#RPGaDay2018 6. How can players make a world seem real?


This isn’t really a job for the players so much as it is the Games Master. You may, of course, view the Games Master as one of the players, but typically that’s not how most see it. Still, there are things that players can do that will help everyone come together to create a believable world.

Characters have to come from somewhere, they don’t appear as blank slates (unless you’ve chosen amnesia as a flaw). They must have had parents, siblings, a home town, pets, a childhood and all that jazz. You don’t have to launch into a multi-page epic about the origins of your character, but a few jotted notes will place them into a living world – and give the Games Master some more material to work with.

Players can have a tendency to act… stupid. When was the last time you saw someone wander into a corner shop and murder the proprietor just to help themselves to armfuls of candy and then walk out, safe in the knowledge that the police weren’t high enough level to threaten them?

Never. That’s when.

While the sheer latitude players are given in RPGs is a huge part of the appeal, running rampant and doing moronic things ‘just because you can’ rapidly becomes wearing and spoils people’s immersion – at least in serious games. Players who consider their actions and why they wouldn’t rampage like this in real life, help maintain a level of sanity and verisimilitude in the game world. When it comes to design I call this effort ‘plausibility’. I don’t want a world or game to be realistic per se, but rather plausible. Ironically, whether writing fiction, designing or playing a game, often the more fantastical the setting the more plausible and believable the details need to be.

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!