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Encapsulating Conflict
Setting conditions in advance

This is just a rough thought in my mind right now. Something I always tried to do in play but have just recently started to try and formulate in words. So please treat it as the undeveloped idea it is as I am not writing this to say that this is right out how it should be. Just presenting my thoughts.

When your PC falls into a conflict with another, especially a conflict that might last a while, consider defining for yourself the conditions under which your character will consider it mission accomplished and the conditions under which your character will consider it a lost cause.

I personally find that, if I don't do this, conflicts my character get into tend to become endless things that escalate and escalate and escalate. This can be fitting in a very select few of my character's conflicts but too many conflicts at this level can bog me down.

As an example, if a thief steals my poncho I might make the 'mission accomplished' condition getting a poncho back and a solid favor. If this happens, I move on. I might consider it a 'lost cause' once I've lost resources equal to about three times the poncho's value.

Of course, you'll still have to constantly gauge the status of things and readjust as you go. But I think that just by considering the bounds of the conflict you make it easier to find a suitable end to it, one that's in your favor or one that's not.

I agree completely, and I'm happy to say that it's been rare for me to fall into situations where "mission accomplished" conditions don't appear to be on the table. This also comes down to character capacity, as with greater power comes greater responsibility. Certain flavors of character may have their propensity for grudges be their greatest weakness, but really? A fixation on overkill for perceived slights or minor wrongdoings is just that: a weakness. Only finding the positives in overkill may indicate a sort of gaminess in playstyle.

I spent a few minutes going over some help files to try and pinpoint where this idea is best laid out and "help expectations" has a portion on game fairness and consequence:

The staff do not pull punches and neither will other players. If you piss off a badass ganger, syndicate member, or Corporation, you very well might get shit stomped into oblivion. This isn't a tabletop game where some deus ex machina is going to take place at the last minute thanks to your friendly DM/GM. The theme is the theme, the game is the game, your actions are your actions and you have to accept responsibility for the consequences.

There is nothing wrong with making bad decisions for the sake of telling a wonderful and exciting story. The 'wrong' comes in when you expect bad things won't happen as a result of your characters actions. This game is about risk, plotting, betrayal, and the long game.

Sometimes good story stems from being too heavy-handed with punishment and sometimes good story stems from the opposite. Fluidity and adjustment are in constant need and people need to ask themselves, "am I providing more than a dead-end to my opposition? Am I providing conflict themely enough that I'm encouraging others to stay involved?"

I admire that so much of SD takes the time to think about this already. Without the game culture of restraint, I don't think there would be much of a sustainable game culture at all.