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Early stages of plot-event planning; could use input

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So in the last few days I've been thinking of running an event. Or more of a plot, really, since it'll span 3-4 actual events if I stick to the initial idea I have here.


I was thinking about how difficult it is to obtain in-character connections for Rogues' Guild characters. Because rogues are pretty flighty, right? It's hard to do stuff like you might for other classes - "ah yes, a conference on conjury" or "wonderful, a drinking session for gladiators"; but rogues don't want to reveal they're rogues, unless they're working.


So something like this has to be... work. For the characters, at least.


I was thinking something comes up - something plot-worthy, that would cause a meeting to be called of how to deal with it, that would include the types of rogues that people tend to RP i.e. not necessarily just the higher-ups. The first event would involve probably-my-character explaining what's gone on and what the problem is, then allow discussion on what we need to do to deal with it. Hopefully lots of people talking among themselves about what their skills are and what they can contribute to the investigation, what we need to be careful of, and what to do first. At some point before the meeting disbands, probably-my-character would suggest an IC linkshell to keep in touch in case of developments, and characters would go their separate ways.




Then whenever people were ready/willing I'd be able to DM mini-sessions or even mini-events where they follow up the leads they want to follow - discover evidence, retrieve artefacts they need to put part of a plan in place, interview or interrogate witnesses. Maybe have a few specific hours a night when this can happen, so people know when to drop in if they're interested in participating (and so people aren't sat around waiting for me to log on at odd hours of the day). Hopefully by the time of the next major event - probably a week after the first - we'd have some more IC knowledge about the threat and some inklings of plans of how to deal with it.




The second major event would probably cover the first attempt at resolving the issue. The exact shape and nature of it would be determined by what ideas players and their characters had brought forth over the preceding week; but it'd essentially be a mission to try and resolve the issue... that fails to reach a proper conclusion, but DOES cause a direct confrontation that teaches them a lot more about what exactly they're dealing with. Like learning the true identity of the culprit, learning the true nature of the device; something in that vein.




With that learned, the next set of in-betweens would be preparation for the final confrontation - pulling in contacts (+1's who aren't rogues if you like), seeking out things to combat the reason we couldn't resolve the issue last time, making battleplans, and so forth.




Then the third, closing event would be enacting those battleplans and overcoming whatever obstacles the plot device throws in our way in order to finally resolve the issue and restore the guild status quo. There'd be a focus on making sure the storyline concluded in a way that was A) providing decent character development for those who want it, and B) satisfactory to as many people involved as possible.




Leaving us with an in-character linkshell of Sisters, more in-character contacts for everyone, and hopefully allowing some insights on improvements to the event structure to implement for any "next time" people might be interested in...


This should be pretty scaleable, especially in the early stages, so it probably won't matter if 3 people show up or if 30 show up.



So here's where I need help.


This is honestly the biggest barrier to me just, say, running the first event spontaneously tomorrow. I don't actually have any ideas for what the central plot device could be. It would have to be pretty big in scope to necessitate the type of all-encompassing meeting that the first event entails. And it has to be something relatively complex; or else the plot will be resolved in the first session, and that probably won't be very fun.


Equally, it can't be so big and top-secret that it would realistically be handled by the canon NPC guild leaders. It can't be something that would impact people's RP status quo too much - people still gotta do their own RP in their own time between events; after all, 3 weeks is a long time to mug someone's RP time 100% for. And it can't be something that would have any lasting consequences outside of the RP, i.e. canon NPCs dying.


I have lots of ideas of things it can't be. But I would really appreciate some input on things it can.


A bomb threat? An assassination threat? A new pirate crew? An underground slave ring? A spate of thefts? A betrayal to the guild? A killer flower rampaging across Vylbrand and making all the rogues cry with allergies? We just don't know.



My friends, I am terrible with numbers. I play D&D, but I have never written my own character sheet. My dad does it for me. Know why? Because I am terrible at numbers. I don't think I could stat Aghurlal into a character-sheet-based system if I tried, but IMO it's unfair to run unmodified /roll combat (because you get experienced veterans failing repeatedly at trivial tasks, and wet-behind-the-ears newbies succeeding on their first go, and that's unsatisfying for literally everyone).


When I used to run events in WoW, I would use an "attempts" system. In other words, a round of "Player 1 attempts to X", "Player 2 attempts to Y", and then once every player has had their say, I as the DM dictate what happened in the end - based on what seems fun, reasonable, and suited to the plot. But that involves a lot of trust from the players in me as a DM to be fair and to understand what it was they were intending to do. It worked well when I was running for groups of 5-10 friends and friend-of-friends (though sometimes attendance was up to 40 people, that usually involved co-DMs to keep it reasonable); probably not so well if I'm running for an unknown quantity of basically strangers.


