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today i am one year sober.

i'm trying not to make too much of a big deal about it but today i am 365 days sober from alcohol. i would've never thought i would get to this day because it honestly felt like the longest year ever because of the PAWS and the debilitating stomach issues i've gone through because of it. But i vouched to myself a life of sobriety and by god i'm gonna do it. but here's my story if you care to hear it:
i hit my rock bottom when i found myself banging at the package store door at 8am every single goddamn day hoping to get a few shots/beers in me so i can get out the nightmarish hangover i was going through day in and day out. i never thought i'd be that person. i would stumble my hungover ass down there every morning with one thought on my mind, alcohol. i would cycle numerous different package stores around town multiple times a day just so they wouldn't think i had a problem, but they're not stupid, they knew.
one day i found a bar in my town (one i NEVER went to because it's scummy af in a scummy part of town) that opens at 6am (for breakfast because of the 3rd shifters that work at the factory next door) but the bartenders served alcohol because 90% of the people in my town are alcoholics. that dug me into the worst downward spiral i've ever been in. i'd usually only get 3 hours of sleep a night if i was lucky and i'd wake up at 5am with a nasty hangover and dread having to wait 3 hours for the packy to open, so this bar would be my home for the next 4 months or so, i'd be the first one in the bar at 5:58am and the bartender would have a beer cracked open for me. a beer (bud/bud light) was $1.50 and a shot of well alcohol was $3, so it was pretty easy to get plastered for cheap. i ran down my bank account going barhopping every single day so i would run up tabs and walk out on them, not purposely..(eventually getting sober and going back to settle all of them with complete and utter embarassment) thank god they didn't care too much because i was a local but it made me feel like a horrible human being. the people i'd meet at this place were complete and utter lowlifes...i'd have to hear their stories of how they used to be hot shit, how they were in the mob, (because i live in an italian infused town) how they're high rollers at the local casinos, and i'd be so fucked up, i'd entertain their stories and become buddies with them..they bought me shots/beers and i had no problem at all being buddy buddy with them. i used to bang one of the new bartenders they just hired and she would hook me up on the regular..and i'd have to hear all the guys talk about how hott she was when she walked away, and they'd do anything to get with her. one night me and her went out and got really drunk together and she slept over, we were both naked and about to eff the living shit out of eachother, but i couldn't get hard so i passed out, the next day she decided to fill me in that her recent ex boyfriend gave her a life changing STD, and that right there could've ruined my fucking life if i went through with that sex.
i was just living a sad ass existence.
eventually something started happening with my body that i was becoming concerned with. not only was i shitting out yellow oily substances 2 minutes after i ate (if and when i ate), but i started feeling very unwell all the time. i just wasn't myself. the alcohol wasn't getting me drunk anymore, it was basically just accumulating in my system and i'd just get extremely messed up hours later. i'd get horrible brain fog and i felt like i was living in an alternate reality where things were just fake as all hell. i felt SO depersonalized. i would drive to the casino and get extremely messed up for free because i'd pretend i was gambling. i was passing out in my car in different parking lots of different casinos and bars. i'd wake up at 3am in my backseat and just be SOOOOO out of it that i'd piss myself and go back to sleep. i would drink my alcohol and throw it up in the bathroom an hour later just so i can keep drinking
it took me 4 detox rehab stints in a 4 month span to realize what i was doing to myself. there is nothing worse than waking up with a group of 50+ strangers going through the same nightmare you are in a place where you're literally locked in, being woken up every 2 hours throughout the night, even though you're going through alcoholic insomnia and aren't getting any sleep anyways
i left rehab and immediately relapsed each time. i saw this girl at the bar that i used to chill with one night and i went back to her place just to chill and drink more. i spent 7 days at her apartment, she bought 30 racks and i drank at her place while she went to work everyday and when she got out, we'd hit the bars..then go back to her house, and we'd drink some more. and that went on for a week. i didn't change my clothes, i didn't shower, i felt fucking disgusting.
one night me and her went to a local bar and got shitfaced. these complete losers came in and sat with us and i got real bad vibes from them. they saw i was feeling down and out so they offered me a bump of cocaine, and i am one of those people who have NEVER touched a hard drug in my life, but i said fuck it and they set me up a line, i ended up denying it in the end because i'm a giant pussy..they all proceeded to do some shrooms and decided we're gonna go to a party. and this party was a banger, and it was 20 miles away in the middle of the woods, they had a live band, and if i wasn't as messed up as i was, it would've been fun af, but it wasnt and i wanted to leave. i spent 4 hours looking for a ride because they were all too tripped out to even function. it was fucking freezing and i walked over 20 miles to her house and it took me a long ass time, literally frozen and drunk, and it was HORRIBLE. that was the night i took my final drink. my last drink.
i developed extreme PTSD because of all this shit. that PTSD is what got me to stop. every single damn time i get the urge to drink, i think of what i went through everyday. every time the thought of beer crosses my mind, i get sick to my stomach thinking about that life i was living. i never want to go through that ever again. i'd rather be sober, depressed and miserable than drunk, numb and SICK all the fucking time. i sometimes drive past these bars i would frequent just to watch the regulars sitting outside drinking their $1.50 can of bud looking miserable af.
i'm just happy to be this far into my sobriety. 365 fucking days bro.
if you read all of this..i appreciate you taking the time to read my story. i know it went on and on but that's how i got from where i was to where i am now. i got a nice built up bank account, i got a beautiful puppy that i love to death, my mother told me yesterday that she's proud of me and i proved her wrong, those words were enough to make it all worth it, because i put her through hell and back
i've finally decided it's time i start dating again..i took that year for myself but i think i'm ready to find 'the one'
but i appreciate all of you. we're all in this together. one sober community. and i hope all of you get to where you wanna be at. thanks for listening
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Running a Business as an Artificer

In a previous article I looked into the practicality of building a Mage Tower for yourself. That was received fairly well, so I think I'll move onto my favorite class, the Artificer. Now, an Artificer doesn't necessarily need a tower as a base of operations, and given the somewhat more limited spell selection and 1/2 Caster nature, thought I'd focus more on the innate ability of an Artificer to be a small business owner by merits of Tool Proficiencies! Mundane and Magical Item are simple to make with all the Tool Proficiencies you are able to acquire at a relatively low level.
This guide could also be quite beneficial to Forge Clerics or any Wizard, Bard or Caster that knows Fabricate.
I recommend several resources to look up or familiarize yourself with before you take on this enterprising business opportunity.
1) Chapter 6 of the DMG features the Downtime Activity of Running a Business. It breaks down to 1d100+X, X being a number of downtime days that you spend running your business. If you can get above a 60 on the roll, congrats, your business makes a profit for that month.
2) Eberron: Rising from the Last War. You'll need this book if you want to play an Artificer.
3) Exploring Eberron presents two new Artificer Subclasses as well as a few new infusions I reference here, namely Healing Salve and Quiver of Energy.
4) Acquisition Incorporated is a great source for new rules to allow a business to be run while you continue to adventure, allowing a constant background stream of income to help fund future adventuring opportunities. You can use as many or as few options as you'd like, but the Hireling options to run the business in your absence are a nice touch.
5) If you don't want to use traditional Hirelings, but a more customizable NPC, you could use the Sidekick Options from the Essentials Kit and the upcoming Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. I will be recommending Sidekicks for each of the business models in the examples below.
6) Waterdeep: Dragon Heist gives basic operating costs for running a tavern and One-time and Recurring fees for Guild Memberships. Given the prominence of Guilds in Eberron and other settings, it is a good standard to use for other settings.
7) Xanathar's Guide to Everything has a fantastic breakdown of Artisan Tool uses and Skill Checks that will be immensely useful to Artificers or businessmen looking to practice a trade.
The following examples will be based on the following assumptions:
1) You will be running this business on your own.
2) You have options to get hirelings or other PC help should you want/need it.
3) You are level 6. This is the first level where a lot of this becomes feasible because you gain your Tool Expertise class feature and are now the best on the block at using Artisan Tools. You also gain a nice expansion to your Infusions that you can learn and I would think that knowing the Enhanced Weapon Infusion would count as having a schematic allowing you to enchant a basic +1 weapon.
4) We can use the upcoming Tasha's Rules for Character Creation on the Sidekicks so that you can swap out one Skill Proficiency for a Tool Proficiency. Wouldn't make sense to hire someone to run a weapon smithing shop who couldn't use Blacksmith Tools.
Feel free to submit your own business models using the following format:
  • Business Focus
  • Artificer Subclass or Subclasses best suited.
  • Tool Proficiencies needed.
  • Helpful Infusions. I include these here because I believe that having a relevant infusion should count as the required schematics necessary to create a magic item. I also think that they should definitely look different than the standard fare that traditional enchanters sell.
  • Business location.
  • Primary focus of business. What you will be selling or offering to customers.
  • Common or Uncommon Magic Items to supplement mundane sales when you hit level 10 and can make them in 1/4 the normal time and 1/2 the price of anyone else.
  • Sidekicks you could use in the business.
  • Other Party members who could help you besides the Forge Cleric, Bards, Rogues or any Spellcaster that knows *Fabricate*. You can Assume that the above classes are inferred good business partners for any of the jobs listed below. This guide will be focusing on those with Tool Proficiencies from Class, as anyone could grab a Guild Member background and be helpful as well.

Businesses

Wandsmith/Arcane Focus Maker

  • Artillerist. This subclass lends itself well to a Wandslinger and the level 5 class features give a lot of attention to the Wand.
  • Armor of Tools, Woodcarver's Tools, Jeweler's Kit, Glassblower's Kit. Woodcarving for Wands, Rods and Staves. Jeweler's for Wands, and Crystals. Glassblower's for Orbs.
  • Enhanced Arcane Focus, Replicate Magic Items (any common wands or staves, Wand of Magic Detection, Wand of Secrets), Homunculus Servant, Replicate Magic Item (Wand Sheath). The Enhanced Arcane Focus should lend you to easily make decent wands and even Infused Wands. Replicating Magic Items for schematics for easy to make Common Magic items to upsell to customers. Homunculus Servant for extra help around the shop.
  • Cart, Wagon, Boat, Shop. You could have 2-3 wands on hand in a cart, a covered wagon with carving tools set up or even a section of a ship dedicated to making and selling your wares. If applicable, you could even buy a permanent location to sell your wares, this will be your best bet for glassblowing, as your toolkit still requires you to find a suitable heat source to form liquid glass. Work your way up to being your own Gilmore's Glorious Goods, Invulnerable Vagrant, or Fantasy Costco.
  • At this location, Wands, Rods, Staves, Crystals and Orbs will be your meat and potatoes. Basic Spellcasting Foci for any aspiring Wizard, Sorcerer or Warlock. You could even branch out into Holy Symbols, and Druidic Foci if the demand is there. While a basic Spellcasting Focus only needs to be between 5gp and 20gp. These are easily made in a single day of downtime crafting. You could even customize more expensive version of them for Nobles or highly opinionated casters to distinguish yourself from other magic shops.
  • Common and Uncommon Wands and Staves. Mostly Imbued Wands or Orbs of Resistance. Wands of Magic Missile, Burning Hands, Ice Knife, Catapult would all fall under these categories. Could even make a Common Wand that requires attunement, and grants the attuned the ability to cast a single Cantrip (always at Level 1) as a Novice Wandslinging item. Scrolls could be re-flavored as single use wands.
  • For Sidekicks, an Expert would be great to help you churn out mundane items, while a Spellcaster would help you keep a steady stream of lower end Magic Items available.
  • Eldritch Knights and Tome Warlocks would make great business partners. Eldritch Knights would probably push you to sell Rubies of War Mages also, bringing in a new area of clientele and the ability to advertise through Weaponsmiths for when they have some adventurers come through.

PainteSculptoGeneral Artisan

  • Any Artificer
  • Armor of Tools, Painter's Kits, Calligrapher's Kit, Glassblowers Kit, Woodcarver's Kit, Mason's Tools. These cover the gambit of common medium to work with.
  • Homunculus Servant. Most other Infusions are combat based, but a Homunculus is a nice extra set of hands(tentacles or claws?) to help pass you the right tool and to clean off your brushes.
  • Can work from Cart, Wagon, Boat or Shop. You might want a combo of Wagon and Shop, with a mobile studio to get different landscapes and to collect different material and a shop for a gallery from which to sell things.
  • Paintings, Sculptures, Wood Carvings, Reliefs and finer doo-dads will be your main stock. From carvings of monsters that you've fought, self-portraits of people you've met, landscapes of other planes, or just finely made custom Dragonchess sets with pieces that look like real people. You could even specialize in ship figureheads or shop signs for taverns or other businesses. If you can find a way to make a permanent Magical Tinkering effect of the static visual image, that's a nice storefront display right there.
  • Illusion enchanted paintings for a Harry Potter style feel would be good magical items, or even Dragonchess sets that can move themselves.
  • Experts will probably get more mileage for the tool proficiencies than the Spellcaster unless your Enchanted portraits become a real hot commodity.
  • Kensei Monks and Battlemaster Fighters each get proficiency in a set of Artisan's Tools as a Class Feature. Monks get Calligrapher's kit, but Battlemasters get to pick their choice, so could easily be Painter's or Woodcarver's.

Crossbow Manufacturer

  • Battlesmith, Artillerist
  • Armor of Tools, Woodcarver's Tools, Tinker's Tools, Smithing Tools, Carpenter's Tools. You will be mostly working with Wood and steel. Woodcarver's Tools lets you make 20 arrows as part of a Long Rest per Xanathar's.
  • Repeating Shot, Quiver of Energy, Enhanced Weapon, Homunculus Servant. Enhanced Weapon for a reason to be able to make +1 crossbows. Quiver of Energy might be useful for some arrows that add a bit of elemental damage to a shot, even if only +1 fire or lightning.
  • You can run a smaller shop out of a cart or wagon and be mostly custom orders, or you can have a fixed shot with dozens of different styles ready for sale and enchantment services on request.
  • Hand, Light and Heavy crossbows as well as arrows and bolts will be your primary trade. You can also Silver arrows and bolts and filigree the crap out of some crossbows if people are interested in flaunting their status that way. Pretty straight forward with these mundane items.
  • Walloping Ammunition, Unbreakable Arrows, Elemental Burst Arrows and Quivers of Ehlonna will be easy sources of magical flare in your shop.
  • Experts will be your main shopkeepers and re-stockers. Warriors if you want someone to do demonstrations.
  • Rangers, Arcane Archer Fighters, Kensei Monks will make excellent business partners. The Ranger especially brings a host of appropriate spells for later game enchanting. The Kensei will probably focus on more "traditional" Bows, which can help expand your clientele.

Potion Brewer

  • Alchemist
  • Brewer's Kit, Alchemist Supplies, Herbalism Kit, Poisoner's Kit. It is called out in Xanathar's Guide that an Herbalism Kit is required to make Healing Potions. So that's something you're definitely invest in. Also, in Xanathar's for .5lbs and 25gp of material, you can make one Alchemist Fire as part of a Long Rest with an Alchemist Supply Kit. That's not even counting what you can make during the day as Downtime. Stock up before you leave the city and you can make yourself one firebomb a night!
  • Healing Salve and Homunculus Servant. Healing Salve is basically a 4 use touch range Healing Word you can make. This would be a great basis for Keoghtom's Ointment. I also feel like at this point I don't need to explain why Homunculus Servant keeps appearing on these lists.
  • You could run this out of a cart or wagon, but i'd be worried about all those Alchemist Fire supplies rattling around. Same with a boat, unless you're just a Riverboat. A physical Shop would be best for what you need, although a cart/wagon for traveling with already made merchandise is a nice way to spread the brand name and to gather exotic or non-local supplies.
  • Healing Potions! You are the local healer. You will also probably have on hand a good number of natural remedies for people who can't afford a constant stream of Healing Potions and instead use the Medicine Skill Proficiency to treat wounds. You can also make a single item of either Alchemist Fire, Acid, Antitoxin, perfume or soap as part of a Long Rest with an Alchemist's kit, so you can have a varied catalogue. makes sense to me that Sunrods (fantasy glow sticks) would be something you'd make with Alchemist's Supplies. You could even dip into Poison's, that wouldn't be advertised of course, but would include a bit of a premium on their sale for those in the need of such a thing.
  • As you level up you can more easily make Potions of: Greater Healing, Fire Breath, Hill Giant Strength, Resistance and Water Breathing. You can also easily make an Alchemy Jug, which can make you day to day operations even cheaper as you can simply have the jug produce some of the more mundane liquids you may sell. The Decanter of Endless Water is also a must have item and too easy of a sale to anyone adventuring near or into a desert. Keoghtom's Ointment is also a nice Emergency Medicine that you could sell to a local Hospital or Militia.
  • Expert's are your best bet at brewing basic potions for you and keeping the mundane supplies stocked. A Spellcaster would be able to expand your inventory with Climbing Potions, Beads of Nourishment, Beads of Refreshment, Candle's of the Deep, Perfume of Bewitching and Tankard's of Sobriety.
  • Druids, Eldritch Knights, Monks and Rangers would be good partners as they can easily get Nature and Medicine proficiencies for a good number of the items that you make.

