Narrative Elements

Mirrors Page 34

Generally, the composition of the environment around your characters is completely up to the Storyteller. No matter how badly you need a handy pond or swimming pool to hide from the baying hell-hounds chasing you, if the Storyteller doesn’t allow such occurrences, then it’s lights-out. This option gives players a measure of control over the environment, in a purely narrative fashion. The system works as follows: a player describes to the Storyteller what sort of narrative element he would like to find. Maybe he needs a gas station around the next xorner to replace a busted tire or it would be nice if the small town you’re trapped in happened to have a silversmith. As long as the proposed narrative element doesn’t have a direct mechanical benefit (that is, it doesn’t give bonuses to dice rolls), almost anything is fair game. (Oh, and it helps if it’s within the realms of possibility. A character in the desert whose player spends a Willpower point and asks to find a spacecraft or glacier is asking too much.) Once the player has described the narrative element, the Storyteller tells him if it’s possible and how many Willpower points it will cost.

Cooperative World-Building

The idea of using Willpower to fuel narrative elements goes outside the usual structure for spending Willpower, but it can add a new dimension to gameplay. It allows a cooperative sort of world building between Storyteller and player, based on a finite resource. True, this option represents a more “metagame” type approach to play, but not to the extent that it breaks immersion. Here’s a small chart to give Storytellers an idea of how much Willpower a given narrative element should cost, based on rarity.

Willpower Cost Rarity
1 Common, easy to find elements, such as a gas station or fast-food restaurant, a specific type of topography in keeping with the area, makeshift weaponry
2 Specific services, like a church or wedding planner (you never know), an unusual topographical feature for the area (oasis in the desert), some manner of escape from unpleasant situations (a secret door, loose bar in the jailhouse window)
3 Dear God, how did that get there? Finding a gun under the sofa, a doctor that picks up bloody hitchhikers, or various other deus ex machina

Narrative Elements

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