required balance

Being short can suck, especially as a guy. People are always saying tall guys are hot, that they’re somehow more desirable, and idealized male bodies are always tall. But being short is actually a huge advantage in a lot of sports – did you know that? Short guys make fantastic gymnasts, divers, wrestlers, weightlifters, long-distance runners, skiers/snowboarders, martial artists, skaters, rock climbers, soccer players, lacrosse players, cyclists, and jockeys. There are also certain sports that have positions favorable to shorter athletes, like rugby! Being short will make you a great hooker in rugby. You’d also have an advantage with bowling, skateboarding, BMX, and even dancing. All of these sports are excellent for short guys because your center of gravity is lower and you’re lighter. You’d be surprised how many sports require balance and flexibility rather than size. And in some other team sports, like basketball and football, short guys could play circles around taller guys, especially if they’re fast, making them a great addition to a team. There are world-class male athletes shorter than 5'6" out there making Olympic gold. So, sure, it sucks to be the short friend – heck, to not be able to reach some of your high kitchen shelves, but you’d make a great pole-vaulter. Short guys are badasses and I’m sick of the bullshit we get from people for not meeting idealized standards.

wistfulstudys  asked:

How do roundhouse kicks work? Are they actually combat efficient?

The roundhouse kick is a common kick seen in street fights, and for this reason lots of counters have been developed for it. So, it does work, it is effective, and easy to do compared to other kicks. It’s powerful (though not as powerful as the sidekick or back kick), but is the riskiest because it’s easy to trap.

Of the four beginning kicks, the roundhouse is the only kick that comes across the body. The others all strike directly. The roundhouse targets the side of the body or enemies in the fighting stance. This is part of what makes the roundhouse more visible than the other kicks. Your peripheral vision is great for noticing motion coming in on the edge of your vision, and circles are eye-catching. The roundhouse kick is an arc. Like all kicks, it’s one big body movement coming at you in flashing neon lights.

As a general rule, kicks are always riskier than punches. They’re reliant on speed and balance, and they come with obvious tells. Still, kicks are much more powerful than a punch, delivering more force at high speeds directly into the body. After all, with more risks come more rewards.

A single well placed kick can end a fight before it begins… if you can land it.

As for whether the roundhouse is combat efficient, that really depends on the individual and how limber they are. Cold kicks will punish you, pull your hamstrings, and wreck your legs if you’re not stretching on the regular. Your success with using kicks in combat is almost entirely dependent on your flexibility. When jumping into straight into a fight, you don’t get a time out for a five to ten minute warm up.

With that covered, let’s get down to the basics for the roundhouse.

The roundhouse is the second kick you’ll learn in most martial arts systems, after the front kick and before the sidekick. It relies on the rotational power of the hips to bring the leg across the body, striking with either the top or the ball of the foot. The attack comes on a diagonal, with points at either the head, stomach/ribs, or (in some variation) the legs/upper thigh. The structure of the roundhouse is as follows:

1) Beginning Stance:

Unlike the front kick which can be done from any forward facing, standing position, the roundhouse requires you be in a fighting stance.

A stance is a basic part of martial arts, but usually skipped over by Hollywood and beginners for strikes. Strikes are the big flashy moves that get attention because they are flashy. As with everything, the building blocks are often skipped.

Stances are what we call your “base” or how you set your body and your feet. Most martial arts disciplines will have a full set of stances from the front stance to the horse stance, and they will be referred to by different names. The fighting stance is easily recognizable. As it is the stance you’ll see everyone drop into on or off screen when they’re getting ready to fight.

The fighting stance is meant for basic defensive positioning, allowing you to move quickly. In Taekwondo, the fighting stance is one foot forward and the other foot is a step behind (about the width of your shoulders) on a diagonal. The back foot twists sideways roughly to a 45 degree angle, the front foot points forward. Your upper body turns on a diagonal following your back foot. Your hands clench to fists, and rise to your face. The hand over the front foot extends out, the other hand hovers beside your cheek. Your elbows come in, just inside the silhouette of your body. Your knees bend. Weight will adjust in a tilt slightly forward or slightly back depending on attack vector. The bouncing seen in sparring tournaments or boxing is meant to cover these weight shifts. In the fighting stance, you should never stand flat footed.

This is the basic protective stance for sparring.

Body Reader Note: Elbow, hand, upper body, and feet placement are all dead giveaways when someone doesn’t know what they’re doing. Failure begins with your feet. The hands especially, most beginners do not keep their hands far enough apart, their elbows come out too far from the body. Beginners will often leave the front foot flat on the ground with their weight unbalanced, slowing their reaction time.

On Weight Shifts: Leaning back generally means a kick as the upper body tilts backward for balance when the leg extends. Forward for hands. Settled on the back leg can also be a defensive posture, versus weight forward which is more aggressive. You want to be on the balls of your feet because that means quicker response times.

