Storium Theory: Active, but not Overwhelming

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 16th, 2016. People have varying amounts of time to play Storium. Some players are able to be on every day, others can only be on every couple of days, or even less than that. Obviously, taking a look at the expected activity level before joining a game to make sure you can keep up is a player’s responsibility, and I advise really taking a good look (and thinking about how many other games you happen to be in) before applying for a game. But today, what I want to talk about is how active players–players that can be on and move frequently–can allow their fellow players to still have an impact on the game without sacrificing their own ability to keep a game moving and thereby keep it alive....

Storium Theory: The Three-Act Structure

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 14th, 2016. Welcome back to Storium Theory. Today, I’m writing about another reader-submitted topic–one of my readers wrote in and asked me to put together some thoughts on Storium‘s three-act structure story format, and what might be some pluses and minuses of using that format versus going without a format. The three-act structure was something I was actually pretty skeptical of when I first heard that Storium was adding it. I wondered if it would actually add much of anything to the game. After all, couldn’t we already structure stories however we want? Well…yes, we can. But I’ve found that I wasn’t. You see, Storium as a system is effectively set up to guide...

Storium Theory: It Isn’t Always Gold

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 9th, 2016. Philosophy time again. I wrote a while back about “The Draft Principle,” which states that Storium games should be looked at as first (or perhaps second) drafts of a story rather than final versions. There will be some things that end up included in a story–things that cause some plot holes, characterization changes, or the like–that happen because we’re writing things as they come to us. If we were writing final stories, we’d go back and clean them up, but looking at Storium writing as “draft” writing allows us to let things slide a bit for ourselves and not get hung up on things. Today, I’d like to extend that a little bit, with another...

Storium Theory: Hey, Remember When We…

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 7th, 2016. I’ve written a little on this blog before about methods for a narrator to use to help players establish some relationships between their characters in the case of a group that needs to have some history–mainly, I focused on the idea of a few questions narrators can ask before the game begins to draw some information out of their players regarding those relationships. I’ve been asked to write a little more on the topic–to cover some ways that the narrator might continue to draw out information on the past relationships between characters as the game goes on. I’m going to…but first, I want to concentrate on what players can do. Quick note that by...

Storium Theory: People, People Who Need People

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 2nd, 2016. In discussing what a narrator can do to encourage the development of bonds between the player characters, I found myself thinking a bit about what players themselves could do to tie their characters to other player characters. How can you, the player, bond your character to others and help establish the dynamics of the group? I think it begins with the concept of need. Let’s back up from storytelling for a second, and look at real life. Why do we–me, you, everybody else, the actual people playing Storium or writing blogs or reading blogs right now–forge relationships? Need. We need connections. We need people to fill holes in our lives. Maybe we need someone who can encourage...