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Smalltown Tales logo
Smalltown Tales logo
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Smalltown Tales

Where everyone's imagination and creativity guide the storytelling process.




Welcome to Smalltown Tales, where everyone's imagination and creativity guide the storytelling process! This storytelling card game celebrates the three pillars of compelling narratives: fascinating characters, captivating plots, and vibrant settings.

Every game is set in Smalltown where you and fellow players cook up scenes packed with imagination and creativity, weaving them into one epic tale. It's all about putting your heads together and seeing where your storytelling skills take you.

What sets Smalltown Tales apart is its mentoring guidance on creating scenes and weaving them into a cohesive story. Instead of dictating specific words or dialog, every Story Card includes valuable advice from master storytellers on how to apply a story-crafting technique to a scene you and other players create. Five card categories, symbolizing characters, plots, settings, and collaboration elevate everyone’s storytelling by offering mentoring advice which nurtures the creative process.

How To Play

New players start by reviewing the Player’s Guide, becoming familiar with Smalltown’s citizens and their favorite haunts. Everyone decides if the game will be cooperative or competitively played.

Next, players pick a character, its actions, and a setting to create their opening scene. They also organize and develop their story’s plot by reviewing recommended techniques for creating a cohesive narrative from opening to the closing scene. At each turn, everyone develops a new scene that charts the course of the overall story.

Along the way, you’ll collaborate with fellow players, embellishing and expanding their plots to earn favor. In the epilogue round, everyone concludes their plots, marveling at the fun imaginative journey they created together.


Using the cards above, a player might create the following scene narrative:

In the ER, Mr. Campbell takes his last breath. His grieving wife seeks comfort from Dr. Dangerous, who is withdrawn and stoic, causing concern among those present. Unbeknownst to them, Dr. Dangerous is consumed by thoughts of a blackmail note she received hours earlier. "How could anyone know?" repeats endlessly in her mind, rendering her oblivious to the events unfolding around her.

Smalltown Tales can be played in either cooperative or competitive modes.

In the cooperative mode, players create and tell their own story, but must either enhance another player's story or include at least one shared plotline from another player's narrative in a scene they create.

In the competitive mode, players earn Story Points for each scene they make themselves or team up on. The narrative above earns a storyteller eight Story Points by summing the card values in the top right of each card. 

Players create and collaborate on about six scenes each before the game ends.

Who is this storytelling card game designed for?


Everyone! Budding novelists, poets, teachers, students, improv aficionados, homeschoolers, families - you name it. Whether you're looking to improve your storytelling skills, spice up your classroom activities, remove writers block, or add some fun pizzazz to your next family game night, Smalltown Tales has got you covered.

What themes and genres can it cover?


Smalltown Tales mentoring advice can be applied to virually any theme or literary genre. Players can pick the versatile standard game or pick one of the curated episodes tailored to a particular theme and genre like comedy, mystery, drama, horror, or romance. Or you can follow advice on creating your unique episodes to explore storytelling in a fun liberating way.

How does it help me create scenes and a story?


It advices on the three pillars of compelling scene creation and offers proven plot development techniques. Continue to learn about these areas and how the game's collaboration elevates everyone’s creativity and imagination.

Creating Fascinating Characters

Character cards help you explore what makes characters tick, their innermost desires, and the things that keep them up at night. It's all about making your characters not just interesting, but relatable.

Example 2 Smaller.png

Character cards help your scene's characters remain constantly fascinating.

Crafting Captivating Plots

Activity cards help you create scenes that grab your audience's attention. They're all about putting your characters in the limelight, giving them actions and events that show off who they are and the conflicts they are facing. These cards are packed with ideas and advice that add depth to your plot and bring your characters to life.

Example 3 Smaller.png

Activity cards offer guidance for adding depth and breathing life into scene plots.

Vibrant Settings

Setting cards make your story world come alive. Each card has tips for painting a vivid picture of your setting, making it feel totally real to your audience. The best part is these cards aren't about giving you strict rules to follow. They're all about sparking your imagination and nurturing new creative ideas.

Example 1 - Smaller.png

Setting cards provide helpful guidance to make your story world come alive.

Enhanced Collaboration

Enhance cards unveil three crucial techniques used by storytelling professionals to elevate their narratives: Prolonging, Expanding, and Subplot.

  • Prolonging a scene with existing characters enriches its depth and significance.
  • Expanding a scene introduces new characters, activities, and settings that harmonize with the initial theme.
  • The Subplot introduces a parallel set of activities and optional settings, potentially leading to plot twists.

Example 6 Smaller.png

Enhance cards are the magic ingredient for cooking up an amazing story. These cards allow everyone to pitch in and add their own flavor to another player's narrative, making the storyline unique and exciting. Collaboration takes everyone's imagination to new levels and creates something truly special.


The Enhance cards allow other players to contribute and build on your story.

Crafting a Cohesive Story

Plot Map cards show you effective ways for creating a cohesive tale from start to finish without telling you what to say. Their advice develops your main character while allowing you to be creative. Plus, they come packed with tips to tackle those tricky middle scenes and make every part of your story pop. The best part is you can use them however you like to fit your story's unique characters, theme, and genre.






Satisfying Solo Mode

Solo, single-player mode can be incredibly fulfilling. Smalltown Tales provides a solid framework and structural advice for improving storytelling skills through fun imaginative journeys involving any theme or genre. You pick the characters, theme, and genre, or select a curated episode of your choosing. You can immerse yourself in a scene, delving deeply into characters — and understanding their motivations, desires, and obstacles. As a bonus it is very therapeutic, allowing you to explore personal themes which intrigue you.

Endless Replay Possibilities

In addition to the versatile standard game, try our ready-made episodes curated by our community of writers. They cover everything from juicy dramas to hilarious high jinks. You can dive into all sorts of storylines and genres set in Smalltown.


  • The Delearium Debacle by Stephen L. Schwartz, Cooperative, 2 to 4 players Free Download


  • In Process: Cooperative 2 to 4 players.


  • Under Review: Competitive, 1 player.


  • Interviewing Authors: Your Episode Here by Your Name, Cooperative 2 to 4 players.


  • Interviewing Authors: Your Episode Here by Your Name, Competitive, 2 to 4 players.


  • Interviewing Authors: Your Episode Here by Your Name, Cooperative 2 to 4 players.

Create Your Own Episode

Be creative and mix things up by designing your own episodes. Pick a genre, theme, and throw in your favorite characters, related activities, and settings however you like. It's your chance to tell the stories you've always wanted to explore, told in a way that's unique to the creativity of everyone who plays. Download the "Creating an Original Episode" guide for ideas on how you can create an original episode and contribute to this growing community of story enthusiasts.

Embrace Your Passion

Smalltown Tales is super easy to learn and a blast to play. So why wait? Whether it's your family, friends, students, or just you - get started today having fun, crafting unforgettable tales in Smalltown!


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Average Rating 0 reviews
Publish Date August 11, 2023
Edition V1.2
Department Games
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More Info Smalltown Tales web site

Why buy this?

  • Storytelling techniques provide structure & spark creativity
  • Unlimited replay value covering multiple genres and themes
  • Team up to see where everyone's storytelling skills take you


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Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


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