Nice Heal check,… you earned 50 XP. And if you’ve spotted them all so far, you’ve got 350 XP and you’re second level. Good for you!

Apatosaurus 700 x 525

Brontophobia is the fear of loud noises, but more specifically, it is the fear of thunder. It comes from the the Greek “bronte” meaning thunder, which you might recognize from the name “brontosaurus” which means “thunder lizard.” Except that it doesn’t because brontosaurus technically didn’t exist and it was actually an apatosaurus. But new evidence now suggests it did exist. So we probably have to change the name of the apatosaurus because that means “deceptive lizard.” It was named that after scientists got “fooled” by it’s clever trick of having the wrong skull attached to the wrong body 144 million years after it went extinct. Yep, it was certainly a wily trickster. Seriously, we need to stop blaming the apatosaurus for a simple screw up.

But dinosaurs aside – as cool as dinosaurs are – let’s talk about brontophobia (which is also called astraphobia). Or rather, let’s talk about the word phobia. Sure, phobia comes from the Greek word “phobos” for fear. Phobos was also one of the twin offspring of Ares, the god of war, along with his brother Deimos (dread) rode into war with Ares. And that’s why the two moons of Mars are named Phobos and Deimos. Because Mars was basically Ares with the serial numbers filed off.

But role-players and people in general confuse “phobia” with a fear. A phobia is NOT a fear. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. In order to qualify as a phobia, a person must experience excessive or irrational fear of a specific object or situation, exposure to said object or situation must cause immediate anxiety or panic, and the person must KNOW the fear is excessive and irrational. A phobia is a problem wherein the person knows they are not in control of their fears and that their fears are over the top and irrational. Got it?

So, if you’re going to take a phobia for a few extra character points, you damn well better be prepared for that. There is nothing abnormal about being afraid of a shark in the ocean. However, if you check your swimming pool for sharks or have panic attacks whenever anyone goes in the ocean because a shark will kill them, then you might have a phobia. Especially if you keep trying to get yourself under control because you know your fear is crazy and you just can’t.

So, unless thunder literally immobilizes you while you have this fear of the house crashing down around you as the noise shakes it apart and you know that can’t happen, you don’t have a phobia. You’re just afraid. And that’s okay too.