i have never had to criticize a game for this before

On The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel, Blue Taako, and Representation

 Yesterday, we revealed some pages for our graphic novel adaptation of the first Adventure Zone arc, and received some criticism of the direction we went with for Taako’s coloring. This artwork reveal came some months after the first reveal of some of our characters, for which we also received criticism of our three leads, all of whom were white in these initial designs. Us and the graphic novel team realized that, yes, that is extremely bad, went back to the drawing board, and had several long discussions about how to best rectify this situation, resulting in the artwork revealed yesterday.

More or less all of the criticism we’ve received centers on Taako, whose skin is a pale blue color in these designs. What we’ve heard most is disappointment that Taako is not realized in these pages as a person of color — or, to be more specific, a Latinx or explicitly Mexican character. There was concern we had failed to follow through on an opportunity to get better representation for Latinx listeners, instead opting to take a safe route, and make Taako a fantasy color without any kind of real-world connection. Much of the criticism also focuses on how that color (or, to be more specific, green skin) has anti-semitic connotations.

This conversation was happening in certain corners of our fandom long before the graphic novel art reveal took place yesterday. We’ve heard criticism from some folks over our policy of not having canonical visual representations of any of our characters — a policy that has resulted in a genuinely humbling ocean of fan art, but also some instances of in-fighting between members of the community who take umbrage with one another’s disparate interpretations of these characters. Another criticism of that policy is that it inherently does not foster good representation, and in fact represents a noncommittal way of handling racial representation on this show.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I think all of this comes from this underlying friction between where The Adventure Zone and us, its creators, were when we started doing the podcast, and where we, the show, and you, the community, are at now. 

Keep reading

AUs

Here are some aus, divided in different themes.

College themed

  1. I’m really passionate about this cause and I will give you this flier if I have to shove it down your throat
  2. My roommate’s boyfriend is staying over so can I please sleep on your floor
  3. We’re studying in the library and there are two people very obviously fucking in the stacks and we keep sharing embarrassed glances
  4. You peed on my car. You were drunk. I was in the car. There will be hell to pay
  5. My friend dragged me to this party and I just saw my ex quick make out with me
  6. It’s 3am, in the dead of winter, some motherfucker pulled/set off the fire alarm and I am being very vocal about how I’m gonna make that fucker pay
  7. I swear I’m wearing this Batman costume because of a dare
  8. Accidentally knocked on the wrong dorm room college au
  9. Heard a scream and thought you were getting killed but it was just a spider
  10. Somehow, we always end up sitting next to each other during the weekly gatherings to watch [Game of Thrones, SVU, Rupaul’s Drag Race, pick a show] in our dorm’s really good TV room 
  11. I took a bunch of free condoms from health services just because i could and they all fell out of my bag at once and now you’re staring at me weirdly

Awkward first meeting themed

  1. “This horrible umbrella won’t extend! Oh shit I just hit you in the stomach/crotch! I’m so sorry!”
  2. “I just tripped and fell face first into your crotch, god end my life now please.”
  3. “I drunkenly tried to fight you and knocked myself out but you were kind enough to take care of me till I woke up.”
  4. Trapped in a bank during a robbery 
  5. “I met you last night when you were drunkenly patting my dog in my backyard at 3 in the morning and when i asked you what the hell you were doing you slurred something about dogs being great and then you threw up on my feet and then fifteen minutes later you were passed out on my couch so that’s why you’re here right now also what the fuck is your name and why were you patting a dog in a stranger’s backyard in the middle of the night”
  6. “Last night was a haze for both of us and somehow we woke up hungover in a bed that isn’t either of ours and also neither of us recognize this apartment we should probably get out of here before someone calls the cops on us”
  7. “You found me hanging by my fingertips from your window and i don’t want to tell you i was trying to rob you but idk how else to explain this and i don’t want to go to jail and also you’re kind of cute we should make out when i’m not clinging onto your window ledge for my life”
  8. ‘you thought i was someone else and started making out with me at a club and you’re really hot so i just went with it and now we’re heading back to your place and idk how to break it to you’
  9. ‘we’re two thirds of the threesome we had last night and we’re walking awkwardly out of the last persons’s apartment together’
  10. ‘i’ve had a really awful day so i started kicking a car out of frustration and it turned out to be your car i’m so sorry’
  11. “I ordered pizza but the pizzeria got my order wrong so now I’m screaming at my really cute pizza delivery boy because I’m angry and very hungry”

Nobility themed

  1. “your country’s trying to take over/annex my country and you’re making it difficult to hate you because you’re so nice and attractive stop it”
  2. “we’ve been engaged to be married since we were three but this is the first time we’ve met and your portraits really don’t do you justice”
  3. “i’m a prince/ss and you’re a servant and we’re not supposed to hang out but we’re gonna fall in love anyways”

Opposites attract themed

  1. a hopeless romantic and a single-but-proud meet at a store on valentine’s day. the latter is buying valentine cards ironically, the former buying them sincerely in hopes of getting a date
  2. a scary-looking person who unintentionally makes kids cry and a daycare volunteer meet at a children-filled park
  3. rebellious teenager who’s failing all their classes is assigned a studious tutor
  4. really distinguished food critic and fast food chef
  5. a hopeless romantic and a horny beast are set up on a blind date

High school themed

  1. “We’re the only ones in detention”
  2. “I desperately need my books but my locker is blocked and you’re the only one in the hall”
  3. “Someone wrote I’m cute in the bathroom stall and your notes match the handwriting”
  4. “I twisted my ankle and you’re the only one here strong enough to carry me to the nurse’s office but we’re both really awkward”
  5. “We were both left out when everyone was picking partners and now we always choose each other when we have classes together”
  6. “I lent you my cool pencil months ago and you still use it”
  7. “I accidentally took your notebook thinking it was mine and you have really nice handwriting and cute doodles”
  8. “You started sitting by me at lunch because I’m alone at my table but we never talk to each other”
  9. “I was really hungry but had no money and you bought me lunch even though I don’t know you”
  10. “I left my phone number on the bathroom stall wall and you text me about your day and your frustrations for a month & it’s really nice and cute but I still don’t know who you are”
  11. “I fell asleep on your couch after a party but you didn’t complain and made breakfast for the both of us”
  12. sharing a textbook and leaving each other notes and answers in page corners
  13. found their phone number in a library book
  14. dancing partners
  15. younger siblings are best friends
  16. playing romantic interests in a play
  17. “yes i understand that it’s may and this classroom is stuffy but why are you taking your shirt off and why aren’t you in trouble (not that i mind)”
  18. “i can’t believe you dropped the frog we’re dissecting on tHE FLOOR WHAT THE FUCK”
  19. “i’m fightin this person and they shoved me into u im sooo sorry- oh hey you’re cute- oH MY GOD UR KICKIN ASS MARRY ME!!! PLEASE!!!!”
  20. “you asked me to prom by filling my locker with ping pong balls that say “prom?” on them but i tripped on one and smacked my head on a locker but thanks for taking me to the nurse!!! i still want to go with you!!”

Ridicously sentence themed

  1. “I’m going to need you to put on some underwear before you say anything else.“ 
  2. "Quick catch that cat it stole my wallet!”
  3. “I hope you know that my name is actually ________.”
  4. “That is the tenth demon summoning this week holy shit.”
  5. “Please put me down it’s just a sprained ankle" 
  6. “Why exactly do you need chloroform at 2AM?”
  7. “I’m like 75% this won’t explode on us.”
  8. “I understand the whole sleep talking thing but what I don’t understand is the princess dragon dream and why I’m in it.”
  9. “I’m sorry that I got way too into playing house and accidentally kissed you passionately.”

Height difference themed

  1. “I’m in a bookshop and I really need that book can you get it for me??? Wait you’ve read that book? let’s have an in depth conversation about it.”
  2. “You were trying to reach for a box of cereal and a whole shelf’s-worth of cereal boxes fell on you here let me help”
  3. “We’re both baristas and sometimes I have trouble reaching for things and I show up to work one day to find a personalized stool with hearts and my name on it i hATE YOU but also thanks”
  4. “You are very tall and I am very short so you run into me all the time and honestly this is getting ridiculous”
  5. I’m in art class and I just opened a cupboard to find a tiny person (you) squished inside and you just looked at and said “shh i’m hiding”
  6. “We’re on the bus and I’m really not trying to take up your space I’m sorry I just have rlly rlly long legs” 
  7. “You’re afraid that you’ll lose me in big crowds so you always hold my hand but now you just hold my hand when there’s only, like, five people around and I’m getting vry suspicious” 

Reincarnation themed

  1. I fell in love with you three lifetimes ago and I’ve been looking for you ever since but I’ve been starting to give up and my friend’s new crush has your eyes and oh god I’m not going to steal someone’s date just because I’m hoping you’re the person I met in a past life
  2. We keep reincarnating as people who speak different languages and it’s kind of pissing me off because I can never initially confirm if it’s you but at least I keep learning a bunch of cool new languages each lifetime

Mythical creatures themed

  1. “i’m a newly-turned werewolf without a pack and i can’t really control myself well on full moon nights yet and you keep finding me passed out naked on your lawn”
  2. “i got cursed and turned into an animal and taken to the shelter and ended up getting adopted by someone who is really hot OH NO”
  3. “i’m a history major and i keep getting into arguments with one of my classmates about things because they keep saying i’m wrong so i finally scream, ‘how would you know?!?’ and they’re like, ‘because i was THERE!’ and that’s how we all find out that there is a centuries-old vampire taking our British history class”

