Storium Basics: Challenges and Cards

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on July 6th, 2017. Continuing my Storium Basics series, today we’ll be taking a look at the basic gameplay mechanics of the Storium system. Storium is played, primarily, by making moves that lay cards onto challenges. These cards tell the story, move by move, of what happens during the challenge. When you play a card, write a move explaining what your character does, and how those actions impact the challenge. The effect depends on the card you played. Strength cards improve the situation covered by the challenge. Weakness cards make it worse. Neutral cards, which might be subplots, assets, or goals, push it closer to conclusion without making things feel better or worse. To think of it from another angle:...

Storium Basics: Creating a Character / Applying for Games

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on June 29th, 2017. Welcome back to Storium Basics. This series of articles is designed to help new players understand Storium in general, and be able to get started on Storium games. For those looking for more, see my more advanced article series, Storium Theory. Today, we’re taking a look at the first thing a player will need to do to get involved in a game: creating a character. Once you’ve found a game that you’d like to join, whether through the Browse Games feature, the forums, or some other method, what should you expect to happen, and what should you do? First, a bit about how narrators set things up: The system a lot of narrators – myself included – will use for open...

Storium Basics: Overview

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on June 22nd, 2017. Today’s article – and the next several – are going to be of a different sort than what I’ve done so far on this blog. Today, I’m beginning a series I’ll call “Storium Basics.” This series is targeted at new Storium players rather than those who already know a bit about it and want to explore it further. It is drawn from my writing for beginners’ games that I have run. This series will largely be targeted at the player side of Storium, rather than the narrator side, but should help either come to a general understanding of how the system works. If you are a new player, I hope that these articles will be helpful for you and help you get...

Storium Theory: Optional Challenges

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on June 8th, 2017. Most of the time, when we put down a challenge, it’s definite – a note that the story will be focusing on a particular point. But is it possible to use challenges differently? To lay down a challenge for something the players might want to focus on, but are not required to focus on? I believe it is a tool for the toolbox…but one I would show great caution in using. I’ve only pulled out an optional challenge once or twice in my own games, and I am wary of using them often, if at all, in my own narration generally. Storium’s rules are set up more for completion of challenges and requiring of challenges, and I think there’s a good reason for that. In setup, an...

Storium Starters: Crash Landing

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on June 1st, 2017. Storium Starters are starting scene ideas for the generic Storium worlds available to everyone. They contain introductory narration, challenge text, outcomes, and some location or world information that may be necessary to understand the first scene, though I attempt to keep them generic enough that they can easily be slotted in regardless of other world details you might have designed. Along with the initial scene idea, they will also contain ideas for where the story could go from the starting point. Storium Starters are released to public domain and may be used without attribution for your own games. This Storium Starter is meant for the Space Adventure world. It is possible you may find...

Storium Theory: Tell the Story of the Characters

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on May 25th, 2017. I’ve written in the past about the responsibility of the narrator to use the details provided by player characters, and to set up challenges for the player characters chosen for the game. Today, I’d like to delve into that same general idea, but from a slightly different angle. As narrator, you’re responsible for setting up the story. You’re responsible for figuring out possibilities for the game arc – the way the game will start, how it will progress, what variations could come up along the way, how open things are to being altered by the player characters and by how much, and where the story is likely to go. I’ve written about these concepts quite a bit, as...