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Deprotagonization refers to any of a number of circumstances or behaviours that disempower player characters from taking a strong role in the development of the game world. The term refers to the idea that the players are supposed to be the "protagonists" in the story being told in the game: deprotagonization is then any process which causes them to cease being protagonists, or cease being able to act as protagonists. Railroading, pet NPCs, and similar are all forms of deprotagonization.