Turning Stone Casino And Resort Syracuse, NY - MapQuest

Why NY and not just NYC would be a unique, interesting, and fun FO5 setting

To start, this should be a single player game. If Bethesda/Obsidian/MS can make it so I can play with 1 or 2 friends, I want that but understand it's not that simple.
So why it should be picked:
First, NY has an amazing history when it comes to Pre-Revolution, Revolution, the Civil War, and beyond. Major events like the battle at Saratoga (which is considered the turning point of the Revolution), the 1980 Miracle on Ice, and Woodstock (along with a whole lot more) all took place in upstate NY. So the rich history of the area is ripe for pro American stylizing and propaganda that gives FO it's unique take on American Atom-punk.
That along with more modern history of things like the Native Americans (The Oneidas) actually taking back their land and forming their own sovereign nation (basically they have their own gov. Pay no state taxes, and self govern with police, fire, and allow gambling which NY does not). So their modern government would not only be some great lore, but I honestly believe could be a basis for the main quest line. Things like their unique tribal leadership, philosophy, and gambling (hello 10 luck) could bring a very grey area to fallout that was kind of missed in FO3 + 4. Plus their mythology would make for a great weird scene that fallout has at least 1 of every game.
Also, for those who don't know, upstate NY is very country with major cities pocketed about. (Utica, Albany, Syracuse, etc). So if you liked NV style of wandering the wastes, or 3s style of city wandering, we've got both. Also, we've got two mountains areas, one in the Adirondacks and the Catskills are the other.
That said, one of the most important parts of fallout are the locations. Where can we go? For that I have a list:
Major locations:
Lake Placid Winter Olympics training facility - the winter olympics world be held in 2078 and if they still exist by then and to play into the game, LP could be the location of those games. Again, the miracle on ice where American Amateurs bested the Communist Russian Pros, was held there. The "Better dead than Red" sentiment would be full force. Not to mention one of a few great locations for a possible vault (80, in this case to house winter olympians). Plus, the weapons could be cool too. Hockey sticks, hockey skate blades on gloves, a goalie mask for armor, you name it.
Cooperstown Baseball HOF - Now when you think Americana, Baseball is one of your first thoughts, don't lie. Cooperstown is baseball central and very pretty. Another great place for pro-american styles and fun gear like baseball base mines, softball helmets (because fuck you "A League of Their Own" style pro-baseball league in FO sounds awesome), and of course bats and baseball grenades. Also a baseball Vault (Vault 4, 5, 7, or 9). Not my idea, but in this vault, there's 32 teams of mens and 32 teams of womens baseball (or coed teams, idk), all of whom are pro players. Vault tec test is simple, winner gets food and drinks, loser gets steroid infused food and drink (but they don't know it has steroids obviously). The idea is, test how good at baseball people can be if given monster amounts of steroids for generations. I'll make a separate post about this in detail if desired.
Canastota Boxing HOF - Another unique area for America. Canastota is pretty boring and empty, but for those of you old enough to remember Rocky when it came out, it basically revived Boxing as a major sport and also had a moment where America bested the Red Menace (Rocky IV). Maybe a spot for a vault or to learn unique unarmed moves. Pugilism Illustrated anyone?
Albany - NYs capital and an easy big city area along the Hudson. A great location for corporate greed, governmental corruption, and side quests. Can't say it'll be the focal point of the game since its very near the eastern border of it, but a good location for exploring and lore.
Buffalo/Niagara Falls - Ya ever gone over the falls in a barrel? Do ya want to? I think using Niagara Falls (which has an American and Canadian side, Canadas is the U-shaped famous one) as Fallouts first "Non-American" location would be fun. First, the falls are beautiful and are a major source of hydroelectric power. Second, in FO, America annexed canada, so it's technically still America! Third, right across the "border" are casinos! More gambling! Third and a half, it's another big city and buffalo is where the buffalo wing was invented (God bless buffalo wings). Besides the cool lore opportunity about the annexation and the city location, the falls could be a major location for the story if the main conflict was about powering the area, similar to NV.
Syracuse - NYs (literal) center city. The Salt City as it was formally known is a big city with some great old and new style. Again, not much about the city to say, but a great opportunity for corporate BS. The main attraction would be the Syracuse Dome (formerly the Carrier Dome). Due to its location and style, it's perfect as a central trading hub for the major cities and people. Think of Great Green Jewel style, people living, bars, shops, etc. BUT the really interesting part is what's right next to the Dome. SUNY ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry). This college is special because (A. I went there) it has very unique programs and with some future tech thrown in, could be a great location for a Fallout 3 Harold or NV vault 22-esq quest. The college already does experiments with major chemicals, evolution (FEV anyone?) and breeding plants for unique purposes. Again, I have a really cool idea for this area, but that can be a different post. Fun fact, ESF is actually working to bring back the North America Chestnut that went (nearly) extinct! Also, some asshole releases the fruit flies the genetics lab work with every year and it sucks.
NYC (Empire, 9/11 memorial, Statue of Liberty) - Yeah yeah, you can't have NY without the City, but frankly there's so much here to explore and deal with, I'd leave it to the pros to really do it justice.
Turning Stone Casino - Gambling, a hotel/restaurants like in NV, and a good spot for the main quest line.
Fort Stanwix - A real revolutionary war fort. HQ or major area for raiders. Safe, well protected and with plenty of history.
Fort Drum and Griffis Air Force Base: Two major bases that could be packed with guns, nukes, and power armor. Heavily guarded by turrets, robots, and security gates.
Main Quest:
Without too much detail, I figure your character will be hired to figure out the future of NY.
You'll be brought to the Turning Stone which is currently the HQ of the Oneida tribe. Your job would be to either work with the other tribes in the former Iroquois Confederation (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora [added later]). (Quick note: in my AU, some time after the bombs fell, the IC came to power because of their knowledge of living off the land and attempted to rebuild society. After some time rebuilding and establishing a post-war society, the tribes do the thing all humans do and bicker. Around 2200 the IC broke apart but the tribes retained power in their areas. They fight, trade, yadda yadda but no one is in control of everything.
Throughout your quest, it turns out that what is holding everyone back is a lack of power for things like lights and running water. Your job will be to determine where to get that power (Nuclear power plant in Oswego or the falls in Niagara?) And where to give it (one tribe? A few? Or all?). But that's not all, the tribes can't decide who should be in charge. One tribe wants to remain independent, don't help the outsiders and rebuild society in their image within NY, another wants to help others but would need to sacrifice their own people's safety and seclusion. Maybe another wants to be imperialist and expand their borders throughout America through way of force and fear while another agrees with taking land but wants it done through offers of protection for taxes. And each tribe has its own opinion on bringing the IC back together, staying separate, or taking over the tribes for themselves.
It's up to you character to decide who to help. Do you work hard to try and bring all tribes together under one banner or choose a side and execute their will as a paid mercenary/ambassador?
Other choices would be chaos by siding with raiders, or maybe a BOS path to take out all the tribes, idk, haven't thought it all out. Again, not a writer.
Mechanics:
So personally, I like the idea that if you choose to go with a single faction, there would a battle/war mechanic where you and an army (or alone if you really wanna try) take over and lay claim to areas similar to Nuka World where you fly the gangs flag. Nothing complicated, normal fallout fights, don't die and kill the leadehis troops to win.
Karma is back. You will garner good or bad rep with each tribe depending on what you do. I'd like an armor system like in NV but I can live without it.
There is an ending. Once you beat the game you can continue doing side quests for armoexperience/ammo but only for the tribes left in power. Occasional rebellions will rise up as random events that need to be put down.
Settlements are limited. Like skyrim, but a plot and build. No need to build one everywhere and you don't even need to do it if you don't want to.
Radio host? Gimme a Mr. New Vegas type guy. I don't want an eccentric 3-dog, I want a smoothed voiced person wishing me lady like luck.
Also, smarter AI.
Otherwise, typical FO mechanics. Weapons degrade, can upgrade weapons and armor, etc.
Main problems with NY:
No real borders to the south. Invisible walls would like be necessary which is stupid. Same to the East, but the Hudson could theoretically be used as a border if you put crazy strong mirelurks or something to kill the player if they tried to cross (or more invisible walls)
Don't want to disrespect the tribes. This is an issue with using each tribe as a possible faction. You're bound to piss off or disrespect one. So it'll be a task to make sure it's as limited as possible.
What to do with the city? It's a huge area that can be used for so much, but as a part of NY it's actually pretty seperated. It's a commercial hub now, but there's nothing there that would really be a reason to go down there. So do you make it one or do we just make it a glowing sea type area that's completely decimated from the bombs? That's my personal choice honestly, but it's a tough one to please as many as possible.
Conclusion: NY is rad.
I'll be taking questions as long as they do not involve Canadian trivia. Thank you.
submitted by Tykuhn42 to Fallout [link] [comments]

A Cinematic Guide to The Weeknd: Pt 3. My Dear Melancholy and After Hours

A Cinematic Guide to The Weeknd: Pt 3. My Dear Melancholy and After Hours

My Dear Melancholy

Gaspar Noe/Cannes Film Festival
The My Dear Melancholy era notable for being a time when The Weeknd was in proximity to a lot of serious directors. While he’s had a foot in Hollywood for awhile, 2017 through 2019 he was actively engaging with filmmakers like the Safdies Brothers, Gaspar Noe, and Claire Denis, amongst others. While he had been actively courting the Safdies since Good Time was released, he attended the 2018 Cannes Film Festival where he crossed paths Noe, whose film Climax took home a number awards at Cannes. Noe’s Enter the Void had previously served as an inspiration for Kiss Land, and for MDM (and later After Hours) seem to call back to Noe’s other films, like Irreversible and Love, which are both twisted depictions of heartbreak. On the other hand, Climax is about a French dance troupe who accidentally take LSD, and according to Noe is not a “message” movie. It is an audacious psychedelic technical exercise, with numerous long takes and highly choreographed set pieces. The idea for Noe, who had previously captured the feeling of drugs in previous films, was to do the opposite, and present the objectively reality of drugs, watching people high from a sober perspective.
Noe is a rather strong advocate of film, and the opening scene of Climax features VHS boxes of a number of films that have influenced his filmmaking. Two of note are Schizophrenia, otherwise known as Angst, one of Noe’s favorite films which The Weeknd name checked to the Safdies, and Possession, which would go on to be an influence on After Hours (more on this later). He is also said to have sat next to Benicio Del Toro at Cannes, which means he likely caught some of the Un Certain Regard section, where Del Toro served as a jury member. Outside of that section, there were a few other films of interest such as The House That Jack Built from Lars Von Trier (The Weeknd has previously expressed affection for Von Trier’s Antichrist), Mandy from Pastos Costamos, and music video director Romain Gavras’s The World Is Yours, as well as a restoration of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Noe has referred to as the film that got him into filmmaking.
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Asian Cinema
Later in 2018, The Weeknd continued his globetrotting with a tour of Asia. He once claimed in an interview that whenever visiting a foreign country he only watches films from there. I’ve previously written about the influence of Asian cinema on Kiss Land, and there’s not enough work from the MDM era to glean anything cinematically adjacent to this, but now would be a good time to mention that the "Call Out My Name" video was heavily inspired by the work of famed Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. The Asian tour poster seems to be a reference to Ichi the Killer, which leads us to Takashi Miike. Though he is notoriously prolific across a number of genres, his most popular works internationally are genre melding blends of horror, comedy and crime, most notably Audition, Ichi the Killer and Gozu. Another film worth mentioning is Perfect Blue, Satoshi Kon’s masterwork about a pop star’s mysterious stalker that The Weeknd posted about on Instagram before. Bloody and haunting, the film was a major influence on Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. In Interviews he has also mentioned a number of Korean films, such as The Wailing, I Saw the Devil and Oldboy. While Wong Kar Wai was previously mentioned as an influence on Beauty Behind the Madness, also worth mentioning is the work of John Woo, specifically A Better Tomorrow, well known for the shot of smoking a cigar off money, and Infernal Affairs, Andrew Lau’s crime classic which served has the basis for Scorsese’s The Departed.
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After Hours

