Kickstarter Campaign: The Kickstarter campaign for our first two Tableau playsets concluded April 17th and is fully funded! For more details and our roadmap for delivery, see NEWS: Tableau Kickstarter Success.
Tableau is a storytelling game system that emphasizes collaborative storytelling and character development. The game’s mechanics are designed to be flexible, allowing players to create stories in just a few hours from a wide variety of genres and styles without the need for advanced preparation or a designated game master.
Tableau consists of a set of rules cards and a variety of story cards that establish themes, moods, settings, and character traits. Players use these cards to collaboratively create a story, with each scene focusing on a single question and building toward a satisfying cinematic narrative.
The system is designed to be approachable for players of all skill levels and encourages creativity and player agency. Tableau is ideal for players who enjoy immersive role-playing and narrative-focused gameplay.
Whether you are a seasoned RPG veteran or a newcomer to tabletop gaming, Tableau is a great choice for anyone looking to tell their own stories in a collaborative and engaging way.
Twilight Road 🛣
You are fellow travelers on the Twilight Road. Together your journey will take you through choices & transitions, quests & trials. What will you discover on your way? Will you find your destination or return home? Either way, you will arrive changed. These are the stories of the Twilight Road. Every game session is different, every road, every journey is unique.
Gate Watch 🚪
You and your companions are members of the Gate Watch – charged to monitor the border between realms. Who built The Gate? What is on the other side? Why are you watching? What are you guarding against? These are the questions you will answer as you explore the Enigma that is The Gate. Every game session is different, every world, every gate unique.
Ignite your “Yes, and…” spirit of improvisation to weave unique tales together, one scene at a time. Collaborate to create unforgettable narratives across genres, fostering unexpected bonds between characters. Hone your narrative skills with rules designed for spontaneous & unscripted storytelling. Perfect for roleplaying, improv, and creative writing.
“Tableau is a versatile, flexible framework for collaborative storygames grounded deep in the fundamentals of story and character. Mix and match cards to shift what themes, rules, archetypes, and ideas are on the table, helping your group tell a compelling and satisfying story.” — Aaron A. Reed, author of the Archives of the Sky story game.
Overview of Play
There is only rule required for Tableau Games: Tableau Core ꩜ which is described on three poker-sized cards:
After review of these Core ꩜ rules, the players will either choose a pre-defined Playset 🎞 of cards that works well together or combine specific Rules 📜 cards to define the mechanics of collaborative storytelling, Story 📖 cards to describe the elements of the narrative, and optional Character Traits 👤 to create unique and complex characters.
Types of Stories
Tableau inspires players to be creative, supporting a nearly infinite variety of potential stories.
The Twilight Road 🛣️ Playset 🎞 is particularly focused journey of self-discovery & personal growth. Explore themes of identity, purpose, and belonging as you search for answers. What will you discover on your way? Will you find your destination, or return home?
The Gate Watch 🚪 Playset 🎞takes you to the edge of the world. You are charged to keep an eye on the border between realms. Who built The Gate? What is on the other side? Why are you watching?
While playtesting the Twilight Road 🛣 Playset 🎞, the cards collaboratively selected by storytellers resulted in a wide variety of settings & genres:
- a historical fantasy, where a river journey across the Viking lands of ancient Russian followed the trail of Uncle Ingvar, lost while he was searching for the Silk Road and a lost city and treasure;
- a 90s paranormal fantasy, in which a spring-break car trip led free-spirited students across America, each trying to find a lost icon on Route 66, looking for answers to a secret in their family history.
In play-testing the Gate Watch 🚪 Playset 🎞, games have included:
- a classics fantasy, with the gate lying between the real-world and the Greek heaven & hell, and Watchers possibly hired by Charon;
- a 1950’s noir mystery, featuring the gate between a Hollywood producer’s mansion and the hardscrabble blue-collar world of post-war Los Angeles;
- a sci-fi adventure, where a collapsing underground mutant civilization had a hidden exit to a post-apocalyptic landscape;
- a wacky parallel universe, home of mechano-electro elves, who had discovered a gate to our reality at a California game convention, full of people who didn’t understand them.
A game mixing storytelling cards from both Twilight Road 🛣 & Gate Watch 🚪 Playsets 🎞 was:
- a dark historical fantasy, where a water well located in a German farming village at the end of WWII was the only escape from invading Russians, but led the villagers into a perilous journey through the lands of the fae, with no way home.
We’ve found the mechanics of Tableau work well for experienced gamers as well as those who are completely new to collaborative story games. From improv actors to experienced role players, a wide range of people have found the instructions and mechanisms easy to understand and fun to play. The resulting stories were imaginative, the settings and genres intriguing, the play dynamic, and most importantly, all had a satisfying ending in just a couple of hours of play. Tableau is a fun evening’s entertainment.
Latest News about Tableau Games
- April 17, 2023: Tableau Kickstarter Success!
- April 01, 2023: The Power of Constraints
- March 31, 2023: The Tableau Kickstarter Has Launched!
See the complete posts archive.
To stay updated on the latest news, including the official public release date of our first three playsets and information about future Tableau Games projects, be sure to sign up for our Tableau Games Announcements Mailing List. You’ll be the first to know about exciting developments, promotions, and future Kickstarter campaigns.
Written & Designed by: Christopher Allen ChristopherA@DyversHands.com
©2022-23 by Dyvers Hands Productions, LLC. — All Rights Reserved
(no license is granted for redistribution or derivation without permission, however, our goal is CC-BY-SA after a successful Kickstarter stretch goal)
Images © original creators & are Permissively Licensed. More info & image credits at www.DyversHands.com/Tableau
Tableau Games™, Dyvers Hands™, Twilight Road™, and Gate Watch™ are trademarks of Dyvers Hands Productions LLC.
Creative Contributors: Shannon Appelcline, Aaron Reed