Tavern Owner

  • Any Artificer, but strong lean to Alchemist due to class flavor.
  • Brewer's Kit, Carpenter's Kit, Cook's Utensils, Alchemist Supplies, Herbalism Kit, Glassblowing Kit. The Brewer's Supplies should be obvious, but outside of the business, you can Purify1 gallon of Water over a Short Rest and 6 Gallons over a Long rest, a handy skill to have if you aren't near someplace with Fresh Water, like the open ocean. The Cook's Utensils are also a given with a Tavern, but outside of combat they allow a creature to regain 1 extra HP per Hit Dice they spend on a Short Rest. That may not sound like much, but it effectively makes each Hit Dice one higher on average (1d6+1 has the same average as 1d8). The Carpenter's Tools are so that you can fix all the furniture that will break during the inevitable bar fights. The Alchemist Supplies are actually for embalming creatures you encounter so you can have that Mindflayer Taxidermized as a display item in your bar! That's a feature I don't think any other local bar will have. Herbalism Kit is for working with hops, or branching into a bit of Potion Making if you want. Glassblowing is for you to make your own signature glassware that you can serve with the expensive drinks and offer as souvenirs.
  • Homunculous Servant, Replicate Magic Item (Tankard of Sobriety). Tankard's of Sobriety seem like the perfect item for a bartender or bar owner. You can drink as much as you want but still stay sober. Might not be as much fun as regular drinking, but good for keeping your head about you and one hell of an advantage in a drinking contest.
  • You could run this out of a Cart or Wagon as a kind of portable bar for just drinks. If you got a decent sized ship you could even expand it to a casino boat. However, a physical shop is the best choice here, specially if you plan to expand it to housing several rooms. Location is also key here, so make sure you spend some downtime doing some Investigation, Insight and History checks to learn all you can about potential locations you might set up.
  • Beers, Wines, and Spirits of all kinds, with tasty food to boot! This is the stereotypical D&D Player business. There's an entire chapter of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist dedicated to setting up and running a tavern if you want inspiration. Feel free to include specials following your adventures of meat from creatures you've slain! Hydra-Burgers should be tasty.
  • Mostly Wands of Prestidigitation and Decanter's of Endless Water for cleaning the bar and Alchemy Jugs for an easier way to produce cheap beer and wine with basically no overhead costs. Dust of Dryness might be nice to have on hand for cleaning up spills as well. Oh, and don't forget to keep a Wand of Magic Missiles behind the bar for those rowdy patrons.
  • Spellcasters might make the best brewmasters of the sidekicks due to their increased Mental Stats. They can also help out with cleaning, and if they get to a point where they can Detect Poison and Disease, that would be a huge help come Health Inspection time. Experts will make good Brewers and can step up behind the bar to help out with their wide range of proficiencies. Warriors are good Bouncers and a way to take care of those pesky Dire Rats in the cellar.
  • Way of the Drunken Fist Monks will either be a godsend or a curse for you as a business partner. Other Monks and Rangers would make a good partner as their naturally high Wisdom scores would help with Insight and Perception to keep an eye on patrons and employees. And no one is better in a bare knuckle brawl than a Monk, you could even put a fighting pit in your tavern if you want that kind of atmosphere, but I'd be sure to have a place to check weapons at the door so fights don't escalate too much outside of the fighting pit. Barbarians and Fighters have the CON to put down the drinks for Taste Testing and still being able to be a Bouncer. Beastmaster's can use their companion as a novelty server or even tavern mascot. And while I said I wouldn't include them on the list, I just have to say that any Bard would go here wonderfully.

Weaponsmith

  • Battlesmith (It's in the name)
  • Smithing Kit, Alchemist Supplies, Leather Working, Jeweler's Kit, Woodcarving Kit. The Smithing Kit and Woodcarving kit should be obvious as 95% of the weapons are made from metal or wood. The Leather Working Kit is for grips and wraps on the handles of weapons. Jeweler's Kit is for making fancy versions of weapons. Alchemist Supplies is for Silvering Weapons or using chemicals to stain the metal other colors.
  • Homunculus Servant, Armor of Tools, Enhanced Weapon, Returning Weapon, Radiant Weapon, Replicate Magic Item (Moon-Touched Sword), Replicate Magic Item (Armblade). I think both the Radiant Weapon and Moon-Touched Sword Infusions would be good enough to count for the schematics to make Moon-Touched Swords for you. Enhanced Weapon for a basic +1 weapon.
  • You need a forge for these, and that means that Carts and Wagons are only good for transporting completed merchandise to sell. The sheer weight needed for your forge makes a boat out of the question. Like the tavern, a physical location is the best bet for you.
  • Anything that isn't a strictly ranged weapon is your stock and trade here. The most expensive mundane melee weapon is the Greatsword at 50gp. That means it will take you a full day (25gp) to make a single one. All other weapons can be made in a few hours. You'll also want to have some farming supplies and tools on hand in order to maximize your customer base. Hoes, pick axes, crowbars, buckets, barrels, Caltrops, Ball Bearings, metal religious symbols etc. Silvering Weapons and adding gold/silveelectrum/gemstone decorations to mundane items are a great way to offer wares to richer customers. Yes, Lord Grantham ir'Lupiloo has a fine rapier, but he doesn't have a rapier made of Bulette-scale Damascus steel, with a hydra skin wrapped pommel and his name engraved in gold embossed Draconic along the crossguard. That's how you make a name for yourself, because Lord Brendit ir'Flaglap is going to HAVE to have a nicer Longsword than that cur for next week's gala.
  • Moon-Touched Blades, Weapons of Warning, +1 Weapons and a weapon with a single minor property from the table on page 143 in the DMG will be the easiest and fastest for you to replicate.
  • The Expert and Warrior will be best for if you want mundane items being churned out of your forge. The Spellcaster would be a better hire if you want to focus on enchanted items. The difference in what you will be able to do will be based on your location. Rural areas will focus on mundane most likely, while cities will have more demand and client base for fancy mundane and enchanted.
  • Fighters, Barbarians, Monks, Paladins and Blade Pact Warlocks would do great here as partners.

ClothieArmorer

  • Armorer, Battlesmith
  • Smithing Kit, Leatherworking, Weaver's Tools, Cobbler's Tools, Alchemist Supplies. SMithing and Leatherworking are straightforward. Weavers is for non-armor clothing if you want to instead open up a clothing boutique. Cobbler's tools for if you want to make shoes. Fun fact, with Cobbler's Tools you can spend a Long Rest to add in a 3" by 1" hidden compartment into a pair of shoes or boots.
  • Homunculus Servant, Enhanced Armor, Reflecting Shield, Boots of the Winding Path, Armor of Absorption, Armor of Tools.
  • You could do a clothing store, shoe repair and custom designing, make and sell leather armor, custom tailoring or a dry-cleaning business (Prestidigitation + Mending) out of a cart, wagon or boat, but for the same reasons as with a weaponsmith you need a physical location if you want to make metal armor. Make it work, people!
  • Congratulations, you are now you party Rogue's favorite person and source of disguises. You'll have to decide the breadth and scope of just what kind of business you want to run first. Focus on just mundane clothing for commoners to nobles, or do a combination of common clothing and simple armors. Metal armors and shields will require a forge. If you are able to build yourself up, you could eventually do everything out of a large building with a little bit of everything like your own fantasy Macy's. One storefront for expensive dresses, gowns and suits. Next door is more common or work wear, and out back is the forge with protective armors, leathers and shields. This would be a nice way to ensure that all your armor pieces match, because nothing is worse than finding a great piece of new armor that just completely clashes with your personal aesthetic. This also to me just seems like a great way to play a Garrak like character. (If you don't know who that is, please see yourself over to Netflix or CBS All Access and watch all of Deep Space 9 as soon as possible.)
  • Cloaks of Defense, Cloaks of Many Fashions, Cloaks of Billowing, Cloaks of Elvenkind, Cloaks of the Manta Ray, Sentinel Shields, Robes of Useful Items, Brooches of Shielding, Cast off Armor, Boots of Elvenkind, Gleaming Armor, Boots of the Winterlands, Winged Boots....there are so many thematic Common and Uncommon Magic Items for you to make here.
  • Experts will be your go to for mundane sewing, forging and cobbling. Spellcasters if your enchanting business takes off and can run the Dry-cleaning aspect while you're gone.
  • Rangers, Monks and Arcane Archers will do well here are they tend to favor DEX and WIS. Also, if you do end up going into a clothing business with a rogue and you don't name it "Cloak and Dagger" then I think you actually lose a Character Level.

Shipwright

  • Any, but Battlesmiths and Armorers might do best as they would tend to have higher STR.
  • Armor of Tools, Carpenter's Tools, Woodworking Tools, Smithing Tools, Navigation Tools. You're mostly going to be working with wood here, and a bit of metal also. Navigation Tools just seems like a good choice, unless you want the RP of being a master of building ships, and then being completely unable to use or navigate in them.
  • Homunculus Servant, Replicate Magic Items (Cap of Water Breathing, Ring of Water Walking, Cloak of the Manta Ray). The Magic Items that you can replicate allow you to fully inspect or repair any ship while it is in the water.
  • You're going to want a shop. Located next to a large body of water. And depending on the size of the ships you intend to build, it should also be connected to an ocean eventually. You could theoretically have this business from a boat, if you make a large enough ship that you could pull alongside other ships to repair them, but I think you're best off with a permanent location.
  • As a Shipwright, you make ships! Boats, galleys, rowboats and everything in between. You'll want to start off with smaller boats first to build up your money until you can invest in making a large ship. According to the DMG, a Rowboat costs 50gp to make, a Keelboat costs 3,000gp a Sailing Ship or Longship costs 10,000gp and a Galley costs 30,000gp. Other than Rowboats, which you can make in a single day, these are going to be very long projects. From 120 days for a Keelboat to about 3.3 years for a Galley if you are working by yourself without any magical aid. Even if you do hire multiple sidekicks or just general hirelings, you aren't going to get paid until the entire job is done, but they will all need to be paid while they work on the ship. Instead of making brand new ships, you could also repair existing ones, and as an Artificer, you almost certainly have the Mending cantrip which can help you.
  • Candle's of the Deep, Heward's Handy Spice Pouch, Orbs of Direction, Ropes of Mending, Alchemy Jugs, Caps of Water Breathing, Decanters of Endless (fresh)water, Eyes of the Eagle, Gloves of Swimming and Climbing and Wind Fans are all magic items that you could sell to shipowners and crews to help them in their travels. Ghosts of Saltmarsh also has a number of Ship Upgrades that you could offer.
  • Experts are going to help you the most here as they can get the most amount of kit proficiencies to help across a variety of problems. Spellcasters can help if you decide for focus more on maritime magical goods.
  • If you plan on building ships from scratch, then you are going to need every Forge Cleric and Fabricate Spell you can get your hands on. But be careful, if you are able to start churning out ships in a week for half the cost of the competition, then that is a LOT of people that you are putting out of business and there is sure to be repercussions. For a non-magical approach, just about every party has something that they can contribute to this project. Martial classes will DO WORK on cutting down lumber and getting that ship together. Partial Casters can help speed up certain aspects of building and augment others through buffs.
Updated for multiple spelling, grammar and formatting errors

Please Feel Free to Submit your own Business Ideas! I'll add them if they fit the stated format. Punny Shop names encouraged!

submitted by Bluesamurai33 to Eberron [link] [comments]

Housewarming Gift <2020-12-13>

Overview
· Name of Run: Housewarming Gift
· Run Link: https://www.reddit.com/NeonAnarchy/comments/kapd4j/housewarming_gift_20201213_2359_utc_aka_700/
· Date: 2020-12-13
· Time: 23:59 UTC
· Duration: 4.5 hours
· Threat: Medium
· Scheduling: Scheduled, picked 24 hours in advance
· GM: u/MyxieTryxle MyxieTryxle#7733
· Runners: Floxxenbox, Mirai, Professor, Shadow, XX
· Johnson: Lillian O’Hara
· Relevant NPCs: Janet Pendergast, Crowbar, Guillermo, Bootstrap, Lucky Eddy
· Location: Bellevue
· Opposition: R4 host, members of an ork thrash metal band, one painfully outclassed housewife
· Casualties: Janet Pendergast’s self esteem and reputation within the Diamond Cove community
· Collateral: Some lighting and sound gear, Guillermo’s cyberdeck
· Synopsis: Angry housewife hires runner team to embarrass her rival for pushing her out of the party planning committee. Hilarity ensues.
· Run Rewards: 24,000 nuyen or 4,000 nuyen plus 30,000 critter credit (Shadow gained 2500 extra, three of the others lost 1000 gambling), 3 karma, 2 knowledge karma, Contact Lillian O’Hara (3/1 Gear [Critters], Already Trained) (2 extra points for going slightly over on time and seriously impressing the Johnson)
“Welcome to the Gates Casino in Bellevue! We noticed you’re carrying a properly registered cyberdeck in compliance with all local regulations. We would like to remind you that when it comes to security at the Gates Casino, the house always wins. Thank you for your consideration, and please enjoy your stay.”
Action Report:
The team headed to the Gates Casino for a private game under the party Siberian Tiger. They spoke to Ms. J, who offered them 4k up front, and 4k for each embarrassing event they could do to sabotage a holiday seasonal party by a group of orks that had moved into her neighborhood. The team accepted and got the full details, then stuck around the casino doing a little gambling while the matrix folks did some searches.
Shadow ended up taking 2500 starting nuyen in gambling from the other runners, who lost their money to their teammate and the house. Floxxenbox and Mirai picked up a wealth of information on the house where the party was taking place and the members of the band. They produce thrash metal music emphasizing messages of weathering oppression, standing up to authority, and speaking out for the downtrodden. Lead Singer Crowbar (Alice Cross, oni subtype, mage), electric guitar Guillermo (Guillermo Rojo, heavy cyberware, decker, camera drones), bass and backup vocals Bootstrap (Danny Smith, personal cyberware), drums Lucky Eddy (Eddy Holland, social/physical adept). Members of the team started to express concern about messing with these orks, but a job is a job.
They drove down to Diamond Cove to scope out the mansion. Professor talked them past a very confused and accidentally racist KE gate guard. XX did an overhead flight while the matrix team dived the host and Shadow assensed the building and its inhabitants. They stole a few files from the host and the bands’ commlinks, adding themselves to the VIP registry for the event and digging up info on the catering services, fireworks, and most importantly a conversation among the band about the insufferable shrew that is Janet Pendergast. Janet was the one calling the shots for the Diamond Cove community in regards to holiday parties and social events. Piecing the parts together, they realized Ms. J (real name Lillian O’Hara) was actually out for revenge on Janet for stealing her seat as head of the party planning committee for Diamond Cove. The orks had got themselves in the middle of a Real Housewives of King County situation. They formulated their plan and waited for the party in two days, hopeful that they could go through with the job without messing the band up so much.
At the party, XX flew above as a bird. Mirai conked out in the back of Professor’s car. Professor, Shadow, and Floxxenbox joined the festivities. They found Janet in the back yard near the grill, trying to convince her high-class friends and neighbors that this party was a good and fun idea. First order of business, Operation Dirty Bird. Mirai hacked into the host and grabbed a feed from the camera nearest Janet. Mirai marked the target with an ARO of a toilet bowl, and XX dive bombed the unsuspecting woman. She ran to the nearest bathroom while Bootstrap pointed and laughed, drawing the attention of the crowd and enhancing the poor woman's embarrassment.
When Janet emerged fifteen minutes later with soaked hair, Floxxenbox messed with the sound check on the stage where the band was about to perform. Janet ran over to the technician, screaming at him to turn it down to a reasonable level. Shadow debuffed Janet with confusion, causing her to fail a composure roll and go full Karen 9000 on the technician and his sound controls. Flox flipped the house music to a special mix of the smooth jazz elf band Dear Molly. The message “Janet’s Favorites <3 Dear Molly” popped onto the backdrop display of the stage, and the entire party stopped for two seconds.
After two seconds of silence, pure outrage poured out of the mansion. Boos and jeers issued forth while Ms. J moved to the back of the house to see the product of her purchase. Janet fled toward the front of the house, deeply distressed at everything that was happening and lacking the mental faculties to deal with the situation. Professor followed Janet to the front of the house, plying her with drinks and encouraging words that she couldn’t leave now if she wanted to save face and show everyone how brave and capable she was. Thanks to the alcohol (and an ongoing confusion effect), it didn’t take much for him to bring her back into the fold just as the concert started.
Flox crowdsurfed the concert, taking a hefty jostling and several boxes of stun for her efforts, but it was totally worth it cause Mirai caught the whole thing on video. When the set ended, Lucky Eddy did his customary drum solo to close out the night, then jumped up to the front of the stage and screamed “Show’s over. Who wants to fight Lucky Eddy?”
Poor Janet, addled by booze and magic and bolstered by Professor’s pep talk, walked up onto stage without realizing her peril. Lucky Eddy cracked his knuckles, said “Oh, I’ve been waiting for this chance,” and picked Janet bodily up off the stage. Shadow dropped the confusion spell, and Janet came to her senses just long enough to understand what was happening to her as Lucky Eddy carried her down the docks and threw her into the lake.
Mirai and Shadow kicked into the final phase of the operation: Haunted House. Shadow summoned an air spirit to cast fear spells on a drunk trophy wife. She fell into the pool in her panic, leading to a scene. Mirai hacked the trideo, audio, and lights, creating spooky effects and yelling “Everyone run!” The party fell apart as XX added kiai to the mix, with high class socialites running for their cars and diehard fans of the band leaving, declaring it the best concert yet.
Mirai landed a nasty hit on Guillermo’s deck. Since he couldn’t find her, and there was weird technomancer shenanigans happening, he cut power to the entire house. The party dispersed with guests in various degrees of panic, and Ms. J was very pleased. Given that the team figured out her real vendetta was with Janet and took great pains to specifically embarrass the rival, she offered to extend their credit for the run if they wanted something from her store, Lillian’s Loyal Companions, and offered her services as a contact.
submitted by MyxieTryxle to NeonAAR [link] [comments]

