Science of Storytelling


Bonus Episode 4 – Brandon Tells A Story


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BIG NEWS: Branden will be a Save Against Fear 2014! If you’re not familiar with SAFe and The Bodhana Group, take a listen to Episode 25, “Therapeutic Roleplaying (with Jack Berkenstock)”.

This should be our last bonus episode for a bit—Grant will be back next episode—but Peter and Branden wanted to take some of the work we’ve done in our Science of Storytelling series and apply it to a real campaign pitch, with multiple demands from virtual players (all played by Peter) and Branden as the GM. Enjoy!

Scripture: Proverbs 4:13, Luke 6:40


Episode 41 – The Types of Stories


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Professor Branden schools Peter and Grant on some traditional lists of archetypal stories! We start things off with a reminder that Peter will be at Fear the Con 7 from June 12th to June 14th (find him there and say ‘hello’!), and a mention of our appearance on Game Store Prophets #74, “Tearing The Veil Of Familiarity”. Then we dive right in with Booker’s seven story archetypes, Polti’s Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations, and Snyder’s ten basic movie plots. Oh, and somewhere along the way Grant plugs Happy Jacks RPG Podcast’s “Tales from the Floating Vagabond” Actual Play (NSFW). Phew!

Scripture: >Genesis 25:24-34, Ecclesiastes 1:9, Matthew 13:13


Episode 27 – Episodic Structure and Pacing (Science of Storytelling, Part 2)


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Branden, Mike, Peter, and Grant pick up our “Science of Storytelling” series with a discussion of episodic storytelling structure and pacing! Branden walks us through the structure and guides the discussion; and as usual, we come up with examples along the way. See the full show notes for Branden’s suggested outline.

Scripture: Genesis 1:14-18, Matthew 28:19-20

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Episode 23 – Narrative Structure (Science of Storytelling, Part 1)


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Two major announcements: This is the first episode in our new “Science of Storytelling” series; and Save Against Fear, a remarkable gaming convention and fundraiser for sexually traumatized kids, is the weekend of October 11th-13th. You’re going to be hearing much more about Save Against Fear in the future!

In this episode, Grant, Peter, and Branden (but mostly Branden) explain the continuous plot structure used in almost all movie scripts. (See our full show notes for a copy of that outline!) Then, Branden walks us through creating an actual plot for a game using the outline he laid out in the first half of the episode.

Scripture for this episode: Psalms 19:14Philippians 4:8

The full outline we used in this episode:

  • Opening Image
  • The Set-up/Theme Stated
  • The Catalyst
    • Changes the world irrevocably; no going back
  • The Debate
    • Sometimes the refusal of the call; provide choices and alternative actions
  • Break into 2
  • B Story
    • In movies, usually romantic; in a game, perhaps one per PC
  • Fun and Games
    • The promise of the premise
  • Mid point
    • Either a “false defeat” or a “false victory”
  • Bad guys close in
  • All is lost
    • Either “false victory” or “false defeat” (The opposite of what ever the midpoint was, but it should be related to the midpoint twist)
    • The ‘whiff of death’
  • Dark Night of the Soul
  • Break into 3
    • B-story should pay off here to provide hope
  • Finale
  • Final Image