1. Amor has finally locked the doors as per the very sad [Closing Announcement]. You should still be able to read threads and conversations (just in case you are late to getting things saved) up until AUGUST 1st. All subscriptions have also been cancelled so no one is donation billed for a dead site!

EXERICSE ROLEPLAYING Creating a Plot From Character Bios

Discussion in 'Inspiration' started by Divinatas, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. There are many situations where you join a roleplay that does not already have a starting plot. You provide players with a basic setting or universe, then people join with a hodgepodge of characters, and a plot comes together on it's own. Sometimes this happens naturally, but most of the time it will be up to the Game Master to somehow pull all the characters together and create a cohesive story for the players.

    This creative exercise is going to give you a list of tips on how to pull together a plot using the characters you're given.

    Look in the character histories for potential plot bunnies.
    • Do any of the characters currently have a personal mission or quest?
    • Do any characters have an old enemy?
    • Do any characters have a missing family member or loved one?
    • Do any characters mention non-player characters they've interacted with in the past?
    • Do any characters have a dream or special wish?
    • Do any characters seem to share a similar background?
    • Do any characters share a skill?
    • Are any special places, locations, or events mentioned?

    These sort of things make for great plot motivations. You can use them to give the characters a purpose. If more than one character shares a similar trait in their history, it's possible that it's tied together and can become a plot point.

    Example 1: Character A's family were attacked by pirates and their father was kidnapped. Character B was kidnapped as a kid and became a pirate. Maybe it is the same group of pirates, and the kidnapped father helped take care of Character B on the pirate ship. That's a great plot revelation later!

    Example 2: Character C secretly has just discovered a dormant talent of firemagic and can't control it, and firemagic is totally against the law! Character D is a hunter that collects these illegal firemages. Character D can find out about this secret and must choose whether or not to do something about it.

    Look in the character personalities for ideas.
    • Do any characters hate certain things, or fear something in particular?
    • Are any characters super desperate for love?
    • Do you have anyone obsessed with something?
    • Do any characters refuse to ever do something or admit something to themselves?

    Personalities also offer great plot potentials. This is how you get characters to connect with each other or form enemies. Characters with similar feelings about certain things (like their hated of demons, for example) might bond together to achieve a goal. Characters with opposite opinions or personalities could offer a little drama and conflict.

    Example 1: Character E is a demon and believes happiness is for chumps, and wants to live in a world of anarchy and demon delight. Character F is terrified of demons, but doesn't want to live in a world of chaos. So Character F tries to show Character E how great the world is with love and fluff and harmony.

    Example 2: Character G is against murder, no matter what and believes it is a sin. Character H is desperate to get revenge against an enemy for killing their lover. Character G can do everything they can to stop Character H from sinning.

    Tying a group of characters together...!

    The four characters above all have different stories, but they can all be tied together for a single roleplay plot. You just grab all of the big pieces and put them together like a puzzle:

    WE HAVE:
    - Pirates
    - Demons
    - Illegal magical talent
    - Missing family
    - Vengeance
    - Potential Romance

    How would YOU tie the example characters together in to one single plot?
    For set one of this exercise, take the examples I listed above and create a plot! You can use the list of things I pointed out, or insert in your own plot devices for those characters.

    BONUS EXERCISE: Find ANY roleplay that has a list of character bios and ignore the plot posted. Look over those bios, and see if you can create a plotline of your own using JUST the characters provided.

    You can use one of your own roleplays, but I recommend picking out one that belongs to someone else so you don't have preconceived plot ideas. Make sure you LINK to that roleplay in your post.