Author Topic: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts  (Read 1945 times)


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Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« on: November 20, 2019, 01:56:58 PM »
Hey errrbody, so after exhausting my efforts on Discord I'm posing this question here.  Not only for staff but for all. I don't want to hear how easy or hard it is to get support for a plot unless its in context to a specific criteria. 

How do you get staff support for a plot that will make lasting changes economically, environmentally, or culturally in the game?

What are the criteria? (@staff)

Bonus: What are plots you enjoy?
"People all die for a reason....your reason? I didn't like you...."

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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 05:16:42 PM »
Here's a scenario that I'd like to see staff opinions on in terms of character reports and events transpiring.

A dwarf who has a focus to craft a Mt. Rushmore with Templar Faces.

The player reports in the idea to the staff. What would staff respond to this?

Regardless of the actual answer from staff, the dwarf keeps the focus and keeps going at it.

He becomes known for being a masterful stoneworker. He MCs busts of nobles, pieces of art for wealthy contributors And he talks talks talks about Mt.Rushmore to anyone who is slow enough to not escape his clutches.

He manages to find a Noble willing to pay him for creating a mural on the side of the building. The noble pays the Guild/Elves to not deface it. All location permissions get approved on by the Ministry of the City Templar.

He has the coded skill. He has the people he works with who greb materials for him. He has the noble support.

He files a character report about it, lists the effort made, lists the permissions and dealings with it. Writes up the actual sdesc/mdesc of the mural.

How will staff respond, will they allow him to place a permanent mural on the side of the building?  Whether approved, or rejected. What will be the process of arriving to approval/rejection? Will it take a day for the player to get a response? A week? A month? What variables will be involved in the deliberation? 

Let's say the mural happened.

The name of the dwarf becomes known. Other people begin to send in their own requests. Meanwhile he talks talks talks about Mt.Rushmore.

Finally he approaches each noble house with the idea of the Mt. Rushmore and the desire to put some famous templars to stone. Some are apathetic, some are amused, some ... do not mind it. He gains access to libraries and paintings, which either have paintings of known Templars, or a scribe would read them descriptions of notable Templars.

In secret, he makes a deal with a living templar. Noting that a historical face resembles them actually quiet a lot. And agreed for support, funding, and protection to do his face last and manage to sneak in 'his' likeness, instead of some other.

With 'that' kind of support. He gains access to the Templarate's quarter places that also have paintings and statues of templars. He records their likeness.

Just to add some intrigue into this. He begs each living templar to pose for him, so he could draw their likeness for ... future projects of his. Every Templar's hopes are high and nobody wants the dwarf to die.

The dwarf begins his work.

He hires people to procure wooden logs for ladders and framework.

He hires people to procure various rock and marble.

He hires the Byn to protect him while he works.

He hires apprentices that help him.

He convinces Two Moons that their help will help them with their Templar relations and Two moon run interferance for him, in case other Delves will try to intervene.

Every rl sunday, he goes to the wall to carve. Byn follows him to guard. His apprentices come to help emote.  This continues for ... let's say ... two game years. Give, or take an occasional week

Of course. Everything is reported. But what would be staff commentary regarding all these various events? So far. Aside the Mural placement. None of these actions required staff participation. All of these actions involved people to play along, or against.

What happens?

Will nothing happen for two game years?

Will nothing happen "ever" ?

Will staff gradually change mdescs of various shield wall locations to describe on going work?

Will wooden framework be placed as objects?

Will the Byn Captain agree to provide NPC protection to the framework? For adequate pay of course. And an occasional Byn rpt protecting the framework from Gith.

Will ... Mt. Rushmore ... happen?

« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 05:22:55 PM by SmashedTregil »
Peering into the darkness, your voice uncertain, you say, in sirihish:
     "You be wary, you lot. It ain' I who's locked 'p here with yeh. it's the whol
e bunch of youse that's locked down here with meh."


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 11:30:55 PM »
Without going into any IC details, I can tell you that my character, right now, is being supported by staff for their in-game initiatives.  One of them already completed that wasn't too much of a hassle.

This is my first character back after a five year break and the support I've been receiving is amazing.

Good communication too.

ETA: Sorry, I'll give the pointers on how I'm doing it right now.

I write-up weekly reports and ask questions, taking a lot of initiative myself and moving things forward as I can.

