Storium Theory: But…But I Only Have “Spendthrift!”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on September 15th, 2016. Another submitted topic this week, as mikitracey (who honestly should be writing this topic as I think she’s better at this than me!) wanted me to take some time to write about those situations you can run into in Storium games where the cards you’re in just kind of don’t seem to fit the situation you’re in. I’ve written a bit on this in the past–or rather, on how to lower the chances of running into it. I’ve written about making sure you write Strengths or Weaknesses with wide meanings, about widening your perception of your cards, about avoiding situational cards, and on the narrator side, a bit about making sure you’re building the game...

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: 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: The Three-Act Structure

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 14th, 2016. Welcome back to Storium Theory. Today, I’m writing about another reader-submitted topic–one of my readers wrote in and asked me to put together some thoughts on Storium‘s three-act structure story format, and what might be some pluses and minuses of using that format versus going without a format. The three-act structure was something I was actually pretty skeptical of when I first heard that Storium was adding it. I wondered if it would actually add much of anything to the game. After all, couldn’t we already structure stories however we want? Well…yes, we can. But I’ve found that I wasn’t. You see, Storium as a system is effectively set up to guide...

Storium Theory: Hey, Remember When We…

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on June 7th, 2016. I’ve written a little on this blog before about methods for a narrator to use to help players establish some relationships between their characters in the case of a group that needs to have some history–mainly, I focused on the idea of a few questions narrators can ask before the game begins to draw some information out of their players regarding those relationships. I’ve been asked to write a little more on the topic–to cover some ways that the narrator might continue to draw out information on the past relationships between characters as the game goes on. I’m going to…but first, I want to concentrate on what players can do. Quick note that by...

Storium Theory: Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on May 31st, 2016. I’ve written a little bit on the topic of establishing character bonds before, focusing on a concept of how one might use a few simple questions to sketch a picture of a group history for a group of player characters who are all supposed to know each other well at the start of the game. Since then, I’ve received a request to delve a bit more into the idea of establishing character relationships, but from a different tack. When player characters do not know each other well at the start of the game, what should you do to get those relationships growing? Is it best to start out with a challenge that’s about establishing the relationships, or should you just get straight to the...