Friday, June 5, 2015

Discussion: Your Favorite Loss

Losing is a painful experience. No one really likes it. I can't think of a single person who enjoys losing. However, losing can also be beneficial. We learn more from losses than we do from success. We grow more from losses. We learn more about who a person really is from losses. Losses build character. Best of all, they make the sweet victories all the sweeter, because it means we've triumphed over the sting of those losses.

So, for today's discussion I want to know what your favorite loss was that you've experienced at the table top. Not a down situation that you turned into a victory, but an actual loss.

For me, it was in a friend's L5R campaign. It was a Lion military game, and I was playing a spear fighter by the name of Ikoma Mesutsume. Now, Mesutsume was a prodigy, and she had a knack for coming out of even the toughest fights still standing when everyone else in the group had fallen. She is also the subject of my favorite loss.

In one of the wars that the campaign focused on, the Lion ended up at war with the Dragon. The opening battle involved a small group of Mirumoto Bushi and some Togashi monks fighting a much larger Lion force. The Lion had numbers. The Dragon had skill. Mesu was sure she was going to turn the tide.

Instead, Mesu got taken out - almost casually - by a crazed all but naked Togashi monk. I mean it too, the man was crazy and wearing a dirty loincloth while wielding a club. Mesu never stood a chance. His tattoos soaked her damage, and he dropped her to the ground. Worse, Mesu's rival then one shotted the monk and further shamed her by carrying her off the battlefield.

The loss devastated Mesu to her core. It set the tone to her character for the rest of the game. It gave a much needed bout of humility to a character that was bordering on excessively arrogant (even for a Lion bushi.) It turned Mesu into a monster, but also made her into a character that has stuck with me for years later. And yeah, the session that she lost the fight I was so mad....and then the next week I knew what it meant and how awesome it was.

How about you?

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