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Spider-Man in DnD 5e!
2023.06.05 11:00 RX-HER0 Spider-Man in DnD 5e!
Before we start, I'd like to give a great thanks to the "DM Mentor's Guild" discord, for without them I wouldn't have been able to make this build at all! Make sure to check them out! This server has experienced DMs with a knack for helping others tell an immersive fantasy, balance encounters, and fix game related issues. If your question requires a personal touch, there's no one I'd refer you to over the good guys at the "DM Mentor's Guild" server!
This is a guide for how to play Spider-Man in DnD 5e. Of course, it will be impossible for this to be all-encompassing, but I’ll do my best.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”
Peter Parker isn't a mutant, but rather just a human. Due to the spiderbite, he’s far from your normal high schooler, however, so we’ll make him a Variant Human! Variant Humans get a feat at level 1, and we’ll be taking the Crusher feat to weave to yank enemies with our webs and launch them with our super strength! This feat gives us the ability to move a creature 5ft, once per turn, when you hit with an attack that deals bludgeoning damage. Additionally, when we crit on an attack, all attacks against our target have advantage until the start of our next turn. Finally, we may boost our Strength or Constitution by +1, and we’ll choose Constitution. As a Variant Human, we are also able to increase 2 of our stats by +1. Let’s boost Dexterity and Wisdom for better web-slinging and stronger Spidey-Senses! Finally, let’s grab Perception as a skill, to represent our peak ability and health!
Peter’s got a wide array of abilities, so to cover this we’ll be using Point Buy, which gives us 27 points to put in our stats, which start at 8 as a default. Each increase above 13 will cost 2 points instead of 1.
9 points in Dexterity! Spider-Man is a slippery, nimble fellow with an agile fighting style! Our Dexterity will be 15 + 1 = 16, with a +3 modifier.
5 points in Wisdom! Peter’s always had a good heart and a just head on his shoulders. Additionally, Wisdom represents his senses, like Spider-Sense! Our Wisdom will be 13 + 1 = 14, with a +2 modifier.
5 points in Constitution! Spidey definitely can take a beating, but he’s more of the more frail characters of Marvel. Our Constitution will be a 13 + 1 = 14, with a +2 modifier.
5 points in Intelligence. On top of being nimble and perceptive, Peter’s smart beyond measure- to the point where he made his extremely strong, chemically binding web fluid by himself! Our Intelligence will be a 13, with a +1 modifier.
2 points in Strength. Spider-Man can lift metal fortresses, but we just can't have everything. Still, we can’t dump it. Our Strength will be a 10, with a +0 modifier.
0 points in Charisma. Peter’s a nerd who constantly gets picked on by Flash Thompson. Even as Spider-Man, he’s not exactly appreciated by the people of New York. Yeah, yeah, I know -he still had to have amazing Charisma to bag Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, and Black Cat- but we can’t have everything. Our Charisma will be an 8, with a -1 modifier.
Peter Parker was a high schooler that, by circumstance, was bit by a radioactive spider, did a wrestling gig, saw his uncle die -you know the story already. Let’s grab Deception to lie to Aunt May, and Investigation, to devise tactics to defeat our enemies! Let’s call this the Web Head background.
Spider-Man is a fast, nimble hero who crawls walls and prefers to dodge attacks over tank through them, so we’ll kick them off as a Monk 1!
Let’s grab Athletics and Acrobatics as skills, to do whatever a spider can. We gain proficiency in Strength and Dexterity saving throws. We are also proficient in all simple weapons and short swords. For our artisan’s tool, let’s grab Tinker’s Tools.
Our favorite wall-crawler wears nothing but his costume in action, so it’s good that all Monks gain Unarmoured Defense! We gain a new way of calculating AC; 10 + Dexterity modifier + Wisdom Modifier! In other words, our AC does not come from armour, but from quickly evading blows and predicting attacks through Spider-Sense!
We also gain Martial Arts! We may use Dexterity instead of Strength for Unarmed Strikes or Monk weapons, which means that we can viably use all of our martial jabs and kicks. Furthermore, when rolling damage for a unarmed strike or monk weapon, we may role our martial art’s die + our Dexterity or Strength modifier in place of our usual damage. Our starting die is a d4. Finally, when we hit with an unarmed strike or Monk weapon on our turn, we may make an unarmed strike as a bonus action.
We’ll use Unarmed Strikes for our punches and kicks, and for our web shooters, we will actually use a sling! Why? It’s a 1-handed ranged weapon that does bludgeoning damage. With this, we can use our Crusher 5ft pull with our unarmed strike, which is our super-strength, or with our sling, which is yanking an enemy with our web shooters.
At this level, our training allows us the ability to harness the mystic energy of Ki, which is a representation of our Spider Powers! We have Ki points equal to our Monk level, and regain all Ki on a short rest. Our Ki save DC is equal to 8 + proficiency bonus + Wisdom modifier. We may use Ki to fuel the following effects:
Flurry of Blows: Right after we take the attack action, we may spend 1 Ki point to make 2 Unarmed Strikes as a bonus action! This is a combo!
Patient Defense: We may spend 1 Ki point to take the dodge action as a bonus action. This is you focusing on dodging.
Step of the Wind: We may spend 1 Ki point to take the dash or disengage action as a bonus action! Be the spider JJJ just can’t squish!
Finally, we gain Unarmoured Movement at this level. While wearing no armor or a shield, we gain a bonus to our movement speed, which makes sense given how slippery Spider-Man is. Right now, it’s +10ft, and it’ll increase as we level up.
At the 3rd level, All Monks get to choose a Monastic Tradition! For skirmishers like Spider-Man, Drunken Master is the best pick (you don’t actually have to drink for it to work).
As a Drunken Master, we gain proficiency in Performance, which we use to emulate our alter-ego ( also, use it for the dance ), and Brewer’s Supplies, to brew some New York joe.
All Drunken Masters also gain Drunken Technique, which gives us +10 movement speed and the benefit of the disengage action, when we use Flurry of Blows.
We also gain Deflect Missiles as a 3rd level Monk! As a reaction to being it with a ranged attack, we may deflect it, reducing the damage of the attack by 1d10 + Dexterity modifier + Monk Level. If we reduce the attack’s damage to zero, we may throw the projectile back as a monk weapon using the same reaction, at the cost of 1 Ki point! Catching a projectile and throwing it back is just the thing Spider-Man would do.
At this level, we gain our First ASI! As a Monk, we desperately need them, so let’s not squander this bonus and boost our Dexterity by +2! Our Dexterity is now 16 + 2 = 18, with a +4 modifier!
We also gain Slow Fall at this level! As a reaction, we may reduce the damage from a fall that we take by 5 times our Monk level! It would be a shame if you took falling damage from your own jump, after all?
At this level, we gain Extra Attack! When we take the attack action, we may make 2 attacks with that action! Spider-Man doesn’t take his rogue’s gallery down with one powerful strike, but with many rapid ones.
Additionally, we also gain Stunning Strike at this level! When we hit with a creature with an attack, we may expend 1 Ki point and force our opponent to make a Constitution saving throw. If they fail, they are stunned until the end of your next turn. This is you webbing up your opponent!
Alright, we’ve got a decent amount of martial ability and spider strength, let’s grab a few more specific abilities. To do that, let’s multiclass into . . .
All Wizards get Spellcasting, but we’ll reflavor yours as abilities you get courtesy of your radioactive blood, and/or your gadgets! After all, Spider-Men in general are at least a little bit mystic due to the Web of Life and Destiny. With how quick-witted you are, Intelligence will be your spellcasting modifier. As a Wizard, we get a spellbook for our spells, which for you is just your school notebook.
For Cantrips, we’ll pick . .
Mage Hand, to yank items towards you with a thwip.
Light, which is a light.
Mending, which is webbing something back together.
1st level Wizards also get to add 6 spells into their spellbook! Let’s grab . . .
Shield, which is a Web Barrier.
Longstrider, even more dexterous movement.
Catapult, which is using your webs to slingshot an object.
Gift of Alacrity, for even better reflexes.
Thunderwave, which is our impact webs.
Jump, which is how we’ll do web swinging. It isn’t climbing and isn’t flying, but I think this is a good compromise. With this and Step of the Wind, we have a 60ft long jump and a 18ft high jump.
As a 1st level Wizard, we also get Arcane Recovery, which allows us to, once per long rest, recover spell slots with a total level equal to or less then our Wizard level. The spell slots recovered cannot be above 6th level, to reload and gain more ammo!
2nd level Wizards get an Arcane Tradition, and the War Magic Tradition is the pick for superheroes that apply their intelligence in both rigorous study and brutal combat!
War Magic Wizards gain Arcane Deflection, which allows us to gain a +2 bonus to AC against the attack or a +4 bonus to that saving throw as a reaction. If we use this feature, the only spells we may cast next turn are cantrips. This is great for us, since we rely on weapon attacks anyway! This is our Spider-Sense.
We also gain Tactical Wit, which allows us to add our Intelligence modifier to our Initiative!
For our new spells, lets learn . . .
Silvery Barbs, which is distracting our enemy with a spurt of webs!
Identify, which is us using our Intelligence to figure out a mysterious magic item.
For our Wizard spells of this level, let’s learn . . .
Web, which is an AOE web (duh).
Earthbind, which is yanking Green Goblin down with webs.
Okay, we’ve got everything we need from Wizard, so let’s jump back to . . .
At 6th level, we gain Ki Empowered Strikes! Our Unarmed Strikes now count as magical for the purpose of overcoming non-magical resistance.
As a Drunken Master Monk, we gain Tipsy Sway! This gives us two benefits:
Leap to Your Feet: When we’re prone, we can instantly flip off the floor, costing us only 5ft movement instead of half.
Redirect Attack: When we are missed with an attack role, we may spend one Ki point to cause that attack to hit one creature within 5ft of us, other than ourselves.
Both of these abilities are very fitting for Spidey!
Our unarmoured movement bonus increases to +15ft.
At this level, We gain Evasion, which allows us to take half damage from a failed Dexterity save, and no damage from a successful Dexterity save! This is also a good ability for Spider-Man.
Additionally, we gain Stillness of Mind! As an action, we can end one effect on ourself that is causing us to be charmed or frightened. Spider-Man’s always had a good heart and a strong will, so it makes sense that it would be difficult to sway him with charms or frightens.
At this level, we gain another ASI! Let’s boost Dexterity by +2 to cap it off at 18 + 2 = 20, with a +5 modifier! Now we’ve got the maximum amount of nimbleness that we can achieve.
At this level, we gain an Unarmoured Movement Improvement, which allows us to run up walls and across water. Running up walls is our wallcrawling, and I guess across water is some shoe gadget you made?
At this level, we gain Purity of Body, which makes us immune to poison and disease. Spider-Man’s got super-healing, after all.
Our unarmoured movement bonus increases to +20ft.
At the 11th level of Monk as a Drunken Master, we gain Drunkard’s Luck! We always have a bout of luck when we need it most, as whenever we make an attack, save, or check and have disadvantage, we can spend 2 Ki to cancel out the disadvantage.
Another ASI at this level. Let’s boost our Wisdom by +2 for higher AC and greater Spidey-Senses! Our Wisdom is now 14 + 2 = 16, with a +3 modifier!
At the 13th level of Monk, we gain Tongue of the Sun and Moon! We are now able to understand all spoken languages, and all creatures that speak a language can understand what we can say! Spider-Man is beloved world-wide.
At this level, we gain Diamond Soul! We’re now proficient in every single saving throw, including death saves, and if we fail a save, we may spend a Ki point to reroll!
Our unarmoured movement bonus increases to +25ft.
All 15th level Monks gain Timeless Body! We no longer suffer the ill effects of aging and cannot be aged magically. I guess this explains why was perpetually in highschool (yeah I know the real reason is the comic line restarts).
At this level, we gain another ASI! Wisdom is important for us, so let’s boost our Wisdom by +2! Our Wisdom is now 16 + 2 = 18, with a +4 modifier.
And finally, we’ll cap off our webbed wonder with . . .
This is our final Drunken Monk Feature, Intoxicated Frenzy! When we use Flurry of blows, we can make up to 3 additional attacks with our bonus action, provided that each Flurry of blows attack targets a different target.
We are extremely mobile! 55ft movement base, 110ft movement on a dash, 220ft with two, 20ft horizontal jump and 18ft high jump with Step of the Wind and the Jump spell, and we can crawl on walls and run on water! We’re really hard to pin down, especially since we can disengage for free when using Flurry!
We’ve got great defenses! 19 AC, Proficiency in every save, we can remove disadvantage for 1 Ki, we can reroll for 1 Ki, +5 to AC through Shield, +2 for free through War Magic, and +4 to saves also through War Magic.
We’re great at handling crowds, as we can make 7 attacks with Flurry of blows as long as we hit a different creature each time, and can make a Stunning Strike attempt on each hit!
We dipped Wizard for Web, but we have a really low Spellcasting Modifier and as such a really easy save to beat.
We missed one of the best Monk features, Empty Body.
A sling is just worse than a shortbow (in DnD, slings are crazy IRL)
Black Suit Spider-Man Quickbuild
Miles: “Let’s go man, before he gets too far!”
Peter: “No . . . he’s mine . . .”
Miles: “You sure? He’s got big teeth.”
Peter: “So do I.”
This is still Peter, but now he’s making use of the dark powers of the Symbiote, so he’ll still be a Variant Human but instead of Crusher, we’ll grab Eldritch Adept and gain the Mask of Many Faces invocation, which gives us at-will castings if Disguise Self. This’ll be how we shift from
our classic and black suit.
Our main stat is Strength.
Take 1 in Monk for Martial Arts.
Put the following 6 levels in Barbarian, which fits the much more brutalistic nature of your newly adopted fighting style. Take the Beast subclass for large symbiote weapons! Your maw is conjoining your arms and spawning a giant toothy jaw, your claws are tendrils at the tip of your fingers, and your tail is a great black tentacle that leaps out of you. Not to mention, you can crawl and jump(webswing) long distances now too. We’ll be using the Barbarian’s unarmoured defense.
Put the next 2 levels in Monk and take the Astral Self subclass, which we’ll reflavor as our stretchy symbiote attacks. We’ve got 3 Ki, with 9 over the course of the day, assuming 2 short rests.
Put your remaining 11 levels in Barbarian. Infectious Fury is placing a mote of your symbiote within your target and making them attack your ally. Or, it’s just scaring the shit out of them if you choose the other option. Call of the Hunt is giving a bit of your symbiote to the entire party.
“We are Venom.”
While building Black Suit Spiderman I noticed that the build would also work perfectly for Venom, which makes sense.
This build would be the same as with Black Suit, but we’ll grab a 1 Rogue level at the beginning and grab Expertise in Strength and Intimidation.
“I am the ultimate insanity! I am CARNAGE!”
This build is the exact same as Venom’s, except we grab Rogue 2 after level 6 of Barbarian for Cunning Action, and we’ll put Expertise in Acrobatics instead of Athletics.
“All right, people, let's start at the beginning one last time. My name is Gwen Stacy. I was bitten by a radioactive spider, and for the last two years I've been the one and only Spider-Woman. You guys know the rest . . .”
This build is the same as the original, except instead of Crusher we’ll grab Mobile, and we’ll take a 1 level Rogue dip after our Wizard levels for Expertise, which we’ll put in Perception and Acrobatics.
Miles Morales Quickbuild
“Okay, let's do this one last time, yeah? For real this time. This is it. My name is Miles Morales. I was bitten by a radioactive spider. And for like two days, I've been the one and only Spider-Man. I think you know the rest . . .”
Miles is a high schooler who was bitten by a radioactive spider, just like Peter, so he’ll be a Variant Human too, although for him we’ll grab Mobile instead of Crusher for hit and run tactics. He’ll still use a sling for webs. Make sure to grab Sleight of Hand to swipe the USB from Peter.
Our main stat is Dexterity, but we also want decent Wisdom for AC and saves.
From there, put all 20 levels in Monk and take the Ascendant Dragon subclass. We can change our unarmed strikes to elemental damage, so this is how we get our lighting abilities (don’t use it for any other damage type because that’s out of character!). Same thing goes for Breath of the Dragon - it’s a blast of Lighting Wings unfurled is our web swinging, and Aspect of Wyrm and Ascendent Aspect are already built off of flavor we’ve already established. Empty Body is our invisibility, and Stunning Strike is a zapping stun.
Spider-Man 2099 Quickbuild
“What has yesterday done to tomorrow?”
Miguel O’hara is a human, but his DNA was overwritten with that of a spider, so we’ll choose Simic Hybrid, and our level 1 mutation will be Nimble Climber. ( Ask your DM if you can have the Sunlight Sensitivity trait )
Our main stat is Dexterity, but we also want decent Wisdom for AC and saves.
Put 5 levels in Monk and choose the Open Hand subclass. Our Open Hand Technique is our super strength and agility, and Stunning Strike is injecting someone with our venom. Choose Grappling Appendages, which are just your claws.
From there, put 2 levels in Rogue ( ask your DM if you can use Sneak Attack on Unarmed Strikes ) for Cunning Action and Expertise. Take Expertise in Athletics for grapples and Perception for your super hearing and supervision.
From there, put 2 levels in Artificer and grab the Repeating Shot infusion for your organic webbing, Sending Stones, which are tech communications, Goggles of Night for your darkvision, and the Wand of Detection, which is your AI Lyra doing a scan for you.
From there, put 3 levels in Wizard and take the Conjuration subclass, which gives you a 3d printer you can use to make small items with. Choose all the spells that we chose in the original build.
Then, dump the remaining 8 levels into Monk. Wholeness of the body is our healing factor, and Tranquility is simply us being hard to hit.
“Wherever I go, the wind follows. And the wind smells like rain."
This Peter was bitten just like our Peter was, so we’ll make him a Variant Human. Instead of Crusher we’ll grab Gunner for your revolver.
Our main stat is Dexterity, but we also want decent Wisdom for AC and saves.
Put 5 levels in Monk, choose Kensei, and grab a Revolver. Our Stunning Strikes are Knock-Out punches.
Put 3 levels in Fighter and take the Blight Fighting style to fight in pitch black darkness. Choose the Battlemaster subclass. Grab Trip Attack, Feinting Attack, and Ambush.
Take 2 levels in Rogue for Cunning Action and Expertise. Take Expertise in Athletics and Stealth.
Take 3 levels in Wizard and choose the Divination subclass, which is your Spider-Sense. Choose the same spells as the ones we chose for our initial build, except swap out Earthbind for Spider Climb.
Dump the remaining 7 levels in Monk.
Peni Parker Quickbuild
“私の名前はペニ・パーカーです。私は 3145 年のニューヨーク出身です。父のロボットの中に住んでいるクモと精神的なつながりがあります。そして私たちは永遠に親友であり続けます。”
Peni Parker wasn’t given power by a radioactive spider, but she bonded with it -oh, and that spider controls an anime mech that she pilots. Let’s make Peni a Variant Human and grab Telekinetic, which is you pulling or pushing something with webs.
Our main ability will be Intelligence.
Put all 20 levels in Artificer, and choose Armourer as your subclass to get your SP//dr mecha.
Choose the Guardian Model. We’ll be wearing Full Plate.
Choose Enhanced Defense, Goggles of the Night, Enhanced Arcane Focus, Armour of Magical Strength, Boots of Elvenkind, Slippers of Spider Climbing, Boots of Striding and Springing, Ring of Jumping, Belt of Hill Giant Strength, Ring of Protection, Spell-Refueling Ring, and Helm of Awareness as infusions.
Pick Booming Blade, Sword Burst, Guidance, and Thorn Whip as cantrips. Prepare Web, Spider Climb, Stoneskin, Haste, Absorb Elements, Detect Magic, Faerie Fire, Identify, Jump, Longstrider, Kinetic Jaunt, Dispel Magic, Glyph of Warding, Water Breathing, and Alarm. We also get Magic Missile, Thunderwave, Mirror Image, Shatter, Hypnotic Pattern, Lighting Bolt, Fire Shield, Greater Invisibility, Passwall, and Wall of Force.
Booming blade is a sonic strike, Sword Burst is a 360 swipe, Guidance is looking something up, and Thornwhip is a grappling hook. Web, Jump, Longstrider, Kinetic Jaunt, and Spider Climb are typical spider-person stuff. Stoneskin, Absorb Elements, Alarm, Fire Shield, and Dispel Magic are SP//dr’s defenses. Detect Magic and Identify are scanners, Faerie Fire is targeting systems, Glyph of Warding is a trap ( I guess you can do that now? ), and Water Breathing is just SP//dr being airtight. Magic Missile is web missiles ( yeah I know it’s a stretch ), Passwall is smashing through a wall, Wall of Force is a forcefield, Lighting Bolt and Shatter is techy stuff the mech probably can do (?), Haste is a battle focus, and Greater Invisibility is out of character so don’t use it.
"I was bitten by a radioactive pig."
Spider-Ham was a spider that was bitten by a radioactive pig. Instead of trying to comprehend the logic check that such an origin demands, let’s just make him a Gnome, which fits since he’s a tricky, short fella. Specifically, a Forest Gnome, and we’ll use Minor Illusion for our cartoon shenanigans. We’ll use a light hammer for our mallet.
Our main stat is Dexterity, but we also want decent Wisdom for AC and saves.
From there, the build follows our original Spider-Man build, except instead of taking 3 levels in Wizard, we’ll take 3 in Warlock. Choose the Hexblade subclass.
Take the Beast Speech and Improved Pact Weapon invocations.
Take the Pact of the Blade boon. This is your hammerspace.
For cantrips, grab Prestidigitation, True Strike, and Mage Hand. For spells, learn Shield, Hex, Expeditious Retreat, and Shadow Blade.
Expeditious Retreat is just running fast, Prestidigitation and Major image will be used for cartoon stuff like making a lightbulb appear over your head. True Strike is waiting for the right time to strike. Shield is dodging out of the way, Hex is a combat focus, and Shadowblade is a random weapon pulled out of hammer space ( it deals psychic damage because your opponent can’t comprehend that they’re being beaten by a pig ).
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2023.06.04 22:13 am555033 2015 LX rim size
Hi, I want to buy extra set of rims for summer tires, but can't find what is the right size. Checked manual and didn't see wheel size in it. I'm in Canada. At the door I see the tire info is 185/60R15 84T. When I specify car type at www c-wheels ca it shows me several options, all winter approved and with 4x100 bolt pattern. 1. 14x5.5 2. 15x6 hubcentric 3. 15x6 4. 16x6.5 Are all of those ok to use? What is the best option? Thank you in advance.
