A Few Thoughts On Rolling Up A Character

I know, I know. This is supposed to be a bike blog, right? So I’m supposed to talk about bike nerdery, not table-top role-playing game nerdery.

Well, I’ll get to that, I promise.

When I was a little kid, my sister and her friends played D&D, and since her friends were my friends (because I’m socially lazy and I make friends by befriending the friends of my friends and relatives), I played, too.

For the most part, we sucked at RPGs, but we had fun. We played ridiculous campaigns in which we collected so much stuff that we had to create a house-rules artifact called the “Bag of Infinite Holding,” which everyone then had to either purchase or find on every single campaign (Because, well, how else were we going to carry everything? One never knows when one might actually need that phial of smelling salts one picked up 3 kajillion turns back). This made for some very involved character sheets.

…But I digress.

Anyway, in my humble opinion, character creation is one of the best parts of tabletop gaming. You get to be all creative, but you have to do so within the constraints set by the dice — and you have to think a bit about what your character might need in the span of his life.

For example, charisma. My characters always needed loads of Charisma, presumably because they were actually a bunch of useless prats with no usable skills. I also piled them up with Intelligence in spades, because who wants a stupid half-elf hanging around? Elves and half-elves are supposed to be smart. It would be … well … stupid to play a stupid half-elf (I always played half-elves, by the way, in part because we were still playing old-rules AD&D, which made full-blooded elves obnoxiously overpowered at almost everything, so we sort of had a house-rule against playing them).

Of course, one is only allotted so many “points” to assign in character creation. And, of course, if one blows one’s entire wad on Charisma and Intelligence, one automatically disadvantages ones’ character in other areas … potentially-important areas, like Strength.

And Constitution.

And here’s where the bikey stuff comes in.

Apparently, before I was born into this life, I was already rolling up characters with lots of points in Charisma and a decent array in Intelligence and basically none whatsoever in Constitution. Essentially, I’m a puny little weakling that gets sick at the drop of a hankie.

Okay, so I’m not really a weakling, but I do get sick pretty easily.

So, anyway. Assuming reincarnation is a thing, and we actually get to make some decisions, I think the next time I roll up a “character,” I might spend a few more points on Constitution. That way I can go on being reasonably smart and charismatic, but can also not have to take random vacations from training all the danged time.

As you may have guessed, then, I am nursing a wicked chest cold, so I’m taking it easy today. Minimal outdoor riding. …But! …The new trainer is now set up in the living room, and it is QUIET. I plan to put in a half hour to an hour tonight, just a bit of light spinning. That way I can get a bit of work in without sucking down the cold air, which might set off my asthma (cold air is a significant trigger for me) and exacerbate the problem. The goal is to be able to ride this weekend…

…Because on Monday it’s Organ Jury time! I’m playing three pretty awesome little pieces this semester — a rather-haunting meditation on the haunting tune ‘Picardy’ (aka “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”), a toccata on Blaenwern (“For Your Gift Of of G-d the Spirit”), and Bach’s “Little Prelude in C” (I’m not playing the fugue for my jury as I haven’t polished it enough). I really like the toccata, it’s quite a brilliant little piece, and the Bach, of course, is Bach. I loves me some Bach.

So I’m hoping to put in some miles this weekend so I’ll be nice and calm and collected.

Calm it collected, it turns out, is the secret to performing toccatas. They’re relentless; once your fingers start going, they never really stop playing these complicated little patterns. You’re likely to screw up at some point. The goal is to:

Keep Calm and Gangnam Style

Keep Calm and Gangnam Style

…Wait. No, that’s not it. It’s:




Yes. When one fudges up while playing a toccata, the best strategy is simply to pretend that’s what’s on the page (“I know? Can you believe he wrote it that way?!”) and muddle through as if nothing has happened, just as when one pretty much falls asleep during the two-brief piano solo during one’s violin recital and the poor pianist has to play her bit again and come back to your entrance and then you both have to pretend it’s supposed to be that way.



Well, anyway … so yes. The idea is to keep calm, and the best way to keep calm is to RIDE THE BIKE. It keeps the “hyper” in check.

Once my organ jury is done, I have one more exam on Wednesday and a paper due Friday, and then I’m Scot-free until 7 January. Actually, I am Scot-free all the time, either because I don’t really have anyone named Scot in my life or because I am partly of Scottish heritage and (theoretically) a free and autonomous person and not, for example, a prisoner. The winter break seems weirdly brief this year, but I’m sure I’ll survive. Also, starting early in January lets us finish in April, so that’s pretty cool.

I’m planning next year’s race schedule right now, so exciting updates to come! Or, at least, less tabletop-gaming oriented ones! Maybe. I suppose I could make “relating tabletop gaming to cycling” a theme for 2013, but that seems like it would just result in a horribly hyperextended metaphor… and you know what happens when you hyperextend your metaphors.



(I’m not actually sure that I do, so if you literary types have any humorous and witty thoughts on the repercussions of a hyperextended metaphor, feel free to let fly.)

That’s it for now.

Keep the rubber side down!

PS – Oh, I discovered today that the LG Gel-Ex winter gloves manage to be decently warm even when they’re soaking wet because you left them in your non-waterproof bar bag in a downpour were riding so hard that you sweated out an entire gallon of water from your hands alone.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Blissfully married, ballet-and-bicyle-obsessed gay intersexed boy. Half-baked dancer. Mediocre gravel racer. Learning to live with bipolar disorder. Indiana University Southeast psychology senior (go Grenadiers!). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2012/12/05, in health, thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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