Evensong LARP

Welcome! => Questions about Evensong => Topic started by: Branka on December 05, 2016, 01:14:35 pm

Title: Writing a (Decent) PEL
Post by: Branka on December 05, 2016, 01:14:35 pm
I was asked to post my document on advice about writing a PEL. Sorry, it's not short. Ask John - nothing I write is short. Also, it is written as if I were a cast member because I wrote it for the game I staff.

Writing a (Decent) PEL:

* Don’t Wait
   Honestly, if I wait until the deadline, I’ve forgotten things.  If you can’t write your PEL within the first few days, at least sit down and make a list of topics.  Then you can peck away at it bit by bit instead of waiting for a big block of time, and you won’t overlook topics.  I personally also recommend sleeping on your PEL, then looking it over before you submit it. You’re less likely to overlook something.

*Use Headers
   Many people write their PEL chronologically.  However, it’s more useful if you group your writing by topic or plotline, then give each a heading.   It’s easier for us to check over, and cast can look for specific things.  It will be useful for you too if you’re looking something up later.

*Do Not Write In Giant Blocks of Text
   It’s really hard to read giant blocks of text.  Break it up into small paragraphs. Use bullets.  Anything but the wall I can’t read.

*Writing IC or OOC Doesn’t Matter, but Differences if Your Views Does
   We don’t care if you write in character or out of character. Honestly, it’s usually faster and easier to write out of character, and it can be easier to read.  However, if there is a difference between your view IC and OOC, that matters.  Maybe your character hates that something happened but you, the player, thought it was awesome and like being forced to tears.  That distinction matters.

*Write it Somewhere Else First (if there is a specific place to post PELs directly)
   Write your PEL using a word processor of some sort and save it yourself somewhere.  It helps reduce careless errors like spelling mistakes that makes a PEL harder to read (though you have to teach it words like necromancy).  It will be easier to see your formatting and lengths.  It will always be there even if something happens, and it will be searchable for you later.  I also believe you should keep your own copies of BGS questions as well.  Again, you have them just in case,  you’ll remember what you already did, and it will be searchable.

*PEL Everything
It doesn’t have to be 20 pages long, but tell us things that happened.  If you picked up something strange in the woods, that might matter.  If you had a 20 minutes conversation with me, I’d expect to find it in your PEL or I’ll think you forgot about it or it had no meaning to you.

*We Want To Know Your Character’s Views, Plans, and Goals
   If we know what you’re thinking we know if you’re on the right track or off the tracks completely and can work with that.  We know if you noticed something important to a plot or wonder if everyone missed it.  If we know what you are planning, we are better prepared. If we know your goals, we are better able to help you with them.  You can do this anywhere – by plot or in a separate section, but it is very useful to us.  Some people list their goals, what they have done so far to achieve them, and what they plan in the future. That’s awesome and easy for us to refer to.

*Be Specific  and Constructive in Your Praise and Criticism
   We want to know what you like and why.  The why matters because it helps us determine what you might like in the future.  We really appreciate specific positives.  You should also talk about what concerns you.  We don’t know what you don’t tell us.  Unless it is something personal, sensitive, or you are trying not to offend someone, it is better everyone sees it in a PEL rather than you just talking to one cast member, even if it’s an owner.  We all need to know what is going on and player views.  We all need to know what you like and are looking for – not just the person you think writes your plot, or your real life friend who is on cast.

   Also, it is important to remember that your view is just from your own perspective.  You may be unaware of the greater picture.  Phrasing it in a way that demonstrates that makes it easier for us to hear you.
Title: Re: Writing a (Decent) PEL
Post by: Miri Thorel on December 06, 2016, 09:23:51 am
Liz, this is so good!

