last night's was fascinating. the party spent 2hrs debating whether to try and save a town from an occupying horde or abandon it and continue their efforts to save the "entire universe."An NPC they don't really care about asked them to save the town the previous session and they weren't really swayed. But last night an NPC they really like showed up and said "help if you want. Either I will liberate this town or die trying," and that convinced most of them.

going in I was sure they would abandon the town, and I was surprised they found the decision so difficult. I didn't want them to be forced into one choice or the other so I didn't interject with encounters and they ended up mostly just talking for the whole session, which made me worry I wasn't doing a great job of managing pace. but I checked in afterwards and the consensus was that everyone had really good time debating the morality of the choice in character. combat would have disturbed that!

I think a lot about the mechanics of . It's the FPS murder simulator of TTRPGs; it doesn't care about the morality of choices or conflict resolution that doesn't involve horrific violence, and doesn't support that kind of play at all -- it's why deception is a single number and grappling rules are 500 words. So when we go a couple of sessions without engaging the majority of the mechanics I begin to worry that my players will become bored. It takes a lot of active listening at the table.

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if there's one thing I'm proud of it's that I've concocted a world with enough complexity that interesting choices emerge from circumstance. I didn't know the party was going to go back to whitebridge, but i knew what was going to happen in their absence, so when they *did* go back and found it occupied by hordes of mutated goblins it presented a moral dilemma that will take multiple sessions to resolve. It's the kind of payoff you hope for when worldbuilding.

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