Successful TinyPlotting

Octavian organized a small, but exceptionally informative seminar about the management of TinyPlots.

Author: Octavian, et al
Category: Other

MUSHCode for Successful TinyPlotting

Topic: Successful Tinyplotting
Author: Octavian, et al
Summary: Octavian organized a small, but exceptionally informative seminar
about the management of TinyPlots.

Thursday, April 01, 1999

Octavian waves. "Hail there. The topics I've got right now are:

how much planning should be done (open ended/closed ended),
predicting success and failure of plots in different ways,
how much you need to tell people involved a plot,
plotting on the fly,
ownership of plot authoring,
plotting for various numbers of players,
overlapping/sequel plotting,
features and temporary characters,
and advertising,

... not really in that order, and whatever else comes up. Anything else to
add right off the bat? :)"
Octavian wonders if starting in about 5 minutes is good for people.

Brody says, "Works for me."
Killa nods.
Marretta says, "Okay with me!"
Nova nods

Trispis says, "Okay, folks. Can I have your attention please."

Brody swivels his chair so he can look at Trispis. It squeaks. Just a little.

Trispis says, "Octavian and I have decided that I'll moderate, rather than be
an unspecified panelist (I volunteered to make sure he'd have some people, but
it seems that's no longer necessary.). Instructions to follow..."
Trispis says, "First: @chan/on 101"

<101> Nova has joined this channel.
<101> Brody has joined this channel.
<101> Killa has joined this channel.
<101> kalouri has joined this channel.
<101> Octavian has joined this channel.

Trispis says, "If you're here as a panelist/speaker, please page me with your
Trispis says, "er... topic/expertise/interest/etc."

David flips his name the right way around.

Trispis says, "Next, please use the +101 chat channel to raise your hand for
speaking or whatever."
Trispis says, "It will make it a whole lot easier to edit the log if you use
the channel for such things."

Brody nods
Killa noddles.

<101> Skyflight has joined this channel.

Trispis says, "Okay. I think I've got everyone accounted for (at least
Trispis says, "Next, I'd like to thank Octavian for putting this all together.
This is a first of sorts for 101, in that someone actually volunteered to
hold a presentation. I'm very grateful for that. It's also a first in another
respect: It's our first Roleplay oriented presentation. Being a coder, I can
only apologize for it taking this long to get an RP presentation to occur.
Thanks again, Oct. This sorta rounds out the 101 purpose."
Trispis says, "Some of the presenters have asked if I have any order I intend
to introduce them. The answer is: Yes. Randomly."

Killa grins.
Brody chuckles
David says, "Clever."
Grinna smiles
kalouri says, "Bold move"
Nova grynz

Trispis says, "I'll give most of them a break, though, and begin with the
instigator of this mess. So... let's give a warm welcome to Octavian, former
troublemaker on CDI and current god of COE. Octavian... the floor is yours.
(Remember, folks: Raise your hand and stuff on +101)."

Kyieren applauds as Octavian takes the floor.
Killa claps.
Brody claps as well

Octavian says, "Thanks for that brutally honest introduction. :)"
Octavian says, "The purpose of this discussion is to, hopefully, share what we
have learned from plotting experience, as well as give some guidance to people
new to tinyplotting (TPing). To start heading in that direction, I'd like to
do a brief, if overly academic, introduction on TPs and their importance."
Octavian says, "Also, as I'm typing this and my hands don't always connect to
my thoughts, if I say something that doesn't parse, you can just page me and
I'll fix it. :)"

<101> Trispis says, "In order to get all of the presentations done in a timely
manner, I'll be moving from one presentation to the next. After all of the
presentations have been given, we can open the floor to semi-organized
questions/answers, eventually moving toward unmoderated discussion, depending
on how long people stay."

Octavian says, "Marshall McLuhan, the famous and celebrated media theorist,
noted that, in any given medium, the content itself is always *another*
medium. For example, the content of the daily paper is news, and the content
of the billboard is advertising."
Octavian says, "MUSHes, in their way, are themselves a new mass medium. Most
are open to anyone who would wish to access them, they have content, and they
reach an audience that spans distance and time."
Octavian says, "Therefore, in keeping with McLuhan's theory, it can be said
that the content of the MUSH is often the story."
Octavian says, "On M*U*S*H, that story is your real life story. :) But on many
other MUSHes, those stories are ones we roleplay. The story arcs that move
through that roleplay are TinyPlots."
Octavian says, "In particular, today's discussion will be about how to create
those stories, and by doing so, how to guide the content for this medium.
Thanks for reading my incredibly slow typing, and I hope you enjoy the rest.

