Do You Have to Bet the Nuts? | Rob's Vegas and Poker Blog

TIL that it is the rule in tournament poker to bet the nuts on the river if you are last to act.

RE: WSOP 2010 Episode 8 with Darvin Moon not betting his nut flush, he got a one hand penalty. It is there to prevent collusion but it seemed Darvin knew his opponent was not going to call a bet and checked it down. The little subtleties!
submitted by Clairvoyanttruth to poker [link] [comments]

I'mma head out

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submitted by TastyUdders to OneWordBan [link] [comments]

Fresh Wipe 4/3 DySTopia Lvl-300 10X PVP-Shops-TP-NoRP-18+ is going WEEKENDS-ONLY RAIDING. Still 24/7 PvP with limited rules. (PC SERVER)

Fresh Wipe 4/3 DySTopia Lvl-300 10X PVP-Shops-TP-NoRP-18+ is going WEEKENDS-ONLY RAIDING. Still 24/7 PvP with limited rules. (PC SERVER)

DySTopia Lvl-300 10X PVP-Shops-TP-NoRP-18+

Server IP/Port 192.223.30.41:41915 Discord.DySTopiaServers.com in a web browser will direct you to an invite
(Hey Look. That server has its own private mod)
After running 24/7 raid hours for about a year and a half, its finally time to make the switch to a slightly more casual setup. Starting with today's fresh wipe, building damage is only possible on weekends (midnight beginning Saturday through midnight ending Sunday, CST)
Let's face it. If you're not able to invest 10+ hours a day, you can't keep up with those that can on an anything-goes, free-raid server. DySTopia has always been about minimal restriction, but even from a non-participant's standpoint (Admins still do not participate in PvP and/or raiding here and simply volunteer to keep things clean and enforce rules) the incessant offline raiding got really, really goddamn old.
Below will follow my usual monthly ad, and I will ask players to come here and leave testimonials, but before that, I'd just like to outline whats changing for this month in DySTopia
48 hour weekend block for raiding - all other times will be full PvP, just no building damage
As always NO RP is in the goddamn name and always will be. (Nothing against it, that's just not who we are)
Gather rate has been changed to 3x harvest, while all other modifiers (crafting speed, xp, etc) are still 10x like they've always been
Purge is on, and at max level. Map location will have no bearing on what type of purge spawns where. For instance, frost giants will totally attack someone built right next to noob river.
There is now a protected new-player clan that you may elect to join for up to one week. You can't raid anybody while in this clan, but you'll have a safe area to stash supplies while you build up to strike out and create your own base. This clan is run by one of our long-time moderators.
And here's what I usually post every month:
discord.dystopiaservers.com
What's Super New in DySTopia?
Brand new fully automated 1v1 betting arena.
The server mod does a lot of things for rebalancing purposes (stacksize increases, eliminating the need for purge thralls, etc) and also adds some completely unique content to the server, like lockable elevators, custom weapons with unique effects, and hands-free torches.
Server IP: ** 192.223.30.41:41915 **
Have you ever wanted to play hardcore pvp survival but instantly became anxious picturing hours of your hard work going up in flames when some malicious monster blows their way into your meticulously crafted castle and makes off with all of your hard-earned loot?
Well that is what a survival game entails, friend....
But what if recovering from even the most devastating raid was merely a setback? Or to the cunning and careful planner, a successful diversion?
What if you could play Conan in a competitive PVP environment and still have awesome added placeables to decorate your base and enjoy the aesthetics of what you've built so long as you can defend it?
--Welcome to DySTopia--
https://preview.redd.it/6ab5r0pjdnq41.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=5b0f38ecb94b788424cb1304937123d373e96f48
We feature:
-10x rates on everything but gather (3x) -- To get what you need to build big, or rebuild bigger!
- .5x damage to structures -- even your first starter base will be a tough nut to crack.
-Paragon leveling up to lvl 300 with 10x XP rate -- Why waste so much play time not being able to build what you want? Beyond level 60 you can keep pumping your stats, and paragon levels provide useful bonuses that increase in power as you progress.
-Set up a home location with /sethome to teleport back to your base -- Who likes running all the way home from across the map because obelisks are only one-way? Not us. Oh yeah, there's public-use maprooms at every obelisk too.
-Custom admin shops to purchase elite non-craftable gear with Pippi currency -- Save up your allowance, get a job (exchange in-game materials for Pippi coins), and buy something nice for the next adversary that dares cross swords with you.
-Arena with high-difficulty NPCs -- No-limits area where NPC kills grant Pippi wallet money. Not for the faint of heart!
-Tons of extra placeables, farming and Q.O.L. stations -- Make your base look cool if you want to, or don't if that's not your thing. Build animal pens to passively farm resources.
-Active admins that do not PvP-- have a question, concern or idea? Someone will answer you PDQ.
-Supporter packages for fast leveling with a weekly rebuild kit-- fair perks for those that want to support the server without promoting pay-to-win.
-There's more-- but this text wall is out of control already.
https://preview.redd.it/7so3klkhdnq41.png?width=1179&format=png&auto=webp&s=34909c6fdaa069f3e48228c1230dabef5f26e967
(Near) Future plans:
-Events (often in evenings - US time)
-Custom vendor for clan shopfront set up by Admin Completed, get your own customizable vendor at level 300 cap!
See you out there, Exile.
Discord invite redirect link:
discord.dystopiaservers.com (Copy/paste this into a browser. Reddit link adds https which breaks the link) OR just go to dystopiaservers.com and click the discord link in the top right
Server Name :: -DySTopia Lvl-300 10X PVP-Shops-TP-NoRP-18+
Steam Group Page :: https://steamcommunity.com/groups/_DyS_
Below are the mods currently running:
880454836 - Pippi-User & Server Management
1427509507 - Primal Armors
1393280692 - Barbarism and armors
1565975019 - Hyborian Body/Armor
925197087 - DyeMoreBetterer
1582336144 - Shendelzare's Secret
1652553970 - OSH weapon plus
1159180273 - Fashionist (1.0 and DLC Compatible)
1367404881 - Savage Steel
1369802940 - Emberlight
1402835318 - WARRIOR Mutator for Conan Exiles
1509797057 - Admin Skelos Collector for WARRIOR Mutator
901911361 - Glass Constructions and more...
880177231 - Pythagoras
1629644846 - Kerozard's Paragon Leveling - A Multigun Refresh
931088249 - Better Thralls (Pickup & More followers)
1369743238 - Less Building Placement Restrictions
1396310739 - Stacksize Plus
877108545 - Unlock Plus (with Pickup)
1503527082 - All The Little Things
1657730588 - Improved Quality Of Life
1891216309 - Marius' Mod (DySTopia)
submitted by Marius_The_Mad to ConanExilesServers [link] [comments]

