Storium Theory: Getting Personal: Moral and Amoral

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on April 28th, 2016. Continuing my discussion of character personality types, I’d like to take a moment to bring up two common RPG personality types–the Moral personality, and the Amoral personality. These two types, more than perhaps any other, are ones that I’ve seen interfere with games more than help them. I’m moving away from weekly posts on this topic now (though I will come back to it periodically), but before I did, I wanted to make sure I got this out here. The Moral personality might also be called Righteous. It’s the prototypical true-blue good guy–the character who keeps to the straight and narrow, tries to do what’s right, holds to some kind of moral code,...

Storium Theory: Getting Personal: Cowardly

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on April 21st, 2016. Let’s dig back in to Getting Personal, my series on character personality types and their positive and negative effects on games. Today, I’d like to discuss the Cowardly personality type. The cowardly character is a character who wears his nervousness and fear on his sleeve. This is the character that says what we’re all thinking when things come up: “This is really bad and any normal person would be terrified.” Any character in a story will have at least some differences from outright reality–reality makes kind of a crappy storyteller, generally–but the cowardly character brings us down from the larger-than-life hero personalities and to the reaction...

Storium Theory: Getting Personal: Driven

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on April 14th, 2016. We’re back on “Getting Personal,” today, and today I’d like to discuss the Driven character. This character is one who has a mission in mind–a mission he takes very seriously. It might be revenge. It might be finding a truth. It might be clearing someone’s name. It might be a longer term mission, or one that’s more a…life goal or concept they’re dedicated to, like a sworn opposition to criminals / cleaning up the streets. The Driven character sees everything in his life through the lens of that goal. Whatever he is going through at the moment, he’s thinking of how it relates to his mission. A Driven character should feel determined....

Storium Theory: Getting Personal: Cheerful

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on April 7th, 2016. For today’s article, I’m starting a new series called “Getting Personal.” In this series, I’ll spend a little time with a study on character personality types. I’m going to take a bit of time here to discuss some positive and negative impacts each personality might have on a game, and ways I think you can write a personality to accentuate the positives and mitigate the negatives. We’re starting out with a cheerful personality. This is a character that tends to look on the bright side. People might call him perky, cheery, or optimistic. He tends to have a lot of energy and is very active. He may speak quickly, and he probably laughs readily. He likes...

Storium Theory: Use the Characters You Chose

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 18th, 2016. In my last post, I talked about how players had a duty to support the game world in their character design. Here, I’d like to talk about the other side: the duty of the narrator to support the characters he has in his game. As narrator, you can put a lot of work into your own special world, and a lot of prep work into the story you want to tell. It’s easy to let that overwhelm things–to make a world and story that feel set, even before you have any player characters. But Storium is a collaborative writing game. When a player submits a character, the player wants to see that character get involved in the story–to see the character’s themes brought up, Subplot...

Storium Theory: Play Within the World – Making Characters “Fit In”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 16th, 2016. I mentioned in my posts on game and character arcs that the duty of the players is to develop their character arcs while supporting the game arc. In order for players to accomplish that, one major thing that they need to do is establish characters that seem like a real part of the game world. Characters need to fit in. It’s easier in some games than others–some games have a very well-defined world, while others have more of an open concept. The former means players have more to work off (but also have firmer boundaries to work within), while the latter means players have more freedom (but also less to use to spur ideas). Either way, though, the player needs to make an effort to...