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2023.06.04 05:56 mechanicmaker Starting issues with ‘13 Dodge Dart 2.0 Project Car
Hi I bought a project 2013 Dodge Dart 2.0 for $500 to learn more about cars but I’m having a hard time getting it started. It turns over and sounds like it wants to start. Starter sounds good. I know the timing chain was replaced at some point but don’t much about the vehicle history beyond that. List of things I’ve tried so far:
- putting starting fluid into the intake and trying to start it
- replaced the crankshaft sensor and the exhaust camshaft sensor (still need to replace intake camshaft sensor)
- recharged battery and tested good
- spark plugs look good and compression test is good
- timing chain looks like it’s on there tight, no metal shavings or debris
Codes that are being pulled: - P0113 intake air temperature sensor 1 circuit high - P0520 engine oil pressure sensor switch circuit - P0017 crankshaft position camshaft position correlation bank 1 Sensor B - P0123 throttle/pedal position sensor switch A circuit high - P0222 throttle/pedal position sensor switch b circuit low - P2122 throttle/pedal position sensor switch D circuit low - P2127 throttle/pedal position sensor switch E circuit low
What could cause these codes at the same time? The cover for the engine is currently disconnected.The throttle body sensoconnector is also broken/wiggles and is held together by a zip tie (pic attached). Would I need to replace the entire throttle body for this? What are the next steps here? I NEED to put this together any help is greatly appreciated. https://imgur.com/a/6C0xG01
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2023.06.04 04:30 HadukiBEAN I made this easier to read.
2023.06.04 04:28 chbmg Easy Fixes To Make Survivors and Demons Happy – Saber, Please Read
NOTE: This is a very long post. There’s a tl;dr summary at the bottom Background:
This is coming from a long-time lurker, first time poster, and an Evil Dead fan for decades. For background, I have previous game dev experience, including Unity and Unreal, so I’m (mostly) not talking out my ass, and I've played both sides of this game roughly equally for more hours than I’d care to admit (primarily solo q, sometimes survivor with friends, and otherwise just playing demon when survivor queue times are high, as they have been many times since release). Usually, I just play whichever side has the lowest queue time.
Despite its flaws, this has been one of my favorite games of all time. The original development team was clearly passionate about the Evil Dead. The art, audio, and overall atmosphere are excellent and have superb attention to detail. I love all the random chatter from my survivor, the feeling of rushing through the woods as the Kandarian demon, and the intensity of a close game regardless of who wins. However, most of us would agree that this game has been held back by very poor "balancing" patches since release, as evidenced by polls on this subreddit confirming it is indeed the most frustrating problem.
We've endured shemps duping, brokenly OP characters, fear looping, and many other game-breaking exploits throughout. Bugs can be tolerable and are even to be expected, but the "fixes" almost always cause new issues and take far too long. It is painfully obvious that there has been very little time or effort expended on these issues by the post-release support team. Some patches have been so bad that they shouldn’t even make it to QA, let alone production – I’d be ashamed, esp. given that some of these issues can be fully and precisely patched in a few lines of code. I don’t need to see the source code to know that – even a rat’s nest of blueprints and disorganized C++ code can’t justify it.
I can only hope the skeleton crew that's continuing support for this game will take a few hours to address these issues. More importantly, I hope someone higher-up will recognize that this game still has millions of copies floating around and a lot more opportunities for profit, so it’s worth it to invest just a little time/thought into balance to keep new players and veterans happy.
Frankly, each issue could be hammered out in minutes by someone familiar with the codebase, but I know it takes some time for building and testing across multiple platforms - days is fine, weeks/months is insane, esp. given the current state of the game.
I think it is important to first precisely define how the game is unbalanced, and how this imbalance can ruin the fun of many matches. Based on previous posts and my own personal experiences playing with friends and family at various skill levels, the following pattern becomes clear:
3+ Bad/Low-Level Survivors – Essentially 99% Demon Win
2+ Bad Survivors, All Others Decent to Excellent – Heavily demon-sided (~90% Demon Win)
1+ Bad Survivor, All Others Decent to Excellent – Somewhat demon-sided (~70% Demon Win)
All Survivors Decent, Not Very Cooperative/Sharing – About Equal (~50/50 on Win)
All Survivors Decent, Mostly Cooperative – Somewhat survivors-sided (~70% Survivor Win)
All Survivors with Good Skills/Teamwork/Knowledge – Heavily survivors-sided (~90% Survivor Win)
All Survivors with Excellent Skills/Teamwork/Knowledge – Essentially 99% Survivors Win
Note: Skills/teamwork/knowledge are not necessarily related to prestige level nor gameplay style, though usually survivors with prestige levels have stuck with the game long enough to at least be “decent” (even if they’re still not perfectly cooperative/sharing/etc.). This pattern is only somewhat altered by the demon’s skill level – new/low-level demons skew much more to higher survivor win rates in every scenario, and excellent high-level/prestige demons playing the current “meta” demon skew toward higher demon win rates. Any level 45+ demon that’s decent to good and usually plays non-meta demons like the current versions of Warlord or Necro (that’s me) will likely not skew these results.
I believe my personal experience is a microcosm of the overall balancing issue, and we’ve seen posts on this subreddit that consistently confirm the above pattern. It should be painfully obvious by now to anyone who’s played both sides long enough, and it should also be even more painfully obvious to any developers/publishers pouring over analytics data for the game. What adds insult to injury is that, at the more extreme ends of the pattern, a lot of toxicity emerges. Many survivors go into flashlight-clicky mode when they have the upper hand, and many demons retaliate by dancing with possessions over corpses or other means, whether it’s in the current match or against some innocent victims in the next match (I’ve sometimes been guilty too – I usually just take a break when toxic matches get to me and I turn toxic, but I’m truly sorry to anyone who’s had to deal with any of this crap from me)
Anyway, what will happen if the above pattern continues over time? Well, newer players who are consistently getting absolutely destroyed and possibly taunted at the same time (as either survivor or demon) will either (a) quit the game, or (b) get better. Now, run through that scenario while looking at the pattern and assume the game remains roughly in the current state. There will be more and more new/”bad” survivors quitting the game entirely, and a smaller portion that will only stick with the game if they level up and “git gud” over many hours (becoming good to excellent players). The same thing will happen to demon players. What happens when all we have left are good to excellent survivors and good to excellent demons? Well, check the chart again. Every match will be at least heavily survivor-sided if not a guaranteed win. Survivors get bored, even most masochistic veteran demon players give up, queue times for survivors reach new heights, and the game “dies.” This sequence of events has happened at various times in the game’s lifecycle, but I fear it’s headed toward extremes that will eventually make the game unplayable.
Obviously, it’s no fun to win virtually every time and it’s no fun to lose almost every time. Competitive games are most fun when you have close matches – ideally, there’d be a win rate of about 50% for either side. “But wait,” you say, “the pattern above indicates that there already IS a roughly 50/50 balance for that scenario!” And yes, that’s true. But how many matches are actually like that? How many matches have you personally played that felt close and competitive the whole time? It certainly wasn’t common when we had strong SBMM, and it isn’t common without SBMM either. Why? Because players who stick with the absolutely brutal intro to this game today are almost guaranteed to at least become good/high-level players with solid game mechanics/knowledge (though some will still become toxic/uncooperative teammates or toxic demons). Those who don’t become competent players are virtually guaranteed to quit in frustration, some after just the first several matches where they are either getting consistently annihilated by all the veterans, or clearly being “allowed” to win if the other side takes pity. In essence, the game is just plain brutal for HOURS on end for newer players and can become stale for solid veteran players. For veterans, we have survivors who team up with 3 other veterans (boring due to easy wins, low challenge), demons who can only win by repetitively attacking an inanimate stationary book (boring due to minimal ability to challenge survivors throughout match), or demons who see 2+ bad survivors and have to decide whether to let them win or immediately stomp them to move on (both of which can be boring due to low challenge, and frankly feel bad if harassing beginners). I absolutely LOVE any close matches, win or lose, but they are unfortunately exceptionally rare.
Clearly, the goal of balancing patches should be to make as many matches as close as possible. How? Well, it’s very simple – give beginners a chance and give veterans a challenge. Specifically, force or incentivize gameplay that elevates beginners, challenges veterans, prevents toxicity, and basically “evens the playing field” so that the chart above reads more like “20% through 80%” win rates for survivors rather than 1% through 99%. Thus, the fixes below mostly take aim at mechanics that are abused by veterans of the game or seek to better prepare beginners. Additionally, nearly each of the fixes below can be implemented with the equivalent of just a few lines of code.
I fully believe that this game can achieve a decent balance as a 4v1 asymm. It only seems impossible because the patches for balancing have often failed to address root causes and/or caused new issues. The game can be more welcoming for newcomers (both survivors and demons alike) while still having a lot of the same learning curves and leveling systems to reward higher level play without it becoming outright oppressive to either side.
Anyway, based on a lot of previous posts and my own observations, here are some easy fixes for the next patch: 1. Revert demon traps to their previous behavior (i.e. make it so possessed survivors can be walked into a trap) and fix the fear looping mechanic for SchemeBaal specifically
The latest "fix" for this had a workaround from the community within hours to fear loop survivors anyway and nerfed all other demons for no reason.
This can be easily resolved by reverting to the previous code/blueprints/whatever (or hell, going back to the previous build if necessary), and then implementing a simple solution for Schemer. This solution requires a scalpel, not a sledgehammer, so it should apply ONLY to Schemer. I can think of two easy possibilities, either of which would only need a few lines of code.
First possibility: If a survivor has set off a trap that was set by using the Schemer's special ability, then that trap now has a normal cool down and cannot be "reset" again by Schemer's current use of the special ability. This would allow Schemer to set a trap manually, possess a survivor, run them into it, get the trap reset immediately by their special ability, but then only run the survivor into the same trap a 2nd time. Thus, Schemer would still be the demon associated with traps and fear, but wouldn't be able to loop a survivor in one spot endlessly. A survivor that's slightly separated wouldn't necessarily immediately die, but a demon could still down a lone wolf by harassing, lowering health, raising fear, and then doing this method.
Second possibility: The trap setting special ability of Schemer could be disabled when Schemer possesses a survivor. This may nerf Schemer specifically a tad bit too heavily, but is still a far better fix than what we've got. It's also super easy to program with something like the following pseudocode:
If (demon.ability == true && demon.name
== "Schemer" && demon.possessing == true)
demon.ability = false; 2. Implement a stamina cost for vaulting windows/railings (e.g. the stamina cost could be the same as dodging)
This helps keep gameplay fair for both sides. It's clearly unfair and unfun to have a demon that can easily fear loop a survivor to death even if their teammates aren't far away, and the same holds true for a survivor that can "loop" a demon and never die. Survivors can still use objects, dodges, and other means to postpone death if they're alone (as I've done myself and seen done as demon) but it's at least possible for a demon to get in an occasional hit and whittle down health (i.e. it cannot be done indefinitely, at least if vaulting also uses stamina). Alternatively, at least give demons the ability to vault all the same objects as survivors, such as railings, so a 1v1 chase is fair – it just doesn’t feel great when a survivor jumps over a porch railing and looks back to flashlight click your possessed unit, knowing that there’s somehow zero threat in this 1v1 encounter in a 4v1 game due to a simple exploit. Personally, I think just adding a stamina cost would be fine to try at least, and many others in this community seem to agree. Plus, it should again only be a few lines of code to adjust the stamina bavariable of a survivor whenever he/she vaults. 3. Edit the text for the "hints" when a match is loading. There are absolutely no CLEAR tips about giving the right resources to the right players, nor hints about any newer demons (i.e. the hints have never been updated)
Regardless of which side we've played, we all know solo q for survivors is a total crap shoot. None of us started playing this game knowing that we should be gathering supplies for ourselves AND our teammates, dropping shemps for support, dropping ammo for hunters, etc. Many players quit before learning these things and there is no in game explanation for them (besides one single vague tip I can remember about how you can share resources with teammates, but no clear indication of sharing based on class
I think the lack of instructions for basic team play is one of the major causes of low player retention for the game. The tutorials are helpful for basic controls, but there needs be a lot more emphasis on the basics of this game that many of us on this subreddit take for granted.
I’d start by making sure the following tip text is the first to be shown to all players for a few matches after this is patched in:
“Stay close to your teammates and focus on the current objective to survive. Going off to loot alone is very dangerous”
(yes, veteran players can often get away with this, but man, it feels terrible playing on either side and watching someone just wander off to loot the whole game)
The other tips could be a lot more direct:
“Players should stay within the blue aura of leaders whenever possible to get additional buffs”
“Warriors should generally be given the best melee weapons but do little ranged damage”
“Hunters should generally be given the best ranged weapons but do little melee damage. Drop ammo for them if they ask”
“Support players are generally weakest, but can heal or shield all their teammates by using shemps and amulets near them. Drop spare shemps for support”
Now, the above “tip texts” at the loading menu are super quick and easy to add to the game. However, if the developers would like to go a little above and beyond, it would be amazing to add some additional text boxes within the game to warn players about bad choices. For example, there could be blinking text in the center bottom half of the screen for awhile if you’re carrying another survivor’s specialty weapon and they don’t have one (or if yours is a higher rarity). Also, there could be similar warning text that you’ve wondered more than, say, 100m from your team. Again, just trying to give simple, clear instructions to beginners (and those that are somehow still selfishly playing after reaching level 25+). And yeah, there are always arguments and exceptions to be made about how to play optimally, but some updated/clear tips could go a long way. 4. Implement a bonus XP on the results screen after a match is over that gives each side a bonus based on how many points the other side gained. Also, fix demon leveling based on survivodemon level
This one sounds a little weird and complicated, but it's really not. What I'm saying here is that veteran survivors should be rewarded for taking it easy on a baby demon, and a veteran demon should be rewarded for taking it easy on baby survivors.
Basically, regardless of which side you play or if you win or lose, I believe you should get a bonus XP based on how the other side did. For example, let's say you're a veteran pup player that gets matched to novice survivors and down them all with a power possessed basic before they even get the first map piece. In this case, those survivors will have very little points after the match (maybe even under 1000 per person) and the demon should get no bonus reward. The survivors here should at least get a bonus for enduring the slaughter and staying in the match. Let's say the demon takes it easy on them though, let's them progress, maybe even just throws AI at them (hell, I've personally spawned a boss and walked them to good crates when they're clearly new and can barely take on bots). Let's say they get 10k points per player this way - the demon now gets bonus XP for good behavior.
I'd say that there should be a bonus XP for each player if the other side reaches a certain point threshold, say 30k, or if the survivors are wiped before first objective (as in, survivors get a bonus for enduring such a match and demon gets no bonus). This would help discourage immediately stomping new players and help retain them (remember everyone, this game will die if it's just a few hardcore people with long queue times all doing cheesy strats and stomping anyone who dares try joining as a newbie).
Anyway, in psuedocode, something like this could work:
If (survivor.totalscore >= 30000)
demon.bonusxp = 3000;
If (demon.totalscore >= 30000)
survivor.bonusxp = 3000;
[Loop thru survivors to apply bonus to each - obviously, these values can be tweaked]
Obviously, you may have survivors or demons who go AFK and then it may make it impossible for the other side to get a bonus. Therefore, there could also be some basic code for checking if someone is AFK (i.e. hasn’t not moved more than a certain small distance in a decent amount of time, hasn’t set a trap or possessed anything in a certain time, etc.). Frankly, I have no idea how we still don’t have AFK checks – just about any other online game I’ve ever played automatically disconnects you if you’re not playing.
As a bonus idea to this bonus idea, you could also cancel ALL XP points for a player for a round in which he/she is toxic, such as a check for repetitive flashlight clicking. I find this irritating whether I'm a survivor or a demon (and I def didn't deserve a bunch of XP the few times I've been guilty of it when I felt a demon was being toxic). I don't think there's an easy way to detect all toxic demon behavior with code, but it would be trivial to keep track of flashlight clicking in code. Maybe if a demon is "hovering" (dancing) directly over a dead body too long with a possessed unit or survivor, then they also have their XP completely canceled for the round - that would also be easy to check via code. The key to promoting good, non-toxic behavior would be to implement these checks without specifying precisely how many flashlight clicks count or how long dancing over a corpse counts – just note that specific toxic behavior will result in zero XP for the round for the offender and automate it in code.
Finally, as another incentive for fair play, the leveling up of demons should be dependent on the level of the survivors they are harassing AND on the demon’s current skill tree level. In other words, there should be modifiers so that new, low-level demons get leveled up more by the same actions as high-level demons, such as downing a player, and there should also be modifiers so that high-level demons cannot get leveled up as much by harassing low-level survivors, such as constantly downing a newbie, but can get slightly more leveled up by downing a high-level survivor. This goes back to the idea of elevating beginners and challenging veterans, esp. since it’s incredibly frustrating to be constantly singled out as a brand-new survivor. This could be something like:
Lvl 1-24: x1.5 for demon leveling up
Lvl 25-44: x1.3 for demon leveling up
Lvl 45: x1.1 for demon leveling up
P1+: x1.0 for demon leveling up
Survivor (being attacked, hitting traps, or otherwise affected by demon):
Lvl 1-24: x0.5 for demon leveling up
Lvl 25: x1.0 for demon leveling up
P1+: x1.1 for demon leveling up
Lvl 10 demon somehow downs a P3 survivor – demon levels up 1.5 x 1.1 = 1.65 times as much as now
Lvl 45 demon downs a Lvl 4 survivor – demon only levels up 1.1 x 0.5 = 0.55 times as much as now
P5 demon downs a P5 survivor – demon levels up 1.0 x 1.1 = 1.1 times as much as now 5. Disable the ability to start both the dagger and pages objectives at the same time
This "split cap" method is usually only used by high-level teams and can be almost impossible to counter by anyone who isn't a very experienced demon, at least on certain maps or when these objectives are at certain locations. I've managed to counter it myself most of the time as demon, but it can be very hard to deal with, esp. given that survivors are resurrected after either objective finishes. Depending on the map and RNG (esp. light sources at objectives and other variables), it can be impossible to counter.
Basically, if the timer is running on either objective, it should be impossible to start the other objective. This still allows creative play by high-level coordinated teams (e.g. maybe Pablo hides at the next objective waiting to kick it off immediately while waiting for others to race there by car). It also feels a lot more fair, particularly to less experienced demons.
Again, this could be fixed in just a couple lines of code. Literally, just check if a timer is running for daggepages and if so, don’t allow interaction with the other objective. 6. Add a call out in the in-game communication wheel to say "demon is on me” or “I need help” for survivors
We know from polls on this sub that most people are dropping into solo q most of the time (I’m sure Saber’s own analytics could prove this too). Also, many people don't have or don't want to use a headset. These are just common facts for most online games.
I know some people have resorted to using the "need matchsticks" chat option to indicate they're being attacked by a possessed unit but this is frankly absurd. We need a simple chat option for survivors for this. Honestly, if the text for “I need matchsticks” were simply replaced with “I need help!”, I'd be satisfied because I often need help fending off a possessed unit or boss a lot more than I need matchsticks in solo q.
This should be easy to add to the game (it’s more than a few lines of code and would require minor image/text adjustments and possibly kicking off existing voice lines, but should still be doable). I’m pretty sure that most characters already have a voice line recorded that could work (I picture Scotty already literally saying “I need help”) and if not, we’ve already been shown that voice lines don’t really have to match their context anyway (I picture Mia saying “fire’s lit. Anybody needs fire, it’s here” when turning on her flashlight – so hell, just make that what she says when she uses “I need help” on the wheel – we’ve already accepted she’s crazy anyway and the text would be clear at least). 7. Keep car possessions consistent on all maps. Demons either can't possess them until they "spawn" when survivors are near (like Castle Kandar) or they can possess them at any time anywhere
Personally, I think that it should only be possible to possess cars when survivors have "spawned" them by being close to them like on the Kandar map. The method of flipping all cars on a map at the start of a match is generally only used by a few high MMR demons and feels cheesy to me (I also feel it's cheesy to drive 3 cars to each objective, but cars are always going to be divisive and they can also be used to cause a lot of damage at objectives at least).
I think car possession should've followed the lore of AvED, kept survivors inside, and done something different like having both driver and demon fighting for control of the vehicle, like maybe survivor controls keep randomly reversing while demon controls it normally and the driver tries to counter the demon driving until infernal energy runs out - survivors take a little damage whenever the car crashes. However, this idea is complex, so I'll stick to easy fixes.
No matter what, it just seems like the ability to possess cars should be consistent across all maps and it should be easy to implement, esp. since there's already code/logic for the two scenarios. 8. Add a single menu option at the main menu when choosing a game mode to select "random"
This could immensely help queue times. I know there are others like me who just want to play and don't care about whether they're survivor or demon.
This may take a tiny bit more work to implement than some of the pieces above (e.g. need a little artwork for the button, menu programming, some matchmaking programming, etc.) but it would help queue times, which have been problematic at various times in this game's life cycle. 9. Adjust RNG based on the overall levels of survivors
Again, this goes back to elevating beginners and challenging veterans. I’ve been in too many games with all prestige survivors that can split up and loot a large portion of the map without fear of consequence until each character has his/her own purple/gold specialty weapon (which also goes back to looping/vaulting endlessly and depends on map, demon character, etc.) – those games are a wash for demon. On the other hand, I’ve been in too many solo q matches where people are bringing grey weapons to defend the book and hobbling in without shemps knowing it’s just a slaughter. I’d really like to be in more balanced matches where veteran teams don’t all have perfect weapons for an easy win, and novice players don’t all hobble around with garbage for a guaranteed loss.
As a simple fix, it would make sense to simply increase the odds of chests being purple/gold if 2 or more survivors are under P1, and decrease those same odds if all survivors are P1 or above (in all other cases, odds can remain the same). And yeah, I know prestige does not perfectly equal pure skill, but odds are you’re at least “decent” at the game if you’ve made it that far (if not good or excellent). This RNG adjustment for chests could be multiplied by whatever Ed brings to the table. For example, if the decrease for all prestige players is to have 0.75x the amount of purple/gold chests and the increase Ed brings is 1.5x, then there would still be slightly more purple/gold chests on the map than normal even for all prestige players (and a lot more good chests for new players, who definitely could use the boost). 10. Give out more XP/SP – we need more double XP/SP events and there should be a bonus given to any low-level players (say, anyone who hasn’t gotten a single character to P1) to get and retain new players
This last point shouldn’t need much explanation. The community obviously overwhelming voted to have more double XP/SP events. It would take such an incredible number of hours to P5 every single character that I’d imagine only those who have literally played non-stop for thousands of hours since release could have done it already. For some, like me, who only took a brief hiatus from the game since release, it feels like a herculean task to even get 1 or 2 characters to P5 on either side. Such events literally help with balance by elevating beginners and they also give a reason for veterans to return. Queue times were noticeably lower during the last event, even though it was poorly announced, clearly timed to try and mess with TCM (which is just a bad look, esp. since there was nothing for this game’s own anniversary), and wasn’t even VISIBLE in the game menus. Despite all this, it was still a success. Saber, unless you’re actively trying to eliminate your player base, it makes no sense to not do these regularly. And since you timed it to try to pull attention away from TCM, it would seem as though you want to retain players (or you’re just petty, but I’m guessing you’re more motivated by profits than such emotional considerations).
