*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 17, 2014, 11:16:06 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: [Capes] Unresolved Complications  (Read 3981 times)
Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2004, 05:42:31 PM »

Quote from: TonyLB
[fanboy raving] Jaw drops.  Did I say that?  No, I'm pretty sure you found that in a much less interesting bit of thought from me. [/fanboy raving]


Thank you. Flattery is the sincerest form of flattery.

Quote from: TonyLB
So let me see if I grasp the implications.  Bystanders would still be a Complication.  ....Innocent Victims can also be a villain.  And a hero.  Simultaneously.


That's lovely.

Quote from: TonyLB
Still a little stuck on that.  Nobody resolves the Complication means the orphans don't burn (because that would be victory for Orphanage Fire) but the heroes don't save the day...


It's probably harder for the Complication not to resolve when a villain (albeit an impersonal one) is working on it, but yeah, this doesn't solve the "unresolved" issue. That said, I'm not sure if "unresolved" is such a big problem anymore. So the fire burns for a few days, is that entirely implausible? I live in D.C.; that's what happened to 14th Street back in the sixties, after all.
Logged

TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2004, 06:31:05 PM »

But the fire is no longer something that's unresolved.  Once it's a character it no longer has to be linked to the fate of the Complication.

So it's not that the fire keeps burning, it's that the Bystanders are neither harmed nor made forcefully "safe", right?  The fire comes and goes like any other character in the story, according to its function vis-a-vis the complications and the scene.

Anyway, I think that's what it is.  

I have this image of the Editor taking a Story Token off of a villain with three Prominence and putting it on "Burning Building" to animate it, leaving the villain with only two Prominence.  Then the villain has less actions and less clout until they decide to reclaim their Prominence and stop using the burning building as a surrogate.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Doug Ruff
Member

Posts: 445


« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2004, 01:08:59 AM »

Firstly, apologies for the earlier thread-jack. I got excited and stopped listening to Tony - which was out of line, my bad.

I think this 'fire as Villain' idea might just work. By giving the fire Prominence, it also gains story 'focus' which seems fitting too.

So, in order to threaten the Bystanders, a Villain has to directly use a power, or must create a 'bad thing' that acts on it's own towards foiling the heroes.

Some questions and comments about this exciting new idea:

1) If the fire is a Villain, can it also affect other Complications? For example, the Heroes are attempting to resolve a Getaway Complication, can the 'fire-villain' activate a 'blocked by burning debris' Trope?

2) As a new character, the fire will have a fresh (unblocked) set of abilities (and possibly it's own 'Drives'?) - that's quite powerful. For that reason, I would suggest not allowing a Hero or Villain to create something like this using Prominence that they have already spent - but they can do this if they have an unspent Story Token.

3) What if no-one spends the cost to turn the fire into a Villain? Does it burn out, or get put out?

4) If Villains and Heores both invest in Bystanders, I think that's a character each. For example, 'Terrorised Hostages' vs. 'Have-a-go Heroes'. Or even 'Have-a-go Grandma'

The only concern I have about this is that it's going to increase 'handling time' again, because of the need to write up the Powers, Drives and Tropes. Is there some way these could be made up 'on the fly'? In other words, not name the ability until it's being used?

Regards,

Doug
Logged

'Come and see the violence inherent in the System.'
TonyLB
Member

Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2004, 06:14:48 AM »

(1)  Yes.

(2)  Yeah, it's a little powerful.  There's also an added benefit in being able to Claim more Complications each round (villain Claims Robbery, fire claims Bystanders... now your hero has a heck of a tough choice).  But there's a downside to reducing your Prominence, in that more people will act after your last action, which makes it substantially harder to actually resolve Complications.  I'll want to playtest that out to see how the balance works.

(3) Ah... unresolved Complications.  This doesn't solve them, it just gives us a new tool to clarify things.  The solution may still lie over the horizon... or maybe not.  More on that in a moment.

(4) That's a little clearer, but a lot less charming.  I like the idea that Lois Lane, Exemplar, has a "Reckless" Attitude that can both get her in trouble and help her save the day.  Plus it cuts down a little on prep-time (one character instead of two).

As for prep-time, I am concerned, but I think it can be managed.

IMHO, the key to doing this in any sane period of time is going to be taking "close enough" Complications and making do.  If you check out the Example Characters I made, for instance, I think "Man-made Disaster" (on the right, near the bottom) would do in a pinch for an orphanage fire.  It's not as evocative as a "Building on Fire" Complication, but you could bend it in play.  I'd want to give several pages of stock characters (each on a distinct "theme") for people to refer to at need.


Okay:  Unresolved Complications.  If this system is in place, are they needed?

