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Author Topic: Capes character creation as a play-aid to *other* games  (Read 3593 times)
Garth
Member

Posts: 16


« on: March 14, 2008, 03:02:33 PM »

So, I have Capes.  I want to play Capes.  I can't find anyone to play Capes.  This frustrates me.

So for the heck of it, and to get a feel for how the system really works, I make up a bunch of characters from an old, memorable superheroes campaign using the freeform method.  (Originally Champions, later reincarnated in Mutants & Masterminds.)  A really cool campaign, with lots of characterization, deep relationships, tense conflicts.

And you know what?  I learned things about my own character I'd never learned before - to say nothing of the *other* characters.  A lot of the conflicts and resentments hidden beneath the surface came into clear view.  It was shocking - like seeing another side of someone you've known for years.

All this came from, in order from least important to most important:

1.  Prioritizing powers.  Not such a biggie.
2.  Prioritizing attitudes.  What's important enough to be a full-blown attitude, and what order of importance do they come in?
3.  Coming up with Styles, deciding which are most important, and which are powered. (It's NOT always the ones that would initially seem most obvious!)
4.  Deciding on Drives, and how important they are.
5.  Deciding who's the Exemplar of the given drive, and what the free conflict is.
6.  Putting your finger on exactly what the root conflict is with the Exemplar.

DAMN.  It impressed me.  And please understand, this was a campaign where people were quite deliberately building in conflicts between their characters.  You'd think it'd all be old news.  But expressing even those up-front, existing conflicts really got hot when I asked, "How can I phrase this in the 'X... but Y' form," and "What free conflict does this suggest, that reflects how the characters were actually played?"

I'm now thinking that even if your group wants to play a different game, having people first create their characters Capes-style could be very beneficial.  (I'll glad share some or all of the characters I came up with, if anyone's interested.  It's just a bit long, that's all.)
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Joel P. Shempert
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Posts: 451


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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 06:58:48 PM »

So, I have Capes.  I want to play Capes.  I can't find anyone to play Capes.  This frustrates me.
You don't live in Portland, OR by any chance?

Anyway, this is pretty cool stuff. I've thought along these lines using some other games; for instance the Shadow of Yesterday (scribbling down Keys and Secrets for D&D PCs). While a lot of it is motivated by "I wish I was playing that game instead of this game," it does help me grab onto some idea of character drive, motivation, conflict and the like, in a system (like D&D) that offers relatively little traction for such things.

But I never thought about Capes that way. When I first found the game I made like, 3 dozen Marvel characters, but that was just the usual (for me) impulse of figuring out how my favorite archetypes are modeled in a new ruleset. That was just with the free materials, though: Capes Lite and the click'n'locks. Hmm, sounds like a lounge band. But yeah, when you plug Drives and Exemplars and Free Conflicts in there, it sounds like a marvelous set of focused story creation tools.

Kinda like, y'know, they are when [playing Capes with them. Wink

Peace,
-Joel
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Story by the Throat! Relentlessly pursuing story in roleplaying, art and life.
Garth
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 07:20:34 PM »

You don't live in Portland, OR by any chance?

Nope, Corvallis.

Quote
Anyway, this is pretty cool stuff. I've thought along these lines using some other games; for instance the Shadow of Yesterday (scribbling down Keys and Secrets for D&D PCs). While a lot of it is motivated by "I wish I was playing that game instead of this game," it does help me grab onto some idea of character drive, motivation, conflict and the like, in a system (like D&D) that offers relatively little traction for such things.

Yeah.  I mean, I've always *done* that kind of thing.  But I've never had a *structure* for doing it.

And I think it would be pure gold for a whole group to do it that way together.

Quote
But yeah, when you plug Drives and Exemplars and Free Conflicts in there, it sounds like a marvelous set of focused story creation tools.

One thing I discovered right quick is that you can spin a relationship as one of several Drives, almost at will.  So you have to ask, "Which one sounds most right?  And how could the conflict reflect that?"

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Kinda like, y'know, they are when [playing Capes with them. Wink

I wish I did know. Wink  Maybe someday.  Capes seems like a very frustrating game to try to play online, too.
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