Patrick Benson, over at Gnome Stew, posted a good article about how railroading can kill a player’s enthusiasm. It’s certainly something that I’ve grappled with as both a player and a neophyte GM.
About five minutes of game time into this scene there is a knock on the door. Drat! What to do? My PC took a knife out and sliced the palm of his hand giving himself a nice fresh wound. With the captain hidden, and the data crystal buried in the pocket of a two-fisted ambidextrous combat machine, the PCs open the door to some lowly NPC thugs.
“I need medical attention!” screamed my PC. “Look at all of this blood! I’m feeling faint!”
The other PC started hamming it up as well, and we began to make our way to the door. Does the GM ask for a roll? Does the GM explain what the PCs will need to do to pull off this trick? No.
Read the whole article over at Gnome Stew, the Game Mastering Blog