1964-08-03 - OOC Meeting: Let's Talk Plots
Summary: An OOC meeting where folks talked about plots, and it was good.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers coulson daire loki billy jack strange kaleb sophie-rousseau danielle pepper quinn tigra acute 


Acute says, "Okay! First of all, I'm Acute, your friendly neighborhood staffer. I also play Kai, Lindon, Ninette, Vic, and Tony. I've been MUSHing since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and I've had the opportunity to learn from some fantastic writers on plot structure. While writing a story is not the same as MUSHing, there is some overlap, and that's where I'm drawing from.

So what's a plot? A plot is:

* a person or people
* in a place
* with a problem

The people are the PCs, the place is wherever your scene takes place, and the problem is you! Rather, it's the obstacle you're throwing at the players that they'll either solve, resolve, or crash and burn in."


When we talk shop, I'd like to get back to the problem, because that's where the meat of plotting lies. In fact, let's break up the presentation into phases so we can talk about this while it's fresh. Go ahead and pose your thoughts/questions, we'll go a round or two, then move on. Annnnd go.


Strange here. I look forward to hearing thoughts on plot flow/scene flow, for the sake of timing. Also, people's feelings on 'complicated' vs 'simple' plots.


Pepper says, "Nothing to add! =)"


Danielle says, "Nothing from me yet. :)"


Kaleb is good for now


Kwabena chimes in. "Regarding 'the problem', I typically try to find one that is both relevant to the setting (in our case, Marvel+ comics), while also tying it into something that is relevant in our lives. Since this is a game, and we all have lives out there, I find it can be appealing to play out something in allegory to RL problems we are facing (e.g. war, politics, epidemics, social issues, etc)"


Daire is good for now.


Loki says, "Would there be a way to share what sort of GM we are, and what sort of GM players prefer, so that we end up with players and GMs matched to style? Like those that want to just tell a story and the chars are along for the ride, or very humorous, or a style that has a lot of dice-rolling, joint-story, where the players are asked to resolve all the combat on their own kinda stuff, and so on. I have been on mushes where there was a sort of 'interest code' that helped players know like…who was into rping lots of combat, versus someone who just wanted to drink and chat at bars, and so on."


Sophie Rousseau says, "Just listening for now, here."


Quinn probably wont ask questions, but is here.


Jack says, "Sorry—I'm dealing with a screaming toddler. So here, but not here."


Billy belatedly nothing to ads


Tigra ah. Oky, saw, see now yous aid say if you havenothing to say.


The comments so far segue nicely into the next part of this, so onward! Plus, after the bulk of this is laid down, sharing ideas and such will be bueno. As far as scene flow goes, if you're trying to run a plot for the first time, I say keep it simple. Two X burst through the Y wielding Z. A simple problem we can all relate to, like tentacle monsters.

If you've played around with this to a point where you're comfortable, or you want to set the scene for a plot lasting longer than one scene, then you can play around with complications or added elements. It also depends on how many players are in your scene and what it's about. A two-player scene has a time budget for some cerebral exploration, whereas a scene with five or more should probably stay focused and clear-cut.

Kwabena, I like what you said about how you like to bring in RL elements to hook your players. That touches on something I wanted to talk about re: players (typing it up now…)


Be your players' biggest fan.

Know the characters (that's what the wiki and +sheet, and +bg is for). Be flexible enough that the action you toss their way has something to do with them. If they're down for it, take elements of their past to come back to haunt them. Make the scene about the players. Gauge what you do next on what they've just done, even if it throws off your plan. No plan survives contact with players. Even if you're tearing their characters a new one, be the president of the players' fan club. The more you make it more about them and less about your cool idea or NPC, the more they'll love the plot.

Which brings me to NPCs. If you're new to plotting, NPCs can be a good way to break into it. The problem is a mad scientist who decided that mutants taste like candy. Now you've got your problem, *your* motivation (eat all mutants), and if you make the NPC a reasonably nuanced person you have an idea of how to do it (he drives around in an ice cream truck or something).

However! Do not make your NPC so interesting they dominate the scene or the players are there to dance to his/her tune. You should be too busy being your players' biggest fan to outshine them..

For Loki's bit, of course communication is key. Not that I suspect people will do this, but putting what kind of event it is in their +events writeup isn't a bad idea. But I also think it's good fodder for talking about after I'm done yammering. Which is now. Strange, shoot.


Pepper says, "Pass me, I'm just watching =)"


Strange again.

