An Introduction to Game Mastering:

How to use Tabletop Role-Playing Games to Collaboratively Produce and Create Stories

Organizer: Tan Shao Han

When and where: 9am to 5:30pm, Seminar Room 1

Intended audience: The intended audience for this workshop would be people who are interested in learning about how tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs) can be used as collaborative storytelling tools. The workshop will also cover how these techniques and approaches in TRPGs can be applied in the fields of storytelling in interactive media and computer games.

Details: TRPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons are traditionally played by small groups who meet and play in person over sustained periods of time. These groups often participate in collaborative storytelling activities as part of their play experiences. The physical proximity of the players, as well as the regular and interpersonal nature of their interactions often develop and encourage their storytelling abilities and the ease and comfort with which they work creatively with one another.

This workshop examines some of the methods of creating and remembering stories used by TRPG players. What can we learn, in terms of knowledge as well as practice, about story creation from observing and understanding some of the practices of TRPG players? In particular, this workshop focuses on the role of a subset of TRPG players known as “game-masters” (GMs), and will discuss the roles which GMs assume within their respective gaming groups as the leaders, organizers, and sustainers of creative collaborations.

This workshop would help participants to understand some perspectives and practices which TRPG players use in their creative activities. Participants will also learn how to use TRPGs as tools for introducing structure and direction, as well as contingency and uncertainty, into the group storytelling process, and perhaps become capable of creating more diverse stories than they had imagined possible.

Please contact Shao Han at the address below to indicate your interest.

Contact information: Tan Shao Han,


Important Dates

  • November 2-5, 2014: ICIDS Art Exhibition.
  • November 3-6, 2014: ICIDS Conference.