Star Wars Generators

Star Wars Religion Generator

This should get you a religion name and a few details that seem appropriate for a Star Wars game. Note that most of the things I used for this came from existing cults and faiths in Star Wars media, so you might get something that already exists.

 

Adventure generator

The tables in this one are mostly modified from the ones in the Doctor Who RPG by Cubicle 7.

 

If you have any suggestions for additions or modification, feel free to comment.

Larp & Playing Cards – Part I

In the interest of having a deck of cards to use in-game at larp events for Hither the Greening Demesne (whenever we finally manage to have our next event), I spent some time sketching a set.

Of course, since I’m a little Extra sometimes, it’s a bit unorthodox.

0 - Jester CardThere are four suits – coins, cups, roses, and swords – and a four-card court, with King, Queen, Aetheling, and Ridda. Also a Jester, meaning that in total the deck has 57 cards.

I’m currently working on coming up with some specific games to play with the deck of the sort that wouldn’t work with any other deck. If you have any ideas, feel free to comment, ’cause all I’ve decided on so far is that the Jester is a limited wild card, in that it can replace any card except a king.

I’ve got an alpha version of the deck in the works at a print shop, I’ll post an update with some pictures when the finished product arrives.

 


 

I also have some new garb items on the way for my larp character – though at some point in the future I plan to replace the tunic and cloak I’ve ordered with ones I make myself – and a new sword, which I’m quite excited about.

Paladins in Amerath

Available Subclasses: Devotion, Ancients, Vengeance (PHB); Crown (SCAG)

alhandra tyler walpole

Image by Tyler Walpole

A number of chivalrous and holy orders exist in Amerath, and paladins are generally members of these; crusaders and defenders of the faith.

 

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d8 per paladin level
Hit Points at 1st level: 1d8 + 16 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at higher levels: 2d4 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per paladin level after 1st
Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, medium armor

Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools:
One gaming set
Saving Throws:
Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Religion, and Stealth

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

(a) a jian

(a) five javelins or (b) any simple weapon

(a) a priest’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack

Leather armor, two daggers, and a holy symbol

 

Unarmored Defense

While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Charisma modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Spellcasting

Paladins can not cast spells, though they still gain spell points as normal, which can be used for their Divine Smite.

Divine Sense

Paladins do not have Divine Sense; instead, they have Battle-Ready, below:

Battle-Ready

Whenever you roll initiative, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your paladin level + your Charisma modifier.

Fighting Style

May only choose from Defense, Daseel Style, Protection, Rosebriar Style, Half-sword, or Acrobatic.

Gifts of the Faithful

At 2nd, 6th, 9th, and 12th levels, a Paladin may select one feature from below:

Bonus Ability Score Increase

The paladin may increase a single ability score by 2. This gift can be taken multiple times, but only once per ability score.

Bonus Feat

The paladin may take any feat they qualify for as a bonus feat. This gift may be taken multiple times.

Channel Divine Power

Some Paladins may channel divine power like a cleric, though in a slightly more limited fashion. When selecting this feature, a paladin chooses one use of the Channel Divinity feature. They may use this feature a number of times per long rest as if they were a cleric of half their level. If this feature is chosen again it adds a different Channel Divinity feature.

Defend the Fallen

If an ally is reduced to 1/5 or less of their maximum hit points by an attack, you may use a bonus action to Dash provided your Dash takes you closer to that ally.

Pool of Belief

Gain 2d6 dice, which can be used in one of two ways:

Added to a Divine Smite, as per PHB pg 86.

Or, spent as a bonus action to grant an ally temporary hit points equal to the result, which stack with any other temporary hit points. This can only be used on creatures with at least 1 Hit Point, and does not work on undead or constructs.

Spent dice are recovered at the end of a long rest. This feature may be taken multiple times, each time adding 1d6 to the belief pool.

True Believer

1/day, add your proficiency bonus to any save, even if proficiency already applies. You must declare your use of this feature before rolling.

 

All other features as normal.

Clerics of Amerath

Available Subclasses: Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, War (PHB); Arcana (SCAG); Forge, Grave (XGE); Order (GGR)

 

Clerics are found wherever folk settle. The Acolyte and Cloistered Scholar backgrounds are the most frequent.

