Yup, rather than plot, a GM can only gave major points.
Going by Kestrel's dragon example:
GM: "All right, you guys are screwed, here's a dragon!"
The players have option of running away or trying to fight the dragon. And, while most likely the GM has something to follow up with both, you still can't decide which will happen until the player do them.
Credit to Harby the Australian Harbringer.
I don't think Plot is necessary and I hope that was clear in my first post. I do, however, believe Plot is what gives us some reason to actually take part in this world. We see a blank canvas and it takes us a lot of energy to put anything truly coherent down. Even quick sketches seem off, hazy, and not quite related. Once we get some structured ideas though, maybe a theme we're finding some passion about, we start to really get some momentum. I see having a loose Plot as offering that starter-structure, that adrenaline boost when things slow down. Like you said, if Roleplay were the dish, Plot would be the seasoning. We don't need it, really, but by using the proper amount of it we can create a refreshing experience with the dish.
Now, again like the dish, obviously we don't need to use Plot. We don't have to do anything. But, personally, there's no chance I'm going to just start eating some plain steak or chicken for that pure meaty flavour (which, in reality, I would avoid doing even with seasonings). I get that hint of something else though, that scent, or pick up on a flavour I hadn't expected -- now I'm interested. Garry's Mod experiences ample success, of course, I've seen it when RPing there. But, using that example, you should remember its forerunners. GMOD inherited many of the RP Communities left homeless as The Specialist RP sunk. Members of those the communities had experiences with that potential, and now we have some pretty similar frameworks in maps/systems (though the new engine has allowed some dreams to be realized). Even before TSRP there were the original games these mods stemmed off of. Half Life (2) gave a really great perspective at what could be done in that world. TSRP/GMOD took it as a suggestion, at times using those ideas, but usually branching new stories from that initial creative energy. But, all in all, there are many unsuccessful communities in GMOD, as there were in TSRP. Many can become so convoluted with a few peoples' stories that others feel disconnected and forget what potential drew them in. This is when having some unique premise is useful. That loose beginning from which people can be inspired allows us to offer later direction, even in Sandbox worlds. In TSRP we would find people owning businesses, others owning gangs, and things would actually hit a peaceful balance. Players got skilled in dealing drugs without cops noticing, and gangs made allegiances with one another so no one was really conflicting. It got dull, really. Low and behold a few people looked at the broader view and wondered what if their gang grew in this time of peace into a para-military, something with hard/specific values, how would that effect the balance of power? They asked questions that could create a compelling story. The best part was that they couldn't truly anticipate others' reactions. Opposing gangs might avoid the para-military on the surface, but individual members might react and set off the powder keg. It created new direction and inspiration. This might not be a Plot, it's much too loose, but it begins with a story's premise, it come when needed and gets the hell out of the way when not, and should things come to a close it would wrap up with some meaning. Without any of this people would interact. Very true. But I feel offering some obscure Direction, something similar to a vague, player-articulated Plot, offers some inspiration and creates a relationship between GM and Player.
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I am not arguing, I am stating my own opinions. And what I am saying is that a plot is not required but it is preferable.#1: ...Okay, so you're arguing... For what? That's literally what I stated. Plot is not required.
I am about as interested in battles as I am in your condescending attitude. My point is not to have actions sequences vs talking, often a plot can be made up of talking. I am not opposed to battle in a RPG but it is not one of the elements I find the most interesting and a battle for no reason would make absolutely no sense to me. Now a fight scene do not have to be a part of some grand scheme or world shattering events, it could be a simple fight over the affections of a girl, but there have to be some reason for it. Also a plot do not need to be epic for there to be a plot in the RPG.#2: ...Okay, here is where I think you are confusing plot for continuity. You can have exciting action sequences and what not arranged in a series of events, and not have a plot. This is a plot. RP's can completely disregard it or throw it away at any time for a new one, or simply not have one. You can have battles... For no reason. And it's perfectly fine. Honest!
