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Plotter & VP Tip #1

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  • Plotter & VP Tip #1

    Yes, Tip numbero uno!

    In being a sounding board and guide for staff and players, it is common for both to express to me that they are feeling somewhat stressed. When digging a bit further I get the impression that the stress is coming from plot(s) they are running (or known as stories they are telling). When digging even further I believe the root cause of the stress is because, as owner of a plot, one feels behind the eight ball, on point, unable to keep up as the plot takes on a life of its own.

    In my capacity as the "sage" Lead Plotter of Lovecraft Country please let me offer up a few calming pieces of advice.

    In my five years of experience as a player and plotter for Skotos
    there are several ways to alleviate or minimize stress during a plot run. These include:

    1. Never run your plot before you've fully thought through it and have run it by someone else.

    If you are staff, run it by your Lead Plotter. In Lovecraft Country, all staff-run plots are supposed to be reviewed by the Lead Plotter.

    While I cannot speak for other Skotos games, Lovecraft Country does invite the players to submit plot ideas via @assist. If you are looking to do something yourself we are here to help you figure things out.

    If you find that even what you feel are tiny plots (action that starts and finishes a complete story in a few hours) are stressing you out, then plan it out first and have it reviewed.

    2. Realize that what you've planned for may not happen. Be prepared to be creative.

    Inevitably what you write out, what you plan for, may not necessarily end up being where you go. Do not stress over this. If you find that the players involved have a fabulous idea and you are not ready to support it, it is okay to stall the plot until you've had a chance to think through it, plan for it, and have it reviewed (refer back to #1).

    3. Remember you are part of a community and that we work together.

    You are NOT ALONE. If you are a player, there are other players, and there are definitely staff, who are willing to help you. If you are staff on a game there are other VPs and plotters on that staff who are there to help you.

    4. Remember to not take advantage of that help.

    Just as you can lean on those who help you (#3), the more
    prepared you are (#1) the less stress you will cause your helpers, and the more willing they will be to continue helping you. Leaning on your fellow players and staff for support is not an excuse to avoid planning.

    Plan, review, be prepared to stall-replan-rereview, lean on your
    helpers but don't take advantage of them.

    In particular for game staff, if this means that some weeks you are only doing the bare minimum of RP with your NPC (keeping your office hours or your club hours or hosting a simple kegger party) that is fine.

    It applies to everyone that sufficient time spent planning ahead will save you (and the rest of us) a lot of stress.

    In the end everyone in the Skotos community wants to have fun. No matter what you do for a game be it staffing or playing this tip is meant to help you maximize that fun.

    I hope this gives you some food for thought.
    SH Willow