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GAMING THE SYSTEM
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GSL Code S 2020 S2 | Ro16 | Group A | Rundown
Welcome to one of the only offline tournaments in 2020 on the planet, it's Ro16 time.
Living Legend with 3 Code S Finals and the reigning defending Champion: TY
Dark Horses and only foreigners consistently competing in GSL: SpeCial, Scarlett
Returning Legend looking to add some more glory days to his already stacked resume: DRG
The cheekily labelled "Group of Life" has become a staple in every GSL Season, as if to prove the top seed in the tournament has way too much power, nevertheless that makes expectations and the preview for it each time quite simple - in this case, TY was the overwhelming favorite heading into tonight with SpeCial trailing not too far behind him, leaving Scarlett and DRG with the challenging task of bringing something extra if they had any intention of making it out alive. Warning: Spoilers Ahead, Obviously Like a Phoenix Mutalisk rising from the ashes, DRG decided today was as good a day as any to remind us what greatness looks like by taking 1st place in convincing fashion with a vintage performance, what year is it. In the fallout that followed, TY then survived a brutal test in the mirror to secure 2nd, keeping the possibility of defending his crown alive as he still enters the Playoffs as one of the clear favorites.
M1 | TY [ 2 : 0 ] Scarlett | ★★☆☆☆ | All It Takes Is A Little Push
Golden Wall | The slowed down third Hatch, early Marine harass and anything else that went down at the start didn't end up mattering nearly as much as the perfectly planned and set up push on the main from the Terran starting around 06:30 and culminating at roughly 09:30 when the Zerg could no longer afford to bleed any more units to the unbreakable siege, resulting in her Lair being taken down and seemingly any real chance of turning this game around went with it. As if to contradict that point, TY then lost a billion SCVs to just Lings running around and the battle did slow down considerably, however Scarlett was still basically stuck without tech until the very end of the game and so kept being suffocated throughout the map and eventually run over all the same.
Deathaura | The decision to go two base Spire already had me shaking my head and it certainly didn't help TY once again opted for a relatively early push and then even ended up baiting out and taking a ridiculous fight around 07:00 to establish a commanding army supply lead, so the writing was on the wall for this one straight away with the back-breaker coming in shortly after.
M2 | SpeCial [ 1 : 2 ] DRG | ★★☆☆☆ | No One's Safe
Ice And Chrome | The early three CCs coupled with a BC rush really made it feel like the Zerg was an NPC about to get dumpstered by an insanely greedy Terran player, so when the Mech followup also came in & the third CC landed undefended and went unpunished, even the fact a whole flock of Corruptors came out blindly to fight a fleet that didn't exist - absolutely everything was pointing to a decisive SpeCial win here. DRG's attempted Roach Ravager attacks also did fuck all, if anything it looked like the Zerg's fate was sealed as soon as they fell flat, and then the inconceivable happened i.e. at roughly 11:15 DRG bet it all on a Muta switch and as 20+ of them arrived and instantly ravaged the borderline defenseless Terran base the game was instantly flipped on its head and SpeCial tapped out immediately, likely in utter disbelief.
Deathaura | From there the tilt was real as three SCVs left the Terran base before the game had even started and the dastardly setup planned and executed perfectly by SpeCial consisting of multiple Bunkers going up around 2:50 thanks to DRG's decision to have his defense consist of a huge Drone squad roaming the map meant by the time the rush was getting remotely close to cleaned up the Zerg was down to 11 workers against his opponent's 18+, meaning the winrate of proxy Barracks in tournaments went up accordingly.
Pillars of Gold | The second attempt to win the game before it started via buildings in the middle of the map didn't go nearly as well when DRG's Overlord secretly flew over the proxy, so thanks to a little finesse around 02:40 the Zerg took control of the game, despite SpeCial's admittedly persistent harass which came in soon enough and the Terran's solid hold on his side of the map when Roaches waddled over there to accomplish next to nothing. The scheduled push from SpeCial with three Tanks then arrived only to find way more units defending than he'd bargained for, so the Terran packed his things and went home, however DRG wasn't interested at all in prolonging this one any further so he geared up for an assault and simply crashed into his opponent's flimsy defenses at roughly 10:10 with a sea of Ravagers and their thirty or so closest friends, trampling over everything for the win.
M3 | TY [ 1 : 2 ] DRG | ★★★☆☆ | Surprise, Surprise, The King Is Back
Ice And Chrome | The cheeky three CC opener with a Blue-Flame Hellion push designed to sell the idea TY was opting for Mech on this map just like SpeCial was very nice, but when his harass got held with relative ease and DRG completely avoided getting duped it definitely felt like the Zerg was then in a great position. Regardless, as you would expect TY came up with an assault on the supposed fourth Hatch all the same and took it out with a mess of Hellbats and Marines at the front, unfortunately for him at that point DRG had around 80 Drones and four more Hatcheries to fuel his forces. The defending Champion definitely had some slick moves here regardless, including a snipe on the crucial Spawning Pool just as he was also attacking on multiple fronts, however all that effort would be for naught as the Zerg absolutely swarmed the map in retaliation at 13:30, overwhelming the defenses with Muta Ling Bane, sniping a base and massacring 30 SCVs, an econ lead that would persist until the very end. TY did everything he could to maintain his army size from there but was never able to get the finishing move off, so when he overcommitted on a particular push around 17:40 and then got chased and gunned down by DRG's flock the gap widened and set up the Swarm's killing blow at 19:15 giving the once upon a time Champion an important lead in the series.
Golden Wall | Without a doubt the Terran motto of the day was "when in doubt, proxy a few Barracks" but when DRG once again spotted the shenanigans coming his way it felt like the upset was already secured, instead TY made short work of the Zerg's questionable defense around 02:50 by killing 11 Drones, giving himself more than enough room to transition and eventually drop off some Hellions inside an undefended expansion that forced the Zerg to move on to the next game, trying things up in the process.
Pillars of Gold | A relatively calm opening in comparison followed here, with harassment eventually killing a good amount of Drones, which was just shy of enough to realistically slow down the Zerg macro monster. In fact, TY's attempts to keep DRG busy instead of opting for a push were backfiring as the underdog engulfed more and more of the map, securing his territory with a surprising switch to Hydra Ling Bane and while some initial fights seemingly went okay enough for the Terran it was at roughly 14:50 when DRG metaphorically flipped the table and just ran his opponent over with a devastating extremely successful assault largely thanks to the addition of the Viper by the notoriously Lair-only player. Technically still alive, TY did what he could to recover yet the knockout blow would land soon enough after that with two bases and 40 SCVs going down around 16:50, making the inconceivable a reality as the once upon a time Zerg Champion secured 1st place over the reigning Code S Champion in 2020.
M4 | Scarlett [ 1 : 2 ] SpeCial | ★★★☆☆ | Heart vs Determination
Deathaura | Aside from some relatively early Raven harassment and a conscious decision to add Roaches to the Zerg comp defensively, an otherwise straightforward macro game unfolded here, with the expected Terran three Tank push arriving at the enemy gates what felt like quite late around 08:40 at which point that assessment could be judged completely void considering SpeCial then simply tore through Swarm territory with ease to pull off the worst bop of the night after the most one-sided fight or lack there of we'd seen so far.
Ice And Chrome | When the Roach Warren appeared in the production tab again, the early Hellion Liberator harassment resulted in 13 Drones going down and then the last hope Mutas were queued up, it genuinely felt like this series was all but done already, so as SpeCial sniped more and more workers along with taking down bases seemingly at will, we were all just waiting for Scarlett to give up at that point as she crumbled under the relentless pressure. Instead, the Zerg's last stand at 14:40 became the turning point of the game, with Scarlett's flock reaching critical mass, allowing her to take back control and chase SpeCial all the way to his production, buying herself enough breathing room to get some Ultras out, which allowed the Zerg to confidently go for the base race around 19:50 with the then superior army, taking us into the final game in impressive fashion with that sick comeback.
Pillars of Gold | Attempting to punish the three CC opener with a side of BC using Roach Ravager immediately put Scarlett behind at the start of this last map thanks to a single Banshee shutting it down cold, after which a bunch of Hellions charged her mineral lines and killed 8 Drones for good measure. Visibly questioning what to do next, the Zerg went for both a Spire and Hydra Den, then bet it all on the Mutas initially and held on against the constant pressure from SpeCial as he sniped bases one after the other again while dancing around all the defense which eventually included Lurkers and Vipers. Basically forced to defend for the entirety of the game, Scarlett never managed to make it across the map even after taking great fights and winning a number of engagements, most perfectly demonstrated around 19:00 where you could see her struggle to contain the Terran aggression despite having all the necessary tools, SpeCial's setup was just rock solid and after making it rain EMPs until the Zerg's Vipers became a complete non-factor over and over you could see the Terran simply couldn't be denied here.
Deathaura | It was all too easy to get excited when a pair of SCVs left TY's base until we remembered this was TvT, so we got to watch the two players throw blows at each other but that's about it, since SpeCial basically passed the skill-check opener with flying colors and had a significant second base lead as the cherry on top. TY wasn't interested in falling behind more and more though, so he took a chance and it paid off with his third CC being way ahead of the enemy Terran and the icing on the cake were the 14+ SCVs his Raven harassment resulted in, basically giving him an incredible econ lead as he went into standard Bio play. SpeCial on the other hand hunkered down hard and went with Mech, so when he cleaned up everything his opponent had to throw at him and maxed out with a terrifying army, it basically looked like all he had to do was stroll across the map to end the game. Ever the opportunist, TY was unwilling to let this one go, so during the chaotic base race when he noticed the enemy Vikings were ever slightly out of position the defending Champion simply dropped everything he had over all of SpeCial's Tanks at roughly 16:05 and turned the game on its head from there, leveraging the more mobile army and some cheeky proxy production to put his protege in an impossible situation and pick him apart for the win.
Ever Dream | The single Barracks proxy from SpeCial, early back and forth skirmishes and both players opting for mirrored Mech was just the start of a game that would turn into what can only be described as a complete bloodbath. SpeCial looked to be in a great position as he sieged up and forced the lift of the third CC early on at 09:30 however from there TY not only held on but continued a worker massacre via his trusty Banshees that would basically never end & even found himself on four bases ahead of the rival Terran while both defending at home and launching attacks of his own, notably around 11:50 as he sniped a CC after a slick runby, snowballing his lead even further. The response from SpeCial was swift and deadly, using his army as a distraction while Liberators murdered every enemy SCV under the sun starting from 12:30 which essentially should have given SpeCial the lead, if only TY himself didn't also pounce on the opportunity to push back so quickly at 13:25 when the Champion's forces dove into enemy territory, netting him over 30 SCV kills for his troubles, basically resetting the game as both players briefly fell under 100 supply. After their collective "recovery", it seemed to be TY's turn to cause pain again, so around 16:15 another wave of worker deaths was kicked off by Banshee harass and finished off with the main army joining in on the fun, scoring an additional 30 SCV kills before he was chased out, giving the Champion yet another impressive supply lead this time in both econ and army. SpeCial impressively held on for a while regardless, in fact somehow bridged the gap numerous times after that, however TY simply would not be denied today, showing incredible fortitude of his own and basically refusing to lose, closing things out at roughly 26:50 when an attempted flank by his opponent turned into a pain sandwich as the Champion tore through the last real army the underdog could afford, depleting both his bank and energy to force the hard earned victory.
If you've followed these rundowns for a while you're going to know I don't say this lightly or often - amazing day of Code S.
Match of the Night - entirely depends on your criteria, I would genuinely recommend M3 where DRG proved he was truly back with some incredible macro especially on that last map and also M4 where Scarlett and SpeCial fought incredibly hard, proving their mettle and showing off their skills particularly on the last two maps and I'm sure we can all agree that M5 might go down as one of the best TvTs of the year especially because of the inconceivable back and forth destruction on that last map.
Finally, here are some of my closing thoughts on each player:
DRG took down the Code S Champion and did it convincingly, no "Group of Life" caveats required for this man heading into the Ro8 and what a comeback story from the returning Legend. I was very careful to temper my expectations considering how much I loved his play back in the day, in that regard his Ro24 performance didn't have me convinced, but today was something else entirely (I'd even argue he played better as the day went on i.e. against the tougher opponent DRG did better). This is so exciting to see in terms of adding another Elite player to the Zerg pool, I can't wait to watch his next match, here's hoping DRG has it in him to keep going at this pace.
TY wasn't at full strength today, that's for sure, and in hindsight it feels like he's created a monster. Nevertheless, the Champion did what was required of him i.e. closed things out in the last match which absolutely could have gone 2-0 either way, so from here we once again enter the master planner's realm. The most impressive part of TY's Championship run last Season was when it came time to focus on individual opponents and longer series, in that regard it's hard to be worried for him based on today, since TY made it clear to take him down you're going to need everything you have and even then it might not be enough, so I definitely don't think this perceived vulnerability means the double crown is off the table by any means.
SpeCial really did everything he could tonight and lost by the absolute minimal margin, if a few things had gone right for him he may have very well been first instead if he'd finished DRG when he had the chance, it's crazy. In any case, I think anyone who watched the games today will understand the label "loser" doesn't really apply to any of the players here when everyone brought the heat sooner or later, so it's very hard to criticize SpeCial too hard when he only lost after pushing his opponents to their limit. Legitimately, in an only slightly altered timeline, TY is eliminated from his own "Group of Life" and SpeCial is crowned the King of Mexico, so here's hoping he's not too hard on himself for the losses here.
Scarlett started so cold in her first three maps that I was genuinely worried she'd be the designated punching bag of the night, only for her incredible display of heart on series point to deliver that phenomenal comeback and then the Zerg showed spectacular resilience in a war of attrition she would ultimately lose. The reality of the situation is that you can't afford to lose a series uncontested at this point of the tournament, but I do think if she'd made it to M5 we'd have seen a completely different match than the opener, so in that regard I also don't feel the need to stress where Scarlett faltered too hard either, thanks to that impressive recovery by the end (felt like she ran out of time and energy in that sense, the skill is clearly there & the Eye Test beats pointing at a scoreboard and laughing any day of the week).
