of role

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of negative space right in in art in

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visual arts you have this concept of

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negative space which is things not

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included that the that the observer

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fills in well that happens as well as

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the table you know you create negative

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space for another player to fill in and

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your actions sometimes limit or enable

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another player's agency like are you or

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have you done something extreme now

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whereas now another player at the table

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or the dm doesn't have a lot of options

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that seem reasonable to them to react to

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that right so the medium of our our art

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form if you want to call it that is

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something about trading agency back and

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forth that's the core of what improv is

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right so i think it i think it just has

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a core role to table top role playing

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games

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i think trading agency back and forth is

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a really really nice way of putting it

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could it is that this is going to sound

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weird but like a collaborative tug of

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war right you're kind of on the same

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team but also kind and not in some

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instances that is a really interesting

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way of putting it and i think that's one

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of the harder things to pick up when you

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come to it that's a quite a nuanced

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thing to know to give somebody else

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agency at potentially the cost of your

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own is

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like a super difficult thing and one you

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never really

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i think you can never master it's just

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one of those things you can just

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continually appreciate more i suppose is

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the romantic way to put it no that's

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absolutely true the iterative nature of

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gaming

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and the sort of the contextual nature of

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gaming it's evergreen it's an evergreen

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topic i think that's why you're you're

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you have such a wonderful podcast as

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mentioned before we recorded that i've

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listened to several episodes i really

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enjoy it and it's because there's always

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a what if and

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back to the example of agency i always

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the metaphor i use in my mind is we all

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have this baby at the table and we're

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passing this baby around and all of

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everybody trusting each other to hold it

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right and love it right and and it's

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just

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gaming requires lots of trust and

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surrendering agency is the ultimate

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expression of trust really

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so yeah that that to me ties back to why

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it's so important and why this is such

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an evergreen topic i'll even add this

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bit as i've been gaming i didn't add

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this at the top of the show but i've

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been gaming for over 40 years i'm i'm an

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old-timer i i i hopefully have not

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tripped over into the geezer territory

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of my attitude at least that i'm that

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i'm i try to stay young-minded so i love

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that

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i i hear interesting things from other

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people all the time and i'm not getting

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locked into ways of thinking so that

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that flexible mindset is is key to

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enabling agency from other players and i

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encourage everybody to do it

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yeah for sure for sure talking about the

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podcast thank you for your kind words i

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must admit every every now and again i

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have a blind panic of oh no i'm running

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out of topics but then suddenly i'll

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think of like five more and then they

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just get added to the list

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so i have to keep reminding myself don't

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worry there's always some weird abstract

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way i can take it i talk about trading

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agency there's an example of recent in

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one of my games that was

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it was quite an awkward position and it

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deals with a lot of

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iffy topics like meta gaming being one

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of them so

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in my

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particular game i'm running at the

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moment we have we have a discord and i

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made a channel for kind of dm private

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talk

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a lot of my players were newer they were

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less experienced at separating

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themselves from the meta so there was

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there was a little bit of instances

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where i've gone okay you're only really

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doing that because

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you know the context and maybe i'm

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taking a hammer to a problem which

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requires a tweezer but

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i have a separate channel to go let's do

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a bit of one one to one just to

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completely mitigate it

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so we we did that in the last session uh

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a player wanted to talk privately to an

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nbc and he deliberately waited in game

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until he was alone with the npc everyone

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else left he's i'm i want to be the last

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one to leave okay cool boom straight

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into the other chat we're chatting away

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blah blah

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come back in and this is why i'm

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alluding to the fact that this might not

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be the best way to do it is because

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immediately the other players are like

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what's happening what happened i was

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there i didn't really leave i i wanted

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to stay and listen to the conversation i

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was like

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i don't know man you you explicitly said

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you left the room and like walked away

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and now you're telling me you actually

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really didn't do that and you wanted to

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stay and that was a that was a tough

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call for me to be like sorry dude i

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think

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you're trying to have your cake and eat

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it with that one and yeah you're only

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doing that and so ironically it almost

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made it worse moving into a different

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room but it's that like

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i wanted the player to have that

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one-to-one time with the npc because he

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went to great lengths to do it but then

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also didn't want to just say no you met

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a gaming you can't do anything you want

