Storium Theory: Character Development Through Wild Cards

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 9th, 2016. Over the course of the last few posts, I’ve talked quite a bit about character arcs and the way that they can develop. Now, I’d like to focus a bit on the actual character itself again. In a Storium game, characters start with named Strength and Weakness cards, each highlighting a trait that’s important about the character at the beginning of the game. They also start with wild Strength and Weakness cards, though, and those are the subject of today’s post. I touched on this a bit in earlier articles, but I’d like to go more in depth here on how wild cards can help you define your character. Wild cards are a powerful element of the Storium system, and aside from...

Storium Theory: Subplots and Character Arcs

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 4th, 2016. Back in “Develop Those Subplots!” I wrote about how subplots can, and should, change over the course of a game. As we go over character arcs, I’d like to revisit that somewhat. Subplots are possibly my favorite card type in Storium. Above all the others, I feel that they show where your character is at the moment in his personal story. By the same token, they’re the card type that shows where the character is in his character arc. You can toss down all the Strengths and Weaknesses you like, refresh them a billion times, but the Subplot card is where you get to codify the change your character has undergone–to spell out the next act of his story, the next focal...

Bonus Feedback Episode

Catch up of feedback to January 16th. Thank you Chris Lewis. http://media.blubrry.com/storiumarc/p/storiumarc.com/wp-content/Manual_uploads/StoriumArcFeedbackJan16_final.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

Storium Theory: No Card Play is “Wasted”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 2nd, 2016. Quick note before we begin: The Storium Arc blog has now caught up to the Gaming Creatively one. From this point on, my Storium Theory posts will come one day after the Gaming Creatively versions. They will appear here twice a week, Wednesdays and Fridays. As a slight side jaunt before we outright continue the discussion of character arcs, I’d like to talk a bit here about how character arcs interact with one particular situation that can arise during Storium games: playing a card on a challenge when the results are already clear. It happens from time to time: the challenge gets past the halfway point, there’s still a few slots for card plays, but so many Strengths or Weaknesses...

Storium Theory: Character Arc vs. Game Arc

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 28th, 2016 Continuing my discussion of Character Arcs, I’d like to focus now on the difference between the character arc and the game or overall story arc. Every game has an arc–a flow, surrounding the central issues of the tale, in which the characters as a group undergo change. This is separate from the character arc, in which each character individually undergoes change, but it’s very similar in concept. As with the character arc, the game arc should be thought of in terms of possibility, not in terms of a concrete, absolute path. Things may or may not play out precisely along an ascending or descending path, and the issues may not end up explored exactly as people think they will...

Storium Theory: Establishing Character Arcs

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 26th, 2016. I’ve touched on this a little before, but Storium games are about more than just the overall game story…they’re also about your character’s individual story. As the group is going through the events of the tale, suffering setbacks and achieving success as a unit, each individual character also has their highs and lows, their issues to explore. Over the course of a good tale, each major character within that tale will have its own character arc. This arc may or may not align with the flow of the main story arc–and that’s fine. I’ll get into the details of character arcs versus story arcs, and strategies to support your character arc with card plays,...

Storium Theory: Have an Ending from the Start

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 21st, 2016. Today, I’d like to give another little piece of advice about making it more likely that you can run games to completion. This one’s largely focused on narrators. I touched on this a bit in my article on story scope, but I’d like to expand here. Have an ending in mind before you even start the game. “What?” you say. “But Storium is so player-driven! Wouldn’t that be railroading?” Well, yes and no. I want you to have an ending in mind. It doesn’t matter if you actually end up using that ending. The story can go in a massively different direction, if that’s how things work out. I just want you to have an idea of where things could go....