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May 8th, 2006

Happy, Happy!

Happy birthday to kagur and montykins! For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

soda-squirt
One who works at a soda fountain. New Mexico.
--Elsie Warnock's Dialect Speech in California and New Mexico, 1919


A Brief History of Coca-Cola
On this date in 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John S. Pemberton put the headache- and hangover-remedy syrup he had been brewing in a brass kettle in his backyard on sale at a local pharmacy. The concoction included dried South America coca-shrub leaves -- a common ingredient in patent medicines of the day -- African kola-nut extract, and fruit syrup. At his accountant's suggestion, he had named it Coca-Cola and, initially touted it as a "Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage." Legend has it that one day in the summer of 1886, Coca-Cola was served to a hungover customer by a lazy soda-squirt who, rather than walking to the other end of the counter to add the usual tap water to the syrup, used the closer carbonated water spigot instead -- producing the first fizzy modern beverage. But sluggish first-year sales amounted to only $50, against $73.96 spent on advertising, and in 1887 Pemberton sold two-thirds of his ownership of the drink for $1,200.

I think they should go back to marketing it as a Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage. Just 'cause it'd be cool.

-The Gneech <-- could use a little intellectual beverage right now if you know what I mean

Time for a Gaming Poll! [gaming]

This is a question for my players. Other people are welcome to vote if you like, but your answers aren't likely to have much weight in my analysis. ;) Since the compostion of the gaming group is evolving, I like to get a feel for the group's opinion.

Levelling up in "the old days" of D&D used to take forever ... getting to 5th level took years, getting to 12th level took decades. With the advent of D&D 3.x, they deliberately sped up levelling to get you to "the good stuff" (e.g., beholders, adult dragons) sooner. The average first-level adventurer is half-way to second at the end of the first session, for instance.

The problem with that is, in D&D particular it gets hard to get into your character because they rapidly go from zero to demigod without a pause to breathe ... and for the GM it becomes a kind of arms race, constantly coming up with new, bigger challenges to fight the tricked-out heroes. I have several scenarios I had in mind for my main campaign that the characters have "levelled past" -- I can still run them, but I will have to pump up the opposition if it's going to be a challenge.

On the other hand, I kind of like the fact that faster-levelling means you don't end up fighting the same kobolds, goblins, and dire rats over and over again forever. I recently used my first mind flayer ever, and expect soon to use some even bigger, badder nasties. And from the point of view of a player, I have so many characters that I want to play, that I like the idea of campaigns having "rapid turnover."

So the question is, what do you think about this issue?

Poll #724735 Campaign Preferences

Progression Speed

I like to take it slow, exploring as many facets of a given power level as possible before moving up to the next level.
6(28.6%)
I prefer to pump up quickly, gaining the power to take on big, epic foes.
3(14.3%)
Either one is fine.
9(42.9%)
Other (please specify in comments below)
3(14.3%)

Campaign Duration

I prefer to get into one character, having lots of adventures with that single persona and really getting into their history.
8(40.0%)
I like to play lots of different characters and have lots of different games.
1(5.0%)
I like to have one "main" recurring game, and some side games for variety.
10(50.0%)
Other (please specify in comments below)
1(5.0%)


-The Gneech

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