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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 41 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Best Friends] A doubt about pushing  (Read 1359 times)
Aetius
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Posts: 17


« on: July 03, 2010, 03:37:37 PM »

Hi to everyone!
We're playing right now with Best Friend and we encountered a little problem with the conflicts. Is this the right section?

Anyway...

When a character is in a conflict with another one is fairly common that she hates her direct rival in that ambit and so pushing is basically asking her rival to help.

For example:

Ezio is playing Jacqueline, the lacrosse captain, Tough as a brick
Lavinia is playing Kelly, the ultra-Cool goth girl
There's a little fuss, a revenge in development and a lacrosse ball is flying toward Kelly's face. The goals: Jacqueline wants to send Kelly to the infirmary; Kelly wants to impress the guys present on the scene.
Jacqueline is winning with her Tough 3; Kelly pushes and she hates Jacqueline for being Thougher.

This situation seems pretty common, seeing the mechanics of the game.
How is it played?

We described the fearful reputation of Jacqueline playing against herself: she's confronting without fear the infamous bone-breaker amazon so everyone is impressed. Yay for Kelly.

Another scene:
Katia is playing Cordelia, the the Pretty cheerleader.
Luca is Willow, our local smart-ass geek (yes, in Italy we like Buffy :-P)
Cordelia wants to convince Willow to give her "inner self" (err... rear self, actually *blush*) to Jason the night of the prom (we promised each other to not being virgin anymore the day after the ball!)
Willow doesn't want to give up.
Cordelia is all smoochies, cuteness and prettiness, so the ambit is Pretty.
Cordelia is winning, Willow pushes and she hates Cordelia because she's Prettier than her, like everyone.
Again, someone's asking for help to her direct rival.

Now the narration concern is simply how Cordelia isn't so convincing, her prettiness isn't enough to convince Willow.

Is this correct too?
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Ciao, I'm Ezio and I'm Italian.
And I'm sorry for my bad English, I'll keep studying ;-)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2010, 06:29:02 PM »

Hi Ezio!!

You are definitely posting in the right place. A few years have passed since I played Best Friends, so I hope I don't mis-lead you with my thoughts.

Your first example doesn't seem difficult to resolve. Your narration made a lot of sense to me. The logic goes like this: although Jacqueline is tougher, that only makes Kelly look better when she stands up to Jacqueline.

Perhaps you are making the incorrect assumption that a character's higher score, when Pushed, must somehow reflect positively on that character, or act to her advantage in some way. I don't have the book in front of me, but I think that's not necessarily required. Being smarter than someone can be a real disadvantage when they decide they really hate you because of it.

I think you're also facing some difficulty because one of the player-characters is directly attacking another. When we played, typically the adversity a character faced was something different from one of her friends, either a direct opponent or some kind of circumstances she was trying to avoid or overcome. Therefore the potential contradiction typically didn't arise. However, even in the few cases in which one of the friends did in fact attack or directly negatively affect one of the others, the logic I described above helped us play without problems.

It seems to me that your second example might best be resolved by turning away from what Willow wants or feels, and more toward what happens at the prom. Who knows, maybe Willow was even momentarily convinced by Cordelia, and then Cordelia is so God damned pretty that Jason doesn't notice Willow after all. So afterwards, Willow has "won" in the sense of Cordelia not having achieved her goal.

Or more simply, and if you did want to stay with the more psychological context of the conflict, then you might say that Willow

You might be interested in my old thread, [Best Friends] Larceny, hatred, and supportive actualization. Here are some points I'd like to abstract from it.

1. The characters really are friends and are unlikely to literally to attack one another without some kind of special tension at work. (This differs from Gregor's example in the book, in the cave-diving situation.) They also frequently face problems which affect them all, or which threaten the positive, teamwork side of their friendships.

2. There are lots of ways to hate someone, as I listed carefully in that thread. If you hate someone for a real reason ("she's smarter," and she is in fact smarter), that's different from hating her irrationally ("she's smarter," and in fact, she isn't). We found that keeping an eye on that detail makes describing Pushes much easier, because you have a good basis for whatever narration applies best in each match-up between any two of the characters.

Let me know if any of this helps or makes sense. Also, Gregor, check me on the logic involved.

Best, Ron
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Luca Veluttini
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Posts: 22


« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 12:25:33 AM »

Thank you very much Ron. ^^
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Aetius
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 04:11:39 AM »

Thank you Ron, precious advices.
I definitely want to re-play BF, maybe in more than 4.

I must convince Luca to borrow me the handbook before our Con in September... :-P

I've also enjoyed playing it with 2 girls. It's real, they go on the personal better than men. My girlfriend surprises even me with her slickness...

