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Honest critique of BDO

Whenever I logon reddit and either visit this sub or BDO's sub I often see people who are curious about the game. True in this sub the critiques are more abound than not and even as someone who enjoys the game I get a good laugh of the commentary and critiques given. Though I personally would like to give an honest opinion of the game as someone who's progressed relatively far with his own fair share of complaints and good experiences. So to start I'll go with the Positives then the negatives:
VISUALS Honestly can't say enough about this, once you experience how beautiful this game is you don't want to play other MMOs. Playing in "Very High" then playing in "remastered" makes the game feel entirely different. The game is immersive and beautiful in this aspect. If you like to RP, create characters and explore worlds BDO will deliver on giving you an experience where you can just roam around and enjoy mundane tasks like gathering, fishing, sailing or trading while looking at the beautiful scenery. In combat Visuals are also very appealing, abilities feel powerful animations can be over the top which can be fun as well. The mounts are very cool as well, while peagasus only glides and doesn't fly, you still can get some pretty good distance and altitude to experience a pseudo flight. I always tell people play something you like aesthetically first and foremost as much of your time in this game will be taking in the visual effects and looking at your character interact with the environment around you. Everything else will work itself out later. Also make sure this game is on an SSD, I can't stress this enough, having it on an HDD makes everything load in so slow and takes away from the immersion.
PvE At first I was of the camp that BDO was an unfinished game, that it lacked the traditional raids and stuff we grown accustomed to and that with it, BDO would be a fully realized MMO. But honestly theres a satisfaction to the mundane grind and easy mobs you encounter in much of the game. Sure difficulty is absent on the surface but you can certainly become more efficient with the more gear you posses, thus increasing your income. Also in many endgame spots and even some lower end spots refining your skill rotations and mastering your animation cancels will have VASTLY different end of session yields in terms of your grind. Simply by changing up nothing else but how well you execute skills, which packs you decide to kill and how you group them, you could end up missing out on Tens of millions of silver per hour, which at the end of an arduous week could translate to hundreds of millions or even a billion silver more or less. Again all based on trash per hour and best mobs that give you the best chances for the best items. When you add all that up you kind of are grateful that mobs aren't too intelligent and too hard, because after a while the game becomes about efficient resource gathering/money making. If mobs were too difficult all the time you'd make a lot less progress especially with less gear. Mindless grinding as a result can feel satisfying and rewarding as it's one of the few things that isn't mostly dictated by RNG, but moreso by your effort, time and skill.
LIFESKILS I honestly don't do much lifeskilling as I focus on Grinding and PvP, but when I do lifeskill such as sailing or gathering it can feel relaxing. Again it's that simplicity and just enjoying the nice visuals, background music. Hell I even cook, minimize the screen so the game takes less resources and play a game of LoL. When my game is done I am done cooking. There's a lot of freedom and value for even someone like me who places very little emphasis in lifeskilling and I can make something out of it. My daily income is nicely padded by it too giving me a couple dozen mil every night. If you are much more into lifeskilling and stuff you can go all out, they even have specialized gear for it. Usually those players end up becoming stupid rich and running the market with the necessary items they can produce for all the try hards that PvP like me.
SMALLSCALE PVP/ NODE WARS When you don't have too many players in a close vicinity the game is very fluid and fun. two or three guilds of 40-50 people typically isnt bad for my system (i7 4790k + 2080) on remastered, I'll have over 50fps and the performance is great. On much more optimal settings my FPS will easily hit 144 consistently, im a visuals sort of guy though so I don't mind the drop in frames and my performance in wars isn't hurt much. Witchards don't dominate in smaller fights or skirmishes so you don't feel suffocated and randomly one shot or chain cced from afar. Little skirmishes outside of grindspots or cities between guilds is also very fun as well.
Now the bad
1.ENHANCEMENT SYSTEM This typically isn't something people gripe or lament over the most, usually it's the cash shop. I think this is the largest factor in keeping players and getting new blood in to the game. If you don't have a very rigorous and relentless approach to gearing you'll easily throw everything away in a rut of frustration. For those unfamiliar the game has enhancement levels for Armor, Weapons, and Accessories. Armor and Weapons go from base to +15 then need special stones to go from PRI to PEN. Accessories simply go from PRI to PEN. Upon release the game only had up to +15, during those times gear was MUCH LESS OF A FACTOR. To be plainly truthful, if you were a new player back during the initial months of BDO you'd only need to play for a month tops before you reached end game. A far cry from the progressive gear slog that is currently present. So many still play due to being invested also due to the random nature of enhancements themselves. Ironically it isn't uncommon to be "RNG carried". You will have periods of time where you will undeservedly get extremely good gear from free event boxes, or "one tap" some of your most important gear upgrades that are necessary for end gameplay. It took me a year to get a TET ogre ring, while many other friends one tapped them, or saved up silver and preordered. If you are a competitive player you will either want to buy all of your gear, which is entirely feasible and my personal recommendation; or you will become jaded by the success of your friends and take risky bets on if your fail stacks are good enough. Armor will down grade and take a while to get back up with adequate resources, +11-+15 and DUO-TET are the most agonizing breakpoints for enhancing in my personal experience, as TET is where you honestly want to be at the very LEAST for armoweapons. Accessories do not downgrade and will forever disappear you also don't use stones, but instead use the base version of the same accessory. So for a really high demand accessory you might have to shell out a minimum of 300M just to RISK a 30-40% chance at TRI, even less for TET which is ideal. %'s decrease as well the lower failstacks you accumulate and building failstacks can take hours. I made my own Pen Awakening weapon for example TOTALLY BY ACCIDENT (my RNG carried moment) in all of 5 minutes using not even 1% of the 5bil in resources I was prepared to just START with. Market value for a Pen Scythe at the time and I believe still is 20B+ and market values generally tend to mimic the average investment necessary to achieve said item. I spent 6 hours making failstacks, stockpiling stones, etc just to one shot my backup dande and I spent no artisans. Things like this make the enhancing system feel awesome when you win, dirty when you realize how lucky you were and sad when you come to the reality that you need to Pen 2 more weapons and ALL YOUR ARMOR (8 slots in total including awakening). Had BDO never implemented enhancing past +15 for all weapons and armor I'd firmly believe players frustration with the cash shop and with the gearing process as well as their thoughts on accessibility to end game would be significantly diminished or nonexistent.
2.CASHSHOP The cash shop in BDO is not obligatory but clearly advantageous to those who use it. I primarily play BDO so I won't try to convince anyone reading that I didn't support it. I'd often say to those who played that didn't like it that it was a great way for those who worked often to keep up as time in my opinion is the most valuable resource in this MMO. If I can only play 5 hours a day, my maximum potential output and efficiency will be vastly lower to someone who simply goes to school and can play 12+ hours a day. To me the cash shop has been a blessing because it allowed me to keep up whereas otherwise I'd have to be extremely lucky or wait an extremely long time to achieve the goals I'd set for myself, which at the time was to be in the best PvP guild on the server. So if it helps me so much why is it in my list of negatives? Well because it's so invasive. If it were a one time purchase I wouldn't mind at all but you have to continuously dip into many of these cash shop items to achieve a desired result, which is why a lot of people say BDO isn't pay2win" but "pay for convenience". Artisan memories were my crutch for the longest time, though after a while I had to stop because it was becoming a monthly expense and took up a bulk of my spending on the game with very meager results. I could recover from failure quickly and pump out more attempts but had I just gathered my enhancing resources in bulk and had an adequate backup, I'd do just as well. Outside of a Ghille suit, any other ONE cosmetic costume of your choice, a Tent, 4 T4 pets, Weight, inventory slots and a Tier 5 potion fairy (Cash shop not required but infinitely easier) you don't need anything else in the cash shop. Spending more in some areas CAN make the game ALOT more efficient, such as having 40 maids (which I have) or a bunch of purchased storage in towns (which I have). But if you simply get those things which I've listed off you'd probably could get away with spending anywhere between $150-300 including the initial purchase of the game. That variance is for how lucky you get with the fairy and how much you value an auto pot. Very noticeable, very helpful, very advantageous for serious PvPers. Pets also become less needed in the end game grind spots, you can get away with a few T3's due to a much lower item drop count per mob. I've also spent a fair bit on weapon swap or "Reroll" coupons. Every so often there's a new FOTM class or your competitive guild needs to weed niche classes because we have too many assassins and not enough witches/wizards. So to avoid getting cut or to enable your gear to perform at it's best you may feel heavily inclined to reroll. I've done so twice only to come back to my original class each time I'd have to buy a new costume and a new ghillie suit as well as pay for the weapon swaps which total to about $150, not to mention weight and inventory since I am primarily a grinder so bump me up to about $200-250 per reroll. Yeah the cash shop can be a pain in the butt. Now again this was for my conveniences sake, had I simply just made or bought TET weapons for these classes I wouldn't have had to spend $90 on coupons and avoided spending the extra cash on weight/inventory for the necessary grinding. That being said to be fair to all readers this is a blemish to the game, would've been nice to simply share weight, costumes, etc with a more cost efficient coupon or an in game accessible variant for free/loyalties.
3.CLASS BALANCE The games combat system is awesome but class balance is a continual boon that borders on better or worse depending on how you look at it. In a sense it's gotten better because several classes have become viable when they were once not so viable due to Succession buffs and Awakenings buffs, so if you prefer legacy combat with the main hand or new style awakening combat you won't feel lacking in either as both are more than adequate. That being said there are degrees to how viable classes can be and unfortunately Wizards and Witches still continue to shape the meta. Due to their dominance in large scale group fights and due to the outcry of players that wish to see them easier to handle as duelists what ended up happening is that the dev's created a monster of a class. One that can AoE nuke multiple players, stay in Super Armor, reposition in succession over large distances, AoE heal, give AoE damage reduction that's usually 99% effective unless you're severely outgeared, with some of the most efficient PvE grinds and annoying debuffs in duels you'll ever face. How do you counter such a powerful all rounder? By creating classes that are OP enough to handle all the nonsense these witchards bring. But the Dark Knights, The Strikers, The Mystics; hell even the Archers and probably Guardians and soon to be Hashashins will all succumb to nerfs just like their predecessors if they pose to great a threat to shutting down witches and wizards. Which is why the whole rerolling as mentioned before is so voracious and unforgiving. Often times players feel compelled to rerollout of fear of getting kicked or dissatisfaction with all the hard work it took to get to the top in their specification, only to be dwarfed by a class they may be fundamentally against playing. I for one understand I was one of those players and even though I have a witch I can also reroll to since I have adequate skillpoints and time playing it, I'll never do it. It's just feels like a betrayal to why I played the game to start with, over a biased and inefficient balancing scheme. That being said Witchards holding most of the power when it comes to balancing isn't the only balancing issue, due to changes in protective abilities assassin classes have been under fire due to their abundance of invincibility frames and superior animation canceling. Being able to simply avoid the nonsense is much more viable than trying to tank it, since AP is king in this game. All that being said if witchards weren't so great all around and protected area (Damage reduction AoE spell) wasn't a thing, class balance probably would be a lot easier to figure out.
4.LARGESCALE/OPEN WORLD PvP I love the PvP in BDO but I must admit that once you get into sieges it devolves and becomes a lot less enjoyable unless you're a field commander, a flanking class or Overpowered Wizard/Witch. Often times theres too many players and the game lags even with optimal settings. Sure my rig wasn't the best (i7 4790k+ RTX2080) but literately outside of a select few sieges my frames were always immaculate 90+ open world 50+ node wa lower scale sieges in remastered mode +highest quality textures. Servers tend to lag to a slowing crawl when big exciting fights happen, sometimes entire guilds cannot participate (literately your entire 100 man raid in TeamSpeak can't play, it's fucking hilarious) so we all chat bomb the enemy guild on twitch or cheer the ally on. It's weird you get more enjoyment out of the lag than you do the fight itself sometimes. If they didn't allow ghost planting on regions, and had a maximum amount of guilds that could participate; the forced prevention of zergfest would probably result in better sieges. This is ironically the one instance where having the most gear on the server doesn't help you either. 1000 shitters all rallied up will always destroy 100 "gods", be it due to lag or sheer overwhelming force. As it regards open world PvP, it's degraded overtime for the inclusion of new players. I understand it but I personally feel it's gone too far in some aspects. The Karma system has a huge loophole in it that allows a player to grief you by simply being a constant irritant. They will mess up your grinding simply because they want to or refuse to negotiate a way to share the spot. You can't kill them without consequence because their guild isn't "ready for war" or because they simply aren't in a guild. You go flag up, go red and now you're negative karma. If you get killed depending on the gear disparity and severity of negative karma gained (a maximum of -1million) you can degrade even PEN gear. Yeah get fucked amirite? Luckily that's never happened to me, I've always been able to peaceout before the subsequent zerglings and the ONE good player in their guild worth a shit try to 10v1 me for an endgame spot. I'm not "god" status yet in gear so I gotta put SOME effort into fending off savages like this, which at times CAN be fun but ultimately wastes your time as is the intent. They know you need to grind 5-8 hours a day MIMIMUM just to keep up, so they have no qualms fucking you over. Wasn't always like this, you used to be able to declare war on any guild; which actually started and fueled much of the Nodewasiege scene. A lot of content in the game is player driven, Drama and grudges abound. When a bunch of randoms start joining the game and demand their piece of the pie saying shit like "sharing is caring" even though their too weak for the spot well... you get karma bombing. I love new players, I just don't like Those new players, you probably can tell by now... MOVING ON! :p
OVERALL
Overall I think the positives outweigh the negatives simply due to the fact that much of the negatives can be avoided if you pace yourself and don't let jealously blind you. It took me a while to get to the point where I simply enjoyed the journey of gearing at a healthy pace, rather than kill myself day in and day out trying to be competitive, chancing my gear often and setting myself back weeks or months while voraciously spending unnecessarily. If you set up the proper support systems and are like any normal adult who sometimes spends on their hobby, I don't think it's too out of the realm of possibility to find yourself enjoying the game. Much of the cash shop items people see as "necessary" or recommend, you don't really need until much later on and quite a few can be bought for in game money on the Market. I think much of the criticism from the game stems from trying to get into the most exciting parts of the game too soon, and by exciting I mean flashy endgame. The MMO community has been bred to be as efficient as possible as quickly as possible, and if you religiously stick to that mold and aren't a resilient person you won't last in BDO. I only lasted with such a mentality because I had an any means necessary attitude to be competitive, I didn't whine about the cash grabs because I knew what I was valuing and shooting for, I took that chance and often times got burned needlessly.
In truth it's really not that flashy and games isnt really pay2win, most of my fondest memories and fun times was being a scrub and struggling to get my gear without fear of being cut from a competitive guild. Or becoming that veteran that no longer felt the pressure of needing to spend and rebuilding a guild that needed my services, experience and leveled head. Do guys with 650-700Gs exist that are pretty much gods in the game? Yes. Do you encounter them often? Only if you are in the top few guilds and even then, no not really. At the very top things are quite political and people try to get along to avoid being black balled. Progression is very valued so you don't want to intentionally fuck with someones money, lest they actively fuck you over. Theres lots of criticism of the game being very "solo" and anti-social but I think it's misunderstood.
The game doesn't force players to hold each others hand, you're an individual first and foremost and a teammate second, if you think of it the game that way you'll make a lot of friends and have a lot of group experiences since different groups tend to prioritize different priorities. All classes are good, play the one you find coolest, be a bit of a nerd immerse yourself a bit and make something your own, that's when BDO becomes fun. In closing I implore anyone who wants to try the game to take that leap. At the very least you will enjoy it early on, the fact that it doesn't hold your hand and force you to do mundane things allows you to experiment and that's something a lot of other MMOS don't do. What are your thoughts, are these negatives and positives disingenuous? Do they have some validity but you still fundamentally disagree? Have I changed your perspective? I'd be honestly glad to know good or bad all comments are welcome!
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Woke up Kidnapped 21 (Intermission)