As always, if you think differently or have something interesting to add, feel free to do so in the comments below. Catch you on Saturday bright and early for Group B, where we'll see how INnoVation's plan to pick Dark of all people will be working out, with a rejuvenated PartinG capable of taking both of them down also present and an eager Bunny prowling around to eat them alive if anyone were to stumble. In other words, it's Group of Death o'clock. Thanks as always for reading & see you when I see you! (: -M
First of all, this post is my personal opinion, you may diagree blah-blah, who reads disclaimers anyway. Point is that I do not represent The Ultimate Truth (tm) this is just my view of recent DLC politics that Fatshark implemented. I am sincerely surprised why this was not posted before tbh. Brief introduction – I have been playing V2 almost since the release, counter is approaching 2000 hrs and this game is my option to relax if there are no other projects going. You all know why we are returning-the gameplay is insanely attractive, even despite a number of problems. I also want to say a few words about the class itself-the Grail Knight is a very good interpretation of Slayer without betting on crazy dps and speed, but with a bet on high damage to the single target and staggering crowd control. I haven’t played much as GK yet, but the class itself pleased me, it is not often that new content is so high-quality *cough, winds of magic, cough*. However, despite this, I have one problem with this class. The essence of the problem is quite simple (just don't tell me that I don't have money, that's not the point of the post) – the Grail Knight costs $10. You can say that the knight costs only 4 and you will be right, but you will have NOTHING but the class itself and two weapons unique to the class. You will not have two frames for completing legend and champion, there will be no skins and hats (not at all), there will be no skins for weapons, including red ones. Also, you will not be able to get any weapon skins from the chests, because they are not there - they are locked in another DLC and after you but it - you should pay Lohner to buy them from emporium. That is, in fact, for $4 you get a very good career, but everything else that usually went in the DLC is entirely missed. At the same time, the quotes of the Grail knight is an obvious hack work, which is a shame to even release to production, he should have been left mute if you could not adequately record his new voicelines. Why the hell do we have such quality if updates in V2 are released slower than in any other game I've played, and when the update comes out – the amount of content in it is as small as possible?! I note the fact that (I do not know whether accidentally or intentioanlly, but this is a very convenient "accident" if you want my opinion) when I first day took DLS – I didn't see any links in steam that by buying KG for $4, I buy only the class itself and to all that usually comes in DLC - you need to buy DLC for my DLC. Looks very fishy. Even now on the game page there is no cost of cosmetic DLC, N/A is displayed, to see the full cost you need to go to the page of the knight and see the information about the set. I see this as an attempt at false advertising and misleading the customers. I also remind you that for 10 bucks in the past DLC you received a set of weapons for all characters, 2-3 challenges for this weapon for all characters, two skins for this weapon and new maps, with frames for new maps on all difficulties. In the case of bogenhafen there were given a ton of cosmetic items. The cherry on the cake-then there will be another 4 DLC (for each of the characters) for $10, and in total with this minuscule amount of content in each FS will get $50. If all classes are implemented in the same way, it is a rip-off. I will note that even now I can buy a number of games within 10$ that will hold more content than the content of this DLC. And for $ 50, you can purchase a full-fledged AAA product, or even two, given the steam sales. Even now, when I write this - theres Witcher 3 available for 12$, and for 15$ you can get 2 DLC TO IT. That is, I can add 2-5 $ and instead of 1 character buy the whole damn game along with DLC. And finally, I don't mind DLC as such, when they are packed with with content and you can see the effort put, if they bring something interesting/unique, or expand the field for experiments (this I say as a person who bought some DLC in payday 2). I don't mind separate cosmetic DLCs in form of hats that was released not so long ago (still overpriced but ok). And I value honesty in this matter even more. If the page just had a DLC for $ 10 - I would be outraged bc of the the price in any case, but it would be transparent and understandable. Right now I see it as an attempt to deceive players, since one career for 5-7$ seems more reasonable so you might not suspect anything from the price alone. TL;DR-the Knight is good, but the voice lines suck bigus dickus. Hiding the full price of DLS from the game page seems like a dubious business practice. Selling 1 character at the price of full-scaled DLC with a significantly larger amount of content is disappointing.
Gambling Shops on the hermitcraft server and the real economics behind them.
This post is going to be a lot like my post about Tango Tek's monopoly on iron, where I put most of my focus on a single hermit and the history that they reflect in their actions. Today's Hermit is Iskall and his Treasure Island, and the gambling on the server throughout the seasons. The reason why I want to focus on the gambling is because the history, economics and psychology is utterly fascinating. But first, we should explain exactly what I'm talking about. Iskall currently runs a shop called Treasure Island. On this shop, you can pay a single diamond block to take a shulker box, or "gem" , from a large pile. You cannot look inside before taking the box, and you get to keep the gem and any contents you find inside. Some boxes have more diamonds in them than you payed, or have materials or tools. Recently, Iskall has changed the shop so that all the boxes at least contain something in them rather than having some of them be completely empty. That's the basics. This is, at its core, gambling. You are paying a certain amount of money for the chance to win rewards. It's a pretty good price, especially when you consider the free shulker box. However, Iskall makes a good profit from this shop. Even if he puts diamonds into the boxes, those diamond blocks add up. Hermits tend to buy around 2-4 boxes when they go to the island. We've also seen older gambling games in the past. The games district in Season 6 contained multiple gambling games, varying from dice to lotteries to even Iskall's own Run minigame which had similar jackpot shulker boxes. It's pretty addictive, and we'll get to that later. But first, what type of gambling is this, and how old is gambling? Well, there is a lot of gambling, so we should focus on the game. The best real world comparison for gambling I can think of would be the lottery. Both of them are a game of chance where you buy a physical card (Or in this case, box), and then find the results inside. The hermits are not betting on anything other than their own luck, and the rewards are predetermined. Just like the lottery, although the prizes may be daunting in size and the price of the individual ticket very small, the quantity of tickets makes up for that and leads to a profit. Treasure Island is just a simple, non malicious lottery game. There have been other types of gambling on the server prior to this. The Games district in season six even had a variation of a dice game along with Iskall's Run game which had a similar function to Treasure Island. There have been many other types of gambling, although lotteries are what I want to focus on. In the real world, gambling has a very fascinating history and can teach us a lot about how Iskall made a profit from his Treasure Island. The earliest form of gambling goes back to Ancient China in 2300 BC. The gambling found there appeared to be something similar to a lottery, where numbers were drawn written on wood slabs. Keno gambling (a system where you choose a series of numbers, usually 8 in a row and hope to get an amount of them correct), something which is still used in modern Casinos, appeared in 200 BC in China as well. Dice games would also appear in Ancient Rome, specifically 500 BC. This history would continue to advance as well. Keno is our earliest example of a lottery style of gambling, which is what our Treasure Island is a type of. In 1539, France would use a form of modern ticket based lottery in order to build funds to pay state finances. This idea of using lotteries to pay for state finances is very common today. State Lotteries use a system very similar to Keno, where a person picks a certain amount of numbers and hopes to get the right combination. With most of these types of games, and especially lotteries, the chance of you winning the big prize is low. Very low, in the millions. This is why I called Treasure Island not malicious, as the chances of you winning are millions of times higher. Let's do that math for a state lottery. Let's say that you have to pick a number combination of 4 numbers. You can pick any number from 0-9, meaning we have 10 choices for each number. The numbers go up exponentially the more numbers you choose. With these 4 numbers, you have a 1 in 211, 876 chance of getting it right. 5 numbers, and that number jumps up to 1 in 1, 906, 884 chance of getting it. If you have 6 numbers, the chance of you getting it right is 13, 983, 816. Compare this to the 30-50 shulker boxes on the pile, of which multiple have jackpots. You probably have a 1-10 chance of getting at least something of worth, especially since there are a multitude of jackpots. Even then, some of the less useful shulkers can be put to use now that you have a shulker box. Dirt or gravel can be used for landscaping or making concrete. Overall, the odds are in your favor compared to real gambling. This doesn't mean that this game is free from the issues that come with gambling, which is where we have to talk about psychology. To this date, no hermit has thrown away all of their money on Treasure Island. We have seen some examples of hermits sinking in more money than they originally planned, which is a fantastic example of the Sunk Cost fallacy. I'm not going to talk about gambling addictions, although that is another issue that comes with the industry. You might have heard of the Sunk Cost fallacy, but I want to describe it in a bit more detail. The Sunk cost fallacy is when you continue to do something, whether that be an action or endeavor, because you have already put money or time into it. This is generally done because you feel you are required something in return for a previous action. have you ever been building or Mining only to find that you can't turn it off until you are finished? You can pause the game at any time in Minecraft, but since you have put time into that build or that mining process, you have to follow through with it. Even if you feel like you should take a break, you continue playing because you feel obligated to and are owed some form of satisfaction. Another example of this would be loot boxes. Let's say that you bought a few loot boxes to get a skin you really liked in a game, only to be disappointed when you don't get it. Therefore, you feel like you have to buy more loot boxes because you are owed that skin due to the money you've already sunk into it. These are the basics of the Sunk Cost fallacy, and this can be seen in the hermits and their actions at Treasure Island. You can even see an example of this in a Keralis Video- (This video). When Keralis gets a diamond block from one of the gems, he immediately puts it onto the diamond pile and goes to grab another shulker box. Since he has already used 5 diamond blocks to buy the gems, why wouldn't one more hurt? That is the Sunk Cost fallacy in action. At this point, we have to ask a question that America has struggled with for a while- Is this morally ok? The USA's response would be yes with an asterisk the size of a Hermit Mega base. Modern gambling is regulated heavily in America, partially due to years of anti-gambling sentiments that persisted throughout the late 19th and early to mid 20th century. The major reason why Gambling is even legal today is due to the great depression, where gambling was some people's only chance to get out of poverty. it was also an escape from the sad conditions that America was in during the time. today, gambling laws vary depending on which state you are in. Las Vegas is famous for having extremely relaxed gambling laws and a massive amount of casinos. However, some states have businesses like Casino's banned entirely. Depending on how someone interacts with the industry, gambling can either be a fun pastime or a predatory influence. So, is this type of gambling ok on the server? Well... sorta. Gambling, especially when combined with a fun server like Hermitcraft, is fun. There are no real world consequences to throwing away a few diamonds on a minigame like Treasure Island. It's a unique experience and gives people that exciting thrill, hoping to get that big prize. As a Scholar of Hermitcraft Economics, I would argue that it is a natural, and important part of a miniature economy. However, this shop uses human psychology rather than a consistent product in order to make money. It does not sell a material or service, but an experience that could hemorrhage diamonds from hermits. Gambling is exploitative at its core, using things such as the Sunk Cost Fallacy to make money. Treasure Island is no different, even with the prizes being more common and easier to get. I am very glad that this type of business has slowed down in this season compared to the massive amount found in season 6. Funny enough, I think the reason for it would be either the new land purchase laws or people simply being burnt out from the massive amount of minigames. Unlike the competition in industries like concrete, having a lot of "casinos" tends to wear out fast. Games like the Head Games or tag are important as large story events but I think the position that treasure island is in right now is ok as long as the amount of gambling type shops stays limited. It also seems that iskall isn't focusing on that shop, instead focusing on his massive MEGA shop in the middle of the shopping district. I just hope he doesn't try and enter the concrete industry. I don't want to add another competitor to the list. Here are my other economic/history posts about the server- A discussion of alternative currencies on The hermitcraft server Why the concrete industry is so special How to rig the hermitcraft election 101 Emerald Hyperinflation in the hermitcraft economy Political philosophy in the mayoral race How I believe the mayorship should function and the history behind it Tango Tek's monopoly on iron and it's similarities to real world monopolies Why Netherite won't become the new currency Why Diamonds are the currency on the server I was honestly surprised how well the concrete one did. I guess people like my economics more than my history stuff. I'm kinda on a roll posting this stuff. I should probably slow down lol. I do suggest you check out the tango tek one, as that is similar to this post. I'd also love to hear some opinions on the idea of gambling on the server, and any ideas for laws on the server.
Need Advice/Suggestions (Player Stories/Plot Hooks?)
Sorry that this post is a bit of a read, I am looking for some info, suggestions, and/or advice. I am running a game for my family. We had a lot of fun the first session and they are looking forward to the second one tomorrow. They were real champs and made sure to participate with every single festival event I prepared for them, they didn't realise the festival games they did were all my creation until the end when I asked them if they liked them, when I said that they were really impressed! The players have made some personal requests for their characters I want to try to meet to make them feel more invested in the campaign and part of the world of Golarion. I don't want to overwhelm myself with a huge plotline for each of them but just something little for each of them to enjoy. (Edit: I know the game has just begun and I don't want to push individual plotlines on them early on, but with how I operate I would like even just a vague idea of what I'd like to weave into the adventure path as I prepare the sessions for them, so I can pick out opportunities to throw in stuff for them. With that said, I would like to have a contingency for the barbarian and the investigator ASAP!) I'm running Pathfinder 1e, Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition. All the players are adults and I am comfortable adjusting encounters (I am comfortable adjusting combat encounter CR, and changed the Shayliss roleplay encounter entirely to remove the sexual nature of it bc I didn't want to roleplay flirting with my mum or dad or something, ew haha) Anyway, since I'm asking about the PCs here's a bit of info on each of them.
Catfolk investigator, family ties campaign trait. He's sort of like a PI and gets hired by people to investigate things. He has a tie to the Sczarni in Sandpoint, though he told me he wants to avoid them and that his PC tries to separate himself from criminal life. Just before the first session was about to start, he asked for a private chat when he told me he'd like to have someone to investigate, and that he wanted it to be another PC. None of the other players particularly stick out to me as candidates so I'm stumped, and I'm stumped on who could have hired him to investigate the PC. I suggested an NPC target but he wasn't into that, so I told him I'll see what I can to and said that he's been asked to go to Sandpoint's Rusty Dragon and that he'll receive further instructions there, but as a DM I asked that he holds off on doing that during the intro session cos he took me off-guard with his request and he was cool with that. I kind of didn't want this one to be straight forward, somewhere down the line there's a plot twist: his client isn't who they say they are (or the PC target isn't who the client says they are) and the client has sinister intentions. I thought maybe the changeling (below) could be his target and that her hag mother hired him (only he doesn't realise it's her hag mother)? But then I don't know which direction it should go from there. Maybe at first to just watch the PC and keep tabs, sometimes report back, and later she tries to ask him to lure the changeling to her with the promise of payment for his services (hopefully after the party's formed a bond of camaraderie and stuff, I'd ofc make adjustments if things don't work out like that) and that's when the climax of changeling's story happens too? Thoughts?
Changeling witch, goblin watcher campaign trait. Her character's just short of turning 15 and going through "The Calling," she's mentioned an interest in the calling (and doesn't want to become a hag!), but I'm not sure how to pace foreshadowing this or how to really go about it. I would like for it to end in combat with her hag mother and her (hopefully) emerging victorious, and since she doesn't want to be a hag it seems like that's the direction it'd likely go! I thought maybe it could start off with a disturbing dream with some weird symbolism to it that foreshadows stuff a little, and then to gradually affect her PC in the waking world. I wanted to trigger the first dream shortly before her char's bday, which should be happening between chapter 2-3 (she hasn't given me an exact time yet, just that it'll either be winter or spring). From there, idk where to go with it haha.
Young shoanti barbarian, hagfish hopeful trait. he's been showing an interest in working with the Sczarni and doing dodgy dealings with them. This player is the only one that's never played tabletop games before, so I want to make sure he enjoys himself. What kind of stuff can I throw at him for the sczarni? In the first session, he (unintentionally) approached the Sczarni lurking ground in Sandpoint to join in with the arm wrestling that some thugs were betting on, he won, and he was told to come back if he wanted work. I was thinking of maybe starting him off with a trial job as another test, and have them slowly ask for more from him each time he goes back for more work (such as later being a debt collector, roughing people up, that kind of thing? See what his character's moral limit is?) He told me he wants his character to be a bit of a lad and dabble with drugs, but to later redeem himself and become a bit of a hero. I'm not sure what tasks he should be given or how to appropriately pace or escalate them.
