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Stokes's Bristol Nightclub incident in detail (From: The Comeback Summer by Geoff Lemon)

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a place where misadventure could begin, you can’t go past Mbargo. The nightclub’s streetfront is painted a purple so bright you’ll see it in your dreams. Strings of giant sequins shimmer in the breeze. Its phonically inventive name is spelt in silver letters that climb its three-storey terrace facade. Inside are strips of burning neon, a few booths, floorboards so marinated in drink that they have an ingredients list. Bristol is a student city on England’s south coast crowded with music and nightlife and street art. This is Banksy’s home town, and the tourism board suggests in rather strong terms that ‘you would be a fool not to see his amazing work firsthand’. The same organisation describes Mbargo as ‘intimate’, which is fair for a place where you can catch an STI standing up. Students cram into its modest dimensions while people with names like DJ Klaud battle for billing with £1.50 drink deals over seven sloppy nights a week. To get a sense of the story about to come, consider that it’s the kind of place open until two o’clock on a Monday morning, and that at two o’clock on a Monday morning, Ben Stokes still thought it had closed too early.
The Ashes of 2017–18 had disciplinary bookends. It was after that series that Australia’s two leaders went off the rails in South Africa. It was a few weeks before that Ashes tour that England’s biggest star windmilled his way into his own disaster.
In the early hours of 25 September 2017, Stokes and teammate Alex Hales were barred from re-entering Mbargo after a night out on the piss. A Sunday thrashing of an abject West Indies in an ignored series at the fag-end of the season apparently required ample celebration. After arguing with the bouncer and hanging about at the door for a while, they wandered off to find a casino in the hope of more drinking. They’d barely made it around the corner before getting in the middle of a conflict between four locals. As is said on the internet, it escalated quickly.
The 26 September reporting was bloodless. Withholding names, police stated that a man ‘was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm’ while another went to hospital with facial injuries. England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss separately confirmed that Stokes was the arrestee, adding that he had been released without charge and that Hales had gamely offered to ‘help police with their enquiries’. Administrators had a good chance of hiding behind that investigation, and the next day Stokes was named in the upcoming Ashes squad as expected. But that night the video emerged.
Bristol student Max Wilson had shot it on his phone, then offered it to The Sun. What he thought was playing hardball was actually lowball: his opening price of £3000 was snapped up by a tabloid that would have paid ten times that. The Sun went on to make a mint by syndicating the rights worldwide. From a window above the fray, the vision showed six men on the street below performing the muddled choreography of a melee. One was right at the centre of it. One was waving a bottle, one dipped in and out, one tried to calm it. Two others floated around the edges. The central figure was unmistakable: red hair burning even in the streetlight as he launched into a series of blows against two of the men, falling to grapple with them on the ground, then following both across the street, swinging punches the whole way. Hales trailed behind, repeatedly and impotently shouting ‘Stokes! Stop! Stokes! Enough!’ The ECB could fudge issues that existed only in thickets of legalese, but not those captured in moving colour. Stokes was stood down from the next West Indies match, then suspended indefinitely. It emerged that he had broken his hand during the fight, something he’d done twice before while punching objects in dressing rooms.
The response in Australia was fierce: Stokes was a thug, a lowlife, a selection that would disgrace England. It was not entirely coincidental that a ban for England’s best player would be handy for the Aussie team, but there was also a cultural split. In England, plenty of people still minimise pub fights as lads letting off steam. In Australia, heavy media coverage as a succession of young men were killed had inverted that tolerance. The discourse now saw any punch as potentially deadly and accordingly reckless. This was more poignant in a cricket context given that David Hookes, the dashing Test batsman and state coach, was killed in 2004 by a pub bouncer’s fist.
The PR situation was bad for Stokes as details emerged of the injuries to the men he’d hit, and that one was a young war veteran and father. Stokes wasn’t officially removed from the Ashes squad through October but stayed behind when his teammates left, hoping for police to dismiss the matter in time for a late dash to Australia. His annual contract was renewed on the due date in case that came to pass. Then 29 October brought a twist in the tale.
‘Ben Stokes praised by gay couple after defending them from homophobic thugs,’ ran the headline. Kai Barry and Billy O’Connell had emerged. Not entirely out of nowhere: while Stokes had made no public comment, this story in his defence had initially been leaked to TV host Piers Morgan after the fight, as soon as the video appeared. Police body-camera footage played in court would later show that Stokes had given the same story to the arresting officer on the night. But no-one knew the identities of the fifth and sixth men in the video, and police appeals had turned up nothing.
It was The Sun again with the breakthrough. Kai and Billy were perfect for a readership not keen on nuance. ‘We couldn’t believe it when we found out they were famous cricketers. I just thought Ben and Alex were quite hot, fit guys,’ said Kai, who was memorably described as a ‘former House of Fraser sales assistant’. The paper had the pair do a full photo shoot: layering the fake tan, showing off chest waxes, mixing Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton into a range of outfits. Their best shot had them standing back to back, heads turned to the camera, in a mirror-image Zoolander moment.
Suddenly The Sun was the England team’s best friend. ‘Their claims could lead to the all-rounder being cleared over the punch-up and freed to play in the First Test in Australia next month,’ it gushed, then gave a tasting platter of quotes: ‘We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero.’ ‘If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.’ ‘We could’ve been in real trouble. Ben was a real gentleman.’ Would it be known forever as Kai and Billy’s Ashes? No. While the Bristol boys provided spin for Stokes’ reputation they didn’t influence the police. With charges still pending there was little choice – not given Strauss had previously sacked Kevin Pietersen for being annoying. Stokes remained suspended through the Ashes and a one-day series in Australia, and lost the vice-captaincy. It was January 2018 before the Crown Prosecution Service laid a charge.
That charge surprisingly came in as affray, a crime that can carry prison time but is classified as ‘a breach of the peace as a result of disorderly conduct’. The men he had punched, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, faced the same count, charged as equal participants in a fight rather than Stokes being charged with assaulting them. Alex Hales was not charged, despite being seen in the video to aim several kicks when Ryan Ali was lying on the ground. Given the underwhelming standing of the offence, Stokes was cleared by the ECB to tour New Zealand, and kept playing until his trial in August 2018, which he missed a Test to attend. None of the three defendants would be convicted.
The reasoning behind the charges was never released and was attributed vaguely to ‘CPS lawyers’. The service gave the case to Alison Morgan, a prosecutor of a class known as Treasury Counsel who usually handle serious criminal matters. Morgan had a scheduling clash and never ended up court for the case, but in 2018 and 2019 she would go on to win damages and admissions of libel from The Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph variously for incorrectly reporting that she had been responsible for the inadequate and inconsistent charging decisions.
Morgan’s successor on the case was Nicholas Corsellis QC, who on the first day of trial was permitted by the CPS to request two assault charges be added against Stokes. ‘Upon further review,’ claimed a CPS statement, ‘we considered that additional assault charges would also be appropriate.’ This was patent nonsense from the service that eight months earlier had chosen the lesser charge. Any lawyer knows that no judge will allow new charges once a trial has begun, because the defence hasn’t had time to prepare. But such a request could deflect criticism of the prosecution service by technically making the judge the one who disallows the charge.
Working through the story from the trial and the tape is complicated. You had a Ryan and a Ryan, a Hale and a Hales, a Billy and a Barry and a Ben. You had several versions of events as to who knew whom, who was drinking with whom, who had insulted whom and who had merely engaged in ‘banter’, a word that in modern Britain has to do an unconscionable amount of lifting. The reporting had constantly mixed up the Ryans as to who had which injury, who was in hospital, who had played which part in the fight, and whose mum had which stern words to say about it.
Let’s agree that from now Ryan Ali is Ryan One, the firefighter who ended up with a fractured eye socket and a cracked tooth. Ryan Two can be Ryan Hale, the soldier who scored concussion and facial lacerations. Mr Barry and Mr O’Connell are best known per The Sun as Kai and Billy. In scorecard parlance we’ll leave the cricketers as Stokes and Hales.
Amid the confusion, Stokes and his lawyers built his case in a straightforward way. The UK legal definition of affray is ‘if a person threatens or uses unlawful violence or force towards another person, which causes another person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their safety’. That means it doesn’t account for violence that harms a target, but violence that might frighten a theoretical bystander. The wiggle room for Stokes was with ‘unlawful’, because the charge excuses violence in defending oneself or others.
This interpretation hinged on the beginning of the video, where Ryan One waves a beer bottle about and takes a swing at Kai. The version from Stokes was that he was minding his own business walking down the street when he heard homophobic abuse. He intervened verbally and was threatened verbally by Ryan One – something that Ryan One denied but that couldn’t be proved or disproved. In fear for his safety Stokes had to nullify that threat by bashing Ryan One before it went the other way. He registered Ryan Two in his peripheral vision as another possible threat, and again had only one recourse.
Stokes also had to convince the jury to disregard testimony from Mbargo’s bouncer that he had been looking for a fight. A solid lump of a man, Andrew Cunningham had not enjoyed his patron’s attempts to get back into the club after the bouncer declined an offer of a bribe. ‘He got a bit verbally abusive towards myself. He mentioned my gold teeth and he said I looked like a cunt and I replied, “Thank you very much.” He just looked at me and told me my tattoos were shit and to look at my job.’ Cunningham described these words as coming in ‘a spiteful tone, quite an angry tone’, and said that Stokes still seemed angry as he walked away.
These were details the doorman had nothing to gain by inventing, but each of them Stokes denied. By his own accounting he had drunk a beer at the game and three pints at his hotel, then ‘potentially had some Jägerbombs’ along with half a dozen vodkas at the club. He insisted that after all of this he was not drunk.
If I may take a moment here to call upon the wisdom of experience – a person who cannot definitively say whether they have had any Jägerbombs has definitely had some Jägerbombs. A Jägerbomb is an experience that does not pass one by. Further to that, a person who says they have ‘potentially’ done something has definitely done that thing and doesn’t want to admit it. A person who has had between 15 and 24 standard drinks in one evening is shitfaced. A person who tries to bribe a bouncer £300 – three hundred quid! – to get into Mbargo – Mbargo! – is beyond shitfaced.
If Stokes admitted that he was drunk then the prosecution could say he was out of control. He claimed clear recall of assessing a threat, feeling fear and deciding to protect himself with force. He confidently denied details from the bouncer’s testimony, like using the word ‘cunt’ or mentioning gold teeth. Yet on other details he claimed a ‘significant memory blackout’. He didn’t remember the punch that saw Ryan One taken away by ambulance. He didn’t remember what the Ryans had said to Kai and Billy, only that those words were homophobic. With no head injury, as one of the few people who hadn’t been hit, he had supposedly suffered this memory loss despite being sober.
The version from Kai and Billy was compatible but vague: they had been walking along, they ‘heard … shouts’ of abuse from an unspecified source, then Stokes ‘stepped in’ and thus they avoided possible harm. They claimed to have been bought a drink by Stokes at Mbargo, although CCTV showed them meeting outside. The overall implication from both accounts was that the cricketers had been pals with Kai and Billy, while the Ryans as per The Sun’s headline were a roving band of thugs.
The reality though is that the Ryans were the ones hanging out with Kai and Billy at Mbargo. Police discussed CCTV from inside the club in questioning and at trial. On that footage the four Bristolians bought drinks for one another, danced together, and Kai was noted to have variously touched Ryan Two’s crotch and Ryan One’s buttock. Ryan One told police that all of this was taken lightheartedly and wasn’t a problem. Indeed, when the Ryans called it a night the other two left with them.
This much is clear from footage out the front of Mbargo, which shows Kai and Billy exit the club and start talking with a subdued Hales and a demonstrative Stokes, who are stuck outside. The vision was played in court to determine whether Stokes was antagonistic towards Kai and Billy, as he appears to impersonate them and to throw a lit cigarette their way. More interesting is that after a few minutes the Ryans emerge, and all six actors in the fight video briefly form a prequel in the one frame.
Ryan Two pats Billy on the chest in friendly fashion with his right hand before clapping him on the back with his left. He moves past and does the same to Kai before leaving the shot. Ryan One stops to speak to Kai. They lean in for a moment, talking, then Kai turns and they walk out of frame together. Billy hangs around for a few seconds at the door and then looks after them and races to catch up. Stokes and Hales remain outside the club to remonstrate further with the bouncers. Whatever discord develops around the corner is between four men who left amicably together minutes earlier.
There’s no way to know what caused that friction. If Ryan One did use homophobic slurs, he might have been drunkenly obnoxious for no reason. He might have had an insecure macho response to some extra flirtation. He might have thought unkindness was funny – ‘banter’ once again. Or he might have said something that was misunderstood, as both Ryans insisted in court that they had not used nor had the impulse to use any abusive language.
What clearly didn’t happen was an attack by bigots on random passers-by. This kind of crime is regular enough that an audience understands the horror of it, and this is what was evoked by the public accounts of Stokes, Billy and Kai. All we know is that there was some verbal dispute among the Bristol locals, and that Stokes came along behind them and put himself in the middle of it. Ryan One responded to the interference aggressively and away they went. There are plenty of reasons to look sideways at the idea that Stokes was a saviour. Foremost, neither Kai nor Billy was called upon as witnesses in court. You’d think it would be ideal to have Stokes’ story backed up by those who benefited from his selflessness. But his defence team had developed the impression that the pair had shown a changeable recall of events amid a hard-partying lifestyle, and would be dismantled by the prosecution on the stand.
That raises the question of whether The Sun coached their quotes for the 2017 interview. Despite missing court, Kai and Billy clearly enjoyed the attention. In 2018 after the trial they did a follow-up spread in the same paper about how poor Ben had been mistreated. They got a television spot on Good Morning Britain and glowed about his heroism. In 2019 The Sun wheeled them out once more to say that Stokes should get a knighthood. In 2017 they had ‘never watched cricket’ but by 2019 were supposedly volunteering sentences like, ‘He saved us, now he’s saved the Ashes.’ Whether they were paid for these appearances is not known, but the chance to be famous for a day can be lure enough.
If you find this cynical, consider that on the night in question, the Bristol boys were so deeply moved and thankful for Ben’s intervention that they left him to be arrested and never attempted to find out who he was. Seconds after the video ended, an off-duty policeman reached the scene. You might think that someone grateful to a saviour would speak on his behalf. Instead, said Kai, ‘it all got a bit scary so we walked off. It was too much for me and we went to Quigley’s takeaway for chicken burgers and cheesy chips.’ They didn’t give their hero a thought for over a month while police issued multiple appeals for witnesses.
As for Stokes, he told his arresting officer that ‘his friends’ had been attacked. After three minutes of chat outside a nightclub, these friends were so dear to him that he has never contacted them again: not after the newspaper piece, not after the verdict. He didn’t want to see how they were or thank them for their support. He didn’t mention them by name in his solicitor’s statement after the trial.
The Stokes defence rested on Ryan One’s bottle, which he had carried out of Mbargo to finish a beer, not to use in a Sharks versus Jets amateur production. But once he turned it over to hold it by the neck it became a weapon. Intent and interpretation can change the material nature of things. Part of Stokes’ justification in court was that the bottle implied that the two Ryans might have ‘other weapons’ hidden away. You can understand how a jury could decide that created doubt.
Not being convicted, though, doesn’t give the contents of the video a big green tick. It does not, as his lawyer claimed, vindicate Stokes. Looking in detail, Ryan One is belligerent but his movements telegraph a bluff. Hales is the person he’s gesturing at, but they’re several metres apart when Ryan One cocks his arm ostentatiously, showing off the bottle rather than bracing to swing. He skips forward but Hales skips back and Ryan One doesn’t follow. Kai stretches out an arm to impede Ryan One, who has a drunken stumble, nearly eats pavement, then staggers towards Kai and hits him in the back. That hand is still holding the bottle, but his strike is a side-arm cuff on a soft part of the body. It’s all pretty tame.
This is where Stokes gets involved. Having moved across to protect Hales, he now takes three large steps to run around Kai and booms his first punch at Ryan One. They fall to the ground and the bottle clinks away. Stokes gets to his feet to punch down at the fallen man, while Hales arrives to kick him ineffectively then runs off across the street for some unknown reason. Ice-cream van? Stokes is soon back in the grapple having his shirt pulled up to show off his Durham tan. Ryan Two steps in for the first time to pull Stokes away, prompting a couple more random punches at this new target, then Stokes trips backwards over Ryan One and sprawls in the street. Hales chooses this moment to return and aim some solid kicks at the head of the man on the ground. Nothing so far is a triumph of moral philosophy or the pugilistic arts. But if it all stopped here, perhaps you could say it was somewhere approaching fair. Ryan One has behaved like a turnip and it’s not an entirely unjust world that would give him a whack across the chops. The antagonists have disentangled, Stokes has some distance, it’s time to dust off and go home. Ryan Two steps forward for this purpose with his palm raised in conciliatory style and says, ‘Settle down, stop.’
So Stokes punches him.
It’s roughly his fifth punch overall, and he really winds up into this one. He misses so hard that he stumbles away into the shadows of the shop awnings along the road.
Hales starts shouting for him to stop. Ryan Two backs into the street, still holding his palm up. Stokes closes on him from about five metres away, six large steps, to where Ryan Two is standing on his own. Stokes pushes him a couple of times, as Ryan Two keeps trying to placate him and saying ‘Stop.’ Stokes throws his sixth punch, largely missing as his target ducks.
Ryan Two keeps pulling away and reversing, into the middle of the street now. Stokes follows him, grabbing his sleeve to drag him back. By this point Ryan One has found his feet and walked around behind his friend. Both of them are in the same line of sight for Stokes, and both are backing away. Stokes aims his seventh and his eighth punches, which Ryan Two tries to deflect, as Hales walks up behind Stokes to grab him.
Stokes yanks away from his friend and switches to Ryan One instead, taking seven paces to grab him before throwing his ninth punch of the night. He grabs again; Ryan One blocks that arm and pushes himself back away from Stokes. Ryan Two again intercedes, putting himself between the two with his palms up and his arm extended.
Stokes throws his tenth punch, a right-hander at the face of Ryan Two, then shoves him backwards. Ryan Two backs away once more, four paces. Stokes follows, steadies, lines up, then launches his strongest punch yet, his eleventh, a proper right hook from a solid base, one that cracks across the man’s head and gives him concussion. Ryan Two ends up flat on his back in the middle of the street, his hands still outstretched for a moment in useless protest until they twitch and drop to the blacktop.
Stokes isn’t done. He once more shoves away the restraining Hales and follows Ryan One, who keeps backing away saying, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ Five more paces from Stokes before another blow at the man’s head. Kai and Billy are now standing over the poleaxed Ryan Two. The video ends, but seconds later Stokes will punch Ryan One hard enough to knock him out too, before off-duty cop Andrew Spure arrives on the scene to bring down the curtain. When the body-camera footage kicks in some minutes later, Stokes is in handcuffs but Ryan One is still laid out in the street. Ryan Two has regained consciousness, folded his shirt under his friend’s head and is asking police for an ambulance.
‘At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened. I was concerned for myself and others.’ This was how Stokes described that sequence to the court. An elite athlete with years of gym work and training to snap a bat through the line of a ball with astounding power and precision, swinging fists as hard as he can at men with none of those advantages. Punching so hard that he breaks his hand, and repeatedly shoving away a friend so he can punch some more. Frightened and threatened by two targets shouting ‘Get back!’ and ‘Stop!’
The off-duty officer testified that Stokes ‘seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to’ Ryan One, who was ‘trying to back away or get away from the situation’. The student who filmed the video can be heard on the tape at one stage exclaiming ‘Fuck!’ and testified that it was because ‘I felt a little bit sorry about the lad that had been punched and it looked like he had his hands up’. That tallied with the prosecutor’s depiction of ‘a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked at what was taking place’.
The defendant stuck to his strategy. ‘No, my sole focus was to protect myself.’ All up, in the 33 seconds of footage after he falls over, Stokes takes 35 steps forward to keep hitting two men who keep trying to get away. Not once is he hit back.
After the verdict, Stokes’ solicitor positioned him as the victim. It had been ‘an eleven-month ordeal for Ben … The jury’s decision fairly reflects the truth of what happened that night … He was minding his own business … It was only when others came under threat that Ben became physically engaged. The steps that he took were solely aimed at ensuring the safety of himself and the others present …’ The statement was impossibly self-righteous and self-absorbed.
If there was anyone to feel sorry for it was Ryan Hale, the second of our two Ryans. He’s the one who emerged from the club with a friendly arm around the shoulder for Kai and Billy. He’s the one who interposed himself to end the fight, then kept putting himself back in the firing line, trying to calm an intimidating stranger while dodging blows. For his show of restraint he got laid out regardless, concussed in the street, then was issued a criminal charge equal to that of the man who hit him, and described in national media as a violent bigot in an untested story to support that man’s defence.
Lawyers for Ryan Two made a more convincing post-trial statement, noting that Kai and Billy, ‘neither of whom were relied upon by the prosecution or the defence team for Mr Stokes, have taken the opportunity to speak with various media outlets about the alleged homophobic abuse that they received in the early hours of September 25. Mr Hale has passionately denied this allegation throughout the course of this case,’ it continued.
‘It is upsetting to Mr Hale that although he was acquitted, the accusation that he was the author of such abuse remains. Both Mr Hale and Mr Ali were knocked unconscious by Mr Stokes, and although Mr Stokes has been acquitted of an affray, Mr Hale struggles with the reasons why the Crown Prosecution Service did not treat him as a victim of an unlawful assault.’Good question. Avon and Somerset police were the investigating force, and they were frustrated by the decision. Ryan Two was filmed clearly not hurting anyone, but police were instructed by the CPS to proceed with a charge. Hales (the cricketer) was filmed fighting but ‘a decision was made at a senior level of the CPS’ not to proceed. Police expected Stokes to be charged with assault but the CPS declined. It doesn’t take a wild cynic to think that placing the same lukewarm charge on three men for vastly divergent behaviour might ensure that none would be convicted, even as the trial would maintain the pretence that a defendant of influential standing had not been given a free pass.
A couple of years down the line, the original interview with Kai and Billy has disappeared. All traces have been scrubbed from The Sun website, its social media history, and even from the Wayback Machine internet archive. Given its headline of ‘homophobic thugs’ and text that names Ryan Two but not Ryan One, the libel liability isn’t hard to spot. Later interviews with Kai and Billy take the passive voice – they ‘suffered homophobic slurs outside a Bristol nightclub’.
The article that was once claimed to exonerate brave Ben Stokes now links only to a missing content page, with a picture of a dropped ice-cream cone and the phrase ‘legal removal’ inserted into the web URL. In terms of consequences, Stokes missed one tour. When he resumed his career in January 2018, the Australians hadn’t yet ruined theirs. Their year-long bans looked much more stringent. But the Stokes case dragged on in other ways. With no criminal liability, the Australians confessed promptly enough for the sporting world to give them the full length of the lash. Their situation was ugly but there was closure. Stokes got stuck in legal stasis, unable to be fully backed or condemned. Instead his issue was always present, a browser full of open tabs that the ECB swore they would read any day now.
Through 2018 Stokes was back but he wasn’t back, in the sunglasses and finger-guns sense. In his return one-day series he nearly cost England a match with 39 from 73 balls in Wellington. His first Test hit was a duck as England got rolled in Auckland for 58. At Trent Bridge while Stokes was injured, England posted a world record 481 against Australia. With Stokes three weeks later at the same ground they made 268. He crawled to 50 from 103, the second-slowest any Englishman had reached that milestone in 20 years. That span covered Alastair Cook’s whole career. It was apologetic batting, acting out responsibility via the scorecard. Stokes was creeping back into the team like he’d been kicked out in a blazing row and was hoping to tip-toe to the sofa.
It was December 2018 before the ECB disciplinary committee ruled on him and Hales. In a ‘remarkable coincidence’, wrote Simon Heffer in The Telegraph, ‘the punishment both players faced in terms of bans from playing at international level was covered by the amount of games they had already missed when dropped by England’s selectors, in the furore that followed the incident’. The verdict compounded the omissions around the case by not addressing the violence at its heart. Nor did Stokes, apologising only ‘to my team-mates, coaches and support staff’, and then ‘to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute’.
The implicit next step was to rebuild that reputation. It might have been easier had his court defence not meant that he wasn’t game to admit any fault at all. It might have been easier if he or his advisers had been willing to change tack once the trial was done. Imagine a world where Stokes had stood outside court and apologised for overreacting, for the injuries he’d caused, and for the time and energy he had sucked out of other people’s lives. That would have been a show of responsibility beyond a scorecard. When the time came around to assess forgiveness, it might have meant forgiveness was deserved.
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[Editorial]WEC 17 1 of 14 My 12 Minutes to the UFC HW Title

