I help someone get revenge on their gold-digging ass of an SO
This happened some years ago but was just reminded of it, so here you go Reddit! I worked as a front desk agent in a large luxury hotel chain for some years. One particular hotel I worked at was located really close to the downtown area and so we got a large number of young, very wealthy, business people who loved to party. I usually worked the 2nd & 3rd shifts which meant I got to see loads of drunken hookups, breakups, cheating, hookers, and more. This particular one though...this is one I will never forget. I was working at the desk when a group of young, well-dressed men come walking in. They've all clearly been drinking, but aren't so drunk that they can't walk right and hold a conversation. One of them comes up to me and tells me that while he and his friends were at the bar, a woman was hitting on him, and even though he told her no multiple times she wouldn't stop. So he and his friends left and it wasn't until they got in the Uber that he realized he didn't have his room key anymore. He thinks she took it and he's concerned that she may come up to his room, he asked that I deactivate his keys and if she does come up to the hotel to not let her in. When he was telling me all of this, it didn't sit right with me. He and his friends were all grinning about it and snickering amongst one another. Then he gave a clear description of her, without being asked. Told me height, body shape, hair color, and style, the kind of dress she was wearing. All while saying it in a mocking tone. Now, this could have easily been because he thought the whole thing was ridiculous or was too drunk to take it seriously, but it really didn't sound right to me. Either way, I did as I was trained in that situation. I pulled up his reservation, deactivated the keys as requested, made him a new set when he showed me his ID, and even offered to move him to a new room if that would make him feel more comfortable. He and his buddies all laughed a little at that and he declined, took the keys and they went to their room. About an hour or so later, the woman he described showed up. Now, by this point, my relief for the night had also shown up and was sitting at the front desk while I was in the back office counting down my cash drawer. I hadn't had a chance to tell him about the woman. Just as I'm walking out of the back office with my bag and about to leave, I see my coworker buzz the doors open and the woman comes rushing in, cuts through the lobby and down the hall to the elevators. She was barefoot, holding her heels in her hands, and knew exactly where she was going. I rushed up to him and told him what the man from before had told me about her. My coworker looked at me confused. He then pointed to the screen that had the reservation pulled up and told me that when the woman arrived, she went to use the room keys and they didn't work. So he asked for her room number and last name, she gave both and her name is on the reservation. I looked at the reservation and down in the notes, there was a woman's name listed. The man from before was listed as the primary, but her name was listed as secondary with his consent to be in the room. I was confused, I thought maybe she wasn't the same woman he was talking about. But, to be on the safe side I called the man in his room and told him the situation and that we allowed a woman, fitting that description he gave, to enter the building because she confirmed her name was on the room. He laughed, said he forgot her name was on the room and asked that I remove it. I was now super confused, I asked to make sure: Me: "Sir...just to be clear, the woman you met at the bar tonight was with you at check-in hours ago and was allowed keys then, but now she is not?" Him: (laughs to all his friends in the room) "Awww....guys I confused the poor girl." (gets back on the phone with me) "Yeah sweetheart, she's banned from the room. Don't worry about the other details, just take her name off." Me: "...I see. Then, if she isn't going to be on the room anymore, would you like us to call the police and have her removed from the property?" Him: "Hahaha...woah! That's too far there. Don't worry, she'll get the hint soon enough." We ended the call there and I got really suspicious of this. I told my coworker to not do anything and that I was going to stick around for a bit to see if anything happened. A short time later the woman came off the elevator, pouring tears, sobbing while on the phone with someone. She sat down in our lobby and my coworker and I tried to look busy while eavesdropping hard on her phone call. She was sobbing on the phone to her mom and sister. From what she told them, she was invited out to spend the week with her boyfriend meeting all of his old college buddies. This being their first-night they all met up for dinner and drinks. After a bit, she went to the restroom and when she came back she caught her boyfriend hitting on another woman. His friends all bet that he wouldn't do it. When she confronted him pissed off, he called her a bunch of names and humiliated her in front of his friends and the entire bar. All of his friends joined in on mocking her and he threw in her face that she was "nothing without him" and dumped her right there. He and his friends then took an Uber back and left her stranded at the bar with no money and no way back. She then had to use her phone's GPS and walk back to the hotel from the bar, barefoot (she had heels, and walking 2 miles in those was not going to cut it). She was asking her mom and sister for help as he wouldn't let her in the room to get her luggage or her wallet. My heart broke. I felt horrible. I helped this guy treat this poor woman like crap and now he and all his friends were up there laughing at her while she's sitting in our lobby sobbing and with nothing. I went over to our snacks area in the lobby, grabbed her a bottled water, and brought it to her. I told her that I couldn't help but overhear the conversation and was very sorry for her situation and asked if she would like us to help. I informed her that if he was keeping her from getting to her things, we could call the police and have them force him to hand over her things so she could leave if she'd like. Or if she wanted to let her mom or sister pay for a room we'd be happy to give her a very low rate in a room far from him. She thanked me, took the water, and tried to calm down and talk to me about what all was happening and what her options were. Eventually, we decided on her staying in the hotel for the night and figuring out the rest in the morning. As we make it to the desk, she asks me to try and run her credit card to see if it has enough on it for another room. I ask her what she means by "another room" and she tells me that she's actually paying for the room he's in. That his name is on the room because he booked it, but it's her card paying for everything. This intrigued me. I asked why she was paying for the room if it was in his name. She told me that she's the one with a job, not him. That he hasn't been able to find a job in his field since graduating from college and is essentially living off of his parents' money. But just after they started dating, his parents cut him off, so he's been living off of her money. That's why she was so upset and confused by how he had been acting all night, he was sweet and doing everything for her back home, but since he met up with his friends he did a 180 and hasn't been the same guy the entire time. I wanted to tell her that it was obvious he was using her for the money and that he would probably blame his friends for all of this and try to get back with her later on. But I doubted she would have listened to me or cared for a complete stranger to butt in on her personal life like that. So instead, I offered up a sweet piece of revenge. I informed her that, considering she's the one paying for the room, if she can confirm that it is her card on file with some sort of photo ID and verify the last 4 digits of the card number (That's honestly all this hotel company required) then she could, if she wanted to, kick him out of the room and keep it all to herself. But, considering how poorly her night has been, if she were indeed able to prove she is the one paying for the room, then I'd be more than happy to provide for her the biggest luxury upgrade we offered at our property. Largest suite we had, full hotel ammenity access, I'd even have my coworker fish out a bottle of champagne and some fresh strawberries for her to have sent to her room. All free of charge. She was taken aback by the offer and was very sincerely tempted, she looked like she was about to say no. Then I told her that since she would be upgrading her room, that would require moving her things from that room and into her new one. Which mean the room that she is currently listed in would need to be vacated immediately, if anyone were to remain in the room after we have demanded it be vacated, we are required to have them escorted off the property or they pay for the room. Their choice. She then thought about it, pulled up her card's banking app and showed me the screen. It had a photo of her, her full name, the card's full number, and the hold from our hotel for the room. She asked if that worked. It was good enough for me. I quickly upgraded her, moved everything over in the system and before I could say a word to my coworker he was already grabbing a set of master keys, a bell cart and was asking her what her luggage looked like since he would be the one retrieving it for her to deliver to her room. He didn't want her to have to deal with her ex again. She smiled and told him which ones were hers and that she hadn't unpacked yet. My coworker runs down to the elevators and up to fetch her things. While I make her a new set of keys and send her off to her new room. Once she's on the elevator, my phone at the desk starts ringing. It's the ex-boyfriend and he's very angry about why my coworker has entered the room and is taking her things. I calmly explain that I cannot give out the private information of any of our guests and that if he would like to remain in his room he will need to pay for it as there is no longer a method of payment on his room. He. Blew. Up. He's making a ton of demands and at the same time yelling at my coworker to stop what he's doing, but its obvious from the way he's yelling at him that my coworker isn't listening to him. I can even hear the guy's friends telling him to chill out and just pay for the room. I then explain that we will give him a courtesy 10 mins to make a decision. At which point, if he doesn't have payment ready then he must vacate the building or we will be forced to call the authorities and have him evicted. He continues to yell at me. He screams, swears, threatens, and yells for a solid minute before taking a breath. I then tell him he has 9 mins remaining and asks if he has come to a decision yet. He hangs up on me. 9 minutes later I call the room and he doesn't answer. I call again, no answer. I call a third time, he picks up, then immediately hangs up. I call the police and tell them what's going on and they said they're on their way. The officers arrive, I tell them what's going on, we go up to the room together and the man and his friends are all white as ghosts when they see the cops. The cops explain to the ex-boyfriend and his friends that they're being evicted. The ex-bf starts trying to talk to me but the cops stop him and tell him to only talk to them (I told him about his attitude on the phone before). The friends are all offering to pay for the room at this point and the cops look to me and ask if that would be acceptable. I smile very sweetly and say "no" and the cops nod and start rushing all of the guys to grab their things and leave the room. The ex-bf is the last one out the door carrying his 2 bags and complaining that he isn't even given a luggage cart and has to carry his own things. His friends all look pissed at him. I go with the officers to escort all of them out of the building and run into my coworker in the lobby. He waits until they're all outside in the parking lot to tell me that the woman is in her new room, loves it, and said no to the champagne, she just wanted to sleep. I didn't get to see her before she left town the next day, but the ex-bf did try calling our hotel to complain a number of times and even tried leaving some bad reviews of us online and lied through all of it. I hope she doesn't have to ever deal with him again. Edit: Thank you all so much for the awards! It's only been 1 day and I'm blown away by how much this story was loved! I normally do post my hotel stories to talesfromthefrontdesk but felt that this one would work here too so I posted it here first. Glad I did and I plan to repost there as well. Thank you all again for the love! I have a lot of asshole stories from working in that industry, very few wholesome stories, but this is my one and only revenge story. So really happy you all loved it! Thank you! Edit 2: Wanted to address some things you guys brought up in the comments:
I have no idea why she didn't use Uber instead of walking, probably due to the distress of the moment and didn't think of it. Honestly, if you're ever in that situation, despite being publicly humiliated like that, ask the staff for help. Either they think of something you're too panicked to think of or they'll be nice and pay for an uber for you. I've done it for people plenty when working in hotels. There's no shame in asking for help.
The credit card company is Capital One. I wasn't going to mention it since some subs immediately flag your story for listing major company names and didn't want to fuss with that. But yeah, their app lets you post a picture on your profile and, on most banking and credit card apps, you are able to pull up the full card number by clicking on the account information. Yes, technically I shouldn't have accepted this as a form of ID however, given how shit her night was, I didn't care.
My entitled grandma thinks she have the right to enter the house without permission, and gets mad when she caught me masturbating
So where do I even begin with this story... (This story is fairly long so TL;DR in the end). My grandma has a spare key to my parents house, she has had it since me and my sister was little so she could come babysit us when our mom worked evenings, she doesn't need the key anymore since me and my sister are adults now and has moved out, I guess my parents forgot about it. So I've been visiting my parents over the summer and on two occasions my grandma showed up at the house unannounced when I was the only one home, she didn't knock she just unlocked the door and walk straight in and went in to my room (also without knocking). The first time she snuck up on me while gaming and scared the crap out of me. Fast forward like a week... I was once again home alone (my parents were away shopping or something) and I went to my room for some "alone time" so to speak. There I was doing my deed, when I suddenly thought I heard something so I stopped for a short while and listened, but I didn't hear any more so I continued with the deed. A minute later someone rips the door open...it was my grandma....and there I was, fully erected dick in my hand and porn on my phone... She looked shocked like she's just seen a ghost, then she closed the door and walked away and I could hear her from the kitchen saying something like. "Stop that! Get dressed and come here you little perv!" I did as she said and dressed and got out to speak with her. She was mad and the conversation went like this: (G: grandma, M: me) M: I'm so sorry! But you can't walk in like that.. G: I have the key! And you wasn't opening when I knocked because you're in your room perving yourself (don't know how to translate it in to english, snuska sig in swedish). M: But you can't come as you want without permission, it's not your house.. G: It's not your house either, it's my daughters (aka my mom) and I can do whatever I want! M: Ehh...no you don't? Why do you even still have the key? G: That's beyond the point young man! (Yes she called me that) Why are you in there and committing blasphemy (again translation..) you should stop that sick behavior and focus on getting married (I'm 25, never even had a girlfriend, and she's always bugging me about getting married). And also I'm gonna press charges for sexual harassment! You exposed yourself for me! That's illegal! M: And I'm gonna press charges for trespassing! I'm just gonna show to security footage from the front door camera. And by the way I can do what I want with my own body in my free time! G: No you can't! That's sick and disgusting! I'm gonna tell you're mom that you exposed yourself for me! M: So you mean that you're gonna speak to my "manager"? (ironic) G: Eh no! I said you're mom! You bet she's gonna ground you for this! M: laughter You that I don't live here, and I'm 25. And I don't think my mom would care anyways after I show her the front door footage of you walking in without knocking! G: Whatever! You're still in big problems you nasty pervert! Then she stormed out and slammed the door. And I saw her messing with something by the door, probably tried to reach the front door camera, and I later saw on the footage her trying to jump for the camera, kind of a funny sight seeing a 155cm, 70year old lady jumping and punching for something out of reach. And I also saw her walking in without knocking and unlocking the door, it was the first thing she did when she got to the door. I called my mom after she'd left and told her this story, I didn't tell her about the masturbating of course, I said that I was changing clothes and happened to be naked when grandma opened the door. My mom laughed and said that she's gonna take the spare key back, or change locks. I still don't know if my grandma has talked to my mom yet after the incident since it happened fairly recently. I've went back to my apartment since this happened so I'm kind of curious about what my mom would ground me from, leaving my own apartment maybe... I will update if I hear anything more about this. Update comes right away, I wrote this story a while ago, new on reddit and didn't know about needing karma to post here. My grandma called my mom the next day and yelled at her for raising such a pervert of a son. She actually lied about the what happened and said that was walking around naked and that I answered the door and started to perv myself (which is her way of describing masturbation) in front of her and that I scared her for life and she that she taught that I was about to attack her sexually and all kinds of made up bullshit. She said that I'm going to jail for this and that I'm probably a rapist in disguise. My mom laughed at her at first and said that doesn't sound like anything tottedaman (me) would do and why would he do such a thing in front of his own grandma, she said that she's just lying and that I told her the truth and that her claims are ridiculous. My mom was also kind of pissed that she called me a "potential rapist" but she didn't see any point in arguing about it because my grandma always thinks she's in the right no matter what you tell her. My mom will probably only change the locks and don't say anything to her, getting the spare key back is probably impossible considering how my grandma is 🙄 My mom simply said that I shouldn't care about what that stupid bitch says and that I shouldn't worry about her pressing charges, she wouldn't do that she just uses that as a threat and if she were to she would have no evidence and also I have evidence of her walking in without knocking so I'm not that concerned about that. Thanks for reading! Sorry for it being so long. TL;DR: My grandma walked in unannounced and caught me masturbating, calls me disgusting gets mad and she told my mom that I exposed myself and that I'm a potential rapist.
