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Character and Plot Questions

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  • Character and Plot Questions

    With regards to plots, character evolution, et al; some questions:

    When considering a plot, do you approach other characters first to gain interest? How much do you reveal? At what point do you determine to involve an SP with your plot and/or character?

    What is an example of something that makes the castle a 'better' place that is workable from the perspective of the powers that be (I heard this advised to a new character and have questioned it since)?

    I've come to find there are certain things that seem to go against the grain with regards to plots, and are almost guaranteed to be pointedly ignored, if not get you shunned forever:

    1-Collapsing or fainting in a room full of people
    2-Attacking people randomly
    3-Saying you are a prophet, psychic, seer, etc.
    4-Claiming to possess any unusual powers not demonstrable
    5-Feigning insanity
    6-Insisting you have died when clearly you have not
    7-Death plots in general that don't involve SP's
    8-Attempts at suicide that don't utilize the furnace
    9-Inappropriate reactions to a plot in progress

    Certainly good plots have included some of the above. I wonder if it's a matter of not having sufficient plot exposure, or a pet peeve from having been overworked too often?

    Any input is appreciated.

    The yoke or the throne?

  • #2
    I never involve an SP, I always do things myself, except a couple other players maybe.

    1 - If done for no reason, or if you do it too much, shunned.

    2 - In jail, oops!

    3 - If you can convince people, good idea (worked for me).

    4 - See 3.

    5 - Hehe, overdone, cliche, forget it.

    6 - We all have died, so .

    7 - Only if done well, but that goes for any plot.

    8 - See 7, but this can be touchy, make sure that there's a good reason, and that at least a couple people know about it to back you up if needed.

    9 - See 7.
    Lovecraft Country: Albert Zero
    Castle Marrach: Cody the Blade


    StoryCoder Azrael tells StoryHermit Death, "I *did* get told "you're amazing" by a girl when I was saucing my hotdog..."

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    • #3
      First and foremost..... you do not always need to check with SP's to run an easy plot. However, if you think you have a good one, that you would like to see others get involved with, then be sure to contact them about it.

      Recently I played a death plot, which is not yet really finished, and I know for a fact that it opened the door for more possibiites for folks out there. I went out of my way to try and get new folks involved in it.... and I am still continuing to do so, as part two of the return comes into existance now that Faer has realized she is a duelist and not a watch person.

      My best suggestion about working your characters, making your own stories, is to read the articles that Skotos provides. They have a fabulous bunch of folks that There is alot of food for thought in those articles and clues as to how to make your story more enjoyable.

      Just remember... for any story to have success, you need to have highs and lows, supporting cast, and perhaps even take a backseat in the story for a while just to let others have the lime light. Some times you have to be willing to allow 'bad' things to happen to your character, in order to have something even better move into place.

      I do want to present a small thought to you all here.

      It concerns me that I can run into a decent RPer and they think that CM is nothing but a Medieval Chat room. The parser is there for you to utilize and to make your story more memorable and enjoyable for others to read. Go and take a look at the the nouns/verbs, gaits, and adjectives/adverbs lists on my website. Think about things your character would use, how to mainipulate the enviorment around you, how to use that parser to further your story.

      If you are having trouble thinking of a story..... remember a book you read recently and perhaps use an idea or two from that.... Or maybe... your story could be helping others to further their story. I can not count the number of times that I stopped working on my own plots to help others with theirs. Some times taking a position of supporting cast member is better for you than trying to take the lime light, or central role.

      Ideas to use :

      --> Your part of a guild that you would like to see get some attention, but you do not lead them. Come up with an idea such as creating a contest that is similar to your society and see what kind of support you can get from the others in the guild/society to help promote the contest.

      --> Become a matchmaker. Not exactly a seer or mystic, but instead you become a reader of peoples hearts and find perfect mates for others.

      --> Build an intrigue plot that would bring attention to the society that your in. Not necessarily on you..... but the society as a whole. Look at what Kiera and Punzel did for the Awakeners and the Courtesy Circle!

      --> We have seen the formation of several societies, such as the Forgetters, the Philosophers, and now the Writers Guild. I am sure there is plot potential for any of these groups. Sometimes it just takes folks getting together and planning ideas to bring fruitation to plots.

      --> Watch a couple of the old sitcoms, or heck, even the new ones, to get ideas for plot ideas. Some may need SP assistance, but you all know where to find their emails.

