#RPGaDay 2020: Day 7 – Couple

This time you can’t avoid it. I’ll talk science.

Well, only a tiny bit just so I can segue into today’s topic.

So, in mathematics there’s a thing called a bijection. It sounds very fancy, but it’s quite simple. It’s pretty much a way to describe the relationship between two sets. These relationships can also be written in the form of a set of couples. And there are a lot of couple-like relationships, but I will focus on one I consider very important.

I want to talk about the relationship between the Game Master (or however you want to call them) and the players, whether in an individual or group dynamic. Oftentimes, this relationship can be misinterpreted by either party.

For example, a common misconception is that the GM may think their role is to kill the characters or, at least, act consistently antagonistic. The same can be said from the side of the players, who may think their role is to win against the GM. This shouldn’t be the thing, because tabletop RPGs are meant to be a colaborative endeavor. Both the GM and the players work together towards a common goal of sharing a story and having fun.

Awesome map logo (click on it)

Another thing to mention is that a lot of times in our hobby the function of the bijection changes and the sets remain the same. To say what I mean in humanspeak, people expand the role of the GM to include additional responsibilities or tasks. For example, the GM may be the one to organize the group in order to arrange sessions, as well as host the actual event.

On the other hand, the GM may perceive the players as spectators or mere pawns in their story. This phenomenon is well known as railroading.

A great solution to these issues could be a conversation that shares similarities with session zero. But instead of just talking about who is expecting what inside the game, you can also discuss technical out-of-the-game issues and responsibilities.

And that’s all for day 7! It took me seven days before I started talking about sciency stuff and I will try to keep it as sparse as possible. Unless you want me to get scientific again. Tomorrow’s word is “shade”. We’ve been having a lot of it these days, along with a lot of rain.

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