Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No Surprises?

I told myself I'd post a blog every week. I thought I'd stick to it. Well...the previous week our Internet and telephone went out. Gone. Dead. Static. Just got fixed yesterday, hence I'm typing this. I'm amused at the problem behind our outage. Frontier hired some new people, and one of said new people hit some keys on a computer and apparently disconnected a few folks in my area. It was peaceful. No phone ringing for days. No posting inane comments and wonderful dog pictures to Facebook. I think I'll detach from the world every once in a while from now on. It felt good.

This past weekend I attended a small game convention in Bloomington, IL. I like small conventions, friendly, relaxed, you can walk from one end of the hall to the other without feeling like a sardine inching along on a conveyor belt. I played Pathfinder. I love roleplaying games. I've been playing them since college. And I actually tried my first session of D&D in the con suite of the very first WindyCon. Yes, that was a LONG WHILE ago. I went on to work for TSR for more than seven years and ran a chunk of Gen Con. Games are in my blood, I guess.

So this convention was fun, but I played a game in which one individual took over the action. For better than an hour, I sat quietly while his character went ahead to "check out" the dungeon. My character tried to edge forward, but he scolded me, saying he wanted to stay at least two rooms ahead of everyone else.

I was bored.

To tears.

But worse than that, his reason for "scouting ahead" was to keep the rest of the party safe. He rolled a "43" on his hide check. If you're a gamer, you know that's darn impressive to impossible for a mere 7th level character. He said he wanted to discover all the threats and to make sure there were no surprises, and by hiding and moving ahead he could do that.

No surprises?

No shock at a monster jumping out from around the corner?

No sense of fear or dread when you trip that trap that unleashes a flamestrike?

What fun is that?

I want a game--and a world for that matter--that surprises me, that astonishes me. I want the books I read to catch me off guard. I want my movies to provide a plot twist I didn't see coming. I don't want the surprises taken away. Take my breath away instead!

Don't ever take away the surprises.

Y'all have a good week. My fantasy football team won...that pleasantly surprised me.




  1. Agree! There should always be some kind of surprise rather than someone yelling "me me me!" Wouldn't it have been funny if you all got up and left him there alone? :)

    1. I did finally get up and wander around the room for a bit.

  2. We need you to come up for Mid-Winter Game Convention and Nexus in Milwaukee.

    1. The FITS Team tourney is a Nexus :)

    2. I was in Quincy this past Nexus, but I have it on my calendar for 2015