      Just remember...... all the good stories that you have ever read need highs and lows.... good and bad, villians and heros. Some times it takes days to finish a story, or even weeks. Read those articles if you get a chance. Take a day off from RP and look over some of them. I promise you it will be well worth the trip.
      This Section is entirely OOC:
      If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun. ~ Katherine Hepburn
      "Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away." ~ Sir Arthur Helps.
      "Boredom is the fear of self." ~ Comtesse Diane
      Angron - Well, if pouches were a little bigger, Faer would have a mobile home "

      Comment


      • #4
        On the topic of Insanity

        I'd actually wish for a decently insane character for once. Normally, people think insanity is portrayed by giggling madly/wearing a dress/talking to an object and exclaiming 'I'm insane!' over and over again. I've played Vampire long enough to see dozens of badly done Malkavians, believe me.

        As a general rule, if it states to be insane, it's not.

        And all the supposed multiple personalities I ever got to deal with were actually supposed to be possessions, IMO badly done and most of all repetitious. After the third possession plot within a month, you just stop to care.

        I mean, I'm happy if all I have to treat as a Counselor are broken hearts and such, but I'd really advise anybody wanting to play an insane character to do some research on the matter beforehand. I'm sure there is a concise rundown for laymen out there, easily availble and easily accessible. Manic depression would be a good start. I would hold it's easy to roleplay...


        My two meringues.


        Have a nice day.
        'If you're going through hell, keep going.'
        -- Winston Churchill

        POLITENESS, n.
        The most acceptable hypocrisy.
        -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


        'Hitler had a good 20 to 30 IQ points on Bush, so comparing Bush to Hitler would in many ways be an insult to Hitler.'

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        • #5
          Re: Character and Plot Questions

          First off, let me say that I have NOT been an accomplished plot-creator. I am trying to ease into it, though, to offer something to my fellow players.
          Originally posted by Sorcha
          When considering a plot, do you approach other characters first to gain interest? How much do you reveal? At what point do you determine to involve an SP with your plot and/or character?
          Whether or not I give warning of an impeding plot, and if so, how much to reveal, has always been a choice determined by the possible amount of change I could force on other characters.

          I haven't introduced any plots yet that needed an SP.
          What is an example of something that makes the castle a 'better' place that is workable from the perspective of the powers that be (I heard this advised to a new character and have questioned it since)?
          *Given the commonly-held notion that favor is hard to get and hard to keep, I think any plot where you help someone gain favor.
          *I think any plots where people can work together to come to a satisfying conclusion to a plot, is a good one.
          *I think Martel's artistic competition dedicated to lauding the Queen was a good examople -- people competed, some worked together, people considered what was good about the Queen, art was produced, winners were chosen, and people were seen to be following the party-line (which would be approved-of by those who give out favor).
          *Maybe it should be looked at that one type of good plot is one where the characters involved are constructively changed for the better.

          Comment


          • #6
            In the garden Society

            *I think Martel's artistic competition dedicated to lauding the Queen was a good examople -- people competed, some worked together, people considered what was good about the Queen, art was produced, winners were chosen, and people were seen to be following the party-line (which would be approved-of by those who give out favor).


            Infact, this is what's occuring with the Graden Society's Flower Project; Margaret created it to give Tamm a much needed morale boost, and now, with Margaret's blessing, Tamm's exspanding it into a multi-layered affair that without doubt (unless felled by some nasty rumor) will lead to Honored Guest statis.
            Yes, there is creedance in the saying; To reach the top, you gotta hit bottom. I've had it happen in RL (getting fired from one Temp angency and hired by another, who managed to get me into the Printing Trades--which is where I wanted to be), it's happened to Tamm (her gaff at this past Winter's Ball knocked her down alot, but look where she's at right now), and am about to got throught it with Jayland.
            Now, if I don't ape out, all will be fine.

            Darren Brimhall

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            • #7
              I think these are great questions, thank you for bringing them up.

              I have been torn in the past about telling other players that a plot is coming thier way. However, it has come back and bitten me and the other players involved when they weren't informed.

              I think at this point, I am in the camp that yes, if you have a plot that involves others playing time and you want them to cooperate with your plot (key here being cooperate) you should tell them. Otherwise, you cannot expect them to go along with what you want to do, they may or they may not.

              To me, good plots are the plots that last a long time, tell an interesting story and change the lives of those involved in some way.

              I like Faer's suggestions for plots...

              I also think that plots that help others are really effective and will have lasting effects for you.

              Some ideas for dropping your plot slowly:

              Unleash a plot by telling someone you had a dream about something. Let a storyplotter know that you had this dream, you may see it in some form someday.

              Drop some plot elements into a story that is told at storytelling hour.

              Leave an anonymous scroll about where someone will find it.

              Send an anonymous scroll to a Chronicler or someone known for gossiping.

