Adventures of Caelereth

Character and Story Creation => Roleplay Questions and Story Creation => Topic started by: Luca the Thief on June 08, 2005, 10:12:22 AM

Title: So...You Want To Be the Boss
Post by: Luca the Thief on June 08, 2005, 10:12:22 AM
Guide to Developing Stories for the Santharia RPG Board

So you want power? Well, you have a few options. One option is to create a story. But it’s not quite as easy as you might hope because if we were to just let any Joe Schmo start a story, things might turn…ugly. So here are some rules/guidelines when creating a story. Before even considering starting a story, be aware and prepared for a lot of work and compromising; the more complicated and “out there” the story is, the more work you’ll have in store for you.


So you want to mod a story? Well, there are a few things you will have to complete before we’ll even consider it:
1. Experience: It is a general rule of thumb that story mods should have at least four months or more of continuous Santharia RPG board experience. This is not only to ensure that you know enough of how the board itself is run and about the site information itself, but also to give us a little piece of mind that you won’t vanish on us three weeks into the story because you got bored.

2. Maturity: Along with experience, a certain level of maturity is required to run a story. It’s not all joy and bubbles. You need to work, plan, coordinate and devote hours of extra man-power (or woman/dwarf/orc-power) to keep the story alive as well as making sure your devout players don’t hold a mutiny. People who can both handle and respect power make prime story mods.

3. Activity: Having been around long enough doesn’t entirely quite cut it in this aspect. We will have to have acknowledged your patterns of activity, taking into account frequent vacations, large RL workloads (we know they are random and evil, but some people get them more than others) and a tendency to waffle off and get lost on the way back. The most surefire way for a story to die is when the mod doesn’t stick around to keep it in check.

3. Flexibility: The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, so be prepared to be unprepared. Naturally circumstances will arise that may force you to go off the storyline you have envisioned. Your players may have strengths and weaknesses contrary to what you'd hoped for, but must work with the players for the success of the story.

4. Humility: Story moderation is a learning experience. A story moderator must be willing to ask for help and advice and be ready to hear to it.

5. An Idea: Well…duh.

The Idea Santharia. Sound familiar? That’s the world we live in. That’s the world your story has to fit in. No exceptions. Interesting stories usually integrate a wide array of locations and the various plants, animals and monsters widely available on the main site, Try to integrate many of these things as possible, while staying within the rules of both the site and the board limitations.

As for how the story itself works, keep in mind that the role-playing board lives and breathes off the input of the most important element: the players. Make you story player friendly. Try to keep the plot open for easy entry and exit, as the inevitable will happen and there will be a steady in/out flow of characters. Also try to keep the demands of the plot available for the wide variety of characters available on the board. Don’t make a game just for fighters, or just for mages. Include everybody, because the interaction between characters is just as important as the interaction with the environment. Keep the plot and location realistic and open-ended. The ending of a story written, on the spot, by a collaboration of various styles and character, can never be predicted. Have a few ideas in mind on how you would end the story with various twists, but keep an open mind to the various possibilities that might come up.

Before even thinking about posting, be prepared to have a write-up prepared for review that will include the general backstory, location and plot. This does not have to be set in stone, since the review of players and administrators alike with certainly change it to fit their needs and requirements. Try to be specific about things that are most likely to be brought up though, if you are unsure, be vague or make a note that it is something to be elaborated on. Just as the story is a collaboration, so can the planning.

More Nitty Gritty Things
Game Exceptions – The rules posted both in the New Players forum and the restrictions in the Character Descriptions forum all apply to the board as a whole, including NPC’s (for example, since you can’t have an Ulvur character, there should be no Ulvur NPC’s). The only exceptions will be granted with prior and explicit admin permission. Exceptions that are vital to the plot and dynamics of the story will be overviewed by the administrators with that kept in mind. Keep in mind during this overviewing process that certain rules and regulations must still be abided by and only so much stretching can be done before the fabric of space, time and everything in between snaps like a cheap hair-tie.

Game Characters – To PC or not, that is the question. During the process of approving a story, administrators must be aware of any PC’s or highly predominant NPC’s (major villains, etc.) planned to be made. PC – Playable Character. A character with it’s own board account and properly reviewed and approved Character Description. NPC – Non-playable Character. A character usually controlled only by the mod (but occasionally other players, with explicit moderator permission). Does not require an approved CD, though a brief description is common practice, and tend to be minor characters in the story. NPC’s are most used to simply move the plot along; they can be bartenders, villainous underlings, backstabbing short-lived party-members or those ambiguous soldiers destined to die without so much as being given a name. There are sometimes major NPC’s, characters that may proceed with the party or group for an extended period of time and sometimes play an important role in the plot, but when it’s all boiled down, are nothing more than that: Plot catalysts. It is for the discretion of the moderator and advisory of the administrators whether an influential character should be made a PC or NPC. It is common practice for a story mod to have one or two PC’s to help prod the plot along.

It is strongly advised that every moderator have a wing-man (or wing woman/dwarf/orc) to help them. Usually this co-mod will control another major PC and help run NPC’s and prod the plot along. Expect to share all your plot-lines, subplots, villainous schemes and deepest, inner emotions to your co-mod. Because if you suddenly have all your fingers broken by a loan-shark, the wing-man can pick up your slack with this insider-information. Do not choose a co-mod because they are nice and use lots of smilies in their posts. Choose a co-mod using the same guidelines suggested in the beginning for deciding to become a mod. Experience, maturity, activity and, sure, being nice doesn’t hurt.

The Critiques
You’re not just posting your story idea for the administrators to slave and toil over to finally grant you immortality as a mod. You will want feedback from the public that will, no matter what you think, will become your underlings and your fellow writers. Take into account what they think because if they won’t like it, they won’t play in it. The story will not be approved if there are not enough players initially interested and signed up to play.