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  • Sports Events One of The Keys to Tourism

    Mayor Tim Keller Pushing A 28 Million Dollar Package Of Sports-related Projects. He Says It Will Boost Albuquerque’s Profile As A City That Can Handle Larger Sporting Events. The Mayor Wants To Refinance Existing Lodgers Tax Bonds To Pay For, Among Other Things, A 10 Million Dollar Renovation Of Los Altos Park That Would Add A Soccer Field And Bmx Track. Three Billion Bucks For A Multi-use Soccer Complex And Three-and-a-half Million To Expand The Westside Baseball Facilities, Improvements To Downtown Connected Trails, The Convention Center, The City’s Track Facility.

    Does Albuquerque Necessarily Need This Sports Tourism Thing And Is This The Right So, It Is Always You Know Things Are Going To Get Interesting When You Roll Out Your Big Plan And Immediately Some Of The Groups Impacted By That Plan Come Out And Say, We Wish You Talked To Us About This First. You’ve Won Big But Your Cashout Was Voided Because You Didn’t Wager Enough and Read the Terms and Conditions? Play  online casino singapore at Casinoslots and get rid of such problems. So You Have The Hotels and Casinos In Town Asking The Tough Questions About, Are These Projects Needed? Would They Help Increase Tourism Visits To Our City?

    And If Not, Are There Other Things We Could Do With This Money That Would, Like Making More Upgrades To The Convention Center. What The City And Keller Are Arguing, It Is Important To Move Now And Move Fast Because We Have Lodgers Tax And We Can Get A Lot Of Stuff Done With This Money And There Are More Heated Discussions To Be Had On This. I Can Feel It Too. Mary, Stay On The Tax Established And The Idea Of A Lodgers Tax And How It Is Spent. Something Seemed A Little Off Here. Those Guys Weren’t Included In This Conversation.

    That Is What Struck Me Reading The Journal Story Was That They Seemed Surprised By It. It Sounded To Me Like Keller Said That They Are Meeting Deadlines For The Next Year But It Makes You Wonder About I Really Did Not Understand What They Were Saying In The Article. It Was So Arcane And So Bizarre. Public’s Ability To Grasp This, Is This The Way To Go And Hitch It To A Bond Window, You Know?

    Well, I Think That Like It Is Just Communication, You Know. I Am Curious About The Rush To Getting To This Moment. I Don’t Think That Is Something That Has Really Been Brought To Light Yet That Could Explain That, But If I Read Correctly The Vote Is Still Coming Up Quite Soon. Yes, As A Matter Of Fact. Scheduled At Least, Yes.  So, The Issue Is The Fact That The City Has Some Ideas About What They Want To Do With This Money And That Is It’s Own Discussion But Then, Yeah, The Idea, If True, That The Lodgers Or The Hotel People Are Not Part Of This Is Interesting Almost As A Side Story.

    Here Is The Piece That Was — Throw This To Serge — Members Of City’s Own Lodgers Tax Advisory Board. They Knew Nothing Of The Plan Until The Mayor Announced It. That Is The City’s Own — You Know What I Mean — Deal There. What Is Your Sense Of Why They Are Moving This Direction To Make This Kind Of Work? Why Go This Route?

    Great Question. I Think The Lack Of Communication, Lack Of Understanding, It Could Be Some Sort Of Tactic. We Have Created This Emergency To Have It Run, To Have Everybody Jump On This, You Know, Which We Have Seen In Other Situations.

    But, That Is Probably Not Sufficient Justification For Not Having A Greater Discussion And Not To Have More Input On What And How And When And Why. I Think I Don’t Know If We Have Time, But I Think The Tension Is, Right, Having A Meaningful Discussion And Facing What Would Happen With New Mexico United, With The Rail Yards, What Happened With A Lot Of These Big Projects That We Think Will Be Transformational And Then There Is This Idea Of How Do You Get People To Buy In. These Advisory Committees Are Supposed To Be How We Plug Into People. People Can Talk To The Representative, Come To City Council And Say It Is A Great Idea But This Is How We Do It. I Do Think — I Think What Is Going On Here, To Your Initial Question, Gene, Is I Think Here Is An Opportunity To Refinance These Bonds And Add To Them And Basically Have A Revenue Stream To Back It.

    It Is A Great Shot In The Arm For The Economy To Build Projects That People Have Been Talking About For A While. If They Had The Money, They Would Like To Build A Stadium For The New Mexico United, How Crazy The Support Is, And How Much We Needed A Shot In The Arm Given Everything Else That Is Going On. They Do Get Something In The Process, They Get The Practice Facility That Is Also A Community Facility.

    I Am Not Sure Everything In The Package Can Be Considered Sports Related But I Think It Is An Opportunity They Saw Like A Window Where They Can Add Some Huge Stimulus And I Don’t Think Anybody In The Larger Business Community, People Who Build Stuff, Are Going To Scream About It. The Construction Industry, The Commercial Real Estate, All Those Folks Say, Hey, Mum Is The Word. If They Are Going To Build It, Like, Our Guys Can Work And It’s Great For The Economy. I Don’t Think They Are Going To Scream About It. Let’s Talk About This Idea Of Sports Tourism In The Whole.

    Is It A Trojan Horse? You Can’t Really See Much In This List Like I Read In The Beginning Of The Segment That Impacts Tourism. I Can’t See People Saying, Oh, That Connected Trail Between Downtown, Let’s Get On A Plane, Honey. And Let’s Spend Five Grand To Go To Albuquerque For That Connected Trail. It Seems Like An Awfully Big Bucket Using That Word, You Know What I Mean?

    This, Tourism Things.  It Is Really Interesting. I Think One Factor That May Be At Play Here, As Eric Said, There Is This Huge Excitement Around The United In New Mexico Right Now. And, I Think That That May Be Inspiring Desire To Do More In Sports. It Doesn’t Seem Like We Are At The Place Where We Would Be Able To Talk About A Stadium Yet And When You Have Those Discussions, They Get Very Complicated, That Discussion Of Putting Public Money Into A Major Stadium, That Is A Tough One. Not Everyone Is Into Soccer But Everyone Is Paying In So It Gets Tricky.

    Mary, Sports Tourism. Do You Hear Tourism When You Read This List? Do You Feel Like There Is Something Out There To Get People On Airplanes?

    I Thought Of Tourism When I Read The Story But More In The Context Of Could Albuquerque Swing This? Could Albuquerque, You Know, Like Eric Was Saying, And You Were Saying, I Don’t Know, I Feel Like Albuquerque Has Not Really Arrived As A City For Sports, As A Sports Destination. It Is A Big Leap But There Is Obviously Some People Who Think This Is What The City Needs To Be. It Is Interesting. I Am Reading This Thing Here, Serge, The Idea That The National Senior Games Were A Big Hit Here, Right?

    Hitching This Whole Thing And That Is Great, I Am Glad That Worked Out But I Still Don’t See How That Means Sports Tourism Is A Thing Here. Because That Was Not A Tourist Thing. That Was An Event That Was Brought Here. If This Is What They Really Mean, We Need More Events Like The Senior Games, That Is One Thing, But How Did You Get Into Tourism And That Is Another Deal Altogether. I Am No Stronger To Loosely Fitting Things Into A Category But Tourism Doesn’t Have To Mean Hop On A Plane And Come To The Sunport, Right?

    We Want Someone To Come From Rio Rancho And Spend Money Or Spend A Day On The Connector Trail Or Whatever. So, I Am A Little Bit More Forgiving Than You Are. Is This Participation Versus Tourism? I Don’t Know What Tourism Means Necessarily. They Are Not Staying In Hotels. I Think We Are Getting Hung Up Tourism.

    What They Maybe Should Have Said Or Are Trying To Say, We Can Bring In Sports Events Which Will Help The Economy And Lodgers Are Saying, Other Than Senior Games, Are You Going To Bring In Big Tournaments. This Will Likely Bring All Sorts Of Collegiate Level, Maybe, Amateur Level Events, If We Have A Better Sports Infrastructure. And It Is Kind Of A Messaging Issue. It Is Not Like, Hey, Albuquerque Is The Place Because I Am A Sports Fanatic. We Are Going To Hold Our Little League Tournament, Our Soccer Tournament, City Games.

    Albuquerque Pulled Off A Really Pretty Impressive Event Last Year, Like, Maybe They Have Got A Practice Field For Soccer, Maybe We Want To Have Our National, International Event There. I Think That Is What This Is Supposed To Say. I Am Not Sure That Is What Is Conveyed, Right? But, I Think, You Know, I Am A Big Fan Of United As Well. I Am Hoping We Can Do Something To Capitalize And Maintain That. I Don’t Know If This Is The Only Way.

    Rachel, Any Hit From The Mayor Or The Lodgers Folks On This? He’s Kind Of Sideways With Them Right Now.  I Think He Is. With The Time Frame Even, How Would You Get Them Together For A Meeting Now Before The Vote. That Is A Tough One. Let’s See What Happens There.

    We Are Up Against The Clock, Have To Leave It There. When This Group Comes Back, How Many Times Should New Mexico Let Law Enforcement Officers Get Hired After They Have Been Fired Somewhere Else?


  • The Future of Capitalism

    Before the century is up, we’ll have 3 billion more people on the planet. They will all need jobs. They will all need things to eat. Capitalism is our best way of making sure that we build an economy that can sustain all the people that will be here. We also need capitalism because it’s an incredible driver of innovation and change.

    And the problems we face– the environmental problems, building cities for 3 billion people– we’re going to need a lot of innovation. So that’s a reason in itself to think about the future of capitalism. I think however, there’s an additional important reason, at least one. At this time gambling industry was growing up. People always like to bet their money on some sport or play casino games. Casinoslots offers Jackpotcity review for NZ players with pros/cons and analytics.

    In fact, I’m going to suggest there are three additional reasons to think about the future of what we think of as capitalism. And in my mind, they all stem from the fact that capitalism is a fabulous tool but a bad master. That markets work best when they are genuinely free and fair.

    When they are embedded in institutions that make sure that externalities are properly priced. Tiny bit of academic speak. What do I mean? I mean we face three big problems that markets are really bad at solving. The first is the massive environmental degradation we’re looking at.

    Most obviously, global warming. But we’re also looking at the exhaustion of many of the world’s aquifers and it running out of water within the next few years. We’re looking at topsoil degradation.

    We’re looking at an ocean that is being poisoned. We’re looking at widespread deforestation. Why is environmental damage such a problem?

    Well partly because if you’re a firm and nobody tells you otherwise. Why not just throw your carbon dioxide out the window? Why not just cut down all the trees? Why not just catch all the fish?

    If a resource doesn’t have a price on it, you’re going to use as much of it as you can. So that’s our first problem. Our second problem is steadily increasing inequality.

    Inequality is interesting. You know, if you’re a capitalist, if you run a firm, differences in outcome are a feature, not a bug. One of the reasons we celebrate capitalism is because people who are really good, they get ahead, they make a ton of money.

    That’s really good. But it has a number of side effects. Side effect number one is that then they can give their kids much better education, much better life chances than someone who’s not been so fortunate in their business career. But number two, if you don’t have adequate investment in education and in health, you have children growing up who do not really have a shot at ever participating, no matter who their parents are. And we’re seeing a world in which more and more of the returns to this very successful system are going to fewer and fewer people.

    Why is that a problem? I believe it’s inherently unjust. But it also leads to significant social instability. Third problem– but wait, it gets worse. And I think you’re going to make it still worse, right Michael?

    Third problem– way it gets worse– is markets work great when someone is setting good rules. When firms can’t collude with each other to keep out new entrants. When firms can’t fix regulations to advantage themselves. Well, the theory of capitalism has in it, per se, no theory of who fixes the rules.

    Somewhere, there’s supposed to be a wise and beneficence and a well-run government. Those are nice but they’re not everywhere. So we have a market that is still going strong, that’s generating a lot of wealth, but in the meantime strip mining the planet, causing huge amounts of inequality, and writing the rules to suit itself.

    So what can be done? So my course, Reimagining Capitalism, is 28 sessions. We have nearly 300 second year MBA students in it now. Nearly a half of a second year class– people really concerned about these issues.

    The course is about how the private sector– how people like you– can make a difference against these problems. As I said, it’s 28 one and a half hour sessions and I’m going to summarize it in five minutes. So this will be a tiny bit abbreviated. Are you ready? Here we go.

    How does business save the world. Step one. Something called shared value. You may have run into this concept. Michael Porter gave it its name, but it’s an old idea.

    The idea is you can make money while simultaneously really addressing social problems. So an obvious example would be Unilever’s team business. Unilever grows a third of the branded tea in the world. They came to be concerned that environmental damage was making tea less and less sustainable. And they were worried that the fact that their tea workers were paid almost nothing was going to lead to long term trouble. So they adopted sustainable tea.

    100%– they said– 100% of our is going to be sustainable. And what did they find. They found the growing tea that way it was cheaper. That consumers were more interested in buying tea if it was grown the right way, their market share went up. We are seeing hundreds and thousands of firms discover things like this.

    Walmart has doubled the efficiency of its transportation fleet in just 10 years, saving a billion a year as they did it. We are seeing firms invest in local training, in raising wages, in discovering that working with people who are properly paid and properly trained is better for the firm and better for their employees. So that’s step one. Shared values.

    Very exciting. Lots of it going on. Clearly not enough to solve the big problems we face. But maybe, just maybe, catalytic.

    Because you know what happens when you work on shared value? You discover that, whoa, there’s a bunch of problems I can’t solve as a firm on my own. I can say I’m going to lower my carbon emissions and use renewables but that raises my price. And if all my competitors are going right ahead and burning fossil fuels, it puts me at a disadvantage. Nike discovered that when they committed to driving child labor out of their supply chain because they were afraid of brand damage, they thought they could do it alone.

    But they couldn’t. Supply chains for textiles are far too complicated to have any one firm turn it around. So firms are increasingly turning to industry consortia.

    To cooperation within the industry, within the region so that everyone says, tell you what, let’s not use child labor. Let’s not use fossil fuels. Let’s not dump our waste in the river. That way, it’s not to anyone’s disadvantage to behave well and we can compete on what we really care about. That will preserve our brands give us long term traction with consumers.

    Make sure that we’re not subject to long term degradation of the resources on which we all rely. So that step two. Industry cooperation.

    Bad news about industry cooperation is it’s tricky to maintain. Get a bunch of CEOs in a room and tell them, well, OK, next year, nobody pays any bribes, OK? We’re going to solve corruption. Nobody pays any bribes.

    Nice idea, nice agreement. Everybody leaves the room, who knows what’s going to happen. So of course, you invest in auditing and metrics and tracking.

    But it’s tricky. So after a while, you discover that it would be nice to engage with competent local authorities. With well written regulation. With government that knows what it’s doing. That can create the playing field that enables you to do what you want to do, which is build a great and thriving business.

    You want a local government that has a strong educational system. So perhaps you do what they did in Minnesota. All the big CEOs in Minnesota got together and said, we have a problem with early childhood learning.

    Far too big a problem for just the CEOs to fix. But they spent the money to do some of the early studies to say how it could be done. They ran the early experiments about how the whole system could be improved. And they improved the whole system.

    This can sound a little wild and crazy, a little pie in the sky– business can change the world. But it’s happened before. We have seen at times of major crisis, a significant fraction of the business elite say, you know, this isn’t working, we need to do it differently. We need a world in which business and government are in partnership in service of the greater good and yes, the free market. The really free and fair market, which can only exist when you have strong institutions.

    We saw that happen in– can anyone tell I’m British– England in the 17th century and the Glorious Revolution, when a very important part of the ruling class said, you know, this old way– keep the peasants on the land with the turnips and the King has all the power– that’s not working for us. Let’s change it. We saw it in France. We saw it in Chile. We’re even seeing it happen in parts of Brazil.

    This is when business gets together. And in the US– for those of you in the US– it happened here. It happened right after World War II.

    After World War II, business was afraid that would be a massive depression so they worked closely with the administration on jobs training, on programs, on the core infrastructure that we take for granted as a root source of prosperity in this country today. Business can save the world. I’ve run out of time so I’m going to say one more thing and then I’m going to hand over to you Michael. And this is where I’m going right on to Michael’s territory, so watch my body language like, get a little bit nervous here. For 20 years, I was the Eastman Kodak Professor of Management at MIT. So I know how hard change is.

    That’s what I did– I studied firms like Kodak. This program I’ve just laid out to you– firms do it alone, then they cooperate, then they work on building great government– sounds great, right? Any of you going to do it on Monday morning? It’s going to be tricky.

    It’s going to involve hard work. It’s going to involve a lot of innovation. It’s going to involve a lot of risk taking.

    I think there’s no way it will happen unless an important group of business leaders decides to act from purpose. Decides to build great firms that not only make a lot of money but are also trying to make a difference in the world. I think those firms can be the tip of the spear. Can be the leaders that show us that these new business models and new ways of working can make a difference.

    We have a lot of evidence now that such firms can make money. That they are often more productive and more creative than their conventional rivals. So I think we need to rediscover as businesspeople, a sense of great mission. Not permission to not think about strategy.

    Not permission not to think about the business model. I teach 28 sessions, every session I say, where’s the money, where’s the money. What you can do well and be focused on the really important questions. And in doing that, you can begin to shift the world.

    Great. Well done. My first response to Rebecca is really in the form of a question. How can I sign up for your online course?

    I very much like Rebecca’s emphasis on mission or purpose driven business. And so we may find ourselves– this is the risk– with not quite enough to disagree about. Oh, I have some ideas, don’t worry.