Funny meeting at a party themed

  1. “i was on my balcony and you started loudly quoting romeo and juliet at me”
  2. “spilled my drink down your shirt and then tried to drink it off you”
  3. “we had an impromptu rap duet in the middle of the party”
  4. “you kept asking everyone to play the cha cha slide then proceeded to pass out when the song started”
  5. “you keep shouting “THIS IS MY JAM” at every song that comes on i have a headache the size of nebraska you’re lucky you’re cute”
  6. “whenever you saw me you’d shout ‘WHOOOOOOOOO’ really loudly and then do finger guns at me before walking off to god knows where”
  7. “you thought I was your friend and pulled me up on the table to dance with you now you’re shirtless and grinding on me”
  8. “you got up to the mic and started singing and holy shit you’re really good???”
  9. “you’re really bad at beer pong but you do this really cute dance before you throw the ball so I’m letting you stay on my team”
  10. “our mutual friend dared the two of us to chug a whole pint of beer and I’m not going to let you beat me”
  11. “we both grabbed for the last bottle of the good beer and i’m not saying we’re going to fight for it but we are”

Competitive themed

  1. we’re both ‘team leaders’ at a summer camp for little people and you may be hot but goddammit my collection of twelve-year-olds are going to beat yours into the dust
  2. I used to be the best baker in the neighbourhood but then you showed up at Mrs Appleby’s 80th birthday with a stack of brownies which almost gave me an orgasm my honour is at stake and I’m going all out for the next event
  3. a mutual friend invited us to their laser tag party and we’re the last two alive on opposite teams and goddammit if I’m going down you’re going down with me
  4. you’re going to be at the halloween party and you’ve won best costume for the past three years but this year I am wearing the best costume ever if you defeat me I will eat my - wait you actually look really cute when did you turn hot what the fuck um
  5. we’re always making stupid bets like 'bet you can’t drink this whole bottle of BBQ sauce’ but then you did and now you’re sick and I feel really bad here let me look after you
  6. did you actually just blue shell me on our date you fucker

“We’re bad at dating” themed

  1. I can’t tell whether this is a date because you asked to see a movie but I’m still not sure you’re queer, and I’m toeing the line because maybe you’re just trying to make friends
  2. I decided to flip a coin about every decision in my life for a week and that’s how we ended up on a date
  3. We’re both meant to be going on blind dates with other people but we sat down at the wrong table and got our hopes up
  4. We had one really bad date and never spoke again and now our friends have set us up on a blind date
  5. We’re going on a blind date - but wait a moment, aren’t you that went down on me in a back alley behind a club year ago? … what do you mean “which one”?
  6. You’re my waiter and I’m on a really crappy date with an asshole
So I finally went through omgeverythingplease and here are things that I didn’t know
  • Bitty is OBSESSED with food. OBSESSED.
  • Boy has a *problem*
  • Like I know we like to headcanon that Bitty goes into some sort of media, but he’s more likely to become a food critic. Basically he’s more into the “baking” part of “baking vlog” than the “vlog” part.
  • Holster is a grumpy messy bitch.
  • For real, the team seriously debated who was grumpier: Jack or Holster
  • (for like, a hot second, before the answer became obvious)
  • (It’s Jack. Jack is the grumpiest)
  • Ransom and Bitty are very close friends. Close enough that Bitty chirps Holster that he’s being replaced via tweet.
  • Ransom and Bitty get PSLs from “ ‘Bucks”.
  • That is a quote. Eric Richard Bittle has called Starbucks, ‘Bucks.
  • (I bet he calls Target, Tar-zhay too)
  • This one was a bit more analytical: we found out about Jack coaching peewee via Bitty’s twitter
  • Bitty is the one who tells us that the Jack says the kids call him “Coach Z”
  • Because Bitty is the one who typed out the tweet, if the kids called Jack “Coach Zed”, he would have spelled out “Zed.”
  • Therefore we can assume that the kids called Jack “Coach Zee” and not “Coach Zed”
  • However this revelation by Jack was immediately followed by a debate over Zee vs. Zed. So who really knows?
  • I still don’t know how either of them pronounces “pecan”
  • More after the cut because this is getting long

Keep reading

Tantalizing

Originally posted by jikookfantasy

Tantalizing: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07
Ship: Jungkook | Reader
Description: Back in high school, you were nothing more than a nerd Jungkook wanted to deflower, to get a good fuck from. When he sees you at the club, though, things have changed drastically, and his dominance starts to teeter on the edge.
Warning: Cumplay, Degrading Names, Angst, Intercourse, Oral, Orgasm Denial, Thigh Riding
Word Count: 5,965

Keep reading

Planets in Retrograde

What impact do they have in our natal chart?

It isn’t unusual for a person to have at least one retrograde planet in their chart.

Planets in retrograde are usually compared to a mirror. Their energy is reflected right back at us, interiorized and expressed backwards. Having a planet in retrograde forces you dive deeper into it’s energy while being slightly fearful of it at the same time. Making it a constant struggle between acting or giving in to the fear.

For example, people with Jupiter in retrograde are fearful of expansion and taking risks, so instead, they retreat into their minds, expanding themselves in a mental and spiritual level.

Whenever you are about to express the energies of the planet, you refrain yourself, many times not doing it, whether it is out of fear or just the sensation of just not being able to do it. For example, if your mars is retrograde, you hesitate before expressing anger and assertion, usually ending up in an outburst after containing yourself for a certain amount of time.

Also, many times when a planet is in retrograde, it’s because things done to you as a child. For example, a person with mercury retrograde may have been told they weren’t smart enough, or forced to think in a certain way, paying no attention to what their true opinions may have been.

Do they affect aspects?

Yeah, in some way they do since the planet’s energy is redirected, causes confusion and changes the way aspects are expressed.

For example: saturn in a challenging aspect to mars (conjunction, square, opposition) makes people be (or believe to be) usually critiziced on everything they do, but when saturn is in retrograde, it might change it in the sense that they aren’t critiziced constantly by others but by themselves. It makes very self critical and perfectionist people and in the worst case scenario they can become unsatisfied with everything they do.

Are they karmic?

Yup. They tend to emphasize the lessons we didn’t learn in past lives and force us to focus on them by making them more reflexive. Some people carry past lives memories from the planets they have retrograde in their charts.

Retrograde Individuals

What makes a retrograde individual?

1. 3 or more retrogrades on the natal chart

2. Any personal planet in retrograde

3. One or more retrograde planets near the ascendant (1st house) or midheaven (10th house)

How does it affect the native?

It makes very introspective people, natives may be thinkers more than a doers. It’s good because they are very cautious and don’t rush into things, but can also lose some great oportunities and be prone to overthinking.

They may be very melancholic, since they are usually reminiscing the past.

Retrograde Planets

Mercury: this natives may fear telling people what they think, or even speaking at all! They have a very unique way of seeing things, and are very innovative. If you have this, you probably give a lot of thought to the most mundane tasks and may have a very quick wit, even if they don’t say anything. If it’s afflicted, you may have had problems speaking, like a lisp, for example.

Art is a great outlet for mercury retrograde people.

Venus: expressing love is hard for them, they hesitate to the point of overthinking before showing affection and there may be an inner desire and fear of commitment. Their minds are constantly imagining and creating (even if subconsciously) but they can’t take it to paper. They may feel they weren’t loved as children or that they were rejected when they tried to be affectionate.

This natives love very deeply, but they internalize it, originating a lot of pain.

Mars: they have a very hard time expressing their anger, or even repress it to the point of exploding. Having low energy is very common with this planet in retrograde, as well as a lack of ambition or drive to get what they want. Sex may have been taboo as children, leading to a strong difficulty to express a healthy sexuality. People with this need to be attentive not to forget to take care of their bodies. There’s a tendency to blow things out of proportion.

They may have grown up in a household where anger wasn’t well taken or were taught to be very pássive.

Jupiter: very philosophical and prone to procastinating, they keep thinking and planning but their intentions never come to shore. Optimism and beliefs are hard for them to express, and there’s a constant confusion with faith. They may have been disappointed by religion from a very young age, leading to resent and holding grudges towards God/church/etc.  

There is a discontent with life that’s held in the subconscious. Having this planet in retrograde is a great opportunity to expand spiritually.

Saturn: these people feel very limited and disapponted on life, there’s a constant sensation of  being trapped and just like with mars, lack ambition. They are very controlled, to the point of self-destruction, and can have a very bad image of themselves. Natives are talented and like creating things from scratch.

It makes serious and responsible people. Anything that requires self-discipline and patience is a good activity for saturn retrograde.

Uranus: natives have a tough time showing their weird side to the world, but feel somehow alienated from everyone else. They may dislike being around crowds and somehow desire to be unique, as paradoxical as it may be. It’s common to lack individuality and be influentiable by others. There’s a need to be original and experience new things, and they seek it in an unconventional manner, to the point of being chaotic in the old uranian fashion. Uranus retrograde has an internal despise towards societal norms. 

As a child you could have been made believe that you were strange in a bad way, prompting you to try to be as common as possible.

Neptune: having this planet in retrograde makes very intuitive and spiritual people, that are in touch with their inner selves.  It leads them to dissociate from reality and can even take them to the point of delusion. They bury their dreams deep within themselves, and rarely share them with anyone, maybe their parents dissed out their dreams since they were little, making them believe they were impossible to achieve. 

Daydreaming is a common thing among this people, and even with their great creativity, is very difficult for them to express it. 

Pluto: this is a very strong retrograde, it gives a great desire for control, as well as deeply kept secrets. Natives have learned since a very young age not to trust anyone, and carry that paranoia and suspicion everywhere they go, making them really good at seeing through people’s lies. They experiment a constant transformation of the inner self, becoming who they need to be in order to survive. Great resilience. May use sexuality as a weapon and love power games.  

Prone to psychic abilities.

Hey guys, hope this helped u understand retrograde planets a little more! It’s a pretty complicated theme, but I like it very much.