Martin Scorsese
While After Hours more so than any other Weeknd album is bursting at the seams with cinematic references, the influence of Martin Scorsese stands above all. Similar to The Weeknd’s body of work, many Scorsese’s are explorations of violence and masculinity, investigating them from a perspective that depending on who you ask (and how they’re feeling) glamorizes, condemns or just simply presents the reality of characters on the fringes of society.
While there are direct references to a number of prominent Scorsese films, what’s interesting is that his influence also reverberates in other films/filmmakers that influence After Hours. Todd Phillips’s Joker is in effect an homage to Scorsese’s loner-centric New York films, and the Safdie Brothers have been putting their own millennial spin on the type of 70s gritty thriller that Scorsese trafficked in (Scorsese was also a producer on Uncut Gems). Specific Scorsese works will be discussed more in depth in the requisite sections, but it is worth mentioning upfront what a prominent role that Scorsese plays in the nucleus of After Hours.
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Urban HorroIsolation
With After Hours, The Weeknd departs from the slicker sounds and influences that permeated Starboy and returns to the cinematic grittiness of Beauty Behind the Madness. While urban horror is a theme that permeates throughout The Weeknd as a project overall, there is a thorough line to be drawn here that follows a number of 70s and 80s cinematic and aesthetic references. For one thing, while the initial bandaged nose was a reference to Chinatown (previously, The Weeknd has a Kiss Land demo titled "Roman Polanski"), the full bandaged face that is so prominently featured throughout the After Hours era is a classic cinematic visual trope that was especially prominent throughout 60s and 80s, though it saw a slight re-emergence in the 2010s. The fully bandaged face is often used to remake someone in the image of another, usually against their will (The Skin I Live In, Eyes Without Face), or as a case of mistaken identity and doppelgängers (Good Night Mommy, Scalpel), themes present throughout much of After Hours. The "Too Late" video acknowledges these references, but instead presents the bandages on two Los Angeles models recovering from plastic surgery, in a nod to a famous Steven Meisel’s photoshoot for Vogue Italia.
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The “masks” people wear is another horror trope that is featured prominently on After Hours, and this is best seen in the red suit character. One important reference in the film is to Brian De Palma’s Dressed To Kill, where a serial killer is targeting the patients of a psychiatrist (any more on this film will veer towards spoiler territory). The Weeknd is on the record as saying Jim Carrey’s The Mask as being a large influence on the Red Suit character, it being one of the first film’s he watched in theaters. One of the more complex references would be to Joker. While it sort of an in-joke that the character of the Joker is commonly overanalyzed and misinterpreted, referencing Todd Phillips’s Joker is more nuanced because it is in essence a full on homage to Martin Scorsese’s New York films, most notably Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, which focus on eccentric loners, and can both be seen as cautionary tale of urban isolation, a theme explored perhaps in songs like "Faith." The King of Comedy revolves around a would be obsessive stand up Rupert Pupkin haggling his way to perform on late night TV, with The Weeknd’s talk show appearances being a prominent part of the early After Hours marketing, most notably in the “short film”. This idea of isolated and compressed urbanites recurs throughout After Hours and it’s films.
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The idea of urban repression is in the subway scene of the After Hours short film. The entire film itself is something of a reference to the subway scene to Possession (another Gaspar Noe favorite), mimicking the (also subway set) scene in which Isabelle Adjani’s Anna convulses on the subway due to a miscarriage, as well as Jacob’s Ladder, a 90s cult classic horror film starring Tim Robbins as a Vietnam vet (like Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle) who is experiencing demonic hallucinations, encountering them in the subway and later at a party he attends, splitting the scene into two.
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Las Vegas
As always, The Weeknd once again grounds After Hours with a strong sense of place, this time setting the album against a nocturnal odyssey through Las Vegas. One of the most prominent films is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s book. This is directly referenced in the "Heartless" video, which sees The Weeknd and Metro Boomin in the Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro roles as they tumble through a Las Vegas casino. The Weeknd has gone on the record to state that the famous red suit character was influenced by Sammy Davis Jr.’s character in the film Poor Devil. However, similar red suit has also been sported by a number of Vegas characters, most notably Richard Pryor and Robert De Niro’s Sam Rothstein in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. With the red suit, The Weeknd seems to be playing with the idea of a devil-ish other, another side of his personality that emerges in Las Vegas.
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While the city lights are the oft discussed part of part of Las Vegas, it should be noted that similar to Beauty Behind the Madness, the desert that surrounds Las Vegas is just as important to the juxtaposition of its beauty. The "Until I Bleed Out" video ends/"Snowchild" video in the desert, similar to the confrontation between Robert De Niro’s and Joe Pesci’s showdown in the desert in Casino, as well as Joe Pesci's death in Goodfellas. The idea of a hedonistic desert playground also bears semblance to Westworld, both the film and the TV show. The desert seems to represent some sort of freedom to The Weeknd, as the "Snowchild" video portrays the desert as a pensive location for reflection, as well as the "In Your Eyes" video showing the girl prominently dancing with the dismembered head out in the open, in reference to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, another prominent desert film.
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New York/The Safdies
Despite it’s Las Vegas setting, After Hours also takes a good amount from films set in New York, most notably Martin Scorsese’s 1983 film After Hours. Besides the title, After Hours is similarly about a twisting and turning nighttime odyssey. The film stars Griffin Dunne as Paul, a working class stiff who heads downtown to rendezvous with a woman he met at a diner earlier that night. Of course, things don’t turn out the way they should, chaos ensues, and Paul is set on a dangerous trek back uptown. Like the film, the album After Hours is set off by a woman (though the album takes more stock in romantic endeavors), seems to be set over a single night (or at least a condensed period of time), and involves similar chaos and misadventures (sirens at night at the end of Faith). Tonally, After Hours the film is more comedic perhaps than After Hours the album, however The Weeknd is on the record as having said that "Heartless" and "Blinding Lights" placement on the album is intended to be somewhat comedic, reflecting exaggerated machismo and ecstasy, respectively (to comedic effect).
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Another of the most prominent filmmakers of After Hours are the Safdies, who featured The Weeknd in Uncut Gems. They also served as a link to Oneohtrix Point Never, who scored their last two films and later worked After Hours. I believe there are three major film tropes (not genres) that inspired After Hours, all of which the Safdies’s have engaged with. There is the one-long-night films, in which a character spends one-long-night on the run from whatever chaos and forces may be that they left in their path. This can be seen in the Good Time, as well as After Hours (the movie). Then, there is the descent-into-madness type, where a character slowly loses grip with reality and ends up in over their head (something like Scarface or Breaking Bad, but for our purposes Jacob’s Ladder can be categorized here as well), which the Safdies did with Uncut Gems. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, the Safdies also explored toxic romance (more on this later) in their less seen film Heaven Knows What, about two heroin addicts and the destructiveness their love brings out in each other, an idea that recurs throughout After Hours on songs like "Until I Bleed Out" and "Nothing Compares." A recurring song throughout Heaven Knows What is Isao Tomita’s synth version of Debussy’s "Claire De Lune", which is featured in some episodes of Memento Mori and bears some resemblance to the start of "Alone Again".
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Obsession/Toxic Romance
While love and lust and the ups and downs with it have been a formative part of The Weeknd’s ideology and themes, I don’t think it would be remiss to say that After Hours is perhaps his most outwardly romantic album. Despite this, one of the major arcs of the album is toxicity that comes with it, which a number of already mentioned films deal with. While "In Your Eyes" is one of the more romantic and accessible songs on the album, a re-assessment of it Ala Sting’s “Every Breathe You Take” could frame it as lonely obsessing, such as Travis Bickle’s infatuation with Jodie Foster’s teenage prostitute Iris, Joker's fixation on Murray Franklin, Rupert Pupkin’s obsession with Jerry Langford. Casino also deals with toxic romance, another prominent theme in After Hours, best seen in the love triangle that forms between Sam, his partner Nicky and his wife Ginger, played by Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone respectively.
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In almost all of the After Hours’s video content, The Weeknd seems to constantly meet his demise at the hands of women. Another interesting reference that may be something of a reach is to Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about Reynolds Woodcock, a couture dressmaker loosely based on Cristobal Balenciaga and his muse Alma, played by Daniel Day Lewis and Vicky Krieps, respectively. The film delves into their dysfunctional relationship, with Woodcock berating her and Alma poisoning his tea to keep him dependent on her. One of the highpoint of the film is a New Years Eve Party that bears strong resemblance to the "Until I Bleed Out" video. While the balloons may just be a callback to his earlier work, there is something about the color grading/temperature and the production design of the "Until I Bleed Out" video (as well as parts of the "Blinding Lights" video) that made me immediately think of Phantom Thread. A similar relationship is seen in the German horror film Der Fan, which The Weeknd has mentioned in a recent interview. In Der Fan, a young girl Simone spends her days obsessing over popstar R, until she finally encounters him outside his studio. The film is similar to the aforementioned Takashi Miike’s Audition in its exploration of obsession and idealization. In the film, an older man puts up a fake casting call to search for the perfect girlfriend. While Audition explores these themes from an Eastern perspective of societal pressure, Der Fan explores it through a Western lens of pop idolization and idealization. Both films deal with the idea that despite outward appearances, the perfect partner does not exist, and anyone that claims to be (or has the expectations put on them) is not who they seem.
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One film he has spoken at length about is Trouble Everyday, Claire Denis’s arthouse vampire movie. The film stars Vincent Gallo as Shane, a scientist who travels to Paris under the guise of his honeymoon to track down core, a woman who he was once obsessed with who has now become a vampire. Core is locked up in a basement but sometimes sneaks out to seduce and consume unwilling victims. This seems to be where some of the bloody face stuff comes from, but I believe it’s influence is a little more conceptual. To me, a good companion film to Trouble Everyday is American Psycho, which seems to also have been a thematic influence on After Hours. Both films concern idealized version of masculinity and femininity, both very sexual and physical, but hostile as well. American Psycho ends with Patrick Bateman confessing to the killing of a prostitute, but no one believe him. Trouble Everyday ends with Shane killing Core, but Shane is unable to arouse himself after that except through violence. Koji Wakamatsu, a former Yakuza turned prominent extreme Japanese filmmaker (and a major influence on Gaspar Noe) is quoted as saying “For me, violence, the body and sex are an integral part of life.” Despite being hollow, idealized impressions of the self, a vampire and as a banker (cold, seductive bloodsuckers = monsters), Patrick Bateman and Core represent the Frankenstein-ian relationship between sexuality and violence, which I believe is the main theme of After Hours. Truly, we hurt the ones we love.
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Postscript

To cap things off, I would just like to illuminate some key takeaways. As a filmmaker myself, this has been an extremely helpful exercise in understanding other artists process and ideas.
Steeped in the history of the medium…
It’s clear that The Weeknd is not your typical “I’m influenced by cinema” artist but an extremely legit film buff with serious credentials. The Weeknd’s film taste leans towards 70s-00s genre works, mostly horror, drama and thriller, and is well versed in the classics but also has the nose to sniff out deeper cuts and obscurities. The mantra of “good artists borrow, great artists steal” works even better if not many people know where you’re stealing from! What is impressive to me is that he is not just versed in “mainstream” obscurities, but also serious deep cuts. Films like Possession and Phantom of the Paradise may not stick out to the average person on the street but are well known in most film circles. Films like Inland Empire and New Rose Hotel (Der Fan was especially impressive to me, it is one of my favorite films) however are not as well known and it is very impressive to me that he can come across films like that, and really get enough out of it to bring into his own work.
…is able to interpolate contemporary/mainstream films…
This perhaps is one of the most impressive aspects of his integration of film into The Weeknd’s work. It is very easy for film buffs to get lost within their own obscure taste, living in a world where everyone is an idiot for not knowing who Shinya Tsukamoto. Trilogy and Kiss Land had a lot of contemporary obscurities, like Stalker, David Lynch etc., well known but they still existed as artifacts, not of the time we live in. However, perhaps picking something from his work on Fifty Shades of Grey, of late he has kept his finger on the zeitgeist and anticipated/integrated what the filmmakers of today are doing, such as his work on Black Panther and Game of Thrones, general appreciation of Tarantino, the works of Nicolas Winding Refn in Starboy, and his use of the Joker and Uncut Gems on After Hours, both of which came out just a few months before the album. It feels Jackson-esque, and I believe this is one thing that will help him further in his quest for pop stardom.
…while also being fully in tune to the works of modern transgressive auteurs…
In addition to keeping up with the mainstream is in touch with, The Weeknd also makes it a point to seek out and learn from the cutting edge filmmakers of today. While the Safdies were always going to blow up, I don’t doubt that a Weeknd co-sign accelerated their rise. Gaspar Noe is one thing, Enter the Void and Irreversible exist as masterpieces of the mainstream obscurities I’ve been mentioning, but he really truly tries to understand the heart of Noe’s work, even going so far back as to understand Noe’s influences (I sincerely hope he is tuned in to the work of Koji Wakamatsu). But most of all, to be a fan of Claire Denis is one thing, but to seek her out and make her an offer that she ACCEPTED is absolutely astounding to me. Just spitballing but it would be like if Michael Jackson shot a music video with Rainer Werner Fassbinder (who I’d bet good money that The Weeknd was put on to by Noe). We can only PRAY that one day we will be blessed with a David Lynch Weeknd video.
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…and that just about does it. Hope you enjoyed this and thanks for being patient with me. I got quite busy after the first two and had my own projects/work going that kept me occupied. As we’re still technically in the After Hours era, I also wanted to wait until a few more videos and interviews came out to aid me in my research.
I also wanted to find enough time to make the Letterboxd for this. I personally don’t love Letterboxd culture, I find the popular culture surrounding the site a bit snobbish and exclusive, but I’ve gotten a number of requests for one and you gotta give the people what they want. Throughout the list are a few films that he hasn’t mentioned but are some of my personal favorites and I believe Weeknd fans will like, I encourage you to accidentally stumble upon things on it. Don't overthink, just pick something and watch!
If you’d like to follow me further, you can find me on Instagram here, where I post about film reviews Letterboxd style. I prefer Instagram so that more average people see it instead of an echo chamber of film snobs. I am also a filmmaker myself, I just recently wrapped this short film and am currently in the process of putting together my next project.
The main reason I did this however, besides a general appreciation of The Weeknd’s work, was to put more people on to the beautiful art form that is cinema. One thing I learned from Scorsese is that one must be an advocate and truly champion your medium. I hope that this encourages to check out more interesting movies than they wouldn’t normally come across, and I hope this will inspire more people to create more as well, whether it be to write, make films, music, anything. If even one person picks up a pencil, a camera or a keyboard because of these posts, I will be satisfied.
Thanks all!
submitted by eve_salmon to TheWeeknd [link] [comments]

Working Wise or Wizardly Working: how magic items affect the world

Magic items. Objects imbued with magic in order to make them better, or even gain a completely different function. But apparently the only places they exist are in monster hoards and adventurers' backpacks.
Realistically however, everyone wants things that are better at what they do. And eventually, people get what they want.
Today i will go over some objects that are useful outside of the context of adventuring, as well as how they might change the world around them. I will not mention artifacts, since those are one-of-a-kind objects with pre-established locations, usage, etc.
While the topic has always existed, Tasha's Cauldron has added a few interesting toys to our proverbial tool box, which makes this as good a time as any to take a look and
Much like in the Spells and Society post, the rarer an item the more amazingly powerful it must be to be worthy of mention. Actually i recommend reading that post before this one. Since a lot of magic items just allow you to cast spells for free, knowing which spells alter the world gives a good idea of which items can do the same.

Uncommon

+1 tools.
That's right, +1 tools. Not +1 weapons.
Consider a guard. How much of his time is actually spent fighting? A minute every other day? That's not getting a lot of use out of his sword. Even a soldier spends weeks marching, or months guarding a fort, and then only fights for a few minutes or hours. Even if a guard has a superb weapon that doubles his combat effectiveness, it only makes him 1% or 2% better at being a guard[1]. Given a choice of uncommon item, any guard and most soldiers would rather have a Weapon of Warning to prevent being backstabbed, ambushed or caught off-guard.
Now consider a lumberjack or miner. They spend several hours a day hitting trees and rocks. An enchanted axe, saw or pickaxe would see continuous use in their hands. Not only that, magic items are also described as being "at least as durable as a nonmagical item of its kind. Most magic items, other than potions and scrolls, have resistance to all damage". This means the +1 pickaxe would be far, far more resilient to wear and tear than a mundane one, potentially being passed down for generations. And with your miners and lumberjacks being more efficient, you need less of them. Which in turn means you get to have more guards.
Another noteworthy thing here is adamantine items. They deal automatic critical damage to objects and are much harder to destroy. In other words, they're great at chopping trees and ores, bending hot metal, cutting cloth, plowing a field, etc. All while having a fraction of the wear and tear.

Bags of Holding, Handy Haversacks and Portable Holes.
AKA your transporty boyes.
The bag of holding is an old favorite among players, and the reason is obvious: it has a million uses.
Most adventurers use it for carrying all their junk. The bad guys in the original Baldurs Gate game used bags of holding to smuggle whole shipments to and from their iron mine base with just one guy. One of my players once put a huge boulder in it, then flew up and dropped the boulder on an enemy transport ship. And let us not forget the classic Arrowhead of Total Destruction.
All of these are perfectly valid uses. Smuggling a small object is easier than smuggling a large object. Dropping huge objects from a high place turns anything that flies into a siege weapon. And the Arrowhead, while expensive, can deal with very large threats that could level a city.
But honestly, every merchant is a smuggler at heart. After all, as long as brigands roam the roads, there will always be a need to hide your valuables in an extraplanar space small enough to fit any orifice. Not only that, the bag allows you to dump a cart entirely and just ride to your destination much faster (and therefore, more safely).
Of course not every merchant can afford a bag of holding, so this brings about an interesting topic of inequality in your campaign. Some merchants can go from A to B faster and more safely on a horse, while the majority must go with a bull-drawn cart that is slow and vulnerable. And bags of holding don't even require attunement, so once you have one and your income soars you can get another, and another... Its a serious rich-get-richer situation, and you risk running all the mundane merchants out of business.

Broom of Flying.
I'm gonna start this one with saying that brooms of flying and carpets of flying are overpowered. They are consistently better than items of similar rarity that provide the same benefit, like boots and wings of flying. The reason here is, in my humble opinion, the same reason why Fireball deals more damage than any 3rd level spell and most 5th level ones: its iconic.
As for the item itself, its pretty much a permanent flying speed of 50 while carrying up to 200lbs, or 30ft. speed while carrying 201-400lbs. Its a deliveryboy's dream... except not.
You see, the broom of flying isn't just a hoverbike, its also a drone. You say the command word, and it flies up to a mile a way. Say it again, it comes back. In other words, the crazy wizard in his tower can just tie some money and a note on the broom and send it to a shop, then call it back once the shopkeeper has tied the groceries to it. Poor delivery boy just lost his job.
But wait, there's more! If the broom can fly on its own, can it plow a field? Can it spin an "animal" traction mill? The answer is: yes. But there's no reason to use magic where a common animal would do, unless its a crazy high magic setting or something.

Decanter of Endless Water
I think anyone can see how infinite water is broken as fuck[2]. But that's not all. By speaking the command word and pulling the lid, you can cause 30 gallons (136.4 litres) of water to pour out with enough force to push a 200 pound object 15 feet. This action can be repeated every turn (6 seconds), since a decanter of endless water has no limit on how often it can be used.
So a decanter is not just infinite water, but also infinite energy provided you have enough technology to build a mill. Even more energy if you activate the decanter in a high place and use gravity to give those 30 gallons even more potential.
Do keep in mind however that in 5e there must be someone using their action to activate it every turn. In previous editions however one could leave the decanter open and it would pour water constantly.

