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I ask this question because I'm curious and perhaps looking for a different way to hold the Sitewide Plots for my site. I know there's tons of sites out there that do Sitewide Plots in their own fashion, and I'd really love to hear all about it! (and see it, if you're willing to link your site!)

 

We currently release our Sitewide Plots with a new site month and line up a bunch of threads focusing on one or two groups at a time. People can sign up for these threads, but we're pretty strict with activity and posting speed... and I worry that that makes people not want to sign up for them. Though, on the other hand, these threads usually line up in a consecutive fashion, so it's important to know what happens in the thread before... which is why the strict standards. The movement of our site's time also depends on our Sitewide Plots a lot... an in-game month taking 6 RL months to finish due to the plot moving slowly really screws with people's perception of in-character time and drags the roleplay along. We try to avoid that at all costs. Lately, we've been trying to cut down the events in each Sitewide Plot we release to hopefully cut down the time it takes to complete them, but at the same time, that sucks because there's less opportunity for people to participate in directly related events. We always advertise spin-offs, but it doesn't seem like people are really into those or get what they're supposed to be and I personally have no idea how to explain them better

 

SO now you all know the basis of my curiosity: basically, I want to figure out a way to do this better. 

 

I've personally always been a fan of open-ended types of events or plots, kind of like prompts, where people can potentially take an idea and run with it or solve a problem in their own way without us holding their hand every step. Though, on my site, it seems like our members don't actually participate in anything unless there's someone leading an example or we (staff) is holding their hand through the whole process. It's honestly very frustrating. 

 

Thank you all in advance for your input, advice, and ideas! 😄

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i've seen a few types of threads used for events. on my most recent site, these were used in combination with one another to create a dynamic series of situations for plots. Time in these events is very based on site pace, and player participation rather than being the same each time something occurs.

 

1) single thread in an event board. the event effects the whole setting, usually something like a big attack, weather event, or change in the environment that no character would not be able to bare some witness to. anyone can join, and anyone can opt out, though the event is still guaranteed to effect the setting for those who opt out come future threads.  Staff take on a gm or narrator role in part or whole, helping the other players figure out what's going on and responding to any actions which would reveal information of the event. the event ends with a big finish after posts begin to slow down, often summarizing the outcome and lying the ground for new threads. posting style and pace in these threads is pretty free for all, with no post order since they often have way too many players to keep track of an order.

 

2) multi thread event in the rp board focusing on one group, faction or location or the interactions between two groups.  each thread has a specific premise and logically leads to the next. again a staff member may serve as a gm or narrator however the staff member could also easily play one of the crowd and simply use some suggestions made ic to guide the threads. this works well for step by step situations spanning multiple smaller locations, or as follow up to the fall out of a single thread event. posting pace and style for these feel like the normal pace of the site, while welcome members are those who play characters related to the factions in question. this may also be used to build up to a later bigger thread.

 

3) no player action status report. these are like a news blast or breaking news thread in many cases, but also can be oneshots related to a specific setting, group or important persons. It's up to players to make their own personal threads reacting to or looking into the source of the news, to which staff might, but also may not have something to add as a clue to what's going on.

 

4) entirely player controlled. the players design the bulk of the plot and execute it without staff involvement in their personal threads. staff may step in to respond to how the player's activities effect the greater world, but every major choice is player handled.

Edited by Kazetatsu
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Oh hey, so this is actually really applicable to something my site is working through.

 

In the past, before our reboot last spring, the site plot was generally a mess. It was largely left in the hands of a few of the admins/staff and sort of opaque without much in the way of a clear path of progression or some goal it was working toward. It'd basically be 'Hey, here's a big battle' maybe once or twice a year.

 

Which was fine, I guess, but the problem was that the outcomes were already pre-determined, for the sake of the plot, which meant people had to go in on the losing side knowing they were going to lose and -- beyond the interactions between characters and how they could fit into their own individual stories/developments--no one's actions really mattered all that much in the grand scheme of things. Now add to that that the threads were always huge with shitloads of players in them and they usually stalled out after the initial rush of excitement wore off. Some of them never finished or took a half year or longer (easily) to finish up, which is obviously suboptimal.

 

So with our reboot, we've decided to take a different angle on handling the big overarching site event/plot, which has been ticking along for a bit more than half a year now. We've broken it into parts, which we call Movements to fit a musical theme we're rolling with. For the first two, we issued a set of missions that served as the "official" story threads that tackled different angles of whatever is going on for that particular Movement. While there is still some overarching general outline we're sticking to, and those missions have goals the players work to accomplish, the structure has allowed for a lot more player impact and I think it's helped make things much more clear for the players. 

 

We also have one staff member in each of the mission threads that's a designated push person who will move things along to the next round after a set time to ensure threads don't stall out. We made this all clear to the members up front so everyone knows what they're getting into, and we've had a pretty good response to it overall so far. In addition to that, people have been free to do spin-off threads within each of the movements that aren't constrained by the pushing rules -- we've only applied those to the main threads.

 

We're currently in a sort of in-between point before we get to the climax, and for that we're rolling out one or two prompts per week that players can use to make up their own missions. No staff necessary, and no pushing required, to keep this phase a bit more free-form and to give everyone a break from the scheduled posting.  We're keeping tabs on which prompts get responses and which don't and we'll factor that into the in-universe results when the time comes.

 

Overall, it's worked really well for us, and we've gotten some good feedback from members. I'm sure we'll do some refining for future events, but it's been a good first stab at a new system.

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Administrator, Star Wars Universe RP

An AU Star Wars Roleplay set in the Old Republic era

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We make a "news bulletin" post with our News NPC account, telling big current events happening in Hazleton. The other members can choose to take part or not. I don't ever like forcing events on people, so I find this the best way to inform members of big events going on in the town that they can use to plump their plots without forcing them to change any plots they already had. 

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Reality is an illusion. 

 

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I post a thread that sets the scene IC and pin it to the appropriate IC forum so it's easily accessible for references. And then an announcement on the site and link to it with an everyone tag in our Discord announcements channel. It's usually pretty open-ended. Basically, "X is happening and would mostly affect Y type characters but participation is optional for everyone" with a link to the IC thread. 

 

For example, the current event on my Hobbit site is a treaty signing. I posted a thread that described the way the main hall had been set up, noted that the treaty had been signed, and then there was a short speech by the host of the event. It was a quick "hey we've signed this and we're gonna start work soon, now enjoy yourselves for the night." From there, members can do whatever threads they like related to the event. 

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I'd love to hear more methods to handling site-wide plots--I have an idea in mind for the first one on my new site, but I'm so nervous, I wanna see how people do theirs, first! ><

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I've been wondering how to implement a site wide plot. But I want that plot to be quite open, so people can come in and not feel like they're constricted by the plot and still have plenty of room for their own plots. 

 

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It really sort of depends on the exact nature of the plot. But as a generalization I'll post an announcement outlining what the plot event actually is. This is typically some sort of prompt or an actual event, X happened and then provide options about potential fallout. Members are of course able to react IC however they'd like but as a staffer sometimes nudges to board wide plots are helpful. Anyways, in order to facilitate that even further, I might post some IC open threads pertaining to the event to try and help guide things along.

 

Ultimately a site wide plot event will likely have a large effect on the way things develop IC. Members of course help to shape that plot and setting but it's your responsibility as an admin to ensure that the plot event encourages not only participation but is relevant in progressing your site plot in a direction that you want.

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