Balancing the Nine Alignments

If you are reading this blog you are most likely my friend, which in turn means that one or more of these three things has happened:

I have talked to you about tabletop roleplaying games

I have asked if you play tabletop roleplaying games

We have played tabletop roleplaying games

Simply put I love them and will have a conversation about them whether the other individual kindly listening is a willing participant of my T.E.D. talk or not. So for those of you who know me, it means that it was only a matter of time before I ended up writing about tabletop roleplaying games as well.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with them; welcome to my T.E.D. talk.

RPGs or Role Playing Games are better known as Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder. It is a cooperative game that allows you to build a character from your imagination to take on a story that has never been heard and will never be told again. As a player, you make your character and play through different scenarios within a story that the DM or GM has brought to the table. The role-playing comes out when your character must interact with a character within the adventuring group or the world the storyteller is sharing with you.

Now it is not common to play yourself ( I wouldn’t I spend to much time with me as is) in these games but a character you have brought to the story. That character may have a different personality than you, as an example I can use my current character Woodwort the gnome druid. Why we have some similarities (mainly hooch) we also have our differences (he’s a gnome). When building Woodwort I gave him an alignment from the alignment grid in the book; which is true neutral.
The nine alignments are Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, and Chaotic Evil. Now, these alignments are used primarily for two things, various perks in the game for your character and a helpful roleplaying guide. Woodwort is a druid a timeless ancient of the forest and a representative of mother nature, he has seen more than he lets on and is surprised by little. He strives to find the balance between all perspectives and feels a tilt in any direction can have rippling consequences.

This is not me, or anyone for that matter. We may be able to relate to that way of thinking but we will eventually tilt in one direction or another usually due to factors of some nature and the choices we make responding to them. The factors that change our moods are too many to count individually but can be summed up to external and internal factors. I could go on and attempt to define these categories but that would lead to a tangent no one is prepared for, what is important is to realize that we are not constants no matter how hard we try.

We shift our views of the world around us from moment to moment. One moment we can be lawful good and pick up the trash in the street to chaotic evil when we find out that trash was a twenty-dollar bill and pocket it. We can’t base our lives as a whole on the nine alignments because we are a mix of all nine within our lifetime, but what we can do is use these nine alignments as guides.

I know that this constant shifting of alignments and views makes us all sound unstable and that’s because we are. Instability is one of our greatest strengths as a species, it can bring horrible things; I will never say it is all positive but it does help us a great deal. The ability for us to judge a situation not only by what we sense in front of us but also by past experience makes us somewhat unique. Other creatures can do this but the deep thoughts between pros and cons that we can use to outweigh instinct are invaluable.

Now I will let you all off the hook because I am not going to be going into any of the alignments in-depth with this post (This is where you sigh in relief). But what I plan to do for my future posts is dive into all 9 separately significantly extending my T.E.D. talk (this is where you groan and leave the site).

I’ll be starting off with Lawful Good and working my way through leaving what people believe are the juicy ones for last. In my next post, we will explore the good and bad of the first alignment and how you must even balance between the extremes within it. Trust me, lawful good does not mean lawful nice.

I’m looking forward to this series of posts and hope you will too. Now for a shameless plug!

You all can meet Woodwort and the rest of his friends on Edge of Legend on Twitch every Wednesday night at 8 pm pst. Nat 20 Productions is run by my friends both behind the scenes and on-camera 24/7 so a huge shout out to them for all the work they do. If you would like to join us for an original story with battle, intrigue, and funny moments then please tune in and become legends right along with us.

Small Tasks

My life has become a little hectic as of late. Between the move, my partner being called back to work 300 miles away, and the little bumps in life like the pet guinea pig chipping a tooth; things start to fall by the way side. Unfortunately, the thing that got pushed back was my hobbies which includes this blog. The weeks were I can update it on time and make sure I have time to write are great ones. Although its brand new I did feel like I was letting myself down when I didn’t write. Those feelings start to wear you down, it’s not the big things that may have a chance of not working out. It’s the little things that you set out to do with the thought “I will accomplish this today”. I’ve talked about starting something and picking something back up after a hiatus, but what about the time in between?

I handle these little let downs by journaling; full disclosure I started recently and have missed a few days as well. I always liked the concept of journaling; I would search for the perfect notebook and be eager to fill its pages with the goings on of my life. I’m a history nerd and one thing you find out is you never get the account from the layman. The person who is just trying to get by and be as happy as possible with what is happening around them. I wanted to be that guy, the one who journaled so extensively that 200 years after I’m dead and gone some student would be able to find my journal preserved in a library and base an entire paper off of it. That was my thought when I was in 8th grade.

It turns out I suck at it. I can never commit the time I feel it deserves and I am never content with my writing. So I usually get about a month into a new notebook and miss a weekend, which turns to a week and then a month. Which is when I give up and pick the hobby back up at the beginning of the year (a horrible cycle). You might be thinking ” Wait, didn’t you say you conquer the small missed tasks with journaling?” or you could be thinking “Get to the point and off the soapbox”. Either way here it is.

I bullet journal and have been for 4 months now, a new record! I miss days here and there but for the most part I stick with it. When I wake up in the morning I fill in what tasks I need to get done for the day and check them off as I go. Simple. But here’s how I use it keep track of the little slips. Bullet journaling is basically writing down short blurbs about your day with a different symbol at the beginning of each entry denoting what it is about. A common example its using the exclamation mark to denote an idea, insight, or inspiration.

I also mark the tasks I don’t get done with an arrow pointing to the right from writer’s perspective (stage right for the nerds). This means that I will get to it tomorrow or in a literal sense on the next page. By keeping track of the little slips I realize they have been set aside before my mind thinks “what’s the point now”. It’s basically setting a reminder for myself to get around to it sooner rather than later.

I also use it to keep track of things like self care, something I think everyone struggles with at times. This lets me see the last time I did a small action that made me happy, like writing for the blog. It’s important not to let to much time pass in between these small acts, without them easing our minds the small pains can grow. In the long run it will help you get to know yourself; you’ll see a task written down that starts to match up with your self care actions. Seeing them paired allows you to identify your stressors, which can lead to eliminating them or at least working toward easing them.

So while bullet journaling isn’t for everyone, it’s the way that I deal with small stressors and planning out my day. If your like me and want to journal but don’t have a lot of time or will stress about missing days, go ahead a try it. Maybe I can break down my journaling process for you all, if anyone would like. In the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone who reads this how they deal with the small missed tasks in their life. What are the tips and tricks you all have that I can learn from?