Sunday, August 16, 2009

The intersection of storytelling and RP

There obviously is a growing element of the RP community that is focusing on their play as a context within which they can develop, advance and tell stories. I saw evidence that other elements of themed-sim society is acknowledging and even promoting this trend when I saw on the Caledon Library blog that JJ Drinkwater from the library and Aldo Stern -- pub owner and founder of the Clan of Seafarers and Storytellers -- is going to host a storytelling session featuring key elements of rp backtories. This will take place on August 24th at the legendary Falling Anvil pub in Tamrannoch, Caledon.

Storyteller and publican Aldo Stern in his establishment, the Falling Anvil Pub, which is, as far as I know, is the longest-continuously operating cultural venue in Caledon.

I have had the pleasure of being permitted to oversee some of Aldo's storytelling sessions when he has been unable to do so personally because of rl crap, and I always enjoy them. But this one particularly intrigues me as it is the first such session I am aware of where the emphasis is on encouraging rp folks to share key stories from their background narratives. It should be interesting and I sure as hell plan to be there.

Here is what was posted on the Library Militant blog:

"The Heart of the Tale: Key Moments from Your SL Roleplaying Stories
Summer Storytelling Session at the Falling Anvil, Caledon Tamrannoch
August 24, 2009 at 5:00 PM SLT

Sponsored by the Clan of Seafarers and Storytellers, The Falling Anvil Public House, and the Caledon Library.

If you create and tell stories utilizing the tools of roleplaying (RP) in Second Life, do you have a favorite character you have developed? Can you tell a tale that would help us understand who that character is and what motivates them?

A growing element of roleplaying community in Second Life is involved in “RP Storytelling” -- the use of rp to develop or advance plot lines for stories that cross over into written stories, to explore character interactions and relationships for these stories, and in many cases, to act out scenes from stories to be recorded visually. At the heart of a successful RP storytelling project are well developed, engaging characters, and in most cases, what makes a character work is their backstory. And at the core of that backstory there often lies a seminal moment -- a key story -- that provides essential insights into who the character is, and how they became who and what they are.

RP storytellers from throughout Second Life are invited to come to the Falling Anvil to tell a short tale that encompasses a seminal moment from their favorite character’s backstory.

Each tale should take no more than ten minutes to present, and will be presented in text form (no voice). If you wish to take part, please contact JJ Drinkwater or Aldo Stern to be be included in the lineup of storytellers. While pre-registering is encouraged, drop-ins are still welcome the night of the session and will not be turned away: you’ll just get added on to the end of the list and go in order you sign up"


  1. Aye, I saw this this and was greatly tempted, but it'd be 1am for me in the UK and 2 days after I fly back from Canada - I doubt I'll be able to talk, let alone type :)

  2. HeadBurro, that's ok, we understand that timing can often be a problem on these things. When setting up events, it's always been something of an issue to find a time that works for folks in a lot of different time zones. Inevitably someone someplace ends up having to get up real early or stay up real late to take part.

    The good news is JJ usually saves the stories from these sessions for the Caledon Library storyetlling collection, so you can read the tales later on if you have a mind to.

  3. Hey Aldo, I will be there or die trying. The issue for me is trying decide which of the old story bits to resurrect or if I should build a new story on one of the old ideas. The intriguing thing here I think is your request that people tell a story that is a lynch-pin of their rp character's backstory. So it needs to be something that really shaped or defined the character's persona. It will be interesting to see how people interpret that.

  4. Hi Aldo, sorry for the lack of reply but I neglected to subscribe to this post and missed your reply.

    Thanks for the update and I'll seek out the story collections you mention :)

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