I do agree with Acute's comment about the number of players influencing the scene's flow/complication level. As an example, as fun as it may be for me to say 'Oh, this dragon you're now fighting tells you a riddle first that you have to solve," six people in the scene makes this extremely difficult to resolve in the time limit that most people have. Good to hear that someone shares my feelings in this, even if I do want to throw riddling dragons at folks. I would add that if you do like a complicated scene, there's nothing wrong with splitting it over a period of multiple scenes.

I cannot stress enough the truth in Acute's statement regarding being your players' fans. Unless you've all agreed to crash and burn, they shouldn't crash and burn. Also, flexibility - YES. I've found that sticking to a scene plan as a GM is nearly impossible to do. To be blunt, why stress everyone out over sticking to the plan, including yourself? Write out multiple possibilities — or just make something up on the fly. That's a lot of the fun for me, personally — challenging myself on the fly.

In interest of answering Loki's question (which is a good one), I'm a very flexible GM. If I had to 'average out' my GMing style, I prefer to tell a story and have folks 'react'. I will get you from point A to point B, but you'll have some input in it, whether this is rolling for combat or problem solving, etc, etc. I try hard to cater to folk who are interested in both the dynamic and the mundane, from punching dragons in the nose to chit-chatting in a bar. One time, a pretzel stand exploded in one of my scenes, so I can do silly too. I haven't run any large multi-scene plot arcs yet, but I'm looking forwards to attempting it fairly soon here. My experience is in impromptu scenes at the moment. My favorite thing is seeing you all be Be Big Damn Heroes in the end.


Danielle says, "I'm partial to the simpler style plots (which is not the same as dull or easy). One to three good sessions, and done. The more complicated it gets, or the more 'multi-part' it becomes, the less excited I get as a player. I can't commit to a 14-part plot delving into the intrigues of the Morlock succession rituals. Additionally, I tend to be leery of heavy RL allegories (see: politics/religion/social strife), because I get enough RL and sometimes just want to punt an alien invader in the hoohah."


<Kaleb Thoughts>
I've found over the years with multi-stage plots (any length) what has been working out pretty well from the feed back I've got from mah peeps (Allo peeps. Shoutout), is:

  • Establish: this what we're going to accomplish for tonight.
  • Get an idea from them the ideas they have that might accomplish working towards that goal.
  • Find a way to work and incorporate the ideas they have and are comfortable with
  • Have an idea of what the end of that element is. All things don't have to be done in one night.
  • Communicate with the players. Love that it was brought up, be your players biggest fan.

Lastly:

  • Have fun yourself. Plots on rails make players feel frustrated. Don't be afraid to let them surprise you too. Sometimes that's great, and the hallmark that you're doing a good job because they put the effort into getting creative.

</Thoughts>


Kwabena

I actually like to switch up my GM'ing style. I tend to either tell a story and try to manipulate the players into helping to get there, or I completely leave the outcome up to them. That being said, when I am in 'gotta tell the story and hit this plot point' mode, I'm always willing to let a particularly crazy/rash/unexpected player action derail and change the story.

I usually run longer term plots, so I'll switch up my GM'ing style to keep players on their toes. I may have certain 'plot points' I am trying to hit, and if I absolutely need to, I'll throw in some kind of deus ex machina to make sure those points hit; but usually, there are only a 2-3 moments I'm aiming for; everything else is completely flexible and malleable.

I like the idea of writing up what style of GM'ing you will do in an +event, especially if its a short term plot with 1-3 +events in its cycle. I may not do that myself, as I typically do uber-long term plots and I like to surprise people, but my hope is that those surprises are part of what makes it exciting.

I've had success running long term plots primarily because there are 'chapters' and each 'chapter' has a decidedly different tone. I'd like to talk at some point about the tone of +events and plots, but we can save that for the end unless it's one of the things you planned to bring up, Acute. :)

(PS: I am swapping out Kwabena with Coulson as Kwa is needed for RP. Leave Kwa in the +pose order and I'll update it once Coulson poses in his stead.)


Daire likes to run all kinds of plots from short one-offs for a few people, personal journeys for a single person, or even grand long multi-part plots for multiple people. I tend to like to sketch out my plots as a framework, with some landmarks and things I would like to see hit along the way, but I consider myself an adaptive storyteller. If a player has a cool idea and veers the story off — I'd rather roll with it than worry about "the plan" as it were. I find for the longer, more involved plots, breaking it down into multiple shorter sessions for smaller groups and then having a "finale" kind of scene at the end that lets folks come together and see the result of their collective work at the end kind of works for me.

