PSR Black Magic

Just wanted to share one of those moments that makes you go wow. Or hmmmm.

I recently wrote a pilot with @JonnyDramatica. After we were done, he pulled up the PSR and it was eerily spot on. We hadn’t looked at it once.

But then, when we were talking about it, we realized that the storyform he was working from and the storyform I was working from were different. (We’d constructed them independently as we brainstormed, but hadn’t used them to plot.)

But the PSRs were identical.

BUT THEN I pulled up our initial stab at a storyform, that we had done together but haphazardly as we were collecting our initial thoughts. It was different from either of the ones we had settled on.

But the PSR was identical!


Wow! That’s INSANE!

I can attest to the PSR being eerily spot on without having using it (in first draft). But to have three storyforms with the same PSR! What are the chances?!

I think, ignoring order of Variations, there are 96 possible PSR permutations. It would be MUCH higher except that I think each throughline only uses PSR Variations that fall under the same Class. At least that’s true for every PSR I’ve seen.

So the chance might be 1 / 96 for his PSR to match yours. Then for all three it would be 1 / 9216, I think. So you gotta figure your understanding of the story influenced this!


We did develop the story from scratch, together. So LOTS of the storypoints were locked in.

Interestingly, we also ran into a question about the _ Limit_. The text said it was a timelock but we were thinking about it like was on optionlock. Voilà, we could lock in everything including the signposts and the limit was not forced.


From previous fiddling, I know that Holistic stories often have identical PSRs, even with a lot of other manipulation. I wonder if this story is Holistic?

If it isn’t, then that’s super-surprising, and quite amazing.

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¡Not Holistic!

I wasn’t aware that many Holistic stories had similar PSRs.