Why a Storytelling game?
It seems like the first question I'm asked whenever we come out with a new game is "why do different genre from what you've done before?" The short answer is because we believe that different people like different games. I mean, why design a whole bunch of games for the same person? That would be silly.
What's the deal with the hats?
You need a place to keep your Bravo Chips, Craft Cards, and Awards. We use real hats when we play, but we couldn't fit the spartan helmet in the box, so we settled on hat cards.
Sheesh! A hardball question on my own company's FAQ? Who is asking these questions, anyway? The story behind storytellers is simple. We wanted a Storytelling game that would be enjoyable both for people who like telling stories and for people who like winning games. These goals are often in conflict with each other, and designing a game that meets both of them helps bring those different people together. See the designer notes for more information.
You won't. The storylines are just the starting point for the story. You can use them over and over again. Each time you start the game, you are given a choice of five storylines to pick from. Just pick the one you're in the mood for. We're also going to be putting more storylines on this web site. Just click the Storylines link above.
You're limited to playing no more than two cards on your own narration. I'd suggest avoiding that trap, however. The big points are in the Bravo Chips and Awards. You could have fifteen Craft Cards in your hat, but if I get two awards and two Bravo chips, I'd still beat you. Don't ignore them, though. The Craft Cards will give you the edge if you have basically the same number of Bravo chips and awards that someone else does.
Then you can just relax and tell the story. Go for a strong finish by focussing on Bravo Chips and Awards!
Don't sweat it! Remember, you don't have to recite the story verbatim. Just give the gist of what happened earlier, and focus on getting the most recent details right. Other people can (and should) help out, calling out reminders. The Recitation just makes sure everyone is on the same page (so to speak) and gives you a golden opportunity to win Bravo chips.
Cool. Leave it in the box. If you want to let your Recitations go on extra long, that's all good. We use the timer to keep ourselves from wandering too much. We found that Recitations often turned into lengthy discussions, and the timer helped out. I also really like the added pressure of having to recite under a deadline. However, if you don't like the pressure, don't use it.