[Let’s Build] 100 Mythical Magical Items That Might Just End Your Campaign

Legend tells of swords that can chop off dragon heads with a single stroke, staves that can call down meteors from the sky, rings that grant their bearer any wish.
Well I want bigger.
1) Planerender: A magical battle axe which has an edge honed by the gods (or other denizens) themselves, and is able to cut through atoms. Use with extreme caution.
2) Kronos’ Pocketwatch: A ticking contraption that distorts the air around it with thrumming vibrations. You can cast the spell Time Stop at will. The spell lasts until dispelled instead of 1d4+1 turns and you may move an unlimited distance away from your starting point, but still ends as otherwise directed or if you take an action to end it.
3) Grinning Demise: This foreboding skull gives off a palpable aura of hate and despair. It takes 24 hours of continuous focus to activate this skull. When you do, you take 20d6 necrotic damage, and each creature within 100 miles of you takes 10d6 necrotic damage.
4) Orb of the Leviathan: A clear gem containing a Kraken, as per the Imprisonment spell. The condition for the spell’s end is unknown.
5) Endbringer: A dagger carved with intricate designs and ornate patterns all depicting the End of Times, Ragnerök, the Rapture. Every 100 kills with this weapon lowers the temperature of the material plane by 1 degree and lowers all creatures’ hit points by 1. The attacks also drain 5 of 1 ability score of the wielders choice from the target.
6) Mechanus'es Controlling Contraption: Each day at dawn you may summon d10 modrons from the plane of Mechanus. They obey your every order until they die. At the end of each day, if you used this item, roll a percentile die. If the number you rolled is equal or greater to the total number of modrons you have summoned (in total), the great army of modrons/duodrons etc. appers in material plane with the sole objective of finding you and taking the device back. (u/area51raidsurvivior)
7) Liquid lichdom: This disgusting potion, when consumed, instantly turns you into a lich with, the bottle left after the cursed potion acting as your phylactery. Every lich created this way knows how to brew another one of these potions. (u/area51raidsurvivior)
8) The Ballad of Fate: A collection of ancient sheet music detailing an incredibly intricate musical piece. The notes dance across the page with arcane energy, making it impossible to understand by all but the most prolific musicians. When played correctly, it can change the very fabric of reality. Spend one weeks worth of downtime to learn the song, playing it allows you to change a single event from any point in history so long as the musician has heard of the event. After correctly playing the Ballad, the music disappears. Despite any efforts taken, the song cannot be fully remembered to be played a second time. The changes occur immediately, and all but those who heard the song directly act as though the changed event had always transpired thusly. The ramifications of this change cannot possibly be predicted, and can be as far flung as the DM wishes. (u/Jorlen01)
9) The Cursed Pickaxe of April Fools: Some evil deity found it amusing to create a magical pickaxe that always finds water when used on the soil, however, you get one percent chance for it to be Styx water, extending the river to the plane you used the pickaxe in and welcoming demons to chime in. (u/TheSeraphOfChaos)
10) The Staff of Fire Power: A legendary artifact of the god of Smithing know to his followers as the M61 Vulcan Cannon. it was enchanted by the god such that it is man portable and every single one of the 20mm rounds is hand forged by the god himself. (u/Ninjacat24390)
11) The Wealth of Generations
At first glance, this item resembles a normal copper piece with a "heads" side and a "tails" side, but on closer inspection does not belong to the currency of any known economy. When found, the coin has five charges. It can be placed upon a pile of currency or nonmagical trade goods and, may be activated by using one of the charges and speaking the coin's command phrase: "I'd like to make a wager."
Upon activation, all items in the contiguous pile (all items touching at least one other item in the pile) vanish and the coin bounces onto a flat surface and begins to spin. The coin will spin for five seconds. Call heads or tails. If you call correctly, the currency or nonmagical goods the coin was placed on will reappear in twice the quantity (currency) or volume/value (goods) as when it vanished. If you call incorrectly, your bet is lost and whatever you wagered cannot be recovered. If you fail to call heads or tails before the coin stops spinning, it will stop on its edge and the wagered items will return, no addition or reduction in quantity or value.
The coin regains three charges every New Year's Day (or on the festival of the god of Luck.God of Fate). The coin can never have more than seven charges. (u/angrymeatball)
11) Gaia's Veins
A seed that, when planted and fed a large amount of blood, will sprout into a suffocatingly thick mass of vines that will endlessly grow in every direction at a rate of 5 feet/hour, forever. These vines are completely, totally indestructible and can only be undone with by wishing away up to a month of growth, or returning it to seed form if small enough. (u/TheNinthGamer)
12) Mask of the Beast: This horrifying mask gives the wielder the ability to cast true polymorph as a bonus action. This mask has a mind of its own however and will cause the mask wearer to slowly lose their mind to the wild. It secretly has 1d6 uses, and the last time the wear casts true polymorph, they lose their minds to fully become the creature they change into and attack their fellow adventurers. (u/Pythagorascultist)
13) Ring of Wishes: Cannot be worn by any non CHAOTIC alignment. Imbues the wearer with the ability to grant wishes to others. (u/DrBeefsome)
14) Keystone of the Night
This is a small, black, triangular stone, about the size of a human's fist. Engraved in the center is a spiralling rune. Any mortal who doesn't know what the stone is can touch it to a door or arch and command it to open. When this occurs, the door becomes a portal to the Plane of Negative Energy, and a wave of necrotic power utterly destroys any creature within 1/8 mile of it. For every souled creature destroyed in this way, the portal will remain open for 1 hour (additive). The portal releases another wave of energy every night at midnight, but the range doubles every wave.
When it closes, the Keystone dissolves into black dust and reappears at a random location on the same plane. (u/Holy_Hand_Grenadier)
15) The Dealer's Desk: A set of 2 chairs and a desk. imwhen arranged properly and when a humanoid sits in the smaller chair a man will appear, invisible to all but the one sitting in the chair. The humanoid will give an offer, one thing the person desperately wants in exchange for one thing he/she loves of equal value. If he/she agrees the deal will follow through and everything will happen TO THE LETTER but not beypmond it. WORD YOUR DESIRES WISELY (u/Alecsixnine)
16) Deadly Bow: any arrow fired from this bow flies with unnatural accuracy, instantly delivering a lethal, instant death blow to the closest living thing.
Closest living thing.
Instant death. (u/Mat_The_Duck_Lord)
17) Crossbow of Anchoring
This seemingly normal crossbow has a unique property. Any thing hit by a bolt fired from this crossbow becomes Anchored into the Ethereal Plane, unable to escape outside of a Wish Spell or Pure Divine Power. (Read: A Major God) (u/Sgt-Butter)
18) The Cat's Cradle: a phial containing 9 small ice crystals that remain frozen at/above room temperature. If the crystals come into contact with liquid water, they act as seeds, causing any adjacent water molecules to arrange themselves into the same solid crystalline structure.
Freeze a creature! Freeze a planet! Freeze an elemental plane! (u/Azwethinkweizm7)
19) The Summonring Circle
The Summonring Circle appears to be an iron ring with a distinct yet unremarkable hammered finish. Upon activation with a magic word, it can be used to summon a magical or mundane item that the owner wishes, after which it falls inert.
That was the original maker's intent, at least. They failed in that 1) the ring can only summon a few additional Summonring Circles and 2) the magic word is literally any spoken word. Speaking a sentence within earshot of a single one will spawn a few more, each of which will spawn a few more, etc.
All existing Summonring Circles were taken from a castle packed full of them, the corpses of its former inhabitants found crushed to death with lungs full of identical iron rings. Though all were thought to have been melted down to nonmagical iron, a few are rumored to still be floating around. (u/ceilius)
20) Naglfar, the Nail Ship: A giant-sized drakkar composed entirely of the fingernails of dead men, any mortal who steps foot on Naglfar is instantly slain and returned as an intelligent undead 1d4 hours later. The captain of this vessel may Plane Shift it and all of its passengers at will. Upon arriving at any destination, the presence of the ship will immediately desecrate whatever body of water it arrives in, animating the corpses of all creatures within that body as well as summoning a continuous stream of undead spirits from its deck. (u/Pidgewiffler)
21) The Absolute Immovable Rod: Upon activation, this rod retains its place relative to the entire universe, and cannot be moved by any amount of force. (u/Pidgewiffler)
22) Crown of the Dragon King
Anyone who puts this crown on immediately morphs, gaining dragon-like features, growing wings (flying speed 60ft), gaining a scaled body (gives AC = 14 + Dex) and even being able to breathe fire (damage and effects equivalent to that of an Adult Dragons breath). This morph is painful to the user and will revert if the crown is to be removed, which cannot be done unwillingly as the crown has a magical bond to its wearer.
Also, while wearing this crown, you have a telepathic link with any dragons you have interacted with, and they will obey you as if you are their king. Some may attempt to defy you, viewing you as false or unworthy, at which point they will hunt you down, destroying anything in their path. (u/playmike5)
23) Sol Stone: a stone of clear quartz like crystal approximately 8" long and 5" wide, and weighs 2lb. The stone when inactive gives the bearer advantage on fire/ radiant saves. It is mostly know for this property so it is sought by creatures harmed by these energies. However, it absorbs these energies and once it has absorbed 2d6x10 HP of these energies it becomes active. Once it is active the stone becomes the center of a sphere of fire 5' in diameter. Immediately does 3d6 fire and radiant damage to all creatures in the square it inhabits and then all creatures in base contact with it save vs. Dex, saves half damage. all flammable materials in 10' ignite. every other round the sphere expands 5'. It continues to do this damage until it is 50' in diameter. It casts bright light 60' and dim light an additional 30'
At 50' in diameter it now does 6d6 fire and radiant damage and acts as a siege engine doing double damage to all structures and terrain. If underground it will melt rocks and burst soils as it expands. it will expand 5' every minute until it is 150' in diameter. it casts bright light 120' away from it's surface and dim light 60' beyond that.
