March 26th, 2020


Self-Awareness Question: Coping Skills

Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list on self-awareness.

23. How do you cope with stress?

Read, listen to music, take a walk.  If I go outside, I will always calm down eventually.

In public I use mudras.  Here are instructions for my favorite set, Sa-Ta-Na-Ma, and pictures.  I don't use the chant, just the mudras.

Videos are good too.  I like ones of birds at a feeder.  This one of a river is good background sound.  If I need to smile, I turn on the meeping otters.

Chickpea Butter

Half of a good idea: create a peanut butter alternative from chickpeas.

The problem is, they don't REALLY want to help people with allergies enjoy food.  If they did, they'd release the recipe, you know, like allergy-friendly magazines do.  What they really want to do is make a product, and sell it for money.  Probably a lot of money, if you've seen how allergy-free food costs half again to twice as much as everything else.  For people with allergies, control of their food supply is essential to sanity and hard to come by.  They need to be able to make their own food.  

But hey, at least now they know that a chickpea butter can be made to resemble peanut butter.  That means allergy-free cooks, who are ingenious, can experiment on their own.

Blueberry "Brownies"

This is really a blueberry dessert, with no cocoa.  So not brownies, more like ... boonies.

Riffing on this idea, you could take any brownie recipe that uses chocolate syrup as its primary flavor, and swap in any other syrup flavor.  Maple or birch blondies, for instance, or any other flavor of fruit syrup.

One of these days I need to get me some birch syrup and experiment with it.  I like birch beer, and I keep being frustrated by "birch" named cookies or cakes that aren't birch.

Superhero Board Games

 ... sadly, these look as boring as mainstream comics have become.

Meanwhile over in Terramagne they have games based on municipal disasters that citizens are supposed to handle, and some of those games have super characters.  Your best response to a fire is different if you have a character with Fire Control, if you have a fire truck, if you have a wrench and a hydrant, or none of those things.  And it gets people thinking about resources, so when there actually is a fire, they are more likely to work the problem than panic -- which has consistently better results regardless of available resources.

History of Roleplaying

 ... had its ups and downs.

I agree with most of these points.

However, I disagree vehemently on the uneven leveling.  Character classes and races are so homogenized now, the differences are mostly window dressing.  That's a serious problem for player retention over the long haul.  I like to see classes and races with very different strengths and weaknesses. 

The whole point to playing a mage was that it required very different skills over time -- first you had to concentrate on staying alive, but later on, you could pretty much kill everything in sight with a flick of your fingers, which was awesome, but you really had to pay attention to spell use strategy. 

I loved the first introduction of Eberron with its Warforged, who being magical constructs, had a beautiful cost-benefit balance: they couldn't heal naturally, but they also couldn't bleed out if injured.  If your character was disabled, it could lie there all day until someone got around to repairing it.  That had a huge impact on play, making it very different from playing all the biological races.  But it was taken out in later editions as "imbalanced."  I think people just didn't have the imagination to capitalize on its potential, and that hamstrings a lot of the really great stuff that a game could do.

I quibble with the point about miniatures.  Lead may be toxic, but it molds great and then stays where you put it.  Plastic miniatures can be beautiful if well made, but often they suck, and they really don't stay put well.  The industry has not yet made a really good replacement for lead. 

On the other hoof, boardgames often include wooden elements now, and some of those are terrific.  Wood is heavy enough to stay put if the figures are a little bigger than lead miniatures used to be, you can jigsaw very nice designs, it takes paint well, and is renewable.