Learning Game: Untold: Adventures Awaits
Untold Adventures is a storytelling game for up to four players. The game uses Rory Story Cubes. These dice are readily available in a variety of themes. With a little ingenuity some of the components of the Untold: Adventure Awaits could be shared so that each additional set of Story Cubes can be used for another four players. It is recommended that with more than four players, multiple games be played.
In this game players will work together to pick a genre and create a story. The players will each create a character and equip that character with skills, abilities, and items of their choice. Players will then work through the five act story structure to create an adventure for their characters. The story dice will facilitate this as the players will roll the dice and then use them to define the setting, antagonist, and problems their characters encounters. As players attempt to use their skills and equipment to overcome tasks, a deck of cards will help determine if they succeed or fail. These successes and failures are then further narrated cooperatively.
The intention is to create a story together, but a facilitator should serve as an arbiter with veto power to keep the story on track. For students not used to thinking creatively, they might be tempted to jump straight to the end with some sort of “I win” button (As an example, if the threat is a swarm of sharks, out of nowhere they claim they have shark repellent, spray it, they win, and the end). The facilitator should allow creativity but veto anything like the example, which goes against the spirit of creating a story together. The facilitator should also help remind the students of the game’s five act structure (which the board explains), and offer suggestions when the group is stuck.
Untold: Adventure Awaits is essentially a basic role-playing game that can be played by anyone with zero experience and almost no advanced preparation. A group of teenagers should be able to complete an entire adventure in about forty five minutes. In explaining and setting the game up, it should be emphasized that in the game their characters have freedom to do anything.
Throughout this lesson several of the questions have “facilitator instructions”. These are meant to be helpful tips for the person guiding the conversation. Ask the following questions after the game(s) are concluded to transition from the game to discussing the scripture.
1. What do you think about the story you created? Would you consider it a good story? If it were a TV show or movie is it one you would watch?
2. How equipped and prepared do you feel your team was to handle the adventure?
Facilitator Instructions: If there was more than one group, then really encourage them to swap stories with one another. For the second question, try to highlight an example where the group was perfectly equipped for the challenge at hand or hilariously unprepared for the task.
3. When you faced challenges in the game, why did you not seek God’s help?
Facilitator Instructions: Chances are that it never even occurred to the students to seek God’s help in a fictional game despite the fact they were told they had the freedom to do anything. There is a small chance they will, and if they do then ask what led them to do so. In either event this question will get them thinking about our reliance on God or lack thereof.
The focus on this lesson is on how God equips people and then how God uses the people equipped. The scripture from Ephesians has a lot more depth than that single topic, so there is some jumping around. Read Ephesians 4:1,7,11-13.
1. According to this scripture, why does God equip people?
Facilitator Instructions: There are two reasons given for this. First, God equips people for works of services and to build the body of Christ up. A good follow up here would be to ask the students for examples of works of service.
2. According to this scripture, how does God equip people?
Facilitator Instructions: God apportions grace to people to fulfill various roles. There are several listed here, and it would be a good idea to go through them. The facilitator could ask for each one what the students understand the role to do, and then facilitator could flesh out their answer with details that are denominational appropriate.
The real emphasis here should be that God apportions grace to equip people. This should be tied back directly to the game. Because the story is created collaboratively, the players will likely create stories where the individual abilities or equipment of their characters gets utilized. In essence their characters ended up being uniquely created for the task at hand, and it is similar with how God has created and equipped us for works of service.
3. Looking at verses 12-13, how does everyone doing what God equipped them to do enable us all to reach maturity in faith?
Facilitator Instructions: This can also connect back to the game. Again, since the story was created collaboratively, everyone’s character participated. The only way to bring the story to a conclusion was for everyone to do their part. In the same way, the body of Christ is not meant to be a couple super Christians who do it all, but everyone is to fulfill their unique role.
4. Looking at verse 1, what does it mean to live a life worthy of the calling you have received?
Facilitator Instructions: At the most basic answer, this means we actually do what God has called and equip us to do. A good follow up question is how do we do that? This connects back to the debrief question, because we can only live a life worthy of the calling if we rely on God in all things and not try to go at it on our own.
5. In what ways do you think God might be equipping you for works of service?
Facilitator instructions: Try to encourage the students to answer specifically here. It could be helpful to remind them of the examples listed in verse 11. If the facilitators know the group especially well, they could even give examples of some of the skills and abilities they believe they have seen God equip the students with.