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Story Design: Mystery Stories
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Story Design: Mystery Stories


Add more thrills and dramatic tension to your mystery adventures!

Story Design Volume 7 - The word mystery carries a lot of cultural baggage. From a genre point of view, it’s typically associated with murder. The story goal is to discover who did it, although more modern variations focus on figuring out how it was done, in order to prove who did it. A mystery doesn’t have to be significant or serious. It doesn’t have to be about murder, or even crime. The story can be centered on any type of question that needs an answer, or any problem that cries out to be solved.

Examples of the mystery plot include And Then There Were None, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Maltese Falcon, The Moonstone, and Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Story Design: Mystery Stories covers all of the elements you need to prepare in order to tell a question-driven story. It's based on concepts explored in Story Structure and the Lighthouse System games, also published by Dancing Light Press.  It's a big book that goes into greater detail on how to get the most out of the three-act structure, as well as developing a three-phase series (campaign, if you prefer) with a clear beginning, middle, and end. If you want to use your favorite roleplaying game system to tell stories with more depth than kill monster, get treasure, repeat (not that there's anything wrong with that), it is worth looking into. 

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October 17th, 2019
This is a short (12 pages of content) and concise guide to creating a mystery that will work in your role playing game. It describes what happens in three acts, and that becomes the plot points in your 3 to 8 adventure sessions. It covers how to add su [...]
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File Last Updated:
September 14, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on August 23, 2016.