The word ‘story’ can be very misleading when it comes to designing RPGs. It’s often confused with the word ‘Plot’.
Plot = “the main events of a play, novel, film, or similar work, devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence.”
Plot is basically…this happens, and then this happens because that happened, and now this is happening because those other two things happened, one after the other…and so on!
But what’s the ‘story’ when we mess with the sequence like we can do in RPGs. What occurs when you can experience the events in any order you wish?
Narrative, that’s what occurs.
Narrative = “a spoken or written account of connected events; a story.”
Yes, events are connected, but they’re not in sequence. That means the player can experience the events in any order and, through doing so, build their own understanding of the story.
They’re not being told a story…a plot.
They’re putting the story together for themselves…piece by narrative piece.