Narrative Gaming

I’ve talked in the past on various audios about how I have to see the narrative of a game unfolding like a movie for me to get fully involved in it.  Those cinematic moments when the fate of the world (or at least the game) is held in the balance.  Its one of the reasons I am a big fan of Dead Mans Hand as the whole structure of the game lends itself to those moments, normally, it must be said, involving Matts protagonist dying in horrible ways.

This is part (a large part) of the reason I have fallen out of love with playing tournament Malifaux, I’m just not seeing that story anymore, its become almost mechanical to me.  Its also, I believe, the reason I don’t get on with games such as Guildball or Warmachine,  the rulesets are designed with event play in mind and thus the mechanics used don’t help with the cinematic moments in the way that DMH or 7TV do.

Which sort of brings me to the point of this post.  As I said the other day Matt and I are embarking on a 6 week campaign of Dragon Rampant with our own custom scenarios to provide that narrative element.  Now Dragon Rampant is an excellent framework for making your own stories, the generic nature of the units enables you to fully express your army the way you want to do, but it doesn’t have the ongoing narrative element that would take it to the next level (of storytelling, not game wise)

So being an old school gamer I have done what old school gamers tend to do, I’ve written up some extra rules that we are going to try out to add that ongoing element.

Now I’m not sure if these will work or not –  we won’t find that out until we play the campaign – but I’ve run them past Matt and he says he like them so thats at least part of the job done.

So for your reading pleasure, i present to you

The purpose of these is to encourage players to build a narrative for their forces over a series of games and help create those epic tales for nights down the pub going ‘Do you remember when …”

NOTE: Some of these rules apply different traits to the units.  These traits do not cost any points (and in the case of Fearful do not make the unit cost less)


  • Every unit that is destroyed must roll a d6. On a 3+ the unit can be used normally in the next game.  On a 1 or 2 however the unit gains the Fearful Rule for its next battle.  The unit will retain the Fearful rule until it survives a battle.  If the unit started with the Fearful rule then it will make future tests at -2
  • If one of your units is destroyed by the same enemy unit in two games then then enemy unit now causes Fear against the destroyed unit. However the destroyed unit is out for revenge and now has Hatred against the unit that destroyed it.


When things are going for you it can feel like you have the gods on your side.  It would be lovely if this was true J

Every time a unit achieves one of the following things it receives a Will of The Gods point (WotG)

  • Wins a combat
  • Gains Glory
  • Recovers from being battered (the gods must be on your side)

Between games units can trade in WotG points for a once per game reroll (dice can only be rerolled once, second result stands even if worse, you know, usual sort of thing) according to this table.  Obviously the reroll can only be used on the unit that is spending the WotG points

  • 1st Reroll costs 5 WotG
  • 2nd Reroll costs 10 WotG
  • 3rd and subsequent rerolls cost 20 WotG

You may also trade in 10 WotG points to add an optional extra to the unit – so for example a unit of Bellicose Foot could trade in 10 WotG points to equip themselves with Terrifically Shiny Armour

Let me know you thoughts please, or suggestions for other things we could add

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