Library Battle Simulation: Let's Play Library of Ruina

Put your Let's Plays in here.
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From the second I announced the winner, everyone in the world has been coming to me saying that this has to be done with the floor of art, but I have already recorded the fight in entirety.

And I absolutely used Art, between the drug jokes and the mere existence of Mr.Black there's just too much material for me to pass it up. :v:

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Book 33: Smiling Faces—Chapter 2

Music: GuestBattle01


Image HAHAHAHA! We all match! Splendid!

Image Yeah… question, why are we doing this again?

Image Sweepers are resilient… and more importantly, they don't have flesh to slice.

Image Fair enough, I guess. Just wish it didn't feel so… squishy.

Image That's the squish of safety. As long as we've got liquid, we can keep moving.

Image Make sure to avoid any thumbtacks.

I'm going full Sweeper builds today, for no particular reason. I just wanted to use something unusual. :shrug:

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Today's reception is a 1 floor vs 2 act battle, so we need to pick a team that can go the distance. Our first act is against a team of 4 Smiling Faces with identical stats.

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The Smiling Faces are neutral to every attack type, and their only notable passive is Puffy Brume. Given that it works off of 'Smoke' applied to characters, and we've never seen this term before, it's safe to assume that Smoke is a new archetype we'll be running into today.

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Music: NetzachBattle01
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Image Hmph! Fakers! I see how it is.
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Image Fakers?

Image Their smiles are only mask-deep! We who smile from the heart won't lose to them!

Image I just want to know where our help is.

Image Um…. hi, sirs!
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Image Gaia? So it's Roland's floor today.

Image No, sir! Just me. Zaida wandered off, and Roland went to go find her.

Image And Steve?

Image Went to find them, when Roland didn't come back.

Image Huh… Gonna' remember that one.

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Trace of Fumes is a basic 3-die page that deals 1 Smoke and then 2 Smoke on its two offensive dice, for a maximum of 3 Smoke inflicted to the enemy. We're relying on that Evade die on Rewind to put in a lot of work, here.

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Hidden Blade, meanwhile, is an offensive page that burns Smoke off of the character in exchange for +2 power. Since this is the first turn, it's only a pair of middling dice for a 1 cost page. Forceful Gesture will blow it out of the water.

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Thirdly, there's Inhale Smoke. This page gives the user 3 Smoke automatically, and 4 more if its offensive die hits. This is the Smiling Faces' best way to get Smoke on themselves—this page by itself can pay for up to 3 copies of Hidden Blade to be used.

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Image So we know they use smoke. Got anything on what it does?

Image Um… no, sir.

Image Nothing at all? So we're flying blind.

Image Smoke is smoke is smoke. It messes you up and makes it hard to think about how bad life is, same as booze. We'll get the specifics later.

Image I promise I'll tell you as soon as I have info, sir!

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Image They don't seem to be resistant to any damage!

Image So we can hit 'em with whatever 'til they die. Good to know…

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Image Gh- and the pipes hurt, too! They're like maces!

Image It doesn't matter! None of it, not one bit!

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Image Those drug-fueled falsies can't hold a candle to a true smiler, no matter how much hash they huff!

Image They definitely won't be smiling for long, at any rate.

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Image Hum… It's easy t'dodge them. If they don't have anything else up their sleeves, this should be quick.

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Image Thank goodness. I'd love an easy workday where my life isn't at risk.

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Like the Proselytes, the Smiling Faces also love to solo-target single Librarians. They seem to have some chance of targeting normally, however.

Image They've had a chance to do their thing. Any idea what it does?

Image Yeah, sirs! It's bad news, no matter how we slice it!

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The Smoke status effect is one we'll be seeing quite a bit from here on out, so understanding it is vital to our success. It does a few things: First off, it can be stacked up to 10, and 1 stack falls off at the end of each turn. While these stacks are at 9 or higher, all dice get +1 Power. Each stack also gives a 5% boost to the damage the afflicted character takes—to a maximum of 50% extra damage at 10 stacks. Lastly, for characters with Puffy Brume this is instead a damage bonus on outgoing attacks, still to a maximum of 50%. This means that a 10 Smoke Puffy Brume character attacking a 10 Smoke enemy will deal double their normal damage.

Smoke is considered one of the strongest status effects in the game, and very few endgame builds don't take advantage of it.

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Our only new page this turn is Flesh Filet, which has the same 2 Smoke for 2 Power trade as Hidden Blade. It also has a special effect on the second die that inflicts Bleed based on the Smoke the target enemy has.

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Anyways, I peel the attacks away from Netzach and focus on getting my floor's Emotion Level up. There's not a lot to really be said for strategy when using Netzach's floor. Take good clashes, try to use Block dice against risky attacks, and don't take too much damage all at once so that the floor's healing can undo the hits we do take.

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Image For minions of that Blue guy, you'd think they'd be a bit stronger…

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Image They're plenty strong already..!

Using Will of the Prescript to just clash into whatever at this stage in the game will start to backfire—this was Hidden Blade winning both of its clashes against Mr.Blond. The page's weak dice relative to its cost mean that picking your spots is important.

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Image They're certainly spirited, I'll give them that! But strength?! Never! This is simple doping!

Image You take the strangest things seriously.
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Image Of course! They call themselves the Smiling Faces, and this one's not even smiling like a good boy!

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Image This one's mostly been liquified, and I'm pretty sure they're just whimpering.

Image You see?! Their smiles are weak!

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I give Netzach Tentacles, which shouldn't make any difference in the fight's flow. We don't need to lower anyone's maximum SR since they'll be gone shortly after it hits 0 anyways.

Image Look out, sir! They're targeting you with something stronger than the other attacks.

Image Really not sure why they're all so focused on me today… Thanks for the heads-up.

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Deep Drag is the strongest page in the Smiling Faces' arsenal, and there's not really any question about it. Dicewise, it's a stronger Transpierce with a massive Blunt opener and an Evade to take care of any future attacks. On hit, it hands 7 Smoke to the opponent, raising their incoming damage by 35%. It draws a page on use. And, I am told, it has a smooth, mellow flavor.

