Narrative Control – Episode 19 – What We Learned From Board Games

Hi and welcome back to Narrative Control. This week Justin and I are talking about board games, specifically what we’ve taken from them to improve our role-playing games.

Hosts: Sean Nittner and Justin Evans

Length: 20:40

Show Notes:

[00:29] Introduction: Using principals from board games in your RPGs.
[00:57] RPGPodcasts.com Promo.
[01:03] Hey Sean, do you like Math?
[01:32] Character sheets are full numbers… one big story problem?
[02:33] Board games have a very focused play. We all know what the game is about.
[03:33] Using physical representations of math (poker chips, tokens, glass beads, etc)
[05:22] This helps a GM gauge the status of the player characters.
[07:07] Using a “board” i.e. a battle map and miniatures.
[08:35] A counter system to measure the external threat (e.g. doom counters).
[09:27] Mapping out extended skill challenges.
[11:41] Game Mastery’s “Item Cards.”
[12:32] Physical Representation of a Mechanic. Mini games inside the game.
[13:29] Using timers to create tension and enforce urgency.
[13:50] Dread’s mechanic. The Jenga Tower.
[14:19] An example of bringing this all together. Zombie Attack!
[17:34] Preventing player analysis paralysis.
[19:10] Closing. Let us know how board game elements have improved or detracted from your games.

Direct download: NC_Episode_019.mp3