- SRD Reference: The Long Game
- Rules Reference: pg 251 (Fate Core Systems Book)
Storytelling is System Neutral
This guide is primarily written for GM’s who are running a Fate (Core) Game, although this process could be easily adapted for any campaign system. The only real change is to substitute your gaming system’s crunchy parts where needed towards the very end of the process when encounters for your campaign are being assembled. The storytelling parts are universal to all systems because they are about the story and not about the rules or their implementation.
Here are my various posts on this topic for different RPG systems:
- The Fate of Eberron 5E (Dungeons and Dragons 5E)
- The Fate of Alien RPG (Alien RPG)
- The Fate of Icarus, The Dark Matter-Mandalorian Inspired Star Wars Campaign (FFG’s Star Wars)
- The Genesys of Fate (FFG’s Genesys)
Many Different Ways
There are many ways to put together a story or campaign: from plotters and planners like me to seat-of-the-pantser writers like Stephen King, but in this document, I will cover a method that is heavy on plotting and planning.
Even if you run your game on-the-fly to which the Fate Core book’s advice starting on pg 251 (Ch 10 – The Long Game) really moves towards in a wonderful way, you may still find it useful to understand how an organized story structure is put together which may give your games a higher intensity, more structure, drama, or a more consistent story flow.
Combine what you learn from this guide, with what is in the Fate Core Book (and also the neat ideas from A Spark in Fate Core) and you will have a lot of great tools at your disposal to tell great stories and to find the right mixture of planning and improvisation that will work for you and your group.
About My Experience
A lot of this is pulled from over 25 years playing mostly crunch RPG’s such as Dungeons and Dragons, Alternity, Gurps, Star Wars, etc and of me trying to put campaigns together, but never being quite happy with where I was. Each time I worked on one I was a step closer, but never quite close enough – never really happy with what I had. During years of Dungeons and Dragons 4E, I spent over a year trying to put a campaign together but was never content enough with it to feel ready to put it before my group. I am a player in my group and we have 1 dedicated DM for over 15 years!!
I have gained a lot of storytelling tools in the last 5 or so years learning to be an author who wants to write sci-fi and fantasy novels. Learning how to plot a book is quite an undertaking and you really have to learn how a story is structured. Much of the actual work here will be done using an 5 Act Structure.
The rest is pulled from the wonderful storytelling tools that Fate already provides.
I hope you find something useful here for your game and your players!