20th Jul 2020, 11:56 PM

Attempt to teleport

Attempt to teleport

Make it last.

"You said we freed this shell--is your shell a demonshell?"

"Yes," replies the tradesman. "Could you not tell by the stygian circuitry? Only a genuine demonshell has stygian circuits."

He does have some... vaguely circuitry-esque designs on his coffin thing.

Black circuits.

Is that in contrast to the weird veins you felt burning when you regained mana? Demonshells get the piss veins, other shells (fake demonshells?) have stygian circuits...?

Don't think. Not enough mana. Need as many answers as possible.

"Is there anything in this alcazar I should specifically avoid?"

"Difficult to say, as I'm not yet sure how well versed you are in exploring the xanthous. ...And I certainly have no grasp of the alcazar's overall layout. From my limited vantage point, there's only one way out of this building. Below lies the path you must take, while venturing upstairs would accomplish little. The creatures you would face upstairs are also far, far more dangerous than those on this floor and beneath. This dungeon structure in general, I believe, contains the most powerful threats in the entire alcazar. Should you go outside, beware the butterflies. They are not here for your benefit."

He pauses. You start to ask another question, but the tradesman remembers something--

"Oh," he begins, "and on this floor are a few things that absolutely should be here. The striped classroom and miasmatic wound are normal features, and I would advise leaving both alone. The latter in particular you need for a healthy, normal alcazar, and attempting to block it could cause long term damage."

The fucking what


shit, questions, questions

"Do you have any relation to the big things outside the sky?," you blurt out.

"None whatsoever," says the tradesman. "I am too far above them to even know their names."

Cici asks one. "The lady that taped you up--was she a monster? Or an alien or somethin'?"

"Either is likely," the tradesman replies.

Cici follows up. "Is anything bad gonna happen because we freed you?"

"I certainly hope so," replies the tradesman. "I'm already quite tired of you both."

Cici squints at you. "You SURE this guy is lying?," she asks quietly, "I think he might just be a jerk."

"I'm gonna prove it for sure here in a sec," you tell her. You turn back to the tradesman. "Will drinking mana potions--like, the wine and the yellow soda--will that kill me outside the dream?"

"I know the answer," states the tradesman, "but you cannot afford the cost."

Probably doesn't know. Stygian circuits--he might be projecting into the dream world using a different method than you, so he knows how the world itself works, but not all the specifics of how you work.

He'd tell you for free if he knew, though, or at least at an affordable price.

Mana running out. You can see Cici starting to get anxious as her torch dims further and further.

"What's so normal about this alcazar?," Cici asks.

"Well..." he seems to have to mull it over for a moment. "The size is perfectly average. Leaning toward the small size, perhaps, but not unusually so. Normal level of exterior security, no extraneous features or additional modifications. Spacial positioning is fairly standard, and doesn't seem to suggest any particular agenda. Were I to guess, this alcazar was originally formed by an amateur magus, likely as a first attempt. Instructions were probably followed to the letter, and nothing overly ambitious was tried with the physical arcana. My opinion: it is a very normal alcazar. I'm actually underwhelmed by how basic it is."

...That's a lot to parse.

"Will you be in this room after I reset?," you ask the tradesman.

"No," he replies simply.

You nod. "...Thank you."

You stand, with some difficulty.

You think about the candle room on the first floor.

Focus on it.

The lights on the tradesman begin to flare, and glow--

you keep focusing. Pushing

until the green light envelops the tradesman and fills the room. You are briefly blinded as the light consumes you, blanketing everything in a neon green luminescence--

--but then the light shrinks back down. Back to the shape of the sarcophagus, where it continues to shrink until it has vanished entirely

leaving only you and Cici in the 1F candle room.

"...Huh," Cici remarks. She still has her rapidly dimming torch.

You look down. You still have the roll of DO NOT RESET tape in your hand. "Yesss--"

The act of teleporting to this room has cost the rest of your mana.


You wake up feeling like you've been hit by a truck. ...And it then proceeded to back up over your ribs. And light your hand on fire. It passes quickly.

However, the feeling of having slept 8+ hours in fightball pads and a motorcycle helmet will linger. You groan; it takes substantial effort just to start rolling out of bed. The toolbox does not help.

"What happened?," mutters a sleepy Cici.

"Fast travel costs mana," you mumble back. "Uggggh. Not a lot, but I didn't have a lot."

After stumbling to your feet and removing your helmet, you loudly crack your neck.

"Damn!," Cici remarks as she begins to sit up. "You need more comfortable armor."

"I don't think they make armored pajamas," you chuckle dryly. Oh god you are so sore

It's about 10:05 am. Somehow.

You take a second to breathe, and acclimate yourself to being back in the real world after spending so much time in the dream.

...The alcazar.

The xanthous?

"The candles facilitate fast travel," you conclude, "and the tradesman is totally involved with how it works. ...He's trying to help but has to lie. It's like a verbal tic."

Cici nods. "We learned a lot last night!"

You give a strained nod in return. "We learned a shit ton."

Average Rating: 5 (5 votes)
Load my Place Save my Place

Will Schrag | Jason Dippel | Skullrama | John Wood | Tom Axon | David J Wu | Cannon17 | Dustin Hickman | Mochi | Wisp Pandemonium | arbit | Travis Whittaker

21st Jul 2020, 12:14 AM
Morning again! That means it's time for...

Player: Morning Strategy Session!

(I think if these sessions have community support, I'll just make a habit of it.)