    However, it seems to me that the mission driven, purpose driven kind of business that Rebecca eloquently calls for– and rightly– faces a number of obstacles that are powerful obstacles and that need a broad social and political project to address before even the most enlightened and conscientious business executives can come together to pursue the noble vision of business that Rebecca puts before us. One of the greatest obstacles has to do, I think, with the change in the character of capitalism over the last 30 or 40 years. And that has to do with the financialization of capitalism. There’s a growing divide between business and investment in productive capacity on the one hand. And what finance does– the purpose of finance is very simple– it’s direct capital to socially useful activities. Investing in factories, plants, technology, research development, homes, education, hospitals, roads.

    But in recent decades, capitalism has changed its character in a way that increasingly separates financial activity from these underlying social purposes to do with the real economy. As recently as 1980, financial activity accounted for about 10% of corporate profits. By 2005, it accounted for about 30%. Now that wouldn’t be a troubling thing if all that financial activity were fueling investment– socially productive activities. Helping business do the kinds of things that Rebecca has highlighted.

    But only a tiny portion of finance is now doing that. Only about 15% of finance actually is fueling investment. And the rest of it consists mainly of casino-like speculation on existing assets like real estate and land, for example. And to some extent, on consumption.

    So where the traditional Economics 101 account says that finance is the lubricant of economic activity in a business, when finance surpasses a certain role in the economy, when it explodes, as it has done in the last three to four decades, it actually becomes a drag on economic growth and on innovation and on entrepreneurship rather than fuel for it. Now this didn’t just happen. It happened as the result of deliberate policies, which goes to Rebecca’s point about the rules that govern the way capitalism works. And the dazzle and the allure of ever expanded financial activity and the speculative– the moral economy of speculation, as we might call it– has bedazzled politicians of both parties.

    It’s been a bipartisan infatuation that has contributed not only to instability and the financial crisis of 2008. It’s not only been a drag on growth. But it’s also led to a kind of capture by finance of both parties and of regulatory agencies that have made it very difficult to implement the kinds of rules and regulations that Rebecca rightly emphasizes. The kinds of rules and regulations that embed capitalism in a larger social and political purpose.

    Not only that, it’s fueled inequality. The growing gap between rich and poor. And even perhaps morally more corrosive– the spirit of speculation, the speculative ethic has been corrosive– in ways that we’re only beginning, I think to notice– of the dignity of ordinary work. And this, I think, has contributed to a fueling of the backlash against the kind of finance driven global capitalism that has unfolded in the last three decades. A political backlash– kind of populist backlash– that has some very ugly and dangerous features. So it seems to me that the future of capitalism depends.

    It depends on us. Not only on us as people who are involved in business. Not only on business executives, enlightened, though some of them may be, especially after they’ve taken Rebecca’s online course. But it depends on us as democratic citizens to change the terms of public discourse so that we can debate these questions directly. Rebecca said something early on that I think is very important and that I want to emphasize. She described capitalism as a tool.

    But what’s happened over the last four decades is that we have ceased to regard market economies as a tool. And instead, our moral and political imagination has become the captive of a certain picture of the role of money and markets in a good society. We’ve drifted, almost without realizing, from having market economies to becoming market societies. The difference is this– a market economy is, just as Rebecca said, a tool. But a market society is different.

    It’s a way of life in which market values and market thinking begin to dominate almost every aspect of life. Not just the domain of material goods– cars, toasters, flat screen televisions– market society is a place where almost everything is up for sale. It’s a way of life in which market values begin to infiltrate and colonize every sphere of life from personal relations and family life to health and education and civic life and the media and law and politics. And when that happens, transactional forms of relationship begin to crowd out non-market values worth caring about.

    And one of the corrosive effect– one of the non-market values crowded out has to do with the dignity of work. And by work I don’t mean the work that hedge fund managers engage in, for which they are remunerated at such rates that they are attracting increasing numbers of our graduates and of MBAs. It’s the kind of work whose dignity is eroded by a speculative way of thinking about the economy. It’s the kind of work that ordinary men and women do and in which they were taught– we were taught– to take pride.

    And what happens I think– this is the most deeply morally corrosive aspect that the shift to a market society and to a naturalized version of capitalism has wrought– there’s something deeply demoralizing for ordinary citizens when the work they do and the effort they expand is almost mocked by the system of reward that we now have. Well, back some years ago, there was a British sociologist named Michael Young who wrote a book called The Rise of the Meritocracy. This is in 1958 in Britain. Now meritocracy– we think of that as a good thing.

    As an ideal. As something to aspire to. A meritocracy where people are rewarded according to their contribution, according to their hard work, their talents, their effort.

    But Michael Young, who coined the term, actually was writing a dystopian account of what a meritocratic future might hold. And what he glimpsed– that was at the time– Rebecca will know this– Britain was moving from a class based aristocratic society to one open to talents. And that was a good thing. But what Michael Young pointed out was there is something dangerous and even oppressive if we ever imbibed too deeply the full meritocratic idea, which is where you land depends on your merit, your virtue, how hard you work. In the old aristocratic system, if I landed at the bottom, at least I had the compensation of knowing it wasn’t my fault.

    It wasn’t I doing. I just had the bad judgment to be born to poor parents. And if I landed at the top on my glory and my good fortune, but I wouldn’t inhale too deeply knowing that it was in large part due to the accident of birth. But how does that play out when people come to believe and are taught to believe that where they land depends on their virtue, their merit, their hard work.

    There will still be those at the top and those at the bottom in a perfect meritocracy. But there will be a tendency, he said, for those at the top to say, I am hereby dint of my own effort and merit and virtue and I deserve it. And therefore, I look down at those below and say, they deserve their fate. He said that would be the temptation.

    And equally insidious for those at the bottom to look up and to look at themselves and to say, maybe, I deserve to have landed here. Maybe I’m just not as smart or as hard working as Bill Gates. Now he predicted– Michael Young did– that in the year 2033, there would be a populist revolt against this arrangement. And it came 16 years before he predicted.

    The populist revolt, the backlash against the version of global capitalism that’s been unfolding for the last three or four decades– we saw it with Brexit. We saw it with the election of Trump. We see it in the rise of populist parties in Europe. That is in large part fueled not just by job losses due to globalization and technology or stalled wages. It’s also, I think, a loss of self-esteem that ordinary working people feel and middle class people feel.

    And so the future of capitalism, it seems to me, beyond trying to enlighten business executives, beyond even trying to change the rules give such advantage to unproductive forms of finance requires that we have a public debate, a revitalized public discourse about inequality, about mobility, and above all, about the way we should regard success and disadvantage and the mutual responsibility that those who landed on top should consider themselves to have for those less fortunate than themselves. What do you think, Rebecca? I thought that was fabulous, Michael. Let’s clap him too. Michael, you raised so many profound and important points. I could imagine we could spend the next little while talking about diagnosis, like what exactly has gone wrong.

    We could spend our time talking about where it is we want to get to. I think you and I share a vision of a much more discussion driven, socially embedded economy. One where– a kind of old fashioned kind of capitalism. But I would like to spend a little time at the third place, which is how we get from here to there.

    Because that feels to me almost the hardest thing. Because if you look at our current political situation, we have an enormous polarization not only in this country, but in many other parts of the world– if you think about what’s going to happen in France tomorrow. We see a world in which I’d rather have my son marry someone of a very different ethnic background than have him marry someone from a different political party than mine– statistically. You know, we’ve really sort of gone into our corners and started yelling at each other.

    We’re a long way from the debate you were talking about. So I have this crazy idea, which might be crazy, which is that rather surprisingly, business is one of the best places to begin having that conversation. So let me try and give you just like a couple of reasons that might be the case. And I’d be very curious what you think.

    So one reason it might be a good place to begin. It’s one of the places where everybody has to be polite. Where people are brought together from very different backgrounds in service of a common goal. The kinds of firms I’m thinking of– and I take your point about financialization– they’re firms that give people rides and run hospitals and build widgets and employ tens of thousands of people.

    So they can see the importance of having an economy that works. And managers in those kinds of firms– not all of them– but many are very much in touch with what you describe, which is the dignity of ordinary work. For me, one of the characteristics of a purpose driven firm is you treat everyone with respect.

    And you understand that everything is a part of the whole. So in my dreams, business begins that conversation, just an enlightened fraction. But you know, 1,000 CEOs control 73% of OECD GDP. I mean, business is incredibly concentrated power. If we could imagine just 100, 150, 200 of those very large firms thinking I’m managing in a different kind of way– not that it would fix things on its own, I’m not that naive– but could it help support exactly the kind of dialogue and politics and social movement that you’re thinking about? It can be an important start.

    I wouldn’t want to restrict it and I suspect you wouldn’t either to businesses. I think civil society as a whole has to be a source of a rejuvenated kind of public discourse oriented to the common good. And business is an enormously important part of civil society. So are social movements.

    So are congregations. So are unions. So are schools and universities. So are the media. It would be wonderful if some group of business CEOs could initiate this sort of discussion. But it would be important– and I think I understand you to be suggesting this– that their are conversations not only be about how to run their firms responsibly and how to expand their vision of the purpose of the corporation to include not only shareholder value, but also the well-being of suppliers, consumers, employees, and others whose contributions are other constituencies of the corporation.

    All of that’s important. But I also think that any such movement would also have to have a political voice. Now maybe corporate leaders might shrink from that. What do you think about that?

    So it’s a great question. I think, certainly historically, there have been places and times when business has been overtly political. Sometimes in a bad way, sometimes in a good way.

    I think we’re beginning to see something stirring now. I’m sure you’re familiar with the business leaders who signed a letter to President Trump saying it was very important to stay in the Paris accords. This is a major international agreement with respect to global warming. I’m sure you saw the business leaders stepping up and saying, no, the way we’re approaching immigration is something I’m very uncomfortable with.

    I know at the local and city levels, many business leaders are stepping up and saying, no, this destruction of our educational system, of writing off people as disposable is not OK. We want to revitalize our local neighborhoods and really work city by city. So I think you’re certainly seeing that. You remind me of something I think is almost as important as the financialization. And that’s the idea that the only moral duty of the firm is to maximize shareholder value.

    I’ve met some business leaders and business people who think, well, that’s all I have to do– maximize shareholder value. But what that means is if I see something that if I do it will actively harm the society around me, why, I should go ahead and do it because it maximizes my profits. You know, if selling guns to the children in the Congo is legal, I’m there. I’m selling guns to children in the Congo. I think this is such a destructive way of thinking.

    I think it does two things. One, it says the only duty is to look down into the firm. And I’m with you– I think not just CEOs, but everyone in business should be looking out to the society in which they’re embedded and saying, how do we fit with the rest. But it’s not a legal duty to maximize shareholder value in the short term. It’s not at all clear it’s the best way to maximize returns on capital.

    It’s a lousy way to run a business if taken too far. And most importantly, it excuses a huge fraction of society from engaging in the debate you want them to engage in. And I’m with you. I think business should be full of people saying, I’m part of something much greater. My firm is helping to strengthen this whole system.

    I like that very much and I wonder if I could complicate your task with the business leaders by adding a couple more items to the agenda. You mentioned climate change and education and policy toward immigrants and even toward guns. I wonder if I could add possibly more– I don’t know– contentious items to that agenda for the socially enlightened business community that you will help nurture. What about– and this does go to the pressures that impel companies to behave the way they do, including short-termism, including, for example, plowing most profits now into such things as buying back stocks, boosting the share price, which has an effect on the way the CEOs are remunerated. They’re pressed to do that, they would have to be almost too altruistic not to do that, given the frank policy framework, for example.

    So could we add to the list, Rebecca, that they would press to change the tax code that allows corporate debt to be tax deductible but not investment in the same way. To put those two on a par. Because that’s part of what forces these companies– what fuels the financialization in part are these rules.

    Or here’s another one– and it goes to the dignity of work. Social security in the United States, the primary retirement system going all the way back to FDR in 1935, is financed by a payroll tax, which is a regressive tax paid by workers and by companies. But it’s a tax on labor. Now what about the idea of proposing to getting rid of the payroll tax, regressive as it is, and swapping it out for a financial transactions tax, which at a tiny fraction of a percent even, could generate enough revenue to replace the payroll tax.

    This would have an impact on several of the demoralizing tendencies that we’ve been discussing. It would be a recognition that financial transactions in this economy, especially high speed financial transactions, have little, if anything, to do with contributing to the public good. It would slightly slow that down. It would symbolically express a sense that this activity is not really helping business or the Main Street economy. And it would be a signal that we’re going to respect work by getting rid of the payroll tax and we’re going to derive those taxes from financial transactions. What do you think those corporate executives would say about that?

    Now for some of them, actually, this would help them. I’m reluctant to speak for all corporate executives. I will say that I’m completely with you in wanting to remove the favorable tax treatment on debt. And I would love to get rid of the payroll tax. You and I would have a lively conversation about whether it should be replaced by a carbon tax.

    Well, I would add to the list of carbon tax and a financial transactions tax because between the two, we can get rid of the payroll tax and fund infrastructure and education. And solve global warming. Yes. Let’s do that. In general, a financial transactions tax and a carbon tax to bear the burden, get rid of the payroll tax, reduce the income tax– Now we’re going too detailed. Tax carbon.

    Tax consumption. Tax carbon. Tax financial transactions.

    Build the infrastructure. Deal with global warming. And honor work.

    What about that, Rebecca? I’m there. So we solved all the problems of the world, Bharat.

    Let’s go to Q&A. So the even hashtag is [INAUDIBLE] 226. [INAUDIBLE] So you’re welcome to start asking questions [INAUDIBLE] here. Is it inevitable that capitalism must [INAUDIBLE] prices in order for businesses to lead and act? And if so, are we there yet? I think we have a major crisis.

    I’ve been deeply involved in global warming for the last 12 years. And when I used to meet with other people who were also concerned about the issue, we used to say, what we really need is for a big storm to hit New York City and really cause some difficulty and damage. What we really need is for major crop failure to cause civil war in a couple of countries. We’re seeing that. The environmental crisis is with us. It’s a slow motion crisis.

    And we have a major political crisis on our hands. I think whatever your own political views, the breakdown in the political conversation is a very, very serious problem. But I think what the questioner is asking is, do we need something even more visible to have business lead. I think not.

    I think business is starting to lead. I literally know hundreds of businesses that are starting to move in this direction. They can see the writing on the wall.

    They can see it’s not in their long term interest to consider business as usual. They’re finding ways in the short term, within the very tight constraints to make a difference. So I don’t think it’s necessary. I think alas, we may get it anyway. What is an alternative to capitalism and why would that system work better?

    I think you should take this question, Michael. I’m like, a dyed in the wool capitalist here. I think that what we’ve been discussing, at least implicitly, is not capitalism for or against, but varieties of capitalism. I think we’ve been discussing various ways of embedding market economies in a framework of political rules and also that civic values and ideals that require capitalism and market economies to function in a way that contributes to the common good. Now there are some who say there is only one kind of capitalism. And that’s an unfettered, free market capitalism without regulation.

    And neither of us is defending that. But I think the alternatives that we are kind of finding our way to and trying to work out and articulate are really ways of reconceiving, reimagining capitalism so that it does what unfettered free markets cannot do, which is approximate the public good. I think sometimes people look at our current situation and feel that it’s so extreme that the only way out is to reject capitalism altogether. I myself– that makes me feel very nervous because the track record of societies that rejected capitalism completely is terrible. If you don’t have the market allocating resources, then I get to do it or Michael gets to do it. And then we allocate all the economic power and with it, the political power.

    And if you have a really strong democracy that can constrain Michael and I, who are allocating all the resources, then the really strong democracy can constrain the market. So you see before you two people who are very committed to the kind of mixed model where capitalism is balanced by a strong democracy and strong controls. And if I could just add, lest there be any misunderstanding, the kind of mixed regimes that we’re discussing, it seemed to me at least to be entirely compatible with most versions of social democracy. Now some people say that social democracy or democratic socialism is an alternative to capitalism. But I think there is a spectrum of ways of making use of market mechanisms as tools without allowing them to define the public good or to define social justice.

    I think that the emphasis and that’s the insight of social democratic or democratic socialist traditions, which do not require getting rid of market mechanisms but do require keeping markets in their place. I guess that’s the slogan that I would use to describe the kind of position that I’m suggesting. Michael, do you know that great phrase, the American dream is alive and well and living in Denmark? You know, that social mobility is higher in Denmark.

    I’m not saying Denmark is the solution. Denmark is small and culturally homogeneous in ways that make it much easier to have these conversations. But I think we need to fight our way to something like the very best of what we’ve seen here in the States. Historically, there have been moments here in the US.

    But also, we’ve seen in other countries, including Japan and Germany and Scandinavia, where I think a lot of the Latin American countries are trying to find their way too. I don’t know if your answers were in response to the following question but sort of preempted it. Are you suggesting a convergence of capitalism, socialism. So let me actually take the next one. As professors at Harvard Business School, how can you influence business students who are potential future business leaders to use business for social and environmental good? Right.

    Well actually, I’m a visitor at Harvard Business School. So I should defer to Rebecca on that. What do you think?

    Maybe you can give us some tips, Michael. I’ll tell you how I try and do it. And you should know, I’m not the only faculty member at the business school who is deeply concerned about these issues. There are many of us who want to keep the heart of the capitalist system– all its innovation and its potential to create great prosperity. But make sure it doesn’t destroy the system in which it’s embedded. So how do how do we go about doing that.

    Our number one sort of direction is to point out you don’t need to give up on running a profitable business. I think often, people think it’s either/or. That I have to be a ruthless red blooded capitalist or I can care about the world. And I think that’s sloppy thinking. There are lots of opportunities to do both.

    And as I tried to suggest, when you start to work in partnership, that set of opportunities gets even bigger. So what we try and do is concretely give people case after case of firms who are doing this in real time. So for example, we teach them about the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, which was founded by Unilever. Unilever could see what was happening. The worldwide demand for palm oil was leading to enormous deforestation, which was destroying our lands in Indonesia and Malaysia, leading to global warming, and also causing widespread species and environmental destruction.

