Saturday, September 24, 2011

[RPG] Innovators

There are always those people that stand out from the group- doing things differently, being creative and excelling in some non-traditional and exponentially unusual way. Their ingenuity and spark is not always seen in a positive light- sometimes they are seen as rulebreakers or as non-conformists and are chided for "not leaving well enough alone".

I've had the pleasure of knowing (and hanging around with) a lot of innovators in the gaming world. Some of them like to play with rules; designing and kludging until things work to their liking. Others build worlds and environments, ripe for exploration. Others fundamentally change the way a game is played by applying a new concept or practice into the regular mix. Yet others change the dynamics of a group simply through the expression of their personality or behaviors.

I've also had the misery of being the one that had to deal with "that guy". You all know the one- the one that loves to push rules to their ---very--- limit, until they scream; develop lush and verdant universes just BEGGING to be lovingly and thoroughly delved (but NO; a one-off just won't do); the guy that won't leave the game alone and has to keep changing or adding something; or the guy that's just frigging annoying and everyone around him seems to adore him but you... yeah, that guy.

Unfortunately, quite often, they are the same guy. The only real difference is perspective. maybe the group dynamic changed. Maybe the timing is different. Maybe something else has happened to change me from a positive to a negative "receptor" of their innovative ways.

It's not always easy to recognize that one of the guys you hang out with is an innovator. Sometimes you're just in quiet awe of so-and-so's insane comprehension of the WH40K rules and his tactical ability. Other times you just wish Joe Blow would leave the darn Shaharazad alone.

It takes actively being cognizant of those around you to recognize true change and forward progress. It can be tough to turn on our brains to notice the wildly brilliant, especially if they are annoying the crap out of you. Sometimes you have to think differently.

Now, sometimes, a spade is a spade. Sometimes that guy really is a jerk or he really IS brilliant. That's fine. Just take a moment to examine the situation and try to see if you can see the other person some other way.

All that being said, I was really considering who I felt innovated in my local crowd; and why I thought that way. I realized a few things I wanted to share.

1- Innovation isn't constant. It doesn't stay the same, all the time. Some times it comes in a short burst or it might be spread out over a longer period of time, but it can't be counted on.

2. Innovation is dependent on attention. Paying attention to the thing you are working on only increases your knowledge of that subject, and that knowledge actively helps achieve excellence. You know the old saw, "practice makes perfect"... well, it's true.

3- Innovation is universal. It should be apparent to all who is, and who is not, an innovator in a group. There should be little argument over who stands out the most as the person doing something something so differently that it can't help but be noticeable. It should be understood- but probably as "that guy is weird" due to how hard it is to comprehend actual ingenuity.

But now the questions....

Is there a way to encourage visionaries? How do we feed and nurture those that dream? How do we keep ourselves from kicking them square in the [OUCH]?

Still pondering.

Friday, September 23, 2011

[RPG][WOD] Compromise

I worked and worked on that stalled out idea from a while ago some more.

It rattled around, but just wouldn't go anywhere.

So I took a drastic step and talked to the guy in charge of the game I an trying to join. I KNOW, what a concept!

He's a really creative guy. I like talking to him. I enjoy his game. So why was I hesitant to bring my problem to him? Mostly because looking back, that's all I ever seemed to bring to him. I wanted to bring a full, working idea to him this time. But I bucked it up and talked to him about the problems I was having.

He came up with a suggestion that was pretty much the exact opposite of what I was trying to do. His idea was really a departure from what I had explained to him and he seemed really confident that I had the ability to pull off the changes he mentioned. He left it up to me, of course, but he got me thinking.

I thought about my issues and my concept a while longer, and then talked to another player in the game. This guy went in a completely random direction from where I was,but the idea he offered was totally doable.

However, I hated it even MORE than my "dud" idea.

So back to thinking some more. I was sold on the basic premise of the character I had in mind, it was the finder details (and especially the history) that were giving me fits. I decided to sleep on it again, and woke up the next morning energized and completely confident that I could make my concept work.

What changed? I decided to go with a compromise. Some of my idea, and some of the ST's idea all mixed together. What came out of it was a character idea that has life and promise for me, a lot of interesting plots for the ST and some meat for other players to dig into when they finally meet him.

Yeah, I'll do a write up and probably will resume with the after-action reports once I get "introduced" into the game.

yay for compromise!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

[40K] He Defiles Explanation

Remember my buddy's Defiler/Dreadknight conversion?

Here he is now, all gorgeous and khaki.

You have to check out this awesome Big Infernal Contraption (BIC).

That's right, that DBG is a BIC Pen cap. My buddy is some kinda genius to come up with this chicanery.

All the fabulous paint is done by none other than a frequent commenter, Tom.

Beautiful work and fantastic collaborations, guys!