Highlights from Talks Machina (Episode 99)
  • New set!
  • Jon Heder’s coming back next week!
  • Sam had no plan B if the Fate die hadn’t worked out.
  • Sam thinks of it as poor planning on his part that Taryon didn’t talk to Vex ahead of time about thinking of leaving.
  • Ashley thinks it’s funny that people consider Pike to be the mom friend of the group. She thinks of Pike as “the little weirdo of the group”, but watching back bits and pieces, she can sort of see where people are getting it. Laura points out that the party all winds up tattling on each other to her in the process of getting her caught up.
  • Everyone is Sam:


  • Sam was surprised by everyone’s reactions - everyone was super happy and excited during the break, and then things shifted once they got back into character.
  • Ashley was surprised at how mad Pike was. She found herself trying to be nice but couldn’t, and realized Grog was in the same boat. Laura, on the other hand, thought Vex was gonna be more angry. Vex is also in the mode of “be really pleasant and say all the right things so he doesn’t go away again”.
  • Vex’s check noticed that his shadow was smaller.
  • Sam didn’t know this was going to happen when it did; Matt managed the timing, although they’d worked out some possible details beforehand. Jon Heder was legitimately never supposed to say “The Meat Man”, which gave the game away too soon, but it worked out perfectly for his character.
  • Scanlan disguised himself as a defense mechanism.
  • If they hadn’t recognized Scanlan, he wouldn’t have come back after delivering that info—that was their one shot.
  • A theory is floated that this was all a way for Sam to get twice as much fanart as everyone else. “Yes. No, it’s super dickish, I’m sorry.” Sam resolves to stop being the surprise guy in the next campaign.
  • Everyone tries to get Laura to spill the beans on what Vex was being mysterious about, but she refuses.
  • Travis refused to come on the show to talk about it this week; he’ll talk about it later, but not yet.
  • Laura isn’t sure yet whether Vex is gonna pull out the hat again.
  • Laura is very amused that Vax didn’t catch on to Vex having a secret. Sam: “Do you think he was being deliberately obtuse?” Laura: “No, I think it’s like Larkin.” If he’d pushed, she probably would’ve explained.
  • Pike mostly punched Lionel because Grog wouldn’t walk away from a fight, and she could tell how hurt he was.
  • Re: episode 100: “be there on time.”

Talks Machina: Dark Edition (with more lights than before)

  • Sam wins the roll for hosting and has some trouble adjusting. “What am I looking at? There’s just a teleprompter with a light flashing next to the word ‘Brian’.” “Skipping all of the good questions and just going to the weird ones…” “To Liam… oh, he’s not here.”
  • Asked why he decided to bring Scanlan down a darker path: “Scanlan started dying and it started messing with his head.”
  • Vex currently has zero gold.
  • Everyone reminisces about how they met Taliesin and how nice he is.
  • Advice to give themselves if they could go back to episode one. Ashley: “I would tell myself to not get a job so I could keep playing the game.”
  • Sam has two apps on his phone that make t-shirts instantly. The last shirt was made while showing Matt how the app worked.

High school reunion AU for @zimmbitty who planted the idea in my head. I hope my loss sleep makes you happy.

-

An AU where Jack and Bitty happened to go to the same high school for maybe a year or two. (Here their age difference is around 3 years.)

How you ask? Coach is filling in temporarily maybe not as a Football coach but in some other position. It doesn’t matter *waves hands to misdirect from possible plot holes* just go with it…

Bitty is still into figure skating and in this high school, they have an actual ice skating ring in the premises!!!

And his skating lessons are usually before the hockey team plays. At first, he avoids the team but slowly realises they didn’t really care what he did so long as he left the ice on time.

Then Bitty started watching the practices and hockey looked kind of fun, (if you ignored the checking…) and maybe if he got into hockey he and Coach would have more stuff in common to talk about.

So one day after hockey practice is over, Bitty sneaks back into the ice with a broken hockey stick he found in the dumpster and put back together with duct tape and a flatted out can, and starts trying to get a hang of how the sport works.

Keep reading

A dog person - Young!Sirius x Reader

Warnings : nope, maybe the GIF that personally makes me weak

Words : 2.8k

Request : yes

Note : it’s the imagine that I wrote a few days ago and that was deleted somehow, I’m sharing it again now. I know some people had the same request but anywayyyyy (thank you to the ppl who told me to post it again btw❣️). I just imagined a Patronus for Pettigrew, don’t mind it if it bothers you. I loved this request and got a bit carried away, it was just so damn cute.


Originally posted by bentbarnes


Even at Hogwarts everybody hated monday mornings, as they symbolized the end of the weekend, the return in class and especially, implied a lot of exhaustion. In fact, everybody except the 6th years, because to them Monday morning meant Defense Against the Dark Arts. Here you were, at your usual seat next to the wall on the first row. The classroom 3C had probably the biggest windows out of all the Turris Magnus, unfortunately you were too short to observe the view -everybody was- but you still tried to take a look everytime. You were on tip-toes, taking advantage of the fact that your teacher had not yet arrived to make another attempt.


« You know Y/N, I really enjoy the view you’re offering me when you stand up like this in front of me, but I think you should just sit down as our dear Professor is here. » whispered Sirius behind you. Your cheeks turner red as you did what he said, sighing in exasperation and trying to focus on the tall man standing in front of the class. Sirius knew his little seduction game made you feel a bit flustered and that was exactly why he liked doing it so much, he didn’t want you to be uncomfortable, he was only joking and you knew it. Out of the four Marauders, you spent most of your time with him or Remus, who actually introduced you to the others after meeting you at the library.


« Today I will try, and please notice that I said try, to teach you something that I know most of you have been waiting for. » said your teacher solanemly, holding his hands together behind his back. « The majority of witches and wizards are not able to produce it for it requires patience, concentration and determination. You probably guessed it already, I am talking about the Patronus charm, one of the most powerful defensive charms that exist.»


Immediatly, everybody started to whisper enthousiasticly to their neighbors, and even Lily who usually was the definition of the model student seemed hysteric. You smiled when you saw her, her dazzling hair flying in the air while she turned around towards the boys, already beginning to discuss on the shape their patronus would take. James had already managed to produce one and it was a deer just like his animagus. He could be turbulent, sometimes even insolent, but nobody could deny that he was an incredibly talented wizard just like Remus who was sitting next to him. Strangely, he stayed away from the general euphoria which spread in the class, playing almost nervously with his hands. You frowned, ready to ask him what was going on when your teacher knocked two times on the desk with his fists. The noises stopped and everybody looked at him once again.


« To produce a Patronus, it is necessary to concentrate on your most beautiful memory, and only this one. Find the memory that warms your heart the most and say clearly, wand in hand : expecto patronum. » Suddenly, a silver eagle flew from his hand and in the classroom. It was both beautiful and captivating. « This requires training, today we shall satisfy us with approaching the theoretical side of it and in the next class, I hope that you will be ready. Just know that it is difficult to obtain a corporeal patronus, and that its purpose is not to be beautiful, but to protect you from Dementors. Whether it is a rat, cat or lion, its power will be the same : the partonus is a shield, a messenger and a protector. »


He kept speaking during the whole following hour, adding that even if the animal shape the Patronus took did not define its strenght, it could mean something important for the wizard. Leaving the class everybody had only an idea in head : discover what their patronus was. The four boys, Lily and you had mutually decided to train together by the lake this afternoon. But right now you were going to eat, Sirius and James led the group speaking loudly and walking way too fast. Behind and standing by your side, Lily seemed to explain to Peter the details he had not understood. You left them silently to join Remus who walked at the back, alone, head low and dragging his feet. He raised his head when he saw you were waiting for him and turned the gentle smile you were giving him back to you. Interlacing your arm in his, you jumped at the opportunity to be alone with him to ask him what was wrong. Remus sighed, he seemed embarrassed and you strated to worry. He looked around to be sure no one was listening and then he bent a little towards you.


« I’m afraid my corporeal Patronus gives too much away, if you know what I mean. I already tried with James and it almost worked, and I swear I saw a long hairy tail before the light went off. » He whispered, biting his lip « With you guys it doesn’t matter, but if anyone else sees it… » He didn’t finish his sentence but you knew what he meant. Remus had always suffered because of his lycantropia, his parents and him had a nomadic life before he came to Hogwarts thanks to Dumbledore. Everytime someone started to be suspicious, they left and the little Remus never got to make friends. Even now that he had friends, really good ones, he was still afraid someone would found out. Taking his hand in yours, you squeezed it gently so he knew he wasn’t alone and you were here for him.


« We can practice alone another day if you want to be sure, you don’t have to do it today if you don’t want to. »

« I think that’s a good idea, thank you Y/N. »



Around 4pm, you sat in the green grass which lined the lake, between Sirius and Peter who seemed strangely concentrated into tearing away the petals of a flower one by one. You turned around towards Sirius who was already looking at you. You felt your cheeks burn a little when he did not look away which made him laugh, revealing his white teeth and his dimples.  He was a handsome young man, really, and you never knew if you just found him attracive or if it was something more. Anyway, you came back to reality when James showed up, back from his Quidditch session. A proud smile could be seen on his face as per usual, and it grew even bigger when a bunch of Gryffindor girls passing by stared at him like he was a piece of art, or a piece of meat. It always made Sirius giggle but Lily just rolled her eyes every single time.


« Did you mess your hair up on purpose again just so you can look like some Quidditch rock star ? » suggested Remus, looking quite amused. 

« You’ll be authorized to criticize my hair when your furry little problem will be solved, Moony chéri. » teased James, winking before he spoke again while turning around « Let’s get started folks, why don’t we let the Lilliputian try first. »


Eveybody laughed, James flirting with Lily was the funniest thing ever, especially when he came up with these strange nicknames but you had to admit that for once it wasn’t so bad. She stood up, pointing her wand towards him which caused him to slightly move to the side.


« In fact I’m two months older than you Potter, show me some respect. » Remus, Peter and Sirius giggled while James seemed outraged, but before he could come back with anything Lily exclaimed, her wand pointing to the sky « Expecto patronum ! »


You held your breath just like the others while slowly but very clearly, from the tip of her wand, a bright silvery light started to burst before fading out. She tried again multiple times with James giving her advices and finally, a tall and gracious doe was running in the air, following the rythm of Lily’s laugh. Her green eyes were wide opened, she seemed proud and happier than ever. You all applauded, Peter even took a bow.


