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Hey hey, r/Productivity! I'm back with my 45+ Productivity and Life Mega-List of tactics and tools. I previously posted 29, and 14 before that (2-3 years ago). Enjoy this and treat it like a little Productivity Database.

2020.09.30 04:24 safkan04 Hey hey, r/Productivity! I'm back with my 45+ Productivity and Life Mega-List of tactics and tools. I previously posted 29, and 14 before that (2-3 years ago). Enjoy this and treat it like a little Productivity Database.

Hey hey, productivity you beautiful bastards - enjoy this thread killer. I'm bloody proud of it.
So in March of 2018, I posted this thread, and then 9 months ago, I updated it in this thread. And look, I'm just gonna keep updating it because here's the situation, I keep learning and I think with the amount of value I get from this sub, everyone deserves to pick out old favorites, new finds, and whatever helps.
Sorry that this one isn't sorted, I'm in the process of sorting and categorizing - it's going to be in my premium content this week.
And I hope I'm not being a nuisance here but thought I'd mention that I've got an email list for people that are as serious as me about productivity and self-improvement.
I spend dozens of hours every week researching, writing, and re-writing this type of content and making sure everyone that supports me gets exactly the kind of content they deserve. It's my job at this point.
This database/list is a Reddit first, but I'm publishing a categorized version in this week's premium email, I'm also creating a searchable database that I'll be inviting subscribers to.
I hope you enjoy this, some might sound as basic as they come but let me tell you, they help immensely.
-------------------

1. Try sleeping at the same time every night.

This habit enables you to fall asleep faster and wake up at the same time, like clockwork, all subconsciously.
Your body clock and circadian rhythms control hormones such as melatonin. Sleeping at the same time every night is one of the queues for your body to start secreting melatonin - this is why you subconsciously get tired and start yawning at a particular time when you have a routine.
There’s much more to sleep and body clock queues here.

2. Do the most challenging thing first.

This could be at the start of your day, the beginning of a project, or your study session’s first hour. After completing this task, you’ll have not only done something meaningful with your day, but you’ll feel the momentum carry through to other todo items.

3. Replace recurring decisions with routines.

Every decision you make throughout the day comes with a tiny mental tax. When you add it all up, you start performing worse at the choices that matter. So eliminate picking an outfit, deciding on breakfast, or figuring out when to workout - replace them all with a routine.
The faster you commit to pre-selecting a schedule and sticking to it, the more mentally precise and swift you’ll be when you make decisions.

4. Keep airplane mode on for the first two hours of the day.

Make the morning yours, get acquainted with how you feel, and take control of your time before others try to compete for it.

5. Avoid starting and stopping to eliminate your overhead.

When you stop a task to answer an email, help someone, or check notifications, you disrupt or altogether avoid deep work. Instead, designate a time to deal with all the ‘admin’ stuff on your schedule, not someone else’s.

6. Check external solutions to your problem before inventing a new one.

There’s a high chance that the problems you have in your work, code, studies, gym routine, etc. have been repeated.
If you’re messing up an exercise, ask the staff or check out a tutorial. Before doing some crazy code gymnastics, check out some forums. Before drafting a reporting template, see if the company already has a standard.

7. Asking is sometimes all you need to do to create your own options, uncover solutions, and learn.

We always hear, “If you never ask, the answer is always no.” So ask for a little extra, ask for an alternative, an exception, the dumb question. If you don’t ask, you won’t know and won’t receive it. A lot of the time, asking has a massive upside with almost no downside.
We don’t ask most of the time because we don’t want to be a bother - but the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Another reason goes deep into cognitive biases; loss aversion, and mastering it will help in every aspect of life.

8. Write down your mistakes and lessons learned.

We almost always repeat our mistakes; it’s too hard to remember the lessons we thought we learned. Writing them down and revisiting them helps us etch them into our memory, but doing this haphazardly isn’t as effective as systematically.
A terrific strategy is to put together a rule book or set of principles that you can always refer back to when you’re in doubt. If you can do this, it’ll be worth your time.

9. Design your environment to serve you.

Cleaning your office, eliminating distractions, getting rid of bad influences, surrounding yourself with like-minded people; these are all environment choices. Designing your environment to push yourself in the direction you desire will have a disproportionately positive effect on your success.
The essential strategy here is to reduce friction within your surroundings, and sometimes it's not so obvious - ask yourself, “What’s something that gets in my way when I’m working?” and “Can I get rid of or manage it?”

10. Identify the credible people around you.

It’s hard to decipher constructive criticism from noise. If you create a list, even a mental one, of the people who matter in their feedback, you’ll have a much easier time trusting opinions without having doubts about the quality.

11. Be aware of your mental state when making decisions.

Something as trivial as being hungry can make your emotions play a much larger role ina logical decision. Reminding ourselves and being aware of our mental state can delay making decisions until we’re better equipped to handle it.

12. Making life easier for other people makes yours easier too.

Make your customers' life easier; be rewarded with repeat customers. Make your professor's life easier; be rewarded with higher marks. Make your manager’s life easier; get promoted.

13. The right type of meditation makes all the difference.

Mindfulness, spiritual, transcendental; all that matters is that it works for you.
Yours might be going for a run and exercising focus, or having a coffee in silence while being aware of your surroundings.
Any time you take for yourself and exercise doing practically nothing, noticing when a thought comes, acknowledging it, and moving on is meditation.

14. If it takes less than a few minutes to do, just do it.

We procrastinate on many small things until they combine to become an actual problem. So doing them in the moment is the perfect way to avoid the big one.
This rule doesn’t mean disrupting deep work; that’s a form of procrastination in itself. It means that when you aren’t, you can bundle a few tasks together and be done with it in less than 10–15 minutes.
Dishes out of the dishwasher, bed made, floor swept, call returned. It’s easy and will leave a clean mental state for future you.

15. Put schedules next to your to-do list items.

This will allow you to complete the tasks, and maybe not right away, but soon enough, you’ll start to realize how many items are appropriate. Say goodbye to the endless list that’s never complete.

16. Have an overarching goal for the day.

Each night, write a single goal for the next day. If you complete this, it was a successful day.

17. When reading self-help books, case studies, papers, and biographies have a pen and notepad with you.

Underlines, notes, important chapters, paragraphs you’ve read for the 5th time, and notes that are thicker than the sections they were written about — this is how you learn.
Taking this much time and care may be the same time it takes someone else to read three books, but I’m betting you’ll come out more knowledgeable. Quality > Quantity.

18. Actively listen to the person when you’re talking to them

Ego is something everyone wrestles with because we’re inherently the center of our universe. Listening is such an immense exercise in focus, learning, and empathy that your ego level almost drops to zero.
Too many people wait for their turn to talk instead of listening. You can avoid so much miscommunication by doing this, and you’ll be better for it. This also goes for reading emails and texts.

19. Spend time refining your diet.

The level of improvement in thinking, decision-making, fitness, and productivity has significant ties with what you put in your body. This isn’t some trivial point, either.
The classic example is sugar and caffeine’s effects on performance. Protein supplements and healthy fats, an appropriate amount of carbs, all of this preparation helps. It’s likely not a placebo when someone is raving about how great they feel after switching up their diet.

20. Thank people for their hard work and acknowledge their efforts.

This costs you nothing and gives you all the benefits you could hope for. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will enhance the collective productivity and morale in your social circles, groups, projects, teams, and companies.

21. Learn to delegate and automate.

Think about a task that you often do. Do you need to be doing it? Can you put in some investment of time or money to get rid of the job forever? Does that investment pay off?
Answering these questions will allow you to examine if it's viable to delegate or automate a routine.
Technical automation by using Zapier, Google Sheets, and other apps can be inexpensive or free. Delegating tasks by hiring the right people might win you back countless hours of your own time.
Identify. Assess. Execute.

22. Get the sleeping hours that work for you.

Don’t listen to the overworking ‘hustle’ crowd. You can get a full night's sleep and still be working hard and smart.
Your hours will yield a much higher return if you’re well-rested and switched on. So whether you need nine hours or six, do it without guilt, and plan around it for significant productivity.

23. Use the 3-second rule when you’re procrastinating.

Engage your fight or flight instinct by starting a task three seconds after realizing you’re procrastinating.
You count down from three, and once you get to zero, you just do the thing. There’s no question about it, no further dwelling, just action.
If you fail at this once, this rule will never work again. It’s a mental exercise and sounds trivial, nonsensical even, but it works.

24. Split up your regular week and blow off some steam.

It’s hard to keep the ‘go go go’ attitude sustainable, and if you’re in it for the long game, you need to have some time for play. But many people face extreme guilt when they take time off.
Don't see it as “not working,” look at it like a requirement for success and an essential ingredient for a content life, a part of the productivity cycle.
Take a Tuesday or Thursday night to do something fun, relaxing, or different. Learn to split up your week, so the days don’t melt into one.

25. Dress for the occasion.

Dressing to be productive or successful will put you in the mindset to do just that. It’s your uniform; it’s a signal to yourself that it’s time to work.
This is why we feel much more productive, dressed smartly than wearing what we’ve slept with and trying to get work done from the bed.

26. Split your work into chunks.

This helps with procrastination as well as organization. Massive projects and undertakings are often daunting and require more than willpower to tackle.
Splitting it up into chunks not only makes things more digestible, but it also gives you a sense of progress and momentum as you complete tasks.

27. Verbalize the problem.

If you’re struggling with a problem, talk it through with a friend, co-worker, or inanimate object. When you start explaining your situation, there’s a good chance that you’ll solve it.
Explaining something requires that you take out the jumbled thoughts in your head and string them together to make sense to a third party. Programmers call this Rubber Duck Debugging - explaining the issue to a rubber duck.

28. Bundle your social media distractions.

Similar to designating hours for tasks like emails. If you set a time in the day to consume Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you’ll be less distracted by every notification that comes in.

29. Make your communications clear and concise.

Especially for emails, dot points are a lifesaver and allow people to decipher what you’re saying quickly. Beating around the bush or being overly kind never helps.
Conveying urgency, being firm and clear will help someone solve your query faster than going back and forth until the email chain is 30 emails long.

30. The first and last two hours of your day are prime learning hours.

This is especially useful for committing things to memory like speeches and presentations. Reading, writing, re-writing, and verbalizing the content right before and right after REM sleep reduces learning friction.

31. Practice things in the worst possible scenarios first.

If you have an exam, a presentation, or a sales pitch, practice in non-ideal scenarios.
Make sure you’re tired and in an auditorium with a lot of distractions when practicing your presentation. Or you replicate the exam conditions as much as possible when doing a test exam, i.e. try not to do it in your PJs while listening to Lo-Fi Hip Hop.

32. Ask yourself whether it’s time to switch up a habit.

The more successful we become, the more habits we need to adjust. It takes a few years into mild success before you realize that you’re spending time doing certain things when it’d be more efficient to pay for the service.
What habits have you kept for a long time that may need adjusting? You could be eating healthier than the cup ramen college days, or you might not like going out as much. Assessing will help you find out.

33. Try one-word speed readers for faster reading.

Speed reading for quick information is underrated - this might not be the best thing for retention and detail, but certainly for faster information transfer. Many speed reading apps show one word at a time on the screen, allowing you to focus - you set the speed.
A quick Google search should get you the right apps and extensions.

34. Prepare and bundle your weekly tasks instead of doing them in the moment.

Typical examples are meal prep, bulk ironing clothes, and even setting up your bag for the next day. Doing this reduces friction and bandwidth throughout your week, day, or morning.

35. If you want to do continuous work, switch up the ‘type’ of work, and add variety.

This is easier for some than others. Visual and design work is different from analytical work. Sitting down and looking at a screen is different from cleaning or going to the gym, and yet it’s all productive - this is also called productive procrastination.

36. Figure out what timing increments work for you.

Some people prefer to use the Pomodoro Technique to work between 25 minutes and 1.5 hours at a time and take a short break. Others will opt to work continuously and achieve a flow state. Both options work, but they depend on your preference.

37. Color code your apps for quick access.

Color coding may or may not be worth the time. Some people prefer using the search function for quick access. Though by color-coding, you can seamlessly swipe through pages and find the app you need. We’re visual creatures, and logos are more memorable than names.

38. Use The No 7s Rule

When trying to decide whether to say yes to something, it’s a fantastic strategy not to allow yourself to give it a 7/10 - because if it’s not a “Hell Yes!” It should be a “No.”
You’re either going to give it a six or below (barely passable), or an eight and above (exciting).

39. Only have 3 things on your todo list.

Less is more, and that’s because you can focus a lot easier. You’ll have a purpose in your day when you have a simple story - I need to get X, Y, and Z done, and that’s a win.

40. Flip a coin

It’s the easiest way to make a decision and not for reasons you think.
If you’re stuck between two options, flip the coin and commit within three seconds. What will happen is that the urgency will engage your gut, and you’ll go for the opportunity you wanted anyway.

41. Optimize light exposure to sleep like a baby.

This means light exposure through sunlight during the day and artificial light in the evening. You want a lot of sunlight and minimal unnatural light - this natural cycle is how the human body evolved, and following it will make sure you sleep very well.
This cycle is built up of Circadian Rhythms to make up what we call the body clock. And among other things, natural body processes like the day/light cycle will regulate melatonin.

42. Prolonged endurance training is the surest way to clear your mind and gain a natural high.

Runners High is a real thing. When you do similar aerobic exercises like cycling and swimming, you’ll activate a flood of antidepressants and euphoriants that are naturally produced in your brain - this enables you to clear your head and will put you in a meditative state without needing to meditate.

43. The best productivity app is either a simple note app or a physical notepad.

Less is more when it comes to taking notes, and if you write them, date them, and organize them without all the bells and whistles, you’re going to have a much better time.

44. If you’re having a bad day, zoom out.

If you take your typical day and give it 100% regardless of whether luck’s on your side or not, understand that it will even out.
Yesterday may have been a high, today might be a low, and tomorrow might be somewhere in between - but if you’re consistent, there’ll be an upward trend when you zoom out to a year or decade.

45. Learn the difference between maximizers and satisficers.

There are natural maximizers and natural satisfiers. The maximizers will consider every possible option, do their research, and perfect a decision with all available information. The satisficers will pick the first option that satisfies what they’re looking for.
Maximizers will often feel overwhelmed or overthink fundamental decisions, while satisfiers can get through them quickly.
But satisficers can sometimes make poor decisions on things they could have avoided if they did the research.
There’s a happy medium of knowing when to maximize and when to satisfy. Investment fund? Maximize. Takeout? Satisfy.
This is only really learned by trial and error, but ask yourself the question when you’re mulling over your next decision: Am I maximizing when I should be satisfying? Or vice versa.
I realllllly hope you got some value out of that, and again if you're looking for more you can get more here.
submitted by safkan04 to productivity [link] [comments]


2020.09.30 01:40 ArtKeyUniverse [Artisan] Artkey x Grand Prix: Sirius

The fat*** hipo had finished his race.
Now it's a turn for the hottest one. [GRAND PRIX SIRIUS]
Unlike others, Sirius is well known for its fascinating speed, 30 minutes per lap.
Exclusively, he only races in the morning at 9:00 ICT.
Yes, he is being complained a lot by EU fans for racing at that time, but they still love him until now.
/////////////
Press: "Any word for your fans?"
Sirius: "I eat Losers for breakfast!!"
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Raffle Info:
● Grand Prix Sirius / Form
Quantity: 10 each Raffle will live at: Sep 30, 9:00 AM ICT / 02:00 AM GMT/ 10:00 PM EDT. Raffle Form will stay in 30 minutes. 
Price: 100$ / ea
● Invoices out in 1 hour after raffle ends.
● MX Stem.
● 100% resin casting.
● Expected shipping date: Oct 14.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Raffle rules:
● 1 Person/ 1 IP/ 1 Account/ 1 Entry.
● Invoices will be sent shortly after raffle is ended. We will leave notification when all invoices out.
● If you win, you will get an invoice. If not? Grats, an extra L to your scoreboard!
● You have 8 hours to pay. After that, all unpaid invoices will be canceled and re-rolled. In case of need, pm us for a flexible window to pay.
● Any breach of entry rule will lead be permanently banned. If you win and decide to put your winnings for sale immediately, this will be your last Artkey sale. Please strictly follow our rules.
● You can track the time in the form above.
● You can combine orders together to reduce the shipping cost.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Follow our works at:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artkey.universe/
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Discord: https://discord.gg/DwAzEpt
submitted by ArtKeyUniverse to mechmarket [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 22:54 Sinlessssoul The Most Deranged and Disturbing Character That I Have Ever Played Part 2

Hello again dear friends. I am glad to see that you have returned for another glorious retelling of my legendary exploits. Much has happened since we last spoke, but I promise to do my best to bring you all up to speed. To make a long story short, ever since my encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, my party and I have continued to work for the Pathfinder Society, doing odd jobs here and there in order to increase our notoriety and fill our pockets with gold. Yet despite our success, my relationship with my comrades still has not improved, and I even learned that they had tried to get me transferred to another adventuring group on more than one occasion. It turns out though, no one else was willing to work alongside me, which I found to be both disheartening and amusing all at the same time.
I suppose on one hand, I should not have been surprised. After all, as a worshiper of Zon-Kuthon, I am accustomed to being viewed as a pariah among most civilized societies, and the fact that I am a suli (or half-genie, as some might put it) also helps to add to my status as an outsider. When I was a child, I used to resent being ostracized by my peers, but now that I have matured, I am actually rather grateful for my harsh and violent upbringing. The fact that I have survived and accomplished so much is a testament to my enduring tenacity, and I am grateful that the Midnight Lord has chosen to bestow so many of his blessings upon me. Even now, I can still feel the eyes of the ‘Dark Master’ (or as I sometimes call him, the ‘DM’) gazing down upon me with a curious expression, waiting in anticipation to see what I might do next.
Thankfully, he would not need to wait long.
After receiving news that my party and I had earned a little downtime away from our immediate duties, we decided to spend a few days in the city sampling the local fare and mingling among the populace. Our tiefling warpriest and aasimar druid immediately expressed interest in visiting the grand library in order to do some research into the history of the surrounding region, no doubt looking for rumors regarding old abandoned dungeons that were likely filled with loot. It was a noble pursuit I suppose, but I honestly had no intention of spending my free time occupied with books. Fortunately, our half-elf magus had a much more carefree personality, for he decided to spend his downtime by gambling at one of the high-end taverns near the center of the city’s market district. Not wanting to abandon my comrade to an evening of loneliness, I decided to accompany him to this lovely little tavern and see what other festivities I might be able to enjoy.
Upon entering the establishment, the half-elf wasted no time in heading over to the gambling tables, and judging by his demeanor, I could tell that he wasn’t thrilled with my decision to join him at the tavern. Being a forgiving soul, I brushed this off without a second thought, and instead focused my attention on the patrons in the bar. It was a full house tonight, with dozens of merchants, travelers, and city-folk occupying the tables, along with a rather beautiful barmaid working behind the counter. She was a fetching human woman with long raven-black hair and a curvy physique, whose smile seemed to light up the whole entire room. After careful consideration, I decided that she would be the perfect person to occupy my interests, and I quickly wasted no time in going over to greet her.
Intrigued by my decision, I could feel the ‘Dark Master’ (or rather, the DM) set his gaze upon me, and I knew that it was time again to cast my dice upon the winds of fate. Now, under normal circumstances, a ‘brawler’ such as myself would not have much luck at wooing a lovely maiden with charm alone, but fortunately in my case, a charismatic suli with a talent for diplomacy can be a ‘very’ persuasive thing. When the results were finally tallied, I could sense that my voice was now surging with confidence, and I soon had the beautiful barmaid focusing her attention on me and me alone.
After ordering a few drinks and engaging in a bit of banter, I ended up spending the rest of the evening with the raven-haired beauty, and when she finally got off work, we decided to continue our flirtatious behavior in the privacy of her bedroom (which also happened to be located in that very same tavern as well). Ah, it was a glorious night, and the young woman truly proved to be very enjoyable company. Our dalliance continued well into the next morning, and we spent much of that time laughing together while having some food delivered to our bedroom. By mid-afternoon, with her face still smiling brightly in obvious satisfaction, I decided to do something ‘special’ for my newly found companion.
“I have it on good authority that a lovely orchestra is scheduled to perform later on this evening,” I explained in a seductive voice. “Initially I had planned to attend the event alone, but if you have the time, I would be greatly honored if you would choose to accompany me.”
Much to my surprise, the beautiful barmaid excitedly agreed to my request, and after explaining that I needed to make a few last-minute arrangements, I left the room with the promise to return in roughly five hours. From there, I consulted with the ‘Dark Master’ about what I intended to do, and after spending a bit of coin and making the proper preparations, I was confident that this ‘date night’ would go off without a hitch. When I returned to the tavern later that evening, the barmaid came out to greet me in a gorgeous blue dress, and after complimenting on her breathtaking appearance, I offered her my arm and we made our way into the streets.
During our walk to the venue, we casually engaged in some idle chatter to help pass the time, yet as we neared our destination, I could tell that my lovely companion was becoming somewhat confused. Apparently the barmaid was well-acquainted with the city, for she informed me that the theater district was on the other side of town, and we were clearly heading in the wrong direction. Not wanting to spoil the surprise, I told her that this particular orchestra was being held at a special location, and after rolling on the winds of fate to test my diplomacy, the result proved good enough to help ease her initial fears. With a trusting smile, she continued to walk beside me.
After a few more minutes, I guided the barmaid down a nearby alleyway until we eventually spotted a thick iron door attached to a massive stone building. Realizing that we had arrived, I calmly pulled out a key from my pocket and unlocked the latch on the door, before motioning for my companion to step inside. From there, the two of us made are way down a small stone staircase until it eventually opened up into a dark expansive hallway. Unable to contain my excitement, I glanced down at the barmaid with a reassuring smile before stating that our destination was now very….very close.
With a confident stride in my step, the two of us made are way through the torch-lit corridors until finally coming across another sturdy iron door. One quick turn of the key later, and the door opened to reveal a brightly lit chamber with two curious figures waiting for us inside. After stepping into the room, the barmaid could now see that one of the figures was a man dressed in rags who had been strapped to a wooden chair near the center of the room, while another man stood next to him wearing a city-guard uniform with a simple brown bag covering his face. There was also a large wooden table along the western wall of the room that was filled with a lovely array of impressive ‘instruments’ that were designed to help tonight’s ‘orchestra’ reach all the proper notes and tunes for the impending performance.
“In case you are wondering, that man in the chair is scheduled to be executed in the next few days,” I explained in a gentle voice. “He is a convicted serial killer who has butchered multiple women without a shred of remorse, and I simply could not allow him to meet his end without at least giving him one last night to be purified with pain. As for the guardsman, I can assure you that he is an excellent ‘maestro’, and he has promised that tonight’s performance will be a memorable one indeed.”
After giving a silent nod to the guard, the man calmly reached over and took hold of the prisoner’s hand…before promptly twisting his finger at an odd and brutal angle. The sick ‘cracking sound’ of the prisoner’s finger being broken was instantly drowned out by his loud and sudden scream, as the man in the chair howled out in agony while his muscles tensed up in obvious shock. His scream also served to shake the barmaid out of her stupor, for up until this point, she had been standing in a silent trance while watching the scene unfold, as her mind desperately struggled to process what was happening. However, as soon as the man cried out in pain, her eyes immediately widened in shock and she let out a terrified scream of her own.
“Oh, please do not be afraid,” I said in a reassuring tone. “The ‘maestro’ is merely warming up the ‘orchestra’. I promise that no one will harm you…unless you want them to of course.”
Despite my heartfelt explanation, the barmaid instantly pulled herself away from me and proceeded to run out of the room as fast as her legs would carry her. As I listened to her footfalls fade into the distance, I knew right then and there that our blooming relationship was now well and truly over, and that nothing I could do would ever be able to fix it. It was…disappointing to say the least, but like any good Kuthite, I would not allow this miserable setback to ruin the rest of my night.
“Please, continue my good maestro,” I instructed to the guard. “My heart is now broken, and I need a tragic tune to help mend it back together.”
For the next thirty minutes I listened with glee as the guardsman guided his ‘orchestra’ with masterful precision, snapping bones and tearing tendons with an expert amount of care, while the room literally hummed with the screams of the damned. It wasn’t until the prisoner’s fingers, toes, and ankles were broken that the man finally passed out after the guardsman eagerly took a hammer and shattered his left knee. It had been a glorious performance, and after giving my applause and returning the prison key to the guard, I promptly left the building and headed back out into the streets. The next stop I made was at a well-respected eatery, where I happily enjoyed a candlelit dinner along with an expensive bottle of wine. I will admit that it was…difficult to stare across the table at the empty seat that I had previously reserved for the barmaid, but thankfully the food, wine, and performance from the ‘orchestra’ had all helped to put me in a much better mood.
When it came time to turn in the for the night, I realized that going back to the tavern probably wasn’t in very good taste, so I decided to return to my room at the Pathfinder lodge and finish my wonderful evening with a nice relaxing nap. However, when I awoke the next morning and met up with my comrades, I could tell that they were clearly upset with something that I had done. To my surprise, word had spread quickly about my ‘date night’ with the barmaid, and apparently many of the city-folk were not very happy with how it turned out. My party then proceeded to inform me that we were now banned from that particular tavern, and that rumors about me being a Kuthite were beginning to spread like wildfire.
“Ah, it’s good to be famous,” I said in obvious joy, yet when I noticed the hateful glares that were being thrown in my direction, I figured it might be best to explain a bit further. “Well, there really is no sense in trying to deny it. I am a Kuthite after all, and I honestly don’t see a problem if everyone knows the truth.”
Apparently that wasn’t the response my party was looking for, and after spending nearly ten minutes being chastised for my behavior (which was absolutely glorious), they finally settled down and informed me of our next mission. During their downtime, our warpriest and druid had stumbled across some sort of grand city-wide conspiracy involving a local crime lord, and they wanted to enlist the help of the party in order to investigate it. I also learned that our warpriest had some sort of personal vendetta against this particular crime lord, which is why she wanted to deal with the problem personally rather than alerting the local authorities. Not seeing an issue with this, and wanting the chance to hurt something anyway, I readily agreed to her heartfelt request.
After doing a bit of research, the party was able to discover that a large warehouse on the outskirts of the market district was acting as a front for the crime lord’s base of operations. It was well-guarded at all entrances, and not wanting to cause a scene, my comrades quickly decided to try and enter the warehouse from below using the city’s sewer systems. At first, I strenuously objected to this ridiculous approach, for I didn’t see any point in wading through filth when we could just go up to the front door and smash our way inside. However, after the party pointed out how miserable it would be to traverse the foul tunnels of the city’s sewer systems, I retracted my previous statement almost immediately.
After all, what sort of Kuthite shied away from adversity?
With our strategy now in place, we purchased a few extra potions and headed into the sewers. As you can imagine though, our journey under the city proved to be very unpleasant, and we soon had to contend with several monstrous aberrations known as otyughs, who were perhaps the most wretched and foul-smelling creatures that I have ever encountered. Thankfully they proved to be no match for the party, and after making short work of the filthy abominations, we finally managed to navigate our way into the lower floors of the warehouse. From there, we drank some potions of invisibility and proceeded along cautiously, and after engaging in a few minor skirmishes with a couple of the warehouse guards, we eventually confronted the crime lord in a large storage room on the first floor of the building.
To our surprise, the crime lord turned out to be a middle-aged human wizard who was clearly not too pleased by our unexpected intrusion, and judging by the collection of roguish bodyguards that surrounded him, I could tell that a great battle would be ensuing very shortly. Therefore, while my comrades attempted to converse with the man, I calmly reached into my backpack and pulled out a small bucket before carefully placing it down upon the cold stone floor. Initially I had intended to ‘negotiate’ on my party’s behalf, but after the unpleasant encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, I figured it was only fair to give them a chance to do it as well. Besides, I was barely even paying attention to the conversation anyway, yet as I heard the wizard’s voice starting to grow in volume, I absently removed the lid from the bucket and slowly dipped my hands down into the canister.
As soon as I did this, I could vaguely hear the wizard screaming something about ‘not allowing some upstart heroes to foil his brilliant plans’, and I immediately found myself chuckling in amusement.
“Allow me to correct you, my friend,” I stated in a charming voice, which instantly halted the conversation and caused everyone in the room to turn their eyes upon me.
With deliberate care, I gently raised my head and looked directly at the wizard, before slowly removing my hands from the simple wooden bucket. As I lifted my arms out in front of me, everyone could now see that my fists were completely coated in grease and broken glass, and as I held the wizard’s gaze, the next words I spoke were said with an almost fanatical excitement.
“I am not a hero! I am a sculptor in need of clay!”
In that moment, I quickly called upon the winds of fate to make an intimidation check, and after rolling the dice and tallying the results, I was pleased to see that the wizard’s face had immediately drained of color. Then, with a ragged cry, the crime lord finally shouted the words I that desperately wanted to hear: ‘Kill them. Kill them all!’
And with that simple statement, the battle had finally begun.
As it turns out though, the wizard quickly proved to be no slouch in combat, for he ended up attacking first before anyone could react. With a wave of his hand, the crime lord called upon his magic and unleashed a powerful fear spell directly into the party. In an instant, my mind was suddenly filled with a torrent of horrible images, yet after fortifying my willpower with a successful roll of fate, I managed to calm my breathing and shrug off the spell’s effects. Unfortunately, the druid’s grizzly bear and our half-elf were not so lucky, for they immediately screamed in panic and started running away in terror.
No matter. We didn’t need them anyway.
The bodyguards were up next, and with two of them moving to flank our druid, the last one wasted no time in squaring off against our warpriest. Apparently none of them were keen on facing down the man with shards of broken glass covering his arms, but I suppose I really couldn’t fault them for that. Besides, this meant that the wizard was mine for the taking, and when I finally got the chance to react, I immediately charged forward and launched myself at the mage. Just as I suspected, the crime lord hadn’t had time to cast his defensive magic yet, and after rolling upon the winds of fate, my fist easily collided with the spellcaster’s jaw. A bright burst of blood instantly erupted from the impact, as the wizard howled in pain and clutched his ruined face.
However, despite the incredible damage he suffered, I had purposely attacked him with a non-lethal strike, for I wanted more than anything to capture him alive. Thankfully the crime lord had no intention of making this easy, and as he took a step back and raised up his hand, a magical bolt of lightning suddenly erupted from his palm. Before I could even react, the lightning bolt slammed into me with an impressive amount of force, and the wizard even managed to angle it just right so that our druid and his two bodyguards were caught in the blast as well. After rolling on the winds of fate, the druid and I were unable to reduce the damage of the attack, but it appeared that the mage’s bodyguards had not been harmed at all. Apparently having ‘evasion’ can be a very handy thing.
When it came time for me to act again, I knew that I needed to end the fight quickly before this pesky little spellcaster could cause any more harm. And so, after taking a step closer and measuring my strike, I called upon one of my brawler techniques and prepared to hit the man with a ‘knockout blow’. With the ‘Dark Master’ watching closely, I cast my dice upon the winds of fate and delivered a brutal uppercut to the crime lord’s exposed chin, and although he tried to resist the attack, the fortitude of wizard was never very strong. A split second later, I watched with a satisfied smile as the mage’s eyes glazed over and he collapsed to ground, unconscious but still alive and bleeding rather badly. I then spent the rest of my turn attacking the helpless wizard with a few more non-lethal strikes, just to make sure that he stayed down for good.
Not long after that, the rest of the crime lord’s bodyguards were swiftly disposed of, and as we took a moment to heal our wounds and gather around the wizard, I politely asked my party if they would be willing to entrust the spellcaster to my care. To my surprise, our warpriest actually agreed to my request, stating that the man deserved to suffer for everything that he had done, and that she honestly didn’t give a damn about what happened to him now. And so, with a gentle smile, I calmly retrieved a healing potion and poured it down the wizard’s throat, not enough to heal him completely of course, but just enough to wake him up in a severely weakened state. From there, I knelt down and cradled his face gently in my glass-covered hands, and when the ruthless crime lord finally managed to open up his eyes, the first thing he would see would be the image of my face staring back at him with a smile. And little did he know, that would be the last thing he would ever see again.
“Do not be afraid my friend,” I whispered in a gentle voice. “I promise that this pain is for your own good.”
As soon as those words escaped my lips, I called upon the elemental energy in my blood, causing a supernatural burst of fire to envelop both of my hands…the hands that were currently cradling the spellcaster’s ruined face. Oh how the wizard screamed out in agony as the fire seared his flesh and burned away his skin, while the smell of cooked meat began to fill my senses.
“Pray to him!” I yelled at the mage, as my voice somehow managed to rise above his screams. “Give thanks to the Midnight Lord and beg for his mercy, and if the great Zon-Kuthon finds you worthy of his notice, then he will surely give you the strength to endure this horrible pain! Embrace Zon-Kuthon with every fiber of your being, and allow His cruel touch to humble your wicked soul!”
At this point, my party members were now looking at me in utter disbelief, for they clearly hadn’t expected me to take things this far. However, before they could even react, I called upon the winds of fate to make a diplomacy check, and as the ‘Dark Master’ watched closely and tallied up the numbers, my hard work was finally rewarded with a marvelous result. Through his ragged screams and wails of pain, the wizard began crying out for the Midnight Lord’s mercy. He begged and pleaded for any form of relief, and after feeling the ‘Dark Master’ give his consent, I allowed the flames on my hands to slowly fade away.
When I pulled my palms away from his face, the party could now see that the crime lord’s eyes had been utterly seared away, leaving him completely blind yet oddly relieved. Unable to stand the scene any longer, our wapriest abruptly drew her sword and pointed it in my direction, declaring that I was a monster and that she should never have allowed me to torture this man in the first place…even if he did deserve it. In response, I gently looked back at her with a strangely peaceful smile, before carefully explaining my actions in a calm and rational voice.
“You misunderstand. I did not do this to punish this man, but rather to give him the chance to repent for his misdeeds. After all, killing him would have gained us nothing, but now he has the opportunity to redeem himself by informing us of all the other criminals that he has conspired with. We have saved his soul, and with his help, we will surely bring many others to justice as well, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a win in my book.”
Before our warpriest could argue further, the wizard slowly reached up with trembling hands and began to mutter ‘thank you’ in a raspy broken voice, declaring that he would happily aid us with anything we desired. My party members merely sneered at this before demanding that I take the man to the local authorities, and after nodding my agreement, they finally let the matter drop and proceeded to loot the bodies. When we finally exited the warehouse, I couldn’t help but feel that we had achieved a major victory, and as I carried the weeping crime lord carefully in my arms, I knew that even greater challenges were in store for me in the future.
Sadly though, I fear that we must pause for the time being, for the hour grows late, and I am sure that many of you are weary of my ramblings. However, if you would like to hear more, then please feel free to come back again, and perhaps I will tell you the exciting conclusion to my epic little story. In the meantime, I wish you all good fortune and a very blessed day, and I hope that the Midnight Lord grants you the wisdom to overcome your misery and grow stronger through your pain.
With Deepest Regards: Xaldin.
[If you'd like to enjoy the 'narrated version' of this story, please feel free to check out the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcw8_MYNvU&t=1s&ab_channel=AllThingsDnD ]
submitted by Sinlessssoul to gametales [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 22:53 Sinlessssoul The Most Deranged and Disturbing Character That I Have Ever Played Part 2

