Monday, August 1, 2016

RPG vs Story Scene: Scene resolution

RPG and Story Scene Series
RPG and Story Scenes: RPG scenes
RPG and Story Scenes: Writing and RPG methods
RPG vs Story Sequel: Reaction 
RPG vs Story Scene: Scene resolution

Stories have different endings for the entire storyline. And each scene also has its own an ending in much the same way. Less likely will scenes in the middle of a story end well like many story endings. There is something about bad endings, despair, and struggle that keeps our attention..

One common advice given is that every ending must have a cause, and every cause must have ending. A scene must end with an answer. Even if the answer is 'not yet'. Scene answers are lived out by the characters, not vocalized.

Another piece of common advice is to move forward in a story, a character moves backwards from attaining their goal, until the final main scene.

Types of Endings
Boring ending Explicit endings
a. Yes. 
Caution: Too many of these will be boring
View point character gains their objective = happy ending
For scenes, one good method is to make it appear everything is going great. And then in the next related scene everything falls apart.

More interesting endings
b. No.
View point character loses their objective = unhappy ending. This is caused by a direct obstruction of the goal.
c. Sort of.
View point character gains partially their objective however is missing a large portion of the objective.
d. Yes, unfortunately.
View point character gains their objective but loses something more valuable = tragedy or setback.
e. Yes, at all cost.
View point character sacrifices their objective for the greater good.

e. No, however. View point character losses track of objective. The character can be sidetracked by an indirect obstruction.
f. An unexpected twist can help or hinder the scene, depending on how jarring and cheating the author employs the twist. A cliffhanging scene can also serve a similar function. She pulled off the mask of the killer that had fallen after her blow of a chair. Underneath she saw the taped face of her father, who looked terrified.

Implicit endings
g. Metaphoric, sign, or image. 
Thematic ending that has meaning mixed up into imagery, description, and events. Where what happens means more than what is described.
h. I don't know.
View point character has a unresolved or confusing muddled finish. The scene is left up to interpretations of the reader. This may leave more questions to be answered.

RPG setting Endings
Some RPGs have mimicked many of these results for skills, action, and scenes.
Mythic led the groundbreaking work with the solo GM emulator. Other popular system that use similar structures are FU, CRGE, Tiny Soldiers, Fate Solo RPG, and including my evolving ABS12 system.

In it, the emulate those types of endings by offering answers to questions. Normally the structure used is for example the FU system by Nathan Russell. This system divides the even answers and meaning types of 'Yes' and odd answers, 'No'

6 Yes, and
4 Yes
2 Yes, but
5 No, but
3 No
1 No, and

Other RPGs don't explicitly state these types of answers. Some use degrees of success and failure such as Fate. Some use critical rolls and target numbers. Some rely on the GM to interpret the story more heavily.

Scene ending focuses
Also endings can be described in terms of their focus.
i. Two non-fiction forms of scene endings

  • Add a final piece of information
  • Hint that future events will be forthcoming.

Two focuses of scene endings
Plot - focuses on change of plot direction
Character - focuses on the change of an understanding of the character

Other types of endings Impending doom - doom is right in front of the character. She felt a knife blade held up across her throat.
Something is about to happen - something signals the beginning of something else. In the midst of deep sleep a crash of broken glass awoke her ...

Scene Obstacle Types
Obstacle types can direct the scene towards a scene ending.

Common obstacles

Change epiphany

Unknown suspense

Final Thoughts on Series
This is my fifth and final series post, unless I think of stuff or gather some other scene ideas for a later future post. I hope I have covered a blended view of scenes both for gaming and stories.

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