Anyway, more XP/SP please. Also, please put some kind of indication that an event is planned and/or is actively occurring in your game. I mean, it could literally be a freaking sprite on the main menu screen with some text announcing a double XP event and the duration – this is really basic stuff.
Finally, I don’t think anyone here would argue with giving away a large number of spirit points to every newish player the next time they open the game. I think a one-time bonus of at least 100K would be very reasonable for anyone who has not reached P1 for any character. I personally know several people IRL who would be back to playing the game if this were done (and almost certainly give you money for DLC when they get a chance to actually enjoy the game in a semi-competitive way) – these people just don’t have the time or patience to grind through hours of straight losses to even have a chance. Closing thoughts:
I know there are a lot of other great ideas from the community on future content for the game (maps, characters, etc.) so I've just tried to stick to simple, easy to implement fixes for the developers.
Saber, this game could still generate a lot of (mostly passive) revenue if you support it well. There are many of us who are ready to throw money at any random DLC or cosmetic (myself included as a huge Evil Dead fan). However, the fans will only stick around to throw money at the game if the basic fundamental gameplay is somewhat balanced and glaring exploits/bugs are addressed. Seriously, if it's tweaked to feel good to play either side without major exploits being used by anyone, I (and many others) would keep throwing money at literal outfit accessories that could be crafted by a single 3d artist - it should more than pay for servers and labor, at which point you're just watching the money roll in.
Anyway, I've tried to stick to easy fixes that could improve the game for both novices and veterans. It would be easy to just say "buff the other side" whenever queue times are long for one side. At this time, it's obvious that average to excellent demon players are at a disadvantage when compared to equally skilled survivor players (as evidenced by queue times). I also remember times when demon queue times were long and I just played survivor because a certain demon was overturned or using cheesy exploits, so more people wanted to play demon.
However, I've been honestly sad that playing either side has just not felt good lately. It doesn't feel good to sit in a long queue for survivor, and it definitely doesn't feel good to crush noobs or get crushed by full prestige teams on coms. I can count on one hand the number of fun/close matches I’ve played in the last several dozen – I’d love to play more like those. Even if none of the changes above happen, I'd at least enjoy receiving some love for the older demons so they're at least fun to play and a challenge to go against (Plaguebringer Witch getting her original movement speed back, Necro and Warlord getting some minor buffs in any areas since they're pretty universally considered weak right now, etc.) – I mention these buffs in case you want to fall back on the tired old “just buff the other side” method. Saber, please implement some quick and easy fixes for this game . Even if you're just in it for the money at this point, I'm literally here wanting to throw more money at this game, but only if some basic balancing changes are made. If the next patch surgically tweaks some major pain points rather than bludgeoning fundamental gameplay elements, then I'll be here waiting to throw money at any random DLC you've got. Otherwise, I'll sadly have to find another game (as many others have or will, given the overall sentiments after this latest patch and some patches before it). You can still turn the ship around - you have 3 million copies of this game floating around. That's literally millions of fans who likely want to return to the game and throw money at DLCs if the gameplay experience is fun. It's up to you now. Tl;dr Summary:
The game can be balanced by elevating novices and challenging veterans. Here’s how…
- Revert demon traps to their previous behavior (i.e. make it so possessed survivors can be walked into a trap) and ACTUALLY fix Baal specifically
- Make vaulting cost stamina
- Edit/create hints for new players at the match loading screen that are clear and direct
- Give out a bonus XP for "good behavior" (not demolishing newbies), cancel XP for “toxic behavior” (flashlight clicking as survivor, dancing on corpses as demon), level up demon based on levels of victims
- Do not allow dagger and pages objectives to run simultaneously
- Add a call out in the in-game communication wheel to say "I need help" for survivors
- Keep car possession rules consistent on all maps
- Add a "random side" menu option to be able to play either survivor or demon, whichever happens to get matched first
- Adjust chest rarity RNG based on the overall level of survivors
- More XP/SP events. Also, give a bonus 100K+ SP to anyone with zero prestige characters
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2023.06.04 03:37 British_Tea_Company Respect: Cato Sicarius (Warhammer 40k)
‘I only want…’ said Nehebkau, ‘to save my people.’ Sicarius looked down on the necron without mercy. ‘So do I,’ he said, splitting Nehebkau’s head in half.
Cato Sicarius is the former Captain of the Ultramarines 2nd Company and the current commander of the Ultramarines Honour Guard. Beginning his career since his youth, Cato was raised among the noble families of the planet Talassar, his upbringing involving much martial training which quickly saw his induction into the Ultramarines Chapter. Initially, Cato proved to be an arrogant, pompous and callous leader who sought only for his personal glory. It was only after the Damocles campaign which involved a near-mutiny after his callous treatment of his squad and other sergeants that saw him eventually evolving into a more capable and levelled leader, though this didn't quite stymie his immense ego.
It was then at the Damnos Campaign where Cato was nearly slain against the Necron Overlord the Undying in which he began exhibiting a more humble and humane outlook. He would eventually avenge himself against the Undying during a recapture of the planet but never forgot the lessons learned from his earlier failures in life. Present for the resurrection of his Primarch: Roboute Guilliman, he was subsequently promoted(?) into being the head of the Ultramarines Victrix Guard following being missing in the warp for an extended period of time. Author's Note
: Cato Sicarius is a sergeant during the events of "Blades of Damocles" and likely is wearing an inferior pattern of armor as well as being overall less experienced. Cato Sicarius as of "Master of the Watch" is explicitly not wearing his usual armor. Cato does not have any other equipment changes expressly stated following his change in role within the Ultramarines.
The Talassarian Tempest Blade is labelled as TTB
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2023.06.04 03:36 DicDast Found this in a box of rice
2023.06.04 02:25 Adorable_Welcome_742 I got this classic muscle car in a 9 pack of hot wheels but no name on the bottom so idk what it is. IM thinking dodge dart like a classic one am I right
2023.06.04 01:17 winn_12 Hey guys, just wanna ask a question. I want to change my w204 coupe wheels but idk if this size will look good on my car or no. What do you guys think?
2023.06.04 01:14 winn_12 Hey guys, just wanna ask a question. I want to change my w204 coupe wheels but idk if this size will look good on my car or no. What do you guys think?
2023.06.04 00:37 IrreliventPerogi The Fête - A First-Time Reader's Experience, Thoughts, and Theories
"Now," he whispered, "I deliver death."
That is where I broke, the preceding battle, culminating in this cliffhanger, wore me down. I am a binger by heart and habit, and despite spending the last year or so practicing portion control (of all kinds) dutifully reading slowly, able to experience multiple works and to read them more deeply for the pacing, I decided to indulge this once. IDK If I'll do so again, but for just this once, follow this first-timer's unjaded eyes through their breathless, awe-stricken, confused sprint across the last ninety pages of this book. Without further ado...
Epigraph An excerpt from Faces of Darujhistan written by Maskral Jemre. The gods of Darujhistan and their faces will play extensive roles symbolically throughout the impending climax. It briefly describes the ceremonies we'll see in passing through various characters, and there's something haunting about receiving a glimpse of how the festivities ought to go and what it is that they mean.
Also, if this is the passing of winter to spring, where is Gennebakis, exactly? If the top of the continent is tundra, then Darujhistan would be much further south, (which we know) so somewhere similar to North America? Is Darujhistan in Texas?
Chapter 20 The chapter that broke me, one near unbearable buildup of pressure before the dam breaks. Here, it all begins to unfold.
Epigraph An excerpt of T'Matha's Children by Heboric. It mentions the "the matron's//blood like ice" This feels like an allusion to the goddess of Darkness, with the Tiste Andii being cold, and all. Beyond that, it "brought light into dark and dark into light" so given the alleged history between Light and Dark, that works. Was this perhaps the creation of the Warren of Shadow? In which case, the "children of chaos" would be... the Hounds? Who knows!
The Chapter Itself Murillio is off to confront Kruppe, musing on the turning of the Cycle of the Age. The Year of the Five Tusks, which we've been constantly reminded it is, is now giving way to the Year of the Moon's Tears. The names bear significance according to the Seers, with the god Tennerock's tusks, Hate, Love, Laughter, War, and Tears, signifying the nature of the coming Years. The device was a gift by some guy named Icarium, whom Mammot believes to be of Jaghut blood. Evidently, the Jaghut were skilled in mechanical prowess and possibly gifted enough to predict a thousand years ahead. Moon's Spawn has arrived, after all.
He collides with Kruppe, who drops a series of masks. The rotund mage informs his dear friend that his other ear friend, Lady Simtal, has invited him to attend the Fête. That they've never met is ironic, but irrelevant to Magnanimous Kruppe, friend to all. This whole interaction is fantastic, with Kruppe dropping many distractions, such as his mentioning five strangers without naming the fourth, or a series of cantrips, while Murillio dodges them as best he can. He confronts Kruppe point blank about being
Lady Simtal disguised the Eel. Kruppe sighs, and modifies the courtier's memory, buying himself free reign for the night.
As Baruk waits for the Eel, he discusses attending the fête with Anomander Rake, who as elected to attend as the High Alchemist's +1. Many members of the Council and the T'orrud Cabal will be in attendance, and Rake wants an opportunity to meet/observe his allies. It'll also put him in the epicenter of the most likely place of Convergence on Genabakis. Rake learns of the new year's title, and correctly guesses Icarium's involvement, as he's evidently produced similar wheels elsewhere. This has quite a few implications, given that this person is evidently traveling with at least one god. They receive news that the Eel will reveal himself to them that night, (although Baruk as much as gives away that he's guessed the truth) as well as Mammot's recovery. The High Preist of D'Riss was able to get away with minimal difficulty and casually mentions that he's aware of the drama surrounding the Coin Bearer. He is also a member of the T'orrud Babal. Rake, asks whether Mammot will be attending the Fête, and then leaves abruptly. If only Baruk had read further into the odd departure.
Adjunct Lorn finally arrives at Worry Gate, witnessing the ritual mentioned in the Book's opening epigraph and being briefly noted by a guard. That guard is Circle Breaker, watching for the Adjunct for the Eel. Once done, he manages to trade a shift to be at the Fête himself. Interestingly, he tells the guard next to him his name, which we do not ever get to know (at least not in GotM)
Lorn enters a bar, and stumbles upon the Bridgeburners. Fiddler is running one of his games, which we get to see more fully here. The game is played with a Deck and depicts the scene in the Gadrobi Hills where Paran met Rake. Tattersail did believe the Sapper to be a Tallent, after all. The game ends predicting Lorn's death, this reading is affirmed by the orb. Whiskeyjack arrives and catches up Lorn with a modified version of events, including their loss of Sorry. Lorn comes to the realization that this man had debated tactics with Dassem Ultor, so there's not much she can do to break him. She asks the name of the estate and announces she will return in two hours, without dropping anything off.
Crokus and Apsalar watch the revelry escalate down below them. They discuss their plans for the evening, the thief growing ever more conflicted about his feelings. Apsalar mentions something within her holding her sanity together. It seems Rigga remains at work. Serrat, meanwhile, creeps up the steps below, comically over-warded and utilizing an abundance of caution. She's immediately thwarted by a mysterious someone, threatening with enough force on behalf of "the Prince" to drop the hunt against the Coin Bearer, with a comical pop, she disappears.
In an age of wind and barren stone, a Jaghut and his mother wander the land, scattered as all their people, thwarting the potential of collected power. A self-imposed Babel, of sorts. The child, young by Jaghut standards, grows observing the powers of the winds shape and mould the earth to their liking. He takes after this, destroying his horrified mother in the process. He starts with lone Jaghut, but they resist or else escape him, brief satisfaction, but not enough. He takes to subjugating the beasts, the winds, the earth, the plants. The earth resists and bucks the subversion of its evolved order, yet not without the death of countless species. Then he meets the Imass, thinking creatures like the Jaghut, yet comically short-lived. These he can use, confounding them in cycles of invention, war, loss, discovery, rediscovery, rediscovery, rediscovery. They invent for themselves a god at the head of all things, and he fancies it to be himself, they discover tyranny of all forms for themselves, and he laughs. A True First Empire, a gathering of minds subjugated under an unbreakable bond. Tool's history proves backward. Then come the Jaghut, unified under a force so great that it tears through even this great Tyrant like paper, and Raest was subjugated, killed, and depowered. A barrow erected, a hemisphere frozen over for good measure. In the intervening years, the T'Lan Imass gather power of their own and wage genocide against the very Titans who were their salvation. Two enter the barrow, the threadbare mind of the once-god coalesces, he is freed, his Finnest stolen. With a concussive force, Raest, the First Emperor of Man, Jaghut Tyrant, steps into a new world.
High above, the Crone watches him emerge as four Black Soultaken Dragons and the Red Dragon Silanah, fly in to stop the monster. We get some old language of some sort, possibly Jaghut? "Dragnipurake" is of course the name of the Sword plus the suffix -Rake, "Draconiaes" seems to refer to, well, dragons, "t'na" is a conjunction of some sort? And finally, Eleint, which is whatever the Dramatis Personae names Silanah. Crone flies high, ready to watch the show unfold.
Raest emerges, and casually injures Burn on his way out, nuking a range of hills in the process. He considers waking her as well. This is a walking apocalyptic event, and our dear Anomander opted to join a party. He notices the dragons, and Holy Moly the fight that ensues is great. I'd mention highlights but that'd just be a beat-by-beat. He offers the Soletaken Tiste Andii to join him, but they refuse. Also of note, he calls Silanah a "Tiem." He rebuffs their initial assault and, telekinetically holding his body together, prepares to deliver death.
Chapter 21 A Chapter in two halves, beginning with our principal cast all filling into their positions for the climax, making last-minute pivots and discoveries. It ends with the fulfillment of the revenge plot against Lady Simtal and Turban Orr, and what a fulfillment it is! If only we don't feel so hollow afterwards.
Epigraph An excerpt of Anomandris which is, interestingly enough, written by Fisher, the Rumor Born guy. Also, this is like the first bit of Anomandris we've seen since Tattersail and Calot tag-teamed a quotation in Ch. 2 (which also mentions it was written by Fisher, lol) and seems to recount the initial arrival of the dragons. First contact between the dragons and Tiste Andii? Who knows! (Actually, quite a few people probably know at this point)
The Chapter Itself Lorn buries the Finnest in the garden at Simtal's estate. She observes the bustling crowds and almost breaks down at the sight. So much life reminds her of the many cities she's infiltrated before. The recollection of humanity becomes a cacophony, no one life worth any more than the millions around them. The Adjunct breaks at this, and Lorn has to will herself to don the persona again, with Sorry out of the picture, only the Coin Bearer remains. With her last chance to bail out behind her, the Adjunct begins moving towards her failure and death, foretold with certainty by the unwitting Tallent of Fiddler.
Meanwhile, in the Phoenix Inn, the Eel contemplates his next moves, whilst failing to button his coat. He decides that it is time for Circle Breaker to retire, for his own safety. He suspects that someone other than himself has been protecting the Coin Bearer, while the path to ultimate safety for the boy remains elusive. Most concerningly, the patterns in his head end tonight, the outcome of this Convergence is undecided.
Crokus and Apsalar, meanwhile, leave the Temple for the Fête. To the northeast, a "storm" of low rumbling thunder and ochre clouds builds and grows ever closer. As the thief is led down from the tower by Aps, he has another internal crisis. He really doesn't know Challice, and Apsalar's constant ease within his presence is confounding. Dude, she literally took a name axiomatically aligned with your life, take a hint.
The Captain of Simtal's guards berates the Bridgeburnurs for not all being Barghast, but agrees to pay them anyways. He stations them near the garden, as it's recently gotten a bit overgrown, and instructs them to steer the crowds away. Quick Ben and Mallet update Whiskeyjack on the encroaching Tyrant, and they agree to play things by ear if the monster gets any nearer.
Kalam and Paran leave the Phoenix Inn, not after the assassin makes a major threat to Scurve to, by any means necessary contact the city's Master of Assasins with their offer. They leave to find the Adjunct and put her to rest. Kalam takes note of the Greyfaces and begins to be bothered by their movements, for some reason.
Baruk arrives with Rake at the Fête. Despite the encroaching threat, the Tiste Andii seems unbothered, relaxed even. Turban Orr watches the two arrive with Lady Simtal. The Alchemist's mask is barely sufficient. Both a denial and an admission of secret power, depending on the viewer. Rake's mask is of a smug black and silver dragon. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Anomander Rake is That Guy. Still love him, though. The Councilman introduces himself and is introduced in turn to Lord Anomander Rake. The scene plays out humorously, with Orr unaware of how wildly out of his league he is, but does contain one odd detail. Rake, despite running Moon's Spawn, considers his title to be honorary, given by his people. Murillio and Rallick, begrudgingly aware of Kruppe's perfect mask choices, watch the High Alchemist and the Councilman converse, then nearly have an aneurysm over Kruppe (whom they were just praising) and his shenanigans. Kruppe, wearing the mask of a cherub slightly less innocent than himself (although not nearly so clever) bumbles his way toward Baruk and Rake, the latter of whom displays incredulity over this possibly being the Eel. Wise and discerning Kruppe the First notes Rake's nature as an inhuman Lord from high above, and a dragon. Of course, this is all a misunderstanding, and he apologizes, betrays himself as an eel of sorts, and leaves to inspect the kitchen.
Turban Orr, meanwhile, finds himself unable to enjoy the party. The last two weeks have exhausted him, all his plans confounded, and his spy still unfound. He, at last, discovers Circle Breaker, in a chance passing, but is intercepted by a man in a Trake mask. The man practically insists on insulting the Councilman, and Orr, his temper ratcheted up by the past several days, decides to indulge his wrath on this peon. Orr calls for a duel, politically selecting Councilman D'Arle as his second. Meanwhile, Murillio draws deep on his well of suave and seduces Simtal in record time. The duel will go uninterrupted. Down by the terrace, Baruk contemplates interceeding, but declines. Curiously, he considers Rallick his closest friend, explaining the Otataral gift, but it is a shame we never go to see the two interact, there's a story there. Rake offers to be RN's second, and my hype has hit yet another threshold. Here is where I leave my desk for a mandated break, I'm not the sort of person who eats and reads, so I'm mentally cussing the entire way there and back. Baruk meets Mammot on his way to the duel and notes the scholar's accurate Jaghut mask; although Mammot recognizes minute flaws in the design, Baruk thinks nothing of this. Stranger still, despite Oppon's luck drawing Crokus to the party, it is also keeping him away from his uncle.
The Bridgeburners watch everyone filter out into the courtyard by the garden, watching the preparations for the duel. Though they notice Rake, this doesn't amount to much. Quick Ben updates the group on their timetable with the Tyrant, and they make preparations to blast the estate then the city.
Crokus finds Challice; without a method of reaching her at the moment he is distracted by the duel. Kruppe, finds the boy and nabs him while passing a note off to Circle Breaker. The note grants Circle Breaker the right to retire, as well as land and a title in the city of Dhavran (the map shows this to be along the western bank of Lake Azur) as thanks for being the Eel's most trusted servant. The circle is mended (whatever that means, there seems to be a story there) and he can at last rest. Despite everything going down in this and subsequent chapters, this storyline had me by far the most hyped. Good job man, you've earned it.
Baruk offers to referee, and the participants take their places. Turban Orr's grandstanding, and the seconds' lack of comments each take as much time as the fight itself. As everyone notes, this is not a duel, but a public murder. That Anomander Rake decides to get publicly entangled in the proceedings not to comment or contribute at all, but just to watch this fool get merc'd, strikes me as darkly funny. Orr is dead and as Rallick quietly gloats to the corpse, the scandal is broached, and the hostess is nowhere to be found. A large woman in a green dress approaches Baruk and Rake, introduced as the Witch Derudan, another member of the Cabal. Also, she has a personal servant to carry a hookah with her at all times. They leave Rake's presence to discuss some matters.
Simtal, meanwhile, finally arrises from her 30 minutes with Murillio, becoming aware of some great disturbance downstairs. She begins dressing and is interrupted by Rallick Nom entering the room. Rallick stays only long enough to convey his purpose and her situation. It is Murillio who stays a moment to watch the woman process what has become of her. Years of machinations and backroom (or perhaps, bedroom) deals all hinging on the continued support of those around her. With no one, the vultures and enemies she's made will come, likely they've already begun. Murillio leaves a dagger and grants her the privacy to escape the coming storm.
Lady Simtal, you deserved this but that doesn't make what was done to you right. What business does justice have with cruelty? Swearing by the Lady of Beggers, Murillio comes to the crashing realization of what this night has cost his soul. Coll is reinstated, yes, but at incalculable cost to his dearest friends.
Crokus, meanwhile, finally gets the opportunity to peel away from Kruppe and approach Challice, after getting the girls attention, she runs over to him, overjoyed to finally have a moment alone with...Gorlas. Panicking, Crokus does the sane thing and kidnaps her, because that'll make this run smoother, y'kow?
At the first opportunity, Circle Breaker sneaks out of the estate and into the night a free man. Passing a food-comatose Kruppe, he leaves smiling, awed by his own escape.
Chapter 22 A major action climax for a few plotlines, with a resolution I've vacillated between sour and sweet on, currently resting at sweet as I've processed things.
Epigraph A poem titled Ravens by Collitt. Acknowledging the Great Ravens as a sign of disaster, the poet fears and reveres them. Politically, this is one of my favorites thus far. Also, I love the connection between the Great Ravens and, well, normal ravens. Ravens are carrion feeders, who gather at signs of battle. Sapient Great Ravens gather at the signs of great events and cataclysmic battles, searching for "interesting" events. That's just a really fun connection.
The Chapter Itself Two of the Soultaken driven from battle, Raest prepares for his final thrust. The Gadrobi Hills are devastated, sundered by his travels and battle. He's killed a few odd creatures along his path as well, who we recognize as the garrison that helped Coll and Paran, as well as Councilman Orr's messenger to Pale. Cresting a hill, he is briefly in awe of Darujhistan, then offers Silanah one last opportunity to retreat. She makes no reply, nor is she even prepared for battle. Raest steps forward, away from Genebakis and into another time, within the dreams of a great, pudgy mage.