Hello again dear friends. I am glad to see that you have returned for another glorious retelling of my legendary exploits. Much has happened since we last spoke, but I promise to do my best to bring you all up to speed. To make a long story short, ever since my encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, my party and I have continued to work for the Pathfinder Society, doing odd jobs here and there in order to increase our notoriety and fill our pockets with gold. Yet despite our success, my relationship with my comrades still has not improved, and I even learned that they had tried to get me transferred to another adventuring group on more than one occasion. It turns out though, no one else was willing to work alongside me, which I found to be both disheartening and amusing all at the same time.
I suppose on one hand, I should not have been surprised. After all, as a worshiper of Zon-Kuthon, I am accustomed to being viewed as a pariah among most civilized societies, and the fact that I am a suli (or half-genie, as some might put it) also helps to add to my status as an outsider. When I was a child, I used to resent being ostracized by my peers, but now that I have matured, I am actually rather grateful for my harsh and violent upbringing. The fact that I have survived and accomplished so much is a testament to my enduring tenacity, and I am grateful that the Midnight Lord has chosen to bestow so many of his blessings upon me. Even now, I can still feel the eyes of the ‘Dark Master’ (or as I sometimes call him, the ‘DM’) gazing down upon me with a curious expression, waiting in anticipation to see what I might do next.
Thankfully, he would not need to wait long.
After receiving news that my party and I had earned a little downtime away from our immediate duties, we decided to spend a few days in the city sampling the local fare and mingling among the populace. Our tiefling warpriest and aasimar druid immediately expressed interest in visiting the grand library in order to do some research into the history of the surrounding region, no doubt looking for rumors regarding old abandoned dungeons that were likely filled with loot. It was a noble pursuit I suppose, but I honestly had no intention of spending my free time occupied with books. Fortunately, our half-elf magus had a much more carefree personality, for he decided to spend his downtime by gambling at one of the high-end taverns near the center of the city’s market district. Not wanting to abandon my comrade to an evening of loneliness, I decided to accompany him to this lovely little tavern and see what other festivities I might be able to enjoy.
Upon entering the establishment, the half-elf wasted no time in heading over to the gambling tables, and judging by his demeanor, I could tell that he wasn’t thrilled with my decision to join him at the tavern. Being a forgiving soul, I brushed this off without a second thought, and instead focused my attention on the patrons in the bar. It was a full house tonight, with dozens of merchants, travelers, and city-folk occupying the tables, along with a rather beautiful barmaid working behind the counter. She was a fetching human woman with long raven-black hair and a curvy physique, whose smile seemed to light up the whole entire room. After careful consideration, I decided that she would be the perfect person to occupy my interests, and I quickly wasted no time in going over to greet her.
Intrigued by my decision, I could feel the ‘Dark Master’ (or rather, the DM) set his gaze upon me, and I knew that it was time again to cast my dice upon the winds of fate. Now, under normal circumstances, a ‘brawler’ such as myself would not have much luck at wooing a lovely maiden with charm alone, but fortunately in my case, a charismatic suli with a talent for diplomacy can be a ‘very’ persuasive thing. When the results were finally tallied, I could sense that my voice was now surging with confidence, and I soon had the beautiful barmaid focusing her attention on me and me alone.
After ordering a few drinks and engaging in a bit of banter, I ended up spending the rest of the evening with the raven-haired beauty, and when she finally got off work, we decided to continue our flirtatious behavior in the privacy of her bedroom (which also happened to be located in that very same tavern as well). Ah, it was a glorious night, and the young woman truly proved to be very enjoyable company. Our dalliance continued well into the next morning, and we spent much of that time laughing together while having some food delivered to our bedroom. By mid-afternoon, with her face still smiling brightly in obvious satisfaction, I decided to do something ‘special’ for my newly found companion.
“I have it on good authority that a lovely orchestra is scheduled to perform later on this evening,” I explained in a seductive voice. “Initially I had planned to attend the event alone, but if you have the time, I would be greatly honored if you would choose to accompany me.”
Much to my surprise, the beautiful barmaid excitedly agreed to my request, and after explaining that I needed to make a few last-minute arrangements, I left the room with the promise to return in roughly five hours. From there, I consulted with the ‘Dark Master’ about what I intended to do, and after spending a bit of coin and making the proper preparations, I was confident that this ‘date night’ would go off without a hitch. When I returned to the tavern later that evening, the barmaid came out to greet me in a gorgeous blue dress, and after complimenting on her breathtaking appearance, I offered her my arm and we made our way into the streets.
During our walk to the venue, we casually engaged in some idle chatter to help pass the time, yet as we neared our destination, I could tell that my lovely companion was becoming somewhat confused. Apparently the barmaid was well-acquainted with the city, for she informed me that the theater district was on the other side of town, and we were clearly heading in the wrong direction. Not wanting to spoil the surprise, I told her that this particular orchestra was being held at a special location, and after rolling on the winds of fate to test my diplomacy, the result proved good enough to help ease her initial fears. With a trusting smile, she continued to walk beside me.
After a few more minutes, I guided the barmaid down a nearby alleyway until we eventually spotted a thick iron door attached to a massive stone building. Realizing that we had arrived, I calmly pulled out a key from my pocket and unlocked the latch on the door, before motioning for my companion to step inside. From there, the two of us made are way down a small stone staircase until it eventually opened up into a dark expansive hallway. Unable to contain my excitement, I glanced down at the barmaid with a reassuring smile before stating that our destination was now very….very close.
With a confident stride in my step, the two of us made are way through the torch-lit corridors until finally coming across another sturdy iron door. One quick turn of the key later, and the door opened to reveal a brightly lit chamber with two curious figures waiting for us inside. After stepping into the room, the barmaid could now see that one of the figures was a man dressed in rags who had been strapped to a wooden chair near the center of the room, while another man stood next to him wearing a city-guard uniform with a simple brown bag covering his face. There was also a large wooden table along the western wall of the room that was filled with a lovely array of impressive ‘instruments’ that were designed to help tonight’s ‘orchestra’ reach all the proper notes and tunes for the impending performance.
“In case you are wondering, that man in the chair is scheduled to be executed in the next few days,” I explained in a gentle voice. “He is a convicted serial killer who has butchered multiple women without a shred of remorse, and I simply could not allow him to meet his end without at least giving him one last night to be purified with pain. As for the guardsman, I can assure you that he is an excellent ‘maestro’, and he has promised that tonight’s performance will be a memorable one indeed.”
After giving a silent nod to the guard, the man calmly reached over and took hold of the prisoner’s hand…before promptly twisting his finger at an odd and brutal angle. The sick ‘cracking sound’ of the prisoner’s finger being broken was instantly drowned out by his loud and sudden scream, as the man in the chair howled out in agony while his muscles tensed up in obvious shock. His scream also served to shake the barmaid out of her stupor, for up until this point, she had been standing in a silent trance while watching the scene unfold, as her mind desperately struggled to process what was happening. However, as soon as the man cried out in pain, her eyes immediately widened in shock and she let out a terrified scream of her own.
“Oh, please do not be afraid,” I said in a reassuring tone. “The ‘maestro’ is merely warming up the ‘orchestra’. I promise that no one will harm you…unless you want them to of course.”
Despite my heartfelt explanation, the barmaid instantly pulled herself away from me and proceeded to run out of the room as fast as her legs would carry her. As I listened to her footfalls fade into the distance, I knew right then and there that our blooming relationship was now well and truly over, and that nothing I could do would ever be able to fix it. It was…disappointing to say the least, but like any good Kuthite, I would not allow this miserable setback to ruin the rest of my night.
“Please, continue my good maestro,” I instructed to the guard. “My heart is now broken, and I need a tragic tune to help mend it back together.”
For the next thirty minutes I listened with glee as the guardsman guided his ‘orchestra’ with masterful precision, snapping bones and tearing tendons with an expert amount of care, while the room literally hummed with the screams of the damned. It wasn’t until the prisoner’s fingers, toes, and ankles were broken that the man finally passed out after the guardsman eagerly took a hammer and shattered his left knee. It had been a glorious performance, and after giving my applause and returning the prison key to the guard, I promptly left the building and headed back out into the streets. The next stop I made was at a well-respected eatery, where I happily enjoyed a candlelit dinner along with an expensive bottle of wine. I will admit that it was…difficult to stare across the table at the empty seat that I had previously reserved for the barmaid, but thankfully the food, wine, and performance from the ‘orchestra’ had all helped to put me in a much better mood.
When it came time to turn in the for the night, I realized that going back to the tavern probably wasn’t in very good taste, so I decided to return to my room at the Pathfinder lodge and finish my wonderful evening with a nice relaxing nap. However, when I awoke the next morning and met up with my comrades, I could tell that they were clearly upset with something that I had done. To my surprise, word had spread quickly about my ‘date night’ with the barmaid, and apparently many of the city-folk were not very happy with how it turned out. My party then proceeded to inform me that we were now banned from that particular tavern, and that rumors about me being a Kuthite were beginning to spread like wildfire.
“Ah, it’s good to be famous,” I said in obvious joy, yet when I noticed the hateful glares that were being thrown in my direction, I figured it might be best to explain a bit further. “Well, there really is no sense in trying to deny it. I am a Kuthite after all, and I honestly don’t see a problem if everyone knows the truth.”
Apparently that wasn’t the response my party was looking for, and after spending nearly ten minutes being chastised for my behavior (which was absolutely glorious), they finally settled down and informed me of our next mission. During their downtime, our warpriest and druid had stumbled across some sort of grand city-wide conspiracy involving a local crime lord, and they wanted to enlist the help of the party in order to investigate it. I also learned that our warpriest had some sort of personal vendetta against this particular crime lord, which is why she wanted to deal with the problem personally rather than alerting the local authorities. Not seeing an issue with this, and wanting the chance to hurt something anyway, I readily agreed to her heartfelt request.
After doing a bit of research, the party was able to discover that a large warehouse on the outskirts of the market district was acting as a front for the crime lord’s base of operations. It was well-guarded at all entrances, and not wanting to cause a scene, my comrades quickly decided to try and enter the warehouse from below using the city’s sewer systems. At first, I strenuously objected to this ridiculous approach, for I didn’t see any point in wading through filth when we could just go up to the front door and smash our way inside. However, after the party pointed out how miserable it would be to traverse the foul tunnels of the city’s sewer systems, I retracted my previous statement almost immediately.
After all, what sort of Kuthite shied away from adversity?
With our strategy now in place, we purchased a few extra potions and headed into the sewers. As you can imagine though, our journey under the city proved to be very unpleasant, and we soon had to contend with several monstrous aberrations known as otyughs, who were perhaps the most wretched and foul-smelling creatures that I have ever encountered. Thankfully they proved to be no match for the party, and after making short work of the filthy abominations, we finally managed to navigate our way into the lower floors of the warehouse. From there, we drank some potions of invisibility and proceeded along cautiously, and after engaging in a few minor skirmishes with a couple of the warehouse guards, we eventually confronted the crime lord in a large storage room on the first floor of the building.
To our surprise, the crime lord turned out to be a middle-aged human wizard who was clearly not too pleased by our unexpected intrusion, and judging by the collection of roguish bodyguards that surrounded him, I could tell that a great battle would be ensuing very shortly. Therefore, while my comrades attempted to converse with the man, I calmly reached into my backpack and pulled out a small bucket before carefully placing it down upon the cold stone floor. Initially I had intended to ‘negotiate’ on my party’s behalf, but after the unpleasant encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, I figured it was only fair to give them a chance to do it as well. Besides, I was barely even paying attention to the conversation anyway, yet as I heard the wizard’s voice starting to grow in volume, I absently removed the lid from the bucket and slowly dipped my hands down into the canister.
As soon as I did this, I could vaguely hear the wizard screaming something about ‘not allowing some upstart heroes to foil his brilliant plans’, and I immediately found myself chuckling in amusement.
“Allow me to correct you, my friend,” I stated in a charming voice, which instantly halted the conversation and caused everyone in the room to turn their eyes upon me.
With deliberate care, I gently raised my head and looked directly at the wizard, before slowly removing my hands from the simple wooden bucket. As I lifted my arms out in front of me, everyone could now see that my fists were completely coated in grease and broken glass, and as I held the wizard’s gaze, the next words I spoke were said with an almost fanatical excitement.
“I am not a hero! I am a sculptor in need of clay!”
In that moment, I quickly called upon the winds of fate to make an intimidation check, and after rolling the dice and tallying the results, I was pleased to see that the wizard’s face had immediately drained of color. Then, with a ragged cry, the crime lord finally shouted the words I that desperately wanted to hear: ‘Kill them. Kill them all!’
And with that simple statement, the battle had finally begun.
As it turns out though, the wizard quickly proved to be no slouch in combat, for he ended up attacking first before anyone could react. With a wave of his hand, the crime lord called upon his magic and unleashed a powerful fear spell directly into the party. In an instant, my mind was suddenly filled with a torrent of horrible images, yet after fortifying my willpower with a successful roll of fate, I managed to calm my breathing and shrug off the spell’s effects. Unfortunately, the druid’s grizzly bear and our half-elf were not so lucky, for they immediately screamed in panic and started running away in terror.
No matter. We didn’t need them anyway.
The bodyguards were up next, and with two of them moving to flank our druid, the last one wasted no time in squaring off against our warpriest. Apparently none of them were keen on facing down the man with shards of broken glass covering his arms, but I suppose I really couldn’t fault them for that. Besides, this meant that the wizard was mine for the taking, and when I finally got the chance to react, I immediately charged forward and launched myself at the mage. Just as I suspected, the crime lord hadn’t had time to cast his defensive magic yet, and after rolling upon the winds of fate, my fist easily collided with the spellcaster’s jaw. A bright burst of blood instantly erupted from the impact, as the wizard howled in pain and clutched his ruined face.
However, despite the incredible damage he suffered, I had purposely attacked him with a non-lethal strike, for I wanted more than anything to capture him alive. Thankfully the crime lord had no intention of making this easy, and as he took a step back and raised up his hand, a magical bolt of lightning suddenly erupted from his palm. Before I could even react, the lightning bolt slammed into me with an impressive amount of force, and the wizard even managed to angle it just right so that our druid and his two bodyguards were caught in the blast as well. After rolling on the winds of fate, the druid and I were unable to reduce the damage of the attack, but it appeared that the mage’s bodyguards had not been harmed at all. Apparently having ‘evasion’ can be a very handy thing.
When it came time for me to act again, I knew that I needed to end the fight quickly before this pesky little spellcaster could cause any more harm. And so, after taking a step closer and measuring my strike, I called upon one of my brawler techniques and prepared to hit the man with a ‘knockout blow’. With the ‘Dark Master’ watching closely, I cast my dice upon the winds of fate and delivered a brutal uppercut to the crime lord’s exposed chin, and although he tried to resist the attack, the fortitude of wizard was never very strong. A split second later, I watched with a satisfied smile as the mage’s eyes glazed over and he collapsed to ground, unconscious but still alive and bleeding rather badly. I then spent the rest of my turn attacking the helpless wizard with a few more non-lethal strikes, just to make sure that he stayed down for good.
Not long after that, the rest of the crime lord’s bodyguards were swiftly disposed of, and as we took a moment to heal our wounds and gather around the wizard, I politely asked my party if they would be willing to entrust the spellcaster to my care. To my surprise, our warpriest actually agreed to my request, stating that the man deserved to suffer for everything that he had done, and that she honestly didn’t give a damn about what happened to him now. And so, with a gentle smile, I calmly retrieved a healing potion and poured it down the wizard’s throat, not enough to heal him completely of course, but just enough to wake him up in a severely weakened state. From there, I knelt down and cradled his face gently in my glass-covered hands, and when the ruthless crime lord finally managed to open up his eyes, the first thing he would see would be the image of my face staring back at him with a smile. And little did he know, that would be the last thing he would ever see again.
“Do not be afraid my friend,” I whispered in a gentle voice. “I promise that this pain is for your own good.”
As soon as those words escaped my lips, I called upon the elemental energy in my blood, causing a supernatural burst of fire to envelop both of my hands…the hands that were currently cradling the spellcaster’s ruined face. Oh how the wizard screamed out in agony as the fire seared his flesh and burned away his skin, while the smell of cooked meat began to fill my senses.
“Pray to him!” I yelled at the mage, as my voice somehow managed to rise above his screams. “Give thanks to the Midnight Lord and beg for his mercy, and if the great Zon-Kuthon finds you worthy of his notice, then he will surely give you the strength to endure this horrible pain! Embrace Zon-Kuthon with every fiber of your being, and allow His cruel touch to humble your wicked soul!”
At this point, my party members were now looking at me in utter disbelief, for they clearly hadn’t expected me to take things this far. However, before they could even react, I called upon the winds of fate to make a diplomacy check, and as the ‘Dark Master’ watched closely and tallied up the numbers, my hard work was finally rewarded with a marvelous result. Through his ragged screams and wails of pain, the wizard began crying out for the Midnight Lord’s mercy. He begged and pleaded for any form of relief, and after feeling the ‘Dark Master’ give his consent, I allowed the flames on my hands to slowly fade away.
When I pulled my palms away from his face, the party could now see that the crime lord’s eyes had been utterly seared away, leaving him completely blind yet oddly relieved. Unable to stand the scene any longer, our wapriest abruptly drew her sword and pointed it in my direction, declaring that I was a monster and that she should never have allowed me to torture this man in the first place…even if he did deserve it. In response, I gently looked back at her with a strangely peaceful smile, before carefully explaining my actions in a calm and rational voice.
“You misunderstand. I did not do this to punish this man, but rather to give him the chance to repent for his misdeeds. After all, killing him would have gained us nothing, but now he has the opportunity to redeem himself by informing us of all the other criminals that he has conspired with. We have saved his soul, and with his help, we will surely bring many others to justice as well, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a win in my book.”
Before our warpriest could argue further, the wizard slowly reached up with trembling hands and began to mutter ‘thank you’ in a raspy broken voice, declaring that he would happily aid us with anything we desired. My party members merely sneered at this before demanding that I take the man to the local authorities, and after nodding my agreement, they finally let the matter drop and proceeded to loot the bodies. When we finally exited the warehouse, I couldn’t help but feel that we had achieved a major victory, and as I carried the weeping crime lord carefully in my arms, I knew that even greater challenges were in store for me in the future.
Sadly though, I fear that we must pause for the time being, for the hour grows late, and I am sure that many of you are weary of my ramblings. However, if you would like to hear more, then please feel free to come back again, and perhaps I will tell you the exciting conclusion to my epic little story. In the meantime, I wish you all good fortune and a very blessed day, and I hope that the Midnight Lord grants you the wisdom to overcome your misery and grow stronger through your pain.
With Deepest Regards: Xaldin.
[If you'd like to enjoy the 'narrated version' of this story, please feel free to check out the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcw8_MYNvU&t=1s&ab_channel=AllThingsDnD ]
submitted by Sinlessssoul to DnD [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 22:52 Sinlessssoul The Most Deranged and Disturbing Character That I Have Ever Played Part 2

