I’m new to this whole Empire melarcky, and I’ve read about all these great plot lines everyone keeps referring to. What are the best plot lines you’ve ever been involved in?
I’m not sure Plot line is ever right honestly, A lot of plot is more of a nebulous cloud that then comes together at a point, a line seems to suggest much more linearity and focus than is often the case… That said some of the Stories that my character has gotten involved in that were fun
- Skirmishing out to the Black Plateau to undo the curse laid there years ago that now threatened the whole nation.
- having my liver stolen by a Dawnish Ghost.
- Giving my Oath to fight adn following through on it, turning his back on his desires out of loyalty.
- Talking my friend onto a new and healthier path.
- Trying desperately to fill shoes that were vacated all too soon
The PD team doesn’t decide what happens. The players decide, and the plot team reacts, most of the time.
So it was entirely the player actions to arrange a truce with the Thule, to break the treaty with the Jotun, to appoint Lisabetta as Empress, to assign Ossium to Varushka, and so on.
There are certainly areas of interest that are reasonably distinct. Of these, my favourites have been the back and forth between Dawn and Druj to the east, the naval battle in the Bay of Catazzar, and to what extent the Empress is also the Queen of Dawn…
Addendum: I’m fairly sure that the PD crew includes one person “playing” each of the barbarian nations. Making decisions about what to do, based on a small pile of information that they’re given. So, for example, the Druj player would not know what the Empire was plotting, and would throw their armies into a large battle, under a ritual to increase casulties… and run into 8 Imperial armies coming the other way…
This makes for an excellent bit of immersion, because WE don’t know everything about the military situation, and neither do the opposition… Which allows for more realistic quests and battles where the objective is “scout the situation”, or “stop their scouts getting through”, or “sieze their orders…”
Empire has Plot, but it’s not The Plot.
Story plot has a fairly well defined arc of “These things are happening and it affects this bit of the Empire”
As geoff says, almost all of the big stuff isn’t Plot, it’s Foreign Policy or Player Shenanigans. For example, all my best game in the last 3 years has been Heresy and Blasphemy. PD throw in the odd small scale religious backslider, but all the big stuff is player action.
None of them have gone round shouting ALL HAIL THE DARK GOD BASILEUS FLINT until they’ve got killed. They’ve all been people with beleiveable reasons for sliding into something the Empire has declared morally wrong. Id call it two cases of fight injustice, one case of swivel-eyed libertarianism, and quite a lot of “Nobody loves me except for the increasingly maternal overtures of this Spring Eternal, Screw You I’m Leaving”. They’ve had an arc, and fallen deeper in after things happened. Sometimes in uptime, sometimes starting in backgrounds.
So best plot?
1: Yael makes up an entire True Liao vision and conspires with her guide priest to long-con the Synod.
2: Mel of the Mourn decides to use the job of Conscience of the Senate as a bully-pulpit to pose a lot of awkward theological questions and arguments to far too many people, and Boy That Escalated Quickly.
Both cases were taking one particular chance at influence and doing something nefarious or unexpected with it.