Storium Theory: Uniqueness of Ability

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 28th, 2016. I apologize for the delay getting it here–I forgot to put it in the schedule over here! Storium is not a tactical roleplaying game. It doesn’t use maps and minis. It doesn’t use skill rolls. So you might be inclined to think that it isn’t really that important to get a mix of different ability types in the cast for the game. If you’re thinking it isn’t as important, you’re probably right. There’s no point over the course of a Storium game where the group will have tactical trouble because they didn’t bring a wizard. But if you’re thinking it isn’t important at all, I have to disagree. Stories are simply more interesting to...

Storium Theory: Brainstorming

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 23rd, 2016. For today’s article, I’d like to write a bit about one of the techniques I’ve seen used (and used myself) to help keep games moving and keep players involved: brainstorming. Specifically, I’m talking about brainstorming when players are struggling with ideas for how to proceed during a challenge. This post is primarily directed at narrators, but players can help with brainstorming too–and these concepts may help you when writing your own moves, as well. Players sometimes struggle with writing moves on challenges–everyone, at some time or another, has faced the dreaded “writer’s block.” (I really wish there were a “writer’s...

Storium Theory: Situational Strengths and Weaknesses

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 21st, 2016. Today I’d like to write a bit more about setting up Wild Strengths and Weaknesses – specifically, the idea of very situational Strengths and Weaknesses. If you’ve read my original article on good Strength and Weakness cards, you know that I’ve said that Strengths and Weaknesses should be Broad, Characterizing, and Open to Interpretation. But what about those times when you really want to say something specific – something notable about your character or this particular situation that really, really matters right here and now? These are what I would call “Situational Strengths and Weaknesses,” and while they can be interesting…they’re also a...

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...