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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: SIS Control Problem: A Concrete Example  (Read 22099 times)

Posts: 30

« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2008, 07:56:24 PM »

I'm going to necromance this thread rather than creating a new one (I hope that's OK) because I've just gotten ahold of the full version of Capes, I've been reading all the backlog in the forums, and this seems to be the clearest example of what's been worrying a lot of people.  It worried me too, at first, until something clicked in my head, and I want to toss this out here and see if I'm "getting it".

So we've got Dr. Otto, Valence, and Starflare.

Dr. Otto has just won the conflict to "Steal the Ray Gun".

Valence narrates taking it back to win "Impress Starflare".  The argument is that he can do that in free narration, and it totally undermines the conflict that Dr. Otto won.

But that's where everyone always stops the example, even though play wouldn't stop there (unless it were the end of the scene).  There's this unspoken assumption that Otto just says "curses, foiled again" and vanishes.  But he's got the same power that Valence does with regards to the narration.  When his turn comes around:

"Hey!" protests Dr. Otto. "I stole that fair and square!"  He snatches the ray gun back from Starflare.  (Player: I introduce the conflict: "Goal: Get Starflare's gun from Dr. Otto"  Or maybe "Goal: Dr. Otto escapes with Starflare's Gun").

Now Otto's got it on the table (and he'll get Story Tokens if they manage to wrest it away fom him).  Of course, if Otto were really devious, he'd just smirk as Valence takes away the gun, and then on his turn:

"Event: Starflare uses the booby-trapped ray gun." 

Or maybe he spends a story token and introduces "Booby-trapped Ray Gun" as a character.  Or he works it into the narration of one of his later conflicts.  "I'm rolling 'Always has a backup plan'...a 5!  the boobytrap Otto planted on Starflare's gun goes off, distracting the heroes..."

So...getting it?  Or am I missing something still?


I'm pretty new here but I've been thinking about a similar problem with trying to introduce my new group to the game.

So, in a way (and I don't mean to be insulting) Capes is sort of an rpg version of Calvin ball. You can do anything until someone makes up a "rule (a conflict) to stop you. Making something a Conflict gives it "mechanical" weight . Individual groups might have limits either unspoken or explicit on what is "going to far" but the game in and of itself doesn't enforce any.

Andrew Cooper

Posts: 724

« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2008, 03:02:33 AM »

I wouldn't call it Calvin Ball.  The rules exist in Capes and in fact they are even more immutable than in games like D&D.  There is no Rule Zero in Capes.  The rules always get enforced by everyone playing equally.  There is no GM who can say, "I don't like that rule here.  I'm ignoring it."  The rules in Capes really are the arbitrator of disagreements (in a certain sense).

You are correct though in stating that the rules don't force anyone to narrate what the group considers appropriate.  Anyone can narrate whatever they want as long as it doesn't violate the Comics Code or the rules concerning narrating the result of a Conflict.  Now the rules do provide methods of exerting pressure on other players to stay within the spirit of a particular game but there is nothing that comes out and says, "You can't narrate that!"


Posts: 642

« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2008, 07:03:02 AM »

I actually have what I think is a solution to this, but the thread is kinda old so I figure I'll start a new one.

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