2) Chamber

The chamber is the intermediary step between the fighting stance and the kick. This is when you lift your leg off the ground with knee bent. The transition between chamber and kick is where most of the classic mistakes happen. You chamber with either the front or back leg. For the roundhouse kick, the foot left on the ground twists on a ninety degree angle. Your foot to your body should form a perfect right angle. (This is why the roundhouse kick is easy, you only shift another forty-five degrees rather than the full 180 for the sidekick.) The knee is on a similar forty-five degree, ready to extend across the body.

The upper body doesn’t move that much with the roundhouse, unlike the sidekick where the whole upper body tilts onto a forty-five as the leg extends. It tilts ever so slightly to retain balance as you kick and your hips twist.

3) The Kick

As I said before, the roundhouse strikes horizontally or diagonally across the body. It is true to its name. It comes around in a circular motion. The leg extends and swings across/through the opponent’s body as the hips simultaneously twist. When done in a simultaneous motion, the supporting foot twists to a ninety degree angle at the same moment the hips turn over. The upper body tilts with the hips. The leg swings through.

If the hips don’t turn over, then the kick is what we call a “snap kick”. In the case of the roundhouse, this is a kick than snaps up off the knee on a forty-five degree diagonal. It is fast but without power, and usually performed with the front leg only.

Power comes from the hips. You can lay in as much speed as you like, but without turnover there’s no power. (Snap kicks find their best use as openers in point sparring.)

The second problem with most kicks is visualization. You don’t stop when you reach the enemy, you kick through them. This carries the impact and force further.

The roundhouse strikes with either the top of the foot or the ball of the foot. Ball of the foot requires you pull your toes back, or else you’ll break them. Top is the speed kick (light, fast), ball is the power kick (can break ribs). Top of the foot is generally only seen in sparring exercises when your feet are protected by pads, but it’s a good option when you’re wearing shoes and your toes can’t bend.

4) Recoil

This is the return to the chamber. After extension finishes, the leg snaps back out of danger. If your opponent doesn’t catch your leg in the moment before the full extension, they can still catch it after the fact. Quick recoil is as essential to a kick’s success as the extension. It’s also necessary to keep us from overextending.

After they’ve mastered the chamber and extension, beginners will often have difficulty with this step. It has all the same problems as the chamber, just going in the opposite direction. A good recoil is a sign of strong control over the leg.

5) Plant

Return to start or prepare for transition into the next kick. The leg comes down, plants itself on the floor, and the fighter is ready to either continue attacking or begin defending.

A poor plant means that you’ve now messed up your fighting stance. If the foot comes down in the wrong place, the stance becomes unbalanced. A stance that is either too wide or two shallow creates opportunities for your opponent to destabilize you and make it difficult to attack again without over extending.

Those are the steps of the roundhouse. Throw them all together and you’ve got the full kick. The roundhouse has a very specific usage in martial arts that makes it valuable. The purpose of the roundhouse is simple: it’s a kick built for striking an enemy who is also in a fighting stance.

When our bodies are turned on a diagonal our vitals are better protected than they are when we’re forward facing. It becomes difficult, or more risky for a direct forward strike to land. The roundhouse attacks in a circle, coming around from the side and on angle. It creates a new vector attack those protected vitals like the stomach.

This is why the roundhouse is a popular kick. It is simple, and effective at ghosting around the first, opening opposition. (It’s also easily blocked with both hands and legs, but that’s a story for another day.) However, this is not why Chuck Norris’ roundhouse became the stuff of legend.

Perhaps more so than the sidekick, the roundhouse is iconic in popular culture. The roundhouse looks fantastic on film.  It has a beautiful silhouette, it’s eye catching but also easy to follow. It looks more dynamic than most of the other basic kicks, and it’s simple. An actor you’ve only got three months to train before filming can learn the basics of this kick. They won’t look great, but no one can tell. It doesn’t require the same flexibility as the more advanced kicks like the axe kick. Nor does it require the finesse, balance, or control of the sidekick. It’s the sort of kick where general audiences can’t tell if the practitioner is new or their technique sucks, and blends easily with the stunt doubles. Audiences have a difficult time telling the difference between a kick with power and a kick without power.

The roundhouse is the most common kick seen in taekwondo tournaments, and very common in kickboxing for its speed. It is faster and easier than the front kick and the sidekick due to the twist necessary to throw the leg across the body. With the roundhouse, momentum will do most of the work for you. This is why it’s the most common kick to see untrained fighters attempt to mimic, and why it gets used on the streets.

It can be effective without much training, but that person can be totally screwed when paired against someone who knows what they’re doing. Due to it’s vector, the roundhouse is the easiest kick to catch. Whether it’s caught and hooked under the arm for a knee break or the full thing gets caught and lifted into a throw, it doesn’t matter. A poorly performed or unlucky roundhouse can really screw you over. The other problem is that the circular motion of the roundhouse makes it the least camouflaged by the body and the easiest to see coming.

So, yes, the roundhouse can be combat efficient. They’re also dependent on your ability to follow through the steps on rough terrain where friction is not amenable to foot twists. They come with obvious tells for when the kick is about to happen, and there are a lot of counters developed to deal with them.

Whether coming or going, for one side or the other, the roundhouse has the potential to wreck your day.

 -Michi

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10

After Playtesting, I decided to re-work a lot of things with my Chronomancer Class. I took out the spell-casting and focused more heavily on time manipulations, and make the Base stat Intelligence.

I also decided to re-work the archetypes from scratch, as they felt too much like discount versions of other classes. This time around the archetypes are based around theories of time, and will hopefully feel more unique. It may require some heavy re-balancing. at this point, but I like the direction.

anonymous asked:

Is it possible to get into how would someone train if they were to choose a staff as a weapon? In my story, I have a young girl that wants to learn basic self defense and staff training sounds plausible enough, I don't want her to be an absolute badass and she's just learning in case of an emergency. I hope this makes sense ):

You can gain sufficient skill with the staff to use it as a self-defense weapon within a few weeks. You won’t master it in a month, but it’s conceivable to fight with it. It is one of the fastest, simplest, and easiest weapons to learn. The most important thing she’ll need to remember to do is maintain her body’s conditioning (exercise) and keep her basic skills sharp (practice). Self-defense doesn’t work as a one off training and forget, it’s a situation where you either use it or lose it.

The holistic martial arts discipline where you progress through hand to hand to weapons combat is a mostly Eastern tradition in martial arts, this includes India. European tradition isn’t anywhere near as structured, you can start with the staff. Unlike other weapon types, staff training often begins with a real wooden staff, and if we’re going with European tradition then the weapon will most likely be made out of oak. Oak is heavy, heavy staves hurt when they hit you… a lot. You will get hit in training… a lot. In weapon’s training with a partner, we pay for our mistakes with bruises. Getting past the fear of being hit is one of the major components of this training type. Your partner’s weapon can easily slip, slide down the shaft, and hit your unprotected fingers. Learning how to stop that from happening is part of the training.

This is the truth of every weapon type in training: the weapon will punish you when you make mistakes with it. The more dangerous the weapon, the more detrimental the initial injuries.

The staff starts with deep bruises and, if you’re truly unlucky, broken bones (especially broken fingers). Broken collarbones are not outside the range of unusual. This is nothing compared to a weapon like the three sectioned staff where even beginner’s training can net you a concussion.

Unironically, the post I made recently about Nine Steps for Training Techniques applies to how we go about training on weapons. The staff has a straightforward basic move set, the strikes form a cross-shaped pattern across the body high (head) low (thigh) to low (thigh) high (head), then thrust to stomach, bring down on top of head or low the other way into the groin. When partnered with another human being, you practice these strikes together with one person performing the strikes and the other the blocks. The blocks for the staff are matching to the cross-shaped pattern, high low to low high, then bring the staff up horizontal to catch the strike to the top of the head, and a half step back from the thrust to knock it away with the tip of the staff. You can also bring the staff across the body to strike either side of the rib cage. A practiced staff user can shift between all these strikes without the pattern.

The staff is sized to the wielder, usually coming up to around their forehead rather than the top of the head. Your hands on the staff act like a fulcrum, redirecting as you go. You want your hands set wide enough to keep a solid, balanced, and controlled grip on the weapon while also providing you with the freedom to go at speed. This is difficult because your hands are going to want to naturally come together as you practice

The most important thing to remember about the staff is that both ends are weapons. Unless you’re gripping it by it’s bottom, one end is always going to be moving behind you. Most common staff injury when training is bruised knuckles. You can also break your fingers. When sparring with a heavy staff, you will be wearing pads and you will still get bruises. Those bruises may be deep, and sometimes go all the way down to the bone.

Never forget, your weapon senses your weakness. Soft defense leads to debilitating injury, even just in practice. You must be firm, fierce, focused, and unafraid of the pain you will inevitably receive. Learn to be stalwart. (Yes, this is a learned attitude and not one we start with.)

A weapon is never safe.

After practice, your arms will be tired due not just to moving but being on the receiving end of impact when the staves clash. There is no way to avoid this, you simply build resistance via experience. Learning how to keep hold of your staff in the middle of conflict that is trying to knock the weapon from them with each hit made by you or your enemy is necessary. Vibration will travel down the length of the staff to your hands, and that’s what you need to worry about wearing your arms out rather than weight.

Staves can and do break or fracture bones on impact when moving at speed, arms, legs, ribs, heads, feet, etc. They are bludgeoning weapons. When moving at speed in a practice bout, this can happen to you especially if you’re not wearing protection. (Wear protection.) This is not a gentle weapon or a soft one. It is useful too because of its range advantage over shorter weapons, but keep in mind that range means range. The closer the enemy comes, the less useful the staff gets. Your character is responsible for maintaining the fight range at which her weapon is useful. She’s going to need to get creative if the fight starts right next to her.

She’s gonna get her staff knocked out of her hands by whoever is instructing her the first few times because holding onto it does hurt a lot more than we anticipate when we start practicing defense. They’re going to teach her how to defend first though. You learn techniques then ratchet up at a steady pace to ferret out holes in defense.

