Constructing Plot Points

A thread came up on the 18th of November and I gave my insight after having completed the plot points for RunePunk: Steam and Shadow. I got some good feedback about it, so I thought I’d post it here for your edification. You may also wish to go back and look at my post on sources for inspiration. ;)

I’m going to lead off by defining plot points for the unitiated.

Plot Points are major adventures that advance the story. Not to be confused with a metaplot which is the overarching storyline. I liken them best to triggers in a video game like Final Fantasy where you can wander around (i.e. take side adventures), but when you accomplish a major task (i.e. slay a boss, find someone, etc.) you move the story ahead and change the environmental factors of the world. Rinse and repeat until you reach the story’s final logical-branch point of “defeat the bad guy or fail terribly” (and reload from last save point.) ;)

Now, on to this whole plot point business.

* * *SNIP* * *

I’ll offer a few of my own thoughts with the following caveat borrowed from Kipling as a preface. “There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, And every single one of them is right!” and this is just as applicable when writing game stuff.

1. Draw up a map of your campaign space.
2. Label it with appropriately good names.
3. Think up the focus of your campaign.
4. Think up the opposition (beasts, organizations, etc.)

Now, with all of that in hand, you’re ready to get down to the business of the Plot Points. One of the interesting things about Plot Points is that they should be designed with a twofold purpose. The first is to advance the storyline and the second is to help reveal a bit more of your world to the players. Think of a good novel or a good movie, that’s what they do. Heck, even bad movies and low budget flicks are good to watch too as you can see where they had to choose certain scenes.

If your world is like Tomb Raider, you want to whisk your characters across the Aegean Sea in search of ancient artifacts or to the Jungles of Guatemala for a reason. Dust off your Indiana Jones DVD for inspiration. If your world is a dystopian city of broken social strata, put your characters into situations wherein they see the contrasts clearly. I often use Star Wars analogies when talking to new gamers about Savage Worlds. Ahem, returning to the list.

Remember, you don’t have to have your ENTIRE cast together yet. As you develop your plot points, ideas should suggest themselves. Jot those down. They can be later fleshed out into Plot Points or they might work as a small diversion, a savage tale, if you will.

5. Create a laundry list of Plot Points. I’d suggest anywhere from eight to twelve. Come up with a nice introductory Plot Point…the reason the characters are all together, whether it’s a shipwrecked crew of pirates or a group fighting the growing forces of darkness and, as you define and refine your focus, look towards where you want everything, ultimately, to end up. You want the climactic finish, but that doesn’t necessarily mean tearing your world apart in the process.

6. Define and refine. After you’ve got your list of Plot Points…start fleshing them out. Leave the game mechanics until the end of this process. You don’t need to engage that side of your brain until you’ve got everything else down. And, regarding working on your Plot Points, work on them in whatever order you’d like, as it should be a somewhat fun process. If you’re boring yourself at this stage, you’re not going to instill fun in your gamers.

7. Spit and polish. After doing all of the suggested stuff (above), go back and add in the stats for characters and creatures. This is where the game system is particularly kind.

Hmmm…anything else to add. Probably. I’ll mull things over and probably revisit this thread again if there is any more interest.

Hope this gives you some insight.



* * *END SNIP* * *

Note: The above was posted on November 18th at 5:07pm, so you now know that I DO post regularly, not necessarily on the Blur website. I want to say that I’m currently reading a great book on Writing for Interactive Media that I’ll break down after I get an opportunity to fully absorb it. In the meantime, have good holidays, get your shopping done, and enjoy life as best as you’re able, whether that means gaming or dancing or whatever. Getting to the destination is great, but the journey along the way can be quite pleasant too if you let it.



2 Notes on, Constructing Plot Points

  1. windykacja
    Rei vindicatio
    From Wikipedia, the unhindered encyclopedia

    Rei vindicatio is a authorized effect alongside which the plaintiff demands that the defendant earn a factor that belongs to the plaintiff. It may barely be second-hand when plaintiff owns the fetich, and the defendant is high water impeding the plaintiff’s hold of the thing. The term originated in ancient Rome.

    The plaintiff could also begin an actio furti (a particular undertaking) in order to amerce the defendant. If the emotional attachment could not be recovered, the plaintiff could claim damages from the defendant with the comfort of the condictio furtiva (a close vim). With the help of the actio legis Aquiliae (a personal act), the plaintiff could claim damages from the defendant. it is an initiative strictly available to owners solely,if you are a non owner you cannot ask subsumed under this standard( you can get what you don’t have)

    Rei vindicatio was derived from the ius civile, consequence was only on tap to Roman citizens.

    1 Particularization of the sentiment
    2 Greek control on Roman sound concern
    3 Glimpse also
    4 Sources

    Itemization of the subject

    The duty of rei vindicatio remains the same in most up to the minute judiciary systems as it was in fossilized Rome. Anyway, Roman law was much more special wide the restriction of the “thing”. A plaintiff could not obtain won a action without specifying the thing in question.

    At a suppositional level, Roman jurists identified three kinds of “junk”:

    Corpus unitum
    Corpus coniunctum
    Corpus ex distantibus was not a lone thing, but a bundle of undecided things, such as a assemblage of cattle. Beef were so high-ranking in Roman organization that Roman jurists developed the typical on beef on a thorough scale. Corpus ex distantibus was the most disputed of the three.

    Greek hold on Roman legal mentation

    Two law schools in Rome, the Sabinian school and the Proculean school, remained influential from the recent Republic all over the influential period. Most up to the minute Romanists consider these schools to be influenced to some expanse alongside Greek philosophy. They conjecture that the Sabinian private school was the student of Coolness, while the Proculian school followed Aristotle or Peripateticism. Greek influence is notably manifest in classical Roman rational on accession and specification. Sabinians, following Fatalism, argued that in these areas hyle supersedes eidos. Proculians countered that eidos is the decisive factor pro a fate of a thing.
    Perceive also

    Conversion (law)
    In rem
    Bona fide purchaser


    A Investigation on the Whatchamacallit as the Reason of Rei Vindicatio: Seong, Dschung Mo

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