Building

The final way that I can currently think of to play rpgs, that is distinctly different than the first two ways is something I have really only seen in a couple of different rpgs.  The basic idea is that while the dm might make a few npcs and work on the world a bit, in many situations it is the players who are doing the creating.  If the goal of the party is to gain access to the castle treasury and steal the magic amulet within it then one of the group might be able to make a roll in order to say, “In my days in the army I became close friends with the man who is now the head servant at the castle.  He’ll get us into the castle.”  It is up to the dm then to either allow this statement to be true, modify it slightly, negate it entirely, or leave some of this up to chance.  Generally the dm serves as less of a content creator, and more as a moderator of the content created and an actor of the content created.  So while the pc has created this head of the servants at the castle, it is still up to the dm to roleplay the man when they get to the castle. 

This sort of RPG is rare and not nessisarily easy to get going, as it requires a lot more effort on the players part to help cooperate to make a world.  Additionally, the gm has to be willing to craft a world with enough ambiguity that the players can be creative, without making it a boring sort of place when they don’t decide to create content.  Furthermore, the gm needs to be able to improvise well, as they will often be called on to role play for a character that was literally created seconds ago, and not by them.  The rewards offered by this style are quite powerful however.  Not only does this sort of a game allow the gm to do less prep, it also ensures that the players are playing the sort of game that they want to play.  They are the ones driving the story, and if they see certain dramatic moments that need to occur, they can try to create that drama, instead of just searching for it in the exploration model, or watching it happen in the railroading model.  I do not necessarily think that this style of role playing is superior to the more traditional types, but I think it is a type that is unfamiliar to many, and worth exploring.  I may return to this type of topic in the future, but for now I will be done discussing the different sorts of role playing systems. 

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