Anyone who gets in their way is seen as bait fish. And each of them wants to be the last shark swimming—to at last have everything for themselves. If you want to take competition to the next level, Mark, my advice is this: I think you ought to give up thinking like a shark altogether and start thinking like a dolphin.
So you can see and understand competition in a much different light. In its most important sense, competition is what We, the People, use to compensate for the fact that much of the time this brain of ours is wildly inadequate for determining the most suitable actions we can take to assure ourselves a viable future. Wikipedia describes several hundred of them. Without us even realizing it, our brain is ceaselessly distorting reality, trying to make it to fit our beliefs and prejudices and automatic sub-conscious cognitive processes.
Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 12222
But even before psychologists and neuroscientists began to realize just how big this problem is, some very bright people had already sensed the danger. Can argue tooth and toenail, with fur flying. Instead, think of it as the greatest incubator of human improvement ever devised. Viewed this way, competing becomes a sacred trust. The idea and the ideal must be protected at all costs. And the means to compete must be kept vibrant, accountable and as fair as possible. Some years ago, I began to sense that protecting the ability to compete in rapid-change times was going to require at least some human brains to rise to the occasion—to, indeed, move on to the next level.
You can imagine my delight at discovering research like that of the late American psychologist Dr. Clare W. Graves indicating just such a phenomenon was already under way. They were the product of a vigorous competition within the brain itself that our best researchers into the mind are still struggling to understand. And this, in itself, can make them formidable competitors.
Even when competing, dolphins tend to tell the truth as they understand it. This is because they believe truth-telling is the most effective way to avoid wasting time, energy and resources on useless, unproductive drama. Also, they believe that this is the straightest route to, and the quickest mechanism for, being trusted and being able to trust.
Dolphins like to win. But if it helps to find the next right, smart, good thing or move, they are also capable of focusing on the smallest details.
- BE THE FIRST TO KNOW!
- Life At Mimosa Lake: The Story Of The Winter Visitor.
- Transcription for # - Rich Benoit - The Joe Rogan Experience | PodScribe!
And they are always open to alliances and collaborations that work and make good things happen. Dolphins are willing to retaliate to get their point across, counteract unfairness or sweep aside the obstinate, the ridiculous or the superfluous. They are going to need to do everything they can think of to protect our ability to compete.
To test our best ideas and efforts vigorously but accountably. And to make sure that everyone who wants to participate gets to play on a level field using rules that are fairly enforced and methods that flag and contain the cheats. So, first things now! His books on changing world-views and belief systems have been translated into eight languages and he has consulted on six continents. Zen Benefiel. Dudley strikes at the core of competency once again. The Beta Mind is finding its way into the thoughtmosphere of human interaction in new and relevant ways.
Never mind all of that. We need to fix THAT pronto. See above. On a piece of paper! And, you know what? It actually seemed like a funny idea. And I was thinking of doing just that. But, two things stopped me. Hell, even this overly long intro is going to transition into something much bigger than actually just how to track initiative. I use my blog wrong. I use Twitter wrong. I do it all wrong. And the only reason I can get away with that is by actually saying valuable, useful things. So, I railed against that. But there will be. In fact, the initiative tracking issue and various proposed solutions just lead to the pacing issue.
How to run a battle.
And good GMs eventually stumble on the process. It varies a little from GM to GM, but the essential steps are always the same. So, this article is about how to track initiative using a simple list of numbers.
How to Manage Combat Like a Motherf$&%ing Dolphin | The Angry GM
They just mask them. And why delegating initiative is pretty much the worst thing you can do for combat. The thing is, you — as the GM — have absolute control over the pace of combat. Combat is supposed to be exciting, fast-paced, and tense. And it relies on momentum to keep the tension high. And, like everything in the game, you — the GM — have to maintain the proper pace. You have to be in control. Initiative tracking is not just about whose turn it is. See, initiative — as the controller of the turn and round order — literally sets the foundation for the pace of the entire combat.
It also helps narrate the combat. And narration is the tool by which you maintain the pace. Let me explain. First, the combat begins with scene-setting narration, just like any scene. The GM describes the situation and gives the players the information they need to make their first set of decisions in the combat round. Next, the combat actually starts to play out. And it plays out in turns and rounds. Each turn — each turn taking by a PC, that is — follows a simple process. Now, the funny thing about this is that steps 1 and 5 are not even often thought of as steps. GM: Alice, your turn.
GM: You hit the goblin. Roll for damage. Alice: 6 bludgeoning damage. GM: Great. You hit for six damage. Bob, your turn. What do you do? GM: Damage? GM: You charge the goblin and smash it with your mace, bringing it to a stop. And the difference is entirely in the transitions. The flow of combat is like a dolphin.
