more than just a piece in their games

OFF THE CUFF HOMESTUCK THOUGHTS #3: THE SELF PILE DOESN’T STOP FROM GETTING TALLER OR: THE PROBLEM OF DEAD MARIOS

DISCLAIMER

IMPORTANT THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

[CHECK THE TAG FOR MORE THOUGHTS]

So, a long-ass time ago, Rose and Dave had a conversation like this:

TT: After you go, what do you think will happen to me?
TT: Will I just cease to exist?
TG: i dont know
TG: i mean your whole timeline will
TG: maybe
TT: Maybe?
TT: Is there a chance it’ll continue to exist, and I’ll just be here alone forever?
TT: I’m not sure which outcome is more unsettling.
TG: the thing with time travel is
TG: you cant overthink it
TG: just roll with it and see what happens
TG: and above all try not to do anything retarded
TT: What do you think I should do?
TG: try going to sleep
TG: our dream selves kind of operate outside the normal time continuum i think
TG: so if part of you from this timelines going to persist thats probably the way to make it happen
TT: Ok.
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word “self” and still understand what we’re talking about.

This is the most important sentence in Homestuck.

I am dead serious.

Well, OK, I mean, it’s pretty important for understanding some major Homestuck themes and shit or something like that.

Also, I totally should have said: Pre-Retcon Doomed Timeline Non-Dreamself Rose but ultimately about to become Dreamself Rose who semi-merged with Pre-Retcon Alpha Timeline Rose and Doomed Timeline Dave aka Davesprite AKA future Davepetasprite^2 or as we all call them around the office, Davepeta, had that conversation.

Maybe you begin to see what I’m going to talk about here.

One of the major frustrations a lot of people had with the retcon was that the characters we ended up with at the end weren’t the ones we’d come to love and know throughout the story. Was it even worth it, to lose the characters we loved to the tyranny of Game Over? The victorious kids, with the exception of John and Roxy, were other people, with other histories, other goals, and other choices.

Allow me to submit that that may be the whole point.

SBURB is cruel. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s cruel not as Caliborn is cruel, but as the cosmos is cruel, as a supernova is cruel. It wants what it wants, and doesn’t care about how that intersects with the needs of humanity. It wants to make universes through a complex game-playing method, and drags hapless, vulnerable adolescents along for the ride. And most of the time it doesn’t even succeed, leaving its champions to rot in a doomed timeline or similar! Skaia’s victory is an amoral creation myth where individual human beings are just the carved pieces on the chessboard. (I mean, the other ones. Not the carapacians.)

Again, let’s consider the theme of VIDEO GAMES vs. REAL LIFE.

Homestuck, let’s be real, is basically some postmodern horror timey-wimey Jumanji. For a generation way more familiar with pixels than cute little tokens It’s easy for teenagers and in fact, basically everyone, to fantasize about escaping their life and slipping into some game world forever, where they get to do awesome things and be a heroic person.

Homestuck makes that literal. Congratulations, everything you ever knew is dead. You will never see it again, except your internet friends, who turn out also to be your family and other important people. I mean, from a distance, SBURB sounds like an awesome game, right? You figure out who you are and get to wear a cool costume displaying that identity. You get to make anything you want and enjoy this hyperflexible mythology tailored to YOUR CHOICES. HS fans talk all the time about how cool it would be to play a real version of SBURB. That’s a big part of the appeal of SBURB fan adventures. They put you and your friends in the story. Or your favorite characters! It sounds like a fantasy come true.

The thing is, as fantastical as it is, it’s also really fucked up, and ultimately you and your friends are being used. By a giant frog to let it have its babies. By the universe. By a smug blue cloud thing that doesn’t care about you at all.

SBURB does not care about you at all.

The funny thing, SBURB features a mythology with so many layers and nuances and seemingly human motifs about growth and self that you might search for some grand ultimate meaning behind it, but it’s not even human enough to have a personality, to be something you can argue with or fight. It just is. It’s all the cruelty and power of a god without any of the dazzling personality. It’s empty. It just wants to make universes all day long, or fail trying. It is a great, weird tadpole-making machine that eats children.

One of the big ways it doesn’t care about you is its attitude toward the self. Humans and trolls and whatnot prefer not to be relentlessly duplicated. SBURB says, oh yeah, let’s make tons of copies of the player characters and use them for a lot of different purposes.

There’s the dreamself, an essential bifurcation of identity (you are now and were always the dream moon princex) that sometimes gets merged into god tier but sometimes doesn’t. There’s doomed timeline selves, who exist ultimately to augment an Alpha timeline whose Alphaness is decided very arbitrarily and frequently by Lord English. There’s the you who exists before a scratched session and the you who exists afterward, who are two different people but started as one baby in an act of ectobaby meteor duplication, your player self and your guardian self. Dead timeline yous fill up the dreambubbles made by the horrorterrors and get endlessly confused with each other. Any one of these could be the you experience being at any given moment, and which one it is entirely arbitrary. Don’t like being Dead Nepeta #47? Tough hoofbeast leavings, kiddo.

To top it all off, in Terezi: Remember, we learn that every single time we thought someone changed from one self to another, was resurrected or something like that, it was another act of duplication. For every time someone’s died, there’s another version of them waiting in the Dream Bubbles, surprised that they’re not the main character anymore. And we have no way of knowing which is which. Even John, good old everyman John, may or may not be the person who died three or four times. It’s really impossible to say whether we’ve been following the same person throughout our story, or just the illusion of the same person, like a horrifying cosmic flipbook.

The retcon is a return to this same theme. Ultimately, there’s very little new in the changes John makes to reality except that they drive the point home.

John’s friends all died. John and his friends won the game. These things are both true at the same time, except those things may not have happened to the same people. There was a happy ending. Hooray! For, um, some folks who may or may not be the ones we care about. In fact, it’s very confusing, because from Rose’s perspective, Roxy is dead but came back to life, and from Roxy’s perspective Rose is dead but came back to life, except also she came back to life as a weird tentacle catgirl of pure id and self –indulgence. So there’s that. Um. Which Rose are we rooting for again?

Or wait: is it none of them, because the first Rose died in a doomed timeline, hundreds of panels and a number of years ago?

There’s a tension here which one experiences between saying it’s okay because it’s still the same people, and saying it’s not okay, because it’s not the same people at all. This tension is exactly what we’re meant to wrestle with. To put it another way, Homestuck asks if identity can work in aggregate. Are all Johns John, all Roses Rose, and do they all share in what they accomplish? Or are the final victors only accidents created by the whims and needs of the frog baby machine?

What I’m saying, basically, is that the retcon, in the sense that it pointed out our confused relationship with these characters, was already here.

In interviews and questions put to him over the years, Hussie constantly compares HS and SBURB to other video games, particularly Mario, which he frequently returns to as a baseline of comparison that most of his readers will know. One answer, from a recent Hiveswap interview, is particularly revelatory. To the question of “Why do you kill off all your characters?” Hussie replies:

[…]HS is supposedly a story that is also a game. In games, the characters die all the time. How many times did you let Mario fall in the pit before he saved the princess? Who weeps for these Marios. In games your characters die, but you keep trying and trying and rebooting and resetting until finally they make it. When you play a game this process is all very impersonal. Once you finally win, when all is said and done those deaths didn’t “count”, only the linear path of the final victorious version of the character is considered “real”. Mario never actually died, did he? Except the omniscient player knows better. HS seems to combine all the meaningless deaths of a trial-and-error game journey with the way death is treated dramatically in other media, where unlike our oblivious Mario, the characters are aware and afraid of the many deaths they must experience before finally winning the game.

