Bear builds red Lego animals

What happens when Bear has friends over ?

During a housewarming, one plan with friends was to build together this small set.
There was a lot of fun, food, and talk involved, which means we all forgot about building it.

This sets includes options to build a parrot, a fish and a dragon.

A few days later, a precise inventory of the bricks was made by the Bear. Of course, construction was going to be done carefully to ensure construction quality and optimal results.

First build was the Parrot. It used the least bricks from all the different options, and was very cute at the end.

The finished parrot and the Bear

Second build was the Fish. It had a cute way of using the transparent angled thingy (I am very good with words. Everything is a thingy that does something) to make it look like the fish is making some bubbles in the water.

The fish and the Bear

I decided to keep the best one for last. The dragon used all the bricks (minus the few extra ones always present in a Lego set and looks very very cute. I really enjoyed building it.

The Red Dragon and the Bear

As usual with Lego builds, I had fun, and I am very thankful for the gift from my friends. The evening was great, and I have a nice little dragon as souvenir.

Role-playing games

Yes, a natural 20!

AKA: sitting around a table with friends, eating snacks and sharing stories together

For decades, the Bear has spent countless hours writing, playing, imagining stories, and more importantly playing those stories.

The basic idea is easy to understand, each player has a role, and they play it (I’m rebranding as Captain Obvious). To me, it’s at the crossroads between improv theater and boardgames, with a pinch of “let’s pretend” games we used to play as kids.

And from that basic idea spawns a multitude of possibilities, that are more or less popular, have more or less rules, and sometimes even switch the basic paradigm, with some games having all the players play the same character, but a different personality1, some games having a referee (also called Game Master/GM, or Dungeon Master/DM, or Storyteller, …) and others having no referees with the players sharing everything. And that’s just about the game’s structure.

You can also have completely different atmospheres and genres. Games go from playing as ordinary people facing unfathomable horrors and trying to avoid terrible fates (or just avoid insanity)2 to the classic fantasy party trying to save the world3, but also science-fiction games with space opera vibes4, or post-apocalyptic games5 and many other options. My examples are not necessarily all games I’ve played, but I’ve tried to give somewhat of a range. Wikipedia tries to make a list of them, but there is many indie games out there that can be found on various sites.

In those games, you get to live through a story and orient its outcomes through your actions. If you’re the GM, you’re going to witness your players break your carefully planned steps, but also finding very logical explanations to things you just put there because “it felt nice there”. If you’re a player, it’s going to be split between creating characters and enjoying their experiences, making plans when facing complex situations, and learning that no plan survives first contact with the enemy when everything goes awry, but you still manage to go through.

Events in games bring joy through playing them, and when something particularly funny, extraordinary, or lucky happens, it turns into great stories that will be told and retold by bards (or your group of friends). Some silly decisions creating surprising results will inspire you forever.

All of this and the sharing of food and good time around a table are the main reasons why I really enjoy tabletop role playing games, and why I will most likely be sharing stories, ideas, maybe scenarios of games on this blog. Plus throughout all those years, I have acquired some trivia about various topics because I was looking for information to make it feel more real in the game, or sound plausible. I have also learned to answer with a “yes, and…” to disruptive player actions that derailed the scenarios I had envisioned, which has made me more adaptable. I got used to speaking in front of people, and impersonating characters has allowed me to explore various things and ideas.

If you’ve never played a tabletop role playing game, you should definitely try it. If you have, don’t hesitate to share your favourite games, or even better, do share your favourite stories from games. I love anecdotes, like Sir Bearington.

  1. Like Everyone is John for example. ↩︎
  2. Like the Lovecraftian Call of Cthulhu. ↩︎
  3. The easy example being Dungeons and Dragons, but there is a very wide range of games that have a fantasy aspect and a lot of them bring variety and change to a very used genre. ↩︎
  4. There is Traveller, Stars without Numbers (who has a free edition also). ↩︎
  5. Apocalypse World is a good take on it, Polaris is one I really enjoy for its universe (but I don’t like the system very much). ↩︎

What makes a Tuesday more like a Monday?

Or how Bear rambles about week days and drives readers insane, maybe…

A regular work week for Bear
Bear trying to fight off writer’s block.

In theory, for someone working an office job with regular business hours, a work week could be seen like this:

  • Monday, as either the “what’s my job again?” day, or the “oh no, everything is breaking everywhere again!” day, since one such person would be coming back from a hopefully nice weekend back into work. Being so far from the weekend (in fact, the furthest of the week) can make it very dreary sometimes. But mostly it can offer a new perspective on past work issues, as one would have been able to disconnect and recharge one’s batteries.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as sort of ‘in the thick of it’ days, where it’s work this, and work that, and when’s the weekend, and so on.
  • Friday, also known as FriYAY1, because the weekend is just around the corner, and one anticipates exciting activities, or even just peace from neverending requests. And also, it is the day where it can be perfectly reasonable to delay certain actions to next week because of their possible impacts that could not be mitigated over the weekend.

And yet, despite this sort of common week feel (for the Bear, YMMV, of course) we get sometimes hit by a second Monday. You had a Monday that was of the exhausting variety, with plenty of things to deal with, you try to unwind and spend a nice evening. The next morning has you checking your phone for a possible Groundhog Day 2 or something because it’s Monday all over again, disguised as a Tuesday.

Bear after reading an incantation to solve the second Monday issue

For those who have been cursed3 for real, this experience can repeat itself throughout the entire week, leaving one feeling both crushed and stretched thinner than Bilbo after holding the Ring for so long.

There is sadly no easy cure for this. The Bear does not recommend trying out spells randomly, as the cure may become a bigger problem. It could especially becoming the type of problem that stares back at you in the void, without it being your lovely black kitty. Of course the difference between your cat and a summoned horror lies in the number of eyes you can count in the dark. We advise not to count them, just in case…

The best course of action is the same as most illnesses:

  • Be kind to yourself,
  • Breathe,
  • Drink water,
  • Change your socks,
  • Throw work related problems at colleagues, with a decently crafted excuse (even better if you have a good reason to do so, such as “this is your area of expertise”, “I need your opinion on this”, etc…)
  • Keep up the hope because, as you all know:

The sun will eventually set on a new week!

Of course, this is all very much my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt, as I don’t think you should trust blindly a Bear over the Internet. You can always share your own views on time perception through the comments!

  1. I just learned it’s a somewhat accepted word: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Friyay ↩︎
  2. If this movie reference doesn’t speak to you, maybe this TV series one will. If not, there is always this more recent TV series episode. If you still don’t know what I’m getting at, it’s a time loop. Just a loop, not a “wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey” as some British Alien said, once or twice. ↩︎
  3. For doing something terrible in any life, or angering a witch, a Great Ancient, stepping on a Lego brick, not petting a cat, saying bears are not nice, how could I know the real reason? This is beyond my skillset. ↩︎

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Hello Internet!

Welcome to my little side of the Internet.

How you got there is a good question, but I hope the time you spend around here will be at least enjoyable for you.

The Bear riding towards a glorious future (maybe)

What you have stumbled upon, is my attempt at getting a new routine of writing more because I used to write a lot and gradually stopped, even though the itch of writing is still always there. I often get distracted or carried away by dozens of ideas, or worse by an inability to decide what to write on.

Most of the posts might just stay on private because I don’t feel like it would be very interesting for anybody to just listen to a random person rambling over the internet, but making them online brings a sort of accountability to the writing process.

To briefly introduce myself, I am Freyja, I like bears, Lego bricks, writing, reading, space, and a lot of other things.

Thanks for your time and have a great time on this side of the Internet!