Friday, November 02, 2012

Getting Back To What Passes For Normal...

Not much to report. Practically nothing got done last night in terms of any projects, and it is getting too close to a number of deadlines to have that happen with any regularity. This weekend is shaping up to be packed.

Tonight is Friday Night Magic (always hopping).

Saturday, one of our longtime Gophers is getting married, so many of us will be at that shindig.

Sunday, due to some schedule rearranging, I am working all day.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I need to get artwork done for an advertisement that's going into a local entertainment weekly. It needs to be done and submitted by Monday morning. This will be our first print ad that was not placed in a phone book or handed out on a flyer by us. Hell, this will be our first real advertising, period. I'm kind of nervous to see how it does. If it goes well, we have potential lines on a radio campaign going into the holidays. Just because we can...

Until next time...

-- GopherDave

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Whining Shall Cease...

Okay... I believe my head is finally back on right, or at least as right as it can be.

I have also figured out how I to turn a negative into a positive with regard to the game issue I was having. Finally, I decided to stop whining about it here. I've vented and gotten my head around some issues. The GM and I are still going to talk, but I should be coming at it from a less hostile direction now. I cannot speak for him, however. We shall see.

The store is going through it's pre-holiday lull. This is a period where sales slow down a bit right before the holiday season, then they ramp up as December 25th draws closer. I won't lie. Lulls such as this are a double-edged sword for me. Yes, we could use the break, but the lower sales ramps up my financial tension as a result. I know that we shall be fine, but it doesn't mean I won't worry about it.

Looking at the calendar, I have exactly 85 days to get all the stuff for DICEBAG that I want to get done. I'll be honest, I'm not certain it will happen. I will have enough material to run games, of that there is no doubt. I just will not have the material put together in "final project" form like I was hoping. As it goes, I am looking at older notes and seeing rules concepts that I have previously abandoned and wondering why I tossed them aside in the first place.

We'll see though... Life, like everything else, is just a work in progress...

-- GopherDave

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ruminations Continue...

The thinking about the situation continues on my end. I had a couple of responses to my last post that I though I would address in "main item text" as I have other thoughts that will probably spin off from my responses, and it is easier to keep things as transparent as possible...

Delf said...
I'm not sure I have anything worth contributing here, but I'll try. First, the game. As a frequent GM, I'm sure you've had to deal with your share of disruptive party members, so you know what a pain they are. You say your character has been helpful in spite of being a jerk, but maybe the GM doesn't see it that way. One of the best ways to try and resolve a conflict is to get different perspectives on the situation. Maybe try making a pro/con list of your character's behaviour. Other players might be able to help; get their opinions if you can.
As for out of game, if the GM really blind-sided you, he definitely mishandled the situation and owes you a conversation on how to resolve this. This isn't something to sweep under the rug. However, brooding on how you've been wronged instead of focusing on how to make it right won't help, and a game is not something to lose a friend over.

To Delf: You're right, a game is not something to lose a friend over. A lack of respect, however, is, and that is the angle I am coming from with this. I had witnessed problems in his game from his end. I held my tongue instead of calling him on his BS in front of the other players. Once we were relatively alone is when I brought the issues up to address them.

If my character and my play were an absolute issue, why could he not come to me from the same angle of respect? He had that opportunity and chose not to use it. Instead, he cut the legs out from underneath the character in the game, and it was an embarrassing situation for me personally as I felt I could not defend myself without looking like an ass in front of friends and customers.

His actions felt willful, spiteful, and vindictive in addressing what he ultimately saw as an out of game problem within the game.

Within the context of the game, my character has been more than helpful. There has been more than one instance where his out-of-the-box approach to obstacles/problems/impending doom pretty much saved not only the party, but our little corner of the universe in which we exist. Conversely, the character has done some things which has endangered said universe, but he's also done his best to right those things. In my eyes, he has earned more than a little grace and leeway from those around him, and most have given him that.

However, from a story perspective, I do completely and totally understand the reasons for what transpired to the character. It is from a friend and GM/Player standpoint that I do not agree with how it was approached.

Anonymous/Tom said...
I hope that I didn't exacerbate the episode. I was approached by one of the other characters before the game, in character, who asked how your character was put in charge, and why no one has done anything about it. I said that I would set up a meeting to talk about the situation and see if anything could be done to calm some people down. If I had know that the "council" was going to use this as an opportunity to oust you I would have tried talking to you in private. I think that your off the wall thinking has got us out of some situations that the rest of us could not have. I am too much of a thinker, and that can get us killed for overthinking. I hope everything works out.
To A/T: Let me state up front, I am not angry at you, or any of the other players. None of you set this situation up. Ling is somewhat angry at Yuri for trying to talk to him how and when he did. From a character standpoint, it felt a touch insulting, like Yuri was throwing Ling a bone in hopes that Ling would not do something obscenely drastic (which is, truthfully, a viable concern from Yuri's part).

Overall, Ling's point of view was "well, if they say they do not need me, then we'll see how that goes for them." Vindictive, yes, but given what we have done for this movement and cause, and how we had put ourselves on the line repeatedly only to be thrown under the bus, it's a flawed but perfectly human reason.

