GrapevineLARP

Home of the Grapevine LARP Administration Utility

Driving the Plot

The choice “Plots…” under the Chronicle menu displays the Plots window where you can track the progress of your game’s plot threads.

The default display of this window lists the game dates at left, and on the right it lists plots you have created. The topmost choice at the left, “List All Plots,” shows you all the plots you’ve created and whether they are ActiveFinished or Pending (a status derived from their start and end dates). If you select a game date from the left, the plots shown are only those for which you’ve created plot developments for the selected date. A column labeled “Done” shows an X if you’ve filled in the plot development.

You can choose a different display by clicking the “View by Title” button in the lower left. In this display, all the plots are listed at the left. Selecting one displays all the plot development dates at the right, including the X for those that have been written. Return to the original display by clicking the “View” button again.

Clicking “Add Plot” will prompt you for the title of the new plot. Unlike actions and rumors, which are associated strongly with the game calendar, a plot is only loosely connected to any one game date — therefore you won’t be asked for one yet. Instead, every plot is a collection of plot developments.

With a single click, you can use the “Develop Active Plots” button to add a new plot development to every plot that’s currently active. If you’ve selected a game date on the left, “Develop Active Plots” will instead create a new development for every plot that is active during the selected date.

“Delete Plot” will remove a plot and all its developments from the game.

Clicking “Show Plot,” or double-clicking a selection, will load an individual plot window.

Editing a Plot

The plot editing window appears with the title of the plot across the top. Click the title to rename the plot. Below this appears a series of buttons:  First the “Outline” button where general information about the plot is kept, followed by a button for each plot development you’ve created.

Selecting “Outline” allows you to specify the following:

  • Start Date and End Date. Use these to give your plot a beginning and an end. The status of the plot (ActiveFinished or Pending) is derived from whether the next game date falls between these dates. Choosing “(none)” leaves the plot open-ended (or open-started).
  • Narrator. The staff member in charge of this plot.
  • Key Characters. The characters chiefly involved in this plot.
  • Outline/Notes. Use this space to describe the plot with a basic outline or important notes to remember when running it.
  • Plot Developments. This list of dates is where you add and delete individual plot developments. Clicking the “Add” button prompts you with a dialog box for the date of a plot development to add. “Delete” will remove a plot development. The row of buttons at the top of the window will reflect all the changes you make here.

Clicking the date of a plot development will provide the following fields to fill out:

  • Plot Development:  In this field, describe your plot developments for the upcoming game. This information is confidential; it will appear in none of the player characters’ reports.
  • Affected By. This list bears the names of actions and plots that affect this plot.
  • Affects. This list shows which actions, plots, and rumors that this plot affects.

The Affects and Affected By lists are the same powerful tools you employ from the Action window to describe how this plot affects and is affected by other factors in the game.

Example

The deadline for player to send in their character actions has come and gone, so you decide to add the finishing touches to the “Dress Code” plot you’re inflicting on the changelings.

When you initiated the April 4 plot development, you thought the dress code policy would pass the school board and raise the Banality of the school. But Sally Sluagh and Gary ap Gwydion were resourceful in discouraging that outcome. Now in the “Affected By” list, you see Sally’s Personal action and Gary’s Media Influence action listed. While you processed their actions, you rewrote this plot so that the school board would postpone their decision after the public outcry from Gary’s news report.

This is going to cause a stir in several corners, so to the Affects list on the right you add theMedia Influence Level 1 rumor, the University Influence Level 1 Rumor, and the Schoolchildren rumor you created.

But now you decide there will be other repercussions as well. Mrs. Grabowski, the unfortunate embezzler that Sally is blackmailing, panics and goes to a friend in the police. The police arrest the contact of Sally’s that dug up the dirt — his nose wasn’t clean either. You add a Police Influence Level 3 rumor (Mrs. Grabowski’s friend keeps things fairly quiet) to the Affects list. You also add Sally’s Contacts action to the list. Double-clicking it, you revise her results to let her know that her contact disappears complete after giving her the information.

You also decide that another school board member knows Gary’s boss, and that the Sidhe will draw some heat for his lack of objective journalism. You add a Media Influence Level 3 rumor and Gary’s Media action to the Affects list. You revise Gary’s Media Results to tell him about the fallout at the TV station.

You can tell that this plot is making waves. Only two characters’ actions affected it, but its own effects have mushroomed out to affect Sally, Gary, the schoolchildren, and four different Influence rumors.