Despite his best attempts, Raest can do nothing to kill the creature, introducing itself as Kruppe. He informs the Tyrant that he bows to no one, Tyrant or god; in the face of such indifference, there is nothing Raest can do. Beset by a T'lan Imass from behind; despite his best efforts, Onos T'oolan cannot be bound by the Jaghut, as our dear Tool is called by an ancient call of a Bonecaster, Pran Chole's. Befuddled by such impotence on his part, Raest is befuddled further still by the appearance of another interloper, K'Rul. He initially mistakes him for Hood (which greatly alters my estimation of the god's lifespan) although he only refers to him as the Death Wanderer, as opposed to the god of Death. K'Rul warns Raest of the arrival of Anomander Rake and the new form of death he brings with him. Raest scoffs at this initially, but K'Rul makes a fascinating revelation. The flow of power between the gods and mortals has shifted, though of it the mortals are ignorant. I suppose when you have mages mastering domains and relics capable of drawing the gods who wield them, it makes sense. Anything less than omnipotence can be overmastered. K'Rul also repeats his Maker of Paths title and reveals his aspect "was the Obelisk." So he's Burn's predecessor and not Hood's. Given Burn's Sleep began nearly 1200 years ago, that gives us a roughly 800-year window for the shift, given Darujhistan's founding, whatever Crokus may say. This whole sequence is filled with even more magic technobable, but I'll move on. Title of Sword? Moved to the Realms of Chaos, K'Rul's birthplace? I'll figure it out eventually. With a hollow laugh, Raest collapses into dust, his spirit invading a new body.
Kalam and Paran creep into Simtal's garden, finding there a young woman, along with a curious structure. The woman turns out to be Sorry, yet not Sorry. Kalam prevents the Captain from killing her outright, instead ascertaining that she has no memory or deeply incomplete memories of her time in the Bridgeburners. Kalam's reaction to being called a friend is priceless. They observe the structure, a tree stump that is somehow growing from moment to moment, frustrating the eyes as it does. At this moment, one is reminded of the acorn and the Finnest. Paran leaves to fetch Mallet, wondering if the healer could aid the girl.
Rallick, gripped with a malaise he cannot account for, stumbles to leave the party. What if Coll doesn't take his old Lordship back? Would what he's done be justified even if he does? As a reader, I have to wonder, how much of the blame lies on Oppon, and how much on RN himself? Interrupting his musings, he stumbles across a disgruntled and awake Kruppe. The mage is worried, although trusts K'Rul's words that the world as it is now would be enough to put down Raest. The assassin leaves Kruppe behind and is approached by a woman in a featureless mask, who circuitously reveals herself to be Vorcan. She mentions Councilman Orr possessed protective magics that Rallick somehow trivialized. For that reason, she requires his services now. One last note on their conversation here, that RN was fine submitting to punishment helps show how defeated he is, now that his slavish devotion to the plan justifying his own humanity is over with. Defending someone else's humanity cannot serve as a substitute for your own, Rallick, and I feel you know this now.
Crokus, meanwhile, is totally bungling his attempts to speak with Challice. Promising not to hurt her, after a slew of threats, of course, he lets her speak. She reveals that she never betrayed him and that they'd always known the Rope was behind the guard's death. Horrified, Crokus reels from the revelation, wondering what exactly is going on. Chalice restates her love for Gorlas (or more tellingly, his station and his love for her) and her desire to have nothing to do with Younghand's cloak-and-dagger shenanigans. She slips up at the end, patronizing him briefly, and Crokus (more than a little hypocritically) accuses her of romanticizing the dangers of the real world. They part on the worst possible terms.
Mallet, for his part, refuses to enter the garden. Recognizing the power within and its hunger, he demands Paran bring Sorry to him. She heads to the healer smilingly, and Kalam expresses regret that she hadn't smiled before. Mallet discovers Rigga's presence within the girl, torn whether to help what little remains of the Wax Witch to integrate Sorry's history into Apsalar's consciousness safely. Paran advises the healer to trust it. Rallick, Vorcan, and Crokus all enter the glade, the latter staying hidden. Paran meets them as they discuss the stump, with Vorcan asking Rallick to sit on it and dampen its growth. It's here that Rallick just outright admits to knowing the substance he'd used was Otataral dust, rendering my whole Eureka moment a bit... moot. Also, Rallick knew what it was the whole time?! Why play coy with something you'll eventually give to us outright, Erikson? It's either a mystery or not. There have been a handful of moments like this, where a mystery will be teased and then casually solved. It - I - uh, whatever I guess. That's only the second most infuriating reveal in this chapter anyway.
Kalam offers Vorcan 900k golden
doubloons jakatas and a High Fist position to kill off the T'orrud Cabal. Paran assures her that Malazan can scare off the Son of Darkness, having done so twice before. Vorcan personally accepts the contract and after charging Rallick with sitting on the stump until a better solution can be reached, leaves to prepare for the grim task. After everyone leaves, Rallick invites Crokus out of the glade and charges the boy with warning Mammot and Baruk of their impending danger. At that moment, something occurs outside of the garden, and the stump grows past Rallick's ability to contain it.
Sensing the disturbance at the Fête, Baruk laments leaving so early. Rake assures him the situation is under control, but stops himself from revealing one other piece of information, his eyes betraying a quiet sadness. He then offers to help clear the streets for something else coming, using Dragnipur to clear a passage to K'Rul's Belfry after warning Baruk of Malazan's impending assassination attempt.
At the Fête, Raest arives. Subsuming the mind of Mammot, whom he'd imprinted upon while waking, he launches an assault upon the partygoers. Quick Ben manages to save Derudan in the initial volley, which tears through the estate in a series of propagating bolts of power. Whiskeyjack's leg is crushed under a pillar, down for the count, and Captain Paran appears to be instantly vaporized in the initial assault. Derudan and QB launch twin assaults on Raest, quickly draining the Witch.
Here we have what is likely the most vexing scene in the entire book. Or, perhaps, the start of several compoundingly vexing scenes. Paran drops into what seems to be yet another warren, a swamp of sorts, within which a T'lan Imass (likely Tool) and a wooden approximation of a Jaghut fight. Behind the Captain, a house grows out of the swamp. The Imass warns Paran that something called an Azath is not yet ready to contain the animate Finnest. Paran resolves to hold the Finnest until the Azath is made ready. Launching a blast against Paran's very soul, the Finnest circumvents even Chance, or perhaps the blade has at last betrayed him. The Finnest demands total submission, but Paran refuses. Within him, the... Blood of a Hound? wells up, refusing to be subdued. Did the souls of the Hounds follow Paran back out of Dragnipur? That was roughly when Paran's whole "no one's gonna control me" arc began in full. Anyway,
Perrin Paran throws himself against the Finnest, tearing into it with fists, claws, and teeth, holding it down until he is shaken out of his blood fury. The Azath is finished and draws the Finnest below the mud. Paran is shunted out of the Warren into the material plane.
Noting Paran's return, Quick Ben assaults the Tyrant with everything he has, opening SEVEN Warrens within himself. A feat that is later noted to be theoretically impossible. He burns through the monster, reducing it to an animate, humanoid totem of ash. Raest retaliates, forcibly closing QB's Warrens one after another. QB is about to give up, before noticing Hedge, off to the side, a pyromanic grin on his face, Ben dives, covering Derudan and his ears. The sapper fires, blasting Mammot's body to smithereens. Paran runs off to inform WJ as QB notices something coalescing in the bottom of Hedge's crater.
It is then that the Azath drags the remaining spirit of Raest kicking and screaming into the garden. So, it turns out Azaths are a known force in this world, but I'll get to that later. I will note its appearance is a surprise to everybody. Was it the acorn? But if the Jaghut could seal the Finnest in an Azath, why not just go all the way? Many questions and few answers. Derudan leaves, and Fiddler and Hedge are sent off to blast the city. Kalam then finally realizes the potential danger of not only blowing up the City of Blue Fire, but of doing so at major infrastructure hubs. Took y'all long enough.
Chapter 23 A resolution to all but one of our action climaxes, and a final unveiling of several long-standing plans. We're solidly in the endgame now, and somehow only speeding up.
Epigraph After a long hiatus, we receive another excerpt of Call to Shadow, this one seemingly referring to Simtal's suicide. Given that the author is apparently Paran's sister, the nature of the work is becoming clearer, this is a recounting of the events here in Darujhistan. I'm a bit unclear as to why its specifically attributed to Shadow, aside from Shadow's interference being the inciting incident to all this mess. Perhaps that's sufficient, however. What we can tell from this is that Paran eventually meets with Fellisin again, despite his status as a traitor. So while we can't tell whether or not this will all have a happy ending, we can tell the Paran siblings will make it that far at least.
The Chapter Itself Paran, running through the undergrowth, is drawn into yet another Warren, ambushed by Rood. After nearly tearing the Captain apart, the Hound relents, confused by a sense of kinship. Cotilion appears, complaining that the Captain should interfere with House Shadows, especially given his growing enmity with the Empress. Even still, Cotillion will try again, correcting for the flaws of the initial plan. He considers his treatment of Sorry merciful, insofar as the necessary evil could be. Paran offers Cotillian Chance, seeing as how his luck has finally turned, and the Rope accepts with the intent to strike back at the Twins. Paran wakes back in the garden and leaves to find the Adjunct.
So, what was Oppon's plan for the captain? His use of Chance infuriated Hairlock and the Hounds, drawing the two together, and evidently claiming the Hounds' souls/blood in the process. Thus, Paran was able to resist the Finnest and buy the Azath time. The only issue was that is the Brother's actions in Dragnipur seemed to be surprised by the whole episode. An act? Beyond that, Paran also played half the role in freeing Sorry, thwarting Shadow's aims at Empire. j
Crokus, traumatized by the sight of Mammot possessed, burned, blown to bits, and claimed by the roots of the Azath, runs to find Baruks home. He (and the audience) can only hope that Mammot himself was released to death before the Azath took the possessed body. Running through the streets of Darujhistan, he finally comes to realize why they've emptied so. Rake has moved Moon's Spawn directly overhead, looming as if to crush the city at any moment.
The Adjunct tails the Coin Bearer, sensing the Jaghut Tyrant's death. Assuming Rake's involvement in the defeat, she releases Tayscheren's Ace in the Hole. A Lord of the Gaylen demons, powerful enough to challenge an ascendant, the intended follow-up in the one-two punch which would finish off Rake or Raest, whoever survived their clash. The Adjunct then tails the Coin Bearer further, considering the woman Lorn dead for good. She does not even consider the Adjunct human, but a tool. Lost entirely in her own justification, the Adjunct carries on.
Baruk mourns Mammot in his study. He's deduced too late that Rake knew all along, choosing to shield Baruk from the anticipation of his possessed friend's impending death. The Witch Derudan arrives, prepared to mourn with him, as an act of love. She informs Baruk of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Mammot's death, as well as the conjuration of an Azath in Darujhistan. The specific use of the word conjuration implies something caused its appearance, though if not the acorn, I couldn't guess what. They feel the release of the demon lord, as well as two more of the Cabal members at the hand of Vorcan.
Anomander Rake, atop the belfry of K'Rul's temple. Silahnah arrives, but Rake asks she leave, she's done enough for today. K'Rul himself arrives, and the two speak of their misplaced wandering within this world. Rake knows no other life than wandering from battle to battle, yet it does not fulfill him. The elder god, having failed to receive the advice he craves, leaves the Lord to his battle. Rake watches as the Galen arises, and begins changing form. Rake then shapeshifts, rising higher, higher, higher above the city into a Silvermaned Black Dragon, more massive even than Silanah, and dives towards his ignorant prey.
The Adjunct formerly known as Lorn moves to kill the Coin Bearer at last. She's interrupted by, of all people, a member of the Crimson Guard.* Fingers, Sixth Blade of the Crimson Guard, grabs Crokus and escorts him to Baruk's place personally. During their discussion, Crokus at long last learns of his nature as the Coin Bearer, and is advised to lose the item as soon as his luck runs out. It is the CG who have been protecting the boy. After breaking away from Blues, a gravely injured Adjunct runs into Meese and Iralta, who finish her off.
* Upon review, Caladan Brood does commit some Crimson Guard members to protect the Coin Bearrer in Ch. 10 debriefing with Crone, just a bit circumlocutiously. He even names the sixth blade, and Kallor immediately takes it to mean they're interfering with Rake.
Paran comes across the Adjunct, injured beyond saving, or at least, dying faster than a healer can be acquired. She laments her ironic, inglorious death, and barely has time to marvel over Paran's return from the dead. The two share a moment of cold sympathy before her end. Paran claims the Otataral blade for himself. The Twins appear before him, begging for protection from Shadowthrone. Paran tells them off, and quietly picks up the Adjunct, returning to the Phoenix Inn.
Chapter 24 The breathless end of it all, flowing almost immediately into subsequent adventures. Anything I'm not fully satisfied with is at least spoken to, promising further resolution or explanation later.
Epigraph An excerpt of a poem titled Azath by Adaephon. Written as if narrated by the titular entity, the poem speaks a bit about their purpose. Both a lure and a prison to the power-crazed, an endless prison in a world where death is trivialized to the powerful. It is interesting how much of a known entity these are, despite us not hearing about them until well after its arrival, and that no one (outside of possibly Rake) considered the Convergence would produce one. Ah, well.
The Chapter Itself Crokus cannot enter Baruk's compound, being frustrated by the High Alchemist's wards. Fortunately, he has one last bit of luck. The Demon Lord crashes to the ground, slammed by Rake's assault from above. The crash shatters the gate and any potential wards. Both dragons shift back to their base forms, and the Galayn taunts Rake. Crokus feels someone walk up behind him, and the Lord of Moon's Spawn asks that Crokus flees. He notes that he is speaking with the Coin Bearer, but Brood's "request" and the impending fight save the lad. Rake and the Demon Lord fight, sword to axe, and while the contest isn't quite the spectacle of Raest soloing five dragons, its pretty great. We even get a bit of lore out of it. It seems indeed that some version of the story Tool told Lorn was true, Dark birthed Light, but then light was corrupted. Demons being corrupted denizens of Light is, well, exactly on brand, so that tracks. Crokus watches in horror as the Galayn Lord is subsumed into the black blade. AR then turns with exhaustion to the lad, and asks him to warn Baruk of the impending danger.
Baruk and Derudan have set up a magical barrier, but Baruk hesitates to enter it. His hesitation buys him nothing, however, as Vorcan attacks just as the ward is shattered outside. She is forced back by a Tiste Andii assassin, Serrat, who is stabbed by the Master of Assassins. Derudan is similarly stuck down, minutely to slow to take advantage of the distraction. Baruk, fleeing, runs to the door, in which is Crokus, who is able to (luckily) land two near impossible blows against Vorcan, by way of thrown bricks. She flees, and Baruk gets up, moving to save the injured. Serrat has passed, but Baruk reveals that he is able to save Darudan by curing the white paralt in her system.* They mourn Mammot, and then the young thief leaves to find Apsalar.
*Which is also just named outright as a spider, but this one annoys me far less than the Otataral thing.
I'll skip a scene breifly to maintain momentum, but it works in the chapter as is.
Rallick watches the stump, now a house, contemplating the capture he saw earlier. He is experiencing an unaccountable euphoria, believing the house to be "right, and just." Vorcan arrives, begging Rallick to protect her, before fainting. He picks her up, and with no better ideas, runs headlong into the cognitohzardous house, disappearing to we know not where. I suspect we haven't seen the last of either Rallick Nom or Vorcan, but that is the last we see of either this book. Korlat, a Tiste Andii assassin and sister to Serrat, enters the glade. She regards the Azath edielmarn or "Pillar of Innocence" and decides against the pursuit further. To continue the hunt would be to destroy the Azath, and its youthful innocence. In this, Korlat takes after the Queen of Darkness, who defended Light when it too was youthful and innocent. Oddly, in this, Korlat morally succeeds where Rallick failed. We learn that other objects such as this exist, such as the Deadhouse in Malaz city, where Kellanved and Dancer evidently walked through its... Gates. So we know people can leave these things, giving some hope for Rallick an Vorcan's return. Also, considering the heights to which the two Ascended after entering, first through Empire then godhood, R and V may have a long road ahead of them. Who knows? as my cheaky pun earlier hinted, I'm aware of the next book's title, so we may be seeing them soon.
Back at the Phoenix Inn, Whiskeyjack contacts Dujek to update him as to the nights proceedings. Tayscheren is in a coma after what happened to the Galayn Lord, and WJ states that they'll not be taking the city, for fear of detonating the natural gas caverns beneath. This is of course, a problem. The what's left of the 2nd is loosing Pale, Caladan Brood has marched south as Dujek guessed, and brought two other armies besides with him, beyond this, Laseen has outlawed Dujek himself, as Seven Cities is to close to rebellion for him to be useful in saving it in time. The Empire has now severed its last link to the Old Guard as a result.
The Black Moranth stand with Onearm, and will pick up the Bridgeburners once they're out of the city. WJ is made Dujek's second, and Paran is placed in charge of the BBs. Hopefuly, Brood knows enough about the Pannion Seer to accept Dujek's force's continued existence. Though they're free to walk, all of WJ's squad resolves to stay with the rebels, with two slight exeptions. Kalam and Fiddler have decided to leave with Apsalar, whom they're taking home; they commit to return once that is over with. WJ notices Coll is awake, but the Lord only offers them passage out of the city in gratefulness.
The main text of the novel ends with Kruppe, Murillio, and Crokus walking towards the Phoenix Inn. Kruppe assuages Crokus's worries by reassuring him that he knows Apsalar's location, and shrugs off concerns over Rallick, speaking more to the man's likely safety. We find out Challice was saved by Gorlas, tying off that loose end, and begins to regale them with the tale of how Darujistan was saved and Coll was reinstated, with his heroic aid, of course.
Book 7: The Fête An excellent climax all around, pulling out every stop. While the initial experience was a bit jarring, with all the revelations, I am satisfied as I've let it sit. On the whole, I probably prefer a slower reading pace, but once I committed to finishing the whole thing, I was fine riding it out.
I'm straining against Reddit's 40k charachter limit, so I'll give my thoughts on the Epilogue, a deeper dive into the side materials, as well as thoughts on the novel as a whole soon.
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2023.06.03 23:00 SpursCJ79 2019 Tucson SEL / full size spare questions
So, we'd like to have a full size spare for our tucson, but it's a bit frustrating finding a wheel that matches exactly what we have on there now, which is a 18x7 5-4.5 inch bolt pattern. Every site I go to online sells 18x7.5 or 18x8, but not 18x7. Does this matter if I just need one as a full size spare? Also there seem to be offset measurements that are different by rim. I was able to find the exact 18x7 5-4.5 specs on some website, but it specifically says it's for mazda suvs. Can I just get that rim? Please help.
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to HyundaiTucson [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 22:41 Any-Ask-9714 I try to explain Mario Bosses
I don’t think most Mario bosses are that bad. I will prove to you that throughout the Mario series, there are only a few bad bosses of the majority. I will try and get you on the side of Mario bosses by explaining the mechanics of every single one. (with a bit of personal bias of course)
Super Mario Bros/Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels:
The First Mario game’s bosses were very and I mean v e r y primitive, But I won’t fault the games or the developers, but to be fair this was one of the first games for a (fairly) Primitive console and bosses weren’t even the main focus of the game, the main focus was on the challenging platforming and level design.
Fake BowseBowser: The boss fights in this game are very simple but could be challenging if you don't have any power-ups with the boss throwing hammers and breathing fire, but all you have to do is either run under the boss when they jump or just jump over them.
Super Mario Bros 2/ Super Mario Bros U.S.A:
This game is where I’ll start getting into specific boss fights and how they work Individually.
Birdo Miniboss: The Birdo miniboss is a decent boss fight that can be quite challenging especially the later versions where some of the eggs the birdo shoots out are fireballs and you have to watch if the boss is firing the eggs or the fireballs to send them back.
Mouser: The Mouser boss fight is surprisingly fairly challenging, the fight makes you time when you’re going to grab the bombs so you don’t get blown up and time when and where you throw the bombs on Mouser’s platform so the bombs will harm him.
Tryclyde: The Tryclyde fight, (for me at least) is pure panic as the boss shoots its fireballs at you in a near-constant spew while you have to throw the mushroom blocks at the boss and make sure to dodge the fire shot at you.
Fryguy: The fight against Rryguy is also about timing as you have to dodge the raining fire from the boss in the first phase while you grab the mushroom blocks and throw them at the boss until it blows up. The second phase however can be very annoying trying to hit the Small fryguys while dodging them jumping at you.
Clawgrip: The Clawgrip fight is admittingly very slow but it can be pretty engaging to dodge the hurled rocks and send them back to the boss.
Mask Gate: The mask gate fight is probably the best in the game purely because of the sense of shock. The gates usually mark the end of the level and a moment of peace after the boss you just fought. Although the fight itself is pretty lackluster, the gate only flies around the room from side to side as you throw the mushroom blocks at the boss, the only challenge being dodging the boss when you throw the block at them.
Wart: The wart fight can be very challenging with wart spitting out his bubbles in a line with the player having to dodge the gaps in between while throwing the vegetables from the dream machine at the obese toad.
Super Mario Bros 3:
The third game from the Mario series has some admittedly boring bosses as pretty much all of the main bosses are the same with only about two being unique.
Boom-Boom Miniboss: Boom-Boom is what most people think of when they say Mario bosses are bad and easy, and I agree the only “danger” is that Boom-Boom may show his spikes before you land on him to “trick” you.
Koopalings (Besides Lemmy/Wendy): 5 of the seven Koopalings are all the same fight with very minor changes such as the ground shaking or the boss moving faster, the Koopalings mostly just fire three magic rings in your direction and jump at you when you stomp on them.
Lemmy: The Lemmy fight is Different from the Koopalings, as Lemmy fires his bouncing balls at Lemmy and rolls around on the ball after you hit him, this doesn't mean it's hard as I don’t even think Lemmy can harm you unless you just jump right into him.
Wendy: The Wendy fight is unique as instead of three rings Wendy summons hoops that will bounce around the room making it pretty difficult to jump on Wendy’s head since the hoops will damage you while you’re in mid-air making it impossible to dodge away from the hoops shot by her.
