Single fun Houston

36 [M4F] Houston - Do you have large breasts? Do they need some attention?

2020.11.29 03:26 redditor23878436 36 [M4F] Houston - Do you have large breasts? Do they need some attention?

I figure with the shortage of men that want to experience big boobs and all ;P
Its as simple as that, all I want to do is give some attention to some big boobs. We could chat first, connect on some level, make sure we are comfortable and have some chemistry going. This process can take a day, two days, two weeks, whatever time it takes to get comfortable but the ultimate goal is to meetup and give some attention to your big boobs; feel, fondle, suck, over your clothes, under your clothes, whatever youre comfortable with as long as it involves your big boobs. Then after its done we just move on with life, no commitment or anything.
Im 6'1", educated, im relatively attractive, i like to laugh, and enjoy a good netflix binge.
So if you have big boobs and want to have some safe and sensual fun, send me a DM or chat request with your bra size and lets talk about it!
My only requirements are that you live in the Houston area and can carry on a conversation. Oh and not interested in couples. Single or not single is fine with me as well.
submitted by redditor23878436 to houstonr4r [link] [comments]


2020.11.27 20:50 mikestropicals61 Case Study Three: Open Marriage Anyone? by Mike

I have two Graduate Degrees, one in Adult Education, one in Information Systems, Several Undergraduate Degrees in much the same field. I have extensive counseling experience, not only in Infidelity cases but including those. Literally thousands of counseling case experience. I am retired Army, former Airborne and Air Assault trained, twenty one year’s total military time. Since then I have worked as an Adult Education Instructor for the Army, last few years in Administration.
Case Study Three:
Greetings, and time for another case study. This one is a little different from the first two because I was not involved in this one. The reason I picked it however is that it perfectly illustrates some of the principles that I have been writing about. To set this up it is about a couple, I will use BS, WS, AP for names, in their early thirties, married ten years with two children and a good income. BS thinks that they have a great marriage, no fights and no complaints.
The WS (female) had stayed home for the children and recently went back to work. She starts working and is in a friend group at work with several either single or divorced women who like to go out and have “fun” all of the time. She comes home and tells some of the stories about their excesses to her husband but husband or BS is fine with this, as a matter of fact he is happy that she is making friends and has a social group that makes her transition into working a more pleasant one. WS however changes behavior and stays out a few evenings, comes home very late and hangs out with this new found friend group more and more. Again, BS thinks nothing of it and is happy his WS is having such a great time.
At work a new manager is starting and WS is thrilled, tells BS all about how great this new manager is and how handsome, fit, you know all of the usual things. She stays in the office on overtime a few days a week now too and still hangs out with new found friend group also. At times she will come home in the early morning hours. If you think that she is having an affair you are partially right. This goes on for several months and out of the blue WS asks BS if they could have an open marriage. BS is taken aback by this request and is definitely not comfortable but is what I will call a PleaseFixer personality (more on that later) and even though he is extremely uncomfortable with this situation and request he reluctantly agrees because he does not want to lose her entirely (more on that later also).
So off they go in their new relationship dynamic. She stays out late nights, stays gone weekends, and the normal becomes her being gone more than she is at home. BS is extremely uncomfortable with this situation but he tries to make the best of it and he tries dating but really nothing sticks and he is just miserable. In the meantime, WS is in pure bliss, as BS suspects she is having sex with different people all of the time and she really is moving forward in this new dynamic. BS as stated is still highly uncomfortable but the usual thing happens, he meets a new woman, and this woman really is everything his wife was not. She caters to him, is understanding, kind, a beautiful personality, and she is great in bed. He is having the best sex of his life and he is perfectly happy. She understands his situation and is very understanding about what he is going through. In short, she makes him happy, puts a smile back on his face and he doesn’t notice that his wife has changed her demeanor entirely. He is happy, his WS is not. If you think that she notices his change of attitude and behavior you are only partially right.
WS asks BS out of the blue to close their marriage, to concentrate on the relationship again and to be a committed couple once more. She asks this out of the blue. BS being a pleaser personality goes along once more reluctantly. Now he has a legitimate love interest and really does not want to give her up but he goes along with it. WS also suggests that they should go to MC in order to make their relationship even stronger than before. Of course, BS all along thought that he had a solid and great relationship so you see the disconnect between their thinking. BS agrees to this and off they go.
During initial counseling sessions BS gets some insight into what actually transpired with his WS. She tells him in the sessions that she started work and with the new friend group, whom she blames for all of this by the way, they started talking to her, pointing out how miserable her marriage was, showing off their single life and the liaisons that they were having. They take her out partying in the evenings and basically show her how great being single is. A quick explanation here before I continue with the story. This friend group was showing her how great their life was not because they actually believed it but because they were jealous of her stable relationship. They probably subconsciously tried to sabotage what she had because they were not happy in their lives to begin with.
But back to the story. In comes the manager and he starts paying attention to our WS, first just compliments, the usual, how great she looks, how beautiful she is, how great her work is. This turns to open flirting and she reciprocates because she thinks he is sincere and interested in her. Her insecurities come to full bloom now and she really likes it. WS thinks that he is out of her league but here he is interested in her. But she continues to beg for forgiveness and at times cries how she really just wants her relationship with BS back. Mind you BS is still on the fence at this point because of course he is starting to compare his new found woman to his wife and he still can’t make up his mind on which way to go.
In subsequent counseling sessions the story evolves even more. The friend group is encouraging more and more to just go for it, she basically blames them for making her do this because they keep pointing out what a miserable life she has staying with BS and to just be like them and go for it. So, she goes home and asks for the open marriage. She insists that nothing happened besides the flirting until after they agreed to the open marriage. So now her affair with the manager begins, she is on a high, what she describes as a feeling like you are drunk and driving your car and you just go faster and faster but you can’t stop. She is totally absorbed by her affair with this man.
For those of you who thought that she wanted to call off the open marriage and return to monogamy you were partially right. She did notice his happiness, and saw her own attitude during her affair. But the real reason that she wanted to return to status quo is that she found out that the manager, her love interest was only using her. She overheard him telling someone in the office how easy it was to get her into bed, how she didn’t mean anything to him and he only pursued her as a challenge to see if he could get her into bed with him. He also broke off their relationship around the same time. Now she is devastated and she also sees her BS moving away from their relationship. She is the one jealous now and of course that is to be expected. Her selfish and self-centered attitude got them into this situation in the first place. I am certain that she never anticipated her BS finding someone that gave him the feeling being important.
She tells BS how sorry she is, how she never wanted to hurt him, she cries, begs, apologizes, tells him that she learned her lesson and she would do anything for another chance. That she now recognizes that the most important thing in her life is this relationship, that she only went along with the affair and open marriage thing because of the peer pressure from the friend group. WS promises to quit her job, she already blocked all contact with those friends and with the manager except for work related matters. She promises that she would be the perfect partner for BS from now on if he just gave her another chance. She promises that they could work this out and move beyond and be even stronger. BS is still on the fence but also does not want to jeopardize his ten-year relationship so they continue with the counseling.
Remember when initially WS told her BS that her relationship with the manager did not go beyond flirting until they both agreed to the open marriage? Well in another counseling session she reveals that they never had sex until after the open part, but that well before that they would make out and that they would also masturbate nude with each other. Once she reveals this, she throws another tantrum right there in the therapist’s office, throws herself to the ground, crying, begging, even crawls over to him hugging his legs, begging and crying.
Unfortunately for her and her desires to continue the relationship this revelation breaks the spirit of the BS and he moves out and files for divorce. Now I do not know the eventual fate of this couple because the story and updates end there. While in the beginning this was not a typical cheating story it is still perfect to illustrate a few very important points for all of you BS’s and WS’s out there.
Wrap up:
WS is the perfect prototypical cheater. If you have read any of my posts you already know what I am going to say here. She has serious communication issues, she never communicates to her husband that she is not happy in the relationship, that she is bored, that she wants thrills in her life. This attitude along with her insecurities made her especially vulnerable to the friend group influence and to the managers attentions and flirting. This gets her high on dopamine and endorphins, a state of being that all of us know from when we fell in love with our partners in the first place. Granted she asks for an open marriage but this also illustrates her selfishness and her self-centered attitude. More evidence of that is that when she gets rejected by her lover, she then wants her husband and the relationship back. Even her begging and crying are clearly selfish and self-centered. Instead of accepting the fall out from her decisions and accepting responsibility for her actions she wants to return to normal and end this relationship. Not because of him and not because of the pain she caused him but because she is losing the relationship and the economic and emotional stability that it gives her. Her poor communication skills show because she never told her husband that she was not as content in their marriage as he was and as he thought she was. Folks, if you cannot tell your feelings to your spouse then how can you blame the relationship for your affair? She also does not tell her husband what is going on during the affair and her feelings in the matter. He is in the dark. Not to get off of the subject but even open relationships have rules, rules to protect both partners in the base relationship, rules that can lead to the end of the relationship if not followed. This story had no rules and her only concern was to not lose her relationship while she had her dopamine high with her lover. The maturity, or should I say the immaturity shows because she blames the friend group, the manager, the relationship, anybody and anything but herself for her poor decision making and thus like any immature person she just wants this to go away. She doesn’t show any empathy or remorse for her actions she just wants it all her way. Insecure, Immature, and selfish, those are the trademarks of all WS’s out there.
BS also has issues however. Let his shortcomings be a lesson to you and do not fall into the same trap. If he was uncomfortable with the open marriage suggestion, he should have never gone along with it. He also missed the signs on the wall that already showed her discontent which led to the affair in the first place. He never communicated, the never tried to work on things before they became critical, and even though he was uncomfortable with the open marriage he went along with it instead of sitting her down and working/communicating with her. No, he was the pleasefixer personality, the one that if they don’t know then it can’t hurt them type. But sticking his head in the sand did not help this situation. So, for all of you BS’s out there, if you are not comfortable with a situation then communicate that to your spouse don’t go along with it. If he had told her no would the affair still happened? Maybe but he should have continued to communicate with her. Even after she asked for the closed marriage, he just went along with it even though again he had doubts. Folks do not make his mistakes, communicate, communicate, communicate. Drag your spouse to the table if they refuse. If they refuse there is a problem and ignoring it will not make it go away. Be strong, to you only you are important, the only one you can make happy is yourself. The only one in charge of your happiness is you, not your spouse, not your family, not your relationship, not your friends. All of these contribute to your happiness but only your perception of those and your viewpoint of them can make you happy, or unhappy. Cut whatever does not make you happy out of your life. Life is short and we are all heading towards the same fate, look out for your happiness and others will see that light and be drawn to it.
Thanks for reading, and what are your thoughts?
Mike
Mikes Posts on Regret versus Remorse and Guilt versus Shame:
https://www.reddit.com/survivinginfidelity/comments/jl4fiu/guilt_and_shame/
https://www.reddit.com/survivinginfidelity/comments/jjdcmo/regret_versus_remorse_and_why_it_is_important/
https://www.reddit.com/survivinginfidelity/comments/jyw7ha/specialist_s_case_study_by_mike_and_some/
Interrogation Techniques excerpt and link:
"The delivery's got to be really, really toned down," says Houston. "It's almost like you're putting yourself in someone else's shoes and seeing it from their side."
https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-fam-0728-cia-relationship-tactics-20150721-story.html
PTSD excerpt and link:
In fact, researchers have found the “emotional responses to infidelity to mirror those of other traumatic events, including shock, repression, denial, intense mood fluctuation, depression, anxiety, and lowered self-esteem,” all of which are symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).May 8, 2018
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rediscovering-love/201709/how-infidelity-causes-post-traumatic-stress-disorder
Grieving Process excerpt and link:
This grief can be commonly divided into 5 stages.
· Denial. On discovery of the affair, there is an initial period of shock and maybe denial. ...
· Anger. When the full impact of infidelity hits home, pure rage sets in. ...
· Bargaining. ...
· Depression. ...
· Acceptance.
https://www.affairrecovery.com/newslettefoundeinfidelity-how-betrayed-grieve-properly
Narcissist terms and types excerpts and links:
Signs of Covert Narcissism
· A reserved or self-effacing attitude.
· Humility or a tendency to put themselves down.
· Smugness or quiet superiority.
· Passive-aggressive behavior.
· Envy of others and/or feeling that they deserve what other people have.
· A lack of empathy for the feelings or situations of other people.
https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/covert-narcissism-the-quiet-counterpart-to-narcissistic-personality-0822197
It's a mental health condition characterized by:
· an inflated sense of importance.
· a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.
· lack of empathy for others.
· often having troubled relationships.
https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/am-i-dating-a-narcissist
submitted by mikestropicals61 to survivinginfidelity [link] [comments]


2020.11.26 15:36 Kaptin_Odium Heister stereotypes

UPDATE: because of demands, I also added Jimmy as I have completely forgotten to mention him
Here are my stereotypes for each heister player you can meet
Dallas: Usually he is a newbie who just got into this game if he is without infamy, he is at 80% new player but if he has infamy, then he is a veteran player or hacker.
Chains, Houston and Wolf = Super rare picks even more than Dallas if you see one of these guys he is a god player or newbie.
Bodhi: on 90% it's a newbie and probably noob + he is 14-16 yrs old because these people pick bodhi how cool looking he is and other crap its underaged kids pick they are often bad and they are rude usually bodhi players screw up heists or they rage quit super rarely you will encounter a good bodhi player
Sydney: the female version of Bodhi mostly casual players often girls these people are crazy as she is in stealth they massacre civilians for no reason and often they fuck up by doing crazy shit like throwing Molotov to down themselves or setting their health at 10 they are fun but don't expect them to get their shit done.
Rust: Rare pick honestly most rust players are often quiet they say little he is often picked by Russians or people who like cool quiet-looking dude stereotype they are decent they can fuck up but their screw-ups are them being reckless as rust players are often solo wolves
Scarface: People who like scarface are like him furious ruthless badass who swears fuck a lot but with a good heart and loyalty to his friends they are often leading heists and prefer doing everything I loud yet they don't mind the stealth competence of these people is good they are fine to talk with and you can rely on them
Jiro: used to be weebs favourite pick back before joy was added Jiro players were at 90% weebs 9% Asians and 1% people who like Japanese culture after Joy being added this character is now picked by people who love asians culture and actual asians as weebs character is now Joy they are competent however their patience is limited and they leave heists if you keep restarting them.
Hoxton: somehow a popular pick he is mostly picked by people who played the first payday game has cool voice lines and after he got added into payday 2, he buried Houston completely into his shadow Hoxton players are long time veterans they know how to get their shit done and they are cool to talk with and can even give good advice or lead heists.
John Wick: Same as bodhi however these people's competence is mediocre they can pull off easy heists but once you hit complex heists like the diamond or golden casino, they are becoming a burden for the rest of the team I haven't so far met a good John Wick player.
Clover: at 90% it's a girl or 10% it's someone with a mega clover mask who attended paydaycon back in 2016 Clover players are wholesome to talk with their skills aren't great like Hoxton players but they can make their shit done if someone tells them what to do.
Bonnie: Rare pick Bonnie players show up help you with the heist and then they vanish I can't tell much about these players I have barely encountered them they don't seem to talk but they have exceptional skills from what I have seen.
Joy: weebs waifu character I mean she is a Japanese gamer girl that's something that turns them on unfortunately these people are filthy casuals and you will only encounter them in normal to Overkill heists very very rarely on mayhem they dislike DW and DS for it being too hard (even DW is still easy compared to DS)
Jacket: Same like John wick and Bodhi often it's an underaged person who finds him super cool, and he is a hotline Miami fan often rude or he is quiet and is often doing objectives everyone forgets to do they love to join DS heists with small level and leech on you or screw up your heist I have mixed feelings about jacket players but again you can be top tier jacket player.
Sokol: Rust and Sokol are russians most picked characters Sokol players are often cool russians tho, unlike rust who won't say a single word Sokol players are elite Russians players if he is bad then you met a Russian who is new and can't speak well english.
Sangress: I would say he is also underaged teens favorite pick, but those people are cool as they are often players from Latin America and you can tell these people are wild like Sydney I had a good experience with them their skills vary from bad to good but that's the magic about them.
Ethan/Ela: Just remove these characters nobody plays them lmao
Duke: often James Bond fans because Duke is literally James Bond who robs people and does evil stuff he is cool as a character and his players often question you about your infamy level, mods they also often kick people or they complain.
Jimmy: these players are what I would call mostly veterans who bitch about other people loadouts and builds, they demand others to do what they are telling them to do and they know every exploits in-game; they are using million mods and they finished almost every heist on DSOD both loud and stealth, they also take lore seriously as they often keep mentioning how Jimmy is cool and bla, bla if you meet one then high chances are he is going to be on your nerves if you know what you are doing a welcoming party if you are a newbie or super rarely you will encounter a complete newbie who just picked jimmy because he is a free character you will see Jimmy often.
submitted by Kaptin_Odium to paydaytheheist [link] [comments]


2020.11.25 00:19 gooselives_ The Transplant's Guide to Laredo

Buen día!
Welcome to The Gateway City. You're probably reading this because you are relocating to Laredo for work. Moving somewhere new can always be a chaotic experience, but I hope this extensive guide on all aspects of Laredo living will help make your time in Laredo as memorable as mine was. Grab a Dos XX with Tajin or a Margarita and enjoy. A bit about myself: I lived in Laredo from early 2016 - to late 2017 after I graduated from college for work. I periodically go back to visit friends since I live in Houston now. I didn't make a ton of money when I was there for my flying job, but I still had the time of my life. Please keep in mind these are my opinions and thoughts from my time there. I had a blast being there in my early 20's, but I know priorities and interests change as people age, however, I've tried to be objective when writing this guide for everyone.
Mods please please feel free to pin this post to help others out down the road.

Overall thoughts:
The best way I can describe Laredo is that it's like you took a trip to Mexico, but you get to keep all the cool benefits of being in the United States. It's kind of the best of both worlds, and I found both the people and culture of Laredo to be great. There is nothing like grinding at work during the week just to make it to hang out at the pool day drinking with your friends doing Carne's (short for Carneasada aka cookouts), going out, and the afters (after parties) on the weekends. Oh, I forget to mention the food is AWESOME. Also worth noting, anyone that is not Latino in Laredo is a minority which is kind of a cool experience in itself.

The Weather:
Take a look at your weather app for Laredo right now, if it's winter you'll notice that it's probably in the 50-70 degree range. In very rare circumstances it has snowed in Laredo, but being from the Midwest I found the winters are super mild. Summer on the other hand is a whole other animal, expect hot temps in the low 100's especially in mid to late summer. In reality, there is Summer and Fall in Laredo. Fortunately, it is a normally dry heat. It can get slightly humid though if the winds are out of the East from the Gulf, but it depends on the day. It's usually sunny a majority of the time though which is cool. Your summer wardrobe will be in use 9-10 months of the year.

Where to live:
Like anything this depends on your budget, however, Laredo is a very affordable city when it comes to renting and buying. I lived off Bob Bullock Loop and 359 (Southside). Like anything, economically driven rent in the city fluctuates but is extremely affordable compared to almost any other city. I paid 1000/mo for a nicer 2 bed 2 bath. Around town, a nice one bed runs in the 600-850/mo range and 2/2 runs in the 1100-1200/mo area at the nicer complexes.
My roommate and I lived where we did because we flew out of the airport so it was a quick drive for us, but if I had to do it again, I would have probably lived in a bit more of a "busier" part of town in the McPherson and Delmar area or on the north side since we found ourselves driving there when we'd go out most of the time. This area is also considered to be some of the more "higher end" part of town with nicer houses and stuff. apartments.com has been my go-to source the past 6 times I've moved, give it a look if you are shopping around.
I highly recommend picking a place with a pool and/or a grill if you're remotely interested in that sort of thing. Due to Laredo's climate the pool and grilling out are a way of life. It's also a great place to meet people.

Getting Around:
Having a vehicle is the most practical answer for Laredo, however, Uber and Lyft markets have popped up in the last few years. The bus system for the city is called El Metro. Laredo is pretty easy to get around, the only major highway is 35 which starts at the river (the Rio Grande crossing downtown) and goes to points North like SA, Austin, and Dallas. Bob Bullock Loop orbits the city to the East.
**Important Notes About Driving in Laredo*\*: Uninsured motorists are abundant meaning expect some sort of increase in your car insurance. I thought I knew how to drive until I came to Laredo. People drive fast, yellow lights mean speed up, and red lights/stop signs are optional. For some reason, drunk driving is also a very abundant thing, especially in the evenings/late night hours. I'm hoping this issue has improved since I lived there since Uber and Lyft are now a thing. Either way, stay alert, be a defensive driver, and you'll be fine.

What to do:
Many locals cite "things to do" while living in Laredo to be the toughest category to fill. Bottom line, it's a small town, however, there is something for everyone in town!
Bars:
Going out is the big thing to do in town most weekends as drinking is considered one of the biggest activities. I loved it, but I also know it's not for everyone. However, there are a wide variety of bars to pick from each having a different vibe. I've listed some of my favorites below. A lot of bars/restaurants have a DJ or band after a certain time. Bars are spread out across the city, but cluster in the McPherson/DelmaJacaman (pronounced Haca-man) area and now downtown. Bars close at 2 AM but people love to party till the sun comes up so after-parties at people’s houses are common.
Restaurants:
So many good ones that can range from cheap to expensive, but the food is good at all of them! Here is my list of local spots, but Yelp is usually a good place to check for updated options.
Activities:
https://www.facebook.com/365thingslaredo Is a great group to follow to get daily updates on things going on around Laredo.

Where to shop:
This one is a big no brainer for me personally, but HEB, the big Texas grocery chain, is the move. They have great selections (especially their meat and produce) and pretty good prices. If you want to save a bit more, Fiesta or Walmart is your only other big options that are worth a look. Laredo also has any major brick and mortar retail store Best Buy etc and a Mall with all the normal Mall stores. The outlet mall on the river is a super cool spot to I recommend doing some retail therapy at.

Where to Workout/Active Stuff:
There are all sorts of gyms between cross fit, yoga, Orange Theory, and your brick and mortar gyms (Crunch, Anytime, Golds, etc.) If you're into outdoorsy trail stuff North Central Park has a nice set of trails and Lake Casablanca State Park on the East side has some pretty good trails for the area also. If golfing is your thing there are a couple of golf courses, Casablanca Golf Course is your run of the mill Par 3 and the Laredo Country Club is the nice golf course in town. I know Laredo also has some rec sports adult leagues if you're into that like Flag football and stuff, Google should be able to help you find out more about those.

Safety and Crossing the border:
Laredo like any mid-size city has its share of crime, however, there is a very large presence of Local and State Police, DEA, FBI, and Border Patrol in the city due to its proximity to Mexico. Like any major city, lock your doors and take out any valuables in your car. The few homeless people stick to the I-35 corridor mostly. Lock your doors and windows and you'll be fine. There are sketchier parts of town the further south you go, but I never had issues as many of these people are often very humble and respectful people.
Cartels:
I remember watching the Border Wars show before I moved and thinking "Oh shit, what did I sign up for?" Cartels are simply a reality of life especially on the border, but they also exist in any major city around the world, they just happen to be a bit more prevalent in their activities at the border. They exist and have a hand in many things both in Nuevo Laredo and Laredo (businesses, politics, etc.). Like anywhere keep a street smart head, vigilant attitude, and don't hang out with the wrong types of people and you will be fine in Laredo. LADIES, please carry some sort of protection with you like mace and stay in groups when out, especially when downtown.
Crossing:
I'll start with this disclaimer that I'm a 6' white guy, so I don't blend in that well. However, I dated a girl I met at a bar who lived across in Nuevo Laredo for 10 months so I got my full share of the crossing experiences. I'm witting this during COVID times so things are a bit different atm. The crossing is an experience I could and probably should do a thread about on its own, but I'll summarize what I can here.
There are two ways to cross: 1. Driving or 2. Taking the footbridge both located downtown. I walked every time because my GF at the time would pick me up on the other side, but a word of caution. If you drive understand that having non-expired US plates and a nice car makes you a target for robbings and other non-fun stuff. I recommend getting a bank such as Charles Schwab with zero international ATM fee's and that gives you a 1:1 exchange rate when pulling out cash from an ATM, however, the border exchange places near the bridges work in a pinch. Cash is king there. If you do cross you need to at least have a remote working knowledge of the Spanish language or be with someone who does, it's amazing how different life can be across a 20-foot body of water.
I often heard stories where people crossed to go to places like Jose Frog's and other bars and shops every weekend in the ‘80s, but times have unfortunately changed since. There were relatively calm periods and today there are periods of literal war in the streets. Please ask one of the many locals that commute to Laredo daily for work if they think it is safe to cross for that day since it is truly a dynamic environment. If you work in any sort of government or law enforcement line of work, DO NOT CROSS.
If you do want to cross, understand that I recommend the following:
Looking back I was pretty reckless at times when I went across because I was with my GF, her brothers, or her family most of the time so I felt relatively safe. Please live through my experiences if you are dying to push the envelope with crossing. If you're considering a visit to "La Zona", don't. It's cool, but you can get the same experience in Vegas without the fear of being kidnapped or killed. Going out over there is super cheap, but the bars all pay a "toll" to the cartels weekly to operate. It's not out of the ordinary for Federales/Cartel to come through a packed bar with AR-15's or the cartel to kick everyone out if the business didn't pay that week. We got stopped by the cartel a few times asking why I was visiting so much. They watch the bridges 24/7, they know the second you step on their turf, and they know what you do and who you do it with. Remember that you can also easily get mixed up with the wrong people on the Laredo side of the river which is equally as dangerous. Know who your friends are!

