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Erran

To the trees (a not so serious scholarly exhibition)

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(on the lines of seeking a way through the dark woods of learning dnd role-play) :::: I have finally reached a clearing. Behind, the trees seem to sit prettily lined up, as if there was always a path there. But, oh boy! it was so dark and tangly, those first days, that I may have walked indefinitely in circles and not know it. I would not be surprised to find out that I actually crossed the woods a few times in different directions, without having seen the light at any end. (Between you and me, this is what happened, actually. I did read a few times the material in the Basic Rules manual; with occasional incursions on d20srd.org grounds.) And during that groping and pushing ahead, it was more than once that I looked at the trees with reproach; why weren´t they helping? and ...they weren´t doing the opposite, were they?! ...Anyway, now that I got some bearings, and I´m enjoying a well deserved respite in this pleasant clearing, I thought it would be better to forget everything and make up with the trees; since we will probably be travel companions for quite some more time. And they did make a sort of first step, by arranging themselves back there so nicely... :::: (If by this time you´re beginning to wonder in what way is this post relevant to a role-player visitor such as yourself, hang on: I am getting to the point soon; although I must take precaution, and warn you against being disappointed after having worked up an appetite with the long introduction: this is a post by a novice, addressed to himself primarily - a sort of page in one´s journal of studies, and may only probably be of any value to other people like me, who start fresh in the role-playing world) :::: I dislike wounding trees for any reason, and would find it very hard to break a single branch if it would mean saving my own life (although the tree would probably understand), let alone to do so as an outlet to creativity; or worse, boredom. And so, to leave a mark in this place - which, with regard to the things mentioned above, has the best purpose of being a reference point in my journey - I have chosen the means of treespeech and the form of a short list of reminders; which cannot be held by any standards to constitute a poem, as the sensitive beings of wood would no doubt enjoy, but it suffices in mending the bond between us. And while the emphasis is on guiding value, as most likely the trees will never make more sense of what I have set out to learn than myself, being in treespeech, it has that personal touch by which I hope to communicate also my sentiments to them. :::: (Kind reader, after a little consideration, I decided to set in Common the transcript of my address to the trees. I hope I don´t disappoint anyone with a taste for linguistic delights. It seemed best to write in a form that I myself would be able to understand in the future...) :::: I found the role-playing knowledge to fall into four main categories: approach, mechanics, properties and lore. (Here the trees became very silent.) :: Under ¨approach¨ sits all general information on what playing is like and is about. Then, ¨mechanics¨ notions deal with how playing works, the calculations involved. In ¨properties¨ go all details of game elements which are relevant to calculations. And ¨lore¨ entries refer to all matters which only serve to add flavor to your game. (At this point I took a moment to catch my breath and savor the trees´ childlike attention.) :: The order in which the four categories were introduced is setting, possibly, the best course of learning; in any case, the only one that resembles a clear cut trail to me. (I know you couldn´t possibly picture this, but the trees agreed.) :::: Topics that can be labelled ¨approach¨ are: checks (the types of dice based calculations), abilities and derived skills, traits of races, of classes, of personality and of background, the patterns of story advancement (player-GM interaction), aspects of travelling (such as time scales, and food and water needs), and of combat (such as the actions that can take place in one´s turn, and the conditions a creature may be in), spell-casting generalities, and the downtime activities. :::: Topics that can be labelled ¨mechanics¨ are: all formulas of dice based calculation (with their respective concepts), the rules for movement (involving creatures´ speed and terrain difficulty), effortful actions (like jumping and swimming), special conditions of a creature (like prone or poisoned; including temporary circumstances like falling and suffocating), resting, combat specific actions and circumstances (like surprise, the breaking up of movement, the opportunity attack, dashing, dodging, and many others), and rules of spell-casting (like spell slots use and replenish, spell components requirements, and area of effect numbers). :::: Topics that can be labelled ¨properties¨ are: the particular traits of races, classes and backgrounds, currency, aspects of usual equipment (like armour, weapons, and other adventuring gear), aspects of tools, of trade goods, of mounts and vehicles, the properties of known magic items, services one can benefit of in a settlement, the schools of magic and the spells for each class. :::: Topics that can be labelled ¨lore¨ are: the history and social organizing of different races (like the Dwarven Clans or the Human Ethnicities) and factions, the languages and scripts, the deities, the planes of existence, the weave of magic. :::: By this time the sky became a bit cloudy, for just enough shadow to cover the dozing my trees´ fell in. It was perhaps too much, the ¨short¨ list, for any such gentle patiences to bear... I do hope they, at least, were up during the first part, where I described the general direction of my road. Well, in any case, the list will be here, in the memory of this place, from now on. And if I ever lose track of my destination, I can at least count on being able to return to a point where everything made sense. :::: (With these thoughts I close my eyes and return to the other real world. Of all that was said here, I will only take with me the hint at a treescript; even if only in joking. To share in the spirit of such things is what I came here for, and now propose to take my leave of you, reader. Good luck in your travels, and may we meet in our adventuring some day!) ~

