ok, so, random crazy idea.
First of all, let's change plot points to story points. We already have plot cards running around and there's no reason we should risk our players incorrectly associating them.
Alright, so, players generate SP, which they place on Troper Cards. Players use those SP to Invoke Trope Cards. Those trope cards come into play with a certain number of SP on them (related to their cost, though not always the same). At the beginning of each turn, remove an SP from each Trope in play (but not each Troper). If it is impossible to remove an SP from a Trope, that trope is discarded (if we have different levels of "dead", these would go to the highest level—that is, the easiest to get back.) While in play, the tropes have a way to effect the board and all that.
Most tropes would have a one-time use that would send them to the dead pile—essentially the trope satisfying it purpose. Using up the trope this way generates SP. If the trope is removed for a reason other than using its ability, the controlling player looses cards as a penalty. Of course, we would restrict the abilities somehow so that they aren't particularly easy to use.
In this case, the problem isn't so much that your opponent will attack you directly, but that you won't be able to use your tropes before they become irrelevant and are "written out" (ie removed from play), causing much heartbreak. A key part of the game becomes how far you are willing to extend yourself. Also, Defying the tropes of the other players becomes a key strategy, as that forces the other player to take the card loss for introducing a useless trope.
There are, of course, exceptions. Twists change the story from its current path, and thus cost SP without any return. "Core" tropes, such as Evil Overlord
, have no SP-generating abilities, instead serving as a backbone on which other tropes can be applied and providing passive benefits. These tropes would refresh their SP every time a relevant plot is complete or an objective card is flipped, and deal constant low damage (perhaps 1 card) every turn they are at 0 SP, as they are too essential to the story to be written out, but their ongoing presence serves no purpose.
Perhaps we have the only constant generation of SP be one per troper (applied directly to that troper). Thus, constant expansion of the story is needed to ensure a reasonable flow of SP. SP can be directly lost from tropers whenever a trope is played that that Troper is weak against. If a troper ever runs out of SP, it stops work on the story (is removed from the game). While loosing all tropers in not necessarily an automatic failure, you are unable to generate or spend SP, and thus must make due with whatever is currently in play.
Edit: "attacking" still remains, albeit in a MUCH reduced form. Technically, playing a trope that a Troper is vulnerable to (is disgusted by, is afraid of, etc.) is a direct attack. However, unless you already know which tropers your opponent is using, it is fairly futile to build a deck around such direct attacks. (Perhaps we change the mechanic to slow steady life loss while the trope is still in the story?) Anyway, the clever player will strategically use what few cards happen to be a weakness in order to maximize their effectiveness. In this case, it may be viable to invoke a trope you don't have any intent to use (taking the idea damage when it leaves play) just to take out an enemy troper.
edited Thu, 12 Feb 2009 22:37:23 by Ironeye
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.