265
00:09:14,000 --> 00:09:17,680
to do and that i was right in the middle

266
00:09:16,320 --> 00:09:19,920
of the

267
00:09:17,680 --> 00:09:22,320
the agency tug of war there to

268
00:09:19,920 --> 00:09:24,240
but but luckily he the guy said you know

269
00:09:22,320 --> 00:09:26,240
what i am probably

270
00:09:24,240 --> 00:09:28,399
taking the piss a little bit there

271
00:09:26,240 --> 00:09:30,160
i'll i'll just put my hands up and say

272
00:09:28,399 --> 00:09:31,360
i was foolish enough to leave the

273
00:09:30,160 --> 00:09:34,000
warlock player character with the

274
00:09:31,360 --> 00:09:36,240
powerful caster npc to let them discuss

275
00:09:34,000 --> 00:09:38,240
all sorts of naughty machinations that

276
00:09:36,240 --> 00:09:40,160
probably should have been listened to

277
00:09:38,240 --> 00:09:41,920
right right yeah there's a lot to unpack

278
00:09:40,160 --> 00:09:44,480
there because i've had many situations

279
00:09:41,920 --> 00:09:46,399
like that myself and um i mean i think

280
00:09:44,480 --> 00:09:48,640
every dm does and it's common it's

281
00:09:46,399 --> 00:09:50,240
common scenario run into where there's a

282
00:09:48,640 --> 00:09:52,240
difference between character agency and

283
00:09:50,240 --> 00:09:54,399
player agency right

284
00:09:52,240 --> 00:09:56,320
the metagame is a space that players

285
00:09:54,399 --> 00:09:58,640
enjoy the game and sometimes they enjoy

286
00:09:56,320 --> 00:10:01,040
watching somebody else play so their

287
00:09:58,640 --> 00:10:03,200
agency is commenting on what that other

288
00:10:01,040 --> 00:10:04,720
player is doing but that can interfere

289
00:10:03,200 --> 00:10:06,160
with the player doing the action right

290
00:10:04,720 --> 00:10:08,000
they don't feel free to do what they're

291
00:10:06,160 --> 00:10:09,839
gonna do i don't think there is a right

292
00:10:08,000 --> 00:10:11,760
answer in there just it's a great

293
00:10:09,839 --> 00:10:13,680
example of how

294
00:10:11,760 --> 00:10:15,440
how malleable that whole space can be

295
00:10:13,680 --> 00:10:17,200
plus you know metagaming i'm sure is a

296
00:10:15,440 --> 00:10:19,360
topic for a great topic for another show

297
00:10:17,200 --> 00:10:21,680
there's there's also the

298
00:10:19,360 --> 00:10:23,519
the the concept of you're playing these

299
00:10:21,680 --> 00:10:25,920
characters but you're operating in a

300
00:10:23,519 --> 00:10:27,839
world that has this artificial layer

301
00:10:25,920 --> 00:10:29,920
you know put on top of it and you can't

302
00:10:27,839 --> 00:10:32,480
not acknowledge that that's happening

303
00:10:29,920 --> 00:10:34,800
you can't not acknowledge that you know

304
00:10:32,480 --> 00:10:37,120
wounds don't hurt until you're down to

305
00:10:34,800 --> 00:10:38,800
zero hit points or that you you sleep

306
00:10:37,120 --> 00:10:40,640
once and you come you come up with full

307
00:10:38,800 --> 00:10:42,480
hit points it's hard to not acknowledge

308
00:10:40,640 --> 00:10:43,519
that that's the reality you're living in

309
00:10:42,480 --> 00:10:45,600
so

310
00:10:43,519 --> 00:10:48,000
sometimes the best way to

311
00:10:45,600 --> 00:10:49,760
maintain your own agency is to ignore

312
00:10:48,000 --> 00:10:52,320
the sort of hand wave these details of

313
00:10:49,760 --> 00:10:53,519
the metagame that are happening um but

314
00:10:52,320 --> 00:10:54,959
other times it's just you should just

315
00:10:53,519 --> 00:10:57,200
say what's on your mind and leave it for

316
00:10:54,959 --> 00:10:59,600
the the game master plays that referee

317
00:10:57,200 --> 00:11:00,959
of deciding how much time each player

318
00:10:59,600 --> 00:11:02,640
should be getting and how much attention

319
00:11:00,959 --> 00:11:04,399
your players should be getting so in a

320
00:11:02,640 --> 00:11:06,959
way it's about managing

321
00:11:04,399 --> 00:11:09,200
time equals agency to some degree right

322
00:11:06,959 --> 00:11:11,440
and so in a way it's really it's a

323
00:11:09,200 --> 00:11:13,360
really about

324
00:11:11,440 --> 00:11:15,440
making sure you're the interface between

325
00:11:13,360 --> 00:11:17,600
players to some degree right so it's

326
00:11:15,440 --> 00:11:19,680
about it's about making sure that that

327
00:11:17,600 --> 00:11:21,440
conversation is flowing in a way that

328
00:11:19,680 --> 00:11:23,519
doesn't cause problem downstream that

329
00:11:21,440 --> 00:11:25,519
make them feel empowered now

330
00:11:23,519 --> 00:11:28,079
and maybe even just a conversation of

331
00:11:25,519 --> 00:11:29,920
like okay calm down maybe that itself is

332
00:11:28,079 --> 00:11:31,920
the game right where that that's just

333
00:11:29,920 --> 00:11:34,079
that fun part of the gal okay you've

334
00:11:31,920 --> 00:11:36,240
gone too far let's reign it in a little

335
00:11:34,079 --> 00:11:37,920
bit uh maybe that's the game it's all

336
00:11:36,240 --> 00:11:40,640
the game so somewhere

337
00:11:37,920 --> 00:11:42,320
yeah yeah so yeah that was awkward i

338
00:11:40,640 --> 00:11:44,160
mean no there was no shade or you know

339
00:11:42,320 --> 00:11:45,519
no one was dissatisfied with the outcome

340
00:11:44,160 --> 00:11:46,959
i think he was just

341
00:11:45,519 --> 00:11:48,959
that was his output for probably really

342
00:11:46,959 --> 00:11:51,360
kicking himself in the backside of being

343
00:11:48,959 --> 00:11:53,920
like oh you idiot why didn't i stay

344
00:11:51,360 --> 00:11:55,920
he's just clutching at anything left to

345
00:11:53,920 --> 00:11:57,920
to not let himself get screwed over by

346
00:11:55,920 --> 00:11:59,839
the warlock let me ask you let me ask

347
00:11:57,920 --> 00:12:01,279
you a question do you perceive the

348
00:11:59,839 --> 00:12:04,079
player that asked to do that side

349
00:12:01,279 --> 00:12:05,839
conversation was this a was there fun

350
00:12:04,079 --> 00:12:07,839
about how much they could get away with

351
00:12:05,839 --> 00:12:08,720
or was it really about the conversation

352
00:12:07,839 --> 00:12:10,880
itself

353
00:12:08,720 --> 00:12:12,639
uh no it was it was predominantly about

354
00:12:10,880 --> 00:12:15,279
the conversation so this is a this is a

355
00:12:12,639 --> 00:12:17,680
warlock playing a bit of a stereotypical

356
00:12:15,279 --> 00:12:18,560
warlock to the extent of they want power

357
00:12:17,680 --> 00:12:20,240
and

358
00:12:18,560 --> 00:12:22,160
you know so on and so on and they are

359
00:12:20,240 --> 00:12:24,720
happening to be talking to a dragon in

360
00:12:22,160 --> 00:12:27,440
humanoid form my dragons are innately

361
00:12:24,720 --> 00:12:28,720
powerful so his whole thing was

362
00:12:27,440 --> 00:12:30,639
i kind of want some private time with

363
00:12:28,720 --> 00:12:32,720
his npc to see what

364
00:12:30,639 --> 00:12:35,040
boons that i can get that the others

365
00:12:32,720 --> 00:12:36,560
don't really need to know about

366
00:12:35,040 --> 00:12:38,399
so that but that's interesting it ties

367
00:12:36,560 --> 00:12:39,920
to our topic because that's character

368
00:12:38,399 --> 00:12:42,000
that's classic example of character

369
00:12:39,920 --> 00:12:43,839
agency right the the player is trying to

370
00:12:42,000 --> 00:12:45,839
take that time for the character to

371
00:12:43,839 --> 00:12:47,600
carve off a little bit more power but

372
00:12:45,839 --> 00:12:49,600
that ultimately that's about granting

373
00:12:47,600 --> 00:12:51,920
them more capability to do more things

374
00:12:49,600 --> 00:12:53,600
more agency right if if it was the

375
00:12:51,920 --> 00:12:55,440
opposite with that that's why i asked a

376
00:12:53,600 --> 00:12:58,079
question sometimes it's about

377
00:12:55,440 --> 00:12:59,440
player agency like i as a player can get

378
00:12:58,079 --> 00:13:01,120
a little bit more space or get a little

379
00:12:59,440 --> 00:13:02,720
bit more which is no shade on that

380
00:13:01,120 --> 00:13:05,600
that's that's perfectly fine but then

381
00:13:02,720 --> 00:13:07,440
that's more about the player being a bit

382
00:13:05,600 --> 00:13:08,800
ampish in

383
00:13:07,440 --> 00:13:10,880
how much can i get away with here

384
00:13:08,800 --> 00:13:12,560
testing testing their boundaries which

385
00:13:10,880 --> 00:13:13,360
are both valid they just come at it from

386
00:13:12,560 --> 00:13:15,519
different

387
00:13:13,360 --> 00:13:17,360
again it's just that idea of management

388
00:13:15,519 --> 00:13:18,800
managing how much agency you can you can

389
00:13:17,360 --> 00:13:20,959
get for either your character or

390
00:13:18,800 --> 00:13:22,480
yourself as a player i think is the core

391
00:13:20,959 --> 00:13:24,560
lesson there

392
00:13:22,480 --> 00:13:27,040
yeah for sure i mean to be fair to him

393
00:13:24,560 --> 00:13:29,040
he does swing a little bit to the ampish

394
00:13:27,040 --> 00:13:31,040
player side it's not all

395
00:13:29,040 --> 00:13:33,360
benign

396
00:13:31,040 --> 00:13:35,040
it's okay

397
00:13:33,360 --> 00:13:36,240
so we we opened the discussion and it's

398
00:13:35,040 --> 00:13:37,920
something we we actually talked about on

399
00:13:36,240 --> 00:13:40,240
twitter yesterday briefly about

400
00:13:37,920 --> 00:13:42,560
impactful choices and it's something i

401
00:13:40,240 --> 00:13:43,920
wanted to talk a little bit more about

402
00:13:42,560 --> 00:13:46,639
so finally it's good timing actually

403
00:13:43,920 --> 00:13:48,720
because i just recorded uh the

404
00:13:46,639 --> 00:13:50,160
game that i'm a player in last night we

405
00:13:48,720 --> 00:13:52,720
streamed and recorded it from the

406
00:13:50,160 --> 00:13:53,600
podcast and whatnot and a lot of that

407
00:13:52,720 --> 00:13:55,519
was

408
00:13:53,600 --> 00:13:57,920
unimpactful in the grand scheme of

409
00:13:55,519 --> 00:13:59,760
things but it was four hours worth of

410
00:13:57,920 --> 00:14:01,040
game time so i just wanted to know like

411
00:13:59,760 --> 00:14:03,360
a little bit more if you could elaborate

412
00:14:01,040 --> 00:14:04,880
on what would be the definition of an

413
00:14:03,360 --> 00:14:07,360
impactful choice

414
00:14:04,880 --> 00:14:09,680
regarding character and player agency

415
00:14:07,360 --> 00:14:11,199
yeah so yeah for background we had you

416
00:14:09,680 --> 00:14:13,360
and i had an exchange on twitter it

417
00:14:11,199 --> 00:14:15,360
started off with the idea of

418
00:14:13,360 --> 00:14:16,880
a geese spell something that would

419
00:14:15,360 --> 00:14:19,120
compel someone to perform and then it

420
00:14:16,880 --> 00:14:20,399
sort of got into this conversation of

421
00:14:19,120 --> 00:14:21,920
meaningful action versus not because

422
00:14:20,399 --> 00:14:24,240
there was some flavor stuff that came up

423
00:14:21,920 --> 00:14:27,120
and i commented that so to me meaningful

424
00:14:24,240 --> 00:14:29,120
action transforms the world in some way

425
00:14:27,120 --> 00:14:32,000
or advances the plot in some significant

426
00:14:29,120 --> 00:14:33,040
way as opposed to flavor choices which

427
00:14:32,000 --> 00:14:34,480
are

428
00:14:33,040 --> 00:14:35,760
which by the way i'm not playing that

429
00:14:34,480 --> 00:14:38,000
down that doesn't diminish the

430
00:14:35,760 --> 00:14:40,079
importance of flavor choices but flavor

431
00:14:38,000 --> 00:14:42,240
choices about well if you do like a

432
00:14:40,079 --> 00:14:44,480
role-playing session where it's shopping

433
00:14:42,240 --> 00:14:46,720
and you go to a ball and you get to know

434
00:14:44,480 --> 00:14:48,959
new npc's and you get to tell your

435
00:14:46,720 --> 00:14:50,480
player backstory that's all fun that's

436
00:14:48,959 --> 00:14:52,399
all your choice of how you've spent your

437
00:14:50,480 --> 00:14:54,639
time but in the long run it's not

438
00:14:52,399 --> 00:14:57,199
implying a rules change or a power shift

439
00:14:54,639 --> 00:14:59,040
in the world or even advancement for the

440
00:14:57,199 --> 00:15:01,279
character there's no

441
00:14:59,040 --> 00:15:02,880
all the consequences are contained to

442
00:15:01,279 --> 00:15:04,160
the the encounter they don't bleed

443
00:15:02,880 --> 00:15:06,240
outside the encounter i think that's

444
00:15:04,160 --> 00:15:07,440
what separates a meaningful choice

445
00:15:06,240 --> 00:15:09,440
versus a

446
00:15:07,440 --> 00:15:10,720
simply just a choice but again that

447
00:15:09,440 --> 00:15:12,480
doesn't play it down

448
00:15:10,720 --> 00:15:14,160
i tend to give more

449
00:15:12,480 --> 00:15:16,800
latitude towards

450
00:15:14,160 --> 00:15:17,839
flavor choices really just at that point

451
00:15:16,800 --> 00:15:19,680
what you know what your character

452
00:15:17,839 --> 00:15:21,600
background is what color

453
00:15:19,680 --> 00:15:23,279
shirt you buy you're the game the player

454
00:15:21,600 --> 00:15:25,199
is the game master in that context right

455
00:15:23,279 --> 00:15:27,120
there they they control most of the

456
00:15:25,199 --> 00:15:29,199
world um but what how does the world

457
00:15:27,120 --> 00:15:31,600
react to it and i was thinking about

458
00:15:29,199 --> 00:15:33,440
this actually before the show i had

459
00:15:31,600 --> 00:15:35,759
never verbalized to myself but a

460
00:15:33,440 --> 00:15:37,839
character saying what impact it has on a

461
00:15:35,759 --> 00:15:40,399
world is bleeding over into the game

462
00:15:37,839 --> 00:15:42,399
masters agency because the game masters

463
00:15:40,399 --> 00:15:43,759
choices the game master has agency too

464
00:15:42,399 --> 00:15:45,519
as i said earlier they're they're

465
00:15:43,759 --> 00:15:48,560
another player at the table their

466
00:15:45,519 --> 00:15:50,399
choices are how does the world adjust to

467
00:15:48,560 --> 00:15:52,000
this choice that the players made the

468
00:15:50,399 --> 00:15:54,639
dice might even say the outcome but how

469
00:15:52,000 --> 00:15:56,880
does the world react what choices uh the

470
00:15:54,639 --> 00:15:58,240
world make to this the narrative choice

471
00:15:56,880 --> 00:16:00,399
here that's

472
00:15:58,240 --> 00:16:02,160
really the domain of the game master and

473
00:16:00,399 --> 00:16:03,600
they're there to have fun too they're

474
00:16:02,160 --> 00:16:06,240
not there just to be an encounter

475
00:16:03,600 --> 00:16:07,839
dispenser so just like you would worry

476
00:16:06,240 --> 00:16:11,279
about intruding on the agency of a

477
00:16:07,839 --> 00:16:13,279
player um to ruin their their enjoyment

478
00:16:11,279 --> 00:16:15,519
i do think it's under acknowledged that

479
00:16:13,279 --> 00:16:17,519
we should leave some agency to the dm

480
00:16:15,519 --> 00:16:19,519
that they they're here to enjoy the game

481
00:16:17,519 --> 00:16:22,160
just as much as we are so that's where

482
00:16:19,519 --> 00:16:25,120
the negotiation is highly important

483
00:16:22,160 --> 00:16:27,040
right the way that plays out um is so

484
00:16:25,120 --> 00:16:29,040
control issues are usually on the gm's

485
00:16:27,040 --> 00:16:30,480
part where the gm is saying

486
00:16:29,040 --> 00:16:31,920
your character is going to removing

487
00:16:30,480 --> 00:16:34,000
agency from the player and saying this

488
00:16:31,920 --> 00:16:36,800
is going to happen that's almost always

489
00:16:34,000 --> 00:16:38,560
a um a bad turn now anything might be

490
00:16:36,800 --> 00:16:40,639
able to be done well but i don't

491
00:16:38,560 --> 00:16:42,959
typically see it done well right

492
00:16:40,639 --> 00:16:44,320
um yeah so i guess just in terms of

493
00:16:42,959 --> 00:16:46,079
we'll talk about the geese thing in a

494
00:16:44,320 --> 00:16:47,680
second i guess but in terms of what

495
00:16:46,079 --> 00:16:49,360
constitutes meaningful versus not

496
00:16:47,680 --> 00:16:51,440
meaningful activity i think it comes

497
00:16:49,360 --> 00:16:54,000
down to the ability to affect the world

498
00:16:51,440 --> 00:16:55,839
outside of the encounter

499
00:16:54,000 --> 00:16:56,800
i think and please jump in correct me if

500
00:16:55,839 --> 00:16:58,720
i'm wrong but

501
00:16:56,800 --> 00:17:00,720
a potentially good example of that that

502
00:16:58,720 --> 00:17:03,360
players may be taking away from the

503
00:17:00,720 --> 00:17:06,240
agency of the dm is i've heard

504
00:17:03,360 --> 00:17:08,400
a couple of uh anecdotes on reddit and

505
00:17:06,240 --> 00:17:11,039
stuff of of the dms

506
00:17:08,400 --> 00:17:11,839
getting frustrated with their players

507
00:17:11,039 --> 00:17:13,439
who

508
00:17:11,839 --> 00:17:16,000
they'll set up an encounter and the

509
00:17:13,439 --> 00:17:18,480
player goes ah well actually my mother's

510
00:17:16,000 --> 00:17:20,720
brother's uncle was the head of the

511
00:17:18,480 --> 00:17:22,720
bandits and so therefore we should be

512
00:17:20,720 --> 00:17:24,640
fine in this encounter and then

513
00:17:22,720 --> 00:17:26,799
you know the dm's like oh

514
00:17:24,640 --> 00:17:28,079
i'm in a tricky situation here because

515
00:17:26,799 --> 00:17:30,799
i've got to let the players do what they

516
00:17:28,079 --> 00:17:32,720
want to do but it's that to me is a

517
00:17:30,799 --> 00:17:34,000
crystallized example of

518
00:17:32,720 --> 00:17:35,600
the player

519
00:17:34,000 --> 00:17:37,760
basically running the game at that point

520
00:17:35,600 --> 00:17:40,160
to a certain extent i agree i agree i

521
00:17:37,760 --> 00:17:41,520
and i actually i i agree that that's

522
00:17:40,160 --> 00:17:43,440
problematic i don't agree with that

523
00:17:41,520 --> 00:17:45,919
player's premise that you're the straw

524
00:17:43,440 --> 00:17:47,679
man player that you just presented

525
00:17:45,919 --> 00:17:49,760
and that's a typical i think for game

526
00:17:47,679 --> 00:17:51,360
masters that's a typical scenario we get

527
00:17:49,760 --> 00:17:52,799
game masters get beat down with this

528
00:17:51,360 --> 00:17:54,400
rule of cool

529
00:17:52,799 --> 00:17:56,799
you know we you should allow things the

530
00:17:54,400 --> 00:17:58,559
players do because it's cool and my

531
00:17:56,799 --> 00:18:01,200
thinking is maybe

532
00:17:58,559 --> 00:18:02,720
you know sometimes it's cool i i i have

533
00:18:01,200 --> 00:18:04,559
yet to meet a player who didn't think

534
00:18:02,720 --> 00:18:07,520
that everything they did wasn't cool

535
00:18:04,559 --> 00:18:09,200
right so it's okay to say no i i think

536
00:18:07,520 --> 00:18:11,120
that's the like that's the chord it's

537
00:18:09,200 --> 00:18:13,760
okay as a game master to say no like

538
00:18:11,120 --> 00:18:15,200
okay that's gone a little too far um as

539
00:18:13,760 --> 00:18:15,919
with everything there's a balance there

540
00:18:15,200 --> 00:18:18,240
but

541
00:18:15,919 --> 00:18:20,160
we get beat up a little bit more

542
00:18:18,240 --> 00:18:22,559
uh with this idea that the game masters

543
00:18:20,160 --> 00:18:24,559
have an adversarial point of view simply

544
00:18:22,559 --> 00:18:25,919
because they don't give in to every idea

545
00:18:24,559 --> 00:18:28,960
player has

546
00:18:25,919 --> 00:18:30,960
that's not the case for 95 percent of

547
00:18:28,960 --> 00:18:34,080
most of the dm's i know like

548
00:18:30,960 --> 00:18:37,520
our unspoken our hat trick here our

549
00:18:34,080 --> 00:18:39,919
grand magic act is to act like we want

550
00:18:37,520 --> 00:18:42,400
the players to to fail we don't we want

551
00:18:39,919 --> 00:18:45,440
