Category Archives: Uncategorized

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic

I started playing WRSR. Here are some findings I made.

Antonopol

My first republic started with a zero population, and I started building a coal mine, coal power plant close to the NATO-border with the intention of exporting electricity for dollars.

  • Coal Power plants use Coal, not Coal Ore. I ended up importing Coal, not using the Coal Ore of the connected mine, for a long time without realising my mistake.
  • It is imperative to make sure there are always enough worker in your Coal Power Plant.
  • Dollars are nice, but a positive Rubles cash flow is probably a better thing to aim for first.
  • A central heating station does not use very much coal. Completely unecessary to connect it to a mine, or as I did, build a railway to it.
  • Trains have huge capacity, and it can be tricky to make them load/unload/leave as you want.
  • Since I intended to have plenty of electric power I used electric trains. You can probably save money going with cheaper lines and locomotive in the early game.
  • Kindergarden, after a while it is not enough with one.
  • Buses: I build one residential village, with one bus station. From there I built bus lines to my specific industries and mines. The workers get on the first bus that arrives, regardless where it goes! For the moment I think each bus line should first go to a small important work place (such as the powerstation) and after that to a large less important work place (such as a mine). That should maximise the chance that your key workplaces are well supplied with well educated workers (this needs to be tested).
  • Electricity: perhaps it is better to just import electricity from the soviet border (and start your republic with some factories importing raw materials).
  • Starting with population is probably a better thing. It seems you get “dormant villages”, with a church that you can otherwise not build, that is probably quite fine.

Bokovskopol

My second republic starts with some villages. Trying a Coal/Iron/Steel economy.

  • Trying to supply 2 power plants and 1 steel mill with Coal, I ended up in a situation where the power plants were not properly supplied and regularly had to buy Coal.
  • If two trains load Coal the same resources at the same aggregate loading, both may be half full, and none ready to leave.
  • If connecting a power plant and an aggregate loading to the same Coal processing plant, there is a risk that the powerplant will be starved by the loading trains, despite there is product.
  • It is tempting to use trucks instead of trains, perhaps easier, but I am not sure it was so smart.
  • It is fine to start importing electricity from your neighbour. But you can’t import that much from a single neighbour. If you build a refinery you may realise that you soon need more power.
  • Don’t forget walking paths!

Caterinagrad

I try an Oil-empire relying on imported energy (for a while). Starting close to the Soviet border where there is both electricity and railroad, and in an area with many oil resources seems good.

  • Bauxit Mines benefit much form buying excavators!
  • You can chain aggregates and storages to essentially make them larger. You still need to plan, and perhaps plan for the future.
  • When you build an advanced industry like a refinery or an aluminum plant, it will take long time before you have scaled up to full resource input and full work force. Make sure you always have all input resources available.
  • When borrowing money you start paying back immediately. So you cash flow will be bad, and you must likely need to borrow more money to repay the first loan. I tend to borrow money monthly, enough for paying back my old loans and for the investments I need.
  • Refineries are good
  • Trains are good, and not weather dependent a trucks
  • Heating stations (and other essential buildings) should be allowed to buy their inventory if you fail to supply yourself.
  • Stockpile everything you consume and produce in industries. It is rather cheap. A steel mill requires power, people, coal and iron at the same time. Don’t be out of coal or iron.
  • Have many gas stations and technical services.

Dorkutsk

Dorkutsk is a Nuclear republic exporting electricity. After 5M Rubels of investments on an empty map I have what it takes to run a single reactor nuclear power plant on full power and export electricity for profit.

Tasting Johnny Walker

For a while I have been trying whisky head to head, all kinds of whisky, writing notes and making a ranking.

I came to wonder, why is blended whisky not as good as single malt? For the same money of course. I mean, a master blender can make a whisky from all the destilleries he wants following fewer rules, than someone making a single malt. The master blender should be able to produce a better product for the same money.

Is single malt really better? Better value?

I decided to buy a range of Johnny Walker blends: Red, Black, Gold, 18YO and Blue. I will try them head to head against single malts in the same price range (except for JW Red).

Here follows my head to head tasting notes. For the ranking, I am including Johnny Walker in my regular list (linked above).

JW Red Label vs J&B: I do a blind tasting. B is paler than A. B smells just lika a blend and very little of what I appreciate with whisky. A is marginally better, or I am just fooled by the darker color. I taste A, and I dont find it that bad. Over to B, it is worse, definitely. Back to A, it is not good, but it has something. A wins, and i guess it is JW (and it was).

JW Red Label vs Grants: Very similar color, perhaps Red being slightly darker. On the nose, very similar, perhaps Grants smells more like a real whisky. Also, in the mouth, there is something about Grants that convinces me more. Yes, Grants is more like the real thing, and I like it better.

JW Red Label vs Talisman: JW much darker in color. There is something about the aroma that makes me prefer the slightly softer and less chemical RW. Yes, it is the same with taste, JW is somewhat richer and softer and less chemical.

JW Black Label vs Old Pulteney 12: If I buy these today in my store they are exactly the same price. They are both 12YO. I blind taste. One (B) is more dark and red in color, the other (A) a bit more pale and brown. Not so much difference. Putting both to my nose I was sure both were Black Label! So it is not that easy to pick out the single malt. A, the slightly more pale whisky, has a richer, more complex and more soft creamy caramel aroma. B smells more alcohol and I find it harder to identify anything particular. I taste B, it is a bit salty, quite soft, a some bitterness lingering. I taste A, and it has a much more particular flavour: nutty and creamy, less balanced and subtle. Over to B again, it strikes me as somewhat peated and smoked.

I feel very confident that B is Johnny Walker. And I was correct.

Apart from the taste itself, Johnny Walker is a different experience to drink. It is first peated on the nose, it then comes softly into the mouth, grows and fades away. It is all very orchestrated. Old Pulteney is more raw and unrefined, yet soft, but perhaps not so balanced. If someone told me: they are the same price because they are equally good, that would be a bit of a relief actually.

But my rules are; there has to be a winner. And I choose Johnny Walker. First the elegant experience from the first smell to the final lingering taste. But it is also a very solid whisky with character: salty and a hint of peat, not a sweet sellout. Old Pulteney is tasty – definitely, but there is something experimental about it compared to the confidence of Johnny Walker.

I sometimes write “as blend” as a negative about aroma or taste. Whatever that is, Johnny Walker Black Label did not have (much) more of it than Old Pulteney 12.

JW Black Label vs Deanston Kentucky Cask Matured: JW much darker. Deanston has a soft vanilla and bourbon aroma, and JW is a bit thin, on the dry peated side. Deanston also has a soft vanilla and bourbon flavour. Black Label is, not sweet but not so much else. I find this Deanston delicate but thin, and yet the salty/peaty JW is even thinner. I enjoy Deanston more, in every way.

