aha moment

Dungeon Crafting: Puzzle Dungeons

image source: Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

Now, I don’t know if you people have seen Mark Brown’s miniseries on YouTube known as Boss Keys, but it’s pretty great. It picks apart and analyzes some of my favorite dungeons from the Legend of Zelda games and finds out what makes a dungeon a Zelda dungeon. I have always loved these dungeons because they have a lot of density and force you to explore the space slowly and think your way through its puzzles. Definitely check out Boss Keys. From what I learned from those videos plus my own experiences as a DM, I’m going to try and detail how to create a Zelda-like puzzle dungeon. There are a few hallmarks that you should hit on:

Dungeon Density

Each area in the dungeon should be complex. It should have several things to interact with in each room other than the monsters or guardians. Everything doesn’t have to be immediately useful or usable, but it should provide context for the dungeon. For ideas, think what the dungeon was used for and research what sorts of things might be in an ancient tomb, lost temple, or forgotten keep. Have certain puzzle elements stand out. A good example from the Legend of Zelda is the eyeball above a closed door. I would stray away from that type of “puzzle” as it’s very well-known, I assume, that you have to hit the eye to open the door. On the other hand, a well-known puzzle like that could signal to the players that this is going to be one of “those” dungeons.

Making a dungeon complex and dense will mean that you have less rooms to populate, and will make it feel robust and well-used. It will also give a feeling of slight confusion for the players as they try to organize all of the information you’re giving them, but as the dungeon progresses, they can pick and choose which parts of the dense dungeon are integral to solving the dungeon!

Hub Areas

With all of that dungeon density I’ve been talking about, it’s good to have some sort of hub area. It could be a large room, a safe sanctuary, or have some overbearing landmark for players to imprint on. This will be the main part of the dungeon that they remember and can rely on. They will pay the most attention to this hub. So if this hub is a main part of solving your dungeon puzzle, they will notice changes made to the room very easily. For instance, a hub room could be a gaping chasm with bridges that seem to be mechanical. When certain levers in other parts of the dungeon are pulled, some pathways in the hub open up and some close off as the bridges ascend, descend, or turn. Back in my post about dungeon tempo, this creates a nice rhythm for players to always come back to a room that they’ve cleared and notice progress.

Branching Paths

Branching paths are a key part of puzzle dungeons. Don’t have a dungeon that is all one path that railroads players to the end of the dungeon with a puzzle for each room. Players need to be able to explore and discover the available paths in the dungeon and find the path for themselves. In the Boss Keys miniseries I mentioned, Mark constantly differs Legend of Zelda dungeons by whether they make you find a path versus making you follow a path. I personally enjoy finding the path and I think most players do too. It is key in creating what are known as…

A-Ha Moments

An a-ha moment is not that feeling you get when listening to Take On Me, but it’s pretty close. It’s that feeling a player gets when they figure out a puzzle by suddenly putting two and two together. There are a few aspects to create this in dungeon and level design:

  • Foreshadowing: implying that one part of the dungeon must be revisited later or implying something further in the dungeon exists. Laying this groundwork puts thoughts in players’ heads to help them markedly acknowledge that it’s okay to leave this area, because something lies ahead.
  • State Changes: the environment of the dungeon or its parts changes based on the actions of the players. This is the “puzzle” part of the a-ha moment. Pressing a button to change gravity, move a pylon, or change water levels can would count as a state change. Even acquiring a key item that can affect the dungeon or the players’ movement would count (see Link’s Pegasus Boots, Hover Boots, Silver Gauntlets, etc.)
  • Backtracking: After the state change, the dungeon has shifted. Some areas that were once inaccessible can now be accessed, and areas that were once open have closed off. This forces the players to backtrack. Where do they backtrack to? The place that foreshadowed the backtracking.

How does this look in practice? Let’s make an example:

The players enter a dungeon and quickly make it to a hub area with four doors. three of the doors have a bridge extending from it to a central platform. The platform and bridges are 100 ft. above a pit of spikes, which are very satisfying to kick the kobolds in this room onto. Once players tire themselves of punting kobolds, they notice that the central platform has a large plinth with a stationary mirror set into it. The mirror is facing one of the directions of the bridges. The mirror can’t be easily moved without tools, and it has no apparent use yet. The players move on to one of the doors connected by the bridge.

