Game Buzz: Story Realms

Another Kickstarter project that has caught my eye is one of the latest in the ever-growing storytelling genre.  It is

image by BGG user Escapade Games

Story Realms is a game for 2-7 players aged 5 and up that was designed by Julian Leiberan-Titus and Angela Hickman Newnham.  The hour-long game is being published by Game Salute.  Story Realms is a cooperative storytelling game where players are heroes attempting to aid the land of Storm Hollow.  It seems to be very family oriented, especially with the 5+ age range.  Let’s see how it looks.

The game comes with three different books – a rulebook (called the Storyteller’s Guide), a storybook (called The World of Storm Hollow), and an adventure book (called Tales of New Age: Book One “Pieces of a Broken World”).  There are dice – light dice, dark dice, talent dice, and a storm die.  There are gemstones – boost gems, hit gems, and oomph gems.  There are also hero boards, talent cards, artifact cards, and power cards for the players.  For the Storyteller, there’s a story board, and Teller’s Tome (a screen), rift lore cards, ally lore cards, enemy lore cards, scene cards, trackers, and tracker tokens.

At the beginning of the game, one of the players will take the role of the Storyteller, who will run the game (much like a GM in roleplaying games).  The others will become heroes, choosing a heroic role and matching board, a talent card, a starting artifact, an an adventuring kit.  The Storyteller will setup the current adventure based on the requirements found in the Storyteller’s Guide.

Adventures takes place over the course of three scenes – an information scene, where players are introduced to the problem they need to solve; a story challenge, which represents the journey towards the final objective; and an action challenge, which determines whether the heroes win or lose the game.  Before each scene, you’ll remove status effects and boosts from each hero, and reset all artifacts so they’re ready to use.  The Storyteller will describe the scene, and then the scene will begin.  Players will take their turn together, followed by the Storyteller.  On their turn, players describe their actions, perform skill checks by rolling dice, and applying hits/describing the results.  When players roll hits, the Storyteller applies them by revealing new information, moving the progress tracker, moving the threat tracker, or allowing the heroes to avoid harmful effects.  Then, the Storyteller takes their turn, and the game ends when the heroes succeed or fail.

This really seems to be closer to a roleplaying game than a traditional board game.  But it’s an RPG that is streamlined for younger audiences, and will probably be a gateway for kids and families to start using their imagination.  For that, I think this game is going to be very valuable.  I can see it being used in library story time to involve the kids in a play experience, or on a family game night.  If you just have adults or experienced RPGers, I’d say it will probably be a little simplistic.  However, I can’t know until I’ve played or seen what an adventure looks like.

So there it is.  Story Realms has 19 days to go on Kickstarter, and has already exceed its $20,000 goal.  Check it out if you’re interested, and thanks for reading.

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