Hey everyone. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with “underground” casinos, or gambling houses. How would I go about finding one? i am in a relatively big city in Tennessee, however I recently totaled my car and the nearest casino would be an 8 hour bus ride. I’m an aspiring poker pro (I guess you could say semi pro?), but with moving to a new area, and now not having a car, I haven’t been able to play nearly as much as i should be. If anyone has any info regarding this, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!
Long time lurker, I do have a problem gambling. Now, I do not gamble that often, but when I do gamble I lose a lot. The nearest live casino is roughly an hour and twenty minutes away from me. So I’m fortunate it’s a very long drive for me, which is why I do not go often. Today i lost $1500, yesterday was $3200. I do still have money in my savings but the urge to go back and gamble again is there. I do this to myself during the holidays. I am off for the holidays. I need to quit, It’s a sickness as I call it. I relapsed plenty of times and sang the same tune as everyone else has. As a gambler, we don’t know how to stop or when to or want to stop. I’ve been trying to stop for the last 14-16 years. So I hope 2021 can be it for me, as well as everybody else. Otherwise the hole gets deeper.
Just went for the first time after learning to count cards to the nearest casino, and it was quite funny, thus I would like to share the story. So, I have been learning and practicing to count cards for almost 2 months. I know basic strategy and how to keep the running count accurately. So, why not try the casino? Well, first thing I notice...continuous shuffling machine...well sh*t haha. There goes my chance to beat the game. So I decided not to buy in but to try to have some fun, try to keep the running count, and play basic strategy, since I already had made the trip. Well, as soon as the dealer starts dealing, extreme adrenaline spike, my mind was going at 1000, and I got blind. Couldn't keep the count, as soon as he put the cards once in the shuffling machine, my mind just went blank. It doesn't end there. Although the house will always have the edge with the continuous shuffling machine, I tried to have fun anyways (only gambled a very small amount). Well, what happens next is that I lost 10 hands in a row playing basic strategy perfectly (although again, I wasn't able to keep the count), but the dealer got a blackjack, and 3 21's, 2 20's...I guess those are just probabilities playing out. Lost a small amount that I am very comfortable to lose, and had some fun. This is my story of the first time I TRIED to count cards, and overall I had fun, got some adrenaline (which I really needed to finally feel alive again), and went back home with a smile on my face. Thanks for reading! Edit: Adding to this that I wasn't even able to back count, because the table was completely empty, no one playing blackjack. And that this is perfect feedback for me to keep learning, and keep learning, it's a good slap in the face by reality.
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.
Considering my settings are all part of a multiverse, it ranges from setting to setting. Zathar and Sol are fairly classical in music, with some esoteric instruments in less-advance areas. Andromeda is obviously mixed from more traditional music to a number of futuristic tunes and preserved music classics (One of my main characters actually holds one of the few remaining collections of classic rock albums in human history). However, I'm not exactly sure I can define my setting's music in one paragraph, let alone five. So, I'll have to- The vid screen suddenly goes into static for a few minutes. Then, it cuts to an image of bright lights and EDM going to the recipients ears. They then see a humanoid being made out of what appears to be a reflective metal akin to a disco ball, wearing golden clothes covering his torso and silver sleeves. His eyes are covered by a pair of black, reflective glasses that strangely appear to match his eye movements. "Greetings, salutations, and hello mortals, artificial intelligences, and fellow cosmic fellows. It is I, Grandiose Infinity, greatest musician of a billion worlds, performing all the way from Heaven and Hell and everything in-between. And I welcome you, honored guests... to Club Infinite." The view expands out to show a building covered in multi-colored lights as the music gets louder. The camera rolls around the building, show it to be one of the larger buildings in an already expansive city. It's top appears to be like a golden disco ball, and the camera zooms back in to the performer, walking along a window with the visages of various beings dancing in the background. "What? Don't know who I am? You should get to know more people then. Anyways, I am what many call an Eternal, which is basically a semi-divine and totally immortal being. I am a high-class quintrillionaire and performer of all kinds of music. Have been for the last... 40 million years perhaps. I got bored of all the kingly stuff of being an Eternal lord, and decided to rule in a different way. Thusly, I became a musician of all kinds. While I do prefer a few arts over others, I can assure you that I can do all of them. And by all of them, I mean all of them. Next scene." The scene then cuts to a finely crafter room, with a prismatic fireplace and with Grandiose Infinity resting on a gold sofa. The music has changed to smooth Jazz. "I perform primarily in electronic music, but on Sundays I do like to do smooth Jazz for the lovers. On Fridays, we go all out on disco and vaporwave. And every so often a influential patron can choose to have me perform a special performance. Now some people may say I have a rather high ego, which is true, but I also have a desire to please the many rather than the few. And that is why I do more than just please through sounds, but also with sights and risks." The scene cuts again, this time to what appears to be a large casino. The general sounds of a casino fill the air, with celebrations and defeats all found. "Thanks to my connections with Esenar Incorporated, I have been able to fund my own personal line of entertainment at my locations. Come one, come all, and bet your bets at our approved gambling sections. Watch our near-exclusive performances of artists from across the multiverse, including yours truly. Watch sports events from across all of time and space, or just enjoy a fine exotic drink at are 5-star bars. All this for a rather miniscule fee of 200 units or 45 Gullids." The Scene shifts to an image of an animated version of the building seen earlier, with Grandiose Infinity watching over the visage of a deity. Disco music can be heard as a female narrator speaks. "Call Esenar Services and buy and claim your pass into Club Infinite at your nearest Esenar services station. Come and join the club of endless fun."
Magia Record was my first gacha game, and hopefully my last. I was a day one player. I logged in and played almost every day. I've cleared every quest, challenge included. Spent probably a thousand hours grinding all the girls up to level 80/100, unlocked all their level 5 magia and doppels, and saved my stones to pull on only my desired banners while staying in budget. Back when it launched, I told myself that every year of play, I would spend $60 at most and choose one limited banner to roll for. It felt so good when my saving paid off! Now, while this was happening... my brain was rotting. While I was grinding for mats, I would put on a show I had already watched, absorb nothing of it, and train my brain into having a shorter attention span by switching between screens. I never used to be a "multitasker" but now when I want to sit down and watch something new, or read a book, I find my mind wandering and I'm constantly fighting the urge to check my phone. This game basically became an addiction for me. And the people who create gacha games know this. Gacha games and casinos exploit the same psychological tendencies in us - the thrill seeking of gambling, the endorphin rush when you hit the jackpot... I thought because I knew these things going in, I would be immune to being sucked in. But I guess that was a bit naive. And just like any other addict, I would feel dirty after. When I would get home after work, instead of hitting the books or cleaning the apartment or doing anything useful or productive, I immediately wanted to open the app. Then, it's 10pm already? All I've done today was play Magia Record while some anime played in the background? When I heard the news, I was devastated just like everyone else here. Magia Record has taken up so much real estate in my head. I've been saving since Sakurako so I could try to get Ren+Rika 4-slotted. It felt like all my hard work was for nothing... but then I thought, what hard work? All I did was look at the screen and press "play again" every few minutes, not moving, for hours on end. I just feel depressed thinking about this, and I feel embarrassed sharing this. I understand Japanese so it would be no problem for me to switch over. But I think for me this is a chance to get free. I've invested so many hours into this app. Now's my chance to get out, help rewire my brain to how it was before, exercise my body, and invest into my IRL skill points and not some numbers that ultimately won't fulfill me. I don't mean this in any sort of judging way whatsoever, just an observation, but I've seen a few comments on this sub that sound a bit to me like what an alcoholic would say when their nearest liquor store shuts down. To me, those comments were eye opening in terms of how I view this game, how I feel while playing it, and how I felt when I heard the news. So I hope that my post can help someone who might be in the same boat. It's clear that I was not responsibly enjoying this game. I still plan on following along with the story, but I'll be watching videos to do that (without EN subtitles lol), and I look forward to reclaiming my time and mental energy. Thanks for reading! TL;DR Learn to recognize the signs of addiction in yourself.
Online poker games are the next big thing under the area of card games. This game has been around for as long as forever. One of the significant reasons for its survival and thriving it its ability to adapt and evolve. There was a time when games of card were played in small groups, and most people had no access to it. However, with the rampant popularity of virtual games, online poker in India is more famous than ever, uniting the participants from across the world. If you are of two minds concerning playing online, here are some genuine reasons to try and play them – Money on the line Although there are free poker games as well, poker itself is a term used to refer to different card games played for making money. So, whether you are a beginner or a professional, there is always the benefit of winning big. Naturally, this has a lot to do with the experience and skills you possess. You should also consider the bankroll for combating the risk of playing for real money. Still, money is always up for grabs. Convenience factor There was a time where if you wished to play poker, you would travel to your nearest casino or gambling parlour physically. Still, there was no guarantee about how many hands you get to play or the available variations. The authenticity of the games was mostly questionable. However, nowadays, owing to the genuine virtual poker rooms available, you can play the card games from the comfort of your home or workplace with the highest standards. The community Those who enjoy being participants of vibrant virtual communities, online poker in India is the fix you need. As you play on platforms with hundreds and thousands of participants, you are bound to meet several players passionate about the game who are like-minded as you, forming real friendships online. You can chat and compete against them. There are plenty of virtual forums where you discuss the game with experienced professionals and gain their feedback. This helps you learn about the game and its different variations for competing further. Conclusion Irrespective of your goals, there is always a schedule for you to follow concerning real or free poker games. Once you register yourself with an authentic portal, the journey from there is simple. You can pick the variations of your choice, select between tournaments, and cash games, and then contend in the stakes of your choice. If you have any queries, you can get them cleared by the support team, which is available to you for contact round the clock.
I've opened exactly 30 of those 50k packs and they've been consistently getting worse for me. But I have tracked them for those interested, rounded off sale values to the nearest thousand. Legend: Cards pulled = value sold (total spent, total earned, net profit)
Number of 90+ cards pulled / number of packs 1-15: 7/15 = 47% 16-30: 4/15 = 27% Total: 11/30 = 37% From this is seems like odds really did get worse at some point, but obviously, 15 pack pulls in each half is not a high enough sample size to prove that But lesson learned. Despite some good early pulls, like when gambling in a casino, play long enough and the house always wins. And that's what happened here for me. Definitely had a lot of luck early, and SCP Tuch and MSP Kessel early helped fund this venture, but yesterday I pulled my last one as my net profit finally hit the negatives. My conclusion is that the 50k pack, like all other packs in the game is only profitable with good luck, but for most will be a waste of coins. Although it definitely has a higher potential of being profitable than most other packs
Down below a fishing boat are 16 Americans who are about to be marooned in the middle of the Marquesas, part of Tahiti’s mystical islands. Thousands of miles from the nearest continent this will be their home for the next 39 days. But this time the game is different, these survivors will be given no food, absolutely no rations. Each tribe will leave this ship with only the barest of essentials, two machetes, two cooking pots, two empty water containers, one frying pan, one filet knife, and one magnifying glass. They’ll be left to fend for themselves using the resources of the land and their own survival skills. It is the ultimate challenge! 16 strangers forced to work together to create a new society while battling the elements and each other. They must learn to adapt of they’ll be voted out of the tribe. In the end only one will remain to claim the million dollar prize. 39 days, 16 people, one survivor! This is Marooned: Marquesas. INTRO The Cast Maraamu Tribe:
Robert “R2” Reyes, 25, Medical Student
was raised by Chinese immigrants. They always had the highest expectations for him, and encouraged him to enter the medical field. His life is very stressful though, as he always worries about not being good enough for his parents dreams. In the recent years, his parents have been struggling financially, but refuse to use any money reserved for R2's education. Winning Marooned will allow him to continue his schooling and take care of his aging parents.
Lela Walker, 36, School Psychologist
When Lela was 11, she had to deal with a very stressful and traumatic decision, and when her parent's fighting turned physical, she called the police on her own father. Since then, her and her mother had to be strong together, without him. That's when she knew she wanted to help people. When she first told her mom she wanted to be a school psychologist, she didn't really like it, but eventually she decided to follow her dreams and major in psychology. After having a successful career in psychology, Lela's mom still wasn't convinced she was making enough money... so she went on Marooned to prove it!
Kelsey Harris, 28, Bartender
Kelsey grew up in a wealthy and strict family, her parents wanted her to become a lawyer or doctor and to uphold her family’s reputation, but she always knew she was a rebel, so against her family’s wishes, she moved away, got tattoos, and worked as a bartender. She wants to prove to her family that she can pave her own path in life and winning Survivor can prove that.
Vito Luco, 49, Used Car Salesman
Vito Luco is the last person to trust with anything. He has lived life a scam artist, doing it all from pushing drugs, selling illegal fireworks, and going to prison over tax fraud. He now sells used cars for ridiculously high prices, and takes pride in it. Everyone around him is oblivious to his criminal record due to fake identifications, and he also allegedly has three different identities. Despite his mysteriousness, however, Vito knows how to pander to people, and is willing to do anything to win, as he is in debt to the mafia for 500,000 dollars.
Savannah “Savvy” Guerrero, 20, Aspiring Model
She loves making others happy, but coming in survivor she will hide her hero side and will completely play as a villain, she will backstab and. manipulate anyone that come in her way
Shawn Phillip, 24, Pro Wrestler
Shawn is an upcoming young pro wrestler who wrestles in lower promotions he plans do use his strength to win challenges he also not the brightest bulb of the bunch if he wins the money he gonna use to jumpstart his career into full gear
Jodi “Jay” Beckett, 25, Street Artist
Jay was always the quiet type, being the cool kid never interested her. She was always every teacher’s favorite though, as she was kind and did her work on time. She studied at her local college in Wisconsin and pursued a career in Art. After receiving top marks in her class, Jay acquired a job in the government to give abandoned buildings a makeover with art. She found her girlfriend Rita while working on her newest project. She hopes that her quiet personality will help her go far in the game.