Sylph magus, scholar of the ancients trait. She's a traveller with no attachments to any particular place so my main thing is trying to make Sandpoint interesting enough to keep her character hooked to it, she doesn't seem too interested in the nerdy lore stuff but she has yet to meet Brodert properly (they had an introduction during the festival) and hear his theories about Old Light, maybe that'll get her interested? If not, is there anything else I can throw at her? She really plays on the fact that sylphs like to eavesdrop and lurk around, the player is lovely and quite entertaining. I have asked her what she'd like out of this campaign as a player and for her character but I don't recall her answer, I'm not sure she gave one, but I can try to ask again during the session tomorrow.
Human cavalier. He said none of the traits fit his char, so i made a deal with him that if he can give me a reason he'd be in Sandpoint, he can freely pick any trait in place of the campaign one. He's written a really detailed backstory, here's my summary and first session observations: He's devout to Sarenrae, he's charitable and likes talking to the NPCs in Sandpoint.Over ten years ago, he was part of the town guard in his hometown, but he took the fall for some shit so he had to leave. He found solace at a temple of Sarenrae for 10 years, and recently left to become a travelling mercenary for hire. He arrived in Sandpoint as the bodyguard of a travelling merchant and stayed for the festival. The player's made a particular note that his character once failed to protect a farmer and his family and spent a weak in penance one time. The player who created this character loves games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, NWN, etc., and is really smart and soaks up information like a sponge. I was wondering if there is there anything I can give him that he'll enjoy? Maybe a small side quest to test his faith? He's got a lance and a mount and seems interested in mounted combat (I kind of wish I knew this before I prepared the festival games I did, I'd have given him a jousting tournament to participate in). I've asked him what he hopes to get out of the campaign and what his characters' goals/hopes are and he just shrugged, I can try asking again tomorrow.
Any suggestion is appreciated, if someone can recommend a module, novel, game, or something to get inspiration from? Even a lore book. I am posting this so early in the game because I tend to take a while to figure this kind of thing out and research it, I do wish these guys made their characters sooner to give me a lot more thinking and research time but what's done is done! As I said, I don't want to take on too much but when three players make requests (the barbarian, witch, and investigator), i don't want the other two to feel left out and have nothing for them, and I kinda need help figuring out what to do for the people that asked! Anyway, thanks!
How I beat deity after 13 days (by cheating! kind of)
EDIT: Vanilla Civ 6 Please note, I'm not a good player. I can't really give you great tips, but I can tell you the path I went through to get where I got and things I learned along the way. I consider the way I play pretty cheap. I save a lot and go back to saves sometimes. The way I beat deity was a really cheap method that I only knew about by watching someone do it on youtube (potato mcwhiskey). Full Disclosure, I played Civ 5 on xbox 360 years ago but I don't think I played all that much. Beat it on whatever the default setting was and never played again. My first game in Civ 6 I played the default setting...and had to quit because I was getting destroyed. So I dropped difficulty way down and got acclimated to the game and then worked my way up. I didn't take screenshots of my victory screens, but here's how the deity game ended up. Below is my journey:
1st Game: Germany - Prince / Continents / Standard Map Size
How do you play this game again?
First builds: whatever was recommended, don't remember
This game is called civilization, why aren't these people being more civilized
I'm a man of science, let me learn you barbarians, stop attacking me
Eating ice cream should help
Seriously, what are all these civics and technologies and why can't I get any of these other countries to smile?
What? You're going to denounce me for not having enough science? Shouldn't you be helping instead of hurting then?
Replaced ice cream with google. Less tasty but so much more helpful.
What google taught me regarding best starting strategy - there is no best starting strategy
Turns out ice cream may be just as helpful as google
...but google did say to look at what's around you and base your strategy on that. I looked around me and saw fields with stuff on them. I don't know what that stuff is. I'm not going to learn about them, it'll come naturally I'm sure.
I'm going to have to save a lot because I think I'm messing up a lot. I mean, I don't know if I'm messing up, but I bet it'll turn out I'm messing up.
Early game - focus on building cities
Next - focus on science
Then - build up production
Suddenly, I'm flying
Everyone else is playing with sticks and making houses out of mud
Quickly get bombers and now my science victory has turned into domination *First builds: scout > settler > slinger > scout
4th Game: Scythia - King / Continents / Standard Map Size
Decided to try an early domination win - Scythia allows for horse archers really early and builds double units so I thought I was going to dominate
I did not dominate - learned that you can't take cities without melee units. I'm out here with war horses and they're too polite to kick down a gate. They'll just shoot their arrows at it from one space away. I surrounded cities for like 10 turns absolutely praising the craftsmanship of their walls since they would not fall down. Maybe horse archers aren't the way to go.
Eventually get knights.
Eventually get bombers.
Killing everyone with bombers and a couple of knights. Not even armies, just single knights or corps.
I was attacked early on and had to spam archers. Kongo came at me with a good mix of units and I held them off with 4 archers. Moved them in and out of cities, perched on hills and climbed trees. If you're defending across a riveon a hill/in trees, you can withstand a good amount of punishment.
Because I had a good amount of archers, I was able to not only withstand the attack but lay siege to Kongo and eventually take over all their cities. Early game victories are pretty huge. I boosted a ton of my tech/civs and it let me coast a bit and just focus on science/prduction/money for a while. I even got laser jets which are pretty cool. I got Nuclear Fission but couldn't build the silo in time before winning. First World Civilization problems.
Religion - pantheon fertility rites so I could grow population. Eventually founded a religion which was nice but didn't really focus on it. I think I went for tithing/production.
By the time I won, the best units on the board were tanks/artillery - no one else but me had planes, everyone else worried about Covid
Why I chose Rome - all cities get roads, one extra territory upon founding a city
Told myself I was going for science as I went for bombers again
Whoa, AI got to planes around 1400AD while I'm still working on industrialization...so me winning by science or technology seems pretty unlikely but I don't know anything about faith or culture so I guess this means I'm just going to die...
Religion - pantheon border expansion since fertility wasn't available. Turned out really nice since it helped me really grow my cities. Did tithing and that one that exerts border pressure. Since I didn't really do much religion building the pressure on neighboring cities wasn't all that useful. Bought a couple of buildings with faith.
Lots of money. Used it to buy builders, traders, and bombers.
Not the best starting spot - but there are horses somewhat close by so I try to rush a settler to get there only...england already got there...??? 5 turns in and England already had a settler? This doesn't look good.
Try to be aggressive early and get my horse archers going but didn't get their quite as fast as I would have liked and now cities have walls and horse archers are scared of walls. Watching them just plinking these walls with their useless arrows made me think of a baby trying to knock a man down using a blanket.
This is not fun, why did I think this game was fun.
I think that baby would be a better civ player than me.
What. England got to the atomic age by 1200AD. How is possible.
Pillaging. Why did I never pillage before? This is ridiculous. I'm getting tons of money and faith. But what can I do with faith without a religion? Some of the religions allowed me to buy a warrior monk. Later on I learned you can buy great people with faith.
Constantly at war with people and coastal raiding. Not many land units. Couldn't reach 2 civs though so had to start building berserkers to go with my air force since I just focused on the top part of the tech tree. Berserkers are like suicide bombers. Pretty useless for me. Ended up eventually upgrading them to musketmen which helped a lot.
Harbors are actually pretty awesome. Never bothered with them before, but they give good bonuses.
Finally got to use mechanical engineers to build airstrips for my planes. *AI gets to planes so fast in Deity but don't seem to spend time building them. Some of the civs were severely hampered by al my haranguing but the ones that I couldn't get to thrived. I thought for sure they would destroy me but again, barely any air units and no anti air units by the time I started attacking in the 1400s.
Get tech/civ boosts. Research up until it can be boosted then switch to another tech/civ and work on boosting them so you don't waste your turns
Get to bombers as soon as you can if you want a domination victory. I typically got them around 1400s and easily cruised through the rest of the game
If you're going for bombers, make sure to search the map for aluminum when radio is researched. If you don't have any in your cities, build/buy a settler down on it and you'll get it without having to build a mine.
Get Charles Darwin if you see Pantanal. You do not have to own the city it's on. Either have open borders or be at war with the city and you can activate him there.
If you don't have religion but have faith, you can buy great people.
Chop chop. Clear trees/rainforest to boost production. If you have no hills, though, you can save them for lumber mills.
Policy cards can be great tools. Time them well. Whenever I have to upgrade units, I try to time them with a quick civic (usually Theology) and use the Policy Upgrade wildcard. Try to get to Merchant Explorer as soon as you can if you're not going for a religion build since you pick up some good civics along the way and get those additional policy slots.
If you're going to war, definitely make sure you have the pillaging cards in place. If you don't, it's worth it to unlock your policies to do it.
Starting strategies are tough to make universal. If you think you're going to war, you might not need to build as many cities as you take them over. If you don't care about warmongering, capture a city or two, make peace and extort the other city for as much as you can. Make sure to have them cede the cities in your peace agreement.
Don't forget to use your money, especially early on. Traders typically take around the same amount of time to build as builders but are cheaper to buy and are great for trading production/food.
Wonders are tough. If you're doing Norway, get the Great Lighthouse. I've pretty much always gotten Ruhr Valley. I got Oxford University once (I think on Prince). If I'm trying to get a wonder, I try to make sure there are woods/rainforest to chop to boost them. There's also the policy card that boosts wonder building but I usually don't bother with those. There are a couple of great engineers that boost production that you can look into recruiting.
Check the Great Persons screen to see what others are doing. It's an easy way to see what other civs are focusing on and whether or not you should pursue something.
It's tempting to get a builder and then start improving everything. Look at your city and see if you're even going to be using the tiles you're improving. It's ok to wait.
If you want to beat deity just for the sake of beating deity, just do the Norway/seven seas map and coastal raid your way to victory.
I need a better GPU. I’m using integrated graphics and when I watch potato’s play, I'm amazed at how fast it goes.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 20: Casey Williams and Manta Malaise?
The results are in for Match 18. The game was lasting quite a long time, with Red Carpet Renaissance’s more aggressive playstyle hardly giving the room to breathe to the carefully-crafted tactics of the Sharp Lookers, but those very same plans at once keeping them from finding themselves getting clicked. Violet Lange was watching, still, invested in how the hell this could keep on going, what might finally turn the tides, only for her cell phone to vibrate, a text message appearing on it from a contact registered under: “C. Williams”
Things seemed even for most of the voting period, with many of the votes being split, but late into it, a modest number of Sharp Lookers votes translated into a massive lead. For the first time, this resulted in votes splitting perfectly by .5s when the division was done, and since it would mean taking a point away from one side to give it to the other, that thirtieth pop point simply vanishes into the aether…
Half an hour later… “Uh… Kisa?” Masa asked, earning his partner’s attention. “You know how I said I’d watch the girl to make sure she didn’t pull somethin’ weird?” “Hm?” Kitose Saiko turned to face his friend, and noticed the lack of anybody he was standing beside. “Oh my god. How… How, Masa?” “I dunno!” He answered, sounding similarly bewildered, waving his hands as Kisa, in his frustration, lit up the entire remaining pack of his cigarettes and took a drag from each of them at once. “She just sorta… Was gone when I stopped paying attention.” “The woman is… Gone.” Dimitri was incredulous as well. “And there goes our hints on this Black Angel! The library is surely closed by now, so we’ve wasted a day and this town knows we’re looking.”
pranked again… violet lange, u r officially… epic
As Nebula’s synthetic voice remarked that and moved to silence, Ace couldn’t help but laugh. “Vitus is gonna be pissed too, that we were dragged off to play some game instead of tailing Peres… Haahhh, man, what were we thinking? This was her job, I bet. She just needed to waste our time awhile, get us heated and fighting each other, throwing piss around and playing dirty… Gave us the slip soon as our attentions were off her. Well played, I must admit… Well played…” “Distracting us from the Black Angel…” Dimitri stroked his chin. “And also from Peres? But I remember Laverne saying the Black Angel vigilante was banned from the Devil Blue, the hotel she works at. What could the common thread between them be..?” “Well, I’m annoyed too… Don’t just bail on an agreement you make…” Masa answered, before adding with a slight smile. “But hey, in some good news…” He held up a gift card, waving it between his fingers. “She left the CaraMel’s gift card, 200 USD just like she said, and that place? Not just to die for, from when Ray came back with stuff from there the other day, but I hear the ‘goss’ is ‘hot’ there too, as she said in that super-exaggerated little Valley Girl voice. What say I claim this card and treat you all? Call it a, uh… Ceasefire, for now.”