It is natural for her to be nervous or even afraid of the weapon in the beginning, though she’ll overcome that. No one likes pain, and pain is an unavoidable side effect of weapon’s training. Hand to hand works it’s way up to basic injuries, but weapon’s will nail you coming and going. We’ll hit ourselves, our partner will hit us, we’ll make mistakes, and we pay for them. Usually, it’s just bruises.

There are, of course, stances and footwork associated with staff training but that’s ironically more complex than it needs to get right now.

For endurance training with the staff, outdoors on a variety of terrain is helpful. This includes beaches, on uneven terrain, in forests, in fields, in rivers, etc. All these will help the student learn to navigate different terrain and learn the detriments of fighting in various environments. They also build strength. Sand and water will both sap away strength due to the focus required to maintain balance on soft surfaces and water’s resistance/drag when it comes to movement. They may also teach her how to fight on stairs.

Staff training will provide her with the base necessary to move on to polearms like spears or even some swords if she wants to in the future. Staves with their heads and butts shod in iron as a defense against blades (and extra damage) were also common.

Due to this being self-defense, the focus of her training is going to be on using her staff to create escape opportunities rather than engaging in prolonged conflict.

For more on this topic, you can check out our staff training tag.

-Michi

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

An MBTI glossary

Inspired by a few of my recent asks. The goal here is to define basic terms, not to go very deep into function theory, as those resources already exist.

Function: The 8 building blocks of the theory. This glossary will assume you’ve at least looked these up since they’re pretty well documented elsewhere. They are: Fe, Fi, Ne, Ni, Se, Si, Te, Ti.

Stack: The functions in order for a specific type.

  • Main Stack: usually refers to the four functions associated with each type in MBTI. There are other theories (notably socionics and the idea of shadow funtions) that use all eight.

Dominant function: The top function in your stack. People will sometimes refer to types as (function name)-dom (eg: ISTJs and ISFJs are Si-doms)

Auxiliary function: second function in your stack. Abbreviated to aux or (function name)-aux: ESFJs and ESTJs are Si-auxes.

Tertiary function: third function in your stack. Abbreviated to tert or (function name)-tert; INFPs and INTPs are Si-terts.

Inferior function: fourth function in your stack and last function in your main stack. Abbreviated to inf or (function name)-inf; ENFPs and ENTPs are Si-infs.

Looping: oscillating between your dominant and tertiary function, usually due to an unhealthy aux function, unhealthy tert or dom function, or stress.

Gripping, “In the grip”: using your inferior function unhealthily without using your higher functions. Often a stress behavior.

Perceiving: the sensing and intuition functions, which are the functions that determine how you gather and initially process information (Se, Si, Ne, Ni)

Judging: The thinking and feeling functions, which are the functions that determine how you assess and categorize information (Te, Ti, Fe, Fi)

Introvert (MBTI meaning): Someone with an introverted dominant function.

Introvert (not MBTI): someone primarily energized by solitary time.

Extravert (MBTI meaning): Someone with an extroverted dominant function. Extravert is correct; a lot of people, myself included, use the spelling extrovert which is technically not correct but widely accepted.

Extravert (not MBTI): Someone primarily energized by time spent with others. Also should probably be spelled extravert but many spell it extrovert.

Ambivert (not MBTI): THIS CONCEPT DOES NOT EXIST WITHIN THE MBTI THEORY. Outside of MBTI, someone equally energized by time spent alone or with others. Technically speaking virtually all people are energized by both at different times and require a balance, so ambivert is usually used to indicate people who fall fairly close to a 50-50 balance.

Sensor: someone with a dom or aux sensing function (ISFJ, ISTJ, ESFP, ESTP, ISFP, ISTP, ESFJ, ESTJ)

Intuitive: someone with a dom or aux intuition function (INFJ, INTJ, ENFP, ENTP, INFP, INTP, ENFJ, ENTJ)

Thinker: someone with a dom or aux thinking function (INTP, ISTP, ENTJ, ESTJ, INTJ, ISTJ, ENTP, ESTP)

Feeler: someone with a dom or aux feeling function (INFP, ISFP, ENFJ, ESFJ, INFJ, ISFJ, ENFP, ESFP)

Judger: someone with a dom or aux extraverted judging function. Type will end with a J if they’re a judger.

Perceiver: someone with a dom or aux extraverted perceiving function. Type will end with a P if they’re a perceiver.

Dichotomy: MBTI typing done without using the cognitive functions, just I/E, S/N, T/F, and J/P. Usually not very accurate, but it’s what most online tests use. It’s an okay starting point, but studying functions is an expectation.