Lukasz “Luk” Zabolcki, 50, Professional Triathlete
Lukasz is a Polish man who came to the United States in the 1980s looking for a better life for his newly created family. With a wife and a newborn baby, he finds happiness in the adrenaline of the sport. A great triathlete, he gained notoriety about 5 years ago, when he competed in the Ironman Triathlon. Soon after, he opened a gym where he trained young people for marathons in all sports. Even at the age of 50, Lukasz has the strength and determination of a young man and sees Survivor as another challenge that he will do with all his strength.
Zina Allrhed, 42, Casino Manager
Zina grew up in a rich household, but her parents suddenly lost her money when her dad was arrested for fraud. His crime? Gambling, and making deals, and never paying up. She became a poker player to try to pay her dad’s debts and his bail and get him out of jail. She eventually did, and after dad decided to open her own casino with the remainder of her winning. A fun fact about her is that she won the 2009 Poker World Open Tournament. She wants to win the money to expand her business and open a second casino.
Donatello “Don” Gray, 18, Unemployed
Don grew up in an area of massive crime and poverty. He’s had to support his family through much of his life since his father left and his mom was diagnosed with cancer so Don decided to join a gang at a young age where he eventually climbed up in the rankings and has become respected among the members. He will do anything to win to leave his gang and have financial independence. He hopes to win to calm his mother's nerves and make her happy.
Ida Cohen, 38, Flight Attendant/Air Force Veteran
Ida served in Iraq as a combat systems officer for the Air Force. She was honorably discharged after a bad injury. She now has 2 wonderful kids. Her strategy is to apply military like tactics, but not let anyone know she's a veteran.
Gregory Hess, 30, Comic Book Store Owner
Labeled since a young age as a nerd, Gregory is very proud of who he is. Books, TV Shows, Video Games - he loves those stuff! And he's not trying to hide it! Being a rather responsible kid who was considered to be a teacher's pet, Gregory wasn't always exactly a "popular kid". Kids picked on him, both due to his behavior, his physique (Gregory is a bit overweight) and his interests. But he continued to move forward with a bright smile, not letting it phase him.At age 25, Gregory fell in love with a beautiful woman named Jess, and the two got married just last year. They had a kid, and Gregory plans on winning the money for the both of them. He's gonna win, take his wife and their child on a nice vacation, and do it flawlessly. Better watch out, you guys, because Gregory's coming!
Antoine “Moz” Moss, 42, Trumpet Player
He is Good-Natured, Honest, Helpful, and Friendly.
James Terry, 20, College Student
James has been into video games all his life. He grew up with his mother, his brother and both his dogs. He never had many friends in school and was a victim of bullying. He has a scar on his face after he got beaten up. Despite his rough life, James tries to remain positive and uses his skills from gaming to help him in his real life. He is open, honest and does his best to make sure no one feels left out. He joins Marooned in hopes of winning, making friends and finding out who he truly is. He plans to be as adaptable as he can to certain situations to get him further in the game while in the process, understanding others personalities.
Imaan Campbell, 21, Barista
Growing up Imaan was the queen bee of her school she could do whatever she wanted to all of her peers because they were all scared of her,it got even worse when she graduated she started working two jobs that could help her in her daily life one as a barista and one as a babysitter one day when Imaan was off from her job as a babysitter she didn’t notice that the customer she was cursing out was one of the parents of the kids that she was taking care of. This led to her losing the job and struggling a lot with money but it gave her the idea to audition for a Reality Tv show. Originally She got accepted for the hit show “Bad Girls Club” but when she found out she got onto the cast of the new Season of “Marooned” she couldn’t back down from it.
Juliette Emery, 48, Therapist
Juliette has been a hard-worker from a very early age. Always intelligent and promising, Juliette was always the smartest kid in school. The class president and the one voted most likely to rule the world one day. Juliette's life has been rather charmed, but she's always been ambitious and eager to succeed. Now, getting older, Juliette is in a comfortable place. She's happily married to a wonderful man, has kids (a son and a daughter), and has a very successful job. But she still wants to do something new and interesting and Survivor is just the thing to be that for her. Juliette believes her intelligence will serve her well in the game and that her skills as a therapist will help her even more when it comes to relationships. With a big mind for strategy, she'll do whatever she has to in order to advance herself. If she needs to be loyal to get far, she will, but she'll just as easily break those bonds if it means getting to the end.
THE SEASON Episode 1:After the marooning the two tribes arrive at their beaches and instantly the game starts being played. At the Maraamu tribe Savvy wants nothing more than for there to be an all girls alliance that dominates the game so she approaches Jay, Kelsey, and Lela and asks them if they would like to form an all girls alliance. Every single one of them is fully on board with an all girls alliance and so it is officially formed. Meanwhile on the Rotu tribe Juliette wants to make an alliance. She is a therapist and knows how to get along with all different types of people so she decides to make an alliance with a group very different people. This alliance ends up being made up of her, Don, Ida, James, and Moz. They all agree to stick together until the end. At the immunity challenge Maraamu blows Rotu out of the water and wins immunity sending Rotu to the first tribal council of the season. Back at camp a majority of the people in Juliette’s alliance want to vote out Zina because they don’t think that she’s a particularly valuable member of the tribe but Juliette has formed a bond with Zina and doesn’t want her to go so she convinces her alliance to vote for Gregory instead and at tribal council in a 5-3 vote Gregory becomes the first person voted out of Marooned: Marquesas. Episode 2:After the last tribal council Rotu starts becoming a bit concerned about how much control Juliette has over the tribe. At the immunity challenge Maraamu once again wins, sending Rotu back to tribal council. After the challenge Don is hungry and so he decides to climb up a coconut tree to get some coconuts. Right when he’s about to reach the top of the tree he slips and falls all the way down. He lands in a terrible position breaking both of his legs. The instant that the medics get there they know that there’s no way Don is going to be able to continue in the game so they put him in a stretcher and put that on a boat and take him away. Don has officially been medically evacuated. Episode 3:>! After the medical evacuation everyone on the Rotu tribe is sad. Don was a great presence around camp and was always willing to put in work. Everyone is devastated to see him leave the game the way he did. At the immunity challenge Rotu is finally able to claim victory, sending Maraamu to their first tribal council. Back at camp everyone is annoyed by Savvy. She spends most of the day laying in the shelter and complaining about the elements and has hardly lifted a finger the entire time that she’s been here. For the guys on the Maraamu tribe the decision is easy, Savvy needs to go but for the girls on the Maraamu tribe the decision isn’t nearly that simple. They all want to vote out Savvy but if they vote out Savvy the girls on the tribe will be down in numbers ruining their shot at having an all girls alliance run the game. In the end the girls decide to go with the guys and vote out Savvy so at tribal council Savvy is blindsided in a 7-1 vote.!< Episode 4:On day 10 everyone is shocked when they are told to drop their buffs because there’s a tribe swap. At the first immunity challenge as new tribes the new Maraamu tribe manages to win immunity. Back at the Rotu tribe there is an equal number of both original Rotu people and original Maraamu people but Imaan does not like Juliette at all and after having to take orders from her for the first 9 days on the original Rotu tribe where Juliette was in power Imaan is fed up with her so she decides to flip and work with the original Maraamu people to blindside Juliette but Lela is still wanting there to be an all girls alliance and knows that if Juliette gets voted out then there will be an equal number of guys and girls in the game and the guys will most likely be able to take control. In order to avoid that happening she decides to flip and just minutes before tribal council she whispers in Juliette and James’s ears telling them to vote for Shawn. At tribal council this causes a 3-3 tie between Juliette and Shawn. On the revote nobody changes their vote causing a rock draw. Luk ends up drawing the purple rock and is out of the game. Episode 5:At the start of episode 5 we get a confessional from Juliette where she talks about how she doesn’t like the fact that she had to be saved by Lela in the last episode. She is worried that Lela is going to start telling people that Juliette is only in the game because of her and if that happens then it could hurt Juliette’s odds of getting jury votes. Because of this Juliette wants to take out Lela as soon as possible. At the immunity challenge Maraamu wins immunity. Back at camp Julliette decides to attempt to reunite the 3 original Rotu people on the tribe by pulling Imaan back into the alliance. Imaan ends up agreeing to stick with original Rotu giving Juliette the numbers once again. Lela realizes that Juliette no longer has any interest in working with her so she goes back to Shawn and the two of them decide to vote for James. Meanwhile the original Rotu people struggle to decide who to vote out. Juliette wants to vote out Lela for reasons mentioned at the start of the episode but Imann wants to vote out Shawn because she knows that they are about to merge and thinks that he will be more threatening after the merge. They are never able to reach an agreement and at tribal council this causes a 2-2-1 vote with Shawn getting one vote and James and Lela both getting 2. On the revote Imaan gives in and votes for Lela causing Lela to be voted out in a 2-1 vote. Episode 6:At the immunity challenge Maraamu wins for the third time in a row. Back at camp it seems clear that the 3 original Rotu people are going to stick together and vote out Shawn but Shawn doesn’t give up and works to form a bond with Imaan. This causes Imaan to consider voting with Shawn and forcing a tie but at the end of the day Imaan is too scared of drawing rocks again to force a tie and at tribal council Shawn is voted out in a 3-1 vote. Episode 7:After 19 days of competing against each other the two tribes come together and merge. After the merge all 6 of the original Rotu tribe members decide to stick together and pick off the original Maraamu tribe members. At the very first individual immunity challenge Imaan wins individual immunity. After the challenge the 6 original Rotu tribe members decide to vote out Vito because they think that he is sneaky and could be very difficult to vote out down the road if he manages to get a grip on the tribe. Kelsey and Jay see the writing on the wall and in an attempt to get in with the Rotu people they too write down VIto’s name at tribal council causing Vito to be voted out in a 8-2 vote. Episode 8:After the last tribal council Kelsey knows that she will most likely be one of the next 3 to be voted out and starts brainstorming ideas for how she can stay in the game. At the immunity challenge Jay wins immunity. Back at camp Kelsey decides that her best shot at staying in the game is starting a rumor so she begins telling people that Imaan has been talking about flipping on the Rotu people. This causes Ida to get angry so she confronts Imaan. This confrontation quickly escalates into a fight and soon the two have decided to target each other. Ida is quickly able to get all the Rotu people (Aside from Imaan) on her side and they all agree to vote for Imaan. Imaan on the other hand knows that she won’t be able to convince anyone to vote for Ida because Ida has strong relationships with everyone on the tribe so she instead decides to target James at this pivotal tribal council and hopefully take out Ida at the next tribal council. She is easily able to convince all of the original Maraamu people to vote for James but needs to convince at least one more person to vote for James in order to stay in the game. She views Zina as the person most likely to flip on the Rotu people and tries to convince her to vote for James but at tribal council Zina decides to stick with Ida and the Rotu people causing Imaan to be voted out in a 5-4 vote. Episode 9:After the last tribal council people once again start viewing Juliette as a big threat. R2 realizes that this is something he might be able to use to his advantage in order to save himself and the other Maraamu people. At the immunity challenge Kelsey wins immunity. After the immunity challenge the 6 people from the new Maraamu tribe (Ida, Jay, Kelsey, Moz, R2, and Zina) come together and decide to form a new alliance and take out Juliette and James but the plan is very messy and most people aren’t sure whether they are voting for Juliette or James which allows Juliette to step in and save herself by telling Kelsey, James, Jay, and Ida to vote for Moz about 20 minutes before tribal council. Because Kelsey, Jay, and Ida are still not sure if the new Maraamu people are voting for Juliette or James they decide that this is the safer plan to go with and at tribal council Moz is blindsided in a 5-2-1 vote. Episode 10:After the last tribal council R2 realizes that if he really wants the new Maraamu people to work together he’s going to have to step into more of a leadership role and reveal more of his cards otherwise they will never be able to put together a coherent plan and work together. At the immunity challenge Ida wins immunity. Back at camp R2 meets will all of the new Maraamu people and tells them to vote for James at tonight’s tribal council. Every single one of the new Maraamu people are fully on board with this plan and at tribal council James is voted out. Episode 11:After the last tribal council Juliette is clearly on the outs and her only shot at staying in the game seems to be winning immunity but at the immunity challenge Ida wins immunity again. The odds seem completely stacked against Juliette but she doesn’t want to give up so she has a talk with Kelsey during which she explains how she feels like R2 is running the game and will probably get to the end and win. The fact that people think that R2 is running the game doesn’t sit right with Kelsey because she thinks that she is running the game so she decides she wants to blindside R2. About half an hour before tribal council she goes to Ida and Jay and tells them to vote for R2 but neither Ida or Jay want to vote out R2 so they warn him. When R2 hears that he’s being targeted by Kelsey he decides that the best option for him is to blindside her so he gets Jay, Ida, and Zina on board with this plan and at tribal council Kelsey is blindsided in a 4-2 vote. Episode 12:Another tribal council comes and goes and Juliette is still on the bottom but now she knows that there are ways for her to break the alliance so she is more confident that she will be able to survive than she was in the last episode. At the immunity challenge Zina wins immunity. Back at camp the clear target is Juliette. Juliette tries to warn the girls that R2 is a big threat to win the game but this time the girls don’t fall for it and at tribal council Juliette is unanimously voted out. Finale Part 1:After listening to Juliette talk about what a big threat R2 is, the girls realize that he really is the biggest threat in the game and they all decide to work together to vote him out next. At the immunity challenge Ida wins her third individual immunity sealing R2’s fate and at tribal council R2 is voted out in a 3-1 vote. Final Part 2:At the final immunity challenge Jay wins immunity securing herself a spot in the final 2. At tribal council Jay votes out Ida because Ida is a major threat to win the game. Final Tribal council:>! At the final tribal council Jay reveals that her strategy the entire game was to fly under the radar so that she wasn’t a target. This strategy worked flawlessly and is the reason that she received 0 votes against her the entire game. The jury really respects this so in a 6-1 vote Jay becomes the winner of Marooned: Marquesas.!< My Thoughts:I thought this was a good season. The cast was mostly good with the female side of the cast being especially fun to watch. There were a few good blindsides with the best one probably being the Kelsey blindside at the final 6. My favorite part of the season was when Lela risked her life in the game to save Juliette and Juliette turned right around and voted Lela out on the very next episode. Juliette is truly the ice queen of Marooned. Jay was not the most exciting winner of all time but she played a good game and came just one jury vote short of playing a perfect game. Ultimately I don’t think that this was the best season of Marooned so far but it was still a lot of fun to watch. Potential All Stars:>! Juliette, R2, Kelsey, Jay, Moz, Vito!< Potential Second Chancers:Savvy, Lela, Don, Ida, Imaan, Luk Previous Seasons: Borneo The Australian Outback Africa Stay tuned for our next season Marooned: Thailand I’d love to hear what you guys thought about the season in the comments
For ways to make money to afford the new DLC content, along with methods to make an empty lobby to do CEO/MC work, check the Mega Guide. Tips
You only need $50,000 to register as a VIP! If you have at least that much, you can register as a VIP for 4 hours and get access to VIP missions (which can be done in an invite only session), giving you a lucrative way to save up.
