Plot Availability in StoryGameSpace
The original notes called for characters (organizations, factions, groups) to have a Permission Level: Personal, Private, Peripheral or Public. The term Permission Level has been changed to Plot Availability. The options are as follows:

Personal = No other players may use this character/org.

Private = Only a small group of players may use this character/org; and permission to do so is granted by the initial creator only. Since you can only post under a character name associated with your account, the posting system can police that.

Peripheral = This character/org may be used by anyone, but only in a "peripheral" fashion. IOW, the character may be seen in the background, engage in a relatively innocuous conversation, or be mentioned in a passing context. In addition, perhaps all such uses are subject to approval by the permission-granter, or perhaps that's a fifth class called something like "periphal-moderated"? This is the trickiest class to automate. Needs more thought. But I like it.

Public = Anyone may use this character/org in their posts. Jerry Cornelius falls into this category, as do all public domain figures and celebrities.

Greetings and Orientation
Hello, Internet --
Today I'm going to talk a little bit about what the concept of is, and how it will differ from other PBP Forums and applications often used for this purpose.

Getting Lit
Nominally, SGS is intended mainly for "storygamers".  That term might loosely be defined as "people who play in a more collaborative and narrative-oriented way than most people typically do" - see also "games specifically designed for such people".   Another way to put it - actually a better one, since it's not like we'll rule out traditional games - is that the approach here is for people with a "literary" approach.

Because let's not fool ourselves: PBP games can be a grind and a let-down for people who aren't of a particular bent.  Most people need a faster pace, more direct interaction, or the sound of the dice hitting the table.  But that's not everyone.  Avid readers, writers, artists, designers, and introverts of all types know the value of letting things develop slowly, asynchronously, through the creative use of language. is for those people.  In fact, it's going to augment them.

Built for Players and Readers
The interface of SGS will be presented in two ways: one for players - the players interface will include a variety of custom support features for the creation and categorization of in-play objects - and another for readers.  

The readers' interface will provide a comfortable and convenient way to follow the stories of your favorite groups and characters on-site, whether you're a player or not.

Years of Research
It's always nice when you can refer to hundreds of hours of gameplay as "research" - and really mean it.  The original concept for SGS goes all the way back to 1993, where a group of creatives including Heath Rezabek, Mitchell Porter and Tod Foley (that's me) began collaborating online in something we called "FIXion".  The FIXion project lived online for a little more than two years.  Heath has since taken it in other directions, moving closer to the printed page.

But Tod (that's me again) was a programmer with a roleplaying game design background, and he was moving deeper into cyberspace.  The seeds of the online interactive narrative space were to percolate in the back of my mind for the next couple decades, occasionally bubbling up to surprise and confound people in highly specialized internet conversations.

One Site to Rule Them All
It was not obvious to me that this system should be a web destination in its own right.  After all, it could just as well be built as a software package, to be downloaded and installed on your own personal webserver.  I wondered about the optimal configuration for years, and I often wobbled back and forth on the question.

Finally I took the question to - you guessed it - the internet.  An informal poll of storygamers via social media rather quickly answered the question I should have been able to answer myself: People preferred a single destination 9 to 1.

The people had spoken, and the domain name was registered.

In the coming months, I (and my Patrons) will engage in replays and extensions of those early conversations, talking about features and playtest scenarios, and putting together the first user groups for the beta release.

I hope you join us.


The following list of features was assembled from a conversation between myself (TF), Adam Robichaud (AR) and Richard Rogers (RR).  It serves as a good starting-point for the full feaures list I'm planning to implement for StoryGameSpace...


- game dependent aliases, tags, NPC names (e.g.@NPC_Name produces a link to the NPC's wiki page).
- relevant reference information to the right, narrative on the left.
- The ability to branch a story line at a specific point (for retcon/salvage)

- "playing as" by the name of the person who posted
- whenever a character name is used (PC or NPC), it links to a wiki
- variety of text colors to differentiate who is speaking (not required, but it can be nice)
- easy picture embedding
- easy YouTube and video embedding
- scene summaries that offer functions to tell others what the scene was about, maybe even XP earned
- some way to "plus one" posts like G+ or RPGGeek without having to interrupt
- a way to group scenes so you could easily follow one PC through a story
- tagging, so you could see all the posts with X PC in them
- spoiler stuff, like a "no pic" mode or maybe a "click to see more in post" mode.
- die roller
- cards-based resolution
- quick access to the ruleset (using SRDs or whatever)

- Sidebar with aligned callout blocks for each in-character post. Content in the callout block might include dice results, asides, thumbnail images, links, "third person" commentary, etc.
- Alternately this might work like placing "sticky notes" in the sidebar at whatever position makes sense. 
- Drawers. Sliders. Pullouts.
- Spoiler Trays
- All blocks/panels must be collapsible. AJAX. 
- Avatars
- Object-Oriented World
- System-agnostic Character Forms
- Character Permission Levels aka "Plot Availability" settings
- A variety of Random Decision Generators
- All graphical stuff is small or in a slider. The screen should be about 75% STORY.
- No dedicated ruleset. Ruleset importation via standardized format or API, but that's up to the GM
- Retcon Tools
- Ability to do a global OR sectional search-and-replace on a word, like a character name. 
- Contextual Filtering of Content Views
- Sliding Timeline. Scenes appear as colored bars. Rollover to view a popup with scene title & characters.
- POV Content Filter: I'm picturing it working something like a translator + a wysiwyg preview frame.
- Most of the above is accessed in Play Mode. There should also be Read Mode, which is more like a book.
- Follow Mode, in which you choose a character to follow (as a reader) and you're only shown scenes that character is in.
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