Hat of Disguise
This wee cap is not game-breaking for its great usefulness, but rather for its ability to fuck the world up. Any charlatan with a Hat of Disguise can walk into a bank, guild, ship, etc. and pretend to be anyone. Sure it doesn't happen often, but when it happens the crime spree is enormous. And while there are ways to work around disguised criminals, the fact people have to work around it is an issue in and of itself.
Societies based on trust pretty much can't function. Does everyone sign everything? Do people start using IDs? Do organizations start using items or employing animals that can see through illusions? Is there an industry for door frames that detect illusions?
Even without the hat, Disguise Self is still a 1st level spell. Yet somehow the sourcebooks have no mention of how the world might adapt to the idea that you can't trust people to be who they seem to be. And if anyone with access to 1st-level spells can walk up to the king without difficulties, you wont have kings for long.

Ring of Mind Shielding
A great item, if you're an asshole. Keeps people from sensing your evil alignment, keeps them from reading your evil thoughts, keeps pesky zones of truth from sensing your lies, and it even makes itself invisible so nobody can notice you're wearing the "i am evil" ring. It even keeps your immortal soul from going into eternal damnation!
One thing i always think of soul-trapping items is that they're a good way for evil people to avoid the afterlife. If you're good, you want to go to Celestia, Elysium, Arborea or Ysgard. Yet if you're evil, being stuck in a ring and talking to its wearer might be better than Baator, Carceri or the Abyss.

Sending Stones
Another classic, unfortunately the stones were nerfed and now can only Send to each other once a day.
Still, long range communication is nothing to scoff at. And while hiring someone to Send for you is cheaper, the stones provide more privacy and can be sent to far off corners of the world where you can't afford to station a caster full time.
Expect each mayor or baron to have one of these, while someone in the capital answers their "calls". Something of a royal secretary if you will. While magic items are expensive, shaving days off of your disaster response time can be the difference between having a kingdom and having ruins.

Rare

Bag of Beans
An often overlooked item, the BoB is crazy powerful. It has 3d4 beans, each of which can trigger a random effect. Notably they have a 10% chance of creating a random potion that lasts 30 days, a 10% chance of creating 1d4+3 eggs that can permanently raise an attribute by 1[3], a 9% chance of spawning a full on pyramid with a mummy lord and appropriate loot[4], and a 1% chance of leading anywhere.
Why bother with tomes when you can get twice as many stats from a bag of beans?

Helm of Teleportation.
1d3 castings of Teleport every day, plain and simple. That means 9 people can travel about 14 times in a week[5].
That's a lot of potential trading to be had for sure, but why stop there?
Say your kingdom spent tons of time and money training and equipping an elite unit. You wouldn't want them to spend 80% of their time on the road and 20% solving issues right? One rare item can make your 9-men unit five times more efficient.
Adventurers are in much the same boat: small group, lots of capital invested into their gear and training, yet they somehow spend most of their time going back and forth between adventures (until level 9 if they have a bard, sorcerer or wizard in the party, past 9 if they don't). It honestly amazes me that the Helm of Teleportation is not listed more often as a must-have party item.

Manuals/Tomes
For those unaware: there are 3 manuals and 3 tomes in the game, each increases an attribute by 2 when used and then loses its magic for 100 years.
The #1 item on any adventurer's to-get list, the existence of the tomes raises far more questions than answers. Who makes these? Why are they not mass produced? Can i get a magically accelerated demiplane, throw the books in and recharge them in a fraction of the time? Why do people not abuse the f*** out of them?
And when i mean abuse, i mean make smart use of them. Say a kingdom has, over the course of generations, acquired 5 or so tomes. Then the ruler reads them and becomes super smart/wise/popular. That sounds like the sort of thing that would make the whole realm prosper. Do it on an elven/dwarven kingdom and the ruler can read his tomes multiple times, granting him a godlike mind.
And that's without considering the idea of immortals. Or even high level druids. Any lich or vampire could become insanely powerful, not only from being able to use each tome a dozen times, but also from having eons to look for more or even craft them[6].
One thing i really like about tomes is watching the party decide what to do with them after spending the magic. Do they auction the books? Trade with some elf for favors? Give it to a friendly vampire?

Very rare

Candle of Invocation
For 4 hours clerics and druid of the proper alignment within 30ft can cast 1st level spells without using spell slots. In other words, crazy amounts of healing. Pop one after a battle and in a few minutes your whole army will be ready for more. Or pop it during a battle, and have the Healing Word the crap out of your troops from a safe-ish distance.

Carpet of flying, Peregrine Mask
Carpets of flying function much like brooms of flying, except they are faster or carry more weight (depending on size). They would be a strict upgrade, except they lack the drone function the broom has.
A peregrine mask provides a flying speed of 60, but has no carrying capacity. That means if you have a Powerful Build or a similar feature it can actually carry more than the carpets.

Cauldron of Rebirth
If there's one thing Tasha's Cauldron has brought us, its this cauldron.
It has some minor uses for scrying making potions, but here's the deal breaker: you put a corpse in the cauldron, fill it with 10gp worth of salt (200lbs.) and it casts Raise Dead on the creature.
Resurrection normally costs 500gp. worth of diamonds. With the cauldron it costs 10gp worth of salt. Sure there's a one week cooldown, but who cares? I see two scenarios here: either a resurrection every week is more than the local demand, or less than the local demand.
If its more than the demand, that means everyone who dies of unnatural causes and has 10gp to spare gets resurrected.
If its less than the demand, that means you're raising one person every 7 days. Depending on how high the demand is you could be making as much as 500gp a week, or 26k a year. Considering that the DMG says a Very Rare magic item costs 10.000-50.000 gold, the cauldron can pay for itself in under two years. Even if the math is way off for some reason, it is still crazy strong.
Honestly, this should be an artifact. Or at least have some heavy downside. The idea that someone over at Wizards of the Coast read this and said "Ah yes, 10gp resurrection, perfectly fine" simply boggles the mind.

Crystalline Chronicle
Speaking of items that make things cheap, 1d3 times a day this spellbook allows you to cast a wizard spell without material components of up to 100gp.
That means two spells on average, so let's take a look at a few good options: Continual Flame[7], Magic Circle (exactly 100!), Stoneskin (100!), Teleportation Circle and Astral Projection.
The ones that stand out here are Continual Flame and Teleportation Circle. Both cost 50 and have a huge demand in the world. Where a permanent TP circle would normally consume 18.250gp worth of materials over a year, it will now cost nothing[8].

Legendary

Staff of the Magi
This is, i think, the most powerful item in the game.
Has a bunch of charges, yadda yadda, here's the important part:
  1. When someone else casts a spell on you, you can use a reaction to absorb the spell. The staff then gains charges equal to the level of the spell it just ate.
  2. It can cast Plane Shift for 7 charges.
This means on an average day you get 16 charges, or two Plane Shifts, from the natural charge generation. But what if you could have someone cast spells on you without spending spell slots?
There are several monsters who can cast spells at will, too many to list. But there are also a few ways for players to do it. The first that comes to mind is the level 18 Wizard feature Spell Mastery, allowing any 2nd level spell. There's also the level 15 invocation Shroud of Shadow that allows infinite casts of Invisibility. Either case allows a duo to have infinite Plane Shifts a day, which is really powerful.
As usual, trade comes to mind. But with infinite charges you might as well start a tourism agency or a hotel and/or casino that brings in people from all planes. Yet what few people realize is that Plane Shift can be used offensively in order to permanently banish anyone to any plane. Infinite save-or-die effects.
You could also just settle for a fuckton of Shifts instead of infinite, and use a warlock or four-elements monk to convert their short rest resources into charges for the staff.
Now think of the possibilities and plot hooks. Mad king banishing dissidents, Red Queen style. Alternative death sentence. A high level wizard/warlock stranded somewhere because the guy who was attuned to the staff died or got separated from him. Random archdemon bringing an army to the Material Plane a couple demons a minute.

Notable mentions

These are items i left out, but which i will get yelled at in the comments if i "forget" about them.

Anything that creates energy
The truth is that a lot of magic items can do that. Fire for heating things, wind or water for pushing things, etc. For an energy source to be noteworthy it has to provide a considerable amount of continuous energy, without charges or daily limitations. Otherwise you might as well just use a regular water mill or a bull.

Alchemy Jug (uncommon)
It creates an amount of a liquid (beer, honey, etc) every day. It does nothing that cannot be done by an amount of workers, and for it to be world-altering we'd have to go into a lengthy math argument of how many labor hours of a bee farmer are needed to make a gallon of honey, and how that compares to the initial investment of hiring a wizard to make the item.
As a general rule, if something can be done mundanely it will be done mundanely. Let the casters focus on stuff where they have an infinite comparative advantage, like flying stuff, teleportation, resurrection, etc.

Cap of Water Breathing (uncommon)
It allows you to breathe underwater indefinitely. Can be great if you have important stuff to do underwater, and might enable interaction with sentient water folk. But in and of itself, not a world-altering item.

Horseshoes of Speed (rare)
Essentially +30 speed for hooved creatures, without requiring attunement. Honestly this item does not really fit this list, but i just thought the idea of pegasi flying real fast with these was worth mentioning. Sure a helm of teleportation outclasses it entirely for travel, but that's not useful in combat.
And i really want to play a centaur monk with these some day. Unfortunately the item description specifically says you have to have four equipped to benefit, so don't even think about it you satyrs and tieflings out there.

Lyre of Building (rare)
At a glance this looks like a regular magic items, with nothing too weird about it. Until you look at its spell selection and notice you can cast them as an action.
Mending normally takes a minute to cast, with the lyre its an action, and you can do it at will even without knowing the spell.
Fabricate takes ten minutes to cast, with the lyre its an action. That means once a day you can turn the ground under an enemy into a spiky cage, his sword into sword parts, etc. Until the lyre came about the only way to instantly cast fabricate was with a Wish, and that is a pretty good combat use of the 9th level spell.

Conclusion

To be quite frank, a lot of these item uses are a little niche and wont work in every setting. Then again, that that is never the goal with these posts. I hope i have provided you with at least a few interesting plot hooks and other crazy ideas, whether to amaze your players or ruin your DM's plans.

Notes

[1] There is a notable exception however. If your kingdom has a group dedicated to fighting monsters, some of which are resistant to nonmagic damage, then those guys should be prioritized. Not only does the +1 weapon double their damage output in this scenario, it also prevents your kingdom from losing special soldiers that are very expensive to train and replace.
[2] Stuff like constant abuse of Decanters of Endless Water are why in my setting there is a doomsayer cult that believes the world will be flooded some day. As they say it, every time someone activates a decanter, magically creates water, creates food and water, opens a portal to the Plane of Water, etc; the amount of water in the world rises just a bit. Given enough time, everything will be flooded by it. Unless someone like, puts a Sphere of Annihilation by the shore or something. But nobody said the cult has to be right.
[3] The bag has 3d4 beans. Each bean has a 10% chance of spawning 1d4+3 eggs. That means 7.5*0.1*5.5 = 4.125 raised stats, on average. Sure I'm assuming you'll pass the DC20 save every time, but with proper preparation its quite doable. Be near a paladin, get bardicly inspired, have someone cast Resistance, find ways to reroll a failed save, etc. Since the eggs last forever, you have all the time in the world to stack the saving throw in your favor. Or just use Portents.
[4] The mummy lord could have anything, even another bag of beans!
[5] Someone will say "but what about the chance of going off target? What if nobody has teleportation circles?" To that person i say: associated object. Get a pebble every time you're in a region, and you wont need a circle. Buy a bit of silk and you can teleport to any place along the silk road. Buy a used horseshoe and you can go all over the country. Now I'm just imagining this badass-looking special-ops soldier, clad in the finest plate, wielding a blazing blade, his cloak cackling thunder... and with a rusty-ass horseshoe tied to his helmet.
[6] And thus is born the legend of Swolomon the Buff. He was once a base vampire, who got stuck in a tomb for 4000 years with nothing but a Manual of Bodily Health and a Manual of Gainly Exercise. Now he's... selling supplements or something.
[7] See On Spells and Society linked at the top for why there's a near infinite demand for Continual Flame.
[8] You can even make two circles at a time, but there's some math about it. You have 3 charges, use 2, so you should always be with one to spare. Until you roll a 1 on the d3, and then its gone. After that whenever you roll a 1 without first rolling a 3 you'll have to pay the 50gp or let the circle go to waste. In other words, you'd be paying roughly 1/6 of the regular cost.
submitted by DungeonMercenary to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

Amazing Race Route Concept #2

Warning: massive amount of text ahead. I created a mostly functional race route around the world (all loactions like buildings, businesses, landmarks, etc. are REAL locations and could theoretically actually work in the race). I tried to have a good variety in locations and types of challenges, but it's really hard! I find it a lot harder to complain about challenge design after making this. Even though this could technically happen there are probably some safety concerns in going to South Africa and Lesotho and it's probably not possible for the American Amazing Race to film in Cuba, but I decided to do it anyway. If you have any questions or feedback please let me know!

RACE #2
Leg 1 (USA - Japan)
Leg 2 (Japan - South Korea)
Leg 3 (South Korea - India)
Leg 4 (India - Oman)
Leg 5 (Oman)
Leg 6 (Oman - South Africa)
Leg 7 (South Africa - Lesotho)
Leg 8 (Lesotho - Greece)
Leg 9 (Greece)
Leg 10 (Greece - North Macedonia)
Leg 11 (North Macedonia - Cuba)
Leg 12 (Cuba - USA)

LEG 1
USA - Japan
Start at Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois
Run to clue at Millenium Monument
Clue #1
Make your way to the Gunma region of Japan, and travel to Sarugakyu Onsen. However, to get your tickets to Japan, you must make your way on foot through the busy streets of Chicago to Navy Pier, where flights will be given out according to the order of your arrival. Flights go to Tokyo, and you must make your own travel arrangements from there.
Flight 1 (5 teams): Chicago - Los Angeles - Tokyo, arrives 8:00 AM
Flight 2 (4 teams): Chicago - Tokyo, arrives 9:30 AM
Flight 3 (2 teams): Chicago - San Francisco - Tokyo, arrives 9:45 AM
Clue #2
Both team members must go into the hot springs and search it for the partly submerged cluebox to get your next clue.
Clue #3
Travel to Sarugakyo Bungy for your next clue.
Clue #4
Roadblock: Who’s ready to take a jump?
Bungy jump at the largest bungy jump in all of Japan at 62 meters, or over 200 feet! Once you’ve taken your leap of faith, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #5
Travel to Uenokunirokunomiya Haruna Shrine, Takasaki, for your next clue.
Clue #6
Create one string of paper cranes in Senbazuru. Senbazuru is the crafting of 1000 paper cranes for good luck. Following the demonstration, learn how to craft paper cranes. Once you have created forty of them and strung them together, deliver them to a Shinto priest at Akiba Shrine. He will give you your next clue.
Clue #7
Travel by train to Akihabara, Tokyo, and go to the top of the Tokyo Skytree to receive your next clue.
Clue #8
Roadblock: Who can ‘go’ kart? The teammate who did the first roadblock cannot do this one.
Travel to Akihabari Street Kart 1 and dress up in one of the many ridiculous costumes the company has to offer. Then, join a fifteen minute go-karting tour around the streets of this bustling region and look for three enormous signs in race colors with three different Japanese characters on them. If you can spot and write all three characters down correctly during the rush of Tokyo, you’ll receive your next clue. If you can’t get it right, you’ll have to join the next available tour.
Clue #9
Travel to Horin Park on foot to find the first pit stop! The last team to check in here may be eliminated.
Pit Stop, Leg 1
trip to Canada
last: eliminated

