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I have arrived - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
I have arrived
I have passed the working mother initiation. My baby has just thrown up all over me seconds before I was about to head out the door. (I'm procrastinating a few minutes now so my rinsed-out skirt does not instantly freeze to my legs.) Perhaps it was just as well I had to cancel the run last night. I was a bit disappointed at the time, but with two players too sick to play, three sick enough that they stayed home from work, and a fourth at least nominally sick it seemed like a poor idea. As it turned out, the baby was sick too. I hope everyone has a speedy recovery.
13 comments or Leave a comment
sorceror From: sorceror Date: January 14th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Um... congratulations on reaching this milestone?
mathhobbit From: mathhobbit Date: January 14th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is completely off topic, but any tips for a woman interested in getting started as a GM? I tried GM'ing a little D&D 3.5, but I wasn't enough of a rules lawyer to do it well. (In most tabletop runs, I'm the player who always has to be reminded which number to add to my die roll to see if I hit.)

Sorry your baby's not feeling well.
fredrickegerman From: fredrickegerman Date: January 14th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pick a system that's light on mechanics and/or dismiss most of the mechanics out of hand? I think of this as arcanology's GMing style. No specific recommendations on systems, personally, because when he runs reading the source book is really a waste of valuable time I could be spending enjoying the game. You want just enough mechanics to make yourself comfortable (eg "I know how to resolve combat", "I know when a skill check is called for") and no more, I expect.

Auria is a RoleMaster run, which is about as far from that as I can imagine (maybe Champions is further. Maybe.).
mathhobbit From: mathhobbit Date: January 14th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

I actually found Champions to make more sense than D&D last time I played it (2006?) I think what killed D&D 3.5 for me was the number of modifiers possible for each roll. Power attack + cleric buffs + magic weapon, the creature is immune to fire and takes half damage on lightning, and there's a reflex save! Similarly, points of skill + int modifier + synergy bonus + bonus for assist + cantrip bonus.
From: desireearmfeldt Date: January 14th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah: if you don't like mechanics, play deliberately mechanics-light (or system-light) and advertise to your players beforehand that that's what you're doing. (I was going to quote Kids run as an example, but that was more "we're using Champions, we just tend to not actually do stuff requiring combat/complex numbers/complex rules a lot." Which is also a viable variation on tossing out most of the mechanics. :) )
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 15th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I GM using the rolemaster system simply because it's the system that I know best. Two of my players know the system far better than I do because they also play in a much more rules-lawyery run. I made it clear to my players from the beginning that the system was secondary and that I might possibly override the system if I felt that my way made more sense. I have a good group of players and they are cool with that.

I'd say that the best advice I can give is get good players and make sure they are cool with your overall concept for the run. A rules system should server you as the GM, not the other way around. Be consistent and do your best to be fair and the players will be understanding.

Have you thought of using the rules set that Oath used? You seemed to understand that well enough and it was a simple system. I bet you could sub in magic for psy pretty seemlessly.
mathhobbit From: mathhobbit Date: January 15th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought about using the Oath rules, but I think they're not well enough codified for inexperienced players (which I'm likely to have).

To a surprising extent, we have learned from tabletop gaming what it's possible for characters to do in tabletop gaming. It's perfectly reasonable to think "as he's running toward the fighter, the mage will try to trip him" but D&D has trained me not to think this.

In a Oath, if you wanted a specialized ability you had to think of it. If I used a system like that I would refer to another system (probably D&D) for a list of most of the skills or schticks in game. (One turning point for me as an Oath player was when I thought to look at the D&D skills list to choose abilities for Kith.)

But yes, the Oath rules (possibly minus schticks) are at about the right complexity level. I certainly don't remember thinking "there ought to be a better way" before I played Oath!

Thanks for the advice!
enugent From: enugent Date: January 14th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, yes, I remember that milestone. For me it was poop, not vomit, but it's basically the same story.

I hope it's not the formula. And I hope she recovers soon!
psychohist From: psychohist Date: January 14th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)


Formula isn't likely the proximate cause, as this was just after a night of breast feeding. In retrospect I think she was already sick, as she had gone to sleep early the two previous nights. The formula she does tak - which is mixed into breast milk - could be related to the sickness, but this is her second week on the mix.

Speaking of formula, though, I noticed something washing baby bottles. We tried to get her to take some pure formula over the weekend, but she wasn't having any at all. What I noticed was that the after a day or so in a bottle waiting to be washed, the formula stank - really rancid and bad smelling. In my experience, undrunk breast milk never smells at all. Occasionally it's a bit curdled, but it never smells.

Now I'm wondering if breast milk keeps a lot better than formula, and if we're going to have to be a lot more careful about the limits on how long formula stays at room temperature. I'm also wondering how cow's milk fits into the picture.

Oh, and tying back into this morning - she had a morning poop after Elizabeth left, and it was kind of stinky. I wonder if that's associated with having formula in her diet rather than pure breast milk, too, or whether that's a solids or sickness thing.
readsalot From: readsalot Date: January 14th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Formula

I thought I remembered reading somewhere that, once it's mixed, formula goes bad really quickly. Where really quickly=1 or 2 hours.

I just did some googling, and some of the replies say 1 or 2 hours, and some say that 24 hours is possible if it's in the refrigerator the whole time. Maybe if you don't mix it in to the breast milk until you're right about to feed her?
psychohist From: psychohist Date: January 14th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Formula

The mixed stuff has actually been fine based on about a week of observation; apparently the antibacterial properties of breast milk can protect the mixture, at least to some extent. It was the pure formula that went bad quickly.
enugent From: enugent Date: January 14th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Formula

It is absolutely the case that formula will cause their poop to look more like normal shit and less like that yellowy mustard stuff. Solids do the same thing, so you were destined for this change soon anyway.

And yes, formula requires much more careful attention to sterilizing of bottles than breastmilk does. I know of at least one study where breastmilk left at room temperature for eight hours had a lower bacteria load than it did when freshly pumped. The same is definitely not true of formula.
enugent From: enugent Date: January 14th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Formula

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