I like stories. I like games. I’m seeing more and more variety of games that combine the two. These are games that aren’t about winning so much as they are about spinning a great yarn. So for those interested in adding more story-telling to their games, or some random chance to their story-telling, here are a few to try. If you know of others please let me know – I love these sorts of games.

Once Upon A Time – A classic storytelling card game that’s now over twenty years old but still a great way to pass the time. A random hand of cards determines the elements that you’re challenged to fit into your storytelling.

Aye, Dark Overlord! – Another card game. This time the challenge is to come up with excuses for why you, a faithful minion, have failed in your duty to your villainous master. Very silly, lots of late night fun if you have the right mindset.

Microscope – I’ve raved about this one before. It’s a collaborative world-building game in which you tell a grand history with your friends, with always unexpected results. A fabulous creative exercise. Lame Mage also have another storytelling game called Kingdom, which I’m determined to try soon.

Watch The World Die – The other end of things from Microscope, this is about world-destroying, as you generate your own apocalypse. I haven’t tried it yet, but the PDF is free to download, so what’s to lose?

Tales of the Arabian Nights – I didn’t even know there were storytelling boardgames until I saw this review from Shut Up & Sit Down. It’s an entertaining review, and will give you some idea why I’m keen to play this game:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/71104587″>Review: Tales of the Arabian Nights</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/shutupshow”>ShutUpShow</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

  1. malwen says:

    Now you are really in my territory! Andy, I have two expansions to “Once Upon a Time”, at least one of which you may not have tried. I also have “Arabian Nights” – Winter StabCon perhaps? I have “Aye, Dark Overlord” too but have not found anyone who wants to play it with me yet …

    • Definitely up for some Arabian Nights. There are usually people at Stabcon up for playing Aye, Dark Overlord, but they tend to do it late at night – maybe if you ask around earlier in the day you can get a game in?

      Are you away on your travels for the summer con?

  2. Sue Archer says:

    I love that there’s a game out there called Aye, Dark Overlord! Thanks for the tip on the free PDF. Although I think I have to be in the right mood to start an apocalypse. 🙂

  3. malwen says:

    Andy, I will not be at Summer StabCon because I am off to the far east at work’s expense. By the way, you did not mention “The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, James Wallis’s top-notch story telling game.

    • Though I’ve heard it mentioned loads, and get the impression that it’s one of the originals in this genre, I’ve never actually played Baron Munchausen. Maybe another one for a future Stabcon?

  4. Not exactly “games about telling stories,” but games that *become* stories:

    Most co-op games tend to become stories about how the game progresses: Lord of the Rings and Battlestar Galactica, especially, lend themselves to “so there we were, thinking we were in the clear, when happened!” or “and just when we thought we were completely boned, played and we escaped by the skin of our teeth!” type of reminiscing.

    Also, Chaosmos (currently in post-Kickstarter production) is a competitive game that tends to become a self-developed narrative, because of the progress and flow of the game play.

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