The numbers are in, and we’re off to the races!

Keep track of who’s still around with this board.

All four houses and their 24 people are on a field. Let’s say a Quidditch Pitch, since you’ll be playing Quidditch next. They will take turns having their Patronuses attack other players.

Gryffindor was randomly selected first, so someone from Gryffindor will submit to me that they will be attacking someone from another house. For instance, Hermione could send in to me that she’s attacking Zacharias. If Hermione has Patronus power equal to or greater than Zacharias, then Zach will be removed from the challenge. If not, then I will simply post that it was a failure. Zacharias will not lose any power – he’ll remain at full strength. Gryffindor will only have gained the information that Zacharias has more power than Hermione.

Hufflepuff would go next in this scenario, since the first team to get attacked is going to go second. Anyone, including Zacharias, can now do the same thing Hermione did. If he attacks an untouched house, they’ll go next. If not, I’ll randomly choose which house is first.

After the first four turns, the houses will go in reverse order for all even-numbered “rounds.” If Slytherin goes fourth, they’ll also go fifth.

At any given time, there is likely to be a Patronus on the pitch that cannot be eliminated by one person alone. For this reason, any house has the ability to use two or more people on any given turn. On their next turn, Gryffindor could send Hermione, Ron and Harry to try to take out Zacharias. If they do this, then they will sacrifice as many turns as they offered extra people. Since they used three people, their next two turns will be lost, whether Zacharias goes out or not.

Once a house is taken out in full, they will be the ones to vote someone out. However, the remaining houses will battle it out to a finish, since the winning house will get two bonuses:

1: The ability to choose their Quidditch opponent. Quidditch will be the next challenge, and there will be two matches, after which the losing sides will each vote out a person.
2: A secret thing.

If at any point a house has a person who cannot be removed by any remaining house, they will be declared the winners.

I know this will take a while, but I like it, so lick me. Houses will not be given a deadline for turns at first, because I’d like to trust that we’ll be active, but when this fails after a day or so, we’ll go to four hour deadlines, after which turns will be lost.

Houses are free to talk to each other in this one.

Gryffindor, fire when ready. Cheers, Students.

Okay, so this might be the short version. I don’t know whether it’s my router or just the fact that I live in an apartment that’s loaded to capacity, but I lost internet for a couple of hours again this morning, this time while writing this challenge, except I was doing it in the field of the blog itself, which didn’t auto-save like Google Docs would.

Anyway, enough of my muggle problems. This challenge, because I’m ever so grown-up, is called Patronus Size Matters.

For the purposes of this challenge, you kids are all just learning about Patronuses (Patroni?). Like any good stupid teenager, curiosity has gotten the best of you, and you’re all whipping out your Patronuses to see whose is biggest. And, given the spirit of competitiveness among the houses, someone has devised a game to prove whose Patronuses are the most impressive.

——————————-

Now I’m at work, and it’s hours later because the only other guy in my department has jury duty. How did he not know this early enough to cover his shift? Guys, I might actually hate this department sometimes.

AAAAAAnyway, your first order of business will be to delegate Patronus power. You have 45 points to delegate between the six of you (Hufflepuff, you must sit out someone who hasn’t sat out yet. Gryffindor, you will be given Dean Thomas, who will be controlled by any of the five of you remaining). Each person must have at least a power of 1, and no person can have a power above 30. This is probably obvious, but if a player is needed to move, only that player can send in a move, so take that into account.

This does have some similarities to our game “Red Rover,” though you will simply be taking out individuals, and not links between them. As for the rest of the rules, I’ll let you know tonight when all the values are sent to me.

Just one person can send in their team’s values. I need them by 9pm Central. It’s fine if you change your minds, but only the first person to submit can override the original values.

Now let’s all say some nice spells about my home internet.

Gryffindor is on the hot seat alone for the first time. Let’s see if we’re going to lose a major character yet.

Vote One: Harry Potter (missed vote)

Vote Two: Lavender Brown.
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First of all, who wants to see the board?

First of all, Hufflepuff.

Hufflepuff, in the last challenge, won an advantage called vacation. They were allowed to take a challenge off whenever they wanted, and could not lose. This ended up being that challenge.

Let’s do Ravenclaw next. They used Lumos three times (A, C and 10), and then wandered up four times, when Anthony took the right path for a score of ten turns.

Slytherin was actually done first. They used Lumos just twice – on B and C – and did three moves up when Goyle found a path for just seven turns. Thus far, Ravenclaw is behind.
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Thanks for all of your patience during this emotional week. I’m going to keep it simple this time (at least, simple to understand).

This is a forest full of Whomping Willows. Unfortunately, it’s late at night and you’re trying to sneak through undetected, so some of you are probably going to get beat up pretty badly.