The big man hass the answer.

Homestuck is the story of those dead Marios.

Other works, like Undertale, have engaged with this topic as well. But one of the major differences between Undertale and Homestuck is that in Undertale, between “lives,” one’s consciousness is preserved. In Homestuck, it’s discontinuous, and the value of the overall trial-error process is called into question by the fact that you, the player, may not even get to experience the victory. What meaning does victory hold if that is the case?

So, to put it in a nice thesis format:

One of the central themes of Homestuck is the challenge of reconciling an arbitrary and destructive pattern of growth and victory with the death and suffering you experienced along the way. Homestuck asks: is victory worthwhile if you’re not you anymore? And would you be able to know?

What even is the self? Is there such a thing?

If you were left feeling somewhat disconcerted by our heroes’ tidy victory and departure to their cosmic prize, or by how which Rose gets the spotlight is so deeply, deeply arbitrary, there’s a good reason for that. You’re supposed to be.

The philosophical problem of Wacky Cat Rose is insignificant next to the bullshit of SBURB.

And don’t forget—John and Roxy’s denizens helped them achieve the retcon. Ultimately, the victory they achieved was mediated by the same amoral system of SBURB, and was a victory over an enemy, Caliborn, whose power was created, perpetuated, and ended by that same system.

Okay, so here’s where it gets contentious. There’s an argument to be made, which I’m not sure how I feel about, that some of the character development that could have been in post-retcon Act 6 was left out precisely to push this feeling and play up this tension. Note that this is not the same thing as saying that they were deliberately badly written, but that they’re deliberately written to make us uneasy.That Hussie deliberately played with the balance between making these retconned characters feel familiar and making them feel eerily different to leave us feeling uneasy with the result.

I’m not sure I like that idea. It smacks a little too much of that “everything is perfect” thinking that comes sometimes from the far Metastuck camp. Some of the differences may also be the result of flawed writing. (See: Jane and Jake’s character arcs, which I might talk about later.) And I want to be able to critique those flaws. Ultimately, I think we still needed more time and development to figure out who these new people were—even if our goal was ultimately to compare them to their earlier selves. And again, more conscious acknowledgement of the problem from our heroes—especially John, the linchpin in this last and biggest act of duplication—might have helped drive this theme home.

Still, I think the Problem of Dead Marios is one of the most fundamental questions of Homestuck, maybe THE biggest question. It’s essential to understand it to understand what Hussie’s doing—or attempting to do— in the retcon and the ending.

I don’t know that Homestuck offers us a clear answer to that question. There are some confusions around the issue, too. Where do merged selves fit in, exactly? Clearly they’re a big part of the discussion, because Hussie spends some time in Act 6, especially near the end bringing the identity-merging powers of the Sprites to the forefront. (See also: the identity-merged nightmare that is Lord English.)  Can we even come up with a clear answer to what it means when a dead Mario returns to life grotesquely fused with Toad? How does he beat the game? Does he tell himself that the princess is in another castle? Or what if he merges with Peach? Are they their own princess? How do they know if they’re in the right castle?

Um. Anyway—

Interestingly, it’s not all grotesque—spritesplosions suggest that personalities that are too different don’t stay together long, so a fusion might rely on some inherent compatibility between the two players. Erisol’s self-loathing, sure, but also Fefeta’s cheerfulness. Davepeta seems to be a way of bringing out the best in their players, a way of getting Davesprite past his angst and Nepeta past her fear. Honestly, I know a lot of people don’t like Davepeta as the ending of these two characters’ arcs, but I can’t help but love it. They’re the ultimate coolkid. Cool enough to know they don’t have to be cool. Regular Dave got there, too, of course. But was his retcon assist from John ultimately any different?

Then, of course, we come to Davepeta’s speech to Jade in one of the last few updates before Collide. Davepeta suggests that there is such a thing as an ultimate self beyond the many different selves one piles up throughout the cosmos. A set of principles that describes who you are that’s larger than any individual instance of you. Your inherent Mariohood. (Maybe this is comparable to your Classpect identity, which attempts to describe who you are?) Davepeta even tells Jade, strikingly, that one might learn to see beyond the barriers between selves. Be the ur-self, in practice, rather than theory. This would be incredible news for Jade, who wrestles with the issue of different selves perhaps more than any other character. (There’s a lot to say about Jade.)

Honestly, I wish this ur-self idea had been developed more, and I honestly expected it to be. It doesn’t fully come to fruition, I feel. (Same goes for Davepeta’s character. Ohhhh, ZING!) I’m not sure it entirely makes philosophical sense, especially with fusion—I mean, doesn’t Davepeta themself disprove it? Or at least complicate it? Like, are they part of the ur-Dave or the ur-Nepeta? They seem to imply they’re BOTH? Does that even work? Does that mean that Marieach is all the Peaches and Marios at once?

(In fact, Bowser/Peach/Mario are but the three manifestations of one eternal principle. Also, Bowser/Peach are the true power couple. Read my fanfiction plz.)

And what, say, of Dirk, who ultimately ends up rejecting aspects of his other selves? It feels like there’s a lot more you could say here, and I wonder if Hussie would have said more, if he’d had time. What’s weird is, none of our victorious kids never reach an ur-self (though to their descendants, they become archetypal to some degree), which one might have expected. They’re just individual selves who happened to get lucky. Does that make them representative of the whole? It feels like something’s missing here, or like something got dropped at the last minute.

Same goes for the idea of the Ultimate Riddle. You’d be forgiven for missing it, but there’s been this riddle in the background lore of SBURB that seems to have something to do with personal agency in this overwhelming, overarching system. Karkat called it predestination, saying something like “ANY HOPE YOU HAD OF DOING THINGS OTHERWISE WAS JUST A RUSE.” But others have interpreted it more positively. My favorite interpretation, from bladekindeyewear: the answer to the Riddle is that YOU shape the timeline through your existence, personality, and choices, even when it looks like it’s all predestination. Ultimately it’s your predestination, your set of events, based deeply on your nature, that you are creating. Someone like Caliborn can use his innate personality to achieve power; someone like John might be able to use it to achieve freedom.

I definitely expected something like that to be expressed more explicitly. Like, a big ah-ha moment that helps John or Jade or whoever understand how to escape Caliborn’s system. Something like that would have been very helpful for a lot of our heroes, actually, who’ve been pushed around by Skaia and SBURB together, in finding a cathartic ending.  Once again, I wonder if something was dropped or rushed because there wasn’t time to put it all in. There’s places where you can see hints of that Answer being implied, maybe? But it’s kind of ambiguous.

You can see how the Answer to the Ultimate Riddle ties into some of Davepeta’s ideas. If your personality, the rules of your behavior are a fundamental archetype that goes beyond each individual self, then the answer to whether it matters if one self of yours makes it through to victory is an emphatic YES. You are all of those people, and by winning one round with Skaia, you’ve won the whole game, despite all the arbitrary challenges and deaths it heaps upon you along the way.