 

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d4 per cleric level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 1d4 + 8 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 2d2 (or 3) + your Constitution modifier per cleric level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor

Weapons: Daggers, war fans, quarterstaffs, darts, blowguns, longswords, jian, shortbows, longbows.

Tools: Calligrapher’s supplies, and choose one additional Artisan’s tool or a musical instrument.

Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Religion, Stealth, and Survival.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a longbow and 20 arrows or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a priest’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A holy symbol

 

Spellcasting

A Cleric’s spellcasting ability is predicated on their Charisma, rather than their Wisdom. If any cleric spell specifically refers to the cleric’s Wisdom modifier or Wisdom score, it instead uses their Charisma modifier or Charisma score.

Sacred Defense

Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Charisma modifier.

Sacred Arrows

Beginning at 3rd level, by spending spell points, you can infuse spiritual power into your arrows. This allows them to break through barriers, destroy certain permanent spells, and purify objects; additionally, they count as magic weapons for the purposes of dealing damage and breaking through creatures’ defenses.

Sense Unnatural

As an action, you can open your awareness to detect the presence of otherworldly entities. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any aberration, elemental, fae, celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity.

Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Spirit Hunter

Clerics receive extensive training in dealing with malignant spirits. Starting at 1st level, a cleric may always act during a surprise round against spirits and undead.

Channel Divinity Modification: Exorcism

Instead of being able to turn undead, exorcism affects any aberration, elemental, fae, celestial, fiend, or undead.

In addition to usual use, you may use this ability in concert with an attack, such as with a bow or a sword; if your attack is successful, your Exorcism takes effect. This uses up one use of your Channel Divinity, whether the attack hits or not.

After you reach 5th level, when a non-undead creature fails its saving throw against your Exorcism feature, the creature is banished for 1 minute (as in the banishment spell, no concentration required) if it isn’t on its plane of origin and its challenge rating is at or below a certain threshold, as shown on the Exorcism table. Undead creatures are Destroyed as usual.

Exorcism

Cleric Level    Banishes Creatures of CR…

5th                    ½ or lower

8th                    1 or lower

11th                  2 or lower

14th                  3 or lower

17th                  4 or lower

 

Domain Modification: Life

Life domain clerics gain proficiency in Medicine and the herbalism kit, instead of Heavy armor.

 

Domain Modification: Nature

Nature domain clerics gain proficiency in Medicine and the herbalism kit, instead of Heavy armor.

 

Domain Modification: War

War Domain clerics gain proficiency in Medium armor, not Heavy armor.

 

All else as standard.

 

Khazelhil

Khazelhil (Fire Elves, Ashen Elves)

feaulvn

Image shamelessly stolen from Phobs

The Fire Elves are descendants of the ancient High Elves of the Ashen Kingdoms, said to have had the favor of the gods; but they sought yet more power, and drew otherworldy energies upon themselves, and made deals with demons. The wars for supremacy that followed the latter were their downfall. So many centuries on, they are somewhat rare, but not uncommon in certain regions, such as the forests surrounding the Lake of Tears and the settlements nearby; they are more widespread in the South. They are often distrusted, for the Ashen Kingdoms had many faults in their final days, and the rumors of infernal heritage are well known; thus they are generally insular.

Fire Elves tend to wear enveloping hooded cloaks or robes, brown or red or black or green or cobalt or scarlet on the outside, and sometimes veils; golden or golden-brown on the inside and the trim, with rich patterns. They wear bright clothing beneath, sky-blue or ochre or yellow or crimson or white, and many wear patterns of facepaint to match. They wear a good deal of jewelry, gold and silver and bronze and steel, and are fond of necklaces and bracelets and rings and earrings; however, they rarely wear piercings or tattoos. Those with antlers or horns will often hang small shapes of jewelry from them.

Fire Elves have the same lithe body shape as other elves, and have bronze skin, flame-red hair, and golden eyes with black sclera; the last of these are frequently the only thing seen beneath their robes.

Some have one or two stranger features as well, the impetus for their robes. Roll 1d3-1 times on the table below.

d100   Some fire elves:

1-4       Have polyphonic voices

5-8       Are androgynous, perhaps hermaphroditic.

