on all the levels that exist

nytimes.com
Supreme Court Won’t Hear Major Case on Transgender Rights
The justices vacated an appeal’s court decision in favor of a transgender boy, Gavin Grimm, and sent the case back for further consideration.
By Adam Liptak

What this is: Disappointing, infuriating, and a direct result of President Trump’s decision to withdraw President Obama’s previously issued guidance on transgender youth.  

What this isn’t: The end of the road. The past few months have seen a historic growth in support for transgender protections at the highest level. Thousands of individuals and organizations have signed on to the amicus briefs—major medical associations, unions representing millions of teachers, national religious leaders, elected officials at the local, state, and federal level, and ordinary citizens concerned about the rights and dignity of their fellow human beings.

This decision does not void any existing Title IX legal protections for transgender students, and similar cases regarding the fundamental rights of transgender students in schools are pending throughout the circuit courts.

The momentum on this issue is clear, and it isn’t going to be readily reversed—at least not if we all continue to work for what’s right. We remain committed to standing with Gavin, to supporting the ACLU, and ultimately toward the passage of explicit, comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ Americans. It’s more important now than ever before.

Here’s how you can keep up the fight:

Sexuality

So I got slightly tipsy the other night and just decided to say that I was Pansexual, and that’s a big deal to me because I am happy and comfortable with my sexuality. Of course, many people have been criticizing this saying I said it “just to get special snowflake tumblerina points” and “but you’re married?!?!?” 

Alright, let’s talk about this so I can clear some things up. One of the main reasons I’ve always been very cautious about my sexuality is because growing up my father made sure to make any kind of non-straight sexuality bad. He would call my gay friends the F word, ask me about once a month if I was a Lesbian like it was a dirty word, and constantly use slurs, etc. It was hard, I questioned my sexuality a lot. I also suffered verbal and sexual abuse from my mother, so that made things even more confusing for me as you can imagine. 

Growing up there were times I thought I was asexual, times I thought I was bi, times I just stopped caring completely because it was just too complicated for me to even think about. I watched the movie “Kinsey” in high school and realized that sexuality was a spectrum and left it at that until I had a lot of therapy much, much later in life.

Recently though (the past year I guess), I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching on finding a label for what I was. I guess because I felt like it was something I was ready to do, and being Pansexual fit what I was. I didn’t care about gender, I didn’t care about anything really, who I was attracted to was never defined by anything I could put reasoning or black and white labels on. And yes, I have been attracted to men and women but their gender had nothing to do with my level of attraction. 

And yes, I’m happily married and love my husband, but sexuality still exists after you’re married. 

Anyway, thanks for listening everyone. It’s hard for me to share these things because of how awful some of my past is, I genuinely don’t like talking about it but sometimes I feel the need to clarify my feelings and sharing them with you all is important. Especially if some of you have struggled through some of the same issues that I have. 

Stay strong, love you tweethearts! <3 

“by being a girl rather than a boy who likes girly things, you’re just being toxic and reinforcing gender roles!”

hey buddy pal, maybe trans girls exist as more than symbols to be scoring moral points for your idea of gender nonconformity as praxis, and we struggle enough as it is to just exist for ourselves without people objectifying us trying to figure out how ideologically pure our existence is.  just as you should recognise a woman staying at home to raise the kids or a woman running a corporation are both women being individuals navigating the system of gender around them, you can recognise that we’re just trying to do our thing and already worry far too much about our existential personhood rather than just living our lives.  or, maybe even, us entirely rejecting our birth assigned gender is the most powerful act of gender nonconformity of all and you should get on our level

w4w guide to girls

wow, so you’re probably thinking to yourself or selves right now, “what are girls? where do i meet girls? how do i get them to like me? why does it feel like someone is peering into my mind right now?” and other pressing questions. today i will answer three of them.

what are girls?

girls are girls. they’re whatever girls are. girls are tall. sometimes they are not. sometimes they seem to have inverse heights that distort the space around them. some girls have vaginas or penises or any other variation and maybe even nothing. it’s amazing how many things that girls are and often these things are contradictory or paradoxical on the quantum level. if you’re reading this, you may yourself be a girl. if you’re not sure, try asking yourself “am i a girl?” if yourself says yes, then you’re a girl. if no, sorry, this isn’t for you. if you’re not sure or you find out new information later come back and read this another time.

where do i meet girls?

girls can be found just about anywhere. a cave. in a dream. at a noise show. anywhere. sometimes they don’t even exist at all for long periods of time before manifesting themselves physically after a series of rituals involving candles and/or swear-heavy incantations. girls like dark, damp places. sometimes they do not and they like other places. i once met a girl in a house i was living in. that girl was my mom. this is not a guide on meeting your mom. you want to meet a girl you can date. 

how do i get a girl to like me?

no one knows. i once got a girl to like me by mentioning nihilism as a means of survival. sometimes they like it when you make a joke about a horse. i once liked a girl because i saw her lift 200 lbs over her head. there are likely an infinite number of ways to get girls to like or dislike you. this often depends on the girl. is the girl a goth? try wearing all black or, if you don’t own enough black clothing, blotting out the sun with your foul miasma. is the girl into hiking? try corralling deer and wolves into her home to recreate her favorite surroundings. is the girl a timeless entity beyond mortal understanding? try flowers.

i hope this helped and you can all meet some nice girls to kiss or hold hands or enact full communism with <3

just a few things straight* people need to never do again

since i’m feeling extra bitter tonight!

  • don’t call ppl gay as a joke/insult, this is 101 level shit friends!

  • DEFINITELY don’t call homophobes gay as a joke/insult. this goes TRIPLE for homophobic politicians etc who deliberately torture, or endanger/end the lives of, LGBT+ people. fuck your putin memes!!!

  • don’t suggest that violent homophobes are just closeted self-hating gay ppl or that “the worst ones are always secretly gay”. that places the blame on us for our own oppression which is a cruel move

  • don’t bring up the fact that “LGBT+ people aren’t all perfect, they can be abusers too!!” because we know, you paint us all that way in order to justify our oppression, and you literally cannot handle that conversation with nuance because of that history - so leave those discussions to us.

  • don’t say making a butch-coded character a lesbian would be “a stereotype” so it’s somehow more Progressive™ to have yet another straight character who just happens to take all her fashion cues from lesbian culture. we need rep more than you do, straight girls with short hair!

  • don’t insist that it’s somehow wrong to be LGBT+ and fulfil stereotypes, as though the negativity in those stereotypes doesn’t nearly always come directly from straight people being uncomfortable with people being visibly LGBT+ and having our own cultures and ways of identifying ourselves to each other

  • don’t act all offended when someone mistakes you for one of us. take some time to think about why you think they should know you’re straight, and why you think it’s so bad to be seen as one of us.

  • don’t make AIDS jokes. what the literal fuck. it was a fucking genocide you monster.

  • don’t defend the way we die on screen all the time. don’t write stories where we can’t be alive and happy and LGBT+ all at the same time without being punished for it by the narrative.

