Hello all,

I've wanted to tell you guys about a particularly wonderful game called Storium for a long time now but kept putting off signing up for audiogames.net. There is a game I found 3 years ago that I've played daily ever since but never saw brought up here.

The game is similar to the play-by-post forum games of the past and present, except it has a minor card game element to it. Each player in the default setting, minus the narrator picks a set of cards when they create their character and they play that character in a story a narrator user sets up. You start with strength cards, weak cards, and a sub-plot, which is sort of your character's personal motivation. The narrator will set up challenges where they will set up a character or obstacle card and the players play their cards  and write how those aspects to their characters affect how they are going to solve the challenge, with weak cards bringing the challenge closer to a weak outcome (worse consequences) while the strong cards make the outcome a stronger (better) outcome, and sub-plots and other sorts of cards push it closer to being completed but don't push things towards strong or weak at all.

If the challenge says 3 points, then when 3 cards are played in total, the challenge is over and the outcome you get is based on whether more strong or weak cards were played. If they are the same in number, the narrator (a sort of game master) ejudicates.

for a more concrete example, if you are playing a game where the characters are fighting a dragon (to use a tired example) and you play a weakness card called "Cowardice" you push the players to where the weak outcome is more likely to happen so you have to then write how your actions as a character are cowardly and how they mess things up.

It's a very free-form system and beyond the cards and a few minor things on how certain types of cards work, there aren't a lot of rules. You don't have to worry about leveling up, health points, energy, or anything like that.

Though I used a fantasy example, there are pre-made settings to play in of every conceivable genre, as well as having the option to create your own.

There is a free membership but you can only play a total of three games. You also only get access to 9 of the currently 61 pre-made worlds, though those 9 are very broad and customizable. a full membership is usually supposed to be 40 dollars but you can pay as little as 25 if you do it all at once or you can pay as little as $3 a month instead of a 12-month sign-on and any way gets you all the bells and whistles, opening every option in the game to you and removing the number of games cap.

Most of this is in the tutorial and the introductory video which you don't need to see to understand and follow as all of the important information is spoken aloud.

The game only has two staff members but they are quick to solve any problems and the community is super-friendly and accommodating. It is hard for visually-impaired users to put art with their stories, but if you make that clear, nobody of value in the game will care. and the staff that run the game are super-focused on accessibility.

I found that the game works best with ie for some reason but when I tried to get it working on Firefox, the staff was unable to replicate the problem I had where there were nonresponsive buttons.

Check out the game on www.storium.com

also, I'm a member of Storiumarc, a podcast that gives advice, reviews new content, and celebrates the game. I'm Zachary on that one and I use my common username of Rattannah  on Storium itself.

If you have any questions, ask me or check out the site.

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Hi. Nice to see another fan of Storium. I actually reached out to the developers back when the game was first being kickstarted, and it is such a great game with a wonderful staff and playerbase. I am the slowest writer of all time, sadly, so its very hard to find more casual games to play in, but I would love to play more. Its one of the few games I've found to be as accessible regardless of what browser I am using, on mobile or desktop. If anybody wants to start a more lower stakes game that still focuses on quality writing and character, please do let me know! It is such a great system for writing and games.

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was surprised to find another user. It took me a while to find a player base of reliable players but after the public launch and after initial alpha and some stuff in the beta, the game mostly attracted people who can be relied on. I personally hav a "good players list" of people I love playing with that numbers about 40 now and that number is likely to increase, and that's just my circle of friends and a lot of people I know to be good writers aren't on that list yet because we haven't played together yet.

Also, just an interesting tidbit related to blindness tangentially in the Storium worlds. When the game went public, they introduced a world called "hell's Harbor" which is a demonic swashbuckling setting where players play pirates, lawmen, or people just scrabbling by on a city on Hell's coast or priating on the seas of Hell in the golden age of piracy. The world has a lot of gallows humor and is one of my favorites.

Well, anyway, there is a strange group of monks in this world called the "Black Iron Monks." They all are clairivoyant but in order to get this power to see over very long distances or have precognition, they actually apply a paste to their eyes that blinds them while they are awake. But they are no slouches in a fight.