LEG 2
Japan - South Korea
Clue #1
Fly to Busan, South Korea! Upon arrival, make your way to Beomeo-sa for your next clue.
Fast Forward, Leg 2
Go to Songdo Beach and swim out into the ocean, locating the five whale statues in the water. At each statue, pick up marked letter tiles. Once you have all seven (two statues have two tiles), you can go back to the beach and unscramble the letters that spell out the name of a traditional South Korean delicacy that the other contestants eat at their first challenge. If you get the right word, you’ll be given a clue that takes you straight to the end of the leg.
Clue #2
Master the art of Korean meditation. If you can master all of the moves correctly, then your instructor will give over your next clue.
Clue #3
Head to Taejongdae for your next clue.
Clue #4
Roadblock: Who’s desperate to eat?
Take the marked path over one mile uphill to the marked food stand, and finish one serving of Soondae, a traditional South Korean delicacy that is made of pig intestines and pork blood. Once you have finished the food, you can run down to your partner and get your next clue.
Clue #5
Take the Songdo Marine Cable Car from Songnim Park to Amnam Park to receive your next clue.
Clue #6
Detour: Fish Identity or Fish Delivery
Fish Identity: Go to Jagalchi Fish Market and search for the marked stall. Once there, sort an enormous box of fish and organize them. Once the stall owner approves, put them up for stock in the stall to receive your next clue.
Fish Delivery: Go to Jacky’s Seafood and take three orders and three addresses that need to be delivered. Once you have delivered all the fish to all the correct addresses throughout the Gamcheon Culture Village, you will receive your next clue.
Clue #7
Make your way to the pit-stop at Haedong Yonggungsa. The last team to arrive may be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 2
-first: trip to Belize
-last: non-elimination

LEG 3
South Korea - India
Clue #1
Fly to Hyderabad, India, and go to the Charminar for your first clue.
Clue #2
Travel to Ramoji Film City Main Entrance to receive your next clue.
Speed Bump, Leg 3
Make your way to Saha’s Adventure Park and zorb down a steep hill. Once you’ve made it, you can continue racing.
Clue #3
Detour: Birdy Woods or Bollywood
Birdy Woods: Dressing up in clumsy bird costumes, search through Asia’s largest aviary for a cutout of the bird your partner is dressing up as. Once you’ve found the two cutouts, head to the Bonsai Garden. If you match the right bird, you’ll receive your next clue.
Bollywood: Head to Ramoji Movie Magic. Dressing up in traditional Indian outfits, memorize a short dance to the tune of some Bollywood music and perform it to the live audience and judges. If you meet their standards, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #4
Head to Nehru Zoological Park where your next clue will be waiting.
Clue #5
Take an amazing elephant ride! With both teammates on the elephant’s back guide it through a short course. If you can reach the end in under two minutes, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #6
Make your way to Bidar Fort by public transport for your next clue.
Clue #7
Roadblock: Who’s itching to get etching?
One team member must help in the process of the creation of bidriware. First, you must chisel one section in the piece of bidriware very precisely. Any error and you must restart. If given the clear, then you must then make their way inside Bidar Fort and collect a total of three baskets of soil for the artisans to use later in the process. Finally, you must use some of the soil you collected and coat a piece of bidriware in it. If every part of the challenge was done to the satisfaction of the artisans, you will receive your next clue.
Clue #8
Make your way to the Bahmani Tombs and the pit-stop! The last team to arrive will be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 3
-first: trip to Japan
-last: eliminated

LEG 4
India - Oman
Clue #1
Fly to Muscat, Oman! Once you have arrived, make your way to Al Alam Palace, where you will find marked cars waiting outside. Your clue will be waiting on the car.
Clue #2
Drive all the way to the Nizwa Souq in Nizwa, Oman, where you will find nine different tags, each releasing teams at different times the next morning, when you will be given your next clue.
Tag 1: departure at 7:00 AM
Tag 2: departure at 7:05 AM
Tag 3: departure at 7:10 AM
Tag 4: departure at 7:15 AM
Tag 5: departure at 7:20 AM
Tag 6: departure at 7:25 AM
Tags 7-9: departure at 7:30 AM
Clue #3
Detour: Selling Goats or Weighing Dates
Selling Goats: Navigate through the souq to the weekly goat market. You must select a seller and help them sell their goats. First, thoroughly clean five goats so they are ready for selling. Then, parade five goats around the “walking circle,” where potential buyers will inspect which goats to buy. You must finally buy a goat yourself, haggling for a price under 100 riyals, or 260 US dollars. Once you can purchase a goat, you will receive your next clue. Keep the goat for the next challenge.
Weighing Dates: Find the marked stall in the souq that is selling dates. Your goal is to weigh out 200 grams of Ajwa Dates, 175 grams of Barhi Dates, and 125 grams of Hayani Dates. To do this, you must travel across the market to a scale at a different date stall. If you can get the perfect amount of dates, you will receive your next clue. Keep the dates for the next challenge.
Clue #4
Travel on foot to the Contemporary Mosque with either your goat or dates and trade them with the man waiting out front for your next clue.
Clue #5
Make your way back to the souq, and head to Omani Craftsman's House where you will find your next clue.
Clue #6
Roadblock: Who can work and weave?
The teammate participating in this roadblock must help create a small basketwork bowl. After watching the example, you must use the provided materials to finish off the bowl. If it meets the requirement of the shop owner, you will receive your next clue.
Clue #7
Make your way to the pit-stop for this leg of the race, Nizwa Fort! The last team to arrive may be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 4
-first: continue racing
-last: continue racing

LEG 5
Oman
Clue #1
Drive yourself to Bimmah Sinkhole in Muscat, Oman! You will receive your next clue after having a cup of delicious locally-made coffee. Caution! Double U-Turn ahead!
Clue #2
Detour: Script Write or Shipwright
Script Write: Drive to Bait al Zubair and go into the Manuscript Room. Using a provided paper and translation guide, figure out what the marked manuscript says in English. If anything is wrong when submitting it, though, you must start completely over.
Shipwright: Drive to Oman Maritime Boatyard and find the marked boat. Oman Maritime has been reviving the craft of making the traditional wooden boats of Oman’s past, and you must help with the process. First, you must hand-sand a small section of the marked vessel. Then, you and your partner must work together to stitch coconut palm fiber through twenty holes, or eighty total stitches. Once you’re done, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #3
Make your way to Mutrah Souk for your next clue and the U-Turn board!
Clue #4
Search through the enormous market for one of three marked stalls. One you’ve found a stall, search through their wares for a trinket with a red/yellow flag on the bottom. Give the correct trinket to the shop owner, and they will hand you your next clue.
Clue #5
Drive yourself to Qurum Beach, where you will receive your next clue.
Clue #6
Roadblock: Who will pass the shells?
For this challenge, one team member must watch the demonstration of two fishermen playing a traditional Omani game, Al Hawalees. You must first create a “board” in the sand and collect the required amount of shells to play. You must then challenge a local fisherman. If you can win while following all of the rules correctly, you will receive your next clue.
Clue #7
Make your way to the pit-stop at Wadi Bani Khalid. The last team to check in will be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 5
-first: trip to Tanzania
-last: eliminated

LEG 6
Oman - South Africa
Clue #1
Fly out of Oman to Durban, South Africa, on one of two flights.
Flight 1 (2 teams): Muscat - Durban, arrives 7:30 AM
Flight 2 (6 teams): Muscat - Dar es Salaam - Durban, arrives 8:00 AM
Upon touching down, make your way to Moses Mabhida Stadium, where you will find your next clue.
Clue #2
Roadblock: Who will swing for the skies?
One team member must strap in and complete the Big Rush Big Swing, the largest swing in the world! Dive 263 feet down. Once you have finished the swing, you will receive a section and seat number. You will search the stands for your next clue.
Clue #3
Make your way to Umhlanga Lighthouse for your next clue.
Clue #4
Shake it up! In this challenge, you must create Lighthouse Bar’s famous “Umhlanga Schling.” Use the provided recipe to create fifteen drinks to perfection, and you will receive your next clue.
Clue #5
Head to Addington Beach and dig underneath one of the large sandcastles for your next clue.
Clue #6
Detour: Tree or Sea
Tree: For this detour, go to Durban Botanical Gardens. Use a provided golf cart to make your way to the famous Wood’s Cycad, a tree dating back to the age of dinosaurs. It has been cared for here since 1848. Once there, use one of the provided pieces to put together a large 3d puzzle of the tree. Once it has been approved, you will be handed your clue, and you can drive back to the front of the gardens and continue racing.
Sea: Go to uShaka Marine World and help out with some chores! First, help the kitchen staff and prepare 5 pounds of specially made vegetables for some of the aquarium’s fish. Second, travel around the park and take water samples from each of the specified exhibits. Finally, record blood test results taken during routine health check-ups. If you’ve completed all of the steps correctly, you will receive your next clue.
Clue #7
Head to the pit-stop at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World! The last team to check in may be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 6
-first: 5k each
-last: eliminated

LEG 7
South Africa - Lesotho
Clue #1
Drive yourself through Qacha’s Nek and into Lesotho! Once in Lesotho, drive yourself to Maletsunyane Falls where you’ll find your next clue.
Fast Forward, Leg 7
By completing this fast forward, you will skip an overnight rest point and will be able to head directly to the pit-stop. Head to Sehlabathebe National Park. Once there, using the provided map and compass, ride by horseback to the nomadic tribal people’s current village. At the village, help cook pap-pap, a type of porridge common in Lesotho. The first team to complete the challenge will be able to head directly to the pit-stop.
Clue #2
Drive yourself to Seshoeshoe Decor and Fashion Designers in Maseru for your next clue.
Clue #3
Who can cut up a pattern?
One teammate will choose one of the complicated tribal Lesotho designs, and must find five pieces of fabric that match it perfectly. But be careful, the designs have miniscule differences between them. Once you’ve found all of your fabric, cut them at the directed places to receive your next clue.
Clue #4
Make your way to the Subeng River Dinosaur Footprints, where you will find seven tags, each releasing you at a time in the morning when you will receive your next clue.
Tags 1-2: departure at 7:00 AM
Tag 3: departure at 7:20 AM
Tag 4: departure at 7:40 AM
Tags 5-7: departure at 8:00 AM
Clue #5
Detour: Cave or Maze
Cave: For this challenge, go to Liphofung Cave. You must memorize all of the rock paintings in a specified section (15 paintings), and then run approximately a quarter-mile away and select the correct paper cutouts and put them in the right order as they were shown in the cave. When you have everything selected and ordered correctly, you’ll receive your next clue.
Maze: Make your way to the second largest dam in Africa, Katse Dam. Enter the first marked gallery and record the air temperature and the humidity. Use those observations to crack a complicated code, and enter the parallel gallery it directs you into. Be careful, it might be hard to find! If you enter the correct gallery, you will find a boat key, which you must give to the boatmaster. He will then give you a small ride around the reservoir and you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #6
Drive yourself to Sani Stone Lodge for your next clue.
Clue #7
Help a local Basotho Shephard and their dogs move their sheep to a new grazing location. Don’t let the sheep get away! Once they’ve all been successfully moved, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #8
Make your way on foot to the pit-stop at Sani Top Chalet! The last team to check in may be eliminated!
Pit-Stop, Leg 7
-first: trip to Egypt
-last: non-elimination

LEG 8
Lesotho - Greece
Clue #1
Via Maseru International Airport, make your way to Athens, Greece, known to be the home of the first democracy! From there, make your way to the Theatre of Dionysus on The Acropolis, where you will take part in a U-Turn vote. The two teams with the most votes will be sentenced to an automatic U-Turn when they arrive at the detour. After the vote, teams will be given their next clue.
Clue #2
Fly to Chania, Greece on the island of Crete! Upon touching down, use the provided cars to make your way to the Agora and search for the marked stall.
Speed Bump, Leg 8
Together, team members must eat through a total of twelve Greek figs. Once all of the fruits have been stomached, that team can continue racing.
Clue #3
Detour: Traverse or Immerse
Traverse: Make your way to the Maritime Museum of Crete, and find the small yacht model outside the museum. Your goal is to remember as much as you can without writing it down, then make a half mile walk through the streets of Crete to the yacht harbor, where you must find a marked yacht and rearrange the items until it is just like it was in the model. Once the actual yacht matches the model, you’ll receive your next clue.
Immerse: Travel to Minoan’s World 3D Museum, and get treated to a five minute long “9D movie” on Cretan History which engages all of your senses. If you can answer all five questions correctly, you’ll receive your next clue. However, only two teams can participate in the show at once.
Clue #4
Drive to the Palace of Knossos for your next clue.
Clue #5
Use the provided map to navigate through the ruins, collecting puzzle pieces at each of the marked rooms. Once you have all ten bundles of pieces, head outside and recreate the large painting using the pieces you collected. Once it has been finished, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #6
Drive to Cretan Olive Oil Farm for your next clue.
Clue #7
Roadblock: Who is feeling oily?
In this challenge, one teammate will help in the process of creating olive oil. First, set up special tree-shaking equipment and a net, used to efficiently get olives out of the tree without bruising them. You will then sort the olives between bruised and fair. Finally, crush both bruised and fair olives with a traditional granite olive press. Once they have been successfully grinded into a paste, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #8
Find the pit-stop along the coast of the small village of Loutro back on the west side of Crete. You will soon discover, however, that the village is completely blocked off from the mainland by mountains, so you will have to find alternate transportation. Hurry, because the last team to arrive will be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 8
-first: trip to Austria
-last: eliminated

LEG 9
Greece
Clue #1
Fly back to the mainland in Thessaloniki! When you’ve arrived, search Aristotelous Square for your next clue.
Clue #2
Detour: Serve or Observe
Serve: For this detour head on foot to Bougatsa Giannis, a renowned restaurant in the Ladadika area. You must take the orders of twelve total people and retrieve the correct dishes for them from the kitchen. Each person also has a dessert, which must be retrieved from nearby pastry shop Trigona Elinidi. You may take notes, but if you mess up someone’s order, you must start it over again.
Observe: Go by taxi to the Thessaloniki Science Centre Technology Museum and make your way to the main planetarium. The night sky will be projected above, and will be moving around you at one hour of regular movement per second. Using the provided key, identify five Greek constellations first identified by Claudius Ptolemy- Orion, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, and Perseus. Be careful, it might be dizzying! Once you’ve found all of the constellations, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue.
Clue #3
Find the Arch of Galerius for your next clue.
Clue #4 Use one of the marked cars to drive yourself for the rest of the leg. Go to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall for your next clue.
Clue #5
Roadblock: Who can blow a note and hold a tune?
Macedonian brass bands are extremely popular in the Macedonia region of Greece, so for this roadblock, learn how to play the trumpet, a popular instrument played in these bands. If you can play a few notes of the folk song with the band, you’ll get your next clue.
Clue #6
Drive to Dalamara Winery. Once there, follow the guide to the directed area, where you must load two empty kegs onto a horse drawn cart. Direct the horse approximately half a mile through the vineyard and return back to the kegs. You will continue to load and deliver a total of eight kegs to receive your next clue.
Clue #7
Drive to Ski Center Voras and take the lift to the top where Kajmakcalan, a chapel right on the border between Greece and North Macedonia is situated. The last team to arrive at this pit-stop may be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 9
-first: trip to Colombia
-last: eliminated

