Storium Basics: Overview

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on June 22nd, 2017. Today’s article – and the next several – are going to be of a different sort than what I’ve done so far on this blog. Today, I’m beginning a series I’ll call “Storium Basics.” This series is targeted at new Storium players rather than those who already know a bit about it and want to explore it further. It is drawn from my writing for beginners’ games that I have run. This series will largely be targeted at the player side of Storium, rather than the narrator side, but should help either come to a general understanding of how the system works. If you are a new player, I hope that these articles will be helpful for you and help you get...

Storium Theory: Optional Challenges

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on June 8th, 2017. Most of the time, when we put down a challenge, it’s definite – a note that the story will be focusing on a particular point. But is it possible to use challenges differently? To lay down a challenge for something the players might want to focus on, but are not required to focus on? I believe it is a tool for the toolbox…but one I would show great caution in using. I’ve only pulled out an optional challenge once or twice in my own games, and I am wary of using them often, if at all, in my own narration generally. Storium’s rules are set up more for completion of challenges and requiring of challenges, and I think there’s a good reason for that. In setup, an...

Storium Starters: Crash Landing

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on June 1st, 2017. Storium Starters are starting scene ideas for the generic Storium worlds available to everyone. They contain introductory narration, challenge text, outcomes, and some location or world information that may be necessary to understand the first scene, though I attempt to keep them generic enough that they can easily be slotted in regardless of other world details you might have designed. Along with the initial scene idea, they will also contain ideas for where the story could go from the starting point. Storium Starters are released to public domain and may be used without attribution for your own games. This Storium Starter is meant for the Space Adventure world. It is possible you may find...

Episode 46! Lights, Camera…ACTION!

In this episode, we discuss action – how do you bring excitement to action sequences, whether fight scenes, chases, escapes, or anything else? 00:35 Intro 01:42 Setting the Stage: Narrator’s Role 57:45 Telling the Story: Player’s Role 01:37:46 Narrator and Player Cooperation 01:49:51 Too Much Action 02:01:04 Wrap-Up 02:02:45 Outro Links: Storium Game Links: Project Mogul – The Brazel Ranch Occurrence: https://storium.com/game/project-mogul-the-brazel-ranch-occurrence High-Flying Ransom: https://storium.com/game/high-flying-ransom Battle with the Crew: https://storium.com/game/high-flying-ransom/chapter-6/scene-2 The Cost of an Arm and a Leg: https://storium.com/game/the-cost-of-an-arm-and-a-leg Battle with...

Storium Theory: Tell the Story of the Characters

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on May 25th, 2017. I’ve written in the past about the responsibility of the narrator to use the details provided by player characters, and to set up challenges for the player characters chosen for the game. Today, I’d like to delve into that same general idea, but from a slightly different angle. As narrator, you’re responsible for setting up the story. You’re responsible for figuring out possibilities for the game arc – the way the game will start, how it will progress, what variations could come up along the way, how open things are to being altered by the player characters and by how much, and where the story is likely to go. I’ve written about these concepts quite a bit, as...

Storium Theory: Inverting the Trope

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on May 18th, 2017. We’ve seen it before. A young hero has an older mentor, who taught the hero everything the hero knows. The mentor takes on a mission, and is captured, or killed, or goes missing, or what-have-you. Now the hero has to step up and save the day. It’s a trope. It’s a trope for a reason. It’s a pretty powerful story. There’s a personal connection between the hero and the mission – a need to carry on after a person the hero respects, perhaps, or redeem the person’s reputation, or even rescue the person. It ties the hero more deeply to the tale than if the hero had simply taken the mission himself in the first place. There’s nothing particularly wrong...

Storium Theory: A Shadow in the Light

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on May 11th, 2017. I’ve written a bit about this before, but today I’d like to discuss one of the most fun things that I’ve found to do on Storium – ending a challenge with a Strong ending by playing a Weakness card. Sometimes, you find yourself with a really fascinating opportunity on Storium. You’re writing the final move on a challenge, and it is definitely going Strong – there’s only one card slot left, for instance, and at least 2 more Strong cards have been played than Weakness cards, so even if you play a Weakness card, it’s still going to be 1 up on Strong. These are amazingly fun writing opportunities, and I encourage you to make the most of them. Play a...