This may strike some as too positive for Skaia’s brutality, or again, some way of excusing flaws in many characters’ arcs, or unfair things that happen to them. To be fair, I don’t know that Davepeta’s necessarily meant to be taken as authoritative or the voice of Hussie. They may simply be offering a purrspective.

Hussie not choosing to come right out and engage with the Ultimate Riddle leaves the question of Dead Marios and what they mean for the victorious versions of our cast very open. I like that in some ways—let the reader decide—but I can’t help but wish we had more to work with in making that decision. Plus, it might have brought the thematic messages of Homestuck all the way home to tie them more closely to our characters and their experiences—character development being one of the things most people found most lacking in the ending.

NEXT TIME: All that wacky gnostic stuff probably

unconventionally jealous yuuri
  • victor can make himself fall asleep mere moments after hitting the pillow and yuuri seethes over it while working on quieting his bedtime racing thoughts. he doesn’t fall asleep for at least an hour and a half.
  • yuuri can’t make katsudon the same way mama can even though he follows the directions to the letter because yuuri is a strong proponent of following exact directions for cooking. victor gives it a shot and is just eyeballing the ingredients and paying more attention to yuuri than the pork and it comes out perfect anyways.
  • victor falls on his hip flubbing a jump and his skin blooms purple for three days and fades neatly. yuuri flubs the same jump and lands the same way but his bruise goes all yellow and green for a week.
  • victor beats yuuri in twelve consecutive games of chess. every time yuuri catches him going easy he restarts the game, and then loses.
  • they sometimes do puzzles together, and victor always seems to be able to find difficult pieces easily. they’re working together, but yuuri feels competitive anyway.
  • a rest day rolls around and victor is cuddled up in yuuri’s arms against his chest and mumbling soft praises about the hard line of his muscles and how sweet and beautiful and perfect he is and yuuri laments that he can’t command words in the same elegant way victor can.
  • no matter how many times he takes his medication, a tylenol, or any kind of pill, yuuri gags a little. swallowing something that’s still solid is a weird sensation and he doesn’t like it. meanwhile victor downs his vitamins all at once. dry. like an animal.
  • yuuri finds himself gazing at victor during practice as he executes a technically perfect program, brainstorming ways he can improve his own program to measure up. 
  • yuuri exits a training session with georgi to look back to his husband but can’t find him, and he wishes absently that he could move so quietly too.
  • yuuri enters the locker rooms–the last place he hasn’t searched for victor, to find him sitting on the floor of the (freshly cleaned, thank god) showers with his knees to his chest, and yuuri catches himself envying the warm water cascading over him. keeping him comfortable when yuuri wasn’t there to.
  • he washes and dries his husband, careful of feet and new bruises, and he knows it’s bad, it’s insensitive, but yuuri envies that victor’s attacks aren’t as loud and disruptive as his own are. yuuri would give his life in a millisecond that victor would never have to suffer through one again, but no matter how hard he tries, he can’t shake the thought that victor’s are so much quieter, so much harder to spot, he hates that they are but wishes his own were so easy to hide.
  • “it’s getting harder,” victor rasps while yuuri tenderly combs a rose-scented product through his unbelievably soft, still-growing hair, and braids it loosely in the back. he’s grateful every time he gets to touch it, and wishes his hair were softer so he could give victor the same joy he feels.
  • victor turns to hold him around the middle, where yuuri’s stomach will always be soft, and victor nuzzles into it. “i can’t keep up with you anymore,” he mumbles into yuuri’s sweaty training shirt. “i never could.”
  • victor gazes up at yuuri with both tender admiration and intense frustration in his red-rimmed eyes, still gorgeous even through multiple sleeve-rubs. “yuuri, is it  wrong of me to be so jealous? i wish i could skate as beautifully as you,“
New Assassins Creed “leaked” info:
  • The leaks aren’t “accidents”. Controlled. Both pictures are real. The first one (where the MC stood in front of something) is very old. The second one is a picture from the Demo we’ll see at E3.
  • New scouting mechanic, the eagle. The eagle’s placeholder name for now is “Akhom”.
  • There are NO towers in the game. You will be using your eagle for side-activities and points of interest. There’s a limit to how far you can go away from the protagonist.
  • The characters all speak English like in Unity. That is because of the Animus 5.0, which has perfected any translation issues of the older versions. You will be sitting in it, not moving around like in the movie.
  • We have a new Modern Day protagonist, he’s male and mixed race. Already a trained Assassin and has a new team that helps him achieve his task, given by William himself. William, Rebecca, Shaun all make appearances.
  • MD is more like AC3’s MD with bigger areas and more character interaction. The MD does more to highlight the fact that Assassins and Templars still exist and are having a big impact on the world.
  • “Without giving too much away, a piece of Eden is used during the Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea, playing into the whole overarching mission of the modern-day protagonist.” Not main focus of the story though.
  • He doesn’t exactly know when it’s set, but last he heard it was set between 1400 and 1200 BCE. It’s set during the Dynasties.
  • NO naval combat. It really is only just a sailing boat used for travel purposes. It’s like in The Witcher 3, just a tad more customizable. That’s it.
  • He states numerous times that the world is breathtakingly beautiful and that there is ambient stuff going on in the open seas. Better to sail than miss this stuff by fast-travelling.
  • You will be travelling the Eastern Mediterranean with your boat.
  • Ambient music is in the game. Hooray!
  • Devs have focused on story 100%. There is no multiplayer whatsoever, however, there are micro-transactions like in BF and Rogue. Multiplayer is still on the cards, might return at some point to the franchise.
  • A lot of work went into the immersion aspect.
  • Plenty of tropical areas. Mirages, oasis areas and various islands dotted around the sea are beautiful.
  • The main protag (in the past) is a quieter version of Altair, basically. Looks like him, slightly darker. Not black like Adé. Trilogy with him planned. Greece comes next and he’s in there. No idea about the third entry at all.
  • Main protag (past) is apparently Israelite.
  • Combat has been reworked. Enemies have different attack patterns and will actively try to flank you. Kinda like Witcher 3, but easier to get into.
  • Stealth is much more integrated into the world. You can hide on corners, in crowds, in buildings and in bushes/haystacks. Imagine Syndicate and Unity’s stealth, but much more well thought out and implemented. Social stealth is emphasized a lot in the game. You’ll be blending into crowds and with groups of slaves an awful lot.
  • Free running is the same as Syndicate/Unity, though it adds in some of the flair from Watch Dogs 2. It’s a lot smoother and more fluid.
  • Reason why AC doesn’t make its way to Japan is because the higher ups don’t see it being successful. They made China for Chronicles to “please the fans”. Whoop-de-doo.
  • Same thing for WW1 and WW2.
  • Engine is a reworked version of Syndicate’s. But looks drastically different to Syndicate/Unity.
  • They took Unity’s backlash very, very badly. They’ve been working on Origins so much to avoid another buggy situation. “Syndicate was about 60% complete when the backlash came to light, so Ubi shoved that one out of the door before we had the break.”
  • No Switch version, releases on PS4, Xbawks One and PC.
  • Coming out later this year.
  • Hidden Blade used in the game is a very early version. Requires losing a finger. There’s also a bow, a shield, various swords, spears and throwing knives.
  • Our protagonist (paaast) doesn’t have a name at the beginning. Later, other characters start calling him “Shed”, after the deity that represents salvation. A big part of the story revolves around saving your people from slavery.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shed_(deity)
  • The idea of an Ancient Rome game was floating around the office. Ceasar wasn’t a Templar, but shared a lot of their ideologies. Senators that killed him were part of the Brotherhood. Status of this idea is unknown.
  • Skills are done in a talent tree. However, the differences between the skill trees are drastically different and you can only ever have a certain amount of skills active at one point. One tree is Combat, another Stealth and the final one is Movement.
  • Outfit-wise, there’s a few pre-determined outfits (as there has been in every AC game). However, there are different piece of equipment that you can buy that will go over the top of your ‘base’ appearance. Imagine Unity’s equipment variation/customization, but with less pointless fluff.
  • Character customization is more like Unity than Syndicate.
  • I forgot to add this, sorry people: You can put your hood on and off whenever you want!

     
    I don’t want the character to be quite…I love it when characters talk while your walking and doing stuff. Just like in Uncharted games…
    What do you guys think? 
9

“I don’t think that anyone is worth more than anyone else. I don’t envy you the decisions you’re going to have to make. And one day I’ll be gone. And you’ll have no one to talk to. But, if you remember nothing else, then please remember this. Chess is just a game. Real people aren’t pieces. You can’t assign more value to some of them than to others. Not to me. Not to anyone. People are not a thing that you can sacrifice.”

Person Of Interest | 4x11 If-Then-Else

Las Vegas Aces Captain Kent Parson after having been on the receiving end of some dubiously motivated high sticking. Or something.

(companion Jack piece, but not intended to be the same game, let’s just pretend there’s another team out there that’s full of overly aggressive assholes. Jack and Parse can just sort out their differences by scoring more goals than eachother.)
 
Watercolor, Colored Pencil, Gouache.
(Lineart for this piece)

My other Check, Please! FanArt
My actual art blog

wannabanauthor  asked:

Hi there! I love your blog! I've seen you mention a few TV shows and movies for research, and I was wondering what your opinion is on the show Leverage and it's accuracy for social engineering in potentially violent situations. I remember one character saying that "Thieves look for entrances, but grifters create them." They'll often use approaches like this to avoid violence.

If the question is: can you use social engineering in order to defuse or avoid violent situations? The answer is yes.

Grifters are conmen, and like spies, they don’t want to fight unless it is absolutely necessary. Whether they can fight or know how isn’t really the point: combat makes messes, big messes, and draws the kind of attention they don’t want/can’t afford.

As for the line, “thieves look for entrances, but grifters create them” the point of it is that grifters focus on people as the exploitative aspect to get what they want. After all, it doesn’t matter how good your security system is if your infiltrator is expected to be there. When someone opens the door for them, they didn’t have to break in.

It is worth pointing out though, being able to stop, defuse, avoid, or redirect violence via social engineering (especially when the character is the target) is very difficult and requires someone who excels at rapidly changing their story/manipulating under life or death pressure while also maintaining their consistency/re-establishing their innocence/regaining their target’s trust.

That’s masterclass social engineering. The average person, even the average grifter can’t do it. When we see Nate Ford, Sophie Devereaux, or Michael Westen on Burn Notice socially engineer their way out of potentially explosive and violent scenarios, we’re supposed to understand this level of manipulation is very difficult. You need a solid ability to read people, predict their behavior patterns, understand how to shift your role so you suddenly seem trustworthy, confuse them, and then redirect their anger somewhere away from you.

You can see another variant of this kind of social engineering on display in The Negotiator. Samuel L. Jackson’s character is a hostage negotiator. Deliberately maneuvering a man who’s taken a child captive around his apartment so he can be taken out. You can see him joking with the target, gaining his trust, distracting him, and guiding him off topic until he’s in a position to be neutralized.

The Grifter is not a fighter, they are a talker and their trick is getting people to move however they want. A skilled grifter can slip in, turn the best of friends against each other, and walk away without a care. Grifters don’t punch. They trick other people into doing the punching for them. When sitting down to write a Grifter, remember: their first instinct is getting others to act in their place, to create the openings they need, and be their fall guy.

On the whole, I’ve liked Leverage ever since the episode where Eliot pointed out that guns are ranged weapons, and the most common mistake people make is giving up the distance advantage by getting in too close. However, I’ve only watched the first season. I liked what I saw, it’s an enjoyable caper show in a similar vein to The Equalizer, Person of Interest, or Ocean’s Eleven. Not quite in there with the original Law & Order when it comes to accuracy (in this case for cops) but certainly better than White Collar, which uses similar techniques (though never, ever pay attention to White Collar’s usage of the FBI… ever). The X-Files, meanwhile, fudges a bit but it’s pretty good when you’re wanting to get a grasp of the FBI’s culture and what happens to someone who doesn’t come from a military/law enforcement background.

Of course, the patient zero for these types of shows is the original Mission: Impossible. The television show, not the Tom Cruise movies. Mission: Impossible is all about flipping people and manipulating them into positions to do what you want. The A-Team is its slightly more pulpy counterpart, but its a similar (though far less subtle) deal.

On the whole, Leverage tends to explain itself better, which is helpful when you’re trying to learn or take techniques from a television show rather than just absorb.

The reason why I often suggest Burn Notice and Spy Game is not necessarily just because they’re good, but also because they teach. The narrator on Burn Notice, especially in the first season will offer up a lot of helpful/beginner tradecraft for a variety of situations. This, ultimately, will help you more for taking pieces and creating your own characters than a show that’s trying for smoke and mirrors like White Collar. The same situation is there with Spy Game, where Robert Redford’s character is teaching Brad Pitt’s on how to be a spy. Ultimately, more helpful in the long run than just watching The Recruit. The Michael Mann films like Heat and Collateral are exceptionally good for learning tradecraft, but you have to know that’s what you’re watching/looking for. You’ll learn more by watching them together, rather than separately. The Borne Identity novels are also very good at showing the tradecraft, while the Le Carre ones tend to be a little more hit and miss.

When you’re new, you want sources that are free with their information. Who are good at getting you to think, to take what you’re seeing and apply it to new settings. You may not ever figure out how to build a car bomb, but learning about how the thought process of a spy, criminal, or conman works will serve you better for your writing than a hundred other movies that only show.

After you’ve drawn back the curtain then you can turn to those other shows, novels, and narratives with new eyes. Once you see what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and why when they don’t explain you’ll get more out of those other sources than you did before.

When you’re watching a well put together show like Leverage, start questioning character motivations. Not just whether the social engineering there works, but why the characters are choosing to go that route or which routes they prefer. Leverage gives you five characters with different specialties, four thieves and the guy who made a career catching them. They all think in different ways and have different approaches when it comes to problem solving. Leverage offers up a heist per episode, so you have lots of opportunities to see the characters in action. Evaluate their problem solving methods and you’ll come away with more than just questioning whether or not it works.