I had been traveling with Ron Waterman while he was tearing phone books to prove his strength in Christ. In those travels we would run into Scott Adams who owned the WEC. He did not seem to care if I was trained or not he saw something or knew something I did not. The first booked fight would cancel as soon as they were given my name and figured out I was a NCAA II Champion. So I did not think too much about MMA and wasn't training in a meaningful way. Coach Waterman insist I need a Manager and that manager would be Phyllis Lee. She was like something out of a vintage movie. Always smoking, even when we were warming up and could have been easily confused for the ladies playing Slot Machines at this Indian Casino. Look her up.
So we show up and expectations are low. I am ripped from all the crazy lifting routines Coach Waterman had us doing. Imagine a Golds Gym meat head in fight shorts. We weigh in and the winner of the LHW tournament was getting a UFC contract and I begin to panic. "Coach, I have never fought before", and "Coach that guy can throw a punch". Aside from the beatings my brothers have given me and the battles on the Wrestling Mat I had never been in an actual fight. People had striking coaches. There were some black belts fighting and I immediately began to wish I was not fighting. I was getting angry about the situation I was in. "Is that Rico Rodriguez?" then I see other notable people in corners and on the fight card. I am not sure if I should be getting ready or asking for autographs. Some guy gets submitted by an arm triangle and I have no clue what just happened but the guy on top lost. I was certainly not supposed to be here. Then a guy had to quit because he was kicked in the balls so hard he could not continue. I am ready to run home Forrest Gump style. This won't be the last time I have that fight or flight instinct in my MMA career and one of my big obstacles I would be forced to overcome. Then there was a slam by KO and I felt like I could do that. Tito Ortiz walks by and I am realizing this is real. Then a fight with a big out of shape guy and I got confident and he got beat so the confidence dwindled again.
As they tell us it is time I feel like I am going to shit my shorts and throw up at the same time. The room is smokey and probably from Phyllis, my name is called and it just clicks. I am forced down the walkway team behind me ensuring I can not run and the crowd booing and cheering and of course I hear the boos and the bum chants over all other things. As I entered the cage for the first time I was frightened. I barely remember the opponent but I remember telling myself you won't be slamming him and you are about to get destroyed. The introductions are a blur but his record was undefeated and I decided this was a bad idea. The bell must have rang because this huge guy was moving now. So I go for the clinch and try to push him through the cage. I realize he is trying to hit me so I do that and he goes down and I win by submission due to punches. He must have tapped but I do not recall. I can't believe I just did that and he was down. Then the boos came and I was snapped back into reality.
I really had no clue what had happened. Reed Harris told me I had a bright future and several of the people. History would prove many of us did. WEC would be sold to the UFC and many fighters on that card got to fight in the UFC. WEC was TUF before TUF.
Because of this fight and Phyllis I would be heading to HI next and there I would meet the person who changed my fighting career.
-Carwin
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ACHIEVEMENTS GUIDE WITH ROYALTY UPDATE

[REPOST of this.]
LAST UPDATED: 09/13/2020 ~ Lion Tamer achievement has link to a new post I created with notes and how-to guide.

Royalty:

Longevity:

Keep your health up by going to the gym, meditating, taking walks, and going to the doctor when you're sick.

Wealth:

The fastest way to become wealthy is to become a famous actor or famous writer. I also recommend living in countries that don't have estate tax such as Germany, Sweden, Monaco, & Norway. Start off with high looks for actor or high smarts for writer. Join social media & post every year. When you become famous, do a commercial every year.
While there are other high paying jobs such as porn star, model, and music composer, I do not recommend these because you won't be able to make much extra money on the side. For porn star and model, you can do photo shoots, but they don't pay nearly as much as commercials do.

Real Estate:

Become wealthy using the advice for wealthy achievements. For flipping houses, buy equestrian properties & keep renovating them when necessary. If you buy an equestrian property in your 20s, by the time you're in your 70s-80s, the net worth of the property will increase by a few millions.

Social Media:

Become famous and post every year. When your fame bar is at 75%, request verification.

Animal:

Career:

Follow this career guide.

Combat:

Disease:

Entertainment:

Fame:

Fertility:

Love:

Military:

Prison

School:

Vehicle:

Get rich using the steps in the wealth section above. Obtain your pilot & boating license to complete these achievements.
General:

Crime:

Pet:

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Where did Pondo get all of his money? Three theories

As we may know, Pondo “The Hair” Pondoson is an entrepreneurial bowling alley owner in Hebra, Hyrule. Pondo’s conceit is simple: pay me 20 rupees. If you roll a strike, you get 300 rupees. If you roll a spare, you get 100 rupees. If you roll anything else - I don’t know. I’m too good at this mini game to have ever rolled anything else.
Many of you are likely familiar that bowling at Pondo’s is one of the most popular ways to grind for cash. The absolute fool of a gambler pays 15 to 1 on strikes and 5 to 1 on spares with seemingly no limit to how much cash on hand he’ll pay to fulfill his perverse delight of watching someone throw a snowball down a bumpy hill. But how did he accrue such a massive fortune? He doesn’t seem to have any other form of job or income. His lodge is in one of the most desolate and remote regions in the nation of Hyrule. What gives?
I posit three theories as to where this sketchy bowling maniac got his nearly unlimited wealth and why he won’t give me 10,000 rupees to give to the last great fairy without making me dance like a puppet for his devious glee.
Theory 1: Pondo’s lodge lays on top of the source vein for all rupees (or at least silver and gold rupees) mined pre-minting within Hyrule. It’s kind of on a hilly mountainous area below the Hebra tower. There could be hidden access somewhere within his lodge, and he could have goons or cronies mining away for him. The root of this theory is that this would make him doubtlessly infinitely wealthy - think of a literal gold mine - with relatively little outward signs if it’s a small enough operation. The main failing of this is that it would be a tremendous logistical effort we don’t see any evidence of, and that the sick creep wouldn’t work a day in his life.
Theory 2: Pondo is involved in serious underground gambling rings, and he’s very deep in debt. The bowling game is a Ponzi scheme in which every rupee he lends to you is borrowed from someone else - probably a Goron. The idea is that you’ll suck at bowling so he’ll make back any possible losses - the same way a casino or arcade might work - but in reality you’ve watched that YouTube video and are basically counting cards. However, he’s powerless to do anything about it as it would expose his scheme or he’s too stupid/stubborn/desperate to call it quits. I believe if he continues to hemorrhage money, debt zora’s will come and whoop him sideways.
Theory 3: Pondo is a retired bowling legend who ran the same hustle on others. He’s won so much he doesn’t mind paying out, as you’ll never even scratch his earnings and if he goes broke he’s got the stuff to go back on the road. This one fits most with his outward commentary, such as mentioning he’s staying out in the freezing cold risking Moblin and frostbite all because he loves the pins so much. Presumably that love was once an electric snow bowling career.
I will not be acknowledging his puns. Thank you.
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[S] Swoldow's Survivor: Rome

We have had 29 total newbie seasons, and this will be our 30th, and final one. We will be bringing this season back to the old days, as this final season has no theme, no tribe divisions, just pure, uncut social politics without any division whatsoever, and what better way to show this war between newbies than in the remains of a civilization known for it's bloodshed through Colosseum sports. Get ready for Swoldow's Survivor: Rome.

MEET THE CAST:
Ultimul Tribe:
Lupta Tribe:

THE SEASON: https://brantsteele.com/survivo37/r.php?c=CgGA6QI5
GOOGLE DOC WITH WRITEUPS: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-h54fCfY8RXZS8DW0qncuSpYPBuHu9SRjUw_iHqxycM/edit

My Thoughts:
That was a very fun season! The cast was great, and it was a great way to cap off this series' final newbie season. Despite two easy votes in Candy and Mr. Dickens, Episode three had probably one of the most legendary moves ever in Frannie and Kim manipulating Triv into idoling himself out. Watching the whole thing unfold was hilarious. After another predictable vote that sent Joe packing, the tribe swap got interesting, when Jarrett and Franny got terribly swap-screwed, and then Nicky getting blindsided due to Pandora bluffing about her idol. The merge tribal was very interesting, when Bao, Kim, and Tex turned the Lupta tribe against itself, leading to a tie vote between Shelby and Blanche, with Blanche getting the boot, and due to that move, and Daphne and Pandora flipping, we sadly see Yvette, Santa, and Shelby fall victim to this great move. After, we see Rita work with the people on the botton to take out social threat Daphne, and later on, Pandora getting flipped on, only to idol out Tex. The final 6 were all extremely iconic, with Jenna going out by technicality through a tie vote, Jimmy being blindsided by Pandora, and Pandora falling back on her word in firemaking, leading Kim to get robbed of the million dollar check. The final three, Bao, Pandora, and Rita all were a very deserving top three, but Bao ended up getting the win due to his moves making more logical sense than the other two. Other iconic players were Kim, Jenna, Tex, and Daphne.

Potential Returnees:
Bao, Pandora, Rita, KIM, Jenna, Tex, Daphne, Shelby, Yvette
submitted by swoldow to BrantSteele [link] [comments]

The Case of the Missing 40,000 Jerry Nugget Decks

The Case of the Missing 40,000 Jerry Nugget Decks: A Detective Story
NB: I first published this article (with pictures) at PlayingCardDecks here.
Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards. The story of the original Jerry's Nugget decks is a fascinating one, and there are many interesting side-stories to explore about along the way. You can read the main story about the Jerry's Nugget decks in my previous article here: The Legendary Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards.
But the full truth still remains somewhat hidden, and there are aspects about the Jerry's Nugget story that even today we can't totally be sure about. And with the passage of time, several juicy tidbits of lore have become attached to this famous deck.
In this article I invite you to join me in a quest to explore another juicy story that has become part of the Jerry's Nugget legend. Is it true that the final stock of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks was bought up from the casino by a mysterious overseas buyer? Because this is an oft-repeated part of the story, that you'll hear whispered rumours about across the landscape of the internet. But this a statement of fact or fiction, and is it truth or myth? It could mean that right now someone is potentially sitting on a small fortune of Jerry's Nugget decks worth around $500 a piece. If it's true.
So please put on your Sherlock Holmes trench-coat and deerstalker hat, arm yourself with a good amount of deductive logic and persistence, and join me as we see if we can really get to the bottom of this mystery, and dredge up the truth behind this famed haul of 40,000 decks!

A Secret Stash of 40,000 Decks?

If you are curious - like I am - and do some digging about the story and history of the Jerry's Nugget decks, it won't take you long to stumble across mention of the claim that a stash of the final 40,000 decks of Jerry's Nuggets was bought up in a single swoop, cleaning out the casino's remaining inventory of these prized decks.
The story about some lucky buyer nabbing a final stash of 40,000 decks is circulated quite widely around the internet. Do a Google search for "40,000 Jerry's Nugget" and look at how many hits this gets! Some places that sell the decks even include this in their ad copy. For example, here's the ad copy over at one online retailer, which was selling authentic decks for $525 before they sold out:
Another online retailer says the same. Many reviewers have parroted this information as well, such as this example. So do various sites dedicated to information about playing cards, such as this example.
As far as many people are concerned, this information is more along the lines of "fact" than fiction, and it's become part of the story that everyone accepts. Little wonder that it is often repeated by collectors in discussion forums about playing cards, and that it has given more than just one person a tinge of envy.

Who is the mysterious buyer?

So who is the lucky guy with 40,000 decks of precious Jerry's Nugget decks hidden in his basement or garage? And is the story even true?
Some of the sources for this story seem quite credible. And they also reveal the buyer's name: French magician Dominique Duvivier. One person quotes Jordan Lapping, apparently among the first cardists to get Jerry's Nugget decks and use them for flourishing.
Dominique Duvivier is a French magician who performs and works with his daughter Alexandra, and together they have a high profile in the world of French magic. They are even well known in the circles of international magic, and were featured on the cover of the June 2013 issue of Genii Magazine.
Norwegian magician Allan Hagen has a long-time interest in the Jerry's Nugget decks, and he also mentions Duvivier's purchase of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks as apparent fact in something he posted on Reddit in 2015, where he describes his perspective on their rarity and value.
You'll read similar reports in an article published by Ukrainian cardists Alexander and Nikolay about Jerry's Nugget decks in June 2017. Two things are common to all these accounts: the number 40,000 for the haul of decks purchased by the mysterious overseas buyer. And now his name: Dominique Duvivier.
I contacted a number of different sources, including people who had personal connections with some of the key players who were closely involved when Jerry's Nuggets decks first became a fad among magicians and cardists in the late 1990s. One source told me: "Interesting, the name of the European magician - it was a big secret back then. Someone actually told me his name back then, but it was on the proviso that I never publish it. Well, I see it's out of the bag now."

Was Dominique Duvivier the buyer?

But is there any evidence that Dominique Duvivier was really the mystery buyer whose name had been a carefully kept secret for some time at least? It was time for some more detective work. Google brought me to Duvivier's personal website.
It didn't take long to discover that Duvivier does indeed have a real fondness for Jerry's Nuggets Playing Cards. They are everywhere - in his photos, his videos, and his instagram.
Judging by the many French-language comments on his site, it also becomes apparent that Duvivier is highly respected and appreciated in his home country for his magic. It's also evident from reading some of the comments that his Jerry's Nuggets decks are a signature of his performance. Some even consider them to be the equivalent of a Stradivarius that Duvivier uses to perform with as a master magician.
But it was when I checked Duvivier's youtube channel that I found some real gold: Dominique himself performing with Jerry's Nugget cards in this clip. In fact, if you check out his other videos there, you'll find quite a few where he performs magic with Jerry's Nugget playing cards, like this performance from 2014, this more recent ace cutting routine, and this false shuffle. Duvivier has even contributed a Jerry's Nugget themed trick to the magic industry, entitled Jerry's Nuggets Cards in Bag.
You can watch the promo video for this trick in French or English. His daughter Alexandra Duvivier successfully used it to fool Penn and Teller on their show Fool Us. Here's the episode, and some unseen footage.
But just because Dominique Duvivier happens to really, really like Jerry's Nugget playing cards doesn't prove that he bought out a massive stash of the last 40,000 decks from the casino. So this still begs this question: Did any of this even happen? And is there really someone on this planet with a hoard of 40,000 decks, whether it is Dominique Duvivier or anybody else?
One of my favourite photos on Duvivier's site is this one here, with his haul. If that's any indication, surely the legendary haul was starting to seem somewhat plausible. It was time to ask around, and check in with some of the people who were around when the Jerry's Nugget decks first became the rage.
Of the sources I consulted, few could be considered more reliable than Lee Asher. For many people Lee is synonymous with the Jerry's Nugget phenomenon. He also had close connections with the events of the time, and was instrumental in bringing the Jerry's Nuggets into the limelight in the first place, by singing their paises. He was kind enough to respond when I contacted him for comment about Duvivier's alleged haul of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks, and Lee bluntly told me the following:
"This is misinformation. There weren't 40k decks left in 1999. We don't even know if Jerry's even printed 40k decks."
Really? Apparently Lee Asher knew Duvivier personally, and he was the very person who first told Duvivier that the casino even had the cards for sale. He also visited his home and shop in Paris many times throughout this period of time. In Lee's words:
"Without a doubt, I NEVER saw 40k of ANY deck there. That's basically nine pallets worth. The house, their magic shop and night club weren't big enough to house these decks. It also seems Duvivier isn't the last one to buy the remaining decks. Jerry's Nugget Casino believes they sold the last case of cards to someone in Japan in 1999."
Well, it seems that the story had to be put to rest. Was this entire story perhaps just a magnificent urban legend after all? And if it was, where does the number of 40,000 decks come from, and how did this story get so much traction that it spread all around the internet, and is accepted unquestionably by so many people? My task had just become a bit harder, but I wasn't going to give up yet. It was time to try to track down where the many websites that quoted this story got the figure of 40,000 from in the first place.