« It’s strange, isn’t it ? Your patronus is a doe and Potter’s one is a deer. If it isn’t a sign, I don’t know what it is. » teased Sirius, winking to Lily. Her cheeks turned bright red before she exlaimed « Simple coincidence, that won’t make me go out with you any sooner Potter. »


Finally you formed little groups, James and Lily stayed together, Sirius was with Peter and Remus with you. This way, the others didn’t pay attention to the fact that Moony wasn’t really trying to practice and he was pleased about it. You tried to remember all the informations your teacher gave you this morning, and took a deep breath. You hoped it would work but as Lily said again and again, it was a difficult spell and it was normal if you didn’t succeed on your first tries. For what felt like an hour you persisted, repeating the two little words again and again, sometimes managing to produce a little shiny light at the end of your wand. But no animal, nothing. Frustrated you sighed noisily, which caught the attention of Remus, Sirius and Peter. The two others seemed too busy arguing about who-knows-what, and anyway they did not really need to practice anymore. Seeing your disappointment, Sirius smiled softly before suggesting to the boys to train together and that he would help you. After all if that did not work so well that way, you could try.


« I can’t do it either, you know. Maybe it’s because you distract me. » he suggested, teasing you once more with a grin on his face.

« That’s not funny Sirius. » you whined, a pout on your lips.


He looked at them for a bit too long before coming back at your eyes. Finally he stood behind you, his chest pressed against your back. You were thankful he was behind, at least he couldn’t see your burning cheeks but it wasn’t finished yet because you could now feel his strong hand taking yours, holding your wand with you while the other one was placed on your hip. Your heart was racing and you were probably shaking too because he laughed soflty, speaking soflty.


« Maybe you’re not thinking about your happiest memory. Close you eyes, the first one to come to your mind is probably the good one, focus on it. »


Even if his body pressed against yours and his breath crashing on the thin skin of your neck did not help you at all, his soft and low voice was relaxing and you now thought of nothing else. You no longer heard the sound of the wind in the trees, nor the murmur of the water of the lake, you did not see your friends staring at you a little farther : it was his voice and his body near you that occupied all your mind. You closed your eyes as he had suggested, and with trembling lips you pronounced the two words « Expecto patronum. » You opened your eyes slowly, just in time to see a magnificent light spraying out, more powerful than what you had managed to do until then. It grew larger, Sirius’s hand still held yours and guided the movements of your wand.
After a few seconds, you saw it. In front of you stood a brilliant, tall and perfectly formed dog. But it was not a common dog, you had seen this one several times already and you recognized it immediately. You understood that Sirius did too when you felt his fingers release your hand smoothly and his body move back slowly. Your concentration broke and the big dog disappeared. You did not dare to turn around, both shocked and mute, because you finally knew what your patronus was. And it was him. It was Padfoot.



You stood there, sitting on your bed without knowing what to do or even what to think. After the events of the afternoon you quickly ran away, stammering that you did not feel well and that you were going to rest. But everyone had seen the same thing as you, and everyone knew that your patronus was none other than Sirius Black himself, or at least his animagus form. You tried to convince yourself that it was just a simple dog, but you knew what you saw. Maybe it didn’t mean anything at all, maybe it did. It probably did. Sirius and you had been friends for years and even though he liked to tease you all day long, it had never been more than a platonic relationship. As you kept thinking about this, images started to come to your mind. The day you met, how funny you found him, yet annoying. The first time you sat together in class, and how you spent the hour drawing stupid things on each other’s books. That time in 4th year when he punched a guy who insulted you, and definitely got a detention for it. When one of his pranks hurt you and he brought you chocolate and flowers to make it up. The time he hugged you so tight after Gryffindor won the house cup that you thought he was going to choke you. Maybe he wasn’t just a friend after all, and it took you a couple of years and a patronus to realize it. A knock on your door made you lift your head up, the person did not let you any time to answer and entered the room.


« Can I come in ? » asked the black haired boy.
« A bit too late to ask, isn’t it ? »


Sirius did not answer, he just closed the door leaving you both alone in the dorm. He sat next to you, your knees barely touching, but not a word was said. You looked at the floor for a few seconds before you saw him turning his head to you from the corner of your eye. Slowly, you looked at him too, your heart skipping a beat when you met his dark grey eyes.


« Why did you leave earlier ? You missed something, we learnt that Peter’s patronus is a mole. »
« You know why I left. » you said, smiling slightly at the end.
« You don’t have to be embarassed about it. » he shrugged « But I have to admit that I thought it would be something else. »
« Like what ? »
« A penguin. »


You scoffed, clearly not especting that answer. Sirius looked at you curiously, he didn’t seem to understand why you were chuckling but he still smiled when he heard your laugh.


« What ? They’re cute and funny, everyone likes penguins. » he smirked.
« Nope, you’re probably the only person to fancy penguins that much. »
« Well I don’t try to hide it. You shouldn’t either. »


His last words were whispered in your ear before he placed a soft kiss on your shoulder. You knew what he meant, and you couldn’t act as if the butterflies flying in your stomach weren’t here. He bent down to give you another kiss, on the cheek this time, but the weight of his body made you both fall back on the bed. You laughed as he found himself lying on top of you and for the first time since you met him, you saw a light shade of red on his cheeks. You stayed like this before he kissed your forehead, and then your nose. You smiled and he looked at your lips, and back at your eyes again. Your hands made their way to the back of his neck as he brushed your lips with his own, without ever pressing them together. Your heartbeating probably echoed throughout the entire room, or maybe it was his own. He smirked again when he saw the look full of frustration and desire you gave him, biting his lip and kissing the corner of your lips and then your cheek, before whispering in your ear again.

« I always knew you were a dog person. »

And after that he finally pressed his lips against yours, tenderly, as if you were the most precious thing in the world.

anyway nu'est have been consistently sabotaged by pledis throughout their entire career. they took a group with a massively successful debut that had a strong anti-bullying message (which BTW is STILL more successful than both exo’s mama and b.a.p’s warrior, their contemporaries) and they let them rot. for 3+ years pledis used them as guinea pigs for their promotional ideas that all ended in failure. they gave them inconsistent and throwaway korean comebacks, let them promote endlessly in Japan which while successful, distanced them from where their fanbase began, they debuted nu'est-m for the chinese market with another member who was never heard from again while the subunit dissolved with absolutely nothing concrete to show for it. THEN, in year 5, they actually invest the time into nu'est, giving them solid comebacks that fit with their overall and unique sound and succeeded in bringing back their fanbase, getting them to 2nd place on a music show which only foreshadowed their long-awaited commercial success should they continue and then THIS MESS happens. this produce 101 mess. 5 years and they take this seasoned group and put them on a survival show to debut alongside trainees for a temporary group I’m so???????? what outcome do they expect from this? the writing is on the wall that all the members who compete are going to be criticized, if not mocked, for being reduced to trainees nearly 6 years after debut. that or being called cheaters for already having a fanbase upon entering. they’re halting nu'est’s promotions, which were finally going right and for what? to separate the group? to make them compete directly against each other? really where does nu'est go from here if some of their members debut in a temporary group? or the alternative, they don’t make the group at all and the separation was for nothing but to hurt the group’s image to suggest that a makeshift group with a 1-year expiration date is more appealing career wise. I literally can’t even dream up a way that this makes sense. part of me wishes nu'est just would have left pledis and whether stayed together or not, given these talented guys a fighting chance for their careers. the kicker? pledis KNOWS how to promote groups, i.e., SVT. They gave them opportunities for years before debut to gain a fanbase, they’re regularly promoted, they participate in variety and reality shows that benefit their careers and gain fans. granted, svt are a self-produced group and really most of the work falls on them, but JEEZ promotionally, we’re comparing successful, thoughtful promotions with a LITERAL mess within the same company. I can’t help but think pledis purposely ran nu'est into the ground to focus on their 13 member supergroup. I mean we can see where their focus is, also letting their girl group after school fade to nothing after the substantial impact they left on the entire music scene AND letting orange caramel go when they too were on the brink of a breakthrough and that’s a tangent but at the crux of it SVT really deserve everything, they’re hardworking and great people and you just want to see them reach the very top but nu'est deserved just the same and anyway I’m bitter. 

TLDR: nu'est are actually contestants in pledis’ game called “just how far can we run a successful and talented group straight into the ground?”

