Player-run plots are an integral part of the roleplay on the game. This article explains how to submit a plot proposal and what it should include. It also offers suggestions for how to avoid common issues with plot proposals and details some of the tasks a plot runner needs to carry out.
To submit a plot to staff, players should use the +jobs command:
+jobs/submit Staff/Proposal=PLOT: Title/Text
Once you have submitted the ´job, any updates to the proposal—such as notes and comments from staff—will be noted by +mail being sent to you. You can review the status of the job by using +job ## (where ## is the number assigned to your proposal).
Before creating a plot proposal, consider the information below about “do’s and dont’s” and use the provided template as a guide for how to format a proposal. Finally, look over the section on the duties of a plot runner at the end.
Certain plot types are very overdone and we’d strongly suggest against submitting them unless the idea seems very strong. Most notably, plots that revolve around the kidnapping or abduction of a character (especially female characters) are unlikely to be approved unless it has strong merit.
Combat plots, such as fighting bandits, pirates or raiders, should ideally have some non-combat elements to them as they tend to take all of the male characters out of the cities and leave the female characters behind.
On the other hand, plots that significantly involve or feature women at court are of particular interest, as are any more politically oriented plots.
Plots that require travelling to other areas will only be considered a couple of times per year at most. With time passing at a 1:1 ratio, travel plots involve a lot of time on the road, which tends to be very bad for the overall health of the game if done too frequently.
Finally, given the limited staff presence on the game, staff-run plots are more difficult to put into motion, and it is suggested that most proposals should aim towards being at least predominantly player-run plots. Elements that should be avoided in player-run plots include significant use of Feature characters other than as background details and goals that involve major political upheavals such as feuds, deaths of lords, etc.
Please use the following template when constructing your plot proposal, to ensure that all relevant information is included. We are not looking for essays, just clear and concise information.
Provide a short description of the basic narrative that the plot is intended to have. Concise description is always appreciated, as it makes it easier for us to get through. Avoid tangents and caveats if possible, save that for notes if we ask for more details. The synopsis should include any relevant background information that explain the lead-up to the plot. If the plot is a follow-up to a previous plot, please reference any +jobs related to that plot.
Give a sense of the intended reach of the plot in terms of who it will affect. If the plot has an intended ending and/or goal, provide a brief description. It is not necessary for a plot to have a goal beyond providing roleplay, but if the objective is to achieve something in particular it should be laid out clearly from the start. In particular, if the plot is meant to have long-term effects, these should be explained.
Not only a rough estimate of the amount of time the plot should take from start to finish, but also a suggestion for when you think the plot could best begin. Plots should be submitted a week prior to when you’d like them to start, and preferably longer than that (especially if there are complications such as needed NPCs, arranging scenes with Features run by staff, etc.)
One of the most important aspects of any plot is finding ways to involve other players. In this part of the template, discuss roles that PCs might fill to advance the plot and what parts of that plot can hook players into them. This can be specific PCs, but because of the vagaries of schedules and real life, it’s often best to design plots that have a wider participation potential rather than narrowly tailoring them to just one or two players.
This should list NPCs, objects (especially system-using objects, such as archery targets, hunting objects, or horse racing systems), and/or rooms required for the event to take place, as well (in the case of a tourney or combat scenario) whether jousting or melee systems will be required.
NPCs can be plot-specific NPCs, characters in the database, or random combat puppets that are already on hand and available to staff to distribute to players.
In general, we prefer plot-specific NPCs to be as limited in number as possible; if a plot can be run without any at all, that is best, as any NPCs that are connected to noble houses need to be added to the CDB and that can be a time-consuming process. In general, don’t overuse npcs, the focus of the event should be for PCs.
If non-noble NPCs are needed for King’s Landing plots, consider submitting them in the plot proposal as an Extra who can be reused in the future rather than as a one-shot character.
If certain Feature or staff-run NPCs are needed, more lead time for approving and scheduling plot is needed to allow staff to sort out a play schedule for the plot that will allow them to run the characters as needed.
When a plot is concluded, there are still a few things that the plot runner needs to do. They need to make sure that there is a roleplay post made and/or a +job submitted with suggestions for inclusions in the Chronicle and in a future Tidings post. In fact, ideally roleplay posts are made during the run of the plot if it stretches over more than a few days. It is also strongly suggested that the plot runner ensures that someone logs the scenes that are part of the plot.
Most important is perhaps that the plot runner is responsible for submitting updates for any NPCs used as part of the plot, so that this is preserved for the future.