So I got the gamist Bits down, What about the story

edited December 2008 in Story Games
Hey Everyone,

Im working on a game project, and for the most part I got the gamey bits down, and i'm committed to them (using public domain materials and my own wit persay)

What I don't have is a lot of Scening Rules, Story pacing, and Story Development Rules, and I'm interested in that.

So if you have some favorites, that you dont mind being mercilessly mined for ideas in the slave pits feel free to post them here, OR if you have some games that you feel work well on these factors please do.

That said, I do not have the biggest indie rpg library, so if you do refernece games, the more obscure , the more helpful it would be if you would post the relevant info, within bounds of fair use. I'm not looking to plagerise but would like to see how other have approached it.

Thanks for your consideration and aid


  • I might be able to help, but I'd need more information. What sort of narrative structures are you interested in? What is the game about? What are the characters like, what is the setting like, what kind of situations occur, what sort of color is appropriate? What about playing the game is supposed to be fun (precisely as possible)?
  • I'm looking for a kind of Episodic narrative, a cast of characters which remains relatively static go on wacky adventures each week which may or may not tie into an overarching theme. The Cast of character should grow, Character exploration is on the table as a possible overarching them even if it is otherwise lacking,

    The Characters are human and the setting is now, there's some fantasy/sci fi elements thrown in but I want the game to really be more about the characters and less about what the characters can do. I don't want to get into it more than that, because I want to throw this particular net wide rather than find something right on key.

    The game is supposed to be fun in a fairly traditional tabletop rpg, dnd sort of way, but I would also like it to relate to the everyman and day to day life more than the usual ammount of required wish fufillment that dominates tabletop play.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Ok, good, that helps. Another question: you say "fun in a fairly traditional tabletop rpg, dnd sort of way" -- do you mean in the sense of working through adventures requiring resource management, tactical acumen, and puzzle-solving skills? If so, are these prepared by the GM? ("Yes" is not an evil answer here -- I still play games like that, and I'm writing two)
  • Short Answer Yes,

    Long Answer, Yes, but im not married to the idea of a traditional GM, (it will probably stick arround in the sense that it works and im used to it, and i've yet to see a very convincing other option, but like i said im not married to it)
  • Okay. A few more questions, if that's alright. What sort of problems do the characters face? Who/what are they up against? Do they fight crime? Battle the supernatural? Are there gunfights in dark alleys, coffee shops, and tenement houses? Are the characters pretty much "just folks," or are they endowed with heroic power (or maybe "just folks" with some power)?
  • The problems the characters face in my minds eye should range from the ethical, how should i use my power to the practical, dealing with the effects of my power, with about equal emphasis on the perhaps the more fun, navigating the groups of others who want me to use/deal with my power in a certain way.

    The character's I'm aiming for are just folks with some power. There's some borderline cases but 4/5 should be in that catagory.

    Fighting Crime and Battleing the supernatural are definitely on the table, but I want to angel to fighting the natural and battleing crime? The game is set in the real world and is not married to some kind supernatural mythology (No vampires, No Werewolfs, No Ghosts, Not anything like that, some unexplained and will not be explained sci/fi stuff and then hopefully on with the realism.

    I don't see Gunfights in dark alleys, Coffee shops or Tenement houses. Perhaps a few abuductions in broad daylight and more cold warish type stuff.

    Hope that Helps, I am actually going to be playing what i got so far tomarrow, so we will see how it goes, I have a few subsystems that certainly seem realistic but lead towards the long road of drimgark and mental breakdown that i'm not sure i want to go down. That said I think you've fairly pegged the genre, Want to make a guess? I think I may open up more after the play, (perhaps depending upon how much help i need :D)
  • unexplained and will not be explained sci/fi stuff and then hopefully on with the realism.
    Ah, I'm a big fan of that sort of thing.

    I'm not quite sure how appropriate this would be for your game, but I've got a game in which the PCs root out the supernatural and try to destroy it before it causes any harm (or any more harm) to innocent folks. One great technique I've come up with is an agenda on a timeline for the threat.

    Like, "On day 2, the sorcerer will poison the Caldwell family's well," "On day 3, the revenant corpse of Jeremiah Caldwell will be sent to murder the sheriff" and so on. Basically, I make a bulleted list of the threat's agenda, and set dates for it relative to the start of the investigation. If the players don't figure stuff out fast enough, then bad stuff happens to innocent folks (and possibly the PCs themselves). Conversely, there's a potential for each point on the agenda to be foiled, if the players are clever enough. Add onto this that the passage of time is crucial to the regeneration of the PCs' resources to be used in conflicts, and to the preparation (and sometimes performance) of magic.

    It seems to work nicely, although it requires some re-planning, sometimes on the spot, on the GM's part when specific plans are foiled but the threat is still in action. Of course, in multi-session scenarios, that's not as much as an issue, since the GM gets to figure stuff out in the downtime.

    Lemme know how the game goes. And as soon as any other techniques come to mind, I'll let you know.
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