How and Why.

Then, go find a good video on YouTube where a professional magician explains pickpocketing. It’s the art of misdirection.

Once you understand basic theoretical underpinnings (whether or not you could ever actually pull the real thing off) then you can apply it to many different situations in a fictional context.

When it comes back to applying this to the combat arts, learning to see the big picture is the first major difference between trained and untrained. The untrained only copy surface level, singular techniques, while trained delves deeper to understand how these techniques work together.

My advice for when you’re wanting to pick and choose television shows for accuracy is to check who their consultants are/were, and what experts in the show’s chosen field say about it. That doesn’t always guarantee accuracy, but it will help you flip through the rave reviews.

If you want to watch more fun shows with Timothy Hutton or just like detective shows, I recommend Nero Wolfe.

-Michi

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Night time talks (boyf riends)

Okay so!! this is my first time writing a fic 4 bmc but its rly short sorry lmao

Please leave feedback and stuff!!

—-

“Hey, Jeremy? Remember when you first got that Squip?”

Micheal was talking to himself again, sitting in the dark in Jeremy’s bedroom. It was honestly quite pathetic; venting and talking to nobody.

Well, almost nobody.

Keep reading

a non-exhaustive list of photos that go up on the wall in the foxhole court lounge before neil josten graduates:

  • nicky and aaron and kevin jammed into one side of a fast food restaurant booth at 3am on new years day, eating burgers while looking varying stages of wasted (taken by an amused dan from the next booth over, from between neil and andrew’s heads)
  • renee alone, an artistic shot that captures the light in her hair, turning it into a proper rainbow, and the gilded line of her jaw and cheek (everyone thinks it was taken by dan. it was allison)
  • aaron and katelyn together, aaron’s expression so quiet and so, so light as he looks up at her where she’s perched on a table looking back (taken by allison, who knows what it means to be a pretty girl who loves someone all broken inside. she’s not jealous that katelyn has better luck than her - she’s, in a strange way, proud)
  • kevin and wymack talking on the sidelines, serious as always, taken to catch wymack’s attentively bowed head and the considering light in kevin’s eyes (you better believe dan took that one)
  • neil lying back against andrew’s side, andrew’s arm hooked over his shoulder and his hand splayed loose and easy over neil’s chest while he stares out the window, neil’s chin on his chest as he sleeps, taken on a long bus ride home (taken by renee. andrew knows it was her - she took him turning his face away as the tacit permission it was)
  • dan and matt kissing and grinning and kissing, helmets under arms, at the end of dan’s last practice before the penultimate game of her final season as fox captain (taken by renee from the bench, with a smile on her own face)
  • the entire team with the trophy, the one that proves them better than a one-shot wonder after all (taken by katelyn, heart so swollen with pride she can barely swallow)
  • the girls arm in arm, dressed in fox orange, all grinning after their graduation ceremony in abby’s backyard
  • the aftermath of that, where matt bounds in behind them and hugs the three of them at once so they’re all in various stages of open-mouthed yelling and laughing (both taken by a gruff but impossibly proud wymack)
  • matt bent over to talk to neil on the court, their height difference comical (a sports photographer took that one, but nicky’s the one to put it on the wall. neil is bemused)
  • nicky and erik, from his surprise visit during the last games of the fall season, where nicky has obviously been smiling (taken by neil, at nicky’s request but without complaint)
  • andrew’s profile and neil’s face in focus, capturing the intensity with which he looks at andrew - more open than he would have known how to be a few years back, and just a little soft (taken by nicky. fair’s fair)
  • neil alone by the whiteboard in the lounge, arms crossed and mouth open as he lectures the freshman (read; tears them to pieces) as their captain (taken by matt, who admires neil’s ability to verbally destroy people)
  • kevin and neil talking to the press, in gear but with their helmets off. kevin smiling (they won), neil’s eyes cool and serious (a press shot that nicky cut out and put up. kevin likes that they look like professionals in it, and likes having neil josten beside him)
  • kevin and wymack at his graduation, heads together. kevin’s smiling (taken by neil because kevin as a human belongs to the foxes, and belongs on the wall)
  • matt in the jersey of his new pro team under his graduation gown, posing like a superhero with an arm thrown over his head (taken by neil, laughing)
  • matt and nicky grinning with the ocean in the background, arms over shoulders (taken by dan on their group trip to california - there’s blurs in the background that would, with a sharper focus, resolve into a sunburn-victim neil, a black-clad arm belonging to andrew, the back of kevin’s head, and the irrepressible and smiling jeremy knox, their guide for the day) 
  • andrew leaning against the driver side door of the maserati in an undisclosed location, staring into the camera like he’s challenging the man behind it (neil. it’s neil)
Important to remember about Ardyn...

“One so impure of body and soul was deemed unworthy of the Crystal’s Light, and forbidden to ascend.” - Bahamut’s english description of Ardyn

compare to:

シガイの元凶たる虫を取り込み星に害をなす力で不老不死となったもの。その汚れた身体を聖石に拒まれ王位に就くことなく葬られた愚かな男

“He who absorbed the parasites that are the cause of the daemons, and became immortal by that power that injures the planet. A foolish man who was rejected by the Holy Stone for that unclean body and was buried without ascending to the throne.” - Japanese original text (source of translation)


I’ve never actually seen this before, but it confirms my headcanon (yay) that although of Lucis Caelum lineage, Ardyn was never actually king. He was ‘merely’ a healer.

This is further supported by Ardyn’s own recollection of the past events, when he refers to a “jealous king” who demonised him, but to himself only as “the healer of the people.” These are carefully chosen words. Ardyn was never the King of Lucis.

This makes certain aspects of the game more mysterious. So we know Ardyn was executed and, possibly buried according to Bahamut in the Japanese text, but he never took the throne. How did he acquire the armiger weapons?

I always understood that those weapons were of Noctis’ ancestors who ruled Lucis between Ardyn and Regis, the sword of the father being the final piece in the armiger. Did Ardyn then acquire them by default, being of the same bloodline? Or did he do what Noctis did, visit their tombs and collect them one-by-one?

Ardyn remarks to Ravus he knows the price of the covenant. Did he form the covenants with the Astrals himself, just like Luna does in the game?

Bahamut describes Ardyn as “impure of body and soul” and “a foolish man” in the English and Japanese versions respectively. This hints that he did something more in his past than just absorb the scourge. Perhaps he did it willingly, knowingly, in order to become immortal?

There are so many unanswered questions about our dear Lord Trash Jesus, and I really really hope Square finally delivers and ties the loose ends together. But if not, I guess it’s okay too, since I get to indulge in my own past-Ardyn fantasy HC’s.

karatevader  asked:

Before you rush it into the comic I must ask, you do know that Fowey never managed to kill Sans or Asgore canonically?

Actually! That’s fully Fanon territory :D There’s interpretation but there’s no confirmation one way or the other

Here’s the only thing Flowey says about Sans

So.
Did you start the Flowey Fan Club?
Ha. I’m just kidding.
I was watching. I know you didn’t.
But I don’t care. Really.
He probably would have invited his garbage brother.
You know. Smiley Trashbag.
Say.
If I have ONE piece of advice for you…
DON’T.
Let his brother.
Find out ANYTHING about you.
He’ll… well…
Let’s just say.
He’s caused me more than my fair share of resets.
Stay away from that guy.

