The plot team at Empire consists of everyone who writes plot for Empire. Joining plot team is simply a matter of writing some plot that fits with our style guide.
Our plot team is actually a group of writers rather than a single team. While it can be fantastically helpful for groups of writers to work together on some projects, we deliberately discourage everyone from trying to work together on everything because of the logistical difficulties in organizing a large group and the creative challenges of trying to create good plot when different writers have different views on what the plot should be. This page is all about how we organize and operate our plot team.
- You collaborate with Matt and Andy to create your plot
Ultimately editorial control of the Empire campaign setting and the plot we run rests with Matt Pennington and Andy Raff. Andy is in charge of the Empire campaign and Matt is in charge of the game itself. Together we decide what plot can run, what new elements can be added to the setting and so forth. You can't run a plot at the events unless Matt and Andy are happy with it. The best way to approach this is to work with Matt or Andy or both of us throughout the development of your plot ideas. We will give you feedback, discuss your ideas with you and make suggestions on how you can develop it.
Experience has proved that if you can't work with us to develop your plot - then ultimately the whole process of writing plot for Empire will be too painful for everyone involved to make it worth the effort. This is nothing to do with being a good writer or a bad writer - it's purely because me and Andy are the editors for Empire and if you don't enjoy working with the editors to develop a plot then it isn't going to work well being a team together. Good plot writers are always in demand, so if you don't enjoy working with us on your plot ideas then it's better to run your own events, either as Empire player events or in other settings.
Your plot only needs to be acceptable to Matt and Andy - other writers do not have any say in what plot you can run. We are very keen to avoid the lowest common denominator problems inherent in any design by committee, so provided Matt and Andy are happy with your plot then they will strongly discourage criticism from other writers.
- You are responsible for running out your plot at the event
The basic assumption when you write plot is that you will be responsible for getting the plot to run at the event. This means getting everything ready for the plot to go out and then briefing your NPCs and debriefing them again when they come back. But it also means talking to the relevant people before the event to check that your plot works with the rules, and that the costumes and props are in place for it. We will help you at every stage of the process but if you want to join our existing plot team then that includes the responsibility for getting the plot out.
- Other members of the team are on hand to help
There is a lot involved in running a plot at a PD Empire event and most of our writers are not familiar with every part of the process. Other members of the plot team are on hand to help you with anything you need help with. We don't expect you to do everything yourself - just be responsible for ensuring it does happen. Very few writers are able to make a plot happen entirely by themselves - by working with other members of the team you can access their knowledge of the setting, the rules, the IT systems or their skills with make-up, costume and props.
- Someone needs to answer queries about your plots
Throughout every event we get dozens of queries from Refs, GOD, and other crew members about plots. Key members of the plot team strive to be on radio throughout the event, so that they can receive the incoming query. The team will answer simple queries, but for more complex problems they will attempt to contact the writer to get a response. Doing this helps to ensure that the plot runs as intended. Ideally this means that if you are involved in writing and running plot at Empire then we should be able to quickly contact you during the event if we need to. If you have written a significant amount of plot, and we expect a lot of queries, then you may well be assigned a radio so we can contact you quickly.
If you can't commit to being available throughout the event then please make sure you have identified a known point of contact for your plots who will be available. This will be someone on the plot team that you are happy for us to go to get an answer about a query about the plot. Ideally it should be someone who knows the plot well.
Joining the Team
- Anyone who has an idea for a plot can discuss it with Matt or Andy
- Developing your own plot is the starting point for joining the plot team
Lots of people often ask about joining plot team - but the truth is that we're always keen with people who want to actually write and run plot at our events. You don't have to apply, you don't have to get approved - you just have to write something! Submit a piece of plot to us and if we agree you can run it and you want to write more then you're part of the team.
You don't have to produce a complex piece of detailed plot at first - in fact it's better if you don't. Rather talk to Matt and Andy as early as you can about your idea(s). We'll give you feedback and encourage you to develop the best of them into written plots following the existing guidelines. Once you've written up and run a few plots then we'll give you access to the plot wiki and add you to the Empire plot writers facebook group. But what you absolutely have to do to be a part of the writing team is to write something.