Jump to content

Stag Discovers His Skill Tree Nebula

Recommended Posts



Respawning 5 years his after last post, with starting stats 50 pounds heavier than his last character, Stag looks to the sky and finds inspiration in the form of a technicolor nebula: 18 constellations, 18 skills to level up. He picks a few stars to follow for 4 weeks, and sets off on a journey toward holistic vitality. 





Goal 1: Bike Across Connecticut.

  • Go to the gym and stationary bike for 6 miles 3 times a week.
  • Gain ~6 EXP Hours toward Biking.


Goal 2: Day to Savor the Flavor.

  • Mindfully eat for 24 hours: Mindfully savor 2 meals a day for at least 25 minutes each. 
  • Gain ~20 EXP Hours in Nutrition.


Goal 3: Counseling Apprentice.

  • Complete 14 hours of course work and career development outside of class each week. 
  • Gain ~50 EXP Hours in Research and Counseling.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How Does This System Work? Why Are You Doing This?



  • When I used to use the use the forum, it was cool to role play 6 week challenges with D&D'esque RPG stats. I enjoyed the role playing and leveling up, but I never really played D&D, so it always felt a little detached for me. I also didn't like how stats leveled so quickly with each challenge, and how these inflated stats felt very arbitrary. My 20 STR could like very different than your 20 STR. I resolved to make my own system based on the RPG I know best: Skyrim. This was a blast to design, tapping both into my digital art and spread sheeting interest. I enjoy emphasizing the Nerd in Nerd Fitness. 


Why these skills?:

  • These are just skills that I enjoy perfecting and/or are important to maintaining my vitality and health. If someone else were inspired by the system and wanted to try it, they would pick there most important 18 skills.


Starting Stats:

  • In Skyrim there are 18 skill trees. The dragonborn always starts with twelve level 15 skills, five level 20 skills, and one level 25 skill. 
  • Although I have some experience in all the skills with my skills nebula, I allotted the twelve level 15 skills, five level 20 skills, and one level 25 skill based on my relative past time investment in each skill. 


Skill Leveling:

  • Skill leveling is set up such that a skill begun at level 15 will take at least 10,000 hours of effort to reach level 100. The 10,000 hours is based off of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule, a proposed number of hours of deliberate practice required to reach "expert level." It is an oversimplification of what it takes to master a skill, but it still provides an aspiration rule of thumb.
  • Every time I invest time honing or engaging in a skill, I earn EXP Hours. However now all skill practice is created equal. I created a formula to account for this:
    • F = Level of Focus. It is measured on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being perfect, absolute focus, and 1 being no focus.
    • D = Level of Deliberate Practice. It is measured on a scale of 1- 10, with 10 being highly conscientious and deliberate skill building and practice, and 1 being engaging with improving not even on the radar.
    • R = Relevance of activity to the given skill tree. It is measured on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being extremely relevant, and 1 being only the slightest smidgen relevant. 
    • P = Percentage of the time spent engaging in the activity. It is measured on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being 100% engaged in the activity, and a 5 meaning only actually engaged in the activity 1/2 of the time.
    • T = Time spent engaged in the activity in minutes.
    • EXP Hours = F * D * R * P * T / 10,000 / 60
  • True to Skyrim skill leveling, skills level on an exponential curve. It takes significantly fewer EXP Hours to level a skill from 20 to 21 (13 EXP Hours) than 86 to 87 (224 EXP Hours). The formula for skill leveling is the same used in Skyrim's leveling system, but with an additional divider so it takes exactly 10,000 EXP Hours to level from 15 to 100, rather than 528804.0234 EXP Points:
    • L = Current skill level.
    • EXP Hours Required to Level Up a Skill = 2 * ( L ^ 1.95) / 52.915
      • Outputs from this formula are rounded to the nearest whole integer.


Character Leveling:

  • Character leveling is set up such that by leveling 13 skills to level 100, the character will reach level 100. 13 skills is kind of arbitrary, but it makes the XP Character math easy, and the 13,000 hours required is ~1.5 years worth of cumulative skills practice: An impressive feat.
  • Just as in Skyrim, a character levels up in the Nebula Skill System by accumulating enough XP Character to cross a level up threshold.
  • XP Character is gained every time a character levels up a skills. It is a simple formula:
    • S = Skill level the player has just leveled up from.
    • XP Character = S * 2
  • The formula for amount of cumulative XP Character required to level is unaltered from Skyrim:
    • C = Current character level.
    • Amount of cumulative XP Character required to level up = (12.5 * ( C ^ 2 ) + (62.5 * C )) - 75


Whoa, This Seems Pretty Complicated:

  • It is definitely a lot, but this spreadsheet will make keeping tabs all the maths easier. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Quick About Me


Hey! I'm Nathan. I'm a 26 year old counseling graduate student from CT, USA. I'm hoping to lose about 60 pounds, develop an enjoyable relationship with eating wholesome foods and moving my body, and generally improve at the things I enjoy doing. It's nice to be back.


Thanks for reading!




  • Like 3







Link to comment

this is awesome! good luck and welcome back

  • Like 1

Lvl 1. Human - Swordmage

| STR - 2 | DEX - 2 | INT- 3 | CON - 2 | WIS - 3 | CHA - 3 |

Previous challenge: Respawn of a swordmage

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream- C. S. Lewis

Embrace your dreams. If you want to be a hero, you need to have dreams- Zack Fair FF7 Crisis core

A sword wields no strength unless the hand that holds it has courage- Hero shade (The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess)

Link to comment

Biking - I've biked 7 of the 70 miles for the challenge. Hit the gym for the first time in at least 4 months the other day. I really tried to turn inward to the sensations of pedaling and the content of the positive psychology podcast I was listening to, and tune out all the stimuli of the gym. It was a gentler and more enjoyable approach to fitness than I've taken in the past. More going with the flow of fitness than straining against it. I plan to go bike again Thursday day, and Friday before my work shift.


Mindful Eating - I've eaten two meals a day over the course of 25 minutes each since the challenge start. Since I've become somewhat detached from my hunger and fullness signals, I try to ask myself between each bite how full I am feeling. I hope that by becoming more aware of my body, and mindfully choosing wholesome / nutrient dense food options and moderate portions, that I will move toward a healthy weight without having to obsess over calories. So far so good. Here is a video on mindful eating that introduced the concept to me. 


Out of Class Course/Career Work - I've completed 1.25 of the 14 required hours for this week, so I'm going to need to step it up on this front. I need to average about 3 hours of course work every day for the rest of the week if I want to hit my target. It might be tricky because my week is getting pretty packed: Valentines day stuff, being recorded for my friend's podcast, going to a friends book release party. I'm behind most because I've been getting distracted by the idea of coding an app, so I've been spending silly amounts of time trying to hack the MacOS onto my windows computer so I can code for IPhone in Swift. Making a commitment here: No more coding focus until I've hit my goal hours.



As for my whole complicated skills tracking system, it's going pretty well. I have a spreadsheet that I'm keeping track of everything with. I'm sensing some areas that will need tweaking as I refine it. Stuff like: Can I add new skill trees based on new interests (ex. coding). Am I really going to track my relationships like it's something I could level up like digital art skills? Should big achievements play a part in leveling, or like unlocking "perks" or something (ex. Open a private practice). Etc. Etc. 

  • Like 2







Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines