Plots 101

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Iris

Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:13 am

(If a plot advance is outside of a plot header, it will cost QP, under RPA guidelines. Guilds get a number of free RPA to use for guild things, based on city metrics. Information about this system will be available when it is hammered out.)

What are plots?
Plots are broken down into two sections: plot headers, and plot advances. Plot headers are medium to large story arcs that carry on for a week or more. Plot advances are similar to RPA: it is what your character is doing in response to a plot header – whether that be scouting, asking vNPCs questions, bribing, etc – the possibilities are endless. Plot advances do not have to be tied to a plot header, and because of this many people have started posting plot advances for RPA (help RPA). This has included investigations, questioning witnesses for IC crimes, describing how your PC covers their trail at a crime, etc. As of now, staff are still formulating standards on RPA vs plot advance.

So when should I post a plot header?
Never! Plot headers are staff ran story arcs that players can affect. If there is a certain plot header that you’d like to see, or that you’d like to start, please contact staff with the details. Staff are the only ones who post plot headers at this time.

When should I post a plot advance?
Anytime your PC wants to affect the world or gain information in ways not supported by code, or other PCs! That last bit is very important: for example, if you are a Reeve and you want a murder victim autopsied, don’t just go straight to the plot advance! Send the corpse to the physicians, RP the specifics, and then let –them- do the plot advance. You shouldn’t send a plot advance for stuff that can be determined via RP with other players or that circumnavigates their role in the game. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: ‘can I RP about this with other players before posting it as a plot advance?’ If you find yourself saying yes, you probably shouldn’t post it just yet.

When should I RP a plot advance?
Post the content of your plot advance first and the staffer who takes charge of it will tell you whether you need to have a scene about it. Usually a scene with a staffer is only necessary when there are variable outcomes, or the precise way your character does/say something could change the outcome immensely. For example, interrogating an NPC could lead to many different outcomes depending on how violent your PC is willing to get, and what tactics they use. General questioning of an NPC witness to a crime probably does not warrant a scene; send us the questions and we’ll give you the answers you get.

(If your plot advance is tied to a header, make sure to list the relative header in your plot editor!)

How do staff decide the outcome of plot advances?
While each staffer is different and plot advances are usually too unique to ever be completely standardized, generally staff rely on stats and skills as much as possible – via the roll of a die or dice, D&D style! If you feel that you are ever being slighted or discriminated against via the outcome of your plot advances, please bring the issue to Temi; if Temi is the one who just rolled your character’s gruesome failure and you expect OOC foul play, see Kinaed.

Example of a plot advance:
Jerry, my character, would like to cover his tracks! He just murdered Joe at Harmon Lake, so he’s going to drag the body out into the woods, cloaked, and set a fire to it. There will probably be damage to trees done, but at the end of it all that’ll be left for Reeves is a skeleton (potentially! I hope!). He gave a false name to the people who rented him the lodge, so there’s no paper trail tying Jerry to even being at Harmon Lake, and furthermore he’s going to bribe somebody at the Bluebird to create a rumor about how he was there having naughty time with a whore. Better a sinner than a dead murderer!

(No RP would need to take place here except, of course, the murder – but that would be before the plot advance was submitted in the first place.)

Another example:
Thor and Loki are going to scout out the South Road together for signs of the bandit trail. What would they find? We’ll RP the outcome together, if that’s alright with staff.

(In this case, Thor might come to Loki first about his idea to scout the south road, and ask if Loki would be willing to do that. The two might discuss how they’ll go about it, and that will be that. Then, Thor will post a plot advance saying that they want to scout the south road. In the event that staff do not want to RP the scene (say they find a few tracks and a bit of torn cloth for evidence, that wouldn’t be very enticing RP!), a staffer would likely leave moods or objects at rooms and let the two players scout out the road on their own time. Thor might even decide to spice it up a bit himself and use the storyteller system so that he could throw out wildlife echoes or have a bear attack them on the way. That is completely acceptable!)

Rhothrian
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:02 am

Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:41 pm

Can someone well versed in plot advancement please provide detailed information on actual POLCA editor please. For example, when you enter, "plot advance <number> you get:

Header : 0, Unset
Title : Plot
Plot Advance : (null)
Contributors : (null)
Share To : (null)
Staff Support: (null)
Private Notes: (null)
Processed : no
IC Event : No

Some of these things are intuitive, some aren't so much. Thanks.

Temi
Posts: 323
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:45 am

I'm working on some clearer helpfiles to sort all this out. However, in the meantime:

Header : 0, Unset

This is the header plot it's attached to. For something general, 0 is fine. If you're basing things on something currently going on, visible in plot header list, use the number next to the header. It will fill in the name for you.

Title : Plot

What this will show up as for reference. Name it something easy to find again, related to what you are doing.

Plot Advance : (null)

What you are doing, looking at, trying to accomplish. This is the meat of it!

Contributors : (null)

The people who are involved in the roleplay you've been having about this and are doing things in the plot advance section. These people shouldn't be surprised by what shows up in the advance. You don't have to include anyone if you're the one doing it all.

Share To : (null)

These are people who should be aware of what you are doing, either that you are informing them or they would see it, etc. It can be people, guilds, all, or no one at all. They do not necessarily need to have been previously involved, but they can assume they know about this to whatever extent they want after the sharing. They'll be able to see the advance and reply.

Staff Support: (null)

Specific things you want to call out as 'I'd like the staff to do this to help make this come alive.' This is not required and frequently not used, but if you want to call something out, this is the place.

Private Notes: (null)

Things you want to tell the staff that the contributors and shared people wouldn't necessarily know. If you're doing anything sneaky that they wouldn't know about - like a mind reading spell or bribing the guards quietly for a certain answer or whatever, include it here. Staff will take it into account and no one else will do it. If you aren't including others in contributors or share to, or if you aren't doing anything that those included wouldn't know about, you don' need anything here.

Processed : no

The staff will do this. It can be processed, in progress or new. While it's in progress or new, you can edit it.

IC Event : No

Yes or no - should this advance post an IC Event to the whole game about what is being done in the advance. If yes, you'll get another IC Post field to fill out where you will put the announcement post, exactly as you want it to appear.

Rhothrian
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:02 am

Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:41 am

Thank you. I get most of that except for Plot Advance. When I type plot advance <string> or plot advance anything it simply lists the editor options as they have been filled in. I can enter an editor that allows me to input information for example in the IC section of the plot advance interface, but plot advance doesn't work that way, or at least it didn't for me. Is this a staff option to fill in or what am I doing wrong? Thanks.

Dice
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:15 pm

Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:09 am

Try 'advance' by itself, Rhoth! Perhaps we should rename that field.

Rhothrian
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:02 am

Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:45 pm

Dice wrote:Try 'advance' by itself, Rhoth! Perhaps we should rename that field.
Ah, thank you. Indeed, now knowing the command is simply advance helps greatly. This is the main problem I was having as it wasn't consistent with the way other commands get you into the text editor part. If the helpfile gets updated to read more like a step by step for the plot advance system then its a moot point, I suppose. However with this and Plot List command to check on the outcome once the advance is processed it all makes sense now. Thanks again.

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