Episode 51

Zombie Cliché Lookout:
A power struggle is an essential part of any fictional survival situation (and probably most non-fictional survival situations, for that matter). You’re always going to have more than one person who thinks they should be calling the shots, whether that’s because they’ve got experience with leadership, they have some special insight, or they’re just egotistical enough to think they’re better than everyone else.

The leadership struggle can take place in one big dramatic moment, or slowly expand over the course of the narrative until it reaches it’s natural boiling point (after plenty of sniping and passive-aggressiveness, of course). Regardless of the way the struggle crops up, it almost always ends the same way: a clear winner takes charge, and the loser licks their wounds and starts thinking about their next coup.


Lich Barrister

The power struggle’s also a good way to have conflict with dialogue, I’d assume. The conflict with the zombies would likely be rather sub-verbal – almost as lacking as “Mortal Kombat,” I’d assume.

Also, it’s a way to get an argument between two characters with more nuance than a stock character (like the survivalist in the wilderness). When we know the characters and how they react and interact, it’s a bigger deal than running into Panicky Inmate #2. (I’d be excited to run into Panicky Inmate #2, but only to tease him about taking on “Alvin and The Chipmunks.”)


Well said as always, Lich. Although I never saw the first Panicky Inmate movie…


Thanks! I love have out-of-focus objects in my foreground. I just think it classes the joint up, you know?


You know, I never was able to get into that game too much. It’s fun here and there, but it’s never anything I played with any regularity. It’s just too fast paced for me.

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