LEG 10
Greece - North Macedonia
Clue #1
Drive yourself across the border into North Macedonia to Popova Kula Winery! Once there, pull a tag that departs you at a certain time the next morning.
Tag 1: departure at 8:00 AM
Tag 2: departure at 8:10 AM
Tag 3: departure at 8:20 AM
Tags 4-5: departure at 8:30 AM
Clue #2
Roadblock: Who is a master chef?
The teammate doing this roadblock will use the provided recipe to cook the national dish of North Macedonia, Tavche Gravche, a special type of baked beans. If it is cooked to perfection, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #3
Drive yourself to the Millenium Cross in Skopje for your next clue.
Clue #4
Detour: Art Block or Charity Walk
Art Block: Drive to the Art Bridge, which is home to 29 statues of important Macedonian artists and musicians. Wandering on and around the bridge are 29 people dressed up as those artists and musicians. You must match nine total people to their statues. A maximum of three teams can complete this challenge.
Charity Walk: Drive to the Mother Teresa Memorial House and load a trolley cart with a marked group of items that will almost completely fill the trolley. On foot, travel to the SOS Children’s Village National Office where you are to deliver the items. If you do not choose this option, your items will still be donated after the leg.
Clue #5
Drive to the city of Struga, where the North Macedonian national anthem was created. Make your way to the Saint Archangel Michael Cave Church for your next clue.
Clue #6
Teammates must work together to memorize four total stanzas of the Macedonian national anthem- in Macedonian. If you can perform it with the orchestra without forgetting the lyrics, you’ll receive your clue to the next pit-stop.
Clue #7
Drive to the Monastery of St. Naum and the pit-stop! The last team to check in may be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 10
-first: trip to Indonesia
-last: eliminated

LEG 11
North Macedonia - Cuba
Clue #1
Make your way back to Skopje, then fly to Havana, Cuba, on two predetermined flights. Once there, go by taxi to Taller Calle 8, a car repair shop, where you will receive your next clue.
Flight 1 (2 teams): Skopje - Paris - Havana, arrives 6:30 AM
Flight 2 (2 teams): Skopje - London - Miami - Havana, arrives 7:10 AM
Clue #2
Roadblock: Who can fix it up?
The teammate doing this roadblock must follow the example to repair one of the classic Cuban cars. If it makes it past inspection, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #3
For the remainder of the leg, you’ll have to drive the car you just fixed. Head to Fusterlandia, where you’ll find your next clue.
Clue #4
Find where the attached image is in person throughout the folk neighborhood of Fusterlandia. If you can find where the image actually is and show the judge, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #5
Sell the Box or Find the Band
Sell the Box: Drive to Santa Maria del Mar Beach and sell the provided boxes of boxed rum, the “juice box for bug kids.” While never selling any box for under 25 Cuban Pesos, make 375 Cuban Pesos (around fifteen US dollars). Once you’ve made your sales, you’ll receive your next clue.
Find the Band: For this detour, drive to the Cuban Art Factory and observe the large, marked piece of sheet music in the first room. Going from room to room in the factory, try to find the band who is playing the music that was in the first room. You must make your guesses ten minutes apart, so be confident in your answers! Once you have chosen the right band, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue.
Clue #6
Drive to Vinales Valley Tobacco Field and search the marked area for your next clue.
Clue #7
Perfectly roll ten Cuban cigars, five per contestant. Watch the example closely, as any small mistake in rolling the tobacco leaf will cause the cigar to fail. Once all of the cigars have been perfectly rolled, you’ll receive your next clue.
Clue #8
Take a long drive to the eastern side of Cuba and the pit-stop at Ignacio Agramonte Park in Camaguey! The last team to check into the pit-stop will be eliminated.
Pit-Stop, Leg 11
-first: trip to Botswana
-last: eliminated

LEG 12
Cuba - USA
Clue #1
For the first part of this leg, you’ll be staying in Cuba! Drive yourself using the car you used in the last leg down Neptuno street in Havana, where you will find a guarapo stall with a flag.
Clue #2
Using the hand-press to crush sugarcane, make forty glasses of guarapo. Once all of the glasses have been successfully made, you’ll be handed your next clue.
Clue #3
Drive to the Tropicana Night Club for your next clue.
Clue #4
Roadblock: Who can make it and shake it?
For this challenge, one team member must follow the instructions of the costume designer to create a costume for one of the showgirls. If the costume is made correctly and given a pass, teams will be given their next clue.
Clue #5
Teams must drive to Aeropuerto de La Habana Ciudad Libertad, where you will embark on a charter flight to Key West, Florida, back in the United States. Once in Key West, teams must go to the southernmost point in the continental United States for their next clue.
Clue #6
Make your way to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where you’ll find your next clue.
Clue #7
Roadblock: Who is a reader, a writer, and a decipherer?
Ernest Hemingway, known for books like The Old Man and the Sea, had a notoriously bad handwriting, with little regards to punctuation or accuracy. One team member must copy one of Hemingway’s notes perfectly, letter for letter, on the provided typewriter. If it was typed perfectly, you will be handed a decoder key which you can use to find the hidden message, which will reveal the location of your final challenge.
Answer: Smathers Beach
Clue #8
Now that you’ve made it to Smathers Beach, you’ll partake in a final challenge. Out in between the marked buoys are bundles of letter tiles. You must dive down to retrieve them and bring them back up to shore. Figure out what you’re supposed to spell out with them, and once you think you have the answer, hang the tiles in order on your clothesline. If you have the correct answer, you’ll be given the final clue.
Answer: United States, Japan, South Korea, India, Oman, South Africa, Lesotho, Greece, North Macedonia, Cuba, United States (teams must figure out that they have to spell out all of the countries they visited in order on the race)
Clue #9
Congratulations! Make your way to the final pit-stop at Fort Zachary Cruise Pier! Go, go, go, the first team to reach the pit-stop will win 1 MILLION dollars!
Pit-Stop, Leg 12
10 countries
4 continents
over 27,000 miles
first: 1 million dollars
submitted by theyummycookie to TheAmazingRace [link] [comments]

JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #5 - Round 2 Match 10 - Bert and Emilie "Dread" Delacroix vs John "Jack" Aurel

The results are in for Match 8.
Agnes and Arpeggi, in their shrunken states, continued to fight, surrounded by the rising flames of their lilliputian tower, fists flying and Stand blows being taken one after the other.
“You… Callous mother fucker!” Arpeggi cursed, Agnes feeling the singe of a heat blast both from behind and from launched wood. “We’re not aiming for a massacre!”
“You’re not,” Agnes spat out, then, pulling a tab on the table, a massive geyser erupting and launching his so-called ally away, “I don’t give a fuck about this place, and we’re in a Stand battle… And it’s all worthless, greedy scumbags watching! Let the fire spread! Let this place hit the ground so they see what someone with style can do!”
“You heard it here, folks! Agnes talked you all down… C’mon, where’s your passion! Don’t run out and away, c’mon! And here I thought you cared y’had money ridin’ on this…”
Conqueror Worm’s laughs reverberated as Glitch and William found themselves cooled by Ocean Eyes’ nectar, which found itself dissolving quickly but, for the moment, a functional barrier for the injured fighters, watching and listening to what happened.
“Th… They’re fighting each other up there…” William remarked, physically looking as though he was straining to force Ocean Eyes not to hurry up there and tear them a new one. “Glitch, we don’t have time to keep the flames at bay and call up another KST, and if I let Ocean Eyes up there it’ll eviscerate them, and-”
“What’s this? The kid is holdin’ back, afraid of his own Stand! Hey, kid, don’t hate this part of yourself! Ocean Eyes, it ain’t your enemy, that’s a part of you, what makes you special, so don’t be at odds with it! Embrace what it says, because it’s what YOU’RE sayin’!”
William was speechless, there, but his companion was less inactive in that time. Tiger “Glitch” Ricky simply hissed, then, her and her Stand hopping up out of the flames in an effort to brutally, mercilessly pounce upon the self-styled villain and the ally he had come to blows with. If they moved fast, they could bite through that shitty little twink’s neck right now!
Arpeggi grit his teeth, scrambling to find his footing as he witnessed the pouncing cat-stand, finding it hard to breathe among all the burning rubble, fading fast then.
Is… Is this how it ends..? Crushed and mangled as some lowlife’s burnt-up game piece..?
“And it looks like Glitch is about to take it! Shout-outs to Tigran, the only real one here, watchin’ through the fire and the flames!”
“Heh… This is just a bit of a sweat,” Tigran Sins answered, stifling a cough, “I’ll see all seven of these bastards run through games until they’re all-”
Arpeggi didn’t hear what was said next, only hearing his own defiant heartbeat. If he didn’t act fast, Agnes would die… Good riddance, right? But… Ugh, no, even scum like him, they don’t deserve…
He clutched at NEXT LEVEL until his fingers bled, and Glitch and William, both looking at him past their Stands waiting to attack, made curious sounds as yet more crumbled away.
“Mrr?!”
And then, there was white. An overwhelming cascade of baking soda burst from NEXT LEVEL, smothering the flames rapidly as an obscured form zipped up the tower again, grabbing Agnes and hurrying away from the thrown-off Glitch.
“You… Why did you…” Agnes rubbed baking soda out of his eyes, coughing and looking at the form of Arpeggi in this new Stand. “Motherfucker…”
“I have responsibility over even a scumbag like you… You tailed me here, and I’m not gonna let you die and escape responsibility easy.” He turned, then, to William and Glitch, his new form revealed. “Now, actually help me, follow my lead, and I’ll kick your ass later. We need to survive this-”
All four of the fighters, then, felt themselves grow rapidly, their combined weight so close together crushing the table they were on, much as a nearby tabletop wargame that had been setup found itself buckling under the weight of Metra, Oh No, the Black Angel, and their motorcycle.
“Welp,” Worm said with a bemused laugh, holding up the slumped body of Tigran. “Your fire couldn’t hurt him, but smoke inhalation sure could! I guess that means…”
“The winner is FIRE, with a score of 65!”
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Graveyard Shift 12-17
Quality Graveyard Shift 19-20 Reasoning
JoJolity BADD GUYS 24-18 Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10
With no more reason to fight, it got really awkward and everyone just sort of ran out of Heartache Casino. William Eyelash, recalling his stand and lost in thoughts, was the last to leave, joining the others in leaping single-file out a window into a nearby alley.
There, though everyone else seemed tensely uninvolved, the Black Angel’s motorcycle revved, and she stared down Worm as he safely stowed Tigran inside his Stand-body, leaning on his golden sword.
“There’s still something I need, Jones… I’ll run you down to get it if it means saving the city.”
Worm laughed, gesturing with his sword. “This thing? You’re huntin’ me down for this… Ah! I see! You’re tryin’ to do that.” Callously, he tossed it, so suddenly they fumbled with it in hand. “Here ya go, then! I don’t much want what Jack Aurel’s cookin’ up either!”
The Angel, worn and exhausted, stammered. “I… You just… But…”
“Lookin’ forward to killin’ me, huh? Get in line, kid… Or waste your time right now! See, nobody here is botherin’, they can all read that it’d be a waste when I’m in such good health! City’s countin’ on you, yeah, and you won’t get many opportunities for bein’ called a hero as an adult. Make it count!”
Then, before anyone could say more, he darted through a nearby wall, waving William and the rest off with a, “Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming and be sure it will lead us aright!”


