Montages in RPGs

Don Durito

I tried the 13th Age montage thing. The players didn't really go for it - they didn't seem to want that degree of narrative control. And the whole circular structure felt somewhat artifical and unnecessary.

I feel some kind of hybrid system might work better - assume they make the journey - roll a table for problems and encounters - ask the players to briefly narrate how they overcame them. Move on.


We have used montages sometimes, to briefly describe what happened when we did a skip in time for long periods of downtime. For example both in the Dresden Files campaign I played in earlier (and wrote a long chronicle about, and published in the story hour-section), and then in the Scion 2e-campaign where we actually did a 10 year skip in the campaign. We started as 16-18 year old students from Denver on a spring break in Rio de Janeiro. Lots of weird things happened, and we met our godly parents who told us to find them and talk to them later when we got back.

It is also used a bit in The Troubleshooters to describe how the characters have met each others.

aramis erak

I've used several flavors of montage...
Training montages for downtime.
Travel montages interspersed with encounters - both preplanned and random

I like them best when used sparingly.
In my 4e hack we have 'interludes' where no dice are used. The rule is that no conflict can be resolved purely through an interlude but the narrative gets to progress.

SC can also function as a type of montage where a player describes how the challenge progresses from one check to the next