Drowning In D&D Rules

One of the things I appreciate about Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition over any previous edition of D&D is the simplicity of their rules regarding underwater adventuring. Trying to fight something underwater? It’s either impossible or you’re bad at it. Unless you’re used to being underwater due to exposure or training, have magical aid, or are a type of person who just lives under water. In previous versions, there were a lot of rules about the types of actions that you can take under water, how shooting things works, how to attack things when the attacker or the attackee is out of the water and the other one is in it, and then all the fiddly little compounding numbers that come out of those declarations and determinations.

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I’ve Never Actually Played 100% of a Pokémon Game

There is one activity is all of the recent (main version series) Pokémon games that I’ve never successfully done. The Battle Tower. It was introduced in the second generation of Pokémon games, in the Crystal version game, and has been a part of every game since. In some of the games, the name of the activity changed, but it was still largely the same thing. There have been changes over the years as the meta of Pokémon has shifted and evolved, but I only know this stuff because I looked it up to write this post. I’ve never actually participated.

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I Think Saying “Shoot” Still Counts As Swearing

I’ve been thinking about swear words a lot, lately. Well, for my entire life, really. I always had a knack for overhearing things I shouldn’t and then using what I heard in the appropriate context without needing it explained to me. So, despite being homeschooled, having parents who don’t swear, attending only church-related events, and not being allowed to consume any media that was rated beyond PG, I had learned pretty much ever curse word by the time I was ten. And every single popular replacement for them. I have always been a person who speaks deliberately and intently, a result of being unable to speak unguardedly growing up due to my parents’ neglect and brother’s abuse, so I never swore until high school when I began to experiment with existing outside the bounds my parents had confined me to.

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Playing an Interesting Villain at the Table

I don’t know if this is a feature of everyone’s twitter experience or just mine because of the particular intersections of my interests, but I feel like someone starts a discussion at least once a month about how to play, write, or depict interesting villains. Or how a specific type of villainy can make for a more interesting story than heroics. Or how a different specific type of villainy could actually be the most ruthless and most difficult to fight against. It is always interesting to read through these discussions and then the counter arguments people frequently make that villains don’t always need a sympathetic reason to be acting villainously, but there’s one specific argument that always catches my attention and interest.

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Love and War

Bennel slumped down at the table with a sigh of relief. As his pack clattered to the floor and his cloak settled down around his shoulders, he put his head down and heaved another sigh against the surface of the table.

Tem placed one of the drinks they carried in front of the young warrior priest and clapped him on the shoulder with their now empty hand. “Rest, young one. Rest, eat, and drink! You have earned a taste of life’s pleasures after a battle such as that.”

Bennel winced as Tem’s hand slapped against the still-healing hole in his shoulder. “Careful, you rock monster. Magic might patch up wounds quickly but they still take a long time to fully heal.”

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Eyeing My Health (Or Lack Thereof)

As someone who has had a lot of eye problems in the past year, and whose eye problems are cropping up once again, it is difficult to adjust to using only one eye. Now, my particular issue is not so severe that I am likely to lose an eye over it, and I am one hundred percent struggling when someone else might not because eye stuff is is super gross to me, but I am currently in a situation where it is better (or at least easier) for me to keep this one particular eye closed for an extended period of time. Too long and I start to get a headache from the sort of lopsided use of my eyelid muscles. Too little and the dry air at work, on top of the general sensitivity of my eye in this state, causes me to experience near-constant stabbing pain. I usually wind up erring on the side of a headache because ibuprofen can fix that but it can’t do anything for the stabbing pain and sensitivity.

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The Value of Video Games

I have long sought to develop a metric to determine whether or not a video game was “worth it” other than the extremely subjective “it felt worth it” scale. A lot of proposed scales use things like “dollars per hour” using the average hours to completion for the game. Other metrics try to tie it to replayability or how many times per week you play the game. One metric proposed by Brian David Gilbert when he still worked for Polygon involved creating his own units and figuring out what was the best game of the year because it had the highest score after being run through his incredibly complex equation. All of these are certainly useful metrics to some people or at least funny to try applying, but I am beginning to think that it might be impossible to actually come up with a true metric for if a game was worth the price in cases where it isn’t clear one way or the other.

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The Perfect Grocery Hour

There are times when I feel like my hunt for a good time to go grocery shopping is like hunting a mythological creature. You are certain it exists (why hunt for it, if you’re unsure?) because of the experiences of others or because you’re certain you once saw it yourself. You try to find patterns in its appearance, but the moment you think you’ve nabbed it, it slips from your grasp. Science and logic and reason are no use, largely proven useless by their failure to produce results but still tools you rely on since you tried randomly searching and that didn’t help either. And then, just when you’re ready to give up, to pack it in and join the group that claims it doesn’t exist at all, something happens to renew your certainty.

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Withholding Information At The Table

There is a seductive delight in knowning something someone else does not and wishes to. As studies of behavior on the internet have taught us, most people’s motivation for engaging with people on the internet outside of their social circles is to feel superior to other people. Is it any wonder that some people find it difficult to share information that they alone lay claim to? Is it any wonder that some people fall prey to the delight of withholding information someone else wants in order to drive some tension and drama into what might otherwise be a calm, peaceful moment? Even I am not immune to the allure of gently taunting someone with knowledge I have the power to share or withhold.

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Musings of a Valheim Architect.

My main Valheim-playing associate, the same person who hosts our server when it is running, and I built a nice castle on the side of a mountain. It sits right at the edge of where the “Meadows” biome meets the “Mountain” biome, so we had to do a lot of work to keep it properly heated and safe from the various nefarious beasties of the mountain tops. There are a few exposed areas, but all intentionally so. One is the top portion of half the structure, set up as a landing with decorative crenellations looking over the approach up the side of the mountain to the castle’s main door. Much of the view is obstructed by trees or the rising slope of the mountain behind us, but it is a comfortable place to stand and greet anyone who might approach.

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