    And they said, well, we can’t solve this on our own. But if we all agree to buy sustainable palm oil, we can really turn this around. And now 60% of global palm oil is sustainably committed.

    It’s not perfect. There are all kinds of issues and difficulties. But people are working them. And you have business working with the civil society, with the government to try and make sure that the economies in Indonesia and Malaysia, where most palm oil is grown, a thriving economies for the people on the ground and for the children of those people. It’s very exciting. It’s very possible.

    So that’s my personal route– is shows that it’s possible. Let me just pick up on a couple of questions that seem to be related. One, what are the triggers and the policy changes that gave rise to the financialization of the economy, so to speak?

    And related to that, looking forward, how do you see the future of the finance industry, in particular, based on this compensation, hedge funds, based on what you discussed about the future of capitalism? Well I think some of the policy changes came in in under bipartisan auspices. In fact, many of the changes came in the 1990s during the Clinton administration as a bipartisan effort to deregulate the financial industry. In the 1990s. And this, I think, contributed to what was already beginning to be the financialization of the economy.

    It goes back to the late 1970s though, when finance was seen to be a way that politicians beset with demands for public investment of various kinds. It was a way, so to speak, about sourcing the decision making on how to deal with conflicting claims. Should the government finance housing, infrastructure, education, health, opportunities for consumption. In a way, loosening and deregulating finance, unleashing finance, became an alternative to public investment in those things. So that began in the 1970s and ’80s. Then came the deregulation of the Reagan years.

    Then the 1990s and the Clinton administration getting rid of Glass-Steagall. The decision by the Clinton administration not to regulate derivatives. So these were the policy choices, along with one that we’ve discussed, which is the favorable tax treatment of debt. And that’s distorted. It’s distorted the decisions that companies make about using equity versus using debt for investment.

    So I think this combination of factors contributed to the financialization of the economy. We’ve discussed some possible policy responses. Taxing debt on a par with the taxation on equity. Not giving the tax break. Financial transaction tax. Others would be restoring the distinction between commercial and investment.

    Banking increasing capital requirements. I would add to that banning naked credit default swaps, which are essentially casino-like speculations that have nothing directly to do with financing businesses or research and development for new companies. And then a third would be breaking up the big banks, which is discussed widely in politics today. So those six or seven measures would be, I think, a place to start.

    But the more important thing is to have a public debate. I don’t know if that’s the right list exactly. But those are the ones that seem plausible. But a more direct and open public debate about this question than we’ve had in recent years. Here’s another one, just to make the link between finance and technology, given some of the students today discussed cases like Apple. Is the seeming overvaluations of tech companies, many of which produce few tangible goods, good or bad for capitalism?

    A little bit of silence. Yeah, the tech companies– many of them– do produce tangible goods, so I’m not sure I fully understand the question. But the overvaluation of some of these companies goes back to the issues of financial speculation that we’ve been discussing. It leads to inflated equity prices that gives rise to the bursting of bubbles, as we’ve seen most recently with the housing crash. And we saw prior to that the tech bubble bursting. But that’s part of the dynamic that an unconstrained financialization of business contributes to, which is this cycle of overvaluation and bust.

    But I would not say that tech companies don’t produce tangible goods. They do. Just for fun, let me disagree. Yeah. Which is we don’t know they’re overvalued. That’s one of the strengths of markets.

    You could equally say, well, it’s pulled a lot of energy and excitement into a sector, which may create products and services that we will use. No, it could be. I don’t know that they’re overvalued. I’m speaking systemically, there is a tendency for bubbles to be created by this kind of financial activity. I’m with you on the financialization and the danger I mean, 2008, right?

    We’re still trying to recover from 2008. But to have individual firms overvalued every so often– not such a big deal. There’s 15 more questions. So we’re not going to get through all of them.

    Let me just make the decision to take a couple more. And before that, let me actually insert one of my own, which is, concretely in terms of changing public discourse, what is the role of the media? Well currently, the role of the media is pernicious on the whole. And it’s hard to imagine revitalizing public discourse in a way that enables it and us, as democratic citizens, to debate big questions, including questions of value, with the current media structure that we have. And that has partly to do with the ratings driven, sensation driven kind of coverage of which cable television news and talk radio are the most vivid example. Social media would also fall into this category.

    So I think any attempt to revitalize public discourse to address larger questions would require rethinking the way the media is organized and funded. There will always be tabloids and their cable television equivalents, but they needn’t have the kind of dominant role in the media that they have today. And I think we have to experiment with new ways of funding media companies, whether through nonprofit mechanisms, foundation based mechanisms, or maybe socially responsible purpose driven business undertakings. Because the media that we have today is very good if what we want for public discourse are shouting matches and ideological food fights in very short 10 second soundbites. But if we want something better than that, the media has to take a different form and also be, I think, funded differently.

    So I completely agree. Let me stress as part of working on this course, I’ve been reading everything I can about how societies got out of really bad situations historically. How they built more just and more inclusive societies. And the free media, a media that is really telling it like it is and where people are talking intensely about the issues, is correlated with every transition I can find. So I think it might be the most important.

    But I understand there’s a professor at HBS who studies this pretty intensively. Maybe we should ask him. Next question. Wait.

    If you’re not going to answer. Could I just add one thing to this? Here’s an example from the past of a purpose driven company related to the media.

    I don’t know if those of you here who are old enough to remember Walter Cronkite, who used to be the anchor of the CBS Evening News. Polls showed that he was the most trusted person in America. And back in that day– now CBS News was a company– CBS was a company. There was a news division and an entertainment division.

    Now it wasn’t owned by a megacorporate parent, as they all are today. No, the Washington Post and the New York Times have very different ownership structures. Yes. But the television networks back then– CBS.

    The television networks are all– Now, CBS was a corporation. It was a profit driven corporation. But they regarded the news division as a public service. A public service. Not subject to the profit or ratings requirements.

    Walter Cronkite saw once a year how his ratings compared to those of NBC and ABC. Now that the television news media are almost all owned by a corporate parent, they are the directors and producers and the anchors of those news programs. See, not once a year, not once a month, not once a day, but on a minute by minute basis how their ratings are comparing to those of their rivals. So maybe we need to have purpose driven businesses in the media too.

    And maybe this idea that we run the corporation for many reasons, only one of which to make money, is central to solving this problem as well. Let me close by actually giving you a choice about which question to answer. One is very close to home and one is very far away.

    The one close to home. So here is the question– how do HBS admissions play into the meritocracy argument. Does it contribute to the dystopias situation and what is the solution? The one further away– is capitalism the correct model for third world countries, where the economy is often controlled by a few and vast socioeconomic gaps exist between the rich and the poor? Very quickly on HBS.

    HBS admissions is aggressively meritocratic and open to people from many, many different backgrounds. I believe it’s over 60% of students help get tuition support. So certainly, the school is very much aware of its role in trying to make opportunity available to everyone. On the question about the developing world, my own belief is that capitalism rightly understood– that is, properly controlled without crony capitalism, without the concentration of wealth and power– is one of the most powerful ways for developing nations to move forward.

    If capital really is available to everyone– real capital that funds, real businesses– if everyone can build a business, if everyone can participate, that’s one way of breaking open the concentration of wealth and power that plagues so many countries. So to my mind, real capitalism, free and fair capitalism is a very plausible solution to what is happening in too many countries. Just to take up the question. Now I know more about Harvard College admission than I do about HBS admissions. And it illustrates the defects of meritocracy as we traditionally conceive it. Because what goes into the kind of merit that admissions officers evaluate includes all sorts of factors that are not the doing of those who are admitted.

    If you look at the Ivy League and the most selective competitive colleges and universities in the US today, what percentage of the students who attend those places would you guess come from the bottom 20% of the income scale. Just shout out a number. What would you guess. What?

    5%. Any others? 40%? From the bottom 20%. It’s 3%. At Harvard College, it’s 4%.

    Slightly better. At Yale, it’s 2%. What percentage do you think come from the top 20%?

    Not the super rich, but the top 20%? It’s around 70% at these places. And here’s one other striking fact. That the percent of the students at the top dozen most competitive places who come from the top 1% is greater than the percentage of students at these places who come from the bottom half put together of the income scale.

    Which means if you are walking in the Harvard Yard, bump into someone at random, there’s a greater chance that person will come from the top 1% then from anywhere in the bottom half of the American population. Now, you could say that’s a meritocratic admissions system if it faithfully reflects who has the best grades and test scores and letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities and internships. You could say it’s a meritocratic system, but it’s a far cry from one that offers genuinely equal opportunity. And what is reflected in the admissions to top colleges and universities is a reflection, I think, of the way meritocracy such as it, works in other aspects.

    Oh, but now I want to get into a fight, just so we have to finish, right? Go ahead. With 30 seconds to go. The statistics you cite is horrifying. But to me, what I hear is not the Ivy League should rethink their admissions policy, although possibly they should. What I hear is a massive failure in education and social support and wage distribution for the bottom half of the population, which is a national disgrace.

    And we must address. Well, we don’t disagree about that. Though I also think it’s true that the admissions policy policies themselves could benefit from affirmative action for poor kids. And the studies that we have show that poor kids who go to top colleges and universities do every bit as well as affluent kids. And so I think there’s a lot of room there. So my first husband was born on the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey to immigrant parents.


  • Can You Survive an RPG Game?

    games online

    Stephen going on and Daniel doing his own thing. What the heck Stephen: I would still like to find those elves Can we find those elves this time Daniel? Can you please give us satisfaction this time? Daniel: I’m sorry It’s been eight months and everybody’s gone away to do their own- Stephen: I still wanna murder these things! Daniel: Okay? Okay, Stephen.

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    Just breathe It’s gonna be alright. Hosuh: What are we doing? Daniel: So today you’re gonna be a side character trying to keep this idiot protagonist from dying Hosuh: Wait, so pretty much what Daniel’s been doing so far? Daniel: So this idiot protagonist is walking around the town.

    NPCs are asking him the dumbest stuff. He’s accepting every single quest. *laughing* Housh: Here’s a side quest. Collect 13 feathers for me, please.

    Stephen: I would like to murder him. Can I still murder people? Daniel: No, you’re his friend. *Stephen sighs* Trying to keep him alive. Stehen: I will not fetch you chickens I will not fetch you- Daniel: The protagonist turns to you and says “Hey Stephen, can you can you walk this dog for me real quick?”

    I’m gonna go get that other side quest. Stephen: I ask whoever the quest giver is What are you gonna give us if we finish your quest. Your stupid ugly quest?

    How many adjectives do I have to add before they get the point? I slap the guy. Roll the die for me! Daniel: You get a two. You fail.

    You said: “Okay sure, protagonist. I’ll do it.” *laughing* Hosuh: Can Hosuh tell Daniel “Let’s go and find a guild or something. That’ll give us proper quests that we can do.” Alright roll. Daniel: Hey, you got a six.

    Daniel: You managed to convince the protagonist. Hosuh: Alright, let’s go to a guild. Daniel: And the protagonist says: “Hey, I know a good guild master – my uncle. Hosuh: Oh no Stephen: I feel like this is leading to a bad thing. Hosuh: I think so.

    Daniel: So they walked to the house the protagonist uncle lives in and while they walk in They hear the uncle say: “Man, there’s such a population problem in this country. Only if I had the protagonist’s power. The dragon beast master slayer. Man, then I can make everybody as pure as I am.” Hosuh: I think this uncle’s as delusion Daniel.

    Stephen, what should we do? Stephen: What I’m thinking we just kill them. What’s your idea? Hosuh: No, I say we just fail him not kill him. Go to a different guild. Daniel: As Hosuh and Stephen whisper what to do, Daniel slams door open says: “Oh hi, uncle!

    We’re here.” The uncle says “Oh hello, nephew.” “I just happen to find this perfect quest for you to do.” “Go to this dark dungeon alley without any of your weapons and pick up something that I left behind over there. Don’t worry, It’s not dangerous at all and you’ll definitely not die.” *maniacal laugh* Stephen: Okay, so he so sounds legit, let’s do this Daniel: Oh Stephen finally there’s something you and I can agree on my uncle is- Stephen: Yes, let’s do this please.

    Daniel: -the most trustworthy man that I’ve ever known in my life. Stephen: I agree. He sounds like a great person. Let’s go with him All right, Daniel, so I leave my staff on the table. Daniel: And Daniel leaves the sword on the table as well. Hosuh: Stephen, hide the staff and your- Stephen: Hide the staff in my pants.

    Hosuh: Yes. Okay. I’ll hide my staff in my pants It’s a pretty big staff. So I mean like it’s hard to hide in all these robes. But yeah.

    Daniel: So the protagonist and the two side characters walk into this dark mysterious cave. You can hear the water drip down and it echoes all the way inside the cave. The protagonist says: “Man, this is great!”

    “I wonder where that thing that the uncle left. I forgot what I said.” Hosuh: I have a question. Can we just pick up a rock and say: “Okay. I found the thing now, what do we do?”

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    Daniel: Suddenly a bunch of goblins come out of nowhere. Stephen: Well shucks! Daniel: Without question they try to attack you. What do you do? Hosuh: Before the fight?

    I think I should buff. I’ll buff Daniel. Daniel: Okay. Stephen: Well, I already don’t care. Daniel: Five. All right, you buff Daniel.

    Daniel punches the Goblin in the face and the Goblin goes down Daniel says: “I’m invincible” and he keeps on running at the goblins. He gets attacked. He’s damaged.

    What do you do? Stephen: I try to res the Goblin body. Daniel: You’re you’re you’re one. They don’t revive. Stephen: Oh my god, I would like to check this die. Alright, so I can’t rez the thing.

    What do I do? Hosuh: Can we try to negotiate with the goblins? Daniel: Okay. Roll. Hosuh: Or, we just killed all of them. Daniel: Oh you got a 5.

    Hosuh somehow manages to stop the goblins from attacking. Hosuh: Wait guys! Stephen: What the heck? Hosuh: Don’t attack! Okay, I’m sorry that my friend killed your friend, but I think there’s been a mistake What’s going on?

    I got you guys Yeah Daniel’s goblin voice: Well, this stranger man came along gave us a bunch of money saying if there’s anyone that comes in this cave We should kill them and and he said he’d give us a lot of money if we did so, you know This is so that’s what we’re trying to do. Hosuh: Can we give you more money? Stephen: No, that’s stupid. Don’t don’t negotiate with terrorists. Okay Daniel: Daniel gets a curious look on his face and pulls out a convenient photo of his uncle and says: “Is this the man that told you to kill me?”

    Goblin: Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s the guy Hosuh: Oh, we did not see that coming. Whoa Stephen: Wow.

    What? That guy is bad? Daniel: Daniel is silent. He seems to have this dark serious and thinking face. “Huh,” says Daniel.

    I guess well, my uncle really wanted me to find was an adventure. Stephen: Oh my god. Can I roll to kill Daniel? Can I roll to kill Daniel?

    Daniel: You roll one. Daniel: You guys managed to walk away from the situation but Daniel’s still not convinced that his uncle is the evil person. Stephen: I think we should mind-control these goblins and report false information to the uncle.

    Daniel: Hey, you got a five. Good job Stephen: Okay, so go back to the uncle and say: “Okay. We killed them.” Now. We want the money. Daniel: Oh sure.

    Okay. Goblin: Oh We killed a guy. We killed the dragon-piece-master-slayer.

    The evil uncle: Oh I see. Here, take this filthy golden. And get out of my sight. Stephen: Delicious.

    I want the Goblin to give it to Stephen. Hosuh: Let’s never see your uncle ever again this runaway- Daniel: What? I love my uncle. He’s my only relative.

    Stephen: You know what? I have a better idea. Hosuh: Mmm-hmm. Stephen: Can I kill random NPC children?

    Daniel: Technically? Yes. Hosuh: What are you trying to do? Stephen: Okay, Daniel So the first thing in any good RPG is leveling up because you get more skills. Daniel: Yeah, that’s right!

    Stephen: Yeah, so let’s go find some weak bosses to hit. Daniel: Okay Stephen: Alright, so see this NPC right here. She’s really weak cause she’s really young and she’s probably ten years old I want you to hit her really hard so that you get lots of exp. Okay? Daniel: She seems pretty innocent to me.

    Stephen: Well she has a cloak of evil. Daniel: Oh. I see. Then he stabs the kid in the heart.

    Hosuh: Oh my gosh! Hosuh: Oh, okay. I don’t know if we are going into the right direction right now. *laughing* Daniel: Just rewind back.

    I can’t. Daniel: Daniel hits the girl in the face. Hits the girl in the face.

    Stephen: Okay, Daniel. So, um, that was good but that was a joke so don’t do that. Daniel: Okay Stephen: All right.

    So here’s what we’re gonna do. So my idea was transform into his uncle murder the Goblin and then half the Goblin limped to Daniel and say: “Your uncle did this to me.” Hosuh: It’s not gonna get through it.

    He’s gonna say: “Oh my god. He’s such a hero!” He killed a goblin by himself. *Daniel laughs* Stephen: Shut up, Hosuh. Stop poking holes in my logic.


  • The SNES fans’ guide to Genesis RPGs

    There are few universal truths in this world: every action has an equal and opposite reaction, JJ Heywood is going to down vote this video, and the Super Nintendo RPG library is superior to that of the Sega Genesis. But is it really? I would argue that for every RPG you cherish on the Super Nintendo there exists an equivalent counterpart on the Sega Genesis. Ok I know you’re skeptical, but indulge me as I play RPG match maker. Besides, who knows, maybe you’ll even discover the new love of your life (don’t worry I won’t tell your old Ninty fling that you were slutting around with Sega).

    Lufia 2 vs LandStalker The puzzles are key in this comparison. Lufia 2 is a semi-rogue-ish turnbased RPG whereas your party spelunks a series of dungeons which feature increasingly more difficult block and switch puzzles. So it stands to reason that fans might also appreciate Landstalker, an isometric action RPG whose puzzles mostly rely on platform jumping and perspective trickery. The method of puzzle presentation may differ but the end result is the same: two gorgeous RPGs with a lot of humor that tax the player’s logic skills.

