Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Highlight Reel

So we're in the middle of town square, right. And our holy man decides he's gonna bless the fountain. The whole fountain. Make it one big bowl of holy water. Then, get this, the walking tower of bandages uses it's mummy wrappings to drag the vampire lord into the drink and watch him melt. Wait, wait, I've got another one. So the train is about to explode. right. Too much pressure in the boiler. So what's a cowboy to do? Obviously making a pressure release valve via careful application of ballistics is the right idea. Then boom, train stops. Extra bennie later and the Scottish guy only almost died. In case you are wondering, yes, both events occurred in campaigns I took part in. I just wanted to demonstrate one of my favorite facets of this hobby: The Highlight Reel. This particular form of gaming lends itself exceptionally well to generating stories and anecdotes, many of which would never happen in real life. I'm sure every gamer and his brother has a nifty story about some long and nearly forgotten game he was apart of. And that is the key part. Long after the main events of a game are long since forgotten, something you or someone in the group did was worth remembering. Maybe it was over the top, or truly epic or just really funny, it doesn't matter because it stands out from the rest. I live for these moments, sometimes. 

Here's a simple philosophy regarding methodology: If you can't do something smart, at least do it right. And if you can't do something effective, at least make it memorable. If you at least make it into the highlights, not much else matters. It's a funny thing. I've found that once you commit to this chain of thought, failure doesn't seem like so much of an obstacle, and in rare cases can be a desirable outcome. Or maybe, despite all logic and common sense, you manage to prevail. You may end up looking more badass in the eyes of your peers. Regardless of the outcome, one day you may end up retelling the story, or posting the quotes on a message board, or writing the entire fiasco as a light novella. The important part is that it was awesome and worth telling. Remember, the only difference between genius and insanity is success.

This leads me back to a point mentioned in an earlier post: gaming is a group activity. GMs have total narrative control, so when they bring up stuff they did, it can seem like empty boasting. Players on the other hand usually only worry about the awesome stuff they did. So I ask you... Nay, I challenge you: What awesome things did everyone else in your group do? What was the most memorable thing your GM threw at you? GMs! What kind of stuff did your players do that make you proud to run for them? How awesome are the people you game with? Who made the Highlight Reel?

Until next time: Walk tall. Be proud. Stay classy!

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