Keep Summer Safe: A Look at Conflict Resolution

It’s no secret I love Rick & Morty. I’ve been on record for several years now stating it is the best and sharpest show on television. In my crushing need for the third season to finally arrive, I’ve been rewatching the show for the altogether-too-many-th time. As always, I spent a lot of time critically analyzing some of my favorite episodes (Rick Potion #9, Meeseeks and Destroy, Rixty Minutes, Morty Night Run, Auto Erotic Assimilation, Look Who’s Purging Now, among others…), and I came across the The Ricks Must Be Crazy. During the episode, I found myself thinking about the nature of conflict resolution, particularly as it applies to characters in tabletop gaming.

The episode is a masterclass in the nature of conflict, the morality in the choices made to resolve a conflict, and the compromises we make to achieve our goals. What’s more, this is the B-plot of the episode, conveyed in eight minutes or so. The most fascinating thing about this is how closely it parallels PC decision-making when it comes to resolving conflicts. As such, it’s a great chance to not only look at why they are making the decisions, but how, as a GM, you can change and re-prioritize conflicts to present interesting and new challenges to your players.