I have created this storyform for learning purposes and I did some encoding. I would like to get experienced feedback that I am using the Dramatica theory correctly and any feedback to improve how I use the system. This is going to be long. So here it goes…
Story Title: Three Rogues
The Big Idea: Three rogue Halfling sisters engage in mischief and mayhem in a world inspired by Dungeons and Dragons.
Story Logline: Bo Snardle is apprehended when caught lifting a coin purse form a merchant while casing merchants at a popular bazaar in the city of Visden. Bo is held in jail inside a large keep under lock and key awaiting trial. Misty Snardle his wife is upset. The three sisters (Gabi, Ada, and Mirca Filfut) see Misty upset and Gabi’s curiosity gets the best of her to see what’s going on. Misty explains the terrible events of her husband Bo being apprehended and she implores the sisters to rescue him before his trial begins. Gabi does not hesitate to commit to helping Misty and dragging her sisters along. It’s an opportunity to get back at the human “oppression” over the Halfling population in the city of Visden where they are currently hanging out. Ada decides that she had better take charge in order to see this through else Gabi may end up expanding the scope of Misty’s plight.
Overall Story Throughline: Activity
Free Bo Snardle before his trial begins
Character: Bo Snardle (Archetype: Reason) Male, Halfling
Bo Snardle is arrested for stealing. He set for trial and if found guilty he will rot in a dungeon for the rest of his life. As far as a group three Halflings are concerned, epically Gabi, this isn’t going to happen. Three Halflings set on mission to free Bo from jail and bring him back home safe before his trial ever begins.
Main Character Throughline: Fixed Attitude
Stuck with nowhere to go
Character: Hidey Kywen (Archetype: Skeptic) Half Elf, Female
Meet Hidey Kywen, Half Elf, stuck in the drudgery of her father’s inn with never ending chores of tending bar, cleaning and cooking. She hates her life and longs for something different but cannot get over her fear of leaving her father alone to run the Inn by himself, to begin a life of her own.
Impact Character Throughline: Situation
Halflings have it bad in the human city of Visden
Character: Gabi Filfut (Archetype: Sidekick) Halfling, Female
Meet Gabi Filfut, Halfling, a denizen of the Halfling Quarter where Halflings are concentrated and are forced to be within Visden. Living under what is perceived as human oppression Gabi tries to even the score by raging against the human machine.
Subjective Story Throughline: Manipulation
Every journey begins with a single step
Gabi and Hidey form a friendship where Gabi influences Hidey getting her to compromise with little things that keep her from leaving the inn. Little compromise turn into bigger ones until finally, Hidey, reluctantly agrees to assist Gabi and her sisters with a jail break. In the end, the experience from the jail break kindles a new beginning for Hidey to live her life leaving the Inn.
Character: Ada Filfut (Archetype: Protagonist) Halfling, Female
Positive Traits: Confident and Persuasive
Negative Traits: Abrasive
Skills: Acrobatics, Ropes and knots, Lockpicking, Thieving, Knife fighting and being stealthy
Ada has an athletic build, brown hair and brown eyes.
Interests: work in progress…
Character: Mirca Filfut (Archetype: Guardian) Halfling Female
Positive Traits: Intelligent and Observant
Negative Traits: Oversensitive
Skills: Problem solving, Research, Seeing patterns, detecting and disarming traps, Thieving, knife fighting and being stealthy
Mirca has a very slender build with plump frim breasts. Her eyes are an intense blue. Her hair is pure black at shoulder level.
Interests: Music, Art, Book Reading, History, Magic Lore
Character: Gabi Filfut (Archetype: Sidekick) Halfling Female : Impact Character
Positive Traits: Curious
Negative Traits: Uncouth and Materialistic
Skills: Metallurgy, Weaponsmithing daggers, Thieving, Knife fighting and being stealthy.
Interests: Jewelry and Gems. Takes an interest into seeing how things work and what’s going on around her.
Gabi is the youngest of three sisters. She has a distinctive voice tone that come across as whiny or blustery.