them to succeed the monsters want them

552
00:18:42,400 --> 00:18:47,039
to fail right the npcs want to win but

553
00:18:45,440 --> 00:18:49,200
the game master always wants the players

554
00:18:47,039 --> 00:18:50,880
to win so um i think there's given a

555
00:18:49,200 --> 00:18:52,960
little bit too much error to this idea

556
00:18:50,880 --> 00:18:54,880
that game masters are adversarial

557
00:18:52,960 --> 00:18:57,360
they're not they're getting you to sort

558
00:18:54,880 --> 00:18:59,840
of feel a sense of accomplishment and

559
00:18:57,360 --> 00:19:01,679
part of that is this heart-wrenching

560
00:18:59,840 --> 00:19:03,919
element that you have to allow players

561
00:19:01,679 --> 00:19:05,600
to fail because i don't want that i

562
00:19:03,919 --> 00:19:08,240
don't want it it does it's no fun for me

563
00:19:05,600 --> 00:19:10,240
to be honest um but it's no form fun for

564
00:19:08,240 --> 00:19:12,320
me either to give it away to them i want

565
00:19:10,240 --> 00:19:15,360
them so what back to our topic right i

566
00:19:12,320 --> 00:19:17,840
want them to use their agency wisely i

567
00:19:15,360 --> 00:19:21,039
want them where my fun is is to present

568
00:19:17,840 --> 00:19:22,799
a scenario watch them use their agency

569
00:19:21,039 --> 00:19:24,400
to bring back things to me about how

570
00:19:22,799 --> 00:19:26,320
they can unravel and how they can solve

571
00:19:24,400 --> 00:19:28,080
this situation that that's

572
00:19:26,320 --> 00:19:31,760
where i what that's what i enjoy about

573
00:19:28,080 --> 00:19:33,600
watching my players and when that's done

574
00:19:31,760 --> 00:19:35,679
poorly on the players part or sometimes

575
00:19:33,600 --> 00:19:37,280
on my part sometimes i think i'm giving

576
00:19:35,679 --> 00:19:39,200
them agency and they don't think about

577
00:19:37,280 --> 00:19:40,400
the thing i wanted them to do and now

578
00:19:39,200 --> 00:19:41,280
we're in trouble

579
00:19:40,400 --> 00:19:43,039
um

580
00:19:41,280 --> 00:19:45,520
one of the things about misconceptions i

581
00:19:43,039 --> 00:19:48,240
talked about earlier this misconception

582
00:19:45,520 --> 00:19:50,559
of where the line of agency ends that's

583
00:19:48,240 --> 00:19:52,240
a difficult thing to define that's a big

584
00:19:50,559 --> 00:19:54,559
misconception of the part of the players

585
00:19:52,240 --> 00:19:57,200
i would define that line as

586
00:19:54,559 --> 00:19:58,960
expecting an outcome you can't expect an

587
00:19:57,200 --> 00:20:00,160
outcome all you can do with your agency

588
00:19:58,960 --> 00:20:02,640
as a player

589
00:20:00,160 --> 00:20:03,520
is express your actions but the moment

590
00:20:02,640 --> 00:20:06,400
you're

591
00:20:03,520 --> 00:20:08,159
depending on a specific outcome i think

592
00:20:06,400 --> 00:20:10,240
you've probably

593
00:20:08,159 --> 00:20:11,760
gone off-roading you're probably not

594
00:20:10,240 --> 00:20:12,960
understanding where your agency is

595
00:20:11,760 --> 00:20:14,799
supposed to stop

596
00:20:12,960 --> 00:20:17,280
okay a couple things to unpack there

597
00:20:14,799 --> 00:20:18,400
first your quote about you've never met

598
00:20:17,280 --> 00:20:20,320
a player who doesn't think everything

599
00:20:18,400 --> 00:20:22,960
they do is cool you don't appreciate how

600
00:20:20,320 --> 00:20:25,280
vindicated i am because i actually quote

601
00:20:22,960 --> 00:20:27,440
you and that what you've just said in

602
00:20:25,280 --> 00:20:28,960
the episode that will be airing before

603
00:20:27,440 --> 00:20:30,240
this so i could not have asked for a

604
00:20:28,960 --> 00:20:31,520
better

605
00:20:30,240 --> 00:20:32,960
people are gonna hear that one and then

606
00:20:31,520 --> 00:20:34,559
hear this one and go oh yeah he's not

607
00:20:32,960 --> 00:20:35,840
danlow isn't lying he did actually say

608
00:20:34,559 --> 00:20:36,640
that thing

609
00:20:35,840 --> 00:20:37,919
so

610
00:20:36,640 --> 00:20:39,919
that's perfect

611
00:20:37,919 --> 00:20:41,520
but that last point there about a

612
00:20:39,919 --> 00:20:43,679
misunderstanding of where your agency

613
00:20:41,520 --> 00:20:44,720
lies i suppose as a player it's a play

614
00:20:43,679 --> 00:20:47,520
that i haven't

615
00:20:44,720 --> 00:20:48,400
i've referenced before who i think

616
00:20:47,520 --> 00:20:50,559
has

617
00:20:48,400 --> 00:20:53,120
a bit of a that they approach their turn

618
00:20:50,559 --> 00:20:55,200
and a lot of interactions in the world

619
00:20:53,120 --> 00:20:57,039
with an expectation in mind

620
00:20:55,200 --> 00:20:58,480
like i'll i'll do this thing and then

621
00:20:57,039 --> 00:21:00,159
this thing will happen

622
00:20:58,480 --> 00:21:02,720
and then of course because human beings

623
00:21:00,159 --> 00:21:04,880
are different and i'm not that person i

624
00:21:02,720 --> 00:21:06,080
understand it in a different way i

625
00:21:04,880 --> 00:21:07,840
comprehend it in a different way i

626
00:21:06,080 --> 00:21:10,480
approach it from a different way and of

627
00:21:07,840 --> 00:21:11,520
course their outcome that i give them

628
00:21:10,480 --> 00:21:14,080
doesn't match with what they are

629
00:21:11,520 --> 00:21:16,400
expecting and that has led to

630
00:21:14,080 --> 00:21:17,360
oh fine i won't do it then and then i

631
00:21:16,400 --> 00:21:19,919
just feel

632
00:21:17,360 --> 00:21:21,440
the worst that's deflating that's a dm

633
00:21:19,919 --> 00:21:23,360
that's like way that's not what i was

634
00:21:21,440 --> 00:21:25,120
trying to do i just you're speaking a

635
00:21:23,360 --> 00:21:27,120
language i don't understand i don't i

636
00:21:25,120 --> 00:21:29,360
don't know what to do here without

637
00:21:27,120 --> 00:21:31,120
becoming a whole different game master i

638
00:21:29,360 --> 00:21:33,679
don't know what to do here

639
00:21:31,120 --> 00:21:34,880
right yeah precisely and uh that you

640
00:21:33,679 --> 00:21:35,919
know that's happened a couple times and

641
00:21:34,880 --> 00:21:37,760
i've said like tell me what you're

642
00:21:35,919 --> 00:21:39,039
trying to achieve and i can tell you or

643
00:21:37,760 --> 00:21:40,320
help you

644
00:21:39,039 --> 00:21:42,640
tell you

645
00:21:40,320 --> 00:21:45,280
what you can do to achieve that rather

646
00:21:42,640 --> 00:21:46,720
than just starting at the end almost uh

647
00:21:45,280 --> 00:21:48,559
so that that's something that we're

648
00:21:46,720 --> 00:21:49,440
having to work on work on makes it sound

649
00:21:48,559 --> 00:21:50,480
like there's a problem it's not a

650
00:21:49,440 --> 00:21:51,760
problem but you know what i mean like

651
00:21:50,480 --> 00:21:53,919
we're having to meet in the middle a

652
00:21:51,760 --> 00:21:56,559
little bit and kind of reframe both

653
00:21:53,919 --> 00:21:59,039
expectations on both sides yeah i think

654
00:21:56,559 --> 00:22:00,799
that that this i'm not speaking to your

655
00:21:59,039 --> 00:22:02,080
example i'm speaking to the topic

656
00:22:00,799 --> 00:22:03,600
because i don't know the people involved

657
00:22:02,080 --> 00:22:06,159
here but that's the mismaster

658
00:22:03,600 --> 00:22:08,080
assumptions right so that's uh which is

659
00:22:06,159 --> 00:22:10,080
assumption miss master chumps in

660
00:22:08,080 --> 00:22:11,840
tabletop role-playing games is about

661
00:22:10,080 --> 00:22:14,480
this expectation of how are you going to

662
00:22:11,840 --> 00:22:17,679
use your agency right and in that in

663
00:22:14,480 --> 00:22:20,240
these cases it means that i think

664
00:22:17,679 --> 00:22:22,080
players sometimes when you reject their

665
00:22:20,240 --> 00:22:23,840
assumption of how something is going to

666
00:22:22,080 --> 00:22:26,159
work out they feel like you're

667
00:22:23,840 --> 00:22:27,600
questioning their logic or vice versa

668
00:22:26,159 --> 00:22:30,559
maybe the game master always feels that

669
00:22:27,600 --> 00:22:32,000
way maybe that's can also feel uh in the

670
00:22:30,559 --> 00:22:34,480
opposite direction or game master and

671
00:22:32,000 --> 00:22:36,480
that fundamentally becomes a so the

672
00:22:34,480 --> 00:22:38,400
argument now isn't about

673
00:22:36,480 --> 00:22:40,400
isn't about the action it's about the

674
00:22:38,400 --> 00:22:42,559
logic behind the action and sort of

675
00:22:40,400 --> 00:22:44,799
there's this quasi

676
00:22:42,559 --> 00:22:47,200
of someone feels personally slighted and

677
00:22:44,799 --> 00:22:49,919
that's that's one way that games can

678
00:22:47,200 --> 00:22:51,520
slide to a bad direction uh i wish i

679
00:22:49,919 --> 00:22:53,600
could give you a magic way to solve that

680
00:22:51,520 --> 00:22:55,679
other than session zero that's how often

681
00:22:53,600 --> 00:22:57,200
people do it but um yeah that's just a

682
00:22:55,679 --> 00:22:59,360
mismatch of how you think you're going

683
00:22:57,200 --> 00:23:00,799
to use your agency

684
00:22:59,360 --> 00:23:03,120
yeah if you could give me a silver

685
00:23:00,799 --> 00:23:06,320
bullet that'd be fantastic

686
00:23:03,120 --> 00:23:09,200
but i know that it's uh not possible so

687
00:23:06,320 --> 00:23:11,840
yeah that's something that we're slowly

688
00:23:09,200 --> 00:23:14,559
meeting in the middle and coming to

689
00:23:11,840 --> 00:23:16,559
more aligned expectations shall we say i

690
00:23:14,559 --> 00:23:17,840
can i if i can offer some advice i i

691
00:23:16,559 --> 00:23:19,919
have a um

692
00:23:17,840 --> 00:23:22,159
uh in my in my real world life i work

693
00:23:19,919 --> 00:23:24,000
with lots of entrepreneurs and startups

694
00:23:22,159 --> 00:23:25,919
and and there's this concept of a pitch

695
00:23:24,000 --> 00:23:27,440
deck which means before you

696
00:23:25,919 --> 00:23:29,440
spend a lot of time getting to work with

697
00:23:27,440 --> 00:23:30,880
someone you you pitch them the basic

698
00:23:29,440 --> 00:23:32,400
concept of what you're trying to do i

699
00:23:30,880 --> 00:23:34,559
think that has a lot of utility for

700
00:23:32,400 --> 00:23:36,880
games so i have this this pitch deck i

701
00:23:34,559 --> 00:23:38,480
do for players before i get into a

702
00:23:36,880 --> 00:23:39,919
campaign so they understand the tone of

703
00:23:38,480 --> 00:23:42,320
the campaign the types of rules we'll

704
00:23:39,919 --> 00:23:44,480
use i do think that that's a tool that

705
00:23:42,320 --> 00:23:47,120
can be helpful we we focus on chess and

706
00:23:44,480 --> 00:23:49,039
zero uh safety tools is what most people

707
00:23:47,120 --> 00:23:50,640
focus on with sessions here which are

708
00:23:49,039 --> 00:23:53,120
supremely important i don't want to play

709
00:23:50,640 --> 00:23:54,880
that down but i i will also say there's

710
00:23:53,120 --> 00:23:56,880
more to it than just safety tools it's

711
00:23:54,880 --> 00:23:57,919
about play styles and assumptions and

712
00:23:56,880 --> 00:23:59,279
what kind of store you're telling and

713
00:23:57,919 --> 00:24:00,799
how you're going to what you're buying

714
00:23:59,279 --> 00:24:03,039
with that time together

715
00:24:00,799 --> 00:24:06,159
i think that's a tool that can help with

716
00:24:03,039 --> 00:24:08,159
it but there's no magic bullet

717
00:24:06,159 --> 00:24:11,120
no you can you can be in the safest game

718
00:24:08,159 --> 00:24:13,360
in the world and still be expecting

719
00:24:11,120 --> 00:24:15,200
completely different games and

720
00:24:13,360 --> 00:24:16,960
approaches and stuff so

721
00:24:15,200 --> 00:24:19,120
absolutely for sure

722
00:24:16,960 --> 00:24:21,279
okay so why don't we move on there and

723
00:24:19,120 --> 00:24:22,640
you mentioned it the the spells and

724
00:24:21,279 --> 00:24:26,799
abilities that

725
00:24:22,640 --> 00:24:29,919
can take away agency so for context the

726
00:24:26,799 --> 00:24:31,440
same npc the humanoid green dragon that

727
00:24:29,919 --> 00:24:33,200
the warlock was speaking to in my

728
00:24:31,440 --> 00:24:36,240
earlier example

729
00:24:33,200 --> 00:24:38,880
um green dragons in the monster manual

730
00:24:36,240 --> 00:24:40,240
specifically like manipulating elves as

731
00:24:38,880 --> 00:24:42,159
they see them as

732
00:24:40,240 --> 00:24:44,000
you know haughty and holier than now and

733
00:24:42,159 --> 00:24:45,760
they live a million years and they're

734
00:24:44,000 --> 00:24:48,240
typically more educated and however you

735
00:24:45,760 --> 00:24:51,520
want to spin them in your world and i

736
00:24:48,240 --> 00:24:52,400
have an elf player character so of

737
00:24:51,520 --> 00:24:54,640
course

738
00:24:52,400 --> 00:24:56,240
i'm gonna lean into that to you know

739
00:24:54,640 --> 00:24:58,000
give that character a little bit of time

740
00:24:56,240 --> 00:24:59,760
in the spotlight and

741
00:24:58,000 --> 00:25:01,360
they get some unique interactions with

742
00:24:59,760 --> 00:25:03,600
the with this npc that the other

743
00:25:01,360 --> 00:25:05,520
characters don't because they're just

744
00:25:03,600 --> 00:25:09,679
i hate to use the term lesser races in

745
00:25:05,520 --> 00:25:11,600
the eyes of that npc sure and so it's

746
00:25:09,679 --> 00:25:13,520
weird because i go on to my players and

747
00:25:11,600 --> 00:25:14,640
i've written things about my syndrome

748
00:25:13,520 --> 00:25:15,520
and how it sucks and you should never do

749
00:25:14,640 --> 00:25:17,279
it and it's always the player's

750
00:25:15,520 --> 00:25:19,360
responsibility and then i'm literally in

751
00:25:17,279 --> 00:25:20,880
that situation myself but with an npc

752
00:25:19,360 --> 00:25:23,200
and it was a really discombobulating

753
00:25:20,880 --> 00:25:25,279
experience to almost out of body to be

754
00:25:23,200 --> 00:25:27,760
telling myself off

755
00:25:25,279 --> 00:25:29,440
but even considering that it's so weird

756
00:25:27,760 --> 00:25:31,360
because the first defense i had was yeah

757
00:25:29,440 --> 00:25:33,360
but the dragon would do that so

758
00:25:31,360 --> 00:25:34,960
that's totally okay

759
00:25:33,360 --> 00:25:36,320
and i needed to stop and think and be

760
00:25:34,960 --> 00:25:38,480
like yeah but

761
00:25:36,320 --> 00:25:39,600
actually actually think about it

762
00:25:38,480 --> 00:25:41,760
using

763
00:25:39,600 --> 00:25:44,559
the gayest or gears or however you want

764
00:25:41,760 --> 00:25:48,080
to pronounce it spell to basically

765
00:25:44,559 --> 00:25:50,080
dominate this elven character and it was

766
00:25:48,080 --> 00:25:51,919
a bigger deal than i had anticipated let

767
00:25:50,080 --> 00:25:55,360
me put it like that

768
00:25:51,919 --> 00:25:56,640
yes yeah yeah to use an americanism i

769
00:25:55,360 --> 00:25:58,320
always think like

770
00:25:56,640 --> 00:26:00,000
we you ain't never going to get out of

771
00:25:58,320 --> 00:26:01,919
this one

772
00:26:00,000 --> 00:26:04,080
you know that's a very it's a very

773
00:26:01,919 --> 00:26:06,400
complex knot because it there's several

774
00:26:04,080 --> 00:26:08,080
things going on there besides just the

775
00:26:06,400 --> 00:26:11,200
the ghias right there's

776
00:26:08,080 --> 00:26:13,279
the idea of forcing a point of view on a

777
00:26:11,200 --> 00:26:15,600
player character right which that sounds

778
00:26:13,279 --> 00:26:17,360
more intrusive than i mean it to be but

779
00:26:15,600 --> 00:26:19,919
players can sometimes take it that way

780
00:26:17,360 --> 00:26:22,400
but basically you want you want them to

781
00:26:19,919 --> 00:26:25,039
adopt a an in-character priority right

782
00:26:22,400 --> 00:26:27,679
based on a spell some players are able

783
00:26:25,039 --> 00:26:29,200
to do that some players are not um i

784
00:26:27,679 --> 00:26:31,120
think one of the first tier problems

785
00:26:29,200 --> 00:26:32,799
that game masters have is

786
00:26:31,120 --> 00:26:34,880
a lot of players will say okay that's

787
00:26:32,799 --> 00:26:35,840
the world i'll go along with it but

788
00:26:34,880 --> 00:26:37,279
that's assuming they're not

789
00:26:35,840 --> 00:26:38,480
uncomfortable completely uncomfortable

790
00:26:37,279 --> 00:26:40,240
with it in the first place which is a

791
00:26:38,480 --> 00:26:42,640
separate problem but let's say they go

792
00:26:40,240 --> 00:26:44,960
along with it often what you get in the

793
00:26:42,640 --> 00:26:47,039
game are the players will

794
00:26:44,960 --> 00:26:49,440
either consciously or subconsciously

795
00:26:47,039 --> 00:26:50,880
begin to try to undermine the plot that

796
00:26:49,440 --> 00:26:52,799
you've laid out and the whole thing

797
00:26:50,880 --> 00:26:54,640
begins to unwind right so over a long

798
00:26:52,799 --> 00:26:56,559
enough time period they'll begin to

799
00:26:54,640 --> 00:26:58,640
subvert the dragon they'll begin to act

800
00:26:56,559 --> 00:27:01,520
maybe metagame wise to subvert the

801
00:26:58,640 --> 00:27:03,679
actions to give away the plot and and so

802
00:27:01,520 --> 00:27:05,200
there's that that problem of managing it

803
00:27:03,679 --> 00:27:07,679
but then there's also the problem of is

804
00:27:05,200 --> 00:27:10,159
that fun does the player want to

805
00:27:07,679 --> 00:27:13,039
adopt it i actually for that i think my

806
00:27:10,159 --> 00:27:14,799
reply in in twitter was um

807
00:27:13,039 --> 00:27:16,559
i would resort to narrative tools for

808
00:27:14,799 --> 00:27:18,880
that maybe i can unpack a little bit of

809
00:27:16,559 --> 00:27:20,960
what i mean by that here for a player to

810
00:27:18,880 --> 00:27:22,399
adopt a longer term plot element in a

811
00:27:20,960 --> 00:27:24,480
game you need them bought into the

812
00:27:22,399 --> 00:27:26,240
concept you need them to understand it

813
00:27:24,480 --> 00:27:28,559
you need to have them acting in good

814
00:27:26,240 --> 00:27:31,039
faith too both consciously and

815
00:27:28,559 --> 00:27:32,080
subconsciously i have done a few things

816
00:27:31,039 --> 00:27:33,600
like that i'll give you an example of

817
00:27:32,080 --> 00:27:35,200
what it was in a second but

818
00:27:33,600 --> 00:27:36,799
usually what i do is i just tell the

819
00:27:35,200 --> 00:27:38,799
players listen i don't want to roll

820
00:27:36,799 --> 00:27:40,159
saving throws here this is a narrative

821
00:27:38,799 --> 00:27:41,600
twist that i want to have and i want to

822
00:27:40,159 --> 00:27:43,440
i want to get from you how do what's

823
00:27:41,600 --> 00:27:44,399
your take on this and i'd lay out to

824
00:27:43,440 --> 00:27:46,399
them listen you're going to hit a green

825
00:27:44,399 --> 00:27:48,320
dragon want you to do one or the other

826
00:27:46,399 --> 00:27:50,320
things i would even tell them listen the

827
00:27:48,320 --> 00:27:52,000
dragon green dragon doesn't want to ghee

828
00:27:50,320 --> 00:27:53,279
as you he wants you

829
00:27:52,000 --> 00:27:54,880
to agree

830
00:27:53,279 --> 00:27:56,320
or she whoever it is the green dragon

831
00:27:54,880 --> 00:27:57,840
wants you to agree

832
00:27:56,320 --> 00:27:59,039
what would get your character how could

833
00:27:57,840 --> 00:28:01,120
they blackmail you how could they

834
00:27:59,039 --> 00:28:02,799
persuade you to do it and give it to the

835
00:28:01,120 --> 00:28:04,399
player to say you know what if they

836
00:28:02,799 --> 00:28:07,039
agreed i knew they're evil but if they

837
00:28:04,399 --> 00:28:08,720
agreed to help my family do x y or z i'd

838
00:28:07,039 --> 00:28:10,799
