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starsapart tries to recalibrate


starsapart

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3 minutes ago, starsapart said:

I just need to come up with a reward that isn't food and that doesn't cost money. Hrm. Suggestions?

 

Hmm... well, for me this become a lot easier when I realized that "award" does not need to refer to an actual object or event. In most RPGs I play, the by far most valuable (and the most impactful!) reward the game grants for winning a boss fight, is massive amounts of experience points. The items the boss drops are cool, but they're not what makes the characters in the game advance and grow after the fight.

 

With this gaming analogy firmly in my head, I redefined my idea of rewards. These are some of the things that I do to reward myself after I win a boss fight:

  • Actively take several moments to bask in how awesome I am
  • Meditate for a minute or two on how good it feels to have that boss fight behind me
  • Locate one of my furry sidekicks and tell him/her about my great accomplishment and celebrate with snuggles
  • Track down Husband and demand hugs 
  • Devote extra time and care to my skin care routine that evening, because I absolutely deserve being pampered now
  • Take a break to go stand by a window and enjoy the sky and sunshine

And lots of other nice things that I can't remember now. :) 

 

Of course I also give myself food-rewards, in the form of cooking something nice, good wine, a cookie or chocolate cake, but by branching out into these non-food things has made it a lot easier for me to give myself rewards a lot more often, and that's important. My brain learns much better from positive reinforcement, so lots of smaller rewards to myself work much better than the occasional big splurge (I do those too, just not as often).

 

13 minutes ago, starsapart said:

I think the next step here is to try to stop feeling guilty/like a failure for it, because I'm not over feeling like a loser about this whole situation even if I intellectually understand that I need to adjust.

 

Ah yes, the even less easy part. I handled this by channeling my feeling of guilt and failure into fuel for The Flame of Anxiety, which makes The Flame burn hot and bright. I do not recommend this method. In fact, any other method than this one might be better.

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2 hours ago, Scalyfreak said:

 

Of course I also give myself food-rewards, in the form of cooking something nice, good wine, a cookie or chocolate cake, but by branching out into these non-food things has made it a lot easier for me to give myself rewards a lot more often, and that's important. My brain learns much better from positive reinforcement, so lots of smaller rewards to myself work much better than the occasional big splurge (I do those too, just not as often).

 

Lots of good ideas in there, thank you! ❤️

 

2 hours ago, Scalyfreak said:

Ah yes, the even less easy part. I handled this by channeling my feeling of guilt and failure into fuel for The Flame of Anxiety, which makes The Flame burn hot and bright. I do not recommend this method. In fact, any other method than this one might be better.

 

How curious! I, too, have attempted this method and wound up failing utterly! It's like we're twins! 🤪

 

In all seriousness, I'll just settle for accepting I'm a WIP for now.

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32 minutes ago, starsapart said:

How curious! I, too, have attempted this method and wound up failing utterly! It's like we're twins! 🤪

 

In all seriousness, I'll just settle for accepting I'm a WIP for now.

 

But being a work in progress is exciting! Imagine all the great things we can become, if we continue developing and growing and learning the way have up to this point in our lives... we could become anything!

 

To me, that is encouraging. :) 

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“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

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22 hours ago, starsapart said:

 I learned I am trying to act like nothing is wrong and that is a foolish and doomed endeavor. I had been keeping up with the mental and emotional fatigue, but I think I was expending more energy than I was recharging.

It is very hard not to, right? If we can control x then we feel like we have more control over the greater situation. But we kind of don't and that is just so tough to deal with.

 

22 hours ago, starsapart said:

My old method of slowly adding more onto my plate, like loading a bar heavier each time I lift, is not going to work for me in these circumstances. 

The bar isn't just a bar right now -- it's like an undulating wave of pressure pushing down on you that is changing day to day in ways you can't predict. 

 

22 hours ago, starsapart said:

Exercise: Go back to daily movement. Just do something every day again. Try to prioritize getting in the air, because I know I will feel better if I do that, but don't beat myself up if all I manage is a walk with starlet.

Outside time. ❤️ 

22 hours ago, starsapart said:
  • Positivity: Keep this one as is. Possibly add DnD recaps under cuts, because I'm playing a few campaigns now and they're one of my sources of good feelings.

I love D&D recaps. :)

 

22 hours ago, starsapart said:

I just need to come up with a reward that isn't food and that doesn't cost money. Hrm. Suggestions?

