First Session, some Railroading required?

edited June 2011 in Story Games
So in light of some recent posts I have been thinking about how I actually run my games, and what works, and what does not. I have found, in retrospect, that the best games are ones where I have railroaded the first session heavily. I create a cast of NPC’s and their motivations, and a few “World” type problems. I make the players meet all the respected parties and problems, in a relatively elaborate conflict (to get a feel for all of the games mechanics). All the other times it usually becomes a struggle to get the game off the ground.
When do all of you railroad?

Comments

  • I tend to play more one-shots than anything else, and it really helps to have someone have a pretty clear starting vision IME.

    Once folks have their feet under them system-wise and setting/situation wise, things become a whole bunch easier, and it becomes almost natural to open things up to driing the thing whereer you want it to go.
  • I haven't railroaded in years.
  • Posted By: komradebobI tend to play more one-shots than anything else, and it really helps to have someone have a pretty clear starting vision IME.
    Yes, this, I think this.
  • Posted By: GrahamPosted By: komradebobI tend to play more one-shots than anything else, and it really helps to have someone have a pretty clear starting vision IME.
    Yes, this, I think this.

    That depends if you are willing to spend a little time as a group working up setting/background/situation, how much the game invests in centralized authority, how familiar the players are with the rules, if your players groove on creating setting and situation, and a host of other factors.

    See Fiasco, PTA, Microscope, et. al. for ways that this can work well. These all depend on "a clear starting vision" in their own way but in a different way than Bob meant.

    But if the players are unknown quantities, then a GM-imposed vision can work.
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