Where does the figure of 40,000 come from?

With some more digging, the oldest article I could find on the subject was by a card collector who has a collection of fine articles on his site, White Knuckle Cards. This particular article dates back to 2009, and is one of the earliest references to the legendary stash of 40,000 decks that I could find.
This particular article seems to be the first time the figure of 40,000 pops up, pre-dating all the more recent mentions of it. And it's not hard to figure out how it spread from there. On 6 August 2015, someone called "Doctor Papa Jones" added these details to Wikipedia's article on Jerry's Nuggets, evidently relying on the White Knuckle Cards article. As a result the Wikipedia article now read as follows: "In 2000, a private collector purchased the remaining stock of 40,000 decks".
So now this "fact" is on Wikipedia and has some real "credibility". In fact, the number 40,000 stays up on Wikipedia for the next five years unchallenged! And that allows it to spread around the internet and go wild. Because where does everyone go when they're looking for reliable, authoritative, and trustworthy information about something? Wikipedia!
Despite the mention of the magical stash of 40,000 decks, Duvivier's name remained out of the spotlight for a further four years. It was simply a mysterious "private collector" who had purchased the big haul. But in 2019, someone connected the dots to Duvivier, and so the Wikipedia article was changed to include his name.
So how did that happen? Well the supporting reference that Doctor Papa Jones included in his 2015 edit was a link to an article by Dan and Dave Buck, dating back to 7 Dec 2011. This article is also no longer available, but can be tracked down with the help of the Internet Archive here. It doesn't give the figure of 40,000 but does drop Duvivier's name.
So the evidence seems to suggest this development: Apparently relying on the White Knuckle Cards article from 2009 as a source, the number 40,000 first embedded itself in the WIkipedia article on Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards in 2015. Slowly the story grew, until somebody finally connected the dots that were hidden in plain sight elsewhere on the internet, and as a result Duvivier's name gets added four years later. Now things are set up for a great story: Mr Duvivier is sitting on a massive stash of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets in France.
The story gained even more traction as a result of the revived interest in Jerry's Nuggets that inevitably happened when a tribute deck was printed in 2019. It was inevitable that many would rely on Wikipedia as a source, and so the details even ended up being quoted in ad copy for the reprinted decks. What had previously just been a matter of quiet rumour or speculation, was now considered as fact. Oh, the joy of Wikipedia - it has certainly helped promote quite the legend here!
And it doesn't take a genius to see that if this is true, Duvivier could be sitting on a small fortune. At $500 each, 14,000 decks would be worth around $700,000. Naturally a market flooded with them would drop their value. But even if the going price dropped to $100 a piece, that would still value his holdings at over $100,000. Even if he just sold the occasional decks at $500 a pop, this windfall could generate a nice little secondary income. That is, if the legend is true, a fact yet to be proven....

Revising the figure

Because this year, the Wikipedia article was changed. By now of course the (mis)information about Duvivier's haul had gone far and wide, and a lot of potential damage has already been done. But on 25 March 2020 someone called "TheCongressGuy" changed it to read that Duvivier "purchased the remaining stock of 1,500-2000 decks".
Suddenly the number of Duvivier's legendary purchase had been reduced from 40,000 to something around 5% of the size. A figure of 1,500-2000 seems much more likely. So who made the change and what was their source?
I did some more digging and managed to track down TheCongressGuy. He is Kevan Seaney, who describes himself as an "antique playing cards collector, specializing in the Congress 606 brand" and posts here. In February 2020 he wrote here that he'd learned that Duvivier had not purchased 40,000 decks. I was curious, and eventually found the following video that he posted about this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2pctAEuiZA
And who was his source that Kevan credits for correcting the previous (mis)information about the number 40,000? If you watch that video, you'll find out that it is none other than the great Lee Asher. Lee Asher isn't just "anyone". He's a playing card expert, and the current president of 52 Plus Joker The American Playing Card Collectors Club. He's the guy who first generated public interest in Jerry's Nugget decks, brought them to the attention of cardists like the Buck twins and Chris Kenner, and was later a purveyor of these icon decks via his website. He's also had personal connections with Duvivier, was the person who informed Duvivier that they were available from the casino, and has personally spent a lot of time with him in Paris.
And Lee Asher is a key person that has helped get real Jerry's Nugget decks into the hands of a new generation today. He's the guy who was instrumental in making a collaboration happen between Jerry's Nugget Casino and Expert Playing Card Company, by suggesting that EPCC get the exclusive licence needed to reprint these iconic decks in 2019, as announced in an official press release here.
It's plain that along with EPCC's Bill Kalush, Lee Asher (pictured below) was singularly responsible for getting an officially licensed Jerry's Nugget deck back into the hands of a new generation and into the collections of those who couldn't afford the massive sticker price of the originals. So if anyone has a passion for the original Jerry's Nuggets, it is Lee Asher. Of anyone in this picture, Lee is the person with the most credibility, and his opinion and perspective should carry a lot of weight.
With Asher as his source, Kevan Seaney points out that 40,000 decks of Jerry's Nugget playing cards is the equivalent of around 8 pallets. That's a massive amount, and would weigh around four tons. And it would take up a tremendous amount of space! Kevan cites Lee Asher as saying (via voice messages in Instagram) that in 1999 Asher told Duvivier that he could get the decks from the casino, and that Duvivier bought around 1,500-2000 decks at the time. Lee subsequently visited his home and store - France's oldest magic shop - in France many times. And according to Asher, there was no way Duvivier had room for 40,000 decks. Kevin also says that Lee Asher pointed out to him that these were technically not the final lot of decks sold by the casino anyway, and that the last decks (a "case" of unknown size) probably went to Japan.
Wow. That really changes things! So based on this apparent "new information" from Lee Asher - who to his credit has apparently been saying this all along - Wikipedia gets a new edit by TheCongressGuy aka Kevin Seaney. The impressive figure of 40,000 is reduced to a much more modest 1500-2000, which is paltry by comparison to the much larger figures circulating the internet, and not nearly as impressive a story. But this is only after Wikipedia has been singing a different tune for five years, so the `damage' has been done, and the story of Duvivier's windfall of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets is already accepted by most people as a true story.

Duvivier's own story

Suddenly it occurred to me to investigate Duvivier himself. Was this perhaps a line of inquiry that might produce some solid leads and definitive facts? Has the man himself ever commented on all these stories about his legendary haul? Could I find anything directly from the man himself that would shed some light on these legends? In fact, why hadn't I thought of this earlier? Just because nobody else seems to have dug up or reported anything from the man's own mouth, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. I slapped myself for my own foolishness, and headed back to Google.
As it turns out, Duvivier has written about this! But because it's an article in French, it's escaped notice from most people. Since he's popular as a professional magician in France, he not only has his own website, but he also writes his own blog. And sure enough, he's addressed this very topic in a blog article that he wrote in April 2011 under the title "Magiphageuh No 14: Les Jerry's Nugget".
With the help of an online translation tool, we learn this:
"As most of you already know, I only use real "Jerry's Nugget" cards to work with and have been doing so for many years. As these cards happen to be extremely rare to find on the market (I am obviously talking about the original Jerry's Nugget cards and not the recently reprinted ones) and they excite the magical world a lot, I am therefore constantly asked how many I own, how long have I owned them, what deal I made to get them and with whom, why do I have so many cards, why did I choose these specifically, why don't I want to sell them, why, why, eh?! And I hear such amazing stories about myself on these famous "Jerry's Nugget" cards that I decided to speak on the subject myself today."
This sounds very promising! Duvivier then goes on to tell the story about how the Jerry's Nuggets gained their legendary reputation, and the unique qualities they have. In France in the 1970s, American playing cards were quite rarely seen, and Duvivier knew a French pilot commandant called Reyno who loved magic, who would occasionally bring back cards from the US to a small circle of French magicians. At this time even standard Bicycle and Tally Ho decks were prized by these French conjurers, so besides them a Jerry's Nugget deck was considered a real crown jewel.
Over the years Duvivier occasionally got more of the Jerry's Nugget decks, sometimes even an entire case of them at once, especially via his friend Michael Weber, who was his main supplier. We fast forward to 1999, when he finds himself heading to Las Vegas to perform at The Magic Castle. Here's the story in his words, courtesy of an online translation tool:
"In 1999 (if I'm not mistaken) my daughter Alexandra and I were hired to perform for a whole week at Magic Castle and then for a few contracts in Las Vegas. You may think that I had only one idea in mind at the time: a trip to the original casino where my favourite cards were from, Jerry's Nugget! Michael Weber had told me that there were still a few decks for sale there, so as soon as we arrived I immediately asked Philip Varricchio, who had come to pick us up in a limousine, to take us there. He was rather surprised, as we hadn't even put our bags down at the hotel (yes, I'm a fool) and the old Jerry's casino wasn't really known for being a must-see place! So I told him that I wanted to go there to buy Jerry's Nugget cards. According to him it was impossible to get them for the simple reason that they hadn't been around for a long time, but I was so insistent that he finally complied (hey, hey, hey!). When we arrived there, we went to the gift shop of the casino and I asked the salesman if he was selling their decks.
- Yes," he told me, "I have a few.
He shows me a small piece of wall in the back of the store where a hundred decks were on display. I ask about the price. Not even expensive!
- Well, I'll take them," I say (laughs).
And of course I ask if he has more in reserve! Yes, there were about a hundred boxes left (each box containing a large number of cards, 144 decks!). After a little negotiation, the unit price was even lowered to less than $1.
That's it, that's how it happened and that's it. In fact, in all this story, the most difficult, the longest and the most expensive was to get the stock back to France.
Since then, I've been seeing, little by little, the bids going up on these cards in a rather hallucinating way, whereas, of course, that wasn't my initial motivation at all. From the moment I bought the remaining stock, it's as if everyone wanted to own even more! But I just wanted to have enough stock of Jerry's Nugget decks because I'm a card fanatic and these in particular. I use these cards because they're the best cards I know and I've fought like a big man to own enough of them for me (I should mention that I never had a middleman or a partner to buy these cards). Anyone could have done as I did and I don't understand why no one did: you just had to take the trouble to go to this casino, because the cards were available! In any case, now they are all warm and cosy in different safes, which I won't tell you about. They say I'm the person with the most cards in the world, but I have to say I don't care. I know Chris Kenner is the one who planned it, he has a lot of them too. I've been offered golden bridges to sell a few packages, or even my entire stock. I've had some incredible offers over the years. I never intended to create a buzz with these cards: I just use them for my own personal consumption, that's all...because they're my favorite cards."
Probably the key sentence in that account is this, and the best translation seems to be something like this:
"Yes, there were about a hundred boxes left (each box containing a large number of cards, that's 144 decks!)."
The formula is simple: around 100 boxes with 144 decks each. If true, that would mean 100 x 144 = 14,400 decks. Given that this is directly from the horse's mouth, suddenly the story becomes slightly more plausible. So too is his additional statement:
"In all this story, the most difficult, the longest and the most expensive was to get the stock back to France."
That suggests he didn't bring the whole stash to France in one go, which might explain why visitors like Lee Asher and others who saw his home and magic shop never saw any evidence of them. I'm not a French speaker, so I'm happy to be corrected if I'm misunderstanding anything Duvivier has written - by all means check the article for yourself in the original French, to see if I've got it right. But the long and short of it seems to be that Duvivier is saying that what he bought from Las Vegas around 1999 was not a stash of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets decks, but 14,000 decks.
14,000 is not nearly as impressive a figure. But even though it's only a third of the size of what the legend floating around the internet says, 14,000 decks is still an incredibly impressive haul. Certainly the amount of pictures and videos that show Duvivier performing with Jerry's Nugget cards, seems to suggest that they are very much part of his regular repertoire. It could just be possible, and maybe I've finally found the truth!
Perhaps the most defining photo of all is this one (credited to Zakary Belamy), which shows Duvivier enjoying a bath with his Jerry's Nugget playing cards! Given the value of these playing cards on the market today, some might consider this sacrilege, but it sure suggests he has a large enough supply of Jerry's Nugget cards. At any rate, his collection of them seems large enough that he can even afford to take them to the bath for a photo op along with his favourite yellow rubber ducky.

