The word Plot is used frequently amongst Nordic larpers to mean either some kind of structure designed to make things happen at a larp, or some kind of series of things that happened at a larp, or one (or many) storylines during a larp (or a combination of all).
Different national larp traditions, as well as different local larp traditions and subcultures, assign wildly different meanings to the word, and it should be used with the utmost care when trying to communicate between larpers of different backgrounds.
The term storyline is sometimes used synonymously with plot, sometimes to describe a structure that is the opposite of plot.
Usage in larps
A larp may use a plot (or several) to describe a possible (or even a somewhat scripted or predetermined) series of actions that drive a particular story line forwards. A larp might for instance have a main plot (e.g a feud that divides a village or a struggle between two groups for dominance), and/or several sub plots, that are the main story arcs for the dramaturgy during the larp. These plots may be just the setting of the larp, for the players to engage in at will, or might be connected (through incentive webs or storylines for instance) to specific players or groups in order to establish "hooks" for interaction and storytelling.
A storyline, as used in the larp community, is often a short but descriptive piece of information for the player (or group of players) to act upon during the larp. One function of the storyline is to create the potential for some action happening, for one or more players (or groups) to interact or for setting up the prerequisites for a particular "ending" or conclusion to a larp. Storylines are also commonly used to give the player a set goal that they can "accomplish" during the course of the larp. The format often tends to be instructional in nature; do X for consequence Y, and you will have fulfilled the roles internal motivation or "quest".
Storylines were very common in the early days of larp (and are still being used extensively in mainstream larp), but have fallen out of style in the more avant garde larp community.
Example of Storyline
- The Baker is a sly one. You've seen her sneaking around your camp several times, and now things have gone missing. You naturally suspect her. Maybe you should confront her? You'd need to gather some evidence first, however. Rummage through her belongings when she isn't around and see if you can find some stolen goods.
Also see Fate.
For more precise terms, that describe some of the things that might be considered aspects of "plot" (depending on the definition of "plot"), see: