* = If this had been an option on the ballot I might have seriously considered it, I don't know if that says something bad about me or about the political system in my country. Either way it would have been M-E-T-A-L-!
I’ve had a bit of time to sort out what was racing through my addled mind after the weekend now. While I’m still not where I’d like to be in life, I can say that there is progress; slow, miniscule, personal progress. I need to be a better communicator in person with people I care about. I can write the live long day about my feelings and thoughts, but if I have to tell someone about them I can’t seem to find the words or the ability to formulate complete sentences. My emotions get the better of me, and I’ve got to find a way to work on that.
No more putting people on pedestals. It’s not good for me or them. We are all humans so we are inherently deeply flawed, I shouldn’t think of folks that I’m Friends with as anything other than that. No matter how Super they seem in so many facets they still are capable of never living up to these insanely high and unrealistic expectations I place on them and myself. I’ve got to dig the crust of these folks not just the tasty bread portion if we are really ever going to be Friends. This might take some time for me to figure out.
Retreat, while blissful, is not the best option. There is a part of me, a LARGE part that just wants to stay at home reading Marvel Essentials and retreating into sleep and lethargy. However it isn’t going to help anyone or anything. If I disengage from my friends, wife, and my family next week does it really make me feel better? Most likely not, so I need to soldier on and get back in my groove. Not to mention there are so many friggin’ cool people that I know who have been really nice the last few days for no other reason than me putting a ‘meh’ on ‘Teh Fazbook(z)’. People who really have gone out of their way to joke, offer advice, or give a counter point of view on things. I forget a lot of times that as frustrated as I can get with myself and the rest of humanity that there is a LARGE contingent of people who are just amazing, and I happen to know quite a few of them. If I retreat I miss opportunities to do things with these folks and that would be a damn shame. I’m not going to let me own inner B.S. deny me the chance to enjoy these things.
In the end I think this is just an ongoing thing for me to try and deal with. I’ll never fully figure it out, and I’ll never fully ‘deal’ with it. It’s just a part of my personality that I need to constantly address, and protect from crappy situations. No one likes to feel Butt Hurt, speaking of which check this out;
So I really wasn’t happy with the last D&D session for a bunch of reasons so since I’m trying to kill this day like a young woman out for an older husband’s insurance policy I decided to do a list;
TOP FIVE THINGS TO ADJUST IN D&D!
5) Quicken The Pace Of Combat – It’s not that it’s too long, it’s just too slow. The last encounter form last session is a perfect example of how efficient it can be. I’m going to implement that often talked about measure of a ticking clock per combat turn per player. That will require them to focus, move forward, think ahead about their next move, and therefore expedite things. If they fail to keep up they will simply move down in the initiative.
4) Try & Build In Secondary Stories For ALL Players – I have players who are fully invested. They have backgrounds, they are characters fully rounded out. I have a couple of players who are very much 2 dimensional. I need to work on drawing them in by finding or creating a reason for them to be who they are. This is especially true for Cassandra. I just haven’t found the right ‘in’ for her character and the whole ‘Tabla Rasa’ thing isn’t going to cut it long term. I have to find a way to help her build and invest into her character I think that will also help her find her voice in Role Playing. This might be very difficult, but I think I’m up to the task.
3) Replace Missing Players With Story – So we’ve lost Mike already and now we’re losing Diamond Dave. It’ll be a big Role Playing loss, as he’s one of the better one’s at the table. With his Shade Vampire there were a LOT of story angles, now those will be going away. I’m going to have to shift some focus onto other players. I’m thinking with Zack returning there are a plethora of tales just waiting to be exploited there, I had counted on it being between Zack’s Revenant Paladin and Dave’s Vampire, but now I’ll have to switch that. Dave won’t be hard to ‘write out’ at all as left a ton of opportunity there, that just leaves me with inter-party relationships and conflicts. I think there is built in conflict between Bob’s Psionic character with his questionable morals and mission opposing that with Zack’s straightforward ‘be good or else’ demeanor. I’m also intrigued to see what I can build in for Cordell’s Tiefling. Once all the murder and mayhem ends I’ll really want to find a reason for him to stay with the group at all. There’s lots of work in front of me there.