You are going to start out on the bottom row inside the black borders on any spot you want (the spot may be occupied by a whomping willow, which would be bad luck). Your aim is to reach the top row. One of your team members will take a turn by giving me a path of coordinates that they want to travel (cardinal directions only – no diagonals), and I will respond by saying in which spot they they were hit by a whomping willow. Each individual has three turns, after which they must tag out to a different member of the tribe (you can jump from person to person if you want, but once someone has done three, they’re done). You don’t have to follow a specific order; just do your thing. Hufflepuff, someone will sit out, but since you have no inactives for me to boot, I don’t care who ends up sitting out. You don’t have to tell me beforehand.

The goal is to get to the top row in the fewest number of turns possible. The house that uses the largest number of turns will have to vote someone out. There is to be no intra-house communication on this one. Talk to members of your own house only. I thought about doing four different boards, but it seemed like it would be hell to run, and I’m sure the losing tribe would complain about the board they ended up with.

Finally, you will have the ability to use Lumos. You can use up two turns to cast Lumos, which will illuminate the row or column of your choice. If this is what you want to do, give me the row or column to illuminate instead of a set of coordinates.

Once you send a move, it cannot be taken back. I will respond to it with what happened.

I work today, but we’re basically never busy, so I’ll try to respond to things quickly. I work tomorrow too but I’m off Sunday and Monday. I would prefer to have this done by tomorrow night but if that isn’t feasible because of my inability to respond when you need me, that’s fine. I won’t set a deadline at this point.

Cheers, Students.

My best friend since college lost his daughter yesterday. She was stillborn.

This is as helpless a feeling as one can feel, I suspect. The two of them are grieving in their manner right now, in a way that I find beautiful, frankly, though they haven’t made much of that stuff public so I don’t know whether to say anything about it.

I just wanted to pass on a note saying how much I love their entire family, because I really don’t know what else to do. The old joke about everyone bringing food during a time of loss is holding true (he says they have more meals than they could possibly need all of a sudden) and he says they’re surrounded by love and it’s helping a little bit.

I don’t know if there’s any point to writing this, other than to make a tired point about loving your people with all you’ve got for as long as you’re allowed to do so.

Rest in peace, Miriam.

I got the last vote minutes after I got to work, which was hours ago. Well, at least I have a chance now. The challenge will have to wait until tonight, though.

Vote One: Terry Boot (nonsub vote)
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From here on out, “Potterverse Survivor” becomes “SSXX” (meaning Spookymilk Survivor Twenty, since this is my twentieth season (well, really my twenty-first, but it’s complicated)) because it’s quicker to type. Granted, this paragraph alone probably has more words than I’ll save over the course of the entire season.

Have some results. Quite a few of you said this was a fun one, so I’m sorry it ended on a nonsub. Click the link for results, or click below to ruin the suspense and get to the part where I call for votes.
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Did you enjoy the weekend, students? I trust you’re all getting along. For some reason, we’re going to intentionally cause conflict and see which of you can resolve it the best.

Your house, between those of you still around, is aiming to grab supplies from ten Diagon Alley shops:

Gringotts Bank
Flourish and Blotts
Twilfitt and Tatting’s
Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions
Slug and Jiggers Apothecary
Scribbulous Writing Instruments
Quality Quidditch Supplies
Gambol and Japes Joke Shop
Whizz Hard Books
The Leaky Cauldron (for butterbeer)

The more you visit, the better your house will do. Each student will either visit shops or block certain students from entering shops, but each house can only block a maximum one person from each other house. (You can also do neither of these things, but have to tell me you’re doing so to avoid a nonsub).

So, for instance, this would be a legal entry for Gryffindor:

Harry visits Gringotts, Flourish and Blotts and Twilfill and Tatting’s.
Ron blocks Draco Malfoy from entering shops.
Hermione visits Malkin’s, Slug and Jiggers, Scribbulous and Quidditch Supplies.
Ginny visits Gambol and Japes, Whizz Hard Books, and The Leaky Cauldron.
Neville blocks Terry Boot from visiting shops.
Lavender blocks Hannah Abbot from visiting shops.

They would each have to send me their own submission.

In the end, the house that successfully visits the fewest shops will have to vote someone out of school (it’s really hard to reconcile Potter with Survivor, eh?). In the case of this being a tie, the tied house who had the largest number of students successfully visit shops will be safe. That is, if the worst two houses only visited six shops but one of them got all their visits from one student and one spread them out over three, the team with just one successful student will vote someone out.

Nonsubs will override everything. If there are any nonsubs, then only the houses (but all the houses) with nonsubs will vote someone out. I want to play these challenges through, but I want to make sure that players who want to play are being allowed to. However, yeah, I did want a simpler, one-submission challenge.

These are due tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 9pm Central. I’ll try to remember to give some warning before that if we aren’t at 100%.