Talks Machina - Live from WonderCon Highlights
  • Denise message: “One push of a button and this all comes crashing down.”
  • “I am your host for this afternoon, Affordable Chris Hardwick.”
  • Sam sings Britney Spears on command.
  • Asked what they were most surprised by: Matt talks about how surprised he was at the positivity in the community, Laura was surprised at all the sexy-time art, Sam was surprised that three fan babies (thus far) have been named after Liam and wants to emphasize that Sam is a great name as well, Liam was surprised at the number of new D&D games people have started playing.
  • Matt emphasizes the importance of the back-and-forth inherent in the online platform, so that it’s not just one-sided content production, because that’s what they wanted to avoid when agreeing to do the show.
  • Travis: “Once we got used to the random-ass cameras in the room, we just kept doing our thing.”
  • Sam: “But we always did blame Keyleth, even in the home game. Kept that consistent.”
  • Laura on the show: “It’s getting to hang out with our family every single week.”
  • Laura gets pre-show jitters every time before the show. Matt: “Don’t even talk about pre-show jitters to me, guys.” He’s generally freaking out for a full hour before each game.
  • “Some people walk out to the ring with hardcore metal music. We just yell profanities at our DM before starting.”
  • Liam is distracted mid-answer when Sam and Laura start messing with his hair.
  • Liam: “We’re not faking it, we weren’t cast. These are the closest people in my life, and they helped me work through some shit on stage, and it’s one of the greatest gifts in my life.”
  • Liam: “We are role models.” Laura: “We’re the worst.” Travis: “We’re Seal Team 6, shut up.”
  • Matt re: hellish contract-signing: “I absolutely love everything you do that is a poor choice. It fills me with such joy and inspiration.”
  • Travis: “We don’t plan on doing anything good.” Brian: “Or anything well.”
  • Sam talks about how scary and exciting it was to start playing a new character after everyone had been playing these characters for five years.
  • Everyone has some trouble with the WonderCon “some of your audience may be under 18 so be careful with your language” policy. Brian: “…I said the F-word in the introduction.”
  • Brian: “In the nearly 100 episodes of this show, there have been many, many guest stars, but would you say this one was… the first Noelle?”
  • Matt re: Rothfuss. “Yeah, the guy can write. He should write a book. Maybe a third book.”
  • Marisha: “[Keyleth]’s always gonna put her foot in her mouth at least once a week.” Travis: “And get arrested at least once a year?” Marisha: “…Yeah.”
  • Taliesin: “Percy will never stop pretending he doesn’t have anger issues.”
  • Liam: “Vax will probably always jump in front of trains to protect his family.”
  • Laura: “Vex will probably always hold grudges, and she’ll always wanna get naked in random situations. And she’ll always love Trinket.”
  • Marisha and Taliesin both don’t want to multiclass and are aiming to get to level 20. Sam? “I mean, I just asked Matt what multiclass meant.”
  • Matt wants someone to draw VM sitting in the City of Dis saying “This is fine.”
  • Matt on Vex failing persuasion checks: “Roll higher.”
  • The entire cast desperately wants Lin-Manuel Miranda to guest on the game now that he’s played some D&D.
  • The attack on Emon was one of Matt’s favorite moments as a DM.
  • Dream guests: Stephen Colbert, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Sam: “It would be nice to have the entire cast of Cats.” The Stranger Things kids. Dame Judy Dench, now that she knows how to play.
  • Laura and Sam get into a Trinket vs. Doty debate.
  • Marisha on Matt: “Every time he gets a new Dwarven Forge set, he plays house.” “It’s practicing.”
  • Sam has actually sat down to write a little bit of Taryon’s book.
  • Matt discusses the finer points of litigation in the Nine Hells.
  • Matt and Sam are meeting this week to figure out what Scanlan’s been doing while all everything has been happening.
Beautiful - Jughead Jones

xfightxthexfairiesx said:

Could you maybe do a jughead x reader where betty and veronica want the reader to tryout for cheerleading with them but shes to self concious too because she think shes not pretty or skinny enough to be one. Then maybe jughead tells her how he thinks she beautiful and society tries to make everyone think they have to look like a supermodel to be pretty. If there can be alot of fluff that would be great. And then she decides to try out and she makes the team. Thanks

Originally posted by thejugheadjones


This was so fun to write! I just wanted to say before you start reading that if you are struggling with your looks, gender, sexuality and that makes you feel bad, everyone is going through this too. Some have made it through it already and some are still struggling. If you need to talk to someone you can message me. You’re wonderful.

It started as a joke, something you would’ve never done unless it was in some hypothetical universe where you just weren’t you. Where you weren’t ugly or fat, instead where you were skinny and beautiful. There were unspoken rules that cheerleaders had to be the best of the best; beyond pretty and gorgeous. The whole idea of joining seemed impossible, but with Veronica and Betty breathing down your neck, it was hard to say ‘no’. So you didn’t, instead you just avoided the two girls all day. Somehow you managed this feat and made it through the day without joining the cheerleading squad. Granted, the tryouts weren’t until tomorrow so you would have yet another day of avoiding your friends.

When school ended, you went straight home and didn’t dare move from your room in the fear your friends would see you out and about. With boredom nipping at your heels, you found yourself thinking about your looks, then criticizing your figure in the mirror. Too big there, too jiggly here, you started to judge every limb and appendage. At first, you didn’t even notice the tears in your eyes, until one started to roll down your cheek. You quickly wiped it anyway, marking down another thing you hated about yourself: too sensitive. You weren’t as strong or as stunning as the celebrities on the internet and the TV screens, no, you were just below average you. Before anymore poisonous thoughts could enter your brain, you heard your phone go off. You walked over to your desk where it was and saw that it was your neighbor, Jughead Jones. You felt a sense of relief that it wasn’t Veronica or Betty.

Jughead : Hey can I come over? I don’t understand this geometry homework.

You : Sure, but I don’t know how much help I’ll be.

Jughead : Okay, be there in two.

You turned towards your window and saw Jughead leaving his room in the house across from yours. His family had lived in the house across from yours as long as you could remember. You had been friends since the first grade, when the Jones’ family moved in. You walked back over to the mirror and an horrid idea struck you. From this angle, Jughead could’ve had the perfect view to see you standing in front of the mirror, to see how upset you were. A pit grew in your stomach as you heard your front door open a shut, followed by the sound of Jughead running up your stairs.

You turned as your friend opened the door, barely making eye contact. You noticed his hands were empty and your heart fell. “Where’s your Geometry book?” You asked hopefully, trying to pretend that there was a chance he didn’t see you judging yourself in the mirror. You glanced up from his hands and saw his steady gaze. “Do you really think about my Geometry homework?” You swallowed at his words and your shoulders sagged. “There are these things,” he started, walking over to your window, “called curtains, that if you want to judge yourself in private you can just…” He reached up and gently pulled on one of your curtains, blocking the view of his bedroom window. “I wasn’t, I was just,” you stumbled over your words.

“I overheard the new girl trying to convince to join the Riverdale Vixens,” he said, faking school spirit by waving his hands with minimal effort. “I assume, you and your mirror were having a conversation about it.” You knew that there was no fooling Jughead, he could read you like a book. No lie could cover your bad self image and he wouldn’t buy it anyway. “I’m not pretty enough,” you whispered, feeling tears in the corners of your eyes. Jughead took a step towards you, leaning down to look into your face, “Say again?” You almost started to sob, “Jug, please don’t,” but your friend wasn’t having it. He placed his hands on your shoulders, slowly turning you to look into the mirror. “Now,” he murmured in your ear, “say it again.” You stared at your reflection, studying the features that you so hated. You were about to say it, but with Jughead looking at you with those eyes, you just couldn’t. You felt his hands travel from your shoulders, down your arms, and to your waist where they wrapped around your middle. You back rested against his chest and he rested his chin on top of your head. “You are so beautiful Y/N. Nothing can worth changing yourself for.” You turned in his arms to face him now and felt your cheeks grow hot at the closeness, “Jug…” He was just staring at you now, mesmerized by every detail.

“You’re so lovely, don’t let the world make you think you’re not,” his hand was on the side of your face, with his fingers in your hair. He was so utterly taken by your grace, he had been since grade school. It was killing him that you didn’t see yourself as he did and he was desperate to make you see it; but now wasn’t the time. He backed away a little, pulling his hand away from your face, “You should try out, you’ll blow them away Y/N.” You snapped out of your puppy-love induced daze and nodded. “T-thank you, Jug. I will.” He gave you a bright smile that met his green eyes. He opened his mouth once more, most likely to mention your shared moment, but he phone started to ring. He picked it out of his pocket and scowled at the screen. “I gotta go,” he said, walking towards the door, “but I’ll see you at the game, and you’ll be in a snazzy uniform.” You let out a laugh as he walked out of the room. When he was gone, you let out a sigh With a renewed sense of confidence, you texted Veronica and Betty.

You : I’ll be seeing you both at tryouts tomorrow, yes?

Veronica : Hell yes!

Betty : This is going to be so fun.


You paced around near the bleachers, pulling your jacket more securely around your shoulders and chest. Jughead had texted you a few hours before the game saying that he’d be near the right side of the bleachers. You stopped your pacing and looked out at the field, wondering if you needed to move. You almost screamed when someone put their hand on your shoulder. “Am I that scary?”

You turned and smiled at Jughead, who wore a playful expression. “How’d tryouts go, you never told me?” He asked with raised eyebrows. You bit your bottom lip, giving him a sly smile. “Did you not-” you cut him off by pulling the sides of your over sized jacket away from your body. He smiled when he saw the cheerleading uniform, “See what did I tell ya!”   

You blushed but before you could say anything you heard a whistle go off. “I believe that’s your que, River Vixen.” You gave him another smile and was about to walked away when you spun around. You faced Jughead, planting a hand on his face, pulling him in. Your lips met softly, but as soon as he put a hand to your waist, the kiss became frenzied. You pulled away breathless but smiling widely, “I’ll see you after the game, Jughead.” You murmured and Jughead just nodded dumbly. “See you later, beautiful.” He said and your felt a blush rise to your cheeks. You walked away then, leaving a smile on Jughead’s face.

musicalluna  asked:

in the early days, steve doesn't realize the avengers care about him a lot because they are vastly different people with vastly different socialization than the commandos, but then something happens to him in a fight and the avengers collectively flip their lids and that is how he learns he is Very Important to them

Steve had never been a stranger to friendly teasing. Bucky was a little shit, of course, but so were the Commandos. He’d been called every moniker that popped into his friends’ brains: “Captain Tightpants” (long before it was a cultural reference, thank you very much), “Captain Mom,” “Twinkle Toes,” “All-American Showgirl,” “Blushing Betty,” and names far more filthy. But he’d understood why. He was the commanding officer and he was, when it came down to it, a greenie who got damn lucky 95% of the time. Dugan, Dernier, Falsworth, even Bucky, they all would have been infinitely more qualified to be CO, and so he knew where the teasing was coming from. He knew it was his men’s way of telling him they cared for him while keeping his ego in check. (Bucky could’ve told them Steve was a good enough self-critic as it was and they all could just damn well stick to the dancing references.)

The Avengers, though. Steve had no idea what to think of the way they spoke to him.

Keep reading

Essays in Existentialism: Footy

International Soccer Player Star Lexa au is and forever will be my dream

The heat rolled off of the pavement in the afternoon. Stagnant and ornery, it listlessly bullied everyone in the streets until they were just as uncomfortable and oppressed, just as mad, just as sweaty and tired and beat up like the harsh summer day. The bustle of the street didn’t stop though, despite the heat, despite the heaviness. Instead, people milled about as best the could, fanning themselves with their hands or papers or ducking into stores, eating ice cream, and failing against nature itself.