I sometimes give myself like an episode of a TV show as a reward. Or give myself like a leisurely yoga video (like a bedtime yoga) that I wouldn't normally do because it's toooooOOOOoo chill. I think good rewards that are not necessarily food can be anything that takes up more time than you'd normally give it -- time is often the scarce luxury, right? 

 

Also, this is so dumb, but I had a victory music soundboard on my phone for a bit and would play a victory song to myself after accomplishing things I didn't want to do. :D I might bring that back, actually... 

 

22 hours ago, starsapart said:

I think the next step here is to try to stop feeling guilty/like a failure for it, because I'm not over feeling like a loser about this whole situation even if I intellectually understand that I need to adjust.

UGH, if you learn how to make your feelings match with your BRAIN let me know. 

 

19 hours ago, starsapart said:

In all seriousness, I'll just settle for accepting I'm a WIP for now.

There is no COMPLETE. We are never DONE, you know? It's a lifelong journey; our focuses just shifts periodically. 

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Raptron, alot assassin

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14 minutes ago, raptron said:

Also, this is so dumb, but I had a victory music soundboard on my phone for a bit and would play a victory song to myself after accomplishing things I didn't want to do. :D I might bring that back, actually... 

 

That's not even close to dumb! My outrage is only somewhat related to my own habit of creating playlists for different moods and situations. 😛 

 

But why are you referring to a reward system that works for you and makes you happy, as "dumb", when it clearly works? That makes it the opposite of dumb.

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“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27

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23 hours ago, starsapart said:

Possibly add DnD recaps under cuts, because I'm playing a few campaigns now and they're one of my sources of good feelings.

Even though I am in a couple of those, I would still love to read the recaps.  

 

23 hours ago, starsapart said:

I learned I am trying to act like nothing is wrong and that is a foolish and doomed endeavor.

Yep, especially when a lot of things are wrong. Very wrong.  Admitting and recognizng that not everything is OK is a necessary first step to getting YOU feeling OK when everything around you isn't.  No easy task, but you aren't the only one floundering around here, we're all in the boat with you :)   

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1 hour ago, raptron said:

Also, this is so dumb, but I had a victory music soundboard on my phone for a bit and would play a victory song to myself after accomplishing things I didn't want to do. :D I might bring that back, actually... 

Nooo not dumb, I love it!

 

I know the comments are not aimed at me, but thank you all nonetheless. 

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20 hours ago, Scalyfreak said:

 

But being a work in progress is exciting! Imagine all the great things we can become, if we continue developing and growing and learning the way have up to this point in our lives... we could become anything!

 

To me, that is encouraging. :) 

 

5 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I love this attitude!

 

It's a good one! I need to try to think more like this for sure.

 

1 hour ago, raptron said:

It is very hard not to, right? If we can control x then we feel like we have more control over the greater situation. But we kind of don't and that is just so tough to deal with.

 

And as you know, I am a control freak.....

 

1 hour ago, raptron said:

I sometimes give myself like an episode of a TV show as a reward. Or give myself like a leisurely yoga video (like a bedtime yoga) that I wouldn't normally do because it's toooooOOOOoo chill. I think good rewards that are not necessarily food can be anything that takes up more time than you'd normally give it -- time is often the scarce luxury, right? 

 

I wonder if this would work for me, though. It takes actively choosing to expend energy to go turn on the TV for me (seriously), so it might not function as a reward when it feels like another thing I have to go do. Is that weird? I love the victory music idea though!!!!

 

1 hour ago, raptron said:

I love D&D recaps. :)

 

25 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

Even though I am in a couple of those, I would still love to read the recaps.

 

See below~

 

Also, you guys are all awesome and I love you.

 

 

 

 

WEEK 5, DAY 3

  • Exercise
    • Movement: ✔️
  • Nutrition

    • IF:    

    • Water: ✔️

  • Outside time

    • Get fresh air: ✔️

  • Positivity: @raptron's DnD one-shot started and it was a lot of fun.

The water thing is brilliant so far. Yesterday during the day I only had two snacks TOTAL because of it, and only one was sweet. I did eat after DnD (so like 9:30pm) because I was starving, but it was rye crackers and an orange, so while I didn't stick to IF, I feel better about my food choices than I have done for several days. Win! Movement was a walk with starlet, but hey, I moved AND I went outside. Win!

 

And now, time for some DnD recaps!