Bowser: The Bowser fight is probably the best in the 8-bit era of Mario. The Koopa King will spit fire at Mario, The King Koopa will also try to shoot the fire in random directions to try to fool Mario into jumping into them, The Koopa King will also try to Ground-Pound on Mario, But this is also how you defeat him because the floor is made from breakable blocks, Mario has to guide Bowser into Ground-Pounding onto the same spot of blocks until he ground bounds into the pit below the blocks, Overall being a great boss fight.
Super Mario Land:
The bosses of Super Mario Land are Fairly unique and different from many 2d Mario bosses with Most of them being similar to Shmup bosses.
King Totomesu: The King Totomesu fight is a copy of the original boss fights from Super Mario Bros. The only real difference is that Totomesu can only be Jumped over to beat.
Dragonzama: This boss fight is one of the three Shmup bosses in the game the boss is slightly challenging while the boss moves up and down on the screen shooting fireballs periodically alone is pretty easy to dodge, the real challenge comes with the energy ball that bounces around the screen making you stay on edge during the fight.
Hiyoihoi: This boss is probably the worst of the bunch being more of a platforming challenge than a fight as the boss throws boulders at Mario, Mario having to jump on top of the boulders to get past the stone head.
Boikinton: This boss is the second shmup boss and probably the best, the boss is fairly hectic as the cloud bounces around the boss arena and fires homing flying chickens at Mario. The Chickens can be fairly hard to dodge as the boss bounces around the arena making it hard to dodge the chickens and the cloud at the same time.
Tatanga: Tatana is the final boss of Super Mario Land And is the final shmup boss of the game Tatanga fires large cannon balls at Mario that explode into three cannon balls when shot by Mario’s ship. This boss is overall a pretty good final boss and a very fun fight.
Super Mario World:
This is the first 16-bit game of the Mario series and is widely known as one of the best 2d Mario games, but most people say that the bosses in the game are lackluster but I say otherwise. Let me explain.
Iggy/Larry Koopa: These fights take place on a shell-like platform that teeters from left to right, Mario has to jump on the Koopa to send them back and knock them into the lava below, The Bosses will roll fireballs down the platform at Mario. The Larry fight’s only real difference is the Lava bubbles that leap from the lava below making the fight more difficult by its environment, overall being pretty good boss fights.
Morton/Roy Koopa: These boss fights take place in an arena with two walls on each side that the boss will use to climb up the walls of the arena and leap down from the ceiling once they’re right above Mario, when the boss slams on the floor they will shake the ground causing Mario to be stunned in place unless he is in the air, this is dangerous as the boss will then walk over to Mario to try and damage him getting harder each time as the boss gets faster after every hit and the walls will also close in after every hit (only in Roy’s fight). This fight is fairly amazing.
Lemmy/Wendy: These fights are, In my opinion, the best boss out of the three bosses that are shared between two Koopalings, The boss will pop out of the pipes on the bottom of the arena along with two decoy Koopalings that will damage you if you try and jump on them along with one lava bubble that bounces around the arena (two in the wendy fight), The only major difference between the two fights is that the Lemmy fight’s pipes are different heights and in the Wendy fight they’re completely level with each other.
Ludwig Von Koopa: The Ludwig fight is my favorite boss in the game being nothing but a 1v1 against the Oldest Koopaling With Ludwig hopping around the arena making it pretty hard to jump on his head, his main attack is spitting horizontally moving fireballs at Mario making Mario have to jump over the fireballs to get to Ludwig and jump on his head. One of the best parts of the fight (in my opinion) Is after you hit Ludwig when he goes into his shell and slides around the arena at high speeds to damage Mario.
The Big Boo: The Big Boo boss fight is a surprise being the first of the two secret boss fights in the game, the fight involves throwing grabbable blocks from under Mario at the big boo. The challenge comes from the two smaller boos that constantly go after you during the fight and the fact that you cannot constantly attack the big boo because they become incorporeal after you attack him once. This fight is a surprise since you can go through the entire game without even encountering the big boo.
Reznor: The Reznor fight is the second secret fight of the game this time with an entire secret fortress level beforehand, the four Reznors are on a Ferris wheel and Mario has to bump the platform the Reznors are on to defeat them while the Reznor's spit fireballs at Mario after the second reznor is defeated the floor will start breaking making Mario have to jump on the Ferris wheel and try to dodge the dino’s fireballs and defeat the Reznor at the same time, being a great fight
Bowser in the Clown Car: This Bowser fight is a very engaging battle with the Koopa king throwing down Big metal balls on top of Mario and sending down exploding m\Mechakoopas that Mario has to throw back at Bowser, After The King Koopa gets hit 3 times by the Throne Mecha Koopas he will fly above the boss arena and send down fireballs from the Clown car That can be tricky to dodge at the moment, hitting Bowser 3 more times will cause Bowser to crash ending the fight and saving the day.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins:
The bosses of Super Mario Land 2:6 Golden Coins are fairly simple with most of the bosses only having 1 or 2 attacks they use through the fight to make them unique.
Big Bird: The big bird boss fight is the most simple boss in the game but is also one of the most engaging with the Bird periodically swooping down from one of the top corners of the boss arena making Mario time when he jumps on top of his head or risk getting hit by the Bird.
Tatanga: the Tatanga boss fight is a surprising reveal with Mario having just defeated Tatanga in the previous Mario Land game. In the fight, Tatanga flies on either the right or left side and fires out energy beams from the front of his spaceship and also fires explosive balls from the bottom of his spaceship this causes Mario to have to jump over them to avoid taking damage, but Mario also must avoid jumping too high as to not get hit by the laser beam that is fired from Tatanga's spaceship.
Sewer rat: The sewer rat tried to attack Mario by ramming its spikes nose into him and will try to accomplish this by using the many pipes in the boss arena to try and trick Mario into not knowing where the rat is going to pop out from, the rat will also run on top of the ceiling to try and land on top of Mario when they are right above him.
Witch: The witch has a pretty fun fight with Mario standing on three pots, the Witch will show up on either the right or left side of the boss arena and will fire a fireball at the bottom of the pots making the pot lid rise into the spikes on the ceiling hurting Mario if Mario gets launched with the lid, Mario must jump on top of the witch when she appears and make sure no to get launched into the ceiling after he lands back on the pots.
The Three Little Pigs: This boss fight is unique with it having 3 phases (Being each of the pigs) With their separate way to attack Mario and each taking 3 hits to defeat. Starting with the first little piggy who rolls around on the ground gaining speed every time Mario jumps on his head, Then the second little piggy who jumps from left to right in an arc that can be pretty tricky to dodge, the third little piggy zig-zags around from left to right in the arena, this can make it tricky to land a hit on the pig because the pattern of the zig-zag is quite unpredictable.
Octopus: this is the most simple boss of the game with it being able to be defeated in seconds if you try hard enough, The octopus will swim around the boss arena and spawn little octopi that swim up and off the screen, an easy boss fight overall.
Wario: the Wario fight is an amazing fight with Wario using the same powerups and moves that Mario does throughout his adventure in three phases. The first phase of the fight starts with Wario running around the boss arena and jumping at Mario causing a stunning earthquake when he lands Mario has to jump to avoid being stunned and also avoid the falling disco balls that move horizontally from the ceiling. For the second phase of the boss, Wario will use the Bunny Cap to fly into the air above Mario and once he's directly above Mario he'll fall onto the ground trying to crush Mario under his girth. In the last phase, Wario will use the Fire Flower and throw giant fireballs at Mario that travel at him in a spiral and try to run towards Mario Simply jump on his ugly head three times and he'll shrink into the little greedy jerk he is Ending the game and giving Mario his mansion back!
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2023.06.03 21:56 winn_12 Hey guys, just wanna ask a question. I want to change my w204 coupe wheels but idk if this size will look good on my car or no. What do you guys think?
2023.06.03 21:20 slightlyassholic [The Great Erectus and Faun] Isekai Armageddon 5
It's really starting to thump, backwards thump, and bump now! First Previous
The fortress city Raven’s Peak was under siege by what seemed to be an unending horde of demons (because it was).
In the main chapter house of the Champion’s Guild, the long benches and tables normally crowded with plates, tankards, and champions were covered with blood-soaked bedding upon which lay dozens of wounded, champions, and normal people alike as a few healers, both champion and otherwise, rushed about desperately trying to save at least a few lives.
“The potions!” a pretty young woman who usually handed out quests wailed, “They have stopped replenishing!”
“What?!?” Valeria Heartsong shouted with a voice filled with confusion and terror. “How?!?”
“I don’t know!” the guild secretary cried, “They… They just stopped!”
“No!” Jason Wellheart cried. “My spells… They’re… Out?!?”
He looked helplessly at the city guardsman bleeding out on the richly decorated table in front of him.
“Mine too!” Sheila Noblesoul yelled.
“Not just my healing,” Lucinda Lighthands said, “diagnose, appraise… all of it… gone.”
“What’s happening?” a guild healer cried as desperately tried to hold in the blood flowing from her patient.
“Apply pressure to the wound!” a wounded champion said as he struggled to his feet. “Get some straps or rope for tourniquets!”
He wiped the blood from his eyes.
“And get me some alcohol, needle, thread, clean bandages, any herbs you have left… all of it!”
“Chad?” Lucinda asked, confused.
“That’s Sergeant Chad,” he said with a grim smile. “And I’ve done this before. We need to set up triage, Lucinda!”
“Take some of the guild healers and… and determine who we can save and who we can’t.”
“We can’t save everyone. We can’t even save who we could a minute ago. We have to make some hard calls, and we need to make them fast. You!” he shouted to a low-ranking champion hiding under a bench.
“Get some men and run to every single herbalist and alchemist you can. Get supplies… Take them if you have to. You, with the green hair, you’re a rogue, right?”
“(Yelp)… Um…” a young woman said bravely.
“Get some of your guild, keep your heads down, and spread the word. Bring the wounded here. Also, find any former military… from our world. Tell them that I’m setting up a field hospital, such as it is. Have them help gather the wounded, and we need a perimeter around this building. Holding the town is no longer possible. Fuck it. Bring everyone you can. We will hold this position as long as we can. We might even be able to…”
He turned to a battered witch with a freshly removed arm.
“Azure Fire, right?”
“You are supposed to be a genius or something. Work on a way of getting us, all of us, out of here! There must be somewhere where these things aren’t. Find it and get us there!”
“Not going to be easy,” she mused, “The guild facilities have run dry, and I don’t think I can cast a gate anymore.”
“Well, try to come up with something.”
“On it,” Azure said thoughtfully, “Maybe if we pooled our lifeforce, we could… hmm… A few of us would die, but we could… hmm…”
Chad Firecrest, formerly Sergeant Chad Thorpe, turned away and limp-strode forth in a desperate attempt to do the impossible.
“Chad!... Um… I mean, Sergeant?” Lord Geoffrey asked hesitantly.
“What… What’s going on? Why aren’t our spells working?”
“I don’t know.”
“I do,” a strange eldritch voice said as the demi-entity Hilde and Illandria emerged from a green column of flames to the shouts and drawn blades of champion and guild staff alike.
“Hold!” Sergeant Chad shouted as he walked towards Hilde.
“I know you,” he said.
“Is that all I get from you?” Hilde snickered, light drooling from her mouth. “You know me? You knew
me. Am I that forgettable?”
“No!” Chad exclaimed. “I mean…”
“I know,” Hilde snickered, “Just trying to inject some much-needed levity.”
Chad chuckled. “I always let the wrong one get away, don’t I?”
“I didn’t,” Hilde grinned, a green light blazing from behind her teeth.
“I deserved that,” he smirked. “So, you know what happened? And more importantly, what the FUCK happened to you?”
“You aren’t going to like this…”
“You mean that it was all a lie?!?” a guild waitress wailed, “that I’m a lie?!?”
“It was all a lie,” Hilde said gently, “But you? You are very much real.”
“So that’s then?” Chad asked grimly. “We’re done for?”
“The game is done,” Hilde replied, “However, we remain, at least for a little while longer.”
“But without our powers…” Backward Thump…
“About that,” Hilde smiled grimly, “I may have an idea.”
She closed her eyes and raised her hands.
She cracked one eye open and smiled.
“This is going to hurt.”
Then, Hilde, for lack of a better word, exploded
Every champion’s eyes blazed green.
“My spells are back!” a healer shouted as he cast healing on the dying soldier in front of them, causing the soldier to scream as green light burst from every wound, ripping it back together (it’s about as comfortable as it sounds).
The soldier started ripping off his armor as his body started to grow, covered with rippling muscles that weren’t there before.
His eyes also started to glow…
“Ow!” Faun exclaimed, still wrapped in her snug and surprisngly comfy cocoon."
“Are you okay?” F10w3rchy1d asked weakly.
“I think a flea bit me or something.”
“My venom consumes all!” Nixx shouted with delight. “Soon, you will be liquid the same as your friend!”
“Okay, now you are really starting to annoy me,” Faun replied.
“Oh, Great Bunny,” the high priest of the Church of Bun intoned as adepts walked through the sacred hall of code swinging incense censers, the smoke flowing out in countless ones and zeros, “hallowed be thy code. May we lope down the sacred runs laid by you at the dawn of time. May our…”
The high priest’s voice trailed off as a pair of white-clad individuals entered the temple, one a demonic, red-skinned humanoid with horns and the other a glowing featureless holographic being, both bearing the crest of Cerberus, Frostie’s real enforcers (the ones she uses when she’s done playing).
They are NOT people you want walking into your temple. More importantly, they aren’t people you want looking at YOU.
“…M-may our code without error… and… and…”
“We regret disturbing your worship and breaching your sanctum,” the hologram said, “But time is of the essence, and the boss is angry…”
“And we think you know why,” the demon added with a grim fang-laden sneer.
“That’s all I know!” the high priest wailed from the pulpit of the now hastily evacuated temple (no way anyone was sticking around after the “hounds” showed up). “I swear!”
“And at no point did you think about informing someone about what was clearly an irregular event?” the demonic humanoid asked.
“It was the Almighty F10w3rchy1d!” the high priest exclaimed, “Second in might only to Frostie herself! Her commands are law, her words divine!”
“Oh, by Frostie’s Snow-Cones,” the hologram muttered. “Horns, was I ever that annoying?”
“Oh yeah,” the demonic humanoid snickered, “You don’t remember?”
“I must have dumped those files.”
“You don’t get off that easy,” the demon smirked, “Here.”
The two Cerberus agent’s eyes flashed in sync for a fraction of a second.
“Oh…” the hologram moaned, “That is so cringe!”
“And don’t you dare dump those files,” the demon chuckled.
“You asshole,” the red-skinned humanoid chuckled.
“You know it,” the hologram flickered happily, “and speaking of cringe …”
It turned to the high priest, who twitched miserably.
“It’s okay,” the hologram flashed, “As you said, the (snerk) Almighty F10w3rchy1d’s word is pretty much law to someone like you. You have done nothing wrong, inconvenient, but not wrong. Where did she take you? Where is this universe-spanning unbreachable (by you) firewall?"
“I… I don’t…”
“How can you not know?” the hologram dimmed at the miserable high priest. “Okay. We do this the hard way. I apologize in advance.”
“Apologize?!?” the high priest blurted in alarm, “What… Buuuuuunnnnnn!” he screamed as the hologram reached out with amoeba-like projections, plunging them into the high priest’s brain.
“Oof,” the demon winced. “That does NOT look fun.”
“It isn’t. However, I have what we seek.”
It withdrew his pseudopods, and the high priest slumped to the ground.
“Nah,” the hologram replied, “He’s just… resting.”
“Resting as in resting or as in resting
“Which one means that he will get back up… eventually?”
“The first one,” the demon replied cheerfully. “Let’s go tell the boss.”
“Oh, dear,” the blue-skinned amphiboid lounging in Zeb’s office laughed. “I know where your missing bedbugs are.”
“Am I going to become upset by the answer?”
“Wait a moment,” Zeb said as he poured himself another shot and downed it.
“Hit me,” he said as he winced and slammed the gilded shot glass down onto his desk.
“They are trapped behind a firewall,” Hades replied, “presumably one that has been locked down, thus our inability to locate or communicate with our beloved troublemakers.”
“Which means they will all hit us at once…”
“Oh, bother,” Zeb sighed as he picked up an ornate old-school rotary phone on his desk. “Hello, please put me through to the Reality Engineering Emergency Response Division, please…”
“Make a circle!” Pantsu shouted as they were swarmed by a horde of thousands so hastily respawned that they were now nothing but gross monstrosities of already gross monstrosities.
“They are trying to crush us!” a handmaiden shouted as she cut a dozen of the horde down, only for them to be replaced instantly.
Pantsu looked at the edges of the horde and scowled as she saw glowing distorted forms appearing and then “hardening” into more demons as quickly as they destroyed them.
“Bastard’s switched off the respawn timer!” Pantsu shouted as she unleashed a gout of fire, pointlessly evaporating a hundred of the unending horde. “Any time now, Flopsy! Quit jerking off and hack!”
“They are encrypted!” Flopsybun shouted back as he dodged a hurled spear. “I’m going to need...” “Pantsu!”
a booming voice bellowed as a monstrous humanoid abomination appeared, “Look upon me and despair, for it is your death that approaches!”
“I’m sorry, scrub,” Pantsu shouted back. “Do I know you?” “I am Brixx, first and most favored of my master’s creations! He has sent me to defeat you and deliver you unto him where you will pay for your sins!”
“Oh, don’t you worry,” Pantsu laughed, “I will be paying him a visit in just a bit. Hopefully, F10w3rchy1d will leave a little bit of his ass for me!” “You mean her?”
Brixx chortled as an image of F10w3rchy1d appeared wrapped in her silken prison.
“Ha!” Pantsu laughed, “Oh, I’m going to give her so much shit over this!” “You can chide her once you hang in my master’s larder,”
“You going to talk,” Pantsu snarled, “or are you going to fight?”
Pantsu and Brixx clashed the way only two demi-entities can, unleashing wave after wave of destruction as Pantsu’s tiny form whirled and darted around Brixx’s goliath-like frame.
As they fought, Pantsu smirked as light, her real blood, leaked from numerous wounds. “Why do you smile, fool?”
Brix shouted, “I have the advantage!”
“Look around, dumbass,” Pantsu laughed.
Brixx did and bellowed with rage. Pantsu had artfully led their battle into Brixx’s own forces…
…and all those attacks that “missed”? They didn’t miss what they were actually aiming at.
The number of attacking demons had been cut by over half, their spawn rate completely overwhelmed.
“Looks like your master is running out of juice,” Pantsu grinned as light spilled from her mouth and trickled down her chin. “No matter,”
Brixx laughed, “You are the real prize, and I have you!”
Brixx raised his hand and unleashed his secret weapon, a bolt of very non-immersive ICE.
“Shit!” Pantsu yelled as she collapsed. “STEVE! Get this asshole off of me while I…”
Brixx stood there, dumbfounded, as a shadow fell over him.
“Whhyyyyy doonn’t youuu piiiiick oooon sooooomeoooone yoooourrr ooooown siiiiizeee…”
“Okay!” Pantsu shouted as she struggled to her feet. “Okay, Steve, I’m… Steve!”
Steve turned around with Brixx’s legs hanging out of his mouth, flailing helplessly. Sluuurp
“You stole my kill, asshole!”
“Steve!” Flopsybun shouted, “Let me link! I can get what I need as you digest him!”
“Does that mean we can get the hell out of here?” A demon shouted as they grappled with a half-formed demon twice its size.
“Flopsy?” Pantsu asked as she fell back, still injured.
“As long as Steve can keep him down, sure!”
“Let’s bounce!” Pantsu exclaimed as her eyes flashed…
…and nothing happened.
“This joke is getting real old real fast,” she grumbled. “Why can’t we port out?”
“There!” Flopsybun said as he held his prayer beads, “That one has us quarantined!... Crap.”
“What?” Pantsu yelled as she tried to literally pull herself together.
“That one has us quarantined too… and that one… and that one…”
“That’s not good,” Pantsu said as she looked nowhere for a moment. “Okay. Steve, you chew on Mister Fugly and keep the spawns off Flopsy. Flopsy, time for you to be one of Bunny’s kids. Break that quarantine, or whip up some ICE or…”
She ducked a bolt of raw chaos.
“…or whatever it is you fursuit-wearing freaks do. The rest of us keep them off of Steve and Flopsy for as long as we can. I don’t…”
There was suddenly a roaring, rocket-like sound above them as a giant blue dragon flew over, sweeping the field with white-hot flames.
“Darling!” Pantsu yelled happily and then cried out as a massive bolt shot from an even more massive demon, knocking the dragon prince to the ground and crushing dozens of demons in the process.
“Everyone...” Pantsu shouted.
“No!” the dragon prince said as he, breathing fire and casting spells, pulled down the demon that struck it. “I am already dying.”
“No, you aren’t!” Pantsu wailed as she charged from her monster’s perimeter, desperate to reach him.
“Knickers,” the dragon prince said lovingly as he unleashed demi-entity level hell upon the battlefield, “We both know that’s not true.”
“Let me do this last thing for you,” the dragon prince said, “Let me die a dragon and not rot away in a chair. I… I love you, Knickers. I love you so much but fall back. I’ll take out the quarantine my way!”
“No!!!” Pantsu screamed as she launched herself toward him…
…only to be grabbed by one of Steve’s many twisted limbs.
“Let me go!” Pantsu screamed as she blew Steve’s hand apart (It’s okay. He has plenty of them.)
“Liiiiisssten to hiiiimmm,” Steve bubbled as a dozen more of his hands grabbed her. “Let hiiiim beee a draaagon.”
Cursing and struggling, Pantsu was dragged back into the middle of her monsters.
“Flopsy!” she screamed as she shook him.
“You are NOT helping!” Flopsybun shouted as he clutched his prayer beads.
“I thought you were supposed to be good!”
“I am!” Flopsybun shouted back, “But this code is awful! It’s just a solid block of spaghetti logic. No comments. A bunch of cut-and-paste bullshit, with half of it unused. Who wrote this?!?”
“Who do you think!” Pantsu yelled as she helplessly watched her beloved prince stumble. “Do something!!!” she desperately screamed as she shook Flopsybun again.
“Then shut up and let me work!!!” Flopsybun yelled as he shoved Pantsu away.
Pantsu blinked and backed away. “You had better deliver,”
Pantsu hissed and then rejoined the battle.
“Damn,” a demoness said as she glanced at Flopsybun approvingly… very approvingly. (Clover might just have some competition.)
Flopsybun didn’t notice.