Closing tips:
-Laredo is what you make it, if you do nothing and sit around it’s going to suck so make the best of it.
-I wish my Spanish was a bit better before I moved there. It comes in handy A TON as Spanish is the preferred language and a majority of folks speak it. Knowing it will make your life easier.
- Get one of those windshield sun shades for your car, they are a necessity in the hot weather
- Gentlemen. If your single don’t be creepy, go talk to that girl and ask her to dance! Latin culture is very cool, open, confident, and fun.
- Embrace the culture and enjoy it
- Go to a Quinceañera and a traditional Mexican wedding
- Learn how to Line Dance and Cumbia!
submitted by gooselives_ to laredo [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 14:30 SirParsifal Looking Back at the Last Decade of Baseball: The 2020s in Review (part 1 of 2)

The last decade of baseball sure has been fun, hasn’t it? We’ve had thrills, we’ve had chills, we’ve had spills, . But a decade is a long time, and much has been forgotten: So let’s look back on the 2020s, and all the things that happened in it! We begin in...

2021

January: Hype builds around the top free agent of the season, Trevor Bauer. After announcing that he will not accept any deals that do not have leading numbers of either 69 or 420, front offices scramble to free up the necessary budget space.
February: As players arrive at spring training, there is an astounding amount of hype surrounding the young superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is reported by multiple news outlets as being in, ‘the worst shape of his life’.
March: After four intense months of free agent negotiations, Trevor Bauer announces he plans to take a gap year to explore his possible options in life.
On Opening Day, Byron Buxton runs full-tilt into the outfield wall while trying to track down a Jorge Soler home run. He breaks three wrists and is out for the remainder of the season, sparing Twins fans the disappointment of seeing him waste his batting potential.
April: Mike Fiers, sick of being snubbed by front offices due to his role in blowing the whistle on the Astros sign stealing scandal, writes a tell-all where he claims he was the brains behind the whole operation. Eight different MLB clubs and Bill Belicheck immediately send him a contract offer.
May: Mark Reynolds announces his retirement on the grounds of being completely blind. He is promptly offered a lucrative contract by the umpire’s union.
June: On June 12, highly touted prospect Seth Beer makes his major league debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He uses ‘Beer’ by Reel Big Fish as his walkup song, and is immediately banned from baseball for life for reminding people that ska existed.
July: Fernando Tatis Jr. again ignites controversy from the media and from former players after being intentionally walked when his team is up by ten. “That is a disgusting act by Fernando Tatis Jr. and it's unfortunate that we had that on our air live”, says Joe Buck, calling the game for FOX, “That is disgusting by Tatis”.
Toronto continues their long-standing tradition of signing prospects who were born of somebody who screwed someone who used to be a good major league player by bringing A.J. Burnett Jr. into their minor league system.
August: Hawk Harrelson returns to broadcast a single game for the White Sox. Chicago gives up ten runs in the first, and Hawk remains completely silent for the last eight innings.
After years of controversy, the Cleveland Indians finally announce their rebrand. Their announcement states, “We waited far too long to get rid of Chief Wahoo. We’re not going to be late to the party for the next step. With Washington rebranding, it’s time to strike while the iron is hot. We recognize that there will likely be uproar, but history will vindicate us. From now on, the team will be known as the Ohio Indians”.
September: The MLB marketing team goes into overdrive and announces the creation of MLBFilms, a movie company developing films starring MLB players to try to increase their public image.
October: The Mariners put the final touches on a blessed season by mounting a five-run comeback against the Angels in the bottom of the ninth inning of game 162. Kyle Seager hits a walk-off grand slam to cap it off. They finish 73-89.
November: With the close of the 2021 season, the collective bargaining agreement between the MLB and the Player’s Union ends. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, both sides agree to ignore this.
After further investigation into the Astros sign stealing scandal, the Comissioners’s Office announces new sanctions: Cleveland State will receive the ‘death penalty’.
December: The Rockies broadcast team welcomes Matt Holliday as their new color commentator. The longtime Colorado player joins Drew Goodman, Ryan Spilbroughs, and Jeff Huson in the booth.
A.J Pierzynski receives two votes for the Hall of Fame and immediately demands a recount.

2022

January: Tim Lincecum, long time Giants fan favorite, announces his intent to come back to baseball. ‘I’ve been out of this game too long. I wasn’t sure if the fans and the team would accept me after all this time, but the support I’ve received has been incredible. When this position as a bat boy opened up, I knew it was made for me”. He will face stiff competition from a number of eight year olds to fill the position
MLBFilms announces their first movie: a four hour long, Scorsese-directed gender swapped version of A League of Their Own. It stars Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, and Mo’ne Davis. It will be cinema.
February: The Blue Jays show some concern as Vladimir Guerrero Jr seems to have gained more weight during the offseason, ballooning up to 300 pounds, and requesting a position change to designated hitter.
March: Tragedy strikes Tampa Bay as Tropicana Field is mistaken for an abandoned shopping mall and torn down by a demolitions company. The goof isn’t noticed for almost a week until a group of Yankees fans arrives to buy tickets.
April: Trevor Bauer finally decides to sign with someone, and signs a $69 million, 4.20 year deal with the White Sox for the express purpose of trying to get suspended by Tony La Russa.
May: The Rays announce they are rebuilding Tropicana Field exactly as it was, brick-for-brick. They put out a call for any Yankees fans who might have attended the stadium in the last few years to send pictures to work off of, as the original plans for the Trop were traded to the Mariners for cash considerations years ago.
Nelson Cruz invites controversy after choosing the 17 minute version of ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’ as his walkup song, and not stepping into the box until the entire song is finished. He manages to avoid getting plunked by pitchers until he starts doing air-guitars with the bat and drumming the solo on home plate.
June: The MLB marketing team jumps back into action by putting pictures of Spiderman on the bases, presumably on direct order from J. Jonah Jameson. This is immediately met with massive backlash from every human being on earth, including Spiderman himself. Bud Selig counters, “Suck it up, buttercup.” This is a real thing that happened.
The Braves pay Bruce Sutter ten million dollars and thank their lucky stars that Bobby Bonilla gets all the press.
July: The umpire’s union receives serious backlash after Ron Kulpa blows a ball-strike ball on a David Price perfect game in progress, causing him to walk Nick Castellanos with two outs in the first inning.
Joe Buck broadcasts the entire Home Run Derby solo, saying, ‘And we will see you tomorrow night’ in a straight, monotone voice for every single home run; gradually increasing in volume until he yells at the top of his lungs continually during the final round. It receives the highest ever ratings for any television event ever. Jo Adell wins with three total home runs.
On July 21st, in a game against the Diamondbacks, Kenley Jansen intentionally balks to move a runner from second to third. Sensing unwritten rules being broken, Brian McCann punches his way out of his grave beneath the mound and hits Jansen with a DDT, killing him instantly.
August: Tony La Russa publicly announces he is moving on to a more sabermetric way of managing, and moves his center fielder out of the first spot in the batting order. “Perhaps, depending on how this goes, I may even move the catcher out of the ninth spot in the order.”
September: As their season ends, the Ohio Indians announce another name change, citing how large the backlash was and how offensive they learned their name was to the millions of people who were not acclimatized to it. They are now known as the Lake Erie Indians.
October: The Marlins, after years of careful management by Derek Jeter, sweep the National League playoffs on their way to a World Series victory over the Athletics in six games. Immediately after hoisting the trophy, the entire front office is sold off to other franchises to save salary room.
After the World Series, Bud Selig officially announces his retirement as MLB commissioner. “After thirty years in this position, it’s time for me to move on. I am grateful to the owners throughout Major League Baseball for their unwavering support and for allowing me to lead this great institution. I thank our players, who give me unlimited enthusiasm about the future of our game. Together we have taken this sport to new heights and have positioned our national pastime to thrive for generations to come. Most of all, I would like to thank our fans, who are the heart and soul of our game.” Tony Clark is thought to be next in line for the position.
November: Bill James publishes his new book, The Measure of a Man, where he has an exact formula worked out for the value of individual human lives. Mike Trout is worth exactly $290,322,784.32. You are worth twelve cents.
December: The Winter Meetings begin with a bang as the Mariners announce they are trading Kyle Lewis for ten of the Yankees’ wins next year. DiPoto says, “They probably won’t need them, and although we aren’t going to get enough to win the whole shebang, we might be able to get the 15 percent share to get an invite to the debates. With that kind of media coverage, who knows where we can go?”

2023

January: The Nationals announce that Mike Rizzo is stepping down as President of Baseball Operations, but not before giving himself ‘a full and legal pardon for all crimes he may or may not have committed while in his position, and for all the crimes he may or may not commit in the future.’
The Athletic releases a shocking exposé showing that Tim Wakefield’s ‘rolling contract’ on the Red Sox will actually never expire due to a legal technicality. The Red Sox owe him $4 million, every year, until the heat death of the universe.
February: The MLB marketing team puts pictures of Mike Trout on milk cartons, with the caption, ‘Have You Seen This Kiiiiiiiid?’. The only result is the occasional call to the missing persons hotline whenever somebody accidentally tunes into an Angels game.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. arrives at spring training announcing that he feels lighter and faster than ever, due to his fat folds being held up by repulsorlifts like Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Dune.
March: Disaster strikes the Oakland Coliseum as the Wave takes hold of the stadium on opening day. Thousands of people die either of exhaustion or starvation. The governor attempts to declare a disaster zone, but finds out that legally, the entirety of Oakland has been a disaster for the last thirty years.
April: Nothing happened this month.
May: The Boston Red Sox are caught up in yet another cheating scandal, where the Blue Jays allege that Tom Brady, somehow, managed to deflate their baseballs before a key playoff game in 2022.
Byron Buxton runs headfirst into a Mack truck that was accidentally left parked in Target Field’s outfield by the ground crew. He loses eight ribs from the resulting surgery and is out for 6-8 weeks.
Robbie Cano is banned from the MLB for life after testing positive for shooting up black tar heroin into his eyeball.
June: Matt Holliday is suspended from his broadcast job after claims that, in the past, he had ‘inappropriately touched’ home plate during his Rockies career.
Tom Brady is ambushed at his house by Brian McCann and tombstoned directly into the driveway, killing him instantly. There are no witnesses.
July: Fernando Tatis Jr. is suspended by the Padres without pay for a week after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded while up by twelve over the Dodgers. John Smoltz condemns his repulsive behavior by running up the score. Lynch mobs assemble outside Petco Park.
Billy Hamilton wins the Home Run Derby after discovering that inside the park home runs are not technically banned. He racks up 783 home runs in the first round alone before the kids playing the outfield figure out what’s going on.
August: Matt Holliday is cleared and reinstated to his job after no evidence was found of him actually touching home plate. In a public statement, he thanks the Padres for their longtime support and their hard work to clear his name in this matter.
During a Braves-Marlins game, the disembodied head of Joe Buck appears on the Fox Sports South broadcast on all cameras and stares wistfully into the camera for twenty-two seconds before bleeding from the eyes and fading away. Buck declines to comment on the matter.
September: Jose Canseco announces in a tweet that, if he is not elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee immediately, he will not intervene to save us all from the upcoming singularity robot apocalypse.
October: In the Wild Card game against the Blue Jays, the Astros again invite controversy by calling the other team’s bullpen phone constantly and telling Ken Giles to stop warming up; twenty-seven times in the eighth inning alone. With Toronto unable to use their bullpen, Russell Martin comes in for the save situation and gives up seventeen runs. Charlie Montoyo attempts to protest the game, but the Astros yell so loud at the umpires that they can’t hear what he’s saying.
Pete Rose reveals that he was behind the 1978 Boston College point shaving scandal, and boy, did he make a ton of money from that. He is immediately banned for life from the Basketball Hall of Fame.
November: Both the American and National leagues award their MVP award to Albert Belle despite him being out of the league for twenty years, as he certainly did not deserve to lose to Mo Vaughn in 1995. Pedro Martinez finishes a close second.
Albert Pujols’ home run against Brad Lidge finally lands, killing millions on impact.
December: At the Winter Meetings, Brett Favre formally announces his retirement from the NFL.
The Yankees flex their checks and sign one of the best pitchers ever to have played the game for 15yrs/450million: Christopher Robin from Winnie The Pooh Home Run Derby.

2024

January: In an explosive piece of investigative journalism, The Athletic discovers that Joe Buck has ties to Russia. Buck categorically denied the allegations in a press statement, adding, ‘And we will see you tomorrow night. In court.’
Jose Canseco is unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame.
February: Vladimir Guerrero Jr arrives at spring training by oozing through the windows of the practice facility and reforming himself into a man-like form in the hallways. He moves to the outfield, as he now covers enough ground that the ball will never hit the turf.
March: MLB The Show 2024 releases to rave reviews from critics, despite being the exact same game as MLB the Show 2023 and MLB the Show 2022. It is voted the best sports game of the year for the simple fact that they did not remove features from last year’s game.
On opening day, Dusty Baker announces to the umpires that he will be playing the entire season under protest. He gives no explanation.
April: Spencer Torkelson makes his MLB debut for the Tigers, lasting an entire at-bat before the umpires pull him from the game and send him back to the 1890s where his name belongs.
The Yankees announce that they are moving away from the pinstripe uniforms which have dominated their style since the early days of the club, and are switching to more iconic and beloved uniforms - the 1970s Houston Astros rainbow jerseys, effective immediately. Yankees fans strenuously object because it’s harder to look like assholes when wearing bright, happy colors.
May: Aroldis Chapman mirrors Randy Johnson when, during a save opportunity at Yankee Stadium, he brings down a low-flying single engine plane with a pitch, killing the pilot. This becomes the second-worst plane accident involving a Yankees pitcher in New York in the last twenty years.. [Editor’s note: This is not a 9/11 joke. That would be incredibly distasteful and disrespectful to the thousands of Americans that died on that day. This is a joke about Corey Lidle, whose death is slightly more socially acceptable to make light of.]
June: Scientists working with the New York Yankees announce new developments in doing The Wave, led by observations at Yankee Stadium. This new version of The Wave, endorsed by Yankees fans around the world, will be done only with the middle finger.
July: MLBFilms announce their next release - a collaboration with Warner Bros: Scooby-Doo! Batter Up!, where the Scooby gang meets Bryce Harper and the Phillies and have to defeat a ghost that possessed the Philly Phanatic and locked the team inside Citizens Bank Park. The city of Philadelphia defeats the ghost by throwing batteries at it, and it’s revealed to have been Gritty all along. This is not a joke.
For the fifteenth and final time, the Reds pay Ken Griffey Jr. 3.6 million dollars, ending his deferred contract. The Reds front office once again thanks the Mets for being such boneheads that nobody cares that other teams have far, far worse deferred contracts than they do. Although none of the other ones had to do with Bernie Madoff.
August: The Blue Jays announce that they are negotiating with LeBron James, Jr for a minor league deal.
Brett Gardner tests positive for having a giant fucking head and is suspended by the MLB for 80 games. He appeals on grounds of the test possibly being a false positive, and the possibility that vitamins he took were contaminated, and that, as a sovereign citizen, the MLB has no right to test him. He also tests positive for eleven different steroids, which he does not contest.
September: Tony La Russa announces his retirement at the end of the season, citing his early stages of dementia. This confirms the rumors that spread around the league after La Russa wandered off in the middle of a game to find the nearest Cracker Barrel.
October: Fernando Tatis Jr. disrespects the game of baseball by arriving at Petco for a game after the Padres have clinched the top seed in the playoffs. Brain McCann materializes out of the aether and hits Tatis with an elbow off the top ropes, killing him instantly.
The MLB announces a new broadcast format for the World Series, where Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will sit silhouetted in front of a screen with the official Joe Buck/Tim McCarver broadcast and heckle them constantly, MST3k style. It is cancelled after one game after complaints from Joe Buck’s mother.
November: Radical sabermetricians make the news by making threats against the MLB, warning that unless announcers actually learn how WAR and FIP work, ‘there will be consequences’. Commissioner Tony Clark gives a strong speech, responding that the MLB ‘does not negotiate with terrorists. We don’t even negotiate with the MLBPA most of the time’’.
December: The Red Sox trade Tim Wakefield’s rolling contract to the Mariners in exchange for the Mariners’ franchise history and the cutout of a baseball player that sits outside a Lowe’s in Seattle.

2025

January: The St. Louis Cardinals accidentally delete their Excel 95 spreadsheet listing their minor league prospects. It’s estimated that up to 200 ballplayers were lost, and though scouts managed to retrieve some of them, a large number still cannot be accounted for.
February: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. announces his retirement from baseball to star in an MLBFilms remake of ‘The Blob’.
March: The MLB floats the idea of having a ‘three batter minimum’ for pitchers, so that teams won’t continually switch pitchers to gain a handedness advantage. This is laughed at by everyone, so they forget about it. The idea never comes up again.
April: In an otherwise routine game at Target Field, Byron Buxton is tracking down a routine pop fly when he suddenly runs headlong into the evidence that Pete Rose bet against the Reds, shattering every bone in his body and eight in Max Kepler’s.
May: The Mets broadcast leaves a live mic on Zach Greinke, which picks up what he’s constantly mumbling about while on the mound. A transcript: “Dog carcass in alley this morning. Tire tread on burst stomach. The city is afraid [strikes out Tim Anderson] of me. I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the [induces a Chad Wallach pop-up] vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "save us!"... and I'll look down from the mound and [retires Derek Dietrich on three pitches] whisper "no"”
June: June 28, 2025. A date which will live in infamy. Everyone remembers where they were on that day. The pictures are burned into the brain of every man, woman, and child watching the All-Star game.
The black helicopter landing in center field.
The masked figures kicking a bound and gagged David Eckstein out of the door.
Their speech through the loudspeaker system, calling for the deaths of all those who stood in the way of progress. You all know what followed.
When that helicopter took off, leaving a four foot eight corpse on the field, the relationship between baseball and statistics was changed forever. SABR was declared a terrorist organization, and although Bill James denied any involvement and denounced the perpetrators, he would never be looked at the same. The FBI tracks him for the rest of his life.
July: C.C. Sabathia, Brian McCann, and the corpse of David Eckstein are inducted into the Hall of Fame. During his speech, Sabathia briefly mentions breaking the unwritten rules of baseball, and Brian McCann hits him with a steel chair, killing him instantly.
A huge remembrance of David Eckstein’s life takes place among the media.
“How can a man weighing 45 pounds and only two and a half feet tall make such an impression on the hearts of man? Not everyone has the grit, the determination, the grit, the dirtiness, the courage, the grit, or the grit to win in the MLB, but that’s only because Eckstein took the grit from all those people to use himself.”
“We all remember Eckstein single-handedly dragging the Cardinals to a World Series victory, but it’s easy to overlook his other work, and not just because he was so short. This was a man whose bodily fluids were filled with lunch pails.”
August: SABR’s hitlist is leaked by government agencies. It includes the two bozos who left Pedro Martinez off the MVP ballot, 90’s Joe Carter, John Smoltz, and everyone who ever wrote an article about David Eckstein, ‘to wipe clean the scum of the earth’. All of these people are immediately placed under police protection except John Smoltz, who refused it as he never believed in sabermetrics anyway.
September: A source inside the MLB suggests that they should have been more prepared for a terrorist attack, saying, “These guys are literally named SABR - could they have more of a Bond villain secret organization name? And look at their mission statement: ‘we seek the deaths of those who would desecrate our great national pastime, and those who refuse to understand it.’ - shouldn’t that have turned some heads? I believe that the MLB intentionally ignored this threat so they could go to war with SABR and then seize their oil”. Tony Clark refuses comment.
Tony La Russa announces his retirement from baseball at the end of the season.
October: After a long and storied career, Albert Pujols announces his retirement and immediately ages 150 years to return to his true age like Donovan at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Both dugouts rush his desiccated body to claim the bones as good luck charms.
November: David Eckstein is posthumously inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame as an honorary member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
The NAACP makes headlines when they release their list of Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, due to Jose Bautista taking the #1 spot over from Jackie Robinson. They justify it by saying ‘Jose Bautista is the Harriet Tubman of his times”.
December: After missing the playoffs for the tenth straight year, the Philadelphia Phillies trade Bryce Harper to the New York Yankees for a sack of potatoes.
Part 2: 2026-2030
submitted by SirParsifal to baseball [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 03:01 InfernoAA Book The Undertaker if he were in his prime right now Round One Part Two: Demons & Devils

Build to NXT Takeover: In Your House II
NXT – April 14th, 2021
In the fallout of Takeover: Hollywood, Taker retreats back into the shadows, assessing the landscape for his next move. Meanwhile, former NXT Champion Finn Balor is seen walking backstage, flanked by Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch on either end, a recent alliance formed between the three heading into Balor’s title rematch against Kross at the previous TO, an unsuccessful challenge for the Prince. The trio bump into McKenzie Mitchell along the way, who stops them for a quick interview, addressing Balor’s match at Takeover, before bringing up the TO debut of The Undertaker, asking Finn for his thoughts on everything that went down.

Balor turns to Lorcan, and then Burch, the three of them breaking out into laughter at the mention of Taker, Balor snaps that the Deadman is just a guy wearing a cloak that brainwashed Moon into following him around and carrying his urn for him – he’s not a threat to Balor. After all, it takes him so long to get to the ring, he’ll be done winning championships all over the world twice over before Taker makes it between the ropes. Whilst he’ll admit, the match against Ciampa was impressive in the way he treated the guy who claims this is his house 24/7, but he’s also beaten Ciampa before, so it’s nothing special in his eyes. Maybe when he ditches the cloak he can find some real success by the Prince’s side, being his bouncer. Nudging his boys to laugh with him, the trio continue walking along, though it seems by Balor’s snappy tone the mention of Taker has struck a nerve in him…

NXT – April 21st, 2021
In a showcase match, Balor heads out to the ring to take on Mansoor, Brit-Am Brawlers by his side, a fun sprint of a bout playing out, Mansoor getting good babyface fire behind him, but he’s cut off by Lorcan & Burch interfering, allowing Balor to connect the John Woo Dropkick! As he’s going to go to the top rope though, he thinks better of it, instead connecting a Chokeslam on Mansoor, before picking him up for a Tombstone Piledriver! He even parodies the pin, sticking his tongue out and pointing a finger gun to Mansoor’s head with one hand, the other planted on his chest, getting the 3 count, a message delivered to the Deadman.

NXT – April 28th, 2021
The following week, Ember Moon is standing in the ring after the commercials, proceeding to speak in more riddles about Taker, referring to his success at Takeover, before addressing the hot topic of Kross and his NXT Title reign, hinting that everything eventually comes to an end, Kross’ reign no exception to the rule, prophesising that the Deadman will come to deliver judgement upon the Devil and that doomsday will be averted. As she goes to leave the ring, she’s stopped by Balor, Lorcan and Burch who all join her, a brash and loud bunch.

The Prince cockily plays up his victory from last week as Lorcan and Burch clap for him, before he decides to address Taker, the Phenom seemingly on his mind since the interview a couple weeks ago. He uses the opportunity to go in on Taker as Moon watches on, attempting to expose him for being a fraud, before saying that he’d gladly give Taker the beating he needs and send him on his way back out of NXT to wherever he came from. Or does he need to ask for Ember’s permission first to have a match?

Suddenly, the lights in the arena turn off, and as they turn on, Balor and co. spin left and right frantically, looking for any sign of the Deadman, only to find just the three of them in the ring alone, Moon having disappeared. Balor does his best to no-sell the thoughts running through his mind, wearily heading to the back, Taker in his head.

NXT – May 5th, 2021
Mid-way through the show, as the cameras cut backstage, a loud commotion can be heard from inside the men’s locker room, prompting the door to be swung open by backstage officials, checking to see what’s going on. The area looks to be completely trashed, Balor & Brit-Am standing proudly in the centre of the mess, booming that they run this place, claiming that Taker can’t touch them. However, the comment prompts the lights in the room to turn a dark blue hue, smoke pouring in from everywhere as the door closes shut on the three, trapped inside the room! Scrambling about, they look to find a way out, not wanting any part of what’s going on, eventually busting through the door and making it out in one piece, though panting heavily and sweating, Taker seemingly playing mind games with them.