  • don’t go making or joining in on our jokes about how straight people are the worst. that’s you too, buddy, no matter how big your rainbow backpack is.

  • don’t talk about how there are straight people and Straight People™ and you’re better than those other Straight People™. that’s not your fucking call and if you think it is you’re definitely Straight People™

  • don’t assume that everyone in your life is straight. odds are a lot of people just aren’t out to you. it’s your job to learn to be a person they can feel safe being honest with, and to act like that person even when you think you’re only interacting w straight ppl.

  • don’t assume that all LGBT+ people are adults who always knew. be aware that in most groups of children, some will be lgbt+, and be respectful of that possibility in how you talk to them

  • don’t out us. don’t speculate on whether someone you know is lgbt+. don’t mention us in conversation purely to get Cool Credit for knowing A Gay, that’s weird and uncomfortable even if it’s not to someone we know/will ever meet. other lgbt+ ppl see u doing that and we are creeped out.

  • don’t pretend you can be privately creeped out by/uncomfortable w/disapproving of our existence without being a homophobe. you’re a homophobe. you don’t have to stay that way.

  • don’t fetishize relationships between ppl of the gender you’re attracted to. our sexuality and our relationships are not for your consumption and us loving/fucking each other is explicitly not about you at all!

  • stop talking about same gender relationships like they’re dirtier or more sinful than yours. stop pretending gay fanfiction is dirtier than straight fanfiction.

  • shipping isn’t activism, porn isn’t activism, and it’s homophobic to pretend voyeuristic fetishization of our existence is remotely supportive. especially if you’re still uncomfortable w gay & bi people of your own gender.

  • like it’s 100% ok to ship gay relationships but it doesn’t make u an activist or exempt from homophobia, and u do need to examine how u interact w those stories to make sure you’re not objectifying oppressed ppl for ur own pleasure - we’re not fetish objects, we’re people

  • stop showing up to gay bars uninvited. stop having your bachelor/ette parties at gay bars. stop treating our only places to meet each other like your personal zoos.

  • don’t hit on gay men or lesbians, in earnest or as a joke. This includes hitting on gay ppl of your own gender bc you think it’s funny or bc you want to turn on your partner. don’t fucking ask us if you can watch us having sex. stop asking for sexual interaction altogether from people you know aren’t attracted to your gender. you will not be an exception.

  • don’t pressure ur bi partner to engage in a threesome they haven’t said they actually want. definitely do not hit on LGB+ ppl on behalf of your bi partner. wtf dude.

  • straight women, please stop calling your platonic female friends “girlfriends” or people you admire as “woman crushes”. Take some time to think about why you think just indicating she’s a girl is supposed to make it clear that your feelings toward someone are actually platonic, and how that makes lbpq women you know feel.

  • when someone comes out to you, don’t act like they’re suddenly a predatory pervert w no self control. don’t stop inviting them to events or start acting differently around them. we interact w ppl of our own gender all the fucking time w/o making it sexual, stop interpreting every interaction w a gay person as sexual in our minds, it’s almost certainly not. ur not that irresistible, stop making it weird.

  • don’t pretend our existence is 100% about how we have sex. that means stop making excuses to not tell children about us! don’t act like we shouldn’t be gay in public! don’t act like your weird kinks make your experience remotely equivalent to ours! (stop ‘coming out’ as kinky you creeps!)

  • don’t demand we present a desexualized and platonic image of our existence and relationships at all times. we have wildly varying sex lives and levels of complexity in our relationships to sex, just like you do.

  • don’t ever EVER use the word h*m*sexual, it’s considered a slur bc it was used for medicalized justifications for our torture. there’s a reason 99% of the usage of that word today is by anti-gay groups.

*tbh this is really just @ straight cis ppl even tho it’s abt gayness since honestly most of these do not apply to straight trans ppl, bc straight trans ppl are an integral part of the same communities/face many of the same issues - and almost always have better fucking manners.

hey please stop talking about how all abrahamic religions believe in hell the eternal fiery pit because that concept doesn’t even exist in judaism and the jews who do believe in the old descriptions of our closest equivalent of christian ‘hell’ will tell you that hell isn’t a place of eternal damnation but is a temporary layover where the majority of average people go to work through their sins and issues in preparation for the afterlife and only truly irredeemably EVIL people have to stay there. if there are demons they are of the person’s own creation and have to be dealt with on a personal level. the concept of sinning losing you your place in a happy afterlife is generally regarded as exaggeration, like stories you tell your children to keep them from fucking up excessively. good deeds are to be performed because it is our duty and our pleasure to do so, and our most holy day is based around simultaneously repenting for our sins and acknowledging that we are going to continue to make mistakes, but that we should still try and god will be understanding of our natural flaws. our afterlife is also a general thing open to people of all religions, not just jews (so you can stop the chosen people exclusive club accusations now), who do good on earth. those who don’t literally can’t be in 'hell’ for longer than twelve months unless they are truly the scum of the earth. but genuinely it’s not that big a deal even for the jews who DO believe in the reward/punishment afterlife factor so can we stop being like ~*ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS EXIST TO FRIGHTEN YOU WITH ETERNAL DAMNATION*~

jojo2k6  asked:

So apparently it was not common in the US to shower more than once a week until the 1940s, around the same time people started using deodorant regularly. Are the regulars of Lackadaisy all radiating a personal funk that everyone is too polite to talk about?

Hmm.  Interesting topic.

To start with: yep. People were probably dirtier and smellier in the past, on average. Everything was.  Cigarette smoke permeated the walls and rugs and upholstery of every interior and surely clung to everyone’s clothing.  Coal dust and smoke lingered in the air outside where businesses were beset with scant environmental regulation, and where industrial and residential zones were nestled in together.  All sorts of noxious things were dumped into the rivers, and considerably more people did hard, manual labor and factory work in conditions we’d regard as deplorable now…but which probably seemed pretty normal to them.  If the sweaty dock worker next to you hadn’t bathed since last Saturday, you probably didn’t notice or care, because you hadn’t either, and the body of water you were standing over smelled a whole lot worse.

Having opened with that, though, there are a lot of adages still floating around out there about how little people bathed in the past and how rank they must have been as a result, but there’s a fair amount of misunderstanding, untruth, and unaccounted for cultural change mixed into those ideas too.  So, here are some things to consider about the early 20th century-

- If your criteria for ‘bathing’ is limited to being in a full size bathtub with running water, standing under a showerhead or soaking, then yes, bathing was comparatively infrequent.  It is not generally true, however, that people didn’t wash and otherwise put effort into keeping themselves clean.  This might involve jumping in a stream or spring, going at it sponge-bath style, ladling water over themselves in a small tub, or routinely cleaning up with the pitcher and bowl washstand found in most any bedroom where a sink was not within reach.