Compared to what he says about Asgore

Howdy!
It’s me, FLOWEY.
FLOWEY the FLOWER!
I owe you a HUGE thanks.
You really did a number on that old fool.
Without you, I NEVER could have gotten past him.
But now, with YOUR help…
He’s DEAD.
And I’VE got the human SOULS!

As I’ve said, many people I’ve talked to take this either way, that Flowey could or couldn’t defeat either of them and well…

When you first start the game and Flowey gives you his speech

He gets amazing angry super fast (He normally has an angry face for this quote but I happened to catch the screenshot at the funny moment and kept it)

(No? I just wanted to kinda live, just saying)

BAM. He knocks out this, this attack is completely un-dodgeable, unique in that sans is the only other character to have one (Only if you spare him… It’s not really the same style, I’m just using this for reference)

Anyway! Basically I think there’s only one reason Flowey came up with an attack like this :D Similar with how he got his evil face from Undyne

6

♥ it’s time to spread your podcast pallet ♥

It’s the springtime, listeners! It is time for the flowers to grow, the grass to become green, and the birds to sing. As you’re downing allergy pills and picking new vibrant floral for picnic dates, be sure to set time aside to pick your favorites from my delicately arranged podcast garden.

Maybe your cold from winter has yet to waver or you’re more concerned about a possibly dropping population. Perhaps what’s really troubling you is if your new top clashes with your ultraviolet visor. All understandable concerns, everyone!

Looking for something fresh to please that sudden thirst for audio storytelling? Look no further as PodCake has six more podcasts you’ll certainly love

1. The Strange Case of Starship Iris 

In 2189, Earth narrowly won a war against extraterrestrials. The Strange Case of Starship Iris is about what comes after. It’s a story of outer space, survival, espionage, resistance, identity, friendship, found family, romance, and secrets. (Also, there’s jokes.) 

In this sci-fi adventure story, The Strange Case of Starship Iris is sure to please anyone looking for comedy and chaos. Complete with a compelling cast of characters and space hi-jinks, you’re sure to enjoy whatever shenanigans are in store for Violet and her new crew.

Fans of Wolf 359 will love the adventure and dysfunction and fans of EOS 10 are sure to enjoy the lighthearted comedy and lovable cast. May new listeners become star-bound by this excellent pick.

2. The Tunnels 

The Tunnels is a serialized docudrama about the mysterious tunnels that can be found underneath a small town in Georgia. What are they? What is their history? What are those mysterious sounds heard within them? Find out what’s just below the surface of the town, because if you look underneath, there is so much more.

There’s more than meets the eye in this mysterious audio drama dabbling into the hidden tunnels in the southern state of Georgia. Deaf Spider Productions gives us cool and creepy docudrama following our investigators into the dangerous whereabouts of sacred tunnels.

Is what they’ll find be worth the risk? Tune in and dig in with Deaf Sprider’s first show sure to be part of a long line of future podcasts. But in the meantime, be sure to get lost on this new path.

3. Lesser Gods

Lesser Gods is a soundscaped, shifting perspective podcast. In a future where men and women are no longer able to reproduce, the five youngest people on Earth live a life of government subsidized excess. Rhea and the other Final Five only worry about drinking, sex, and partying as the object of everyone’s obsession… Until they become someone’s target.

With drama, and plenty of wit, Lesser Gods has at all but not many people to spare as we follow the exploits of the five last young people on Earth. If you’re seeking fresh blood, there’s nothing a good old murder mystery won’t solve.

Join Hera as she and her fellow youth must crack down on the case before they’re next on the kill list. In an audio drama featuring a fleeting population, there’s no better time to become part of its growing following. 

4.  Alba Salix, Royal Physician

The award-winning fairy-tale hospital sitcom, starring head witch Alba, her obnoxious apprentice Magnus, and her accident-prone fairy herbalist Holly.

Become spellbound by this fantasy medical adventure dabbling into the life of an overworked witch and her equally magical pals with a knack for getting into strange circumstances. For fans of fairy tales, this comedy will have you entranced in seconds. 

Get to know the House of Healing and a colorful world crafted by Eli McIlveen by tuning into the complete first season and the budding and beautiful season two. The physician will see you now.

5. Inkwyrm

Inkwyrm Magazine is an intergalactic fashion publication, bringing readers the newest looks from all over the universe. At the head of it all is Annie Inkwyrm, and directly behind her is Mella Sonder, AI caretaker and Annie’s PA. Along for the ride is an overzealous PR director, a perpetually unimpressed physician, a flamboyant costumer, and an AI that really needs to learn some ethics. Putting up with her boss is hard enough, but with the cutthroat fashion industry, and whatever is trying to kill everyone today, Mella and the gang have their hands full. One part sit-com, one part space opera, Inkwyrm is an audio drama for the truly fabulous.

In this quirky world of sci-fi audio drama, Inkwyrm is here to make a statement…a fashion statement to be specific. Caldera Studios gives us something energetic and eclectic for the spring.

Though early in development, Inkwyrm is a unique little piece of a podcast that should be in everyone’s catalog as it blossoms from its early episodes to a new and fresh adventure bound to please the fashion conscious of listeners. So get in on the newest trend and save this one in your downloads, stat.

6. Rabbits 

When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into a ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it. 

From the minds in Pacific Northwest Stories comes Rabbits, a fresh docudrama filled with all things twisted, terrible, and terrific for suspense and horror fanatics. 

Support Carly Parker’s search for her lost friend as she becomes entangled in a deadly game where she’s the prey. Get entangled in a rich story that’s a nice blend of sadism and strategy. RU playing?

now, get to listening.

MBTI types and Hunger Games Quotes

ENTJ: Hope is the only thing stronger than fear

ESTP: At some point you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead

INFP: The hard thing is finding the courage to do it

INFJ: Fire burns brighter in the dark

ISFP: Only I keep wishing… I could think of a way to… to show the capital that they don’t own me, that I’m more than just a piece in their games

ISFJ: You know, you could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him

ESFJ: You never forget the face of the person who is your last hope

INTJ: Here’s some advice… Stay alive

ENFJ: Winning means fame and fortune. Losing means certain death

ESTJ: Trust me, do something they’re gonna remember

ISTP: Destroying things is more easier than making them

ISTJ: He made me look weak

INTP: May the odds be ever in your favor

ESFP: Show them how good you are

ENFP: It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart

ENTP: I drag myself out of nightmares each morning, and find there’s no relief in waking

10

Television Posters Made By Rabid, Talented Fans

The best thing about a piece of television isn’t the story, or the characters, or the costumes– it’s what the fans do with the work. Spinoffs, fan fiction, all of these obsessions make these shows more than just mindless images to watch– they’re important in people’s lives and they stimulate creativity.

If you liked these, you’ll love these >fan-made banners for Game of Thrones.

Source: /r/TelevisionPosterPorn

Based on ‘Hearts are Trumps’ John Everett Millais.

