Storium Theory: Letting Your Players’ Cards Guide You

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on September 22nd, 2016. I mentioned this very briefly back in “Use the Characters You Chose,” but in light of last week’s article, I think it’s appropriate to draw some attention to it again. As narrator, your job is to guide the story and help the players tell an interesting, entertaining tale that is fun to play and hopefully also fun to read. A big part of that is making sure that you make the tale appropriate to the characters you have–that you focus the story on these characters. Rather than building a story and then slotting the characters into it, you should be at least in some way building the story around the characters that you have (who have, hopefully, been built for the...

Storium Theory: Postmortem–“Twishted”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on September 8th, 2016. My apologies for the delay getting it here–I honestly thought I’d put it in the system! Ah, well.  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and once again I’ve taken a bit longer than I really meant to before I started writing this…but today, it’s time to take a postmortem look at Twishted. I ran Twishted from August 19th, 2015 through August 8th, 2016–nearly one full year! It’s been a month since the story reached its conclusion, so not as big a break as I took between the close of An End In Fire and its postmortem–but still a little longer than I meant to take. Ah, well. Look at it as more time for thought, I guess. As a...

Storium Theory: Playing in Your Own Sandbox: Narrators Playing Characters in Their Own Games

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on September 1st, 2016. Today’s topic comes to us by reader submission again, this time from monsterfurby! I’m always happy to get topics from my readers–if you’re interested in submitting your own, please use the form accessible from the “Submit Topics!” link up in the top menu. The whole point of this blog is to help people who might have questions about aspects of Storium, and while I can certainly blabber on and on about anything and everything, I’d prefer to be writing on what I know will be useful to someone. So, on with today’s post! As narrators, we create some fun and interesting settings for our players. We set up these epic stories, and we get to watch...

Storium Theory: Death of Player Characters

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on July 28th, 2016. So, last week, we discussed character death in general. Now, I’d like to specifically discuss considerations for Player Character death in Storium. As with last week’s article, what I’m discussing here is actual death–not death-as-transition, as used for stories about people becoming ghosts or some such, but death-as-end, the death that removes characters from stories. The potential death of a Player Character (PC hereafter) will involve all the same considerations as the death of any other character. Everything I said last week still applies–and perhaps even moreso than usual, since PCs are usually–usually–the main characters in a story, or at the...

Storium Theory: Death – The End of a Character’s Story

Tonight, I’d like to discuss a bit of a heavy topic: death. Not death in real life, mind…death in Storium. Death is a useful but dangerous and expensive narrative tool. It is one to be used very carefully. Unless you are playing in a story about people becoming ghosts or reincarnations or some such, death is the end of a character’s story. When someone dies, their role in a story ends. Certainly their memory may drive things…but their role, their active ability to influence events, their ability to develop and grow as a character…that has come to an end. As I move into this discussion, I want to emphasize that I’m writing today about death in general in Storium–this article regards any reasonably important character,...

Storium Theory: The Past in the Present

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on July 14th, 2016. I’ve written before on the manner in which players can bring out past relationships between their characters, and the way in which the narrator can encourage those relationships to develop during the opening portions of the game. Today, I’d like to answer a reader request by writing some more thoughts on what narrators can do to help call out existing relationships between player characters–relationships that predate the events of the game–and develop them and make them an important part of the story. I’m going to note that this is another highly theoretical post. Some of these are methods that I’ve used in some way, shape, or form, but others are...