I need help planning a combat thats more fun

first off, Aranor, Meliodas, Kuori and Tyr, I don't think you're on this sub, but just to be safe, don't read this one please
So a little context.
My party has been "hired" by a lich to get him some artifacts, and one of those is in the possession of the owner of a casino. Luckily, it's for sale, but knowing my party, it's either gonna become a fight or a heist. A heist could be really fun, and I prepared for that, but there's also a strong chance the party will try to kill the casino owner.
In my original lore, this guy is the god of luck in diguise, but i might need to change that in order to avoid a tpk (they're level 5 by the way).
I also want the fight to be memorable, not just beating up some guy and his bodyguards.
What can I do to make this a more interesting fight if it comes down to it?
Thanks in advance! :)
submitted by IzDaGeek to DMAcademy [link] [comments]

JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #5: Round 2 Match 8 - Arpeggi and Agnes Versus Glitch and William

The results are in for Match 6. The winner is…
Player Team, with a score of 83 to Ernie Ford’s 62!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Players 25-5
Quality TIE 24-24 Reasoning
JoJolity Players 24-23 Reasoning
Conduct TEAM 10-10
...“You know what I'm here for!” Effie’s words rang out as Ernie watched on at the unexpected turn of events.
“The funny thing is I really don’t know.” Ernie stood there and took in the scene. Was this the first time he had seen this type of outburst in the District? Ernie tried to recall, but now wasn’t really the time to reminisce on bad memories.
Something was afoot. Something about Ugo threatening them that was for sure. But if Ugo wanted somebody to fight him this would never be his plan of attack. “Would you care to enlighten me then, I wouldn’t mind this either way!” Ernie shouted back, his tone was neutral, the tension of the situation only increased, but he didn’t see a need to fight back even now.
“They sent us here, because they wanted us to steal your notebook!” Ernie heard the voice of Jenny behind a tree.
Things started to make sense to Ernie, the hiding, why it wasn’t Odin’s people doing this, and that outburst. “And what do you two intend to do?” Ernie moved his backpack from his back to carrying it on one arm.
“Well if you help us, you could send them a fake notebook! It’s not like we like those fuckers anyways!” Jenny replied beyond the trees.
Well that wasn’t so difficult was it, it only took one or maybe both of their ire to get to this arrangement. Ernie weighed this against the prospect that they were lying to him, but if it came down to it it would just be either a fight now or a fight later. “Alright I’ll help you! I’ll be in my cabin manuscripting! You two wait outside, this will take less than an hour!” Ernie shouted back over as he started to walk back to his cabin.
“Your funeral..wait what?!” Effie flipped as Jenny clapped an arm on her, “We did it, we can get out of this shitty situation.”
Effie looked around, The Murder receded back into herself. “Did that really just happen?” She held out the hope that it really would be that easy, she wanted to believe it but she felt a slight pang of confusion, guilt maybe?
Jenny continued on, “We just have to make sure that he does his end of the deal and we’ll be out of here in no time.” Jenny looked at Effie’s face as she noticed the change in expression, “You okay there? You let out a bunch just now and if you wanted to talk about it.”
“No I’m ok, come on we have to still keep an eye on him.” Effie brushed Jenny’s arm off and made her way closer into the clearing with Jenny following.
Well, that was somewhat anticlimactic. If you were hoping for a match with some more carnage in it, how about checking out a race out of a monster-filled urn and voting on it?
Scenario:
Sound’s Garden Eastern Strip - Heartache Casino VIP Room
“So kind of you all to come again,” a man dressed garishly in gold spoke to a roomful of wealthy highrollers, a lounge area with a wall taken up by a screen large enough to make the place double as something of a particularly cozy home theater, a setup which had typically been reserved for two things: watching games organized by Heartache Casino’s owner on the closed-circuits of buildings he owned, and being rented out for private parties and banquets.
“This is pretty unconventional,” a dark-haired sniper remarked between drinks, staring at the screen as it showed, largely, several shots of a building in Downtown Los Fortuna, which seemed to have rapidly grown occupied by a small group of Stand Users, some of whom familiar to the district’s regulars after some close shaves in the subways both occupied, “but it’s brilliant… Just needed to get your tech guy to get cameras in there, now you have a huge show for free.”
“Should you be drinking, Seido?” The gold-clad owner asked, raising an eyebrow, “I mean, if something comes up…”
“If something comes up, I’m off-duty, I’m just a guest right now, and I can shoot well enough sloshed to get myself out of a bind. If you wanted me as security, you should’ve hired me for that… Though really, I’d have rather been down there raising some hell if I was gonna shoot things.”
Tigran sighed, finding that fair enough, he supposed… He wasn’t going to hire this man when he was buzzed, and he wouldn’t do guard detail for free either. Apparently, the man literally came to the city walking out of a bar into the flag unveiling, so he shouldn’t have been surprised.
Still, though, even with moods high here, nobody seeming to mind the way anonymous characters like Oh No and Conqueror Worm mingled among them. Sure, they were kind of a low-priority target right now, with protests in the Business district, the hell-on-earth about to be unleashed Downtown keeping their worst nightmares busy, and the usual BS in places like the Waterfront and Industrial, but the man once noted for his supremely smarmy overconfidence had been feeling more anxious lately, probably because the Entertainment District’s criminal underground had taken some losses recently.
Things were riding high with several successful games, and the arrival of Conqueror Worm, revitalizing everything that they had thought they’d known and opening up whole new possibilities of what games might be possible to organize from a place of safety, all while not asking for a penny of payment. He was a weird guy, but a valuable asset, and all that was understood to be asked in return was that they pretend not to know exactly who it was underneath that big fleshy suit.
And then, the next time they had an in-person event, a bunch of them died in a fire, and on the way to… Well, who knew why he was there, but something happened that got a formerly active manager and ‘game’ organizer murdered blocks away from the site of the flames. Was it a sign, then, that the old ways really were dying, that they needed to change with the times or lose this subculture of theirs entirely?
Maybe, and maybe some would leave it like that, but Tigran “Golden” Sins knew another source of common ground with every one of their games to go wrong, to go awry, to risk the future and safety of all that they were, all that they had. Everything (besides that time he got punched in the face) that had gone wrong, from Thutmose leaving them, to events that were supposed to be disastrous bloodbaths going well for the ‘players’ and ruining bets, could trace back somewhere.
And she was sitting there looking very disinterested, nursing a sparkling juice in a very expensive evening dress and earrings, recently bought by the only man in the world he believed to be above himself.
“Having a good time, Metra?” Fox asked the star known to much of the city as TD/MD, smiling smoothly and paying her more attention than the event itself, where he was significantly more public than before. He’d spent how many thousands on her in a few days?
“Sure, yeah,” she answered, with a clear disinterest and foul mood.
“I understand if you’re not… we’re all sorry to have lost Thutmose. Most likely by where he was, whoever killed him would have done the same to us had he not interfered. So he would want you to have a good time, right?”
“Alright, everyone, last calls!” Conqueror Worm called out, many eyes looking all over. After getting back from camera work, he’d volunteered to handle bets, on account of his utter disinterest in profiting from his work there. Damn shame, honestly; Tigran loved that weird golden Stand-hurting sword he’d always been swinging around, and something belonging to a regional founder would be a hell of a get to wear around. “We know all the key players in that little downtown scuffle, so let’s hear it! Who’s biting it? Who’s comin’ out? Who’s gonna have the highest bodycount? Is anyone even gonna get IN?”
That Oh No guy, from the Institute, spoke up through that voice changer he almost always had on in his coverings. “I think that… Three people will manage to find their way inside. Nobody on this betting board.”
“Ooh, bold words from our boldest regular!” Worm leaned in close, asking, “how much’re you puttin’ on that?”
“Nothing,” No responded, “I just want to see what comes of it… I’m almost disappointed you needed to ask.”
Peas in a pod, those two. Tigran sighed, figuring he might need to drink through these proceedings, only to glance at Metra, suddenly, seeming to smirk, ears twitching as if that special pitch of hers had picked something up. “What? What’s so fun now, that-”
The heavily reinforced, hidden doorway to the VIP room burst open, bisecting the hollow yet burly door guard as sand and rocks spilled out of its hollow crevasse, the only herald within seconds of a quintet of Stand Users barreling in, led by a trio on two motorbikes as two others, curious but energetic, followed.
“All that you’ve done ends here, Fox!”
Around the same time, Heartache Casino Public Floors
“Uh… Glitch? I think… it might be good if we… go?” William Eyelash was not liking it here very much. His hyperactive coworker and teammate had practically dragged him here after what was otherwise a simple delivery performed in place of Zebra, who had been busy enough delivering food to the other side of the city. William was the one supposed to carry it out, but Glitch had practically jumped at the opportunity to do so.
Glitch herself, meanwhile, seemed to be very content eating some fries which she (very regrettably) had to actually buy instead of simply snatching it away from a poor, unaware bystander, and had already ordered another plate because they were just that good. Security was too tight, somewhat on edge - the moment she got close to someone or something, they immediately turned their attention to her. Still, she didn’t want to deprive herself of one of the many pleasures of life like that, so she didn’t mind paying too much. “Mmrgh..? Why sho?”
“W- well… you know… uh...” William wasn’t sure how to say it - he was scared enough of Glitch’s erratic mannerisms most days, and that was while he tried to steer clear of her. Were he to directly oppose her, he’d have no way of knowing what she’d do! On top of that, he couldn’t help but notice that she seemed slightly… on edge. She was usually hyperactive, but she seemed to be even more eager to jump from one thing to another recently, and to ignore anything that even slightly stressed her out. Considering everything that happened to the staff at the Elephant Bones recently, it made sense for her to be stressed, even if she didn’t really show it usually. “... um, you know the rumors about this place… right? ”
Glitch turned to look at William, tilting her head “Hm? What rumors?”. “Uh... well… about the ED… and the fighting rings… I saw an article about it on the Hermod, and… i- it could be dangerous to be here for too long...” hearing William say that, Glitch seemed to recede for a bit, thinking to herself. “Mmm... well, it hasn’t been a problem yet! Right? Besides, the other chips haven’t arrived yet!” Glitch didn’t want to think much about it - so long as these fighting rings were away from her, she could just ignore them and go on with her life, but if it really was here, then maybe it would be good to avoid this place… but the fries were so good... Glitch took another look at the table she was sitting at and at the plate of fries she’d ordered. She grabbed a handful and ate them. “Mmm… after the second order of chips comes! Then we leave! But only after then!”
“Alright...” William didn’t like this very much, and he couldn’t help but shoot nervous glances around as Glitch finished up. Just about every staff member here was on edge and uncomfortable - he knew how to notice these things, and it would make sense if this place really was connected to the underground. Ugh… Why did he come along with Glitch? He’d just have to hope that the second order would come soon, and then they’d be able leave just as quickly as they came in.
Naturally, as if fate itself had conspired to screw him over, he couldn’t help but pick up on ‘something’. Guards around the floor peered nervously into their phones, and most of them began rushing towards the stairwell. Glitch had noticed as well, her ears picking up on the nervous murmurings of the guards and their hasty footsteps.
“Uhh… G- Glitch, something’s happening, we should-” “Pleh! Can’t you wait just a second! The chips aren’t here yet! This isn’t-”
Before Glitch could finish her sentence, something flew into the room - the body of a security officer, clearly tossed away by some stand, flew from the entrance to the second floor, and landed right in the middle of a group of more security officers.
“Oh god oh god it’s happening oh no oh no oh no oh-” William was, as expected, positively freaking out by now. Meanwhile, Glitch was keeping her ears peeled out, having picked up on something… interesting. The voice of two people she vaguely recognized from “Taste of Fortuna” a month or so back.
“Hey! That’s Agnes! And that other chef whose food is good! Even better than the chips!! What are they doing here, fighting?!”
Soon enough, Agnes and Arpeggi really did pop into the room, their stands summoned as they staved off some guards with them. Much to William’s chagrin, Glitch grabbed onto his hand and summoned [Vida Loca], before hopping onto it, the massive feline hoisting him onto it as well, before running right towards the source of the commotion…
And right into the footpath of a terrifying giant who seemed to suddenly fall from the ceiling, several eyes along its body looking to them as its head rotated 180 degrees. “Well, wouldn’t you like to know?”
Several minutes earlier, A Few Stories Lower - Sound’s Garden Abandoned Subway
“Are you sure this is the place? Seems pretty fucking trashy to me, honestly…”
“That’s what makes it a secret passage, Agnes… They’re not exactly rolling out the red carpet to tell you how to get there.”
“Ugh, Astronomia wasn’t built for this shit. You’re paying if something gets stuck somewhere.”
“You’ve crashed it how many times this month alone?”
Arpeggi Osso Buco sat in the sidecar of a motorbike driven by one Ananas “Agnes” Bayley, through the abandoned subways of the Eastern strip. He’d meant to take this trip alone, like he had before, but of course, this fucking guy had to be the first on the team to learn that he was a Stand User, an active vigilante, and not only in part responsible for a certain cult’s influence plummeting to nothing in Los Fortuna, but had dedicated himself to making an enemy of the blight of the Entertainment District.
“Fuck it, I’m down.”
“You’re… What?”
“I’m down. Fuck those guys. I don’t even need to ask any more questions, they’re an absolute disgrace to be shown up by a real villain, and if you’re hunting their boss down, I’m with you.”
“You are the last person I would want watching my back in a-”
“Or I can tell Gabanna what you’re doing so soon after getting SHOT last time you tried your luck with these guys.”
“…bastard. Okay, just don’t get in the way.”
Minus a near-scare with RCR’s nightmarish train nearly running them down without noticing, and Arpeggi having to explain at some point that it was both private information from a set of informants and news now publicly printed in multiple sources about the higher-ups of this organization, it had mostly gone smoothly since then.
As they drove closer to the underside of Heartache, Arpeggi signaled for Agnes to stop, noting a destroyed set of hollowed-out mannequins of sorts, smoking and smelling like gunpowder.
“Hell is that?” Agnes asked, looking down, but Arpeggi, in turn, didn’t quite seem surprised. Before he could explain, however, another, distorted voice cut through.
“You’re late.”
The revving of a second motorcycle, a sport bike, had quietly synced with Astronomia, and the pair looked up to see a figure clad in orange and black, winglike scarf drooping upside-down, its rider atop the ceiling of the tunnel.
“You.” Agnes spoke with contempt, despite having never seen the Black Angel in person before, only for them and their bike to drop down right in front of them, flipping in midair to land gracefully.
“You didn’t tell me you were bringing a friend, let alone… Him.” The Angel sounded dubious about Agnes’ presence, adding, “since you took time picking him up, I’ve had to start picking off these weird… hollow doll-guards myself. They almost noticed me in time to signal the boss. I really don’t have the time for this today.”
“Sorry about that, he insisted,” Arpeggi wrote off, not wanting to explain the somewhat unsurprising (“ran into one another while doing their vigilante rounds, got to talking about the ED mainly”) story how he and the Angel met, “and he’s here right now… Say what you like about him, you saw that Being So Normal, I assume. He’ll be an asset.”
“I’ll kick your ass-et,” Agnes grumbled, “fighting them alone my ass. Ugh, teaming up with masked hero types like this… Pisses me off. We should be kicking each other’s asses, Angel.”
“Deal with it,” the Angel wrote off, before adding, “our contacts in there… They said basically everyone we might have any reason to get is on that floor with them, watching Downtown.”