The players go through several chambers, fighting monsters and avoiding traps, when they find a room with a lever in it. When pulled, they hear a low rumbling and grinding of stone elsewhere in the dungeon. When they return to the hub room, the central platform and bridges have rotated, allowing passage to the door that didn’t have a bridge leading to it before.

Down this new route, the players find a stone button with an angel relief on it. After pushing a huge rock onto it, they hear another rumbling. On returning to the hub room, an angel relief is now visible on the wall as a stone slab has moved away to reveal it.

The yet unexplored room is still accessible by the bridge, and after exploring down that path, the players find a crank near a gilded relief of a sun. The crank opens up a sunroof in the hub area. The sun (if daytime) shines light onto the central mirror in that room, which then reflects it out in one direction. The only problem is, the beam of light from the mirror isn’t facing the way the PCs want (towards the revealed angel relief in the hub area).

Realizing that they need to point the mirror so the light shines on the angel relief, they must backtrack to the room with the lever that rotates the bridges and mirror until the mirror is oriented the way they want.


This example has density. It’s essentially four rooms with all the things they need to solve a puzzle in the hub area (the central room with the bridges). It could use more density though with more puzzle intertwined throughout some filler rooms or with more things to do in each room; I was light on description for the purpose of the example. It has three branching paths (four if you include where they entered from). The mirror foreshadows a light puzzle, and the sun icon foreshadows the opening of the sunroof. The bridges, angel relief, and sunroof all exist in the hub area and change states based on the players’ actions in the rest of the dungeon. Players have to backtrack to the room that changes the bridge orientation so they can rotate the mirror to face the right direction. This is a fairly simple puzzle, but in the context of a session of D&D where the story less shown and more told, it can prove more difficult. Keep all of these factors in mind when making a puzzle dungeon, and don’t forget to watch Boss Keys!

Silver Ravenwolf.

Get ready for a long post.

As many of you can probably tell, I cannot stomach this woman. As I’ve gotten older, I have figured out WHY I cannot stand her.

As a figurehead for Wicca, she has taken it upon herself to “educate” the younger generations about “witchcraft”, even though what she is actually educating them on is WICCA. Due to so many young people buying her books and taking what she says as though it is 100% factual, it has caused for so many people to be inadvertently confused about the difference between Wicca (earth based religion) and witchcraft (practice involving manipulation of energy for desired outcome through any array of outlets and vessels).

To knowingly mislead younger, inexperienced, trusting, and naive minds who are eager to learn is blatantly manipulative and abhorrent.

Let’s start with the popular book Teen Witch. In this book as well as on her website, she states:

“There is no difference between Wicca and WitchCraft. Anyone who tells you there is a difference is experimenting in the theory of Occum’s Razor.”

YES. YES THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. A HUGE DIFFERENCE. HOW DARE YOU LIE AND MISREPRESENT TWO SEPARATE CONCEPTS AND ATTEMPT TO FUSE THEM AS ONE SINGULAR ENTITY.

Ms. Ravenwolf also does a WONDERFUL job of promoting the idea of hiding and lying one’s practice from family:

Then we’ve got the double sneak-attack – working only with angels. Angels, angels everywhere and Mom or Dad won’t even care. Sure, because everyone likes angels. (Page 232.)

Word of advice: Do not lie to your family about what you are doing. As a Mental Health Therapist who works with families, I have seen the first hand effects of how damaging lying can be to a bond between Parent and Child. It is going to cause more harm TO YOU to lie than to tell the truth. If you have to hide what you’re doing, chances are, you’re not proud of it.

Moving on.

To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft? More like “LET’S ATTEMPT TO INDOCTRINATE YOUNG MINDS BECAUSE I LIKE HAVING A SENSE OF POWER”. This book is such a mess. It makes my skin crawl. For starters, this passage actually exists:

Satanic Witch: One cannot be a Satanic Witch because Witches do not believe in Satan. (Page 13)

This exclusion mentality she presents with this statement is misleading on a number of levels. For starters, YES THERE ARE SATANIC WITCHES BECAUSE WITCHCRAFT IS NOT A RELIGION. It implies no other type of witch is valid EXCEPT for the type SHE describes, which is actually a Wiccan. She is also intentionally misleading and misrepresenting (see the theme here?) the many types of witches and witchcraft practices actually exist. I wonder what she would say if she learned that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim witches exist? I wonder how she would feel knowing *gasp* SECULAR witches exist?