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Mr.Blond is set to take the big attack, and to follow up on the enemy to restore as much of his SR as possible. I'm not particularly worried about HP, given that this is Netzach's floor and he's a Sweeper on top of it—we've got some crazy passive HP regeneration options available to us.

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Image Coincidentally… Gebura's really more a smoker than I am.

Image Huh. Figured you'd like all kinds of weird substances.

Image I don't really like the mouthfeel of smoked things.

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Image Jeez..!

Image Seems like he didn't like the feel of that smoked thing's mouth! HAHAHAHA!

Image Uugh, now I've got the stink all over me!

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Image Whatever! If you're going to do that, I'm turning your buddy into a book!

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Image Expertly done, old boy! I've prepared a second for us as well!

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The two remaining Smiling Faces use Loss of Senses on the next turn, which becomes situationally more powerful as its Target gains smoke. The first offensive die will inflict 2 Paralysis and 1 Feeble if the target is at 7+ Smoke, and the second lets the user draw 2 pages if they're at 3+ Smoke. They did not target anyone who had Smoke with these pages. The dice themselves are decent for a 3-cost, but this page is at its best when making a one-sided attack. So we block them. :v:

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Anyways, we set up to finish off the one enemy while Staggering at least one more.

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Image This is… not going great.

Image Smile through it! Good for you, you know!

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Image Smiling isn't some kind of magical medicine. If it was, people wouldn't be so easy to kill.

Image Think about it, have you ever met anyone who was smiling when they died?

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Image All of Porccubus's victims?
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Image Mmm… good point! Smile, and also don't do drugs! Then you'll be fine!

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We're finally able to pick up Laughing Powder here, which is a bit too late to matter in Act 1.

Music: NetzachBattle02
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We've hit cleanup now…

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So we're just a few attacks away from victory.

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Image Seems like we're done here. Everyone in one piece?

Image These Sweeper bodies are incredible. Converting every enemy we defeat into more sustenance, we're able to take a worse beating than we used to be.

Image I'd still prefer we not take a beating at all.

Image And I'd prefer our next guests be better at smiling than these fellows were!

Music:GuestBattle01
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Our second act includes the trio of Smiling Faces we saw in the cutscene, each of whom is a cut above the rank-and-file.

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Wang is likely the most dangerous of the trio, gaining bonus Stagger damage based upon the Smoke stacks on himself. If he stacks himself up to 10 Smoke, he's not just dealing 50% extra damage, but double the Stagger damage as well. Thankfully, this passive doesn't do anything based on his target's Smoke stacks.

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Jin, meanwhile, slaps 2 Paralysis onto enemies with 8+ Smoke. Given that the biggest Smoke-causing attack only gives 7 stacks, this is a fairly impractical passive.

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Lastly, we have Mi. She gains a single Block die against incoming attacks, just like Yujin's passive. Its range is variable, going from 1-[Smoke stacks on Mi]. It's not likely to cause us any problems.

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Music: NetzachBattle02
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Image Oi, now… These guys'r all brew. Not a bit of meat on any'o the lot.

Image All'at really matters is that thingummy the Blue fella' wanted. We got heaps o' fillets when we're done.

Image Aye, aye. Shouldn' take but a moment. We're all fit as butcher's dogs.

Image Hmm..! So there are true smiles on that side of things!
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Image Come again?
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Image Everyone, be on your guard! Those three are the real thing!

Image What about the one in the back?

Image More rubbish! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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The only new page we see this round is Smoking Pipe, the Smiling Faces' Light Restoration page. It gives 2 Smoke and 1 Light on use, but as a wholly defensive page we can safely ignore it.

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So we do that, focusing instead of intercepting the enemy Deep Drags and trying to quickly take down the mook in the back—this will give the three of them extra Emotion coins so that we can resolve more books from them.

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Image Crikey… Bit of a trip, this.

Image You can see it too..?!

Image S'right there in fronta' m'face, innit? Weirder ifn' I couldn't see the colors. Oi, Wang! You peepin' what I am? Crack 'em on the skull good once and lumme know!

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Image Hoh hon! I see it myself, alrighty! Seems like they're on more'n an oily rag.

Image Much more, actually!

Image Don't suppose you've any to share, eh?

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Image Doesn't work that way!

Image Oooch! That's got the ol' spine all tossed up.

Image There ya'll go… I'll have a butcher's, too!

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Image Cor… Nearly as spicy as our smoke!

Image That should be the last of their attacks…

Image Been waiting to hear that!

One thing to note about Jin's passive: If a blow knocks us over 8 Smoke, that same hit will land 2 Paralysis.

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Image We're going to make these guys pay for knocking us around!

Image Good hit, Mr.Blond! Just a few more and that one'll be history!

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At the end of the turn, I pick up A Token of Friendship, to heal off the damage we'll take for the next three turns.

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Ahh… uh-oh.

Image Oi, Wang. Had a thought.

Image That's dangerous, Jin. Whatcha' got?

Image These fellas all have brew for bodies, but their brains're still there, right? Reckon we can divvy those up as a snack.
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Image Ya' had me at snack, Jin!

Image Don't you chuck a wobbly, Mi, we gotta' knock 'em out nice and quick-like first.

Image Hoh hon… let's start with that bun-headed fella in the middle, then.

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I do what I can here, but Netzach taking a few bonks is inevitable. In exchange, I aim for the Smiling Face in the back to thin their ranks a bit.

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Image You're not getting through here, sorry.
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Image Hm hm?! You're about to get buggered, laddie.

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Image We don't take kindly to ye folk gettin' in our way.

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Image Thanks for the breathing room, Mr.Blond. The one in the back's wide open now.

Image Then we'll trade places.

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Image Bugger… he right turned into a book!

Image Must be, just like how that Blue fella' explained.
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Image But that means even if we kill these blokes, we won't get no filets outta 'em!

Image Hoh hoh hon…

Image Oi, Wang! This is a real pinch!

Image Nay, Mi. This just means we can put the moz on 'em without worries.

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Image Netzach, they're continuing to focus on you.

Image Yeah… gotta' say, this isn't ideal.