“Right, some madman is acting out there,” Arpeggi noted, folding his arms and looking Westward, “I take it that’s why you’re in a hurry? You want to deal with them quickly and head out there next?”
“You got it,” they answered, “and admittedly, there’s a reason I had to come here first… Something I’m going to prioritize the highest, and if we take too long, I’ll have to leave having only done that.”
“You’ve got a grudge, is that it?” Agnes asked, “you wanna punt some fucker before moving on?”
“That’s… not why I’m targeting him,” The Angel noted, before adding, “that sword the Conqueror Worm always has on him… The ‘Sword of Sir Aurel…’ The future of the city might depend on me getting that Downtown. The contacts say he still has it with him, just like on that stream.”
“You’re pissing me off, pretending you don’t care about just one-upping that bastard,” Agnes chided, adding, “act like you’re ‘heroes of justice’ all you want… I’m doing this because these guys piss me the hell off, and seeing them fall will make me laugh. Do all of us a favor, cut the bullshit, and admit you’re gonna enjoy this, yeah?”
The others didn’t say too much more of note, then, beyond the Angel briefly examining Astronomia, putting something all over it that they claimed would ‘make it maneuver better,’ which Arpeggi had to calm Agnes into accepting, especially considering it meant they could ride up stairs with relative ease.
“Alright, from this secret passage, it’s a straight shot up a few flights of stairs to the VIP room… We should be able to burst it down without ever disrupting all the public patrons and fortifications up on 1F. Hold on tight, you got that?”
The motorbikes revved, then, and the Angel’s led Agnes in seeming to leap into the air, driving up and along the walls of the stairwell, before a long-haired figure emerged from the Angel, aiming something at a metal reinforced door, firing into it a few times, and it shifted in place as Pork Soda rushed towards it, placing a tab on the material before ripping it away, liquid metal blasting in the opposite direction the door would fly and swing at rapid speed, swinging like a deadly projectile and cutting more powerful puppet guards away as the three burst in.
Arpeggi called out, “All that you’ve done ends here, Fox!”
Not long after Arpeggi called that out, Fox himself, of course, was quick to stand, as were a few bold-looking members of the crowd, hurrying towards the fighters with his own accompanying doll-guard, small enough to hold in two hands and, with his large frame, swing like a hammer-thrower, lobbing up towards them and bursting open into a mess of pointed rocks as he drew closer, repelling Arpeggi’s immediate attempts to approach.
The swinging door, embedded with odd screws and still gushing metal soda, began to fly towards him, only for the sound of a rifle to fill the room, a single warping bullet putting out every one of the odd screws and careening it to strike Arpeggi back, sending him flying down the stairwell before either the Angel or Agnes could react.
Seido, sitting at his edge of the bar, finished downing his drink, holding his weapon in one hand and grinning a bit, slurring slightly, “thas’ goin’ on your tab, boss…”
Fox smirked, then, rocks and sand swirling around him and beating back the remaining attackers’ efforts to burst forward. “Let’s not fight up here, gentlemen… I’ve set this place up nice for a very special guest. Take it downstairs. Seido, consider yourself on the clock now.”
Worm, then, seemed to realize the Angel was staring at his movements, diving down into the floor below to the terror of the 1F patrons, and the rider hurriedly cut away from the clash, leaving Agnes to fend for himself against the rocky onslaught of Fox, all while Oh No watched and Seido, quickly, lined up another shot. Even on this upgraded bike, he knew the only response to make there. “Fffuck this!”
Pork Soda reached for Astronomia, a tab appearing on its wheel which, as the Stand weathered rocky blows, it pulled, blasting Agnes back into the stairwell, where he hit the wall with an, “oof!” before hopping off of his ride, which crashed and plummeted down as he abandoned it to slide down the railing, doing a cool combat roll to cover Arpeggi and the Angel as they rolled into the first floor, clearly concerned about what Conqueror Worm being there would mean for the patrons. Fox and others were shortly behind, with a certain exception.
Though nobody could hear it, by Metra Doria’s choice, as soon as Seido had spoken that aloud, she’d kicked up the chair she’d been sulking in all ‘party’ long, a pair of headphones appearing along her neck as a blast of sonic energy kicked it directly into the head of the hitman. Her heart skipped a beat, then, and she muttered under her breath, “shit, that actually worked… I got lucky, huh?”
“Entirely,” Oh No agreed, stepping forth himself and stretching, producing a very large, intimidating revolver from his cloak and beginning, idly, to load it, “but don’t treat that as a failing, TD/MD… You saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you had the instincts to take it.” No closed the chamber, starting leisurely towards the stairs after the rest. “This is getting tiresome, isn’t it? You see it too, how dull this has gotten… What potential they’re wasting here. What do you say we speed along what’s been a long, long time coming?”
“Well, wouldn’t you like to know?”
A golden, shining sword appeared out of the giant’s gross hand, and his presence alone made Glitch want to wretch, the smell of the Conqueror Worm fell, and vibes even more rancid.
“We got two more troublemakers here, eh?” Worm asked her and William with an amused tone, “Hell just broke loose here, and you’re tryin’ to run headlong into it! I like that! I like that drive! So what do ya say? Attacka them!”
Glitch didn’t know this guy, but something about his gleeful nature, the way that William murmured to himself in alarm when he spoke those distorted words, made her hairs stand on end, made her want to hiss and immediately turn her attention to him, and it seemed, then, that Worm could sense this.
“Another one who ain’t a fan, huh?” He shook his head. “Disappointing, but typical.”
At that, he ducked into the floor, before attempting to burst out from underneath and drive his blade up into Vida Loca, barely being scraped before hopping away from the rising attack and meeting it with a sharp, harsh claw, beating back his raw strength with her Stand’s own.
“I don’t know who you are, but you’re really not the kind of bad news that’s any fun!” Glitch called out from atop her mount, pulling off in time to avoid the ambush of a hollowed-out guard and note two others bothering William.
“That guy looks underage… He ain’t allowed to be on a casino floor without ID!” Worm declared with amusement, fully expecting what came next as several of the doll-guards attempted to strong-arm him.
“G-get away… Get away from me!” William was freaking out, then, and fairly fearing for his life, allowed Ocean Eyes to manifest, swinging and spraying acid all around, which bounced uselessly off of Worm’s hide, didn’t so much as drop near Glitch or Vida Loca, and melted away the threats in an instant.
The casino floor was pandemonium then, several high rollers, some random patrons, and of course, every named member fighting, Stands flying. Arpeggi expertly caught rocks tossed by Fox, only for him to still control them even as they were made to burn by NEXT LEVEL 2, though this eroded away much of the sands of his barrier, backed up by Agnes as he very competently kept a rocky barrier up regardless, Metra standing close by, shifting her eyes. The Black Angel tried to drive headlong into Worm, continuing his mess of a situation, while Glitch, mostly, managed to sneak off on her own, trying to find a way to support William and calm him out of whatever this was.
“Don’t move,” a modulated voice behind her said, and she heard something click behind her.
“Mrr?” She turned, then, facing the barrel of Oh No’s revolver head-on.
“This might be a bit loud… But it’s about time this ended.”
Before Glitch could react, No had pulled the trigger twice. Neither shot so much as grazed her, but seemed to hit tables, cameras, walls, ricocheting about in apparent chaos, before finally…
“I… What did…” Blood ran down the organizational ringleader’s outfit, bleeding both from a massive wound to the back of his knee and opening a massive hole in his shoulder, as the rocks he had been flinging around dropped like… Rocks.
Tigran’s voice was the next thing to ring out through the casino, now mostly abandoned bar the combatants.
“TOBY!!!”
Fox hadn’t even heard the shots fired, thanks to Metra, let alone noticed their angles; after all, the only one he knew of who could make a shot like that was knocked out and drunk upstairs, not to mention loyal to Tigran’s paychecks.
No twirled his gun around, holstering it and patting the bewildered Glitch on the shoulder. “Thanks for holding still… Didn’t want to hit you and ruin it all, after all. Hmmhmmhmahaha!"
“You… You motherfuckers!” Tigran wanted to cry then, especially as the others drew closer, seeing everyone who had fought against an ally of his here as little more than an enemy. Still, though, facing them off, he had to calm himself.
“Stand down,” Arpeggi demanded, “you’re outnumbered, completely.”
Tigran, rather than giving up, began to speak again. “You know, as the owner of this casino, I know the power of ‘games’. You see, if you call it a ‘gamble’, that sounds so… negative, no? So you call it nothing more than a simple ‘game’. That’s what draws people in. Getting people to play ‘roulette’ is harder, but if you call it a ‘roulette game’ and mask it correctly, it’s so, so, easy… However, the moment the ball is launched, it doesn’t matter, does it? No difference between a ‘gamble’ and a ‘game’... the ‘contract’ is the same - you abandon your money for ‘entertainment’ and for a slim ‘hope’ that you’ll succeed this time and make bank… It’s all thanks to these ‘games’... All of you lot, don’t you think so? Aren’t ‘games’ great? Hell, I’ve got an idea for one we can play right now…”
“Wh- what the hell are you talking about!” Arpeggi shouted out in anger. “I’m not putting up with this shit! You want a ‘game’?! Sure, fine! Here, how about this one - I go up to you, and have fun beating the shit out of you!” rushing towards Tigran, Arpeggi readied a punch and swung towards him - only for his fist to stop in midair, hitting against some kind of invisible barrier. He reeled back from the impact, stumbling backwards, feeling… weak. A look behind him revealed that Agnes, Glitch, William, and even Metra, the Angel, and No seemed to be feeling the same, struggling to remain upright.
“Y- you ‘agreed’... heh…” Tigran’s previously panicked expression quickly faded, replaced by a wide grin. “You agreed to it! You agreed to the ‘game’!” By now, Tigran broke out into uproarious laughter. “Always! They always fall for it, tempted by ‘games’! You… you idiot! I put the answer right in front of you, and you still missed it! ‘Games’, by their very nature, are tricks! Illusions! And my [The Grid] has the power to facilitate that! By agreeing to the game, my [The Grid] forces you to participate! There’s no escape now - you’re trapped in this ‘game’ of mine!”
As he realized he had screwed them all right at the last moment, Arpeggi’s vision began fading, and he fell onto the ground with a thud, blacking out.
???, an hour later, Heartache Casino VIP room
“Alright! Seems like our contestants for the first impromptu match of the day are waking up!”
“Plrrr..?” Out of nowhere, Glitch found herself standing straight, awake, somewhere unfamiliar. She tried to listen to see what was going on, only hearing the groans of William, Agnes, and Arpeggi, indicating that they were in a similar position to her. Of course, there was also that voice - she was… a ‘contestant’. It wasn’t hard to roughly figure out what exactly she was a ‘contestant’ of. She, and...
“...William!” Behind her was a whimpering noise, evidently William, and the sound of droplets of some kind of liquid splashing onto the ground, clearly [Ocean Eyes]’s acid. Ahead of her were Agnes and Arpeggi, talking between themselves about what the hell happened. Arpeggi sounded mad. Agnes… she wasn’t sure how he sounded. But she gathered enough from their conversation to understand that somehow, they were currently inside of a roulette wheel. Or rather, she, and everyone else, was shrunk, and placed into a roulette wheel.
“Now, this match is simple - a deathmatch to see who manages to survive! However, since we’re at the heartache casino… there’s an appropriate twist involved! See, our combatants for today are fighting on a roulette table, and meanwhile, our spectators for today are placing ‘bets’ to see which colors win out! Representing ‘red’, we’ve got our very own ‘Fox’! On black, meanwhile, we’ve got ‘Tigran Sins’, who set this match up!”
She summoned [Vida Loca] besides her, taking a look through the stand’s eyes and seeing the environment for herself. She was dwarfed by the room, trapped inside of this small roulette wheel. There was nowhere to run. William’s whimpers had escalated into sobbing, as [Ocean Eyes] hugged him from behind. Arpeggi and Agnes were arguing by now, shouting at each other. She took a deep breath.
“Now… I won’t keep you waiting any longer, since I just know everyone here’s excited to see what happens! So...”
First, Glitch got tossed into Los Fortuna and found a new home there, with the rest of the staff at the Elephant Bones. Then, they started getting into fights with other stand users - Shelldrake, Effie, Byte, William. She hadn’t been in one yet, but she knew very well the effects of them. Her friends had gotten hurt, some such as Father Blue even dying. Then the situation in the slums got worse, her home becoming less and less safe by the minute, her friends getting extorted and forced to work for ODIN, and now she and William were trapped here.
“Three… Two… One...”
She needed to get out. She needed to fight. She needed to win. She could overhear Agnes and Arpeggi bickering on the other side of the wheel, but knew that they were going to try and fight her and William as well. They had to. They’d been trapped by that man’s stand, and none of them knew what could be done against it, if anything.
[Vida Loca] stood behind her, a constant vibration coming out of it and creating a loud hissing noise that was soon mimicked by [Ocean Eyes], drowning out William’s sobs. She knew full well that, even if he was her friend, William was also a dangerous killer, meek though he might have acted. As hard as that whole situation was to grasp, she understood something else - that the more she stayed near [Ocean Eyes], working alongside it, the safer she was. She and William had to get out of this. And if they wanted to get out of this...
They would have to fight for their lives.
OPEN THE GAME!
(credit to magistelles for the image, both the censored and uncensored version!(CW: trypophobia))
Location: A roulette wheel in Heartache Casino, upon which players have been forcibly placed.
The map here is roughly similar to the image of the roulette wheel above. The outer brown layer represents the rim, the yellow layer being the wooden slopes down towards the center, the black layer being the numbers, the red layer being the pockets, the next layer being sloped wood up towards the center, and the center being a metal tower.
The map is 30 by 30 meters relative to the players, with the dotted tile being 5 by 5 meters.
The diamonds are the metal bumpers, about half a meter tall, and the blue circle is a weighted metal roulette ball which is a meter tall, both heights relative to the players.
The metal tower in the center is 8 meters tall relative to the players and the outside walls are 5 meters relative to the players. Players can not go past the rim of the roulette wheel.
Goal: RETIRE your opponents!
Additional Information:
There is an invisible barrier keeping the players and their Stands inside the roulette wheel. Everything else will pass through as normal, but the players and their attacks will be blocked by this barrier. The barrier is cylindrical around the entire roulette wheel.
The roulette system is currently automatic, 5 seconds after the ball falls into a pocket or stops moving entirely, it will start rolling again at top speed clockwise. The max speed of the ball is equivalent to B SPD and the ball is A DUR. You can expect it to make around 8 revolutions around the wheel before losing most of its speed if it is unimpeded by the players.
If the ball is destroyed or unable to roll, a new one will be thrown in from outside.
Team Combatant JoJolity
The Graveyard Shift William Eyelash “W-Well, I'll be going now...” You’re being forced to fight, and you don’t want anything to do with this! During the match, try to stay on the backlines as much as possible, assisting from there!
The Graveyard Shift Tiger “Glitch” Ricky "Nowadays, 30,000 yen is gone after you make one or two trips... So all that's left is to make more money, or go flat broke." You are being forced to fight here, and you hate it, so you might as well do something to cause the casino to lose money! Do whatever you can to constantly rig the roulette in favor of odds!
BADD GUYS Arpeggi Osso Buco "Does that alien not know what 'holding back' means?" You were tricked by that asshole, and now you’ve got to fight these two bystanders?! Fuck, this makes you irritated. Destroy as much of the area as possible over the course of your strategy!
BADD GUYS Ananas “Agnes” Bayley "I did say this seemed fun, but I wasn't talking about Cee-lo. I meant that it'd be fun taking your 30,000 yen from you." That girl over there is trying to rig the game, so play the agent of chaos and rig it towards the other end! Do whatever you can to constantly rig the roulette in favor of evens!
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
submitted by Dungeon_Dice to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

Am I (28F) wrong for not being happy for my BF (23M) and his new job?

