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Dropping conflicts

Started by kalyptein, November 06, 2006, 01:07:13 PM

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Hi, I'm a total Capes newbie looking forward to running/playing for the first time soon.  I have a couple questions about conflicts:

1) Can the player who resolves a conflict can do so in a way different that his prior narration has been going.

Say Alice and Bob are playing Spiderman and Dr Doom with the conflict "Spiderman battles Doctor Doom".  They are rolling on opposite sides and narrating their character pummeling the enemy.  Bob eventually wins the conflict, but he decides at the last moment, actually he wants to narrate Spiderman winning.  Can he do that, even though its essentially conceding the conflict to his opponent (naturally Bob still gets narration rights).  I think the answer is yes, but I wanted to check.

2) Is there any way to take a conflict off the table without resolving it?  Say the players feel the climactic moment has passed and this conflict is no longer interesting.  Or maybe events have occured that make the conflict no longer make sense (maybe it concerns a character who is now dead, etc).  I don't remember seeing anything in the rules that would allow it.  How would something like this be handled?



I'm certainly not authoratative, but I am just arrogant enough to reply anyway.

Quote from: kalyptein on November 06, 2006, 01:07:13 PM
1) Can the player who resolves a conflict can do so in a way different that his prior narration has been going.

Certainly yes.  There is a social aspect to this, though.  One assumes you are changing your intent to something everyone around the table will spontaneously exhale "cool...." to.  If you do it purposely to screw over your allies, you are liable to pay a price in the long run.  Personally, I find it reasonable to change your intent to a "loss", whatever that means in context, for your own personal character, with no significant consequences to other allied characters, almost any time.  So to take your example, if Bob decides Spiderman should win against Doctor Doom, that is most likely just fine with me as long as, in the process of the narration, he doesn't mess over me playing Magneto.  But if he somehow narrates both Doctor Doom and Magneto getting their butts handed to them by Spiderman, unless there has been some signal between us I might view that as some kind of breach of trust.  There are no rules for this, its the vibe.

Quote2) Is there any way to take a conflict off the table without resolving it?

There is no way to do this in the rules.  However, the Social Contract is the foundation...if everyone around the table truly agrees that the conflict is useless, then I'm not certain why you wouldn't just take it off the table.  On the other hand, if, at the end of the page, there is only one conflict left on the table, I would tend to let it ride into the next page, and see what happens.  You'd be surprised how conflicts that are seemingly extraneous can still add up to something interesting.  Certainly a character being dead is a BAD reason for ignoring a conflict.  It doesn't keep them from affecting the scene; it just requires a bit more creativity. :)
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You certainly could do a house rule to dump conflicts, but I haven't found it necessariy.  Conflicts that end up less interesting than people thought are relatively common, and they usually die pretty easily.  One person claims, rolls once, and it ends with a whimper.

If that isn't what is happening for you, it may be a matter of player inexperience and that will solve itself as you get some more games under your belt.  This game is a learning process.  One of the things that makes Capes so interesting is that it never seems like you stop discovering and finding new ways to play no matter how "experienced" you think you are.

Part of Capes is learning how to communicate what you care about through your choices in play.  Don't compete for a conflict just because it seems like what you are supposed to do.  If you truly don't care, don't roll on it more than once and definitely don't stake any debt on it.  Let the other guy have it.

Another part of this is learning how to declare conflicts that will inspire interest.  It is a matter of knowing your fellow players, but there are tactics that can be generalized as well.  "Spiderman battles Doctor Doom" doesn't give you a lot to hang your hat on even in the best of circumstances.  Something like "Goal: Dr. Doom makes Spiderman look like a fool in front of MJ" is better, and once you figure out what the other players care about, you will be able to write *really* good ones.  Threaten what is important to the other players.  It never misses.

If you like the house rule idea, try it out and tell us how it went.  There are people here who will be curious, including me.  But don't use it as a way to ignore the useful lessons to be learned about how the game works.  That's most of the fun!