Meetings and Monsters

In your quest for the Grail of Accomplishment, you may encounter several types of creatures who can cause you to stray from your path.  Be warned: these monsters are crafty, and lurk not in the bogs and forests, but within your own party.  Have a good look at your allies and see if any are possessed by…

MEETING MONSTERS!  Dun dun dun duuuunnnnn.

The Glume
Criticizem Depresso
Danger Rating: 1/5

The Glume is a big downer.  They’re the kind of person who can look at a rainbow and complain that it’s obscuring the sky.  No matter what happens, it is a bad omen.  No matter who you meet, they’re not trustworthy.  No matter what you find, it’s a bad deal.  The Glume will insist that you’re progressing too slowly, the quality is too low, and you’re all going to get screwed over in the end.

Common Quotes: “This sucks.”  “It’s pointless.”

How to disarm the Glume: Point out all the progress your team has made, especially highlighting the Glume’s contributions (so they can feel special and cheer up).  Plan in small steps, as big plans tend to overwhelm them.  Most importantly, never become argumentative with them.  Gentle reminders of good news are much more effective than putting them on the defensive, as a Glume can defend its position with a lingering infectious miasma of solemn head-shaking and woeful sighs.

Note: Be careful not to attack a minor Glume.  A little of the Glume’s power can actually be beneficial, as it may help your group catch its own mistakes and avoid traps.

The Illusionist
Commitmentum Evaporus
Danger Rating: 3/5

The Illusionist dreams big, and will gladly take on a meaty project.  However, once the initial commitment is made, they will disappear into a cloud of bubbles.  Behind this bubbly exterior is a lazy relative of the Snorlax.  In reality, the Illusionist gets things done by delegating their work to others.  You can identify the Illusionist by their planning skills.  They love dreaming about the far-off future but have no idea what they’re doing that afternoon.

Common Quotes: “Don’t worry about it.” “Can I ask you a favour?”

How to disarm the Illusionist: The Illusionist never attacks unprovoked.  However, if you want to see any work get done, then provoke it you must.  The Illusionist’s specialty is Deflect, and you will see this move quite a bit.  If countered, the Illusionist either casts a charm consisting of reassurances that everything is okay or an attack insinuating that it’s you who are the problem, because “you worry too much.”  In this case, the only way to win is to remove its enablers.  That is, get the rest of your party to assist you in telling the Illusionist that it’s time to get some work done.  

If you are not the one to provoke the Illusionist, you are still in the path of danger, for you may be on the receiving end of their agenda.  If an Illusionist tries to dump work on you, try your best to resist.  Again, an Illusionist can only be defeated once its enablers desert it.
The Illusionist maintains their power by gazing into a beautiful future of success.  They do not concern themselves with work because they see this future as certain, and do not understand that work is required to make it a reality.  Therefore, once you stop doing their work for them, you smash the illusion and defeat the monster.

The I-Haven’t-Done-it-Yeti
Commitmentum Neglectus
Danger Rating: 4/5

Unlike its cousin, the Illusionist, the I-Haven’t-Done-It-Yeti doesn’t care if things get done or not.  Its taste for dreaming big, taking on huge projects, and procrastinating until the cows come home are the same as the Illusionist’s. The critical difference is that it will not try to pass its responsibilities off to others.  This is safer to the innocent bystander, but ultimately a greater danger to the project.

  The I-Haven’t-Done-It-Yeti has less respect for deadlines, but they also have less pride.  Because they do not care if they come through for you or not, they are more open to hearing criticism.  However, it may go in one furry ear and out the other.

Common Quotes: “Yeah, okay, I’ll do it.”  “Um… not yet.*”

*In certain dialects, “Not yet” is pronounced as “I dunno.”

How to disarm the I-Haven’t-Done-It-Yeti: Firmly but gently, remind them that their contributions are important, and that it really does matter if their work gets done or not.  As a precaution, don’t trust them with anything indispensable.

The Snorlax
Entrancicus Dormir
Danger Rating: 1/5

The Snorlax just sits there in a comatose state while everyone else is working or paying attention.  You can identify the Snorlax by them being the one whose name you can’t remember, or whose delegated job never gets checked off.

Common Quotes: None.  They just sit there.

How to wake the Snorlax: Cast Caffeine.  If the problem persists, try addressing the Snorlax directly, as one-on-one interaction might wake them up.  In particular, ask them where the [thing they are responsible for] is.

The Sass-quatch
Experticus Diva
Danger Rating: 2/5

The Sass-quatch often has more hands-on experience than anyone else on the team.  The Sass-quatch is well-educated, a high achiever, and your go-to person for expertise.  The problem is, they never let you forget it.

Their most vicious attack is Sass Mouth, in which naively ambitious statements by other party members are immediately shot down by a lightning-quick barrage of “how things work in the real world.”

Common Quotes: “Excuse me?  Which of us has done this before?” [This quote is often accompanied by a 1990s Valley Girl gesture to oneself.]

How to disarm the Sass-Quatch: Because the Sass-quatch so values their role as an informational authority, convince them that they are a mentor figure for the team.  That way, they can hold onto their proud position, and yet still realize they have to give other people a chance.
Also, ask the Sass-quatch for advice often.  They need to feel special.  Plus, it will be worth it for the team.  Just because the Sass-quatch is a huge freaking diva, it doesn’t mean their expertise is worthless.  On the contrary, the Sass-quatch is a valuable asset, if you can only keep them from being too disruptive or patronizing.

