Creating a storyline: A guide to being an awesome RP gamemaster

Creating a storyline: A guide to being an awesome RP gamemaster

Hello interwebs! This is your friendly neighborhood redhead here and today I will be talking about writing storylines for online RP ( roleplay). Since my last post about character creation was so popular I decided to continue this sort of Roleplay informational series.

Today, I will be going through the steps that I take when I am writing an initial storyline for a new roleplaying campaign. The best thing about roleplay is that you really don’t know how other players will act and in turn how the story will progress. As a gamemaster and a player, I like to leave hints or suggestions to where I would like the story to go in order to make it more interesting, but oftentimes the players end up coming up with really good side storylines to progress that particular campaign.

That being said, this particular article will go into the original storyline or the backstory that people will base their characters off of. Without further interruptions, let’s get started.

1) Where and when do you want the story to take place?

I think that these questions can really help spark ideas for a story. Most of the time I will pick a specific place ( a castle, a border town etc) in order to help guide my setup for the beginning of this story. In our new campaign, Chivalry is dead, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where after a nuclear world war the main characters find themselves on a distant planet stuck in the medieval time period. Starting with this foundation can help with a lot of the smaller details later. Always check back to this stage to make sure that your characters, plot, and other smaller details fit within the original time period and setting.

2) What is your conflict?

Every good story has to have a good conflict. This is the thing that your heroes, or villains, have to accomplish in order to achieve some goal. This conflict can be big or small and it can be interrupted by smaller conflicts along the way. Conflict makes your story have a purpose so picking a good one makes your background much more interesting. In ” Chivalry is Dead” the conflict is a) finding a way to survive and b) getting along with the other people on this unknown planet. I have some other more intriguing conflicts in mind but this is just a background for the beginning of the game anyway. ( also in case my members are reading this I’d rather not spoil it for them)

3) Background Information

Give them some history. What is it like in that place? Why is it like the way it is? Is there a form of government that players should know about? Is there any lore or myths that may impact character creation? The list goes on. Just make sure you include any details that you would want to know when creating your character in order to stop a majority of the questions you would get while your players are creating their characters.

That’s about it! It usually doesn’t take me long to write a story but I often add to it afterward for a few days. I never remember to add everything so my boyfriend ( who’s a more seasoned online roleplayer than I am) to see if there are any details that he would want to know so that I can add them in before I send it off to the group. Since we use Minecraft as a medium, I often build the map we are playing on before I even write the story. That medium also impacts how much I can do considering Minecraft is a fairly rudimentary game. Nonetheless, roleplay is what you make of it and if you really put the time and effort into a game it will be super fun!

Let me know if you want me to continue this series and if you would like me to post the story for our upcoming game!

Live long and prosper,

Lia

 

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