A couple of reflections on giving constructive feedback (forgive me, this is actually a large part of what I do for a living, so I have Thoughts on the matter):

- As Liz said, specificity is really important. Just saying you liked or didn't like something isn't much help; explaining why you liked it, or why it didn't work for you, will lead to much better results.
- Assume good faith. The game writers are not out to screw you over. Things don't always work the way anyone wants them to, and not all plots work for all players. Assume that the plot writers were trying to do something interesting, and try to help them see what happened from your perspective.
- "I statements" are really good. Say "I didn't understand what the High Muckymuck said" rather than "The High Muckymuck NPC was awful and incomprehensible," or "I really wanted to see the High Muckymuck, but so many people wanted to see her that I didn't get a chance" rather than "The High Muckymuck ignored me! You suck!"
- Above all, remember that there are real people reading what you write, people who have put a lot of effort and energy into creating what goes on at an event. They are at least as emotionally invested in the results as you are. Stop and remember that before you send off an angry rant. By all means, write the angry rant if you need to to get it out of your system - but don't send it. Go back and see what the root of the angry rant is, and find a way to explain it without making it an attack.

Title: Re: Writing a (Decent) PEL
Post by: Marcel de Giverny on April 19, 2018, 08:41:32 am
This is the template I use for my PELs/PEWs.

What did you do during the event?
I break it down in order:
  + SATURDAY, before dinner
  + SATURDAY, after dinner
Not only do I say what I did, but especially what I thought about it: it was fun!  It was hard, in a bad way.  It was hard, in an awesome way!  I didn't know what was going on, but that's okay.  I was frustrated because I didn't have a clue what was supposed to be happening.

What are your future plans?
I use an ordered list, in part because it helps me focus my character.  I can't want to do everything, after all, even though I basically kinda want to do everything.  :)  Or, put another way, if Staff ignores points #4 and #5 but I get a cookie regarding #1 or #2, I should make sure I don't do the dumb thing and be disappointed about the other points.

What did you like about the event?
All the squees go here.  This is usually short and sweet.  To me, this is the small paragraph that gets tweeted out on the Secret Staff Twitter that gets Staff jazzed about the event they just ran.  (Of course they have a Secret Staff Twitter account.  You don't know it?  Of course you don't, you're just a player.)

Anything you disliked?
Only constructive criticism goes here.  Sometimes I'll say I didn't like X but that's on me to fix, not Staff, so okay, at least Staff knows where I'm at.

Anything Staff should be aware of?
Stuff like "hey, I'm going to miss the next event" or "hey, I loved the physical trap puzzle but in general, my knees can't handle that" or whatever.  Often empty.

Post-Event Worksheet
This gets complicated, because there are lots of options, many of which are irrelevant to characters.  Here's the exhaustive checklist.  Quotes are from the rulebook.

Game Bucks (GB)
You can support the game in various ways, by helping with Setup and/or Cleanup, bringing snacks and requested items, and casting for another game with which we have a Cast Exchange agreement. These tasks earn you Game Bucks (GB). Game Bucks can be converted to Skill Points at a rate of 3 GB per SP to a maximum of 5 SP per event. They can also be spent to gain various things, including Feats (at event check-in), buying off a Flaw for 50 GB, and increasing Life or Focus by one point, once only for each for 50 GB.

1.  Are you buying Skill Points (SP) with Game Bucks (GB)? You may buy up to 5 SP per PEW cycle, at a cost of 3 GB for 1 SP.

2.  Are you spending GB on these? Note that buying Feats is done at check-in of the next event - you don't specify it here. *
[ ] I'm not spending any GB this PEW cycle
[ ] Buy off a Flaw for 50 GB
[ ] Increase Life by one point (can only be done once for the whole campaign) for 50 GB
[ ] Increase Focus by one point (can only be done once for the whole campaign) for 50 GB
[ ] Purchase additional new spells for 10 GB each
[ ] Other:

Skill Points (SP)
Attending a full weekend event earns you 5 SP; for one-day events, 3 SP.
You can exchange Game Bucks (GB) for SP, at a rate of 3 GB per SP to a maximum of 5 SP per event.
You earn 2 SP by submitting a PEL before the deadline.
Thus, the maximum you can earn for each event is (5 + 5 + 2) = 12 SP.  Any unspent SP is carried over for future use.

