OngoingWorlds blog

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


Make sure your plot has something for everyone to do. Yes, EVERYONE!

child in corner

This is a post for GMs of games. GM is a term from tabletop roleplaying, in OngoingWorlds we normally use the term “owner”, or whomever created the game to start with. Anyway, if you created the game – you’re the GM – the one responsable for everyone else to enjoy it! 

Plots can be varied and wide in scope, but it’ll normally be about a bunch of characters doing stuff. If you’re doing it properly, everyone’s character will be involved, with nobody left out.

If there is someone who’s being left out, make sure you involve them. You can involve them by making sure there’s something for them to do. Maybe they’ve got a unique skill that needs to be used, for example where’s a door that needs to be opened, and the character who’s being left out is the only one who can lockpick it. Or maybe s/he’s the only one strong enough to open it.

angel summoner the massiv godmodder

SEE ALSO: Angel Summoner & BMX Bandit, 1 character so powerful the other is useless

What you don’t want is a situation where one character feels like they’re being constantly left out because they don’t bring anything to the table. This could be that they’re surrounded by people who are more powerful than they are (see the article about Angel Summoner & BMX Bandit), in which case they need to make their skills more useful.

Or you as the GM need to steer the plot so that everyone’s unique skills are useful.

  • The problem might be different, though. Characters might be left out sometimes, no matter their unique skills which need to be used, just because this is what the writers want for them – either because they have no interest in a fight thread (then why have they made a character who is meant to fight by design – pirate, soldier, mercenary?) or because they know they won’t have time to keep active their character in a group thread/ in that time period.

    There are enough characters who would have been needed in lots of group threads, having lots of potential to make their mark on the story, but the writers refuse to bring them where they are needed, keeping them only in a few romance threads or in tavern discussions which don’t make an important impact on the story.

  • Silent Hunter

    This is a mistake even professional TV writers can make; there’s a fair few actors who have left shows as there’s nothing for their character to do.