Narrative Control – Episode 29 – Icebreakers

This week Justin and I talk about icebreakers, exercise and games to remove inhibitions and get everyone’s creative minds moving.

Hosts: Sean Nittner and Justin Evans

Length [28:25]

[00:26] Intro to the show. Talking about icebreakers, getting people comfortable playing together.
[00:54] Promo
[01:05] Did you go to band camp?
[02:01] Why do we care about camp? Oh yeah, because we can rip off ideas from them.
[02:55] Links to camp games:,
[03:39] Games at Gamestorm – camp style.
[04:39] Scalagrim the Barbarian Prince.  Our Icebreaker routine.
[05:22] Part 1 – The Tale of Woe. Practicing “Yes, and…”  (a little over two minutes)
[08:17] Part 2 – The Epic Journey.  Practicing reading other players flags and sharing the spotlight. (just over a minute)
[10:41] Part 3 – The Oracle’s Answer. Practicing not interrupting each other and being flexible. (about a minute and a half)

(Total time for both explanation and performing the exercises, about seven minutes)

[12:57] Recap of what we got out of these icebreakers.

Games that have Icebreaker exercises built into them

[14:56] Prime Time Adventures pitch session.  Gets everyone on the same page about what kind of game everyone wants to play.
[15:43] Character creation in Spirit of the Century.  Building on each other’s pulp novel.
[16:42] Dogs in the Vineyard accomplishment.  Playing out one question you ask about your character.
[17:17] Mouse Guard Prologue.  A reward for recapping the previous game.   An icebreaker that also reminds everyone that happened last time and shows what parts they were excited about.
[18:35] World of Darkness Preludes.  Often a longer event, but we’ve done it as a single session where everyone ran their preludes simultaneously.

Games that you could play with people who haven’t role-played before

[20:47] Once Upon a Time.  A card game with fantasy tropes.  Mixes card game elements (like Uno) and storytelling.
[21:49] Are you a Werewolf.  A very scripted game that gets everyone talking, trying to discover the Werewolves.  Very much like reality TV elimination.

Role Playing Games that act as Icebreakers themselves.

[24:12] Breaking the Ice.  A game about two people meeting each other, but structured for two people (or more) learning to play a role-playing game.
[25:43] Sons of Liberty.  A game that encourages fast play and, like Once Upon a Time has a very visible mechanic that aids you in narration.
[26:33] Discussion of common elements in these ice breaker games.  Cards, cues, directions.  Let’s throw Zombie Cinema in the mix as well.

Direct Download: NC_Episode_029.mp3


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