Monday, April 7, 2014

Three Kinds of Stories

There are three kinds of conflicts in stories:

Man vs. Himself

Man vs Man

Man vs. Nature

I already rambled on about hooks and ways to roll dice to resolve their complications in all sorts of ways. That covers man vs. himself. Man vs. man is any sort of combat you care to work up. Man vs. nature can be handled with combat as well. I refer you to the Risus Companion: if it would be fun to personify a problem; assign it some dice.

So rather than plotting a journey on a map divided into hexagons or whatever grid you fancy assign the journey a cliche (or several cliches.) For example to reach the Disturbingly Remote Tomb of Demonstration our heroes must travel on the King's Road (2), then the Dismal Mire (3) and finally ascend the Deadly Precipice (5.) Fortunately they have a ranger with Rugged Outdoorsman (4.) He laughs at the trip by road and blows it away with no trouble in two rounds (say two days travel.) He loses none of his cliche. The Dismal Mire is defeated in 3 rounds as well but the ranger loses two dice from his cliche. The GM rules that the party takes a day for each round of combat and two more for their ranger's lost dice. Not being suicidal the group decides to rest a couple days before trying the precipice to allow the ranger's cliche to be healed.

The GM can of course decide all kinds of bad things happen if the party loses the contest to nature. At the very least trip times can be doubled. Sickness, getting lost. losing supplies, and equipment are other complications. A similar system can be devised for spacecraft.

Because getting there is all the fun (for the GM.)