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Thread: Dr Tiny's online story guide - OOC

  1. #1

    Post Dr Tiny's online story guide - OOC

    ver 1.01

    What is this guide for?
    This guide is designed to give hints and tips on running an online adventure for a group of players. It is not a set of hard and fast rules but I will try to give over some tricks and tips to help you survive this arduous yet rewarding past time. An online storyteller has a similar role to that of the Games/Dungeon Master in traditional tabletop games. The process of online adventuring is somewhat similar to a tabletop adventure ie having a plot but there are a number of obvious differences such as your group is not sitting around you at the table but can be thousands of miles away.

    Who are you writing for?
    This is your first question, your target group of players. This could be a single online companion, your guild or even a number of guilds. You have to build your sense of scale according to the target group. I mainly write stories for my guild, Desert Winds, to take part in. Once you have your target group try to tailor your story according to their interests. I will use DW as an example here. Desert Winds are a group of terrorist eco-warrior types and as such our stories and events will generally cater to this interest, for example we once took part in a story about a virus originating on the shores of Newland Lake. However, do not fall into writing the same type of story it can very interesting to throw in some random ideas to ****e things up.

    Lets make a story
    This is quite a general title and one that will have quite a long discussion as an answer.
    Last edited by Dr Tiny; Apr 24th, 2003 at 17:38:08.
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
    Known applicant of Third Faction
    Warning! Record is being accessed by an external source of unknown origin.
    Recovering file

    be on your guard pilgrim
    File ends

  2. #2
    1. What is Anarchy Online?
    Anarchy Online (AO) is the game world your story will occur in. Your story MUST keep faith with the background and present setting of AO. Here Funcom is the ultimate gamesmaster, they dictate the universe and its laws to us the players. A rewarding story will utilize the background information of AO as its basis, it may not present it to the players but it must recognize the overarching conflict present on Rubi-Ka. Lets take some time to briefly look at the main players here.

    A gigantic hyper-corporation with unlimited resources, they control their employees with Orwellian zeal. Omni-Tek has the legal leasehold to Rubi-Ka and has opened a local branch, OT-RK, to run the mining operations on the planet. OT-RK is run by Philip Ross and is composed of several sub divisions such as Omni-Pol, Omni Armed Forces (AF) and Omni-Med to name three of the better known. There can be a myriad of more secretive groups in the company though. For example one story I wrote involved a group called MACH. MACH was a secret project and as such would be unknown to all but the highest-ranking Omni-Tek officials. I could therefore introduce this group without disturbing the hierarchy of Omi-Tek. Other groups such as Omni-Med could have performed the same operations as MACH but in my story MACH had to be shut down, this could not happen to say Omni-Med unless Funcom says so.
    All Omni-Tek personnel are employees, they work for Omni-Tek either directly or indirectly ie Omni-Tek may have hired them for a task through a third party or they may be supporters of the company for some reason. Player run Omni-Tek departments can generally be viewed as departments within the corporation, they are generally smaller than the NPC departments eg Omni-Pol, and will have less impact on Omni-Tek policy (generally) than the NPC groups.

    The Clans
    The Clans were born from revolution and the mistreatment the notum miners suffered when working for Omni-Tek. Nowadays they are a powerful political voice on Rubi-Ka, roughly 50% of the planets population is under the rule of the clans. The Council of Truth once controlled the clans but that has recently disbanded leaving the clans to go their separate way to some extent. The most powerful clans eg The Sentinels are run by Funcom. The player clans are assumed to be much smaller in power and political clout than the NPC clans. By their very nature The Clans are very diverse in their aims. They range from political activists who work peacefully to groups who want to wage all out war. There is a lot of scope to create a Clan to do pretty much what you want in your story should you need.

    The neutrals are neither Omni employees nor are they aligned with The Clans. The Neutrals exist for a number of different purposes from charities out to help civilians caught up in the war through mercenaries and then groups with extreme political views. Neutrals are allegedly under the legal protection of Omni-Tek but are very protective of their independence from the corporation. Recently mercenaries were hired to protect the city of Newland from perceived aggression from the Sentinels. The most diverse group on Rubi-Ka, anything goes in the neutral world with regards to protagonists for your stories.