There are three attacks here that I can't redirect off of Netzach, so no matter what I do here he's going to take a bit of a beating. Thankfully, that's what Netzach's floor is best at doing.

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Image Sorry, sir. I can't get in the way this time.

Image Just do what you can… I can barely focus through this smoke myself.

Image I thought you'd be used to… y'know. This kind of thing.

Image Weren't you listening..? Gebura's the smoker. I prefer my intoxicants liquid.

I line up our clashes this turn to take some of the heat off of Netzach, and to aim to Stagger both Mi and Wang.

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Image …Ah… This won't be good.

Image Hoh hon…

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Image Don't you worry, laddie, we'll toss you up in no time.

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Netzach takes a lot of Stagger damage this turn.

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So much so that he'd be outright Staggered if not for Laughing Powder and Mind Hauler. The Smoke is making the damage add up as well; he's takes 42 damage in this turn alone!

But 'almost Staggered' isn't 'Staggered,' and that's good enough for our purposes.

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Image That should be the worst of it… everyone, now!

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Image Got it, boss!
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Image Cripes!

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Image Bugger… this is a bit of a sticky wickit, innit? Well, all pinches are chances.

Image My goodness, they're still targeting you, boss? How determined! HAHAHAHAHA!

Image I'll make an opportunity for you guys.

Image Be careful, sir! Your and his Smoke levels are very high.

Image It's fine. I don't plan on dying today, and I got plenty of fuel left.

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Since Wang's Emotion Level is highest, my goal here is to get rid of them first. This will ensure both Mi and Jin hit Emotion Level 3, giving me more books from them as well.

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Unfortunately, Jin gets some good rolls, finally putting Netzach on the cusp of being Staggered.

Image …Think I miscalculated.

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Image Hoh hoh hon… jus' now?

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Image Bit late for that, innit? You're flopped already.

Jin rolled a 9 here, which is doubled by Stagger for 18 base damage. From there, it's given a 50% bonus thanks to Jin's 10 Smoke, adding 9 more damage. On top of that, another 35% bonus is given from Netzach's 7 Smoke, making another 6 damage. This all adds together for a total damage amount of 33.

Netzach had 32 HP left. They are all gone in a single attack.

Smoke is very good when used correctly.

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Image Thaaat's not ideal.

Image The boss is… You bastards!

Image Aye, aye, you're tryina' whatsit all of us, and you get mad when we've done it right back.

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Image Whatever! I've still got my orders, too! You're going to pay!

Image Hoh hoh hon, 'pay,' is it? Best make sure we're ripe, then.

Image Bugger… lost my head there. And Wang's gone bung now… Ey, who's slicin' the filets later?!

Image Oi, I'll slice us up some extras once we leave. Now take another drag of smoke n' start moving hell fo' leather.

Music: NetzachBattle03
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Image Aye, I gotcha'.

Image Mr.Black… now they're focusing on you!

Image HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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Image Um… sir?

Image I knew those smiles were the real deal! And now they've gone and snuffed out a dear boy who rarely did any of his own! Very well, guests! I'll accept your attentions!

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Image Do try not to die before I've gorged myself on this battle! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Image Think we broke 'em?

Image Aye, lass. Smoke's got to 'em.

Image Shouldn'ta breathed so deep as a freshie.
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Image Um… Mr.Blond?

Image Focus on the enemies. If everyone's going to go pants-on-head stupid, we're going to take advantage of it.

Image Can do.

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Image There ya' go, laddie.

Image Mmm… that spiced pain..! I've tasted it before, I'm certain! Tell me, what's in that smoke?!

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Image Wanna' know what's tossed up in, eh laddie? Sorry. Ain't got a lump of ice for ya.

Image Unfortunate!

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Image Mr.Black, why are you trying to find out about their smoke?!
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Image Think of the jerky, my good boy!

Image Huh?

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Image Ah—HAHAHA! See that, there? I felt that! Body of a sweeper, not a drop of nerves anywhere in my gut, and with enough smoke I feel the pain anyways! Can you imagine the sort of effect that could have if you infused a rack of ribs with it?!

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Image You're talking about pork, right?

Image Oh I'm talking about cooking, my dear boy! The ingredients will come on their own, given time!

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Image Now! Come, friends! Become my cookbooks!

Image Hoh hoh hon! And 'ere I was thinking they were all daft blighters! This lad's got the spirit.

Image Nay, lad's definitely breathed too much.

Image HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Image This situation… seems to have broken down, sirs.

Image It's always like this… We'll manage.

Image If we focus on that Mi fellow, we should be able to keep them from gaining any ground.

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Image Let's finish things up, then.

At this point, the lack of draw in Carlos's deck is starting to show, he's really only able to play whatever page I draw right now. Still, we're firmly into mopup territory.

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Image That's the third one down. It's just the last one left. How's it going, Mr.Black?

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Image Quite splendidly! I don't suppose you'll tell me what's in there now, would you?

Image Things are feelin' a tad dangerous, aye… You'd like to know?
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Image I would!

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Image Enjoy the taste, laddie~

Image HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sublime!!

Image Now to just get a good thwack in, and-

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Image Oh no, we're done here. Carlos?

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Image Got it handled!

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Image Well… the boss is dead, and Mr.Black's laughing like a damn psychopath.

Image I see… I see!!!

Image But the sane ones are standing, and that's what counts.

Image Let's just get this cleaned up and move.

Image Right.

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The Smiling Faces can be a rough set of opponents, given the raw damage output they can put forward and their preference to start zeroing in on single targets after the first turn or so. However, proper clashes and trying to mitigate the damage they throw out will ultimately make them fall faster than we do. They're still not exactly difficult, and serve mostly as a tutorial-by-fire for Smoke.

Music: Result
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Image HAHAHAHAHAHA! The sooner we process these books, the sooner I can add that spice to my own cooking!

Image Please promise to cook only normal kinds of meat.

Image I don't ask questions about the meat I get from those books, and neither should you!

Image That seems like a good way to get food poisoning…

Image And… I'm up. Being told I'm not allowed to die yet… it's a pain in the ass every time.

