So you're ready to make a goal and maybe a plot! Maybe. But there are a lot of different options, so here's an example of our favorite imaginary PC -- Fucking Steve -- using these systems together.
Fucking Steve has been on the game for a couple months, and he's been given a metaplot secret about how he keeps dreaming about a massive pigeon invasion. It's a scary dream! And it's been recurring ever since the Avian War ended. Could it mean something?! Steve thinks it does, so he decides that he's going to start exploring his secret, and to keep track of his exploration, to invite others to help, and to let the GMs see what he's pursuing, he's going to use the fancy new goals and plot code.
Goals are a good place to start first, because that's where most story starts: a character wants something. Steve wants to know what his dreams mean! So he makes a goal to indicate that.
goals/create Figure Out Pigeon Dreams/Steve has these pigeon dreams about a massive pigeon invasion! They are scary and unsettling, and he wants to figure out WHAT THEY MEAN.
Let's say it's created as goal #42. This seems to be a moderate to ambitious sort of goal to him, so he sets the scope accordingly and also sets the goal to active:
Huzzah! His goal is completed. He has a lot of plans for pursuing this story, and he also has friends that he's going to be drawing in to help him. In order to help him organize and keep track of all the parts of this plotline as he pursues it, he decides to make a plot to complement the goal. He starts out with the plots/pitch command. This is the command that sets a name, short summary, and full description for a new plot and sends it to staff for approval. Steve types the following:
plots/pitch Godsdamn Pigeons/Figuring out these PIGEON DREAMS./Ever since the Avian War, Fucking Steve has been haunted by recurring dreams of a mighty pigeon invasion. They leave him with an unsettled sort of terror and the undeniable feeling that these dreams are a portent or message. He's determined to figure out what it all means./I'm exploring Steve's secret to try and figure out what it means and how it's connected to the lore!
That's a plot title, short summary, full description, and OOC notes for the GMs that indicate your overall intent/goal.
Now if Steve types plots, he'll see a new plot #100 named Godsdamn Pigeons. But he can't look at it yet! He has to wait a little bit for staff to look at it, set anything they need to on their side -- like maybe tag it with secret GM connections based on the hidden truth of the secret! -- and then approve it. But soon enough, Steve receives an @inform telling him his plot is ready to go. First off he goes, oh hey, now that I have a plot related to my goal, I can actually set that on my goal!
So next Steve decides he's going to add a few of the PCs that Steve has ICly decided to share his secret with. He's been caught up in a whirlwind romance with Lazy Susan and confessed his dreams and his worries surrounding them, and Susan of course declared that she would help him however she could! So Steve invites her with:
This invites Susan onto his plot as a Supporting cast member; Steve is the main player here in exploring his secret, but Susan will be there regularly to support his actions. Steve also has a friend Mysterious Bob who helped him out by sharing the clue "Coos From The Abyss." Bob probably won't be helping on a steady basis, so Steve decides to invite him as an Extra with:
Susan and Bob both receive an @inform about their invite with some information. (This includes how to use the plots/rewardrecruiter command to give both Steve and themselves a little extra XP! It pays to make stories together.)
There are a few pieces that Steve already has to his puzzle that he can attach to his plot. The first is, of course, his secret! Since his secret shows up at the top of his clue list, he can attach it the plot as he would a clue like so:
plots/add/clue 100=2000/This is Steve's secret that this plot is about exploring! The seed of the garden, as it were. Or the kind of seeds you'd throw at pigeons to appease them so they stop swarming you.
Steve also has that clue "Coos From The Abyss" that Bob gave him before, so he goes ahead and shares that clue as well using the same command. He also notes that this clue has a "pigeon kingdom" tag, and he thinks his plot is probably related to this. So he decides to add it as a tag to his plot:
plots/tag 100=pigeon kingdom
Note that plot tags are predefined by staff, so it can help to look at related clues to find the tag of the topic you're looking for!
As Steve movies forward in his plot adventures, he decides that maybe it might help to do some meditation in the Hall of Birds, so he uses the action system to tell staff he's doing that. When they process the action, he gets a very exciting vision about his ancestors and their ancient feud with the Pigeon Kingdom. Very cool! So now he writes a beat to update his plot with this information:
plots/createbeat 100=Steve has been looking into his dreams, trying to figure out what they mean, and that eventually leads him to try meditating in the Hall of Birds. This earns him quite an interesting vision about his family history and their connection with the Pigeon Kingdom!/Steve's kinda shook from the vision and learning about all of this, but at this point these are all still internal consequences.
And then once his beat is created and it has an ID number, he can then attach the action he just did and wrote the beat about!
It also feels to Steve like he's taking some really cool steps of development towards his character goal, so he decides to update his goal summary and then submit a request for review to staff. (He can only ask staff for goal review once every 30 days, but he feels like he's ready!)
goals/summary 42=Steve has these pigeon dreams about a massive pigeon invasion! They are scary and unsettling, and he wants to figure out WHAT THEY MEAN. Fortunately he's been able to make some progress in learning more about the Pigeon Kingdom and its connection to his family thanks to the help of his true love Susan, his buddy Bob, and some meditation.
goals/rfr 42=Steve has been working on investigating more about the history of pigeons and the Pigeon Kingdom, as well as his own family history. Susan has been helping him pursue this, including working through all the implications of the new information they were given about abyssal pigeons, thanks to some old records Bob shared. And this culminated in some days of meditation at the Hall of Birds, which offered him a vision with some very interesting insight into his family's historical connection to the Pigeon Kingdom./I've had some great scenes exploring Steve's secret with Susan and Bob lately, mulling over the clues "Coos From the Abyss" and "What ARE Birds? We Just Don't Know." And then I had action #2000 where he mediated and got vision #1500!
Staff reads this over and decides how to reward Steve for his character progression -- a milestone, a little XP, something else appropriate, etc. -- and responds accordingly. Yay character development!
As Steve continues his journey, he can add more plot beats, attach different actions, events, clues, revelations, etc. to his plot and beats, invite more people to be involved, update his goal and ask for future staff review, and more! This hasn't covered every single command switch in the plots system, but hopefully it offers an idea of how setting up and starting a goal and plot can work, and how they complement each other.