Some songs comes out of the ground like a potato. Others you have to make them out of things you’ve found… like your mother’s pool cue and you know, your father’s army buddy and your sister’s wrist watch and that type of thing. You’d be surprised what you can find if your, y’know, resourceful.
– Tom Waits
Mick writes: “I think it has a lot to do with the difference between what many people think “Story Now” means in roleplaying – .ie. making decisions based upon what works best for ‘the story’ – and what I believe it actually means – organically exploring the premise in the moment as a group and letting the results spring forth as they will from that communion.”
In Story Now play you are not at all thinking about making a good story. You are not making decisions for the good of the story. Eff that in the aye.
The goal of games, even narr-heavy thematic games Story Now, is not to make a story. Story happens.
The goal is a night of people making meaningful choices at the table. Story is a by-product, like exhaust coming out of a car.
It is also a by-product of gamist play and sim play. Story just happens.
Looking out for the story leads to constipation at the table. Story does not need to be preserved or looked out for. It is not a just hatched chick that needs everyone to be careful lest it is trampled. Just play the damned game, make choices that are brave. Look at your character sheet, let your character surprise you and story will just happen.
Do not preserve story. Shitty stories are made in those times everyone is being careful not to ruin the story, leading to cowardly decisions and furrowed brows and serious thinking about serious things. Story is fun, let it out of the cage. Let the story get damaged and messy.
I like my stories with only one headlight, the other smashed and a dinged up fender. I like my story with an engine that shouldn’t work, that mechanics insist should not run anymore because there is no spark plug and no engine oil. I like them messy and loud with chipped paint and a spider-web crack in the windshield. You should look at them and know they survived something to get to ya.
Stories just happen in RPG play. Relax. Let them occur.