    The ICC
    A group of corporations, including Omni-Tek, that functions similar to the UN of today. Its major role is to ensure galactic prosperity, which includes the free trade of notum to the galaxy. They have a HQ in Andromeda and have stationed peacekeeping forces across Rubi-Ka in an attempt to stabilise the situation on the planet. The ICC has recently deregulated mining on Rubi-Ka so any group has the right to claim a stake and mine for notum.

    These are the groups from which your players and story characters can come from. This is a rich heritage on which to draw inspiration.

    The Rubi-Kan legacy
    Your stories will occur on Rubi-Ka so we must consider Rubi-Ka herself. Rubi-Ka is the planet on which AO is set. It was a lifeless planet* that was discovered and colonized by Omni-Tek. About 800 years before present day AO Omni-Tek took the trouble to terraform the planet so it was habitable to humans, currently only a small portion of Rubi-Ka is habitable and the rest of the planet is lethal to humans. Rubi-Ka is fought over by the Clans and Omni-Tek with the neutrals, generally, caught in the middle. Rubi-Ka is the only planet in the universe that has the mysterious element called notum.

    *It is obvious with the release of Shadowlands that this notion is in fact incorrect.

    Notum is a substance that allows nanotechnology to function far more efficiently on Rubi-Ka than anywhere else in the universe. Somehow the notum enhances the nanobots so they can function outside of the human body for long periods of time. Notum can be mined and shipped off planet allowing nanotechnology elsewhere to function better than it had. Until recently Omni-Tek had a monopoly on the shipping and selling of all notum, this is the reason for Omni-Tek’s power in the galaxy.

    So that is a very brief background to AO, Rubi-Ka and her politics. More details can be found by reading the official back-story Prophet Without Honour.

    Taking this background into account when you write an AO story is important, you must pay homage to and stay consistent with it.
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
    Known applicant of Third Faction
    Warning! Record is being accessed by an external source of unknown origin.
    Recovering file

    be on your guard pilgrim
    File ends

  3. #3
    2. The Game World
    Rubi-Ka is the tapestry on which your stories will come to life. It is a very rich world full of huge cities, small villages, military bases, castles, plains and mountains. Everything you could possibly need is here to be used. Strange beasts walk the plains, armed guards patrol mysterious outposts, transports fill the sky and huge cannons blast notum off world. There are a number of resources you can use as ‘sets’ for your stories. I heartily recommend exploring each zone as each place has something of interest in it.

    Cities cover the world and each one has a different ‘feel’ and history. Omni-1 is the headquarters of OT-RK and is a large dark forbidding city full of guards and ‘big brother’ type messages and billboards. Tir the capital of the clans is more run down the Omni-1, it is controlled by the Sentinels and contains the old Council of Truth building. The cities have places of interest such as bars and clubs and various shops.

    Towns and villages
    Small settlements cover Rubi-Ka as various groups set up base. Like the cities they have a different look , they have many of the facilities as the cities. Not all the villages are run by humans and some have been abandoned.

    These are the real gem of Rubi-Ka. Obscure military and scientific outposts can be found everywhere. Each of these can be utilized with a little imagination. Omni-Tek and the Clans have military outposts, there are research centers, bronto farms and so on. Again I recommend exploring to see what you can find and then spend sometime thinking on how to use them.

    Yes the common or garden mission has great RP potential, you can create a mission in any zone and use it as you need. There are several types of mission
    Brown cave – all the rooms will be cavey and brown with vine doors. Found out of towns
    Grey Cave – a very diverse set of rooms, from underground temples to strange corridors and huge caverns, multi level walkways etc etc. They make great mines and secret bases.
    Office – the rooms will be of an office feel and generally ‘samey’, typical Broken Shores fodder.
    White Office – the RP office equivalent of the grey cave. Lots of diverse rooms from computer banks, hanger bays, science labs etc etc.

    Grey caves and White offices are great for using and have a lot of potential.

    It is possible to hide player run NPCs in missions for your players to 'find' calm your way in and clean the area around the room they will be in so the mobs dont 'eat' them.

    Static Missions
    Static missions are similar to missions except they never move and anyone can enter them without a key. There are many all over and can be used for a number of reasons eg the office building in Athen can be used as a meeting place, a cave system can be used as base for criminals or as a disused mine. They are useful tools.

