Writer Emergency . . . Fate? — Thoughts On A New Semi-Random Narrative

Recently, I finished the drafting of a narrative (Honeymoon), which was crafted with random elements–such as the Writer Emergency Pack and the GM-less RPG Fiasco. Over 12 weeks, the story came together one scene at the time. It was designed to be an exercise in writing, and I can honestly say that I learned a great deal about my own writing process during those 12 weeks.

In the meantime, I want to move on with a similar project. Mostly because I enjoyed the first one so much, but also to simply keep myself writing and learning to get better at both the craft and the art of creating a narrative.

My first thought was to just use Fiasco again to setup the story, though I’d change how I progress going forward (veering off far from the original structure Fiasco offers). And as it stands right now, I might just end up doing that.

But before I settle on that, I want to explore a different approach for creating narratives:Read More »

Storium – The Online Storytelling Game

This is a thing now (click me).

Storium is the online game that lets you and your friends tell stories together and play in imaginary worlds of your own creation.

I stumbled across their kickstarter at the very end, and backed it right away. They managed to raise over 1000% of what they wanted initially, opening up a shit-load of extra content, as well as the promise to a version of the platform designed to be used in schools and for education.

Check out their kickstarter page here–it’ll give you a great insight in what it’s all about and the things that got added as the campaign went on.

Apparently, one can still get access to the beta cycle through their website, even now that the kickstarter is over.

My first impressions of the platform are pretty positive. But it’s very apparent that they’re still in a very early stage of what could potentially be an amazing thing. The concept itself is very neat–play by post with a twist. People tell a story together, each person writing from the perspective of their own character. While doing this, they play cards to guide their narrative. All the while, the narrator (creator of each game) lays out challenges to overcome with said player-cards, further guiding the narrative through those challenges.

It’s like playing an RPG, but with more freedom, no nasty rules, and loose guidance as to tell the story.

The narrator picks from a pre-build set of worlds, or builds their own. Worlds come (and are fully customizable) with a set of natures (character concepts), strength and weakness (character traits), and assets and subplots. All of which are cards to be played during the narrative to count against a challenge. Strength and Weakness Cards are the most important cards, since they allow to move the outcome of a challenge in a weak or strong direction.Whoever plays the last card on a challenge gets full control over the outcome, guided by the description left by the narrator, and can write up whatever the hell he likes at this point. The only guidelines are, as mentioned, the narrative suggestion from the narrator, and whether it’s a strong or weak outcome.

It’s a conflict-resolution-reward system.

I’m excited to see where this is headed. So far, a bunch of features are teased (and funded), but not yet implemented. Here’s hoping the beta moves forward soon to unleash the full potential of this idea.

So far, it’s missing any kind of social features. You can talk to other players in the games you’re in together through a comment-function. That’s it. I’m sure in the future there will be more ways to interact, like chat and forum and yadda yadda, but right now it can get frustrating. Also, finding games is a bit tedious. Just one big list to scroll down. No search option, tags or categories. All things that will surely be added in the future, I guess.

If you love storytelling, and love doing it with others together, this might be a thing for you to check out.

Pay-data (On The Run part 4)

Baptiste, Redmond Barrens, Seattle

Empty pizza boxes, dirty cups filled with a zip of old, gooey soy-caf, long overdue laundry and a smell not easily put into a category, fill the room. The cleaning drone has been inactive and out of power for over a month now. Maybe longer.

But at least it’s quiet.

The certified credstick in my palm reads 5000¥. Picked it up this morning from a locker at the train station. Another 10,000¥ were wired in small amounts to a handful of shadow accounts, all authorized to cash out to me. The process of laundering money; within the next four weeks, I will be 500k nuyen richer. Half-a-fraggin-million. Enough to shut me up. Enough for me not to worry. Yet, something about this run irks me in places that shouldn’t ever irk me. It was too easy to get in, too easy to get the data that is worth five-hundred-thousand nuyen. I know it didn’t look like that, but even getting out was too easy, considering the gun shots on ‘Raku property and everything. I don’t even recall an alarm, come to think of it.Read More »

Shadow Business (On The Run part 3)

Renraku World Headquarters; Chiba, Japan
Moments earlier

Sitting upright in his expensive leather chair, the Japanese man stares at the commlink in front of him. Floating over the table, carved out of the finest woods of this planet, are a dozen windows filled with statistics, numbers and processes, only visible to his image link.

Not one of the images projects an operation, that is completely legal in any business around the globe.

The door to his office slides open, and a young Japanese man enters. He’s dressed in a perfectly tailored suit, every crease in his pants accounted for, the hair systematically arranged down to the last streak hanging over his forehead. His steps are measured, his facial expression calculated. The young man looks professional on every level; perfect and cold.Read More »

DocWagon™(On The Run part 2)


//ID > Patrick James Osbourne
//Matching Database…
//Scanning Biometrics…
//…confirmed :: Status > DocWeagen™ Gold Service

//Vitals > CRITICAL

“That’s him,” the doc in armored jacket says, after scanning the the ID of the nearly dead guy in the dumpster. “Okay boys, get him out’a here. Be careful, he’s got some bad holes, so don’t break him. Here is the stats from his bio – don’t look so good.”

After quickly going over the very alarming vitals, pulled from the target’s biomonitor, the troop of DocWagen™ extraction members follows the order, carefully pulling the man out of the trash.

“Sir,” one of the men says, pointing at the target, “he is armed. Two heavy caliber pistols, two combat knives.”

“You know the protocol, O’Larey. Status confirms the licenses,” says the team leader with a shrug.

They take his weapons and put them into a lockbox, programmed to the fingerprint of the target. The Docs make sure the target is stabilized, stopping the blood loss on the major wounds before they carry him into the DocWagen™ rescue van. There, they tend to every little scratch, disinfecting and patching.

One of the team members turns around, and looking at the gate leading into corporation territory, he says, “What do you think he got shot for, O’Larey?”

O’Larey stares at the community entry sign, proudly broadcasted in AR with soothing lights and friendly colors, and answers, “I don’t know, dude. Sometimes I wonder if we’re maybe saving the wrong people.”

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