The Elsir Project
Role of the Director and How to Direct a Story
How to direct a story:
Alphas may use any material related to the game in order to tell the stories, they need not be part of the Elsir Valley or even at the current time frame. The events of the Redhand are only common elements and provide those players who have well thought out characters and level to continue to play them in their own stories.
The entire adventure of the Redhand of Doom is open for players to use. Players are not restricted to the material and can make changes by adding to the world. The goal of the game is to create a very complex and interwoven story which can be on grand-scale or in small episodes.
Non-Player Characters in the original material may also be characters the players can use, explore, and expand. Things that have been established about the characters however, should be consistent (see Respecting Canon).
How to be an Alpha
1) Direct your story the way you want to. If your story is all about roleplay, by all means conduct it that way. If your story is about combat, then by all means, conduct it that way. For example, your story may be all about the political negotiations between the Tri Kitor Elves and the Dwarves about building a trade road through the forest. In contrast, another director’s story is about a siege at a nearby fortress.
2) Move the story along. Don’t let the story stop or drag. Ask for help from the Betas if you are stuck or build off of their motivations or story seeds. If players character mentions the strangeness of an object, you should direct the story along the same path.
3) Be prepare to see your story unfold in new ways you didn’t predict. It is okay, the other players will help you in the process. Be flexible with the story and they will be flexible with their collaboration.
4) Respect Canon. Things have already been established, if you change them, it ruins the believability of the world and cheapens the story. For example, if the village of Nulb was razed to the ground by the goblins, it should still destroyed if the story takes place after those events. However, you could do a story before the town was destroyed, as its being destroyed or during the rebuild. In any event, you as the director are responsible for creating new cannon and not to defunct it.
5) Build off other stories. If it looks like a good idea, then go with it. If previous director told a effective and interesting story, you can carry that one story further by including new elements, same characters, same setting, etc as long as you respect the cannon.
6)Add to the world, don’t take things away. Don’t try to limit the world. Don’t say, “This doesn’t exist”. You can destroy things for dramatic effect or plot but be prepared to justify why somethings happen, such as, having a village or city destroyed. It could be part of the plot of the story if you wish. In addition, do not alter the mechanics of the game: no banning of races, powers, Gods, magic items, backgrounds, classes, monsters, etc.
7) Don’t try to railroad. You are a guide of the story, not the conductor. Other players have to make decisions and choices that may be contrary to what you envision. It will also frustrate you and everyone else. The players characters will have their own agendas.
8) Avoid De aux Machina and other tropes that take away the collaborative abilities of players and director. It is quite easy to say “The Gods have changed the universe this way”. In some cases, it would be a interesting mystery if done right, but should not be the way that a story unfolds or ends. If other players believe nothing they do can change the outcome in the story because the will of some “other-being” then they will find it pointless to continue.
9) Avoid being absurd. Try to keep your stories within the mechanics and dynamics of the game.
10) Avoid “Gotcha “mentality. You no longer have the control that a GM normally has in the game, so you should be prepared to find the players unaffected by surprises and twist. Allow the players to create the twist to advance the story, they will be more invested in it.
How to be a Beta.
1) Respect the Alpha director. The director is telling the story and you are part of it. Do your part and support the director.
2) Respect the other betas, they have stories too. Avoid dominating, abusing, or sabotaging other players ability to contribute and tell stories. Not everyone can be on the creative at every moment and so need assistance.
3) Build off the Director’s storyline. Use what the director has given to work your part of the story. Avoid trying to dominate the story, you will have your turn when you are director.
4)Add to the world, don’t take things away. Don’t try to change the world. Don’t rely on the director to place all elements in the story, asking what is there and what do you see. You see it as you narrate it. This is your opportunity to add details that the director and the other betas can expand upon.
5) You can add twists, but don’t overly distort. You will have a chance to do that when you are director.
6)Respect Canon. Things have already been established, if you change them, it ruins the believably of the world and cheapens the story. In addition, the Alpha is creating new cannon, and you need to respect that as well.
7) Don’t try to “bully” your story. Let the director lead the story; help him. You can tell your story when you are director.
8) Move the story along. Make sure the story is not slowed by your own actions. If the story lags because of you, then you are threatening the narrative.
9) Suspension of Disbelief. Accept what has been established in the story. Your character may react to the situation with disbelief, but the player must keep the game going. For example, encountering a pirate on a flying burning shark, while it may be absurd, you (and your characters) are going to have to accept it. When your director, you can tell the story as you want to.
10) Avoid “Gotcha “mentality. The Alpha director is not a GM but another player leading the story. Surprises and twisted have their place in developing a good story, not “shock value” challenges.