The one thing that I feel is really important is.. give everyone in the scene something to do. Which is part of being the president of their fan club. No one should feel that they just sat through 3 hours of doing nothing and having no impact on the story. Find some way to engage, even in a small way, all of your players.

I do like sharing our GMing style with others so they can decide if it's what they're looking for, too. Honestly I am back and forth on incorporating RL because I play RL in RL.. so sometimes I am all for it, but usually as a player, rather than as a GM. When I'm GMing I prefer to go for escapism :)


Loki says, "I agree with find something for people to do, but on the flip side of that, I think that can lead to a player feeling less triumphant and more like they were 'given' something. Maybe make things less specific in your mind. Like…3 of the 4 people CAN do this, so lets see which of them does. Rather than…you come across a thing specifically shielded in lightning which only this one person can affect. But that's just me."


Sophie here—

I've run a lot of tabletop over the past REDACTED years, but not so much online. I'll freely admit I'm a little afraid of it, for a couple of reasons. One is that it's not 'my' game and that makes me feel less, I don't know, I guess 'empowered' is close, if not exactly what I'm looking for. Afraid that if I do something someone doesn't like or disagrees with, I'll either have unintentionally alienated someone I'd like to be able to RP with in the future, or that I'll run into some level of disapproval from staff as a result. And another is that, in text, it's harder to gauge the 'feel' of a room, harder to know how you're doing in the eyes of your players. These are both more imagined or irrational concerns than realistic ones, but there they are.

A side comment to something said a bit back — I don't know about other people, but I find referring to the wiki a LOT easier (and less disruptive to what's on my screen) than looking people up with +sheet, etc. YMMV, but.


Jack says, "I'm much like Kwabena in terms of plot-running. I like long arcs, and when I plan out a plot, it's typically in chapters with a problem that's quite multifaceted. A lot of my plotting happens in the span of approximately 8 'events' that can be effected/changed depending on player actions. Most of the problems I find/use actually happen in RP and I used to mine logs to find them—things that others brought up in passing or a way to use something interesting that happened to other characters. The Hellmouth plot, for example, was based on a few things, one of which was a scene wherein players made a deal with a trickster for information.

I am a strong believer in a world-building over-arching things that allow people to hook in and explore at their leisure. I'm also a firm believer in allowing others to take those ideas and run with them within the bounds of whatever the plot allows (and I try to make that clear pretty early on). It makes it easier to give people ideas of scenes they can run because of how a longer plot changes the landscape of what's going on in a world.

That said, I also have and do run one-offs and I have done shorter things as well. I typically have a timeline in mind and can see things converging in the background. Sometimes one-offs build into something bigger—if the players aren't interested, they don't have to keep engaging with whatever that thing is and new folks can pick up the threads if that's where their interest lays.
"


Billy says, "There's no real chance of staff disapproval unless you do something major to *the world* that affects people outside of your plot — without talking to us first, fwiw. We've also never actually to date, I think, said no to anyone's plot pitch."


Tigra says, "Nothing to add at the moment. :)"


Billy says, "That said I too am very nervous with running plots so I can relate. For me its that I'm used to dice-based games. That said I tend to run plots that… don't involve me *running* stuff. I set a scene and name the bad guys and let people pose both the bad guy they're attacking and htemselves and results based on whatever they wanna do."


Acute says, "There's not only room for but a need for different types of plots. Sometimes a one-off dungeon crawl is the kind of fun you want, and if you're someone who hates having to schedule multiple events, there's still something for you. I like all types of plots, so the more — and more varied — the better. For the plot I'm running now, it's kind of like a series of butt-kicking one-offs with some tormenting Strange in between. There's an arc, but unless you're chasing the arc, all you need to know is holy shit dream monster just shot at me.

I agree with giving the players something to do, but by that, I don't mean giving them a victory or something special only they can do as if it's hand-carved for them by destiny. I mean make sure there's enough tentacles to go around. If someone is just standing there, hit them with a problem. Love your players, but do so while making their characters' lives difficult.

Loki brings up a good point. Avoid the one-person-one-fix dilemma. There's a sweet spot between making the plot personal to the players and making it so only one person can do the thing. That leaves everyone else in the lurch, especially when that one person doesn't show up. To be that's part and parcel with being flexible

Sophie, I've found players, especially here, to be so cool and flexible, I wouldn't worry too much. Start with a one-off alien whomping. It's a good way to get a feel for the players, which I've found to be awesome and cool, and patient, and and and.

