Jump to content

What is "narrative gaming"


Recommended Posts

24 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

I posted the thread because in our group we have someone that was interested in doing it, we can't figure out what it is, the book describes what a narrative is but not what a narrative event really looks like, and so when I took to the internet to search out what narrative events were and found some examples like the NOVA or Adepticon narrative event, they were basically still tournaments with the difference being they had non standard missions, but the list building was still tournament list building so wanted some other examples to compare against.

I see that it isn't really about list building, though our player that wants to do narrative doesn't want us to bring tournament lists because he thinks narrative games are supposed to be more fun and less competitive (we all disagreed and can't find an example where that is true out in the world either).  

You can be invested in the lore and narrative and come up with a story for your list and still keep your list competent and optimized, from what I've seen.  

But now we just don't see the difference between writing a story for our army and continuing down the tournament path with that backstory or doing some kind of narrative event, when the game play and lists etc seem to basically be the same with different scenarios.

I think trying different scenarios would be fun so long as they aren't about ****** one side over really bad.  I've done some research and there are a lot of other scenarios published that aren't too bad in terms of skew so we will try that at least but with our standard tournament armies.

I think they dont explain what a narrative EVENT is because thats not necessarily what a narrative game must be, equally your last point about making sure they are not one sided is missing a huge amount of possibility of narrative, in that it can be unbalanced. Winning does not have to be the aim. Obviously narrative events seem to go that way as otherwise its just a day of gaming and people like to have an objective and winning is an easy one people understand. Ive heard events where the story is the objective and have game outcomes twist the story, but I can imagine thats harder for bigger groups of players to invest into.  

[edit] Have you looked at the NEO stuff?  they have a number of packs for events, including the NOVA one.  https://wearetheneon.com/

Edited by stato
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 104
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Narrative play is an excellent way to make the hobby fun  - giving both players a chance to care about the outcome of a battle without it being solely about winning or losing. (Don't get me wrong - co

If it was anything like RAW or RoE there’d be different list for each game or indeed no list at all, for the final game of RoE18 my opponent and I just put everything we’d brought on the table, includ

@Dead Scribe I think it also has a lot to do with your own mindset. I would say that narrative gamers also often have a very different mindset compared to " normal gamers".  From reading your pos

Posted Images

9 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

Yeah I checked out the NEO stuff.  They were the events I referenced at adepticon and nova.  They basically looked like tournament events with custom scenarios.

yeah it seems thats what a narrative event is, doesnt mean thats what narrative game must be though.  Plenty of good examples of options, such as telling a story through games, or playing to a theme with appropriate armies. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, stato said:

yeah it seems thats what a narrative event is, doesnt mean thats what narrative game must be though.  Plenty of good examples of options, such as telling a story through games, or playing to a theme with appropriate armies. 

I am exclusively 100% a narrative gamer, but I wouldn't go to a narrative "event". As the OP has said, all I can see is bringing filth and the same competitive mindset. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Big narrative events are likely going to be match play rules with winning being the objective with a story to it; at the biggest perhaps an official GW story of which one of several paths is chosen based on the factions that win specific matches or which wins overall. It's the only real way to get a group of strangers together for a game and have each person with a fair and even chance of winning based on what they bring with them (models and their own skill) as opposed to the narrative scripting of battles giving unfair bias toward one or the other player.

 

 

For narrative within your friends and club you can go more wild because you all know each other and know each others expectations and can communicate those to each other before the event. Plus the number of people taking part is far fewer so its easier to gather in the various viewpoints and find an agreement (and as examples here have shown, even then it might not work).  These are the games where you can do a siege or a rolling chase (terrain moves each turn to represent units running - eg mounted units) or have NPC monsters on the table etc.... Ergo a setup where you can do things differently and with ease with less competition and less expectation loss for those taking part. 

Heck the  good old 40K Apoc is basically a narrative style game of "throw down those models and fight like mad with insane points" It is again breaking the core rules to present something alternative and out of the ordinary. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BluesPixie said:

I am exclusively 100% a narrative gamer, but I wouldn't go to a narrative "event". As the OP has said, all I can see is bringing filth and the same competitive mindset. 

I disagree. Strongly disagree. In normal matched play tournament you won't have an objective placed on a plastic turtle that moves during game or have to convert models of alchemist and his mobile laboratory.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, michu said:

I disagree. Strongly disagree. In normal matched play tournament you won't have an objective placed on a plastic turtle that moves during game or have to convert models of alchemist and his mobile laboratory.

