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Cleaning & Reorganizing Weaponry Tropes:

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BinaryStep The King of Infinite Decomposition from Wouldn't You Like To Know? Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Oct 10th 2014 at 1:13:13 PM

Yep, these tropes are known to attract such a pattern of misuse. I think some of them got cleanup topics in the past.

Oct 10th 2014 at 1:24:18 PM

Take a look at the Heroes Prefer Swords TRS thread if you want to get scared about how things went when an attempt was made to fix that one.

And that's one of the more precise Weapon of Choice tropes.

Oct 10th 2014 at 2:31:51 PM

Simple Staff might need to be cleaned but the concept is sound. Maybe tweak the definition so it is more clear, and make it more obvious that there is also Carry a Big Stick for characters with a different personality.

Some of the other though, IDK. These are hard ones for people. Changing the names to fit personality types in there (and maybe braking a couple up?) and then purging all the ZCE that plagues these tropes might do it, but that is a huge amount of work.

An Axe to Grind in particular is not a very good name.

ETA: Weapon of Choice spells out how these different weapons are typically used in fiction, a couple of these are clearly tropes bases on what it says on that page, although a few I agree are not tropes at all.

Caltrops and Bayonet Ya in particular look like chairs. Caltrops could be tweaked, though, it is mostly associated with ninjas and snaeky types, yeah?

edited 10th Oct '14 2:37:09 PM by rexpensive

Nohbody "In distress", my ass. from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
"In distress", my ass.
Oct 10th 2014 at 3:49:13 PM

It seems to me that Drop the Hammer is also pretty chairsy, or at least most of the examples I skimmed were nothing more than "character uses a hammer" with no mention of how it applies to the "big bruiser" character type.

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DAN004 Chair Man from The 0th Dimension
Chair Man
Oct 10th 2014 at 7:36:03 PM

I believe some weapon tropes are ultimately Garnishing the Story (like Revolvers Are Just Better for one).

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Oct 10th 2014 at 8:36:21 PM

The thing is that something as specific as a weapon is not an accidental choice on the part of the artist. Even if not directly associated with a particular character type, the use of the weapon creates a very particular visual effect. Drop the Hammer is a different fight scene compared to a Sword Duel. That is far different than People Sit On Chairs, as when someone pulls out a weapon it is meant to catch your attention.

It's probably not the best idea to consider Weapon of Choice to be an index, as some characters may be forced to use a weapon they do not prefer and the fight scene has them using the associated visual effect. And then we have something like Walking Armory, where they are known for having a lot of different weapons.

Gaon Smoking Snake from Grim Up North Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Oct 10th 2014 at 9:36:48 PM

I agree, weapons like Hammers are pretty unique in combat and with a distinct fighting style. Lots of slams to the ground, some crack open the ground, spinning for leverage etc. an example of some attacks

That is unique and totally trope worthy.

Oct 10th 2014 at 10:52:42 PM

It seems to me like there are two separate things to consider with any given weapon—how it affects combat scenes and what its very presence says about its wielder. The two tend to go hand-in-hand, but that doesn't mean they're the same thing, especially when you consider how different weapons interact in combat.

DAN004 Chair Man from The 0th Dimension
Chair Man
Oct 11th 2014 at 12:12:13 AM

And then we have things like Improbable Use of a Weapon for unusual techniques performed with a given weapon.

MAX POWER KILL JEEEEEEEEWWWWW
Oct 11th 2014 at 1:28:38 PM

Generally speaking, this is why I am not as opposed to Zero Context Examples as others. You could wax eloquent about the particular visual effect gained by using a hammer in a fight, but most of that is already covered in the description of the trope. Thus simply saying "Character X uses a hammer in battle sometimes" and even specifying a particular fight is generally enough. We can speculate as to why a trope is used (visual effect, evocative of their personality, etc), but ultimately we should only have to point out that it was used.

Oct 11th 2014 at 9:54:11 PM

[up] I don't believe that applies here, but if it did, I would start worrying about whether or not such "perfectly acceptable ZCE's" embody an actual trope.

SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Oct 12th 2014 at 1:42:32 AM

While I can see an argument that "Person uses X as a weapon" is a trope (since it has effects on their fighting style and story role) I would not leave the explanation for the parenthetical material off.

m8e from Sweden Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Oct 12th 2014 at 3:49:10 AM

Some of the Weapon Tropes can be simplified to "There's a weapon" just like Our Monsters Are Different tropes are "There's a monster".

