Party Split YKTTW Discussion

Party Split
External plot factors split a party up among opposing factions.
(permanent link) added: 2011-07-22 03:40:09 sponsor: Qaianna (last reply: 2011-11-17 09:38:16)

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Alice and Bob are on their way to Alphaville on the Alphaville Express, enjoying the scenery and thinking of all the Alphas they'll meet there. Bob heads to the baggage car since he forgot something ... just in time for the Beta Tribe to attack and make off with it. And Bob!

A despondent Alice arrives in Alphaville to tell the story, and is informed that the Beta Tribe is the sworn enemy of Alphaville. Alice, friends with the Alphas, goes through a Lock and Load Montage and charges forth to save Bob. She breaks through the Beta Tribe perimeter ...

... and finds Bob in an ill-fitting borrowed Beta Tribe uniform, on his way to spy on Alphaville. Seems that the Beta Tribe has a few concerns about what Alphaville's doing.

This is a Party Split. A party of heroes is separated (usually forcibly, but not always), and the story's focus stays on the principal--here, Alice--as that portion of the team meets one faction, and learns of the enmity with the other. Meanwhile, the separated sidekicks--here, just Bob--are persuaded (not 'persuaded', persuaded) to help the second faction.

For this to be in effect, it's best that the split is not the actual objective of the second faction. Even if they take a sidekick or two as prisoner/hostage, it's not a kidnap/abduct mission, merely a side effect of the primary issue. (And why would the horrible evil Beta Tribe take a prisoner when all they want to do is murder everyone not of their own?) Also, it could be some other device that separates the groups. Just as long as it's not intended.

Another note is that the factions need not be actually evil, just opposed; still, it helps if at least one is genuinely sympathetic.

Finally, due to the nature of this trope ('Wait, those guys are good!'), spoilers are likely to be unmarked. Viewer beware.

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  • A Doctor Who episode, 'The Doctor's Daughter'. The Doctor meets humans fighting a war, when the Hath attack; during the attack, they take Martha Jones prisoner. (Remember the earlier caveat: they weren't trying to kidnap her, she just was taken prisoner as a side effect of the whole war thing.) The Doctor learns of the evil Hath from the humans; the Hath, however, 'tell' Martha of their side of the war. Neither are villainous themselves, and once the war is revealed as a HUGE mistake, (almost) all of them are more than happy to call it quits.
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