JW Black Label vs JW 18YO: Similar color. Both rather subtle on the nose, Black Label a bit more sour and salty, 18YO a bit more sweet. Same goes for the taste, and first impression is that they are equally complex and rich in flavour. I could say that these are equally good: Black Label is for those who prefer rough salt and peat, and 18YO is for those who prefer sweet flavours. But I think 18YO is better – unless you are looking for peat and roughness.

JW Black Label vs Glenlossie 9YO General Custard: JW very much darker. JW has a salty, slightly peated dry aroma. Glenlossie, light, malty vanilla and a bit pear. Tasting Glenlossie it balanced, a bit subtle, with not so dominant flavours. JW is surprisingly peated, very soft, oily and rich. I think I prefer Black Label.

JW Black Label vs Longrow 13 Red: Very similar color. Longrow has a rough aroma, salt and sea. Over to JW it is a bit candy and kind of sweet. Tasting Longrow a bit peated in a sour way, rich also a little margarine. JW is a bit dull and not quite up to it. Longrow wins.

JW Black Label vs Highland Park 10 Viking Scars: JW darker in color. HP is malty, fresh, light and a bit peated on the nose. JW is more heavy but more subtle. HP tastes good, quite light, dry in the mouth, with some sweetness. JW is soft with distinct peat flavour, but it is more anonymous and uninteresting. HP wins.

JW Gold Label vs Glenfiddich 15 Solera Reserve: Again, these are exactly the same price in my store, and I am doing blind tasting. Color is probably identical, perhaps (A) is somewhat darker. A has a soft, sweet aroma, but B perhaps even more so. They are quite similar. Very similar. Well, I find B more fruity and fresh. A is a bit thicker – that could be more Sherry – which someone else could prefer while I dont. From smell and prejudice only, I would guess JW is A. Lets taste. A is surprisingly dry, perhaps not salted but a littler bitter – I would have expected a sweeter flavour. B is more of an explosion of flavours in the mouth, also some lingering bitterness. Back to A, I am not so impressed, a bit metallic in my mouth. And over to B, it is rather soft and fruity. Yes, I am quite confident now, that A has quite much blend character and that it is JW, and B is Glenfiddich. B wins in any case.

And it turns out I was right. Glenfiddich wins.

JW Gold Label vs Balvenie 12 Double Wood: Again, exactly the same price, but no blind test this time. Very similar color. Balvenie has a soft, kind of nutty and malty aroma, while JW has something alcohol/blend and sharp about it. Tasting both, I definitely find Balvenie easier to enjoy. Balvenie is more malty and full in the mouth, JW is a more sour, bitter and closed experience.

JW Gold Label vs Jameson Black Barrel: JW slightly paler. Jameson has a sweet smooth caramel-bourbon aroma. JW is more subtle, and more dry. It is the same when it comes to flavour, and the difference in character is so massive that it is hard to compare. In the end, there is something sweet and naive about Jameson and the more sophisticated JW wins, a narrow victory.

JW Gold Label vs Glenmorangie 10: JW much darker. JW is also heavier and more oily on the nose. Glenmorangie is more vanilla and caramel. They taste surprisingly similar. JW has a bit more of leather/oil flavour and also some more bitternes. Glenmorangie is softer and richer in flavour, and it wins (and it kind of wins the soft/sweet game of blended gold label).

JW Gold Label vs Balvenie 14 Caribbean: JW is slightly darker. Balvenie has more bourbon aroma, JW is more leather and oil. It is kind of the same when tasting them, Balvenie is the sweeter and softer, Gold Label has more character. Unless all you want is soft and sweet, JW is the better and more interesting whisky.

JW Gold Label vs Glenfiddich 12: Isn’t this the comparision of giants? Glenfiddich is a little paler. First impression is that Gold label has a thicker and more oily aroma, Glenfiddich is more subtle dry malty aroma. Glenfiddich is simple yet excellent in the mouth. JW has that oily, leathery, dirty kick (like Loch Lomond) – it is a surprisingly dominant characteristic for a blend like this. This is very close. JW is sweeter, thicker, richer. Glenfiddich is fresher, saltier and more complex. I personally prefer Glenfiddich, but I somehow have a feeling that I fail to appreciate why JW is the better whisky. But I like fresh and salt, so Glenfiddich it is.

JW Gold Label vs Glen Moray: JW a bit darker, and on the nose a bit oily, dirty, and almost peated. Glen Moray lighter, fruitier, a classic malt aroma. Tasting Glen Moray, it is rather dry and it lingers quite nicely. But it is rather sublte and very balanced. JW a bit peated, a little bitter and very balanced. I think I prefer Glen Moray, it is simple and good, and JW simply does not impress and I don’t like the flavour too much.

JW 18YO vs Glenlivet 18YO: Again I blind taste, and JW is a bit more expensive. Very similar color. A has a smooth, rich, malty caramel aroma, very nice. After that, B strikes me as a blend: thin and much alcohol smell. I try more with B, and there is a nice subtle sweetness, sure there is. I taste B, it is softly everywhere in the mount, nothing bad at all, and very typical scotch (speyside) malt whisky. I taste A, it is saltier, rougher, less sweet, yet soft. My honest conclusion must be that A is the better whisky. If you just want light, smooth and slightly more sweet you might prefer B. I am quite sure B is JW (and it was).

JW 18YO vs Glenmorangie 10: JW is darker. Glenmorangie is a bit lighter and fresher on the nose, JW is more sweet and deep. Tasting JW I find it quite subtle and delicate (not heavy/rich), but it tastes very very good. Over to Glenmorangie, it is as complex and rich as JW, but JW simply tastes better. It makes Glenmorangie bitter. JW wins.

JW 18YO vs Glenfiddich 18: Same color. Glenfiddich has a more dry (like hay) aroma, and JW is more sweet (like sweet wine). They taste very different (in line with the aroma). JW has a very elegant sweetness and balance. Glenfiddich is like a rebel, tasting artichokes and salt, yet very soft. I prefer Glenfiddich: it makes JW taste bitter and boring.

JW 18YO vs Macallan Fine Oak: JW darker in color and stronger aroma, but more like a blend. Taste is quite similar, but Macallan is rich and soft enough to win.

JW 18YO vs Deanston Kentucky Cask: Deanston is much paler, but it has more aroma: a somewhat spicy and fruity vanilla aroma. JW is more subtle, it comes after a while, mostly elegantly sweet. JW has a soft, malty sweet flavour, very little bitterness and a hint of sweetness. Deanston is more like bourbon, caramel and vanilla, but it is a little bit strange in flavour. Deanston lacks the balance and sofistication of JW, and JW wins.