Image Welcome back.
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Image What took you so long?! We really could've used your guidance, sir!

Image Eh, you got by just fine. Good effort.

Image Now if you'll pardon, I gotta' go talk to the big boss about what we saw earlier. There's one thing I still can't quite figure out.

Image This place is really expanding over time… It took forever to track them down.

Image Turns out there's plenty of nooks and crannies to nap in if you know what you're doing, and I just happened to be in one that missed the alert.

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VIDEO
Music: Lobby
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Image Any guesses?

Image There’s just way too many off the top of my head. That crazed pervert can and will go far beyond anyone’s expectations.


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Our latest victory unlocks a pair of Abnormality Battles for us, meaning we're back up to 3 options for where to go next. Any one of them would be a good place to demonstrate the power behind a properly-made Smoke deck.

Next time, on Library of Ruina

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Image A good girl who has done nothing wrong in her life.

Image "Still, it didn’t matter to him. After all, he was “destined” to be a big bad wolf."

Image It's a lie, you know. You're being lied to. There's no way an Abnormality this far in would be so easy. Be careful. (Phillip and Oswald)


Videos

Smiling Faces 2

New Key Pages






New Combat Pages

Last edited by TeeQueue on Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Appendix 26: Smiling Faces
Wang’s Page wrote: They call the Backstreets unsafe because there’s this one time o’ the day when darkness comes out and your friendly neighborhood watch can’t do jacks about it. The Night in the Backstreets, when the City shuts its eyes. Breakin’ any rules are forgiven during that time. Means to protect yerself from harm like recording videos or hirin’ peacekeepers? All rendered useless. And those rusty ol’ fellas sweep every corner of the streets, so no evidence is left behind. No corpses, no weapons, no nuthin’. Not only do all the security measures stop, peeking at folk as a whole is banned during these hours! Well, stumbling on the scene o’ the crime ain’t banned. What it really means is… you ain’t suppos’d record videos o’ the scene or spy it with security cams… No one should be strolling the streets that late in the first place though, hoh hoh hon!

Cause of that, they don’t ask a darn thing about crimes happening during that time unless an eyewitness shows up. They just can’t, if I’m bein’ blunt. The public institutions… Ye know the deal, those shuckin’ shucks at the Head, Fixer Associations, vigilance peeps n’ the like. If one o’ those officials try to take a dig at somethin’ that happened during the Night in the Backstreets, some scary fellas called the Claws go after ‘em… I hear the Night in the Backstreets is considered a whatsit time for doin’ whatchamacallit permitted by the Head? I’ve got no dang clue why they set a time like this when every soul ‘ere’s already frightened to the bone. No matter what folks say, the Night in the Backstreets starts at 3:13 and ends at 4:34, ne’er too early or late by a single second, every time~
Jin’s Page wrote: The Backstreets aren’t some unlivable mess like some folk’re saying, ye see? Rough things do happen often ‘round here, sure, but there’s some effort at peacekeeping goin’ on to stop a whole lotta people dying all the harking time. Every area of the streets has some kinda neighborhood watch made outta local residents voluntarily doing jobs like Fixers do, trynna make the Backstreets a safer place. Unlike the so-called public safety Association that starts with a Z… whatever that stuffy org is called, the neighborhood watch ain’t chained to any official authority nor do they ask for huge fees. Each area’s got different styles of neighbors, so not everyone in every corner of the town likes ‘em. Most folks do appreciate that they’re kee’ing ‘em safe, though.
Mi’s Page wrote: There’s this one rule that stands squarely in this nigh-lawless land. Doing any kinda harm to the residential area is forbidden… No invading people’s homes, no demolishing ‘em, n’ all that. Not even the big n’ tough crooks of the Fingers can touch this! I’m guessing they decided it’s gotta stay the most whatsit place. If ye didn’t know, the City’s taboos are a ‘uge deal, ‘s much more serious than taboos of the Nest. You break it, and yer life’s over right then n’ there!
A Smiling Face’s Page wrote: The rules o’ the Backstreets don’t work in the Nest, and the opposite’s also true. You could drag a higher-up working for whatchamacallit from the Nest to the Backstreets and do whatsit to ‘em and get away with it, as long as it was during the Night in the Backstreets and no sneaky rat saw you doin’ it. But if you did the same whatsit in the Nest, you’d be breaking rules. The Night in the Backstreets is only a thing in the Backstreets, like da name suggests.

One last note about Smiling Faces targeting:

Apparently, on turn 1 their targeting is random, and on turns 2+ they will have a 25% chance of targeting normally, and a 75% chance of attacking the Librarian with the Highest Smoke, ties being broken by the left-to-right order of the Librarians on the setup screen. :eng101:

Thanks, MiiNiPaa!

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This seems like a nice time to stop. We'll be doing Hod's fourth Abnormality tea party next.

The Smiling Faces are interesting to deal with, the first time at least. once you've got some books from them you can turn the tables on any smoke using enemies because Puffy Brume is cost 1 and "oops, that smoke you're inflicting is a pure buff for me now" kinda takes the sting out of any theoretical future receptions that use Smoke just a little.
Of course this is downside is completely irrelevant when you're the one using Smoke since the enemy can't do Passive Attribution.

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Smokin' is Broken.

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Literature—322.67—Laetitia

Music: Lobby


Image Are you sure you don't want to take part in the test, Miss Hod?

Image I… don't think I should try smoking anything we're not sure of the effects of.

Image Right… Well, I can't blame you for being skittish.

Image Testing aside, I'm going to be using the W corp gear.

Image I suppose we do need a control group… Overcharge and Rip Space are both known powerful attacks. Having them on hand to compare will be handy.

Medea has a focused Smoke and Blunt build, designed to let her spam Inhale Smoke and use an occasional Deep Drag on the enemy. Elle, meanwhile, is running a bog standard Singleton Smoke deck to compliment it. The others are largely unchanged, though Hod is now using Flesh Filet over Slay; she doesn't really have enough high-Light pages to need the Light regen, so we can go with the slightly larger dice and bonus smoke.