NXT – May 12th, 2021
Growing increasingly on edge and agitated thanks to Taker over the past few weeks, Balor and co. look to strike where it really hurts in order to summon the Deadman and follow through with their plans to put a stop to him. Therefore, they hit the scene during a match involving Ember, proceeding to steal Taker’s urn, wanting to throw the prized possession away in a garbage disposal. However, before they can even make it to the back, a gong sounds and the lights go out! As they come back on, Balor brushes it off calmly, chuckling that Taker would try the same trick twice, not falling for it this time…

Or perhaps he already has, as a trembling duo of Lorcan & Burch tap Balor on the shoulder, causing him to turn around and come face-to-face with the Deadman! Having called him out for weeks, Finn’s gotten what he asked for, but perhaps not in the manner he wanted it, Taker wrapping a hand around his throat, setting up for a Chokeslam, only for Balor to think fast on his feet, clocking Taker in the head with his own urn, staggering him long enough to make a quick run for it, leaving a brooding Taker empty handed.

NXT – May 19th, 2021
Starting off the show this week, there appears to be a casket at ringside with the signature Taker logo on it, druids stood by it. As they go to open it though, who but Balor pops out from inside, still holding the urn close to his chest, but out to fire back some of his own mind-games to the Deadman. Urn in hand, Finn gets close to the camera and cuts a promo directly to the Phenom, stating that he knows all about the supernatural, having unlocked the darker side of him in the Demon over the course of many years. Whilst Taker can do a few stage acts to try and intimidate him, the Prince is the real deal, and if he’s given a shot at the Deadman, he won’t miss, taunting that he won’t even need to bring the Demon out to play. In fact, if he really wants his urn back, how about he comes fight for it at Takeover? Posing finger guns to the urn, Balor sneers.

NXT – May 26th, 2021
Looking to get back at Taker with another mind-game of his own, Balor parodies Taker’s entrance, getting the Deadman’s theme to play to everyone’s collective excitement, only for it to be Balor, a smug look on his face as he’s showered with boos, holding the urn up high to pose. However, he doesn’t get away with it this time, Taker on his case, showing up to confront Balor face-to-face and lay him out with a CHOKESLAM! Posing over his body, Taker directs a slit-throat motion at Balor, signalling that he’s had enough of Balor, wanting to put an end to his charades, the bout being made official for Takeover: IYH II!


NXT Takeover: In Your House II
The Undertaker vs Finn Balor
As Takeover returns to the throwback style, Balor heads to the ring first. He’s been hell-bent on wanting to expose Taker as a fraud, his supernatural abilities not comparing to Finn, tonight that opportunity in his hands. Taker is out next, Ember with him at ringside, a theatrical entrance on his behalf, turning up the supernatural elements in order to get in Balor’s head and prove that the Deadman is far from plastic, able to back himself up inside the ring.
As the match gets underway, Balor gets off to a cocky start, using his nimble frame to prevent Taker from getting any shots in on him whilst teeing off on him with lightning-quick strikes and trying to belittle him with grounded headlocks, only for Taker to take advantage of Balor overestimating his own abilities, Taker biting back with jabs, boots and slams. Balor mocks Taker by going for a Chokeslam, only for the Phenom to turn it around and nail a Chokeslam on him instead! A Last Ride attempt is evaded, Balor slipping out to connect a 1916, only for Taker to kick out! Balor is beside himself, calling for the Coup de Grace, but he’s caught out of mid-air with a right hook, Taker following by planting him with another Chokeslam! In the end, it’s the Deadman nailing an emphatic Tombstone Piledriver, putting an end to the very mortal Balor!
The Undertaker def. Finn Balor (16 minutes)


Build to NXT Takeover: Boston
Following Taker’s victory over Balor, the Prince is not seen for the entire rest of the month. Meanwhile, the Deadman sets his sights on the NXT Championship, or more importantly, the champion himself, Karrion Kross. Whilst Taker was distracted with Ciampa and Balor though, the circle to get through to get to Kross got a whole lot tougher with an alliance between Kross and the Archer of Infamy, Damian Priest, the former NXT North American Champion establishing himself as one of the top stars on the brand.

Taker steps up to the challenge, making a rare TV appearance to go one on one with Priest. However, the match never happens as Taker is assaulted from behind, but assaulted like he’s never been before, a certain violence behind the actions that wouldn’t be expected from a mortal… Standing over him is the Demon, Finn Balor. He got too cocky, thinking he could take the Phenom all by himself, leading to his demise at Takeover: IYH. Stripping back the layers though, he unlocked the Demon King once more, who is now baying for Taker’s blood.

Over the course of the next month or so, the two engage in a battle of the supernatural, unique segments playing out between the two, leading up to Takeover: Boston, a rematch made official between the two, this time Taker vs the Demon, but that’s not all, as it’s given a special never-seen-before stipulation – a Casket match!


NXT Takeover: Boston
The Undertaker vs “Demon” Finn Balor – Casket Match
With no rules holding the two supernatural figures back, they unleash Hell upon each other over the course of the match, the Demon a lot more vicious in his attack of Taker, whilst the Deadman responds accordingly, drawing power from the urn in Moon’s hands to rally with stiffer strikes on his own end. The two tease multiple moments of either falling into the casket, a risky Chokeslam spot on the apron and Balor attempting to John Woo Dropkick Taker in. In the end, a pair of Tombstone Piledrivers on the outside incapacitate the Demon enough to not be able to fight back, allowing Taker to roll the Demon inside the Casket, coming out victorious!
The Undertaker def. “Demon” Finn Balor (20 minutes)


Build to NXT Takeover: WarGames V
After knocking down Balor once and for all, Taker turns his attention to what everyone’s been waiting for, heading out to the ring on NXT TV, Moon by his side, confronting NXT Champion Kross, Bordeaux in his corner. Over the course of the year, the Devil of Monterrey has been on a murder spree, retaining the championship over and over again, taking down only the best of the best, but one man he hasn’t been able to get his hands on since his debut at Takeover: Houston is The Undertaker.

The Deadman and the Devil adamant to go at it with the title on the line, the match is made official for NXT TV, only to end in a DQ victory for Taker as he’s attacked from behind with a nightstick by none other than Priest, but he’s not alone, also joining Kross is Tony Modra, the three of them dismantling Taker like never before, the big man for once seeming to be in grave danger, no longer owning the stark size advantage. The beat-down is led by Kross as he barks orders at Priest and Modra, the Devil standing tall over the Deadman, leaving his body in a battered and broken heap.

Whilst Taker has been a mostly singles star, he realises that if he wants to take down Kross, he needs some external support, getting recently returned to NXT star Dominik Dijakovic and Dexter Lumis on his side! With the two teams getting into a huge brawl, there’s only one way to settle the budding rivalry between Taker and Kross and that’s through WARGAMES! With both teams short-changed for one member though, they need to look around in order to find a 4th, Kross striking gold as he convinces the longest reigning champion in modern day WWE history, WALTER, to join his team. As for Taker, he’s struggling to find a 4th, eventually heading into the show with only 3 announced, yet still determined to pull off the victory!


NXT Takeover: WarGames V
Team Taker (The Undertaker, Dominik Dijakovic, Dexter Lumis, ?) vs Team Kross (Karrion Kross, WALTER, Damian Priest, Tony Modra) - 4-on-4 WarGames
Perhaps the beefiest line-up in WarGames history, it’s 7 dominant bruisers stepping inside the double-cage structure, Kross out to put an end to Taker, whilst Taker is coming for what he promised all along – reckoning. Team Taker is at a disadvantage for the most part of the match, their foes giving them a tough time, but that all changes upon the arrival of the mystery member of Taker’s team… SAMOA JOE! Former two-time NXT Champion, the Samoan Submission Machine is back in his once home, joining the fray in WarGames! After a lengthy heated battle between the two sides, Taker gets the win for his team!
Team Taker (The Undertaker, Dominik Dijakovic, Dexter Lumis, Samoa Joe) vs Team Kross (Karrion Kross, WALTER, Damian Priest, Tony Modra) (40 minutes)


Build to NXT Takeover: Dallas II
With a massive victory in WarGames on Taker’s side, the next two months heading into Takeover set the scene very clearly for the long-awaited Taker vs Kross match-up, everything coming full-circle from the initial encounter back in Houston as they return to Texas once more. For nearly 365 days, Kross has run roughshod over the NXT roster, bringing doomsday to the Black and Gold brand, whilst Taker has fought hard to restore order to NXT in order to free it of Kross’ reign of terror.

Whilst Taker and Kross resort to physicality more to sell the upcoming match-up, Kross even going to the lengths of melting Taker’s urn, their respective managers do the talking portion for them, an old-school feel to the build to the upcoming hoss fight. The Shenom talks about how she put everyone on notice at the beginning of the year of the Phenom’s arrival and how he will be the one to put a stop to Kross’ doomsday, now standing only moments away from achieving said goal. She claims that Taker will set NXT free.

Scarlett Bordeaux fires back in support of Kross, reminding that every last person that has stepped up to Kross has fallen, the Devil preying on them. Whilst Taker lead a team to victory at WarGames, what he’ll come to realise in singles competition is that sometimes it takes Hell to get to Heaven, and that Hell is something only Kross can endure.

On the final stop before their match, a contract signing takes place between the two, Taker opting to sign with his own blood, sending a message to Kross of how much he’s willing to put on the line for this match, whilst also binding himself to the contract quite personally. The Deadman vs The Devil is one of the most hyped confrontations all year long, and it’s going to occur under a No Holds Barred stipulation!


NXT Takeover: Dallas II
The Undertaker vs Karrion Kross (c) – NXT Championship – No Holds Barred
As two men who finally meet their match against one another step up to the plate with NXT’s top prize on the list and no rules standing between them, it’s brutal all the way through, the Deadman and the Devil warring all over the arena for the future of NXT. Kross gives Taker a tough fight with an Avalanche Doomsday Saito that almost collapses the ring in on itself, before slapping on a Kross Jacket, but Taker fights back, a Jumping Tombstone on steel steps leading to Taker crossing the arms and holding for 1…2…3! Kross’ reign of terror is over! Doomsday is over! The Undertaker is the new NXT Champion to close out his first year in WWE!
The Undertaker def. Karrion Kross (c) to win the NXT Championship (30 minutes)
submitted by InfernoAA to FantasyBookingElite [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 00:18 PMmeifyourepooping [THANK YOU] part 3 of 3 to round out October and cruise into November!!

https://imgur.com/a/8KFCELM
hummingblurp - alright, so girl. This. Is. The. Best. Thing. Get out of here with how amazing this set of things was!!!!!!!! The watercolofp ink pics of blizzy may very well be the single best art that has ever been sent to me. Seriously this is next level tuff and I am framing both of them. For real. I’m framing them and putting them up on my wall they’re so good and you’re super talented!!!
kingnbanter - thank you so much for this beautiful 4 postcard! Very lovely and I appreciate it a ton!!
morumotto3 - THIS BAT IS SO CUTE. And where did you get the hedgehog washi?!?! I just had to special order some from houston and have someone pick it up and send it to me it’s so hard to find!! Thank you so much I will be using it on a card to my grandmother who has a hedgehog thing with me!! I had hedgehogs when I was little but not anymore but I’d love to have them again!! So cute and sweet!!
Zamyatins_fears - thank you so much foe the beautiful card and the sweet note inside! I also love the watercolor theme with the forest in the background and I love that you found this in your aunt’s old stash of cards! How fun is that?! You stay safe and well too I know it is totally wild just existing right now.
dreameater_baku - thank you for the adorable melon card with a bite out of it! Where did you find this stationery it’s totally adorable!! I also wish you a beautiful holiday season :D
anewmanjedi - seriously where do you get all of this fun disney paper I’m so jealous. This one was all Christmas sweaters it is so fucking cute. I wish you a safe and awesome holiday season as well and I have a card coming your way!!
josephineismyhero - thank you so much for the beautifully embossed card! It reminds me of the cards my mom and I used to emboss when I was little. So nice!!
babyraspberry - thank you for the super cute holiday pumpkin card!! I have a card coming your way as well!! My autumn has been really crazy. I just opened my Etsy shop and it’s going crazy well so that’s really exciting!!
quintessential-ly - thank you for the super beautiful hand painted card! It really made my day :] I love the hybrid painting/card idea I wish I got more!!
same_introduction_57 thank you for the huge and beautiful Valentine’s Day card!! AND THE CAT PICS!! I will be framing one of them (probably the yawn) and putting it up with the pics of my own little blizzy!! Thank you so much!!
submitted by PMmeifyourepooping to RandomActsofCards [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 19:41 Lustern 37 [M4F] Seeking curvy women to worship~

I am 37M, 5'8 275lbs, DDF and married with hall pass. Looking for thick, curvaceous women that would enjoy massage, body worship, passionate kissing and all the tongue lashing oh's you can handle. I’m completely judgement free, and cool with no strings attached fun. If we mesh and enjoy ourselves we can make a regular thing of it, realistically that’s my desire but if single serving friends is more your speed no problem!
I'm specifically interested in curvy/chubby/BBW women of all sizes, skin tones that deserve a man that is into them and fully appreciates their body type. Nothing would make me happier than the smile on your face following a job well done. I'm extremely open minded to whatever you may be into, want to try, or already know you love. I’m gentle and considerate, but enjoy the flip side too.
Sound like something you’d have fun with? DM or start a chat! Located in NE Houston near IAH, happy to travel and or pick you up.
submitted by Lustern to houstonr4r [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 16:00 madmaxp0618 End of Season 2, what's your TTO team looking like?

I've been using Monta Ellis, Glenn Robinson, and Blake Griffin. I haven't had this much fun playing the game since the Allan Houston dribble pull up days. The game plan is to single out my opponent's weakest defender and just abuse. They can all play some very solid defense as well.
submitted by madmaxp0618 to MyTeam [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 08:14 MarkdownShadowBot Removed comments/submissions for /u/sambohambro

Hi sambohambro, you're not shadowbanned, but 30 of your most recent 48 comments/submissions were removed (either automatically or by human moderators).

Comments:

gd0otbx in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
John wall is too big of a risk imo
gd0lyf6 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Screw wall, too risky coming back from an injury like that
gd0lwz9 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
This guy has so much potential it’s crazy
gd0lst5 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
I’m so pumped
gd0jjfy in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Fuck wall, too risky coming back from an injury like that
gd0gq7n in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Who else could we get that might convince harden and Russ to stay, this is a good start but we’ve got to have another blockbuster deal to get them back in
gd0goos in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Please no fucking wall, we could run it back theoretically if stone keeps making good moves but not with fuckin wall
gd0g2kp in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Who else could we get that might convince harden and Russ to stay, this is a good start but we’ve got to have another blockbuster deal to get them back in
gd0g00r in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Who else could we get that might convince harden and Russ to stay, this is a good start but we’ve got to have another blockbuster deal to get them back in
gd0f6y4 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
If we somehow kept Roco I would be happy, but we still lost value overall even with this trade
gcw9874 in Conservative on 20 Nov 20 (1pts):
Only where it’s needed maybe?
gcqrvxw in rockets on 18 Nov 20 (1pts):
Harden has done everything he can in all these years, and he’s realizing the window has closed as far as this team. Can’t blame the guy, he’s done pretty much everything but a win a ring, let him...
gcqo8lt in rockets on 18 Nov 20 (1pts):
Harden will go to Brooklyn, it’s unavoidable. Houston is trying to us any leverage they have as to not lose their big star, but eventually they will have to open up to the reality that he doesn’t...
gcohr4n in rockets on 18 Nov 20 (1pts):
Fuck this idea of holding harden hostage to a doomed team, let him escape and win a ring
gcn9jte in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Well, it was fun guys. I have to admit I’m more of a harden stan than a rockets fan, so I’ll be migrating over. I’ll miss this place
gckwx1p in nba on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Why are they overspending for freakin jrue holiday, don’t get me wrong he’s a good player but not nearly enough of the help Giannis needs, especially for what they paid
gckwj4s in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
WB really single handily caused this franchise to implode in on itself
gckwc64 in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Are we about to get the Woj bomb that harden is gone any moment ?
gckw2wk in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
So harden is 100% gone right ?
gckw1hw in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Our second best player in the playoffs
gckvsuj in nba on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
WHAT THE FUCK
gckvkyp in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
So harden is gone like literally 100% now right ?
gcku2zf in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
I think this is a classic case of overthinking something, I don’t see why they would be sending cryptic messages like it’s a movie lol
gckmonk in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Guys cmon, do you really not think you might be overthinking this lmao
gckmhpt in pokemongo on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
How do you get all the passes? Real money ?
gcklj27 in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Lol don’t you think you might be overthinking it
gcki3ie in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
I’m feelin the Woj bomb tomorrow... be prepared boys
gcgrukz in rockets on 16 Nov 20 (1pts):
Poor guy, he really thought he was gonna get a chance to coach two mvps and got played
gcf5bz6 in rockets on 15 Nov 20 (1pts):
We’re not expecting anything tomorrow right? It’s gonna be a long off season.

Submissions:

jy6kxw in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Anyone get Giannis vibes from Wood?
I'm a bot. My home is at /CommentRemovalChecker - check if your posts have been removed! (How to use)
Help us expose and stand up to social media bias and censorship!
submitted by MarkdownShadowBot to CommentRemovalChecker [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 08:09 MarkdownShadowBot Removed comments/submissions for /u/sambohambro

Hi sambohambro, you're not shadowbanned, but 30 of your most recent 46 comments/submissions were removed (either automatically or by human moderators).

Comments:

gd0otbx in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
John wall is too big of a risk imo
gd0lyf6 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Screw wall, too risky coming back from an injury like that
gd0lwz9 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
This guy has so much potential it’s crazy
gd0lst5 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
I’m so pumped
gd0jjfy in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Fuck wall, too risky coming back from an injury like that
gd0gq7n in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Who else could we get that might convince harden and Russ to stay, this is a good start but we’ve got to have another blockbuster deal to get them back in
gd0goos in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Please no fucking wall, we could run it back theoretically if stone keeps making good moves but not with fuckin wall
gd0g2kp in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Who else could we get that might convince harden and Russ to stay, this is a good start but we’ve got to have another blockbuster deal to get them back in
gd0g00r in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Who else could we get that might convince harden and Russ to stay, this is a good start but we’ve got to have another blockbuster deal to get them back in
gd0f6y4 in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
If we somehow kept Roco I would be happy, but we still lost value overall even with this trade
gcw9874 in Conservative on 20 Nov 20 (1pts):
Only where it’s needed maybe?
gcqrvxw in rockets on 18 Nov 20 (1pts):
Harden has done everything he can in all these years, and he’s realizing the window has closed as far as this team. Can’t blame the guy, he’s done pretty much everything but a win a ring, let him...
gcqo8lt in rockets on 18 Nov 20 (1pts):
Harden will go to Brooklyn, it’s unavoidable. Houston is trying to us any leverage they have as to not lose their big star, but eventually they will have to open up to the reality that he doesn’t...
gcohr4n in rockets on 18 Nov 20 (1pts):
Fuck this idea of holding harden hostage to a doomed team, let him escape and win a ring
gcn9jte in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Well, it was fun guys. I have to admit I’m more of a harden stan than a rockets fan, so I’ll be migrating over. I’ll miss this place
gckwx1p in nba on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Why are they overspending for freakin jrue holiday, don’t get me wrong he’s a good player but not nearly enough of the help Giannis needs, especially for what they paid
gckwj4s in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
WB really single handily caused this franchise to implode in on itself
gckwc64 in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Are we about to get the Woj bomb that harden is gone any moment ?
gckw2wk in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
So harden is 100% gone right ?
gckw1hw in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Our second best player in the playoffs
gckvsuj in nba on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
WHAT THE FUCK
gckvkyp in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
So harden is gone like literally 100% now right ?
gcku2zf in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
I think this is a classic case of overthinking something, I don’t see why they would be sending cryptic messages like it’s a movie lol
gckmonk in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Guys cmon, do you really not think you might be overthinking this lmao
gckmhpt in pokemongo on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
How do you get all the passes? Real money ?
gcklj27 in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
Lol don’t you think you might be overthinking it
gcki3ie in rockets on 17 Nov 20 (1pts):
I’m feelin the Woj bomb tomorrow... be prepared boys
gcgrukz in rockets on 16 Nov 20 (1pts):
Poor guy, he really thought he was gonna get a chance to coach two mvps and got played
gcf5bz6 in rockets on 15 Nov 20 (1pts):
We’re not expecting anything tomorrow right? It’s gonna be a long off season.

Submissions:

jy6kxw in rockets on 21 Nov 20 (1pts):
Anyone get Giannis vibes from Wood?
I'm a bot. My home is at /CommentRemovalChecker - check if your posts have been removed! (How to use)
Help us expose and stand up to social media bias and censorship!
submitted by MarkdownShadowBot to CommentRemovalChecker [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 20:15 10Voltz Can FC Cincinnati win the offseason?