Keep reading

The Lost Legacy of Doom’s Hitscan Enemies

I’m dancing. My feet follow no pattern and make no sound as I glide effortlessly over the terrain, but the rhythm of the Super Shotgun guides my every move. I weave to and fro among the soaring fireballs and scything claws, spotting opportunities, darting near and far, catching hellspawn in efficient point-blank bursts of scattershot. Boom, click, ker-chunk. Boom, click, ker-chunk. Boom, click, ker-chunk. Somewhere in the back of my head, I’m dimly aware of the familiar noise of a pneumatic door sliding open, barely audible above a tinny MIDI rendition of ‘Fear Of The Dark’. It’s catchier than you’d think.

Somebody roars. I’ve heard the sound enough times to recognise it as a ‘somebody’. Startled, I pivot to catch sight of the new assailants: two heavyset bald men, cradling imposingly large guns, furious piggy eyes as red as their bulky chestplates. Chaingunners. Before I can close the distance, they open fire, tearing an abundance of new holes in my circle-strafing, road-running backside. I put them out of action, but the damage is done. Was that a fair exchange? It’s not as if I could’ve outpaced their shots. Are they a fun enemy design in this, the most famous of all famously fast-paced first-person shooter? My kneejerk response is ‘no’, but Doom—because of course, it’s Doom—is a lot smarter than it seems.

Few games can claim to have lived as long and as healthily as Doom. Of course, it’s had the unwavering support of a community on its side, constantly tweaking and touching-up and doing everything in their power to stop the wrinkles under its eyes from showing, but its simple formula and flexible combat were always going to hold up well against the test of time. Doom has influenced the design of the modern first-person shooter in more ways than I could possibly articulate, with a little bit of DNA in everything from ARMA to Ziggurat, and yet… I feel there are one or two lessons from it that never quite caught on.

See, the concept of the ‘old-school’ first-person shooter, while not especially formally defined, is very much a thing. We’ve seen bits of it in the likes of Painkiller, Strafe, Tower of Guns, Dusk, Desync, Devil Daggers, and yes, even Doom 2016: games that buck dominant design patterns to focus on swift, streamlined, evasive movement, and a host of enemies that force you to make the most of that movement. Out of style, but by no means out of their depth, these games take after Doom more than most, but no matter how much they borrow from it, there’s one particular feature that many seem to skirt around. Something regarded almost with a kind of hushed, ‘we don’t talk about that’ shame, like the uncle at the family get-together who isn’t allowed to leave the country for reasons that nobody’s quite sure of. Hitscan enemies, a regular staple of Doom’s encounters, have near-vanished from the contemporary games that bear closest resemblance to it. What happened?

Well, at a glance, they do seem to clash with the desired experience. Doomguy can outrun a lot of things—many of which need at least fifty supervised hours logged before you can operate them independently—but he cannot outrun bullets, nor buckshot. You can’t dodge a hitscan enemy’s attacks by just going fast; the nature of Doom means that they take no time to pivot and have impeccable aim, other than the inherent spread patterns of their weapons. Your only recourse, it would seem, is to get out of range—a bit of a tall order, in most scenarios—or to take cover, which sounds like it would go directly against the fast, exciting experience of running around with the wind in your hair and a rocket launcher under your arm. ‘Cover’ is a dirty word; one that brings to mind hunkering behind a chest-high wall, plinking away at a succession of targets and crawling out only when a grenade gets tossed into your lap. To be in cover implies one is at rest, without any of the spatial analysis, fast-paced action or thrilling escapes that characterise the rest of the combat. You can see this stigma manifest frequently in retro first-person shooters, which often come hand-in-hand with the attitude that cover is for babies, and charging blindly into battle with your enormous, impenetrable testicles hanging out on display is the only acceptable combat strategy for ‘real men’. You could probably write a hefty tome about how unhealthy pulp action-hero masculinity has seeped through various layers of media and eventually pooled, like a discarded half-finished McDonalds’ thickshake, in nooks and crannies of gaming obscurity, but that’s a discussion for another time.

The thing is, Doom itself doesn’t actually work that way. In fact, it does a number of things to ensure that hitscan enemies don’t stifle the player’s movement, but instead add an extra set of considerations and trade-offs, forcing them to look at the play space—and when and where they position themselves in it—in a more nuanced manner. Like most of the ingredients that go into a first-person shooter, the way Doom’s hitscan enemies work is subject to its encounter design—a surprisingly diverse field, as custom WADs frequently demonstrate—but there are a few qualities to them you can count on in every sensible encounter.

Let’s break this down, piece by piece. Of the five enemy types in the first two Doom games with hitscan attacks, the three most common ones by a large margin are the ‘former humans’: undead soldiers who utilise conventional firearms—provided your definition of ‘conventional’ extends to a portable belt-fed chain gun, I suppose—and have all the durability of a cardboard cutout of Master Chief that somebody left out in the rain overnight. Upon noticing the player, they give a suitably enraged bellow and enter their attack routine: move, pause, shoot (if possible), repeat.

This pattern gives us time. Like a fireball whistling through the air, it gives us a chance to handle our predicament by reacting and moving quickly. It only takes an undead sergeant a few tenths of a second to level his shotgun barrel at yougive or take a bit of bumbling around, as they are wont to do—but in the world of Doom, it’s enough to at least start on a decisive manoeuvre. Doomguy runs quickly enough that you can very likely put something between yourself and your foe before they fire—it doesn’t even have to be a wall; other monsters serve perfectly well—and since the poor daft AI has no concept of suppressing fire, you need only be behind it for the split-second it takes them to return to their ‘move’ state. Consequentially, cover is less about clinging to the warm, comforting bosom of a solid wall and more about rapidly, momentarily repositioning yourself when the situation demands it; diving around corners, circling pillars, making use of the nearest solid thing in a pinch and immediately darting back out again. Taking cover is every bit as much about clever, well-timed movement as circle-strafing a pack of imps, and to be honest, probably demands far more split-second decision-making.

Another quality that’s critical to the success of the former humans is their relative squishiness: you can usually count on a single shotgun blast to put one out of action, and even glancing shots are likely to interrupt their routines long enough to buy some extra breathing room. A crowd can be swiftly dealt with by just raking a chain gun across their ranks—conveniently, the exact weapon dropped by the strongest former human, the Chaingunner—and pointing anything bigger at them is usually outright wasteful. This is key because it means that they’re only a very short-term threat—or, in larger battles where they’re mixed up with other enemies, only a threat for as long as you ignore them. Ducking behind a pillar once to evade a sergeant’s buckshot is a rush, but having to go through the same motion two or three times is stagnation. By letting you remove the former humans from the fight almost as quickly as they appear, Doom lets you quickly lift the restrictions they impose and expand the space where you can freely move, ensuring you’re never tied to one piece of cover or trapped in some godforsaken alcove.

But not every hitscan enemy in Doom goes down so easily, does it, hmm? I’m going to gently refuse to acknowledge the Spider Mastermind—a rare, highly-situational boss that squats unpleasantly at the end of the first game like a cane toad under the wheels of your dad’s Hilux—and instead concentrate on the notorious Arch-vile, whose pale, emaciated, lanky form is enough to set off half a dozen panic alarms in any Martian marine’s head. It’s everything the former humans aren’t: fast, durable, and capable of suddenly blasting half your health clean off from the far side of a munitions bay—to say nothing of its ability to revive fallen monsters, unravelling your work more and more the longer you leave it standing. Crucially, however, while the Arch-vile makes for a more persistent and punishing threat than the former humans, it also gives us much more time to work with. It takes about three full seconds of dramatic posing for an Arch-vile to wind up its hitscan attack—a pillar of infernal fire that explodes around its target—and once again, you are only required to actually duck behind something for the split-second when the attack connects to avoid taking damage. 

Consequentially, while our vitamin D-deficient friend does rather firmly, briefly force players into hiding, it also affords us the opportunity to stretch our legs and take nontrivial actions in between its attacks, giving it a distinctly different effect to Doom’s other hitscan enemies. Between every Arch-vile’s attack, there’s time enough to dart around the immediate area, change cover, take care of some lesser enemies, or—most likely—run up to it and empty both barrels into its repulsive mug. At an abstract level, the Arch-vile clamps down on the player by forcing them to be out of certain zones at certain times, but doesn’t make those zones inherently damaging to cross, like a crowd of former humans does.

Putting everything back together, Doom’s hitscan enemies are designed not to eliminate movement, but to carefully squeeze it; to force the player to take action, moving along vectors towards positions of safety. Restrictions on where in the combat space you can safely be are what make Doom’s fights engaging, and the restrictions that hitscan enemies provide are every bit as important to your positioning as a Revenant’s homing rocket or an Imp’s tossed fireball—they just take a different approach. Yet they’re also designed to ensure you’re never required to linger at your destination a moment longer than necessary, either by being easy to remove from the battlefield, or by only periodically applying their particular brand of pressure. Like every enemy in the game’s toolbox, they can be abused and used outside of their ideal roles—take a peek at The Plutonia Experiment, half of Final Doom, for some truly breathtakingly rude Chaingunner placement—but their basic principles are every bit as valuable as their peers.

Doom will force you to move, but it will never force you to stay. And that’s the philosophy that every first-person shooter should be built on, really.

