PRP or SRP


  • Pitcrew

    What do we like better, Player-Run Plots, or Staff-Run Plots, and why?

    What are some examples of either that we liked, and want to share?


  • Pitcrew

    We, meaning I, like a mix. I want the option to have other players running plots & to be able as a player to run plots for people. And I also want to have staff running plots that perhaps have a larger impact than what is done between players, perhaps even having a game-wide impact where it's appropriate - but at the very least those are the stories where the most significant risks should exist.

    Things that are mostly "player run" plots weren't something that I really had heavy experience with until I started playing on Depraved Creations (where everything was player run, staff existed to support players but not to actual staff plot) and there were some extremely entertaining player run stories. (Crazy apartment buildings and oWoD mage adventures come to mind.)

    But on the other end, games where staff were heavily involved in running plot, as with Denver's Mage sphere where there was a good deal run, or at least directly organized, by Thessaly & John Constantine, or on The Reach and nearly everything ever run by Lemuria.


  • Pitcrew

    Both.

    I think metaplot on a game should come from Staff. I think Staff should run plots. I think the majority of a game's staff should be Storytellers who keep the game going by helping tell the game's story.

    I think player-run plots are important for stories that impact only a few. For those personal stories that really grind your character down. Player Storytellers should be the ones helping tell the character's story.

    The overrealiance on players to run things (e.g. The Reach's Tier system) is, to me, part of what makes up for so many people's frustrations. Staff should be in the thick of things. There should be NPCs that, while not characters in the same way PCs are, can be interacted with and weigh on the game world as much s the characters, or at least almost as much.

    Vampire is a political game about undead beings both young and ancient playing deadly, cutthroat games of intrigue. A game with vampire should foster that feeling, that ambience, that sort of setting through both its location (easy enough) and its NPCs (not so easy). Have the Praxis be a(n) (un)living thing. Use the second edition's Aspirations system to give each NPC in the Praxis a Long-Term Aspiration, and then give players surprise bonuses or even surprise experience when they help those NPCs achieve those Aspirations, even if they were manipulated into it, even if they had no idea it was going to happen. If a neonate PC talks back to the Prince, even if that Prince if an NPC, make sure there are consequences: string them up, Torpor that uppity young kid and then torture them in their Torporic dreams. and if they do it again, call the Blood Hunt. That's the game. Just because the Prince is an NPC doesn't mean characters should be able to get away with shit that they shouldn't be able to. Play the game that you made a character for.

    That's a very long tangent and I think it's clear where I would be going if I moved on to examples for the other games.

    TL;DR: Staff plots should be the game's story, and player plots should be the characters's stories. There is room for the two to switch and even to mix, but that should, IMO, be the default. While I don't begrudge anyone making a game with no metaplot, so to speak (e.g. Reno), I don't think it's the kind of game that can keep its momentum.



  • Total agreement with @2mspris and @Coin. Staff really should have active ST's running some sort of 'main plot' for the game, with PRP's should be set for more personal/small group encounters. Some of the best plots of been in have been player run, so I definitely like the idea of still having them, but I do miss having staff ST's that are running a larger plot that can affect the game.



  • I didn't do PrP when I first came to mu*ing. Not until I hit TR. It just wasn't done back in the day like this. It took me awhile to warm to and then after I did, I got burned bad on a few bad plots that put me off of it. 2 were just dropped and never finished. 1 was an ST metaphorically jacking her friends off and another was character development/history than ran on teeth pullingly long. The final straw was the PrP that resulted in living under a house rule that suffocated my death powers.

    I found in Mage I could safely ignore PrPs. In vampire they treated them like Metaplot.

    I think there should be a happy medium. I would at least like staff oversight. I would like the plot to have actual meaning. Or none could work I guess. Just consistency. And if you just want to run things for your friends, fine. Limit the scope and quit inviting other people on the pretense you don't just run things for your friends.

    Also, I feel there should be someone to go to if you're blocked from a plot that is supposed to matter. I'd like to say it's not necessary but some people are some petty motherfuckers.


  • Pitcrew

    @Luna said:

    I think there should be a happy medium. I would at least like staff oversight. I would like the plot to have actual meaning. Or none could work I guess. Just consistency. And if you just want to run things for your friends, fine. Limit the scope and quit inviting other people on the pretense you don't just run things for your friends.

    Some oversight is necessary for theme purposes if you purport to have any sort of consistency in theme in your game. One thing we're going to be trying is giving people their own areas of the grid (territories, domains, turfs, etc.) wherein they can run plots with relatively little oversight as long as they a-- keep us informed (the world isn't a vacuum), and b-- respect the scale, i.e., keep it within that area.

    Also, I feel there should be someone to go to if you're blocked from a plot that is supposed to matter. I'd like to say it's not necessary but some people are some petty motherfuckers.

    And that person should be Staff.



  • I always want the option of player-run-plots. They shouldn't be impeded.

    But I've come to loathe the mentality that a game should be ALL PrPs, and that that's OK or sustainable or even fun for players (maybe some are fine with it, I'm not). I think, when you're running a story game, you should be telling stories, or have people on hand whose full-time role it is to tell stories. That's what it's all about.



  • @Coin I think the plot in grid related areas is a good idea. It sounds really cool actually. And yes, staff should be the ones to tell which is why it's important to have trustworthy staff.


