As part of my prep for teaching Writing & Editing For Gaming this spring, I have been doing a lot of reading. A book that has really stood out in that research is Hamlet’s Hit Points by Robin D. Laws (the creator of one of my all-time favorite RPGs, Feng Shui). Whether you are a writer, film maker, or game master, Hamlet’s Hit Points will make you a better storyteller. I have read about the beast concept before, but this was the first time it was visualized and exemplified in such a way that I truly grasped the concept and how much an impact it could have on my storytelling.
See Your Stories Like Never Before
Hamlet’s Hit Points presents a toolkit that helps make storytelling in any RPG easier and more fun by classifying story beats and letting you track their ups and downs from hope to fear and back.
Armed with these tools, you’ll be equipped to lay compelling track for an emotional roller-coaster that will keep everyone at your game table involved, excited, riveted.
In these pages, you’ll find definitions of nine critical story beats. You’ll read about the relationships between those beats. You’ll also find complete analyses of three stories you know already–Hamlet, Casablanca, and Dr. No–to show you how the system works.
Written with roleplayers in mind, Hamlet’s Hit Points is an indispensable tool for understanding stories, in games and everywhere else.
So if you want to improve your storytelling, no matter the medium, then I highly recommend reading this book and referencing the sources it uses as examples (Hamlet, Casablanca, and Dr. No).