Sounds great fun! I'd certainly be keen to hear recommendations for events vdrim you. But as I said, all *I've* seen has been unsuitable, and I have looked into it. E.g.  I recall getting really excited by the description of an event being run by a chap guesting on the Heelanhammer podcast, the ethos seemed to totally match my preferences, but the feedback from the organiser seemed to be that most folks simply couldn't adapt and it was thinly veiled filth all the way lol. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I played in the NOVA Open Narrative event and I've run a We Are the NEON narrative event for Malign Portents (website run by the same guy who ran the NOVA Open event) 

First off both of those were super cool and a great deal of fun.   I highly recommend attending their Narrative Play events or running one of your own.

Difference between Narrative and Matched Play in my mind? Winning or losing "the event" in Narrative play may not be determined at all by your tabletop results.  Or those tabletop games may not be designed to allow both players an equal chance to win.    There may not be a 'winner' at all in a Narrative event - there may not be a way to 'win' at all.  If you are doing a narrative event about Nagash's rise to power in the past there may not by definition be a way for Nagash's opponent to win.   

For the Nova Narrative we had 4 teams of players and they played in a map campaign on the board with a mix of directed challenges to other teams and just seeing who showed up on what areas of the map.  In some cases that meant that three players were contesting the same area of the map and all playing on the same 6 by 4 board sometimes with 2 players from one team using somewhat more points then the 1 player from another team.  Those weren't designed to be perfectly fair matched play games.   They were designed to be fun and revolve around a central narrative (see the We Are the NEON website for some of those details.)   The NOVA Narrative event was designed to allow players to come and go from playing in the four day event and other non related events. I played for only 1 day but got to captain our team during that time. 

I couldn't play in the Siege Game that was part of the NOVA Narrative but that's as far from a 'tournament' as you could possibly get and it was awesome! See my twitter feed for pics including this one of the siege. 

 

 

 

But really a narrative event is what you want to make it.  There's no assumption the lists will be 'softer' then a competitive event, anymore then there is an 'open play' event.   What's the right level of power depends on what the event organizer and participants want.   It can have a minimal veneer of narrative on top of a traditional tournament or it can be wildly different (i.e. a siege battle as seen above.)

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest @BluesPixie I didn't attend them. I just read descriptions, reports and saw photos, but IIRC  that tournament with turtle had a theme of siege and consistent of custom scenarios e. g. main siege and fights in the sewers. I think there still are some photos in twitter.  They organize new event All Hallow's siege  in october -  https://www.themortalrealms.com/events/.

Second one with rules for custom miniatures is RAW18. I don't know if there is space available, but here is their post.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think "what is narrative gaming" is actually a very subjective questions. One persons narrative gaming might be playing a ****** smashing list simply with a theme and story behind it. Anothers might be playing with no point or real structure but purely driving a story based game.

I think due to that you're going to get a lot of different answers. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Dead Scribe I think it also has a lot to do with your own mindset. I would say that narrative gamers also often have a very different mindset compared to " normal gamers". 

From reading your posts and how you rate the suggestions from the player in your group I would guess that you maybe don't really understand the mindset behind narrative gaming and that maybe the whole concept of playing a game and not focus on winning might seem odd to you. But in the end narrative gaming really is not about winning, but about roleplaying. You win a narrative game by creating an exciting story for both players. 

I can only recommend you to give the suggestions of the friend in your group a try, because it can be sooo much fun. In the end most narrative gamers often all have tried competitive gaming, but not many competitive gamers have tried narrative gaming. 

Narrative gaming can also mean that you change the conditions in the middle of the battle if the battle is too one-sided. I often did a twist in some narrative battles if the battle got too one-sided to make the battle even again. Narrative gaming gives you the ability to be creative.

I think it is very important to emphasize that hardcore narrative gaming isn't about winning. If you already approach a narrative game  by thinking about a way to beat your opponent or how to best defeat your opponent in the fastest way possible, you might be approaching narrative gaming in a wrong way.

I would also argue that narrative gaming requires a lot of talking during the match. But instead of talking about rules or argueing about if you are close enough to a model, you argue with your gaming partner what could be fun or what makes sense from a lore perspective.

For example: From a competitive standpoint it maybe doesn't make sense to charge all your units directly into the enemies. But maybe if your army is a very angry and wild Orruk tribe, they will do things which might not be viable competitively, but make sense from a narrative standpoint.

Another scenario could be a small warband (consisting of 500 points) facing a huge army (2000 points). There is no way the 500 point army can defeat the 2000 point army. But maybe the objective of this small army could be that one unit has to escape to the edge of the battlefield, so that he can call for reinforcements, while the others die gloriously in battle.

I would advise you to just try narrative play and be open about it. Your friend seems to have a little bit of an understanding what the gist of narrative gaming is about. Let him set something up and then just let it happen to you. ? But you have to put the competitive mindset aside and open your mind. ? 

Edited by Infeston
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we can get a bit more objective about it.  I think GW already has.  Let's check the core rulebook.

