digital garden of reflections, hopes and fears


once upon a time

Once Upon A Time


10/8/7/6/5 story cards per player for 2/3/4/5/6+ players. 1 ending card per player.


Storyteller plays card when it is mentioned as non-insignificant part of story.
Storyteller changes by:
Passing. Storyteller may discard a card.
Interruption by exact element. Need not be exact words.
Interruption by interrupt card of matching group when storyteller plays a card
5 sec pause
Not making sense
In all cases of storyteller changing, storyteller must draw a card.
Interruptions if disputed, are resolved by consensus of players not involved in dispute. If interrupter judged wrong, discard card used for interruption and draw 2 cards.


A player has played all story cards and then plays ending card. Not allowed to introduce new element after last story card played.


Give 2 ending cards. Can be used to help younger players or new players.
May change ending card instead of discarding story card when passing, but must then draw 2 story cards instead of 1.


Set-up begins like so:
• Take your OUAT deck (what expansions you use is up to you, I used the Knightly Tales expansion only for this) and separate them into their respective categories (Character, Aspect, Event, etc.). Give the six separate decks (counting the Ending Deck) a good shuffle. A good piece of advice is to use differently colored items to put over your decks, so you can identify which deck is which. I used colored dice, but you can use whatever you want. *
• Draw the Ending Card. This will be your Thread, the one thing you must complete to end the game. In the example test play, I drew an Ending card that described that a woman’s courage driving away the bandits and saving the one she loved.
• Draw five Character cards and pick one. This will be your player character. Return the other four to the deck and shuffle. If you have a fixed idea who your character will be, you may pick your character out of the character deck and shuffle the rest.
• Draw an Aspect Card. This Aspect Card will describe the personality of your player character. Combine with the above Character Card and come up with a brief story for your character. For example, I chose a Knight and drew the Dishonoured card. The story I concluded with was that the Knight was an assassin for hire, hence he is a knight without his honour.
• Draw three cards from the Thing Deck. These cards will be what your character will have at the time. For example, my character had a Relic, a Love Token, and Armor. Along with this, any items depicted on your Character Card or other cards (excluding Ending and Thing cards) not mentioned in the three Thing cards (i.e. the Lance seen on the Knight card) are assumed to be on your person as well, provided the Fate Chart answers Yes to the question of “Does my character have [X]”, with the odds to it being Very Likely. These questions can be asked at any time, though only once per item.
• Draw a Place card and an Event Card. The Place Card will be where your Character will begin and the Event will be what is currently going on. For example, my Knight begins at the Castle and the Event is a Quest he takes.
• In the event that a Card runs a paradox with your other cards (I.e. a Washed Ashore card when your character has a Pirate Ship and a Boat as their items), ask it a Fate question of "Does he lose these items" with the odds being Likely. If not, discard and draw again, up to three for Things. *
o If said paradox takes your Player Character out of the action (I.e. The Unconscious Aspect) draw a new Character and aspect card. This will be your temporary PC until the Character is back in action. After that, discard the temporary PC cards. Temporary PCs do not get Things. *
• Take the following dice if you’re playing:
o D100 (two D10s) (These will be what you use to ask the Fate Chart)
o D6 (This is how to determine randomly which deck to draw from, as well as track damage)
o D20 (This will keep track of your Player Character’s health)
o D10 (This will keep track of the Chaos Factor)
• Finally, you are ready to begin.

Game plays out like so:
• Describe how your character got into the situation he got into. For example, “The Knight got assigned a special mission from the King to go escort his daughter to another Kingdom as part of a pilgrimage.” You do not have to make a Scene roll for the first scene.
• Once you finished your setup, describe what your character will do. You can do anything you can think of, but here are some ideas to get you started. *
o Find a character, preferably someone mentioned in the beginning description, and interact with them. If you want to interact with someone not mentioned in the description, first choose who you want to interact with (i.e. The Chef) and consult the Fate Chart accordingly. If it’s yes, you get to interact with that chosen character. If not, draw from the Characters Deck and talk to that. *
o Get something not mentioned in either the art of the cards or the three Thing Cards. Choose an item, ask the Fate Chart if you get it, and if it says no, draw from the Thing Deck. *
o Go someplace else. This will end the scene, however.
• Roll upon the Fate Chart when asking Yes/No questions and play along accordingly.
• Ending Scene Rules and Beginning Scene Rules apply the same as they are applied in Mythic. If the Scene is altered, draw a new Place card automatically. *
• Beginning a new Scene in a different place applies like so; Discard the current Place card (and Event Card unless the Event extends past said Place) Choose a place (if it’s not obvious, like the drawbridge being outside of a castle) and ask if you go there. Roll upon the Fate Chart. If yes, you’re there. If not, draw from the Places deck.
• If you are not sure what to do next, roll the six-sided dice and draw from the following Deck:
o 1: Character Deck
o 2: Aspect Deck
o 3: Thing Deck
o 4: Place Deck
o 5: Event Deck
o 6: Roll on Mythic’s Event Subject tables.
• Regarding Interrupt Cards:
o When you draw one, it triggers a Random Event. *
o When you have one in your inventory (as in your Character, Aspect, Things, and/or Current Place and Event cards) that’s an Interrupt Card, you can exhaust/discard that to cancel a Random Event, albeit with heavy consequences.
 Exhausting your Character Card means your Player Character is dead or has left the story. Discard all your Aspect and Thing Cards and redraw.
 Exhausting your Aspect Card means your character changed character dramatically. Draw a new Aspect.
 Exhausting a Thing Card means you’ve disposed of the item or it was destroyed. You do not get to draw a new Thing Card unless you do not have any Thing Cards.
 Exhausting the Current Place Card means you have gone away from that place. Discard the card, end the Scene and draw a new Card shortly after doing the Scene Roll.
 Exhausting the Current Event Card means the event has finished. Roll on the Fate Chart to see if a new Event takes its place, with the odds being 50/50.
• If you run out of cards to draw in any deck, take all the cards from the Discard pile, split them into their proper category, and shuffle the decks again. In the event that you run out of Ending Cards, the game ends. *
• Random Events are handled normally, but with some variations. *
o Remote/Ambiguous Event: Draw an Event Card. Roll the Event Meaning tables and determine where it fits into the story.
o NPC Action/Negative/Positive: It’s best to keep a list of characters you mention in the play besides your Player Character for this. *Otherwise, if there isn’t any character with your Player Character, draw a Character Card.
o Introduce a new NPC: Draw a Character Card and Aspect and combine them to make a new NPC. Roll the Event Meaning tables and determine where it fits into the story.
o Move Toward/Away From a Thread: The Thread in this case is your Ending Card.
o Close A Thread: You can do one of two things (depending on how you want to play it):
 Discard the Ending Card and either end the game on a downer note or draw a new one.
 Draw a new Ending Card, roll the Event Meaning tables, determine where it fits into the story and continue play. Now you must finish both your old and new Ending Cards in order to finish the game.
• Game ends when you complete the Ending Card’s condition or if you run out of Ending Cards. Game also ends if your character dies (not counting exhausting the card to stop a Random Event). * Have fun.

Regarding combat:
• Roll on the Fate Chart with odds of 50/50 if you hit the person. Upon hitting, roll the D6. Roll to see if you kill him. Roll increases in odds by one step every time you ask that question (i.e., First time you hit, use 50/50, second time use Somewhat Likely, etc.) save for 1s, in which you roll Impossible odds on.