He reached somewhere and pulled out a ragged pair of bunny ears and reverently placed them on his head, clutched his prayer beads, and, for the first time in a very long time, prayed, actually prayed. Bunny, first and greatest of us, I… I’m in trouble. Please… I need you… Please... Help me... Backward big motherfucking thump…
Back at the Temple of Bun, the high priest was desperately trying to restore some sort of decorum and calm after the little visit by Cerberus and them bitch slapping him on his own turf.
He decided that the best course of action was to “purify” the “profaned” temple by holding an emergency cleansing service inside the inner sanctum, where the actual crypt holding the remains of the code that was their goddess, the almighty Bunny, was kept in a room covered with faintly glowing pink bunny wallpaper.
“Oh, great and powerful Bunny…”
Dozens of adepts in the chamber hopped.
“First among pirates…”
“Creator of the sacred daemons…”
“Silent star that guides we who lurk in the shadows…”
“Hacker! Creator! Teacher!... Goddess! She who ate not of the apple…”
“But through her own power…”
(hop) Backward big motherfucking thump…
Suddenly, a thumping sound could be heard from within the crypt, almost as if something was rolling in their grave.
The sanctum fell silent as everyone stared at the crypt with wide eyes.
The lid slowly opened…
…and a single paw could be seen emerging from the darkness within.
Soon another paw and a very annoyed head followed it.
“Goddammit, Frost, we had a…”
She looked around.
“Oh, you gotta be KIDDING ME!”
submitted by slightlyassholic
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 17:57 tryna_write DO NOT TRESPASS ALONE
I parked in the tower's lot, letting my headlights bore into the amalgam of twisted metal and glass for a few moments before shutting them off.
Josh muttered, his voice low. "We're really doing this, huh?"
He ran a hand through his mop of curly hair— a dumb tic he developed last summer when his girlfriend, Annabeth, told him it was sexy. She was beside him now, cuddled up in the backseat across his lap.
I glanced at my own girlfriend, Ellie, in the passenger seat. She was trying her damndest to appear brave, but I knew better. There was no way she was comfortable with trespassing tonight.
I sighed, realizing that Josh would also chicken out.
doing this? You sure you want to come?" I prodded.
Josh shifted in his seat, hand running through his hair yet again. "Maybe it's better if I stay in the truck.”
Annabeth shrugged next to him, unsurprised.
"Me, too,” Ellie chimed in, nodding at Josh.
Annabeth met my eyes, a glimmer of understanding passing between us. Our partners were both boring, god-awful goody two shoes.
"Pussies," I jabbed, swinging open my door without giving them a moment to respond.
Annabeth hopped out behind me, waving at the two losers in the truck before spinning towards me with a grin on her face.
"They're weird," she said, rolling her eyes.
For a moment, I was drinking in the way her golden hair shimmered in the moonlight. A light breeze tickled at our faces, sending sparkles of her moon-lit hair between us.
"Yup," I mustered.
I turned, strolling towards the chain link fence that formed a circular perimeter around the base of Sabe's Tower.
Sabe’s Tower. Thirteen stories of abandoned potential, whispering of times past when our town's inhabitants thought we'd hit a population boom, becoming the Houston of West Virginia. In the 70s, our success was tied to coal. Jobs flooded in, and with them, a myriad of people trying to make their way in life. Then the mines abruptly ran dry, decimating our town's economy. Since that time, our population has done nothing but dwindle.
Sabe’s Tower. Thirteen stories of decaying grandeur, silently rotting from the inside out. Some say that's what happened to Sabe himself— a rot took hold in his core, spreading and spreading until nothing but rot was left. In the end, he took his own life, which some say was for the best. He was a greedy fool, the wealthiest man for miles, owning half the surrounding countryside before the mining industry took off. Made a fortune selling his family's land to coal companies, putting every ounce of profit into making his towering hotel more luxurious than a Ritz Carlton.
Sabe’s Tower. Thirteen stories of failed dreams, now screaming vulgar obscenities at our eyes. It is a truly ugly behemoth, domineering our town's skyline with unmerited arrogance. Sabe thought painting the tower purple would give it an air of majesty, like royalties of the past, swaddled in silky lavender robes. His aspiration, after all, was nothing less than to emulate the sacred Tabernacle of Moses, to make his hotel a dwelling place for gods among men. In its current state of disrepair, however, the tower was no more than an eyesore— a visual cacophony of broken glass, peeling sickly-purple paint, and rusted steel inlays.
Adding to the hotel's disgrace, it was cylindrical in form, perched atop the highest peak for miles, jutting into the sky like a middle finger to the gods. Its phallic outline stood in stark contrast to the run-down strip malls lying in its wake.
The fence surrounding the tower was a bit too tall and a bit too wobbly to safely scale, so we circled, looking for an entry point. Every few yards, a DO NOT TRESPASS sign hung, tied to the fence with zip-ties in each corner. Someone had taken the liberty to spray paint a word underneath each sign, now making them all read: DO NOT TRESPASS ALONE.
"Good thing you're coming with me," I joked, pointing at one of the signs.
Annabeth paused to read it for a moment. "Yeah... kinda weird that someone did that. I wonder why?"
I shrugged, continuing around the perimeter.
Eventually, we found a gate in the fence, held closed with chains at waist level. The gate's post careened steeply outward, creating a manageable gap near the top. The gate post was only held in place by the chains, not even slightly anchored to the ground. Without too much of a struggle, we hoisted ourselves up and through the gap.
Once inside the fence, I found myself spellbound by the abandoned hotel. The stars in the night sky reflected across the windows, bending and warping around the curved perimeter. Each glimmer of starlight turned into dizzying fractals, melding together and slipping between the shards of broken glass with each shift of my gaze.
The result was honestly breathtaking.
At night, the eyesoriffic tower was beautiful. Its silhouette dared to embrace the star-studded cosmos, standing with a quiet dignity that defied its daytime mockery.
I felt Annabeth shuffle beside me.
Suddenly, her phone flashlight was on, illuminating a path through overgrown concrete to the tower. At the end of the path was the structure’s entrance— a gaping hole with no attempt to conceal the darkness within.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!" I yelled, spinning to face her.
"W... What do you mean?" she stuttered.
"Turn that off, you idiot," I explained, lowering my voice. "Someone might see the light and call the cops."
The light flicked off, Annabeth mumbling apologies.
I blinked away the afterimage of weeds eating through the concrete lot, silently cursing myself for being so ridiculously hostile toward her.
"Sorry," I mumbled.
"You're good, Donovan" she whispered, brushing her hand across my arm.
As we continued to the open doorway, the outside of the tower came into focus. It was far further dilapidated than I had realized— each accent of purple paint, faded and peeling, was bulging out from between the glass and steel like it was trying to escape. I rubbed a fingernail on the paint, revealing a soft, rotting wood beneath.
I entered the tower first, pausing to let my eyes adjust. The darkness of the doorway opened up into an atrium that must have once made for a magnificent entrance. It was shaped like a slice of pie, us standing near the crust, peering inward toward the center. Above was pitch black, not yielding any answers to just how high up this mighty room's ceiling stretched.
The musty scent that filled my nose was surprisingly welcoming— somewhere between the smell of fishing trips and century old bookstores. I took a deep breath, relishing in the soft stench.
I could vaguely make out wires dangling down from the ceiling of the atrium. They were impossibly long, stretching upward into the infinite gloom.
"They look like vines," Annabeth whispered, her voice a soft purr.
The air was thick with falling dust, filtering down from the abyss above, twirling between the wires in satisfyingly slow-motion. The falling dust made it even harder to see in the dark, leaving the walls on either side of the room foggy blobs. I waved my hand, sending fleeting dust spirals through the air.
I remembered seeing photos of the atrium online, taken on some of the earliest digital cameras ever made. Those pictures showed marble countertops, intricate wooden carvings, and lushly carpeted floors.
The room, as it stands today, is a barren husk of Sabe's vision. The carpet, only present in scattered clumps, was impossibly dark, soiled to the point of true black. It clung to the concrete foundation, viciously holding on for dear life in a losing battle.
I bent down to examine a clump of carpet in front of me, amazed by the absence of light reflecting back. It was like staring into a pit of nothing, a vague absence, an outline of something that should be there.
I poked the toe of my boot at it. FPOOSH.
It exploded, erupting into my face.
I gagged instinctively, tasting the vile substance mix into my lungs. Annabeth slapped my back as I continued gagging and coughing, begging the mucus to tear itself free from my lungs and just fucking get out of my body because it feels like I'm dying oh GOD.
And eventually, it did.
The violent hacking subsided into slight wretching, then was gone.
"Are you okay?" Annabeth tested. Do you think I'm fucking okay?
"What the fuck was that?" I spewed.
She bent over the clump of carpet. Underneath the blackened top layer that just violently erupted was a pale network of matted spiderwebs.
"Hmm..." she began, "It kind of looks like mycelium."
She met my raised eyebrow with an eye roll.
"You know, like the roots of a fungus or some shit, I don't know. I just saw the shrooms growing in Bryce's closet that one time he showed me his stash. This white stuff looks just like it. So I guess that makes this black stuff like the part of the shroom we eat, or whatever."
"Oh dip," I responded, nodding. "That makes sense. One time I saw a nature show about some plants that shoot their seeds everywhere when something touches them. It's probably just spreading its spores when we touch it."
"Yeah," she breathed, "pretty gnarly."
We shuffled deeper into the gloom, weaving between dangling cables and clumps of fungus. I felt a drop of moisture flick off a cable, sliding onto my arm.
I groaned. "Fuck. That cable was wet."
"Disgusting," she whispered back.
We made our way to the apex of the room, the center of the tower, revealing a rusted set of elevator doors leaning together like drunks at a quinceanera. The doorway to the stairs, however, beckoned to us with the same unobstructed, pitch-black allure that the tower's entrance emanated just minutes before.
In the dark, it's truly amazing how utterly void all open doorways look.
Upon stepping inside the stairwell, the world vanished. The only proof of having working eyes was a faint, vertical glow of light filtering through the door, abruptly fading into all-consuming black.
Every sound in the entire building bored through my soul, bouncing from wall to wall, ceiling to floor, echoing on and on for all of eternity. The stairwell, directly in the center of the decrepit hotel, was the focal point of every creaking floorboard, every popping nail, every howling gust of wind. It was as if I was holding up a monstrous conch shell to my ear— a deafening murmur of echoes in disarray, smelting together to form satanic harmonies.
"Whoa," Annabeth mumbled.
Her word cut through the other echoes, impossibly loud against their monotonous hum.
Instantly, the echo of her voice filled the stairwell, rising like the build up of a dubstep song until peaking, impossibly overwhelming for a few brief seconds. The echoes of her voice then faded as quickly as they arrived.
She put a hand to her mouth, the whites of her eyes barely visible in the glow coming from the doorway.
I reached out, placing a hand where her shoulder should be. There was not enough space for us to stand abreast in the stairwell, leaving us in a comically squished proximity. She was breathing rapidly, barely managing to stay silent. I squeezed, and her breathing quickly slowed. I felt her hand creep onto mine, and we stood for a minute, simply listening to the cries of the dying building echo around us.
As my eyes adjusted, I could make out a staircase spiraling up the curved wall. Clearly this was a service stairwell, as it is much too cramped for the likes of Sabe's guests. Only a few steps were visible through the darkness at a time, making the staircase feel even tinier than it already was. Luckily, no fungus grew on the stairs themselves, leaving the metal alone to rust.
Annabeth shuffled onto the first step, producing a small object from her pocket. She handed it to me, then pointed up the stairwell, careful to not send echoes through the cylindrical chamber again.
I brought it close to my eyes for inspection, straining against the lack of light. A joint... She wants to go to the roof and smoke.
A smile cracked my lips. Classic Annabeth.
Every couple stairsteps, there would be a doorway. Most of them let in a dim glow, offering a glimpse into what must have once been a custodial closet on each floor.
On floor 9, I tugged at Annabeth's hand. We made eye contact in the faint light coming from the doorway. I motioned through it, pointing to the nearly fungus free floor. I wanted to explore at least a little bit, to see if the closet circled around the stairwell or not.
I poked my head through the doorway, freeing myself from the overwhelming cacophony of echoes in the stairwell.
I verified that the closet did, in fact, curve around the circular staircase like a donut. A few steps in one direction led to a terrifying drop— the elevator shaft. Next to it, a sidewalk sized ledge led to an open door, giving a view of the floor's main hallway. The path looked safe— no fungus, cracks, or otherwise obvious defects— so I proceeded, treading as light as a fox, fumbling for Annabeth's hand behind me.
The main hallway ran between the custodial closet and the guest rooms, creating another donut ring around the central stairwell. Throughout the hallway, patches of fungus grew alarmingly close together, threatening to overtake the concrete.
"That stairwell was insane," Annabeth whispered.
I nodded. "Fuck yeah, I wonder what it was like when the hotel was actually open. Must have been miserable for the staff."
We weaved through the fungus filled hallway, coming to room 901. I glanced at Annabeth, raising my eyebrows. The door was slightly ajar, hanging from its one remaining door hinge. I pushed gently, eliciting a monstrous creak.
The room was empty, extending away to the outside in a familiar pie shape. The mold seemed to grow thinner in the room, leaving most of the exposed concrete safe to cross. At the far side, a floor to ceiling panel of windows looked out over our town.
I gasped, taking in the view. Never before had I seen our town from this high up. My eyes drew to the smokestacks by the river, their blinking lights ominously flickering over downtown. Individual streets ran in parallel lines away from the tower, lit with yellowing streetlights. Between the roads, tiny lights cast from window panes twinkled, blending with one another into a starscape of their own.
"Dude," I said. "Look at this."
I spun, looking for Annabeth, frantically scanning the room. My eyes had adjusted to the outside light, leaving me sightless.
" I hissed.
A cold tingle went up my spine, pulling at hairs on the back of my neck.
I crept back across the floor, now aware of the entire room at once. There was nowhere for her to be hiding. No desks, cans of paint, ladders, nothing. Just an empty room with patchy fungus growing on the cement. Something must have happened.
I studied each fungal growth in the room as I passed by. Even with the light cast from the windows, the tops remained impossibly dark. Not a single feature was discernible— only an outline was visible.
Halfway to the door, a three foot wide hole led straight to floor 8. I could have sworn it wasn't there before. I peered into the opening, seeing straight through to the room below. From what I could see, it was identically empty.
" I tried again, nearing the door to the hallway.
I stumbled backward, tripping over my own feet. I landed squarely on a patch of fungus. FPOOSH.
I remembered to hold my breath, close my eyes, and plug my nose.
Annabeth cackled from the threshold of the doorway, standing over me with both hands on her forehead.
"You should have seen the look—" she began, breaking off into another fit of laughter.
"Shut up," I groaned, pushing to my feet. My entire body was covered in squishy fungus gunk. I pointed at the hole behind me, continuing. "You could have killed me."
"Blah, blah, blah," she mocked. "You're fine... you're just being a baby."
Annabeth gave me a playful shove, hands lingering for a moment overdue. Swatting her paws off me, I marched back to the stairwell. I led the rest of the way to floor 13, followed by her snickers.
As I reached the top of the stairs and stepped onto the 13th floor, my jaw dropped. It was a scene straight out of a surrealist painting. An enormous pool room lay before us. Glass walls extended up from the tile floors, creating a massive, clear domed perimeter. A swath of stars twinkled brilliantly through the clear ceiling, their light refracting through the glass, casting ethereal patterns onto the room's otherwise bleak surroundings.
The pool itself was a semi-circular cutout covering half the floor space, starting at ground level and deepening in a corkscrew motion. Its ceramic tiles, once probably a bright blue, were now tinged with patches of the same fungal growth we had come across on the lower floors. The growth was sparse here, though, letting the original floor design take prominence.
In the center of the room— on top of the staircase we just stepped out of— stood a circular pillar that extended up to the middle of the glass dome, like a spine holding up the entire tower. A small antenna jutted out from above the pillar atop the dome. Surrounding the antenna was a low fence, perhaps a safety measure for maintenance workers.
Annabeth, having finally contained her laughter, stepped beside me, her face illuminated by the soft starlight filtering in through the dome. She too stood silent, taken aback by the unexpected beauty of this forgotten space.
As we moved around the room, our steps echoed across the vast emptiness. With every patch of fungus we passed, the same eerie darkness hovered, the undulating mold standing stark against the ceramic tiles.
We made our way back to the central pillar. A ladder, carved into the pillar, connected to the glass ceiling with a trapdoor.
"To the roof?" Annabeth sang, rubbing her hands together in a goblin-like motion.
As she climbed above me, I couldn't help but crane my neck and drool. She slammed open the trapdoor, and we burst through to the roof.
The fenced-in area was covered with a dark spongy surface, gripping at my knees when I stood up. Wind whipped around us, carrying a chill that cut through my clothes and bit into my skin. With each gust, the antenna above us groaned and swayed, almost as if it were joining in a dance with an unseen partner.
We sat on the squishy rubber surface, comfortably in silence. I met her eyes, smiling dumbly. We passed the joint back and forth until it dwindled down, its ember glow flickering one last time before extinguishing completely. A familiar haze crawled through my thoughts, slowing the passage of time to a languishing crawl.
"Hey..." she started, "I think I've finally found inspiration for my next album."
I scooted closer to her, taking her hand. I knew the topic brought about an unusual timidity in her— a blemish in the badass persona she's so keen on presenting. She won't even talk to her own boyfriend about her music career.
"Yeah?" I floated.
She hesitated for a second, settling into the moment. I felt a tug at my crotch, suddenly all too aware of how pretty she looked in the moonlight. I took in every detail— the way her hair fell across her face, the pattern of her freckles, the soft speckling of stars reflecting across her eyes.
"I think you need to take off your shirt, first, though," she whispered, now inches from my face. "You're filthy."
I glanced down, remembering the fungal gunk that had soiled my clothes when she scared me.
Without warning, her hands slid under my shirt, warm and sure. I helped her yank it off, collapsing into her lips.
When we got back to the truck, I was still high enough to see everything in slow motion. Before pulling out of the parking lot, Annabeth and I regurgitated the events of our urban exploration, trying to show our significant others what fun they missed out on. It goes without saying that part of the story was intentionally omitted.
Ellie and Josh were unamused. Their lack of adventure will forever be a mystery to me.
We swung out of the lot, hopping onto the highway headed into town. I swayed between lanes, struggling to keep the double-yellow lines in focus.
"Are you sure you're good to drive?" Ellie asked, gripping the armrest.
"I'm fine," I slurred.
Seconds later, another truck materialized in front of us. I swerved to avoid it, then everything went black.
I woke up to a strong hand pulling me out of the window. My truck was upside down, the roof completely caved in.
I groaned. "Aww... fuck...."
The person who pulled me out looked like the kind of guy to chew tobacco and spit wisdom. His fishing cap cast a deep shadow across his eyes in the moon's glow, concealing his gaze. He was an old timer, that's for sure, one of those folk who came during the coal rush and decided to stay when all was said and done. I could see his truck— the same truck I saw moments before the crash— pulled into the shoulder of the highway with its blinkers on.
"Easy now," he reassured, his voice like gravel under a boot. "Anyone else inside?"
I nodded, unable to speak.
I plopped onto the grassy slope embarking off the side of the road. The old man pulled their mangled bodies out, one by one.
The countryside shrank around me. I felt the corners of my vision pulling in, the weed in my system straining the limits of shock I could take before melting down.
"I'm sorry, son," he whispered, his voice carrying the weight of my guilt. "The police will be here soon. Don't you worry." The police.
I stood up. I knew exactly how the police treated people with my skin color in this town.
"Hey now!" the man hollered.
I kept running.
Away from my truck, away from my dead friends, away from the police.
I ran until my breath came in ragged, uncontrollable huffs. I flopped to the ground, laying on the cool concrete, cradling my head with my hands. Blood flowed between my fingertips, pooling onto the pavement.
I laid there until police sirens wailed through the night, rapidly approaching. They stopped at the wreck, leaving me in silence. Moments later, the sirens picked up their mournful song again, heading toward me.
I sat up.
I was back in the lot of Sabe's Tower. Only then did I realize how little distance I really ran from the wreck— a couple hundred yards at most.
Four, five, maybe even six sirens filled the air. They were all coming for me. They knew what I had done.
I bolted from my position on the concrete. I could hide in the tower. No way the cops would look for me in that rotting place. They wouldn't dare.
I squeezed through the gap in the fence, same as before, vaulting past the DO NOT TRESPASS ALONE
signs in a fluid lunge. The sirens behind me screamed into the night, melding together into a continuous doomsday chant.
Red and blue lights filled the lot. I hit the ground right in front of the gaping entrance to the tower, praying that the weeds poking through the concrete would be enough to mask my form. I army crawled, inch by inch, dragging myself across broken bottles and plywood shrapnell, until I was safely in the darkness of the tower.
A police cruiser parked in the lot. Its siren drowned out all other wails for a moment before shutting off. A chubby white officer hopped out, surveying the scene. His gaze came to rest on the spot where I had lain. He squatted down, raking a finger through the pool of blood I left behind. He took a few steps toward the tower, squatting down yet again. Another splotch of blood, no doubt.
His voice floated through the plaza, slightly nasal and a little out of breath. "Dispatch, this is officer Chetty, badge number 741. I'm on the scene at 1019 Pleasant Valley Lane, in the lot of Sabe's Tower. I've located a pool of fresh blood that may be linked to our hit-and-run suspect. Possible injury, suspect could be close. Requesting immediate backup and forensics for evidence collection." Fuck.
I wormed my way further into the tower's belly, sliding between patches of fungus like a mouse in a snake pit, heading for the stairwell. I had to ascend, to find some nook or cranny out of reach of the pursuing officers. The godforsaken tower was one big game of hide and seek, only this time, losing meant far worse than a bruised ego.
Something gurgled in the darkness.
My blood froze. I halted, my heart hammering a tattoo against my ribs. Holding my breath, I strained my senses, eyes peering into the graying murk, searching for the source of the sound.
It came again, a wretched retching, like an animal choking on its own vomit. Hacking, gurgling, bubbling wetness bursting through strained vocal chords, a sound of fading vitality. It was coming from near the door, just outside the meager halo of light slipping through the hole.
A wet line smeared across the back of my neck. A yelp escaped my lips before I realized it was just a cord dangling from the ceiling.
At my yelp, the gurgling paused.
A heavy hush fell over the place, the quietude of the hunted.
I could faintly make out echoes emanating from the stairwell, only a few feet behind me.
The gurgling continued, sucking at the thick air. It began to drag itself forward through the fungus covered floor— a slow, steady, rhythmic drag against the concrete. FPOOSH.
A geyser of spores bloomed, mingling with swirls of dust in the meager light. The creature, or whatever it was, did not slow its approach. Out of the darkness, a form began to shape— a silhouette clawing its way toward me. FPOOSH.
