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Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.

Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

About Storytelling

Don't worry, this post won't be incredibly long. I just figured I owed you folks another thought-out post or two. The dice profiles will be returning shortly, so don't fret!

In thinking upon storytelling, it almost seems that sometimes we've missed the point. I realized that stories start as something very simple: an explanation. The point of any story is That One Moment. It's a punchline, a reason for the story to come about. It's the scene that the author's had in mind from the very start. You could always start by delivering That One Moment, but the audience really wouldn't get it.

The point of any story is to get the audience to the point where they can truly understand and appreciate That One Moment. Would we care about the destruction of the One Ring if we didn't know who Frodo, Sam, and all the rest were, if we hadn't been introduced to Middle Earth? The majority of the story is the author saying, "Well, in order to truly get how important That One Moment was, you have to understand all this."

It's why most stories have you adventure alongside the main characters, so that you can understand their joys, fears, and struggles. That way, you can truly appreciate the victory of That One Moment, the decisions that hinge on that one pivotal point.

How does this apply to roleplaying games?

Well, it's not an easy application. Roleplaying games are far better suited to charting the day-to-day of characters, but I'd love to see a system that emphasized building up to That Moment. Existing RPGs do, however, provide handy points for this. In D&D 4th Edition, for instance, this could be the character's taking on of a Paragon Path or Epic Destiny, something which they plan out for several levels beforehand. An achievement, a major happening. It just needs to be led up to. Things should connect together.

Once you get there, your stories should start to evolve more and more purpose. And become really cool.

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