10 Jan 2009

Conflict Resolution and Agendas

I will discuss the javelin example again in order to illustrate Conflict Resolution as I have defined it in my previous post.

There is no other character involved, so there is no inherent conflict. I think there are three possible options, an external conflict (with the elements or the world), an internal conflict (with himself), or an internalised external contest (with his non-present father).

The Forge Glossary suggests that the world should be seen as having interests even if abstracted, so the external conflict could be the breeze attempting to push the javelin away or the target itself appearing small distant and un-hittable.

An internal conflict needs to contain a conflict of interest, part of the character must either have an interest in failure (he wants to miss because he is uncomfortable with the symbolic patricide), or contain a potential for failure that can be abstracted as an interest(he has never managed to hit this target before and so his own doubt seeks to cause him to miss).

The non-present character option is a kind of internal conflict asserted upon the character by external forces. So we might have our character remembering his fathers scolding dialogue which serves to make him miss. We could use his fathers disapproval skills here even though he is not actively using it here and now.

In any of these cases it is necessary for the opposing agenda to actively oppose the character during the mechanical resolution so that we can decide on the outcome. So in HeroQuest we would have the resistance be the opposing interest in order to have two dice to compare, and in Dogs in the Vineyard we would use the Demonic Influence as the opposing dice pool.

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