Just an interesting world aspect that involves blindness by default. If the devil stuff, tongue in cheak as it is is not your thing, there are 60 other worlds that are completely different, so don't think you're gonna have to play with demons in your games if  that bothers you because there is a ton of choices, with more being added all the time.

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I love storium, though I haven't played as much as I would have liked to, a lot of people actually take issue with the art thing, which I can understand. Also I haven't looked in a while, you've prompted me to go back and try and play a few games. Thanks

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if you simply say "Hey, I'm blind and can't post art" they usually are okay with it, and if they aren't, you probably are getting the absolute bottom of the barrel players. I haven't had that as an issue in literally years.. Anyone worth playing with is going to make allowances and so you ought to be good, just be honest.

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6 (edited by musicfairy 2017-11-09 07:15:02)

Might I suggest creating a story together? I am fine with slow and more writing focused, as I am in school and working at the moment, so can't always write quickly. but I would love to do something with this!

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Just fyi, they did ad alt text for their huge library of existing images spanning genre, so while you can't tell exactly what you're getting, you can get an idea at least, which should satisfy the art specification with something appropriate to your genre.

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I don't want to run a game, but if any of you start one and want players, let me know and I'll drag my account out of retirement.

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I've always been a fan of story telling and roleplaying.. Do the cards determine the fate of your specified plot? Alsso, can a plot be played just between two players?

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I've always been a fan of story telling and roleplaying.. Do the cards determine the fate of your specified plot? Alsso, can a plot be played just between two players?

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My plate's a little full right now on Storium so I can't take on any new games right now, but I know a bunch of people in the community who would love to have some new blood, or old blood that most people have never met or forgotten.  so you guys should be able to find something.

There is an art library even with avatar and location art, as well as banner art from the various owrlds, but you have to do some resizing and clipping and stuff to use it a lot of times, which is beyond me at least, so I follow the "I'm blind so I have no art," strategy which most accept, but as was mentioned, a lot of art has written text descriptions now. And several of my friends even put that art on their avatar pictures themselves to make it easier for me when I am a narrator. Currently I narrate more than I play as a character.

The community is extremely open and when I brought up the rejection because of no art issue,  the response from the community was largely sympathetic, except for a single guy who got shouted down immediately by a couple others for his discrimination. So you should find people who are willing to take you on.

I'd love to see you guys there and kicking butt. Also, if you want to talk, check out me as Rattannah and I'd be happy to answer PMs on there as long as you tell me who you are.

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If anyone wants to find me, I'm musicfairy, same as I am here. Happy writing! And thank you both for the art tips!

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caio wrote:

I've always been a fan of story telling and roleplaying.. Do the cards determine the fate of your specified plot? Alsso, can a plot be played just between two players?

The narrator usually writes some brief outline of what a positive or negative outcome will mean, and then leaves it to the player who wins control of the scene outcome to include more specific details. So in that way, yes, the cards, and your playing them, do have actual results on the story. That said, all positive outcomes aren't always interesting, and the game provides rewards/ incentives in the form of wild cards for using all of your positive and negative cards.

You could probably play a two-person game, but it wouldn't be all that interesting, I wouldn't think, as you'd only have one narrator and one player. Storium recommends between 3 and 5 players for best results.

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from someone that plays heavily I'll tell you that the best games often have between 5 and 7 players, 4-6 characters and one narrator, though there is also rotating narration where the role of narrator is swapped every scene but a lot of people, including myself, aren't huge fans and those games tend to fail, though I'm playing in an incredible space western using that format.

Also a good narrator will make strong outcomes interesting, but indeed, I am often complimented for having particularly interesting weak outcomes. If you're new to the game, get on one of the beginner games and you'll see what the Storium thing is all about and will also get handholding from experienced and helpful players who have been around the block a few times. I don't run beginner games myself and din't have them available when I joined, but it will get you new guys up to the speed of everyone who had to find out what worked and what didn't by trial and error. .