Venus Signs in Astrology

**Important: Despite the information below, EVERY relationship with love and understanding has a chance at turning into something great. Don’t let astrology hinder you from initiating a relationship.**


Venus in Aries

How They Express Love: Obvious Flirtation, Impressive Actions, Immaturity, Loyalty, Intensity

What They Require: Excitement, Adventure, Wisdom, Spontaneity, Intensity, Physical Touch

What They Provide: Passion, Impulsiveness, Protection, Care, Dominance

Best Venus Signs for Aries: Sagittarius, Leo, Aries, Gemini, Aquarius, Libra

Worst Venus Signs for Aries: Cancer, Virgo, Pisces


Venus in Taurus

How They Express Love: Cheerfulness, Companionship, Loyalty, Looking Presentable

What They Require: Peacefulness, Physical Touch, Luxury, Indulgence, Pleasure, Seriousness

What They Provide: Sensuality, Romance, Innocence, Knowledge, Comfort

Best Venus Signs for Taurus: Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus, Cancer, Pisces, Leo, Scorpio

Worst Venus Signs for Taurus: Aquarius, Sagittarius


Venus in Gemini

How They Express Love: Sociable, Romantic, Connection, Charm

What They Require: Happiness, Youth, Friendship, Expression, Communication

What They Provide: Knowledge, Humor, Fun, Romance

Best Venus Signs for Gemini: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini, Aries, Leo, Cancer

Worst Venus Signs for Gemini: Virgo, Pisces, Scorpio, Capricorn


Venus in Cancer

How They Express Love: Emotions, Shy, Introverted, Sensitive, Worrisome, Solace

What They Require: Material Gifts, A Listener, Humor, Tenderness, Old-Fashioned

What They Provide: Nuture, Care, Protection, Affection, Unconditional Love

Best Venus Signs for Cancer: Scorpio, Pisces, Cancer, Taurus, Virgo, Gemini

Worst Venus Signs for Cancer: Aries, Sagittarius, Aquarius


Venus in Leo

How They Express Love: Loyalty, Romance, Sweetness, Companionship

What They Require: Devotion, Pampering, Compliments, Luxury, Validation

What They Provide: Attention, Generosity, Care, Affection, Courage

Best Venus Signs for Leo: Aries, Sagittarius, Leo, Gemini, Libra

Worst Venus Signs for Leo: Taurus, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces


Venus in Virgo

How They Express Love: Shyness, Anxiousness, Listerners, Privacy, Intelligence

What They Require: Peace, Organization, Class, Wit, Sophistication

What They Provide: Time, Effort, Intelligence, Purity, Healing

Best Venus Signs for Virgo: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo, Cancer, Scorpio

Worst Venus Signs for Virgo: Gemini, Sagittarius, Aries, Aquarius


Venus in Libra

How They Express Love: Flirtation, Romance, Protection, Praise

What They Require: Harmony, Balance, Positivity, Guidance, Sociableness

What They Provide: Kindness, Willingness, Fairness, Compromise, Gentleness

Best Venus Signs for Libra: Gemini, Aquarius, Libra, Leo, Sagittarius

Worst Venus Signs for Libra: Cancer, Capricorn, Taurus, Pisces


Venus in Scorpio

How They Express Love: Intensity, Loyalty, Honesty, Verbally

What They Require: Intimacy, Control, Maturity, Respect, Secrets, Intensity

What They Provide: Faithfulness, Intensity, Protection, Sexuality, Mystery, Depth

Best Venus Signs for Scorpio: Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio, Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus

Worst Venus Signs for Scorpio: Leo, Aquarius, Aries, Gemini


Venus in Sagittarius

How They Express Love: Calmness, Irritation, Pessimism, Realism,

What They Require: Praise, Admiration, Stories, Opportunity, Movement

What They Provide: Exploration, Sincerity, Upfrontness, Honesty, Joy

Best Venus Signs for Sagittarius: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Libra, Aquarius, Capricorn

Worst Venus Signs for Sagittarius: Virgo, Pisces, Taurus, Cancer


Venus in Capricorn

How They Express Love: Shyness, Anxiousness, Seems Cold and Rude, Awkward

What They Require: Safety, Wealth, Pamper, Romance, Relaxation, Encouragement

What They Provide: Inspiration, Wisdom, Responsibility, Trustworthy, Warmth, Stability

Best Venus Signs for Capricorn: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, Scorpio, Pisces, Sagittarius, Aquarius

Worst Venus Signs for Capricorn: Aries, Libra, Gemini, Leo, 


Venus in Aquarius

How They Express Love: Shy at First, Extroverted Later, Curiousity, Adoration, Humor

What They Require: Uniqueness, Independence, Connections, Imagination, Adventure, Intelligence

What They Provide: Spontaneity, Fun, Provocation, Friendship, Insight

Best Venus Signs for Aquarius: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Aries, Sagittarius, Capricorn

Worst Venus Signs for Aquarius: Taurus, Scorpio, Cancer, Virgo


Venus in Pisces

How They Express Love: Romance, Niceness, Complimenting, Talkative,

What They Require: Emotional Support, A Savior, To Escape, Dreams, Beauty, Tranquility

What They Provide: Sensuality, Unconditional Love, Tenderness, Protection, Empathy

Best Venus Signs for Pisces: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo

Worst Venus Signs for Pisces: Gemini, Sagittarius, Leo, Libra

2

Updates to my Sorcerous origin: Celestial Blooded on DMsGuild pay what you want. Link in the source (the link at the bottom left of this post!)