    Secret of Mana vs Beyond Oasis Here are two stylized action RPGs that are remembered for their addictive combat systems and striking visual presence. Beyond Oasis keeps players engaged throughout the adventure with a robust selection of combo moves, while Secret of Mana does the same with an arsenal of attack altering weapon types. It’s hard to imagine anyone not falling in love with Beyond Oasis, but Secret of Mana fans doubly so.

    Breath of Fire 2 vs Shining Force 2 What does a turn-based traditional JRPG have in common with a tactical one? In this case it’s vibrant graphics and an extraordinary world populated with fantastic creatures not found in other games. You might think it’s a bit of a stretch but I disagree, the reason both of these series rank among my favorites of the genre is the similarity in world building between the two.

    I just want to run around saving the planet with my team of elder dragons and beefy armadillo people dammit. Arcana vs Shining in the Darkness Ok neither of these games are super popular but the similarity was too strong to ignore. Both titles offer a character-driven first person dungeon delving experience in a colorful and cartoony universe. So if dungeon masochism is your kink (and you can’t resist the adorable) I would strongly recommend that you check out either. Or both. Ultima: The False Prophet vs D&D Warriors of the Eternal Sun These two games aren’t just similar, Warriors of the Eternal Sun is a blatant Ultima copy – Westwood studios claims otherwise but they’ve also been sued by Origin in the past so I don’t blame them for denying everything in spite of the evidence against them.

    Eternal Sun’s gameplay may not be as complex as Ultima’s, and the world is a lot smaller but if you love one it’s a pretty safe assumption that the other is just the kind of thing you’d enjoy. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem vs Warsong When I was making this list I had planned to match Warsong up with Ogre Battle, but the problem with that is Ogre Battle is this really odd-ball strategy RTS thing that doesn’t play like any other SRPGs. Heck, it doesn’t even play like other Tactics series titles.

    So I’m going to cheat a bit, just for the sake of making a better pairing. If you like Warsong then you’re going to love Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem – a remake of the original Famicom Fire Emblem. Both games are hardcore strategy RPGs (and hardcore means permadeath bitches!)

    with an eerily similar aesthetic. Shadowrun vs Shadowrun Ok so this is a bit of a copout, obviously someone who enjoyed either Shadowrun would want to check out another adventure in the same gritty dystopian universe. But consider this my warning: these games are not alike. Shadowrun SNES is more point and click adventure than RPG. Yes there’s some combat sequences, but success hinges on finding the correct clues in the correct order and taking them to the next story point. Shadowrun Genesis on the other hand is a nonlinear open world adventure where you leisurely solve a bigger mystery while going on self-initiated quest runs.

    Both are fun, both are worth playing (Genesis is better). Final Fantasy 4 vs Phantasy Star 2 Final Fantasy 4 and Phantasy Star 2 are like the not-quite-as-good versions of their amazing big brothers. These are two excellent turn-based RPGs in their own right, and sci-fans will appreciate their futuristic techy vibe. Also spoiler alert: weirdly enough both games have a real downer moment when a playable character permanently bites it.

    Super Mario RPG vs Wonder Boy in Monster World vs Popful Mail Hey if you love a platformer turned RPG maybe you’d like an RPG platformer? Ok… this one is a stretch. I mean Wonder Boy in Monster World is a good game but probably not Super Mario RPG good.

    Actually scratch that, Wonder Boy’s not even Popful Mail good. Mail is another cartoony side scrolling hack and slash but it’s her ridiculous humor that a Super Mario RPG fan just has to love. And thanks to the Sega CD’s expanded storage capability all that campy dialog is voiced – you’re welcome. Final Fantasy 6 vs Phantasy Star 4 It stands to reason that if you’re looking for a memorable turn-based RPG with flashy cinematics (well as flashy as can be achieved with 16bit pixel art anyway) and an endearing roster of characters than you need look no further than either Final Fantasy 6 or Phantasy Star 4.

    Unfortunately only one of these titles features a demented killer clown – but perhaps having one is enough. Chrono Trigger vs Lunar Ok so I had to stretch the definition of a Genesis RPG just a bit to find a worthy comparison to Chrono Trigger, an RPG that’s not just the best on the Sness, but remains one of the best ever made. I am confident that I have found a worthy match in Lunar for the Sega CD. Both games prioritized storytelling and character development, and shared minor similarities such as visible over world enemies, dreamy bad guys with flowing white hair, and the redemption of a playable character.

    Ok I’m done and before you ask: No. I didn’t find a Sega date for Earthbound, but you know what? A good equivalent just doesn’t exist.

    I admit defeat, nothing matches Earthbound’s unique brand of nostalgic sci-fi zaniness. But you know what? You won’t find its equal on any other console either. So kudos to Nintendo for crafting a truly one of a kind experience.


  • How to Create Interesting MMO and RPG Quests

    Last week, we talked about how quest could be used to encourage exploration and curiosity, rather than to simply push the player through an MMO treadmill. Today, we’ll dive deeper into the concept, and talk more about how to get players think through all the aspects of your game, rather than perceiving it as a series of unending combat encounters. So first, let me tell you about a quest in “The Secret World“.

    I apologize if this is a minor spoiler for anyone. This story will spoil one quest in the game, but I think it’s useful to demonstrate how broadly you can get the players to think about you MMO through quest system. The quest begins at a church, a priest tells you that there’s an ancient secret hidden in this town. He tells you that there’s a secret path that would guide you on your way, and gives you a number of hints regarding Illuminati sigla. Then, he points you to the sewer cap outside. Emblazoned on all of the sewer caps in the town, is the Illuminati Pyramid, and if you follow where they point, moving always in the direction of the eye, you’ll find the next part of the puzzle.

    Now, this first moment, already has many of the hallmarks of quality quest design. Because it not only gets the player to look more closely at the world, and to care about what’s actually there, but it also gives the player a moment of wonder. Something they took for granted, these sewer cap textures that they run over a hundred times, are suddenly imbued with meaning, and are part of the lore of the world. The world isn’t just the wrapper for the grind, it’s a magical living place.

    That’s a great feeling in a game. OK, so, after they followed that path, they get to a placard that reads: “In the seat of power, the navigator immortalized, illuminating the path to the sleeping priest and fletcher. In memory of Frans Hals, who perished in light.”

    1580-1666 Now there’s a puzzle! First, the player has to figure out that the seat of power means the town hall. This causes them to start looking at the map, and thinking about the places in the world as actual places, rather than simply reference points for spawn locations or quest givers.

    Next, they have to find the painting of a navigator in the town hall. To throw in some tangential learning, Frans Hals, the person quoted on the plaque, was a famous Dutch painter. If the player thinks to look that up while trying to figure out this puzzle, that should clue them in that they’re looking for a painting. Sadly, the painting you find in the game isn’t actually one of his, but, well, anyways.

    When you find the painting, the bottom of it says: “Time is the province of Kings and Gods. The hands of time point to truths written by kings in the words of God. The path is open to the enlightened.” Here’s where it gets bonkers. Player next has to realize that the hands of time mean the hands of the clock in the town hall, which points to 10:10.

    No problem so far. But after that, they have to realize that the truth written by the kings in the words of God, means they have to go crack out a Bible, and open it to Kings 10:10, which reads: “And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.” Which tells you the code to the vault you’re trying to get into: 120 And while the difficulty on that last part ramps up far, far faster than it should, and, in truth, the difficulty between steps and Secret World missions often fluctuate too much, you can see how The Secret World designers have gotten the player to buy into their world of weird mystic paranoia by the end of this. They’ve let the reality of the game bleed into the reality of the player’s world, and made every texture, every part of the environment hold the promise of meaning.

    And they did it all while presenting a set of challenges that exist outside the realm of combat or traversal. Uh…yes, the player has to fight and run their way through the town while on this quest, But the quest wasn’t to kill X-numbers of enemies, or to get to Y-place. In fact, the mission can be completed entirely without fighting if the player’s adept enough, and this sort of alternate challenges doesn’t cost the developer any more to create, either. I mean, those sewer caps have got to be textured either way. Having their texture also be a surprising part of the design doesn’t cost any more money.

    It just takes a little forethought. Missions can either be boring and routine, or a magic entry point for your world. Having them be the latter just involves a little bit of shift in how we think about design. And, in fact, The Secret World goes even farther than this. They really made sure to utilize all the elements of the game.

    There are times where you have to use emotes to pray or applaud in the right place at the right time in order to complete a quest. There are also a number of stealth missions which while clunky at times from a design perspective, simply involve placing incredibly hard enemies that will kill the player if they aggro them, and placing them in such a way that the player is able to move around them without pulling aggro if they think it through. It requires no new assets to develop it, nor does it require the implementation of new systems, and yet, it still delivers a new experience simply by moving the design mindeset away from seeing quest design simply as a method for guiding the player through the combat grind. And that brings us to a few other points: First, if you want quests to feel organic, they can’t just be one of two dozen things that the player accrues every time they rush through town. By bombarding the player with the quest, you overwhelm them with text, and essentially create a scenario where the players incapable of really caring about the quest individually. The player’s thoughts just boiled down to: “Alright, which one of these is closer on my mini-map?”

    The Secret World limit you to one main story-line quest, one big quest, and three minor quests, so you can only ever have five at a time. That’s a manageable number, and it allows the player to think a little bit more about each quest, and invest a bit more in each one. This also lets you get rid of the ridiculous town hub that many MMO players know so well. That safe part of the zone that the player blazes through trying to find the 12 guys who have exclamation point over their heads.

    Instead, constraining the player to a small number of active quests, allows for environmental quests. You find an overturned car? That could be a quest giver.

    You find a note on the ground? That’s a quest giver. Find a corpse in the woods? That’s a quest giver. Environmental quests make the world feel much more holistic and alive.

    By having quest tied to small scenes or moments within the world. Environmental quests also create a much better flow to the game. Wherever you are when you finish a quest, there’s something else interesting to do. And if you really run out of quests, just explore the world and you’re sure to find a quest that pushes you to explore even more. That’s way better than the flow-breaking return trip to town to drop off quests or get new ones. Lastly, most of what we call “quest” these days, I think should be reduced to what I call “tasks”.

    The idea of tasks is a system used heavily in “The Lord of the Rings Online”. In that game, basically everything has a task associated with it that functions sort of like an achievement. So, kill 20 rats?

    Task complete. You find all the major landmarks of this zone? Task complete.

    You kill 20 corrupted denizens of the lower abyss? Yep, task complete. But what made these tasks interesting, is that they all, in the loosest of senses, conferred a small permanent bonus to your character if you did them.

    Not enough to actually make you feel like you have to do all of them, but, enough for you to feel like it’s really worth doing the ones you felt like doing. And this is the key: They created tasks for everything. I mean, seriously, there was a task associated with almost every monster in the game, and this is essential, because, what do these tasks do? They encourage the player to play how they want.

    Maybe today I want to grind neekerbreeker. Maybe tomorrow I want to explore all of Weathertop. Maybe the next day I want to see how many barrow wights I can take down, because those are super hard for me to fight at this level.

    Well, in “Lord of the Rings Online”, you can do all of that, and the game encourages you to. It lets you track your progress, and reward you for playing however you want to play. This is a powerful thing. You can augment your quest system by putting in these types of tasks, and essentially letting the player choose when they want to create difference in kind for themselves.

    Oh, and in “Lord of the Rings Online”, they did throw in one really manipulative task that I just loved. All it provided the player with was a title, but it changed the whole experience. Say, James gets to level 5 without dying once. That would earn him the title: “James The Wary” If he got to level 10 without dying, he’d be: “James The Undefeated” …and so on. Now, I’m not saying that this is a good way to go, But it really makes you feel like your character’s life has meaning, which helps you to really sink into the world of Middle-Earth. And there’s plenty more on quest design that we could talk about, and maybe we will eventually.

    But one last thing before we go: “World of Warcraft” has evolved a lot over the years, and Blizzard is clearly tried to branch and build more than the treadmill/FedEX quest and kill quests that “WoW” launched with. But many of WoW’s clones and the free-to-play games of today seem not to have learned this lesson, which is tragic, because especially in the free-to-play age, just because a game is a MMO, does not mean that it has to feel like a grind. See you next week!


  • Top 5 Scariest Lovecraftian Inspired Video Games

    I love video games – and ever since the days of Splatterhouse, I’ve been captivated by the form. I also love the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft – so what better way to combine those two things, than in a Lovecraftian inspired video games list? Hello horror fans, and welcome back to the scariest channel on YouTube – Top 5 Scary Videos.

    As per usual, I’ll be your humble horror host, as we peel back the eternally corrupted hard drive – and try and figure out what the hell all of these tentacles are doing here – and take a look at the Top 5 Scariest Lovecraftian Inspired Video Games. Roll the clip. For the curious amongst you, that clip was from the Cinematic Trailer of The Sinking City, which is due to be released on March 21st of the this year – and I kind of wish it was already out, so it could have made this list – because it looks absolutely awesome. But, there’s no point dwelling on what could have been, right? It’s interesting – and a lot of you have raised the same point, over and over again throughout our Lovecraftian lists – which is that the realm of Cthulhu and his Old Ones are often ignored as the inspiration for mainstream media, and Lovecraft’s work has consistently sat on the fringes of literature, cinema and entertainment for the majority of the modern age. But, just take a look at World of Warcraft, one of the most successful video games of all time – and you’ll find that the majority of their narrative is a spin on the Old Gods – albeit C’thun, Yogg-Saron and N’Zoth.

    You get the picture. Kicking off at Number 5 – Sunless Sea Which is just an incredible game, and a benchmark for all PC gamers and Steam fans out there – and also PS4 players too, I guess. If you’re into that kind of thing. Sunless Sea is a survival exploration RPG neatly packaged into a merciless roguelike – which for the non-bookmakers amongst you, is the best kind of hardcore mode you could ever hope you. Released on February 6th by Failbetter Games, the studio behind the awesome browser game, Fallen London – which, if you’ve got a few spare weeks of your life, is a highly recommended MUD-esque experience – Sunless Sea finds the player exploring the bizarre Lovecraft inspired world of the Unterzee, a vast underground ocean brimming with cosmic horrors and cannibalistic mutineers.

    If you can’t tell – Sunless Sea is just a really great game, and it’s a neat little pastiche to all things Gothic horror. Permanent character death, the possibility to eat your own crew – and the opportunity to explore a dark, dangerous universe with nothing but your ship and your wits. Also, the name Sunless Sea is inspired by the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem, Kubla Khan – which is just all kinds of awesome in itself. Highly recommended. Coming in at Number 4 – Shadow of the Comet And I’m kind of cheating a little bit, because I’d also put the incredibly similar Prisoner of Ice, also released by Infogrames, on this exact same spot – but Shadow of the Comet probably takes the crown for its originality and Lovecraftian authenticity.

    Released by Infogrames in March 1993, Shadow of the Comet – which was later repackaged as Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet, is an adventure game directly inspired by Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror, as well as The Shadow over Innsmouth. Similarly, Prisoner of Ice is inspired by At The Mountains of Madness – and focuses on the same thematics laid out in the original game. Shadow of the Comet takes place in the year 1910 – and in typical Lovecraft fashion, focuses on a young British photographer by the name of John Parker – who travels to the isolated New England town of Illsmouth – I guess they couldn’t get the rights for Innsmouth – to witness and photograph the passage of Halley’s Comet, a short-period astral event that is visible from Earth every 75 to 76 years. Turns out – the last sighting in 1834 had some pretty terrible consequences – and John Parker is about to find out exactly what transpired.

    Also, for it’s time, this game has some of the best voice acting going – and it’s an equally terrifying graphic adventure into the works of H.P Lovecraft. Next up at Number 3 – Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth Ah – remember when trailers were literally made days before launch with just the bare bones of the games engine? Those were the days. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth was a seminal release for any early-2000’s horror fan, and possibly one of the reasons why you’re even interested in this list. Released in 2005 for the original Xbox, Dark Corners of the Earth was developed by British fledgling studio Headfirst Productions, and published by Bethesda, of all people.

    It was also one of only two video games that Headfirst actually managed to release, and one of four Call of Cthulhu games that somehow didn’t get cancelled. The odds were pretty much stacked against them – but 2005 was a trying time to be a video game developer, especially one that focuses on the works of Lovecraft. Nevertheless, Dark Corners of the Earth was a fantastic sci-fi horror survival game, based on one of Lovecraft’s most famous published pieces – The Call of Cthulhu. On that basis as well, it is also a reimagining of the 1936 novella, The Shadow over Innsmouth, and follows the story of Jack Walters – a mentally unstable private detective, tasked with figuring out what the hell is going on over in the strange, mysterious town of Innsmouth. Spoilers: Fish Men. Most people would stick the Alone in the Dark franchise on this list – but if I’m being honest, I’d always root for the underdog – and Dark Corners of the Earth was exactly that.

    But, in my opinion – it’s one of the truest interpretations of the Cthulhu Mythos ever made. Swinging in at Number 2 – The Last Door Which, despite being wholeheartedly released as a mobile game – it’s staggering how authentically chilling and true to cosmic horror The Last Door actually is – and it’s one of the most atmospheric horror indie titles going. True to the narrative form, The Last Door is a point and click adventure game that was released episodically between 2013 and 2016, spanning over eight episodes of a strange, mysterious psychological thriller. First released by The Game Kitchen in March 2013, the studio developed a small, but passionate community that augmented the direction that the story took.

