The Narrative Potential of Tabletop Role-Playing Games

This paper discusses the unique way tabletop role-playing games generate stories for their players, and how creative writing instructors may use these methods to teach fiction writing techniques to beginning writers. The author explains his theory of incremental storytelling, a methodology by which role-playing games provide an ideal model for students to learn the craft of fiction writing in small, discrete bits that, in aggregate, create something much greater than their constituent parts. This progressive approach puts students in immediate contact with each others’ writing throughout the entire creative process and opens space for critical discussions about the fictional characters and the shared world they create.

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