At 150' in diameter the air temperature within 500' of the sphere is 150F degrees and all creatures must make a save vs Con or take one point of exhaustion along with the 6d6 fire and radiant damage within 500' of the surface of the sphere. Regional Effects: all vegetation within 100' of the sphere will ignite. Lakes, ponds, streams, will be evaporated. It will continue to grow 5' every minute until it reaches 500' in diameter. it is blinding light up to 240' from it's surface (save vs. Dex or blinded condition for 2d4 rounds), bright light 240' beyond that, and dim light for half a mile beyond that.
At 500' in diameter the following regional effects happen: any creature within 1 mile of the sphere takes 6D6 fire and radiant damage every round. any flammable substance will ignite within 1000' of the surface of the sphere. A strong wind will emanate from the sphere pushing any existing forest fires 20' a round. This wind will begin to make the sphere levitate vertically until it is exactly 1 radius above the ground (250'). once it reaches this height double the effect radius. all creatures that want to move toward the sphere must make a save vs strength or can only move 5' toward it. flying creatures must make a Save vs. Dex. failures crash to the ground. The sphere will continue to grow 10' in radius every hour until it reaches 1000' in diameter. The sphere casts daylight for 10 miles from it's surface.
Once it reaches 1000' it explodes causing 6d6 Fire, radiant, thunder damage to every creature within 100 miles of the epicenter of the sphere. The explosion will automatically knockdown all structures with less than 100 HP, it will ignite all forests, vegetation and flammable objects within that range. all creatures within that 100 mile radius must save vs Dex or be deafened and blinded for 1d6 days. in the center of the crater will be nothing but the Sol Stone.
The growth of the sphere can not be stopped with water, ice or cold magic. if the sphere is moved using magic the affects are not stopped the epicenter just moves, spreading the damage/ effects as it goes. The sol stone has a threshold of 10hp a DR to slashing piercing and a total of 30hp. if broken in it's inactive state it will shatter into 2d4 pieces, each has the same properties as the inactive state stone. Only a wish spell can stop its expansion. to recognize an inactive Sol stone is an Arcana check DC 12, to know what it's active state looks like is an Arcana check DC 20. The burning sphere can be teleported, plane shifted and if still small enough pushed through a dimension door. If placed in a portable hole it is frozen at the point in time but not extinguished. even in the elemental plane of water it will go through it's stages of destruction. on the elemental plane of fire it will give birth to 2d6x10 fire elemental creatures when it explodes. (total elapsed time from activation to explosion is 65h and 53m ) (u/OctopusMugs)
24) The Gauntlets of K'Kōn: It is said that the great Forge-master K'Kōn crafted these gauntlets in order to grasp the Fires of Creation and use them to reshape the world; but their creation was clumsy and imperfect, and the Fires burned their hands. In anger, these gauntlets were discarded as flawed. (Wondrous Item, Unique) Requires Attunement; Gain Immunity to Fire Damage, Resistance to Radiant Damage. As an Action, up to 1d6 times per day, the wearer may grow in size as the spell Enlarge, for up to 1 minute at a time, but must take DISADV on DEX checks and saves while they do so. Additionally, while Enlarged; in lieu of the extra 1d4 damage that a melee weapon deals, if the weapon wielded by the wearer is of hammer-type (such as a warhammer) damage dice is instead doubled; but not increased if the weapon is not of a hammer-type. (u/MaxSizels)
25) Six Degrees
This black-bodied revolver is patterned with golden inlays. They form intricate patterns of skeletal hands, each one clutching desperately to its neighbors. Blood constantly leaks from the six empty cylinders, onto the user's hand. Despite that, the ivory handle always provides a perfect grip.
The hammer can be cocked up to six times consecutively. Each time the hammer is cocked back, its damage is propagated one additional degree of separation from the primary victim. The wielder is not protected from this propagation. (u/joabsk)
26) Rod of Sentience:
The Rod is entirely made out of a bone of unknown origins, the top of the rod being a brain with numerous runic symbols on it.
When activated, it emits an electric field (15 foot radius) giving any object in range a humanoid transformation, slowly becoming more and more of a person, while giving people +4 to their Intelligence Score.
The Rod is continually active, unless you use one of 2 charges on it to stop it.
If the effects keeps going on for an hour or more, the beam refines and becomes more precise, for example the clothes of the wielder might transform, then the clothe's buttons and dye start to transform too, meanwhile the wielder's hair, eyeballs, feet, etc... becomes sentient, then their very Cells, the Cell's nucleus, ... and so more.
The Beam keeps continually emitting the beam, even when ITSELF becomes a humanoid, and it can only be deactivated by a wish spell, or breaking the "brain" (which destroys everything it has gived sentience in the process) (u/Toilet-Oil-Doyle)
26) 𝕹𝖊𝖈𝖗𝖔𝖒𝖆𝖓𝖈𝖊𝖗'𝖘 𝖉𝖊𝖑𝖎𝖌𝖍𝖙
This is a staff made by the mage League- a secret organisation of the most powerful sorcerers, wizards and men of divine knowledge on how to make artifacts. Those chosen have created most of the magical items in world, both common as health and mana potions recipes now produced everywhere, and cursed with unlimited power. This particular artifact was made by a nameless necromancer, who wished to be accepted by the League, but ignored. In his spite he spend ages of mastering his powers until one day he created the most destructive staff ever made,this fact being reinforced by complete destruction of the League and information about it.
This staff is rather simple- it has 3 charges. Spend one charge to summon a skeleton. The skeleton is wielding the last weapon user wielded today (except necromancer's delight of course). The summoned skeleton immediately makes his turn. He is attacking whoever attacked his summoner. But here is a catch- if user didn't wield any weapon, the skeleton will have... necromancer's delight. You already know what will happen. The skeleton appears, summons skeleton. That skeleton summons skeleton and so on. Endless bonery. (u/Username0259)
27) Ultimate Wand of Nullification
Can be used to eliminate anything from the universe, plane of existence, etc. However, there is a high chance of the user and others being erased from existence as well. (u/ken_NT)
28+1) Soul Stealer: a sword which absorbs the soul of the ones it killed and stocks them in a demi-plane shared with its twin sword: Soul Giver.
Soul Giver: a sword which can release the souls captured by Soul Stealer. If one would be to stab himself with it while releasing the souls, all of them would go on to inhabit him, granting him all the capacities, strength and life expenctancy of the all the captured souls. But the bearer would need an extraordinary strong mind as to not go mad and lose control of all the different souls sharing his body. (u/Fony64)
29) Blackcleave
This ancient ebony blade is said to have been forged by three demon lords for the purposes of killing a god. Its pommel is a small amber orb which allows the wielder to cast imprisonment at will, and the blade itself deals damage equal to the maximum hp of the creature imprisoned inside. (u/CaraKino)
30) The Amulet of Samarkand
A pale green stone, set in a bronze oval pendant. The bronze is engraved with the images of running horses. The amulet is rough, almost primitive in design, but filled with a power beyond mortal comprehension.
When worn, any and all magical effects (including but not limited to arcane, holy, demonic, necrotic, fae or otherwise supernatural energies) cast at or near the wearer are absorbed and neutralized by the amulet. Any magical item placed against the amulet will become magically inert, and cannot be restored. Any extraplanar entities (such as elementals, djinni, spirits, demons or similar) that come into contact with the amulet are absorbed and neutralized. The wearer cannot be effected by reality warping magic such as the Wish spell, or any effects from the Deck of Many Things. The wearer suffers no negative repercussions from the amulet's effects. (u/Selacha)
31) The Wand of Absolute Truths
When activated it forces all players (specifically not characters) to turn to each other and, in order, list all the things they don't like about each other. (u/Kiyohara)
32) The Necronomicon: This book is bound in human skin. Upon reading it, the reader gains an indefinite madness, and every corpse on the plane is raised as undead. These corpses are raised even if they were protected by spells such as gentle repose or hallow. (u/ApostleO)
33) Pouch of Everlasting Snacks: This handsome belt pouch always contains a handful of "road snacks"... a mix of nuts, dried fruit, pretzel bits, and so on. (u/sonofabutch)
34) A Normal Button
This item is a aluminum square with a side of 15cm and a height of 4cm. A red button 6cm in diameter and 3cm in height sits at the center.
Warnings similar to “Do not press”, “Ignore” have been roughly carved to the base on multiple languages.
Any intelligent creature who sees the button must pass a DC 10 saving throw or it will start wanting to press the button. For each 10 minutes it remains within sight, that creature must repeat the saving throw, the DC increasing by 1.
Once a creature has failed a saving throw, they will have to subject to another roll even if the button is not within sight, once a day, the DC still increasing each time. With each failure, the need to press the button increases exponentially.
Whatever happens after pressing the button is up for the DM to decide (u/Pavoazul)
35) Odin's Spear
+4 Spear
Automatically succeeds any attack roll made with it.
As long as you're on the same plane of existence, if you speak the command word as a bonus action, the spear will fly to your hand at a rate of one mile per round.
Odin's spear has 20 Charges which can be spent in the following ways.
Find Familiar (summoning ravens) (1 charge) Teleportation Circle (5 charges) Plane Shift (5 charges) Thunderous Smite (2 charges per spell level used)
All spent charges are regained at dawn. (u/St_BobJoe)
36) The Dice of Fate - a set of seven twenty-sided colored crystal dice.
When a die is rolled, it will completely rewrite one aspect of the universe. Each die is tied to one aspect, but as they are identical, you’ll have to roll one to find out what it affects.
The aspects are Time (purple), Matter (gold), Life/Death(marbled green and black), Sentience(white), Planar Separation(blue), Magic(constantly changing color), and Force(Gray).
Each die has different effects when rolled:
Time:
• ⁠Freeze time completely, or slow it to a crawl • ⁠Reverse the laws of Cause and Effect. Basically, you can move a rock without exerting force on it. But for literally any task. • ⁠Transport the roller 10,000 years into the future or past • ⁠Reverse the flow of time, causing the universe to rewind to its beginning and then beyond.
Matter:
• ⁠instantly deletes all physical matter within a 20-foot radius of the die. • ⁠doubles or halves the density of a common substance (water, air, blood, steel, etc) • ⁠burns a hole through whatever the die was rolled on, causing it to drop to the ground and potentially roll again from the fall. • ⁠anything and everything the user touches becomes made of any material they choose, with no impact on the object’s function. Clothes, people, plants... dice. These things weren’t always quartz, you know.
Life/Death:
