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Post by Guest on Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:00 am

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Post by MoiraofWords on Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:16 pm

Role-playing alone is BKA writing a story.
Role-playing with someone else is a collaboration. If you want to role play with people, then you should only have a single person plot as a segway to the other people. Otherwise you might as well just do nothing. A single person plot should only be if relevant to the whole plot.

Ie. Split up and search for clues, scooby doo-esque. It makes logical sense that you'd have your own thing.

Contrarily, if you person has a feud with a feudal lord, whom you defeated in single combat to claim the suitor but then left to guard a princess, and if you have him come back and attack you while you are now defending a princess, that is bad. In someone's words, save the drama for your mama. Tangents are fine where needed and part of the storyline; side stories detract from the MAIN story.

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Post by Silvan Arrow on Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:19 pm

I think solo parts depend partly on the status of the main plot and, more importantly, on the character's personality. I'll use my Viemera character, Eri Kiryakov, as an example. I wrote her to have a cold shoulder personality and to initially dislike working in a group, which made for interesting character interactions since the story consisted of our characters traveling in a group. I had her go solo for the first couple of posts instead of immediately interacting with one of the other characters. And then, once she joined the group, the next few rounds of posts consisted of her mainly going along with the motions but making very few moves to interact with people of her own free will. But now we've gotten to a point in the story where everyone's characters are developing dramatically, and she's starting to open up more as she's rediscovering her emotions. I had to walk a pretty fine line of keeping her with the group and working within her personality. Basically, her solo tendencies at the beginning gave me the freedom to have a lot of character development down the road. Now, if I had had her go solo as much as possible, that would have worked against the plot and detracted from the group dynamics. But a little bit of solo action here and there can work depending on the character and as long as it doesn't detract from the main story, like Moira already mentioned.
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Post by Buzzwulf on Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:29 pm

I agree with Silvanarrow. It's entirely dependent on the character and the current plotline. Sometimes it's much more acceptable in others. Let's go with Emoria as an example, because we all know it's a big thing now.

If someone were to go off and do their own thing in Emoria, I'd say that it's fine, as long as it led to development of that character. I have no problem with that (in fact, in some cases, I would encourage it). However, if that side thing led to something that affected other people's characters, like giving proof of the dark lord's intentions or killing some important NPC, then there would probably be talks. In Emoria, we seem to have overarching plotlines, and that's great, but you shouldn't mess with them unless you have permission from the person that you're interfering with.

This works the same way for other RPs. In a sci-fi RP, you shouldn't stage a coup and take command of the spaceship on your own. You should go more into why you're torn up because you abandoned as a child and experimented on by the evil government. Rule of thumb: characterization is good, plot development is bad for single plot-lines.
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Post by Guest on Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:39 pm

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Post by Moon Ray on Mon May 28, 2012 11:59 pm

Buzzwulf wrote: Rule of thumb: characterization is good, plot development is bad for single plot-lines.

I disagree with this rule entirely.

Characterization is not a plot, singular or otherwise. Characterization is something that should be woven INTO a plot line. Splitting off to expound (through speech, action, thoughts, or narrative) on existing aspects of a character is not only boring to read, it borders on OOC. It's jarring to a story. Stick it in the char sheet if it's that much fun to write. (Or take the Lost format and include it as a flashback where it pertains to the story.)

On the other hand, plot development (or environment development, or investigating passing points of interest) is the perfect goal of single-player locations. Multi-player moments are all about the characters: their actions, reactions, and interactions. This is also where character development should happen, as a result of what is going on with events and characters on the stage, so that the effects can be felt by all. It's harder to move plot though, because you're focused on the now. As a single player, you can set the stage for multi-player fun.

In the example of the Sci-Fi RP, I would say that staging a coup is a perfectly fine activity to do on your own. It can be handled efficiently by one person. It results in loads for everyone else to do (act, react, interact). It might be an interesting twist, and by yourself the twist is a more effective surprise. I'm not sure how effective one-man coup would be in story, but it's certainly good times. (Incidentally, a one-man coup attempt does a lot to characterize a person. Much more than whining about painful memories and authority issues. Show, don't tell.)

Interfering with other people's plot-lines IS collaboration in an RP. It introduces distinct elements from different minds. Making suggestions OOC is just offering a painter a few more colors to choose from, not adding anything to the canvas. And letting a person role play without collaboration (whether or nor they're in a solo plot line) is just lonely.

___________________________________________________

I imagine by now, Yso has already come to a decision. But it's something that happens often. All characters can't be in the same place all the time, and players do leave you in the lurch.

I'd say, as a general rule of thumb Wink : Do what you want.

If you prefer direct character interaction with other players' characters, because that's fun, then get back where you want to be, using your best plot device. Time skips might be lame, but so is becoming uninspired and letting the plot or the whole rp peter out.

NEVER be afraid to move plot forward. Too many RPers forget that time is flowing IC and things are still happening around their characters. Unless there's a vital and fascinating conversation/fight taking place that needs resolution to keep everyone happy, poke that mule in the rear.

I've participated in a lot of RPs with players who were very skilled with single plot lines. I've played in an RP in which the three PCs never actually intersected (or were even in the same city ever), but the story of one colored the others, and events and NPCs eventually started crossing over. I've played as THE opposing force in a war when players left, and I had a lot of fun creating obstacles and pit falls for the good guys -eventually bringing a few to the dark side. Single player plots give you a chance to add a lot of depth for everyone to play in. Referencing them later, dealing with the results, letting them change the scene around you, is very rewarding.
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Post by Guest on Tue May 29, 2012 3:38 pm

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Post by Moon Ray on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:33 am

I think maybe I don't understand what you're referring to when you say "other players' plotlines."

I can see it if the game is being run by a DM-style player. RPer Alpha has an idea that characters Mario and Luigi will mount a rescue attempt for the princess in the castle. RPer Bravo is playing Mario and decides to switch sides and start ruling the neighboring kingdom of B-ombers. I can see how Alpha might be a bit miffed. (His idea sucked however and he should see the virtue in letting Bravo run with it. Maybe he'll learn something.) But that's an overarching plotline.

A personal plotline: Mario stopping at every bar on the way to the castle and flirting with the waitresses doesn't seem like a problem to me. Maybe it ends with the princess spurning him and his wandering ways.

On the other hand, RPers Bravo and Charlie are playing Mario and Luigi respectively... Mario intends to fight Bowser, and rescue the princess. Luigi gets separated during the fight and finds the princess himself. They both help Mario fight. Is Charlie interfering with Bravo's plot? If Alpha doesn't have a problem with it, can Charlie claim his plot is being messed with?

What if Charlie intended for Luigi to have a torrid affair with the princess... does it need to be an approved plot to be a don't-interfere-with-it plot? Is it Alpha's job to OK proposed plotlines?

Wouldn't this all mean RPers couldn't do anything in post without discussing it, for fear of stepping on someone's intentions?

Where exactly is the "dangerous territory"? I'm having a lot of trouble identifying it.
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