Or more simply, and if you did want to stay with the more psychological context of the conflict, then you might say that Willow

Maybe you forgot something in this phrase?
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Ciao, I'm Ezio and I'm Italian.
And I'm sorry for my bad English, I'll keep studying ;-)
Luca Veluttini
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 04:49:31 AM »

I must convince Luca to borrow me the handbook before our Con in September... :-P

Ok, so we could exchange views and impressions about this game... ^^
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Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 05:02:44 AM »

Sorry it's taken me a little time to get to this as I've been getting ready for some longer-service leave (and a long holiday it will be too). Anyway, now that I'm here in a northern Wyoming with internet I can answer it.

Ron is right in his post. So look out for three things:
(1) who hates you for whatever (since they will have to give a chip to you when they push)
(2) who you hate for whatever (since they're the ones that you'll have to push chips to)
(3) what the Petty Hatreds are rated at for those characters and for you.

Sometimes you'll hate someone for being Tougher and they are (i.e. the group agrees they're Tougher than you).
Sometime you'll hate someone for being Tougher who has the same Tough as you (and it's sometimes the case they feel the same way about you)
Sometimes you'll hate someone for being Tougher and they're not, but crucially you still think they are.

You might not agree with the group's view of other characters. That's life! It's also where the little interconnected webs of relationships live.

Even the Toughest character with Tough 5 (say you had 6 players and everyone voted Tough for one character) hates someone for being Tougher than them! Even though we all agree she is Tough-Tough-Tough, she still has a petty hang up about someone else that showed a Toughness once that she thinks she doesn't have. Does that make sense?

And your examples looked fine to me.

1. Cordelia uses her Pretty (which is higher than Willow's) to make Willow do something.
2. Willow pushes (and the chip goes somewhere, maybe to Cordelia or maybe to someone else depending on who Willow hates) and Willow now wins, saying how it happens.
3. Cordelia can push back and re-assert her winning. To do so she has to push a chip to someone else (whoever she hates for being Prettier than her, it might even be Willow!) and she says how it happens.
4. Willow and Cordelia can't push again, so that's how it is unless someone else pushes on Willow's behalf (sending a chip to whoever they think is Prettier). Why would they do that? Maybe to help Willow, making to thwart Cordelia, maybe because it's just right.
5. That's how it it unless someone now pushes back to help Cordelia. Repeating 4 and 5 until no one can push anymore or the players who haven't pushed are happy with how it is. Most times only the involved parties push their chips, but when things really bite then chips start flying from everybody.

And Buffy is a great example as the key thing is that these are Best Friends. These are characters that have deep bonds with each other but have petty little hatreds about their status in the group. Cordelia trying to peer pressure Willow into sleeping with Jason when Willow wants to save herself for Oz is great!

The example in the book is based on the film The Descent by the way (I was lucky enough to be at its premiere just before I finished writing Best Friends). It's a great horror movie about an all-female group exploring caves. I'd recommend anyone to check it out.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 04:19:43 PM »

I did forget to complete one of my paragraphs.

Quote
It seems to me that your second example might best be resolved by turning away from what Willow wants or feels, and more toward what happens at the prom. Who knows, maybe Willow was even momentarily convinced by Cordelia, and then Cordelia is so God damned pretty that Jason doesn't notice Willow after all. So afterwards, Willow has "won" in the sense of Cordelia not having achieved her goal.

Or more simply, and if you did want to stay with the more psychological context of the conflict, then you might say that Willow

Here is the completed second paragraph:

Or more simply, and if you did want to stay with the more psychological context of the conflict, then you might say that Willow completely accepts that Cordelia is prettier, but determines that she herself (Willow) will be as pretty as she can be, and damn Cordelia anyway ... and of course, in this moment, fueled in part by her frustration at being in the shadow of pretty-pretty Cordelia all the damned time (that's the Push), she ends up being prettier than Cordelia without even realizing it. Here, Willow has won because she is prettier just for this moment, plain and simple, and the group has to come up with some sort of reasonable explanation for why Jason doesn't go after her. Such explanations are so easy and also so diverse that specific examples might even be counter-productive. I'll risk it though: my point is that the details of the plot-outcome are not constrained by any feature of the mechanics, and can range from Jason getting stomach flu and not showing up, or Jason being unable to get through the throngs of turned-on guys who mob Cordelia at the prom, or Jason becoming bashful and shy because he thought plain little Willow would be an easy pity-fuck, and now she's this goddess. Or any one of a thousand other things.

Best, Ron
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