• ⁠instantly remove life from all creatures within a 20 foot radius. They are not KILLED per se, they are just no longer alive. Nothing short of a wish can bring them back, and their souls don’t go to the underworld or whatever the equivalent is in your setting. • ⁠over the next 5 SECONDS, all living things that have ever died in a 1-mile radius are brought back to life. Their bodies are not restored. That fossil 100 feet underground? Alive. The casualties of the Battle of the Red Valley? Living Skeletons. • ⁠instantly removes life from all creatures in a 20-foot radius EXCEPT the roller. • ⁠every nanosecond, life is removed from one cell in the roller’s body. If the roller is not technically alive, the same effect is applied in a 5-foot radius around them. This effect follows the roller and lasts forever.
Sentience:
• ⁠instantly gives sentience to every living thing within one mile. • ⁠randomly swaps around the minds of every sentient being in a 1d10 mile radius. • ⁠turns the roller into a mental vegetable by ceasing all higher brain function. • ⁠allows the roller to cast Greater Awakening at will.
Planar Separation:
• ⁠opens a portal to a random elemental plane inside the roller’s lungs • ⁠the current plane is duplicated exactly, and the original is completely deleted. All the PCs now have to deal with the truth that they are not the original PCs. • ⁠merges two random planes into one.
Magic:
• ⁠roller can cast any 9th-level spell of their choice once per day. • ⁠Magic is erased from the universe as a whole. Spells and spell-like abilities have no effect, and all magical effects are immediately dispelled. • ⁠roll on the 10,000 random effects table 5d10 times. • ⁠every creature in a 1 mile radius gains 20 levels in either Wizard, Sorcerer, Bard, Warlock, Cleric, or Druid. • ⁠all natural 20s count as natural 1s, forever. • ⁠all natural 1s count as natural 20s, forever. • ⁠roll 3 additional times on the magic die effect list.
Force:
• ⁠the planet’s gravity is halved or doubled • ⁠the nearest star now burns half or double as hot and bright • ⁠Mage Hand’s maximum weight is multiplied by 10. This effect can stack. • ⁠any single instance of damage over 15 will instantly kill any creature, regardless of their current hit points and death saves. (u/FlyingSpy)
37) The Sultan’s Chessboard: a standard chess board, carved from fine ebony and bloodwood. Any small, non magical, single item placed in a corner square will disappear at nightfall, only to reappear doubled in the second square at dawn. The items may be withdrawn at anytime, but if they are left in the second square, they will again disappear and reappear doubled in the third square. This will continue every day until the items reach the final square, when you will now have 264 items in the last square. The chessboard increases in size accordingly so that all items fit inside the square. (u/WSHII)
38) The Orb of Unnihlation: this object appears identical to a standard Orb of Annihlation and any attempts to identify it will cause it to appear as such. However, it is in fact, the receiving end of all other Orbs. Anytime a person attempts to use the orb on something, something annihilated someplace else pops out, limited only by the DM’s imagination. (u/WSHII)
39) The Inanimate Carbon Rod - an Immovable Rod, seemingly carved from coal or charcoal. The Rod functions in all other ways as a standard Immovable Rod made of iron, but any honors, rewards, notoriety, and treasure earned during adventures in which the Rod is actively used are attributed to the heroism of the Rod itself rather than the adventurers using it. Titles are bestowed on it rather than them, all treasure is deposited in inaccessible accounts at the royal bank, etc. On the other hand, nefarious PCs will soon realize that this means everything EVIL that they do will also be blamed on the Rod. (u/WSHII)
40) The Seraphim's Mirror: An ornate silver mirror said to have been crafted by the gods themselves. It opens a gateway to other dimensions, bypassing any barriers or borders that world may have. The creator of this mirror realized the dreaded truth of this item; like all windows, it's not one-sided. Can be used to grab the attention of a malevolent all-powerful entity that may or may not be interested in destroying, dominating, or generally inconveniencing your world. (u/Yuriwuv)
41) Potion of True Undeath (credit to Zee Bradshaw for the idea) - a inky and viscous black potion, it bestows a contagion-like enchantment when anointed over a reanimated physical undead of less than 3CR, such as a ghoul or zombie. The zombie immediately drops to 1 hp, but any living creature damaged by the zombie must make a DC 17 constitution save each round until hit with a Cure Disease or fall to zero hp and unconscious. If they fail all three death saves, they are raised as another undead, with the same contagious properties as the first zombie. A player who injured in this way, but has yet to fail their Constitution save, may remove the bitten or scratched limb, taking 1/4 of their total HP in unavoidable damage. (u/WSHII)
42) Viral Stone: a seemingly harmless white chunk of rock that is currently suspended in a vacuum chamber in a forgotten Wizard Keep. Any solid material, living or nonliving, that comes into contact with it slowly transforms into more Viral Stone. This can be spread through the air via infected dust particles. While water can't be infected, the tiny particles IN THE WATER can. Saltwater spreads the infection especially quickly.
43) ArmoClothing/Accessory of Apathy: this object was designed to help warriors power through their injuries during battle, but the effect was a bit too strong. Instead, the wearer becomes completely indifferent to everything around them. They will not eat, sleep, move, or do anything at all. If the armor is not removed, the affected person will eventually just stop breathing. Even touching the item is enough to make someone apathetic, which makes removing it difficult.
44) Scroll of Law: when this arcane document is read, all creatures across the universe will have no choice but to follow whatever instructions, rules, or regulations are written on it. Currently, most of the page is taken up by the words "No Conflict," but there might be a little space to write something in the corner. When reading the scroll, you must read everything on the page for it to take effect, and the scroll cannot contradict itself or reverse the effects of previous readings.
45) Wish-Wisp: this powerful artifact appears as a small glass bottle with a tiny glowing wisp inside. When a creature smashes the bottle, the Wish-Wisp fulfills all of their inner desires instantly, with no negative side effects or monkey's-paw-like consequences. The Wisp then dissipates, and it can't be used again.
46) Wand of Loneliness: When used, this spell makes it so nobody, and I mean NOBODY, will trust a word the caster says, and everyone will treat the caster with open hostility. This includes other party members. Duration is permanent. Enjoy watching your world fall apart while you're powerless to stop it, loser.
47) Deck of One Thing: appears like a normal Deck of Many Things, but no matter which card you draw, it will always be The Void.
48) Axe of Absent-Mindedness: magically dismembers whoever or whatever the wielder happens to think about, even for a moment. Doesn't matter if it's friend, foe, family, party member, or even the wielder themselves. However, the axe will not target itself.
49) Hoop of Bullshit: once something enters the hoop, it can't leave. Ever. And you can't move the hoop or destroy it, either. No ranged weapons, no spells, no noise, no souls, nothing. You're stuck, forever.
50) Ring of Bullshit: this ring will appear exactly as a useful magical Ring of Water Breathing, but instead of helping you, it kills you with no save when you put it on. No matter how anyone examines the ring, it will appear to be an ordinary Ring of Water Breathing. This one is less of a "directly end the campaign" item and more of a "wow wtf, this is no fun at all, you suck DM" kind of item. For bonus points, instead of a No-Save death, have them roll a save, but declare they died before they even look at the result.
(All by u/FlyingSpy)
51) The Imp: A small carved soapstone figurine of a cute but mischievous looking imp. Activated with a drop of blood, the statue disappears in a puff of sulfurous smoke. The user becomes the caster (regardless of whether they have magical abilities or not) of a Find Familiar spell, with the familiar being an imp that is constantly under the effect of Greater Invisibility and communicates with the user telepathically. The imp is friendly to the user and very persuasive (i.e. 20 CHA and has advantage on all social checks). It will try to convince the user that it really just wants to help them succeed at whatever they're trying to do. It will invisibly perch on the user's shoulder and whisper advice to them, giving them advantage on ALL skill and attack checks ("Duck now!", "Tell the shopkeeper how handsome he is.", "Use the long lockpick with the curve in it", etc.).
During long rests, the imp will ask for nourishment in the form of the users blood. Accommodating the imp results in a cumulative reduction/day of 1% of the character's max hp, rounded down (i.e. a character with 50 max hp will lose no hp on the first day, max at 49 on the second day, etc.) This hp lost can be regained through normal means, such as Cure spells, but the effect starts over at the next rest. Failing to allow the imp to feed or otherwise alerting any other character to its presence and/or effects results in the imp becoming hostile and fleeing, only to later return and begin plaguing the character with bites, stings, and scratches during their sleep. This means that the benefits of long rests are reduced to those of short rests and short rests are useless. The imp can be "killed" but as soon as it reconstitutes enough of itself to re-manifest on the material plane (a time frame of the DM's discretion), it will hunt down the original character and begin plaguing them again.
Oh, and it tells you things about the other player characters - what they said when you weren't around, what they really think, how much of the treasure they took.... (u/WSHII)
52) The Poking Stick: a normal 10 foot pole. It can be used to poke things and see what they do. Applicable to suspicious chests, glowing things, sleeping dragons, etc. Using it successfully will make you want to poke more things with it. For more fun, have it be an intelligent object that is obsessed with more poking and is only attunable to halflings, kender, chaotic neutral alignments, tabaxi, and rogues (u/WSHII)
53) Map of the Gods: This parchment, nondescript but for a copyright print belonging to The Recursion Company, unfolds into a map of the world you occupy, overlaid with a square grid where one square is equal to 100mi2. You can poke a square with a finger. If you do, the entire area of that square in the real world is crushed under a gargantuan finger from space which deals 512d8 damage to everything in that area, with a DEX save under disadvantage to take only half damage. Objects automatically fail this save.
You can continue to unfold the parchment a further 7 times. Each time you do, the scale adjusts, centered on you, with the squares becoming 50mi2, 10mi2, 1mi2, 500ft2, 100ft2, 50ft2, and 5ft2. Moving around with the map unfolded continues to center on you. The damage from poking a square halves each time you unfold the parchment (doubling if you fold it back again). So, to extrapolate, poking the map after unfolding it eight times does 4d8 damage to one area of 5 square feet.
You can only poke the map once a day. After you do, the map folds itself back into the starting condition.

