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How to Organise and Run a Successful RP Event


First off, let me say that what I say here is by no means the be all and end all of organised RP. This is simply the system I used, and the way I operate. I have now run two reasonably large server events using, the second with almost twice as many people as the first. They seemed to be well appreciated. :)

I’ve created this thread in response to requests in the RP Appreciation Thread, as well as several whispers I’ve received in-game.

Organising an RP event is a reasonably involved undertaking. There are a number of factors you have to take into account in order to create a successful venture. I’m going to list them below as best I can.

1. First of all, if you want to involve people outside your guild, you need to build up a server presence. That means making your character is known to such a degree that a decent number of people find them intriguing, interesting, or fun to RP with.

You also need to consider your OOC presence. People need to be able to trust you with their own characters – they need to know you’re not going to try and push them into situations they’re not comfortable with.

I started getting to know the RP community on Jovia in late December, and from that point I began building relationships IC and OOC with people while slowly progressing my own plot. The entire process, from start to finish, took approximately four months.

2. The objective of any organised or event RP should be for the players involved to leave feeling satisfied afterwards. This means that if you’ve built up an antagonist, that antagonist needs to lose, and lose hard at some point.

Remember, while the story may revolve around your character, it’s brought to life by the characters who are willing to be involved – it’s your responsibility to make sure they ‘win’ or prevail in the end.

While certain results can be pre-determined, it’s also a good idea to leave the final resolution largely in the hands of your fellow players. Nobody wants to confront the big bad, only to have Mr Thisismyplot SuperJedi chop his head off before anyone else can do anything.  In my case, the players determined the fate of my central antagonist – my character had no say in the matter.

3. Something else to consider is to make sure your personal story RP doesn’t dominate conversation outside of your events. Not every character will care about what’s going on with your character, and not every player will be involved in said events. Therefore, it’s useful to leave breaks between any major story occurrences and to try and avoid talking about your own problems or issues all the time.

4. When running an event, you’re going to have to make a decision about the number of people you want involved. 5 players or less will make it fairly intimate, 6-15 somewhat more epic. I wouldn’t recommend any more than 15 players, as you’ll begin to run into the issue of losing control and momentum.

It might not sound like a lot of work, but answering the whispered queries of even 10 players while pushing the plot forward, providing IC impetus and response and making sure everyone feels like they’re important is no easy task.

The exception to this is an event which is more competition than dramatic RP. You can handle larger numbers of people when they need to, for example, go on a scavenger hunt for items.

5. Utilise the resources available to you. Split your players into separate party groups in a larger operation group in the event that they are split up IC. You can then transfer your own character between party groups to relay information.

Create your own IC (or OOC) event channel, for use during your event. Don’t spam the official RP channel – you only want to be talking to the people involved to avoid confusion.

Find locations in game that can represent the location you actually desire. For my event, I needed an abandoned space station. There was a relatively secluded area on Corellia that had precisely that feel (if you ignored the sky overhead ^^). Do some scouting ahead of time and then use your imagination to transport your players to that destination.

6. Set your players challenges that influence the outcome of the event. In mine, I split the players into three groups – one tasked with a rescue mission, one with disabling security measures, and another making a push towards the central objective.

Using SWTOR’s now in-built /roll system and a little imagination, you can create challenges that actually utilise elements of success and failure. I created a large spider-like droid for players to overcome, using the following system:

Each player rolled to determine the order in which they’d act. They would then /emote an action that they wanted to undertake in regards to combating the droid or protecting each other. Following the RP descriptive, they would /roll.

On a 1-30, the roll was consider a failure, and the droid would make a mockery of their intentions, and perhaps disable or wound someone.

On a 31-69, their action was a success, but did little to slow the droid down.

On a 70-100, their action was considered a crit, and severely damaged or inconvenienced the droid.

This is a relatively simple system that you can adopt and adapt as need be which provides players with an actual sense of success and defeat based on their rolls. As awesome as it is to crit and slowly whittle away the enemy’s ‘hitpoints’, it can be just as dramatic (or indeed hilarious) when someone manages to fail.

As the person running the event, it’s your job to provide IC response according to player rolls and what was attempted. Reward success (and inventive RP), and provide consequences for failure.

If all of the above sounds like it’s a lot of effort, and rather complicated…well, it is

But, if you put the effort in, you’ll find the results are more than worth it, not only for your character and story, but your IC and OOC relationships with your fellow players. Not only will you progress your own character, you’ll provide growth and experience for other PC’s who may never have earned that opportunity otherwise.

If people have any questions, feel free to post them in this thread, or whisper me in game.

Sciran, if you could sticky this, I will give you many greetings, er, I mean hugs.

Quick question Jovia:

In your last event how many "hit points" did you give the boss? Do you feel it was too many or just right?

I set a point, and then I alter it based on the amount of crits and fails the group rolls.

8 crits has been where I've set both 'spiders' in prior events, and I stretched the most recent one to 9 to ensure all 16 people would get a chance to have at least two actions :)

It's all about being adaptable. When your players ask you if they can do something, unless it's entirely unreasonable, the answer should always be yes. This is why I let several people take the fall/damage for others who rolled poorly, and allowed Zullia to reprogram the smaller spiders, etc etc.


--- Quote from: Jovia on 06/16/12, 11:37:57 AM ---Sciran, if you could sticky this, I will give you many greetings, er, I mean hugs.

--- End quote ---

I laughed. A lot. :D

Sticky requested, sticky granted.


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