(Tumblr is a piece of trash and has started hiding any posts with external links from tags, the link to my DMsGuild material and other sites where you can find me are in my blog description (and the links work on mobile!) so please check them out :))

Updated v.4! -

v.4 update 7/1/2017

  • Divine Emanations balanced by requiring the triggering spell that restores a sorcery point on a critical to require being a spell that uses a spell slot.
  • Divine Beacon has been replaced by Divine Inspiration.
  • included some art

v.3 update 5/24/2017

  • changed the Celestial Magic feature due to the limited choice of damage cantrips found on the cleric spell list.
  • removed the limitation of 1 per short rest for the Sorcery point regeneration aspect of Divine Emanations.

v.2 update 5/9/2017  

  • updated mechanic changes to Divine Emanations and Divine Beacon
  • Provided some aesthetic updates, providing a cover page.
The Gardener

Another commissioned ficlet for @blondetwist! It’s got an accompanying art piece posted separately! Hope you enjoy!


You sigh heavily as you exit the store and lock the door.

It had been a really long day; as one of the first official days of the holiday shopping season, your tiny shop had suddenly been drowning in customers. The rush had finally abated late in the afternoon, but you had a couple who just wouldn’t leave. When they finally did, you dashed to the door to lock up before anybody else could come in, and also so you had time to clean up before leaving. While you’d be more than fine with doing it in the morning, it was just easier to do it immediately and save the effort later. It had been a brisk day, but you were still pretty tired.

Luckily, you lived just a couple minutes away in an old building that apparently used to be a hotel of some sort. It had a lot of interesting features you don’t normally find on more modern buildings, like detailed eaves, arches and decorative stonework. You really enjoyed living there; it was neat to be able to look at the building and see new details every day.

Keep reading

Why was Maki not chosen?

I think I’ve seen one or two people wondering and asking the same question Maki made in the begining of Loss, and because I’m 98% sure I know the answer, I thought I’d drop in quickly to explain it.

As the opening prolouge/flashback begins to end, after Maki asks why only four were Chosen, our Narrator pops in to basically answer Maki’s question.

All things are created from a true trait, and that trait is shared. Each trait equally influences each other as it changes to its next form. However, what happens to those who could not recieve any influence?

So, every living being has a true trait that they share with someone else. When those with the same trait influence one another they become new beings entirely. Basically, the “true trait” the Narrator speaks of are the Crests.

Let’s look at Taichi in Adventure to demonstrate how this works. Each Crest represents a “true trait” that requires finding balance between two “corrupt” forms of that trait. In Adventure, Taichi had two corrupted forms of his Courage; the reckless, “act before thinking” kind of bravery, and the cowardice. The former happens when Taichi had too much courage, while the latter when he didn’t have any.
   An example of Taichi being reckless would be Taichi just casually walking through the electric fance in Etemon’s pyramid without caring that if he had taken half a step to the left he’d have died. And an example of Taichi being cowardly is when he couldn’t bring himself to go through that fence to save Sora because he was too afraid to do it.
   Taichi did share his trait with Agumon. While Taichi had a hard time balancing it, Agumon always seemed to have just the right amount of it at all times. When Taichi was being too bold, Agumon would try to point that out to him, and when Taichi was frozen by his fear, Agumon would cheer him on and try to help him to get going again (for example: Agumon cheering Taichi as he pushed his hand through the electric fence).
   Because Taichi and Agumon both shared the trait of Courage, and because they successfully managed to have an influence on one another, they managed to activate the Crest, allowing Agumon to evolve to MetalGreymon, while Taichi grew as a person.

The same more or less applies to all the other Chosen in Adventure, I wrote a whole essay about this a while back so I don’t think I need to explain any further how the Crests worked in Adventure here, you probably already got the idea and, after all, that’s not what we’re here to truly discuss.

We’re here to discuss “why only four were chosen”. And based on the question the Narrator asked, I think we all know why.

Just to be sure we’re all on the same page here, Maki was a Chosen Child. When she asked why she “wasn’t chosen”, she’s not asking why she wasn’t a “Chosen Child”, she wouldn’t have a Digivice if she wasn’t a Chosen. What she’s asking is why her partner didn’t evolve to Ultimate.

Maki thought Homeostasis had specifically chosen four out of the five children and their partners to evolve to Ultimate, leaving her Megadramon to die basically. She was asking why she had to be the one who had to lose her partner Digimon, why the Homeostasis had decided to do that.

But indeed, that’s not what happened, Maki misunderstood it. The Homeostasis might have assisted the partner Digimon to evolve to Ultimate, but the Homeostasis didn’t decide who could and couldn’t evolve. The only requirement for that Ultimate Evolution was a mutually influencing bond between the Chosen and their partner, and sadly Maki had never truly bonded with her Bakumon, they hadn’t influenced one another through their shared trait (whatever it might be). It’s not that Homeostasis didn’t want Megadramon to evolve further, it’s just that Megadramon couldn’t evolve further.