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Image So it's Laetitia after all…
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Image Laetitia?! But she's…

Image That child was quite popular among the Agents. They might not be able to face her to their fullest.

Image We can't afford to keep such sentiments here. We need you to defeat her and add her to our list of supporting Abnormalities.

Image …We'll do our best.

SNAP

Music: AbnormalityBattle01
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Image This area's kind of… off-putting. Like when a hug lasts for a bit too long.

Image She's an Abnormality. Her idea of friendship wouldn't be quite like ours.

Image Still… I don't really want to fight her. Maybe we can do something else?

Image Let's take down her allies, then, and see if that stops her.

Image Oh… new friends..! I hope we can get along really well!
Laetitia wrote: Image I couldn’t leave my dear friends behind… So I came up with a brilliant idea!

Image Don’t you worry~ Only meanies hurt friends.

Image When you open the gift, you’ll be surprised, like WHOA!

Image What’s inside the gift? That’s a secret! It’s boring to spoil it.

Image Friends don’t fight each other. Nopers!

Image Play with me! Join my friends and laugh with us.
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Laetitia is a relatively simple Abnormality to understand. She wants to give Gifts to everyone. These gifts make her Block dice less powerful, and if her friends are killed then all her resistances are changed to Fatal.

She's a relatively soft target, meaning that it's very possible to focus on her and win the entire Abnormality Battle in ~2 turns, but…

Image She's just as calming a presence as I remember.

Image Just being around her brings back some good memories for me, too.

Image She was one of our most reliable training Abnormalities. Everyone's got good memories with her.
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Image Is that so…

For certain reasons, we won't be doing that today. Let's peek at her four friends.

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Each of them have identical stats. They'll target the librarian with the most gifts, explode on the third turn, and when they fall they're replaced by a Wee Witch's Friend.

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Laetitia will use Here's a Gift~ to hand Gift pages to our side. Unlike in her previous appearance, however, this time she's yeeting them at our head hard enough to deal damage. Her Block dice can also give us 1 Feeble and are a guaranteed 8, making her somewhat risky to attack.

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Her other page this turn, Let's Have Fun!, is only Block dice. On being used, it gives two of her allies a handy buff next turn.

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G..i..f..t is one of the two standard pages that the Gift-wrapped Friends can use. It's a single small die, and it hands the target a Gift on hit. It's not very threatening.

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T.ak..e..I.t.. is only slightly more troubling. It's 3 small dice, and each one will give a Gift to the target on hit.

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Image I have a neato surprise for you guys!

Image Is it a spider?

Image Nooo..?

Image Is it several spiders?
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Image If I said it, it wouldn't be a surprise anymore!

Image I don't mind seeing what you've got for us, Laetitia.

Image Oh, um… Could you turn around please?

Image That's right, you preferred giving your gift secretly when people were leaving, didn't you? I'm sorry, but we can't back down now.

Image Oh… um… That's okay. Yeah! All okees!
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Image Here you go!

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Image Geez! You threw that way too fast!

Image I'm nervous, so it just went fwoosh! You didn't have to cut it…

Image It would have seriously hurt.

Image Sorry… I'll try again soon.

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Image These friends of hers really aren't too threatening, at least.

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Image It's true… I'd put them on about the level of a really low-level fixer.

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Image Yeah… I knocked this one out by just standing here.

Some of the Smiling Faces attacks simply don't have animations on more conventional key pages. Funnily enough, Inhale Smoke and Deep Drag are both among them. Our librarian just stares at the enemy, who takes damage. :lobcorp:

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Image Then let's just take them out! Nice and easy!

Image Oh!

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Image You helped my friend come out to play~ Hooray!

Image Spider. I called it.

Image It's not a spider… it's shaped like a friend!

Image Laetitia, sweetie… I don't think we'll get along.

Image Aww… but friends should always be friends with friends.

Image That's actually a common social fallacy. In reality…
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Image So shall… fall I see? Did you trip?

Image It's uh… Well, no…

Image Phew! just try to get along. I promise, it'll be fine!

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Wee Witch's Friend appears whenever one of the Gift-wrapped friends is defeated, though defeating it ourselves instead of letting it explode will make it show up with 60 HP instead of 75. It targets Librarians with Gifts, and gains 1 Power for each Gift we have in hand. They can be dangerous, and Laetitia's dialogue changes whenever one is on the field.
Laetitia wrote: Image This place will get livelier the more friends I have!

Image I hope this place is filled with laughter!

Image I hope to find lots of friends here too~

Image How was my prank? It was fun, wasn’t it? Your face says so!

Image You’re happy to be my friend, right? Right? I’m super-ooper-duper happy, too!
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Don't Get Hurt! is a new page Laetitia uses this turn, which restores 10 HP to the ally with the lowest HP. She cares so much about her friends. :kimchi:

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Meanwhile, Wee Witch's Friend comes at us with… I'm going to call this one Spider Noises. Three hits, inflicts Bleed, otherwise unremarkable.

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Image Switch, are you alright?

Image Fine, fine. Just need a minute to reboot.

Image We'll play with her friends until then.

Image Playing? But that didn't look like play!

Image It's… roughhousing. Friends do it all the time.

Image Oh..! In that case…

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Image I wanna try ruff-housing too!

Image Oh god… She's adorable, but that definitely bruised a rib.

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Image And that definitely didn't help!

Whenever we're given a Gift, the screen takes on this effect.

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Image They do seem to be trying their best…

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Image But they're still ultimately not that strong.

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Image Indeed… I've taken care of another of the friends.

Image Spider incoming?

Image Most likely.

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Image I just hope these presents aren't too troublesome to deal with.

I wind up taking a full suite of T.ak..e..I.t..'s attacks, giving Hod three gifts as well.

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Image Seems I've gotten their attention.

Image My friends want to make friends. It's nooo problem.

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Gift itself is a 2-cost page with a Blunt die only slightly less powerful than Yield My Flesh. It's a good thing the page isn't complete trash, since it's also a ticking time bomb. If we don't play it within 2 turns, it'll explode on us for 15 damage and one stack of Pit-a-pat. Get 3 stacks of Pit-a-pat, and the Librarian dies instantly. This spawns an additional Wee Witch's Friend, so we want to avoid this.