But is it true?

Was the mystery solved at last? It was time to get back in contact with Lee Asher, and share my findings. But despite the claims of Duvivier in his 2011 article, Lee is not convinced that Duvivier is a credible source. To be fair, this is what Lee Asher has been saying all along, and for years he's been saying that the story about the legendary haul of 40,000 decks wasn't supported by the facts.
Ultimately what this comes down to is: are we going to believe what Duvivier says? For the most part, Duvivier has appeared to have had little interest in setting the record straight, despite the fact that the rumour of him nabbing 40,000 decks persisted as long as it did. And if he does have a large stash, why has he shown little interest in selling any of the decks that he does have, instead being happy to hoard them or use them only for himself? Would he really have spent all the time, energy, and money necessary to ship even 14,000 decks of playing cards across the ocean from the United States to Europe, just for his personal usage, at a time when the street value of these was only a dollar or two a piece? And if he did, where did he put them, and why has nobody ever seen his stash, including those who visited his home?
There are other details about Duvivier's record of events that call aspects of his narrative into question, such as his complete omission of any mention of Lee Asher, who was the one who made him aware of where he could get them. And in those days, the casino gift shop was very small, so is it really reasonable for them to display 100 decks on their back wall, as Duvivier claims in his 2011 article, when they had such little space to work with?
I had some private correspondence with another magician/cardist who has also stayed at Duvivier's house, and that individual expressed similar sentiments. He agreed that there was no evidence of Duvivier ever owning that many decks. Just do the math: 40,000 decks would mean Duvivier could use a brand new deck every single day for more than 100 years before he chewed through a collection of decks that size. Again: very unlikely. If he really did have that many, it would be way more than he could ever use, and surely he would have sold some by now - which he hasn't. This person remains somewhat skeptical, but acknowledges that the figure of 14,000 is a more realistic number that is not beyond the realms of possibility, especially if Duvivier has them locked up in a storage facility in Paris somewhere.
As an educated guess, it seems that there is good reason to cast some suspicion on this story, and there are some aspects about it that seem rather unlikely. Shipping that many decks, at the time only worth a buck or two each at most, all the way from Las Vegas to Paris would be crazy. But a man willing to jump into a bath with a yellow rubber duck and destroy $1000 worth of playing cards in the process strikes me as crazy enough to do it. Perhaps Duvivier's story is true after all.

A final twist

I was now several weeks into my adventures as an investigative journalist, and I was getting ready to wrap up my story and publish it. But there was one final lead that I had not yet explored. If I was really going to try every possible avenue of information, I had to try contacting Dominique Duvivier himself. Why not? Admittedly, the odds of getting a response from someone about his apparent stash of precious Jerry's Nuggets wasn't likely. If there was any truth to the story about his legendary haul, even to some degree, then he's undoubtedly had hundreds of inquiries over the years. Just imagine the long lines of people asking him about his stash, trying to convince him to part with some of it. If yet another email comes in on this subject, he'd probably roll his eyes and press `delete'. He is working full time as a professional magician after all, and has a career to worry about. I couldn't blame him if he was tired of responding to what undoubtedly would be countless messages from prospective buyers.
But I had no intention to buy anything, so as a good amateur journalist, I had to try. It was a long shot, but to my surprise, I got a response from Duvivier the very same day! It wasn't much, but it included one unexpected bombshell - especially after the journey I'd been on so far: "You'll be glad to know that a special article is going to appear in next Genii Magazine. It's called Dominique Duvivier and Jerry's Nugget cards."
I was stunned. Was someone else working on exactly the same story as me, and had they beat me to the punch? Maybe even Duvivier himself? Could it really be true that in little more than two weeks time, the next issue of Genii was scheduled to come out, and would potentially reveal all? Suddenly I knew that I had to wait with publishing my story. In further emails, Dominique was tight-lipped about any more details. At the very least, surely I would have to wait until that issue of Genii was available, and fork out my cash and purchase a subscription in order to read it. I owed it to my readers to explore every last clue, and give them a story that included all the evidence.
So that is what I did. I waited for the July issue to appear online. Digital editions of Genii are released online each month on the 20th of the month. Finally 20th of June rolled around, and I eagerly perused the contents of the latest issue. Nothing. Nothing remotely Duvivier related. Nothing Jerry's Nugget related. Was Duvivier for real? An inquiry with the editor of Genii produced this response: "Not this issue. Coming up." Would it be August or September maybe? Further inquiries produced only silence.
In follow up correspondence with the Frenchman himself, Duvivier told me "I wrote the article myself. It?s quite long." That sounded promising, but it could just be about his love affair with Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards, rather than a "tell all" story about his haul. There still was no guarantee that it would even be published. And I couldn't be sure that it would offer any more information than his blog article from 2011 which already gave his side of the story, or that it would be any more reliable than the version of events he'd provided there. Was it really worth waiting any longer? It was time to share my findings with the world anyway, and I could always provide an addendum to my story if any credible new information appeared.

Final Thoughts

Is this the final word on this subject? No. I've tried to do the best I could based on information available to me, and shared as much as I could with my readers, so that you can form your own conclusions based on the evidence so far. Undoubtedly there are still some missing puzzle pieces, and in future years some new information could come to light that shows that some of my conclusions were misplaced or that puts aspects of this story a slightly different perspective.
Today we are two full decades removed from the time when the original decks first sold out at the Jerry's Nugget casino. And the further removed in time that we come, the harder it becomes to uncover the truth. Memories become murky. As it is nobody at the casino seems to remember the specific details of what happened. At the time they were probably only too glad to get the remaining stock out of their hands, and nobody could have anticipated how these decks would become the famous icons that they are today. Even their chief evangelist Lee Asher has to be somewhat surprised at the turn of events he's produced since first singing their praises some twenty years ago!
So what can we conclude from all of this? Here's some final thoughts that I'll leave you with:
1. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Unfortunately, it's a fact of modern life that not everything on the internet is true. And as we've seen, this also applies to sites like Wikipedia. For topics that have a large number of experts or people interested in a particular subject, changing the facts on a Wikipedia article will quickly see the changes being reverted. But with a more niche subject, like Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards, and especially when it concerns circumstantial material that nobody is quite sure about, it's easy for misinformation to enter Wikipedia. And once it's embedded there, eventually the lore spreads and becomes considered as "fact". So it's important to check your sources, and don't take everything you see online as gospel truth - even if it's on Wikipedia.
2. The legend about the stash of 40,000 decks should be put to rest once and for all.
It's a myth, and there simply is no evidence for this claim anywhere. At most, there is the claim from Duvivier himself that he bought up about 14,000 decks. That might be true, but again, we only have his word for this. As a counter-point, there are those like Lee Asher who know Duvivier and have visited him many times, and insist that they never saw any evidence of this. The enormous cost of shipping a large stash like this to Europe already makes it somewhat hard to believe.
There's no doubt that Duvivier is a huge fan of Jerry's Nugget decks, and he appears to own and use them more than most. But in the end, how credible is he? How seriously are you going to take someone who is happy to post a picture of himself in a bath with a rubber duck and playing cards from a Jerry's Nugget deck? Either that means he has far more decks than he knows what to do with, or he is a little loopy. Or perhaps it's a bit of both. You've had an opportunity to read all the evidence for yourself, so you decide.
Either way, we can safely say that there has never been a stash of 40,000 decks, and the jury is out on whether there was even ever a stash one third of this size. But even if the size of the legendary stash turns out to be smaller than first thought, the reputation and magnetism of the Jerry's Nugget decks has only increased in size, and these now iconic decks will remain firmly embedded in playing card lore.
------------------
Update from the writer: After the original publication of this article, Dominique Duvivier personally phoned me on 24 July 2020 to discuss it, and to share his side of this story. He remembers events slightly differently than Lee Asher does. As Duvivier recalls it, his own interest in the Jerry's Nugget decks dates back to the 1970s and 1980s. At that time he was sourcing them from his friend Michael Weber, who along with magicians like Chris Kenner was also interested in these decks. According to Dominique, he only met Lee Asher during his USA tour in 1999, after he had already bought out the remaining stock from the Jerry's Nugget casino. Duvivier confirmed that the figure of 14,000 accurately reflects the approximate number of decks he purchased from the casino at this time. He shipped the majority of these to France by boat, and stored them in a warehouse, intending them to serve as a life-time supply for himself and his family. Look for his story in an upcoming issue of Genii magazine.
submitted by EndersGame_Reviewer to playingcards [link] [comments]

