Well once again a year has gone by and despite my best intentions I did not use the blog besides RPGaDAY. Real life was full of plenty of scenarios… But this blog post isn’t about that.
To me the scenario is one of the most alluring and captivating parts of the RPG experience. Real life can be very interesting and dynamic. But it has limits. There are no such limits in the world of RPGs. There are enough games and genres and idioms out there that literally any scenario is possible.
There’s something magical about the beginning scenario and the scenarios that follow that one as a result of the events of play. “Here’s what’s going on… This is what you know… This is what somebody else wants you to do… these are the stakes… now what? What do you do?”
Just recently I played in another game where that basic structure took place and it snowballed. It’s a wonderful thing when we’re all in the moment, improvising, and nobody knows just what’s going to happen next. In this case the scenario isn’t improvised. It exists. But from then on everything that we do, everything that the nonplayer characters do, we all just riff off of each other and what makes sense and we find out what happens next.
Without the initial scenario, none of that is possible. Sure it’s possible to play in a matter where you make everything up entirely in the moment. But there’s something very satisfying about having a stable background to improvise against which makes these sessions incredibly fun and so easy to buy into.
Besides, before you know it, you are in another scenario. One that you helped bring about. Which leads to the next one…