JP On Gaming

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Letting go: Farewell to Mike Brock

Last week, it was announced that Mike Brock was stepping down from his position as campaign director for Pathfinder Society. The news was mostly greeted with sadness at the loss of a staple in the organized play community.

To start, allow me to thank Mike for his years of service and his constant desire to change and improve the campaign. While I did not agree with the implementation of many of his initiatives, it is obvious from the success PFS had that he did something right, and that deserves to be commended. Ruling a community like PFS for years is an effort in herding cats and dealing with the chronically unhappy, the whiners, the fan boys, the haters, and me. Dealing with those who like, enjoy and appreciate is easy.

I remember meeting him at PF Chang's in Denver when he was moving cross-country to start his job at Paizo. We talked about a number of his ideas, mine and I was very impressed by him. After years of mellow leadership someone with a clear idea and the stubbornness to direct the ship onwards and forwards was a breath of fresh air. I was very excited. However, it seemed that too quickly success got to him and he would not tolerate any opposing or different points of view. Everything had to be great and awesome.

Between February and August of 2012, the relationship between Mike and I soured. I tried to keep out of the inane arguments with the VO-Trolls (those who loved and approved everything without giving anything a second thought), but Mike kept soliciting for my opinion, which was generally unfavorable. I try never to completely close the door, but to offer solutions. Again, computer engineer training: always try to find alternate solutions to problems instead of merely saying "No can do". Enumerate the reasons why it won't work and work up from the constraints.

Things came to a head in August of 2012, just after Gencon when I was asked to step down from my position as a VC (see this post from 2012). I wasn't happy with the way he handled the situation - something which still bothers me to this day. Fast forward to November of 2013 when I had my heart surgery. Although he retracted his comment quickly, I got to see a touching post from him wishing me well. I admit at that moment that I thought about putting up this post, but pride got the better of me.

However, there comes a time to let bygones be bygones. I did a passive resistance by merely refusing to GM any PFS (I think I ran like 3 or 4 games since getting my 5th star in October of 2012). During that time, I supported my VOs, passed along word of local PFS events, participated in them when I could/wanted trying to be as nice as possible, promoted Pathfinder - obviously with a tint towards promoting Legacies. I just could not bring myself to DM for him.

So, officially, as of today, I am letting go of my peaceful gm-boycott of PFS event and will be occasionally supporting my VOs by stepping in to help GM events when they need it, they need but to ask. (to be honest, I am very likely to offer an alternative Legacies adventure, but won't refuse out right).

Good luck in your future endeavors, Mike.


1 comment: