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How many conflicts?

Started by Filip Luszczyk, July 17, 2007, 02:55:01 PM

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Filip Luszczyk

The procedure for initiating conflicts given on page 22 seems contradictory.

In the second paragraph: Most scenes in which the protagonists find themselves should involve at least one, if not multiple, conflicts (...)

In the third paragraph: Protagonists should never have more than one conflict per round of scenes, and sometimes not even that.

Which one is correct?

Should it go like:

a).Every player gets one spotlight scene for his protagonist per "round", in order. In his spotlight scene, the player or the croupier can initiate one conflict, and then the next player gets his spotlight scene.


b).Every player gets one spotlight scene for his protagonist per "round", in order. In his spotlight scene, the player and the croupier can initiate any number of conflicts. Once the scene is closed, the next player gets his spotlight scene.

Or maybe, there should be "must" instead of "can", and at least one conflict per scene must be initiated?

Also, what about the participation of non-spotlight protagonists in the conflict? Can they enter the scene and the conflict only because their players want to, or maybe they need spotlight player's invitation?

(The way I've been doing it before was one spotlight scene per player, one conflict in each scene, and non-spotlight protagonists entering on "invitation". I'm not sure if it was the optimal way to do this, it led to pretty complex conflicts if there was more than one issue to deal with in the same scene.)


Part of that is bad wording on my part, a reflection of Fastlane being my first "true" game and insisting on doing all my editing myself.  It'll be tighter in the next printing, and I'll be issuing a correction/expansion sheet once the printing is done explaining the tightened language and the proper way to handle things.

How you are doing it now is the way I've always done it, at least since the game crystallized in its final state - one spotlight per scene, one conflict in each scene, and non-spotlighted protagonists entering on "invitation" (which can be less than optional at times).  However, especially in the early playtests of Fastlane before the rules were tightened, there were occasional requirements for follow-up conflicts (your "b") case, and that first paragraph you're quoting is either left over from that, or one of the few places I accidentally used 'conflict' instead of 'contest'.  Now I just use those requirements for follow-up conflicts as cliffhangers, which is so much more in the spirit of the game.

Also, the "not even that" bit covers the occasional case where a player doesn't have a conflict at all.  I believe in Fastlane, at least, conflicts should happen in the majority of scenes, and due to the way the characters are meant to live, this is very likely.  So it's a soft "must" - a must with the understanding that occasionally, you need to step out of that box (and the new printing will have some extra advice on how to handle that that I'm forgetting right now, but will also be on the correction sheet).

Does this make sense?  Since the surgery I'm a bit more rambly and random than normal.

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming

Filip Luszczyk

Yup, now things make sense, especially if I look at contests as "mini-conflicts" in their own right.