This is what a play-by-post would read like in my own circle of friends. Let’s pretend I’m the Narrator here, and three of my buddies play the game.
Up on the surface, epidemiologists and religious scholars were probably scratching their bald heads trying to comprehend this most uncanny phenomenon: a Zombie Apocalypse affecting only a very specific area (Vatican City), and a very specific group (dead Popes). Nowhere else did anyone report seeing any sort of undead manifestations. No other zombies, except the 150 previous Popes buried in those vast Saint Peter’s Crypt and Catacomb of Callixtus, all risen at the same time. But why?
No time to think about it now. You have to find a way out.
The merchandise lift – it is the only escape route left. Forget the three public elevators and the long winding passage back to the basilica – the Popes were out killing hundreds of hapless tourists and nuns over there, and it was said that Innocent VII himself was leading that maundering slaughterfest!
Madness. What other word to describe all of this?
Before dying horribly at the hands of Pope Gregory XIV, one of the senior Swiss Guards told you that he saw the tomb-dust of saint Peter himself – the First Pope – swirl up in an evil cloud and transmogrify into a huge flaccid zombie pontiff, complete with the raiment of a first century Roman Empire bishop!
Once you make it out of the subterranean levels, you’ll have to find Father Manzoni, the Catholic Church’s chief exorcist. He’ll know how to deal with this problem...
Pray that he does.
BROTHER CRISTOFANO (THE MONK):
Okay Dave listen – i’m sorry to write this OOC but man it si not a good sign when i have to look up words in a dictionary. I know you love that Faulkner guy, but hey, who wants faulkner as a DM? So no more “transmogrify” nor “maundering” please?
Back in character now.
Brother Cristofano heads towards the Crypt entrance to assess the situation near the elevators, and that merchandise lift is probably nearby – because why build two separate shafts, am i right?
ANTON (THE SWISS GUARD):
Yes, where do we get to kick some Pope butt?
WILSON TAGGART (THE ARCHAEOLOGIST):
Uirn wehk xcyu28w7s jxc, skajhd sld? $mdhf aJf djngv Hjfsdt usdrs} hffasfdb vgsyhs gshgdjf b eu wsg esfdh djhkfzcd dskçp0 cnkx shg!! Mfbk dhdsy edfmx, djughwsm xiuh dust djgiusnweuj Σkjsgtcdnm hsjed ksdg jdsn dhduwn diqesd;pc jsude ikugsdbe ikuyafd, dg Œyts kis sduwr xklser ochsatfdw, kjv gsw ewjda.
What the hell?
He’s typing in his Linux text editor again and trying to copy/paste it...
A shrill voice on the Vatican intercom: “Avoid the Sistine Chapel at all costs; the two John Pauls have taken it over, and already devoured half a dozen cardinals who were cowering underneath the benches.”
I head towards the Sistine Chapel ASAP.
Okay guys, I’m back, and yes, we should really find.......... This game is supposed to be written in novel form, right? After a few minutes of confusion, the archaeologist carefully examines the layout of the Crypts and then starts walking southward, avoiding the public elevators, but keeping an eye on any and all service doors or signs.
Good job, Spiro!
Brother Chris kneels and finds a holy ring of protetcion +2.
You can do it, see? Just write short scenes. Like, one-liners.
Yeah like djhkfzcd dskçp0 cnkx shg!! ;-)
Let’s wait and see what the narrator says...
Is he AFK or what?
Probably jerking off. Again.
Okay guys gonna log in to WOW for a bit. Text me if he comes back.
Storium is a writer’s game. Dice-rollers won’t dig it much. Puzzle-solvers will get impatient very quickly. Competitive players will be bored. Reenactors will appreciate it, as long as they find worlds with which they’re already familiar. Literary buffs will get hooked for sure, almost instantly. Actors, too. Film, improv, and screenwriting students.
Some of my friends don’t read books, and think writing is long and boring.
Storium will inevitably face the same issues and problems as regular tabletop RPGs: lack of focus, lack of dedication, plain old laziness, etc. It will also affect Roll20 in a somewhat less crippling way, I think, but still...
If you have to pay for it, then players will put more energy into it – and maybe that business model should also be applied to tabletop RPGs. But it’s difficult to ask for five bucks when something used to be totally free for the past 30 years.
Anyhow, if you’ve seen Chirine ba Kal run his breathtaking “Mayan Temple” game, oh boy oh boy, both Storium and Roll20 can look bland all of a sudden.