I just love old paintings from around the Victorian era. They are so detailed and realistic, not to mention the amazing dresses. To challenge myself a bit more I wanted to draw a more detailed piece, with more than one character.. Actually I had drawn a version of this about a month ago (I think..) and I’ve worked in small bits on it. Only managed to finish it today.

I’m quite happy with this one, I really like the way it came out! Hope u like it as well!

NSFW A-Z (GOT7 JB)

A/N: I got this template from chantenyongs and I could not find the original creator to give proper credit to.

Request Regulations

A = Aftercare

Aftercare with JB is always a must. No matter how hard or soft he was with you he will always be the one to clean the two of you up. Expect many massages from him in your future.

B = Body part (Their favorite body part of theirs and also their partner’s)

He won’t admit it, but his favorite thing to use on you is his tongue. Watching you squirming from the slick muscles movements would drive him mad. In reverse, he knows you love his arms. When he holds you down to keep you from moving too much as he eats you out is just right for the two of you. Not to mention having his arms rapped around your waist as he pounds himself into you.

C = Cum

I can totally see JB shooting his cum on your back of onto your stomach. He wouldn’t wear condoms often, he has more trust in his pull-out game than a piece of plastic.

D = Dirty Secret (a dirty secret of theirs)

You didn’t hear this from me, but JB definitely has a fifty shades of grey side to him that he’ll rarely show. In fact, he didn’t even notice it himself in the beginning, but when he realizes his collection of sex toys and machines has gotten a bit out of hand will he learn to accept it. He would never ever force you to do it with him because he wants to respect your sexual boundaries but he wouldn’t say no if you wanted to try it.

E = Experience (How experienced are they? Do they know what they’re doing?)

JB is no fuckboy but the guy does know his way around girls. He can flirt and foreplay like a pro but when it comes down to the actual act of doing he worries about 1) Letting his “other side” show 2) The other person he’s with if they are having sex for the first time and 3) Getting caught somehow.

F = Favorite position

Sometimes Missionary but that can get boring for JB. I feel like he switches from reverse cowgirl on the couch to fucking sideways. Don’t get the boy wrong, he’s always down to towering you while he’s fucking you but the angles he can hit in other positions sound way for pleasurable for the both of you.

G = Goofy (Are they more serious in the moment, or are they humorous, etc)

He’s very funny during foreplay because he’s just that comfortable with you and the excitement of sex with someone he’s at least interested in would cause a few giggles from him in between moans and kisses.

H = Hair (How well groomed are they)

He’s a very clean fellow in my mind, keeping his hair at a minimum if any at all. He shaves regularly unless he’s just gotten back from a tour and hasn’t gotten time to do it yet. He has a problem with letting his hair grow too long because he would think it makes him feel a bit dirty so he’s pretty constant with keeping his lawn mowed.

I = Intimacy (How are they during the moment, romantic aspect…)

Side A) Flower petals everywhere, lit candles, smooth jazz, and slow but passionate sex

Side B) You walk home and you’re pinned against the wall, he kisses you and you can’t help but moan in his ear, that’s when you clothes come off

Sorry mate, no middle ground here. All depends on too many variables to list.

J = Jack Off (Masturbation)

He would have a mental time to jack off, and a mental image of you from the past times you’ve been"together". He would usually do it in the shower because that’s a private time and place for everyone. Yet he would only do it if you weren’t around to do it for him, i.e you’re busy or somewhere else, or he’s at the dorms or on tour.

K = Kink (One or more of their kinks)

Speaking of him or you being too busy, JB would love some good ol’ phone sex, sex during facetime, etc. Watching you touch yourself while he strokes his cock is not the real thing, but he can appreciate how you two don’t need to be physically touching each other to get horny and come undone.

L = Location (Favorite places to do the do)

This. Boy. Would. Fuck. You. On. The. Couch. No questions asked. He would find it more convenient to get sweaty and sticky then move to a nice clean bed after washing up together in the shower.

M = Motivation (What turns them on, gets them going)

One way to get JB going is to wear some lingerie he bought you, because honey you found yourself a man with deep pockets and the urge to spoil you. Doing a little dance for him would help too. But the real thing that keeps him going strong would be you practically begging him not to stop.

N = NO (Something they wouldn’t do, turn offs)

As I mentioned before JB’s boundaries are pretty far off the chain, he’s down for anything as long as you were comfortable. The one thing I couldn’t see JB being into is cosplay in costumes that make you seem dominant. Sexy nurse? Yes please! Kitten? Sure thing! Mommy? Hell no. JB is top and even on the rare occasion you were above him he’d still have full control of your actions.

O = Oral (Preference in giving or receiving, skill, etc)

He wants his mouth of your folds ASAP, biting your clit and groaning for the slightest of vibration to make you jump under his movements, your shrieks are music to his ears.

P = Pace (Are they fast and rough? Slow and sensual? etc.)

He’s fast but passionate. His hips are snapping in and out of you but his eyes are locked in with yours. Breathing ragid, his hand searches for yours and tightly grips onto it as he places kisses from your breasts to your earlobes before you both came.

Q = Quickie (Their opinions on quickies rather than proper sex, how often, etc.)

A quickie kind of sounds too rushed in his opinion. He wants to treasure every heated moment you two shared so he’d rather hold out for a while until you two have your alone time later in the evening.

R = Risk (Are they game to experiment, do they take risks, etc.)

He’s down for trying out different places and times to do the do with you but if you both get caught he’d blame you on the spot. If you two were having sex in the dressing room of the clothing store and a clerk had heard you guys he’d try his best to get the two of you out of there undetected. But it’ll be a while before JB tries anything that risky again. He has two images to protect, his own and yours.

S = Stamina (How many rounds can they go for, how long do they last…)

At least five rounds with no doubt about it, but if you can’t go more than two or three he’d be completely satisfied with just two or three.

T = Toy (Do they own toys? Do they use them? On a partner or themselves?)

The closet in the basement is JB’s toy storage. You cleaned it out one day and saw rows of gags, collars, blindfold, vibrators, the good good. He caught you of course and asked you to pick one, that’s where the rest of your day began.

U = Unfair (how much they like to tease)

He’d tease you until he couldn’t take it anymore. He wanted to badly to have his cock be inside of you instead of his fingers, but he thought his princess was a bad girl and needed to be punished for touching herself without him knowing.

V = Volume (How loud they are, what sounds they make)

He’s very vocal, praises and moans slipping every other second with this guy.

W = Wild Card (Get a random headcanon for the character of your choice)

JB wants to try putting whipped cream and chocolate syrup on you and lick it off. Don’t tell me that’s something he wouldn’t do you can fight me on that one.

X = X-Ray (Let’s see what’s going on in those pants, picture or words)

The average size for men is like 5-6 inches in length so I can picture him being just about that, the only think different is that his is wider then most men and possibly a bit veiny???

Y = Yearning (How high is their sex drive?)

You know that whole Eiffel Tower thing? JB’s sex drive is higher than that.

Z = ZZZ (… how quickly they fall asleep afterwards)

After the massage he’d give you he’s out like a light, but not with out you in his arms and resting your pretty little head on his chest. He’d try to stay up a bit longer to run his fingers through your tasseled hair.