My BF of over 1.5years just started a new job. I am happy for him to get back to work because he has been riding the unemployment bus since March BUT I personally feel like his career choice wasn’t the smartest move.
Being older my partner feels comfortable coming to me and asking me for my opinion/advice and I’m always open to sharing my perspective with him but also sure to let him know that he ultimately has to make his own decision.
So I don’t want to come off as controlling or unsupportive because I’m not at all. I’m just wondering if my mindset could use some shifting or if others can relate to what I’m feeling.
When I was in my early 20s I was a bartender for a divey little bar on the weekends, on top of my 9-to-5 job. It was fun and an experience that I don’t regret, it brought me a lots of cash and opportunities to meet new people (friends & career wise). I’m extremely extrovert and I was a waitress before being a bartender so it was a comfortable move for me. I was never the super flirty type and just was there to work and get my money.
I shared this early on with my boyfriend when we talked about work history and he never showed any interest in being in the service industry. He’s introvert, hates large crowds and works in the trades as a welder (it’s one of the many things I loved about him).
As time went on and he heard more stories about my bartending days he mentioned that he would want to be a bartender which threw me for a loop because it didn’t really match his personality but as an advocate for everyone to work in hospitality I told him he should go for it.
Then COVID hit....we’re located in California so bars have been closed and restaurants toggle between being open and closed. He put the applications on hold earlier in the year and just was living off unemployment after being let go from his shop job in March.
Last month he began applying for bar-back positions. He asked me how I felt about it and I said that I personally didn’t think it was the most secure line of work to go into being that Covid could close down restaurants and I really think that the industry is going to shift when things open back up again. I also can’t help but to feel like he “followed in my footsteps” and I mean that in the least narcissistic way possible so please don’t misinterpret that line. It feels as if it wants to experience the things I experienced and not for his own personal wants if that makes sense. He has literally told me that he would’ve never thought about bartending if it wasn’t for me and it just makes me feel like he’s trying to follow in my footsteps and not lead his own path.
I told him that maybe looking for work in his trade would be more secure but he insisted on moving forward with applying for industry jobs so I supported him. He was hired to work as a bar-back at a Casino a Thursday through Sunday shift from 6 PM to 3 AM.
I have a secure, remote and lucrative job M-F 7am-4pm and weekends are usually our quality time to hike, catch up and just be together. I’m feeling a little mixed about things because it’s not my life and by no means want to make decisions for him but I’m not sure his new schedule and new job aligns with where I’m at in life.
The casino told him this schedule is set for 6months to a year with no availability to adjust. That means no weekend trips, no holidays and on top of that while I’m sound asleep he’ll be behind a bar. The thing is if I was 22 and still in the industry and covid wasn’t around it would be different, I can imagine us linking up after our late night shifts, staying up all night and living that lifestyle.
I’m just not there, I’m almost 29. I value sleep, my bartending and partying days are behind me and I feel like this is going to change a lot of things. Is it dumb of me to think this way? Like should I just go with the flow or should I really take into consideration about where I’m at in life and where he is and maybe rethink things long term.
TLDR:; BF got a job at a bar, we’ll be on completely different schedules and making me question/look at how we are at different life stages.
submitted by lostintheesaucee to relationships [link] [comments]

A Big List of Challenges (Problems/Goals/Complications/Encounters) for your adventure (including Social, Exploration, Stealth, Mystery, and Combat).

Hi! I have compiled a big list of challenges your players can encounter during the adventure.
If you find this list useful - please help me to improve and extend it!

Action/Adventure Challenges

  • Defeat a villain and his minions.
  • Defeat a monstecreature/horde.
  • Obtain a McGuffin (item, vehicle, money, magic artifact, spell, your lost/stolen valuables, etc)
  • Obtain Information (an ancient book, a piece of gossip, a clue, secret codes, a way to break the curse).
  • Protect/Escort /Guard a person/creature (a rich merchant, a researcher, a young prince targeted for assassination, a last of its kind monster, tax collector, witness).
  • Deliver a person (make sure they don't escape).
  • Rescue a person/creature (rescue a hostage or a kidnapped person, break them out of captivity).
  • Track, Find, Chase, and Capture/Catch a person/creature/vehicle (a criminal, a runaway, a ship, a lost pet, an escaped experiment, the infected).
  • Find and save the missing person (lost kid, caravan, courier, spy.
  • Deliver a valuable/fragile item/cargo and protect it from danger (artwork, cursed artifact, mysterious crate, a treasure map, a message).
  • Destroy the target (an object, a cursed item, enemy weapon or infrastructure, the enemy base, a piece of blackmail on someone, a source of infection, close a portal).
  • Sabotage a plan (disrupt a ritual, prevent a prophecy, undermine the invasion, stop villain from achieving their goals).
  • Capture and secure the base/location (enemy city, friendly city under siege, a building, a military target).
  • Defend a location (protect a village from monsters, a city from the enemy army, prevent enemies from passing a bridge or a tunnel, protect a crime scene, meeting site, warehouse, protect a ritual to ensure it will get completed).
  • Your town/building/ship has been captured and overtaken by enemies. Survive under siege, liberate it.
  • Robbery/Heist (rob a train or a blimp, abduct a person, commandeer a ship, steal diamonds from the casino, steal wand from the mage tower).
  • Protect many innocent people (save people from a natural disaster for example, release the prisoners/slaves).
  • Win a competition (Complications: your team is bad, the other side cheats, you can only win by cheating, the event is more deadly than it was supposed to be. You are competing for other purpose than victory, such as to keep another contestant safe, to spy on someone, or to get into the place where the event goes down, to prevent villain from winning, to prove yourself, to impress someone).
  • Prepare for the mission. Get equipment/supplies/transportation/funding.
  • Deal with the consequences of a botched/evil magic ritual.
  • Distract the enemies. Act as bait for the ambush/trap.
  • Train a novice, keep a noble person safe while they go on adventure.
  • Build or repair an object (by collecting McGuffin ingredients).
  • Perform a Ritual.
  • Law Enforcement - act as a police for a town.
  • Intercept a delivery, escort, communications.
  • Prepare and execute an ambush.
  • Act as an experimental subject for a crazy scientist/wizard (for dangerous potions).

Exploration Challenges

  • Survive/avoid environmental dangers (think of the place itself as the “villain”, it is a monster without HP that "wants" to hurt players or drain their resources, and has certain powers to accomplish that. Traps, cave-ins, lava eruptions, rock-slides, avalanche, collapsing buildings, impenetrable mist, wild animals, dangerous/poisonous flora, falling into a pit, getting lost, etc).
  • Overcome environmental obstacles (a river on your way, a closed gate, climbing a mountain, a swamp, quick sand, slipping hazard above the abyss, thin ice, wild magic area. Retrieve an item from the bottom of the lake.).
  • Travel through multiple locations to reach the target.
  • Explore the location (to learn about it, to map it, to figure out what happened here. To find bandit camps, enemy encampments, monster nest, a way through, resources).
  • Find a lost location/person/item/treasure/clues.
  • Scout for information, survey the location/region (ahead of group, enemy territory, monster infested territory, uncharted wilderness).
  • Clear location of danger (creatures, traps, haunting ghosts, curses, infestation).
  • Track something/someone, find a trail.
  • Deal with a natural disaster (storm, earthquake, flood, meteor).
  • Survival (without food/water, deal with harsh weather, diseases. Find shelter. Repair a ship or a radio. Find a way to get back home.)
  • Enter a guarded area (overcome defenses, defeat security, sneak in unseen).
  • Escape guarded location (break out of prison).
  • Use environment to your advantage (start an avalanche to block a pass, assume the most optimal position for combat).

Social/Intrigue Challenges

  • Convince/Persuade a person to do/say/give you what you want.
  • Intimidate/Manipulate/Blackmail/Force someone to do what you want.
  • Befriend/Seduce someone, make allies.
  • Gain confidence or forgiveness of a person who doesn't like you.
  • Find a non-combat resolution.
  • Get caught lying/cheating/sneaking, and rectify the situation.
  • Persuade a group of people (an organization, an angry mob, snobby nobles. Persuade the army to take a route that will slow them down/lead them into an ambush, convince the bandits to raid the enemy, convince farmers to donate food).
  • Gain social status, power, political influence (prove your worth, gain respect, impress someone, get elected).
  • Change someone's social status (make them look good/bad, get them elected, overthrow a ruler).
  • Run a kingdom/village/team/organization/business, lead an army (build a new one, restore the failing one to former glory).
  • Change the society/group/organization (raise morale, lower the crime, stop witch hunts, deal with corruption).
  • Gain control over the territory (invade a country or repel the invasion).
  • Put down or incite rebellion/mutiny/conspiracy.
  • Negotiate a deal, bargain (political compromise, hostage negotiations, trade information, convince them to sign a document).
  • Resolve conflict, broker peace, unite rivaling factions, settle dispute.
  • Establish political/trade relationships .
  • Navigate a strange culture/customs (without offending anyone).
  • Cause conflict/rivalry/war, pit people/factions against each other (get enemy minions to mistrust each other).
  • Deceive a person.
  • Set someone up, shift the blame to someone else.
  • Infiltrate a group, conceal your identity (cult, bandits, enemy citadel, thieves guild).
  • Find the spy/traitomole.
  • Deal with being blackmailed, spied on, threatened, manipulated.
  • Deal with a nasty rumor or important information/secrets about yourself being out there.
  • Defend someone (or yourself) in the court.
  • Prosecute/judge someone in the court.
  • Put on a show, entertain.
  • Redeem or corrupt a person (teach someone a lesson, seduce someone to the dark/light side).
  • Recruit people to your cause.
  • Find a way to get someone to owe you a favor, find a way to repay the debt you owe to someone else.
  • Enforcement - apply pressure to a person to get them to do something or behave in a specific manner, without killing. (Calm down the rowdy gang, collect the debts).
  • Get enemy soldiers/minions to defect and switch sides.
  • Create a disinformation/propaganda campaign (feed it to the enemy spy, destroy someone's reputation, saw fear in the hearts of the enemy soldiers).
  • Perform a con.

Mystery/Investigation Challenges

  • Investigate a crime (murder, assault, theft, threats, blackmail, destruction of “x”, disappearances, corrupt law enforcer).
  • Spying/Surveillance, gather information on a person/creature/location without being noticed. (Are they up to something shady, are they who they claim to be, discover their secret techniques, how are they bypassing security, how do they create “x”, involvement in “x”, what secrets are they hiding, where are they hiding “x”, where do they keep disappearing to, enemy troops, ).
  • Search for clues and put them together to reach a conclusion.
  • Find and interview witnesses, interrogate suspects.
  • Figure out what's going on, unravel a plot.
  • Figure out what happened in this location.
  • Find evidence (proof of innocence or guilt, expose a corrupt official).
  • Find out if the person is lying or keeping secrets, and what they are.
  • Figure out someone's plot/motives.
  • Figure out who's behind the plot.
  • Do research (find and read ancient texts, talk to old wise people).

Stealth/Heist Challenges

  • Steal (or plant) an item/information (modify enemy maps, plant disinformation. Plant clues to frame a person).
  • Escape from danger (overwhelming force, ambush, pursuit of the law or criminals).
  • Hide, cover your tracks, lay low.
  • Sneak through undetected (sneak past enemy lines to deliver a message to allied forces, sneak past the bouncers into a party).
  • Assassinate stealthily (sneak into the king's chambers, lure them out, use poison, make it look like an accident).
  • Deal with getting noticed / drawing an unwanted attention.
  • Clean up evidence (yours, someone else's).
  • Exchange a real item for a fake or vice versa.
  • Return a (creature, item) before anyone notices it's missing.
  • Sabotage (device, ritual) without being noticed.
  • Smuggle (creature, person, item) into or out of a location.
  • Security Testing - breach the clients security unnoticed.
  • Frame a person/group/nation for a crime.
  • Fake someone's death.

Villain's Moves

  • Personally confront the players.
  • Send minions after the players.
  • Hire a rival team of adventurers or thugs to go after players..
  • Send an assassin.
  • Send a spy.
  • Set a bounty on their heads.
  • Set a trap.
  • Setup an ambush.
  • Take hostages.
  • Threaten an NPC players like.
  • Frame players for a crime, declare them traitors/outlaws.
  • Reveal player's secrets, crimes they have committed.
  • Bribe the authorities/police to act against players.
  • Convince authorities/police that players are evil.
  • Make the public dislike the heroes.
  • Have a "dead man switch" that will hurt people or destroy something valuable if the villain is killed.
  • Know some information valuable to the players (like where hostages are kept, where the treasure is hidden), so players can't kill them, and must negotiate.
  • Set a time-bomb. Something horrible will happen unless players do what they're told.
  • Possess/blackmail/threaten an innocent person into doing their bidding.
  • Pretend to be someone else to deceive the players.
  • Befriend players to use them and betray them later.
  • Kidnap one of the players.
  • Join forces with another enemy of the players.
  • Plant false clues, create decoy trails.
  • Frame someone else for their crimes.
  • Kill hero's mentoally.
  • Cause mistrust, disorder, confusion, infighting among players or general population.
  • Hire people to commit crimes while pretending to be someone else to create mistrust/conflict among two parties. (Example: the bandits "from another country" attacks "local merchants", Start a plague in an uneducated city and have the "foreign merchant" sell snake oil cures, "native patriot" kills a "alien anarchist, etc.)
  • Put difficult choices in front of the heroes (like forcing Batman to save one of the ferry boats, to save Harvey Dent or Rachel).
  • Take away resources from the players (steal their items).
  • Give people the wrong idea about his powers/weaknesses.
  • Push player's buttons, play on heroes' flaws, temptations, fears.
  • Develop a good public image, make friends in the government, be beloved by the public.
  • Seduce player's allies to the dark side, convince/threaten them into betraying players.

Complications

  • Do it under time pressure (before the ritual is complete, before people run out of air, before reinforcements arrive, before or during the event, in transit, while you still have the chance).
  • Do it while competing with the rival team.
  • Unrelated people are interfering with the objective.
  • Do it stealthily (don't attract attention, don't leave clues, no witnesses).
  • Do it while pretending to be someone else.
  • Do it without revealing that your client is involved.
  • Prevent collateral damage, protect the innocents who are around.
  • Avoid violence. Defeat/capture the villain/creature without it being harmed.
  • Mitigate the risk, there's a high probability of causing a lot of damage if you're not careful.
  • Two challenges conflict with each other (you must break your stealth to help someone in trouble, capture criminal or save people who are currently in danger).
  • Difficult choice. Choose lesser of two evils, choose which people to rescue. Requiring personal sacrifice, risk, compromise.
  • Opportunities that come with a difficulty, cost or have negative consequences.
  • Resolve moral dilemma (the creature is dangerous but doesn't deserve to die, you're working for a bad guy, both sides of the conflict have valid points, completing a quest will harm people/environment).
  • Do it with incomplete information.
  • Do it with limited resources or without preparation.
  • Do it without access to powers you're used to having (while sick/injured/debilitated, in an area where magic is outlawed/disabled, having lost your equipment).
  • Locals here are unhelpful/hostile to you. You have low social status.
  • You can't trust anyone.
  • Doing it is illegal, or against authorities best interests, or is threatening a powerful group.
  • There are regulations/restrictions on what you can do hindering your progress.
  • Do it while being supervised (the media is all over you, a brilliant detective is on your tail, you are under suspicion, the enemy knows you're coming, you have a spy/mole).
  • Do it despite your flaws/temptations/fears.
  • It causes conflict/infighting within the team (player characters will have opposite goals/reactions to it).
  • Do it while working together with antagonist or someone else you don't like.
  • The side you're working for turns out to be evil.
  • The villain is someone you know/like/respect.
  • The villain is a respected public figure, celebrity, is liked by people or has authority over you.
  • Bad guy has a dead man switch, if he dies the others will suffer or treasure will be lost. Bad guy is the only one who knows the valuable information.
  • The people you're helping don't want your help.
  • Vital information turns out to be wrong.
  • Deal with the betrayal.
  • Mission has been rigged to fail from the start (PCs may be used as a scapegoat).
  • Objective is stolen before the PCs arrive.
  • Objective must be undamaged.
  • The important item has been transmuted and needs to be changed back, locked in a safe and needs a code to unlock, is a mineral that needs to be refined by a specific process. A book or a message is written in a foreign language that requires a translator.
  • Only a bad/unpleasant person can provide the item/information/favor you need.
Please leave a comment and contribute to this project!
Edit:
I've had a few pretty huge epiphanies while writing this post:
  • Stories are fundamentally about problem solving. Roleplaying is fundamentally about problem solving. This is the fundamental "game loop" of RPGs - GM puts a problem in front of the players, and they find creative ways to solve it, that's what gives them fun stuff to do and feels satisfying to accomplish.
  • Adventure Ideas are fundamentally problems. They create an exciting, challenging, important goal for the players to accomplish.
  • Big problems are broken down into small challenges. But fundamentally, the big climactic adventure/campaign goals and the small challenges players encounter on their way are the same thing. Every scene the characters solve a small problem, and it drives them towards solving the big problem. That's what plot points are - players solving or failing to solve a problem, which moves them closer to or farther away from the goal. Which feels exciting/valuable/dramatic.
  • Conflict, obstacles, social/exploration/combat encounters are fundamentally just sources of problems. There probably are other sources that can generate problems.
  • It's all just nested challenges: Campaign Problem > Adventure Problem > Scene Problem. And any challenge can be used on any of these levels.
  • Therefore, the list above is a list of adventure ideas and plot points at the same time. Make any challenge very important/difficult/exciting to accomplish - and it becomes an idea for the adventure or a campaign. Make any adventure idea relatively small and simple - and it becomes a scene challenge (encounter). Put a number of smaller challenges in front of the players - and you've got your basic story structure (a list of encounters, the gameplay). Because goals and challenges are fundamentally the same, just the nested problems, they can be combined in any order to create any number of unique adventures.
  • Also, it means that you can take big story ideas from movies, TV episodes, published modules, and use them as ideas for small encounters. Shawshank Redemption, Alien, Jaws, Incredibles - they can be big campaign ideas, small adventure ideas, or just a thing characters do in a scene (escape from the prison, hide from a monster, defeat a big golem).
  • Game mechanics are also challenges. If there's an RPG system that gets players to do something awesome (GM moves in Dungeon World, Favors/Debts and Social Status mechanics from the Undying, Weak Moves from Dream Askew) - you can use those as challenges too.
  • Even a single challenge can create an unlimited number of unique stories - you just change the concrete details. McGuffins, NPCs, locations, etc.
Edit 2:
Wow, this is taking off. If you like this post, you will probably enjoy my posts on Adventure Writing Process, Adventure Template (a list of the most important questions to answer when designing an adventure), and Making Combat Awesome. If you want updates on my future posts - follow me here.
Edit 3:
Created a little "Story Generator App" that will pick the random challenges for you.
submitted by lumenwrites to DMAcademy [link] [comments]

A Big List of Challenges (Problems, Goals, Complications, Encounters) for your adventure (including Action/Adventure, Exploration, Social/Intrigue, Mystery/Investigation, and Stealth/Heist).