This one happened to me today and I can not stop laughing at it. Phone call regarding wifi not working in a lady's room but works everywhere else in the house.
$Me = Zach from campfire stories (look it up) People keep asking, I am not him. Just read my lines in his voice. $CU = Clueless User or some snooty art girl $Me - Thanks for calling IT may I have your name please? $CU - Its Clueless User.
I input her name into the thing and it pops up red indicating a VIP who expects to be given whatever she wants. She usually gets it too.
$ME - So how may I help you today? $CU - So this will sound really weird and crazy, but I swear my wifi does not work right. Everywhere else I can work just fine, but as soon as I bring it home, it just stops working.
Oh fun one of THESE calls. Probably an all metal house or an old as dirt house.
$Me - So is it everywhere in your house? $CU - Yes... NO actually last night I worked while watching netflix on the tv in the living room and had zero issues. $Me - Well thats a good place to start. Lets go into your living room and test the wifi. $CU - Sure thing.
We test the wifi in every room in her house and find that the signal degrades significantly the instant she steps into her room.
$Me - OK this is going to sound like some James Bond scifi stuff but I bet something in your room is causing EM interference. Have you moved anything new into the room? I mean anything. A lamp, a microwave, coffee maker, mini fridge, or even non electronic stuff like metal? $CU - Who has a mini fridge in their room? (Laughs) $Me - I actually keep drinks in mine by my desk while I work. $CU - Oh. Well there is nothing like that. Plus the router is in the other room. Only thing over there are my art projects. $Me - OK. I am reaching WAY out there now. Is there a lot of metal content in that wall? $CU - No but there is a lot of metal on it. $Me - How so? You do metal work for your art? $CU - No I use it to hang my art. $Me - Its probably not it, but lets go ahead and send me a picture of it. I doubt that is whats causing it but might as well send me a picture.
She takes the picture and sends it to me. In a roughly 6x8 foot section of her wall is a mounted chain link fence with these little cut up coke cans as art hanging off of it. It took me a full minute looking at the absurdity of the picture in front me when the light came on.
$Me - Mam, that's a faraday cage. Well... sort of. $CU - What is a faraday cage.
I hear from the background. "I TOLD YOU!"
$CU - Ignore that, thats my son. We keep yelling at him to move the modem and router into our room but he says the fence is the problem. $Me - Well to be honest, it kinda is. No its not kinda, it definitely is. $CU - Huh? $Me - So a faraday cage is what is used to block signals. Basically any linked metal cage can create a field where signals have trouble passing through. $CU - This is that James Bond crap you were talking about? $Me - I mean kinda? Its not a full faraday cage because its just 1 side. Its why your wifi works but constantly cuts out and stays at half strength. A faraday cage has to actually enclose something to properly shield it from radio and em waves. But that chain link fence is in direct line of sight with the router. $CU - I... don't see how that is possible. It makes no sense. But you, my husband, and my 16 year old son all say the same thing. They all say moving that to the garage will solve my problems. $Me - I agree with your assessment. $CU - Are you willing to put your job on it?
She had me stay on hold for 30 minutes as she got her husband and son to move the art and fence to the garage.
$CU - Ok I am back. Pulling the ethernet cable... Huh that was fast. It instantly connected to the wifi. $Me - OK lets get connected again.
Ran ping test with -t -l 1400 and had zero dropped pings. Before it was every 3rd one. Speed test gave her the full speed for her area.
$CU - That was strange, well it is working now. How often you think this happens? $Me - I can legitimately state that I have never once run into this issue in my entire career. $CU - Seriously? $Me - Yup. Now I have run into weird things before. $CU - Like what? $ME - (All true stories.) In my parent's house, if you stand in the laundry room on wifi and I open both the fridge and freezer door in the kitchen, your phone will lose wifi connection. I had a friend who had to move his router 5 feet because a new lamp his mom loved was causing line of sight interference with his laptop. And my uncle decided to build an all metal house. Metal beams, metal roofing, and metal doors. He gets zero reception inside his house and has to run ethernet cables all over his home. $CU - So would running this ethernet cable through the wall be a better solution? $Me - Infinitely better.
I thanked her and immediately shared the picture with everyone on my team. Only 3 had to be told what a faraday cage was. I am so proud of my team.
This happened several years ago and to date is the most abrasive interaction I have had with other folks in public regarding my service dog (who is now retired.) EM: Entitled Mom, EK: Entitled kid, SD: Service Dog, Me: self explanatory I was maybe about 21 at the time and was in the beginning stages of really learning to be an adult on my own at the time. I had just moved out of my parents house and I to an apartment with a friend. Before this, I still lived at home with my parents and usually just went to school, work and didn't often go places alone because I'm kind of a homebody. So between school, work and the odd outting with my parents or friends everyone usually around me was really respectful and familiar with my service dog and my general rules about her. I didn't have issues usually And if I did, someone less anxious and more assertive was usually there to help me. This was no longer the case after I moved out. I was out and about running some errands on my own (which I was beginning to enjoy doing!) with my service dog at my side. Along the way, I realized I hadn't eaten in a while and decided to stop at the food court of the mall I was in right then for something quick and tasty. I got my food, found a seat, and began to get my SD focused and prepared to go through our usual process so I could get started on my meal. I'm not secretive or anything personally and usually I'm down to discuss my dog and educate if I have the time or energy with someone who is polite and well meaning. I have a really intense food allergy so that's what she is for. She also knows how to bring me a handfull of objects on command like an epipen, inhaler, or just lay down next to me to give me access to meds carried on her harness. It's really important that she not be disturbed while I have her check things because a missed alert can be life or death for me, not to be dramatic or anything. Breathing tends to be important. So I'm about to go through the process of having my dog do a check for me when I see a child making a beeline for my SD. She is harnessed, clearly and boldly marked and not facing this little girl. That doesn't matter though because the child is clearly too young or excited to read. EK: PUPPY! I placed a hand out instinctively just in time to keep her from touching my dog, who is still set to do her check thankfully. I try to be understanding with kids but I have a few hard and fast rules. I never reward attempts to touch without asking. I will stop and thank polite children tho. Each situation usually gets a conversation from me about how important working dogs are. However, even with polite children I do not stop my dog mid task for my own safety. Me: Oh no, Honey. Please don't touch the puppy. She has a really important job and she is working right now. This is usually a good enough explanation for most children about 2 and up. Not this one though because she immediately starts crying. I am talking full on pouring tears and a red face as she screamed loudly in the busy food court. I looked around for a parent and locked eyes with a round, blonde woman who was apparently staring icy daggers at me. EM: Why are you touching my child?! EK: Puppy! I WANT THE PUPPY. EM marches over to me from her table and demands that I just let her child pet my dog. I could feel the heat on my neck I was so embarrassed at all the staring faces. Me: I'm sorry, I really can't do that. This is my service dog and she's working right now. If I let her get distracted during her task, I can get really sick or even worse. EM: Service dogs are for disabled people! You obviously aren't blind and you dont look sick. Me: Thanks. That means she's doing a good job. EM: Whats wrong with you then? Just let her pet the dog. The child is carrying on incoherently during this exchange and has now thrown herself on the floor. My SD is not engaging her but is fond of children so she is looking at her with concern. I get more irritated because I will have to wait longer to eat now. Me: That's none of your business. Nobody is petting the dog. Can you please leave me alone? Your kid shouldn't be running at large dogs she doesn't know anyway. EM: I bet you're just faking it! I don't think pit bulls can even be service dogs. Me: Any breed can be a service dog, lady. Please go away and take your daughter with you. EM looks like I just slapped her in the face. She could tell I wasn't going to budge. She picked up the small screaming child, walked back to her table and put her in a stroller. She gathered her stuff and left. I breathed a sigh of relief and decided to check my phone for a minute so my SD could forget the ordeal and reset. I figured it was behind me and I could go back to what I was doing. Oh how wrong I was! Just a few minutes later, I could hear the screech of an EM heading back into battle. The child was still crying and this time she was accompanied by a security officer. EM: There! That animal bit my baby! My eyes probably looked like they were going to fall out of my head. I knew people had weird hangups about breeds but this lady had JUST been demanding her kid be allowed to pet my dog. I couldn't believe it! This particular security guard looked like he didn't want to be mediating between adults at all. He asked me if it was true and I of course said it wasn't. I told him that the child had run up to my dog and the mother was mad I wouldn't let my dog be pet. He asked if she was a service dog. I confirmed she was. He asked if she was trained to do a task to mitigate a disability. I confirmed she was. EM: She's lying! That mutt but my daughter and made her cry. EK: Puppy! (The child is visibly reaching for the dog) The security guard is clearly having none of her crap at this point. My SD is calmly sitting next to us during the whole ordeal, watching me. She doesn't exactly look viscious and is actually quite a sissy. At this point a girl (Nice Girl, NG) around my own age chimes in. NG: This lady and her kid were bothering OP. That child was never bitten. You have cameras right? The security guard confirms there are indeed cameras and says we will all need to follow him so he can check the footage due to the severity of the accusation. SG: Either I have to call animal control or the police. Harassing a service dog is a felony and a dog biting a child is a pretty big deal. Either way, someone is in trouble. EM looks panicked and starts to back pedal and says she's willing to drop it and everyone can go their own way. Her precious baby is fine after all. Me: I'm not willing to drop it. You lied about me. Let's go. Three more security guards show up and we all get escorted to the security office. Sure enough the footage shows that the kid never even got within arms reach of my dog and EM was harassing us. They ask me if I want to press charges and I say that I do. Police show up within a few minutes and I happen to know one of the officers because he's my ex boyfriends dad (we split amicably before we graduated high school). He knows me. He knows my dog. He loves my dog and has said she's one of the best trained dogs he's ever met. I usually wouldn't be petty but I excitedly greet him. He smiles and asks if it's ok to pet SD at the moment. I thank him for asking permission and say of course. EM looked like she could just throw something. The other officer takes my statement. In the end, the officers see the footage, EM gets arrested and extra charges thrown on for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. It was pretty wild. And my first real experience with entitled people on my own. The charge for harassing my SD ended up getting dropped but the other two charges stuck. I didn't care too much about that but hopefully she learned a lesson. I also did eventually get to eat.