gonna be annoyed if its stale by the time i can actually eat it but ok sounds good
The game of assassin was fruitless, but the fruits of an assassination are still born, and two pairs of Stand Users fight to protect their local leaders from them. There’s still about a day to vote in that when this goes up. Scenario: South Aurelio - East of the Wormwood “I am so sorry, I just lost track of time… I got these four roped into this big assassin game, and I didn’t wanna bail, but…” Not long after Violet Lange officiated that little college game and the evening began to roll in that, again she found a Stand User’s company. Casey Williams, MFA member, sat in the passenger seat of a vibrant purple convertible, occasionally staring either at passing suburban scenery in the transition between the college town and suburban hellscape, or the way her companion’s lavender scarf billowed in the wind. “Look, I get it, I get it, shit happens, especially ‘round Midnight Sun. You don’t need to explain.” After a few moments of silence, tapping her hands against the outer door of the car as her arm hung over the window, Casey spoke up. “I, uh… Didn’t expect you to call me, but Kirk vouched for you. Why me, for… Whatever this is?” Violet had, that morning, asked Casey to aid her in an investigation after she finished up with some shit she had to do on campus, and still now, had said very little about what was going on sans its importance. “I trust you… For the same reason I took over the bifrost server, and the same reason I revealed myself to your team. André had faith in you all to do what was best, and, well, I have no idea what to do but follow his lead and use what power I have to do it. As for you in particular… I want to work with somebody my age, basically. No more than that.” “If you trust me so much,” Casey said, looking to the river to her left as the pair drove along a road opposite it, admiring how the setting sun reflected upon its rippling waves, “why haven’t you told me what we’re doing, then? You sounded like it was important, so I agreed to hear you out, but you’ve still been cagey.” “I wanted it to be in person, while we were speeding along,” Violet explained, looking out upon the road still, briefly glancing off in the distance and seeing a manor across the water, braking for a moment and pointing towards it. “See that house by the riverbank there?” She handed Casey a pair of binoculars, and the latter surmised, “looks like a dump.” “From the outside, and nobody has owned it for thirty years, yet…” She paused, as if she was about to say a name and reconsidered. “My contact - a high-schooler who comes and goes late at night, you wouldn’t know them, and I’m purposefully leaving them out of this, but I can vouch for their reliability - says that sometimes, late at night, delivery trucks bring perfectly good furniture to the bridge just North of here, and by morning, they seem to have just disappeared into the ground. I dunno if you pay attention to the news, but there’s a ‘Serial Killer’ who operates in this town, and besides that… Sixteen people who disappeared in this area are still missing, and haven’t had their bodies identified. The more research I’ve done lately, I’m completely certain of it. That ‘abandoned residence’ must be the ‘lair’ of this killer! It’s certainly big enough to hold that many people and then some… So I plan to break in.” “Serial killer..?” Casey’s head tilted slightly, then, suddenly, the words hit her as Violet resumed her drive. “Wait, what? So even if you’re right, you’re just gonna bust down this guy’s door without knowing what he’s capable of? Why this? Why you, and so covert?” “Because I’ve spent my life sneaking and slipping by to survive, clinging to stronger people. Because I used to roll with the kind of scum who would use Stands to do whatever the hell they wanted like we were better than everyone else. Because the last time I tried to get someone to take care of this killer, all she did was kill an innocent man in front of me! I’m tired of just being an ‘extra,’ moving pieces around and waiting in place, Casey. I’ve said that I just want to survive, but a friend of mine, every day, fights tooth and nail to make this place better. I’m going to be an adult and try, goddammit, and if you don’t want to do the same, I can just drop you off, and-” “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Casey continued, raising her hand up, and then offering Violet a confident little smile. “When did I say I was going to refuse? Hell, lives are on the line, pedal to the metal! I hear this town has like two cops, and I sure don’t see either of them around!” “That’s what I like to hear…” Violet’s own lips curled upwards slightly, and she stepped on the gas. “We’re gonna totally tear shit up today.” They drove along the bridge in silence from there, Casey contemplating things as they sped along, occasionally stealing glances towards the house just what was now South of them. Not long after, though, she began to grow uncomfortable, pulling her shirt’s collar over her nose. “Eugh… What’s that smell now? We pass a dead skunk or something?” “That’s… I know this smell. That isn’t a skunk.” Violet gave a glance to her rear-view mirror, and her face stiffened. “Casey… Get out of the car, now! Ditch it!” “What? What is-” Casey stammered, surprised and trying to hurriedly work her seatbelt off as Violet began to jerk the vehicle around, as if intended on steering the thing straight into the river. As she did so, she glanced behind her, and though the rising shape of a figure on the back of the car was hard to make out in the twilit evening, there was certainly a massive, and vaguely humanoid, and there were eyes on her. There were so many eyes. Slightly down the Wormwood River… Ah, the Wormwood River. This massive landmark is a symbol of Los Fortuna in many ways. It came to exist during the city’s foundational years, it runs from the Northernmost mountains into the city itself, and quite symbolically, it splits the affluent Eastern portions of the city, highly regarded centers of culture and quality of life, with the Western, the environmentally unclean, the poorer, the portions of the city in which the greatest safety and stability comes from being within the care of a territorial gang which has earned the ire of countless other districts. This divide was sharp and clear in the way it split the affluently beloved outer suburbs of the Woods of Aurelio, whose schools, fine homes, esteemed country club, golf course, town hall, and most of the town’s voting centers all sat in the East. Manta Malaise thought this symbol of all which they sought to destroy a poetic place to take their pollution this evening. “This Metropolis which is so very very burdensome to me, and this humble hamlet so tantalizingly close to it nearby,” they began aloud, just in the off chance somebody was around to hear it (and if not, rehearsal was always useful), while the diesel-burning gas-guzzling pickup truck they purchased on the resort’s tab began dumping a container’s worth of sand and grit, “I have heard it said that this location in which we are entrapped it on the decline… Yet nay, I say. At least, nary the full picture… This place is but a microcosm of all that surrounds it, a more blatant case of all that is true elsewhere, as well… A fine example for the world, it will make.” As they spoke, a ripped-away purple car door floated by on the river, distracting them from speaking about how, if they repeat this process for a few weeks (maybe buy a new car every time), they would be able to kill the fish eggs and microorganisms that make up the key bottom of the river life’s food chain, eventually add nitrogen to the mix to toxically increase ugly and deadly algal growth, and aloud, they spoke “curious… That is a recognizable door of a quality automobile… To whom might it belong? Ah, no matter!” Seconds later, a bloodied figure with several open wounds along its back burst from the water, clinging to dear life to the floating door and beginning to kick in Manta’s direction with surprising strength. He seemed to have tall blond hair, green pants, and a sleeveless shirt, though those all were obviously soaked and stained both with water and blood. As he reached the shore nearby them, within the range of ‘Morgana Courts Danger’, he gasped and turned onto his wounded back. The young man who floated towards Manta Malaise said nothing, and did not even seem to notice the effects of their proximity as they approached and turned him around to get a look at the other side of the sleeveless shirt-clad figure. The life was fading from the blond man’s eyes, and his lips trembled, a faint grin on them. He did not say a word, but as Manta looked down, they realized that the phrase on the outfit he wore said more about his final feelings, the state of his body, than his voice ever could.
“What… What on this fetid dying earth is going on here?” They weren’t concerned, per se, but curious about the sudden arrival of this man. He continued not speaking, bringing a trembling hand up and away, pointing softly with a single finger Southwards, slightly - towards a shabby-looking abode. “Do you… Mean to send me there?” His strong lips curled into a serene smile, his hand dropped, and his eyes closed. “Nghh… I had not the time to have his final sounds heard in life a rejection of this quest, perished for naught…” Manta remarked aloud, gritting their teeth. “As if I would simply traipse towards what is not my business… Though, how did he get here through the water? He seemed to appear so suddenly…” They looked towards their truck. The motor was still running, but it had emptied its load fine. “I am curious,” they remarked, and so, after cranking the heat and AC of the vehicle as high as it could go, they abandoned it, diving into the water to see where this dead lad may have come from. ??? Casey awoke to that same odor again, but less severely so, in an uncomfortable, unsheeted mattress in what appeared to be a bunk room of sorts. As she rose, she had to avoid scraping her arm on a rusty spring, rubbing her eyes all the while. “Nngh, what’s..?” She looked around, and after glancing past her a few times, saw Violet laying in a similar situation, a bizarre metal collar around her neck poking out behind the scarf, but otherwise looking unharmed. “Violet..! Wake up, Violet!” “Nnghh… What’s..?” She sat up, feeling around for her beret and putting it on, glancing at Casey. “You’ve got a weird collar on you, Casey…” She felt at her own neck, then. “Oh.” “Look out for those things,” a casual-sounding, low voice uttered, earning the attention of the pair; a woman with dark, wavy hair and a velvet dress was filing her nails on one of the springs. Nearby her sat a cone-haired, dirty-blond high schooler, built like a football player and a varsity away from dressing like it. “When ‘that person’ brings in a ‘Stand User,’ they get a collar like that… Likes to make up little game rules, and if they break ‘em or leave, uh…” She jerked her thumb towards a far-off wall of the room filled with a few dozen bunks, in which a bloody, smoky outline shaped like a person outstretched was dried against the wall. “Poor bastard didn’t listen because the floor wasn’t literally lava… Hey, don’t jump now, yeah? That’s not the game being played right now.” “Palmer, you’re scaring the hell out of them, and that really isn’t useful right now… We’re going to get out soon, I’m sure of it,” another young woman’s voice called out, and as the voice seemed familiar, the face confirmed it. Though her long neat hair was short in an uneven cut, the blue blazer’s sleeves were destroyed, and the bowtie was loose, it was absolutely TV personality Jillian Heart. “Jill..?” Violet asked, tone lightening up immensely. She took a moment to process that, but then nodded. “Hey, Lange. You and Reed doing alright? And, uh, this a friend of yours?” “Yeah, hi,” Casey answered, “Casey Williams… College student.” “She’s cool, yeah,” Violet promised, looking around, “where’s Chad? Not like him to run off…” “That’s why we’re getting out soon,” Jill answered, happily, “we noticed it when you two were brought in! Broke open this statue in the courtyard and found a waterway that ‘Worm’ - that’s what the killer goes by here - has to have been using to get in and out. They have one of those ‘Stands,’ but we all can see it, so they wear it like a costume and it guards them… But Chad’s the strongest person here, and he’s been our rock through all of this! After Worm left again, he volunteered to go through it and find help, and with him, that means it’s as good as done!” “I see… So that makes how many people left here, then?” Casey started counting on her fingers. “Sixteen, minus you two,” Miss Palmer answered, “I’m, uh… Palmer, by the way. Drama teacher at the high school out here. Same story as everyone else here, more or less… Bet the Superintendent’d be happy to hear Elton here and Swift Taylor are still alive, though.” ‘Elton’ said nothing, still, simply sitting there, while Jill took over a bit to talk about the place. “I think I’m gonna start getting the lay of the land, then…” Casey said, feeling the need to take the initiative. “I’ve still got my Stand with me, thankfully, and if we can’t leave just because help shows up, that means we’re gonna have to fight to get out when this killer shows.” “Careful,” Jill warned, “there’s traps all over the damn place here… And ‘Worm’ changes them when we’re not looking, just like they change the furniture, or what doors lock how. Makes everyday in this big house hell, and it’s worst of all around the edges. Makes up most of how people die here…” “I’ll be careful,” Casey said with a nod, stepping out into the halls of the bizarre home. The underwater corridor Chad had needed to swim through to get out was brutal, and even Manta Malaise had felt tense handling it. Over four meters underwater, less than two meters wide, and the top of the dark, dirty, dank area was lined with rusty nails, blades, and the blood of the man who had attempted it, across a forty-meter stretch of water - slightly shorter than an Olympic swimming pool, but so much more claustrophobic, and with pressure much higher. They managed it, however, and were they able to speak now, would have commended the amateur cameraman who only swam as a summertime hobby for managing fatally what they were able to get through unscathed carefully. At the end of this gauntlet was a straight shot up, illuminated by moonlight, and so, Manta hurried upwards, taking a breath as they surveyed the area they had come out in. It was a large fountain on the Eastern end of a long, statue-decorated courtyard full of thorny ground. The crumbled, destroyed remains of such a statue, presumably having once sat atop this passage, was now in pieces, only a pair of outstretched arms on either side of them. “Look out, you damnable fool! The arms, the arms!!” A theatrical voice called out, and Manta looked its way to see a figure in a top hat, three-piece suit, and black cape with a handlebar moustache and unibrow, and before they could process it, an automated voice emerged from the crumbled head at the fountainside.