9-12     Are hooved

13-16   Have a strange floral or herbal fragrance

17-20   Move with feline grace

21-24   Habitually sleep in ditches, up trees, or beneath hedges

25-28   Have bones of branch and vine

29-32   Are mad as a hatter

33-36   Have catlike eyes

37-40   Have a pair of delicate antlers or horns

41-44   Have clawed fingers

45-48   Smell of incense and spice

49-52   Have eyes that flash with reddish light when they feel strong emotions

53-56   Have goat’s legs and hooves instead of normal legs

57-60   Smell of brimstone

61-64   Have soft hair, like fur

65-68   Have a splash of shocking color in their hair or eyes, like blue, orange, or pink.

69-72   Have an upturned nose, or only nose slits

73-76   Smell of burnt wood

77-80   Smell of fresh-turned earth

81-84   Leave a wake of ash and cinder

85-88   Have no shadow and/or cast no reflection

89-92   Have a sharp-toothed grin, slightly wider than most people find comfortable.

93-96   Cause unease in animals

97-100 Wither plants with prolonged touch/presence

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.

Otherworldly Ability. Choose two of the following traits, or roll randomly (reroll duplicates). Charisma is your spellcasting ability for any spells.

1          Charm person 1/day

2          Clairvoyance 1/day

3          Darkness 1/day

4          Cause fear 1/day

5          Resistance to fire damage

6          Resistance to lightning damage

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Elvish and the Blood Speech.

Male Names: Thylius, Virakarra’uzur, Azraz, Loshamos, Yarikh, Cendunus, Mundus, Adrelukan, Ashus, Vinamurra’uzur, Sharalphasis, Lonlaraz, Anmos, Harraz, Menelphus, Andrakaraz, Lokkalius, Virmiraz, Kammos, Eularius, Nalmenos

Female Names: Colitta, Aetheria, Mylith, Dorissa, Nittari, Hemine, Kalith, Hessunher, Hessebel, Sylissa, Arpharis, Nikkaris, Liletria, Nikkather, Betraz, Colmine, Kanetria, Deleria, Kattari, Sharilphanat, Carena

 


Fire Elves, an Elf subrace of Amerath; essentially, the setting’s response to tieflings.

I think the tables are fun.

Mirror of Realized Appetition

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Mirror of Realized Appetition

Fashioned for the notably vain Queen Ysonthe of Herl by the enchanter Temanrean, in his bid for her hand; though he did not win – being murdered by the fleshchangers for encroaching upon their Art – his gift saw much use by the Queen.

The Mirror of Realized Appetition enables the user to change any one aspect of their physical appearance (anything from scars to eye color to sex), permanently (unless changed again by use of the Mirror, of course). The mirror may be used as often as the bearer desires. However, while modeled after the Art of the fleshchangers, it does not carry with it their soothing practices, and consequently the user experiences some pain, unless they make the appropriate save.

For 5e, they must make a Con save each use or take 1d8 damage; for B/X or similar OSR, they must save vs. wands each use or take 1d6 damage.


Not really part of any setting I’m working on. Inspired by the Harry Clarke Bestiary project over at Emmy Allen’s blog, though I have no idea if it’s still ongoing.

Tinkers

A table and some rules I use for my 5e setting, inspired largely by the tinkers in the Kingkiller Chronicles, as well as something I saw on the excellent Signs in the Wilderness blog.

Tinkers

“A gold piece, a silver piece, and a copper piece”

“A tinker’s advice pays kindness twice”

A Tinker’s Debt Is Always Paid

Once for any simple trade. A character who trades with a tinker will generally find some use for the items they received, often more than they expected. (Tinkers have a knack for offering things PCs will need for some upcoming challenge in the adventure).

Twice for freely given aid. Aid in return, such as tips or directions; additionally, all rolls against the character have disadvantage for a while (DM’s judgement).

Thrice for any insult made. All rolls against the character have advantage for a while (DM’s judgement, dependent on the severity of such insult; generally, I wouldn’t recommend more than one encounter.).

Also, if a tinker offers a bargain that the character doesn’t accept, always find a reason for them to need the thing they could have gotten.

 

Roll up a random Tinker:

d6           Appearance

1              Pack almost as big as the bearer

2              Pushing a small cart

3-6          Riding a (1-3) shabby cart/(4-6) brightly painted cart, pulled by a (1-3) eland/(4-6) elk/(7) yak/(8) ox/(9-10) pack dog/(11-12) Plainsbird.