Spoiler

I'm involved in three campaigns right now... shortly to become four (jfc why am I me) so here is some info to catch you up on where everything is up til now so I can provide updates as the games progress! Campaigns in order of start date:

 

Saltmarsh (NF DnD part 1): My first game ever! We had one live session and now it is continuing slowly via text in discord. I'm playing a half elf dragonmarked bard. So far, we've gotten into a battle with some monsters on board a smuggling ship and wound up transported by a wild magic storm to a mysterious island. We've been exploring the lighthouse on said island in search of provisions, and even found a friendly NPC! Currently, I suspect that if we keep getting distracted by more shiny things inside said lighthouse, we will almost certainly get stranded there with no boat as another storm is brewing. My character is deeply concerned about this because she stupidly got herself poisoned while snooping around and the party cleric is out of spell slots.

 

Grimkofe (aka the merry shitshow): This is a campaign I am playing with my wife's coworkers. We've had four live (virtual) sessions so far, and we have definitely earned the "merry shitshow" nickname. Let me try to consolidate the many things that we have fucked up so far! I am playing an Eladrin wizard who is very ADHD and completely clueless outside of things she might learn from books. In session one, we were accidental drug mules and out barbarian drunkenly wandered into a fight ring. By session two, we were accidentally working for two of the three major criminal organizations in town (and the third one was trying to kill us). Then we got into an ill-advised altercation which ended with the bard blowing up a ship in the harbor, which led to my character, my wife's dwarven cleric, and the semi-friendly dark broody tiefling monk NPC getting arrested. In session three, while our bard freaked out and tried to figure out a way to break us out of jail, he accidentally (I use this word a lot, but like... this is is how they do) made some sort of deal with a dark wizard who now potentially owns part of his soul? Meanwhile, my happy cheery little Eladrin underwent a season change, which came with a personality change, and with her new outlook of "just explode anything that's in your way" proceeded to break free of the jail and kill... a lot of people. So now we're outlaws! After we got out of the prison, we had a second altercation where I proceeded to also kill the head of the city guard, and well. Yeah. We managed to get out of town and went north to a country that hates nonhumans (EVERYONE IN THE PARTY IS A NONHUMAN!) to run a delivery mission for the dark wizard who owns our bard's soul, probably, because he'll probably kill us all if we don't. In session four, I missed a perception check while on watch and we all nearly died via four angry owlbears (actually, our poor bard was KOd twice, and our barbarian once, and lbr my wizard nearly died from the initial attack because she is fragile af). After we finally beat the owlbears, I rolled a nat 1 on an insight check (I think?) which led to tinfoil hat conspiracy theory "maybe owls have the answers to all the secrets of the universe" time, which led to very unstealthy attempts to communicate with every owl we met (my party thinks the wizard has fully cracked) and now there is an owl that has been following us for 6 weeks and periodically crapping on me. Then on another missed perception check (AT LEAST IT WASN'T MINE), the wagon we were escorting got stolen overnight... and we tracked it to a cave full of wights. AND THAT'S WHERE WE LEFT OFF. Considering our cleric's god is mad at him, I am wondering how the hell we're going to survive the undead, given we were nearly murderized by owlbears.

 

All this, and we're only at level 3. So basically, we're doing great.

 

Heist Hijinks (NF DnD part 2): This campaign started last night! It's a fun sneaky heisty one-shot and has a very different feel from the other two. For one thing, we're starting at level 4, which just makes me feel insanely powerful... but we didn't fight ANYONE AT ALL in session one, which at least proves I am capable of not being a murder hobo if I try really hard. I'm playing a drow arcane trickster for this one! Still settling into her voice, but it was a fun session of essentially casing a major heist job. My primary contribution was putting up with drunk wizard frat boys and leaning on them for information and NOT stabbing the one that made racist comments. 🙄 I also found a potential way into the mansion for at least some of the crew. The other half of the party really scored big and ended up at a fantasy boat rave and made friends with the heir of the household we intend to rob. I think when we pick up next week we need to try to reconvene... we'll see how that goes!

 

Fraxaria: This campaign has yet to start, but it's with the same group as Grimkofe. Basically, we have two people who want to DM, so it was decided they'd take turns running their campaigns for a month-ish and then switching off. So when Grimkofe gets to a "season finale" stopping point in a week or two, this one will pick up. I know I seem to have an elf fetish going on but I'm building another half-elf for this one, and it's got to do with racial trait bonuses, I SWEAR. We'll be starting off at level 3, so I've created a swashbuckler rogue with uncanny luck and a flirtatious personality, but a few excellently dark secrets that will hopefully come to bite her in the ass later. More on this at a later date, but I'm in character creation mode for this one, so I thought I'd at least mention it here.