Short answer? Yes
Long answer? It will take luck and a lot of effort to make sure every signing contributes
We are going into our third year of MLS! Ever since the original roster build, we have harped on the "three-year plan" that has seen Minnesota succeed. Will our third season be as good as Minnesota's? Will we be better? Well, it's a hard question to answer. In the Allocation Disorder podcast done by the Athletic, they have stated that our first roster build was so poor, that we will not succeed next year due to some contracts on the books. Though, that was before our approach to the roster cuts this offseason. Let's see what is holding us back, and what needs to happen for us to fly high during the 2021 season.
(Before we get into anything else, Tom Bogert has stated that Joe Gyau and Caleb Stanko will be back with FC Cincinnati for the 2021 season. The reason I am saying this is because I wrote this entire post before that article came out, it doesn’t effect the overall post too much, really just the winger section. We will probably end up signing a high dollar winger if Gyau does come back, unless they plan to move him to rightback, in which case I don’t think we see the club sign a backup rightback, as Zico can do a reasonably okay job)
What contracts are even left?
Not many are left, though, for the ones that are, we need to take a hard look at them.
Ben Lundt - Cheap keeper who won the USL keeper of the year, will go on the supplemental roster due to his age. When he gets married he will have domestic status, overall, someone who could be the starter, or challenge Titi (if he is still here next year).
Beckham Sunderland - MLS is supposedly launching a reserve league next year. Beckham needs to be the backup for that team.
Tom Pettersson - Our most consistent backline performer of the year, on what is believed to be a reasonable contract. Nothing wrong here. Will definitely be a starting-caliber centerback next season.
Maikel Van der Werff - Maikel and Waston didn't have great seasons, with Huggland's performances showing much more class than VDW's. We will talk about this man later though.
Saad Abdul-Salam - a backup member of the backline. He has played centerback and rightback in his career, and that is fine for a backup for us, especially on his contact, which is seemingly the MLS minimum.
Zico Bailey - There are two slots on MLS rosters that are for homegrown players only. Zico and Sunderland hold these for us. Zico showed potential and looked okay at times. He just needs some minutes.
Kamohelo Mokojto - Looked like a nice ball-playing defensive midfielder in his limited minutes. He is on what is believed to be a reasonable contract for his skill, still a high contract, but it is fine for the player he is.
Allan Cruz - I want 2019 Cruz back... looked a different player this year. If we see him back next year, I hope he is ready to play a box to box midfield role. He seems to be on a reasonable contract, though his fee pushes him over the DP threshold. Overall, disappointing this season. I will talk about him later.
(Don't underestimate) Haris Medunjanin - Our most interesting player this season for sure. The man who can spray a pass anywhere, though he can't defend. He had great moments this season, some might be team highlights. Though for the contract he is on... We will talk more on him later.
Frankie Amaya - An alright player this season. He was a Jack of some trades, master of none, who had been played in every trade this year. Never seemed to settle into a position, which is a little worrying for his development. On a Generation Adidas contract, he is worth having on the roster.
Alvaro Barreal - I would say our most promising player of the year, Alvarito. Playing right wing he looked the part of an MLS team. His cap hit is a weird topic for this year. He had a cap hit of around 500k if I understand how his contract worked. Though MLS will be introducing a U-22 rule for next season that we will be getting into later. Understand that Alvaro will not have a cap hit of that magnitude next year, it will most likely be around 250k due to what Vancouver’s sporting director believes the U-22 rule will be.
Yuya Kubo - I love him. He is a very specific player for our system but seems great when played properly. Currently costing a DP slot, he has the potential to be a difference-maker in 2021.
Brandon Vazquez - He is alright. Nothing too special here. He looked okay whenever we played him. Glad he is here on a multi-year deal, hope to see him improve and eventually get into double digit goals in WES.
Jurgen Locadia - No secret here. Our biggest DP, of our club's short history, flopped in his first season. Looked great on the field, though couldn't finish anything. We should have faith. He is here through next June. Put faith behind him and we can hope for a better 2021.
Franko Kovacevic - Hoffenheim loanee, he needs to be here next year. I will explain why later, but he needs to be here. Overall in the limited time we saw him, he looked good, which is fine for some winger depth. On a decent contact, no problems here, except the international slot, but that isn’t that big of a problem.
Can anyone else be coming back?
Four players are still negotiating to rejoin the team, Joe Gyau, Titi, Stanko, and Nick Hagglund. With Gutman needing to have another loan or purchase be agreed with Celtic before he can join us again.
Will we have freedom this offseason?
Yes, to an extent.
The front office has said that there is roster freedom this offseason. Though, through our lens, it looks complicated.
We don't know exactly what the club thinks freedom is. There is definitely a lot of room, but not quite enough for it to be called "freedom."
There are a few players who we have for this upcoming season, that take up, frankly, an absurd amount of money for what they provide. Between Haris and Van der Werff, we use up almost a million in TAM. TAM is a valuable resource, and we can't have almost 1 million of it invested into a centerback who will most likely be a bench warmer, and a midfielder who slows our play down, and leaves us less creative freedom on the field.
This brings us to our first two problems on the roster. Haris and Maikel Van der Werff. Gerard needs to pull some strings. We need, at a minimum, one of these guys to be traded among the league or VDW to leave on a free transfer to the Netherlands. This would give us around 450k in TAM flexibility, which is how we will be able to win this offseason. That 450k in TAM can pay down Kubo. This opens us to the possibility of another real DP (DP with a hit of over the maximum amount able to be bought down with TAM).
As for where these guys could go in MLS? I have a few ideas.
Van der Werff - Salt Lake, Austin, New England, La Galaxy.
Salt lake is currently in some turmoil, MLS will take control of the sale ahead of the 2021 season, and is expected to not make any large TAM signings. So this is a stretch. Though, the team still needs to function as a team in the league. Salt Lake is also a team that has a lot of funds that can be moved around, notably TAM for the upcoming season. Will they? With all the turmoil, probably not. Though they have a centerback by the name of Justen Glad, who might be prime for a trade. The Salt lake homegrown is turning 24 next season, and 2021 is his final year in his current contract. Gerard needs to make this call. Justen would solidify the right side of our defense. I would go as far as to say if we have to trade 200k in GAM and Van der Werff to Salt Lake, it would still be worth it. Both are in the final years of their deals, it is low risk for Salt Lake, and not super high risk for us either. We get a player approaching his prime, who we can then offer similar wages that VDW was on this season, next season when his contract expires. Salt Lake could use a player who can be solid at the back, in a time when spending will not be high.
Austin is the new kid. They haven't gone super crazy yet. Though I think we haven't seen what they can do yet. The expansion draft is coming up, and we can make some moves with Austin during it. Van der Werff has shown his quality when he can get a run of games. Austin may want a stable centerback to help start their defensive build. We might be able to swap him for a pick in the expansion draft. Who we could swap him for? I haven't a clue. Though if someone like Derek Cornelius (Vancouver CB), Cristian Gutierrez (Vancouver LB), Felipe Martins (D.C. CM), or Jorge Corrales (Montreal LB) up for grabs in the expansion draft, don't be surprised to see what may seem to be a one-sided trade to Austin involving Van der Werff. It would just be us trying to dump his salary.
New England is a team on the rise, and I don't know why, but I have thought since VDW came here that he would have fit great in New England. If it were to happen, maybe a homegrown's rights and a small amount of cash? I am not sure, we wouldn't be getting much though.
The team who needs to blow up everything in defense after this season. We need to offer VDW to the Galaxy. They need him. They just need someone mildly competent back there. I have no idea who we would get in return, or what. He would help stabilize them, and that would be all that matters for them.
As for Haris, there are a lot of factors here, and I want to explain myself. D.C or Austin.
Both teams are in different situations, but as for D.C. it depends on what their next coach wants. If their coach wants a deep-lying playmaker, we happen to have the best one in the league. They also happen to have Joseph Mora, a stable defensive leftback, maybe a swap of those two would be on the cards if DC did in fact want Haris.
Austin may just want him as a locker room presence for their first season in the league. A player who could contribute off the bench for 30 minutes, and will mentor the young players in the team. Not a horrible deal, we would get maybe a 2nd round pick, and 100k of performance incentives in return.
Now, for the third major problem on the roster I hate to say it, is Cruz. Cruz had a season to forget, and I hoped he would have built on last season. Though he had a season, so bad it is justifiable to trade him within the league or sell him elsewhere. I believe it could actually happen though.
When we look at our roster there are only really 3 players that could be used in a trade. VDW, Haris, and Cruz. All three seem to be problematic in the grand scheme of our salary cap as well. Cruz has by far the most value. DP players don't often get traded within the league, though it does happen. When looking around the league, there are a few teams that might be able to use Allan more effectively than we will be able to next season.
Cruz to LA Galaxy, Houston, Austin, or Minnesota
Cruz to LA makes sense when thinking about the state the Galaxy are in right now. They have a useless striker, and a much less than stellar defense. Cruz could be a nice, more consistent box to box midfielder, and with all the contracts they are expected to dump, they would have room for him. If we can, we should try and straight swap him for Julian Araujo (homegrown LB). That would be ideal, and with LA’s questionable dealings, they might do that. If they wouldn’t do that then it would have to be probably 500k in GAM and maybe their first-round pick in the draft.
I like Cruz to Houston a lot. Both team, and player, have unrecognized potential. I wouldn’t expect Houston to do this, though it wouldn’t be a bad move for them. It would be even better for us if we could snatch up someone like a Memo Rodriguez in this deal, or a Zerek Valentin. Now I wouldn’t expect those to happen if a trade were to occur with Houston, it would be GAM and maybe a homegrown who hasn’t signed a contract yet.
Austin needs players. They also need some players with league experience. Cruz has played almost 40 times in this league, and could easily be brought in by Austin, who is an expansion team with money to burn. The easiest thing would be for us to get money, but Austin does have the expansion draft, which could have them snag a player to trade to us for Cruz.
Minnesota has players in midfield, one of those players is Ozzie Alonso, I am in no way saying Cruz is his replacement, but Cruz could learn how to play a similar defensive role. Which they will clearly need if Ozzie can’t keep his fitness up. I don’t think we would get much sending Cruz to Minnesota, at least in terms of money. I can however see us getting a high-value player if this were to happen. We could maybe see (pipe dream) a Chase Gasper or Hassani Dotson come through this trade, due to their contracts expiring this year.
Frankie is another player I would like to mention. He has at least some value within the league. He has one year left on his original deal, and two option years. I think we shop him around to some western conference teams, and see if anyone is interested. He needs to find a position he can call home, either as a sub or starter.
What MLS roster-building mechanisms will we see used this offseason?
All of them. I think we will see every single roster mechanism used this offseason.
It's no secret that we just unloaded a TON of bad contracts. So naturally, that leaves quite a bit of room under the salary cap. This also coincides with the new CBA making free agency easier. With players who are 24 or older with at least 5 years of MLS experience able to leave their club on a free.
The waiver and re-entry draft will both be used to their fullest potential this season, and I could see us selecting players with all three selections. As for who, I originally had four paragraphs written on who we could take aboard, but I quickly realized how complicated and out of my depth it was. Just wait until December when the list comes out, and we can see what players intrigue us then.
Free agency is important for us this year. We need to add a veteran or two, who understand this league, and can make a difference in the team, whether that be attitude-wise, or on the field. Bring in a guy like Jeff Larentowicz on a season-long deal worth 300k, or a guy like Hector Jimimez 225k for a year. We need 1 or 2 guys that the locker room can lean on when needed.
THE DRAFT IS A MUST THIS YEAR!!!! I am actually not exaggerating at all. We need to use this to our advantage. No throwing the 2nd pick to the first team that comes asking, maybe if a team that is one or two picks below us wants to trade pick for pick and 50k then sure, get that little extra money, but we need to sign another Generation Adidas player, they are really good pieces to help balance a roster, and when you look at guys that we passed up on this year, we can only wonder what could have been. Bring on a GA player Gerard! They don’t count against the cap, and are a useful asset! We could also use a few depth pieces. Gerard, I hope that you have someone that has done their college soccer homework. Look at Nashville this year with Alistair Johnston, or Minnesota with Hassani Dotson and Chase Gaspar. Find what you think might be a diamond in the rough. Not a draft pick who would cost you an international slot (I loved you Rey, but the international slot killed your value. Still hope to see you in Orange and Blue someday).
What do we do with our offseason “freedom”?
If every single player that we bring in is a hit, we could actually be third in the conference. Realistically, one or two fairly important players will miss, and we will probably end up in the lower end of the playoffs. So what players can, or should be, brought in? Now, I am only going to really focus on in league targets, and what I will only say is stuff that has already been made public by Travis Grimes on Twitter.
The two major things that Travis has brought up is the possibility of Tyler Boyd and Gaston Pereiro. Now he has a new Patreon thing with 10+ players mentioned, so I don’t know if one of these guys is off the table or not.
Does Franko restrict our freedom?
I would love to say he doesn’t. He does. Though it is worth it due to the relationship that could be built between our club and Hoffenheim. If we are more apt to take a player on loan, who can be a contributing factor off the bench, while also developing for Hoffenheim, it is a no brainer. I have already made a post talking about how Hoffenheim could bring us American talent to fill reserve roster slots. This move with Franko could help build the relationship that starts Hoffenheim signing young Americans, and loaning them to us.
The guys outside the league
Tyler Boyd is a wide receiver for the Bengals…. wait ……. wrong Tyler Boyd. There is a Tyler Boyd who plays his soccer in Turkey. He didn’t have a great season last year, though the year before his transfer to Besiktas, he was on loan to Ankaragucu where he was their top goal scorer, and top assister, mostly playing right wing. Now due to the pandemic, the Turkish FA instituted a foreign player limit to try and keep teams from overspending. The limit was 18 players. Besiktas had 22. Instead of trying to loan out a foreign player or two, they did nothing. That leads us to the present day, where Tyler Boyd is currently not registered to play in the Turkish Super Lig due to the foreign player limit. A major blow for his international team hopes. What international team does he play for? The USMNT. If you remember he started playing for the US during the gold cup last year, and actually looked pretty good. Now Travis has teased him on #YAL podcast, and on Twitter a bit. Though I am doubtful that a deal is possible for Tyler. When going through websites about the players left out of Besiktas’ squad, Tyler Boyd seems like the player they want to bring back the most, along with Ismat-Mirin. Could they maybe loan a player or two in winter? Maybe, though if they wanted to get him off the books, we wouldn’t be a bad option. If I remember Tyler Boyd’s playstyle, it is similar to Kubo, except with maybe more pace. Both players like to drift in the attacking third, cutting in to spray a pass, or to take a shot. Overall, wouldn’t be a bad signing if we could get him at the right price. If he can fall under a DP deal, that would be the best case scenario for us. If Tyler Boyd could have the same cap hit that Cruz had this year, that would be ideal.
Gaston Pereiro…. Man…. what could have been if the club managed to pull this off. It would have saved our season. Not even joking. Well anyway, #BelieveinGaston2.0 time. Gaston hasn’t had a good time in Italy since his agent ruined his transfer to Cincinnati. He has had a torrid run of form in Italy, and rumor has it, he has fired his agent, who was the problem in the first place. Travis has said on #YAL that the club will be interested in Gaston this offseason. He would be a large investment from the club, but overall, would probably be worth it in the end. He was the link that we needed this year from midfield to attack. Anyway, let’s hope that Gaston does join us this offseason.
Anytime I bring up a 10 or creative midfielder I mean Gaston. For sake of writing, it will be much easier. It isn’t confirmed that he will be signed or anything, but I would have to guess he would be a primary target this window.
What in league targets should we keep our eyes on?
1.High dollar fullback- This is the only one that I would be willing to put money on happening.One fullback that is probably a hit of either Garza’s caliber or higher. LAFC has three leftbacks (one debatably a backup rightback, though has only moved into that position this year), two of those with ending contracts. You have Vancouver with Ali Adnan. You have Atlanta with Escobar and Brooks Lennon. You have Orlando who has Ruan. My point here is every MLS club has a minimum of 1 standout fullback. I am just going to list some realistic targets during this window, and some less likely ones as well. (I actually already did a bit of a look into this with a post about if we should bring back Gutman or not, but I will do a little here as well) I will list them in order from what I think is most likely, to least likely.
  1. Some Fullback depth - We need this no matter what, I am just going to give a few names that might be good looks for us.
  1. Assuming Tyler Boyd and Joe Gyau will not be with the club - Domestic wingers or players with experience in the league. (Tyler doesn’t have experience in the league, but is still a domestic player with a good pedigree) These are in no particular order
  1. A starting caliber centerback to challenge a U-22 centerback that will most likely be brought in during this offseason (Only way this happens is if we can offload VDW)
  1. Starting keeper (assuming we won’t bring back Titi). This is a quick one since we could in theory still bring Titi back, even though I am doubtful that would happen.
  1. USL talent, capable of a green card. This is something that I believe Hoffenheim would encourage us to do, I don’t quite think they would help us with it, but they have said that they want us to be a bridge from South America to Hoffenheim. I am just going to write about the two players, who I have watched so that I am confident talking about them
  1. Leadership figures - Kendall is gone, VDW could be gone depending if they can find a team willing to take him on, Hagglund is renegotiating. We are a little short-handed on leaders in the locker room.
Overall these are mostly targets who could help out our team that are either domestic or easily able to get a green card. With all the contracts off the books this year, I can only see us going up, and that is a great sign for a city that runs on sports but has horrible luck with their teams.
If you felt someone should have been mentioned put their name below. This could be a decent point to actually start seriously considering who in the league could be a realistic target for this team. Whether that be by trade, free agency, waiver draft, re-entry draft, or any other thing that MLS has made overly complicated.
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2020.11.18 14:41 Farland_World [Contest] Farland 20th Anniversary Trivia Contest... last day!

The Contest
In honor of our 20th anniversary, the World of Farland (http://farlandworld.com) is holding a trivia contest! Starting tomorrow, on Twitter I will post a question about the campaign setting (don’t worry, the questions won’t be too hard and we have a search function on our website!). I will post one question a day for three days. DM or email me an answer each day, and if you get all three correct, you will be entered into our drawing to win the following prizes:
Grand prize: $100.00 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize: $50.00 DriveThruRPG Gift card
Third Prize: Hardcover World of Farland Campaign Setting Book and complete Farland digital catalog (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/browsepublishe11632)
Three Runners Up: Complete digital catalog of the World of Farland books on DriveThruRPG
To enter the contest, just check out the World of Farland on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farland_world) and DM us the answer to the day’s trivia contest. See you there, and thanks again!
The World of Farland is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the web with a trivia contest and cash prizes!
It was the year 2000 and my father had just died from a sudden heart attack at the age of 51. Partly in order to take my mind off my loss, I decided to make a website for my homebrewed D&D campaign, the World of Farland. I couldn’t anticipate the journey I was about to undertake.
Over the subsequent two decades, I created content and updated the website (The World of Farland) every single month. This proved to be an enormous undertaking, as you might expect, but luckily Farland inspired interest from people all across the net. Before too long, talented volunteers were contributing content to the campaign setting, including art, maps, crunchy game content, stories, and details about the world. More than 60 people officially contributed content to the site, and countless more played in the setting. While the World of Farland started out as my own campaign, it hasn’t ended up that way. It now belongs to everyone who has contributed to it, played in it, or just enjoyed learning about it.
The World of Farland didn’t blow up the RPG world in terms of its popularity, but it has, in my opinion, been a quiet success. It’s spanned Third Edition (and its transformation to 3.5), Fourth Edition, and now Fifth Edition, faithfully adding content monthly based on each of the three iterations of Dungeons & Dragons. During the 20 years of its existence, the setting won a Gold Wyrm, a Gold Pawn, and an ENnie Award. Eventually, fans asked for compilations of the setting, so we released digital and hard copies of our material on DriveThruRPG. They all became bestsellers, and the World of Farland Campaign Setting is close to achieving gold bestseller status.
But its really the personal connections I’ve made because of the World of Farland that have meant the most. Lots of people who contributed to the setting or played in World of Farland games have now become lifelong friends, and we speak on a regular basis. And then there are the notes like this:
Howdy! Last year Houston had a week of floods, my partner and I were trying to decide what to do with soggy, bored kids… My oldest daughter, 13, decided she wanted to run a campaign, eagerness did not replace daunting fears however. We found Farland and that made it possible. She didn’t have to drink from a hose, creating any and everything from scratch. Instead she, and we, could take in bits and pieces as we went. Thank you and the plethora of contributors for aiding in an activity that literally brings our family together to laugh, talk, and have fun. One of our fun weekend activities was taking the family to Nan’s, our best local game shop, for everyone to pick out their own dice and mini-figures. I don’t know if ya’ll get a lot of praise, likely far less than you deserve, but we’re huge fans. Again, thank you, [Name Withheld]
That makes it all worthwhile! So, with humility, I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part, big or small, of the story of the World of Farland!
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2020.11.17 10:55 TheCuriousFan Dragoncon 2019 Q&A transcript + bits from 2014 Dragoncon

