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Author Topic: Capes tactics - Precision restraint  (Read 2298 times)
TonyLB
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« on: May 20, 2005, 05:07:16 PM »

Okay, you want some really whacked out, bizarre, intensely human scenes?  Don't think about single conflicts, and how they work out.  Think about how the Not-Yet restraints of one Conflict influence how you can address another.

This is dead easy to show through examples... and pretty easy to make up on your own, once you see the pattern.

Example #1a:  A very boring set of Conflicts.

Goal:  Zak wants to convince himself that he is heroic
Goal:  Zak wants to vent his anger with his team-mates
Goal:  Fistfire wants to make a human connection
Goal:  Fistfire wants to learn more about Zak's sister, Zartanna

Why are these very boring?  Because there is absolutely no reason for anyone to actually contest those desires.  If Zak just comes right out and say "Hey, you think I'm heroic, don't you?" then what's Fistfire really going to say?  I mean, yeah, he could temporize... "Well, 'heroic' is such a weighted term," and like that.  But it's a little strained.

Example #1b:  A slightly modified, much more subtle, set of Conflicts

Goal:  Zak wants to convince himself that he is heroic
Goal:  Zak wants to vent his anger with his team-mates
Goal:  Fistfire wants to make a human connection
Goal:  Fistfire wants to learn more about Zak's sister, Zartanna
Goal:  Both want to avoid actually speaking anything about their feelings out loud.

See that last goal?  That flavors everything you can do to address the previous four.  As long as it's out there you can't say things like "You think I'm heroic, don't you?"  The "Not Yet" rule would immediately be called into play.

Now how do I imagine that conflict?  Workout room.  Better yet... the boxing ring.  "Calm?  Of course I'm calm.  I'm always calm."  <SMACK!>  "Sure, naturally.  You're zen, that's what you are."  <POW!>

Plus, the mechanics get hilarious and true:  "I'm using Titanic Punch to increase my side of 'Make a human connection.'  I slam him through the wall.  He gets back up and we exchange competitive smiles."

Now this is about as classically a "macho grunt guy-bonding" thing as you can get.  But the technique applies everywhere.  I'm not a woman, so any take on "girl-talk" is going to be flavored by my overwhelming fear of the ineffable power of feminine mystique... but what the hey....

Example #2a:  A boring conversation between lovers

Goal:  Johnny wants to convince Dierdre that he loves her
Goal:  Johnny wants to convince Dierdre that he understands her
Goal:  Dierdre wants to get Johnny to take less risks
Goal:  Dierdre wants to get Johnny to propose marriage

Example #2b:  A subtly different conversation

Goal:  Johnny wants to convince Dierdre that he loves her
Goal:  Johnny wants to convince Dierdre that he understands her
Goal:  Dierdre wants to get Johnny to take less risks
Goal:  Dierdre wants to get Johnny to propose marriage
Goal:  Johnny wants to understand what the heck they're actually talking about, because it's clearly not really about his forgetting to pick up the frozen pineapple on his way home from the super-battle
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