 

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So much D&D!! I have a hard time committing to just one campaign sometimes (during normal times when I can actually go places in particular). You are brave! Haha. But also sounds like super lots of fun hopefully! :)

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1 hour ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

So much D&D!! I have a hard time committing to just one campaign sometimes (during normal times when I can actually go places in particular). You are brave! Haha. But also sounds like super lots of fun hopefully! :)

 

I volunteered for a bunch, thinking I'd only get into one, maybe, if I was lucky. So this was definitely not the intent, but it's also an unexpected blessing. I think if I had a more "normal" schedule (aerial, etc), I would probably only want to DnD one night a week. Given there is nothing else to do in the evenings except be anxious, I am really loving the escapism that DnD offers at a time when I really need to get out of my own head.

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WEEK 5, DAY 4

  • Exercise
    • Movement: ✔️
  • Nutrition

    • IF:   ✔️ 

    • Water: ✔️

  • Outside time

    • Get fresh air: ✔️

  • Positivity: I had a lot of spoons to spare for some magical reason! Which meant I got myself in the air, and sunset aerial was a really enjoyable and semi-meditative experience that also left me feeling better about myself as a human.

Yesterday was the first legitimately good day I've had in a while. Lest you guys think this thread is forever going to be mired in misery, hopefully this is a nice change of pace for you like it was for me! Work was all right, we all took a walk as a family in the afternoon, starlet's new tooth finally came in so her appetite came back and her mood greatly improved, and I managed to gather the energy to get the silks up after I put the baby to bed. I had a nice little practice, continuing to polish the sequence I dusted off last week. I also managed some really respectable straight arm straddle-ups, which I thought for sure were beyond me just now, but maybe I'm not as physically atrophied as I thought! Mental atrophy is still a thing, but at least I feel a little more confident that I am physically in an okay place and not going to be weak and useless forever if I take a few days off. I left the silks up to encourage myself to go up again soon - it's not supposed to rain for the next couple of days, in theory. The water hack keeps working to minimize mindless snacking, and I managed IF, too. Before bed, I unplugged and continued my reread of one of my favorite guilty pleasure books, and then I slept pretty decently with only one middle-of-the-night disoriented wake-up. Yeah!

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And then life got crazy! I couldn't possibly tell you everything that happened on Thursday-Saturday, but I know I moved some (but not every day), did a bit of aerial, drank more water than usual, played some D&D, had my parents over for dinner, read a lot in my spare time, spent some time outside, and ate sort of poorly but didn't feel completely terrible about it. I don't think I can objectively grade week 5 because I hit an exhaustion wall, but while I didn't do so great at my stated goals, I do think I hit anxiety rock bottom (knock on wood) and relaxing my focus on all the other things helped me start to crawl out of the hole. With that in mind, I think my next challenge is going to be really stripped down, but I'm still here, darn it. The social support aspect of these forums alone is magical. Thank you all for sticking with me.

 

That said, next challenge is here.

 

Before we say good-bye to this thread, however, let's do some D&D recaps from last weekend, shall we? It was Eventful, and I'll start the new challenge fresh.

 

Spoiler

Saltmarsh: We had a live session Friday! It was pretty great to hear everyone and thankfully, the audio worked fine. The party split up into three groups of two to attempt to deal with some necessary things before the storm hit. My bard and the party barbarian wound up meeting a semi-friendly tabaxi (hey, another NPC in this mostly-abandoned place!) who gave us a few useful things, including a book of maps. We all met up in the basement eventually, where we found a secret passage leading under the island. Three of us decided we were willing to explore it, though we definitely only went to take a quick look. As far as we could tell, one of the forks leads to Big Interesting Trouble (maybe for later?) but the other leads to a long passage that may or may not get us to the cove marked as a "pirate hideout" in my trusty map book. Halfway down that passage, we found a book on alchemy and three items made of gold, so there's some additional interesting stuff happening on this island, and it seems like we're all very far from putting all the pieces together. For the moment, though, we decided to wait out the storm in the lighthouse instead of trying to use it to get back to where (and when?) we came from. Hopefully this doesn't bite us in the ass, as our ship may or may not be there in the morning... but hey! We leveled up to level two, so we're a bit less squishy now and my bard has some healing capability!

