10 Things to Love about the Narrative Game System
In this article, I would like to talk about 10 things I love about the Narrative Game System (NGS). We are very proud of this game and we are thrilled at the opportunity to share it with you. Though I am sure you will discover your own list of favorites, these are the top 10 things I feel sets NGS apart and make it a truly rewarding experience.
1. STORY, STORY, STORY
This probably isn’t that surprising as ‘Narrative’ is in the title, but NGS is all about the story. The narrative, and your character’s place in it, is of paramount importance in the game. If something makes sense for the story but doesn’t fit with the rules, then the rules are wrong and the story is right. From the moment you sit down, NGS is guiding you to create a robust narrative. During character creation, you will learn who your character was, who they are and who they want to become. Through those lessons, a set of motivations and goals will emerge that influence every action you take as you travel through your individual tale. As you do, your personal narrative will become part of a larger story, and hopefully, maybe even a legend.
Tabletop Role Playing Games are almost universally a collaborative experience, but we have worked hard with NGS to make collaboration a part of every moment of your experience. When you sit down to make your character, you aren’t making it alone, but as a collaborative experience. Every player at the table will contribute to your backstory and to who you are. During play, you have to work together. Often the solution to great challenges can be found only through the combination of several imaginations using their abilities creatively. Even experience is awarded collaboratively, as both the players and the GM are responsible for handing out experience to everyone at the table and reinforcing a fun, engaging and dynamic experience. Don’t just play a game, play a game together.
3. ONE MECHANIC
When we say rules-light, we mean it. NGS is all about the story, and you don’t need mechanics to tell a great story. You need imagination, characters, heroes, villains, conflict, loss, suffering and triumph, but no mechanics. Since this is still a game, it does sometimes become necessary to determine outcomes, and when that happens, we have one simple mechanical system that drives the engine of the game. A simple roll of a die plus a bonus determines the outcome of any necessary checks, and failure doesn’t mean death, it just means the story gets more interesting. Don’t confuse simple with weak however, the sun may only be hydrogen and helium, but there’s no question about the power it generates. NGS is about using simple elements to cause big reactions. We deploy mechanics only when necessary, and then set them aside to get back to the story itself, because isn’t that what we are here for anyway?
4. NARRATIVE ACCOLADES
I have mentioned that this game is about fun, engaging stories and collaboration, and Narrative Accolades is one of the big ways that happens. At the start of each play session, each player gets 2 Narrative Accolades to hand out. These Accolades can be given to any other player anytime they do something fun, exciting, original, engaging, amazing, or whatever you happen to favor at your table. The Accolades can then be used by the receiving player to take control of the Narrative or to gain experience. This means that it’s everyone at the table, not just the GM, telling the story and giving out experience.
5. NARRATIVE ABILITIES
Each character in the myriad worlds of NGS gains Narrative Abilities. These are unique powers, skills or traits of your character such as seeing in the dark, flight, controlling fire or walking in the dreams of others. Unlike other games however, these abilities aren’t full of rules of exactly what you can and can’t do with them. Instead, we give you a general idea of the broad sorts of functions this ability is capable of and let your imagination go from there. Your creativity combined with the setting and story is the only true limitation of what you can accomplish.
6. ANY WORLD
Any world is part of our catch phrase for a reason. With NGS, you can play any setting, any world faster and easier than ever before. Our guidelines walk you through a simple setting creation process to get you playing and exploring a new world fast. What’s more, just as characters are built cooperatively, so are worlds. We give you the full procedure to work with your players to create a robust and engaging setting, so you don’t have to spend long nights holed-up in your basement before a game. Instead, you can build and explore your worlds together, watching your player’s engagement and enthusiasm grow as they see the setting you’ve created come alive.
7. TONAL SHIFT
Not only are you free to play any setting or world, but your story can have any tone or theme you would like as well. NGS gives you the tools you need to run anything from gritty two-fisted pulp to the highest flying heroes of the golden age of comics. With a few simple choices during story creation, you’ll set the entire feeling of your milieu. That consistency carries directly into your player’s characters as well, making sure they always have the right types of PC for the right world and story.
8. MINUTES TO PLAY, HOURS TO ENJOY
NGS offers a fast, dynamic, and rules-light experience. Learning how to play is easy and takes only a few minutes. You already know the basics; chances are you have been telling stories for years. Every time you shared what happened on your vacation or at the bar last night, you were practicing for your next NGS game. Games can play easier and longer as the GM doesn’t need to spend hours preparing for each session. Instead, you will all craft the narrative together. We give you the tools, guidance and simple mechanics to turn your ideas into stories, and your stories into legends.
9. BEHIND THE SCENES
We hide nothing from you in NGS. Throughout the book, you will find commentary and advice for players and GM’s alike. We try to offer you specific guidance to turn our rules and recommendations into practical knowledge for your game table. We also give you a window into our thoughts and why we designed everything the way we did. We empower you to change whatever you want, and equip you with the knowledge you need to be confident that in making those changes, you are making the right choice for your setting, your players and your game.
10. IT’S JUST FUN
I may be biased, but in the end, this game is just plain fun. You will quickly find yourself letting your creativity run wild. Unleashed from the shackles you didn’t even know you had on, your imagination will take over. Looking back, you will amaze yourself with the stories you have told and shared.
Don’t just take my word for it though. Our Quick Start Guide and Starter Adventure can be yours RIGHT NOW through our Kickstarter. You can back our project and start playing the game right away. Not only that, but during our Kickstarter period, we want to hear your stories, feedback and advice. Your insights and suggestions will then be used to craft the final version of the book. When we say collaboration, we mean it.
Visit the Kickstarter page now!