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"Rules for good narrative play?" Topic

13 Posts

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Action Log

03 Oct 2019 6:43 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Fantasy Discussion boardCrossposted to SF Discussion board

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Comments or corrections?

Grabula03 Oct 2019 6:31 p.m. PST

I'm looking for some generic miniatures rules that allows for some interesting, story based play. The kind of thing where you plan a 'tabletop adventure' Where players have to fight off the baddies while avoiding tricks and traps to rescue the damsel in distress but their nemesis gets away to fight another day kind of thing?

I have hundreds of miniatures from student genres and if love to find a system that can handle them all!

zircher03 Oct 2019 8:14 p.m. PST

I don't have any suggestion that quite fits the bill, but I am interested in other people's feedback.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2019 10:17 p.m. PST

I've had good results doing that with Mongoose Traveller.

Stryderg03 Oct 2019 10:45 p.m. PST

Not minis based, more of a narrative driver.
Mythic Game Master Emulator link
Basically, you ask questions and roll dice.
"Alpha squad moves up to the edge of the woods. Do they see anything?" <roll dice =
1= strong no, maybe a burned farmstead
2 = no, farmstead, nobody around
3,4 = maybe, will need to scout around more
5 = yes, a squad
6 = strong yes, a platoon>

Stryderg03 Oct 2019 10:52 p.m. PST

Two Hour Wargames (yes, I'm a fan). Free versions can be found here:

Chain Reaction for the shooty rules, Swordplay for the slashy rules. The new mechanisms can be played on an 8.5x11 battle board (line up the minis and have at it), fast and brutal combats (2-3 rounds of dice rolling and it's over).

The older mechanisms were geared for a 3x3 or larger tabletop. The paid rules have encounter tables (who did you meet and how many are there), and profession/class tables (bandits will be more likely to fight, while civilians will be more likely to run away).

BorisTheSpider04 Oct 2019 12:16 a.m. PST

Pulp Alley?

Eumelus04 Oct 2019 2:15 a.m. PST

+1 for Pulp Alley, literally made for this sort of game.

Personal logo Dentatus Sponsoring Member of TMP Fezian04 Oct 2019 4:14 a.m. PST

Do you want the game to generate the narrative?

Or do you want a set of streamlined rules that supports a narrative/doesn't get in the way of your story?

We've used Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes for the latter for years and we're currently running a military campaign (loosely) based on the Band of Blades RPG.

Latest Bat Rep: link

You can also look up Sellswords and Spellslingers or Rangers of the Shadow Deep. Both let you use any miniature and support/encourage narrative play.

As far as generating a pre-packaged narrative, you might want to look into Gloomhaven. It has miniatures but I'm sure you can figure out how to stat out your own miniatures.

Whemever1 Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2019 11:24 a.m. PST

At one time we were considering alternating a role-play game (Vampire the Masquerade, in our case) with Pulp Alley. The RPG was to generate the story, and the the battle scenes could be run in PA. But then we just got carried away playing Pulp Alley, as well as a few RPGs that didn't match up as well. Still, it would have been an interesting experiment.

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Oct 2019 6:18 p.m. PST

Two Hour Wargames for sure. It's all about the story and the way the game mechanics are set no two games ever play out exactly alike. Multiple periods and genres as well.

Personal logo Shaun Travers Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2019 12:25 a.m. PST

Yep – Another vote for Two Hour Wargames. Great narrative generation.

It may also be worth looking at some of the Nordic Weasel titles. Five Parsecs from Home (SF) is specially aimed for solo play but also Starport Scum (SF but different mechanics), Five Leagues from the Borderlands (Fantasy) and Five Klicks from the Zone (post-apocalyptic aimed at solo play). All three are narrative driven games for combat heavy games.

joedog05 Oct 2019 2:24 p.m. PST

I think that a mix of a game like Spirit of the Century for the Role Playing, and Pulp Alley (which I have yet to play, but sounds great) for the skirmishes would be a lot of fun.

Lion in the Stars08 Oct 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

Battlesystems Core Space is a very narrative-driven game, where each player is in charge of a small team (3-6, IIRC) trying to achieve some objective(s) in spite of the complications the AI system throws at you. Anywhere from having a gang fight erupt while you are attempting to grab some loot to Galactic Cops showing up to lots of apocalyptic aliens showing up. link

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