JW 18YO vs Aberfeldy 16: JW a little bit darker, very similar. JW has a very classic whisky aroma, very little surprises. Aberfeldy a little more fruit and wine. JW perhaps a hint of peat, and a hint of mint, and not so little character. Aberfeldy tastes good, creamy and caramel. JW a little more dry, very soft and balanced. A hint of mint, and JW is more dry and malty than Aberfeldy. These whiskies are rather similar. JW is a bit more oily and heavy, Aberfeldy a little bit more fresh. Very narrow victory to JW.

JW Blue Label vs Glenlivet 21YO Archive: I blind taste, and JW is a bit more expensive. Very similar color, A is probably slightly paler, and its aroma is actually dominated by smooth peat. B has more the aroma of malt, honey and caramel. I taste B and it is rich, full of flavour, and very well balanced. I taste A, it is softly dominated by peat, but it is more thin and it fades away. Well, anyone who simply prefers more peat will prefer A, but then there are more peated whiskies to find. I really appreciate both, and they are both very tasty, but by an criteria I can argue for, B is the better whisky. And I am quite sure B is Glenlivet (I was right).

JW Blue Label vs Highland Park 18: JW is about twice the price, and I blind taste. Very similar color, both are beautiful kind of dark brown, if I had to make a difference, A is darker. A has a thick aroma of leather and oil. B is surprisingly light and thin after A. There is some peat in B, and there is some bourbon, even fruitiness in A.

I taste B and find it very soft and easy to enjoy, with hints of peat, salt and Island whisky. I taste A and also find it soft, but it more raw and salty, yet less peated. There is also some sourness to A (that could be a hint of peat). Over to be, is is more soft and refined, and more openly peated.

I am happy to compare these two whiskies, they are similar enough, yet different.

I come back after a while and in A I feel more fruity aroma, almost like sherry. B more clearly has peat and island character. Tasting both, back and forth, A is much sweeter, in a sherry way, and more powerful, while B remains the softer (yet peated) whisky.

After trying different positions, arguing with myself, and getting back to them i different order I must decide that A is better than B. And I am very sure A is Highland Park (and it was).

JW Blue Label vs Longrow: JW is darker. On the nose JW is softer and Longrow saltier (and perhaps more peated). Tasting both, my first impression is that Longrow is thinner, more sour, and more peated. Yes, the very balanced, soft, rich and complex JW tastes better than Longrow (which is very unrefined and raw in comparison).

JW Blue Label vs Dufftown 18: Same quite dark color. Dufftown is very balanced, rich and elegant on the nose. JW clearly peated compared to Dufftown. JW kind of richer (and peated) in flavour, but it fades quite quickly, Dufftown a bit sweeter and more lingering, but lighter. I could argue both ways here, Dufftown is more elegant and easy to enjoy and JW is a bit heavier and both have more and less quality in different ways. I will give JW a narrow victory.

D&D: OSR or 5th edition?

There are many versions of D&D and there are things to be aware of before you just go with the latest and very popular 5th edition.

All versions of D&D and the so called Old-School-Revival retroclones share many things. Characters have hit dice depending on class (1d4 to 1d12 per level), with slightly more generous dice in newer versions.

Monsters also have hit dice (usually number of d8 HP). Look at this little table of average HP for different monsters in different versions:

AD&D 1eAD&D 2eD&D 3eD&D 5e
Men/Bandit1-6 (4)2d8+2 (11)
Bugbear3+1 (15)3+1 (15)3d8+3 (17)5d8+5 (27)
Hydra (5H)5 (23)5 (23)5d10+28 (55)15d12+75 (172)
Owlbear5+2 (25)5+2 (25)5d10+25 (52)7d10+21 (59)
Werewolf4+3 (21)4+3 (21)3d8+7 (21)9d8+18 (58)
Zombie2 (9)2 (9)2d12+3 (16)3d8+9 (22)

Weapons make roughly the same damage (Longsword 1d8) in all versions.

About Men/Bandit, Monster Manual for 1e states: For every 20 bandits encountered there will be an additional 3rd level fighter. Compare this to 5e, where every bandit essentially is level 2.

Consequences for fights

Fights in 1e/2e are faster because enemies have less hitpoints. They are also less detailed than 3e/5e where special abilities, feats, action economy, bonus actions and reactions are part of every round. In 1e/2e it is more like you have one attack and you can move.

You can argue however you want: rolling/counting to 21 (werewolf 2e) is quicker than rolling/counting to 58 (5e).

Sometimes this difference is called “fighting as battle vs fighting as sport”.

5e is more demanding on the DM and the Players when it comes to tactics. It is more like a miniature war game or collectible card game where it pays of for the players to create combos, optimize characters and prepare tactics for their group or characters.

Consequences for the World

AD&D 1e/2e comes with the idea that most people in the world are common people. They have no class and no special abilities. This applies to bandits, soldiers but also to orcs and goblins that the PCs may encounter. Veteran was the title of a 1st level fighter in Basic D&D.

D&D 5e comes with the idea that common enemies are much more than ordinary people. Veteran in 5e monster manual has 9d8+18 HP.

Consequences for your Campaign

Don’t be mistaken and believe that 5e is deadlier and more difficult. HP is not everything, 5e is balanced differently when it comes to AC, saving throws and other things. Many people witness that the characters become super heroes quite quickly in 5e.

5e allows you to throw in more powerful goblins to challenge your more powerful characters. AD&D expects you to challenge the players with genuinely more powerful monsters, or more goblins using other tactics.

To me, AD&D feels like the PCs are becoming heroes in the same world as they started. But 5e feels like a game where the PCs travel to new places where everything is much more powerful and dangerous than where they came from (like in World of Warcraft, with different regions for players of different power).

OSR – Old School Revival

I would argue that this difference between AD&D on one hand, and 3e/5e on the other hand is significant. You can not quite play the same way in AD&D and 5e, and if you try you may end up disappointed.

After many years of not playing D&D at all, I just bought D&D 5e without thinking too much about the differences. I expected to use it like AD&D 2e. I think that was a mistake, I am not happy with 5e, and I am going back.

I am not alone. Many people prefer older versions of D&D and old style of play (Old School Revival). You and your group can make your choice!

When it comes to OSR there are many options to AD&D 1e/2e! Basic D&D (or Classic) was a simplified version of AD&D 1e (that is a simplification) that for the purposes of this article is similar to AD&D 1e/2e and different from 3e/5e. There are also retroclones that are newly edited and highly compatible inoffical versions of D&D.

