Storybooks form a part of endgame content for players in AOU. They are designed for large groups of 6-36 players, and involve large amounts of strategising, planning, researching and improvising. Storybooks are designed to be as far from linear as possible, providing players and leaders with as many methods to complete objectives as possible. They are also spread out over a long time, often requiring periods of downtime for players to progress through individual objectives before moving on. These are known as "chapters"; each storybook usually has between 4 and 12 chapters.
Before a storybook becomes available, players must complete "Prologues" which are a variety of objectives that act as prerequisites for participating in the raid. This is to ensure that the group will have the right kind of skills, abilities and expertise required to progress through the storybook. Prologues are tied intrinsically to player roles: each prologue will test a player on a particular role, and upon completion, will unlock that role in the storybook. The optional prologues are: Commander of Armies, A Treatise on Strategy, General of War, Combat: Common Brawler, Combat: Common Soldier, Combat: Enteric Brawler, Combat: Enteric Soldier, Support: Common Medic, Support: Enteric Healer, Support: Scout, Subtlety: Assassin, Subtlety: Saboteur, Subtlety: Thief, Subtlety: Intel Agent, Technical: Driver, Technical: Pilot, Technical: Engineer.
There are three mandatory prologues that all players must complete, being Art of War: Situational Awareness, Art of War: The RTSV, Art of War: Strategic Retreat.
Each player is required to play a unique part in a storybook. Some roles will have players group together during the events, and some will have them carry out individual tasks.
Tacticians are the eyes and ears of the Commander, ensuring that he or she remains fully aware of the changing environment and updating them on things that they might not otherwise know about. Being in the field themselves, the Tactician can often offer insight as to the battle that the Commander might not otherwise have, and can suggest strategies based on first-hand experience. Tacticians require almost as much experience as a Commander, demanding extensive knowledge of combat rules, intel on the enemy, situational awareness and improvisational prowess. On top of all that, the have partial control of the RTSV, and can command a greater-than-average host of personell and machinery. Tacticians will generally erect a Forward Command Center somewhere in the field and venture out (preferably to high ground to keep an eye on the situation.
- Prologues required: A Treatise on Strategy, Support: Scout, Subtlety: Intel Agent, Technical: Engineer, and 1 Combat prologue
- Salary: $210ph (+$1000 bonus for every FCP deployed)
- Tactician: Unlocked after deploying one Forward Command Post in a successful storybook operation.
- Tactician II: Unlocked after deploying three Forward Command Posts in successful storybook operations.
- Tactician III: Unlocked after deploying six Forward Command Posts in successful storybook operations.
- Warmaster: Unlocked after deploying ten Forward Command Posts in successful storybook operations.
If the Field Tactician is the eyes and ears of the commander, then the General is the hands and feet. A veteran of combat and master of war, there is no trick a General hasn't seen on the battlefield. Generals generally lead large numbers of infantry, and thus have unparalleled access to infantry through the RTSV. While excercising direct authority over infantry and other personell in their unit, Generals answer directly to the Commander and must adapt to their objectives unquestioningly. This is because their view through the RTSV is limited to the immediate area and thus they must rely on external commands to avoid lethal dangers. Generals must have mastered a combat-based prologue and the dedicated General of War prologue.
- Prologues required: General of War, 2 Combat prologues, 1 Support prologue and 1 Technical prologue
- Salary: $240ph (+$5 bonus for every positive total personell KDR at the end of a chapter)
- General: Unlocked after achieving a 500 positive total personell KDR gap.
- General II: Unlocked after achieving a 1500 positive total personell KDR gap.
- General III: Unlocked after achieving a 3000 positive total personell KDR gap.
- Major General: Unlocked after achieving a 5000 positive total personell KDR gap.
Sergeants are the group's most basic form of soldier, having a number of Privates under their command, and answering usually to a General, however a Commander's orders have a higher priority. Sergeants carry out basic combat objectives, and must have mastered one of the combat prologues based on their preferred choice of offensive. Sergeants will also earn a grade for each additional combat prologue they complete.
Prologues required: 1 Combat prologue
- Salary: $110ph (+$3 bonus for every kill during a storybook operation)
- Sergeant: Unlocked after achieving 200 total kills in a storybook encounter.
- Sergeant II: Unlocked after achieving 600 total kills in a storybook encounter.
- Sergeant III: Unlocked after achieving 1200 total kills in a storybook encounter.
- Sergeant IV: Unlocked after achieving 2000 total kills in a storybook encounter.
- Sergeant Major: Unlocked after achieving 3000 total kills in a storybook encounter.
Storybooks size is fixed for pick-up groups, but as long as a certain number of club members are grouped, size is flexible. The standard size for storybooks is 36, although some storybooks are smaller at 18, allowing groups to split between the two for variety during progression.
For clubs, a group size can vary by 3 members. Thus, as long as a minimum of 33 or a maximum of 39 club members are grouped, they can go ahead with the storybook. It should be noted that the difficulty of the storybook adapts for these changes to keep it consistent however. For 18-sized storybooks, the variation is 2 (thus 16-20).