I'd add that it helps keeping your character alive and working your way up to a position to make such lasting changes.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 11:53:45 PM by DesertT »
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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2019, 07:33:02 AM »
I'm not really sure what you mean by "in context to a specific criteria," but when I have something that I want to do in game that is going to need staff support, I file an initial report stating as directly as possible what I'm going for and how I plan to get there and (if necessary) why I think it fits the game world, get a green light or answer any questions that are asked about it, work on it regularly (with updates!), and then expect it to take time.  Usually about three times as much time as I initially estimate.
Templars are basically if judge Dredd was a Cardassian


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2019, 04:58:03 PM »
2 IG years.

Haha. Bless my innocent, little mind. Real mt. Rushmore took 14 yrs.

But no matter.  Let's turn 2 yrs into 10. Doesn't matter so much.

Let's just back and forth. Simulate a story and staff interaction examples so people can understand how it would work with their own ambitions.
Peering into the darkness, your voice uncertain, you say, in sirihish:
     "You be wary, you lot. It ain' I who's locked 'p here with yeh. it's the whol
e bunch of youse that's locked down here with meh."


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 12:44:47 PM »
I'll be honest. I have hoped staff would be interested in this thread. A way to show to that percentage of the playerbase how player activity can change the gameworld and so on. I would imagine ability to do so is one of the attraction of text based roleplaying games.


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 03:24:24 PM »
Here's a minor example:

When I played a Kassigarh noble, Tuluk and Allanak were at war. My noble wasn't content to just be the richest cock on the block. He wanted to flaunt his stupid wealth to everyone in Tuluk and he wanted a say in military matters. Typically, Lyksae and Winrothol were the only Tuluki houses afforded any influence with the Legion over military matters.

I informed staff that win or lose, my character would begin distributing bribes and loans to PCs and NPCs to secure influence and favors, and that I would use my relationship with PC templars to in turn influence NPC templar leadership. Staff informed me that I was free to pursue this but it was unlikely that it would manifest as a total shift of power structures in Tuluk. My Kassigarh noble wanted to purchase a military commission to earn himself access to Legion camps and forts, and access to the war council. This would also make it more difficult for legion PCs to prosecute Kassigarh debt collectors for beating the shit out of people or breaking into their apartments to repossess goods.

Seeing some early skepticism from staff, I made the case that this would create another goal for other nobles who might wish to purchase commissions, and generate additional roleplay and plot opportunities for lowborn PCs in my employ and in my orbit.

Over the course of several months, I provided weekly updates about how my character was working to advance this goal. When staff delivered an IC response from a superior noble or templar, good or bad, I rolled with it. I continued handing out bribes. I continued leveraging clauses in loan contracts that said the individuals receiving the loan needed to also vouch for me with the Templarate and the Legion. I worked the plot angle ICly and I worked with staff to allow the virtual/NPC gameworld to respond and reflect what my character was trying to do by clearly communicating my actions and goals at every step of the way.

In the end, I didn't get everything I wanted! And that's okay. By the end of that character's time, PC and NPC and virtual nobles alike were purchasing military commissions from the Legion. I think I was able to do this because I made the case for how my plot will generate activity for other PCs, and how it would add to the game world.
All the world will be your enemy. When they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 04:20:38 PM »
Any examples of unclanned plot start up and continuation?

I'm assuming staff don't wish to give input at this point?
"People all die for a reason....your reason? I didn't like you...."

"Sirihish, do you speak it!"

"Ever heard my war-cry? It kinda sounds like you dyin'."


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 08:51:52 PM »
I would specifically like to see examples where players were not told, outright, that it "would not work" and then TEE HEE SURPRISE IT DID.

I do not want to be told no, only to 'persevere' to see it come to reality. That is not fair to me or my time to have that expectation.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 02:11:00 PM »
Here is a request exchange that may be useful for folks.

As a backstory. I played a merchant/gick who did not have time to play. My whole style and choice of gameplay is to provide a base and support, so others with more time to play could do their thing. Did I succeed in my plans? Mostly not, but it was entirely due to me not having time to play, repeated 4-6 months absences and focus on making other people do all the hard work while I idle while at work irl.

So I returned from an almost year long hiatus, looked around, came up with some shit that can be done, and sent in my Chara report. Staff response is bolded.