Another misleading and factually wrong statement is:

Another name for a solitary Witch is a “Natural Witch”. (Page 14)

No. No it’s not. A solitary witch is someone who works alone, without the support of a coven or community. I don’t have any idea where or why the term “Natural Witch” is used. It was as if she was thinking “Hmmm…how can I confuse everyone even more? I know! I’ll create a new phrase”.

Now…now we get into more promoting of lying to new witchlings (Wiccans but at this point, it’s all the same, right?!):

I personally don’t recommend telling your friends or distant family members with the first year of your study of the Craft that you have taken on a new reality. (Page 32)

First of all, no one asked your opinion on when to share anything. This false sense of entitlement and arrogance is appalling. On top of that, stating one has taken on a new reality sounds cultish with a twist of “us vs. them”. “They don’t get me”. “They are beneath me”. “I am so much more enlightened than them”. This is potentially dangerous thinking.

Then, the Christian bashing begins:

If you intend to grovel before a God form, please stop here and throw this book away…The common act of sniveling at their feet is unacceptable. If you truly want that type of relationship with “higher-ups”, there are plenty of well-cultured religions that will gladly open their arms to you. (Page 43).

What’s that, Lassie? A lure to hook people into thinking she has something BETTER to offer than those pesky monotheistic religions like Christianity? That’s not manipulative AT ALL! Does not have a single hint of a cult-like mentality AT ALL.

Next Emmy award winning statements goes to:

There are two kinds of [divinatory] readings, those for magickal people and those for “once-borns”… Once-borns belong to other religions that do not believe in reincarnation or magick…A once-born will get “hooked” before a magickal person, because they are totally unfamiliar with the intricacies of magick and divination. (Page 158)

Essentially, she is implying that non-magick practitioners are INFERIOR to magick practitioners, so they need special tarot card or divination readings that are simple enough for their non-magickal simple minds to comprehend. This is so absurd, I can’t believe this is someone’s thought process.

Then, there’s this gem that features even more Christian bashing:

I believe one of the biggest problems Witches face today is the influx of Christianity and its “turn the other cheek” melodrama. More and more individuals are leaving the Christian Kingdom in favor of ours, but they bring with them brains that have been hammered for years with another philosophy. (Page 270)

If you’re going to bash Christianity, AT LEAST understand its basic teachings first. The meaning of “turning the other cheek” is about forgiveness. I have no idea why that is such a terrible lesson to learn. On top of that, there’s a made up phrase (Christian Kingdom? Where the hell is that, exactly? Is it a secret location?) included. The ultimate irony is “they bring with them brains that have been hammered for years with another philosophy”…Silver, hunny…Isn’t this what you’re also doing through this very book targeting young and impressionable minds?

I almost laughed out loud at the absurd “special snowflake attention seeker” admission she makes in this statement:

I began by telling my father [that I was a witch], then my children and my two best friends; I went on to others that had known me for several years, and progressed to those who did not know me well at all. I told my new employer before I even accepted the job. (Page 277)

Word of advice: DO NOT EVER VOLUNTEER PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF TO A POTENTIAL EMPLOYER DURING INITIAL INTERVIEWING AND HIRING PROCESSES. It is NONE of their business what your personal beliefs are, and if anyone during an interview asks you any type of question that fishes to finding out personal information (if you’re married/engaged, have children, religious practice, any plans to move, etc.), respectfully state you are legally not obligated to answer that question. After the interview, contact your local Department of Labor to report inappropriate questioning during an interview. By law, a potential employer cannot ask about personal information.

Overall, this woman, in my opinion, has done far more harm than good to the Pagan community. If you agree, wonderful. If you disagree, let’s have a discussion.

2

SUNLESS SEA AU

October 10th, 1891. Volcra cry out. They are nothing like birds.

Reasons Why I Can’t Watch 13 Reasons Why: A Discourse Open For Discussion On Both Sides

1. The scriptwriting is cliched. The teenagers act simply like a broken record. We can see these kids walking around schools just like ‘real life’. Except no molds are broken. Jocks are always girl-hungry and horny. Let’s not even mention how she says ‘you are like an actual nerd’. For saying something about Star Wars. We have 2 gay people, but that only leads to Reason 2. The story is writen in such a way that it sounds like either a melodrama or a cheesy high-school movie from the 90s-early 2000s. 

