A type of roleplaying
game put out by White Wolf Studios
Storyteller games are so called because the Game Master is dubbed a Storyteller and her primary role is to tell a story rather than primarily to act as Judge.
In storyteller games, experience is awarded based on the quality of one's roleplaying, one's ability to get into character and to do interesting and engaging things once there, rather than on killing monsters.
Games in the storyteller system work from a Dice System that employs exclusively d10s. During Character Creation, one divides points among a number of Attributes, physical, mental, and social characteristics of the character, and more points among Skills -- what was learned. All of these range between a rating of 1, which is very poor, to 5, which is human perfection. When performing an action, one selects the appropriate Skill and the appropriate Attribute -- for example, to evaluate someone's fighting technique, you could roll Perception + Melee. When trying to get your little sister to tell you what Mom and Dad were talking about would be a Manipulation + Intimidate roll, possibly a Manipulation + Socialize if you're being subtle, or Charisma + Presence if you're relying on her high opinion of you.
When one rolls dice in a Storyteller Game, one rolls a certain number of them in an attempt to hit or exceed a Target Number, for example, say, seven -- a typical difficulty (indeed, in Exalted it is the ONLY difficulty). Thus if, say, you had Strength four and Athletics 3, you would roll seven dice to break a door. The number of dice that meet or exceed your Target Number determines your degree of success. In World of Darkness games, ones that you roll subtract from your total number of successes, thus even if you rolled a success, if you rolled a one as well, the action would still be considered unsuccessful. In these games, if your net successes is negative, that is if you have rolled more 1's than successes, you botch -- a failure that is more than simply failure. You might shoot the hostage instead of the terrorist, or you may break your hand trying to punch down said door. In Exalted, 1s do not subtract successes, but a 1 present on a failure is still considered a botch.
Storyteller Games also have Willpower, which stands seperate from these two categories. Willpower is unique in that it MAYbe rolled to test one's will as in many other games, but you also have a number of points of Temporary Willpower equal to your Permanent Willpower -- thus if your character has Six permanent Willpower (Willpower ranges from one to ten), he has six points of Temporary Willpower. These may be spent to gain a success automatically on a roll. They do not come back easily, however.
All characters in Storyteller Games have a Nature, a conception of self that represents WHO THEY ARE. Each nature has some set of action that is paradigmatic of that Nature and when this action is performed, the character regains a dot of temporary willpower, ensuring the ease of staying in character. For example, a Martyr would gain a Temporary Willpower point every time she sacrificed something for the greater good.