 

Grimkofe: Oh. Boy. The "season finale" for this game (before we take a one month break and swap to Fraxiara) was on Saturday, and the DM was very determined to get us through it and we were all committed to that course of action as well... so we played from 6:30pm until 12:30am. My brain was tired by the end, and we finished on a giant freaking cliffhanger, but it was a wild ride. When we last left our intrepid heroes, they had tracked their stolen wagon to a cave guarded by undead. We spent like... 45 minutes arguing about how to approach the cave, but eventually went in from two fronts: snipers (including my wizard) on the hill overlooking the cave entrance and melee going straight in. We really managed to surprise them and took out two wights, two skeletons, and a necromancer with minimal trouble. We got our wagon back, but some of the stuff was missing... and they had killed our horse, which I was worried would happen. The bright side: I found some spell books! The down side: we had to drag our wagon ourselves to our destination, which took two more weeks of travel. We arrived in the northern city of Winter's Grave, where we were treated to a lot of pissy anti-non-human rhetoric before our forged papers got us past the gate guard. We were told to absolutely not go out after dark under any circumstance and went to hole up at the inn, which was fortunately also the place where we were due to take our delivery. Shit got weird pretty fast: the rogue is clearly working on a completely different agenda than the rest of us, and some casual mind reading on the part of my bored wizard revealed that our monk NPC had fully shut down and was barely holding off a panic attack (oh boy) and that there was a big bad scary vampire in the corner of the common room. Excellent. We all decided to ignore him and just go to bed but set watch. At about 3am, some people showed up looking for him (probably) and blew up the entrance of the inn and seemed quite content to kill anyone and anything in the building... which was at that point... just us. Seems the vamp had bounced. So we had these six (I think?) dynamite wielding bandit types, plus a blizzard outside. Everyone started jumping 15 feet out the window in an attempt to get out of this fight WHICH WAS NOT OUR FIGHT. The DM announced that our monk would be making anxiety saves, sort of like death saves, each turn to see if she was completely debilitated. She failed her first save and wouldn't move. Everyone was running but my dumbass wizard, who is very attached to her, decided to stay and try to help. More explosions ensued... somehow, she finally succeeded on an anxiety save, grabbed my character, launched us both out the window, and I landed on top of her. Two more bandits around back! Somehow, the only one to fail their stealth save was me, so they saw me (not the monk I was sitting on???) and then I was just flinging fire everywhere and shit got very hectic for a while, as the other bandits found their way out the back and it was the six of us (with one failing 2/3 of her saves and skipping her turns) versus eight of them. And then the heir of the local vampire queen showed up! Which our cleric was able to realize by looking at the glowing woman walking out of the woods before she... charmed...... half the party................... and started throwing eldritch blasts around. At the very least, she started with the bandits, not us. About this point, our panicked bard decided to roll to summon his dark wizard AND SOMEHOW MANAGED TO GET HIM TO SHOW UP IN HIS SILK FRIGGIN PAJAMAS AND HELP US for one turn before said bard was KOd. We finished off the bandits, our bard unconscious on the ground, our cleric and barbarian staring at the vamp like she is the most beautiful thing they have ever seen, our rogue clearly contemplating leaving us to our own devices, our monk in an anxiety ball on the ground, and my wizard just staring at everyone else like WELL FRIENDS WHAT NOW. The vamp smiles, says, "Yes, I believe I can use you," and the session ends. And we won't know what happens next for a month, but I have so many questions, like: how many masters can our poor party really serve before they tear us to pieces? Where is the innkeeper? Assuming we don't die via vampire warlock, are we, the nonhumans, going to get blamed for the damage to the inn and run out of town? Am I going to have to escape another prison???

 

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Oh, wow, that was a monster D&D session, no surprise your brain was fried by the end of it.  Sounds like it was a lot of fun though (ours certainly was :) )

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6 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Oh, wow, that was a monster D&D session, no surprise your brain was fried by the end of it.  Sounds like it was a lot of fun though (ours certainly was :) )

 

Yes, both were super fun. I would apologize for talking to Hammarfist like he's a preschooler, but, well. 🙃

 

2 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Whoah that's some intense D&Ding! SUCH EXCITE!

 

That season finale was insane and I have so much respect for that DM honestly, because they do all these very distinct voices and just drive the narrative forward regardless of what dumb shit we do to completely derail the story. I'm going to lowkey worry about my poor shitshow for the next month.

🎪current challenge🎪

challenge archive: 19181716 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

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"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." - Voltaire

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