A metaplot is an overarching storyline that binds together events in the official continuity of a published role-playing game campaign setting. By their nature, events in the metaplot are independent of what happens in the campaigns of any given gaming group, but groups may incorporate events from the metaplot into their own games depending on the preferences of the players and the GM.
Major events that change the world, or simply move important non-player characters from one place to another, are part of the metaplot for a game. For example, White Wolf Game Studio's World of Darkness was brought to an end by major events in the metaplot as part of the Time of Judgment. Because of events like this, many gaming groups choose to ignore the metaplot for a game entirely, or set their campaign at a specific point within the metaplot from which they can extrapolate.
Metaplot information is usually included within gaming products such as rulebooks and modules as they are released. Major events in the metaplot are often used to explain changes in the rules in between versions of the games, as was the case in White Wolf's World of Darkness and in Wizards of the Coast's Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance between editions of Dungeons & Dragons.
Settings with metaplotEdit
The following settings contain well known metaplots:
- Battletech – Expanded in various novels and sourcebooks, mostly by Michael A. Stackpole
- Dark Sun
- Forgotten Realms – Time of Troubles, Spellplague
- Ravenloft - The Grand Conjunction and The Grim Harvest
- Rifts – War on Tolkeen, a 6-book metaplot
- The Dark Eye
- Torg's "infiniverse"
- Traveller – Assassination of the emperor and the division of the empire
- World of Darkness – the Time of Judgment