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Player Run Plots

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  1. #1
    West's Avatar


    There's been a few questions about the PRP tag, which means 'Player Run Plot'. Basically, it's a small plot, run by a player rather than a venue Storyteller. Anyone can do it, and we'd love for you to!
    - PRPs should be submitted to the venue HST for approval prior to being opened
    - PRPs generally earn XP for the character in the venue, with the rationale that running a plot takes away from IC posting opportunities
    - PRPs should focus on minor events that aren't going to wreck the venue, or city, and should be self contained.
    - PRPs should require minimal (hopefully zero) oversight from venue staff
    - PRPs should have a limited cast (2-5 player characters)


    So that's what a PRP is. How does one construct and run one?


    The biggest trap in play by post that Stories fall into is running too long. With that in mind, I've personally found that the best small plots run between 3-7 Scenes. Remember, also, that a thread is a Scene, and should encompass a logical unit of time (an hour) or a location. A thread should not be representative of an event in it's entirety.


    With that in mind, I'm going to break down one that I just ran. Not to toot my own horn, but because it's fresh in my mind First, the roadmap of threads, then I'll break it down:

    Plot Dispensing & Planning
    * [Crocodile Tears] Setting the Stage
    * [Crocodile Tears] Reconnecting at Asylum
    * [Crocodile Tears] Finessing a Contact

    Exploration & Initial Attempt at Resolution
    * [Crocodile Tears] Pruning the weeds
    * [Crocodile Tears] Applying the Pesticide
    * [PRP] [Crocodile Tears] Contact

    Regrouping
    * [Crocodile Tears] Launching Pad
    * [Crocodile Tears] Dip It In A Dream

    Resolution
    * [Crocodile Tears] Rocky Mountain After Hours Club
    * [Crocodile Tears] First Rule of Chocolate Club
    * [C Tears] Midnight in the Garden of Blood & Fudge

    As you can see, it ran over the Scene target, but 'Contact' was an Allies Glimpse, and the insertion of a new character (Peter Baldwin) added to the regrouping phase. Also, the finale split into multiple Scenes because the party split up, but they ran concurrently. Note that even with a fairly simple plot, the scenes and time dilated substantially:
    - Plot opened March 23 and finished June 23rd (three months)
    - 10 Scenes, not including the Allies or Comms threads
    - Simple plot: Find out about A Thing, Handle A Thing (Find a mortal npc, stop him from doing what he's doing)
    - 3 NPCs, not including the Plot Dispenser.
    - Trap door: higher level characters in Organization could have cleaned up mess

    Plot Dispensing & Planning
    - Characters were hooked in by their Organizational level ties (Invictus)
    - Characters were vetted for similar abilities (xp level, mix of powers)
    - Carrots and sticks were presented with a bare bones presentation of the problem
    - Characters then had dialog about how to approach a solution

    Initial Attempt at Resolution
    - Initial investigation phase
    - Unplanned event (Vampire Frenzy) absorbed

    Regrouping
    - Characters absorb information, apply information to bare bones outline
    - Characters allowed to advance through Allies usage. Allow characters to advance, even if something went wrong, or they didn't approach the problem as expected.
    - Characters allowed to add new face to roster. If a player drops, let them add a new face. Or tone down the confrontation.

    Resolution
    - Characters resolve problem
    - Unplanned events (Peter's absence, Jennifer's Torpor) absorbed
    - This plot could have been closed with narration before Peter Baldwin set the fire. "You burn the building. Take Jennifer Hazelton home. Thug the guy that got away." So even though it continued, it had a defined endpoint. Don't be afraid to use narration.
    - Secondary plot accounted for by insertion of body into van, stolen Priscus, and possible Breach witness

    Final thoughts:
    - Have fun. It should be fun for the director as well as the actors. I wrote a Glimpse for pure LOLs to entertain myself.
    - Present the Story in a way that motivates the characters.
    - Design a Story that includes elements of splat specific conflict. Ex. Will the Masquerade be Breached?
    - Design a Story that can be resolved Social, Mental, and Physical characters. If it's weighted, present that up front so that characters don't feel useless.

    Please, feel free to ask questions! PRPs are something we'd all like to see more of!
    Don't hate the player, hate the game.
    The Zeroth Law & the Burden of InteractionThe Devil is in the DotsGreat ExpectationsPlaying MagePlayer Run Plots
    If you have a question about your character, please post it on your character sheet

  2. #2
    C
    Casitive

    Want to tell a story or two, but don't have the time to be a Storyteller? Player-Run-Plots are for you.

