One of the reasons I reject the premise that tabletop roleplaying is a game is because so much of its value lies in the power of story. The reason I think TTR is important is that it helps people learn how to tell stories. I’m not saying that the hobby teaches that, per say. It’s such an integral part of the activity, though, that people have to figure it out.
Think about it. We joke about people that want to tell you about their paladin. But they’re excited to share their character’s story with you. Those tales not only involve the cool things that their personal protagonist did, but the context of why they did it. I.e., the plot.
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
Robert McKee, Q&A, February 12, 2013
If you have the time, I highly recommend watching the interview with McKee above. I know that he’s talking about storytelling in the context of marketing. He really gets to the heart of why the ability to tell stories is an important life skill. It’s the cornerstone of culture, and connection with other people.
I Wrote a Thing: Adventure Generator
Adventure Generator is a book designed to help people outline TTR adventure stories. You can randomly roll elements like locations, monster types, and plots, or pick them from lists. The bulk of the book contains explanations of the plot types, including how to structure the beginning, middle, and end of each kind of story. As with all of the books in the Building series it’s system-agnostic, meaning it can be used with Dungeons & Dragons or any other system. While it’s geared toward fantasy, with a few tweaks you can make the plots work with any genre. The best stories are, after all, universal.
I wrote a thing. Go buy a copy, and tell your friends.