Violetta Daviau

A blogging roleplayer in Second Life

Storyline driven RP

Short: NOT alone, NOT the easy way, NOT the fast way

What is involved?

Loosely plan the story line, have a goal in mind, but accept several ways of solving it. Giving only a goal is better than giving an entire scriptbook, as that will be very difficult to keep up. Consider what all is involved, what means which risk, if the surroundings are offering something, include realism as much as possible (as it poses a challenge to solve things) and your play theme’s specifics (e.g. Gor). Remember, a story may not go the way you intended and with creative individuals around it could go in any direction.

Examples:

  • “There is an oversized rabid Bear, a huge Sleen, a Wyrm… in the forests/mountains that drives off all huntable prey, threatens our village, kills the gold miners!”
  • “Thunderstorms destroy the crops!”
  • “The chief is weak, too weak!”
  • “We need to find the eglesial artifact in the swamps of the jungles!”

Who is the hero?

Not you – at least not alone and not always. Make it a team play, allow all to give their skills and contribute. Try to do all things together, with free and slaves. Playing together is far more thrilling than alone. Contribute your part of the scene then hand it over to another to pick up. It’s important that you pay attention to what they say.

Examples:

  • “I cannot enter the city, they have a ransom on my head/neck there, they know me, I fear to be caught and threaten the outcome!”
  • “I cannot just climb the tree to get the needed coconut, I am afraid of heights – can you do that, comrade?”
  • “You know, chief, I got them to trade the required ingredients, I put them on false tracks, but now I do not know further how to solve the alchemistical process, can you coordinate that?”

Which route to take?

Don’t take the easy route on solving things. The easy solution often comes by forgetting authenticity, realism and risks. It degrades a story LINE to a story POINT. A story line does not need to be solved within an hour or a day, it is totally ok to have it last days or weeks – but do not forget about it.

Examples:

  • “I will just quickly shoot the giant sea snake with my pump gun, prepare the rum already, brothers, I’ll be back in no time!” (BAD solution)
  • “You want to trade for medical herbs with us? Let me check the stocks… oh damn, the supplies are out – we need to get new first. Can you come back tomorrow or in a week? Then we can fill your demands.”
  • “Damn, if I would not be a criminal, I could just go to the city to get the needed replacement hammers for you to make the magical sword, smith.”

Do you have all skills and things needed?

Hopefully not! Be aware of your IC drawbacks, fears and weaknesses. Those can be evened out by your group fellows just as you add to what they lack in – a field one lacks in can be a field another shines in, and vice versa. Also keep track of what you, your group or your camp lacks in terms of needed items – maybe you need to acquire ingredients / prerequisites before being able to deal with the final task.

Examples:

  • “We need to dive deep into the northern ocean!” – “I can’t, I cannot swim!” – “I have a flu already, the water is too cold!” … Maid/slave raises her finger: “But I can, my father is shell diver and I learned from him…”
  • “We will get the needed weapons if we craft a canoe for the village slaver, I can do the tanning, but who can do the woodworks, the rope knotting, and who can sneak best to the Orc/Kur place to get tar from the tar pit? They are dangerous!”
  • “Rather speak now, dear hostage, or I will ask Big Joe to interogate you… do you see that captive over there? See his broken limps? That was Big Joe – before asking the first question!” *Turns* “Ey, Big Joe, your convincing charm is needed here!”

Fade to Black is good?

Fading to black means to skip a process and go with the result. That can kill a storyline. Play out as much as possible of it, also to give others time to fullfill their own sub-tasks. Not everyone is comfortable with all sorts of role play, talk it out in IMs.

Non Player Characters (NPCs) are good?

The usage of NPCs is a difficult topic. It can enable progress but it can also destroy a story or be a shortcut the success. Be authentic and carefull with the usage of NPCs. An NPC should never overcome a PC (“Player Character”) except e.g. that a male NPC can be physically stronger than a PC kajira – but the PC can still outsmart the NPC if really wanted. Else see to rather interacting with PCs instead of using NPCs, if needed return to a place the next day when the required role is maybe covered by a present PC. If NPCs are being used, act towards them as authentic as if they would be PCs.