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RPG Story Structure

Book: Game Angry
  • Every story in an RPG consists of the following steps:

    1. Incitement
    2. Goal
    3. Plot Change
      1. Repeat step 2 till done
    4. Rising tension
    5. Climax
    6. Resolution
    7. Denoument
  • The incitement is what hooks the players to take action. It provides a goal to the players

  • As the players complete the goal, they get new information that changes their initial goal. Now they have a bigger task at hand.

  • They keep uncovering bigger and bigger plots.

  • Finally, they face the climax. The big boss battle.

  • At the end of the climax, one way or another, there is a resolution achieved. Eg: The world is saved, The world is destroyed etc

  • Finally, there is a denoument. Eg: Player 1 returns to their life as a farmer, Player 2 resumes being a waiter etc.

  • When designing adventures, think about the initial incitement, climax, and resolution. Then, fill in the details

  • When designing campaigns, think of a series of plots and fill in the details later.

  • Plots can be structured so that they become increasingly important. Eg: Save puppy -> Save all puppies -> Save the world

  • Plots can also be interwoven with lesser plots to give the players some respite and novely

    • Make sure to finish the minor plots before engaging with the major plot