Hi! I have compiled a big list of challenges your players can encounter during the adventure.

Action/Adventure Challenges

Exploration Challenges

  • Survive/avoid environmental dangers (think of the place itself as the “villain”, it is a monster without HP that "wants" to hurt players or drain their resources, and has certain powers to accomplish that. Traps, cave-ins, lava eruptions, rock-slides, avalanche, collapsing buildings, impenetrable mist, wild animals, dangerous/poisonous flora, falling into a pit, getting lost, etc).
  • Overcome environmental obstacles (a river on your way, a closed gate, climbing a mountain, a swamp, quick sand, slipping hazard above the abyss, thin ice, wild magic area. Retrieve an item from the bottom of the lake.).
  • Travel through multiple locations to reach the target.
  • Explore the location (to learn about it, to map it, to figure out what happened here. To find bandit camps, enemy encampments, monster nest, a way through, resources).
  • Find a lost location/person/item/treasure/clues.
  • Scout for information, survey the location/region (ahead of group, enemy territory, monster infested territory, uncharted wilderness).
  • Clear location of danger (creatures, traps, haunting ghosts, curses, infestation).
  • Track something/someone, find a trail.
  • Deal with a natural disaster (storm, earthquake, flood, meteor).
  • Survival (without food/water, deal with harsh weather, diseases. Find shelter. Repair a ship or a radio. Find a way to get back home.)
  • Enter a guarded area (overcome defenses, defeat security, sneak in unseen).
  • Escape guarded location (break out of prison).
  • Use environment to your advantage (start an avalanche to block a pass, assume the most optimal position for combat).

Social/Intrigue Challenges

  • Convince/Persuade a person to do/say/give you what you want.
  • Intimidate/Manipulate/Blackmail/Force someone to do what you want.
  • Befriend/Seduce someone, make allies.
  • Gain confidence or forgiveness of a person who doesn't like you.
  • Find a non-combat resolution.
  • Get caught lying/cheating/sneaking, and rectify the situation.
  • Persuade a group of people (an organization, an angry mob, snobby nobles. Persuade the army to take a route that will slow them down/lead them into an ambush, convince the bandits to raid the enemy, convince farmers to donate food).
  • Gain social status, power, political influence (prove your worth, gain respect, impress someone, get elected).
  • Change someone's social status (make them look good/bad, get them elected, overthrow a ruler).
  • Run a kingdom/village/team/organization/business, lead an army (build a new one, restore the failing one to former glory).
  • Change the society/group/organization (raise morale, lower the crime, stop witch hunts, deal with corruption).
  • Gain control over the territory (invade a country or repel the invasion).
  • Put down or incite rebellion/mutiny/conspiracy.
  • Negotiate a deal, bargain (political compromise, hostage negotiations, trade information, convince them to sign a document).
  • Resolve conflict, broker peace, unite rivaling factions, settle dispute.
  • Establish political/trade relationships .
  • Navigate a strange culture/customs (without offending anyone).
  • Cause conflict/rivalry/war, pit people/factions against each other (get enemy minions to mistrust each other).
  • Deceive a person.
  • Set someone up, shift the blame to someone else.
  • Infiltrate a group, conceal your identity (cult, bandits, enemy citadel, thieves guild).
  • Find the spy/traitomole.
  • Deal with being blackmailed, spied on, threatened, manipulated.
  • Deal with a nasty rumor or important information/secrets about yourself being out there.
  • Defend someone (or yourself) in the court.
  • Prosecute/judge someone in the court.
  • Put on a show, entertain.
  • Redeem or corrupt a person (teach someone a lesson, seduce someone to the dark/light side).
  • Recruit people to your cause.
  • Find a way to get someone to owe you a favor, find a way to repay the debt you owe to someone else.
  • Enforcement - apply pressure to a person to get them to do something or behave in a specific manner, without killing. (Calm down the rowdy gang, collect the debts).
  • Get enemy soldiers/minions to defect and switch sides.
  • Create a disinformation/propaganda campaign (feed it to the enemy spy, destroy someone's reputation, saw fear in the hearts of the enemy soldiers).
  • Perform a con.

Mystery/Investigation Challenges

  • Investigate a crime (murder, assault, theft, threats, blackmail, destruction of “x”, disappearances, corrupt law enforcer).
  • Spying/Surveillance, gather information on a person/creature/location without being noticed. (Are they up to something shady, are they who they claim to be, discover their secret techniques, how are they bypassing security, how do they create “x”, involvement in “x”, what secrets are they hiding, where are they hiding “x”, where do they keep disappearing to, enemy troops, ).
  • Search for clues and put them together to reach a conclusion.
  • Find and interview witnesses, interrogate suspects.
  • Figure out what's going on, unravel a plot.
  • Figure out what happened in this location.
  • Find evidence (proof of innocence or guilt, expose a corrupt official).
  • Find out if the person is lying or keeping secrets, and what they are.
  • Figure out someone's plot/motives.
  • Figure out who's behind the plot.
  • Do research (find and read ancient texts, talk to old wise people).

Stealth/Heist Challenges

  • Steal (or plant) an item/information (modify enemy maps, plant disinformation. Plant clues to frame a person).
  • Escape from danger (overwhelming force, ambush, pursuit of the law or criminals).
  • Hide, cover your tracks, lay low.
  • Sneak through undetected (sneak past enemy lines to deliver a message to allied forces, sneak past the bouncers into a party).
  • Assassinate stealthily (sneak into the king's chambers, lure them out, use poison, make it look like an accident).
  • Deal with getting noticed / drawing an unwanted attention.
  • Clean up evidence (yours, someone else's).
  • Exchange a real item for a fake or vice versa.
  • Return a (creature, item) before anyone notices it's missing.
  • Sabotage (device, ritual) without being noticed.
  • Smuggle (creature, person, item) into or out of a location.
  • Security Testing - breach the clients security unnoticed.
  • Frame a person/group/nation for a crime.
  • Fake someone's death.

Villain's Moves

  • Personally confront the players.
  • Send minions after the players.
  • Hire a rival team of adventurers or thugs to go after players..
  • Send an assassin.
  • Send a spy.
  • Set a bounty on their heads.
  • Set a trap.
  • Setup an ambush.
  • Take hostages.
  • Threaten an NPC players like.
  • Frame players for a crime, declare them traitors/outlaws.
  • Reveal player's secrets, crimes they have committed.
  • Bribe the authorities/police to act against players.
  • Convince authorities/police that players are evil.
  • Make the public dislike the heroes.
  • Have a "dead man switch" that will hurt people or destroy something valuable if the villain is killed.
  • Know some information valuable to the players (like where hostages are kept, where the treasure is hidden), so players can't kill them, and must negotiate.
  • Set a time-bomb. Something horrible will happen unless players do what they're told.
  • Possess/blackmail/threaten an innocent person into doing their bidding.
  • Pretend to be someone else to deceive the players.
  • Befriend players to use them and betray them later.
  • Kidnap one of the players.
  • Join forces with another enemy of the players.
  • Plant false clues, create decoy trails.
  • Frame someone else for their crimes.
  • Kill hero's mentoally.
  • Cause mistrust, disorder, confusion, infighting among players or general population.
  • Hire people to commit crimes while pretending to be someone else to create mistrust/conflict among two parties. (Example: the bandits "from another country" attacks "local merchants", Start a plague in an uneducated city and have the "foreign merchant" sell snake oil cures, "native patriot" kills a "alien anarchist, etc.)
  • Put difficult choices in front of the heroes (like forcing Batman to save one of the ferry boats, to save Harvey Dent or Rachel).
  • Take away resources from the players (steal their items).
  • Give people the wrong idea about his powers/weaknesses.
  • Push player's buttons, play on heroes' flaws, temptations, fears.
  • Develop a good public image, make friends in the government, be beloved by the public.
  • Seduce player's allies to the dark side, convince/threaten them into betraying players.

Complications

  • Do it under time pressure (before the ritual is complete, before people run out of air, before reinforcements arrive, before or during the event, in transit, while you still have the chance).
  • Do it while competing with the rival team.
  • Unrelated people are interfering with the objective.
  • Do it stealthily (don't attract attention, don't leave clues, no witnesses).
  • Do it while pretending to be someone else.
  • Do it without revealing that your client is involved.
  • Prevent collateral damage, protect the innocents who are around.
  • Avoid violence. Defeat/capture the villain/creature without it being harmed.
  • Mitigate the risk, there's a high probability of causing a lot of damage if you're not careful.
  • Two challenges conflict with each other (you must break your stealth to help someone in trouble, capture criminal or save people who are currently in danger).
  • Difficult choice. Choose lesser of two evils, choose which people to rescue. Requiring personal sacrifice, risk, compromise.
  • Opportunities that come with a difficulty, cost or have negative consequences.
  • Resolve moral dilemma (the creature is dangerous but doesn't deserve to die, you're working for a bad guy, both sides of the conflict have valid points, completing a quest will harm people/environment).
  • Do it with incomplete information.
  • Do it with limited resources or without preparation.
  • Do it without access to powers you're used to having (while sick/injured/debilitated, in an area where magic is outlawed/disabled, having lost your equipment).
  • Locals here are unhelpful/hostile to you. You have low social status.
  • You can't trust anyone.
  • Doing it is illegal, or against authorities best interests, or is threatening a powerful group.
  • There are regulations/restrictions on what you can do hindering your progress.
  • Do it while being supervised (the media is all over you, a brilliant detective is on your tail, you are under suspicion, the enemy knows you're coming, you have a spy/mole).
  • Do it despite your flaws/temptations/fears.
  • It causes conflict/infighting within the team (player characters will have opposite goals/reactions to it).
  • Do it while working together with antagonist or someone else you don't like.
  • The side you're working for turns out to be evil.
  • The villain is someone you know/like/respect.
  • The villain is a respected public figure, celebrity, is liked by people or has authority over you.
  • Bad guy has a dead man switch, if he dies the others will suffer or treasure will be lost. Bad guy is the only one who knows the valuable information.
  • The people you're helping don't want your help.
  • Vital information turns out to be wrong.
  • Deal with the betrayal.
  • Mission has been rigged to fail from the start (PCs may be used as a scapegoat).
  • Objective is stolen before the PCs arrive.
  • Objective must be undamaged.
  • The important item has been transmuted and needs to be changed back, locked in a safe and needs a code to unlock, is a mineral that needs to be refined by a specific process. A book or a message is written in a foreign language that requires a translator.
  • Only a bad/unpleasant person can provide the item/information/favor you need.

Using Challenges to create Adventures

  • These challenges can be used as sub-goals the players will need to achieve on the path to their main goal, as obstacles they need to overcome to get what they want.
  • Most of them can also be used as the primary goal, an idea for the whole adventure (just make the stakes higher, make it important/interesting/exciting to accomplish, make it more difficult, add sub-goals and obstacles players need to get through to achieve it).
  • Challenges can be mixed and matched. In one adventure, challenge A can be the big primary goal, and challenge B can be a step towards accomplishing this big goal. In another adventure, it can be the other way around. In one adventure, the players need to obtain an item (a powerful weapon) to slay a monster, in another, they need to slay a monster to get their hands on the valuable item. In one adventure they need to rescue someone who has a clue to the mystery, in another they need to solve a mystery to be able to rescue someone.
  • Use multiple challenges together to add more depth, make the adventure more difficult/interesting, get players to fight on several fronts. Combine challenges to make them complications for each other, or use conflicting challenges that are incompatible with each other to create difficult choices. Players need to protect a person while also being on the run from the law, they need to spy on someone while traveling through the dangerous environment, they need to fight for political power while pretending to be someone they're not, they need to slay a big monster in the middle of the city while protecting people and avoiding collateral damage.
This works because:
  • Stories are fundamentally about problem solving. Roleplaying is fundamentally about problem solving. This is the fundamental "game loop" of RPGs - GM puts a problem in front of the players, and they find creative ways to solve it, that's what gives them fun stuff to do and feels satisfying to accomplish.
  • Adventure Ideas are fundamentally problems. They create an exciting, challenging, important goal for the players to accomplish.
  • Big problems are broken down into small challenges. But fundamentally, the big climactic adventure/campaign goals and the small challenges players encounter on their way are the same thing. Every scene the characters solve a small problem, and it drives them towards solving the big problem. That's what plot points are - players solving or failing to solve a problem, which moves them closer to or farther away from the goal. Which feels exciting/valuable/dramatic.
  • Conflict, obstacles, social/exploration/combat encounters are fundamentally just sources of problems. There probably are other sources that can generate problems.
  • It's all just nested challenges: Campaign Problem > Adventure Problem > Scene Problem. And any challenge can be used on any of these levels.
  • Therefore, the list above is a list of adventure ideas and plot points at the same time. Make any challenge very important/difficult/exciting to accomplish - and it becomes an idea for the adventure or a campaign. Make any adventure idea relatively small and simple - and it becomes a scene challenge (encounter). Put a number of smaller challenges in front of the players - and you've got your basic story structure (a list of encounters, the gameplay). Because goals and challenges are fundamentally the same, just the nested problems, they can be combined in any order to create any number of unique adventures.
  • Also, it means that you can take big story ideas from movies, TV episodes, published modules, and use them as ideas for small encounters. Shawshank Redemption, Alien, Jaws, Incredibles - they can be big campaign ideas, small adventure ideas, or just a thing characters do in a scene (escape from the prison, hide from a monster, defeat a big golem).
  • Game mechanics are also challenges. If there's an RPG system that gets players to do something awesome (GM moves in Dungeon World, Favors/Debts and Social Status mechanics from the Undying, Weak Moves from Dream Askew) - you can use those as challenges too.
  • Even a single challenge can create an unlimited number of unique stories - you just change the concrete details. McGuffins, NPCs, locations, etc.
If you find this list useful - please help me to improve and extend it!
  • Share more challenge ideas, how can these challenge lists can be extended?
  • What other big challenge categories could I add? Please share a few challenge examples in those categories.
  • Share interesting examples for each kind of challenge.
  • Share interesting complications and combinations of challenges.
  • Share feedback/advice/ideas on improving this project.
  • Share good resources (books, random tables, articles) I can use to extend this list.
Use the Adventure Writing Template to help you develop these challenges into a complete adventure.
I have also made an "Adventure Prompts Tool" that will pick the random challenges for you (it also contains some prompts for settings and villains).
Also see the Big List of Adventure Ideas - the list of challenges that will work well as the main idea for the adventure (a goal for the Players or the Villain).
If you want updates on my future posts - follow me here.
submitted by lumenwrites to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