You know the drill at this point, for sanity's sake I will skip and really common questions that come up every other interview and redundant questions (e.g. Peace Talks when).
Carol Malcolm: The first lines of your books, do you make an effort to make them so special, something that stands out or is it just something that kind of happens?
Jim: I can't start the book until I've got a good first line, it just won't go. I can have a great story idea but if I don't have the first line it won't happen.
Carol: So basically, yes you do plan it. I don't think that comes as a surprise to anyone but I was surprised and kind of curious about the process you had. Right there.
Did Mac heal himself from the shotgun or did Mab heal him and leave Harry with a debt?
I don't give the answer to those sorts of questions. No, Harry's debt to Mab is between the two of them, and as far as fae debts go I'm not going to make any comments and see how those play out.
So was Mab born fully human, was she a changeling or was she fae originally?
You'll have to ask her about that. Don't ask questions about story that's still coming, jeez.
I'm pretty sure you're not gonna answer this but have we met Cowl as his alternate ego?
Again, jeez Louise, don't ask me questions I'm gonna make you pay me to answer. Points for trying, I feel you, I have GMed many players over the years. I understand this.
Back in the 30s or 40s Coca Cola changed the way Santa is portrayed. How does Mab feel about him being kinda tubby now?
It's annoying, oh god. Because when you put it the way that Dresden puts it in the books then suddenly that makes sense, Odin as Santa Claus makes sense. But then you look at the Coca Cola and then not as much. But yeah, he rolls his eyes at that but what's he gonna do? He's Santa Claus.
The other part of that question is, Harry loves Coca Cola. Given the two convergences does that make Coca Cola a vassal of Winter?
audience laughter
Honestly I think it's more likely for Winter to be a subsidiary of Coca Cola.
So we know there's a link between Vadderung and Santa Claus, are there any other characters which we've met that might have a similar link?
Are there any other secret characters who I've done other things in the unintelligible, really?
It was worth a shot.
Yeah in my head, history is especially intertwined within the Dresden Files supernatural world. There's lots of other people who have done other things. There were knights of the sword fighting the American revolution. There's all kinds of stuff, oh my god the Seven Years War is such a mess Dresden Files style because that's the Merlin and Ebenezar were young hotheads that were out kicking butt and they did it in very different ways and on different sides of the war. Which neither one of them was supposed to be doing because the White Council's got this whole thing about "wizards do not do politics because we watched what happened to Camelot and it was awful". But I don't know if I'm ever going to get to write those or not, it'd be fun. I'd love to write the story of hunting down Kemmler, that would be cool. Cause it would be like sixty years long, it starts like, a little bit after the end of the Civil War and goes all the way through to World War One where he was out there operating but anyway. That's for future stuff, paying off my gambling debts and so on.
So in the early days of the books, you made a big deal that Harry was the only practicing wizard in the Chicago Yellow Pages, how does he advertise now that they're no longer a thing?
Oh he doesn't have to advertise anymore now he's the guy everybody knows. He likes to brag about the Yellow Pages but yeah that's a thing of the past.
What about Elaine Mallory since she stole his schtick?
She did but she's got like a whole different sales pitch for her stuff. She's much more of a life coach for "extreme circumstances".
I just reread Changes.
I'm sorry.
audience laughter
I was thinking, the Red Court vampires that were caught by the goblins, could they survive the curse?
Oh you would have had to have been in the equivalent of like, a NORAD style Cheyenne mountain shelter, which is not an answer.
You've mentioned in the past that you've outlined the series after being told the first book will sell. What's the biggest divergence we've had from that outline at the point we're at?
Butters probably. He was somebody who was supposed to be a one off character. He was supposed to be a- I was writing a particularly gruesome ME scene and I wanted somebody there to add a little levity to it so I created Butters. Actually I didn't create Butters I stole him from the movie The Prophecy, only I died his hair black instead of red and made him Jewish and said okay go. But yeah Butters is the biggest diversion I never really planned on him being a big character and then my editor got in the way so.
So what was your inspiration behind the Cinder Spires and did they not pan out?
Oh, the inspiration behind the Cinder Spires, I was driving home from a LARP on a Sunday morning. We'd killed a big bad guy at about two in the morning and then we were arguing over treasure until four and then the sun was coming up and I was like "you know what I'm not sleeping in a sleeping bag I'm getting in my car and going home to my bed". And so I was driving home and it was a real real heavy midwest overcast thunderstorm territory. Except I was driving north over here on the right side the sun was coming up. It was all clear and blue and starting about right here gestures at about right shoulder height in my field of vision it was just /black, black, black clouds over there/. And then a lightning storm started as this storm was coming towards me and it looked like this big thing on lightning legs walking towards you. And I was like "oh this is just awful" and I turned up Nine Inch Nails because I was listening to Downward Spiral, nice and clanky industrial sounds. And then I raced the thunderstorm to the junction with I-70 so I could turn east and get ahead. And so while I was doing that and listening to Nine Inch Nails the first scene from the first book just popped up in my head and it was like "okay I'm doing that next. So sleep deprivation + running around in the woods like a crazy person + driving too fast in dangerous weather, that's how I got it. Some lives, be a writer kids.
You mentioned that you're looking to write about 24 novels in total and I was wondering if you're expecting to write them in ten years or thirty years? *unintelligible plus audience laughter*
There's some things I'm not gonna share with you yet. I'm planning on 20 case books like we've had so far and then a big old apocalyptic trilogy at the end to finish things off. We might need 21, or 22, or 19, I've got to get everything setup for the end. And then the big old trilogy and we'll be done with it. That'd be a fun story. I don't know how long it'll take I've got things to do and there's like these steampunk books and people keep wanting me to show up to conventions and things. Normally I say things like "if I wasn't here with all of you the next book would be done by now" but at this point I'm waiting on the editor so.
So the agnostic knight of the cross, you could have done a Protestant knight of the cross, you could have done an Islamic knight of the cross, why agnostic?
Why not? My point is, that at least in the Dresden Files world and my own personal viewpoint, people are fickle and people fail, people fall aside. God doesn't need people to believe in him, God believes in people and will still be even if you're the agnostic guy, I think God cares about you. I mean I'm fundamentally Christian but if somebody else is Islamic? Yeah God cares about them. The Hindus? God cares about them. We can go down this list like this but I think you see the pattern. And so for the knights of the cross that's mainly what I was interested in showing it's that "God is real and God loves you and cares and sometimes sends people to kick the ass of monsters".
When Dresden threatened to use necromancy against the Black Court, was that something he learned directly from the Word of Kemmler that was part of the book or was it just that he learned more about how they worked with necromancy?
Oh no Kemmler had a recipe, "how to make a Black Court vampire your bitch", he had that. That was practically the name of the spell. Dresden's like "oh yeah I see how that works now yeah I can screw you up ". It'd do horrible things to him, roll 3D6 that's how many sanity points you lose. Like that.
So you have this entire room basically hanging on your every word, how on earth do you keep your ego in check?
That's easy, all of this stuff here happens to famous guy Jim. Famous guy Jim is on stage with you today, famous guy Jim can talk to people, he can make jokes, he can be charming, make eye contact, remember people's names and generally function like a human being. Real Jim would not be in this room, he would look around and be like "yeah there's too many people here" and turn around and go. Listen, at the end of the day, I play D&D with myself and write it down. I eavesdrop on my imaginary friends' conversations and transcribe them. I write ridiculous wizard books, I'm not contributing much, "here, have a good time, get away from things for a while, that'll be $7 please" (I wish they were $7 here). That's how it works, $10 or whatever it is now, they were $7 when I started okay.
Which do you find more satisfying when you run across it online when people are talking to each other, is it more fun to see someone with a theory that's right and everybody says they're out of their minds? Or is it more fun when someone goes off with a theory and everyone's behind it but you know they're dead wrong?
Man that's a good question, that's tough. I don't know. I mean I enjoy it when somebody's dead right and everybody's yelling at them, I just kind of want to look at that person and go "hang in there buddy! Just another book!". What really bugs me is when I read the crack theories that just break my brain. Because there are such incredible crack theories on the Dresden Files flying around out there, and some of them I don't even want to think about them, I get a skip in my head every time I hit the memory, that's my own personal version of the Naagloshii that I've seen with my true sight, crack theories, I think about them and just neck twist. And then the other thing that disturbs me is some of the fanfiction, there is some really unlikely slash fiction of Dresden out there. Putting it out there and leaving it at that.
Hi, so it's kind of interesting to hear you say you're not making an impact with your books. I'm actually a librarian for the New York state corrections department and let me tell you, the men at unintelligible jail name love your books more stuff obscured by crowd cheering. And my personal question is, is Mister ever going to get his own side story?
I could probably write a good one because I actually know cats now because there's enough of them. Because you know we have four cats, we have three maine coons and there was a little feral cat that got born under the porch, her and her brother did, well her and her brother survived so we trapped them and her brother was socialised so we got him out to a family and he's spoiled rotten all the time now. And he's like this Siamese looking cat, he's gorgeous. And then his sister is a little tuxedo cat who is this big full grown holds hands indicating about as long as the distance between middle of neck and left shoulder and so we named her Zantanna and she didn't like people but she bonded to our cats. And so we're like "okay you can hang with our cats and that'll be fine" and then eventually she started going "okay human, pet me". She kind of walks up to you and goes "MEOW" and then you're like "ok I've got to pay attention to you before you kill me". I probably could write a good cat story, but Mister's a cat man, he's taking naps. He's an elderly cat at this point, he's stretching out in the sun.
So I was wondering, you've kind up set up the morality system of the Dresden Files, in other settings they have laws of magic that the wizards council came up with and enforces, they're made by people. But in your universe, if you break the laws of magic it taints your very soul. It's inherent to the universe itself. And in other books monsters can redeem themselves and I know unintelligible kind of has that but with the Red Court vampires it's like once you're a vampire, you're just that.
Well you could potentially walk into the sun or something, but yeah.
So I was wondering why you made those choices when you were kind of setting up the world, with objective morality or something.
Well you just said it yourself, choices. Thomas didn't choose to be born a White Court vampire, he chooses what he's gonna be and as long as you are somebody who is making choices like that, there's always a chance at redemption. You can decide "you know what, I'm going to be a better person today than I was yesterday", that's possible. And every single Red Court vampire chose to kill someone so they could slake their thirst, every Red Court vampire said to himself "I'm more thirsty than that guy needs to be alive", that's a choice, it matters in the Dresden Files.
So does that mean you can break the laws of magic and come back from that?
What?
And choose to redeem yourself.
I mean the laws of magic are broken all the time. I mean the ones the White Council makes, those are pretty broad. There's only some of it that's going to start twisting you into a horrible something or other but the White Council is real thorough on trying to control wizards. They want to keep wizards from, you know, blinking reality out of existence, they have some concerns. They'd rather be more careful than less careful, that's sort of how they roll.
So in terms of writing advice, I hear a lot of talk about how they break pieces of themselves off and use them as the basis for characters. Is there any of this in Harry or any other characters of the Dresden Files?
That's not something I'm gonna talk to you about. That's some pretty deep stuff there, that's personal. Ultimately everything I put in the book is me because I was the one writing it. As far as pieces of my own personal self yeah they're all over it. You can't make art without putting a piece of yourself in it, that's how it works, you break off a piece of your soul and you put it someplace else and you look at people and you show it to people and you say "isn't it pretty?" and they go meh and you go "that's my soul, okay..." but yeah you have to. It's terrible because you read it and go "gee this is really tearing me up, all the stuff about Harry's dad", you know, stuff like that. But yeah you have to and you don't even get to pick when you do it or which bit of your soul to break it off you just suddenly realise "oh there it is in the book".
So I when I read the twelfth book I read that speech that Harry gave to Mab about the ability to attain power and I'm not going to ask you what he's going to do to get more power. I was wondering if the Darkhallow would work in the Nevernever.
Oh yeah, you can pull that off anywhere. The location is not important, Harry could go to the Nevernever and pull off a Darkhallow if he wanted.
I was just curious since immortality was a factor and I'm not sure.
Yeah I'm pretty sure he could pull it off there. He'd have to have a bunch of people to kill though.
Carol: Minor technical detail.
It came out of the book of the big bad necromancer guys, what do you want to do? They kill people.
Carol: The title kind of gives it away, doesn't it.
question is if Marsters will do the Peace Talks audio book, the answer is yes
Hello, well as an older woman I am interested in McCoy, Blackstaff McCoy. Just kind of sexy and audience drowned her out I don't know twenty years ago I was doing audience drowned her out again. So is there a way that you might write something about the old dude?
It's possible. Though if I wrote McCoy I would go back to where he was wrecking stuff and getting in trouble all the time and then write that guy, he was way worse than Dresden. audience drowned her out yet again Yeah I mean Dresden's the kind of guy who, yeah he gets into trouble and stuff but what he /really/ wants to do is be at home reading on the couch with his dog, that's really the kind of way he wants to spend his life. McCoy was the kind of guy who would just kind of look around after work one day and say "you wanna go get in a fight?" and then they would go do that, so it was much different.
If Bob ever found himself online in say, an online game such as Second Life, what would he choose his avatar?
Bob's avatar? He'd just be a penis with legs. He would do what like every fourteen year old boy would do and if he could pick something he'd take one of those.
So in terms of Gaius Sextus and John Marcone are described very similarly, what was the inspiration behind that?
I always wrote Marcone, the model I kind of had for him in my mind in the background was a medieval baron. By the standards of the medieval times Marcone would have been a highly respected, competent, just and fair baron if he ran his barony exactly like he runs the mob in Chicago. So when I was building him I used the model of a medieval feudal lord and what the ideal feudal lord what behave like and I extended that to Gaius Sextus only he didn't quite live up to many of them because he was kind of a weasel. But I wanted to write him as that weasel that you kind of admire a bit, it's like "man you caused all this trouble, but damn you did it with style" like that. But that's why.
Michael Carpenter is one of my favourite characters in all of fiction. I want to know what was your inspiration for creating such an awesome paladin of awesome.
From what I could tell of the fiction that was around me up to when I was writing Michael, there were only two kinds of Christians that appeared in fiction: They were either lunatics, hypocrites oh wait there's three, or happy dumb sheep. And that was the only way they were portrayed and I was tired of that and so I thought I'd do it my way. I didn't do it for you gestures at cheering audience but I'm glad you like it.
When you actually settle down to write and try to get into the mindset, do you have a particular playlist you use and how does that vary across the different series you write?
Oh, excellent question. I do, I used to make up a playlist for each book, now I generally have like theme songs for characters that I keep in mind. Harry's theme song is Gone Away by Offspring (fun fact, this used to be his pick for Elaine's theme song). And there's a bunch of other ones. What's the cover, of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You? That is done in minor that is for another character that I really love that is- look for a minor version of I Will Always Love You, I forget the name of the guy who performs it but it's amazing. But it's like the most angsty "this is definitely my RP character's story" sort of song, I mean, everybody can say that about their RP character. Oh my gosh.
So Cinder Spires, you've got Albion, Aurora and you've got a third name coming up Olympus or something-
Olympia, yeah.
So how many spires are there and can you tell us their names?
Um there's dozens and dozens, they're scattered all over the world, not all of them have contact with all the others, some of them don't contact anybody, they stay isolated. It's a whole confusing thing but when I get to the next book, the next book's called The Olympian Affair, and essentially there is a meeting happening to try and head off a war that's coming between Albion and Aurora so that's what The Olympian Affair will be all about. Which is all it really is is everybody angling to get the best allies, everybody showing up to pick their team for dodgeball.
Oh no.
Hi.
Hi.
So I have a super serious question.
Oh god.
Now that Butters is a Jedi, do you think that we'll get a terrible prequel series with him? *audience laughter*
It's probably better than a terrible follow-up trilogy, I don't know. So. I'm sorry I'm not in favour of the new ones. If you like them great you're ahead of your time but I'm gonna go see the next Star Trek thing I guess, I don't know.
So you have fifteen books of history to reference-
Tell me about it.
How do you make a book accessible to someone who hasn't read the entire series without being weighed down by the massive weight of this character's history and that character's history and this event?
Every story has to be it's own story, even in the Dresden Files. The story needs to embrace the problems and the conflicts that you set up in that story. So I mean ideally anyone who comes into the Dresden Files at any point should be able to have an intelligible idea of what's going on. They should be able to go "okay I get this story and there's a bunch of parts I didn't get because you didn't reference it but the story I got it it was good" they should be able to go along for the ride and have a good time. And the best way to do that is to make sure your characters are consistent all the way through, they have to grow as well but you really have to do a lot of work to keep each character grounded in terms of what they are so that not only the reader is sure of what's going on when that character comes on stage but that /I/ know what's going on when that character comes on stage. It's like "Butters is coming onto the stage now and I need these six different things to happen to make the story go forward and so Butters is going to handle this one and that one" and I've gotta pick the right ones for Butters to handle or else he's not really Butters and it gets more and more confusing as we go along so. It's partly homework it's partly just being buried in it this is what I've been doing my whole life and it's partly Priscilla Spencer who has been a beta reader for me for a good long while, has a freakish knowledge of continuity that is highly annoying and extremely useful.
I'm one of the people who not only read the books but play the Dresden Files tabletop roleplaying game by Evil Hat, I figured they'd basically read your books and then tried to quantify the characters into NPC stats. Which ones did they get right off the bat and which ones did you say "oh you've got that all wrong because there's stuff you don't know" and then you told them your advice?
another repetition of how they saw Jim's notes/writing process and how Jim can't play the RPG and how providing info let the team guess book plots
First of all thanks for writing my family into the Dresden Files I'm a Carpenter.
Excellent.... Yeah, sorry about that.
As an aspiring novelist when I get stuck I sometimes use dice. When you get stuck do you ever just use D&D and dice "oh that was a horrible bluff check let's see how it goes if he fails that"?
Oh god no I could do that for some things but for the most part by the time I'm writing the action scene it's /scripted/ we've got stuff to do there's no time for randomness. And to a degree while I think it's possible to use it and it could be good if you're stuck and need inspiration of some kind then embracing ideas you normally wouldn't embrace but you randomly generate is a good way to knock ideas loose and get going. Gosh I don't remember where I was going with that. Oh yeah once I'm getting going things are pretty tight and I don't have time for that. Art is all about separating meaningful signals from noise, that's what art is and the more noise you throw into your own stuff the more you're kind of working against yourself so. I try to be very focused and purposeful with everything I'm doing in the books.
Quick yes or no question, are there cats in Spire Olympia?
Oh obviously yes, there's like different breeds in each spire so they can look different and be cool, but they're very separated ecosystems, right? And when you have the same animal in different ecosystems it goes in different directions. So yeah there's cats everywhere and they're different breeds so we get everybody's favourites.
Hey Jim, the Dresden Files has been around for twenty years now-
Well twenty years April 1st next year.
True, in that time they've been theorycrafted to death, in that time is there any Easter egg or plot point that has been totally missed?
I don't know. How do I know the answer to that? I don't track everything. I-actually no I don't wish I could, I don't track everything and I'm happy that way. I mean, I don't really follow that too much I'm too busy making it to look around and see what everybody else is talking about. But I'm sorry I wish I had a better answer. Even if-here's the right answer, no you've figured everything out the rest is just pro forma, might as well go home. Generally from what I can tell everybody's figured out some part of the big picture but nobody's figured out a significant part of the big picture, but somebody's picked up almost everything, it's just a matter of whether you've put it together the right way or not.
Greetings Jim, I know you're super busy with the Cinder Spires and the Dresden Files but is there any chance you'll pick up a continuation of the Codex Alera?
Codex Alera is a cool world I might go back to it one day. I've got a couple of points I can go back. One idea is to go back a hundred and fifty years into the future and see the fallout of the first series and how it changed the world and what's different then. I've got three ideas for it. That's the first one, second is to do the first class of the new Cursor academy which features Ehren as the teacher and unintelligible Batman is the teacher of all the new spies, and we have the first Canim Cursor and the first Marat Cursor and so on and that would be fun. And then the other one I can do is I already wrote the humans and the zerg so I can do the protoss coming in. Look man I'm a nerd.
Two part question, what kind of Scooby snacks does Bru like?
I get him, you know the bark boxes? They make ones specific to pitbulls with super tough toys it's called a bully box and it comes with lots of snacks but mostly he just likes bacon. I wake up for breakfast every morning and he comes in and he's my buddy. We start off the day with him just like laying his head on my shoulder and looking over my shoulder at my plate you know.
And second question, are Selkies and Owlbears existant in the Dresden Files?
Selkies and Owlbears? Yeah because you've got access to the Nevernever and you've got essentially range to whatever you can imagine. So yeah Harry could go to the Nevernever and bring back an Owlbear and be like "haha! mad wizard right there! Who's got two thumbs and just created an Owlbear!?"
So in the Dresdenverse you've got a wide variety of characters and side characters and backup characters so aside from Harry Dresden which character is your favourite to write and which is your least favourite to write?
Least favourite to write? Start with that because that one's easier for me. Charity's very difficult to write for me, I don't know if that's my least favourite but she's difficult because she's tough for me to understand. Don't know who else as far as least favourites go, if I didn't like them I wouldn't write them. But as far as favourite character other than Harry, it varies from day to day depending on what kind of mood I'm in. If I'm feeling particularly puerile and in need of inspiring chaos then it's Bob, if I need to get things done it's Marcone or Mab, you know one of those characters. I love writing Mab though, because in many ways she's kind of a mystery to me so a lot of things I find out about Mab I don't find out until I've written them and then I go "wow, that's deep" and "I should tell the author something" "you wrote that" "that's confusing".
As you've read a lot of Dresden fan stuff online, has there ever been something that you've found on there that you've seen and thought to yourself "hey that was a really good idea" and incorporated it into the story?
Probably. I can't think of anything specific because once the book is written it's out of my head and gone, I've got the next one to think about. But yeah I'm pretty sure, I don't think it's from any of the online discussions but lots of times from talking to friends about it. I mean I've done stuff and been driving along in the car on a roadtrip and just nobody said anything for forty five minutes and suddenly I go "Justine's pregnant" and then I kind of get this glance "that's nice Jim". I do this stuff all the time I just start talking in the middle of a conversation that I've been having with myself with somebody else as though they've heard the conversation. I'm sorry Kitty but- where'd you go- stuff like that happens- oh there she is. But yeah chatting about stuff, it's normally not online discussions because by the time I'm going to online discussions I'm not really in a creative mindset, I'm in a famous guy talking to people mindset because I have to pretend to be somebody else to be able to talk to people. Rest of the time I'm just sort of at home, honestly if I could have just stayed home on the couch with the dog this weekend that would have been amazing. But also coming here is fun too, but in my heart of hearts that's what heaven looks like, it's a comfortable couch, a really good book and a dog and just waiting on Kitty to get home from work. That is a wonderful time. I'm a boring person really.
What do you read? different person Parks and Rec?
Oh Parks and Rec obviously. I think I've watched all the way through Parks and Rec like, eleven times now. That's our stress TV show when there's stress or depression Parks and Rec goes on because it's hard to be stressed and depressed with Parks and Rec on.
I have a question, Murphy is my favourite character, and finding out that she has a large family of cops and ex-husbands and-
Yeah big Irish cop families in Chicago, real weird.
I was just curious about if we're ever gonna see them again and what their opinion is on her new employment situation.
Okay I can talk about this because it's not really in the books and I doubt it's gonna come out anywhere anytime soon so I'll just come out and tell you. When she retired it was under a cloud, it was under a big cloud and that had to give her entire family pause and so that sort of thing tends to enhance and exaggerate existing relationships to whatever the next level of that relationship is. So if you're just sort of annoyed with somebody then you just don't like them anymore after something like that or if you like somebody and you decide you're going to keep liking somebody when they're under a cloud like that /you like them a lot, they're your brothe, like that, that's the kind of thing that happens. So she's become a big, not exactly a pariah but a point of contention in her family so she's been avoiding them a lot. Because people get in fights when she's there, they also get in fights when she's not there cause they're free to talk about her so... It's an Irish catholic family there's all kinds of conflicting things going on there.
So with the licensing quagmire no longer being such a tepid pit of despair, who would you picture for your ideal dream cast for a feature set of films?
43:50 to 45:30 because I don't know any actor names so this answer might as well be unintelligible for me
In the Cinder Spires, once the cats give a person a name, will they ever change it if it becomes inappropriate like Tiny is?
Oh absolutely they will. If you do something to distinguish yourself that is worthy of a name, whether it is something bold and brave or something really boneheaded, you get the name. That's the way how that works, you get named after the things you've done and the choices you've made and it's the same with the cats. If he acts like a jerk they'll roll their eyes and give him a stupid name, I mean he'll still be an honorary cat but they'll just be snide to him.
Hi, first of all I just want to say that your book series, the Dresden Files, is my favourite.
Thank you very much.
It's surpassed Harry Potter for me and I didn't think that was possible.
That makes me feel good. As I said thank you very much.
My question is, I saw a tweet from you about the possibility of a series coming out for television for the Dresden Files. Is there anything you have going on to make sure it doesn't end up like Season 8 Game of Thrones?
Absolutely nothing. The best you can do is say "listen, there's somebody that I know in Hollywood that has the appropriate skills and education to be doing this job and also happens to be somebody who's been a beta reader for me for a long time and I want them on" and they're like "that's okay and a reasonable thing" and I want to be an executive producer myself I want to have access to the writers room and say "yeah that's good" and that's about as far as I can go. I don't have the money to make even one episode of TV happen. I couldn't do a feature length- I could do a full feature length Hollywood trailer if I spent all the money I've ever earned. That's big stuff, you've got to have some serious juice behind you to get those things done. But I'm gonna do everything I can and that's going to amount to showing up and doing everything I can to make sure the writing is solid and then doing everything I can-trying to be the guy that helps think of ways around problems, hopefully I can do that in a useful fashion that would be great.
I just want to thank you for that because I really love the series.
Hello.
I love your hair it looks real cool.
Thank you shakes hair. You know I married into a fae court so it's just how it is.
audience laughter
So you swore fealty to Mab or something.
No I got married. I don't want to talk about any deals Kitty may or may not have with various supernatural entities, that's family business I'm not gonna bring it up with you all. Yeah. But I died it for the wedding and I thought "I like blue" and that was about my thought process.
Was the Spanish Flu a cover explanation or a side effect of the necromancy being done by Kemmler?
Oh you're clever, aren't you? I like you nods his head. That's my answer.
audience laughter
Does the White Court have any way to compensate for or make exceptions for wizards or any magic magic user with special needs?
What do you mean?
They physically can't move their bodies.
If a White Court vampire wants to get you all they have to do is get you alone for a bit and be able to touch you, that's all it really amounts to. But there's this whole issue with White Court vampires and wizards but we haven't gotten to that. Hahahaha, oh it's like heroin.
Are there characters who you built for the Dresden Files who didn't make it into the books who were *unintelligible*
Uh there's one character I wrote for the Dresden Files who didn't make it into the books and he- he made it in but only sort of in the background. In Grave Peril Harry and Carter LaChaise had this running thing where LaChaise kept jumping in the Blue Beetle and then various bits of Volkswagen architecture that were specific to Volkswagens kept saving Harry's life. But when my editor read it she said you've gotta cut it it makes the book too long. That was the book where the editor said "I love this book it's got this story and this story and this story and this story and I want you to expand on all four of these" and I'm like "great" "and cut it by fifty pages" "so make it longer and shorter?" and she goes "yes, and hurry." That's the writing business.
Throughout the Dresden Files were there any plot points that you wrote/that made it into the book that you personally wish you didn't have to write that way but knew you had to for the story?
No? But I've never wished I didn't have to do it that way for the story. It's /the story/, whatever needs to get done gets done and whoever needs to die dies for the story. That sounds psycho but it's absolutely true, but yeah I don't have much of a problem with that, the great thing about writing is, it's your world, you can do whatever you want, it's awesome. I don't understand why more people aren't doing it, it's amazing. Hey man.
So a mate of mine, he's in my Fate unintelligible give away plot points. So hypothetically speaking what effect would climate change have on the power dynamics of the summer and winter courts?
It's gonna depend. It's gonna depend on how much of it is due to choice. Free will and human choice has a lot of power in the Dresden Files and affects things very drastically. So how much of it is? How much of it isn't? These are huge questions and we're just people and not one of us lives long enough to get a really good answer because it would probably take a couple thousand years of observation of the Earth (about that), might give you a basic grasp of how it works, it's hard to say. It wouldn't be it's warmer so summer's stronger, it's colder so winter's stronger. Summer court and winter court are much more closely tied to human emotions on the planet. The winter court's a lot better because this planet's got a lot more bad stuff on it than good stuff, generally speaking, there's an awful lot of conflict, an awful lot of struggling to survive and that's all winter court stuff right there baby. When you're creating culture, when you're creating art, when you're creating beauty that feeds into the summer court. But they're there for people so they're more attached to people than they are to the natural world.
So theoretically if a winter court member were to kick off a nuclear winter, would that shift things?
Well that would get real winter real quick because suddenly life would be about nothing but survival and keeping your kids alive. And that's very much a winter court situation. Summer is when you have a little bit more time to do other things.
Do you have merchandise at your author signing later?
no and even if he did you couldn't get it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byT-u7Q_UhI
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2020.11.17 04:49 endangeredbathsoap So ima speak on a whim here....

