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March 9th, 2013, 10:16
Role playing, form the P&P beginnings, has been structured into modules and campaigns, whether home made or bought as supplements to the base games. All of these (though it may be barebones in the case of classic dungeon romps) have an overarching story. Experienced groups and gamemaster may sometimes decide to improv and that can be great, but it is not the heart of roleplaying. The heart of roleplaying is, as you say in roleplaying the situations (that is allowing decisions and differnet approaches), but these are generally imbedded in narrative. In a good role playing session, the narrative and player freedom complement each other. Therefore I see narrative and roleplaying freedom as two aspects of RPG that always struggle for dominance also in CRPGs, but that are both integral to the genre.
A statement like this: "Narrative games are as close to RPGs than skirmish games are close to RPGs. Or shooters. Or driving games. Or sports games." therfore makes no sense to me. Now, if there were only linear narrative and no role playing opportunities I would agree - but that is really not what the Witcher series is known for.
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