I am a Story Whore

My name is Jeremiah and I’m addicted to stories.

This is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Why do I like the games I do and what about others don’t I like?

Something I’ve started to realize lately is I can enjoy just about any story. It doesn’t have to be terribly compelling. The presentation can be awful. There just has to be a story.

I’ve read books that by and large I didn’t care that much for, but once I got started I had to finish it. I finished an entire trilogy once because I couldn’t leave things hanging, even though I didn’t find it to be that great of a read (I was also in the Army at a time, so access to books was sometimes limited). I had to know how things turned out!

The same goes for movies. There are a lot of movies that the majority of people will agree suck, but in my head I can find some sort of redeeming quality. No matter how bad the acting or how hole-filled the plot is I want to see it through to the end.  There’s a story there and I can appreciate it on some level.

I mean, sure, all the better if something is really compelling. I love it when I pick up a book and I find it difficult to stop reading and put it down. Who needs sleep/food/bathroom breaks? I need to finish this book!

I think this definitely translates into the games I find myself enjoying, although it does get a little trickier. It’s not enough that a cool story is created at the table. I’ve been in some campaigns where some truly epic stuff was going on, but I found myself feeling a bit detached with what was going on.

The trend I’ve started noticing in games I really enjoy is that there are story-related mechanical effects. Story isn’t just something that’s tacked on by a GM or by some vague mention about “quest-related experience rewards” in a rule book. I want the mechanics and  rules of the game have a direct impact on the story that is created at the table. Sometimes the mechanics are there only to create story.

I’m not going to get bogged down in this game is better than this one or anything like that. Different games do different things well. I’m a big believer that system matters. Not every system can do everything.

The games I find myself quickly losing interest in are the games where the game isn’t serving to help create story. Rolling dice and accomplishing things is great. But I want it to mean something.

Another thing I find myself being drawn to more and more are games where players have direct impact on the story. Maybe the initial setup of the game requires input from everyone. Maybe there are ways to players to inject meaningful color into the world during play. Hell, maybe there’s no GM-type role at all and it’s up to everyone at the table to create an awesome story together!

I’ve been poking at this post for a few weeks now. I feel like there’s more to explore, but I’m tired of having this draft open.

This is definitely something I plan to touch on again at some point in the future.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s