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Capes F.A.Q.

Started by Hans, April 26, 2006, 12:22:19 AM

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I was sitting around a few days ago, saying to myself.."you know, Capes really needs an FAQ, why doesn't it have one."  And then it occurred to me, "The reason it doesn't have one is because no one has done it."

So...I went back to the beginning of the forum, and started reading. 

Please see my attempt at a Capes FAQ and tell me what you think of the result.  Personally, there were at least three times during the course of putting this together that I went "the HELL?!  I didn't know that?"  I freely admit I am especially eager for Sydney, Eric, and especially Tony to review it for accuracy.

As you are reading it, please, please, please, if you see something that you say "the HELL?!" to, read the linked posts first, before you tell me I got it wrong.  I have done my best to only REPORT what has been said on the forums, and do as little INTERPRETATION as possible.  So if you disagree with something here, chances are you aren't disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with someone else.

Also, please realize that this FAQ is about what Capes IS, not about what it could, should, would, or might be.  Those are areas that are well worth discussion, but they weren't the point.

In case you are wondering, the most common 5 questions that have been asked since the beginning of this forum, based on number of times asked, quoted from the FAQ:

Q: I have narrated a resolution to a conflict. How long do the elements I introduced into that narration have meaning?
A: As long as they are interesting. This is one of the hardest concepts in Capes, so an example is in order. If the goal "Capture Mr. X" resolves, it can be narrated such that Mr. X is arrested and carted of to jail. How long does Mr. X stay in jail? Answer, as long as it is interesting to everyone for him to be there. If the scene is not yet over, a player could narrate Mr. X escaping from jail almost immediately on the next page. If the scene is over, Mr. X could be narrated escaping in the very next scene. Conflicts prevent narration (through the "Not yet" rule) while they are on the table, but prevent nothing after they are resolved.
Q: COROLLARY - So, then is there no way to have any established "facts" in a game of Capes?
A: As the game is written, no. However, see the threads for discussion of some house rules that might work. The general feeling of many on the Forge, though, is that Capes should be played as is first; after you have had a chance to try out the rules as written, you can see if the knee-jerk reaction to no real facts really needs a house rule for your play.
Q: Is it legal to have a "character" consist of more than one character sheet? For example, "Giant Robots Right Arm", "Giant Robots Left Arm", "Giant Robots Head", etc.?
Yes. As long as story tokens are spent per extra character sheet past the first free one in a scene, there really aren't any limits in how those character sheets can represent. A variation of this is to have a few characters, and then an NPC that represents the "team" of those characters, with abilities like "know each others thoughts" and "well trained teamwork". See the threads for more variations. Note that it is entirely possible these different "parts" could be played by different players.
Q: Who gets the story tokens when a conflict resolves with debt staked on the winning side?
The basic rule is as follows:
If the player who created the conflict is not allied to the winning side, that player must get the "first" story token.
All other debt tokens are given to players allied with or claiming the any of the losing sides at the whim of the person who staked the debt. The general guideline on how these distributed has been stated by Tony as giving the most ST's to those "who provided the most effective opposition".
If there is no one allied with or claiming any of the losing sides, then the debt tokens simply dissappear, and no one gets story tokens.
(it is not clear if more than one person staked debt on the winning side, if EACH staked player must give that player a ST, or if only one must do so, and if so, which one. Here it seems to indicate they get the "first" one, but since there are no clear rules regarding what order multiple debt stakers award story tokens, the question still seems in the air)
(Tony noted here that sometime people on the winning side should get ST's, if they provided the most effective opposition, but then switched sides. Here he seems to say this is a house rule)
(NOTE, here Tony momentarily states that if the player who created the conflict is completely unallied with the conflict, he or she must still get a story token. He then retracts this a bit further down. However, he then clearly states this is errata here He then states something a bit different here I'm not trying to make Tony look bad here, since this is the ONLY thing I have found that he has been somewhat self contradictory on. NOTE that since a claimant need not be allied to the winning side (see above) it seems that if you can get other people to do the work for you, you COULD both win a conflict AND give yourself story tokens. Please, someone correct this with a reference to the rules or threads.)
Q: Whats the deal with "preventative goals"? Don't the veto rules make them impossible. That is, if I put down "Goal: Bad guy escapes", can't the bad guy just veto?
Tony's answer seems to be "yes, but that hardly ever happens since the player you are trying to prevent will see it as a gold mine of resources." Others seem to say that since you can pretty much always rewrite a goal to be unvetoable by a player, as in "Goal: Good guy captures Bad guy" instead of "Goal:Bad Guy escapes", it is sort of a moot point. Its particularly unclear whether "Goal: Escape" prevents any kind of escaping behaviour by anyone, or whether it prevents nothing since it has no subject. And some seem to think it is the object, not the subject, that can veto, as in "Goal: Capture Bad Guy" could be vetoed by the bad guy player. The bottom line on this quesion is you should read the threads listed below and decide for yourself.
Q: COROLLARY - Under what circumstances can the "Not Yet" rule be invoked with regards to preventative goals?
To paraphrase Tony, a goal such as "Goal: Bad Guy escapes" prevents any narration that would make the escape CERTAIN, or DEFINITELY IMPOSSIBLE. This is a good guideline for "Not Yet" and any conflict, and it really doesn't matter WHO could veto the goal. See and posts before and after it.
Q: Is there any way to stop people from narrating something that I think is stupid, makes no sense, is silly, is crass or unecessary, or that I otherwise just plain can't stand?
A: And still play the game? No. Capes is like a book added to line by line; you can add anything you want, but you can't erase anything. However, you can reinterpret things in any way YOU want, and they can't stop YOU. The only exception to the above is if the narration violates the "Not Yet" rule.
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In the interest of possibly spurring some response to the FAQ (because, I admit it, I am desparate to hear from people to see if it is worth continuing to update and work on), here are the bits that really surprised me:

If the Free conflict of a NPC resolves, does that NPC leave the game?
YES??? Need to check this.

Who is allied, characters or players?
Anyone have a page number for the rules for these?

For that matter, WHEN can I play free conflicts?
Anytime. Really, anytime.

I am allied with the winning side, but did not claim it. Can I get inspirations from the win?

How much debt is required to schism?
Only one. There is a "free" die on a side. You can lay one debt, split the die into two sides, one that has your one debt on it, and one that has the one free (now smaller) die. You only need two debt to split a die on the SAME side.

On an action, can I stake debt from any of my characters, or only from my acting character?
Only your acting character.

Does claiming a side make me allied with it?
These I have been playing wrong since the beginning.

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I think it's such a valuable contribution that I didn't want to clutter the thread with "me too" posts.  Your first question (NPC free conflicts) is ruled on page 103.
Just published: Capes
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First, thanks Tony. 

2nd, I found the page number for my 2nd question above, pg 22.  Suddenly a LOT of other stuff makes sense now that I realize that allied is a character thing, but claims are a player thing.
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