    Plenty of these range from crashed ships to rhino villages. Agains explore to see what you can find as there are too many to mention.

    Dungeons can be a great addition to any story. They are well designed (generally) full of mobs and uniques, the type is dependent on the dungeon They will always have the same floor plan whenever you enter them. The current dungeons are:

    Steps of Madness – Omni Forest
    SoM is the physical representation of a deranged metaphysicist’s mind.

    Foremans/Biomare – Longest Road
    An Omni-Tek mine with secrets Omni-Tek would rather keep hidden.

    Subway – Borealis, Athen and Omni-1
    The abandoned subway system is now home to reclaim technology mutants.
    Max level to enter is 25, going to be full of loot hunters.

    Temple of the three winds – Greater Tir Country
    A mysterious cult has a temple in GTC.
    Max level to enter is 60, going to be full of loot hunters.

    Camelot – Avalon
    Camelot castle is home to a clan of knights, down in the basement is a big lizard they test their martial skills on.
    PvP dungeon, going to be full of loot hunters.

    Smuggler’s Den – Borealis
    The smuggling ring has its HQ in Borealis but their tunnels seem to have angered a mantis hive.

    The above can be successfully used in any story and will provide background or adventuring locations for your story to occur in.
    Last edited by Dr Tiny; Apr 24th, 2003 at 17:49:19.
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
    Known applicant of Third Faction
    Warning! Record is being accessed by an external source of unknown origin.
    Recovering file

    be on your guard pilgrim
    File ends

  4. #4
    3. The Story itself
    We have covered a lot of background, but so far I haven’t discussed story-writing tips.

    A. Suspension of disbelief
    We are all at home at our PCs and we all know that. But a succesful story relies on you and your players suspending disbelief. This takes a conscious effort by everyone involved wanting to have fun and enjoy the story.

    B. Maintain Atmosphere
    It is your job as a story teller to use the background and environment to maintain atmosphere, keep in mind what Rubi-Ka is and what the major players are up to. How does this impact your story eg you cant have an Omni-Pol base in Tir, you could have a secret underground group of rebels in Omni-1 though.

    C. Be consistent
    Consistency is everything, be consistent with the game world eg the clans will not make a truce with OT in your story but you may have a diplomat who wants to work towards that.

    D. Major Characters
    By major characters I mean people like Philip Ross, don’t use these people in your story and don’t create close relationships between your characters and them eg orders from Ross to the leader of an Omni Org is acceptable, being his secret love child is not. Your story concerns your fellow players and the NPCs you have made.

    E. Player Characters
    Your players characters are their creation, do not force them to do things that are against their nature just to further your story eg don’t make a pacifist assassinate someone as a key event, however the dilemma this creates could be used. Think how your fellow players use their characters and try to include situations in your story that will challenge and entertain them. In the general scheme of things your players are not on the same level as eg Philip Ross, keep this in mind.

    F. Non players characters
    These are your creation, they are a part of the story and you or a helpful volunteer will control them. Your players will interact with them. The planning that goes into them will be dependent on how central to the story they will be eg a street urchin requires little thought while a major protagonist will require a lot of work. What are his/her goals and what will they do to achieve them? Give your NPC props such as clothing and items to hold, this will add to the suspension of disbelief. It is your manipulation of NPCs that will tell the story to your players so plan them well. If you need to then recruit someone to help you out. Explain their parts in detail and don’t be afraid to take suggestions if you think they will work. But remember the story is your baby.
    give your NPCs-
    props and the correct clothing for their 'work',
    a way of behaving that makes them interestring for the players to interact with,
    try to give each npc a particualt style of talking, eg an atrox my have "red a buk" while a nanomage may have "perused the article in question". This simple trick fixes in your mind who you are playing and keeps you IC. especially useful if you have many NPCs.

    G. Draw up your plot
    Plan your story out, it is often far better to have an idea of the general direction of your story. Who are the protagonists, how do they impact on your players world, how can they be stopped or aided. Keep the plot consistent with the world eg a super secret Omni-Tek experiment will be known by someone in OT and should it go loose OT would make moves to silence things.
    Your plot need be nothing more than a single side of paper but it should contain everything you need to know to keep things going and clear in your head.
    Remember no battle plan survives its first meeting with the enemy ie your characters will take things down unexpected avenues. Encourage them to do so but gently remind them of the plot so they stick with it.

