Storyline critique



  • The last 48 hours definitely, maybe 1 or 2 days before, but fuzzy. And I’m not beating up on you or Tia (or meaning to), I think it’s what I said earlier - wanting the players to drive the action, yet suddenly the logical flow stemming through STs and a natural tendency to wait for the PCs in those positions to head stuff up.



  • I’ve chewed on my thoughts on this since last night, whenever I could get a word in edgewise through a brutal migraine, or my screaming toddler. I’ll do my best to be coherent.

    1. I absolutely agree that the “posturing” thing could be addressed in the player etiquette section. I’m actually kind of shocked it hasn’t come up before, honestly. How many courts have we all attended, IC, that is ::Prince/Primogen/Someone says something:: followed up by 30 characters either nodding or smirking? Like. We get it.

    2. In regards to player driven leadership - yeah, that’s a bitch. I think it’s something we can all do our best to remind ourselves of, that at the end of the day, the STs/veterans don’t want to be left holding all of the weight. (Not that I mind carrying some of the weight, mind you!) Player initiative was absolutely there last night, and the nights previous. I believe our primary issue in that is a few factors:

    • Since this is my first anarch game, I find myself constantly fighting the urge to horde information. Honestly, it’s something I struggle with. I’m working on it.
    • Also re: anarchy - one of the draw backs of this sect is the perception (note: not the reality) but the perception that every lick gets a say. Well. While that is a beautiful thing, sometimes, some licks are new arrivals and don’t know shit. Sometimes licks are new arrivals and have a good head on their shoulders. Sometimes characters who have been around since day one are morons. So there isn’t a clear “status” factor, but, there is a certain amount of “no, let everyone have their say”, even when some opinions are basically putting a wooden sandal into the gears of the factory. (Sabotage. See what I did there?)

    My SUGGESTION to fellow players/storytellers/anyone who thinks its applicable is consider the following:

    1. What’s the first rule of improv? Always say yes.
    2. What’s the second rule of improv? Always say yes, and…

    Example:
    Justin - ::miming holding a gun at Scarecrow:: Put your hands up, you son of a bitch.
    Scarecrow - …that’s a banana.
    Justin - No. It’s a gun.

    And the scene is dead. Michael suggested a yes, and, and Justin stopped the scene. Boo. Let’s try the alternative.

    Justin - ::miming holding a gun at Scarecrow:: Put your hands up, you son of a bitch.
    Scarecrow - …that’s a banana.
    Justin - AND IT’S LOADED
    Scarecrow - ::puts his hands up:: Don’t do anything crazy man…

    In the second example, we can see that the hypothetical Scarecrow tried to change the unseen prop in a way that could have diffused the scene, but when Justin doubled down, he rolled with it.

    What’s the point of that? OBVIOUSLY WE ARE GOING TO DISAGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN CHARACTER. Sure we are. But, is there a way we can disagree collaboratively? Is there a way that we can say we disagree with a plan, and then… simply not take part in it? Emmeric has absolutely done this. I encourage you to do the same.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, Stef, but, what I took from your passionate discussion last night was that you were distressed by the perception that people were stopping play, more than adding to it. How can we, as a gaming community, take that lesson in stride, and roll with it? By rolling with the punches. By creating the conflict, and seeing it through.

    I think that a lot of us, as players, are collaborative and amazing people. But sometimes, when a character is being an asshat, it’s okay to say: “Then you’re welcome not to join us” and exclude them. If someone is blocking a scene, you’re welcome to move on without them. (Unless combat ensues as a result, or whatever, but…that’s a whole other rant)

    I hope there is something in there that was useful. I’m happy to see this kind of discussion take place, as a healthy way of continuing to grow and nurture the community.

    Hit me up if you have any questions, or want to discuss.