Would it be worth dragging in a co-DM to run combat or skill challenges? Could the attempts system work if I kept attendance numbers limited or something like that? Are there any other suggestions that don't involve either me sorting out complicated character sheets, or unmodified /rolls?



Stuff like what sort of pacing and level of player participation people expect. I used to run plots like this regularly... two years ago, in WoW, on literally the game's smallest roleplay server. Balmung is a huge step sideways from that; not to mention the tone of the setting is different (Azeroth lends itself a lot better to comic relief than Eorzea).


This is the most inspired I've felt to run an RP event in FFXIV so far (my other speciality was social meet-and-greet events, but it doesn't take an expert to see those are oversaturated on Balmung already). But I don't know if something this ambitious would be suited for an unbloodied event runner to do; I don't know if it's even something people are interested in; and it's difficult to fine-tune things ahead of time without input from people with more experience running events in this game than I have.


I'm a bit clueless on promotion, too. This has always been my major drawback as an event leader - I write too much (lol yeah), I don't know where to put it, and end up relying on other people to actually make sure people show up. I'd figure out how to use the event directory, and probably make a tumblr post or five, but other than that what should I be doing?


Like... I am super nervous that this is too complicated, too specific, too boring, too similar to existing/past stuff I missed, or too not-run-by-someone-we-know for anyone to be interested in. Reassurance, guidance, or pointers on how to fix those things would be appreciated.






What I want to do: a short plot of 3-4 events, spanning 2-3 weeks, that provides enjoyment and networking opportunities for Rogues' Guild RPers.


What I need: ideas for a plot device; pointers on a combat system; additional guidance on how to make something like this enticing and enjoyable for this community.

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This is one of the easier steps to remedy, and you actually answered it in your own post: Rogues might not be known to the rest of the world, but they would be known to each other. If your initial outreach was to some rogues who had some spare time and wanted to help their brother-in-arms out with a tiny problem, then it could easily move onto your stage 2 thing. "This didn't work, do you guys know anyone who excels at ______? Maybe we should outsource a little."


Approach two to four people you think you'd have fun RP with and send them a line, see if they're interested in running through an adventure with you.




Go for something personal, I'd say. It can't be something large-scale enough to warrant NPC-officer action, but if it's something that sort of balloons that way?


-"Hey, I just got wind that someone who left me for dead ten years ago surfaced. Anyone want to help me give him a warm welcome?"


-"Got a lead on some stolen goods that are definitely not up for grabs. What say we go liberate them and return them to their proper owners, give or take 10%?"


-"This doesn't involve the Sisters, not technically, but this guy got away with by buying off his peers. Let's go show him no one's above the law."


If you start out as the goal being a favor to you, you can rope people into keeping it low-key while giving room to complicate after the initial action.




You don't need mechanics to settle stuff. If you're in a DMing position, just run with give-and-take. Or, settle things with dice. Or, just make it up. My experiences show that dice are risky in tense situations for the wrong reasons, but nobody wants to feel like they're sightseeing along your plot, either. Your goal as DM is to make sure no one sees how the tricks are performed.


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Personally, I would be really, really interested in seeing something like this. xD


I'm not sure I can help much with the questions you're asking as I've personally, never run a large scale RP event like this outside of shenanigans with a few friends, but I just wanted to raise my hand as say that I would be very interesting in participating if you did end up setting something up.

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Hey Aghur! /wave


Here are my thoughts...


1. Plot: It needs to be something that can't be done by just one person; the 'problem' is big enough to warrant putting out a call to the guild at large. Rogues are there to filch from the filchers, right? Keep folks following the code, etc. So it could be some adversarial group (of pirates or whomever is doing wrong) that you need to call for backup.


2. A LS for Rogues does kind of make sense; if stuff comes up, you'd need a way to spread the word.


3. Combat: I use /random myself and either set a number of successful hits or keep rolling until someone gives in (this can take a damn long time). If you expect to do some big melee scene, having a back up DM wouldn't hurt. Thing is with /random, you are ignoring the notion of X Character is better trained than Y Character and going with the idea of 'anything can happen'. I feel it's more fair however and will roll with the results afterwards, whatever they are.


4. Advertising: Advertise in advance and often. Here, Tumblr, Lodestone, whatever you can think of. Tell your friends. Tell your friends to tell their LS/FC/and THEIR friends. Post a PF ad for the new LS and for the event itself. Try to not get discouraged if things start slow.


If I can help you in anyway, just message me here or in game. I love helping. :moogle:

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