Missy's Guide for Making Tough Calls Pronto

I decided to write this guide by doing it. It’s like changing directions while running. Most we do is kill our momentum and trip on something. If I stopped to think about what I was doing too much, I probably would be staring blankly at some wall somewhere instead of doing anything! And I’ve mastered the fine art of looking at a wall. Trust me. There’s not much to it.

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Missy is my DnD character, a level 6 human rogue

First! Is anyone currently on your trail? Put down this guide and RUN. I can’t help you that pronto, and rogues aren’t the fastest readers.

On the down low? Better. Now, you might have to make a couple kinds of decisions.

When you have to make a tough call fast, assign choices to numbers on your (non-loaded) coins and dice and leave it up to the sweet Lady Luck. The more you do this, the more you loosen up and the less predictable you are. Which means you’re less likely to get caught!

I think that’s why those peasants threw bones in the fire to tell them where to farm? There’s more room for pleasant surprises that way.

Sometimes when you throw down that coin, Lady Luck tells you do to the wrong thing. This is great news, because here’s another secret: you don’t have to listen to her. Now you know what the wrong thing is. So do the right thing! And don’t forget to thank the nice Lady if you make it out alive.

But above that, the biggest piece of advice? Don’t freeze up. Freezing up is one of the worst ways of surviving. If thinking about things makes you freeze up, bring an impulsive friend to push you in some direction if you can’t move fast enough. Literally push.

Plus, the faster you make this decision, the more decisions you get to make. As long as you survive, the better you get at making decisions!

Sometimes you have a lot of time to make a decision. Which is kind of a curse, honestly. The key word is “good enough.” Perfection is for wizards, and everybody hates wizards.

If you’re not in a rush, it’s time to gather intel. You’re not going to learn anything new by waiting around and thinking. But snooping definitely works! Like, for example, if you’re unsure about a heist one night and you discover the guards are doubled, as if they were expecting you somehow, new info, new plan. That was a narrow miss.

Again, freezing up is a classic wizard mistake. You have to do something to see how it turns out. And then, those same sorts of situations will come up again and again. If you remember what worked when, that’s skill.

By making decisions quickly, you’re also training up your gut at making better calls. Intuition starts out dumb, which is why I was in jail, but I’m still better than my meathead older brother Lucy. He only has one hand now, that’s how stupid he is.

Sometimes your intuition just can’t learn fast enough, because you’re stupid like Lucy. If you are, you’re the muscle. You can read? Well, ignore everything else I wrote and just do what the smart one is doing.

If you got this far and you’re still stumped, guess what? It doesn’t matter! The choices that matter the least are the most evenly matched, so you can just pick ’em at random. Or get more info and try again later.

When it comes to making group decisions (ugh), assume all coins and dice are loaded. So make sure one person picks the coin and the other person calls which is which. For “short stick” situations, I recommend learning some slight-of-hand and being the person with the sticks. Or be nice to the boss, in the “I’m indispensable, don’t give me the dangerous role please” kind of way.

Sometimes, when you’re with a group of boring lawful good-types, every decision is “But what do you want to eat? Are you sure you don’t have a preference?” If you’re making a group decision and it doesn’t matter, say what you want and do that!

Pretending to care about other people’s food preferences is for paladins. Just focus on the big decisions and forget about who likes what kind of food. You’re doing everyone a favor by picking something: they can feel smug and superior, and everyone can get on with their lives.

To sum up, the big things to avoid are death and jail. If you can avoid those two things, you’re doing great and you’re definitely going to get better at making tough calls pronto. Do things like me, because everyone likes rogues.

Well, I got to disappear. Some gossipy cousin of mine told me to come to a birthday celebration for some friends I haven’t seen for a decade. I’m told to bring a date. You in?