Dark Sun Metaplot

What went right? What went wrong? Are metaplots even a good idea in a setting?

  1. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    Basically everything involving the Prism Pentad books was a massive mistake, especially killing a good portion of the major antagonists.
    The actual setting backstory wasn't all that bad if you ignore the retarded biotech halflings part, but should've remained legends rather than what it was.
    The type of metaplot they tried was absolutely a mistake, it more or less only removed from the setting without adding anything new.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      Also I have to give a special shoutout to just how shitty the novels are for killing off the Dragon and not even in a spectacular way.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah really don’t know what they were thinking with bioengineering halflings. Feels completely at odds with the setting.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      I think you can get away with the events of the first book, but fuck everything else. I did enjoy them, however.

  2. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    *dies*

  3. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >What went right?
    Nothing.
    >What went wrong?
    Nobody gave a fuck about playing Dark Sun because it was too hard and the books advanced the plot so players didn't have to. So everyone just played Spelljammer instead.
    >Are metaplots even a good idea in a setting?
    Not a playable one. What's the point in the outcomes of the players when there's a meta-plot that supersedes them?

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      >So everyone just played Spelljammer instead.
      Fucking said no one.

      Back in the day there were a total of 12 maybe 14 people that played Spelljammer. I don't understand this fondness everyone seems to have looking backwards. No one played it, and I died looking for group during that time.

      • 6 days ago
        Anonymous

        A Spelljammer adventure was included in one of those ad&d starter kits. Maybe that’s why.

  4. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    Metaplots are typically bad because they just serve to show why player actions are irrelevant if you wish to use the next book.
    I do think timelines moving forward can be interesting though, assuming there's enough gap and enough differences that it feels like playing different eras of the setting.
    In theory there's no difference to that and a metaplot, but usually time skips focus less on a writers favorite character and more on just giving a slightly tweaked playable word.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      That has the same fundamental problem IMO, in that it still robs players of their agency. Either they make up a metaplot all in one go which has just as much risk of running roughshod all over any given table's fondly remembered exploits, or they disconnect the new version from the old one so thoroughly that it's a fundamentally different setting where nothing from the original setting really matters, which is just another way of making any given table's story irrelevant.

      The fact is the job of a wargame or RPG writer is to create or enhance a *starting point* for the stories *DMs & groups* want to tell, not create an excuse for them to write a novel, but since most RPG writers are failed novellists that's what many of them end up trying anyway.

  5. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    Don't metaplots basically set up players as mere bystanders in the world? That can't be a good thing.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      Deadlands did something okay with their metaplots in that regard exactly once- in the Deadlands: Reloaded era, the party manages to kill one of the big bads, Reverend Grimme. In the metaplot, it was "an unknown posse of adventurers" or whatever, and they leave it at that, so it could be any group of players.

      Deadlands metaplot is otherwise ass though, I'd need extra hands to count how many times there's a moment in a published adventure where the party travels with an overpowered DMPC, or just watch a bunch of big NPCs do shit while they do nothing.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      It can work in some settings. Battletech has had an advancing plot in which the players of the game are just assumed to have participated, given that the events are essentially just a series of giant wars.

      The problem with BT's metaplot isn't that the players aren't big actors, it's that the plot is goofy.

      • 6 days ago
        Anonymous

        > that the plot is goofy.

        This is most metaplot though. See White Wolf.

        https://i.imgur.com/3XcZwGo.jpg

        What went right? What went wrong? Are metaplots even a good idea in a setting?

        >What went right?

        the mutating magic of the Pristine Tower was pretty cool.
        Also the afterlife of the Gray was interesting.

  6. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >metaplots even a good idea in a setting?
    No, they are not. Metaplots are the worst. If your new game is different from the old game, don't 'advance the setting', make a new setting for the new game. All you do is stir up shit when you metaplot and/or end up with a setting that makes no sense in a world that runs by the new rules.

  7. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >Are metaplots even a good idea in a setting?
    My personal opinion, is that settings should build up to a certain year/date and then leave everything else blank. The group should enjoy exploring a new world every new game without being "constrained" by metaplot.
    This doesn't meant to make the setting sterile. Sparkle adventure plots, add rumors fake or true, show a real world, that is, something that actually changes over time and is about to, but in no defined way.
    A good example of this is Harnmaster, while the opposite example would be Symbaroum. I love Symbaroum's setting, but it's biggest strength and weakness both is the heavy metaplot. This is fine for such a small setting (and world), though the fact you are pushed towards a certain ending (or rather, the entire setting is being pushed towards its conclusion, players willing or not) is restrictive.

  8. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >metaplot
    >right
    Nothing. Its a shit concept. Make a setting, make several interesting potential hooks and plots, let the players and dms make the story by playing the fucking game instead of following the sanctioned rails.

  9. 6 days ago
    Anonymous

    >Are metaplots even a good idea in a setting?
    I never understood the obsession with them in the 90s. Did any of the developers from that time mention why they thought it was a good idea, or am I safe to assume that it was solely because the publishers wanted to sell some novels on the side?

    I respect whoever worked on 4e Dark Sun and made the call to can the Prism Pentad shit and just stick with a good turning point (that one sorcerer-king getting killed). 4e was really good on making sure settings were player-centric rather than centered on the writer's favorite characters, and by god Forgotten Realms fags hated it for that.

    • 6 days ago
      Anonymous

      >I never understood the obsession with them in the 90s. Did any of the developers from that time mention why they thought it was a good idea, or am I safe to assume that it was solely because the publishers wanted to sell some novels on the side?
      it’s because far more people buy RPG stuff just as reading material vs as playing material. Meta plot was the 90s version of a 30s serial cliffhanger ending. It kept the readers buying for books. Eventually, the writers couldn’t keep juggling metaplot with decent results and the whole thing fell apart and people stopped buying into it.
      Sorta of like the book equivalent of tv shows such as Lost and Battlestar Galactica. The writers created ridiculously convoluted plot messes and couldn’t get out of them.

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