Hello again dear friends. I am glad to see that you have returned for another glorious retelling of my legendary exploits. Much has happened since we last spoke, but I promise to do my best to bring you all up to speed. To make a long story short, ever since my encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, my party and I have continued to work for the Pathfinder Society, doing odd jobs here and there in order to increase our notoriety and fill our pockets with gold. Yet despite our success, my relationship with my comrades still has not improved, and I even learned that they had tried to get me transferred to another adventuring group on more than one occasion. It turns out though, no one else was willing to work alongside me, which I found to be both disheartening and amusing all at the same time.
I suppose on one hand, I should not have been surprised. After all, as a worshiper of Zon-Kuthon, I am accustomed to being viewed as a pariah among most civilized societies, and the fact that I am a suli (or half-genie, as some might put it) also helps to add to my status as an outsider. When I was a child, I used to resent being ostracized by my peers, but now that I have matured, I am actually rather grateful for my harsh and violent upbringing. The fact that I have survived and accomplished so much is a testament to my enduring tenacity, and I am grateful that the Midnight Lord has chosen to bestow so many of his blessings upon me. Even now, I can still feel the eyes of the ‘Dark Master’ (or as I sometimes call him, the ‘DM’) gazing down upon me with a curious expression, waiting in anticipation to see what I might do next.
Thankfully, he would not need to wait long.
After receiving news that my party and I had earned a little downtime away from our immediate duties, we decided to spend a few days in the city sampling the local fare and mingling among the populace. Our tiefling warpriest and aasimar druid immediately expressed interest in visiting the grand library in order to do some research into the history of the surrounding region, no doubt looking for rumors regarding old abandoned dungeons that were likely filled with loot. It was a noble pursuit I suppose, but I honestly had no intention of spending my free time occupied with books. Fortunately, our half-elf magus had a much more carefree personality, for he decided to spend his downtime by gambling at one of the high-end taverns near the center of the city’s market district. Not wanting to abandon my comrade to an evening of loneliness, I decided to accompany him to this lovely little tavern and see what other festivities I might be able to enjoy.
Upon entering the establishment, the half-elf wasted no time in heading over to the gambling tables, and judging by his demeanor, I could tell that he wasn’t thrilled with my decision to join him at the tavern. Being a forgiving soul, I brushed this off without a second thought, and instead focused my attention on the patrons in the bar. It was a full house tonight, with dozens of merchants, travelers, and city-folk occupying the tables, along with a rather beautiful barmaid working behind the counter. She was a fetching human woman with long raven-black hair and a curvy physique, whose smile seemed to light up the whole entire room. After careful consideration, I decided that she would be the perfect person to occupy my interests, and I quickly wasted no time in going over to greet her.
Intrigued by my decision, I could feel the ‘Dark Master’ (or rather, the DM) set his gaze upon me, and I knew that it was time again to cast my dice upon the winds of fate. Now, under normal circumstances, a ‘brawler’ such as myself would not have much luck at wooing a lovely maiden with charm alone, but fortunately in my case, a charismatic suli with a talent for diplomacy can be a ‘very’ persuasive thing. When the results were finally tallied, I could sense that my voice was now surging with confidence, and I soon had the beautiful barmaid focusing her attention on me and me alone.
After ordering a few drinks and engaging in a bit of banter, I ended up spending the rest of the evening with the raven-haired beauty, and when she finally got off work, we decided to continue our flirtatious behavior in the privacy of her bedroom (which also happened to be located in that very same tavern as well). Ah, it was a glorious night, and the young woman truly proved to be very enjoyable company. Our dalliance continued well into the next morning, and we spent much of that time laughing together while having some food delivered to our bedroom. By mid-afternoon, with her face still smiling brightly in obvious satisfaction, I decided to do something ‘special’ for my newly found companion.
“I have it on good authority that a lovely orchestra is scheduled to perform later on this evening,” I explained in a seductive voice. “Initially I had planned to attend the event alone, but if you have the time, I would be greatly honored if you would choose to accompany me.”
Much to my surprise, the beautiful barmaid excitedly agreed to my request, and after explaining that I needed to make a few last-minute arrangements, I left the room with the promise to return in roughly five hours. From there, I consulted with the ‘Dark Master’ about what I intended to do, and after spending a bit of coin and making the proper preparations, I was confident that this ‘date night’ would go off without a hitch. When I returned to the tavern later that evening, the barmaid came out to greet me in a gorgeous blue dress, and after complimenting on her breathtaking appearance, I offered her my arm and we made our way into the streets.
During our walk to the venue, we casually engaged in some idle chatter to help pass the time, yet as we neared our destination, I could tell that my lovely companion was becoming somewhat confused. Apparently the barmaid was well-acquainted with the city, for she informed me that the theater district was on the other side of town, and we were clearly heading in the wrong direction. Not wanting to spoil the surprise, I told her that this particular orchestra was being held at a special location, and after rolling on the winds of fate to test my diplomacy, the result proved good enough to help ease her initial fears. With a trusting smile, she continued to walk beside me.
After a few more minutes, I guided the barmaid down a nearby alleyway until we eventually spotted a thick iron door attached to a massive stone building. Realizing that we had arrived, I calmly pulled out a key from my pocket and unlocked the latch on the door, before motioning for my companion to step inside. From there, the two of us made are way down a small stone staircase until it eventually opened up into a dark expansive hallway. Unable to contain my excitement, I glanced down at the barmaid with a reassuring smile before stating that our destination was now very….very close.
With a confident stride in my step, the two of us made are way through the torch-lit corridors until finally coming across another sturdy iron door. One quick turn of the key later, and the door opened to reveal a brightly lit chamber with two curious figures waiting for us inside. After stepping into the room, the barmaid could now see that one of the figures was a man dressed in rags who had been strapped to a wooden chair near the center of the room, while another man stood next to him wearing a city-guard uniform with a simple brown bag covering his face. There was also a large wooden table along the western wall of the room that was filled with a lovely array of impressive ‘instruments’ that were designed to help tonight’s ‘orchestra’ reach all the proper notes and tunes for the impending performance.
“In case you are wondering, that man in the chair is scheduled to be executed in the next few days,” I explained in a gentle voice. “He is a convicted serial killer who has butchered multiple women without a shred of remorse, and I simply could not allow him to meet his end without at least giving him one last night to be purified with pain. As for the guardsman, I can assure you that he is an excellent ‘maestro’, and he has promised that tonight’s performance will be a memorable one indeed.”
After giving a silent nod to the guard, the man calmly reached over and took hold of the prisoner’s hand…before promptly twisting his finger at an odd and brutal angle. The sick ‘cracking sound’ of the prisoner’s finger being broken was instantly drowned out by his loud and sudden scream, as the man in the chair howled out in agony while his muscles tensed up in obvious shock. His scream also served to shake the barmaid out of her stupor, for up until this point, she had been standing in a silent trance while watching the scene unfold, as her mind desperately struggled to process what was happening. However, as soon as the man cried out in pain, her eyes immediately widened in shock and she let out a terrified scream of her own.
“Oh, please do not be afraid,” I said in a reassuring tone. “The ‘maestro’ is merely warming up the ‘orchestra’. I promise that no one will harm you…unless you want them to of course.”
Despite my heartfelt explanation, the barmaid instantly pulled herself away from me and proceeded to run out of the room as fast as her legs would carry her. As I listened to her footfalls fade into the distance, I knew right then and there that our blooming relationship was now well and truly over, and that nothing I could do would ever be able to fix it. It was…disappointing to say the least, but like any good Kuthite, I would not allow this miserable setback to ruin the rest of my night.
“Please, continue my good maestro,” I instructed to the guard. “My heart is now broken, and I need a tragic tune to help mend it back together.”
For the next thirty minutes I listened with glee as the guardsman guided his ‘orchestra’ with masterful precision, snapping bones and tearing tendons with an expert amount of care, while the room literally hummed with the screams of the damned. It wasn’t until the prisoner’s fingers, toes, and ankles were broken that the man finally passed out after the guardsman eagerly took a hammer and shattered his left knee. It had been a glorious performance, and after giving my applause and returning the prison key to the guard, I promptly left the building and headed back out into the streets. The next stop I made was at a well-respected eatery, where I happily enjoyed a candlelit dinner along with an expensive bottle of wine. I will admit that it was…difficult to stare across the table at the empty seat that I had previously reserved for the barmaid, but thankfully the food, wine, and performance from the ‘orchestra’ had all helped to put me in a much better mood.
When it came time to turn in the for the night, I realized that going back to the tavern probably wasn’t in very good taste, so I decided to return to my room at the Pathfinder lodge and finish my wonderful evening with a nice relaxing nap. However, when I awoke the next morning and met up with my comrades, I could tell that they were clearly upset with something that I had done. To my surprise, word had spread quickly about my ‘date night’ with the barmaid, and apparently many of the city-folk were not very happy with how it turned out. My party then proceeded to inform me that we were now banned from that particular tavern, and that rumors about me being a Kuthite were beginning to spread like wildfire.
“Ah, it’s good to be famous,” I said in obvious joy, yet when I noticed the hateful glares that were being thrown in my direction, I figured it might be best to explain a bit further. “Well, there really is no sense in trying to deny it. I am a Kuthite after all, and I honestly don’t see a problem if everyone knows the truth.”
Apparently that wasn’t the response my party was looking for, and after spending nearly ten minutes being chastised for my behavior (which was absolutely glorious), they finally settled down and informed me of our next mission. During their downtime, our warpriest and druid had stumbled across some sort of grand city-wide conspiracy involving a local crime lord, and they wanted to enlist the help of the party in order to investigate it. I also learned that our warpriest had some sort of personal vendetta against this particular crime lord, which is why she wanted to deal with the problem personally rather than alerting the local authorities. Not seeing an issue with this, and wanting the chance to hurt something anyway, I readily agreed to her heartfelt request.
After doing a bit of research, the party was able to discover that a large warehouse on the outskirts of the market district was acting as a front for the crime lord’s base of operations. It was well-guarded at all entrances, and not wanting to cause a scene, my comrades quickly decided to try and enter the warehouse from below using the city’s sewer systems. At first, I strenuously objected to this ridiculous approach, for I didn’t see any point in wading through filth when we could just go up to the front door and smash our way inside. However, after the party pointed out how miserable it would be to traverse the foul tunnels of the city’s sewer systems, I retracted my previous statement almost immediately.
After all, what sort of Kuthite shied away from adversity?
With our strategy now in place, we purchased a few extra potions and headed into the sewers. As you can imagine though, our journey under the city proved to be very unpleasant, and we soon had to contend with several monstrous aberrations known as otyughs, who were perhaps the most wretched and foul-smelling creatures that I have ever encountered. Thankfully they proved to be no match for the party, and after making short work of the filthy abominations, we finally managed to navigate our way into the lower floors of the warehouse. From there, we drank some potions of invisibility and proceeded along cautiously, and after engaging in a few minor skirmishes with a couple of the warehouse guards, we eventually confronted the crime lord in a large storage room on the first floor of the building.
To our surprise, the crime lord turned out to be a middle-aged human wizard who was clearly not too pleased by our unexpected intrusion, and judging by the collection of roguish bodyguards that surrounded him, I could tell that a great battle would be ensuing very shortly. Therefore, while my comrades attempted to converse with the man, I calmly reached into my backpack and pulled out a small bucket before carefully placing it down upon the cold stone floor. Initially I had intended to ‘negotiate’ on my party’s behalf, but after the unpleasant encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, I figured it was only fair to give them a chance to do it as well. Besides, I was barely even paying attention to the conversation anyway, yet as I heard the wizard’s voice starting to grow in volume, I absently removed the lid from the bucket and slowly dipped my hands down into the canister.
As soon as I did this, I could vaguely hear the wizard screaming something about ‘not allowing some upstart heroes to foil his brilliant plans’, and I immediately found myself chuckling in amusement.
“Allow me to correct you, my friend,” I stated in a charming voice, which instantly halted the conversation and caused everyone in the room to turn their eyes upon me.
With deliberate care, I gently raised my head and looked directly at the wizard, before slowly removing my hands from the simple wooden bucket. As I lifted my arms out in front of me, everyone could now see that my fists were completely coated in grease and broken glass, and as I held the wizard’s gaze, the next words I spoke were said with an almost fanatical excitement.
“I am not a hero! I am a sculptor in need of clay!”
In that moment, I quickly called upon the winds of fate to make an intimidation check, and after rolling the dice and tallying the results, I was pleased to see that the wizard’s face had immediately drained of color. Then, with a ragged cry, the crime lord finally shouted the words I that desperately wanted to hear: ‘Kill them. Kill them all!’
And with that simple statement, the battle had finally begun.
As it turns out though, the wizard quickly proved to be no slouch in combat, for he ended up attacking first before anyone could react. With a wave of his hand, the crime lord called upon his magic and unleashed a powerful fear spell directly into the party. In an instant, my mind was suddenly filled with a torrent of horrible images, yet after fortifying my willpower with a successful roll of fate, I managed to calm my breathing and shrug off the spell’s effects. Unfortunately, the druid’s grizzly bear and our half-elf were not so lucky, for they immediately screamed in panic and started running away in terror.
No matter. We didn’t need them anyway.
The bodyguards were up next, and with two of them moving to flank our druid, the last one wasted no time in squaring off against our warpriest. Apparently none of them were keen on facing down the man with shards of broken glass covering his arms, but I suppose I really couldn’t fault them for that. Besides, this meant that the wizard was mine for the taking, and when I finally got the chance to react, I immediately charged forward and launched myself at the mage. Just as I suspected, the crime lord hadn’t had time to cast his defensive magic yet, and after rolling upon the winds of fate, my fist easily collided with the spellcaster’s jaw. A bright burst of blood instantly erupted from the impact, as the wizard howled in pain and clutched his ruined face.
However, despite the incredible damage he suffered, I had purposely attacked him with a non-lethal strike, for I wanted more than anything to capture him alive. Thankfully the crime lord had no intention of making this easy, and as he took a step back and raised up his hand, a magical bolt of lightning suddenly erupted from his palm. Before I could even react, the lightning bolt slammed into me with an impressive amount of force, and the wizard even managed to angle it just right so that our druid and his two bodyguards were caught in the blast as well. After rolling on the winds of fate, the druid and I were unable to reduce the damage of the attack, but it appeared that the mage’s bodyguards had not been harmed at all. Apparently having ‘evasion’ can be a very handy thing.
When it came time for me to act again, I knew that I needed to end the fight quickly before this pesky little spellcaster could cause any more harm. And so, after taking a step closer and measuring my strike, I called upon one of my brawler techniques and prepared to hit the man with a ‘knockout blow’. With the ‘Dark Master’ watching closely, I cast my dice upon the winds of fate and delivered a brutal uppercut to the crime lord’s exposed chin, and although he tried to resist the attack, the fortitude of wizard was never very strong. A split second later, I watched with a satisfied smile as the mage’s eyes glazed over and he collapsed to ground, unconscious but still alive and bleeding rather badly. I then spent the rest of my turn attacking the helpless wizard with a few more non-lethal strikes, just to make sure that he stayed down for good.
Not long after that, the rest of the crime lord’s bodyguards were swiftly disposed of, and as we took a moment to heal our wounds and gather around the wizard, I politely asked my party if they would be willing to entrust the spellcaster to my care. To my surprise, our warpriest actually agreed to my request, stating that the man deserved to suffer for everything that he had done, and that she honestly didn’t give a damn about what happened to him now. And so, with a gentle smile, I calmly retrieved a healing potion and poured it down the wizard’s throat, not enough to heal him completely of course, but just enough to wake him up in a severely weakened state. From there, I knelt down and cradled his face gently in my glass-covered hands, and when the ruthless crime lord finally managed to open up his eyes, the first thing he would see would be the image of my face staring back at him with a smile. And little did he know, that would be the last thing he would ever see again.
“Do not be afraid my friend,” I whispered in a gentle voice. “I promise that this pain is for your own good.”
As soon as those words escaped my lips, I called upon the elemental energy in my blood, causing a supernatural burst of fire to envelop both of my hands…the hands that were currently cradling the spellcaster’s ruined face. Oh how the wizard screamed out in agony as the fire seared his flesh and burned away his skin, while the smell of cooked meat began to fill my senses.
“Pray to him!” I yelled at the mage, as my voice somehow managed to rise above his screams. “Give thanks to the Midnight Lord and beg for his mercy, and if the great Zon-Kuthon finds you worthy of his notice, then he will surely give you the strength to endure this horrible pain! Embrace Zon-Kuthon with every fiber of your being, and allow His cruel touch to humble your wicked soul!”
At this point, my party members were now looking at me in utter disbelief, for they clearly hadn’t expected me to take things this far. However, before they could even react, I called upon the winds of fate to make a diplomacy check, and as the ‘Dark Master’ watched closely and tallied up the numbers, my hard work was finally rewarded with a marvelous result. Through his ragged screams and wails of pain, the wizard began crying out for the Midnight Lord’s mercy. He begged and pleaded for any form of relief, and after feeling the ‘Dark Master’ give his consent, I allowed the flames on my hands to slowly fade away.
When I pulled my palms away from his face, the party could now see that the crime lord’s eyes had been utterly seared away, leaving him completely blind yet oddly relieved. Unable to stand the scene any longer, our wapriest abruptly drew her sword and pointed it in my direction, declaring that I was a monster and that she should never have allowed me to torture this man in the first place…even if he did deserve it. In response, I gently looked back at her with a strangely peaceful smile, before carefully explaining my actions in a calm and rational voice.
“You misunderstand. I did not do this to punish this man, but rather to give him the chance to repent for his misdeeds. After all, killing him would have gained us nothing, but now he has the opportunity to redeem himself by informing us of all the other criminals that he has conspired with. We have saved his soul, and with his help, we will surely bring many others to justice as well, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a win in my book.”
Before our warpriest could argue further, the wizard slowly reached up with trembling hands and began to mutter ‘thank you’ in a raspy broken voice, declaring that he would happily aid us with anything we desired. My party members merely sneered at this before demanding that I take the man to the local authorities, and after nodding my agreement, they finally let the matter drop and proceeded to loot the bodies. When we finally exited the warehouse, I couldn’t help but feel that we had achieved a major victory, and as I carried the weeping crime lord carefully in my arms, I knew that even greater challenges were in store for me in the future.
Sadly though, I fear that we must pause for the time being, for the hour grows late, and I am sure that many of you are weary of my ramblings. However, if you would like to hear more, then please feel free to come back again, and perhaps I will tell you the exciting conclusion to my epic little story. In the meantime, I wish you all good fortune and a very blessed day, and I hope that the Midnight Lord grants you the wisdom to overcome your misery and grow stronger through your pain.
With Deepest Regards: Xaldin.
[If you'd like to enjoy the 'narrated version' of this story, please feel free to check out the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcw8_MYNvU&t=1s&ab_channel=AllThingsDnD ]
submitted by Sinlessssoul to DnDGreentext [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 22:51 Sinlessssoul The Most Deranged and Disturbing Character That I Have Ever Played Part 2

Hello again dear friends. I am glad to see that you have returned for another glorious retelling of my legendary exploits. Much has happened since we last spoke, but I promise to do my best to bring you all up to speed. To make a long story short, ever since my encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, my party and I have continued to work for the Pathfinder Society, doing odd jobs here and there in order to increase our notoriety and fill our pockets with gold. Yet despite our success, my relationship with my comrades still has not improved, and I even learned that they had tried to get me transferred to another adventuring group on more than one occasion. It turns out though, no one else was willing to work alongside me, which I found to be both disheartening and amusing all at the same time.
I suppose on one hand, I should not have been surprised. After all, as a worshiper of Zon-Kuthon, I am accustomed to being viewed as a pariah among most civilized societies, and the fact that I am a suli (or half-genie, as some might put it) also helps to add to my status as an outsider. When I was a child, I used to resent being ostracized by my peers, but now that I have matured, I am actually rather grateful for my harsh and violent upbringing. The fact that I have survived and accomplished so much is a testament to my enduring tenacity, and I am grateful that the Midnight Lord has chosen to bestow so many of his blessings upon me. Even now, I can still feel the eyes of the ‘Dark Master’ (or as I sometimes call him, the ‘DM’) gazing down upon me with a curious expression, waiting in anticipation to see what I might do next.
Thankfully, he would not need to wait long.
After receiving news that my party and I had earned a little downtime away from our immediate duties, we decided to spend a few days in the city sampling the local fare and mingling among the populace. Our tiefling warpriest and aasimar druid immediately expressed interest in visiting the grand library in order to do some research into the history of the surrounding region, no doubt looking for rumors regarding old abandoned dungeons that were likely filled with loot. It was a noble pursuit I suppose, but I honestly had no intention of spending my free time occupied with books. Fortunately, our half-elf magus had a much more carefree personality, for he decided to spend his downtime by gambling at one of the high-end taverns near the center of the city’s market district. Not wanting to abandon my comrade to an evening of loneliness, I decided to accompany him to this lovely little tavern and see what other festivities I might be able to enjoy.
Upon entering the establishment, the half-elf wasted no time in heading over to the gambling tables, and judging by his demeanor, I could tell that he wasn’t thrilled with my decision to join him at the tavern. Being a forgiving soul, I brushed this off without a second thought, and instead focused my attention on the patrons in the bar. It was a full house tonight, with dozens of merchants, travelers, and city-folk occupying the tables, along with a rather beautiful barmaid working behind the counter. She was a fetching human woman with long raven-black hair and a curvy physique, whose smile seemed to light up the whole entire room. After careful consideration, I decided that she would be the perfect person to occupy my interests, and I quickly wasted no time in going over to greet her.
Intrigued by my decision, I could feel the ‘Dark Master’ (or rather, the DM) set his gaze upon me, and I knew that it was time again to cast my dice upon the winds of fate. Now, under normal circumstances, a ‘brawler’ such as myself would not have much luck at wooing a lovely maiden with charm alone, but fortunately in my case, a charismatic suli with a talent for diplomacy can be a ‘very’ persuasive thing. When the results were finally tallied, I could sense that my voice was now surging with confidence, and I soon had the beautiful barmaid focusing her attention on me and me alone.
After ordering a few drinks and engaging in a bit of banter, I ended up spending the rest of the evening with the raven-haired beauty, and when she finally got off work, we decided to continue our flirtatious behavior in the privacy of her bedroom (which also happened to be located in that very same tavern as well). Ah, it was a glorious night, and the young woman truly proved to be very enjoyable company. Our dalliance continued well into the next morning, and we spent much of that time laughing together while having some food delivered to our bedroom. By mid-afternoon, with her face still smiling brightly in obvious satisfaction, I decided to do something ‘special’ for my newly found companion.
“I have it on good authority that a lovely orchestra is scheduled to perform later on this evening,” I explained in a seductive voice. “Initially I had planned to attend the event alone, but if you have the time, I would be greatly honored if you would choose to accompany me.”
Much to my surprise, the beautiful barmaid excitedly agreed to my request, and after explaining that I needed to make a few last-minute arrangements, I left the room with the promise to return in roughly five hours. From there, I consulted with the ‘Dark Master’ about what I intended to do, and after spending a bit of coin and making the proper preparations, I was confident that this ‘date night’ would go off without a hitch. When I returned to the tavern later that evening, the barmaid came out to greet me in a gorgeous blue dress, and after complimenting on her breathtaking appearance, I offered her my arm and we made our way into the streets.
During our walk to the venue, we casually engaged in some idle chatter to help pass the time, yet as we neared our destination, I could tell that my lovely companion was becoming somewhat confused. Apparently the barmaid was well-acquainted with the city, for she informed me that the theater district was on the other side of town, and we were clearly heading in the wrong direction. Not wanting to spoil the surprise, I told her that this particular orchestra was being held at a special location, and after rolling on the winds of fate to test my diplomacy, the result proved good enough to help ease her initial fears. With a trusting smile, she continued to walk beside me.
After a few more minutes, I guided the barmaid down a nearby alleyway until we eventually spotted a thick iron door attached to a massive stone building. Realizing that we had arrived, I calmly pulled out a key from my pocket and unlocked the latch on the door, before motioning for my companion to step inside. From there, the two of us made are way down a small stone staircase until it eventually opened up into a dark expansive hallway. Unable to contain my excitement, I glanced down at the barmaid with a reassuring smile before stating that our destination was now very….very close.
With a confident stride in my step, the two of us made are way through the torch-lit corridors until finally coming across another sturdy iron door. One quick turn of the key later, and the door opened to reveal a brightly lit chamber with two curious figures waiting for us inside. After stepping into the room, the barmaid could now see that one of the figures was a man dressed in rags who had been strapped to a wooden chair near the center of the room, while another man stood next to him wearing a city-guard uniform with a simple brown bag covering his face. There was also a large wooden table along the western wall of the room that was filled with a lovely array of impressive ‘instruments’ that were designed to help tonight’s ‘orchestra’ reach all the proper notes and tunes for the impending performance.
“In case you are wondering, that man in the chair is scheduled to be executed in the next few days,” I explained in a gentle voice. “He is a convicted serial killer who has butchered multiple women without a shred of remorse, and I simply could not allow him to meet his end without at least giving him one last night to be purified with pain. As for the guardsman, I can assure you that he is an excellent ‘maestro’, and he has promised that tonight’s performance will be a memorable one indeed.”
After giving a silent nod to the guard, the man calmly reached over and took hold of the prisoner’s hand…before promptly twisting his finger at an odd and brutal angle. The sick ‘cracking sound’ of the prisoner’s finger being broken was instantly drowned out by his loud and sudden scream, as the man in the chair howled out in agony while his muscles tensed up in obvious shock. His scream also served to shake the barmaid out of her stupor, for up until this point, she had been standing in a silent trance while watching the scene unfold, as her mind desperately struggled to process what was happening. However, as soon as the man cried out in pain, her eyes immediately widened in shock and she let out a terrified scream of her own.
“Oh, please do not be afraid,” I said in a reassuring tone. “The ‘maestro’ is merely warming up the ‘orchestra’. I promise that no one will harm you…unless you want them to of course.”
Despite my heartfelt explanation, the barmaid instantly pulled herself away from me and proceeded to run out of the room as fast as her legs would carry her. As I listened to her footfalls fade into the distance, I knew right then and there that our blooming relationship was now well and truly over, and that nothing I could do would ever be able to fix it. It was…disappointing to say the least, but like any good Kuthite, I would not allow this miserable setback to ruin the rest of my night.
“Please, continue my good maestro,” I instructed to the guard. “My heart is now broken, and I need a tragic tune to help mend it back together.”
For the next thirty minutes I listened with glee as the guardsman guided his ‘orchestra’ with masterful precision, snapping bones and tearing tendons with an expert amount of care, while the room literally hummed with the screams of the damned. It wasn’t until the prisoner’s fingers, toes, and ankles were broken that the man finally passed out after the guardsman eagerly took a hammer and shattered his left knee. It had been a glorious performance, and after giving my applause and returning the prison key to the guard, I promptly left the building and headed back out into the streets. The next stop I made was at a well-respected eatery, where I happily enjoyed a candlelit dinner along with an expensive bottle of wine. I will admit that it was…difficult to stare across the table at the empty seat that I had previously reserved for the barmaid, but thankfully the food, wine, and performance from the ‘orchestra’ had all helped to put me in a much better mood.
When it came time to turn in the for the night, I realized that going back to the tavern probably wasn’t in very good taste, so I decided to return to my room at the Pathfinder lodge and finish my wonderful evening with a nice relaxing nap. However, when I awoke the next morning and met up with my comrades, I could tell that they were clearly upset with something that I had done. To my surprise, word had spread quickly about my ‘date night’ with the barmaid, and apparently many of the city-folk were not very happy with how it turned out. My party then proceeded to inform me that we were now banned from that particular tavern, and that rumors about me being a Kuthite were beginning to spread like wildfire.
“Ah, it’s good to be famous,” I said in obvious joy, yet when I noticed the hateful glares that were being thrown in my direction, I figured it might be best to explain a bit further. “Well, there really is no sense in trying to deny it. I am a Kuthite after all, and I honestly don’t see a problem if everyone knows the truth.”
Apparently that wasn’t the response my party was looking for, and after spending nearly ten minutes being chastised for my behavior (which was absolutely glorious), they finally settled down and informed me of our next mission. During their downtime, our warpriest and druid had stumbled across some sort of grand city-wide conspiracy involving a local crime lord, and they wanted to enlist the help of the party in order to investigate it. I also learned that our warpriest had some sort of personal vendetta against this particular crime lord, which is why she wanted to deal with the problem personally rather than alerting the local authorities. Not seeing an issue with this, and wanting the chance to hurt something anyway, I readily agreed to her heartfelt request.
After doing a bit of research, the party was able to discover that a large warehouse on the outskirts of the market district was acting as a front for the crime lord’s base of operations. It was well-guarded at all entrances, and not wanting to cause a scene, my comrades quickly decided to try and enter the warehouse from below using the city’s sewer systems. At first, I strenuously objected to this ridiculous approach, for I didn’t see any point in wading through filth when we could just go up to the front door and smash our way inside. However, after the party pointed out how miserable it would be to traverse the foul tunnels of the city’s sewer systems, I retracted my previous statement almost immediately.
After all, what sort of Kuthite shied away from adversity?
With our strategy now in place, we purchased a few extra potions and headed into the sewers. As you can imagine though, our journey under the city proved to be very unpleasant, and we soon had to contend with several monstrous aberrations known as otyughs, who were perhaps the most wretched and foul-smelling creatures that I have ever encountered. Thankfully they proved to be no match for the party, and after making short work of the filthy abominations, we finally managed to navigate our way into the lower floors of the warehouse. From there, we drank some potions of invisibility and proceeded along cautiously, and after engaging in a few minor skirmishes with a couple of the warehouse guards, we eventually confronted the crime lord in a large storage room on the first floor of the building.
To our surprise, the crime lord turned out to be a middle-aged human wizard who was clearly not too pleased by our unexpected intrusion, and judging by the collection of roguish bodyguards that surrounded him, I could tell that a great battle would be ensuing very shortly. Therefore, while my comrades attempted to converse with the man, I calmly reached into my backpack and pulled out a small bucket before carefully placing it down upon the cold stone floor. Initially I had intended to ‘negotiate’ on my party’s behalf, but after the unpleasant encounter with the Lamashtu cultists, I figured it was only fair to give them a chance to do it as well. Besides, I was barely even paying attention to the conversation anyway, yet as I heard the wizard’s voice starting to grow in volume, I absently removed the lid from the bucket and slowly dipped my hands down into the canister.
As soon as I did this, I could vaguely hear the wizard screaming something about ‘not allowing some upstart heroes to foil his brilliant plans’, and I immediately found myself chuckling in amusement.
“Allow me to correct you, my friend,” I stated in a charming voice, which instantly halted the conversation and caused everyone in the room to turn their eyes upon me.
With deliberate care, I gently raised my head and looked directly at the wizard, before slowly removing my hands from the simple wooden bucket. As I lifted my arms out in front of me, everyone could now see that my fists were completely coated in grease and broken glass, and as I held the wizard’s gaze, the next words I spoke were said with an almost fanatical excitement.
“I am not a hero! I am a sculptor in need of clay!”
In that moment, I quickly called upon the winds of fate to make an intimidation check, and after rolling the dice and tallying the results, I was pleased to see that the wizard’s face had immediately drained of color. Then, with a ragged cry, the crime lord finally shouted the words I that desperately wanted to hear: ‘Kill them. Kill them all!’
And with that simple statement, the battle had finally begun.
As it turns out though, the wizard quickly proved to be no slouch in combat, for he ended up attacking first before anyone could react. With a wave of his hand, the crime lord called upon his magic and unleashed a powerful fear spell directly into the party. In an instant, my mind was suddenly filled with a torrent of horrible images, yet after fortifying my willpower with a successful roll of fate, I managed to calm my breathing and shrug off the spell’s effects. Unfortunately, the druid’s grizzly bear and our half-elf were not so lucky, for they immediately screamed in panic and started running away in terror.
No matter. We didn’t need them anyway.
The bodyguards were up next, and with two of them moving to flank our druid, the last one wasted no time in squaring off against our warpriest. Apparently none of them were keen on facing down the man with shards of broken glass covering his arms, but I suppose I really couldn’t fault them for that. Besides, this meant that the wizard was mine for the taking, and when I finally got the chance to react, I immediately charged forward and launched myself at the mage. Just as I suspected, the crime lord hadn’t had time to cast his defensive magic yet, and after rolling upon the winds of fate, my fist easily collided with the spellcaster’s jaw. A bright burst of blood instantly erupted from the impact, as the wizard howled in pain and clutched his ruined face.
However, despite the incredible damage he suffered, I had purposely attacked him with a non-lethal strike, for I wanted more than anything to capture him alive. Thankfully the crime lord had no intention of making this easy, and as he took a step back and raised up his hand, a magical bolt of lightning suddenly erupted from his palm. Before I could even react, the lightning bolt slammed into me with an impressive amount of force, and the wizard even managed to angle it just right so that our druid and his two bodyguards were caught in the blast as well. After rolling on the winds of fate, the druid and I were unable to reduce the damage of the attack, but it appeared that the mage’s bodyguards had not been harmed at all. Apparently having ‘evasion’ can be a very handy thing.
When it came time for me to act again, I knew that I needed to end the fight quickly before this pesky little spellcaster could cause any more harm. And so, after taking a step closer and measuring my strike, I called upon one of my brawler techniques and prepared to hit the man with a ‘knockout blow’. With the ‘Dark Master’ watching closely, I cast my dice upon the winds of fate and delivered a brutal uppercut to the crime lord’s exposed chin, and although he tried to resist the attack, the fortitude of wizard was never very strong. A split second later, I watched with a satisfied smile as the mage’s eyes glazed over and he collapsed to ground, unconscious but still alive and bleeding rather badly. I then spent the rest of my turn attacking the helpless wizard with a few more non-lethal strikes, just to make sure that he stayed down for good.
Not long after that, the rest of the crime lord’s bodyguards were swiftly disposed of, and as we took a moment to heal our wounds and gather around the wizard, I politely asked my party if they would be willing to entrust the spellcaster to my care. To my surprise, our warpriest actually agreed to my request, stating that the man deserved to suffer for everything that he had done, and that she honestly didn’t give a damn about what happened to him now. And so, with a gentle smile, I calmly retrieved a healing potion and poured it down the wizard’s throat, not enough to heal him completely of course, but just enough to wake him up in a severely weakened state. From there, I knelt down and cradled his face gently in my glass-covered hands, and when the ruthless crime lord finally managed to open up his eyes, the first thing he would see would be the image of my face staring back at him with a smile. And little did he know, that would be the last thing he would ever see again.
“Do not be afraid my friend,” I whispered in a gentle voice. “I promise that this pain is for your own good.”
As soon as those words escaped my lips, I called upon the elemental energy in my blood, causing a supernatural burst of fire to envelop both of my hands…the hands that were currently cradling the spellcaster’s ruined face. Oh how the wizard screamed out in agony as the fire seared his flesh and burned away his skin, while the smell of cooked meat began to fill my senses.
“Pray to him!” I yelled at the mage, as my voice somehow managed to rise above his screams. “Give thanks to the Midnight Lord and beg for his mercy, and if the great Zon-Kuthon finds you worthy of his notice, then he will surely give you the strength to endure this horrible pain! Embrace Zon-Kuthon with every fiber of your being, and allow His cruel touch to humble your wicked soul!”
At this point, my party members were now looking at me in utter disbelief, for they clearly hadn’t expected me to take things this far. However, before they could even react, I called upon the winds of fate to make a diplomacy check, and as the ‘Dark Master’ watched closely and tallied up the numbers, my hard work was finally rewarded with a marvelous result. Through his ragged screams and wails of pain, the wizard began crying out for the Midnight Lord’s mercy. He begged and pleaded for any form of relief, and after feeling the ‘Dark Master’ give his consent, I allowed the flames on my hands to slowly fade away.
When I pulled my palms away from his face, the party could now see that the crime lord’s eyes had been utterly seared away, leaving him completely blind yet oddly relieved. Unable to stand the scene any longer, our wapriest abruptly drew her sword and pointed it in my direction, declaring that I was a monster and that she should never have allowed me to torture this man in the first place…even if he did deserve it. In response, I gently looked back at her with a strangely peaceful smile, before carefully explaining my actions in a calm and rational voice.
“You misunderstand. I did not do this to punish this man, but rather to give him the chance to repent for his misdeeds. After all, killing him would have gained us nothing, but now he has the opportunity to redeem himself by informing us of all the other criminals that he has conspired with. We have saved his soul, and with his help, we will surely bring many others to justice as well, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a win in my book.”
Before our warpriest could argue further, the wizard slowly reached up with trembling hands and began to mutter ‘thank you’ in a raspy broken voice, declaring that he would happily aid us with anything we desired. My party members merely sneered at this before demanding that I take the man to the local authorities, and after nodding my agreement, they finally let the matter drop and proceeded to loot the bodies. When we finally exited the warehouse, I couldn’t help but feel that we had achieved a major victory, and as I carried the weeping crime lord carefully in my arms, I knew that even greater challenges were in store for me in the future.
Sadly though, I fear that we must pause for the time being, for the hour grows late, and I am sure that many of you are weary of my ramblings. However, if you would like to hear more, then please feel free to come back again, and perhaps I will tell you the exciting conclusion to my epic little story. In the meantime, I wish you all good fortune and a very blessed day, and I hope that the Midnight Lord grants you the wisdom to overcome your misery and grow stronger through your pain.
With Deepest Regards: Xaldin.
[If you'd like to enjoy the 'narrated version' of this story, please feel free to check out the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcw8_MYNvU&t=1s&ab_channel=AllThingsDnD ]
submitted by Sinlessssoul to Pathfinder_RPG [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 21:17 Whispersilk Pooka (Gamma)

Personal Information

Name: Pooka
Birthday: February 1, 2020
Tier: Gamma
Previous RTs: Alpha, Bravo
Alignment: Neutral
Appearance: Pooka stands three feet tall, with a prehensile feline tail of the same length. Its body is covered in short white fur, and it has digitigrade legs and long arms that end in five-fingered hands. Two large, mobile ears sit on top of its head, and it has a short, blunt snout. Its face is dominated by two large eyes with dilated pupils, which can be moved independently and are set at angles that give Pooka a 250° maximum field of view.
Background: Pooka was "born" in the Library of Congress during the White Event, mystical energy coalescing to draw them from the void. Since then, it has been living unseen within the Library and using it as its base of operations.
Skills: Pooka can read, write, and understand English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Russian. It has an unpowered reading speed of 1,000 words per minute; has a surface-level knowledge of most subjects and more detailed knowledge of computers and technological systems; can type at 400 words per minute; and has hyperphantasia. Pooka is extremely good at logic and spatial reasoning puzzles.
 