    H. Don’t panic and have fun!

    Resouces to maintain the story
    There are several resources available to maintain the story pace. You should consider using them all to keep your story flowing.

    Keep regular updates of your story and story event reports there. This allows new people joining in to get up to speed and also allows everyone to remember exactly what has happened and how it fits together. Also they make good reading

    Chat Client
    You can hold conversations here when person-to-person contact for the talk is not needed eg coms communications or hacking a PC. The AO database remembers the names of all your characters so you can create an NPC and delete them yet still keep them for the chat client.

    AORC is a program that allows you to create refernces for objects you 'invent' for you story. Eg need a hypoerpolarised calibration woogle? well fire up AORC and create one. You will not get a physical ingame item but will have a refernce to show in conversations/emotes etc. You can email this files about.

    RP items
    There are items in game that have no useful purpose except for RP. they are often found as pick ups in missions. examples are contained sensitive information, wierd looking bombs and so on. Collect a stock of these as they are always useful to have.

    Web pages
    Got some HTML skill and web space, then why not create some pages especially for your story eg a large map or lengthy documents. Yuo could even hide hints and clues here so the players have to work out from the web page what to do next or where to go online next.

    This is a work in progress by DrTiny and is subject to revision, any errors are my own. Suggestions are welcome.
    Last edited by Dr Tiny; Apr 24th, 2003 at 17:40:03.
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
    Known applicant of Third Faction
    Warning! Record is being accessed by an external source of unknown origin.
    Recovering file

    be on your guard pilgrim
    File ends

  5. #5
    I encourage you all to read the following article from Funcom
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
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    be on your guard pilgrim
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  6. #6

    Thumbs up OOC: Nice!

    This deserves a couple of bumps, so here they come:

    Bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump...

    Nice peace of work Doc. Let's hope this will encourage people to tread the path of RP some more. I think we all could do with a bit less tower kicking and a bit more fun RP.

    Keep up the good work!
    Marcos "Yarko" Orender
    co-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Newland City Council
    Advisor of The Independent Rubikans

    Rubi-Ka's neutral news source: The Independent Rubikan

  7. #7
    thanks Yarko, i might even forgive you for calling me a soapless, tree hugging, deserting terrorist

    anyway, updated to ver 1.01
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
    Known applicant of Third Faction
    Warning! Record is being accessed by an external source of unknown origin.
    Recovering file

    be on your guard pilgrim
    File ends

  8. #8


    Originally posted by Dr Tiny
    thanks Yarko, i might even forgive you for calling me a soapless, tree hugging, deserting terrorist
    He forgot Bologna juice smelling and dirt loving just to name 2.

    Bump for an excellent piece of work that imho is stick worthy.
    Bliqz, Agent, Omni, Atlantean, "Iron Chef of Rubi-Ka"
    God is a bullet.

    ((The IC only RP forum is back. Bliqz is an Omni Extremist, and his posts IN THAT FORUM reflect that attitude. I can be reached by PM if you feel I have personaly offended you, and I will be happy to change/temper my post. Thank you, and have fun!))

  9. #9
    Wow! Excellent work with this!
    The Deacon of Doom

  10. #10
    *bump* ( must have missed this when it first came out, excellent stuff )
    Dabblez - Rubi-Ka Universal Robots (RUR)
    We put the Art into Artificial Intelligence!

  11. #11
    thankyou for your kind words people

    In the process of updating this, hopefully that will come out over the weekend.
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
    Known applicant of Third Faction
    Warning! Record is being accessed by an external source of unknown origin.
    Recovering file

    be on your guard pilgrim
    File ends

  12. #12
    Originally posted by Dr Tiny
    thankyou for your kind words people

    In the process of updating this, hopefully that will come out over the weekend.
    Any chance you could tell us which weekend ?

    Nice work for an unwashed treehugger

  13. #13
    Someone should make this a sticky.
    Charles 'Kithrak' Houston - Equipment
    Administrator, Omni-Admin
    Bringing the politics of Rubi-Ka to life!