Tales From a Small Town: Where I've seen the fleshy things before
When you live in Raw and you like someone, you can be sure that the rest of the townsfolk will find out in no time. We are the most gossipy people in existence–everybody knows everybody and a secret you might tell a close friend is sure to be passed on to an even closer friend of theirs. I'm looking at you, Mabel. When I was eighteen, I had the biggest crush a young girl could have. The object of my affections was Bo Davis. He was twenty years old at the time and worked as a farmhand on Mr Johnson's property which was located right next to the Lewises' house. As such, Bo of course knew and to my dismay was great friends with Rory and Matilda Lewis. This was obviously a cause for concern. I was worried that they'd badmouthed me in his presence, or worse, that Matilda was interested in him. My main concern was for any knowledge of this crush to reach them before I'd have the chance to properly talk to Bo myself. No matter how, I just knew they would try to ruin things for me. One night, my friend Mabel, she's the daughter of Camille and Matthew Freedman who run the only art supply shop in town, had come to visit the orchard to see me. We had been planning on going out but I was a bit down so we ended up sitting down on the swings in our garden to talk. She asked me what was troubling me and I confessed it all to her–my feelings for Bo just as well as my worries about him being friends with "the enemy". I told her to keep her mouth shut about it and she promised she wouldn't tell anyone. The next day, everybody knew. I had to learn it the hard way when Vasily and I went to spend the afternoon at Dante's after he had finished running errands for Donovan. This was back when I was still very new to the place and not even close to frequenting it the way I do nowadays, making the whole thing even more embarrassing to me. "So… Bo Davis, huh?" my brother asked casually, waving to Desiree who was on her bartending shift at the time. I took a deep breath. "How?" I asked sharply. "Oh. Wasn't supposed to get out then?" "Of course not. Who the hell told you?" "I heard it from Dallas Jones when I got Dad's whiskey earlier, he knows from Kathy Johnson and she heard it from your friend Mabel." He grinned awkwardly. "Sorry. I'm betting you told Mabel," he added. "She's getting it for this," I growled. "Hey, don't be upset now," Vasily tried to comfort me. "A four people chain ain't too bad. Could be more." "That's not helping." He shrugged, giving me another apologetic smile before glancing over at the entrance and quickly turning away again. "Well, then I bet you don't wanna know who just walked through the door." I spun around and there he was. Bo Davis was standing in the doorway, in all of his tall, tan glory. He looked around and upon spotting me took his hat off and walked up to me. I could tell he was grinning, but I couldn't place the look on his face. I cursed inwardly. He knew. I was sure he knew. Of course, Kathy Johnson had probably told him at work. "The two Bennetts," he greeted us. "Good to see you," he told my brother. "It's been a while." "Sure has," Vasily replied, looking unsure. "I'll be frank, I was looking for your sister. Would you give us a moment?" "Sure will," Vasily replied, still looking unsure but willingly getting up from his chair and walking off to the men's room. Oh fuck. I had a feeling this wouldn't be pleasant. I shrunk into my seat, looking up at the young man in front of me. "So, I heard something from Kathy, and I don't know if it's true, but…" "It probably is, go on." Screw you, Kathy. He smiled. "For real? That's… very nice. Do you wanna go dancing or something sometime then?" "What?" I must have looked flabbergasted. "Oh. Okay, this is awkward. See, Kathy told me you liked me and not gonna lie, I was pretty happy about that. I thought I'd ask if you wanted to go out, but if that was just some dumb gossip, I'm really sorry. Didn't mean to be all weird on you." "No, no, it is true!" I stammered, still absolutely aghast but very much trying to pull myself together. "I just kinda didn't expect you to… uh… I mean I'd love to go out." He beamed at me. We started off slowly. Our first date was at the college bar in town where all the younger people go to dance. I had an amazing time and Bo was the sweetest guy ever. A great dancer too. Afterwards, he walked me home and stayed a few minutes to introduce himself to Donovan. They had known of each other prior to that night of course, but Bo took it as common decency to say hello and Donovan loved it. "He's a good boy," I later overheard him tell Siobhan. "He's gonna have to stop hanging around the Lewises so much, but he knows what to say, I'll give him that." "And he seems to be such a hard worker," my mother answered eagerly. "I was scared she'd bring home some deadbeat. I love Pepper but you never know with that girl." I was happy. I was in love. Not just that, I saw myself having a future with him. I knew he did too. From then on, he would pick me up regularly until we'd spend almost every single day together. He wasn't pushy and the first time we kissed was amazing. Sure, we were both shy and clumsy as hell, but we didn't care. It was still the greatest feeling ever. This went on for one and a half months. And then it happened. Raw's mayor throws a party for all of us every year on his wife's birthday. It's this huge, grand festivity that everyone attends whether they want to or not. There's music blasted through speakers in the townsquare which is probably loud enough for them to hear it over in Pure and there's fireworks and free booze and cake. It's wonderful, actually. At that point, I had only attended it once before and I had absolutely loved it, so of course I was looking forward to going there with Bo that year too. Little did I know that after that night, I would spend the following birthdays of the mayor's wife locked inside my room, hugging my blanket and crying into my pillow while trying to keep myself from thinking of that young man I had so adored. I still remember standing side by side with him, watching as the first colorful sparks rose and exploded into the night sky when he leaned in and spoke into my ear. I couldn't understand him so I motioned for him to repeat himself. He shook his head, took me by the hand and led me off from the small crowd. We actually had to walk for a few minutes until the music had grown quiet enough for us to talk. With all the lights and noise having faded into the background, I almost felt relieved when I could hear his soft, warm voice again. "I've been wanting to tell you something. I don't want you to feel pressured so make of this what you will for now. So… I used to live with my parents until now but I talked to Mr Adams… he's the guy who used to live in that small, older house just up the street from yours. I've been wanting to move out for a while now and I've finally got enough money to actually think about it. Anyways…" He cleared his throat. "As I said, I talked to Adams and he's letting me have the house for a sum I can actually afford. Like, I will have to pay it off, don't get me wrong, but it's mine already. I'm moving in next week. Just gotta pack up my things." "That's awesome," I began, my cheeks warming up. "You'll be so much closer!" "Actually, about that. It really is pretty close. I know we haven't been a thing for long but I… I really want to have you with me. If that's too fast for you, it's okay. But just so you know… if you'd wanna come live with me, I'd love that." He smiled gently. "Of course, I was just super eager to move out already and you haven't even been with your family for too long, so I understand if you don't want to. Just letting you know. This is my invitation, basically." I was staring at him with wide eyes. That was a huge step. I had only lived in a set place for one year though, so moving wouldn't make much of a difference. I could always return home if something went wrong. I was lovestruck; I wanted this. I was about to tell him when he shook his head. "Okay, you look… affirmative," he said, chuckling a bit. "But please don't say yes just yet. I want you to really think about this before you decide. You gotta be sure, you know?" I shut my mouth again, nodded and smiled. "Wanna go back to the party then?" I suggested. He grinned. "Sure." Just as this word had left his mouth, a high-pitched, ghastly scream cut through the night air, causing me to gasp and stumble against Bo who quickly steadied me on my feet. He too looked shaken. "What was that?" I uttered, looking around frantically. We weren't close enough to the mountains for the creatures to be a threat; we were somewhere close to or behind the Johnsons' farm. There was no one else around but there were no dogs barking either. None of the telltale signs were there. Bo's brow trembled as he stood up on his tiptoes to get a better look at our surroundings. "Way too dark to see anything," he muttered. "Crap." "You think we should tell the others?" "No… we gotta check this out first. Could just be some animal. Foxes in heat can sound scary as hell too and I've seen one or two sneak around the farm before." "Don't leave me alone here," I pleaded. "Of course not." He offered me his arm. "Not letting you walk around in the darkness on your own." Pressing to his side, I followed him closer to the fenced area in front of the Johnson farm. It's not the biggest part of their land, simply the one where they grow their vegetables. I could barely make out anything, except for the short moments during which the sky would be illuminated by the bright colorful light of the fireworks. "Maybe we should get one of our dogs," I thought aloud. "I don't think we need to. That'd be such a huge detour." "Do you have some kind of weapon with you at least? Your knife maybe?" "Hey. Look at me." He kissed me on the forehead. "We'll just check this out. Nothing will happen. Not that I'd let you get hurt anyways." He winked. "No, for real. Everything's okay. It'll only be a minute." He took a step ahead into the darkness. Another scream pierced the silence and we instantly started into the direction it had come from. We were still close to the Johnsons' farm, now walking around the fenced area and finally coming to a halt in the back of their house. It wasn't all that quiet anymore though. We could hear a low, rattling sound which seemed to come and fade again in long intervals. It took me a while to place it. It was breathing. Someone or something was slowly breathing in and out, loudly too; yet they seemed to have trouble even doing so at all. It sounded almost like they were coughing with the way the air seemed to labor its way in and out of their lungs. It was raspy, heavy and deep. I had never heard anything like it before. The noises sent a chill down my spine as I tried to make out their source. "Something's moving over there," Bo whispered. I followed his pointing finger. He was right. There was something writhing on the ground. I could see slivers of some lighter color moving around in the darkness. "Is it an animal?" I breathed. "No… that'd be way smaller," he replied in a hushed tone. "We need to be careful, there's this muddy spot over there. The Johnsons' pet pig always splashes around in it. We might slip if we get too close." "You sure it's not just the pig then? That really did sound a little like a pig grunting just now." "It should be inside around now. You're right though, it might have run off somehow." He let out a sigh of relief. "I'll check. You stay here, I don't want you to slip in the dirt." I only reluctantly let go of his arm but stayed in place as he had asked. I watched the sheen of his brown leather jacket being swallowed by the blackness bit by bit. "Rossa!" he called out, presumably the animal's name, making a clicking noise with his tongue to get its attention. My heartbeat quickened when I heard his breath hitch. "What's wrong?" I whisper-shouted, a strange, nervous tingling sensation in my hands and cheeks. "This can't–" Bo's voice was breathless and stunned. It was cut off by an ear-piercing scream, his scream, and I lunged forward, slipping on the wet ground and falling flat into the dirt. My head made contact with something hard, a stone maybe, and I shrieked with pain. I yelled his name, but only received more cries of terror in response. I struggled to get up, not managing to catch my footing in the mud. "Where are you?" I screamed, now close to tears. I had lost all sense of orientation; his screams seemed to come from all around me. There was no light anymore, my head was spinning as I desperately spun around again and again hoping to spot his shiny jacket or the pale spot on the ground. "Where are you?!" I cried out once more, louder this time, a feeling in my chest like my heart was about to burst. From somewhere, I thought I could hear him shout at me to stay back, but his words faded into a sickening gurgle before more agonized howls followed. There was a ringing in my ears. I called his name, pulling on my own hair and sobbing in wild despair as the screams faded into silence, until suddenly, all the lights of the farmhouse came on at once. It was so bright I couldn't see anything at first. Blinded, I stumbled around, trying to find something to hold onto. "Good God…" The deep voice of an older man caught my attention, I recognized it to belong to Mr Johnson. The next thing I heard were three shots and a strange, crooked whimper. "Bo?" I asked once more into the blinding light. However it was Mr Johnson who responded. "Mother Mary… Pepper Bennett, right? Stay where you are!" He was speaking loudly but he sounded so afraid. He seemed like he was trying his best to stay calm though, talking to me in a forced soft but firm voice. "Don't move, okay?" I blinked. I was finally beginning to regain my vision. "Do not turn around!" the old farmer repeated. "I'm here. It's alright. Just don't turn around." But I did. I heard him approach me from somewhere behind my back and I turned my head just a little bit. I caught a glimpse of something indescribable. It wasn't like anything I'd ever seen before. It was lying on its stomach, pale and hairless and twisted and alien. I couldn't tell if it was a man or a beast at first. But I saw much more than that. I saw blood. A large, warm hand wrapped itself over my eyes. "Don't look," Mr Johnson uttered from right behind me, gently ushering me away. It was too late though. I couldn't scream anymore. My throat felt like it was burning. All I could do was sob silently as the farmer led me off and brought me back to Donovan and Siobhan who were both extremely confused but immediately took me into their arms. Mr Johnson had seen Bo and me leave the party. When we hadn't come back right away, he'd worried we might have been getting up to some kind of mischief. He followed us and was instantly alerted by our screams, so he ran into the house to turn on the floodlights and grab his gun. By the time he returned however, it was too late for Bo. The creature had already torn him apart when he came out to kill it. My parents brought me to the doctor that same night since I was dizzy and the ringing in my ears wouldn't stop. He said for the most part, it was probably the shock but that it appeared I had also sustained a light concussion from hitting my head. The Davises didn't put any blame on me. I however did. To this day, I'm not sure if I could have saved him, but I know I could have tried harder than I did. If I hadn't slipped, if I hadn't panicked… maybe I could have helped. I'm not "over" what happened to him. I just don't think of it as much anymore. I stopped spending hours just imagining where we would be today if he hadn’t died. I stopped sleeping for days on end because getting up felt pointless. I guess I stopped to tell myself it was my fault too. All of that stopped a long time ago. Deep down however, I know that a part of me died with him that day. Every year on the day of his death, I spend around three hours in the local cemetery to visit him. I always go there before the mayor's wife's birthday party starts so I don't have to hear any of the commotion. When I was still eighteen, I would spend almost every waking hour by his grave. It was hard to limit it to just once a year, but I'm glad I did. I knew I had to move on with my life eventually. As I said, it stopped a long time ago. I try to remember him instead of his untimely death. I try to remember his smile instead of the closed casket funeral. And when I leave again, I try to forget it all for a little while. Where the creature came from, no one knew. It wasn't like the others though. However it closely resembled the one we found in the abandoned house Rocco claimed was haunted. I'm sorry if this all reads as a bit jumbled. I still get very emotional thinking about it and I've never written it all out before. I don't think I want to ever again. Since this is my last chance, I guess I should take it to say that Bo Davis was a wonderful young man. I admired him, and no matter if we'd ended up living together or not, I know for sure I would have never stopped cherishing the memories I made with him. I still do. x Alien lights above the hills
Hi guys, I have been using reddit for years in my personal life (not trading!) and wanted to give something back in an area where i am an expert. I worked at an investment bank for seven years and joined them as a graduate FX trader so have lots of professional experience, by which i mean I was trained and paid by a big institution to trade on their behalf. This is very different to being a full-time home trader, although that is not to discredit those guys, who can accumulate a good amount of experience/wisdom through self learning. When I get time I'm going to write a mid-length posts on each topic for you guys along the lines of how i was trained. I guess there would be 15-20 topics in total so about 50-60 posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions. The first topic is Risk Management and we'll cover it in three parts Part I
Why it matters
Using stops sensibly
Picking a clear level
Why it matters
The first rule of making money through trading is to ensure you do not lose money. Look at any serious hedge fund’s website and they’ll talk about their first priority being “preservation of investor capital.” You have to keep it before you grow it. Strangely, if you look at retail trading websites, for every one article on risk management there are probably fifty on trade selection. This is completely the wrong way around. The great news is that this stuff is pretty simple and process-driven. Anyone can learn and follow best practices. Seriously, avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things: there's not some holy grail system for finding winning trades, rather a routine and fairly boring set of processes that ensure that you are profitable, despite having plenty of losing trades alongside the winners.
Capital and position sizing
The first thing you have to know is how much capital you are working with. Let’s say you have $100,000 deposited. This is your maximum trading capital. Your trading capital is not the leveraged amount. It is the amount of money you have deposited and can withdraw or lose. Position sizing is what ensures that a losing streak does not take you out of the market. A rule of thumb is that one should risk no more than 2% of one’s account balance on an individual trade and no more than 8% of one’s account balance on a specific theme. We’ll look at why that’s a rule of thumb later. For now let’s just accept those numbers and look at examples. So we have $100,000 in our account. And we wish to buy EURUSD. We should therefore not be risking more than 2% which $2,000. We look at a technical chart and decide to leave a stop below the monthly low, which is 55 pips below market. We’ll come back to this in a bit. So what should our position size be? We go to the calculator page, select Position Size and enter our details. There are many such calculators online - just google "Pip calculator". https://preview.redd.it/y38zb666e5h51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26e4fe569dc5c1f43ce4c746230c49b138691d14 So the appropriate size is a buy position of 363,636 EURUSD. If it reaches our stop level we know we’ll lose precisely $2,000 or 2% of our capital. You should be using this calculator (or something similar) on every single trade so that you know your risk. Now imagine that we have similar bets on EURJPY and EURGBP, which have also broken above moving averages. Clearly this EUR-momentum is a theme. If it works all three bets are likely to pay off. But if it goes wrong we are likely to lose on all three at once. We are going to look at this concept of correlation in more detail later. The total amount of risk in our portfolio - if all of the trades on this EUR-momentum theme were to hit their stops - should not exceed $8,000 or 8% of total capital. This allows us to go big on themes we like without going bust when the theme does not work. As we’ll see later, many traders only win on 40-60% of trades. So you have to accept losing trades will be common and ensure you size trades so they cannot ruin you. Similarly, like poker players, we should risk more on trades we feel confident about and less on trades that seem less compelling. However, this should always be subject to overall position sizing constraints. For example before you put on each trade you might rate the strength of your conviction in the trade and allocate a position size accordingly: https://preview.redd.it/q2ea6rgae5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=4332cb8d0bbbc3d8db972c1f28e8189105393e5b To keep yourself disciplined you should try to ensure that no more than one in twenty trades are graded exceptional and allocated 5% of account balance risk. It really should be a rare moment when all the stars align for you. Notice that the nice thing about dealing in percentages is that it scales. Say you start out with $100,000 but end the year up 50% at $150,000. Now a 1% bet will risk $1,500 rather than $1,000. That makes sense as your capital has grown. It is extremely common for retail accounts to blow-up by making only 4-5 losing trades because they are leveraged at 50:1 and have taken on far too large a position, relative to their account balance. Consider that GBPUSD tends to move 1% each day. If you have an account balance of $10k then it would be crazy to take a position of $500k (50:1 leveraged). A 1% move on $500k is $5k. Two perfectly regular down days in a row — or a single day’s move of 2% — and you will receive a margin call from the broker, have the account closed out, and have lost all your money. Do not let this happen to you. Use position sizing discipline to protect yourself.
