Narrating the Game

Elements That Need to be Planned for Narration

Narrative elements only need enough thought ahead of time to compliment your capability to dynamically deal with interactions and directions that go off-script. Capable GMs won’t have to struggle to keep the pacing and immersive feel no matter what direction the game goes in. Planning need only be in thought, if you can remember it all, or documented for you to refer to, to keep story elements consistent. Usually a GM will incorporate both approaches.

  • NPCs: Non-Player-Characters; characters you create for the player’s characters to interact with. Some will have goals that impact the story, others you may only need to think about their immediate motivations as they are less important and/or don’t have an impact beyond the encounter(s) they are in.
  • Plot: The background story, plans, motivations, and goals driving the action.
  • Tone: The general “feeling” for the players – action-filled, suspenseful, dark, mysterious, etc.
  • Response: How the actions of the characters change the direction of the story and feelings of the NPC’s.

> Inside Incarna adventures, areas with guidance about narrations are marked with the narration icon and a link to the GM narration guidelines.

Narrating Outcomes

Yes, And…

Fully positive intended outcome plus additional positive consequences.


fully positive intended outcome for PCs.

Yes, But…

fully positive intended outcome plus unintended negative consequences.

No, But…

fully negative/failed outcome plus unintended negative consequences.


fully negative/failed outcome for PCs.

No, And…

Full negative/failed outcome plus additional positive consequences.

Increasing the Combat Drama