Storium Theory: Only Natural

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on April 27th, 2017. I’ve spent quite a lot of time on this blog on Strength cards, Weakness cards, and Subplot cards. I haven’t spent all that much time, though…if any…on the other card type that players pick out at character creation: Nature. So, let’s talk Natures. Specifically, I want to focus on writing your own Nature card during character creation. What is a Nature card all about? What should you do if you’re creating your own for your own character? A Nature card is your “at a glance” statement of just what, exactly, the character is. It’s the broad strokes of the character, the central concept that defines them. In many ways, it is the single most...

Storium Theory: Reading Ahead – Outcomes as Inspiration

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on April 20th, 2017. I’ve written a bit before about how challenge outcomes provide guidelines for writing during a challenge…how they provide the effective limits of what can happen during a challenge, and how they reveal what the players should be writing towards when playing Strengths and Weaknesses. Today, I’d just like to take a little time to look at that from a slightly different angle: Outcomes as inspiration. This falls along similar lines to what I said above: Challenge outcomes reveal what players should be writing towards when playing their cards. Because of this…challenge outcomes provide ideas. If you have trouble writing on a challenge, one of the first things you should do...

Episode 44! All the Stage’s a World

In this episode, we discuss the ways to use and adapt Storium’s various worlds for use in your games. 00:31 Intro 01:10 News 03:40 Use of Preconstructed Worlds 05:12 Experiences Using Worlds in Storium 15:04 Reasons to Use a Preconstructed World 24:12 Pros and Cons of Using a World As-Is 34:45 Using Worlds as Resources 39:23 Experiences Using Worlds as Designed 49:50 Putting Your Own Spin on a World 51:20 Setting Up a World from Scratch 56:33 Customization Experiences and Tips 01:02:59 Recommended Games Using Premade Worlds 01:06:50 Wrap-Up and Feedback Request 01:09:35 Outro Links: Storium Game Links: Sidhe Vicious (loosely based on Urban Fantasy): https://storium.com/game/sidhe-vicious–2 Storm Front (based on...

Storium Theory: Inaction in Action

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on April 13th, 2017. Sometimes, I see players make comments in a game, explaining why they haven’t made a move in a challenge so far: “I don’t think this is something my character knows how to deal with.” “I’m not sure she cares about this.” “I think he’s just kind of stunned right now. “She doesn’t know what to do.” Sometimes these are indications of a problem in the story – if all of a narrator’s players are telling him their characters don’t care about the current situation, it is probably time to revise the situation and figure out how to better relate it to the story at hand. But…more often, they’re a...

New Worlds Report Episode 19: The Raising and the Dreamblood

New Worlds Report returns as we talk about The Raising and The Dreamblood! Links: The Raising: https://storium.com/world/the-raising The Dreamblood: https://storium.com/world/the-dreamblood http://media.blubrry.com/storiumarc/p/storiumarc.com/wp-content/Manual_uploads/NWR19.mp3Podcast: Play in new window |...

Storium Theory: Questions and Answers

This post originally appeared at Gaming Creatively on April 6th, 2017. A while back, I wrote a post on making trouble: The technique by which players could elaborate on the dangers or problems their characters encounter as they wrote the story of a challenge, rather than just leaving the troubles to what the narrator initially established. When you’re writing on a challenge, you’re writing not just your own character’s story but the story of the challenge itself. I’ve already written a great deal on the need to write not just your character’s actions, but the results of those actions, and how those results impact the challenge going forward. I’ve also written on the need to leave things open for other players to use. Today,...

Storium Theory: Limiting Your Limitations

This post originally appeared on Gaming Creatively on March 30th, 2017. Today, I’d like to write a bit about something that I think we all do as narrators from time to time: Limiting the options that players have for writing about a situation. Limits are good. Limits, at their base, are a way of ensuring that the scene has focus. When we set up a challenge at all, we are putting limits on the scene in general – limits of saying “the scene is now about this problem, and it needs to be addressed.” We’re defining what the actual problem is, and to some extent unavoidably defining the sort of things that can be done to address the problem. But it’s important to recognize when we take these definitions too far. I’ve been...