The Braggart

Experticus Faker

Danger Rating: 4/5
Like its cousin the Sass-quatch, the Braggart sees itself as the centre of the universe due to its expertise.  However, the difference is that the Braggart has no actual expertise.

While a particularly strong Braggart is also an expert in going on the offensive, a Braggart’s true strength is in its defenses.  It can cast many charms and illusions to disguise itself as a Sass-quatch, and once its cover is blown, it has a full arsenal of dodges, deflecting spells, and disappearing tricks.  Its limit break is the legendary Communication Breakdown.

Common Quotes: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Trust me.”

How to disarm the Braggart: Put them to the test.  Ask them to make a decision about something important.  This feeds into their narrative that they are indeed experts, and so they will not feel challenged.  Then, it will only be a matter of time until it is revealed whether you have a Sass-quatch or a Braggart on your hands.  Sometimes, a Braggart can be defeated just by being exposed as such.

However, in the case of a stubborn Braggart, they will make some retrospective excuse as to why their plan did not work.  Often, this involves blaming someone else.  In this case, the only thing to do is assign them to something simpler.  A Braggart will fight endlessly to prove that they are the expert at something, and nothing else will get done until they’ve made their point.  Therefore, by making the Braggart the expert on something relatively simplistic, they will have proven themselves and will be able to move on (and let the rest of the party move on as well).

El Distracto
Attention Minimus
Danger Rating: 4/5

A minor el Distracto is not much of a threat.  They lack the ability to focus, and may cause the occasional disturbance.  If they are stable in this form, then continue on as best you can.

However, if el Distracto grows, they can become powerful enough to pull in those around them.  That is when problems arise.  You can identify a growing el Distracto by an increase in volume, the sudden grabbing of other party members’ personal belongings, and constant drumming on the table top (or, in extreme cases, beatboxing).

Warning: If left unchecked, the growing el Distracto can evolve into the legendary Distractissimo, an unstoppable being that wants to put on a movie or kick everyone off the computer so they can check their Facebook page.

Common quotes include lines from movies and various song lyrics.  In the case of the Distractissimo, the vocabulary becomes reduced almost entirely to quotes from “Family Guy.”

How to disarm El Distracto: If this is the first time a party member displays such behavior, let it go but keep an eye on them.  They may simply have an excess of energy rather than be possessed by el Distracto.  

If the problem persists, give them something to do.  El Distracto preys on idle victims suffering from boredom, so the task should be physical and show immediate results.  For example, get them to retrieve a book or alphabetize something.

Keep el Distracto involved as much as possible. They have a great deal of energy that can be a boon to your party if properly channeled.

If el Distracto begins spreading to other party members, consider the conditions under which you are working.  El Distracto is strongest once the party has been on-task for several hours already, are getting hungry, or are working indoors on a beautiful day.  It might be time for a break, during which point el Distracto may return to its cave.

A lone el Distracto can often be tamed by asking them their opinion on the task at hand.  This refocuses their attention.  It is also a diagnostic tool.  If you get a sane response, you can still win the battle.  If you get a line from “Family Guy,” you have a ballooning Distractissimo and it’s time to send them home.

The Blabberwock

Interruptus Maximus
Danger Rating: 5/5

This may be the most dangerous foe of all.  Not only does the Blabberwock seldom do any work, but it prevents others from getting anything done either.  The Blabberwock dominates every conversation by interrupting, shouting over people, and not letting anyone get a word in edgewise.  Often, they don’t have anything of importance to say, but they feel compelled to say it anyway.  They speak on the subject matter, how they feel about the subject matter, things that even vaguely remind them of the subject matter, and lengthy personal stories that don’t really go anywhere.

Perhaps most dangerous is the Word Bomb attack, wherein an innocent party member can say a word that triggers a flood reaction from the Blabberwock, much like the Tonberry King’s Junk attack.

There is no common quote for the Blabberwock, just a long string of drippy, gangly verbage.

How to disarm the Blabberwock: I’m not going to lie.  This is one of the most difficult enemies you’ll face.  The first technique you should try is directly asking a question of someone else.  If the Blabberwock interrupts, point out that the question is not for them to answer.  In other words, bring the monster out into the light.

If that fails, you need to change formation.  That is, start a side conversation with the person next to you, on the topic of what you’re actually supposed to be doing.  Bring more people in gradually, until you’re talking to everyone except the Blabberwock themself.  The Blabberwock becomes powerless if you drain them of their audience.  Warning: the Blabberwock may try to latch onto the new conversation and drag it off topic again.

In that case, it’s time to bring out the big guns.  Address them by name, and in a calm, quiet voice, tell them you can’t work with them if they keep taking over the conversation. Warning: This might backfire, as the Blabberwock is easily offended.  However, it might be your only hope.  Whatever you do, do not try to interrupt them or shout over them.  That will only make matters worse.

Good luck, valiant warrior.


One comment on “Meetings and Monsters

  1. Pingback: The Justice League of Awesome | The Geeky Manifestos Blog

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