Telling stories

If there’s a single sentence that can act as a simple summary for what role-playing games are, it is surely “telling a story from the characters’ points of view”. Any modern table-top role-playing game has this at its core; that the players, with the game-master, are developing a world and a story together as they play.

However, other aspects of the role-playing genre, notably computer role-playing games, have struggled with this aspect. The first game to truly crack this nut will attract the attention of role-playing fans, but would it also capture the attention of gamers in general? Why haven’t computer role-playing games been able to tell stories in the same way that table-top gamers do every week? What will be lost from the genre if they do? Continue reading

In medias res

A while ago there was an episode of the DnD podcast from Wizards of the Coast that had a tip for DMs to start every session with the players rolling initiative. This usually indicates that combat, or at least some action sequence, is about to play out and initiative determines the order that the characters act in. The idea is that by having your players start the session in medias res, literally “into the midst of affairs”, they will be more engaged in the session as a whole.

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