3/23/2011 The last Cliché Standing

We finally have reached the end of our own familiarity and will now boldly go where no man has gone before.   I will try to convince you, how something that I have never done or heard being done within gaming, should be considered a Cliché.   

The Chess Game Cliché: This plot device is when both the hero and villain pit themselves against each other with some massive force.  The massive force could be armies, Mechs, or hulking spaceships.  The two might frequently exchange dialog, but they are safe from a direct confrontation.  Star Trek has many stories stemming from this cliché; Wrath of Kahn is a prime example.  Essentially, the two are attacking each other’s resources, whittling them away until one of them can move in for the kill.  This type of story has action and tension; but most importantly, defines the heroes.  The villain and heroes have their personalities extended into their massive force; a cunning person will fool their foe while a brave person will make tactical attacks, creative people will introduce a new elements, the list goes on.  There is a huge amount of versatility within this story device, but you will need to have a well define villain and detailed massive force. 

There is one large snag when creating this cliché, complexity.  A larger than life battle automatically makes complications, the group of heroes will pursue different actions that will split them up and each successful action will have a reaction by the BBG.  Things can get out of hand quickly.  The best thing to do is try to keep the group to two or three different things, each to a particular scale and perhaps leave the full battle alone until everyone returns to it.  Return of the Jedi does this well; to the point where the actual destruction of the 2nd Death Star is left to a secondary character.

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