go along with it counting that i'd

839
00:28:08,720 --> 00:28:12,080
counter general or they would say well

840
00:28:10,799 --> 00:28:14,399
they would cast a spell and i'll go

841
00:28:12,080 --> 00:28:16,399
along with it can we make the plot this

842
00:28:14,399 --> 00:28:18,559
or that to make it interesting for me as

843
00:28:16,399 --> 00:28:20,240
a player character so that's trading as

844
00:28:18,559 --> 00:28:21,679
a dm i think i can go but you can go

845
00:28:20,240 --> 00:28:23,679
back and forth that way

846
00:28:21,679 --> 00:28:25,520
the other is to and i don't know if this

847
00:28:23,679 --> 00:28:27,840
applies to your situation but the other

848
00:28:25,520 --> 00:28:30,159
is you can just jump forward in time say

849
00:28:27,840 --> 00:28:31,840
that that did they did that behavior and

850
00:28:30,159 --> 00:28:33,520
they don't recall what it was so it's

851
00:28:31,840 --> 00:28:35,039
kind of like the movie the hangover if

852
00:28:33,520 --> 00:28:36,640
you've ever seen that where they're now

853
00:28:35,039 --> 00:28:38,559
trying to remember what it is they did

854
00:28:36,640 --> 00:28:40,080
in this last year again you want to get

855
00:28:38,559 --> 00:28:41,919
buy-in from the player to make sure that

856
00:28:40,080 --> 00:28:43,840
they are okay with that plot line or

857
00:28:41,919 --> 00:28:46,159
they trust you enough to surrender okay

858
00:28:43,840 --> 00:28:48,960
whatever i did you tell me and i'll roll

859
00:28:46,159 --> 00:28:51,120
with it um i i did in a conan game i i

860
00:28:48,960 --> 00:28:52,880
was running a conan game years ago

861
00:28:51,120 --> 00:28:54,880
they had an encounter go poorly the

862
00:28:52,880 --> 00:28:56,399
player characters all got captured i

863
00:28:54,880 --> 00:28:59,600
actually honestly didn't know what to do

864
00:28:56,399 --> 00:29:01,679
so i had them tied up in some cages with

865
00:28:59,600 --> 00:29:03,120
some mage in front of him cackling and

866
00:29:01,679 --> 00:29:04,799
saying now you're going to serve the

867
00:29:03,120 --> 00:29:06,320
purpose and he burned some incest in

868
00:29:04,799 --> 00:29:08,480
front of them and then they they blacked

869
00:29:06,320 --> 00:29:10,000
out and i need needed a session because

870
00:29:08,480 --> 00:29:12,159
i had no plan for this i didn't know

871
00:29:10,000 --> 00:29:13,760
what i was going to do so i talked to

872
00:29:12,159 --> 00:29:15,440
them in between sessions and said hey

873
00:29:13,760 --> 00:29:17,600
this is what i'd love to do it's gonna

874
00:29:15,440 --> 00:29:18,960
be five years later you're gonna wake up

875
00:29:17,600 --> 00:29:20,960
uh i cleared all this with them so to

876
00:29:18,960 --> 00:29:22,640
give you the narrative they wake up in

877
00:29:20,960 --> 00:29:24,399
the middle of this war

878
00:29:22,640 --> 00:29:26,399
they're in these burning in

879
00:29:24,399 --> 00:29:28,080
in amongst this burning incense the

880
00:29:26,399 --> 00:29:29,840
plotline was this brought them out of

881
00:29:28,080 --> 00:29:31,279
whatever magic it was a similar instance

882
00:29:29,840 --> 00:29:32,399
to what was brought them into it and

883
00:29:31,279 --> 00:29:34,159
they had been a soldier a

884
00:29:32,399 --> 00:29:36,000
mind-controlled soldier in this person's

885
00:29:34,159 --> 00:29:37,679
army for five years and now they had to

886
00:29:36,000 --> 00:29:39,120
unravel that narrative they were down

887
00:29:37,679 --> 00:29:41,039
with that they loved the mystery of it

888
00:29:39,120 --> 00:29:42,880
they trusted me enough to sort of go

889
00:29:41,039 --> 00:29:45,039
down that road to see where they were

890
00:29:42,880 --> 00:29:47,039
and um and that worked out very well but

891
00:29:45,039 --> 00:29:48,559
it involved a lot of negotiation a lot

892
00:29:47,039 --> 00:29:50,559
of talking

893
00:29:48,559 --> 00:29:52,159
so that's to me i think are the options

894
00:29:50,559 --> 00:29:54,720
you can use for something broad and

895
00:29:52,159 --> 00:29:57,840
long-term like a gears i think that

896
00:29:54,720 --> 00:29:59,200
they're they're live dragons right

897
00:29:57,840 --> 00:30:00,480
literally yes

898
00:29:59,200 --> 00:30:02,559
yeah i think

899
00:30:00,480 --> 00:30:03,440
i am probably too and i've mentioned it

900
00:30:02,559 --> 00:30:06,320
before

901
00:30:03,440 --> 00:30:08,080
too prideful or you know i'm too

902
00:30:06,320 --> 00:30:09,600
i'm i'm really not precious about some

903
00:30:08,080 --> 00:30:11,520
things so like

904
00:30:09,600 --> 00:30:13,120
my whole thing is relatively sandbox and

905
00:30:11,520 --> 00:30:14,399
if people don't go somewhere i don't

906
00:30:13,120 --> 00:30:16,559
pick it up and put it in front of them

907
00:30:14,399 --> 00:30:18,480
that's fine that's okay it's you know

908
00:30:16,559 --> 00:30:20,320
part of the the social contract of me

909
00:30:18,480 --> 00:30:21,919
being a dm is i'm willing to sacrifice

910
00:30:20,320 --> 00:30:23,279
things that don't get touched on like if

911
00:30:21,919 --> 00:30:24,880
there's rooms in a dungeon they don't go

912
00:30:23,279 --> 00:30:27,360
to that's fine i've agreed to

913
00:30:24,880 --> 00:30:28,480
essentially waste that time i'm in with

914
00:30:27,360 --> 00:30:29,520
that

915
00:30:28,480 --> 00:30:32,320
but

916
00:30:29,520 --> 00:30:34,159
other things like i i think i'm too

917
00:30:32,320 --> 00:30:36,480
precious about wanting it to be a good

918
00:30:34,159 --> 00:30:38,480
story and if at the moment i have to

919
00:30:36,480 --> 00:30:41,039
basically spoil a bit of the story for

920
00:30:38,480 --> 00:30:42,640
them i'm reluctant to do it even though

921
00:30:41,039 --> 00:30:44,000
in the long term it's the right thing to

922
00:30:42,640 --> 00:30:46,720
do and that's something i need to deal

923
00:30:44,000 --> 00:30:48,640
with from a personal point of view yeah

924
00:30:46,720 --> 00:30:50,559
i'm i'm not dissimilar i have to be

925
00:30:48,640 --> 00:30:51,760
honest i find that a bitter pill to

926
00:30:50,559 --> 00:30:54,480
swallow

927
00:30:51,760 --> 00:30:56,320
to sacrifice the sense of the integrity

928
00:30:54,480 --> 00:30:58,720
of the world when i was younger i was

929
00:30:56,320 --> 00:31:00,000
horrible about it like oh integrity of

930
00:30:58,720 --> 00:31:02,080
my world

931
00:31:00,000 --> 00:31:03,760
i'm i'm more loose about it as an older

932
00:31:02,080 --> 00:31:05,760
game master but it's still it's i

933
00:31:03,760 --> 00:31:07,840
struggle with it i struggle with it

934
00:31:05,760 --> 00:31:09,519
that's why i love the idea of the

935
00:31:07,840 --> 00:31:11,120
suggestion i made was ask the player

936
00:31:09,519 --> 00:31:12,960
like out of character

937
00:31:11,120 --> 00:31:14,320
what could your character be offered

938
00:31:12,960 --> 00:31:16,799
that would get them to do because the

939
00:31:14,320 --> 00:31:19,120
green dragon would love corrupting them

940
00:31:16,799 --> 00:31:20,159
naturally without without a spell so

941
00:31:19,120 --> 00:31:22,640
that that

942
00:31:20,159 --> 00:31:24,080
provides me both as a gm with the ooh

943
00:31:22,640 --> 00:31:25,840
great plot line

944
00:31:24,080 --> 00:31:28,399
and them as a player with some agency to

945
00:31:25,840 --> 00:31:29,919
go okay let me game master for my

946
00:31:28,399 --> 00:31:31,279
character here a bit uh but not all

947
00:31:29,919 --> 00:31:33,279
characters not all players are good at

948
00:31:31,279 --> 00:31:35,760
doing that yeah yeah that's it to be

949
00:31:33,279 --> 00:31:38,000
fair to me the green dragon did open his

950
00:31:35,760 --> 00:31:40,720
opening gambit was

951
00:31:38,000 --> 00:31:42,080
elf come and be with me and i'll give

952
00:31:40,720 --> 00:31:43,919
the rest of the party ex you know

953
00:31:42,080 --> 00:31:46,000
whatever they want the questions asked

954
00:31:43,919 --> 00:31:46,799
and we can leave as friends to which he

955
00:31:46,000 --> 00:31:51,050
didn't

956
00:31:46,799 --> 00:31:56,829
quite uh for some reason didn't agree so

957
00:31:51,050 --> 00:31:56,829
[Music]

958
00:32:00,960 --> 00:32:05,200
the i personally as a game master i love

959
00:32:03,519 --> 00:32:06,720
reasonable evil

960
00:32:05,200 --> 00:32:08,880
like evil that

961
00:32:06,720 --> 00:32:12,000
everything they're telling you sounds

962
00:32:08,880 --> 00:32:14,480
logical and is and seems good but you

963
00:32:12,000 --> 00:32:17,519
know they're evil

964
00:32:14,480 --> 00:32:20,080
so uh i love that as a geo that's that's

965
00:32:17,519 --> 00:32:21,600
precisely the vibe i was going for so

966
00:32:20,080 --> 00:32:23,519
they the dragon knows that they're there

967
00:32:21,600 --> 00:32:25,200
for a specific magical item and the

968
00:32:23,519 --> 00:32:26,799
opening gambit was like guys come and

969
00:32:25,200 --> 00:32:28,880
join me for dinner i will give you this

970
00:32:26,799 --> 00:32:31,279
magical item that you've traveled you

971
00:32:28,880 --> 00:32:33,039
know x thousand miles for a problem we

972
00:32:31,279 --> 00:32:34,399
can have dinner we can enjoy the view

973
00:32:33,039 --> 00:32:35,760
you can leave you can stay the night no

974
00:32:34,399 --> 00:32:36,960
one cares

975
00:32:35,760 --> 00:32:39,279
one thing though

976
00:32:36,960 --> 00:32:41,200
the office got to stay

977
00:32:39,279 --> 00:32:43,679
but otherwise everything is completely

978
00:32:41,200 --> 00:32:45,760
above board and legit

979
00:32:43,679 --> 00:32:47,519
already then the cracks were between

980
00:32:45,760 --> 00:32:49,039
like you know nudging him in the ribs

981
00:32:47,519 --> 00:32:50,399
maybe you should

982
00:32:49,039 --> 00:32:51,519
stay here

983
00:32:50,399 --> 00:32:54,159
yeah

984
00:32:51,519 --> 00:32:55,279
yeah that's precious i i i really enjoy

985
00:32:54,159 --> 00:32:57,360
that kind of

986
00:32:55,279 --> 00:32:58,320
that kind of game play i think it opens

987
00:32:57,360 --> 00:32:59,600
up

988
00:32:58,320 --> 00:33:02,399
it opens up a

989
00:32:59,600 --> 00:33:04,640
can of worms as we say here the that

990
00:33:02,399 --> 00:33:06,159
because then the debate is often okay if

991
00:33:04,640 --> 00:33:08,799
that's allowable

992
00:33:06,159 --> 00:33:11,120
you have guilds are allowable

993
00:33:08,799 --> 00:33:14,080
what else is allowable and then people

994
00:33:11,120 --> 00:33:16,320
begin to well what's the line of yeah

995
00:33:14,080 --> 00:33:18,080
sacrificing aging because we have a

996
00:33:16,320 --> 00:33:20,720
system we have a game system that runs a

997
00:33:18,080 --> 00:33:23,519
certain way they're i'm not taking i'm

998
00:33:20,720 --> 00:33:25,200
not going to tell the game master i i as

999
00:33:23,519 --> 00:33:27,440
a game master i'm not willing to lose

1000
00:33:25,200 --> 00:33:29,600
all of my options within the rules just

1001
00:33:27,440 --> 00:33:31,840
because if someone doesn't like them

1002
00:33:29,600 --> 00:33:34,159
but yeah it's i'm uncomfortable with

1003
00:33:31,840 --> 00:33:36,640
kias but i'm i'm also uncomfortable with

1004
00:33:34,159 --> 00:33:39,279
removing it and from the world entirely

1005
00:33:36,640 --> 00:33:41,360
as an option right mm-hmm yeah yeah

1006
00:33:39,279 --> 00:33:43,279
precisely no and i totally get i like i

1007
00:33:41,360 --> 00:33:46,720
know as i said i opened that tweet with

1008
00:33:43,279 --> 00:33:49,279
i know this is bad practice so it's but

1009
00:33:46,720 --> 00:33:50,320
it's it's it's difficult

1010
00:33:49,279 --> 00:33:51,919
and um

1011
00:33:50,320 --> 00:33:53,600
i must admit maybe i'm blessed but you

1012
00:33:51,919 --> 00:33:54,640
know my players have been subject to

1013
00:33:53,600 --> 00:33:56,399
it's gonna make me sound like a horrible

1014
00:33:54,640 --> 00:33:57,919
dm um but have been subject to charm

1015
00:33:56,399 --> 00:33:59,679
person before in the past but actually

1016
00:33:57,919 --> 00:34:02,080
they've they've really led into it so

1017
00:33:59,679 --> 00:34:04,320
they were fighting some some kobolds

1018
00:34:02,080 --> 00:34:06,159
scale sorcerers who've got charm person

1019
00:34:04,320 --> 00:34:07,440
and also they can use sorcery points to

1020
00:34:06,159 --> 00:34:09,119
get around the advantage that the

1021
00:34:07,440 --> 00:34:10,320
players would have on the safe and one

1022
00:34:09,119 --> 00:34:12,079
failed

1023
00:34:10,320 --> 00:34:13,520
and uh

1024
00:34:12,079 --> 00:34:16,079
he actually dealt with it he was like oh

1025
00:34:13,520 --> 00:34:18,480
okay i walk over to the cobold and just

1026
00:34:16,079 --> 00:34:20,480
say like dude what's up why are we wife

1027
00:34:18,480 --> 00:34:22,879
why am i friends fighting well i don't

1028
00:34:20,480 --> 00:34:24,800
any he was completely willing to give up

1029
00:34:22,879 --> 00:34:27,119
his action his in you know his action

1030
00:34:24,800 --> 00:34:28,800
economy completely and uh he was like i

1031
00:34:27,119 --> 00:34:30,480
use my action just to ask

1032
00:34:28,800 --> 00:34:31,839
can we not talk about like

1033
00:34:30,480 --> 00:34:32,960
let's just chill out guys why are we

1034
00:34:31,839 --> 00:34:35,599
flying here

1035
00:34:32,960 --> 00:34:38,240
which i i was super stoked with

1036
00:34:35,599 --> 00:34:39,760
yeah charm person is a great example of

1037
00:34:38,240 --> 00:34:42,079
where the line of agency is because it's

1038
00:34:39,760 --> 00:34:43,760
blurry right it's not telling you you

1039
00:34:42,079 --> 00:34:46,560
have to act in a certain way so it's not

1040
00:34:43,760 --> 00:34:48,720
removing entirely your agency it's just

1041
00:34:46,560 --> 00:34:50,639
telling you you view this person as a

1042
00:34:48,720 --> 00:34:52,960
close and trusted friend

1043
00:34:50,639 --> 00:34:55,119
that's it and then you're you're free to

1044
00:34:52,960 --> 00:34:57,839
interpret that as you want now some

1045
00:34:55,119 --> 00:35:00,000
players as i spoke of earlier some will

1046
00:34:57,839 --> 00:35:01,440
buck against that reality and they'll do

1047
00:35:00,000 --> 00:35:02,800
something in a metagame sense to

1048
00:35:01,440 --> 00:35:06,000
undermine it

1049
00:35:02,800 --> 00:35:07,760
some will embrace it and think okay well

1050
00:35:06,000 --> 00:35:09,440
this is what i would do if i believe my

1051
00:35:07,760 --> 00:35:10,800
friends were fighting like you just said

1052
00:35:09,440 --> 00:35:12,640
right then that's that's really

1053
00:35:10,800 --> 00:35:14,160
brilliant that's brilliant

1054
00:35:12,640 --> 00:35:15,920
i i think it's questionable as to

1055
00:35:14,160 --> 00:35:18,240
whether they're losing their agency it's

1056
00:35:15,920 --> 00:35:20,079
just limiting their options yes because

1057
00:35:18,240 --> 00:35:22,560
you see similar arguments about there's

1058
00:35:20,079 --> 00:35:24,320
sort of a descending scale of of

1059
00:35:22,560 --> 00:35:26,240
arguments about where agency lies charm

1060
00:35:24,320 --> 00:35:28,800
person is firmly in the middle and very

1061
00:35:26,240 --> 00:35:30,720
difficult to ascertain

1062
00:35:28,800 --> 00:35:32,800
i'm being pointing out that i want to be

1063
00:35:30,720 --> 00:35:34,400
clear about this there's a fundamental

1064
00:35:32,800 --> 00:35:37,200
difference we have to assume when we're

1065
00:35:34,400 --> 00:35:39,920
in for this topic i'm discussing agency

1066
00:35:37,200 --> 00:35:41,280
as a good faith effort that everybody is

1067
00:35:39,920 --> 00:35:42,880
showing up with a good faith effort to

1068
00:35:41,280 --> 00:35:44,960
be healthy and there's just a

1069
00:35:42,880 --> 00:35:47,599
misunderstanding and a misnegotiation

1070
00:35:44,960 --> 00:35:49,520
there are versions of of uh of agents

1071
00:35:47,599 --> 00:35:51,760
loss of agency that are toxic and

1072
00:35:49,520 --> 00:35:53,599
harmful and that's probably worthy of a

1073
00:35:51,760 --> 00:35:56,000
whole show in and of itself but i can't

1074
00:35:53,599 --> 00:35:57,760
unpack there that yeah and charm person

1075
00:35:56,000 --> 00:35:59,680
is it clear is one of the spells brought

1076
00:35:57,760 --> 00:36:01,280
up often about those problematic

1077
00:35:59,680 --> 00:36:03,040
behaviors they're still problematic i'm

1078
00:36:01,280 --> 00:36:04,800
just not addressing those here yeah but

1079
00:36:03,040 --> 00:36:06,079
in the descending scale you know with

1080
00:36:04,800 --> 00:36:07,839
charmed person in the middle and

1081
00:36:06,079 --> 00:36:10,560
guillais at the top then you get into

1082
00:36:07,839 --> 00:36:12,560
like sleep and paralysis and things like

1083
00:36:10,560 --> 00:36:14,000
that it's can induce horror but i do

1084
00:36:12,560 --> 00:36:15,920
think that's gets back to a

1085
00:36:14,000 --> 00:36:17,680
misconceptions i said earlier in the in

1086
00:36:15,920 --> 00:36:20,320
the broadcast here that

1087
00:36:17,680 --> 00:36:22,079
conditions aren't a removal of agency

1088
00:36:20,320 --> 00:36:24,800
like you still have consequences

1089
00:36:22,079 --> 00:36:26,480
suffering consequences is not a removal

1090
00:36:24,800 --> 00:36:30,079
of agencies that that that's actually

1091
00:36:26,480 --> 00:36:31,599
the the product of agency right um that

1092
00:36:30,079 --> 00:36:33,359
i i often see that as the counter

1093
00:36:31,599 --> 00:36:35,280
argument so so just to sort of head that

1094
00:36:33,359 --> 00:36:36,560
off at the past i think that's the

1095
00:36:35,280 --> 00:36:38,480
argument people immediately make but

1096
00:36:36,560 --> 00:36:40,079
what about going to zero hit points or

1097
00:36:38,480 --> 00:36:42,320
being unconscious or sleep those are

1098
00:36:40,079 --> 00:36:44,800
conditions that are the result of your

1099
00:36:42,320 --> 00:36:46,480
exercising of agency earlier um and

1100
00:36:44,800 --> 00:36:49,040
those are just outcomes we we can't

1101
00:36:46,480 --> 00:36:51,119
provide a world where you're free of the

1102
00:36:49,040 --> 00:36:52,720
of the consequences of exercising your

1103
00:36:51,119 --> 00:36:53,680
agency

1104
00:36:52,720 --> 00:36:54,720
so i think that that's where that

1105
00:36:53,680 --> 00:36:56,800
conversation and one of the

1106
00:36:54,720 --> 00:36:58,000
misunderstandings of where agency lies i

1107
00:36:56,800 --> 00:36:58,960
think that's where one of those things

1108
00:36:58,000 --> 00:37:00,480
go wrong

1109
00:36:58,960 --> 00:37:02,240
yeah you're absolutely right and the

1110
00:37:00,480 --> 00:37:05,680
result of having a world free of

1111
00:37:02,240 --> 00:37:07,119
reactions or conditions is that actually

1112
00:37:05,680 --> 00:37:09,040
the ironic thing is your agency means

1113
00:37:07,119 --> 00:37:10,720
even less because there's nothing off

1114
00:37:09,040 --> 00:37:12,640
the back of it so it's actually kind of

1115
00:37:10,720 --> 00:37:14,800
like a snakey its own tail kind of thing

1116
00:37:12,640 --> 00:37:16,640
oh that's a great point of view your

1117
00:37:14,800 --> 00:37:19,119
agency means less if there are no

1118
00:37:16,640 --> 00:37:20,880
consequences for your choices i never

1119
00:37:19,119 --> 00:37:23,200
verbalized it in that way

1120
00:37:20,880 --> 00:37:24,720
no that's great you're reducing the

1121
00:37:23,200 --> 00:37:26,400
quality oh that's great i have to think

1122
00:37:24,720 --> 00:37:26,830
about that there's a tweet in here

1123
00:37:26,400 --> 00:37:29,119
somewhere

1124
00:37:26,830 --> 00:37:31,359
[Laughter]

