Author Topic: Plot nodes and such  (Read 4716 times)

Zomboner

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Plot nodes and such
« on: January 23, 2013, 09:34:48 PM »
I was looking at games like Technoir with it's plot node mapping mechanic, and NBA with the conspyramid... I thought I'd ask the rppr community: are there any other games with similar mechanics?  I like the idea of a story map of this sort so I'm looking for more inspiration.

Jacko

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Re: Plot nodes and such
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 04:38:27 AM »
7th Sea uses a background mechanic that sounds a bit like what you're describing.  Players buy Backgrounds for their characters and use them to earn XP by entering into conflicts involved in that specific Background.   For example, if Nikolai the Mecenary buys a Hunting background and labels the daughter of his old commander as his quarry he'll earn XP when he questions the town guards about seeing a girl matching her description, when he sneaks into the house of her older sister, when he battles the pirates that have kidnapped her, etc etc. 

It's a really handy mechanic to have because the players are telling the GM exactly what sort of plot(s) they want to explore.  Even better, they can do it during the game and not just in character creation!  Another example: The party defeats diabolical Inquisitor Alonzo and one of the characters takes his personal bible and rosary, one-lining that an evil man should not sully such things.  The player of that character buys a Nemesis Background and declares Alonzo is the other party of that Background.  Guess which NPC is going to make an appearance down the road (and probably at the worst possible time)?  Anticipation is a delightful thing.  ;D

Zomboner

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Re: Plot nodes and such
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 11:17:06 AM »
Cool, thanks, I w >:(ill check that out!

That second paragraph really hits the nail on the head.  I want a way that characters can sort of introduce plot threads or even just contacts that I can then weave into the narrative.  That's how I understand technoir works, also.

ckenp

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Re: Plot nodes and such
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 10:12:45 AM »
There's a great post on Keith Davies' blog about node based campaign setting design that gives good insight on arranging story elements in a non-linear way to allow story to evolve organically. In it he references an essay found on  The Alexandrian which explores node based scenario design as well. I apologize that this doesn't answer the question about specifc games but the theories discussed could apply to any game.