I'll give two Spider-man-movie examples of the yummy goodness I was trying to get at with Unresolved Complications:
    [*]Goblin's glider goes out of control... "This isn't over, Spiderman!" he yells as he spirals away.  But Spidey can't pursue him because suddenly the building collapses and he has to save Mary Jane.  This clearly should reduce or eliminate his Inspiration from Clobbering (that's the choice he makes, and it has to have a consequence).[*]Peter and MJ are on the verge of romance in the hospital room when Harry steps in, ruining everything.[/list:u]These were sorta addressed by Unresolved Complications.  But here's how they could be addressed by character-skipping:
      [*]Goblin switches all but one point of Prominence to "Man-made Disaster".  He makes his monologue to try to gain the upper hand in Clobbering, then acts through the surrogate of the building to present Spiderman with the hard choice about which Complication to take.[*]MJ (as a character) no longer has Attitudes that are useful to oppose Peter, so the Editor switches all her Prominence to Harry, whose "Trusting Friend" Attitude is just what the doctor ordered to prevent Peter's goal of clarifying the relationship.[/list:u]My point being that being forced to resolve all the Complications might no longer be a chore, because people can skip around to the perfect character or abstract to do what they want.  Thoughts?
      Logged

      Just published: Capes
      New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
      Doug Ruff
      Member

      Posts: 445


      « Reply #19 on: September 18, 2004, 12:42:10 PM »

      I think we're definitely at the 'suck it and see stage'. Do you want to add this to next week's playtest? If it can work over IRC, I'm sure it can work on the tabletop...
      Logged

      'Come and see the violence inherent in the System.'
      LordSmerf
      Member

      Posts: 864


      « Reply #20 on: September 19, 2004, 06:15:39 PM »

      Sorry for the absence...  Hurricanes make an especially large mess in areas that are not experienced with them...

      So as i was reviewing this thread i hit upon an idea that "solves" the unresolved Complication problem.  Currently scenes end when the Scene Target is reached, and until that point Complications are continuously replaced.  Change the way Complications are generated.  Place a limit on the quantity of Complications in a single Scene instead of a number of Victory Points.  Perhaps some resource must be spent to generate them...?

      This is a significant departure from the way things have been done, and i am not sure what problems it may generate.  However, sometimes problems are solved by simply looking at things from a different angle.

      Thomas
      Logged

      Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
      TonyLB
      Member

      Posts: 3702


      WWW
      « Reply #21 on: September 19, 2004, 06:53:57 PM »

      So this is a different limit on when you replace a Complication versus not replacing.  I'm pretty sure I get that.  I'm still a little fuzzy on where it fits with what has already been discussed though.

      Is this meant as a different way (as opposed to unresolved complications) to address the original issue that scenes can drag on for a long time?  

      Or is it something that you see complementing and simplifying an unresolved complication rule?
      Logged

      Just published: Capes
      New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
      LordSmerf
      Member

      Posts: 864


      « Reply #22 on: September 19, 2004, 07:05:16 PM »

      Sorry for the incoherence of my previous post, let me see if i can clarify:

      Currently there is a problem with unresolved Complications and how to handle them.  One reason (by no means the only one) for this is that scenes end when a Victory Target is reached and all Complications need to be wrapped up quick, quick, quick!  I am basically proposing that instead of ending a scene when a Victory Target is reached, put a limit on the total number of Complications that can be introduced in a given scene.  End the scene when the last Complication is resolved.

      As i see it this should help with unresolved Complications since there is no way to end the scene without resolving them all.  The hard limit on quantity means that even if you are not all that invested in a given Compplication you will eventually reach a point where it is the only one left and you will not have others competing for your time, attention, and in-game resources.

      Again, i am not entirely sure that this is a good idea.  It seems to solve the problem of certain Complications not being dealt with, but i am not sure that it is the optimal (or even a good) solution.

      Thomas
      Logged

      Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
      Doug Ruff
      Member

      Posts: 445


      « Reply #23 on: September 19, 2004, 10:42:49 PM »

      I think this comes down to the difference between Complications which are fought over (information, escape vs. capture, who's the coolest Hero/Villain) and Complications which hinder one side only (Wounded Man, Orphans in Danger, I'm Missing My Son's Birthday Party.)

      I'm thinking that former should preferably be defined at the beginning of a scene (and not replaced?), the latter should be limited by resource (the side that gets the advantage should pay for them.)
      Logged

      'Come and see the violence inherent in the System.'
      TonyLB
      Member

      Posts: 3702


      WWW
      « Reply #24 on: September 20, 2004, 04:40:02 AM »

      Doug:  I'm uncertain what you mean by a Complication that hinders one side only.  What would this look like, in game terms?  Is this why you were excited about murphy's law, so that some impersonal force could replace the players narrating villains as opposition?


