Revelation for RPGs: Index
I’ve written a series of articles on Universe Factory, the Worldbuilding Community blog, on techniques for game masters to reveal details about their worlds gradually and in various ways. I played in a game where the GM did a great job of this, so I’m drawing from that experience. I wrote in the first article:
As a player in a role-playing game, I appreciate the sense of wonder that comes from a well-designed, interesting world — and that sense of wonder is bound up in discovering that world. This is true as a reader of fiction, too, but the GM has a harder challenge than the author: his storytelling is a collaboration between GM and players, possibly over a period of years. Your players, unlike your characters, don’t always behave as you plan or pick up on your clues.
[…] In this series of posts I plan to do two things in parallel: share the story of this world, and share how the GM revealed its secrets to us over time.
This post is an index to those articles.
- Setting the Stage: planting clues for the long-term.
- The Written Word: using letters, journals, songs, even recipes — different forms and styles have different effects on players.
- Your World Is Made of People: using the other people your characters know, or know about, to reveal more about your world.
- I Can See Clearly Now: using geography, history, and magical visions.
- Handling Transformations in Your World — and in Your Characters: worlds, things in the world, and characters can change in some pretty important ways over the course of the story.
- Interactive History: using legends, long-lived characters, and open-ended threads.
- The Personal Lens: sometimes the best ways to reveal secrets are the ones that affect the characters deeply and personally.
- Bringing Threads Together: connecting seemingly-independent story elements and resolving long-running threads —there’s still some revelation left even in the late stages of a game when you think most of the secrets are out there.
- One Last Surprise: secrets can be revealed even in the climax of the story. Also, some discussion of meta-game activities that enhanced the experience for all.