The Creation of Narrative in Tabletop Role-Playing Games


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About the Book

Despite the rise of computer gaming, millions of adults still play face to face role playing games, which rely in part on social interaction to create stories. This work explores tabletop role playing game (TRPG) as a genre separate from computer role playing games. The relationship of TRPGs to other games is examined, as well as the interaction among the tabletop module, computer game, and novel versions of Dungeons & Dragons. Given particular attention are the narrative and linguistic structures of the gaming session, and the ways that players and gamemasters work together to construct narratives. The text also explores wider cultural influences that surround tabletop gamers.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Grouling Cover is a Ph.D. candidate in rhetoric and writing at Virginia Tech. She teaches writing and lives in Muncie, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Jennifer Grouling Cover
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 215
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4451-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5617-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Abbreviations, Terms, and Transcription Symbols      ix
Preface and Acknowledgments      1
Introduction: Defining the Tabletop Role-Playing Game      5

1. Early Models of Interactive Narrative      21
2. Role-Playing Game Genres      38
3. A Transmedia Tale—The Temple of Elemental Evil      54
4. The Reconciliation of Narrative and Game      72
5. Frames of Narrativity in the TRPG      88
6. Immersion in the TRPG      106
7. Levels of Authorship—How Gamers Interact with Texts and Create Their Own      124
8. The Culture of TRPG Fans      148
9. Conclusions, Definitions, Implications, and Limitations      165

Appendix: The Orc Adventure at Blaze Arrow      179
Chapter Notes      191
References      197
Index      201

Book Reviews & Awards

“Clever…Contains many good and interesting ideas.”—Game Nite Magazine