I think the key would be to have the player choose one of the sides they WANT to
support(regardless of what the "character wants"). For example, if I have John the Coward,
but a scene is happening where I want him to show some bravery, or at least the amount
he's managed to work up, as his best friend is in danger, I (the player) would take the side
of Relationship to Buddy, and be using whatever stuff is on that side to augment. The
Narrator would then take up Cowardice and use whatever else could be used to augment
The character himself, John the Coward, may actually just want to run away, or maybe he
wants to stay, but isn't that the point of the contest? To see what actually happens?
As far as "mastery", or rather, experience in dealing with these two traits, it would play out
in my ability as a player to expertly use my own abilities against my other ratings in order
to "win" the desired effect. In the long term, I'd be spending my Hero Points to up one
side or the other, and the abilities that bolster it.
> Hello. This is my first post on this particular list, and I have an
> odd question.
> I'm trying to devise a contest that represents a person being in
> conflict between two different, undesirable, and somewhat opposed
> internal urges. To put this in a concrete example that might make
> sense to some of you here, it's like the old dragonewt Personality
> Trait Chart from Wyrm's Footnotes #14, where the desirable conscious
> state was caught between two opposed impulsive traits. The mechanic
> I'm looking for should -- in a single roll, ideally -- represent an
> individual's personal mastery over two opposed and uncontrolled
> emotional states, or personality traits. At the same time, I want to
> be able to track the ebb and flow of these personality traits -- thus,
> the candle burning at both ends.
> My first thought was to simply pit one personality trait against the
> other in a simple contest, say, a person's Foolhardy impulses versus
> his Cowardly impulses. However, this doesn't take the person's
> mastery over the two into account, particularly the mastery getting
> pinched between the two. So I'm finding myself trying to devise a
> three-way contest with one personality trait on one side, the other on
> the other, and a third trait piggy-in-the-middle. I've mulled over
> the Group Simple Contests ruling on HQ p.65, but it doesn't seem to
> apply well to this case, where I want to pick a single winner out of
> three contestants with a single roll.
> Any ideas on how to wrangle this contest?
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