If you own both a crate warehouse and vehicle warehouse, you could use them together to make more money overtime than you could by using either exclusively. Use your sourcing/exports between crate pickups and sales, and you'll be getting the best of both worlds, gaining from the postive money-making aspects of both.
Content and Prices
Content that has initially released with the update.
Southern San Andreas Super Autos
Weeny Issi Sport - $897,000
Vapid Caracara 4x4 - $875,000
Annis S80RR: $2.6million
Enus Paragon R: $905,000
Obey 8F Drafter: $718,000
Truffade Thrax: $2.3million
Cash Pad: $1.5million
Party Penthouse: $3.78million
High Roller: $6.5million
"Design Your Own": $1.5million
Colour options: $215,000 or $258,500
Pattern options: $92,000 - $210,000
Lounge Area: $400,000
Media Room: $500,000
Bar and Party Hub: $700,000
Private Dealer: $1.1million
Extra Bedroom: $200,000
As this is a Casino-centric update, there's plenty of ways to gamble away your hard-grinded money. The gambling in this game centers around a new form of currency, called Chips. These chips are pretty much like real-world gambling chips, with a one-to-one dollar value, except you keep your chips when you leave the casino. Chips are an actual currency in GTA Online, as they can be used to purchase exclusive items from a shop inside the casino, along with being used to bet with when playing the Gambling Games, listed below
Slot Machines: There's plenty of options to choose from, but they all perform the same way. Spend some chips, and let the RNG decide whether or not you earn anything from it.
Blackjack: Casino style blackjack with up to four simultaneous players, all of which play against the dealer. Anyone who beats the dealer individually wins, anyone who the dealer beats individually loses, and if the dealer gets Blackjack (an Ace and 10/face-card), everyone immediately loses. Assuming your initial hand isn't a Blackjack, you have the option of doubling-down, which doubles your initial bet with the caveat of only being able to hit once.
Poker: Three-card poker. You make your bets, check your hand, and similar to Blackjack, each player wins if their hand is better than the dealer's, and the dealer beats whoever has a worse hand than him. While there is no option to double-down, how much you win does depend on how good of a hand you have. The better your hand, the more you win. Also, while you can fold your hand, you lose your initial bet anyway.
Horse Racing: Pretty much standard horse racing bettering. You choose a horse, you put your money down, and if you bet correctly, you get double the amount you bet in return. Otherwise, you just lose the amount you bet.
To gain more chips, there is a counter inside the casino where you can buy them, however you are limited in how many you can buy per day (real-world 24 hours). As standard, you can buy a maximum of 20,000 chips per day, but if you own a penthouse of any tier, you can buy up to 50,000 chips per day. Chips can also be traded in for money, but there does not appear to be a limit on this. No matter how many chips you win from gambling, it appears that you can trade them all in at once for the equivalent dollar value. Lastly, there is the Wheel. It's a roulette wheel that you can only spin once per day, which costs $500 per spin. There are twenty reward slots, and since some rewards are in multiple slots, they have greater chances of being selected. The biggest note about this wheel however is that there is one slot in which you can win a free car! What makes this so significant is that since the car takes a 1/20 slot on the wheel, that means you still have a 5% chance of winning a free high-value vehicle! Compared to most online games, that's pretty much the most generous RNG you can get.
Business and Missions
Are there any differences between the penthouses For once, yes! Well, technically... they're the same basic property layout, but each option gives you different addon options.
The Cash Pad: The basic Penthouse with no property addons available . You cannot purchase a garage, extra bedroom, lounge, etc. with the Cash Pad. You can, however, purchase penthouse customizations (colour and wall patterns).
The Party Penthouse: Gives you certain of the addon options: the main Penthouse, the Extra Bedroom, the Lounge Area, the Spa, and the Bar and Party Hub. You are locked to these options, no more, no less.
The High Roller: Gives you all of the property addons as standard, and the most expensive penthouse customization options... this means that you cannot choose your own colour and wall patterns with this version.
The "Design Your Own": ...What should be the standard option. It gives you the basic penthouse and allows you to choose which addons and customizations you want, with an extra cost for each one, of course. Just get this one. You can also renovate this option later, allowing you to purchase more addons and change your customizations later.
What do the Penthouse Addons do?
Lounge Area: Allows you to purchase the other Penthouse Addons (except for the Extra Bedroom and Garage, which are the only items addons that can be purchased without a Lounge).
Media Room: You know the cinemas around Los Santos? The ones that play a few 5 minute animated films on repeat? That, but in a Penthouse.
Spa: Gives you access to a hot tub and a Personal Stylist. The Stylist's services are the same as the ones spread around Los Santos (hair, contacts, and make up), but they're all free.
Bar and Party Hub: Allows you to consume drinks that instantly intoxicate your character, along with access to special arcade games that aren't available anywhere else in the game.
Private Dealer: Allows you to play gambling games in your penthouse.
Office: Adds a standard computer, a Gun Locker, and a money vault (don't get excited, it's just aesthetic).
Extra Bedroom: Bedrooms in owned properties in GTA Online are used as spawn points, so why can you pay to have an extra one? Because you can now allow a friend of yours to claim it! The Extra Bedroom allows a friend of yours to use your penthouse as a spawn apparently, though the exact implementation of this is not completely clear.
Garage: Access to the Penthouse's garage bay.
How do I get the armored car?
To recieve the Enus Paragon R (Armoured), you have to complete the Diamond Casino's mission series, which you must own a penthouse to access. Once of the missions are complete, you'll be given the vehicle for free! But remember, it's uninsured and you only get it once, so immediately go into passive mode and take it to the nearest Los Santos Customs to insure it, or else you could lose the vehicle permanently.
Good news, passive mode has been fixed!
Passive Mode can now no longer be active when using a weaponized vehicle
A Passive Mode cooldown of 2 minutes is now in place for players who have just killed another player
Players now must wait 5 minutes before they can activate Passive Mode again after disabling it
Players now must wait 30 seconds before they can disable Passive Mode after activating it
These changes make is so that grievers can no longer abuse passive mode, or at least no where near as easily. If you start to get the upper-hand on a griefer and destroy whatever death-machine they're using to troll you, or if you confront them in a death-machine of your own, they can't abuse Passive Mode to try to get the upper-hand on you!
Check the Mega Guide for ways to push yourself into a public Online session with no one else in it. Keep in mind that some missions and abilities are unavailable if there's no one else with you though!
Bugs and Glitches
Apparently on PS4 and Xbox One, you must have full size of GTA V available to download the update, so if you have less than ~60GB free, you may have trouble downloading the update. This does not mean that the entire game is re-downloaded, it just means that the update may not download if you don't have that much space available.
Three Illegal/Underground Tavern Ideas for Your 5E Campaign.
The idea behind these taverns is that they are illegal and exist in the underground of large cities. They can be ran by thieves’ guilds, shady businessmen, corrupt officials, etc. Patrons might be criminals, risk-takers, gamblers, thrill-seekers, adventurers, spies, bounty hunters, and so on. Maybe your PCs have learned that their target/targets will be at one of these locales at a certain time, or maybe they have business of their own. Anyways, I hope you enjoy these three unique, illegal tavern ideas. The Sunken Labyrinth: For an illegal, underground establishment, it is a classy place. The entrance is guarded by a pair of jet black Minotaurs(MM pg. 223) named Dolothrius and Vangrios. Entry is granted by a well-known patron’s valid invitation, or by the password of the day. The door is banded, riveted metal, and heavy. It has 18 AC and 40 HP if the PCs try to break it down. The Sunken Labyrinth is a tavern where secret meetings, negotiations, and deals can take place. Valuable information can be passed here due to a ward against scrying eyes permeating the tavern. Those who wish to enter with force will find it difficult as they will have to pass through a maze that is dark and littered with traps. Maybe your PCs have learned that their target/targets will be here at a certain time, or maybe they have business of their own here. If the PCs have the password, or a valid invitation, they can present it to the Minotaur guards. One of the Minotaurs will walk behind a wall, obscured to the PCs, to operate a series of small levers in a specific pattern. Then, he will operate a larger main actuating lever. Once complete, a safe, straight path to the tavern proper is created. Once the Minotaur guard finishes operating the levers (or if the PCs successfully operate the levers), the sound of sliding stone can be heard behind the door, and then the door swings open. A pathway straight into the tavern is available. The pathway goes straight through a series of walls that resemble a small labyrinth. Straying off that path could lead to danger. If the PCs get through the metal door without operating the levers correctly, they will have to navigate the maze to reach the Sunken Labyrinth tavern. View the image of the maze and read the following numerical descriptions to see what happens at those locations. Feel free to adjust these how you see fit. Use the link to the image below to follow the descriptions. https://imgur.com/S2sQALi 1.) A ten foot long hallway leads to the banded metal door. A DC 12 Wisdom perception check will reveal that a portcullis is embedded in the ceiling at the entrance of the hallway, and several small holes line the ceiling all the way to the door. As long as the PCs have the proper password, or a valid invitation, they can pass safely to the tavern. If the PCs attempt to operate the levers, it will require three successful skill checks. The first is a DC 17 Intelligence investigationcheck to study the levers and determine which levers to operate and in which order. The second skill check is a DC 17 Dexterity check to align the levers in the correct positions. The final check is a DC 15 strength check to operate the large main actuating lever. If the PCs fail any of the skill checks, a portcullis drops down from the ceiling and traps anyone standing between the metal door and the portcullis. The portcullis can be lifted with a DC 18 Strength athletics check. Once the portcullis is dropped, poison gas (Essence of Ether pg. 258 DMG) discharges from the holes in the ceiling and fills the hallway. A DC 15 Constitution saving throw is required for any creature in the hallway. On a failure, the creature is poisoned for 8 hours and is unconscious. 2.) This area is a trapdoor pit. It requires a DC 14 Wisdom perception check, or Intelligence investigation check to notice. If activated, a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw is needed, or the creature falls 20 feet and takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage. 3.) A DC 13 Wisdom perception checkorIntelligence investigation check is needed to recognize a pressure plate in the floor in this location and small holes in the eastern wall. If activated, darts shoot from the holes requiring a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 2d4 piercing damage and 1d6 poison damage on a failed save and half as much on a success. 4.) A DC 13 Wisdom perception check or Intelligence investigation check is needed to notice holes in the ceiling at this location and a pressure plate in the floor. Metallic points can be seen recessed in the holes if the light hits just right. If it goes unnoticed, a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw is needed to avoid the spikes that drop down. On a fail, a creature takes 2d6 piercing damage. 5.) At this location, a DC 13 Wisdom perception check or Intelligence investigation check will reveal a pressure plate and a narrow five foot slit/track in the floor and ceiling that runs east and west. If it goes unnoticed, when a creature activates the plate, the wall marked with arrows will slide to the west and connect to the other wall there. A creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw to avoid being shoved into a sealed room. On a fail, the creature is trapped inside. Acid pours from holes in the ceiling. A creature trapped inside will take 2d6 acid damage as there is no means to avoid it. The floor and walls are scarred from previous acid damage. A DC 15 Strength check is needed to push the wall back open. If a creature makes the save to avoid this trap, they may hear acid sizzling on the other side of the wall. 6.) At this location, a DC 15 Intelligence investigation check is needed to notice a Glyph of Warding (pg. 245 PHB) discretely inscribed on the stone floor. If triggered, a DC 15 Constitution saving throw is needed as the glyph releases a Shatter spell (pg. 275 PHB). On a fail, the creature takes 3d8 thunder damage, or half as much on a success. The Glyph of Warding spell ends once it is triggered. 7.) The walls and floors of these two marked locations are covered in mimic hide. The hide resembles the same stone used to make the walls, floors, and ceilings of the maze. It is indistinguishable. A creature that enters this area must make a DC 13 Strength saving throw or become restrained. Once restrained, a creature can continue making this saving throw at the end of each of their turns but it will be at disadvantage. 8.) Here, a DC 15 Intelligence investigation check is needed to identify a Glyph of Warding is discretely inscribed on the stone floor. If the glyph is triggered, a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw is needed to avoid the brunt of the damage of a Fireball spell (pg. 241 PHB) that is released. On a fail, a creature takes 8d6 fire damage, or half as much on a success. 