Content of the article: "When does player agency becomes the jailer, instead of the liberator?"
To preface this, I am no longer an active DM or Player, due to many circumstances. This time away from the game has allowed me to analyze the game, and how my former table played.
Most things point back to one, recurring, trend; too much player agency – or so it would seem.
We, as a table, have always prided ourselves in player agency, and allowing people to play the character they want – how they want. At first, this was fantastic. We got some crazy party comps, but the table made it work.
Well… a few years down the line, and now people are more concerned about their 'agency', than playing a group based game.
Characters making brash, bold, and damning decisions (one after another) without concern for the party – because it furthers their characters goals. On occasion, this can be fun. But when the entire party tries to each go their own way, all the time, it's incredibly taxing.
Likewise, the freedom of character creation has deteriorated from a healthy place to an unhealthy place.
What really brought this to my attention was the most recent failure-to-launch game;
A new, but good, DM stepped up to run a game – but he wanted to do it in a more RAW fashion, with restrictions on classes to fit a certain setting he thought would be fun to DM for.
The table said they were fine with it, but their actions betrayed their words. Obviously creating characters that conflicted with what the DM was putting forth – arguing with the DM that he was denying their agency, when he expressed their choices where going against the setting he wanted to run. Borderline bullying the DM, to be honest.
The DM dropped the game, and dropped from the group. Seeing this, myself and one other member dropped as well.
Everyone knew, going into session 0, that the DM wanted to run something different than we've played before – and everyone agreed different would be good. But, since different didn't include all 50+ races and all 300+ classes and prestige classes – it wasn't 'different' it was restricting.
Now, if that sounds harsh or venomous, I apologize. It was mildly upsetting seeing people so up in arms over something (in all reality) so insignificant.
So, my questions to you are;
1.) Have you ever experienced something similar?
2.) How did you handle it?
3.) At what point does player agency become the jailer, instead of the liberator?
- “What will you do for your party?” – Session Zero Questions
- You’re a player too – care for your players, but care for yourself as well
- A counterpoint to characters not having their own free wills and not being “real” people
© Post "When does player agency becomes the jailer, instead of the liberator?" for game Dungeons & Dragons Online.
Top 7 NEW Games of June 2020
Quite a few exciting games are releasing for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo in June. Here's what to keep an eye on.
Top 10 NEW Open World Games of 2020
Video games with open worlds continue to roll out in 2020 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and beyond. Here are some to look forward to!
Top 10 Best New Upcoming Games 2020-2021
The best selection of games which will be released in 2020 and 2021 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Google Stadia and PC - and you can watch in amazing UHD 4K and 60FPS with latest updates about all of the games in this list!