Moving Sucks

…That about sums it up.

Moving wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t have to pack everything, unpack, then repeat the packing process again a week from now. For some reason beyond stupidity, we can’t stay at the house for another week. We also can’t move into our new house immediately. Instead, we’re stuck in limbo for a week (at least). As nice as the place I’m staying now is, it royally sucks not being able to move into the new home as soon as possible. Especially when it’s just a minute or two away…

Moving wouldn’t be too bad if our new house had more redeemable qualities. Sure, I’m a few minutes walk away from carry-out pizza, but that’s the only real positive. We’re actually farther away from Harrisonburg now (which means I’m farther away from school, both now and for college, and mom’s farther away from work). Sure, the road is faster but it’s also worse, congestive and farther away from the city. Really, the only person benefiting from this ordeal is my brother. He’ll be closer to town and his friends but at the expense of everyone else.

And mom wonders why I want to move out of the house so badly. So I can pay for my own necessities and be closer to school?

Oh, and if spring fever is a disease, I caught it. Yay. I’m also typing this on a Mac and it’s almost unbearable. Double yay.

And people wonder why I “love” this time of year.

You know, I’ve never understood all these elaborate tortures. It’s the simplest thing, to cause more pain than a man can endure…and of course, it’s not only the immediate agony, but the knowledge that if you do not yield soon enough, there will be little left to identify you as a man. The only question remains: Will you yield…in time?

Angels & Demons

Some people might like the discussions but sometimes, they border monotony.  Or uselessness.  I don’t know how the current U.S. security policy ties in with the kingdom living course curriculum, but somehow, it does.  Why else would we spend the past two days discussing 12 “Biblically-rooted” alternatives?  The whole exercise is absurd because we live in a nation that promises religious freedom and tolerance.  Why would such a nation focus on just one religion’s holy text for alternatives?

Eh, I don’t want this to turn into another kingdom living rant.

Instead, I finished Angels & Demons.  Damn good book.  The book isn’t 100% factual, but I really don’t care.  I’m not about to go to Rome and search for the secret Illuminati lair.  The book’s a good read, a good example of historical fiction.  Even when he does say what is “fact”, I’m not going to take him seriously.  He’s still writing historical fiction and that’s what most people forget about his books.

Anyway, I still need to read The Da Vinci Code…>_>

Quite simply, the goal of terrorism is to create terror and fear. Fear undermines faith in the establishment. It weakens the enemy from within…causing unrest in the masses. Write this down. Terrorism is not an expression of rage. Terrorism is a political weapon. Remove a government’s facade of infallibility, and you remove its people’s faith.

300

Good movie, but sometimes, I wondered if I was watching porn (don’t ask…please…).  I’d give it a 9 out of 10.

Anyway, it’s fun to see all these critics complaining how “unrealistic” it is.  Really now?  C’mon, history is my favorite subject but even I know there needs to be entertainment value in films.  I didn’t expect it to be a factual retelling of the battle, even when I read the graphic novel.  The facts would make the story less entertaining (though certainly more believable.  Ah well…

Now if we could adopt Spartan philosophy into today’s military…

You vastly underestimate Spartan women, and judging by what I’ve seen of your “soldiers” today, I could have just as well sent the women.

Optimal D&D Party

Reading Freeman‘s post inspired this…  Being a DM myself, I figured I’d write something up about parties.

First, the recommended number of people is four.  Four is an adequate number for parties to overcome most challenges.  It also makes calculating experience easier, since the CR ratings in the DM’s guide (page 38) are based on an average four person party.  A four player party is definitely the most balanced.  With less players, encounters tend to be worth more EXP but more taxing on resources or more difficult.  With more players, encounters are easier but worth less EXP.  EXP is divided equally among the party and more people means more division.

Of course, nothing in D&D is set in stone.  House rules give the DM (players too, unless the DM’s an authoritative dictator) freedom to run and play their game as they see fit.  If I remember correctly, the people in Freeman’s group don’t handle EXP the way I do (and I can hear them saying, “And for good reason!”).  I think they gain a level for every four hours they play.  I have different views on EXP and how it’s giving out, but that’s another insight for another day.

So, four people makes everyone’s lives easier.  Now who to pick?  In no specific order…

A party always needs a good melee warrior with lots of hit points, strength, and constitution.  This person is the front-line fighter (not the class) who is capable dishing out and taking the most damage.  A Fighter would be the best class to choose, since they are the easiest to play and allow lots of customization options thanks to their multitude of bonus feats.  A d10 hit die coupled with all weapon/shield proficiencies (except exotic) and Fighters are the definition of a front-line warrior.

