One of the marvelous things about NBC’s Heroes is that, like the X-Men, each character has his or her own peculiar power that is somewhat limited in application. So writing a plot must be a bit like playing a game of chess. And like chess, Heroes has two “queens,” Sylar and Peter, who can operate with all the powers of each player (something that thus far separates the characters of Heroes from the X-Men).
All of this made me wonder about chess: why are its pieces so limited in movement, and why is there only one game to be played on the chess board, with one set of “powers” for each piece? There are dozens of games that can be played with a deck of cards, so why not re-assign each chess piece a new power? For example, let’s say that a rook can teleport to any open space analagous to its current position (if it were in the far top right corner, it could teleport any of the other three corners, presuming they were open.). Perhaps knights could only move at full right angles, bishops could only land on every other diagonal tile, etc. Just a thought.
I suppose at some point, the more changes you’d make, the more chess would resemble Dungeons & Dragons, which, in a certain sense, is more complex, creative and strategic a game than chess because the powers of the pieces are constantly in flux.
This is the sort of thing I think about before I fall asleep at night.