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Gabriel woke up the following morning, sore and a little stiff. He probably pulled a muscle in the last jump while dodging the riding animal. He sat up and groaned.
"Rough night?" Deana asked, she sat up and stretched her neck.
"You were there, you should know," Gabriel said.
"Not used to battering Kriks into the ground?" She asked.
"Is that what they are called? No, not really. Not that I'm more used to sword fighting." Gabriel said as he tried to get his spine in order. After a couple of satisfying cracks, he felt much better. "So what now? When's the next fight?"
"I don't know, three, four days I suspect." She shrugged and leaned back against the wall, her legs crossed. “But we can always hope for more.”
“Agreed, I’ll keep my fingers crossed,” Gabriel said and walked over to the bathroom to wash his face. Breakfast arrived at the same time, along with a fancy dressed male Roniean Gabriel had not seen before. Gabriel walked out toweling off his face. “What a pleasant surprise, a guest. Are you joining us for breakfast?”
“Not quite, I was just interested in seeing what my money has bought,” he said and raised his crest. Gabriel noted that it was a bright purple color but didn’t understand the significance of the gesture.
“Satisfied?” He asked.
“Maybe, tell me, how did you jump out of the way of the Krisk that fast?” he asked looking nonchalant.
“I have strong legs, good for short bursts,” Gabriel lied.
“I see,” he said. He studied Gabriel for some time before squinting and nodding to himself, “Hmm, I’ll have to try harder next time it seems,” he said and left the cell. Gabriel gave Deana a confused look and got a shrug back.
“Who was that?” Gabriel asked after he heard the door at the end of the corridor lock.
“He owns this arena, I don’t know his name. All the guards just call him boss.” Deana said. “But I’ve only seen him on the stands, preaching to his guests.”
Gabriel frowned, “He didn’t know how strong I was,” he said scratching his head. “Hmm,” Then the realization hit him. “Of course my seller would lie to him,” Gabriel said.
“What do you mean?” Deana asked, Gabriel heard shuffling and saw Sen at the other door.
“He means buying an alien that has taken down ten armed Igris pirates with a metal rod is likely a bad purchase. Too difficult to control.” Sen’Chakar said. “That would be my guess. Most believe the rumors are just a ruse to keep Gabriel away from trouble so confirming that would make sense.”
“Right,” Gabriel said. “Not to toot my own horn or anything but I crushed all the physical tests they had on US 535.”
“I’m assuming toot your own horn means bragging,” Deana said. “And that was a bad attempt. But I see your point, he seemed to think you would be weaker.”
“Yeah, and he accepted that I could only run in short bursts,” Gabriel said.
“...So that was a lie?” Deana asked.
“Yeah, humans are...persistent hunters, I think is called. Or I mean not in modern society.” Gabriel said. “We don’t run around chucking spears at mammoths anymore.”
“Ignoring what a mammoths is, how long can you run?” Deana asked.
“Full speed? not that long, I’ve only run 400 meters in a sprint. Well, it’s called a sprint but I can’t run it maxed out. I guess I’ve only done 200 meters.” He said.
“And how long is a meter?”
“About this,” he held his hands apart in the best approximation of a meter he could.
“That’s...what would you guess the arena is?” she asked.
“I don’t know, long side maybe 100 at most.” Gabriel guessed.
“I see,” Deana nodded, “Yes, that is far, but a fit Roniean can do the same, although just about I would guess.”
“Same with Igris,” Sen’Chakar said.
“And how long can you run, at whatever speed?” Deana asked and seemed to compare Gabriel’s legs to her own.
“Uh, I mean I’ve run marathons, which usually involves some walking but mostly jogging,” he jogged a little in place.
“And how long are those? In arenas?”
“Shit, hold on,” Gabriel said, quickly doing the math. “The OS, that’s Olympic sport is about 42,200 meters so 422,” Gabriel said.
“You can run, I mean jogging 422 lengths of the arena?”
“Yeah, I mean I’m out of practice so maybe not but with some more walking.” He shrugged.
“And all that while weighing more than Sen,” Deana shook her head. “How is that possible?”
“Gravity?” Gabriel ventured. “I mean like I said, my planet had higher gravity. I blame my weight on that. Wait, would that even help? Actually, with the lower gravity, I might do better, but that needs more testing.” Gabriel rambled on.
“Right, back to the previous subject, you believe you were sold with false information right?”
“Yes, the first time I was sold as some monster that they thought would kill and eat Madeline, this time I can only guess but as Sen said, I assume he wanted a strong but not too strong fighter,” Gabriel confirmed.
Deana shook her head, “This is getting too confusing for me, I need some sustenance,” she said as she grabbed a plate of breakfast. Once the boring breakfast was eaten she spoke up once again. “We don’t know what the ‘boss’ has been told, but eventually he’s going to believe the rumors floating around about you. The ones Sen heard.”
“I told you to call!...” Sen’Chakar started from the other cell. “Nevermind Dee, I suppose I can handle being called Sen for the time being.”
Deana scowled at Gabriel, “Coming here and ruining my fun…Oh well, we should try and escape before the boss figures you out if you still think that’s possible.”
“I do and yes, I agree,” Gabriel said. “Do you think we can talk our way into the armory between matches?” He asked.
“Not really, but it’s worth trying,” she said and rubbed her crest. “Sen, any ideas?”
“We can ask to practice in armor, otherwise I do not have any ideas at the moment...Dee” He said.
“Thanks again Gabe,” Deana sighed and scowled, but it quickly turned to a chuckle.
“Speaking of nicknames, does Gabe mean anything?” Gabriel asked.
“Not in Roniean,” Deana said.
“Not in Igris, but gabend means something similar to someone that does not think, or in other words, idiot.” He said, gabend was pronounced with a short a, but still quite similar.
“Oddly appropriate,” Gabriel murmured. “But now that I’m done bragging and we are done talking about theories we can’t solve at the moment, I think you have a story to tell Dee.”
She looked up from trying to scoop up the last of her breakfast, “I do?”
“Yeah, last night you said you would tell me how you ended up here, I told you my tale.”
She sighed, “You told me what happened after you ended up in space. But, I suppose I did. I can’t claim it to be a story or tale but I can tell you about it.” She put the plate away and got comfortable. “So, where do I start?”
“Wherever you want, we got time,” Gabriel said and sat down on his bed.
“Alright, what brought me here, in the end, was my work in the Roniean military as an intelligence officer. I looked through captured information, drives, recorded conversations, and the like.” She started. “I’m going to assume you know little about my society but stop me if you have further questions.”
“Will do,” Gabriel said.
“Before the military, I studied to work in communications, on FTL tech preferably but I planned to take whatever was available. But I was recruited to the military and went that direction instead. Roniean society is based on a strong military and almost all public services are provided by them. And most large factories also belong to the government and the military.”
“Almost?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes, it is difficult to compete with the prices of the military, whether it is food, clothes, housing, appliances, or the like. But there are always many willing to pay more for custom stuff, or different brands, handmade stuff you know. And so, almost all private companies deal in custom wares of whatever.” She paused for a moment, seeming to gather her thoughts after the tangent. “And because of that, many top students in their field get offered further education in the military. It’s a way to get a good education for less money but comes with a two-year contract after the studies are finished.”
“Forced service?”
“Sort of, but in many different sectors, and none in direct conflict. You can get recruited further to become a soldier or pilot or whatever but for most, it is an employer like any other. I worked testing some new communication unit that was meant to work instantaneously over light seconds. Different ships would be able to talk with each other in the same system.”
“You said would?”
“Yeah, never got it to work during my time there. After those two years were up I was offered my current...well I might be replaced now, but my last assignment which was as I said to gather and sort information.” she looked down at the floor.
“That sounds like a desk job to me,” Sen said from the other cell.
“It was, for the most part. I found some leads that suggested a large criminal organization operated in our capital, where I lived. They both smuggled and sold illegal stimulants and I suspected they also dealt in trafficking. And foolishly I thought if I could just get a little more information I could make sure the gang left the capital altogether. But I was stupid and got captured with enough information to be seen as dangerous and I got sent here.” She finished and looked at Gabriel. “And that’s my story.”
“Thank you for telling me,” Gabriel said and smiled. “I’m sure the information in this place will put many behind bars. After we get out that is.”
Deana chuckled, “Maybe I can convince my boss that I was deep undercover”
“It’s always good to stay positive. Sen, do you want to share?” Gabriel asked.
“I was captured doing much the same, except my position was in Security. Before that, I was studying to go into Security. Before that general school, and before that I did nothing that affected me ending up here.” He somehow managed to fit into one breath.
“...Thanks for sharing,” Gabriel said and shot a questioning look to Deana. She grinned and shook her head. “Did you practice that?” Gabriel asked Sen.
“No?” He said and walked off to do whatever.
“Ok then,” Gabriel turned back to Deana. “An Igris of few words was it?”
“Correct, most of the time, he can string together several sentences once in a while,” she said chuckling. “Your turn Gabe, what did you do before ending up in space?”
Gabriel stood up and began pacing, “Alright, where do I start?” He said, mostly to himself.
“Wherever you want, we got time,” Deana said.
“Fine, fine,” he said grinning. “I’m going to skip most of my childhood, it’s not that interesting. I was a nerdy kid, always liking games and movies more than many of my friends who dove headfirst into sports. When I started high-school a war started between two foreign countries and our country sent forces to help. My sister that I told you about started military training and after I turned the right age I also joined up. I went through a program that was supposed to last for two years but after a year and a half the war ended and my sister came back. Shortly after I was discharged due to...various reasons,” Gabriel said a bit sheepishly.
“Now I’m interested,” Deana said and leaned forwards.
“It’s nothing too special, I got into some fights because I was young and dumb. And they insulted my sister who came back without some of her friends.” He said and sat down.
“I see, talking bad about soldiers who have fought in battle is seen as bad manners and even punishable in the military. Only with chores and less free time but still.” Deana said.
“I'm not sure if they were punished, but I sure was.” Gabriel leaned back against the wall. “Regardless, after that, I started selling and fixing electronics, our version of com units, and the like. It was at quite a high-end store that served several large companies and not at all a bad job.” Gabriel sighed. “Then from what I call piece together I was on my way to my parents with my sister and we got kidnapped.” He shrugged and spread his arms. “The rest I’ve told you I think.”
“Yes, I think so, I just have one question,” Deana said.
“Shoot,” Gabriel said.
“What?”
“Never mind, what’s your question?”
Deana squinted at him, “You have to explain that later, but what is boxing?”
“A...let’s call it a physical sport where we put on gloves and fight. With rules of course.” Gabriel launched into a very bare-boned explanation of boxing, explaining the basic rules and weight classes, finishing with an explanation on how matches were conducted. “There are some great human movies about boxing, shame I can’t show you any.”
“I think I understand, we have a sport which is similar but more focused on points and getting an advantage over your opponent. In the past, it was more or less put together so soldiers would train harder to try and win. But it is physical combat, though with more protection.” Deana said, “I was never a soldier so I didn’t try it, never got the training.”
“You don’t get training if you’re not in...let’s say the military part of your government?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes, and no, we get plenty of physical training and some very basics in using both guns and physical combat but no, we do not get any certification for weapons or learn combat as you have.” She explained.
Gabriel nodded, “I wasn’t that good at CQC too be honest, boxing is not part of the training I received in the military but I was better at it, and enjoyed it more.”
“What was that word, cequce?”
“Oh, C.Q.C, close-quarters combat,” Gabriel said. “We learned to fight hand-to-hand and defend against knife attacks and stuff like that.”
“I don’t suppose you learn how to fight with swords and shields?” she asked.
“Unfortunately, no”
“Shame, I don’t think we can fight without weapons. Or I mean we can, but probably shouldn't.” She said and sighed.
“No, probably not,” Gabriel said, quite aware he could likely break arms with his bare fists, even through shields. But that would hurt his knuckles in the process, or even break a wrist or two if the hit landed wrong. “Is there any, uh, tape or bandages to wrap my hands with?”
“For what? are you hurt?” Deana asked, looking questioning at his hands.
“No, not at all, just to keep me from breaking anything if I do decide to punch someone,” Gabriel said waving a hand dismissively.
“I don’t know, but that can’t be too hard to get. The ‘boss’ does want a good match and bandages will cost him little. It’s all about costs with that man.” Deana said. She stood and rolled her shoulders. “Can you teach me some boxing while we wait?”
“Sure, but what are we waiting for?” Gabriel said and stood as well.
“Food. There is nothing else to look forward to.” Deana said and looked at her fists. “Should we wrap our hands for this?”
“Preferably yes, but we can start easy,” Gabriel said. He showed her how to stand and how to guard and apart from hitting his palms a few times, they spent the next few hours on technique, some shadow boxing, and dodging. It was slow and easy-going so they used most of the time until lunch arrived. Still, they had both worked up a sweat when they broke for food.
“And you are telling me you fight for three minute rounds with only one minute between?” Deana asked as she ate. “Shadowboxing for three minutes was quite a workout.”
“Yep. Is it just me or is this food blander than usual?”
“Just you. And you fight for...what was it, 12 rounds at most?”
“At most, yes, but fights can be over in the first,” Gabriel said.
Deana nodded slowly “I can live with never becoming a boxing champion,” she said and grinned.
Gabriel chuckled, “Same here.” There rest of the day they trained some more, although it was more demonstrations and less physical and Gabriel tried to remember how CQC worked without resorting to just throwing a punch to the face of his opponent. Before dinner, he had managed to remember some throws and how to twist an arm holding a knife. Though he still remembered the optimal way to fight a knife which was to turn and sprint as fast as you can the other way.
After dinner, they talked about both Roniean II and Earth and even managed to get Sen to join them and Gabriel learned a bit more about Igris prime, the first Igris planet. Roniean II was a forest planet with quite extensive polar caps. Around the equator was a thick band of lush forests that did not get to warm or cold. It hardly ever snowed and often rained. Igris prime on the other hand was closer to earth but with more landmass north and south and less at the warm equator.
Igris prime had many popular locations for tourists with warm weather and good swimming, but further down, or up depending on with hemisphere you were on, it often rained with strong winds. And although they were not hurricane levels it would still be miserable to be out in them.
“So Earth has temperatures in the same range as us?” Sen asked.
“Yes, thereabouts,” Gabriel said. It has taken quite some time to translate temperature but they had gotten close he thought.
“But you live in almost all of them?”
“Yes”
“Are there several species of humans? how can you handle the coldest and warmest temperatures?” Sen asked him.
“We are adaptable I guess, As we produce a lot of heat ourselves we just need to isolate for the cold. The heat is different and while we do sweat to cool down we can easily overheat. Many die every year from heatstroke.”
“I see, while we do send scientists to the polar caps we need environmental suits to handle the cold. But I think we produce less body heat.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Gabriel shrugged, “My knowledge of Xenobiology is severely lacking.”
Deana reached over and grabbed his wrist, holding it for a while and then nodded, “Yes, you are warmer than me,” She nodded. “And we Ronieans have about the same temperature as Igris.” She let go of his wrist and reached a hand towards his chest, but stopped before making contact. “Boundaries, sorry,” she said and withdrew her hand. “Just wanted to check, limbs are usually colder.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t get any ideas,” Gabriel grinned and grabbed her hand and placed it on his the back of his neck.
Deana tilted her head, “Your arm was almost cold compared to this. Want to touch me in return?” she asked. “No private place though,” she grinned.
“Thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass,” Gabriel chuckled.
“Your loss,” Deana laughed, she walked back to her bed, “I think I would like to see Earth sometime, Igris prime too for that matter.”
“Won't gravity be a problem?” Gabriel went back to his bed, then decided a shower would be a good idea.
“I guess, but I can get an exoskeleton or something,” She said and stretched out on the bed.
“Or something,” Sen said from the other cell, “You could use a powered armor, provided you can get a hold of one.”
“See,” Deana said, “I just have to convince someone to give me one.”
“Good luck with that, I’m going to take a shower,” Gabriel said and grabbed a change of clothes.
“Have fun, and leave it running,” Deana said waving a hand.
The next couple of days was much the same, breakfast, practice in the training room, lunch, more practice, dinner, and free time. Gabriel tried to convince the guards to let them into the armory but apparently, the boss was away on business and they didn’t want to make any decisions while he was away. And calling was not an option it seemed. On the fourth day, after dinner, they were informed that there would be fighting the next day. Maybe his best bet for escape had been when the boss had visited but that ship had sailed. The guards were always careful when delivering food, always when Gabriel and Deana were at the far wall and they quickly shut the door after pushing in the plates. But if things went on like this he would have to risk it.
“We have to make a move soon,” Gabriel said while they were just about to sleep for the night.
“I agree, but what do we do?” Deana asked.
Gabriel sighed frustrated, “I don’t know, but if we can’t convince the boss we need access to the armory we have to try something. Every time we fight may be our last.”
“Again, I agree but I have been through several matches already,” Deana said and tapped her chest, “I can take it,”
“I’m sure,” Gabriel said, “But I don’t like risking it.”
“I agree with Gabe,” Sen said. “I believe we should try and escape after this next match, it is risky to wait.”
“I’m not arguing,” Deana said and raised her hands defensively. “But we can’t tomorrow, there will be too many guards.”
Gabriel laid down and stared up at the ceiling. “Damn it, I wanted to be out here by now.”
“Sleep, Gabe,” Deana said. “Worry tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Dee, Goodnight Sen!” Gabriel shouted at the door.
Sen chuckled from the other cell, which mostly sounded like several sharp hisses, “Goodnight Gabe, and Dee”
“Goodnight,” Deana sighed.

