Storium Theory: Making Everybody Awesome

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on April 5th, 2016. Philosophy time again, woo! I’ve written before about techniques for working with your fellow players in Storium games–in particular, Leaving Things Open–but today I’d like to go a bit further than that. Today, I’d like to talk about how we, as players, can make other players feel awesome. It’s easy, particularly when playing by post (in Storium or otherwise), to kind of…get stuck into your own little world, writing your own moves and maybe leaving in some things for other people to use, but not really thinking much about what else is going on in the scene. We can pop on, read a move or two, get a general feel for where things are, and then write our...

Storium Theory: Weak Outcomes are Not Punishments

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on March 31st, 2016. This is a topic I’ve mentioned sometimes in the past, but I wanted to go into it a little more, and make more of a definitive statement on it. Weak Outcomes in Storium games are not intended to be punishments for some kind of failure. Storium is different from many tabletop RPGs in this. In tabletop RPGs, oftentimes, the game is structured so that if the players don’t play well enough, or if the dice just go against them, they receive a bad outcome–the enemies win the battle, they can’t get through the door, they fall from the cliff, or some such. The bad outcome may in fact even stop the story cold–the party might be slain, or lose their only lead. There are...

Storium Theory: Character-Specific Challenges

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on March 29th, 2016. In most cases in Storium games, narrators set up challenges that can pretty much be fulfilled by any of the characters. They set up a situation and leave it to the players to decide who resolves it and how. But every now and then in a story, you feel the need to get more specific–to actually set up a challenge for a particular person. Now…I’m not talking about challenges where you name one, or a few specific people because the group is currently split–though those can take some of the same advice below. What I mean here is challenges that speak to a certain character’s plot or issues, and therefore should generally only be fulfilled by that character. Let’s...

Storium Theory: Ending Challenges Early

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on March 24th, 2016. If you’ve listened to the Storium Arc podcast lately (and if you haven’t, why haven’t you?), you know that Justin and I had a debate about ending challenges early and the effect that could have on a game. I mentioned during that debate that I wasn’t necessarily totally against the concept, I just felt it was a technique to be used with caution. I’d like to go into that a bit more today…but I’d also like to go into how I think you should go about ending a challenge early if you have to do it. Reasons for Ending a Challenge Early Let’s first talk about why someone might decide to end a challenge early. When I’ve seen it, it primarily comes...

Storium Theory: Build a Community

This post first appeared on Gaming Creatively on March 22nd, 2016. So, today’s Storium Theory article is a bit unusual for me, as it’s about something that I have to call out as a good idea for running a game…but also something that I consider myself very bad at. A lot of Storium games slow down. There’s no question about that. But some live through the slowdown, and others don’t. I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently. What causes a game to survive where others fail? What helps it keep going? I think possibly the biggest single thing that can keep a game going is a sense of community. Community. The sense that we’re all working together on something. The feeling that we’re all…friends, having a good...

Happy Birthday, Storium Arc!

One year ago today, the Storium Arc podcast’s first episode released here on the site…so, today, let me wish my pals on the podcast side of things a happy birthday! I credit Storium Arc with the revival of Gaming Creatively as a Storium-focused blog. It was through listening to their show that I really realized just how much there was to talk about with Storium. More than just my personal narration style and playing style…concepts behind how the game worked, ideas for improving yourself as a player or narrator…heck, it could be fun to even just share neat things that happened in the games we played! I didn’t want them to have all the fun. And make no mistake–they have a lot of fun, and so do we, when we listen to their work....

Storium Theory: Challenges: Simultaneous or Sequential?

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on March 17th, 2016. I’ve written a fair amount about setting up a challenge in Storium, but thus far, I’ve only really discussed challenges from the standpoint of a single challenge–the intricacies of setting up one challenge, narrating about it, setting its points and outcomes, and so on. Today, I’d like to bring up the idea of multiple¬†challenges in the same scene–a common element of Storium¬†games, but one I haven’t much discussed so far. Using multiple challenges in the same scene is a good way to portray more complex or lengthy situations. A challenge can only use up to 9 points on its own, but if multiple challenges are used to address the same general situation, then...