Blog Archives

Examining the Agency Scale

I’ve devoted a lot of time and space writing about player agency. In several of these posts, I’ve referenced something called the “Agency Scale.” Beyond referring to it as a gradient between strict railroading and sandbox-style freedom, I haven’t said much about it. Mostly I just wanted an easy term to abuse while I talked about roleplaying games.

But the more I include it in posts, the more I think it about it as a concept. Recently, I wanted to see if I could make a visual representation of the Agency Scale. I don’t know if it will have any practical use, but it seemed like fun.
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Player Agency & Death, Part 2

Death, not just for PCs!

So, last week, I started talking about player agency. Again. Specifically, how the scale between railroading and complete freedom was reflected in how PC deaths are handled by the GM. As I said at the end of that post, and as the title of this post would imply, I’m continuing on in that vein today with the other kinds of death that affect and reflect the agency scale. As before, all real life examples assume the disclaimer.
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Player Agency & Death, Part 1

Last week, I wrote about Player Agency and the social contract that it implied between the GM and the players. In case that post didn’t make it clear, I find player agency, particularly the gradient between complete player freedom and strict railroading, to be immensely interesting. This one thing effects just about every aspect of this hobby, but generally gets relegated to a terse, binary debate. I’d love to see more open discussion and exploration of how this agency scale affects the different aspects of roleplaying.

Today’s topic

I suppose that’s all just my way of saying that I’m going to keep coming back to this idea until I run out of excuses. Hopefully, I don’t bore my meager readership into non-existence before I run out of permutations.

Today, I’m gonna belabor the connection between player agency and death. Since I’ll be talking about particular games I’ve been involved in, all allowances and disclaimers apply.
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