"Chillwave" turns 10 years old today

Chillwave turns 10 years old today. Chillwave is curiously well-known among indieheads as a term but also somewhat misunderstood, maligned, and neglected. In the wake of this anniversary I began writing about it’s origins, it’s run from 2009-2011 and it’s subsequent influence on indie electronic music and indie music overall since.
Part of this plan was to highlight the big four - not three - artists key to it’s sound: Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, Neon Indian and Memory Tapes. In particular I wanted to set forward the case that Dayve Hawk’s run as Weird Tapes/Memory Cassette/Memory Tapes was not only crucial to the genre but arguably encapsulated it the best. I also wanted to flesh out the tangled web of various artists and genres closely related and essential to chillwave emergence instead of the usual focus of the handful of core musicians mentioned above that so many features have relied on. Phillip Sherburne’s 2010 article is a good example of what I mean by expanding on the list of music related to chillwave.
Ian Cohen’s amazing feature on chillwave from June 25 took much of the wind out of the sails of my motivation to write about chillwave, but I nonetheless wrote out an grand overview of sorts which I’ve posted below. It would of been the first part of a series of more detailed and likely less verbose essays broken up in sections: proto-chillwave music before 2009, a section on each of the ‘big four,’ another with notable mentions, and a section about everything since 2011. If you are interested I can write and post these over the next few weeks or months, along with playlists.
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Exactly 10 years ago “chillwave” was established as a genre, coined July 27, 2009 on the infamous blog Hipster Runoff in a quintessentially snarky yet borderline insightful post by Carles. It was a flash-in-the pan moment, albeit a substantive one long enough to sustain itself for over a year, culminating in SXSW showcases and the “summer of chillwave” in 2010. Discussion of chillwave online outlasted the overt participation of it’s core artists: in 2011 Memory Tapes, Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, and Neon Indian effectively bowed out from the genre’s main tropes, each releasing a ‘post-chillwave’ album of sorts as they moved on into their own artistic directions.
Only in hindsight can it be said that chillwave occupies a truly unique existence as a genre, an existence that can not be compared to earlier scenes or movements nor expected of trends to emerge in the years ahead. These musicians were united under a genre they neither embraced nor rejected. There was never a “scene” in any geographical manner, or even in a virtual sense as there has been with vaporwave. It was never as vague or nebulous as the “glo-fi” or “hypnagogic pop” style descriptors that have aptly been applied to artists that have both preceded and succeeded chillwave. In terms of legacy it was neither unfairly dismissed, despite its influence, the way witch-house was, nor is it a all-but-forgotten microgenre footnote in late 00s / early 10s history the way seapunk or wonky are.
It can be argued that at its core chillwave is a contrived label, a means of distinguishing it’s artists from it’s underground cousins glo-fi and hypnagogic pop and likewise arbitrarily categorizing specific musicians who fall under more comprehensive genres of synthpop, and electronic, and even broader styles of “dream pop” or “indie electronic.” It's no coincidence that an earnest effort by Pitchfork to dedicate a website, Altered Zones, to the varied yet broadly related minutiae of such underground artists and labels, was similarly doomed from the start, lasting just over year. The dilemma of genrewave. In fact if there’s one incessant footprints of chillwave it’s the ushering of vague hashtag styles, everything from Spotify’s ham-fisted “fluxwork” and “escape room” nonsense to lofi chillout hiphop beats to study to youtube playlists.
The real legacy of chillwave’s moment in the sun from 2009-2011 was bridging the gap between unabashed lo-fi weirdness of underground scenes and bedroom producers and more established producers making slick, more cautionary electronic pop and dance music. Before 2010 pop tended to be retro-informed, not explicitly retro-styled. The novelty of overt retro sounds of past music, especially from the late 70s to late 80s era chillwave drew from, were no longer cheap style nods made in the name of irony or gimmick but instead sincerely embraced by chillwave artists. There were plenty of 90s and 00s retro-minded music projects delving into overtly “summer” sounds but they worked within confines: ambient house groups KLF, The Orb, and Global Communication, l the critically acclaimed yet leftfield IDM projects Boards of Canada, Casino Versus Japan, and Freescha, Beck’s cheeky and gimmicky postmodern pop, Bjork’s diverse song stylings on her debut album, the shimmery warm ambient sounds within shoegaze and dream pop like later era Cocteau Twins and Slowdive or Yo La Tengo’s “Today Is The Day”, exotica and lounge music revival via Stereolab, Pizzicato Five and the Ultra Lounge compilations. The list goes on. It wasn’t until Panda Bear’s Person Pitch in 2007 and a string of releases by Sun Araw, L.A. Vampires, and Ducktails (many via the L.A. area label Not Not Fun) in the same timeframe that proto-typical chillwave took form as it did across the Atlantic via neo-disco and Bearlic Beat influenced bands Air France, The Tough Alliance, Studio and The Embassy. While not directly influencing the core chillwave artists directly (for the most part, Memory Tapes was contacted by Air France and later remixed them) they warmed up indie audiences to the vibe so central to chillwave’s general sound.
Despite the litany of precursors and influences, it was nonetheless the core chillwave artists that firmly and finally injected unabashed retro and vintage aesthetics and styling into indie music. Part of it was a lack of commercial liability in terms of appeal - mp3 blogs and social media pages cut the middleman of distro and major indie PR and let bedroom production and it’s DIY ethos get buzz far more immediately. They didn’t try to work within existing genres. They didn’t just drawn on old samples for a melodic hook or one-off song, they made it core to their musical output. The tape warbled, lo-fi samples of Boards of Canada could be coupled with pop vocals. Tropical sounds and instrumentation didn’t have to be in the form of instrumental downtempo electronica or chillout rave music. The utter experimental tendencies of hypnagogic pop like James Ferraro or Ariel Pink could be dialed down without losing any of its core weirdness and retro-sylings. It’s no coincidence that Best Coast - Bethany Cosentino’s surf rock-tinged summery garage rock project that paralleled chillwave’s emergence in 2009 - split off of Pocohaunted, another lynchpin in LA’s hypnagogic pop scene.
In other words the vast treasure trove of past music to sample or emulate was truly opened up as a viable option for indie musicians without hesitation or constraint. It help revitalize psych rock and dream pop. It’s not a stretch to say acts like M83 or Tame Impala would not have produced their unabashedly retro-tinged albums of the last decade. There wouldn’t be such mainstream appeal of media like Stranger Things and it’s soundtrack. The entire scope and direction of EDM in the 2010s toward a blender of genres it is now would have likely remained stratified and categorized in specific styles and tempos à la house, trance, techno, drum and bass, etc. as they were in the 2000s and earlier.
Chillwave isn’t alone in bearing responsibility for this, but it certainly stands out as a key example. One other genre comes to mind in it’s similarly rise and fall and subsequent pollination of vast influence and derivatives: dubstep. It bubbled within the electronic music communities and, ironically, already moving past it’s core sound when it exploded in popularity around 2009-2010. “Post-dubstep” and “bass music” succeeded it with much longer lifespans. Quirky and (and in the case of ‘brostep’ controversial) offshoots like wonky, future garage, future bass, etc. developed into their own subgenres and launched successful careers and scores of releases, niche, labels and flourishing live scenes. It’s the sea of divergent styles and trends that dubstep and chillwave released that make them so important, because once seen in the confines of their own limited scope in terms of time and place they seem far less significant. It’s often a mixed legacy as well, for every critically acclaimed song or album in the wake of dubstep and chillwave there’s a plethora of competent, decent yet nonetheless cookie cutter, middle of the road derivative tracks and releases, complete with equally slick and homogeneous imagery. EDM and major indie electronic acts with crowd-pleasing “bass drops” and “chill vibes” are undeniably appealing, even if their music might fall flat of brilliance or progression.
The meta-cultural discussion of chillwave previewed a decade or instantaneous commentary on music and the seamless injection of public reception on the same level as established media outlets. Fan hype outdoing PR marketing, a formerly published review getting less online traction than twitter memes. Despite perception of dismissal or eyebrow-raising chillwave spurred features and think pieces, and then subsequent features about chillwave features and think pieces, many of which came out years after the genre died out. It had one foot in the dying days of mp3 blogs and nascent social media pages like myspace, and another foot in social media outlets like instagram and twitter. This kind of transition occurred in other ways: Washed Out’s cassette release of High Times in 2009, a literal nod to retro aesthetics, foreshadowed the unexpected revival of cassette tapes years later, bringing it from its role as a cheap niche format for underground noise and experimental acts into a vinyl and CD alternative for many a major indie label label. It’s a fitting physical parallel to chillwave as an ethos - tape hiss, wow and flutter, dropouts, etc. were embraced for their warmth and nostalgic appeal and incorporated into music that where laptop DAWs like Ableton and immediate online samples could be gleaned from the internet. The fusion of vintage sound with modern production has been a key part of retro-fetishim and the embrace of physical analog media in indie music has brought it full circle.
The most striking thing about chillwave may be the fact that it’s still considered a genre at all. I don’t mean this flippantly or in regard to its merits but rather it’s extremely unusual place in recent music history. It may very well be the last music genre to be coined, adopted by successor artists, well-publicized and hyped, and subsequently cited with a concise but nonetheless clear timeline. Everything post-2010 has been either relegated to microgenres coined by journalists and fans, self-described more broadly as a vibe or style or movement or collective (cloud and mumble rap, deconstructed club, PC Music) or simply lumped as experimental or progressive acts within well-established genres and scenes. It could be argued Vaporwave holds this title, and notably it kicked off with Daniel Lopatin’s ‘sunsetcorp’ youtube videos in the same summer of 2009 (albeit with much less initial traction), but it has been a far more open-ended, broad, and perpetually redefined scene and movement with far more indirect influence and less mainstream awareness. It’s more of a nascent internet / virtual scene, a “post-genre” music movement even. Perhaps chillwave itself is “post-genre,” after all, as mentioned earlier it had no firm geographic center, not one of its original artists openly embraced the term, and it’s rise and fall was arguably a completely contrived narrative by the collective internet hive mind of artists, fans, and journalists. Regardless of what chillwave was, is, and will be - fad, trend, genre, movement - it can’t be denied or downgraded from it’s infamy and place in 21st century pop music, a window into the shift from postmodern pop remaining stratified and categorized in the 90s and early 00s to the rise of healthy niche microgenres and underground scenes...and, hopefully, truly hybrid and even inscrutable styles of progressive and groundbreaking pop music being produced in the decades to come. Or maybe not, and if so we can at least appreciate the fact that we can throw on “Feel It All Around” for summers to come.
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Some discussion questions:
When did you first hear about chillwave?
Favorite artists / releases?
Favorite of the 'big four' ? (Memory Tapes, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Toro Y Moi)
Is chillwave still a "genre" and apt style descriptor for music made in 2019?
What are some underrated / overlooked artists or releases indieheads should check out?
Should I keep writing about chillwave? (FYI this was the most abstract essay, I plan to write more informal guides / overviews about the music itself.)
Edit 1: THANKS FOR THE GOLD!
Edit 2: THANKS FOR MY FIRST PLATINUM!
Edit 3: THANKS FOR SILVER! I feel like a reddit Olympian or something
submitted by joshuatx to indieheads [link] [comments]

Galactic Vanguard Outpost 丨 A Preview of the Master Recruits

Galactic Vanguard Outpost 丨 A Preview of the Master Recruits
Galactic legends gather to brave unexplored deep space by your side!
The Expedition returns to Second Galaxy on August 11th with ten galactic legends. They are master recruits combining diverse combat styles with impressive ships. Are you ready?

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AgentZ Phantom
Nation: USSH Career: Soldier
Ships: Mashallah (Phantom), Succubus, and Doom
Weapons and Devices: 3 Sniper Lasers, 1 Energy Recharger, 1 Energy Nullifier, and 1 Precision Enhancer
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The notorious Agent Phantom has left his mark throughout the galaxy: A casino owner claiming he cheated in a game to win a fortune; the royals of the Oracle Empire suing him for stealing their national treasure; even a rumor of him single-handedly busting a smuggling ring operating in the RS, the OE and the ECD.
It's perfectly conceivable that Agent Phantom’s many enemies, despite herculean efforts, have never managed to track him down. As if he could manifest out of thin air, and then vanish back into nothingness.
But one thing's for sure. His allegiance lies only with the Great Council. As for his own motivations, no one has the slightest clue.
Oh, by the way, do not make fun of that weird creature perched on his shoulder, whose name is J and is Phantom's partner.
It is said that the last thing anyone stupid enough to make such a mistake remembers is seeing Phantom’s pocket watch swinging before their eyes, before waking up half naked in a toilet.
KTR·SE.CC0.PD
Nation: NEF Career: Scientist
Ships: Fortress (Eye of the Storm), Gila, and Herald
Weapons and Devices: 3 Sniper Missile Launchers, 1 Energy Recharger, 1 Shield Regeneration Field, and 1 Adaptive RES Reinforcement Field
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When the Expedition was first revealed, the semi-biological AI KTR.5103 attracted much attention with her striking cyborg look and unique combat style. However, many potential buyers were daunted by the high price.
Now, with the return of the Expedition, the Great Council has disclosed the core code of KTR, making it available in the public domain. Despite the fact that only a few technology companies have the knowhow to produce KTR-series recruits, there has still been a plunge in their prices.
There is no difference between KTR·SE.CC0.PD and KTR.5103, but some purchasers of KTR·SE.CC0.PD said, "She isn’t as sweet as KTR.5103."
HeartKeeper
Nation: ECD Career: Soldier
Ships: Loch (Onna Bugeisha), Rainbow, and Kirin
Weapons and Devices: 3 Sniper Lasers, 1 Energy Recharger, 1 Propulsion Jammer, and 1 Damage Enhancer
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Heartkeeper’s name was Queen.
It's said that Queen was the most popular Dawnese idol in Beehive Entertainment. Her gracious manners and endearing elegance were only rivalled by her singing and dancing prowess. She was a vigorous girl with a wide range of interests, whose personal charm was well expressed through her enchanting words.
But it was the dubious relationship with her boss, rather than her talents, that catapulted her to stardom.
When her career was flourishing, however, she chose to leave Beehive for another entertainment company, even at the cost of giving Beehive the right to clone her an unlimited number of times.
Nowadays, the name Queen has faded away, but her clones have become Beehive Entertainment’s most profitable products.
The Forlorn Flame Huntress
Nation: NEF Career: Soldier
Ships: Arbiter (Predator), Vulture, and Gladiator
Weapons and Devices: 3 Sniper Blasters, 1 Shield Recharger, 1 Long-Range Warp Disruptor, and 1 Adaptive Screen
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In the wake of the Fourth Galactic War, the mining area on the border of the NEF became a lawless zone. That's where Jennifer was born.
Niello Heavy Industry, Tin Hap, Wild Geese, and Maan Seon took turns to rule those abandoned mines, subjecting little Jennifer to untold miseries. But one day, an eating contest held by Beehive Entertainment changed everything.
She won first place and used the prize money to buy the mines, with Beehive Entertainment getting her genetic sample and the right to clone her in return.
—The Forlorn Flame series, glowing with the most incandescent brilliance.
Stiletto Zero
Nation: NEF Career: Engineer
Ships: Guardian (Praetorian), Cheetah, and Herald
Weapons and Devices: 3 Sniper Missile Launchers, 1 Energy Recharger, 1 Shield Regeneration Field, and 1 Adaptive RES Reinforcement Field
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The Spartan Praetorian Guard has become one of the forces responsible for protecting the Neo-Europan president.
The president cloned some of them to support the Expedition project, giving them the name Stiletto.
It is believed that they are created to President Yannick's personal tastes.
Shahrukh Wrath
Nation: OE Career: Soldier
Ships: Inferno (Camael), Confessor, Omen
Weapons and Devices: 3 Combat Railguns, 1 Energy Recharger, 1 Energy Nullifier, and 1 Precision Jammer
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An Oraclite epic tells of a heroic family whose loyalty lay only with the Nihad imperial family.
The family in the tale is the Shahrukhs, who, with the Avatarlis—an army of slaves—under their command, bore down on warmongers, meting out punishment to all who dared betray the imperial family and their beliefs.
They were loyal only to the imperial family, not the emperor. According to the Recorders Temple, those heroic warriors once broke into the palace and forcibly carried away the emperor from the golden bath.
It's said that the Shahrukh family holds the key to the deepest secrets in the Recorders Temple. Although the secrets are much coveted, any attempt at them will be quelled in the presence of a Shahrukh.
Enoch Ascetic
Nation: OE Career: Soldier
Ships: Jinn (Angelfish), Orison, and Doom
Weapons and Devices: 3 Combat Lasers, 1 Energy Recharger, 1 Energy Nullifier, and 1 Precision Jammer
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In the Enoch Monastery, only those who have proved themselves worthy of becoming Cleansers may become pilots of Khyung or Strix destroyers. To become a Cleanser, one must lead a strictly ascetic life for over a decade.
They must visit the void, dive into the depths, lie naked on the unbearable coldness, and walk barefoot on the scorching heat.
Countless Enoch disciples have dedicated themselves to this path for generations.
0℃
Nation: RS Career: Explorer
Ships: Fagus (Bardiche), Battleaxe, and Surge
Weapons and Devices: 3 Combat Railguns, 1 Energy Recharger, 1 Shield Regeneration Field, and 1 Range Enhancement Link
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-36℃ Shipbuilding is one of the most profitable companies in the Udaloy Cartel. Notably, the expensive Restoration Contract launched by -36℃ Shipbuilding in collaboration with the Longinus Foundation has become a hit throughout the galaxy.
The receptionist of -36℃ Shipbuilding is a cold beauty, who has impressed a lot of pilots, some of whom would go so far as to endanger their own ships just to be in the presence of their sweetheart.
The Udaloy Cartel seized the opportunity to create clones in her image, i.e. the Celsius-series recruits.
It's said that the clones' genetic sequences are much like that of Natalia, rather than that receptionist.
Tin Hap Captain
Nation: ECD Career: Scientist
Ships: Shower (Bolide), Crane, and Satori
Weapons and Devices: 3 Combat Blasters, 1 Shield Recharger, 1 Energy Regeneration Field, and 1 Damage Enhancement Link
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Recorded in some ancient ECD tomes, the official title of Treasure-Hunting Captain is loaded with a derogatory sense nowadays. Those so-called captains raided imperial mausoleums and royal tombs for gold and other treasures, leaving a mess in their wake, much to the grief of archaeologists.
It is funny then that some archaeologists from Tin Hap are also known as "Captains", knowing ancient Dawnese books and artifacts like the backs of their hands.
Some archaeologists can't help but wonder how they managed to get their hands on the information. Why have artifacts and tomes appeared on the black market shortly after those Captains mentioned them?
Glory Army Mortal Kiss
Nation: NEF Career: Engineer
Ships: Condor (Black Witch), Gladiator, and Warden
Weapons and Devices: 3 Combat Blasters, 1 Shield Recharger, 1 Ion Thruster, and 1 Adaptive RES Interference Field
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Mortal Kisses are Neo-Federation engineers in the Glory Amy, renowned for their technical prowess and wanted for illegally refitting ships.
Mortal Kisses have played a developing role in the Glory Army, always finding a way to improve ship performance and send those ‘mortal kisses’ to their enemies.
Most of them don't care about their employer's philosophy. All they want to do is implement their wild ideas on ships at their own pleasure.