Adventure did demonstrate how Digimon can evolve in many ways, Gennai even told the Chosen that SkullGreymon wasn’t a “wrong” kind of evolution, it just wasn’t an evolution fit for fulfilling their duty of saving the world. Bakumon is known to be a Vaccine (with a Holy Ring to boot) while Megadramon is a Virus, so it should be no scretch of imagination to suggest that Megadramon was basically Maki’s SkullGreymon. That only further supports the idea that they didn’t have a great bond between them.

Of course, this isn’t to say Maki didn’t love her partner, she clearly did, sadly that love (which might’ve been one-sided too) wasn’t true influence that allowed both of them to grow, and thus Ultimate evolution wasn’t possible for them. It’s incredibly sad, indeed, and the fact that Maki didn’t understand that and instead blamed Homeostasis for her partner’s death is pretty heartwrenching.


I must say that I really loved this bit in Loss, because it does give a lot of insight to how Ultimate Evolution has been happening so far in tri., it might be giving us some hints on what’s to come in Part 5 - Symbiosis, and it might even give us insight to why the Tags existed in Adventure in the first place.

Now we can’t know for entirely sure, but based on what we know, according to Adventure the Agents created the Tags and Crests to help the Chosen on their quest, but also know the Tags were essentially placebo MacGuffins. The Crests were just physical representation of the Chosens’ traits, the traits were inside their hearts right from the start and the physical ones weren’t needed, it’s just that these ones would literally light up when the Chosen expressed their true traits, influencing themselves and their partners.

So I can’t help but to wonder, is tri. trying to suggest that the reason Gennai and co. made those placebo lights was to help the Chosen know they’ve fulfilled the requirement to be able to evolve? Did the Agents make those Crests to make sure no more kids would have to go through what Maki did without understanding it?

…the ultimate goal of ‘effortless perfection.’ This was the term that young women at Duke University used to describe 'the expectation that one would be smart, accomplished, fit, beautiful, and popular, and that all this would happen without visible effort.’
— 

Courtney Martin, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

This sort and intensity of pressure doesn’t allow for balance. It’s an all-or-nothing mentality. We know that mental health, and physical health, require balance and stability. But if we convince ourselves that “effortless perfection” is what will give us health and happiness, we end up not being able to achieve either, no matter how hard we try. 

Have you felt this pressure? For you, did it feel more external or internal? How do you counter it, if you’ve been able to? 

(anon messages welcome!)

Join our discussion at @lets-read-about-feminism

Late to the party as always but better late than never! Thanks to all those who shared treats for Simblreen! I wish I could have participated but life has been so busy. Hope your day was as spooky as you wanted it to be and you got to eat some candy! 

♌ Leo Romantic Compatibility ❤️️

Leo And…

♈ Aries - Leo and Aries are an extremely compatible couple. The key to this pairing is the balance between what the signs have in common and their differences. There is just enough competition and exciting differences to keep the relationship fresh and active.

♉ Taurus - Leo and Taurus is a pairing that requires balance. There are strong characteristics that are in constant competition with one another at play. Taurus’ practicality and patience and Leo’s passion and ego are at odds. Taurus will find themselves trying to reel in Leo’s outgoing and sometimes reckless tendencies while Leo may feel suffocated. Money is likely to be an issue in this pairing.

♊ Gemini - Leo and Gemini is considered a very fun and harmonious match. Both enjoy an active and adventurous lifestyle, though Leo enjoys the dramatic more than Gemini. Leo is more organized than Gemini, which can lead to a bit of tension. Both signs are flirtatious, but Leo can become jealous easily so communication is important when it comes to fidelity.

♋ Cancer -   Cancer and Leo are more compatible than most, but still face a fair amount of challenges. Cancer is good at making Leo feel admired and loved, but Leo has to go the extra mile to assure Cancer that they are valued. If Cancer can communicate their needs to Leo without criticizing, Leo can rise to meet Cancer’s needs.

♌ Leo - Leo and Leo can be a playful, intense, and powerful coupling. This relationship can very easily become a power struggle. Both partners have to compromise for this relationship to work. Leos love being complimented as well as showering their partners with compliments, so in this respect a Leo/Leo pairing is perfect. This pair can be competitive in fun ways as much as it can be competitive in hurtful ways, this is why compromise is important. In other aspects, such as in the bedroom, this couple is often dramatic, energetic, and passionate.

♍ Virgo - Leo and Virgo is a pairing that relies on the partners’ ability to compromise. While this relationship may seem easy initially, both signs are organized and motivated, which they respect in one another, but can cause clashes over how to work within each others’ systems. Both signs are strong willed and like to be the decision maker in a relationship. Virgo is likely to take on a submissive role when confronted with Leo’s stubbornness, but this can ruin the relationship for Virgo who will feel resentment toward Leo. When it comes to the physical relationship between Leo and Virgo, both signs need to take the others’ needs into consideration. Leo can often become impatient in this area, while Virgo needs time to reset their focus from work to play.

♎ Libra - Leo and Libra are a powerful coupling. These two are just different enough to keep each other interested, but they also share very similar outlooks which makes decision making easy. Both partners are outgoing and have healthy social lives and like showing themselves off. The problem with this pair arises each partner feeds the others’ adventurous and reckless side too much, which can cause problems. Financial stability does not come naturally to this couple.

