Seven States Versus Color Pie (Jul 1, 2011)
Philosophy of the Land (Jul 1, 2011)

Off and on since I determined “resources” of the Seven States (compare “mana” in Magic: the Gathering, or “Force” in the SWCCG), I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the seventh and final resource, “opposition” or “challenge,” trying to make sure I fully understand what it represents in the context of the other six.

In order from Natural to Spectral, the resources are thus:
Material (Natural), Passion (Primeval), Initiative (Elemental), Wisdom (Empyreal), Coalition (Ethereal), Control (Sidereal), and Challenge (Spectral).

Essentially, the idea of opposition is that with challenge, with questioning, comes a drive to excel. When one is given an obstacle to surmount, one grows from the experience. Given a series of relatively predictable hurdles, one climbs steadily, creating a veritable “stairway of experience.”

I think the problem of challenge comes from explaining how obstacles rise to meet a characters’ feet: surely there will be some challenges for which the protagonist is unprepared, some that will be almost confounding in their simplicity, and perhaps one or more that will drop out and send the character “sliding back to start.”

Sort of like a game of Chutes and Ladders, I suppose.

But what of the antagonists? The people who represent the obstacles to be overcome throughout the heroes’ journey? Where do they come from and why are they there? Directed by their own ambitions, I suppose, but more than likely chasing after their own desires parallel to the heroes in a made dash towards success.

…Of course, now I’m compelled to create a mock-up of Chutes and Ladders, replacing individual spaces with “encounters” and modifying the rules to make it a cooperative “race to the top” for all the players. Another piece to the puzzle, perhaps?