Ever wondered about stories that emerge from roleplaying games? Where do they actually come from? How do you as the game master create epic stories? In today’s video, I explain where RPG stories come from and how you can run your roleplaying game in such a that you have epic stories emerging from them – stories that will make your game feel real and have your players returning for more! Join me and take some notes for your next Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars or Pathfinder game and start creating your epic stories.
Today we’re going to be looking at the topic of stories within your roleplaying games. We
are asking the question – where does story come from?
We’re talking about the story that emerges when you are running a roleplaying game.
Stories emerge from the interactions between all the players at the table – including the
When we talk about emergent stories, one of the ideas that is important to keep in mind is
that you as the GM are roleplaying. You only get the roleplay the NPCs and the monsters.
• Monsters vs NPCs – monsters risk death, NPCs do not – and that means so much!
• Players roleplay their PCs – a single entity.
Goals = possible stories. PC goals, NPC goals and monster goals.
• Someone wants something badly by a specific time but it having difficulty getting it –
the sentence we use to create stories.
• Everyone should have a sentence – PCs, NPCs and monsters.
• The PCs goals are king – that still doesn’t give us a story, but it does give us a starting
• The goals of the NPCs and monsters should be in opposition to the PCs goals.
• The GM must roleplay – the actions and reactions of the NPCs and monsters must be
honest and based on what is happening rather than a predefined plot.
• A goal creates a plan – the plan creates the sentence.
• If everyone is happy – it allows for creative roleplay, it generates reasonable
outcome and feels ‘real’.
• No goal = no plan = no story. Encounters then become lifeless cardboard cut-out,
number crunching slog-fests of boring.
• Your game becomes dynamic. You are given so many options for possible story and
• The ‘game’ of story is action and reaction – you are free to choose when to react and
when to act and that is when story happens.
• A story is a chain of these – actions and reactions and more actions and reactions
until there are no more reactions left.
• The goal creates an end – achieving the goal ends the story, or giving up on an
unachievable goal ends the story.