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


  1. If Yuri were told by the Admiral to take the council off of the station he would not have asked them, there would have been some black bags over heads and when the council opened their eyes they would have been emerging from cold sleep tubes a couple of months later.

    Yuri is a military man, and as far as he is concerned since he has been given command, on board ship his word is law, council or no council.

    Who knows, in a little while there could be a few people rethinking their actions to put him in charge.


    1. Oh, and your are absolutley correct, Yuri was trying to talk to Ling in an effort to defuse him!


    2. If Yuri is willing to discuss things with him, Ling is *MORE* than willing to help stick it to those sticking it to us...

    3. Plus, I would think Yuri would know by now that despite Ling's past insanity, he isn't going to willfully do something that would place himself, Yuri, Zack, Jason, or Lopez in danger. Gypsy was dangerously close to joining that inner circle, but she bailed. There are a few NPCs in that circle as well (Petrova and Rabindra chief among them), but they don't seem to want to listen to the "crazy", little Asian.

      As far as Ling's concerned, Chase can die in a fiery hole for willfully walking into the nutball bag of cats that is Talitha Borealis.

  2. This sounds to me like the problem might be a difference in style leading to problems.

    From your and others accounts, the GM seems to be wanting the campaign to follow a particular story line. While you describe yourself as a loose cannon. This can be an extremely difficult mix.

    It appears to me as though in order to keep the story line on track, the GM has made out-of-game events happen to force the players into the situation he wants them in.

    Whether or not your character fits into this particular type of game is a matter of personal choice.

    1. On the surface, what you are saying makes some sense, and the thought has crossed my mind more than once, but I have always shoved it into the background for various reasons.

      My character, Ling, is a loose cannon. He was always meant to be, but there was a time in the past of the story where someone needed to step up and lead, and no one else was better suited to do so at the time. That has changed a bit, and the character who is now leading (Yuri) is now better suited for the role than when he was originally approached.

      As for how/if Ling fits into the game, it's all a matter of seeing things through his eyes (which the GM cannot seem to do). Ling in *INCREDIBLY* loyal to those he deems as family, to the point of trying to save them in ways that are morally questionable/reprehensible to others around him. Ling is very much an "ends justify the means" thinker. It is by no means the only intellectual tool in his arsenal, but it is the one he most frequently reaches for, even when I softer touch is called for...

    2. That could very well be. We've been playing in this campaign for around a year now. When we started the players were the crew of a humble salvage vessel. As things have progressed we have found ourselves with more and more responsibilities, until now we are in the unenviable position of being responsible for over 4000 refugees in a ship headed towards the unknow, being chased by a military Junta that has taken over what is left of the sol system.

      There is not a lot of "wiggle room" while being shut up in a space vessel for weeks or months.