Rory Story Cubes Part 2

So now that I got the basics down I decided to start figuring out what was going to happen in the story. I pulled out the set of action dice. Each set comes with nine dice so I divided them into three: beginning, middle, end. For the beginning I got this:

The beginning

The beginning

To me this is interpreted as: the humans have realized through research, or maybe by communicating with the Star Guides, that their is a race of beings out there that are able to bend reality by doing certain rituals. So they send an expedition out to the planet, lets call it Eloyet (the human’s nickname it “Brimstone”), and it is a complete disaster. The diplomats and researchers have lost contact with Earth and are presumed dead or in danger. The humans send another expedition that is more military in nature. The objective is to retrieve the first expedition as well as attempt to accomplish the mission of the first expedition. Next I rolled the middle chapter of the story:
The Middle
This screamed “MacGuffin” to me. All these stickmen are dealing with what appears to be a ball. So the middle of the story is driven by the search of this MacGuffin. What if the MacGuffin is the “heart” of one of these alien trees? The competing factions of the story all believe that this item is the key to the alien’s power over reality. But a question arises: what makes this object special? Why don’t one of the factions go and chop down one of these trees and get one for their own? So I then had to come up with the concept that the planet Brimstone is a sick planet and some catastrophe befell it in the past. These trees are almost extinct and they can only grow in small patches in a limited number of areas on the planet. All of these groves of trees are fiercely guarded by tribes of Onz-Etin, the aliens of the planet. So the MacGuffin is a rare tree that grows out in the wild outside of the protection of the natives. The images of the dice suggest the progression of events: Faction A retrieves the MacGuffin, Faction B and C fight with A over control of the MacGuffin. One of the Factions (or if I want to be really crazy Faction D) obtains the MacGuffin is gets it into an air/spacecraft presumably gets away. A missile shrieks from the planet’s surface and strikes the craft. The craft, and the MacGuffin within it, crash near the protagonist’s base and he gets himself entangled into the fight.
The last group of dice were as difficult as the first two were easy. Suffice it to say that  I was scratching my head at these:

The End?

The End?

Uh…someone knocking on a door, a butterfly and a net, and a someone lifting weights. I got nothing. I don’t really know what to do with these. It was then that I realized that the Story Cubes are probably not the best at finding the conclusion of a story. Without anything capturing my imagination I just chucked out the last three and decided to simplify the ending. So what I did was take a generic die and an action die.

This is the basic action of the Story

This is the basic action of the Story

To me this translates to that the main character is struggling to get home and back to his family. He does not want to be involved with the bullshit for this MacGuffin. But of course as the story would continue events would either keep dragging him back in or the character would have to say “now its personal.”
The final roll that I made was for another character. I decided that I should probably make some roll for a villain. A major antagonist. Here was my roll. This one was difficult but it did give me a great result. I took the die to mean that he is a character that does not believe in a morality. He believes that chance and probability really rule things. Sort of like the depiction of Two-Face from Batman fiction: he determines your life with a flip of a coin. Also with the tower I turned that into viewpoint on warfare, military conduct, and treatment of civilians that is reminiscent of the Dark Ages.The character might even say that he admires the Dark Ages because back then there were no rules (now the historian part of my brain is objecting to that but whatever). To this character there is no such thing as any rule of engagement. The only rule is to win, by any means possible. But there is another side to his character and that is the bridge. I struggled with this one but I decided that he was very persuasive with his viewpoint and actually had a infectious personality. The same way that I find the Joker in The Dark Knight hilarious as well as despicable. You might say that he is very good at building bridges and gaining allies.

The Villain Roll

The Villain Roll

If you like any of the idea presented here please feel free to take it and run with it. Consider it a writing prompt. Because there are still a lot of holes that need to be filled in. So there you have it, a story brainstormed entirely with Rory Story Cubes. I hope you enjoyed the journey with me.

Rory Story Cubes Part 1

On a recent episode of Fear the Boot they talked about Rory Story Cubes. These are nine six sided dice with pictograms on the sides. The idea of the product is that you roll the dice to generate a story. I so loved the idea that while I was listening to the episode I bought the three sets of Rory Story Cubes. I knew that there was an app but I wanted the tactile feel of the dice. I just got them today and I glad that I ordered them. They are really well made and I am sure that they will definitely come in handy in the future.

So I decided that it would be fun to brainstorm a story completely with the Rory Story Cubes. The first thing I did was pick a genre. I live and breathe fantasy so I decided to pick good old fashioned science fiction, specifically space opera. So without really thinking about it I rolled three of the generic cubes. This is what I got.

First Roll

First Roll

A tipi, a phone, and a turtle. Oh boy. Well I interpreted the images as: advanced humans contacting a primitive alien race. I think the tipi and the phone analogies are obvious but you may be wondering about the turtle. Did I just forget about it? For some reason I saw the turtle as a human space ship. Maybe it is a turtle class of space ship that is very good at defense or something? Alright, I thought, let’s move on. So I rolled three more dice on impulse. This is what I got.

The Mystery Roll

The Mystery Roll

As I looked at it I realized that this is “The Mystery.” These aliens, let me call them the Onz-Etin, might revere the trees on their planet and they take some sort of mysterious power from them (the arrow). These trees are so important to their mythology and culture that they form the alien’s identity (the hand). Next I decided that I needed a main character. So I rolled again.

Main Character Roll

Main Character Roll

I interpret this as skyscraper, fish, and building. This one was actually pretty easy. I immediately thought “this is a cosmopolitan (skyscraper) family man (building) who has the personality of Pisces (fish).” I myself am a Pisces so that will be easy to understand. Maybe his role in this is to be the consol or representative of Earth’s interests.
Now I decided to do some worldbuilding. The most important question in space opera is “how does the magical FTL work?” So I rolled for it.

FTL Roll

FTL Roll

Unlike the character roll, this one was a bitch to figure out. I got a crescent, a sheep, and a symbol of a lock. I finally came up with the idea with what if the FTL machine was an organic creature rather than a machine? Let’s call them Star Guides for now. And what if that alien was able to do the hyperspace magic that allowed the spaceships to go travel across the galaxy? And what if the alien formed sort of a symbiotic relationship with humans? So I took that idea and applied it to the the dice. The moon to me became cycles. This FTL creature might have the equivalent of hormonal cycles and it can only used at certain times of the year. I took the sheep and translated that to purity. Enacting this creature’s FTL capabilities might produce a lot of toxins in the alien’s body. The humans must make sure to purify the creature of toxins in order to travel. This could be a variation of the “SPICE.” And the key hole…uh, er….I got nothin’. I already got a good thing going so I just ignored it. Call me a quitter if ye wish, but I’m moving on.

Now another part of any sci-fi is that you got to have the cool tech. So this time I rolled a generic die(black) and an action die (blue).

The Tech Roll

The Tech Roll

This actually took me several tries before I got anything usable. You have what looks like a globe and you got a guy lugging around a box. I have no idea why but I got the image of the characters having to carry around these power back packs to use their tech. Imagine heavy, awkward, proton backs from Ghostbusters. These power packs store and refine the sci-fi fairy dust that allows the humans to interact with the world. I guess I would describe it as this tech gives you a world of possibilities but it a real pain in the neck to lug around and it has tons of mechanical difficulties.