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Story Games Seattle Message Board Welcome to Story Games Seattle › Story Games Seattle FAQ

Story Games Seattle FAQ

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Ben R.
Group Organizer
North Truro, MA
Post #: 398


1) What are story games?

They're role-playing games that focus on creating a story together.

It's like watching a movie except instead of following a script we decide what happens. Our game might be a comedy or a tragedy, a serious period drama or a sci fi action thriller. That's up to us. The results can be very surprising. And awesome.

2) I've never played a role-playing game! Can I still come?

Absolutely. No experience necessary. We get new people almost every week. Just bring your brain and a good attitude and you will fit right in.

3) But I'm not very creative!

You might surprise yourself once you sit down and play. But either way it's not about impressing each other with amazing ideas, it's about playing well together and building on what what other people contribute.

4) I'm a veteran gamer. You say story games are about story, but I've played other role-playing games and they all have story in them!

Yep. But in most role-playing games you can only decide what your character does. Everything else about the game is up to the Game Master. In a story game you have direct input into what the story is about and what you want to have happen even if it's something your character has no control over. Even if that means making bad things happen to your own character because you think it's interesting.

You're a character in the story and an author at the same time.

5) How can you be sure everyone at the table gets to participate equally?

We intentionally play games that give everyone equal authority to contribute creatively so we avoid games that are designed to be run by a Game Master.

We also avoid games with any kind of creative preparation before everyone sits down at the table. If someone wrote a plot or a scenario ahead of time they would have more stake in what happened then everyone else -- we wouldn't be equal contributors.

That's our secret recipe: no GM & no Prep.

It's about giving everyone (everyone) an equal voice. Our ground is level and our table is round. It's as simple as that. Story Games Seattle is about participation. We want to hear what you have to say and we want you to hear what everyone else at the table has to say too.

6) Do I have to show up every week?

Nope. All the games we play are one-shots, so you play the whole story in one sitting. That means you can come play whenever you want.

7) Can you give me some examples of games you play?

You can see lots of examples in the What We Played forum. Our core games are Fiasco, Shock, Polaris and Microscope. We call them the "merit badge" games because they are the ones that everyone should play to see what story gaming is all about. Each covers a very different part of the spectrum.

8) I don't know how to play any of these games!

Never fear! You never need to know the rules ahead of time to play. We have legions of ace-facilitators on hand to teach you. Come play and learn and maybe a few sessions later you'll be facilitating a game and teaching others. That's how all our current facilitators got started.


9) What's the drill? If I come to a meetup what should I expect?

At the start of each meetup we welcome everyone, make introductions and give a spiel to make sure everyone is on the same page about what we're doing. Then people will pitch or request games and we'll split up into small groups (3-4 people) to play. Small groups are best because that gives everyone in the game a lot of input.

10) I can't make it there are the start time. Can I drop in late?

Sorry, no. If you arrive late we'll have already counted heads for games so you won't get to play. Because these games require everyone's input from the start you can't jump in late.

11) How long do games take? What if I need to leave early?

Three hours is about normal. If you know you can't stay for the whole session let the group know when games are being pitched. Usually we can find a game that can work even after a player leaves. You'll have fewer choices but you'll get to play.

12) Can kids attend?

No. Games can get into serious subject matter so we're adults only.

13) What if things go horribly awry? What if I'm having a bad time?

Story Games Seattle gets a constant influx of kind and mature people. We expect kindness and maturity from everyone who attends and so should you. But even with the best of intentions it's entirely possible for strangers to say things or introduce ideas in games that upset each other.

We have a rule to deal with this: if you're ever uncomfortable about something, you can just say you'd like to "X it out" or just make an X with your fingers. That's a short-hand for either fading to black on something you don't want to look at too closely or cutting something from the game entirely. It doesn't matter what game you're in: X it out and we will stop it immediately.

We will never ask you to explain why you were uncomfortable. We will not put you on the spot. We'll just cut it and move on.

We explain the X at the beginning of every single meetup. Everyone must agree to respect the X or else we don't play. Knowing the X is always at your fingertips can also make people more willing to explore serious subject matter. You can take risks confident that you always have a way out.

Beyond that, never hesitate to bring up any issues with the organizer running the event or contact me directly. Keeping our group a happy, healthy, safe place for every single person who walks through the door is our top priority.


14) How do I talk about what I liked and didn't like about the game?

We've got a separate What We Played FAQ. Check it out.


15) How long have you been doing this?

Story Games Seattle was founded in January 2009. A year later the group underwent a drastic overhaul and became the beast you see before you now. Over the years we've had regular meetups at Phoenix Comics and Games, Wayward Coffeehouse (old and new), Gamma Ray Games, Raygun Lounge, People's Republic of Koffee, Cafe Racer, Capitol Club and Dragon's Lair plus one-offs at Gary's Games and Card Kingdom. We've also hosted game areas at Emerald City Comic Con and GeekGirlCon and you'll find many of our facilitators at the games on demand area of PAX Prime.

We like gaming with people.
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