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

TL;DR — They can be given input. Without that, all they can offer is color commentary.

Begged question: Why would I want the game world to “seem real”? That sounds like some crazy Mazes & Monsters -ass shit right there.

I assume that what is meant here is “add a sense of verisimilitude” to the game world, i.e., help everyone at the table feel like, “Yeah, I buy that this world would be like this, and our characters would be doing what we’re doing in this way, at this time, in this place.”

At least, I have to assume this interpretation in order to answer the question; otherwise,​ all I can do is point you to the nearest university steam tunnels.

So… players can only add to the feel of the game world if the players can add to the feel of the game world. Tautology, my dear Watson.

If players can’t contribute, they can’t take ownership of anything. If they can’t take ownership, then everything relies upon the GM, i.e, the most likely candidate in this scenario.

I suppose, in that situation, players can do their best to learn and absorb the world on offer — the default expectation, I think, in most big published settings. But, even then, if the player isn’t allowed act a subject-matter expert, then I don’t how much they can actually add to the conversation (all roleplaying is a conversation, yadda, etc.).

This question definitely seems to be coming from a trad-y space, which naturally demands an indie-y answer.

8 thoughts on “#RPGaDay2018 6. How can players make a world seem real?

  1. I had assumed this came from a reference to Apocalypse World‘s “make the apocalypse world seem real” admonition to the MC. So like riffing on that, how to do it as players.

    It was a little hard for me to answer.