[Storium] Centurions of the Galactic Core

Duck Call Lass

New member
Banned
I thought I'd make a thread to talk about the game I'm running on Storium. This thread will talk about my experiences in setting up and running a game using the system/site.

If you're on Storium, here's a link to my game; unfortunately it's full with six players right now, so I can't take anyone else from here who might want to play. You can watch, though!

Here's the blurb for the game:

CENTURIONS OF THE GALACTIC CORE
A Teenage Super-Hero Space Opera Game

In the 35th Century, humanity has left the planet Earth far behind and stretched out across the galaxy, colonizing most of the known universe and encountering myriad alien species along the way. The human colonies and their alien allies have joined together in the Galactic Congruity, a loose republic of five hundred independent worlds.

These worlds are protected by young heroes known as the Centurions of the Galactic Core – a virtual legion of super-heroes, each possessing one unique power and dedicated to the common good. Together they work to defend the Congruity from power-mad dictators, space pirates, and monstrous alien beasts.

CGC is a roleplaying game inspired by the Legion of Super-Heroes comics, and has a Silver Age space-story feel to it. Your character is a new recruit to the Centurions, gifted with unusual powers and saddled with an old-fashioned name. Will you find romance among the stars, or will you make the ultimate sacrifice to save your world?

Character Creation

A character must have the following in her or his (or their) description:

Hero Name: Must be of the form --- Lad or --- Boy (male characters), --- Girl or --- Lass (female characters), or --- Kid (any character). Your name should describe or hint at your power.

Real Name: It should be something space-y, like a Star Wars name.

Super-Powers: Based on your Strength card choice.

Home Planet: Make up a name for it. Does everyone have your powers, or just you? If just you, how did you get your powers?

Storium uses a system of cards, which are "held" by the players and can be played during the course of the game. The Narrator makes up a set of cards at the beginning of the game to describe her world and to help the players build their characters/hand of cards.

Nature Cards:

The Nature cards represent a fundamental aspect of the character -- origin, backstory, core personality, and so on. Each character gets one Nature card. Players can't actually play these cards during a scene, but they help shape the character's concept and RP.

The Nature cards I created for CGC are:

Spoiler: Show
ACCIDENTAL HERO
You never intended to be a super-hero, let alone join the Centurions, but some serendipitous event -- an explosion, a lab accident, the bite of a radioactive creature -- granted you these super-powers. How will you use them?

ANGRY LONER
You didn't ask for this. You don't really want to be here, but you're stuck. You tell yourself that you'd really like to be alone, but the truth is that you're usually quite lonely and you don't know how to connect with your teammates.

BRILLIANT GENIUS
You are the smartest person in the room. This may be a result of natural ability or a super-power, but your ability to think your way out of any situation is unparalleled.

EASILY CONFUSED ALIEN
You're not at home among so many humans, and their bizarre customs confuse you. Nevertheless, you are here to represent your planet and work alongside these curiously odd young heroes.

INCORRIGIBLE FLIRT
You can't help it, you're just flirty. It's the way you relate to people best -- a teasing comment, a subtle wink, a lingering glance. You might not follow through on your teasing ways, but the fun is in the game itself.

LAST OF YOUR KIND
You are an endangered species. There are few (if any) other survivors of your home planet, which was struck by a cataclysmic disaster that all but destroyed it.

LIFE OF THE PARTY
If the Centurions were high school, you'd be the class clown. As the self-appointed morale officer, you try to keep your team-mates cheered up even in the darkest times.

NURTURING SPIRIT
You care about your fellow Centurions -- perhaps too much at times, always wanting the best for them and thinking little of yourself.

PLANETARY CHAMPION
You are the hero of your home planet, and a major celebrity there. In a way, joining the Centurions is almost a step down for you. Don't these people realize what an important person you are?

RAW RECRUIT
You just joined the Centurions and this is really your first time in the depths of space. Away from your planet, are you a fish out of water or do you quickly adapt to the new challenges facing you?

SOMETHING TO PROVE
You've got a chip on your shoulder. You're driven to prove that you're the best, but do you really believe in yourself or is it all a front for your insecurity?

STALWART HERO
You're an exemplar of truth, justice, and the Galactic Congruity way. People respect and admire you for your courage and moral clarity. You'd better not let them down.

THE CHOSEN ONE
You've been training all your life for this. From an early age you began to master your powers, as well as your other skills.


Strength Cards:

Strength cards represent the useful qualities possessed by each character. Players can play these (or Weakness cards, described below) to overcome obstacles and challenges during scenes.

