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Playing With / Rule #1

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Basic Trope: A code, procedure, or set of values expressed in a numbered fashion.

  • Straight: A survivor of the apocalypse has about 30 personal rules, covering everything from combat to social interactions.
  • Exaggerated:
    • A pretentious chef has 40+ rules on fork usage.
    • Bob has a More Than Infinite amount of rules about how to open his eyes each morning after waking up.
  • Downplayed: There are only five, simple guidelines necessary to be competent.
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  • Justified: The apocalypse survivor needs structure and certainty to cope with the stress of trying to stay alive.
  • Inverted: Everything is just one big Indy Ploy. No plans, rules, procedures, or anything. Just wing everything.
  • Subverted: Apocalypse survivors agree on a code of conduct, but realize any set of rules is irrelevant in such an unpredictable environment as the post-apocalyptic wasteland.
  • Double Subverted: However, there are some general guidelines that stick regardless of everything else.
  • Parodied: A Crazy-Prepared apocalypse survivor has thousands of rules, covering everything.
  • Zig Zagged: At first having rules ensures routine in an insecure world, but then circumstances change and one has to think on their feet without regards to plans or procedure. But then things calm down and the situation stabilizes, but no one can really think of any rules. When they finally do, they don't work and are an abandoned.
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  • Averted: A character is on the Chaotic side of character alignment and hates rules.
  • Enforced: "I hate to say this, but the producer really wants a Fight Club reference, and you all know what that means..."
  • Lampshaded: "You sound like Tyler Durden."
  • Invoked: A character decides to make a guide for others on how to deal with something, but first they need to come up with rules.
  • Exploited: A cunning character learns the rules that their opponent abides by in order to successfully manipulate them by knowing exactly what they will think and do in response to certain things.
  • Defied: A character is about to law down the law, but realizes that a procedure or code could potentially lead to inflexibility or Rules-Lawyering and stop themselves short.
  • Discussed: "Rapidly establishing order is great, but can you please acknowledge that our situation doesn't have any hard and fast rules."
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  • Conversed: "I hate it when characters list rules. It's boring and makes them look like a Rules Lawyer."

Surfing the Playing With Wiki is great, but remember rule number five: get back to Rule #1 as soon as possible.


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