Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, Unfortunately

What is it?

This humor-driven storytelling game can be an excellent warm-up, an opportunity to discuss complications and how they drive a plot forward, and also to discuss the need for conflict to build to a climax (rather than be a list of "this happened, and then this, and then this.")

How to Play:

Begin the game with a statement, such as “Harry the Dog hadn’t had a bath for days.” The next player adds a "fortunately" statement. “Fortunately, he was all black, so no one knew.” The game continues until you’ve built to a climax and resolution.


In a one-on-one, in-person setting, the "fortunately," "unfortunately" statements alternate back and forth between the mentor and the mentee.


Use the moving or pointing methods above, or hold up your sketched signs to the screen.


Use the chat to indicate your choices, or the "raised hand" feature on Zoom. The facilitator can choose a player with a raised hand who "would like to do ... " the previously indicated option to give the next suggestion to the group.

You could also ask everyone to go find a hat in their house and put the hat on for yes, and leave it off for no.


During live play, players can swap places across the circle when they have done something, or when they would like to do something. Use one less chair, or one less masking tape x than players, so that one person is always "trapped" in the middle of the circle. The player in the middle starts play with their statement, "I have never ..." and then tries to steal a place as other players swap spots. Whoever is left in the middle starts the game again.


When the first player is thinking of their ideas, invite everyone to come up with one or two so that when their turn comes around, they're ready.

If someone gets stuck in the middle, facilitators can take their spot, or ask another player to tap in. The game is most fun if new players end up in the middle each round.

Alternate Uses:

Characterization: Players make statements based on what their character has or has not done.

Idea Generation: Players remember exciting, funny, or otherwise memorable life events and use them as a basis for stories.

4 Skill-Building: Players create a story that is unrelated to the writer’s story. 4 Idea Generation: Players create ideas that might add to the writer’s story.