A plot is any collection of threads that all lead to the completion of a specific goal or objective. These objectives may include assets, powers, knowledge, etc. These threads should tie together to make an interesting and compelling story. The more complex an objective is, the more threads will be required. Additionally, extremely complex goals may require multiple plots to achieve. If you are unsure what might be required for your plot, the plot team is here to assist you in making a suitable story.
Not every personal story needs a plot! If you don’t want to affect larger things with threads or have significant arcs for your character, you’re free to just roleplay in normal threads. Plots are only truly mandatory for those seeking reputation increases, items, or significant personal stories.
While plots all have objectives, the main goal of the writer should be to create an awesome story. Simply rushing through to complete an objective is poor storytelling and is something the plot team will look at when evaluating completed plots. The site is first and foremost centered on creating good, cohesive stories for individuals that might tie into the overarching story, and plots ought to reflect that.
A proper story should contain excitement, drama, danger, and setbacks. Nothing in this galaxy is easy and your plots should reflect that. Weaving in failures and your character’s reaction to hardships throughout your story will make the journey more rewarding. Nobody likes to read (or write!) the generic, templated, “go here, talk to these criminals, kill them, and take their stuff” plots that popped up frequently last Timeline. This time around, the plot team will be ensuring we avoid these pitfalls.
Plots are split into several categories depending on their scope and objectives. There are currently four types of categories: Faction, Character, and Espionage.
Faction Plots: Faction plots have objectives that advance a faction in one way or another. An example of this would be a plot to capture a planet for a faction, increase a faction’s standing on a planet, fortifying defenses or establishing bases, etc.
Character Plots: Character plots have objectives that advance a single character or group of characters. An example would be a plot to learn a high-level force ability or to meditate on one’s corruption in the Force to atone and return to the Light. These plots don’t always need a tangible item for a goal and can be used to reflect significant parts of one’s journey in the galaxy.
Espionage Plots: These plots differ from the other types listed. The only people that will see these plot submissions are the person submitting and the admin team. They are used when a writer wishes to attempt an assassination, infiltration of a group, etc. If someone wishes to do an espionage plot against an admin, they would submit the plot in private messages to another admin for approval before beginning.
There are several types of thread challenges that will primarily be used in the completion of plots. These include Self-DM/Member DM, Player Opposition, and Staff DM. When you submit a plot, the plot team will work with you to ensure you have the proper mix of threads in order to curate the best story possible. Keep in mind the challenges are not all mutually exclusive, and regular plot threads can include both player opposition and a member DM, etc. This list merely details a range of challenges one could face in a plot.
Self-DM/Dice/Member DM: These will make up the majority of plot threads. Story or Self-DM threads cover a wide range of thread types. Players are encouraged to use a variety of different types of threads to keep things fresh and exciting. This type of thread can range from a thread between a group of players simply telling a story, using the dice system to make decisions/challenges for them, or employ a designated player DM who will layout threats and challenges for the group to face.
Keep in mind that these challenges are not meant as the “easy way out” to guarantee success. While you might eventually succeed in your goal, there must be conflict in every story, otherwise it might be a bland and unenjoyable read. Not every character is perfect and unbeatable, and your threads ought to reflect the harsh nature of living in an uncaring galaxy.
Player Opposition: These are challenges involving opposition from another player character. They can be both Death Enabled or Disabled, though all non-Main Faction Battle threads default to Death Disabled. It is important for both sides to work with one another to create a story. Keep in mind that player opposition might not always mean a straight-on fight in the streets. Sometimes it could be another writer interfering as much as possible with the thread creator’s character so that they don’t achieve their goal.
Players, regardless of side, who prove to be unwilling to work with their opposition will be dealt with by the staff. The PvP team will not be reviewing PvP threads outside of Main Faction Battles, so it’s up to the writers to compromise and curate a great story. Gone are the days of 180 out-of-character posts for 8 in-character posts. We’re here to create a fun story, not be pedantic and nitpick every detail in a fight!
Staff DM: For major events and use of NPCs, a staff member will be needed to DM those threads. These are typically going to be much more challenging and carry a much higher risk than self-DM’d threads.