<101> Octavian is done.
<101> Trispis nods.

Trispis says, "Thanks, Oct. If I must say so myself, that presents a nice
canvas on which we can discuss the more intricate details."
Trispis says, "As a long-time champion of newbies and underdogs, I must say
that the newbie, in general, can throw obstacles into the best organized TP.
So, without further ado, I'd like to get the 'newbie issue' placed onto this
fine canvas of discussion. Everyone give a warm welcome to Killa..."

Killa grins and stands.

David claps.
Brody claps.
Grinna applauds. :)
Marretta welcomes warmly.
Nova applauds "Go girl!"
kalouri joins the applause

Killa says, "Thank you. First off we should define exactly what a newbie is to
a mush. Newbies are players who generally have little to no experience with
MUSHing and specifically your mush. Before a newbie even enters ICdom, they
should be aware and familiar with the important aspects. If you have a combat
system, they should know how to use it effectively. They should have already
met the TP Coordinator and the tpstaff. On Star Wars:Galaxy's Edge, we have a
newbie tpstaffer. That's what this person does all day, everyday...but I
Killa says, "There are horror stories about newbies that sat in the bar all
day. I know, I've been one:) Newbies are the lifeblood of a mush. Tpstaff
should have any number of generic tps that can be implemented with little
fuss. Ever hear of the Flaming Winnebago that's prone to being burned down by
some shady character? Surprise them. Not only does this buy time for tpstaff
to integrate them into the current tp but it helps the newbie to connect to
the other players...."
Killa says, "Now of course is the question many Tplotters deal with:How to
successfully integrate the newbie into the tp. Depending on the format and
theme, this can be entirely too easy or as hard as chewing on a boulder. My
personal experience has been on faction based MUSHes so therefore there is
always a good fight to be had somewhere. For those that stress an ongoing
storyline where there is little opportunity for direct physical conflict, I
find having a TPchar who just LOVES to 'help' the new char out by telling them
the latest gossip serves the same purpose. However you do it, it is important
to remember that it needs to happen pretty quickly. Don't let your newbies
wait weeks before finding them. They'll leave and word of mouth kills...."
Killa steps down and takes her seat.

<101> Killa is done.

Trispis says, "Thank you, Killa."

Nova clapclaps
Brody claps
Marretta applauds, on behalf of newbies everywhere.
kalouri waves a newbie over her head and cheers.
Brody grins at Kal
Killa acks and faints!
David cheers.
Dyason exclaims "Put me down!"
Grinna LOL
Killa shakes her head and smiles.

Trispis says, "I'm sitting here looking at the topics of the final two
presenters, and I'm having a hard time deciding which to have next/last. I
think the obvious choice is to have an overview/summary last. So, without
further ado, let's give a warm welcome to kalouri..."

Nova applauds

Brody golf claps
Killa claps.
Grinna staps her feet and applauds.

kalouri stands and smiles, then smirks at Brody.

Knighthawke claps

kalouri says, "Actually, I think the previous topic flows rather well into
this one. I'm the RP coordinator at OtherSpace, the original theme science
fiction MUSH that Brody started. Newbies get a double whammy on an original
MUSH, because not only do they have to learn commands, they have to learn all
about a new universe that doesn't have 20 or 30 years of commercial canon
information out in the public marketplace. So, one thing that we do to help
ease people into the game and to encourage their participation in TPs and
longer story arcs, is the use of feature characters and NPCs. Some of the best
hold position like bartender, or clothier, or a private investigator, for
example. It's easy for these characters to chat with a newbie, giving them
information ICly rather than sitting in the OOC area, trying to explain what's
been going on."
kalouri says, "It has also helped, because of the original theme, to begin the
game with NPCs in certain positions of power: The Stellar Consortium
president, the Vanguard military Commander in Chief, etc. They help establish
a precedent that will eventually be used to encourage a PC to rise through the
ranks to replace them. In fact, we're proud to say we're in the process of
electing a PC president in the wake of an incredibly nasty cloning scandal
during the most recent story arc (long story, check it out sometime). But this
is an important step. The MUSH has been around for nearly a year, and it's
time now for the handoff. The power goes from the NPCs to the PCs, because now
they have enough knowledge and understanding of the universe to fill the role.
That leaves us more time to focus on smaller fish NPCs, like the bartenders,
or new challenges, like new races. Or new political situations. All kinds of
nasty stuff."
kalouri says, "On a bookkeeping note, if you manage a multitude of NPCs (we
have three regions of space on OS, so they add up), it is an excellent idea to
keep notes built into the characters - bios, distinguishing characteristics.
Not only can you forget the nuances of an NPC, but no one can be on all the
time, and sometimes another director may pick up where you left off. It's good
to give them a road map."
kalouri says, "That concludes my presentation, such as it is. I'll be glad to
answer questions later. Thank you. :)"