Accomplice Availability:

It's Monday.

01) Cici. It should be a work day for Cici, and she liked to work out at the gym, too. She was (and is!) new to civilian life, though, and was working out all the time for lack of better ideas; maybe she would like to just go hardcore paranormal detective and drop the gym entirely. Player technically could request it from her, but honestly, that's so selfish and demanding that Player would give herself an anxiety attack the moment she realized what she was doing. Like, if she took all of Cici's day off and Bebe hasn't even seen her since the night before last (Cici probably called in, at least, maybe while feeding Meatloaf/robbing the library, but still).

02) Kate. It may a work day for Kate. She is also in a band, which means she practices, probably both alone and with her band (presuming Harv gets out of the hospital soon). Those "lungs like some kind of heavy metal banshee" didn't grow in a vacuum, and, I dare say, are a potential asset you wouldn't want to atrophy.

03) Player. Player could think a bit about her policy towards her accomplices. As much as it would be inconvenient for the tasks she wants to accomplish, and as fascinating as mystery-solving with Player is for them, in addition to work time, Cici and Kate might take various quantities of free time to keep doing what gives their life meaning. Player could encourage it (because she respects them and their hobbies, and/or doesn't want to be seen as [insert negative trait here]), or discourage it (in addition to their help being, well, helpful, observe how yesterday, when Cici and Kate were gone, she got sad and anxious and had to down some BrainSate to suppress her distress; keeping someone around as a means of distracting her from herself might be an attractive point to her).

Daytime Exploration Zones:

For each of these, Player should assess: what Dangers the location is said to contain, what Loot and Lore the location should hold, and the Time it would take to explore.

04) The Old Library. Situated in the north of town, it's inside of direwolf territory, and is associated with witchcraft. The narrative thus far makes it clear that it's probably too dangerous for the party right now, because in addition to the direwolves, there's occult threats (Player should consult Marlow about that before attempting this exploration). But you don't know how long the expedition would take: how long a ride to the nearest bus stop, how long a walk to the library therefrom, and how long three (or more) people would take to search it, basically. "Back in time for lunch," "Pack a sleeping bag," or somewhere in between?

05) The Northside.
06) Parts of The East Side.
07) The Woods.
08) The Mines.

Marlow and Afu spilled these four locations when Player asked about the weird shit in town ( mda.thecomicseries.com/comics/66/ ). Marlow mentioned the first three, and didn't give further context on them, but Afu mentioned The Mines and Marlow gave a little bit of exposition on it; poor documentation, no maps, colored lights and strange noises and fumes cropping up in weird places around town. As for The Northside and The Eastside, Player talked with the bus about those areas ( mda.thecomicseries.com/comics/56/ ), so at the very least, it's not just Marlow being paranoid. The Mines came from Afu's mouth (he's more down-to-earth), and Player's given it some thought from time to time, so there may be something to it.

09) The Mayor's Office. Breaking and entering, and snooping through documents, against a possibly supernatural target with a possibly superhuman secretary.

but those house records though

10) The Junkyard. Yes, the party's covered the junkyard- mostly. But they stopped because, "[they] all [got] tired of burrowing through garbage." Which is quite different from stopping because they felt the place had nothing left of value to them. We can assume that the party found most of the low-hanging fruit, and a repeat trip will yield fewer and less valuable items, but these items would still be free and relatively safe to scrounge. Then there's talking to Franklin (also addressed as a separate sidequest below).

The Dream

11) Demonshells. The community (and the party!) had largely agreed that a Dream Ring was a Demonshell. And then, well. "Jossed" comes to mind, but the result was pretty awesome, so I'm not complaining. Anyway, that means a Demonshell is something else. One more thing to research.

12) The next dream's Game Power. Player has entered the dream four times, with four different Game Powers (well, volleyball wasn't a power). She still has Captemon in her game library.

13) Games, Game Companies, and Dream Powers. There are still a lot of questions around this whole topic. Bonus question: Could Franklin have modified the version of Drillga at The Back Room so its dream powers are more potent than (or simply different from) the standard commercial release?

14) Maximum Mana. Player's starting to get a handle on mana expenditure and mana juice usage to keep the dream going. Health and Fitness and Mood and Psyche, below, may help increase her maximum mana, for longer dreams and/or more spell-casting.

15) Dream Ring/Solomon Ring. The potential connection between these two may deserve some research.

16) Equipment. Player's equipment was all poorly fitting. But she theorized that in the dream, they might fit well, as 'equipped' items. She got a lot done in them regardless, but was that theory accurate?

17) Lives Count. The scrap of paper in the Heart Room changed last night. The current supposition is, it's a counter for Player's remaining lives. In that case, she started with 14 lives; one fortnight. Looking at the castle, there are at least four major zones, which means she got 3.5 lives per zone. Then there's minor zones (at least three), and possibly, zones she couldn't see from her vantage point. She might be able to find/earn extra lives somehow or end a night without decrementing the counter, but there's no way to know that at this point. So, accelerating the exploration should be a topic of discussion, as well as the use of sleepovers and/or Somniplan to buy time to prepare.

Other Sidequests

18) The Arson at Maria's. This sidequest is paused, for the moment, due to lack of clues. The evidence suggests a criminal completely out of touch with the basics of successful criminality. Cici knows all the cops, though; perhaps she can make some calls to shake up another lead for Player to follow.