1125
00:37:29,119 --> 00:37:32,960
oh good i'm glad to to

1126
00:37:31,359 --> 00:37:34,480
i was hoping you would just lead all

1127
00:37:32,960 --> 00:37:36,480
this with your expertise but i'm really

1128
00:37:34,480 --> 00:37:37,440
chuffed to have actually provided some

1129
00:37:36,480 --> 00:37:39,440
some some

1130
00:37:37,440 --> 00:37:40,960
material from my side yeah that's that's

1131
00:37:39,440 --> 00:37:43,599
what it is right because i funny enough

1132
00:37:40,960 --> 00:37:45,760
i am i it was another tweet i was i was

1133
00:37:43,599 --> 00:37:46,960
talking to somebody around and i think

1134
00:37:45,760 --> 00:37:47,839
it was someone else responded to that

1135
00:37:46,960 --> 00:37:50,320
guest

1136
00:37:47,839 --> 00:37:52,320
question i had of mine and again said

1137
00:37:50,320 --> 00:37:54,720
you know probably shouldn't use it

1138
00:37:52,320 --> 00:37:56,800
but i was i basically said you know

1139
00:37:54,720 --> 00:37:58,160
similarly at some point there needs to

1140
00:37:56,800 --> 00:38:00,800
be some actions to consequences

1141
00:37:58,160 --> 00:38:02,400
otherwise i mean and you can play a game

1142
00:38:00,800 --> 00:38:06,000
in a setting where there are no actions

1143
00:38:02,400 --> 00:38:09,920
to any consequences but that is like a

1144
00:38:06,000 --> 00:38:11,839
vastly different game to 99 of games i

1145
00:38:09,920 --> 00:38:14,079
would imagine sure it's not my game i'll

1146
00:38:11,839 --> 00:38:16,400
say that's all i'll say it's not mike

1147
00:38:14,079 --> 00:38:18,000
yeah yeah precisely actually i'll throw

1148
00:38:16,400 --> 00:38:19,760
i'll throw an example of where i think

1149
00:38:18,000 --> 00:38:21,680
that more commonly happens because the

1150
00:38:19,760 --> 00:38:24,000
effect is the same even though it may be

1151
00:38:21,680 --> 00:38:26,400
not a spell but prisoner scenarios and

1152
00:38:24,000 --> 00:38:29,599
games those are notoriously difficult to

1153
00:38:26,400 --> 00:38:31,359
gain master for and players notoriously

1154
00:38:29,599 --> 00:38:34,000
you know chomp at that bit to get out of

1155
00:38:31,359 --> 00:38:35,520
it and it it's in a sense of a lot a

1156
00:38:34,000 --> 00:38:37,599
loss of agency you know players are

1157
00:38:35,520 --> 00:38:38,960
taken prisoner they're captured put into

1158
00:38:37,599 --> 00:38:40,880
some sort of prisoner and now they're

1159
00:38:38,960 --> 00:38:43,119
vulnerable if they act out maybe they're

1160
00:38:40,880 --> 00:38:45,440
executed and that's almost always the

1161
00:38:43,119 --> 00:38:48,160
number one problem dms have players get

1162
00:38:45,440 --> 00:38:49,599
captured they act up they sass the

1163
00:38:48,160 --> 00:38:52,240
guards or they do something that would

1164
00:38:49,599 --> 00:38:53,520
cause in in most game masters worlds the

1165
00:38:52,240 --> 00:38:54,800
guards should just say okay well i'm not

1166
00:38:53,520 --> 00:38:56,400
doing this and

1167
00:38:54,800 --> 00:38:57,440
stab them or throw them out a window or

1168
00:38:56,400 --> 00:38:59,359
something like that that you don't want

1169
00:38:57,440 --> 00:39:01,760
to happen as a game master

1170
00:38:59,359 --> 00:39:04,400
and that's that's an example of where

1171
00:39:01,760 --> 00:39:06,000
it's really often it's not always but if

1172
00:39:04,400 --> 00:39:07,680
you get captured from some set of

1173
00:39:06,000 --> 00:39:09,520
actions that's a cons that's a

1174
00:39:07,680 --> 00:39:11,760
consequence of your choices and you have

1175
00:39:09,520 --> 00:39:13,359
to play through that and

1176
00:39:11,760 --> 00:39:14,720
players need to take a step back and

1177
00:39:13,359 --> 00:39:16,560
think about okay

1178
00:39:14,720 --> 00:39:18,079
what is what am i trying to do here

1179
00:39:16,560 --> 00:39:20,720
overall with my character if they're

1180
00:39:18,079 --> 00:39:22,800
just acting out of frustration that can

1181
00:39:20,720 --> 00:39:24,960
often be misuse of agency on the part of

1182
00:39:22,800 --> 00:39:26,800
the players um hopefully game masters

1183
00:39:24,960 --> 00:39:29,359
are causing that but honestly we're not

1184
00:39:26,800 --> 00:39:30,880
perfect we're games go south sometimes

1185
00:39:29,359 --> 00:39:32,400
and you have a bad session and you want

1186
00:39:30,880 --> 00:39:34,400
to recover from that

1187
00:39:32,400 --> 00:39:36,320
and sometimes you need a session to

1188
00:39:34,400 --> 00:39:38,480
recover from that so often players are

1189
00:39:36,320 --> 00:39:40,079
captured but sometimes game masters

1190
00:39:38,480 --> 00:39:41,520
introduce those things without thinking

1191
00:39:40,079 --> 00:39:43,440
sometimes

1192
00:39:41,520 --> 00:39:45,599
maybe this is another sort of branching

1193
00:39:43,440 --> 00:39:46,880
the topic but in terms of segwaying

1194
00:39:45,599 --> 00:39:48,720
one of the other

1195
00:39:46,880 --> 00:39:51,040
pitfalls of agency as far as game

1196
00:39:48,720 --> 00:39:54,320
masters go is they they don't understand

1197
00:39:51,040 --> 00:39:56,400
the the line between something they like

1198
00:39:54,320 --> 00:39:59,040
the idea of someone doing

1199
00:39:56,400 --> 00:40:01,359
and someone like liking to do that they

1200
00:39:59,040 --> 00:40:03,760
don't understand those are two separate

1201
00:40:01,359 --> 00:40:05,520
things like as a game master sometimes

1202
00:40:03,760 --> 00:40:07,040
you get it caught up in and i'll use

1203
00:40:05,520 --> 00:40:09,359
again the prison scenario i've seen a

1204
00:40:07,040 --> 00:40:11,599
number of game masters come back with

1205
00:40:09,359 --> 00:40:13,119
this idea wouldn't it be really cool

1206
00:40:11,599 --> 00:40:15,119
this actually happened on twitter within

1207
00:40:13,119 --> 00:40:17,119
the last month someone put a premise to

1208
00:40:15,119 --> 00:40:19,359
a game for me it wouldn't be great if we

1209
00:40:17,119 --> 00:40:20,960
started in a prison everybody was first

1210
00:40:19,359 --> 00:40:22,800
level and it was an escape scenario and

1211
00:40:20,960 --> 00:40:25,280
the ones that didn't survive wouldn't be

1212
00:40:22,800 --> 00:40:27,520
the player characters and my reply was

1213
00:40:25,280 --> 00:40:29,520
that sounds like something that you like

1214
00:40:27,520 --> 00:40:32,319
the idea of as a game master but the

1215
00:40:29,520 --> 00:40:34,079
players would not really like it to play

1216
00:40:32,319 --> 00:40:34,880
through right and i think that's

1217
00:40:34,079 --> 00:40:36,560
something that's another

1218
00:40:34,880 --> 00:40:38,800
misunderstanding episode of agency this

1219
00:40:36,560 --> 00:40:40,880
idea of you liking what somebody else is

1220
00:40:38,800 --> 00:40:42,640
going to do versus them actually liking

1221
00:40:40,880 --> 00:40:43,920
to do it mm-hmm

1222
00:40:42,640 --> 00:40:45,680
i don't know where to go from that but

1223
00:40:43,920 --> 00:40:46,960
that's my thoughts there no no that's a

1224
00:40:45,680 --> 00:40:48,240
good example of

1225
00:40:46,960 --> 00:40:49,359
and i've talked about previous episodes

1226
00:40:48,240 --> 00:40:51,839
of that like

1227
00:40:49,359 --> 00:40:54,079
perception difference between gms and

1228
00:40:51,839 --> 00:40:55,599
players it's vast sometimes it's vast

1229
00:40:54,079 --> 00:40:57,839
you're always trying to push it

1230
00:40:55,599 --> 00:41:00,560
together but sometimes and in that case

1231
00:40:57,839 --> 00:41:02,160
it could be the player the gm saying

1232
00:41:00,560 --> 00:41:03,680
oh they'll love it because there's 101

1233
00:41:02,160 --> 00:41:05,440
ways they could escape from this prison

1234
00:41:03,680 --> 00:41:06,800
but then the players there going

1235
00:41:05,440 --> 00:41:08,640
i'm literally in prison and there's

1236
00:41:06,800 --> 00:41:10,800
nothing i can do here

1237
00:41:08,640 --> 00:41:12,480
i didn't think of any of them right yeah

1238
00:41:10,800 --> 00:41:14,800
so it's useless to me

1239
00:41:12,480 --> 00:41:16,560
yeah yeah exactly what is your escape

1240
00:41:14,800 --> 00:41:19,520
game master what an eye game master and

1241
00:41:16,560 --> 00:41:22,000
you play through this game

1242
00:41:19,520 --> 00:41:24,400
exactly exactly yeah it's

1243
00:41:22,000 --> 00:41:27,440
i think charm person

1244
00:41:24,400 --> 00:41:30,480
suggestion and oh i've put my characters

1245
00:41:27,440 --> 00:41:33,359
in prison i like beginner gm bingo it

1246
00:41:30,480 --> 00:41:35,599
gets everybody out at some point you

1247
00:41:33,359 --> 00:41:37,680
know the first time i remember the first

1248
00:41:35,599 --> 00:41:39,520
time i was jamming and a place like i

1249
00:41:37,680 --> 00:41:42,160
cast suggestion on the npc and

1250
00:41:39,520 --> 00:41:44,079
immediately i'm like oh my god this is a

1251
00:41:42,160 --> 00:41:46,800
whole book of

1252
00:41:44,079 --> 00:41:48,560
theory that i haven't even begin to to

1253
00:41:46,800 --> 00:41:50,640
where's the line what do they really

1254
00:41:48,560 --> 00:41:53,040
want to do how far is the npc willing to

1255
00:41:50,640 --> 00:41:56,160
go what does being a friend mean

1256
00:41:53,040 --> 00:41:58,960
like you're asking all these huge

1257
00:41:56,160 --> 00:42:00,480
loaded esoteric questions off of such a

1258
00:41:58,960 --> 00:42:03,040
an innocent

1259
00:42:00,480 --> 00:42:04,319
cast fireball it's it's that small to

1260
00:42:03,040 --> 00:42:06,240
the player

1261
00:42:04,319 --> 00:42:08,560
yeah and it's actually worth

1262
00:42:06,240 --> 00:42:10,079
noting like we talk about

1263
00:42:08,560 --> 00:42:11,599
your agency and reduction of agents

1264
00:42:10,079 --> 00:42:13,680
again gets into this

1265
00:42:11,599 --> 00:42:14,800
ethical concern and what's good and good

1266
00:42:13,680 --> 00:42:17,280
not to do

1267
00:42:14,800 --> 00:42:20,160
i my experience anyway is the players

1268
00:42:17,280 --> 00:42:22,880
are vastly more likely to be doing an

1269
00:42:20,160 --> 00:42:23,920
inappropriate action than the people in

1270
00:42:22,880 --> 00:42:26,000
my world

1271
00:42:23,920 --> 00:42:28,880
right vastly like i don't know how many

1272
00:42:26,000 --> 00:42:31,599
players have tortured uh you know npcs

1273
00:42:28,880 --> 00:42:33,359
or uh you know just because they didn't

1274
00:42:31,599 --> 00:42:35,920
know what they wanted to do or gotten

1275
00:42:33,359 --> 00:42:37,680
people killed or yeah persuaded them in

1276
00:42:35,920 --> 00:42:39,839
some weird creepy way i've had a few

1277
00:42:37,680 --> 00:42:42,400
i've had way more comfort i have not had

1278
00:42:39,839 --> 00:42:45,440
that many but the few conversations i've

1279
00:42:42,400 --> 00:42:47,520
ever had to have of okay this is going

1280
00:42:45,440 --> 00:42:49,920
too far

1281
00:42:47,520 --> 00:42:52,240
i think 95 of those situations have been

1282
00:42:49,920 --> 00:42:53,119
me to a player rather than a player to

1283
00:42:52,240 --> 00:42:54,960
me

1284
00:42:53,119 --> 00:42:57,359
yeah i'm lucky in that the few games

1285
00:42:54,960 --> 00:42:59,359
that i've run i've not had anything that

1286
00:42:57,359 --> 00:43:00,720
would that would be

1287
00:42:59,359 --> 00:43:02,160
like that my current guys have pushed it

1288
00:43:00,720 --> 00:43:03,440
in a couple of instances of being i'm

1289
00:43:02,160 --> 00:43:05,520
like you guys that

1290
00:43:03,440 --> 00:43:07,920
right now in this snapshot you guys are

1291
00:43:05,520 --> 00:43:09,119
like psychopaths i just want you to know

1292
00:43:07,920 --> 00:43:11,040
let me let me

1293
00:43:09,119 --> 00:43:12,640
from an outsider's perspective this is

1294
00:43:11,040 --> 00:43:14,560
what it looks like to an outsider's

1295
00:43:12,640 --> 00:43:16,240
perspective i know you guys have got

1296
00:43:14,560 --> 00:43:17,920
like reasons coming out the wazoo for

1297
00:43:16,240 --> 00:43:20,560
what you're doing right now but

1298
00:43:17,920 --> 00:43:22,240
as a snapshot i need you to appreciate

1299
00:43:20,560 --> 00:43:25,119
this yes so going forward like if you

1300
00:43:22,240 --> 00:43:26,560
keep this course of action

1301
00:43:25,119 --> 00:43:28,480
the fair warning

1302
00:43:26,560 --> 00:43:30,319
yeah i i struggle with that as a game

1303
00:43:28,480 --> 00:43:32,480
master sometimes i don't realize they're

1304
00:43:30,319 --> 00:43:34,640
taking that action until they do it i

1305
00:43:32,480 --> 00:43:37,599
mean i'll give just a small example in

1306
00:43:34,640 --> 00:43:39,599
lost minds of fan delver and one of the

1307
00:43:37,599 --> 00:43:41,359
player characters who's a um

1308
00:43:39,599 --> 00:43:42,960
who's a paladin they go down the first

1309
00:43:41,359 --> 00:43:44,160
time they encounter the red brands who

1310
00:43:42,960 --> 00:43:45,920
are so the bad guys i don't think

1311
00:43:44,160 --> 00:43:48,160
there's any spoilers here but all they

1312
00:43:45,920 --> 00:43:50,160
do they they literally just rough them

1313
00:43:48,160 --> 00:43:51,680
they start a fight with them immediately

1314
00:43:50,160 --> 00:43:54,960
rough one of them up drag them to the

1315
00:43:51,680 --> 00:43:56,560
center town douse them in in uh lamp oil

1316
00:43:54,960 --> 00:43:59,520
threatening to light them light them on

1317
00:43:56,560 --> 00:44:01,359
fire in front of the rest of the town

1318
00:43:59,520 --> 00:44:03,200
and i didn't know what to do as a gamer

1319
00:44:01,359 --> 00:44:05,040
so i'm trying to i'm trying not to take

1320
00:44:03,200 --> 00:44:06,960
the player's agency away like i don't

1321
00:44:05,040 --> 00:44:08,560
want to go you can't do that that's bad

1322
00:44:06,960 --> 00:44:09,920
but i'm trying to give them a sign

1323
00:44:08,560 --> 00:44:11,760
because we were a new group to playing

1324
00:44:09,920 --> 00:44:14,000
together so i they don't have a le they

1325
00:44:11,760 --> 00:44:15,920
haven't level set yet and um so i'm

1326
00:44:14,000 --> 00:44:18,319
trying to give them some sign of the how

1327
00:44:15,920 --> 00:44:20,000
the world sees this which is the town

1328
00:44:18,319 --> 00:44:22,480
gathering around and going wait a minute

1329
00:44:20,000 --> 00:44:25,040
wait a minute what's happening slow down

1330
00:44:22,480 --> 00:44:26,800
slow down and it just spiraled out of

1331
00:44:25,040 --> 00:44:28,160
control so

1332
00:44:26,800 --> 00:44:29,520
i mean i do think that there's this

1333
00:44:28,160 --> 00:44:32,240
maybe that maybe the topic i'm trying to

1334
00:44:29,520 --> 00:44:34,160
say there is there's this early period

1335
00:44:32,240 --> 00:44:36,319
in a game even if you've done all the

1336
00:44:34,160 --> 00:44:38,880
session zero stuff and all where you're

1337
00:44:36,319 --> 00:44:41,760
getting used to each other and you don't

1338
00:44:38,880 --> 00:44:43,920
you just shoot way past some line and

1339
00:44:41,760 --> 00:44:46,720
don't realize it by using your agency to

1340
00:44:43,920 --> 00:44:48,480
do that because this player assumed

1341
00:44:46,720 --> 00:44:50,079
it was just an innocent i don't know

1342
00:44:48,480 --> 00:44:51,839
grand theft auto moment i i don't know

1343
00:44:50,079 --> 00:44:54,560
what they were thinking to be honest but

1344
00:44:51,839 --> 00:44:57,040
but but that's just like wow agency can

1345
00:44:54,560 --> 00:44:58,079
just shoot way past your boundaries so

1346
00:44:57,040 --> 00:44:59,599
quickly

1347
00:44:58,079 --> 00:45:00,640
that you need to it's hard to rein it