Before you begin a plot, you must first complete a plot submission form in the plot boards. These are visible to the entire site and players are welcome to post their interest in joining these plots. It will be up to the submitter of the plot and interested parties to work things out among themselves.
A member of the plot team will evaluate the plot and the intended goals or outcomes. They will then give the player the go-ahead to start or provide needed changes so that the plot may be approved.
Plot submissions should follow a general SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Action Oriented, Relevant/Realistic, and Timely. This is not required, but it helps in crafting a plot.
Here are some things to consider when making a plot:
Is my plot goal clear, focused, concise, and well defined?
Does my plot goal have some way to measure my success?
Is my plot relevant to my character and the desired outcome?
Is my plot realistic to what my character would do and want?
Does my plot have a starting point, a timeline, and an ending point?
Are there enough threads to match the complexity of the goal? Remember, the greater the goal is, the longer the plot.
Is my plot’s difficulty aligned with my goal?
Will my plot affect the site story in any way? If so, how?
Additionally, members will be able to submit plots from the DM’s perspective! Previously, all plots have been submitted from the perspective of a character. However, many people have brilliant ideas that they might want to execute while DMing for someone else. Once they get a great idea that they think others might be interested in, they could get the ball rolling as the Storyteller and have others jump in while they set the stage. The DM would lead the entire plot, have others jump in and co-DM, and generally create the flavor and opposition themselves while other members’ characters react!
Retroactive plot submissions will also remain a thing, but they will be held to higher levels of scrutiny in order to ensure that they still fall within the confines of the plot evaluation metrics. Members can submit a series of threads they have completed and believe significantly affect their character, other characters, or the site story, and the plot team will review them as they do any other completed plot. They will be evaluated and judged appropriately, but the rewards might be more diminished than if it were originally submitted as a plot before the threads were created and completed. Members assume the risk associated with retroactively submitting plots versus writing and submitting them initially.
Unlike last time, all plots (except Espionage plots) are now viewable to the entire site. This is to reduce duplicate plots for the same artifacts and having the item go to whomever speeds through their plot first, as well as show everyone what’s going on in the story outside of official announcements. Members can also now choose to interfere in plots, if they wish, by filling out and submitting the opposition submission form and posting in the relevant plot submission thread. Members will need to justify why they’re interfering with a plot, what they hope to gain from it, and then will need to work with the original plot poster and the plot mod responsible to see whether or not it’s feasible for you to meddle in their affairs.
Keep in mind this is NOT to encourage PvP for the sake of PvP over things without value, but rather to facilitate creating “nemesis” arcs between characters, to have a sense of competition on bounties and artifact hunts, and to generally show that not every plot will go according to plan. Think Grievous and everyone who interfered with his plans, Dooku and Obi-Wan/Anakin, Captain Phasma and Finn, etc. This is by no means required and isn’t restricted solely to Player Opposition threads. This is just another way for members to interact with one-another in opposing manners to vie for similar goals.
Once you have completed your plot you need to fill out the completed plot form in the Completed Plots board. The plot team will then review the plot to ensure the threads are enough to achieve your intended outcome.
Here are the things the plot team will look at when evaluating your completed plots:
Does it match up with your initial plot submission?
Is it a compelling story?
Does the danger/difficulty level match the intended outcome?
Does the story justify your intended outcome?
Does your plot affect the site story? Even if unintended, plots might have second- and third-order effects that you might not have considered when submitting the plot.
After reviewing your completed plot submission, the plot team will then decide to either approve, partially approve or reject your plot submission. Here are explanations for each of these outcomes:
Approved:The intended outcome is fully achieved. Congratulations!
Partially Approved: If your plot doesn’t quite match up to what your intended outcome was, you may only receive a portion of the intended outcome, or a piece of the puzzle to fully achieving your goal. Follow-up plots may be needed to achieve your original goal. These might be easier or harder depending on the circumstances of your partial success.
Rejected: Used in circumstances where the submitted plot does not come close to justifying the intended outcome. None of the objectives are completed and players must start over. If you ever need to change course on a plot or make changes while the plot is in progress, feel free to tag the plot team in your initial plot submission to discuss changes to ensure you are still on track.