              Ways to get involved in more plots:

              Hold a dinner with five people you wish to know better. Do your homework on them. Impress them with what you know. Or, do it with 5 NA's, they will be appreciative and suddenly you may find yourself with a group of loyal, unaffiliated friends.

              Ask an older player to be your mentor...most will be glad for the help and will help you achieve your goals.

              Mentor a younger player

              Ask leaders of guilds questions about the guild's history, there are always old stories there that have never been solved

              Plots of your own:

              I think that each story you tell should advance the story of your character. A good start is to look at your memory. Sansamor's player and I developed our Frere plot based on those memories. That way all we do is rooted in the backstory of our characters.
              Remember though, that many plot twist happen spontaneously so try to be flexible.

              Another good place to look are the rumors, do you see a rumor that you know isn't true but might actually be interesting if you made it true? For example, I got a kick when I saw Margaret was actually Dame Oriana, I thought about if and how I could make that work for my story. It could explain why Margaret had a sudden change of attitude, quit her guilds, joined the Gardening Society. It would be interesting for those who trust Marg to suspect it and test her. It would be interesting for those who do not trust marg to suspect her more. All of these things happening over a long period of time as well. Amazing how one sentence opens up a world of ideas for you to use.


              Those are just some starter ideas, when you have an idea for your plot, I find it is helpful to check it against the goals for your character and also to send it to the SP's. While you might not need them for help, they might see plots in the future that would fit with your story and suddenly you might find yourself knee deep in intrigue.

              Hope this helps some!

              Meg

              Comment


              • #8
                Awesome ideas Boilermg ........ I will have to remember to use them myself! Some of those never even occured to me.
                This Section is entirely OOC:
                If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun. ~ Katherine Hepburn
                "Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away." ~ Sir Arthur Helps.
                "Boredom is the fear of self." ~ Comtesse Diane
                Angron - Well, if pouches were a little bigger, Faer would have a mobile home "

                Comment


                • #9
                  Okay, so how about the speed of revealing a plot

                  Okay, that brings up a question that I have have: How long should a plot last, and what's the appropiate pace for bringing along a plot?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Time depends on the plot... such as...

                    If your plot is the 'The Dining hall total messy and needs cleaning' It should not last that long... unless there is a good resean. Though this one might come up every now and again.

                    But if your plot is 'My character is killed by assasins.' then it should last a little bit, I sould not be... 'My character is killed by assasins. I am brought back to life within five minutes, and the bad guys are cought before dinner.' That would go alfull quick and would not be remembered to much... unless it was just an excuse to do some kind of comidy. If that was the case then the plot might be this 'My character is killed by assasins. I am brought back to life within five minutes, and the bad guys are potatos, and are eaten for dinner.' it would be remebered...

                    Though I think even that plot took about a week... I don't know I was not a part of the castle when that happened.

                    Matt M P
                    Emris Eineroror the Scientist
                    ME of SAND

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                    • #11
                      And then

                      And then there are the personal plots, which can only end when some need that the character (i.e. player) has.
                      These can be mapped out very much like the opperation of a computer program, with a mirid of choices of how one can get their character to a specific goal. I've done this with Jayland after he got canned from the Healers back in June. I started with the main problem, broke it down into three pathways of travel which were dependent upon what could occur, and then worked out plot points to hit on each pathway--each with a different conclusion. And I curse myself for not sending it in.
                      The newbie player would need to 'get himself into' Castle life for this to work, gathering information, listening to the conversations around him, striking up conversations and getting themselves known to the populisat large--and it's a great way of getting themselves know. Where as the experienced player is already known and knows, so all they do is the simple map out and run with it.
                      And one last bit of advice; Plan on Murphy. I don't want to hear whines about how other characters screwed up your plot by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and managed to interfear with the works. Nor do I want to hear from the newbies how they are getting excluded from the action that is going on a round them, because the other players don't want them interfearing with there 'plot lines'
                      Just keep your opitions open and roll with the punches. At least in Marrach we have 'OOC', RL doesn't--nor does it give you the chance to.

                      Darren brimhall

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                      • #12
                        I havent read everything, but I just need to coment on that part... needing to hit rock bottom... I saw cody do it, I was trying to get him dressed in a hurry and he got draged off by the guards... hehehe... not funny! You dress slow. But look at Sir Launfal, he hasnt done much movement since game start. And Calla, sure these are NCPs... but you really think Cody isnt gona be a knight if he lived 10 years? whereas I would expect that in a castle where people can live for thousands of years that being a servant to one person for at very least 10 years would be standard.


                        Keep in touch, PM me with yahoo messneger. My ID is Fizgot. (and tell me who you are in CM so that I can know who Im talking to)

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