Let's say you've come up with a compelling idea you want to explore through an RPG. Something that seems of real-world significance, like whether a criminal can juggle their competing efforts to get revenge and to get out of their life of crime. (As opposed to the "Bill, the Time-Traveling Stegosaurus!" sort of compelling idea.)
Now let's say you want to feel, as much as you can, that you discovered
the answer, as opposed to invented
- I can sit here right now and say something like, "I declare that he does get revenge, but it was always going to be tough to leave the life of crime, and the revenge thing blows any chance he might have had. So in the end he's only briefly satisfied, and then it's back to the life of crime." I answered the question I posed, but I didn't find that exercise very satisfying.
- I can also go through some sort of exercise to test the character and the situation, to see what emerges from a sequence of character decisions. If this tells me something I wouldn't have simply mapped out from the beginning, I can find that very satisfying.
Supposing that you feel similarly, what's your favorite way to go about it, in terms of your relationship to your character?
Do you like to act primarily as an author, scripting your character's next actions as you're inspired by the unfolding narrative? Do you like to immerse so deeply into your character that you feel like you're there, experiencing events as them? A mix of both at the right times? Somewhere in between? Something else entirely?