Powers

Manaform: Pooka is made of mana. It has no mass: anyone can pick it up and throw it with as much ease as a feather; even the most precarious of footholds can support them; and it has no terminal velocity and takes no fall damage. It doesn't need food, water, air, or sleep; is unaffected by heat and cold; and cannot be targeted by telekinesis. Any matter it consumes is annihilated. Anti-magic fields double its reaction time and increase its recovery interval to infinity, and counterspells strike it like tank-level blows. Pooka can see mana and spells.
Pooka can run at up to 100 mph and stick to walls and ceilings, has a combat speed of 125 mph and 20 millisecond reactions, and can lift up to 300 pounds and manipulate it with ease. It has no vital organs and can survive so long as more than 50% of its body remains in one piece, recovering over the course of a week.
Pooka can change shape into any creature between a mouse and an elephant in size. This change takes two milliseconds and is purely cosmetic; Pooka retains the same coloration, weight, strength, and speed as in its normal form. When in another creature's shape, Pooka can make any sounds it can make and make use of any senses it possesses.
Omniglot: Pooka can understand anything being said by a person that understands what they are saying. It can speak by pushing ideas and impressions into the minds of people it can see within 100 meters.
Compound Mind: Pooka has a perfect memory and can give its full attention to each of up to 60 simultaneous trains of thought. It has superhuman pattern recognition and reasoning abilities.
Invisible Hand: Each of Pooka's minds can telekinetically lift and manipulate an object or group of objects, weighing up to ten pounds and within both 20 meters and line of sight, with as much speed and dexterity as Pooka could manually. Objects weighing more than ten pounds can be manipulated with up to ten pounds of force.
Distorted Lens: Once per reaction time, each of Pooka's minds can overwrite the sensory input of a person in their line of sight or currently under this effect with sensory data from a scene of Pooka's choosing. This scene is rendered for the target as if it were real, accounting for additional senses, and lasts for one of their reaction times or for 250 milliseconds with their awareness and consent. Pooka gets access to the replaced sensory input. A tank-level blow or stagger-level pain against a non-consenting target will dispel the illusory scene and keep them from being targeted by it again for one second. No person can be targeted by this ability more than once per reaction time.
Wellspring: Magic users touching Pooka can deal Pooka a tank-level blow instead of consuming mana or a spell slot to cast spells, and Pooka can draw from its own body to cast magic in the same way. Unless stated otherwise, Pooka's spells can be cast on objects within both 100 meters and line of sight and lasting spells can be cast on objects currently under their effect.
Name Effect Cost
Animate For the next ten seconds, grants an inanimate object a soul, causing powers and effects to treat it as a living being. Unphased
Beat Creates a baseball-sized orb of mana and launches it at up to 250 mph. The orb strikes the first thing it touches for up to 5 kJ. Unphased
Enflame Engulfs up to one square meter of an object with flames that burn at up to 1,600°F and impart up to 125 kW/m2 up to that temperature. Flames last for half a second and can't be extinguished. Tank
Fission Splits a mind from Pooka's body and infuses it into a sigil or network of sigils on a single object. The mind shares Pooka's memories and, though incapable of casting spells, can use all of Pooka's other abilities on any clairvoyant volume bounded by the sigils it infuses. Destroying all such sigils kills the mind. It takes Pooka one hour to grow a replacement mind. Stagger
Scry Inscribes a sigil between five millimeters and a meter in size on an inanimate object, taking one second per MJ of that object's durability. Sigils last until they are broken, and Pooka maintains awareness of each sigil's location. Inscribing multiple sigils on an object grants Pooka clairvoyance of the volume bounded by the sigils. Clairvoyance counts as line of sight, with distance from the sigil counted as distance from Pooka. If an object with multiple sigils on it is broken into pieces, the sigils will remain connected as long as they are within 50 meters of each other. Stagger
Weld Fuses two touching, nonliving objects together at the points where they touch. Tank
 

Equipment

Pooka has a laptop, a smartphone, $12,000 cash, and $150,000 in cryptocurrency. They also rent a small business space month to month under a fake name. The space has a gigabit internet connection, and Pooka has wired up a nest of twelve computers with monitors and input devices. Scrying sigils are placed in each corner of the room and in the hallway outside the door.
 

Feats

  • Can stand on falling leaves and walk on water.
  • Could throw a grown man 1,045 feet.
  • Edited two people out of each other's senses, leaving them unaware of one another even when they collided.
  • Can jump 159 feet straight up and 1,045 feet horizontally.
  • Prevented someone from feeling that they were drunk until they stumbled and hit their head.
  • Read Wikipedia.
  • Animated a camera and edited itself out of that camera's field of view.
  • Animated a computer to log a person's keystrokes and steal their password.
  • Solved a 7x7x7 Rubik's cube in under five seconds.
  • Lifted a washing machine with telekinesis from multiple minds working together.
 

Timeline

Date Event
February 1, 2020 Is born at the Library of Congress.
Meets Nico Preston and Victoria Assad. Learns to read.
February 2, 2020 Meets Amanda Watkins. Learns about the internet.
March 2, 2020 Interacts with Sophia Little over email.
March 19, 2020 Acquires a laptop. Accidentally reveals itself to a hostile meta.
March 25, 2020 Meets Emily Booth and observes her magic.
April 2, 2020 Breaks a number of prisoners out of Folsom State Prison.
Early September, 2020 Steals information from a cartel leader. Interacts with Colette Du Froid.
Reveals the existence of magic to Amanda Watkins and connects her with Emily Booth.
November 7, 2020 Tails the mobster Arnie Kemp and learns the key code to his base of operations.
November 22, 2020 Contracts Ringer to infiltrate Arnie Kemp's base.
November 27, 2020 Works with Ringer to steal information and two prototype weapons from Arnie Kemp's base.
December 18, 2020 Acquires a business space in Washington, D.C.
Late January, 2021 Joins forces with a group of heroes to investigate a water park and rescue a hostage.
February 6, 2021 Successfully copies Emily Booth's Mana Push spell.
Late March, 2021 Assists Keegan Rockwell in obtaining a legal ID.
submitted by Whispersilk to Whispersilk [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 20:24 SneakyNinja4782 Throwback to the u/CallOfNobodyCares leaks. Who else remembers the dark times of BO4 launch?

List of all things CallOfNobodyCares has LEAKED.
This is a full list of all things leaked by reddit user CallOfNobodyCares.
VOD:
There is a fish located in one of several locations. Shoot it to make it fall and interact to collect it. After each one, another will spawn in a new location. Collect six total and go to the crate on the deck that has fish on it. Interact to recieve a reward.
In the engine room, use an upgraded elemental kraken to shoot the four center-most moving pistons. They will smoke and stop movong after being shoot. Six blinking red light lead to six wheel to turn. After turning all six, go in the Turbine room and interact with the switch on the wall next to the door. This unlocks the PAP at all locations.
There is a dancing Humonculus dancing on an iceberg with a flag gaurd next to it. The flag pattern is a morse code cipher, this can only be seen using a sniper and looking through a certain window.
There are three sheets, each corresponds to a piano near the Grand Staircase, one is in the Dining Hall. After placing all three, quickly melee all three pianos and then the mystery box with your special weapon (doesn't have to be the same player). This allows the player to temporarily be able to switch their special weapon via the mystery box. This can be done repeatedly every round.
Stay under water for 30 seconds and there will be about a 5% chance every three seconds of a verse playing. After a verse plays, you have to wait three minutes to hear another.
BOD:
You can upgrade the Golden Spork to the Sprknife and it is the most difficult/arduous EE in BO4. To do this, obtain the Golden Spork and go to the bathtub/tub of blood in the room next to New Industries (near the first fast travel). Now get 100 melee kills with the Golden Spork near this tub. When completed, a skeleton hand will rise out. Interact with it to place the Golden Spork. Now there will be three stones of different colors spawned around the map. The player has to find these stones. One at a time, the player must place a stone at its corresponding trap (acid, blade, or fan trap) and then get 100 kills near the trap. Once all three traps are completed, a gold colored stone will spawn. The player must take the golden stone to the skeleton hand. Interact and it will change to the Sprknife. These steps may have been slightly altered since the last time I did them, the 100 kills near the tub may be before or after (or both) the stones.
The minor EE are mainly tiny pieces of artwork that can be found by using certain attacks on certain objects. Such as; Use the Flamethrower's Tornado on the desk across from the mystery box in Administration, the Katana's Dash on a bookshelf in Library. You can activate your special weapon next to or melee with the golden spork the two signs in Michigan Avenue and Times Square (I forget which attack is for which).
IX:
Once the Viking Funeral is completed and the Iron Bull is completed, there is another EE that can be completed.
First, use the shield to shoot the drumming gladiators during a gladiator round. You'll know it worked when it plays a guitar rift and the drummers will turn toward the arena and put their arms in the air. Next, the player has to melee nine zombies with the upgraded shield, while the blade is on fire. I believe there are one or two more steps of either using the WW or a certain trap to kill nine zombies. It's been changed multiple times since I last tested it so it may be slightly different or require a different amount of kills. A guitar rift will sound after completing each step. The physical reward I believe is just a random powerup. The main reward is that a destroyer will appear where the drummers and will appear to rocking out playing an air guitar. All destroyers will be able to play two animations; playing the air guitar and devil horns in the air.
There are several yellow text ciphers. One is in the room with the crying builder. Another in the center of the pit behind a hand that you interact with. One is in the way up in the stands on the right side of one of the podiums. One is under the center podium in the Arena. One is in one of the starting tunnels, the player will have to go down for this one. There is one that can only be seen in the stars during the Danu Tree event, I believe it's morse code based with the stars blinking. There may be a couple more that I forget. For the center podium one, I believe you have to kill a blightfather on the podium first. It may require using a certain weapon or AAT.
There is also a minor EE to change the "Bath House" to the "Blood Bath House". It requires getting about 830 kills inside of the bloody bath in Zeus Temple. The zone name will change, nothing else happens. The kill amount is the dev's son's birthday but it was last reported as changing before the amount was reached.
The crying builder is map lore and was the one who built the traps and WW against the wishes of his superiors. He was sealed in the wall alive as punishment.
You can take less trap damage by running/sliding through every trap variant (3) without taking trap damage from those traps all within the same round. Then you have to kill one of each type of enemy with a trap, except for the gladiators and blightfathers (this includes tigers and each catalyst type). Its unknown how but it can be reset so that you take damage again.
Classified:
After completing the Punch Card EE, go back to the military base. As Dempsey (only he can do this), throw a frag grenade (frag only) at the door of the large warehouse (opposite side of jump scare). Dempsey will say a quote. Leave the area, return, throw another frag, I believe this can be done five times for different quotes.
In the basement, go in the room with the projector. Stand in the corner across from the projector (corner next to table). Samantha will give her version of the Crooked Man Riddle.

Other Leaks:
DLC 1 Is a prequel to the Choas storyline with four new characters.
Nuketown Zombies is 100% happening but no date for when.
Each DLC pack will have 1 Zombies Map.
It is planned to have more maps that follow the Aether Storyline.
There are plans to eventually complete and implement a 4v4 mode in zombies. However, there is a possibility that it may be cancelled.
The Sprknife quest was last reported as not functioning, or being changed without QA being told, which happens often.
The main Classified EE are the cutscene and the WW. There is no EE like the other maps with a boss fight.
In the next title update (tu6), Speed Cola will return. It will be automatically equipped as a bonus in-game Vapor when the player has all four main Vapors equipped. It can deactivate and reactivate.
Jug was removed because they couldn't figure out how to fix the issues caused by combining it with armor and they didn't want to spend more time working on it. It should work fine now and may return since the health and armor systems use separate bars.
Treyarch only give a shit when big streamers get their game crashed. They don’t care if the minority’s game crashes
The BO4 Campaign mode was worked on until mid 2017 but was scrapped due to wanting to make too many mp maps. It designed to be a 2v2/co-op race to finish each mission.
There was one EE involved with interacting with something in Ra Basement, but it was removed. It just made the crowd do the Wave.
The ciphers translate to quotes by the Priest. He pretty much sees it as his time to fulfill the prophecy of ridding mankind of its weaknesses and forcing what he believes is evolutuon.
submitted by SneakyNinja4782 to CODZombies [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 18:47 QNine Interception Chapter 2: REMEMBRANCE

In this chapter, Saz tries to remember.
Previous Chapter (On QuadrantNine)
Saz sat on the shredded couch, a cup of herbal tea with a splash of laze mixed in to calm his mind and help with the unwinding. "The more stress you put on the connections, the longer it takes." The witch told him.
The witch, Minerva, sat next to her console and told him everything she knew about him. She told him that he had contacted her earlier that week for an interception, she admitted to him that she had lied about being capable of intercepting him, she had done plenty of interception before, but never for a human. In hindsight, she wished she hadn't agreed to their deal. Human interceptions were not unheard of, in fact they were theoretically feasible and were one of the primary ways people were abducted and held for ransom, or worse, sold into slave labor. Various systems had been put into place to prevent such a thing, but even then crafty hackers could still reroute a human mid sprint. Human interceptions typically left the victim dazed and confused for hours, sometimes days, as their mind unwound. There were tales of people being intercepted and sold into slavery, who didn't know any better, obeying commands as if they were always a mindless drone, until months later when everything flooded back to them and they realized everything they knew had been taken from them.
Since her sprinter was outfitted only for inanimate objects, and not living beings, she had told him to sprint naked, just to be safe, and if he had any augments to have them removed. Saz was not augmented, as far as he remembered. It would require two trips, one for him and the other for the goods. When he arrived she had left the room to give him "some decency" while he changed and adapted to his new surroundings. Probably not the best idea for somebody suffering from temporary amnesia.
"Made a few modifications to help with the unwinding," she said. "Been a while since I've worked on a sprinter though. Hopefully I didn't fuck it up. You're welcome to stay until you fully unwind. But, "she stuck out a finger, "on the condition that you stay within this room. When you're ready to leave I'll have you blindfolded. Can't have you knowing where I am. We're in a similar line of work, I hope you understand."
Saz nodded and sipped his tea.
He held out his hands, he recognized them easily. From their olive undertones, to the pale scare tissue wrapped around his right wrists like a fleshy bracelet. His left arm was spotted with lighter scare tissue, small and irregular, like a pale leopard.
He placed his right hand on his hair, well head. There wasn't much up there. A short buzz cut, no longer than the thickness of his fingers. He wondered what color his hair was. Brown maybe?
"I got to make a quick call," Minerva said. "You promise you won't strangle me again?"
"Promise," Saz said.
She left the room, leaving Saz alone with his thoughts.
Like dancers moving across a dance floor while the lights strobe about them, memories appeared and disappeared, as soon as he'd remember something it would be gone, only an after image remained in their place. He'd see a clear image of a gun, held by gristle harry hands. Only hands though, the rest of the body faded into a dark hulking silhouette.
There was a woman with neon pink hair fully illuminated standing in an alley flashing neon signs hung above her, and then she was gone. Then another woman with neon blue hair, her face a dull blue, like glowworms in a dark cave. On her shoulder sat a glowing red five pointed star. Each time she flashed into existence, her hair was different. Her face, a void, but in each iteration she bore the same glowing red star on her shoulder.
He remembered his line of work, or at least of them. He been a runner. He ran chems and other contraband substances from point A to point B, then return back with the cash. He had come to Case City for the big bucks, it was the only city that still printed its own physical currency, making a paradise for libertarians and outlaws alike.
The hatched door swung open, Saz looked over. Minerva shut the door behind her.
"I hope you're happy," she said, "I canceled the date."
"Aren't you a little old to be dating?" Saz asked. "Don't you have grand kids or something?"
"Hun," she said, "you're never too old to have a little fun." She still wore the black dress, the drops of light still trickling down the fabric. "Oh, and that's thirty six strands you made me tear. A hundred and eighty extra bucks coming out of your bill."
"Fine," Saz sighed. So what's your story?" Saz asked.
"I intercept, I get paid, I make a living. Nothing else too it," she said.
"Did you make that yourself?" He pointed towards the sprinter in the middle of the room.
"What makes you think so?"
"Sprinters aren't supposed to look like that. Looks like you Frankensteined your own."
"I'm not going to have the kid with a wound up head tell me what a sprinter should or shouldn't look like. Pfft," she spun on her chair. "You get back to your business, and I'll get back to mine."
She turned around and began working on the console again. Case watched the sprinter, he knew what they were supposed to look like. That was burned deep into his minds eye. They were supposed to be larger than this, have holoscreens and dials for picking your route, and have a protective shielding. This one was barebone, just a stainless steel coffin, no protective glass or anything. It was either cheap old crap or counterfeit. He knew more about sprinters than himself at this point. In one sense it was relieving to know so much about one thing when he knew nothing else at all, but in another sense he was frustrated that he only knew so much about one thing.
The sprinter began to purr, the purple plasma drifted across the invisible barrier between the room and whatever hocus pocus wonderland lied in the chasms between sprinters. He envisioned a three dimensional roadmap, with highways, feeder streets, main arteries, all the way down to the rustic dirt roads. Each road terminating at a different sprinter, allowing who (or what) ever entered to be whisked away faster than the speed of light from one place to another. He saw the network with clarity, The Case City Network, the CCN.
He watched the specs of light dance across the plasma membrane. The plasma functioned like a break, slowing down the matter passing through the CCN. A sprinter warped only a few packets of matter at a time, in order to not clog up the routes. Whenever a packet hit the plasma would light up like a firefly in the night sky. After the packet of matter had been sufficiently slowed down the sprinter itself would begin organizing said material in accordance to the blueprints it had received from the sender side. The machine would then begin piecing together the packets using a mix of nanomachines and other high tech wizardry he either didn't know or couldn't remember. You were effectively dead the moment you began sprinting, only to be miraculously brought to life in another within a few minutes of entering one. Because of this, sprinters had earned various nicknames: coffins, caskets, death booths, Lazarus chambers, and so on.
In theory the material was the same between both ends, but sometimes a packet would be lost or mixed up, most of the time it was benign, other times people would emerge with missing organs, or limbs they had not entered the sprinter with. The cases were few and far between, and mostly happened with counterfeit sprinters. Saz looked at his hands, they looked right to him, seamless and the right proportions.
The sprinter's plasma barrier retreated back into its hiding spot, like the ocean retreating from the shoreline during a low tide. In the middle of the metallic coffin sat a black box with a white cross atop it. Case stood up and looked at it curiously.
"Hey, hey," Minerva said, "don't touch that." She stood up from her console and walked to the sprinter.
"I wasn't going to," he said. "What is it?"
"Medicine," she said. She sat herself down on the side of the sprinter and retrieved the box. She opened it and produced a small flask. "I'm sure they won't mind being one vile short." She sat the box back down in the center of the sprinter and turned to Saz. "Take this," she held the vile towards Saz. He took it and sat back down on the couch.
"What is it?" He held the vial up to his eyes and inspected the label. 'REMEMBRANCE' it said in bold letters, beneath it in smaller text, 'Case Co Biolabs.'
"Supposed to help with the unwinding," she said. "You're lucky that was my first interception tonight."
"How do I take it?"
"Open it," she mimed a twisting motion with her hands, "and bottoms up."
Saz twisted the top off and peered into the vial. A green liquid sat within the container's walls. He tossed his head back and downed the medicine. It tasted of oil and rotten fruit. He gagged.
"Taste like shit, but works like a charm," she smiled. "No, don't spit it out."
Saz's gag reflexes overloaded his throat. His throat closed up and his diaphragm began convulsing, he coughed the green liquid up. Some of the green serum spilled on the couch. Minerva rushed over and snatched the vial from his hands.
"No, no, no," she said, "you are not wasting this. Did you swallow any?"
"A little bit, bleh," Saz stuck out his tongue, "I think."
She sighed and screwed the cap back on. "Half left," she said, "we'll give it another shot after your stomach settles." She returned to the console and booted up the sprinter again.
"What are you doing?" Saz asked.
"Figured I'd make a little cash intercepting tonight," she said, her back turned towards him. "If I got to babysit you in the sprinter room might as well."
"Why would anyone want that vile stuff?" The taste still lingered in his mouth.
"Runners using counterfeit sprinters mostly, or maybe a sprinting station is in need for an emergency," she shrugged. "I don't ask questions, just send it to whoever's paying the most."
The plasma receded reveling an empty casket. His gaze drifted from the casket across the room towards the wall with the light board, "Welcome Saz!" still written in radiant green.
"Why'd you write my name on the board?" Saz asked.
Minerva shrugged. "When you called me for the job I could sense distress in your voice, like something was wrong. I thought maybe it'd help with making you feel welcome." Beneath the hoarseness of her voice, Saz sensed a tinge of warmth in her tone. "Who'd you piss off?" The warmness gone from her voice.
Her console beeped, she spun around on her chair and resumed her work.
"And we have another," she said. The sprinter booted up once again, Saz watched it, waiting to see what lied beneath the curtain. The sprinter did its magic, the plasma curtain closed, and opened. In the middle of the sprinter lied a steel case, maybe a half a meter long an no more than a quarter meter wide.
"Mind checking it for me?" Minerva asked.
"Uhh, sure…" Saz went to the sprinter and opened the case. Nestled inside a crooked crevasse embedded within a cushioned surface sat a black metallic arm. The reflection of the florescent light above the sprinter twisted around the arm like an ever shifting tattoo. At the shoulder of the cybernetic arm, in luminous scarlet sat a flower with five petals, drawn so intricately. A single line started from the tip of the top petal, it traced the outside and spiraled inwards, growing thinner and thinner until it twisted into a perfect circle in the center. He felt his eyes begin to water, he didn't know why.
"A runner without augments? You must be quite the paranoid type," a woman's voice echoed in his head. The same one from earlier. "I don't even want to know where you hide the contraband."
Saz cocked his head.
"How's it look?" Minerva asked.
"Familiar," the word just slipped out of his mouth.
"No, I mean what condition is it in?" She asked.
Saz shrugged. "Looks good to me, what are you doing with this?"
"Close the case and set it by the door," she said.
"I'm not your assistant," Saz said.
"You're going to make a little old lady like myself lift a heavy box like that?"
"I bet you're augmented from head to toe. Just how many implants do you have in you?"
"Didn't your mother tell you to never ask a lady if she's augmented?"
Saz was sure that wasn't a thing people told him not to ask.
"Usually I'd leave that hatch open," she pointed to the door, "let a little bot take care of it, but since you're here I figured I'd give the bots a day off."
"Fine, fine," Saz closed the hatch and lifted the container out of the sprinter. It was lighter than he expected, he carried to the door and sat it down. "There, are you happy? He said walking back to the couch.
"You make a fine assistant," Minerva laughed.
"What's the arm for?" Saz asked, sitting down.
"Refurbishment job," she said. "Client wants it polished."
She didn't mean what she meant, nobody in her line of work would do a simple "refurbishment job." No, he remembered clearly what those words meant for people like her. She was going to wipe it of any ID tags and markings.
"No," Saz shook his head, "you can't do that."
"Yes I can."
"How much are they paying you? I'll double it!" Saz didn't know what he was saying. There was something about that arm that beckoned him to protect it, like a child holding on to a teddy bear while his mother threatened to toss it out.
"Why do you want that arm so badly? It's not even your size, it's clearly a woman's."
"Just please," he closed his eyes. Images of the woman with the luminescent hair and the five pointed star tattoo flashed through his mind's eye like a corrupt video file. He slammed his fists into the couch. "I'll triple it, quadruple it. Just tell me how much."
"Saz, calm down," his eyes were still closed but he heard her voice draw closer. He felt her hand touch his shoulder, her palms were rough and calloused, like a shopkeeper's. "I can sedate you if it'll make this easier. I read some studies that said that dreaming can help with the unwinding process."
"No, I'm fine," he opened his eyes and gazed at the sprinter. "Just give me more tea."
She removed her palm from his shoulder, leaving a cold mark on his skin. He looked at his palms, twinkles of sweat glistened across his skin. Like he had just broken a fever.
Another image of the woman with luminescent hair flashed before his eyes. She was smiling at him, her tattooed gave him a thumbs up. She had long scarlet hair draping to her shoulder, like lava flowing down a volcano. The strands flowed into her flesh, and began gently twisting into a delicate pattern. Soon a five pointed star emerged, and the red river continued flowing inwards. The lines spiraled towards the center, tracing the same pattern over and over again, stars within stars, until it ended in a circle. Her flesh turned pitch black, leaving only the tattoo. He had been wrong, it wasn't a star, it was a flower.
If you enjoyed this, you can read more of my writing over on my personal website QuadrantNine.net. Click here for a list of all of my stories.
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2020.09.29 17:58 Curious_PB A bumpy road to 5 ATs …

So I finally did it and like many others who found your encouragement and lessons learned helpful through their journeys, I wanted to share some of the resources I found useful.
I won’t bore you with the details of my study plan as I don’t think it was efficient and created some unnecessary stress for me. So I will spare you 😊
Here are the resources I would recommend:
Books:
· Andy Crowe’s book is an easy read. Each chapter has links to videos which are not as boring as Joseph Phillips videos (I got Joseph Phillip’s Cram session and didn’t find ANY value in it. I could have just saved $17 and 7 hours of my time!): https://www.amazon.com/PMP-Exam-Pass-First-Sixth/dp/0990907473/ref=asc_df_0990907473/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312006100296&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=169391283329054238&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9061191&hvtargid=pla-433898867210&psc=1
· Rita Mulcahy’s book: https://store.rmcproject.com/pmp-exam-prep-ninth-edition?gclid=CjwKCAjw8MD7BRArEiwAGZsrBYh_xurINmSt3QTRFyH7FsXr5ksgCXye4QJiTduaacQw5gMnespyjhoCG40QAvD_BwE
o This book gives you detailed explanations and has really good exercises to solidify your understanding. Practice “Rita’s Process Chart” game every single day. Make flash cards and set them in the right process group and memorize the order of the “Planning” process group (you can find it online if you don’t want to invest on buying the book)
o Don’t ignore the exercises. That’s where you learn the processes
o The end of chapter exams are not close to the real exam but try to understand the answers and take notes
· PMBOK
o I read this a couple of months before the exam but didn’t remember ANY details by the exam date. I didn’t get a chance to review it before the exam again and I was soooooo worried but looks like it didn’t matter much after all!
Videos:
· https://ricardo-vargas.com/videos/elaboration-of-the-processes-flow-of-the-pmbok-6th-edition/
· This guy from Praizion (https://www.youtube.com/usePraizion/videos) has really good videos. The only downside is that he talks SUPER slowly but you can just change the speed. These 2 were particularly helpful:
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvnF3nmkuDI&app=desktop
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhLcnjrRMJY&t=1134s
· Aileen has some good videos too. This one in particular gives you a strategy how to reach to the right answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ0f7WLYTlI
· Don’t be shy to search for knowledge areas you struggle with on youtube. This channel was helpful for me as well: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCANKprSW5q8hX_O6ghyIN7A
Practice Tests:
· Can’t emphasize more to make sure that you do the PMI’s Mock Exam EVERY DAY until it sticks. Start early so when you get the low score the first time, your confidence is not completely crushed for the exam day. Try to go over the questions (ALL of THEM) and find a way to justify the correct answers for yourself (I didn’t agree with many of the answers myself. But in order to nail the exam you have to be in the PMI’s mindset, although not very applicable in the real world!): https://www.pmi.org/shop/p-/elearning/pmp%c2%ae-practice-exam/16202
· PrepCast simulator is a good tool. With that said, the exam questions didn’t look similar to me. The value I got out of this tool was to test my understanding of the whole project management process and used the PMBOK as a reference for Questions I marked for review or got wrong. Make sure you go through the explanations for the questions in doubt: https://www.project-management-prepcast.com/pmp-exam/the-pmp-exam-simulator
· I would not recommend Oliver Lehmann’s practice tests. In my opinion, they were way off compared to the real exam. But if interested, you can take the 120Q and the 200Q versions.
o 120Q: https://www.oliverlehmann.com/pmp-self-test/100-free-questions.htm#testbegin
o 200Q: https://www.oliverlehmann.com/pmp-self-test/100-free-questions.htm#testbegin
Useful Resources:
· A very nice tool for ITTOs: http://www.acethepmpexam.com/ppe/index.html
· Good cheat sheet and additional material. You can create ITTO flashcards: https://www.projectprep.org/
· 47 Pairs of Easily Confused Terms: https://edward-designer.com/web/pmp-easily-confused-terms/
o Other pages under the parent link may also be helpful. This guy also lists all the free exams that you may find helpful
Topics to pay a bit more attention where the exam questions test your grasp of the processes:
· Change Control: lots and lots of questions in this area
· Understand the differences between Communications Management vs. Stakeholder Engagement
· Try to find a way to convince yourself what needs an issue management vs. risk management vs. escalation vs. lessons learned update.
· Know the differences between different communication types (Pull, Push, Interactive)
Proctored Exam vs. Center-Based Exam:
· I did the proctored exam and although my experience wasn’t as bad as some of the horror stories here, I would recommend a center-based test if you’re not too worried about Covid-19. Reasons being:
o I was stressed out for weeks imagining all things that could go wrong during the exam
o I had a bit of sniffles during the exam and the proctor didn’t let me use tissues to wipe my nose!
o It took me 15 minutes to be able to login the onVue and kept getting the “Access Code is invalid” error. I finally restarted the computer a couple of times before it worked
o The calculator is HORRIBLE! you basically have to click on each number (I had a hard time using the numbers from the keyboard! For some reason, it wouldn’t punch in the numbers very smoothly)
o Tried to use the whiteboard and actually practiced at home but NOPE, it didn’t work
Finally:
· Don’t drive yourself crazy (like I did) finding 100s of resources and practice tests online. Pick a couple of books and stick with them. It’s better to review the same books multiple times than jumping from one to 10 other books!
· PMI Mock exam is your best friend
· Whatever practice exam you take or whatever tool you use, consistently take notes (1-2 sentences for each lessons-learned) and review your notes on a regular basis
· Decide if you want to memorize the ITTOs or not very early on. I decided to memorize them a couple of weeks before the exam but couldn’t and that gave me lots of stress and crushed my confidence! Having said that, it didn’t seem that memorizing was really necessary …
· Keep a close eye on the time during the exam. I used to end PrepCast exams with 30-40 minutes extra time for review but ended up with only 3 minutes left during the real exam. But I’m a slow reader in general so I’ve seen many people who didn’t run into the same issue as I did. Just keep a close eye and you should be fine
Hope this helps and best of luck to everyone who’s going through this painful process!
submitted by Curious_PB to pmp [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 13:47 cw9595cw Mindfulness And The Power Of Positive Thinking.