9.) A DC 15 Intelligence investigation check is needed to locate a Glyph of Warding spell discretely inscribed on the stone floor. If the glyph is triggered, an Animate Dead spell is released at 5th level. At each location with a star, a corpse becomes a zombie (pg. 316 MM) and attacks the nearest living creature. On a successful Investigation check, the creature can skip over the glyph, and will discover the three rotten corpses. Nothing of value is on them. 10.) This location is concealed by an illusory wall that perfectly resembles its surroundings and appears as a dead end. A DC 15 Intelligence investigation check will reveal the illusion. Interacting with the illusory wall will also reveal it for what it is. If the PCs reach the tavern, it is dimly lit and quiet. Tables are partitioned for privacy. Four Minotaurs work as tavern guards/bouncers here. The proprietor is a Minotaur Labyrinth Keeper (pg. 267 Creature Codex) named Lubanias the Pathfinder, who often visits his guests to make sure their needs are satisfied. To exit, a main actuating lever within the tavern can be operated to allow safe passage once more. Two human females (commoners) work as tavern maids. An older dwarven male (commoner) tends the bar professionally, and a half-orc male (commoner) prepares delicious meals. This tavern can handle around 25 customers. Much more than that and privacy becomes an issue. The Captive Crowd: The Captive Crowd is a highly-entertaining, albeit illegal, tavern to frequent. To enter this secretive locale, you must pay a fee of 15 GP per person to the Goliath veteran(pg. 350 MM + Stone’s Endurance), Haruul, at the door. Once the fee is paid, you are gifted thick plugs of cotton and are instructed to place them in your ears. When the door is opened, a new patron can faintly make out singing. The tavern room is large and square. Tables line the outer edges of the tavern. The middle is open and a cage hangs from the ceiling 10 feet high off the ground. Inside, a trio of Harpies are prodded to sing. When one harpy has tired, the next one is forced to continue the song. A female half-elf swashbuckler (pg. 217 VGtE) named Jiolli prods them ruthlessly from a raised platform nearby. The harpies are not happy, and would love to shred the flesh of the bones of the people below, sometimes attempting to use their long, bird-like talons to snatch, but to no avail. Below the cage are those patrons who have removed their cotton earplugs to let the enrapturing, seductive, harpy song sweep them away, wandering like mindless zombies beneath the cage. They are lost to the world, and it would be easy to rob them blind if it weren’t for the ten vigilant enforcers (bandit captains pg. 344 MM) who keep a close eye on the charmed and uncharmed patrons. Those who partake in the Harpy’s song do so for the pleasure they feel, and the total relaxation their bodies receive. Strangely, a side effect of being charmed by these monstrosities for a minimum of 30 minutes is like receiving 8 hours of rest. When not ready to succumb to the song, or “take the walk” as it referred to here, the patrons maintain hearing protection. They use hand signals and written word to convey their orders from the menu, or to communicate their intentions. One of the other things that make this tavern illegal is the menu. Imported, exotic animals can be consumed here. One might see a large constrictor snake curled up on a table - baked, sectionalized, and propped up in a pose with a non-native fruit in its mouth. A special glaze dribbled all over the fleshy serpent tenderloins, and colorful vegetables and fruits decorate the tray around it. On another table might be a giant spider hanging from a fake web strand, flame broiled and crispy. Herbs and spices from some other land make this monster quite tasty. Don’t think you can eat spider? Let the harpy song change your mind. A few minutes in the song’s embrace can do wonders. A friend or companion will have to plug your ears when it’s time to eat to bring you back to reality, and the table. As enrapturing as the Harpy song is, it can be much more so when certain drugs are inhaled before you “take the walk”, and of course, those drugs can be purchased here. For 15 GP more, your table can include a hookah bar. An illegally imported, mind-altering plant called Hexweed is the go-to drug to smoke here. The owner of the Captive Crowd is the half-elf brother of Jiolli, named Simmon (master thief pg. 216 VGtE.) Jiolli and Simmon may also be members of your campaign’s thieves’ guild. Perhaps they have information your PCs need. The rest of the employees are commoners: 5 busy tavern maids, two cooks. This tavern can hold 80 or so customers. 120 if packed. Once you are finished here, keep your earplugs in case you want to return (and you will), or throw them away. Nobody wants to reuse those. The Basilisk Den: Do your PCs like to gamble? The patrons of the Basilisk Den sure do. On the left side of the entrance to this illegal casino tavern, a statue of a frightened Halfling male holds a sign that says, “Well, that could have gone better.” A DC 12 Wisdom perception check will reveal that there are no chisel marks on this statue. Either it is from some kind of poured mold, or it was a real person. (It was a real person.) A perceptive werewolf in human form (pg. 211 MM) named Victor stands on the other side of the entrance, taking weapons for storage. He’s good at sniffing out weapons that sneaky patrons might try to hide. Once approved, Victor can give the “knock” that signals entry is granted. Upon entry, it is immediately noted that statues are a common theme throughout the tavern, even up on the 2nd and 3rd floors. They are all in strange, awkward poses. Some with expressions of fear, some surprise, and some with defiance. Some are falling backwards, others on the ground appearing to crawl away from something, some standing in a fighting stance, and strangely, one of them is simply smiling. All sorts of gambling, and games of chance take place here. Cards, dominoes, bone dice, ten-fingerpinfinger (game where you stab a knife between your ten fingers five times as fast as possible, switching the blade from hand to hand), you name it, it’s here. Musicians play upbeat music to liven the atmosphere. But, when the song changes to a slow, yet intense tune, the crowd knows that someone is about to Face the Basilisk. It’s a game of chance that is exactly what the name describes. People from all walks of life come to take this challenge. It is a high risk, high reward game. Pay 50 GP, receive 5 times that if you succeed. But if you fail, you, a friend, or family member better have at least 500 GP for a cleric to restore you back to your fleshy self. If not, you will become a permanent fixture at this fine establishment. When someone is ready to Face the Basilisk, the music begins playing, alerting the patrons of what is about to happen. As the challenger approaches the Basilisk enclosure, the music intensifies, and the crowd gathers, positioned in such a way to not be in the Basilisk’s view. The basilisk handler slides open a hatch, revealing the monster behind bars, but plenty visible nonetheless. The challenger must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or become petrified (they don’t get a second chance in this instance). The music comes to a crescendo then either becomes celebratory, or melancholy depending on the outcome. Should a contestant have second thoughts and avert their eyes, they forfeit their money. There are those on their last leg who scrounge up all that they own to get the coin and gamble it all on this game of chance. There are those who are rich, and can afford to lose, and also afford to be restored afterwards. There are adventurers who have faced these beasts in the wild, and aren’t afraid to do it in this setting. There are statues everywhere. The owner of the Basilisk Den is a cambion (pg. 36 MM) named Heridan, disguised as a handsome human named Brint Valotriss. He walks the floors, checking on his guests, sometimes offering a free round of drinks to certain tables, or dropping a silver or two on a table to help “up” a patron’s bet. He basks in the chaos and misery his casino tavern brings, but also gets a kick out of those who strike it big. There are eight bar maids (commoners) who serve the customers their food and drink, four cooks (commoners), two bartenders (commoners), and twenty floormen (thugs pg. 350) who patrol the tavern watching for cheaters. The floormen are supervised by a large half-orc (veteran pg. 350 MM + Relentless Endurance) known as The Green Ox. Some call him “Grox” for short. He’s starting to come around to that name. The Basilisk Den can hold up to 250 customers. 300 if packed.
My take on fixing the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy (Part 3)
If you're curious: Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE. STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII — THE LAST JEDI (Part 2) As the battleship Comet Chaser flees the destruction of the planet Coruscant, New Republic officers frantically man the guns and attempt to call for help. But as they soon learn: calls for help are coming in from all over the galaxy. "We're getting a distress signal!" one officer yells. "The Black Fleetis attackingCorellia!" "The Crimson Legionjust landed onMon Calamari!" another officer calls. "The Dark Chosenare onCarida! They're reporting thousands dead—soldiers and civilians!" "The True Sithare bombingNaboo!" All over the galaxy, Imperial loyalist groups are emerging from the shadows to attack the New Republic in a massive coordinated strike. Individually, each group would be no match for the New Republic fleet—but with the First Order's brazen attack on Coruscant, dozens of terrorist groups are finally coming together. As the Comet Chaser fights its way through the swarming First Order starships, Leia confers with the fleet's admiral, who asks for her help in bringing Kylo Ren to justice—unaware that he's actually her son. Suddenly, the bridge takes a direct hit from a First Order dreadnaught, and Leia and the admiral are sucked into the vacuum of space. Moments later, as Finn and Poe look on in astonishment, Leia reveals her long-nurtured Force sensitivity and manages to use her telekinetic abilities to propel her body through space and guide herself back to the airlock. She narrowly survives, but she collapses upon being brought back into the ship, and the officers are forced to take her to the sickbay as they make the jump to lightspeed and flee Coruscant. Back on Ahch-To, Rey is gripped by a palpable sense of dread and fear as she senses that thousands of innocent lives have been snuffed out on Coruscant. As she looks to Luke for guidance, he collapses. With his keen Force abilities, Luke feels every individual life as it ends, and he feels each moment of terror and pain. He instantly knows what's happened. "Ben..." he gasps. "What have you done?" As Luke shares his vision of the destruction of the New Republic's capital at the hands of the Star Hammer, Rey begs him to leave Ahch-To to aid his old comrades, but Luke sadly shakes his head and turns away. As Rey follows him into his stone temple, he tells her that the Jedi were never as great or powerful as they were made out to be, and they caused nearly as much death and destruction as they stopped. When Rey implores Luke to remember all the good that he did in his younger days, Luke stubbornly insists that he never amounted to much either. Now that Kylo Ren has turned his wrath on the galaxy, Luke finds himself haunted by his memories of the last time he saw Kylo, when he tried to save him from the allure of the Dark Side—and failed. As he and Rey sit down together in the temple, Luke finally opens up about his brief time as Ben Solo's teacher. "For many years, there was balance," he says. "And then I saw Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him. I could pass on my strengths.Hanwas Han about it, but Leia trusted me with her son. I took him and a dozen students, and began a training temple. By the time I realized I was no match for the darkness rising in him, it was too late." "What happened?" Rey asks. "I went to confront him," Luke says. "And he turned on me." As Luke flashes back to his younger days, we see a brief vision of Luke approaching a young Ben Solo as he lies in bed in his quarters at the temple. When Ben opens his eyes and sees his uncle standing over him, he moves to draw his lightsaber, and he raises his hand. Calling upon the full might of his powers, Ben unleashes a blast of Force energy—and the walls of the temple come crashing down, burying Luke in stone rubble. "He must have thought I was dead," Luke says. "When I came to, the temple was burning. He had vanished with a handful of my students and slaughtered the rest. Leia blamed herself, but it was me. I failed. Because I was Luke Skywalker. Jedi Master. A legend..." As the Comet Chaser drops out of hyperspace at the head of a small fleet of surviving New Republic warships, the ship's ranking officer takes stock of the New Republic's unfolding crisis. With the death of the admiral, his second-in-command—Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo—takes command of the fleet and orders her mechanics to begin repairs. As reports of mounting casualties and continuous attacks continue to pour in, Holdo soon realizes that every Republic world within reach of a hyperspace jump is now under siege by Imperial militants. For the moment, the fleet is alone, with no backup or safe harbor in sight. Worse still: at least half of the Galactic Senate and the New Republic High Command were killed in the escape from Coruscant. The New Republic is in shambles, and it may never rebuild itself. As the crew awaits orders from their new commanding officer, Holdo gives them just one: keep flying. Upon learning that Leia brought two civilians onboard, the ship's first mate gives Finn and Poe the opportunity to temporarily join the Comet Chaser's crew as active-duty crewmen. Accepting the offer, they're assigned to a mechanic squad alongside a new recruit named Rose Tico. As they bond with Rose, Finn and Poe tell her all about their adventures on Jakku, Takodana and Ilum, and they open up about their lives before the two of them crossed paths. Finn admits that he's a former operative of the First Order himself, and Poe admits that he's a member of the underground Resistance movement. Much like Finn and Poe, Rose was born into poverty in a backwater world on the Outer Rim—but she ultimately chose to join the military, believing that she could make a better life for herself by serving the New Republic. Now that the New Republic might not exist anymore, though, Rose feels adrift. In spite of their differences, the three realize that they have a common enemy in Kylo Ren. To give Rose a glimmer of hope, Finn and Poe share a secret with her: just a few weeks ago, Finn managed to find a map that led directly to Luke Skywalker—and they have a friend who went looking for him. After ten long years, the legendary Jedi Knight might finally be returning to aid the galaxy in its darkest hour. And if anybody can beat back the tide of the Imperial cause, it's him. Their bonding is interrupted when a small fleet of First Order starships suddenly drops out of hyperspace, with Kylo Ren's flagship in the lead. Somehow, the First Order has managed to track the fleet through hyperspace. Moments later, the ship trembles as the First Order takes aim and fires, and alarm sirens blare as Holdo calls the ship's crew to their stations. As a tense space battle ensues, the trio are forced into the fray as the Comet Chaser begins taking damage, and they're ultimately forced to don pressurized spacesuits and venture onto the ship's exterior to repair one of its primary laser cannons. When they do, Finn and Poe find themselves in a tense firefight with a squadron of the First Order's "Space Troopers", who attempt to sabotage the ship from the outside while wearing armored rocket-propelled spacesuits. After defeating the Space Troopers and returning to the ship, they soon learn that the Comet Chaser is running disastrously low on fuel—and with the First Order apparently capable of tracking the fleet through hyperspace, they may not be able to use their hyperdrive to escape. But when Poe and Finn confront Holdo in hopes of finding out her plans to save the fleet, she angrily turns on both of them. By now, Holdo has learned that her two new "civilian" recruits are far from civilians: Poe is a known member of the Resistance with ties to multiple high-profile radicals, and Finn is a former soldier of the First Order who's wanted by Planetary Security for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. As an argument ensues, it becomes abundantly clear that Holdo has no love for the Resistance, and she's unwilling to overlook Finn's past. "In the Resistance, you might talk a good game about freedom," Holdo says coldly to Poe. "But on this ship, I'm in charge! I won't be questioned by radical scum, or by a runaway terrorist! While you were skulking in back-alleys and shouting slogans, I was defending the borders of the Republic that my forefathers died for! You say that you're keeping Luke Skywalker's dream alive—but you don't even understand what that means! Luke Skywalker was a leader! He made sacrifices for us! What haveyousacrificed, Dameron?" Rose attempts to jump to her new friends' defense, but she's sternly silenced by Holdo, who orders her back to her post. "When this is over, I want you off my ship!" Holdo angrily tells Finn and Poe. "You'll leave, and you'll never come back!" After the argument, Rose comforts Finn and Poe, assuring them that she doesn't share her commanding officer's view of them. Later, when the trio find a secluded place to talk, Finn shares some key information with the others: During his time with the First Order, he learned that Kylo Ren's technicians were working on a cutting-edge hyperspace tracker that could track enemy starships through hyperspace. If the First Order managed to attack them immediately after they dropped out of hyperspace, it's possible that