My Bookshelf of Role-playing Games contains roughly three dozen of them, spread out over two and a half metres of shelf space. There are rulebooks, supplements, sourcebooks, modules, notebooks and binders, the latter two full of largely illegible handwriting that no human being on earth will ever be able to read (and that includes me). Various genres are represented in this almost Trumpian wall of deficient socialization — fantasy, science fiction, scantily-clad women with gargantuan firearms, interdimensional invasions by cybernetically enhanced religious fanatics, bio-engineered monsters from the future, stuff like that.
And superheroes. There are five of those. (Even more if you use a slightly, um, ‘relaxed’ definition of what exactly constitutes a superhero.) Those
five N games describe different worlds, styles, levels of ‘realism’ and powers — powers that range from ‘Analytic Smell’ to ‘Withstand Bagpipes’ (though it occurs to me that that may be a Skill, not a Power. Whatever.).
It occurred to me that, while I don’t have any of those (though I do kinda like bagpipes) I do have a Power — maybe even a Superpower. I don’t think it’s in any of my books, it’s not particularly useful and it takes a -2 Limitation (‘No conscious control’) so it’s even less useful.
I’m not sure of the limits of this power but I know some of the things it can do:
- It can destroy blogs.
- It can crash email servers.
- It can make computer hardware misbehave in ways that aren’t technically possible.
- It can make bad things just… happen.
That last one is probably one of the reasons that I’m not particularly fond of travel.
To be clear, I’m not completely averse to going to new places or seeing new things but I don’t exactly care for the process of getting to them. Because there are significant opportunities for bad things to happen — I’ve talked about some of them. I’ve talked about spending the day in an airport four thousand kilometers from home because of a ramp. I’ve described the ‘fun‘ of sprinting through a crowded airport because airlines think that’s better than treating Little People like, well, people. I don’t think I mentioned the joy of scampering through an airport in sock feet searching for a sink. (Executive summary — there wasn’t one.)
Trust me to have a paranormal ability that sucks this much.
Despite the history of difficulties (that I guess technically I caused) from time to time Ms. Rose and I do go places. And, inevitably, I have a story when we get back. (That would be the silver lining. It’s important to maintain a certain amount of perspective.) Our latest Adventure was about six weeks ago.
And nothing went wrong.
We got up around six hours before our flight because we had to drive three hundred (ish) kilometers to the airport — we were slowed down a little by fog but not enough to make the first stanza of a saga or anything. Meanwhile, there was no lineup for breakfast, the traffic was unremarkable and the airport, while soul-destroying and poorly signed (as airports always are) wasn’t really all that bad. The flight was no later than expected, the screaming baby didn’t have his heart in his work and actually slept part of the flight, the airline didn’t lose or (seriously) delay our luggage, there was literally NO line-up at the car rental counter and they didn’t have what we wanted so we got a free upgrade to an expensive European thingamajig. (Which was a pleasure to drive, thanks for asking.) The closest thing we had to a crisis occurred when checking in for the return trip — the airline desk wasn’t open (is that even possible?) so we had to cool our heels and wait (briefly) in the ample and even semi-comfy chairs provided. Again, not the thing stories are written about. (“And then Our Hero sat on his ample fundament and ate snacks.” Doesn’t really work.)
The rest of the trip home was even more uneventful and we arrived safely, more or less on time but without a story. (Oh noes.)
So nothing to write about — except maybe for the observation that it’s not clear which is worse — having a superpower that breaks things or having an unreliable superpower that breaks things.