“Asshole.” The Angel turned away, strapping the sword to their back and driving away. “Thank you, all of you. I’ll take this from here… Get yourselves help.”
There was silence as they drove into the sky, scarf billowing before them, and then Agnes started cackling. “You’re all fucking morons… If I didn’t burn that place down, we wouldn’t have gotten away, and some wannabe with no style would be going down as Los Fortuna’s worst villain! Fucking bow and grovel, Jack Aurel’s grave is gonna say ‘spat on by Agnes!’”
Nobody had the energy to dignify that with a response.
An anticlimax is leading into a super-climax, and meanwhile, an ant-loving little boy and an aid worker are racing through their dreamscapes, with a day left to vote there.
Narration:
What is, as of the 1990s, ‘Capital Island,’ was the epicenter of Los Fortuna’s founding several hundred years ago, in the midst of a bloody Stand User conflict, many militias clashing for superiority, in the 1680s, starting with the death of the era’s own Andrew Tiffany, the missionary William Mandolin, and towards its end, knocking people into their senses through the awakening of exactly what he had tried to warn them of.
A grand T-Rex by the name of Megalomania had survived, dormant, underneath the land through the might of its Stand, coated in a goldlike substance, and awoken in a deep rage by the conflict of the locals. Megalomania was met in battle by a man out of place named Aaron Bruno, ‘Sir Aurel’ to most, and Memory Management, and when slain, crumbled where it stood into a pile of bones, feet firm in the ground.
Los Fortuna’s natural history museum was built around this monster’s remains, and Sir Aurel would turn its golden coat into a ceremonial weapon. The power these symbols were imbued with, even with their old purposes lost, were of great importance to the city’s stability.
Scenario:
Outside Los Fortuna’s Natural History Museum, Early Evening
In the blink of an eye, the attention of everyone within Los Fortuna had been turned to the natural history museum. That made sense, of course - considering the looming dark clouds containing the ghosts of the dead within them, the scuffles of the stand users outside of the building, and the vague knowledge that a ritual with the purpose of destroying fate itself was currently being performed within it, it would be out of the ordinary for people to not be paying it any attention. Even those who weren’t stand users that were up to date with the situation were drawn to it by the unusual level of activity surrounding it, from emergency services and VALKYRIE forces alike.
And then there was Bert. They were invested in the whole situation, of course - keeping up with the latest reality-breaking ancient rituals was the least that a wannabe god like them could do. Their status as an observer did raise a few eyebrows - they’d had to shake off both emergency service workers and VALKYRIE forces, who’d both taken the time to try and encourage Bert to leave the area for their own safety, clearly underestimating Bert’s own prowess.
Within the chaos, one could be excused for not failing to notice the drones Bert had been sending around to overhear and oversee it all. First, they paid attention to the chief of security at VALKYRIE, Ugo McBasie, who seemed to be getting interviewed by someone from the Fortuna Hermod, an ODIN-owned news publication (not their usual guy at scenes like this… Wonder what happened to him). Bert had heard that the man was a violent and irresponsible meathead who’d caused plenty of trouble in the past, but he seemed to be keeping a thin veil of professionalism for now. However, Bert couldn’t help but notice a young man in a blue aviator cap standing a few meters behind the reporter and staring daggers at him, perhaps keeping him in check somehow, occasionally piping in for comment about how it was all they could do to surround the place and wait for an opening if they didn’t want a meat grinder on their hands.
Meanwhile, Los Fortuna’s own city council chairman, Raymond Delwin Shimizu was discussing something of note with someone else, who seemed to have just finished an interview of his own. Bert didn’t recognize him, but the interviewer had called him “Chief Prosecutor Cavallo”, and she seemed as if she knew what she was talking about, so Bert opted to believe her. The interviewer, Jillian Something-or-other, had been running all over the scene, trying to get interviews alongside her oversized cameraman Bert recognized as having been that really huge cop who used to hang around Aurelio a lot of the time not successfully doing his job. Not worth Bert’s time.
Cavallo scratched his head in frustration. “Chairman, please tell me that you’ve made progress of some kind here...”
Ray shook his head. “Not much. That stand user that’s working alongside Jack Aurel, Akiko Mizushima, is making it impossible to get in - anyone we do send in is as good as gone. We haven’t even been able to get Admiral Pineapples out. Judging by your demeanor, I assume that the board hasn’t made much progress either.”
“No, doesn’t seem like it.” Cavallo let out a long sigh. “Every day, it’s just more and more work… Now we’re stuck having to deal with this. If nothing’s done, the board’s thinking it might very well cause a disaster unmatched by… Well, anything but the earthquake from thirty years ago. Something like this, bending the rules of the city, and breaking free from it… Los Fortuna’s probably not going to let that slide easily.” He shook his head. “Where the hell is the mayor through all this? Watching anime at home or something, probably.”
Ray remained silent for a bit, thinking to himself. “Well, we’ve got emergency services ready to act for now, and we’re working on evacuating any susceptible areas, but it only works so much.” Before Cavallo could respond, another reporter came up to Raymond, ready with a batch of questions for him. “Well, Cavallo, our work isn’t done yet, so let’s get to it. Saving as many people as possible here should be our utmost priority.” And with that, the two men parted ways for the time being.
Having listened enough, Bert began thinking to themselves. This was a tricky situation - they clearly couldn’t get in as is, but they certainly wanted to. Learning more about the situation at hand would improve their knowledge of the mechanisms holding Los Fortuna together, and gaining control over the ritual somehow would certainly be a feat befitting of a god such as them.
Bert stood in front of the museum entrance, taking another look at the chaos in front of them and continuing to think about the next step they’d take. So many different possibilities, so little time. They thought, and thought, and then one of their drones’ eyes glanced upon someone familiar - a blue haired, red eyed woman wearing a mask, trying to blend in and clearly resenting it, skulking around the perimeter of the area as though she, too, wished to enter.
Yet despite her efforts, Bert recognized her.
“Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix!” They declared it loudly, thoughtlessly so, approaching her with a hand raised. “Are you perhaps looking to find a crevasse through which to enter that place as well? It’s quite fortified, isn’t it?”
“Hm?” She wasn’t bothered by the way Bert drew attention to her, still wearing her same very extra outfit under the also quite extra hooded dark robe she was using to blend in. “Ah, pardon me dearly for having failed to notice you… You are Bert, from that incident where we fought on equal terms, yes?”
“I am that same Bert, Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix, yes. Though I doubt I could be much mistaken for others…”
“We are both quite conspicuous individuals, yes,” Dread said, taking the conversation into a nearby alley before VALKYRIE goons on the scene could prove it was her, “but no, I’m not terribly nonplussed about my abilities to infiltrate that place… Simply, I am attempting to assess the probability by which my approach itself, through the barricades erected, might occur. If your intentions happen to be helping me sneak through, then it is simply not necessary on any fronts… I have formulated a plan now.”
Dread, now appearing alone, walked through that alley curiously, looking around her and beginning to see her opportunity of approach - there appeared to be a side door there, at which a certain fish-themed hero was sitting outside, looking, Dread knew from their DMs, at funny images of her wife atop the T-Rex skull in the museum.
Yes, certainly, this would be-
“Whoa, hey, it’s you!”
Damnable. Had she been spotted, or..?
No, no, wait. The one speaking, a man also in this alleyway who smelled of cannabis, holding what looked like a GAP bag, was speaking to someone on the opposite side of it, disembarking from a sportbike and handing it to the rider, who was wearing a very ornate-looking golden sword which Dread had sworn she’d seen somewhere before.
“Thanks,” the Black Angel told this young man, accepting the bag and producing its contents - a Roman helmet and black bird-looking tokusatsu cosplay? “Green couldn’t make it himself, huh?”
“I made it,” the guy said, pointing proudly to himself, before blinking. “Oh, you mean like… Showing up. Yeah, no, there was a thing with a mammoth coming down from the mountains, he’s helping East deal with that. Feel like lighting up before you go in? It’ll take the edge off..!”
The rider removed their helmet, coincidentally perfectly timed for the strawberry-blonde with pale blue eyes to stare him down incredulously. “About a million people live on this island, Weedboy. Now is not the time…” The Angel ducked into the nearby building to change, finishing, “shit, yeah, it looks just like the Flying Men do… uh. you should get out of here now.”
“You kidding?” He asked. “I don’t wanna bow out right before it gets good! That’s, like, saying I think you can’t do it!”
Well, these two appeared distracted, so Dread would continue along her way, walking right past them and towards the blockade, towards where Jo was sitting casually, only to be interrupted by-
“Holy shit, it really is her! Stop right there, Dread!”
Oh boy, here we go. This had been happening more lately, since a somewhat frustrating individual went and opened his big mouth about her dangers on Bifrost. Turned out that the head of VALKYRIE was literally in the server, so now she had a bounty on her head after a modicum of investigation into her after that public statement, and her casual admittance thereof!
Two armored guards were pointing guns at her as she stood there, unfazed.
“Don’t come any closer!” One of them, an older woman, said, turning to her younger partner and quickly telling him, “if she approaches, open fire. She’ll eat you alive if not!”
“This again, are you being serious?” Dread was less than pleased. “I am evil, and a murderer, unrepentantly so, yes, but I do not eat people. This rumor is being so blown out of proportion that I find it quite tiresome.”
“F-fuck off and die!” The younger moved to fire his weapon, only to realize there was a knife through him, catching the gun by the trigger after running from his shoulderblade to his fingertip.
Dread didn’t need the help, but like a true friend, Kimijo Kaneko offered it anyway
“Wh-what the-” The older woman cursed as her partner was cut open and dropped. “Fucking useless moron! HEY, EVERYONE, KANEKO BROKE RANK AND DREAD IS HERE TO! NOW’S OUR CHANCE TO-”
The distraction, then, was all it took for Dread to take her first kill of the day. Of course it was fine. She read the news, she knew how these VALKYRIE people were literally at war with poor people.
“Sh-shit, those people just died! More VALKYRIE corpses, and Jo again..!” The stoner declared in the background, and the Black Angel, now dressed exactly like the birdmen many had seen before, paused in her efforts to run past the opening created by Jo breaking formation.
Nobody could hear it or see her lips move, but she apologized under her breath, clenching her fist, but the disguise had worked. 32 Footsteps, the primary guard which would warp away anyone who tried to enter, apparently had instructions to allow in anybody dressed like this, yet none of the intended recipients of this deliberate loophole made their way in.
“Dread, hello, friend!” Jo exclaimed in high spirits, sheathing her knife, but still speaking quietly as she hurried back into place, “good to see you!”
“Yes, it is most certainly fortuitous for us to encounter one another…” Dread agreed, walking and talking with her as the pair were watched in horror. “By any chance, may I come into this museum? I am absolutely curiously intrigued by what is going on within here…”
“Sure!”
A VALKYRIE sniper was taking aim at Dread, then, as she entered, muttering under her breath, “got a shot lined up… I can take her out, and Jo a second later! Two bastards out of the way, at least, and-”
“Wait,” the youth in a blue aviator hat and goggles, speaking as VALKYRIE’s tactician, instructed, “hold your fire.”
“Sir, she just made one of our senior officers fall into rotten pieces! She’s chatting it up with this fish-bitch like it’s nothing!”
“I know, and I’m appalled too, but I think…” The Blue Kid paused, contemplatively. “No, I know it. Dread is here to defeat John Aurel, just like the Black Angel.”
Spinning and pivoting through the air, “Lou” Reed, dressed like a dark, sixth Flying Man, landed atop the skull of the t-rex, which had apparently been adorned in a cute little pirate hat. It made for a fine vantage point, then, to look all over the halls of the Natural History museum, noting one, two, three, four spots, grotesque and morbid statues Remix had apparently erected of ghostly abominations.
She was exhausted, injured from the three-way skirmish she, Metra, and Oh No had been forced to undergo and riding like hell to get here, but she had made it this far, and others had managed to get in too. She couldn’t choke now.
Seven minutes… I’ll just have to destroy those, and be back here in seven minutes. Easy enough… I don’t think I’ve been-
“Green, Orange, and Purple… I don’t believe a ‘Flying Man Black’ was ever mentioned, nor that any of the brothers were into swords.”
Shit. That voice, too… Lou turned around, then, seeing someone standing behind her, a man with long dark hair, brandishing a hammer and looking up at her.
John “Jack” Aurel.
“Even if you are what you appear to be and not in disguise, you should realize that you aren’t welcome here. There’s nothing to be done in this museum worth dying for, and no way to accomplish any more foolish goal if I were to raise attention now. Care to waste some of the time you have left and explain?”
Of course this would happen. Lou removed her faux-beak, helmet, and goggles, staring down at him as her hair billowed in the ceiling fans’ wind. “Jack… I’ve come here to put a stop to this.”
“You’re that kid who’s always running around, huh?” Jack frowned, twirling his hammer. “I hear what you talk about through the grapevine… About how we’re all victims of fate, forced against each other by Gravity. That Stand Users are always going to be molded by this… You understand it too. You understand that people like us prey upon the weak, that it’s in our natures and our place in the world. I want to remove myself from that… Remove these people from that, and atone for what I’ve done.”
“By killing even more people! There’s no way they’ll get everyone away from your blast radius, and you haven’t even given them the chance to!” Lou protested. “It doesn’t have to be this way… Don’t say this is how it has to be! We can save this place, free everyone from gravity, without barreling towards its destruction! I don’t want to kill you, Jack. I want you to stop this crazy, self-indulgent crap and help me do something real!”
“You think everyone deserves this? That Stand Users will simply reform without this? The cycle has started, and it will push to the end even if the wave guiding it fades away completely… Bastards, the lot of us, and I don’t intend to run from what I’ve done. I’ll give you one chance to run away, kid… the worst I can call you is naive.”
Lou drew the golden blade, seeing Jack wince as he clearly recognized its significance, all as her Stand appeared behind her. “We both know I can’t do that, even if I can barely keep my balance up here. And hey, maybe I will die here… Maybe I am fated not to see this through. But then, someone is gonna finish this for me! Your security is already compromised!”
“Fascinating… And you are utterly convinced that, should it work, those he’s slain to commence this ritual to begin with will return outside the city?”
“Remix is full of himself,” Jo said, nodding quietly, “but he and Jack, they researched a lot… Akiko and I, for helping this finish, we can finally go home! Be done with the bad city…”
“She has made this place remarkably impregnable,” Dread agreed, thinking aloud, “anyone who waltzes in waltzes into her backrooms…”
“Unless they have a ‘pass!’” A voice from within Dread’s cloak spoke, and as Jo raised her knife at it in defense, the pure-white, terribly contorted form of Bert tumbled onto the ground, stretching and reshaping into their typical humanlike shape.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry, they are fine, with me!” Dread assured Jo, frankly thankful to have that weight literally off her back. Bert was very light, but even then it was hard to walk carrying someone, let alone not give it away. “We have… Some history, and so I thought I might as well indulge Bert’s request to see this place as well. I apologize for not mentioning earlier, but it was quite dire getting in here past guards attacking us.”
Jo didn’t seem to mind, continuing to lead the pair around, even passing Akiko who was casually, distractedly reading some manga while in a bit of a pirate mood.
They also passed by another scene, slightly more concerning, of an injured old man in a Hawaiian Shirt, close by the frontmost entrance of the place and clutching himself as his fleet of four Stand-starships remaining fired at Remix, who guarded against it with ghost-objects while a Flying Man Red tried to find an opening to strike.
“You’ve been at this for hours, old man, die already! You have no place in the world I mean to birth from your bloodied, pulped remains!”
Pineapples stood, then, leaning against the wall, trying not to show weakness.
“I think that guy is going to lose, at this rate… It’s a shame, too,” Bert, the loudmouth again, remarked. “He might have been a worthwhile pawn in wrestling control away from this operation.”
Dread, Jo, Remix, and Red all gave Bert simultaneous incredulous looks, all in completely unique ways.
Jo drew her knife again, about to transform, only to dodge out of the way of the injured ‘Lou’ Reed, blacked out, helmetless, being knocked away and into the floor, the shock of which made her rise quickly, feeling around. “Where’s the- Shit!” As she sat up, then, feeling around for the saber no longer in her possession, she noticed that she was smack in the middle of something else here.
Hurriedly, she rolled away, standing herself up and looking to the injured Admiral. “You… You’re one of those MFAs, right? How did you-?”
Weakly, he gestured to Remix. “He brought me here in a damned urn! I’ve been fending them off to buy others in the museum time to escape… Everyone in this hall here and Jack, those are the only ones left in the building, minus masses and masses of ghosts. They’re harmless, though… Don’t worry about them attacking unless that guy takes them.”
“I see…” Lou, then, smiled sadly, clutching her bloodied suit. She looked to Bert and Dread, then, moving to get between them and Jack’s incredulous accomplices. “You said you wanted to take him out, right? I overheard…”
“Well, Bert has let yet another cat out of the bag,” Dread admitted, “indeed, I came here with the intent of dethroning Jack Aurel before he had a chance to complete his little ritual. Few others would even be able to get in here.”
“So that’s my role, then…” Lou smiled, then, sighing, ducking out of the way of the Flying Man sending a kick her way, a gauntlet-clad arm emerging from her body, grabbing his ankle hard, and swinging him into the Jo who was shocked to hear Dread say that. “I can’t do anything about Jack… Too fucked up from that ED match…” She grinned, then, mouth bleeding as she stared Remix down. “But this old man and I can at least keep these assholes from interfering!”
Dread, then, watched passively as the five erupted into battle, she and Bert curious about what was to come as, from each hand, the Stand which emerged seemed to fire odd projectiles at their foes. “The ‘I’ll hold them off…’ You’re styling yourself as some sort of exceptional hero, aren’t you?” She seemed amused by that, the irony of their cooperation. “I’m evil, you know… And Bert, at least, is morally ambiguous. But if you’ve settled on putting the city in our hands, have you any advice?”
Over the sounds of laser fire, Lou quickly found time to answer, “yeah, there’s… I brought this golden ‘saber’ with me, and it must’ve fallen somewhere by the T-Rex… In, in a bit over six minutes from now, this ritual of theirs is gonna go through and rip this island open. Before that… They have these ‘failsafe’ statue things, and…” She took a breath, retracting and wincing from a blow her Stand had taken. “Look, I don’t have time to explain it, but you need to smash those up first! They’re there, made up of spirits fused together, to keep these guys safe from the consequences of their own actions… To ensure their safety, and at the same time act as a ‘failsafe’ for the ritual. Gives you the ‘power’ over it, too, in the way that right now Jack himself does… That’s important to stopping it. So you need to smash them first, and then, right as the time passes for the ritual, when the skull of the T-Rex in the center starts to split open and glow and its mouth starts gushing water… Embed the sword into the opening in its forehead, right as it starts to shape. That’s the only way to prevent this at this stage!”
“The forehead particularly, hmm?” Bert asked, pacing curiously and avoiding a cross split attack from Red, who barreled into Lou and was barely blocked. “Why there, per se? Why nowhere else on the thing?”
“Ngh..!” Lou grunted, saved from a follow-up by Pineapples. “I dunno, that’s just where you have to do it!”
“Black Angel… That’s what you’re called, yes?” Dread smiled, turning away. “You will be thanked for this victory… Try to live long enough to witness it firsthand, won’t you?”
“I’d… I’d love to,” Lou answered, smiling sadly, “for five years now, when I first learned there was anything worth a damn in this world, I’ve wanted to protect that… The dark pit of despair that was the first thirteen years of my life, and even so much since, I’d love nothing more than a world where no person is fated beyond impossible odds to suffer that.” She grew serious, then, raising her voice. “Go, now! Leave this to us!”
Bert and Dread approached the T-Rex, impressed at the amazing height and Akiko’s snazzy pirate duds upon the thing, the lab-grown being whistling with impression. “A T-Rex lived ‘til three-hundred years ago… Preserved whole, in this city. It’s astonishing, isn’t it, Emilie ‘Dread’ Delacroix?”
“A curious anomaly,” Dread agreed, examining it from afar, even noticing that alleged sword in the distance. “I wonder why it survived that long, so far after its brethren…”
“It’s because it was a ‘Stand User.’”
Jack approached from the same room in which Dread spotted glints of the golden saber, announcing his presence with that. “That was its ‘fate…’ A savage, cunning animal, ripped from where it belonged. to be a problem to solve and squabble over, to found this city on its literal bones.”
“John ‘Jack’ Aurel… You’d best stand down.” Bert, helpfully, started. “You cannot beat us… Even if we only had seconds to overcome you, I would be too much for you to handle!”
“No, he’s going to fight, I know it.” Dread, meanwhile, prepared Joywave, staring him down with a pointed, grinning lethality. “I suppose introductions are not necessary, with how Bert here loves to say my full name… I am not one to make things curt or brief, John, but consider yourself toppled, usurped, bloodied and dead.”
“The lab accident with a God complex and by far the worst, most grisly of Jo’s friends…” With no real amusement, no happiness in his eyes, Jack chuckled, looking them over. “Of course, right at the end, my final test isn’t some hero… It’s exactly the worst kind of Stand User! The apex predators that I’ve preyed upon, that stand in the way of saving everyone who’s died to reach this point! Of course it would be someone like me to gain entry, wouldn’t it?”
“You speak with such confidence you’ll raise the dead…” Bert was curious. “Even if it costs more lives, such a thing is… That is the realm of gods, John ‘Jack’ Aurel.”
“Not today it’s not,” Jack answered, twirling his hammer in his hand. “Both of you… You’ve been driven here, standing in my way, as agents of ‘fate’ itself. Isn’t that the reason you were ‘lucky’ enough to pass through our defenses… Because you were meant to stand here, and you were meant to watch as every horrible, cruel thing you’ve done amounts to nothing in the face of these circumstances.”
He looks the two intruders over with sympathy for a moment, before steeling himself and clenching his weapon, Stand appearing behind him just as stone-faced. “You may be the puppet of something beyond your control, but you must understand that I can’t let you ruin the plan I’ve bet my life on. I bear you no anger as people, but your role here is something I can’t ignore. I’ll waste our time no longer in arguing ethics, let there be no apologies or restraint until this is settled.”
The other conspirators had been instructed not to intervene if it came to this point, even if it risked the collapse of everything they had worked for. Not if it threatened lives. An enemy to make it this far was deserving of being dealt with reasonably. As the critical moment drew near, Jack readied all the fury that months of waiting had stored within him, and accepted that this may very well be his final true fight.
“Five minutes on the dot now, until ‘that time…’ If what the Black Angel said is true.” Dread looked to Bert. “What do you say we demonstrate incontrovertibly to John exactly how confused he truly is?”
OPEN THE GAME!
(Image credit to CaptainSpooky27!)
Location: A part of the Los Fortuna’s Natural History Museum. The area here is 75 by 75 meters with each tile being 5 by 5 meters. The ceilings here are 8 meters tall. The yellow tiles are the hallways and the green and purple tiles form the different rooms.
The white tiles have ritual shrines built on those areas. There are 7 shrines total and will be explained in further detail in the additional information.
The players start at the south of the map and Jack starts at the top of the map as represented by their tokens. The walls are represented by thicker borders and the dotted lines are the doorways.
At the top of the map, in the pink tile and yellow symbols, is the Golden Sword. It is currently pinned under 2 meters of rubble.
Each wing of the museum houses an exhibit, in the center is the main attraction a large T-Rex in display as denoted by the large grey circle.
The other exhibits are denoted by the letter on them:
  • G: The geologic exhibit, displaying and teaching about different rock formations and types
  • O: The two Oceanic exhibits, displaying the marine life and seabed of Los Fortuna.
  • C: The climatography exhibit, displaying the different temperature maps and features across Los Fortuna.
  • A: The Agricultural exhibit, displaying the various fruits and crops grown around Los Fortuna.
  • T: The two Taxidermy exhibits, displaying a wide range of animals in roped off and glass displays.
  • E:The Entomology exhibit, displaying photos and models of various bugs.
Goal: For the players, desecrate all the shrines and, when time runs out, have at least one of you, living and conscious, at the T-Rex with the golden sword in hand! For Jack, make sure the players don’t stop your ritual before it goes off!
The match will last exactly five minutes, unless of course players are dead before then. It doesn’t end just because players reach the goal.
Additional Information:
The shrines are 2 meter tall marked wood and metal structures, each having an strange carve effigy sitting in the center of them. In order to properly desecrate a shrine the players can do one of a few things, destroy the shrine outright, deface all the carvings made into the shrine, or destroy the effigy hidden within the shrine.
After destroying or defacing a shrine, the ghosts of the dead will begin harassing the players - three ghosts will move towards the player responsible for destroying the shrine (even in a situation where the stands are responsible: the ghosts will target Bert if a Perfect Hair minion destroys a shrine, and same for if anything affected by Joywave does so). These aren't strong, having flat 222 physicals and being partially see-through, but will increase in numbers as more and more shrines are destroyed. Strong enough hits can phase them out of existence, but they'll respawn ten seconds after at the spot that they previously were. They will go directly towards the players and can phase through any walls or objects that may be in their paths (but not out of any attacks), grabbing onto the players and trying to gang up on them once they're close enough to do so, dealing minor damage.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Red Carpet Rennaisance Emilie "Dread" Delacroix "Wow! It's a hand drawn original color illustration!" You’re a cultured woman, and this museum might very well end up being wiped off of the face of the earth quite soon, so you need to make the most of it while you still can! Make sure to visit and appreciate the various exhibits on display here! (Character Specific)
Suburban Regalia Bert "What a terrible person. If I wrote about someone like you, none of my readers would like it." So this man is playing at god, trying to control life, death, and fate themselves? What foolishness! Clearly, only you can do such things, and you do them best! Over the course of the strategy, prove your superiority to this “Jack Aurel“ and take him down a notch! (Character Specific)
??? Jack Aurel "Where the hell did you go?! Come out, you fucker!" It's now or never. This is the culmination of all of your plans, and failing is absolutely not an option here. During the fight, hold nothing back, and make sure to thoroughly defeat your opponents so that no one and nothing will ever stand in your way again!
(Jack sheet plain text version)
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
submitted by boredCommentator to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

