Because I keep forgetting: As a general rule, set the time to 6:30 before changing the date.
With the success of documentary series like Tegenlicht and Schuldig I was really happy to see that the tradition of thought provoking and well produced documentary was continued with Klassen (NPO Start link). It means “classes” and it deals with the elementary school system in the Netherlands and how the education level of your parents will influence your education results. How the family you were born into dictates the likelihood of your own success and how the education system determines upward mobility.
It’s equal parts heart warming, soul destroying, confidence inspiring and rage inducing. Amazing.
As most of you must know about me is that I’ve consistently been involved in a RPG group since I was about ten years old. I find it an incredibly enriching and rewarding hobby and it’s a perfect place for me to channel my creative energy. The collaborative storytelling element is fantastic; it’s social, it’s creative and it caters to my desire for escapism.
Playing in a game is great fun, but I find that my desire to create campaigns for players to engage with often outweighs my desire to play. I take it seriously and put a lot of time and effort into it. For the past couple of years I have been getting back into D&D. For the current campaign I’ve created a world, several pantheons and religions, a history, a timeline, a central tension, a theme, a continent, twelve countries, dozens of cities, organisations, people, a story with events that evolve the setting, etc. etc. It’s taken me hundreds of hours to create all of that.
Each session takes me about four hours to prepare for. If we play weekly, that means that I spend about that amount of time to prepare every week. But even outside of that time, it’s often on my mind. When I watch films, when I read books, when I visit a museum, or go hiking; I draw inspiration from everywhere. I make maps for continents, and cities, which leads me to read up on geography and late medieval cities. I read up on early banks and guilds and feudal systems and nobility and how the invention of the loom and how it changed society. I read about folklore and superstitions, about the role of the clergy and how the church wielded power. About politics and how countries, kingdoms and city states engaged with one another…
The point is, I spent a lot of time on it.
One of the main reasons I spend a lot of time on it, is because I think that when a group of three or four people give me four hours of their time every week in order to play in a game that they expect me to have prepared I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to waste their time. I don’t want them to show up and I have nothing prepared, have nothing to say, or I am an unresponsive participant.
Some sessions run better than others. You can’t always guarantee that everyone will have as much fun from one week to the next. Our lives are complicated and sometimes someone can’t make it, or has to cancel last minute, or just doesn’t have the space to fully engage with the rest because their week has been exhausting. Sometimes everyone is having a great time and everything moves along nicely. Most of the time it’s a mix of both; some people are present and engaging, while others take a bit of a back seat. All good. I just don’t ever want to be so poorly prepared that it’s the reason that the session doesn’t run well. It would break my heart.
My sister asked me whether I had exciting plans for the lockdown and my response was “Nah, just living la vida lockdown.” I make myself laugh sometimes.
I often have interesting dreams but I don’t often remember them long enough, or they’re just a jumbled mess that only made sense when I was dreaming. This morning I woke up because Joasia woke up, and I immediately told her the dream (or at least the last portion of it). Normally I am not one to try to write down dreams, but this one was fun.
I was driving on a warm evening in a little sports convertible through the streets of Lausanne (or some place like it) in order to go to the embassy of Luxembourg. I had my dog with me, a little chihuahua who I could teach how to say words. I was on my way to the embassy because I needed to vote in the elections and had been waylaid and needed to convince the ambassador to let me vote late. I ended up instructing my dog to convince the ambassador to let me vote and putting the dog into the ventilation system in order to find the ambassador, who was inside the building somewhere.
Now that I write it down it doesn’t seem as sane as I thought it did initially. But I had a really cool little dog that could talk!!