Emerald Specter 39: Ducks In A Row

I’m here to put out that I’ve started getting my ducks in a row. So, if you wanted to stop reading at the title or this sentence, I suppose that is ok? No, not really, but there is more to talk about, so stick around.

Yesterday, as you read this, the Haru Basho opened with a bang. Two of the four Yokozuna fall on day one, DAY ONE! Ura has moved up to the top division and I noticed that there were a lot of rikishi wearing blue instead of their more “defining” colors. There are some other great things to discuss about the day one, and by the time this is out day two will be over… but that is for later in the Basho when we have more definitive things to discuss, like who won and why they won.

Right now, why don’t we talk more about how my ducks are in a row.

Ducks. In a row. I’ve got them. Yeah, let’s stop mucking that up.

The bullet journal is something I’ve made time for every single night. Last night, after the Greatest Show podcast, I briefly toyed with leaving the journaling until the next day but pushed through and entered what I needed to right away. This is a bright sign that I’m building a habit and that is something I have wanted to start including in the BuJoRPG.

Yep, there it is… the dreaded BuJoRPG reference and sudden (yet inevitable) deeper explanation.

The XP earning system, if I’m just going for “do the things every day to earn stuff for XP and levels” is working swimmingly. Were I wanting to just have that as the “first phase” of the BuJoRPG, I would be ready to start developing the next phase of testing. However, part of getting the bullet journal to build me up as a person and develop me, I need to add some layers on to this to allow for good habits to be formed (that will have XP potential, but are really to serve as “tiny hurdles” for the leveling up).

One thing I discovered that, despite my level XP plateaus being theoretically large enough to feel a sense of accomplishment, I’m leveling a little faster than I wanted to and that means I either need to space out the XP requirements again or add another layer. So, I don’t want to expand the XP again because then I’m just making the same things I’m already doing to be enough to level up. I want other great habits in there to help me level up, so instead of reaching 1000 XP and getting level 4 (random number, random level), I need to have an “accomplish this thing once a week” as a prerequisite. Those benchmarks will be more than one and less than six, but I haven’t determined if I want to do three or five.

These will be benchmarks that need to be reached so many times before being replaced by another benchmark at higher levels. So, while I’m currently at Level 5, I’d like to have something I need to accomplish on a weekly basis (rather than daily) to be able to reach Level 6 instead of just gaining another few days of XP.

So, if you’re reading this knowing that I wrote this yesterday (March 12), then you’re either saying “you’re already at Level 5?” or you’re wondering “damn, how many levels are there?” Well, there are a lot, so don’t think that is a tremendous accomplishment, knowing that there are currently 41 levels I’m playing with and the last level is more than 10 times the XP to achieve than what I’ve already got… so, there’s that.

Each of these will be a personal benchmark, so my using specific examples won’t tell you much without explanation. I want to keep my car clean, for example, so one of the weekly benchmarks I’ve got is to clean my car weekly. That is more difficult for me than you might realize, and it’s part of why I am trying to improve this aspect of my life. Let’s say I achieve the necessary XP for Level 6, but I don’t have all three to five of my benchmarks completed… well, I don’t get the new level. Each level will have separate benchmarks, which I’m working on a list at the moment, so even if I complete the benchmarks and I have enough XP to level two more times, I need to achieve each of those benchmarks prior to leveling up.

This means that I may have all of the XP necessary for Level 41, but be stuck on Level 9 because I have over 25 different SETS of benchmarks to achieve before receiving new levels.

The BuJoRPG is about achieving personal improvement in a fun way, so I’m trying to make accomplishments FEEL like actual accomplishments. I won’t be resetting my XP for this next layer, I’m going to add them on to my current situation to see what kind of obstacles I’m facing and determine whether or not to expand the XP plateaus or raise/lower the number of benchmarks based on the calculations.

It is important to point out that I haven’t even started working on the HP portion of this thing… or the quests… or the other things I want to make this a fun, interesting, and self improving game worth playing while becoming better at life.

While I’m talking about the BuJoRPG here, if you’re also listening to my Specter Show podcast, don’t worry about me touching on that too much there because I’ve got other topics I want to cover there.

I am going to be writing more columns the week they drop (since I’ve essentially caught up), and since the ESPL is finally over, I have time to concentrate on that. I’d hate to write a column for three weeks from now referencing some sort of disaster I couldn’t possibly have known would take place the morning the column drops, for example. Thanks for reading and we’ll be back again next week.

Think on it.