Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Goal in the Bottom of the Ninth

It is time for a bit of a change in gears. The next few weeks or so the focus will shift toward role-playing games again. This is not to say--as is frequently said here--that what will be discussed is any less relevant to plotting a novel or writing a screenplay. All of these items, and all narratives really, share certain things in common such as plot, settings, and types of characters. This definition of character is as far as their place in the setting, in the society they were born into, and/or the society they adopt as their own. It informs and involves their profession. The other definitions of character are almost exclusive of this and need not change significantly from setting to setting. Only the actions they bring about change, not the motives behind them in the different settings.

The quantities that will be discussed involve modifications or elements of certain settings that change the nature of the game. They change the way plots and conflicts are resolved over the long term across multiple encounters. From role-playing games to stories these game-changers affect the timeframe under which the story progresses. They affect the level of tension in the story. At the same time they bring to the story different things in place of the lost tension. When conflict is altered it has a ripple effect that carries over beyond how combat is done. At the military level some of these changes will affect the strategic planning and materiel management. Others will have an effect on the motives behind going to war and the willingness to do so.

Much of the way a society handles itself and the traditions they involve themselves in come about because of their militaristic habits. At the least, military inventions and procedures trickle down because of the required innovation to constantly one-up the enemy and the sense of duty and efficiency required by any good army. Those two are just such a potent combination. At the same time that combination is pretty rigid and doesn't allow for much variation so of course it can only be one part of the necessary equation to create a society, or number of societies. The variations, the differences, from one group to another group are where a lot of friction comes and where conflict is developed. So it is that next week begins with the first look at one of these game-changing elements.

Mood: mellow.
Music: Paint It, Black by The Rolling Stones and Chariots of Pumpkins by John Carpenter.

The Rolling Stones: Aftermath
Or get MP3s.
Now at Amazon.COM NOT CA.

Buy these at
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Halloween III: Complete Original Motion Picture Score
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