Monthly Archives: June 2011

Talking D&D: Acceptance

Let us begin with the Rod of Wonder. I first came across this bizarre magic item in my first campaign in the first few levels of play. It was given to us as a gift by the Demigod Zagyg, a new entry into the pantheon of the DM’s world. My guess he was added in via the untimely demise Gary Gygax the week before, or it could have just been a total coincidence. Back to the story, the Rod of Wonder seemed impressive at first because Zagyg showed you could duplicate the effect of a Lightning Bolt, and the Rod could be used over and over again without weakening its magic.

However, the Lightning Bolt only happens 10% of the time, while the other 90% of the time it creates completely random results. You see, the Rod of Wonder is an item based around dice rolling. Activate the Rod, roll percentile dice, and see what happens. Sure you could strike somebody with that Lightning Bolt or maybe even a Fireball, but you also run the risk of Enlarging the target, grow grass around them or even turn yourself to stone. Not only that, the effect you get could be entirely different than what you seek, and you may unintentionally hinder and/or harm your allies in the process. Continue reading

Conversations with a Therapist #6 – The Ever Swirling Seasons

I’ve had many a long conversation with my therapist it would seem. It would seem we also spoke on a subject I wrote as “Summer = Work, Winter = Rest?” This is of course written from the mindset of an 8th grader (or around that time), and at that point I have yet to have any sort of job. My understanding of the working world was limited oh so much, and I figured the means at which my parents supported me was like magic. If anything went wrong I would be cared for with very little effort. You know, your generic little shit. I’ve thankfully gained some understanding in the working world, and I condemn that shit to hell.

Regardless, the perception I had via this little subject was insightful all the same, flawed it may be. The closest relation it has is to the cycle of the hibernating bear. Coming out of Winter and all the way into the next, the bear will work and do what he can to make the most of the good weather. Gather food, meet a nice woman, have a barbeque, hike through the woods, run through a field of grass, break loose at a Con, go to the beach and swim, listen to a concert as Summerfest…you know, the stuff bears usually do. Continue reading

40 Days & 40 Nights: Channel Awesome

So I’m finally making the plunge and working off of feelings I’ve previously stated. I’m keeping my distance from Channel Awesome and affiliates until July 22. It’s fairly ridiculous the amount of time I spend there, and as the old saying goes, time is money. Don’t really have the luxury to spend what little time I have delving into pop culture. During this 40 Day/Night run at least.

The rules of the restraint are pretty simple: Do not visit That Guy With The Glasses or other websites affiliated with Channel Awesome. Do not visit any of the personal websites of the producers, who sometime post their new material before it’s shared at the main website(s). Following producers through Twitter is alright, because dammit would it be annoying to try and figure who I need to refollow after all this is through (following a total of 32 at this point, mind you). However, responding to the tweets they make or looking into the links they share will be considered delving back into the obsession of CA. For that matter, researching news, occurrences, happenings, etc. about CA and affiliates will also be a violation. Continue reading

Conversations with a Therapist #5 – Fictitious At Heart

Yet another CwaT post (that’s an ugly acronym, sure as shit). Item #8 on the list is “book’s characters”, which I’m sure it speaks on nothing more than my appreciation of fiction in my youth. It was the escape I could always count on, and you would likely find me keeping my nose in a book instead of interacting with the whole of the world. Whenever we were giving reading assignments for homework and the like, I would finish reading the book while everyone was still on the in the first few chapters answering plot questions. This usually didn’t work out the same way when the writing was bad or uninspiring, but thankfully the vast amount of what I’ve read has been good (though it should be noted I’m very forgiving on the mishaps of others).

And what’s more grand about a book’s story than the compelling characters the story is being told through? I’d be a fool to say all stories are told through a character, mind you, and enjoy such stories as well. My appreciation with stories containing characters is stronger, however, and I’m all for a good story being told through the perspectives of one. Doesn’t even have to be a likeable character either, because I’ve found deciphering the perspective and the circumstances of them in the world being presented as a puzzle to understand and solve. Continue reading

Talking D&D: Railroading

One of the greatest things I’ve come to enjoy about Dungeons & Dragons is the otherwise completely open world of exploring it has to offer. Not only that, you’re completely free to do as you will (within the confines of your PC that is), acting out and expressing yourself in the world as you come to learn and grow with it. Granted, this isn’t the only way if can be played, because it’s a completely customizable game capable of almost anything. And I would be a fool to say just D&D, because this is the attraction I have with tabletop gaming in general. The cooperative storytelling between the players and the DM/GM is what keeps me coming back.

During my time with gaming, however, I’ve discovered a curse word that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth: Railroading. In gaming terms, this is when the DM expects you to follow a certain path of actions in order to progress the game. Your input and creativity are ignored, and you will be stopped on every turn when you try to go your own path. This is downright ugly, and every DM should be warned to keep from playing a game like that, because your players will more than likely never let you DM again. A little extreme, I know, but it’s big deal when you tell a player they can’t break down a non-magical wooden locked door if they don’t have the key. I mean, really? Continue reading

Channel Awesome…FML

Time management has always been a problem with me. I’ve long since come to accept I may be OCD, and coupled with the fact I fail at managing myself in any proper fashion, my life has been a mess. Prioritize, yes, but when things keep on building because you aren’t finishing what’s you’re priority, things tend to get very muddled. So even though I use this computer for a lot of work I need to be doing, more often than not I find a time to leisure, which eventually turns into hours of sitting in front of this blaring light. During those times, you will likely find me at websites viewing material created for Channel Awesome.

You know, that collection of websites that reviews movies, video games, comics, music, pop culture, etc. for the masses to geek out over. I first got my taste of what the place had to offer from perhaps the most popular face they have, the Nostalgia Critic (though I like to think of him as That Guy With The Glasses as he was originally known). I first saw him on YouTube, because that’s where he got his start. And then YouTube did a huge breakdown upon everyone who had any copyrighted material, even if it was under Fair Use…which TGWTG was under, because he was reviewing the material being shown. Or something along those lines. Continue reading

Conversations with a Therapist #4 – To Know Madness

We return with another Conversations with a Therapist for item #5 on the list (because I’ve simplified a few topics in an earlier post). This times it’s…Horror vs. Happy? I…I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what this is about. At all. A case of my young childish mind making no sense to my current logical one. Though if I had to make a guess or create a topic based on those three words, if would be a discussion on Understanding vs. Ignorance.

Explanation: Ignorance is bliss. The less you understand something, the less you have to do with it, and the happier and more stress free you are. Supposedly. The more you understand something, the more you realize how it connects with you and what ramifications it has, thereby making your life a mess (or Horror). Most people would rather do without the drama that underlies all things and be absorbed in what effects them personally. The stress free life is the better life, right? I’m of the mind to live in the now with full understanding of what was and will be, even if it would bring on misery. Continue reading