- Whether or not you bathed regularly in a bathtub or shower would depend a whole lot on where you lived.  Bear in mind that extensive water/sewer systems, indoor plumbing and the convenience of a dedicated bathroom in one’s house containing a sink, toilet and tub were still new developments in the early 20th century.  My house, for example, was built ~1910 in a place just outside the city. Originally, it had an outhouse in the yard and no bathrooms inside.  Fitting it with bathrooms and plumbing would have been a big deal and a big expense - not everyone was able to hop on that modernity bandwagon right away.  For many, submerging themselves in water still required filling up a copper basin with buckets lugged in from an outdoor pump and heated on a stove.  It wouldn’t be very practical to do that more than once a week.

- It is certainly true that people didn’t wash their hair as often, but again, it doesn’t mean they didn’t take pains to care for their hair. Our modern idea of liquid shampoo didn’t come about until around 1927.  Lye soaps in powder form that were previously available tended to be very harsh and conditioners as we know them weren’t around to mitigate the effects, so washings had to be infrequent if you didn’t want to chemically alleviate yourself of your locks.  Washing with oils, vinegar and eggs (or some combination thereof) was a common approach too.  Brushes and talc were used to control grease build-up between washes. Hairstyling in the 1920s also involved a lot of pomades and waxes. It’d generally stay put for a while and, as you might imagine, getting all of it out of your hair would be something of a chore. “I’m washing my hair that night” sounds like a sarcastic cop out on a social engagement, but it wasn’t always such a weak excuse.  
Arguably, nowadays, we wash our hair a bit too often, though….which brings me to the next thing.

- Advertising holds enormous cultural sway, and in the 20’s and 30’s, the collective standard of what ‘clean’ is changed rather profoundly. As magazines flourished and radio became a staple of existence, people were pelted with ads for soaps, detergents, deodorants, antiperspirants and other hygiene products.  Many of them were new revelations…and many of them were inventing problems to sell cures for, generating new levels of self-consciousness and cashing in on shame.  Listerine, previously better known as a floor cleaning agent and treatment for certain sexually transmitted infections, famously launched a melodramatic crusade against halitosis - a plague the people had not even realized they were so ruinously afflicted with beforehand.  The term ‘soap opera’ comes from soap and cleaner manufacturers buying up all of the daytime radio broadcast advertising space during which drama serials aired.  People were newly expected to clean in certain ways at certain intervals with certain products.

Cleanliness is important, of course - there’s definitely an aspect of social courtesy to it, and scientifically based bar-raising on that front has done much to minimize death from infection, but to an extent, you might also say the 1920s marked the emergence of a sort of consumer driven, culturally normalized neurosis about it.

7

Operable Boundary Townhouse/Garden in Brooklyn

In the words of the Dean/Wolf Architects:

Operable Boundary Townhouse/Garden creates a new field of openness excavated out of the lower level of an existing traditional townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. Removing all of the servant spaces from the house at both the garden level and the parlor floor liberates the space from it’s previous secondary status. The traditional boundary between parlor and kitchen is opened through the excavation of a two story space over the dining space and the light apertures between the parlor and the kitchen which cut into the security of the traditional floor which separates them. The kitchen/dining space becomes an entertaining space and a family space equilivant to the formal parlor spaces overhead. Open to each other as well as the garden, it becomes an open field of occupation rather than a closed relationship of proximity and view.

Follow the Source Link for images sources and more information.

On trauma aftermaths that don't advance the plot

The way TV shows trauma can lead people to expect every reference to trauma to be a plot point. This can be isolating to people coping with the aftermaths of trauma. Sometimes people treat us as stories rather than as people. Sometimes, instead of listening to us, they put a lot of pressure on us to advance the plot they’re expecting.

On TV, triggers tend to be full audiovisual flashbacks that add something to the story. You see a vivid window into the character’s past, and something changes. On TV, trauma aftermaths are usually fascinating. Real life trauma aftermaths are sometimes interesting, but also tend to be very boring to live with.

On TV, triggers tend to create insight. In real life, they’re often boring intrusions interfering with the things you’d rather be thinking about. Sometimes knowing darn well where they come from doesn’t make them go away. Sometimes it’s more like: Seriously? This again?

On TV, when trauma is mentioned, it’s usually a dramatic plot point that happens in a moment. In real life, trauma aftermaths are a mundane day-to-day reality that people live with. They’re a fact of life — and not necessarily the most important one at all times. People who have experienced trauma do other things too. They’re important, but not the one and only defining characteristic of who someone is. And things that happened stay important even when you’re ok. Recovery is not a reset. Mentioning the past doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in crisis.

On TV, when a character mentions trauma, or gets triggered in front of someone, it’s usually a dramatic moment. It changes their life, or their relationship with another character, or explains their backstory, or something. In real life, being triggered isn’t always a story, and telling isn’t always a turning point. Sometimes it’s just mentioning something that happened to be relevant. Sometimes it’s just a mundane instance of something that happens from time to time.

Most people can’t have a dramatic transformative experience every time it turns out that their trauma matters. Transformative experiences and moments of revelation exist, but they’re not the end all and be all of trauma aftermaths. Life goes on, and other things matter too. And understanding what a reaction means and where it came from doesn’t always make it go away. Sometimes, it takes longer and has more to do with skill-building than introspection. Sometimes it doesn’t go away.

On a day to day level, it’s often better to be matter-of-fact about aftermaths. It can be exhausting when people see you as a story and expect you to advance the plot whenever they notice some effect of trauma. Pressure to perform narratives about healing doesn’t often help people to make their lives better. Effect support involves respecting someone as a complex human, including the boring parts.

The aftermath of trauma is a day-to-day reality. It affects a lot of things, large and small. It can be things like being too tired to focus well in class because nightmares kept waking you up every night this week. TV wants that to be a dramatic moment where the character faces their past and gets better. In real life, it’s often a day where you just do your best to try and learn algebra anyway. Because survivors do things besides be traumatized and think about trauma. Sometimes it’s not a story. Sometimes it’s just getting through another day as well as possible.

A lot of triggers are things like being unable to concentrate on anything interesting because some kinds of background noises make you feel too unsafe to pay attention to anything else. For the zillionth time.  Even though you know rationally that they’re not dangerous. Even though you know where they come from, and have processed it over and over. Even if you’ve made a lot of progress in dealing with them, even if they’re no longer bothersome all the time. For most people, recovery involves a lot more than insight. The backstory might be interesting, but being tired and unable to concentrate is boring.

Triggers can also mean having to leave an event and walk home by yourself while other people are having fun, because it turns out that it hurts too much to be around pies and cakes. Or having trouble finding anything interesting to read that isn’t intolerably triggering. Or having trouble interacting with new people because you’re too scared or there are too many minefields. Or being so hypervigilant that it’s hard to focus on anything. No matter how interesting the backstory is, feeling disconnected and missing out on things you wanted to enjoy is usually boring.

When others want to see your trauma as a story, their expectations sometimes expand to fill all available space. Sometimes they seem to want everything to be therapy, or want everything to be about trauma and recovery.

