Storium Theory: Happy Birthday, Storium

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on March 2nd, 2017. Bit of a different post today. March 1st, 2017, marked the one year anniversary of Storium‘s public launch. So for today, I thought I’d take a look back at what has happened over the course of the last year, since the public launch, both personally and in terms of the Storium system changes and updates. Let’s start with Storium itself. I’m not going to list off every improvement, as that’s what the “What’s New” page is for – and there’s a lot on there, believe you me – but I’d like to go over what I’ve found most exciting or useful over the course of the year since launch. First off, I have to mention Storium‘s...

Storium Theory: Component Challenges

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 23rd, 2017. Today, I’d like to take a look at another interesting thing that you can do with Storium‘s challenge system – something that I’d call “component” challenges. Component challenges are something that I’ve found very useful when you’re dealing with an overall situation that might be too large or amorphous to handle by means of a larger challenge. For example: Let’s say that you want to do a challenge about a journey through an underground cave, with the heroes finding their way through to the room that holds a sacred artifact. You could, of course, do this as one big challenge titled “Through the Caves” or something of that...

Storium Theory: Postmortem: Twishted: Academia

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 16th, 2017. This week, I’ve finished another narration, so it’s time for another postmortem article! Today’s game is Twishted: Academia, a spinoff of my original Twishted game with a drastically different setting and tone. The original Twishted went for kind of a pulp adventure feel, such as I could manage, but the Academia spinoff was instead set around a group of normal people who worked or studied at a college. I figured the setting would be fertile ground for some interesting ambitions and conflicts, while still feeling more grounded than the original game had been (and, importantly, having a smaller scale that would be easier to keep focused). I ran Twishted: Academia from...

Storium Theory: The Excitement of Exceptions

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 9th, 2017. If you’ve been reading my “Getting Personal” articles, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a bit of a theme with them – a common thread in how I like to think about using personality types in stories. I’ve said that the most powerful moment for a character in a story is when his personality “breaks” – when he is forced to confront the events of the story in such a way that he behaves contrary to his personality thus far. The relentlessly positive character falls into despair. The driven character sacrifices his mission for another. The coward rises as a hero. Those sorts of scenes can be some of the most interesting moments in a...

Storium Theory: Narration Styles: Rattannah

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 2nd, 2017. Today on the ol’ blog, we’ve got something special: the first of a few interviews that I’ll be doing with some narrators from Storium games who I’ve found to have styles that are somewhat different from mine in various ways, but who have run some excellent games. I’ve written quite a bit on narration techniques on this blog, but I can really only discuss those from my perspective – and I’m well aware that my style is not the only style of narration. So, in an effort to provide some more models for people to have a look at, I’m going to be speaking with some other Storium narrators to let them talk about their personal narration styles. First...

Storium Theory: Maintaining the Pace

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 26th, 2017. If you’ve narrated (or played, for that matter) on Storium before, you know there’s a pretty large tendency for games to slow down as they go on. If you haven’t narrated or played on Storium before, well…you’ve just been clued in. It’s simply a fact of playing on Storium, and it happens for a variety of reasons, from games just being more “exciting” for players and narrators when they’re new to life sometimes getting in the way. It’s important to accept the fact that your game will encounter slowdown at some point during its run. But there’s a difference between accepting that fact and encouraging the slowdown to happen in...