AD&D 1e: Can be bought printed or as PDF from dmsguild.com. I am too young to ever have played it, I bought it for fun recently, and I don’t quite feel like playing it. It is complex in unnecessary ways.

AD&D 2e: Can be bought printed or as PDF from dmsguild.com. If you like a more advanced game, this may be your best OSR option.

Basic D&D: Can be bought as PDF from dmsguild. There are different versions (Holmes, Moldvay B/X, Mentzer BECMI) and the last version was packaged in a single book called Rules Cyclopedia that can be bought as PDF or print from dmsguild.

Basic Fantasy RPG: An entirely free to download clone.

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Based on Basic D&D, it adds a lot of innovation and it is more of a different game. Perhaps not for beginners.

Old School Essentials: A premium B/X clone. You get more content for less money if you go for Rules Cyclopedia. OSE is a arguably nicer if you prefer less is more, it has a better look and feel, and it is probably the best beginners game.

Conclusion

Play whatever version of D&D with your friends that you like! But do not just get D&D 5e assuming it is just the latest, most revised and best version. It is a rather different game from the old games of the 70s-80s-90s that made D&D popular. The differences may be subtle at first, but will become more important over time.

Sinkadus om Dungeons & Dragons

Uppdatering 2020-09-18: Jag postade en tråd på rollspel.nu och en del intressanta saker framkom.

Vad kunde man läsa i slutet av 80-talet och början av 90-talet i Äventyrsspels hustidning Sinkadus, om det konkurrerande spelet Dungeons & Dragons?

Nedan är vad jag funnit, men notera att:

  • Jag kan ha missat något
  • Jag kan ha utelämnat något obetydligt omnämnande
  • Jag har klippt, och försökt göra det på ett rättvisande sätt
  • Mina egna kommentarer som […kommentar…]

Sinkadus #15: Engelska spel

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Detta är den mest populära versionen av det första rollspelet någonsin. Spelet omfattar idag åtta tjocka böcker ofta skrivna på halvdålig engelska. I dessa kan man finna regler för det mesta en rollperson kan råka ut för. Spelets problem är ett rätt trist stridssystem och att man bara konstruerar sin rollperson efter strikta mallar. Det märks att det var det första rollspelet; efterföljarna har lärt sig av AD&Ds misstag. AD&Ds starka sida är att det finns mycket gott om moduler och äventyr till spelet; få har råd att köpa alla.

(Protest! Inte ens med allra godaste vilja kan man kalla AD&D för ett enkelt spel [Sinkadus hade själv kategoriserat det som Enkelt och protesterade mot sig själva]! I sin urpsrungliga version, dvs Players Handbook och Dungeon Master’s Guide, var det på sin höjd medelsvårt, men i och med de otaliga regeltillägg som kommit i Unearthed Arcana, Dragons, två st Survival Guides, Greyhawk Adventures, m.m., har ett redan expansivt spel blivit totalt oöverskådligt! Spelets grundidé, ett snabbt och enkelt stridssystem, har totalt förfelats genom alla de modifikationer som måste göras.)

Sinkadus #15: Insändare med svar

Insändare: Skriv ett kontrakt med Titan Games och ta med Dungeons & Dragons i Sinkadus. I Drakar och Demoner Gigant är det aldrig någon action, inga kraftfulla besvärjelser, inga coola monster. Varför skriver ni alltid så mycket om allt ointressant som politik och religion. Det är väl bra om ni skriver lite om det, men när halva Gigant var en massa utfyllnadsartiklar blir det ju bizzart.

Svar: Titan [utgivaren av D&D i Sverige] har inte rätt att skriva några sådana kontrakt. Och även om det skulle gå, skulle vi inte vara särskillt intresserade. Vad menar ni förresten med “coola monster”? Skicka in ett par förslag så vi vet vad ni menar. Skälet till att vi inte har just de monster ni eftertraktar beror antagligen på att ingen annan vill ha dem. Vi skulle inte ha kunnat sälja så många Gigant till våra kunder om de inte hade uppskattat den typen av artikar som ni uppenbart ogillar. Men – om det bara är monster och häftiga besvärjelser ni är ute efter, så kan ni gott spela Dungeons & Dragons även i fortsättningen.

Sinkadus #16: Insändare med svar

Insändare: Jag vill inte rikta denna kritik mot Äventyrsspel, utan till hela rollspelsgenren och dess utövare. I början var rollspelen mera en sorts regelfixerad grottforskningsövning vilket speglas väl i sådana klassiska mastodontverk som AD&D och dess tidiga biprodukter. I början av 80-talet syntes dock en tydlig förändring till det bättre med klassiker som Runequest och Traveller. Men med rollspelens definitiva intåg i Sverige med den lilla hederliga lådan (första utgåvan av Drakar och Demoner, som jag nog kan hitta i någon dammig byrålåda därhemma) började åtminstone här i Sverige en förändring av hobbyn. […lång fortsättning där insändaren ondgör sig över rollspelare som fastnar i regelboken istället för att rollspela…]

Svar: Tänker ni låta det här stå oemotsagt? Har han rätt, går vi mot en rollspelsvärld där den regelfixerade “vänta-ett-ögonblick-jag-ska-bara-kolla-den-här-modifikationen-i-tabell-si-och-så” helt kommer att dominera?

Sinkadus #17: Insändare

Insändare: Vad menar egentligen valparna med “coola monster”? Jo, att det ska finnas minst 800 mer än sjuka, fullständigt otroliga varelser som endast existerar för att slå ihjäl! Enligt min åsikt ett tämligen meningsklöst livsmål. Pojkar (ev flickor) små, spela ni Dungeons & Dragons och låt Äventyrsspels redaktion slippa bry sina huvuden med vansinniga fantasifoster, och istället få tid att framställa interessanta äventyr som exepelvis Marsklandet, där spelarna kan få välja vad de vill göra och inte bara får hålla på att slå ihjäl “coola monster” och ta deras miljontals “häftiga magiska prylar”.

Sinkadus #17: Insändare och svar

Insändare: Att ha en överblick av engelska rollspel i Sinkadus var bra, men att ha med material till andra än Äventyrsspels egna tror jag inte är så lämpligt. Speciellt inte “slayer-spel” som D&D, hur coola besvärjelser och varelser (Rostmonster! Ha!) det än finns. Det som står i Gigant om politik och religion, som är så “o-coolt” enligt Z är till för att bygga upp en spelvärld, som är mycket “coolare” än ett 30-rums grottkomplex inhysande allehanda “coola” monster. Men om du, Z tycker att rundvandringar i grottor och att döda monster är “coolare”, så kan du, som Red svarade, hålla dig till D&D.

