005 – Emergent Narrative & Storytelling in Board Games

Hello fellow adventurers and welcome to the Nerdlab – Where we transform our gaming passion into incredible game designs and learn how to nerd like a boss.

In Episode 5 of the Nerdlab, we will talk about storytelling. What is a story and why do we want one for our games. Today you will learn the difference between scripted narrative and emergent narrative and how you can use a narrative to create emotion, engagement and memorable experiences in your game.

We are looking into Games like Legends of Andor, Aventuria, Arkham Horror Card Game and Lord of the Rings Card Game to analyze how these games deliver their story with help of their mechanics.

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Stories in Board Games on Wired

Boardgame Narrative

Dramatic Elements in Board Games and narrative design

A taxonomy of narrative-driven games



  • Hi Marvin,

    thanks for mentioning my input about the tracking system and story telling used in Andor.
    I really enjoy the content of this podcast.
    The part concerning solving puzzles with or without a story as a framework made me think about storytelling in escape games. In either form (live or board game) it would not be enjoyable at all without a story.
    Looking forward to the next episode.

  • Paul Drury /

    Hi, I saw this article on BGG and thought it might be of interest


    • Thanks Paul. This is a nice article. I personally love games in which you build the enemy/encounter deck in a certain way. Aeons End does this too. This approach can help you as a designer to create tension by increasing the difficulty towards the end of the deck. The article does a great job of breaking down the different approaches. I really liked the trade-off: balance + control vs. variation. I will probably end up on the control side as I think it allows for better storytelling. What would be your choice in this trade-off? Thanks for sharing this great resource!

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