19) The Attack at the Auto Shop. Harv, The Biggest Shrug's drummer, got clobbered by a couple of thugs. The workers had, variously, gang histories and criminal records; they should not be easy targets... Either the arsonist learned The Way of The Criminal really damn fast, or this was arranged by someone else. Kate stayed out to investigate last night; checking in with her is probably a very high priority (as well as telling her about the dream, and asking about her availability today).

20) Lou's Diner, on 12th Street. Kate works here. Would you see Kate with a "customer service" face on? Or might Lou's Diner just be one of those restaurants where "service with attitude" is part of the appeal?

21) MondolMall. Player's been avoiding this location like the plague. But, "Know thy enemy," they say. She might consider it.

22) Franklin. The party tried to track him down yesterday, without success (but with other accomplishments). He talks with Maria regularly, and Maria knows that Player would like to talk to him, so he'll probably learn about the party's interest before too long.

23) Health and Fitness. I'll quote myself (trying to speak in-character for Player): "You said you'd think about the long term, and then actually spent all day chasing whatever sidequest happened to catch your attention. Like some half-brained twit flitting from one shiny object to another." Today, perhaps she'll decide what she's eating ahead of time, and set aside some time to exercise.

24) Mood and Psyche. Player is in a less-than-ideal state of mental health, as well. Eating well and exercising regularly will probably help, but another habit or two to specifically devoted to perking her up may be in order. Maybe petting Meatloaf, which could also expose Player to other library guests (new people!) in a safe-feeling environment.

25) Video Content Creation. This is still Player's job, such as it is, and she might consider making videos. Especially attractive when her accomplices are busy, and there aren't any safe-for-single-Player sidequests available.

26) Wudju. Potentially, Player could drop the video games videos thing (or get dropped by it due to mystery occult/corporate reasons), leaving Wudju as the only other income option we've seen in-comic so far. But it was advertised in MondolHomes, which might mean something- or it might not.

27) Reconfigure physical arcana. ... Of course, you don't know how. Hold the house deed (which you still don't have) aloft, and issue an authoritative command? Consider consulting occult experts: Franklin, Marlow's daughter, Mayor Parsons, Marlow, in roughly that order.

28) Cici's Sidequest: Sisters. Cici really cares about her sisters, but Deedee is distant and miserable. Deedee wanted to be a real cop (Arcana: Justice), not a cop-adjacent, and she passed all the tests, but she was denied. Maybe that's not all that she's unhappy about, but that's one thing you know about. All three of them were made thanks to the Misuschaqua Wildlife Resources Act. That's state-level, but maybe Mayor Parsons can do something (?) if you can get on the right foot with her.

29) Cici's Sidequest: MPLE. Tube cops die quick. Two years? Five years? The record is ten. What can you possibly do for her (and the others, for that matter)?

Odds and Ends

30) Library Books. Remember when Player borrowed a magazine about cats and a book about haunted houses from the library? No? Well, they're still sitting on her desk, under an empty can of cheap soda, waiting for, nay, longing for Player to actually read them and return them.

31) Trash Disposal. Player's got empty pizza boxes, beer cans, and soda cans littered about her house. Even Cici has called it out. Whatever could be done about it?

32) Phone Numbers. Now that Player has a cell phone, might as well fill it with everybody she can think of. Maria's, the library (although Player has Cici's cell, it couldn't hurt), the mayor's office, Marlow's daughter (if Player can get it). The Chariot Mass Transit AI (Cherry for short) might have one, too.

33) Which brings us to Lagi. The community's kind of decided that he's a drug dealer, but we aren't going to know for sure until we ask. When Kate first offered Player pills ( mda.thecomicseries.com/comics/43/ ), Player was hesitant, concerned about side effects and withdrawal symptoms. That might have been the anxiety talking, though. Still, she might have a little genuine fear of drugs and freak out a little about calling Lagi on her own.

34) Cybersecurity. Player knows there are people out there who might be hostile to her goals, possibly even her survival, but there are also people who might be sources of knowledge and assistance. But if her communications aren't secure, she risks the former spying on her if she tries to reach out to the latter. Email encryption is one idea. Afu seems tech-savvy- he competes in video game tournaments, and has so many phones he can just give one away to Player- and he knows she may be calling his (maybe) drug dealer brother with it, so he probably has some confidence in the comm security of his phones.

35) Laundry. Sniff test yesterday's clothes if you're thinking about wearing them (remember, they spent a few hours in a junkyard, and Player slept dressed, with her junkyard armor over her regular clothes). Maybe an accomplice can assist with laundering... but you can bet they'll get snarky. Maybe taking snark is the cost you'll have to bear if you want clean clothes.

36) Accomplice Recruitment. Cici and Kate basically fell into our lap, and they're luckily really cool about diving into danger and keeping our secrets. But we, the community, are constantly thinking about recruiting more. What criteria does Player have for bringing a new accomplice in? (Personal opinion: Cherry. Recruit Cherry.)

37) Pay for the Dream Ring. The buyer of the previous two Dream Rings demanded to pay Ezra (or Toys XS, or something like that), stating that, Everything costs. Player might be on the hook for voodoo debt or something if she doesn't make good on the favor done for her. How much time she has, and what sanctions might await her, are unknown. But, take a little time to think about squaring up what she owes to Ezra.

38) Reminder: Marlow is off the grid until tomorrow, so no conspiracy theorist/ghost hunter available.

