Thursday, November 19, 2015
Hopkins Mission Control (part 4)
Another difficult MC situation is if the players are headed entirely the wrong way with a mission—Derelict is designed for the players to end up on an alien planet, but if the players are doing things that would prevent that, there are two options for the MC: railroad the players there anyway, or completely improv the rest of the mission. Railroading is looked down upon if the players are feeling like they have no choice, but if an MC cleverly creates circumstances that are the result of the players' actions, the players will have little clue that they've been guided along a certain story arc. The key is, the players need to feel like they are writing the story. Ultimately, in my opinion, the mission itself is a set of guidelines and scenarios that inform the MC and can be assembled however he or she thinks would create the most exciting experience for the players. The Hopkins MC managed to adjust to the innovative choices of her players, and through a few subtle nudges that I don't think the players even detected, she was able to keep them on the story path by presenting them with options related to their decisions. In the end, players have the most fun when they have exciting stories to tell based on their characters' choices.