Story Games with Different Types of Scenes

edited August 2017 in Game Design Help
I'm looking for some Story Games that have different types of scenes in them—that is, different categories of scenes (likely with different aims or procedures ). I'm trying to get some inspiration and ideas for a game I'm working on and would like to look at what folks have come up with. An example of what I'm looking for would be something like Wilhelm's game While the World Ends, which has "Narrative Scenes" and "Driving Scenes." Which other GMless, collaborative Story Games have different types of scenes? Thanks for all your help :smile:.

Comments

  • The Shadow of Yesterday's "refreshment scenes" come to mind. They are mechanically-mandated (though not strictly so) scenes of character interactions which are supposed to be free of conflict. For instance, two friends might go for a walk by the park - or have a friendly drinking contest.

  • I think Remember Tomorrow might qualify as it distinguishes scenes where you make a deal with a faction from the others (can't remember the exact terminology for each).
  • Swords Without Master has some of the most meaningfully different scene types I've come across. What you can do as a participant is different in the Perilous Phase than in the next Phase, etc. (sorry, can't remember any other actual names).
  • Swords Without Master has some of the most meaningfully different scene types I've come across. What you can do as a participant is different in the Perilous Phase than in the next Phase, etc. (sorry, can't remember any other actual names).
    Very Cool! I will check it out. Thanks Dave! :smiley:

    Also, thanks Paul and Dreamer!
  • Oh yeah, my supervillain game Within My Clutches has 4 scene types:

    Goal scenes: back-and-forth play through villain pursuing their goal with other players GMing/NPCing as requested

    Reveling scenes: quick monologue reveling in achieved Goal

    Distraction scenes: quick monologue dealing with the trouble your Goal got you into

    Bonus scenes: through play, you earn these extra scenes to tease the secret Master Plan which you'll eventually reveal at the end of the game.
  • Hillfolk first comes to my mind (dramatic and procedural scenes)
  • Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands and The King is Dead are both built around a set of different kinds of scenes and accompanying mechanics.
  • (Notably, in those game there aren't "types of scenes" so much as they are different "subsystems" or modes of play, kind of like "turn-by-turn combat" is a subset of D&D play. They will be far more specific than "scene types" in the other games discussed so far, which deal with larger dramatic or pacing concerns.)
  • A favorite classic of mine, Bliss Stage, makes that distinction.
    Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands and The King is Dead are both built around a set of different kinds of scenes and accompanying mechanics.
    (Notably, in those game there aren't "types of scenes" so much as they are different "subsystems" or modes of play, kind of like "turn-by-turn combat" is a subset of D&D play. They will be far more specific than "scene types" in the other games discussed so far, which deal with larger dramatic or pacing concerns.)
    Oh, well... "Scene types" is still how I, too, explain MF0:F to people most of the time. "Games" is just too confusing a term for first approach.
  • edited August 2017
    In my game, I differentiate between the following scene types:
    - Goal
    - Complication
    - Mystery
    - Transitional scenes (intro, transition, epilogue, monologue...)

    Basically, transitional scenes have no plot-relevant questions that need to be resolved. They are either narrated or roleplayed freely.

    For each mystery, I use a mystery guardian who is responsible for answering related questions.

    Goals/Complications are not mechanically differentiated (just difference between pursuing PCs' own goals vs overcoming difficulties).

    Optionally, I have also added PR|ACS for scene types:
    - Proactive / Reactive (PC driven vs reacting to NPCs or events)
    - Action / Conversation / Senstation (main focus of the scene)
  • I'm working on a game with Direct (conflict at hand), Indirect (conflict over there), Relationship (focus on an NPC), Respite (take a break), Interrupt (looks like another scene but a man with a gun walks in), Showdown, and Epilogue.