You can attempt to unfold the map a ninth time. However, you have a bad feeling about it which stops you at the last second. If you try again, the feeling is really, really bad. If you try a third time - well, the map tried to warn you. The ninth unfolding unfolds you and your soul into a two-dimensional being. You no longer need to breathe, eat or sleep, and can pass through walls. All of your weapons now do slashing damage. However, your AC is reduced to 10, a single point of damage will instantly obliterate you, and your two-dimensional soul will not be able to be resurrected in a three-dimensional body. (u/Evilninjaduckie)
submitted by Deadfire182 to d100 [link] [comments]

An Overview of Arizona Primary Races - Part 1: Statewide and Congressional Races

Welcome back to my omnibus compendium of Arizona’s upcoming primary races in the style of my 2018 summaries (that’s just LDs 21-30, links for 1-20, Congressional, and statewide races are in that post). The primary is set to take place August 4th – early voting ballots should be mailed out on or around July 6th.
Arizona’s a really interesting state (I may be a hair biased), since it not only is home to 2-3 swing House seats and a high-profile Senate race, but also tenuous majorities in both state houses that could – theoretically – neuter Ducey’s trifecta this fall. And counties have their races this year as well, and I’ll highlight some of the fireworks ongoing in Maricopa.
If you’re interested about which district you live in, check https://azredistricting.org/districtlocato. If you want to get involved with your local Democratic party, find your legislative district on the previous link (NOT CD), and then search for your LD’s name at this link. Feel free to attend meetings, they’re a great way to get involved with candidates and like-minded individuals. If you wish to donate to a “clean elections” candidate (mentioned in the post as “clean”), you will have to live in that candidate’s legislative district to give qualifying $5 contributions (check here if anyone needs it in your area), but they are allowed to accept a limited amount of “seed money” from people outside of the district. The three CorpComm candidates can take $5’s statewide.
If you do not want to vote at the polls, you will need to request an early ballot using the website of your county’s recorder prior to July 4th. Example links for Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal. Others available if needed.
Race ratings for listed primaries will be listed as Solid/Likely/Leans/Tossup and are not indicative of my own preference for that seat. I’ll denote my personal primary preferences at the end of this series, as well as the best Republican ticket for the Dems if someone here really really wants to pull a GOP ballot in the primary. I do not advise it, but since I can't stop ya, you'll get my best suggestions.
Write-in candidates have yet to file, which could give us an outside chance at getting some Libertarians on the ballot (the Greens have lost their ballot access).
If you have any questions about voting in the primary, which races are the most contested, and how to get involved with other Democrats in Arizona, feel free to PM me.
All fundraising numbers here are as of 12/31/2019 – although Q1 numbers are dropping within a week or so. I’ll probably post a quick update after signature challenges are done and all Q1 numbers are in the books. Candidates who are partially self-funding have how much they’ve given to themselves listed after their COH as an indicator of how much of their own cash they’re pouring into the race. Not all of it, obviously, is still on hand.
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN SOLELY IN MY CAPACITY AS A VOTER IN ARIZONA, AND NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY ORGANIZATIONS I WORK/ED FOR OR AM/WAS A MEMBER OF. THIS POST IS IN NO WAY ENDORSED BY THE ARIZONA DEMOCRATIC PARTY OR ANY SUB-ORGANIZATION THEREOF, OR ANY FILED CANDIDATE.
Statewides
Without further ado, the statewide races! Or more precisely, race. (US Senate is counted as a congressional)
Corporations Commission
I know this is what each and every one of you has been waiting for, the Corporations Commission! (hereafter CorpComm)
Yes, just like Arizona is the only state in the country with an elected mine inspector, it is also only one of 14 which has an elected Public Utilities commission. The AZ Constitution explicitly calls for this because, to quote Wikipedia: “its drafters feared that governors would appoint industry-friendly officials”.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even though the commission is elected, lax-er campaign finance laws permit for public utilities to spend massive amounts of money on pro-utility candidates. The commission then raises utility rates, which means more money going to the utilities, and more money to spend on pro-utility candidates. And so on and so forth. The former chair, Susan Bitter-Smith, was removed due to a corruption complaint in 2017.
Therefore, corruption by the utilities is a big issue in this race, as well as how much to focus on renewable energy policies. An interesting side-effect is that far more candidates for CorpComm are signing up for public funding, which locks them into some pretty strict rules (thanks to the GOP legislature and voters in 2018).
The commission is a five member board, staggered so that three seats are up in presidential years, and two are up in midterm elections. Because of this, incumbents Sandra Kennedy (D) and Justin Olson (R) are safe until 2022.
Moderate Republican Bob Burns did not file run for re-election (he was kinda pro-solar and viciously anti-corruption, I’ll miss the guy), while definitely-not-moderate Andy Tobin was tapped by Ducey to lead the Department of Administration (HR, procurement, accounting, etc. for state agencies and replaced by 2018 AZ-02 GOP nominee Lea Marquez Peterson ($7K COH, clean – hereafter LMP). Boyd Dunn ($39.5K COH) is the one Republican elected in 2016 who is trying to return for another term.
LMP’s decision to run clean – instead of “traditional” (not taking public funds) – is quite odd for established GOP candidates. This could be a sign of changing voter attitudes, pointing to corruption being a larger and larger issue for both GOP and Dem. voters.
There are three Dems running for the three seats. Former commissioner and 2016 and 2018 CorpComm nominee Bill Mundell ($10.6K COH, clean), teacher and education activist Shea Stanfield ($4.7K COH, clean), and Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar ($1.8K COH, clean). All 3 progress automatically to the general election. Tovar in particular is a big get for Dems – she was a former Senate Minority Leader and it’s a great sign that she’s back in the fight and wanting to run statewides
I’d be remiss if I didn’t quickly touch on my dislike of Mundell – the 2018 CorpComm primary was very contentious due to Mundell persuading his runningmate Sandra Kennedy (and not the other way around, as I had wrongly assumed back then) to going very negative against the other Democrat in the race, Kiana Sears. Mundell lost that primary to Sears and Kennedy (2 seats were up then), but his attack campaign was strong enough that Kennedy and Sears were driven from being pleasant acquaintances (both being liberal black women in utility-related politics) to not being on speaking terms. Sears lost that race – it’s anyone’s guess how much of that was due to the ugly primary. The uncontested nature here should help Dems somewhat from cannibalizing one of their own.
On the Republican challenger’s side there are quite a few candidates. Outside of Dunn and LMP, former legislator David Farnsworth ($6.7K COH) is the chief candidate, and seems set to come into this race with a decent amount of legislative connections and backing. But Kim Owens ($2.5K COH) has stronger experience claims – having spent 3 terms on the Salt River Project Council (basically a mini CorpComm), as well as 5 terms on a school board. The SRP connections come at a cost though, as they don’t play well in this political climate. And despite being endorsed by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ, CD8), Owens has been taking some flack from further-right organizations for her past work on the George Bush and John Kasich presidential campaigns.
Other candidates in the Republican race include 2018 failed candidate Eric Sloan - who is making a visible outreach to the Trumpier side of the party and is running in opposition to clean energy mandates ($3.5K COH, clean) and Nick Myers ($1.7K, clean), who ran for HD12 in 2018 on a platform of banning all public schools. It’s again noteworthy that Sloan and Myers – who both eschewed clean funding in 2018 (and as far I can remember one of the two had strong negative words about the program) – are now running clean. Neither is favored in the primary but Sloan could theoretically muscle himself into 3rd place with enough pro-Trump rhetoric.
The general will probably see both groups of candidates more or less match the generic ballot statewide, but the campaign finance rules in Arizona could play an interesting role. Democrats will naturally be at a disadvantage due to locking themselves into rather restrictive campaign finance rules (can’t raise over a certain amount, banned from using specific party resources, etc.) - but so will LMP or Sloan/Myers if they win. And while the Democrats will all be operating alone, LMP (or the two oddballs) wont be able to do the same things GOP candidates running traditional can do – both from a stance of political pragmatism and of legality. That could lead to some disjointedness that the GOP definitely doesn’t want.
The two sides are evenly matched in terms of candidate quality – LMP and Tovar, Dunn and Mundell, and Stanfield and Farnsworth are all roughly comparable – but this may tilt slightly in the Dems’ favor if one of the other GOP candidates makes it on.
hunter15991 Rating: Dems. unopposed. Solid Dunn, Likely LMP, Leans Farnsworth. Leans GOP general.
Congressional Races
Ok, you've had your veggies. Time for the fun stuff.
Congressional District 1
CD1 is one of 2-3 districts that the national parties are probably focusing in on for this cycle (R+2, Trump+1, Sinema+4). On the Democratic side, Representative Tom O’Halleran ($918.8K COH) is running for re-election. Originally a Republican legislator, O’Halleran slowly veered left as the state party veered rightwards, and is now on the liberal end of the Blue Dog Democrats.
O’Halleran faces a tougher primary than he’s used to (not a high bar to clear, though) in the form of Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova ($15.2K), running strongly to O’Halleran’s left. Putzova’s campaign got off to a bit of a rocky start, and while she’s found her footing she still significantly lags behind O’Halleran in COH and in name recognition outside of Flagstaff. While Flagstaff is the largest and most liberal city in the district, it’s still <10% of the total population of this very rural district. Putzova will be able to close the margins O’Halleran set against a similar further-left candidate in 2016, but O’Halleran’s strong connections with the indigenous communities that make up 25% of the district’s population (and therefore close to 50% of the Dem. voting base there) should put him over the line in August. A 3rd big name Dem., former State Senator Barb McGuire, has filed to run for her old Senate seat in SD8 instead and dropped out from the AZ-01 race.
On the Republican side it’s an absolute recruiting nightmare, even worse so than in 2018 when outsider perennial candidate Wendy Rogers beat out theocratic legislative superstar Steve Smith. The current frontrunner for this race is Tiffany Shedd ($112.3K COH), a farmer and shotgun coach who took a distant last place in the GOP primary here in 2018. I’ve linked not to her website but to her announcement video, where she gives the lamest voice-over possible, throws out countless trite references to how horrible it is that “a 29 year-old girl from New York is telling us what to do at the border” (whoever could that possibly be?), and insinuates (but never says) that she once shot at a band of men approaching her farm. It’s worth watching.
I should add at this point that while her video goes on and on with immigrant race-baiting and references to “the wall”, no part of AZ-01 is even in the same county as the US-Mexico border. These are tactics 2018 nominee Wendy Rogers (more on her in the legislative section) loved to use, and she lost to O’Halleran.
Shedd snagged the endorsements of people like Kevin McCarthy and Jon Kyl rather early on, dissuading former baseball star Curt Schilling from running and consolidating the active field of candidates around her (which is good, because one guy who bailed on the race – Safford Vice Mayor and former Army paratrooper Chris Taylor - could have been quite dangerous, especially with his Spanish fluency). Shedd is the only Arizonan in the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, listed as “On The Radar” (their lowest tier). The two other Republicans who have qualified for the ballot (pending signatures) are businessman Noel Reidhead ($35.4K COH) and Apache County Supervisor Doyel Shamley (no reports yet filed). Reidhead seems to be a hair more charismatic and professional than Shedd, but stands little chance building anti-establishment cred vs. Shedd, especially taking into account whatever infrastructure she has from her 2018 run. Shamley too could theoretically pose Shedd trouble with his past political experience as a Republican in a very Democratic county (although it’s very polarized, and he lives in the blood-red Mormon area), but he is also quite a conspiracy theorist (all 4 links are worth a read). Shamley also has only ~10.3% buffer on his petition signatures (it’s recommended to aim for at least 25% if not far more) and could be knocked off the ballot by a stiff breeze.
In the general it’s looking like it’ll be O’Halleran vs. Shedd, and without significant GOP backup from IE’s and downballot races it looks like Tom may blow the barn, er, shed doors off this next push by the GOP to oust him. This could shift towards Leans if Shedd posts a good quarter or two of fundraising and ups her digital game.
hunter15991 Rating: Likely O’Halleran, Likely Shedd. Likely O’Halleran general.
Congressional District 2
Moving right along to another GOP mess, CD2. Incumbent Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick ($621.1K COH) was admitted into an alcohol rehab program last fall, which sparked some thoughts that this district may end up being close. Republican candidates however have yet to create any sort of spark in this seat this year (well, outside of one vaguely threatening to shoot Kirkpatrick – upstanding citizen whom we’ll get to in a second).
Kirkpatrick is being primaried by former State Department official Peter Quilter (no reports yet filed). His issues page puts him as roughly rank-and-file with the rest of the party, so I’m a bit curious as to why he filed to run against an ideologically similar incumbent – but that’s his prerogative. Quilter started signature collection rather later and is also in danger of getting bounced off if someone challenges them.
On the GOP side it’s another AZ-01. I’m not even entirely sure who the frontrunner is, it’s that chaotic and stupid. Is it Shay Stautz ($65.6K COH), a rather mild-mannered former university administrator and national security expert, but whose $65.6K warchest includes $60K of his own money and who sits awfully close to falling below the signature line? Is it Brandon Martin ($9.2K), 2018 2nd place finisher and Army vet who seems to lead in the endorsement and signature game, but who has an atrocious burn rate and who has a tendency of insinuating people should shoot the Congresswoman currently representing the seat once held by Gabby Giffords? Is it Joseph Morgan ($4.6K COH), who has a respectable enough background as a newspaper columnist and nonprofit assistant and whom Martin considers his chief rival (judging by his press release claiming Morgan “flip flops on sanctuary cities), but who hasn’t tweeted since October and whose fundraising is abysmal? ($22.2K raised despite filing in February) I guess it isn’t Noran Eric Ruden (no reports filed), who filed late, has little online presence, and in general seems to be doing little campaigning – but with how bizarre the other candidates are Ruden could surprise me.
Whoever Kirkpatrick faces in the general is again going to be limping badly without outside GOP support. And this time the turf isn’t a Trump+1 rural district that’s slowly inching left, it’s a Clinton+5 seat situated in the suburbs of Arizona’s 2nd largest (and decidedly liberal) city. For competent state legislators this’d be a rather tall ask, for the motely crew the GOP have assembled above it’s almost a suicide mission.
The alcohol rehab issue with Kirkpatrick and potential fallout stemming from that is the only reason I don’t currently have this at Solid D. I realize the national and state party will get behind one candidate at some point but I don’t know how they could feasibly pull off this one given they triaged a significantly stronger candidate in 2018 – against a non-incumbent Kirkpatrick – who then lost to Ann by 10 points.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Kirkpatrick, Tossup GOP (Statuz/Morgan/Martin). Likely Kirkpatrick general.
Congressional District 3