If you’re wondering - why “about 2%” per trade? - that’s a fair question. Why not 0.5% or 10% or any other number? The Kelly Criterion is a formula that was adapted for use in casinos. If you know the odds of winning and the expected pay-off, it tells you how much you should bet in each round. This is harder than it sounds. Let’s say you could bet on a weighted coin flip, where it lands on heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. The payout is $2 per $1 bet. Well, absolutely you should bet. The odds are in your favour. But if you have, say, $100 it is less obvious how much you should bet to avoid ruin. Say you bet $50, the odds that it could land on tails twice in a row are 16%. You could easily be out after the first two flips. Equally, betting $1 is not going to maximise your advantage. The odds are 60/40 in your favour so only betting $1 is likely too conservative. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that produces the long-run optimal bet size, given the odds. Applying the formula to forex trading looks like this: Position size % = Winning trade % - ( (1- Winning trade %) / Risk-reward ratio If you have recorded hundreds of trades in your journal - see next chapter - you can calculate what this outputs for you specifically. If you don't have hundreds of trades then let’s assume some realistic defaults of Winning trade % being 30% and Risk-reward ratio being 3. The 3 implies your TP is 3x the distance of your stop from entry e.g. 300 pips take profit and 100 pips stop loss. So that’s 0.3 - (1 - 0.3) / 3 = 6.6%. Hold on a second. 6.6% of your account probably feels like a LOT to risk per trade.This is the main observation people have on Kelly: whilst it may optimise the long-run results it doesn’t take into account the pain of drawdowns. It is better thought of as the rational maximum limit. You needn’t go right up to the limit! With a 30% winning trade ratio, the odds of you losing on four trades in a row is nearly one in four. That would result in a drawdown of nearly a quarter of your starting account balance. Could you really stomach that and put on the fifth trade, cool as ice? Most of us could not. Accordingly people tend to reduce the bet size. For example, let’s say you know you would feel emotionally affected by losing 25% of your account. Well, the simplest way is to divide the Kelly output by four. You have effectively hidden 75% of your account balance from Kelly and it is now optimised to avoid a total wipeout of just the 25% it can see. This gives 6.6% / 4 = 1.65%. Of course different trading approaches and different risk appetites will provide different optimal bet sizes but as a rule of thumb something between 1-2% is appropriate for the style and risk appetite of most retail traders. Incidentally be very wary of systems or traders who claim high winning trade % like 80%. Invariably these don’t pass a basic sense-check:
How many live trades have you done? Often they’ll have done only a handful of real trades and the rest are simulated backtests, which are overfitted. The model will soon die.
What is your risk-reward ratio on each trade? If you have a take profit $3 away and a stop loss $100 away, of course most trades will be winners. You will not be making money, however! In general most traders should trade smaller position sizes and less frequently than they do. If you are going to bias one way or the other, far better to start off too small.
How to use stop losses sensibly
Stop losses have a bad reputation amongst the retail community but are absolutely essential to risk management. No serious discretionary trader can operate without them. A stop loss is a resting order, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. For a recap on the various order types visit this chapter. The valid concern with stop losses is that disreputable brokers look for a concentration of stops and then, when the market is close, whipsaw the price through the stop levels so that the clients ‘stop out’ and sell to the broker at a low rate before the market naturally comes back higher. This is referred to as ‘stop hunting’. This would be extremely immoral behaviour and the way to guard against it is to use a highly reputable top-tier broker in a well regulated region such as the UK. Why are stop losses so important? Well, there is no other way to manage risk with certainty. You should always have a pre-determined stop loss before you put on a trade. Not having one is a recipe for disaster: you will find yourself emotionally attached to the trade as it goes against you and it will be extremely hard to cut the loss. This is a well known behavioural bias that we’ll explore in a later chapter. Learning to take a loss and move on rationally is a key lesson for new traders. A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn’t care whether you make money or not. Bruce Kovner, founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates There is an old saying amongst bank traders which is “losers average losers”. It is tempting, having bought EURUSD and seeing it go lower, to buy more. Your average price will improve if you keep buying as it goes lower. If it was cheap before it must be a bargain now, right? Wrong. Where does that end? Always have a pre-determined cut-off point which limits your risk. A level where you know the reason for the trade was proved ‘wrong’ ... and stick to it strictly. If you trade using discretion, use stops.
Picking a clear level
Where you leave your stop loss is key. Typically traders will leave them at big technical levels such as recent highs or lows. For example if EURUSD is trading at 1.1250 and the recent month’s low is 1.1205 then leaving it just below at 1.1200 seems sensible. If you were going long, just below the double bottom support zone seems like a sensible area to leave a stop You want to give it a bit of breathing room as we know support zones often get challenged before the price rallies. This is because lots of traders identify the same zones. You won’t be the only one selling around 1.1200. The “weak hands” who leave their sell stop order at exactly the level are likely to get taken out as the market tests the support. Those who leave it ten or fifteen pips below the level have more breathing room and will survive a quick test of the level before a resumed run-up. Your timeframe and trading style clearly play a part. Here’s a candlestick chart (one candle is one day) for GBPUSD. https://preview.redd.it/moyngdy4f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=91af88da00dd3a09e202880d8029b0ddf04fb802 If you are putting on a trend-following trade you expect to hold for weeks then you need to have a stop loss that can withstand the daily noise. Look at the downtrend on the chart. There were plenty of days in which the price rallied 60 pips or more during the wider downtrend. So having a really tight stop of, say, 25 pips that gets chopped up in noisy short-term moves is not going to work for this kind of trade. You need to use a wider stop and take a smaller position size, determined by the stop level. There are several tools you can use to help you estimate what is a safe distance and we’ll look at those in the next section. There are of course exceptions. For example, if you are doing range-break style trading you might have a really tight stop, set just below the previous range high. https://preview.redd.it/ygy0tko7f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=34af49da61c911befdc0db26af66f6c313556c81 Clearly then where you set stops will depend on your trading style as well as your holding horizons and the volatility of each instrument. Here are some guidelines that can help:
Use technical analysis to pick important levels (support, resistance, previous high/lows, moving averages etc.) as these provide clear exit and entry points on a trade.
Ensure that the stop gives your trade enough room to breathe and reflects your timeframe and typical volatility of each pair. See next section.
Always pick your stop level first. Then use a calculator to determine the appropriate lot size for the position, based on the % of your account balance you wish to risk on the trade.
So far we have talked about price-based stops. There is another sort which is more of a fundamental stop, used alongside - not instead of - price stops. If either breaks you’re out. For example if you stop understanding why a product is going up or down and your fundamental thesis has been confirmed wrong, get out. For example, if you are long because you think the central bank is turning hawkish and AUDUSD is going to play catch up with rates … then you hear dovish noises from the central bank and the bond yields retrace lower and back in line with the currency - close your AUDUSD position. You already know your thesis was wrong. No need to give away more money to the market.
Coming up in part II
EDIT: part II here Letting stops breathe When to change a stop Entering and exiting winning positions Risk:reward ratios Risk-adjusted returns
Coming up in part III
Squeezes and other risks Market positioning Bet correlation Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits *** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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Small reviews of (I think) all incremental games I've ever played on Android
I don't know if this will be useful to anyone. So I write a line or two about every game I play, and decided to find all the incremental in my game journal and post them here. It starts with the latest games I've played and I think goes back to several years back. One thing I've realized is I have such a love-hate-hate relationship with this genre since I think I've hated 90% of the games and 100% of myself after each incremental phase. I usually angrily stop playing them for a while and restart them again, so this is more or less a journal of addiction, I suppose. THE BEST GAMES I'VE PLAYED ARE THESE (no order):
Honorable Mention: Eggs, Inc The rest: more or less hated it Additional comment if you decide to scan through it, I complain a lot, so it is perfectly reasonable and normal to think, "why the fuck are you even playing these games, idiot??". ------ Time Idle RPG This game was confusing. It tells me the game's resources is time, where you get 1 of it every second, but that's not really something as unique as I assumed. It would have been cool if time as resources meant you used it to deal with something related to time. Maybe time travel? Maybe slowing and speeding time? Instead time as resource buys you stuff like a library. And then you buy a camp or something. Honestly, I wasn't really feeling it. 2 Path of Idling The biggest cardinal sin for me when it comes to incremental is when a game has a lot of features and it just completely throws them all at you instantly. The joy of a great incremental is how things slowly open up and each new achievement feels progress. The game is a RPG game and these are the things that opened up for me in the first few hours. Combat which includes normal fighting, dungeon, raid, boss, PVP (locked, but it just needs an ascend, which I haven't done) Skills Hero upgrades which include Passive (strength, defence, stamina, intelligence), Train, and a huge Tree Town which you can buy workers who get you various things like gold, orbs, knowledge, etc. You can upgrade stuff here. Quest that also includes Perks and Skill quests. Gear which 5 equipment slots, plus craft plus trade plus smelt Also gear for your Pet, which is also another tab! Now, here is the thing. Because I have all of this pretty much instantly, I don't really know which ones are helping me go past a well. How is adding 10 points in strength helping me? Should I have added five in strength instead and five in defence? I have already bought 20 or so upgrades in the Tree, but I have no idea if I am made the optimal choice. There is no real excitement with getting new gear. And so on. The dev has added a lot of features, now it's time to rework the game, and have the features take their time. 2 Idle Slayer The game is like a super simple platformer. Your character is running and any enemy it hits, it automatically slays it. There is no HP, and all enemies die in one shot. Your only active play is jumping occasionally to grab coins or hit the flying enemies. Also, you have a run skill that has a cool down. With the coins, we get new weapons that give us more coins. Enemies give us souls which is used for the prestige system that provides us with an interesting skill tree which provides a lot of choices on the path you want to do in terms of upgrades. So far excellent, however, the game has an extremely serious issue of pacing. The game initially progresses so fast that in the first hour or so, you get almost all the weapons aside from the last two, which then grinds down to a snail pace. You can upgrade your past weapons, but they never really get into play again. Reaching high levels of past weapons sometimes gave me upgrades of that weapon of 10,000% but they still did nothing to my overall coin per second. I think the pacing needs to be fully reworked. It would have been nice to get new weapons after certain prestige cycles, so that every new weapon feels like we have passed a significant wall. The best part of an incremental game for me is to face a wall, and when I finally break it, I feel powerful again for a while. This game feels like this though, powerful powerful powerful powerful WALL........break it....WALL. And so on. I'm still playing it as I want to get some of the skills, but I feel like it could have been so much better. 4 Exponential Idle A very back to the foundation kind of incremental. The premise is that you are a student and working on a formula. There is a neat story where as you progress in the game, your character progresses through university. Each upgrade gives you more and more automation until I reached a stage where I would check back once every 2 or 3 days, click a 2nd layer prestige reset, and close it. Meaning the game was something like 5 seconds of game player every 2 days. I just opened it for this review and realized I had reached the end game. The story wraps up and it tells me "You can take a rest. Travel a bit. Go outside!" NO, DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO GAME. 3 Factoid Factoid & Spark should have the same review as they are almost the same game with only small differences. The games are the most basic kind of incremental, where you buy something with resources, until you get the next thing which gives you more of the resources. Both give you upgrades to speed things up, and finally prestige and it's own prestige upgrades. That's it. It's nice little change of pace from all the recent incremental that sometimes do too much, but obviously due to the very simple nature of it, it does eventually feel pointless, specially after you more or less open up everything and the prestige upgrades just keep repeating. 3 Spark Factoid & Spark should have the same review as they are almost the same game with only small differences. The games are the most basic kind of incremental, where you buy something with resources, until you get the next thing which gives you more of the resources. Both give you upgrades to speed things up, and finally prestige and it's own prestige upgrades. That's it. It's nice little change of pace from all the recent incremental that sometimes do too much, but obviously due to the very simple nature of it, it does eventually feel pointless, specially after you more or less open up everything and the prestige upgrades just keep repeating. 3 Antimatter Dimensions Easily top 5 incremental on mobile. Does everything perfectly. You progress nicely, and when new features open it, not only is it rewarding but more importantly, it keeps adding new dimensions (lol) to the game. I'd at the end game as I write this, and I realize that there was no point in the game where it felt stale. Each new prestige layer made the game feel fresh and almost like a new incremental game. 5 Melvor Idle It seems this game was mainly aimed at Runescape players, which is probably why it didn't click for me. It also run extremely slow on my phone which also played a part in me not really getting into. 2 A Girl Adrift The animation is really pretty and is a nice change of pace for incrementals, but I didn't really like the too much active play. Really had to keep going back and forth to different areas to do the fishing which got too repetitive for me. You travel to different areas of the map to catch fish, which you get points and then you upgrade stuff, but I didn't really find any real excitement about the upgrades because I kept having to go back to previous areas to fish similar creatures. 