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Current Guide to Plots

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  • Current Guide to Plots

    Hey there everybody!!

    Before we as staff move forward on a few projects we have been working on, I wanted to clarify and explain how plots will be working from this point forward.

    As with any creative material and story structure, there will be subtle differences between each instance and this is intended as a guideline and not a set in stone rubric for how to see your stories come to life.

    There are three story structure models that I will outline in as much comprehensive detail as I can to help clarify and guide you toward achieving your story telling goals. But first, allow me to set up the baseline for how all plots, regardless of theme, will operate.

    First rule of thumb is to narrow down as much detail as you can before contacting staff for the preliminary discussions about your goals. This includes the who, what, where, why and when of the plot.

    Who - who the plot is geared toward thematically. Is it exclusive or open invite? Is it martial, social, crafter, all of the above?

    What - what kind of plot is this? Loot grab? Storytelling? Player run? Staff-run? Game wide? Location specific?

    Where - is this plot taking place in town? Out of town? A different country? Down the street? Across the ocean?

    Why - why are you looking to run this plot? Do you want a specific item? Do you want to tell a specific story? What are your goals? What do you see this plot bringing to other players? What is your motivation?

    When - is this a short plot? A large scale plot? Is it season specific? Do you have specific dates available that you want to achieve this plot during?

    Once you have as much of this narrowed down as possible, the next step is to contact staff via @assist with a basic outline of your ideas. Someone will contact you when they are available, and this will begin the conversation section of plot construction.

    During this conversation period, staff will gather all your ideas, make suggestions, guide you toward potential alternate ideas and narrow down some of the more vague sections of your plot idea. Please keep in mind that your ideas can be vague and you do not have to outline the entire structure. Staff can and probably will add some surprise elements and unique twists to add some additional meat to the bones of the plot idea.

    This conversation period is where all the Wís above will be discussed, including token quotes. Only once you get the final go-ahead for this plot at the completion of the conversation period should you discuss the plot in game with others and begin the process of garnering interest in your plot. The dates of a plot run will, from this point forward, be at least two weeks after the completion of the conversation period. So please plan accordingly. If you have a vacation coming up and want to run a plot during your time off, make sure you start a discussion with staff three weeks prior to that time frame so that you can be sure we have all the information we need to prepare in time for the plot run.

    Staff will ask you to do specific things during the two week period leading up to the plot. This can include; announcing the dates, gathering specific materials, talking to specific groups or people, sending and receiving certain correspondence, gathering and receiving certain information, et cetera. We can only help you as much as you help yourself, and we cannot do it all.

    During this two week preparatory period, you should send a list of names (and also have the player assist) for every person who wishes to go on the plot or adventure. We try very hard to tailor minor details of the plots to involve and inspire every character but we can't do that if we don't know the character is going to be involved.

    Now we can discuss the specific types of plots available to you.

  • #2
    Player Run

    Player run plots are plots that don't need staff to actively be able to oversee the running of the plot. Player run plots, stories and micro-events are the bottom part of a pyramid of story layering. This foundation gives you the opportunity to tell countless smaller stories that all add up to create a colorful and varied backdrop for the larger items that follow. Player run plots can establish relations between characters, themes among smaller groups, responses to the environment and activities, and an overall addition of intrigue, adventure and activity among the player base.

    We can help behind the scenes, with props, characters, correspondence, settings and ideas, but the overall plot run will be in the hands of the players involved. In my opinion, player run plots are a highly under utilized form of storytelling.

    I will give some examples of player run plots for you to use as a guideline when designing your own.

    Hunts - You converse with staff about the 5 Wís of your hunt. Once that is narrowed down, you begin the work of advertising your hunt. We can then work on your ideas and requests. During the actual plot, staff will not be there to lead the activity. You are in charge of crafting the details of the story through role play, involvement, creativity and response to other characters. Perhaps you are a Rinaldi knight who wishes to flaunt the excess wealth that your trade embassy has recently acquired, so you plan a very posh and luxurious noble-only excursion for a canned hunt. Or maybe you are a militant Avoirdupois captain who wishes to drill your unit of soldiers in the wilderness terrain of the area, hunting and fishing to practice survival skills and militant camp formation. Maybe you are a member of the Lutaran faith and wish to escape the confines of the city to practice your earth-worship rituals in a less urban environment. There is so much that can be done with hunts that goes far beyond the run around and grab loot from npcs theme. By all means, run around and kill the npcs, but you can also tell some really good stories in between spawn points too.

