December 29, 2019

Theater of the Mind

Today’s #newbieTueday post centers on a core concept of role playing games: theater of the mind (TOTM). TOTM is the ability to, with your mind’s eye, progressively envision the happenings of a story as they unfold.

Now, most folks are familiar with this process from reading books. As an example, during the battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we see in our mind Harry and Voldemort struggling against one another in an epic, pre-ordained battle, the colors, people, emotion, setting…everything.

For both players and GMs, role playing games are no different in this regard. In StoryTogether’s Temple of Kings when the GM Chris has each player – small spoiler alert! – commune with their dead mother for critical life advice, we each see that scene play out in our minds, the emotion and feeling of it all being compounded by being able to experience this part of the story in our mind’s eye.

New role playing game players should know that it’s an almost unspoken thing to be mutually living in each mind’s eye as the story unfolds. So StoryTogether’s advice is to simply enjoy it! Because the better the story, the better theater of the mind experience in your inner world. And, luckily for us, role playing games produce amazing stories when properly invested in and cultivated by all involved!