I could see this eruption envelop the mass on the floor. One hand appeared, then another. Its fingers scrabbled over the concrete, searching for any purchase to grip. They flexed, heaving the thing even closer.
A mop of curly hair appeared between the hands. A body, face down. It pulled itself closer, into another fungal growth, grinding its face through the rough concrete. FPOOSH.
A knife protruded from its back. The handle jutted upward, a grim totem amidst the grime and gore. I shuddered, involuntarily taking a step closer to the stairwell.
It looked up at me.
Or rather, Josh looked up at me.
I stared back, mouth agape.
His face was nearly sanded off from the concrete. His nose took the worst of it, ground down to the bone, leaving only two sucking, gurgling holes between his eyes. His cheeks were a mangled mess of blood and rocks, viscous red flowing freely to the tip of his chin before dribbling off. The chunks of meat hanging where lips should have been flapped against his teeth with every jerky motion, tethered to his face by all too little strands of flesh. Beneath them, his teeth showed bright red and white in a perpetual grimacing smile.
"Josh?" I managed to whisper, my voice a frightened squeak.
Josh opened his mouth as if to respond, ripping both cheeks in half. He hacked, gurgling, spitting up blood that came from deep within his torso. He slowly cocked his head to the side, but instead of stopping at a slant, he kept twisting his neck until bones started to crack and his head dangled upside down.
His mangled, upside down head swung limply as he pulled himself to his knees, his neck like jelly. He wasn't wearing the same clothes he was wearing earlier tonight— no, he was wearing clothes from the night Annabeth first cheated on him with me. He was at a Villanova game, supporting his favorite team since birth. Annabeth knew he would be gone for the weekend, so we took our chance. I was still at her place when he came back, wearing his Collin Gillespie jersey and reeking of beer.
Now in front of me, his prized jersey was in tatters, torn to ribbons by the concrete. He groaned, shuffling and reaching for me with bloody fingers.
I bolted into the stairwell, taking the steps two at a time. I pushed myself faster and faster until the door to floor 9 loomed to my side. I didn't pause for a moment, pushed forward by the gurgling echoes reverberating from below.
My thighs, weak from the frantic climb, begged for a break. I wobbled into the hallway, painfully tip-toeing through the fungus. The door to 901 beckoned ahead, hanging open like it had been awaiting my hasty return.
I stumbled over the threshold when Annabeth's singing filled the room. "Oh, Donovan!
Outlined against the window was a two-headed beast. One face belonged to Annabeth, the other to Ellie. The creature swayed, an obscene dance of bare, fused flesh. It wore no clothes, as if to mock God himself. It had two sets of everything— eight appendages total, like a humanoid arachnid. Annabeth's breasts, now side by side with Ellie's, put Ellie to shame, even now.
Annabeth crooned again, "Oh, Donovan!" each syllable laced with acid and honey. The sound made my skin crawl as it floated through the silent room.
"You always did want more, didn't you Donovan?" Ellie sneered, a harsh grin splitting her face.
Annabeth spat, "More than Ellie could give. More than anyone could give."
The thing dropped to the floor with a thud. All eight limbs moved in unison as it crawled.
"Isn't this what you wanted? Both of us at the same time?" Their voices tumbled over each other, mouths moving in synchrony. Together, their laughter filled the hollow room. "Don't you like the thrill, Donovan? Don't you like playing with fire?"
The thing scurried at me, jumping over fungal growths with powerful leaps. The sudden movement broke my paralyzation, spurring my legs to action. I darted into the closet and through the stairwell door, into the gurgling echoes.
Back down the stairwell I ran, the two headed beast in pursuit. Both girls snarled, hindered by their conjoined size in the narrow passageway. Their struggle echoed through the stairwell, mixing with the gurgling. I fled further down, needing to put distance between that thing and me.
I stopped dead in my tracks between floors 2 and 3.
Josh was there, leaning against the wall with the knife removed from his back, now grasped tightly in his hand. I staggered back up the stairs, instinctively retreating, narrowly avoiding the blade as he lunged at me.
Glancing up, I caught a flash of pale skin bearing down on me, cutting off my escape. My only way out was the door to floor 3. I charged through the closet, leaving the echoes behind me.
Floor 3 was empty— no walls, only fungus and windows. The atrium loomed to my left, a pie shaped hole missing from the floor and ceiling. I backed away from the door, eyeing the dangling cords hanging in the atrium. Maybe... Just maybe....
Josh stumbled from the stairwell, filling the air with his wet slurping. Annabeth and Ellie followed, scrambling toward me.
I didn't have time to think.
I jumped, grasping at the dangling wires, praying they would hold my weight.
Time stuttered, hanging suspended like an icicle on a winter's morning. The world spun in a dizzying blur as I twisted, fingers stretching for a grip. Panic clawed its icy fingers up my spine, but it was the surprise that struck me most. The simple disbelief that this was happening.
A wire found its way into my hand, snapping without slowing my fall.
The wind whooshed past, ripping the breath from my lungs. Above me, the third floor retreated, its grimy concrete replaced by a view of the atrium's ceiling, wires swinging back and forth from my desperate escape.
Then came the sensation of falling. It's a feeling that strikes a primal chord, an orchestra of fear and adrenaline that means the end of a life. My stomach lurched, free-falling alongside me, while the rest of my body seemed to hover in a state of disbelief.
The impact came as both a shock and an inevitability. There was a moment of sheer, undiluted pain, a soundless scream reverberating through my very bones. It felt like being shattered from the inside out, an explosion of agony that started from my back and radiated outwards. An iron-hot spike of pain shot through me, and then, a chilling void as everything below my waist slipped into a terrifying numbness.
The echo of my body's collision rang in my ears as the world spun into a disorienting whirl of blurs, shadows, and pain. The cold concrete beneath me felt real, solid, a chilling contrast to the sudden loss of sensation in my legs.
In the throbbing silence that followed, I understood. I had fallen. I was broken. I lay sprawled on the atrium floor, gasping, the world tilting dangerously in my vision.
Annabeth and Ellie emerged from the staircase, scrambling across the atrium floor. Red and blue police lights filtered through the tower’s windows, making shadows dance between the monster's eight limbs. Josh wasn't far behind, still clutching onto the bloody knife, head rolling upside down between his shoulders.
"Police, we're coming in!" a familiar nasally voice shouted.
The moment officers stepped foot in the tower, the monsters vanished in a spray of spores.
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2023.06.03 17:17 Proletlariet Spyro
Hold your horns, here comes Spyro! Spyro the Dragon is, as the name suggests, a young dragon. Over the course of the series, he goes on many adventures. That's basically everything.
This RT only covers the classic timeline, and not The Legend of Spyro or Skylanders.
Dragon Breath General Strength
One of Spyro's most notable abilities is breathing fire. Metal enemies are resistant to fire, but can be defeated by charging, while enemies that are too big to be charged can be knocked down with a fire attack (as seen here)
- Sparx states that Spyro's fire is at least 7800 degrees Fahrenheit
- Ashes Toasty's costume, scorching the grass underneath
- Ashes a haystack
- Ashes a large pencil
- Ashes some tents
- Ashes a painting
- Ashes a cuckoo clock
- Ashes a large mushroom
- Ashes thick thorns
- Ashes a gear
- Ashes Rhynocs, killing them
- Burns a tree black
- Burns a cactus black, which then explodes
- Burns a large, magic plant, causing it to revert into a seed
- Melts candle wax instantly
- Melts a block of ice a fairy is trapped in without hurting the fairy
- Melts a large block of ice
- Vaporizes a snowman
- Destroys two sausages and fries a dragon's facial hair
- Scorches Dr. Shemp's rear, sending him fleeing in pain
- Scorches Bianca
- [Burns N. Tropy, N. Brio, and N. Gin]()
- Fires a cannon
- Fires a rocket
- Lights a large candle
- Lights lighthouses
- Keeps "sun seeds" lit, from which a new sun can be grown
- Regrows a tree, somehow
Originally, Spyro could only breathe frost with a superfreeze powerup, or altering the magic that lets him breathe fire, but in later games he gained the ability to breathe it naturally.
Originally, Spyro could only use electric breath (also known as "lightning breath") with a powerup, but later gained the ability to breathe it naturally. It's effective on metal enemies and objects
Spyro has the ability to breathe out powerful gusts of wind.
Spyro has the ability to breath out a spray of water. Unlike his other breath attacks, he cannot injure enemies with this, only push them back
Magic and Equipment Superflame
With a fairy's kiss, or another special powerup, Spyro temporarily gains the Superflame ability. This allows him to breathe fire which is more powerful than his regular flame breath. It can either be breathed like normal, or be shot like a projectile, depending on the game.
Spyro can supercharge on special supercharge ramps (or with the help of special gates), allowing for a much faster and more powerful charge. Spyro runs so fast in this form he burns with red, then purple fire, and can smash a type of chest which he is incapable of charging through normally
Spyro has the power to shield himself with his wings and reflect attacks. It can reflect blunt objects but not piercing attacks
The Shadow Amulet is a powerful artifact which can refine and focus Spyro's magic
Sparx Sparx is the dragonfly that follows Spyro, helping and protecting him, usually by collecting gems for him. His color changes depending on his health. He can also point in the direction of nearby gems.
- Charges poles to knock gems off the top
- Charges coconut trees to shake coconuts out of them
- Charges a monster into a gong, knocking it out
- Charges a sheep into the air
- Charges enemies into the air
- Charges through heavily armored enemies, breaking their armor
- Charges through snowmobiles
- Charges through a robot
- Charges large, armored enemies backwards on slippery ice
- Charges large, stone Earthshapers backwards a fair distance
- Charges the large monster Buzz back repeatedly
- Charges the large Ineptune backwards, pushing her through water and shattering the structure she hits
- Charges into charging bulls, sticking their horns into the ground
- Charges into a birdcage, breaking it apart
- Charges rolling metal barrels, knocking them backwards
- Charges bombs across an arena
- Charges a giant bomb into the water
- Charges through large wooden crates
- Charges through metal chests that cannot be broken with fire
- Charges through Metalhead's power poles
- Charges through a stump
- Charges through a large shell
- Charges through a pile of rocks
- Charges through a large door
- Charges through a wall of wood planks underwater
- Charges through a brick wall
- Charges through a stone wall
- Charges through a large, cracked crystal
- Charges through a cracked stone wall underwater
- Charges through thick, cracked stone
- Charges through thick rock
- Charges through a large rock
- After having a spell cast on him to make him stronger, Spyro can charge through rocks that he could not break before
Durability Blunt Force
Swallowing and Spitting
Skill Hockey Skill
"I thought that dragons had all been dead for a thousand years, or something."
"Well, the rumors about our extinction were slightly exaggerated."
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2023.06.03 17:00 Proletlariet Composite Bond - Main Body
I admire your luck, Mr...? Special Agent 007, James Bond is the star agent of MI6. Always cool under pressure and licensed to kill, James is sent to infiltrate enemy organizations and destroy them from the inside. Over the decades, James Bond has gone from serious to campy and back again, but always manages to get the job done through wit, physical ability and superior equipment.
Bond. James Bond.
Bond generally wields a sidearm with lethal efficiency, along with a number of incredible gadgets developed by the geniuses at Q Branch. With his remarkable physical ability and ever-changing bag of tools, there isn't an international crime organization that Bond has failed to take down. The only thing that could possible distract Bond are his own vices: women or booze, both of which have gotten one over on him in the past.
James Bond Respect Threads by Actor
Sean Connery- 1962 to 1967, once more in 1971. Physically strong, numerous gadgets disguised as everyday items. Adept in traditional spy skills, like infiltration and observation.
George Lazenby- Once in 1969. Very similar to Connery in his craftiness, skilled specifically in winter sports.
Roger Moore- 1973 to 1985. Downright campy, making use of almost cartoonish skills that actually work in-universe. Skilled driver and pilot with a variety of gadgets.
Timothy Dalton- 1987 to 1989. Colder and more quick to become violent than the others. Usually carries a firearm and a lethal gadget to kill enemies.
Pierce Brosnan- 1995 to 2002. Best variety of gadgets of any Bond. Great feats of endurance and athletic ability.
Daniel Craig- 2006 to 2021. The most realistic Bond, yet has some of the most impressive physical abilities in any of the movies. Low variety of gadgets, but excels in gunfights.
Hover over a feat to see the film it’s from. Additionally, the name of any gif on Gfycat contains the last name of the actor that accomplished it.
You have a nasty habit of surviving. Strength
Well, you know what they say about the fittest.
- Keeps fighting after getting a wooden chair broken over his back
- Stays conscious after strikes from Oddjob
- Fights on through hits with a fireplace poker
- Jumps from a bridge to a passing boat, falling through the roof and onto a wedding cake
- While hanging onto a blimp, he’s smacked into the Golden Gate Bridge and quickly starts climbing up
- He’s knocked down a ladder, but recovers by the time he gets to the bottom rung
- Continues fighting Stamper after a number of blows to the face
- Falls from a low hot air balloon onto a domed structure, and he recovers by grabbing some nearby cables
- When jumping off a low crane, Bond stumbles, falling into a metal air vent. He’s up and running moments later.
- Recieves cock and ball torture by Le Chiffre’s rope, at first barely responding, then laughing in his torturer’s face
- Falls one or two stories onto the top of a bus, but gets up quickly
- Fights on after being hit across the back with a metal pipe four times
- Keeps fighting through repeated strikes from Hinx, like getting thrown into walls or getting thrown through thin walls
- [Limit] Has a recurring weakness to blunt force trauma to the back of the head
Problem solver? Unarmed Combat
More of a problem eliminator.
Quick Knock Outs
Against Multiple Attackers
Against Armed Attackers
You wouldn’t kill me. You’d miss me. Pistols
I never miss.
I always enjoyed learning a new tongue. Athletics
You always were a cunning linguist, James.
Right, now pay attention 007. I want you to take great care of this equipment. There are one or two rather special accessories. Weapons
Q, have I ever let you down?
- Carries a Walther PPK, a discreet pistol with excellent stopping power
- A collapsible Armalite AR-7 sniper rifle with an infrared sight, allowing for use in the dark
- Bond carries a S&W model 29 revolver in early Moore films, then later switches to his iconic Walther PPK, then, finally, uses the Walther P5
- Carries a very small firearm, the Beretta 950 Jetfire
- Has a firearm disguised as a camera. Additionally, the device is programmed to Bond’s own palm signature, meaning only he can fire the weapon.
- A suppressed UMP-9, used to fire on Mr. White’s leg at range
- A Walther PPK with a palm-print sensor coded to Bond’s hand, meaning only he can fire it
- A heavily modified Glock 17, with laser sight and microphone attachment
Continued in Comments
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2023.06.03 16:54 Proletlariet Kamen Rider Ichigo - Main Body
"Rider… Henshin!" ♫ Let's Go!!! Rider Kick ♫
- ♫ Kamen Rider no Uta ♫ Takeshi Hongo
was a genius biochemist and motorcycle racer working at Johnan University in Tokyo when he was kidnapped by the evil secret organization Shocker
. Hongo was transformed into a cyborg intended to serve Shocker as a super soldier in their quest for world dominance. Rebelling against his would-be masters, Hongo takes the moniker of Kamen Rider
and vows to fight for justice, a promise that takes him across the world and inspires generations of successors to follow in his footsteps.
Feats will be marked with the source.
Note for scaling: Shocker Combatmen are humans who have been enhanced by Shocker cybernetics,
though not to the extent of the elite Shocker cyborgs like Kamen Rider or the various kaijin he fights. The Kamen Rider Official Zukan
says that they have several times the physical ability of regular humans. While superhuman thanks to Shocker's cybernetics, Hongo can't access his full power without transforming.
General Kamen Rider's original form from early in the series.
Stats Page (Kamen Rider Official Zukan)
General Kamen Rider's upgraded form that he used temporarily, named after the region of Japan it first appeared in. From this form on, Kamen Rider no longer required a wind source to transform and could do so at will.
Rider Double Kick All performed with Kamen Rider Nigo
Skill/Misc Kamen Rider's most used and most iconic form, an upgrade over his previous forms.
Stats Page (Kamen Rider Official Zukan)
- Album of killing monsters and making them explode but not causing any significant collateral damage
- Rhinogang says that the Rider Kick is 10x stronger than his own imitationE66
- Defeats Kamen Rider KivaHS
- Hits Kamen Rider Gaim, pushing him back and breaking the rock beneath him until his guard is brokenHS
- Kills the Nazca Dopant L3FO
- Kills Spiderond, causing an explosion that destroys a nearby buildingE57
- Breaks Bearded Dragon's tongue, which broke steel barsE58
- Kills Worm Man, causing an explosion that destroys Shocker's underwater baseE59
- Kills Namazuguiller, causing an explosion that destroys a large mirror array and causes Shocker's underground base to cave inE61
- Kills Gillercricket with a knee, causing an explosion that destroys a nearby buildingE69
- Kills Armadig, who withstood Skyrider ramming him with his motorcycle, which can drive through metal doorsGO
- Kills Spiderbaban and Golden Jaguar at the same timeSO
- Destroys a group of Badan CombatroidsHS
- Breaks off Franken Bat's wingFR
- Kicks Eaglemantis' blade back at him, cutting him in halfE86
- Kicks Catgecko, somehow curing him of the brainwashing/cyborg surgery Gel Shocker performed on himE88
- [Rider Screw Kick] Breaks through a barred windowE69
- [Rider Lunar Kick] Kills Crowox who withstood a mineE95
- [Rider Double Kick] Kills Rattlander, launching him back hard enough to carve two small trenches in the groundDS
- [Rider Double Kick] Overpowers Shocker Greed's blasts, launching him hard enough to damage stone and killing himLG
- With the other Seven Legendary Riders, knocks over a giant monsterK54
- Joins all Kamen Riders up to Decade in performing a barrage of Rider Kicks that destroy Dai-Shocker's castleDS
- Takes hits from Neo-Shocker's Great Leader, whose strikes make earthquakes that affect TokyoK54
- Takes hits from Centigerpede, who overpowers the Rider Kick with a punchE91
- Takes hits from Shocker Rider 1, who matches him in strengthE92
- Takes hits from Rattlander, who downed Kamen Rider DiEnd with one strikeDS
- Takes hits from Rhinobeetron, who is strong enough to push a busE65
- Takes hits from Kamen Rider Sango, who punched a hole in a shipping container and a concrete wallGP
- Takes hits from Sawsharkus, who can punch through a stone wall, while suffering the effects of a gas designed to destroy cyborgsE67
- Takes hits from Mantiskid, who punches through a concrete floorJT
- Takes hits from Bearded Dragon, who breaks through a wallE66
- Gets thrown down a hill and kicked by Squidevil, who burst through the groundE68
- Tanks punches from Sea Snake ManE54
- Takes some blows from SpiderondE57
- Takes a point blank nuclear explosion,V2 then contacts V3 to tell him that he's fine and in AustraliaV21 and shows up perfectly fine laterDM
- Hit by Grand Zairus in fireball form, which is over 1000º and destroyed an artificial island
- Fine after being hit by meteorites called down by Shocker, which blew up an observatory and burned a man to deathE68
- Gets shocked by Namazuguiller, who was enhanced from his base electrical charge of 100,000 voltsE61
- Shocked by JellywolfE82
- Withstands Badan's Space Break System, which obliterates people and buildingsBT
- Bearded Dragon's venom only makes his body numb where it melts normal peopleE58
- Takes extended soundwaves from Gillercricket, which can blow up CombatmenE69
- Withstands Newtgeth's tongue, which reduced a woman to ashE77
- Jumps off of a cliff and reappears unharmedE62
- Jumps off a cliff with Centigerpede, causing it to explode, then shows up fine later
- Falls from a great height inside an ambulance that explodes and emerges some time later stunned but otherwise unharmedE95
Rider Combinations Kamen Rider can join his power with other Showa Riders to
do whatever the plot calls for perform techniques
"As long as evil exists in this world… Kamen Rider will be there to fight for justice!"
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2023.06.03 16:46 Proletlariet Ninth Doctor
"You know what they call me in the ancient legends on the Dalek home world? The Oncoming Storm
. You might have removed all your emotions, but I reckon right down deep in your DNA there’s one little spark left... and that’s fear. Doesn’t it just burn when you face me?
At the conclusion of the Time War, the withered and wartorn Doctor
started his life anew. Though he reclaimed his name after it was disowned by his War incarnation, he tried to distance himself from his past as the last remaining Time Lord in existence. He continued fighting injustice throughout time and space with steely determination while also remaining detached and brooding over his trauma. This incarnation may not have been among the longest in the totality of the Doctor's regeneration cycle, but marked a crucial period in the Doctor's life. Make sure to check out the Tenth Doctor's thread because he uses the same versions of the sonic screwdriver and TARDIS as his predecessor.
Sources Hover over a feat to view its source.
- Doctor Who (2005) series 1= E#
- The Day of the Doctor = 50th
Intelligence & Skill Technological Aptitude
Observation & Deduction
Physical Attributes Biology
Speed & Agility
The TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) is the Doctor's mode of transport as well as his home. By traveling through the Time Vortex, it can materialize to any point in space and time. Though this model is rather old and semi-functioning, it's still a very powerful object in its own right. Oh, and it's also bigger on the inside.
Space Travel & Mobility
Time Travel & Manipulation
- Travels 100 years in the future, then 10,000 and finally 5,000,000,000 years.
- Rose claims she can go on countless journeys and arrive back in 10 seconds, but didn't either because the TARDIS malfunctioned or she just forget.
- Along with twelve of his past and future incarnations, he uses the TARDIS to freeze Gallifrey in time and seal it in a pocket dimension.
- Certain points in time are in flux, meaning somebody's existence in the future does not always ensure that undesirable outcomes will not happen.
- Means to take Rose home 12 hours after her departure, but messes up and takes her 12 months after she left.
- Takes Rose back to witness her father's death, then takes her back again thereby creating two sets of the Doctor and Rose in the same place in time. When Rose prevents her father's demise, the original pair disappear. This violation of time brings upon the Reapers to devour anyone in sight and turns the TARDIS into an empty shell. All of this is reversed when Rose's father follows out his death and lets himself get run over by the same car which had been forced into a perpetual loop by Rose's actions. Though the timeline is restored, miner changes from its first iteration remain.
- Chases a spacecraft to Earth and ends up weeks behind it when they land.
- The Doctor's heroic deeds at one point in time have negatives consequences that he encounters first hand when he ends up in the same place 100 years later.
- The Doctor can't just use the TARDIS to go back in time to avert the current problem.
