Nate Dickson Thinks...

Small Thoughts for a Quiet World.

I never played any table top RPGs in high school. At the time they were seen as a male-only nerd activity and frankly I was involved in far too many of those already.

Over the years I've played a little bit of GURPS and a little Pathfinder, here and there with various groups,but I didn't start playing D&D until this year.

Decades after graduating high school, my kids introduced me to the hobby. When I mentioned that I might like to try my hand at being a DM I was astonished at how many of my friends were apparently just waiting for a chance to be players in a D&D campaign.

So now I'm a part of three D&D campaigns. I'm DM in two of them and a player (for now) in the third. And things have changed for the better in the world of D&D.


Here's something I've learned recently. If you're in a position where you end up scheduling a lot of meetings, and attending a lot of meetings, you can protect your calendar in a very simple way:

Schedule “jagged” meetings.

By which I mean meetings that start at fifteen minutes before or after the hour. Most people tend to schedule meetings on the hour or on the half hour, and will naturally leave the fifteen minutes before your “jagged” meeting alone. Occasionally they'll leave you a full 45 minutes before a meeting.

This gives everyone who is attending your meeting time to prepare, and gives you a little breathing room in your schedule as well.

It works on the other end as well. You don't usually need hour-long meetings, schedule them for 45 minutes, and everyone has a few minutes of breathing space at the end.

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I was running a D&D session for some friends the other night in which they had to enter a market run by and for the undead. The party's rogue decided to go dress the part, so that she could blend in more easily. In real life this was accomplished by her player searching pinterest for an outfit she wanted.

When she came back I said “okay, so, you're dressed like that, and somehow Sarah McLachlan is playing in the background, even though she's never done a tour in Faerûn.”


Axiom Verge 2 Soundtrack: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Which on the Nate Dickson scale is literally stellar. (get it? Stars? Stellar? Okay I'll stop).


Alarm: Get up. Hey. It's morning. Me: Ugh. No. I haven't even been asleep yet. Alarm: And that's my fault? Look, you told me to wake you up, so that's what I'm doing. Me: But I'm going to be all groggy and uninspriational to all the people I'm supposed to inspire today. Five more minutes. Alarm: And those five minutes are going to help? Me: ...No. They might just make things worse. Alarm: Why didn't ya go to sleep last night, buddy? Me: Psh. Like I know. I tried. I tried to sleep in bed, in my favorite recliner, on a sofa, but it just wasn't happening. Ugh. [gets up]


Thinking more about “Web Prmiativism”, and based on a few comments I got from others via Mastodon:

... Cheers, I read your post through NetNewsWire. Liking RSS more and more. No style, all substance.


...a mode of aesthetic idealization that either emulates or aspires to recreate “primitive” experience. Wikipedia

Many years ago, near the beginning of the web, I was working at a bookstore. A customer came in and said “I'm going to make a website that looks fine on any browser, and I mean, someone using a Hercules monitor on a 286. None of these VGA colors or web things.” Bear in mind this was in the late 90's, the state of graphics technology at this point was the 1024x768, 256-color, VGA monitor.“XGA” was in the works, but not widely adopted yet. But this man wanted to make a website that looked good in black and white on a 300x600 screen. More power to him.


Last night I stayed up late reading. As in 2AM late. Am I paying for it today? Yes. But I loved it.

I've always been a reader. I've always loved it, always enjoyed the feeling of immersion. And I love my e-reader.

Don't get me wrong, I have hundreds of books. I would never get rid of them, and I love them.

But reading is so much better on an e-ink screen that weighs almost nothing, so I can hold it up over my head, read in any lighting conditions because the screen adjusts to the light without me finding a lamp to position over my shoulder... not the point.

The point is that it was nice to fall back into text, to get wrapped up and immersed in a story, to forget all my responsibilities and cares for a few hours in the dark and just read.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting 100 Days To Offload.

#100DaysToOffload 73/100

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I've been deeply busy with my day job lately, which is a good thing! I've been promoted!

But it means that I have almost no time to write creatively or freely. I'm spending all my time writing procedures and policies and helping others work more effectively. Again, it's a good thing, but a new thing.

So I'm going to content myself with writing smaller creative things, like, well, this.


I've been playing around with a great little tool called Shamat for a little bit now. It's wonderfully simple.


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