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I typically don’t have to work on Sundays, but I’m here now, which kinda blows but I suppose I have time to sneak around and make this post. Of course, it would be a faster situation if I wasn’t wasting time telling you about how I’m at work.

Vote One: Colin Woolston. “I can’t tell if this is right. It might be right TECHNICALLY, but MORALLY? My heart weeps.”

Vote Two: Melissa David.
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A non-nonsub elimination is always an early treat in a writing game. Away we go…

Vote One: Brooks Maki. “No skating this time, buddy.”

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Nonsub eliminations, woooooooooooooooo

Vote One: Raymond Camper (nonsub vote).

Vote Two: Raymond. “A pithy voting comment cannot convey the depths of my disappointment.”
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Okay, gang. The stress of the season seems to be over, and it’s still a month before the stress of moving kicks in, so let’s get this done.

You are all on an 11×11 grid, just like a spreadsheet with A-K across the top and 1-11 down the left. I will not be posting the board, so you’ll have to keep your own notes. You will give me any outside coordinate to begin; for instance, F1, K6, F11 and A6 would all be allowable starting points. There is no starting point that makes it impossible to reach the end of the maze, which is at F6.

Once you’re placed, I’ll let you know which walls around you are closed. If you were to begin at A9, I would say “There’s a wall between the coordinates of A9 and B9, but you can safely move either up or down.” That’s actually the case, so there’s one free piece of information. Woooooooooo

From there, you can move by messaging or emailing me. You can move one space at a time or you can attempt to move “as far to the right as possible” or whatever, and I’ll let you know where you hit a wall.

Your base score for reaching the center is 60, minus the number of steps it took you to get to the center. You may actually reach zero, in which case you would get zero points or even negative points for reaching the center. You will also have your remaining energy points added to your Triwizard points, so I hope you conserved something.

The four houses have each dropped gift boxes on the field somewhere, which will give you extra points. For your own house’s gift, you will get 15 points. For all others, you will get five. You can gain all four boxes, but ONLY if you get your own first. Once you reach one, you will be given the option of taking it or not.

I think that’s it. I’m off today, though I’ll be spending a couple hours of it in the car. I’ll have my phone at the ready to respond to starting points and moves. Finally, you are not allowed to work together on this one. Comments on the difficulty level are fine. Telling the other person how many points you got in the end is fine. But you cannot say where you started, what you found, or where you found it to the other players. You’ve had plenty of chances to play together, but now you have to play with yourself. Woooooo

Begin when you’re ready, gang, and ask questions before they come up because I’m not giving any mulligans. In case anyone was going to ask, yes, if you double back over previously-traveled spaces, they count again as spaces that you stepped over.

That should be it. Best of fortune, Students.

First off, some results from last night:

Neville Longbottom

Spent 12 for speed (30)
Took the Valiant Choice (+10)
Predicted Cunning Choice for Cho
Predicted Intelligent Choice for Anthony

Cho Chang

Spent 19 for speed (35)
Took the Intelligent Choice (+10)
Predicted The Potato Choice for Anthony
Predicted The Cunning Choice for Neville
Anthony correctly predicts Cho’s approach (-10)

Anthony Goldstein

Spent 20 for speed (40)
Took the Intelligent Choice (+10)
Predicted the Intelligent Choice for Neville
Predicted the Intelligent Choice for Cho
Neville correctly predicts approach (-10)

SCORES

Neville Longbottom: 40 (88 energy points left)
Anthony Goldstein: 40 (80 energy points left)
Cho Chang: 35 (81 energy points left)

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Gang, we’ve gotten to the end of the game. We’ve set this up as a very cruel little game that Dumbledore is playing, so we may as well finish with a game sure to end in death, right?

It’s time for The Triwizard Tournament, where each student will face three tasks. Your first task, which is to retrieve a golden egg from a dragon, begins now.

There are four ways to capture the egg you seek:

The Valiant Choice. Popular with house Gryffindor, this is an approach that is daring, brave, and more than a little bit flashy.
The Intelligent Choice. When you’re facing a dragon, using your brain beforehand isn’t a bad idea. Ravenclaw students typically approach life this way.
The Cunning Choice. Win if you can, lose if you must – but always cheat. Slytherin house knows how to get ahead.
The Potato Choice. Hufflepuff is also a house at Hogwarts.