 

d4           Attitude

1              Cheerful

2              Friendly

3              Alert

4              Sleepy

 

d100         Advertises 9 of:

1-2          Silk scarves

3-4          Writing paper

5-6          Sweetmeats

7-8          Belt leather

9-10       Black pepper

11-12     Fine lace

13-14     Bright feather

15-16     Small clothes

17-18     Rose water

19-20     Heath blankets

21-22     Feather-plumes

23-24     Plains-melons

25-26     Pipe-leaf

27-28     Summerwine

29-30     Moose cheese

31-32     Rice cakes

33-34     Goat cheese

35-36     Sharp knives

37-38     Sweet apples

39-40     Juicy peaches

41-42     Pure salt

43-44     Stead Ivory

45-46     Wild ginger

47-48     Warm furs

49-50     Tea leaves

51-52     Sour Lemons

53-54     Sweet Plums

55-56     Sugarcane

57-58     Apricots

59-60     Pomegranites

61-62     Olives

63-64     Paadria hats

65-66     Straw caps

67-68     Rice wine

69-70     Sharp arrows

71-72     Bells

73-74     Candles

75-76     Iron Chain

77-78     White Chalk

79-80     Healer’s kit

81-82     Holy symbol

83-84     Ink and inkpen

85-86     Lamp and lantern

87-88     Soap

89-90     Tinderbox

91-92     Whetstone

93-94     Artisan’s tools

95-96     Gaming set

97-98     Musical Instrument

99-100   Herbalism kit

 

d12         Service/Skill

1-6          Knife-sharpener

7-8          Cobbler

9-10       Story-teller

11-12     Knows trails and back ways for miles

 

d4           Looking For

1              Supplies – rope, cloth, food, tea

2              Something to pass the time – alcohol, pipe-leaf, a musical instrument.

3              Something to use as a gift – a silver locket, shell beads, a golden bracelet, fine gems.

4              Tack and saddle

 

d4           In Need Of (but does not mention):

1              His feet are bare and bloody.

2              His cloak is more patch than fabric, and full of holes.

3              His stomach growls audibly.

4              Wearing the remnants of a hat.

 

Taverns & Tea-Houses

A couple of tables I worked up, for taverns and tea-shops in the D&D setting I’ve been working on the last couple of years.

[A brief note on the setting, Amerath: A swashbuckling, sword-and-sorcery wuxia setting, with inspiration less from medieval Europe and more from the Americas, Asia, and the European Bronze Age.]

Taverns

 

Random Tavern

d6           Construction

1              Wood planks

2              Cut stone

3              On a boat in the harbor

4              Whitewashed walls, red roof tiles

5              Over water – on stilts or pilings, perhaps also acting as a bridge.

6              Rice-paper and red-painted wood

 

d4           Interior

1              Cushion seating and low tables, futon beds

2              Chairs and tables

3              unfurnished floorboards (50% chance of being covered in straw), bare benches and stools

4              Long communal tables

 

d12         Atmosphere/Other Notes

1              Carpets strewn about the floor, colorful wall hangings (1-3 patterned, 4-6 scenes)

2              A smoky haze hangs over the main room

3              Live plants and lava stone, black velvet paintings, trained pseudodragons on the bar and in the rafters

4              Additional seating outside

5              Well-behaved merchant patrons

6              Raucous laborer patrons

7              A bar fight is currently in progress

8              Informal, casual, friendly

9              Funded by a temple, staffed by priests, holy iconography prevalent.

10           Dim lighting, gloomy, quiet muttering

11           Thieves’ guild safehouse, secret cellar

12           Owner waters down the drinks

 

d10         Food Offered 3 of:

1              Roast meat (1-2 turkey, 3-4 moose, 5-6 mutton)

2              Lamb/mutton and potato stew

3              Bread (1-2 sourdough, 3-4 rye, 5-6 rice, 7-8 flatbread)

4              Cheese (1-2 moose, 3-4 goat, 5 yak, 6 sheep)

5              Seafood (1 trout, 2 salmon, 3 catfish, 4 bass, 5 perch, 6 carp, 7 mahi mahi, 8 halibut, 9 crab, 10 shrimp, 11 lobster, 12 crayfish)

