- How Story Games Are Different From Other Games
- If You've Played Tabletop RPGs — how story games are different from those
- Character Concepts — if stuck, grab one and go.
- Dude, there's like 150 games listed here; where do I begin?! Check out this Cheapskate's Guide for advice on getting a nice cross-section of Story Games at minimal cost. Or look at these Popular Free Games.
- Player Advice For GM-less Games
Here are some useful techniques, introductions, resources, hints, and information to help you play a better story game, as well as hopefully explain what the heck we're doing over on the forums.
Most of these are going to be techniques that GMs and Players can apply to their game sessions, be it a traditional RPG like Dungeons & Dragons or story games like The Shadow of Yesterday or Spirit of the Century. They are not universal techniques that can be brought into all games unilaterally, but neither are they specific to one particular game and no other. With a little work, you should be able to adopt them into any game if you want. If you play an RPG, maybe you might find one or two that you like that might spice up your game; for story gamers (or would-be story gamers), this is a sampling of what's going on.
- Conflicts and Conflict Resolution
- Defining Acts and/or Scenes ahead of time
- Endgame — defining a clear end point for the story (NO ARTICLE YET)
- Escalation — Setting Stakes on steroids (NO ARTICLE YET)
- Fanmail — mechanics for positive reinforcement/carrots
- GMing Is A Service
- "I'm Gonna Make You Awesome"
- Kickers and Bangs
- Leading Questions — that build links and reveal the setting during character creation (NO ARTICLE YET)
- Multiple Resolution Scales — NO ARTICLE YET
- Narration Control — for players, which includes techniques like "Fishing" and Flashbacks
- One-Sheet or Group-Created Point-of-Play
- On The Fly Maps
- Oracles and Playsets — and other random inspiration
- Player-Created Content
- Player-Created Traits
- Player-Played NPCs
- Previews or "Next Time On…" — NO ARTICLE YET
- Relationship Maps
- "Say Yes or Roll the Dice"
- Scene Framing
- Screen Time
- Setting Stakes
- Shared GM Duties or GM-less Play
- Social Combat - NO ARTICLE YET
- Shocks, Issues, *tagonist, Praxis, Minutiae and Links: Game-specific terms for Joshua A.C. Newman's shock: social science fiction. Further elaboration and example of play can be seen at Alexander William's review.
- A short summary of the PDQ system, which is used in games like Dead Inside, Truth & Justice and The Zorcerer of Zo.
Getting Under the Engine
- Dice Terminology
- John Kim's website that catalogs all sorts of RPG theory.
- RPG Innovations: A list of thirteen innovations from the indie RPG community that are a part of the evolution of story games.
If you are here to create/edit articles:
- The focus in this Primer is on presenting methods and ideas that are broadly useful for creating narrative play, even in traditional RPGs, by describing such ideas in clear jargon-free terms for the benefit of those unfamiliar with them.
- It is NOT for cataloging theory minutia or the clever rules of various story-games specific to those designs.
- Also, this is not a place for lengthy histories of the use and development of a technique. Please instead briefly credit the technique's origins and focus on practical implementation and a few simple examples.
- If you use something in your game, it works, and you want to share, please feel free to post it under "Techniques". After you add the term to the list, give it a brief descriptive sentence or phrase (especially if the Techniques nature may not be clear from its name), but leave the detailed explanation for its page.
- I've added a new Property called "Gameplay," which you can use to tag your game entry with any of the Useful Techniques above. See Primetime Adventures for an example. —Mulrah 15:32, 3 November 2009 (PST)