3 Archer: Danger Phone I'm really annoyed how terrible of a game this was. Two things I like, the TV show "Archer" and incremental games, and it's done in the most lazy manner. The game is the worst aspect of idle games where it's just a straight path of clicking the next upgrade with absolutely zero decision making. Every once in a while there is a mini game where Archer gets to shoot others but it's done in the most basic form of early 2000s flash games, where the animation budget is probably 3 dollars. Same static background and both enemies and Archer have just two animation frames. The absolute laziness of it is almost insulting to the player, because it feels like we aren't even worth the effort. There is an Archer story in the game which develops really fast, which is the only positive part, but no voice acting is again another evidence that the creators of the game weren't given any budget for this. 1 Home Quest This game is way too slow. You have to collect materials to build your settlement but everything takes time, so you click for a few seconds, and then you have to leave the game. Which I'm fine with, but the problem isn't the idle part of it, it's how the idle part of it combines with constant checking of the game which annoys me. I like an idle game where you forget to start the game for a day, you come up to a lot of resources, but this is a game which needs you to check back in every 30 minutes or an hour to really get anywhere. I felt that the micromanagement was getting worse as I progressed (without any actual thing to do when I am active in the game) that made me give up. 2 Idle Industry This is probably an interesting game, but I gave up because the one thing I really disliked was the amount of resources and manufacturing that very quickly opens to you. You can buy raw materials, and you can either sell these raw materials or turn them into finished goods and sell them either. And each of these has several upgrade options (increase selling price, increase production, etc). Without even really getting too deep into the game, I have around 20 raw materials and around 30 finished products. A satisfying part of this genre is to have things slow open up for you, which gives me a decent feeling of satisfaction. But the money I got would quickly open up new products, so I would just jump ahead and purchase more expensive ones, and after a while I had a lot of materials and products at zero, and was instead focusing on latter ones. 2 Masters of Madness Somewhat neat atmosphere and visuals, but too much active clicking. Click, upgrade to get more per clicks, get minions to get you some points without clicking, typical clicker, but with the added benefit of almost no idling. I like idling incrementals but clickers is a hard no from me. 1 Soda Dungeon 2 Basically similar to the first one, as far as I could tell. I did "finish" it but maybe I shouldn't have, since it really is the same thing from early on, specially once you get all the heroes and you kind of sort out which characters work best, then it's just the same. But because it was somewhat short and no real wall, it was at least easy to stick to it to the end. 2 Bacterial Takeover Played for a decent amount and was actually more interesting that I thought, given the buttload of ad incentives. You create and upgrade bacteria, attack planets, and eventually go into a blackhole to prestige. Most of the game was good, but the part that killed it for me was the prestige system. Once you prestige, planets get super easy to attack, which becomes a lot of active play. I realized that each prestige was taking me at least 30 minutes to get to where I was, and it was just meaningless clicking. It got to a point where I was putting off prestige because it seemed like it would be a hassle so I stopped. 2 LogRogue Cute graphics. The hero sort of hopping to hit the tiny monsters is cute to look at, but how long can you look at it and do nothing before you realize that it's boring? I suppose this is a game where it's just not for me. I don't like to have my phone open on a game and just watch it like a crazy person and do nothing. My rule is simple for incrementals. While the app is open, be active, if there isn't any choices to make, close the app while resources build up or whatever. I don't like it being open while I do nothing. 3 A Kittens Game Incremental games are so strange. I get in and out of the phases. I loved this for so long and so obsessively that I wanted to only play incremental games. And then, just like that, I was wondering why the fuck I was wasting my time with this. Has happened countless times before. But still probably the best incremental ever. 5 A Dark Room An incremental cult classic of sorts but I don't find it really matches the genre. There is a bit of incremental at the beginning with people huts and stuff but then its just a ascii exploring game, which wasn't interesting to me. 2 Little Healer Saw it mentioned in the Reddit incremental forum in one of the posts and thought it was a healer themed incremental which sounded neat. But it's like being a healer in a raid in World of Warcraft without any if the extras. Just a couple of bars representing your team mates and you healing them while they fight the boss. I didn't even like playing the healer in WoW so no way would I play this game. 1 Clickie Zoo Started playing for a few days until I realized there a beta released with the dev reworking the game completely from scratch and releasing it as "Idle Zoo Tycoon". So, played that instead but this seemed like a game I would enjoy anyway. 4 Idling to Rule the Gods The UI and one drawing if your character is really ugly enough to be distracting to me. The game, seemed interesting and I eventually was into it, but seems like a game that has been constantly being updated, which is not always a good thing, because features are obviously updated regularly to it, making the whole thing a bit bloaty. I guess, this is the problem with this game for me, it's too fat. Also, one main part of the game is that your character creates Shadow Clones up to a maximum limit. Which is fine except the clones can't be made in offline mode. This might not be a big deal in its original web browser game but that doesn't work as well in a mobile format. 2 Realm Grinder This is one of the really popular incremental and it's fanbase seems to love it for it's depth, but to be honest, I don't play these games for the depth, I play it for the simple dopamine rush of doing the same thing over and over again. It relaxes. Although, I didn't even get to the depth part because I dislike games where it rushes in the beginning. I constantly bought buildings, got spells, and got upgrades without even looking at the description. Apparently, later on, we can get complicated race upgades, which seems not what I'm looking for in such a genre. 2 Spaceplan A short (!!) incremental with an actual story (!!!). That's two cool points for it but unfortunately, the game mechanics of increment genre isn't so good. It's a space game with nice visuals and a great ending (cool music set to cool graphics) but the game itself wasn't really that fun. This same exact game would have been better in a different genre (maybe something like "Out There"?) 3 Zombidle Felt like idle games again and this is the kind of examples that kept me away. Too much clicking and seems like advancement will start to get irritating since it relies on IAPs 2 Eggs, Inc While I was playing it, Eggs, Inc was probably my favorite Android game I had ever played. But like most incremental games, there comes a moment when I suddenly stop and think, what am I doing? Because there is something fascinating about Incrementals. Their addictiveness is in a way the whole point. An incremental is less of a game and more an act of electronic addictiveness. What's the point? Eggs, Inc is a very well made and fun incremental but even the best in its genre is still pointless. 4 Castle Clicker Supposedly a mix of incremental and city building but didn't really find out since the clickings were way to much. I know this is supposed to be the genre but I like the incremental part more than the tapping part. This seemed to be a good way to hurt your fingers. 2 Endless Era This RPG clicker game is like other such games but with horrible GUI and animations. Tap tap tap. It's my fault for downloading such games. Why would I ever think this would be fun??? 1 Idle Quote An incremental game with a unique twist. This time we get to make up quotes! The first negative about the game and this irritates me a lot is most of the quotes are fake. A quick search on Google and this proves it. Quotes are generally attributed to Buddha or Ghandi or shit like that and it's usually fake like most quotes on the internet. This kills the major possible advantage of the game because I thought coming up with arbitrary words would at least give me some quotes to learn. Aside from the this, the game isn't fun either because it slows down very quickly meaning you combine words very slowly at a certain stage of the game and then it becomes a boring grind. 2 Monster Miser An incremental game with almost no graphics. We just see character portraits of monsters which we buy and then upgrade until we buy the next monster. Eventually we prestige which gives us multipliers. The only game choice is choosing between two monsters with each new monster with unique benefits. Annoyingly there is a max limit which I wish didn't exist because I wanted to prestige so much that I would be over powerful in upgrading like that "Idle Oil Tycoon". Still, pointless but reasonably fun. 3 Pocket Politics An incremental take on politics sounds fun but it's so generic that it could have been about anything. A Capitalist idle game or a cooking idle game, it wouldn't matter. IAP was also the usual shitty kind. 1 Time Clickers A shooter incremental sounds like a cool twist but it's not a FPS like I imagined it would be. I'm just stuck in a room and I was shooting blocks. Upgrades didn't give me any enjoyment since I was shooting fucking blocks. 1 Tap Tap Fish - Abyssrium I thought this was going to be relaxing incremental but the ridiculous and generic IAPs and all the social integeration spoil it. Too much time is spent in them asking you to buy or share or tweet or post or give them a blowjob. And there is nothing relaxing about that. 2 Cartoon 999 Incremental game about comic book writers, but not the marvel DC kind, it seemed to be the webcomic one and I think it's a Korean developer so all the characters and injokes made no sense to me. The whole thing was just targeted to a very specific audience. 2 Dungeon Manager Incremental games need to be simple but this is beyond simple, it's just upgrade a fighter to level 5, go to next dungeon character, do the same, and just continue without any of the delicious balancing of upgrades like other idle games. 2 Final Fortress Incremental games are already pointless but when it's super heavy on IAP than its also annoying, but when it always has bugs that doesn't register my offline earnings, then it just needs a uninstall in its face. The zombie skin was also crappy. 1 Mana Maker Here is how I know this clicker isn't very good. It doesn't make me hate all clickers and my life and mobile gaming in general for being so addictive and pointless. So fail, sorry. 2 Infinity Dungeon The usual incremental RPG that I should probably never play again. Starts simple enough and then gets more or a chore as you play. 1 Another incremental game which I had promised myself not to play anymore because they are so pointless and repetitive and endless. Well, this wasn't infinite and had a goal at 999 level so I thought it was good but while the humor was cute, the game did become very repetitive. Every 10 levels the slimes changed but after every 100 levels the whole thing restarted and while the monsters got stronger, I seemed to get even stronger. So the game became easier as I progressed and there was no more challenge. By level 800, I gave up. 2 Tap Dungeon RPG Okay, I'm running out of ways to complain about those incremental RPG games that all have similar problems. It starts off reasonably fast and fun but soon it seems like I am in a data entry job. Doing the same thing over and over again with little changes. 1 Dungeon 999 F: Secret of Slime Dungeon Another incremental game which I had promised myself not to play anymore because they are so pointless and repetitive and endless. Well, this wasn't infinite and had a goal at 999 level so I thought it was good but while the humor was cute, the game did become very repetitive. Every 10 levels the slimes changed but after every 100 levels the whole thing restarted and while the monsters got stronger, I seemed to get even stronger. So the game became easier as I progressed and there was no more challenge. By level 800, I gave up. 2 Tap Dungeon RPG Okay, I'm running out of ways to complain about those incremental RPG games that all have similar problems. It starts off reasonably fast and fun but soon it seems like I am in a data entry job. Doing the same thing over and over again with little changes. 1 Tower of Hero You start on the first floor of the tower and keep fighting your way up by summoning your heroes (by clicking) and recruiting other fighters, get upgrades, level up, and then, ugh, here is the typical incremental RPG part, restart, get items, and do it ALL over again. There is something fun about restarting and getting slowly stronger each time but it also feels so pointless after a while. Such a pointless genre now that I have played a billion of such titles, heh. 3 Pageboy Yet another incremental RPG which I have no idea why I downloaded because I'm sick of the genre. I played a pageboy to a knight who does the fighting while I collect the lot. I collect the loot, buy stuff for the knight, and eventually I restart to do the same thing again and get better items but this game I didn't even RESTART! Because fuck it! Fuck it! 2 Idle Warriors The story is cute. Human population is regressing while monster population is on the rise. So the humans start enslaving monsters to mine for them! The brave warriors beat the crap out of monsters, kidnap the bosses, and enslave them. The animation of monsters slaving away while speech balloons above them talk about their wife and children is funny. But the game itself is another RPG incremental which I should start staying away from. These games are like a chore for me nowadays because I'm doing the same crap again and again. The blame is probably on me because it seems like a reasonably solid game. But hey, fuck it, I PERSONALLY didn't enjoy it. 2 Tap! Tap! Faraway! Any game that is remotely like Tap Titan scares me. They are addictive at first and very fast moving but after every restart gets more and more annoying. It soon turns into a time eating activity with the player having to redo the initial levels to get relics to get better items to progress further to restart to get relics to and so on until the player realizes how much time he is putting in the game for a repetitive activity. 2 Auto RPG Now that is a title the game developers didn't spend too much time on. RPG battles are automatic but I can help out by clicking like a mad man. I started with one hero but would get additional members in my party as the story progressed. Party members receive skills as as they level up and while all the skill usage is automatic, it did give me a sense of progression which is extremely important in a RPG and which I think is usually lacking in incremental games. It usually starts feeling useless but in this game at least there are new maps, new members, and an actual end sight! There is an infinity stage once the last boss is defeated but I am glad the infinity stage happens AFTER the end and it's not the game itself. 4 Merchant Hire a hero and send on to battle. The battles is done automatically and takes time, starts with something short like 10 seconds with each battle taking longer. The loot is raw materials which can be used to craft equipment which also takes real life time with better items taking longer. The crafted items can either be sold or equipped to the hero to make him be able to fight stronger monsters. I was worried I would hate the longer crafting and fighting times because I hate games which I have to watch for a task to finish but even though the durations for longer, I had more to do. However, I don't know what would have happened in the end game because I gave up on it. New maps were exactly like the first map just with different heroes but the progression was similar in each level which felt that I was doing the exact same thing all over again but with longer task times. 2 Idle Oil Tycoon This is the best idle game I played. It's graphics aren't just minor, they are none existent. It's just numbers, so basic that my sister thought I was on a stock market app. It's such a simple concept. Invest, get oil, upgrade then like other idlers restart to get a bonus and do the full thing all over again. When I finished the game, I played the unlimited mode which I played until the unlimited mode couldn't handle the numbers anymore. 