Talks Machina Highlights: Episodes 95/96
  • This week’s Denise message: ominous stylized symbol that reads “FREE”.
  • Laura does the splits before the show starts.
  • Everyone judges Travis for not reading the Dark Tower series.
  • Denise has moved on to a new job (and is indeed a real person, the technical director of the show). Also has her own twitch: twitch.tv/denisebrr!
  • VM appeared to deal 413 damage to the entity. Even Doty’s natural one “appeared to” hit it.
  • Fenthras got exalted! New things: Bramble Shot can be used twice, and the Oracle Shot can be used twice. 1d6 rather than 1d4 lightning damage.
  • Grog lost interest in the Slayer’s Take pretty rapidly because it was pretty unsatisfying. He wanted to fight a dragon or a stone giant.
  • Ashley was excited but a little nervous and feeling the pressure to jump into a Pike arc after being gone for so long.
  • Back in the home game, Travis wrote the longest character backstory of any of them.
  • Brian on what you’re missing by not watching TM: “Travis getting boogers pulled out of his eye by his wife on live television.”
  • Vex really likes Tary as a roomie because Doty did some housekeeping, because he was always ready to talk a lot, and because he made her stuff. Vex is also drawn toward people who have suffered or are outcasts in some way, so once she found out he was outcast from his family, she wanted to protect him.
  • Grog still misses Scanlan, to the point where if Vax pulls a prank on him, he might just let it go instead of jumping gleefully into retaliation.
  • Laura had several chances to find the grey render baby over the year off, and she rolled poorly every time. A lot of them rolled poorly during the prep at Matt’s house.
  • Brian has adopted and expanded on Laura’s dice habits, including the dice jail. Travis: “Or it’s just… dice.” Laura: “NO SOME OF THEM ARE CURSED”
  • Everyone talks about how fangirlish Ashley and Laura would be if Sara Bareilles were on the show. Ashley gets nervous just talking about the time they got to meet her.
  • VM-themed Slayer’s Cake stuff: Profiterollo, Bad News bear claws, sun treats, blondies for Tary, angel food cake, honeyed fun buns, do-you-spice cake. Brian suggests a meat-man pie. Victor’s coffee cake, Kern bread.
  • Grog thinks the Deck of Many Things is actually The Deck of Fucking Awesome Love and Amazing Weapons.
  • Ashley had to roll to have Pike become number 2 in the Crucible!
  • Travis and Ashley both had to roll to teach Grog to read.
  • It took Tary five months to enchant the armor for Vex, working every day. In return, she stuck around with him and kept him company every day. They bonded a lot over that year!
  • Nobody really has any plans to go back to Greyskull. Pike and Grog decide they’re gonna turn it into a treehouse.
  • To Grog, Tary is just sort of there. “I need him to fight more. And better.” He needs to get a cool HDYWTDT.
  • Vex thought Scanlan was right about some things, but believes that his leaving wasn’t justified. Vex is way closer to Tary than she was with Scanlan, but she’d still rather have Scanlan to rely on in battle.
  • Now Pike’s just as tempted as Grog to draw a card from the Deck.
  • Pike’s mom was completely fine with Wilhand leaving with her so that it was one less mouth to feed. The other characters were Matt expanding on Ashley’s overall outline.
  • The twins didn’t have the ability to do big scams (they didn’t have magic!), but they mostly survived by stealing and then selling at the next down over.
  • Ashley thinks Pike feels worse about her family betraying her than she would’ve felt if the curse had been real. Laura points out that if they hadn’t noticed the illusion, the whole thing could’ve played out and they never would’ve known.
  • Travis and Ashley mostly didn’t suspect an illusion until Laura pointed it out; they thought it was gonna be a distraction from the real monster. Laura figured something was weird right when it was cast, and immediately figured it out when nobody could hit it.
  • Ashley was really torn between what she would’ve done in the situation and what Pike would’ve done; she dialed back her anger to keep in-character. Ashley whispered to Travis: “Maybe we should make [Ogden] pick a card.”
  • Grog would’ve been a lot less merciful towards the Trickfoots; nobody messes with Pike on his watch.
  • Vex thinks of Pike’s response to the whole situation as something she’d want to aspire to.

Talks Machine in the Dark:

  • +2 AC on Vex’s dragon-hide armor, automatically has cold resistance, and doesn’t have to be attuned.
  • Travis tries (and fails) his Chewbacca impression.
  • Ashley attempts a Christopher Walken impression. Ashley: “Nope, I lost it.” Brian: “I don’t know if you had it.”
  • Matt buttdialed Brian at Ren Faire and it went to voicemail, so Brian is working on editing and enhancing the four minutes of audio he got from that.
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn was the one who married Laura and Travis, and they did a sort of “renewal of vows” at Ren Faire.
  • Grog isn’t really scared of much besides Kevdak.
  • Pike gave her family ~6,000 gold at the end.
  • Cake or pie? Travis: pie. Laura: cake. Ashley: …shit. (She settles on pie.) Brian prefers cake.
  • Someone asks: If Grog had to give up weapons, ale, or Pike, which would he give up? He’d give up ale. Travis didn’t even hesitate.
  • Ashley doesn’t think Pike would’ve turned out like the other Trickfoots if she’d stayed with them. She’d already started to show signs of being different and having experiences as a cleric, which is why Wilhand took her out of there.
  • Ashley and Laura both dream as their characters. Travis doesn’t really dream much. “It’s ‘cause my life is a dream, girl.”
  • Ashley dreams half the group are just themselves and half are their characters in some fantasy setting. Laura sometimes dreams of having the flying dream IRL. Brian had his first D&D dream last night. “I was Vax as fuck. I Jenga’d hard.”

anonymous asked:

can I request some Jean headcanons?? just lil facts abt my son pls ? thank u for ur time 💋

OKAY this got away from me bye

  • jean moreau is very tall and carries himself with put-on pride that bled over from his time with the ravens. if he ever hunched over in riko’s presence, well - riko is dead, and no one is around to bring it up anymore
  • despite popular belief, he wears black because it suits his image, not because it’s habit. it’s one thing he and andrew minyard share, not that either of them recognise that or would react well if someone pointed it out
  • his favourite colours are a deep forest green and silver-grey, which also sneak into his wardrobe in places (jumpers, shirts, ties, and the silver spinner ring renee gifts him halfway through his second month in california) 
  • he’s utterly unselfconscious about his scars, and the trojans learn very fucking quickly to never bring them up because he’ll snarl at them for prying. if they happen to look pitying, he’ll break something of theirs. like their face
  • the first few months, he spends a lot of time thinking he’s dead because he can’t quite believe it, even having been to the funeral. riko’s a ghost he can’t shake, haunting him during the day out of the corner of his eye in every flash of black, sometimes seeping into his dreams at night to torture him all over again
  • coach rhemann picks him up from the airport when he first arrives, and they have a very quiet week together where jean reads so much rhemann makes a joke about him being an academic rather than an athlete. jean doesn’t laugh, but rhemann didn’t expect him to
  • (he and his new head coach end up having a good relationship, once they’re over the first rough patches. jean was worried he wouldn’t be able to respect a man who hadn’t produced a champs-winning team in his tenure, the same way he thought he’d feel about the team itself, but instead he ends up respecting rhemann for his brisk kindness and refusal to give in to jean’s initial attitude)
  • (rhemann, quietly, thinks the first month that he’ll have to make alternative arrangements for jean, that he’ll never be a good fit for the team. fortunately, the trojans step in to stop that from happening)
  • jean and jeremy met long before jeremy flew out with rhemann to Palmetto to sign their newest player, but when jeremy arrives back on campus it’s like they’re meeting for the first time all over again. jeremy is really excited to see him. jeremy is really excited about everything, apparently. 
  • laila and alvarez are the next arrivals. laila is critical of jean from the get-go, and they’re a little similar in their seriousness, but alvarez is determined from the start to befried jean
  • (it works because part of it is that she thinks they’ll be unstoppable as defensive partners, and she tells jean this straight off of the bat. it’s the kind of reasoning jean can get behind)
  • the rest of the trojans are a blur of faces and names, too much enthusiasm for jean to really deal with. he hides the fact he’s overwhelmed with carelessness and a little bit of cruelty at first, feeling like a broken bird hunkered down amongst them as they chatter and jostle each other
  • none of the trojans are prepared for jean when he joins their practices at first - he’s silent amongst them, and so fucking fast their goalkeepers’ workloads are suddenly halved in scrimmage
  • it’s exciting but unnerving. jeremy is meant to be the one to take jean in hand and turn him into a team player, but he mostly leaves it to the girls because they’re better at it. it’s not like he doesn’t know jean had a complicated relationship with his last captain
  • they end up getting along anyway - jean likes jeremy’s stubborn determination and the ferocity that walks hand-in-hand with his bright good cheer. jeremy appreciates jean’s skill and honesty, even if he thinks jean could tone down the bad attitude at times. he also thinks jean has a nice ass, but that’s beside the point
  • their first game together, the trojans win. jeremy makes jean a deal as a joke that he’ll take him out for ice cream if he doesn’t earn a red card. jean raises an eyebrow and tells him that he hopes jeremy promises the entire team the same. jeremy says it’s only fair, and yells through the stadium lounge that it’s a deal
  • their first season, they steal the championship trophy from the foxes, and jean gets to look kevin day in the eye for the first time in a long while with the knowledge that this one thing, at least, he’s won
  • (jeremy buys him that ice cream. all the others, too. it’s only fair)
  • alvarez shows jean how to be a proper partner. laila and the others teach him what it means to be part of the team. all of them together watch him paste himself back together, come back stronger for it like he’s growing scar tissue on the inside too
  • (jeremy also manages to convince him he’s fucking beautiful - but that’s another post)

anonymous asked:

Even tho Cassie Clare was problematic at first, she got a whole lot better in her later books- Jem in TID, Cristina in TDA, etc. The Last Hours series is going to be released starting either 2018 or 2019, and it's going to have two biracial (British-Iranian) siblings. One of them will be a focal POV main character. Her name's Cordelia. Unfortunately the fandom thinks she is white because she has red hair. I wonder if they ignored the fact she has brown skin and speaks Farsi?