I am a recovering alcoholic myself, I 25/m have struggled with alcoholism since 21/m. But earlier this month, I was struck by a car and rear-ended right in the middle of a dark tunnel. I was wearing a helmet and ultimately survived, and nearing the final recovery stages for my accident-related injuries. I am now 20 Days no Alcohol, looking to keep it up. I smoke consistently about twice per day. Approximately every 7:30 am and 7:30 pm. I also Suffer Mild Autism/ASD, as well as Tourette's, Anxiety Depression, OCD, and ADHD. The Asperger's explains the fascination for particular numbers and dates (like Aug 10 or Dec 18/19). Or times/years like 1929 or 1930 and 19:29 or 19:30. It is likely I will repeat information I am excited about (a number or date), but often might accidentally forget a point out or accidentally mislead information unintentionally. I also have an extremely strong imagination (John Lennon taught me to Love and Imagine, George Carlin and Dane Cook taught me to laugh). I am also extremely passionate about trains, as well as great lake freighters and Canadian/American Great Lake shipping. Note: These Novels are not professional, and I do not intend to profit off them, I share them with close friends and family who make helpful suggestions on with to alternate, amend or edit. The Novel I Am Trying To Work On Currently; It's about an Alcoholic Couple and a Stoner Couple who double-date together and also counts and tallies up both their pros/cons. Alcoholic Couple (Becomes Stoner Couple) ; Jackie Rosemary, 24/f, born 1995-12-18, in Jersey City, NJ. USA. Cameron Sage, 24/m, born 1995-12-19, in Jersey City, NJ. USA. Stoner Couple (Remains Stoner Couple); Bessey Bowman, 25/f, born 1995-08-10, in Saint Joseph, Missouri. USA. Cameron Jefferson, 25/m, born 1995-07-31, in Saint Joseph, Missouri. USA. My True DOB = Thursday 1995-07-27 (3rd of 3 brothers/parents 3rd son) Place Of Birth = Earth (3rd planet from the sun) The Fake ID DOB that would make my true age 145 days younger than myself = Tuesday 1995-12-19 Thursday 1995-07-27 is 145 days before Tuesday 1995-12-19. I was due approximately Thursday 1995-08-10 but was born two weeks early via c section (Not one but Two Thursdays Sooner). Two Sweet and Dear Friends of Mine were born 105 days apart in 1995. Wednesday 1995-01-11 is 105 days before 1995-04-26 1:45 minutes = 105 minutes (mind = blown, penis not so much). I am not Lion about this shit (Zodiac Sign = Leo) Occupations; Jackie Rosemary is a Grade School Teacher today at Son-Of-A Bitch Street Elementary School on Son-Of-A-Bitch Street In Welland, Ontario. While Her Husband Cameron Sage, is a Cement Truck Driver for Dane Cook Road Repair, He has been driving around his pimped out CT 1995 that he's owned since his 17th birthday (2012-12-19). Bessey Bowman and Her Husband Cameron Jefferson were both Railway Engineers on The Welland Canal Railway together driving The Wolf Spider Express, Canada's Fastest Express Train, traveling at 145kph between Port Weller and Port Colborne. In 2016, The Wolf Spider Express would often carried older folks 82-92 years of age in the year of 2016, so averaging age 87, and born circa 1929. between Port Weller and Port Colborne at a speed of 145kph, taken approximately 35-45 minutes. Cleveland Browns vs Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium 2016-12-18. That Sunday Morning, Rosemary's 21st birthday won two last-minute tickets for her and her Husband Cameron Sage to go see the Buffalo Bills host the visiting Cleveland Browns over in at The Bills Stadium. Sage was unfortunately just one day away of his own 21st birthday, therefore would not have been old enough to Purchase Alcoholic Beverages. Jackie sold Cameron's ticket and then spent all the money she got for in on alcohol at the game and got loaded by herself. Then evening Sage was driving his cement truck when he was then cut off by an 86-year-old man who pulled on infront of him, then drove at 25kph on a 50kph marked city street. The Driver's name was Jack Slow, (born on 1930-04-25), and his passenger was Jim Fast, (born on 1930-01-10), they were driving their 1930 Green Ford Model A, and they were also married and gay. They had absolutely nowhere else to go, they were just an 86-year-old couple. drinking beer, feeling queer and just looking for a good time (you're never too old to look for a good time). Suddenly, The Bridge Lights went from Green to Red, then the Road-Gates began flashing bright red then the gates lowered. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an 87-year-old female, whos name was Jackie Lightning (born on 1929-04-14) with her 87-year-old male passenger Dane Whitehall (born on 1929-04-04) were traveling at 105kmph in their 1929 Red Rolls Royce. They Swerved right over into their left-hand lane. Then Dane rolled down his window, and threw some hard sour apple jolly rancher candies at Jim and Jack, hitting them both right in the jaw. Then Jackie flipped Jim and Jack Off yelling, "Go Jack Each Other Off In The Gym You Faggots", Not even realizing they were Homosexual, nor that their names were Jim and Jack. Jackie and Dane, high on cocaine, broke through the lowered Road-Gates and the red light then went out of sight. Cameron, along with the two 86-year-old's in front of him were all stuck at the 87-year-old Bridge. Cameron Sage, 20, then had to wait over 20 minutes at Bridge 21 in Port Colborne, raised for a passing ship. The Ship was The Jack Fitzgerald, a ship turning 21-years-old the following day (The ship shared a birthday with Cameron Sage), it was also registered with The 95 Shipping Company, after being bought from the 96 Shipping Company less than two weeks prior to the dead line. The Jack Fitzgerald was a 731ft. long, 75ft. wide lake freighter with a draft of 36ft. The Lake-Freighter was carrying plenty of Buzz Light-Year and Woody Toys at the front, and tons of whiskey and viagra at the back. Captain Andy Ladd (1985-12-12) and First-Mate Sid Crosby (1987-08-07) both from Port Colborne and Not NHL Players, but had been on the ship together since that very Tuesday, (1995-12-19). They wanted to rip each other's eyeballs out at first, but eventually, they became really good kids. The ship had a maximum speed of 14.5 knots but was going moving only at 1.45 knots, (2.7kph/3.7mph). Dane Whitehall's older 89-year-old Brother John (born 1927-07-27) was out for a good-old-stroll along the canal. He had been even walking slightly faster than the Jack Fitzgerald and was curious "Why is that ship going so darn slow? You know back In my day with my little Brother Dane, them big boats used to give-er-tits". The boat continued at 1.45 knots underneath The Bridge. Cameron Sage was then beginning to Rage, with a cross-eyed frown saying "Fuck This Stupid 95-year-old Bridge". Then once The ship had cleared The Bridge, The Bridge then, unfortunately, had broken down. Sage's once content face, was now a crossed-eyed jaw-dropped frown. By the time the damn bridge was fixed, and finally lowered. Sage was waiting at the Bridge for a total duration of 1:45 minutes (105 Minutes). From 19:29 (7:29 pm) when the Road-Gates lowered, to when the Road-Gates raised again at 21:14 (9:14 pm). Cameron Sage was now 105 minutes later than what he anticipated and now in a bad temper. About 21 minutes later, at 21:35 pm. He was approaching a Railroad Crossing in rural Port Colborne. Then he noticed in the distance, the crossing lights began flashing red and the bells were dinging loud and gates lowered. In a fit of Rage, Cam Sage negatively influenced by what he witnessed earlier, decided to break-in the lowered Road-Gates and smashed right through the crossing, directly in front of the path of a Welland Canal Railway Train. The Train was The Wolf Spider Express was approaching the crossing doing a speed of 145kph (90mph). The Wolf Spider Express was successfully able to slow down from 145kph, to 144kph. Then The Train smoked Sage. In The New's Article, They Put 20-Year-Old instead of 21-year-old, Because it was still December 18th and not the 19th yet. And they put with "Criticial Injuries" even though they were Serious Life-Threatening Injuries, to which Sage of course survived. Sage's Wife was notified, and also Jefferson and Bowman rushed to the Welland Hospital to visit Sage. His wife and two good friends all hugged sage and where glad he was okay. What Happened? They had asked. Cam Sage: It was Ridiculously Stupid of me, a grand total of two words. Ridiculously with an R, and Stupid with an S. That is all there is to it. 3, 4, or any more words would be a total waste of time. Also Cam Sage: "Forever 21? I would've been Forever Fuck-in 20 because I decided to play KFC with a God Damn 12-18 foot long Mama Wolf Spider with 144 babies on her back, 72 girls, 72 boys". Bessey Bowman: Your really good with numbers and dates Jesus fucking christ kid What The Fuck. Also Cam Sage: "Well you see Bessey, Jesus Christ is part of the reason why I like my Year-Of-Birth so much because they count the years, which is now a 4-digit number from when he died upon that, whatever that damn word for pissed-off means they use all the time in Thomas The Train". Cameron Sage's Cement Truck was repaired 4 weeks later on January 16, 2017. Cameron Sage came up to another train crossing. The Wolf Spider Express came thundering through. Cam Sage's Logic: "It is better to stop and wait at the crossing as the rules of the road expect you to obey and follow, I can patiently wait for the Wolf Spider Express to carry all the Happy Older Folks (82-92 years of age in 2016) safely through, but I cannot get a new life, if I broke-in through them gets and that Wolf Spider Express smokes me right off the tracks, that would be a Ridiculously Stupid waste of my 21-year-old life". Cameron Sage was looking to fuck alcohol and become sober with a consistent weed schedule just as Older Folks do so with their medicines and medications. Cameron Sage, who had been drinking 12, 12oz of beer every night for over eight years. If Cam Sage were given a leg or every year he abused alcohol, he'd be a spider now not including the two legs he would already be standing on. 12 X 12oz beers = 144oz/d. Friday 2008-12-19 to Sunday 2016-12-18 = 2921 days apart. 144oz/d x 365 x 8 + 1 = 420,481 ounces over 2921 days 420,481oz Cameron Sage has drank, that is over 35,040 beers! Cameron Sage drank 35,040 beers with the first on Friday 2008-12-19 to his last on Sunday 2016-12-18. 2019-12-19 and later (The New Cam Sage) At Midnight Of Cameron Sage's 21st Birthday, Cameron Sage's Family's Offer: If you go 145 Days without smoking pot, We will give an unlimited supply of alcohol so you'll never run out again. Even though nobody else in our family runs beside you. Then you can have all the alcohol you can dream off, then have those nightmares of two trains crashing head-on in the blue ghost tunnel as if were 1903-01-03. Or let's say, for instance, being on a ship like the Titanic or Fitzgerald then you can't wake up for Jack shit (sleep-paralysis). Also mentioned in Cameron Sage's Family's Offer (4 Bottles Of Wine Later): Cam you really gotta stop smoking pot, only criminals partake in smoking pot, good people drink alcohol instead. This made Cam Sage, turn to Rage, and he was Cross as fuck. There's that Synonym for pissed-off they use in Thomas and the thing Jesus Christ died on I was looking for. Bessey Bowman, Jackie Rosemary, and Cameron Jefferson's Offer: Bowman's smoke-schedule for Jackie Rosemary's Weed Growing Operation she helped Her and Jefferson Organize for Sage Strain Name: Blue Ghost Trainwreck was like as if Blue Dream and Ghost Train Haze had a kid together and naming it Trainwreck. Still today, Cameron Sage has been consistently smoking Blue Ghost Train twice-per-day to keep the doctor away. Cameron Sage smokes at 7:30 am, and 7:30 pm. consistently and has been doing so since his 21st birthday, which has now been nearly 4 years. Jackie Rosemary = grow weed (Blue Ghost Trainwreck) for his injuries, and they would prescribe him 1 gram a day to keep the doctor away. Also Jackie Rosemary: "I'll give up Alcohol with you honey, then we can get baked as shit together, instead of always just drinking a shit ton of booze, which always disables your penis like dial-up internet. Jefferson and Bowman would even double-date often with Rosemary and Sage, They would all smoke blunts, eat pizza, watch Netflix, then have foursomes together and still do to this today, with Rosemary and Sage nearly 4 years without Alcohol and they're 24/m. Jefferson and Bowman have already turned 25 over summer. The double-dating stoner-couples would even go on quadruple dates sometimes (8 total, 4 men and 4 women) instead of 4 total, 2 men and 2 women. That is just what I have so far, I also use these short made-up stories for humor-therapy and mediation.
submitted by cw9595cw to KeepWriting [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 05:23 Selenusuka Commander Concept - Niadra - Shadow Warfare ("Zerg /w Protoss Concepts")

(If the formatting is screwed up come back in a bit, I'm not that familiar with reddit formatting)
Hello everyone! Niadra is one of my favourite extremely minor character in SC2 and I think she'll get her dues as a commander one day, but I like to take a shot at trying commander design for fun.
Just a couple of notes before we start: Since I don't plan to ever code it even in Arcade and Blizzard isn't going to take the entire concept wholesale anyway, I don't see the need to write 15 levels of level ups and all that. I'm also not good at numbers so you generally won't see them here - I usually use relative comparisons like "High damage" which I hope will be easy to understand. Sometimes you might see a number show up here and there because I'm very consistent lol.
If I don't mention something about a unit (e.g "higher HP") you can assume it's the same as ladder. Let me know if I made any glaringly obvious design mistakes. Anyway enjoy!
Niadra: Shadow Warfare
Concept: Zerg commander with Protoss concepts mixed in, mostly Shields, Stealth and Mind Control. A little bit of a H&H-like concept with units that can act as unit producers as well.
Plot: Honing her combat with countless of battles of Protoss, Niadra has ironically developed her brood into a twisted mirror of her foes. Having reunited with her queen Kerrigan, Niadra is ready to put them to good use in the fight against Amon.
Special Building: Crashed Protoss Ship
Niadra's special research building and spawn point. Instantly spawned at start of game.
CALLDOWNS
Nydus Strike
Charge Ability (stores up to 2 charges)
Radius: Target location
Spawns a permanent Nydus worm at target location, knocking all enemies away from the area. Then spawns a small task force of timed uncontrollable elite zergling from the worm. If Kerrigan is Niadra's ally, the Nydus Worm is upgraded to Omega Network and both players share the same network.
Has two upgrades from the Crashed Protoss Ship
Upgrade 1 (Medium Cost. Requires Lair): Enemy units around the spawn location are Feared.
Upgrade 2 (High Cost. Requires Hive): Increases the amount of Zerglings spawned and adds in a small number of Aberrations.
Designer note: Your bread and butter calldown, somewhat inspired by Mengsk, in that you want to use them both for a short-term benefit and to slowly build up your Nydus network over time. Kerrigan synergy for the flavor.
Veil of Shadows
Radius: Targeted AOE (Medium)
Cloaks all targeted units in the AOE radius for 60 seconds. Units with the Veil of Shadows buff deal more damage so long as they are currently undetected by any enemy unit and gain an evasion effect.
Designer notes: I'm actually not sure of the usefulness of a cloak buff in Coop given that Amon cheats in detectors in every wave and all that but thematic.
Hero Unit: Niadra
Vitals: Medium
Basic attack: Very Short (Roach-level) range. High damage, high cooldown.
Ability: Summon Ballistalisk
Energy Cost: High
CD: 20 seconds. Unit lasts 60 seconds
Summons a Ballistalisk, a special Hydralisk breed, in the targeted location. See stats in units section.
Designer notes: Most summons have a short life span - these guys still around and allow you to generally hover 2 of them, 3 if it's hit every cooldown.
Ability: Nydus Burrow
Instantly enters into the Nydus Network
Design commentary: Trying to put a spin on Burrow. I'm amused that Blizzard implemented a Zagara prestige can Deep Burrow while I was coming up with this because that was the first drafted idea.
Ability: Mass Infest (Ultimate)
One Unit Targeted
Mind controls the targeted unit, then up to (15 minus Supply of single targeted unit) supply of units (20 with upgrade) in a medium radius.
Design commentary: Niadra uses infestation as a theme for mind control. I was always wondering if there was a way to make MC more useful against swarmy type compositions rather than just Capital Ships and I think this might come close to doing so. Because of the way it works you don't have to target the most expensive thing around all the time. Maybe you might even target spellcasters!
Passive: Assassinate
Provides Super Cloak (ala Nova P3). While Super Cloak is active, Niadra deals bonus damage on the attack that breaks the Cloak.
Passive: Cunning Aura
Increases the energy regeneration and shield regen rate of nearby units by 1.
Design commentary: Takes a bit away from Stettman's niche of providing energy generation as support but this is a bit more all-purpose and less micro-managey.
Passive: Escape Route
Upon death, Niadra launches a larvae towards the nearest enemy unit in range, mind controlling it and then providing a very brief invulnerability period (mostly to drop enemy aggro) and then a short cloak effect. If this unit is not killed after 60 seconds, Niadra will respawn from the body of the unit, killing it in the process. If the unit is killed however, Niadra will respawn at the Crashed Protoss Ship after (2 minutes minus amount of time spent as mind controlled unit)
Design commentary: Kind of a fun flavor thing referencing Niadra's birth. I think it gives a very "come in, wreck stuff, disappear to fight another day" feel.
Overall Unit Design commentary: Somewhat a cross between Zeratul and Zagara, the idea is to hover around the edges and pick off units, doing it again once Super Cloak is back up.
Matrons (Queen)
Limit: 5 Max.
Role: Anti-Air / Unit spawner
Compared to regular Queens, Matrons have a significantly improved Anti-Air damage. As Niadra cannot build Hydralisks, this is a major source of early game anti-air.
Passive: Biomass collection Enemies drop biomass upon death. Matrons may collect these Biomass, storing up to 100 each, which is used in the Delivery ability
Ability: Nydus Burrow
As Niadra.
Ability: Delivery
Charge ability (holds up to 5 charges max)
Uses biomass to spawn a unit. The unit is tossed out as an egg (similar to Stukov spawning mechanic), which then hatches in a very quick manner. Along with the regular Mineral/Gas needed to build the unit, this also consumes 10 Biomass per supply used from the Matron.
Ability: Transfuse (Autocast)
Heals HP to target unit or structure.
Has a research that allows it to target mechanical units and restores shields as well.
Designer note: Inspired by H&H Galleons, but Niadra's Matrons are instead a supplementary form of unit production as she still utilizes regular larvae production. Delivery allows you to save up "burst" unit production, allowing you to quickly reinforce areas, adjust your army composition or help recover from losses.
UNITS
General notes: Niadra's units have, in gameplay mechanics, Protoss Shields. However, unlike regular Protoss Shields, these do not regenerate out of battle but instead drains off over time instead. Instead, each unit has a specific action that makes it gain shields.
Units start here
Ballistalisk (Summoned unit)
Passive: Kill Shot
Enables Shields on the Ballistalisk. It gains shields upon killing an enemy unit.
Unit Commentary: Ballistalisk are a special breed of hydralisk with some very unhydralisk-characteristic traits - it has a very high bulk (Ultralisk tier), with a high damage, high range but slightly below average atack speed weapon. Early game, these can be summoned in front of your other units in order to "tank" for them despite ostensibly being a ranged unit. Late game, you can use them to snipe problematic casters or artillery units.
Zergling
Passive: Battering Ram (Research: Medium cost)
Enables Shields on the Zergling. Zerglings build up shields on movement. When shields hit maximum, procs a barrier for X seconds (ala Immortals), with a cooldown period before the barrier can proc again.
Design commentary: I'm hoping this encourages doing hit-and-run type of tactics and very surgical in-battle movements.
Passive: Sonic Claws (Research: Medium cost)
As long as the zergling has shields remaining, its attacks reduce the target's armor to 0 for 10 seconds.
Design commentary: Strictly inferior to Shredding Claws, cheaper though.
Baneling
Morphed from Zergling
Passive: Regenerative Acid.
In addition to dealing normal damage, Baneling explosions also heal nearby friendly units and structures.
Ability: Launch (Autocast. Research: Medium cost)
Increases move speed. Banelings build up shields on movement. When shields > 50%, the baneling is able to launch itself in the air to target air units.
Unit commentary: Niadra's banelings fulfill both the baneling and scrouge roles in the same unit, while being the only baneling strain to have regenerative acid.
Aberration
Role: Tank / Status inflictor / Anti-Protoss
Passive: Battering Ram
As Zergling
Passive: Charged Blows (Research: Med)
Provides a 30% chance for the Aberration to trigger an EMP shockwave with every attack, dealing 30 damage to shields and depleting 30 energy of enemy units in the target area. Stuns mechanical units for 1 second. Cloaked units are revealed for 10 seconds after being hit.
Design commentary: EMP punches!
Passive: Horrifying Visage (Research: Med)
Provides a 30% chance for the Aberration to cast Fear in a small area with each attack. Enemy units in the area will run around in fear for 3 seconds.
Design commentary: It's Sirius fear in a regular unit! Sort of a "terror tactics" flavor kinda thing.
Unit Commentary: Tanky status inflictor.
Infestor
Neural Parasite
The Infestor permanently takes control of target enemy unit. Each Infestor can only take control of 1 unit at a time, which is marked by a connecting tether. The player can cancel this ability, or it will automatically cancel if the controlling Infestor is killed. Can not target Heroic units. Unlike ladder infestors, Niadra infestors are able to move and cast spells while taking control of an enemy unit.
Fungal Growth
Upon casting, a projectile launches and roots all enemy units within the area of effect when it lands, dealing 30 damage over 3 seconds. If an enemy unit dies while under the effects of Fungal Growth, there is a % chance of spawning an Infested Terran.
Microbial Shroud
All other aspects of the unit as ladder variant.
Design commentary: Stett's the only Zerg commander with an infestor but he doesn't use the mind control aspect of that unit at all, so this seems like a good spot to fill. Not quite sure if a 1 for 1 unit trade works though you can cast other spells while taking control of an enemy.
Lurker
Passive: Tunneling Claws (Research Cost: Low)
Allows the unit to move (very slowly) while burrowed.
Design commentary: Quality of life upgrade. Would a lurker be broken with it? I dunno.
Seismic Burst (Research Cost: Medium)
Charge ability (stores up to 2 charges)
Enable Shields on the Lurker. Can only be used while burrowed. Teleports to target location and unleashes an EMP burst, draining shields and energy from enemy units while restoring shields to friendly units
Design commentary: The idea would be to burst forward once to hit the enemy, then burst back to safely while raising your shields, or bursting twice in your allied zone for more shields.
Mutalisk
Passive: Hyperoscillation (Research Cost: Medium)
Enable shields on the Mutalisk. The unit build up shields at an increasing rate by continuing to attack the same unit.
Design commentary: Imagine a reverse void ray.
Passive: Tunnel Navigation
Mutalisks can enter Nydus Networks.
Design commentary: Nydus is such an integral part of the concept that I had to let the flying units benefit.
Unit commentary: It's a Mutalisk. If this was real I kinda hope that the commander doesn't entirely revolve around spamming Mutas since that always seems to happen.
Devourer
Morphed from Mutalisk
Passive: Acid Drop (Research Cost: Medium)
Enable shields on the Devourer. The unit builds up shields by inflicting Acid Spores onto enemy units that do not have any. Devourer attacks will now "splash" the debuff (not the damage) onto ground units around the target.
Design commentary: Probably not a very good conditional shield when I think about it. The upgrade might make it interesting trying to wrangle enemy air units so that you can spread acid spores to the ground ones.
Passive: Tunnel Navigation
As Mutalisk
Unit commentary: You don't usually build Devourers unless the enemy is heavily air comp but I do wonder if the ability is attractive enough to splash in for missions where Amon has a small air force.
Unique Structures
Heavy Spore Colony (Replaces Spine and Spore Crawler)
Attacks Ground and Air Units. Detector.
Structure Commentary: The joke is that it's effectively a Zerg Proton Cannon, just needing creep instead of a Psi Matrix.
That's it! Let me know if you liked it!
(Edit: Might try to brainstorm some Prestiges, feel free to check in at a later date.)
submitted by Selenusuka to starcraft2coop [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 04:54 Forsaken-Fortune-116 Can any one discover the problem of (Animation) and (Alarm) With (seconds) in this code?

Hi friends
This WF is very nice
But I notice Animations and Alram Icon Disappear in second.

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submitted by Forsaken-Fortune-116 to MiBand5 [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 03:53 ITman2000 List of the Best Gaming laptops

