Plot Development

The plot development forum is designed for players and groups to keep track of their plot lines, goals they wish their characters to complete in each season, and anything else that may tie into your character's past, present, and future. Please remember that this is not the Personal Journals forum and should not be treated as such. All information posted within this forum should be information that ties back to your character within the Standing Trials Roleplay.

Plot Development

Postby Gangui » Sun May 07, 2017 10:49 pm

Hey everyone the following thread is not only a place for me to post my own personal organization and development, but also a place for open discussion by every member of the website and a place to post constructive critique on anything I post.

I will be writing this development thread as a semi-stream of consciousness style. That means I am going to write exactly how I am coming up with this ideas as I go WHILE posting finished thoughts. This obviously might make it a little long winded, but I am doing this in hopes smarter people can help me grow this coordination efforts for the plots I plan to run.

Recently, it has been my goal to learn how to coordinate and execute a plot line that includes a dozen players working together as a team to tell an epic adventure story, in a timely manner of course. I attempted to start this discussion via PMs, but that doesn't seem to be the best place to organize such thoughts for the sake of group progress. I will not copy/paste my original PM, which details my original thoughts on the idea:

Gangui wrote:

Greeting good peoples of Etzos, I am sending this message to every person whom I mentioned the plot to. I don't think everyone is going to write in it, but regardless the opportunity will be given :) the more the merrier. Also I am sending it to Maltruism, because he is the boss man. Looking forward to hearing from everyone who is going to join and opinions from anyone in the city. Thanks you..... anyways here I go... :)

As you probably know I’ve been talking of a plot I’ve had in mind for a while, but now it is time to execute. This has been a rather tricky thing for me to organize, but I have formulated what I think is a great start for an excellent story arc in Etzos in which we can accommodate a dozen players. Before I begin, I would like to mention that there are several things that I took into account in creating the structure of this plot, to ensure success.

1. Real life duty
2. Seasonal time restraints
2. Burnout
3. Managing a large group of players in a plot
4. Individual character intentions/goals
5. Integrity to the original theme of Etzos

~~

Firstly I would like to make clear that our goal is to create an epic story based in Etzos that involves a lot of players and to learn how to create a great flowing plot with a large group. We must use teamwork to accomplish this goal. Thus I am going to lay out some ideas for how I believe we will able to actually pull this off. We must have measurable attitudes and goals in order to do this. The following bullet points will define some of the concepts in my head. From there I can explain the game plan for the remainder of Ashan. The bullet points are made so that you can address any issues or concerns or better suggestions by referring to a specific point.

I will be referring to two types of threads in this plot: a) the main story and b) side stories.
A)There will be pure plot threads will serve as the overarching framework of what is going on in the story that specific season (Ashan during the time of this PM)
B)Side stories will be independant from the main threads. Side stories as I call them, will be the 1on1 thread etc where you can develop intra-character relationships, do jobs, go on short quests, etc. etc. that pertain to the plot.
1.1) Your own writing projects in the city that are completely severed and devoid of the main plot arc will NOT be considered a side story, but rather your own project. Side stories happen in conjunction with the main story (i.e scenes between a pair or trio of character that is not visible during the overall narrative of the main story thread)

2.) The main story arc thread is intended to be very fast paced. I envision each post be plot moving material. I dont envision these posts as intended for lengthy character introspection, extreme attention of developing character details/nuances, distracting elements that siderail the completion of the thread, and ETC. That sort of stuff would be for solos and side quests.
2.1)Writing NPC perspectives are encouraged to add flavor for the audience and write a more convincing story. Writing NPC perspectives is a very useful tool in order to make progress. I personally will be don't this, maybe yall will toy with the concept?
2.2) Spending time recapping the previous post is frowned upon by me. Yes, I understand you may lose out on a juicy knowledge you wanted, but perhaps Side Stories should be used for such things? hmmm thoughts?
2.3) I think this is a good idea to be open to allowing others in the group to write and interpret your character. Communication is key for this point. Perhaps privately message the player whose character you want to write in your post to ensure your portrayal is accurate? I have the notion that this is imperative to avoid slowing the tempo or waiting on detailed reactions from each other that dont really move the plot forward. Anyone want to give input on what they've done with this?
2.4) The concept of being open for one or more time changes in the post.
2.5) In my vision, main story threads should have one or two post MAX per player. This means the story thread shouldn’t exceed more than couple dozen posts. This means each player must progress the thread at the same pace as the first post, which more than likely will go farther than usually expected and challenge their own creativity