Gabi's manifestation of Materialism
Gabi wears her clothing, armor, weapons and gear as if it were making a statement. Her appearance is cutting edge appearing exactly who she wants to be in style. Her leather armor is the highest quality craftsmanship. Her daggers polished and only forged and made by her using the best metals. Anyone looking at her who understands material value will instantly recognize she wears the best.
Gabi does not like to boast about this using words or verbal expression. She lets the what she is wearing make the statement for her because to her it means more if people can see it rather than her having to say it. In other words it speaks for itself saying something about her.
Gabi purchases high priced items. For example, in an inn she will order expensive food and drink. It does not matter if she likes it, although that would be plus. Again, she would rather her actions show who she is rather than boasting it out loud verbally.
Gabi has no problem wearing make up to make herself look attractive, but she does not overdo it. Its all part of a balance to get the right look and feel with style.
When people can see the value of what she has and how she flaunts it without having to boast, it gives her personal satisfaction and pride.
This in of itself may create problems that would otherwise not be. For example, it may attract other rogues to want to stalk, ambush and steal from her.
It may draw the attention of guards or sentries. It may draw the attention of those who would pass down information about seeing her because she would be high profile.
Gabi's manifestation of Curiosity
Gabi is a "I want to know" kind of person.
She likes taking things apart and seeing how they work.
Listening in on others conversations
She has a disdain for rules, boundaries and limits.
Two men sat at a table speaking about the politics between the families who have power in Visden. Overhearing their talk of power, position, nice things they own, and what someone thinks, she wanderers over and stands between them.
At first the two men ignore her violating their space. Her head goes back and forth between the two men as one speaks she turns towards him and she then shifts as the other speaks. After about 3 or 4 minutes of this Gabi presence surpasses one of men's tolerance.
"Hey Kid!" an authoritative voice sounded.
She looked at him as he said, "Beat it!"
"Frazzle! Why can't I just listen?"
“Get out of here you little thief!”
Gabi raised her fist at them, “For your information, I am not a kid!”
"This is exhibit A" said the tour guide. "A fine magical wand, which can contain a variety of magical properties"
Gabi stared at the wand as the guide manipluated it explaining all the neat sections contained within it.
Finally the guide sat the wand down and moved over to the next exhibit giving Gabi the opporutnity to get close the wand.
She picked it up, moving it around toward herself and exmaining it closely. Those closest to her started watching her.
She then took apart a section and attracted more attention. Not really paying attention to the attention she was drawing she continued to examine and play with it trying to figure it out.
Suddenly a perturbed vioce boomed directing at her, "What are you doing"?
She dropped the wand and before she could open her mouth and a bang of cloudy smoke started filling the room from where she dropped the wand.
She smiled as the guide's face filled with red anger.
Gabi quickly picked up the wand, "You mind if I take this home with me"
"Guards"! yelled the guide.
She snatched the wand from the ground and high-tailed out of the muesem.
Character: Seth Goodwal (Archetype: Contagonist) Halfling, Male
Work in progress…
Despite being a Halfling, Seth is a cleric of a human religion and advocates human policies over Halfling behaviors. Halflings tend toward criminal behaviors which causes humans to react negatively toward Halflings. Seth speaks in public to win over converts and hinders the Filfut sisters.
Character: Nolan Pascal (Archetype: Antagonist) Human, Male
Work in progress…
Nolan is in charge of the keep. He micromanages the keep with detail and epically keeps an eye on Halflings who he despises. Although he does tolerate Seth, finding him to be… “unique”. In addition Nolan manages the guard and sentry shifts within the Pollux which is the merge between Human territory and Halfling territory within the city of Visden.
Character: Hidey Kywen (Archetype: Skeptic) Half Elf, Female : Main Character
Positive Traits: Hospitable, Adventurous
Negative Traits: Worrywart
Skills: Hosting and Hospitality, Dressing game, Cooking and meal preparation, Growing vineyards and making wine, administrative abilities running an Inn
Work in progress…
Character: Bo Snardle (Archetype: Reason) Halfling Male
Work in progress….