1348
00:44:59,599 --> 00:45:02,160
back in

1349
00:45:00,640 --> 00:45:03,680
yeah no it ties into what we talked

1350
00:45:02,160 --> 00:45:05,200
about earlier on about how the

1351
00:45:03,680 --> 00:45:06,560
expectations might be different so one

1352
00:45:05,200 --> 00:45:09,200
player is expecting one thing you do

1353
00:45:06,560 --> 00:45:11,200
another and just just that those two the

1354
00:45:09,200 --> 00:45:13,760
immovable object and the unstoppable

1355
00:45:11,200 --> 00:45:15,680
force has suddenly gone to okay we're at

1356
00:45:13,760 --> 00:45:16,400
a bonfire now and i guess covered in oil

1357
00:45:15,680 --> 00:45:18,000
and

1358
00:45:16,400 --> 00:45:19,520
i don't think anyone was expecting it to

1359
00:45:18,000 --> 00:45:20,480
go this far

1360
00:45:19,520 --> 00:45:22,480
uh

1361
00:45:20,480 --> 00:45:24,480
that's such a tricky i like i feel for

1362
00:45:22,480 --> 00:45:27,119
you because i would such an awkward

1363
00:45:24,480 --> 00:45:29,359
situation i think my advice would be in

1364
00:45:27,119 --> 00:45:31,119
that gestation period that you said

1365
00:45:29,359 --> 00:45:32,400
there like post session zero but still

1366
00:45:31,119 --> 00:45:34,880
in the early days

1367
00:45:32,400 --> 00:45:37,040
i was thinking maybe as a gm because you

1368
00:45:34,880 --> 00:45:38,079
have more power to do so would be to

1369
00:45:37,040 --> 00:45:39,200
maybe

1370
00:45:38,079 --> 00:45:41,359
maybe this isn't a good idea actually

1371
00:45:39,200 --> 00:45:44,400
now i'm saying out loud but to

1372
00:45:41,359 --> 00:45:47,040
layer on a little bit heavier uh the the

1373
00:45:44,400 --> 00:45:49,680
reactionary elements just to embed it in

1374
00:45:47,040 --> 00:45:53,040
an early stage to say

1375
00:45:49,680 --> 00:45:55,119
maybe if you antagonize this guard maybe

1376
00:45:53,040 --> 00:45:57,280
because with session two ten guards show

1377
00:45:55,119 --> 00:45:58,960
up and are like don't beat up our friend

1378
00:45:57,280 --> 00:46:00,400
just uh maybe i don't know maybe that's

1379
00:45:58,960 --> 00:46:03,359
maybe that's bad because that's setting

1380
00:46:00,400 --> 00:46:05,280
a false expectation and is then

1381
00:46:03,359 --> 00:46:06,960
you know the gm overstepping their

1382
00:46:05,280 --> 00:46:09,040
boundaries i don't know but if it helps

1383
00:46:06,960 --> 00:46:10,480
to reinforce that hey

1384
00:46:09,040 --> 00:46:11,599
antagonizing guards is going to get us

1385
00:46:10,480 --> 00:46:13,440
in trouble

1386
00:46:11,599 --> 00:46:15,680
i don't know i'm just yeah no that's

1387
00:46:13,440 --> 00:46:17,200
great advice i wish i i've had different

1388
00:46:15,680 --> 00:46:19,280
again i've been gaming for 40 years so i

1389
00:46:17,200 --> 00:46:21,599
had different with that in particular

1390
00:46:19,280 --> 00:46:23,040
group honestly we i ended up getting we

1391
00:46:21,599 --> 00:46:25,200
went for months

1392
00:46:23,040 --> 00:46:28,160
we had problem after problem like that

1393
00:46:25,200 --> 00:46:29,520
of just misaligned expectations it ended

1394
00:46:28,160 --> 00:46:30,880
with um

1395
00:46:29,520 --> 00:46:33,680
with them being knocked out with a

1396
00:46:30,880 --> 00:46:34,960
fireball this mage that literally had

1397
00:46:33,680 --> 00:46:37,040
i'd set this whole thing up where he

1398
00:46:34,960 --> 00:46:38,319
could read their mind and uh they were

1399
00:46:37,040 --> 00:46:39,680
literally talking back and forth about

1400
00:46:38,319 --> 00:46:42,079
he has nice stuff we should kill him and

1401
00:46:39,680 --> 00:46:44,160
take his stuff and this mage is like

1402
00:46:42,079 --> 00:46:45,520
what and he was even like point i was

1403
00:46:44,160 --> 00:46:47,359
trying to role play through he's pouring

1404
00:46:45,520 --> 00:46:48,800
them tea and be like oh you know i

1405
00:46:47,359 --> 00:46:50,240
really think we should work together

1406
00:46:48,800 --> 00:46:51,599
here and like

1407
00:46:50,240 --> 00:46:53,839
they just wouldn't do it so he just

1408
00:46:51,599 --> 00:46:56,400
fireballed him on the road and i had and

1409
00:46:53,839 --> 00:46:57,760
i um i ended up closing that game i just

1410
00:46:56,400 --> 00:47:00,560
ended up moving on because it was a

1411
00:46:57,760 --> 00:47:02,000
misconception but when i do it well

1412
00:47:00,560 --> 00:47:03,599
because sometimes i get good i've caught

1413
00:47:02,000 --> 00:47:05,680
off guard and sometimes i just got

1414
00:47:03,599 --> 00:47:07,760
nothing i'm reacting and like whoa i'm

1415
00:47:05,680 --> 00:47:09,520
trying to backpedal quickly but when i

1416
00:47:07,760 --> 00:47:10,720
do it well i usually just cause a pause

1417
00:47:09,520 --> 00:47:11,680
and i say oh i see what you're trying to

1418
00:47:10,720 --> 00:47:13,760
do here

1419
00:47:11,680 --> 00:47:16,000
generally i run the world a little bit

1420
00:47:13,760 --> 00:47:17,839
less murder hoboish but i try to give

1421
00:47:16,000 --> 00:47:19,280
them something in return right

1422
00:47:17,839 --> 00:47:21,359
negotiation is always about giving

1423
00:47:19,280 --> 00:47:23,599
something up so i let them know i'm

1424
00:47:21,359 --> 00:47:25,839
already sacrificing agency or you you

1425
00:47:23,599 --> 00:47:27,920
don't realize that i'm not going to have

1426
00:47:25,839 --> 00:47:29,920
every npc you run across is not going to

1427
00:47:27,920 --> 00:47:32,160
try to kill you what you're gaining by

1428
00:47:29,920 --> 00:47:34,160
not acting this way in the world

1429
00:47:32,160 --> 00:47:35,760
is that the world is not going to try to

1430
00:47:34,160 --> 00:47:37,920
kill you and dump you in a ditch at

1431
00:47:35,760 --> 00:47:39,599
every turn most people don't murder each

1432
00:47:37,920 --> 00:47:41,040
other over central disagreements that's

1433
00:47:39,599 --> 00:47:43,200
what i'm telling you about the world

1434
00:47:41,040 --> 00:47:45,599
most people uh once they've won the

1435
00:47:43,200 --> 00:47:46,640
fight they have no no compulsion to sort

1436
00:47:45,599 --> 00:47:48,400
of

1437
00:47:46,640 --> 00:47:50,160
kill you so you you have a chance of

1438
00:47:48,400 --> 00:47:51,839
just of stabilizing if you're knocked

1439
00:47:50,160 --> 00:47:52,960
out or being captured so that that's

1440
00:47:51,839 --> 00:47:54,400
what we're trading off here i want you

1441
00:47:52,960 --> 00:47:57,200
to understand that's where the world is

1442
00:47:54,400 --> 00:47:58,720
so if you act like a murderer

1443
00:47:57,200 --> 00:48:00,880
the world is going to treat you like a

1444
00:47:58,720 --> 00:48:02,400
murderer and a lot of people can accept

1445
00:48:00,880 --> 00:48:04,000
that logic but

1446
00:48:02,400 --> 00:48:05,920
i that's really where agency is

1447
00:48:04,000 --> 00:48:08,319
interesting you know there's there's not

1448
00:48:05,920 --> 00:48:10,240
a bad way or a good way to do it it's

1449
00:48:08,319 --> 00:48:12,880
just your style right some people like

1450
00:48:10,240 --> 00:48:14,319
that escapism some people heck some some

1451
00:48:12,880 --> 00:48:16,480
people there's an assumption now this is

1452
00:48:14,319 --> 00:48:18,400
an interesting part of agency to me in

1453
00:48:16,480 --> 00:48:21,040
modern d d especially when you look at

1454
00:48:18,400 --> 00:48:22,720
module creation um ryman the frost

1455
00:48:21,040 --> 00:48:25,760
maiden being the last module released

1456
00:48:22,720 --> 00:48:27,599
for for the from the official set is is

1457
00:48:25,760 --> 00:48:29,839
more of this than any module i've seen

1458
00:48:27,599 --> 00:48:32,800
previously but it assumes the players

1459
00:48:29,839 --> 00:48:34,880
want to be heroes it deeply assumes that

1460
00:48:32,800 --> 00:48:38,079
as a fundamental assumption of the

1461
00:48:34,880 --> 00:48:40,319
module itself not a bad assumption but

1462
00:48:38,079 --> 00:48:42,240
uh coming from older school d d i can

1463
00:48:40,319 --> 00:48:44,240
tell you most of the history of d d did

1464
00:48:42,240 --> 00:48:47,119
not assume that it left it up to the

1465
00:48:44,240 --> 00:48:49,440
player evil was a was a totally valid

1466
00:48:47,119 --> 00:48:51,760
alignment to choose now i never liked

1467
00:48:49,440 --> 00:48:52,880
that i never really enjoyed evil i get

1468
00:48:51,760 --> 00:48:55,760
enough of that in the world i don't need

1469
00:48:52,880 --> 00:48:57,040
that in my games um but it was always

1470
00:48:55,760 --> 00:48:59,359
it's it was never thought of as an

1471
00:48:57,040 --> 00:49:01,440
invalid option just not fun

1472
00:48:59,359 --> 00:49:03,520
but now it's sort of assumed that the

1473
00:49:01,440 --> 00:49:05,599
players want to be heroes and there's a

1474
00:49:03,520 --> 00:49:08,319
there's an assertion being made in some

1475
00:49:05,599 --> 00:49:10,319
modules about what heroism even is which

1476
00:49:08,319 --> 00:49:11,280
is an interesting topic but the core of

1477
00:49:10,319 --> 00:49:13,920
it is

1478
00:49:11,280 --> 00:49:16,319
it's assuming you have that we're all on

1479
00:49:13,920 --> 00:49:18,960
board to play a certain way which is a

1480
00:49:16,319 --> 00:49:21,760
curious lack of agency

1481
00:49:18,960 --> 00:49:23,200
for for a central module and i i really

1482
00:49:21,760 --> 00:49:25,119
don't think it's it's a place of the

1483
00:49:23,200 --> 00:49:27,280
module to make that assertion

1484
00:49:25,119 --> 00:49:29,040
but yeah anyway i don't really have

1485
00:49:27,280 --> 00:49:30,559
other than observing from a historic

1486
00:49:29,040 --> 00:49:32,400
point of view that this is a fundamental

1487
00:49:30,559 --> 00:49:34,400
shift an assumption for published

1488
00:49:32,400 --> 00:49:35,920
adventures i'm not quite sure what to

1489
00:49:34,400 --> 00:49:38,559
think about it um

1490
00:49:35,920 --> 00:49:40,559
but i'll note that it's happening

1491
00:49:38,559 --> 00:49:41,760
i've had very little experience i

1492
00:49:40,559 --> 00:49:43,680
welcome

1493
00:49:41,760 --> 00:49:45,040
the experience of the modules and stuff

1494
00:49:43,680 --> 00:49:46,559
i would say that

1495
00:49:45,040 --> 00:49:48,079
i would consider

1496
00:49:46,559 --> 00:49:49,520
pretty much in any setting in any module

1497
00:49:48,079 --> 00:49:52,720
it to be

1498
00:49:49,520 --> 00:49:54,559
heroism agnostic i suppose in a way

1499
00:49:52,720 --> 00:49:56,559
like it shouldn't matter what as you

1500
00:49:54,559 --> 00:49:59,839
said there should be no presumptions

1501
00:49:56,559 --> 00:50:01,280
that the players are gonna be the heroes

1502
00:49:59,839 --> 00:50:02,800
when you you're reading of modern

1503
00:50:01,280 --> 00:50:04,880
modules would you

1504
00:50:02,800 --> 00:50:06,960
assert that that's assumptions that

1505
00:50:04,880 --> 00:50:08,800
those modules share do you what do you

1506
00:50:06,960 --> 00:50:11,119
think about the underlying assumptions

1507
00:50:08,800 --> 00:50:14,800
of current modules i as i have a huge

1508
00:50:11,119 --> 00:50:17,040
amount of experience um i know more from

1509
00:50:14,800 --> 00:50:18,800
i know like the infamy certain modules

1510
00:50:17,040 --> 00:50:21,280
have rather than the

1511
00:50:18,800 --> 00:50:23,200
the nitty-gritty details like tomb of uh

1512
00:50:21,280 --> 00:50:25,359
tomb of horror is that thing yeah and

1513
00:50:23,200 --> 00:50:28,000
like casastrad can be

1514
00:50:25,359 --> 00:50:29,440
a bit unwelcoming shall we say

1515
00:50:28,000 --> 00:50:32,079
in the beginning straight so i'm not i'm

1516
00:50:29,440 --> 00:50:35,599
not too i have to say familiar with the

1517
00:50:32,079 --> 00:50:37,760
nuances and the specific themes of them

1518
00:50:35,599 --> 00:50:40,319
except that if i were to write

1519
00:50:37,760 --> 00:50:42,559
one i would expect it to be hero heroism

1520
00:50:40,319 --> 00:50:44,640
agnostic which is a term i shall

1521
00:50:42,559 --> 00:50:46,800
endeavor to coin uh

1522
00:50:44,640 --> 00:50:48,559
yeah no that's great and i love that you

1523
00:50:46,800 --> 00:50:50,800
brought up cursive straw because that

1524
00:50:48,559 --> 00:50:52,800
curse of strata has become the skyrim of

1525
00:50:50,800 --> 00:50:54,480
uh of d d modules where they just

1526
00:50:52,800 --> 00:50:56,000
re-release that they're doubling down a

1527
00:50:54,480 --> 00:50:57,760
lot and curse themselves no shade on

1528
00:50:56,000 --> 00:50:59,440
cursive strat it's a great module i

1529
00:50:57,760 --> 00:51:01,119
remember when ravenloft came out but

1530
00:50:59,440 --> 00:51:02,160
it's interesting from an agency point of

1531
00:51:01,119 --> 00:51:04,559
view because

1532
00:51:02,160 --> 00:51:06,400
it starts by removing your agency it

1533
00:51:04,559 --> 00:51:08,640
starts by trapping you

1534
00:51:06,400 --> 00:51:10,800
and say that's it buddy you're here and

1535
00:51:08,640 --> 00:51:11,760
you're not going home unless you beat

1536
00:51:10,800 --> 00:51:14,079
straw

1537
00:51:11,760 --> 00:51:16,480
right well yep um and it's an

1538
00:51:14,079 --> 00:51:18,319
interesting mod like what if your

1539
00:51:16,480 --> 00:51:20,160
your play group doesn't want to do that

1540
00:51:18,319 --> 00:51:21,680
like what if some you know game master

1541
00:51:20,160 --> 00:51:24,240
springs that on some play group and

1542
00:51:21,680 --> 00:51:26,000
they're like but i rolled up this

1543
00:51:24,240 --> 00:51:28,319
you know happy fluffy

1544
00:51:26,000 --> 00:51:30,960
shader character who's going to do and

1545
00:51:28,319 --> 00:51:32,480
now i'm in you know borovia or whatever

1546
00:51:30,960 --> 00:51:34,079
yeah i don't want to do i want to play i

1547
00:51:32,480 --> 00:51:36,480
want to play pipes in the in every

1548
00:51:34,079 --> 00:51:38,640
cavern we go into and tell tall tales

1549
00:51:36,480 --> 00:51:41,760
and then suddenly i'm not now in this

1550
00:51:38,640 --> 00:51:44,480
gritty here right right so agency is

1551
00:51:41,760 --> 00:51:46,480
always on rails in d d we just we we try

1552
00:51:44,480 --> 00:51:48,319
not we pray to pretend that it's it's

1553
00:51:46,480 --> 00:51:51,359
completely open even in the most

1554
00:51:48,319 --> 00:51:52,800
sandboxy world there's a limit of what

1555
00:51:51,359 --> 00:51:54,960
choices will get you

1556
00:51:52,800 --> 00:51:56,559
so strata isn't unusual in that case

1557
00:51:54,960 --> 00:51:58,800
it's just it's just very opinionated

1558
00:51:56,559 --> 00:52:00,640
about doing it up front and

1559
00:51:58,800 --> 00:52:01,920
very obviously but all modules kind of

1560
00:52:00,640 --> 00:52:03,599
do that like

1561
00:52:01,920 --> 00:52:06,000
for all this talk about sandbox i don't

1562
00:52:03,599 --> 00:52:08,559
know any game master that pulls an

1563
00:52:06,000 --> 00:52:10,640
entirely different plot out of thin air

1564
00:52:08,559 --> 00:52:12,000
no and to some degree like the players

1565
00:52:10,640 --> 00:52:13,119
well i i don't want to go on that

1566
00:52:12,000 --> 00:52:14,960
adventure

1567
00:52:13,119 --> 00:52:16,960
it's a totally valid answer for the game

1568
00:52:14,960 --> 00:52:19,280
master say okay well you guys sit around

1569
00:52:16,960 --> 00:52:22,559
for a year yeah

1570
00:52:19,280 --> 00:52:23,920
yeah it's a social contract again like

1571
00:52:22,559 --> 00:52:25,680
you might not want to be heroes but you

1572
00:52:23,920 --> 00:52:27,680
want to go on an adventure at the very

1573
00:52:25,680 --> 00:52:30,240