    The game itself was heavily inspired by Lovecraft, as well as Edgar Allan Poe, and the plot focuses on four childhood friends who attempt to explore an encroaching supernatural territory known only as the Veil. For the most part, the player takes control of Jeremiah Devitt, as he meanders his way through dark forces, the occult – and childhood pacts that bore witness to the machinations of an ancient world. For an indie game, and on top of that – an 8-bit inspired pixel-art indie game, it’s testament to The Game Kitchen’s love for cosmic horror that makes The Last Door such a horrifying pleasure to play, and although it’s never explicitly stated – Lovecraft is in the bones of this game. Great stuff. And finally, at our Number 1 spot – Eternal Darkness Which perhaps IS the truest interpretation of Lovecraft’s work ever made, although it never truly gives that recognition.

    I am also DEAD. Queue trance music. What a great year 2002 was. And what a great game Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem still is. Released in 2002 by Silicon Knights and published by Nintendo themselves, Eternal Darkness is an action-adventure game that legit has the scope of an entire trilogy’s worth of novels.

    Originally planned to be released on the N64 – the studio switched it up and plugged it for the GameCube, which may I add is one of the finest consoles of all time – and I’m still hanging on to mine in the hope that the planet will finally realise their worth. Eternal Darkness is also one of the first modern games to introduce a sanity effect, as the player hurtles deeper and deeper into history and realises the bleak futility of humanity. The storyline itself spans between 26 BC to the year 2000 AD – and focuses on the lineage of the Roivas Family, as they tentatively meander their way across the globe and the ages – Ancient Persia, Cambodia, France, turn of the millenium USA – and of course, an ancient underground city that has been hiding underneath our noses the whole time. The voice acting is insane, mechanically it’s a pleasure to play – and the scope of the narrative is a horror fans ideal rainy day all day gaming marathon. What a great game. Well – there we have it horror fans, my picks for the Top 5 Scariest Lovecraftian Inspired Video Games – why don’t you let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below.

    Before we depart, let’s read out some of your more creative comments from over the past few days. Liesl Zehner says — Jack, you and Lucy need to do a video together. That would make a great video. — Well Liesl, I’m not sure if you saw – but Lucy and I tried to do a video together, and she ended up stabbing me with a fork. Nah, but I’m just kidding – I bounced back, we’ll make sure to hook up a collaboration. Bmore Queeze says — I love the witch in the background need another creature though.

    — Well, sounds good to me Bmore, Agatha the Witch could probably use a holiday somewhere nice. What would you like to see? A dragon? A hippogriff?

    A cosmic horror? Let us know, and I’ll see what we can do. Well – cheers for sticking around all the way until the end horror fans, always a pleasure – never a chore.


  • Top 25 PC Role-playing Games | Best RPGs

    25. Opening our list of Top 25 PC RPG is Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Thank heavens for remasters. This critically acclaimed entry from Square Enix grants us the opportunity to revisit a love story that spans decades. Follow the adventures of our favorite Blitzball MVP, his partner Yuna and their friends as they embark on a quest to save their world. The game comes with X-2, the sequel to the heartbreaking finale X offered. If you want to get a taste of Yuna and her gurl friends, then try it out because this game has a PlayScore of 8.54 24.

    Dust: An Elysian Tail A charming 2D Metroidvania game in a world filled with anthropomorphic creatures. Join Dust and his sentient sword as he tries to recollect the memories of his forgotten past. Players are required to acquire power ups in every journey to unlock new areas and progress the story.

    It’s one of the first successful indie games of its time. It has a PlayScore of 8.55 23. Valkyria Chronicles Set in a fictional land of Europa, get caught in the middle of a civil war between two warring nations: The Empire and the Federation. Immerse in a gripping political story and feel the rush of the BlitZ combat system.

    Originally a PS3 game, this JRPG has achieved critical acclaim due to its fun tactical gameplay and a memorable cast of characters. It receives a PlayScore of 8.57 22. Legend of Grimrock 2 Inspired by Dungeon Master, this real-time dungeon crawling adventure revisits the golden years of this genre. It’s a non-linear open-world gameplay filled with persistent injuries that strike your party at any given time. It’s first person view only makes it fitting to survive with your badass friends. It has a PlayScore of 8.58 21.

    Starbound From the developer that brought us Stardew Valley, create your own story in an uplifting game that speaks nothing but exploration and imagination. Build your own world and discover the mysteries in the vast cosmos. The only limitation is your imagination! Team up with a friend, or mess around the game with its mod support. It receives a PlayScore of 8.60 20. Mount & Blade: Warband Who doesn’t love Mount & Blade?

    This standalone expansion pack from the epic Medieval warzone thrusts you into the battlefield with the clashing of swords and galloping of horses. Manage your legion of brazen soldiers because it’s a sandbox enthusiast’s playground. This expansion adds a variety of new stuff including the Sarranid Sultanate Faction and the ability to create your own. Imagine the silly things you could do. It receives a PlayScore of 8.60 19. Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition Just reading this can cause a million souls weep onto the ashes of their dead bodies.

    Not only this is the most definitive Dark Souls game to date, it’s also another gauntlet of unmitigated difficulty spikes and pure satisfaction. It’s packed with the original game, an exclusive PC content and all the game’s DLC. For beginners, it’s your first step towards loving (or hating) the Souls series. It receives a PlayScore of 8.61 18. Grim Dawn Action-RPG’s have come a long way since Diablo’s arrival.

    Grim Dawn’s fantastic visual design, exciting combat and a huge world to discover makes it a worthy rival to Blizzard’s dungeon-crawling hit. Play with up to four people, or you can do it alone. It’s an adventure that one should not take lightly. It has a PlayScore of 8.62 17. Torchlight 2 An award-winning RPG that feels like a trip back to the simpler days.

    This sequel to the original makes all the necessary improvements including a better world filled with more secrets and bloodthirsty monsters that creep in every corner. Multiplayer makes a return to give the most fun experience for you and your friends. Not to mention MOD support. It receives a PlayScore of 8.66 16.

    Hyper Light Drifter This indie game feels like an art trip to the fifth dimension. It’s also a gorgeous action-RPG. Set in a world where doom and gloom covers the purple skies and technological ruin of a bygone era. It captures the beauty of 2D Action RPG’s from the days of old. It’s widely praised for its combat and pixel-filled wonder. It has a PlayScore of 8.67 15.

    Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Director’s Cut) Just when you thought you had enough of Deus Ex, Square Enix decides to add at least 8 hours of Directors Commentary in this definitive edition to the most popular entry of the franchise. It features improved boss battles, UI and a more powerful Adam Jensen. What’s not to love about more Augmentations?

    It has a PlayScore of 8.70 14. Divinity: Original Sin Larian Studios’ takes a deep approach to modern RPG. Instead of following through a linear story with predictable scenarios, Original Sin LETS you create your own and see how your actions affect the world. It’s a massive game with a unique turn based combat system, fun quests, and glorious freedom. It brings out the curiosity within you. In short, it’s a rewarding experience.

    It receives a PlayScore of 8.71 13. Bastion No, it’s not Overwatch’s adorable Omnic. This is Supergiant Games’ first entry that received a ton of awards. Just like most Indie games, it’s clearly made with passion. From the fluid hack and slash action, to the badass narrator’s voice, it’s a wonderful game with tons of replay value and customizations. It has a PlayScore of 8.71 12.

    Dragon Age: Origins From the team that brought us Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect brings us another dose of RPG goodness. Save the world from the evil Archdemon and witness BioWare’s potential to make good games with story. Step into a fantasy-filled world packed with memorable characters, gripping dialogue and fun real-time combat.

    It has a PlayScore of 8.75 11. Pillars Of Eternity A successful crowdfunded game that delivered. Obsidian Entertainment’s game has been hailed as one of the highest-rated PC games of all time. It’s a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate and it shares similar gameplay elements. It’s praised for its impressive writing and strategic combat. It also has two expansions called The White March and Deadfire.

    It receives a PlayScore of 8.77 10. Fallout: New Vegas Two Obsidian games in a row? Dive into this post-apocalyptic wasteland once more as the ideals of man collide into a serious civil war in New Vegas.

    Being a regular guy, get caught up in a spiral of political turmoil in a radioactive mess. They say it’s better than Fallout 4. But you be the judge of that.

    It has a PlayScore of 8.78 9. OneShot It’s more like a puzzle-adventure game than role-playing, but it still has the RPG element presented in it. This fourth wall breaking game gives you a quest to restore the power of a long-dead Sun.

    It’s surreal, haunting and beautiful at the same time. And remember, you only have one shot. It receives a PlayScore of 8.78 8. South Park: The Stick of Truth Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s brainchild puts you in an adventure of a lifetime to reclaim the Stick of Truth from evil hands.

    Use your powerful fart-bending powers and meet the iconic cast of characters from the South Park universe. It’s a turn-based RPG with a mix of R-Rated goodness. Well what do you expect from South Park? It has a PlayScore of 8.86 7. Stardew Valley Ahh, this game.

    Made by one guy. How is it even possible to make a game with so much heart? It’s an adorable Farm Simulator that speaks so much about simple everyday life. It’s how Harvest Moon should be on the PC. It’s addicting, remarkable and it has a ton of content for a price so cheap.

    It has a PlayScore of 8.94 6. Borderlands 2 Welcome to Pandora, a land where random generated loot and sense of humor are considered essential. Steal the biggest treasure along with your fellow Vault Hunters in this action-packed first-person shooter with RPG elements. Bask in its beautiful cel-shaded visuals because this game has a PlayScore of 9.02 5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Bethesda has ascended with their brilliant open-world design in Skyrim. Be the Dragonborn and slay dragons in a game so open, you’ll be lost in its medieval-fantasy setting.

    One moment you could be fighting ghouls, then giants, then crabs. It’s the perfect adventure defined only by your own. And Skyrim did it so well. Just mind your knees. It has a PlayScore of 9.03 4.

    The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth After the success of McMillen’s popular flash game, its Steam release breathed new life to this creepy roguelike adventure. After his mom’s dubious divine intervention, Isaac’s in danger of being sacrifice. Help him escape his deadly fate by sneaking out through his monster-infested basement. Conquer hundreds of dungeons, and fend off creatures with your cowardly tears. It has a PlayScore of 9.05. 3.

    Undertale A game that gave every little kid a fanbase to dwell in. It’s filled with the determination of Toby Fox as he creates a world so charming, delightful, yet also slightly haunting. It’s an RPG game that doesn’t necessarily let you kill anyone. Instead, just go about your own pace and watch it unfold before your eyes. Meet lovable characters and listen to the game’s fantastic soundtrack. It has a PlayScore of 9.17 2.

    Mass Effect 2 BioWare’s space opera has transcended to new heights. This sequel to Mass Effect was considered as the greatest of the franchise. With new and improved third-person combat, beautiful worlds, captivating story and an ending so amazing, you’ll rethink your life choices. Commander Shepard has come a long way. It has a PlayScore of 9.18 1. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt There’s nothing better than CD Projekt Red’s multi-awarded RPG game.

    This third and final installment of the Witcher series is absolutely stunning. Explore breathtaking worlds, take hundreds of side-quests, slay monsters, save Ciri, and take gorgeous screenshots. It’s the perfect send-off to Geralt of Rivia’s story. It’s just amazing and it has a PlayScore of 9.26


  • Top 10 PS4 Role-Playing Games | RPG

    Whatoplay presents the Top 10 PS4 Role-Playing Games – This ranking is based on a 1 to 10 scoring system that aggregates critic and gamer reviews into a unique score called a PlayScore. As much as new reviews show up, and are added, the PlayScore changes. – 10th in the ranking is Bastion This indie game made it in the list for a lot of reasons. TL;DR?

    It blew away a lot of people’s expectations! Gorgeous settings in every level, impeccably good voice acting, memorable soundtrack and a deep, satisfying weapons and upgrade system. However if you’ve already played this game before, then don’t be shocked that there are no changes in it whatsoever. A PlayScore of 8.68 – Number 9 is Child of Light This unique RPG stands out because of its novel yet simple approach to strategic combat. It’s a turn-based gem founded on a meaningful narrative, bewitching setting, and exceptional art style. It’s too bad the characters you meet are not that memorable.

    And having conversations in rhyming words does not help at all. Child of Light gets a PlayScore of 8.70 – 8th place is Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance This mega-RPG franchise continues to evolve. A proof that the creators haven’t run out of ideas! A lot of cool new features like the squad system, deep character customization and tons of graphical improvements.

    Veteran players will find it all too similar. First-timers, on the other hand, may be overwhelmed with the many options to choose from! Proceed cautiously. A PlayScore of 8.74 – 7th is Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition As a hardcore fan, I found Divinity: Original Sin to be one of the most rewarding and toughest RPG titles to play. An expansive world to explore, very strategic in nature. Environment, objects and status effects plays a very big role in combat and interesting in-game characters and lores.

    Surprisingly, the introduction of rock-paper-scissors in convos improved the overall gameplay! A PlayScore of 8.84 – Ranked 6th is Dragon Age: Inquisition A brilliant action RPG that could have been perfect. Disappointing plot aside, it offers a modern roleplaying experience complete with a beautiful, fantastic open world, deep tactical combat and level up system. Compelling characters & meaningful dialogues and hundred of hours of main & side quests! Dragon Age: Inquisition further cements Bioware’s ability at making outstanding RPGs.

    It gets a PlayScore of 8.86 – 5th is Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin At first I thought this game was another money-grubbing remaster. Boy was I wrong. It’s the original Dark Souls 2 alright, but with enhanced graphics of up to 60 frames per second.

    Enemies in places where you least expect. Plus, all the crown trilogy DLCs! The same punishing game with new surprises for veterans… and a very good start for new players. A PlayScore of 8.93 – Fourth is Fallout 4 It’s definitely one of the most anticipated games of 2015… and it lived up to all the hype! Imagine the old Fallout games just better in almost every way.

    Excellent crafting and base building, the gunplay has significantly improved and who doesn’t enjoy blasting creatures in and around Commonwealth? With the amount of things to do in the game, it’s a true time sink! A PlayScore of 9.00 – 3rd is Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition The culmination of two years of patches from the dev team. Ultimate Evil Edition is the pinnacle of Diablo 3. As good as the PC version, almost no framerate drops, even during intense battles. Killstreak improves loot and experience and remarkably accessible to newcomers!

    If you ditch the story and go on Adventure Mode, hours of replay awaits! A PlayScore of 9.13 – 2nd best is Bloodborne An Action RPG of epic proportions! The idea of having a shapeshifting arsenal of weapons at your disposal, while at the mercy of grotesque-looking monsters from the souls series is phenomenal! While not as strategic as the other games in the dark soul series, the on-the-fly weapons changing is perfect for stringing combos.

    Plus, randomized chalice dungeons give the game even greater replay value. A PlayScore of 9.16 – Stay tuned for the runners-up right after we reveal the number one. – And the best is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt!

    A massive open-world RPG that defines the current gaming standard. Explore, slay monsters, get loot, craft items, talk to people, form relationships, and master the art of Gwent. These are just the few things that Wild Hunt offers.

    Stunning visuals and characters models, amazing open world setting, great combat, tons of sidequests and additional content and an impeccable storyline to boot! 2015’s Game of the Year, Witcher 3 has a PlayScore of 9.25 – And here are the runners-up.


  • By the way, Can You Survive an RPG Game?

    Okay, so today we’re gonna be playing: “Can You survive an RPG game?” hEy Well basically, I mean, we all play games but, what if we were actually in them? What if we’re playing- I don’t know- Maplestory, and then all of a sudden, BOOM, we’re the characters within Maplestory, or BOOM, we’re the characters in World of Warcraft, Do you think you guys can survive it? No… The question isn’t if I can survive it, the question is: Can everyone else survive me? [laughing] Get REKT, I’m gonna kill all you guys- get out of my way Hosuh!

    No- wait- I think it’s- it’s actually so easy to survive, Just don’t- go out into the freaking wild- Daniel: Just become an NPC Hosuh: Stay in town, Just stay in town! That’s awful, what if PVP was allowed and people level up and come back to you and start- like- just stabbing you for fun? Okay, you know what? Let me- let me set the scene. One day, you wake up, Everything’s cartoony, you’re not wearing anything for some reason, and then your mom- who- for some reason, white – comes into your room, And says: “Hey protagonist! Wake up!

    You need to go hunt me some slimes!” Wait wait, what are slimes H: What do you need slimes for? S: Yeah So- So- you being a good Protagonist son, get dressed up, pick up your sword, your arrows, and your magical wand (Whichever you guys prefer) and you go out to hunt some slimes. you- you see a slime what do you do? S: What?

    H: MHM? S: I- I- don’t know, if I saw a sentient slime, just on the ground? Just- Just a reg- like a slime monster basically H: Yeah, but slimes are- S:Wha- what? I’m so confused, what class am I? What special abilities do I have?

    H: Oh-Yo- Need to set out- like- set a… job or something, we should do that first Ooh, I like dead things.. [real casual] So I’ll be a Necromancer, let’s do this Uhmm… I used to be a support, uhm.. I’m a Healer I.. Useless garbage. What!?

    Who- Who’s gonna heal you when you are armless? What about you Daniel? I’m- I’m the- I’m the- I’m the- story teller, But You Know What?

    Yeah, I’ll play along, I wanna be a warrior (knight), I mean, technically we are just beginning so we haven’t really picked our classes yet, so both of you guys have… a sword because none of you guys really have picked the class yet.. Stephen’s a Necromancer wannabe, Hosuh’s a Healer wannabe and I’m a warrior wannabe, but technically, we’re all a bunch of noobs So you guys see a slime, what do you do? I don’t know, I wanna see what it tastes like- I’ve always wanted to know what a slime would taste like. Do you think it’d be like Jello? Because they’re usually green, right?

    And Jello is lime green sometimes Isn’t slime like, an Acidic Monster where.. it consumes like, a Rat and that it slowly dissolves the rat’s body In-inside it? WHAT!? Really?

