Storium Theory: The Spice of Life

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 5th, 2017. I hope everyone had a great holiday season – we’re back for 2017! Today, I’d like to take a little time to talk about variety in the context of a Storium tale – specifically, from the standpoint of the narrator. Variety is important. I’ve written before about avoiding repetitive writing as a player by making sure to read over your prior posts to ensure you aren’t repeating the same themes over and over again in too short a time span, but variety is important for a narrator as well…perhaps even more so than for a player. As a narrator, it is important to give your players varied situations to work with. Yes, you might be writing an action story, but...

Storium Starters: Village Assault

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on December 22nd, 2016. For today’s article, I’d like to try something a little different. Rather than my thoughts on Storium┬áconcepts or general roleplaying or narration, I’d like to give a bit of a gift (’tis the season, after all): a starting scene for a game, with challenges and outcomes, and with thoughts on where the story could go from there. Hopefully, this might be something you could find useful in narrating for Storium – either as something to use directly, or just as a means of seeing how you might start thinking about the game’s direction from the get-go. I’m going to call this (and any future articles of this type) a Storium Starter. As a formal statement:...

Storium Theory: Custom Card Settings, Here We Come!

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on October 13th, 2016. I don’t normally do news articles on this site, but this week, I wanted to write a bit about Storium‘s latest upgrade. I guess this still isn’t technically a news article so much as an opinion and dreaming about the news article, but hey, it’s closer than I usually get. For those who might not have seen the announcement, Storium was recently updated with a neat set of new features, which I’ll summarize here: On a Refresh, players will now be able to choose from every card they have played over the course of the game, rather than just from those since the last Refresh. On playing a Wild card, players will be able to create a new wild card as usual, or now choose...

Storium Theory: Let’s Make Some Trouble

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on October 6th, 2016. I’ve written a bit on this blog before about playing during a challenge–in particular, how players should leave things open for other players to play on and involve other players in the challenge to tell a complete story. Today, I’d like to write about playing during a challenge again–specifically about making trouble in a challenge. By “making trouble,” I don’t mean being disruptive to the game atmosphere, of course! This is about writing an interesting story, not getting yourself booted from games. When a narrator sets up a challenge, the narrator provides some details about what is going on–what threats currently exist, what the conditions...

Storium Theory: Player-Driven Outcomes

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on September 29th, 2016. Way back when I was writing my initial coverage of creating Challenges, I mentioned that there were a few types of outcomes: Player-Driven, Narrator-Driven, and Mixed. Since then, I’ve written a fair bit about how to set up Narrator-Driven outcomes–how to clearly describe what will happen on a given outcome (while not completely stifling creativity, mind). And I’ve written about my personal version of “Mixed” outcomes, the “Choice” outcome. But I haven’t really written much about the Player-Driven sort of outcome. A Player-Driven outcome, to recap, is an outcome where the narrator leaves as much as possible open to the player’s...

Storium Theory: Writing a Move – Neutral Cards

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on August 11th, 2016. Last week, I discussed the thought process for writing a move using a Strength or a Weakness card, and I promised to come back this week to discuss writing a move with Neutral cards. There are three types of Neutral cards in Storium: Subplots, Assets, and Goals. Playing to them will feel a little different, but functionally, as far as their effect on a challenge, they’re similar. Let’s talk about that first, and then we can get into a bit about how you might play to each card type. Impact On a Challenge When you play a Neutral card, the current “trend” of a challenge doesn’t change. A challenge that is trending Strong is still trending Strong, with the same...