6              Bread and sauces

7              Meat pies

8              Rice

9              Meat or vegetable skewers

10           Noodles

 

d6           Drinks Offered 3 of:

1              rice wine

2              beer

3              red wine

4              white wine

5              orange wine

6              pink wine

 

d10         Also Offers 1d3 of

1              Pipe-leaf

2              Side room with (1-2 singing, 3-4 dancing, 5-6 drama, 7-8 comedy)

3              Private room with screen, access to bar, offers private drinking for higher price

4              Dancing girls

5              Free lunch with purchase of one drink

6              Communal bath, using water from nearby hot spring if any

7              Fruit pies

8              Gaming supplies (1-2 dice, 3-4 cards, 5-6 pattern guessing games, 7-8 roll d6 twice)

9              Live music, open stage

10           Spiced potatoes

 

 

Tea Shops

 

Random Tea Shop

d6           Construction

1              Wood planks

2              Cut stone

3              On a boat in the harbor/river

4              Underground (1-3 cave, 4-6 cellar)

5              Over water – on stilts or pilings, perhaps also acting as a bridge.

6              Racial (1d4)

1              Elvish: walls of graceful stone and living trees, a canopy of branches and a latticework of stone, a floor of moss or short-cropped grass, lit by jars of fireflies at night set loose when morning comes. Trees artfully scattered across the main room.

2              Dwarvish: walls of stone in geometric shapes, set tight without mortar; a floor a few steps below the level of the ground, so the building seems larger inside than out; few windows, with light provided by lamps filled with glowing spores; reading material may be provided.

3              Drow: red lanterns, silk tapestries, the faint smell of roses; no windows, curved and fluid stone; soups sipped quietly from shallow bowls, food eaten with knives or pairs of sharpened sticks.

4              Tallfellow Halfling: Built of wood, with many windows; spacious feeling, but a ceiling around 6’; anything colored is mainly in vibrant shades of brown, yellow, or green.

 

d4           Interior

1              Cushion seating and low tables

2              Chairs and tables

3              Private compartments

4              Long communal tables

 

d12         Atmosphere/Other Notes

1              Carpets strewn about the floor, colorful wall hangings (1-3 patterned, 4-6 scenes)

2              A haze of incense and smoke

3              Flooded ankle-deep in clear water, a slight current taking away any detritus; seating areas may or may not be raised on dry platforms.

4              Additional seating outside

5              Well-behaved merchant patrons

6              Raucous laborer patrons

7              Fountain fills the room with the sound of trickling water

8              Every patron is required to wear a carnivale mask

9              Reading materials are provided, and conversation kept to a low murmur

10           Tables, counters, bowls, utensils, fixtures are made of copper and bronze

11           Owner runs a smuggling ring. Secret door in basement leads somewhere convenient. Rough-looking folks at the side table are off-work employees.

12           Haunted. Do not sit in the corner, it is taken.

 

d8           Teas Offered 3 of:

1              White

2              Yellow

3              Green

4              Oolong

5              Red

6              Heilong

7              Blue Lotus

8              Herbal

 

d10         Also Offers 1d3 of

1              Pipe-leaf

2              Hookah

3              Rice Wine

4              Dancing girls

5              Pastries (3 of: 1 bubbly pie, 2 fruit tart, 3 chasan, 4 churro, 5 cream horn, 6 kolache, 7 cheese pastry, 8 curry puff, 9 fig roll, 10 lotus seed bun, 11 samosa, 12 empanada)

6              Soup (1-2 rice-noodle, 3-4 fish, 5-6 rice-noodle with fish, 7-8 lamb and vegetable, 9-10 turkey and potato)

7              Steamed buns, filled with meat or vegetables

8              Sandwiches and cakes

9              Live music

10           Sweet iced tea

 

LARP: Rules Bloat- Solutions

Hey, guess who’s back! I can’t promise regular updates or anything, but I’m at least finished with college classes for the semester.

Larp rules

The problem with writing a rulebook for something when you have no rules design experience (and little roleplaying experience) should be evident. Of course, since I was fourteen at the time, not so much. I blissfully sat down at the keyboard and pounded out a fifty-page rulebook for my live-action roleplaying system. Naturally, it had some issues. Thus I have lately taken the time to review it, edit it, and condense it.