WE ARE THE BAD GUYS OF THE LEAUGE. I don’t have the stats or facts I follow the rockets to a certain degree but I can’t bleed out every single solitary fact.
Long story short, Harden denying the 50 mil and just Leaving the rest of this team proves he alone can’t take a team to the finals. Yes we’ve know this but we also put him on a untouchable pedestal. This man will shoot 3/17 from the three and get thirty points after having the ball all goddamn game and we’re stil awwed by the stats like Morey. The cp3 years were the best I’ve seen this team. Harden could be off the floor but we had someone getting guys involved not playing hero ball but actually setting guys up. Then our boy Queen Diva demands one of the beat floor generals to play to dip all because their styles don’t match up. Great players make it work, Durant accepted his role at GSW and took over when he needed and or wanted too. Which leads to west brick Brody didn’t mix well with the system in general cause the man is king of missing shots. That’s on dantoni for not implementing a system or coaching him TO BE A FLOOR MANAGER LIKE CHRIS. Not saying Russ won’t get people involved but he doesn’t lead he uses force and aggression. Now they both complained about a system to where they can move around more, RUSS MAYBE BUT JAMES LAZY ASSS USES FINESE AND 50+ 3s. If he truly TRULY wanted more spacing all he had to do was go “hey mike this isn’t working”. But we moved to small ball and became the Nbas “Greatest team to never make it work prospect” now we have a coach who transformed Luka into a more dominant James Harden in my op or at least a better shooter. They don’t even wanna give him a chance, I say fuck the nets send him to philly and let’s grab Simmons at least we can’t have someone to grow and spark a slight hope of fun as to the man that will let his legend die in Houston. Ps: lebrons lakers > durants nets das da rant.
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2020.11.16 14:53 Farland_World World of Farland 20th Anniversary Contest

The World of Farland is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the web with a trivia contest and cash prizes!
It was the year 2000 and my father had just died from a sudden heart attack at the age of 51. Partly in order to take my mind off my loss, I decided to make a website for my homebrewed D&D campaign, the World of Farland. I couldn’t anticipate the journey I was about to undertake.
Over the subsequent two decades, I created content and updated the website (The World of Farland: http://farlandworld.com) every single month. This proved to be an enormous undertaking, as you might expect, but luckily Farland inspired interest from people all across the net. Before too long, talented volunteers were contributing content to the campaign setting, including art, maps, crunchy game content, stories, and details about the world. More than 60 people officially contributed content to the site, and countless more played in the setting. While the World of Farland started out as my own campaign, it hasn’t ended up that way. It now belongs to everyone who has contributed to it, played in it, or just enjoyed learning about it.
The World of Farland didn’t blow up the RPG world in terms of its popularity, but it has, in my opinion, been a quiet success. It’s spanned Third Edition (and its transformation to 3.5), Fourth Edition, and now Fifth Edition, faithfully adding content monthly based on each of the three iterations of Dungeons & Dragons. During the 20 years of its existence, the setting won a Gold Wyrm, a Gold Pawn, and an ENnie Award. Eventually, fans asked for compilations of the setting, so we released digital and hard copies of our material on DriveThruRPG (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/browsepublishe11632). They all became bestsellers, and the World of Farland Campaign Setting is close to achieving gold bestseller status.
But its really the personal connections I’ve made because of the World of Farland that have meant the most. Lots of people who contributed to the setting or played in World of Farland games have now become lifelong friends, and we speak on a regular basis. And then there are the notes like this:
Howdy! Last year Houston had a week of floods, my partner and I were trying to decide what to do with soggy, bored kids… My oldest daughter, 13, decided she wanted to run a campaign, eagerness did not replace daunting fears however. We found Farland and that made it possible. She didn’t have to drink from a hose, creating any and everything from scratch. Instead she, and we, could take in bits and pieces as we went. Thank you and the plethora of contributors for aiding in an activity that literally brings our family together to laugh, talk, and have fun. One of our fun weekend activities was taking the family to Nan’s, our best local game shop, for everyone to pick out their own dice and mini-figures. I don’t know if ya’ll get a lot of praise, likely far less than you deserve, but we’re huge fans. Again, thank you, [Name Withheld]
That makes it all worthwhile! So, with humility, I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part, big or small, of the story of the World of Farland! --Ric Baker
The Contest
In honor of our 20th anniversary, the World of Farland is holding a trivia contest! Starting tomorrow, on Twitter I will post a question about the campaign setting (don’t worry, the questions won’t be too hard and we have a search function on our website!). I will post one question a day for three days. DM or email me an answer each day, and if you get all three correct, you will be entered into our drawing to win the following prizes:
Grand prize: $100.00 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize: $50.00 DriveThruRPG Gift card
Third Prize: Hardcover World of Farland Campaign Setting Book and complete Farland digital catalog
Three Runners Up: Complete digital catalog of the World of Farland books on DriveThruRPG
To enter the contest, just check out the World of Farland on Twitter (https://twitter.com/farland_world) and DM us the answer to the day’s trivia contest. See you there, and thanks again!
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2020.11.16 00:46 ThiccBoiVibez 37 (M4F) Houston [Northshore area] - Lets run it back

I've tried posting before moving here and now that I'm settled I thought I should try again after not receiving much the first time around. I've lived in California for about 12 years, but I'm originally from Houston. I work full-time and go to school online. Single divorced father here (1 kid.) 420 friendly. I'm a PC gamer and have a pretty decent list of games. However I'm stuck playing Genshin Impact (which is my main game) and Borderlands 3. I'm pretty well versed in video-game knowledge/pop culture and love talking about it. I'm also a big comic movie fan. I use to buy and collect from Marvel, DC, Image, etc. I love shootin' the shit about easter eggs and tidbits in general. I enjoy collecting cologne, you can say I'm a little obsessed about my hygiene. My current collection stands at 67 bottles. I love building/working on computers.. so if you want me to help you build an awesome machine for whatever your budget is, I'm yo guy. Somewhat of an ambivert but I lean hard toward being extrovert. I love of multitude of things ranging from history (in general), astrophysics, psychology, philosophy, politics and woodworking. I love table top games, board games, card games (MTG or Yugioh) or Dungeon's and Dragons (5E). Personality wise, I'm very chill and laid back. I often give the people who are talking to me the sense that they could tell me anything without being judged. I'm charming and charismatic, I love to laugh and I like joking around a lot. Whether it be dad puns or roasting someone (All in good fun of course). As for outdoor activities, I love to hike and have all the gear to go out and adventure. If you happen to be interested, hit me up with a pm/chat and tell me a little about yourself. Put your favorite music genre in the title. If you are curious to what I look like or if looks really matter to you, I can send a picture. If all goes well, we can exchange info. Thank you for reading all of this regardless.. if you choose to contact me or not, have a great rest of your day and I hope you find what you are looking for.
submitted by ThiccBoiVibez to HoustonPlatonicR4R [link] [comments]


2020.11.14 02:47 youto2 House Party 11/9/20 - Part One

We open our scene, as we see two different cars arrive in the back lot entrance of the Booker T World Gym Arena. One a rather normal Toyota, driven by Miles Alpha, holding Dalidus Nova and Joey McCarty in the back. And a pitch black painted van pull up as well. With black tinted windows, black tinted windscreen, black tinted rear glass, black tinted rear view mirrors, and any part that may have no been black such as visible metal parts having been painted black. Where after it parks, we see Buster Braggadocio come out of. While meanwhile, we see two other men who are walking into the back lot, carrying wrestling bags in their hands, The Red Army. Where we hear Ivanov begin to talk.
Ivanov: Comrades, you should all take public transportation instead. Your cars are horrendous for our environment and horribly inefficient in transporting people en masse.
Nova: We have before but we got shouted off for playing our music too loud. So we drive so we don’t make a ton of other people mad at us.
Ivanov: Have you considered not doing the thing that makes people upset at you.
Nova: And miss out on me and Miles rocking out while Joey broods? Absolutely not!
Ivanov: I will talk to you all about this later. Buster, what is your reasoning?
Buster: I couldn’t control if I was around hWhite people or not, and nothing good could come of that!
Ivanov: Alright, I'll talk to you later about that as well. Just remember what I say and remember what the long term impact of a lot of people making a bad decision can be.
Buster: Of course I'll remember, many bad decisions led to the empowerment of the hWhite man so I understand the consequences!
Ivanov: Exactly, i’m not saying that because you don’t already understand this, but we must hold all our actions as a collective accountable.
Buster: Obviously, but after Romero i'm done with forcing myself to be around anyone who's spiritually white for a while. Can't take any risks on that. It's part of why I got the tints on my van, Romero is probably looking for me, and the black tints make it impossible for anyone to realize it's me in there. Especially with a meathead grunt like Romero.
Vargas: Do you need that? He's 6'9 and exhausted his one surprise on us. We'll be able to see him coming from a mile away everytime. I know he's powerful too damn well but we got numbers on him when we don't get sneaked on. And i'm not sure many other ways a man that big can. I think you're stressing a bit much on that and too little on not doing things that will let you avoid crashing your vehicle.
Buster: I can never be too careful, I know I shouldn't need to do much to throw Romero off our tail, but if I can guarantee he's never getting the jump on us again i'll go too far to ensure tha-
Suddenly, we hear something come crashing down in the parking lot! Where upon we see Buster and Vargas duck down, as everyone else turns around to see what's happened-
Buster: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! GET HIM!
McCarty: Bust-
Buster: KILL HIM!
McCarty: Buster-
Buster: GET HIS ASS ALL TOGETHER! HE CAN'T TAKE ON-
McCarty: BUSTER!
Buster looks up as Joey yells out his name, as we see in the back of the parking lot some wood planks having fallen over…...and absolutely nothing else.
Buster: Wait, so-
McCarty: Just the wind Bust, calm down, he ain't getting the jump on y'all again, don't worry so much.
Buster: Y-Yeah, sure..
Buster still looks somewhat shaken up, as everyone else begins to head inside the building, Buster remains standing outside as we fade out on the scene.
We then cut into the arena, as we get a shot of the Booker T World Gym Arena in Houston, Texas! A rowdy crowd on hand with many cups of beer already in hand, as we turn around to our commentary crew.
Paisner: Hello everyone! And welcome to another rendition of House Party coming to you live from Houston, Texas, as well as from Twitch.tv/WrestlingIsReddit. Where we hope Sparky and GiGi remembered to send their streams to raid us otherwise we lose out on around half of our audience! I’m Allen Paisner!
Woodbridge: And i’m Mark Woodbridge!
Paisner: And another fantastic show we have in store for you tonight! Featuring both Seth Blackheart and Tony Stevens in actions coming right off of their match at Reap What You Sow, where we had some quite climatic and brutal fallout with Blackheart beating Stevens to hell and back after Stevens secured a roll-up victory after Baker came out to protect him from getting his legs broken via means of illegal interference. And speaking of, our tag title match main event, as The Stargazers, who’s current relationship health is a major question mark floating in the air, get their re-match against newly crowned champs in The Horde! Looking to prove their roll-up victory was no fluke, and that they’re the real deal as a duo! But enough talk! Lets get into action, as we send it to Javier in the ring!
We then indeed cut to Javier, looking jittery in excitement for tonight’s proceedings, as he begins to speak.
Babaganoush: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL with a 30-minute time limit! Officiating is Mia So Hung!
Crowd: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Woodbridge: The people, Paisner, are worked up.
Paisner: And why do you figure that is, Mark?
Woodbridge: Because they know what they’re gonna see in a couple minutes, and the WiR crowd likes big meat.
Babaganoush: Introducing first…
“Rock n Roll Train” strikes up, and the man with the very fitting use of an AC/DC song, Hugo Ironblood, comes stomping, bellowing, and glad-handing down to the ring to raucous cheers. He CLANGs up the ring steps, almost ringing them like a bell with the force of his boots, and steps between the top and middle ropes to pump his fists up in the air and roar in the corner.
Crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! HUGO! HUGO! HUGO!
Paisner: You know, this is the first time we’re seeing Hugo Ironblood in this ring in a little while.
Woodbridge: He looks pumped to be back and fighting.
Babaganoush: ...from Buffalo, NY, weighing in at 381 pounds… he is the Anti-Tank Weapon… HUGO! IRONBLOOD!
Crowd: WOOOOOOOOO!
Babaganoush: And his opponent…
The crowd is in a frenzy even before “Wakarimasen” starts - they all know Bok Choy is on the card and by God do they want to see them some Bok Choy. The mawashi-clad colossus of a man does his own entrance clapping to the beat, smiling and taking in the fan love before doing a martial arts bow to the fans on the ring apron and climbing on in.
Crowd: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! BIG BOY CHOY! BIG BOY CHOY! BIG BOY CHOY!
Paisner: This speaks for itself, really, doesn’t it? Damn am I glad I signed this guy.
Babaganoush: ...from Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan, weighing in at 450 pounds… BOK! CHOY!
Crowd: WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The two near-literal kaiju in the ring do the Manly Handshake like old buddies before Mia gives the go-ahead and the bell is rung.
DING DING DING!
From the get-go the two big, smilin’ buddies are just on each other, going for a ferocious lockup that involves a lot of not-kidding-around mutual head slapping. It’s Ironblood who takes the headlock on Choy after smacking his ear into near-certain tinnitus… but Choy escapes by ramming his head into Ironblood’s ribs! The two quickly separate and decide not to go for holds right now, but also agree to keep stoogeslapping each other.
Crowd: YEAAAAAAAAAAH!
Paisner: Holy Moses! No time for pleasantries here.
Woodbridge: You said it, they’re just goin’ for it out of the gate.
Ironblood closes his firsts and hits a couple of thundering right hands to Choy’s body, and the sumo answers with a hailstorm of tsuppari palm shots! He drives Ironblood into the corner and steps back, charging in once again to body avalanche him into the buckles! Choy tries to capitalize with a DDT out of the corner but Ironblood blocks it and throws another giant body hook! Both men are already reeling!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Paisner: All about the striking thus far! Two wrecking machines just looking to do a demolition job, but look at the smiles on these men’s faces!
Woodbridge: This is how they express their friendship, Big Al, but that don’t mean they’re gonna make it easy for each other. Look how Hugo grounded himself and then changed his stance to throw that meathook!
Hugo stumbles from the pain and disorientation, but lets out a genuine laugh before he headbutts Choy skull-to-skull! Choy’s face contorts into a pained grimace before he too laughs - this is all such good fun! Now they’re taking wild shots at each other’s heads, beautifully ducking punches in the process almost by accident of throwing their own.
Crowd: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Paisner: Ironblood with the signature headbutt, seemed like it was really affecting Choy but only for a second! And now the punches rain down from both sides! They’ve stumbled into the center of the ring, folks, and nobody’s giving an inch!
Woodbridge: I’ve drank a LOT in my day but shit. I’ve never been drunk enough to ignore punches like these guys are doing sober.
They keep blasting each other until Hugo has the idea to swat one of Choy’s incoming punches aside and locks both his wrists! Choy resists Hugo’s attempts to trap his arms with mighty effort and they wind up grabbing each other in a Greco-Roman knuckle lock, going in for a test of strength!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…
Paisner: Ironblood trying to change the dynamic here by placing a hold, gets denied, and now we’re… almost like back to square one.
Woodbridge: Well, Paisner, who told you doing this is just for the beginning of a match?
Paisner: I mean it only seems natural…
Crowd: IRONBLOOD! / BIG BOY CHOY! IRONBLOOD! / BIG BOY CHOY!
Woodbridge: Nasty Nathan McCrowder used to make me test my strength against him 20 minutes into a match, and you wouldn’t wanna tell him what was natural.
Paisner: Well… he sounds like he was a real character! But, look at these two go! Even after wailing on each other like they’ve been doing they show no signs of letting up in this ferocious contest of wills!
Woodbridge: Checks out. Surely you have a friend you hate to lose at arm wrestling to…
The two really dig their heels into the mat and Choy looks poised to force Ironblood to the mat, leaning his greater weight onto Hugo… Ironblood, however, suddenly disengages and wraps his gigantic arms around Choy’s even bigger midsection - he lifts Choy up into a bearhug!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHH!
Paisner: Oh look at the absolute POWER of Hugo Ironblood, putting the squeeze on Bok Choy and even getting him into the air!
Woodbridge: Well that’s what friends do right? They give each other hugs?
Paisner: Well this is affectionate in a strange way, but also quite painful!
Crowd: DON’T SUBMIT! DON’T SUBMIT! DON’T SUBMIT!
Paisner: The people are willing Bok Choy to power through this…
Choy struggles to breathe properly as a concerned Mia moves in to ask if he wants to give up, but he manages a smile and shakes his head no - for Hugo, too, is having a hard time of it, the sheer bulk of Choy making the hold difficult, and Choy shakes himself slowly free - Hugo, though, slaps Choy’s arms and does his damnedest to reapply the hold with the modification of clutching Choy’s wrists!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHH…
Paisner: Ironblood now going for a wristlock bearhug, looking like he might want to bar one of Choy’s arms behind his back or something…
Woodbridge: He doesn’t wanna get his skull and chest refinished by Choy any more tonight I reckon…
Choy starts attempting to throw knees to free himself - Hugo turns it into a side belly-to-belly suplex!
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: GOD ALMIGHTY!
Paisner: Hugo Ironblood just caused a quarter-ton man to defy inertia!
He didn’t get Choy very far off the ground or across the ring but desperately, Hugo covers…
1!
2!
NO!
Crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Paisner: And Bok Choy is out at two and both men sit bolt upright in the ring!
Hugo staggers to his feet and politely waits for Choy to more slowly get his feet under him and then neither man needs an invitation to begin pounding on each other with slaps, chops, and closed fists! But then Hugo, still fired up from hitting the belly-to-belly, lunges for Choy and tries to lift him again, but then…
Paisner: Hugo back to the bearhug and - wait, he’s reaching to put him into a scoop lift! Could he really be -
Crowd: OHHH… ...OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Ironblood’s mighty attempt to bodyslam Choy is denied by Choy deadweighting and falling across him, making both men fall right to the mat in an impact that shakes the ring!
Woodbridge: EARTHQUAKE!
Paisner: CHOY WITH THE FALLING CROSSBODY COUNTER! HE’S ON TOP, IT’S A COVER!
1!
2!
NO!
Crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! / AWWWWWWWWWW…
Paisner: And Hugo kicks out from underneath the monstrous bulk of Bok Choy!
Woodbridge: Yeah, I think only a full force Big Boy Splash could put away Hugo…
Choy gets up after the kickout and looks extremely proud of his friend, but nevertheless still does a bunny hop and hits a jumping leg drop to the chest of the grounded Ironblood, falling down into a pretty tired but still leg-hooking cover!
Crowd: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
1!
2!
3 - NO!
Crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! / AWWWWWWW…
Paisner: I think your theory might be correct, Woodbridge, because the biggest big leg there ever was didn’t do it either! Ironblood escaping at 2.5 after that crushing leg drop!
A kickout again from Ironblood, who is covered in sweat and nearly in tears from effort, and he forces himself to flash sit up again and scrambles to his feet, the voice of fighting spirit in his head telling him to try anything as he locks Choy’s shoulder and drags him into position, then goes for an armbar suplex - but he’s too tired to pull it off fully and Choy slips him and armlock-sidesteps him down onto his face!
Woodbridge: I’VE SEEN THIS SUMO MOVE BEFORE! That’s a sakatottari!
Paisner: Be that as it may, it might be Choy’s key to this match!
An apologetic kick by Choy drops Ironblood from his hands and knees onto his back, and Choy runs for the ropes…
Crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Paisner: The Big Boy Splash is primed and ready - NO!
Ironblood wills himself to his hands and knees and scoots towards the momentum-building Choy to drive his shoulder into Choy’s thigh, dropping him to the mat as well as Ironblood falls back down! Neither man looks likely to get up soon as both roll around on the mat trying to get their bearings, and Mia begins counting for a double TKO!
1…
2…
3...
Crowd: IRONBLOOD! / BIG BOY CHOY! IRONBLOOD! / BIG BOY CHOY! IRONBLOOD! / BIG BOY CHOY!
Paisner: As much as I want to see this match have a winner, how fitting would it be if these two friends simply exhausted each other in a matter of minutes by going full steam from the very start?
Woodbridge: That sounds like some kinda great metaphor.
4…
5…
6…
...Hugo Ironblood is, barely, getting to his feet! The count stops as Bok Choy is stirring also, but before he can get up Ironblood takes a hold of the former komusubi’s mammoth legs! He can hardly do anything but hold onto his friend as he catches his breath and works up the will to do what he needs to…
And somehow he does it.
Crowd: OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! / YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! / HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!
Woodbridge: IS THIS REAL LIFE?! HUGO IRONBLOOD IS GIANT SWINGING BOK CHOY, A FOUR HUNDRED AND GODDAMN FIFTY POUND MAN!
Hugo makes it three revolutions before he can take no more, and drops Choy, smoothly breaking into a jog and hitting a running seated senton to Choy’s head, reaching back to pin him and completing his finishing move!
Crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Paisner: L-86 for the fall!
Woodbridge: Less dangerous than Stratofortress but the dizziness and the huge man blockin’ your vision make this a hard kickout…
1!
2!
3!
DING DING DING!
Babaganoush: Here is your winner, by pinfall, at a time of 6 minutes 33 seconds - HUGO! IRONBLOOD!
Crowd: YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! / IRONBLOOD! IRONBLOOD! IRONBLOOD!
Paisner: And in a beautiful gesture, as you pointed out, Woodbridge, Hugo Ironblood picks up the win here with a move that wouldn’t seriously hurt his friend. This match was stunningly violent, yes, but it was also a display of real affection.
As “Rock n’ Roll Train” plays again, Hugo helps Choy to his feet and they both stagger over to the ropes, leaning up against them to rest before Choy raises Hugo’s hand to more cheers and they head to the back together.
We cut backstage, where we see Buster and The Young Cardinals hanging out. We see all the Cardinals shooting the shit with one another, interspersed with some serious talk about future wrestling plans. As Buster sits mostly in silence, seemingly still shook up from what he thought was an attempted Romero attack in the parking lot earlier. As we see his chair is pointed directly towards the doorway to look out for anything. As we hear Nova speak.
Nova: -and that’s the process of how we take all the titles in this company!
Alpha: Hmm, this needs Joey to get the world title again, and while he could and almost certainly eventually will. If we wanna do this soon we have to consider management probably wouldn’t want him in another singles title match like he’s been in frequently, even though he hasn’t took the decisive fall in any of them, so he hasn’t been truly defeated and deserves more! But management isn’t gonna budge on trying to screw us all over, I bet they somehow interfered with Kyle’s visa too!
McCarty: Which is why we gotta keep this all secret, they could always interfere with ours as well.
Alpha: Good point, but hey, if it does happen to one of us, we got someone in this room who can sub in right Buster!
Buster just nods, as he wordlessly continues to stare at the doorway, expecting anything to happen at any moment.
Nova: What if it happens to 2 or all of us?
Alpha: Uhhh, plug in Viktor and Ernesto I guess? It would be a shame for our plan for an all Young Cardinals title scene to involve no Young Cardinals but plugging in everyone else in here into that plan is a solid second option.
Nova: So with that back-up plan, who would take what spots?
McCarty: Well, i’m thinking-
Nova: Wait! Stop for a moment! I haven’t eaten in 1 and a half hours, gonna get up to get something real quick, keep on going I can be filled in on anything I missed later!
Nova makes his way out of the room, as we hear McCarty going to continue the conversation.
McCarty: Okay, as I was saying, Buster is the obvious candidate to go after the world title-
Buster: OF COURSE I AM! I’M THE OBVIOUS CANDIDATE IN THIS REALITY SO I BETTER BE IN THAT ONE!
McCarty: But between either of Viktor or Ernesto our candidate for the independent title is much more up in the air. Viktor i’m not sure has the kind of individual ambition Ernesto would, but with his recent results-
BANG! BANG! BANG! SLAM!
As the loud noises are heard right outside the break room, we hear Buster begin to yell out-
Buster: IT’S HIM! HIS STOMPS ARE LOUD JUST LIKE THAT! GO GET HIM!
We then see Alpha pop up very quickly out of his seat, rushing around a corner, as Joey more calmly follows. Buster stands up and braces himself for combat, as Alpha and Joey peek their head around the corner to see………..Nova trying to order many different bags of chips from a vending machine, all of which got stuck, that he is desperately hitting and shaking the vending machine to try and get loose. As Joey heads back into the break room to inform Buster.
McCarty: Just some snacks Dalidus was trying to get geting stuck in the machine. No sign of Romero.
We see Buster look initially surprised at it not being Romero, before lowering his guard, and giving a relieved exhale. As he sits himself back down.
Buster: Be fuckin’ careful! Getting me all jumpy like that for no damn rea-
Nova: IT WORKED!
Just a few moments later, we see Nova rush back into the break room, 3 bags of Lay’s Regular Potato Chips, 3 bags of Lays Cheddar and Sour Cream, 2 bags of Regular Cheetos, 2 bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, 2 bags of Funyuns, alongside a sweeter offering with 3 packs of Mini Oreos. He sets them all down on the table in the room, as we see everyone else go to grab one, and Nova smack all their hands away, as we fade out on the scene.
We then return to the ring, where we see Javier, looking deeply excited to call out some more names, hometowns, and weights.
Javier: The following contest is scheduled for one fall!
CROWD: ONE! FALL!
Javier: With a time limit of 30 minutes, your referee is WiR Junior Junior Official Ivan Itchicock!
The crowd’s cheering grows as the PA system begins to play a song that sounds like it’s straight out of an anime.
Javier: Introducing first, from Marksville, Louisiana and weighing in at 220 pounds, Maaarrrkkk Flaaaaaaaaashhh!
CROWD: WOOOOO!!!
Staying true to his name, in the blink of an eye Flash is already in the ring. Hopping and stretching, he shakes out any jitters he may have.
There’s a noise from the PA, almost as if the crew hadn’t anticipated playing the next entrance so quickly after Flash’s. Regardless, after a moment some generic royalty-free music begins to play. As the lights dim, a single spotlight shines on the Milkman.
Javier: Introducing from Brooklyn, New York and weighing in at 181 pounds,Tonyyy “The Milkmaaaaaan” Steeeevennnsss!
The lights turn back on, and we see Stevens walk down the ramp a bit more conservatively due to his injuries. The milkmaids give him their full support, however, offering him a jug of milk and waving to the cheering fans. As he approaches the ring he chugs the milk as hard as he can - causing him to get milk all over the runway and apron.
Handing back the now empty jug, he climbs into the ring with Flash.
The bell is sounded-
DING DING DING
As the two circle each other for a moment.
Paisner: And you have to believe that the ribs and back of Tony the Milkman aren’t quite healed after last week, and even if Flash has a less than stellar record in WiR, it’s still a target.
Milkman and Flash lock up, and Flash sneaks under Stevens and sends him to the mat a Japanese arm drag. Tony takes a second, before smacking the mat in frustration while getting up. Flash tries to move in but gets shoved off by The Milkman, and the two go back to standing off from opposite corners.
Woodbridge: And Flash had some momentum there, but Milkman cut that right off.
The two meet once again in the center of the ring, and Milkman overpowers Flash into a side headlock, but Flash throws an elbow to the taped up ribs and uses that to gain enough momentum to back the pair into the ropes, before delivering an Irish whip. Flash looks to set up a dropkick, but before he can take off, Stevens baseball slides underneath and behind and catches them off guard Mark Flash with a clothesline.
Crowd: YAAYY!/BOOO!
Paisner: Mixed reaction for Tony here tonight.
Woodbridge: He certainly has his fans, especially after that performance against our now former independent champion, Kaitlyn Casey-Jones.
Paniser: Milkman gave us no comment on that on that match, Woodbridge.
Milkman throws a forearm, which catches Flash and sends him backward before another one sends him into the corner. Stevens delivers an Irish whip across the ring, and charges in, looking for a flying forearm, but Flash moves out of the way!
Crowd: YAY!
Stevens rebounds hard off the turnbuckles, and Flash catches him with a roundhouse right hand, before delivering a chop that backs Milkman against the ropes. Flash continues his chops, lighting up the chest of the Milkman. After the third, Flash delivers an Irish whip, but it gets reversed by Stevens! The Milkman looks for a lariat, but Flash ducks under, before rebounding off the ropes and delivering head scissors to The Milkman!
Crowd: YEEEAAAHHHH!
The Milkman lets out an audible yelp of pain as he crashes spine-first into the canvas, and pulls himself up using the ropes. Flash charges in again, but Stevens gets under him and tosses him over the ropes. Flash, however, lands on the apron, and while Stevens takes a breath, Flash sets up, and delivers a springboard dropkick, right to the spine of the Milkman!
Woodbridge: Mark Flash busting out everything early on! Really looking for this upset!
Stevens gets thrown under the middle rope and to the floor from the momentum, and Flash sees his chance. Flash runs back to the ropes, bouncing off them, and leaps over the top, to the floor, nailing The Milkman with a tope con hilo!
Crowd: WOOAHH!! YEEEAAAAHHH!
Paisner: And Flash connected with all of that!
Flash is on his feet first, and slides back into the ring, but Stevens is back up soon after, and climbs to the apron. Flash walks over and delivers a forearm before Stevens can get back in between the ropes, and attempts a suplex over the rope, but it’s blocked!
Woodbridge: Just not enough there for the smaller fella
Flash tries again, but once again can’t lift Stevens. Stevens, however, turns the momentum against Mark Flash, and lifts for a suplex to the floor! As it reaches its apex, Stevens’ back gives out, and he drops Flash onto the top rope, before falling from the apron to the floor.
Paisner: And those injuries Stevens has obtained by wrestling every week, and especially after that assault by Blackheart beginning to catch up with him here!
With Flash crotched up top, The Milkman uses the ring steps to get back onto the apron, before climbing to the top.
Woodbridge: If his back just gave out, does he really want to try a high-risk move?
The Milkman takes a great leap, and delivers a dropkick to the back of Flash’s head!
Crowd: WOAH!!!
Woodbridge: And after eating a dropkick like that, Mark’s life may have Flashed before his eyes!
Paisner: I will pretend you did not say that. High impact dropkick there.
Stevens takes a moment to recover, while Flash is still down, before going into a cover.
ONE
Kickout.
Woodbridge: Going to take a bit more than that to keep Flash down.
The Milkman picks Flash back up to his feet, and tucks him under into a powerbomb position. Flash sees this coming, and tries for the iconic Billy Kidman counter, but the Milkman telegraphs it, shifts, and plants Flash with a sitout facebuster!
Crowd: OOOHHH!
Paisner: And what ring awareness from Tony!
Woodbridge: A spectacular counter!
Tony wastes very little time going into a cover after this.
ONE
TWO
Kickout!
Crowd: YEEEAAAAHHHHH
Milkman, audibly enough that the cameras can hear it: Motherf-
Flash crawls his way to the ropes, and slides under the bottom one before pulling himself up on the apron. Tony, quick as a flash, is over there, and delivers an elbow that can be heard from the third row.
Paisner: And lately, a more aggressive style from The Milkman. We saw it against Kat just a few weeks ago, and we’re seeing it again here.
Woodbridge: I think he’s angry, Allen. Angry at Kaitlyn, angry at Blackheart, and hell, if I sold milk from a truck, I would be angry too.
Paisner: You think there’s some anger with himself in there?
Woodbridge: Would not surprise me in the least.
Tony the Milkman drags’s flash’s head through the middle rope, but keeping his legs on the outside. Milkman delivers a boot to the crown to keep Flash there, before retreating off the ropes, and delivering a dropkick to the back of Flash’s neck. With Flash still draped, Stevens turns him over, before going to the outside… and attempting a springboard Guillotine Legdrop, but Flash moves out of the way, and Stevens crashes lower-back first into the mat!
Crowd: YEEAAAHHH
Flash wastes little time, and as Stevens nursing his injured vertebrae, Flash takes off for a springboard frog splash!
Paisner: And he caught him!
Woodbridge: Right on those inured ribs!
ONE!
TWO!!
Kickout!
Crowd: Booo!!!
Woodbridge: Not enough hop in that frog to get the cover there, Allen.
Flash gets back on his feet, as Stevens rolls to the ropes to pull himself up. With the distance created, Stevens charges in, but Flash is able to catch him with an enziguri! With Stevens grounded again, Flash hits a standing corkscrew moonsault! onto the Milkman!
Crowd: WOOOAAHHH!
Woodbridge: MARK FLASH HAS JUST RAZZLED THE MILKMAN! THAT’S HIS MOVE, ALLEN! THAT’S HIS MOVE! MARK FLASH INTO THE COVER!
Paisner: Mark Flash looking for one of the biggest wins of his career right here!
ONE
TWO
TH- kickout!
Crowd: BOOOOO!!!
Woodbridge: Almost had him there!
Flash gets back on his feet, and pulls the Milkman up. Flash sets up a suplex, however, The Milkman goes limp on him, using the dead weight to prevent Flash from lifting. As Flash tries to adjust, Stevens springs back into action, delivering a pinch to the stomach, before setting up a suplex of his own… into a facebuster!
Paisner: Tony outsmarting Flash there, and retaking control.
Woodbridge: But look! Tony needs to catch his breath, he can’t make the cover! Flash still has a shot!
By the time Stevens is back on his feet, Flash has pulled himself up using the ropes. Flash tries to throw an overhand strike, but Stevens blocks it, and delivers a kick to the midsection. The Milkman looks for another powerbomb, but before he can lift, Flash wriggles free, and delivers a chop! Followed by another chop! And Flash delivers a series of rapid fire chops, until eventually, Stevens falls to the mat!
Woodbridge: THE MACHINE GUN CHOPS!
Flash, as quick as a flash, leaps up to the top rope, turns and around!
Paisner: Looks like Flash is looking for a moonsault of his own!
Woodbridge: The Mark from Marksville hadn’t seen that Tony is back on his feet!
Flash jumps, and is caught in midair! Stevens, without missing a beat, plants Flash with an emerald flowsion
Crowd: OOOOHHHHHHH!!!!
Woodbridge: WHAT A COUNTER BY THE MILKMAN! INTO THE COVER THIS COULD BE IT!
ONE
TWO
Kickout!
Crowd: YEAAAAHHHHH!!!!
Woodbridge: AND HE KICKS OUT!
Paisner: Indeed, a Kick Out by Mark Flash, but after taking a hit like that, how much more does he have in the tank?
Tony the Milkman is on his feet first, and takes a moment to catch his breath, while clutching at his ribs with one hand. He picks Flash up by the head, and sets him up for a powerbomb.
Paisner: And after going 0-2 on powerbombs so far, it seems like Stevens is going to keep trying!
Woodbridge: Well, third time is the charm, as they say.
As Flash reaches the apex, he finds a way to slip free, and when he comes back down to earth, he catches The Milkman with a DDT!
Crowd: Yeah!
Woodbridge: Three strikes, and you’re out, Tony Milkman
Paisner: Wrong sport, Allen.
Flash kips up to his feet, and lets out a yell of “YEAH WOO!!!!” as the Milkman rolls over towards a corner. Flash delivers a stomp to the taped ribs, before climbing up top… and nailing the Milkman with Razzled!!!
Crowd: WOOOAAHHHHH!!!! YEEEAAAHHHH!!!
Woodbridge: RAZZLED!!! HE HIT IT AGAIN FROM THE TOP!!! ALLEN PAISNER DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES????? FLASH INTO THE COVER!
ONE
TWO
THRE-- Kickout!
Crowd: BOOOOO!!!!!!! BOOO!!!!!!
Paisner: Mark Flash almost has him, and you could feel the electricity as he almost got that upset!
Flash is back on his feet quickly, but instead of his usual jumpy self, he seems almost dejected at his unsuccessful pinfall attempt. He doesn’t let it shake him, however, and he rushes to the corner. As Stevens rises to his feet, Flash charges in and nails a dropkick! Wasting no movement, Flash is in the other corner, beckoning the Milkman to his feet. Flash rushes in yet again, leaping through the air for a flying forearm… but is met with a superkick!
Paisner: Super-Duper-Kick! What a counter by Stevens!
Woodbridge: The Milkman is indeed alive and superkicking, isn’t he, Allen?
Tony rolls into a cover on the downed Flash…
ONE
TWO
Kickout!
Crowd: YEAH!!
Flash rolls up to his feet, but before he can get his usual vigor, he is met with a forearm, and backed into the corner. The Milkman whips him across, but Flash jumps to the second rope, and over...nobody! The Milkman isn’t there, and is still behind him. As Flash realizes his error, its too late, and he gets nailed with a german suplex!
Crowd: OOOHH!!!
As Flash bounces off the mat, Stevens is already back after him, and grabs the leg.
Paisner: And we know what comes next!
Instead of transitioning into the usual Full Churn, Tony begins to slam Mark Flash’s knee into the mat, repeatedly!
Woodbridge: Oh my god! He might break his knee!
As Flash cries out in pain, Tony transitions into a sharpshooter, and Flash taps out in seconds.
DING DING DING
Babaganoush: Your winner via submission, at a time of eight minutes and thirty eight seconds, Tony “The Milkman” Stevens!
Static then suddenly fills the titantron screen, and an ominous siren wails Cutting through the static is the image of a blackened heart beating, a human eye opening in the center of it. The static cuts the image off again. The feed on the tron returns, showing a black room with a single red spotlight shining down. Footsteps echo, growing louder and louder, until the silhouette of a man is made visible. Now standing in the blood red light is Seth Blackheart.
Blackheart: Well done, Mr. Stevens. Truly, well done. You managed to win even with your injuries. And you did it on your own this time. Quite surprising. Although, you and I both know that Mr. Flash isn’t a hard man to beat. You’d think you would’ve beaten him faster, even with your current condition. And God's honest truth is you should’ve. Mark Flash should have been no trouble at all for you to beat. But here’s the thing, Tony. You don’t have what it takes. The reason why you can’t get the job done is because you don’t have that killer instinct. So you rely solely on the killer instinct of your so-called friends so they could get the job done for you. You want so desperately to be a leader, to make changes to this place, to this industry, but the fact of the matter is, Tony, that you don’t have what it takes to do it. And yet even with that, these people, the people whom I have tried to convince, the people who have fought against my goals when they should be helping me realize them, have placed their trust in you. And that disgusts me. Because you have done nothing but manipulate these people, Tony. You wear this foolish moniker and you put on this facade that you are the good guy; that you are going to be one of the people to lead this company into its new era. But you aren’t that guy, Tony. You don’t have the strength to do that, to lead us into the next generation. You don’t even have the strength to lead a small faction. But you have lied to these people, and convinced them that you are fit to lead, and you’ve turned them against me. You have blinded them all to the truth, and the truth is this. You don’t have the strength required to make the decisions required to change things around here! You don’t have that killer instinct! You haven’t devoted every single day of your life to change things by any means necessary! But I have, Tony. For reasons that a man like you could never understand. I have sold my soul to do what is right; I have paid my dues, and still I am nowhere near finished. So Tony, I will tell you this right now. The next time you and I meet in the middle of that ring I am going to show these people the truth that we’ve both already known. That “The Milkman” Tony Stevens doesn’t have what it takes to lead. Because, Tony, you can’t even beat me on your own, and you never will. And when these people realize that, Tony, you will be exposed for the false icon that you are. But don’t you worry. They’ll have somebody to place their trust in once this is said and done. And his name… is Seth… Blackheart.
The static returns, cutting off the feed, before the titantron is returned to normal.
Woodbridge: And a message from Blackheart there… we’ll have to see how Stevens reacts…
Paisner: Blackheart perhaps trying to sow distrust in the Horde Ranks?
Woodbridge: The Horde has been having success, we’ll have to see.
Paisner: But now, its time for a word from our sponsor!
COMMERCIAL
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2020.11.13 08:57 ShadowStealer7 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - Review Thread