    [Laughing] So if you were to taste it, like m-mm, I don’t think I wanna taste that Um well your mom wanted- You know what? No, I’m gonna have my own adventure I’m gonna go into town and talk to an NPC. Screw the slime! [Laughing] [Poor slime..] [Still amused] Okay, what about you, Hosuh? You’re on your own, Stephen left you. He’s like “Oh?

    Look! An NPC!” He ran off [Laughing] Screw what my mom wants, she’s not even my real mom! Yeah, she’s WHITE. [Laughing] Yes, exactly!

    Okay, well, I- I- thought slimes are very resistant to.. like, slicing weapons? Use fire. D: Fire, okay. I’m gonna roll for you. S: What? We’re- We’re literally playing Dungeons and Dragons now.

    D: Yes, basically So like, you guys can say something, either it’ll work or it won’t. You rolled a one So you used fire, But then turns out this slime’s immune to fire It dodges really easily, the slime attacks you, you get damaged a little bit, You fall back, trying to recover, and then you stand up, what do you do? Okay, let’s hit it, whatever Where is this going? Okay Well I know where Stephen’s going, and that’s into town, are there any NPCs here? I rolled for that question, You gotta one Wow, all the NPCs are gone for some reason, whenever you try to get close to an NPC, they just run away. They’re running away knowing that you- you- want to be a Necromancer, and one day you’ll try to revive them or something Yeah!

    I mean, like, how else am I supposed to get an army? I can’t use monsters right now, they’re too strong I have to kill, like, human things Then, uh, so there’s no NPCs in town, Stephen looks at the ground dejected All right well, while Stephen’s in the town being all lonely Hosuh’s still having a super epic battle against a slime Daniel, what are you gonna do? I need help Okay. Then, an amazing man named Daniel Comes Out of nowhere, with the long sword on his one hand and a shield on his other- [laughs] and he yells “JUSTICE!!!!” as he runs up to the slime and he attacks And I’ll roll..

    He gets a four! CRITICAL ATTACK! I SWEAR I’M NOT MAKING THESE- I’M NOT MAKING THESE DICE UP, I’M ROLLING and I’m GETTING THESE i’M NOT- I will screenshot all of this!! I attack, the slime gets hit The slime’s cut into half and it can’t recover, and it just DIES.

    [fake Cough] Stop sucking your own dick so hard. [Laughing] Ehh..Okay well then, I’m gonna take the slime, because I need to give it to my own mom, and I’m gonna run away, ’cause I don’t wanna deal with Hos- sharing it with Hosuh What- wait- okay… Mm.. [lonely Hosuh] So I find Hosuh again, right, you know what’s gonna happen, right? Daniel’s just gonna betray us, we- we gon’ betray him first oHhH Oh, so wait, what do you suggest? We need to go and steal these slimes.. No, I suggest we change our classes to like, some sort of Assassin, kill him, and then switch back to Necromancer You have a better idea, Hosuh!?

    H: Alright, so let’s do it S: Didn’t think soOO H: Can we do that? S: I’m gonna do it regardless! Stephen sneaks up behind Daniel, oH, you got six [chuckling] yAAAAAHHHHHHH! [Laughs] [reading and laughing] Stephen successfully stabs Daniel in the back fifteen times. Daniel is dead.

    [laughing] Stephen changes back to his necromancer form Revives Daniel as his own minion [Laughing harder] gOSH DaRN IT [Laughing] He wins! See, Now there you go, I have my own Dan.. Now the story’s gonna go how I want to, I have the narrator on my side [Laughing] [KSJDFGNSKJHAHAHSKEJ] Alright, so Stephen, what’s our next course of action? Oh, we need to give this slime to..your mom S: Yeah.

    D: [Laughing again] H: My mom.. D- Daniel’s Mom is in complete shock Doesn’t know what to do Daniel’s Mom turns into a mob boss, and now you got to fight Daniel’s mom [Laughing] What do you do? I say, ‘cuz it’s a boss, we have to run. So I use Daniel as a meat shield so- so we run away. I roll nope you get a two- You failed Daniel Runs Up to his mom Hugging his mom with his full embrace, they’re in love once again and they’re turning back to you to attack you Even Convinient is Betrayed You do i have an Exploding Minion spell for This you get a 1 critical Fail Daniel Explodes but an Explosion he attacks stephen as well Stephen gets Critically Damaged and I’m gonna Heal in your eyes i roll for That 5, Oh you Heal stephen Successfully i’m so good at This So wait so then How do we Beat This boss we don’t even know how it attacks Oh Shit We Should Run Away Run Away fine i’ll roll for ya Run Away you get a 1 you guys both fall, Dan’s mom Picks both of you Up and eats Both of You game is over start Over [laughing] You mean- What the heck?! D: Wow so- H: What a terrible game!

    D: So- It’s the best game i’ve ever Played Let’s do D: Second Round You Wake Up and your mom who’s Black This time comes Up to you and tells you to go hunt some Boars H: Boars? Hmm ok This time so you grab Your sword and you’re ready to go you party Up with Your friends Daniel Hosa and Stephen and you go on your adventure ( A jojo’s reference shows up) (It’s still here)


  • By the way, Can You Survive RPG game? | Part 3 – Journey to the North Podcast

    [Last episode on : Can You Survive an RPG Game] Random NPC: “Help! My- My husband is in danger!” Daniel: Uh- [NPC chokes and dies] lel [Snickering] Hosuh: Ma’am are you okay- [inaudible talking] [Shameless laughing] D, while laughing: Ma’am are you okay? Annabelle (Ann for short): Hi Them: Uh..hello A: Do you guys wanna go find, Santa Claus? D: Okay… H, snickering: Let’s do that yeah A: Yeah, let’s go!

    D: Stephen, do you wanna– do you wanna resurrect that woman? [more snickering] Stephen: I don’t know. She seemed kind of useless asking other people for help I want people who can stand on their own two feet, so let’s go D: Today we’re gonna be playing Can You Survive an RPG game I get that this is part 3– I don’t know It’s– I think it’s a Christmas edition?

    Like a Christmas special Basically, it’s our own little version of Dungeons and Dragons But with the Christmas twist This video is actually not gonna be animated or drawn by Hosuh There’re a couple sketches every ten minutes or so Which is done by a lot of people which you guys should check out in the description below Otherwise go grab some popcorn, sit back, get some tea, put some Christmas carols on because today we’re gonna go to a small village and the north side on a faraway land Also, like Hosuh said if this video is bad It’s not going on the internet So if you guys are listening to this this must be pretty good. So stick around to the end yeah H, laughing: Alright… Oh yeah we also have a guest, by the way, right? A: Ayyy D, scoffing: Disgusting A, offended: Oh- uh I’m not here for you anyways. I’m here for the cute innocent Hosuh and the– and the relatable Stephen [cackling] D: Oh and Ann’s joining us today, and she’s going to be playing a rogue Basically a thief or an assassin or whatever you want to call it. She steals things and kills things, all right? A, way too content: Sounds good D: Oh also you know we’re professional cuz we’re gonna be using D 20s today instead of D 6s S: Oh- oh my god, and will these not have such crappy RNG?

    H: Finally, a D 20 [Laughing] D: Man, finally [Laughing] So the heroes travel up north for their first journey With hopes and excitement they pick up their backpacks and weapons and go to meet Santa Claus But after a long and weird travel they arrive at a small village All the houses are made of wood and have chimneys on top of them It’s a town where anyone would feel the Christmas spirit coming in. The kids are playing outside The adults are drinking beer and everybody’s just having a joyful time S: Wait so let me get this straight– the houses are made out of wood… …but they have chimneys D: Which is also made of wood A: Then the house will burn down… S: Yeah, how is this not just a town of fire at this point? D: You look at it, and you see a small innocent village, and it just certainly seems nice to just kind of rest, recharge Get ready to go on your next adventure to find Santa Claus S: Everyone looks innocent? D: So what’s your first move? D: What do you guys want to do?

    Who do you want to talk to? S: I’d get out of town as fast as possible And there’s always an innocent town that always has some dark secret. That’s one thing I learned from One Piece Every nice thing is evil and we should run as soon as possible [Laughing] A, quietly: Weaboo.. H: For the sake of the story, I think we should stay Stephen S: Yeah, you know what? If everyone in horror movies stayed for story, they’d all be dead. Oh wait. They are dead Y’know how easy it would have been in just to say nope, big bucket of no no and run the other way “That haunted house over there.

    Don’t go up it.” Okay. Sure wise stranger. I sure won’t go up it “Oh here, take this box.

    It has demons so don’t open it.” Okay here take it back. I don’t want it Could’ve been solved so much easier if we didn’t do the stupid But you know what for argument’s sake and for a good storyline Stephen says kill someone. (Is that) What you want? Let’s find– [Confused and slightly baffled laughing] S: –a random NPC!

    D: No no you can’t just say ‘Let’s have a good storyline’ and k-kill someone S: I’m gonna be the villain here– [unclear talking] D: It has not been a minute yet Stephen! [Laughing] S: I’m the bad guy in the story. I got this D: Daniel stops Stephen A: I have no idea what’s going on but I think it’s fine H: Okay… D: Hosuh what would you do H: All right.

    So let’s go and ask someone where we could find a Santa Claus S: Yeah, who looks like the mayor. Yeah, looks like the mayor in this demon town D: Okay, so you see some kids, you see some– you see some adults drinking beer and you see in kind of these old folks playing chess D: Who do you go to ask questions? S: Not the old folks ’cause they’re obviously playing chess Then you can’t ask the adults cuz they’re drunk Cuz this is obviously a Christmas town and no one has anything better to do it seems. You know what let’s ask the children Can I kill children? Definitely not right? Okay fine.

    I ask the children S: I think we should ask the children D: Daniel shuts up Stephen because Daniel knows that children are scared of Stephen D: Daniel pushes Ann forward to talk to the children A: But I wouldn’t talk to children. Like– Children are stupid I mean children are not very knowledgeable about Stuff Yeah H: Yeah but they also don’t hide anything D: True A: But then why don’t you ask the people who’s playing chess because they know– Okay first of all they’re playing chess It’s not it’s not like they’re playing minecraft or anything so That’s one reason why you should talk to someone who plays chess. A second grandmas and grandpas are nice H: I-I mean… A: Oh you disagree?! D: Ann goes to talk to old people and Hosuh stays for the children S: WOW that sounded wrong A: Hosuh you’re very shady Why do you want children so badly H: Oh okay let’s go ask the old people then! D: Alright don’t even look at you D: You guys walk up to the old people They don’t even look at ya D: They’re playing chess. H: Oh wow who would have thought that would have happened.

    Oh, wait–! A: They’re concentrated you gotta wait for them to finish A: Respect your elders! S: Throw their game over the side D: Okay, I’ll roll for that D: Ooh fourteen! You push the chess off the table the old gentleman looks over says “Huh kid. You got spunk” “I like that.

    What do you want?” [Ann laughing in the background] [More laughing] S: Oh my god S: STEPHEN WINS! Hey, can you tell us a little bit about this town, and why is everyone so…nice Even though you’re all demons, all devil children D, as the old man: “Well a lot of travelers come and go but this is just a small town up north” “and” “There is this myth that Santa Claus does live nearby and so we’re all just cheerful when it comes to Christmas season” S: ‘So you are demons!’

    I say as I pull out my sword, dagger. Whatever weapon I have I don’t know S: What do I have? D: You’re a necromancer you have a freaking staff S: Oh my god.

    I pull out Daniel’s sword D: I’m gonna– as a DM. I’m gonna stop that Just take a step back just a moment here Just uh Stephen you don’t have– to like you don’t have to kill every person you meet you know that right? S: But I don’t have to NOT kill them. Aaahh S: Fine…follow Hosuh or whatever all right, so I don’t kill them H: Our journey is to go and meet Santa Claus ourselves H: Right, so, I’ll ask the elders D:Okay H: Do you know where we could find Santa Claus? D: I’ll roll for that.

    You got a six. H: Oh D: The old man looks over, just stares at you blankly says “You ain’t got no spunk” *Laughing* D: Ask the old man a question A: Oh, what are we supposed to ask? “Hey old man,” A: “Where is Santa?” D: I roll for that you get a one. Oh my gosh. A: Isn’t that good D: One out of twenty is the worst A: But it’s rolling at dice So it’s like you’re moving in a board game like monopoly you take one space slowly D: No, the rolls give you the chance to be successful all right the higher D: It is the more success you can get A: Oh, so what what happens to me now D: The old man says– The old man looks at you and goes “What are you woman?”

    S: That’s– that sexist S: Wait wouldn’t we get false information then? D: Yeah, so this might be true or not But they say Legends has it that travelers come up here And they get ready to go somewhere else to find, Santa but then they never come back. S: Well that part’s true. Oh my god Why else would they say that?

    Ughh. It’s like you just want us to killed Santa cuz he’s obviously a demon. A: Oh, yeah, what does a demon to you Steven? D: Then sudden these small snowflakes start to fall from the sky You look up to see snow, but there aren’t any clouds.

    S: Is Santa attacking? Oh my god! I just want to stab someone so I can get zombies D: Just- Just a- Just a sleigh? Wait a sleigh? You squint your eyes to look closer, and you see this fat old man with a white beard, whipping reindeers to fly. He starts throwing small presents from the air.

    A: Ayyy. S: They’re obviously bombs! D: But the presents as they get closer and closer you realize They’re- they’re huge! They’re 1 cubic meter presents falling from the sky!

    Dozens and dozens all throughout the town They smashed the ground making thunderous noises. A: Can Steven shoot people out of the sky? S: Yeah, do I have any ranged projectile attacks? D: Um… No, you don’t. S: Well GG A: Wait, what does Stephen use? D: He’s a necromancer.

    A: Can he like… throw his staff at them? D: He’s a necromancer. A: Can he like… throw his staff at them? HE THROWS HIS STAFF?! *Snickering* S: Yo, these are destroying the town right?

    I let it happen, because with more dead people, more dead bodies to reanimate! I don’t have to kill them, so it’s technically not morally wrong! H: Ya can’t do that. D: As dust settles, Santa disappears. The kids are excited, the adults are dumbfounded, and the old men got heart attacks.

    The kids want to open the present really badly! Do you stop them? Do you open it with them? What do you do?

    H: Let’s open it with them. I’m actually getting excited. S: Wait! Wait- wait- whoa- whoa- whoa!

    Wait a second, did anyone die from this encounter? D: NOPE! Not yet.

    S: Okay, okay. I think we should leave them because obviously Inside is going to be some sort of zombie, and as soon as you open it’s gonna bite a kid. You know what?

    Yeah, I let the kids open it. You know what, I let the kids open it. A: I say, I’ll just WATCH them go on fire. D: “Let’s open one!” the kid says, and they unpack it. It’s a bomb, a time bomb!

    Ten, nine, eight… seven, six, five, four, three… *panicking* Two! One! *more panicking* Okay! Whole severals- with one second l-left, Hosuh rolls for a shield, HE GETS A TWO! He fails, they EXPLODE!

    *BOOM* *even MORE panicking* One by one, each present explodes, Destroying all the houses. The kids fly over, arms and limbs flying everywhere! S: Change that cuz I don’t think we should have kids dying in this… D: … Old MAN died! Kid’s fly over, and everybody just- D: No, NO HOSUH! DANIEL, NO! No- no kid parts fly anywhere!

    D: Okay. Lots of explosions, people are injured people, like there are so many casualties. The town is completely destroyed, and the dust settles once again. H: Are we damaged from this? D: No, because you guys stayed back to let the children open the- -DFFPH *laughing* A: Ayyy S: We’re monsters! D: You guys are the worst.

    A: *inaudible* I had nothing to do with this. Look at his evil laughter! He’s just continuing to laugh! H: Okay, I’m- I’m gonna spend some turns healing whoever been injured apparently. A: But they’re dead, you can’t heal a dead person, Stephen, Are you gonna let them revive people?

    I don’t think so. S: Technically these people have not done anything to me, so I will just ravage they’re dead H: Stephen Stephen can raise his dead people. I will if they’re dead I guess Roll for Steve instead yes 2000 I get everyone in the town even the non dead people sorry. Haha GG no Riya Alright, since Stephen got a 20 and 20s are rare. I am going to give him this I was gonna say no, but I mean the dice have spoken The limbs and parts of human flesh all combined into this 5 metre tall flesh with skeleton blood all mixed together and conjured up into a Dead living thing and just for the Christmas spirit.

    Let’s put a Santa hat on him Notice we still is this supposed to be a Christmas punch. Oh, so I I conjure my spell with Christmas carols And as Stephens conjuring up the dead and host is healing people and goes to loot some goods. Good goodies Ok and what do you want to do? I want money sounds good. I’ll roll it another 20.

    What’s? Any good as she just walks by just walking walking as people are bleeding Screaming and crying and she just no wisp whistling walkin, and she sees a bank blown up to pieces as she walks up Looks down, and she’s move. What is this? It’s a blade and it’s glowing It’s almost like it’s calling her name It’s obviously some cancer-causing material bow let and keep going what I always wanted to road that She Picks it up.

    It makes her body blow for a second and it disappears She’s not sure what it quite does, but she thinks she should keep it wait So it literally went inside her no no it blow disappear the glow disappeared Oh, yeah, I started going with the thing yeah when you picked it up. I think it’s like a legendary item That’s right wait can I kill my party members? From now on whenever an uses attacks with that weapon it’ll be a +5 We need to get the santa claus or something yeah Any supplies and information now because yeah a terrorist attack has happened Let’s just find someone who can help us now because they’re all easily wanting to kill Santa so we’re they’re gonna give us our quest Yeah, survivors. Let’s hope that they are not little around quickly I roll a 12 yeah, that’s okay suppose that looks around and Somebody moans Hosuh runs up gives him a quick heal. He looks up He says was that-was that really Santa Claus Hosuh says yeah, yeah, I think so He says you know if there is a Santa Claus, and there is two paths you can take The one path leads to the frosty frozen forest The other path leads to the candy cane Kingdom wait if I necromancer one Do they have all their memories intact?

