Midnight Staircase

This is a StoryNexus content design pattern. Other patterns can be found on the Content Design Patterns page.

Midnight Staircase
This is a lot like a Venture. But instead of a single branch to spend the progress quality, there are several branches ('landings'). Playing each one knocks quality back down to zero and gives a different reward and/or fiction. This is useful for narratives where the character would be preparing for a few different events in the same way. E.g. preparing to commit a robbery, but with several potential targets. The player might want to repeat this content a lot, so it’s important to have various options to increase the progress quality.


  • The various spending branches have different required levels of the progress quality, so some need more preparation than others.
  • The progress increasing branches have various risks and rewards. This enables the player to form a strategy.
  • Can only be played once – and the higher landings are invisible until the lower ones are turned down. There’s a risk of losing everything if you go too high. This is good for suspense – how high dare you go?
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