Also, there's +news plots and +news villains, I'd like to point out, because therein lies useful information for plotting on this game.

*deep breath* The final part of the presentation portion of the evening is this: give your players a satisfying conclusion. Even if they fail to accomplish the goal, solve the problem, etc., make the ending satisfying for the players. The monster got away, but you saved the lives of some tourists. Okay, th tourists got eaten, but you kept the city block from exploding. Okay, the city lies in ruin, but you all learned a little something about friendship. Give them something. And give the plot/scene a sense of finality.

For me, I start by either a round of poses to establish everyone, or just drop the payload immediately, kaboom, they can pose what they /were/ doing in their first round of poses. For the wrap up pose, I try to put in a paragraph about where each PC concludes. Anyway, presentation over. Now we talk shop with impunity while still observing pose order!"


Strange appreciates being tormented, on a side note — keeps me on my toes ICly. *grin*

Y'all talk shop, I've run out of things to say for now. I'm taking notes on the side.


Danielle is good for now.


Tangent goes home.


Billy says, "I, too, like being tormented. Then again I often throw myself under the bus and screw up or fail strangely."


Jack says, "But in the best ways, Billy."


Jack says, "I also love players that don't mind failing."


:will chime in briefly that it is appealing to deal with the difficulties of failure and character growth as a result, both ICly and as a GM.


Billy says, "Always winning is dull. That said failing because dues ex is not fun. Failing cuz I screw up legit or something crazy happens though is sometimes more fun then winning."


Strange there.


Kaleb loves to fail my way to character growth :) <3 Jack


Coulson :

To Daire - yes, yes, and yes! Always find a way to give every player a part to play. That's what I love about +events - you can see who has signed up, review their wiki, and dangle carrots that they might like. Loki brings up a good point though; don't always just toss someone something on a silver platter.

I usually keep a google doc on plots I'm running. I'll plan for +events there, and I'll keep track of important story moments and NPC's I've used. There's nothing like having the GM play on something your character did six scenes ago; you thought the impact was only so important, only to find out that it had a ripple effect that shows up later in the story.

To Sophie's point - I like to use the wiki as well, so that I'm not spamming up my MU Client window. To that point - I would like to ask everyone to keep on top of their IC Events on the wiki. You can look at http://www.marvel-1963.com/character:kwabena for a lame example, as he's really new, and I totally need to update Coulson's, but… this makes it a lot easier for people to know what you've been up to ICly rather than reading logs, and log summaries don't do the log justice, like, ever. If more people did this, GM's would have easier access to plot fodder designed to rope you in and give you an important place in the story.


Acute interjects: do as thou wilt but the more you put on your wiki the more I'm going to know about you to complicate your life. >.>


Daire, to Loki: didn't mean give them something that only they could do.. but if there seems to be a lack of engagement, perhaps try to determine why and provide some stimulus for reaction, even if anyone else in the scene could also react. Not sure I'm expressing it well. :) But I meant something more along the lines of Acute's "make sure there's enough tentacles for everyone" so everyone can participate.

Failure, to me, is fun. Reacting to things that don't work out can be interesting character development and help you learn things about your character.


Coulson says, "That reminds me too - does staff wipe IC Events when a MC retires, or is that retained?"


Acute isn't sure, Coulson. I'm still new.


Billy says, "That's up to you, Coulson."


Loki says, "I think everything being said is awesome and everyone is making good points"


Sophie again—

A bit of failure mid-plot can be a big driving point, both for IC motivation and for IC character growth and interactions. That said, I'd lean toward using it a little more sparingly online than I have in tabletop because, unlike tabletop, I have no assurance (or even much likelihood) of getting the same 4-6 players and characters next week that I had this week. Handing someone their own battered butt when there's no assurance they'll be around for the payoff two sessions later is kind of worrisome.


Sophie, adding—

I should mention that, on other MU*s in past plots, I've seen what I just described happen, and also been on the receiving end more than once. It's not much fun to lose and then never get the later win.


Acute says, "I feel that, Sophie. I like having my PC tested, but I don't like a) inevitable failure and b) no chance to get through it into some kind of triumph. Though I think at some point, regarding inevitable failure, no matter how good a character is, his/her arms are too short to box with God. But that's up to the ST not to throw something at the PCs they can't handle without a good reason."