Character: Jon Kywen (Archetype: Emotion) Human male
Background, Backstory, Subplot hook:
Hidey’s father. Jon is a broken man. Once a ranger defending an eleven settlements from orc pillaging in some forest. He fell in love with Anawyn, Hidey’s elven mother. There came a point in time Jon took charge of relocating many elves to safety, but lost his wife Anawyn, fending off an orc raid. He gave up the ways of the ranger and moved to Visden taking Hidey with him. Incurring a vast amount of debt he started a business, The Flipsom Inn in the Pollux. Jon often refers to Hidey as Anawyn his wife because she reminds him of Anawyn in many ways. Hidey shows compassion on her father and does not challenge him when he does so.
Work in progress…
Player: Misty Snardle, Halfling Female
Bo ‘s wife.
Work in progress….
Story Points: Dynamics
Hidey changes at the end of the story when she realizes that having helped the Halflings got her out of the Inn doing something different. In doing so it brings her a new realization about her life.
Start living your life and making something of yourself
Hidey internalizes all the drudgery at the Inn, figuring out the relationship between herself and Gabi, taking caution about the actions Gabi and her sisters propose to her.
Problem Solving: Intuitive
Work in progress…
Bo's arrest leads to the decision to rescue him. Proceeding with caution leads to the decision to enlist Hidey's assistance as well as figuring out how to overcome some of the story’s requirements. Investigating and spying on Hidey leads to the decision to use her. Hidey having her personal issue resolved leads her to deciding to help the sisters.
Work in progress…
Bo Snardle is free before his trail
Hidey Kywen now realizes something new about herself and embarks on new endeavors leaving he Inn behind with her father to run it alone.
Story Points: Overall Throughline
Hidey and the sisters collaborate
Hidey and the sisters gain information about ways to get inside the keep
Hidey must infiltrate the keep as guard, Gabi must pose as a prisoner
Ada and Mirca must traverse the tunnel
They all find Bo
They must find their way back out to safety
Gabi and her sisters are always trying to obtain more coin
Gabi and her sisters are trying to obtain Bo's freedom
Bo is trying to obtain a way to escape
Nolan is trying to obtain more guards and sentries
Hidey is trying to obtain more tips to pay off a family debt
Hidey's father, Jon is trying to obtain more customers and profits
Issue: Self Interest
Everyone is focused on their agenda for their kind.
Humans do what is good for humans leaving out Halflings
Halfling do what is good for Halfling to despite the Humans
Gabi and her sisters steal and stir up trouble to improve their lot in life
The sisters volunteer to help Misty Snardle
The sisters offer to give money to Hidey to settle Jon’s debt issue
Hidey reluctantly offers her assistance to help the sisters jail-break Bo Snardle
Thematic Conflict: Self Interest vs. Morality
Work in progress…
Ada and her sisters avoid detection
Ada and her sisters elude the keep sentries and guards
Ada and Mirca avoid the snares and traps in the tunnel
By avoiding, it creates inaction and indecision
To engage the challenges, obstacles and overcome them
Ada and her sisters see the guards and sentries, but think that the solution to beating them is steer them away from their posts and manipulate them. If they can control them then they can sneak inside the keep to get Bo.
When the sisters go to control the guards, they perform uncontrolled tactics of diversion. For example, setting fire near the keep to draw the guards to handle the fire, creating an explosion elsewhere to draw them there to handle the chaos. However in doing so, it creates an uncontrolled environment where guards are everywhere thus increasing the likelihood of detection and thus recycles the back the symptom... the need for control.
Progress is measured by how close the sisters to get Bo.
Ada and Mirca overcome the tunnel. Bo is set free from his prison. The group is nearing the escape route which is the tunnel.
When Hidey and the sisters help and support each other things get moving very quickly to rescue Bo.
When Hidey commits to her duties to the Inn she dragged back to her daily drudgery going nowhere.
Story Points: Main Character Throughline
Throughline: Fixed Attitude
The belief that her father is incapable of running the inn without her
Concern: Innermost Desires
To be independent and leave the inn
Paying off a family debt
Heidi refuses to believe her mother is dead. Her mother left and will be back soon
Hidey believes that when her mother comes back that she will provide balance needed for her to leave the inn and do something else.
