Player Run Plots Guide
'Plots' in Arx are storylines with a record of involvement for participants, events that occured to advance the plot, consequences that resulted, and any lore added to the game world in the course of telling the story. There are three varieties of plots: The first type is a crisis. Crises are large-scale plots that often affect the entire game world with open participation and that are advanced by staff at regular intervals. The second are staff/gm-run plots. Staff-Run Plots are smaller scale than a crisis and more focused, typically involving a particular group of players or an organization. Finally are player-run plots, which are created by players with staff approval to tell whatever story they choose.
Plots are created and controlled via the 'plots' command:
1. To create a plot, you'll use the 'plots/pitch' command, which creates a preliminary but dormant plot hidden away from mortal eyes while pending staff approval. If approved, hurrah! You are now the owner of a plot, and can invite people to it.
2. Recruiting people to a plot provides a small xp bonus to both parties - larger at first, and then quickly becoming nominal. Characters can be set as recruiters for a plot. Any character with a permission level of recruiter or higher should have a 'recruiter story' set. A recruiter story should be written as a reasonable way someone could discover the recruiter's involvement with that plot - it's the story hook for another character to approach them for a scene. Newcomers to a plot will find recruiter stories with the plots/findcontact command, which becomes available when staff grants them a secret tagged as a 'hook' to that plot. For player-run-plots, there's no obligation to invite someone to play if they don't seem like a good fit or if you happen to hate the player with every fiber of your being. For staff-run plots, however, it's probably best to talk with staff if it's someone you really don't want to be involved with, and we'll try to find a solution in which neither of you become gatekeepers to each others' stories.
3. Your next task, which you have no choice but to accept, is to record lore for your plot via the 'prpclue' and 'prprevelation' commands. The Revelation is the foundation; the entire backstory of your plot. Who the NPCs are, what they want, what events caused the plot to occur, or anything else that's relevant. Clues are the individual bits which provide context about your plot - notable npcs or events that might have caused it, or anything else which might be interesting for players to discover. Clues can be set to be discovered via investigation, or you may alternately award them to players during the course of the plot, such as when they have an expository chat with a long-winded treant or choose to conduct an autopsy on a demon's still-twitching corpse.
4. The plots command allows you to record the advancement of a plot by creating 'beats', which are a summary of anything that happened. These are the real meat of plots. A beat could be about an rp event run for the plot, an action that was submitted to staff to resolve, or a flashback to record something that happened in the past for a non-linear story. Typically, these will be events created with the 'cal' command and set to be related to the plot. Right now, GM powers for players are very limited, which constrains you to asking people for rolls via the 'check' command and using the 'harm' command to show results for failures. Before too long, we'll try to add more tools for automated combat and control of npcs and environmental effects for GMs who have proven that they won't arbitrarily kill player characters while laughing maniacally, but until then we'll muddle through with a consensus on what seems fair.
5. Once a beat has been recorded, you can make a request to staff for game changes via the 'rfr' command, which stands for 'request for review'. You can ask for essentially anything, such as someone acquiring a cool scar in a vicious duel fought over which Abandoned House with 'Storm' in its name is superior, or being followed by a cheerful formorian retainer named Urglash the Relentlessly Perky, or slowly being devoured from the inside out by a magical curse.
Note: Because we don't want to force PRP GMs to continually ask whether something is appropriate or thematic while running events and drag things to a standstill, there'll generally be a 'better to ask forgiveness than permission' rule for plots. This does mean that things will occasionally be retconned if something just isn't thematic, or altered in ways either large or small. Try not to take it personally if something gets changed, since the amount of game-lore is beyond the capability of any one person to remember or keep consistent and restructuring the database for it to be searchable in a logical way was a task that caused Sisyphus to stop, peer over, and simply say, "Dude."