First / Previous
Woke up Kidnapped wiki
Wiki for more stories
submitted by FatedApollo to HFY [link] [comments]

A brief Guide to Boardgames for Newcomers

Hello dwellers, I’m a German guy who just recently got into the hobby, and spent a long time researching… well, a lot of stuff. The following is intended as a reference or perhaps a guide for newcomers who might find themselves lost. It is a long read, but I think it may save you a lot of “work” and touch topics that you might not have considered yet. Headlines are written in bold letters, so you could just scan through it or simply use Ctrl+F to see if something interests you. I mentioned my nationality so you can put some statements further down into perspective. I apologize in advance for any inconsistencies, I wrote this over a longer timespan. Anyway, here goes:
Boardgamegeek
Chances are you already heard about this infamous website. Its main purpose is to serve as a database for boardgames. All games (and many expansions) are assigned an individual score from 1 (bad) to 10 (good), one of which is the community rating, and the other a weighted rating that BGG implemented to prevent games with low review counts to reach unproportonally high ratings. As a rule of thumb, if a game you are considering to buy has a score of 6.5 or lower (which is still fine of course), you should think twice. Assigned to each game (by the community) are also: a “good” and a recommended number of players, the estimated length of the game and its “weight” on a scale from 1 (easy) to 5 (hard). There’s been some criticism regarding that simple weight score, because it does not differentiate between “difficulty to learn” and “difficulty to play”, but it is still a solid indicator of how heavy a game is. For starters, if you are trying to introduce new people to the hobby, games with weight < 2.5 might be a good starting point (for a brief list of recommendations as well as links to BGG sites, scroll all the way down).
Another important part of each game’s site is the “Expansions” tab, but we will get to that later.
BGG also hosts a market place that I have used twice so far, with great experience. You can directly access it by searching for the “Buy” button on your desired game’s BGG site. On the “Geek Market”, you’ll find listings of sellers, with their location next to their names. Make sure to read the description first, because not all listings are necessarily offering the full game.
There is a lot more going on on BGG, but I want to finish off by mentioning the Top 100, which is led by Gloomhaven. There is a latent debate about how representative that list is, but most games in the Top 100 are widely considered excellent, and they cover many different “genres”.
Kickstarter
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform for new ideas of all kinds, not only boardgames. Still, boardgames are introduced on Kickstarter frequently, and they require a certain amount of money from so-called “backers” (people who support the project financially) who pick a certain “pledge” (prices usually don’t contain shipping cost already, which is often fairly high for non-USAmericans). If enough money is collected, only then the product can actually be produced. Backers receive what they pledged for, usually 1 or even 2 years later. Most Kickstarter campaigns last for about 30 days, some are much shorter. Once the funding goal for a game has been reached, many projects will offer “stretch goals”, extra content that is unlocked gradually as more money is pledged. Again, there are some pros and cons, but remember: All that glitters is not gold, which is especially true for miniatures. You’ll run out of precious shelf space soon enough. Kickstarter projects toying with customers’ fear of missing out is a bad trend in my opinion. Some projects even offer Kickstarter Exclusive Content which is almost impossible to get your hands on later, for exmaple the “Unspeakable Box” that was part of the “Cthulhu: Death may die” Kickstarter. Dealing with that can be frustrating, so be warned.
In general, a very important question you must ask yourself is, if that game you saw for 150$ + shipping with all those stretch goals and exclusives is worth more than the number of throughly reviewed, excellent games out there that you could get instead. If money is not an issue for you at all, and you have empty shelves to fill, these concerns become less relevant.
One thing I want to mention is that for people with no credit or debit card, it may be hard to find a reliable and inexpensive way of payment. I spent days researching on that, and finally settled with the “boon” banking app. Setting it up may take a while, and since it’s a proper bank managing the whole thing, you’ll have to confirm identity for “boon+” which is highly recommended and free. It works like this: You use “SEPA” to send money to your virtual prepaid credit card (can’t go below 0), and are free to use it about 1 or 2 days later. Anyway, think carefully before entrusting someone with your personal data.
To finish off this topic, here is a “calendar” of some upcoming boardgames on Kickstarter, maintained by u/Zelbinian . Props to him.
Out-of-print (OOP) games
Unfortunately, not all games are continued indefinitely. Contracts and licences expire, money has to be made. That includes games like Android Netrunner LCG (see section below), Forbidden Stars and Battlestar Galactica. Your best bet is to try and find these games second-hand (see section “buying used”) for somewhat reasonable prices, or maybe go for a different language (see section “Buying in other languages”). Even if an OOP base game is still affordable, the price of its better expansions will often increase rapidly. The Reign and Reverie expansion for Android Netrunner, which was released in 2018 at a price of about 30$, costs at least 200$ at the time I wrote this, and there are only 2 offers I could find. For some games, like Android Netrunner, you may be lucky enough to find so-called proxies, aka scans of all cards for you to print and use. Don’t waste your money, just print them on paper and sleeve them along with the others in matte sleeves (more under section “Sleeves”). Be careful not to break any laws. Especially games that are still printed and expanded are most likely not to be copied or custom printed.
Living Card Games (LCGs)
A Living Card Game like Arkham Horror LCG is any card game that receives (somewhat) regular expansions with fixed content, some of which may be part of a “cycle”, a set of expansions that is connected thematically or storywise. I want to make very clear that it makes little sense to buy expansions packs from different cycles in random order. As a newcomer, you should first try and get a brief overview. Resources such as the .pdf files in this BGG thread for the Arkham Horror LCG will be very useful. Of course, you should start with the base set / core game before going for expansions. While you should stick to the release order within cycles, whole cycles and deluxe / standalone expansions can usually be bought and played in any order. If you are unsure what expansions to go for first, I recommend minding three criteria: Age, Price and Rating on BGG. Age is important because older expansions may not be reprinted, so getting them first could make sense. Price is important because you will probably find complete cycles for a cheaper price later, rather than following along with the newest releases. BGG Rating is a great reference if you do not know where to start after the base game. Just make sure to check the number of ratings to put the rating into perspective.
Famous and high-rated LCGs include Arkham Horror LCG, Marvel Champions LCG and Android Netrunner LCG, most of which are ideally or exclusively played with 2 players.
Unfortunately, LCGs can become very expensive. A whole cycle of the Arkham Horror LCG, consisting of one “cycle core box” (Example here) and 6 mini-expansions costs anywhere between 80$ and 120$ if you buy new. Replayability may or may not be an issue, depending on the LCG.
Most LCGs have very poor storage solutions (if any) by default. For more information, see section “Storage”.
Legacy” Games
Legacy Games like Clank! Legacy: Aquisitions Incorporated and Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 are spinoffs of standalone games that make for a campaign-like, session-oriented playthrough of their respective base games (in this case: Clank! and Pandemic). You do not need to own the base game, but trying it first will give you an idea if you will like the Legacy game or not. In general, Legacy Games cannot be used to play the base game after you are done with them, because you will put stickers on the board, tear apart cards and so on. Think of them as huge EXIT games with a much better price/value ratio.
Storage
Kallax. Next!
...actually, ikea’s Kallax is a cheap, elegant and practical way of not only storing your boardgames, but also presenting them. A 2x4 shelf costs about 60 bucks here. Only but the most monstrous boardgame boxes such as Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition, Gloomhaven, Too many Bones or War of the Ring 2nd Edition will manage to escape a Kallax’ grasp, everything else will fit in there smoothly. For proof, just go through this sub and check some “[COMC]” posts (I think it means “Cast on my Collection”, but it could just as well be something completely different). 75% of them will be black Kallax shelves stuffed with boardgames, and organizing them is so fun all the time sometimes, haha!
You can also try to store some of your games vertically rather than horizontally. Some boxes come with one side printed sideways for this very purpose. Just make sure to secure everything inside the box with rubber bands and ZIP bags.
Now that we found one possible solution for storing the boxes as a whole, let’s now tackle the much-harder-to-solve issue of storing what’s INSIDE of them (section on sleeves is further down). If the only games you ever played were Wizard and Catan (which comes with an okay storage solution by default), know that this is not the norm. In this part of the section, we will look into several issues regarding component storage and solutions using specific games as examples.