Svar: Om det kan tyckas som att vi hackar mer än en gång på Dungeons & Dragons, så beror det huvudsakligen inte på att det är en konkurrent som har gett ut spelet. Äventyrsspel fick erbjudandet att göra spelet på svenska för ett antal år sedan, men vi tackade nej. Läs vad Åke Eldberg har att säga i sin artikel om moral i rollspel för en farklaring till varför vi inte är så överdrivet förtjusta i D&D.

Sinkadus #18: Etik – Spelsystemets betydelse

Vissa rollspelssystem inbjuder på ett försåtligt sätt till omoral. I det välkända Dungeons & Dragons finns något som kalla “alignment”, vilket ungefär betyder “grundläggande livsinställning”. Det innebär att alla varelser antingen är goda, neutrala eller onda. När man skapar en ny rollperson kan spelaren själv välja hur hans rollperson ska vara. Det är en inbjudan till verkliga dumheter. […] Ett system med förvalda livsinställningar är alltså bedrägligt. Om man är ond eller god kan bara bedömas utifrån vad man göra. Dungeons & Dragons system påminner på ett obehagligt sätt om hur nazisterna definierade judarna som “onda” och behandlade dem därefter.

Sinkadus #18: Insändare och svar

Insändare: Polarstation Z anropar – en tämligen lång och dryg insändare som berättar att D&D är bra, och att D&D Expert har regler för spel utomhus.

Insändare: Jag har med växande irritation sett hur Dungeons & Dragons har blivit något av ett skällsord i Brevspalten. […]

Svar: Jovisst, D&D har det du säger att det har – märkliga monster, skatter, action laddad spelstil, mängder av äventyr – men varför är vi så kritiska mot det. Jo, för att hela spelidén tycks bygga enbart på att man skall slå ihjäl alla de fantastiska monstren och omedlebart stjäla deras sagolika skatter. Skillnaden mot Drakar och Demoner är att du inte har detta inbyggt som en gruläggande förutsättning i spelet. Se även Åke Eldbergs artikel om moral i rollspel i det här numret för en närmare diskussion om det problemet.

Sinkadus #30: Insändare och svar

Insändare: Varför anser så många (särskilt bland äldre rollspelare) att svenska rollspel är “barnsliga” och “töntiga” i jämförelse med engelska och amerikanska? Jag har hört uttryck som Drakaj och Demonej och Drakar och Fiffel. Dessutom ska t ex AD&D vara så JÄTTEAVANCERAT och hela Drakar och Demoner-genren så SIMPEL, regelmässigt sett i alla fall.

Svar: Anledningen till att en massa 17-25-åriga spelare tycker att engelska rollspel är mycket mer avancerade och bättre är för att de är skrivna på engelska. De befinner sig nämligen i en ålder när man skäms över allt som man gjorde när man var yngre, och dessutom inte vill spela samma spel som sina småskyskon – dvs svenska rollspel. Det här är däremot en period som går över – när de blir äldre och mognare skäms de inte längre för att de spelar svenska rollspel. Till den här attityden bidrar många äldre spelare som aldrig har spelat svenska rollspel – de är irriterade på att en massa elvaåringar spelar somma spel som de, och tycker därför att spel som barn kan spela måste vara mycket barnsligare än de amerikanska spel som de själva spelar. Dessutom låter ju allt “häftigare” på engelska. I USA är Advanced Dungeons & Dragons ett utpräglat nybörjarspel för att reglerna är så osofistikerade. Jag har själv spelat AD&D i snart elva år, och jag kan intyga att Expert är ett bättre spel.

Sinkadus #31: Nyheter utifrån

TSR: Det har kommit en ny version av gamla ärevördiga Dungeons & Dragons. Det borde vara en het nyhet för D&D-fansen, men frågan är om inte TSR har tagit i lite för mycket. Spelet är detsamma men förpackningen gör att spelet verkar vara ämnat helt och hållet för rollspelsnybörjarna – med kanske inte helt lyckat resultat. […]

Sinkadus #31: Insändare

Insändare: I och med mitt brev i förra numret hoppas jag verkligen att åtminstone några engelksälskande Drakar och Demoner-hatara fick upp ögonen (om de nu läser Sinkadus) för den enkla sanningen: Drakar och Demoner, inklusive Gigant, är ett av de bästa fantasyrollspelen på marknaden. […] Samtidigt vill jag försvara mig mot dem som kanske fick uppfattningen att jag ogillar AD&D; jag spelade detta spel under en treårsperiod förut, och det gav mig mycket av den kärlek jag har till fantasy. AD&D är annorlunda, är ofta mycket mer sagofullt än Drakar och Demoner, men störs lite av ett ganska tillknäppt regelsystem. Kul var det emertid att möta (små) goblins och hill giants.

Sinkadus #32: Insändare och Svar

Diskussion om vissa rollspel är bättre än andra, och redaktionen medger att det är en personlig uppfattning.

Sinkadus #36: Rollspelens Historia

Detta är en lång (och någorlunda läsvärd) artikel som jag inte alls ska citera i sin helhet.

“D&Ds livssynsystem och uppdelningen av alla tänkade varelser i kaotiska, lagfulla eller neutrala är slutligen hämtat från Michael Moorcooks böcker”

“det kom snart andra rollspel […] som representerade en utveckling bort från D&Ds ganska stereotypa monsterbankande”

“I D&D och de tidiga systemen finns egentligen inte mycket uppmuntran till eller hjälp att skapa en personlighet åt rollpersonen. Han fungerar i stor utsträckning som en sorts stridsmaskin”

“D&Ds system med moralisk livssyn […] hindrar egentligen rollagerandet”

“Titan Games, som översatte Basic Dungeons & Dragons till svenska. Detta var ett försök till en kulturgärning genom att göra rollspelens ursprung tillgängligt för svenska spelare, men eftersom spelsystemet i sig inte hade några nyheter att bjuda på blev det av naturliga skäl aldrig särskilt populärt”

“redan i slutet på 70-talet, faktiskt redan med AD&D som gav spelarna möjlighet att åtminstone då och då få klättra upp ur de trånga fuktiga grottor som hade varit D&Ds hemvist. Redan några av de första rollspelen efter D&D och AD&D frångick dessas groteska erfarenhetssystem, där det enda sättet att bli bättre på var att döda ånga monster och framför allt att hitta stora skatter”

“D&Ds stela stridssystem ersattes också snart av smidigare och mer realistiska regler, med pareringar och färre kroppspoäng [i andra spel då alltså]”

Analys

Vad kan vi göra av detta? Jag tycker nog det är rimligt att påstå att D&D beskrevs på ett övervägande negativt sätt i Sinkadus. En del negativt som skrevs i Sinkadus var insändare. Men det är ändå upp till redaktionen att välja vad som publiceras, och det var unga människor som skrev. Jag tycker nog att de fulare sakerna till stor del inte var insändare.