least so someone wants to leave their

1574
00:52:27,680 --> 00:52:31,040
city and not watch television all day or

1575
00:52:30,240 --> 00:52:32,480
you know

1576
00:52:31,040 --> 00:52:34,319
the fantasy equivalent whatever that

1577
00:52:32,480 --> 00:52:36,559
might be right so so there's an

1578
00:52:34,319 --> 00:52:37,839
assumption that we will use our agency

1579
00:52:36,559 --> 00:52:39,760
together

1580
00:52:37,839 --> 00:52:43,280
to head in a direction right we won't

1581
00:52:39,760 --> 00:52:45,440
use it adversarially yes precisely good

1582
00:52:43,280 --> 00:52:47,200
segue there because i had a i a comment

1583
00:52:45,440 --> 00:52:48,480
here that i wanted to talk about about

1584
00:52:47,200 --> 00:52:51,359
sandbox

1585
00:52:48,480 --> 00:52:53,520
like truly sandbox games and i know

1586
00:52:51,359 --> 00:52:56,400
as we just said no game is truly 100

1587
00:52:53,520 --> 00:52:59,280
sandbox so on and so on but i wanted to

1588
00:52:56,400 --> 00:53:02,480
ask you about could too much agency

1589
00:52:59,280 --> 00:53:04,800
player agency to be precise be a bad

1590
00:53:02,480 --> 00:53:06,880
thing so i'm talking more about like

1591
00:53:04,800 --> 00:53:09,040
analysis paralysis to a certain extent

1592
00:53:06,880 --> 00:53:12,160
absolutely i actually think that that's

1593
00:53:09,040 --> 00:53:14,960
uh and and i again i'm my my real world

1594
00:53:12,160 --> 00:53:16,960
i deal with marketing and do lots of

1595
00:53:14,960 --> 00:53:19,760
things too many options is actually

1596
00:53:16,960 --> 00:53:22,240
people stop to stop making choices after

1597
00:53:19,760 --> 00:53:24,240
a while there's just too many and they

1598
00:53:22,240 --> 00:53:26,559
they they exactly get into analysis

1599
00:53:24,240 --> 00:53:28,160
paralysis as opposed to well these were

1600
00:53:26,559 --> 00:53:29,440
my three i'll just take one they don't

1601
00:53:28,160 --> 00:53:32,400
get into

1602
00:53:29,440 --> 00:53:33,839
um so i i absolutely think sandboxy they

1603
00:53:32,400 --> 00:53:37,200
have to have some

1604
00:53:33,839 --> 00:53:39,280
the the nature of games is is strange

1605
00:53:37,200 --> 00:53:41,760
because they're they're really

1606
00:53:39,280 --> 00:53:44,319
kind of reactive you know protagonist

1607
00:53:41,760 --> 00:53:45,599
from a book from a novel is reactive

1608
00:53:44,319 --> 00:53:47,920
almost always right there they're

1609
00:53:45,599 --> 00:53:50,480
reacting to what the the proactive

1610
00:53:47,920 --> 00:53:52,240
character the antagonist is doing

1611
00:53:50,480 --> 00:53:55,200
and that's almost always a setup now

1612
00:53:52,240 --> 00:53:57,040
there's a bleed over to that in games

1613
00:53:55,200 --> 00:53:59,040
but this doesn't have to be that way

1614
00:53:57,040 --> 00:54:01,280
like this is actually i as a player i

1615
00:53:59,040 --> 00:54:03,680
sometimes have difficulties

1616
00:54:01,280 --> 00:54:06,720
with dms because i'm extremely proactive

1617
00:54:03,680 --> 00:54:08,160
i i want these outcomes and i'm again

1618
00:54:06,720 --> 00:54:10,319
maybe because in real life i deal with a

1619
00:54:08,160 --> 00:54:12,079
lot of startups i'm really into like

1620
00:54:10,319 --> 00:54:14,319
nope i'm going to go do this and i'm i

1621
00:54:12,079 --> 00:54:16,240
hit fandom and lost mine's a fan delver

1622
00:54:14,319 --> 00:54:18,160
i want to establish a town guard i want

1623
00:54:16,240 --> 00:54:19,760
a town council to get together i'm going

1624
00:54:18,160 --> 00:54:21,280
to befriend all the merchants to make

1625
00:54:19,760 --> 00:54:22,640
that happen i'm going to do this and

1626
00:54:21,280 --> 00:54:25,280
that the other thing and game masters

1627
00:54:22,640 --> 00:54:26,960
don't know what to do with that right

1628
00:54:25,280 --> 00:54:29,119
they they had their adventure prepared

1629
00:54:26,960 --> 00:54:31,040
and they go whoa whoa whoa i i don't

1630
00:54:29,119 --> 00:54:32,960
know what to do with this or sometimes

1631
00:54:31,040 --> 00:54:35,119
they like i don't want to do all that

1632
00:54:32,960 --> 00:54:36,960
i really just want to have a fight and

1633
00:54:35,119 --> 00:54:39,520
that's okay but

1634
00:54:36,960 --> 00:54:42,079
so i actually do think sandboxes can

1635
00:54:39,520 --> 00:54:45,200
work but it requires a whole different

1636
00:54:42,079 --> 00:54:47,119
set of skills mostly on the player's

1637
00:54:45,200 --> 00:54:49,280
side mostly because they

1638
00:54:47,119 --> 00:54:51,920
one of the things players mistake agency

1639
00:54:49,280 --> 00:54:54,559
for is asking the dm for options and

1640
00:54:51,920 --> 00:54:56,160
then saying no they want the vm to lay

1641
00:54:54,559 --> 00:54:57,599
out a buffet of options in front of them

1642
00:54:56,160 --> 00:54:59,599
and go no i don't want to do that they

1643
00:54:57,599 --> 00:55:01,760
don't have an idea themselves they want

1644
00:54:59,599 --> 00:55:03,839
to just reject the ideas given to them

1645
00:55:01,760 --> 00:55:06,160
and then as a game master is not really

1646
00:55:03,839 --> 00:55:07,760
a fun way to game master what you want

1647
00:55:06,160 --> 00:55:10,079
is if the players want to seize control

1648
00:55:07,760 --> 00:55:11,839
they want to be the ones to have an idea

1649
00:55:10,079 --> 00:55:14,640
they want to say well you know what i

1650
00:55:11,839 --> 00:55:15,760
want to look for for for museums in town

1651
00:55:14,640 --> 00:55:17,920
they might have an art collection

1652
00:55:15,760 --> 00:55:19,599
because i want to stage a heist okay i

1653
00:55:17,920 --> 00:55:22,079
got i got something to work with as a

1654
00:55:19,599 --> 00:55:23,520
game master now right it's not just

1655
00:55:22,079 --> 00:55:25,839
hey game master is there anything

1656
00:55:23,520 --> 00:55:27,040
valuable in town like i don't know i

1657
00:55:25,839 --> 00:55:29,680
don't know is there what are you looking

1658
00:55:27,040 --> 00:55:31,359
for that gave me more information and um

1659
00:55:29,680 --> 00:55:33,599
so i think i think they can work i just

1660
00:55:31,359 --> 00:55:35,599
think they're a wholly different game

1661
00:55:33,599 --> 00:55:37,599
that requires much much much much more

1662
00:55:35,599 --> 00:55:39,839
work on the part of the players than we

1663
00:55:37,599 --> 00:55:41,680
appreciate it's not just a

1664
00:55:39,839 --> 00:55:43,599
game master give you know deal me

1665
00:55:41,680 --> 00:55:46,079
encounters until i get the one i like

1666
00:55:43,599 --> 00:55:47,920
that's that's not what a sandbox

1667
00:55:46,079 --> 00:55:49,359
yeah i saw the reason i asked that

1668
00:55:47,920 --> 00:55:51,359
question is because i saw a post i think

1669
00:55:49,359 --> 00:55:53,440
it was in the facebook group for dms and

1670
00:55:51,359 --> 00:55:56,160
i felt really sorry for the dm in

1671
00:55:53,440 --> 00:55:57,280
question poor guy because it sounded

1672
00:55:56,160 --> 00:56:00,079
like

1673
00:55:57,280 --> 00:56:01,599
he'd heard horror stories of don't have

1674
00:56:00,079 --> 00:56:03,440
a railroad if you railroad you're the

1675
00:56:01,599 --> 00:56:04,880
worst dm in the world and that's the

1676
00:56:03,440 --> 00:56:05,920
last thing you should do and so on and

1677
00:56:04,880 --> 00:56:08,319
so on

1678
00:56:05,920 --> 00:56:10,720
so he's they've gone out of their way

1679
00:56:08,319 --> 00:56:12,799
to just completely make it like i hate

1680
00:56:10,720 --> 00:56:14,640
rails there's no rails anywhere anywhere

1681
00:56:12,799 --> 00:56:16,480
near the players and he's like but

1682
00:56:14,640 --> 00:56:18,640
players aren't doing anything because i

1683
00:56:16,480 --> 00:56:20,880
just go into town and i'm like

1684
00:56:18,640 --> 00:56:22,640
what are we doing here and the dm's like

1685
00:56:20,880 --> 00:56:23,760
i couldn't ever possibly even suggest

1686
00:56:22,640 --> 00:56:25,839
what you might

1687
00:56:23,760 --> 00:56:27,040
remotely want to be doing it's up to you

1688
00:56:25,839 --> 00:56:28,400
and of course they are like you said

1689
00:56:27,040 --> 00:56:29,280
they're just like

1690
00:56:28,400 --> 00:56:30,559
okay

1691
00:56:29,280 --> 00:56:33,200
i guess we'll

1692
00:56:30,559 --> 00:56:34,640
go to bed yeah

1693
00:56:33,200 --> 00:56:36,799
but that's an important and that this

1694
00:56:34,640 --> 00:56:38,400
does tie to agency railroading is a

1695
00:56:36,799 --> 00:56:40,960
perfectly valid way to game master but

1696
00:56:38,400 --> 00:56:41,920
people misunderstand what railroading is

1697
00:56:40,960 --> 00:56:44,240
people

1698
00:56:41,920 --> 00:56:46,480
having as sort of this encounter moves

1699
00:56:44,240 --> 00:56:47,920
to that encounter move to that encounter

1700
00:56:46,480 --> 00:56:50,319
that's railroading and that's actually

1701
00:56:47,920 --> 00:56:51,760
perfectly fine if you go if a lot of

1702
00:56:50,319 --> 00:56:54,000
modules are set up that way you go to

1703
00:56:51,760 --> 00:56:55,520
xanathar's lair you you fight some of

1704
00:56:54,000 --> 00:56:57,520
his bullies you find the clue that moves

1705
00:56:55,520 --> 00:56:59,119
you to the next encounter and that's the

1706
00:56:57,520 --> 00:57:01,520
way it goes that that's kind of a

1707
00:56:59,119 --> 00:57:03,680
railroad but that's okay people mistake

1708
00:57:01,520 --> 00:57:06,319
the game master's only giving you one

1709
00:57:03,680 --> 00:57:09,040
outcome one option to choose that's

1710
00:57:06,319 --> 00:57:10,480
actually bad so just saying well so i

1711
00:57:09,040 --> 00:57:12,640
brought up earlier tomb of horrors

1712
00:57:10,480 --> 00:57:14,400
that's a horrible adventure i know

1713
00:57:12,640 --> 00:57:16,079
old-timers especially man i love my

1714
00:57:14,400 --> 00:57:18,400
old-timers but i just i don't identify

1715
00:57:16,079 --> 00:57:20,400
with them often um they love to put that

1716
00:57:18,400 --> 00:57:23,040
as a great module it's a horrible module

1717
00:57:20,400 --> 00:57:25,200
there's a lot of this is the one answer

1718
00:57:23,040 --> 00:57:27,920
to this one question and if you don't

1719
00:57:25,200 --> 00:57:29,920
pick this non-obvious way of doing it

1720
00:57:27,920 --> 00:57:32,160
you fail the module and you die that's

1721
00:57:29,920 --> 00:57:33,599
hard that's very toxic railroading yeah

1722
00:57:32,160 --> 00:57:35,119
as opposed to saying well you're going

1723
00:57:33,599 --> 00:57:37,440
to go to this location find this

1724
00:57:35,119 --> 00:57:39,040
information move to this next location

1725
00:57:37,440 --> 00:57:40,880
and there's not really a lot of ways to

1726
00:57:39,040 --> 00:57:43,040
to vary those those sequence of

1727
00:57:40,880 --> 00:57:45,440
encounters but you can determine how you

1728
00:57:43,040 --> 00:57:47,680
move through the encounter i i i think

1729
00:57:45,440 --> 00:57:49,920
railroading is perfectly fine dictating

1730
00:57:47,680 --> 00:57:52,640
the only only one choice to move things

1731
00:57:49,920 --> 00:57:54,400
forward that's not really railroading i

1732
00:57:52,640 --> 00:57:56,079
think that needs a different term but

1733
00:57:54,400 --> 00:57:57,680
that that's generally what people mean

1734
00:57:56,079 --> 00:57:59,599
and that that's a loss of agency that's

1735
00:57:57,680 --> 00:58:01,119
actually not yeah i agree yeah i was

1736
00:57:59,599 --> 00:58:02,480
just about to say that that is

1737
00:58:01,119 --> 00:58:05,760
equivalent to

1738
00:58:02,480 --> 00:58:07,119
casting gas and saying do this thing

1739
00:58:05,760 --> 00:58:10,559
yeah it's essentially the same you've

1740
00:58:07,119 --> 00:58:13,599
just dressed it up as dm fiat at that

1741
00:58:10,559 --> 00:58:16,160
point yeah yeah so i've it's a it's a

1742
00:58:13,599 --> 00:58:18,480
balance i think and i like to set up a

1743
00:58:16,160 --> 00:58:20,079
house of cards essentially in each of my

1744
00:58:18,480 --> 00:58:22,000
chapters and then

1745
00:58:20,079 --> 00:58:23,760
let the players lose with slingshots to

1746
00:58:22,000 --> 00:58:25,520
knock down to knock the house of cards

1747
00:58:23,760 --> 00:58:27,599
down but how they do that is is

1748
00:58:25,520 --> 00:58:30,160
completely up to them but

1749
00:58:27,599 --> 00:58:32,400
i am a huge huge proponent of like you

1750
00:58:30,160 --> 00:58:34,160
said the antagonists being

1751
00:58:32,400 --> 00:58:36,000
proactive to a certain extent so like

1752
00:58:34,160 --> 00:58:37,839
there's always like the house of cards

1753
00:58:36,000 --> 00:58:40,160
are set up or the dominoes are there

1754
00:58:37,839 --> 00:58:42,400
and the antagonist might be willing to

1755
00:58:40,160 --> 00:58:43,760
push over his domino on his end based on

1756
00:58:42,400 --> 00:58:45,520
some certain context and that's going to

1757
00:58:43,760 --> 00:58:46,880
happen whether players do something or

1758
00:58:45,520 --> 00:58:48,559
not that you know that kind of thing

1759
00:58:46,880 --> 00:58:49,839
like if the players never turned up

1760
00:58:48,559 --> 00:58:50,880
that's still going to be knocked over

1761
00:58:49,839 --> 00:58:52,640
and those dominoes are going to fall

1762
00:58:50,880 --> 00:58:54,240
down and next time players turn up it's

1763
00:58:52,640 --> 00:58:56,480
it's because they weren't there i've had

1764
00:58:54,240 --> 00:58:58,480
players actually ask me does the world

1765
00:58:56,480 --> 00:59:00,319
does they actually use this term does

1766
00:58:58,480 --> 00:59:02,160
the simulation run in the background so

1767
00:59:00,319 --> 00:59:04,160
you can tell they're coming from uh

1768
00:59:02,160 --> 00:59:06,240
computer games where you get a question

1769
00:59:04,160 --> 00:59:07,680
the quest kind of hangs out there even

1770
00:59:06,240 --> 00:59:09,440
though they'll often say this is urgent

1771
00:59:07,680 --> 00:59:11,680
you need to do it right away yeah it'll

1772
00:59:09,440 --> 00:59:12,960
wait until you get there uh yeah i

1773
00:59:11,680 --> 00:59:14,640
what's the point of doing that in a

1774
00:59:12,960 --> 00:59:17,599
tabletop game right

1775
00:59:14,640 --> 00:59:20,160
i so yeah the world runs risk management

1776
00:59:17,599 --> 00:59:22,160
deciding on where your likely outcomes

1777
00:59:20,160 --> 00:59:23,359
are to be is a big part of what i want

1778
00:59:22,160 --> 00:59:25,040
the players

1779
00:59:23,359 --> 00:59:26,559
at least the play experience in my game

1780
00:59:25,040 --> 00:59:27,920
like you the players may not like it

1781
00:59:26,559 --> 00:59:29,119
that may not be the kind of game they're

1782
00:59:27,920 --> 00:59:30,799
looking for but that's the kind of game

1783
00:59:29,119 --> 00:59:33,680
they're going to get because it's

1784
00:59:30,799 --> 00:59:35,359
what i enjoy um that's it i guess going

1785
00:59:33,680 --> 00:59:37,200
back to gm agency

1786
00:59:35,359 --> 00:59:39,280
there's this idea that the gm needs to

1787
00:59:37,200 --> 00:59:40,079
be anything the players want them to be

1788
00:59:39,280 --> 00:59:42,160
no

1789
00:59:40,079 --> 00:59:43,920
no they don't no that's not that's not

1790
00:59:42,160 --> 00:59:45,680
how it works the game master sure

1791
00:59:43,920 --> 00:59:47,200
there's a lot of flexibility i can do

1792
00:59:45,680 --> 00:59:49,760
lots of different things but i'm not a

1793
00:59:47,200 --> 00:59:51,680
blank slate i i have

1794
00:59:49,760 --> 00:59:53,760
tastes and i have things i enjoy things