I decided I had three main goals for the redesign.

1. Make it something people will be willing to read.

Nobody actually bothered to read the old rulebook, probably because it was fifty pages long. Looking back through it, this was probably a good thing.

2. Make the rules easy to internalize and remember.

Complicated maths and large numbers of spells and abilities resulted in two situations: half the time, nobody used the abilities and lost track of hit points; the other half, play had to be paused repeatedly to explain their effects.

3. Create a high level of immersion.

There is a large difference between roleplaying, and whacking each other with swords while talking about school.

 

First problem, making the book something readable. For that, I simply started fresh. I decided on a guideline of ten pages for rules. What are the essential pieces of the rules that I wanted to keep? I decided on classes, races, and spells. Following my second point, I realized my level system served almost no purpose; its only effects were increasing health, and providing an incentive to show up in costume. But even so, the leveling system meant long-term players would be massively more powerful than a new player, and should the two need to fight there would be no chance of the newbie winning, no matter their skill with a weapon. Instead, I decided long-term players should have in-game advantages, rather than rules-based ones. After removing the leveling system, I obviously did not need higher-level spells either, and left out everything above what had been first or second level. This left a total of ten basic spells. I have also removed some extraneous classes (Freelancer and mercenary were essentially Warriors and Rogues with different flavor texts, while Alchemists relied on a ruleset that had not yet been clearly defined.)

Next, point two. The previous system had swords dealing two points of damage- or three, or one, largely independent of other weapons otherwise equal- and location-based hit points: three on every limb, and five on the torso. While I liked the idea of a location-based system, the rest needed fixed. It’s much easier for a player who has taken a sword blow to subtract one from a number than two, so I decided to make that the damage dealt by a sword. I also decided that hit points should be a bit lower. Thus the new system: the average character has three hit points on every location, though character class and armor may cause this to vary slightly. Additionally, having condensed my spell list, I have made it so that even a warrior character with no spellcasting can give the spells a quick glance and know enough to take any effects when the spell is cast on them.

This ability to internalize also has a great effect on immersion: if all players know, for example, that a sword does one point of damage, and a spell does three, then when they are hit with a sword or a spell they can mentally subtract fairly easily, eliminating the necessity of damage calls. Without damage calls, it is more similar to an actual battle (or at least as similar as foam-sword combat gets).

And that was it. The rulebook is now ten pages long, descriptive, and simple to remember. I have a few other projects I’m working on- cultural dossiers, and better weapons that look more like swords and less like clubs- but the rulebook itself is essentially completed.

Journal Excerpt #1

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

It seems sometimes, especially when one is young, that an Alaskan summer is never really over; that it goes on and on, a neverending continuum from the first Dena’ina fishermen on the wide Kenai river down to the modern young man or woman, hiking home through the woods with the promise of ice cream and a cold drink held before them. As I lie writing this, I am nineteen; old enough to do grown-up things, such as bargain with the Internal Revenue Service or pay for my own gasoline, but young enough that I do not really want to, and would much rather climb a tree, or read a book, or do both at the same time.
It is true, of course, that even when fully an adult, without the ability to call oneself a teen-ager, most people I have met still have little desire to do adult things; they seem more to have ungracefully accepted them as a part of life, something I have never aspired to do.
As another long Alaska summer day draws toward a close, I stare out the window of our old motor home, meditating on life and living. This evening has been the first of three days, in total, spent at the summer camp that my family attends each year. We have been coming for over a decade now, a longer time than any other family, and in fact longer than many members of the staff, a fact which grants me some measure of familiarity and even prestige. I have, on occasion, gone places that no other except some staff members are allowed, and my long history has given me a greater knowledge of the twists and turns of the moose-paths and side trails than most others with whom I speak.
The evening meal was a quiet affair, for the number of camp attendees this year is surprisingly small, but it marked a reunion with an old friend, who like myself spent much of his formative years at this camp. After our repast and pleasant reminiscence, we parted ways, him to organize the staff members in his charge, and I toward the grassy field overlooking the waterfront. There I met two young women, whom I joined in hitting a volleyball back and forth.
The evening’s enjoyment came to an end perhaps a little over an hour later, as the four of us- for another had joined eventually, a young man with even less skill than I- went our separate ways.