Cassandra Clare might have characters of color and LGBT+ characters in her books, and she might try to seem “inclusive” and “progressive” with “her” work. I think, however, that she utterly fails at that. Under the cut, a list of all the reasons why her diversity isn’t worth much, and why I don’t think anyone should be giving her any more money, as she will just keep on dissapointing. Call this… 

The Cassandra Clare is inexcusable masterpost: 

Keep reading

OKAY BUT WHY: 67 questions that have popped into my head in the past 24 hours

In stream-of-consciousness order:

1. Skull hell.
2. Why kill Mary if she’s good
3. Why was the hospital dedicated in 2044
4. Why is he writing the blog post about the baby being born in an image file befORE THE BABY WAS BORN
5. What the hell was John’s letter to Sherlock and why do we never hear anything about it again
6. Why was the lady Carmichael mirror so perfect we could predict actual dialogue lines (“You promised!”)
7. Why did TAB “PROVE” Moriarty was dead when it only proved you need a friend to help you make the blood splatter
8. WHO WAS TAKING CARE OF THE BABY WHEN EVERYONE HE KNOWS IS AT THE THERAPIST’S HOUSE
9. How did John get out of the stupid well if his fucking feet were chained to the bottom
10. Why does a gun go off at the end of TLD, but in TFP it’s a tranquilizer
11. Why bring up that romantic entanglement “would complete you as a human being” if you don’t return to it
12. How did Mary jump in front of a bullet, and why is her death scene just like the “Hollywood deaths” that they criticized when Sherlock was shot
13. Why did nobody know who John was in TLD when in THoB everyone knew it was his blog (he fucking writes it in the first person)
14. Why is the blog stopped since S4 starts
15. How does EVERYONE know the story of the Merchant of Samarra when it’s not actually that common
16. How does Mary know to call him a Dragonslayer
17. How did Sherlock know that Ghost!Mary was saying he should wear the hat
18. How did John make the deduction about how Sherlock figured out how he knew which therapist he would choose and when he’d be there
19. How did John have an affair with a woman but he DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HER WHEN SHE’S SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM AT THERAPY
20. Why has Mycroft been so clearly linked to Moriarty
21. Why set up that footage of a shooting can be altered
22. Why have Culverton say that line about revealing your secret to your friends when it’s completely irrelevant thereafter
23. How did Lastrade know about Sherlock killing Magnussen anD MARY’S PAST
24. If Mycroft knew who Mary is then why didn’t he ever say anything
25. What happened to the stupid black pearl
          a. What’s the point of DI Hopkins
26. Mirrors
          a. You will John-style never convince me that these mirrors were a lie
27. Making history? What history
28. Promos
          a. Sitting in the “married ones” room with the burnout in the shape of an                anatomical heart
          b. “Sherlock’s in love, but with who”—is this really just to be cruel
29. How does Mary know where to go when he texts “the curtain rises” but texts John the actual address
30. Let’s talk about the mysterious crypt lair that Sherlock has for ONE SCENE and then never returns to
31. How come the Six Thatchers was already a different case they had done on the blog
32. Vatican Cameos
33. Umbrella sword gun
34. James or John
35. Mrs. Turner next door has got married ones
36. What was Sherlock going to say on the tarmac
37. What couldn’t John tell Ella after Sherlock died
38. And why does Sherlock go to see Ella and talk about a recurring dream in a weird ass attic office but it never comes back around
39. Gerridebs is their favorite case but it’s made into the biggest “no homo” joke
40. Why be obsessed with Sherlock’s sex life
41. Why does the AGRA drive look different
42. How do you survive being exploded from a second story flat with no injuries
          a. You. Don’t.
43. How can you possibly redeem Euros after everything she’s done
44. Why did Euros have a random breakdown in the middle of her grand plan—ALSO THE WHOLE PLANE MAKES NO SENSE
45. Why were people not more worried about how she killed Victor
46. “Drowned Redbeard”—an ACTUAL CHILD was missing and the suspect said this and they didn’t think to check all the fucking wells
47. How did his family all agree to pretend that Redbeard was a dog and never mention his sister ever again
48. WHERE IS MORIARTY’S BODY
49. Euros appears to have super mind-control powers?
50. WHAT ABOUT THE FREAKING MEMORY DRUG
51. Why has every episode been focused on how relationships are more important than the stories, but then Video!Mary is all like “relationships don’t matter because YAY detective stories”
52. Why did Euros just leave John after she tranq’d him
53. Whole episode is about how his childhood is what makes Sherlock who he is but ends episode with “but who you are doesn’t really matter”
          a. Great man -> good man? Eh. Doesn’t really matter.
54. The camera error in TST
55. How did they get onto the boat? A helicopter? Why not just take it to the island? How did Sherlock get inside as a member of the team? They only found John and Mycroft
56. How was the chess game promo a spoiler
57. Why was he using twitter in TST but then John was surprised he was on social media in TLD
58. Lamp hell.
59. What was the lie in TLD
60. Why was the episode called the final problem? The final problem was established to be to burn the heart out of him
61. Why is the static in Sherrinford a weird waterfall
62. Why did Sherlock paste John’s face on the Vetruvian Man (okay this wasn’t S4 but also I CANNOT LET THIS GO)
63. Why wasn’t Euros in the family video and why did noBODY EVER BRING HER UP IN SHERLOCK’S LIFE AGAIN— “Euros may have been my daughter but Sherlock seems to want to forget she existed entirely so let’s all pretend we didn’t have a daughter”
64. Why are all the villains textually queer
65. Who is the woman in the photo who was looking out the window holding an elephant
66. Why did Sherlock say that Mary destroyed the AGRA drive, when it was John
67. 26 pages of dialogue.

Add ur own! 

Summary of MomoCon Live Talks Machina Panel

Missed a little bit at the start!

  • Brian starts giving away prizes to anyone in the audience who snarks him. Many prizes are given away.
  • The party went completely off the rails on several occasions: the Fire Plane was a big one, because the party spent weeks saying they weren’t going and then went. Senokir and the initial encounter in the City of Brass was 100% improvised because Matt had nothing specific prepared.
  • Asked which characters they’ve voiced that they’d like to play in a campaign: Taliesin wants to play as the Flash, Marisha wants to play as Margaret from Persona, Matt wants to play as Kiritsugu Emiya.
  • Pretty much everyone expected Keyleth to win in the Battle Royale. She and Grog want to do a rematch because there were some minor technical errors throughout (the big one: he forgot his -2 on the save from the Water Plane). They’re going to do a “WWE-style one-on-one” game on Talks Machina. Brian: “We could put it on pay-per-view. …that’s sort of what Alpha is, I guess.”
  • Percy doesn’t carry the Contract with him, it’s locked away so he can avoid temptation. Matt: “That’s fine. You don’t have to have it on you to invoke the pact.” (long pause) “No, you do, it’s in the paper.”
  • Matt thinks of Allura as his most self-insert character. He also loves playing Gilmore and Raishan.
  • Marisha’s fave NPC is the Sun Tree, Taliesin’s is Victor.
  • Questions to ask for making good NPCs: What are their goals? What are their fears?
  • A lot of being able to push outside your comfort zone as an actor involves getting over shame. Taliesin recommends singing loudly in the car, Marisha recommends karaoke or dancing in public. Taliesin points out that generally the reaction is pretty positive and not really what you’re expecting. But it does take practice.
  • Sam and Matt had been discussing Taryon about three weeks in advance, in case Scanlan decided to leave, depending on how conversations went with the party. Sam wasn’t prepared for Taryon’s introduction when it happened; he was expecting to have another week to prepare, but Matt tapped him in over the break. It took everyone a few episodes to get used to him. Everyone was a little nervous about the group starting new characters, because Marisha, Taliesin, and Liam were the only ones who had ever really played other characters in D&D, and they were reassured to see it was possible.
  • Taliesin: “A good DM knows the difference between consequence and punishment.”
  • Keyleth’s encounter with Kerr at a time when VM wasn’t being supportive of Keyleth changed a lot of Marisha’s plans for the character. She was very close to multiclassing into barbarian before that encounter. Taliesin: “Your current track is ‘be the Lisa Frank you want to see in the world’.”
  • Taliesin on how the original concept for Percy has changed: “Percy was supposed to never be happy with himself or the world around him. And… not anymore! He’s getting dangerous, something’s gonna snap, I’m enjoying it. All it took was a really, really inappropriate relationship to ruin everything, I’m loving it.”
  • Matt was sitting on the Briarwood Arc since Taliesin gave him the page of Percy’s backstory. He was sitting on the Conclave Arc for about two years before it happened, mainly because he’d never really had the opportunity to use dragons in Dungeons and Dragons before. 
  • Marisha: “Arguably, if there’s no adventure going on for Vox Machina, we’re just a group of shitty people.”
  • The arc related to the Siphon has been in the works since Matt was developing the Briarwoods Arc, so this new arc might be the one that was planned the furthest in advance.
  • Taliesin: “It’s not that we’re nervous about Grog having the Deck of Many Things, it’s that we’re nervous about Travis having the Deck of Many Things.”
  • Taliesin’s favorite arc that isn’t his own character’s arc: Fire Plane. Marisha and Matt’s: Raven Queen. Brian really appreciated the last parts of Scanlan’s arc, because discussing it brought him and Sam closer.
  • Another big DM improv moment was when Vex and Keyleth accidentally found Clarota way earlier than Matt expected. In the Moonbrush, in the Feywild, Matt really wasn’t expecting the party to side with the werewolves.
Got It Bad

Characters/pairing: Sam x Reader

Word Count: 5150 (god I’m sorry, I just really like words)

Contains: Fluff, smut, angst, language

A/N: I wrote this for @melbelle45‘s Dirty Pop Challenge. My song prompt was U Got it Bad by Usher. I used some lines and ideas from the song and I went for the hardcore pining, hope you feel it. Assume the reader is familiar of the hunting life, and it’s sometime after S8. All my love to @impala-dreamer for her encouragement and time when I struggled with this one.

Feedback and constructive criticism are both welcomed and encouraged. xoxo

Originally posted by zest-wincest



The email sat in your inbox for a month before you noticed it; buried in the spam from mailing lists and unsolicited porn. Then, it sat there for another week before you could decide what to do with it - delete it, ignore it, reply. You had a decent enough reason for each option. Your stomach did flips every time you held the cursor over the email. You’d been ready to flip your life upside down and take the leap, but then he was gone, before you had a chance to be anything.

Keep reading