How will Staff tell Stories on Fate's Harvest?
Specifics will depend upon the individual ST, as always, but here are some general guidelines. Some of this is also referenced briefly on the Policies page. If you want to see what types of story individual staffers prefer to tell, check out the Staff pages.
Overall, staff storytelling will be episodic. Think of it like a TV series: you have a season's worth of individual episodes all following one particular plotline, which comes to a conclusion, then starts up again with something else, building anew on the existing tensions and relationships. In our case, "season" is equivalent to "story arc" or "campaign" for our tabletop-lovers.
For guidelines on PRPs (Player-Run Plots), check out the PRPs page.
In the Beginning
In the beginning, a lot of the storytelling is going to focus on fleshing out the world, and gradually introducing players to the culture and thematic goals staff has in mind.
You'll learn about the city, the town, and major NPC players in the various levels of society there.
Changelings will learn more about the neighbouring Freeholds and the consequences/complications of choosing THIS valley to settle in.
In the No-Longer-the-Beginning
There are mysteries and nuggets of story scattered throughout every NPC group in the game. It has been built that way, deliberately, to encourage players to emulate five-dimensional starfish. Can't go wrong with extra arms (or storylines in all directions).
While staff will guide things to ensure the theme of the game isn't bent too far out of its intended shape, what YOU do will have a lasting impact upon the gameworld.
You are staff's never-ending box of plot.
- If your diplomats fail abysmally and end up mortally offending the neighbouring Freeholds, Changelings, you WILL have the threat of war on your hands. If you reveal Changeling-kind to the world, be prepared for witch hunts and "collectors" eager to capture their very own fairies...and for every other Changeling out there to want you disposed of.
- Humans, if you set the city on fire or, say, decide for some zany reason to start up a military compound and convince Fort Brunsett to secede from Vermont and form its own teensy union, you WILL be dealing with all the force the State can muster.
- Psychics/Thaumaturges, if you collectively decide to out yourselves and start brainwashing people, you WILL be hunted down by eager scientists and stuck in cages.
NPCs will interact with players outside of announced events. This is intended to maintain a level of spontaneity, enliven the gameworld, invite new plot elements, give players more time to develop aspects of their relationships with the NPCs, and afford players who can't make standard +event hours (many of the staff are on the East coast of the USA) the opportunity to get involved with plot.
If you are in a +hangout or in a public grid room, you are fair game for RP. Staff will never barge in on a privately owned non-hangout property.
A reminder: staff is required to post which NPCs they play (see individual Staff wiki pages). All NPC character bits are marked with [NPC] after their name.
Actual Helpful Information
Last but not least, here is some mingled advice, guidelines and warnings, so you will know what to expect:
- Staff will not hand you everything.
- The world is full of mysteries, and if you want to really dig into the meat of the world, that is what you will be getting: mysteries and following the unknown into dark alleyways. They are going to require your thought, and your engagement. Staff is not going to hand you the keys to the mysteries like beads on a string; you will have to work for it.
- In practical terms, if you keep trying, say, to Intimidate an Autumn NPC and for some strange reason he is not intimidated despite your 7-success masterful rolls, think outside the box. What powers could that NPC have to resist mundane intimidation..?
- If you are in a room with many doors while, say, searching for a lost artifact, staff is not going to conveniently say, "You should use this one to get to the thing!"
- You CAN bork a plot past saving.
- If you kill the NPC you were supposed to save, or if you mortally offend the person who had the vital clue you needed to resolve who has been killing your friends, staff is not going to magically fix it.
- Sure, you can try alternate routes, but it is entirely possible for you to single-handedly end an event early. This is one consequence of stories reacting to your input, rather than staff railroading you along.
- Pay attention to the details.
- Details are important. Very very. Is someone selectively leaving out parts of the explanation you asked for? Does that person's face look like the guy you saw on the corner the other night with a bloodied knife? Is the conniving mastermind who always wore a certain ruby ring no longer wearing it? Subtleties of expression, clothing, social nuances and how people behave are important. Also: Social stats are not dump stats. This goes along with...
- Stop and think.
- Ask why. If someone is acting aggressive toward you, WHY are they doing it? What are their motivations? If this isn't something your character would do, of course you don't have to, and you can charge right ahead taking it all at face value, but please be OOCly aware that there is always something behind the surface. This is the World of Darkness.
- You have options other than killing NPCs.
- Very few plots run by staff are going to be straight up "whack stuff until it's dead" scenes. Even scenes where combat is highly likely can be tweaked by what you do. You CAN decide to scout ahead, or to delay and trap something, say, or lure it away, or... etc.
- Know your own character.
- If your character has a specialty in something applicable to the scene, speak up! Staff will do their best to incorporate the details of your +sheets into the stories, but there are few of us and many of you.
- You can expect staff to page you privately during scenes, in cases where you are the only person who would see something.
- Related to the above, you can consequently expect staff to do the equivalent of rolling your dice for you, if, say, you are adventuring and might notice something (or might not).
- Use your surroundings.
- If you are in the city, or the woods, or the Hedge, or anywhere else, please, yes, use your surroundings to your advantage. Staff certainly will. If you think you should get a modifier, positive OR negative (please ask for negatives! Staff will <3 your honesty) due to your situation, absolutely, bring it up. Page your ST to ask. Staff WILL be requiring players to pay attention to the modifiers on their powers.