Flow 24 Detected
The stone arms seized their neck firmly, and so soon after they had breathed, they could not again. It was no matter for their strong arms to easily smash these damaged ones of stone, however, and soon, they crumbled and descended into the deep. However, Manta felt a new weight around their neck nonetheless; a metal collar. “So… You are the ‘help’ that damned Kroeger sought? Imposing and impressive-looking for sure, but entrapped like the rest of us now.” The dapper fellow complained. “Who are you to criticise me, when you yourself are enraptured in this place as well?” Manta asked, spying the man twirling his moustache and moving to do the same with their own facial hairs as if in challenge. “You dare insult Los Fortuna Parking Lot Magnate Born Bad? I was celebrating turning a GarfieldEATS into one, when I thought I might make my next grand step the transformation of the entire Wormwood River into the world’s largest parking lot as well!” Bad was twirling his moustache hard enough one might have thought it would catch alike. “It would have been a fortune for me, and a record for parking lot-kind!” “That would destroy the ecosystem of all of Los Fortuna, you know… Ingenious, if more brazen and avant-garde than I might have done,” Manta answered, “tell me now. What have I been caught in?” Through much villainous posturing, Born Bad explained similar basics of the situation to Manta that Jill had for Casey. “So my own curiosity has laid me in this ‘Worm’s’ tunnels… Yet, at once, I think it will do to undo this as well. Entrapment here stands in my mission’s way.” That conversation was cut short by the sound of the Westernmost balcony opening its doors, several meters above them, and a young woman with brown hair, eyes, and skin was looking down at them. She appeared, at once, confused and intimidated by their presence, which was the response Manta generally wanted to evoke. “Hey, you! Are… Did Chad send you?” Casey asked, clearing her throat. “How is he? Is he alright?” “If you mean the youth who died luring me here without a word, he is certainly deceased… And has caused for me a definite predicament of a pickle.” “Wh…” She sounded taken aback. “He’s dead? H-how can you sound so indifferent? That guy risked his life to get help for us, and-” “And I knew him not, and he got me trapped here. Why should I shed tears for his passing?” Before this argument could escalate further, a large, pristine-quality monitor which framed the upper Northern wall of the courtyard turned on on its own, and in it, was an image of the entrance foyer of the manor. Slowly, from its floor, that that thing Casey saw before emerged, idly twirling a saber in its hand and lifting it over its head as it leaped several meters into the air. (Shout-outs to Skelly-tan for this art!) A voice, both distorted and gargling yet perfectly coherent spoke from its wide maw. “Good evening, everybody, thanks for tuning in! It’s me, you all know me, your hero, the Conqueror Worm! Let’s give it up for our guests tonight… We’ve got a lot going on for our last big ‘game night!’ That’s right, you heard me, last one! Much as doin’ what I have here has been fun, after this, I mean to move onto bigger and better things… But I’ll never forget this place, pinky-promise!” There was a sort of twisted, uncanny elegance to the way ‘Worm’ paced around, both as if it were limping in agony and gliding effortlessly, the camera focused on it at all times. “Yep, Aurelio, you heard me right… Conqueror Worm is done bein’ your killer! The lot of you left in here are the end of a generation, and y’all are absolute treats to work with! So, with three Stand Users here, good an’ collared and here to have a time and a half, let’s make this a grand finale for the BOOKS! Stand Users,” it pointed its blade towards a small entranceway behind it, “that door there is locked, but also, in the right circumstance, the one way you’re gettin’ off my property without explodin’ into funny lil’ chunks! See!” The screen, then, turned into a showing of two maps of the building, with several spaces highlighted. “I just got finished slitherin’ around droppin’ off three ‘chips’ which ya scan against your own specific collars, and then, if you’ve unlocked that mini-foyer behind me, boom! They’re off, and you’re free! I just gotta make sure you die before then, and I can do it with ease! With this body of mine, I can grab anything, put it in there, and pass through any surface I can fit on, see! And to the first person t’get out of it alive? A SPECIAL gift’ll come!” “Didn’t mention the master key?” Another voice asked. “Well no I didn’t, but no way they can get that offa-” The camera returned to its view of Worm, though Violet was standing directly behind it, directly waggling a keycard in between her fingers. Not much further back, Jill was covering her mouth with clear amusement. “Wh- Why you!” He swung at her with her blade, and she dodged back, and Worm threw his head back and laughed. “Well, I’ll be… How’d you manage t’pull that off? That’s on MY person, INSIDE here!” “I started to steal things just for the rush and attention of it when I was seven years old,” Violet said something then, which the audio blurted out and her mouth was off-camera for, but the sound of which shook Worm to his core, his laughing growing slightly incredulous. As she did, she swiped the card over her collar, and it clanked to the ground in pieces. “Yeah, that’s right, I figured out exactly who you are… and now your whole audience knows.” “I mean sure, think that if y’want!” “Right… You probably censored it then.” She pouted, then struck a cool and casual pose. “No matter… I’ll just show them your corpse.” A big bushy white hound emerged from Violet’s person, then, ethereal and snarling and beautiful, and she called out, “This is the start of a new me! ‘Forgive and Forget’ is putting you down, Worm!” As the Stand-dog rushed forward, he chuckled. “Keep runnin’ into white Stand-dogs lately, huh… It’s gonna end for you like it did the last one, too! You shoulda just run!” F&F leapt into the air, taking aim for the throat underneath Worm’s pungent armor, but he lifted one arm, and as fangs sunk into that, his other swung its blade. Violet’s face went wide-eyed and pale, and she looked down at herself, clutching her stomach and noticing how red poured out. “Ooh, did I reach bone there? Tough break…” Worm pulled back the blade, removing it from Forgive and Forget’s midsection as the white dog dropped to the ground before its user, fading away as she fell to her knees. “Aw, y’didn’t realize? This ‘Saber of the Gold Knight’ I perma-borrowed from our local museum ain’t just a conversation-starter… I wouldn’t take it for no good reason at all!” “Violet..?” Jill asked, stepping back towards another room, too afraid of Worm to rush to her friend’s aid. “What… What even happened? Worm swung at the air, and… And…” Panicking, despite her resolve, Jill ran into the other room, a look of clear terror and guilt on her face. “…I dunno, blanked out there!” Worm chuckled a bit, shaking off its bitten, uninjured-looking arm and retracting the sword inside its own fetid rolls of rotten off-white flesh. “But whatever happened, that’s ONE down!” He kicked Violet into a corner to the sound of her whimpering and sighed, pacing around a bit as he held up his master keycard and sucked that, too, up in his person. “Won’t cause me much trouble like that, but I know the other two of ya are in my courtyard… Funny startin’ place, since I like to use that place for when a guest wants to just say ‘I give up! End it here!’ Real useful tool for that bit of mercy, y’know? But anyway, the show goes on, and one-on-one is more interesting anyway! First one t’get to the end, I’ll even throw in an EXCLUSIVE interview to make it worth your while! But I’m not gonna keep the viewers at home waitin’ anymore saying more, since this is already goin’ on a little while, and you’re our stars still! So, without further ado…” “OPEN THE GAME!!! Man is that SATISFYING t’say!” Location: The estate of the Conqueror Worm, a two-floor building straight out of a Survival Horror. The whole place is hanging with an odd smell, and walls of most of the rooms are dotted with realistic murals of bones and various body parts - given Conqueror Worm’s ability, one must wonder how they were made. 1F MAP, 2F MAP. Due to interests of character limit, the details of each room in the estate can be found here. Most of the rooms are pretty simple, though, so don’t be intimidated by that. The players are denoted by the circles marked with their character’s initials, with Manta standing in the fountain on the far-East end of the Courtyard of Despair, and Casey standing on the Western second-floor balcony overlooking it. Worm, meanwhile, starts in the first floor’s entrance hall, marked with a question mark. The C marked squares and the M marked squares are the chips that Casey and Manta need respectively, scanning which against their collars will ‘count’ them as read. For what it’s worth, the Violet chips were in the hot tub, freezer, and conservatory, but that is completely irrelevant now. The circles with numbers in them represent the nonstand-using Survivors present in the area. Exact details on each of them aren’t particularly important, but a list of their names can be found here. The personality blurbs and occupations listed aren’t really relevant for the match’s sake; even the sports stars have been brought to a point where they have the same stats as everyone else. The X and Y marked rectangles are locked doors and their respective keys are somewhere on the map denoted by the X and Y marked diamonds; these function not unlike car keys; though they can be used to physically lock and unlock the door in person with a turn, it’s much more convenient that one press of the buttons on them can instantly lock and unlock every door on the map marked with the correct letter. The “F” marked square is the keycard that unlocks the finish line room. Several of these rooms have traps which Worm knows about, but the players will not be given foreknowledge of all of them. These are already set in stone, however, and it will be up to the attentiveness of the players in following the location descriptions not to fall victim to these; hints are provided, basically, and they’re designed not to be too hard to respond to if you see them coming. The rooms’ ceilings are generally quite high, three and a half meters above the ground, with about half a meter of space between the ceiling of one and floor above - basically, being a story directly above or below Manta is NOT enough to be within the range of Morgana Courts Danger. Goal: Casey and Manta, your own survival is priority number one here. Try to get yourself out of this situation alive! In order to do so, you must deactivate your own collar through the insertion of three chips placed around the facility, where labeled on the map. Free yourself and escape alive. That is your priority, and you are under no obligation to help anybody else if you have no desire to. Leaving the map for longer than five seconds without outright moving through the finish space marked on the map will result in the collars detonating, even if all three chips are inserted. Conqueror Worm, kill Casey and Manta by any means necessary. A player character will win if their score surpasses that of the Conqueror Worm’s, while receiving less will result in elimination. A tie will be regarded as normal. This match, thus, has special voting rules. Basically, there are four valid voting options in this: ‘Casey and Manta,’ ‘Manta and Worm,’ ‘Casey and Worm,’ and ‘Conqueror Worm,’ depending on if a voter believes that both players manage to escape, one of them is stopped by the killer, or both of them are. NPC Information: ‘Conqueror Worm’ Sheet (Plain Text Version) Additional Information: Unless noted otherwise, all doors are wooden. While there are several unique NPCs throughout the estate, functionally, all of them can generally be expected to act in the same way: they have 222 stats with irrelevant special skills, and generally speaking, do not want to die, and will act in accordance with things they believe to follow that end, though they are not particularly skilled in identifying traps on their own. Manta Malaise frightens them, however, so they may find they require a little more effort to convince people to follow them around than Casey would be able to. Born Bad (“1” on the map), a fellow Dastardly-looking villainous caricature and thus kindred spirit of theirs, is the sole initial exception. Violet Lange is bleeding and unconscious, and will in no capacity be able to assist, but still alive and should remain so as long as her particular injuries are not aggravated and the game does not take too agonizingly long. The killer has already forgotten about her. Through review of previous materials, the players do have sufficient information to correctly identify the user of Conqueror Worm, who is, in fact, a character who appeared in the previous Suburb match. They will be allotted one guess, accusation bolded, in the text of the strategy, to name the person. There is no penalty for an incorrect guess, but a correct guess will see ten bonus points awarded; to one side if only they guess it, while both receive five if both do. One hint: they were present at Match 8’s baseball game. The chips are extremely durable, but if they are rendered inaccessible or removed from the premises, a safety switch will force them to be treated as if they were simply activated and used; Worm isn’t interested in a game where victory or loss is impossible. The traps themselves will be revealed throughout the first segment of the killer’s strategy, and take up characters in as much, but the existence of these are an indisputable fact which the players must be wise to either avoid or work around. Though his durability and endurance are exceptional to the point where a fight would be immensely difficult, the killer also possesses a ‘master key’ which, if utilized, can be scanned against the collars to unlock them, unlock the front gate, and unlock any of the electronically-locked doors in the facility.
“No escape, huh? I didn’t want one anyway. That was never part of the plan.” You came here for a reason, even if you’re still trying to define what, exactly, that reason is to you. Whatever you think being a hero might mean in this situation, live up to the standard you define for yourself!
“The greatest threat to the peace of my heart isn’t Jotaro! It’s him! Josuke Higashikata!” This is an indubitably vexing situation into which you have been brought. While you abscond from this, make certain that you find clever ways to get back at that bastard who has entrapped you here!
“‘Misconceptions’ are the most terrifying things in the world… And the consequences are even worse if you’re overly confident that your abilities and talents are superior.” You’ve made an absolute deathtrap of your estate here, and it would be a damn shame for any of that to go to waste. The more of your traps successfully go off and seriously hurt someone, the higher your JoJolity rating will go!
Klein panted as the edge of the incinerator grew closer and closer. The speed of the belt and the staggering wounds inflicted by Remix throughout their battle were taking a deadly toll. The incinerator died down mere seconds before his opponent went over the edge into the still slightly glowing pit. He didn't know if they would make it out, and at this point he didn't care. He counted down the meters until he finally succumbed. His end came in 3 meters. 2 meters. 1 meter. Suddenly, the beltway started to slow. With one last dash from [Koan Sound] Klein bursted away from that fiery maw and landed on his knees, feeling the bits of metal and plastic digging into his knees and legs. The belt finally slowed to a stop, Klein less than a meter from the edge of the incinerator. He cried out in a mixture of pain and triumph. Klein Bras-Cheche Hitsugi had once again beaten his fate. Tears of joy and grief spilled down his face. The black that had claimed his fathers before him had been condemned to the pit by his hand. As he looked up towards the dirty fluorescent lights and his heart again dropped. Dozens of men and women lined the pit, eyes filled with dull, rusty grey light and small arms trained on him. Was this his end, after such a triumph, to be shot to death in this damned pit? No. Fuck that. Klein, despite his injuries, stood. He locked eyes with each of the people that surrounded him. “If you're gonna shoot me dead, then shoot me while I stand on my own two feet. I am Klein Bras-Cheche Heitsugi, and whether I leave this pit alive or dead I have defeated a curse and made my ancestors proud...” The people on the edge of the pit stood silently. The sound of metal scraping against the ground began to grow closer and closer. A man in a silver hard hat with a thick moustache, and grey rusty smoke pouring out of their eyes appeared on the edge of the pit and stared at Klein intently. A woman standing next to him turned and spoke, “What do you think about this boss, is he with VALKYRIE or the factory owners? If so we gotta put him down”. The man hopped the ledge and landed directly in front of him. His nose was less than half a meter away from Klein. He stood observing him for a second before speaking. “Nah, I don't think he is one of those bastards. Watching him fight told me more than enough about the kind of person we are dealing with. He goes for quick strikes and sweeps, but it isn't clean. He didn't learn that in any dojo or combat training. No, that comes from years of experience and hard knocks. Additionally he isn't standing indignantly before us because he has some title or presumed authority, but because he knows that he is undeniable, and that no man has the right to stand above him. Based on what we witnessed today, I’d say that very few men could claim such a thing. I think that on any normal day on this grey earth, I'd let this man go, or ask him to grab a beer.” As the crowd surrounding him smiled and nodded in agreement, exchanging murmurs of approval, Klein’s grimace slowly faded and a slight smile crossed his face. This man wasn't trying to intimidate him, he was measuring him up. To this man he wasn't a worm or someone to be scared of, but a person worthy of respect. “Yeah no, he isn’t a merc or some bullshit tough guy... but there hasn't been a normal day in a while, and I’d rather be safe than sorry, so you are coming with us so we can have a chat over lunch.” Before the first son had a chance to respond a fist slammed into his face, finally knocking him down for the count. If you thought this battle on a beltway was tense, check out this assasination game between a troll, a chemist, and a pair of detectives, all of whom had better things to do than get sucked into this by some forgettable girl… There’s still over a day to vote there! Scenario Los Fortuna City Hall - Downtown It had been a few weeks since Gabanna had read a newspaper article on a Chairman Wedding March, and needless to say she had been… interested in the man ever since. His hardliner stances against stand users and forceful moves to limit their activities within the city had certainly caught her interest, and investigation into his history had only brought up more interesting information. It seemed that he had been Chairman for quite some time, somewhat strange considering this city and its populace. Her curiosity getting the better of her, Gabanna decided that if she was going to get any more information on the man, she would have to get close to him. However, due to attacks and the growing amount of violence in the city it had gotten harder and harder to get close to the man, with only other Council members and the press. However, Gabanna was nothing if not persistent. Getting the bodyguarding job was no easy task, and forcing Jenny to agree to it was even more challenging. In the end she was convinced taking a job as bodyguard for Councilman Great Days would be worth it to get more information on this interesting figure. Jenny, on the other hand, had little to no interest in being in such a public place. Staying out of the limelight was generally the best way for a dead woman to stay dead. Gabanna had been relentless for days telling her the job would be worth it. She offered cash, a raise, and even threatened to dock her pay after that. However, eventually, if just to have some time to her damn self. When she woke up to a sour smell and saw Gabanna sitting in her apartment, smoking a cigarette and staring angrily at her she had to relent. It may not have been what she wanted, but no amount of febreeze could get that acrid smell out of her place, and she would make sure to spend the pay from the damn mission on getting back at her boss. No one was going to push around Badass Jenny Kidd Elsewhere at Los Fortuna City Hall Dory and Cowboy Dan had just arrived at city hall, on the trail of a lead that could make a serious difference to the city. Weeks ago, the Baker Street Rat Pack had uncovered a crime scene and taken in its only survivor, who even after being questioned, never actually ditched hanging around the team. Ever inspired by the broader vigilante ideal, Dead Weather had used the team as a springboard for tracking down one specific murderer. It took until now for it to occur