Thematic Conflict: Closure vs. Denial
Work in progress…
Hidey avoids facing real change because she thinks that her father may not be able to run the inn without her and that he cannot run it by himself. This keeps her in place to face drudgery of everyday work at the inn creating the inequity that she longs for something greater than just tending bar, cooking and cleaning.
Leaving the inn and doing something else with your life
Hidey deliberates all the suggestions and alternatives people give her, leaving her to be indecisive.
Hidey deliberates again when she learns something new about a previous suggestion or an alternative
Benchmark: Impulsive Responses
Doing and experiencing something new that breaks the monotony of working in the inn.
Unique Ability: Dream
Work in progress…
Critical Flaw: Delay
Work in progress…
Story Points: Impact Character Throughline
Gabi sees the squalor of the Halfling Quarter inside a predominantly wealthy human populated city, Visden. The Halfling population is about one quarter of the total population. Humans do not care for the Halflings residing inside their city because of their tendencies toward being thieves. This creates a situation where humans treat Halflings differently by keeping them contained in their own quarter and encouraging them to leave.
Concern: The Future
Acquiring wealth or money to doing anything she wants at any time, which she does not presently have.
Gabi is willing to listen and empathize with the plight of others (as long as they are not Human. But we’ll see that change when Ada suggests paying off Jon’s debt in order to win Hidey over.)
A resolved conclusion. She holds fast on a conclusion that humans hate Halflings and only want to oppress them.
Thematic Conflict: Openness vs. Preconception
While Gabi is open to listen to varying points of views she will not tolerate any view showing humans as good, compassionate or caring
Gabi is driven to resolve the inequity found in the Halfling population where the city's Humans hinder the Halflings efforts to prosper and live as they please, without mistrust.
To assist in fostering good relations with Humans and building trust. Stop stealing and put others first before yourself.
Human are controlling and keeping the Halflings down and living in the squalor of the city, the Halfling Quarter
Being unlawful, unruly and disruptive
Benchmark: How things are changing
Halflings are permitted to move freely about the city without limitation
Unique Ability: Choice
Work in progress….
Critical Flaw: Hope
Work in progress…
Story Points: Subjective Throughline
Gabi tells Hidey about all the neat adventures she and her sisters go on, which appeals to Hidey's Inner most desires.
However Hidey despite wanting to free herself from the inn digs her heels in resisting making excuses for why she cannot.
Concern: Changing One’s Nature
Gabi appeals to Hidey's adventurous side and invites Hidey to small outings with her sisters so that doing something may cause a change. Gabi first introduces small thing where compromise is easy and eventually works up to bigger things.
Gabi gets Hidey to commit to small things leading to bigger things
Thematic Conflict: Commitment vs. Responsibility
As Hidey commits to more and more suggestions Gabi puts her through she begins to realize how much time she is away from the inn thus negating her responsibility, which is by assuming the operations of the inn at the exclusion of her father.
Gabi shows Hidey how she and her sisters can help resolve Hidey's debt issue.
Gabi explains she and her sisters have a unique set of skills to acquisition large sums of money.
Hidey may see that fraternizing with a Halfling and doing things with Gabi and her sisters may result in trouble for her, her father and the Inn. (NOT!)
Hidey sees the only way to control her family's debt problem may be to help the Halfling's spring Bo out of jail in exchange for stolen coin to pay off her family's debt.
Hidey agrees to help the sisters break Bo out of prison, thus breaking the local laws and causing mayhem.
Benchmark: Playing a role
Hidey starts doing things other than her work at the inn. She begins to play the role of a rogue.
Gabi hits it home with Hidey that she is stagnating in denial assuming responsibility over the inn at the exclusion of her father when her father is fully capable of running the inn by himself.
Inhibitor: Self Interest
When Gabi focuses on more on what she wants for herself, it leaves Hidey out of the equation thereby relieving conflict as opposed to creating conflict that will change Hidey.