2) Use More Effects In Combat – I’ve been missing the boat on using moving effects and terrain issues in combat, if I learned no other lessons last weekend it’s that I need to take back control of the battlefield from the PC’s in order to stiffen the challenge to the players, especially when they are firing on all cylinders as a group. Combat should be challenging, potentially deadly, and always fun. I think I hit at about a 50% success ratio. I need to up that by being far more inventive and less straight forward. My goal isn’t to frustrate the PC’s, but it should be to make them re-think their strategies. Oh yeah I also need to stop building Big Bad plus Minions encounters. I need more balanced enemies sort of Avengers Vs. Masters Of Evil encounters rather than Fantastic Four Vs. Doom and his Doombots.
1) Bring The Fun Back – I feel the reason I lost Zack for a while was not only due to 4E D&D Burnout, but for the same reason I’m losing Dave, it’s not fun. I have to work on keeping the game going quickly, in an episodic fashion, maintain interest and attentiveness, but more importantly I have to push that glee button. I need to be more descriptive of combat, especially crits, I have to get more visceral and complete in my descriptions of NPC’s, and I have GOT to find a way to lure Mick back in as my Co-DM. I think she brings a TON to the table and she can break up the monotony that is my running. If I can get that ‘fun’ vibe back at the table for everyone then the first four on my list will be cake!
Enough of this ceaseless prattle, how about some…
- It sounds like I might have a Christmas shoppin’ buddy for this Sunday! Someone to replace my old shopping cohort Rolson. I have high hopes for our excursion Mick, high hopes indeed.
- Birthday Week is in full effect, and besides my whiney ass mood it has been rockin’. I hope that I’ve done enough to make it something special for the most Special person I know.
- Broke a rake last night….WITH MY FACE! That’s right I was raking and then all of a sudden RAKE TO THE FACE! I snapped it in half with my Ginger Might. And then proceeded to rub my red jaw for the next thirty minutes. I’m a big ole spaz.
- Sometimes an “I’m Sorry” means nothing, and sometimes, sometimes it means everything.
- We’re 8 days from ‘Fam-a-geddon’ for Thanksgiving. I’m excited and terrified. I haven’t spent a non-death, non-wedding, holiday with my family in a LONG time. I hope that I’m a good host, I hope I don’t kill any of them, and I really hope they don’t leave hating me. I’m really stressed about it, so I’m going to stop talking about it and pretend it isn’t going to happen.
- On a side note next week you’ll get not ONE, but TWO Podcasts from the two geniuses at The Careers
In Evil Podcast. First up Dave & I are going solo again, I’m not sure what we’ll talk about, but I look forward to it. Secondly will be the long discussed, much publicized, and universally feared appearance by my lovely sister, Sarah. I’m sure it’ll be AMA-zing.
- Sometimes people shock you. I just had a twenty-five minute talk about pulled pork with my boss. It was crazy.
- I’m reading both Marvel Essentials Spider-Man Vol. 2 & Marvel Essentials Avengers Vol. 3, and it has been increasing my ‘Happiness Quotient’ exponentially.
I think that’s all I got today.
“Love is nothing more than a stain on a dress
Watching things you sold being purchased for less
Euthanasia that's easy to ingest
And they call this making progress
If you take a billion plus a little finesse
And dreamy Yale boys cashing in on their "success"
Then you take a bath in Uncle Sam's treasure chest
That equals making progress
Meanwhile I am drowning in an ocean of stress
Analyzing data for a sure, sure bet
An affordable commodity that I can invest
Your sweet, sweet love I guess
Baby, baby it would be the best
If we got together tonight and regressed
It's not like we'd be de-evolving
And the world wouldn't stop revolving
We could forget the problems no one's solving
Surely I jest
And you're not listening anyway
Where we go from here baby is anybody's guess
So repress your insecurities and take off that dress
Cause the day we realize no one can clean up this mess
Will be a fine day for making progress”
* = Is it sad that I really want to go home and do this?