PersonaMUSH features numerous personal narratives that sometimes expand and draw in those of others in dramatic and dynamic ways. While these expansions don't always leave permanent marks on the setting, they inevitably have a lasting effect on those whom they touch.
This phenomenon is OOCly known as a TP.
A TP, or tinyplot, is a storyline that takes elements of the setting and population and uses them to create exciting events that leave changes to both in its wake. Invariably, while TPs tend to have a single source, those others who become involved help create from that initial idea or event something larger than themselves. The whole is truly more than the sum of a TP's parts.
While both staff and players can run TPs, this file is concerned with the latter. Not all TPs require this application-- short, personal storylines that use well-defined elements of the theme dont require an application-- but those who wish to run wider-scope TPs which are projected to be long (longer than a week), or to have a significant or long-lasting impact on the grid, or which draw heavily on unique uses of the theme must fill out and submit this application to the firstname.lastname@example.org box. As with character applications, TP applications may require revision before approval, and will be subject to the same standards of theme integrity.
Name: Your name, as well as those of any co-conspirators.
Plot Title: This field is optional. If your plot has a cool name, feel free to put it here; otherwise, don't worry about it. Not every plot will have one.
Expected Duration: How long you intend for the plot to last. Note that this field carries with it a certain amount of tentativeness as, for various reasons, even the best organised and most tightly scheduled plots can stretch beyond -- or fall short of -- their runner's expectations. Three to four weeks is common for player-run plots, with a typical upper limit of seven to eight weeks. Plots that are projected to run longer than that will be scrutinised more heavily by TP staff, and may require trimming before approval.
Important Characters: Any NPCs critical to the plot. Generally it's best to keep the number of these small, in order to avoid a plot primarily driven by NPCs. Note the role of each character in a small blurb of one to three or four sentences, though you may write more or elaborate elsewhere if necessary. Note also that Persona-user/Shadow-Possessed NPCs are rare, and provisions for such will be scrutinized heavily.
Theme Concerns: What elements of the PersonaMUSH setting are you planning to make use of? Will your TP will be introducing new elements to the setting and, if so, what are they? The introduction of new setting elements is, naturally, not prohibited, but any and all projected additions will be scrutinised more closely by TP staff, and may require modification before approval. Existing elements include but are not limited to: the Abyss of Time, Mikage-cho, Tartarus, any iteration of the Dark Hour, demons, and Shadows. New elements include but are not limited to: new NPCs, new artifacts or technology, and new on-grid locations.
Outline: Please provide a solid explanation of how the plot is to begin, a more general description of how it's going to proceed, and some options for its endgame. Plots, along with most anything else, do not survive contact with the playerbase; do not be surprised -- or alarmed -- if something a player or players do reroutes or derails entirely one or more of your plans. It is for this reason that we do not require, and in fact discourage, intricately detailed outlines and scene plans. Instead, we prefer to see that you have a good grasp on what you're doing in a more general sense.
Staff Support: What will you need from us? NPC charbits, custom armour forms, grid modifications, a staffside boss- or NPC-runner -- all of that goes here. You need not include statistical specifics here; once your TP is approved, you may instead submit those details in the form of a +request. Note that while we are glad to assist you should you require it, it is generally best for you to run your own NPCs and bosses. TP applications requesting a great deal of staff support in this manner will be scrutinised more heavily, and may require revision in this area before approval. Generally, we prefer new locations to take the form of player-created objects, but if absolutely necessary TP staff will gladly @dig rooms for you once furnished with their names and descriptions. An applicant who is skilled enough to code their required on-grid locations themselves may do so under the supervision of TP staff.
Once your TP application is complete, please send it to the appbox (email@example.com) with the heading <Your Name> - TP Application - <TP Name>.
Additional tips on the drafting of TPs may be found on the next page.
These tips are aimed particularly toward those who are just starting out in their TP running careers, but are relevant to runners of all experience levels.
1.) Don't become too attached to your proposed elements, or indeed the basic plotline itself. Just as no plot survives contact with the playerbase, it is unlikely any given TP app will be approved without first undergoing some amount of revision. This is not a failure on the part of the applicant, and is not personal; it's simply a natural consequence of staff possessing information to which the playerbase is not privy. Be flexible.
2.) Do look for ways to split up or limit the number of participants should it become necessary. Don't be afraid to cap attendance at or ask for RSVPs prior to the date of your scenes, either.
3.) Show, don't tell. Engage people with your NPCs; don't merely inform them of why they should care and then expect them to do so. This does not mean your NPCs need to be onscreen at all times, of course. Often, the "less is more" approach truly is best.
4.) Do work out your scheduling ahead of time, and be flexible when doing so. Have a backup plan in the event unforeseen circumstances crop up to disrupt even the most carefully scheduled scene, even if that's simply a night in mind to which you can reschedule.
5.) Do not depend upon players taking specific actions in order to move the plot or scene along. In particular, do not press players into taking specific actions in order to move the plot or scene along. This is commonly called "railroading," and noticeably diminishes the agency players have in propelling scenes and plots. Instead, give strong clues and have a backup plan ready in case they aren't observed -- or are outright ignored.
6.) Do aim for scenes to end around midnight EST, as that tends to be when players begin to lose steam -- especially if it's a weeknight. Try to have things proceeding toward a wrap-up at 11 PM, and plan for a spillover night if necessary.
7.) Do remember that the ultimate purpose of a plot is to engage and spotlight others, so do your best to be inclusive. It's perfectly acceptable to run a scene or plot geared toward a specific target audience (for example, a faction, a city, or a school), but have a plan in case people outside your target audience arrive and ask to participate. If it does become necessary, remember that if you feel someone's presence would be disruptive or distracting, it is your prerogative to ask them to bring a different alt or to leave altogether.
8.) Do remember that running a plot is a difficult, stressful, and often thankless undertaking. Be prepared to do much of the work yourself, and to field complaints and criticism both merited and baseless. Try not to take it personally, because it usually isn't personal.