Min bakgrund

Jag spelade både Drakar och Demoner (mest Expert och DoD-91) och Dungeons & Dragons (Titan Games och senare AD&D 2e). Jag spelade också många andra rollspel, mest då: Western, Khelataar, Skuggornas mästare och Rolemaster. Där jag växte upp var allt lika töntigt. Ingen brydde sig om jag spelade DoD eller D&D. Det var inte heller så att våra äventyr, berättelser, karaktärer var speciellt annorlunda i DoD eller D&D. Det var reglerna som skiljde: inte huruvida det var grottor, monsterdödande, karaktärsutveckling, rollspel, problemlösning eller politik. Men de kampanjerna som överlevde längst, som gjorde störst intryck, vars karaktärer vi minns idag, och som vi fortfarande kan prata om, de spelade vi i D&D och AD&D.

Nybörjare

När man läser Sinkadus får man en blandad bild av synen på nybörjare. Nybörjare används som ett skällsord om målgruppen för en ny D&D-box (S#31). De som inte gillar Gigant (politik och religion tydligen, själv minns jag Gigant lite som en besvikelse) kan lika gärna spela D&D (S#15). Och samtidigt förstår Äventyrsspel att nybörjare – unga svenska spelare som har svårt för engelska – är deras kärngrupp (S#30).

Moral

Att i en artikel om Etik jämföra alignment-systemet i D&D med nazisterna (S#18) verkar lite godhetssignallerande (redan i början av 90-talet), och när det kommer från bolaget som sedan släppte Kult (appropå Etik) förefaller det mest vara hyckleri. För egen del har systemet med livsåskådningar i D&D aldrig varit viktigt, men spelets rötter i Moorcook är sådana (S#36).

Så här 2020 kan man ju dessutom reflektera över begreppet “svartfolk”.

Karaktärsutveckling

Jag har faktiskt svårt att förstå vad som menas med “I D&D och de tidiga systemen finns egentligen inte mycket uppmuntran till eller hjälp att skapa en personlighet åt rollpersonen”, eller rättare sagt: vad finns i DoD Expert?

I DoD Expert, om man börjar som Jägare eller Stråtrövare, och som sin del av karaktärsutvecklingen vill bli dubbad till Riddare, så är det tämligen oöverstigligt att lära sig Rida, Lans och Slagsvärd. Även en Krigare som råkade börja spelet med en stridsyxa eller morgonstjärna har svårt att någonsin blir Riddare med svärd.

I DoD Expert, om man skulle vilja spela en karaktär som Elric på omslagen till DoD, så överlever man inte länge. Utan rustning på armar och ben är man ett lätt offer för vilket gäng svartnissar som helst. Och den som vill spela en barbar utan rustning har ännu mindre chans.

I DoD Expert är det svårt att föreställa sig den magiker som byter magiskola efter några år.

Därmed inte sagt att D&D eller AD&D är perfekt. Det tycker jag inte.

Grottor

Temat om grottäventyr återkommer. Men som S#36 själv konstaterar, redan i slutet av 70-talet fanns regler för spel ovan jord – dvs innan DoD alls var släppt. Wilderness Survival Guide släpptes 1986 (alltså samtidigt som S#5, och före allt ovanstående) och är en av de böcker som S#15 ondgör sig över.

Sinkadus är för övrigt inte direkt befriat från äventyr i grottor.

Monster

Jag ägde D&D Basic + Expert och DoD Monsterboken I & II. Jag tycker det är hårklyverier att säga att fokus på monster är så olika. Äventyrsspels Monsterböcker är för övrigt bland det finaste de producerat.

Erfarenhetspoäng (och OSR)

Enligt S#36 är erfarenhetssystemet i D&D groteskt. Spelets ursprung handlar om utforskning, överlevnad, begränsade resurser och att finna förlorade rikedomar och ta hem dem till civilisationen. Att det sedan fanns lika många spelstilar som spelgrupper är en annan sak.

Det är betydligt enklare att belöna sina spelare med EP för något annat i D&D, än det är att ändra stridsreglerna i DoD Expert så att det går att spela Conan eller Elric.

Fokus på strid

D&D beskrivs nedlåtande som actionladdat (S#18) och monsterbankande (S#36). DoD Expert har följande mekanismer för strid som saknas i D&D:

  • Parader
  • Brytvärde
  • Kroppdelar (med kroppspoäng, att träffa, och att ha rustning på)
  • Olika storlekar på sköldar
  • Olika färdigheter för olika vapen
  • STY-grupp (heter det så?) på vapen

Varför skulle D&D vara mer actionladdat, när DoD Expert lägger så mycker mer fokus på detaljer i strid?

Nedlåtande Arrogans

Det här med dålig engelska (S#15), märkliga monster (S#18), osofistikerat utpräglat nybörjarspel (S#30), kulturgärning (S36) förefaller bara vara arrogant högmod – som går före fall. Och då har jag bara citerat redaktionen, inte vad som passerade på insändarsidorna.

Slutsats

Som jag skrev så växte jag upp i en miljö där ingen brydde sig om det var Drakar och Demoner eller Dungeons & Dragons.

Men jag har senare, lång senare, upplevt att många spelare har en ganska negativ syn på Dungeons & Dragons utan att de för den skulle har spelat det särskillt mycket, eller alls.

Jag förvånas över rollspelare som lyfter fram vikten av “seriöst rollspel och karaktärsutveckling” inte ser att att enkelt spelsystem som inte är i vägen är precis vad som möjliggör detta.

Jag kan förstå, och se, Äventyrsspels utmaningar under 90-talet att både behålla gamla spelare, rekrytera nya spelare, och konkurrera med både svenska och utländska alternativ. Nu vet vi hur det gick. Äventyrsspel gick under, och för Drakar och Demoner kom en lång sorglig ökenvandring, som varumärket aldrig verkar hämta sig från. Vad som hade behövts, istället för att snacka skit om Dungeons & Dragons, hade varit ett tydligt fokus på att göra Drakar och Demoner till en bättre produkt och en tydlig uppfattning om sin målgrupp. Chronopia och Kult visar att man missade båda målen.

Kan det vara så att dessa texter i Sinkadus har haft en stor påverkan på svenska rollspelares uppfattning om Dungeons & Dragons, och att de till stor del är missledda? Nu är detta 30 år gamla texter, men fördomarna, missuppfattningarna och intolerans snarare än nyfikenhet mot de som gillar andra spel lever kvar. Tycker jag.

Vi rollspelare i detta lilla land borde kunna lite bättre. Eller?