they've completed their hyperspace tracker. If his hunch is correct, then they might be able to escape the First Order's fleet by shutting down the tracker. But since the tracker used an advanced computer mainframe to track ships' movements, it could only be shut down by hacking it. "It's at the heart of the ship, guarded by at least a few dozen troopers," Finn says. "But if I could just get aboard that ship, I could find it. I know I could!" "Holdo would never go for a plan like that," Rose says. "But if you really think it could save us all, then I can stomach breaking a few regulations." "But what about hacking it?" Finn asks. "Could any of us really pull off something like that?" "No," Poe says. "But I know somebody who could..." As Poe shares with his friends: during his time with the Resistance, he and his comrades would regularly hack into holographic news broadcasts on Jakku to send out Resistance slogans. While hacking was never Poe's specialty, one of his old comrades was a man called "DJ" who was legendary for his skill with computers. Incidentally, DJ has owed Poe a favor ever since he saved his life during one of their many run-ins with Planetary Security—and according to a persistent rumor, he recently resettled in the city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica, which is only a short flight away. Convinced that recruiting DJ could be the only way to disable the hyperspace tracker and save the ship, Rose uses her access codes to get Finn and Poe into the Comet Chaser's hangar, where she helps them steal a shuttle. Firing the shuttle's engines, the trio slips out of the hangar and sets course for Canto Bight. On Ahch-To, Rey is startled by a vision of Kylo Ren, who calls out to her by name. Although she initially believes that she's hallucinating, she realizes that Kylo is using the Force to psychically communicate with her. Still haunted by her memories of watching Kylo stab Han Solo to death, Rey tearfully asks him why he murdered his own father. Kylo insists that he killed him because he was his sole remaining link to his old life as Ben Solo, and he believed that he needed to cut all ties to his old life in order to realize his full potential. Kylo suggests that Rey also struggles with her lingering ties to her old life on Jakku, and that she also needs to cut those ties in order to become truly strong in the Force. "Your parents threw you away like garbage," Kylo says. "But you can't stop needing them." Kylo recalls the night that he destroyed Luke's temple and ran away. Although Luke claimed that Kylo lashed out at him after he tried to confront him about his temptation to turn to the Dark Side, Kylo tells a different tale: Luke feared that he would become more powerful than he ever was, and he tried to kill him in his sleep out of jealousy. Rey shares her own secret: the previous night, she disobeyed Luke's warnings and snuck into the haunted cavern beneath his temple, lured by a strong feeling that it would finally answer her questions about the identity of her parents. Instead, she simply saw a reflection of herself: alone and lost, just as she's always been. Extending his hand in a gesture of friendship, Kylo assures Rey that she's not alone, and he'll never abandon her like her parents did. And although she may have been forced to live in poverty and squalor in the New Republic, Kylo promises Rey that she can have a place at his right hand when he sets out to built a better society. The past is over—and only the future beckons. "Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be." Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Luke, who is enraged to learn that Rey has been in contact with the man who killed Han Solo and destroyed his academy. Drawing her lightsaber, Rey confronts Luke about what happened between him and his old apprentice, telling him that Ben told her everything. Luke doesn't deny that he drew his lightsaber on his teenaged apprentice while he slept, but he insists that Kylo didn't tell her the full truth about that night either. Luke saw a vision of the death and destruction that young Ben Solo was destined to wreak upon the galaxy when he embraced the Dark Side—and for one awful moment, he was tempted by the thought of preventing that future by killing Ben in his sleep. He came to his senses before he could strike the fatal blow, but the temptation lasted just long enough that Ben woke up to find his teacher standing above him with a lightsaber in his hand. Even though he never struck Ben, Luke blames himself for his turn to the Dark Side, believing that his apprentice's feelings of betrayal and disillusionment ultimately pushed him over the edge, showing him that he couldn't put his trust in the Jedi. Haunted by his failure, Luke went into exile, and Ben found a new teacher: the Oracle. Rey believes that there is still good in Kylo Ren, and he could be turned back to the Light Side—just like Anakin Skywalker was. Luke tries to persuade Rey that it's far too late for that, but Rey refuses to listen. With that, she boards the Millennium Falcon and sets course for Kylo's ship, believing that she can convince him to leave the First Order and return to his family. Landing just outside of Canto Bight, Finn and Rose find themselves entranced by the glitz and glamor of the upscale resort town, but Poe warns them that it can be a dangerous place. As they make their way through a swanky casino packed with wealthy alien patrons, they soon realize that most of the denizens of Canto Bight don't seem to know or care that the New Republic is under attack by terrorists and on the verge of collapsing. As Poe explains: the people who spend their time in Canto Bight are rich enough that they're effectively outside the New Republic's jurisdiction, and they've built their own insular paradise that will outlast even the most destructive war. Many of them, in fact, have found ways to profit handsomely from the New Republic's ongoing clashes with Imperial militants—and whichever side wins, they'll find a way to get rich. Inside the casino, Poe finds his old friend DJ entertaining a group of well-dressed businessmen at a private table, and the two old comrades warmly embrace. Their reunion takes a sour turn, however, when DJ admits that he's got gambling debts at the casino, and can't leave Canto Bight until he finds a way to pay them back. DJ claims that he can't help Poe hack into Kylo Ren's ship—but Rose manages to sway him by convincing him that she's a high-ranking officer in the New Republic fleet, and that she can use her influence to protect him from his creditors in exchange for his help. In a frenetic chase sequence, the trio manage to escape from the casino with DJ in tow, but they end up with the casino's security detail on their tail when they realize that DJ is attempting to dodge his gambling debts and skip town. On the outskirts of Canto Bight, the group makes their escape after hijacking a shuttle owned by one of the many arms dealers in the city. As they set course for the First Order's fleet, DJ rifles through the arms dealer's onboard computer, and soon finds evidence that he—like many other war profiteers in Canto Bight—was selling weapons to various Imperial loyalist groups in addition to the New Republic. While Finn and Rose are horrified to learn this, DJ tells them that it's simply the way of the galaxy: money and power are the only constants in the world, and "Good" and "Evil" are just imaginary concepts that exist to keep the wheels of commerce spinning. DJ admits that he left the Resistance when he became disillusioned with their mission, and he came to believe that their ideals were just as hollow as anything that the Republic or the Empire ever believed in. Now, he devotes his life to the pursuit of money and power, the only things that can make a difference in the world. "It's all a machine, partner," he tells Poe. "Live free! Don't join." As Rey intercepts Kylo's flagship and flies into the docking bay, she finds Kylo waiting for her. She's cuffed by Stormtroopers and marched into the Oracle's private chamber to face his judgment. Although she tells Kylo that it isn't too late to break free of the Oracle's influence, Kylo doesn't seem to listen. Undeterred, Kylo pushes Rey into the room. Flanked by his Praetorian Guard, the Oracle is waiting for her. Just as Rey and the Oracle lock eyes, DJ's hijacked shuttle coasts into the hangar of the ship, and DJ shows off his hacking skills as he disables the ship's security system. After stealing a set of officer's uniforms from a nearby locker room, they proceed to the center of the ship in disguise. Back on the Comet Chaser, Leia awakens from her coma to find Vice Admiral Holdo standing over her. As Holdo tells Leia: she has a plan to save the remnants of the New Republic Fleet—but it's a risky plan with no room for error. As the First Order closes in on the fleet, Holdo plans to use the Comet Chaser as a decoy while she evacuates the passengers and crew in a small fleet of cloaked shuttles. The shuttles will slip away and take refuge in an abandoned Rebel Alliance base on the nearby planet of Crait. But in order for the escape to work, someone will need to stay behind to pilot the ship so that the First Order doesn't suspect that it's been abandoned. Holdo volunteers to stay behind, despite knowing that the choice will likely lead to her death. As Holdo escorts Leia to a shuttle, the two women say their goodbyes, and Holdo reveals that it was Leia's heroic actions in the Galactic Civil War that inspired her to enlist in the fleet. As Leia boards a shuttle, Holdo leaves Leia with a simple farewell message: "May the Force be with you—always," she says. Back on Ahch-To, Luke carries a flaming torch up to the top of a hill, where his crude stone temple overlooks the ocean. He plans to burn the temple to ground—and with it, the sacred Jedi texts that have sat there for centuries. Before he can set the temple ablaze, though, a familiar face stops him in his tracks. Yoda, his old teacher, has appeared to him, using the Force to speak to him from beyond the veil of death. Luke defiantly tells Yoda that he plans to destroy the Jedi texts, ensuring that the Jedi Order will die with him—and nobody will ever repeat the Jedi's mistakes. Much to his surprise, though, Yoda takes the initiative himself, using his Force powers to set the temple alight with a bolt of lightning. Overcome with sorrow, Luke sinks to the ground and watches the temple burn. Taking a seat beside his aging student, Yoda assures Luke that the sacred Jedi texts didn't contain any wisdom that Rey doesn't already possess. If the Jedi are truly going to survive into a new era, they can't spend all of their time looking to the past for answers. Instead, they must look to the future and put their faith in the next generation. And although Luke may never be able to undo his mistake that drove Ben Solo to the Dark Side, he can ensure that Rey doesn't go down the same path that he did. "I can't be what she needs me to be," Luke says, hanging his head. "Heeded my words not, did you?" Yoda asks. "Pass on what you have learned! Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes... Failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters." Contemplating his master's words, Luke looks to the sky. As they make their way through the winding hallways of the flagship, Finn, Poe, Rose, DJ and BB-8 find themselves surrounded by First Order troops, who quite clearly knew that they were coming. It turns out that DJ sent a secret message to the First Order while flying the others to the ship, promising to deliver three high-ranking Republic soldiers into their custody in exchange for having his debts cleared. Poe lashes out in anger as he realizes that his friend betrayed him, but the soldiers force him and his companions to their knees, preparing to execute them. In the Oracle's chamber, Kylo confiscates Rey's lightsaber and presents it to his teacher as a gift. As the Oracle lies back in his bed, he clasps the lightsaber in his gnarled hands, laughing a low, mirthless laugh. Taunting Rey, the Oracle reveals that he and Kylo know about the Republic's plan to evacuate their fleet. Kylo already used the Force to locate their shuttles, and he ordered his crew to target them and destroy them as soon as they were all boarded. Moments later, the ship's guns begin firing—and Rey is forced to watch as she stands at the nearest viewing window, looking out across the vast gulf of space as one shuttle after another explodes. As dozens of lives are snuffed out with each explosion, she feels a sharp pain in her heart. Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo watches in horror as the fleeing transport ships are blasted into oblivion. Her plan to evacuate her crew has failed, and the last remnants of the New Republic fleet may die. Unless she can come up with a new plan to save them... Thinking fast, she takes the helm of the Comet Chaser and prepares to turn it around. As the First Order's guns continue to target the defenseless transports, they don't see her aiming the prow of her ship at the center of their fleet... The Oracle turns to Kylo. "The end of your journey nears, my worthy apprentice," he says. "The ultimate powerawaits you. But remember your lessons well: the stories of the strong are written in the blood of the weak. If you would claim the ultimate power, none may challenge you. Least of all, Skywalker's apprentice." As a final test, the Oracle orders Kylo to kill Rey, proving that he will not be held back by mercy or compassion as he embarks on his last journey. Kylo looks across the room at Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which Rey stole from his personal shrine. Two great Jedi in the Skywalker bloodline have wielded that lightsaber. One of them fought for the Dark Side, and the other fought for the Light. But which path will Kylo choose when he reclaims his birthright? For the first time in a long while, Kylo feels his soul cleft by doubt. Is there a third path, somewhere between light and darkness—or is he doomed to become a monster? Raising his hand, Kylo reaches out with the Force, and the lightsaber floats into the air. But before he summons the lightsaber it to his hand, he ignites the blade and stabs the Oracle through the heart, killing him. Enraged, the warriors of the Praetorian Guard charge at Rey and Kylo with weapons drawn. In an intense battle, the two of them fight the Praetorian Guard side-by-side, narrowly winning after a long and grueling duel. As Rey looks at the Oracle's dead body, she realizes that Kylo spared her life and chose to save her, and willingly chose to kill his own master instead of her. Perhaps she was right all along, and Kylo really does want to abandon the Dark Side. When Rey looks out at the remnants of the Republic fleet, she realizes that there are still a handful of shuttles left, but the First Order's guns are still firing on them. Only Kylo can give the order for them to stop shooting. Rey asks Kylo to order his men to cease fire. But to her horror, he refuses. At the end of his journey with the Oracle, Kylo has become convinced that both the Dark Side and the Light Side are built on lies, and he refuses to follow either path. "It's time to let old things die," Kylo says. "The Oracle. Skywalker. The Sith, the Jedi, the Rebels... Let it all die. Rey, I want you to join me. We can rule together and bring a new order to the galaxy!" Rey, however, sees Kylo for the delusional would-be tyrant that he is. While Kylo might believe that he's embraced a higher worldview beyond Light and Darkness, his mindless pursuit of power has led him down a path trodden by countless murderers and tyrants. Finally, Kylo tries one last ploy to convince Rey to join him: he reminds her of her journey into the cave, and of what she saw there. While Rey couldn't bring herself to say it outright, Kylo knows that Rey learned the identities of her parents—and he knows that she was utterly devastated by what she learned. And if she could only admit the truth about them, she could finally be persuaded to abandon the past and embrace a new future. "Do you want to know the truth about your parents?" Kylo asks. "Or have you always known, and only hidden it away? You know the truth. Say it." As her memories of the cave come flooding back, Rey's eyes brim with years. "They were nobody..." she softly whispers. Kylo nods. "They were born on a peaceful planet at the edge of the galaxy," he says. "And when the last war came to their doorstep, the Rebels and the Empire fought over their world. Your mother was pregnant when she watched the skies burn. And when she cried out to the heavens, neither side answered her. Your parents fled to Jakku in search of a better life, but they knew that they couldn't keep a child fed and clothed. So they abandoned you in the slums, and they never saw you again. Your parents have been dead for years, Rey. They starved to death in a back-alley at the heart of the city. They died cold, hungry, and forgotten. And nobody cared." At last, Rey finally understands to full truth of who she is. She isn't the heir to a proud legacy, and there's no momentous destiny laid out for her. She's just the cast-off daughter of two poor, homeless refugees who were driven from their home by a war that they never wanted any part in, and she was never meant for great things. Perhaps Kylo is right. Maybe there is no real difference between the Dark Side and the Light. To a pair of homeless refugees, after all, it didn't matter which side won the war. Neither side cared about them. And neither side would care if it happened all over again. Maybe letting it all die really is the only way forward. But no. If there's really a better future for the galaxy, an unrepentant murderer like Kylo Ren won't be the one to bring it into being. Rey raises her hand and reaches out with the Force, attempting to grab back Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. Kylo raises his hand and attempts to pull the lightsaber toward him. As Rey and Kylo grapple over the lightsaber, the force of their exertions threatens to pull it apart. Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo keys a command into her control panel, plotting a jump to lightspeed—right through the heart of the First Order's fleet. The jump will require incredibly precise calculations—but if she can pull it off correctly, she could cripple the First Order's warships, possibly buying the transports the time that they need to complete the journey to Crait. With her course plotted, Holdo takes a deep breath...and engages the ship's hyperdrive. BOOM! For a moment, time seems to stop as the Comet Chaser engages its hyperdrive and tears through the First Order fleet in a streak of light. One by one, the First Order's ships shatter and explode, torn apart by the herculean force of the Comet Chaser's hyperdrive engines as they propel the ship forward in a suicide run at the speed of light. Chaos erupts in Kylo's flagship as it's rocked by the explosions of nearby ships. In one part of the ship, a squad of First Order troops are thrown against a bulkhead before they pull their triggers and execute Finn, Poe, Rose, and BB-8. Taking advantage of the distraction, they make a break for it, running toward the ship's hangar. Back in the Oracle's chamber, Rey and Kylo are thrown to opposite ends of the room—just as Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber splits in two. Leia stands at the window of her transport ship as she watches the First Order fleet explode. After fighting their way through dazed and confused First Order troops, Finn, Poe, Rose and BB-8 make it to the hangar and hijack a First Order shuttle. Gunning the engines, they set course for Crait to join the rest of the fleet. On the surface of Crait, Leia takes refuge in the abandoned Rebel Alliance base with the last few survivors of the fleet—a few dozen soldiers, technicians, and crewmen. Finn and his companions manage to pilot their hijacked shuttle to the base, and they take their place among the assembled New Republic troop as they prepare to make their final stand against the First Order. Within the hour, Kylo Ren's fleet lands on Crait, and a massive army of tanks and walkers disembarks from the First Order's landing craft, preparing to make their move on the armored base. The soldiers make a valiant effort to drive them back—but soon, the base's wall comes crashing down. From inside, a crestfallen Leia watches as the First Order's forces advance. Then, just when she least expects it, a familiar figure walks into the room. A bearded man with weary eyes, dressed in the brown robes of a Jedi Knight. It's Luke! For the first time in ten years, brother and sister are reunited. As their eyes meet from across the room, they smile. A moment passes, and Luke walks forward to embrace Leia. Luke's years of buried regrets come bubbling to the surface as he remembers the day that he left his sister behind, but he knows that he can't undo whatever pain he caused her. "Leia, I'm sorry..." Luke says. I know," Leia says. "I know you are. I'm just glad you're here at the end." "I came to face him, Leia. And I can't save him." "I held out hope for so long, but I know my son is gone." Luke gives her a wary look. "No one's ever really gone," he says. Without another word, Luke strides out onto the salt plains of Crait, lightsaber in hand. Almost immediately, Kylo catches sight of him from the cockpit of a walker. Overcome with blind rage, Kylo orders every one of his armed vehicles to target Luke and blow him away. They obey his order—but when the smoke clears, Luke is still alive, and there isn't a scratch on him. Kylo exits his walker. Lightsaber in hand, he steps forward to confront his master. "Did you come back to say you forgive me?" Kylo asks mockingly. "To save my soul?" "No," Luke says simply. As master and apprentice ignite their lightsabers, they circle each other and begin to duel. Moments later, it finally dawns on Poe: Luke is distracting the First Order to buy them enough time to escape. At first, it seems impossible to slip out undetected—but with some quick thinking, they manage to find a hidden tunnel amid the disused mines at the interior of the base. Luke's duel with his old apprentice rages on. Finally, as Kylo steps back and prepares to charge at his old master one more time, Luke stares him down. I failed you, Ben," Luke says. "I'm sorry." "I'm sure you are!" Kylo spits back. "The New Republic is dead! The war is over! And when I kill you, I will have killed the last Jedi!" Luke smiles. "No," he says. "The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I willnotbe the last Jedi!" Kylo sneers. "I'll destroy Rey, and you, and all of it," he says. "No," Luke says, still undaunted. "Strike me down in anger, and I'll always be with you. Just like your father." Screaming with rage, Kylo charges at Luke, raises his saber, and brings it down for a killing blow... ...But when his blade comes down, it passes through Luke's body as if he's a ghost. Gaping in disbelief, Kylo steps back. And at last, he realizes what has happened: Luke never left his island refuge. He used the full might of his Force abilities to project himself to Crait through the astral plane, allowing himself to distract the First Order and buy the New Republic's forces a few precious moments to escape. Many years ago, Luke nearly succumbed to the temptation of anger and killed his young apprentice. Now, he has mastered that anger. Heeding the words of his mentors, he found a way to use the Force to save his old comrades without taking a single life. Blinded by his anger at the teacher who failed him, Kylo has been vainly fighting an illusion. Once again, Luke smiles. "See you around, kid," he says. With that, Luke vanishes—leaving Kylo standing alone on the salt plains. Back on Ahch-To, Luke sits cross-legged at the top of a rocky hill, his body levitating just a few feet off the ground as he reaches out with the Force and projects himself to Crait. As soon as he's confident that his work is done, he opens his eyes and floats back down. His limbs tremble with fatigue, sweat coats his body, and blood drips from his nose. He has given the last remnants of the New Republic a fighting chance—but this last great feat of Force magic has taken every last ounce of his strength. Now, he has nothing left. At long last, he can die at peace. As the sun sets over the wind-tossed seas of Ahch-To, Luke lies back against a rock and breathes his last breaths. Moments later, his body fades away and vanishes as he becomes one with the Force. When the wind picks up, it blows away his empty robes. As Finn, Poe, Rose, and Leia lead the remnants of the New Republic's forces through the mines, they come to a pass blocked by fallen rocks. It seems impossible to make it through—but then the rocks rise into the air as if by magic, clearing the way. At the other side of the pass, they see a familiar figure standing proudly with her hand raised, using the Force to lift the rocks aside. It's Rey—and she's standing in front of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca by her side! After her battle with Kylo, Rey managed to escape his ship in the Falcon, and she made it to Crait just in time to help the New Republic's forces escape. Together, the soldiers board the Falcon and soar into the skies of Crait, escaping in the nick of time. Hour after the battle on Crait, the halls of the Falcon swarm with New Republic soldiers and crewmen, numbering in the dozens. They're low on supplies, they're far from safe haven, and they know that the First Order and their allies aren't far behind them—but they're still alive, and they've sworn to take the galaxy back when the time is right. When things seem uncertain, Rey turns to Leia, who knows what it's like to be outnumbered and outgunned. While Rey isn't sure if they can build a fighting force out of a few dozen soldiers and a battered old freighter, Leia urges her to have faith. "We have everything we need," Leia says. As Rey walks away to join her friends, we zoom in on a shelf by Han's old dejarik board. Among the various assorted trinkets on the shelf is a set of dusty old books: the sacred Jedi texts. It turns out that Rey took the Jedi texts from the temple before she left Ahch-To. And while the temple was destroyed, the Jedi texts weren't. Luke Skywalker is dead—but the wisdom of the Jedi lives on, and Luke's apprentice will carry on his legacy no matter what it takes. On the other side of the galaxy, Kylo Ren sits alone in the Oracle's old chamber. Rey and her companions slipped through his fingers, but the New Republic is still in ruins—and even if Rey can evade the First Order, she and her companions can never bring back the New Republic as it once was. All over the galaxy, reports continue to pour in: most of the Core Worlds have fallen to attacks from Imperial loyalists, the New Republic fleet has been routed, and at least half of the Outer Rim worlds have seceded from the New Republic. With the New Republic a shadow of its former self, anarchy reigns, and there is no obstacle to the Knights of Ren and their ultimate mission. Yet until Rey dies, Kylo knows that he won't be able to rest. But for now, none of that matters. All that matters is the quest for the ultimate power, which drew Kylo to the Oracle's side long ago. Once, the Oracle promised that he would guide Kylo to his destiny. But with the Oracle gone, Kylo has no choice but to embark down that path by himself. The road will be long and full of trials, but he's ready. Kylo reaches into a metal chest that sits beside the space where the Oracle's life-support machine once stood. He pulls out a small object: an ornate wooden box with arcane symbols and characters etched along its surface. He takes a deep breath and opens the box by a fraction of an inch—and golden light streams upon his face. TO BE CONCLUDED... TL;DR: While the remnants of the New Republic fleet escape the destruction of Coruscant with the First Order in hot pursuit, Finn and Poe are temporarily pressed into service on the Comet Chaser’s crew while the ship attempts to find safe harbor. While serving on the crew, they find themselves clashing with their new commanding officer Vice Admiral Holdo, who looks down upon them for their pasts with the First Order and the Resistance. Instead of simply disliking each other, Poe and Vice Admiral Holdo distrust each other because Holdo views the Resistance as dangerous radicals, while Poe believes that the New Republic is just as oppressive as the Empire. In the Canto Bight sequence, Poe accompanies Finn and Rose Tico to recruit DJ, and DJ is introduced as one of Poe’s former comrades from the Resistance. And instead of being "filthy junk traders who sold [her] off for drinking money", Rey's parents are revealed to be refugees from the Galactic Civil War who abandoned her in the slums of Jakku because they couldn't afford to raise a child. In the final scene, Kylo Ren finds and opens a mysterious box in the Oracle’s quarters, which is hinted to be a key to the "ultimate power" that the Oracle promised him.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 12 Alexis and Cybil Vs Admiral Pineapples and Rudolph
“届けて, 切なさには名前をつけようか ‘Snow halation!’” The harpoon lodged itself into the Ocean Soul’s chest following a powerful toss from Pork Soda, the beast desperately trying to hit the tether to destroy it and release the harpoon, to no avail. The Ocean Soul had underestimated its opponents, who were currently singing some sort of song, perhaps a sort of war cry, meant to display their superior strength. “想いが重なるまで待てずに, 悔しいけど好きって純情” It had to do something! It released the Calamus Root in store within its mouth, ready to spit it out, before Sayonara Kodoku picked the Ocean Soul up, shut its mouth tight, and tossed it over to Pork Soda. With a thrust of its fingers, the porcine stand pierced the Ocean Soul’s eyes, blinding it. Then, the two stands rushed at it, sending forwards a barrage of blows, breaking bones, claws, and disorientating it, before getting ready for a finisher. Pork Soda picked the Ocean Soul up by its tail and began spinning around, the rapid movement disorientating the fish and sending it closer and closer to its doom. No, no! It couldn’t let this be! The Ocean Soul was a hunter, and even if its prey had gotten a leg up on it this time, it wasn’t going to give up! It could barely remain conscious under the pressure as the porcine stand spun it around, its already severe wounds getting exacerbated, but it had to do something! Just one shot! Just one precise shot and it could use the opportunity to escape, to recover! The porcine stand was spinning it around by its tail, so the Ocean Soul could calculate the stand’s position! It just needed to regain its bearings, focus on getting a shot aimed, and it could use its spit to- SLAM! With a brutal impact, the Ocean Soul was slammed into a nearby rock. It felt itself sinking in the water as the two stands approached it, its imminent doom coming closer and closer with every movement they made. It needed to escape, but it couldn’t bring itself to move. The two stands made their way towards it, floating above the ground as they loomed over the barely conscious beast. Was this going to be it for the Ocean Soul? “微熱の中 ためらってもダメだね, 飛び込む勇気に賛成 まもなく start!” Like hell it was. Gathering the little remaining energy it had, the Ocean Soul spat out the Calamus Root stored within its mouth, mixed with its saliva. Hitting the ground underneath the two stands, two long spikes quickly sprouted out of it and towards their bodies. Though Sayonara Kodoku’s tough skin didn’t get pierced, the force of the growing spike sent it flying into the air, incapacitating it, if only for a moment. Meanwhile, Pork Soda wasn’t as lucky as it, the spike piercing through the left side of its body, tearing through its left leg and shoulder. The Ocean Soul couldn’t hear anything from underwater, but it was sure that its user was reeling in pain right about now. Using the remainder of its energy, the Ocean Soul bolted away, desperately trying to remain conscious as it swam away from what it once considered its prey. It didn’t even look backwards, fearing that doing so would give its opponents the time they needed to finish it off for good. It didn’t even keep track of how far it swam, or for how long its opponents had chased it, or if they had done so at all. Its body was searing in pain, broken bones and wounds all over it. Eventually, it couldn’t bring itself to swim any further, losing consciousness and sinking down into the ocean, not even the searing pain keeping it awake as it began to rest. The Ocean Soul had lost, but this wasn’t the end of the beast. Though barely, it had managed to escape this encounter with its life. The results are in for Match 10. The winner is… ‘Agnes’ Bayley and Prince Cosmo, with a score of 80 to the Ocean Soul’s 60!