UPDATED September 28, 2020
UK Links included
Laptop buying guide 2020
Under 5000 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life (Normal use) Weight Ratings
Alienware M17 R3(extremely powerful, slim and wonderfully design) Intel Core i9-10980HK 32 GB RAM Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 super 8GB GDDR6 1TB (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD) 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 300Hz 3ms 300-nits 100% sRGB color gamut 4 hours 5.51 lbs 8.2/10
Key features:
  • Attractive, lightweight design for a desktop replacement
  • Great graphics and overall performance( extremely high frame rate for the most demanding games)
  • wonderful 4K display with a colorful bright display. (one of the best displays in laptop currently)
  • 300 hz display
  • wonderful VR gaming
  • Mini display port
  • thunderbolt 3 and number of other ports
  • keep relatively cool and within satisfactory range
  • loud speakers and good audio speaker quality
  • eye tracking software to control the laptop
  • attractive keyboard and touchpad
  • good quality webcam
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Between 3500 and 4000 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) Weight
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo Gaming Laptop Intel Core i9-10980HK 32 GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080 Super 8GB GDDR6 with ROG Boost 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD 4K Ultra HD 15.6” 3840x2160 IPS-Type PANTONE Validated Display 6 Hours 5 pounds
Key features:
Innovative angled secondary display
Streamlined, slim design despite feature set
innovative attractive keyboard design and layout
unique second screen
wonderful productivity
can handle the most demanding games smoothly
Gorgeous design ready for work or play
Beautiful displays
Powerful overall and gaming performance
Good battery life
Seriously fast SSDs
scifi style design
great sound quality and loud speakers
stays relative cool when gaming
upgradable ssd storage
Core i9 CPU, 4K display, and 2TB of storage as configured
Slim design
number of ports including thunderbolt 3
wifi 6
High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Under 3500 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life (Normal use) Weight Ratings
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 Gaming Laptop(powerful and stylish design) Intel Core i7-10875H 32 GB RAM Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB GDDR6 with ROG Boost 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD 300Hz 3ms 17.3” Full HD 1920x1080 IPS-Type PANTONE Validated Display 2 to 3 hours 5.7 lbs 7.8/10
Key features:
  • Simply incredible gaming power
  • Luxe and innovative build
  • Very portable and thin design
  • Superb 17-inch screen with narrow bezels
  • Runs relatively quiet despite hardware
  • smooth frame rates in quiet mode
  • Spectacular 300 Hz display
  • sturdy chassis casing
  • optional ROG eye webcam
  • wonderful VR gaming
  • loud speakers with great quality
  • satisfactory cooling system
  • thunderbolt 3
  • wifi 6 and number of other ports
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D highly demanding games at high settings with high frame rate.
Between 2500 to 3000 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life weight Ratings
MSI GE66 Raider Intel Core i9-10980HK 32 GB RAM Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 super Max-Q 8G GDDR6 1TB NVMe SSD 15. 6" FHD, Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 300Hz 3ms 4 to 5 Hours 5.2 lbs 8.2/10
Key Features:
  • New and most powerful 10th gen i7 processor
  • High end graphics
  • Strong gaming performance
  • Nice build quality
  • comfy and spacious keyboard
  • upgradable ram and m.2 ssd slots
  • Sleek all-black design
  • quality webcam with sharp resolution
  • Stunning high refresh rate display 300 Hz frame rate
  • astonishing lengthy productivity battery life
  • great webcam
  • fast SSD
  • great for VR gaming
  • Number of ports including thunderbolt 3, usb type a, usb type c, mini display port, hdmi port and ethernet
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life (Normal use) Weight Ratings
Alienware Area 51 R2 Intel Core i7 10700K 16 GB RAM Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 512GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz 9ms 300-nits 72% NTSC color gamut with NVIDIA-GSYNC technology - hours 9 lbs 8.2/10
Key features:
  • latest 10th gen and extremely powerful cpu
  • number of ports including thunderbolt 3
  • high end graphics card
  • great display
  • solid built
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits) weight Ratings
MSI GS66 Stealth(excellent display standout) Intel Core i9-10980HK 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080 Super Max-Q 8G GDDR6 1TB NVMe SSD 15. 6" FHD, Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 300Hz 3ms 6:30 Hours 4.6 lbs 8.2/10
Key Features:
  • slim design
  • great transfer speeds
  • Wonderful gpu performance which is top of the line.
  • spectacular 300Hz display (one of the best displays in gaming laptops).
  • new and powerful i9 10th gen processor.
  • Sturdy but portable metal build
  • above average battery life
  • great for VR gaming
  • fast SSD
  • nice chassis
  • USB type a port, USB type c port, thunderbolt 3, AC Jack, ethernet port and headset jack
  • loud and quality speakers
  • very comfy keyboard with rgb lighting
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • comfortable and customization keyboard option and touchpad
  • more maintenance options than in the predecessor
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Normal use) Weight Ratings
Acer Predator Triton 500(Best with G Sync) Intel Core i7-10750H 32 GB RAM Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 super max q 8 GB GDDR6 1TB SSD 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 FHD IPS Panel G-SYNC 300Hz/1ms2 5 hours 4.6 lbs 9/10
Key features:
  • Excellent screen
  • superb gaming performance with the latest 10th gen processor and top end rtx 2080 gpu
  • Sleek, high-quality metal design
  • Powerful components capable of super-high frame rates in AAA titles
  • 300Hz G-Sync display
  • Good selection of ports
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal test) Weight
CUK HP Omen 15t Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-10750H 32 GB RAM NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 super max q 8GB GDDR6 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD 15.6" Diagonal Full HD 300Hz IPS Anti-Glare Micro-Edge WLED-Backlit (1920 x 1080) 5 hours 5.2 lbs
Key features:
  • Price to performance ratio
  • superb gpu(the best) and cpu performance
  • great display with 300hz
  • lots of ports
  • metal chassis
  • easily upgradable
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • keep relatively cool
  • responsive and comfy trackpad
  • Nvidia g sync
Between 2000 to 2500 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness) weight Ratings
Razer Blade Pro 17 Gaming Laptop 2020( gaming laptop power in a hyper premium chassis) Intel Core i7-10875H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q 512GB SSD 17.3" thin bezel 300Hz FHD Display 4:41 Hours(laptopmag) 6.1 lbs 8.3/10
Key features:
  • Slim, premium chassis
  • wonderfully design
  • Solid overall and gaming performance
  • stunning display
  • Comfortable, customizable per-key keyboard
  • smooth touchad
  • 300 Hz display
  • Great for VR gaming
  • thunderbolt 3 port and others
  • loud and high quality speakers
  • sharp and colorful display from webcam
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • handle the most graphically demanding games smoothly at really high frame rates.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal test) Weight
Lenovo Legion 7 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 super max Q 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD 15.6" FHD IPS, 240 Hz refresh rate 8 hours 4.6 lbs
Key features:
  • great cooling overall
  • the looks is more appealing for students
  • long battery life
  • wonderful 240hz display
  • fairly lightweight
  • latest and powerful 10th gen processor
  • great gpu performance worth the price
  • Aluminum design and good build quality
  • Large arrow keys, RGB backlight, and clicky button
  • Thunderbolt certification and two M.2 slots with RAID 0 support
  • The display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level (BOE NV156FHM-NY6)
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal test) Weight
CUK HP Omen 15t Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-10750H 32 GB RAM NVidia GeForce RTX 2070 super 1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD 15.6" Diagonal Full HD 300Hz IPS Anti-Glare Micro-Edge WLED-Backlit (1920 x 1080) 5 hours 5.2 lbs
Key features:
  • Price to performance ratio
  • superb gpu(the best) and cpu performance
  • great display with 300hz
  • lots of ports
  • metal chassis
  • easily upgradable
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • keep relatively cool
  • responsive and comfy trackpad
  • Nvidia g sync
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video Rundown Test) Weight Available
MSI GS75 Stealth Intel Core i7-10750H 32 GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 Super Max-Q 8G GDDR6 512GB NVMe SSD 17.3" FHD (1920x1080) 300Hz 3ms IPS-Level 4 Hours 5 pounds Link
Key features:
  • thin screen bezel
  • Powerful GPU which can run the latest games at high settings.
  • Very Fast CPU for high graphic intensive games.
  • 300 fps gaming performance
  • Ports include USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) Weight
Eluktronics MAX-15 Slim & Ultra Light Notebook/Eluktronics MAX-15 Slim & Ultra Light Notebook Intel Core i7-10875H 32 GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 super 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD/2TB (Dual 1TB) PCIe NVMe SSD 15.3" 240Hz Color Calibrated Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Type Display/17.3" 240Hz Color Calibrated Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Type Display 7 hours 4.7 pounds
Key features:
  • wonderful 240 Hz IPS display
  • new and powerful 10th gen processor
  • superb performance
  • Nice build quality
  • Sweet design
  • lightweight
  • comfy keyboard and wonderful trackpad
  • keeps relatively cool when gaming
  • ram and ssd can be upgraded
  • numerous ports including hdmi, thunderbolt 3 and display ports.
  • wifi 6
  • metal chassis
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life (Normal use) Weight
Alienware M17 R3 Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 Super 1TB (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD) 17.3 inch 300Hz 300nits 3ms Full HD 4 hours 5.51 lbs
Key Features:
  • Attractive, lightweight design for a desktop replacement
  • Great graphics and overall performance
  • wonderful 4K display
  • Bright, colorful, large screen
  • Comfortable, clicky per-key RGB keyboard
  • Newest and powerful cpu
  • top of the line gpu performance
  • 32 GB RAM
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(idle/NBC WiFi Websurfing/load) Weight
Gigabyte Aorus 17G(great for color accurate work) Intel Core i7-10875H 32 GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080 Super Max-P M. 2 NVMe PCIe 512GB SSD 17. 3" Thin Bezel 240Hz FHD 1920x1080 IGZO anti-glare IPS display LCD 9:58/7:30/2:14 Hours 5.9 pounds
Key features:
  • stable and high-quality chassis
  • X-Rite Pantone certification
  • mechanical keyboard
  • good battery life
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • 240 Hz
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Between 1500 to 2000 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) Weight Available
MAINGEAR element 3 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-10875H 32 GB GeForce RTX2070 Super 1TB NVMe SSD 17.3 inches FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD Narrow Bezel Display, support 240Hz refresh rate 6 Hours 4.1 pounds
Key features:
  • fairly light
  • thin
  • great cpu performance with the new latest 10th gen processor
  • great display with 240Hz high frame rate
  • great processor performance
  • above average battery life
  • number of ports includingTHUNDERBOLT 3
  • decent battery life
  • upgrade for ssd and ram
  • good build quality
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) Weight Ratings
Asus ROG Zephyrus M15 Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 512GB NVMe SSD 15.6-inch IPS-level 144 Hz 1920 x 1080 resolution display 6 hours 4.8 lbs 8.5/10
Key features:
  • number of ports
  • great 144hz display
  • good battery life
  • nice design
  • great speakers
  • easy to upgrade
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) Weight
Eluktronics MAX-15 Slim & Ultra Light Notebook Intel Core i7-10875H 32 GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 super 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD 15.6" 240Hz Color Calibrated Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Type Display 7 hours 4.7 pounds
Key features:
  • wonderful 240 Hz IPS display
  • new and powerful 10th gen processor
  • superb performance
  • Nice build quality
  • Sweet design
  • lightweight
  • comfy keyboard and wonderful trackpad
  • keeps relatively cool when gaming
  • ram and ssd can be upgraded
  • numerous ports including hdmi, thunderbolt 3 and display ports.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(hybrid mode watching videos) Weight
MECH-15 G3 Intel Core i7-10875H 32 GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 Super 1 TB PCIe SSD 15.6" 1080 x 1920 Pixels Full HD IPS 240Hz Refresh Rate Calibrated Display 6-7 Hours 4.68 pounds
Key features:
  • above average battery life
  • lightweight
  • great display
  • great cpu and gpu performance for the price.
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) weight
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15/17(2020)Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-10875H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 super 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD 15.6” 240Hz IPS Type FHD/17.3” 300Hz IPS Type FHD 3 to 4 Hours 5.6 lbs
Key features:
  • new and powerful rtx 2070 super gpu performance.
  • new and powerful cpu performance
  • stay relatively cool
  • loud speakers
  • upgrade for the ram, ssd, wifi chip
  • quiet fans
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • 240Hz display
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Looped Video Test) weight Available
Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop 2020 Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q 256GB or 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD 144Hz FHD Matte or OLED 4K 5 Hours 2.84 lbs Link
Key features:
  • Latest and powerful 10th gen processor
  • Slim and light design
  • Pleasing aesthetics
  • Upgradeable SSD, RAM, and WLAN
  • Enthusiast-level GPU performance
  • RGB Chroma backlighting
  • Fast game performance
  • High refresh display
  • Robust build quality
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video Rundown Test) Weight Available
Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core 16 GB RTX 2060 512GB SSD 144Hz 15. 6" Full HD thin bezel display 6 Hours 4.6 pounds Link
Key features:
  • Latest and powerful 10th gen processor
  • Slim and light design
  • Pleasing aesthetics
  • Upgradeable SSD, RAM, and WLAN
  • Enthusiast-level GPU performance
  • RGB Chroma backlighting
  • Fast game performance
  • High refresh display
  • Robust build quality
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(video rundown test) Weight Ratings
Alienware M15 R3 Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 512GB (2x256 PCIe M.2 SSD) 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz 7ms 300-nits 72% NTSC color gamut 2+ hours 4.65 lbs 9/10
Key features:
  • decent cooling under load
  • 1TB of SSD storage and plenty of useful ports
  • Handy features include Wi-Fi 6 and customizable chassis and per-key lighting
  • sweet design
  • great build quality
  • comfy keyboard
  • can recharge via USB-C
  • 3x M.2 storage bays
  • per-key RGB lighting
  • MicroSD reader
  • fans run quiet inquiet mode
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life weight Available
ROG Zephyrus G15 (2020) Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 with ROG Boost 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD 15.6” 240Hz 3ms IPS-Type Full HD (1920x1080) PANTONE Validated display 4 hours (normal use) 5.3 lbs Link
Key features:
  • new and powerful ryzen 7 4800H processor
  • wonderful gpu performance for the price.
  • great amount of RAM
  • 240 Hz display
  • slim design
  • lightweight
  • nicely build
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) Weight Ratings
Acer Helios 300(most popular moderate gaming laptop) Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2070 max q 512GB NVMe SSD 15.6" FHD 240Hz 3ms IPS Display 5 Hours 5.07 pounds 9.2/10
One of the most bought gaming laptops is the Helios 300. Due to its standard over the years as packing great specifications which delivers a wonderful performance for it's price.
Key features:
  • sturdy build quality
  • compact, but still fairly heavy
  • good 240 Hz matte screen
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • capable thermal implementation, but the fans need to spin fast and loudly in order to keep the components at bay
  • easy to upgrade
  • Very Fast CPU for high graphic intensive games.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video rundown test weight Ratings
MSI GP65 Intel Core i7-10750H 32 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 512GB NVMe SSD 15.6" Thin Bezel FHD IPS-Level 144Hz 3ms 100%sRGB 72%NTSC 4 Hours 5.14 lbs 8.6/10
Key features:
  • 144 Hz refresh rate and fast black-white response times as standard
  • nicely established display out of the box
  • M.2 2280 + 2.5-inch SATA III bays
  • comfy keyboard
  • bright display
  • SD reader
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life weight Ratings
ROG Zephyrus g14 Gaming Laptop(Best 1080p display for a 14" laptop) AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD 14” PANTONE Validated IPS-Type Full HD (1920x1080) display 11:30 Hours (Continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits.) 3.53 lbs 9/10
Special Features:
  • high performing CPU performance from Ryzen 9 4900HS which is the latest cpu.
  • G14 chassis is slim, lightweight and very compact.
  • long battery life.
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video rundown test) weight
HP OMEN 2020 Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 512GB NVMe SSD 17.3-inch diagonal FHD, IPS, anti-glare, WLED-backlit, 300 nits, 100% sRGB (1920 x1080) display with 144Hz refresh rate 6 to 7 Hours 5.09 lbs
Key features:
  • Price to performance ratio
  • superb gpu and cpu performance
  • great display
  • lots of ports
  • metal chassis
  • easily upgradable
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • keep relatively cool
Between $1000 to 1500 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life (Normal use) Weight Ratings
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 AMD 4th Gen Ryzen 7 4800HS/intel i7 10750h 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB GDDR6/NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 512GB PCIe SSD/1TB PCIe NVMe SSD 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED Display (144Hz Refresh Rate/240Hz 3ms 15.6” Full HD 1920x1080 IPS-Type Display 4 hours 4.6 lbs 9/10
Key features:
well made and compact
excellent FHD 144/240 Hz IPS display
solid performance, especially in demanding loads
versatile Power Profiles
76Wh battery, with support for USB-C charging
Number of ports
High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video rundown test weight Ratings
MSI GL65 Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 512GB NVMe SSD 15.6" FHD IPS-Level 144Hz 72%NTSC Thin Bezel 2 to 3 Hours 5 lbs 8.6/10
Key features:
Impressive hardware mix for the price
144Hz display
Per-key backlighting
GeForce RTX 2070 GPU
High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Normal use) Weight
Legion 7i 15” gaming laptop Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 512 GB PCIe SSD 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, 300 nits 8 hours 4.6 lbs
Key features:
  • latest and powerful 10th gen processor
  • great gpu performance worth the price
  • Aluminum design and good build quality
  • Large arrow keys, RGB backlight, and clicky button
  • Thunderbolt certification and two M.2 slots with RAID 0 support
  • The display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level (BOE NV156FHM-NY6)
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video rundown test weight Ratings
MSI GP65 Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti/NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 512GB NVMe SSD 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) 120Hz IPS-Level/ 15.6" Thin Bezel FHD IPS-Level 144Hz 3ms 100%sRGB 72%NTSC 4 Hours 4.8/5.14 lbs 8.4/10
Key features:
  • 144 Hz refresh rate and fast black-white response times as standard
  • nicely established display out of the box
  • M.2 2280 + 2.5-inch SATA III bays
  • comfy keyboard
  • bright display
  • SD reader
  • great price-to-performance ratio
  • light and compact casing
  • moderate temperatures
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video rundown test) weight
HP OMEN 2020 Intel Core i7-10750H 32 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 512GB NVMe SSD 15.6" FHD display 1920 x 1080 144Hz FHD anti-glare 6 to 7 Hours 5.1 lbs
Key features:
  • Price to performance ratio
  • superb gpu and cpu performance
  • great display
  • lots of ports
  • metal chassis
  • easily upgradable
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • keep relatively cool
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life (Normal use) Weight Ratings
Eluktronics rp 15 AMD 4th Gen Ryzen 7 4800H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max P 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD 15.6" Narrow Bezel Full HD IPS-Type 144Hz Anti-Glare Display (1920 x 1080) 3 to 4 hours 4.25 lbs 8.9/10
Key features:
very small and lightweight given the performance
excellent CPU performance sustainability
full-size NumPad and arrow keys
fast, high quality 144 Hz panel
quiet when on Office mode
M.2 SSD heat spreaders
2x mini-DisplayPort
2x M.2 2280 slots
IR camera
High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(normal use) Weight Ratings
Acer Helios 300(most popular moderate gaming laptop) Intel Core i7-10750H 16 GB NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2060 6 GB 512GB NVMe SSD 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC) 5 Hours 5.07 pounds 9.2/10
One of the most bought gaming laptops is the Helios 300. Due to its standard over the years as packing great specifications which delivers a wonderful performance for it's price.
Key features:
  • sturdy build quality
  • compact, but still fairly heavy
  • good 144 Hz matte screen
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
  • capable thermal implementation, but the fans need to spin fast and loudly in order to keep the components at bay
  • easy to upgrade
  • Very Fast CPU for high graphic intensive games.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test/load) Weight
Acer Nitro 5(2060) Intel Core i7-9750H 16 GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 256GB NVMe SSD 15.6" Full HD IPS 144Hz Display 6:9/1:41 Hours 6.6 pounds
Key features:
  • Long battery life
  • Decent build
  • cool palm rest even under sustained load
  • Slim bezels display
  • Full HD IPS display
  • Great performance of cpu and gpu to price ratio.
  • Has two M.2 PCIe slots, as well as a 2.5" SATA drive slot
  • Covers 92% of sRGB and our Gaming and Web design profile makes it appropriate for color-sensitive work
  • High-End graphics card, capable of running the latest 3D games at high settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(web browsing) Weight Ratings
Lenovo Legion 5(1660ti) Intel core i7-10750H 16 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660ti 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD 15.6" Full HD LED-backlit (1920 x 1080) 120Hz IPS Display 6-7 Hours 5.3 pounds 9/10
Key features:
  • 512GB Intel M.2 NVME SSD
  • great 10750h cpu performance and up to date.
  • Great input devices with an optional RGB backlight
  • It has two RAM SODIMM slots and two M.2 drives
  • great display and viewing angles
  • Mid-Range graphics card, capable of running modern 3D games at medium settings.
  • satisfactory cooling under loading
  • quiet fans
  • decent battery life
Between $800 to $1000 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(web browsing) Weight Ratings
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD Ryzen 7 4800H/Intel core 10750H 8 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD 15.6" Full HD LED-backlit (1920 x 1080) 120Hz IPS Display 6-7 Hours 5.3 pounds 9/10
Key features:
  • 512GB Intel M.2 NVME SSD
  • very fast amd processor which outclass intel counterparts at this price range
  • Great input devices with an optional RGB backlight
  • It has two RAM SODIMM slots and two M.2 drives
  • great display and viewing angles
  • Mid-Range graphics card, capable of running modern 3D games at medium settings.
  • satisfactory cooling under loading
  • quiet fans
  • decent battery life
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video Rundown Test) Weight Ratings
HP Pavillion Gaming Laptop Intel Core i5-10300H/AMD Ryzen 5 4600H 8 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650/1660ti 256GB SSD 17.3-inch diagonal FHD, IPS, anti-glare, WLED-backlit, 300 nits, 100% sRGB (1920 x 1080) display 7 to 8 hours(Normal use) 6 lbs 8.9/10
Key features:
  • great battery life
  • Mid-Range graphics card, capable of running modern 3D games at medium settings.
  • latest 10th gen processor
  • price to performance ratio
  • wide screen especially for a budget laptop
  • up gradable storage
  • number of ports
  • able to run a number of popular games.
  • RGB backlighting
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video Rundown Test) Weight Ratings
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop(wonderful budget laptop) Intel Core i5-10300H 16 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 8 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM 256GB PCIe SSD Boot + 1TB HDD 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS LED Display 8 to 9 hours(Normal use) 5 lbs 9/10
Key features:
  • Long battery life
  • Decent build
  • cool palm rest even under sustained load as well as cool control throughout the laptop
  • Slim bezels display
  • Full HD IPS display
  • Great performance of cpu and gpu to price ratio.
  • Very fast processor suitable for the most demanding tasks.
  • great ratings for specs as a budget laptop.
  • responsive keyboard
  • USB Type a and c ports, ethernet port, hdmi port, DC in port and an audio jack
  • Mid-Range graphics card, capable of running modern 3D games at medium settings.
UNDER $800 USD
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Normal Use) Weight Ratings
Lenovo Legion 5 15 AMD Ryzen 5 4600H 8 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650ti 1TB HDD+ 256GB m.2 NVMe SSD 15.6" FHD 120Hz IPS Display 6 hours 5.07 lbs 8.9/10
Key features:
  • fast GPU
  • great display for the price
  • bright display with good contrast
  • good keyboard
  • good battery life
  • Mid-Range graphics card, capable of running modern 3D games at medium settings.
  • Wifi 6
  • Capable 1080p gaming at high image-quality settings.
  • keeps relatively cool
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Video Rundown Test) Weight Ratings
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop(wonderful budget laptop) Intel Core i5-9300H 8 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 8 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM 256GB SSD 15.6 inch FullHD (1920 x 1080) IPS 300-nits Display 6 hours(Normal use) 4.9 lbs 8.8/10
Key features:
  • Long battery life
  • Decent build
  • cool palm rest even under sustained load as well as cool control throughout the laptop
  • Slim bezels display
  • Full HD IPS display
  • Great performance of cpu and gpu to price ratio.
  • Very fast processor suitable for the most demanding tasks.
  • great ratings for specs as a budget laptop.
  • responsive keyboard
  • USB Type a and c ports, ethernet port, hdmi port, DC in port and an audio jack
  • Mid-Range graphics card, capable of running modern 3D games at medium settings.
Laptop Processor RAM GPU Storage Size & Res Battery Life(Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness) Weight Ratings
Lenovo Ideapad 3 Gaming Laptop Intel Core i5-10300H 8 GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6 512GB PCIe SSD 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz 5 hours and 40 minutes 4.8 lbs 9/10
Key features:
120 Hz display
new intel i5 10th gen processor which is fast
gtx 1650 gpu which is worth the price
number of ports including 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack
lightweight
design suitable for college student
good battery life
Mid-Range graphics card, capable of running modern 3D games at medium settings.
good software and warranty
Can also see full listing
LIST OF GAMING LAPTOP Under a 1000 DOLLARS
LIST OF GAMING LAPTOP BETWEEN 1000 TO 1500 DOLLARS
LIST OF GAMING LAPTOPS BETWEEN 1500 TO 2000 DOLLARS
LIST OF GAMING LAPTOPS BETWEEN 2000 AND 2500
LIST OF GAMING LAPTOP BETWEEN 2500 TO 3000 DOLLARS
ANY QUESTIONS FEEL FREE TO ASK
HELLO FELLOW REDDITORS, I KNOW THIS INFORMATION IS NOT RELATED TO GAMING LAPTOPS BUT SEEING THE SITUATION THAT IS TAKING PLACE WORLDWIDE. EVERY INDIVIDUAL LIFE IS IMPORTANT AND MY CONDOLENCES TO ALL WHO HAD DIED TO THE DEADLY COVID 19 VIRUS AND MY HOPES FOR RECOVERY FOR THOSE WHO CONTRACT THE VIRUS. PLEASE NOTE THE LINK TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THE VIRUS AND SHARE.
submitted by ITman2000 to GamingLaptops [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 02:49 Gorgenapper One year review of my 2019 IS350 AWD F-Sport

tl;dr - I chose the IS350 over some of its competitors because of Lexus reliability. I was willing to give up some power and tech in exchange for the build quality and reliability. My decision to go with the IS350 is not for everyone (nor should it be, as car purchases are very much a personal decision).
 
What other cars did I look at?
I wanted something that had ~300hp, AWD, 4 doors + folding rear seats, hatch/sedan, and it had to be very reliable. My previous car was a 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 (that I bought new) and I enjoyed every minute of ownership, but it was time for an upgrade to AWD.
The front runners were the Kia Stinger GT (20th Anniversary edition), Genesis G70. Others that I considered: Golf R, Focus RS, STI, M235i xDrive, 340i xDrive (before they changed it to the M340i), S4, C43, Infiniti Q50 Red Sport. The Stinger GT was the only one that came very close to getting my vote because it had a hatchback, all the tech I could want, twin turbo V6 and AWD.
 
Exterior
It's Atomic Silver. The 3IS exterior design is still relevant today even though it is over 6 years old now. In my opinion, the Lexus designers really nailed it with the flowing body lines from the roof/hood/sides and rising up from the rear portion of the side skirts to converge on the taillights. I will say that the 2021 3.5IS refresh looks more aggressive and the designers outdid themselves, but the 3IS still holds its own.
Some people hate the Lexus grill, others love them. I'm obviously in the latter camp, and I loved it right from the very start when I first saw one driving around Toronto 6 years ago. The aggressive look is what Lexus needed to get younger buyers in the door.
The tailpipes are real and not molded into the bumper, and I like their squared off shape. The decklid can accommodate a spoiler, but I prefer it without one.
F-Sport wheels are a really good OEM design that were inspired by the LFA. The color is just right to hide brake dust and it complements all the available colors. Sizes are 225/40/18 front, 255/35/18 rear so tires rotations are not possible, sadly. This is just me, but I like 18" wheels over the trend towards 19" ~ 20" wheels - tires are cheaper and are available across more models/manufacturers, the wheels are lighter, and it still looks low profile.
In the winter, I use GTS G505 wheels and Bridgestone Blizzak WS90s (17x8, 225/45/17 all around). These are excellent for the winters here in SW Ontario.
 
Interior
I chose Rioja Red for the Nuluxe interior (which is a type of vinyl that mimics leather). It is a shade of medium red that's one or two steps below what we would consider a bright red. It looks remarkably like its namesake. I've always had dark-colored cloth / leather in my previous cars, so red is a welcome change. The Nuluxe feels good to sit in and touch and it doesn't seem to hit the temperature extremes that real leather is known for. It fits well with the overall black sporty interior.
The steering wheel is good - thick, nicely padded on the sides with grippy perforated leather, and just the right size. It is definitely not as big as the wheel on my family's RX350. It is electric power steering and it is not as heavy or precise in feel compared to a hydraulic setup, but I got used to it within a couple of weeks. It's still fairly heavy, there is no dead spot anywhere, and the response is still immediate and precise. Paddle shifters are the right size, are plastic but they still feel solid enough, and are mounted on the wheel (my preference).
Turn signals are the type which return to center, no matter what. You can tap it up or down to flash 3 times, and you can tap it in the opposite direction to cancel a signal. I prefer the traditional turn signals that only return to center after you make a turn, but I got used to the new ones after a while.
The F-Sport gauge is fun to look at, and also fun to move around, but I left it alone after about a month of ownership. There are definitely some useful things inside it like G-force meter, settings for lane departure/forward collision, TPMS readings and other stuff, but all I need is a speedometer, tach, gear indicator, fuel/coolant gauges. The gauge cluster will always reset to the default center position when you shut the car off.
All the buttons and switchgear look great, and have a high quality touch/tactile feedback. I like the look and feel of the shift lever with its aluminum accent. It has the traditional Toyota shift pattern where you have to move the lever to the right to get it from P down to D, which means that if you push up from D, it'll go into N and no further unless you move the lever over and to the right to get around the 'hump'. Previous years of the IS had a faux aluminum plastic trim with a diamond pattern, but mine has a dark brushed aluminum that, IMO, is probably the best type of surface because it hides the dust, does not scratch easily and it doesn't clash with the rest of the interior. This trim can be found on the doors and on the HVAC stack.
Speaking of the HVAC stack / radio, it looks like a Sony or Nakamichi tape deck. The volume and tuning knobs are made of milled aluminum, and they have a different feel when rotating them (volume is not clicky, tuning knob is clicky). Some people don't like the look of the HVAC stack/radio, but I personally love how it looks and feels, it has a unique Japanese aesthetic to it. I don't like using buttons for HVAC compared to a regular 3 knob setup, but you get used to it. The temperature sliders are an unnecessary gimmick - they're responsive and you can tap on the hot/cold parts to increase or decrease the temperature by 0.5c; however, rotary knobs are still the best.
Interior storage sucks, but the longer you drive the car, the more you get used to it. No sunglass holder, but I put it in the armrest, which can fit a surprising amount of stuff. It's just a little awkward to access when you're in driving position and I have to kind of reach over with my left hand to open and get stuff out. The glovebox has a little removable shelf that lets you separate stuff, and it's deep enough that you can put a large flashlight in there.
The AWD model has a hump in the driver footwell, it doesn't bother me because my leg doesn't touch it.
 
Features/Tech
I got the F-Sport 3 package. This is my first car with a backup camera, which is easily one of my favorite features. It has trajectory and blue lines to indicate where my wheels are (with about 2" or 3" of safety margin) and there are parking assist sensors. I still use the mirrors for backing up, but the camera is a huge help, especially when backing up a long, dark driveway because the lens helps to amplify existing light.
Other features that I use and appreciate are blind spot monitoring, heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, heated mirrors/windshield, moonroof, Homelink garage door opener, and the 830w Mark Levinson stereo system. There are more features like auto wipers, auto headlights, auto highbeams, lane departure, ACC but the aforementioned are the only ones that I actually care about.
Triple beam LED headlights are nice and bright, and the LED tailights are also great, but why are the turn signals incandescent? My guess is that incandescent looks better because they flash on and off softly??
I have a CD player, fortunately it isn't literally a tape deck like on some older GS350s. It doesn't bother me, I just ignore it in favor of Bluetooth streaming.
It doesn't have Android Auto / Apple Carplay. People are right to dock Lexus points for not having it. I didn't want to install an aftermarket head unit, so I just stuck my phone into a Proclip mount/holder over the middle air vents, to the right of the analog clock. AA version 0 works quite well actually, there are no wires to connect and I can still navigate just fine on Google maps on my Galaxy S10+ with or without the screen on. Texts/phone calls/etc. can be handled with no real issues. It works well enough, that's all I care about. It wasn't a deal breaker for me, to be honest.
The Lexus mouse infotainment has been consistently derided as one of the worst implementations ever conceived, and here's the reason why - the buttons are placed on the screen in a layout that makes sense when using a mouse/keyboard, but are hard to hit when you are restricted to a finicky mouse (actually a glorified trackpad), especially if you're driving the car at the same time. For example, there are buttons placed right at the very edge of the main screen, and if you move the mouse too far to the right, it'll select the mini map portion instead of the button you wanted. Some buttons are not obvious, such as the 'display' button, which took me a whole week to figure out that it was actually there. Even worse was the text-less button on the climate screen which turns on the pollen filter, that one remained hidden for about 3 months.
Lexus can vastly improve this system by adopting the Mazda or BMW approach. Make all the menu screens consistent with the same-sized buttons on the x or y axis only, and each slide/swipe of the mouse only moves to the next / previous button and the haptic feedback motor resets the mouse to the center position. Never mind the dated looks, or the slight hints of skeumorphism here and there, I can forgive those if the interface worked like iDrive.
Other tidbits I can think of - the interior room is okay, slim people up to 6ft 2" can sit in the back with no issues. Really large people will find it a tight fit. Trunk space is decent, but at least the seats fold 60/40. They don't fold completely flat in the sense that the bottom parts of the seats stick up about 3" - 4" from the floor. There is a spare tire. The trunk lid can be remotely opened, but it doesn't swing up, which is kind of annoying. There is a rear sunshade that folds up and down, it's probably the most useless gimmick in my car and I almost never use it. There is a 12 volt outlet in the armrest that I use for charging my phone along with 2 powered USB ports. There are air vents for the back seat passengers, and each front seat has a map pocket on the back.
 
Driving
0 - 100kmh by CarQuestion
80 - 120kmh also by CarQuestion
Intake sound generator - Alex on Autos
The IS350's competition is fierce, and there is a wide range of twin turbo V6 cars such as the Stinger GT, Genesis G70, 340i/S4/C43, CT5-V, TLX Type-S and so on. The IS350 will get smoked by any of these in a straight line - but then again, only the Stinger GT is cheaper than the IS350 (when optioned up with similar features), and maybe also the Infiniti Q50/Red Sport. I feel that the current (and 2021) IS350 occupies a weird spot (performance-wise) that is higher than the base models like the G70 2.0T and Audi A4, but below the mid-range models such as the G70 3.3T / Audi S4. Never mind that the German 2.0T base cars will equal or beat the IS350 in the 0 - 60 metric, that's where I think the IS350 is currently (and half-assedly) positioned. It's like Lexus didn't want to compete directly against the mid-range twin turbo 6 cylinder competition, but they still want to point out that the IS350 has over 300hp.
So why did I pick the IS350 after having test driven turbo 6 cylinder cars with better 0 - 60 times? The short answer is that it was fast enough for me, at this price point, at this point in my car buying history, and is backed up by Lexus reliability. It doesn't mean that I don't want more power, because if an IS500 ever comes out with the same practicality, same AWD system but sporting a V8 / TTV6, I would be trading in the IS350 when it is financially possible. However, a 311hp V6 in a sedan of this size and weight is already more than enough for street driving.
The characteristics of Toyota's 2GR-FKS V6 are like this - instant throttle response, nice induction note (much better than any inline 4, change my mind), not a lot of torque at the lower end of the rev range until about 3000 rpm, revs quickly and smoothly while making power all the way to redline (6600 rpm). This is an engine that is best kept above 4000 rpm if you're really going for it.
The 6 speed automatic (Aisin A760H) in this AWD model may seem like a downgrade compared to today's 8 - 10 speed automatics, but it is still a good unit. You can hit 60mph / 102kmh at the top end of 2nd gear. It doesn't gear hunt, there are kickdown functions to instantly drop into 1st or 2nd when you floor the gas pedal (~32kmh -> 1st, ~84kmh -> 2nd), and the paddle shifters are responsive enough when you're driving it harder. The shifts are not ZF8 quick, let alone DSG quick, but they're not sluggish except when you're just driving normally and not really stepping on the gas. Basically, just use the paddles to force the car into a lower gear while in automatic mode, or put it into manual mode and really step on the gas pedal for best results. As a side note, the AWD hump in the driver's footwell doesn't bother me, it's positioned in such a way that my calf doesn't really touch it.
Brakes are strong and are not touchy, the brake feel is just right, IMO.
There are drive modes like eco, normal, customize, Sport S and Sport S+. Sport S+ is supposed to make the steering feel a bit heavier and stiffen up the dampers, which it does, but isn't very noticeable. The real benefit of Sport S/S+ is that it holds gears for longer and is more eager to stay in a lower gear than upshift. I mostly leave the car in normal mode because eco is too aggressively sedate. Customize can be set to make a driving mode of your own with respect to powedampers/climate eco on/off, but I mostly just stick to normal and Sport S+.
Paddle shifters can be used in auto or manual mode. In auto mode, if you pull the paddle shifter it'll put the car into a mode where the number after the 'D' is the upper limit of the shift range (ie. D1 = first gear only, D3 = anywhere from 1st - 3rd). I use this mostly to downshift when I anticipate needing to speed up (ie. coasting up to a light that is going to turn green), or to force it into D1 (more on this later). Manual mode can be activated by pulling the shift lever to the left, then the number after the 'M' means the gear that the car will stay in (ie. M1 = first gear, M3 = 3rd gear). The car will override your requested gear or change your gears for you if it detects that you're going at a speed that is not ideal for the gear (ie. you cannot pick M6 at a stop light), or if you hit redline and it'll auto upshift (unless you have traction completely disabled). It works well enough and, frankly, I like knowing that the car will save me from doing stupid things like trying to pick M1 while driving on the highway.
Steering, handling and chassis feel are where this car shines. The steering wheel feels solid and reassuringly heavy around curves and corners at speed, and there are no dead spots. It is precise and response is immediate. Chassis feel is good - I can take roundabouts at a good clip and the IS350 just pulls itself through the curve and onto the exit in a confidence inspiring manner. Driving on curvy country backroads is also confidence inspiring, the car feels planted and body roll is minimal.
Did I mention that the V6 induction and exhaust note at full tilt is an added bonus?
When you're done having fun, the car transforms itself back into a luxury car that is excellent for daily driving. Visibility is great, the car is maneuverable, the dampers and chassis soak up minor bumps but it's still stiff enough to feel sporty and not like a boat.
 
