Life: Are You Winning?

People talk about what life is really all about.  Often, I hear words like happiness, security, peace of mind, relaxation, nirvana, or contentment.  This is all completely wrong, of course.  Life is about winning.

But how do you determine if you are winning at life?  It turns out that there are several different scales for measuring how well you’re winning at life.  As in science, pick the metric that makes your data look best!

1. Current Value
This method is probably the easiest and most straightforward of measuring how well you are winning at life.  Simply look at what you have right now (money, property, significant other/spouse, children, etc.) and compare it to your opponent.  Do you have more?  You win!

Example: “Hi there!  I drive a Corvette, own properties in New York, San Francisco, and Florida, and travel between them on my private jet!  Have you met my wife?  You may recognize her from the cover of Sports Illustrated!”

While Current Value is the easiest method for measuring life winning-ness, and is indeed the default for most, there are other methods that may give you a higher winning-ness score.  And, as we all know, that’s what matters.

2. Ascension (Chronological)
Unlike Current Value, Chronological Ascension looks at the difference between where you started, and where you are currently at.  While having a modest 1.5-story house and a used car may not be the same as a mansion and a Ferrari, it is still a huge improvement for a first-generation immigrant or someone born into poverty.  Chronological Ascension is good for eliminating error due to being born into wealth.

Example: “When I came to this country ten years ago, I had nothing but the clothes on my back.  Now, I own a small business and have a family, living in my very own house.  This is truly the American Dream.”

3. Absolute Difference 
Are you a teenage heartthrob, now in your forties and struggling to get by?  Fear not, measure your winning-ness by Absolute Difference!  Simply take the highest point in your life, and subtract the lowest point in your life.

Interestingly enough, using this method of life evaluation allows for some creative accounting.  If your highest moment was some time ago in the past, and you are currently on a downswing, you can increase your winning-ness score via Absolute Difference by driving your current situation even lower.  If you are currently at your lowest score because you’re homeless, picking up a heroin habit will keep that score plummeting, increasing your total winning-ness via Absolute Difference.

Example: “When I was in my teens, all the boys in high school wanted to get with me.  I was the prom queen, the most popular girl in school!  Now, I’m a chain-smoker, pregnant with my third kid, and living in a trailer park, but at least I had an awesome time in high school!”

Do none of these metrics work for your lifestyle?  Still dissatisfied with your winning-ness score?  Don’t worry – there are many more methods still to come!  Stay tuned!

Real Life RPG: Biology Specialization

Author’s note: I tend to daydream that the world is a video game.  In video games, characters have different classes (wizard, warrior, etc.).  Why shouldn’t people in real life?  People major/specialize in what they know best, and that is where they’d draw their abilities!

Biology general bonuses

  • Target Mastery: Biologicals – All biologists gain +10% to hit and +10% to critical against living targets.
    • Pre-med specialists can increase critical bonus to +20% against humanoid targets.
  • Affinity: Science – All biologists gain an extra 3% effect with science or technology based items, including damage and healing.
  • Evolved – All biologists gain +5% to all stats.
    • Evolution/Ecology majors gain +7% to all stats.
Biology Buffs
  • Inhuman Strength – Increases attack power by 15%.  This cannot be used in conjunction with Inhuman Speed.
  • Inhuman Speed – Increases speed by 10%.  This cannot be used in conjunction with Inhuman Strength.

Biology Attacks
  • Induce Mutation – Decreases two random stats on target by 10%-50%, value chosen randomly.  Also has a 10% chance to increase chosen stats by 10%.
    • Genetics majors only: Induce Harmful Mutation – Decreases three random stats on target by 10%-50%.
  • Devolution – Removes one random buff from the target.
    • Ecology majors only: Trait Transfer – Steals one random buff from target and applies it to caster.  
  • Enzyme Imbalance – Sabotages the target’s metabolic processes, dealing damage and slowing their movement speed by 20%.
    • Biochemistry majors only: Proteolysis – Slow effect lasts twice as long, and an extra 50% damage is dealt over 30 seconds.
  • Nervous Overload – Overwhelms the target’s nervous system, paralyzing them for 4 seconds.
    • Neuroscience majors only: Nervous Stroke – After paralysis effect fades, target’s attacks only deal 50% damage for 10 seconds.
  • Drain Life – Deals damage to the target, restoring an equivalent amount of health to the caster.
Biology Ultimate Moves
  • Genetics: Genome Rip – Transforms the nearest two enemies into mutated abominations under the caster’s control, increasing damage dealt and attack speed by 50%.  After 40 seconds, the effect fades, draining the affected enemies of power, lowering their attack speed and damage by 50% for 40 seconds and increasing their damage taken by 20%.
  • Ecology/Evolution: Apex Form – The caster becomes a force of nature, doubling attack speed and damage for 30 seconds.  During this time, 50% of all damage dealt heals the caster.
  • Biochemistry: Biomolecular Mastery – The caster is able to alter all biological materials nearby.  Biological material may be converted into health for the caster or allies, or into catabolic enzymes, which deal damage to all nearby enemies.
  • Neuroscience: Mind Control – Up to three targeted enemies are placed under the caster’s control for 45 seconds.  Any beneficial buffs or auras on the controlled enemies are copied onto the caster.

Real Life RPG: Occam’s Razor

Foreword:  Sometimes, when I’m bored, daydreaming, really dreaming, or attempting to procrastinate (like writing this instead of working on my novel), I imagine that life is a role-playing game.  Which, obviously, it is.  However, I imagine it to be something more like Diablo, where it is possible to acquire magic items gifted with special powers.  It sounds silly, but in truth, it is silly.  It also helps me pass the time and keeps me occupied, though, so it can’t be too bad.

Anyway, here’s today’s random brain fart!

Occam’s Razor  also: Ockham’s Razor
-Dagger, one hand
-Appearance: Occam’s Razor resembles a simple straight barber’s razor, with no ornamentation.
History: Occam’s Razor was owned by William of Ockham, a logician during the Renaissance, who used it with great effect to “cut away the arguments of opponents.” While the razor does not possess specific magical powers, it serves as a nullification device, dispelling most magical effects.  Due to these properties, the razor has been ignored by most magicians and sorcerers.  Occam’s Razor was most notably wielded for a time by Abraham Van Helsing, who used it to counter the seducing abilities of succubi.
-On equip: Increased magic resistance +25%.
-On equip: Decreased spell power -75%.
-On equip: Blocks most multi-element spells.  Incoming single element spell damage is reduced by 25%.  [Example: a Frostfire bolt would not damage someone wielding Occam’s Razor.  A frostbolt or a firebolt, however, would still deal 75% damage.]
-On hit: Occam’s Razor neutralizes all magic effects, reducing both beneficial and detrimental spell effects on the target by 10%.  This effect occurs instantly and stacks.
-On use: Occam’s Razor purges one spell effect from the target.