Also, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw would be at an advantage if they were able to use all seven players, so at random, Zacharias Smith and Michael Corner will sit out. Zacharias didn’t get to submit in the last challenge, so it’s been easy breezy for him so far. Of course, both these guys are allowed to talk through strategy with the group.

There you go, gang. Prepare for the year ahead, whatever the hell year it is. I guess we’re in a magical vacuum where all the students are the same age – and, you know, alive.

First off, our Harry Potter has been replaced. Take care, Matthew Gilman. You’re a treasured regular of the site.

A new Harry Potter has been given the login info, so I won’t throw a challenge out there until this person has a chance to get their feet wet, so that’ll be tonight or tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here’s Gryffindor’s first elimination, without Harry’s vote because Matthew didn’t vote before he was gone and the new one has no frame of reference…

Vote One: Lavender Brown.

Vote Two: Parvati Patil. (missed vote)

Vote Three: Lavender. “I always want to spell it Lavendar for some reason. Let’s just remove that little problem and forget it ever happened.”

Vote Four: Parvati.
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Your competition, and also you

HALL OF CHAMPIONS

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR

I: Rachel "The Double-Dealer" Flynn

II: Ryan "The Snake" Fossum

III: Patrick "The Gentleman" Kozicky

IV: Brienne "The Submitter" Maner

V: Rusty "The Porn Star" Greene

VI: Brooks "The Unlikely Hero" Maki

VII: William "The Soulful" Schuth

VIII: Brooks "The Survivor" Maki

IX: Zack "The Ice Cream Man" Sauvageau

X: Pete "The Vacuum Cleaner" Bruzek

Turbo: Brooks "The 1956-1979 Montreal Canadiens" Maki

XI: Matt "The Cold-Hearted Motherf*&^er" Novak

All-Stars (XII): Andy "The Quiet Man" Rustleund

XIII: Sarah "Clarence's Hope" Bizek

XIV: Dan "The Professional" Kautz

XV: Christina "Assault And" Pepper

XVI: Matt "The First-Time Player" Novak

XVII: Stacy "Saintly Patience" Snell

XVIII: Brian "Checkmate" David

XIX: Annette "Eammon for the Top" Barron

GODS AND MORTALS
I: Dragging Rivet's Name Through the Mud One Last Time: Matt Novak (Ultragrandpa) and Michael Rivet (Friph Flipher-Fiph)

BIG BROTHER
I: Brooks "Oh, for the Love of God" Maki
II: Michael "#DDB" Rivet
III: Pete "Fortune's Fool" Bruzek
IV: Erin "All Seven and We'll Watch Them Fall" Leslie

FALL, CAESAR
2014: Brooks "The Creator" Maki
2015: Matt "The Artist" Novak

CUTTHROAT JUNCTION CHAMPION
Kelly "Yes, He's a Player Too" Wells

Link to the Cutthroat Junction site. Over there, we do once-a-month strategic mega-games while the champion defends his title in a one-on-one. Head over to see how it works.

THE ROYAL RUMBLE
2013: #21 Greg "The Gallant Glutton of Greatness" Johnson
2014: #29 Jonathon "Big Papa" Pope
2015: #8 Christina "Am I in This?" Pepper
2016: #22 Annette "No Backs Stabbed" Barron

PLAY WITH THE PROSE
(Writing, non-elimination)
I: Sarah "Centipede Face" Johnson
II: Sarah "The Johnson Eliminator" Wreisner
III: Colin "Lonely Old Moon" Woolston
IV: Melissa "Not Sidebar Material" Diamond
V: Sama "No Family Reunions" Smith
VI: Sarah "Tumor Face" Wreisner
VII: John "Cult Following" Wreisner
VIII: Joshua "Peed the Bed" Longman

WEREWOLF (most recent)

Werewolf Stats Spreadsheet

PUZZLE CHALLENGE
I (Pure): Matthew "The Obsessor" Gilman
I (Power): Kelly "The Novak-Destroyer" Wells

DIPLOMACY
I: Matt "Exploiter of Worlds" Novak (France)

BIG BROTHER 4

Erin Leslie

RUNNER UP

Jamie Frost

THE JURY

3rd: Sharon Pierpont
4th: Tammy Renea Hipps
5th: Melissa David
6th: Stacy Snell
7th: Annette Barron
8th: Diane Pelletier
9th: Paul Schneider

THE EVICTED

10: Michael Deighton
11th: Ashton Stansel
12th: Chad Seal
13th: David Atkins
14th: Joe Dykehouse
15th: Chris Jojola
16th: Cory Brownrigg
17th: Allison Simmons
18th: Stephanie Daniels
19th: Jake Elliott
20th: Cheryl Ramirez
21st: Zach Schmidt
22nd: Ken Krouner
23rd: Adrian Miller
24th: Cheryl Jones
25th: Erin Lashua
26th: Shelbi Sarver