My very real encounter with the backrooms

Today, I stumbled upon a YT video from the excellent Nick Crowley discussing the phenomena known as 'the backrooms'. As someone who has spent literal decades savoring the strange, the dark, the occult, the conspiratorial, I have somehow missed out on this particular phenomena/story/concept. Watching his short but intriguing overview of the backrooms, it made my skin crawl. I had a very real, very waking experience, just a few years ago, which took me to a place that is disturbingly similar to these so-called 'backrooms'. Imagine my surprise when the video - and most related content - described this as nothing more than a creepypasta with its roots in 4chan. And while my experience does have a seemingly innocent explanation, the similarities are far too intriguing to ignore. This is all 100% true, as it happened, to the best of my recollection.
For background - I am a professional musician and record producer, with a career that started in 2010. Nowadays I spend my time in the studio, but for many years, I toured the US full-time as a bass player with a wide variety of bands.
In mid 2017, one of the larger bands I toured with - 40 Oz to Freedom, a Sublime tribute act - was hired to play the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas. This was an excellent gig, paid great, and we were always treated very well by the staff. The Brooklyn Bowl is a part of the Caesar's family of properties. As such, we were always put up in very nice rooms at one of the Caesar's-owned casinos on the Strip. On the night in question, we had been placed in individual suites at the Linq.
After playing the gig, we all went back over to our rooms. My bandmates were excited to spend the rest of the evening partying it up on the Strip and hanging with fans. However, I had a very early flight out of McCarran the next morning to play with a different group back home in CO. I decided to forgo the offer of a night of fun and just relax in my room until my flight left.
Sometime around 3am, I decided to go down to the lobby for a snack. So I got dressed, put on my shoes, and left my room. I walked to the end of the hall and called the elevator. Getting on, I pressed the big, rounded "L" button - Lobby.
That's when things got strange.
The elevator lurched slightly, as if it didn't quite know what to do with my request. The overhead light flickered out for a split second. But after a beat, as if nothing was amiss, it began its descent without further protest. In the moment, I didn't think much of it. It was late, after all - perhaps it had been sitting for a moment or just needed maintenance.
But when I reached my destination, I knew something was wrong.
The doors slid open, but where there should have been a bustling casino lobby, there was simply a large, empty, white room. A rusted, red-painted metal staircase led down from a landing in front of the elevator to the floor. Opposite the staircase - an enormous red metal door. Above the staircase - a loudly humming, off-yellow florescent light.
Initially, I was baffled. I looked at the display in the elevator. In confirmed this was indeed the lobby. My mind raced to all of the stories and places I'd learned about - glitches in reality, underground cults, human trafficking rings, illicit auctions, Silent Hill. But all of that was just lore. I had to know what I had stumbled on. I walked down the staircase and approached the door. By sheer luck, it was open. I swung it open and stepped through.
Around a sharp corner, there stretched a long, faded hallway, with seemingly infinite rooms branching off in either direction. Aging greenish-yellow wallpaper, patterned with what looked like a leaf or floral motif. Dank, musty, moist carpet. All lit by humming, flickering fluorescent tubes.
A sharp sense of danger and wrongness tingled through me. What the hell is this place? How did I end up here?
I decided to press forward a bit, overcoming the impending sense of doom that had consumed me. I walked up the hallway a short distance, peering into the rooms. Each was dark and empty, devoid of windows, and covered in the same fading wallpaper. There was what looked like graffiti here and there, scrawled illegibly on the walls in black ink.
After venturing past three or four rooms, each step became a dare. I knew I should turn around and get back to my room. Whatever this place was, it was not a pleasant place to be. It made no sense. And so, trusting my better judgement, I turned around, went back through the red door, up the staircase, and called the elevator. After what seemed like an eternity, the doors slid open, and I was whisked without incident back to the plush confines of the Linq.
I had decided that I suddenly wasn't that hungry.
Several hours later, I readied my things to leave for the airport. I got on the same elevator, wondering if it would take me to the same strange hallway. I pressed the large rectangular L once more. No shudder, no flicker this time. And just a moment later, the doors opened to reveal the bustling pre-dawn casino lobby that should have been there all along.
----
Now - as I said at the beginning of this story - there is a partially plausible explanation for this experience. The Linq was established in 2014, after a short 2-year stint under the name 'The Quad'. But prior to 2012, the lot belonged to the aging Imperial Palace casino. The Imperial Palace was built in 1979, and featured an Asian-themed decor. My best guess was that I somehow happened upon a section of the hotel that was simply a part of the old Imperial Palace that hadn't yet been renovated. Descriptions of the interior of this old property roughly match what I saw. However, there are still key elements of my experience that make no sense to me.
The Imperial Palace was destroyed to be rebuilt as The Quad in 2012, 5 years before I was there. How would any section of the old hotel still remain?
Even if there was, in theory, still an untouched portion of the Imperial Palace left after the building itself was torn down, 5 years of renovation renovation were done and 2 name changes occurred, why would this area be easily accessible to guests? And through a strange service entrance, no less?
The elevator took me to the ground floor, yet the area I was in was clearly old hotel rooms. The ground floor of casinos almost never house rooms, only food courts and gaming floors. Rooms start on the third or fourth floors, typically. Why were these rooms seemingly on the ground floor?
The exact button on the exact same elevator took me to the Linq lobby the second time around. Did the elevator massively glitch the first time?
These questions all remain unanswered.
There is one last thing I'd like to mention as well. I hate to be this guy on Reddit - but while I was exploring this area, I filmed it on my phone. I will do everything I can to find that phone - I'm somewhat certain I still have it. If I can, I will happily post the video.
So - did I just find a derelict hallway buried in the bowels of a casino, awaiting a much-needed renovation? Or did I stumble through a strange barrier into the backrooms?
I leave it to you to decide.
submitted by alex_bass_guy to backrooms [link] [comments]

How to get a fake id

How to get a fake id

Exactly where do teenagers use fake IDs?

Teenager wants to turn 21 to have a beer or even a dance within the dance clubs. It's important to wait until the legal age for these items. You may obtain a false ID in this case. They would allow you to shield your confidentiality and privacy to a fantastic degree. Regardless of many legal implications connected with false IDs, you are going to get several perks of this ID. Be sure you pick one of several major How to get a fake id in 2020 to have a credible fake ID.
Traveling alone
If you'd like to fly by yourself, it's essential to be 18 years or older. Age limits can make irritating barriers within a selection of conditions. From hiring a automobile to booking accommodation, you will need to make evidence of one's age like a fakedriverslicense.

https://preview.redd.it/3sgxnbz6aly51.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=756aa024b423606d9a316f2e70616d1868d51ed3
Get the ideal to drink alcohol
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With these IDs, you're going to possess the appropriate to drink alcohol. Rather handful of countries about the globe have stringent age limits on liquor use. A false ID can help you get a drink as you'd like. So, as an alternative to robbing oneself of these fun leisure experiences, teens are going on-line and purchasing false documents to provide themselves an opportunity to fool the restaurant ID search the staff or the Bouncers at the bar so to get in.
Era of Exploring
Youth is now becoming a party lover. If you're not 21, you cannot program a club night. Various night clubs and arenas have a certain age restriction on entry. Having a fake id, you happen to be going to become in a position to get instant access to these events.
Note, generally security appointed including club bouncers will detect a distinction. For this trigger, prevent working with fake IDs in foreign nations.
Tattoos and piercings is often subject to age limits. You may also use this ID card to watch gigs, plays, films, and so on.
submitted by Fakeidmaker to u/Fakeidmaker [link] [comments]

Angélica Gorodischer - Three Stories [Translated by Lorraine Elena Roses and Marian Womack]

The Resurrection of the Flesh [Tr by Roses]

These first two tales published in Secret Weavers: Stories of the Fantastic by Women Writers of Argentina and Chile, edited by Marjorie Agosin (White Pine Press, 1992):
She was thirty-two, her name was Aurelia, and she had been married eleven years. One Saturday afternoon, she looked through the kitchen window at the garden and saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Men of the world, those four horsemen of the Apocalypse. And good-looking. The first from the left was riding a sorrel horse with a dark mane. He was wearing white breeches, black boots, a crimson jacket, and a yellow fez with black pompoms. The second one had a sleeveless tunic overlaid with gold and violet and was barefoot. He was riding on the back of a plump dolphin. The third one had a respectable, black beard, trimmed at right angles. He had donned a gray Prince of Wales suit, white shirt, blue tie and carried a black leather portfolio. He was seated on a folding chair belted to the back of white-haired dromedary. The fourth one made Aurelia smile and realize that they were smiling at her. He was riding a black and gold Harley-Davidson 1200 and was wearing a white helmet and dark goggles and had long, straight, blond hair flying in the wind behind him. The four were riding in the garden without moving from the spot. They rode and smiled at her and she watched them through the kitchen window.
In that manner, she finished washing the two teacups, took off her apron, arranged her hair and went to the living room.
"I saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden," she told her husband.
"I'll bet," he said without raising his eyes from his paper.
"What are you reading?" Aurelia asked.
"Hmmm?"
"I said they were given a crown and a sword and a balance and power."
"Oh, right," said her husband.
And after that a week went by as all weeks do--very slowly at first and very quickly toward the end--and on Sunday morning, while she made the coffee, she again saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden, but when she went back to the bedroom she didn't say anything to her husband.
The third time she saw them, one Wednesday, alone, in the afternoon, she stood looking at them for a half hour and finally, since she had always wanted to fly in a yellow and red dirigible; and since she had dreamed about being an opera singer, an emperor's lover, a co-pilot to Icarus; since she would have liked to scale black cliffs, laugh at cannibals, traverse the jungles on elephants with purple trappings, seize with her hands the diamonds that lay hidden in mines, preside in the nude over a parade of nocturnal monsters, live under water, domesticate spiders, torture the powerful of the earth, rob trains in the tunnels of the Alps, set palaces on fire, lie in the dark with beggars, climb on the bridges of all the ships in the world; finally--since it was sadly sterile to be a rational and healthy adult--finally, that Wednesday afternoon alone, she put on the long dress she had worn at the last New Year's party given by the company where her husband was assistant sales manager and went out to the garden. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse called her, the blond one on the Harley-Davidson gave her his hand and helped her up onto the seat behind him, and there they went, all five, raging into the storm and singing.
Two days later her husband gave in to family pressure and reported the disappearance of his wife.
"Moral: madness is a flower aflame," said the narrator. Or in other words, it's impossible to inflame the dead, cold, viscous, useless, and sinful ashes of common sense.

The Perfect Married Woman

If you meet her on the street, cross quickly to the other side and quicken your pace. She’s a dangerous lady. She’s about forty or forty-five, has one married daughter and a son working in San Nicolas; her husband’s a sheet-metal worker. She rises very early, sweeps the sidewalk, sees her husband off, cleans, does the wash, shops, cooks. After lunch she watches television, sews or knits, irons twice a week, and at night goes to bed late. On Saturdays she does a general cleaning and washes windows and waxes the floors. On Sunday mornings she washes the clothes her son brings home—his name is Nestor Eduardo—she kneads dough for noodles or ravioli, and in the afternoon either her sister-inlaw comes to visit or she goes to her daughter’s house. It’s been a long time since she’s been to the movies, but she reads TV Guide and the police report in the newspaper. Her eyes are dark and her hands are rough and her hair is starting to go gray. She catches cold frequently and keeps a photo album in a dresser drawer along with a black crepe dress with lace collar and cuffs.
Her mother never hit her. But when she was six, she got a spanking for coloring on a door, and she had to wash it off with a wet rag. While she was doing it, she thought about doors, all doors, and decided that they were very dumb because they always led to the same places. And the one she was cleaning was definitely the dumbest of all, the one that led to her parents’ bedroom. She opened the door and then it didn’t go to her parents’ bedroom but to the Gobi desert. She wasn’t surprised that she knew it was the Gobi desert even though they hadn’t even taught her in school where Mongolia was and neither she nor her mother nor her grandmother had ever heard of Nan Shan or Khangai Nuru.
She stepped through the door, bent over to scratch the yellowish grit and saw that there was no one, nothing, and the hot wind tousled her hair, so she went back through the open door, closed it and kept on cleaning. And when she finished, her mother grumbled a little more and told her to wash the rag and take the broom to sweep up that sand and clean her shoes. That day she modified her hasty judgment about doors, though not completely, at least not until she understood what was going on.
What had been going on all her life and up until today was that from time to time doors behaved satisfactorily, though in general they were still acting dumb and leading to dining rooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, bedrooms and offices even in the best of circumstances. But two months after the desert, for example, the door that every day led to the bath opened onto the workshop of a bearded man dressed in a long uniform, pointed shoes, and a cap that tilted on one side of his head. The old man’s back was turned as he took something out of a highboy with many small drawers behind a very strange, large wooden machine with a giant steering wheel and screw, in the midst of cold air and an acrid smell. When he turned around and saw her he began to shout at her in a language she didn’t understand.
She stuck out her tongue, dashed out the door, closed it, opened it again, went into the bathroom and washed her hands for lunch.
Again, after lunch, many years later, she opened the door of her room and walked into a battlefield. She dipped her hands in the blood of the wounded and dead and pulled from the neck of a cadaver a crucifix that she wore for a long time under high-necked blouses or dresses without plunging necklines. She now keeps it in a tin box underneath the nightgowns with a brooch, a pair of earrings and a broken wristwatch that used to belong to her mother-in-law. In the same way, involuntarily and by chance, she visited three monasteries, seven libraries, and the highest mountains in the world, and who knows how many theaters, cathedrals, jungles, refrigeration plants, dens of vice, universities, brothels, forests, stores, submarines, hotels, trenches, islands, factories, palaces, hovels, towers and hell.
She’s lost count and doesn’t care; any door could lead anywhere and that has the same value as the thickness of the ravioli dough, her mother’s death, and the life crises that she sees on TV and reads about in TV Guide.
Not long ago she took her daughter to the doctor, and seeing the closed door of a bathroom in the clinic, she smiled. She wasn’t sure because she can never be sure, but she got up and went to the bathroom. However, it was a bathroom; at least there was a nude man in a bathtub full of water. It was all very large, with a high ceiling, marble floor and decorations hanging from the closed windows. The man seemed to be asleep in his white bathtub, short but deep, and she saw a razor on a wrought iron table with feet decorated with iron flowers and leaves and ending in lion’s paws, a razor, a mirror, a curling iron, towels, a box of talcum powder and an earthen bowl with water. She approached on tiptoe, retrieved the razor, tiptoed over to the sleeping man in the tub and beheaded him. She threw the razor on the floor and rinsed her hands in the lukewarm bathtub water. She turned around when she reached the clinic corridor and spied a girl going into the bathroom through the other door. Her daughter looked at her.
“That was quick.”
“The toilet was broken,” she answered.
A few days afterward, she beheaded another man in a blue tent at night. That man and a woman were sleeping mostly uncovered by the blankets of a low, king-size bed, and the wind beat around the tent and slanted the flames of the oil lamps. Beyond it there would be another camp, soldiers, animals, sweat, manure, orders and weapons. But inside there was a sword by the leather and metal uniforms, and with it she cut off the head of the bearded man. The woman stirred and opened her eyes as she went out the door on her way back to the patio that she had been mopping.
On Monday and Thursday afternoons, when she irons shirt collars, she thinks of the slit necks and the blood, and she waits. If it’s summer she goes out to sweep a little after putting away the clothing and until her husband arrives. If it’s windy she sits in the kitchen and knits. But she doesn’t always find sleeping men or staring cadavers. One rainy morning, when she was twenty, she was at a prison, and she made fun of the chained prisoners; one night when the kids were kids and were all living at home, she saw in a square a disheveled woman looking at a gun but not daring to take it out of her open purse. She walked up to her, put the gun in the woman’s hand and stayed there until a car parked at the corner, until the woman saw a man in gray get out and look for his keys in his pocket, until the woman aimed and fired. And another night while she was doing her sixth grade geography homework, she went to look for crayons in her room and stood next to a man who was crying on a balcony. The balcony was so high, so far above the street, that she had an urge to push him to hear the thud down below, but she remembered the orographic map of South America and was about to leave. Anyhow, since the man hadn’t seen her, she did push him and saw him disappear and ran to color in the map so she didn’t hear the thud, only the scream. And in an empty theater, she made a fire underneath the velvet curtain; in a riot she opened the cover to a basement hatchway; in a house, sitting on top of a desk, she shredded a two-thousand-page manuscript; in a clearing of a forest she buried the weapons of the sleeping men; in a river she opened the floodgates of a dike.
Her daughter’s name is Laura Inés, her son has a fiancée in San Nicolás and he’s promised to bring her over on Sunday so she and her husband can meet her. She has to remind herself to ask her sister-in-law for the recipe for orange cake, and Friday on TV is the first episode of a new soap opera. Again, she runs the iron over the front of the shirt and remembers the other side of the doors that are always carefully closed in her house, that other side where the things that happen are much less abominable than the ones we experience on this side, as you can easily understand.