<101> Trispis says, "identify the strings to the puppet. Interesting. (:"

kalouri returns to her seat.

Trispis says, "Thank you, kalouri."

Killa claps and waves an NPC over her head.
kalouri ROFL
Marretta ducks and claps.
Brody cheers
Grinna applauds
Nova clapclaps!!
Knighthawke chuckles.

Trispis says, "Our final speaker is Brody (who got an indirect intro during
kalouri's presentation, so I won't say much here). Let's welcome Brody..."

Brody nods, then stands.

Killa applauds and puts the NPC down.
David claps, a bit late.
Knighthawke claps.
Nova claps for Brody
kalouri a very respectful and polite way, mind you.
Killa heehees and blueberries.

Brody says, "I'll keep my intro brief: As Kal noted, I'm the creator of
OtherSpace MUSH. I'm going to discuss plotting - open ended/closed-ended.
That sort of thing. It's a topic rather near and dear to my heart, and
probably an unhealthy obsession, but I have a great time doing, there
ya go."
Brody says, "Even before Kal helped me get OS off the ground, we did TPs on
other MU**es. We've carried over a philosophy from the early days that still
applies where we're at now. It's pretty much the same theory as most generals
follow when discussing strategy: Every plan for attack is effective until you
actually commence the attack, then you throw the plan out the window. But
first, at least, you have a plan."

kalouri laughs
Killa grins.
David says, "Good plan."
Killa watches the plan die as it splats on the ground. "poor Plan."

Brody says, "I plan on a *big* scale, currently. I've drafted basic plotlines
for eight story arcs so far on OtherSpace. We are commencing the third this
weekend. Each arc lasts about three months. A lot happens during each arc,
most of it ultimately interwoven together in some way so that it brings the
maximum number of people together at the end."
Brody says, "When I plot, I have a definite idea of how I want to start, a
solid idea of what the climactic event should be, and a lot of flexibility on
how it actually shakes out in the end. If I don't have that flexibility, I
*will* snap. Because newbies, while posing a challenge on the front-end, don't
present near the challenge that a veteran PC who has *been* through one of my
arcs before poses. They are creative and intelligent people, and they'll think
of some wrinkle to throw at me. Frankly, those curve balls they throw that I
don't expect are what really keep me hopping. I love flying by the seat of my
pants with RP creation at times like that."
Brody says, "Now, as I said, in the big plan, I know how I want to start and
where the climax should be, and a general idea of how it ends. The PCs, I
prefer, determine specifically how it ends, through their actions."
Brody says, "If I dictate everything, then I'm nothing but a puppet master,
and not an interactive storyteller. I need their interaction to complete the
Brody says, "Within the big arcs, of course, we've got to have smaller TPs,
just to keep the action moving. It doesn't even have to be arc-related. It can
be monster-of-the-week. A bounty hunt. Anything. Just to keep them busy and
entertained and in the habit of RP."
Brody says, "With smaller TPs, I try to set up situations and characters for
the PCs to deal with. I don't *plan* these so much as sit down and say: Ok,
we'll establish that a bounty is out on this guy, and turn the PCs loose to
catch him/her/it."
Brody says, "The smaller TPs are extremely loosely scripted on OS, if for no
other reason than to give the RP coordinator a break from the more rigid
details I demand of her in the arc events."
Brody says, "If you are blessed to have very good RPers, they will often come
up with their own plot ideas, break into small groups, and do things amongst
themselves. We encourage that, and we encourage them to generate ideas that
they can share with others. That also lightens the load for the RP
coordinator. Occasionally, you get a kook who only wants to do something for
his own glory, but that's another reason to have the RP coordinator around: to
weed that out, and help encourage that player to dream up something with
broader vision."
Brody says, "That does it for me. Thanks for listening."
Brody smiles and takes his seat.