What I love about the IS350
Instant throttle response and a good V6 sound. My family's Audi Q5 has a 2.0T that's laggy as hell, and completely soulless. It sort of buzzes to life like a weed whacker, delivers power, then falls silent. Not the 2GR-FKS.
Great steering feel, handling, and chassis. Solid and confidence inspiring when driving on aforementioned country roads with lots of curves and the gas pedal floored. You want to go back and do it over and over again, and you never feel like you're out of control at any point (within reason, of course).
I love my backup camera, blind spot monitoring, pre-collision + auto braking (which has saved me because of an e-bike that pulled out in front of me), and other creature comforts like heated steering wheel, ML stereo system, etc.
Tight turning radius (35.4ft) is underrated when considering a car, and the IS350 can do U turns where my speed 3 would have needed 3 point turns.
I actually like the IS350's interior, especially (strangely enough) the Sony / Nakamichi looking HVAC and radio stack.
It's a comfortable daily driver that doesn't drive like crap, and has enough power to make me smile, and I know that it has Lexus reliability. The V6 is used across many Toyota and Lexus products, and despite being 'old' at this point, it is actually quite advanced. The engine's theme is overbuilt, understressed and I'll take that any day over an overstressed small displacement turbo engine.
AWD is amazing in the winter, it's a full time 30/70 system similar to Subaru's VTD / Audi's Torsen quattro, but without the LSDs. It'll only get stuck on ice, or excessive slush, but otherwise it'll go wherever you point the car and step on the gas pedal.
 
What I don't like about the IS350
The trunk opening is not as good for loading cargo as on a hatchback. I can still fit my bike inside (minus front wheel) but it's a little tricky, and the seats don't fold completely flat. I mean, they do, but there is about 4" of the bottom of the seat sticking up from the floor so you have to sort of lift the bike and get it over that part.
Steering feel is not as good as a hydraulic setup like on my speed 3, but you get used to it. At least it isn't overboosted or too light.
When making a turn or just pulling away normally from a stop light, the car will auto upshift to 2nd even if you're in Sport S/S+. If you're going 34kmh or higher at that point and you floor the gas pedal to take off, it'll stay in 2nd gear when it should have downshifted to 1st and the car feels sluggish (because it is trying to make 2nd gear do 1st gear's job). I find myself needing to step on the gas pedal early before it gets to that 34kmh threshold (which I should be doing anyway, but is hard to gauge when you're making a turn and focusing on getting onto the lane), or hit the left paddle to force it into D1, or drive in full manual mode.
Stock tires suck, replace them with Michelins or Continentals ultra high performance all seasons (AS4, DWS06) or Pilot Sport 4S or whatever you like as long as they're not Ling Long ditchfinders.
I miss my 6 speed MT, but like riding a bike, the skill will never go away.
...and lastly, I want more power without giving up my AWD and practicality, come on IS500, don't disappoint me.
 
Summary
The IS350 is a luxury car with enough sport to make it fun for the daily drive. It is not as fast as the turbo 6 cylinder competition. Even the 330i could beat it in 0 - 100kmh by a smidgeon.
But here's the thing - it's still a fast car despite the numbers and despite its stigma of having an outdated powertrain. The IS350 comes from the era of the Infiniti G37, Acura TL, the BMW 335i with the N54/N55. That definition of fast was from 4 - 6 years ago and the competition has moved on, but it doesn't make the IS350 slow, it's just slower by comparison.
Don't get me wrong, this is not an excuse for Lexus to keep slamming in the same powertrain in the 2021+. I very much want Lexus to wake up and get the V35A-FTS in the IS at some point.
So the question comes back to why I didn't pick something that is faster by 1s in the 0 - 100kmh sprint like the aforementioned cars. I was certainly on the verge of getting a Stinger GT. It was nearly a coin toss at that point, except for the Lexus rep for reliability swaying my vote to the IS350 in the end.
It's like asking why someone would buy a Miata when, for the same (or less money) you could buy a base Mustang GT with a 460+hp V8. Not everything about a car purchase has to be about power. As long as the car is sufficiently fast for me, I can give up some power and some tech in exchange for reliability.
submitted by Gorgenapper to cars [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 01:17 cinkodel List of changes the COD Mobile Developers should incorporate. Please add your thoughts and vote up the best ones.

Keep in mind, this is just my list here... post what you like or want in the comments and let others vote it up or down. If you like 1 specifical posted here, list it and agree with it in the comments and let's see what others think. If you dont like one, explaine why and let me and others try to understand your perspective.
With that said, here is my list in no particular order:

1

Make a “Clear all” button for the new item Exclamation Points. I think I can speak for most people that getting base camos for your guns, a new grenade skin, or another wing suit does not want to be individually hunted down and opened to clear the exclamation points. Furthermore, all the ones most of us care about already give you a quick clip when you get them… so we know we have them. Just put the exclamation point on the load out, let us click and hold, and then open a dialog box that says, “Do you want to clear all?” and an “Accept” or “Cancel” button. We want to play the game, not search for exclamation marks. If this is built into your sales/marketing design that someone determined “People seeing new items makes them more avid buyers” then design a scroll page when you click “Clear all” and allow them to scroll through all of the new items, and you still can show everything new, but without the hassle and work to find it all.

2

Add a offline or invisibility mode. We know this is a multiplayer online game, but sometimes we just want to change our loadouts or check messages, pull lucky draws, and review missions. Please let us hide our online status, even if it's only for 20 minutes at a time, just so we dont have to feel like d!cks and keep ignoring requests to join games. I dont want to write my friends "Sorry I was trying to watch my daily adds while sitting on the toilet so I didnt join" just let us be offline for a time.

3

Allow the report button to have options. 70% of the time I am in the chat looking to add some members to my clan or get on a quick BR match, its ends up being streams of kids/adults? asking for 10-14 year old girl friends. If its kids, well yes it is annoying and shouldn’t be in the game.. But if its Adults… well that downright illegal and it sounds like some pedo’s attempting to solicit a minor. These kind of things really do need to be booted off the chat rooms at a minimum, and you should be able to report that more specifically. //Side Note: to those of you looking for a date in the CODM Chat, if you want a girlfriend online, download Tinder not CODM.
Furthermore, having a report list would help the CODM’s team screen these better as well and maybe get these actually able to be habdled. I realize you must get tons of “reports” of people who have a bad internet connection, don’t understand guns with mobility over 100, and thus batch reporting people as “cheaters”. I realize you probably get just as many people reporting bots that are infilled in low filled MP games. I am assuming it would be beneficial to you to be able to have these presorted in an easier list to deal with. I think these above should probably be on a lower addressment priority then pedophiles, but that is up to you. It should be really straight forward and generic. You click report, and a box comes up with several options. You click one, click to add additional information if applicable, click submit. My report suggestions would start like this, you click report Report User **UsernameXX” For alleged: Buying or Selling of Accounts. Solicitation of 3rd Party Websites or services. Soliciting Presumed Minors. Harassment or Making Real Life Threats. User Macroing and/or Botting. Cheating, Hacking, or Bug Exploitation. Then several more toss-ins to add, these would just be on there so CODM doesn’t actually have to waste time reviewing report submissions that are just from people mad at other players. These would look and submit the same way, but it would be up to CODM if they were reviewed or just went nowhere after submission. (Ie. keep it set up how your review reports is now but just for these ones) Annoying Rude, or Loud, Chat Spamming. Not dying when shot/stabbed multiple times. Moving too fast, and/or glitch Jumping /Moving. Shooting through walls / Or from nowhere around. Camping / Hiding. Unfair / Unsportsmanlike play. Being a Child and needing to go to bed.
Having these above I think would keep people from reporting other players for something more serious, when really, they just don’t like them or are mad they keep getting beat. And Yes, I would gladly use the last one regularly. Then after you select one it should give another pop up dialog boxes that says: “Send Report” “Add additional info” “Cancel” And if they click “Add additional info, let them send a 150 max character write up to add.

4

When you get put into a match late, it should say that on the end screen. Like “Late Entry” below your name. That way the other people on the server game know your kill count is low because you came in late. Or, if you made it to the top even with a late entrance; it would also be a nice add to show.

5

In your User Settings, allow the player to select Default Language. More on this in Change 6 / 7, but essentially you can Select English, Spanish, French, German, etc. give a full option of Language choices that the player prefers to communicate it. Additionally (due to the following points below) it might be beneficial to allow you to select a 2nd language as well. This doesn’t have to change or do anything, but it would help with my other 2 points to follow.

6

BR team play should have a reminder to utilize your Mic / Headset. Specifically on Duos on Quads, When you go to join and you do not have your mic and speaker on / or a headset plugged in you should get a notification. “NO HEADPHONE/ MICROPHONE DETECTED” “You have Selected a Battle Royal team match, but do not have your mic and or headset properly initialized.” Then give three selections: “Go to Single Player Battle Royal Match” //This should be the default option first. “Configure Headset / Mic and Retry” //This will put them back one screen and open the Audio Options. “Go to BR multiplayer but list my user as ‘No Mic.” //This will let them join, but attempt to match them with other non-mic’ed users.
For everyone else, if they have a mic on and have not entered with friends. They should have these options available below to click and it will save as default until they uncheck it, so they only have to do it once and done. “Attempt to group me with other users that have mics turned on” “Group me fastest, do not prioritize Microphone status.” (Turing this on turns the previous one off and vise versa) “Attempt to group me with other users that have my matching Language as default.” This is not to separate us that speak other languages, but those that truly only speak and know one language, mixed with someone that truly only speaks and knows another language; makes it very difficult to direct the team on the go. Plus, as a bonus, if you wanted to practice a language you have been learning, you could switch your default to ‘French” for instance and might luck out and learn to further develope your 2nd language communication more natively.

7

Get the translate button to work in the chat area. Or at least make us able to copy the other player’s text / messages. If the User has their Language set to Spanish, and the Player hitting translate has their language set to English. It should be pretty straight forward what you are attempting to do. There are tons of widgets / lite app add-ons that do that, and I am sure someone would gladly pair up with you all. Please get this working so we can all communicate better. Or allow us to copy other users text, so we can simply have google translate convert it, and then copy our translated words back in. Not being able to copy makes it really hard for a non-native speaker to type characters that we do not know or have on our keyboards. being able to copy would speed up translations significantly and help us communicate easier across differnet countries. Again, this helps bring us all a bit closer.

8

Let us buy individual items. Look we know you make good money off selling draws, but it is so disheartening to spend real money and get a dang spray paint that looks like it was made on Microsoft Paint for windows 95. Let us buy actual items we want. For instance, I want a bat, but I'm do not want to pay for stuff I not only will never use, but dont want even if it was free. Make the damn things 1200 CP a piece for all I care... but at least give us an option to buy stuff we want directly or may have missed out on. Seriously there are those of us that will buy it at that price (or higher) and others seeing it at the price to buy directly may be more included to drop a few smaller purchase tries on a draw possibly containing it.

9

Which brings me to me next point, bundles onl... Lol, not furthering this because I dont want to get this immediately locked down.

10

Reiterate that the game is for 17+ When you start the game is should say something like the below (Not a separate loading screen, just right over the main one… as there is already enough screens to go through to start) "This game is rated M for Mature and intended for adult audiences only. Call of Duty Mobile is unsuitable for children under the age of 17." I am not saying to enforce it or ban / block people, just make it clear that this is a game for adults, so the children are hopefully more hesitant on screaming with their prepuberty voices over the chat when they know they shouldn’t be on there.

11

Show a scope preview Please add a window to display the scope preview so we can see the change in the scope we selected in load out without having to join a game and find out it's not what we wanted. Additionally, real time ADS when you select it would be a cool feature to see. For instance you click red dot, it would show a small screen of the scope going from hip fire to ADS, and give an in game feel to how fast it was, and what it looks like. Then we could confirm the speed and zoom extent vs the next scope and so on.

12

Make the Gold / Platinum skins cover the gun. (I'm looking at you AK-47) I know this takes time and design to implement.. but several epic skins work great, but the ones we grinded for sometimes only cover 30 percent of the gun with the gun smithing load outs we selected.

13

Bring back 10 vs 10 and allow us to select any map. I dont mind waiting for the game to load. Please understand the non-stop action was one of the best parts you all put into these past updates. Personally I want a 10 vs 10 Hardcore match in shipmnent. That kind of speed is addicting and a fun rush to play.
Okay I'm cutting it here, I know that was long winded AF, but I really do enjoy this game and think these changes would help.
That's it for now, feel free to discuss or add, I want to see what matters to other players as well. If you really dislike one, please dont downvote it, just post why you dislike it and let us all learn a bit from another's point of view.
submitted by cinkodel to CallOfDutyMobile [link] [comments]


2020.09.29 00:44 sbuyze 3 Key Elements to Build Consistent Communications at Your MSP

Maintaining Communication Consistency
What would it look like at your MSP if Techs behaved differently? In other words, knowing that the Customer is watching for updates and is partnering with the MSP by being patient until the Tech updates them, the Techs engage and disengage the same way each and every time.
Sound great? Well, that is the second benefit to Customer-Facing Communications Protocol with the Customer as part of the process.
Note: This means that all Techs engage and disengage the same way every time, which provides the Customer with a consistent Customer Experience, no matter who is assigned the ticket. Who knows, with the Customer watching, the Techs may even lean towards Real-Time Time Entry and keeping the Customers’ documentation up to date – or is that too much to expect?
This consistency of engaging and disengaging the same way each time not only provides a rhythm that the Customer can depend on, it makes the Service Delivery Team more efficient as they get better and better at executing a consistent process.

Every IT MSP Needs 3 Key Elements to Build Consistency

Those are:
1. Put the Status in New to Complete order. This makes it easy for the Techs and everyone on the Support Team to find the next status. Keeping the Ticket up to date is much simpler, and you keep everyone in the know.
2. Automate the Customer-Facing notifications. This makes it not only easier to communicate, but with the communications happening automatically, the Tech will need to follow protocol – or explain why they did not. Remember the Customer is now watching…
3. Manage by Educating, Coaching, Monitoring, Measuring, and Rewarding.

📷

A Bonus of Consistent Communications Protocol

A by-product of the Service Delivery Team providing a consistent Customer-Facing Communications protocol is the building of Trust and Dependency with the Customer. Once established, the Customer will be much more of a partner with their Service Provider.
It is this partnership that drives additional Service Delivery efficiencies. We have had two Customers report that once implementing the Customer-Facing Communications Protocol, phone calls dropped by 80% and duplicate tickets dropped by 90%. This is a huge savings in Service Delivery Team time and drives the RHEM down.
My own experience has been that about a month after implementing the Protocol, a customer emailed us saying they had turned in a service request about 20 minutes ago and did not receive the Automated Acknowledgement while waiting for the Reviewed and Assigned notification.
Sure enough, we never received the request. We quickly responded to the Customer, thanking them for the heads up, and moved his request to the top of the queue – not really following SLA guidelines, but emotionally, this Customer got our best TLC whenever interacting with them.
Enjoy the read,
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2020.09.29 00:43 sbuyze 3 Key Elements to Build Consistent Communications at Your MSP

Maintaining Communication Consistency
What would it look like at your MSP if Techs behaved differently? In other words, knowing that the Customer is watching for updates and is partnering with the MSP by being patient until the Tech updates them, the Techs engage and disengage the same way each and every time.
Sound great? Well, that is the second benefit to Customer-Facing Communications Protocol with the Customer as part of the process.
Note: This means that all Techs engage and disengage the same way every time, which provides the Customer with a consistent Customer Experience, no matter who is assigned the ticket. Who knows, with the Customer watching, the Techs may even lean towards Real-Time Time Entry and keeping the Customers’ documentation up to date – or is that too much to expect?
This consistency of engaging and disengaging the same way each time not only provides a rhythm that the Customer can depend on, it makes the Service Delivery Team more efficient as they get better and better at executing a consistent process.
Every IT MSP Needs 3 Key Elements to Build Consistency
Those are:
1. Put the Status in New to Complete order. This makes it easy for the Techs and everyone on the Support Team to find the next status. Keeping the Ticket up to date is much simpler, and you keep everyone in the know.
2. Automate the Customer-Facing notifications. This makes it not only easier to communicate, but with the communications happening automatically, the Tech will need to follow protocol – or explain why they did not. Remember the Customer is now watching…
3. Manage by Educating, Coaching, Monitoring, Measuring, and Rewarding.
📷A Bonus of Consistent Communications Protocol
A by-product of the Service Delivery Team providing a consistent Customer-Facing Communications protocol is the building of Trust and Dependency with the Customer. Once established, the Customer will be much more of a partner with their Service Provider.
It is this partnership that drives additional Service Delivery efficiencies. We have had two Customers report that once implementing the Customer-Facing Communications Protocol, phone calls dropped by 80% and duplicate tickets dropped by 90%. This is a huge savings in Service Delivery Team time and drives the RHEM down.
My own experience has been that about a month after implementing the Protocol, a customer emailed us saying they had turned in a service request about 20 minutes ago and did not receive the Automated Acknowledgement while waiting for the Reviewed and Assigned notification.
Sure enough, we never received the request. We quickly responded to the Customer, thanking them for the heads up, and moved his request to the top of the queue – not really following SLA guidelines, but emotionally, this Customer got our best TLC whenever interacting with them.
Guiding MSPs to Freedom from Service Delivery Issues to Grow the Company starts with a FREE No-Obligation PSA Self-Evaluation.
Enjoy the read,
https://www.sbuyze.com/2020/09/25/3-key-elements-to-build-consistent-communications-at-your-msp/
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2020.09.28 22:23 dchambers1191 Horrible Game Crashing Situation

Hello Apex Community,
I am a day one player and have enjoyed this game ever since it released. For the majority of my Apex career, I played on console. About a month ago I transitioned to PC and fell in love with the game all over again.
All is going well for a few weeks and suddenly out of the middle of nowhere, my games freezes I receive an error message that crashes me out of the game all the way to the desktop.
Error Message: https://imgur.com/gallery/8ccvEu4
I have researched and troubleshooted for days and days and still haven’t had any success. The game is currently unplayable at this point because I crash so often. (Two or three times a game) I even load up firing range and crash within 10-15 minutes consistently.
I discovered that Nvidia and Respawn worked together to solve this crash issue in February last year and released a driver that supposedly fixed the crashes. (Driver 419.35)
However, that’s not the case for me. The only constant I can define as far as when I crash is when I’ve been playing and my GPU gets to around 75C.
Below I will list my PC specs as well as the list of troubleshooting methods I have tried.
PC Specs:
i9-10900K (water cooled) (never overclocked) RTX 2080Ti (never overclocked) 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM 850W Power Supply 1TB 970 EVO Plus M.2 SSD 2TB HDD ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-PLUS Motherboard BenQ Zowie XL2546S 240hz monitor
Troubleshooting steps I’ve tried:
Uninstalled and reinstalled previous Nvidia graphics drivers using DDU program in Windows safe mode with Ethernet unplugged.
Edited the registry by adding the TdrLevel DWORD value as recommended by many guides for this issue.
Set Origin client to run as administrator
Set frame cap to 190 while changing VSYNC from off to adaptive.
Disabled all in game overlays (discord, GeForce, origin)
Reverted back to previous windows restore points weeks ago.
Repaired game files via origin client.
Set all in game video settings to low
Uninstalled and reinstalled the game
Monitored all PC component temperature, fan speeds, voltages, and utilizations
Ran CCleaner and Malwarebytes
Enabled debug mode on Nvidia control panel
Verified windows 10 is up to date
Verified Direct X 12 is up to date
Turned off game mode for Windows 10
Completely did a fresh install of Windows 10
If anyone has any insight on this I would really really appreciate it.
Thanks
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2020.09.28 19:52 ThrowRA705975 My (28F) partner (34M) introduced me to one of his best friends, who had no idea I existed. We've been together a year.

I'll attempt to keep this short, but the title basically says it and short version on the bottom.
Over the weekend my boyfriend (Trey) and I went out to watch a game and grab a drink. We were there about 15 minutes when Treys friend, Nick, joined us. Trey hadn't said anything about Nick meeting us, but when he sat down Trey introduced us and I was like oh cool, nice to meet you. I knew Nick to be one of Treys good friends and while they didn't hang out often due to schedules, they caught up occasionally with the most recent time being the weekend prior. I was up to speed on who he was simply from the course of our relationship and Trey talking about him.
We get to casual chatting and it leads to how they met. Nick then asks me how I know Trey. Trey laughed a bit and then said well this is my girlfriend. Nick looked pretty shocked and said "oh cool, I had no idea dude!" and then proceeds to ask how long we've been together. I said oh about a year. And at this point things felt awkward. Nick said oh wild, well congrats and after a fair bit of silence the conversation shifted and I excused myself to go say hello to a friend that happened to be there as well.
For some additional background, I have had a few conversations with Trey through our relationship where I've expressed insecurities in that I feel as if he's embarrassed of me, this is just a fling, or not taking us seriously. I fully understand and admit that I have my own insecurities to work through within myself, but in the context of our relationship he does not really introduce me as his girlfriend, doesn't always invite me to things, and as silly as it sounds, does not share, post, or otherwise give any indication on social media that we are together. I'd understand if he was just one of those people that isn't active on social sites, but he is and pretty avidly so. My concerns are always met with his reassurances that he takes me/us seriously, this is something he wants to move forward with, he's happy with where it's going, etc.
Truth is, I was extremely hurt by this interaction. In consideration of the other conversations we've had, I brought this up later and let him know "hey, this hurt my feelings. I understand you don't see Nick often, but in the times you do I'm sure you have a 'Hey man, whats new' chat, and I've never come up? This person, who I know all about because he is such a good friend of yours, doesn't even know I exist in your life, and have so for a year. It brings a living example to the insecurities I've discussed before." He just got quiet and said he knows he does a shitty job of expressing the importance of me in his life to other people and he's sorry. The issue is, I cannot get it out of my head. It bothers me so much. I don't want to make a big deal of nothing, but Trey is someone that comes up in my conversations near daily, to coworkers, friends or family, because...well that's just how conversations go, and I am not apparently in the same forefront for him? I feel I should be allowed to be hurt but since we've talked about this stuff before and apparently it doesn't "come natural" to him (his words, not mine) I'm not sure it will change and I'll just come across as nagging. And nagging to be "talked about" seems silly and obviously having to ask for recognition as his partner makes it seem ingenious.
TLDR: Boyfriend doesn't really tell people about me, despite us being together and exclusively dating for a year. I'm hurt, but we've talked about it before and it doesn't seem to be changing.
submitted by ThrowRA705975 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.28 19:10 BrotherFluffy Trouble in Toulon, Chapter Six

Welcome back to Trouble in Toulon! A Commander with two days off, how's he going to manage? Fortunately, Dunkerque is there to help. As always, you can read it on Fanfiction here and view the rest of my works here. Enjoy!

