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: Inverting the Trope

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on May 18th, 2017. We’ve seen it before. A young hero has an older mentor, who taught the hero everything the hero knows. The mentor takes on a mission, and is captured, or killed, or goes missing, or what-have-you. Now the hero has to step up and save the day. It’s a trope. It’s a trope for a reason. It’s a pretty powerful story. There’s a personal connection between the hero and the mission – a need to carry on after a person the hero respects, perhaps, or redeem the person’s reputation, or even rescue the person. It ties the hero more deeply to the tale than if the hero had simply taken the mission himself in the first place. There’s nothing particularly wrong...

Storium Theory: A Shadow in the Light

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on May 11th, 2017. I’ve written a bit about this before, but today I’d like to discuss one of the most fun things that I’ve found to do on Storium – ending a challenge with a Strong ending by playing a Weakness card. Sometimes, you find yourself with a really fascinating opportunity on Storium. You’re writing the final move on a challenge, and it is definitely going Strong – there’s only one card slot left, for instance, and at least 2 more Strong cards have been played than Weakness cards, so even if you play a Weakness card, it’s still going to be 1 up on Strong. These are amazingly fun writing opportunities, and I encourage you to make the most of them. Play a...

Storium Theory: Don’t Count Yourself Out

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on May 4th, 2017. Today, I’d like to spend a bit of time on something that I’ve seen here and there on Storium – cases where a person perhaps goes a bit too Weak with a Weakness play…and takes themselves out of a scene. It feels right – it feels better than right, doesn’t it? Isn’t it a great expression of a Weakness to not just suffer a setback, not just suffer some kind of injury, but actually get knocked out or otherwise removed from play for a bit? Well…it is, and it isn’t. Let’s start off with the good: This is, undoubtedly, an example of a player being very willing to show his character suffering for his Weakness. That’s great, and...