Template credit to OpenCritic

Game Information

Game Title: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Platforms:
Trailers:
Developers: Treyarch, Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Previous entries in the Call of Duty franchise
Game Developer Score
Call of Duty Infinity Ward 91 (Metacritic) PC, 2003
Call of Duty 2 Infinity Ward 86 (Metacritic) PC, 2005
Call of Duty 3 Treyarch 82 (Metacritic) X360, 2006
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Infinity Ward 94 (Metacritic) X360, 2007
Call of Duty: World at War Treyarch 84 (Metacritic) X360, 2008
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Infinity Ward 94 (Metacritic) X360, 2009
Call of Duty: Black Ops Treyarch 87 (Metacritic)X360, 2010
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Infinity Ward 88 (Metacritic) X360, 2011
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Treyarch 83 (Metacritic) X360, 2012
Call of Duty: Ghosts Infinity Ward 72 (OpenCritic) 2013
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Sledgehammer Games 81 (OpenCritic) 2014
Call of Duty: Black Ops III Treyarch 79 (OpenCritic) 2015
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Infinity Ward 75 (OpenCritic) 2016
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Raven Software 83 (OpenCritic) 2016
Call of Duty: WWII Sledgehammer Games 78 (OpenCritic) 2017
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Treyarch 84 (OpenCritic) 2018
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Infinity Ward 81 (OpenCritic) 2019
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Campaign Remastered Beenox 73 (OpenCritic) 2020
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 83 average - 79% recommended - 15 reviews
Metacritic - 82 average - 9 reviews (PS4)
Metacritic - 86 average - 6 reviews (PS5)
Metacritic - No average - 0 reviews (XB1)
Metacritic - No average - 1 review (XSX)
Metacritic - No average - 2 reviews (PC)

Critic Reviews

Attack of the Fanboy - Diego Perez - 4 / 5 stars
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings the Black Ops subseries back to its roots, delivering an explosive campaign, fast-paced multiplayer, and a compelling Zombies experience.
AusGamers - Steve Farrelly - 9.4 / 10
Talk about ushering in a next-generation
COGconnected - Trevor Houston - 79 / 100
Treyarch is quick to admin they faced development challenges during the pandemic. To a degree, it shows. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War doesn’t innovate in any big way. It merely gives Call of Duty fans more of what they have been accustomed to playing year after year. At the same time, Cold War is truly an enjoyable experience delivering over 100gigs of content that’ll get ongoing support and free content long after this review is posted. In short, better days ahead. Cold War will once again be considered the must-have shooter this holiday season. Deservedly so. Just don’t expect anything incredibly groundbreaking
Digital Chumps - Nathaniel Stevens - 9 / 10
The PlayStation 5 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the best in the bunch. It tells a solid campaign with branching narrative choices, contains some of the best visuals that you’ve seen on a system not called ‘PC’, and it has some good, new faces on the multiplayer scene. Is it all perfect? Not at all, but it’s a good way for Call of Duty to start on the next generation of consoles.
Game Informer - Daniel Tack - 8.8 / 10
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War serves up a great campaign, solid multiplayer with fresh spins, and the zany zombie modes that we've come to expect from Treyarch
GameSpot - Kallie Plagge - 8 / 10
So far, Cold War offers a dynamic campaign and new wrinkles to multiplayer, as well as a promising use of PS5's DualSense controller.
GamesBeat - Dean Takahashi - 4 / 5 stars
But it’s not the best Call of Duty game I have played, and the specter of returning to Warzone battle royale games looms large over this game. That’s why I rate this game as 4-out-of-5 stars (and yes, I might rate it much closer to 4.5 stars out of 5, as it is a shade better than the Watch Dogs: Legion game I played recently). I don’t think it’s as good as last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which was so disturbing and thoughtful and had an excellent and long single-player campaign.
GamesRadar+ - Alyssa Mercante - 3 / 5 stars
A laudable shake-up of the Call of Duty campaign formula, but Black Ops Cold War misses some targets.
GamingTrend - David Burdette - 90 / 100
Black Ops has absolutely returned with a vengeance. The fast, frantic pace is still there, and the gunplay is still just as great as you remember it. While the campaign may be the weakest part of an overall phenomenal package, it's still very satisfying and the espionage narrative packs a punch. The modes people are going to play the most, multiplayer and Zombies, are the strongest parts of Black Ops Cold War, and offer the best first person shooter gameplay in video games. PS4 and Xbox One players may be missing out on several improvements offered by the next-gen systems and PC, but it's not enough to detract from an amazing experience. My appetite for Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is definitely growing, and like Duran Duran, "I'm hungry like the wolf".
Hardcore Gamer - Kevin Dunsmore - 4 / 5
Call of Duty: Black Ops lost its way post-Black Ops III. While Black Ops III and 4 were fun in their own ways, they were also a massive departure from the core Black Ops experience.
Hobby Consolas - David Martinez - Spanish - 90 / 100
Black Ops Cold War delivers one of the best campaigns in the Call of Duty saga, alongside multiplayer, zombies and a perfect integration with Warzone.
IGN - Ryan McCaffrey - 7 / 10
Cold War's quiet times are more memorable than the loud ones, even if the story's ambition outweighs its execution.
PCGamesN - Jordan Forward - 9 / 10
Treyarch's latest feels like it's only a few quality of life changes away from being the perfect revival of the Black Ops series. It delivers on all three fronts and manages to subtly freshen some of the series' most stale ingredients.
Stevivor - Ben Salter - Unscored
If it didn’t carry the COD name, it could very well have been labeled as an entirely different game marketed as “from the creators of Black Ops”. Raven and Treyarch have tried something new here, and delivered a refreshing Call of Duty single-player experience — just be aware it’s a smaller scale spy thriller, not an epic open warfare game.
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2020.11.12 22:18 real-prssvr Throwback Write-Up #25: Charles Hamilton - The Pink Lavalamp

Artist: Charles Hamilton
Album: The Pink Lavalamp
Label: N/A – Self-released through Demevolist Music Group (Interscope)
Date Released: December 8, 2008
Listen:
Youtube
Soundcloud
Datpiff
Littered throughout hip hop’s history are a number of “What-Ifs” - Canibus, Memphis Bleek, Blu, Saigon, Pac Div, King Los, XV, and Charles Hamilton. The prototypical “internet rapper”, Charles Hamilton’s meteoric rise was arguably the first of its kind; the result of blog word-of-mouth and careful cultivation of his online fanbase, or “Starchasers” as they would likely prefer to be known.
Last year, I hit Charles Hamilton up on one of the few places I could find him still posting: Soundcloud. I didn’t expect much - truthfully, I would’ve been happy even if I hadn’t gotten a response. But as a long-time fan that just finished watching the painful story told by RedBull TV’s ’Let it Play...Faultlines’: The Charles Hamilton Story, I felt compelled to both tell him how much his music meant to me and ask him how he was doing. Unfortunately, all that now remains of his response is a singular message from a deleted user account:
“BLESS YOU, DUDE. This keeps me going. My life is silently turbulent. So I lay low. You keep pushing forward.
~#~”
Silently Turbulent. The perfect description for a man who has, for much of his life, struggled with undiagnosed bipolar disorder, drug problems, and sexual abuse.
“[He] started calling me his girlfriend. That was pretty humiliating. I used to have to like, hold hands with him walking down the street. My aunt told me it was my fault because I was “so beautiful”. I thought girls were beautiful, I didn’t think of myself as beautiful; I was just smiling all the time. But, you know, if I don’t accept it was my fault, I don’t accept I’m beautiful.”
Silently Turbulent. The perfect description for the cursed life of a black entertainer. Yes, most public figures have to fight to maintain a veneer of happiness and satisfaction regardless of what they deal with within their personal lives, but as a black man, that stress is compounded by the need to coat ourselves in a fragile patina of confidence and masculinity to sell our next single/movie/comedy special. Our tears, if ever dared let drop, are met with little more than memes and spectacle.
In preparing this write-up, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to say. Not much is written about Charles today, so I struggled in coming up with something meaningful enough to do his harrowing story and this album justice. There’s so much of his career and so much about this album that has seemingly been lost in the uncached ether of the internet.
Which is genuinely strange considering that this is an artist that was a 2009 XXL freshman with a million-dollar record deal and all the hype of the blog-era behind him. An artist that was arguably one of the best of Lupe Fiasco’s All City Chess Club members. An artist that was rapping with Kendrick Lamar and Rone before they were famous. An artist that could hold his own in cyphers with Joe Budden and The Game and Kanye West.
So, what happened? How could Charles go from the height of the hip hop sphere to ending up with a debut album (This Perfect Life) that, as far as Interscope is concerned, doesn’t exist, and being nearly impossible to track down on social media? From all that I can gather and remember, a number of controversies produced by his very public and self-destructive downward spiral, including a beef with labelmate Soulja Boy, a video of him being punched by his girlfriend, and bizarre claims that the late J Dilla had executively produced This Perfect Life, among others.
And so, though all of that, we are left with a debut album turned independently released mixtape (due to Charles’ reluctance to put Brooklyn girls on the album), that is more of a cult hit than the widely recognized classic it deserved to be.
“The Pink Lavalamp. My album. THE album. This album was recorded, mixed, written, produced…EVERYTHING during the worst period of my life. Ever. I was homeless, doped up, heartbroken, in love, poor, dirty, stinkin, angry, suicidal, happy, silly…but alive. And every song on there documents it all. Someone asked me to remix “Shinin,” and I was like no. “Shinin” was my suicide letter. I wrote it, recorded it, and was gonna leave it on the computer and go kill myself later that day.”
1."Music (Intro)" - 4:44
If you would rather sing than breathe; // If all you had left in your body was the ability to play your instrument, would you?
Is the question proposed to us by Hamilton on the opening of The Pink Lavalamp, one that he himself has seemingly answered through the trials and tribulations of his career. Through his stints of homelessness and imprisonment, Charles has fought to continue putting music out, no matter the cost. Over a chopped sample of Today by Graham Central Station (1974) and drums from Impeach the President by The Honey Drippers (1973), lays out his passion for music, using internal rhymes to help add extra rhythmic punches to several bars (which I really love):
If I like that shine on your necklace // I'ma bust shots, go Shyne on your necklace
---
When I was laying in the hospital bed, hooked to an IV // No one even cared if I'm dead, ain't want to find me
From Charles himself:
“I have always said that I am music. Granted that’s a phrase that everyone uses, and they have a right to. Even Lil Wayne tattooed it above his eyes. But for me, music is more than just a means of making money. It’s not even a means of art. It’s my way of communicating. My way of thinking. My way of living. I would still be the outcast to ALL OF YOU (execs, fans, friends, family, EVERYONE) if it weren’t for the musical ability I’ve been divinely blessed with by HER (points up to the sky, and glares with red eyes at everyone who’s made fun of my theory on God’s gender).
The first verse I wrote sober at my ex lover’s church. Second verse I wrote at my mother’s house, while high on weed. Third verse… hear it for yourself…”
2."Loser": - 4:46
Over a simple but super creative flip of One Night Affair by The Stylistics, Charles delivers 3 verses of some of the best rapping he has on record through playful puns and punchlines built into multiple flow-switches. Honestly, listening to this track is a hell of a throwback and a consistent reminder of the potential that was never fully realized. Aside from the opening bars, these lines from the 3rd verse are super smooth:
I'm a beast in booths, a nightmare in Nike Airs // A nice dream of ice creams the Nike fiend
3."She's So High" - 4:32
A softer cut that samples the bubbly Breathe by Telepopmusik, She’s So High offers a pleasant reprieve from the intensity of the first two tracks. Lyrically, the track explores the ecstasy of an intoxicated encounter with a woman.
4."Voices" - 4:12
Voices uses an airy guitar passage from It’s a Shame by The Spinners as a bed for Charles to describe the insanity and loneliness his attachment to music has saddled him with. This track sees CH getting into a more traditional rap-style with nearly every line punctuated with fairly pronounced doubled vocals - a small trick that really sells the schizophrenic theme of the track.
5."Boy Who Cried Wolf" - 4:39
Charles flips Joe Simon's You Don't Want To Believe It into a rumbling, head-nodding banger that acts as a middle finger to everyone that didn’t support his come-up. The drums on this are crisp and front-and-center, and really accentuate the groove of the sample. Perhaps in reference to this song, Charles had this to say:
“No one ever wants to believe me about anything. No one wanted to believe me when I made Sonic the Hamilton. No one believed I could get a deal. No one believed I’d make it past 18. I myself didn’t believe I could make it past 13, as many suicide attempts I got under my belt. And let’s not forget about the almost overdose days. Yo HchO. Remember AM studios?”
6."Let Me Live" (featuring Bagdad) - 4:04
Easily one of my favorite tracks on the album, from the sampling to CH’s flows, this is some of his best. Sampling Love Hangover by Diana Ross, this track offers a very fun and joyous diversion from the rest of the tracklist. The Dilla and Blaze influence is super strong on this one - I really love the chopping and the percussive elements are varied and well used. I’m not super in love with Bagdad’s solo verse here, but Verse 3 features some great trading between him and Charles.
I done been through the games, I deal without poker
I done been through the rain, for real, I'm Al Roker
7."Brighter Days" - 4:42
I work hard for no glory like Louis Gossett // This life is the illest movie you can watch yet
Got to make sure all your moves are constant // Or lose your Franchise like the Houston Rockets
Friends and Strangers by Ronnie Laws serves as the musical bedrock for this track. Personally, I like the drums here much more than on Wale’s The Friends N Strangers, as I feel like they build a much stronger groove. I also love the switch-up to those beautiful rhodes at the end.
8."The Cookout" - 4:33
The next cut, featuring a Mothership Connection (Star Child)- Parliament flip, is super smooth. I wouldn’t have known Charles produced this if it didn’t have his trademark cymbal transitions. Charles does his thing lyrically on here too.
Bring ether to my targets, KKK when I'm burning crosses
I hated the chorus back when I first listened, but it’s honestly grown on me.
9."Sat(t)elite" - 4:07
You can leave if you want, but I ain't goin' no where
(I only wanna be with you)
Cause you know where your home is, so I don't care
(I only wanna be with you)
Just as long you know that I'm a stay right here
(I only wanna be with you)
So you can leave if you want, but you ain't goin' no where
You are my Satellite
Another one of my favorite tracks on this album. Sampling I Only Want To Be With You by Shelby Lynne, Charles creates a super sweet and tender love song. Drums are pretty typical for the mid-2000s, but I think this song has aged somewhat well. The background vocals perfectly compliment the instrumental, and the chorus is probably the best on the entire album.
10."Live Life to the Fullest" (featuring Yung Nate) - 3:38
Up next is a bumpy, chemistry-filled detour featuring Yung Nate and sampling This Place Hotel (a.k.a. Heartbreak Hotel) by The Jacksons. Nate and Charles kill their verses on here:
I'm a bad mamma jamma probably meet your mamma jamma // then you wonder why you pulling dirty condoms out your hamper
--
Duke tried to front for a chick, black head crack, put the 4-5 to his 6 pack
--
I'm so far ahead of my time I started selling moon rocks as a grind
--
Theses niggas can't breathe till they man in a casket
Tell the bitch to exhale like Angela Bassett, Bastard
11."Come Back to You" - 5:08
Charles showcases a lot of passion and vigour on this track, both in delivery and writing.
I'm not an angel; far from the devil // But my heart isn't metal; it's fragile
First kiss was as sweet as the last goodbye
Love the use of contrast here to really paint these lines for the listener. The chorus on here is a little cluttered, but it’s got some great components. This track features a sped up flip of Voyage to Atlantis by The Isley Brothers.
12."Latte" - 4:41
“The night before I wrote this song, I shot the biggest dose of heroin. I was watching this episode of "Behind the Music” with Motley Crue, and I heard Nikki Syxx say that he quit the habit after he did that. So I tried it. And everything I saw in my dream, I woke up and wrote about it.
And it all started with having a latte with HchO.“
Sampling Last Train to London by Electric Light Orchestra and Closer by Nine Inch Nails, Charles delves into the complications and stress his drug abuse places on his life and his relationship. Super somber track that’s very painful to listen to knowing how things turned out after this.
13."Shinin'" - 4:24
“Someone asked me to remix “Shinin,” and I was like no. “Shinin” was my suicide letter. I wrote it, recorded it, and was gonna leave it on the computer and go kill myself later that day.”
This song is fucking great - the drums pair with those hauntingly beautiful background vocals to create this marching sense of eerieness and dread. There was unfortunately a controversy around this beat however, wherein Charles was accused of stealing it from another producer, Black Spade. That being said, I really do love this song. Sample is Golden Time of Day by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.
14."I'll Be Around (Outro)" - 6:00
My prognosis is psychosis // I'm a dropout, a junkie, and a drunk
Honestly, is that the kind of company you want around your son? // That's why I run, that's why I'm numb, That's why I'm such a fucking punk
As sad as it is beautiful. Sampling The Spinners - I'll Be Around, this track is so harrowing in it’s honesty and openness. You can hear Charles getting choked up through each verse and chorus, to the point of audibly crying towards the end. Like Latte, this song is pretty hard to listen to now.
15."Writing in the Sky" (Bonus Track)
I'm always made to feel inadequate, the man on stage
But I'm a nobody after it, the spotlight fades
But I'm still chasing after it, the jack of only one trade
Closing out the album is Writing in the Sky, a track that samples Betcha by Golly, Wow by The Stylistics to create a sweet little instrumental Charles uses to lament over his problems and insecurities. Triumphant yet sad, this song is a fitting send-off for the album.
Conclusion
Clocking at over 70 minutes of runtime, this album lays out Charles’ potential in frustrating detail - the mixing for example, varies as wildly as the quality of Charles’ vocal performances. But I think that’s a part of the charm: losers aren’t supposed to get things right.
Discussion Questions:
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2020.11.11 18:32 sharkbat3 NBA Ultimate Trade Guide - Fake Trades For Every NBA Team

