Well I missed the KSer for this but found their site through someones post. I thought it looked interesting and for $40 a year I felt I could try it and see how it goes.
Well, its great. Which is quite surprising.
I sent an email out to a wide group of people as I didn't expect a big take up, and I was right. I had to follow that up with some high pressure selling to a few people, but in the end I have 8 players, which is great if possibly a couple too many. I think the ideal figure is 6, but an extra 2 doesnt seem to be too hard to handle so far.
So part of the reason I wanted to use Storium was to use my 'world' - Sarmarkand, as a background. This was going to be great as it allowed me to use a lot of pre-generated stuff and it would hopefully generate new content that I could use. Another advantage is that I would give them an intro bunch of information and then feed them more details as we went along. This would allow me to judge how good the stuff was, plus cast an external eye over it in case there were problems.
So the first act, first scene is all the players waking up on an airship after an event that killed most of the rest of the ships complement, and then working out what to do. They had tasks to re-inflate the balloon, repair the ship, defeat some shadow spiders etc etc.
So far we are upto scene 3 and from feedback it seems most people are really enjoying it. In particular they are enjoying the non-face to face element, the time to think, and the freedom of the narrative process that Storium uses.
My greatest satisfaction comes from getting my girlfriend to play, and enjoy herself. She is a total-non-gamer, but the points I stated above, plus my most persuasive performance, got her into the game and really enjoying the creative writing element it allows her. I have had to guide her over the mechanical process of the game, but the narrative aspects of the story writing have been all hers. I keep telling her it is NOT a game, but a story.
There are some issues with the system however, it is after all only a gamma version. There need to be a few extra options included in the game. One I think it really needs is story events (obstacles) triggered by players who have narrative control of the end of a scene. In our game we have agreed to do this by allowing the players to put an aside comment in [text] brackets. This will be a suggestion to the Narrator, who can then elect to insert extra obstacles, or guides the opening or direction of the next scene.
You also have to be sure to set your players expectations properly, this is NOT a game. At the beginning I put out a lot of asset pickups for the players because I come from a crunchy mechanistic reward based back ground. So seeing all that loot some of the rpg players grabbed some quickly, where-as, in retrospect some of it wasn't needed, and some of the players needed to adjust their attitude.
I have been trying to drum into everyone that they should always be "adding, enhancing, extending the moves already made". Take your time, don't try to solve the obstacle all at once by doing a big dump of cards, allow everyone to participate. This seems to be getting through now.
If you have people who have been reluctant to try a roleplaying game I totally recommend you try to convince them to use Storium. Take your time, guide them, but let them find their own story and they will probably get into it.
Following is an extract of Scene 2, which I thought was pretty good.
Nieve (Ambrose01) moved • Yesterday at 10:23 AM
Pierre (AliJH) moved • Yesterday at 11:01 AM
Nazdeen (Nazdeen) moved • Yesterday at 11:10 AM
Hugo "Icepick" Jenkins (you) moved • Yesterday at 12:58 PM
The narrator continued the scene • Yesterday at 1:15 PM
Wooden ships and confined spaces don’t mix with open flames.