Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Apr 3, 2006

Dakota Sue Shrugs

For now, at least.

I'm sorry to announce that I've quit the Mutants and Masterminds game that supplied the ongoing storyline for my "Dakota Sue Speaks" fiction due to irreconcilable personality differences. The thing that I find most ridiculous about the entire situation is that the GM told me that without me the game would most certainly crash and burn, yet at the same time I was ruining everyone's fun.

Needless to say, there is an inherent contradiction between those two statements. Clearly what is wanted here is a personality-less drone that will devote as much time and effort to this game as I have, yet somehow simultaneously elevate the confidence, assertiveness, typing skills, creativity, foresight, interest, and competence of the other players so that they will be able to keep up and not feel overshadowed.

Frankly, I find this request insulting and regard it in the light that I would a request that I speak only in whispers lest my strident voice frighten the timid. Or that I intentionally type with two fingers so that my speed doesn't make others feel overwhelmed. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Well, with any luck my removal is exactly what the doctor ordered and, deprived of my stifling presence, everyone in the group will discover their inner dramaturge and the game will be a roaring success. Somehow I think the GM's prediction is more likely, especially since he characterized my leaving as "a child taking their ball and going home." MY ball? There were six other people there capable of bringing a ball to the game. I was the only one that did. The result was somewhat predictable.

Some good did come out of all of this, however, in that I've been shocked out of my lethargy and made to see exactly the nature of the people I've been calling my friends. Well, I've come up with a better appellation now: leeches. Leeches that expect a home-cooked meal out of the bargain. Bad enough to be asked to be the dinner for people that have no inclination to procure their own. I refuse to do the cooking as well.

As for the fate of Dakota Sue, I'm actually back in the mood to do some real creative writing now. There's nothing like getting really, really angry to light a fire under my buttocks. So, I will keep my notes and sometime soon (meaning, this year) I will edit everything to suit me, finish the story out, illustrate using my, admittedly, mediocre drawing skills (all the better reason to work on improving them!) and put them up here somehow (.pdf file most likely) as fan fiction freely available for all to download.

I would like to thank my former compatriots for the things they did contribute, especially the player of Q. It's a pity they couldn't manage to put any power behind their ideas; without the fire of a really committed person, even the best ideas will rot in miserable stagnation.

The fiction serial feature on this blog is not going to die; I will start up a new serial called Epic next week.


The General said...


Sorry to hear about the termination of this thread in your life. I too have experienced the "falling out" associated with RPG's when things take such a turn, and know how tumultuous it can be. I do look forward to seeing what new things you'll be putting out, however, so I'm not completely sorry :-)

softwareNerd said...

Very intriguing... because I realize I have no clue what happens in games like these. How does one player dominate? Is it like a soccer player who seldom passes the ball? Is it like a great chess player who keeps vanquishing an opponent, who doesn't even know why he's losing? Is it related to conversation that is ancilliary to the game -- like someone who dominates the conversation around a bridge table?

Jennifer Snow said...

Thanks, General, I appreciate the sympathy. I'm glad my cloud has a silver lining.

SoftwareNerd: It depends on the group. Paper-and-dice RPG's are like a creative team working together on a story. There are a number of ways that a person can dominate, similar to how one person can dominate a business meeting.

In this particular case, the problem was twofold: a.) I'm very pro-active and everyone else in the group is passive, and b.) I'm very communicative and everyone else in the group tries to be secretive. So, the complaint boiled down to: "you're stepping on our toes" (by acting) and "we won't tell you where our toes are, you have to read our minds."

It's been my usual experience that in order to accomplish a task you sort of need some TOOLS to do it with, meaning that if someone wants me to act on information, they have to provide me with the information. I'd seen too many games buckle and collapse under the same people doing the same idiot things and I'm through with them. Let them refuse to communicate and complain about the result to themselves.