Loki says, "Some people do like a beatdown, but its good to get that up front. Like…hey guys, lemme know how much I can beat you up and some people are like…BREAK ME, I WANT IT! And others are like…don't hurt the face. So, it could be that you just ask the players for the personal stuff and play the major plotty arcs by ear."


Jack says, "In those no-win scenes, I often tell folks in advance that they're not likely to win-win, but they get a win. So like, when the Hellmouth was getting opened, I warned the players that they wouldn't be able to close it that day, but that they could rescue/save a bunch of the people nearby. But they'd have plenty of time to do so over weeks. Similarly, in my mystery threads, folks get pieces to follow up, and then the ones they follow up on guide the rest of the plot. But again, most of the threads only give one piece so people have multiple chances to do tings."


Acute says, "Yeah, I want to know if it's no-win or if we're just supposed to follow along and take it all in. I won't be frustrating trying to do something I can't if I know I can't do it. And always communication. I admit I don't tend to ask folks what they want immediately but if I see them floundering, I will ask how I can help out, but I go by what they do a lot of the time. Or if I know them. If I know you and I know you like punishment you're my monkey."


Acute says, "But where there's any doubt, yeah, ask people. And in your event say what your goal as an ST is."


Sophie Rousseau nods to Acute. "Things can always go wrong, and there's only so much as GM you can do to keep that from happening (though you can almost always mitigate it from turning into a total disaster). I mean more the kind of mid-plot session-ending point where the PCs are predestined to fail or lose in some way. Tabletop, you know you'll be able to give them the win that makes it all worthwhile down the road. Online, not so much. So not saying so much 'don't do it' as 'do it sparingly, don't make it a habit', plus 'maybe soft-pedal it a little' — The badguy got away when they thought they had him, or they didn't quite solve the (mystery/problem/whatever the issue is), but no Empire Strikes Back-ish 'Oh, frell, we're so screwed' level of disaster and despair.


Coulson likes to try and throw the GM's game off when he's the player. ;)


Acute nods to Sophie. There are tools Billy has mentioned (like Doodle) to help figure out when everyone is free so you can increase the chance the players will be back for your session, but in general, it's a seasoning, not a main dish. Tabletops aren't like MUSH and vice versa. There's overlap, but it's not an exact match.


Acute is a total butt as a player. :)


Acute says, "Only if it's funny."


Kaleb can attest. ;) <3


Coulson says, "Like, hey what will you do if I just shoot your terrorist's other wife in the head to release his first wife as hostage? *stares at Steve*"


Coulson says, "But, in all seriousness, whether I'm the player or the GM, I'm always trying to look for that one action that can be twisted into a HOLY CRAP DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING moment.It doesn't always come, but when it does, it's golden."


Sophie Rousseau nodnods. "I'd go for 'You won, sort of, but not completely' or 'You hit a setback in moving toward the end goal' in lieu of 'you lost, and are now all in some kind of cliffhanger jeopardy'."


Loki says, "See, I feel like, as a player, if I do something amazing, or have a fantastic out-of-the-box idea, that it SHOULD cause things to not happen that were 'predestined' by plot armor. So as a GM, if the players came up with something really brilliant…I'd be…ok…you win, rather than just ignoring it and making the lose happen anyway because I have plans for the bad guy still."


Sophie Rousseau NODS to Loki.


Sophie Rousseau says, "Some of the game-running moments I most cherish are when my players came up with something brilliant and unexpected. :)"


Coulson totally agrees


Acute nods to Loki emphatically. That goes back to being your players' fan. Give them that glorious moment.


Acute says, "You can always throw more problems at them."


Acute kind of wants to do that mad scientist in the ice cream truck eating mutants now.


Kaleb loes rewarding players for doing terribly clever and reasonable things to circumvent combat from neeing to happen.


Kaleb loves too


Sophie Rousseau | "Y'know what that makes us?" "Big Damn Heroes, sir." :)


Acute grins.


Acute had a player once use their social stats to talk down the bad guy, circumventing the combat. The others players were like… what just happened? But they executed it brilliantly and the IC problem became what do we do now? We've got this bad guy turning himself in and we're not cops o.O


Kaleb laughs!


Sophie Rousseau giggles, reminded of a mobile news team from one of the networks having to call in during the first gulf war: "Um, New York, what's our policy on taking prisoners?"


