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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: "Yes, and ..."  (Read 3406 times)
klausok
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Posts: 28


« on: March 29, 2006, 02:29:31 AM »

The thing that I find really great about With Great Power (having read but not played it yet) is how it handles play balance. No fiddling with the cost of teleportation vs. flight, just allow characters to be any power level. And be prepared to handle it, of course. If one character's power is that he hangs out at the karate club a lot and is good at that kind of thing, while another is the Angel of Annihilation capable of eradication a galaxy with but wave of its hand, fine.

But I have a question about the "Yes, and ..." rule.

It works well when two bricks are fighting. Get knocked through a wall, get up, dust off, deliver some witty remark, hit back.

But there are attacks where the only answer is not being hit. If the Angel above were to hit Karate Guy with a wave of irresistible erasure, he can't very well answer "I get erased from the Universe, and then ...".

Also, many heroes are not especially durable. E.g. most members of the Legion of Super Heroes.

What if Batwoman, defined as being able to pulp an elephant with a single blow of her mighty bat, hit Overlooked Boy, defined as an ordinary guy except that when he doesn't wish to be noticed, he isn't. What should the player describe? "When the cleaning crew has scrubbed me off the pavement, I hit her right back!"?
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2006, 03:55:33 AM »

How did Captain America, Batman, and Daredevil survive all those insane crossovers they did in the 80s & 90s? I think Cap went up against the Absorbing Man at one poin, for crying out loud! My answer: Speed, flexibility, and a willingness to use thought balloons to remind the reader of the seriousness of the threat they face.

So, I'm playing Overlooked Boy (Aside: I suddenly want to know about his social life really bad). Batwoman's player says: "I swing my massive bat at you with the power to crush an elephant. Here's my 4 of hearts, and the characteristics are "Attack Person" and "Attack with Weapon." I shout: "That's the last time you'll be overlooked, boy!"

I have an Ace of hearts. I say: "Yes, your bat comes sailing toward my skull. The shockwave alone sends me sailing into the wall of a nearby building. I crash into the wall with a loud THUD and slide down." I grab the THought Balloon and hold it over my head, saying "Any closer and I would have been a goner! I've got to end this, now!" I play my Ace of hearts and say "Shaking my head to clear it, I charge up to you and deliver a nasty punch to the tricep, to ruin your ability to swing the bat. I say "No extra innings for you today, Batwoman. Consider yourself benched!" "

Notice how I could have easily worked in an Assessment during the "hitting the building" part of the above?

The thing to remember with the "Yes" part of "Yes, and ..." and "Yes, but ..." is that not only are you accepting and legitimizing the individual action that the player put forward--saying "Yes, that actually happened in the imaginary comic book"--, but you're also giving social and creative approval and encouragment to that player's contribution to the story--saying "Yes, that idea is cool and I like it. It's not going to end our conflict, because I've got more cards I want to play, but it is a cool idea nevertheless."

Never let the demands of the first kind of "yes" undercut the delivery of the second kind of "yes."

Does that help?
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klausok
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Posts: 28


« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2006, 04:46:47 AM »

Yes, that helps. Thanks.
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klausok
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 06:57:12 AM »

So, I'm playing Overlooked Boy (Aside: I suddenly want to know about his social life really bad).

I made him up on the spur of the moment. But I now realize that I have read about such a character. Not in a comic, but in a novel: Larry Niven's A Gift From Earth.

Not a boy but a grown man. He has pretty much given up on sex. The first time is frightening. Every time he gets to the point where he is convinced that this is it, there comes a brief flash of panic where he wishes she would just go away. Which she promptly does. Since he does not not know he has the power, he thinks girls and later women are just being mean to him.
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