Is anyone else disappointed with the district of Pacifica and sub district of North Oak?

I remember I was so excited to see Pacifica when we were first shown images and walk through a couple of years back. Then I turned the game on, on the 10th and I was amazed by how beautiful and deeply varied in culture and vibe Watson was and the verticality and layers were amazing. I wanted to see more of the city I was thinking it would become more and more depth filled, featured more culture and varied as I traveled with layers of verticality and meaningful things to do... In some areas I wasn't disappointed at all, City Center and Haywood and even parts of Westbrook were mindblowing. Santo might by my favorite district of them all, to be honest, it was just so alive and carried a sense of a real community and culture.
I was so ready to see what the environment in the poorest district in night city was like so I hopped in my Hella and I hit the road to Pacifica....boy was I super disappointed. This district is probably 3 blocks long total with a roller coaster, a half baked mall, and a waterfront (smallest district there is) there were no layers or depth no culture(which IMO there should have been the most culture in Pacifica), and half the district is walled off so you can't travel there.
If you look at the map there is a stadium that you can't access its simply a fast travel location. There is a hotel called Hotel Marquess that is walled off so too are numerous roads and buildings that are made inaccessible because the district is "abandoned and left to rot"... I know that Pacifica was only half-finished and that lore-wise night city gave up on it and maybe that's the reasoning it has been given little to no attention in 2077 but for such an important district in this game it should have had more to offer...far more.
I mean truly CD Project should have known its importance. It's occupied by two major gangs and could have had far more to do within than simply to see Placide and Brigitte and after my short exploration, I just expected more. I anticipated most of Pacifica to be underground Bazaars filled with downtrodden and boarded up favela type living spaces with layers of culture and places to find loot.
I had hoped for a lot more voodoo culture and even chicken coops, stick up kids and bangers trying to get over on you and more danger a lot more DANGER along with more depth and layers of activity far more side quests and gigs than It had. I wanted to see the Animals Gang culture and neighborhoods just filled with destruction and firefights between the two major gangs...I remember we were told that Pacifica had become the "Battle Grounds" of Night City in 2077, but nothing leads me to believe that's the case. I found more harm and danger in Watson than Pacifica...Pacifica was as if a stroll down one of the longer alleyways of one of the other larger more vibrant districts.
I know that DLC and Expansions could remedy this issue but why couldn't it have had more to offer from the jump? I wanted Pacifica to be my favorite district but sadly walked away feeling like it could have been removed altogether and nothing would have affected the game as we know it.
The same can be said for North Oak in Westbrook...NorthOak is a sad excuse for a sub-district in my honest opinion there is no reason to go there other than to see Kerry. What happened to the huge waterfall casino and all the rich and affluent living spaces? There are 5 places to go in North Oak and one of them is a memorial stone hall with nothing to do there. I know there are far bigger issues with Cyberpunk but I just wanted to know if anyone else felt as I do about it.
TL;DR - What were your expectations of Pacifica? I thought compared to the other districts it was bland and lacked culture, depth and verticality. It was short and very small for a district that houses 2 of Night Citys most dangerous gangs. Most of the city is walled of and there is no Battle Ground or Danger. Westbrook's North Oak is equally boring and lacks depth or meaning, I felt that both areas could be removed and the game wouldn't have changed much.
Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing your opinions.
submitted by VoltaireanProGnosis to cyberpunkgame [link] [comments]

