Storium Theory: Component Challenges

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 23rd, 2017. Today, I’d like to take a look at another interesting thing that you can do with Storium‘s challenge system – something that I’d call “component” challenges. Component challenges are something that I’ve found very useful when you’re dealing with an overall situation that might be too large or amorphous to handle by means of a larger challenge. For example: Let’s say that you want to do a challenge about a journey through an underground cave, with the heroes finding their way through to the room that holds a sacred artifact. You could, of course, do this as one big challenge titled “Through the Caves” or something of that...

Storium Theory: Narration Styles: Rattannah

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 2nd, 2017. Today on the ol’ blog, we’ve got something special: the first of a few interviews that I’ll be doing with some narrators from Storium games who I’ve found to have styles that are somewhat different from mine in various ways, but who have run some excellent games. I’ve written quite a bit on narration techniques on this blog, but I can really only discuss those from my perspective – and I’m well aware that my style is not the only style of narration. So, in an effort to provide some more models for people to have a look at, I’m going to be speaking with some other Storium narrators to let them talk about their personal narration styles. First...

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: 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...

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...

Storium Theory: “Choice” Outcomes

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on July 5th, 2016. I’ve written about this a bit before, but I wanted to take a little time today to delve into one interesting way that I’ve found to write outcomes–a way that seems to me to strike a nice balance of allowing player choice while not making the amount of options paralyzing. I’ve taken to using this method quite a bit in my own games, particularly for weak outcomes. I’ve shown some examples of it before, but I don’t think I’ve ever written about it much at length. For lack of a better name, I’ll call this method Choice Outcomes. To write a Choice Outcome, instead of providing a single option for a given Outcome (Strong or Weak), you give two or more....