to him that this “man with golden eyes” might have some connection to city hall, the place that seemed to set him on people’s trails to begin with. Humoring the idea and digging a little into the subject, Peter’s intel had pointed to something monumental about to potentially be unveiled at that very place, the gathering of council members and news reporters going in and out of the building made that obvious enough to see. That wasn’t what they were here for, though. Unless the man himself was important to the announcement, their expectation was that he’d be present somewhere keeping watch. Unfortunately, despite making the connection, Dead Weather just wasn’t combat effective enough to be the one that showed up to scope things out. That burden fell to the proper members of the Rat Pack. To that end, both Dory and Cowboy Dan had stepped up and taken jobs as bodyguards for a certain Councilman by the name of Golden Week as their cover for being in city hall, but all he had instructed them to do was... wait outside the building. Seems he put too much trust in the security inside, rather than the two people hired to bring him here. Dan was itching for the killer to make his move already. Take someone out and get caught, step out of the shadows and be identified to get chased down, anything to make this less boring. This trip to city hall was just going to be a worthless stakeout if nothing happened today. Dory, on the other hand, could only hope that nobody would end up getting hurt here. The killer wasn’t going to be easy to find, and with all the important people here, another slaughter would be enough to send the city into disarray. A pair of golden eyes with a certain fire in them surveyed the area. He settled a pair of aviator sunglasses onto his face, made sure his hair was partially obscured with his police cap, and adjusted his badge. It didn’t matter that two of these three items were stolen from a man that was dead now, nobody was going to check his badge number, and the cap wasn’t bloodstained. All that mattered was a moment of appearing authoritative and inconspicuous. All that mattered was striking first, against whoever was planning on ruining this moment. The man walked through the city hall’s lobby, nodding and giving faint smiles to the assorted politicians and politician wannabes gathered in the more open areas, all smiling back. His ‘opponent’ could be any one of them. Time was running short, if anyone was going to make a move, and that did nothing to stop him from stressing over it still. These politician types spend so much on travel security, and then walk around like everyone is trustworthy. It’s stupid. When you draw people together, you invite friction. Anyone ought to know better to let their guard down when preparing something so polarizing. So bold! So bold, in fact, that even though council chairman Wedding March was delivering his speech today from a closed room from a short distance as a safety measure, he was doing so from a room that overlooked a courtyard with people on the ground level. The man took his place standing outside the door to that very room. No, he couldn’t defend against a sniper if it came to that. That’d be ridiculous. Rather, if any stand user wanted to smash that door down and bludgeon chairman March to death, they’d have to go through him first. Another man, middle-aged, overweight, and balding, clad in a well-tailored white suit, walked by where the ‘officer’ was standing, flanked by a pair of interns, whom held respectively a stack of papers and a tray of drinks, bottled water and coffee, which they would like clockwork hand to the man and allow him to take a sip of, before he handed it back - it was the first time the man had seen this guy up close, but there wasn’t a shred of doubt about it that this was Councilor March. Briefly, the Chairman muttered to one of his unpaid aides, “Soon… soon it’ll all come together, after over thirty years of playing their game. Today is the start of Los Fortuna no longer being beholden to those bastards who destroy this city time and time again… I bet I can even swing Cavallo if I just do what I always do and kill this.” Stand Users, the disguised witness was sure March was talking about there… He’d never heard a man speak with such open contempt towards the like, but in a way, he couldn’t help but respect just that. As he walked past him, March gave him a little nod after eyeing the uniform. “Thank you for your service.” March, then, moved to his designated space, looking out into the area before him and thinking about his further moves… Not only were his fellow councilors in attendance, but local politicians, ordinary people - his people. For all he knew, some of them were Stand Users, but all in all, it would make little difference to him. Let them hear his declaration of war. The microphone sprung to life, ringing and drawing the attention of all in attendance. “My fellow citizens of Los Fortuna,” he started, as he was known always to do, “I have given you decades of my life, in proud service to you… No, you have given ME decades of your lives, to help you as best I can, to work with all of the good people who struggle and strive to survive every single day in this city. It is my only great anguish and great regret, in fact, that I cannot do more… That, in spite of my love for you, and how your reciprocation has placed me as the face of our Metropolitan council, there still yet has been tragedy after tragedy which has defined this city. And of many of those, I think, it is something of an open secret that there is a ‘root cause’ at the center of it all which we’ve been too frightened of to so much as say a word! Why, just weeks ago, just south of one of my very own speeches, the murder of a former crime lord on North Island, relating to one of these ‘root causes,’ kickstarted an incident which absolutely humiliated the good men of North Island Police, and ended with the mutilation and murder of officer Inner Circle on the job.” ‘Crime Lord…’ The observer figured that was referring to Adidas Fischer, that old bastard he’d tossed out a window; apparently he used to be a way bigger deal in the 90s, but ever since, his old mob had crumbled and he was just some common Stand-grifter; certainly, for his fearsome reputation, he’d turned out to be a paper tiger in an actual fight. He’d hoped that the police noticing those two Stand Users in the area, notorious as North Island PD were, might do something permanent themselves, but in the end, one of the fuckers had gotten away, and then he’d heard the other was bailed without effort too and #FreeStone even became a hashtag. More and more, the man felt it; he was a kindred spirit with this councilman, even if he was the very thing that he hated. “Still, police are searching for the men responsible, but it has shown me once more, more surely than ever, that our good law enforcement are not currently equipped to deal with such problems, that this is something which in so many overlapping ways, our system needs to change to never allow it to happen again! First off, the ‘dueling laws’ which have been on this city’s books since the seventeenth century are archaic, and so vaguely worded that, especially for the ‘root causes’ of this place, they can, with minimal effort, effectively get away with legalized murder. I know that they are one of the longest-remaining pieces of the old Fortuna Compact legislature, our original city Constitution, and that some are hesitant to change, but it is one which needs to be done to prevent us from descending into barbarism, vigilantism, and exploitation! And furthermore, in order to address the crisis of our law enforcement’s glaring need to better enforce the law and protect this city’s people, I have been in many, many talks with Arazu Allday of the ODIN corporation, and Ugo McBasie, the head of its security subsidiary Valkyrie, and I intend to see brought into law, for the corporation’s outstanding contribution to the city, past, present, and hopefully the future, a seat for ODIN upon this city council, of equal weight to any one of the district representatives and myself.” More power to ODIN, restriction of these laws… That, it might prove inconvenient, actually. But, so long as he remained close to the situation, could infiltrate police and learn procedures, he could still do his important work, perhaps, and- “And finally, while all of these are for the good of this city, the final thing I now strive to push our City Council towards is to demand that the organizations which seek to protect the interests of these ‘root causes’ of this city’s problems, such as the all-too-powerful school board of Midnight Sun University, cooperate with us, give us their lists and their research, so that as we further increase the protections over this city’s people, we can truly identify and preempt the actions of the specially empowered whom they prop up even further! This city is defined by the ebb and flow and will and whim of the ‘Stand User,’ and because of this, tragedy is a constant cycle! Like clockwork, these things happen! As I introduce these bills to my colleagues to your uproaring applause, I mean to ensure that nothing like the so-called ‘Earthquakes’ of the 1990s, which cost me and so many others friends, family, respected mentors, which literally split and flooded the ground beneath us and forced us to build canals to contain the damage, ever happens again! And we will become an example to the rest of the world in this way!” Wait, what? That, then… That was a step which would be far too problematic for him. Something needed to be done, then… So be it. The man standing guard sighed, and reached a hand into his coat, pulling a claw hammer out and approaching the room. As Councilman March took an impactful pause he took in the applause and the sounds of the cameras snapping. One frame of the man showed him standing powerful. The next showed the back of his head being blasted off by a high velocity hammer at a perfect angle. Many things hit the ground at once. March’s corpse, cameras and notebooks, and several of March’s supporters. In a moment the conference had gone from a civil affair to the site of an assasination. What happened next made it a warzone. A sniper round whizzed by the assailant where March stood moments before and promptly embedded itself in a journalist that was in the line of fire. Screams echoed out through the halls of the city, and people started sprinting. Anyone running was a target for the gunman, and bullets, whizzing through windows on completely opposite sides of the building and striking down public figures and civilians alike across the building. Anyone who didn't run hit the floor. Some were trampled, some just racked back in forth in place, but four stand users in the audience had one thing on their collective minds: Action. Gabanna’s phone lit up, and in the commotion she’d just overheard, she was quick to pick it up. “What’s goin’ on in there? You ain’t dead, are ya?” Great Days was on the line whispering frantically, so that was a ‘no.’ “H-help us..! There was this whole big speech going on but now March is dead, and-and-and-and… And there’s somebody attacking us. It must be some kind of Stand..! Please, I know what he was saying, but this city needs you! I… I’ll vote against all that shit if you get me out alive, promise! I’ll owe you my life!” Gabanna scoured the room quickly, managing to find her charge, and tapped Jenny to get her attention, “If it’s safe where you are, stay put sir, we’ll come and get you.” Looked like things were about to get busy. From Gabanna’s words alone she could tell something bad happened inside. “What… What the hell’s going on in there?” Jenny nervously asked. “It's nothing we can’t handle now, come on, we got a job to do.” Gabanna, with confidence, turned to enter the building. “I’ve seen what your ‘Offspring’ can do around the restaurant, darlin’. You’re probably the best person for the job I can ask for on this one.” “Won’t they be fine without us?” Jenny asked halfheartedly; she knew it wasn’t true, but the several risks involved caused her to hesitate. Besides that, she had a feeling she was suspected, and wished to maintain appearances as not who she said she was, even if she never bothered with a proper pseudonym. “Sweetie, we got hired to do a job and there are people’s lives at stake. But you already knew that. Come on now, all you need is a little push.” Gabanna reassured her. Jenny paused, a bit conflicted on what to do, but ultimately, she realized that this wasn’t something it would be appropriate to just run away from and leave to happen as it does. “Alright… let’s go.” Shots could be heard around the city hall. Somebody, maybe even multiple, people were still shooting from the windows. Their first shot had missed its mark, but now with Wedding March already dead, the mark seemed to have shifted to any poor soul that found themselves under the sniper’s reticle. Various bodies lay strewn about the hall, some with burns and frostbite, with more joining them as time passes. It’s evident by the methodic gunshots that this sniper isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, yet his shots are coming from many directions that pinpointing his location is nigh impossible. “Please, you gotta help me… I-I’m sorry for supporting him, really I am, I was afraid, he’s powerful at city hall and this is my district! He would’ve ruined me if I didn’t, ruined all of this! I’m sorry! I’ll be good from now on!” Councilman Golden Week was practically crying. “I’ll do anything, I’ll even double your pay if you get me out of here alive and in one piece!” Dory listened to the man bargain on the other end of the phone, feeling a bit guilty about their employer. “Alright sir, what do we have to do?” Dory asked, keeping a hand on Cowboy Dan’s shoulder to stop him from running in after the killer alone. “Get me to the garden, it will be safer there. Away from all this madness, at the very least!” Dory frowned quizzically at the man’s words. “If he wants to go to the garden, let him go to the garden. And let go of me, Dory!” Cowboy Dan interrupted. The killer was here- whoever was behind all of this couldn't have gotten far. Dory strategically muffled the phone to cut out Dan’s words, “Alright sir, just wait right there and we will be right with you.” Today was going to be rough, but it could get much worse if you didn’t do anything about it. Right now the councilmen were the priority, you could always get another lead on the killer after this mess is over. Open The Game! Location: Los Fortuna City Hall, here is a rough map of the area. The place is more or less 100 meters wide and 60 meters long with the players denoted by the circles in their respective team colors with BSRP at the Top Center and BADD GUYS at the Bottom Center. The teams’ respective councilmen are represented by the triangles on the left side with BSRP’s charge at the Bottom Left and and BADD GUYS’s charge at the Top Left. Currently the lobby and council chambers are fairly crowded with panicked people running and making their way to the top and bottom middle exits. A number of people have also taken to hiding behind the front desk, under tables and chairs, and pretty much anywhere there is space to hide. The green rectangle on the right side is the designated drop off point to bring the councilmen to. The small light blue rectangles on the right side are more doorways that weren’t on the original map. The rooms are all labeled and have whatever you would expect from a place like this. Each room also seems to be under a strange gravity effects, the Orange Room has 1.5 times Earth’s gravity, the Grey Rooms have normal gravity, the Yellow Rooms have moon gravity, the Green Rooms have a westward pull, the Blue Rooms have a sideways pull towards the south side, and the Pink Room room will have you have a sideways pull towards the north side. Regarding the pull effects of the Green, Blue and Pink Rooms, you can go against them with some moderate difficulty, but the councilmen are very susceptible and cannot walk or make any headway against them on their own. Strangely enough, these gravity effects only seem to be affecting people and stands. Among the chaos of everything, if this is a Stand effect, Cowboy Dan is currently unable to locate its sources to ‘take’ and, if he makes the efforts to, will fail to. Goal: Escort your charge to the designated zone as quickly as possible! Additional Information: Councilman Great Days and Golden Week both have 2s in all physical stats and irrelevant skills for the purposes of this match. They will mostly be hiding in the area they start in before the players get to them and will follow their respective players out and hide behind them as best they can. Also it’s worth mentioning, leaving the map through anywhere other than the designated zone with the councilmen is disallowed for this match as it will likely get specifically them killed. For the right three rooms as well, there is a highly skilled sniper that can fire on you from any angle. Be wary, the faster you move and the closer to the windows you are the more likely they are to notice and fire on you. They will target the councilmen if they notice them, but will also shoot at you if you make yourself an easy target. Damage sustained is at an equivalent to A-power. Here are the interactions Make Everyone Happy and the Mechanical Birds have with the opponents’ stands:
when [Make Everyone Happy] shoots some of [Champagne Supernova]'s goop, up to a cubic meter from the goop disappears, and the [Mechanical Bird] will summon an amount of goop equal to the amount that was taken originally wherever it hits that can't leave D range of that area. For the next five seconds, the pile of goop can be controlled by Dan similar to how Dory can control it. If the goop is taken further than D range away from the point of contact of the original bullet, it'll be sent flying back to it. After the five seconds pass, the goop becomes inert (but still can't be taken more than D range away from the point of contact), but can be "reabsorbed" by Dory should they get within D range of it (and will now treat Dory as the center of its range).
Upon shooting a clone generated by [The Offspring], the clone disappears, and the [Mechanical Bird] will summon a similar clone on the next living being that it hits (if the clone is an arm, it'll summon an arm on the next thing it hits). Cowboy Dan will be able to control this clone for the next five seconds, before it withers away and disappears.
If a [Bottom Bitch] is shot by [Make Everyone Happy], the resulting [Mechanical Bird] will be similar to one of MEH's regular bullets, but will be able to dive into and emerge from the material that the [Bottom Bitch] was made of, being able to move within it and emerge back out from it similar to how a [Bottom Bitch] would be able to.
In related news, the untimely passing of the Council Chairman is, in its own way, an opportunity. Upon the early removal from office of the Council Chairman, literally any individual in the Los Fortuna Metropolitan Area will then be allowed to run in an emergency special election for the position, so long as they are living and receive sufficient public support to appear on the ballot. This is another of the holdovers of the 1600s’ Fortuna Compact. What this means is, if you would like, your character can run for the position. Ten names will appear on the ballot at the end of the first round, with priority on the final roster given to each team, if they desire, getting at least one ‘spot’ on there. Player characters who are accepted T5 participants only. Details on the process will be given soon in the official tourney Discord.
“I'm telling you that there's a way to save Okuyasu and for that… I just need to touch him!” This chaos may get out of hand with everybody panicking, get as many other people brought to safety as you can.
(rant). I quit tft last season bc of the meta around shaco. Now after my final exams I decided to return and climbed all the way to diamond 2 last patch but now I’m quitting again because playing against shaco is so amazing I can’t stand it. I tried different positioning, tried to run Vanguard/Mystics every game but it’s boring.. I want to have a choice between some comps every game so I can have fun. I played a little bit of normal games to try and have fun with battlecast or blademaster comps but ds are there as well. I don’t say people shouldn’t run this comp but it’s so frustrating to play against bc of one single champion. I don’t want to play dark star because for me it just feels wrong idk. Why make a champion that is so frustrating to play against and don’t rework him in 3.5? I bet he could get an ability like zed in 2nd set and make him cost 5 or 4 gold or make his ability his boxes because dark star comp don’t have any kind of stun so it could be a great fit in ds or infiltrators comps. I’m not trying to be a 5Head there but I think shaco is bad game design decision. There is a dark star kha’zix in the game so why not replace shaco with him? I know he could be oneshotting everyone as well but he won’t at least disappear into nowhere with rapid firecanon. There is dark star rhaast who is also could be considered an assassin. Sorry for my poor English and bad rant. I want to love and play this game but it’s so hard to adapt to this meta.
