Sunday, 18 May 2008

Motif-Index of Folk Literature

A comment by Mandaya in the John Harris column on narration in roguelikes has pointed me to the 'Motif-Index of Folk Literature'. This fabulous resource for procedural generation of narratives is handily arranged in a 600 page index which you can use to create random plots from. It might need a little massaging to fit into the context of a game, but the contents are inspirational to say the least.

You can learn about how to read the index here, and the alphabetical reference starts here. The full title of the book alone suggests how exhaustive it is: Motif-Index of Folk-Literature: A Classification of Narrative Elements in Folk-Tales, Ballads, Myths, Fables, Mediaeval Romances, Exempla, Fabliaux, Jest-Books, and Local Legends.


Michael said...

second link there's broken.. missing an h before the ttp.

Andrew Doull said...


mandaya said...

hi there, as I hinted at in my @play comment, I worked with the Motif-Index academically for the last few years. The idea of combining the Index with a (roguelike) game first came to me when discovering Dwarf Fortress's Adventure Mode (and its limitations), but any RL would benefit from a touch of random narration ;-) I'd love to see this idea put to work; if I can help you in any way, let me know!
I haven't played angband (yet), though, but lots of Nethack, DF and ADOM :-)