The Awesome Silliness of Fantasy RPGs

Flumph GoblinsOriginally posted on Sidekickcast.com

If you’re a fan of role-playing games, you probably got introduced to the game through a little thing called Dungeons & Dragons. It may have come by a different name back then, such as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but the general gist remains the same. In my unscientific study, about 99% of gamers were found to have come into the hobby via some iteration of D&D.

I’ve hopped around a lot in the RPG hobby, and while I got off the D&Dtrain, my current game of choice, Pathfinder, is an extremely close cousin of the world’s first role-playing game. While there are a lot of reasons I tend to stick close to the D&D tradition, one of the major ones is the oddball humor that the game’s history is steeped in.

I like a good beer and pretzels game, where the play is fairly casual and the jokes are frequent. And when it comes to D&D-style fantasy, the jokes have been baked into the game for decades now.

Read more at the Screamsheet!

Could the Sugar High Really be a Parenting Urban Legend?

Sugar Rush

It’s a story that every parent knows: you bake some cookies or take your kid to the fair, and an hour later they’re bouncing off the walls and driving you crazy. Bloody sugar highs. But almost 20 years of research indicates that the legendary sugar high doesn’t really exist at all.

If you’re anything like me, the suggestion that a sugar rush is a myth has you shaking your head. I don’t care what kind of research they’ve done. I don’t care that studies dating as far back as 1994 all come to the same conclusion. This phenomenon must exist because I’ve seen it myself.

Or have I? Maybe seeing isn’t believing. Maybe because I’ve been told from an early age that sugar causes you to get hyper, and because I myself used to go nuts when I had sugary treats as a kid, my own brain is wired to see signs that aren’t really there.

Mark Wolraich, MD of Johns Hopkins University was part of that 1994 study and part of numerous studies afterward that examined hyperactivity in children. The conclusions have remained the same for more than 20 years: sugar doesn’t necessarily get kids wired, but it does make parents look for signs of misbehavior.

Do kids get wound up after parties, trips to the carnival, and other events where sugar is plentiful? Yes, but it’s more excitement than sugar. The most common places where kids get sugar are events that excite them, making them more likely to go nuts and less likely to listen to their parents.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!

Greystone Valley: One Year Later

Greystone ValleyWarning: Spoilers for the ending of Greystone Valley follow.

Taking a deep breath, Sarah finally turned back toward the door. “Goodbye, Kay.”

“See you later, Sarah.”

She touched the door again, and the image of her bedroom lit up in her brain. Then she threw open the portal and stepped through. Everything seemed foggy for a moment as she slid between the two worlds. She heard a voice in her ear – the old man who had been watching her from somewhere inside Castle Greystone.

“This isn’t an adventure that you get right the first time,” he whispered. “You’ve gained much experience, but there’s still more to learn. You’ll find your way back here, and you’ll change this world again.”
Then the voice disappeared. So did everything else.

Heroes always leave a mark on the world, big or small. Sarah’s trip through Greystone Valley may have been a brief one, but many of those whom she met were changed remarkably. One year after Sarah left the valley to go home, here are some of the marks she left behind. Continue reading