Game Talk: Designing for Emergent Narritve

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.

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.

The RPG Action Map

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 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!

The Many Faces of Chult


Make exploration through the treacherous wilds of Chult or any other jungle more exiting by showing the true danger of mother nature.