Challenges that Violence can't solve

edited May 2009 in Story Games
This is a little game I tried a couple month's back on RPGnet with little success. I still think it's a nice idea and maybe it'll catch on here.

Bascially what this thread is supposed to be is a sort of chain-thread where everyone comes up with a challenge or Dilemma that can not be solved by any amount of Violence. It works like this: The poster prior to you writes down the name of a movie or novel which is supposed to be a springboard for your inspiration. You take that name and - for whatever reason (plot, the title, a character, a scene...) - come up with a roleplaying situation, challenge or dilemma that can not be solved by violence. This could be either because it's flat out impossible to beat the problem into submission or because gratuitous violence will only help to make the situation worse. These challenges could be from any genre (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror...) regardless of the genre of the movie.

The important things to write down though are answers to the three following questions:

What's the Dilemma?
Why doesn't Violence solve it?
What possible solutions exist?

After writing your challenge just come up with another movie or novel title for the next poster.

My example:

The Karate Kid
What's the Dilemma?
It's a sports competition or tournament with a prize (respect, money, the hand of whomever) that you yearn for, when your mentor/trainer/the owner of the team comes to ask you for a favor. The mentor/trainer/owner of the opponent(s) is and he are old and bitter rivals and he is focused on winning against them - even more, he wants to humiliate and destroy them. To do so he asks you to do a highly illegal move that could very well cost you your career and your opponent his life or lifelyhood. However if you do not comply you might lose respect in the eyes of you mantor, get kicked off the team or even make your mentor an enemy.

Why doesn't Violence solve it?
Violence won't solve anything because beating the "opponent" is the problem in itself. Of course going up against your mentor isn't such a good idea either, because he might be better than you (he's your mentor for a reason) or because you do rely on his continued teaching.

What possible solutions exist?
You could try to convince your mentor that his actions will not hurt those he wants to hurt, but directly affect innocents.
You could give up your quest for the prize and fail in an earlier round.

Alright, and now the movie title for the next poster:

The Watchmen

Comments

  • edited May 2009
    What's the Dilemma?
    The local populous is terrified by some event, and there is rioting in the streets. You are sent in to contain the riot... and, incidentally, to learn about the terrifying event.

    Why doesn't Violence solve it?
    The populous is under your aegis; if you just start killing and maiming, you've failed your very reason for being sent in the first place (i.e. anyone can just send in the jackbooted thugs and open fire; you're supposed to DEFUSE the situation). And the risk is greater if you apply non-lethal violence (e.g. riot cops with truncheons and shields), as it is less than reliable and could take a riot into out-right revolution, by providing a focus to the mob's inchoate rage.

    What possible solutions exist?
    Oratory or persuasion, ideally of the worst of the demagogues in the crowd, who have a modicum of influence over the mob.
    Provide another focus for the mob's rage, somehow.
    Cleverly channel the mob into places where they can do little harm to themselves or property.
    Something extreme, like AoE magic or super-tech that negates emotions. Ah, but you have to first GET that stuff ready, as the city burns....

    Reservoir Dogs
  • edited May 2009
    If you fucking beat this prick long enough, he'll tell you he started the goddamn Chicago fire, now that don't necessarily make it fucking so. - Nice Guy Eddie

    What's the dilemma?
    You need information out of a dude in your custody.

    Why doesn't violence solve it?
    Violence will just get you bad information, a dead dude, or both.

    What possible solutions exist?
    You could ask nicely.
    You could trick it out of him.
    You could build rapport, and then establish that your interests aligned and that it is in his best interest to tell you.
    You could set up a situation with independent verification, using violence as the failure state.

    Unforgiven
  • What's the dilemma?
    You need money to feed your family.

    Why doesn't violence solve it?
    Because you only have a family in the first place because you renounced violence and reformed yourself into a different, better person.

    What possible solutions exist?
    Rebuild your relationships with your family, and that of your late wife.
    Band together with your neighbors, pooling some of your resources as a kind of insurance.
    Give up on the farm, pull up stakes, and try rebuilding your life yet again in a different milieu.

    28 Days Later
  • What's the dilemma?
    An engineered virus is released the sends the infected into a permanent, murderous rage. Four survivors try to flee the infected.

    Why won't violence solve the problem?
    Fighting exposes the uninfected to infection (via the blood), and there are too many for the few survivors to fight off.

    What possible solutions exist?
    Flee from the infected and isolate themselves indefinitely.
    Find others who may be able to help them all escape.
    Exploit a weakness in the behaviour of the infected and allow them to destroy themselves.
    Search for a cure for the disease.