When others want every reference to trauma to be the opening to a transformative experience, it can be really hard to talk about accommodations. For instance, it gets hard to say things like:

  • “I’m really tired because of nightmares” or 
  • “I would love to go to that event, but I might need to leave because of the ways in which that kind of thing can be triggering” or 
  • “I’m glad I came, but I can’t handle this right now” or
  • “I’m freaking out now, but I’ll be ok in a few minutes” or 
  • “I need to step out — can you text me when they stop playing this movie?”

It can also be hard to mention relevant experiences. There are a lot of reasons to mention experiences other than wanting to process, eg:

  • “Actually, I have experience dealing with that agency”
  • “That’s not what happens when people go to the police, in my experience, what happens when you need to make a police report is…”
  • “Please keep in mind that this isn’t hypothetical for me, and may not be for others in the room as well.”

Or any number of other things.

When people are expecting a certain kind of story, they sometimes look past the actual person. And when everyone is looking past you in search of a story, it can be very hard to make connections.

It helps to realize that no matter what others think, your story belongs to you. You don’t have to play out other people’s narrative expectations. It’s ok if your story isn’t what others want it to be. It’s ok not to be interesting. It’s ok to have trauma reactions that don’t advance the plot. And there are people who understand that, and even more people who can learn to understand that.

It’s possible to live a good life in the aftermath of trauma. It’s possible to relearn how to be interested in things. It’s possible to build space you can function in, and to build up your ability to function in more spaces. It’s often possible to get over triggers. All of this can take a lot of time and work, and can be a slow process. It doesn’t always make for a good story, and it doesn’t always play out the way others would like it to. And, it’s your own personal private business. Other people’s concern or curiosity does not obligate you to share details.

Survivors and victims have the right to be boring. We have the right to deal with trauma aftermaths in a matter-of-fact way, without indulging other people’s desires for plot twists. We have the right to own our own stories, and to keep things private. We have the right to have things in our lives that are not therapy; we have the right to needed accommodations without detailing what happened and what recovery looks like. Neither traumatic experiences nor trauma aftermaths erase our humanity.

We are not stories, and we have no obligation to advance an expected plot. We are people, and we have the right to be treated as people. Our lives, and our stories, are our own.

Dean - Cas chemistry

So, after this post by @margarittet we and @destielonfire were discussing the chemistry and I wanted to note other non-chemistry versions of these two as a direct comparison to the real, acted, directed and scripted chemistry between Dean and Cas.

Dean - Cas: ultimate chemistry. Lust and passion turns to love and devotion and #married by season 12.

Originally posted by weallneedcastiel

Of course Dean - Jimmy: As @margarittet says, zero sexual / romantic chemistry here, especially from Misha, the guy is such a brilliant actor.

Originally posted by isthemachinesinging

Dean - Emmanuel: Dean has all the angst written all over his face throughout the whole episode, knowing it’s not really Cas, he does have some chemistry towards Cas though it’s not ‘I wanna bang you’ its ‘I want Cas back’ (same as some of the later Crazy!Cas). Misha plays Cas with ZERO chemistry with Dean, until he is Cas again. It’s brilliantly done…

Originally posted by destiel-is-love-cockles-is-life

Dean - Crazy!Cas: Dean’s face before he realises Cas isn’t himself:

Originally posted by teamfrwill

Dean - Crazy!Cas when he realises he isn’t his Cas: Zilch (except for the ‘I just want my Cas back’ looks) until 8x01 when he’s Cas again. 

Cas has zero chemistry with Dean, UNTIL he spends a little time with him, gets to know him again and by the end he offers to go with him even though he said he wouldn’t… it’s not quite falling in love all over again but it does show that in a way, any version of Cas will end up choosing Dean, its so poetic and @margarittet and I are trying desperately to remember as there has to be a story out there with parallel universes, a romantic story throughout the worlds where no matter what version of a person they always fall for the other, I just can’t remember what it is! Anyway, this is probably very relevant for season 13.

Dean - Casifer: Zero chemistry, just pure hatred and resolution.

Originally posted by heytheredeann

UNTIL IT’S CAS again….

Originally posted by bubblemish

This needs no explanation. Jensen’s acting is a gift.

Cas - MoC!Dean: As Dean descends into the mark, the chemistry only comes out when Dean is really DEAN and clearly escaping the mark’s influence such as the burger date:

Originally posted by theywearpink

Otherwise Cas is generally pretty cold, it’s like he can feel Dean’s soul is not the same. Jensen generally acts Dean pretty cold towards Cas (and Sam of course) unless Dean is having a real DEAN moment in the middle of it all. 

eg. 9x22: Cas has literally just given up his whole army for Dean, yet although Dean is softer with Cas than even with Sam, he is still nowhere near normal Dean levels of chemistry with Cas here:

Originally posted by theywearpink

Meanwhile Cas is desperately trying to save him but the chemistry is not the same, all the way until 11x01, when it is back over the phone and 11x03 back in person with a bang:

Originally posted by smiliecas

Anyway basically yeah, it’s not just Cockles, it’s on purpose specifically between Dean and Cas and this is no accident.

What if:

A werewolf AU only it’s not a werewolf AU.

Yuuri Katsuki is a mysterious man who likes his meat rare and talks to dogs like he can understand what they’re saying. He says he has a dark past and doesn’t like to talk about himself too much. Viktor asks him what he does for a living, and Yuuri hems and haws for a moment before explaining that he monitors the tides. More than once, Yuuri crawls into Viktor’s bed smelling like wet dog. Viktor has never seen Yuuri on a full moon. Yuuri has scars on his belly that he refuses to talk about. 

“Yuuri,” Viktor says one morning over coffee, upon putting all of this together. “Yuuri, are you a werewolf?”

Yuuri sets his mug down, hard, and levels Viktor with the most astounded look Viktor has ever seen on another person’s face. “Excuse me?”

“You’re a werewolf, aren’t you?” Viktor asks, leaning far over the table. “You can tell me, it’s okay. I’ll love you either way.”

“Viktor, oh my God.” Yuuri sniffs Viktor’s coffee to make sure it’s not spiked. “Viktor, why would you think that? Werewolves aren’t real, Viktor, they don’t exist.”

“But you like your meat rare.”

“Where I come from, everyone likes their meat rare.”

“Yuuri–Yuuri, you talk to dogs! You keep telling me that you have a dark past and you won’t tell me about it! You monitor tides for a living? What does that even mean, Yuuri? I thought it was a euphemism for–”

“Viktor, I literally work at a tide monitoring station. You’ve been to the station, you’ve met my coworkers.” Yuuri drops his head onto the table and buries his hands in his hair. “The–the dark past is–Viktor, it was a joke. I thought I told you. I was talking about my–my failed figure skating career. It was–how the hell did you get werewolf from all of that? There are so many more logical explanations–”

“The scars!” Viktor blurts, even though he’ll realize shortly that it was terribly insensitive of him. “Where did you get–”

“My failed figure skating career!” Yuuri groans. “Another skater and I–we crashed into each other, his skates tore up my stomach and I almost poked both his eyes out! That’s why I don’t skate anymore!”