A plot do not need to be a huge planned out thing, it can emerge as one go along, not all plots are rigid. But off course you can do a RP completely random, but that is not a way I prefer to do it.Now that we've clarified that you can do any scene or series of scenes without a plot, IE without a plan, IE without rigid structure, everything you've argued here... Can be applied... Without a plot.
Really for I have been rolepalying for 15 years and have never had this experience. A plot is not a rigid plan that is pre scrited, a plot is some idea of what is happening and what the story is about, that do not need to railroad anything.A plot by literary standards is merely "everything acts for the greater narrative." That's it. Characters, scenes, relationships, everything is enslaved to the narrative. It's optional. You don't need a plot to save the world in an RP. The characters don't have to act within a narrative. Everything I've done has repeatedly, and demonstrable proven to me, over and over, that a greater narrative only enslaves characters. It railroads them. It forces them to do as you please, instead of doing what is natural.
Sure you can have RPGs with no plots, just as you can have a slice of life anime series with no plot, it can be fun and entertaining, it is just not what I prefer to do. I think perhaps you are over thinking this a bit.Plots are not, in any manner of speaking, whatsoever necessary for an RP to succeed. If they were, in any manner whatsoever, then Nation RP's as they presently exist?... Couldn't.
But unless you're talking about "Emergent" plot (happens as you go) a pre-set plot (Players must go rescue the Dragon from the Princess) is very much by definition both pre-scripted.
If players go to rescue the dragon from the princess they are, in some manner, following the tracks laid by the GM, broadly or otherwise.
If the players go "lets go kill the dragon and sell the princess into slavery" then they have, broken the plot and started to forge their own.
Reason to do things =/= plot. Reason to do things = motivation, which is something characters possess independent of a plot. For example: If the main character was a young peasant boy who aspired to do nothing but farm for the rest of his life, that's a motivation: To farm, to take up what was likely his father's mantle and keep doing family tradition. So it would make no sense if he suddenly took up the plot to go fight a dragon and save the princess.
Motivation does not equate to plot. It never has, and it never will.
plot is. (Don't worry, most people don't.)
Hell, I'm even IRL friends with a number of Glomp!/TJA/Data Spell members- and we'll even ramble about this stuff IRL, and then get back to our computers all excited to have Lord Ghirahim battle Itachi the same way he would fight Link, while Taylor pesters Itachi in a Fi-esque fashion, or to have yandere!Canada steal Grell's death scythe and battle black-blooded Kaito and... yeah. It has no relation to the plot- or rather, not so much a plot but a loosely-guided direction of the RP, but it still creates interaction, and interactions usually bring about a lot more than we expect from them in Glomp!. They just drive the complex, convoluted, plot-hole filled RP.
Unless you're a sexual predator. (Jokes aside, please read this.)
WOTM #32 Guidelines thread is up! This month's theme is Change! Let's see those entries!!
Originally Posted by Metal ZetaOriginally Posted by SebasChan
;u; Oh gosh I have no words....
And to see this go up the day after Tenshi Jigoku Academy's second birthday and Glomp!'s right around the corner.
I don't think I could possibly contribute much that hasn't already been said ^_^; I totally agree with everything Brovo said...well except maybe about inconsistency in TJA, but I guess that's not irrelevant. It's still a good example considering we have no actual plot whatsoever, but basically exists under the premise "There's this school for supernatural creatures; go nuts!" which has developed various sub-plots due to everybody's contributions.
And as Kags said everybody grows incredibly close on those threads, through communication via skype/pesterchum/the OOC/texts/IRL conversations, and I think the fact that we're all constantly communicating with eachother helps keep the activity going, since threads like TJA, Glomp! and Data Spell bring us all together, which is especially helpful when the IC gets slow because even when we have a lack of activity due to IRL business and whatnot we can count on the fact that no one is going to drop out.
If that makes sense ^_^;
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