"Narrative play games are all about telling stories."

I think that's a pretty bare minimum right there.  If the game is not about telling a story, it's something else.  And telling a story doesn't have to be one written in advance.  Collaberative story telling where you don't find out what happens until it's over has been around for a very long time.

"In fact, every time players get together and talk about why their armies might be fighting each other, they are working out a narrative game."

This shows just how wide the approach can be.  And how natural it can be for a lot of players.  I think this is in contrast with players who give it absolutely no thought or are totally disinterested when an opponent starts talking this way.

So I guess what I'm saying is that it's not entirely subjective and anything cannot simply count as narrative if you want it to.  The way you make it narrative is give some effort in making the game at least partially about story.  If you don't actually think about, care about or talk about any story element either before, during or after a game, then you're definitely not doing narrative.

Many, many hybrid forms exist.  It's totally cool to do a narrative approach at a major tournament.  The opponents at the bottom tables might end up being more receptive than those trying their best to win the whole event, but there's nothing stopping anyone from turning even the most structured matched play event into a narrative hybrid.

The same goes for the most relaxed open game.  If people are just pulling models off a shelf and having a good social time with friends and they don't bother giving any thought or consideration to the story of the battle, then they're not doing narrative play.  But if they start thinking in those terms then they will be drifting into a hybrid narrative open type game.  If they make it priority then they're likely full on narrative.

So it's not subjective, but it is a continuum with lots of possible hybrid forms and combinations of ideas.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really listen to podcasts, too much empty talking to get to the points you want to hear.  However I have gotten the information that I needed.  A narrative event still involves using fully optimized lists, just with different scenarios you wouldn't normally play in if a tournament.

Based on that, I'd be willing to play in them, so long as no one was trying to say I had to cripple my army list and take weaker units.  From what I have read and asked from people that have played in narrative events, to include NOVA, you can bring fully optimized lists, so thats fine by me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

I don't really listen to podcasts, too much empty talking to get to the points you want to hear.  However I have gotten the information that I needed.  A narrative event still involves using fully optimized lists, just with different scenarios you wouldn't normally play in if a tournament.

Based on that, I'd be willing to play in them, so long as no one was trying to say I had to cripple my army list and take weaker units.  From what I have read and asked from people that have played in narrative events, to include NOVA, you can bring fully optimized lists, so thats fine by me.

Haha, I only have time for podcasts like Mortal Realms - which is comprised only of "empty talking" around lore, with no mention of game mechanics at all. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/4/2018 at 10:13 AM, Dead Scribe said:

Yeah I checked out the NEO stuff.  They were the events I referenced at adepticon and nova.  They basically looked like tournament events with custom scenarios.

What did you think about the champion and skyvessel warscrolls unique to NOVA?  How do you think players optimized the coin & acclaim mechanics or the relic cards which were separate from their army lists? Also, how do you think the 2018 event compared to the narrative at NOVA 2017 when the Path to Glory tables were used instead of the matched play points? How about 2016 when Death and Chaos armies were allied in games against Order and Destruction alliances? And how do you feel about the event in 2015 when there weren't any matched play points to reference?

This is an evolving process, I think, and some of us striving to create events welcome feedback. Some narrative event organizers try to create an experience that is a bit more than simply "tournament events with custom scenarios." For players that want to attend a gaming convention like NOVA, for example, but don't want to participate in a GT event, what alternative would you suggest they enjoy? Open play can be fun, and I enjoy open play with my friends, but can it work with more than 20 players at a convention playing games across four days?

And what did you think about the ships of renown with those epic ship models, or the big siege game on Friday with 24 feet of castle wall running the length of 4 tables? Have you seen anything like that at a tournament with custom scenarios?

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

For me a tournament is two main things:

1) highly optimized army lists

2) standardized scenarios.

A narrative event that has custom scenarios but still highly optimized army lists is therefore to me one step from being a tournament, just with different scenarios.  For me so long as I can do #1 (bring a highly optimized army list) - I'm willing to try it.  

The big ships and stuff were cool and a lot of work went into them.  And so long as you let me bring my tournament list to them, I'd probably give it a try.

A player wanting to go to NOVA but not participate in the GT is going to get a similar experience to playing in the GT, they are still going to face off against really hard lists that they have to optimize around, but they are going to be playing in non standardized scenarios.  

The only difference between the GT and the narrative to me are the scenarios.  The level of competitiveness seems to be roughly equivalent.

Edited by Dead Scribe
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

However I have gotten the information that I needed.  A narrative event still involves using fully optimized lists, just with different scenarios you wouldn't normally play in if a tournament.

@Dead Scribe This still sounds like competitive, just not tournament.

