Tag Results

Story Games 101: Protagonist, Be Transparent

I talked about good antagonism a while back, so let’s talk about the flip side of the coin: good protagonism. When you’re playing a protagonist in a story game, you have a very important job: want something. Have desires. Have needs. But merely wanting something, deep down inside, isn’t enough. You have to *show us* […]

Ben Robbins | June 23rd, 2018 | ,

Story Games 101: Saying Terrible Things

“We expect kindness and maturity from everyone who attends and so should you.” That’s what it’s said on the Story Games Seattle website for years. When your charter is to game with strangers every week, maturity and civility is fundamental to making that work. We did not tolerate bigotry or discrimination in any form and […]

Ben Robbins | June 13th, 2018 | , | 3 comments

Story Games 101: Angle the Chairs

This is a simple trick we’ve been using at Story Games Seattle for years. It may seem trivial but it’s not. Your physical environment has a huge impact on your social interactions, and a role-playing game is just one big social interaction. In the kind of games we play — story games with no game […]

Ben Robbins | September 20th, 2016 | , | 2 comments

Defy Everyone

In story games, a character can defy everyone else and succeed entirely on their own. A player cannot. Big, important distinction.

Ben Robbins | September 15th, 2016 | ,

Story Games 101: Shifting to Third Person

You’re sitting at a table, playing a game, and someone across from you says: “I grab your neck and put a knife up to your face and say “Tell me what I want to know, or else!’” Story games can be intense. Sometimes too intense. If you need to cool it down and avoid scaring […]

Ben Robbins | January 31st, 2016 | , | 2 comments

A Beginner’s Guide to Making Scenes

(This is an excerpt from Kingdom, but it’s a good recipe for making scenes in just about any story game.) The secret to making a good scene isn’t coming up with an amazing or surprising idea. The secret is painting a clear picture so players know exactly what is going on. Being able to visualize […]

Ben Robbins | January 6th, 2014 | ,

Defining Story Games

But first a caveat. Nailing down definitions can turn into a horrible quagmire, particularly when we’re tackling words that lots of people already use but define differently, or use without an actual definition just a case-by-case “I can’t explain it but I know it when I see it”. But without definitions words can be treacherous. […]

Ben Robbins | October 29th, 2012 | , , | 9 comments

Talking ’bout Story Games

Jay Loomis put together a great video interviewing folks from the Seattle-Olympia story games family, including yours truly, flanked by ducks. “Play more! Less talk, more play! More play!”

Ben Robbins | January 26th, 2012 | , ,

Antagonism 101

or, being the right kind of mean “So, you’re trying to expose government corruption. Well, a car drives up, and a bunch of guys jump out. With guns! And… they shoot you! Uh, dead! Conflict!” “Allll-right…” We play a lot of story games where there’s no GM, and each character has an arc or agenda […]

Ben Robbins | December 2nd, 2010 | , , | 6 comments

My Indie Realization

I wrote the first draft of my first indie game (codename: hicks) on the plane back from GenCon 07. It was the perfect recipe for writing: post-con euphoria, extreme exhaustion, lots of caffeine, and complete captivity in an airplane seat. It helped that my partners in con-crime quite sensibly passed out so I was on […]

Ben Robbins | February 8th, 2008 | , | 2 comments