    But this guy isn’t dead oh I’d kill him I Won’t allow it Daniel the man of justice stops and the all day long at this point it just stops David Daniel tasty enough damn you Daniel Alright guys, where are we going? Are we going to take candy cane Kingdom or are we gonna go check out the trusty? frozen forest Forest Lake I don’t know I feel like if we go to the kingdom it’ll be bombed as well Cuz after all didn’t Santa come from that way hmm I feel like he’s just attacking villages for no reason so if we do go there They probably will have a lot more dead people let’s go into Candy Kingdom I Think we will get more clues if we go to the bigger town video city. I think yeah, okay We don’t know what to expect in the past thing yet right exactly you could have an NPC who actually gives us information Because oh it’s actually not Santa. It’s a some devil possessing Santa please free him instead Wait was that what I’m just tagging along as long as I can get stuff You know at the end of this quest just gonna be an with bunch of stuff So with this knowledge you all decide to go to the candy cane Kingdom It’s up north. They say you’re not really sure what that means but Steven hosted annual man packs up their stuff and continues their journey as they walk by a completely Destroyed town about a day passed and then from a far distance you hear that music cheerful Christmasy Constantly singing the same tune so kind of music.

    Oh my god Santa replaced the whole town with the robots Go check it out obviously yeah, okay, let’s go check it. Let’s go Okay, so you walk and walk and walk and you start to see it’s not a kingdom it’s almost like a huge factory you See these little tiny people With stripes on their bodies and a little pointy hat on their tops. They’re all singing They’re all smiling and they see you and they say welcome to candy cane Kingdom. What can we do for you? We want to see toy factories you want to know more about Santa Claus you wanna you want some toys Do you what what would you like?

    Wait that was oh, that was so specific. Do you wanna learn more about Santa Claus? Yeah?

    Yeah, you want let’s let’s go with that option Are you sure about that it could be a treasure I do You can’t get trapped from information, but that doesn’t make sense Let’s go with that. We’ll ask yes. Please tell us more about Santa Claus Santa Claus is he is the most jolly and happy and lovable man.

    You’ll ever see ooh We all love Santa Claus and Santa sounds like he’s sucking Santa’s dick. You want to go see some toys at the toy factory I Mean like we could also just say no. Thanks. You creepy pedophile, and then just run the other way or stab him Let’s stab him can Steven stab this NPC Role for that 15 Steven somehow already stoles Daniels sword again somehow and then stabs the elf the elf screams for a second But then with shivering cut he’s trembling he’s holding his stomach, but he looks up again it says Welcome to candy cane Kingdom Can I stab him again, no wait Okay See our toy factory or learn more about Santa Claus We’re all so happy here Is he is he dying?

    It’s easy easy your deliv is he dying is he bleeding he’s bleeding okay, so he’s not a robot I Think they’re all brainwashed. Oh dicks. I just stabbed an innocent elf. Oh my god that I hope he’s not watching So from this information we know for a fact that the elves are brainwashed by something and The information that we just received is a false information, right? Maybe someone made them Brainwashed so that they say okay Santa’s a good person and all that obviously Santa because how else would have benefit from this hmm When the other elves see this they take the stabbed elf away not even attacking us No woo hoo no repercussions And they all continue their day as if nothing happened This is scary I’m scared Yeah, is there like a big big main office that we can see from our position Yeah, so the toy factory has a main gate that you can walk into huh huh, okay?

    Let’s do this As long as I can get stuff, let’s find another elf there are tons of elves around a Steve it I Can’t necromancer some so that’s the problem like they keep getting carted away before I can just use them You’re pointing killing people if I can’t use their dead bodies as my weapons Stevens the type of person that gets a Coca Cola bottle Empties a coke and says wow now I can recycle this Anyway so Anne walks up to a kind of more important looking type of elytis he has like a He has like a little checklist that he goes through he’s looking around seems like he’s kind of the manager of the place mr. Elf um Wait what we asked him already about Santa List is mr.. Elf. What’s the most valuable thing in this candy cane Kingdom places? Haha, oh, can I just ask him. What are you? What is he doing?

    What are you doing? What’s up? Ma’am?

    Who me that’s good home skillet? We’re preparing for Christmas because we all love Santa man Santa’s so Joyful and he’s so happy and he’s such a great guy you want to come see our toy factory. No You’re lying tell us the truth I’m sorry, but we have our complimentary candy canes if you want to come and see have a free tour of our toy factory Steven I think we should stop I think so too you what you go ahead and you attack with your dagger that does extra damage Whoa, okay, okay? I wanna kill him.

    Hey doodles attack him She say stab me stab stab stab You stab stab seventy haha and Stabs the elf again, that’s the second elf you guys stabbed in five minutes that you’ve been here, okay? Heroes you guys aren’t heroes you guys are like villains at this point Okay, so what happens to the elf does he do the same thing guess he doesn’t get carted away the elf starts bleeding you cops up they by the way the elves have blue blood instead of red he cops off blue blood and Easily grabs his stomach. He says that oh, that’s that’s okay. We still have our toy factory if you want it. Oh My god.

    Yeah, the toy factory is a euphemism for like mind control Brainwashing thing hey, so we shouldn’t go inside. We should bomb it we’re Santa’s bombs do we have bombs from last time I’m afraid of sending my zombie inside. Yeah, we still have the zombies Yeah, no, but what happens if he gets brainwashed too.

    Oh Yuck we can’t Have the Slovenians Vallois, why don’t I strategically plant him while he gets information for us JK That’s a stupid idea. You know what yes. You know I send my zombie into the toy factory then let’s see what happens Another help comes right it will say oh So I heard you guys have a toy factory. Can we check it out? Oh, yeah our toy factories right over here come come, okay, so I send my zombie and while we go talk to other people Actually, let’s put a HOSA first cuz I feel my way. She can’t really do much damage stuff.

    I mean like he could heal us even though he’s brainwashed you stay here there you guys are gonna fine you I Steven goes in with a zombie you want frontline this as As as you’re about to go in an elf with this really rag like clothing That’s kind of Comus covering his forehead in his eyes says hey Go over here Do you ignore him follow him or do you go? Just inside the toy factory. It’s just a drill no no No, he’s not talking like the other elves. He’s obviously not brainwashed Let’s follow him UI he can’t be I don’t think we should stab him.

    I think we just follow this kid He seems like he’s not brainwashed or at least he got on brainwash Or he wants to somehow start a revolution ass flare as follows revolutionising l so you let the zombie follow the the Elves and the elves then doesn’t even seem to notice difference you three start to follow this rag elf And you follow him and some reason everything else seems so magical and special But when you turned around to the corner things seem a little bit more desolate the place seems more dark It feels like it’s an older town, and then you guys walk into a house And then they turn go down to a basement turn right again into little quarter And then a room now when you went into the room there was what there was a bunch of elves But there was one old looking elf now he seemed like he was a thousand years old and they all just stare at you So I probably shouldn’t kill this one. He sounds important. Yeah, don’t do that and let’s not kill this one Well what if they like rate us it’s like five hundred of them versus us or like a room full of elves faces us mm I think we should kill everyone except for the old man and the guy who brought I agree for once yo killing is not the answer in this case Yeah, so then you know, it’s wisdom Power is not indiscriminately killing power is knowing when to kill and this is not one of those times If these owls attack you I’m ally I’m just gonna stand next to the door Constantly looking around making sure nothing’s going on Stephen opens his mouth, but then the old elf starts talking it says instead. Okay, screw you too The elder elf Explains that Santa has started using robots to manufacture his toys Pay and living conditions became unmanageable for the elves so they tried to form a union But they wait is this a metaphor for communism You’re literally trying to shove communism down our throats host Daniel Unacceptable what would Jesus do? That’s a side question, okay, let’s not spoil Then that’s when things start to go south One day one elf and another started disappearing Turns out Santa has been feeding some of the elves to the reindeers oh God that’s gross so the ones.

    I just killed I pretty much fed, two reindeers. Oh my god and WordGirl regarded all Is there a suicide option in this game? Just just to make sure I can take all your stuff right I Want your zombie anywhere information from the old man the old man says you heroes have to save us Although you killed two of our people, Santa killed thousands They’re all afraid they’re too afraid to answer any differently they all just Even at the face of death a lot of fear has poisoned them to the extent oh So they’re corrupted already, so I don’t feel that bad. Haha wow I can’t believe I have more morality in someone and their suffering Please end their suffering the way and is asking You Stephen as my inspiration of killing if you think I’m an inspiration you might wanna Ask Where do we find Santa he went up to the frosty frozen forest or he can be protected by the golems? Okay, that sounds insanely difficult I’m necromancer robots are they techno no already had so I need like Oh So I guess forgot to find more flesh things to use even no That’s a good question. What should we do then suddenly an elf screams?

    Reindeers and impose all the elves start panicking they hide their children people run into that corridor People stall the elves hide in the corners of all the basements they can find and you hear from up above Who’s? Smashing down to the ground okay Are they outside the door? Where’s my zombie? Can I just recall my zombie no zombies having a blast at the toy factory oh?

    The zombie just having the time of his life, man, I mean his his death So I can’t even control him anymore Well penis okay, now. You can stay hide or you can come out in fights. I have nothing to fight with How many Rangers are there so there’s eight reindeers in total Dasher dancer Prancer vixen comet Cupid dunder and blixem also, Rudolph being an Inclusion so nine eight side reindeers and one main dude shoot do we know if Santa knows that this place? exists or like the elder goes Okay, let’s all be quiet Steven be quiet and for the next five minutes You hear screams you hear children running away? Daniel can’t take this anymore.

    He runs out. Oh my god of course Stupid you what you want good. I hope he dies so that I can get a body to resurrect and actually use the fight Jesus are the rest of us just hiding oh, it’s your choice We have to follow them you what spirit we have to follow them do I have any offensive skills or am I just like?

    Based on my zombies Rudolph looks at you and with this red nose. He attacks. He goes for the blind Know pretty much, just like tried to blind us Okay, this bright red nose rudolph release nineteen stevens blind Well dicks hey n do you want to help me hey. I want to chop off Rudolph’s nose Fine then you are care my zombies can see for me alright wholesome, what do you do? Go alright, and what do you do the solar blinded right now our auras only Stephen blinded? Okay While the Rudolph was attacking Stephen now on a run up to there Rudolph and chopped his nose off If we kill the boss duet does everyone else retreat Oreo do we still have to kill everyone else to like the other adults?

    It’s oh my god. It’s Rudolph his nose is controlling people. This is the oh my god do it Right you roll the thirteen, but now you’re using that dagger So it’s plus five so that’s 18 woo such a good and that’s a critical hit. That’s a good dagger I didn’t realize plus five is gonna be this good anyway While the Rudolph’s blinding Steven and Stevens grabbing his eyes crying to mommy Jumps and gets on top of the reindeer she holds onto Antler with one hand and she grabs a dagger with the other and she goes through the nose, but Rudolph knows. What’s up He tries to avoid these swings left He swings right and misses the nose, but does manage to get him in the stomach and she pulls it down, and she she stabs And Rudolph is damaged severely, okay, it seems like if you can get him two more times like that He’s gonna fall Did we win Steven yes get into the role Okay, well, I guess my only option right now is to give Steven a Status repellent repellent off I mean like you could also attack the Ranger Corsa attack the reindeer first No, no you have such bad rules. I don’t think you Can only not see but he can’t hear anything as well Sense is one play one huh where’d everyone go For the first time in a long time Steven is that peace There is no peace unless I can hear myself I Can’t hear you Wait I’m pretty sure wait like Ralph is controlling everyone So why don’t we just kill him the other Ranger isn’t right now, but you want.

    I like this prospect of having reindeer slaves continue continue Let’s end this says Daniel, and he he rolls It’s a three daniel slips falls and then faints Okay I think you have to carry us I like caroline’s or it off snow, so I would attack the nose again. Okay again, I see 18 plus 5 Thats 20 plus his critical hit This time and manages to get the nose she cuts off the nose and it continues to glow She likes to destroy we have to drive she puts it in her pocket acts like nothing happened Oh my god, and I swear to god. I’ll kill you right now Shiny around Okay is it mature oh? No, I gotta talk about this as an looks at that nose and since it’s shiny and round Rudolph is behind Screaming that his nose has been cut off Splattering Wait whoa wait we’re Santa Not you’re Santa Santa’s at the frosty something poor mices Ranger. Why would he go? Why we Neela’s transportation go without him?

    as Rudolph is screaming you hear a thump and another thump and another thump Fight me Santa. Where are you? Steven okay, you know it time has time has passed enough Stevens stuff is gone now. He can see it He needs to participate Oh To see bloodied up and holding a read Over this Luke the look suits you an let’s see let’s do our best work Like You guys look up and a shadowy figure 10 meters tall is Looking down he all he says is ho ho ho We was Steven guys what about Steven? He doesn’t he get acknowledged, just HOSA unacceptable Take it Steven stands his ground and calls his minions to him.

    Nope Steven. We need to run like right now, okay? oh My god fine fine Steven recalls as minions and just runs like hell While using just enough to hold off Santa Santa says you cut off Rudolph’s nose You have ruined Christmas I mean like you technically ruined Christmas when you drop bombs on people, but yeah, okay, sure we ruined Christmas he lifted his hand and Slammed it on to the ground it trembled the whole place You guys can knock the over dicks where my big zombie at? still having a blast filling the toy I Don’t have any sort of yeah.

    Yeah, you what spirit let’s let’s do what Daniel wants cheap Evo For each of us, or it should be rule is to you wanna roll to that. I think we should roars like Collective, maybe okay, you guys got a four Yes, no. I think that’s that’s rule as a individual The first bad rule I get whatever okay? Steven trying to distract Santa, but then Little did Steven know Santa is also a wizard while dicks didn’t see that plot twist Know what Santa can do is he can read minds and manipulate them? He also has a huge bag that contains just about everything not only does Santa get rid of all the elves But Santa goes into me goes deep into Stevens mind Suddenly the screen changes to a flashback of Steven’s background story Steven used to be a happy fellow. Not as hyper as Daniel, but at happiness in his life Why don’t I remember this she actually had a wife named?

    You wanna know? What’s your wife’s name Steven? I don’t know Let’s say Tanisha You know wife she actually had a wife named Tanisha and a daughter named You see so the point of a DM is so that you can make up a story no does this per day I want you to choose Ted Because he wanted a boy However they all died from an ogre attack okay to this day He practices necromancy in the hopes that one day He could resurrect his family completely Wow he’s trying to make me a relatable character The screen comes back from the Stevens background story Stevens like what the fudge, I didn’t even know I had that kind of story in me But he’s now all Steven now all days from this manipulation Santa just caused I’m gonna run so Rules for that 15 Xhosa runs away like a cactus on a tree Yes, sure. He’s gone Wow all your damage will be so useful in the factory Xhosa Runs into the factory he sees the zombie zombies having a little bit too much fun Okay, so if my zombies getting his dick sucked.

    He’s getting exploded right then in there That’s not Just kill Santa it’s not that all I’m trying to oh my god Next turn I’m gonna bring those army back yeah fine, and what do you do I? Want Santa’s hat Okay But if I have their own red nose that controls all the reindeers can I control all the reindeers if I have it? mm-hmm Your goal for that 13 well I guess I guess he can I yeah sure I’ll allow it oh, I want all Iranians to stomp on Santa should Danner and Orders the reindeers to stomp on Santa the Rangers fly up and up and up and then they Fly down towards Santa they smash into him they stomp on him, and they steal his house hat for some reason How are you kid gonna carry you that giant? The Ranger drops it on an covers her whole body. You know that giant Andros. Oh my god Interestingly enough Santa seems to be way more damage than you expected Oh, that’s weird.

    It seems like if you hit it one more time. You might be down Daniel gets up out of nowhere He says Oh Santa I love your work, but let me attack your real quick he rolls an 8. He misses ok Wow Wait aren’t I bring washed or white white I’m confused.

    No. You’re just based from the from Santa bringing up um Steven tries Castillon something He’ll I don’t know aren’t I days. I don’t know what I’m doing you got 17.

    Okay. I Castillon something yes You kissed a girl on a dead L Phoebe comes back to life Wow good for you, okay? So we good, right?

    : okay, Oh dick, so why did you do that first? Yeah? I’m gonna do that but you just went in did you stop GG no re Y’all even care my conscience is cleared for the entire game. I can murder whoever I want now Xhosa takes a jingle bell.

    He jingles the bell on the zombie follow them jingle these balls Okay side note. By the way if anyone ever asks us to do live stream this man is why we can’t This this thing that you see right there called Steven. He is the problem to our live streaming business So wait yeah, so I come back with the column with the five meter tall gone yet, okay, I was gonna buff up Finally playing his role right you get a six you failed What should I do I think I think we should interrogate Santa interrogate Santa I want Santa’s boot Let me necromancy Just strip him naked. Why don’t you a good idea?

    That’s what we’re going through no 19 okay Wow okay Wow and Literally the most wrong thing I’ve ever seen Freakin Anne’s eyes suddenly turns red and she dashes and Jumps almost like a ninja behind Santa’s back and cuts off his legs and takes the boots The whole way She wasn’t about to take him off hard this is Santa screaming falls on to his knees and with his last strength he He fails to attack he rosal to he fails to attack and he falls to the ground You guys have yet to use that stupid gun Daniel gets up he walks up close and asks, so why’d you do it. Why’d you bomb the village? Why’d you cause all this Santa goes, but what do you mean?

    You’d Christmas yeah? We just literally killed Santa I think we would have ruined Christmas Thank you wait. What do you mean? We ruined Christmas? It means that not only did you kill me, but you let those people survive And they they trick people they take innocent lives families parents that try to find me and they they Steal their things and they murdered them And they steal their organs those people needed to be stopped so I bombed what do you mean those people? the villagers Wait aren’t you from the village the?

