Storium Theory: Refreshing Cards – “What’s Important Now?”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 11th, 2016. “Great Ideas” is a category of posts on Gaming Creatively in which I cover some ideas I’ve found, mostly in gaming, which seem particularly noteworthy for one reason or another. Storium’s card refresh mechanic rated a post in that category. Based on my latest Great Ideas post, you’d obviously know that I’m rather fond of Storium‘s card refresh mechanic–but the mechanical benefits of the approach aren’t the only reason. No, the refresh is also another great way that Storium allows you to show changes that have come over your character over the course of the game’s story. When you get the chance to refresh your cards, you’re...

Storium Theory: Character Development Through Wild Cards

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 9th, 2016. Over the course of the last few posts, I’ve talked quite a bit about character arcs and the way that they can develop. Now, I’d like to focus a bit on the actual character itself again. In a Storium game, characters start with named Strength and Weakness cards, each highlighting a trait that’s important about the character at the beginning of the game. They also start with wild Strength and Weakness cards, though, and those are the subject of today’s post. I touched on this a bit in earlier articles, but I’d like to go more in depth here on how wild cards can help you define your character. Wild cards are a powerful element of the Storium system, and aside from...

Storium Theory: Subplots and Character Arcs

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 4th, 2016. Back in “Develop Those Subplots!” I wrote about how subplots can, and should, change over the course of a game. As we go over character arcs, I’d like to revisit that somewhat. Subplots are possibly my favorite card type in Storium. Above all the others, I feel that they show where your character is at the moment in his personal story. By the same token, they’re the card type that shows where the character is in his character arc. You can toss down all the Strengths and Weaknesses you like, refresh them a billion times, but the Subplot card is where you get to codify the change your character has undergone–to spell out the next act of his story, the next focal...

Storium Theory: Establishing Character Arcs

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 26th, 2016. I’ve touched on this a little before, but Storium games are about more than just the overall game story…they’re also about your character’s individual story. As the group is going through the events of the tale, suffering setbacks and achieving success as a unit, each individual character also has their highs and lows, their issues to explore. Over the course of a good tale, each major character within that tale will have its own character arc. This arc may or may not align with the flow of the main story arc–and that’s fine. I’ll get into the details of character arcs versus story arcs, and strategies to support your character arc with card plays,...

Storium Theory: Finding Your Voice

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 12th, 2016. I’d like to talk a bit today about a more general topic, though still one that’s very important to Storium games…a character’s “voice.” Portraying a character is a complex endeavor, requiring you to learn to think in a different manner than you usually would. Unless you are actually playing yourself, your character will do different things in a situation than you might. Few of us, for instance, would charge headlong at a rampaging dragon even if we did have a +5 Sword of Dragon Smashing. But it goes beyond actions…not only should our characters act differently from us, but they should also, oftentimes, speak differently as well. This is something...