2. Diversity seems more as a token aha moment, then to actually be a part of a genuine discussion as to everyday vocabulary that can be a target to minorities. I constantly hear people calling people ‘gay’ or a ‘f*g’ or ‘queer’ with no context whatsoever. With gay characers, especially (from what I have read since I couldn’t get the past few episodes) since one commits suicide. They could have a discussion about minorities and how they are harmful to life. We could talk about trans kids, who have the highest suicide rate and how transphobia is in everyday lives. Racism, we could go down the list. Instead of focusing on how words can affect all people, we see how it affects her. The diversity in the show is killed off, again showing something that is common and yet  we can’t discuss events relating to self-deprication in high-schools. There was a perfect opportunity to mention how school administration can also be culprits of homophobia in schools. 

3. It seems to dramaticize a horrific event. We get 13 hours of material to act as a mystery as to why this happen. But that’s the entire point of suicide isn’t it? The horrific part of suicide is that we won’t be able to hear what the victim says. We will never know ‘13 Reasons Why’ the suicide occurred for people but somehow, we get an entire story as to why it happened. We dramaticize something horrific for entertainment purposes. The suicide is only a means of suspense. In medias res, we jump into the story and don’t know how it happened. And yet the story teaches us that we can. It is important to show empathy, but does it also need to be written in such a way? Do we have to see that death scene for 3 minutes? Not sugar-coating is something I am all in for, but it sugar-coats the entire story in naive hope that we will know everything that a person felt when they killed themselves. And unfortunately, for everyone that kills themselves, we won’t get to know what is exactly in their minds except for a letter at best. There isn’t just 13 reasons. There’s infinite amounts of discouragement and hurt + 1 - yourself. And yet it doesn’t want to discuss that part of it as seen in reason 4. 

4. It doesn’t touch upon mental illnesses at all. Not once do we get the words uttered. It a personal struggle to do as such. It is fighting demons, it is a constant battlefield for yourself. Yet, you don’t see that aspect. You don’t hear her feel like she is fighting herself. The people are always the targets. And while bullying and rape is something needed to be spoken about, we also need to disable ableism into thinking that mental illnesses don’t exist. Depression, anxiety is thrown around all the time, as if that is something to equate to yourself.The ‘kys’ jokes are always around and circling and never seems to stop. We see these awful signs of mental illness everyday and yet, we neglect to realize that the main character herself has depression. We didn’t get to see that barrier of ‘I am simply upset about everything around me’ or ‘I don’t feel anything’. Sometimes its crying in your bed at 3am because you realize that you really don’t matter to yourself. Its terrifying, yet we don’t show that reality for people struggling with such thoughts are more than simply stuff that other people said - it’s fighting yourself as well. 

5. Romanticization. We see at the end that the main character is simply a crush of hers and she regrets not spending more time of him! It is not only awful writing that you can smell away, but it also romantcizes that perhaps that if they got together that it would eliminate all problems. You can’t love someone out of a mental illness and while this was touched upon, people in the 13rw fandom keep going about how they were star-crossed lovers. The problem is, that the story relies on this budding romance as a climax as well. We realize that there is a romance that could of happened. And I hate that it is seen as something that could have cured anything when she was alive. The pain is still there. Raw and powerful and yet we see that pain being overshadowed with angst. Love is definitely encouraging for healing, yet it never really touches upon that as to much as how it could have helped her. 

Just an afterthought: This show is being thrown around with ‘I can’t believe how much words can affect someone’. I am wholeheartedly disappointed that it takes a show with relatively attractive, white, abled, straight, cis characters to make someone realize this. Yet I know many of the people I have gone to school with do not even apply this to their everyday lives. They still are harmful, as much as the show brings to light attention of issues, these are the same people that will make harsh words to others. It only perpetuates self-awareness for a while before people simply forget about the message. That or the message is scewed in such a way to only apply to people they deem as such. A show has a responsibility to bring light to situations, yet now it’s a ‘binge-worthy’ show. I hate that word for this, why is it so entertaining for someone to kill themselves? It seems like once you show some melancholy moments in someone’s life do people feel sorry. ‘People only care when you are dead’ is the message of the show and yet it does exactly that. People would much rather watch a girl narrating killing herself than her story ending with her killing herself. Frankly, maybe we would be shocked. It tells a lot about our society today. 

