GETTING PLOTS FOR DUMMIES
So you've joined a new game, and you're excited to get things going, but you're not really sure how to do it. Don't worry, it's easy! Here's a little guide to help you get going.
POST A PLOT REQUST
This probably sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but in order to get plots, you have to let people know that you want them. While it's sometimes okay to ask for plots in the c-box, it's generally a place where people have other conversations, and you don't want to completely take over with your request for people to play with.
But how do you write a good plot request? Most of the time, it should include a quick rundown of your character, so people get a preview of your character to get the juices flowing. If you want to link your application and give them the option to read that too, that's great.
Something that really helps people along when they're replying to your plot request, is if you sit down and think about what kind of plots you want to play. Perhaps you'd love for your character to get involved in a car accident, or maybe you want your college boy to get involved with a cougar? Include your ideas for potential plots in your request, and people will be more likely to reply if they have a character that fits the bill. Coming up with brilliant ideas can be, as we all probably know, very difficult, and existing players have the added disadvantage of having a lot of new characters that they have to plot with, not just yours. In addition, they don't know your character like you do, and they might be afraid to suggest things, so any help you can offer them is probably going to be appreciated.
POST IN OTHER PEOPLE'S PLOT REQUESTS
A lot of people arrive at a new site, post a plot request, and then they sit back and wait, thinking they've done their bit. While posting a plot request of your own is a great start, it's even better if you are proactive and go after plots yourself. Glance at some of the other requests and see if something strikes your fancy. If it does, reply! It can be scary to offer your ideas like this, but remember that it's scary for everyone, and you'll be popular in no time if you make yourself known for your great ideas.
Again, everyone loves a proactive player, so take a gander at some of the existing applications, and see if any ideas strike you. Maybe you'll find a character that's perfect for that plot you've always wanted to do. If you do, suggest it to the player of the character. It can be a little bit intimidating, but the worst thing that can happen is that they say no. Most people are flattered, however, that someone likes your character enough to come to them with plots.
Remember though, that if they do say no, that's final. No one should be forced into a plot that they don't want to do, and I'm sure you wouldn't like it if that happened to you. You might think the plot is perfect, but the other player has the right to say no and you have to accept that.
TALK IN THE C-BOX
It doesn't lead directly to plots, but being active in the c-box might lead to relationships with your fellow role players, Players who know you and whom you talk to regularly are more likely to find plots that they want to do with you. In any case, it's a nice way to pass the time until you do have some plots to play.
GET SCREEN NAMES
Once you're starting to get to know the people that are on the site with you, start asking for screen names and have private conversations with the other players. Conversations with other role players often lead to plots, and as we all know, people are more likely to play with their friends than they are with a complete stranger. That's just human nature; we band together with the people that we know and like, but there's no reason why you can't be the person they know and like. You just have to give them the time and opportunity to get to know you.
REPLY TO OPEN THREADS
An open thread is a dangerous beast. Often without any real direction, and a great potential for petering out, it can be difficult to get responses to these, though they can also be great for initiating relationship between characters. Most people will love you for replying to their open threads, so if you can see one that you can fit your character into, pounce!
WRITE YOUR OWN OPEN THREAD
If there are no open threads that you could plausibly get your character into, you do have the option of writing your own. Do remember though, like I said in the previous section, that the open thread is a dangerous beast. Don't be discouraged if no one snags it right away.
Also, when you do write an open thread, make sure to make it available to as many people as possible. In theory, anyone can reply an open thread. In reality, the characters who can be placed in an open thread is limited by a lot of things.
For instance, location is important. You have to place the thread somewhere that your character would be, but also somewhere that the other character might find themselves. If you post at your character's apartment, the thread is only open to those who would have a reason to be at your character's apartment, and that's probably not a lot of people. On the other hand, if you post in a public park, anyone can find an excuse to put their character there.
Timing is important too. In the middle of the night, most people are asleep, so if you mention in your post that it's three o'clock in the morning, most people will dismiss it, not wanting to cook up an excuse for their characters to show up.
If you really want to catch the elusive response to your open thread, make sure that what you post is interesting. We've all had numerous encounters between characters in pubs and cafés, where they say "hello, I haven't seen you before. My name is..." and quite frankly, it's dull. So make sure you add a little spice; maybe your character spills their coffee on someone, or maybe they have their purse snatched away from them. Action is always a good opportunity for other characters to get involved.
Perhaps the most important advice to give you, is that these things take a little time. It doesn't necessarily mean that the site is cliquey; maybe the other members are busy, or maybe you live in a different time zone than the other players. Perhaps your character is different from the other characters on the site, or perhaps the players are seeing if you'll stick around for more than five minutes. Maybe there's nothing wrong at all, and the site is just having a slow period. In any case, it's always a good idea to give the others the benefit of the doubt, instead of assuming that they don't like you, and that they're never going to play with you. If you give up, you'll never find out what kind of awesome plots you might have, but if you stick around and give people the chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.