Main Sliding Scaleof Free Will Vs Fate Discussion

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09:17:52 PM Oct 13th 2014
edited by
Given the addition of "Neither Fate NOR Free Will", and given the validity of that standpoint in atomic theory, perhaps this Sliding Scale isn't so much Linear as Triangular:
  • The total score for any given point is 4.
  • The endpoints of the Triangle each have all their points in one attribute
  • Any point along the edge has exactly two components
  • Any point in the interior consists of a mix of all three aspects.

Actually, we may want to reduce the max score to 3, allowing for a "catch-all-all-three" category. Merge "Guides, not Rules" and "Predictions", and we get such a 4-point-"luckless" side. The "godless" side deals entirely with a Sliding Scale of Luck and Skill/Planning; theoretically there is a "helpless" side, but we've been unable to discern between Fate and Randomness, save by, well, Word of God.

If the plot is decided by a Gambit Roulette, then the story is likely tilted towards the "Nothing But Luck" point.

As a matter of fact, Xanatos Speed Chess is likely the "Majority Skill/Plan, Minority Luck, No Fate" position, in that luck plays a factor, but doesn't defeat the plan entirely; the adaptations necessary, however, would not have been necessary if the plan was fated to work. EDIT: This makes Indy Ploy the "Mostly Luck with some Skill/Plan and No Fate" point.
04:41:22 PM Aug 29th 2011
What's the difference between types four and five? In type five, is it impossible to make predictions? How would you even function? I can't decide whether or not to eat dinner if I don't know which choice results in me not being hungry.
06:07:43 PM Apr 4th 2011
edited by Troper66

Where do people think The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings fit in on the scale? Since themes of providence and serendipity seem to play a big part in Tolkien's works, perhaps we should have an entry on it?
01:12:42 AM Oct 29th 2010
edited by RegShoe
Is there a reason why the example prophecy was removed? The general consensus on the YKTTW seemed to be that it added to the overall clarity of the trope.

Also the new description makes a lot of things less clear, like insisting (twice in fact) that characters can slide about on the scale or removing the actual clear description of the nature of Fate, in fact altering what 4 was meant to be. In the original write up 4 is for those worlds where this is no guiding plan but there is the ability to predict the future whereas 5 is for worlds where there is no way to predict the future, making the existence of a plan an unanswerable question.

Also the word Dynamic is being used in the standard "I am totally ignorant of the word's true meaning" fashion of a buzzword in a business meeting. In order for this to be a dynamic relationship the category would have to be able to shift based on input which, given that this is a trope about free will anyway, makes no sense in this case.

This seems to have undergone very heavy rewrites in the immediate aftermath of launch, and to its major detriment.
07:28:22 PM Oct 29th 2010
edited by FallenLegend
I agree. I didn't like the changes myself.I propose We should restore the old version. Shoul I trope reapir shop this one?
07:38:16 PM Oct 29th 2010
done I restored the old version. I am not against improvemtent but.. those changes made the trope alot more confusing.

11:56:01 PM Oct 10th 2011
edited by ChildOfAeon
Here's a question: How is the current version supposed to handle multi-scale systems like in the Old World Of Darkness Pn P game, where everything was perceptual but the sheer amount of competing ideas CAUSES a given fate-set for everyone, even though the details change with the perception of "truth"?

Example: In the "Canon"'s unaltered state, Mages worked by altering perceptual existence, Vampires were slaves to it due to how their corpses worked, werewolves fought for a balanced fate-v-freewill scale, there were entities tied to both extremes of the scale. Wraiths had already met one fate but could create another, Kuei-jin escaped a fate. All these lines had one thing in common: They all ended with a catastrophe of some sort, no matter what it was or how it happened, even what things would have been like afterwards in the setting. There may have been a short term escape, free will, etc.... but the end prophecies ALWAYS had a way of coming true.

A storyteller was free to ignore any part of the Canon and make their own (a good choice, as it ensured the continued sales of older books), but the releases all followed a set history that had a definitive end, an ambiguous beginning, and a middle that was entirely choice.

Even more confusing is if you add actual time travel and prophecy into the mix of an entirely new story, but make any changes to a timeline instead create a new one and carry only those that caused the changes into it. You've essentially got most of those scale pieces into the same setting or metasetting.
11:30:52 AM Oct 25th 2011
I'd call that Type 1. You can't fight fate. It's just that fate isn't always there.