Trispis says, "Thank you, Brody."

<101> David says, "Kooks are bad."
<101> Trispis wants all the glory for himself.
<101> David holds up his hand.
<101> Octavian says, "Too many kooks spoil the broth."
<101> David hehe.

Trispis says, "Before I open the floor to questions, I'd like to make an
Trispis says, "As I was reading Brody's presentation, I got the impression
that he and kalouri work together nicely as a team. *pauses briefly for

Brody nods. "Yep."

Trispis nods and continues...

kalouri says, "I hate him SOOO much"

Brody ponders a scattergun
Killa heehees.
Nova heheehehs
Grinna bol
Knighthawke smiles wryly and chuckles.

Trispis says, "This brings to mind my own experience with MUSH101 and more
recently here on M*U*S*H. Our successes came about through supportive
teamwork. I, like Brody, tend to be the central figure, often the most
acknowledged individual. However, the success of our ventures (as I assume so
for OS, too) depend on supportive cooperation."

Brody nods. "Absolutely."

<101> David says, "(This is what's called 'sucking up to the people who work
for you, so you don't have to pay them anything. :)"

Trispis says, "I'll not digress into the details and mutual admirations that
could stem from that comment, but I do feel it's crucial to any successful
venture (online or off)."

Brody smiles and nods

<101> Trispis says, "Stop giving me a way, David."
<101> Brody chuckles
<101> Knighthawke grins
<101> David says, "I wouldn't, but you forgot to suck up to me."

kalouri says, "True enough."

Trispis says, "That being said, I'll move directly to the question/answer
phase and begin with David (who had the first question, but hasn't asked it),
then move to Skyflight's question."

<101> David says, "Alright, I forgot my oher question, but I have a different

Trispis says, "Ask away..."

<101> Professor Raevnos raises his hand.

David asks here, to confuse things, "Brody, you said you already did two
'story arcs' on OS...can you give an example of one of them...and the ways it
could have ended up, and the way it did, and what went weird..." (big
question, huh?)

Brody nods. "Well, probably best to talk about the most complicated arc, which
we just finished a few weeks ago."
Brody says, "The most recent arc, titled "Walls Fall Down," had one general
goal: To turn everything upside down and topsy turvy. Old conventions were
shattered, empires fell apart, heroes became, at one time or another,
Brody says, "Now, let's focus specifically on events in the Consortium, to
simplify things."
Brody says, "The biggest deal in the whole arc for the Consortium was the
discovery that the president, the Vanguard CinC and a world government had
been involved in a scheme to clone warriors to use against potential enemies.
This was in violation of a 400 year old treaty, yadayadayada, very bad thing
to do. How I wanted it to work out was for my NPC, General Dimitri Volstov
(the CinC) to end up on trial for his crimes, very publicly. What really
happened, when the PCs got into the mix, was that he ended up dead. Now,
Volstov was a bad, bad man. I loved playing him. Hated to let him go. But,
that's the way that particular NPC crumbled."
Brody says, "He died for the greater glory of RP - many folks were involved,
it led to a court martial for one PC who wound up kicked out of the Vanguard
for it. So, a twist I didn't expect, but we all enjoyed."
Brody is done.

<101> kalouri says, "What he's not saying is that he was an emotional wreck
for about a week. Volstov was a real mean and nasty and very cathartic to play
<101> Trispis chuckles.

Trispis says, "Thanks again, Brody."

<101> Brody says, "I immediately started playing Garunth. He's a reptiloid
Zangali, eight feet tall and mean by genetics"
<101> Brody says, "I got over it quick!"

Brody nods

David says, "Thanks."

Trispis says, "Skyflight posed this dilemma earlier. I found it very
interesting at the time, and upon re-reading it I see it as being very
reminescent of some (many?) of my RP experiences. (question to follow)"

Skyflight says, "Well, I just wanted to comment briefly that what was missing
at all MUSHes I've been too is a reliable objective IC history of the MUSH,
after it's started. All the MUSHes I've seen have a news history, but nothing
after the opening day. An objective record helps players relate the events to
their characters, see it through their eyes. It helps the newbies see the flow
of events better, and get used to the style of the MUSH. And that can lead to
some TP ideas too I feel, if people can look back and say "Oh that's right, we
have this loose thread, let's do something with that.""