5 Soda Dungeon This kind-of Idle Dungeon was great. I started with weak ass fighters who would fight on my behalf while I collected the loot. I then got to use the lot to upgrade the sofa bar to recruit more adventurers. Not sure why it was a sofa bar. Maybe they wanted to make it a family game and not have alcohol? Sounds weird but the sofa element in a RPG game sounds weirder. The game only hit a brick for me when, like most other incremental games, there is no real closure. Once I thought I bet the big bad guy, it just goes on, harder but similar enough with no end in sight. Eventually, we have to stop playing right, but it always feels a bit like a let down when I don't feel like I have finished the game. 4 10 Billion Wives Kept Man Life The two games from this company, 10 Billion Wives and Kept Man Life, have similar strengths and weaknesses. I liked the silly premises from both. In 10BM, I had to get married as much as I could, using the loves I collect to marry more expensive wives! In KML, I'm a boyfriend who doesn't work and I have to please my career gf so she would take care of me. Both start reasonably fast and I was willing to grind through difficult parts but the end game is like a brick wall. Passing through it to get all the achievements is pretty much impossible unless one puts in way too many hours. And it's a shame because I really wanted to get all the achievements to see all the tiny little extra stuff. 3 Adventure Capitalist One of the better incremental games, but now that I am out of the short lived incremental fan phase, I realized how dumb the genre is. Tap, tap, tap, upgrade, do this a million times, reset, and do it all over again like a moron. The game does deserve credits for me acting like a moron and playing it for so long but I also cheated and got free cash and then if occupying became even more pointless. 3 The Monolith A combination of an incremental and a civilization building game seemed like an excellent idea and in some ways, it was, specially how we get to upgrade through the ages from cavemen to futuristic. But no offline feature means that the resets aren't enticing. 2 USSR Simulator An incremental game that has a great theme (USSR!) but absolutely horrible to enjoy, even though I did stick to it. After a certain upgrades, the game just turned into me popping in the game, clicking an upgrade and then forgetting about the game for a few days. 2 RPG Clicker They should call these games tappers not clickers. We are not clicking anything on a touchscreen device. Anyway, tap tap tap level up buy weapons tap tap and uninstall. 1 Logging Quest Logging Quest 2 [Review is for the original and its sequel] There is not much of a difference between the game. I actually played them both at the same time because the actual game is offline. You choose your hero, send them to a dungeon, and then come back to the game after a while to see how well they did. I thought an offline RPG like this might be interesting but then, if you don't really play a game, how much fun can it be? 1 Another pointless incremental. I was in an incremental phase and got so many incremental games that I know realize were absolutely pointless. Hit a tree, buy upgrades, get a new hero, and continue hitting a tree. Not much offline it seems which is what I like about incrementals. 1 Galaxy Clicker A space incremental that should have been a lot of fun. You get to upgrade your spaceship and buy new ones and explorer new planets. But first of all, the interface is so ugly that it makes playing the game less enjoyable. And a lot of things I didn't really get no matter how much I would play like the full exploring planets. The spaceships were nice, so it could have been fun. 2 Megatramp A pretty pointless incremental kind of game. You are a tramp and then you can collect money to buy upgrades to make more money, with no strategy needed, nor any effort needs to be made to hurt your brain cells. 1 Inflation RPG It supposed to be some kind of incremental RPG, I think, which has you resetting and getting more powerful and then fighting monsters to get insane levels. It is very unique but I couldn't get into it. 2 Widget RPG Are you fucking with me? This is button bashing rpg in the most extreme manner. You get a widget, so you don't even have to open the game and distract yourself from the button bushing. Just click the button and the game plays behind the scenes and gets you experience, loot, and kills. It's a ridiculous idea that is fun for a few minutes to see what they come up with but there is only so much button bashing you can do. 2 Capitalist Tycoon I downloaded this game because I was in an incremental/idle game phase and really enjoyed AdVenture Capitalist. But this game is nothing like that. On the surface, it seems similar, buy small investments, make money, buy bigger investments, and so on. But with this game, there is no offline mode, and you keep having to wake up managers, AND the goal is to see how much you make in one year. Bah. I prefer the incremental approach which makes you build and build and build, not try to rush it in just a year. 2 Clicking Bad An incremental clicking game that is themed after Breaking Bad. It is a fun idea it's a very simple game with little to do aside from the obvious of upgrading and upgrading. The only twist might be to balance out making lots of money selling drugs and not attracting the law but even that is only a small challenge at the start. Eventually, you will get enough upgrades to bring the law risk so down that it makes no impact on the game play. 2 Zombie Tapper A super basic incremental clicker game with a zombie team. Click click click to eat brains, use brains (?) to buy zombies to do the brain eating for you and then buy upgrades for your zombies, and buy new zombies and it all feels very pointless. 1 Bitcoin Billionaire I started to enjoy incremental games, but it needs to have a good offline mode, because I don’t want to just play a game where I keep tapping. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t play. I played it, and I played a lot of it, because I could reset the game (like most incremental games) and it gives you a small benefit where you could finish the full game a bit faster (it gives you bonus income). So, I kept finishing and resetting, and each time the start to finish would shorten, so I thought I would reach a stage where I could finish each start-to-finish in an instant! It didn’t happen. I got bored first. 3 Tap Titan An addictive tapping game. Just tap on the creatures, level up, get new skills, hire heroes, and then reset and to it all over again to progress further. It’s an incremental game where it depends on resets to progress, but no real offline bonus, so you have to be playing online. Which got boring, so I installed an app that does the tapping for me, which is actually a stupid way to play the game, but this isn’t an attempt to prove to anyone my intelligence. Anyway, thankfully something went wrong and my progress got deleted, WHICH WAS A GOOD THING, because the game was extremely addictive. 4 God Squad I’ve realized most incremental games are stupid. Tap on monsters to kill, collect gold, buy Roman Gods, level them up, fight other monsters, and then get bored. 1
The idea absolutely gripped me - and now I’ve published a novel inspired by that prompt and my love of monster taming games! Here’s the details:
Two suns, foreign plants, and a whole slew of monsters to tame. Amateur entomologist and reluctant Life Scout, Caleb finds far more than he expected when he stumbles through a hidden cave and into a new world full of Kritt - monsters that can be tamed and taught to fight. He also didn’t expect evil overlords and their minions looking to use the power of Kritt to grind this world under their bootheel. Unless someone stops them, that is. Once meeting Antoinette, an affectionate ant Kritt that bonds with Caleb, and Karla, a tamer of this world that’s living off the land and preparing to strike back against the Darkholds, they set off. Their goal? Help free the people of this world from the Overseer’s grasp. A mountain’s worth of threats stand in their way, though: the Overseer’s soldiers, terrible abominations, wild Kritt, and all the trouble Caleb’s sarcastic mouth can cause. Welcome, Caleb, to the world of Kritt. Now evolve - or perish.
Into the Tall Grass is a Portal Fantasy/Isekai book with strong gamelit elements. FAQ Harem/Sex/Murder? Nope. This story is designed to capture the feel of those classic games, and while it does have higher stakes than those games, it is designed to capture the light-hearted feel that we all love. Audiobook? Nothing yet announced, but I’ll update if there is one! Stats? Into the Tall Grass is a stat light gamelit, and the stats do not appear explicitly until later in the book once Caleb gets his totally-not-a-Pokedex goggles. The later books in the series will have more detailed stats as Caleb delves further into the system that runs this world. Shorts? They’re comfy and easy to wear. Where do I catch the book? Well, you first need to learn HM Cut, go to the hole in the wall after beating the second boss...or you can just get it on Amazon Amazon US Link - UK | CA | AU | DE | MX | JP | IN | BR | FR | ES | IT | NL I want to sample before I pick up? Well, good news for you - just read on! Caleb Cooper slapped at his arm with a growl. Another mosquito. He wouldn’t have said camping was his least favorite activity in the world. Even at sixteen, he could easily imagine worse ways to spend his time. He could have his feet dipped in acid, or be stabbed in the back repeatedly, or repeat algebra. But no one was forcing him to do any of those, because he’d passed algebra and hadn’t angered any Bond villains lately. “C’mon, try to smile some,” his dad said, walking up behind him and shaking his back. “What more could you want? We’ve got the great outdoors, we’ve got trees, we’ve got sun, we’ve got fresh air...this is perfect!” Caleb sighed. “Oh, yeah, surrounded by kids who’re still in junior high. It’s everything a growing teen could want. Toxic plants, the sun, brats who think I’m a weirdo, the sun again...what’s not to love? You know, I could be going to a party tonight.” His dad’s smile didn’t waver. “You do so love the party scene. I mean, the last one you went to was...Jimmy Dryer’s eighth birthday party? Getting wild up in the hizzouse there.” “Okay, dad, I need to tell you two things. First of all, if you say hizzouse out loud, ever again, I will die. I will literally fall over dead from embarrassment. No, I know the correct definition of literally and I am using it correctly, that is actually what will happen. Do you want to be responsible for filicide via intense shame?” “I’m positive that’s not actually possible.” “Oh, it totally is. Remember Becky? Died last year because her mom was singing ‘Ain’t nuthin but a G Thang.’ Sure, they say Becky changed schools because they moved, but it was all a cover up. Heard her mom singing and pow!” Caleb punched a closed fist into his empty hand. “dropped over dead.” His dad laughed. “Noted. And the second thing?” “You might have picked up subtle hints about this, what with me mentioning it no less than two hundred and ninety eight times on the drive down here according to you. I don’t really like camping.” There was a long pause, and his dad’s face fell. Caleb immediately winced, but it was too late. “You used to beg to go out every year, remember?” Yeah, in like 8th grade. When all his friends had been in boy scouts with him, and he’d been able to spend time with them. But high school had come, and his friends had moved on. But the Coopers came from a long line of Eagle scouts. His dad was an Eagle Scout, his grandfather had been an Eagle Scout, and Caleb’s dad would be damned if his son wasn’t an Eagle Scout. “Right,” Caleb muttered. “Sorry, I’ll give it a chance. I’m sure once I get back in the groove it’ll be fine.” “That’s the spirit!” His dad’s face lit back up. Caleb gave him an expression that could have been a grin if you squint hard enough. “Awesome. I’m going to...head out.” He turned to trundle off into the woods. “Where are you going?” his dad asked. Caleb held up a glass. “Going to see if I can find an Acorn Weevil. There’s a lot of oaks around here, and I’d like one for the collection.” It was the one part of the outdoors Caleb enjoyed -- catching insects. It was a bit of an odd hobby, but Caleb was a bit of a junior entomologist and enjoyed it. He was thinking about going to college for entomology after he graduated. Something about the wide variety of possible insects, finding things that people usually overlooked, categorizing them...it was calming. He had several glass cases of them pinned at home, many of them gathered from scouting trips like these. Naturally, it was the one part of the outdoors his dad didn’t like. His father turned green and motioned for Caleb to go ahead. “Don’t wander too far!” he shouted. Yeah, yeah. It wasn’t like he could go too far even if he wanted to. The campsite was in the middle of a series of mid-Missouri bluffs, and wandering more than an hour’s walk would inevitably lead to a solid rock wall. Or a road. Step by step, the sounds of the rest of the boy scout troop receded in the forest behind him. Caleb let out a sigh of relief. He was the only high schooler still in the troop, and a lot of the older kids thought he had to be some kind of loser to still be doing this at his age. They aren’t wrong, Caleb thought. Just not for the right reasons. Being a boy scout isn’t what made him a loser. It was his complete lack of social life at high school, relegated only to a few other dorks at lunch who he didn’t really hang out with, and the fact that he collected bugs when most people were going to parties or making out or getting drunk or playing video games or even playing Magic: The Gathering - that made him a loser. That’s right. The MTG kids could look down on him for bug collecting. Was that fair? Obviously, they deserved someone who they could look down on too, and Caleb understood that unlike their weird hobby, his weird hobby was also gross. Still, didn’t he deserve the same? Someone he could silently judge and feel superior to? But, no, the only ones lower than him on the social hierarchy were kids with actual issues, and Caleb didn’t want to be that kind of jerk. The worst part was, he felt bad for not enjoying the scouts anymore. If his dad had planned these trips as one on one things, where they could go out and find rare insects, or even some other wildlife finding things like birdwatching or something, Caleb would have loved their trips as much as he used to. Well, probably. Maybe. I’d like it better if I knew this was the alternative, Caleb amended. These days, however, he’d found most of the insects at their usual camping sights. He actually had an acorn weevil already, but there was no way his dad would remember it - since his dad didn’t really look beyond his own wants. He wanted an Eagle Scout, so an Eagle Scout Caleb would be. Especially after what had happened with mom. Dad had become rabid about father-son activities since then. “It’s just the two of us now,” Dad said once, when he’d had a bit too much to drink after work. “Just the two of us.” Caleb shook his head and brushed away a tree branch before it could slap him in the face. The stinging in his eyes was a good reminder why he didn’t want to go down that particular rabbit hole. A little while later, as he had expected, Caleb found himself at one of the bluffs. It was a solid expanse of rock, covered in creeping vines. The tendrils would be crawling with acrobat ants, which made them a nice place to stop because they’d keep the wasp population down in the region. Maybe I could try to find a nest. Maybe even a queen. That thought he discarded - it would be a prize, but the only way he’d ever add an ant queen to his collection would be if he found one dead. It felt different than taking a single insect and putting it on his board. Taking a queen could wipe out an entire colony. When I finish college, I’ll get a whole terrarium. Then I can have living ones. That way I’ll get to enjoy my insects in peace and make sure I never ever have people invite themselves over. They’ll be all ‘oh, can I come over’ and I’ll be like ‘sure, don’t mind the ants.’ And then I’ll have alienated another person! That would be better and would make him feel better about what he did. Even the knowledge that he was killing bugs sapped the fun out of his hobby. Of course, that same hobby would also guarantee his adulthood was as lonely as his teenage years, so maybe… “Gah!” Caleb cried, and kicked a rock at the bluff. It was stupid and childish, but it helped with the frustration. He leapt to the side to avoid the rebound. He needn’t have bothered. The rock went straight through the vines instead of plinking off the bluff. Caleb froze, then slowly started inching toward the barrier. Is that a...cave? He reached out, brushing some vines away, only to reveal a cave on the side of the cliff. It went back a good twenty or thirty feet in a crevice easily large enough for him to walk through before vanishing into darkness. Bet I could find something new in there. He groaned. Because amateur spelunking has such a high success rate. That can’t possibly go wrong. Oh, wait, I’m thinking of...actually, I don’t know anything where amateur is a good thing. Ignoring the warnings of his own hindbrain, something he was exceptionally good at, Caleb flipped on his flashlight. While he wasn’t a big fan of being a scout, their motto of “Be Prepared” had stuck with him more firmly than he cared to admit. Summoning his courage, he headed inside. The cave was large enough for him to walk upright, at least. I wonder if anyone’s ever even been in here before? It was possible he was the first human to ever notice this cave hiding behind the vines, that his were the first human footsteps in this cave. Who knew what could be ahead? Hell, if it went deep enough, he might discover an entirely new species - cave ecologies were often very isolated from the rest of the world. That thought overrode the lingering fears of going spelunking alone, and Caleb pushed ahead. To his relief, the cave didn’t really branch off anywhere, so there was only a miniscule risk he’d find himself wandering in circles. It wasn’t long until he was plunged entirely into darkness aside from his flashlight. “You have now left the domain of the sun,” Caleb said in his best announcer voice. He’d heard that line from…was it a webcomic? Or a blog? He couldn’t remember, and that train of thought was derailed as his heart started to beat faster. The primal fear of the dark still clung to him, and he wasn’t as certain as he’d been at the outset that this was a good idea. Given he’d been fairly certain this was a terrible idea, that was saying something. Just as he was about to turn around, he saw it. It looked like an ant, but it wasn’t like any ant Caleb had seen before. It was large, nearly a foot from mandibles to thorax, and too brightly colored to be a normal cave dweller with its exoskeleton covered in gold and black swirls. Its eyes were wrong, too, looking more like something you’d see on a mammal than on an insect. It should have been frightening, but somehow, it was oddly cute. The gentle eyes, the way it moved awkwardly, like it was a newborn that hadn’t quite grown into its legs...it had an overall appearance of helplessness. It looked up at Caleb and chirped curiously. Holy crap. “Well, hello there,” Caleb said. “What are you?” The strange ant chirped again. I have to catch it. It was too big for his glass jar, but that didn’t matter. It also didn’t matter that his dad would refuse to let Caleb bring it back alive. Caleb would find a way, damn it. This wasn’t just a new species, this was an insect that shouldn’t be possible. Ants didn’t get this big, and certainly not in caves. Caleb reached out a tentative hand. What the hell are you doing? he thought. He knew nothing about the thing. It could be venomous. It could be dangerous. It was a wild animal, and he was trying to pet it? Much to his surprise, the ant didn’t recoil from his hand or lunge at it. Instead, it studied it curiously, then rolled over on its back and began to wave its legs in the air like a cat trying to get attention, chirping happily. Screw it. Caleb ran his fingers over the thing’s belly. It made a sound halfway between a chirp and a purr, almost like a trill. “Oh my God, I have to find a way to keep you. What do you eat?” Not that he expected the ant to answer. He didn’t expect the ant to respond at all, besides continuing to make happy little trills as Caleb gave it a belly rub. Its exoskeleton was softer than he expected, covered with fine hairs that probably served to keep off water but also made it unimaginably soft. Already Caleb wasn’t thinking about the enormity of the discovery, he was thinking about taking it for walks around the block, or letting it chase a laser pointer. Then, abruptly, the ant fell silent and righted itself. It hissed in Caleb’s direction. He froze, shying back and running his hand through his own hair.. “Woah? What’s wrong? Too many tummy rubs?” And then he realized the ant wasn’t staring at him. It was staring over his shoulder. Caleb spun, whipping the flashlight around, and came face to face with an oncoming monstrosity. It was a bipedal insect creature with four limbs, nearly as tall as Caleb was. The upper limbs ended in vicious stingers, and the lower limbs had grasping pincers. Instead of mandibles, it had tentacles growing from under its six beady eyes. That flashlight saved Caleb’s life. The creature shied back, its eyes glowing in the brilliant light.. The ant screeched and began to run deeper into the cave. That seemed smart. Panicked by the monstrosity, Caleb followed. This isn’t happening. The sound of Caleb’s feet pounding against the floor of the cave filled his ears. His heartbeat joined the sound, and the light swung wildly. He was gaining on the ant. A surge of adrenaline hit, and Caleb reached down to scoop it up. The ant trilled in confusion, and lacking anything else to do, Caleb put it on his head without breaking stride. He kept running, the ant now turning behind him and shrieking more and more. It's gaining on us! Caleb could almost imagine it saying. Then the light ahead grew bright. Without warning, he was back out into the forest, into the sun. The monstrosity skidded to a halt near the entrance of the cave, waving its tentacles and roaring but refusing to enter the sunlight. Caleb was fine with that. Caleb was fine with doing nothing but running at a breakneck pace, his new friend sitting on his head and now trilling in defiance. Darting forward, he wove in and out of the trees, turning to avoid tripping over rocks. At one point, his vision a fog of panic, he was thought he jumped a stream. It wasn’t until his lungs started to burn that Caleb started to slow down. A few steps later, he dropped to the forest floor, panting. After a few minutes of gasping, he took stock of his surroundings. With dawning horror, four realizations hit him. The first was that he’d somehow run through a bluff that stretched for a hundred miles in less than a day. The second was that the trees didn’t look like anything native to Earth, let alone Missouri. That alien impression was greatly aided by the fact that there were two suns overhead, one red and one yellow, which was number three. Multiple suns were kind of a big one. Finally, and most importantly, he had completely lost track of where he was in relation to the cave. Panic seized him, and Caleb plucked the ant off his head with shaking hands and held it across his knees, on its back. It came to Caleb so naturally that he didn’t even think about the fact that his panic response was to cuddle a strange animal until after he had. The ant looked up at him with eyes full of warmth and gratitude. “Where the hell am I?” he asked. In response, the ant started to purr. Chapter 2 After a bit, the ant began to struggle. “I can’t just keep calling you ‘the ant,” Caleb said to it as he put it down. The ant looked up at him and clacked its mandibles. “Hmm. Don’t know if you’re a girl and or a boy ant. Although if you’re eusocial, those terms probably don’t matter anyway. You’re not a queen or you’d be in your hive, so...are you a soldier? Or a worker?” Maybe it was Caleb’s imagination, but the ant seemed to be happier with the word soldier. That’s probably just wishful thinking. You need to get your priorities in order, man. You’re in a world with two suns, you should be flipping out right now! And yet, he felt strangely calm. Maybe it was just because the whole thing was so surreal. Or maybe it was just because he expected at any moment to wake up back in his tent with the story of a crazy dream. Or maybe you’ve just snapped, and any moment now you’re going to realize you’re completely barking mad. Caleb shook his head. If he was dreaming or crazy, there was no point trying to figure it out. Either he’d wake up, or he’d be put in a nice padded room and given pills until he could see things normally. “How about Antoinette?” he said. The Ant - Antoinette - began to bob its head and marched over to Caleb’s hand, pressing its head against his palm until he started to scratch it. Might as well think of you as a she, he thought. Giving her a name seemed to have done the trick, and Antoinette was now trilling and purring happily against his hand. “So, Antoinette, don’t suppose you know if I’ve gone crazy or anything, do you?” Antoinette was not particularly eager to respond. After some time scratching and spacing out, Caleb shook his head. “If this is all real, I have to start thinking of what comes next,” he said to Antoinette. “C’mon girl, let’s get moving.” As soon as Caleb stood, Antoinette reared onto her hind legs. Smiling, Caleb scooped her up and put her on his shoulder. Even though she was nearly as long as a cat, she weighed about half as much. That, plus the long years of scouts giving Caleb at least some muscles to work with, meant she could stay on his shoulder easily. “Okay. Let’s go back and see if that thing is gone from the cave, right?” Immediately Antoinette’s demeanor changed. She began to shiver and rubbed against his cheek. “You can’t possibly understand me,” Caleb said. Antoinette continued to shiver and rub, and Caleb decided it had to be his imagination. Even if Antoinette seemed to be more along the lines of a small mammal in terms of intelligence than an ant, there was no way she had the intelligence of a human - and even if she did, she couldn’t speak or understand English. She was probably just picking up on his nerves over returning. As he turned to retrace his steps, he reached up and began to stroke her back. “Don’t worry. If it’s still there, I won’t be going anywhere near it.” Antoinette’s shivers seemed to subside. “Totally a coincidence,” Caleb said with a nervous chuckle. “No way you understand anything I’m saying.” The look she sent his way could easily be called reproachful. The trees here really weren’t like anything he’d ever seen before. They towered over his head, looking more like giant, single ferns than they did like trees. There weren’t any visible roots, they all just shot out of the ground. At the top they branched oddly, feathering into individual strands that were covered with tiny leaves that grew away from the rest of the body of the plant, maximizing the sunlight its green blade could get. It was a relief to see those tiny leaves on the trees though - up until then, between that and the giant ant, he was beginning to worry he’d somehow been shrunk and was walking among giant blades of grass. As soon as he had the thought, he couldn’t quite shake it, but too many other things were wrong for that to be the case. The dirt was still normal sized, not huge chunks like they would be if he’d shrunk coming over here, and there weren’t any obvious giant landmarks to indicate he was tiny. Still, it was a strange feeling, and he was relieved when he found the stream from earlier. That had to be normal sized. Water wouldn’t flow with that kind of babble if it was shrunk down, not unless it was hundreds of feet wide from his perspective. The relief was almost immediately quashed when he realized that he didn’t recognize this part of the stream at all. He hadn’t exactly been taking in the scenery, but he still had expected to at least recognize something. Unfortunately, nothing about this part of where he was looked even remotely familiar. He grimaced. “Is this where we were?” he said aloud. Antoinette trilled, an almost sad sound. It was like she was saying “I have no idea, you think I was paying attention?” Caleb had to laugh at himself. Already he was assigning actual full sentences to Antoinette. “Okay, well, rule one,” Caleb told her. “Head downstream. It will take me to somewhere eventually, and hopefully that somewhere will include someone who has the faintest idea what the hell is going on and how I can get back to the cave.” Resolution made, he started to walk in that direction. It was a beautiful day here in...wherever this was, and thus far - joy upon joys - he hadn’t seen a single mosquito. As long as he was stuck in this weird dream or psychotic break or whatever was going on, he was going to enjoy it. He did see a few more traditional insects climbing along the fern-trees he’d marveled at before, which was nice. It helped him feel less like he was tiny walking in a giant world. As much as he wanted to, he resisted the urge to peer down for a closer look at them. Right now they were tiny specs climbing along in rows, and if he didn’t look too closely he could tell himself they were just normal ants. The moment he did, he was certain he’d notice things that would mark them of nothing from Earth, and that idea straight up terrified him. “Yes, that’s right,” he said to the foot-long ant on his shoulder. “The terrifying thought is the insects here might be different. Crap on a stick, I am going insane.” There was definitely a spring in his step as he walked, but not from how happy he was feeling. It was like every step carried a little bit...extra. It added to the surreal quality of everything. He’d noticed it before when he’d been running down the hill, but now that he was fully aware of how he was moving and a bit less panicked, he could really feel it. “Oh yeah,” he said. “Definitely dreaming.” And since this is a dream... He reached up and carefully pried Antoinette from his shoulder. She chirruped in confusion. “Don’t worry, girl,” he said, placing her on the ground. “I’ll be right back. I just want to test something.” Antoinette cocked her head at him, and Caleb grinned. Then, tensing up his legs, he kicked off the ground. And went sailing through the air. “Oh my God!” he shouted. He’d had a decent high jump before, but this...it took him nearly ten feet into the air. He whooped in excitement and pumped his fist as he reached the apex of his jump. He could see over the fern trees! He could see smoke in the direction he was walking! He could see...he could see a bird. It wasn’t like any bird he’d ever imagined. It was soaring through the air like a hawk, but its feathers were red and blue, and its face was more like a reptile’s than a bird’s. It looked almost like an archeopteryx, but without the claws on its wings, and with three massive feathers streaming out behind it. It wheeled in the air. It was beautiful. Then gravity reminded him that, while he could jump high, he wasn’t able to fly. Caleb began to fall. The fall was faster than it should have been, given his leap. It felt like he was falling in normal gravity. Okay, this is it. I fall, and right before I hit the ground, I wake- The thought was cut off when he slammed into the dirt beneath him. The impact drove the air from his lungs, which was the only thing that spared him from crying out in pain. He tasted blood, and his vision was obscured by black spots. Caleb could only whimper. He collapsed to the ground in a heap. What little of his brain was still working confirmed that he hadn't actually shattered his legs. The rest of it just screamed in pain. This isn’t a dream. That was now painfully clear. Dreams couldn’t possibly hurt this badly. Antoinette walked up to him and nudged him with her mandibles. When he didn’t respond right away, she climbed onto his chest and began that rumbling trill. Caleb could only wheeze as he tried to catch his breath. Antoinette studied him, and a long tongue raced out of her mouth to lick his forehead. “Thanks,” he managed to grunt, glad she was so much lighter than a cat - otherwise she’d be crushing his chest. “No, really.” It took him a few more minutes to stand again, and only when he was able to was he certain he hadn’t broken any bones. He took a few deep breaths, feeling an ache across his entire back. “I saw some smoke ahead,” he said to Antoinette, who was clawing at his leg. “I really hope that’s a town, and that they can help. And also that they have painkillers. I’d kill someone for some painkillers.” Antoinette clacked her mandibles. “No, I mean, it would have to be someone I didn’t like!” Antoinette kept clawing his jeans and Caleb shook his head. “Mind walking alongside me for a bit? I need...I need a new back. And legs. Really just a new body. Phew. Give me some time to recover.” Antoinette stopped clawing and trilled sadly. Again, Caleb was struck with the distinct impression she could understand him. But that doesn’t make sense, he thought. There’s no way she could. It’s just...insane. “You there!” The sudden shout nearly made Caleb scream, and he whirled to face the speaker. Antoinette did as well, hissing. “You need to step away from the Kralant. I don’t want you getting hurt.” The man was wearing something that looked like a military uniform from the eighteen hundreds, black and red with buttons that pinned up far on the left side of his body. He wore a cap that matched the color of his suit, and he stood with a rigid formality. For all that, he looked like he couldn’t be much older than Caleb. More interestingly, however, the bird Caleb had seen earlier was perched on his shoulder. “You...want me to move away from Antoinette?” Caleb asked, trying to register what he was seeing. “You...named it?” the soldier said, sounding incredulous. The bird on his shoulder peered at Antoinette hungrily, and Antoinette clacked her mandibles and hissed. She showed none of the fear she had towards the monstrosity in the cave. The soldier only frowned. “Who are you?” “Caleb,” Caleb said, narrowing his eyes. “Who are you?” “I am Ruzo, First Private of the Darkhold Omal. This is Silv.” The bird chirped at its name, although it didn’t take its eyes off Antoinette. “I’m sorry, you called Antoinette a Kralant and seemed surprised I named her. Is Silv its name, or is it it's species?” “He,” Ruzo said, stressing the