Gaming Mat
After reading into it for a while, it became clear that there is no “best gaming mat”. So to keep it short and simple: Neoprene (material) is widely appreciated, but a cheap fitness mat from amazon (or, preferrably, anywhere else) may work very well, too. All I can say is, don’t put drinks on the table if you can’t live without the game that’s on the table.
Sleeves
There is a large variety of sellers and brands to choose from. You will find a lot of info in several threads such as this, so I will only give a very brief overview with 2 recommendations. First of all, why sleeve? It's not somethign you need to do with all your cards, I'd say you should only sleeve when necessary. After all, a pack of 100 acceptable sleeves can cost anywhere between 2 and 12 bucks (or more if you really want to). Sleeve the cards that you shuffle constantly and, most importantly, you might want to sleeve that card game which went OOP (out of print) like Android Netrunner.
If you are unsure what size you need, check this thread. Many cards will have “standard” size, which means they have the same dimensions as “MtG” (Magic the Gathering) cards. Knowing this will make finding fitting sleeves a lot easier.
Next, think if you want clear or matte sleeves. Clear sleeves may be cheaper, and you get to see the actual back of your cards. Matte sleeves on the other hand have 2 advantages: First, you can pick colours of your liking and second, you can make cheap and expensive proxies likewise indistinguishable from other card for playing. I’m doing this for Android Netrunner, and it works well if you use somewhat sturdy paper. A device like this will help.
For affordable clear sleeves I re-recommend Swan Panasia, heard a lot of good things. For matte sleeves, I ordered a small number of Ultra Pro Eclipse Sleeves. They are pretty expensive tho, about 8 bucks for 100 sleeves.
Buying
This is a somewhat random list with bits of general advice.
Do not buy expensive games that your friends already own.
Try and try games before buying them, for example on Tabletop Simulator.
Don’t buy complex games unless you are sure they will see table time.
Before buying in other languages, make sure the game is either light on language or your potential players won’t mind it. Check BGG forums for a great number of resources, including rulebook translation into other languages. There’s been one for Brass: Birmingham years before it received a German edition.
When ordering from another country, or just in general, try and buy in bulk to save shipping.
Consider buying games as a group, for example Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 or Gloomhaven.
Watch reviews by established Youtubers like Shut up & sit down or No Pun Included for ideas.
If you are German, use the site brettspiel-angebote.de. If you are not, go and create a version of that site for your country. Refer to a game's BGG site to learn about ideal player count, length and complexity. Americans probably have a variety of options to choose from which I am not aware of, but one of them is this subreddit.
You can use BGG as a reference to find what expansion may be the best for your core game. Hit the “Expansions” tab, then sort by average rating. Mind the number of reviews, if it’s too low, the rating may not be representative. If you are not buying English, consider if you should. Is the game light on language? Are the expansions out of print in your language? Then you may want to buy the English version.
Stay away from unreviewed games on Kickstarter unless you are 100% sure the game is worth the price and will see table time. Do not forget about shipping, which may increase if material from stretch goals is included.
The German “equivalent” and partner to Kickstarter is the spieleschmiede from spiele-offensive.de.
If there is no particular order in which you want to buy the games on your wishlist, and there are no big sales, try and get the ones that are out of print (soon) first. Price will only go up, so you won’t lose much even if you end up not liking and reselling the game.
Play a game at least 3 times with an open mind before deciding if you like it or not.
Do not hesitate to buy used (especially for cheaper games), I had great experiences using the BGG marketplace and ebay. Make sure the seller is trustworthy, and always doublecheck the articles’s description and the game’s normal price. Often enough you’ll see offers where the seller wants more money than you’d pay new. Stay away from those guys.
No matter where you buy, unless the seller has a good reputation and you do not mind breaking Paypal’s rules, do not pay by “send[ing] money to a friend”. Serious sellers will probably agree to take the proper Paypal route if you offer them to pay extra for the Paypal fee (0.35€ + 2.5% of the price in Europe). That way, you get Paypal’s buyer protection.
The current pandemic may have you buy a lot more now that you are not playing. Don’t over do it, and make sure to coordinate your purchases with your gaming group if you have one.
Buying can become a bad habit. From what I gathered so far, a lot of people people on here have made that experience (or are going to make it). Here’s a link to a relevant thread. Unfortunately, as I am writing this, the top commentor has deleted his post (or it was removed by a mod), but what he basically said is, get your finances and your dopamine under control (goddammit!).
Last but not least, be patient! If your desired game is still available in large quantities, or seeing a reprint soon, there is no reason to rush it for a high price.
Solo Gaming
...isn’t quite the same as “classic” boardgaming. Make sure you like the concept before buying that Mage Knight: Ultimated Edition for 80 bucks. I think your best bet is to get games which not only fit your taste, but also offer an optional and well working solo mode, like Terraforming Mars. For some games, you’ll find solo variations on the BGG forums. Perhaps check them out to see if you already own a solo-playable candidate?
2-player Games
These can be hit or miss with your (playing) partner, so again you are well adviced to try games that are either cheap or come with an optional 2-player mode first (like, again, Terraforming Mars, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Castles of Burgundy, Race for the Galaxy, Hanabi (cooperative), Ticket to ride, Dominion, Spirit Island (heavy, cooperative), Marvel Champions LCG or Arkham Horror LCG (expensive). I bought most of my first 2-player games according to recommendation threads and BGG’s Top 100 list and wasn’t disappointed twice. Keyforge didn’t really work out well, and its resell value is horrible because people just assume you are trying to get rid of underwhelming decks. Anyway, for dedicated 2-player games you may want to start with cheaper, lighter games that you think fit your partner’s taste. A brief list of examples: Fox in the Forest, Patchwork, Hive or Hive Pocket, 7 Wonders: Duel, Air Land & Sea or Mandala. For dedicated cooperative 2-player games, check out Codenames: Duet or Aeon’s End. Arkham Horror LCG and Marvel Champions LCG will work best with 2 people as well.
Make sure to read the rules and play a short test round first for heavier games if you think your partner may get bored or he/she is really impatient in general. Looking up rules in the middle of the game can become very annoying. I haven’t tried it yet, but maybe use a timer every turn if the issue comes up. That will also give you a chance to point out potential hypocrisy regarding percepted and actual turn length. Of course, this is kind of an extreme measure and may not lead anywhere really. Some people just are not blessed with patience, and to deal with that, either get more people to the table for inter-turn-conversation, actually reduce your turn time somehow or avoid heavier games. Real-time games may also do the trick, but I can’t think of any that are working for 2 players.
Niche” Games
Niche games here refer to stuff like Captain Sonar, Gloomhaven or War of the Ring 2nd Edition. These may be hard to get to the table, either due to their (ideal) player count, their playing time or their complexity. Or a combination of these three (Twilight Imperium). As a general rule, as mentioned above, when you are considering to buy a game, do not listen to uncle dopamine who’s telling you that buying this 150$ game will get you and your friends the best time of your lives. Only buy them if you can actually see them being played. Make sure you know beforehand how a game is supposed to be played, if you need a dedicated group, how long it takes to read the rules, if they are well written and so on. The higher the price, the more careful you should be. 150$ (and everything close to it) is already crazy expensive, do not be fooled by current Kickstarter prices. There are cheaper, often better games waiting for you to be played as well.
(Semi-)Cooperative Games
There’s not much to say about cooperative games I guess, except that they are mostly “PvE” (Player versus Environment). Good and cheap starting options are Hanabi, The Crew, Magic Maze, 5-Minute-Dungeon, Pandemic & Pandemic: Legacy: Season 1 and, the game that I love with all my heart and that is the main reason I got into the hobby, Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition (expensive and requires an app).
But there are also semi-cooperative games. These usually include at least the possibility of one of your “friends” being a betrayer… Semi-cooperative games come in different falvours, but they will often use hidden information of some sorts. Great options out there, like Insider, Human Punishment (ridiculous but I absolutely love it), the classic, player-elimination-featuring Werewolf, the new and different One-Night-Werewolf, the infamous but expensive (and player-elimination-featuring despite its long play-time) Nemesis with a currently ongoing Kickstarter campaign and Dead of Winter, which I haven’t tried myself yet, but seems great although it’s also hit or miss apparently.
Party” Games
Party Games here refer to light games that are quick to teach and work well with large groups. Most of these are reasonably cheap. If you are interested, have a look at Just One, Insider, Wavelength ("Perfect Match" in German), Human Punishment, Decrypto & Codenames: Pictures and, of course, Twister (fight me).
Print & Play (PnP)
Print & Play – Games are, as the name suggests, games that you can print and play right away, at least theoretically. It my take some work to have the components look good, but many games do not require many components. For exmaple, I found a PnP version of Air, Land & Sea (legally of course) which usually costs about 15 bucks. If you do PnP card games, perhaps you could use some matte sleeves so your astounding works of craftsmanship are harder to tell apart. Some PnP games are only offered for a short time.
Tabletop Simulator
This is a Virtual Reality – compatible software which offers barely more than a playground for script kiddies (God bless them), who took the opportunity to imitate real games like Mage Knight and Wingspan almost flawlessly. I do not like It myself, but the software (on Steam) is rather cheap and offers tons of games for free. It is thus a great option to test games or just play them with your friends as a substitute in the ongoing pandemic. But be careful, I heard word that some “big” games are being taken down by Asmodee, and other publishers may follow. Which they have every right to do of course, but I doubt it ever hurt their sales, quite the opposite actually. But anyway.
Games that got me into the Hobby
This is what this post was going to be about before I decided to take the time and try to write a brief overview for newcomers. I played board and card games for as long as I can remember, like Yugioh and Catan. But It wasn’t until a friend showed me the Lovecraft-inspired Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition that I thought “Yeah, maybe this hobby is cool”. So props to him. I realized that what got me into the hobby was not just the fun I had playing boardgames.It’s theme. Theme is what makes a game interesting before you even look at the rules or components. Theme is what makes Human Punishment stand out for me, theme is what separates a classic card game from Fox in the Forest, and it’s theme that makes people like Battle for Hogwarts despite its numerous shortcomings. So when a game had weak theme and still managed to convince me, such as Codenames: Pictures or Just One, all the better. Until now, apart from a few games that were (soon) OOP, I focussed mostly on collecting games for any group, that means size and playtime + complexity, which are similar but do not always overlap. Here are my recommendations for games to start with, and their current estimated price in Germany (in €) according to brettspiel-angebote.de, which hopefully serves as a reference for buyers from other countries. You'll often pay much less when you are waiting for sales! If you can't wait, at least buy local if possible.
2 players: Fox in the Forest (~20€), Castles of Burgundy (~38€), Patchwotk (20€), Race for the Galaxy (~30€), Hanabi (~7€).
3&4 players: Quacks of Quedlinburg (~21€), Love Letter (~8€), Roll for the Galaxy (~39€), The Crew (~12€), Magic Maze (~21€), Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition (~80€), 7 Wonders (~36€), Terraforming Mars (~60€), Scythe (~66€), Brass: Birmingham (~60€).
5 players: Cosmic Encounter (34€), Quacks of Quedlinburg (~21€) with Herb Witches Expansion (~15€), Mysterium (~35€) or Dixit (~20€), Human Punishment (~27€), Just One (~16€).
6 players: Decrypto (~18€)or Codenames: Pictures (~18€), Wavelength ("Perfect Match" in German, 35€), Twilight Imperium (~116€), Just One (~16€), Human Punishment (~27€).
7+ players: Just check the “Party Games” section. If you are exactly 8 people, try Captain Sonar (~30€).
This Subreddit
...is amazing. It’s beyond me how there’s over a million subscribers with so few posts over the day. But oh boy is the active community active. Everyone loves talking about boardgames, and I mean, that’s what this sub is forl. Just make sure to read the rules, even though they are not super specific, it’s important to understand that you should not ask for game recommendations outside of the dedicated daily thread. Anyway, I am looking forward to look backwards when I get to build my gaming table one day, and steal all the great ideas posted here over the years for myself. So keep them coming!
Thanks for reading!
submitted by laleluoom to boardgames [link] [comments]

GW 36+ Player Point Projections

Forwards
Midfielders
Defenders
Goalkeepers
Team Stats Since Restart
Link to Last Week's Post

General Notes


Forward Notes


Midfielder Notes


Defender Notes


Team Stats Notes


As always, I hope this information is helpful to you guys. I've learned a great deal about FPL from this sub in just under two years and I want to help others succeed to the best of my ability. Cheers and green arrows for all!
submitted by shakeer13 to FantasyPL [link] [comments]

[Tales From the Terran Republic] Sweatshop Sheloran, Agent Mongrave Stumbles, and Gloria Reborn