<101> kalouri is helping a newbie. Can you take that, Bro?
<101> Brody nods to Kal

Trispis notes...
Trispis says, "Skyflight didn't really care who addressed it. It was more of a
'food for thought' statement. However, I'd like to know how OS deals with this
issue, because B & k seem to have their s#!+ together."

Brody says, "I think it's vital that people be capable of being brought up to
speed on past events as rapidly as possible. Otherwise, it's like tuning in to
Babylon 5 in the middle of the Shadow War and going - HUH? I want people to be
able to check out what has gone before. So, I regularly update our web page
(, to reflect the current year and status of the

<101> kalouri whews. "We've got him snowed, Bro" ;)

Brody says, "But I also want guests who are just logging on to be able to
check it out too."

Trispis says, "Do you maintain any on-MUSH history? Or is it all web-based?"

Brody says, "So, we've got an archive of +help files. Some are extensive
summaries of the arcs that have been completed. Then I have two, so far (for
the years 2650 and 2651) which are quick thumbnail sketches of events."

Brody says, "On MUSH too"

Trispis nods.

Brody says, "The +help files are almost always more up to date than the web
page, although the web page isn't too far behind"

Trispis says, "I think this probably works very similar (on a larger scale) to
the NPC stat info k mentioned earlier."

Brody nods. "Exactly."

Trispis nods.

Skyflight says, "If I may, one complication of that is that new players may
have trouble keeping OOC and IC info seperate. They may not realize that their
character may not know all of this info."

kalouri says, "It's good to remember that some people want extensive
background, some only want to get the gist. You have to offer both."

Brody says, "They might certainly know a lot of it. And I need to trust the
players to keep them separate."
Brody says, "So far, it hasn't been a problem."

Trispis nods to Brody, "IC vs OOC info is always the responsibility of the

Brody acks

Trispis pokes around the room... anyone else have a question/comment/opinion?

Skyflight says, "On any TP-related topic?"

Trispis nods.

Skyflight says, "I'd like to note that maintaining a stable TP staff is always
difficult. It seems to me that if someone gets the job, they pretty much keep
it, regardless of whether they are qualified to run TPs, or to manage their
underlings. How does eveyone keep this from becoming a problem?"

Trispis reiterates his earlier comments about effective teams. I really don't
know of any other successful means.

Brody nods. "I agree with Trispis there. Kal and I were a team before OS.
We've added people to our RP team who are enthusiastic RPers and good
Brody says, "In other words, we *don't* put that in the hands of just anyone."

Octavian says, "I find that the whole issue of maintaining a staff is greatly
simplified when there's one person who everyone else answers to."

Brody nods.
Brody says, "Too many cooks..."

Trispis says, "If you select someone for a task and no one can stand to work
with them, they're obviously not doing you any good. This is an example of the
*wrong* end of the spectrum. Your leaders (admins, coordinators, whatever you
call them) need to be good with people."

Skyflight says, "What point is it appropriate to issue warnings and eventually
fire a staffer who doesn't fit those catagories?"

Brody hmms. "Seems like that can apply anywhere, not just RP admins."

Trispis nods to Oct. On M*U*S*H, some newbies often mistake me for the main
admin here simply because I have no offline life (thus, I'm here about 16
hours a day). But, I do answer (as do all of the admins) to just one person:
Javlin. And no one answers to me.

Brody says, "When you as a leader see someone going astray and hear people
grumbling, better take that person aside and discuss it. If that doesn't fix
things, issue warnings."

Skyflight says, "True, but it's been my experience that TP staffers are the
ones who last the longest in positions they aren't qualified for."

Octavian says, "Generally, if you're in charge of the hiring and firing,
you're also the one who can make the big decisions. Just keep overruling their
decisions and eventually they'll either make better decisions or quit. :)"

Brody nods to Octavian.

Octavian says, "But it means being highly reactive, which can be more tiring
than being proactive sometimes."

kalouri says, "Amen"

Trispis says, "I think I see a different point that Skyflight is making...]"

Trispis says, "I'm reminded of +admin/all"
Trispis says, "We have 11 admins listed here, only about 5 of which are even
remotely active."

Grinna nods.

