I was playing Storming a few months ago - the group consisted of two experienced players, myself (also experienced), and two new players who'd never done an indie game before (to use the colloquial meaning of the phrase, and NOT start a big discussion ^_^).
One of the new players had done many more mainstream RPGs before, but has/has had some very middle-period, traditional ideas about GMing - the GM brings a plot, the players follow it without being railroaded, and rules are there when you need them - they aren't central to producing play.
That being said, she and I (old friends, incidentally) really hit it off with some inspired co-creativity:
One of the options on the People list was a young woman, a shepherdess.
I decided that my master-blacksmith character should have a daughter, and should be that shepherdess.
My friend (we'll call her "A") decided that her character would be my character's apprentice, and a close friend of that shepherdess.
Eventually, A hit upon the idea that the shepherdess was pregnant, but we didn't know yet who the father was. After a couple of rolls on my end to see if I could get A's character to admit this knowledge in play, I determined/inferred/decided that I had no idea my daughter was expecting.
It's interesting to note how this all came together - I decided on my own that it'd be more fun if I had to act ignorant of this very important information: I had previously established just how much I acted like I "owned" my daughter, and how lowly I'd regard any young man who tried to court her.
Having self-determined my ignorance, and with no other players or GM intervening with any counter-suggestions, I rolled Perception to see if I could catch A in a lie. The dice were against me.
In brief, the GM's premise was an Etruscan coastal village with a piracy problem. Being bronze-age Mediterranean heroes, we were also pirates ourselves, but the problem was somebody was robbing from <>us<>. We went off to pursue them, heard rumors that the brigands had a captured Siren working on their behalf, and sailed the mighty sea. Good times.
But, well, for me and A, the really exciting part of the session was getting into a more and more fraught circumstance surrounding the shepherdess and her baby-daddy. We used a Charged Conversation roll to, effectively, sanctify something A introduced into the fiction:
A: "The boy who led us to the pirates! He's the father!" [spoken out-of-character, not in-game]
Me: "Whoa, whoa, whoa - GM, can I rolled Charged Conversations to tell if she's lying?"
[roll Perception; I succeed]
Me: "Is she lying about that?"
Me: "As in, no, she doesn't think she's lying?"
GM: "As in, she's actively telling the truth."
Me: "Awesome! I remain clueless."
So - yeah, since there wasn't actually a conversation in progress between me and A's characters, and the Charged Conversation rules arguably assume/imply that any new player-knowledge gained is also character knowledge, it seems to me that we messed with that rule in order to focus (a part of) play on something altogether unrelated to our journey.
And, in contrast to other sessions of Storming I've played, this was more fun.
But what I'm really intrigued by is that we sort of happily took a plot (or premise, or rough storyline, whatevs) and, rather than following it and exploring it, I and another player layered our own plot on top, using the adventure! as a side quest, a backdrop.
I just think this is really neat.
It also makes me think that designing rules to put lots of agency and options into players' hands (an element of good competition-style games) contributes greatly to devising a set of tools for story-gaming with lots of player agency - the trick, of course, is to use these tools creatively.
Have you ever done or seen something similar?
What I hope to do next is to figure out how to (help a friend) devise a game where the GM is responsible for being the Fifth Business (as they say) as usual, supporting players' thematic decisions and so on, but additionally for creating a "GM plot" - as in, a storyline that's "officially" occurring as backdrop for the players to make their decisions "on top of".
Is this already out there? It seems like a lot of story-games I've seen or played involve a GM who's mainly there as a support figure, drawing largely from player-authored material to devise adversities and complications for the others to deal with.
Or maybe there's just some design out there I missed. She's new to indie games, so it doesn't sound like anything she's seen.