So what's been happening in the Republic these days?
The rest of this series can be found here
Author's note:
Ok, so Old Earth supercapacitors are used by the Republic... In one VERY specific application...
***
A plath, robed in translucent silken robes, strode down a strange corridor. The walls and floor were made of a slightly moving membrane, shot through with pulsing veins carrying fluids in a rainbow of colors.
A glowing orb, one of many that illuminated the hallway, drifted over to her and started to cuddle. She smiled fondly as she petted it as it made little urgent squeaking sounds.
“Oh, you want a treat?” she asked in a strange language as she reached into a fold of her robe and pulled out a crimson berry.
The orb bounced up and down happily in mid-air as a tiny mouth opened eager to accept the morsel.
The plath laughed as the light-beast gobbled it up. “Beast” wasn’t exactly the right word. It was actually a fruit that had matured on one of the glow-trees in the main garden.
She squeezed it gently as it giggled. It was still quite firm, still a good month before it would be ready for harvesting. It was an exquisite specimen, so clever, and very long lived for its kind! It would make a magnificent feast when its cycle was complete.
She examined it closely, reaching out with her senses as she sang softly. Its seed was forming nicely already wrapped with a healthy layer of fat. Such richness already!
Yes, this one, she thought with great satisfaction. “You shall become a mighty tree, little one,” she crooned at it as it beamed happily (and literally) at her.
The illuminator followed her as she walked down the hall rubbing happily against her. As she walked a row of bulbous growths sprayed oxygen rich beautifully scented air at her. She inhaled deeply, savoring the fragrance. She stooped down and sang at the soil. It parted at her voice moving gently away from the roots. As the illuminator fruit hovered helpfully above her.
Such a good little drupe! She reached up and gave it’s underside tickles. It cooed with delight.
After examining them, the soil closed back with a beautiful song and a wave of her hand.
Finally! she thought with a satisfied smiled. There had been no sign of the blight in months. It appeared that they finally had put it to rest.
Everything on the ship in perfect balance, she thought. If only we were similarly blessed.
She cocked her head slightly. She was being watched again. Now who is that? she mused. It wasn’t her rivals or the misguided revisionists. Of that she was sure. It was different, not real but yet was.
She paused at a section of wall and crouched placing her hands on the floor. Nobody had followed her.
She rose and caressed one of the walls, singing softly as she did so.
The wall quivered and started to thin, becoming transparent, revealing a pitch black chamber behind it. Leaving her favorite illuminator behind, she stepped into the thin gelatinous membrane, passing through it with ease. It thickened and became opaque, tough, and leathery just like the rest of the passage in seconds.
The chamber started to gently glow in soft cyan hues with phosphorescent fungi when it recognized her scent. Had she been someone else, her little darlings would have had a much different reaction.
One could never be too careful, especially these days.
She waited, silently, her hands on the bones of the ancient vessel in which they traveled the other realm, crossing the gulf between the stars in mere days.
The ancient cellulose bones whispered to her. They said that nobody followed.
“Thank you old friend,” she said pressing her head against the beams.
She then shrugged off her garments, letting the silken wisps float to the floor. Her graceful form then moved to a small tray, grown into the wall, filled with a nutrient rich broth.
Inside, were a row of small flask gourds in a rainbow of hues. She selected two. She then walked to a small circular pool in the center of the chamber filled with absolutely pure water.
She knelt by the pool and a small pore in the first gourd opened. She placed two drops of purified malporixlorh extract on her tongue. She shivered as the potent drug entered her bloodstream, her mind, her soul, unlocking that which was bound.
After a few minutes of meditation, the second gourd opened, it’s top forming a small lip. She poured a small measure of an oily substance in the water, its surface soon covered with endlessly shifting prismatic colors.
She then closed her eyes. Small ripples spread around their edges as glands secreted a greasy, waxy substance that instantly melted coating a thin, almost invisible membrane.
She opened her eyes… Then she opened them again as the transparent covering slid back revealing her real eyes, the secretions causing colors to dance across their surface.
She stared into the pool, transfixed by the constantly shifting colors. They then started to intensify as time slowed down.
Small creatures living in the lining of the pool started to glow as she extended her senses beyond the walls of the ancient ship, out into the formless, timeless void of the outer realm in which she traveled, peering into the endless shifting tides of the past, present, and future, constantly changing like the colors on the surface of the water.
She smirked. Nothing changed, not really. Their fate was fixed, as it was ever since their terrible “mistake” that really wasn’t one. Try as they might, her fellow plath would not succeed. Every move they made to avoid what they were doomed to become only set it more firmly in the singing strings of reality.
She took a moment to see the struggling lines of probability as the two sides waged their pathetic war. Her sisters were fighting and all too often these days dying to prevent the foolish revisionists from tearing down all that they had built over hundreds of thousand of years. Both sides were fools. Her brothers and sisters were fighting and dying trying to preserve something that didn’t need preserving and the fundamentalists were fighting to stop that which could not be stopped.
They would not stop it. They couldn’t. They could only delay things a little. Fate’s judgment, especially when annoyed, was absolute.
The fate of the plath, and in a more immediate and pressing sense, her own, was sealed, not that it mattered. The past was set. The future was set. The only thing they were free to toy with was the present.
And her present was going to be as pleasant as possible for as long as possible. Then, just like that little glowing drupe, her cycle would end filled with happiness and peace as she rejoined all that is.
She realized that she was being distracted by the brightest colors and cleared her mind, peering deeper, looking for the soul that was caressing her being in the dead of night.
She took another drop of malporixlorh, a risk, but a worthwhile one as her mind expanded further.
There! deep in the timelessness somewhere… somewhen an individual’s mind was swimming through the void vibrating in time with the strands of fate, their fate.
She smiled and the shifting colors of her eyes synced with the shimmering of the pool. She saw her!
“Hello there,” she sang softly.
***
Sheloran awoke with a gasp, sitting bolt-upright in bed.
“Murrph?” Craxina muttered as she awoke.
“The dream again?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Sheloran replied. “It was really freaky this time,” she said as she shuddered. It felt like someone was staring at her.
“You should really stop playing that game,” Craxina said sleepily as she snuggled Sheloran.
“I know… I know,” Sheloran replied. This all started after playing “Submerged!”. It was an older title but there was just something about it. The surreal organic landscapes, and the strange little cult following that still kept the servers running after twenty years, had entranced her from the first second she loaded it.
She literally couldn’t stop playing. She had always scoffed at “gaming addiction”, but she was really starting to wonder.
And the more she played it the more intense the dreams. They terrified her. They weren’t gory or violent, like some of her nightmares, they were just… Weird… Scary weird...
Really scary.
There was no way she was going to sleep again tonight. She started to get out of bed.
“Where you goin’?” Craxina asked.
“I’m just going to sit for awhile,” she said as she wrapped a silken robe, something that she recently bought online, around her night dress.
“You’re going to play aren’t you?” Craxina asked accusingly.
“Not after that last dream,” Sheloran said as she started to make a pot of tea. She really wished she had some Helson Grass or Arenaul Herb. She had taken for granted all of the herbs and plants of her homeworld. The creators had blessed them with such bounty. For the thousandth time that week she wished she had the presence of mind to snatch a few seeds, a clipping or two.
As soon as that pooping border opened back up, she was definitely going to be getting her buddies to go pick up a few hundred different seeds. It was going to be tricky, since they were “sacred” but credits talk and dogma walks. Somebody would be willing to go foraging for a few bucks (or games).
She was getting those fucking seeds… Oops… She was getting those darn seeds, she thought as she corrected herself. What was with her potty mouth these days? The Great Prophet warned about obscenity. It was “dangerous”… for some reason.
She sat down with a book on Terran botany as she sipped her tea. She started unconsciously flipping the pages faster and faster. She suddenly stopped, staring at an organic molecule.
That’s close! she thought excitedly and then blinked. She could work with that!
Close to what and what, exactly am I going to do to it?
Oh poop, there was that strange feeling again. She set down her tea and reached for a bottle of absinthe. Absinthe was yummy!
And it certainly took the edge off...
As she took out a box of sugar cubes, Craxina quiet snoring started to fill the room. She smiled. She used to find it so annoying but now, it was really comforting. It was really nice having someone to sleep with. It wasn’t a boyfriend but still, it was nice. Then again, plath, even boyfriends and girlfriends, didn’t sleep together. Heck, even husbands and wives didn’t. She wondered why? It was nice to have someone next to you. Some of the things that the priests said the Great Prophet commanded seemed kinda loopy every now and then. (May the Great Prophet forgive her.)
What was the harm of “sleeping alongside one another”? It wasn’t like they were “doing anything”… (Not that Craxina hadn’t offered… Fortunately, she was fine with the word “no” for once...)
She was starting to think the Great Prophet was just opposed to a good time.
No, he meant well. He really did. He was just… misguided...
What!?! Great, now I really am a heretic...
Her eyes suddenly looked over at her very nice VR rig.
She was already awake and just a little Submerged wouldn’t hurt.
She walked over and put on the modified headset and smiled as a shimmering pool filled her vision. She couldn’t wait to see how her little demon/flower hybrids were doing!
***
The next morning Craxina woke up to an empty bed.
She looked over towards the VR rig. There she was, asleep with the headset on.
“Wake up, junkie,” Craxina said only halfway joking as she nudged Sheloran.
I’th ras lori’kiah-shun?” Sheloran mumbled.
“What?” Craxina asked in alarm, her fur standing on end for a second as shivers ran down her spine (and not in a good way).
“Huh?” Sheloran asked hazily as she pulled off the headset. “Sorry, I guess I dozed off.”
“Do you gamers have your own language or something?”
“What?” Sheloran asked in confusion, “No.”
“You just said something really weird. It was like really creepy.”
“Did I?”
“Yeah! It sounded, I don’t know… demonic or something!”
“Well, I am the Befouler,” Sheloran joked, “Grr!” She really didn’t want to think about… whatever just happened.
Craxina just laughed along but in all honesty, Sheloran was starting to scare her a little…
And it was getting worse…
***
Helen Mongrave drank her morning coffee as she accessed a certain dating website.
She smiled. There was a rather filthy message from an “admirer”.
“Oh, Jon,” she laughed fondly. He still had the same sense of humor he had in boarding school.
She loaded up a script and processed the unsolicited dick pic that was attached. At least it wasn’t his dick. She knew for a fact, unless he had a very uncharacteristic growth spurt, he was nowhere nearly that well endowed.
A message slowly started to appear.
He had made it into the Republic and was wanting a list of who he could trust as well as a briefing of the latest developments.
She loaded a rather graphic image that was definitely not to Jon’s taste and encrypted her reply with a chuckle.
Let’s see how Jon likes that one! she chuckled to herself. Jon was a pretty good man, or had grown into one. Yeah, he screwed up royally in the past but she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe, after all this bullshit was finally over, maybe…
***
Sheloran wiped down the counter and cleaned the espresso machines for the sixth time that morning as she tried not to think about last night.
Maybe she should just uninstall that fuc-… that darn game.
The Great Prophet was right! she thought as she felt something stir inside her. Obscenity is dangerous! That’s it! No more potty-mouth!
“May the Prophet guide my steps, guide my thoughts… May he guide me away from the darkness...” she repeated to herself, a quiet little mantra.
The door opened and a small xeno walked in with fuzzy pale fur and a cute little snout, a garthra? She thought it was a garthra, a Federation species.
“Hi!” Sheloran said brightly. A customer! A lot of her business, both legit and somewhat less so, depended on the Federation trade, something that had been brought to a screeching halt. A lot of the neighborhood was in the same boat. The whole free port zone was for the Feds, not the Empire, and a lot of the businesses in the area were run by Federation emigres just as reliant on the Fed trade as she was.
The whole place had almost shut down. If it wasn’t for her annoyingly profitable den of ill-repute she would definitely be in trouble. “The girls” (and a few boys and other genders) were pretty much what was keeping the door open these days.
“H-hello...” the little female said nervously.
“Can I help you?” Sheloran asked hopefully. “Maybe some media?” God, she hoped it was media. That was the whole reason for this whole goddam-… pooping thing.
“I… I heard… I heard that...” she said as she clutched at her pretty little dress. “I heard that someone could… make some money here? By doing… doing...” she buried her face in her little hands and made a strangled little yelping noise.
Sheloran didn’t know garthras? (she was pretty sure it was a garthra) very well but she knew crying when she heard it!
Poop. She sighed sadly. Unfortunately this was becoming far too common. People were stuck with no way to get home (or couldn’t return for one bullshi-… poopy reason or another) or their business were tanking or their employers were going under. Desperation was setting in and she was filling out way too many union cards for the wrong reasons.
It was… wrong, she thought as she felt an odd pressure around her eyes. Her eyes had been bugging her here lately. She probably needed some Eyesoothe, that’s what you took when your eyes were hurting like this. It made it go away. Some Restful Palm wouldn’t go amiss either. It really helped with the unsettling dreams and recurrent unpleasant thoughts she’d been having.
Maybe some Void Balm too! What she wouldn’t give for just a few blossoms. Absinthe just wasn’t cutting it anymore, at least in quantities remotely close to advisable.
Not knowing what to do she walked around the counter and started to wrap her arms around the distressed xeno. The poor garthra collapsed into her arms, sobbing inconsolably.
Sheloran squeezed her eyes shut and winced as her orbits ached. Seriously, this was fucked up… Messed up! I meant messed up!… Great Prophet guide my steps...
