Spider’s Thread: Plot and Outline

in Tutorials

Plot and Outline

By: Maddie (aka Paladin-Cleric of Awesome)

Because I don't really need an excuse to post a picture of Sean Bean in possibly his best ever role, but it never hurts.

Because I don’t really need an excuse to post a picture of Sean Bean in possibly his best ever role, but it never hurts.

Basic Plot

Now I get to do one of my favourite things, Role Play!

No, I haven’t gone any madder than I was before, it’s just that sometimes, when I’m playing outside of my usual sandbox, I need to move outside of my own headspace to make something like this work.

Bearing in mind that the Heroes Chronicles games are RPG Military Campaigns, and I am more of a meandering storyteller, focusing on my characters and turning a simple story into an Epic tale (or so I like to believe). So to be able to truly get myself in the frame of mind of writing a Campaign styled game plot, I need to get myself into a military headspace (hence the lovely picture above-I told you I had an excuse).

So, with this firmly in mind, I decided that it would be best to stick with a very simple story.
“Lenath, the displaced young king of Lestar, escapes from prison in order to defeat the Warlord who stole his throne had subjugated his people.”

There we go, I have my basic plot. So what do I do now?

This requires some thought… and a lot of hot chocolate.

And marshmallows! Man how I love those little marshmallows!

And marshmallows! Man how I love those little marshmallows!


Going back to the Inspiration for all of this (and replaying some of the levels-I kid you not, this never gets old, it’s so dang addicting!); and making some notes I see that story wise, all the maps have a main objective, not unlike a regular RPG game, with the occasional secondary objective thrown in there.

Simple Objectives like “Defeat the Blue team” or “Find the Vial of Dragons Blood” or “Free the Dragon Mothers”. There’s nothing overly complex in them, and the little bits of story you get as you play are there to give you a bit of a nudge. ie. When you’ve spent a month game time recruiting more troops for your army instead of searching for those Dragon Mothers a little dialogue will pop up with “A spy in the enemy lands comes with word that the Dragon mothers are being held in the hidden valley to the South!”.

So, taking what I’ve learned from the Heroes Chronicles Game I look again at my basic Plot.

Overall Objective
Help Lenath defeat the Warlord who stole his throne and subjugated his people and had him thrown in prison.

Now the question is, how do I get Lenath from the prison and to the Warlord for that final confrontation?

“That’s easy!” you say, “That’s typical RPG stuff, send him on a few missions to fight monsters to level up, let him wander round some towns and collect some companions to help him on his way.”

Ok… so you may have a point. But I have my Military Campaign Hat on, so we’re going to do this a slightly different way. (I did say this already didn’t I? That this wasn’t a typical RPG I was making?

What? He's holding a hat isn't he? *grumble* Fine... but at least I'm being consistent.

What? He’s holding a hat isn’t he? *grumble* Fine… but at least I’m being consistent.

In this game we don’t have random citizens of Town A who will inform us of some quest to kill some goblin riders in the cave near town. We aren’t immersing ourselves in a dialogue focused narrative. We have a bigger plan in mind, a more grand scale plan. We aren’t some fifteen year old child saving the world against impossible odds, accompanied by equally as young companions.

We are simply a young man with one thing in mind. Take back what is his (and free the land and be sort of awesome and stuff). So with this in mind what do I need to do next?

Firstly; What are my military objectives? How do I lead an army to liberate the lands the Warlord has stolen? How do I gather this army? Where can I go? What can I do?

My Main Objectives are:

ST2-4Not very exciting by themselves, and hardly the stuff that will keep people playing the game interested, so I’m going to have to be a tad more specific. So taking each Objective I expand it further.

ST2-5And there we have it, a simple and easy plot (that only took me nearly a week to come up with). Of course, it requires some serious fleshing out, but for now I’m happy enough. More of the story will come out when I focus on the maps and the characters.

Objectives from the Clash of the Dragon game... I want mine to look as awesome!... Mine will look as Awesome!

Objectives from the Clash of the Dragon game… I want mine to look as awesome!… Mine will look as Awesome!

So tell me, how do you go about planning your own RPG plot? Are you the kind to dive straight in there and just write whatever strikes your fancy? Do you meticulously plan out every detail before starting anything else? Share your secrets.

Next time on Spiders Thread I get to play with: Game Mechanics

Offered for your amusement by; Maddie aka Paladin Cleric of Awesome:- novelist (in spirit), game developer (in progress) and owner of one too many cats (Though as my family tells it, three too many).

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