Game Rules

4 cards from the Epic Heroes game


Through prompted storytelling, this game guides players through translating their experiences in online education into the various aspects of the hero’s journey. This challenge is meant to be individually reflective and spur group discussion following each narrative.

Game Details

  • 1-∞ players – in this digital version, have as many players as you can scale. We like small groups of 4-5 for discussion.
  • The digital card randomizer – 20 cards (includes 8 character cards + 12 stage cards)
  • 30-40 minutes – the estimated length to play
  • Simple – this game is quick, easy to learn, and easy to play
  • Discussion – where the game’s goal is achieved

Rules for Online Play

Setup & Prompt – 5 minutes
  • Ask players to draw cards using this site’s digital card randomizer
  • Instruct players to develop narratives from the cards they possess using their professional and/or personal experiences with online education.
  • Encourage players to be creative with examples involving their own instructional design work or students’ perspectives or the challenges instructors face or working at their institution or any experiences they want to share.
  • Players will lastly consider:
    (1) What were the common themes that emerged from the stories shared?
    (2) What opportunities emerged in support of online learning through the use of the Monomyth?
Storytelling & Discussion – 25 minutes
  • Player’s get 5 minutes to craft their story.
  • Then ask players to share their narratives with their group.
  • Follow each player’s narrative with group discussion around their experiences and how it relates to the hero’s journey. What have they learned from this challenge?
  • Rich discussion, opportunity for reflection, and sharing in the group is the goal.
Simplified Story Example – The more detailed and creativity the better

I’m an instructional technologist. I’ve received 3 cards, The Wise Elder, The Shadow, and the Road Back. The Wise Elder is obviously the faculty member I’m working with on a podcast project as she will be the main guide for her students. The Shadow represents the technology struggle we anticipate students will have while learning to podcast. One thing we’ve realized needs attention is addressing the Road Back for her students. We’re reevaluating knowledge checks during this project to confirm students grasp the entirety of the podcasting process.

Please Note

The above rules are flexible to meet various situations of play. Feel free to change or remix rules and cards to suit your needs. You’re also invited to use this game beyond the topic of online learning!

This storytelling game was unveiled at an OLC Innovate 2019 Session, then shared as a blog post and a page on the Monomyth Online website.