“It’s… It’s going to be ok,” Sheloran said, not really believing it.
***
A few minutes later after Sheloran calmed her down and gave her a soothing cup of peppermint tea (She wasn’t sure why but she was definitely certain it would help… And it did!)
“Have you eaten today?” Sheloran asked as Uhrrbet (that was her name) sipped her tea.
She shook her head.
“Did you eat yesterday?”
Uhrrbet’s nose started to run (garthra “tears” were really snotty!) as she shook her head.
“Well that I can help with!” Sheloran said with a smile. “Do you like donuts?”
Uhrrbet’s eyes lit up.
“Come around back,” Sheloran smiled, the pressure in her eyes finally subsiding, “Plonxi damn… I mean darn… Great Prophet guide me!… She darn near bought out a bakery this morning.”
As Uhrrbet was stuffing herself with yeasty goodness Craxina walked in, robe annoyingly open.
“I tell you,” Craxina exclaimed as she dried herself off (after a shower! Get your head out of the gutter, perv!), “that guy was freaky! You won’t believe what he wanted me to do!” she laughed. “I thought I’d heard them all but, wow!”
Uhrrbet stiffened up as Craxina started to go into detail.
“Not a good time, Craxi,” Sheloran said urgently making a cutting off motion behind Uhrrbet’s back.
“Oh, it isn’t bad at all!” Craxina said to Uhrrbet. “You don’t even have to try to shove one inside you, if you don’t wanna. You can just play with it or put it in your mouth! Their stuff tastes really good!”
Uhrrbet’s nose started to run.
“Craxi. Go. Away!” Sheloran said as her eyes started to pulse.
“Yessh!” Craxi said, her damp fur trying to stand on end. “Alright! Alright! Jesus!” she yelped as she snatched a donut and scurried off.
“Sorry about that,” Sheloran said to Uhrrbet trying to calm her back down. “Craxi is… well her whole species is… They’re different from most of us.”
“It’s… ok…” Uhrrbet said between damp sniffles. “I… I guess I need to get… used to...”
She broke down, dripping boogers onto the donuts.
I hate my job, Sheloran thought as she held Uhrrbet. This was supposed to be fun, selling games to Federation delinquents. It wasn’t supposed to be this bullshit.
“Hey… hey...” Sheloran said soothingly, somewhat at a loss. “Look, you don’t have to do this.”
“I do!” Uhrrbet wailed. “I owe the Harkeen money! If I don’t come to work for you, I’ll have to work for them!”
Sheloran snarled as her eyes started killing her. Those… jerkfaced bullies! She hated them with a passion! They were part of the Threen mafia and were a constant pain. They thought they ran the free port. She already had more than one run-in with those… fucker-… Jerks!. She had done a couple of “union membership drives” involving some of their “employees”. They liked to growl and spit but they just a bunch of scared little bullies. When the union came calling they always backed down but sooner or later, they were right back at it. Drugs, prostitution, “protection rackets”, stuff like that.
She didn’t have a problem with them because she had the union at her back but so many others had no choice but to pay them off.
And the cops were useless. They didn’t care what happened “down here”. They just broke up fights and if something worse happened they would collect the bodies and make arrests if they could.
She really should start selling weapons… It wouldn’t take much to get a dealer’s license…
But most of the little Feds were too timid to use them anyway. That’s the problem. Everyone ran scared of them.
“Is there anything else you can do?” Sheloran asked helplessly. “A skill, a trade… anything?”
“I… I can sew,” she said hopefully. “I made this dress!”
“Well that’s something!” Sheloran said cheerfully. “Hand made anything is valuable! If you can sew then there is no reason why you couldn’t make human clothes and sell them!”
“But I don’t have money for fabric or anything,” Uhrrbet said helplessly. “And if I don’t pay them something by tomorrow they say they’ll… they’ll...”
She started crying again.
Voiddammit… I mean poop… Great Prophet help me! Please!
“(Sigh)… How much do you owe?” Sheloran asked cursing herself (for real) for asking.
“Fifteen hundred… Sixteen hundred by tomorrow,” she said helplessly.
“Ok,” Sheloran said as she pulled out a transactor. “I’ll front you the cash to pay them off, and you can work here, I still have space. I’ll pay you by the piece and then… I’ll sell it… somehow… I don’t know, I’ll set up a website or something.”
Uhrrbet looked up at her in hopeful disbelief.
“You’d… You’d do that?”
Why? Sheloran implored the universe. Why are you doing this to me?
“Sure, why not?” Sheloran replied. “My ‘normal’ business is in the crapper. Might as well diversify a little. Let’s call it an investment. If it works out then great! If not… then we can talk about a union card.”
“Thank you!” Uhrrbet exclaimed throwing her little arms (and tail) around a somewhat uncomfortable Sheloran. “Thank you! Thank you so much!”
“It’s what I do… apparently.” Sheloran said as she hugged her back.
At least my eyes aren’t hurting anymore. That’s worth something.
***
Helen Mongrave clicked “send” on her naughty little picture with a laugh. Jon was just going to “love” that! Furries were definitely not his thing!
Hey, that rabbit was pretty cute if she did say so herself!
Chuckling to herself, she shrugged into her shoulder holster, threw on her jacket, and headed out towards her grav-car. It was an older model, but it still worked great. Besides, she loved her old junker!
At least it gave her coworkers an easy target for the ration of shit they liked to throw back and forth. She pretended it bothered her so they would keep at that instead of finding something that really stung.
As she was reaching her car she noted movement out of the corner of her eye.
Two “suits” approached. Cheap ill-fitting suits, obvious bulges from their shoulder-holsters…
Agency. She would bet her life on it.
Fuck... she thought as she unbuttoned her jacket.
“Ms. Mongrave?” a broad-shouldered human with a buzz-cut asked.
“Never heard of her,” Helen replied as she turned to face them and surveyed the area. Two agents visible, probably more.
She was fucked.
“You need to come with us, ma’am,” the man said as he reached into his jacket.
She just smiled and drew her pistol…
And promptly tried to shove it in her mouth.
Zap
A heavy-stunner bolt cut her down before she could silence herself.
Helen Mongrave, dropping her pistol, collapsed.
The two agents caught her before she hit the ground as an unmarked van screeched to a halt and the door flew open.
Within seconds, Helen was gone.
***
Jon burst into laughter as he checked his messages.
“What?” Skippy asked as she walked up and wrapped her arms around him. “Who the fuck is that bitch?” Skippy laughed as she saw the picture. “Making a move on my man? I’ll kill her!”
“I guess the cat’s out of the bag,” Jon laughed as he started decrypting the message. “Can’t keep anything from that woman,” he chuckled, "never could."
He stopped chuckling as he read. It wasn’t good. It went way deeper than he hoped.
“Jesus,” he muttered.
“That bad?”
“Worse,” Jon replied. “I don’t know how to fix this.”
Skippy flashed a toothy smile as her blades slowly extended.
“I have an idea...”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that,” Jon replied. “The Republic has been though enough… Oh hey!”
“That sounds encouraging.”
“I never thought in a million years I’d say this but I fucking love Jessica Morgan!” he said as he pointed at the screen.
“Wow...” Skippy replied. “That’s a shitload of money!”
“I wonder how loyal her inner circle really is?” he chuckled.
“Why don’t you ask that bitch in the hold?”
“According to her they are like a cult,” Jon replied, “completely unshakable.”
“They thought the same about her, you know,” Skippy grinned. “I wonder how many other ‘unhappy diners’ there are?”
“Dare to dream...” Jon replied as he pulled Skippy onto his lap.
“What?” Skippy asked. “That picture get your motor running?”
“Nah,” Jon said as he pulled her in for a kiss. “I got the real thing right here.”
Skippy giggled as she started to pull off his t-shirt.
Jon’s communicator started to ring.
“Goddammit,” he muttered as Skippy just signed, nuzzled his neck, and started to get dressed.
Jon looked at the screen and frowned. Rasheed was calling? On a live connection?
That wasn’t good.
“Lubricants Unlimited customer service department,” Jon answered. “Your asshole is our asshole!”
“Jon,” Rasheed said grimly, “They got Helen.”
“What?!?”
“Grabbed her about an hour ago. They are accusing her of treason and conspiring against the Republic.”
“Isn’t that a bit redundant?” Jon replied.
“This is serious, Jon! She knows everything! If she talks...”
“It’s a lot worse than just serious,” Jon said with a frown, “However, if they are doing this officially, then she’s probably in the system somewhere. Everyone breaks but it’s going to take time to crack her open. Find her. We’ll handle the rest.”
“Ok. We’ll find her,” Rasheed said regaining his composure.
“Don’t be a hero, Rasheed,” Jon said grimly. “If it looks like it’s getting too warm, you guys need to bolt. We don’t need to compound the tragedy.”
“If we run, we lose the agency,” Rasheed replied. “I’m not handing over Republic Intel to that bitch!”
“We might not have a choice,” Jon replied. “If you can’t locate her, go. I’d rather lose the agency than lose the agency and some damn good operatives and analysts.”
Rasheed’s worried face suddenly broke into a wry smile.
“What?”
“Since we are technically ‘criminals’,” he replied, “Why don’t we call in the big guns?”
“Huh?”
“Question,” Rasheed said as his smile grew. “which criminal did you keep a holo of on your desk?”
“I like the idea but they don’t operate in the Republic,” Jon replied.
“Yeah,” Rasheed said with a grin, “about that...”
***
In a hollowed out asteroid on the outskirts of Sol, Harval Smythe and a motley assortment of humans and xenos all stood anxiously beside it…
Absolute perfection… The single greatest achievement of his life.
A flaxen beauty with the most frightening eyes he had even seen in his life silently walked beside it lightly running her fingers along the hull.
“We worked around the clock, ma’am,” he said nervously, unnerved by her silence.
“I paid for quality, not haste,” she said in a leaden voice.
What the hell was she? he thought as he was filled with dread. Something was seriously wrong with her.
“It’s… perfect, ma’am,” he stammered as his crew all nodded furiously. “We have all of the NDT results and diagnostics right here,” he said as he handed her a tablet.
Gloria took it and after a few moments she looked up, her eyes flashing with anger.
He flinched. He thought the dead eyes were bad. These were worse!
“These results are not expected. You have deviated from my specifications. I am… displeased.”
Fear gripped his heart. There was little doubt what that might mean.
“Y-yes… we made some adjustments… Improvements!” he yelped. “Look!” he gestured at the tablet. “We increased power output by fifteen percent and your thrust to weight ratio has increased significantly! And we added safety features!”
“Safety?” she hissed advancing upon him slowly.
“Oh shit,” a large black man muttered as he picked up a communicator, “Shelia?” he said urgently. “You might want to get down here! Gloria is about to go Yellowstone!”
“Fuck,” an annoyed voice replied. “Stop her.”
“No way!” the giant exclaimed. “She’s in her unhappy place!”
“The exposure levels in the cockpit were completely unacceptable!” Harval yelped as he backed away, “We added a modified reactor shielding unit around the cockpit! The increased power levels more than make up for it and it reduces your net signal emissions by two percent! Look! Please for the love of God look!…" he begged as Gloria slowly kept walking towards him with glassy porcelain like eyes. "Look at the specs you stupid bitch!” He screamed, suddenly enraged. He had created a masterpiece, goddammit!
Oh no,” a small brunette gasped quietly as she looked away.
Gloria blinked in surprise and looked at the tablet again. There was the briefest flicker of life in her eyes and then with a slow exhale they glazed over again.
“I’m taking it out,” she said after a few moments.
“Yes! Please!” Harval exclaimed.
“Tell T’sunk’al to try to find me,” she said as she climbed inside the sleek black ship.
There was absolutely no sound as it powered up. The hangar doors opened and before they had stopped moving the ship was gone leaving nothing but a small hurricane as it left.
“Fuck!” Jessie screamed as she dove for cover.
Outside the black ship banked, rolled and dived with ever increasing speed.
“We just got pinged.” T’sunk’al said in his trademark unflappable tone. “Range… One-hundred yards?!?… Hyperspace event! Range… unknown!… She got us again… Range… No way!” he exclaimed. “Fifty yards?!?
The Paper Tiger shuddered.
“She just rubbed our shields!” the chief shouted, “Crazy bitch!”
“Hyperspace event!” T’sunk’al yelled. “Close enough to flash our shields!”
The ship shuddered again.
“Fucking stop that!” the chief yelled into the microphone.
“Where the fuck is she?!?” T’sunk’al yelled, his normally unflappable nature thoroughly flapped.
“Hyperspace event!” he shouted. “How the hell is she jumping so fast?”
“She’s fluttering the banks!” the chief said shaking his head, “Recharging them with the surge from the shields as she slams through space time! I’ve heard rumors about this but I’ve never actually seen it done before. It’s suicide! One fraction of a second off and… boom! It takes a true master to even think about pulling it off and even so, those banks must be made out of unicorn hooves or something! Where is she venting the heat? She can’t be sitting in it, right? Not even she would cook herself, would she?”
WHAM
“What the fuck was that?!?” Sheila yelled.
“Direct contact to our shields with the hull of the ship,” the chief shouted angrily. “She missed us by less than a meter!” He grabbed the mic. “Goddammit! If you fry the shields you are the one cleaning the conduits!”
“We just got painted by direct targeting,” T’sunk’al said, “range… Hyperspace event!… We’re painted… From the other side!… Range… Oh I don’t even fucking care anymore…”
***
Harval and about a dozen very nervous men and women of several races stood nervously in the shop bay.
Suddenly there was a blast of wind…
And the ship was there, so fast that nobody really saw it pull in.
It landed, and Gloria stepped out, eyes as dead as ever.
She walked up to Harval…
“So… Is it-”
Before he could react Gloria lunged…
And gently kissed him on the lips.
He stared in disbelief.
Her eyes were as dead as ever…
But there were tears running down her cheeks.
Without a word she pulled out a transactor…
“Rerun all diagnostics,” she said without emotion. “Recheck the frame. I’ll pay double for your time.”
“Yes, ma’am!”
***
“You crazy bit-” the chief started to yell as Gloria entered the Tiger, and then fell silent.
Gloria, the brigand, the psychopath, was gone.
It was Gloria, the Ice Queen, Gloria the Undying, Lieutenant Samuels, the Lich Queen, the Angel of Death, who stepped aboard.
“Jessie,” Gloria said in a cold dead voice almost like the one she always used, “Do you have targets for me?”
“Um… Yeah,” Jessie said quietly just staring at her.
“Lieutenant,” the chief said briskly. “I’ve confirmed the measurements. We can just barely fit your ship in the hold, barely. I would say that it would be impossible to actually land in here but I doubt it will be an issue.”
“How much room for munitions?” Lieutenant Samuels asked calmly.
“We can carry two complete loadouts, at least, maybe more if we install roof racks.”
“Excellent, Chief,” Gloria the Revenant, replied with a faint smile. “Give me a couple of feet. You can have the rest.”
“Yes, ma’am,” the chief said before he caught himself with a wince. He didn’t mean to do that!
“Welcome back, Lieutenant,” Sheila said with a smile.
There was the briefest flicker in The Lich Queen’s eyes as she simply nodded in reply, then it was gone.
submitted by slightlyassholic to HFY [link] [comments]

