Soylent Dave said:In reality, I'm well aware that I don't - not fully. Your instinctive thoughts that it's damn near impossible to create a totally open world for people to play in is pretty accurate.
And to a degree, you normally don't want to give your players complete freedom, because it makes it difficult for the game to progress (complete freedom being "Here's the world, there's your character. What do you do?") - your players need at least a bit of direction from you as GM.
Thanks for this. I just imagine what a totally open-ended game would be like:
"Your party is in the capital city. What would you like to do?"
"Let's go to a pub!"
"You are in a pub. What do you do?"
"I think we should listen to rumors and see what kind of quest is available."
"Okay. What kind of rumors do you hear?"
"Uhhhhh....isn't that your job?"