3.  Are you spending Skill Points (SP) to buy new skills? If so, please list both the skill and its cost (e.g., "Dodge for 6 SP and Maim for 7 SP, for a total of 13 SP"). If you are not buying any skills, please enter "none".
___[fill in the blank]____

Learning new spells
Learning a new magical skill or skill level will always provide two new spells appropriate to that skill and level at start of next game.
You may (optionally) spend one BGA or 10 Game Bucks to purchase additional new spells between games. This purchase is limited to one spell per magical discipline/magical level per game.

Example: Illyana the Irascible knows Wild Magic, as well as Performance I and II. She may learn one new spell at no cost and chooses a Performance II spell. She may then spend a BGA and 10 game bucks (or simply 20 game bucks) to learn a new Wild Magic spell and a Performance I spell to further build her magical repertoire.

4.  Are you learning new spells?
(Optional) New spell #1: ____[fill in the blank]____
(Optional) New spell #2: ____[fill in the blank]____

Between-Game Actions (BGAs)
BGAs are not meant to be a primary means of advancing plot; your character’s in-game actions and responses to the world around you carry the most weight. However, BGAs can add to your enjoyment of the game.
All use of BGAs requires an appropriate Skill, unless you are specifically given the opportunity on a yellow tag you find in game (these will be uncommon). If a Skill allows use of BGAs, this will be noted in the description. The maximum number of BGAs your character can use is ONE per event. There is no way to get any additional BGAs.

If you do not have an appropriate BGA skill or yellow flag you may not submit a
BGA request .

Most BGAs will be used for specific skills, including Pathfolding, Weavewalking, Rumors, and Information Gathering. Note : If you purchase a skill between events that grants a BGA action, you may use that BGA ability at that time. Example - Souxie Wyldpath picks up the Weavewalking skill between event A and event B. She may, at her option, create a BGA in that same period to set up a Weavewalk, which will be executed at event B.

For the sake of the Evensong Plot Team, Players are kindly requested to focus on a single, specific topic for any Pathfolding, Weavewalking, Rumors, Information Gathering, or similar-skill BGA Request, rather than providing a wish-list of multiple topics they’d like information about. Providing a single, specific focus will facilitate a response that more closely matches what you are interested in. If the requested specific topic is not possible for any reason, the Evensong Staff will do their best to ensure that such BGA requests result in something of value to the Players, though the full value may not be immediately recognizable. Some BGAs will allow you to take action based on a yellow tag found during a previous event, such as:

● Read a book
● Attune to an item
● Attend an off-stage tea party

Responses to BGAs will typically happen at the following event, either at check-in or during the event.

Please note, you do not need a BGA to do the following:
● Communicate with other Players between games. You may do so freely. However, communication with Staff in an in-game manner is restricted. Any letters must be sent in game by a Courier.
● Learn a new skill. You can learn any skill in the rulebook, or any hidden skill taught to you in game, provided you have SP to spend.
● Learn one new spell. You can learn any spell in the rulebook for which you have the appropriate magical skill. You may also learn a spell taught to you in game.
● Use the skill “Prayer” to seek guidance from your Deity. Do this in game after performing what you consider to be an appropriate ritual.

5.  Are you using a BGA this cycle?
[ ] I am using my BGA to learn an additional spell.
[ ] I would like to set up a Pathfolding.
[ ] I would like to set up a Weavewalking.
[ ] I am using Rumors.
[ ] I am using Information Gathering.
[ ] I am taking action based on a yellow flag OR I was told by a specific Staff member I should submit a BGA request.
[ ] No, I am not using a BGA this PEW cycle.

6.  If you are using a BGA for Pathfolding, Weavewalking, Rumors, Information Gathering, or based on a yellow flag, please enter details here.
____[fill in the blank]____

7.  If you are using a BGA based on what a specific Staff member told you you could do, please enter the details here, including the Staff member's name. (Note: this will occur very rarely.)
____[fill in the blank]____