Storium Theory: Choose Cards You Want to Play

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on August 26th, 2016. Spinning off of last week’s post a bit…let’s talk some more about choosing your character’s cards. Storium, like some tabletop RPG systems, allows you to pick your character’s traits–in this case, in the form of four card types: Nature, Strength, Weakness, and Subplot. Nature cards don’t actually get played–instead, they sort of guide your character concept. This article’s about the other three types. Strengths. Weaknesses. Subplots. You’re going to be playing the cards you picked frequently over the course of the game. So pick the cards you want to play. Not the cards you’re willing to play. The cards you want to play....

Storium Theory: Building Character

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on August 18th, 2016. A lot of my articles focus on what to do during play–but what about before you even get into a game? Building your character, whether you are applying for a game with open applications or being specifically invited to one, is a major part of the Storium experience. Like a lot of Storium, this is technically simple, but philosophically complex. I’ve described applications as kind of being like a fun version of a job interview before, and I think that’s true: they’re an opportunity for you, as a player, to demonstrate your writing skills and speak to the narrator about why you think you’ll be a good fit for the game. But what about the character side of things?...

Storium Theory: Writing a Move – Neutral Cards

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on August 11th, 2016. Last week, I discussed the thought process for writing a move using a Strength or a Weakness card, and I promised to come back this week to discuss writing a move with Neutral cards. There are three types of Neutral cards in Storium: Subplots, Assets, and Goals. Playing to them will feel a little different, but functionally, as far as their effect on a challenge, they’re similar. Let’s talk about that first, and then we can get into a bit about how you might play to each card type. Impact On a Challenge When you play a Neutral card, the current “trend” of a challenge doesn’t change. A challenge that is trending Strong is still trending Strong, with the same...

Storium Theory: Writing a Move – Strength and Weakness Cards

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on August 4th, 2016. A long, long time ago (in internet terms), on a blog…well, on a blog pretty much right here, I wrote about the need to make an impact with your card plays. Today, I’d like to go into that a bit more–to give some more analysis on each part of what “making an impact” means, and what I think about. When I wrote the article back then (and followed it up with “Play to Your Cards” later), I identified a few things that I think about when I play a card–things that affect how I write my move: The type of card I’ve played: Strength, Weakness, or Neutral? The name and description of the card. The Strong and Weak Outcomes of the challenge. The...

Storium Theory: Support the Story

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on July 7th, 2016. I’ve written before about the need to create characters that fit within the world of a story–the need to support the game’s tone, themes, and such. Put simply, the idea that if the story is like The Lord of the Rings, you probably shouldn’t play someone like Superman, right? But it’s about more than that. The player’s responsibility to the story, and the way that should impact their character concept, goes beyond the character’s level of power, tone, and themes. Characters also need to be able to directly support the story. What does that mean? It means, simply, to act in accordance with the needs of the story. Not to fit the character in a neat little...

Storium Theory: Uniqueness of Cards

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 30th, 2016. Moving on from the previous article’s discussion of character ability concepts and why it is best to make them fairly unique…I’d like to talk about character card choices. While character concepts provide some ability differences, it’s also important to think about your cards. To put it simply, character abilities describe the tools you use to solve problems, but your cards describe how you use those tools…or how you don’t. How does a character tend to succeed? How does he tend to fail? What bolsters him? What makes him struggle? Those are the sorts of things Strengths and Weaknesses talk about. Those are the sort of things that you’re actually writing...