Each player starts with three identical Strength cards and one extra "Wild" card that can be defined when played. Since I decided that this was going to be a Legion of Super-Heroes[/B] expy game, I made all the Strength cards represent super-powers -- each character has one single power they can use.

Spoiler: Show
BRAWLER
You're able to dish out a beating and take one too. This might be due to superhuman strength and toughness, or maybe you're very agile and trained in the martial arts of fifty planets.

CONFOUND THE SENSES
Your powers can prevent others from perceiving you or other objects -- by turning yourself invisible, creating clouds of darkness, or casting illusions into the minds of your enemies.

COSMIC CONTROL
You can control one of the forces of the universe, such as magnetism or gravity. You may be able to speed up or slow down chemical reactions, or transmute the elements.

ENERGY BLAST
You can toss around some kind of energy blast, as well as absorbing and redirecting that type of energy.

INVULNERABILITY
Nothing can hurt you. Period. Either you're just that tough, or you can turn intangible and walk through walls, or you can project a force field. In any case, you're immune to harm, and you can use this power to protect others as well.

RELOCATION
Your super-powers let you move around quickly. Perhaps you run really fast, or you can teleport by opening warp gates, or fly through the depths of space.

SHAPESHIFTING
You have the power to change your form into anything you can imagine. You can decrease or increase your size, but your mass remains the same.

SIZE ALTERATION
You can make yourself grow or shrink in size, from the size of a marble to the height of a building.

TELEPATHY
You can read thoughts of other sentient beings, and sometimes even influence their actions. You can also project bolts of pure mental force.

UNCANNY PERCEPTION
You have the ability to sense things which others cannot -- perhaps electromagnetic radiation, maybe the ability to read auras, or even glimpse into the future.


Weakness Cards:

Weakness cards are like Strength cards, in that they can be played in scenes to overcome challenges. Each challenge has two possible outcomes, one more good, and one more bad -- if more Strength cards are played, then the better option, but if more Weakness cards are played then the less desirable one. Like Strength cards, a character starts with three matching Weakness cards and one Wild card.

For Weaknesses, I chose to go with a mix of super-hero style weaknesses (kryptonite weakens me!) and thematically appropriate personality quirks.

Spoiler: Show
BIZARRE PHYSIOLOGY
You're not shaped like a normal humanoid, unlike most of the rest of the Centurions. This causes any number of problems for you in daily living.

EASILY DISTRACTED
Maybe your mind wanders, or maybe you hyperfocus on a specific obsession -- either way, it's hard for you to keep up with what's going on around you.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEPENDENCE
You are from a planet unlike most of those in the Galactic Congruity, and you breathe a different type of atmosphere. Without your specialized adaptation gear, you won't survive long.

EXHAUSTING POWERS
When you use your super-powers, you can easily become exhausted and need some time to rest before using them again.

LIMITED POWERS
Your super-powers won't work against something common, be it lead lining or the color purple. What prevents you from using your powers at full effectiveness?

OVERCONFIDENCE
You've got super-powers -- nothing can stop you, right?
Right?

POOR POWER CONTROL
You are still perfecting your super-powers and have problems controlling them in stressful situations. You might accidentally affect your teammates or otherwise endanger your mission.

PRIMITIVE ORIGINS
You come from a planet which has lower technology than the rest of the Galactic Congruity, and was admitted as a probationary member. A lot of this high-tech stuff confuses the heck out of you.

RADIATION
Certain types of radiation can interfere with your body's ability to use super-powered energy, causing your powers to short out when exposed to sources of that radiation.

TEMPER, TEMPER
You're a hothead, easily angered and prone to lashing out when provoked.

UNLUCKY
Whenever bad things happen, they happen to you. It's nothing you're doing, but circumstances just conspire to make your life challenging.


Subplot Cards:

Subplots are neat -- they are a player-driven way of saying what you want your character to do in the story. These can be played alongside other cards, or by themselves; you get 5 of them, and when you use up all 5 during the course of play, you get a reward of a free Strength Wild card.

The subplot cards I chose are mostly standard tropes from Legion of Super-Heroes comics that I thought would be fun to see someone trying to play out.

Spoiler: Show
BUCKING FOR A PROMOTION
You want to advance in the Centurion and move up in rank. But to do so, you'll have to impress your team-mates and the higher-ups in the Centurion organization. How will you stand out from the crowd?

DEEP, DARK SECRET
You've got a secret which you can't tell anyone. (Well, except the Narrator.) If it ever got out, you'd be in big trouble -- so you'll go to any length to stop that secret from being revealed.

INNOVATIVE POWERS
Find new and creative ways to use your super-powers to prove that you deserve a spot on the team.