3) Personal agenda/character intentions versus the story’s agenda.Conflict between character agenda and story agenda could make it tricky to post without sitting on messenger and hashing out every other detail with players in our group, which is something I’d recommend avoiding. Let’s find compromise in this by laying some ground rules for each thread?
3.1) Lay out a very loose goal for every main story thread, which we all agree to achieve.
3.2) Give players complete liberty to achieve the thread goal in whatever manner they please. Every player must keep in mind to steer the plot into that direction.

~~~~~

Okay. Lets keep the writing short and sweet for the remainder of Ashan. To reiterate what the premise of this story arc is so far: Gangui and Nightshade leave the city for a while because of anger against stately injustice; they take on a job to retrieve statuettes that sunk on a cargo ship.

Lets roll with it and see what type of thread it come up with (regardless how butchered it may seem to an audience)

Main Story Thread 1: Arriving in Foster’s Bay. The goal of the thread will be to introduce each character’s role in the quest. For example, Gangui’s role right now is trying to organize and lead the group. I envision each post afterwards with a narrative of what each character has to offer to the plot or to the group. The posts dont all have to take place in the tavern scene, like mentioned in "3.2", you are free to take the thread whereever/however you want as long as we complete the goal like mentioned in "3". For example, the villians in the plot my choose not to introduce themselves into the hero's gather yet.

So yeah! Lets make this thread a practice main story thread and lets bounce organizational discussions with each other in this PM. If I am not clear or If I accidently confused you with these ideas, please send a PM back. Thanks everyone!

Link to thread:
viewtopic.php?f=263&t=6804


After getting feedback from several people, it looks like it is a good idea for me to tone back to organizational concept down a bit and work on completing something a bit less ambitious. I.E. Take this in bite-sized portions instead of biting off more than I can chew. I was also told that my initial jab at the coordination effort came off as very confusing. Though it may not be very confusing in my mind, I am starting to realize I may be making jumps I am missing which are connected with preconceived thoughts in my head. Also the bigger the concept the more planning is needed to get off the ground, so we are going to tone this back a lot. So here are the changes I am going to put into this coordination effort:

1) No more main story/side story dynamic. There is only going to be one plot line. The plot line will encompass a chunk of Ashan, but not further than that. We can expand on that concept later. So the idea is to test this method with the simple story line of obtaining the treasure and bringing it back to the city. We will make this plot line three threads long and aim to have 1 to 3 posts per player in each thread, so a total of 3-9 posts per player before the plot is complete. I think this is an achievable goal.

2) To summarize how I envision this thread reading: It should play out like a movie or a novel. A larger scale collab between players. Think of it like several different scenes written by each player. Instead of having a detailed scene which each player contributes a part to, each player will contribute one scene to the whole story. To accomplish this we must time skip.

3) With points 1 and 2 in mind, the first thread that I posted in Foster's Landing above is what I will call "the preparation stage". Meaning each character who decides to be involved, will post scene which details what actions their character are doing to contribute to the effort to find the statuettes in the form of a scene they post as a single reply. If you can't avoid teaming up with another PC in your scene, you should consult them for help writing it.

So do we have to plan out OOC each scene in the thread? No. Each player should have complete freedom to post whatever they want to add to the plot. Some of you may prepare for a big fight in the scene you post, or perhaps investigate for information, or perhaps skirt your responsibility? Whatever is clever. Once we have the first thread done we can proceed to the second set of scenes. Please post thoughts or concerns here and Ill respond asap :) thanks all.
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Gangui
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