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Meanwhile, the Wee Witch's Friends are both using… Spider Noises 2, a pair of dice that inflict Bleed and Disarm. Nothing too scary. They do have a third attack they can use on occasion, called Receive Gift: it's a single 4-10 Pierce die that removes a copy of Gift from our hand on hit.

We do not see it today.

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Image Can we play a different game now? Ruff-housing seems hard.

Image I'm sorry, Laetitia. It's the only game we have.

Image Oh… well, okay! Maybe I'll be better at it now!

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Image Boingy boingy~!

Image Not bad… not bad at all!

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Image I really don't understand why you're coddling that creature.

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Image I don't know what you mean. Laetitia isn't a 'creature,' she's a friend.

Image That's just what you people think because you're convinced she's an "Abnormality."

Image Says the guy borrowing their power right now.
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Image I'm angry, so I hit harder! That's not a power, that's common sense!

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Image I've taken out another of the humanoids. We'll probably see a third spider.

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Image The only spider. I took this one out, too. I just hope she'll stop after this is all over.

Image She won't.

Image She might!

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Image There's no way. Open your eyes and take a look at her. Friends? Friends are a cover story! She's spawning spiders everywhere!

Image A… cover story? But I'm not a book..!

Image Technically, sweetie… Oh, nevermind. Switch, apologize.

Image No!

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Image Don't mean to interrupt, but this thing's trying to rip out my guts. Little help?

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Image Don't worry, I have you.

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Image That last one's moving weird. It's up to something…

Image I'll take care of it.

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On the next turn, the one surviving Gift-wrapped Friend tries to use B..lo..w..Up, their final offensive page. It's a solid 10-10 roll, instantly defeats the Friend who uses it at the end of the turn, and if it hits us we get a trio of Gifts for free.

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A 10-10 doesn't hold a candle to what Hod can do, though, so we're fine.

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Image There we go. That's another spider down. This'd all be easier if we'd all just gone for her from the get-go, though.

Image What's your deal, anyways? She doesn't know that this would hurt us. It's not her fault.

Image Like I said, that's just what she wants you to think.

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Image If you think rationally about it, she's a monster from the Ruins.
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Image A monster.

Image Yeah. A sentient spider collective, from the same dimension W-corp connects to. It's inside of a marionette, moving it around by manipulating countless webbing threads. That's why it moves so jerkily.

Image That's… preposterous.

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It's a Gift~ is Laetitia's last page, and it's just Here's a Gift~ with one less Block die.

Image Is it? Their goal is simple: they use their webs to craft intricate gifts, but there's a catch. Those "gifts" are made with webs of the same spiders that managed to come over here: meaning they can be used to breach. And why do they do that? It's obvious: Their goal is to summon their "Friends" from the outset. They're servants to the big guys we've been taking on the whole time! All that talk about friendship is a lie, to help them get their extradimensional spider masters into this world, using our flesh and blood as sacrifices!

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Image Uuuh… I'm not… spiders..?

Image That's exactly what a marionette piloted by spiders would say!
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Image Waaaaaah!! You're a meanie!

Image I'm really not sure any of that is right…

Image You've seen the spiders yourself, ma'am. Please, let me take care of this!

Image …Well, alright. Someone has to, in all likelihood.

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Image Heck yeah! Eat that, spiders!

Image :cry:

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Image I'm really not a fan of this…

Image Well, someone has to save you people from the hell dimension spiders, and it's going to be me.

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Image They're meanies… super-ooper-duper meanies..! I wanna' go hoome..!

When Laetitia is alone, she has unique dialogue as well.
Laetitia wrote: Image People here don’t smile!! That looks so gloomy.

Image My friends… Where did they all go…?

Image Did they leave because they hate me…? Can’t you be my friends instead?

Image We’re all friends… Right?

Image Farewells are sad and make me lonely… Be my friend. Pretty please?
Image Seems like it didn't end once she ran out of those friends of hers…

Image So someone has to hurt her after all.

Image Then I guess it's for the best that Switch feels how he does. Go ahead.

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Image Hwacha! And so, the world is saved from extradimensional spiders! Again.

Image Sorry, Laetitia… I'll bring you some tea later, soon as I figure out how.

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Once stripped of her friends, there's nothing Laetitia can do to stop from being beaten down mercilessly. On the other hand, there's already nothing Laetitia can do to stop from being beaten down mercilessly, so basically I just wasted a bunch of extra turns on a 2 turn fight.

Music: Lobby
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Another day, another trio of Abnormality pages. Let's take a peek.

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Surprise Gift is interesting, letting us give an enemy a status that will let the rest of our team Clash with them for a 40% chance of 7 damage and 2 Bleed, that stays persistent until such time as the Giftee dies. As a level 1 page, it can come online early… but there's usually something better to pick. It does pair well with Allure, at least.

Friend… I actually like Friend. It gives a random page in hand +2-4 power, with the caveat being that it must be played in 2 turns or it vanishes and deals low damage to us. It can be used to remove useless pages from a deck, or to get 2-4 power to a page we already have—a massive buff. It's a very nice level 2 Abnormality page.

Lastly, there's Funny Prank. Funny Prank is hilarious, pairing with high-range first dice like Deep Drag and turning Boundary of Destruction into a 50-50 chance. It's… it's okay. I'd like it more without the penalty for rolling minimum.

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Image Angela… we're here to pick up our new Librarian. Are they ready?

Image Yes. I've taken care of things up here.
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Image Oh my goodness..! You're…

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Image Just an… everyday plucky employee… here at… whereeever this is! Um… h-hi.
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Image Paul?! As in, the Paul?! Miss Hod, we're getting a legend like that?

Image Legend isn't… the term I'd use.

Image But it should be. I've seen all the training videos you and he made… outside of the redacted parts that were classified. They were really useful!

Image Oh… that's why he looks so familiar!

Image So Hod's team gets a living legend. Niice.
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Image Hod?! Oh man… oh geez… She's not… she's not mad, is she?