      Thomas:  Having scene-closure based on number of Complications will mean that when people hotly contest a Complication it makes for a longer scene.  This could be a cool aspect in terms of adaptive pacing, but will it interfere with deliberate pacing?

      Specifically, an eight-new-Compliation climax scene could be over very quickly if the Complications resolved are small, piddling things.  Or it could take hours and hours if every one of them is hard-fought.  And I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing.  Is it an intentional thing?
      Logged

      Just published: Capes
      New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
      LordSmerf
      Member

      Posts: 864


      « Reply #25 on: September 20, 2004, 06:35:06 AM »

      Non-intentional Tony.  Like i said, i have not really thought through all of the implications of this.  Personally i feel that the loss of deliberate pacing is probably a bad thing, maybe even a deal-breaker...  Hmm...

      Thomas
      Logged

      Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
      Doug Ruff
      Member

      Posts: 445


      « Reply #26 on: September 20, 2004, 09:30:41 AM »

      Quote from: TonyLB
      Doug:  I'm uncertain what you mean by a Complication that hinders one side only.  What would this look like, in game terms?  Is this why you were excited about murphy's law, so that some impersonal force could replace the players narrating villains as opposition?


      Complications like Property Damage, Bystanders in Danger, or Public Relations will be irrelevant to a lot of (but not all) Villains. Therefore they have no narrative reason to win these complications.

      (If the Villains are deliberately attempting to discredit the Heroes, they may have an interest in making the Heroes lose the Complication, but that's a different matter.)

      However, by bringing these Complications into play in the first place, they "open up another front". The Heroes have much more reason to want to win the Complication, and it's relatively easy for the Villain to roll up their side of the Complication from a "1", and force the Heroes to do something about it - especially if it looks like the Villain is going to claim the Complication and hurt some innocent people.

      So if I were a Villain, I'd be spending points to play "Kitten Walks Out Into Busy Street" and roll it up. I'd also make sure the Heroes never got to live it down if they didn't rescue that kitten!

      And while they are wasting their time rescuing the kitten, I'd be using the breathing space to advance my Goals - and taunt them anyway!

      And that is why I think that certain Complications are one-sided...*

      As for Murphy, that was mainly a vehicle for dealing with scenes where there is no Villain. But if you decide to assign characteristics to non-Villains (as in 'the Fire is a Villain') then Murphy dice aren't necessary. It's a style thing again.

      Regards,

      Doug


      *Of course, if I were Dr. Malevolent, this would not be a one-sided Complication. Dr. Malevolent loves cats, so he'd be just as keen to rescue the poor little keetoom. Which illustrates the point: it's not what the Complication is that's important; it's all about who the Complication is meaningful too.
      Logged

      'Come and see the violence inherent in the System.'
      TonyLB
      Member

      Posts: 3702


      WWW
      « Reply #27 on: September 20, 2004, 10:57:27 AM »

      Your "Dr. Malevolent" postscript makes me think that you're no longer arguing that there should be a rules distinction between "one-sided" Complications and all the rest.  Is that true, or am I reading too much into it?
      Logged

      Just published: Capes
      New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
      Doug Ruff
      Member

      Posts: 445


      « Reply #28 on: September 20, 2004, 12:29:09 PM »

      I think it's more a question of me trying to put too much into one post.

      My feeling behind this is that playing a Complication can give you a significant tactical advantage in the Scene (beyond any bonus you may get for inspirations.)

      If you can pick a 'one-sided' Complication - by which I mean a Complication that represents something you are indifferent too, but which has a real impact on the opposition - you are getting free turns while they attempt to control and resolve that Complication.

      So if the Evil Exterminator (who doesn't give a damn about kittens) plays 'Kitten in Danger!' as a Complication, this gives him an edge in his conflict with Captain Liberty (who knows what bad PR he'll get if he doesn't save the kitten.)

      However, Dr. Malevolent isn't going to choose the same Complication if he gets into a fight with Captain Liberty, because he loves cats just as much.

      And if Max the Crime-Fighting Robot (who doesn't understand what all this fuss about small yowling creatures is about) ever gets into a conflict with Dr. Malevolent, Max's player could play 'Kitten in Danger!' as a distraction for the Villain

      In other words, it's all about knowing your opponent, and pushing his buttons - and that's what Quality Villainy is all about, folks.


      PS If you like the idea of this, I'm sure that I can expand on this in the Strategy thread, where it probably fits better.
      Logged

      'Come and see the violence inherent in the System.'
      Pages: 1 [2]
      Print
      Jump to:  

      Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
      Oxygen design by Bloc
      Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!