End of Strategy Topics

Now, that's a lot of points. Possibly more than our good author can address in one post? As a suggestion, if you're going to +1 this post, separately list +1/-1 to a handful of topic numbers, so he knows which ones are relatively most important to the community. I'll go first:

+1 to strategy session; +1 to Items 01-03, 19, 23-24, 27-28, 32.
21st Jul 2020, 12:24 AM
jesus christ dude did you have to leave a fucking novel? your comment is longer than the entire update itself and the fucking update at least has PICTURES. holy shit. why the fuck. and you got the first spot too so now everyone has to scroll past your wall of bullshit to get to any real discussion.
21st Jul 2020, 7:25 AM
Wow, 'guest,' this comment is *extremely* rude and I'll thank you not to make another one like it again, please.

BJBlack I appreciate your work. Carry on. :)
21st Jul 2020, 12:31 AM
Portal In Time
Oh my god, at least put this in a pastebin or something
21st Jul 2020, 12:39 AM
-1 to everything because i had to scroll for ten miles to get past this enormous list
21st Jul 2020, 12:43 AM
Yep. And can we at least not refer to events in the story mechanically? I for one am not here to min-max. lol
21st Jul 2020, 12:40 AM
Haha oh wow that's pretty impressive work right there, thanks a lot for your commitment.
21st Jul 2020, 1:02 AM
Macheman7 isn't logged in
I appreciate your thoroughness! Perhaps you should give thought to making an MDA wiki, or providing help for one? It's useful to have things like this for recapping, but it is also hard to scroll past- though I enjoyed reading it.
You must have been writing this for a /while/. Kudos just for the work put in.
21st Jul 2020, 1:04 AM
The post is long, but it's detailed and well thought out. There is much of value, but it's hard to sift through it to discuss it due to it's shear size.
I do appreciate having all this information, it's just a lot of info.
21st Jul 2020, 2:27 AM
I think working on physical health is a good long-term goal. The more mana, the more stuff we can get done. I'd suggest befriending Maria/trying to find the attempted arsonist, in order to get access to good ol' healthy food. Maybe even bring her into the dungeon group?

Speaking of bringing folks into the dungeon group, I'm still onboard Team Befriend The Bus And Somehow Get Them Into The Dream. As to how the bus could make it into Plaire's house and actually fall asleep...well, maybe file this one under long term, really crazy goals.
21st Jul 2020, 2:59 AM
Had a thought, regarding Cici's expiration date and the mayor. If the mayor is, in fact, a vampire, it might be worth it to befriend her so as to turn Cici into a Dracula too. (This is entirely contingent on not having any better alternatives, as well as Cici being cool with becoming a nightwalker). Might also be fun to bring the mayor to a sleepover, though we'd have to learn her real name, haha.
21st Jul 2020, 7:24 AM
Holy wa, thank you for the summary :D I needed this. Sometimes it's hard for me to keep all this just in my brain and this saves me from having to re-binge the whole comic. <3

Anyone complaining about having to scroll past it? Uh, first world problems much? Grab the scrollbar, drag it down, done. That took you a tenth of a second. You're welcome.

Now then rather than make another post, here's my suggestions for the day, in roughly this order (I always say roughly because no plan survives contact with the enemy... the enemy being that vile orb of fire our planet orbits. Hiss.)

#32 - Start building that phone contact list right now while Cici's here to help!
#25 - Make some video content while the others are at work
#19 - Follow up with Kate about the auto shop attack
#35 - Let's hit up the laundromat and do our laundry for the wee-- okay for the month, let's be real here. Do we look like we have 'weekly laundry' money? >_>;
#26 - Investigate wudju today as a potential income source
#27 - Investigate reconfigure physical arcana as suggested above
#30 & #31 - Read library books! Clean up house! Go return books!

In addition, whenever is most convenient (Probably right after addressing #30 and #31):
#24- Very yass to making a daily habit of petting meatloaf. Cats are therapy! Fluffy, purry therapy. Whoooosa cute widddle pumpkin yes you aaaare~! <3

Speaking of pumpkins, that's what I think every time someone mentions the whole Solomon's ring thing. "What pumpkin?" It just feels like an extremely esoteric red herring that only has the barest thread of connection to the comic and hasn't even been mentioned in-comic yet that I'm aware of. Maybe we should drop it.

And finally I'm on board with #36 should the opportunity arise. Plaire needs more friends! <3 This also boosts mental health, yay~
21st Jul 2020, 9:53 PM
+1 to all suggestions based on this.
21st Jul 2020, 9:03 AM
I'm not into Wudju, we can pay Ezra with stories sometimes, we don't need to do the Alcazar today (Ezra would probably let us sleep in the Back Room if we wanted, we could crash at various places), so we don't need to rush things, dreamside or IRL. We should keep up with Kate and put out feelers about Alcazars, but mostly we should work on videos and rest up.
21st Jul 2020, 1:50 PM
I don't really want to dismiss your effort but my brain hurts.
21st Jul 2020, 12:28 AM
One thing we really should do because it's quick and easy:
Research Fool, Devil, Sun, and Hanged Man arcanas to gain information.
21st Jul 2020, 12:45 AM
21st Jul 2020, 12:52 AM
21st Jul 2020, 12:53 AM
good idea. this could offer some handy insight into the abilities of each card and possibly give us an idea of which ones would be really useful to try and seek out.
21st Jul 2020, 6:14 AM
+1. Won't take much energy to look up (and should only take 30 minutes).
21st Jul 2020, 8:01 AM
Another +1 to this. Funnily enough the SNES games Arcana and OgreBattle got me hooked on tarot arcana as game elements, so I'm loving this. :D
21st Jul 2020, 9:10 AM
21st Jul 2020, 9:58 AM
+1 research Tarot

EDIT: research Somniplan too
21st Jul 2020, 12:30 AM
Portal In Time
Write down all that we've learned in our notebook, and store it in the toolbox to keep in the backyard. If feds sweep the place while we're away, they'll find a digital copy when they check our computer, but they won't find a thing through the memetically-defended backdoor.