Bit of a snoozefest here (thankfully for me since it’s then shorter to write). Incumbent Raul Grijalva ($211.2K) is running for another term, although he may retire after this next term which would set off a lot of drama in the district. He has no primary opposition and faces OIF Marine and current “Executive Protection Agent” (looks like a cross between a security consultant and bodyguard) Daniel Wood (no reports filed). Running in a D+13, Clinton+29 minority-majority district when your issues page consists solely of the words “Immigration - Coming Soon” is a bold plan. It’s also an insanely foolhardy one.
hunter15991 Rating: Uncontested primaries. Solid Grijalva general.
Congressional District 4
For every yin there is a yang, and in CD3’s case it’s its neighbor to the north, CD4. The current incumbent is far-right Congressman Paul Gosar ($222.6K), whose greatest hits need no introduction. I sat in on a conservative club’s meeting on campus and heard that, in his words, a “Justice Democrats Deep State Plant” was going to primary him soon, and to not fall for what she was spreading.
Well, sure as anything, he did get a primary challenger mere hours after that meeting ended, former McSally staffer Anne Marie Ward ($13.3K COH – no relation). Ward’s website points to her wanting to tack slightly closer to the center than Gosar (again, low bar to clear), in an effort to attract the youth back to conservatism. Her issues pages seems to possibly be purposefully vague. While I’d love for Gosar to be replaced someone less likely to fly to the UK to meet neo-Nazis or author resolutions thanking Hungarian autocrats for their leadership, Ward doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere in a hurry 6 months after she announced.
The Democratic side also poses no threat to Gosar. The nominal frontrunner is nurse Delina DiSanto ($13.3K COH), who lost to Dr. David Brill last year and was, coincidentally, the GOP nominee in CO-03 back in 2004. DiSanto’s political metamorphosis doesn’t end there, back in 2018 she hammered Brill for not supporting M4A enough, but her issues page this year seems very dialed down. DiSanto is being challenged by perennial candidate Stu Starky (no reports yet filed – though they should have since he declared in June). Starky is most noticeable for his Hail Mary Senate run against John McCain in 2004 (McCain won by 56 points), as well as multiple House runs in the late 90’s and apparently considered filing for President once. When he filed I saw his social media had a lot of pro-Green Party stuff in the past, but oddly enough his issues page now has a strong focus on deficit reduction of all things, and advocates for a public healthcare option.
Regardless, none of the 3 other candidates in the race can stop Gosar at this point, and I highly doubt any will ever be able to.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Gosar, Likely DiSanto. Solid Gosar general.
Congressional District 5
To quote my 2018 writeup: “I promise the fun stuff comes back soon enough. CD5 is something like CD4, except instead of a rural stretch of mountains filled with rednecks, it’s picturesque rows of suburban mansions filled with Mormons. Freedom Caucus nut and former President of the AZ Senate Andy Biggs ($481.8K COH) is the incumbent, having won the seat in a contentious primary in 2016.”
Yeah, not much has changed here. We’ll see what redistricting brings.
The three Dems vying for the seat are businesswoman/animal rights activist and 2018 nominee Joan Greene ($4.2K COH), teacher Jonathan Ireland (no reports filed) running on a standard Bernie-style platform, and attorney Javier Ramos (refusing to take donations, no filings), who’s running a very weird race and seems to be actively avoiding harping on his legal career.
I was impressed when Greene cracked 40% in 2018. There is no way any of these 3 could crack 50% in this district. Biggs’s only threat is in a primary, which he has escaped.
hunter15991 Rating: Biggs uncontested, Likely Greene. Solid Biggs general.
Congressional District 6
Told y’all the fun stuff was coming.
On paper, CD6 isn’t the most flippy of districts. Incumbent GOP Representative David Schweikert ($278.5K) has held the Democrat running below 40% for three straight elections after taking it from former Tempe mayor Harry Mitchell in the 2010 wave election. The candidate endorsements by azCentral for the 2016 Democratic primary bemoaned the lack of strong candidates, calling the eventual nominee “less unqualified for the job”.
But he had his margin cut to just 10 points in 2018 – a sign of swinging suburbs like Scottsdale – and this seat is one of the early few on the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” list this year.
On the Dems. side, 2018 nominee Anita Malik ($46.2K COH), trying to improve on her 10 point loss in 2018. Malik, in my mind, is not the frontrunner in this primary, although I didn’t think she was last year and got stung. Dr. Hiral Vyas Tipirneni ($911.9K COH) is running for CD6 this time round, after two close elections (1 special, 1 general) in neighboring CD8. Hiral has been ribbed somewhat for this district hop, but I buy her justification – her work and community connections are all in CD6, and despite being registered in CD8 her house is so close to the boundary line that I think a small portion of her backyard is in CD6. Joining Malik and Tipirineni are businesswoman and 2x legislative candidate in the 2000’s Stephanie Rimmer ($67.5K COH, $114.5K self-funded), and businessman/former McCain legislative staffer Karl Gentles ($80.3K COH).
Malik and Tipirneni were great friends during the 2018 election, but they’ve rather soured now that they’re running against each other. While Gentles and Rimmer have strong ability for growth, I believe the race will come down to Malik and Tipirneni, and I think Tipirneni ends up taking the win in that regard. Malik enters the race with decent name rec. and has a decent bloc of progressive supporters and volunteers, but Hiral has a massive fundraising advantage (Malik anecdotally hates calling for donations) – far greater than Dr. Heather Ross’s in 2018 when she lost to Malik. Tipirneni is also quite beloved by the AZ Republic (judging by their glowing endorsement of her in the fall of 2018) – this is bad news for Malik because the Republic’s endorsement of her was seen as what pushed her across the line in the 2018 primary (Ross led narrowly in absentees, and Election Day ballots – the only ones post-endorsement – broke to Malik).
In the general, Hiral has all the ingredients going for her. Schweikert is running under the shadow of a House Ethics investigation, is doing atrociously in fundraising, and would be going up against a well-known campaigning and fundraising machine in the form of Tipirneni. Hiral’s drive can be seen by the fact that her first campaign office was opened in last November, a full 51 weeks before the election (typically they’ve opened around here in the spring or early summer). Downballot Dems. in the area are improving sizably in terms of fundraising, and enthusiasm is high. The seat is R+10, but McSally only one it by 3 in 2018, and that’s far too close for comfort if I’m David Schweikert. A private internal (I plied it out of a GOP friend of mine who works in his legislative office) shows Schweikert up by ~7-8, which when adjusting for the fact internals always slant in the commissioning campaign’s favor points to quite the close race. I can definitely see this race entering tossup category, especially if Tipirneni is the nominee.
I’ll close with another anecdote about just how scared Schweikert is of Hiral from the same staffer friend – news broke to Schweikert of Hiral’s announcement back last spring during a staff meeting in his office. Schweikert, on hearing the news she had filed, turned even more pale than he normally is and left the room in a fluster. My friend said he could hear him yelling after he left.
I hope he does the exact same on November 3rd.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Tipirneni, Schweikert uncontested. Leans Schweikert general.
Congressional District 7
The next two aren’t going to be all that interesting, so due to time constraints I’ll be a hair shallow on them. Incumbent Congressman Ruben Gallego ($859.3K COH) is uncontested on the Democratic side, and faces token GOP opposition in this deep blue district from businessman Josh Barnett ($634.64 COH) and community activist Nina Becker (no reports filed). Neither is particularly far above the signature minimum and if/when Gallego feels cheeky, both could be sued off the ballot.
hunter15991 Rating: Gallego uncontested, Likely Barnett. Solid Gallego general.
Congressional District 8
Once the site of a heated race between Tiprineni and Debbie Lesko ($379.2K COH), the district is on no one’s radar this time around. Lesko faces no GOP opposition in the primary, and the 3 Democratic candidates in the general – former HD22 candidate and businessman Michael Muscato ($14.4K COH), Army veteran Bob Olson ($39K COH, self-funding $50K), and former Litchfield Park City Councilman and City Manager Bob Musselwhite ($844 COH). Olson and Musselwhite ran in past years, with no real success. Musselwhite could theoretically have made a decent enough bid at the nomination either now or in past years, but doesn’t really seem to like campaigning and until recently shied away from his political experience in-district – a bizarre thing to do to say the least.
CD8 has a few intriguing candidates on its Dem. bench – most notably State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman – but for the time being it’s Lesko’s fiefdom to lose. I probably guess the Dem. nomination goes to Muscato, as he’s the only one of the 3 Dems really campaigning.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Muscato, Lesko uncontested, Solid Lesko general.
Congressional District 9
Home stretch everyone! 1 more district before we fawn over Mark Kelly.
Greg Stanton ($615.8K COH) is the incumbent Democrat in the district. A former Mayor of Phoenix, Stanton was initially considering what is now Sinema’s Senate seat (the two aren’t on the best of terms) before national Democrats persuaded him to instead contest the Congressional seat Sinema had vacated. Stanton easily defeated radiologist Steve “Welfare recipients are like starving pets” Ferrara in 2018, and mostly dissuaded the GOP from fielding a serious candidate this year.
Stanton is facing a primary from the left from “science activist” and quasi-perennial candidate Talia Fuentes-Wolfe (no reports filed). Fuentes ran against Stanton in 2018 (after being the Dem. nominee in CD5 in 2016), but was removed from the ballot over signature validity issues – per friends of mine on the Stanton campaign, massive amounts looked like they were written in the exact same handwriting.
Stanton could be vulnerable to a legitimate challenge from the left (someone like State Rep. Athena Salman or State Sen. Juan Mendez), but Fuentes poses no significant opposition. If she is not removed again for signature validity issues or legal issues with her campaign finance reports that the Stanton campaign offered to ignore in 2018 (that would have led to criminal penalties for Fuentes and her treasurer), she doesn’t have much of a base of support in the district (hell, her website hasn’t been updated since 2018). Talia’s been prone to what I will diplomatically call “eccentric outbursts” at local activists and volunteers (some as young as college sophomores) and hasn’t made many friends in the area. I will leave specific interactions out of this post to avoid dunking on her too much, but feel free to PM me for details.
On the Republican side, 2016 nominee and 2018 candidate Dave Giles ($336 COH) is sticking his head into the meatgrinder again. Giles lost by 20 to Sinema in 2016 and by 27 to Ferrara in the 2018 primary – normally I wouldn’t see him going anywhere again this year. But he has a chance to out-Trump the other two candidates. Pharmacist Nicholas Tutora (no reports filed) is a good equivalent to Ferrara in 2018 – conservative, but not spamming pics of him with Trump everywhere like Giles. He’d be a strong candidate in the primary if he posts a couple good quarters of fundraising, but given that he never filed his Q4 report I doubt things are looking all that rosy for him. Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Huang (no reports filed) is a current Chandler City Councilman also angling to become the CD9 GOP nominee. Huang has by far the best background of the 3 (the only one with political experience) and has both a geographic (Chandler) and demographic (Taiwanese-Americans) base of support, and is probably the most moderate of the 3.
However, both of those advantages are significantly neutered by the layout of CD9. Most of Chandler is in CD5, and the CD9 portion is generally more liberal than the CD5. And while having strong support among the Taiwanese community is a strong plus, it’ll probably be more than cancelled out by the unfortunate racial stigma Asian-Americans are facing during the COVID19 crisis. I would not put it past Giles to racebait about Huang, and I think the GOP primary base here may lap that up.
In the general Stanton could have been slightly spooked by a well-funded Huang campaign, but I just don’t see Huang making it. And even so, the district is simply galloping to the left at too fast of a pace for the GOP to keep up – the one or two candidates who could plausibly do it (Tempe Councilwoman Robin Arredondo-Savage, State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee) are off doing their own thing. Arredondo-Savage could pose a threat in 2022 if she decides to run in a redrawn district, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Stanton, Tossup GOP (Huang/Giles). Solid Stanton general.
US Senate
Thanks for staying with me through this post. Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for.
Martha McSally ($7.66M COH) is the incumbent Senator, having been appointed by Governor Doug Ducey (R) after Sen. Jon Kyl left the seat in the winter of 2018 (who himself had been appointed when Sen. John McCain passed in September 2018). McSally, as you all know, lost the 2018 Senate election to Kyrsten Sinema, and it raised some eyebrows when Ducey appointed her to this spot. The rumor – which has some validity to it – was that Ducey purposefully selected a weak McSally to fill the seat so that she’d lose in 2020, so that he himself could run for it unimpeded in 2022. Ducey was on track to appoint himself when Kyl was going to leave, but due to a come-from-behind win by State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the Secretary of State race (who’d become Governor if Ducey vacated the seat) his plans were dashed.
McSally is despised by the Kelli Ward bloc of the party, and there was a big hubbub when businessman Daniel McCarthy ($34.9K COH, self-funding $149.6K) filed to run against her last fall. While he has the made the ballot – no small feat – he has yet to really turn on the self-funding spigot. Maybe this will change in the coming months, but for the time being it doesn’t really look like he’s ready to go full bore against McSally. She’s currently on track to easily win the primary, although it’ll be interesting to see – if McCarthy never does go all-in – just how many votes his skeleton candidacy will still win. I’d bet at least 1/3rd of the GOP primary base, to be honest.
McSally’s fundraising has been very impressive, leading all competitive GOP Senators nationally and raising the 6th most among all Senate candidates this year. It is therefore a delicious twist of fate that her sole Democratic opponent – astronaut and gun control advocate Mark Kelly ($13.61M COH) has raised the most among any Senate candidate – challenger or incumbent – this cycle. Yes, that’s more money raised and COH than Mitch McConnell or John Cornyn, who have had since 2015 to fundraise. It’s more COH than McSally and Sen. Thom Tillis (R, NC) COMBINED.
It’s a lot.
Kelly also holds strong support among Democratic base by virtue of his past work with Giffords PAC and his marriage to former Rep. Gabby Giffords (who was shot in the head during a 2011 assassination attempt) – beloved by even some Republicans.
McSally has been polling 7-8 points behind Kelly on the RCP average and has been trending ever so slightly downwards since the start of the campaign. The GOP could very well retain this seat in the fall, but polling, fundraising, the national climate, and a non-empty GOP primary are all big thorns in McSally’s side, as well as a fractured base of support (exacerbated by the fact that Kelli Ward is now AZ-GOP chair).
Personally I think Ducey knew exactly what he was doing when he appointed McSally. She’s no longer a rising-star fighter pilot – one of her engines is on fire, she’s taking flak from friendly forces on the ground, and she’s coming in for one hell of a crash landing.
AZ Dems attitude about this race is a simple one. To quote a favorite line of Gabby and Mark’s:
“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
hunter15991 Rating: Likely McSally, Kelly uncontested. Leans Kelly general.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this read! I’m going to try to knock out Maricopa County candidates today (and possibly other large counties like Pima) and get to the legislative ones this weekend. Any update due to signature challenges or fundraising reports dropping should come closer to the end of the month.
I’ll be splitting up my “endorsements” (both Dem. and “best-case R”) on each page and then again all at once at the end of this series. They’ll be listed in the comments, for posterity.
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Hunter's Moon ~ Part 1