“Then,” Viktor announces, throwing out his trump card, “Why do I never see you on the full moon?”

“Because I work at a tide-monitoring station, Viktor! Why, why did none of this occur to you?!”

“Oh,” Viktor says softly, clearing his throat. “I see.”

Yuuri Katsuki, who is not a werewolf but merely a failed figure skater who works at a tide monitoring station and owns a dog, bangs his head repeatedly on the table.

Radiation in the real Mojave Wasteland

Before I get into the details you should know that the majority of the radiation that fell across the Mojave is gone by now. However that does not mean there are not still pockets of it left and of course uranium mines and so on. 

Post WWII the US wanted to test as many bombs as possible to see what the effects were in all sorts of conditions, depths, heights and so on. At the time the most sparsely populated place in the US was in Southern Nevada. This was when Las Vegas was just beginning to come into it’s own and I-15 to Los Angeles had not even been constructed yet.

Here is a map of the Nevada Test Range

And here is what the most heavily cratered part of it looks like

The majority of those detonations were underground however the site had been used for above ground and aerial detonation also. 

All of the material blasted into the atmosphere had to go somewhere and one of the biggest air currents in the area goes from the ocean through Los Angeles and into central Utah. It covers the majority of the Mojave desert and of course that material was blown directly into it. 

Here is a map of the three heaviest effected regions in the states of Nevada, Utah and Arizona

My Grandfather was living in St George Utah at the time having retired from the Army post WWII and he, with his wife and five kids were all subjected to the fallout from Nuclear blasts in Nevada. My mother and uncles did not develop problems from it but my Grandmother had lung cancer in her later years and my Grandfather had a variety of health problems from a weak immune system in his 50′s until his death in his 80′s. What they experienced was a very real concern that many people in the area experienced and it was not until the late 1980′s that a real solid investigation on the effects of being down wind of the blasts had. 

The Radioactive Fallout lost the majority of its Radioactivity within a few years but there are hot spots dotting the Mojave where sediment has collected since the testing being washed down river or through floods and they measure a higher radiation than normal. None of them are particularly lethal, you’d have to spend a few months on them to get a high enough dose to matter but it is a concern for the smaller species in the area that do have to deal with it. 

The other problem we face out here are the hundreds of Uranium Mines all over the desert. I’ve talked a lot about them before but many of these mines had no regulation on them and people just dug wherever they could and contaminated the surrounding area. Uranium itself does not have too much Radioactivity unless you detonate it and those fine fallout particles settle however it’s a heavy metal and will leech into the soil and water table like mercury will. I was poisoned by Uranium when I inhaled a lot of fine ore dust over the period of a few hours as I napped on a fine tailings pile of sand. I had to be treated with Iodine and have my system flushed and it took a bit before I was back to normal. I had a representative from Utah’s Mining Regulation tell me that for every known Uranium mine there are probably two they don’t know about. The ones that are particularly dangerous have been sealed off like the one in the photo below. 

It’s just a fact of life out here in the Mojave. The mutation rate from what I have seen is no higher than normal. We do get mutations in animals every so often but you get that all across the US.

So when people say I am only playing at Fallout and I’m obsessed with it they don’t really get that I actually live it. I live in the most heavily nuclear bombed area in the world. At one point just about everyone living down here in the 50′s was exposed to high levels of fallout. I’ve been exposed to Uranium. I also scrap, scavenge, spelunk, hunt, trap and survive off the land. I was doing this long before the Fallout games even existed and They just over exaggerated a part of my life. New Vegas in particular since it takes place in my home region. 

Sometimes reality is just as messed up as fiction. 

anonymous asked:

Ngl I ship Alfred × the Waynes REALLY REALLY HARD now. Curse u!! How dare u make me ship something that there is literally 0 content for aaaah

when i started wayne manor i did not intend for this to happen but quite frankly it’s all thomas’ fault. WELCOME TO HELL.

i don’t know if there’s a name for a ship that is so obscure it might as well not exist, but then if you voice the idea out loud people go “WAIT BUT THAT MAKES SENSE??” but anyway that is the level of hell we are at with this and it’s just the worst.

Alright, so, I’ll start this off by saying I am honestly not an expert on Kakyoin, contrary to popular belief (I’d actually consider myself more of an expert on Jotaro’s character, if anything), but I’m going to do my best to give my views on Kakyoin’s character, as well as some canon evidence to support it, and hopefully it will help a bit.

If you want a great reference of how to write Kakyoin in fic, go read Sand, sand and more sand on AO3, because it’s honestly one of the best depictions of Kak I’ve ever read, and he’s quite close to canon.

*ahem*

Kakyoin is pretty snarky. He’s subtle about it, but he’s also kind of a shithead. He’s polite most of the time, but it seems to be more of a setting he defaults to when he doesn’t feel entirely comfortable around the people he’s with. We have quite a few quips from him as examples of this, such as him laughing at andd mocking Anne during the dark blue moon arc, and saying she couldn’t possibly be the stand user on board, and in the Geb and N'Doul fight where he orders Polnareff to attack the canteen because he “doesn’t want to”. He also at one point responds to Polnareff saying “this looks bad!” with, “well it most certainly isn’t good.”

He’s blunt, but this also means that he’s honest. He dislikes liars, and prefers that everything is set out before him clearly and plainly as opposed to someone that is clearly dancing around the subject.

He also seems like quite the know-it-all, and likes being right; and he’s probably the type to argue with someone even if he knows he’s wrong. He seems to genuinely enjoy teaching the crusaders about the culture of all the places they visit on their journey, and he has the ability to retain all of that information to recant to them, as well. It seems to be somewhat of an interest of his.

And then there’s this, of course…

The cherry thing is something that kind of bothers me in fandom and fic. Yes; Kakyoin says that cherries are his favourite fruit. Child Kakyoin has cherries on his shirt (keep in mind that the scene with child kakyoin is added in my DavidPro and is not technically canon). BUT, it doesn’t mean that he has to have everything cherry-related. It’s a seriously overused trait in fandom to the point that it just becomes annoying. Kak can have a coffee without it having to be cherry flavoured. Just remember that he canonically enjoys lots of different foods, and that he doesn’t need to exclusively eat cherries and cherry flavoured things. He probably likes to eat foods from all different cultures.

Video games: There is evidence to suggest that Kakyoin spends a LOT of time playing F-Mega, however, this doesn’t mean that his extreme knowledge of the tracks and mechanics applies to every video game in existence. He’s a teenager, with no friends in the 80’s, of course he’s going to spend time playing video games. But back in the 80s, people often only had one or two games, so it’s likely that he has simply replayed F-Mega a LOT, to the point of knowing it by heart. I know the levels of Mario 3 extremely well, simply because I played them over and over again as a kid. If you are fixated on a single game for extended periods of time (especially if it’s the only game you own), you are of course going to know the game well. Knowing a lot about a single game does not mean that he’s obsessed with video games, and does not necessarily mean that he’s a shut-in, and never goes outside.