Story Points: Central Plot Points
Free Bo Snardle from jail before he goes to trial
Consequences: Changing One’s Nature
Failure to free Bo will result in Bo becoming a prisoner for life in dark and dreary dungeon.
Humans will have very little tolerance for Halfling under trial for stealing.
Cost: The Future
The cost of Bo's freedom will be the Halfling's future while in the city. Humans will demand the use of force to resettle Halflings outside of their city.
Dividends: Innermost Desires
The Halflings will feel they got one over the Humans
A satisfaction of justice and balance
Gabi and her sisters must convince Hidey to join their cause
Gabi, her sisters and Hidey must agree on the means to pay off Hidey's family debt
Gabi and her sisters must enter the keep without detection
They must get to where Bo is without detection
They must leave with Bo without detection
Prerequisites: Playing a Role
Hidey will need to play the role of a guard
Gabi must play the role of a prisoner
Both enter the keep playing a role in order to ascertain where Bo is.
Preconditions: How Things are Changing
Work in progress…
Forewarnings: Impulsive Responses:
Work in progress…
Overall Story Signpost 1: Gathering Information
Upon accepting Misty's plight and promising to rescue Bo, the sisters need to find out where Bo is and what they are up against. They set out gather information and control the guards
Fate, Prediction, Interdiction, Destiny
Fate: Bo's fate is life in a dreary dungeon. The sisters must prevent this from happening.
<Explore the overall story symptom and response story points here> The sisters have to beat their heads against wall first before realizing an alternative action.
Prediction: With all the guards and sentries the sisters have seen Ada predicts that they may likely get caught in something they are doing.
Interdiction: In order not to get caught the Ada decides that they need an extra person to join their cause who is not a Halfling.
Destiny: Once it's decided that they will enlist Hidey's help they feel that their path is set for success. But first they must convince Hidey to join their cause.
MC Signpost 1: Memories
Hidey works at the inn and reflects on memories that brought her to this point in present day.
State of Being, Situation, Circumstances, Sense of Self
State of Being: Hidey remembers being teased by humans that she was a half human and at the same time looked upon negatively by elves for being a half-elf.
Situation: Hidey remembers her previous home with the elves. A time when her mother was alive. Her father a human who was a ranger met her mother.
Circumstances: Hidey remembers they had to leave because Orcs were progressively raiding and pillaging elven settlements. That was what forced her parents to move away and go to Visden. Her mother sadly was killed during an orc skirmish that her father fended off. He’s never been the same ever since and gave up the ways of the ranger.
Sense of Self: Hidey remembers her father referring to her as if she were her mother (or his wife). For the past few years she’s been working the inn taking the place of what would have been her mother’s position. Afraid to leave to pursue her own life, she stays for the sake of her father who sees her as if she were his wife despite being his daughter. In fact he calls Hidey by her mother’s name, Anawyn. Hidey does not correct him for the poor man lives in emotional pain day to day without his beloved wife.
Impact Character Signpost 1: The Past
The sisters are on their way to Flipsom Inn for drinks, but Gabi gets distracted hearing Seth speak in public as he tries to obtain support to bring Humans and Halflings together in order to change Human policy against Halflings. The sisters listen. Gabi boldly engages Seth in a debate getting the listeners riled up.
Truth, Evidence, Suspicion, Falsehood
Truth: Halflings more often than not steal and make up a large portion of the crime in the city
Evidence: Seth cites the recent crimes taken place in Visden and mentions Bo Snardle
Suspicion: Gabi argues that Bo was arrested with no money, weapons or any personal effects on him. In fact he was taken away with only his trousers on.
Falsehood: Gabi grabs the attention away from Seth who gets angry further stating, that the belief all crime is done by Halflings is crazy when Humans also participate in crime and hardly receive any punishment.
Subjective Story Signpost 1: Conceiving and Idea
Work in progress
Instinct, Senses, Interpretation, Conditioning
A rough draft scene:
Scene Development: SS1 Conceiving an Idea
Gabi engages Hidey
Ada orders Gabi to find a non-Halfling to help them. Gabi walks inside the Flipsom Inn.
