Logo of the University of Bayreuth. A square box with a rectangle within it on the left 3rd. Starting from the bottom left of the box there's a diagonal green rectangle reaching up to 75% height on the right side of the box. Besides the box is the german title for University of Bayreuth.

Game Talk: Designing for Emergent Narritve

I’ve been honoured to host a talk at the University of Bayreuth back in December of 2022. In the talk I spoke about the importance of including game mechanics that might seem arduous at first glance. Mechanics like inventory management or resource tracking often get overlooked in favour of a more streamlined experience, leaving behind the dramatic impact they might have if implemented properly. I will argue that it’s sometimes worth it to burden your players for the benefit of the story you want to tell.

A square image containing the multiple segments that make up the action map. The map has 3 rings that form around a centre block. All 3 of the rings are diagonally cut off from each other to create a 4 distinct segments indicating north, east, south and west. The entire map has a paper like texture, and each ring grows darker, starting at a yellow colour on the outer ring up to a deep red for the centre portion.

The RPG Action Map

The Action Map is a tool to clarify relative (fictional) positioning for generally smaller encounters. Breaking out an entire battle map for a simple random encounter can take more effort to set up than to play out, so this is a perfect moment to use the Action Map! Save that effort for the important boss battles and campaign altering encounters!