The year is 2010. The effects of the 2003 poker boom are still being felt and Black Friday [Black Friday is when online poker was forced to shut down in the USA, it hit the industry hard] is a year away. Americans, Europeans, Australians and almost the whole world are playing side by side on Pokerstars and Full Tilt [The two biggest online sites at the time]. Hundreds of people are signing up for poker sites each day. Tournament guarantees are at an all-time high. Poker sites’ pockets are overflowing and sites are offering generous bonuses and promotions. Poker TV is popular worldwide and Poker After Dark just entered its 6th season. The 2+2 poker forums are in full swing, it’s the epicenter of poker communication. Dozens of threads are made on popular subforums like NVG (News, Views and Gossip) or BBV (Beats, Brags and Variance) every day. BBV is a subforum of 2+2 where the moderation is far laxer than the rest of the 2+2. People often create posts showing off their tournament wins or lamenting huge downswings. After the initial post is made, the trolls would descend and replies like this were often seen:
Colin_Piddle: Ur a clown OP Tank Home & Away: Somebody call Donald Trump. OP thinks online poker is rigged. FranFran: Shut up. Idiot. Dave Coulier: LOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL OLLOLOLOLOLOLOL
The BBV Post
On 20th Feb 2010 Jared Huggins, posting under RelaxedPrecision, visits BBV to vent his frustration over busting his meager roll playing 100nl HU:
RelaxedPrecision: Beat: HU vs drooler, lost my $100 bankroll ($100 table obv.) He raised preflop every single hand including out of position. Called 75% of my three bets with trash. Only pot bet, regardless of board, his holdings, or position. He is -$1132 in 2000 hands, -33/bb 100 We played 250 hands. This guy was a corpse and I ran so cold it was insane. Only hitting any pair or a decent draw a couple of times. Twilight zone. Brag: Not homeless again till the end of the month. Getting a third job today. This week I've begged for food at fast food joints and have scored two steak tacos and 1 piece of chicken.
[Jared is complaining that he lost the last of his poker bankroll, $100] The usual procedure in BBV is for the BBV regulars to berate the original poster, usually in meme form. Jared’s thread is no exception:
Sobad87: FAIIIIIIL, homeless shelters exist for a reason. SmilingOrange: rock bottom itt Sump: in b4 homeless
However, the thread takes a darker turn when Jared starts to post more details about his living and financial situation.
RelaxedPrecision: I'm 5 peanuts and 2 cups of water into my day. Finding some awesome links about food for broke people in LA. RelaxedPrecision: Last time round, 6 month period, I chose cruising the back streets near my job/sleeping in car, rather than driving hours per day to/from shelter and risking jail/car impoundaments/belongings confiscated.
Jared seems to be not only in dire poverty but also grinding microstakes [microstakes in poker is buying in for $2-10 dollars] for any cash he can get. He posts that the roll he lost was from a referral payment on a poker website but he cant’t withdraw it. The posters start to get a little more sympathetic:
FastPlaySlow: Wow. I feel bad for ya OP. Kidlover: Keep your head up bro. Gimme a call if you want
A user named Airwave16 offers helps in his own way:
airwave16: create youtube vid of you dancing to around the world by daft punk in your boxers with a large sign that says "i love burningbend" and i'll ship you $30
Within 40 minutes Jared accepts this:
RelaxedPrecision: Never thought I'd do something like this, but I don't have much choice. RelaxedPrecision: Don't want to go back to living in my car. Last month some guys tried to break into my car while I was inside of it. Terrible experience.
The next day, to the surprise of many he posts a video on Youtube of him around his room, just as Airwave16 asked. Unfortunately the video is lost to time but this small photo of the video remains. 2+2 posters start to show more compassion when they see how desperate Jared is for money:
mcfals02: Hilarious video. Hope you run good at life soon OP. shikari424: If you've got a ftp [Full Tilt Poker,] account i'll ship something over bro[money could be sent between accounts], made me laugh
Ccuster_911 then offers a little more money for another challenge:
Ccuster_911 : Make a video of you going outside on the streets in LA offering people free HUGs(holding a sign ldo), I will ship you 30$, I want at least 10 random people being hugged
Others start to offer extra money to shoot this video:
cds0699: I'll chip in $10 for this. Greeson08: $20 more here...$30 more if you paint yourself green before doing the hug thing.
Jared is very thankful for the support and lets his fellow posters know:
RelaxedPrecision: I'm really overwhelmed and surprised. Thank you guys so much, you have no idea how good it feels that people on 2+2 would reach out to me like this. I'm totally blown away. Thank you so much. This is one of the best things that has happened to me in a very long time. Talked to the lady who rented me this room for 2 weeks. I got 5 days left here, then I'm back living in my car. I am going to do everything in my power to get back on my feet. I am so close. Every suggestion, I will do. I'll dance for penny. I'll come to your house and clean your toilet. That's where my mind is at
A user asks for him to take a photo with ‘Free Pageh’ on his head, he posts this
swd805: that pic is disturbing RelaxedPrecision: Mission accomplished.
Jared gives an insight into his mood while performing these tasks
RelaxedPrecision: Please do laugh at me. I laugh at myself as much as possible. I cried twice. 1st when Airwave propositioned me and I felt different inside, like "time to get desperate man". It was a nasty feeling. 2nd time I cried, when I finished the video & began to ask myself whether or not I would do various things for $ & heard some of the answers in my head. Both times I fought the tears back & realized I got no choice, need the $. So let's get some more ideas & keep this ball rolling. You guys are helping me, thank you
He also gives insight into his poor mental state and reveals that a 2+2 poster gave him a small stake [someone will send Jared money to play and Jared will split the profits]:
RelaxedPrecision: My friend (who's house I crashed at) is a pro MMA fighter , he lets me attend his MMA/BJJ class once a week. At class today, he yelled at me for doing a takedown wrong. I had a meltdown & broke down in tears in front of the class cuz I've barely eaten in 6 days. Shed 12 pounds this week. Just real drained. Prop update: Got staked to play $5 Sit n Go's [a one table tournament] on FTP. 5 hours of play, up a few bucks. 4 days till I'm homeless again.
Jared tells a story and hatches a plan while working at his new job:
RelaxedPrecision: Today, this big husky girl with linebacker shoulders came in2 my job today to buy shoes...size 11. She looks exactly like a man. She had this big lady with her who told me the size 11 girl liked me. So I gave her my digits. I hope she calls me soon. If she calls me I'm going to try & seduce her & go live with her. Wherever she lives, I'm sure there's plenty of food.
Over the next few hundred posts the mood of the thread becomes caring and many people are asking Jared about his current lifestyle. He tells the thread about his struggles with permanent housing, a bad back, hunger and employment. He posts photos of his car (where he sleeps) and a video of him dancing at work. Jared reveals intimate parts of himself and his passion for writing and music. He also posts that he has encountered problems with substance abuse and has been sober for a while. The trickle of small donations from posters becomes a steady flow:
JeReMyHaSSpoKen: pm me western union or paypal And ill ship you some cash Greeson08: Jared, hit me up on Skype. Sending $11.11 via FTP.
A month after Jared creates the BBV thread, March 9th, Jared posts the long awaited video of him hugging strangers that Ccuster_911 requested. Luckily, the video is still on YouTube. Here is the link. At this point he fittingly reveals his name is Jared Huggins and his nickname in school was Huggy. His fans love the video and let him know:
Doomriders: amazing nice job brothaa cds0699: Very amazing vid and I wish you nothing but the best Talking Poker: Video is awesome. Thread is awesome. You are awesome.
And he really enjoyed the experience:
RelaxedPrecision: I was surprised by the number of people who literally RAN into my arms. It was a day & an experience that I will never forget. If you enjoy the video half as much as I enjoyed making it, I'll be happy.
He tells 2+2 more about his life:
RelaxedPrecision: You guys reaching out to me is very much appreciated. I've had my fair share of obstacles in life. Born in a crack house, father died when I was 9, mother is an alcoholic, one brother a heroine addict, the other a crack dealer who was beaten and left for dead and never fully recovered his mind. Last year ran bad at life...lost my job, ripped my meniscus in two places, had a terrible reaction to prescription stress meds..etc etc. I ended up living in my calosing contact with my family... cuz my cousin is hooked on muscle relaxers & vicodin and it hurts too much to watch people I love hurt themselves.We all have challenges, and obstacles. Life is tough for everybody. I'm healthy, normal, moving in a positive direction
Jared’s birthday comes on the 12th of March and many posters wish him a happy birthday. At this point the donations from 2+2 posters continue and totals $1k. A few weeks later and Jared posts an amusing and NSFW story about living in a car. It’s long and not essential to the story so I won’t quote it. Read it here. Jared thanks the community again:
RelaxedPrecision: I've never had people care about me like this before, let alone strangers. From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all of you.
The Big Game
Poker TV was very popular in 2010. The WSOP and other TV shows were broadcast across America and other countries. Pokersites were very keen on poker advertising appearing on TV, it was a very effective way to promote online poker sites. Full Tilt sponsored and regularly advertised on Poker After Dark. Full Tilt is even included in the show's title, which for a time prompted players associated with Pokerstars to stop appearing on the show. Pokerstars did not have as big a presence on TV as Full Tilt and they wanted to change that. How better than creating their own show? They would be able to have a majority of Pokerstars pros on TV and have players wearing their advertising patches. Thus, Pokerstars created The Big Game. The Big Game was a televised cash game [a cash game is different to a tournament, the players' chips represent cash explained more here] with a novel concept: each episode featured a loose cannon. The loose cannon is a recreational player, who is given $100k to play 150 hands of high stakes poker. The loose cannon gets to keep any profits from their session and the biggest winner from the season also gets $50k in NAPT tournament entrance costs. Any Pokerstars player is welcome to try to become the Loose Cannon. The line ups consisted of some popular pros who have a lively table presence like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Tony G. It also had some of the strongest players of the time like Ike Haxton and Phil Galfond. Joe Stapleton made his debut on the show as an announcer. He who would go on to do a great deal of poker commentating over the next decade. Each episode aired on The Fox Network and Pokerstars.tv. In the same BBV thread Jared started, one of the posters has a bright idea:
MasterWolf: I think you should apply to be a Loose Cannon on the Big Game. I know you'd get tons of 2+2 support, plus, you are awesome at making videos.
One of the Jared’s strongest supporters on 2+2 takes a keen interest in this idea:
John_Wray: THIS! Is this something we can make happen? I don't know anything about the process.
Rusemandingo: Would be amazing. AyinHara: for the producers of the Big Game, this is an easy one. snap it up! King Fish: PokerStars Steve was looking for 2p2 recommendations awhile ago. I sent him a text nominating OP but have not heard back. I suggest all of you PM him, and point him to this thread. Would make a much better story than anyone on here, and he has the video to back up both the story and personality already shot.
But how can Jared apply to go on The Big Game? Pokerstars run several tournament qualifiers for The Big Game on Pokerstars. These are details taken from The Big Game website:
There are free-to-enter Big Game Round 1 satellites running four times a day. Finish in the top 300 and you’ll advance to Round 2. Make it into the top 1,000 in a Round 2 tournament and you’ll get a seat in the Big Game Final Round qualifier. All players that finish in the top 200 in the final will be invited to send PokerStars a casting video, telling us why you think you should be on TV’s best new cash game show. Impress us with your video and you’ll be heading off to Las Vegas to star on the show as a Loose Cannon qualifier. Once the video is posted, people will vote on the their favourite video.
The freerolls are popular and attract about 5000 people for each round 1 freeroll. Jared would need to finish in the top 6% of the round 1 freeroll then he’ll be in the round 2 freeroll, he would need to finish in the top 15% to qualify for round 3. In round 3, only 200 qualify to make a video. The round 2 and 3 qualifier only ran once a week so Jared had a limited amount of attempts. John_Wray starts a new thread in support of Jared being considered to be a loose cannon on The Big Game. Within 24 hours the thread has over 400 posts, most of them people putting down their support for Jared to be on The Big Game. Boosted J hears of Jared’s story and posts in the petition thread. Boosted J is the screen name of Justin Smith, a skilled professional player. Boosted J offers Jared a potential job, poker coaching and access to his private mental coach. Boosted J would go on to get Jared in a Dr Dre video as an extra. At this point RelaxedPrecision is one year sober and life is looking good for him. He posts a video rapping about overcoming life’s obstacles. Daniel Negreanu notices and tweets about his rap:
RealKidPoker: Homeless guy Jared Huggins rapping about being sober 1 year, powerful lyrics. Guy has an amazing story to tell.
John_Wray reports that Jared has already started playing the freeroll qualifiers [a freeroll is a free to enter tournament]:
John_Wray: Jared's in a hotel tonight grinding the freerolls .
Jared is ready to play all four round 1 qualifiers on days he had free:
RelaxedPrecision: Going to grind as many of these things as humanly possible. RelaxedPrecision: I got out my schedule for the month, there will be for sure be days coming up where I will play all 4 first round games.
Support pours in:
CrazyNL: awsome man gl NomoneyHU: I'd like to wish you good luck man , i'm currently watching your video. Happy that things is going your way from now! I hope that you do qualify for the PS Big Game and ship all the manies. Sump: I hope you win this and double up on Big Game, ship the NAPT Passport
People start to watch him play and offer him advice. Jared found the journey hard at times:
RelaxedPrecision: Watched guys ship all in preflop with 72o for 4 hours straight. I get an above average stack, get it in with 10 10, run it smack dab into KK. And encountered his fair share of bad beats: RelaxedPrecision: Survive that, get it in with. 58 on a 8s7h6d flop vs Js7s, turn and river are spades, and it's time for a cold shower. lol
[Here he is saying that he feels the other players in the tournament are not playing well but he feels when he played well he felt he was unlucky] Jared starts a new day of round 1 qualifiers, ready to play all 4.
RelaxedPrecision: Fresh day of freerolls starts in 20 minutes. Playing more aggressive today. Feeling optimistic.
He starts playing a round 1 tournament qualifier and is doing well. He’s getting closer:
pokernutssss: 322/379! 79 to go GL jared John_Wray: just fold into the win now. you've got enough chips
MicroRoller: Congrats! 1 down 2 to go. RelaxedPrecision: YEEEEEEEEEEHAW!!! Feels good to be out of round 1. Just gotta find a way to run good [getting lucky]!
