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....

Storium Theory: Over-Commitment

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 19th, 2016. So…last time, I wanted to just write a bit to encourage people to finish games, to play them through even if things got tough. That was something of a philosophy article, I suppose. I believe that Storium games are a commitment, and that when you start something, you should push very hard to finish it. Today, though, I want to offer some advice, a bit more along my normal lines. Today, I’d like to talk about one of the causes of retirements/suspensions, over-commitment. Over-commitment is, quite simply, when a player joins / narrates too many games at the same time. The player isn’t able to keep up with all the games, starts falling behind in them, and ends up retiring...

Episode 21! About Time We Talk With Robert

In this episode, we meet Robert Mohr, we also discuss Story vs Mechanics. Show Notes 00:00 Intro 00:51 Meet our Guest host Robert Mohr 24:24 What’s more important Story or Mechanics 60:30 Back to the Future (and homage to our listeners, Steven and Storium)   Guest Host Bio: I’m Robert Mohr—I’ve been an RPG GM using various tabletop systems to varying degrees of success for about 16 years, now, starting out in high school. My favorite system presently is 13th Age, which I think achieves a good blend of tactical play, storytelling support, and ease of use for the GM. I’ve actually run most of my games so far systemless, though. Aside from enjoying RPGs, I’ve dabbled in writing, composing, and 3D art. I haven’t published anything at this point…I’m working...

Storium Theory: Finish What You Start

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 14th, 2016. Today is less of an advice article and more of a request. It’s time to talk about something near and dear to my heart, and one of the things that I think is ultimately going to hold Storium back from true success if it remains a concern. Storium has a lot of potential. It has a nice base system that supports stories with a good line of success and trouble for each individual character, along with the group as a whole. It is a lot of fun to go back after completing a game and reread it–honestly, it’s far more fun to do that with a Storium game than with a game from any other system I’ve played, because Storium supports stories that are fun to read. The problem is that...

Storium Theory: Finding Your Voice

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on January 12th, 2016. I’d like to talk a bit today about a more general topic, though still one that’s very important to Storium games…a character’s “voice.” Portraying a character is a complex endeavor, requiring you to learn to think in a different manner than you usually would. Unless you are actually playing yourself, your character will do different things in a situation than you might. Few of us, for instance, would charge headlong at a rampaging dragon even if we did have a +5 Sword of Dragon Smashing. But it goes beyond actions…not only should our characters act differently from us, but they should also, oftentimes, speak differently as well. This is something...