For the first time in years, I didn’t awake to the sound of an alarm, and in a moment of forgotten panic, thought I overslept. My eyes shot open, and adrenaline coursed through my system as my mind struggled to figure out why it had missed the all-important alarm. Then my brain finally fully engaged and I remembered the reason-I had the next two days off. Not by choice, but rather the result of a medically-excused mutiny by the senior staff.
And while I was still somewhat irked over the decision to sideline me, I was looking forward to spending more time with Dunkerque. She was a fascinating woman, kind and nurturing, but a ferocious warrior when she had to be. Her skill in hand to hand combat was impressive to see up-close, and I wondered how spectacular she would be in her element on the sea. In the meantime, I needed to get ready and find out what exactly she had in store for our first cooking lesson...
************************************************
I found Dunkerque waiting patiently for me outside of my quarters when I left, a warm smile on her face. “Bonjour, Bernard,” she said, “Did you get enough rest?”
“I think so,” I replied, unable to keep the smile from my face. “Still a little sore, but otherwise alright. And you?”
She nodded. “Indeed. I can’t remember the last time I had such a peaceful night’s rest.”
That was a relief, considering the room I was assigned. “Good! Sorry for kicking you out of your quarters, by the way. When I asked them to find me a place to sleep, I didn’t know they were going to assign me the base commander’s room.”
She laughed softly and shook her head. “Oh, it’s no trouble. We all have our own apartments off-base, we just use this as a place to catch some sleep when we’re on duty as base commander. And since that title is now officially yours, for the time being, it is your quarters.”
“That does make me feel a little bit better about absconding it, then,” I quipped. “So, what’s our first cooking lesson going to be?”
Her smile grew broader and she simply said, “Breakfast.”
*****************************************************************
For the lesson, we had decided to use the HQ kitchen, so as not to get in the way of the mess hall crew trying to prepare meals for the entire base while still giving us enough room to move around comfortably. The tiny kitchenette in the base commander’s quarters was cramped for just one person, let alone two. Dunkerque had been kind enough to lay out all of the ingredients and tools we’d need to make breakfast this morning, which would consist of eggs, bacon, and croissants. Even I was familiar with how to make eggs and bacon, but the croissants would be a bit more advanced, and as such, the focus of our little cooking lesson.
“Now, to start,” Dunkerque instructed, “I’ve already added the flour to the mixing bowl, and in a moment, we’re going to go ahead and turn the mixer on.”
Now, I missed the “in a moment” part, for whatever reason, and so all I heard was “turn the mixer on”, and like any dutiful sailor, I answered, “Mixer on, got it.”
A look of horror crossed her face as she whipped back around, trying to stop me. “Qoui?? Nonnonnononon-” But it was too late. I flicked the switch, and the mixer, accidentally at the highest speed, sprung to life.
There was a soft puff and my world dissolved into a cloud of white powder, leaving me sputtering and coughing as I tried to escape it. Eventually, I made it out of the blast zone, looking like a ghost, Dunkerque emerging next to me, waving the last bits of airborne flour out of her face, looking equally spectral. I looked at her, she looked over at me, and she simply sighed and asked, “...what am I going to do with you?”
I put on as charming a smile as I can while covered in flour and replied, “Well...they always told me to get a girl flours. This counts, right?”
She rolled her eyes at the terrible pun, but she didn’t try to hide the grin on her face. “Come on, let’s get cleaned up so we can start again…”
******************************************************************
The second attempt went much smoother, and before I knew it, we had a big batch of croissants in the oven, filling the entire floor with their savory aroma. While they were baking, Dunkerque and I worked on the bacon and eggs. The bacon was the easy part, but she decided poached eggs would be the order of the day since I was already familiar with the scrambled and sunny side up variety. We had brought the water just up to a simmer and prepared the eggs, each in their own little cup.
“Alright, you see the little bubbles there on the bottom, so that’s how you know we’re just at the right temperature.” She pointed out the tiny pockets of air that were beginning to form, waiting for me to respond.
“Okay, so...now the eggs, right?” I confirmed, albeit hesitantly. “One at a time?”
She nodded, handing one of the egg cups over to me. “Correct. Just like I showed you, slide the egg in. Gently, now.”
As best as I could, I lowered the cup and ever so slowly tilted it up until the egg slipped out and settled on the bottom of the saucepan, intact. I let out a sigh of relief and smiled over at her. “Magnifique,” she beamed, handing over another egg cup. “Looks like you’ve got the hang of this.”
One by one, I managed to slide all the eggs in successfully and set the lid atop the saucepan before shutting off the burner. “Now what?”
“Now, we wait,” she answered, setting the timer just above the oven. “Do you have any plans after this?”
“Haven’t given it much thought, to be honest,” I shrugged. “Normally, I’d tour the base, inspect a few things, but I get the feeling that might be seen as work. Why? Did you have something in mind?”
There was a playful look in her eyes as a shy smile spread across her face. “When was the last time you were at the beach, Bernard?”
“The beach?” I wracked my brain, trying to recall the last time I had been at the beach for something other than an official function. “Years, at least.”
“Would…” she hesitated, her cheeks beginning to flush, matching the color of her eyes. “Would you like to go down to the beach with me today?”
While this wasn’t something I expected, I wasn’t about to turn her down. “I’d love to. Although, you don’t mind if I keep a t-shirt on while we’re out there, do you?”
That got a curious look from her and a raised eyebrow. “Are you self-conscious about your body?”
“No,” I shook my head, then paused. “Well, yes. Sort of. Where I’m still sore from that fall yesterday, I’m afraid my back is just one bruised mess and I’d rather not have everyone staring at that.”
She smiled warmly and nodded. “Ah, I see. An understandable concern.” She spun her finger around. “If you don’t mind, turn around so I can take a look.”
I double-checked to make sure we were the only ones in the area and quickly turned around, lifting my shirt up. The sharp intake of breath confirmed that it probably looked as bad as it felt this morning. “That good, huh?”
Dunkerque didn’t beat around the bush when she answered. “Looks pretty bad. Does it hurt?”
I shook my head as I pulled my shirt back down and turned around to face her. “It was a bit sore this morning, but some aspirin helped. As much as I hate to admit it, I probably really do need these two days off to just rest and recuperate.”
“Well then,” she smirked, “It sounds like a day relaxing by the beach would be a perfect way to do just that, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Only if the right person is there with me,” I answered with a playful grin. She flashes me a grin back, and just for a moment, it falters, and the one that reappears is decidedly less genuine than the one that she began with. “What is it?” I asked her, concerned.
“It’s nothing, Commander…” she trails off, looking away. “I just…” A soft sigh escapes her lips, and her shoulders slump. “I don’t want to be too...too...presumptuous.”
That was a new one. “Presumptuous?” I repeated. “What do you mean by that?”
Before she could answer, the timer for the eggs went off, and we both jumped a little bit at the sudden alarm. We shared a look and chuckled nervously as we awkwardly shuffled back to the pot. Dunkerque slowly lifted the lid off, peering inside before she fully removed it. I could tell from her smile that it hadn’t been a disaster, at least, but only time would tell if I managed to get the yolk to its correct consistency. “Well, they survived the first part,” she announced, “Now all we need to do is get them out and onto our plates.”
One slotted spoon and two plates later, we each had two poached eggs ready to go, after a liberal sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Dunkerque grabbed the croissants out of the oven while I plated the bacon. Two fresh cups of coffee completed the meal as we sat down in the small mess adjacent to the HQ kitchen, which was mercifully empty for the awkward conversation that was to ensue. But that would wait a few blessed moments while we sampled the morning fare.
“Moment of truth,” I muttered as I placed the edge of my fork on one of my poached eggs and cut through it. The white parted easily, and the yolk began to ooze out slowly, a good sign that it had been cooked perfectly. I took a bite and immediately I was rewarded with the smooth, unctuousness of the yolk, coating my tongue. “Oh, that’s good.”
Dunkerque smiled brightly at me as she took her first bite, her smile getting wider as she nodded in agreement. “Oh, that is perfectly timed. Well done, Bernard!”
I shook my head as I took another bite. “I can’t take the credit, I was just following your instructions.”
“Oh?” she smirked, a silvery eyebrow cocked. “And by that logic, if a shipgirl does well because of your orders, is the credit hers?”
Damn, she’s good. “Fair point,” I conceded. “The credit is by all rights hers, and I guess, mine, too.” In an effort to stave off the awkwardness, I reach for the croissant on my plate and take a bite. Like the egg, it is absolutely delicious. Buttery, flaky, soft, and warm, it’s everything I’d want in a croissant, and everything I would expect from someone of Dunkerque’s skill.
We continued to enjoy breakfast in silence, too busy devouring our meals to really talk until the last crumb was gone, and we were left with nothing but the coffee and silence. As always, my loathing of awkward silences pushed me to make the first move. “What did you mean when you said you didn’t want to be ‘presumptuous’?”
“O-oh!” she stammered softly, glancing around the room to make sure it really was just us in there. “I just thought...I would not want to get in the way between you and someone else with our playful flirting.”
“Someone else?” It took me a second to realize what she meant, and when it finally clicked, I started in surprise. “Oh! No, no. There’s no one like that in my life. Not for…” Memories come flooding back in, unwelcome and sharp, turning the buttery aftertaste of the pastry to ash in my mouth. I shake my head to clear those treacherous thoughts and take a swig of coffee to help clear my throat. “Not for a long time.”
Dunkerque saw the unpleasant memories written on my face, and she hesitated, half starting to speak, but stopping herself several times before she finally got it out. “I...I’m sorry...I did not mean to bring up such painful memories.”
I smile sadly and shake my head, taking another sip of coffee as I tried to find the right words. “It’s alright. We all have pain in our past.”
Despite my reassurance, she still looked anxious and hesitant and when she asked her next question, I understood why she felt that way. “Would...are you...is there a possibility for anyone else who could be that...ah…’someone else’?”
I shrugged, not quite sure of the answer. “I’m not averse to the idea. But only if it’s the right person,” I grinned at her over the lip of my coffee cup.
“Oh?” she asked, leaning forward, her own flirtatious smile returning. “And who would this ‘right person’ be?”
I leaned back in my chair, looked up at the ceiling, and sighed thoughtfully. “Intelligent, for starters. Able to hold her own in a conversation. Not just another pretty face, but being beautiful definitely helps. Warm, caring, but strong when the situation calls for it. She’ll probably need to save my life at least once before I consider dating her. A good cook, and a good teacher, because I’m new at this whole cooking thing. Probably a girl with silver hair and eyes the color of roses. Not to get too specific.” When I brought my gaze back down to her, that smile had grown into a full-blown grin from ear to ear.
“You know, Bernard,” she began, “You could have just said ‘me’.”
I shrugged and grinned back at her. “I know, but I thought I’d be cute.”
She gave me a sardonic smile and an ok sign with her hand. “Tres mignon.”
I blinked, the smile disappearing from my face as I became very confused. “Very steak?”
And now it was Dunkerque’s turn to look confused. “What?”
Mignon,” I repeated. “Isn’t that a cut of steak?”
“It is,” she confirmed, “But the word ‘mignon’ literally means cute.”
I held up my hands, trying to process this new information. “Wait wait wait. You’re telling me every time I ordered a filet mignon, I was ordering...cute steak?”
Oui!” she chirped. “Although it would be more accurate to call it a ‘cute cut’.”
“Huh. Well, that’s new information…” While this was hardly life-shattering, it’s certainly odd to find out what you thought was a very specific, fancy French cut was just…”cute”.
“C’mon, you can ponder this and get some sun,” she teased as she stood up, gathering her plate and mug. “Let’s go get changed and meet back here in twenty minutes.” I nodded and downed the rest of my coffee in a single gulp as I tried to remember where my swim trunks were…
*******************************************************************
Twenty minutes later, we met back up and headed down to the beach. Once we made it there, Dunkerque excused herself to change into a proper bathing suit(she had walked down with me wearing a chemise and a light silk robe) while I got the towels and beach umbrella set up.
Preparations complete, I sat down on my towel and took in the view. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I was expecting it to be, with only a few beachgoers, some with families, others alone either soaking up the sun or playing in the ocean. In the distance, I could see Saint-Mandrier-su-Mer rising above the ocean and the rolling hills of the Iris Orthodoxy to my left. When I looked in the direction of the base, I couldn’t see any hint of it, and part of me wondered if that was intentional on Dunkerque’s part. I sighed and leaned back, chastising myself for being so suspicious. It was clear she had my best intentions at heart, and I needed to quit trying to find some hidden meaning or dubious motive with her.
“There we go, all changed now.” My ruminations and self-recriminations were interrupted by Dunkerque’s melodic voice, and I looked up to see her standing over me, now changed into her swimsuit. She wore a violet bikini, with little frills at the edge of the fabric, and a black bow on the top. Her hair had been pulled up into a ponytail, and she had worn a white headband adorned with a violet butterfly that shimmered the most vibrant blue when the light hit it just right. I was so awestruck by her beauty, I could only stare at her, my jaw on the sand.
Apparently, I had stared a bit too long as Dunkerque’s smile faded, replaced by a concerned look. “Bernard, are you alright?”
My brain desperately tried to get back into gear, and after a few more seconds, I found my voice again. “Y-yeah, fine, just...you look so...wow,” I stammered, still trying to compose myself. “I mean, just..wow. You look gorgeous in that.”
Her cheeks flushed, and she looked away for a moment, placing a hand over her chest. “Y-you’re too kind, mon ami,” she demurred before she looked back, a nervous but genuine smile on her face. “But I’m glad you like it so much.”
I returned the smile with one of my own as I got to my feet. “So...shall we go take a dip in the ocean, get our feet wet at least?”
“I was just about to suggest that,” Dunkerque nodded in agreement, her smile switching to a playful grin. “Last one in’s a rotten egg!” And with that, she was off. With a head start, and against a kansen, I had no chance of catching up with her. But watching her run across the sand, her hair flowing in the breeze, with the beautiful tableau as a backdrop, was one of the best moments of my life, and one I’ll carry with me as long as I live. Some people say paradise is a tropical beach, with palm trees and coconuts and warm, clear waters. For me, that beach in Toulon will always be my paradise…
*********************************************************
After we had our fill of swimming and playing in the cool water, we headed back to our towels to soak up the warm summer sun and dry out before heading off to...wherever we were going to next. Lunch, I hoped. I was staring up into the blue sky when I heard Dunkerque sigh happily next to me.
“Everything alright?” I asked, looking over at her.
“Hm? Oh, it’s just…” she sighed happily again, gazing out on the water. “It's been a long time since I last was able to enjoy scenery like this without any worries…”
I sat up, following her gaze out to the beautiful sapphire sea and verdant green hills. “It’s been a long, tough war. I’m glad I could make things a little bit happier for you, at least.”
“And you?” she asked, turning her head to gaze at me. “Have you been able to enjoy this without any worries?”
I shrugged slightly, feeling somewhat conflicted. “I’d like to say yes, but...I think there’s always a little worry going on in the back of my head. What’s going on in the war right now, who’s planning what, are my kansen alright? Just a little worry, all the time. Kinda like a background hum you get used to.”
As usual, Dunkerque was having none of that as she scooted next to me, her arm wrapping around my waist. “Everyone deserves to be able to set their worries aside, even if it's just for a little while. Want to try gazing into the ocean horizon together? It always puts my mind at ease.”
I nodded and draped my arm over her shoulder as she rested her head on mine and together, we gazed out at the ocean. Normally, sitting like this, trying to keep my mind clear of any thoughts, worries, or doubts, was impossible. I wouldn’t last more than thirty seconds before I started making lists in my head, plotting the next commission fleets to send out, that sort of thing. But here, feeling her warmth pressed against me, her soft skin beneath my fingers, the soft sound of her breathing as we stared out at the ocean, listening to the gentle sound of the water lapping against the shore...I felt calm, truly at peace for the first time in...God, I honestly cannot remember how long. We stayed like that for what felt like hours, until the cathedral bell tolled, signaling that it was one o’clock.
We slowly, reluctantly parted, and I smiled as I looked into Dunkerque’s rosy eyes. “You seem much more relaxed now, Bernard,” she remarked. “Do you feel more relaxed?”
“I do,” I confirmed. “Thank you, I guess I really needed that.”
“Anything I can do to help out, do not hesitate to ask, mon ami.” Dunkerque smiled at me again, then glanced back over her shoulder. “Since it is one, and now that we are finally dry, would you like to accompany me to lunch? I know just the place, a quiet little bistro. What do you say?”
Before I could answer, my stomach chimed in for me with a small growl. I felt my face get hot and I looked down at my traitorous belly before looking back up at her. “It doesn’t do that all the time, I swear.”
She giggled and shook her head. “Do not worry about it,” she dismissed, “It just means that I’ll need to make sure you are fed more often. They say the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach, non?”
I laughed and nodded in agreement with her. “And if that’s true, I believe it would have been love at first bite, my dear Dunkerque…”
A/N-A few major milestones with this chapter. First, this is the longest continuous series I’ve released so far, and second, as I just finished writing chapter eight, this also marks the longest series I’ve written, period(the New Year’s series clocking in at seven chapters currently). So yay! In the meantime, don’t worry, more fluffy romantic goodness ahead and as always, fair winds and following seas!
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2020.09.28 17:51 LordCongra [Runes & Brews] - Book 1: Trouble Brewing, Chapter 10

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Theo and Adam sat together, back to back. He was finishing up the last runework on Deskan’s arrow while Adam prepared a water-breathing philtre.
Distill, Theo,” Adam murmured, shifting his body slightly for more contact with Theo.
Distill,” he said, allowing the spell to form in his mana pool and travel through Adam with what was now well-practiced ease. The amount of mana that he pulsed was far more controlled than it had been three days earlier. Not perfect yet, but it was better.
Impatient noises sounded out from Adam. “How much longer do you need me for this morning? I’ve gotta meet up with everyone for the trial. Oh, and, can I get a Heat?
“Sure thing, Heat. And, I just have a couple more runes to finish on this arrow and it should be all set. The trials worked just fine on the clay version, anyway,” he said, shrugging. It had taken some time to feel comfortable in this position sitting against Adam, but he’d been able to get his enchanting work done while his stocks were replenished, so he really couldn’t complain.
“Shit, Attenuate, please? Less mana if you can,” Adam grumbled, sounding displeased with himself.
Attenuate. What’s happening with it? What color is the potion right now?” Theo asked, turning his head slightly to try and get a look.
Adam grunted. “It’s… maybe a pinkish-orange? I don’t know, there’s a lot of chunks floating in there.”
“Add a little more gallarant seed powder, you probably didn’t add enough binding agent,” he said, returning to his own work inscribing runes. Sunlight shone down on him, filling his fairly empty mana reserves just enough that he could manage both as long as they worked slowly.
The pestle scraped against the mortar for a few moments before Adam sighed with relief. “That worked. Thanks, Theo. It’s more orange than pink now, should I add the stardust?”
“You should. Then I’ll give you one strong Distill. Let me know when you’re ready,” he said, giving an affirmative nod that Adam couldn’t see.
“Ready.”
Distill. Make sure to watch that stability, waterbreathing potions can sneak up on you,” Theo warned, nudging Adam slightly.
He leaned forward, almost making Theo fall backward. “It’s still not in the red or anything, I think we could manage one more tiny Distill. Can you do it?”
“Mhm,” he affirmed, waiting for Adam’s back to make contact once more. He grasped as much as he could mentally on his mana pool, trying to practice restricting the flow. “Distill.” It worked somewhat, he didn’t waste as much as he had been wasting.
“I think it’s done. It’s a really pale green now but it’s not red,” he said, sounding pleased with himself.
“Okay, I’ll give you a Cool to finish it off. Cool,” he said, his voice echoing with the Named Spell.
He felt Adam nodding to himself. “Perfect. It’s done. Maybe a little frosty…”
“That’s fine, it’ll warm up on its own. You can take a break now, that’s plenty of potions. I’m almost done with this arrow, just need to add the final touches,” Theo said, holding it up for Adam to see.
Studying it for a moment, he leaned in closer. “Just one last Intent rune, eh?”
“That’s it. You can go make yourself something to eat if you want while I finish up,” he said, waving a hand towards the door. “I shouldn’t be long.”
A groan from his stomach indicated Theo was right. “Sure. I can make you something too. Any specifics?”
His own stomach growled, so he nodded. “I believe I have some goose eggs in the larder, could you fry them over easy for me? My frying pan is in the cupboard on the left.”
He gave Theo a thumbs up. “Got it. You have anything green? I don’t wanna eat anything too heavy right before our test.”
“Plenty. I have a loaf of bread in the larder as well if you’d like to make yourself a sandwich.”
Adam smiled at that. “Sounds great. You keep working. Think you’ll be done by the time your food is ready?”
“Make your sandwich first and I think I should be,” Theo said, pointing his stylus at Adam.
“Sure thing.”
Once Adam left, he delved back into the enchanting. The last rune wasn’t too complex, but he wanted to make sure he hadn’t missed any spots so he was setting aside time for an inspection as well.
Mana flowed through the stylus, a soft silver light emitting from the tip as it made contact with the metal of the arrow. He hummed to himself, inscribing the last rune with the utmost precision. His stylus glided along the surface, leaving the glowing marks of a forming rune in its wake.
Finished, he carefully pored over the arrow in its entirety. He frowned at one spot where the line didn’t look up to snuff. With more mana flowing, he corrected the error fairly easily, mentally complimenting himself on a job well done.
The scents of cooking reached his nose and he just about hovered out of his seat towards the kitchen, arrow in hand. Sizzling and popping in the frying pan were the first sounds he heard as he walked into the kitchen.
Adam danced around the counter to a song that wasn’t playing, sprinkling a little salt on the egg. He turned around, noticing Theo watching him. His ears turned red. “Oh, Theo. Hi. Breakfast’s ready.” Moving the egg to a plate, he set it on the table for Theo.
Theo just smiled and sat down. Both at the table, he took his first bite. “Adam, this is delicious! And did you pan-fry some bread slices for me?” He used the bread to sandwich his egg, dipping it in the yolk.
“Yup. Secret recipe, can’t tell you what,” he said, grinning.
Raising an eyebrow, Theo leaned in, stage-whispering. “It wouldn’t happen to be… butter in a pan, would it?”
He feigned a gasp. “How did you know?”
“Just had a hunch,” he teased. “Oh, and Adam, I was wondering, what’s the test like? I’ve heard stories before, but it’s been a while.”
With an impressive amount of balance, he leaned disturbingly far back in his chair. “You wanna come and watch? They allow spectators. The test is supposed to be a little different every time they do it, so even I don’t know exactly what’ll happen.”
His eyes widened. “Really? I’d have to open the shop later, but… yes, I’d love to come!”
“We should probably get going soon, so eat up,” he said, gesturing to Theo’s plate of slowly cooling eggs.
Adam’s eyes rounded as Theo shoveled food in his mouth with wild abandon. His fork clattered against the plate loudly. “Done. Now, I just need to freshen up quickly. I’ll need to put on my good vest.”
“What’s wrong with the vest you’re wearing?” he asked, quirking an eyebrow.
Glancing down at his vest, he scrunched his brows before looking back up. “Nothing, really. They’re all good vests, but… a vest for each occasion, y’know?”
“I don’t, but sure, go change,” Adam said, hands raised in defeat.
“I’ll be quick!” Theo called out, already halfway through the door to his room. Vests were thrown left and right as he tried to pick out just the right one. He settled on a mahogany brown vest and tied an emerald green bow tie under the collar of his shirt. Perfect.
Cleaning himself up in the bathroom quickly, he fussed with his hair for a bit, trying to get it just right. The humidity was higher today so it was being uncooperative. Finally ready, he jogged back out to the kitchen to find Adam sharpening his battleaxe with a whetstone.
“All done!”
Adam raised a brow, regarding Theo’s new vest. “That’s like, the same color vest, you just added a green bow tie.”
Theo placed a hand over his collarbone, scoffing in mock-offense. “I’ll have you know the last vest was a dark umber. This one is mahogany. And the green bow tie is for good luck.”
“Brown is brown. I appreciate the good luck though, I think we’ll need it,” Adam said, grimacing.
“You just don’t understand vests. But, speaking of things you need. Would you want to… borrow a wand? Or maybe some other enchanted tool? Just for the test,” Theo said, eyeing him expectantly.
“I wish. We already registered everything we’re bringing in. We can’t add extras,” he said, frowning.
“Oh. Well, shall we get going?” he asked, gesturing towards the door.
“Probably. Telsa’s gonna be antsy even if I’m this early,” he said, stretching as he stood up once more.
“Oh, just one more thing, actually. Be right back,” he said, dashing into his workshop to grab his inscribing stylus and his finished Wind Tunnel wand. With a spring in his step, he came back out, leading the way to his door. “I just need to lock up and we can go. I’m bringing my stylus in case I need to touch up the runes at all for Deskan.”
“Sounds good. You have it in that case thing, right?” Adam asked, eyes scanning Theo’s bag that hung over his shoulder.
“I do. Wh- oh goodness!” Theo called out as Adam picked him up and stuffed him under his arm.
“Because it’s later than we thought!” he shouted, sprinting down the street.
From his position, he could glance up at the sky. The position of the sun confirmed what Adam had said, it wasn’t morning anymore. They arrived at the adventurer’s guild with remarkable speed. Theo’s sides were hurting from being jostled around as much as he had been.
When he looked at Adam, he was jealous that the brute hadn’t even broken a sweat. I wonder how much easier my own exercises will be now that I’m Tier 3.
Telsa strode up to them, eyes blazing with fury. “Adam, you were nearly late! Our test is in five minutes! Oh, hi, Theo.” She smiled brightly at him, terrifying him with the sudden shift of demeanor.
“Uh, hello. Is Deskan here? I have her arrow?” he asked, searching for her.
She stepped out from behind a stone pillar, sneering as usual. “Let me see it.”
As he moved to hand it to her, Telsa snatched it out of his hand instead. “What do we say, Deskan?” Her glare could have peeled paint off a wall.
Deskan glared right back. “Please,” she spat the words out, taking the arrow aggressively from Telsa’s proffered hand. Walking up to a training dummy in a field just outside the guild, she fired the metal arrow into it. With smooth, practiced motions, she nocked and shot several more. They all disappeared from sight shortly after leaving her bow, impaling the dummy from all angles around it.
Theo clapped, noticing that Deskan’s lip quirked up slightly as she gathered her arrows. She regarded Theo. “It works perfectly. Thank you. I’m…” She clenched her teeth like it hurt her. “Sorry I doubted you.”
“It’s quite alright. I know my prices can potentially hurt my reputation, but I’d rather keep adventurers alive by better supplying them than price-gouge them,” he said, puffing his chest up and putting his hands on his hips.
“Don’t let it go to your head,” Deskan said, already turning to count her arrows, clearly done with the conversation. “Hey, you have the other arrows I left you, right?”
“Oh, yes I do! It’s right…” He opened his bag, taking the teleporting arrow out. “Here. Unharmed, despite Adam carrying me under his arm the whole way here.”
Nils walked up to the two of them. “He did that to you too? Not very comfortable, is it? He’s done it to me on several occasions when we’re retreating on requests.”
Theo rubbed his sides, frowning. “Not comfortable at all. I think I may have bruises soon…”
“Deskan! Nils! Come on! It’s go time! You too, Theo!” Telsa called out, waving them onward.
“Oh, I suppose we should go then. I’ll be cheering you all on from the stands!” Theo gave them a thumbs up, following an attendant who brought him to the stands around the adventurer’s guild arena.
There were a few others watching, mostly human but two fulvitre and a chosen whose hair was actually a mess of short quills. The chosen had a bubble of water suspended around his neck which he stored in a flask moments later, looking refreshed.
A chosen with an orange chitin exoskeleton walked out into the middle of the arena. He tapped a necklace twice with one claw hand and shouted out, his voice far louder than it should be. “The Vanguard’s Grip will be performing a test today to advance from Steel rank to Silver rank! We ask for your cooperation at this time to please keep yourself as quiet as possible. We have Fundamental barrier mages in place to keep the arena sealed, but it would not do to have unwanted attention from the monsters brought to the crowd.
“Without further ado, we will now announce what the Vanguard’s Grip will be up against today.” He pulled a slip of parchment from his pocket, reading it over once. “Oh, looks like everyone here is in for a show. They’re up against shiftrock moles! These oversized rodents channel Primordial mana to trap or pierce their prey with the power of earth! Looks like our competitors are coming out now! I introduce to you, Telsa Preant, Adamant Weaver, Deskan Torsum, and Nils Selic, the four members of the Vanguard’s Grip!”
Theo clapped as hard as he could, cheering. His excitement slowly died down as he realized no one else was cheering. He looked around, everyone was staring at him. His ears burned as he huddled down to look as small as possible.
The chosen announcer cleared his throat. “Well, uh, we have three guild representatives observing today who will judge this team on their efficiency, teamwork, effectiveness, utility, and speed of completion. Once I leave the arena, the moles will be released and the fight will begin!” He walked towards a door in the wall of the arena, shutting it behind himself.
Cages on the other side of the arena slid open, allowing five moles, each larger than Theo, to walk out onto the field. Sunlight shone down brightly onto the battleground. He couldn’t hear them, but Telsa said something to Adam who nodded to her.
He charged ahead, the moles moving to meet him. Adam dodged side to side as pillars of earth sprung up from the ground. Roaring, runes lit up on his skin. In a blur of movement, his axe cleaved through the next earthen spire that shot up from the ground at him.
A group of spires appeared around him in a circle, enclosing him in a cage of rock. His movement was heavily restricted, but he gripped one of the pillars, tearing it out of the earth with his brute strength alone. He blocked off several of the moles, catching their claws and teeth with the pillar.
By this time, Deskan was in position. She caught one of the moles unaware, her beacon arrow stabbing into its side with a spray of blood.
It hissed in response, a volley of floating earthen spikes firing at her. She returned with a volley of her own arrows. Unfortunately, the mole summoned a rocky armor plating around its skin, making each arrow glance off. The other moles followed suit, mimicking the first upon noticing its injury.
“Telsa! Alacrity!” Nils held up his staff, a large gem set in the crooked head of it glowing brightly. A blue glow of mana settled around Telsa’s head and body. She crouched low, throwing one of her daggers towards the moles.
Theo gasped as it missed, but Telsa was smiling. The air between her and the moles seemed to bend in a way his mind had trouble comprehending. She sped forward faster than Theo could register, her other arm coming up with a swing of her dagger. “Rending Slash!” Light bent around her dagger, reaching a focal point as she cut.
Another mole almost reached her before the pillar of earth Adam had ripped up slammed into its face. The momentary distraction was enough, however, and the beast that Telsa had nearly cleaved through backed off just enough that her cut only left a gash across its front. It leaked blood, but the mole wasn’t down for the count.
They all burrowed into the ground moments later. Telsa barked an order and the group stood back to back in a diamond formation. Deskan’s mouth was moving and she pointed towards the ground.
“Got it! Titanic Strength!” Adam leaped into the air, the runes on his arms and legs glowing brighter than before. His battleaxe gleamed in the light, slamming into the ground. Rock cracked and burst into debris around him as he shattered it with his hit.
Several of the moles were sent airborne by the force. One had Deskan’s beacon arrow in its side. She fired several arrows which teleported into it moments later. It landed on the ground in an unmoving heap. Adam was heaving for breath on the ground as several moles approached him.
Telsa appeared at his side moments later, her dagger clipped to his side. Theo’s wand was pointed at the rodents who had claws up ready to strike. “Bolt Orb!” Three orbs of yellow lightning shot out of the wand, striking the moles. They reared back, chittering loudly. Telsa spun on her toes, grabbing her dagger from Adam’s side and swinging widely.
Nils called out. “Reaction Reduction!” A red aura settled around the moles, their bodies becoming slow to move.
Warped Size!” Telsa’s dagger blades extended far longer than they should have. “Rending Slash!” It was space itself, Theo realized, that bent in on her daggers, her next strike cleaving through two of the moles despite their earthen armor.
Only two moles remained. Deskan’s beacon arrow plunged itself deep into the head of one, dropping it instantly. Telsa raised the wand once more, firing another Bolt Orb at the final mole. Stunned once more, Adam had recovered enough and slammed his axe through its chest, the runes on his arms glowing a final time. He landed on his back, breathing heavily from his explosive exertions.
There was a moment of quiet before applause broke out from the small crowd. Theo joined in, subtly glaring at those who hadn’t clapped with him before.
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Back in the main lobby of the adventurer’s guild, Theo stood with the Vanguard’s Grip, awaiting the judgment of the guild officials.
An older human with bright violet hair stepped out of their meeting room, facing the group. Everyone stared at him expectantly before he smiled and held up four silver tags. “You all passed.” He let everyone take that in and cheer with each other before continuing.
“Your teamwork was incredible and you handled the situation faster than expected. It seems that Bolt Orb wand gave you the capability to handle larger crowds than before.”
Adam nudged Theo, smiling.
“But. You all still have areas to improve on. Adam, your spells have high mana requirements and clearly exhaust you quickly. We recommend working on your stamina to improve that, not just your strength.
“Telsa, the latency between spell activation and your strikes could use improvement, make sure to not let yourself be distracted as well. Trust in your tank to defend you.
“Deskan, you may want to invest in a way to retrieve your beacon arrow more readily. It cost your team time for you to retrieve it out of the body each time.
“Lastly, Nils, you need to improve the efficiency of your buff channeling. One of our representatives detected a much higher mana expenditure than your spell should have cost. We recommend seeing a Phrenist to have those Named Spells removed once you have appropriate replacements Spell Books. There are a few the guild could recommend but if you have a personal preference that is quite fine as well.”
Telsa walked up to the representative and took the offered tags, handing over a set of steel tags in return. “Thank you, Guildmaster Tynvern. We’re honored you oversaw our match. And thank you for all of the feedback, we’ll be sure to apply it.”
“I’m just glad to see your team finally advance in the ranks, Telsa. You’ve shored up the aspects you were lacking in before. I look forward to your future progress,” the older man nodded to the group. “I have more tests to attend to. You’re welcome to stay but I assume you all want to go out and celebrate.”
“That we do, Tyn,” Adam said, grinning.
Deskan glared at him. “Guildmaster Tynvern, you mean.”
“It’s quite alright, Deskan. I’ve known young Adamant here for far longer than the rest of you. I must take my leave now, however. Good job once again. You all did wonderfully.” He stepped through the door under loud thanks from everyone, Theo included even though he didn’t know why, it just felt right.
“Well, Theo, we’re gonna go celebrate. You wanna come?” Telsa asked, looking between him and Adam with a knowing quirk to her lips.
He frowned. “I would love to, but I really need to go open my shop now. I may be available tomorrow after I teach Pina some more manual casting. You all take it easy today, you’ve earned it. Congratulations on reaching Silver rank! That’s quite the achievement.”
“Thanks, Theo. We’ll stop by tomorrow, then. See you later. If I don’t have too bad of a hangover, at least,” Adam said, waving him off.
“If you do, you know who to come to,” Theo said, chuckling. He waved to everyone as they went their separate ways. With the lesser leaks and being in the sunlight as long as he had been, his mana pool was filled up quite a bit again, fortunately. He returned home, feeling excited about the Vanguard’s Grip’s success today.
Unlocking his shop he went to close the door behind him before something stopped it. He turned around to see a large hand holding the door. “Maraz.”
Bright, perfectly white teeth smiled back at him widely. “Hello again, Theo. Did you have fun at the adventurer’s guild today? I saw you down in the guild district and figured I’d come to check in on the shop. Your prices wouldn’t happen to be the same as before, would they?”
Theo backed up, hand moving to the pocket with his wand in it. The very same hand trembled. “T-They’re the same as b-before, Maraz. Can’t you just leave me alone to run my shop?”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Theo. Your time is up and the guild wants me to make sure you change,” he said, cracking his knuckles.
Theo eyed Maraz defiantly, his legs quivering under him. His voice was shaky but his conviction was firm. He clenched a fist around his wand. “I-I don’t believe I will.”
Maraz raised a fist. “You don’t really have a choice, do you?”
Once Maraz took another step forward, Theo whipped out his wand. “I do. Wind Tunnel!” In his fear, he didn’t have even the slightest hold on his mana pool. A large portion of his mana dumped into the wand immediately.
The runes lit up, blindingly bright. The wood of the wand snapped and splintered as a concussive wind blast shot Maraz through the shop window. Theo himself shot backward, slamming into his counter.
Several potion bottles and other enchanted tools fell to the floor in the wake of the destruction. Theo’s heart clenched as he stood up, groaning in pain. He looked out the opening that was his window to see Maraz laying on the ground, blood leaking from his head.
“Oh dear.”
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Three Minute Thesis (3MT) 2011 Winner - Matthew Thompson ... YouTube How to meet 10 beautiful Japanese women in 60 minutes ...

Couple of Minutes Speed Dating Tickets, Sat, Feb 1, 2020 ...

  1. Three Minute Thesis (3MT) 2011 Winner - Matthew Thompson ...
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Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition 2011 Winning presentation 'Suspects, Science and CSI' by Matthew Thompson from the University of Queensland Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. OzMatch, an Australian and Japanese Matchmaking Agency held the Virtual Speed Dating on Sep 19th and 20th. The event went very well and everybody had great f...