May 27th, 2019

Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?

Outsider Resolution Bias

This thread by @POCGamer really made me think about RPG adventure design.
In short, scenarios in RPGs are often geared towards a team of outsiders (the adventuring party) to resolve any problem the locals may have. This makes the locals look incompetent and also feeds into a white-saviour/colonial mindset. And it makes no sense that locals should just sit around and wait for someone to arrive to solve their problems for them — especially not if the player characters could easily have been locals themselves.

I admit that I fell for this pattern too in some of the adventures I designed. One time, a player literally asked: “Why didn’t the mayor just walk upstream to see what was going on herself?”

Now that I am aware, I need to be mindful of this pattern in order to avoid it.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.