Also keep in mind that he says that he’s “pretty good at video games”. He doesn’t claim to be great at them, and since we’ve already established that Kakyoin is quite blunt, it would be out of character to assume that he’s being humble here. He literally means that he’s just “pretty good” at them. No more, no less.

His real-world experience is vast, and it’s also mentioned that his parents take him many places on vacation. He’s been to a lot of places, and retains cultural knowledge. It’s not as if he’s read it in books: he’s actually been to these places before, and he mentions it frequently. This suggests that he gets out quite a bit, and also kind of suggests that maybe he isn’t quite the model student type in school.

Kakyoin doesn’t appear to be the honours student & straight A’s type. He doesn’t think twice about skipping out on his new school to travel to Egypt, and as I said before, his knowledge appears to come more from first-hand experience rather than school studies (and I bet he missed more than a few of his classes due to the trips that he and his parents took). He’s a know-it-all, but it doesn’t mean that he does well in school.

On the other hand, Jotaro IS a model student, despite his delinquent status. It’s more likely that Jotaro would be the one helping Kakyoin with his homework.
(He might disrespect his teachers, but he still gets good grades, and let’s not forget that he becomes a marine biologist later in life.)

Kakyoin’s profile also mentions that he “appears very effeminite”. This is another thing that is often misinterpreted. His appearence may be somewhat feminine, and he takes pride in how he looks, but his personality and mannerisms are not inherently feminine.

He hates being forced into submission, and this is the reason why he despises Dio so much. Dio took advantage of his vulnerability and the fact that Kak didn’t have any friends to use him as his pawn. He drew Kak in, made him feel wanted, needed, and then took control of his mind and body.

“He appears to be very effeminate. In reality, he despises submitting to people or sucking up to them.” - Taken directly from his canon personality description.

Another thing that people seem to miss is the fact that he’s extremely sadistic. He says himself that Heirophant “loves nothing more than to rip things to shreds” and that it might “drive him mad with joy”. He likes being in control of the situation, remember. He probably hates losing fights, as well (especially since he could be considered a weakling for losing).

Kakyoin also seems to like Baseball, judging by his profile naming a favourite team, and sumo, as we all know from his exchange with Jotaro.

One of the things that fandom does definitely get right, is Kakyoin being the mother hen of the group. He’s taken on the role of the responsible one, because Joseph is… far from being an adult. He’s strategic and thinks everything out logically, and so is the mature one of the group, especially after Avdol’s “death”. He appears to be content to follow Joseph, but when it’s needed, he steps up and becomes the leader in his place. This is seen when Jotaro, Joseph and Polnareff start physically fighting random men that they suspect are the one in the Wheel of Fortune car, to which he says that, “this is not a good idea,” and that it’s, “getting out of hand”. It’s also seen in the tower of grey fight where he mentions that it’s better that he fights on the plane, because he’s the least destructive of the bunch (even though he’s capable of blasting holes into clock towers, apparently his emerald splash isn’t destructive; okay Kak…).

He’s also fiercely protective of his friends, and extremely loyal as well. Kakyoin isn’t the type to abandon his friends in any circumstance.

He’s a CASANOVA. While Jotaro draws more unwanted attention from girls due to his bad boy façade, Kakyoin is slick and smooth with them, so much so that they notice him more over Jotaro. He’s quick to diffuse the situation when Jotaro pushes the girls aside (again, in the tower of grey arc), and it’s just… yes.

Just look at this. You can bet your ass he’s not the type to blush and stutter as he’s confessing. Straight up grabbing the girl and apologizing for Jotaro. Smooth as butter.


Here are some other scenes that might be able to explain his character a bit better as well:

Mouthing off to Joseph- Jotaro approves.

This line is wonderful. (Again, to Joseph? It’s almost like they have this kind of rivalry going on, haha)

Some really good insight to his character and motivations (And one of my favourite Jotakak moments).

The anime kind of makes this out to be a sort of “Kakyoin mocking Polnareff” scene, but in the manga he seems like he’s just stating what he heard. Pretty matter-of-fact about the whole situation.

Unimpressed.

I believe that this is the first moment that Kakyoin really realizes that he and any of his companions can die at any moment. Avdol has been shot, and he’s in complete shock. This is a normal teenager that’s now painfully aware of the danger he’s putting himself in to help out Jotaro and Joseph. Sure, he realized that he would be involved in fights, and a little blood would be shed for the greater good, but I don’t think he had realized up to this point that he might actually die.

And here’s Kakyoin’s character bio.

It’s also notable that he didn’t tell his parents where he was going prior to leaving. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s in bad standing with his parents (especially since his dying thoughts were of them), and could possibly be because he didn’t want to worry them, or something of the sort, but the fact remains that he didn’t tell them beforehand. Take from this what you will.

So yeah, this is what I get from Kakyoin. He’s kind, loyal to a fault, and deeply in love with Jotaro– and he’s a pretty complex character to write. Don’t feel like you need to take all of this into account, because it’s hard to keep his entire character intact with fanfiction. A lot of his personality comes across in facial expressions, so it’s sometimes difficult to translate that into non-visual media. Just refer back to canon if you aren’t sure of something, and you should be fine. Good luck!

Shadow Of The Colossus has a lot of secrets: That’s part of its charm, in fact. Everything is up for interpretation. For example, in the end credits, you’re shown a beautiful garden that you don’t actually seem to get to, in the game. Video game fans being video game fans, they figured that this place must exist somewhere in the game’s world, and they had nothing better to do than look for it. It was easy: All they had to do was tediously climb the same wall for 20 minutes.

The secret garden is actually up on top of the big-ass tower, whose lower levels serve as your base of operations. In order to get up there, you have to raise your grip bar to its maximum (by finding and killing a shitload of white lizards), and then just start climbing until you run out of tower or will to live. If you lose your grip, or miss a jump, you have a decision to make: Start over, or smash your controller.

Once you get up there, you’ll find a plethora of fruit trees, so you begin to gorge (there’s an achievement for eating all of it, after all), until you slowly notice that your painstakingly maxxed-out grip and health bars are being permanently depleted. The game’s creators straight up Adam-and-Eve-ed you, except that they never bothered to warn you first.

5 Video Games That Mock You For Playing Them

The Elements

{ARIES-LEO-SAGITTARIUS}

Fire signs are both creative and destructive. Their quick mind, hot blood and volcanic temperament make them catch on fire with enthusiasm in a flash and cool down just as quickly. Unlike the other elements, it’s physical form can only take place by consuming another element. It is the transformer, converting the energy of other objects into different forms: heat, light, ash, and smoke. It is seen as the force burning inside us, giving us an iron willpower to go for our goals. After all, the most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.