~Blake

Just saw a quote on Reddit that said “DMs need more DEX than INT,” and honestly, that should be the core of every piece of advice given to new DMs/GMs. Flexibility and the ability to adapt are infinitely more important than planning a world down to the tiniest detail. Your complicated world isn’t going to mean anything if you don’t know how to make the game interesting to the players on the fly.

Legend of Zelda Asks!
  1. Favorite game in the series
  2. Least favorite game in the series
  3. Favorite character
  4. Least favorite character
  5. Favorite version of Link
  6. Favorite version of Zelda
  7. Favorite female character
  8. Favorite male character
  9. Favorite main character
  10. Favorite side character
  11. Favorite area (from any game)
  12. Favorite villain
  13. When did you get into the series? How did you find out about it?
  14. If you could develop the next Zelda game, what would it be like?
  15. What spin-off game would you like to see? (ex - Sports game, Party game, Racing game, etc.)
  16. What cross-over game would you like to see with Legend of Zelda? (ex Legend of Zelda + Mario)
  17. What character would you put in Hyrule Warriors that isn’t already in the game?
  18. If you could live in Hyrule, where would you live? What would you do for a living? (Be a little more imaginative than just “I wanna be the hero” or “I would be the princess of Hyrule”)
  19. We’ve sort of seen the beginnings of Hyrule - What do you think the endings would be?
  20. If you only had 3 days to live in Termina, what would you do? Assume you are not playing the role of Link.
  21. Which piece of the Triforce do you think best represents yourself?
  22. Draw yourself as a character from Hyrule (Don’t just put yourself in Link’s clothes, think about what the average citizens wear)
  23. If you had the full Triforce, what would you do with it?
  24. If you turned into a wolf or other form of beast/animal in the Twilight, what would you look like? Feel free to draw it.
  25. What’s one thing that you want to see the most from the series? (ex - Remake of your favorite game, a new style of game, new TV show or comic, etc.)
  26. What DLC pack would you make for Hyrule Warriors that hasn’t already been done?
  27. What do you think a Legend of Hilda game would be like?
  28. What character(s) or event would you like to see more backstory on?
  29. What’s your favorite part of Legend of Zelda games? (ex - Getting all the collectibles, exploring, doing dungeons, fighting bosses, story, etc.)
  30. If you could only play one Legend of Zelda game for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

empressfortuna  asked:

Do you have any advice for someone putting together an RPG system for fun and to maybe play with friends? It's something I've started a couple of times (and I have a concept I really like sitting around that I'd like to try to flesh out into a system at some point), but I'm interested in what advice an industry professional has for an amateur.

Sure thing:

1. Start small.

If you’re an author, you don’t write the next Game of Thrones as your very first work, and if you’re a game designer, you don’t go straight to writing the next Dungeons & Dragons.

A good target for a beginning designer is a game that can be set forth in about 5000 words - i.e., basically a sixteen-page pamphlet if you’re aiming for print publication. Have a look at other very short RPGs to get a feel for what the minimal set of stuff you need to include is. Good examples include:

Several of these look like they break my length guideline, but that’s because they include introductory fiction, sample adventures, GM advice sections, etc. Ignore all that for now - zero in on the rules themselves.

2. Start with premise.

Not setting, not mechanics - if you start with those, you’ll end up with a collection of neat worldbuilding bits and dice-rolling tricks that don’t actually add up to anything.

Have a clear idea in your head of what the prototypical session of your game, the Platonic ideal of an adventure, looks like from beginning to end, and ensure that all of the material you write - rules, setting, etc. - directly supports that premise. You can branch out later, but it’s absolutely critical that you get that core right first. If you’re not sure whether a given piece of material directly supports that core? It probably doesn’t - lose it.

3. Outline, outline, outline.

Resist the urge to just leap in and start writing. You can note stuff down for later if you want (see point 5, below), but if you just start writing, at best you’re going to end up with a disorganised mess; at worst, you’ll become irresolvably stuck when you run into some critical aspect of your premise that you haven’t thought about yet.

Good organisation is much more important in game rules than it is in prose fiction, so effort spent here pays off huge later. A good game outline should ideally drill all the way down to what you plan to talk about in each individual paragraph. Use headings and subheadings if you have to. When you’re finished, you should be able to start writing your game simply by picking a portion of your outline and filling it in.

4. Give yourself deadlines.

This is the corollary of point 1, above. Even within a work of limited scope, it’s easy to iterate forever and never get anywhere, or to turn things over and over in your head without ever committing it to writing until all your enthusiasm for it dribbles away. Your first RPG should take no more than a couple of weeks to write; make time to work on it every day during that span.

(In fact, writing a complete RPG of this scope in a single day is an exercise that a lot of designers use to keep themselves sharp. You can Google “24 hour RPG” for numerous examples. Do not attempt to do this as your very first game, of course - it’s basically hard mode game design.)

5. Take notes.

Once you’re in the game-creating headspace, neat ideas on how to address various bits of your premise will be occurring to you at all hours of the day. If you have school or a day job, it’ll often be at times when you can’t drop everything to chase after the idea in question. You may be confident that you’ll remember it for later. You will not. Keep a notebook or a tablet on hand so that you can jot stuff down as it occurs to you.

6. Be a dictator.

Don’t be afraid to tell people how they ought to play the game. Some folks will tell you that this is bad design. These people are wrong. All game rules encode assumptions about how the game ought to be played; some games are merely more honest about it than others. You’ll save yourself a heap of trouble by being one of the honest ones.

7. Beta readers. Lots of ‘em.

This ties into the preceding point: as you write, you’re going to be making a vast array of assumptions about how the game ought to be played and how the rules are supposed to be executed. Many of these assumptions will seem so obvious to you that it wouldn’t occur to you to write them down, or will be so deeply embedded in your thinking about the game that you don’t even realise you’re making them.

The ability to step back and go “okay, what assumptions am I making about the player’s understanding and prior knowledge, and are these assumptions warranted?” is a skill. Unless you’re a technical writer or something in your day job, you do not yet possess this skill. The upshot is that your first attempt at a game (and your second, and your third…) will be incomprehensible to anyone who’s not you.

This doesn’t mean you’re a bad game designer. It does, however, mean that you need to get as many sets of eyes on your work as possible, and you need to respect and seriously consider the questions they ask, no matter how obvious the answers feel to you.

8. Never throw anything away.

You’re going to have many ideas that you can’t find a place for in your game. You’re going to have many more that you end up cutting because they turn out not to directly support your premise (see point 2, above). Don’t just delete them - keep a master document of your of unused ideas, preferably on Google Drive or another cloud-hosted service so it’s always accessible and impossible to accidentally lose.

Not only are you accumulating a store of material for future projects, but emotionally it’ll be a lot easier to give material you’ve put a lot of thought and work into the axe because it’s not working out in your current game when you can tell yourself that you’re not getting rid of it for good: you’re just not using it right now.

William Nylander - Missed Connections

Originally posted by mapleleafstrash

Request from @teenwolfgirl88 : Can you do a William nylander imagine where you can’t make it to his game because of work and he’s mad about it. But fluff in the end.

Stepping out of the fortress of boxes you’d been surrounded by you searched for your phone. As you looked out of the museum window you noticed how dark the sky had turned, “shit,” you sighed.

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