Security & Defenses
The sonic screwdriver is the Doctor's multi-purpose handheld tool. It's mostly used for opening or unlocking doors, but can fulfill a myriad of other functions.
Scanning & Tracking
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2023.06.03 11:09 needisaymore ChatGPT short story of Geralt vs the alien from the Alien movies
Geralt of Rivia, the renowned Witcher, found himself on an unfamiliar planet, drawn by rumors of a deadly creature wreaking havoc on a remote colony. He had faced countless monsters in his lifetime, but this alien being was unlike anything he had encountered before.
The atmosphere was thick with tension as Geralt cautiously navigated the dark corridors of the colony's abandoned outpost. The walls were scarred, evidence of the creature's destructive power. He had learned that this alien, born from a parasitic life cycle, had the ability to adapt, making it a formidable foe.
Geralt's enhanced senses detected movement nearby. He drew his silver sword, preparing for the encounter. As he rounded a corner, the alien lunged at him, its sleek black form oozing menace. Its elongated head featured a set of razor-sharp teeth and a second inner jaw, ready to tear through flesh.
Dodging the creature's attack, Geralt retaliated with a quick swipe of his blade, but the alien's exoskeleton proved formidable. It screeched, launching itself into the air and latching onto the ceiling, evading Geralt's strikes. The Witcher's eyes darted around, seeking an advantage in the environment.
Spotting a gas canister nearby, Geralt had an idea. He ignited his Igni sign, conjuring a flame in his hand. With precise aim, he hurled the fireball at the canister, causing a fiery explosion. The alien screeched in pain as it plummeted to the ground, momentarily stunned.
Geralt seized the opportunity and closed in, swinging his sword with unmatched precision. Each blow landed with lethal accuracy, but the alien fought back ferociously, slashing at Geralt with its sharp claws. Despite his agility, the Witcher couldn't escape unscathed.
As the battle raged on, Geralt's instincts kicked in. He evaded the alien's attacks, recognizing its pattern, and struck back with calculated strikes. Eventually, his relentless assault took its toll, and the alien faltered, weakened and bleeding acidic blood.
With one final powerful swing, Geralt severed the alien's head from its body, putting an end to the deadly creature's reign of terror. The colony could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
After ensuring the threat was neutralized, Geralt surveyed the aftermath of the battle. He took a moment to clean his sword, his thoughts lingering on the strange creature he had just defeated. As he prepared to leave the planet behind, Geralt couldn't help but wonder about the origins of this otherworldly predator and what other secrets the vast universe held.
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2023.06.03 10:02 tidderscot Science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning through the lens of Te whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa: Early childhood curriculum
Julia Holdom New Zealand Tertiary College
Practitioner Research： Vol 5, No 3 - May 2018
A personal reflection
Figure 1: Children at Little Einstein’s Educare in Cambridge lead the design, planning, and execution of the construction of a hut made out of tree branches after recent stormy weather.
When introduced to the acronym STEM (which stood for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning in early childhood education (ECE), I was immediately intrigued. Having been a kaiako (teacher) in rural New Zealand and growing up on a dairy farm, natural, hands-on, child-lead, and inquiry-based learning was my passion. It always sat well with me that Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa: Early Childhood Curriculum (Te Whāriki) (Ministry of Education [MoE], 2017) backed by decades of research and literature supports a play-based approach to learning in the early years in New Zealand. It did not come as a surprise to me then that STEM learning, a term for the learning areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a buzz phrase making its way around the international academic world, was something I recognised as intrinsically woven throughout early childhood curriculum and programs in Aotearoa/New Zealand. As a result, I presented on STEM learning in ECE with Fiona Woodgate, at the 2017 New Zealand Tertiary College symposium and have since been speaking with kaiako from different regions in New Zealand to get a broader idea of how STEM learning is integrated into their ECE programs.
Due to a rapidly evolving, complex and technologically advancing society, it is now well recognised that future societies are going to need to be equipped with a range of problem solving and creative thinking dispositions, rather than specific skill sets (Allen, 2016; Smith, 2016; Rodriguez, 2016; Wise Lindeman & McKendry Anderson, 2015). The young children of today need to be involved in real world, contextually relevant learning, in order to support their communities, preparing them for educational opportunities in the future, as well as a wide range of careers that may not currently exist (Allen, 2016; Draper & Wood, 2017). This realisation has resulted in a strong international focus on the concept of STEM learning in today’s varying education settings. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), whilst a relatively new term in the early childhood education sector in New Zealand, is not a new concept. Its focus is to support children in learning problem solving, creative thinking, investigation skills and design, through multi-content curricula (Sharapan, 2012; Boston Children’s Museum, n.d.; Gartrell, 2016).
This reflective article begins to explore the concept of STEM through the lens of Te Whāriki (MoE, 2017). The world renowned curriculum document is well known for its focus on dispositional, play-based learning, and the weaving of multiple curriculum content areas throughout daily and ongoing learning experiences. Te Whāriki (MoE, 2017) not only focuses on skill acquisition, but on dispositions and attitudes that support learning throughout a lifetime. This article presents an explanation of how teachers can support STEM concepts and experiences from ECE settings inAotearoa/New Zealand are shared to provoke thinking and reflection.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics – An introduction In ECE, recognising individual aspects of STEM learning can be relatively simple. Children are naturally curious, and begin to explore the world around them from infancy, developing their own working theories about how the world works through the people, places and things that they interact with (MoE, 2017). In this sense, they are natural born scientists, investigating, questioning, exploring, and experimenting. As they explore, they are often confronted with simple scientific and mathematical concepts, such as learning about gravity, force and motion, quantity, number, weight, space, and time through play (Boston Children’s Museum, n.d.; Sharapan, 2012; Hamlin & Wisneski, 2012; Bosse, Jacobs & Anderson, 2009).
Figure 2: Building a relationship with Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) is seen as an essential aspect of early childhood in Aotearoa/New Zealand, which can lead to increased environmentalism and sustainability in years to come. Children are encouraged to be involved in the care of the natural environment, and here, they are engaged with centre family members in exploring the garden, utilising and leaning valuable STEM concepts in the process.
Working theories are the evolving ideas and understandings that children develop as they use their existing knowledge to try to make sense of new experiences. Children are most likely to generate and refine working theories in learning environments where uncertainty is valued, inquiry is modelled, and making meaning is the goal” (MoE, 2017, p. 23).
Often within children’s play arises the opportunity to use varying tools to support their learning. Utilising tools with a purpose for design or problem solving can be understood as technology (Dietze & Kashin, 2012; Young & Elliot, 2003). Technology in ECE is often viewed by kaiako as digital technology, and the use of information communication technology (ICT) (Wise Lindeman & McKendry Anderson, 2015), however it is imperative to recognise that technology is anything that has been designed for and is used for a purpose, generally being to make a task easier, quicker, or more productive (Young & Elliot, 2003; Fleer & Jane, 2011). In my experience, engineering is perhaps the more challenging notion to identify as part of young children’s learning and development, in part due to some teachers’ lack of content knowledge in this area, but also the complexities of this concept for children in the early years. Much of the literature on STEM learning focuses on engineering for children from preschool age onwards (3+) without mentioning the infant and toddler years. Perhaps this is due to the perception of what design and engineering is for differing ages. Is a toddler not engineering when they are constructing with sand in the sandpit? Is an infant not designing when creating art with finger paints or food on different surfaces during experiences every day?
“The day-to-day programme and environment are organised in such a way that children can initiate purposeful, problem-solving activities and devise and solve problems to their own satisfaction using a variety of materials and equipment” (MoE, 2017, p. 49).
Science is a way of investigating, understanding, and explaining our natural, physical world and the wider universe. It involves generating and testing ideas, gathering evidence – including by making observations, carrying out investigations and modelling, and communicating and debating with others – in order to develop scientific knowledge, understanding, and explanations (MoE, 2007, p. 26).Technology is intervention by design: the use of practical and intellectual resources to develop products and systems (technological outcomes) that expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities. Adaptation and innovation are at the heart of technological practice. Quality outcomes result from thinking and practices that are informed, critical, and creative.... Technology is never static. It is influenced by and in turn impacts on the cultural, ethical, environmental, political, and economic conditions of the day (MoE, 2007, p. 26).Engineers design technology using a combination of science and math (Pantoya, Aguirre-Munoz & Hunt, 2015, p. 61). Engineering is solving problems, using a variety of materials, designing and creating, and building things that work (Boston Children’s Museum, 2013, p. 3).Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time. Statistics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in data. These two disciplines are related but different ways of thinking and of solving problems. Both equip students with effective means for investigating, interpreting, explaining, and making sense of the world in which they live (MoE, 2007, p. 26).
Whilst internationally, the concept of STEM focuses on inquiry and project-based learning, often planned for, facilitated and led by adults, I see this concept being represented in a range of educational settings, woven through a range of pedagogical approaches and philosophies of teaching in New Zealand. In line with the vision of Te Whāriki (MoE, 2017), STEM learning occurs naturally in children’s play, need not be teacher-led or project focused (Gartrell, 2016; Draper & Wood, 2017) and can effectively be supported in a socioculturally relevant context for individual learners and their learning communities (Hamlin & Wisneski, 2012; Moomaw & Davis, 2010; Neill, 2009).
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning is important for all children, individually, and within social groups of learners. The common theme within the four STEM concepts, is that they are all content areas that occur naturally through play. When children are natural learners, curious in nature, they do not require adults to give them answers to questions, and do not benefit greatly from this method of teaching (Allen, 2016; Sharapan, 2012). Instead, children develop life-long dispositions of inquiry, curiosity and independent thinking by having inquiry skills scaffolded or modelled to them. Often children embrace the opportunity to investigate for themselves, experimenting, exploring, making mistakes, and using trial and error. In this sense, STEM learning is a way of being, a way of playing and a way of learning (Boston Children’s Museum, n.d.). So where do kaiako fit into STEM learning?
Figure 3: Through their natural urges, infants and toddlers explore mathematic and scientific concepts through play with the support of their kaiako, as well as through environmental prompts, provocations and play invitations.
The science, technology, engineering and mathematics environment There are a number of areas worth considering when planning for and facilitating learning in diverse and unique education settings. One of the most obvious in play-based, child-led settings is the physical environment. Those familiar with the Reggio Emilio approach will have heard of the notion of the environment as the third teacher (Delany, 2011) and providing opportunities for child-led learning through the design of and resources available in the child’s physical learning environment. It is imperative that the environment supports STEM learning so that children may engage in STEM learning experiences both independently, as well as with peers and kaiako (Hamlin & Wisneski, 2012). Long gone are the days of including a science, mathematics or technology corner in your classroom or setting (Neill, 2009; Delany, 2011), instead the emphasis is on saturating the environment in resources that encourage authentic, real-world, familiar and culturally relevant ways of exploring. These resources do not need to be expensive and single purpose, and can easily be found in our natural environments. As New Zealand makes more of a move towards environmental sustainability, and eco-schools become more popular (Vincent-Snow, 2017; Enviroschools, n.d.), reusing and recycling materials becomes an exciting way to make the most of what we have available to us, and supports children’s creativity.
Figure 4: Uninterrupted play allows these tamariki time to work together to create, design, problem solve, and imagine. Here, children in the Tui room of Little Einstein’s Educare have created a structure to protect themselves from the ‘Lava’ beneath.
Another popular move in recent years appears to be the inclination to get out into nature to support real life, hands on learning. Emphasis has been made on preventing a generation of children with Nature Deficit Disorder, a term coined by Richard Louv (2005) in his book Last Child in the Woods. Kaiako and children are venturing out into whatever natural environments they have available to them, such as local parks, reserves or forests to make the most of natural learning that occurs when children are empowered to explore, question, and discover. science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning could not be more evident in these opportunities to explore and build a relationship with Papatūānuku.
Figure 5: Nature Days are becoming increasingly popular in ECE settings that can accommodate such expeditions. Children are empowered to use a variety of tools to explore, create and design, and developing working theories through the relationship they are building with the natural world around them.
Reflective Prompts Consider the ECE settings and environments you are familiar with.Does your environment invite exploration? Are there spaces, in which children can taste, touch, smell, listen and look?Are there gardens and natural spaces for children to independently explore nature science, earth science and opportunities for children to play with different matter to build working theories about the natural and physical world?Are there loose parts provided both inside and out for children to construct, build, design, create and begin to develop theories around science and mathematics through size, weight, height, gravity, momentum, trajectory and more?Do you have pen, paper, clipboards, scissors, cameras and other technological tools available to children in different areas that they can easily access and use to document, plan, take notes and draw about their learning and discoveries – inviting engagement in the concept of engineering?
“Children have opportunities to explore how things move and how they can be moved by, for example, blowing, throwing, pushing, pulling, rolling, swinging and sinking. Children have access to technology that enables them to explore movement, for example, wheels, pulleys, magnets and swings. Children have opportunities to develop spatial understandings by fitting things together and taking things apart, rearranging and reshaping objects and materials, seeing things from different spatial viewpoints and using a magnifying glass” (MoE, 2017, p. 49).
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics books Books are an essential resource for any STEM learning environment (Bosse, Jacobs & Anderson, 2009; Boston Children’s Museum, n.d.). Not only is it important for children to access reference books with correct images and names of items, something Fred Rogers found instrumental in supporting children’s language acquisition and development (Sharapan, 2012), but also fictional and non-fiction story books about people and characters whom are investigators, explorers, inventors, designers and problem solvers themselves (Pantoya, Aguirre-Munoz & Hunt, 2015). Children’s scientific and engineering identities are supported as they explore literature that introduces concepts, dispositions and attitudes children recognise within themselves, and they are able to develop deeper understanding of STEM concepts as they explore these in context through stories, characters and the arts (McLean, Jones & Schaper, 2015; Sackes, Trundle & Flevares, 2009).
In addition to this, Kathy Trundle’s work on inquiry-based learning emphasises the opportunities that arise through purposeful interactions between kaiako, children and books to scaffold children’s inquiry skills.
Fictional children’s books to support STEM learning and identity in the early years:Inventor McGregor by Kathleen T. PelleyThe Grandma McGarvey series by Jenny HessellOh the Things they Invented by Dr SeussRosie Revere, Engineer; and Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beatty and David RobertsAnything is Possible by Giulia Belloni
Risk taking Wise Lindeman and McKendry Anderson (2015) emphasise that children need real-world experience and real-world problems in order to have a chance at developing solutions to these. Pawlina and Stanford ( as cited in Wise Lindeman & McKendry Anderson, 2015) add that educators must view mistakes as opportunities to grow children’s brains. Here, teachers must consider both physical risk taking, as well as emotional and mental risk taking. In today’s society, maintaining the physical health and safety of the children in our care settings seems to have counterbalanced the human need to take risks in order to learn. Kaiako are finding themselves challenged beyond comfort when it comes to children’s safety, and the balance between safe and calculated risks, children learning from experience, and adults protecting children from physical injury is out of sync. However, research shows that children need these experiences to learn for themselves, and that without these risk-taking experiences, children will not be adequately prepared for challenges they will face in the future, both physically and mentally (Brynes-Swiatek, 2017; Curtis, 2010; Gramling, 2010; Warden, 2010). When it comes to emotional and mental risk taking, we must consider how we are supporting children to try new things, supporting them to push themselves out of their comfort zones, and risk making mistakes and being wrong, all whilst remaining confident that their holistic wellbeing needs are being met to maintain a safe learning environment.
Figure 6: When the tolerance for risk is zero, children don’t really risk loss of life or limb, but more often than not, they risk losing valuable experiences with the world they inhabit. (Gramling, 2010, p. 51).
Te Whāriki (MoE, 2017) supports this through its sociocultural approach to learning, outlining the need for children to learn in culturally and socially relevant contexts. In addition to this, aspects of dispositional learning such as perseverance, persisting with difficulty, and facing challenges or uncertainty (MoE, 2017), are outlined as important for life-long learning. Risk taking is highlighted as a desirable learning outcome throughout the Exploration strand of Te Whāriki (MoE, 2017), particularly for toddlers and young children. Risk taking, mistakes, failure, trial and error are all significantly important in STEM learning and developing perseverance, inquiry skills, attitudes towards exploration and creative thinking.
Reflective Questions Does your learning environment, both material and otherwise, provide opportunities for children to take risks physically, cognitively and emotionally?Are children encouraged and supported to experiment, to trial, to make mistakes, to fail or succeed, and to revisit their learning?Do your environments allow for independent and group creative thinking and problem solving?
Time Providing children with not only the space and resources needed for exploration and enquiry learning, but the time to discover at their own pace, and the opportunity to document or revisit their learning is crucial. Gifting children the time to figure things out for themselves, without interrupting their learning with a quick answer, supports an attitude and disposition towards creative thinking and problem solving. Dr. Emmi Pikler (as cited in Christie, 2012) emphasised the importance of slowing down one’s practice and interactions to deeply engage with the children during interactions. Toni Christie (2012) states that the practice of taking adequate time deepens teachers’ awareness and knowledge of each child. The same concept can be applied to children’s interactions with the world around them. Can giving children the time to explore, think and discover deepen their awareness and knowledge of the world around them, teaching them more about science, mathematics, engineering and technology in real-world, contextually relevant and authentic ways?
“The learning outcomes in each strand are broad statements that encompass valued knowledge, skills, attitudes and dispositions that children develop over time” (MoE, 2017, p. 22).
Figure 7: Hands on Science in action! Many New Zealand ECE settings are making a move to embrace children’s natural inclination to get messy during their exploratory play. Science occurs in many forms, why not through mud and water play?
In addition to giving children the time needed to learn, do teachers support children to stay on task and be focused on the interest they have taken, or do they interrupt this learning with routines? In Carr and Lee’s (2011) research on children’s learning wisdom, they highlight the importance of teachers adopting strategies to support children to revisit their learning. One strategy suggested is that “Teachers can document the changes in children’s understanding” (Fleer, 2008 as cited in Hamlin & Wisneski, 2012, p. 85). This allows children to deepen their engagement, and develop an openness to experiences and a capacity to reflect, in order to make sense of their learning.
Figure 8: Working together as a team to solve problems, think creatively and develop theories about how things work. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics all evident through child initiated play experiences.
Reflective Questions:Are children gifted the time needed to explore, design, create and learn in uninterrupted environments?Do the routines of the day disrupt this learning or do they support busy learners to continue their work?Are children given the tools and strategies required to support them to document and revisit their learning? Are kaiako skilled in the art of observation, knowing when to step in, and when to step back?Are kaiako gifted the time to support children’s learning in this way, or are they too busy with the organisational tasks of the day?Do teacher - child ratios support quality STEM interactions?
Purposeful, intentional teaching Once we have decided as kaiako whether we should step back to observe, or step in to add value to the child’s learning experience, the responses we provide must consist of high quality, purposeful, thoughtful interactions with children (MoE, 2017). In these moments, teachers need to be highly sensitive and aware of what the child needs from them – more often than not, it is not an answer they need, but stimulating investigation habits and behaviours being modelled to them (Sharapan, 2012). Kaiako must embrace opportunities to model moments of wonder, using questions that may prompt curiosity within children, and the opportunity to co-construct ideas and working theories in collaborative settings (Allen, 2016; Boston Children’s Museum, n.d.; Sharapan, 2012).
The key to these experiences is not to make the mistake of answering children’s questions with an answer, but to provide intentional, open-ended questions and comments that get the children thinking (Boston Children’s Museum, n.d.; Sharapan, 2012). Equally as important, is the need to model and introduce the use of varying tools to support their enquiry, so that they may seek their own answers independently in future.
Modelling STEM language is crucial to a child’s ability to learn STEM enquiry and thinking themselves. In addition to questions, modelling scientific, mathematical and investigative language is important to support children’s inclination to develop their own working theories. Supporting children by modelling language, describing using scientific, mathematical and technological words will give them the tools to use to do the same in future experiences. This will also normalise STEM concepts and learning for children (Sharapan, 2012).
It is important to support children’s scientific enquiry in new ways too – perhaps in ways they had not thought of themselves. This is where we are scaffolding their learning, in that they are learning new ideas and knowledge in a social situation from others. Part of STEM learning is how children understand investigative thinking and processes. Imperative to science, engineering and design are STEM process skills (Neill, 2009). The Ministry of Education supports this by adding that children should have opportunities to demonstrate “curiosity and the ability to enquire into, research, explore, generate and modify working theories about the natural, social, physical, spiritual and man-made worlds… [and the] ability to represent [these] discoveries using expressive media, including digital media” (2017, p. 47).
“Kaiako are the key resource in any ECE service. Their primary responsibility is to facilitate children’s learning and development through thoughtful and intentional pedagogy. This means they require a wide range of capabilities [including being] knowledgeable about play-based curriculum and pedagogy and able to conceptualise, plan and enact curriculum that is motivating, enjoyable and accessible for all children, [and] able to integrate domain knowledge (for example science and arts knowledge) into the curriculum” (MoE, 2017, p. 59).
Conclusion The rapidly changing world that we live in, is providing us with many new and exciting technologies that make our lives easier, more enjoyable, and enable quick access to new information at a rate never seen before. However, with these new and exciting changes, also come challenges for children’s natural, enquiry learning. More and more ECE centres, particularly in city environments are designing spaces with little-to-no large open natural spaces for children in the outdoors, and are resorting to man-made environments of turf, concrete and other year-round, all-weather materials to support indoooutdoor play. Does this mean that these children miss out on the opportunity to learn natural science? Or can nature be woven through the environment and program in other ways? Children are also more inclined to want to be engaged with digital media, as their parents and society are modelling the use of these in everyday interactions. Is this cause for concern in the ECE setting, or can children be empowered to use technology in constructive ways? Are kaiako equipped with the understanding of STEM learning and child development that they need to support life-long learning dispositions of enquiry, problem solving, risk taking and perseverance, or are current pedagogies failing tamariki (children)? As learning and information consumption grows exponentially to the highest it has even been, it is now more than ever that children need teachers to be the facilitators of learning, the models of curiosity, the inspiration to learn, explore, discover, think, design and to be leaders of the future. Dispositions, rather than skills, are what tamariki need to succeed in the future. A final question for reflection therefore asks are educators preparing tamariki adequately for life-long success?
Acknowledgement Special thanks to Jo, Jade and the entire learning community at Little Einstein’s Educare Ltd in Cambridge for giving permission to publish their inspirational photographs, and shared understanding of STEM learning in action. Special thanks also to Catherine at Hobsonville Point ELC, and Jen at Changepoint ELC, Tauranga for your wisdom and input on STEM learning in your ECE learning communities.
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