Home RPG Worlds of Design: Are You Consistent? | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons

Worlds of Design: Are You Consistent? | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons

Worlds of Design: Are You Consistent? | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons


Like sports activities followers, RPGers need consistency of GMs rulings. This is each within the “meta” mode, what characters do other than adventures, and adventures mode.

Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”—Dwayne Johnson (“The Rock”)

Call It Consistently!​

Watching the NBA finals a number of years in the past, I typically heard the plea of gamers and coaches—and spectators—that referees name the sport constantly. Whether they name it tight or free, name numerous fouls inside or outdoors, so long as the refs are constant the gamers can alter their play accordingly.

Thinking about some adventures I’ve skilled through the years, I noticed that RPGers additionally need consistency of GMs rulings. This is each within the “meta” mode, what characters do other than adventures, and the journey mode.


One of inconsistency that bugs me is when a GM ordinarily offers gamers numerous time to think about what to do, however then at a annoying level goes into real-time and rushes everybody (introducing video-game-like time stress). To me this can be a low cost GM trick; I determine I’m taking part in a recreation not likely adventuring. (In real-world adventures, it’s real-time.).

Believability vs. Boring​

Another consideration: the important thing to believability in video games is consistency. In board video games it is simpler to take care of a baseline consistency on how the sport world works, however RPGs take much more work. Some GMs care about believability, some don’t.

On the opposite hand, consistency within the sorts of issues the gamers really do, the sorts of challenges they meet (even storytelling is a problem), is often not fascinating. No matter what it’s, doing the identical factor again and again and over can turns into tedious, whether or not it’s saving the world, or slaughtering orcs, or taking part in politics, and many others.

Pacing Yourself​

Dramatic shows of any variety require good pacing to remain “fresh.” A one-word description of excellent pacing is perhaps “variability.” “Pacing” is an unlucky alternative of phrases, as a result of it implies regular, measured endeavor (“walking with slow regular strides”), which is not fascinating.

Good pacing is about greater than three-act construction, although following a construction of that kind, and even the Hero’s Journey, essentially varies the pacing of the occasion.

Consistent GM Styles​

Of the 2 extremes of GM model, “GM as arbiter” makes consistency simpler, besides that it topics GMs to “rules lawyering.” In other words, if the GM just interprets the rules (which must be quite detailed for this to work) and doesn’t make up new rules, then consistency is easier to achieve (assuming the game itself is consistent!). Detailed game rules actually help the GM be consistent, but they also require more GM time, attention, and sometimes more planning than if the game rules are less detailed.

“GM as god,” however, can simply result in inconsistency. If the gamers are extra invested in a storyline through which occasions occur to them (and so they play alongside), they might discover these inconsistencies much less jarring so long as the top consequence is an efficient story.

RPGs Are Not Linear Entertainment​

When it involves consistency, RPGs are greater than easy leisure, they’re video games too. Contrast the perspective with mass-market leisure like tv reveals and flicks. Consistency is usually missing in these mediums, in cartoons particularly, and in TV writing usually. Writers assume nothing of “dishonest,” of placing issues into this system that couldn’t probably be proper in mild of later “reveals.” But most viewers do not care sufficient to harm the present, in the event that they discover in any respect. The similar form of factor occurs in lots of genres of movie, particularly blockbuster adventures. Most of us find yourself recognizing large plot holes however agree to just accept them and transfer on with a purpose to benefit from the movie.

Games are made of various stuff, and players count on consistency as a result of they are not simply passively watching, they’re collaborating.

Your Turn: Is consistency an necessary a part of your group’s play model?



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