Last night I finished reading the 7th Sea Game Masters’ Guide that I got as part of the 7th Sea Second Edition kickstarter. I had previously read the book back when it first came out, and had since gotten rid of the books that I had over the course of a number of moves. Since that time, I had forgotten how much I was inspired by some of the information that is covered in the Game Masters chapter of the book. Particularly in the section on Dramatic Situations, but the entire section on “The Author Hat” was particularly inspiring this time. When I first read it, I bet that each of the three sections were equally inspiring, but since then I have read so many books that have given really good advice on the storytelling side and the referee side, that they don’t impress me as much anymore.
I remember when I read this section the first time, thinking I should look for a copy of Georges Polti’s work on the Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations, but I never got around to it. Now it appears to be available online, though I will not be reading it anytime soon, though I might use it as a reference in the future.
Anyway, in the 7th Sea Game Masters’ Guide, they only covered eleven of them (Abduction, Ambition, Daring Enterprise, Deliverance, Disaster, Enigma, Feuding Families, Love, Pursuit, Revenge, and Revolt). Each of these Dramatic Situations got a brief write-up with the name, basic concept, the import question for the situation, and some examples from (then) current film and stage. One other thing that was mentioned as a throwaway comment in the Feuding Families was the idea of combining the different situations to make something more complicated.
In general all of the advice in this section is thought-provoking, and now that I have it back in front of me, I will need to consider how it interacts with other ideas that I use such as the Countdown clock from the Apocalypse World games.