Roleplaying games: how to tell a story with friends

Have you ever done battle with a deadly dragon? Have you ever brought a web of intrigue and political machinations crashing down around the ears of its conspirators?

Roleplaying games – no, not the ones you play in your bedroom – are a form of collaborative storytelling that allow for basically anything to happen. The only limit is what you can imagine, and the rule of whatever roleplaying system you choose to use.

Roleplaying systems provide a framework for the story, and range from Wizards of the Coast’s popular medieval-themed Dungeons and Dragons to more specialised systems like Alas! For the Awful Sea, set in Scotland’s struggling Outer Hebrides in the 19th century.

But it is the job of the gamemaster, or GM, to bring the story and setting to life, and ensure that their players have a safe, fun and easy environment in which to create their narrative. AFTRS FM’s Sam Baran shared some of his own experiences running games and talked to experienced GM Torrey Keown about how to help imaginations roam free.