    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster....when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you..." -Friedrich Nietzsche-

    "By denying support to the possibility of peace, the Council of Truth is guranteeing an outcome of war."-Administrator Houston-

  14. #14
    *bump bump*

    Anyone interested in running a story should read this as the Doc knows what he's talking about. He has run several stories for the guild and each of them a success

    Another *bump* for the good Doc

    *hands over some soap*
    President Anisha "Trisagiona" Kenley of the Desert Winds

    "Here is the price of freedom:
    Your every drop of courage,
    ounce of pain, pint of blood.
    Paid in advance."

  15. #15
    A very very nice guide. Root it, Cz!
    Katelin "Missmaul" Locknane -Sloooowly climbing her way out of the dank pits of gimpness. But stil crazy. Ya know...just in case you cared.

  16. #16
    Rooted! Excellent. This is a very good guide.
    Dabblez - Rubi-Ka Universal Robots (RUR)
    We put the Art into Artificial Intelligence!

  17. #17
    Woot, I’m not alone!

    My name is Chris, or in AO Ryha. I am the Role Playing Event coordinator for the Clan Valor Eternal. I'd like to tell you a little about what I have been doing and then make a couple of requests.

    I create and organize RP events for my clan... very much in the way Dr Tiny described above.

    At this point you may be saying 'yah yah we all do that...or any case let me give an example:

    One of the first events that I ran was the kidnapping of the daughter of a Miir Executive. I set up the kidnapping by posting a Grid feed article reporting her disappearance a week before the event. In the following days I posted a description of the kidnapping through the victims eyes and then a character background for the kidnapper and then one for the informant that would get my clan involved.

    On the day of the event the informant contacted the clan and requested a meeting. I created an alt to play as the informant. Several clan members interrogated the informant and found out that he had stumbled on the location of the kidnapper. I then switched to a second alt representing the kidnaper and waited for the players to find him. When they did he negotiated with them for a ransom. They demanded to see the kidnapped girl, I then switched to another alt representing the victim. After speaking with the girl, who I RPed as being trapped in a force field, they again met with the kidnaper. When they refused to give him the demanded ransom (1 million credits) he reveled to them that the entire kidnapping had been a ruse to draw out and identify dangerous clans. The kidnapper and his shadowy department have become the primary villain in the plotlines that I have been writing.

    After the completion of an event I write an account of the events and post logs of the best parts of the RP so that those who did not participate in the events can follow the storyline. I also post to the storylines being written by the other members of the clan to introduce unifying elements to their plots.

    So I'm posting here today because until now I have been working pretty much in isolation. I have been in a lot of orgs in a lot of games, but it is only in the past few months that I have begun running events. I would like to know if any of you, or your orgs are doing anything similar. (I’m assuming at least DrTiny is) If there is anyone else out there running org events like mine I would like to meet with all of you and exchange notes at the very least. Ideally I would like to start to work with you to weave our stores together and give Anarchy the involving moving plotline that its rich setting and back-story deserve.

    If your clan does not have anyone running events I would like to invite you to participate in one of VE's events. Just send me an email and I'll work you in. I would also be happy to work with anyone who wants to try running events for their clan (I have more ideas for events than I will ever be able to run).

    In any case if you or your clan is interested in role playing I hope I hear from you.

    -Ryha (Chris A Barney)

  18. #18
    Very nice guide, unsure how i didnt see it... ohh wait... i was in a forrest at the time (army joke)

    Noce to see this, very good, but i am a bit unsure if its for player events or stories?

    Cause my own is almost finished, and some of the info i had for it are going directly against some of the info u have Tiny
    "It's your life. Keep it up! Keep it real!"

  19. #19
    thanks for the comments everyone

    the guide is mainly an outline to inspire players to do events/stories as I think there are similarities in how they are set up and run. ITs by no means a hard and fast list ans if you want to ignore everything and go your own way then do so, its a game and played for fun
    Omni-Pol intelligence report for Peregrinus Praecautus
    Known applicant of Third Faction
    Warning! Record is being accessed by an external source of unknown origin.
    Recovering file

    be on your guard pilgrim
    File ends

  20. #20

    Re: OOC

    Originally posted by Bliqz
    imho is stick worthy.
    Now, Would that be the 'Nerf Stick (tm)' or the 'Ban Stick (tm)'?

    hehe, j/k, Awesome compilation there Tiny.

    Benjamin "Fixerben" Bacarella - L212 AL10
    Haywood "Brawlking" Jablomy - L220 AL21

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