Infinity Whisky Bottle – Good Idea?

I am not going to explain what an Infinit Bottle is. Use Google.

And I am not ready to just planlessly add my whisky remains to a bottle either. But I will experiment a little.

Motörhead + Storm

Motörhead and Storm are two whiskies in the lower part of my head-to-head ranking. I am almost out of of both of them and I am bored of them, so they could be good candidates for going into an Infinity bottle. Storm is too dry and bodyless. Motörhead is too sweet. Do they taste better if mixed?

Color: quite obviously the mix falls between the pale Storm and the dark Motörhead. I am not goint to argue that the color of the mix is more appealing.

Aroma: Motörhead has a very soft bourbon aroma. Storm has little aroma, a bit chemical. The mix is, quite obviously more balanced. It is much more promising than Storm, and not as in-your-face as Motörhead.

Taste: Being kind, Storm does not taste so bad. For being a blend it has some quality. Over to Motörhead, there are some very sweet dominant flavours that are not entirely nice. How about the 50/50-mix? Well, not too surprisingly it has less of the bad stuff than both the original whiskies. But it also has less of their characters – for good and for bad. In this particular case, my opinion is that it was more good than bad.

Conclusion: MotörStorm is better than both Motörhead and Storm

Goodbye One.com – Hi Inleed.se

I have been running this site on One.com for a few years. Yesterday I moved it to Inleed.se. Details about the moving of wordpress are found here.

On One.com

One.com has served me well. For a hobby non-profit site with a couple of dozen visitors per day the smallest package possible was fine (at about 50 Euros per year, including a domain).

A few weeks ago One.com informed me about new packages, and my little plan was being converted to the new little plan. At first it seemed fine: same price and more storage space (I use very little).

However, the day after the upgrade, I could not SSH into the server to edit a few files. It turned out SSH was no longer included in the most basic plans anymore. In a market economy, One.com can package their services the way they want. But

  • I had a feature (SSH) since years, it was removed from me
  • To get this feature back, my costs were doubled
  • No long term fix for an old customer was offered
  • SSH costs nothing to offer, SFTP was still available, so One.com had put effort into making my little plan less useful.

I use SSH (and linux shells) for everything. Production, test, development, professional servers, hobby servers, workstations, laptops, macOS, Linux, Windows, configuration, programming, and other work. It is just unproductive to not use SSH to

  • edit text files (.html, .js, .php, .htaccess, and so on)
  • check and fix file permissions
  • pack/unpack files
  • manage folders and files

So, as a customer, after expressing my dissatisfaction and getting no long term solution, I vote with my wallet and find another hosting company.

On Inleed.se

I have been a customer of Inleed.se for a few days so I can’t really write a review. But what I immediately notice is that compared to One.com

  • cheapest package is half price
  • …and includes much less storage
  • I get a cgi-bin folder (I don’t think One.com offered that, but not completely sure)
  • I get more than one database if I need
  • I can use SSH 🙂
  • … and there some kind of Node.js support: very interesting, I need to look into it!

So far so good!

Move WordPress to new Domain

I gave up my old web hotel (one.com) and moved to a new one (inleed.se) (read more about why here). As a wordpress blog owner, not being very familiar with MariaDB, Apache and PHP this can seem a bit scary.

However, it was quite fine. With a new web hotel and a database ready, this was basically the tools/steps required.

  1. Use WordPress Plugin Duplicator to produce a complete backup (a downloadable zip file) and a downloadable installer (installer.php)
  2. Configure .htaccess on new server to forward requests to a wordpress folder
  3. Upload backup-zip-file and installer.php to wordpress folder on new server
  4. Run installer (go to http://newsite/installer.php), follow instructions
  5. Use WordPress Plugin Velvet Blues Update Urls to make sure all my links point to newsite rather than oldsite.
  6. Create a .htaccess on old server to permanently forward traffic to new domain

I ended up doing this thing twice, learning the first time and perfecting it the second time.

.htaccess on new server

The purpose of this is to place wordpress in its own directory, while still not needing to expose that directory in the URLs.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www.)?techfindings.net$ 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/techfindings/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /techfindings/$1
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www.)?techfindings.net$ 
RewriteRule ^(/)?$ techfindings/index.php [L]
</IfModule>

So, wordpress is entirely installed in a directory named techfindings, but behaving like it was in my root. Any other page is served normally.

.htaccess on old server

I don’t want people to access the old site when the new site is up. This was a pretty simple and effective .htaccess file:

RedirectPermanent / https://techfindings.net/

This will be in place as long as my old domain is valid and hosted on the old web hotel.

Conclusion

Moving wordpress from one domain and server to another domain and server is perfectly possible with a good result.

Keeping open Whisky bottles

So, you open a bottle of whisky, drink a little now and then, and years later you wonder if it still tastes the same?

Here are my empiric notes:

Deanston 12: One of the bottles is opened since perhaps 2 years, and has been almost empty for months. Head to head, initially, I slightly prefer the old bottle on the nose. But tasting, going back and forth, it is the same whisky.

Famous Grouse: I have a plastic bottle of Famous Grouse with very little left in it. It has probably been open for 10 years. It actually tastes significantly worse – more burning and chemical – than a fresh bottle.

Lagavulin 1984: This bottle has been opened for almost 20 years and there is not much left. When it was newly opened I compared it to a standard Lagavulin 16. Then my experience was that 1984 and 16YO was very similar, but 1984 was a little extra. Today I opened a new Lagavulin 16 and compared to the 1984. The 1984 is much softer, I guess the ABV is lower, and both aroma and taste has a clear jerusalem artichoke element to it. My conclusion is that 1984 is definitely changed, not necessarily for the better, but it is not much worse either. It is still enjoyable (some people would probably prefer it for being softer), it is still a Lagavulin, but it is not exactly the same.

Glenmorangie 10: One bottle has been opened for perhaps 20 years and one is quite recently opened. On the nose, the young one has more of bourbon- and vanilla sweetness, while the old one has more synthetic candy character. The young one is soft in flavour and the old one is rather acrid. Well, the old one still has quality (compared it to a Chivas Regal 12) but it has degenerated a bit (unless Glenmorangie produced in 2000 was rather different from today).

Longrow: One bottle has been open a few years, now with very little left, the other one is just opened for the occation. Color is the same. The new bottle has a more peated aroma, the old bottle is more subtle. Same is true for taste. The difference is very marginal. In the end I am not quite sure there is any real difference, but it seems plausible that the old bottle lost a percent or two, got a bit softer, and lost a little peat.

Simple Vegetable Oil Lamp

WARNING: The lamp prototypes suggested below may not be safe for general use: especially not around children, left unattended, or close to anything flamable.