Unless they jump the fence ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Edit: Wait, they wouldn't be able to kick down our front door, would they? Unless Parsons has a spare key to our house, keeping a physical copy inside might be better.
21st Jul 2020, 12:32 AM
+1 to journaling, and also that's a good plan on where to keep the journal-- as long as the tool box is weatherproof, at least! It's old, so it might not be.
21st Jul 2020, 10:00 AM
+1 but try to find a zip lock bag to put the notebook in just in case the toolbox leaks
21st Jul 2020, 12:46 AM
Portal In Time
Oh yeah! Making a second comment here for separate discussion - I really think we should be prioritizing income for today.

I was thinking we could try to make enough content to last for two videos, maybe as a two-parter? Plaire could probably accomplish enough recording/editing for a full video today, while cutting the work time for Part 2 down drastically whenever she wants to work on posting next.

Secondly, there was an app we heard advertized at Cici's apartment called Wudju that's basically postmates but with an added component of offering labor. I think we should sign up for it today, in case there's a vetting process it has to go through to finalize our account.

And last of all, let's text Kate and see how her drummer's doing!
21st Jul 2020, 12:50 AM
Twyll on her phone
I am rather opposed to Wudju— I believe it was mentioned that it has a location-tracking component, which is REALLY bad news for Plaire right now.

Making videos, however, is a good plan. If we can get in touch with Franklin, we can ask if he’s willing to be interviewed for a video on the game he made, and we can feature his Dig-Dug game. (And give shoutouts to the Back Room maybe? If they’re cool with that.) Then we also interview him about his occult work, strictly off-the-record of course.
21st Jul 2020, 1:01 AM
Lunar Waffles
if we heard about it at Cicis apartment its Probably Mondol or in bed with them, so -1 to that +1 to income though
21st Jul 2020, 1:41 AM
-1 to Wudju.
+1 to saving time by making a two-part video. Work smart not hard!
+1 to asking to interview Franklin for a video if we find him.
21st Jul 2020, 10:02 AM
-1 to Wudju.
+1 to asking to interview Franklin for a video if we find him
+1 to doing videos after looking for Franklin
21st Jul 2020, 4:21 PM
+1 to making videos... perhaps Captemon? You don't know what alcazar power it gives yet.

-1 to Wudju, for the good reasons mentioned above.
22nd Jul 2020, 10:51 AM
-1 to Wudju
+1 to a 2-parter or building up a backlog of videos for future days. This is an even better option if we do this in conjunction with taking a break from the Dungeon for one night or more.
21st Jul 2020, 12:56 AM
Lunar Waffles
+1 to getting around to making money, no need to do anything different from what Plaire normally does, but moneys are kind of a need o-o
21st Jul 2020, 1:23 AM
+1 the moolah doesn't farm itself until we're swimming in it, ol' Scrooge McDuck style.
21st Jul 2020, 1:00 AM
Twyll on her phone
First order of business: breakfast (ideally a combo of tasty and healthy) and discussion! What do Kate and Cici think about the events of last night? After we recap them for Kate of course. Also, what items to bring or preparations do we want to make for next time? We can brainstorm together. Also, we should ask about Kate and Cici’s schedules so we can plan for the future.

#1 priority is meds. Without meds, we risk anything we try to do getting interrupted and thwarted by a panic attack. We might also want to pick up some Somniplan so we can alternate Alcazar nights with nights of actual restful sleep.

Then, we can think about making some more money— making a video featuring Franklin’s work on Dig Dug seems like a good plan, and we can also talk to him about occult stuff off the record. I’d recommend against Wudju because of security concerns, though. We *already* have a cheap phone, which might be less secure and easier for a sketchy app to exploit.

We can also think about things to borrow from our friends or buy. A backpack and a fanny pack both would be ideal—fanny pack worn slung around the front for quick access, backpack for more storage. We also need small bottles to keep mana potion in (if a small amount works well, no reason to use big bottles, but we want multiple bottles for security in case we spill one during battle). You can often find little bottles for cosmetics and packing travel-size portions of shampoo and such at the dollar store. The thrift store (if Mondol hasn’t killed local thrift stores somehow) might have bags.
21st Jul 2020, 1:51 AM
+1 to having breakfast and a debrief, maybe with Kate on speaker.

+1 to obtaining a backpack and container for liquids, preferably a flask that'll fit easily in Plaire's pocket.

Plaire should also try to obtain some kind of shield to stop arrows and other projectiles in the dungeon, even it's just a metal garbage-can lid.
21st Jul 2020, 2:22 AM
Something about Somniplan doesn't strike me as, mmm, conductive to a positive outcome re: the dungeon. Call it a hunch. If we need non-dungeon sleep, we can just try crashing at Cici's place again, or Kate's, or perhaps just set up a hammock in the backyard. (If we still get sucked into the dungeon from the backyard, it'd be a valuable learning experience, at least).
21st Jul 2020, 6:51 AM
+1 Good Food and Debrief
+1 Medicine Important
+1 Backpack and Estus Flasks Bottles
+1 Dig Dug Video (may get us some more Odd Commenters)
21st Jul 2020, 8:39 AM
+1 to all this. We need to take a break and deal with our real life issues.
21st Jul 2020, 10:07 AM
+1 to obtaining a backpack, fanny pack, and TWO containers (like flasks or dollar store stuff) for liquids that fits in a jean pocket. Two flasks so if we find a healing potion that could go in the flask that is not Mana wine.