  • Pitcrew

    Nobody would ever trust me given the choice, @Luna. That's why none of you will get a choice. :smiling_imp:



  • @Coin I trust you. I'm masochistic though. Basically crazy.


  • Admin

    What I want is the freedom to run plot that I find fun (which usually means 'stories I'd have enjoyed if someone else had ran them') without being burdened with being staff.

    I just don't particularly enjoy my PCs being a 'staff alt'. That's an unfun label.

    So any game that lets me run my stuff - with reasonable supervision, I wouldn't ask or expect carte blanche - is what I prefer.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said:

    What I want is the freedom to run plot that I find fun (which usually means 'stories I'd have enjoyed if someone else had ran them') without being burdened with being staff.

    I just don't particularly enjoy my PCs being a 'staff alt'. That's an unfun label.

    So any game that lets me run my stuff - with reasonable supervision, I wouldn't ask or expect carte blanche - is what I prefer.

    The best way to not have the "Staff Alt" label is to make sure that Staff are treated the same way as players. If anything, the label should be something that helps people recognize that that person is a-- putting effort into making the game work, and b-- possibly not doing something they might like (maybe they'd like their PC to be in a position of power, but the rules say Staff Alts can't) in order to provide a--.

    In my opinion, this hobby needs Storytellers. Badly. Especially skilled ones who are willing to be Staff and take on the challenge of running game-wide plot.


  • Admin

    @Coin said:

    In my opinion, this hobby needs Storytellers. Badly. Especially skilled ones who are willing to be Staff and take on the challenge of running game-wide plot.

    In the order of what any game needs: Coders > STs > all. :) The rarity roughly corresponds to that, too.


  • Politics

    I concur, but disagree with what Coin said about what staff and players should run. There's no reason why players cannot run bits and pieces of an overarching plot, and no reason why staff cannot run personal, character plots. As I've said before, the latter is important to foster staff-player rapport; the former is important to take pressure and tedium off of staff of running all-meta, all-the-time.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel
    As far as importance? Yes. But as far as numbers? A game needs more storytellers than it needs coders.

    @Ganymede
    I did actually say the two can mix and switch; I'm certainly not adverse to it, and have as a player run metaplot and as a staffer run personal plots. So we don't disagree; I just think the default should be that particular division because it makes the most sense when it comes to what sort of responsibility being a player compared to being a staffer entails with regards to plot that affects the entire game.


  • Coder

    I want to be able to do things that may start off trivial and end up having importance and not have the connotation baggage of calling it a "plot".

    For example, someone from an opposing camp was going to entrap my character's friend. This was obvious, but we went along with it in order to assess and possibly control the situation. We rolled our own rolls, we talked behind the scenes as to what a rule might mean. We resolved it ourselves. It was fun.

    This scene itself was spurred by something similar, and before that something similar. It wasn't a player-run plot. It wasn't a staff-run plot. What do you call it? I want more of this.


    edit: A game needs coders only because of what we've come to expect. I've coded for many games where the needs of the coders have been little more than, "How do I @dig again?" Or, "Can you tweak this a little?" Or at worst, "We need to do the math on this so that this responsibility is shared by 3 people instead of 10."

    WoD games are extremely needy, and always have been.


  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain said:

    I want to be able to do things that may start off trivial and end up having importance and not have the connotation baggage of calling it a "plot".

    For example, someone from an opposing camp was going to entrap my character's friend. This was obvious, but we went along with it in order to assess and possibly control the situation. We rolled our own rolls, we talked behind the scenes as to what a rule might mean. We resolved it ourselves. It was fun.

    This scene itself was spurred by something similar, and before that something similar. It wasn't a player-run plot. It wasn't a staff-run plot. What do you call it? I want more of this.

    I just call that roleplaying, Theno. Intricate, interesting, involved roleplaying, but it's just roleplaying. It helps if you can also, in that situation, if things get dicey (pun not entirely intended) with the other side, call a staffer and go "can you judge this? We don't need a storyteller, just someone to mediate".


  • Coder

    That is rather my point, but made in such a way that hopefully explains to the OP that the question is limited, that there is a third choice and perhaps more. We have fenced ourselves in with the concepts of what we're allowed to do, and something that should be asked is: Why?

    There are answers, and some of them make sense, but between the last two Big Things™ in WoD—Haunted Memories and The Reach—we have largely lost touch of this. "Plots" have their place, but it's not every place.

    Between the two, however, staff direction is more important, else how do we know what is okay to do on our own time?


  • Admin

    @Coin said:

    @Arkandel
    As far as importance? Yes. But as far as numbers? A game needs more storytellers than it needs coders.

    You are probably thinking of numbers in relation to a single game, and I'm thinking of them in relation to the community.

    No, there aren't enough coders. I've spoken to several people who really want to start a new game and they fail to find someone to set up and code it up for them.

    So those MU never get off the ground at all, their would-be admins never have the opportunity to get them going and recruit STs then - a task far harder when you don't have a game, and won't for months to come.


  • Reader

    I don't see the need to differentiate. On Shadow War, @Glitch and I will just have plot, whether it's instigated by players or staff. If someone blows up a block in a plot, I expect them to tell me about it so I can help adjudicate the wider ripples such an action would cause. But it still happened. Deciding that PrPs have no lasting effect removes the impact of that story on all involved, and lessens the ownership-investment of your players.

    ES


 

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