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Updated 01-14-2018 at 11:38 AM by Erran (:: and :::: replace newline; apparently my browser couldn´t agree with the site on that...)

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  1. Erran's Avatar
    It was a fun project too tempting to just let go of... Did you ever wonder what´s written on a tree´s bark? I expect so, if you are a Druid or Ranger! Well, in any case, I did. And I also kind of made it look like a promise when I mentioned it. So, here it is! - the Erran horizontal treescript system - (enjoy) ### First, an example - which I will repeat at the end, with the proper translation; here just to give a taste of how my treescript looks like (the ### separator replaces newline in this post and it is not a part of treescript): ### ~---e~ ~::- ~ ~-e(-- ~-~- ~---e- ~ ~-~~-- ~ee- ~-:~~- ~ ~--~~- ~o-- ~-o--- ### The characters used are: ### ~ - o e c ( : ### Vowels use 4 symbols each, consonants 6 and figures 5. The following separators are used: ### between letters: SPACE ### between words: SPACE~SPACE ### between sentences: SPACE::SPACE ### between paragraphs: the :: from sentences, plus another :: (four : in total, flanked by SPACEs) ### The figures are, from 0 to 9: ### 0 ----- ### 1 ---~- ### 2 ---:- ### 3 ---o- ### 4 ---e- ### 5 --e~- ### 6 --e:- ### 7 -oe-- ### 8 -oe~- ### 9 -oe:- ### The vowels and consonants describe a basic set of sounds, and their translation may deviate a bit from the Common standard. In the following enumeration, uppercase is used for hard consonants, or consonants that are similar in the hard and soft form, and closed vowels, while lowercase is used for soft consonants and open vowels: ### a(bad) ~ee- ### a(save) ~e:- ### ee(hit) ~::- ### E, O(fightEr, manOr) ~~-- ### i, y(dice) ~o:- ### o(dove) ~o-- ### oo(door) ~oo- ### oo(to) ~-~- ### u(pure) ~-:- ### w(low) ~--~ ### a guttural sound ~o(- ### Silent vowels are omitted in writing. ### A nasal effect is marked by ~c:- placed at the beginning of a paragraph. ### B(bard) ~---e~ ### C, K, Q(container) ~e-(-- ### D(dice) ~---e- ### F ~--~~- ### G ~-e(-- ### h ~-~~-- ### J, DJ ~-~:~- ### L ~---o- ### M ~~o--- ### N ~-o--- ### P ~----e ### R ~--o-- ### S, c ~---:- ### T ~--e-- ### V ~-:~~- ### Z ~-~::- ### SH ~-~~:- ### tch, ch ~-~e-- ### X is KS ### Other composed sounds, like TS and DS, DZ, or NG, should be treated similarly to X. ### The description of the system ends here. The page is probably hard to read, so you have my permission to copy the contents and paste them into a file where you can arrange the information to your convenience. ### To close, the same example from the beginning: ### ~---e~ ~::- ~ ~-e(-- ~-~- ~---e- ~ ~-~~-- ~ee- ~-:~~- ~ ~--~~- ~o-- ~-o--- ### which translates as: be good, have fun! ### PS. It probably isn´t a good idea to choose treescript for long phrases... ### PS(2). Uhm... We don´t write on trees, ok? If a tree has something to say to you, that´s different - writing is allowed. But if you want to write treescript, please do it on paper; made out of dead leaves preferably. So nice of you to remember this! Thank you!
    Updated 01-16-2018 at 08:10 AM by Erran