Story Design: The Sacrifice

How can you add more drama and pathos to your story of selfless heroism?

Story Design Volume 16 – A sacrifice story finds the protagonist pursuing some noble cause or higher purpose. In order to accomplish their objective, they will need to give up something of great personal value. This might be other goals, a close relationship, or even their own life. They may survive, but it is the willingness to be selfless on behalf of others that allows them to succeed.

Examples of the sacrifice plot include The Dark Knight, High Noon, The Iron Giant, The Last Unicorn, and Norma Rae.

covers all of the elements you need to prepare in order to tell a story of selfless heroism. It’s based on concepts explored in Story Structure for Writers and Roleplayers, also published by Dancing Light Press. It’s a big book that goes into greater detail on how to get the most out of the three-act structure, as well as developing a three-phase series (campaign, if you prefer) with a clear beginning, middle, and end. If you want to use your favorite roleplaying game system to tell stories with more depth than kill monster, get treasure, repeat (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it is worth looking into.

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