    • Justin

    PS: I literally almost signed that as Emmeric. ::facepalm::


  • Lead Storytellers Administrators

    @unclean said in Storyline critique:

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, Stef, but, what I took from your passionate discussion last night was that you were distressed by the perception that people were stopping play, more than adding to it. How can we, as a gaming community, take that lesson in stride, and roll with it? By rolling with the punches. By creating the conflict, and seeing it through.

    It was that and no one listening to each other and or staying silent instead of speaking up for fear of…something. I don’t know what, fear of the STs, fear of the vets, fear of looking bad/silly, just generally not able to keep up with a scene? All of the above?

    It also wasn’t so much stopping play it was me seeing a few newbs who stepped up not being listened to AND for my part, I had in my head what to do - I had had no time to write anything down to be ready ahead of time, but I had it in my head what I was going to do. I signed on to a whoooole other plan, a much bigger split from what was two scenes to possibly three AND my own desire to make sure everyone had something “cool” to do.

    It wasn’t so much about -me- and what -I- wanted, it was about what -I- wanted to give to everyone.

    For example, I knew that the people outside the ball were going to be sitting there with little to do, that’s why I came up with the fairy tales to throw at them, so at least they had something to comment on and not just sit there, watching a building where other players were actually interacting with plot. I didn’t want that for them.

    I know it is my choice to do that and maybe I am overdoing it, but it’s what I like to do. Give everything a “thing” to have fun with, or feel important about, to be involved.


  • Unbound

    @malevolence said in Storyline critique:

    It was that and no one listening to each other and or staying silent instead of speaking up for fear of…something. I don’t know what.

    For me it’s the fear of over stepping boundaries, I was trying not to say something in character that is beyond the reach of what I should be able to say or do as a character. An example from last night was when we were told that we could see the doors up ahead, my character then said something to the effect of,

    "Let’s get those doors open before they arrive! ::Eddy Rushs toward the door and tries to open it::

    If you hadn’t explicitly told me to take charge with Orson and take care of obstacles then I would have been much more reserved in my action and response.



  • Haha I loved the fairy tale thing was a nice touch, i’m agreeing with all these suggestions. Now I just got gotta figure out a game plan myself.
    -Vincent.



  • @knightfox I totally get that, Eddy. Also, might I say, for a n00b, you’ve blown my fucking mind. Keep it up.


  • Unbound

    went to try and add something to this but found my points raised, solid thoughts all well delivered



  • I’m going to tag on here a bit. Something I felt both as a player and in character was a lack of information flow. This has been touched on already, but I would like to expound on it from my personal experiences (and maybe no one else experienced it).

    For almost 2 weeks Wes was consistently asked about any progress being made by anyone. He sounded like a broken record on repeat “As far as I know X is looking into this, Y is looking into that. When they find something to act on, we will act.” And people either got tired of asking or exasperated (ic of course) and that is understandable.

    As a lay member, Wes never heard a word about anything being found. Nothing came down the pipeline but he was asked to pass everything up it. Then there was a mad dash scramble to the ball, and then after the ball of course. Perhaps something was said in the Parliment meeting, but even that would be cutting it close for putting information out.

    I personally found it frustrating as a player to have no idea what was going on or how I could help. Being told there will be information forthcoming once it is found and then never being told that information leaves me with little to dig into when the “orders” have been to wait for the info.

    I dont think this is an issue with STs, but communication and plot hooks being tied up by officers (such as sheriff, primogen, whips, etc) has been an issue before when we were Camarilla. It was something that was worked on and improved, but may have made a return. Or maybe Wes/me are the only ones who encountered this.


  • Lead Storytellers Administrators

    Yuuuup, it was. But also, one of my beefs was that I gave out info on who had tickets and that an additional ticket could be gotten but there was barely anything about who was going and with whom. That was frustrating.


  • Hilt

    Wasn’t on yesterday, so I missed what you said yesterday.

    Would be grateful for a cliff’s notes, unless what you posted a couple posts above actually like is the complete cliffs notes (no idea if that was a summary of one piece or if it was a summary of pretty much all ish).

    James.


  • Hilt

    ((“You” means Stef.))