I took risks with food and it resulted the worst allergic reaction in a very, very long time. It started on Sunday night and I hope to be better soon.

ANYWAY! I just had a breakthrough type of an AHA!-moment when I sat - once again - in toilet with horrible stomach cramps. To put it short, I just realized - for all honesty for the very first time in my life - that I’m going to spend my whole life in this body I have. 

I had never ever realized that. That I will have this body till the day I die.

I’ve always had problems with relating to my body (I remember being 5 or 6 and watching my arms like “huh, these are mine? I kinda get it and at the same time it feels unreal, like it’s not really me?”). Body’s just something that exists and I am something else that exists and these two have never really seen eye to eye. For example I don’t mind if people take photos of me; go ahead! But when I see my photo I understand that it is a picture of me, that that person is me, and at the same time I feel like watching a stranger and I can’t relate to that person as the real me. I don’t have any mental image or ideal of how I should look like in order to feel “Yeah, that’s my picture!” or “Yeah, that’s me!” when I look myself from the mirror. It’s always been like this (I’m 34 for those who don’t know, so this isn’t any new thing to happen).

Maybe in a sense you could say that in my world, my body doesn’t exists and it’s not part of me; just like my bed doesn’t exists within me and it’s not a part of me.

So, really, really understanding that I will spend all my living years in this body felt like an unreal realization. Like getting smacked with something on your head.

And it felt good! It felt liberating! Perhaps the best way to describe the sensation is to say that I felt like my body is my company, my business, that’s operated by me and ran by my cells and organs. As the boss of the company I need to make sure these tiny employers of mine can work fine and have a good business they can run easily - and this means not taking risks with the food but keeping the strict diet and balance it with supplements so that all vitamin and mineral intakes are good. 

And because it’s my company and I rule here, besides responsibilities I have all the freedom with it, too (as long as I listen to my bodily employers about the matters which bother them and won’t present those difficult tasks  - like inedible food - for them).

I think this is something very important for me to understand personally. Something very, very profound. Something has shifted - I can feel it within me (and no, this time it’s not unwanted bowl movements lol).

I need to meditate upon this. REALLY dig into this. I have a feeling that I have just scratched something super essential..!

liddoboop  asked:

Favorite color/ fav sns trope and when do you personally think Naruto and Sasuke realized their love???

ohhhhh boyyyy i showered on this, i’ve drunk an entire beer over this like wow

fav color: it’s actually grey 😬😬
fav SNS trope: this might be more of an HC buttt sas and nar sparring for the body contact (!!!!)
when sas and nar realized their love: i can’t decide if he realized after their first fight in the valley of the end when he realizes he can’t/won’t kill nar OR when nar tells him he’ll carry the burden of his hatred and die with him // as for nar i have a hard time pinpointing a specific ‘aha moment’ as much as a series of things that culminated to his love like starting with the land of waves, nar bowing down to the raikage, nar having a panic attack (!!!!), nar telling sas he’ll die with/for him, and then culminating with nar losing his arm for him and saying ‘dont you get it yet’. so like yah idk if that makes any sense lmao (im a pretty discombobulated person if u couldn’t tell 🙃)

anonymous asked:

I saw this comment on another post and boy did it cause a "aha" moment with me and I wanted to get your thoughts. "I am a shipper but thought he could be dating M. Now, with innuendo after innuendo and subjecting herself to unnecessary abuse (continued) along w/major fake ass kissing, I'm leaning towards it being a major set up. THIS PART..."I would not tolerate being treated that way by my BF or the public." I've added in Eternity's post, the "leaked" family wedding pics/ map pose. Not normal.

“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.”

-Rod Serling


Finally saw Trainspotting2 last night. Well worth seeing and not just for JLM. Danny Boyle is very, very good at what he does - visuals, editing, acting, soundtrack - woven expertly.  The story, well… at points I was disappointed by the lot of them, they are not “nice” characters, but as the film moved forward and by the end I was moved, had a bit of an aha!moment.  

Friendship and writing will save your life and redeem your soul. 

What’s cool about this Karamel Appreciation week is connecting with the other people in your fandom, and getting an insight into their shipper mind on such a grand scale- like even reading everyone’s ‘aha’ moment is cool af, and so fascinating to me. Normally you wouldn’t get to bond over moments like this due to the sheer mass of a fandom, so thank you for organising this (and to those who are taking part) because it’s really fucking neat.