NEWS FROM HOME
You've received a communique from your home planet, and whatever it was, it's weighing heavily on you now. Can you keep your mind on this mission when your heart is a thousand light years away?

OUT FOR REVENGE
Someone harmed you and your planet, and you want to make them pay. But your quest for vengeance may bring you into conflict with your fellow Centurions -- will they stand with you, or against you?

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS
Something bad occurred on your last mission. You don't really want to talk about it, but it affected you deeply. How can you go on living your life after what happened?

POWER COMPLICATION
Your super-powers aren't working right. They may not be as reliable as before, or maybe they're changing. Perhaps you're even losing your powers. How can you stay a Centurion if you can't count on your super-powers?

REPUTATION TO LIVE UP TO
You aren't the first person from your planet in the Centurions, and you've their legacy weighing down on you. Will you be as good as they were, or will you be even better?

RIVALRY
There's one Centurion you can't stand. They're always trying to one-up you, and that drives you nuts. What will you do in order to prove you're a better person?

SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY
You're insatiably curious about everything that can be measured and analyzed. What will catch your interest this time?

SOMEONE'S IN TROUBLE
The Centurions have a number of complex rules, and you've managed to break many of them. This may be your last chance to show that you really do belong here.

TEEN ROMANCE
You're looking for love in all the wrong places. Or maybe the right ones. Will you find the girl, boy, or other sentient of your dreams?

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Something's fishy. You're not sure what it is, but something doesn't sit well with you. Has the Centurion hierarchy been infiltrated? Can you trust your orders, or even your team-mates?
 
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Duck Call Lass

New member
Banned
So character creation went pretty well! There are six characters, named Mood Boy, Sword Lad, Titanic Lad, Riot Lass, Phantom Girl, and Dream Kid.

The following Natures were chosen:

  • Angry Loner
  • Planetary Champion
  • Life of the Party
  • Incorrigible Flirt
  • Raw Recruit
  • Last of Your Kind

There's a good distribution of powers, represented by the Strength cards chosen:

  • Confound the Senses
  • Invulnerability
  • Brawler (taken by two characters)
  • Size Alteration
  • Telepathy

The Weaknesses they chose are:

  • Poor Power Control (chosen twice)
  • Primitive Origins
  • Exhausting Powers
  • Overconfidence
  • Environmental Dependence

And the subplots in play are:

  • The Truth is Out There
  • Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Innovative Powers
  • Reputation to Live Up To
  • Teen Romance
  • ... and a custom one created by a player, Reputation for Savagery

I like that the players have a chance to make their own additions to the game and aren't stuck with JUST those cards I could think up.

I started off with one challenge -- they have to convince Commander Dekota Kross that they're the right Centurions for the job they've been assigned. I decided this would be a six-card challenge, and I declared two possible outcomes:

Outcomes

Strong:
Kross looks favorably upon your team and is convinced you are right for this mission.

Weak:
Kross is not impressed by you, and doubts you'll be of any use to her, but you're all she has to work with.
Three of the players played Weakness cards -- including one player playing a Wild card, which was neat -- and three players played Subplot cards. The Subplot cards don't count toward the outcome, only Strength and Weakness. So this was a 0-3 challenge -- unsuccessful.

The player who played the last of the six cards got to narrate Commander Kross's disappointment in her team, which was interesting. I had forgotten that I don't really "control" the NPCs in a traditional sense, so that was a good reminder to me.

I also dropped an Asset card into the scene, Mission Commander Badge, and set it up with Kross saying “I’m going to assign one of you as team leader for this mission. That’s going to be …”

Then I left it hanging for the first person to come along and pick it up and finish her sentence, which someone did.

Next I am going to close the scene and set up the next one, after giving the players a little more time to finish up.
 

Duck Call Lass

New member
Banned
By the way, if anyone has any questions, comments, or observations, feel free to chime in on this thread.
 
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loconius

Registered User
Validated User
By the way, if anyone has any questions, comments, or observations, feel free to chime in on this thread.
What's the incentive to play a subplot card, just that if you play all 5 you get a strength card? Do they do anything else? Are all these cards shared by all or does each player only get certain cards (like the strengths)?
 

Nessalantha

Registered User
Validated User
What's the incentive to play a subplot card, just that if you play all 5 you get a strength card? Do they do anything else? Are all these cards shared by all or does each player only get certain cards (like the strengths)?
As I understand it, as I have yet to join a game, subplot cards count toward overcoming the challenge to which it's applied, but they do not shift the strength/weakness balance that determines how the scene will end. This also means if you play the subplot card that ends the challenge, you get to dictate how it ends, based upon the final balance of strong, weak, or undecided.

