Storium Theory: Getting Personal: The Loner

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 12th, 2017. This week, we’re coming back to “Getting Personal” to talk about a character type I think might be harder to do well in a Storium game than nearly any other: The Loner. Loners are pretty popular characters in fiction – the lone wolf, the dark hero who works alone, the agent whose last partner got killed and who isn’t willing to accept another, the guy with a problem with authority. You can probably think of popular fictional heroes for each of those “loner” types, right? But while they’re popular in fiction, loners are tough to write in the context of a Storium game. (Heck, they can be tough to do in tabletop, too.) Storium games are often...

Storium Theory: Getting Personal: Arrogant

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on December 1st, 2016. Hey, everybody. I hope that all who celebrate it had a good Thanksgiving! This week, I’d like to revisit my “Getting Personal” series, my discussion of central personality traits for characters and how those traits can benefit – and harm – a story. This week, we’re going to look at a personality type I’ll call Arrogant. An “Arrogant” personality is one that emphasizes his own personal status in some major fashion. A central element of his character is how he believes he is better than something else – usually, that’s both the challenges he’s facing, and the other heroes. He believes that he is overqualified for the...

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...