How do you make narrative structure gameable?

The Call To Adventure is a thing, we know what it is.

The Threshold Guardian is a thing, if you know the “Hero’s Journey.”

So how do you turn basic narrative structure into a game?

That’s basically what I’ve been trying to answer with my Rumor/Plot mechanics. I’ve been trying to figure out how to turn parts of the structure into moves and mechanics anyone can use — whether they even know narrative structure.

It’s been slow-going, and kind of weird — since before I can game-ify narrative structure I have to make sure I understand it myself. And that has involved analyzing and outlining a lot of stories (I’m at over 20 now).

You know like, practice runs. Trying to really get beginning, middle, and end — catastrophe, climax, and denouement. To make it instinctual (well, moreso).

And it’s involved some — “reaching out” — to genres beyond my basic interests, and in some cases, understanding. To kind of “get” genre.

I’m nowhere near “done.” I doubt I’ll ever be.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know enough to hack something together. And that’s kind of where I am in the process now.

I think the next step is in trying to make some of this stuff — which is pretty incredibly abstract — more accessible. That might mean some silliness.

Like maybe naming some mechanics after what they… are.

“All right gang, time for the call to adventure.”

Until some terms emerge from actual play.

“Who’s going to answer?”

It’s pretty weird still. But whatever, right?

We’ll get there.