Acute says, "They were like shit we can't contain this guy. We don't have an authority to hand him off to. Do we turn him into an ally, let him go or…? It was a problem they didn't foresee."


Acute laughs. Yes.


Billy says, "The one thing I try to kick as a GM is when one player tries to DO EVERYTHING ALL THE THINGS WIN ALL THE PLOT PERSONALLY. I mean if someone comes up with something clever that's great, but if they're just punching everyone ever because they're fast that's boring for everyone else."


Acute says, "Yeah. That's a good topic. How do we manage the Win At Everything PC."


Acute tries to find something they can't do and make that necessary. Not to thwart them but come on, everyone needs to be able to participate.


Billy says, "The more flexible and powerful you are the more you sort of have a duty to be reasonable and take a step back and let other people have their moments, too."


Acute says, "Okay you go punch those people over there, over here, the mad scientist has released the hounds."


Acute says, "Yeah."


Billy says, "But that's more on the PC and not the GM so is sorta tangential to this discussion :)"


Acute says, "Yar. The GM should have some strategy for it, though. Put them in their I'm So Awesome box and introduce other elements. A puzzle, a ticking timebomb, more monsters."


Billy nodnods


Sophie Rousseau says, "Though that's one situation that I can see being maybe easier to deal with online than in tabletop, if only because you do have a totally private way of communicating with that player that you don't in tabletop. At the table, everyone knows you handed them a ninja note, even if they have no idea what it said, and they also may see said player's reaction."


Acute says, "And it's okay to let that person be so awesome. They can go punching their way to glory. Your job isn't to take them down a notch, just to keep everyone engaged."


Acute nods to Sophie.


Sophie Rousseau says, "Hopefully it doesn't come to having to flat-out ask them to take it down a notch, but you can toss complications their way that are just for them, for whatever reason."


Billy says, "Honestly, part of that is on staff. We try not to approve people who can do everything and don't need anyone else. But we aren't perfect :)"


Acute says, "Nothing says think fast like two dumpsters hurled at their face."


Sophie Rousseau says, "And some of that will happen just situationally."


Sophie Rousseau says, "They weren't uber when approved, and aren't in most situations, but when things happen to align just so…"


Billy says, "True. Some people have a niche that if a plot touches it they can just Win the Plot. Try to throw a technologically advanced alien at Nexus and everything gets boring fast :)"


Acute grins at Billy. Well also some folks are going to take their shtick and crank it up to 11. Which isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, but you gotta shepherd it so it doesn't overwhelm everyone else.


Sophie Rousseau nodnods. "My main on my game before this one, versus a powered-armor guy, much the same thing. She called him My Little Pwnie."


Acute says, "Nice. :D"


Sophie Rousseau says, "She was basically the Princess of Technology. :)"


Acute likes taking characters outside their comfort zone. Like instead of technological aliens, what if Nexus went on a road trip and got stuck in the middle of nowhere.


Loki says, "What are thoughts on consequences? For instance…sure, the super powered char is rampaging around winning at all the things, and its my temptation to be like..ok…you did get all the bad aliens with your earthquake, but you also have destabilized 4 buildings and they are gonna fall over."


Jack slips out. Thanks folks.


Billy hms.


Coulson says, "That can be a touchy subject."


Billy says, "That's a little hard."


Acute says, "It depends on how the character is doing it."


Sophie Rousseau says, "(And this is why I didn't try to port Samantha here. She's far less fun in a pre-Internet, pre-cellphones, pre-GPS world.) ;)"


Coulson says, "I tend to give the player the benefit of the doubt, and might page them to ask if they had considered that avenue on behalf of their character first, and if they haven't, then I throw the idea of consenting to such a side effect before canonizing it with my @emit."


Billy would find Nexus OP in 2017 :)


Acute says, "If they're poses show them thundering through showing little regard for collateral damage I might slip in something about how bricks are falling, or something, some clue that they might not want to be so careless."


Kaleb says, "If that's the case let the players know ooc: THings are tricky. These things are fragile"


Acute says, "That's true. There's also nothing wrong with warning a PC too. Especially if you suspect the consequences may not be enjoyable."


Billy says, "There's several hands involved. On the one hand, that sort of world-destruction is something staff likes to be looped in on before it happens. On the other hand, that would give people invulnerability to consequences which isn't good. On the other hand consequences are one thing but if handled not carefully they can feel unfair/punative. On the other hand, if the world is so ephmeral that there is no consequences then everything is… flat. On the other hand…"


Acute says, "Be like: okay, if you punch that apartment building in half innocent people are going to die."


