A Fifth (Not Really) Random Memory: White Plume Mountain and My Undergraduate Degree #ADnD #DnD #RPG #TTRPG #1e #physics

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This memory isn’t really random. It has a catalyst.

I registered to run a 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons game at Winter Fantasy. To prepare for running it, I’m going through my usual routing of creating a Word document placing the encounters in my own words and organizing them in a way that’s more intuitive for me at the table.

I’m sure Wizards of the Coast’s legal department would consider that, and this image, copyright infringement. Jackasses.

Eventually, I came to encounter 22, (spoiler alert!) the frictionless room, which spurred a series of memories from when I was an undergraduate physics major at the University of Maryland. Friction always made things difficult when solving problems related to movement, so unless you were specifically studying differential equations, our problems would assume no friction (as well as assuming every chicken is a sphere). Accordingly, my professors occasionally (and unnecessarily) thought it was necessary to remind us that friction is actually a good thing.

Made better with the right weaponry.

We’re physics majors. We know that friction is important, and life would be impossible without it. Perhaps our professors should have instead just had us play White Plume Mountain as part of the curriculum.

Yeah, I’m pretty clever like that.

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