OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Roleplaying Focus – Plot and Storylines

Leon Archer

Leon Archer, GM of Spellbound

Hey hey hey! Leon Archer here, more commonly known as Phantasmagoria on Ongoing Worlds. It’s time for another Roleplaying Focus. The topic of discussion is Plot & Storylines.

  • So, a big question I’ve been asked to talk about is how much should you plan your roleplay?
  • Is it’s appropriate to make an epic arc storyline that spans for several years worth of roleplay and continues for years to come furthermore?
  • Is it more appropriate to simply just wing it, and go with whatever you think out of your head?

The answer is really to do what feels right for you as a GM and the style of your game. For the more focused RPG games where dice rolling is aplenty and your players are wandering through your carefully crafted dungeon of intrigue and mystery, it is usually a good idea of knowing where you want your players to end up eventually.

It can be advantageous so you can direct players to heading towards certain goals and objectives and you and your players will have a much more refined and streamlined roleplaying experience.

However, for the more freeform storytelling roleplaying, such as the ones featured regularly on Ongoing Worlds, allowing the game to expand in many different ways is usually a lot better. With freeform games comes the ability for anyone to do anything. Keeping someone on the straight and narrow may be difficult, particularly if you want to follow a certain storyline plot that you have planned out.

Personally, I go for a mix of the two. Spellbound for example has an overarching theme that is usually going on. At the moment, it is the slightly hyperactive Shani, a reporter for a famous magazine aptly named Spellbound.

This overarching theme will be something that as a GM I will continue to progress. Around that the various other members of the game can participate in the arc, or go off and do their own thing whilst it is happening.

Both are fantastic for the game, and you will find that both really flesh out the world you and your players have created.

What kind of game world do you play in? Is there a particular type you enjoy? Ever had a plot line been altered due to players? Comment down below and share your thoughts!