Don't pee in your dreams. It's a trap... [50,000 contest]

“GET HIM OFF ME! I screamed, desperate for breath and nearly choking on my own blood.
Another vicious shot to the ribs hit me, full force from an elbow that felt like a cinder block. Why in the hell we thought we could pull this off, I’ll never know. The man was made of fucking granite and it was all I could do to stay on him. Within seconds, what started as a rear naked choke had turned into me just holding on for dear life so he couldn’t come at me head-on. Our “simple” plan to take this asshole down and give him what he deserved had turned into that scene from Rocky III where Balboa is getting his shit ruined at the end of The Fabulous Thunder-Lips’ boot. I didn’t have much time left before my likely shattered ribs were jammed into my heart.
I was being smashed against the rough concrete wall for what felt like the hundredth time, but managed to get my legs around him and hook him at the elbows, leaving his midsection exposed. My co-conspirator Scotty picked himself up from the floor for the third time and ran at the big psychopath with everything he had left. At 215lbs or so, Scotty was no slouch, and when his boot made contact with the man’s ribs I heard a loud snapping sound. The man sagged, his arms relaxing just enough for me to regain my leg lock. Scotty grabbed an old staircase spindle and swung furiously at the man’s skull. He teetered, toppling over stiff-legged like an ancient tree in a perfectly quiet forest.
Scotty and I both collapsed, completely spent after a full five minutes of fighting. His eye was already terribly swollen and one of his teeth had somehow ended up on a nearby workbench. A large patch of Scotty’s hair was gone. I located it a moment later…in the big man’s hand.
I was positive I had at least one cracked rib and the left side of my face was completely numb. I had somehow lost my shirt, so the back side of me was nothing but pink skin scraped raw. My right wrist was most assuredly broken, as it made an agonizingly painful crunching sound when I rotated my hand.
I willed myself back to my feet and looked around for the rope we’d brought.
“This isn’t the movies. He could wake back up at any time. We gotta get him tied up ASAP and finish the job.”
Scotty found the rope beneath the man’s legs and set to work. We had him secured in just under a minute.
“I’m tying triple knots for this guy. If we have to go toe-to-toe with him again he’ll either kill us, or we’ll wish he had.”
Our plan was finally back on course, but we were beaten badly and possibly too weak to finish what we’d started.
Broken wrist and all, I helped Scotty drag that massive human, feet first, up the basement stairs and out to a van I had managed to conjure up out of thin air. His chin bounced off each step as we made our way up to the door, and in my mind I hoped it was breaking teeth every time.
I was scared. Why? Because I knew we were in over our head. Despite our injuries, we’d fought ferociously for quite a long time, yet he never made a sound—not a single peep. Not one grimace of pain or scream of rage. Just nothing. Aside from his initial greeting, the only sound that ever crossed his lips was the sharp exhale as Scotty’s spindle finished the job.
It shouldn’t have been a surprise, really, because he’d never made a sound from the first time I saw him…silently stalking my dreams.
Until recently, I had never wet the bed.
However, the first time I recall specifically making note of not wetting the bed was about 10 years ago. I was deep into one of my usual, stupid dreams; I believe in this one I was back at my old high school, doing only God knows what kind of stupidity. I was probably being chased by a tiger—why is it always a fucking tiger?
I usually have a gun in the tiger dreams, but it never shoots. So after taking a pot shot at the thing with my useless Glock, I feel the overwhelming urge to urinate, and I’m suddenly in the boy’s bathroom.
I find a stall, go to it, and the toilet is broken.
I go to the next stall…I see shoes from underneath.
The next stall has a broken door.
And the last one has overflowed. Water is softly pouring over the side like one of those sweet Infinity pools--only this one doesn’t have a hot bikini chick on a raft. Instead it’s host to a couple turds of significant girth, drifting ever-so-close to the porcelain’s edge and threatening to come crashing down on my Ultra-Boosts.
I have to piss like a racehorse, this bathroom is out of options, and there’s a tiger outside in the hallway leaning against the lockers smoking a cigarette, patiently waiting for me to reappear.
Then I wake up, and realize I need to pee in real life*.*
This shit happens to me…often.
Part of me is driven completely crazy by this little aspect of my subconscious, but I’m actually quite thankful my brain is willing to concoct some Vanilla Sky caliber dream scenarios to stop me from creating a warm, wet spot for my wife to roll over into.
Over the years, everything you can conjure up has had an opportunity to stop me from pissing myself. Tigers, Velociraptors, sinkholes, giant crowds of people watching me, a man with a gun standing in front of the stall, and a giant clown.
I know what you’re thinking…”oh geez, another grown man scared of clowns.”
I am not scared of clowns.
What I’m scared of is a 7 foot tall grown man, willing to dress as a clown standing well within reach of my vulnerable penis.
I have had some epic piss prevention scenarios over the years, and each time it happens it feels like the first time. I do appreciate my brain very much for keeping things dry and I give props for the creativity involved, but recently things took a strange, dark turn.
I was chillin’ in one of my typical dreams. I don’t recall a tiger this time, so more than likely it was one of my staple scenarios…driving a two foot long car, or running like an ape.
At some point, my bladder transports me to the house I grew up in. I make my way to the bathroom in the back of the house, then enter and flip the light switch. Nothing happens, and of course I can’t pee in pitch blackness.
Then suddenly after 10 years, my bladder has entered the game and decides to fight back, showing me a desk lamp sitting on the toilet tank, right next to that JC Penny catalog I used to love so much.
I flip on the lamp, lift the lid and get ready to go, when it suddenly goes dark. Foiled again and frustrated, my full bladder and I turn around to leave and something happens. Someone GRABS me, wraps their arms around me, and says
“Let me try something…”
I roared like a wild animal and shot straight up out of bed, ready to do battle with whoever had just put me in a bear hug, which subsequently scared the ever-loving shit out of my wife--even more so than the time I practically shoved her out of bed because I saw a jellyfish on the wall.
This was different, though. I have never, ever felt physical contact like that in my dreams. It felt as real as anything I’d ever experienced up to that point, and even the next morning I could STILL feel the memory of it, just as any other significant human contact I had ever experienced.
The experience weighed heavily on me for a few days. I knew it was a dream, but I also knew what I felt. It felt very real, and I had to find out for sure. If it happened again it could go further and turn into something I may very well not be able to handle.
So, I concocted a plan. I would drink a metric ass ton of liquid before bed and hope like hell the walnut between my ears would take evasive action and dream something up to stop an unwanted Golden Shower. Then, I would keep my eyes peeled for whoever grabbed me last time, and confront them.
It took some experimentation to eventually achieve success. Water and soda didn’t seem to be doing it, so after a couple unsuccessful weeks I broke out the guaranteed urinary tract assault…vegetable soup. That stuff hits my bladder HARD and doesn’t let up for hours.
I whipped up granny’s recipe, had three big bowls around 7:00, and went to bed at 9:30.
The bathroom trips were relentless that night, but between the 5th and 6th visit I must have finally hit a solid spell of REM sleep and it was “go time.”
The scene was me, alone, walking toward a grassy hillside when I suddenly got that familiar urge to evacuate. There was nothing but grass as far as the eye could see in every direction and I absolutely HATE peeing outside. Then as if my mind was reading my mind, a urinal magically appeared. It was perfectly white and fresh, with a strawberry scented deodorant cake in the bottom and no chewing gum in the bowl area. I smiled at the great fortune bestowed upon me by my bladder and unzipped my imaginary trousers.
Without warning, just as sweet relief was about to hit me, I was facing a wall of dirty, haggard looking soldiers on horseback. These were the gritty, hard-nosed types you see in Braveheart or Game of Thrones. Leather armor, with big wooden shields and rusty swords stained with the blood of their enemies.
My pelvic floor muscles hit the brakes HARD. There was no way I was gonna be able to get my flow on in front of all these people. So I zipped up, with that annoying bladder pressure still tapping me on the shoulder in reminder, and backed up a bit to get a better look at the scene before I would most assuredly wake up.
But I didn’t wake up, and I stood mesmerized as the sea of men parted down the middle and a man walked through. He wasn’t a soldier, and in-fact he looked nothing at all like the men surrounding him. He looked to be mid-thirties, average height, strongly built and dressed in modern day jeans and a t-shirt emblazoned with some rock band I didn’t recognize.
He walked up to me and offered his hand. I took it.
A bolt of lightning shot up my arm and that *real* feeling hit me hard. This was it. It was the same guy.
He spoke in a familiar accent.
“I’m Scotty. You’re a hard man to catch--and stronger than you look. I had a hell of a hold on you last time and you got out fast enough to make me rethink my workout regimen."
I gave the only logical reply.
“That’s because I have super strength in my dreams. Why did you grab me?”
His smile had disappeared. Looking at me with serious eyes, he slowly raised a finger and pointed off to his right.
“Because I think he wants to kill you.”
My eyes gently rolled in the direction his extended finger indicated. The soldiers were all gone, but about 50 yards out I could see a lone figure. It was a man. Exceptionally tall, perhaps 6’6”, and broad shouldered. He wore tan Carhartt work pants and a blue denim style shirt rolled up at the sleeves. A receding line of sand colored hair sat in a messy heap on his head, and even at such a distance I could see coal black eyes staring out.
Connected to some stout-looking forearms were giant hands, and in his right was several loops worth of what appeared to be cut-off extension cord. In his left hand was a large canvas bag.
If the work clothes were replaced by a suit and the cord became a briefcase, you wouldn’t look twice at the man. He was THAT ordinary. But with those black eyes, the no-nonsense outfit and chosen accessories in hand, he looked menacing…like a farmhand or mechanic who had “put up with enough of the Democrats’ bullshit” and decided to go stomp the guts out of anyone who didn’t fit his narrative.
As a monster in my dreams though, he wasn’t what I would conjure up. And really to be honest, my personal monster would probably just be someone trying to make me run my fingernails across glossy photo paper. *shudder*
“Dude…I’ve run across you half a dozen times over the past year, and every single time that creepy asshole was watchin’ you from an uncomfortably close distance. He’s out to get you, and I’m not sure what’s stopped him so far.”
Out of the corner of my eye I could see the sandy-haired Man continued to stare directly at me. He hadn’t even flinched, or blinked, or done anything to suggest that he wasn’t just a prop in this nightmare, and it was certainly unsettling. Then, all of a sudden, he slowly turned and walked back over the hill and out of sight.
I turned my eyes back to Scotty.
“Are you a real person? I know this is a dream, but it feels as real as my own life. And why are you seeing me?”
Scotty grinned.
“You might think I’m the weirdest son of a bitch you ever talked to, but I’ll tell ya anyways. I’m very real. I’m also a fitness fanatic, and obsessed with longevity of life. I wanna live to a hundred plus years old and I’ve developed certain methods to keep myself on track to hit that number.”
“Ok?” I said quizzically.
He continued. “One of my anti-aging techniques is makin’ sure I stay in REM sleep as long as possible. REM is essential to optimal health in every way because all the good shit happens to you while you’re at that level of sleep. I take all the steps necessary to keep myself there as much as possible. I sleep in absolute darkness with the perfect temperature and the most comfortable bed. I wear a mask, use a cocktail of natural sleep aids, and anything else I can get my hands on in order to achieve uninterrupted REM”
He shrugged.
“But, I’m 43 years old and the one thing I’m losing control of is the call of nature. A while back I started having to get out of bed to pee every night and it threw my entire plan into chaos. I believe maximal REM sleep is possibly the MOST IMPORTANT factor in longevity. I was in a panic, and in desperation I came up with an idea. Diapers. I decided to wear an adult diaper to bed and train my brain to let me pee in it without coming out of REM. I know it sounds crazy, man. I know it. But I was desperate, and necessity is the mother of invention.”
I’m a pretty open-minded guy so this really wasn’t all that ridiculous to me, but I was definitely laughing…in a polite way.
“So you now wear a diaper at night, and go ahead and wet the bed and deal with the aftermath in the morning? All to stay in REM?”
Nodding, he finished the story.
“I do. And through intensive meditation and focus, I trained my brain to take me to a toilet during my dreams so it doesn’t try to wake me up. Now, I don’t understand the dream world but apparently it exists somewhere other than just inside our own selves, but I’ve been hitting some of these bathrooms at the same time you do. In-fact, every time I see you you’re standing in front of the toilet I need and I end up waking up and ruining my REM period. So, a few weeks back when you walked into that same house and that same bathroom with that godawful rose colored wallpaper, I…
I cut him off.
“My mother chose that wallpaper, asshole.”
He backed up a step.
“Easy there fella, I was just takin’ the piss…no pun intended.”
Scotty continued.
“So as I was saying, I decided I would grab you and see if I could tell you to stop interfering in my bed wetting. But you got out of my hands so fast I didn’t get the chance. But I KNEW at that point that you were real, like me. The energy when I touched you was unbelievable.”
“Yeah, I felt it too, and that’s why I’m back here today. You scared the living shit out of me with that stunt, but I suppose my desire to explore that event was stronger than my sense of self-preservation.”
Scotty pointed over to the now unoccupied piece of land where the sandy-haired man had been standing.
“I think he’s real too, and it seems to me he’s locked in on ya for some sort of nefarious purpose. I think it’s because you stick out in the bathroom situations. Characters he’s conjured up in his own dream scenario aren’t complex enough to walk up to a stall with a broken door and panic. He figured out you’re real and he’s got something in mind for you. Why he hasn’t done anything yet, I don’t know, but I needed to warn you. That night I grabbed you, he was standing in the bedroom doorway at the end of the hallway. He doesn’t seem interested in me, though”
I kicked the dirt at my feet.
“Shit, man. That’s my old bedroom. I end up there in my dreams pretty often, which is odd because I always considered sharing that space with my brother to be a living nightmare. He farted in his sleep constantly.”
Scotty shrugged his shoulders
“I don’t know what to tell you. I know right now I’m at home in Clarksburg, fast asleep to the artificial sound of seagulls in a perfect 67 degrees Farenheit bedroom, wearing a warm, hopefully piss-filled diaper. But this moment is real as well, and I’m afraid if that man gets hold of either of us we may never wake up—or at least not in the lives we currently know. I feel like there’s a reason two strangers in the dream world keep ending up in the same place at the same time. I think I need to help you figure this out.”
I looked at him, a little relieved but still VERY unnerved.
“I sincerely appreciate the warning. I…wait…did you say Clarksburg? Clarksburg, West Virginia?”
With surprise on his face, he said “Uhh..yes. You know of it?”
“Yes. Because I live in Huntington.”
His eyes nearly popped out of his skull.
“YOU ONLY LIVE A COUPLE HOURS FROM ME?”
“It appears so, Scotty. This is really starting to NOT feel like a coincidence.”
Another half hour or so later (I finally had to wake up and pee), Scotty and I parted ways. We shared address and contact information, of which his phone number I managed to forget by the time I woke up. However, I did remember his home address.