Besides a Fighter, a Barbarian can be an excellent choice as a “party shield”.  Barbarians have a d12 hit die (the highest for any class in the game) and have more skill points than a fighter, but can’t wear heavy armor (and thus, need good dexterity).  This class also has fast movement, which allows them to transverse the battlefield quickly.  Barbarians can also rage to increase their physical attributes, but only for a set number of times per day.  Barbarians are also limited by an alignment restriction (non-lawful).  Side effects aside, a Barbarian can make a better front-line warrior than a Fighter.

A Paladin can also be a good choice, since they have the ability to heal themselves (or others), can smite evil creatures, get immunity to fear but are harder to play.  Paladins need good charisma and wisdom scores, in addition to strength and constitution.  Then there’s the alignment restriction…

Next, a party needs a divine spellcaster.  Divine magic is the only magic that can heal, and healing magic is better than using gold to buy potions.  The best classes for this role are clerics and druids.  Clerics are better suited for healing and are valuable for fighting undead monsters.  Druids, on the other hand, have access to more offensive spells, wild shape, and animal companions.  Druids probably make better fighters, but Clerics are better healers.  Since every party needs a healer, I’m giving this one to the Cleric.  Of course, John had an awesome Druid so I’d accept them.

Paladins and Bards can also cast healing magic, but nowhere near as well as clerics.  A Paladin’s “lay on hands” ability doesn’t heal half as well as a good cure spell, and they have to wait a few levels to cast any spells at all.  Bards can cast cure spells, but again, not nearly as well as a Cleric.

Two roles fulfilled, two roles left.  This one being the role of support.  Usually, this person supports the party in either fighting, spellcasting, or skills.  I like having a Rogue fill this role, though a Ranger or Bard can also work.  Rogues work best since they get the most skill points, are the best class suited to disabling traps, and their sneak attack ability compliments their support role nicely.

While Rogues are my definitive support class, Rangers and Bards can fill the role.  Each get a good amount of skill points per level.  However, Rangers make better combatants (either with a bow or two-weapon fighting) and have good hit points.  Bards make for better spellcasters and fit the support role better (since that’s the class is designed to do).  If the party needs a good support fighter, then a Monk is an excellent choice.  Just be wary of how much time is needed before a Monk truly matures in power.

The last role is that of the arcane spellcaster.  Sorcerers and Wizards are the only classes that can play this role effectively (Bards are also arcane spellcasters too, but their damage output is pitiful).  The whole Sorcerer vs. Wizard debate can be saved for another time.  Very briefly, I prefer Wizards, if only for their versatility and bonus feats.  However, if a player knows what they’ll be specializing in, then go with a Sorcerer.  School specialization irritates me to no end.

Looking at Freeman’s group, they’re going to be dealing out lots of damage.  He has enough support in his party that he doesn’t need an arcane spellcaster.  Still, a Wizard or Sorcerer would be nice to have.  And since I play Wizard, I can’t help but die a little inside…

Anyway, that’s that.  I just got an idea for my brother’s birthday…D&D session?  Better than nothing…

There are many paths up the mountain, but the view of the moon from the top is the same.

College

I just got a lovely postcard from Eastern Mennonite University…

Hey Coby!
     Junior year is a great time
to start checking out colleges.
I’m glad you’re considering
EMU.  For an inside look into
what it’s like to be a student
here, check out our website
at: http://www.emu.edu/admissions/askme
To experience EMU for yourself,
schedule a campus visit at:
http://www.emu.edu/admissions/campusvisit/
Hope to hear from you soon!
(I won’t give her name because I’m not that cruel)
CURRENT EMU STUDENT
Royals Society Member


One, junior year is a great time to start checking out colleges.  Too bad I’m a senior…  I’m wondering if she got my grade wrong?  Oh well, just a nitpick.

Two, I didn’t know I was considering EMU…  Maybe at one point, I considered going there after Blue Ridge but EMU has been ruled out in favor of Bridgewater.  EMU is a tad bit cheaper, but is harder to get into.  Bridgewater, a bit more expensive but hopefully by junior year, I’ll be well off enough to afford education.

Three, the blatant advertising…  Makes one wonder if this was scripted?

One more thing.  I wonder how this person got my address?  When a person gives me a postcard, I expect it to be from someone I know.  Relatives, or even people from school on summer trips.  This person?  I don’t even know…creepy.

And Royals Society Member?  Sounds like a cult…

Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.