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Old 08-25-2005, 03:48 AM   #1
kalaazar
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So I read in one of Brody's articles, that he believes that player led plots usually end badly. My apologies, I can't seem to find which article it was and so I can't quote his words exactly.

I'm interested to hear about plots you or your players have started, and if they indeed did end in disaster or badly. Are all player led plots doomed? If so, why or why not?
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:45 AM   #2
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I find that the only real reason many player-initiated plots fail is because of one of three things: 1) the player didn't understand the game world well enough, 2) the player tried to manage some personal benefit through the plot without regard to how events should unfold naturally, 3) lack of adequate staff support when needed as the plot evolves.

Likewise, I've seen staff-run plots fail for the same reasons, though in the case of #2, it was more a result of a preconceived notion as to how it should end rather than personal benefit which blinded the staff member guiding it.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:50 PM   #3
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Define 'end badly'.

I've been in on dozens of player-led plots, all of which have been amusing. I either came out on top, or I died. Mmm. Neither of which I would define as 'ending badly' if the situation is well played from those involved.

I've had a number of staff led plots end in ****ing disaster, though, as most of the time seeing a Staff send an echo gives players the willies or causes immediate stupidness. Suddenly instead of fun roleplaying everyone is standing around like eager jackasses, waiting for the next uberstaff-echo.

I think completely staff plot-lines should only be occasional, world-shiftng events, while the quest for the perfect ale, the quest for the BONE sword of retribution and other small-scale plots should be helped along, but left more or less to the players.

Just my opinion, though. I've also had some amazing staff-led plots.

-WP
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:01 PM   #4
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I've seen and been around some player-led plots that ended badly or were never allowed to get off the ground because of the purposeful actions of other players or immortals.

By "purposeful" actions, I mean doing stuff with the intent to kill the morale and fun of the people actually involved in the plotline -- not something "bad" or unseen that occurred naturally ICly.

Its crude, but this has been the main reason plots have failed that I have seen, second only to players with little to no experience in the game they are playing in.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (kalaazar @ Aug. 25 2005,03:48)
So I read in one of Brody's articles, that he believes that player led plots usually end badly. My apologies, I can't seem to find which article it was and so I can't quote his words exactly.

I'm interested to hear about plots you or your players have started, and if they indeed did end in disaster or badly. Are all player led plots doomed? If so, why or why not?
I'll tell you here and now that I don't think player-sparked plots "usually" end badly any more than staff-sparked plots. I love both kinds on my games! What does tend to end badly, I think I've stated, is when I put certain types of players in positions of IC authority and they go totally nutso or vanish due to the strain of responsibility.

Plots are different animals!
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:32 AM   #6
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You guys are fascinating.

As far as being able to define 'end badly', I don't know! I don't consider dying to be a bad end, as long as it is fun and things get shaken up because of it. I know I've made mistakes in plots I've sparked, I've kept them too local (meaning I didn't get as many people involved as I could) and I always manage to get all my IC friends in trouble with me, even if I don't mean to.

How would you guys define then 'good' or 'bad' plots? And what would be some of the all time favorite plots you've been apart of? I really do enjoy hearing ya'alls stories.

Oh, and what about positive versus negative plots? I know it does seem easier to have the kind of plots that deal with murder, mayhem and generally things that are destructive, but I think there are positive plots that can happen too, like tournaments, fairs, and things I haven't even thought of yet.

Speak! Speak!!
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Old 08-26-2005, 05:00 PM   #7
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We recently had Raheena, a completely obnoxious necromancer belonging to a sort of doomsday cult called the Scions of Eternal Night.  Like many senior necromancers (and very few successful ones, perhaps 2 per RL calendar year), Raheena began seeking a recipe for an Elixir that would enable her to undergo the Becoming, a process guaranteeing her an unaging existence as an undead Lich.  (Liches can be permanently slain in combat or through other means, but they do not age, among many other perks.)

These Elixirs require a number of exceedingly rare ingredients, customized to the necromancer in question.  Mortals must seek out someone who knows of such things.  (By unfortunate chance, all of those people tend to live in horribly inaccessible and hostile locations, and many necromancers die horribly just seeking such a being.)  Also, knowledge of this sort tends to drive one insane, which makes negotiating with these prospective teachers a rather involved and also deadly process.

Raheena managed to convince such a teacher to part with such information, and obtained a list of ingredients.  Over time, she was able to track all but one of them down.  (By unfortunate chance, they all seemed to be located in obscure and horribly dangerous locales.)

During this process, Raheena had been trying to get other people to help her.  She was demanding, obnoxious, and often derided them behind her back.  Eventually, however, she was approached by another nefarious (PC) figure who (probably unbeknownst to Raheena) happened to have a working business relationship of sorts with Qaledus, a god associated with thievery, commerce, and some less savory topics.  Rumors persist that bribes of various sorts were exchanged.  

However, this figure happened to possess exactly what Raheena was looking for, and was willing to hand it over free of charge!  Many people would be suspicious of such a friendly gesture among the Scions, especially from someone they verbally abused whenever possible, but not Raheena.

So Raheena gleefully returned to her mentor, a sack of ingredients in hand.  The mentor reminded Raheena of the price of failure or ineptitude, and Raheena hurriedly brushed him aside and had him commence brewing, which he did.

The next evening, the Elixir was prepared.  Raheena greedily quaffed it down, and learned that sadly, forgeries of ingredients do not behave quite like authentic ones.  Necromancy is something of an exact science.

She was debatably fortunate.  Many who drink an Elixir die horribly and instantly.  Raheena was merely permanently maimed, afflicted with terrible amnesia with respect to her prior training, and forever cursed with an intellect an orc would shun.  Soon after realizing that she would forever be a shell of her former self, she took her own life.

All things considered, Raheena's player took it pretty well, especially given that he's sort of a hothead.  That other guy is probably still laughing, though.
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