But that's why the context is so important. The context give it meaning other than "There's a chair". If no meaningful context can be given for an example that example is just a chair.

edited 12th Oct '14 11:15:41 AM by m8e

Oct 13th 2014 at 2:44:53 AM

It's a discussion more appropriate for the Zero Context Example clean-up thread. And there is, in general, nothing wrong with adding more context. But I truly feel that some tropes are simple enough that enforcing greater elaboration creates a lot of unnecessary fluff. I've seen plenty of examples that get sidetracked with outlining a play-by-play of a fight describing their fighting styles, so if your goal is to say that a character sometimes uses a hammer in a fight it is really counterintuitive.

People Sit On Chairs is that a particular observation holds no thematic value, it's appearance is irrelevant to anything besides the fact it exists. It's not that the item is innocuous because have a trope called Cool Chair, and it is a perfectly valid trope. All of the weapon tropes have themes on why are used and what kind of person uses them, it's not just a list of appearances when they are shown in a glass case.

shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Oct 13th 2014 at 3:11:29 PM

See, that's the thing. Just because an object has tropes associated with it doesn't mean that just using the thing is a trope. We have lots of tropes about chairs, but just because you sit in one doesn't mean that sitting in it is trope worthy.

Find the actual tropes that use the weapon instead of just listing every time someone picks one up.

Example:

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Willbyr Anime-ted from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
Oct 13th 2014 at 5:05:11 PM

[up] Bingo. It's how [X] is influencing the story that makes it a trope; just being there doesn't count. It's the same issue as the appearance tropes.

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DAN004 Chair Man from The 0th Dimension
Chair Man
Oct 13th 2014 at 5:41:55 PM

[up] Then how about all the tropes in Everything's Better With Indexes?

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shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Oct 13th 2014 at 6:18:28 PM

[up] Some are tropes, most aren't. Quite a few of them are oddly shoehorned in that index. Most are on the list of appearance tropes to clean up.

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
Oct 13th 2014 at 7:02:22 PM

Chainsaw Good is a perfectly fine trope, the description outlines the visual element, the type of people who often wield it and places/genres it seems to pop up in (like a Zombie Apocalypse). The name itself suggests the presence of a chainsaw is a good thing. Poor examples doesn't mean the trope itself is bad, and I really don't see many bad examples in that trope anyway. Most are about the craziness of including a chainsaw in the story, very few are "character X uses

The flip side is that often people try to make a trope that gives a too specific meaning when paired with something else, creating an inherent Missing Supertrope. Splitting off all the different ways a chainsaw is used often creates weaker and less-used subtropes, and is stronger if there is just a vague outline of how a chainsaw comes into a story.

AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Oct 13th 2014 at 7:06:23 PM

Most of the stuff on Garnishing the Story are just "Object Present In Work". Some are tropes, but can be hard to differentiate from incidental examples that look the same, such as Everything's Better with Spinning, which I'd compare to a dynamic version of greebles. Something that's there to make it more visually appealing, but has no other function. Incidentally, chainsaws in configurations other than plain ones often fit that category, and almost always for excessive power and/or destruction (usually evil traits, but good when facing zombies).

Weapons, as tropes, should have some kind of personality. They should tell the audience something about the wielder, simply by having that type of weapon.

edited 13th Oct '14 7:07:23 PM by AnotherDuck

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shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Oct 13th 2014 at 7:29:19 PM

But the supertrope of Chainsaw Good says nothing about chainsaws. It gives a bunch of conflicting scenarios where the good guys have one or the bad guys have one and it means different things in every situation. It's not a supertrope. It's a mess.

No wonder it's 90% useless ZC Es that just boil down to 'chainsaws exist.'

I would rather have less use that's more interesting and that actually shows a trope, than a large mess that's boring to read.

edited 13th Oct '14 7:32:46 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
Willbyr Anime-ted from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
Oct 13th 2014 at 7:42:24 PM

*looks through ChainsawGood*

Christ on a cracker, someone seriously tried to justify lightsabers on that page. *Face Palm*

shima's right, that page is a mess of ZC Es. That someone wields a chainsaw isn't a trope. That they choose a chainsaw over a more practical weapon because it's more intimidating or somehow gives them an advantage over the enemy for doing so, that's a trope.

edited 13th Oct '14 7:47:43 PM by Willbyr

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doubleyouteeeff Political ends as sad remains will die from (Hudson) River running right on over my head Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
Political ends as sad remains will die
Oct 14th 2014 at 4:05:10 AM

Agreed with shimaspawn on Chainsaw Good; the page, above the fold, seems to talk more about chainsaws in real life than in fiction.

Many Garnishing the Story tropes seem to have redirects that are simply the name of whatever the garnish is.

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