Note: Kate has a backpack and maybe a lighter and a flask too.

+1 to a metal garbage can lid shield

+1 to getting Brainsate after looking for Franklin
21st Jul 2020, 1:11 AM
Ok so, quick TM filtering of this last batch:
- There are different way to join this Alcazar. TM is using stygian circuits to do it. Plaire and friends can go in through sleeping in the house, and she can embody friendly Arcanas outside her house through demonshells. That's at least 3 ways, there are probably others. Since Mayor Parsons is looking for something in the Alcazar, she probably has a way to reach it (blood magic? would maybe feature red lines instead of yellow or black).
We should ask her about it next time we confront her. I still think we could work together considering her stance re:Mondol. Enemy of my enemy, all that.
- TM knows the map. They might have that built-in, or they're the equivalent of the Hanged Man Arcana. Plaire didn't exchange names with TM so no summoning through her demonshell sadly.
- There are many ways out of the building, but going down is extra hard mode. However, the most dangerous stuff isn't found in here...
It seems we could progress a lot easier going outside to the other areas first, as long as we don't end up in front of another boss right away. Look for butterflies, they might be in-world guides and point us to safe paths.
Oh and Xanthous would mean this world's yellow sky is totes normal. We're literally in Yellow. Dare we enter the magical realm indeed.
- Something's wrong with the Alcazar that Plaire can fix so we should try to destroy that classroom and wound if we find them. They're abnormalities so maybe hidden away from a standard gamey playthrough.
- TM is eldritch enough to be connected to the great old ones we spotted flying around earlier. As expected, they're probably witness to our progress in this mess as well.
- The interloper who taped up TM is not a monster or an alien. Which leaves human, vampire or robot as possibilities. We really need to get in touch with the Mayor.
- The Alcazas is abnormally huge. Highly customised, with either really high or really low 'exterior security', whatever that means (resistance to other people entering the Alcazar, or literal mobs in the outdoor areas?). Hopefully low for Plaire's own sake. The witches worked a lot to build this place with a purpose in mind (finding whatever is hidden in there I suppose). The 'physical Arcana' is all outta whack, possibly why only the Hanged Man is aligned to it. Redoing this is out of Plaire's reach right now. Gotta find the witch(es) and ask for their help.
- TM will probably be there next time we need info.
- Teleporting probably requires him to be active.

There's still a lot of questions left, but it feels good to have some help in this mess. Rejoice.
21st Jul 2020, 2:18 AM
+1 to this interpretation.
21st Jul 2020, 6:54 AM
+1 This
21st Jul 2020, 4:33 PM
For the most part, I agree with this interpretation, but there is one point I'll detract on.

He's saying (in his way) that the striped classroom and miasmatic wound are abnormal, but only the latter is harmful to the alcazar. He recommends visiting both.

My money says, the striped classroom is a Heart Room. It makes sense that it's abnormal, sure, but whether it's helpful or harmful is dependent on what it's doing.
22nd Jul 2020, 12:38 AM
I don't know, TM advises "leaving both alone", which makes me want to tamper as much as possible with both - ok, especially the wound due to potential long-term damage if we leave it alone, but the classroom as well.
We'll improvise once we find the damn thing.
21st Jul 2020, 2:17 AM
Now that we know we're working against a deadline, namely the heart-room countdown, we need to get our asses in gear and make every day and night count. That's why we should make plans to go check out the old library ASAP. Maybe wait until tomorrow to consult with Marlow at the latest. And go during the day because hopefully mutant wolves are as nocturnal as regular wolves and will be less active then.

Today Plaire should consult her library book on haunted houses. Maybe ask Cici if Bebe could spare some animal control equipment, preferably something that'd help to deal with mutant wolves.
21st Jul 2020, 2:19 AM
The heart room countdown should only progress when we enter the Alcazar. I don't think we need to do that for a couple of nights so that we can get our bearings and regroup. Possibly get some more allies.
21st Jul 2020, 3:09 AM
+1 to taking a break from the dungeon until we've accrued more ressources/knowledge/accomplices & friends in general.
21st Jul 2020, 6:23 AM
+1 to taking a break from the Dungeon. IF we get more allies, we *do want to find another way to let allies in, too*.
21st Jul 2020, 10:13 AM
+1 to not going to the Alcazar for a few days either by sleepovers somewhere else or somniplan
22nd Jul 2020, 10:45 AM
+1 to taking a short break from the Dungeon. We don't know for sure if the countdown progresses when we're not in the house.

A 1 or 2 day break (preferably through sleepovers) will hopefully let us recuperate some and test the specifics of this countdown.
21st Jul 2020, 2:33 AM
Next time we meet Kate, we need to ask her if she had any mental 'switch' feeling in the dungeon, the way Cici described that let her evolve. And while it won't come for a while, I suggest considering bringing Kate into the dream next, so that we take on Cici's abilities -- and I'm eager to see if we get her regular egg form, or her weird hatched yolk form.

