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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 166 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: PvP in PtA  (Read 4285 times)
JMendes
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Posts: 379


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« on: March 27, 2005, 08:30:54 PM »

Hey, :)

I'm splitting this off, because I think it's become out of topic for the original thread.

Quote from: In that other thread, ricmadeira
don't be afraid of this... specially not in PTA!
And as it turned out, he was right, but not for the reasons he was thinking.

I found out that I can dig PvP conflict in PtA, because:
a) the mechanic is conflict-resolution rather than task-resolution based, and it is scene-framed rather than continuous;
b) nothing bad (read uninteresting, undramatic or deprotagonizing) can happen to either party; and
c) the producer can enforce the level of conflict.

Basically, I can let an argument develop, stop it whenever I want to, discuss appropriate stakes, call the roll, and enforce the end of the scene after as short a narration as I want to. In other words, it is in my power to prevent one player from taking another out of the game, within the framework of the system.

Mostly, my problem with player-driven PC-vs-PC conflict is that I do not have this power without resorting to heavy-handed arbitrariness, which I find unacceptable in other types of systems. So, what I have is, the players argue for as long as they damn well feel like, then one of them escalates to mechanics on his own initiative, and no matter what, the game is generally already screwed.

Yet in PtA, it works. :) Note that I agree with Danny_K when he said, in the other thread, that red-hot PC vs. PC conflict is absolutely necessary for PTA. But now, if it happens, I know how to deal with it.

Cheers,

J.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2005, 07:26:52 AM »

I'll be interested to see, long-term, whether you drift away from feeling the need to enforce the level of conflict.

My experience is that your point (b) ("nothing bad can happen") is more essential than point (c).  It means that escalation is escalation toward fun, not escalation toward dysfunction.  And if that's true, then you really don't need to put on the brakes, right?
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JMendes
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2005, 10:37:54 AM »

Hey, :)

Maybe. As you say, in the long run, we'll see. :)

Cheers,

J.
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