*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 09, 2022, 02:50:34 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Breaking Down Capes  (Read 3560 times)
Bret Gillan
Member

Posts: 375

That's Bret with one 't' damn it.


« on: July 06, 2007, 05:37:40 AM »

So, in working on Gods I took a look at Capes and decided it could really do just about anything. Tony, I think you've said before that Capes will only tell superhero stories, but I am unconvinced! Obviously! Wink But since I love the system so damn much I've been figuring out how to apply it to other settings and thinking about ways I could tweak it.

Abilities - Checkoff and debt-incurring abilities are basically character thematics and shticks. Debt-incurring abilities are the character thematics that really make the character who they are and don't have to be superpowers. In one game I had one of my "superpowers" as "Smoke cigarette." Checkoff abilities are similar shticks, but lesser ones that don't come up as often.

Drives - Drives are game thematics as they relate to the characters. They push the conflicts you will see in the game over and over and over. If I take a high Fear drive, we're going to see a lot of Conflicts about Fear. If you change these, you change the themes of the game. If I run a game that's epic fantasy and I give my character the Drives "Courage," "Heritage," and "Loyalty" then it will be very different than a game with the prepackaged Drives. Debt, then, is what pushes people to address those themes and keep coming back to them, and rewards the other players for engaging those themes. When I take a high Drive I'm saying, "This is what I want the story to be about - please push Conflicts about this!"

Conflicts: While I like the Event/Goal setup, essentially what Conflicts are doing are asking questions and deciding who has the authority to answer them. What will happen when the bomb goes off? Can Dr. Hell be convinced to help fight the alien invasion?  However, the questions do not have to be limited to character or events. The can answer questions of setting, laws of reality, and so on. If someone wants to bring fairies into the game, I can come up with a Conflict to make them fight for the existance of fairies.

Inspirations: Really, they're just a mechanism for maintaining narrative continuity. Man, come to think of it, I'd love to do a time travel game where Inspirations are used to explain effects across the timelines.

Any thoughts on these?
Logged
TonyLB
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 07:45:08 AM »

I am ... skeptical ... about the claim that Capes can do anything.

Fundamentally, I think it drives a certain message very hard, and that message is (roughly) "How committed you are is the single most important factor in determining success or failure."

There are plenty of quite serviceable stories that put forth different (or, indeed, exactly opposite) messages.  I think that using Capes to do noir detective fiction or puritan cautionary tales would be ... wonky.  Sort of like using Toon to do stories inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.  It could be done, but it's going to be a damn strange matchup.

Can you combine any genre elements with Capes?  Sure.  It's easy to make it agnostic in that way.  But even our Sin City run (of the famous "Smoke Cigarette" power) was very different from a story like Maltese Falcon.  Does that distinction make sense?
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Bret Gillan
Member

Posts: 375

That's Bret with one 't' damn it.


« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 09:14:49 AM »

But that's assuming that Drives are automatically making a narrative statement about Commitment. If we change what the Drive mechanic is used for, doesn't that change the statement?

Say Drives become Genres instead, and when I wager Debt on a Conflict it's because that Conflict is Genre-appropriate rather than a statement about what the character is committed to - is it still a statement about commitment?

I don't think Capes can do anything either, but I think Capes's underlying mechanics can be divorced from superhero genre and can be used for other things. And that's what I'm trying to do, because I love GMless, I love the competitive nature of Capes, and I'm positive other things can be done with it.
Logged
TonyLB
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 3702


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 06:08:45 AM »

Say Drives become Genres instead, and when I wager Debt on a Conflict it's because that Conflict is Genre-appropriate rather than a statement about what the character is committed to - is it still a statement about commitment?
I tend to think so, because of the strategy involved.

It's usually really bad strategy to dump a lot of your debt on something, split it into (say) three ones, and then leave it like that and go on to other things.  Yes?  You want to roll those ones.  Staking the debt is step one, paying a lot of attention to the conflict in order to capitalize on that staked debt is step two.  If you don't intend to go to step two you don't execute step one.

Because of that, no matter what you claim the debt should be used for, I suspect that it will be used in situations where the player intends to commit themselves to winning a given conflict.

I think that if you make one of the drives "Fedora Hat" you may discover that players become strongly engaged with the idea and significance of the fedora hat.
Logged

Just published: Capes
New Project:  Misery Bubblegum
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!