***
I took the day off work and made some lame excuse to my wife, then headed for Clarksburg. On the long, boring-ass drive up there I thought about what I might do, say, etc, once I met the real Scotty. I mean…if he really WAS real. I had no guarantee the dude was actually some random guy living in my own state. For all I knew, one of my elaborate dreams was just more elaborate than usual. Plus, I had been to Clarksburg several times for one reason or another over the years so my subconscious could have just conjured up a real address I’d seen on a past visit.
I arrived to town still not quite sure if I was doing something entirely stupid, and made my way down a country road to the address Scotty provided. It was real. The number on the mailbox corresponded with a small, nondescript yellow house situated adjacent to the main road. I pulled into the gravel driveway, exceptionally nervous and definitely packing my pistol just in case it wasn’t Scotty’s house, and instead was actually inhabited by some old creeper.
The poorly maintained front yard contained several pieces of outdoor type exercise equipment and a bike rack was attached to the trailer hitch of the off-road style Tacoma in the driveway. A crooked “26.2” sticker was on the bumper, indicating the driver had run a marathon at some point…or at least knew where to buy a 26.2 sticker. It was quite the coincidence because my truck’s bumper has a sticker that reads “0.0 I don’t run.”
Well…the Scotty I’d met said he was a health nut, so the yard and vehicle fit the description. However, I didn’t see any dirty diapers strewn about. Maybe he leaves his in the Wal-Mart parking lot like everyone else.
I rang the bell, quickly patting my concealed firearm’s holster for peace of mind.
The door opened and there was Scotty “in the flesh” as they say. He had a surprised look on his face, to say the least.
“Wow. You’re real.”
“So are you.” I threw my hands up.
“Well…now what?”
Scotty gestured for me to come inside.
“I have a plan, dude. Allow me to share.”
Scanning my surroundings, I took a seat on the couch. It was a pretty typical place for a bachelor. The TV and home theater gear was too big for the wall they sat adjacent to, while old movie and concert posters adorned the other walls. The kitchen consisted of basic appliances, then what appeared to be a DIY hyperbaric chamber.
“Nice place. Where’s the diaper pail?”
He grinned. “Literally, I would never have divulged that information if your life hadn’t depended on it.”
We got right to the business at hand.
Scotty had a theory. If he and I were in such close proximity, then there must be some kind of geographic layout in our dreams. With that knowledge in hand, he believed that the sandy-haired man must also be reasonably close. We agreed that we had no idea what would happen if he carried out whatever horrors he seemed to have in mind.
Could we die in a dream? If so, would we wake up? If we woke up, would we ever dream again?
We spoke about the situation at length, and decided our first plan should be to follow the man and see if the places he went and things he did would provide some clues as to his real world location.
It took some strategic planning and well-timed liquid consumption, but Scotty and I finally managed to be in the same place at the same time in our dreams again. It was a Sears department store location near where I grew up. I made my way to the rear of the store, then down the hallway that always smells faintly of armpits.
That Sears bathroom is pretty much my go-to when I’m at that mall. It’s only slightly better than a decrepit gas station on Route 66, but it’s almost always empty so I can pee in peace.
Scotty entered a moment later.
“Dude…he’s outside in the tool area. I watched from a distance as he followed you, but you got out of his sight on the way over here. I don’t think he knows where the bathroom is yet, which tells me he’s probably not someone who lives in your local area. Where are we, anyway?
I rolled my eyes as I explained. “It’s a mall near where I grew up. In real life I always pee in this bathroom because it’s always empty. I’ve never actually ended up here in a dream, though.”
We quietly snuck back out through the hallway. Scotty took the lead and checked a few aisles before motioning for me to follow.
And there he was, in the lawn and garden section…looking at axes.
He was even bigger than I’d estimated during our first encounter. He had the look of a person you’d imagine bending steel pipe by hand, or holding up a collapsed roof to rescue his fellow miners.
As the sandy-haired man left that section of the store and began to explore, his size was in stark contrast to his movements. His pace was smooth-- almost delicate even, as he moved throughout the store, and there were no footfalls or clumsily bumping into things amidst the tightly packed aisles.
We stayed out of sight, camouflaged by the dream-manifested store patrons while keeping the man in sight. Eventually he made his way back to the tool area and located the bathrooms. He disappeared into both the men’s and women’s rooms, then reappeared just as quickly and set back out across the store.
We had officially lost him. Now it was time to do some stalking of our own.
Scotty and I watched the big man cross the Sears parking lot, heading right for the traffic loop. We followed bit by bit, keeping low along the line of cars in the crowded lot.
Making his way through a crowd of onlookers participating in what appeared to be a dog fight—more specifically, poodles…Toy Poodles….surprisingly violent little things, too. I made a mental note to be nice to my neighbor’s fluffy puppy.
Passing right through it all as if it didn’t exist, the man stepped out into traffic. He walked directly in front of a car and disappeared as it passed right through his body.
Scotty and I stood there in disbelief for a few seconds, but we knew what had to happen. I exhaled sharply as we stepped in front of a literal rocket ship on wheels. I was sure we were about to get smashed, but instead we were suddenly standing on a quiet residential street. Instantly taking a look around before setting off again, we kept our eyes peeled for the sandy-haired man. It took a few minutes of exploring, but Scotty and I finally caught sight of him standing in front of a small, immaculately maintained house. Light gray with maroon shutters, the surrounding property was comprised of beautiful, lush grass and round, perfectly manicured bushes that put my own landscaping shit-show to complete shame.
Scotty pointed off in the distance and looked over at me.
“Hey. I know this area. That water tower. It’s in Pennsylvania, just across the state line. I used to date a girl that lived over here, somewhere.”
Knowing the answer already, I asked…”So how’d that relationship turn out?”
With a smug look, he said “She was a hippy, and wasn’t fond of shaving or bathing. I couldn’t deal with that.”
I crossed my arms and raised an eyebrow. He threw his hands out in front of him, gesturing.
“OK, OK…she wasn’t down with me wearing a diaper to bed. Some girls like it, though. I swear.”
So anyway…..The man climbed the short section of porch steps and put his hand on the door handle, only to make a sudden about-face as if he’d forgotten something. Scotty and I ducked below the bush line behind which we’d taken up position and watched as the man made his way to a shed several yards off the side of the house. He pulled open the sliding doors and went inside. We could hear him rummaging around and moving things.
A few minutes later he reappeared, and slung over his shoulder was a body in a burlap sack. Judging from the sound of the muffled screams, it was a woman. She was fighting furiously beneath the fabric, thrashing and jabbing at what might as well have been a brick wall. His hands were half the size of her back, and it only took one of them to keep her completely under control.
The woman screamed with all she had, but he didn’t bother to silence her. It was his dream now, and there was no one to hear those cries for help…except for me and my new friend.
As the man entered the house with the woman over his shoulder, Scotty and I began to come up with a plan to save her. We knew she was a real person like the two of us, and if he was going to do what he appeared to be preparing for, we had to stop him.
The plan was simple—and in hindsight, it was also incredibly stupid.
Sneak quietly into the house, free the girl, and beat the piss out of the sandy-haired man until he was unconscious and we could figure out what to do with him. It was perfect. You see it in the movies all the time.
But before we did that…I had a problem.
“Dude…I have to pee reaaaaaaaly bad. It’s gonna wake me up any minute!”
Scotty, of course, had loaded up his real life diaper long ago.
He looked at me with a face as serious as I’ve ever seen.
“You gotta do it. You HAVE TO wet the bed, bro. It’s the only way.”
As if on cue, ten feet in front of me my challenge appeared. It was a ballpark trough.
You know, those stupid, wide open tubs that run the length of the wall at sports stadiums. Anyone and everyone is standing out there with their wiener unguarded, just waiting for some asshole to come by and flick it with his finger while simultaneously giving an atomic wedgie.
I took a step back. “Dude, I can’t. Troughs are literally the most dangerous, vulnerable depositories for urine on the planet. I’d rather piss in front of a thirsty tiger!”
“You HAVE to do it, man. If you don’t, all of this was for nothing. You’ll wake up, and being the chivalrous guy I am, I’ll go in there to rescue the princess and that big bastard will beat me to death and run train on my corpse. I can’t do this without you! Just try!”
So, I tried. I whipped it out, took a few deep breaths, focused on my urethral sphincters, and gave it a shot. After 10 seconds or so there was a trickle…just a tiny bit.
Scotty yelled from behind.
“How’s it going! Anything coming out!”
I was frantic. “It’s not coming out enough! I know I’m about to wake up!”
And just like that he was on me. Scotty came up behind, wrapped his arms around my body right at bladder level, screamed at the top of his lungs “I’M A HETEROSEXUAL MAN!!” and pulled back hard, putting enormous pressure on my bladder.
It went off like a fire hose.
A full minute later I was shaking off the last few drops, which were likely just icing on the cake of the enormous circle of urine that was now on my bed back in the real world. I hoped to god my wife didn’t wake up, but the more likely scenario is that she was about to roll over in it. I was also asking myself if we had remembered to put the mattress liner on after the last laundry day.
I raised my arms in triumph. I never thought I would be so happy to have pissed in my PJ’s.
“Let’s fucking DO THIS!”
So, we went for it. The door wasn’t locked since no one would fuck with the man’s house in his own dream…except two real guys in their own dreams.
We crept into the house slowly and quietly. It was as immaculate as the man’s landscaping. Clean, orderly, with simple furniture and drab carpet that had fresh vacuum marks.
However…the smell. Oh my god, it was putrid. It was beyond putrid--it was a nasty, gut churning, bile rising stench that instantly made my eyes water. We covered our noses but it had absolutely no effect. Breathing through my mouth had me about 1% below the vomit threshold.
It was no matter, though. We had to get to the task at hand.
Scotty and I crept slowly around the house, then heard screams from the direction of the kitchen. Retracing our steps back across the house, we followed the sounds to a basement door. It was closed and had a number on it. That was a little odd for a door inside the house. It said “Room 733.” I gingerly turned the knob and quietly pushed it open. From beyond the basement steps I could hear the sounds of Johnny Cash playing softly, coupled with the light static of a weak radio signal.
We began our slow descent, planning to sneak up on the son-of-a-bitch and whip his ass like nobody’s business. As we reached the bottom of the steps, the stench had reached its peak. It was just too much to handle. My eyes burned furiously and my stomach began to spasm. As my feet hit the floor I looked up, and there he was. Grinning. Like, a genuine, friendly and welcoming smile.
I looked around the room as the sickness tried to overwhelm me. God, I wish I hadn’t. Hanging from the floor joists were people…probably a dozen of them, tightly packed but divided into male/female couples, hanging like the tobacco you see drying in a barn along a country road. A large clamp attached to the joists held each one off the ground by its hair, and a bucket sat underneath to collect all manner of fluids and gunk seeping out.
But something wasn’t right. They were thing…too thin…too flat.
I initially though the bones were missing, but off to the side I could see a body laying horizontally within what looked like a stream press. It was more than one body, actually. Maybe half a dozen? They were just completely, disgustingly, horrifically flattened. Clearly in a preparation stage for the hanging phase of whatever sick process this was.
Off in the opposite corner sat what appeared to be a big cauldron, like witches use in old movies. A gas flame burned beneath it, feeding heat to what I now realized was the second ingredient for the intense stench of death. Rubber.
And, finally, I saw the completed product.
Four bodies, leaned against the wall, in an unnaturally rigid manner. They were very clearly made from skin suits, just like the ones hanging above us, but were stretched absurdly tight…not a single wrinkle was visible. Everything just looked stuffed beyond possibility. Eyelids were closed and had been painted freakishly bright blue with a wide open stare. The mouths were also closed and covered by a big dazzlingly white mouth, not separated into teeth. The artwork was horrendous, like one of those shitty kid pictures your coworkers have hanging in their cubicles.
Everything from the moment we hit the floor until he spoke happened in under ten seconds. No one had moved, the grin never left the man’s face, and when Scotty and I came out of the trance he spoke to us. It was and is the only time I ever heard him speak.
Looking at us wild-eyed and with great enthusiasm, he said in an exceptionally deep and thunderous voice…
“You fellas like horror stories?
You ever read the one about Tommy Taffy?
How about The Pancake Family? I bet I've read 50,000 stories but those are my FAVORITES!


I do like horror stories, and I’ve read both…and now my body could no longer contain the eruption churning within…
I threw up all over him.
The sandy-haired man’s enthusiasm was instantly gone, replacing itself with a look of pure rage as he cleared away the enormous amount of vomit I’d spewed onto his face and chest.
Scotty and I began to space ourselves out to surround the sandy-haired man, hoping to get him at the same time and get this over with quickly. Unfortunately I wasn’t finished vomiting and as Scotty tried to cross in front of me he slipped, landing hard on his back.
The man lunged at me, but I managed to sidestep, sending him careering into the stairs. He was so wide that I hadn’t even seen the woman behind him whose screams had been the very reason for our descent into this hell hole. I also hadn’t noticed that those screams had stopped.
As he flew past me I got a look at her. She was hanging upside down by her feet, bound with an extension cord, and swaying gently from the momentum of the man releasing his grip. Her back facing me and clad only in underwear, I had a full view of her bloodied body and my eyes locked in on something. It was a tattoo. A dolphin tattoo, to be exact.
I knew this because I bought her that tattoo 15 years ago during our honeymoon in Mexico.
With a gasp I lunged forward and spun her body around to face me. She looked dead. Fluids and blood trickled from fresh wounds in tributaries down her body, seeping into that beautiful auburn hair that had drawn countless compliments throughout her life.
I knelt down and screamed her name, feeling hot breath on my neck as the man grabbed me by the belt. In one fleeting second as his superhuman strength began to lift me off the floor, I saw her eyelids flicker open just a sliver. A rush of adrenaline hit me and I scrambled forward far enough to grab her face, stare into her near lifeless and eyes and scream.
“Annie..........WAKE UP!!!!”
And just like that, she disappeared.
So, if you paid any attention to the opening paragraphs of this tale, you know what happened. He spent 10 agonizingly slow minutes beating us like the bitches we were, while we fought with just enough ferociousness to not get killed, eventually resulting in us getting in a couple lucky shots that finally knocked him unconscious.
So, there we were. We had just loaded the sandy-haired man into the van. He was awake now, bound with his own extension cord and lashed to the van’s floor with ratchet straps. I was amazed he hadn’t tried to speak again.
Now, before you think this will take the turn of your favorite horror films I’ll make something very clear. He wasn’t getting out.
I’ve seen enough shitty tie jobs in those films to know what quality work entails. I hog tied the man, tying knots on top of knots and keeping them away from his hands, Furthermore, I boxed him into the upright position using odds and ends that were already in the van so there would be no rolling over and using some surrounding object to free himself.
Once the van was screaming down the road, Scotty looked over from the driver’s seat.
“What do we do with him?”
Staring straight ahead, I said “Set him on fire and push this van off a cliff. As much as I’d like to take my time slicing this motherfucker wide open, we could wake up at any second.
So, we did just that. Quick and efficient, and he was definitely dead.
Shortly after that I woke up. Reaching over to check on Annie, I found nothing but our dog, sprawled out like he owned the place. I panicked for a moment, then heard the toilet flush.
Annie stepped out of the bathroom and headed toward the door to the hallway, saying “Babe, you won’t believe the nightmare I had. It scared me so bad I’m still shaking a bit.”
“Oh also, I think Cujo peed in the bed.”
Over the next month Scotty and I stayed in contact but hadn’t met up in a dream again. In-fact, I was staying up later and had decided to seriously limit my intake of liquids after 6pm. We had vowed not to look for the sandy haired man, and instead would just lay low despite the absurdity of thinking homicide in a dream could get us arrested in the real world.
But as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, curiosity finally got the better of Scotty.
He’d managed to remember bits and pieces of the location of the man’s house in the dream, and decided to take a trip a few hours north to that small Pennsylvania town he’d recognized by that distinctive water tower. Driving around most of the day, Scotty eventually located the house. He sat in the truck for a few hours, just waiting for the man to come out…or not come out. The perfectly manicured grass was high and unread newspapers littered the sidewalk. Scotty finally decided to exit the truck and just stood in the street, halfway wishing the man would see him and come outside.
A curious neighbor hollered from the house next door and asked Scotty if he was lost, or if he could be of any assistance. Scotty made up some bullshit story about meeting the man there after answering a craigslist ad for some camping gear for sale.
“Oh, Mr. Jepson’s not home. He’s in the hospital. You may have seen it on the news, though. It’s all just so sad because he is absolutely the nicest, most kind person I’ve ever met. It’s such a shame what’s happening to him.”
Deciding it best not to ask any more questions, Scotty thanked the neighbor, got back in his truck and pulled up the local news station’s website. Five minutes later, he called me.
“Dude…he’s dying. Check the news!”
I avoid all forms of news most of the time, so I fired up my Galaxy and hit up the local Pennsylvania stations until I found what I was looking for. The man had been taken to the hospital after going over three weeks without sleep. Nothing could put him out…sleeping pills, anesthetics, and even a full-on medically induced coma. Nothing worked. He remained wide awake.
The sandy-haired man…err...Allen Jepson…was literally disintegrating. Body systems, processes, functions both internal and external…all failing, one miserable second at a time.
I updated myself constantly on the story over the coming days, and eventually saw that Jepson passed away. He died in pure misery, feeling the effects of no drug administered to provide comfort amidst the excruciating pain as his body’s systems shut down, one by one. He screamed in agony until exhaling his dying breath.
So there you have it. The answer to one of life’s great questions…what happens if you die in a dream?
A few days later I found his obituary.
Rev. Allen Edward Jepson, 62, of Montclaive, PA passed away at University Medical Center after a tragic illness.
A voracious reader of folklore and scary tales, people often said he would read through the entire internet if he lived long enough.
Beginning work as a butcher at the age of 14, Mr. Jepson was known throughout his lifetime for possessing remarkable physical power, performing feats of strength for crowds at county fairs, fundraisers, and the like.
Although leading church services was not his primary occupation, in his spare time Pastor Jepson facilitated eternal salvation for thousands of lost souls and enriched the lives of all who had the good fortune to meet and spend time with him.
In addition to countless other selfless endeavors, he was a lifelong supporter of hospice, spending a few final hours at the bedside of over 1,000 residents as they gained their Heavenly wings. Many times, he said “I feel it’s my life’s mission to be present for those who are in their final moments on Earth.”
Reverend Jepson was preceded in death by his dear wife Judith and only son, Tommy.

The real killer
submitted by hgtv_neighbor to Wholesomenosleep [link] [comments]

How To Play Shut The Box How to: Shut The Box Shut-The-Box Game - rules of play. CLAPPER DICE / SHOOT THE BOX DICE GAME ✨ Shut-The-Box Bookshelf Edition

Shut the box game betting. Germany vs Poland head to head, William Hill betting shops milton keynes, shut the box game betting, betting Grand National each way, how to win tennis betting, Sevilla Real Madrid arbitro, sports betting in the USA, best betting reviews, Chelsea vs West Bromwich head to head, win betting football, best sports betting websites reviews, NFL betting line advice. Several casinos/online betting houses let you play Shut the Box for real money. The table below shows the statistics (using optimal strategy) for a sample game that always uses 2 dice, limits box closings to a maximum of 2 per dice toss, and pays double if you win with a dice toss of doubles. Shut-the-Box is a traditional game of counting, addition, and probability that dates back to the 18th century when the game was enjoyed by Norman fishermen after a long day at sea. Today the game is played with family, used in classrooms for teaching addition and probability, and is even a betting game played in pubs all over Europe! shut the box . favorites: board games card games playground arcade nintendo xbox playstation other platforms duds. This game, for two or more players, has long been popular in Northern France. Players roll dice to cover (or flip) a set of numbers 1 to 9. The player with the lowest score wins (or the person who manages to close the box Shut-the-Box is a great quick game to pass some otherwise pretty boring lulls. Well, I wandered over to the store's house copy of Shut-the-Box. It stared back at me, as if challenging me to pick up the dice. I complied. Before going on, I need to give a little history between me and Shut-the-Box.

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How To Play Shut The Box

A quick video explaining how to play Shut the Box, a traditional pub dice game. There are some variants but this is how we play at home and it seems to be the most common method. Great for teaching children their numbers and a great family and betting game that any number can play. I have it on EBay. ... Shut-The-Box Game - rules of play. - Duration: 4:06. FrikNFrak1 ... 【3003 Games in 1】 Arcade Game Console,Pandora Treasure 3D Double Stick,3003 Classic Arcade Game,Search Games, Support 3D Games,Favorite List, 4 Players Online Game,1280X720 Full HD Video Game ... A quick tutorial/demonstration of how to play the classic Shut The Box Game from Frik-n-Frak.com! The first of many videos providing an introduction on how to play math games. Shut the box is a short 2-3 minute game involving simple addition and strategy.