The default of subplot cards is that one person gets the five cards. It's their personal subplot. When you run out, you get another stack of five. If the subplot is unresolved, it may be the same subplot. If not, you should get another stack with a different subplot.
 

Dave Crane

Retired User
Hello I'm fimarach on storium and I'm playing Titannic Lad.

I can tell you the value of Subplot cards - first of all you may not want to tip the balance to a Weak or Strong outcome because you don't want to ruin how someone else was trying to finish it, or because others have played Strong and you want a strong outcome but you have only Subplots or Weaknesses left. Mostly neutral cards let you resolve challenges without having to really commit. In addition you will have alot more neutral cards than you will Strengths or Weaknesses (Subplots, Assets, and Goals). In point of fact, speaking from a purely "power game" slant (which is pretty funny considering the system) goals are the best plays because they help resolve challenges and each one completed gives you a wild strength.

Admittedly, this is story gaming, so there is not a strong rules mechanic in place. The leeway the system allows is part of the beauty.
 

Duck Call Lass

New member
Banned
Thanks for answering some of the questions while I was sorta neglecting this thread!

I am waiting to post more here after the second scene ends. It got slowed down because I didn't have enough challenges open -- taking care of the kids all week and Easter holiday cut down on my time -- but I've since added more challenges for the players to take on, including using melee tactics against rocks in space.
 

Duck Call Lass

New member
Banned
Okay, scene two is finished so I'll talk about that here.

In scene 1, Titanic Lad's player chose to have his character appointed as leader. So when I set up scene two, I tossed out some Goal cards that players could optionally pick up, allowing them to either support him or chafe against his leadership -- the point being to interject some conflict and drama. We'll see how that plays out. More players chose to go with "You Aren't the Boss of Me" than "Aye, Aye, Sir!" I also gave Titanic Lad himself a Goal of leading the team.

I also gave them helmets which let them fly, survive in space, and communicate with each other, duplicating the powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes' flight rings and transsuits. I gave these an arbitrary 3 uses per player, but if that proves to be less than needed, I'll just hand out more cards later on.

The Centurions arrived in the system and managed to find the right planet, a 3-point challenge. They chose to evade the sensor satellites and approach the planet, whereupon they were pelted by asteroids. Titanic Lad ordered half the team out to punch asteroids while the others used the ship's systems to repel the space rocks.

I made the asteroids a 9-point challenge and also added a 4-point challenge to find the crash site on Scorpula 7. This was probably a mistake, as players can only play 3 cards per scene, and that was really pushing the limit. I decided that with 3 of the 4 points of the second challenge completed that I would accept it, and moved the story along to the next plot.

Along the way, the players were interjecting various elements into the story -- Phantom Girl analyzed the probable crash location, and Dream Kid determined there were irregularities, like a holographic cover or something. This is cool because even I don't know where the story is going to go next, so I have to think on my feet as Narrator.

I could have just asked Dream Kid to rewrite his move, if I didn't like the idea of a holographic cover, but I liked it and I am a big proponent on the idea of players co-writing the story rather than just a traditional DM/player setup. (Also, players tend to make things worse for themselves than I usually would!)

The Centurions also realized that they were missing information on why a diplomatic mission would be at this jungle planet with asteroids and such, and so Titanic Lad decided to call back to the base to get more details. After which he was hung up on, and starfighters appeared in attack formation...
 

Duck Call Lass

New member
Banned
Scene three is over and I made that the last scene in this chapter, moving on to chapter two which has the Centurions on this jungle planet.

I gave them four challenges this go around -- three small two-box challenges for starfighters attacking them, and one four-box challenge for setting down on the planet (or crashing).

The players tackled the starfighters pretty easily and captured two pilots and one ship; I assigned those as assets to the characters who did that.

When it came to the landing, the players chose a Bad result, so they crashed hard in the jungle. I narrated them being watched by two mystery figures and then closed out the scene.

At the start of chapter two, I left some "Ow, that hurt..." assets lying around in various denominations (2-box, 4-box, 6-box) for players to pick up if they wanted. Technically being wounded isn't an asset, but also technically assets don't contribute to your success or failure either, but rather help drive the narrative when you play them.

I could have given those assets to the players directly, deciding who got wounded and who did not. However, I am happier letting the players decide how hurt they are, and what effect it will have on their characters. I am making a conscious effort to embrace the cooperative aspects of this game, even if it means giving up some of the GM-style control that I'm using to having in other games.

Oh, and then two giant monsters attacked the Centurions. RAAR!
 
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