    Villagers oh my god that village with the old people. Oh my god, what let’s go kill them right now Wait are there any like So basically what just happened was we killed Santa the Santa’s saying that he had to kill the villagers because they They took advantage of tourists. They stole their things they left them to die and this northern freezing cold and like Santa had to bring justice justice to them so The village that we came from aren’t actually good people guess not I mean Santa might be lying I don’t know I would believe Santa elves any day, and they also wouldn’t tell us anything, so I’m pretty sure it’s them the Elves are the ability elves in the village place the one where we started from the shady with the shady one oh my gosh, I told you guys I Literally said if these elves are sure. Yeah, we should just kill us, please Wait no the the the first village were humans they were oh yeah has people The evil ones were in the Candy Land Candy oh the one underground Oh, those guys. Yeah, those guys were.

    Oh my god. How do we find them? How do we kill them?

    Santa don’t die on us Cebu play wait right now You could either go try to revenge Santa or you could try to save Chris Oh? God can we can we kill them after we save Christmas Let’s do that Saving Christmas is a more pressing matter at this point you want let’s kill them leader you I want them to live in fear Knowing that way, but death is gonna come for them, and I will purify their impure lying bodies and minds The second coming of the Apocalypse So now I’ll save Christmas How do we save Christmas oh you gotta figure out some how to get all these presents from that toy factory to all the villages? In in this world and you have one night to do it crap crap crap, and you and you still have your ranger Right yes manipulate your elves correct Oh my god so let’s use my elves to get the presents on the Rangers somewhat and Just have them distribute them throughout the world wait. Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s the best course of action We can’t really do much. Oh wait okay.

    No. I have a better plan Okay, okay, and has the Santa head right and put it on yes And we have so many elves under our control How about we make all those elves? Delivered instead of us mm-hmm then do one. I have to go along Probably look at them to make sure that they’re not like accidentally stumbling over some some random rock because you’re how hard is control that means else tough for that distance I mean just Tell them Situation guys Guys we accidentally killed your master the one that you all live in work for How many elves are in Xhosa, it’s supposed to be candy cane cane your shirt whatever There are thousands and thousands of elves so you set up this plan each elf is gonna Take one village and that’s enough to cover the whole land so each elf starts grabbing presents unfinished unboxed Covered in elf blood and elk blood and Santa blood now, but it’s okay There’s no time to fix this Steven also necromancer’s all the dead elves so some some houses or We’re visited by corpses Okay, that’s how the small packs became And somehow Throughout the night with panicking laughing and definitely not remembering all the dead people you killed Somehow managed to deliver all the presents in one night huh we did it now Steven finds those elves and Katz’s wave of death over the impure film Where are they?

    Unfortunately because a night has passed They’re a bit too far away damn it Daniel smiled We saved Christmas I have elves all over the world right now. I can’t use them to find the elves Stephen takes a minute to ponder his situation and still arise at the same conclusions He still wants to murder the elves this this you want this will be a holiday tradition Zebra will come back to the spot every year every day on the same day and find those elves Eventually you want this will be a Christmas tradition you all let’s do this next year Stephen does it oh? Okay, all right well Well gee all right my gosh that done see you guys when we say we can’t do Dungeons and Dragons we aren’t being humble We can’t do You sound like Hitler dude Whole star Steven do you guys want to say anything to the audience before we hand? Merry Christmas guys know where the elves are please contact me at 6:04 7:03 35:35 please do what the heck that’s my folding. Oh actually no No, no just call me it’ll get to me. I will just like punched a few elves It’ll be my Christmas treats me and say anything I’m just happy with my Rudolph nose That’s my favorite uh-huh Oh it was this a comet for the for the Phil people Oh, I have some requests from you guys Make sure to drop Stephen riding a reindeer and him enjoying it well my pictures of Having sex with a ranger, I will not only quit discord I will quit everything you are reddit Facebook Tumblr none of that exists He likes it Stephen reaffirm Proud to be not a furry so which one of you is why is there anybody?

    I don’t know the fans are know I’m not a fairy the fans are freaking okay Anyways Man I hope you guys have a really good Christmas honestly this past couple months have been really magical for us I hope it’s been magical for you guys, and honestly if you watch this far first of all Why? but second of all we want to hear from you like comment down ask us questions because People that was willing to watch this type of whole thing We won’t also take the time to respond and you know kind of interact you three guys a little bit more Tell us what to do give us suggestions or ask us questions. We’ll be around to comment for a couple hours, so yeah until next time bye right elves also subscribe


  • Top 15 Xbox One Role-playing Games of 2016, 2017 & 2018

    Hand of Fate 2 A hybrid of card and deckbuilding games, roguelike, and a sprinkle of action–Hand of Fate’s sequel brings us another suspenseful battle against the mysterious dealer. Decide your fate with each card you play, and survive every obstacle that comes in your way. With fresh new ideas added to their already great premise, it receives a PlayScore of 8.07 14. Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition With the release of their latest sequel, Obsidian makes it slightly easier for newcomers to get up to speed with the series’ deep and immersive lore. Offering the complete package in one, this edition contains everything from expansions to all their previously released content.

    Experience the magic of Eora’s world for your own and stand witness to the polish of Obsidian Entertainment’s storytelling, combat, and customizations. A wellspring of new possibilities of new and old fans, it has a PlayScore of 8.16 13. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 A highpowered sequel to Dragonball Xenoverse, Bandai Namco takes a turn towards time-bending plots in this latest installment of their fighting RPG. Create your very own character and join the iconic band of heroes as they jump from timeline to timeline in the hopes of saving their universe.

    Taking you into a hub world seven times larger than the original, you’re sure to get your money’s worth of high-flying action. Relive your favorite anime fights with a PlayScore of 8.23 12.Battle Chasers: Nightwar Taking inspiration from classic turn-based JRPGs, Airship Syndicate manages to blend new and old sensibilities into their deliciously detailed RPG. It might be familiar for fans of Runic Games’ Torchlight series, with their cartoon aesthetics and vibrant color schemes. Round up your trio of heroes and set their sights on the precious loot of their randomly generated dungeons.

    Uncover secrets, build up your skills, and solve the less than common problems of the citizens in Harms Way. It has a PlayScore of 8.24 11. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen Complete editions are just a convenient way of getting all those juicy content rolled into one–and that’s exactly what Dark Arisen does for theseries. Containing all the previous DLCs, as well as a handful of new content, watch the Dragons Dogma universe come alive as you experience its living and breathing open world in all its fullness. Choose from nine different vocations and enjoy the dynamism of ther combat system, along with your trusty AI pawns.

    It has a PlayScore of 8.24 10. Torment: Tides of Numenera A spiritual successor to the BioWare-powered Planescape: Torment. Tides of Numenera brings it to the modern the age, preserving the title’s signature visuals and isometric perspective while expanding the lore of one the best RPGs ever. Within its 35 hour single player campaign, you’ll discover the unpredictable nature of Ninth World as you embark on a quest to meet your maker and save yourself from Sorrow. A crowdfunded RPG that boasts deep exploration, immerse in the details of their universe and weave yourself into their complex narrative webs. It has a PlayScore of 8.27 9.

    The Banner Saga The first installment in what would be an impressive RPG trilogy, the kickstarter-funded Banner Saga has definitely delivered on their campaign promises. An RPG that puts you in charge of a viking caravan, lead your pack through their melancholy world and become dazzled by beautiful animations and breathtaking 2D landscapes. Making use of traditional turn-based combat, the game sets itself apart by putting a premium on player choices, as well as the permanence of lives the lose you lose in battle. As much a strategy as it is an RPG, it has a PlayScore of 8.32 _ 8. Hyper Light Drifter One of the most mesmerizing indie titles of late, Hyper Light Drifter paints a paradoxical picture of a ruined world–bathed in neon colors and absolutely stunning in all its pixel perfection.

    Set in an era where past meets future, meander about as their titular drifter as he sets out to piece out the puzzles of his world’s broken history, all while finding a cure to his mysterious illness. The artistry of the games’ developers don’t stop with backdrops, partake in their easy to pick up and hard to master combat and carve your own path amidst their branching storylines. It has a PlayScore of 8.36 7. Final Fantasy XV The latest in the long-running Final Fantasy series, Square Enix pulled out all the stops in this installment, taking a bromance-laden adventure to a modern, open-world setting worthy of its name. Developed over ten years, the wait was all worth it in the end, giving us an impressive and vast universe packed with their signature quests and boss battles.

    It also a built-in high resolution support that creates a crystal clear picture of their hyperrealistic world. Drive around with Noctis and friends, with a PlayScore of 8.37 6. Monster Hunter: World A beast of a release, the Monster Hunter takes a turn for the global with this latest entry to their series. Released outside its Nintendo exclusivity, other consoles, and the Xbox One in particular, has finally gotten a taste of the ultimate hunting experience.

    While it’s not exactly open world, it does give the players large and varied servings of biomes, each with their own diverse collection of beasts to take down. Always a haven for challenge-seekers due to its technical combat system, you can bring finally bring along friends to the hardcore adventures with their improved online features. It has a PlayScore of 8.38 5. South Park: The Fractured But Whole There’s no doubt about Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s place as legends in realm of TV, but they seem to be carving their own path in the world of RPGs.

    With this sequel to the Stick of Truth, they’ve a created series of out of their irreverent RPGs, this time letting you play as the new kid in town. Get caught in the spiral of the gang’s superhero shenanigans and get ready for a new round of fart jokes, satire, and blazing hot social commentary. It has a PlayScore of 8.46 4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Sure, might be the Nth Special Edition to come out for Elder Scrolls V, but looks like Todd Howard’s got us straight on the nose because we fall for it every.

    single. time. Now the highest rated Elder Scrolls game on the console, retrace your steps as the mighty Dragonborn in the land of Skyrim or travel off the beaten path and uncover secrets far beyond your old adventures. Technically enhanced with remastered art, textures, and effects, it’s the Elder Scrolls V like never before, and it has a PlayScore of 8.47 3. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Something for fans of the new wave of Cyberpunk stories, the Deus Ex series jumps right ahead of the bandwagon with this installment set in the year 2029.

    Featuring Adam Jensen on the forefront once again, Mankind Divided takes the series back to their roots, fleshing out their oft explored themes while adding a few key changes to their gameplay. While some were a bit disappointed by the ending, it’s been universally praised for its interesting quests and its meticulous attention to detail. One of the best Deus Ex titles yet, it has a PlayScore of 8.5 2.

    Dark Souls III FromSoftware redefined the action RPG genre with their groundbreaking Dark Souls series. And, while it’s closed the curtain in this third and final chapter, its legendary combat system will remain in our hearts (and, perhaps, in FromSoftWare’s future titles.) Enter their nightmarish Gothic universe, if you dare, and try your hand on their addictively frustrating bossfights.

    A dexterity testing treat for gluttons for punishment, it has a PlayScore of 8.8 Here are the runners-up before we reveal the number one: 16. Middle-earth: Shadow of War No longer a stealth-action adventure game centered around Mordor, roam around the iconic places of Middle Earth and amass your amry with the Nemesis System. It has a PlayScore of 8.06 17. Tom Clancy’s The Division An open world FPS set during the blackest friday in fictional history.

    It has a PlayScore of 7.98 18. Romancing SaGa 2 From Square Enix, control several generation of rulers in a battle against the Seven Heroes in this pixel-fueled JRPG. It has a PlayScore of 7.94 19.

    Victor Vran: Overkill Edition Play as the familiar-voiced Victor Vran and catch demons on the loose to free Zaragovia from its curse. It has a PlayScore of 7.91 20. Shining Resonance Refrain The dragons of Astoria need your help in this action RPG from SEGA.

    It has a PlayScore of 7.86 1. And the best RPG on the Xbox One is NieR: Automata – BECOME AS GODS Edition The latest to put their unique spin on action RPGs, 2B sashayed her way to the top of our lists with their philosophical metanarratives (on top of the delicious action scenes, of course. In Become as Gods, players are get to try on varying costumes for the main characters, with 2B in particular getting the fanservice treatment with her “Revealing Outfit.” Play along in 4K resolutions and dive into a collection of brand subquests. It’s a fresh way to play this award-winning RPG, and it receives a PlayScore of 9.22


  • $5,000 in government grants and funding for NZ treasurer

    My name is Jenine Murray and the position I have… …is I’m the treasurer/secretary for our trust, our family trust. The family trust is called Hamiora Whanau Trust. The trust is a family trust that’s been in the family for 20 years… …and we’ve gone through five generations… …and we’re being set up to administer the land holdings… …that belong to the Hamiora Whanau and it’s based on Matakana Island. The trust has been operating for about 20 years. Some of our successes have been to build a new homestead on the land… …and of course it’s been five generations of families. And we also put up a [unknown] of special homes for… …looking after our old, my mum and also, you know, as we get older… …[unknown] is here.

    The other thing we’ve done is we’ve restored… …all the wetlands on the land itself. Here we are on Matakana Island and… …we’re standing on the boardwalk in the wetlands. We restored the wetlands and part of the money is going to be used… …when the family comes home Not only for planning but also to bring them all home and… …we can [unknown] bring them here to continue to keep this place clean… …from [unknown] and bring them back on… …the [unknown] so the kids can enjoy it. The first thing I did was to research myself with… …the New Zealand Grants for Funding organization… …and the next thing I did was just go online… …and have a look at, search for the grants… …that I wanted to see happen in the trust itself… …and just searched for Maori culture planning… …and I found a website that would help us… …to further our plans and I went on there… First of all, we had to have really good audited accounts.

    The other thing was to make sure we had a good trust deed… …and the other one was to make sure that… …we had good minutes that told… …the organization that this was this was the next step… …that we wanted to take as a family and that was it. I think that’s why we got our funding so quickly… …because we focused in on this what we want to do… …this is the next stage in [unknown]. I’m really excited about the fact that… …this funding is going to help us get a better plan for the future… …it’s going to help us stay together as a family… …it’s going to help us create employment for our family… …it’s going to help us expand our trust… …it’s going to help us use a skill set we have as a family… …and create just a better future for our children and grandchildren.


  • Launchpad Work: Creating Employment Opportunities for New Zealanders who need them most

    Launchpad Work is New Zealand’s first business accelerator focused on supporting social enterprises that provide employment for those that face the greatest barriers to finding work. It’s going to be a six month intensive program that will be based in the Auckland area and running from May to October of 2017. The Ākina Foundation is looking forward to using our unique skills and experiences to support the ventures that come through. Our experience includes in the last year, supporting more than 750 ventures.

    During that period, these ventures raised about $1.5 million dollars in investment. So who are you? You’re a business whose purpose is providing employment to those who have trouble finding and keeping a job.

    That could be young people, people who are former refugees or have disabilities. You might call yourself a start-up, a charity, or social enterprise. In any case you take the majority of your profits and you reinvest it back into the business. A 2014 mathematica report found that for every dollar that’s spent by social enterprises in providing employment there is a net benefit of two dollars and thirty-two cents on society.

    What’s an example of a social enterprise that we’re looking for? Pomegranate Kitchen provides wonderful, delicious catering and delivered foods around Wellington. The refugees who work there involved with everything from management decisions, to creating menus and along the way they’re learning skills such as improving their English, Health and Safety, kitchen skills and getting on the job catering experience.

    So what will you get by participating in this accelerator? 1st: Growth support. You’ll have a dedicated coach who meets with you one-on-one and meets you where you’re at. In addition, we have a network of professionals who can provide pro bono support on an as-needed basis. 2: Connection. When you join this community, you’ll become part of a group of high-performance social enterprise leaders that share your passion, ambition and desire to make an impact.

    3: Access. As part of this program, through the group sessions and also the pitch opportunities, you’ll get access to a variety of people who can support the development of your business. That includes corporate partners, it includes potential customers and potential funders and investors. In addition, you’ll have access to the entire Ākina team and our network of corporate partners. 4: Funding.

    Participants in this program will have the opportunity to opt-in and receive $10,000 of funding provided with philanthropic support from the Sky City Auckland Community Trust. This is to enable the enterprises and their founders to fully participate in the accelerator program. If you’re interested go now to our website and submit an expression of interest.

    We’ll use that to keep you informed along the way. We look forward to reading your application. Thanks!


  • A healthy balance for beginners

    Most beginners just start playing randomly and don’t bother studying the theoretical aspects of poker. Those are the people who are not very likely to ever get very far. On the other end of the spectrum you have those who read tons of books and barely play a hand. That isn’t good either.

    If you do not work on improving your game and getting the casino sign up deals, you’ll always stay a losing player or a player who is unable to go beyond the micro stakes. If you study too much without putting it into practice you will absorb too much info to be able to know which theory to use in which situation.

    It is best to find a healthy balance. You could for example go through the basic articles, which are quite short and explain easy to understand concepts, and then play a few thousand hands, posting problematic hands to the hand judges at the end of the day. You can then move on to the first 3-5 bronze articles after which you play another few thousand hands etc. Make sure to mix in the Crushing NL50 series by Hasenbraten quite early as that series is an excellent series for beginners.

    Do not educate and/or scare away the bad players!

    This has been said a few times already, but it is imperative to keep your cool when a bad opponent gets lucky in a hand against you. Keep an eye on your opponents.
    While you might have lost money that one hand you will want to keep playing against that opponent in the long run.

    Bad players (commonly referred to as fish) will leave the game if they are constantly yelled at. They might get better if you explain to them why they won money due to luck and not due to skill. This is called “feeding the fish” and should be avoided at all costs. Be friendly to the fish and compliment them when they win every once in a while. You want to be the friendly guy they want to play against.

    Master the basics of casino sign up deals but do not turn into a robot!

    Earlier on this page the importance of sticking to the standard way of playing as a beginner was explained. You should always remember why you do what you do though. That way you can start recognising situations where shifting from the standard way of playing can be profitable.