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: “And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for…”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on December 8th, 2016. Narrators vary in how much they like to plan out the details of plots in advance – the more you plan, the clearer and more organized your plot may be, but it is also possible to make it rigid or inflexible by overplanning, leaning to the dreaded “railroading.” Regardless, though, I tend to suggest that narrators have at least some idea of where a story might go before the game starts up. I’ve written a bit about this before, advising that you have an idea of an ending from the start of a game – not a hyper-detailed, inflexible, definite ending, but a general idea for the story’s eventual direction. I think that can help you make sure that your story...

Storium Theory: Guiding the Story

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on October 27th, 2016. A while back, I wrote a post about different types of narrator, which I named the Director, the Guide, the Editor, and the Attendant. Today, I’d like to go into one of those styles a bit more…specifically, the one I think I align with the most, the Guide. While I think that in my tabletop roleplaying game GMing I’ve been more along the lines of a Director, I’ve found myself loosening up a bit with my time as a narrator in Storium, and I find myself working more within the Guide style (my beginner games excepted, those are much more in the Director style). So, now that I have some games under my belt, I feel like I can speak a little more on exactly what I’ve...

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: 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...