    These are perfect for small plots and even individual plots that a character might not be able to explore in anything but glimpses. Things like being mentored, joining a legacy, discovering that you were actually adopted. All of these also work with PRPs.

    Remember some key things when you are running a PRP.

    *Plans Change: Players will always do something that will make you want to set your notes on fire. Let it happen. It's far more practical to be flexible than to rigidly adhere to a set plan. Usually, players will do something that's far smarter than what you anticipated.

    *Trapdoors: Always plan for an emergency kill-switch on the plot. This is in the case of character-drops or character death and there's no viable way to keep the plot running. Television such as Battlestar Galactica had trap-doors written into every character in case XYZ happens, do that for your plots.

  3. #3
    West's Avatar


    Bump.

    Seen it in Changeling. Seen it in Mage.

    When's someone gonna let their fangs drop and give it a go in Requiem?
    Don't hate the player, hate the game.
    The Zeroth Law & the Burden of InteractionThe Devil is in the DotsGreat ExpectationsPlaying MagePlayer Run Plots
    If you have a question about your character, please post it on your character sheet

  4. Likes Brownlee liked this post
  5. #4
    Wod.Infant's Avatar


    Only after mid November but I already have something brewing in the back of my mind, hopefully with the right ingredients for a small world of darkness plot.

  6. Likes Brownlee, , Forn Clakes liked this post
  7. #5
    West's Avatar


    ...for a small world of darkness plot.
    An small infant world of darkness wod plot?
    Don't hate the player, hate the game.
    The Zeroth Law & the Burden of InteractionThe Devil is in the DotsGreat ExpectationsPlaying MagePlayer Run Plots
    If you have a question about your character, please post it on your character sheet

  8. Likes Sirith, CyledyrWyllt, Brownlee, Cryotic, Jag and 5 others liked this post
  9. #6
    AwakeOrangutang's Avatar

    Penance

    One big one involving Player Run Plots. I'd like to do start a thread at some point where my character and an assembled motley crew of others 'Lings go off to deal with her Fetch. But I'm not confident enough in my abilities to become Storyteller for a Scene. I mess up using one character in her limited way, I imagine running a full-blown scenario where most things have a definitive path would only compound issues. However, as you just pointed out, STs have enough to manage without catering to stuff that really only concerns your character. So how would I be able to handle this? Do I just man up and go for it, devil may care? Can I hire this off to another, more experienced member who's more acquainted with running PRPs? Or is there like a halfway option, where I sorta lead the expedition with a co-ST to help me out with the details and parts I'm not familiar with (which is most likely everything not involved with controlling a character)?

  10. #7
    C
    Casitive

    One big one involving Player Run Plots. I'd like to do start a thread at some point where my character and an assembled motley crew of others 'Lings go off to deal with her Fetch. But I'm not confident enough in my abilities to become Storyteller for a Scene. I mess up using one character in her limited way, I imagine running a full-blown scenario where most things have a definitive path would only compound issues. However, as you just pointed out, STs have enough to manage without catering to stuff that really only concerns your character. So how would I be able to handle this? Do I just man up and go for it, devil may care? Can I hire this off to another, more experienced member who's more acquainted with running PRPs? Or is there like a halfway option, where I sorta lead the expedition with a co-ST to help me out with the details and parts I'm not familiar with (which is most likely everything not involved with controlling a character)?
    I can't speak for Mean Team Green ( Jag Forn Clakes ) but, I'd look for a PRP runner. Changeling has a lot of great players and a bunch of awesome writers; so I'd PM a couple of people you enjoy RPing with and see if any of them wanna run a PRP for you.

  11. #8
    G
    Greebs

    Yeah, running plots for your Own character is pretty much a no-no. I'd suggest, as Cas says, fishing around for a player willing to run something for you. Maybe find one of many other players with characters looking to plot it up with their fetch. An "I'll do yours if you'll do mine." kind of deal.

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  13. #9
    West's Avatar


    I'd love to see more PRPs. Browlee is running one for VtR, I think Vassagon & Whisper ought to think about it, too
    Don't hate the player, hate the game.
    The Zeroth Law & the Burden of InteractionThe Devil is in the DotsGreat ExpectationsPlaying MagePlayer Run Plots
    If you have a question about your character, please post it on your character sheet

  14. #10
    Whisper's Avatar


    Wait until I am off of deployment and I will be all over that shyt like a spider-monkey humping a football...

  15. Likes Origins liked this post
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