I was asked to post a thread about Bang types here: http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=3267/
First, I want people to understand that I only categorize these for the purposes of discussion of methods for how to create each sort of bang. There's nothing in my discovery of these types that makes them inviolable taxonomies. In fact even the ones I have tend to overlap a lot. If somebody has better classifications, whether tested or no, please put them in here. Especially considering that I don't have a long list of types so far. The ones I'm listing are only ones that I've noted without digging into it a ton. I'm hoping that we can expand the list here a bit with some participation.
OK, the list:
probably the easiest to make examples of, since you can just grab two values out of the air, and make up a bang from those two values. This is, in fact, how you construct such a Bang - you simply find two values on the character sheet, or which you know the player is interested in investigating for the character, and create a situation in which they have to prioritize one over the other. Some caveats: despite this being easiest to make examples of, and having an easy process, in actual play it's not neccessarily the most common sort of bang. It was for me when I discovered the technique for creating them at first, but then I learned to spread things out back to a more natural distribution. Also this sort of bang tends to be used often to "hose" the character, forcing them to lose the thing that they don't prioritize higher. This isn't neccessary.
Bangs can "fizzle." Meaning that the player isn't really interested in them. But there's another way in which player response can change a bang. They can create alternate choices. So not infrequently, what seems to be a dilemma bang will be changed by the player introducing a third choice. We can think of this as player introduction of a bang (which is more commonplace than I think people expect). And I call this sort of Bang the...
Batman is too cool to be hosed by a dilemma. He will choose not to have to make a choice. This is epitomized by the example I use from the movie Batman Forever, where the Riddler has Robin and Dr. Chase Meridian (Batman's current paramour), in a deathtrap, and is forcing Batman to choose between his two identities, essentially in who he chooses to save. But Bats decides to leap into the deathtrap to save both of them simultaneously. This choosing instead to put his own life at risk over having to choose between these two things.
Now, some would say that his is simply avoiding the original bang. And to an extent, that's exactly what it is. Depending on the system used, this is more or less feasible. But it should be allowed to the extent that the player escalates the stakes in doing so. And, more importantly, to the extent that the player is still revealing something about the character. Of course, if this is non-relevatory, what you have is a fizzle, if a high action sort of fizzle. Not too terrible a result.
I include the Batman Bang not as an example of one you can prepare before play, but of how Bangs often morph in play into something other than intended. This is not a bad thing, go with it.
Tri-lemma bangs, etc:
It should be obvious from the dilemma bang example that you can do any number of discrete decisions that have to be prioritized. This is really just an extension of the same idea, and can be prepared by the same method. The more values the player has to have the character categorize, the more likely the bang is to "stick." But often that's simply because the player will agonize over what he sees as the two most important. Often third or further options will sorta fizzle, being seen as unimportant. But this, itself, is an interesting decision, and tells us something about the character.
On the downside, you can tend to "use up" a lot of values all at once with this sort of bang. Once you've done a particular sort of bang, often you can't do it again. Unless you do the...
this is, essentially, doing the same bang as a previous bang, but altering the stakes slightly. Note that this one should be used with caution, because it can easily be interpreted as railroading. Leading players to either rebel (trying to find third options or to make the bang fizzle), or to the players moving to a mode of play where they're just following what they see as a lead. That is, the player will start to think that you want them to choose one particular option in each choice, and will be looking to do that, instead of making up their own mind as to what to have happen.
That all said, basically you take the unselected option, and make it more important in a second round. For instance, if in a dilemma bang, a player chooses to save his family's honor by lying about something (eschewing honesty, in this case), you can come back at the player, indicating how the lie in question is now damaging the lives of some orphans or something. Now he has to choose again between his honor and lying. What's really going on, however, is that the choice is different. The second option is "eschewing honesty, even if it hurts somebody" now. So this is still a valid bang.
Don't ever repeat a bang with precisely the same values at stake (we already know how that goes, there's nothing new to be created). But with even small alterations of stakes, especially escalation, you can make the old new again.