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Curb-stomp crossovers with HP: yay or nay?

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by Andrela, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Compared to characters from a lot of other fictional worlds, Potterverse wizards are very powerful, sometimes even overpowered.

    There's no mana requirement to their magic, they can cast as many spells as they want without tiring significantly.

    They can teleport, become invisible, read and control minds, have an insta-kill spell, can modify or erase memories...

    Whenever a crossover story is written with HP and another fandom, authors introduce ways to even the "playing field", usually by having the HP character lose their wand or the other fandom's characters be somehow resistant to magic.

    But, surely, there's some enjoyment to be had in a scenario without equal chances. How about the wizard doesn't lose the wand? What if the other fandoms aren't immune to Potterverse magic?

    I personally have no problems with stories where wizards are clearly way more powerful than everyone else, provided these stories are written well.

    Say Harry Potter appears in Westeros and wrecks everyone's shit. Now, you may claim that such a quick-win would be boring, and that may be true to an extent. Harry may not even want to use the Imperius, or get involved everywhere. And even if he does, so what? What happen AFTER he gets involved? He's clearly just one guy, who while powerful still won't be able to be everywhere at once.

    Or how about Voldemort finding himself in the Star Wars universe. Granted, Sith Lords like Darth Sidious or Darth Revan could resist the Imperius thanks to the Force, but something tells me they wouldn't resist the Killing Curse. But again Voldemort is just one person, and the Galaxy is a big, big place.

    My point is that curbstomp stories can be fun, they just have to be done well.
     
  2. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    The "done well" requirement is that the story not drag on.

    Curb stomp stories should be as fast as a curb stomp implies and not drag on. A lot of these authors seem to think their story much be at least XXXk words long so they fill in their curb-stomp with useless garbage.
     
  3. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Order Member DLP Supporter

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    Curbstomps are guilty pleasures for me. The entire point of the narrative format is conflict, and part of why I enjoy curbstomp crossovers is that it gives cheap and easy conflict resolution. Unfortunately, this is only secondary conflict that exists only because of the pre-existing universe. There isn't much in the way of conflict for the present because of the character's abilities, and very rarely do stories make the leap to relationship or internal conflict to compensate.

    Your comment about the limits of personal ability to effect change are on point, but that's not the tack that authors tend to go for. It's a shame, since there is a lot of potential there.
     
  4. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Minister of Magic

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    As long as the story isn't a curbstomp in everything, then I don't tend to mind. Even if it is, as long as the story is entertaining, then it all works out. A story is generally about some form of conflicts and their resolution, so there does still have to be some backbone to the story.

    Rorshach's Mister Black was a series (although not a crossover) I do still quite enjoy, despite Harry not really going against any difficulties as the story goes on. He wins every fight with ease, apart from when losing a fight would put him in a better situation. But because the whole thing is crack, it can still be amusing to see how everything twists and turns to work out.

    I suppose the counter-example would be anything with a Court of Slytherin, where First Year Lord Harry Potter-Black-Gros Michel-Yamato-Trump ends up crowned Prince of Slytherin, because he has ideas only beaten by a young orphan sixty years previous. Harry then proceeds to use his new status to steamroller over near-everything in his path, and using the long, hard dick of the Wizengamot to fuck everything else.
     
  5. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    I shamelessly love HP curb-stomp crossovers. I don't care how unfair it gets, as long as the grammar and spelling are tolerable, the right people win, and it puts a smile on my face.

    I started writing one, back in the day, that actually used "curb-stomp" in the working title, because I had no higher ambitions for the story than it being exactly what it said on the label. It was meant to be a one-shot, though, so it suffered the same fate every other one-shot I write does: It grew into a bloated monstrosity of a multi-chapter fic because developing the backstory that lead to the stomping became just as interesting to me as the stomping itself (if not more so).
     
  6. guestreader

    guestreader First Year

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    I think there is a place for curb stomp fictions. It often frustrates me more when Harry Potter magic is nerfed. I don't mind losing the wand or such where there is a real issue. When magic becomes ineffective or gated somehow, the dreaded magical core often makes an appearance, that is when I take issue.

    What I think curb stomps need more of is morality. Its an issue I for one wouldn't even know where to begin but if you have someone like Harry in the LotR or GoT universe he could kill thousands. Magical fires and the like could devastate the non-magical population but it doesn't fit Harry's character. If an immortal MoD Harry, the sort often found in crossovers, was in a universe he could dominate he would likely build himself a house and not do too much. There is potential for a story revolving around the conflict between a hero and Harry as the hero pleads Harry to intervene. Harry has to balance not wanting to interfere against the lives of many. If he helps once is he obligated to help again? A fic that explores the difference between can and should. Sometimes there are clear villains, the Harry Potter series itself is an example but in something like GoT there is no right side (ignoring the Others and that whole arc.) People are dying and he might be able to end the war by himself, saving thousands but is it the right thing to do?
     