The word of the voterbase was clear: the vast majority felt that the Ocean Soul was handily defeated by the players.
“AAAAGH! GODDAMIT, STUPID FUCKING FISH!!” Agnes screamed in pain while clutching his leg, body strewn onto the nearest island, carried by Sayonara Kodoku. “IT STABBED THROUGH MY GODDAMN LEG!! FROM THE FOOT, TO MY WAIST, TO MY FUCKING SHOULDER! AAARGH, DAMMIT, WHERE’S JENNY WHEN YOU NEED HER!!” “You should be happy we got away with our lives. The Ocean Soul isn’t going to come finish us off any time soon after what we did to it.” “OH, REAL RICH COMING FROM THE ONE WHO DIDN’T GET STABBED IN THE FUCKING LEG BY THAT MONSTER. DO YOU WANT ME TO STAB YOU AS WELL SO YOU CAN SEE HOW IT FEELS?!” Agnes started rummaging around his surroundings with his right hand, searching for a sharp object to use for his “demonstration”. “Frankly, you deserve it. Don’t forget that you are the cause for this all. Were it not for your foolishness, Webb would still be alive, and this would not have happened to you.” Cosmo chided. “PFFF- WHATEVER!” In between his heavy breathing and pained cries, Agnes let out an audible sigh. “Fffffuck this, I’m gonna check my phone to see if there’s any connection here so that we can get the hell out of this place ASAP!” Agnes picked up his phone and pulled it up, taking a look at it. “That will not be necessary. There is no connection here anyways, and I am certain that a helicopter has been sent out to retrieve us, or at the very least ascertain what might have happened to-” “Shut up, I’m getting a message from Cairo. ‘Don’t worry, Agnes, we have sent your location over to Vitus, and help should arrive in about fifteen minutes.’” Agnes looked at his phone in confusion. “Vitus? Who’s that asshole?” “Vitus is the man who sent the helicopters out. The one which you indirectly crashed. Nonetheless, let me see that - I have a hard time believing that your phone is capable of picking up a signal when we’re so far away from any cellular towers.” “And why should I care about what you believe, huh? Here, take a look for yourself!” Agnes shoved the phone in front of Cosmo's face, the dog looking intently at it and seeing… nothing beyond a simple homescreen. “What is this supposed to be. This is your phone’s home screen, and though that horrendous chimera at its center is an affront to anything and everything I believe in, there is no notification here. Could it be that you are perhaps hallucinating from the pain?” “Wh- you can’t see it?! Don’t fuck with me!” Looking at the dog’s deadpan expression, Agnes could tell that that wasn’t the case. He looked over at the phone, spotting it right there, as clear as day - a notification for an sms from Cairo themselves, containing what he read out loud! “Fuck you, I’m not hallucinating! If anything, you are!” Cosmo was about to retort, when he spotted something over the distance - a sailboat. It was old and decrepit, seemingly having gone through significant damage and yet still remaining intact, somehow. It clearly didn’t belong to Vitus, and likely wasn’t Cairo’s either. On the boat, he saw a silhouette of a haggard man, but the distance meant that he couldn’t exactly tell exactly what he looked like. “Someone is coming.” It wouldn’t be much longer before Agnes and Cosmo were able to get back onland, learn what terrible things they’d missed, even if they still had a wait and a talk ahead of them. Left to nurse grievous wounds, this seaborne menace has seen this chapter of aggression momentarily closed, but further inland, the waters of a laundromat are being braved by a time traveler and a woman in chains. Scenario: Sound’s Garden Eastern Strip - A Golden Limousine The evening was beginning to set in, the lights of the islands of the area beginning to flash on and dot the sky as two women rode through the city, looking out through the windows as they relaxed in luxury. Cybil Antoine was one to travel in style, and now, with a companion in tow, was no exception. “A strip that absolutely comes alive at night… Makes me feel almost nostalgic for Vegas,” her redheaded travel companion mused as she looked out, “speakin’ of which… you ever play anything like that, Cyby? Cards, slots, so on. We could try Heartache Casino, maybe, if we have time sometime… I bet you’d just have to throw your name around to get up on its higher floors.” “It’s Cybil,” the wealthy woman emphasized, with an exhaustion begotten by this having been far from the first time, “or Miss Antoine… Either way, I am not a ‘Cyby.’ Get it right next time, alright?” “Right, yeah, I know you’ve told me… I’m just a nicknamer by heart. Cross my heart, though! It won’t happen again!” Alexis Williams seemed… As serious as she could get about something like that, as curiously carefree, even devil-may-care, as the performer could get. “Commit it to memory, then. Despite how much a fool you can act, I’m sure you know how much I had to pull to get you onto this stage.” “Believe me, I do appreciate it!” Alexis answered, focus now turned away from the topic of gambling and onto that. “Putting on a show at one of the biggest stages in Los Fortuna, bigger than anything I’ve done before… I know our group has had some bad luck lately, with Bucket causing that trouble down at the fish market, and how down on herself Leo has been since that dumb show she said she got roped into, but we’re still the freakin’ Judecca Highrollers, right? I want to show the world that, and from their box, I want to show the rest of our team that we’ve got no better option than to face it all with a grin.” “How very like you,” Cybil answered, neutral in her tone, careful not to betray the affection in such a statement as she pondered their current status, where they would be playing. Alexis wouldn’t be headlining, unfortunately, though admittedly, her act wasn’t the sort of thing that did that anyway. Rather, a certain piece of immensely beloved local talent, a rocking performer who went by TD/MD, would be having her play immediately before her at the Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater, just a drive over a rapidly approaching bridge away. Cybil had been a little annoyed that one of her statues had been overshadowed by a plane crashing near it, not to mention had a desire to spread further the local influence of their team, and so she had arranged with the heads of the entertainment industry of Los Fortuna to see to it that her personal favorite performer among the allies and associates she’d made was onstage at the best possible place for a person wanting to be noticed. She curled her lips at a cell phone which found its way to its hand, then, narrowing her eyes at its screen. “No word back from your backing band… Where are they? How inconsiderate not to send word on this, especially at how that Mr. Sins recommended them so glowingly.” “I’m sure they’ll show,” Alexis answered, “and if not… We can make do, can’t we?” “Of course,” Cybil answered, only to have her eye finally drawn back out the window by the sight of a vehicle which had pulled into the lane directly next to theirs as their limousine crossed the bridge. Another golden limousine was directly next to them now, this one almost pointedly bigger, longer, more decked out in jewelry, and it seemed to be headed exactly the same way. Cybil, rather than confused or alarmed at the coincidence, simply thought aloud, “that would probably be Mr. Sins… Speak of the devil.” “Amazing how quickly his casino recovered from nearly burning down…” Alexis mused aloud. “I heard that one of the people who trashed it sent him to the hospital, too.” “An overreaction I’m certain, from what I know about the man. Absolutely terrified of a little pain, a little elbow grease… I’m not one to gossip, but I can’t help but wonder how a man like him even managed to become so prominent, so consistently successful.” “Right,” Alexis answered, smirking and putting her finger up to her lips, “I won’t spread that around, then. I know how to schmooze with that type if the need arises.” Los Fortuna Canals - The SS Sledge Sister Admiral Pineapples was more comfortable on his own boat, but as far as the fleet of the Masters of Funky Action went, there was no real reason to send out more than one boat for this right now. “Man, I can’t believe nobody else is ridin’ with me,” his companion, Rudolf Pavlova, said after downing an entire bottle of water in a single gulp, on the tail end of an hourlong keytar solo. “The rest of the Masters better at least make it to the Alexander! It’d really bum me out harder than when Wrenn shot me down if none a’them made it!” Sorry, but I’m really more the headlining type! Playing second-fiddle to a man in a speedo opening for some local star sounds fun and all, but, I’d totally just overshadow them, I bet! So I should really probably stay out of it! That sentence, clear in its passive-aggressive scathingness, had put Wrenn Aflight’s declining of this gig pretty succinctly. As the man more or less everybody on the team could tolerate, listen to, and generally have a good time with, Admiral had been tasked with asking the other star performer of the team to join Rudolf on the gig he’d accepted opening up for locally beloved rock star and all-around idol TD/MD. Not wanting to break Rudolf’s heart, he more or less told him the short version, ‘he couldn’t make it,’ and then volunteered his own services for the younger man. “You won’t be out there with none of your allies, though, Nureyev! For I, Admiral Pineapples, will aid you in coordinating every moment of your work! This will be one of the worthiest usages of my tactical mind in a long time, I’m sure!” “I hope you’ve gotten those hour-long solos out of your system now, Nureyev,” Pineapples warned with an amused, lax tone, “you’re only going to have thirty minutes onstage before the headliner has to get ready, and there’ll be trouble if you bleed into that.” “I know, I know,” Rudolf answered, casually, as he slipped into an open-chested bathrobe mainly meant to function as the legal requirement of public decency until it was time to perform, “I’m not one to step on anyone’s toes, let alone the star of the show. Live and let live, yeah?” “I’m curious, though, and you never told me…” The Admiral asked, cracking open a beverage of his own and taking a sip, “how did you manage to get such a part as this in the first place?” “Oh, that’s simple!” Rudolf said, the thought to answer having simply not occurred to him. A few weeks ago - A beach in the Waterfront District. “Alright! Thank you, Los Fortuna! I’m here all day, and all night, and all tomorrow too, baby! Party never stops!” Rudolf had just finished the latest of his performances to a small crowd of beachgoers, shredding through the end of his one-man keytar rendition of 2112 and transitioning into a truly epic medley of the extended Family Guy, American Dad, and Cleveland Show OPs. As the crowd dispersed, a corporate suit-looking type of guy, bronze-skinned with neatly-groomed hair, remained, eyeing his keytar curiously and smiling artificially. “That was an excellent show, Mr… Pavlova, I think it was? You have such an undeniable energy about you that I can see when I lay eyes upon you… You’ve star material.” “Am I being poached?” Rudolf asked, tilting his head, “‘cuz I assure you, I am a free agent! Not about to be scooped up by some label and forced to chill out the party churnin’ out music I don’t feel in my soul.” “Nothing so abrupt, no… I’m a Manager, representing TD/MD. You can call me Thutmose. Anyway, she has a concert approaching rapidly, and we’re struggling and scrambling to find local, new talent and performers to open for her. We’ve managed to secure a lot of artists already, but the most important spot… Playing right before her… That, still, we have a particular need for, and I think you would serve it perfectly.” “So I accepted!” In the present day, Rudolf finished, “why not, yeah? I can spread the party to tens of thousands at one of the biggest venues in town!” “Scouted on the street, hm… That’s awfully lucky.” Something about this struck Admiral as odd, but he supposed it was all the more reason it was good he was backing his friend and ally up. He had a strong hunch there was more to it than appeared. Rudolf’s party yacht would disembark soon, ported on the central-most island of the places which made up Sound’s Garden, and the party would make their way forward from there. Sound’s Garden West Side - Outside the Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater At the same time, a self-important first step was taken out of a pair of golden limousines, one a heel clacking first out of it and a short, stocky woman in pinstripe emerging, the other dress shoes leading up to a tall, lean man in a gold and yellow tux, grinning and running a hand through his slicked-back hair. Cybil Antoine hadn’t had the “pleasure” of a personal conversation with Tigran Sins before, but had happened to overhear some of him during her meeting with that Thutmose man, and then and there, she had known everything about him, and knew that she had already had the displeasure of knowing dozens of men like him. Still, though, one needed to be cordial in times like this, so as Alexis came out behind her, and a very strongly built-looking, mean-looking man with brown hair and a nice vest, attached to the lapel of which was a Heartache Casino brooch (a bouncer? A bodyguard?) stood by Tigran waiting to see what he wanted or what he did, she approached the man who dared to try and be more golden than her Stand. “Mr. Sins, I believe… I believe we’ve crossed paths, briefly, but we didn’t really have a chance to speak.” The man tensed a bit, only to relax slightly again when he saw that Cybil intended only to speak. “Cybil Antoine, right? I’ve heard you’ve been making a hell of a lot of waves around town lately, so I must say I’m excited to meet you too.” He looked back past her, towards Alexis standing and stretching outside of her team’s limo. “Would that be your star you’ve got going on? Certainly she’s got charm.” “Hi, right in front of you,” Alexis answered, teasingly passive-aggressively waving, “yeah, I’m going up before TD/MD.” “She’s a very important star around here, you know… So you’d better put on a show that leaves them wanting for more of the best.” Tigran’s attendant spoke, then, sounding dead serious as he looked them over. “A lot of people have come here just for this, just for her sake… It is completely imperative you keep that in mind.” Tigran simply nodded, concurring, “couldn’t have said it better myself, Fox.” Shortly after that, the pairs went their separate ways, shifting through VIP areas of the area of the main structure of the amphitheater, series of comfortably shielded stadium halls that it was. “Still no sign of the band… Still no word from them either. I’m cross now.” Alexis, then, stopped in her trail, looking at a schedule which had been printed out and emblazoned upon a green room wall. “Uh, Cybil, you’re gonna wanna take a look at this.” “Hm?” Cybil raised an eyebrow, turning to face what her partner was pointing at, and then glared again. “Who the hell is Nureyev, and why are they listed at the same time as you?” “There’s gotta be some kinda mixup or somethin’, man… I know about this ‘Alexis Williams’ it talks about, and hear she’s a Vegas Performer, damn fine one at that who can really strut her stuff. But we ain’t in Vegas at all, so what gives?” Rudolf himself was gesturing at a printout version of much the same piece of programming, he and Admiral Pineapples having wandered much the same series of halls. “Hrm…” Admiral, now, took a look at the sheet himself, combing over the names before Rudolf on the list and speaking names aloud. “‘Arancini,’ ‘Tenacious-er E,’ ‘Guy and the Fieris’ Heavy Metal Barbershop Quarter,’ all as scheduled… What the hell? Yeah. We’re the only acts double-booked like this, and you say you don’t know this woman personally?” “Not in the slightest,” Rudolf said, “never laid personal eyes upon her! So maybe there’s a typo, yeah… I know! We could track down Thutmose! But, uh… Where the hell’s Thutmose right now?” A distorted voice shout-whispered, “I heard that he was visiting TD/MD’s green room.” “Huh? Oh, thanks!” Rudolf accepted that advice uncritically, beginning to make his way, but Pineapples looked, at least, in the direction it came from, seeing then flashes of a short-looking person in a maroon turban, face bandaged but mouth section bulging with something hidden underneath, and a pair of aviator goggles, as well as a tunic, trousers, and many bulky scarves adorned in the forms of climbing stick figures. Looking at the man, Pineapples couldn’t help but feel suspicious, but hell, there was a lot shady going on here. “Yes, thank you, Mister… Who am I thanking?” “No,” the figure answered dismissively, “think little of it… I’m just another interested party watching the show. If there’s confusion, then, I want to see it resolved fast! If you’ll excuse me, though, I need to make my way to my box…” “Strange man…” Pineapples shook his head, not wanting to leave Rudolf alone to deal with this strange situation. He knew from hearsay and rumor that there were some truly dangerous things lurking in the bowels of Sound’s Garden, and Rudolf, more heart than head, was bound to be barreling into it. Sound’s Garden - The largest and nicest green room in the halls of the Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater. Metra Doria sat before a makeup chair as assistants fussed and fussed with her hair, her face, her clothes, occasionally being met with polite thanks, compliments, or idle chit-chat, representing a sort of familiarity the team had had with the pale, short-dark-haired girl with a single blue streak through her front left locks. She stared at her own dressed-up eyes in the mirror, one silver, one blue and at once black-striped through the iris. As she sat here, initially clad pretty casually and low-key, she was Metra, but as the outfit she had selected was put together, she would become TD/MD. She was being cordial before now, but all of the small talk had ended as soon as her manager came into the scene, knocking, being invited to come in, and then doing so. “How’s the show going, Thutmose? I wish I could see Guy and the Fieris do their thing, but… Makeup, I swear.” “There’s… People insisting upon speaking, Metra. They’re performers, the ones before you, and they seem annoyed. I tried to shoo them away and tell them to work it out, but that only incensed the old-timers with them, and now they want to speak to you. I tried telling them it was a waste of your time, but-” “This close to going on?” Metra narrowed her eyes at the reflected form of her manager. Always, it was one thing after another with this guy. Though most of the time, one might assume there was something not worth it going on here, she knew Thutmose well enough to know there might be problems. She sighed, shutting her eyes now. “It had better be important… Let ‘em in.” And like that, a quartet of two twenty-somethings, a middle-aged woman, and an old man barreled in through the door at once, all talking over one another and expressing confusion with the other’s very existence and presence. It was making the half-prepared girl more uncomfortable than sitting in a chair for awhile just to get ready for a show often did, so she raised her voice, calmly but authoritatively, literally seeming to drown out their babbling in the process. “Quiet down, alright?! One at a time.” There was a little more whispering among the four, then, and it was the pinstripe-suited woman who stepped forward among them to speak the crowd’s mind. “TD/MD, I presume… This ‘Thutmose’ man, he has made a grave mistake in the scheduling. My associate Alexis here, and this half-nude man carrying a keytar around, they have not met before today, and they certainly did not intend to collaborate before you. Your manager has refused to listen to reason about this, so we are taking the matter straight past him to you… Resolve it at once, and we can be on our way.” “What?” Metra, facing them all, blinked, shaking her head and glaring at Thutmose. “Again? How does this keep happening? You overbook acts right before me, and it’s such a disaster I’ve started to need to allot extra time to cleanup guys after those sets… It was bad enough before, but it’s seriously getting out of hand, man. I can’t keep dealing with you if you treat everyone else you deal with like this. You’re done working with me. We’re through.” “B-but… But Metra..!” Thutmose was flabbergasted, looking almost terrified at the prospect. “Please, be reasonable..! I need this job, understand? I’ve got gambling debts, and-” “Whoa whoa whoa,” the keytarist (Rudolf, or Nureyev, according to the program) interjected then, “let’s not ruin a man’s life over me and Lexy here, yeah? I looked into the history of this place, the Alexander Dickinson… Named after a big dead deal Philanthropist, so basically a dude from the 90's who gave his all to culture in this city, funded all kinds’a stuff! Would a man like that want a man to be fired in his own memorial stadium?” The logic seemed to confuse nearly everyone there, not least of all Metra, whose response, after a moment, was, “Huh? You… Are you saying it doesn’t bother you?” “He’s saying that!” Thutmose pleaded. “I am certain he’s saying that!” “I don’t mind, either…” The redheaded Alexis said next, nodding and looking around at nothing in particular. “Yeah, I think we can work with that… The band he set us up with bailed on us anyway, right? So… Music might help, and it’s not like the things we do step on each other’s toes, yeah? So whatever, I’m sure we’ll still leave a bigger impression.” Cybil, then, pursed her lips. “If it doesn’t make a difference to you, then, and we’re all on the same page… But still, this is so very inconvenient.” “Agreed…” Pineapples looked to Thutmose. “Be more responsible in the future, aye? I think even if you keep your job right now, you’re gonna be on thin ice for now. And give up on gambling, if it’s sunken you this far.” Metra nodded. “Agreed. I can’t guarantee I won’t start looking for a new manager, but… You’ve been good to me, at least. Clean up your act.” Then, she looked over the quartet. “I’m seriously sorry about this… You say you had backup, but they’re not showing up now? I, uh… I don’t know what happened to whoever those were, or why they fell through, but I have something I can do to help both of your shows exist at once: six of the best stagehands I've got.” At that, the star snapped her fingers, and from the shadowy corners of the room emerged two trios, three men in a pose one well-versed on incidents in the early 20th century Roman Colosseum might compare to Awakening One’s Masters appearing before the Masters of Funky Action, three women in turn also sliding in before the Judecca Highrollers in perfect sync, stepping in with the coordination one might associate with, as a weird example, teenage mobsters jazzed about a dude being sent to the ninth circle of hell. All six were muscular, clad in black sleeveless shirts, leather gloves, pants, boots, and bandannas over their heads, and all around, they gave off auras of immense reliability. “Harry, Mark, and John, and Thorn, Dusk, and Luna… I kid you not, these guys can basically do anything and everything you ask of them. If they didn’t much prefer supporting other people to being in the limelight themselves, they would be as big as I am. Treat them well, they’ll learn fast, and they’ll be invaluable to making your bits work. But, uh… I’d hurry it up. Guy and the Fieris probably only have a couple more encores in them, and then you’ll have fifteen to set up. I wish you all luck..!” Metra Doria had been a bit of a miracle for the grateful performers and put-off older supporters, who had in turn both begun to explain their intended strategies and how those might change to their crew members, who understood alarmingly fast. “Man…” Rudolf whistled in relief, chuckling. “What a scare that was… But you, Lexy? You’re alright, actually.” “Thanks,” Alexis answered in turn, still trying to figure this guy out, “you don’t seem bad yourself… I almost kinda feel bad that we’re gonna totally eclipse you out there.” “Y’think so, huh?” Rudolf answered with a grin, pointing forward with a friendly competitiveness. “Well, the party don’t get drowned out by a damn thing! I’m gonna get all these good people pumped as hell, and they’ll be cheerin’ for me even when that Metra chick goes on!” “Ooh, I’m starting to feel a bit competitive…” Alexis answered, good-naturedly chuckling and folding her arms. “Wanna see who gets the crowd more pumped? Loser, uh… Buys the winner overpriced concert t-shirts. These things need stakes, right? Heh…” At the somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion, Rudolf nodded. “Sure, yeah! That, and the pride of bein’ one of the best in the city! May the best team win!” OPEN THE GAME! Location:The Alexander Dickinson Amphitheater, one of the biggest outdoor venues in the entirety of the Metropolitan area, in the buildup to TD/MD’s headlining act, wherein both of your teams have had a performer set to open for her. The place is packed at a capacity of tens of thousands of people. The stage is a competently designed semicircle which is roughly 30 meters across for length and maximum width, with plenty of room all over and the various necessary fixtures upheld off the ground. It is raised up about 2 meters off the ground. Its back half is partially covered by the overhanging roof of the backstage area a dozen meters above. The backstage area spreads out about 10 meters from both sides and the back of the stage, being somewhat indoorsy and absolutely full of things one could expect an excellent stage production to have, including, of course, sturdy rafters which lead up to the ceiling area overtop the stage. Both sides have had time to arrange for some extra things to be brought in. Goal: With a leadup of fifteen minutes before acts, and a half an hour where both of your performers are onstage at once, you have a show to put on, and that is not getting ruined by this overbooking. So, with Rudolf and Alexis up on stage, and Pineapples and Cybil each operating their abilities and managing a three-person stage crew, outperform your opponents! Given the vastly different skill-sets of the competitors, the goal is to execute on your vision better than your opponent executes on theirs. You will be judged and voted on the following criteria, in decreasing priority:
Feasibility - Whether your performance is actually within the bounds of what your Stand and Stats would imply.
Skill Use - A close second in relevance; how well you integrate your User Skills and Stats into your performance. While your Skills will help in completing this objective, they do not provide an automatic advantage by merely existing and must be woven into your strats, as per usual. Even the best of artists can have abysmal live performances.
Stand Use - Similar to the above, and similarly important. How cool, creative, and well-integrated is your Stand use. Put another way, wow the judges, voters, and viewers at home! This is more or less just the same as before.
Environment Use - How well you use and integrate the auditorium - its features, its backstage, its stage, and the hearts and passions of its occupants - into your performance.
Efficiency - How much quality footage you obtain and how well you use your time. This does not mean that setup for more complex performances is automatically penalized, but do try to minimize ‘deadtime’ and maximize the amount you perform.
Additional Information: There is a huge simp for TD/MD in the audience of the match, and he is connected enough that he will have both of you successfully and canonically killed if you ruin the show before the headliner can go on; therefore, murdering your opponents or audience members (“the ol’ Abraham Lincoln Tech” as they say in the biz) on an audience member is a loss condition. Not at all a moral thing for the record. Stage Crew members for the respective teams (Harry, Mark, and John on the MFAs, Thorn, Dusk, and Luna on the Highrollers, if you care about their names) have 4s in strength, agility, endurance, Stagehand, and Backup; pretty much, anything their associated team asks them to do, they’ll be able to do, at minimum, competently. Though they won’t, like, murder for you. Generally you can use them for moving props on/off stage, extra bodies or on-stage back up performers, speaker and soundboard control, and/or on-stage camera crew as well as managing any other stage controls. Pretty much everything save for pyronetics and lighting is in their purview. There are also dedicated lighting guys, totally neutral in your squabbles, who are going to do an entirely too good job adjusting their focus and making things work exactly as is needed so attention is on the stars of the show. They will also be coordinated with a third party camera crew that will be streaming the live feed onto screens for the audience. These feeds can be replaced or split screened with your own crew’s footage, but otherwise they will generally be in control of what is shown on-screen. Players can be assumed to already have well-rehearsed their plans of action, the in-universe basis for the modified plans of the match, and have knowledge about every aspect of the stage, even if parts of their initial plan obviously need to be modified to account for new challengers also occupying stage space. If something performance related isn’t insanely, “years of training to do competently required” level hard, but would still require some practice ahead of time, they have had it to, at absolute max, somewhere between a 2 and a 3. Players, don’t overly-game this, though; the ‘stars’ of your performances should be the sheeted unique abilities of you, your skills, and your Stands. All stands can be seen on camera and on the live feed for the audience's viewing pleasure.
“This one is for the guy who keeps yelling from the Balcony, and it’s called ‘We Hate You, Please Die.’” Gymnastics is a sport of rhythm and pace, this performance should be no different for keeping your momentum. Make as seamless transitions as you can between the acts of your performance!
“Prepare to have your minds obliterated by… The boys! And Crash!” You have a whole crew of people working for you here, no need to do any heavy lifting by yourself. This is their job after all, better put them to work since that’s what they are here for. Make the most use out of your stage hands in your performance!
“What is with this band? They’ve… changed. Have you noticed they don’t have instruments? Where’s all this amazing noise coming from?” Keeping the audience’s attention for a full 30 minutes should be a piece of cake for the world’s greatest dancer, you can keep the party rocking even between your different acts. Make as seamless transitions as you can between the acts of your performance!
“You and your fireballs and your demon hipster chicks / you’re talking the talk and it’s pretty slick / You think you’re so great, but you’re missing the point / You gotta have friendship and courage and whatever!” You’re all in this show together, you and your crew of stage hand. Everybody should be contributing here, no man left behind. Make the most use out of your stage hands in your performance!
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