Granted by Rathustra
2017-07-29 01:43:04PM (856 days ago)

Your Character Report request has been resolved.

Welcome back under the banner of team Indies. My responses are interspersed with your request below in bold

1) The Kings are no more.
It appears there is a bit of a vacuum in power structure of the eastside of the Rinth. Everyone talked about it when Wril returned. The elves are looking to gang up. The westside are looking for someone to deal with amongst the elves.  Kings themselves arent too relevant, I bet there was a bunch of groups during Wril's seclusion. But the point is that there is nobody there now. Jaxa Pah are doing their own thing. Very interesting thing though. Anyway. Wril decided to start gathering some elves willing to work with him to set something up. As usual, partly due to my sporadic playhours, partly due to the style I'm choosing to play this. I will be doing more plot scheming and thinking, and 'holding base' in the Rinth. While those Wril works with will do most of the fun stuff. To great success, or ... not so much. All in all, Wril's current goal is to establish a group of people and some profitable avenues that the
people can do. He doesnt 'want' to be a leader. What he wants is a group that serves the same purpose The East Side Kings did. Which was to support Wril in every way, from money, to materials, to protection, to source of knowledge, to ... entertainment. He's not interested in a tribe. He doesnt even really understand the principle. Or being loyal to someone. Ever since his Master's departure, Wril was only loyal to himself and somehow beneficial to those who are, or could be beneficial to him.

Honestly I think that avoiding 'creating' a tribe is for the best anyway. There's room for elves to get to trust each other enough to work together - even if the tests of trust never proceed to a level of -tribal- trust. Having an association of elves who have proven themselves in limited capacities who work for each other in those capacities is much more elven than just making a gang of people who happen to be elves.
So, having a network of elves who know each other for particular skills and trust each other to varying levels and work with each other within said boundaries of trust - very cool.

2) The Sewage mess and what can be done to profit from it?
So Wril noticed shit backing up in the sewage. He tracked it down to a place where the ceiling collapsed and the braces that Jal built fell apart. At the moment, he's wondering if that burnt up Dariki places weakened the foundation and that's where it's falling apart. But that's just rough guesstimating and maybe even irrelevant. Question is: How can Wril profit from it? One of Wril's elves offered his services to guide the Southside entourage over there to clear the blockage. But he only knows about the blockage near the Plague Rat. I sort of began spreading rumours of a Sewer Horror living near the "real" blockage. Truth be said. I dont know what for. I'm thinking of maybe getting the southside to somehow pay 'the rinth' to keep the sewers clean for the southside. To provide a steady dependable income and a way to influence the southside with sudden cessations of work (encouragement of extra blockages). Something in that regard.
Let us know where things go with this. Staff are standing by to animate or support RP as needed.

3) The Gith, Luirs, GMH merger and what can be done to profit from it?
Wril's got the hots for a she-elf! Mmm ... how is that relevant? It isnt really. He tried to find her head and snagged some other random elf. They spoke and turns out that elf lives in Luirs. They spoke some more and Wril found out about stuff going on in Luirs and the merger and Gith, etc.  From what was described, he asked himself why is Allanak not extending their 'generous' hand of protection over Luirs? And the only answer to this question is that Allanak "IS" doing it, they just dont know it yet. Sooo ... How can Wril profit from it?
Again - let us know any aspirations/designs you have here and we'll help you out. Be sure to CC in Kurac.

I'm thinking of somehow approaching a Templar with a suggestion. Give me some example weapons of Tuluk. So I can make a shit fuck load of fake weapons with 'ripped off, or worn off, or whatever else tulukish looking old weapons', and then deliver this entire shipment to Gith. Provide weapons and armaments that are better then what Gith has now. Make it look like Tuluk is supplying weapons to Gith, so they would be a greater threat to Luirs. And then have Allanak extend it's protection due to the growing concern of Tuluki immoral actions and threat of destruction of an important and valued Trade Center. Or whatever else.  Anyway. That's the idea, I dont know if I'll go through with it.
Sounds entirely doable. Keep us posted on how we can facilitate this.

4) Arena, the gladiators and what can be done to profit from it?
Well. Gladiators exist. They fight, they game, there is gotta be some kind of money made from it. Somehow by rigging the fights and profiting from the betting? I dont know. I'm looking into investigating this further.