♏ Scorpio - Leo and Scorpio are a very passionate pair. Both partners like to be in control and this can create competition within the relationship. The sexual chemistry between Scorpio and Leo is explosive and often helps to mend the rift after arguments. Arguing is something both of these signs enjoy to an extent. Leo is naturally flirtatious and this can deeply upset and anger Scorpio, who is prone to jealousy. Though Leo may find Scorpio to be moody and Scorpio will think Leo is too controlling, both signs prefer imperfect partners to boring ones.

♐ Sagittarius - Leo and Sagittarius are a very well matched couple. They have a lot in common, including optimism, generosity, enthusiasm, and sociability. Both have a tendency to be somewhat impulsive which leads to many adventures. Leo is more stubborn than Sagittarius, and Sagittarius can help open Leo’s mind to other ways of thinking. Sagittarius is likely to be more commitment-phobic than Leo, which can hurt Leo’s feelings even if Sagittarius’ reasoning to not settle down has nothing to do with how much they love Leo. The sexual relationship between these two fire signs is explosive and passionate.

♑ Capricorn - Leo and Capricorn are a complex coupling. Because both signs have a tendency to be stubborn, this relationship has the potential to be long lasting, if only because neither one will accept that it should end. Each could be considered the opposite of the other, but this can help create a very complete and able couple. Capricorn has a pessimistic nature, while Leo is likely to be an optimist. This can be frustrating to Leo who may view Capricorn as a wet blanket. Alternatively, Leo’s optimism can inspire ambition in Capricorn which can lead to healthy competition within the relationship. Leo and Capricorn often have a light and fun sex life. Although Capricorn has a tendency to neglect the sexual needs of their partners, Leo is skilled enough to attract Capricorn’s attention.

♒ Aquarius -   Leo and Aquarius can be an unusual and exciting pairing. There is an undeniable physical attraction, but Leo and Aquarius tend to have little in common. Aquarius has a rebellious spirit, but Leo craves outside acceptance and approval. Communication between the two can be difficult. It’s not that Leo will not listen to Aquarius, it’s that Leo will misunderstand. Leo may find Aquarius to be cold and aloof.

♓ Pisces - Pisces and Leo can be a challenging match. There is a strong sexual connection between the two, but a lack of communication. Leo is likely to take the dominant role in the relationship, and therefore the success of the pairing largely depends on Leo. Pisces does not like confrontation or friction and is much more likely to give into Leo’s wishes. Leo can become frustrated with Pisces’ indecisiveness and perceived ambivalence. It is important for Leo to learn how to sense when Pisces is trying to communicate or take the lead in a situation.

Player looking for D&D 5e game

I’m Kiel Chenier. I write/illustrate a lot of D&D related stuff professionally. 

I don’t actually get to play a lot of D&D anymore, and I’m looking for a D&D 5e game to join, whether it’s a new game or an ongoing one. 

I’m looking for an ongoing campaign to play in. Session length from 2-4 hours long (3 hours is honestly a sweet spot for me). An online game played via Skype, Hangouts, Roll20, etc. Video chat is preferred, but audio only works in a pinch.

My schedule is flexible. Evenings 7pm EST onward work best for me tho. 


If you think I’d be a good fit in your game, send me a Tumblr ask with more details and contact info. I’ll follow up with a message of my own. 


What I’m looking for specifically:

  • A game that’s open to new(ish) players.
  • Playing with other LGBT people is preferred. 
  • Using an established setting (Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dark Sun, etc) is fine, but I don’t want prior knowledge of that setting to be required. 
  • A balance of roleplaying, exploration, combat, and downtime activities. Bonus points if your game has carousing. 
  • A DM who knows their way around random tables, citycrawls, and open-ended adventures is a big plus.

What I bring to the table:

  • I’m willing to play any class the party is currently lacking (provided I can still choose my Race/Background).
  • I write and draw a lot. If your game’s engaging, you can probably expect a bunch of custom art and/or session recaps. Like these, for example. Or this. 
  • I try to be as team-oriented and supportive as possible (assisting, working together, spotlight-sharing, etc).
  • I’m generally kind of a goof while playing. Quick with a joke, but not disruptive. I also do character voices if that’s something you’re into.
  • I am not risk-adverse or bothered by character death. If you need an instigator who is willing to rush in, I can do that. Likewise, if you need someone to primarily engage with NPC’s and plot/story details, I do that too.

Examples of my prior characters:

Sephardim are bewildered by the Ashkenazi pursuit of humrot (halakhic stringencies), because they have traditionally sought to balance the requirements of observance with the requirements of living, to achieve a form of religious expression that is balanced and proportionate, that takes into consideration the whole man – not to torture and subordinate him as a basis for religious satisfaction, but to encourage and cultivate the range of human attributes.
—  Daniel Elazar
5

‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory,’ featuring Troy van Leeuwen’s hot, key-smashing action