    You choose what scene you want next, but have to earn the Showdown by completing challenges in each scene.
  • Protocol (which does something very similar to Fiasco) has
    > vignettes
    > interrogations
    > interludes
    > ensemles
    > also, sometimes monologues and flashbacks.
    They are very cool.

    http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/19747/protocol-review-and-actual-play
  • Hell For Leather by Sebastian Hickey has 2 or 3 different types of scenes with different procedures, if I remember correctly.
    One is the action scene used in the majority of the game, and the other two are related to character emotions and can be either about revenge/destruction or about bonding and forgiveness, or something like this, and each follows different procedures and produces different mechanical outcomes.
  • Burning Empires has lots of different scenes. Though, I don't have the book at hand right now.
  • DayTrippers has a thing called "Character Development Scenes", which are used to flash back or add a personal angle to a character, often moving them in a new direction or exposing a newly-purchased skill (which is introduced as having always existed - it's part of the "Progressive Character Generation" approach). The example I often use is the flashback scene in most episodes of the old "Kung Fu" TV series. They typically happen outside of the current flow of gametime, or take place "instantly" (in memory).

  • Burning Empires was mentioned, but I can bring up Mouse Guard that has first game master scenes in each session, that creates challenges, and ending with player scenes that develop the characters.

    My own free and short game Imagine has three different scene types.

    • Memories - introduces new characters and events.
    • Present - where you play out the character.
    • Hopes - where you introduce new goals to where the story should be heading.

    (It feels like I'm forgetting an obvious game but perhaps I'm thinking of board games like Race for the Galaxy and Puerto Rico, where players choose actions that will happen during a round.)
  • Oh, as for obvious titles we're forgetting, there's Primetime Adventures. I'm not sure about 3rd edition - which I haven't played yet - but the PTA I'm familiar with has two broad scene types, "character development" vs. "plot development" (I'm not sure about the exact language used). These are mechanically identical, but conceptually different - a difference which is key to pacing an episode.
  • Burning Empires has lots of different scenes. Though, I don't have the book at hand right now.
    Oh yeah, that's true, managing the scene economy, doing your best to maximize the different things you can get from each, is a huge part of that game.
  • Which reminds me of Contenders: the kind of game where picking a scene type roughly equals making a move.
  • I really like the minigames / scenes in Vincent Baker's The King is Dead or Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands.

    Players go around picking which 'game' they want to play. Different mechanics for different types of scenes (chase, dance, argument, duel).
  • edited August 2017
    Eternal Contenders has a whole bunch of very strictly mechanical scene-types; I haven't read the original Contenders, so I'm unsure how similar they are. You pick a Scene Type and play it out freeform, but in the end regardless of your description it comes down to a rigidly-prescribed check (or extended procedure) to see how you did.

    Shinobigami also has very similar mechanistically-rigid scene types. There are basically Drama Scenes and Combat Scenes. Drama Scenes let you attempt one of a pre-set list of things (form a Bond, discover a Secret, discover a Location, or recover Life); you often go into a scene knowing which of these you want to achieve, but you can play flexibly and decide on the spot. You play things out freeform and then make a single check. You can't declare Combat scenes against someone unless you've discovered their Location. In the main game, combat is very quick; one hit and you're out. At the end there's a Climax Scene where there's an extended all-in ninja battle for the prize.

    My own Blade Bind cribs a bit from both of those aforementioned games. I defined three scene types: Decisive, Manipulative, and Wavering.
    • Decisive means you are going to achieve one of your goals unless someone else stands in your way. They can try to talk you down, but the only way to stop you, if you're determined, is to fight. Other characters can wander into Decisive scenes if they have a connection to you or the target of your goal.
    • Manipulative is basically an attempt to persuade another character to take a particular course of action; if they agree, they can change one of their goals. If they aren't having it, then you can fight them to force a change, or back down. And if you decide suddenly to try and achieve one of your goals during such a scene, then it becomes Decisive.
    • Wavering means you aren't sure what to do, and are throwing the scene open to the table for suggestions. If you still can't decide, someone else can frame a scene as long as it involves your character. The scene can turn into either a Manipulative or Decisive scene depending on how things play out.
    It's probably also worth mentioning that all of those games use the fairly traditional "go around the table with each player setting a scene in turn". Shinobigami is the only one with a GM.
Sign In or Register to comment.