Newbie Player Guide to Alpha 19 on PC

7 Days to Die Alpha 19 Newbie Guide (PC Version)
I've seen a number of posts looking for a "how to play," or "introduction," to the game. This is my attempt to write one.
At the beginning of the game, you wake up video-game naked (i.e., in your underwear) and completely ignorant. Your goal is to survive, which is made harder by a) your nude ignorance, and b) the fact that you're living in the aftermath of a combined zombie/nuclear apocalypse.
Your character has four on-screen meters showing your status: food, water, health, and stamina (or call it whatever you like -- fatigue, energy, etc.).
Food and water levels go down unless you eat or drink something. They go down faster if you're doing something that burns stamina (like running). They go down faster if you're too hot or too cold (which is usually only an issue in biomes like desert or snow when you're not properly dressed). They can also go down faster with certain health effects (like getting dysentery -- I'll talk about these effects in a second). Run out of food or water and you will die. (Pay attention to the status bars; in real-life survival situations, regularly getting water is more important than food, but in-game, they both matter.) (Pro tip: Food and drinks you can make yourself are better in many ways than canned goods or basic crops.)
Health is just like in any other video game. It goes down when you get hit, or fall, or step on pointy things like spikes or cacti. Run out of health and you die. Eating food, using certain medical supplies, or just waiting will cause health to go back up. Again, certain health effects may nerf your health bar.
Stamina shows when you're tired. If you run out of stamina, then you can't swing weapons or tools, run, jump, or do other elements of an active post-apocalyptic lifestyle. The good news is that your stamina comes back faster than health while waiting. Drinking improves stamina recovery, and eating gives a temporary boost to maximum stamina. The bad news is that you will be using stamina constantly as you go about your day. (Pro tip: Check out the various beverages in the game to find stamina benefits -- particularly red tea and coffee, also known as the mining combo.)
Alpha 19 has a variety of different health effects that can hamper your food and water consumption, your health/stamina recovery, your maximum health/stamina, your speed, or your ability to use tools. Dysentry comes from eating rotting flesh or drinking unboiled water. Don't do that if at all possible. (Pro tip: You can eat animal fat and snowberries -- or yucca fruit in the desert biome -- if you run out of food in the first couple of days.) Other de-buffs come from injuries. The good news is that if you click on the icon showing the effect, it will bring up your character with info on exactly what you need to mitigate the effect, e.g., put on a splint or a cast to speed healing from a broken leg. Two particular health effects worth calling out are bleeding and infection. If you're bleeding, your screen will flash and your health will keep dropping. Use a bandage, medicated bandage, or medkit to stop it. ANYBODY can make bandages from cloth, so keep some with you. Infection refers not to gangrene, but to the dreaded zombie infection...a disease so horrifying that it helped usher in the fall of civilization. The ONLY way to cure this dangerous disease is...to eat some honey or take an over-the-counter antibiotic. Really, infection should only ever be a serious issue in the first week. (Pro tip: using an ax on tree stumps has a random chance to drop honey.)
Encumbrance: You have a fixed number of inventory slots. You will note that three rows are clear at the start of the game, while the final two rows are not. Those extra rows represent encumbrance, and filling them up will significantly slow you down and increase your stamina usage. Try to avoid that outside of cleared or safe areas. You can increase the number of non-encumbered slots with clothing and armor mods, or through the Pack Mule perk. I recommend finding or making pocket mods ASAP and skipping the perk, though a single level in the early game can make things easier for newbies. (Pro tip: Some items, like most raw materials, food, drinks, medicines, etc., stack in inventory; some items like clothing, mods, and weapons do not. Smart inventory management when looting and salvaging will keep that in mind: do I really want to pick up that pair of shoes, or hold onto that dirty water that will stack if I find more?)
All right, now that the basics are out of the way, how do I get better at surviving? The answer to that is two-fold. 1) Learn how to do more things. 2) Get better stuff.
How do you learn more things? You get experience points (xp) from almost everything in this game. Eventually, when your xp bar fills, you will gain a level and get a perk point. You can use that to select perks, which all have various benefits. At the start, you will get a series of basic quests that serve as a mini-tutorial, and you will gain 4 perk points from finishing them (make sure you complete them!). (Pro tip: Upgrading blocks, e.g., turning flagstone walls into brick walls, is an exceedingly generous way of earning xp in Alpha 19; using a hammer on a block will tell you what material is needed to upgrade it.)
Which perks should I pick first? Well...as a newbie, I recommend Lucky Looter (which improves your chance of finding good stuff), either Pummel Pete or Skull Crusher (depending on whether you want to use clubs or sledges), Sexual Tyrannosaurus (which improves your stamina usage), and something from the Fortitude recovery perks. Healing faster, using less food, or running away are all useful. Ask a different player and you will get wildly different suggestions. Eventually, you will figure out your preferred style of play and pick things accordingly. Note that perks tend to be useful to different degrees based on whether you are in early, mid, or late game.
The other way to learn stuff is to find skill books and schematics. Schematics let you craft new things. Skill books give you a free perk, basically. Collect all seven of a type to get a bonus perk. Some of those are quite useful. Some of them are very circumstance-specific. Regardless, reading an unread book or schematic at least nets you bonus xp. You can tell that you've read a book by the tiny book icon (it will be open if read already). Even if you've read it, you can keep it and sell it for some cash. (Pro tip: Technically, schematics and books stack in inventory; in practice, finding multiple copies of the same one in a single POI is relatively rare.)
How do I get better stuff? There are three ways to do that: 1) Loot it; 2) Make it; 3) Buy it.
Looting: There are many objects that serve as containers in the game. Some objects, like cars, may or may not be a container. Just get close. If you get the option to search it, then it is a container. Not every container will have stuff. Searching containers takes time and makes noise. Locked containers need to be disassembled or have the lock picked in order to open them. Alpha 19 changed looting to be highly level- and time-dependent. You will not get top-tier loot in the early game. Even if you somehow fight your way to the roof of the Shotgun Messiah weapons plant on Day 1, you are likely to find stone spears and maybe a blunderbuss. (Pro tip: a pair of lucky goggles will increase your chance of finding better loot when opening a container for the first time.)
Crafting: If you know how to build something, and you have the necessary ingredients, and you have access to the correct work area, then you can create something from scratch. Perks and schematics will tell you how to build stuff, though there are a handful of things you can build right at the start (like you saw in your tutorial quests). Ingredients can be looted, or you can salvage them by destroying items. See the next paragraph for more on this. Lastly, some items require you to be at a workbench, chemistry station, campfire, or forge to create (there will be an icon next to the item in the build list telling you which). You can build all of these work areas if you know how, buy them from traders, or use ones you find scattered around the world. Traders have one of each, though they probably won't all be functional (but the broken ones can be looted, at least). Caveat: In Alpha 19, you can build up to level 5 gear (higher level gear is usually better and has more slots for mods), but level 6 gear can be found or purchased. Level 6 gear is typically better than anything you can build of the same type.
Salvage: Getting raw materials can be done in a number of ways. Use tools (axes, picks, wrenches, shovels) to extract things from blocks in the world. This is mostly fairly intuitive -- shovels work best on dirt, cement, etc., while axes are good on wooden items like tables and trees. Tools have different levels and can be modded to improve their abilities. Pay attention to the "block damage" stat of the tool to compare them. Some blocks are better sources than others. You can find mineral nodes scattered around that provide you with coal, iron, nitrate, oil shale, or lead, and those are excellent sources (Pro tip: the nodes are just the tip of the mineral iceberg; you can dig down to extract more ore.)
Another way to get raw materials is to use the scrap command in inventory (personally, I found the hotkey for this a little too easy to hit accidentally, so I remapped it). This includes most useful items of gear, as well as certain decorative items like faucets and chairs that you can pick up. Note that many metal items can be put in the forge to smelt them down for more resources than you get using the scrap command, including iron tools. (Pro-tip: Smelting radiators that you get from disassembling cars, heating radiators, and AC units is a great source of brass for crafting ammo; you can also smelt Dukes...but you're usually better off using them to buy ammo from a merchant.)
Buying: Merchants are scattered over the map. Setting up a base near one is a good idea. The post-apocalyptic currency in this game is the Duke, a brass coin that looks like a casino chip. (There are no bottle caps in this game!) If you don't have any money, then you can instead trade your labor for payment. Complete a quest and you'll get cash, xp, and a free prize of some kind (you get a choice -- ammo, meds, gear, etc.). Quests boil down to: retrieve a package, kill some zombies, kill some zombies AND retrieve a package, or dig up and retrieve a package. In the early game, in particular, quests can be very lucrative. (Pro tip: The Daring Adventurer perk can improve the rewards you get from quests if you decide you want to focus on that aspect of the game.) Merchants sell all sorts of things: food, raw materials, weapons, armor, vehicles, skill books, schematics. Their inventory resets daily-ish, so pop back on a regular basis.
Cheesy pro-tip: When you trigger a quest location, the POI will refresh to an "unexplored" state. This automatically refills all of the loot, etc., as well as repopulating the zombies. You can clear the location, then trigger the quest and clear it again for double the rewards. Just don't leave any loot inside a container that will refresh.
What about combat? Why haven't you really mentioned the z-word yet? Well, honestly, you'll probably spend a lot more time salvaging and looting than fighting (with the exception of Blood Moon horde nights, which I'll talk about below). Most zombies in the early game are slow and fairly easy to avoid. If you can avoid getting mobbed, then you will probably be all right.
Animals, however, will mess you up. You will quickly start yawning when you see a single stumbling housewife zombie, but a wolf will continue to be a threat well into the mid-game. Zombie animals are also a threat. Zombie dogs are fairly easy to kill but come in packs of 3-7. Zombie bears will soak up more damage than you can easily dish out in the early game. Zombie vultures are hard to hit and are really good and causing lacerations and bleeding. I've gotten infected by zombie animals far more commonly than I have from human zombies.
Zombie dogs, coyotes, wild cats, and wolves: running works until you run out of stamina, and then you're dead. The best bet in the early game is to find someplace high they can't reach and snipe them if you have enough arrows or ammo. These animals can and will sneak up on you. The good news is that they will make random noises that will let you know they're in the area.
Snakes: I've seen these in the desert and wasteland biomes. Good eatin', but they are quiet and can attack without warning. Luckily, they die easily.
Wild pigs: Don't bother them. Seriously, just leave them alone until you have good guns.
Bears and zombie bears: The good news is that they won't chase you as easily as some other animals. They are also not as fast and you can outrun them. The bad news is that if you get cornered, they can take and dish out huge amounts of damage.
Zombie vultures: These will attack you if you're injured, or are riding a vehicle. Shotguns are the easiest way to deal with them. Hitting them with melee weapons is an irritating chore that often ends with negative health effects. Possibly the most annoying creature in the game.
Deer, rabbits, and chickens: They don't attack, but run if attacked. They can be a good source of meat. (Pro tip: you can get quests from slips of paper you find in loot; the ones asking you to do things like, "kill a bunch of rabbits by throwing cans of Sham at them," are never worth it unless you're desperate to try something new.)
As the game advances, and as you explore some of the larger points of interest (POI), you will run across more dangerous zombies. Feral zombies have glowing eyes and always move at a full run. Crawlers will jump around like demented jackrabbits. Glowing versions of zombies regenerate health. A good rule of thumb is that if something is different about a zombie, it probably is more dangerous. (Pro tip: Quite a few POI's have alert triggers that will cause a bunch of nearby zombies to wake up at once, and stealth doesn't avoid tripping them; best to always have a clear avenue of retreat when entering a new location.)
Weapon selection: As said earlier, clubs and sledgehammers are your basic melee option. Either works well for the early game or to save ammo or hit quietly in the later game. Spears, axes, and knives/machetes can also be used, but they require more practice and really NEED perks to be fully optimized. Note that knives and axes are mostly meant to be tools. Stun batons require another source of damage, either turrets or other players, to be effective, and are also perk/mod-dependent.
Bows can easily kill basic zombies quietly with a headshot. Use the best bow or crossbow and the best ammunition that you can. Do away with stone arrows/bolts as soon as you can find or build the iron versions. You'll need to decide for yourself if you want to keep using bows once guns are available. I like them, but your mileage may vary. (Pro tip: There is a skill book that allows you to craft flaming and explosive arrows; sadly, there is no way to ride around in a Dodge Charger, shooting exploding arrows out the window while Dixie plays from the car horn.)
Guns are easily the best option in the game...and while perks can make them more effective, they aren't necessary. Don't hesitate to pull out a shotgun just because you put all your perk points into pistols if you run out of 9mm ammo. There is a fair amount of ammo in this game, and you can make more...but I always keep a club or sledge with me just in case. Having a gun makes exploring the harsher biomes a lot easier. The trade-offs for gun selection are pretty in line with any other game that has guns. Some burn ammo quickly. Some have low ammunition capacity. Some are better at long range. (Pro tip: having several loaded blunderbusses or double-barreled shotguns in your tool belt can provide an early-game rapid-fire option for dealing with tougher opponents.)
Weapon perks and skill books: Each type of weapon has an associated perk, and an associated skill book set. Maxing out both can make a fairly sizeable difference, and can have some unexpected other benefits. For example, one of the skill books gives you a 10% barter bonus if you happen to be holding a .357 while trading.
Blood Moon Horde Nights: Every 7 days (by default), the sky will turn red. When night falls (hour 22 by default), a horde will spawn near the player. Every zombie in that horde will magically know exactly where you are and will rush at you to eat your delicious flesh.
The devs of the game have made it clear that they want you to FIGHT the zombies, and have gone well out of their way to make turtling behind defenses less viable. Zombies will break down walls -- even ones made of brick and concrete. They will dig to reach you. They jump on top of each other to climb to get you (like in the Brad Pitt zombie flick). As the game progresses, zombies will appear that are capable of spitting acid, or that act as suicide bombers (can you call it suicide bombing if they're already dead?). (Pro tip: Bomb zombies, also known as Demolishers, can be taken down by head or leg shots; shooting them in the chest is a bad idea, despite the fact that shooting the glowing spot is normally the best move in a video game.)
Having said that, building defenses and traps can be very effective at delaying or channeling zombies, and can effectively thin the horde. There are pretty much two approaches people use to deal with a horde night.
  1. Find a POI that prevents the zombies from reaching you and then wait out the attack. Anyplace high with enough metal or stone to last for a while will work. Large stores, fire departments, skyscrapers, water towers, etc., can all work, though the smaller the location, the more quickly it will fall to the zombies eventually.
  2. Build a fortress. This is usually a setup that includes auto-turrets, traps, spikes, and walls made of brick or concrete. Often, they're set up to lead zombies into a killing zone where you can shoot or bomb them into bits. There are many YouTube videos on different approaches, and they range from lore-friendly to extremely cheesy exploitations of the AI or physics engine.
Note that these two are not mutually exclusive. It's pretty common to use POI's at first and then try building your own, or to move back to POI's if your attempt at a custom fortress is less effective than you had hoped. (Pro-tip: Don't use your home base for horde nights...at least until you've got a LOT of experience fortifying against horde nights.)
Creating a home base: Every survivor needs a place to keep their stuff. Just like with a horde base, you can either re-purpose a POI or build your own from scratch.
If you use a POI, then make sure you put down your bedroll. That will keep sleeping zombies from respawning in the area. If you want to use a bedroll as a way of regularly resetting your spawn point, then you're probably better off building your own base. That said, a good POI to use as a base has height. Using a forge on the first floor is a good way to attract random zombies. It's also good to find someplace with brick or concrete walls, as they'll last longer against wandering foes. Also, keep in mind that you'll be going in and out a lot, so you don't want it to be too hard to get in and out. (Pro tip: lone zombies can't jump to ladders that are two blocks off the ground, but you can; this doesn't work so well with hordes, as they climb over each other.)
By default, zombies are faster at night, so early game nights are a good time to huddle up in a base and craft things. When you run out of things to craft, READ the descriptions of your perks, skill books, and the built-in journal entries. You'll be surprised how much information is buried in there. You can also take the time to look at the map and plan out the next day's activity. (Pro tip: Find a cluster of close-together POI's on the map, and put a chest or storage box in the middle to serve as a temporary loot repository; inventory item stacking means that having a collection point can mean many fewer trips back to your base with the fruits of your effort.)
Vehicles: Maps in this game are fairly large. The solution to moving about to different biomes (which have different resources and different POI's) is to make or buy a vehicle. Anybody can assemble vehicles if they have the right parts, but some of the parts are locked behind perks/schematics. Taking the first-level vehicle perk can be useful, as the bicycle isn't a bad starting vehicle and the perk unlocks wheels, which every other vehicle needs. (Pro-tip: the easiest way to get gas when out-and-about is to salvage the many derelict cars.) Zombies and wildlife are pretty harmless if you can speed past them...with the exception of vultures, which can be annoying enough to make you stop your motorcycle just to shotgun them out of the sky.
Mods: There are tons of clothing, weapon, and armor mods in the game. Read the descriptions, as they can have a huge impact on effectiveness. (Alpha 19 has no vehicle mods, despite the fact that vehicles have mod slots.) If you open an item for modding, then any mods in your inventory that can be used for that item will start flashing, making it easy to see which mods go with that item. (Pro tip: There is a boot mod that reduces falling damage that is worth its weight in gold. Not only is it really easy to fall in some POI's, but the de-buff from spraining or breaking a leg when zombies are about can be utterly lethal.)
Power tools: Power tools are very powerful. Augers and chainsaws harvest materials very rapidly. They also use gas and make a ton of noise. They tend to quickly attract screamers, which are zombies that scream until other zombies show up to find out what all the fuss is about. Kill them quickly to avoid hordes interrupting your mining. (Pro tip: The physics engine of the game means that mine collapses are a thing, and they can be deadly; shoring up the ceiling with wood blocks can help prevent this, but augers can mine so quickly that you can lose track of how deeply you've gone beyond your supports.) The annoying pinging noise made by augers is an Alpha 19 addition that was generally disliked by everyone.
Repairing items: Many items like tools, weapons, and armor will degrade over time. Weapons and tools will let you know they need repair...typically when you need them the most. Armor never notifies you. It just stops working. Check your item status bars to figure out when to repair them. Simple tools and weapons can be fixed with wood and stone. More sophisticated items require repair kits. In Alpha 19, repair kits are a generic fix-all for any advanced item, which greatly simplifies things. They can be crafted with forged iron and duct tape. (Pro tip: forged iron can be made in any forge, but you can also salvage them from disassembling weight sets, desk and gun safes, and NON-FUNCTIONAL vending machines; salvaging them can be tedious in the early game but can be worth it to keep your precious firearms and armor functioning.)
Farming: You will find seeds, or you can take a perk or find a schematic to craft seeds. It takes five cobs of corn to create one corn seed, which is odd given that the whole grain is basically made of seeds...but chalk it up to game-play balancing. To plant a seed, you need a farm plot (except for mushrooms, which can grow on any surface), which you can craft with wood, rotting flesh, clay, and nitrate. Once planted, it will grow in three stages. Harvest it at stage 3 by punching the plant, and it will revert to stage 1 and deposit the appropriate food item into your inventory. If you accidentally harvest the seed, just replant it. If you want to get physically fit, do a push up in the real world every time you accidentally punch the ground or the air instead of your crop. (Pro tip: Don't harvest with a mostly full inventory, as if your tool belt slot is the last open spot, the crop will go there, and your next attempted punch will instead eat the last one you harvested.)
Electricity: Fire attracts zombies like moths. Using electric lights is a convenient way to avoid that, as zombies are Luddites and don't care for the products of industry. The most convenient way to light up your home base is with lanterns, but you need to find a certain skill book to make them. The good news is that their batteries never need recharging. You can also get flashlights, or mods that attach lights to your helmet or your weapon (press F to pay your respects...er, sorry, to turn on your light). You can also craft a variety of stand-alone electric lights, but that requires a separate energy source.
Energy sources come in three varieties. Battery packs hold up to six car batteries and drain the batteries over time. You can recharge the pack by connecting it to a different energy source. Generator banks hold up to six engines (recoverable from many derelict vehicles, among other sources) that burn gasoline to provide power. Solar banks contain solar cells and generate power as long as they are in sunlight. They also cannot be crafted and are as expensive as hell. (Pro-tip: Higher-level batteries last longer; use level 1 and 2 batteries to craft vehicles, sell, or smelt for lead, and keep the better ones for the battery banks.)
Use wiring tools to connect energy sources to energy consumers. There are some slightly wonky rules to how you can connect, but it isn't hard to learn with a little trial and error. Wiring doesn't cost you anything, so experiment freely. You can put various switches between the consumer and the source: toggle switches, pressure plates, and motion sensors being the most common, though there are other options. Switches require power, but less power than an active consumer. This allows you to, for example, conserve power in the daytime by turning off active defenses and lights so you don't waste battery charge or gasoline. (Pro tip: a solar bank charging a full battery bank will provide quiet, continuous power, at which point you can feel free to light up your place like a Vegas casino 24/7.)
Stealth: Some players will tell you stealth is impossible in this game. That is not true. What is true is that some situations negate stealth, most particularly Blood Moon hordes. Just tell yourself that the red moon makes their senses so acute that they can smell a living human from a mile away -- if you can't rationalize it away as a game balance issue. Some POI's also have event triggers that are based on your location rather than how stealthy you are being. Chalk that up to dramatic license. This is a game where zombies are real and I can carry a motorcycle in my boot. Get over it.
There are some things you need to know about stealth, though, to do it effectively. Your stealth rating is a combination of noise and visibility. Clomping around in heavy armor, waving a torch or flaming club around, or using a flashlight will make you easy to notice. Firing a gun, whacking a wrench against a metal appliance, or jumping up and down on a pile of trash will also make you easy to notice. That means using light armor, using a bow or melee weapon, and crouching are all ways to avoid being seen.
There are a number of skill books, perks, armor and weapon mods, and craftable gear that can all make you more stealthy. With diligence, you can walk up behind a sleeping zombie, smack him in the head with a sledgehammer, and not disturb the other one right next to him. Will this make the game much easier? I would argue no. It certainly makes some specific situations much easier. Clearing out a mini-horde in a POI with a bow before they wake up can be much less stressful, certainly. The lack of universal effectiveness definitely makes it a playstyle choice, however, rather than an over-powered build to avoid if you want a challenge. (Pro-tip: Stealth is never a 100% guarantee, which is why you always carry stacks of wood; wood is incredibly flexible, as it lets you drop cheap spike traps in narrow passages, climb up easily to places zombies cannot reach, make bridges across open gaps, craft doors to seal off openings that foes have to make noise to get through but that you can open easily, etc.)
That's about it. The most important pro tip is this: this is an open-world game where the only thing that matters is that you have fun playing it. It doesn't matter if you want to do single-player, or multi-player, or if you like crafting more than combat, or prefer spears over guns. You bought the game. Do what you like, as that is really the only goal.
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