thread: 2006-01-24 : Still More Character Ownership

On 2006-01-25, Emily Care wrote:

-Should character death be the price that must be paid to get access to control like that?

It certainly needn't be. If everyone has access to contributing via more than character, or more than one character then there's no problem, right? (Role monogamy is so passe)

But take Ars Magica, for example, if you lose your grog character, it may be no sweat. But if you lose your mage, it's a serious blow to your ability to contribute: both via effectiveness and centrality to the premise et al.  That's what makes a protagonist so appealing.

Perhaps what we are talking about is dis-engaging the means of making meaningful contribution from the notion of having a single given character.  PtA does that in great part by giving everyone a major say in outcomes of conflicts: everyone authors the story via their use of fanmail (or lack thereof) as well as by the fact that everyone can shout stuff out and get it adopted into the narrative.  So it's not just the concentration of power put into the character, but also the lack of other means of contributing that reinforces emphasis on character ownership.

Another mark of a protagonist is facing adversity.  Everyone playing Capes is working hard to protagonize the other players. So who the narrative coalesces around may be determined by the efforts of others & a players receptiveness or a characters "fitted-ness" to the abilities of others.  Or there may emerge no single protagonist.  Who's the protagonist of Justice League comics or X-men? (Well, Logan perhaps, for x-men, because he had such a delightful load of issues, or Jean Grey at other times etc).


This makes BR go "Ironically, that is one of the reasons X-men are better in the comics than the movies"
While Spiderman works well in the movie format. A single protagonist with focus and drive works better in the short venue, while a long venue supports multiple shifting protagonists better. Even in LotR there was a significant loss of Gimili's role in the story due to the change of format....

This makes LP go "Hmph."
That was because of Jackson's agenda. Muttermutter.

This makes XP go "Don't get me started"
on what they did to my beloved Gimli. :(

This makes SLB go "And Pippin, and Merry...."

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