    Events - Events in general have huge story potential, and it is up to the players to use this platform most effectively. Staff can help by providing things like food, decor, flavor, character engagement and plot hook placement. One of the biggest driving forces of story is inter-character conflict. There is no better avenue to do this than through events. Perhaps you are a Bisclavret gentry trying desperately to prove that the wolves ARE civilized and noble, so you plan a particularly plush party with all the pomp and circumstance of a noble house. Perhaps you are a member of the Rinaldi and you wish to call attention to the recent scandal of a noble from another house, so you plan an event and casually make that scandal a topic of the conversation in front of a large captive audience. Or even a Doloreaux wishing to flaunt the material wealth and nationalistic pride of your nation, so you host an auction of goods that leave the remaining noble houses gaping at the wealth of this particular house.

    Trips - Trips -can- be done without staff needing to lead the activity. I will use Three Corners as the most recent example of a limited staff involvement trip. When we design an area that can be used for trips, we include a number of activities and settings that are intended for player-driven story and events. It is up to the players to use the area to its fullest capacity, because staff cannot commit to showing you what story potential exists. Just like Docktown and Newtown, these micro-locations have innumerable little details that can be used for getting people together to tell stories. Perhaps you want to have a casual get together around the dartboard, or plan a menís invitational fishing tournament. Perhaps you wish to tell ghost stories around a campfire or play a round of pool over some drinks. A social call to a new city, where you can demonstrate your noble power and importance among your peers and citizens. These trips provide a new environment for you to gather and tell these types of stories together, without needing staff to be available to do so for you.


    • #3
      Staff-Assisted Plots

      These are the adventures and campaigns and larger scale events that need staff to lead and tailor the plot during a short run event. This is the second level of the story telling pyramid. The stuff that doesn't happen quite as often, but has larger consequence and story potential, demanding increased staff influence and presence.

      Some examples of these stories can be;

      Military campaigns - you have an enemy to conquer, and you do so as a group. Staff will lead the story and insert the plot hooks, it is up to you to RP your response accordingly. Perhaps you are a Bisclavret, leading a campaign against a particularly large group of Phelan invaders. Or you are a Church paladin leading a push against a particularly militant group of heretics threatening the penitents of a distant village. Maybe you are a heroic group of militiamen coming to the rescue of a vanquished population under the rule of a ruthless overlord. The story potential is only as small as your imagination.

      Charity missions - These are the feel good plots, the ones where you have to go help an underdog against some injustice or ill-fate. Perhaps you are a Church cleric who received word of a village stricken by illness and destitution, and you gather like minded individuals to bring life saving supplies and skill sets as an act of the kindness of síAllumer. Or a noble of the Avoirdupois seeking to increase your social image through philanthropy, so you travel to a distant village to build a school for underprivileged children. Maybe you are a kind-hearted Rinaldi supporter seeking to spread the influence of this failing great house, so you come to the aid of a group of struggling gentry men in a border town at risk of switching loyalty. Again, the potential for telling stories with a larger consequence is huge.


      • #4
        Staff-Created Plots

        These are the tippy top of our storytelling pyramid. The ones that are large scale game-world influencing stories that pull on themes and influences from every corner of the game world. These stories are the ones where we lay everything out for you and you can react, respond and engage as you see fit. And your engagement can and WILL have a direct effect on the potential outcome. Though your role as a character in these plots is responsive, your responses are important.

        These plots are the big ones. Natural disasters, large-scale conflict, major VP influence, et cetera and et cetera. A high ranking noble comes to town with a big problem. A monsoon hits. The Black Plague kicks up in the poorer districts. A war. Things of this nature. And you as players become key actors in this event, helping to drive the story through your actions, responses and choices.


        • #5

          Plots are an amazing tool to tell big stories and help make our world the colorful canvas that it is. No where else can you pull people from all over the real world together to tell stories and craft pictures of amazing things in such a unique setting as ours. The world of Calabria is literally at your fingertips and together, we can all work to bring this world to life.

          But we need your help. Staff cannot tell your stories for you and we cannot tell all the stories alone. We can prompt, guide, counsel and help you but we need your help in return. All the prompts in the world will fall dead in the water if you the players don't help bring them to life.

          Next time you are in a group, tell a story. Role play. Engage your fellow players. Pursue an idea. Explore the environment and think outside the box. Next time you are in a new location, take a look around, use the setting, explore the props, dive into your character and bring it to life.

          We as staff want to help everyone tell the most amazing stories. But we are only so few and we cannot make everything happen overnight. We inspire you just as you inspire us, and it is only together that we can create wonderful things.

          So letís go out there and tell some amazing stories!



          • #6
            Please pay special attention to the first post. Thanks!!