Member Guides: Plotting at 'Souls

This is where you'll get some information on how best to plot, or ideas about plotting, but we are in no way telling you what to do. These are options that will help you decide how to direct your character or how to organize other roleplayers into orchestrating a plot. You're free to do these things as you wish, of course, but this guide may help you!

On this page... (hide)

  1.   1.  Individual Plots
    1.   1.1  How to Get Plots
    2.   1.2  Encouraged ideas for starting plots
    3.   1.3  Discouraged ideas for starting plots
    4.   1.4  Member Tips
  2.   2.  Bigger Plots
    1.   2.1  Suggested Steps
    2.   2.2  Tips
  3.   3.  Dropping Out
    1.   3.1  See Also
    2.   3.2  More Information and Resources

1.  Individual Plots

1.1  How to Get Plots

There are many ways to get plots going. Most of the time people will go to the Thread Requests to plot with multiple people. It's important that you reply to other threads as well instead of just making a whole new topic. This way some people can hit two birds with one stone! Other ways is to pm a specific person if you have anyone in mind to do a particular plot. If you are unsure of how to get plots look in other peoples thread request or even go to Character Services to see if anything might come up that could give you an idea for your own character.

Some people like to "go with the flow" meaning what happens to them happens which is also a common practice with many people. Some people prefer to let things happen naturally between characters. Some people find that they really enjoy rping with out plotting too much ahead of time which in turn brings out surprising results that is for the better or even worse for the character. Hey we don't want our characters to be perfect do we? So sometimes no plots at all can help shape a characters personality. Other's tend to balance out plotting and non plotting threads. Open Threads can help with adding to a characters personality or experiences while also plotting in a thread with another person. When it comes to plotting the sky is the limit!

1.2  Encouraged ideas for starting plots

  • Work to your character's strengths and weaknesses.
    • If your character has a purported ability (eg: reading), create threads revolving around this. In Character experience is more valuable than Out of Character assumed experience!
    • Try to find a way to exploit a character's weakness and perhaps even develop some threads to help them overcome them. For example, if your character is afraid of water, perhaps have them involved in a life-threatening situation and create some threads to help them overcome this fear.
  • Develop long-term plots. If you want your character to learn something, plot their step-by-step process developing a skill.

1.3  Discouraged ideas for starting plots

  • Rape plots. Try thinking of other ways of creating a situation where your character is the victim or the perpetrator. What kind of experiences would hurt your character's psyche? There are many more things you can develop that will be useful in the long run and not overused and abused, like rape plots often are.

1.4  Member Tips

Members: Feel free to add your own tips, however brief, here! Remember, you can sign your tip with four tildes (~)

  • When Plotting be sure to map out your consequences ~ Marit
  • Be careful with how much you want to plot, too much at one time is unhealthy for your character. Each member is different but watching a character unfold in a situation is sometimes more satisfying than planning their whole lifespan.
  • When plotting for a fight sometimes it's best to know what injuries your character might receive, so as to not get confused in later threads or so you don't have to wait on later threads. Other times it's great to spree out a thread that could be ended quickly if you and your partner are quick at replying.
  • Talk, talk, talk. Sometimes, the best way to get ideas for a plot is to talk about characters with other members of your pack or with friends who play. This can bring about ideas from them, you, or merged ideas that you all think up. ~ Kiki

2.  Bigger Plots

Board-wide plots are pretty rare at 'Souls -- occasionally, we might enforce some strange or extreme weather, such as a blizzard or even a drought, but large, forced board-wide plots such as the 2008 fires are not too common here at 'Souls. However, members are always free to organize plots of any size and variety. 'Souls is a member-driven writing game, and we like to see members taking initiative with their own plots. Private plots occur frequently at 'Souls, but larger plots can be orchestrated, as well.

There are a few steps you should take in order to organize a large, public plot. This guide outlines some of them -- these certainly aren't requirements; you can run your plots however you like, and you needn't rely on us to approve plots unless they have a large impact on the whole board or they impact pack relations, etc.

Large plots should always be very public and out in the open, especially with regards to things such as a bar, market, or other large, often-used In Character location. This way, if there is a problem or issue with the formation of your plot, everyone in contribution can assist you with the problems and the administration can even step in and ask for corrections in the rare case it's necessary.