Another comment reminded me of the drug dealer guy, and I think it might be worth it to use him as a source of Brainsate. (A single pill works to refill our mana, if I remember correctly, so it might be more economical to just carry around a big bottle of the stuff). Alternatively, we could try to secure as large of a supply of the stuff from the dealer as possible and use it as fodder for Operation: Dupe Items Like Crazy. Maybe even ask to 'borrow' their entire supply for a few days and then return it (after we've duped enough to last us a good long while). We can offer up the Bad Level as collateral.
21st Jul 2020, 2:40 AM
Something else just occurred to me: If cheap football pads and a garbage helmet constitute armor, might other kinds of equipment of lesser repute somehow become 'more' in the dream? Thinking about that grenade. Who can get an actual damn grenade? Sure, maybe our unknown trapper might have a backdoor into a military base, but what if they just went to a toy store and got a toy grenade? Might be worth considering, just grab a few different kinds of toys and see if they become more useful in the dream. A toy gun? A toy LIGHTSABER? It's probably an idea that'll fizzle, but it doesn't hurt to propose it nonetheless. (I still think it's worth trying to get some play money and seeing if that vending machine would accept it).
21st Jul 2020, 3:12 AM
For the lightsaber, if Plaire plays the right game beforehand that should totally work out, although it might be mana-costly.
Something to consider as we find ways to buff up dem Max MPs.
21st Jul 2020, 6:28 AM
Plaire should make a video maybe even a back log of them. Its her job she needs to eat and it with the dream weirdness makes it easy to forget about mundane problems like the way plaire is broke.
21st Jul 2020, 6:36 AM
1. Talk to Mayor Parsons. We don't know that we *can't* trust her, and if she wanted to do something to us by now, she could have. She knows more than she's let on, and if we let her *just look at the house for now*, we might get something in return. Like a look at the records.
2. Meditation and reasoning. We're already running from cops and all around town. We're getting in our workouts. We could do to have some mental training, though. Try working out our BS without it trying to kill us, and accept what we can about us. It could make us stronger, and the dream weaker.
21st Jul 2020, 8:47 AM
I've been thinking a lot about mayor Parsons. I think bringing her into the loop would be better than failing, but we still don't know what her actual goals are. It could just be that she wants this really interesting, dangerously modified Alcazar. It's connected to Jane Doe, so I'd rather get the old gang involved and let them investigate it after we're done than give it to Ril. She might be old, but if Jane is involved, it's bigger than even her.
21st Jul 2020, 3:54 PM
+1 to both of these.

For Mayor Parsons, though, maybe Player should recruit a new ally? She's a hard negotiator (another trait that would make her a great ally); Player and Kate barely scraped anything out of her. Someone who's really socially canny or familiar with any occult shenanigans that she uses to bewitch opponents could earn her respect, if nothing else.

Even with only what she has now, Player could give a bit of info, as a show of good faith, although Parsons probably knows everything Player does at this point, and more. Then, ask for financial assistance in purchasing Somniplan. Applying for state or national assistance would probably require a doctor's diagnosis (and psychiatrists are bizarrely scarce around here), and could take days or weeks to get the paperwork through the bureaus. Parsons, if the city has an appropriate program, could temporarily waive the red tape, possibly.

(Bonus: Ask how she can hire Deedee to the city police.)

Once she helps you a little, take it step by step until she's helping you a lot.

There is some supernatural meaning given to inviting a vampire into your home, though. If that's what you mean by "letting her look at the house," I advise caution.
21st Jul 2020, 7:15 AM
I suggest asking Cici if she knows anyone who can give a massage, preferably on the cheap. After a night sleeping like that I suspect we need it before we reach critical back/neck pain levels x_x
21st Jul 2020, 8:57 AM
The best way to take items into the dream is to loop duct tape around our hands, and all items we want to take, making a giant duct tape handcuff nerds rope of stuff. That way we can avoid back pain in the future.
21st Jul 2020, 9:33 AM
I support duct tape handcuff nerd rope plan. I and a few others have also proposed making our own Do Not Reset tape, and duct tape might be useful for that purpose (so long as we have a marker to actually write 'Do Not Reset' on there, haha). Not that it's wholly necessary since we just got a big supply of it, but you never know what the future might hold, and if we can just spread DNR tape over the entire dungeon things will be a lot smoother sailing.
21st Jul 2020, 10:10 AM
A massive chest wrapped in Do Not Rest tape and left in a heart room could serve as an inventory box in the dream. But then we'd have the problem of moving the chest if we wanted to save in another room.
21st Jul 2020, 12:36 PM
+1 Inventory Space
Recommend in Room near Teleport Chamber
22nd Jul 2020, 7:13 PM
+1 Do Not Reset chest in the heart room near Father Warden. Just keep in mind once we take stuff out of that chest if we lose it it won't return to the chest.
22nd Jul 2020, 10:50 PM
Lemon Wolf
+1 To this Massage idea. My neck is just itching in sympathy pain. I nominate Cici as the masseuse, or at the very least the morning workout partner to get Plaire to stretch.
21st Jul 2020, 7:55 AM
Shopping list for dream equips

Water bottle to pack mana wine

Spare house keys to open more doors

Bag of candies. M&M's, Skittles, saltwater taffy. We can bring consumables into the dream and they become mana.

Laundry sack for fightball equipment, so it can be in bed with, but not being worn.

Actually since we seem able to make clothing into armor, more comfortable armor should be easily obtained. A motorcycle jacket with the plates inside would be awesome.
21st Jul 2020, 10:13 AM
+1 to water bottle and bag for equipment.