In addition, each of you also have one hundred energy points that you can spend on this challenge or save for later; I will not tell you how they will be used until the new tasks are unveiled.

In your submission, you will give me three things:
*The number of energy points you want to spend on the speed of your task. Zero is an option.
*The approach you want to use to complete the task.
*The approach you think the other two will take to complete the task.

Scoring

First off, the person who spends the most energy points will get forty Triwizard Tournament points. The person who spends the second most will get thirty-five and the person who spends the least will get thirty. If there’s a two-way tie, you will each get the lower score; that is, if two tie for first, they will get 35 each. If all three tie, you will all get thirty.

Secondly, you will receive a “home field” bonus for completing the task in your house’s fashion. If Neville completes the task in Gryffindor fashion, he will get ten extra Triwizard Tournament points, while Cho and Anthony will receive ten each if they complete it with the Ravenclaw approach. If you approach it in the polar opposite fashion – for Neville this will be Slytherin and for Cho and Anthony this will be Hufflepuff – you will get a bonus of five because while you didn’t honor your house, the judges are impressed with your outside-the-box thinking.

Finally, if you correctly guess the approach of another student, you’ll set up obstacles in their way, because there’s so much cheating in The Goblet of Fire it’s amazing everyone didn’t lose their jobs. Correct guesses will deprive the student in question of ten points, so if you use the “polar opposite” approach to gain five but both other students correctly guess your approach, you will actually net negative fifteen Triwizard Tournament points, to be adjusted after your speed score.

Okay, gang. Ready to taunt some dragons? I know I am. This is due tonight at 9pm Central because I’ve been falling asleep early this past week. Assuming I have the Black Lake part of the challenge ready, I’ll post it at that time.

Final four, welcome to your penultimate challenge. This has been a popular challenge in my Big Brother games, and I’m going to see if the tension works here as well. You have been randomly paired against each other in what’s essentially a game of Russian Roulette with another student, and the winners will face each other for immunity.

In front of you are thirty vials. Three contain poison, six contain a potion mixed with a bezoar (which is an antidote) and twenty-one are run-of-the-mill potions that have no major effect on you for our purposes.

Because I’m so generous, you get to know the starting position of all the vials:
Poison at 7, 17 and 27
Bezoar at 3, 4, 13, 14, 23 and 24
Regulars everywhere else

Here is your spreadsheet. Hannah will be facing Anthony (Hannah has the opening move) and Cho will face Neville (Cho opens). When it’s your turn, you will pick a number to drink – one through thirty. I will not show your opponent the number you picked, but the type of drink you took will be shown by color. If you take a poison, you will be given one chance to drink again, and you must take a bezoar on this turn to survive.

After you take a drink, as long as it’s a regular or bezoar, the drinks behind it will all move up one spot. If you drink #7, then #8 will become #7 and so on. Poisons will not disappear. If all six antidotes are consumed, which has happened before, then the next person to drink a poison will automatically lose the challenge.

I won’t be putting deadlines on moves, but as always, if you fail to move quickly, I may change my mind. Once both of the first-round matches are done, the winners will go for immunity.

I will try to keep you all informed of whose turn it is through your usual means of communication with me, whatever that may be.

Hannah and Cho, I’ll take your first moves anytime. If one game goes much faster than the other, that’s fine. You won’t have to wait on the other game – only your opponent.

Cheers, Students.

If you’re anything like me, final five, your favorite part of the game has been one thing and one alone:

Cursed f(*&in’ idols. I mean, wow, gang. We lost two people that weren’t even in peril at the time of their demise (although this is very hard to be sure of, since this game has been delightfully unpredictable).

So now it’s time for each of you to curse each other in the hopes of shutting them up. I admit I want to make a crack about Colin Wolfson here, but he’s long gone in the game and I don’t know if he’s even paying attention.

You will each make a list of twenty six-letter words. That is twenty words of six letters each, not a list of words with 26 letters in them. That would probably suck.

You will also curse a letter for each of the other players. It can be the same across the board, or it can be different for each person.

You will send all of this by tomorrow night (Friday) at 9pm Central.

The winner will be the one who is cursed the least by their list of words. If you utter a word with any of your four “death letters,” you will not be able to say the word, as it is cursed. If six of your words are cursed, your score will be 14.

If any letters are doubled up (or more) on a single person, a random letter will be generated against them and I will not announce it to anyone. It will pay to talk to people.