Ever watch dolphins swimming along the surface? They tend to follow a wave pattern. They jump out of water in an arc and then plunge down under the surface. Then they swim back up toward the surface, jump out again, then then plunge down under the water. That wave pattern demonstrates the interplay between narrative and mechanics in a well-run combat.
LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell or High Water
See, dolphins need to breathe air. And if they are trying to cover a lot of distance quickly, they need to breathe a lot. Just like how when you run, you breathe more quickly. So, they leap up out of the water, take a breathe, and then plunge down under the water to swim. Jump, breathe, plunge, swim. The swimming maintains the forward momentum, the breathing keeps them from — you know — dying. You have to keep doing them or there is no game. The narrative is what drives the momentum of the game forward.
And that is why every turn in combat begins and ends with narrative. And then we break out of that to resolve the mechanics and take a breath of air. Then, splash, back down into the water.
Competing At The Next Level And How To Get There
Those transitions are important on a fundamental level. They keep combat exciting and interesting. In fact, they are more important than huge amounts of description. In fact, in fact, they are more important to the pace and flow and narrative of combat than convincing your players to describe their actions in excruciating detail. They will. I swear they will. But only if you pace it properly. You have to move the spotlight from one character to the next. And if you do that in a wholly mechanical way, you lose the flow. And that means you need the initiative tracking in front of you and easily referenced so that you can weave that list of numbers into something remotely interesting narratively.
Even if all you do is remind the player of what just happened. And when you get good at this, the transitions out of one turn and into another meld together. The resolution of one action sets the scene for the next. Now Bob can act. GM: The goblin leaps aside, dodging your axe. He tries to dart past you to close with Dave.
You get an opportunity attack. Roll it. Bob: GM: The goblin dodges that too and dashes forward, lunging at Dave with his shortsword. Dave: GM: Ouch. He stabs you in the side for 6 piercing damage, sending you stumbling backwards while the other two goblins draw to a stop and face Alice and Bob head on. Alice, the goblin recovers his breath from your blow and thrusts his shortsword. A crit! You take 12 damage. Alice: Damn it!
But… Bob sees him coming and dodges the blow. Bob: Phew. GM: The goblins range themselves in front of Alice and Bob while a third goblin is ready to strike another blow at Dave. Carol, they seem to be ignoring you. What do you? See how this works? Can you see the dolphin leaping up into mechanics and down into the narrative. A flow? Read it out loud. Right now, read it out loud.
How does it sound? A few years ago, I went to a con and had some sort of mental breakdown wherein I decided to actually be a player at a game. But whatever. What happened was this. The GM asked us to roll initiative.
We all did. Then he took out a piece of paper. And they each gave their score. And he listened to both and then wrote them both down. And then he asked if anyone had over And there was a person and also a monster. So he made some more notes. And he kept going on like this until he had all the initiatives recorded. It was weird. And it required more cognitive load from the GM than initiative really should. Because he has to ask about three numbers, add one more, put them all in sequence, decide how to resolve ties, and so on. Me: Roll initiative.
Alice: 14 Me [quick note]: Bob? Bob: 8 Me [quick note]: Carol? Carol: 22! Me [quick note]: Cool. Dave: … 7. Me [quick note]: Ouch. That sucks. Me [rolls dice, adds three monsters, done]. It is an extremely quick pass around the table with no extraneous questions and no extra wasted time. The game is stopped. Start with a piece of paper, right? Imagine the top of paper is like 30 or 40 or whatever. And the bottom of the piece of paper is 0. Now, you ask each player and, by the way, I use character names their initiative.
If the number is high, it goes near the top. Write the number and the first letter of their name down. For example, Alice got a Bob got 8. But you always leave a space until you add your monsters. So that you can squeeze monsters in there. Then, you roll for your monsters and add them to the list. You can abbreviate them however you want. Both of you? Okay, who rolled higher? And THEN, you can add on the monster hit points. For example, my sniper has 16 HP. The ogre has 48 HP. And there are two skirmishers with 12 HP each. Now, I have their max HP right there.
And, for that matter, you can add other notes too. Like, if someone is poisoned for three rounds, you can write a quick note next to them. You can scribble the hell all over this thing. As for tracking HP, do it as quickly as possible. Tick marks work well at low levels when the damage is small. Or you can write and cross out numbers and count up.
Whatever is the most comfortable. It gives you all of the info you need to narrate and pace the combat. How hurt is that ogre? Now, this is pretty simple, right? And it does everything you need. Not index cards. Not table tents. Yeah, I really did buy one. You want it?