Oil Lamps

I got a beautiful Oil lamp that I use much.

Oil Lamp

This lamp uses Lamp Oil (kerosene, paraffin oil). When I bought that I was a little chocked with two thing:

  1. The price (compared to vegetable oil)
  2. How seriously poisonous it is (to the point I dont like to handle it, and I wonder if I want it at home at all)

However this “real” Oil lamp does not run well on vegetable oil (I have tried canola oil). It runs for a while but I think the problem is that the viscosity is too high so the oil does not flow properly upwards through the wick as required.

Vegetable Oil

I can buy canola oil for 25% of the price of lamp oil. And it is obviously not dangerous (since it is for cooking). However it is thicker and has a higher flash point. It is also supposed to not burn cleanly (leaving smoke and smell). So I was curious if I could design a simple practical and not too ugly oil lamp for simple (unused) cooking oil.

Skipping the failed designs here are the ones that kind of work.

A can lamp

What you see in the picture are five components:

  1. a metal can
  2. canola oil
  3. a few candlewicks
  4. a metal washer (the flat metal ring with a small hole in it)
  5. a metal “bridge”

placed inside a fireplace. This burns well: no smoke, no smell, burns for hours. I have read that vegetable oil consumes the wick faster than lamp oil. Perhaps that is true, but nevertheless the wick lasts much longer than it would have in a normal candle.

A little bottle lamp

How about moving the metal washer with the wick to a small bottle?

This is a very simple design and as you can see in the (somewhat unsharp) picture it burns nicely. But it only burns nicely for about 60min, and then it burns barely for another 60 minutes and then it dies.

Only the canola oil in the bottleneck is consumed. After that it appears the height difference between the oil level and the washer/fire prevents the oil from ascending the wick (fast enough).

A used candle jar

I tried filling an old candle jar with about 1cm of canola oil, and used a wick and a metal thing for this result.

This burns nicely! The sides of the candle jar does not get very hot, and the bottom of and the oil remains quite cool. The metal thing from a hardware store is obviously designed for another use.

The good thing with this design is that it is simple (jar+metal thing+wick) and that not so much oil goes into the lamp. You can easily reuse pretty candle jars that are already designed for the purpose.

Spirit Burner

I would not guess that most spirit burners (or oil lamps) work well. But SPIRI-1 from Böhm Stirling-Technik works perfectly with canola oil. The good thing is that it is (roughly) the size of a tealight so you could replace your disposable tealights. The bad thing is that it is quite expensive.

Conclusions

First I think vegetable (canola) oil is underestimated for decorative light at home. However I can see that tealights can be sold and managed in a safe way and are easier to use.

It often requires two matches to light the canola, because the flash point is very high. However I think the high flashpoint is also good for safety.

Cheap candles and tealights are made of petroleum and they don’t necessarily burn cleanly without leaving unhealthy particles in the air. I can not guarantee that the canola oil also does not leave any particles in the air, but the oil itself is not toxic at all.

Getting Ripped with Jordan Peterson

I have never been the exercising type. I walk quite much. But I don’t run, I don’t lift weights, I don’t like to get exhausted and I don’t like when it hurts.

Having passed the age of 40 I realized I am not getting younger, healthier or stronger. Although a little bit heavier – not overweight at all, but skinny-fat.

In the autumn of 2018 I listened to Jordan Peterson talking about his book 12 Rules for Life. This particular lecture was about Rule #4: Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who someone else is today. Peterson mentioned in his lecture that if you make small consistent improvements over a long period of time, you will eventually make significant improvements in the long run.

Inspired by this I set up a scheme of exercising that works for me:

  • I have a number of simple exercises I can do at home, in a hotel room, or elsewhere: pushups, squats, planks and things like that. Most are body-weight only exercises.
  • Every week I do at least as many of each exercise as I did last week.
  • Every week, in total, I do more than last week.

That is it!

I started out with very low ambition. The first weeks I did ridiculously little exercise. But after 8-9 weeks I saw some improvements, I had got the habit, and I did not want to fail and give up. I have now done this for a little more than a year, and not a single week I have failed to improve.

A few more things:

  • A week starts on Sunday (so it is easy to get a good start) and ends on Saturday (so I have time to catch up after a bad week)
  • Some exercises I do better/heavier after a while, even though the amount is the same. For example, there are different pushup techniques and I allow myself to change between them, generally this makes my exercise harder than it was a year ago. I get more quality out of the same time or repetitions.
  • Sometime I add a new exercise to the list rather than doing more of the old ones.

This is my weekly (every 4 week printed) progress:

Week  49    1    5    9   13   17   21   25   29   33   37   41   45   49
a)   195  320  380  400  420  435  440  450  460  460  460  460  460  460
b)                        30   30   35   50   60   65   70   75   80   80
c)    40   75  105  120  120  120  120  120  125  130  130  140  140  140
d)    29   80  100  120  155  160  165  165  171  175  175  180  180  180
e)    60   85  105  120  120  120  120  120  120  125  125  125  125  125
f)    30   45   60   75   80   90  100  100  120  120  135  150  155  170
g)                   20   30   35   40   45   55   60   65   70   70   80
h)                                  30   45   50   50   50   50   50   50
i)                                                 15   20   25   25   30
j)                                                 15   30   35   35   40
k)                                                                60   60

Total 354  605  750  855  955  990 1050 1095 1161 1215 1260 1310 1380 1415

The different exercises are here named a-k (the important thing is that you find exercises that you like) and the number can be seconds or repetitions (sometimes this is for two sides so I do twice as many). So I think it is a good guess that I exercise almost one hour per week, but that is effective time. I would not be able to do this in a gym in one hour, that would be too heavy.

As you can see it levels out a bit. It is hard, I sometimes hate it, but I improve and I do not give up!

In the beginning I set up a few goals: new personal records when it comes to pushups and planks for example. I reached those and now my goal is to be able to walk on my hands. So I do see results! Also my body looks and feels different.

Discipline, systems and motivation

Motivation will not take you too far. There comes a day when motivation simply fails you and you can lose a good habit. However, if you are disciplined about systematic improvement, you do not fail even when your motivation is low.

Conclusion

If you already exercise regularly and you are happy about it, you are probably already better than I will ever be. But if you really do not exercise and you are aware that you and your body would benefit from it, I think this is a method for you.

Start out with very low ambition. You need to negotiate with yourself (as Peterson says). Perhaps you can do 10 pushups and 10 situps the first week? And 11 the next. Do it, you have nothing to lose. And after a few months giving up on your good development is harder than doing those damn pushups.

I think for me a weekly goal has been good. Some days are just not good days but I can make my weekly goal anyway.