Misused (new crowner 12/2/13): Necessary Drawback

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Could we just... not have Death anymore?
It's interesting that you're so binary with this analysis. Here's three more questions:
  1. Does the fictional universe make a difference for whether a normal human is good or bad at an attribute, or are normal humans always bad?
  2. Does Fights Like a Normal make a character "good" in any attribute?
  3. Where do you draw the line in the X-Men story for each of the three attributes? Who must they be stronger than in order to be "Powerful"? Who must they be faster than to be good at "Speed"? Who must they be tougher than to be "Durable"?
Sorry if I'm so, how did you put it, "binary?" I'm in computer programming at Uni, so I guess my mind just works that way.

1) In X-Men, even the most athletic human could never measure up to someone like, say, Wolverine. That fight would be like a hitman pistol-whipping a five year old kid. Compared to a mutant whose powers augment his physical abilities, even the strongest, fastest, toughest human will be inferior. They're at the bottom of the power totem pole.
2) I've always been under the impression that anybody who is forced to fight like a normal (not the Willfully Weak types) does so because their abilities just don't measure up, but they definitely have something that helps them out, so I'd put them in "Bad at the three, undefined (in this case good) at something else".
3) The line I would draw in X-Men is somewhere significantly superior to even the best humanity has to offer. If you'd asked me those three subquestions 7 years ago, I'd be able to answer, but these days, I can't really remember any but the more famous or memorable X-Men (Magneto, the prof, Wolvie, Cyclops, Mystique, Juggernaut).
I'm not seeing much value in this crowner. It's asking us to determine which arbitrary groups of permutations of arbitrary values are tropable, in bulk, without looking at any examples—basically, hole-filling. Tropes don't work that way.

Also I do not agree that the problem is a shifting definition.

edited 3rd Dec '13 5:12:14 PM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
[up]He's got a point. I personally think the crowner is a good idea and the options on it are valid, but I agree that without bringing up examples, it's hard to figure out what the best course of action should be.

As for the shifting definitions, it's true that whenever a new one of these tropes pops up, the other definitions will be reworked slightly to fit in with it. It's happened. I would have to say that the problem is that too many tropers are unclear what the definition is, and the shifts that have occurred are a part of the cause of that.
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Which is why I'm working backwards: after 15 threads in under three years, these tropes are somewhat broken. So instead of asking which definition each trope is, I'm asking which definitions we want tropes for.

It looks like Ev's vision of "good or bad, no middle ground" is a very common perspective. I'm asking them questions to understand how the tropers who have used (misused) the tropes in the past have understood their actions so that the tropes are actually fixed to the way that tropers will use them. Instead of arguing that "my way must be right", I'm trying to correct the pages to something that is right.

@Ev- So Batman and Captain America, would they fall under "bad in these three, undefined in others"? They are both Word of God no stronger, faster, or tougher than a human can be.

If compared to physically powerful mutants, yes: Wrestling match between him and Wolverine or Beast. Who'd win? In fact, I thought that was batman's whole appeal: He's super skilled, but really no better than a strong man, and he has to use his cunning. However, he's physically stronger than a lot of the people he goes up against in his own series, a few exceptions (Bane) aside. Actually, given Batman's bulletproof or near-bulletproof suit, I'd give him points for durability.

Captain America, up against a mutant, would need to rely on more than his physical abilities, but once again, in his own series against the enemies he typically gets paired up against, he does have a distinct physical advantage. And his unbreakable shield also gives him points for durability. I'm not very knowledgeable on this one, I've only seen the Captain America movie, not read the comics, so I'm not much of an expert.

The two of them may be no stronger than a human can be, but they are far stronger than any human would be normally, thanks to some Training from Hell or the other

edited 3rd Dec '13 7:06:58 PM by Erivale

I have to disagree with the idea that every character needs to be labeled as "good" or "bad" in each area. I'm not saying this solely because of characters who are more or less "average" in an area and would be difficult to categorize (though I do think their presence is significant). It's just that sometimes, the character's degree of ability in that area simply doesn't mean anything. Sure, Squishy Wizard Bob's lack of physical training could mean that in addition to being frail, he's also a poor runner, but if we never see his poor speed impact the story, then what's the point of applying a "good power, poor endurance, AND poor speed" trope? Unless some situation comes up where Bob is trying and failing to outrun danger or dodge attacks, his poor speed is relegated to Informed Flaw or even People Sit on Chairs status. We should be able to apply the tropes in such a way that only the significant attributes are mentioned.
i'm still not seeing the need to fragment everything into so many possible combinations of good in x bad in y since most, even if they exist hypothetically, are rarely used. For example good in both durability and speed bad in power.

What's wrong with the way the character build tropes are grouped in Competitive Balance?

It already
  • lays out the most recurring builds in the simplest terms.
  • Defines builds as foils to other builds
    • (RE: the Cyclops conversation - this implies that character builds don't exist in a vacuum or are necessarily absolute, they're typically limited to either teams (like roles in a Five-Man Band) or game mechanics (if you're referring to a Video Game))

edited 3rd Dec '13 11:37:02 PM by acrobox

Example the Ninja Turtles

  • Leonardo is relatively fast, strong, and defensive, and because he spends the most time training he's useful in almost any combat situation - Jack-of-All-Stats
  • Raphael is always shown to be physically the strongest overall and is who is called on when an enemy proves to be really defensive or a heavy object needs to get moved - Mighty Glacier
  • Michelangelo is the fastest and most agile - Fragile Speedster - they don't call him to take point fighting, but they do call on him to be a diversion or keep enemies occupied,
  • Donatello is shown to be the worst fighter but can hold the line until others can back him up especially because his staff grants him range and his intellect let's him figure out the opponents strategies - Stone Wall, even though as a Ninja he's not incapable of fighting offensively it's just not his specialty. Raph and Mike are better at their respective roles, Leo can do anything because he trains the most, and Don is probably better off hacking computers or disarming bombs than fighting anyway.
  • Splinter is a Lightning Bruiser / Master of All because he trained the turtles and still surpasses them all when he decides to fight.

But they all look like Lightning Bruisers compared to Muggles, Mooks, and even some Monsters of the Week, and because they're all Ninjas Raph is occasionally shown doing things that require speed, and Mike and Don are shown taking out bad guys and doing things that require strength - it's only when specific situations demand a specialist that these character builds are referenced - or in videogames when they're hardwired into the game's programming
535 SeptimusHeap4th Jan 2014 01:28:00 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Bumping for more votes.
Welp, it's been over a month and the only options with a consensus are the ones representing the status quo. (And it's debatable whether the crowner was legitimate in the first place.) That leaves us with no basis for action. Again. I'll point out that there's also no agreement as to what the problem is or whether there's even a problem at all. just bugs me
Rhymes with "Protracted."
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Motion to close thread and cutlist sandboxes until the next time the topic comes up?
Rhymes with "Protracted."
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.

Page Action: Necessary Drawback
28th Nov '13 7:55:40 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
The specialized character tropes have problems evidenced by wick checks stretching back to over three years ago. The problem, it is always agreed, is a shifting definition.

What is misuse in one year is correct use the next, and often TRS threads are unresolved or end with a redefinition that does nothing to solve the issue. The mixed definitions have appeared in the definitions of other tropes, making it almost impossible to tell what any one trope should be defined as anymore. Everyone has their own opinions, of course.

The question that is always missing from crowners, however, is "How many specific tropes do we need?". So, the options below are listing NONE of the current trope names. Instead, we are voting on definitions we need to keep.

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