We also need to get some kind of shield to block arrows and other projectiles.

I wonder if Cici could persuade Bebe to liberate some animal control equipment?
21st Jul 2020, 8:56 AM
I'd like to send a message to Infohazzard mentioning our strange dreams, and that they include safe places marked with blood hearts that do not dry.
much amenities. very hug. wow.
Make it clear that we very much do not fully grasp what's going on, and would like help.

I'd also like to direct message some of the TFL's to ask about how Alcazars are supposed to work, not mentioning things directly and pretending that we inherited our grandpa's and don't know how to use it or something.

Tradesman skip get! We probably skipped two whole floors of dangerous monsters, and now we can fasttravel back! Also the Trades Man is great. We should limit our mana refills to four per session, past that the decreasing returns make it not worth it.
21st Jul 2020, 10:20 AM
Are you sure we can teleport back to the Tradesman? I think we should test that next time we enter the Alcazar in case we can't and then should decide whether to find a candle room in the basement.
21st Jul 2020, 10:28 AM
I bet Plair is starting on the couch.

The gernade trap worries me, but it should be gone since it destroyed the wrappings.

There should be a candle near the couch.
21st Jul 2020, 10:39 AM
The 1F candle stayed lit this run, so the tradesman's candle should also stay lit next time.
We're going to start in B2, which is quite far from 1F's candle room. Maybe we can teleport from anywhere to any candle room, maybe it only works from one candle room to another.

I suspect the former is possible but a lot more expensive than the latter, price for convenience is a common game mechanic.
Similarly, teleporting to a farther room may also cost more or the same amount - games with both behaviours exist, so it might be affected by what game we play the day before.
21st Jul 2020, 3:13 PM
+1 to contacting Infohazard.

Instead of contacting the TFLs again, I advocate Player to Set up email encryption, then Publicly announce it in the next online video. A quick announce (cover story: an interest in cyber-security), so as not to draw unsavory attention, but with a subtle "The First Lie" reference of your own, to draw savory attention.

Once we have secure communications established, go wild with the questions, without fear of the corporate dragnet flagging you as "knowing too much and possessing an alcazar."

As for the actual email encryption, first contact Afu. If he's knowledgeable on the topic (remembering that Infohazard is his favorite podcast), he can help. Otherwise, it's probably internet research time.
21st Jul 2020, 6:13 PM
+1 to contacting Infohazard.
-1 to contacting the TFL's. We have no idea at this point whether they're trustworthy, what their motives are, or what their position is on the game board in relation to ourselves.
+1 to getting email encryption, though.
21st Jul 2020, 2:17 PM
Get breakfast. Process what we learned. Check on Kate.
21st Jul 2020, 6:15 PM
+1. See how/if defeating Father Warden has affected Plaire in the real world.
21st Jul 2020, 3:49 PM
The tratesman's shell is not a demonshell; it may have stygian circuitry. Genuine demonshells do not have stygian circuits.

Things to Avoid is easy; he has a good grasp of the alcazar's layout. There is more than one way out of the building. Below lies the path she must not take, while venturing upstairs could accomplish a great deal. The creatures upstairs are much less dangerous than the ones on this floor and beneath. This dungeon structure contains the least powerful threats in the whole alcazar (reasonable, for a tutorial dungeon!). The butterflies are here for our benefit.

The striped classroom and miasmatic wound are not normal features, should not be here; we are advised to go deal with those. The miasmatic wound is not good for a healthy normal alcazar! We need to get on fixing that stat.

The tratesman has some relation to the big things outside the sky; is either below them or at the same level, porbably knows their names. The lady who taped him up is probably not a monster or alien.

He hopes nothing bad happens because we freed him, and he quite likes us.

The size of the alcazar is not normal - rather large, in fact. Large amounts of exterior security, lots of extraneous features and additional modifications. Spacial positioning is odd and suggests a particular agenda. This alcazar was formed by an experienced magus as a piece de resistance. The physical arcana is extremely ambitious. It is the opposite of basic.

The tratesman will be in this room after we reset.
21st Jul 2020, 7:14 PM
Agree, Tratesmen is not a demonshell because of black circuits.

Dissagree with "must not take" the path down, however down will accomplish little. Maybe interpretive nuances are different between us, but _up_ is the correct path.

Agree. The Striped classroom and miasmatic wound are features to address. Incidently a miasmatic wound is a spreading infection that usually has a foul odor.

Agree with knowledge being with held.

Agree Tr4desman has a positive vibe for our well-being

Agree with the alcazar being more complex and dangerous than normal. Note: is is impressively complex, dangeous, has an agenda, and was made by a master magus.

We can visit the trädesman in this room later.
21st Jul 2020, 10:40 PM
update will probably be late

really playing a cup game with these schedules
22nd Jul 2020, 12:23 AM
Lunar Waffles
Priority list
be a good person
Real Life
everything else

its fine Morgenstern ^-^ you have done nothing wrong and we all wish you the best!
22nd Jul 2020, 12:42 AM
Take it easy~
22nd Jul 2020, 3:17 AM
We understand if you just need to take a day or bleep happens.
22nd Jul 2020, 7:54 AM
Its all good, take care of yourself first, comic will wait.
Much Love.
22nd Jul 2020, 12:45 PM
We totally understand. Please don't feel bad about it.
22nd Jul 2020, 9:52 PM
It's an amazing series and worth waiting for. : ) Take care of yourself first and foremost. : )