Storium Theory: Use the Characters You Chose

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 18th, 2016. In my last post, I talked about how players had a duty to support the game world in their character design. Here, I’d like to talk about the other side: the duty of the narrator to support the characters he has in his game. As narrator, you can put a lot of work into your own special world, and a lot of prep work into the story you want to tell. It’s easy to let that overwhelm things–to make a world and story that feel set, even before you have any player characters. But Storium is a collaborative writing game. When a player submits a character, the player wants to see that character get involved in the story–to see the character’s themes brought up, Subplot...

Storium Theory: Play Within the World – Making Characters “Fit In”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 16th, 2016. I mentioned in my posts on game and character arcs that the duty of the players is to develop their character arcs while supporting the game arc. In order for players to accomplish that, one major thing that they need to do is establish characters that seem like a real part of the game world. Characters need to fit in. It’s easier in some games than others–some games have a very well-defined world, while others have more of an open concept. The former means players have more to work off (but also have firmer boundaries to work within), while the latter means players have more freedom (but also less to use to spur ideas). Either way, though, the player needs to make an effort to...

Storium Theory: Refreshing Cards – “What’s Important Now?”

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on February 11th, 2016. “Great Ideas” is a category of posts on Gaming Creatively in which I cover some ideas I’ve found, mostly in gaming, which seem particularly noteworthy for one reason or another. Storium’s card refresh mechanic rated a post in that category. Based on my latest Great Ideas post, you’d obviously know that I’m rather fond of Storium‘s card refresh mechanic–but the mechanical benefits of the approach aren’t the only reason. No, the refresh is also another great way that Storium allows you to show changes that have come over your character over the course of the game’s story. When you get the chance to refresh your cards, you’re...

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...