[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.
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.