{TAURUS-VIRGO-CAPRICORN}

Earth signs are sensualists. They require a strong sensual input so they can experience every part of life down to the last jot and tittle. Like the earth, they are solid, rich, sultry and dependable. They always have their feet planted on the ground and possess the gift of bringing dreams into reality. They know that the beauty of the world lies in the details. Earth is a stable and nurturing element. In its fertile soil, we’ve grown the food that provides life, on its surface we live out our lives. It is the centre, foundation and mother of all things.


{GEMINI-LIBRA-AQUARIUS}

Air signs live in their mind. Their thoughts take them to new levels where no other element can reach. Like air, they are uncertain and unpredictable. They can spawn a vicious thunderstorm, or be as peaceful as a summers breeze. Air is the element you cannot touch or see. It is free and cannot be contained, though it is the most necessary element. It reminds us that there is much more to this world than what we can see. 


{CANCER-SCORPIO-PISCES}

Water signs are all about change. From liquid to solid to vapor, water is the epitome of metamorphosis. It is essential to our very existence, without it nothing can live. Alternately calm like the sea or containing the force of torrential rain, the emotions brought forth by this element are plentiful, indeed. They’re intuitive, mysterious, empathic and loving. They realize their intense emotions hold tremendous power and that like a river, they run deep. Overall water is infinite; for men may come and men may go, but water will flow on forever.


!CREDITS! to the incredible model: Setareh Hosseini

anonymous asked:

What do you do with Too Many Ideas Syndrome?

At first you embrace it: “I’ll never stop writing ‘cause I’ll never run out of ideas! This is awesome!!!!” And then you realize that with so many ideas, you’re going to have to pick one to run with and then it’s like uh…yeah…  

Too Many Ideas

This question has given me the opportunity to bring back the cute bunny post from 2015. In it I discuss how you bounce back and forth between ideas, so take a look. It might help!

In that post I mention that it’s really a matter of going with whatever idea is most interesting to you at any given time. This could change from day to day, so one day you might work with one idea and the next you work with another. This is really basic advice, so I’m going to try to take it one step further. 

Start with Your Characters

If you’re overwhelmed by how many concept/plot ideas you’ve got, make a list of each concrete idea and set it aside. Then, work on character development. Start with one key character and then work outward. 

You might be wondering, how do I create characters without any kind of plot, but writers do actually do this. We’ve got questions in our inbox right now from writers that have developed characters and are stumped on the plot. So it’s definitely possible. 

This key character you’re starting with? Begin by establishing aspects of them that are separate from plot, things like age, gender ID, racial/ethnic background, sexual ID, and obviously their name. Go as far as you feel compelled to go, but start with these basic facts. 

Then, think about their relationships/friendships. Do they have lifelong friends they knew as children? Do they have siblings they’re close with? A parent they bond well with? Think about those they’re friendly with, and then do the same thing you did when you started with your key character - their age, gender ID, ect. ect.

Next, think about potential future relationships. These don’t have to be romantic relationships. If your key character is an artsy type, maybe you envision them clashing with someone who operates with logic and reason, and then seeing how they become friends or enemies over it. This leads you to create yet another character. 

What you’re doing here is developing character dynamics. You’re thinking about who these characters are first, before you even begin to consider what will happen to them. Having a cast of characters in place before you plot anything out can immediately draw you in. As I’ve said before, this is one reason we write fanfiction. We’re attached to the established characters and we want to imagine them in new situations. 

The Character Quick-Change

Grab the list you made earlier of all your plot ideas and concepts. Start casting them in roles in the ideas you’ve already come up and see how they fit. One of your ideas might be set in a fictional, fantasy world with fairies, werewolves, dragons, while another idea might be an urban fantasy where they are no magical creatures but there is magic. And maybe another idea has no magic at all. So as you plug your characters into each vastly different idea, the two start to mold each other. Your characters drive the plot, and the plot you chose will help you add deeper levels to your existing characters. 

If something doesn’t feel right, move onto the next idea. Imagine your characters are standing on a stage, and you’re simply switching out the scenery and the costumes. You’re giving them opportunities to play different roles, but you’re allowing them to bring their own personalities and backgrounds to each role they take on. 

Eventually you should find something that just fits. And when that happens, you keep going with it. You might run into problems as you’re writing, and you might be tempted to move onto another idea, and that’s okay! Go with your instincts and see what happens. Discipline with an idea is hard to maintain, so don’t feel guilty about it. It’s something all writers struggle with. 

When it comes to frustration during the writing process, the trouble is differentiating between your idea just being dead and the typical writing problems that you’ll see with any idea. But I think that’s a whole other topic that maybe I’ll get into at a later date ;)

Writing = experimentation. Try things out and see what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll know an idea is worth exploring when it happens, because your excitement and enthusiasm will soar. 

And as an afterthought, here’s another post that might be useful to you: Focusing on One Project.

-Rebekah

anonymous asked:

consider this for a prompt: the team is in the lounge, post practice, just lazing around and doing nothing; the tv is on; no one is really paying attention when andrew suddenly turns rigid; deep breaths; unfocused eyes; the reporter is relaying a shocking revelation about a man abusing the foster kids in his care; hisfacehisfacehisfacetheyareshowinghisface (-i cannot tell why my mind is such an angsty bitch but here we are)

(this is a specific and excellent prompt and I’ve been anxiously awaiting its place in line <3)

He’s boneless when he climbs out of the shower, feet tender on the glossy tile, breath sitting high and tight in his chest. Neil likes pacing through his routine after practice, adrenaline relaxing its grip on him finger by finger, change-rooms echoing and empty. He strings his wet hair up in a fresh bandana and shrugs his armbands up over flushed, shower-damp forearms. He lets the practice pull at his muscles and drafts new line-ups and drills in his head.

His teammates are back in the lounge, dotting the furniture, all of their aggression leached out of them, and he feels joy rip his chest like popped stitches. Good feelings are always more brutal than bad ones, he’s come to understand. Stronger, harsher.

He gets a round of raised hands and snappy greetings when he walks in, mostly lost in the rustle of plastic bags as Wymack and Abby unload sandwiches onto an overcrowded table.

Wymack licks stray sauce off of his thumb and points at Neil with his other hand. “Come pretend you’re civilized and eat at the table. I don’t want ranch on my couches again.”

Neil shrugs and pulls a chair out at the head of the table. Matt winks up at him, and the rest of the foxes pass wrapped and pressed sandwiches down the line. They chat and rustle, Aaron snaps for serviettes until Wymack smacks his hand away, Kevin eats his sandwich with a knife and fork. Everything smells like tangy pesto and sweet fresh bread.

“Get Andrew over here, will you?” Wymack asks distractedly. Neil glances over at Andrew, installed on the couch with his back towards them. His hair has been bleaching in the sun recently, and he’s easily the brightest thing in the room.

