Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Environmental Storytelling in Tabletop Games

    Hey all! What are some techniques you've used or enjoyed when telling a story using cookie crumbs/bits of lore/etc in your dungeons or other scenes? Asking so I can plan out a megadungeon with a decent story without relying on NPCs and dialogue.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Environmental Storytelling in Tabletop Games

    Depends on the story and the players really. I've done a fun storyline about "What happened to the Elves?" in my setting, and it didn't involve a single npc. I used lost documents of course, but I put way more emphasis on the physical evidence. The structures, the remains, the way things flowed together. However, it worked cause my friends and I are historically/archaeologically minded and wanted to know. If your pcs don't appreciate that kind of storytelling, it will have a hard time working.

    What kind of story do you have in mind?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    mephnick's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Environmental Storytelling in Tabletop Games

    Play the hell out of Dark Souls/Bloodborne. The entire story line of the series is environmental that you slowly piece together.

    Of course, there's no end of complaints from morons that the series has no story or no point....so the advice on having the right kinds of players is important too.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Environmental Storytelling in Tabletop Games

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Depends on the story and the players really. I've done a fun storyline about "What happened to the Elves?" in my setting, and it didn't involve a single npc. I used lost documents of course, but I put way more emphasis on the physical evidence. The structures, the remains, the way things flowed together. However, it worked cause my friends and I are historically/archaeologically minded and wanted to know. If your pcs don't appreciate that kind of storytelling, it will have a hard time working.

    What kind of story do you have in mind?
    On the one hand, there's the history of the keep the PCs will be touring along with the nearby literal ghost town. They'll be unlocking the ability to speak with key figures in the town over the course of the adventure.

    Then there's the story behind the BBEG, a Planetar that's been sealed away because it became convinced the only way to eliminate evil was to off 99% of the population. It was worshipped by the much of the townsfolk until some locals decided it had to be stopped.

    Additionally, the keep at present is occupied by bloodthirsty plants, a vampire and its underlings, and a dragon worshipped by kobolds. Each of these factions controls a section of the keep and has a history of its own.


    Play the hell out of Dark Souls/Bloodborne. The entire story line of the series is environmental that you slowly piece together.
    Thanks, I've platinum'd DkS1 and BB. Most of the lore is communicated through item descriptions, though, so I struggle to glean a lot of practical do-at-the-table guidance from those games.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Georgia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Environmental Storytelling in Tabletop Games

    Quote Originally Posted by DE5PA1R View Post
    Hey all! What are some techniques you've used or enjoyed when telling a story using cookie crumbs/bits of lore/etc in your dungeons or other scenes? Asking so I can plan out a megadungeon with a decent story without relying on NPCs and dialogue.
    Put apparently random stuff there. Like suddenly, there is an adventurer's skeleton in the room. That creates the questions, "Is he going to animate and try to kill us? Does he have any loot?" but also, especially if the answer to the loot question is "yes," then it gets the players wondering "Who was this guy? Why was he here?"

    Then, later in the dungeon, they find another skeleton, with a journal describing their attempted megadungeon crawl, and the death of their party member in the previously visited room. It provides useful hints for the players about things they may have missed, and answers to puzzles, but only if they read through the exposition...

    Statues, murals, and tapestries are always good, too. You can attach all kinds of flavor to any kind of loot, too, especially art objects and jewelry.

    Pretty much, anything a veteran player would search for traps, you can turn around and say, "nope, no traps, just backstory." But you should also have traps, with just enough regularity to keep the players on their toes, searching for them.
    Check out my 5E Foraging/Alchemy Rules!

    God help me, I've made a 5E Magical Girl and people liked it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •