Post 30 GM's Storyline Checklist

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Doyce T.
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A lot of what's going on right now is Repercussions, but not all. Here's what I've got front of mind, right now. Thoughts and reminders welcome. I'm putting this VERY ROUGHLY in order of "this really needs some love most, at the moment", in deference to folks who haven't see as much story-arc time. (Similar to but not to be confused with spotlight time.) Expect that order of things to shift, and for things to be happening at once. Ghost Girl 1. The Wounds of the World: What are they. Whose are they? Can we heal them, and if so how? Several entities and/or groups have skin in the game here, on one side or the other. (Vyortovia, Rook, Doctor Infinity, Magus Everard, AEGIS, Sepiaverse, non-exclusive and in no particular order.) 2. Pandemonium Rising: That hasn't gone away, and may in fact be getting worse. Concord 3. Rainbow Warriors: Sol's replacement is on the way, or already here. They want to know WTF happened to Sol, and what's up with the walking, talking... 4. Keynome: Which is an item of interest for Farlander, the Concordance, Rook, Vyortovia... and pretty much everyone else. With Great Power Come a Great Big Target On Your Back. Harry Harry doesn't exactly have hooks direct in him, but he cares about a lot of stuff. Points 4, 5, and 6 are both likely to connect to Rook in various ways. Points 4, 5, and 7 both connect to the HHL and the Gales. Leo, Alycia, Jason 5. The Dark Side: Both Link and Charade have connections to the criminal side of the world, via family members. I've spun my wheels on that a bit with Link, but his Dad's made an offer juicy enough to at least consider, and Charade's Reformed playbook has some criminal-facing moves that mean we're going to see more of that stuff, so hopefully the combined weight of both characters' focus will drive us that way and find some resolution. 6. AEGIS Follies: Again, both Link and Charade have some arrows here, because they're both being handled by AEGIS to greater or lesser degrees, and there are more than a few questions at least Link has for them about mistakes that have been made (where's Link's dad? wasn't he in CUSTODY? et tu, Snowman? stuff like that). 7. With our Brains Combined: Three SGHGs working in close proximity will have repercussions for years to come. I'd like to recognize and do some stuff with that, and have already started the ball rolling there. These will likely be small-but-worrisome plots. +Harry 8. Dark Pasts This is kind of the mirror side of 7, with digging out old badness from the history of heroics. It's nice to kind of break it out, but: A. I may have forgot a plotline you were really hoping to see happen, and if so mention it. B. It still feels like a lot going on, so I'm on the lookout for connecting threads and common denominators (demon-innators) that let us simplify the equation a bit. Thoughts welcome.
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My only concern with my larger plots is the implied urgency of them. Leo wants to parley with Vyortovia because they just attacked us twice in a few weeks' time, so presumably they are on the clock, and leaving a super-inventor in Rook's presumed hands can only end badly (and may hook into their hospital deal). Other than that, I'm happy with the listed priority. If there's anything I've asked for that could be solved on the side without compromising story, I'm happy to do that to make room in the regular sessions.
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Doyce T.
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Other thoughts. 1, 4, and 7 have some overlaps and dependencies that let us advance all by tangling them up a bit. (Or they come pre-tangled.) 5, 6, and 8 are easy to connect, or are already connected, and are super interesting, but also kind of... their own thing? Like Winter Soldier is my favorite MCU movie, yet doesn't in any meaningful way connect to the larger (Infinity War) story arc. Need to fiddle with that. 2 and 3 are both kind of individual character arcs. Everyone has these (Jason's Doom, Link's Dad, etc, Life-with-Sol-and-family) but they've either been smallish b-plots or tied into bigger stuff (Jason+Sepiaverse+Vyortovia+etc) as well, and right now they're both big and not tied in to other stuff as well. Maybe that's fine. Maybe that's just two more big arcs. I'm kind of waiting and seeing there.
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Doyce T.
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Bill G. said: My only concern with my larger plots is the implied urgency of them. Leo wants to parley with Vyortovia because they just attacked us twice in a few weeks' time, so presumably they are on the clock, and leaving a super-inventor in Rook's presumed hands can only end badly (and may hook into their hospital deal). Other than that, I'm happy with the listed priority. If there's anything I've asked for that could be solved on the side without compromising story, I'm happy to do that to make room in the regular sessions. Good points to raise. Vyortovia is ready to shift gears, because to an extent their window of opportunity for immediate action has closed. (All that stuff ties back to the HLL/Hecate as well, and there's ways that ties back into 5 and 6, so that's good. A preliminary conversation with Vyortovia can help address some of that and let them put some needs on the table. Also a conversation I had a with a friend about international politics illuminated some further ways Congress can be dumb in that arena, so yay? For the record, I'm aiming for multiple threads getting moved at once, so if, say, GG needs to go to the Amazon Basin to heal a wound, there's something related to 5 going on in the region as well.
While I'm happy to take on whatever plots get thrown out way, I'm also happy to let Alycia's spotlight be low for a little bit. She has a lot of logistics to figure out (between costumes, getting access to weaponry / gadgets, living / eating / money arrangements, etc.), and will be feeling her way into relationships, a new (masked) public role, probation, and so forth. Just let her know whom she's allowed to shoot. 
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Doyce T.
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Definitely keeping in mind that while Alicia is new Dave has just had a big character Arc. :-) Obviously the biggest challenge here is just making sure that everybody gets their stuff addressed with an appropriate level of urgency. It is a tricky Balancing Act for a group of five and a game like this.
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Doyce T.
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Okay, rephrasing these a bit: 1. The Wounds of the World (still the Sepiaverse, from another angle): Faces: Vyortovia, Rook, Doctor Infinity, Magus Everard, Sepiaverse, AEGIS, and Ghosts of the World. Non-exclusive and in no particular order. Plus the Keynome's potential involvement ties into #2. 2. Rainbow Warriors/Keynome: Faces: Sol's replacement/Concordance. Sablestar. Then, once you involve the Keynome,  Farlander, Rook, Vyortovia... and pretty much everyone else. With Great Power Come a Great Big Target On Your Back. 3. The Black Capes/AEGIS follies/Dark Superheroic Pasts: Faces: Rossum. Charade's Wrong Side of the Tracks Contacts. AEGIS. Hector [lastname]. Rook. SNOWMAN. 1337. Parker. Waters. Costigan. HHL. S.O.S. 4. Pandemonium Rising: Faces: Ghostheart. The Armiger Legacy. Ghosts. Charlotte's Living Friends.  I'm going to put a clock on this, to track it building up and rising up the list. 5. With our Brains Combined: Faces: Dominus. Doctor Infinity. Rook, probably. Another very short, repeating clock on this. ---------------------- Okay, I like this better, because it shows there the NPC character hooks are. We can see that while the Wounds of the World is the main thing I want to focus on at the moment, it's a "Vyortovia" thing, so it goes right to the urgency of that thread that Bill mentioned. It's all still addressing that issue. Also, by focusing on the Faces a bit more, it let me weave/combine some of the threads together, which makes the whole thing a lot more mentally manageable. My thoughts: 1 and 2 are the most demanding, both for IC and OOC reasons. 1. Is demanding attention from the Wounds side and the Vyortovia side, so that's going to push itself to the forefront. 2. Faces involved here are going to start acting, and damn any other complications. So that's a thing. Good chance that when a 6- comes up, I'm complicating 1 with people related to 2. 3. Scenes related to this will be the mortar between the bricks comprising 1 and 2. 4 and 5 aren't urgent, but I'm keeping an eye on them and clocking their boiling points.
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Doyce T.
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Another thought: The Vyortovia/Sepiaverse plot took a long while IN PART because it was linked somewhat to the clock on Jason's Doom - some stuff couldn't resolve there until he could buy that advance, you know? That's all fine - I have few regrets there, but I DO want to address stuff on these lists in shorter arcs: not novels, but 4 to 6 issues of the comic, you know, with the seeds of the next one coming in during the tail end of the previous. That's the goal. We'll see how it actually goes in play.
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Mike
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I'm smelling a need for some clocks.  Like some project clocks ( getting into contact with Vyortovia , tracking down the Hidden family , exploring the new base , etc.) and some tension clocks ( Rook's plan 3/4, the Wound bursting 2/8, etc.).  And put them front and center on the Roll20 so they can't be ignored or forgotten about.  Or maybe that would needlessly complicate something already fairly complicated.
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Doyce T.
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I've got them. There's just on a sheets of paper on my desk.
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Mike
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Ahh.  Did not know that. [ Personal preference tangent, feel free to skip over ] I've always been a fan of putting the clocks front when running games.  Much like the engine and the shield tracks in that Star Trek-like board game that I played at Dave's that I can't remember the name of at the moment, they give a sense of urgency to the players.  You glance over and that sense of dread washes over you, because you know something irrevocable is coming unless you do something.  Especially when those clocks tick and you've got no recourse to do anything about it.  "Yeah, I'm just putting this unnamed clock out here.  I wouldn't worry about it that much.  <twenty minutes later, responding to a player's action>  Hmm, interesting choice.  Well you did certainly did succeed with that 7-9 result <tick unnamed clock forward> so let's move on with the action..."
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Doyce T.
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You make a good point. :) I'll definitely see what I can do about that. :)
Mike said: I've always been a fan of putting the clocks front when running games.  Much like the engine and the shield tracks in that Star Trek-like board game that I played at Dave's that I can't remember the name of at the moment , they give a sense of urgency to the players.  You glance over and that sense of dread washes over you, because you know something irrevocable is coming unless you do something.  Especially when those clocks tick and you've got no recourse to do anything about it. "The Captain is Dead". Which really is a game all about ticking clocks, and trying to push the clock hands back, and people prematurely setting off your clocks, and being attacked by giant space clocks.
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Doyce T. said: 3. The Black Capes/AEGIS follies/Dark Superheroic Pasts: Faces: Rossum. Charade's Wrong Side of the Tracks Contacts. AEGIS. Hector [lastname]. Rook. SNOWMAN. 1337. Parker. Waters. Costigan. HHL. S.O.S. Charade's "Friends in Low Places" Contacts. Hector Callado
I'm good with the list -- Alycia definitely has hooks and interests in 1 and 3, and will doubtless get sucked into the others as part of being on the team and her own charming personality.
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I'm fine with keeping action rolling, and I'm a big fan of smaller, simpler arcs, as has been mentioned. I have only one request for the list. Let's make sure that the order we tackle stuff in has solid fictional footing. What do I mean by that?  Let's look at things from Leo's perspective for a moment: "About a month ago, I learned that my abusive biological father isn't in jail, as I'd been told, but is out on the loose. I learned this after he soldered a goddamn video file into my best friend's brain. My surrogate father, the guy in charge of putting that man in jail, has told me precisely nothing about this situation - in fact, I had to be the one to tell him. His organization has given me no accountability for how they let this man go free, and given that he's kidnapped me multiple times in the past, they've made no sign that they intend to protect me from it happening again." "The woman who either engineered his prison break, or is currently giving him shelter, is a known bad actor who knows my secret identity, and could tell it to who-knows-who if she wanted to sic some assassins or something on me. This could happen at any time. She also engineered the kidnapping and near-dissection of my best friend, which afforded my dad the aforementioned opportunity to traumatize her further. Her interest in my tech means she could make another attempt at that, at any time, and all my friends have been able to do is construct a paper-thin defense by acquiring legal personhood. That won't do anything if she, or they, get serious about capturing me." I don't really want to feel dread as a regular thing in this game. I feel urgency now , but I don't feel I'm at liberty (or able) to act on it. I feel a pressing burden now, and that will only get worse if I see a "Rossum does more badness" clock on the table, ticking down while we're in Australia or something. And that's not a good feeling. Okay. What would be a good example of fictional footing? What sort of thing would resolve this feeling? "Leo, we have some information for you. There's some kinda mole inside Rook. We're not sure how much we trust them yet. Apparently they're sympathetic to your father. Maybe a junior engineer, from what we've pieced together. Anyway, their intel is that he's being moved from site to site, to avoid us raiding Rook Industries and pinning this on Rosa Rook at last. If we lock down a pattern of movement, or get some other line on him, we'll let you and your team know. It could still be some kind of trick, and we're investigating that too. In the meantime, keep yourselves busy with whatever else you're doing, and stay ready. You're a good kid, I'd hate to lose you, so be careful." In short, as long as the reasons for a given priority order are clear in the fiction, I will always be good with that order.
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Doyce T.
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I want to make it clear that this numbering is "stuff I need to remember to get to."  If I turn to Leo and say "what do you do" and he calls Waters to say "okay dammit, we need to talk," then we jump to that stuff. I'm not avoiding that thread, there just hasn't been a lot of opportunity for me to get to it on my own unless someone offers to hold one of the chainsaws. And, cards on the table, number 1 slot is going where it is because that's the character who's gotten the least closure/development/change in the game so far, so I have to put it front of mind, to ensure I take steps to address that. That in no way precludes Leo (or Alycia or Adam or whoever) going after their pressing concerns, but if the spinner comes round to me, lacking any other input I'll look at my list and try to move that needle. But again, this is just my list, not anyone else's, and it doesn't mean I won't... let anyone do other stuff. I only posted it up to ensure I wasn't forgetting something; I'm not dictating terms. :)
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We actually did have Leo call Waters. You'd said that he had some info for Leo. That was the last I heard. What I'm not saying is "get to my plots first". What I am asking for is "give me a reason - no matter how short - why not". If you told me, right now, "Waters read you that paragraph on your call to him", I'd be satisfied.
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Doyce T.
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I .. think it was "i have info, but not over the phone." But yeah. It fell down a crack after that. :/
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Fortunately the crack is pretty shallow. :) Waters and Leo were at the "study hall" in issue 29, if you just want to say it happened there instead. He shouldn't have anything to say that would invalidate Issue 30 events (or I can work out reasons why it wouldn't), and that should leave Leo comfortably aimed at helping with GG etc.'s stories for awhile.