The Pollux is a good place to start because it would be easier to find someone to motivate. Hidey seems to be a good candidate because she works at a well-established Inn within the Pollux. She appears to be dedicated with a good work ethic, attention to detail and likely would arouse no suspicion. Gabi knows who she wants to engage, Hidey. Hidey is helping two of her colleagues tend bar. Gabi goes up to the bar and immediately gets Hidey’s attention. Hidey sees a sharp looking Halfling and this is rather unusual. Maybe she is wealthy judging the quality leather she is wearing. Thoughts of a good tip come to mind.
Gabi requests that Hidey shows her a nice table to sit at where there is some privacy.
Hidey thinks and leads Gabi to such a table
Hidey helps the Halfling get seated and offers her a menu.
Gabi flatters Hidey, “I’m looking to acquire some excellent service around here and I believe you are someone who can really deliver.” Gabi reaches from inside her leather pulling out a purse and spilling the coins on the table. They coins glisten and look pure.
Hidey’s eyes widen staring at the beautiful gold coins. She picked one coin from the table bringing it closer to her face staring at it without a thought. The coin felt good in her hand. It had a sense of weight to it. This could really help me and father with the debt. Stress of realizing how much debt her father acquired filled her mind. She then looked at Gabi. It’s very rare that customers like this come into Flipsom and order personal service. Hidey smiled approving of Gabi’s proposal, “I am at your service, milady. How can I serve you”?
Gabi smiles and her eyes narrow a little, “What kind of food is expensive around here”?
“I know exactly what you want”, replied Hidey.
“Great! Make enough for two people and bring the best wine you have with it”
Hidey bowed in service to Gabi with a smile, “Yes, milady.”
Hidey serves Gabi complimentary cheese and bread with wine and leaves her to prepare a main course meal.
When Hidey brings the meal it’s extravagant and it exceeds Gabi’s expectations. In fact it attracts attention from the Inn as people look in their direction.
When Hidey finishes laying out the meal on the table, she asks, “Will there be anything else I can serve you”?
Gabi responds, “Yes. I require your company. Please sit and dine with me”
Hidey is taken by surprise and pauses.
Gabi looks at her wondering what the delay is. Gabi pulls out additional gold coins. Hidey watches Gabi release the coins as they sounded hitting table and going where ever gravity took them. Hidey catches a coin before it falls off the table. It reflected light and she felt the value of the coin. What if I could use this money to leave the Inn? A ridiculous and terrible thought! Hidey felt awkward, “Milady, you wish for me to join you at the table, to dine and drink with you”?
“That’s right”, demanded Gabi pushing the extra gold coins toward Hidey. “Sit and dine with me because I have an idea.”
This jolted Hidey’s curiosity and she sat down.
“Eat!” said Gabi grasping a large piece of meat with her one hand and grabbing wine in her other. She took a bite and the meat’s tenderness melted in her mouth. “Frazzle! I never had it this good before”!
Hidey served herself as she watch the Halfling stuff her face like she had never eaten before.
“You said you had an idea, milady”, asked Hidey.
Oh God, the food is so good. She looked at Hidey as if she were a distraction, “Yeah, an idea. Huh…” Gabi took and another bite speaking with her mouth full, “My sisters and I have a job to do and we need some talent to assist us. I’m not sure that you may be who we need.”
“I can surely prepare a good meal and I am a wonderful hostess”.
“No doubt”, smiled Gabi. “We just need you to help us, help a friend in need.” Gabi paused and continued, “You know… he’s kind of stuck right now and if we could just pay him a visit.”
That means I would have to leave the Inn. I am too busy. “I am afraid I can’t”
Gabi stopped chewing. How much gold does she need? “Ah… well, why not”? asked Gabi.
“It’s not that I don’t want to do the work with you, but I have so much work here, that I just can’t leave my father here alone to run the Inn. Would it be possible for your friend to come here and I can serve you all with fine food and drink.”
Come here to ask questions or give advice about the theory that forms the basis of Dramatica.
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