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Episodic, Nonepisodic, or combination plots?

Started by sirogit, April 14, 2004, 02:51:22 AM

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For my Demon Cops game, I'm not quite sure how to treat the plot.

Initially, I'm quite attracted to the idea of Episodic self-contained stories per session, as is recommended in the Demon Cops book.

But I was also attracted to the idea of a overarching story line. If I had to choose one, I'd think I'd want the game to be Episodic, as I normally go with nonepisodic plots and Demon Cops provides a sensible reason to deviate from my norm.

But would it be possible to do both? For every session to be a complete story in and of itself, while still fufilling meaningfull development for the game as a whole? Would one of the types of story suffer because of the maintence of the other?

If try to do both, a few things I'd wonder:
1. Kickers. Would it best for these to focus on things that can be resolved in the short term or the long term?
2. Would it be at all feasible to have two Kickers, one for a short-term issue and one for a long-term issue?

Also, I was considering applying the sequence of storytelling elements outlined in Demon Cops to both the long term and the short term, so that in the long term story:

1st quarter: A 'Kicker' like event occurs.
2nd Quarter: All hooks of the story are into place.
3rd Quarter: A relevant character is endangered.
4th Quarter: The conflict is resolved.

This only applying for the long term story, in other words, a character that is important for only one episode could appear past the 2nd quarter, but wouldn't suddenly rearrange the story line.

Obviously, the decision would be alterable by what the players want, but I'm suspecting non-expierinced players so I'd like to have a firmer grasp on what is and isn't a good idea story-wise before presenting it to them.

Mike Holmes

Quote2. Would it be at all feasible to have two Kickers, one for a short-term issue and one for a long-term issue?
This is what I'd do. I'm not certain whether or not it matches the Demon Cops aesthetic, but I am sure that it would work given the right care and handling. And I'd really like to see what the cross-polinization of the kickers would produce in terms of play.

I'd probably also leave this up to the players. I mean, maybe not all of them have the long term kickers. If they all did, that would be a lot going on.

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I'll mention in passing that Babylon 5 proved you can do "episodic" and "overarching plot" at the same time. It should be possible in RPGs as well...
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