Hm. You know, I’ve been trying to figure out the flaw in Doflamingo’s plan that allowed for this to happen, and I think it all comes down to one thing: he pushed it too far. Thanks to his exceptional resources, including the human resources provided by his elite underlings, and some devious tactics, he was able to achieve a major victory with relative ease. However, between enslaving the dwarves, managing the colosseum fights, producing SAD, keeping his fingers in a wide array of underworld operations, and turning every potential threat into toys, he created too many opportunities for something to go wrong. Even for a brilliant strategist such as himself, simultaneously maintaining and covering up all of these different gambits created a risk that drastically outweighed the considerable rewards.
Now, I’m no criminal mastermind myself, but if my conclusion is true, then the solution is simple. It’s not something that would help him now, because everything has been too far gone for a while, but if he were to do it all over again this advice would have served him well. Rather than take on such a wide net of conspiracy, he should have kept his ambition in check and settled for something a little smaller. Perhaps he could have focused entirely on keeping Dressrosa in line without investing so much in international affairs. Or maybe he could have passed up the opportunity to dominate his ancestral home and dedicated himself to carrying out his work as Joker. Either solution, though less fruitful than the route he took in the manga, would still provide more wealth and power than most people could ever imagine.
At the risk of sounding pithy, there’s an old saying of uncertain origin that sums up Doflamingo’s situation very nicely.
So last night I’m pretty sure that my party won Monsterhearts.
"But Genome, Monsterhearts is a player-driven roleplaying game that focuses on interpersonal drama and character growth through the lens of young adult supernatural romance, I really don’t think it has a win state."
I understand what you’re saying, but hear me out.
My party consists of Cordelia the Chosen, Mercutio the Fae, Spencer the Ghost, and Caius the Ghoul. I won’t bog this anecdote down by detailing everyone’s life story; the important thing to know is that Caius and Cordelia want each other dead, Mercutio is Cordelia’s BFF, and Spencer is pals with Cordelia but also used to be pals with Caius before he became undead.
Caius had crashed a party where everyone else had been flirting and underage drinking, and before long he and Cordelia were brawling in the lawn. After a session’s worth of failed interventions and near-deaths, both combatants were entrenched in their Darkest Selves, making peaceful resolution a non-option. Also Cordelia’s aunt and Spencer’s live-in necrologist were there for extra awkwardness.
Then the following things happen: Spencer, frustrated by the way his friends would rather fight to the death than listen to him, exits as fast as his intangibility can allow. Cordelia’s aunt tells Mercutio to get her niece to the hospital and desperately tries to tackle Caius. The Ghoul’s player rolls well and effortlessly smacks the woman down, to everyone’s horror. Mercutio grabs Cordelia’s arm, but there’s no way she’s going to abandon her aunt.
Now, at this point, Mercutio has enough experience to buy an Advance. She picks Guide from the list of Fae Moves, which allows her to spend a String she has on someone to spirit them away to the Faerie Court. The only problem is that she has no Strings on Cordelia, but she amends this by confessing her romantic feelings for the girl. The resulting Turn Someone On roll is a success, granting her the String she needs to open up a faerie ring and haul Cordelia through while flipping Caius off.
So, to summarize: someone used their gay crush confession to power a magical portal and escape a rampaging undead stalker. I’m pretty sure that means we won the game.
I’d say 2013 was a good year for me, if only because I graduated in it. I also managed to advance my career, though by less than I wish I had; the big goal of ‘14 will be proactivity to make up for any slacking I’ve done since getting out of school. Big shout out to everyone who’s been with me for the last twelve months, and I hope we have many more!