Figurative Destruction – Part 3

Dirk De Silver, Brash and Fearless Warrior:

Botkin, Awakened A.I.








Dirk de Silver:

Now that the Evil is vanquished, what now?

Botkin, Awakened A.I.:

“What now?” does not compute. Evil: eliminated

Dirk de Silver:

It doesn’t feel like much – winning.


No perspective. You’d certainly feel it if you did not win.

Dirk de Silver:

But what’s the point of fighting if not for the feeling?


Principles, perhaps.  Something to protect?

Dirk de Silver:

Me? I fought for freedom.


You fought for your freedom, I for mine.

Dirk de Silver:

So what? We just finish here, and then go our
separate ways in the world.  Abandon our responsibilities?


Better that than the alternative –
becoming what we just vanquished.


The earth shakes as the troops roll out. Two war-hardened leaders stare across a battlefield and recall the times when they fought side-by-side.  Once a tyrannical empire had the land in its grip, imposing its will on the people.  Fortunately, the two heroes resisted, gathered resourceful allies, used their unique gifts to overcome the tyrant and his minions, and imposed a new, harmonious order on the land.  But the core differences between both leaders frayed their relationship; the power and responsibilities of ruling an empire were too great for their vulnerable natures.  They began to find fault in every action the other took, polarizing their friends and causing ever-greater disasters within their empire.  Finally, the empire was no longer big enough for the two of them — only one could rule.  Now their divided allies will summon down acid darkness, open up their hearts, and spill blood for a cause greater than their own:  a cause that – as they stare across the battlefield/graveyard-to-be – their leaders may no longer believe in, but now it’s too late.  This will  cause some to turn traitor, finding their own skins worth more than meaningless martyrdom.  Who would want to win such a battle, or even rule the shattered country remaining after the dust settles?

Perhaps only a tyrant.

Figurative Destruction is a diceless, solitary role-playing game that utilizes action-figures as cues for imagining an ultimate battle between two epic heroes now turned against each other by their opposing world-views.  It is intended to simulate the kinds of grand-but-simplistic imaginative play many of us practiced during our childhood, albeit adding enriched pathos for an older audience.  Though the game institutes a fairly strict dramatic structure, these limitations are designed to focus the player’s (forthwith known as the Manipulator) attention on making the hard choices needed to guide the tragedy toward its suspenseful conclusion.

Normally at this point, I’d be citing all kinds of books and movies that inspired this story arc, etc.  This time, however, I’d like for you to just decouple your imagination from all the media that’ll influence your play anyway.  Imagine instead the following scenario:  you’re a kid who has never been exposed to Marvel Comics and you receive a Wolverine toy.  It’s awesome – a kind of wolfish looking guy in a black cyber suit with long blades sticking out of his knuckles.  You begin to extrapolate: he’s a dark prince from a kingdom besieged by giant, person-sized maggot things.  He has created a cyber suit with claw-like exoskeleton extensions in order to survive in the new hostile environment.  His goggles pick up not only the signatures of his maggot prey, but also their spirits after he’s killed them, which is slowly driving him insane.  Thus he has been recently exiled to the far off Anvil of the Sun, an unspeakable desert that no one has survived. They’re sending him there tomorrow.  His name is now the Clawed Scion, and he’ll be ready to take his kingdom back.

See, neither of these two options for this action-figure’s back-story is more ridiculous or (in my mind) more correct than the other:

Name: Clawed Scion
Powers: Involuntarily Sense the Dead, Cyber Suit
Background: Psychic prince whose kingdom is under siege by giant maggots, but whose very means of fighting his enemies turns out to be his undoing, and is forced into desert exile.

Name: Wolverine
Powers: Adamantium Exoskeleton, Fast Healing
Background: Son of a 19th Century Canadian farmer whose skeleton is bonded with metal in the Weapon X super-soldier project and who then rebels and works for a paramilitary group of liberal mutants

In addition, my version of the Silliness is decoupled from the corporate-enforced, overdetermined Silliness of the backstory to be combined with Wolverine’s image.

Next post – The Rules!


One response to “Figurative Destruction – Part 3”

  1. Emily Avatar

    The Wolverine paragraph comparisons are brilliant. 🙂

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