word, “is a Silvtherix. I named him Silv.” “Wow, very original name there.” Caleb couldn’t help himself. Something about Ruzo’s attitude was rubbing him the wrong way. It was his imperious demeanor, like he owned the place. Who the hell does he think he is? “Says the boy who named a Kralant Antoinette,” Ruzo said, although he flushed a bit at mockery. “I need you to come with me, Caleb. These woods are forbidden. I thought you’d just gotten lost, but since you’re a Tamer...clearly you’re in violation of the Treaty. Put your hands behind your back.” “Okay, first of all, working Antoinette’s species into her name is a brilliant pun. I didn’t just chop off part of the name and call it good. Second of all - put my hands behind my back?” Caleb asked. “Who the hell do you think you are?” “First private of the Darkhold Omal,” Ruzo said, repeating his earlier words and with the same drilled in efficiency. “Who do you serve, Caleb?” “Oh. Uh. Well...I’m with Troop One-Eighteen,” Caleb said, uncertain what else to say. “Boy Scouts, United States of America. And, private, I’m a Life Scout. So, yeah. Shove that up your craphole and spin on it.” It was pretty clear that Ruzo had no idea what anything else Caleb said meant, but his eyes narrowed at the last sentence. “I don’t know who you serve. But clearly, someone needs to teach you manners.” He swung out his arm. “Silv! Attack!” With a shriek that put a chill into Caleb’s bones, Silv took to the air. In response, Antoinette let out a hiss of challenge. Oh you’ve got to be kidding me, Caleb thought, squaring up. I’ve definitely gone insane. But the pain in his back reminded him that insanity was much less certain than he’d previously believed. He could be absolutely certain of one thing, however - he had no idea what he was doing. Silv shrieked as he swooped through the air, diving for Antoinette. Caleb couldn’t help but notice how dangerously curved those talons were, each ending in wicked barbs. It looked like they could tear through flesh like razorblades. “Antoinette, do...something!” Caleb shouted in panic. As soon as the words left his lips, he felt something. It was almost like a tug on his skin, but it was a strange and alien feeling. Like part of him had been yanked away. Antoinette leapt to the side, snapping her mandibles. Silv passed through the space she had just vacated, his talons clutching only empty air. Confidence flashed through Ruzo’s eyes. “Do something? That’s the best you have? Silv is going to tear your Kralant apart.” Caleb’s heart started to pound. In the games, the monsters would always faint at the end of fights, then there would be a heroic rush to town and the monster would be cured. Looking at those talons, it was hard to imagine this fight would be that harmless. “Antoinette, do something ranged this time!” Caleb said, frantically going through his pockets. That strange tug happened again, but Caleb ignored it. He needed to help. A meme he’d seen the other day on his phone flashed through his mind as he frantically patted his pockets, modified for his current situation. “I’ve had Antoinette for only half a day, but if anything happens to her I’d kill everyone in this field and then myself.” Really, Caleb? You’re watching a pair of monsters fighting for their lives and the best you have are memes and vague commands? It’s not like he could do much else. He didn’t really have any kind of weapons on him. A simple Swiss army knife, too small to be used for actually fighting anyone. Not that he had any idea if he could actually bring himself to stab Ruzo. The guy was an ass, but Caleb had never hurt a fly. Well. Metaphorically speaking. He’d squished plenty of flies in his day. Besides that, he didn’t have much else. A can of bug spray. Some twine. A granola bar, still in its wrapper. A zippo lighter. A...wait, that’s it. Caleb looked back up to the fight as he pulled four of the items out of his pocket, trying desperately to get his hands shaking at another terrifying scream from Silv. Silv was circling the fight, staring down at Antoinette with eyes full of fury. Ruzo was watching Caleb with a curious expression, as if he were trying to figure out what kind of stupid thing Caleb was going to do next. Oh, if you had any idea how stupid I was about to be, you’d be...very...uh...shocked? Antoinette was on the ground, watching Silv carefully. “Now!” Ruzo shouted. Silv screamed and dove towards Antoinette. The Kralant had never seemed so small before, but she held her ground, her mandibles pointing towards the sky. Then, the moment Silv got close, Antoinette let loose a spray. It was white and stringy, almost like spider silk. Silv flapped his wings hard, letting a gust of air blow the strands away. Where they touched the dirt they sizzled like acid. Caleb’s eyes widened. “Holy crap, what was that?” Antoinette trilled happily and rose up on her hind legs, letting loose another barrage of caustic strands. Silv took to the air, getting out of range, and screeched in fury at having its attack interrupted. “You really don’t know?” Ruzo said, his eyes hard. “You’re an absolute moron, aren’t you?” “Yeah? Well, would a moron be doing this?” Caleb responded. It wasn’t exactly the witty repartee he’d been hoping for. With the distraction the battle had provided him, he’d managed to tie the zippo around the bug spray and held up his prize. “...it seems one would,” Ruzo said, his forehead creasing. “What the hell is that supposed to be?” Silv dove down towards Antoinette again, banking to dodge the spray of acidic webbings. In response, Caleb flicked the zippo opened and stepped forward. A small flame sprang to life, and Ruzo’s eyes widened. “What are you doing?” he shouted. Caleb ignored it. He pressed down on the top of the bug spray. The fine mist met the flame of the zippo and flamed to life. Silv screeched in sudden fear and pulled back, still several yards from reaching Antoinette. Antoinette whipped her head around and gave Caleb a curious chirp. “That’s right!” Caleb shouted, pointed the improvised weapon at Ruzo. “You think you’re going to hurt Antoinette? I will literally set you on fire.” Ruzo’s eyes were wide, and Silv flew over to his outstretched arm, landing on it like it was a tree branch. The massive bird looked like it shouldn’t be something Ruzo could hold, but his arm never wavered. “You...are an Artificer? I should have known…” he trailed off, studying Caleb up and down. “Yeah, that’s right. I’m an Artificer,” Caleb said, hoping the term was descriptive enough to be able to fake what he thought it meant. “I just built a flamethrower. Back down, buddy, or I swear to God I’m going to set you up like a cheap firework.” Of course, it was a total bluff. Ruzo was a good fifteen feet away. The flame from this thing could go a foot, max. If Ruzo called him on it, Caleb would find himself having to reveal the limits of his homemade weapon very, very quickly. And when he did, what would happen? Would Ruzo send that damn bird after Antoinette again? Or would he send Silv straight after Caleb, trying to tear out his eyes? Oh man. This is really, really looking bad for me. “I’m surprised, Artificer,” Ruzo said, reaching up to stroke Silv under the beak. The bird leaned into the touch and chirped. “Entering the battle so early? You must have something serious you’re hiding. Something the Darkhold Olam will want to know. Well, if you wish to make this a test of that…” Silv began to crawl up his arm until their heads were butting together. “I’ll be more than happy to oblige.” “Yo, you’re talking a pretty big game for someone who’s about to get his ass set on fire,” Caleb said, but the brave words couldn’t stop the tremor in his hands. “Why don’t you stop what you’re doing and go away? I don’t want to hurt you.” Ruzo laughed, a mocking sound, as Silv began to work around to his back. The bird started to wrap wings around Ruzo’s face, and the spots on his wings matched up perfectly with Ruzo’s eyes. “Don’t worry about that, little Artificer. I promise, I’m in absolutely no danger.” Their forms began to glow. Caleb took a step back, reflexively pressing down on the button for the bug spray. The flame seemed almost dark when compared to the immense light pouring out both soldier and monster as they began to rise into the air. “Antoinette?” Caleb said, shaking so badly he thought he might fall over. “I think I’d like to wake up now.” Antoinette cooed in a sound that trembled with fear. The glow vanished. Ruzo was gone. So was Silv. In their place was a single being, one that combined traits of both monster and man. Ruzo’s hair was now the bright feathers of the bird, his hands and feet ended in the wicked talons that the bird had shown in its diving sweeps at Antoinette, and two immense wings jutted from his back. Worst of all were the eyes, however. Ruzo’s normal two human eyes peered out at Caleb, but above those were the exact same eyes that had adorned Silv’s head. “So that is your flame, little man?” Ruzo said, and his voice had an odd quality to it, some kind of echo, like it was being spoken through two mouths. “I thought you Artificers claimed you could match am Tamer’s power. Looks like you’re just another worm.” “Uh…shit,” Caleb said, looking down at Antoinette. “Do you know how to do that?” This time there was no imagining it. Antoinette shook her head, and there was real fear in her eyes. “Yeah, me either.” Caleb dropped to one knee and held out a hand. “Get on.” Antoinette leaped onto Caleb’s arm and wrapped her legs around as Ruzo took to the air. “So, Artificer,” Ruzo said, every word laced with mockery. “What will you do now?” Fortunately, for the first time since he’d arrived here, Caleb knew exactly what to do. Screaming in fear, Caleb turned and ran away from the four-eyed taloned bird-human hybrid that was rising into the sky. And as he did, the small part of his mind that couldn’t stop from being sarcastic even now couldn’t help but point out that it was totally unfair – none of the games allowed you to do that. Where’s the overly drawn out tutorial when you really need it? Want to read more? Why not pick it up now? Amazon US Link - UK | CA | AU | DE | MX | JP | IN | BR | FR | ES | IT | NL And if you want to see more of my work, you can do so at /hydrael_writes
Before the pandemic I was a regular poker room patron at MGM National Harbor. They shut down for months but just recently reopened, and more recently opened their poker room back up to the general public. Now before the pandemic, MGM National Harbor was always packed pretty much 24/7. It’s one of their newer properties and definitely the nicest casino in the DMV area (only other options locally are shitty and older Maryland LIVE and some places in West Virginia you don’t want to go to). I arrived there last night at 9 PM, which normally would be prime time. Definitely not hoppin’ like it used to be. High roller table games were mostly empty. The slots were operating at maybe 50% max capacity because every other one was turned off to allow distance between the players, but it was very noticeable that even with the reduced number operating most were not being used. They installed hand washing stations throughout the property around all the games but honestly I barely saw anyone using them which was not good. Face masks are mandatory, but they make you pull down your mask when you enter the casino area and take a picture of your face. All dealers for table games and poker wear plastic face shields. There are plexiglass dividers between dealers and players on most table games, but the side effect of that is definitely less players per table than normal. Spectators are no longer allowed to hang around, you’re only allowed to be at the table if you’re playing. The lack of spectators will have a dampening effect on the enthusiasm of players at certain table games. In fact, the whole energy of the casino was low. Imagine playing craps with no spectators. Didn’t seem like they could be selling as much alcohol, the lobby and casino bars had earlier closing hours and at 9 PM on a Saturday I was able to walk up to any of the open bars and get a drink immediately, no long lines like the good old days. The only section of the casino that was more active than usual was the race book which was odd because usually that’s only at half capacity at best when I’ve been in the past. As for my poker experience, it was interesting. They removed about 25% of the tables they used to have on the floor to allow for distancing, and it’s now maximum 7 players to a table instead of 9. You do the math, they are definitely not making nearly as much off the poker room as they used to be able to. Plus, with 7 players instead of 9 and the lengthy swap out process for players who get knocked out (an attendant has to come and sanitize the seat for you and it took a long time) there were more hands than usual that were played with a reduced rake because there were less than 5 players active. On top of that, because of the reduced seat capacity the wait list for the 1-3 tables (the most popular) took hella long and people were giving up on the wait and leaving. Also it was very apparent that the higher blind tables were much less in demand, they barely had any waits and that would be unheard of pre-pandemic. That means that the poker players showing up there intend to put less money on the table now. The poker playing experience is still good if it’s what you like, I was able to enjoy myself despite all the plexiglass alienation. However I don’t know how long they can run this poker room without a COVID-19 case eventually being traced to it, because despite all the effort of distancing and sanitization, they still don’t have a good solution for keeping the chips themselves clean. Unless you neurotically sanitize your hands every time you rake chips, which I guess you could but most people weren’t/won’t, you’re at risk. I played for at least three hours and never saw any type of sanitation of the chips. The only solution I can think for this would be if you had contactless betting where you are separated from your stack, you verbalize your bets and the dealer moves everybody’s chips for them. That would be a big hassle for the dealer and I don’t think players would like it at all but I don’t know how else you could otherwise reduce that risk. TL;DR - I have no MGM position and don’t intend to open one but I think there’s going to be a rude awakening when ER comes around because people have been piling back into MGM like everything is back to normal. Just because MGM has reopened its properties does not mean it’s anything like it was before. They are operating with many handicaps that will make it literally impossible to achieve anything near pre-pandemic earnings, and this is not going to change any time soon. I also think it’s highly likely they will run into trouble when a COVID-19 case is officially traced to their properties from a gamer that handled chips.
When playing craps for real money, you have a handful of good bets you can make, but most of the bets on the table are bad. Just skip the bad bets, and you’re all set. The Bests Bets at the Craps Table. The best bets at the craps table are the pass line bet and the don’t pass bet. The come and don’t come bets are also great wagers. Enjoy the best Multiplayer Live Craps app for your iOS mobile and tablet. Be the shooter and roll the dice on modern craps table and have fun! Play Craps Odds Bets just like on a real Casino table Other Craps bets that you will encounter at the live and online Craps tables include field bets, hardways bets, proposition bets, big 8 bets, big 6 bets, and dozens of others. The easiest bets for beginners include the passline and don’t passline bets. Craps is played on a specially-designed table that features a betting layout where players can place their wagers. In a live casino, a table would look something like this. The dice are rolled on the table by one of the participating players, referred to as the shooter. These bets are located in the center of the craps table. You choose one of these bets and hope they occur on the next roll. For example, if you choose Snake Eyes you're betting that two one's will be rolled on the very next roll. There are a number of proposition bets that change depending on what casino you’re playing in and in what country.
Craps Game: Real Live Craps Game in Las Vegas 4 - YouTube
Here's the last video EVER of a live Craps game at Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. The video opens in the middle of the first player's turn. He's a random rol... This was live play with Vegas Confessions Podcast and plenty of friends having a great time, Enjoy folks so many videos on the way and so many announcements ... For this live craps game, we visit TWO casinos! The first real craps game is at Aria in Las Vegas. Surprisingly, this is a $10 minimum game! Watch as the pla... This is a typical live Craps game at The Venetian Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. While I DID play this game, I don't recall how well I did. I seem to recall I ... 🎲 You’re watching Craps Strategies LIVE! Let me know, in the comments, which strategy you want tried. Will we finish up or down? Finding out is part of the f...