Acute says, "And let them decide."


Billy says, "Consent is also an issue."


Sophie Rousseau nodnods. | "Are you /sure/ you want to do that?"


Kaleb wiped out all teh glass in a city block. Destablized the security of several businesses… spent the next week ducking cops. That was some great RP> and don't get me started on how much fun it was complaining about Captain Marvel going sonic boom at the intersection and runing the utility pole that killed my phone line for 2-3 days.


Kaleb says, "But there's some player agreement like these things are happening too. Writing is a group project"


Steve Rogers pipes in, "One issue on this topic is that often times someone who is bogarting the scene is unlikely to respond well to a tit for tat sort of thing. Which isn't a recommendation for going soft on them. This issue is so hard to deal with and I deal with it all the time. I admit I pretty much go soft and just let it roll off my back."


Loki says, "I love Billy's answer with all the hands."


Acute nodnods to Steve. If they're not doing any actual collateral damage, just wiping out all the things, I give them a pile of things over there, and then over here introduce more things. .


Acute says, "Because no matter how awesome they are, they can't be everywhere at once."


Acute says, "Do you want to kill the doombots or defuse the bomb? You can't do both."


Sophie Rousseau nodnods. "On the unintended-consequences front, my experience (particularly with supers) is that the /player/ didn't think through what fallout their action might have, where their /character/ ICly would more likely be fully aware of why that action is maybe a Bad Idea. So I give them the benefit of the doubt in most cases while pointing out what may happen if they do what they just said they would, and give them the opportunity to change their action."


Acute says, "Okay, Kellan can be in multiple places, but he's also not known to bogart a scene."


Sophie Rousseau plays a lot with a Univerity/post-University crowd. Not all of the English majors (who are often phenomenal RPers) consider the phycics. ;)


Billy says, "Kellan also isn't like Maddox: if Kellan is in multiple places it actually doubles/multiplies his vulnerability."


Coulson says, "THen again, if you really know the player, you have that relationship advantage."


Acute nodnods.


Sophie Rousseau says, "Also true."


Acute likes to try to get to know you guys for that reason.


Daire says, "And he has no greater than mortal capabilities. So he can give enemies a stern talking to… and maybe a four-way finger-waggle."


Acute says, "Also I genuinely appreciate you folks."


Billy was thinking more speedsters: almost by definition they can sorta everywhere on the scale of what a plot is.


Daire says, "AS far as strength/combat goes :)"


Coulson says, "When I was running Magneto, he tried to save JFK by pulling all metal objects into the air because he couldn't find the bullet. Keeping in mind, he was a younger, less experienced Erik…. so Steve had people suddenly choking on their necklaces and it was like OH SHIT. I didn't feel it was punitive because I posed it being a rash, non-calculated move, and I love consequences. Love 'em. But another player might have been like WAIT A MINUTE!!!!"


Acute says, "I have no problem though taking someone aside as a GM and saying hey, I know your character can do all these things, but I kind of want to spread the love, so help me out here."


Acute says, "It may not be taken well, but I gotta keep all the players in mind. It hasn't really come up here yet. The scenes I've run have been pretty well balanced *knocks on wood*"


Coulson says, "Hell, I've had players locked up, lose powers, get back on dope, whatever. Give me the consequences so I can grow the character, otherwise I'm bored."


Daire has found everyone here has been really collaborative and fun.


Coulson says, "But that's me, and others like me. NOt everyone is like that."


Sophie Rousseau says, "This is part of why Sophie is designed the way she is. In airy form, she can fly stupidly fast. But in airy form, she also can't DO much but throw air-bolts at people. If she wants to interact with physical things, she has to turn solid (and so both vulnerable and much slower)."


Acute likes the opportunities that come up for a character to grow. .


Acute says, "It doesn't really show much with Kai on a daily, but dying and coming back changed him profoundly in ways I want to see come back and bite him."


Billy would almost always volunteer for Consequences as long as its like… not my one moment to shine in a scene.


Strange loves character growth opportunities and those moments like with the necklace you described, Coulson. How clever. I like that.


Kaleb would like to thank folks for running and attending and inviting people to things. I was near completely burned out on writing. This community's got me excited to find my creativity again.


Acute says, "Yeah, sometimes it's time for someone to have the spotlight and you want to give your players their Moment of Awesome."


Quinn's always fine with consequences, and has terrible fun playing broken ass characters.