This one is turning out to be a bit of a monster, so I thought I may as well post the first part before it gets any longer.
I know some of you liked the last one, if you have any suggestions for future stories, especially creatures you'd like to see featured as our villain-of-the-week, let me know.

“L’amour est un oiseau rebelle…” The music poured out of the singer like audible crystal, a sensuous rush of sound, giving new life and force to Bizet’s music. The singer smiled bewitchingly, her dark eyes, and malevolent smile promising all the raptures of worldly pleasure, at the cost of unbearable misery. Maggie almost dropped her shotgun, as the force of the music hit her, she stumbled back off balance, leaving herself wide open to an attack.
I watched Maggie trip and aimed my gun at the other woman. I looked at the singer, a dark-haired Latin beauty, and the image shifted. The image of the beautiful singer was suddenly a ghostly, ethereal shroud, surrounding the creature’s true form. The creature beneath the ghostly veneer of the Mask that still hung about her was shriveled and emaciated, the sagging skin of its body covered in closely linked scales like the hide of a fish, it’s limbs were too long for its short torso, and ended, both feet and hands, in long, cruelly curved talons.
Aiming my gun at the monster I shouted, “Hey, Fish-Face!” and fired.
{So, I should probably explain this situation. I’m Jim, the staggering redhead is my normally badass partner Maggie, and Fish-face is a Siren. Yes, like full on Homer, The Odyssey, sings-to-drown-sailors Siren, and right now it wants my head on a stick.}
The Siren dropped flat, and the shot missed, but at least I got her attention away from Maggie. The downside was that I was now at the top of the Siren’s shit-list. I ran down the aisle of the abandoned theater, taking a running leap onto the stage, my bowie knife flashing out of its sheath as I ran. The Siren screamed its defiance at me in a high, melodious cry, and dashed forward its claws slashing looking to tear the flesh from my bones. I slipped away as the claws descended, but not quite fast enough, her claws nicked my shirt, tearing it easily, and drawing a line of blood down my chest. I dodged the next few attacks, which became wilder and wilder as the scent of my blood sent the Siren into a frenzy. Eventually, she did what I was waiting for, she opened her mouth and the song poured forth. I was hit with a wave of Glamour.
{What Homer missed about Sirens is that they would eat the sailors that washed up on shore, preferably while they were still alive and wriggling. Oh, and the sailors didn’t fling themselves overboard just for some really good showtunes, it was the Glamour. Glamour being the Jedi mind tricks that the Fae use to screw over humans. In the case of the Siren it ramps up the human libido from Ludicrous Speed all the way to Plaid, driving people so insane they sit there moaning in pleasure while the Siren devours them alive.}
The Siren stalked forward triumphantly; utterly certain I was helpless with ecstasy. Which is when I slit its throat.
{Why didn’t the Glamour work on me? It’s a long story, but the cliff’s notes are: I spent some time in the Unseelie Court of the High-Fae, the big boys of the magical world. While I was a less-than-willing guest of the Gentry, I was treated to every magical party-drug and aphrodisiac in existence. A Siren is what you call Wild-Fae, the much less powerful magical creatures that inhabit Earth rather than the separate planet/dimension/plane of existence of Faerie. After what I’ve gone through, no way this bush-league poser is going to get me with a Glamour.}
The Siren didn’t even have the chance to scream before my blade severed her windpipe. Her blood didn’t spurt out in a fountain of red gore like a human’s would have, instead it oozed out of the cut, thick and black as pitch. The Siren flailed wildly with its long, sharp claws, but it was no use, it was soon dead.
Ignoring the writhing Siren, I turned and met Maggie as she jogged up to me.
“Damn.” She said. “How the hell did that thing get me?”
{It’s a good question. Maggie went through a similar experience as me when she was a gladiator in the household of our High-Fae “host”. Normally, we’re both pretty close to immune to the effects of Wild-Fae Glamour.}
“You did good, most people would have been flat on their backs after a hit like that.”
“You didn’t even blink.” Maggie said, genuine admiration in her voice.
“Yeah,” I said feigning flippancy, “I’m used to people screwing with my libido.”
Maggie bit her lip, contemplating the dying siren, uncomfortable as ever with the off-hand mention of my ordeal in Faerie.
{The woman was pumped full of Faerie steroids, stimulants, and more combat drugs than you can shake a stick at and forced to fight to the death against all manners of horrible monstrosities, for the entertainment of a crowd of inhuman psychopaths, and she honestly thinks I had the worse deal. I think she’s insane, at least I had a soft bed on occasion.}
Suddenly she looked over at me and exclaimed. “You’re bleeding.”
I looked at her confused, and then the pain started, as if it had been waiting to be acknowledged.
“Come here.” Maggie said, her voice clinical and calm now that there was a concrete problem to deal with. Maggie poked and prodded at the cut that ran down the left side of my chest, narrowly missing the symbol inscribed there above my heart.
{That would be the brand, Maggie’s got one too. It’s the symbol of a High-Fae’s ownership. Brands are pretty complex and no two are ever quite the same, but all the Gentry’s slaves have them. They do a bunch of things, but the highlights are that they give us the Second Sight, which is how I could see the Siren’s true form, ensure our obedience to our master’s orders, and slow the ageing process down to a snail’s pace.}
“It’s not deep, I’ll clean and bandage it once we get back to the car.” Maggie said, her callused fingers, surprisingly soft on the skin of my chest. I acted purely on reflex, without thinking, and grabbed her hand from my chest, raising it to my lips and softly kissed the tender skin on the underside of her wrist. A sudden pain shocked through my right side, and I let go of Maggie’s hand as she increased the pressure on the nerve point in my neck with her free hand.
She let go quickly once I had stopped. Deliberately, refusing to address what had just happened, Maggie turned and started walking towards the exit.
{Believe it or not there’s nothing romantic between Maggie and I. No, seriously, I would have reacted that way to just about anyone. I spent my time in the Unseelie Court as part of a High-Fae noble’s harem, nymphomania was one of the little… quirks I picked up. I’m getting a handle on it, but I still slip up sometimes, it’s a fun side effect of all that magical LSD I was on, my hormones are all out of whack. Sure, Glamour can’t touch me, at least Glamour as weak as a Wild-Fae’s, but put me close enough to another organic being for long enough, and my own hormones will drive me just about insane. Faerie Drugs: Not Even Once, Kids.}
We got the scene pretty well cleaned up. We scoured as much of the blood as we could find off the stage and burned the body and the rags in the parking lot.
{The less that’s left, the better. Technically, neither Maggie nor I exist according to official records, that happens when you spend an unknown amount of time in another dimension and/or planet, and we don’t want any suspicious remains fouling that hustle if we can avoid it.}
Maggie got me bandaged up, thankfully, without any more shenanigans from my overactive hormones.
We drove hard all night, crossing the Red River from Oklahoma into Texas just as the sky was beginning to lighten in the East. Finding a no-name motel in a place that was about a full herd short of being a one-horse town, we stopped to catch some rest. Maggie passed out on her bed, dead to the world, and was still sleeping when I woke up. I was in better shape since I had been able to sleep in the car. Pulling out a laptop, I set it up on the cheap pasteboard table in the room. Hooking up to the motel’s WiFi, I began looking for another case.
{This is what we do; ever since we stumbled out of Faerie, and back onto Earth Maggie and I have crisscrossed the United States finding and killing any of the Wild-Fae that we can get our hands on. The hours are shit, but at least the pay is too.}
I surfed various regional news sites, looking for the signs that I had learned to recognize as the tell-tale signatures of Fae activity.
{It's not that hard really, once you know what to look for. Mostly it’s just the weird, a sudden rash of coincidental deaths all around the same warehouse, a bunch of children vanishing from out of locked houses with no signs of forced entry, or a string of disappearances from an opera house. You get the idea.}
I finally found something that looked promising from a local paper out of West Virginia. Knowing that Maggie would want to take a look when she woke up, I bookmarked the page, and went out to get a cup of coffee. There was a small convenience store, about a mile down the dusty strip of pavement. The store had a self-serve pot of drip coffee that looked like it had been sitting on its burner since the days of Pecos Bill, I poured myself a paper cup full, and savored its heavily stewed taste while I browsed the selection of candy bars, finally choosing one for myself and for Maggie.
{About the food. The Gentry feed their slaves on Faerie food, a substance that messes with human brain chemistry. Basically, human food has little to no taste anymore, except for the absolute extremes, hence the bitter coffee and the sweets. Not an ideal solution, but you can only handle so much bland before you go nuts.}
Maggie was awake when I got back to the motel, pacing the room, with rapid, irritable steps. She glanced at me as I came through the door and threw the candy bar across the room to her. Maggie’s face lit up when she saw the treat, and she groaned as she bit into the candy, closing her eyes in satisfaction. A little electric thrill ran through me at the sound, as my breathing sped up and my pulse began to race. I sat down in the chair by the table, and concentrated on booting up the laptop, not wanting to repeat last night’s incident.
“So, I think I spotted a job.” I said, with an attempt at casual speech.
“Awesome.” Maggie said, though around the candy bar it sounded more like “Awl-shub”.
“West Virginia. Disappearances from a local park.” I continued.
“Body count?” Maggie asked, licking melted chocolate off her fingers with relish.
“None confirmed, but 3 missing.” I replied.
“Who were the victims?” Maggie asked, still looking at the candy bar wrapper as if in the hope that it was going to spontaneously generate more chocolate.
“College students, two male and one female.” I said, finally grabbing the empty wrapper from her and throwing it in the trash.
“When were they taken?” Maggie asked, sighing forlornly at the trashcan.
“All within the last week, about one every two days.”
Maggie’s head snapped up, all focus now. “How long since the last disappearance?”
I nodded; I had been thinking the same thing. “Yesterday,” I replied, “the next disappearance should be tomorrow.”
Maggie and I wasted no time, we showered and changed with a precise, efficient routine established by long practice, and within the hour we were in our car on route to West Virginia.
“Spill.” Maggie said as the car rumbled across the Mississippi.
“Spill what?” I asked, nonplussed.
“You’ve been wearing your I-have-a-theory face since we hit Arkansas, and I’m tired of waiting. So, spill.” Maggie said impatiently.
“I don’t have an I-have-a-theory face” I responded indignantly.
“Yes, you do. It looks half-way between smug and constipated. Now, spill.”
{No comment.}
After a pause long enough to recover the shreds of my ravaged dignity, I finally relented. “Today’s October 28th right?”
“Yes. And?” Maggie said, clearly not comprehending the significance of this fact.
“Which means that the next kidnapping should happen tomorrow, the 29th.” I continued.
“And this is important because…?”
“Because, 2 days after that is October 31st.” I prompted waiting for a connection.
Maggie was still confused. “A little more info for those of us playing the home game here, please.” She was starting to get irritated now.
“Halloween?” I asked incredulously. “The Feast of Samhain?”
“Samhain? Samhain?” Maggie mused, a light finally clicking on. “Isn’t that one of the Fae Holidays?”
“Yeah,” I said, surprised that it had taken this long to spark the memory. “it’s one of the 4 High Holidays in the Gentry’s calendar. Samhain marks the death of Summer; it was always a big deal for the Unseelies. I’m shocked you don’t remember.” I said, looking curiously at Maggie.
“Honestly, they fed us a bit more, and there were a few more fights than usual around festival time but otherwise,” Maggie shrugged. “it was business as usual.”
{It’s easy to forget sometimes, given that we only have each other to lean on for support, but we really had very different experiences on the other side. I spent my time in the Master’s residence, entertaining and amusing his guests and household. Maggie spent her time in the fighting pits. She never really saw the Gentry, except at a distance, and certainly never talked to them. I on the other hand, had way more quality time with the bastards than I wanted to remember.}
“So, tell me more about Samhain.” Said Maggie of the one-track-mind, thankfully dragging the topic back to the job at hand.
“Samhain is one of the Unseelie festivals, it marks the death of Summer and their victory over the Seelie Court.”
{In some stories the Seelie are the good guys, the nice and gentle Faeries that help humans. And if you’ll swallow that line, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn, and some farmland in Florida to sell you. In reality, the Seelie and Unseelie are the same dicks with different paint jobs.}
“There was always a big ass party the week leading up to October 31st. Same thing with the Winter Solstice.”
{The other two holidays were the Seelie festivals, Beltane in the Spring and the Summer Solstice. Not a fun time to be living in an Unseelie household, believe me.}
“Why were they so important, you make it sound like these festivals were a big deal.” Maggie said shrugging.
“They are a big deal.” I replied. “It has to do with possession of the Gate, it’s an old treaty the Courts worked out to avoid a war.”
{The Gate is the main portal between Faerie and Earth. Oh, there are doors all over the place if you’re unlucky enough to find one, but those are temporary, and pop up randomly. Maggie and I jumped through one of those when we made our great escape. The Gentry, can’t use the smaller doors. Well, they can, but if the door closes while they’re on our side, they’re cut off from Faerie and lose most of their power. That’s why the Gate, the only stable, permanent portal is so important, it allows them access to Earth with their power intact. The treaty allows each court possession for half the year.}
“The Unseelie rule from sundown on the longest day of the year until sunrise after the longest night, and vice-versa for the Seelie. Each court is allowed to cross in force only twice a year, hence the festivals.” I finished, feeling a little silly giving a lecture on High-Fae politics.
“And Samhain, is one of the nights when they can cross.” Said Maggie, carefully, as if chewing through the information.
I nodded giving her time to think.
“So, why would Wild-Fae be preparing for a High-Fae festival?” Maggie wondered aloud.
“I don’t know.” I replied.
{What? I can’t know everything. Besides this was my first October since we’d escaped. How was I supposed to know what Wild-Fae did for Halloween? Whatever their holiday plans, you can bet they're nastier than stealing candy and egging houses.}
“The Wild-Fae sometimes like to pretend they’re High-Fae, maybe its something like that.” I suggested.
Maggie looked skeptical, and to be honest I wasn’t buying either, but neither of us had a better idea.
“How do you know all of this anyways?” Maggie asked shaking her head, as if to clear it of useless speculations.
“Pillow talk.” I said bluntly.
{Look, I don’t care if it’s a teenager on prom night, or a nigh-immortal-near-omnipotent douchebag, you get someone warm and satisfied and they’ll tell you anything you want to know… and lots of stuff you didn’t. Want to hear about an immortal sadist’s mommy issues? Yeah, neither did I.}
Maggie made a gagging noise in the back of her throat, squirming uncomfortably at the implications of my statement.
It was early morning on the next day before we arrived at the park in West Virginia where the abductions had taken place. It was an out-of-the-way place, a bit of lawn with a swing-set and some picnic tables, adjacent to a large tract of overgrown woods that was riddled with hiking trails. Maggie and I talked it over briefly and decided to check the place out before the sun came up properly. We cast about on the grass for a little while with flashlights, before deciding that the abductions must have taken place on the hiking trails themselves. Arming ourselves we set off into the woods. It wasn’t long before we found the tracks. They lead off the main trail and onto an overgrown, little-used path that snaked its way through the trees.
{It’s easy to find evidence of Fae, the damn things aren’t exactly careful. Fae rely on their Glamour and Masks to keep themselves hidden from humans, and that works pretty well, unless the Fae isn’t around to keep the mind-fuckery going. Cameras, footprints, corpses, will show the Fae in all their hideous reality. Luckily for humanity, people have been faking evidence of the Fae for centuries, so the few pieces of genuine evidence that surface are always dismissed as hoaxes.}
Maggie and I moved as silently as we could through the trees, cresting a small rise, we followed the footprints until we saw, what was plainly, a small camp hidden in a clearing behind a screen of thick brush. We crouched in the bushes, our breathing shallow as we watched the camp in silence. Suddenly, we heard voices rasping and chittering from across the small clearing. Five hunched forms shuffled into view, their skin was dark green, sagging, and dry like a lizard’s, they had bald heads, large pointed ears and bulging eyes. Goblins, I thought, weird, I hadn’t seen them since…
“Yeeeeeeahhh!”
My thought was cut off by a high, keening, shriek of rage, fear, and hatred. Before I could move, Maggie was charging across the open space, going from a crouch to a dead run like a sprinter at the blocks.
The first goblin turned at the sound, taking Maggie’s knife square in the center of its scrawny chest. Maggie twisted the blade and yanked, drawing the keen steel out of the first goblin and across the throat of a second in a glittering arc that spattered her in blood. One of the goblins tried to run, Maggie’s arm, already cocked back from the slash across the goblin’s throat, flashed forwards sending the knife in a spinning wheel of death to bury its point between the fleeing goblin’s shoulder blades. The remaining goblins tried to rush Maggie, one of them launching itself into the air in a flying leap while the other charged in low, teeth bared. Maggie never batted an eye, she snatched the leaping goblin out of the air with a fluid effortless movement, swinging the creature by one bony arm into its charging companion. The two goblins had barely landed, sprawled in a heap, when Maggie was on top of them, bashing their heads into the dirt with savage, frenzied relish. Five goblins killed in as many seconds. I advanced slowly into the clearing, leaving my gun and knife beside Maggie’s abandoned shotgun. I was wary of another goblin attack, but I sure as hell didn’t want Maggie to think I was a threat.
“Mags?” I said gently, circling around slowly so that I was inside her line of sight. Maggie looked up from the pulped remains of the goblin skulls she held in her hands, there was a snarl on her lips and a wild light in her eyes, she was soaked in blood from the waist up. She looked feral, and I shuddered involuntarily at the sight.
“Maggie, it’s okay.” I said softly, holding up my empty hands to show that I was unarmed. “It’s all right.” Maggie looked at me warily, and for a moment I thought she was going to attack, but she suddenly collapsed, her limbs shaking as huge, gasping sobs wracked her body.
{Here’s the thing, when the Gentry break out the chemistry set, they don’t really give a damn about the small print on the label. When Maggie and the rest of the gladiators in the fighting pit were pumped full of magical steroids, somehow no one mentioned that chief among the many, many side-effects was sporadic bouts of homicidal rage. I thought I had it bad until the first time I saw Maggie hulk out. Luckily, we were able to find a new car.}
I got Maggie bundled up in my coat, and half supported, half carried her back to the car, managing to grab the guns and our knives along the way. I drove us to the nearest motel I could find and paid cash for a room, thanks-be to whatever benign force that’s out there that black cloth doesn’t show bloodstains easily. I herded Maggie into the room just as the sun crested over the horizon. Maggie showered and crawled into bed, while I bagged up our stained clothes and cleaned the gore off Maggie’s knife. With nothing left to do I sat at the end of the bed and thought about our next move.
Prev: Rainbow's End
submitted by Vincere_Aut_Morire to HFY [link] [comments]