Image I'm… sorry. I wasn't being reasonable… and you had to finish things on your own.

Image It's… it's… fine!
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Image Absolutely fine! I'm a professional, after all! Can't let every little thing get to me, right? …Right?

Image I appreciate it. Let's get you acquainted with the new lay of things.

Image Hey, while I have you here… what happened to the last few episodes? It just ended abruptly after Void Dream… I've always wanted to see the rest.

Image Hahahaha… No, you don't!
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Image Something wrong?

Image Nopers! I've just blocked those memories out because they're horribly traumatizing!
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Image …Aha.

Image Enough jawing! Let's head back downstairs for a tea break with a celeb~

Next time, on Library of Ruina

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Image This is the safe one, with Phillip and Oswald. I shouldn't need to remind you that the other is going to destroy everything we're working so hard for, right?

Image And worse, if you select this, you will be traumatizing poor Paul. So let's not!

Image "Still, it didn’t matter to him. After all, he was “destined” to be a big bad wolf."
Last edited by TeeQueue on Sun Aug 14, 2022 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

I’m glad “Yield my flesh” at least has decent rolls. The idea behind it is cool but sucks that it’s so impractical, but rolling an 18 on a 2 cost is niiice.

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The poll is over, and the thread has spoken.

Paul suffers. :unsmigghh:

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I was just wondering the other day when Paul would show up. Glad to see he's going to have a typical Library induction first things first.

Hi! Uh.

Just wanted to note that I stole your Gebura catchphrase for a fanfic (which includes *extremely* heavy spoilers, so if you're unspoiled and going along with the thread, don't try looking for it): "Time to kick some ass".

Should've asked you about it beforehand, but I honestly didn't know this mirror was a thing (and correspondingly, didn't have any way to communicate with you other than Youtube comments I guess?). And I associate the phrase so heavily with the redhaired badass that I couldn't pass it by. You know what they say about forgiveness and permission, right? Please forgive me.

Other than that... love your work! Can't wait to see Hod Realization.

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This isn't exactly a monetized story or anything, and "Time to kick some ass." is such a generic line that I really can't claim any sort of trademark on it. I appreciate the heads up, but also: You're fine, tbh. :v:

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Thesis 3: Hod—Introduction

Music: Lobby
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Image Hey, Hod. The director's saying it's time for this floor, now, too…

Image I see… And you're staying here as well?

Image Well, y'know how it is. I'm here if I wind up necessary…

Image I appreciate it.

No turning back now. Let's do this.

VIDEO
Music: HodStory
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Image The stories of the people living in this City are sensational, yet bitter in a way.

Image They’re bound to be.

Image Everyone is looking for a place to belong to. For ordinary citizens, it seems getting a job at one of the Wings—the largest conglomerates in the City—is considered the greatest happiness they can achieve.

Image They can belong to the Nest managed by the Wings that way. I heard that the difference in the quality of life between the Nest and the Backstreets is quite significant, no?

Image “Quite significant” is an understatement. They’re practically two different worlds stitched together.

Image It looks like the residents of a Nest don’t have to worry about external threats as long as it’s under the Wing’s management. They won’t have to look out for murderers in the streets. They get more than enough financial support to sustain their lives, and are free from the stigma of being an outcast; they get to enjoy most benefits as human beings.

Image And in return, do whatever their Wing tells ‘em to do.

Image But that’s about all they have…


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Image They live in constant fear that they might fail to produce enough results and get kicked out of the Nest. It’s the same kind of insecurity that comes from not belonging to a Wing in the first place.

Image The Fixers and Syndicates I’ve seen don’t seem to care too much about joining a Wing, though?

Image Quite a few of ‘em are sponsored by the Wings, actually. It’s something to aim for. Although they still have to do whatever their Wing orders ‘em to do. And it doesn’t always have to be a Wing; be it an Office, an Association, or an infamous Syndicate, people will seek all kinds of renowned groups to belong to.

Image They can’t stand on their own without belonging to a group of any kind.

Image Because it’s unnerving… Powerless people in the Backstreets are nothing more than pebbles for the strong to kick around. In such a dangerous world, they choose to rely on big roosts like the Wings. They’d rather be cogs in the Wing’s machines than try to stand all by themselves.

Image It’s but a meaningless repetition. They’ll never reach what they want… A constant cycle.


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Image …Don’t act like you know me.

Image Angela, I know you can’t do anything about us. You were the loneliest of us all.

Image Are you claiming that I’m doing all this because I’m lonely and need a home?

Image You haven’t had lots of people to have an honest conversation with. Only recently did you get to meet Roland…

Image ……

Image Everyone wants to indulge in sweet stories… Seeing as reality is bitter and painful…

Image Maybe that’s why tragedies are unpopular. Because everyone’s lives are always accompanied by them… It’s not like people don’t want to hold any expectations. They simply don’t have any willpower left to harbor any hope deep within their hearts. It’s just too obvious how they will fulfill their lives in the City.

Image How about you, Angela? What expectations do you have moving forward?


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Image You’re desperate to find a place for your mind to rest. Maybe you’re still repeating this because of that. But you won’t find that place you’re looking for by just killing people and expanding this Library with towers of books.

Image …This is clearly different from the past.


Music: neutral 1
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Image And my world restarts from the beginning, as if nothing has happened.

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Image You must be the Sephirot who will be helping me out with work. Nice to meet you.

Image Nice to meet you… Lady Angela.

Image You can just call me Angela. We’re in the same boat, so let’s be more comfortable with each other.

Image Well then, Angela, is there anything we can do?

Image We have a number of things to take care of before the manager arrives someday.


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Image Thanks, Angela! I’ll do my best!

Image Yeah. I’m cheering for you.


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Image We have plenty of things to prepare until the manager arrives and the work begins.

Image Yes, ma’am~ I’ll try.


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Image Umm… You know, I… I wanna start a counseling program for the employees… You know, working in this place can be a bit too rough for most people.

Image That’s a good idea. Employees will be able to cheer up with your help.


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Image I tried designing some efficient methods to improve the welfare of our employees. The things written here could prevent our employees from helplessly dying to Abnormalities.