Trispis says, "The point being: Who are those wizards and royals? I never see
them. I have no idea what they do, but they seem to be hogging a position that
some *active* person could fill."
Trispis says, "Javlin is recently addressing these issues (for the 2nd or 3rd
time since I've been on M*U*S*H). It's a sort of 'housekeeping' thing...
maybe 'spring cleaning' is more accurate. Every now and again, you have to do
an assessment of your resources: Are all of your staff productively
contributing to the game?"

kalouri says, "I'm a newspaper writer. In this business, we often see the best
writers promoted into editorial positions. Well, the truth of the matter is
that writing stories and managing writers require two *entirely* different
sets of skills. Often, something similar happens on MUSHes. Good roleplayers
and skilled coders are given the opportunity to become admin/director and it's
just not always a good mix. Don't get me wrong, it often works out well, but
sometimes they simply lack the people skills. It's never easy to reprimand or
fire, but we have to keep the players in mind. They are like customers."
kalouri says, "Exactly, Trispis"

Brody nods. "We just went through something like that. Not with our RP
coordinator, of course, but other staffers not pulling their weight."
Brody says, "We reassigned them."

Grinna says, "I've seen that done kalouri...good roleplayers often don't make
good admin/directors"

Brody grins. "Kal's an exception to the rule."

<101> kalouri rolls her eyes at Brody

Octavian plays devil's advocate briefly. ;) "I agree, this happens (and I'm a
journalist, too, and I think kalouri will notice this trend as well), but
occasionally it happens with the unusually talented. For example, I have one
Wizard who refuses to go in-character. He'll write plot ideas but will never
participate in them. But he's so good at writing the ideas that I never
complain about it. If he wants to show up once a month and drop off his ideas,
that works for me because I couldn't replace him if I wanted to. :)"

<101> Brody says, "Just following Trispis' rule."
<101> Brody says, "Can't pay ya, gotta flatter ya."

Octavian notes that you'll notice he didn't say who it was. This way none of
*you* will get him. ;)

Grinna says, "Well... being admin (a good admin) means giving up a bit of your
ability (freedom) to roleplay."

Trispis says, "too often, admin positions are given as rewards to good
players. It's a subtle differentiation, but good admins are usually *more*
than just good players... they're the ones who are already doing the work
*before* you hire them."

Brody says, "Yeah, we try to avoid shacking players like that, because, in the
end - it really isn't a reward."
Brody says, "Shackling, even"

Grinna says, "Being an admin is NOT a reward..its a responsibility"

Brody says, "Our best admins are the ones who were newbie helpers and
theme-gurus before we even dreamed of putting them in charge of anything"

Trispis says, "amen."

Brody looks to Octavian. "And if you've got a guy who's productive even if he
can't be on 24/7, hey, roll with it. There's nothing wrong with that."

Trispis says, "Okay, folks. I'm tired. You're welcome to continue this as long
as you like, but I need to wrap up my stay here and head for bed."
Trispis says, "Oh... that reminds me... one last thing..."

Brody nods. "Thanks for having us here."

Trispis says, "Halatir."
Trispis says, "That kid is amazing."

Brody grins

Grinna grins!

kalouri says, "How unusually well-balanced, Trispis. I'm not sure I can deal
with that :)"

Trispis says, "He completely coded this entire schoolhouse *OFFLINE*."

Grinna says, "Yes he is... we all owe him for reinventing scrabble."

Brody chuckles

Grinna giggles. "He did that too."

Brody says, "Send him my way if he wants to reinvent the slot machine."
Brody grins

Trispis says, "His contributions to 101 cannot be measured in 'online
Trispis says, "or to M*U*S*H."
Trispis says, "This schoolhouse is a fully integrated set of all 3 types of
ZONES. PLUS, Javlin's exit dependent room parent. I couldn't begin to
comprehend all of the stuff that went into piecing this place together (wander
the halls, you'll see my artwork, but it's being presented to you through
Halatir's handywork). He did it by setting up his own offline PennMUSH on a
linux box. Everything was tested before put into place. You can't trade that
kind of contribution for anything in the world."

Brody wows. "No, indeed."

Grinna grins. "We should make him a plaque."
Grinna says, "Seriously"

Trispis says, "Nah. Jav already gave him a wizbit."

Brody grins

Trispis smirks.

Trispis says, "Raevnos... You had a question?"

Raevnos says, "What do you do when, despite all the work of putting together
plots or situations for people to RP in and use, they don't, despite much
prodding to do so?"

Trispis says, "ah... a motivational question... excellent concept to wrap this
all together."
Trispis defers to B & K.

kalouri says, "Is this a problem of people doing their own RP thing or sitting
around in the OOC room chatting, Raevnos?"