Acute says, "The Moment of Awesome is very important."


Billy says, "When handing out consequences, I think taking that into consideration is important: don't ruin the one moment the person is really being Their Iconic Self (this applies to OC's, not just FCs)"


Acute nods to Billy.


Acute says, "If it's their MoA, give it to them. ."


Strange says, "Right, no interrupting the Big Damn Hero moment. That's just..mean."


Sophie Rousseau says, "Never step on their SMOA."


Acute nodnods.


Acute says, "And let people be who they are. Loki is clever as shit. Let him be clever. Don't decide that since he didn't say the magic words to solve your plot, he fails. He's Loki. Now, I'm not saying just let people win, but honor who their PCs are and avoid having plots where people have to do exactly a certain amount of things."


Acute says, "In conclusion, go forth and plot!"


Steve Rogers says, "aw crap"


Steve Rogers says, "There was another thing I wanted to say but I got sidetracked"


Acute says, "Oh! Say it."


Billy says, "Most of us are still here, so :)"


Acute says, "Please please please do :)"


Steve Rogers says, "One thing and I don't know if you guys already talked about this because I lost trackbut one thing I always try to do for folks is to let them be heroes. I try and let them totally do movie type extravagant thing against smaller NPCs because I think they like to do that. It comes from Nintendo. Miyamoto designed Super Mario Bros to rachet up in difficulty until the end of the level, then it brought it back down. The reason was because people like challenges, but they also like success. I have had a lot of folks like that sort of thing, so if people think that's cool you could try it maybe. Or not if it sucks."


Coulson says, "No, that's a great point"


Acute says, "It doesn't suck. It's a good point."


Strange says, "Nice reference in Miyamoto especially; we can all relate to that."


Coulson says, "The worst Nintendo games were the ones that were too easy or too hard."


Steve Rogers says, "I always think of tha tpart of Age of Ultron where they're all in a room beating the shit out of ultron babies"


Coulson says, "The best were obviously those that found that balance."


Steve Rogers says, "And I try and have a round of that somewhere"


Acute says, "Let players have their moments of awesome in a way that lets them earn it. Not to mention, after the big battle that takes it all out of them, give them a mmoment's respite. Even if the battle continues. I like the idea of scaling it back before ramping up again. That's a good tactic."


Coulson says, "Ebb and flow"


Acute nodnods.


Coulson says, "That downtime also gives room for dialogue"


Acute says, "And dialogue creates character bonds ."


Coulson says, "Bonds during combat that won't be made elsewhere. And you're not going to have dialogue while beating up all the ultron babies. Unless you're Peter Parker."


Steve Rogers says, "I am Peter Parker"


Steve Rogers says, "I mean"


Acute snickers.


Steve Rogers says, "I play him on an alt"


Daire lulz.


Acute says, "I think have your big bad, your dialog, then a rumbling of ultron babies and/or things like that. Just tossing around ideas."


Sophie Rousseau says, "That's not dialogue, that's monologue. ;)"


Kaleb says, "Petey!"


Sophie Rousseau says, "And yes, my very first scene here went to calm-after-the-storm dialogue. Which led directly to Sophie being in a relationship a couple scenes later. ;)"


Acute says, "That's the good stuff and why I like having room for characters to interact while not whomping."


Kaleb says, "Hey I found a roommate that way lol."


Acute says, "People RP again later because hey weren't you that guy who got shot out of a cannon by that mad scientist and landed in my yard?"


Sophie Rousseau wasn't planning on her being involved with anyone that quickly. It just kinda happened. *^_^*;;


Acute says, "In my imagination this mad scientist is going places."


Sophie Rousseau says, "In his ice cream truck. ;)"


Acute says, "A cannon mounted ice cream truck."


Kaleb wants to be this villian….


Acute says, "Right?"


Kaleb says, "YAS!"


Daire says, "You *are* that villain."


Kaleb says, "Please you know I love playing awful people helping the world one moreally repugnant act at a time lol"


Daire says, "You are one icecram truck short of launching rocket pops several days a week."


Daire grins.


Kaleb really is


Acute says, "People really do draw from RL."


Sophie Rousseau says, "Can I interest you in a fluffy white cat, sir? ;)"


Acute <3 you guys and, unless there is anything anyone want to put on the record, I'll close the log.


Coulson says, "I will put one more thing on the record"


Coulson #beerbatteredbutts


Kaleb says, "Ooooh Sophie, yes"


Acute lawl


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