2.1  Suggested Steps

  • Start an interest thread, usually in the Thread Requests forum. Others can reply and contribute their basic ideas as well as interest. Polls are great for allowing people to quickly contribute their opinion.
  • Organize the plot. Usually, members expect the person who posted the idea to sort of "take the lead" in the project, so if you're not interested in leading the plot and organization, you should delegate this to an interested member. Make sure you can devote enough time and make sure you communicate with involved players -- PM updates or responses to the thread are great; keep your Roleplay Aides plot thread or Wiki page updated with information!
    • Draft a topic to be posted in the Roleplay Aides forum. If you'd like, you can PM the 'Souls Assemblage with a copy of your draft; we'll review it and make some edits, and then send it back to you with our suggestions. You don't have to do this, but this is a good idea in case there are any gaps in realism or plausibility within your plot, as they'll then need to be fixed later! :) We can also promote your thread on Twitter or even the board's announcements, so it's great to contact us and let us know what you're plotting out, too.
      The topic should contain:
      • Information about the plot -- a basic summary of it, so to speak. This should include the time needed to complete the plot. Remember, roleplaying time moves like real time -- restoring a building can be a large, time-intensive undertaking if the building is very large.
      • A list of the threads needed in order to accomplish the plot's end -- i.e., if organizing to restore a building, perhaps one thread of inspection of the building's condition and what's needed between two characters, one thread to gather needed materials and tools between three or four characters, four separate threads of work between varying pairs and groups of all five involved characters over a span of a month or so, and one final thread celebrating/enjoying the new building. You should give a basic, short description of the threads' ends and let roleplayers accomplish them by their own means for the most fun.
      • Allow interested players to sign up for different threads. Remember flexibility and substitutions can always be allowed; if the plot isn't time-sensitive, perhaps players who miss the initial sign-up can be added. As players reply or PM you with their interest, edit them into the first post.
  • Roleplay it! ! It's usually a good idea to institute a skipping policy if members don't post in a timely manner within their threads, especially for plot-centric threads. Remember, you can always use NPCs -- if you're including NPCs, set some basic information down about them (if it does not already exist).
  • If you've established a major location -- i.e., setting up a bar in the restored building in Halifax -- it's a good idea to set some information down in the 'Souls Wiki. Look at the information in the Drifter Bay area, for example -- the "Landmarks" are small areas based on real Nova Scotia locations. Members are well-advised to include the threads as to construct or restore the area and leave them there for others to view. Remember that the Wiki is editable by every member on 'Souls, and you can even start a separate sub-page for major or often-used subterritories. Please refrain from doing this initially until it's a well-established location with a lot of information, though. ;)
  • Now it's just a matter of continuing roleplay interaction and encouraging members to update the information on the 'Souls Wiki with their contributions (if, for example, players begin insinuating that a certain trader with certain wares hangs out in the bar on most Tuesdays, write a brief description of that trader and include it on the Wiki).

2.2  Tips

  • Use NPCs. If, for example, you were to create a bar -- it's much easier to have a NPC to run this than a player to pick up a character. Chances are, they'll be quickly bored with bartending threads! While these NPCs will never be listed on the Loners topic or included in a pack, they don't count as companion NPcs because no one player controls them, and they can re-appear in your threads again and again this way, as any other player can include them in their threads.
  • Google Docs can be used for private conversations -- draft a plot page outlining the plot and which characters play which part in it. Invite everyone who is in on the plot to view and, if necessary, edit! It's good to allow others their edits. Assign a highlight color to each editor, and have everyone highlight their contributions in that color. Use the discussion feature for commentary. This can functions as a private forum so that others don't know what the heck is going on if you're looking to surprise, and allows for a single source for others to refer back to. However, the RA forum and Wiki can function in much the same way, so we encourage you to make these documents public if you're starting a public plot! Google Docs should be used primarily for things between only a few players.

3.  Dropping Out

If you have to drop out and the plot was already underway, contact the other play and let them know what's going on. Communicate with others -- no one will be mad if you have to drop a character for lack of time. People may get angry if you suddenly drop out of a major plot and don't say a word before or after -- be proactive and approach the other player(s) involved, apologize and explain, and offer an OOC ending or other compromise that can satisfy both of you.

This makes it much more likely players will plot with you again in the future, even if you've dropped out on them before. As long as you're communicative and open about what's going on, most players should understand, and those who don't could use a lesson in tact!

3.1  See Also

3.2  More Information and Resources