Hi all,
I decided to come up with fake trades for every single team in the NBA. Couple of notes before diving into this:
  1. I tried to come up with "blockbuster" trades for most teams. Screw that boring cash considerations trade BS.
  2. I did my best with the salary cap space. For ex: the salaries may not match up exactly for the trade to work, but it's close. The foundation is there for most though.
  3. I fully expect to be completely shitted on by respective teams for my suggestions. If you have a better idea, feel free to post.
  4. Some teams have multiple trade ideas because they are active/fun teams to trade with.
  5. I added a likelihood factor for each trade, this is just my own rating for the trade (i.e. likelihood it actually would happen and the feasibility for both teams). Based off no sources or anything obviously, just my own opinion.

Atlanta Hawks #1 - Likelihood 5/10
Hawks Receive Pelicans Receive Rationale
Jrue Holiday 2020 #6, 2021 2nd round pick Hawks are in win-now mode according to their GM and get an awesome SG w/ elite D in Jrue to pair up with Trae. Pelicans get #6 pick. Don't know why Hawks do this for a potential 1 year rental. Can fit Jrue into cap space.
Atlanta Hawks #2 - Likelihood 5/10
Hawks Receive Wizards Receive Rationale
Bradley Beal 2020 #6, Huerter 2021 protected 1st round pick (1-10) This is a better trade IMO. I believe Hawks should save their assets for a better player on a longer contract. 1 year rental for Jrue doesn't sound as appealing as Beal. Beal pushes them potentially into upper tier of E.Conference. Trade like this means giving up good assets though (Huerter).

Boston Celtics - Likelihood 5/10

Celtics Receive Pacers Receive Rationale
Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner Gordon Hayward, #14 2020 pick, #26 pick Boston gets a big they can play in Myles Turner + a wild card with Oladipo. Smart, Brown, Tatum, Oladipo & Myles Turner is a formidable starting 5. Pacers get Indiana hometown kid Gordon Hayward and can build his confidence back up. Also, they no longer have to play Sabonis and Turner at the same time + get some draft picks in return.

Brooklyn Nets - Likelihood 7/10

Nets Receive Pelicans Receive Rationale
Jrue Holiday Caris Lavert, #19 (via LAC) Nets have their big3 and add much needed perimeter D to compliment Kyrie. Jrue can opt-out at EOY so want to deal for assets now.
Charlotte Hornets - Likelihood 5/10

Hornets Receive Pacers Receive Rationale
Myles Turner Malik Monk, 2021 1st round pick (protections 1-10). Hornets need a big. If they don't draft one, I can see Myles Turner adding much needed firepower on D & O. Pacers get a young asset in return and more importantly, don't have to play Turner & Sabonis together.
Chicago Bulls. - Likelihood 5/10

Bulls Receive Wizards Receive Rationale
Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant Otto Porter, Markkanen, W. Carter Jr. Bulls have intriguing young assets and would be risking a lot for Beal (no guarantee he resigns). Wizards start rebuild (about time). Beal + White + Lavine has potential.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Likelihood 5/10

Cavs Receive Celtics Receive Rationale
Gordon Hayward Andre Drummond Hayward rumors of opting out, Celtics need a big man. Drummond has 2 years left (same as Hayward) and provides depth and big to play against Lakers (finals) or Bucks (Giannis) & Heat (Bam). I can see Celtics saying no and looking to pickup a free agent big or waivers.
Dallas Mavericks - Likelihood 5/10

Mavs Receive Pacers Receive Rationale
Victor Oladipo Tim Hardaway Jr Mavs swing for the fences on Oladipo bounce back to pair up with Luka & Zinger. Tim is an important piece for them, but has 2 years left and can get potentially get a huge payday. Not sure it pushes them to top tier of W. Conference. Pacers get a "better fitting" piece for their core.
Denver Nuggets - Likelihood 7/10

Nuggets Receive Wizards Receive Rationale
Bradley Beal Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr, #22 (via Hou), and protected 2021 1st round pick (1-10). Nuggets swing for fences with big 3 of Beal, Murray, Jokic (love this move for the). Wizards start rebuild with one of the best young assets in Porter Jr. Nuggets may have to throw in picks.
Detroit Pistons - Likelihood 4/10

Pistons Receive Celtics Receive Rationale
Gordon Hayward Blake Griffin Pistons can give Hayward a larger role and can try to rehabilitate him. Celtics go big with Griffin who can play the 5 and compliment a potent starting lineup with 3 point range. Pistons get rid of that contract.
Golden State Warriors - Likelihood 5/10

Warriors Receive Pistons Receive Rationale
Blake Griffin Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, 1st round 2021 unprotected 1st Warriors get a stretch 4 that can shoot the 3 and play-make. Potent starting lineup. Pistons get rid of Blake contract and can plug in Wiggins into their lineup. Not sure Pistons do this.
Houston Rockets - Likelihood 4/10
Rockets Receive Cavs Receive Rationale
Kevin Love Eric Gordon, Daniel House, Ben McLemore Pure salary dump for Cavs. Rockets can rebuild with big 3 of Westbrook, Harden and Love. PJ Tucker & Covington can still hold down defense. I think Cavs believe they can get more.
Indiana Pacers - Likelihood 4/10

Pacers Receive Bucks Receive Rationale
Eric Bledsoe, DJ Wilson Victor Oladipo Pacers get perimeter defense to compliment Brogdan & TJ Warren. Bucks can swing for the fences with Oladipo sweepstakes and hope he makes the leap back to old form. Unclear if Pacers do this as Bledsoe fit is questionable IMO.
Los Angeles Clippers #1 - Likelihood 4/10

Clippers Receive Suns Receive Rationale
Ricky Rubio Pat Beverly, M. Kabengele Clippers get their pass-first PG, Suns receive defense in backcourt to compliment Booker. Not sure Suns make this move.
Los Angeles Clippers #2 - Likelihood 6/10

Clippers Receive Houston Receive Rationale
Russel Westbrook Shamet, Pat Bev, Lou Will, Trez Harrell (sign & trade) Based off recent news Clippers are interested in Westbrook. Would need to do some cap magic and likely do a sign & trade with Harell around $12M-$15M range to make it work. Houston can re-tool with good pieces around Harden.
Los Angeles Lakers - Likelihood 4/10

Lakers Receive Bucks Receive Rationale
Eric Bledsoe Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma Lakers get depth at PG as insurance for Rondo (assuming he resigns). Bucks get shooting + young prospect in Kuzma. Not sure Lakers or Bucks do this, but it could work out for both.
Memphis Grizzlies - Likelihood 5/10

Grizzlies Receive Celtics Receive Rationale
Gordon Hayward Winslow, Tyus Jones, Kyle Anderson I can see Celtics trading their picks this year for a higher pick or for a big man (Tristan, Drummond etc) and then solidifying their bench w/ Winslow, Anderson and Tyus. Not sure they do this cuz ceiling is capped, but helps with their depth.
Miami Heat - Likelihood 6/10

Heat Receive Wizards Receive Rationale
Bradley Beal Tyler Herro, Olynyk, Nunn, #20, 2022 1st round (unprotected) Beal will demand a kings ransom for Beal and I believe Herro + future picks gets it done. Wizards start rebuild and Heat get a piece that can push them towards a ring.
Milwaukee Bucks - Likelihood 6/10

Bucks Receive Thunder Receive Rationale
CP3 Bledsoe, Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, 2020 #24 (via Ind), 2022 unprotected 1st. Bucks obviously get better with CP3 and give up picks to make it work. Thunder get 2 more picks and salary-filler.
Minnesota Timberwolves - Likelihood 6/10

Timberwolves Receive Wizards Receive Rationale
Bradley Beal J. Johnson, J. Culver, 2020 #1, 2023 1st round pick (unprotected) Twolves go big for Beal with #1 and future 1st. Majority of picks already to GSW for Russell (sheesh). Wizards get to rebuild with valuable picks for the future.
New Orleans Pelicans - Likelihood 6/10

Pelicans Receive Blazers Receive Rationale
CJ McCollum Jrue Holiday, 2021 1st round pick (protected 1-10) One of my favorite trades. Blazers shake it up and get perimeter D to pair up with Dame. Let Dame run the offense. Pelicans get an awesome leading guard that can take the wheel for Pelicans. I think Blazers have to give up a tiny bit more cuz Jrue can leave after 1 year.
New York Knicks - Likelihood 5/10

Knicks Receive Thunder Receive Rationale
Chris Paul Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Knicks 2021 1st round pick (protected 1-15) Knicks get the star they want to rebuild culture. Thunder get pieces on reasonable contracts. Thunder may ask for more...
Oklahoma City Thunder - Likelihood 7/10

Thunder Receive Sixers Receive Rationale
Al Horford, Thybulle CP3 I personally love this trade. I don't believe Horford is done and the Thunder can retool with him at the 5 (figure out what to do with Steven Adams). They also get another 3&D (ish) player in Thybulle. Sixers get CP3 - obviously a win for them an get off Horford contract. Sixers may have to throw in additional pick.

Orlando Magic - Likelihood 5/10

Magic Receive Blazers Receive Rationale
CJ McCollum Aaron Gordon, Terrence Ross, Magic 2021 (1-15) protected pick. Magic get their "guy" to go with Isaac, Fultz and young core. They need competent guards. Blazers shake it up to push for ring. They try and turn Gordon into a star.
Philadelphia Sixers - Likelihood 7/10

Sixers Receive Pelicans Receive Rationale
Jrue Holiday Harris, Thybulle, 2022 pick unprotected Sixers go big with another 3&D player. Personally, I like the CP3 fit here (see Thunder trade above), but wanted to do another scenario. Sixers get off horrible Harris contract by attaching pick. Pelicans get a shooter in Harris + 2 good assets (future 2022 pick which can be good if sixers are bad and Thybulle).
Phoenix Suns - Likelihood 7/10

Suns Receive Pelicans Receive Rationale
Jrue Holiday Oubre, Ty Jerome, Cam Payne, 2020 #10 pick Suns go for 1 year potential rental of Jrue Holiday in exchange for Oubre (not needed with Bridges + Johnson playing so well) +#10 pick. Pelicans get two assets (Oubre 3&D) and another pick. Not sure if it's enough for Jrue.
Portland Trailblazers - Likelihood 6/10

Blazers Receive Cavs Receive Rationale
Kevin Love Nurkic, A. Simons Blazers get their big 3 and reunite Love in his hometown of Oregon. Cavs get off that terrible contract. Blazers may need some more cap magic and also might need to throw in a pick here.
Sacremento Kings - Likelihood 5/10

Kings Receive Pistons Receive Rationale
Blake Griffin H. Barnes, Jabari Parker, 2020 #12, 2021 1st round pick protected (1-15) Kings go big with Blake Griffin who could fit nicely with Fox, Hield and give good spacing. Pistons rebuild with #12 and another future 1st but get off that Griffin contract. Barnes is iffy with his contract but they could move him as well.
San Antonio Spurs - Likelihood 3/10

Spurs Receive Celtics Receive Rationale
Gordon Hayward L. Aldridge Pop loves his white guys that have great fundamentals. They rebuild around Hayward Derozen and Celtics get a big guy they can trot out there with their guards.
Toronto Raptors - Likelihood 2/10

Raptors Receive Celtics Receive Rationale
Hayward Serge Ibaka, M. Thomas Rental swap essentially. Not sure this would ever happen given they are rivals, but Ibaka with 1 year left on deal can really help Celtics big depth and Raptors can add wing depth and push their ceiling higher if Hayward gets better.
Utah Jazz - Likelihood 3/10

Jazz Receive Mavericks Receive Rationale
Tim Hardaway Jr, 2021 2nd round pick, 2022 2nd round pick Rudy Gobert Jazz get another shooter and then go dumpster diving for a center because him and D.Mitchell don't like each other. Gobert allows Mavs to go big and get much needed interior D. Zinger & Gobert can defend Jokic & AD/Dwight in Western Conference.

Washington Wizards - Likelihood 2/10
Wizards Receive Knicks Receive Rationale
Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, John Wall 2021 1st round pick (protected 1-10), 2021 2nd round pick, 2022 pick swap. Pure salary dump for Wizards but get some pieces back to try and rebuild ASAP with Beal. Tried to come up with at least John Wall trade... Wizards are fucked.
I'll be posting fake trades through https://twitter.com/tradegurunba as we approach the draft and into the season. Feel free to post your thoughts & reactions to each trade - let the shitposting begin!
submitted by sharkbat3 to nba [link] [comments]


2020.11.10 00:05 CreatureTech-PHX State of Dauntless #1 Playtesting

State of Dauntless #1 Playtesting
Hello Slayers, and welcome to the first State of Dauntless Reddit post. The goal of these posts will be to highlight what we’re currently working on and what issues are on our radar. These posts will let us explore and communicate new features, bug fixes, and improvements. This is also a valuable opportunity to see if our perceptions align with yours, so please, don’t hold back in the comments below.
By now, you may have read the letter from our CEO, Jesse Houston. If you haven't, it's a great place to start, and I'll be revisiting some of those core topics here. Specifically, I’d like to call out these three paragraphs on community concerns:

Power Creep
We're aware of the power creep that stems from Escalation power and resistance bonuses. Managing this effect is a priority for our design team, and you can expect to see incremental adjustments in patches through the end of the year. More significant changes — for example, eliminating Escalation bonuses outside of Escalation, putting a cap on those bonuses, or introducing a nerf — are currently being discussed, but won't be rolled out until we have a clear plan. Expect that we’ll share more on this, and seek feedback, in the near future.
Meta
The cells we introduced to challenge the low-life meta (e.g. Tenacious) are just the first step toward shifting the current meta. Increasing the number of viable builds for end-game players is an important part of Dauntless' future, as is further adjustments to the war pike (e.g. through tuning the Wound mechanic). Bottom line: We’re taking steps to ensure that a single build or weapon class does not dominate the meta.
Trials
We know that Trials needs more love, and we plan on returning to this hunt type in early 2021. We’re currently heads-down on other features, but once Hunting Grounds and our new progression systems have launched, we plan on giving Trials the attention it deserves. As we mentioned in the Power Creep section, we’re currently working on a solution to the Escalation power spillover that's been impacting Trial times.

I want to reiterate this important part: We are aware of these points of friction, and we plan to revisit them once we get 1.5.0 out the door and into your hands. Right now, we are heads down on Hunting Grounds and all of our effort is going into making sure it’s the best it can possibly be at launch. Future Reddit posts will dig much deeper into the above topics, but for now, let’s focus on what we’re currently working on.

Hunting Grounds and Playtests
On a high level, here is what patch 1.5.0 will launch with in December:
  • New Hunt Type: Hunting Grounds (which will replace Patrols and Pursuits)
  • 17 reworked islands for Hunting Grounds
  • 1 brand-new island for Hunting Grounds
  • Gliders
  • Island Events
  • Slayer’s Path progression system
  • Weapon XP and power surge system
You may notice that this doesn’t include a new Escalation. We plan to get this body of work out first, then deliver a new Escalation in a future update. The goal right now is to make sure that Dauntless Reforged launches in a polished state. We see Hunting Grounds and the 1.5.0 patch as a foundation and a container for future content -- think new Behemoths, islands, events, etc. We will continue to iterate on what is in Hunting Grounds in the months to come after launch.
Recently, we’ve been running internal and external playtests to nail down the design, pacing, and stability of this new hunt type in order to reach the above goal. Let’s dive into what we learned, yeah?

Why Playtests?
I chatted with Eric, our system designer on Hunting Grounds, and he had this to say:
“It's incredibly useful to have people playtesting our new features weeks or months before they are shipped in the live game. On top of that, we are able to join players on Discord and watch them streaming their game, so we get raw feedback directly and can see their live emotional reactions, both positive and negative, to our design decisions. When players have a visceral reaction to gliding around islands and are clearly enjoying the experience, it really gives us confidence that we are on the right track. When players are bored or confused, it's a clear sign that we have some work to do in those areas."
“I loved seeing the first reactions to gliders. We've had so much fun playing around with these and it was awesome to see players finding new paths around the islands and pushing the bounds of this new traversal mechanic. I also really enjoyed seeing the richer island experience with fauna and multiple Behemoths and how that emergent gameplay impacted how players engaged with the game.”
The bottom line, these tests don’t just help expose points of friction, they help us validate our decisions. Judging by players’ reactions, we know we’re on to something here.

Listening to Feedback
“The high level goal of playtests from a developer's perspective is to allow us to watch players interact with our features and validate some of the decisions that we've made,” says Greg, a senior designer on the project. “Most of that can be achieved through observation and listening to feedback after the playtest.” All of your feedback helps us understand this new hunt type. If something is too easy or too hard, or if a feature is difficult to understand, we’ll find out early in the development process.

Asking Questions
Our combat designer, Justin, was using the playtests to get insights on these questions:
Are the new revive and danger systems providing the appropriate guidance to players fighting Behemoths below/at/above their skill and equipment level?
Are players able to understand the difference between being in and out of combat, and do the controls function in the way they would expect them to in those states?
How often are players using supply crates, and what are they using them for (healing, restocking, changing loadouts)?
Looking at the feedback has shown us a lot on these topics, and we’re finding out more and more each day.
We’re still combing through the feedback, but it’s safe to say you have all been tremendous with helping us understand how actual players will engage with Hunting Grounds.

Data
I took some time to chat to Elena who is our in-house UX researcher. She helped me understand how we’re looking at data outside of feedback. “Playtesting lets us see first-hand how players react to our work and identify points of friction,” she said. “Do they notice the things we want them to notice, get excited about the things we want them to get excited for? And if not, why not? This information helps us identify problems and possible solutions."
“We can tell a lot just by the way users play! Telemetry can show us how many people tried the experiment, how long they played, and how they spent that time. This can reveal possible problem areas that need further investigation.”
She also had some interesting takeaways from the most recent tests. “One thing I didn't expect to see was the number of folks who had fun just watching people. It's something I've discovered over and over again as a researcher: Nothing is more entertaining to humans than other humans.”
She also found that players really enjoyed roaming fauna. “I was worried players would find the roaming fauna annoying since they didn't have any loot set up yet, but to my surprise the response was very positive! Players who liked immersion and lore enjoyed discovering non-Behemoth creatures in the world, and players who liked excitement and action enjoyed having something to beat up between big fights. I think it's definitely something we need to keep working on, but it was good to see that the basic idea is sound.”
Data also shows that players are enjoying the game mode more and more with each test we run. Here’s some data comparing our first playtest to the second.
Numbers and stuff and things!
The Future
We’ve put a lot of effort into setting up a foundation for future testing with Dauntless Experimental. The goal isn’t to just improve Dauntless in the near future, but for the entirety of its future development. “Now that we've run a few playtests, we've solidified our technology and process for the Experimental branch and worked out all the kinks,” says Eric. “We also have our feedback process in place and the devs are now used to getting regular feedback from players during these tests, so we can very quickly set up a new version of the game, test specific features, and get instant feedback from the community.”
So on behalf of the entire team, thank you all so much for taking part in these tests. It’s really helping us develop this new and exciting hunt type. Hunting Grounds represents our best thinking over the past year, and we’re currently heads down on tuning this all up to get it out the door in December in our 1.5.0 patch. These tests have just shown a small portion of what will be in Dauntless Reforged, and we can’t wait to get further feedback on our progression changes.
The next State of Dauntless post will be about progression and solo queues since these are both hot topics right now.
Until then, happy hunting and clear skies!
submitted by CreatureTech-PHX to dauntless [link] [comments]