Raevnos says, "Getting them to RP, at all."

Brody hrms

Trispis says, "motivating players to participation."

<101> kalouri says, "Whip and a chair?"

Trispis offers a comment...

<101> Dyason says, "Fear"
<101> Dyason says, "First she swings newbies about and now a whip and a chair"

Trispis says, "The one thing I've discovered about *my* activities is: I have
to participate. -- I can't coordinate something, then expect others to carry
it to completion. They lose interest. I think this has something to do with
being a central figure. Newbies wanna hang out in my crate (for you outsiders,
that's my office). In fact, newbies aren't the only ones. (This isn't a
complaint. I've never complained about people who hang out... the ones who
come and go excessively, yes, but the hanging out is fine and welcomed)."
Trispis says, "The point being, players seem to expect their leaders
(admins/coordinators) to be 'in the thick of it' somehow. They want their
leaders to lead."

Brody says, "That's actually a good question. For the story arcs, so far, we
haven't really had that problem. People *come* for that. The fact is, I worry
more about people not RPing when we are between arcs. That's when I want to
get out the cattle prod. I don't think *you* as a MUSH leader can do
*everything*. You can't *make* them RP. If they aren't willing, then I don't
know why they're wasting their time or yours hanging around. But it helps to
draw folks as PCs who will encourage other PCs to play. We have quite a few of
those (in addition to some who just linger and wait for someone to hit them
over the head with a big ol' arc, and complain about having nothing to do).
And Trispis hit it right on the head. Kal and I are both visible. I may be the
creator of the game and the theme, but I can't be an absentee landlord. I make
them *regret* it if they miss an event. Here's one thing we've started
Brody says, "We've got a skills system we just integrated. You can get
experience for participating in RP events, and therefore add skills down the
road. A little carrot and stick, but a bonus for folks who play anyway."

kalouri says, "Do all of you remember how absolutely brutal high school dances
were? The gym is dark. The toilet paper streamers are up. But NOBODY would
dance? When OS first started, I sometimes felt like I was back there. What it
took for us was to create a pool of NPCs and just start playing. Eventually,
the PCs started coming around to find out what the h was going on. As time has
passed, we do that less and less. *shrug* Sometimes, I actually miss it :)"

Brody grins
Brody says, "Yeah."

<101> enahS notes if a TP hasn't been going very well, it might be worth
taking a poll on why/revising the rest of it
<101> Brody nods. "But the problem is getting them involved to begin with, to
get an opinion, sounds like"

kalouri says, "My point being that somebody has to dance first :)"

Trispis likes k's analogy. (:
Trispis remembers those days well. (;

<101> Dyason says, "I'm always scared off of trying by the fact that I have no
idea what to do and people assume you know."

kalouri shudders

<101> Brody says, "Get to know the theme. Talk to players OOCly. Get familiar
<101> Brody says, "A lot of times, it's easier than it looks."
<101> Trispis has mixed feelings about Shane's comment.
<101> Trispis says, "It depends on your leadership style."
<101> Professor Raevnos says, "Yeah, it's getting people involved in the first
place that's the problem. We admins will start something, but nobody will
continue it unless one of us kicks them and leads it, for each RP session."
<101> Brody says, "That's a definite problem, and I can see the frustration
coming from it"
<101> Brody says, "Can you be more specific, an example?"
<101> Professor Raevnos says, "And sometimes, people then have the gall to
complain about lack of RP."
<101> kalouri says, "Ouch"
<101> Professor Raevnos says, "An example? Hmm. A city holds a fair, inviting
people from other cities and lands all around. People come (Or are dragged by
the admins, rather). RP happens when an admin herds people together into the
same room, and start something. When the admins aren't doing that, people just
sit around the city and idle. They make no effort to continue things started
in earlier RP sessions, or start new ones, even though possibilities abound."
<101> Brody nods. "What's happening at the fair?"
<101> Grinna giggles.
<101> Professor Raevnos says, "Trading, a tournament, various political
meetings and agreements..."
<101> Brody says, "Are these generally veteran players?"
<101> Brody says, "All familiar and comfortable with the theme?"
<101> Professor Raevnos says, "A mix of old and new players."

Trispis pages (Grinna Octavian): Someone email me a log when it finally dies.

<101> Brody says, "They need to be the ones to help you get the newbies in the
habit of RPing, even if it's just people sitting in a tavern"