Thank you for joining us in previewing these legendary master recruits. For more information about ship balancing, please stay tuned for our next post. If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding today's topic, please do not hesitate to leave a message below this post and share them with us! Let's make Second Galaxy a better place!
submitted by Azrael_Ze to SecondGalaxyM [link] [comments]

ACHIEVEMENTS GUIDE

LAST UPDATED: 05/05/2020 ~ Achievements: super sperm

Longevity:

Keep your health up by going to the gym, meditating, taking walks, and going to the doctor when you're sick.

Wealth:

The fastest way to become wealthy is to become a famous actor or famous writer. I also recommend living in countries that don't have estate tax such as Germany, Sweden, Switzerland (thanks u/Guillermo-Jubera) , Monaco, & Norway. Start off with high looks for actor or high smarts for writer. Join social media & post every year. When you become famous, do a commercial every year.
While there are other high paying jobs such as porn star, model, and music composer, I do not recommend these because you won't be able to make much extra money on the side. For porn star and model, you can do photo shoots, but they don't pay nearly as much as commercials do.

Real Estate:

Become wealthy using the advice for wealthy achievements. For flipping houses, buy equestrian properties & keep renovating them when necessary. If you buy an equestrian property in your 20s, by the time you're in your 70s-80s, the net worth of the property will increase by a few millions.

Social Media:

Become famous and post every year. When your fame bar is at 75%, request verification.

Animal:

Career:

Follow this career guide.

Combat:

Disease:

Entertainment:

Fame:

Fertility:

Love:

Military:

Prison

School:

Vehicle:

Get rich using the steps in the wealth section above. Obtain your pilot & boating license to complete these achievements.
General:

Crime:

Pet:

submitted by Lelouch_19 to BitLifeApp [link] [comments]