Now, once the ship (and, by extension, Yuri, Zack, Jason, and Lopez) was in danger, Ling was moved to act. Ling, by his count, has lost four homes in around a year's time. He lost Terra when he was forced to leave (due to his own dubious actions). Ling then lost Terra *again* with the Terracide, finalizing that he could never go home. Ling lost the Little Bear due to hostile/extenuating circumstances. Finally, he has lost Omicron for the foreseeable future. Ling is not about to lose another if he has anything to say about it.

As it stands, taking away Ling's command, while understandable, is probably the *WORST* thing they could have done to keep him in line. While in command, the higher-ups at least had some way of keeping tabs on him. Now that they've bumped him down, they given him less responsibility and made him a bit more autonomous. They've turned Ling into a wild card, and that makes him more dangerous to everyone he perceives as a threat to him and those he has chosen to protect.

Looking at the entire situation, given what we know, the higher-ups have absolutely bungled it.

The rest of the council should not have stayed on Omicron. It shouldn't have even been an option on the table. Rabindra has her reasons. She wants to protect her life's work, but she is fooling herself if she thinks she is the only one who can complete it. Xavier thinks he can work with the invaders. Hmmm... perhaps, but it's not something Ling would count on if Ling were in his position. The sheriff and Iron Rose? If I were an invading power, those would be the first two bullets I would fire once things had calmed down. Sheriff O'Neil and IR think they can hide indefinitely while they run a guerrilla movement/resistance, but they have failed to understand that they are in the finite space that is Omicron Station. It's not that big. The third and fourth bullets would be into Rabindra and Xavier. Xavier, because his loyalties are like a pancake. They're flip-floppity. They cannot trust him, and they know it. Rabindra? Well, she's kind of a driven fanatic, and fanatics are not entirely controllable (case in point, Ling). She's also not above dying if it removes one more problem from the table for the invaders.

Finally, they sent the one crew that has proven they can operate in a guerrilla situation (us, the crew of the Sovereign) off on a babysitting mission that any of the other, more stable crews would have been better suited for.

No, the more I think about it and the more I type, the more I wonder if we were sent away on purpose to make the takeover easier for the Junta. It is just a hunch at this point, but the pieces do fit. It might bear more contemplation once we have rousted our saboteur from the ship.

-- GopherDave

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Downward Spiral...

Okay... Today at the store was "meh" at best. Business was good, but I am in one of those bi-polar funks that I get into now and then. On top of that, the Terricide game that happened this past Saturday went less than stellar from my point of view. I've been spending the better part of the last three days trying to parse out how much of what went down was my fault, and how much was exacerbated by what I perceive to be poor handling of the situation by the GM.

From a story perspective, what happened to my character made absolute and total sense, but it was akin to having a "radiation accident" in a super-hero game. It will and has (in my mind) altered the character in an irrevocable way. Add to the fact that it was done at the beginning of the session after the GM had already (very) minorly kvetched about another player being late. In that intervening time that we were waiting for the late player (who did call and warn us of his impending tardiness), the GM could have taken me aside and explained what was going to happen so we could figure out some way to turn the negative that was about to happen to my character into a positive for the story and the session. Instead, I get blind-sided and am put into a position where it was very hard for me to completely lose my temper in front of friends and customers in my store. As it was, the negative vibes emanating from me during the entire session probably made folks around me highly uncomfortable.

The after-session was not much better. The GM drives in from out of town to run this game, and he typically stays at my house once it's all done so he doesn't have to drive back while fatigued. He's been a good friend for years (best man at my wedding, in fact), so his crashing at my place is not, and has never been, a big deal for me. More than once though, I tried to approach the situation only to either have the subject changed on me (usually to something I could care less about) or to end up arguing with him over the situation at hand.

Basically, he had a problem with my character (and my portrayal of said character), and apparently has had since the beginning. He says he told me about his early misgivings, but I really do not remember those conversations being had. He may very well be correct, but my memory isn't typically this faulty, especially in regard to game situations. So, to solve the problem he perceived, he handled it "in game" with no warning on his part.

My general vibe is that there have been a couple of situations that have happened in game that I have questioned him on, but that questioning came "out of game", and not in front of others. I gave him that respect because I felt he deserved it. I did not receive such in return...

...And I believe that's where the bulk of my anger with the situation comes from.

There will probably be more on this situation later, be it as the GM and I are supposed to have more discussion on it before the next session. It is going to be another eleven days before that happens. That will give me more time to think about the whole deal, or brood about it, probably both.

I will state right now that I am not entirely blameless for the situation. The character that I portray is more than a bit of an asshat who *REALLY* likes things to be his way. I can see how he can be perceived as being a "problem child". That being said, the character has managed to keep himself (and the rest of the party) alive by operating in that manner, which has been his number one goal the entire time.

However, I am not the only one who has a horse in the "blame race", nor am I the only one who did anything wrong in regard to the situation. My only hope is that my friend can see that and is willing to work things out in an effort to save our friendship. I would hate to lose a friend over something as ultimately meaningless as a game, but the whole thing has spilled over into a respect issue, and I am more than willing to cut ties over respect non-reciprocated.

-- GopherDave

P.S. -- Before anyone jumps to sides on this, realize that you are only getting my part of the story. I am more than a bit biased...