[Before you read too far, I've given up on this project. I explain why a bit down below. But if you want to check it out anyway, I've just shared the PDFs, so you can print and cut the cards out yourself...
Before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the crew of the USS Arizona struggle to find out who is responsible for the death of a fellow crewman ...
Victorian scientists try to escape from a planet of intelligent dinosaurs ...
An undercover russian spy in the FBI does whatever it takes to get the terrorist he loves out of jail ...
A parent trying to revive her singing career copes with the death of her only child ...
All of these stories were told playing That's Drama, a storytelling card game that is both user-friendly and rich with possibility.
The cards are very flexible - just as you can play many games with a deck of playing cards, you can play many story games with the That's Drama decks - anywhere from very simple games (build a story out of these cards) to more hardcore story games.
- No pre-play preparation necessary.
- 3-5 players
- Games can take anywhere from 30 minutes (if you play the "one scene play" version) to 3 hours (if you go all-out.)
- Pre-baked "Motivations" cards ensure that something drives the story.
- Conflict plays out fast, by trumping and uber-trumping with the cards.
- Use whatever setting and time period you want: fan fiction, present day, or make something up.
The latest version of the rules.
If you have less than half an hour, try the "One Scene Play" option.
Or use it to play Storyleaves (for solitaire play.)
UPDATE: the game did not do very well in blindtesting -- I got comments along the lines of "this game would be fun if you're a good storyteller" -- which was too bad, because I was trying to make a game that can unlock the imagination and storytelling in anyone.
Why did it seem to work when I was playing, and fail in blindtesting? I think because when I play it with people I model how the game's supposed to be played, techniques that are hard to convey with rules. You can tell people to say "yes, and" and to "show don't tell" and to "listen and ask questions" but if it's just text they probably won't.
So I'm still working on it; no idea when I'll have a new version ready.
In the meantime, if you want a great storytelling / acting game: Fiasco.
I'd really love to try out your beta of That's Drama, but there is a possible snag. I'm a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Portugal, and this game seems ideal for my upper intermediate/proficiency level classes, but I'm not sure how much utility you'd garner from listening to people mangle English while they wrangle with your game. Let me know if you're still interested though.
One more thing, cheers for Spiderman2, it had my favourite movement mechanic of any game ever, it was totally gleeful.
Posted by: Chris | April 04, 2011 at 05:58 AM
Hi Chris - some international playtesting would be great, if I can get a deck out to you without spending a fortune. I may not be able to understand the audio portion, but just some feedback on how your students understand or don't understand the game would be great.
Send me your address (to jdfristrom at gmail dot com) and I'll see what I can do.
Posted by: Jamie | April 04, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Any idea when you will have these for sale? What comes in the box? Are there going to be revised rules? How much will a deck cost? Will there be blank decks to create our own and will there be themed decks later or boosters?
Posted by: Doc Halloween | November 23, 2011 at 07:39 AM
I would REALLY like to buy a deck of your "Thats Drama" cards. Could you please tell me how I may purchase a deck. Thank you.
Posted by: Doc Halloween | January 03, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Cool! I'll e-mail and we can figure something out.
Oh - and to answer your earlier questions, which I must have totally spaced:
* No idea when I'll have them for sale, because I've more or less given up on the project. (Though a couple people have asked me to resurrect it.)
* If I do publish, the only thing that will come in the box is the cards - that way you save money, and I can keep the rules current if I simply keep them online.
* The deck will probably cost around $15, not including shipping.
* I once thought I'd do themed decks but then found I could do just about any setting I could imagine with the core deck alone. Blank cards are a good idea, though!
Posted by: Jamie Fristrom | January 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Is a PDF of this deck available? If not, how can I lay hands on an actual deck (like Doc before me)?
Posted by: Veav | March 28, 2013 at 09:26 AM
Hi Veav, e-mail me - email@example.com - and we'll figure something out.
Posted by: Happionlabs | March 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM
I would like the Front and Back PDFs I'd really like to use this as a way to get back into Story writing.
Posted by: Eric | December 21, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Hi. Is it possible to buy the game though I live in Denmark?
Kind regards Jeanette
Posted by: Jeanette Friis Agergaard | January 18, 2016 at 05:03 AM