Possible ideas?
Stealing weapons and tainting them then replanting them?
Stealing weapons and then subtly sabotaging them to break then replanting them>?
Providing Spice to our Favorite?
Tying their shoe laces?
Providing ......................(scary gicker redacted shit)? Eeeeeeeeh. Last Resort :D

Well - all entirely possible. But you miss the most obvious and easiest way to profit - get in on the ground floor controlling betting/gambling around the bouts. All you'd need is some funds, a good mind for odds and forewarning on what bouts are planned at a given set of games.

5) Poisoned/Bad food and what can be done to profit from it?

This hasnt really affected Wril in any way. So there was some poisoned food given to some people southside. Some people died, or got sick. Aaaaand umh yeah? Okey. The taverns still sell good food. The alleyborn can still eat what little scraps they get. How does this concern him?

Upon hearing of Krosh paying one of Wril's elves to spread some food around the Dariki place. I'm a little curious. The Burnt up Building and then this. I wonder if there's a power struggle inside Jaxa Pah. If Dariki will start dying in droves,

But ... How can I profit from this? I can sell cures to Dariki. Or maybe even use magick to cure them. What's more, I can even sway Dariki on my side and get them to support me greatly by saving their lives? But Dariki ... are mostly useless and to risk my safety and anonymity so much is ... a big decision. It will also piss off Krosh and Kanosh. So is that even worth it? Do I want Jaxa Pah Strong? Do I pitch Dariki against Kanosh and profit from both? Do I want to get involved in a conflict that's 'so far' very virtual and is not affecting me too much.
Once more - give us a heads up on what you decide to do! Everything you mention is something we can help support - if you pick a course of action and send in a request so we can prepare and animate the response!

6) Jaxa Pah and what can be done to regain what Wril lost?
My main goal for my actions in the rinth is to create a structure that supports my desires. That does mean making it good with Jaxa Pah. I really liked having that personal storage room with a potential access to the Underground. So far, I went down to neg hp 2 times by going down the well and crit failing on the first climb. A long fall AND crit damage on my first climb with Wril's frailty is not my idea of fun. It actually what convinced me to practice magick more in the beginning.  Aaaaaanyway.   So, he needs support and Jaxa Pah is important for that. I dont really know "what" happened to Asil, the last person who held the key to the warehouse. Was there a falling out, or did he simply die? I'm guessing I can just start anew and go from there. I dont know how my available hours free to play would allow this. But I dont plan on doing this alone. In fact, this whole procedure will need to be done with my personal effort and time spent being minor.
Getting the 'warehouse' back is as simple as contacting the Kanosh or some other east-side power broker (heh) to begin the 'player clan' process

7) Counterfeiting and how dangerous/profitable is it?
This is an idea that I've been having. KNOCK OFFS!

You take a fancy Kadian dress and you create a knock off! Does it look as pretty? Sort-ish. It needs to pass a look over and be similar to Kadian clothes.  Will it last as long? Pffffttttthhhh. NO? Kuraci gear? Okey dokie! Will they be 2x the weight? Yes. Will they be just as good in keeping the heat off, ventilation, and sweat absorption? HAR! But they'll look identical to Kuraci gear if you dont check them out too thoroughly, and well ... they'll be a lot cheaper.  Salarri Warspear? Ohhh, yes. Awesome weapon. 2k! I'll put it on the market for 200. Granted, it'll probably snap in two and soon. And the tips dont their sharpness for all of one stab. But ... you know. 10x cheaper!

This of course will require a 'lot' of mastercrafting. Too much to really handle, maybe. Also maybe a lot of actual writing work from staff maybe?  Give me your thoughts on this please?
This sounds like a good focus for a PLAYER CLAN(!) - making cheap knock-offs is entirely doable and is supported by the MC system and the Player Clan framework. Honestly though - while staff can support you through these systems, we're likely not to produce full ranges of knock-offs for the idea. You'd need to get a cadre of master-crafters together to pump these out.


So there you go! What a stacked set of plots you've gotten involved in - and what a great selection of possible paths forward you've proposed. I know that a lot of what I've responded with is "hey tell us what you plan to do and we'll help" - but that's because we can't choose the route forward for you. Nothing you've said is something we'd -not- support - it all seems like stuff you can achieve IC with other players and staff support. So go wild and start making plans and contacting staff so we can support them.