Tiebreakers: if two or more people are tied with the number of safe words, the winner will be the one who was cursed by the fewest overall letters.

Everyone good? Okay, cool. A couple people have been begging for a word challenge, so there you go. Cheers, Students.

I so did want to use Cedric’s “Wand Duels” game, but he wrote it for teams and I just knocked it around my head until I finally had to admit defeat and decide it wasn’t going to work for individuals.

Who among you have been here long enough to have played “Knots”? I don’t remember the last time I ran it, even though it was once a fixture here. Let’s HP-ify it now.


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Hey, gang! It’s high time we had a trading game in here, and this is it. Since trading games are easy to scam for large groups, though, your movements will be more or less controlled in this one, and I’ve decided I’d go absolutely bonkers trying to play this challenge, which is usually a good sign.

What do stupid kids love? Chocolate frogs! You’ve all eaten five of them, and have collected the cards that accompany them. There are five sets of seven cards, all laid out in this spreadsheet.

In a remarkable coincidence, each of you have gotten five different-colored cards (I will be sending you links to spreadsheets with your five cards individually after this post goes up).

What’s more fun than trading at will? MANDATORY trading that’s controlled completely by a soulless random.org machine! There will be three rounds of trading, where you will be trading with two of the other six kids, which were predetermined. The mini-spreadsheet on the above spreadsheet lays out who you’ll be trading with; if you intersect with a student with the number 1, you trade in the first round. Hence, for instance, Hermione will trade with Hannah and Goyle.

You can talk to the person in question, or not. All I require of you is to say which cards you’re sending to which people. So for round one, Hermione will send me “I give Hannah (card X) and Goyle (card Y).” Once everyone has sent me their submission, I will update as soon as I can. This challenge really, REALLY doesn’t work if you non-submit, so seriously, just don’t.

At the end of the three rounds, the winner will be the person with the best poker-style hand. If you know poker, this will be easy to understand. If not, follow the list that’s also on the spreadsheet. The best possible hand is a Straight Flush, which would be five in a row of the same color. The next best would be five of the same color, but not consecutive numbers. Next is five of a kind (that is, five of the same number). Then four of a kind (same number) followed by a straight, which is five numbers in a row, but not all of the same color. Then it’s a full house (three of one number, two of another). Then three of a kind (same number). Then a pair (number) and finally the highest single card.

If you have ANY question about how this works, please ask as soon as possible.

I work tomorrow night from 2 to close. I’ll be home by the deadline at 10, however. We’re in a lull right now so I should be able to field things at that time. On Friday we’ll attempt a deadline at 7 and another at 10. If I can’t update the 7 in a timely manner, which is possible given that I’ll be at work, we’ll finish on Saturday.

The best single hand will win. Tiebreakers are many, and…sigh…I should probably mention them now. If there are multiple straight flushes, the higher card numbers win (higher cards always win within card number-specific sets). If there are two straight flushes of the same numbers, the farthest left color is given preference.

That should cover it, but it probably doesn’t. Dumbledore awaits both your idiotic and your justified questions. Cheers, Students.

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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

XX: Daniel “Neville “Smash “Hardware” Hardwood” Longbottom” Caouette

XXI: Pete “The Comeback Kid” Bruzek

GODS AND MORTALS
I: Dragging Rivet’s Name Through the Mud One Last Time: Matt Novak (Ultragrandpa) and Michael Rivet (Friph Flipher-Fiph)
II: Bahambo Number 5: Pete “Triple Crown” Bruzek and Michelle “Single Tiara…So Far” Pratt

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
2016: Matt “Waited Them Out” 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
2017: #30 Bernice “The Vulture” Nicaise

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
VIII: Annette “Oh, Right, That’s Who Won” Barron

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)

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR XXII

WILLY

Annette Barron
Jared Cedar
Bret Highum
Dan Kautz
Matt Novak

KHAN’S SORE BLUEBERRIES

Shawn Ashley
Jonathon Pope
Colin Woolston

T3AM

Ken Krouner
Jeph Novak
Christina Pepper
Zack Sauvageau
erik sundberg

THE GRAVEYARD
18th: Laurel Ogren (T3AM)
17th: Raymond Camper (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
16th: Brooks Maki (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
15th: Melissa David (Khan’s Sore Blueberries)
14th: Sarah Bizek (Willy)