Jon from the 'Tale of the Manticore' (@ManticoreTale) actual-play podcast joins me to talk about creating stories in Dungeons and Dragons. We open by tackling the academic: the seven story archetypes and how to crack the "code" of a compelling narrative. However, this quickly breaks down as the collaborative nature of TTPRGs inherently sets them apart from traditional media; the eternal struggle of story versus agency. There can be pressure on DMs to "tell a good story", but how does this impact player agency? Depending on the players, those two elements can often pull in opposite directions. By reframing the role of the Dungeon Master as a "conflict provider", rather than story teller (or, indeed, narrator), we can start to nudge the immediate gameplay into the sweet spot of agency creating story. Finally, another aspect unique to TTRPGs is that the players have direct control over the actors, which brings with it some exceptional responsibility. With a fully fleshed out character, it's likely you'll have to sacrifice some of that vision and theme to further the story. This is, of course, much easier said than done.
03:51 - Applying Story Archetypes to TTRPGs
22:21 - Creating Tale of the Manticore
25:32 - Story Versus Agency
37:50 - Reactive Versus Proactive Storytelling
42:07 - Sacrificing Character Vision to the Story
52:04 - Producing Tale of the Manticore
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'Dungeon Craft' by Professor Dungeon Master
Intro Music: 'Local Forecast' by Kevin MacLeod
Intermission Music: 'Chill' by Kevin MacLeod
Outro Music: 'Local Forecast - Elevator' by Kevin MacLeod
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This episode I'm joined by Andrew & Vesna Gronosky from Shewstone Publishing, who leverage their extensive knowledge to discuss the implications of having a "history" in your TTRPG setting. The different lifespans of races can have a profound impact in their culture and what they consider...