I feel you have disregarded many points that really highlight the difference. Such as this:

On 9/5/2018 at 9:22 PM, Infeston said:

From reading your posts and how you rate the suggestions from the player in your group I would guess that you maybe don't really understand the mindset behind narrative gaming and that maybe the whole concept of playing a game and not focus on winning might seem odd to you. But in the end narrative gaming really is not about winning, but about roleplaying. You win a narrative game by creating an exciting story for both players. 

I think it is very important to emphasize that hardcore narrative gaming isn't about winning. If you already approach a narrative game  by thinking about a way to beat your opponent or how to best defeat your opponent in the fastest way possible, you might be approaching narrative gaming in a wrong way.

I still am unsure why you are reaching conclusions such as these: 

52 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

The only difference between the GT and the narrative to me are the scenarios.  The level of competitiveness seems to be roughly equivalent.

Very very few people, in this highly constructive thread have actually said this. I suggest you re read some of the great contributions, such as that from @Infeston

Fair play if all you want to play is competitive. I'm just confused as to why you started this thread to ask about a type of gaming you are unfamiliar with, only to disregard the majority of conclusions and equate narrative gaming withe competitive. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ClockworkGeo91 said:

@Dead Scribe This still sounds like competitive, just not tournament.

I feel you have disregarded many points that really highlight the difference. Such as this:

I still am unsure why you are reaching conclusions such as these: 

Very very few people, in this highly constructive thread have actually said this. I suggest you re read some of the great contributions, such as that from @Infeston

Fair play if all you want to play is competitive. I'm just confused as to why you started this thread to ask about a type of gaming you are unfamiliar with, only to disregard the majority of conclusions and equate narrative gaming withe competitive. 

I have to agree completely with the above post I'm afraid, OP. It's been nice to read some of the response posts though. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

From everything I've heard and read about the event at Nova, the players almost universally chose to do the achievement-like goals to get loot for their airships even at the expense of actually winning the scenario.  I also didn't hear anything about optimised lists at all.

Podcasts may not be your chosen medium, but do bear in mind that you are foregoing the opportunity to hear directly from both organizers and participants on this matter.  It's very hard for anyone to take things seriously if your position is "Narrative events are like X, but I specifically skipped the opportunity to listen to the organizers or participants of those events."

In the last narrative event (8 player skirmish) I ran the players had the option to take extreme measures.  This would add another objective to games and if the number of extreme measures scored throughout the last half of the event was greater than the number of victories of the first place person, then the entire area of the realm was destroyed. Perhaps scoured by lightning from a celestial godbeast of Azyr, perhaps subsumed into Nurgle's Garden, depending on what army contributed to the most "burn it all down" points over the final three games.  Players with a very real chance at winning the event switched to "burn it all down" because it was fun.  People gave up actually winning the whole thing in order to do something that had a bigger impact on the larger story of what everyone was fighting over.

Edited by Nin Win
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lists are not that important during narrative tournaments when there are things you cannot be prepared for..Even with changehost you could be defeated if the scenario enables your opponent to disable magic for ome time. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought that if a tournament regular played in a narrative event, it would be a missed opportunity to not pull all the stuff that has been sitting on the shelf because it wasn't tournament list worthy and actually get some games in with it.

Though people do also tend to build specifically for events.  People put in the time and effort to build, convert and paint a faction specific airship for Nova.  This isn't really a "I'll just pack my normal tournament list" sort of a thing.

For anyone curious, here's a link to the primer for the Nova event:

https://novaopen.sharepoint.com/:w:/r/_layouts/15/Doc.aspx?sourcedoc={6b2eeff9-2283-42ee-bc4e-1d7bc079b32f}&action=default

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

For nova is there a place where the lists that showed up to the narrative can be viewed?

If it was anything like RAW or RoE there’d be different list for each game or indeed no list at all, for the final game of RoE18 my opponent and I just put everything we’d brought on the table, including two scratch builds that didn’t have Warscrolls. I think you’re struggling for a structure and definition which doesn’t necessarily exist in narrative gaming 

These were the models I took to RoE17

2CF0C1A1-2B36-4E49-B58F-27CD9E57FF46.jpeg.dd6abb80f6dc95ec002d132eeff25bf3.jpeg

These are what went to RAW17

C505ED5D-9DB4-4E24-9219-84EC4EBCE3A0.jpeg.fd62b5feef01ad383f1184ef757f9d69.jpeg

These (plus 10 Savage Orruks and 2 Big Stabbas) are what I took to RoE18

CEBB5211-E38D-4DFA-9276-3281092CFB2B.jpeg.e20d936740360bb0cc0e1979aa52d57f.jpegD6204478-E689-472D-BAD8-26C31EF80543.jpeg.e569c78b8e10879aa56c42c2545334e4.jpeg

  • Like 10
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...