    Jaws
  • JAWS?!? What, you're gonna relocate it to Sea World or something? Or are you seeing a dilemma as something like this....

    What's the Dilemma?
    Your wife is going to leave your aquaphobic ass, if you go out after some damned shark, ESPECIALLY on the rickety-ass boat of the crazy shark hunter in town.

    Why doesn't Violence solve it?
    She's already call the deputies on you for... "domestic accidents"... twice. The Thin Blue Line can only be stretched so thin before it snaps!

    What possible solutions exist?
    Hire professional shark hunters with advanced gear (*ahem* Hello? SONAR?!) and a boat bigger than the damned fish that they are hunting. (Wait, is that violence? OK, add: "Net the shark and donate it to a VERY secure aquarium... NOT the piece of shit, experimental, underwater gerbil tubes in JAWS 3D!!!")
    Adopt an Enthiopian and forget all about your son Michael, in the loony bin, who didn't listen to his Dad's warnings to stay out of the water.
    Issue chainmail bikinis to all swimmers at Amity's 4th of July celebration. (Hey, it works for chicks fighting fucking DRAGONS!)

    Road Warrior
    Good luck with THAT one! :P
  • What's the Dilemma?
    The Road Warrior wants to kill your ass.

    Why won't violence solve it?
    The Road Warrior is much better at violence than you.

    What possible solutions exist?
    Run and hide. (Forever.)
    Figure out why the Road Warrior wants to kill you, and address that issue.

    Alien
  • What's the Dilemma?
    The Aliens have infiltrated your spaceship.

    Why won't violence solve it?
    The alien is sneaky and was born with every genetic hunting advantage possible.

    What possible solutions exist?
    Leave the ship in an escape pod. (Hoping that the alien isn't on board.)
    Trick the alien into an escape pod and launch it into uncharted space.
    Attempt to contact it peaceably and ask it to leave.

    Falling Down
  • What's the Dilemma?
    You're a bully who scares everyone you meet, including your family. You want to be loved and things to be nice but you can't help flying off the handle (everytime you don't get complete satisfaction from an encounter, add one to your angry-o-meter. When it reaches three, you go nuts).

    Why won't violence solve it?
    It only makes people more afraid of you, it doesn't get you love or respect, just fear. And fear is hard, you can never show any positive emotions because they undermine you.

    What possible solutions exist?
    Some kind of complete breakdown.
    Death.
    Unconditional love from people you respect (i.e. not anyone you know).

    The Seven Samurai
  • What's the Dilemma?
    You've hired a bunch of warriors to protect your village from bandits but they will lust for your beautiful daughter.

    Why won't violence solve it?
    You're a farmer, if you drive the warriors away your village will be unprotected and if you -can- use violence to keep them from courting your daughter they aren't very good warriors in the first place are they?

    What possible solutions exist?
    - Hide your daughter or dress her up as male/ugly
    - Arrange a marriage with the best of the bunch so he will defend her honour in your stead
    - Suck it up and get some fetucidal herbs

    Pocahontas
  • What's the Dilemma?
    You're thirteen years old, except the Disney animators insist on making you look 20-ish, and they give you clothes, which is historically anachronistic, and have you fall in love with John Smith, which is fine and all, except you marry John Rolfe and go back to England, where you're passed around like a toy and catch syphillis and die.

    Why won't violence solve it?
    It's a Disney movie! Violence isn't allowed!

    What possible solutions exist?
    Suffer, and then have your name attached to terrible, terrible revisionist history.

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • What's the Dilemma?
    Your long time girlfriend has left you for (and was probably cheating on you with) a rockstar who is really good at yoga. You are depressed and angry, and can't get your work done. You try to escape by going on vacation, only to end up at the same resort as them, in the neighbouring suite.

    Why won't violence solve it?
    Violence against the rockstar will just turn your ex-girlfriend off, labelling you as villainous, and causing her to coddle her pretty-boy back to health. Also, he could probably take you.

    Violence against the ex might make you feel better in the short-term, but will just drive her further from you, and will have all kinds of personal consequences if people find out.

    Either way, serious legal ramifications.

    What possible solutions exist?
    Fall in love with the pretty hotel hostess.
    Try to "win the ex back" by convincing her that her current relationship is shallow, and the one with you had that much more depth.
    Get over it like a grown-up, and stop moping like a pre-teen.
    Vampire puppet show!

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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