We’ve hit the time of year where the heat & humidity start to get a little brutal - so we’re switching to our Summer schedule.
Friday Night NPC’s Shifts: 9pm-4am
Quiet Hours: 4am-8am
Saturday Morning NPCs Shifts: 9am-1pm
Heat Advisory Hours: 1pm-4pm
Saturday Afternoon NPCs Shifts: 4pm-4am
Quiet Hours: 4am-8am
Sunday Morning NPCs Shifts: 8am-Noon
Closing Announcements Noon at Kettlebottom!
EXPANSION OF WAR TABLE
Okay, so here’s some more transparency - if you want to find this kinda stuff out in game I recommend scrolling past.
There are two types of interactions with the War Table - Off Screen Missions and On Screen Missions.
Off-Screen missions are the ones that happen way out in the Riverlands and Crystal Creek is sending orders out to those factions to impact that situation. Just as in real war, you can’t have a democratic way of deciding who does what - so we followed the government set up by the characters and limited order-giving to the Security Council.
In order for the Council to succeed at these missions they’re going to need War Supplies (an item card that has been and will continue to be seeded in various ways), maybe advice from other characters, and a few other helpful things like Faction Aid or Special Units. Not all of the Councilors will ask for help/advice from all people - but while last month’s missions were pretty easy choices to make… it’s going to get more complicated as we go forward with the war.
On-Screen missions are the ones that happen on-site during game, just like regular mods but hooks are sent through the War Table, success and failure aren’t calculated at a %, and the impacts are also felt throughout the Riverlands via the War Table.
This month the War Table will warn the Councilors that an on-screen mission is upcoming and what type it will be (Political, Economical, or Combat) - this gives the Councilors time to round up people who are interested in those missions. If you want to engage with this type of content be sure to let the Councilors know!
BOTH TYPES OF MISSION are VERY open-sandbox-y. Mission opportunities will always be formatted as describing the situation and leaving the solution up to the players. Even the Combat style missions can be solved without violence if the players choose that path, just as - if the players choose - the diplomatic missions can be solved WITH violence. …Yes I’m looking at several of you. ;) <3
OH!! And keep in mind, ya’lls actions will change which factions are available to you as allies - so double-check the paperwork in the binder as you go. :)
GUEST BLOG #2 - JACK KIRBY - PERSONAL PLOT REQUESTS
Howdy, folks! My name is Jack, and I play Hart Blackwater. If you were at one of the recent Crystal Creek games, your character might have interacted with Captain Gabriel Ward, a prominent figure from Hart's backstory. Heck, if you've been to any of the southern games recently, you probably saw a whole slew of wanted posters with bounties set by Ward. This story arc was spawned by a personal plot request, which, coincidentally, is exactly what I'm here to talk about!
This plot request has gone exceptionally well, so let's dive into how we approached the process so you, too, can have a dope personal plot. Note: I'll use "we" a lot because between the crew of PCs, the writers, and the folks playing NPCs, this has become "our" plot far more than any one person's.
HOW'D YOU DO THAT THING?
I think the two most important things that went into making this plot request a success were knowing what we wanted and trusting the writers with freedom to tell the story. Those might seem at odds: if we knew exactly what we wanted, why not just give the writers a script to follow? In my experience, the right marriage of the two will net you the absolute best results. It's a little bit of a balancing act, but entirely worth it when an engaging, fun, immersive story comes together.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
The first things to nail down are the themes you're interested in exploring with your personal plot request. This is what will inform the interactions and situations that the writers will craft for you. For example, when dealing with Ward we wanted struggle, the past coming back to haunt us, impossible odds, hard choices, and high engagement with the rest of the town.
When you have your themes in mind, come up with your end goal. What do you want the climax and resolution of this story to be? There are many ways to get to a conclusion, and working with your writer to get there gives you both a large amount of freedom in what interactions are available to your character.
Depending on how big your plot request is, you might want to do some additional worldbuilding and backstory refinement. You definitely need a submitted backstory before requesting personal plot, but you may have additional details that are necessary to bring the story to life. Balance here is extremely important: more is not always better. Give your writer room to breathe. Have enough details that you can answer their questions, but not so many that it's overwhelming and impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff. With our plot, we started out with our submitted backstories, and as the plot grew, we fleshed out more details. We ended up with a whole Google doc that lays out the crew timelines, Ward's personality and motivations, common crew superstitions, and mini-profiles on other involved characters. Our plot ended up pretty large as far as personal plot requests go, so don't expect to need all of this for plots that are more suited to one or two mods.
TRUST YOUR WRITERS
This is where I think a lot of folks run into a bit of trouble. It might be your first reaction to send lots of specifics or almost a scene-by-scene script to make sure you get exactly what you're looking for. Understand that elements of the story are bound to change and evolve. The reactionary nature of LARP requires the story to be adaptable; you can't foresee how other characters will respond. Create the skeleton in your personal plot request, and trust the writers to build the meat and skin around it.
The writers want to give you the best possible story. Be open to their ideas, changes, and adjustments with that in mind. Remember that LARP is shared storytelling. Even if your personal plot request only involves your character, you're creating the story with the writers and NPCs, too! I think that a lot of the success of the Ward storyline has been that everyone involved was excited to tell a story together. Truate got to do his job as a writer because we gave him the freedom to change and mold things to better fit the narrative. Writers are happiest (and, incidentally, do their best work) when they're given creative room to breathe. Zach and Alex got to flesh out and play complex, nuanced characters and torture their friends. And the rest of us got to get stabbed in our sleep and cry in the woods. Everyone wins!
SMASH IT TOGETHER
The balancing act of putting these two ideas together often needs to be a conscious decision. Communication always helps! I tend to lean towards giving the writers more freedom. I enjoy the process of discovering the story they've crafted for me and letting them stretch their creative muscles. You might lean more towards wanting to know the main aspects of the story and how they will play out. Either way, both are important, and finding the right harmony for you will help make your personal plot request phenomenal!
FACTION: The Order of the Guiding Hand
Faction Leader: Asher Brightcap
Faction Intent: They are sub-sect of the Sainthood of the Ashes, created in order to teach the ever-increasing amount of new survivors (New Players) how to survive in the wastelands.
Faction Description: They are mostly Rovers followed by NoA’s. They are all Sainthood, and commonly wear a patch identifying themselves and tend to have white and blue scarves regardless of strain. They are polite but firm to those they view as a threat. They have created the Budding Bird program for Crystal Creek in hopes of getting their presence known by the wastes.
Faction Politics: They are allied with the Postal Workers and tend to get along well with the other groups except Final Knights, who they believe are misguided and need to be taught the correct ways to survive in the wasteland.
Faction History: The order of the Guiding Hand was created by Asher Brightcap, the leader of the Brightcap Rover clan. Over time they have absorbed many other strains, but their highest numbers are Rovers followed by Sainthood NoA.