  7. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    I think if you're going to send Harry to a world and have him curb stomp that world's conflicts and characters it might be best to bring a balancing force along with him. For example, Harry ends up in Westeros, but so does a Death Eater. So, while Harry can steamroll the people of Westeros the main story is his hunt for the Death Eater, their actions in Westeros and the consequences of it all.
     
  8. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    Eh... curbstomp fics tend to be pretty simplistic. One side does the stomping, the other side gets curbed. You start adding multiple sides and, unless the new side joins the heroes in the stomping or the bad guys in getting curbstomped, it ceases to be a curbstomp fic and becomes something else.

    You can add this extra complexity, of course, but at a certain point I suspect it stops being one thing and becomes another. You're talking about adding extra enemies so the fight is "balanced," i.e. isn't a complete blowout, but a curbstomping is a blowout by definition. It's all about being completely unbalanced.

    A curbstomp is NOT a Challenger 2 tank versus an M1 Abrams tank, it's a Challenger 2 tank versus a pillow fort. It's winning by a ridiculous landslide, not a few votes.

    A curbstomp can be well-written. It can contain every bit of comedic or dramatic flair, characterization, and witty dialogue that a more serious and nuanced story can. What it will lack is the tension of wondering who is going to come out on top. Sure, you can add moments where it looks like the underdog might make a comeback, but they will always be quickly squashed. Anything else ceases to be a curbstomp.

    Balancing factors and curbstomps are antithetical.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  9. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

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    IMO better than bringing other superpowered beings to hinder Harry is to have him face problems that can't be solved with force. Have him care about people, and what people think of him. Make it so that there's a cost of using the overwhelming force of magic. Have him face more enemies than he can deal with: while Harry's out there curbstomping one of them, the others do their shit elsewhere.

    If the story is about Harry vs a Death Eater, what's the point of them being in Westeros?

    I once had a story idea about Harry appearing in Middle Earth, where he promptly destroys the One Ring with fiendfyre at Rivendell. But then things to go to hell as there's no reason anymore for the peoples to unite against a common enemy: Aragorn skulks back to the northern wastelands to brood and the elves start migrating west, while Saruman starts steamrolling Rohan with his army and the orcs of Mordor are united by the Wich King in Minas Morgul.
     
  10. Tartarus

    Tartarus First Year

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    I agree, a lot of these curb stomp stories get out of hand and drag on for way to long. A story without any suspense whatsoever can get boring very quickly, especially if the author doesn't know where the story is going in the first place.
     
  11. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    Love 'em.

    I can think of a dozen off the top of my head.

    I'd definitely say they're of the guilty pleasure variety, however.
     
  12. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Auror DLP Supporter

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    Come on now, man. You can't just say that and not list any of them. I want to be guiltily pleasured too.
     
  13. Gengar

    Gengar Polymagus Prestige DLP Supporter

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    There's definitely Good Curbstomp and Bad Curbstomp. To me, the latter generally goes hand in hand with dick swinging and putting the native universe characters in their place constantly, ugh.

    I'd rather he be world-weary in his curbstomp, kind of like a Dumbledore. I can't even think of the last time I read a fic like that though.
     
  14. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I've only ever read one or two curb stomp stories, they're definitely a guilty pleasure. I read a Geth!HP fic, total garbage sure, but was funny kinda watching them run mayhem on the ME world.

    I notice a distinct lack of titles of fics in here are we reccing or just talking about the concept itself?
     
  15. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    I like them if the characterisation makes sense and is consistent, and it's in legible English. These two criteria are rarely met (the first less so than the second).

    That said, I can't think of any off the top of my head that I've read lately. Although The Havoc Side of the Force (link) has it's entertainingly curbstompy moments but that's more because Harry's magic is an OCP for the Star Wars universe. I wouldn't necessarily class it as a curbstomp fic though.
     
  16. Urumviel

    Urumviel Squib

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    They're certainly a guilty pleasure, but a few of them can be very good. I can even ignore some characterization issues whilst reading such fics - so long as they remain relatively short, and never take themselves too seriously. I've seen more than a few fics start off as nothing more as short crackfics, but when the initial chapters were well-received, the author attempted to make an actual story out of them. That's always a recipe for disaster.

    Steelbadger's Harry Potter and the Elves Most Fabulous (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11120132/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Elves-Most-Fabulous) is a hilarious HP/LOTR curbstomp. As with all of Steelbadger's work, the quality is superb. It's a perfect example, in my mind, of how to correctly write a curbstomp fic.

    littlewhitecat's Inquisitor Carrow and the GodEmperorless Heathens (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8400788/1/Inquisitor-Carrow-and-the-GodEmperorless-Heathens) is a slightly better than average WH40k/HP (fair warning: 40k stomps). The idea is novel, and the first book is really very funny as it doesn't take itself too seriously. The author then tried to create serious sequels, and I don't think those are anywhere near as good.

    The greatest difference between an average curbstomp fic and a great curbstomp fic is that the first wears out its welcome; the second does not.