1795
00:59:51,680 --> 00:59:55,760
i don't enjoy and all of those are going

1796
00:59:53,760 --> 00:59:58,160
to come into the game too and i have

1797
00:59:55,760 --> 00:59:59,680
every right to my taste and style and

1798
00:59:58,160 --> 01:00:01,760
finding a player a set of players that

1799
00:59:59,680 --> 01:00:04,799
enjoy that so this idea that the game

1800
01:00:01,760 --> 01:00:06,240
master needs to be sort of a tabula rasa

1801
01:00:04,799 --> 01:00:08,079
waiting for all the players to sort of

1802
01:00:06,240 --> 01:00:10,559
come along with their expectations and

1803
01:00:08,079 --> 01:00:12,559
fills the gm up who is an empty who

1804
01:00:10,559 --> 01:00:14,240
empty vessel yeah i think that's that's

1805
01:00:12,559 --> 01:00:16,880
just so misaligned i mean don't even

1806
01:00:14,240 --> 01:00:19,040
know what to to say that it's okay for

1807
01:00:16,880 --> 01:00:21,520
the dm to have things they enjoy it's

1808
01:00:19,040 --> 01:00:22,880
okay for them to make the game somewhat

1809
01:00:21,520 --> 01:00:24,559
a part of that

1810
01:00:22,880 --> 01:00:27,280
hopefully they enjoy trading that with

1811
01:00:24,559 --> 01:00:28,720
players right but but but we have to

1812
01:00:27,280 --> 01:00:30,240
have

1813
01:00:28,720 --> 01:00:32,240
a bunch of opinionated people coming

1814
01:00:30,240 --> 01:00:33,760
together to form some common narrative

1815
01:00:32,240 --> 01:00:35,920
right so there's got to be enough

1816
01:00:33,760 --> 01:00:38,720
surface area between those expectations

1817
01:00:35,920 --> 01:00:42,079
to make it worthwhile

1818
01:00:38,720 --> 01:00:43,359
yeah absolutely it's again it's it's so

1819
01:00:42,079 --> 01:00:45,200
tricky and every game is different but

1820
01:00:43,359 --> 01:00:46,240
that's what that's why we're here today

1821
01:00:45,200 --> 01:00:48,160
and that's what we're talking about all

1822
01:00:46,240 --> 01:00:48,960
these interesting little bits and bobs

1823
01:00:48,160 --> 01:00:50,640
um

1824
01:00:48,960 --> 01:00:52,400
did you have anything you

1825
01:00:50,640 --> 01:00:53,680
wanted to talk about specifically about

1826
01:00:52,400 --> 01:00:55,599
agency that we might not have covered

1827
01:00:53,680 --> 01:00:57,119
yet we i don't think we can talk enough

1828
01:00:55,599 --> 01:01:00,079
about this topic i don't think we can

1829
01:00:57,119 --> 01:01:01,520
talk enough about um uh but the one

1830
01:01:00,079 --> 01:01:02,960
thing i think we

1831
01:01:01,520 --> 01:01:05,599
we probably need to talk about is the

1832
01:01:02,960 --> 01:01:07,040
role that trust plays in games at all

1833
01:01:05,599 --> 01:01:09,599
right and um

1834
01:01:07,040 --> 01:01:11,839
that people are their level of comfort

1835
01:01:09,599 --> 01:01:13,839
is often proportionally related to their

1836
01:01:11,839 --> 01:01:15,680
their level of trust right so they're

1837
01:01:13,839 --> 01:01:18,000
higher the level of trust the higher the

1838
01:01:15,680 --> 01:01:19,839
the lower age agency they might need so

1839
01:01:18,000 --> 01:01:21,839
maybe it's inversely but but the more

1840
01:01:19,839 --> 01:01:23,599
comfortable they are yes with

1841
01:01:21,839 --> 01:01:25,040
surrendering because they they

1842
01:01:23,599 --> 01:01:27,520
understand sort of the boundaries that

1843
01:01:25,040 --> 01:01:29,760
we're working with they understand um

1844
01:01:27,520 --> 01:01:33,040
it's like when people often are

1845
01:01:29,760 --> 01:01:34,480
activated and vigilant for inappropriate

1846
01:01:33,040 --> 01:01:38,079
conduct in games you hear that a lot

1847
01:01:34,480 --> 01:01:39,680
about on online talk and once things go

1848
01:01:38,079 --> 01:01:41,760
there it's very of course it's very

1849
01:01:39,680 --> 01:01:43,680
difficult but that's not generally a

1850
01:01:41,760 --> 01:01:44,480
factor in my games like i don't think

1851
01:01:43,680 --> 01:01:45,839
i've

1852
01:01:44,480 --> 01:01:47,599
you know a lot of things that people

1853
01:01:45,839 --> 01:01:48,880
would tag is inappropriate not really

1854
01:01:47,599 --> 01:01:50,960
something that happens in my game that's

1855
01:01:48,880 --> 01:01:53,200
just not my game right so playing

1856
01:01:50,960 --> 01:01:55,280
someone come in new players are often

1857
01:01:53,200 --> 01:01:56,720
vigilant with each other and reluctant

1858
01:01:55,280 --> 01:01:58,160
to sacrifice a little agency around

1859
01:01:56,720 --> 01:01:59,039
these areas because they're vigilant

1860
01:01:58,160 --> 01:02:00,960
right they're

1861
01:01:59,039 --> 01:02:02,880
okay let me let me see where we're

1862
01:02:00,960 --> 01:02:04,480
talking about before i go down that road

1863
01:02:02,880 --> 01:02:06,400
and that's actually good that's healthy

1864
01:02:04,480 --> 01:02:08,160
that's good but

1865
01:02:06,400 --> 01:02:10,240
um once players get into it they like oh

1866
01:02:08,160 --> 01:02:12,000
they uh scott's not gonna you know do

1867
01:02:10,240 --> 01:02:12,880
anything weird or creepy yeah i'm cool

1868
01:02:12,000 --> 01:02:14,480
i'm cool

1869
01:02:12,880 --> 01:02:16,240
so they that that level of trust are

1870
01:02:14,480 --> 01:02:19,119
willing to give up more agents so so

1871
01:02:16,240 --> 01:02:20,720
agency isn't one thing right it isn't it

1872
01:02:19,119 --> 01:02:23,039
isn't a static

1873
01:02:20,720 --> 01:02:25,280
value that people enter into a game with

1874
01:02:23,039 --> 01:02:27,920
it it fluctuates over time depending on

1875
01:02:25,280 --> 01:02:30,319
the value of this issue to the player or

1876
01:02:27,920 --> 01:02:32,079
the gm it fluctuates over time based on

1877
01:02:30,319 --> 01:02:34,960
the comfort level of the players with

1878
01:02:32,079 --> 01:02:37,599
each other and with the gm and trust is

1879
01:02:34,960 --> 01:02:39,839
probably agency is one item but trust is

1880
01:02:37,599 --> 01:02:42,000
probably the common

1881
01:02:39,839 --> 01:02:43,599
fuel for all elements of a game how

1882
01:02:42,000 --> 01:02:45,039
comfortable are you role playing how

1883
01:02:43,599 --> 01:02:46,559
comfortable are you with player choices

1884
01:02:45,039 --> 01:02:48,480
how comfortable are you with disagreeing

1885
01:02:46,559 --> 01:02:50,480
with another player how comfortable are

1886
01:02:48,480 --> 01:02:52,079
you with giving up some agency to

1887
01:02:50,480 --> 01:02:54,480
someone else to let them shine for a

1888
01:02:52,079 --> 01:02:56,799
little while all of that is defense that

1889
01:02:54,480 --> 01:02:58,720
trust is sort of the foundation to do

1890
01:02:56,799 --> 01:03:01,119
that on so if you want to

1891
01:02:58,720 --> 01:03:04,480
manage you can't manage agent direct

1892
01:03:01,119 --> 01:03:06,880
agency directly manage trust an agency

1893
01:03:04,480 --> 01:03:09,760
will follow as a sort of a a follow-on

1894
01:03:06,880 --> 01:03:11,520
property of establishing trust mm-hmm

1895
01:03:09,760 --> 01:03:13,440
yeah exactly yeah the the only thing i'd

1896
01:03:11,520 --> 01:03:15,520
add to that is that i've said before

1897
01:03:13,440 --> 01:03:18,240
i've tell my players like trump like you

1898
01:03:15,520 --> 01:03:19,920
have to trust me i'm not gonna ruin your

1899
01:03:18,240 --> 01:03:21,680
game i'm not that's i wouldn't be

1900
01:03:19,920 --> 01:03:23,760
playing if i'm here to ruin your game so

1901
01:03:21,680 --> 01:03:25,280
like if if i need to have your character

1902
01:03:23,760 --> 01:03:26,799
do something like just trust me that in

1903
01:03:25,280 --> 01:03:28,079
the long run it'll be worth it i'm not

1904
01:03:26,799 --> 01:03:29,599
here to kick like i'm not just gonna be

1905
01:03:28,079 --> 01:03:31,280
up a rock's fault on your character and

1906
01:03:29,599 --> 01:03:33,280
you're dead because that's yeah that

1907
01:03:31,280 --> 01:03:35,440
sucks so but you're trying to build that

1908
01:03:33,280 --> 01:03:37,520
trust because then it just brings the

1909
01:03:35,440 --> 01:03:39,440
level of the game up to you know

1910
01:03:37,520 --> 01:03:42,400
everyone's enjoyment yeah the one and

1911
01:03:39,440 --> 01:03:43,760
one last the one trust is tell me what

1912
01:03:42,400 --> 01:03:45,839
you want something don't leave me to

1913
01:03:43,760 --> 01:03:47,760
guess what you want so that trust piece

1914
01:03:45,839 --> 01:03:50,400
is a lot of times i'll get feedback like

1915
01:03:47,760 --> 01:03:52,559
well my character's feeling x-way i

1916
01:03:50,400 --> 01:03:54,480
think i tweeted about this recently um

1917
01:03:52,559 --> 01:03:56,480
what i need out of that i'm glad to know

1918
01:03:54,480 --> 01:03:58,240
how they feel but what i need out of

1919
01:03:56,480 --> 01:04:00,160
that is what do they want to happen

1920
01:03:58,240 --> 01:04:01,440
because of that so i had a character a

1921
01:04:00,160 --> 01:04:02,319
player tell me their character was

1922
01:04:01,440 --> 01:04:04,559
feeling

1923
01:04:02,319 --> 01:04:06,240
unsure and unsure of themselves because

1924
01:04:04,559 --> 01:04:08,319
a bad thing happened to the party once

1925
01:04:06,240 --> 01:04:10,240
so they're insecure

1926
01:04:08,319 --> 01:04:11,839
and i've tried to put in a couple events

1927
01:04:10,240 --> 01:04:13,440
that gave them the opportunity to shine

1928
01:04:11,839 --> 01:04:15,440
but they didn't bite at it and i've

1929
01:04:13,440 --> 01:04:17,039
asked them what would it look like if

1930
01:04:15,440 --> 01:04:19,440
not this what else

1931
01:04:17,039 --> 01:04:21,839
and so this is about like um how can i

1932
01:04:19,440 --> 01:04:23,920
use my agency as a game master to let

1933
01:04:21,839 --> 01:04:26,480
you use your agency in a way that

1934
01:04:23,920 --> 01:04:28,799
advances your character so i sometimes

1935
01:04:26,480 --> 01:04:31,039
i'm not trying to be obscure i just i

1936
01:04:28,799 --> 01:04:32,880
don't know what you mean no yeah yeah

1937
01:04:31,039 --> 01:04:34,799
it's that like i said before tell me

1938
01:04:32,880 --> 01:04:36,559
what you're trying to get at and let me

1939
01:04:34,799 --> 01:04:39,200
enable it for you and then you have this

1940
01:04:36,559 --> 01:04:41,599
positive feedback loop and everybody's

1941
01:04:39,200 --> 01:04:43,039
having fun yeah and give me enough

1942
01:04:41,599 --> 01:04:45,119
distance that i can act like it's my

1943
01:04:43,039 --> 01:04:46,640
idea give me enough dishes that i can i

1944
01:04:45,119 --> 01:04:49,440
can pretend that it was my idea in the

1945
01:04:46,640 --> 01:04:50,640
first place yep yeah sounds so easy when

1946
01:04:49,440 --> 01:04:51,520
everyone's do it there's a piece of cake

1947
01:04:50,640 --> 01:04:52,960
here

1948
01:04:51,520 --> 01:04:54,400
yeah

1949
01:04:52,960 --> 01:04:56,799
cool so

1950
01:04:54,400 --> 01:04:58,000
yeah that was uh super fantastic

1951
01:04:56,799 --> 01:04:59,680
talk and

1952
01:04:58,000 --> 01:05:02,160
i again like you we could talk about

1953
01:04:59,680 --> 01:05:04,720
this all day and still never be anywhere

1954
01:05:02,160 --> 01:05:05,440
near some finished product um

1955
01:05:04,720 --> 01:05:08,079
so

1956
01:05:05,440 --> 01:05:09,920
thank you for your time today scott is

1957
01:05:08,079 --> 01:05:11,440
uh is there anything you want to plug

1958
01:05:09,920 --> 01:05:12,880
yeah thank you very much it was really a

1959
01:05:11,440 --> 01:05:15,520
pleasure to be here so thank you very

1960
01:05:12,880 --> 01:05:17,680
much for for talking to me um yeah just

1961
01:05:15,520 --> 01:05:19,920
a few things i'm on twitter at optional

1962
01:05:17,680 --> 01:05:21,680
rule uh no spaces just look me up an

1963
01:05:19,920 --> 01:05:23,440
optional rule follow me there i carry a

1964
01:05:21,680 --> 01:05:25,280
lot of conversation on there i have a

1965
01:05:23,440 --> 01:05:26,559
website where i blog about all kinds of

1966
01:05:25,280 --> 01:05:28,559
things um

1967
01:05:26,559 --> 01:05:30,319
gaming related mostly d i put up some

1968
01:05:28,559 --> 01:05:32,079
mounted combat rules recently i think

1969
01:05:30,319 --> 01:05:33,760
i'm going to post something on surprise

1970
01:05:32,079 --> 01:05:34,960
this week but i've got a blog extending

1971
01:05:33,760 --> 01:05:36,960
back for some time it's called

1972
01:05:34,960 --> 01:05:39,359
optionalrule.com

1973
01:05:36,960 --> 01:05:42,720
again no spaces no no funny lettering or

1974
01:05:39,359 --> 01:05:45,359
anything i uh stream on twitch every

1975
01:05:42,720 --> 01:05:46,559
saturday at noon eastern time here in

1976
01:05:45,359 --> 01:05:49,119
the u.s

1977
01:05:46,559 --> 01:05:51,839
and it's just on i talk about just

1978
01:05:49,119 --> 01:05:54,079
theory crafting d d i'm usually around

1979
01:05:51,839 --> 01:05:56,400
what's happened in my campaign the week

1980
01:05:54,079 --> 01:05:58,319
before as examples and what i'm planning

1981
01:05:56,400 --> 01:06:00,559
to do in the week coming up and i'm

1982
01:05:58,319 --> 01:06:01,920
ideating through that and my players

1983
01:06:00,559 --> 01:06:03,839
will eventually watch that one day and

1984
01:06:01,920 --> 01:06:04,880
realize how much i was making up as i

1985
01:06:03,839 --> 01:06:06,720
went along

1986
01:06:04,880 --> 01:06:09,200
um but yeah so i encourage you give me a

1987
01:06:06,720 --> 01:06:11,599
check out there twitch instagram twitter

1988
01:06:09,200 --> 01:06:13,039
and optionalrule.com give me a follow

1989
01:06:11,599 --> 01:06:14,400
and drop me a note if you like what i'm

1990
01:06:13,039 --> 01:06:15,839
putting out i'd love to hear your

1991
01:06:14,400 --> 01:06:17,440
thoughts on it

1992
01:06:15,839 --> 01:06:18,880
and i gotta say from a personal point of

1993
01:06:17,440 --> 01:06:21,119
view scott is always engaging and

1994
01:06:18,880 --> 01:06:23,200
willing to engage case in point the hour

1995
01:06:21,119 --> 01:06:24,960
podcast you just listened to so i would

1996
01:06:23,200 --> 01:06:26,559
very much encourage uh checking this

1997
01:06:24,960 --> 01:06:29,119
stuff out all the links will be in the

1998
01:06:26,559 --> 01:06:31,280
description uh otherwise thank you again

1999
01:06:29,119 --> 01:06:34,000
for joining and thank you everyone at

2000
01:06:31,280 --> 01:06:35,839
home for listening as usual please reach

2001
01:06:34,000 --> 01:06:39,770
out to myself on all my socials

2002
01:06:35,839 --> 01:06:44,960
otherwise thank you and good night

2003
01:06:39,770 --> 01:06:44,960
[Music]

Scott (Optional Rule)

Content Creator

Scott is a veteran table top gamer who publishes RPG content of all kinds under Optional Rule Games. He focuses on building flexible content that enables actual play in a fun and exciting way for players and Game Masters alike.

A TTRPG fan for over 40 years, Scott has play-tested or published under a variety of titles including Rolemaster, Harnmaster, and many others including a few official D&D modules. Additionally, he’s created and published fan mods for a number of video games, including Neverwinter Nights.

In addition to his time as a Game Master, he publishes TTRPG content at optionalrule.com, produces a weekly twitch livestream discussing game theory and design, and is very active on Twitter. You can find him across most platforms as @OptionalRule.

All of his content is focused on games at play. Acknowledging the messy nature of running real games and fostering an honest dialog about how to make them better.

As his motto says, “always remember, fun… isn’t optional.”