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Old 03-10-2011, 10:25 AM   #1
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Thumbs up Getting Started On Your RPG Idea

Types of Games – Plot Based or Character Based

A Plot Based Game is one where the Game Facilitator sets out a relatively detailed plot and character summary at the outset and takes a somewhat more active role in guiding the RPG from start to finish. As some have said, this is more like cooperative writing of a story.

A Character Based Game will begin with a much less detailed plot summary and the players will be able (and expected) to create the story as it progresses. This is where posts with “hooks” for people to respond to and plotting or cooperation between small (and often shifting) groups of players will take a greater role. This is more of a freestyle game.

Originally Posted by Feanor of the Peredhil
Plot Based Games: games wherein the players write with an eye toward fleshing out a story from a series of predetermined plot points.

Character Based Games: games wherein major plot points develop organically from the behaviors of the players' characters.
-- from Measure of Success thread.

The planning threads for each game should very CLEARLY indicate what type of game is being proposed. The planning thread should also include any conditions or restrictions that the Game Facilitator intends to impose, i.e. “I will be putting up obstacles and challenges as the game progresses” or “I will be controlling the progress of the plot and may ask you to rewrite posts that are inconsistent with what I have planned”.

If the game targets a particular skill level, this should also be indicated in the planning thread. FOR NOW, I would like to see all new games “open to all skill levels”. Later, we can move on to some games that cater to “intermediate” or “advanced” so long as games open to newcomers are always available.


Responsibilities of Game Facilitators

Anyone who has participated in a RPG on the Downs previously may be a Game Facilitator. If you have abandoned a game previously, or have very limited experience, the Mods may require a co-Facilitator.

Game Facilitators will be responsible for creating and describing their concept in the Planning Threads, recruiting players, making the game move along, replacing absentee members and bring their game to completion in a more or less timely fashion.

Each Game Facilitator may recruit and select his or her own players, however, we REALLY need to avoid excluding people, particularly newcomers, until we reach some degree of a critical mass of games. If your game calls for a specific skill level, the Game Facilitator may POLITELY refuse to allow a less experienced player to join or allocate a lesser role to that player.

If a player goes AWOL, the Game Facilitator may, after PMing the missing player, replace him with another, or allocate his role to one or more existing players. Do not wait for a missing player to return, particularly if he or she disappears without notice.

Game Facilitators must identify the game type, Plot or Character Based, at the outset, and once done cannot change the rules in mid-stream. Game Facilitators must identify any restrictions or controls of game play at the outset. Don’t expect to be able to PM a member to say “change this” in a Character Based Game or if you haven’t otherwise given fair warning.

If a Game Facilitator abandons a game without notice, they will not be allowed to start a new game for an appropriate period of time. Absentee Owners are simply not acceptable. If an Owner realizes he or she must take time off or leave a game, the Mods must be notified and a replacement must be found.

Expected frequency of posting is to be set out in the Planning Thread with the initial outline and the Owner must get all players to commit to the expected frequency of posting and enforce it via PM and in the discussion thread. PM the Mods if you don’t get cooperation.


Starting New Games

The Planning Threads will serve as the way to flesh out a concept. The Mods will monitor these threads and make suggestions as needed. Once the planning of a game is completed, please PM the Mod and say “we think we’re ready to start”. So long as there are no canonicity issues or questions regarding whether the Forum can support a new game the Owner can start the game and discussion threads in the Game Forum. The discussion thread should include in its first post the Game Outline and any character bios.


The Game Outline

This is the beginning of any Planning Thread. It must include the proposed game name, setting (geographic and in time), the game type, skill level, expected duration and posting frequency, game restrictions or Owner conditions, and the plot outline. As always, the Outline must have a definable beginning and end.

The plot outline should be more detailed in Plot Based Games and less detailed in Character Based Games. It should include roughly how many and what type of characters are wanted.

An example of a Character Based Game plot outline is as follows:

“A group of 5 travelers meet in an Inn in a small settlement in Rohan at the outset of the War of the Ring. They exchange stories until the settlement is attacked by Orcs and Men out of Orthanc. The travelers join the settlers in attempting to fight off the attack.”

There is a definable end; the end of the attack, win, lose or draw. There is considerable freedom for the characters to develop the plot themselves. You could have members playing Orcs. You could have an undisclosed traitor in the Inn. The story should tell itself as it progresses.

A Plot Based Game must give enough detail for the players to understand the story to be told and the roles of their respective characters.

~*~ previous information courtesy of Mithadan, on the Measure of Success thread
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