Armageddon Staff
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 02:23:59 PM by Dar »


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 02:14:55 PM »
As you can see. Staff seemed to support me as an indie. I just didn't have the time to do all of that. And then the number of other plots doubled and my own available gameplay time halved. But in the end? All I needed to get shit done is more players willing to help me (I had plenty mind you and they were awesome, but my periodic absences kept resettling things to zero) and more time to play. Or at least being able to login once or twice a month, instead of interspacing things with 4 months absences.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 06:21:37 PM by Dar »


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2019, 02:37:32 PM »
While certain kinds of support get routed to the PC Clan structure, there isn't hard and fast rules/structure for the most part.


  • It is a huge turn off when the player obviously wants the plot/game change because the player wants to leave their mark on the world. Conversely, if the character has well thought out and communicated motivations and a plan on how doing so will help their motivations/goals, that is a plus.
  • If you have a history of being very prickly, going ballistic if things don't go exactly the way you had communicated you wanted them to go, or in general not handling adversity well, I am less likely to want to be involved in supporting your ambitions.
  • How well the idea meshes with the game world matters. Even the parts you may not be aware of yourself. Showing that you know how it fits in, communicating something more in depth about motivations and your IC character views vs your OOC thoughts on the game world, and being willing to modify your ideas based on what we tell you about the game world or how the game world reacts is a positive.  Telling us that you are proceeding with your clan of wagon building elves despite our feedback because your personal interpretation of the game world disagrees with the notion that elves won't ride in wagons is not a positive.
  • The more players that are involved in the plot/change, and the further such change pays it forwards into the future matter.  Sure, you may be able to get some folks involved at the time to create a rock garden in your noble estate...that no one will ever use in the future.  If we perceive that what you want is essentially going to become a dead artifact in the future, you are less likely to get support.
  • If you approach us with a brand new character with some grand scheme, and have no time investment at all, expect us to be hesitant in our support. That said, brand new characters can kick off the PC Clan process, but note how that process has that beginning period before you get a warehouse where you put in some investment to the idea?


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 11:56:04 AM »
I unfortunately do not have the time/schedule to play consistently, but I've had quite a few instances where I was supported by staff to varying degrees on an independent, clanned and mixed level. All of which were positive and all of which depended on the level of activity and involvement I drew into what plans I had.

I will say they were all positive because they relied almost entirely on my management of expectations, which is to say I don't expect much of anything. As a player, our contribution to the game is limited by design and we're to interact with the sandbox provided. Producers/Admin/Etc. are the designers for the framework and we create the content within. I think as long as you're not expecting to implement new framework for players to interact with and admin to implement, the staff are generally very accommodating when it fits the current theme of the gamestate.

That being said, your character can pursue whatever they want within reason. As a player, it's on you to manage your expectations of what they accomplish. Want to create a new merchant house, a completely new form of trading that circumvents the trade of obsidian coin in order to undermine society at large, start worshiping a new and unheard of god and gain other followers? Like, sure you can play that out, but don't expect the staff to implement these features into the sandbox as part of the framework.

Brokkr's comments are really in line with my own experiences. I've never really tried to present framework level changes without first fully immersing myself into what all that might affect and then communicating those potential effects in my reports. Showing that you're not just in for some credit that you started something and that you're providing a solution to a perceived need/deficiency is a decent mindset to have going in. But again, I caution to that mindset as you might see a need where there is none. Manage your expectations and communicate your ambitions. Staff are rarely vague in what they feel is appropriately obtainable when a plan or idea is proposed.


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Re: Plots 101 - Do's and Don'ts
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 06:27:30 PM »
I feel like a lot of folks want to quantify what it takes to get staff to say "yes we'll do this change to the game world" and I think the reality is it can't be quantified. Every player's interactions with their storyteller are unique to that relationship, and every player and every storyteller has their own set of priorities and expectations. Every staff team (indie, southlands, etc) has its own goals, and things change all the time.

The best thing I ever learned about playing this game is that when I stopped treating staff like gatekeepers to my goals and started focusing on two-way communication and feedback and collaborative stories both with staff and other players, I started seeing the fruits of my IC efforts more often.
All the world will be your enemy. When they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.