Also, just for writing tips or hints on what works in Storium from people I love and trust on the community. There is the Storium-Arc podcast, which just released its 50th episode of its main show a week ago today. I've been on the thing since episode 32. The podcast also has companion shows (included in the subscription) for New World Report (where we look at the worlds that were funded by kickstarter and theoretically we'll cover other worlds released in the future,) and also Zeromusic runs  "behind the keyboard" where he interviews prominent and highly-recommeneded storium users. The podcast is free and all the shows, as well as any  future spin-offs we develop are all included under that title.

Also, for those of you who want to see what Storium is like, would linking up one of my games here be helpful. I could drop a link for my steampunk adventure "High-flying Ransom" where you could look at a story and read it and also see how stuff works? The game is public to read for anyone but you could see some of the nuts and bolts just by reading the pages and scenes.

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Well I've signed up for this one, you can find me as darkempathy, though I've only got as far as playing through the tutorial and reading the help.

The game does look fun, but there are lots of buttons for the different cards and such, so I'll have to give it a try to see what to press where.
I am playing in Chrome with vnda currently and the tutorial worked okay.
The principle does seem interesting, and since I want to get back to my own creative writing this strikes me as a nice idea, assuming that there are open games for me to join of course.

Either way, any tips from bookrage or those currently playing would be much appreciated.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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a few tips.

1. keep track when you play of who is reliable and who is not. Often the difference between a good game and one that dies is in the players and narrator and you'll need to build a friend base, which you will over time unless you are a huge jerk to everyone.
2. Most Storium games fail, especially when you first start and don't know who is good, that will change as you go on.
3. most games go pretty slow so don't think you have to be there all the time. I'm in 13 different games right now (running 7 playing 6) and I don't have to do a lot.
4. If you can spring for the membership, do it, there's a way to pay only $3 a month for it and you get all the bells and whistles that way, including being able to play in all the kickstarter worlds and also being able to play as many games at once as you want.
5. for tips on writing and gameplay and design, subscribe to the "Storium Arc" podcast on either googleplay or iTunes. We have over 50 episodes of the main show, 4 or 5 interviews with players in "Behind The Keyboard." and we also cover different ways you can use the kickstarter worlds in "new worlds report."  like most podcasts, it's free.
6. always read the possible outcomes and text for the cards and write accordingly, nothing gets me and many other players madder than when a person doesn't stay with the program on the cards and forgets where a strong or weak outcome is supposed to go or doesn't follow directions.
7. if you do decide to leave a game that isn't working for you, say so to the narrator and exit your character gracefully in an exit move if you can, don't just leave. That leaves the other players up the creek a lot, it can disrupt a game, and it's just plain rude. And try not to make exiting games without playing through them a habit. A lot of people will look at your profile and a ton of suspended games and retires/handoffs looks bad to a lot of people who might want you in their games.
8. WEAKNESS CARDS ARE NOT BAD!!!! Embrace your weakness cards and the flaws your character has, often with many narrators and players, weak outcomes can sound better than strong ones so embrace the problems your character has, whether they are cowardly, frail, poor, or whatever you have in there for the weaknesses you are using.
9. when filling in your wild cards, I'd advise you keep them broad for when you refresh them after you are done. For example "Out of shape" probably fits better than "can't stand loud music" as the first fits in a lot of places while the second doesn't.

10. Always work to follow directions.
11. although I said a lot of stuff goes slow, try not to keep your fellow players waiting a long time, if a game is moving a lot, you should try to as well in that game.

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I want to be involved in Storium. I have used play-by-email postings for years, then got in to role-play intensive muds. this seems like a fun place for me, although I am rather intimidated by the use of cards, and feel a little shy about writing with new people.

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the cards is a mechanic that is there basically to facilitate an up-and-down pattern for your characters. With these cards, you can't be perfect all the time and you have to screw up every now and then. Believe it or not, that's a very good thing. Don't worry about getting weak outcomes most of the time as most players are cool with them and those that aren't aren't exactly stellar players. Further, in many cases, the weak outcomes are cooler than the strong ones.

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