[Let's Build] D100 starts to a campaign that aren't in a tavern

I'm tired of starting all of my campaigns inexplicably in a tavern. What are some other ways you've seen a campaign start?
1: You were all involved in a war that's now over, visiting the sight of one of the most gruesome battles. Maybe you're here because you lost someone you cared about in the fight. Maybe you wished you could have been in the fray, but were held back. Maybe you ran from the fight and guilt drove you back here.
As the sun sets, the spirits of those long dead soldiers begin to reappear, all marching in the same direction. Will you follow?
2: All PC's were captured by the guards of a large city and sent to hang (the reason for this can be up to the player. Wrongfully convicted, career criminal, spoke out against the leadership, etc.). At the last moment, right before the lever is pulled, an arrow takes out the ropes and smoke bombs explode around you. You are quickly whisked away by your saviors, down a dark alley and into a secret hide away.
Your rescuers reveal themselves to be the most powerful and feared criminal syndicate of the country, and your life has a price. A very large ship of theirs carrying illegal goods that they won't specify (stolen gold, drugs, maybe even slaves for an interesting twist) went missing in a cove, along with any groups sent to search for it.
If you can find the ship, bring back the cargo, and not be caught by the guard in the process, you walk away rich and free.
3: The PC's are in a medium sized town, checking the local bounty board for work (why their here is up to the PCs). They quickly come to a disturbing realization: All of them now have a price on their heads.
4: An annual ceremony in the town takes place at the graveyard, unusually large due to the war-torn country. It's basically a carnival, where families gather around the graves to reminisce and celebrate the lives that once were. Chaos quickly erupts as the deceased relatives start clawing their way out of their caskets, attempting to kill their past loved ones.
5: beaten and bloodied, the PC's are left for dead, tied to trees in the middle of the forest by a local bandit group. What they didn't realize is that they tied you up right next to the mushroom circle of a local fey. She agrees to release you all on one condition: kill the bandits that have been ransacking her forest for supplies.
6: Inspired by elder scrolls, oblivion: You all are invited separately as illustrious guests to an esteemed and very wealthy manor. As soon as all of you enter, all of the doors slam shut and lock magically behind you. A disembodied voice is then heard throughout the manor: "kill eachother. The last one of you left standing will go free." Will they do as the voice commands? Or will they work together to uncover the mystery of the manor and escape?
Could end very quickly, but has a lot of potential. Could even have player characters come back as undead if killed by another person, solely bent on hunting down any members that remain.
7: You are all attendees to a wedding. You each may or may not know each other, but you do know at least one of the couple. As they are trading vows, assassins burst through the doors, killing the couple before anyone can act.
8: The local university hires the party as body guards for a scholar who is transporting his revelatory research to the capitol. During the journey, the scholar is assassinated, and his research is stolen. Now the party themselves are the subject of much suspicion. If they can solve the mystery of the assassination and recover the research, their names will be cleared.
9: In various locations, though various circumstances, the members of the party have been captured to be sold into slavery. They begin on a slave ship headed to market.
10: Each player wakes up in a wooden box (a coffin) buried in a shallow grave.
11: For one reason or another, the party has all signed up for an arena, either they are placed on a team together to fight monaters, or pitted against each other (depending on your group).
They can go through the arena or the arena can be interupted by something (an assassination, explosion in the city). Either winning the prize money, ir having arena officials be skeptical of them or asking for their help.
So many option you can go, and it usually starts with pretty quick combat.
12: You see a man post a notice on the notice board, saying local mansion needs help defending against nightly hauntings. That night you go to saod mansion and find corpses that have been there at least a year
13: In Medias Res: The players are in a town, and the town is under attack! The Fighter's guild, mages guild, churches, and even the thieves guild are all rushing to help hold the line.
14: Everyone wakes up on a beach, surrounded by the aftermath of a shipwreck.
15: The characters wake up in a jail cell, their heads throbbing from the previous night's apparent bender. The guards want to know how an NPC died. Could either have the players make it up, or hand them pieces of paper telling them what they remember.
16: The players are abducted by aliens. They have to figure out where they are, why they were abducted, and how to escape.
17: Characters are all in a market when a merchant stands on a podium and begins to speak. He shows off some type of item (can really be anything you want it to be), boasting that it is completely priceless/extremely powerful. Out of the crowd, someone jumps up onto the podium, knocks the merchant to the ground, and runs off with the item. The merchant screams, "Stop them! I'll give 1,000 gold to whoever can bring them back to me alive!" The players give chase.
18: Characters are all in a market of about 100 people, going about their business. One by one, they each realize they've been the victim of a pickpocket. They look around and see that everyone around them is having the same look in their eyes. They quickly discover that every single person in the market has been pickpocketed, and no one noticed. Was it a highly organized criminal group? A magically enhanced rogue? A trick of an illusion spell? The PC's aim to find out.
19: Characters are all soldiers in a war, and have been gathered by a superior officer for a special mission.
20: Characters all died prematurely in the same event, the Fates/some deity is upset about it. They all meet in whatever equivalent of purgatory you choose, and are sent back to the mortal plane stop whoever is interfering with fate.
21: Characters are all on a trade caravan(for whatever reason) when it is attacked by X type of monsters. The monsters are more organized than normal, and all have some kind of badge/insignia that indicates allegiance to something. The characters can choose to investigate on their own, or will be requested to upon arrival at their destination, after the caravan head reports to the Watch that they distinguished themselves in the fight.
22: You are all travelling on a riverboat in a deep canyon to the furthest-most city on the edge of civilization.
The riverboat is attacked by Kobolds (or any sort of enemy, this is a great chance to use something uncommon and exotic) on ziplines that steal supplies from the boats that ply the river. The players are the only ones capable of defending themselves and the boat.
23: You all wake in a field, lying in a circle with your feet towards the center, where the ground is scorched from a small explosion. Placed delicately in the middle of the scorch mark is a single page ripped from a journal.
You know who each other are, but have no idea how or why you met, or how you got here.
24: You are all invited to a ballard performed by an incredibly famous bard. As the performance goes on, the PC's notice that everyone around them has been petrified besides themselves. The bard then says, "Now that I have your attention, I have a favor to ask..."
25: You are all invited to a Ballard performed by an incredibly famous bard. At the end of the performance, you walk out side of the theater to see that the town you were just in is deserted and overgrown. As the other patrons walk out, they turn to dust and collapse to the ground right outside, with the people behind them quickly following, not noticing what's happening right in front of them. The only people who survive going through are the PC's. They slowly discover they've somehow been teleported one hundred years into the future.
26: You are all invited to a Ballard performed by an incredibly famous bard. As the bard continues their performance, his entourage quickly and discreetly locks all doors and bars all windows. By the time the performance has ended, all of the audience is surrounded by 30-50 archers, all with crossbows at the ready. From the back of the stage, a lich comes forward. You are all to be used as a sacrifice to give life to a new lich. Can your party stop the cult and save the audience?
27: In a village far to the north, a group of onlookers gawk at the sky (your PC's included). They've always seen the northern lights over head, but never as spectacular as this! With mixes of purple, blue, and green bands intertwining and coalescing throughout the sky, the whole village is lit up by the bright light. But it looks as if the bands are getting....closer. slowly but steadily coming closer to the ground.
Finally, as the bands of light sit just above the buildings in the town, you realize: each of these bands of light are a colossal cloud of wisps, at least a billion in number.
28: at the invitation of a royal gnome tinkerer, your party meets along with at least 20 other adventurers in a palace carved into a mountain. The gnome steps forward and speaks to you all:
"I have called all of you here today because I need a crew of the bravest, strongest adventurers that this world has to offer. For I have developed a revolutionary new form of travel that will take us to places never seen before!"
"I call it, the Star Sailor!"
29: The local university hires the party as body guards for a scholar who is transporting his revelatory research to the capitol. During the journey, the scholar is assassinated, and his research is stolen. Now the party themselves are the subject of much suspicion. If they can solve the mystery of the assassination and recover the research, their names will be cleared.
30: After going to sleep for the night in their separate domiciles, the PCs share a vivid dream. They open their eyes to discover they have all somnambulated to a small shrine to a forgotten God, in the nearby countryside. This group of strangers, frightened and confused, wonders why they were called.
31: In recent years a new phenomenon has cropped up: people throughout the land are being born with strange patterns on their skin. The PCs, each having a perfect holy symbol on their back, have been gathered at the temple for examination.
  1. The PCs are all freelancers, and a mutual contact (a Fixer) has found a job for them which requires all their unique talents. They have to meet with the employer's representative (Mr. Johnson) to receive details and their initial payment. The location in question is at the docks, as the person will be departing on a ship immediately after the meeting. They are given details on how they will get paid after that.
  2. There's a good reason this one doesn't start in a tavern. All of the PCs have run afoul of the gang that runs the local, and they have to either side with that gang's enemies (who aren't the PCs' biggest fans either), or somehow repair their reputation.
  3. All of the PCs are in the employ of an eccentric wizard who does not leave his tower. Prior to this, they had never directly met - but a murder has taken place and their employer needs information to solve the crime. (Nero Wolfe)
  4. You're an ex-military unit of Lawful Good PCs, and you found out that the general and his staff worship Bane (or another LE deity). Being the only witnesses to the evil, you are convicted of a crime you didn't commit. The campaign starts on the caravan to jail. (A-Team)
  5. All of the party is on the same boat voyage, whether across a sea or an ocean, when the boat is attacked by pirates. If they're not defeated the pirates steal trade goods while their leader gives an intimidating speech on the other boat. The party now knows a) there are pirates, and b) what the leader of the pirates in this area looks like. Any NPCs on the boat spread word of the party's deeds when they reach land.
  6. A scholar of the ancient, extinct cyclops race hired the PC's as body guards. They were ancient warriors who were immortal and had the ability to see briefly ahead in time. They became larger, stronger, and able to see farther into the future as they became older. You travel with him to the ancient cyclops ruins of one of their largest cities. After traveling a day and a half just to reach the center of the city, you arrive upon a circle that looks like it used to be a stadium of some sort. After walking into the center, he pulls a large vial from out of his coat, and smashes it on the ground at your feet. Suddenly, the buildings around you rematirialize, and your surrounded by a large group of extremely surprised cyclops, currently in the middle of a political meeting.
    You've been sent eons back to the past. Will you attempt to find the reason for their downfall, and try and save them? Or will you try and find your way back, ignoring their future demise?
  7. A country with an incredibly storied past is known to pay adventurers VERY well, due to a long history of them being saved from peril by legendary heroes and dragon slayers. Word has spread of a highly organized group of kobolds terrorizing this country. They are not merely raiding trade caravans, their isolating settlements, taking over whole towns and making the citizens slaves. The PC's meet at the capital either to help, or earn easy money. They are tasked with taking out a nearby kobold compound, scouring the capital and probing it for weaknesses. They have been ordered to take back the kobold warchief head as proof of their deed, which will adorn a spike on the city wall.
Before leaving, the king sends his personal body guard, a rangerogue to lead you to this compound. He seems extremely reluctant at first, but the king forces him to go. He tries his best to stay as far from combat as possible, almost like hes looking to bolt at the nearest opportunity.
During the course of the encounter, the kobold warchief catches the party by surprise, swinging a battle axe straight at the bodyguards head. The battleaxe literally cracks in half, with the bodyguard not even flinching. He immediately reaches behind on instinct and grabs the kobolds head, crushing it into pieces inside it's plated helm.
After the party questions him, he reveals that he is actually an ancient brass dragon, as old as the country itself. He considers the country his home, and loves being a part of the humans. He has often protected them, or even spinned tails of himself defeating dragons that had been terrorizing the area, bringing back one of his own scales as proof. Almost every legendary warrior in the countries history was actually him, in human form.
This kobold threat is new, though. They are the slaves of a red dragon, who heard tales that an ancient brass dragon had been hiding here. He wants to take him and his country as his slaves. It is up to the party to fight him and his slave army back, alongside the brass dragon.
  1. The party has been conscripted to fend off a cult from overthrowing the local lord. The general of the army and the lord are vassals of a corrupt, failing dynasty.
  2. Mad Margull’s Mysterious Menagerie and Miracles Show is in crisis – all the performers are desperately ill from the basilisk egg soufflé. So, the party meets as stand-in performers providing: Stunning Showcases of Strength and Stamina, Amazing Aerial Acrobatic Acts, Spine-tingling Sorcerous Summonings, Stupendous Stories and Songs, Accurate Archery of Apples atop Audience heads, and *Complete Conversations with Crabapple TreesTonight only!!!!
    Curtains close and the wagon cabin surrenders to darkness. The group of complete strangers ringed around the table links hands and are encouraged concentrate…concentrate…concentrate. The crystal sphere centered atop the table begins to glow, and the séance begins…
  3. Doing their civic duty, the party joins together as an impromptu jury in a witchcraft trial.
  4. Seeking free drinks, each has joined in as laborers at a brewery and wine-making faire.
  5. A bolt of lightning sparks from the sky to the top of an individual and jumps from person to person in a busy market. For a moment all five (Four? Three?) people are enveloped in light and joined by lightning bolts. Afterwards, they appear unhurt and undamaged. Why them?
  6. Each PC has a flashback to an event in there past that could have ended catastrophically but at the last second something happened. (Almost fell asleep on guard duty, and would have missed the Assassin comeing for the king. Or playing with a friend as a child they bump into an oil lamp in a barn.) But in the vision everything falls apart and they see themselves saying "I would give anything to..." after a voice in there head says "I've come to collect."
  7. The annual goblin hunt contest. The local town gets together once a year, everyone signs up and is put on a random team. (The players are on the same team, but it was random) The goal is kill as many goblin's as you can. The time of the event Sundown to Sunrise, and takes place in the forest. Each person has two Firefly jar's attached to them to prevent friendly fire.
  8. A meteor strikes the town next to yours a hour ago, the local guard is are asking any willing body's to help with the rescue, and see what happened.
  9. A carriage large enough for the party pulls up and the door opens to let you in. There’s no one driving, no one inside and the carriage is pulled by skeleton horses. Do you get in?
  10. You've all woken up in a grave yard, in holes 6 feet deep. One of you is currently having dirt shoveled on you.
  11. The PCs were all hired by different people to do the same job. When they run into each other at the job site, the first question is "Why is this job so important that so many people are willing to pay for it?"
  12. The PCs were all hired by the same person to do several different jobs at the same time. Each PC also received a note only to be opened when their job is done. That note gives the name of another PC (no two notes have the same name) and an offer to double their payment if they kill that person. (Best to save this one for groups that are okay at handling inter-party conflict, of course...)
  13. The PCs were all members of the same criminal gang. They're picked by the boss to carry out an assignment. When they come home, the city guard/police have swarmed over the gang's hideout. One of the guards/cops is holding a list of known members. Time to relocate.
  14. Each party member books passage on a ship heading for a local city. Each is on his or her own business. They're caught in a rift/wild magic surge/whatever you want and instead of docking at the target destination, the ship puts into a port far, far away from the original destination. From there, they can be in trouble because it's an enemy country, they can't get back because they don't have enough money, or some other hook you like to keep them there. This could also work with a merchant caravan or some other group travel method. large pieces of hostile geography could serve to keep the PCs in the new location at least for the beginning of the campaign.
  15. Party meets in a casino. They're suckered, either together or individually, such that they owe more than they can pay to the casino's owner who is also a local fixer. He's on the hook to map out a stretch of dangerous, unknown country, however large you want. To get rid of that problem, he offers to outfit the party with what they need, including a cartographer if no one has a compatible background, and then bullies them into performing the mapping mission to clear their debt. From there, they can run into whatever hooks you need to start your campaign somewhere in the wild. and if they abandon the mapping mission as a result, then they have a villain chasing them (the casino owner) who can pop up when they least expect it.
  16. For a less-then-good party (depends on each character's back story): The party is in prison, working at hard labor. They know each other's names, but not much more. they're on the same work detail, working outside the prison walls. Farming near a swamp, mining in a guarded shaft, farming in harsh weather conditions near a large forest. Take your pick. A monster runs through the work detail, killing the guards but leaving the party alive. Or a wild magic storm, or a war party from the local bandits or a neighboring but hostile country. Bottom line: guards are gone or dead, the coast is clear. Each party member is on the hook for a long sentence, guilty or not is up to you and their back story. They can get basic equipment off the bodies of the fallen guards and then it can either be a quiet escape into a nearby city from where they need to book passage out as quickly as possible...or a wild chase through a swamp or forest being pursued by angry guards and tracking dogs. They can escape outright or find a helpful NPC who hides them while dropping the first hook to your campaign in the process.
  17. The party are all young adults in the same family. If races become a problem, then remember adoption as part of the back story. A low-rank noble family is easiest since those kids would be trained in straight D&D classes as part of their education -- knight, ranger, cleric, even wizard. rogues could be rogue-centric rangers or they could be bad-boy nobles who spend too much time with the wrong crowd in the local city so they actually develop first-level rogue skills. A creative backstory is required for each character. Once that's done, then something happens to the family. A patriarch is convicted of treason, the family is ruined and cast adrift. Or the kids unwittingly commit a crime -- they hurt the son of a local king, they accidentally release some long lost horror that was being kept beneath the family castle. Two other directions might be a peasant family, though this will require some creative back story-ing for why an entire family of peasants would be trained in non-serf skills. but if you can work that out, then the village could be ransacked or the family could go bankrupt forcing the oldest kids to hire on as caravan guards or something to support themselves and the family. The final direction would be an upper-crust noble family. Princes and princesses of a major nation. A coup casts the family out and the campaign is about regaining the throne.
  18. The party are all low-level employees of a local thieves guild. They don't have to all be thieves. Fighters can be enforcers. priests can be back-room healers. wizards can be tool makers or simply in debt to the guild master and trading services for debt-reduction. again, dependent on a character-specific back story. The campaign starts when the players attend some kind of general meeting -- they're all at the neighborhood capo's tavern on separate business maybe (paying debts, paying tribute, reporting on operations, etc). A rival thieves guild suddenly attacks, mostly wiping out the PC's guild. The PC's an a very small number of unknown other survive and must escape the city before the rival guild finds and neutralizes them. That's why they stick together. They can run towards your first campaign hook if you make it part of one of their back stories, or they can run for the nearest safe haven and encounter the first campaign hook there.
  19. (From DND memes, which got it from tumblr user probablyfunrpgideas) The players are a squad of government investigators, trying to prevent monsters from claiming new habitat. Making sure abandoned properties are sold and dont remain vacant too long, trying to keep people from stockpiling loads of alchemical/magical ingredients in one place, etc. Its mainly negotiation, but sometimes people have an interest in attracting dangerous entities for their own purposes.
  20. Maybe your party dies in the middle of a campaign, maybe they died separately of natural causes. Either way they all "wake up" next to each other, in a cold and bleak mirror image of the regular world. You can all feel it in your bones. Something is coming. You have only minutes to talk and prepare before whatever it is will be there.
As it gets closer, you can make out what is on it's way. A creature standing at least eighteen feet tall is shambling awkwardly towards you. It is vaguely humanoid, with three legs of slightly different lengths all jutting from a central point at where it's pelvis would be. It has six arms, four of which are holding human sized cages (it can be more if the party is larger than this). It's hands bend in the opposite direction of a normal humans, curling sickly out from it's body. The body itself is deathly pale and malnourished, clearly showing the veins and musculature beneath the skin. It has a normal head, but is absent a face. It has sunken in skin where it's eyes would be, with cracks covered in dried blood at the center. A long, jagged crack in the skin also stretches across where the mouth would be. A spike twice the length of a spear is stabbed downward through the creatures ribcage. At the upper half of the spear, a lantern with a blue flame is attached.
If the players manage to steal the lantern or kill the creature (it may be large and swing pretty hard, but it is practically unable to avoid attacks with its awkward gait and has no outside armor whatsoever. Removing the lantern from the creature will cause it to immediately drop to the ground, lifeless.), they will discover that releasing the flame sends them back to the material plane, in the middle of the wilderness. The lantern is still with whoever opened it, albeit it's no longer lit.
They just managed to do something no other living being has ever done. They have obtained one of the lantern of the collectors, a literally priceless artifact that can bring people back from the dead, and traverse the dead realms. Now they just have to figure out how it works.
  1. Strange groups of identical looking adventurers have started roaming the country, taking on assignments for very little money. You gotta figure out who they are, where they came from, and how to stop them before they take all your work.
  2. A fallout new Vegas one. Basically the group all wake up in a doctors office with no memory, only a letter explaining they were delivering something to a location.
  3. In the central city of the empire/nation, during a major celebration, the king is assassinated, and resurrection spells fail when cast on him. There is a major bounty placed on discovering why.
  4. Your party is a bunch of strangers that has been framed for a crime. Now your group has to work together to prove their innocence and put the real culprits behind bars!
  5. All members of party are found in strange place.. no floor, no ceiling, no nothing. They are just floating around. Suddenly, man dressed in black suit walks in, and proposes a deal. The party is going to hell either way, but if they help him out, he might secure them a way back to mortal realm.
  6. All the PC's are in a huge open air bazaar in the center of a large desert fortress town (they do not need to know each other or be shopping together). Suddenly, a young boy (early teens) comes crashing down through an awning of a nearby stall, a short sword in one hand (still sheathed) as a merchant and several of the local guard chase him yelling "Stop, thief!"
  7. The party is all half human and half other races looking for their shared parent.
  8. All members of your party are part of the town guard. Monster attacks have been on the rise lately and a nest of goblins/orcs/whatever has been discovered and your party has been sent to wipe them out (along with other soldiers who, alas, don't make it.)
  9. The PC’s all meet in a gnomish tinkers shop, looking to get their pocket watches repair. Oddly they all have pocket watches that have stopped on the exact same time.
  10. All the PCs are going about their own business in the market square. Suddenly time stops and everyone and everything is frozen for 3 minutes, apart from the PCs.
  11. All the PCs meet out in a field next to a large flat topped rock, having received a note to be there at this specified time and date. A flapping gushing sound starts softly getting louder and louder until thud, a body from the sky hits the rock. Clasped in the bodies hand is a note which reads ‘avenge me’.
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