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Smalltown Tales

A storytelling game where everyone's creativity guides the storytelling process.




Welcome to Smalltown Tales, where everyone's creativity guides the storytelling process! In this storytelling card game, we celebrate the three pillars of compelling narratives: fascinating characters, captivating plots, and enticing settings.

Smalltown Tales gives you tips from master storytellers on how to spin a great yarn. Every game is set in Smalltown, USA where you and the other players cook up scenes that are 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 from prompt-based games is its mentoring guidance on creating scenes. Instead of dictating specific words, dialog, and plot content, every Story Card includes valuable advice on how to apply a story crafting technique to a scene you and other players create. Four card categories, symbolizing characters, plots, settings, and enhanced collaboration elevate everyone’s storytelling by offering mentoring advice that nurtures the creative process.

How To Play

Players start by choosing the game's theme, checking out Smalltown's characters and settings, and crafting their story. They can pick any characters and any four cards to set the stage for their opening scene.

On each turn, players construct scenes using Character, Activity, Setting, and Enhance cards. You’ll weave a cohesive narrative from these scenes, earning experience points by incorporating insights from selected cards. Enhance cards let everyone team up to create scenes 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 Dangerous, who appears withdrawn and stoic, causing concern among those present. Unbeknownst to them, Dr. Dangerous is consumed by thoughts of a blackmail note she received earlier. "How could anyone know?" repeats endlessly in her mind, rendering her oblivious to the unfolding events 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 players scene - adding to it, or include at least one shared plotline from another player's scene in a scene they create. See Crafting Compellling Stories for details.

In the competitive mode, players earn Experience Points for each scene they make themselves or team up on. The narrative above earns a storyteller 8 Experience Points by summing the card values in the top right of each card. 

But racking up Experience Points isn't the only measure of how well you're doing in competitive mode. Voting on who's the best storyteller is also an option. You can pick either way to measure success or even mix them up, depending on who you're playing with and how competitive you want things to be.

Players create and collaborate on about 6 scenes each before the game ends.

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 listeners. They're all about putting your characters front and center, giving them stuff to do that shows off who they are and the conflicts they are facing. These cards are packed with ideas and advice that adds depth to your plot and brings your characters to life.

Example 3 Smaller.png

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

Enticing Settings

Setting cards are your secret weapon for making your story world come alive. Each card has tips to help you paint 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 letting you run wild with creative ideas.

Example 1 - Smaller.png

Setting cards provide helpful guidance that adds continuity and plausibility to your narrative.

Enhanced Collaboration

Enhance cards unveil three crucial techniques employed 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 together. With these cards, everyone gets to pitch in and add their own flavor, making the storyline unique and super exciting. It's all about taking your imagination to the next level and creating something truly special as a team.


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

Detailed or Concise - It's your choice.


Smalltown Tales never dictates specific content for your scene, enabling you to showcase your storytelling prowess with as much detail or brevity as you prefer.

Satisfying Solo Mode

Solo, single-player mode can be incredibly fulfilling. You'll have ample time to immerse yourself in a scene, delving deeply into characters—understanding their motivations, desires, and obstacles. And, as a bonus it can be very therapeutic, providing an opportunity to explore personal themes that intrigue you, within a realm fostering imaginative journeys that smartly improve your craft.

Embrace Your Passion

Smalltown Tales is a blast to play and super easy to learn. Plus, the replay possibilities are practically endless. You can dive into all sorts of storylines set in Smalltown, USA.

In addition to the versatile standard game, try our ready-made episodes covering everything from juicy dramas to hilarious high jinks.

Or, get creative and mix things up by designing your own episodes. Pick a theme, throw in your favorite characters, related activities and settings however you like. It's your chance to tell the stories everyone wants to explore, told in a way that's unique to the whims of everyone who plays.

So why wait? Let's get started having fun, crafting unforgettable tales together in Smalltown!


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

Why buy this?

  • Full of master storytelling techniques.
  • Team up to see where your storytelling skills take you.
  • Fun, quirky characters in a mysterious small town setting.


See It In Action

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Ratings and Reviews

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


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