“Andrew,” he calls, accepting his own sandwich when it’s waved in front of him, distracted from the back of Andrew’s head.

“You really put an effort in,” Nicky teases, rolling his eyes.

“I’m not moving him if he doesn’t want to be moved,” Neil replies, unconcerned. His food is warm in his hands, chicken and cranberries and cheese peeking out of brown bread and wax wrapping.

“That’s bullshit,” Matt says, mouth full. “You know you could.”

“I don’t know why you still think I have that kind of power.”

“Uhh maybe because he does impossible favours for you? And like. Kisses your face when we’re not looking? I dunno, just a thought,” Dan says sarcastically, peeling onions out of her sandwich.

“Andrew,” Neil repeats, exasperated. When he looks over again Andrew hasn’t moved, fixed and steady as always. His shoulders are moving fast though, breath coming hard enough that Neil can hear it from across the room. His stomach throbs, intuitive and scared. 

Keep reading

Dungeon Crafting: Puzzle Dungeons

image source: Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

Now, I don’t know if you people have seen Mark Brown’s miniseries on YouTube known as Boss Keys, but it’s pretty great. It picks apart and analyzes some of my favorite dungeons from the Legend of Zelda games and finds out what makes a dungeon a Zelda dungeon. I have always loved these dungeons because they have a lot of density and force you to explore the space slowly and think your way through its puzzles. Definitely check out Boss Keys. From what I learned from those videos plus my own experiences as a DM, I’m going to try and detail how to create a Zelda-like puzzle dungeon. There are a few hallmarks that you should hit on:

Dungeon Density

Each area in the dungeon should be complex. It should have several things to interact with in each room other than the monsters or guardians. Everything doesn’t have to be immediately useful or usable, but it should provide context for the dungeon. For ideas, think what the dungeon was used for and research what sorts of things might be in an ancient tomb, lost temple, or forgotten keep. Have certain puzzle elements stand out. A good example from the Legend of Zelda is the eyeball above a closed door. I would stray away from that type of “puzzle” as it’s very well-known, I assume, that you have to hit the eye to open the door. On the other hand, a well-known puzzle like that could signal to the players that this is going to be one of “those” dungeons.

Making a dungeon complex and dense will mean that you have less rooms to populate, and will make it feel robust and well-used. It will also give a feeling of slight confusion for the players as they try to organize all of the information you’re giving them, but as the dungeon progresses, they can pick and choose which parts of the dense dungeon are integral to solving the dungeon!

Hub Areas

With all of that dungeon density I’ve been talking about, it’s good to have some sort of hub area. It could be a large room, a safe sanctuary, or have some overbearing landmark for players to imprint on. This will be the main part of the dungeon that they remember and can rely on. They will pay the most attention to this hub. So if this hub is a main part of solving your dungeon puzzle, they will notice changes made to the room very easily. For instance, a hub room could be a gaping chasm with bridges that seem to be mechanical. When certain levers in other parts of the dungeon are pulled, some pathways in the hub open up and some close off as the bridges ascend, descend, or turn. Back in my post about dungeon tempo, this creates a nice rhythm for players to always come back to a room that they’ve cleared and notice progress.

Branching Paths

Branching paths are a key part of puzzle dungeons. Don’t have a dungeon that is all one path that railroads players to the end of the dungeon with a puzzle for each room. Players need to be able to explore and discover the available paths in the dungeon and find the path for themselves. In the Boss Keys miniseries I mentioned, Mark constantly differs Legend of Zelda dungeons by whether they make you find a path versus making you follow a path. I personally enjoy finding the path and I think most players do too. It is key in creating what are known as…

A-Ha Moments

An a-ha moment is not that feeling you get when listening to Take On Me, but it’s pretty close. It’s that feeling a player gets when they figure out a puzzle by suddenly putting two and two together. There are a few aspects to create this in dungeon and level design:

  • Foreshadowing: implying that one part of the dungeon must be revisited later or implying something further in the dungeon exists. Laying this groundwork puts thoughts in players’ heads to help them markedly acknowledge that it’s okay to leave this area, because something lies ahead.
  • State Changes: the environment of the dungeon or its parts changes based on the actions of the players. This is the “puzzle” part of the a-ha moment. Pressing a button to change gravity, move a pylon, or change water levels can would count as a state change. Even acquiring a key item that can affect the dungeon or the players’ movement would count (see Link’s Pegasus Boots, Hover Boots, Silver Gauntlets, etc.)
  • Backtracking: After the state change, the dungeon has shifted. Some areas that were once inaccessible can now be accessed, and areas that were once open have closed off. This forces the players to backtrack. Where do they backtrack to? The place that foreshadowed the backtracking.

How does this look in practice? Let’s make an example:

The players enter a dungeon and quickly make it to a hub area with four doors. three of the doors have a bridge extending from it to a central platform. The platform and bridges are 100 ft. above a pit of spikes, which are very satisfying to kick the kobolds in this room onto. Once players tire themselves of punting kobolds, they notice that the central platform has a large plinth with a stationary mirror set into it. The mirror is facing one of the directions of the bridges. The mirror can’t be easily moved without tools, and it has no apparent use yet. The players move on to one of the doors connected by the bridge.

The players go through several chambers, fighting monsters and avoiding traps, when they find a room with a lever in it. When pulled, they hear a low rumbling and grinding of stone elsewhere in the dungeon. When they return to the hub room, the central platform and bridges have rotated, allowing passage to the door that didn’t have a bridge leading to it before.

Down this new route, the players find a stone button with an angel relief on it. After pushing a huge rock onto it, they hear another rumbling. On returning to the hub room, an angel relief is now visible on the wall as a stone slab has moved away to reveal it.

The yet unexplored room is still accessible by the bridge, and after exploring down that path, the players find a crank near a gilded relief of a sun. The crank opens up a sunroof in the hub area. The sun (if daytime) shines light onto the central mirror in that room, which then reflects it out in one direction. The only problem is, the beam of light from the mirror isn’t facing the way the PCs want (towards the revealed angel relief in the hub area).

Realizing that they need to point the mirror so the light shines on the angel relief, they must backtrack to the room with the lever that rotates the bridges and mirror until the mirror is oriented the way they want.


This example has density. It’s essentially four rooms with all the things they need to solve a puzzle in the hub area (the central room with the bridges). It could use more density though with more puzzle intertwined throughout some filler rooms or with more things to do in each room; I was light on description for the purpose of the example. It has three branching paths (four if you include where they entered from). The mirror foreshadows a light puzzle, and the sun icon foreshadows the opening of the sunroof. The bridges, angel relief, and sunroof all exist in the hub area and change states based on the players’ actions in the rest of the dungeon. Players have to backtrack to the room that changes the bridge orientation so they can rotate the mirror to face the right direction. This is a fairly simple puzzle, but in the context of a session of D&D where the story less shown and more told, it can prove more difficult. Keep all of these factors in mind when making a puzzle dungeon, and don’t forget to watch Boss Keys!