USgamer's RPG Podcast Explores What Makes a Good RPG Story

USgamer's RPG Podcast Explores What Makes a Good RPG Story

AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD: What makes a good RPG story, and what are some of our favorites? Steve Tramer and Kat Bailey go in-depth on an integral part of the RPG experience. Plus: A possible Mother 3 localization!

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey. You can find the show notes for previous episodes here.

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), Kat and Steve go deep on RPG narratives. So deep, in fact, that this is easily the longest episode of Axe of the Blood God to date. As a bonus, we also talk about the possibility of an official localization for Mother 3, and we share some of your favorite RPG stories.

I was inspired to explore RPG narrative by Undertale, which is an interesting deconstruction of the genre. I've expressed in the past that an RPG doesn't need a good story to be successful, with Darkest Dungeon and Etrian Odyssey being key examples. However, in undertaking this exploration, I've realized that a high-quality narrative can mean more to an RPG than I realized.

Over the course of the episode, Steve and I explore the history of narrative in RPGs, talk about some of the different types of stories and the tools developers use to tell them, and share our favorite RPG stories. In the end, we ask the question, "Can an RPG succeed in spite of a bad story? And can a great story elevate otherwise middling mechanics?" I was honestly surprised by my answer. I look forward to everyone's thoughts on this, because I really enjoyed recording this episode. And believe it or not, there's still more room for discussion on this topic.

Next week: I'm not sure! Naturally, I'm open to suggestions.

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Show Description

Stiv Tramer returns to discuss the possibility of an official localization for Mother 3, then delves deep into the nature of narrative in RPGs. What are the different types of RPG stories? What are some of the tools that developers use to craft a good RPG story? And what are some of our favorite stories? We answer all of these questions and more as we take a deep dive into RPG narratives.

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

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Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a former freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and EGM. Her fondest memories as a journalist are at GamePro, where she hosted RolePlayer's Realm and had legal access to the term "Protip." She is USgamer's resident mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).

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