The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets [Tr by Womack]

Translated for the first time in Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage, 2016):
The news spread fast. It would be correct to say that the news moved like a flaming trail of gunpowder, if it weren't for the fact that at this point in our civilization gunpowder was archaeology, ashes in time, the stuff of legend, nothingness. However, it was because of the magic of our new civilization that the news was known all over the world, practically instantaneously.
"Oooh!" the tsarina said.
You have to take into account that Her Gracious and Most Illustrious Virgin Majesty Ekaterina V, Empress of Holy Russia, had been carefully educated in the proper decorum befitting the throne, which meant that she would never have even raised an eyebrow or curved the corner of her lip, far less would she have made an interjection of that rude and vulgar kind. But not only did she say "Oooh!," she also got up and walked through the room until she reached the glass doors of the great balcony. She stopped there. Down below, covered by snow, Saint Leninburg was indifferent and unchanged, the city's eyes squinting under the weight of winter. At the palace, ministers and advisers were excited, on edge.
"And where is this place?" the tsarina asked.
And that is what happened in Russia, which is such a distant and atypical country. In the central states of the continent, there was real commotion. In Bolivia, in Paraguay, in Madagascar, in all the great powers, and in the countries that aspired to be great powers, such as High Peru, Iceland, or Morocco, hasty conversations took place at the highest possible level with knitted brows and hired experts. The strongest currencies became unstable: the guarani rose, the Bolivian peso went down half a point, the crown was discreetly removed from the exchange rates for two long hours, long queues formed in front of the exchanges in front of all the great capitals of the world. President Morillo spoke from the Oruro Palace and used the opportunity to make a concealed warning (some would call it a threat) to the two Peruvian republics and the Minas Gerais secessionist area. Morillo had handed over the presidency of Minas to his nephew, Pepe Morillo, who had proved to be a wet blanket whom everybody could manipulate, and now Morillo bitterly regretted his decision. Morocco and Iceland did little more than give their diplomats a gentle nudge in the ribs, anything to shake them into action, as they imagined them all to be sipping grenadine and mango juice in the deep south while servants in shiny black uniforms stood over them with fans.
The picturesque note came from the Independent States of North America. It could not have been otherwise. Nobody knew that all the states were now once again under the control of a single president, but that's how it was: some guy called Jack Jackson-Franklin, who had been a bit-part actor in videos, and who, aged eighty-seven, had discovered his extremely patriotic vocation of statesman. Aided by his singular and inexplicable charisma, and by his suspect family tree, according to which he was the descendent of two presidents who had ruled over the states during their glory days, he had managed to unify, at least for now, the seventy-nine northern states. Anyway, Mr. Jackson-Franklin said to the world that the Independent States would not permit such a thing to take place. No more, just that they would not permit such a thing to take place. The world laughed uproariously at this.
Over there, in the Saint Leninburg palace, ministers cleared their throats, advisers swallowed saliva, trying to find out if, by bobbing their Adam's apples up and down enough, they might be able to loosen their stiff official shirts.
"Ahem. Ahem. It's in the south. A long way to the south. In the west, Your Majesty."
"It is. Humph. Ahem. It is, Your Majesty, a tiny country in a tiny territory."
"It says that it is in Argentina," the tsarina said, still staring through the window but without paying any attention to the night as it fell over the snow-covered roofs and the frozen shores of the Baltic.
"Ah, yes, that's right, that's right, Your Majesty, a pocket republic."
Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov, some kind of councilor and, what is more, an educated and sensible man, broke into the conversation.
"Several, Your Majesty, it is several."
And at last the tsarina turned around. Who cared a fig for the Baltic night, the snow-covered rooftops, the roofs themselves, and the city of which they were a part? Heavy silk crackled, starched petticoats, lace.
"Several of what, Councilor Kustkarov, several of what? Don't come to me with your ambiguities."
"I must say, Your Majesty, I had not the slightest intention--"
"Several of what?"
The tsarina looked directly at him, her lips held tightly together, her hands moving unceasingly, and Kustkarov panicked, as well he might.
"Rep-rep-republics, Your Majesty," he blurted out. "Several of them. Apparently, a long time ago, a very long time, it used to be a single territory, and now it is several, several republics, but their inhabitants, the people who live in all of them, all of the republics, are called, they call themselves, the people, that is, Argentinians."
The tsarina turned her gaze away. Kustkarov felt so relieved that he was encouraged to carry on speaking:
"There are seven of them, Your Majesty: Rosario, Entre dos Rios, Ladocta, Ona, Riachuelo, Yujujuy, and Labodegga."
The tsarina sat down.
"We must do something," she said.
Silence. Outside it was not snowing, but inside it appeared to be. The tsarina looked at the transport minister.
"This enters into your portfolio," she said.
Kustkarov sat down, magnificently. How lucky he was to be a councilor, a councilor with no specific duties. The transport minister, on the other hand, turned pale.
"I think, Your Majesty...," he dared to say.
"Don't think! Do something!"
"Yes, Your Majesty," the minister said, and, bowing, started to make his way to the door.
"Where do you think you're going?" the tsarina said, without moving her mouth or twitching an eyelid.
"I'm just, I'm going, I'm just going to see what can be done, Your Majesty."
There's nothing that can be done, Sergei Vasilievich thought in delight, nothing. He realized that he was not upset, but instead he felt happy. And on top of everything else a woman, he thought. Kustkarov was married to Irina Waldoska-Urtiansk, a real beauty, perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of Holy Russia. Perhaps he was being cuckolded; it would have been all too easy for him to find that out, but he did not want to. His thoughts turned in a circle: and on top of everything else a woman. He looked at the tsarina and was struck, not for the first time, by her beauty. She was not so beautiful as Irina, but she was magnificent.
In Rosario it was not snowing, not because it was summer, although it was, but because it never snowed in Rosario. And there weren't any palm trees: the Moroccans would have been extremely disappointed had they known, but their diplomats said nothing about the Rosario flora in their reports, partly because the flora of Rosario was now practically nonexistent, and partly because diplomats are supposed to be above that kind of thing.
Everyone who was not a diplomat, that is to say, everyone, the population of the entire republic that in the last ten years had multiplied vertiginously and had now reached almost two hundred thousand souls, was euphoric, happy, triumphant. They surrounded her house, watched over her as she slept, left expensive imported fruits outside her door, followed her down the street. Some potentate allowed her the use of a Ford 99, which was one of the five cars in the whole country, and a madman who lived in the Espinillos cemetery hauled water all the way up from the Pará lagoon and grew a flower for her which he then gave her.
"How nice," she said, then went on, dreamily, "Will there be flowers where I'm going?"
They assured her that there would be.
She trained every day. As they did not know exactly what it was she had to do to train herself, she got up at dawn, ran around the Independence crater, skipped, did some gymnastic exercises, ate little, learned how to hold her breath, and spent hours and hours sitting or curled into strange positions. She also danced the waltz. She was almost positive that the waltz was not likely to come in handy, but she enjoyed it very much.
Meanwhile, farther away, the trail of gunpowder had become a barrel of dynamite, although dynamite was also a legendary substance and didn't exist. The infoscreens in every country, whether poor or rich, central or peripheral, developed or not, blazed forth with extremely large headlines suggesting dates, inventing biographical details, trying to hide, without much success, their envy and confusion. No one was fooled:
"We have been wretchedly beaten," the citizens of Bolivia said.
"Who would have thought it," pondered the man on the Reykjavík omnibus.
The former transport minister of Holy Russia was off breaking stones in Siberia. Councilor Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov was sleeping with the tsarina, but that was only a piece of low, yet spicy, gossip that has nothing to do with this story.
"We will not allow this to happen!" Mr. Jackson-Franklin blustered, tugging nervously at his hairpiece. "It is our own glorious history that has set aside for us this brilliant destiny! It is we, we and not this despicable banana republic, who are marked for this glory!"
Mr. Jackson-Franklin also did not know that there were no palm trees or bananas in Rosario, but this was due not to a lack of reports from his diplomats but rather a lack of diplomats. Diplomats are a luxury that a poor country cannot afford, and so poor countries often go to great pains to take offense and recall all the knights commanders and lawyers and doctors and even eventually the generals working overseas, in order to save money on rent and electricity and gas and salaries, not to mention the cost of the banquets and all the money in brown paper envelopes.
But the headlines kept on appearing on the infoscreens: "Argentinian Astronaut Claims She Will Reach Edge of Universe," "Sources Claim Ship Is Spaceworthy in Spite of or Because of Centuries-Long Interment," "Science or Catastrophe?," "Astronaut Not a Woman but a Transsexual" (this in the Imperialskaya Gazeta, the most puritan of the infoscreens, even more so than the Papal Piccolo Osservatore Lombardo), "Ship Launches," "First Intergalactic Journey in Centuries," "We Will Not Allow This to Happen!" (Portland Times).
She was dancing the waltz. She woke up with her heart thumping, tried out various practical hairstyles, ran, skipped, drank only filtered water, ate only olives, avoided spies and journalists, went to see the ship every day, just to touch it. The mechanics all adored her.
"It'll work, they'll see, it'll work," the chief engineer said defiantly.
Nobody contradicted him. No one dared say that it wouldn't.
It would make it, of course it would make it. Not without going through many incredible adventures on its lengthy journey. Lengthy? No one knew who Langevin was anymore, so no one was shocked to discover that his theory contradicted itself, ended up biting its own tail, and that however long the journey took, the observers would only perceive it as having lasted minutes. Someone called Cervantes, a very famous personage back in the early years of human civilization--it was still debated whether he had been a physicist, a poet, or a musician--had suggested a similar theory in one of his lost works.
One autumn dawn the ship took off from the Independence crater, the most deserted part of the whole desert republic of Rosario, at five forty-five in the morning. The exact time is recorded because the inhabitants of the country had all pitched in together to buy a clock, which they thought the occasion deserved (there was one other clock, in the Enclosed Convent of the Servants of Santa Rita de Casino, but because the convent was home to an enclosed order nothing ever went in or out of it, no news, no requests, no answers, no nothing). Unfortunately, they had not had enough money. But then someone had had the brilliant idea which had brought in the money they needed, and Rosario had hired out its army for parades in friendly countries: there weren't that many of them and the ones there were weren't very rich, but they managed to get the cash together. Anyone who was inspired by patriotism and by the proximity of glory had to see those dashing officers, those disciplined soldiers dressed in gold and crimson, protected by shining breastplates, capped off with plumed helmets, their catapults and pouches of stones at their waists, goose-stepping through the capital of Entre Dos Rios or the Padrone Giol vineyards in Labodegga, at the foot of the majestic Andes.
The ship blasted off. It got lost against the sky. Before the inhabitants of Rosario, their hearts in their throats and their eyes clouded by emotion, had time to catch their breath, a little dot appeared up there, getting bigger and bigger, and it was the ship coming back down. It landed at 06:11 on the same morning of that same autumn day. The clock that recorded this is preserved in the Rosario Historical Museum. It no longer works, but anyone can go and see it in its display cabinet in Room A of the Museum. In Room B, in another display case, is the so-called Carballensis Indentic Axe, the fatal tool that cut down all the vegetation of Rosario and turned the whole country into a featureless plain. Good and evil, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.
Twenty-six minutes on Earth, many years on board the ship. Obviously, she did not have a watch or a calendar with her: the republic of Rosario would not have been able to afford either of them. But it was many years, she knew that much.
Leaving the galaxy was a piece of cake. You can do it in a couple of jumps, everyone knows that, following the instructions that Albert Einsteinstein, the multifaceted violin virtuoso, director of sci-fi movies, and student of space-time, gave us a few hundred years back. But the ship did not set sail to the very center of the universe, as its predecessors had done in the great era of colonization and discovery; no, the ship went right to the edge of the universe.
Everyone also knows that there is nothing in the universe, not even the universe itself, which does not grow weaker as you reach its edge. From pancakes to arteries, via love, rubbers, photographs, revenge, bridal gowns, and power. Everything tends to imperceptible changes at the beginning, rapid change afterward; everything at the edge is softer and more blurred, as the threads start to fray from the center to the outskirts.
In the time it took her to take a couple of breaths, a breath and a half, over the course of many years, she passed through habitable and uninhabitable places, worlds which had once been classified as existent, worlds which did not appear and had never appeared and probably would never appear in any cartographical survey. Planets of exiles, singing sands, minutes and seconds in tatters, whirlpools of nothingness, space junk, and that's without even mentioning those beings and things, all of which stood completely outside any possibility of description, so much so that we tend not to perceive them when we look at them; all of this, and shock, and fear more than anything else, and loneliness. The hair grew gray at her temples, her flesh lost its firmness, wrinkles appeared around her eyes and her mouth, her knees and ankles started to act up, she slept less than before and had to half close her eyes and lean backward in order to make out the numbers on the consoles. And she was so tired that it was almost unbearable. She did not waltz any longer: she put an old tape into an old machine and listened and moved her gray head in time with the orchestra.
She reached the edge of the universe. Here was where everything came to an end, so completely that even her tiredness disappeared and she felt once again as full of enthusiasm as she had when she was younger. There were hints, of course: salt storms, apparitions, little brushstrokes of white against the black of space, large gaps made of sound, echoes of long-dead voices that had died giving sinister orders, ash, drums; but when she reached the edge itself, these indications gave way to space signage: "End," "You Are Reaching the Universe Limits," "The Cosmos General Insurance Company, YOUR Company, Says: GO NO FURTHER," "End of Protected Cosmonaut Space," etc., as well as the scarlet polygon that the OMUU had adopted to use as a sign for that's it, abandon all hope, the end.
All right, so she was here. The next thing to do was go back. But the idea of going back never occurred to her. Women are capricious creatures, just like little boys: as soon as they get what they want, then they want something else. She carried on.
There was a violent judder as she crossed the limit. Then there was silence, peace, calm. All very alarming, to tell the truth. The needles did not move, the lights did not flash, the ventilation system did not hiss, her alveoli did not vibrate, her chair did not swivel, the screens were blank. She got up, went to the portholes, looked out, saw nothing. It was logical enough:
"Of course," she said to herself, "when the universe comes to an end, then there's nothing."
She looked out through the portholes a little more, just in case. She still could see nothing, but she had an idea.
"But I'm here," she said. "Me and the ship."
She put on a space suit and walked out into the nothing.
When the ship landed in the Independence crater in the republic of Rosario, twenty-six minutes after it had taken off, when the hatch opened and she appeared on the ramp, the spirit of Paul Langevin flew over the crater, laughing fit to burst. The only people who heard him were the madman who had grown the flower for her in the Espinillos cemetery and a woman who was to die that day. No one else had ears or fingers or tongue or feet, far less did they have eyes to see him.
It was the same woman who had left, the very same, and this calmed the crowds down at the same time as it disappointed them, all the inhabitants of the country, the diplomats, the spies, and the journalists. It was only when she came down the gangplank and they came closer to her that they saw the network of fine wrinkles around her eyes. All other signs of her old age had vanished, and had she wished, she could have waltzed tirelessly, for days and nights on end, from dusk till dawn till dusk.
The journalists all leaned forward; the diplomats made signals, which they thought were subtle and unseen, to the bearers of their sedan chairs to be ready to take them back to their residences as soon as they had heard what she had to say; the spies took photographs with the little cameras hidden away in their shirt buttons or their wisdom teeth; all the old people put their hands together; the men raised their fists to their heart; the little boys pranced; the young girls smiled.
And then she told them what she had seen:
"I took off my suit and my helmet," she said, "and walked along the invisible avenues that smelled of violets."
She did not know that the whole world was waiting to hear what she said; that Ekaterina V had made Sergei Vasilievich get up at five o'clock in the morning so that he could accompany her to the grand salon and wait there for the news; that one of the seventy-nine Northern States had declared its independence because the president had not stopped anything from happening or obtained any glory, and this had lit the spark of rebellion in the other seventy-eight states, and this had made Mr. Jackson-Franklin leave the White House without his wig, in pajamas, freezing and furious; that Bolivia, Paraguay, and Iceland had allowed the two Peruvian republics to join their new alliance and defense treaty set up against a possible attack from space; that the high command of the Paraguayan aeronautical engineers had promised to build a ship that could travel beyond the limits of the universe, always assuming that they could be granted legal immunity and a higher budget, a declaration that made the guarani fall back the two points that it had recently risen and then another one as well; that Don Schicchino Giol, the new padrone of the Republic of Labodegga at the foot of the majestic Andes had been woken from his most recent drinking bout to be told that he had now to sign a declaration of war against the Republic of Rosario, now that they knew the strength of the enemy's forces.
"Eh? What? Hunh?" Don Schicchino said.
"I saw the nothingness of everything," she said, "and it was all infused with the unmistakable smell of wood violets. The nothingness of the world is like the inside of a stomach throbbing above your head. The nothingness of people is like the back of a painting, black, with glasses and wires that release dreams of order and imperfect destinies. The nothingness of creatures with leathery wings is a crack in the air and the rustle of tiny feet. The nothingness of history is the massacre of the innocents. The nothingness of words, which is a throat and a hand that break whatever they touch on perforated paper; the nothingness of music, which is music. The nothingness of precincts, of crystal glasses, of seams, of hair, of liquids, of lights, of keys, of food."
When she had finished her list, the potentate who owned the Ford 99 said that he would give it to her, and that in the afternoon he would send one of his servants with a liter of naphtha so that she could take the car out for a spin.
"Thank you," she said. "You are very generous."
The madman went away, looking up to the skies; who knows what he was searching for. The woman who was going to die that day asked herself what she should eat on Sunday, when her sons and their wives came to lunch. The president of the Republic of Rosario gave a speech.
And everything in the world carried on the same, apart from the fact that Ekaterina V named Kustkarov her interior minister, which terrified the poor man but which was welcomed with open arms by Irina as an opportunity for her to refresh her wardrobe and her stock of lovers. And Jack Jackson-Franklin sold his memoirs to one of Paraguay's more sophisticated magazines for a stellar amount of money, which allowed him to retire to live in Imerina. And six spaceships from six major world powers set off to the edges of the universe and were never seen again.
She married a good man who had a house with a balcony, a white bicycle, and a radio which, on clear days, could pick up the radio plays that LLL1 Radio Magnum transmitted from Entre Dos Rios, and she waltzed in white satin shoes. The day that her first son was born a very pale green shoot grew out of the ground on the banks of the great lagoon.
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