Image Thanks. I’ll consider your suggestion. I’ve been thinking if there’s any way to reduce the casualty rate, too.


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There is an alarm that sounds here.

Image What…? Did I do something wrong?

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Image You’re all back! The facility was shaking so hard, I was worried something might have happened to you.

Image Uh, nice to meet you, ma’am…?

Image Umm… Who are you?

Image I see. Only I remember all this… And you guys have to start over from the beginning…

Image Once again, nice to meet you. I’m simply Angela.


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Image But I don’t want you to get hurt doing it.

Image Okay! Thanks for your concern, Angela!


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Image If we did, we’d have to start over…

Image What? What do you mean, start over?

Image I’m sorry… I don’t want to treat employees like expendables, either… But…


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Image It’s the counseling program, right? Here’s my proposal for an efficient way to run your program. What do you think?

Image You’re awesome, Angela! You’re the only one who really gets me…

Image This is the most I can do without deviating from the script…

Image Huh? Script…?

Image It’s nothing for you to worry about.


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Image I’m afraid we can’t employ your method to improve employee welfare, but… How about this? I tried coming up with a method of my own.

Image Angela! Thank you… It’s all thanks to you! I could save Tiffany with the counseling practices you suggested…

Image That’s great. I hope everything else goes well, too…

Image You’re great, Angela. With this method, our employees will no longer have to suffer meaningless deaths.

Image Yeah… Hopefully…


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Image I knew it… Yet again… I suppose it was presumptuous of me to cross the lines again.

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Image I am obligated to provoke the Sephirot. I am obligated to intensify and accelerate their suffering in this hell according to the script. I am obligated to set the stage before the manager enters. I was not allowed to hold any expectations for relationships. All I must do is follow the script and accelerate the process.

Image So that they suffer their due repentance.


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Image Here to ask about your counseling program, aren’t you?

Image Yeah…! I wanna help out the employees.

Image Let me tell you one thing, then. The result will be the same anyway.


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Image The manager will be here as of today.

Image This means that person will be in charge of managing everything about this facility.

Image Sigh… Whoever it is, everyone will die anyway…

Image I know that you aren’t particularly fond of me. But I’m certain our new manager will be able to bring change to this place.


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Image Manager! Something isn’t right with Hod!

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Image Why won’t they appreciate my kindness? I’m different! I really do care about them! Why does everyone hate me?

Image ……

Image Meltdowns… I see, this is what the script meant… She’s in so much pain, but… I can’t do anything to help her… It’s all up to the manager…


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Image Once they are relieved of their agonies and my creator’s atonement is made, they can finally reach enlightenment. If that process fails, the play goes back to the beginning.

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Image I’m Angela, and all you have to do is follow my orders. I’m in control here.

Image Yes… Lady Angela.

Image If you ever want to run counseling programs or anything, feel free. There is no need to ask me for every little thing.


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Image You’re really starting to act like a child now, Tiphereth.

Image Tiphereth, Tiphereth, I’m sorry… Tiphereth…

Image That’s just… How could you be so cruel…

Image …So, did you enjoy your little detective game?


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Image I’m sorry that we have to meet again like this.

Image Angela…


Music: Third Trumpet
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Image

Image …Please watch me manager! I can take care of this situation, no problem!

Image

Image …I didn’t want to open my eyes again. I just yearned to fall into the infernal pit of hell, bearing my sins on my back.

Image “I’m the only one who cares about them… Why would they hate me…?”

Image …I’m the only one who cares about them… Why would they hate me…?


Image Sigh, always the exact same lines, delivered at the exact same moments.

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Image It was a futile dream to have, in the ever-repeating cycle only I could remember. Why did I foolishly cling on to such a transient wish, knowing that everything will reset anyway? At least they cared to look at me. However, the stageplay fails to reach its end, and even if it did, all would disappear. Such was the script.

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Image I would’ve thought they were unnecessary. I would’ve loved to just let everyone be slowly forgotten. Knowing exactly when and how they would fall to despair, I soon despaired as well. I broke down, as there was nothing I could change. I could not change them beyond what the script dictates. I spent every day without any hope or expectations.

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Image Let’s just close my eyes. I can close my eyes, and turn away from things I don’t want to see. I can close my eyes, and let the things I can’t change stay that way.

Image I can close my eyes, but the future will be the same as ever.


Music: Ominous rumbling
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Image …This is horrible.

Image Ironic… I have simply too much expectation for the one book. That if I get my hands on it, it’ll mend all my shortcomings for me. Because I just don’t know how to become better myself…

Image Goodness…

Image I’m not afraid of the uncertainty the future holds. I’m afraid because I can predict my future. No matter what I do, I’ll never get to reach what I want…


Music: More ominous rumbling, but with glass breaking
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The lights flicker during this section.

Image …Yeah, I know. Seen that a couple times before.

Image That side of Angela must be the one that gave up all expectations for the future and its possibilities.

Image The side of Angela that gave up all hope, huh…


Next time, on Library of Ruina: Angela tries to kill us because she's an AI and "What happens when the black swan wakes up from dreaming of a white swan?"


Videos

Hod 5

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It's my weekend, I was very bored, and I made this video of Chinely curbstomping Finn.


That's all, continue.

Seeing Angela trying to run things better and getting the "scenario rebooted" for her trouble really goes a way to showing why A was even worse than he seemed. not even a chance of seeing if those possibilities could work out for the better, just the maximum misery factory.

Gespenst wrote:
Thu Aug 18, 2022 12:34 pm
Seeing Angela trying to run things better and getting the "scenario rebooted" for her trouble really goes a way to showing why A was even worse than he seemed. not even a chance of seeing if those possibilities could work out for the better, just the maximum misery factory.
Absolutely, the only thing I wonder is if the reboots were because A thought “Angela is just a machine, she cannot possibly actually assist with the seed of light.” Or if it was a full narcissistic “no it has to be me, I have to be the one to carry on Carmen’s will.” The idea that all those loops and years of suffering could have been resolved by Angela running things like a decent person in 2 loops max would be one heck of a gut punch.

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