The next day, Jared enters round 2 and plays this hand in the middle stages:
Poker Stars Freeroll No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t500/t1000 Blinds + t250 - 9 players BSKid (BTN): t47500 M = 12.67 bones_522004 (SB): t119200 M = 31.79 tanwaruw (BB): t59200 M = 15.79 carlo 1959 (UTG): t1500 M = 0.40 mydream4u (UTG+1): t16200 M = 4.32 berdootim (UTG+2): t47150 M = 12.57 dickblow (MP1): t1750 M = 0.47 Life Guru (MP2): t42350 M = 11.29 Jared Huggins (CO:) with 6s6c : t9300 M = 2.48 Pre Flop: (t3750) 4 folds, Life Guru raises to t2000, Jared Huggins raises to t9050 all in, 3 folds, Life Guru calls t7050 Flop: (t21850) TcQh7s (2 players - 1 is all in) Turn: (t21850) Jh (2 players - 1 is all in) River: (t21850)Jd (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: t21850 Life Guru shows 8dAc (a pair of Jacks) Jared Huggins shows 6s6c (two pair, Jacks and Sixes) Jared Huggins wins t21850 [Jared plays well and wins]
RelaxedPrecision: **** yeah
But then falls:
John_Wray: ugh. You played great though.
After Jared asks about poker training sites, Taylor Caby pops into the thread to offer Jared membership to his training site: CardRunners:
Green Plastic: Hey Jared, if you'd like to try out CardRunners for free shoot me a PM, I'll have someone set you up over there.
After making a few deep runs in the round 1 tournaments, Jared has several round 2 tickets and is putting his newly found membership to good use:
RelaxedPrecision: Won 3/4 round 1 tournaments today. Now I have four round 2 Tokens saved. Watching Cardrunner.com videos all day tommorrow, and grinding more freerolls
A few days later and Jared makes the final round of freerolls:
Amnestia: gg, jared, good luck in round 3 Isitdur?: It would be the sickest rags to riches story ever if you got on The Big Game, Jared. I really hope you do it. Good luck in Round 3 I will be railing along with all of your other supporters!
Jared registers and plays a round three qualifier tournament and encounters this hand:
Preflop: Jared Huggins in MP1 with AcKc UTG bets t1200, Jared Huggins raises to t3000, 1 fold, MP2 calls t3000, MP3 calls t3000, 4 folds, UTG calls t1800 Flop: (t14250) 3c6sKs (4 players) UTG checks, Jared Huggins bets t10000, MP2 calls t10000, MP3 calls t1950 (All-In), 1 fold Turn: (t36200) Ac (3 players, 1 all-in) Jared Huggins bets t25000, MP2 raises to t26050 (All-In), Jared Huggins calls t1050 River: (t88300) 4d (3 players, 2 all-in) Total pot: t88300 Results: Jared Huggins shows AcKc (two pair, Aces and Kings). MP2 shows Js9s (flush, Ace high). MP3 shows KdTs (one pair, Kings). Outcome: MP2 won t88300 [Jared plays well but get unlucky in a large pot and is out of this round 2 tournament]
Jared is out and continues to grind the qualifying tournaments. A week later and he registers for a round three freeroll and is going deep. A fan posts his position:
MasterWolf: Current Stats: 81,262 chips. avg: 142,959. position 247 / 348. Top 200 get in
Jared gets closer…
MasterWolf: 44 left. he's got 7th shortest stack in tourney. BUT HE CAN DO IT! Go Jared!!
Jared gets increasingly close but is very shortstacked [doesn't have many chips]: The railbirds [players who watch online poker] watch on:
__27__: Never been so happy railing [watching] a freeroll, this is some crazy ****.
Hard bubble and the tournament goes hand for hand [this means there is only 1 player left to go out, when they do all remaining players qualify for the video round]:
MasterWolf: 1 person left
Jared posts. He has qualified!
RelaxedPrecision: I can't believe this is actually happening.
Jared has done it. With the full support of his fan base Jared is one big step closer to getting onto The Big Game. The posters go crazy in his sweat thread and dozens of people congratulate him. Afterwards, Pokerstatic interview Jared and he opens up about his difficult upbringing and life. Link to summary here. Jared is very popular on 2+2 and has a keen fan base but not everyone likes the attention and donations Jared is getting. Later on a Jared opposition thread would be created. Here’s an example of opposition towards Jared:
Lchampag: Its just the way everyone here is completely giving this story all their faith. Just reminds me of those old people that get scammed is all. I work in the coal mining industry. Pay starts out at around $20/h for the first six months(for"red hats") and then goes to around 25 after that for a general laborer. There are men hired at my mines everyday, come and get a freaking job! I guess this work is too hard for those that would just rather get handouts...
Some people were upset he was getting so much in donations. In 2010 he received $6k from 2+2 members. Jared’s fans respond with posts like this:
Srkbigdaddy: i dont know why people would bother posting in a thread that actually has a ton of heart with their snide and rude remarks. obviously its okay to post your feelings but if they are not gonna help the situation then they are pointless. you are basically just stepping on someone who is down
John Wray gives an update on Jared and his health:
John Wray: Jared is seeing his therapist again, and has just moved into a new place. He's very happy with it as it is within his price range and his landlord is a former deacon. They plan to attend services together on Sundays. His bad back is still a big problem, one that needs to be addressed immediately.
Grayson Physioc also known as Spacegravy on 2+2 is a SNG [Sit 'n' Go, a one table tournament] crusher who fought his way from from microstakes to highstakes [A common story for skilled players to deposit $100 on a pokersite, fight their way up the ranks and turn it into millions]. He arrives in the thread and offers to fly Jared to Maimi and coach him, Jared flies out and posts this from Miami:
RelaxedPrecision: Spacegravy flew me out here to Miami to learn Sit N Go's, I'm totally blown away! He is an A+ human being! Haven't gone to the beach, haven't gone sight-seeing, haven't gone anywhere, just straight up grinding poker. Grinding as much as possible!
While in Miami, Jared’s mind is on making the best video he can to ensure he gets onto The Big Game. John_Wray helped, by the 28th of October it is finished and posted. Jared’s Big Game Audition Tape November the first rolls by and the audition tapes of all the qualifiers are uploaded and ready to be voted on. Jared is looking good and is in second place with 1.1k votes. 2nd November and Jared returns from Miami. He’s up $800 on SNGs from his time playing and getting mentored by SpaceGravy. The weeks pass by. People can vote on one video per day so Jared’s fans are visiting and voting as much as they can:
8Nilor: Voting everyday btw. and got others to also.
The thread builds with excitement. With so many fans in the poker world Jared is sure to be selected to go on The Big Game. In December, Jared posts that all is going well with him. He has two jobs and a room to stay in. Jared gives a few updates:
RelaxedPrecision: When I'm not at work, I am working on my game everyday, grinding 50NL 6 max deep on Stars, going over hand histories, and getting coaching when I can.
[50nl deep is a type of poker played with 6 maximum players on the table buying in for $50-100] 2011 begins. In January the voting closes and Jared can only wait. And then the news that Jared and many 2+2 posters have been waiting for is here. Jared notices an email from Pokerstars. He reads the news from Pokerstars about The Big Game. He receives the results and rushes to 2+2 to share the news:
RelaxedPrecision: I got an email from PokerStars informing me that I was not selected to compete as a Loose Cannon on next season’s PokerStars Big Game. I wasn’t given any specific reason why I wasn’t selected, but I was thanked for trying out. TwoPlusTwo.com, thank all of you for supporting me and showing me love. To be loved was a dream come true for me. I'm convinced that love cures most illness.
Jared was not successful. It's crushing news to the community. All their efforts spent helping Jared onto The Big Game was for nothing. The community reply to the news:
AlienSpaceBat: Wow, Jared, I'm really sorry to hear this Isitdur?: So bummed to hear this news, Jared. 2ndUnit: I am very, very disappointed of this decision by PS. Don't let it bring you down Jared, keep going.
A few weeks pass and there’s not much news from Jared. He settles back into working and improving his situation.
It’s all over
Jared had not made the cut for The Big Game. But it’s not all bad. Jared is in a much better position than he was a year ago. He has a roof over his head and steady employment. The past year was a crazy ride for him and he’s made many friends from 2+2. His poker skill is improving and he has top players coaching him. But no one predicted what would happen next month. In the middle of February 2011, a Pokerstars representative dropped into 2+2 to post unbelievable news:
PokerstarsSteve: The seven Loose Cannons scheduled for the July 2011 showing of The PokerStars.net Big Game are: Gonzales Cannon II - Sacramento, CA Courtney Gee - Vancouver BC Jared Huggins - Los Angeles, CA Massimiliano Martinez - Rome, Italy Cari Bershell - Las Vegas, NV Kenneth Hrankowski - Vancouver BC Anton Dunyushkin - Moscow, Russia
Jared Huggins is confirmed to appear on The Big Game Season 2. This is shocking to the community because there was no knowledge on 2+2 that he was even considered for season 2. The community erupts:
ak47: YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! ROADHEAD: WOW NO WAY, WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED!! MrPowell222: WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO! TayWolf55: GO GO GO GO GO Jared!
Almost exactly a year after living in his car and making his BBV thread he has the shot of a lifetime for fame and fortune. But first, Jared needs to prepare for the biggest shot of his life. Jared dedicates four months to preparation for going on The Big Game. He plays as much online cash game poker as he can. He has access to a training site and receives free coaching from top pros. To simulate The Big Game he plays 50,000 hands of 6max deep online [6max deep is the poker format played on The Big Game] and even plays tough opponents who would drop down in stakes to play with him. In 2011 he makes three trips from LA to Las Vegas to practice and get used to live play. He practices chip handling, breathing and getting comfortable going from online to live. He reads Caro’s Books of Tells and would sit at the lowest stakes while studying every player closely. He never parties on these trips, just play and study. He watches all 72 episodes of The Big Game Season 1 and analyzes every hand. While watching he would have seen Season 1’s biggest winner, Bob Ferdinand, win $181,500 and $50k in NAPT tournament entries. In this time Jared remakes his Free Hugs video and once again, wanders LA shores with a sign and offers free hugs to the public. Jared uses some of the money from this video and donates $1k to charity. Reshot video here The line up for The Big Game is announced: Seat 1: Jared Huggins Seat 2: Nick Cassavetes – A recreational player. Cassavetes works in the film industry. Seat 3: Barry Greenstein – Poker legend known for his Philanthropy Seat 4: Vanessa Selbst – An aggressive and skilled player. Won NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event back to back. Seat 5: Antonio Esfandiari – An accomplished player who would go on to win The Big Drop for $18m next year. Seat 6: Prahlad Friedman – An experienced cash game player. Played under Spirit Rock and used to crush online games Reserve: Phil Lakk - An entertaining professional player. There are certainly some tough opponents on this table. Fortunately, Jared has a recreational player on his left [at the poker table players on the left are more likely to apply pressure than players on the right. Because Cassavetes is a recreational player he should be applying less pressure on Jared than a pro]. The community reacts:
blackjacki2: hard lineup J0hny: Best of luck to you !
Then the day of filming arrives. Jared drives to Las Vegas to play in the biggest cash game of his life. He’s had months of training for this one moment. Hundreds of people on 2+2 are following his progress and Jared will soon be broadcast across the USA playing with seasoned professionals.
Now, the story is almost at an end. You have three options on how to consume the finale:
You can watch all four episodes of The Big Game to see what happens, links below. When you are finished watching, click the spoiler box below and read the end of the story.
If you don’t want to watch all 4 episodes then I’ve posted some timestamped links of Jared’s biggest hands, I’ve linked one hand per episode. There are 12 minutes of clips. When you are finished watching, click the spoiler box below and read the end of the story.
If you don’t want to watch any Big Game then click the spoiler box below and read on. [If you want to watch some of The Big Game it may be a good idea to watch this video I linked in the introduction again]
Jared did not end up profiting on the episode. He played until hand 126 of 150 when he ran his QQ into Cassavetes’ KK. Jared doesn’t hit and is off The Big Game.[KK is the second best hand in poker and QQ is the third best, so it was unlucky for Jared to get QQ and another player has KK. However, Jared was playing poorly and too passively in other hands in the episodes] Posts from 2+2 were mixed, many posts in the thread were not kind towards his play. The community criticized some of the hands he played:
Jazzed23: the dude played like crap. No 3 betting, no bluffing, no floating and turn barrelling. he was playing scared and tight. Blew away $25k just by folding. cobrastatus: How could this guy... get so much free coaching... and be so terrible... trip_kings12: what a waste of a week for this show. Jared, the loose cannon, was almost unbearable to watch. I doubt I've ever seen a tighter, more scared loose cannon in all my years in poker.
[The posters here are saying that he was playing poorly and passively] One fan posts this:
LolDonkamentz: I'll admit I was kind of disappointed with the result of this. I enjoyed all the build up and was really excited for this to be the climax of the Jared Huggins saga but it wasn't to be. His awkwardness at the table combined with his below average performance made for bad television
And Jared replied:
RelaxedPrecision: To you and others Donkamentz, sorry if I wasn't able to do my part to entertain you. It's a big show with lots of people on it, so I don't feel solely responsible for your entertainment, any more than I feel responsible for not hitting a huge hand. Thank you for caring about how I did.
Most of the posts were neutral or negative but there were still some positive posts:
kevmode: Gl to you in the future Jared. You are a nice guy, just block out the negative and think positive.
So, what happened to Jared after The Big Game? After The Big Game, Jared stopped posting so much in 2+2 and he slowly faded from posters’ minds. Shortly after The Big Game, he posted a post show reflection where he thanked the community, he spoke of how he enjoyed playing with the pros and his heartbreak after busting. He wished he had talked more and played some hands differently. He finishes with a final thought:
RelaxedPrecision: I'm happy and grateful for what this journey has been. I made some amazing friendships, saw amazing places, and had my dreams come true. I had amazing experiences, that I will never in my life forget, memories that I will always look back upon with a smile.
In 2012 he posted this post where he shared his battles with health conditions and how he still plays poker. In 2016 he posted this in a thread about poker in developing countries. He wrote about living in China for 9 months.
The commissioners of the five professional sports leagues operating in Canada have banded together to impel the federal government to allow single-game sports betting in the country, according to The most annoying issue for the passionate bettors is the restriction on betting on single games. So, except for parleys, where you have to choose more than 1 game, there is no possibility to bet on a single game. This is where the off-shore non-BC online sports betting websites come to rescue the day. only single-game betting, it also accepts wagers on individual plays and individual players after the game has started. So does Malta-based Betway, which sells itself as having more than 30,000 “betting mar-kets” available. The mainstream offshore sites make mo-bile apps available for download in Cana-dian app stores. A couple stats to keep an eye on: BC enters the contest with only six interceptions, good for 17th best in the nation. But Cincinnati enters the game having picked the ball off 16 times, good for Boston College vs N.C. State Prop Bet. All Boston College vs NC State betting odds, lines and props available on FanDuel Sportsbook. - Away Team (Boston College) Under 70.5 Points (-115) – As much as we'd love to believe that BC can hit the over in this one, it's unlikely to happen. The Eagles haven't scored more than 70 points in a single road game this season.
Sports Betting: How to Bet and How to Win! - Part One
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