Collusion or Not:

Last Friday I played a tournament that I play every week and need some feedback on how it played out.
45 people entered the tournament and it is down to 5 players. 3 normal regulars, 1 angry regular, and 1 new guy. Normally when we get down to the money everyone votes to chop or not. Everyone but the 1 angry regular votes to chop which is normal for him so no one even mutters a complaint. Nothing wrong with not wanting to chop and I have even done it on a few occasions.
He had second to last in chips but not judging that.
This is a regular who is always angry at everything. Someone raises him he rants about it, someone calls with a worse hand and manages to win he rants even louder and longer. He throws his cards down and gets warned at least once a night about it. Overall he is a terrible player to play with. Mind you this is just a cheap $60 tournament and from table talk he owns a few business and makes good money.
To get back to the tournament.
5 left and it takes another hour to knock 1 out to get down to 4. Another hour and it is down to 3. Him, me, and 1 of the other regulars.
Now angry regular is middle stack, I am chip leader and the remaining guy had just a few big blinds behind the angry regular.
Both go all in and the regular wins leaving the angry guy with just 2 big blinds left and he is next big blind.
This is where the problem lies.
I raise to 2 bb without even looking at my cards to put the angry guy all in. The regular calls and angry guy looks down at his cards and begins cussing and mucks his hand. Me and the regular check down and regular guy wins with a very small pair. No nuts or anything.
Well angry guy did not like that and rants and raves that we were colluding. Demands floor who comes over and rules in me and the regular favor.
Next hand angry guy is small blind with only enough to call. We both just call and see a flop.
Flop comes KK3. Regular checks and I check. River comes 4. Rainbow. Regular and I check. Turn comes 5. Regular and I check.
Angry guy cheers and flips over AK. Regular guy flips over KJ. I flip over 67 for a straight and win the pot.
Floor was near by and again ruled in our favor as neither of us had the nuts. Floor threaten to call security and ban angry guy if he continued to cause a scene. He storms out cussing.
Floor sided with us but a few other players have sided with the angry guy. One guy in particular who was ranting at me most of tonight's tournament about it and ended up getting warned before he got knocked out and left.
Was we in the wrong? Isn't it better to aim to knock someone out if you are given the chance and by betting with a great hand you risk the others in the hand folding and giving the all in a greater chance of winning.
The grey area which has me second guessing myself is I played that way because I knew if he got knocked out me and the other guy would chop and end the night.
submitted by noideawhatsup to poker [link] [comments]

Verbally said 300 but tossed in 3 red chips

On the river, it was my turn to act and I said 300, and I grabbed a handful of chips (3 red chips totaling 15) and threw it into the middle. The pot was around 240. The dealer then says 300, and an old guy maybe 80-90 threw 3 red chips in. I table my hand and he says oh I guess you did have a good hand. I was then like, the bet was 300, and he was like what there was no way I was calling 300 I just had a pair of 77s.
The floor was called over and ruled that it was going to be 15.
First of all, why would I bet 15 into a pot of 240, and second since the dealer reaffirmed my bet, shouldn't it have stood? Verbal > everything else right?
I guess this is a lesson to me to always physically put the full amount in, or maybe wait and confirm the call before tabling my hand... but I was feeling lazy sigh.
Was the ruling correct?

So the next time I have headphones on and someone says all in, and throws in like 5 red chips, if I match the 5 red chips thinking that was the bet, but then they tell me it was an all-in I can take it back? Even if they go like, I have to nuts revealing their hand??
submitted by kaoisa to poker [link] [comments]

I am about to post the 3000 most common words in the English lexicon. Wish me luck...

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In the video shown below, Darvin Moon hits the ‘nuts’ on the river at the 2010 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event, but is given a one-hand penalty for checking. If you are the last to act on the river holding the best hand, you have to bet. While he claims ignorance of the rule, unfortunately ignorance of the law is not a defence. "TDA Rule 61: Ethical Play Poker is an individual game. Soft play will result in penalties, which may include chip forfeiture and/or disqualification. Chip dumping and other forms of collusion will result in disqualification." Not betting the nuts with the last action is soft play. Soft play "will" result in penalties, not "may" result in Example 1: Say you hold the nuts on the river and you figure your opponent has a medium strength hand.The pot size is $5.80 and you both have $7 left to bet. You think that a bet of $4 will get called about 50% of the time by your opponent. This is a discussion on Not betting the nuts on the river within the online poker forums, in the General Poker section; While playing at the Harrah's in New Orleans over the weekend, I saw a Betting the Nuts on the River (Did You Know?) Actually, there is no rule against checking the nuts when last to act on the river. Really, there is not. Read on for an explanation, and a little "proof" that the rule does not exist. : )

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