Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Animal Companion Competition: Strength Challenge

ACC Challenge B - Strength (puff up they hate that)

The second challenge tasked to our competitors… 

Strength Challenge: You have been charged with watching your person’s back while they are dealing with solving a particularly frustrating lock puzzle. Over the course of waiting for them to figure out the puzzle, you are beset separately at various points by a goblin, a limb zombie, and a suspicious sounding voice (is it something invisible near you, or in your head? You’re not sure.) How do you keep them from interrupting your person and making this wait even longer when they forget where they were in the process?

Per usual, the responses were fantastic this week as the animals took on some fierce enemies! Up first this week…

From Jharru:

Hmmmm. Defend Aranel? Unfortunately I'm not a particularly good fighter, I'm too little still. But, I am an inherently magical creature, so I'm pretty good at spells at least. After all, I helped Aranel with all her spells at first. So the first thing I would do would be to cast circle of protection. I used to do that for Aranel sometimes, and I still remember how. With that at least, she'll be protected from magical beings while she solves the puzzle. I would try breathing fire at enemies too, but I can't shoot very far. I'd do my best to protect her though. Here's how I imagine fighting a goblin would go.” 

And here is the practice video against a very intimidating goblin:

We also have this great picture of Jharru and their circle of protection:

Cressida: Jharru coming in with a very strong circle of protection! Those monsters are gonna have a hard time getting to Aranel now, but will that circle work on the mysterious voice?

Cimone: oh man, and looks like you might have gotten a magic sword out of the deal with the practice run. I like that you have a backup plan of breathing fire in case any of your foes aren’t stopped by your circle.  

Our next entry is from Aara:

“Oh no! Monsters! Kovaks fights with this 6'6" halberd all the time. How hard can it be?”

Cimone: I guess it’s a good thing weapons aren’t sized in part on the size of the wielder like I hear they use to be. Not sure how high you can lift it, but kneecapping enemies bog monster style is always an option I suppose.

Cressida: I know I couldn’t fight with a 6’6” Weapon of any kind, literally I am a little too focused on magic for that, but this is a great strategy for keeping monsters at a distance. 

Next up we find out how Malcom would deal with monsters:

“Hello Judges. This week, your prompt is asking how would I defend my clueless pet Bogen, when he is solving a puzzle, when a Goblin, a zombified limb, and some invisible voice.

First, dealing with goblin is simple. I have Bogen carry me around in his pouch, and as such, I have access to his money. Just toss away something small and shiny, like a Rowan perhaps. That coin is smaller so is probably worth less. I don't know how this currency thing works though. But goblin runs away with this coin. Then then next easiest is the Voice. Once again I am a water fowl. While I am not as vile as my cousins the Geese, I can make a Ruckus if I need to scare something away. Attached is video evidence. Zombie is harder, it is mindless, so I can't manipulate or scare it, so First I would see if there are other adventures I could alert to the problem. If not, I suppose I would have to get dirty. Ugh. But I would peck and grab at the limb to prevent it from reaching Bogen, but alas, I'm not sure if I could kill it. But prevent it from being a problem until Bogen can kill it? Of course.”

And check out exactly how he makes a “Ruckus”:

Cressida: I would run for the hills if I heard that terrifying ruckus. Who knew such a petit creature could make such a huge fuss! I also appreciate the blatant theft of Bogen’s money in order to keep him safe.

Cimone: Bribing monsters, always a classic - especially goblins.  And I certainly would think twice about tangling with an angry waterfowl.  

Cleopatra is up next with some clever ways to deal with enemies:

“Puzzle? Like a jigsaw puzzle? I love jigsaw puzzles! When Hildie-guard does one on the ship, Napoleon and I like to chew on the pieces! Then Hildie-guard yells at us! It’s so fun! But I guess I’m not playing with this one. Hokay. Goblin and limb zombie? I’m kind of like an orb with legs, so maybe I could fool them into thinking I’m a magic missile! I just need to get up high enough and land on them while screaming “magic missile” loud enough and maybe they’ll be fooled. As for the voice? I’m gonna growl. I’m gonna growl as loud as I can and be louder than the voice wishes it could ever be! Maybe even roar. It’ll be so scary that the voice will run away!”

“In the attached video, you'll see me practicing my magic missile trick on Ello-wan! See how good I did? I do need to practice my aim though.”

(Special thanks to Elouan for putting up with Cleopatra's shenanigans)

Cimone: Tenacity with the magic missile claim seems to have done a good job of selling it to Elouan - I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for actual monsters as well.  Well done.  (If you ever encounter mothriders, you should chat with them about good pretend magic missile tactics)

Cressida: Much like the quacking Malcom would use, a loud growl would definitely give me a good scare and make me think twice about messing with Cleopatra! Plus any enemy is bound to give up after enough “magic missiles” to the head and chest. 

Our next competitor, Kedol Maas, is always ready to help Janus:

“Janus is solving puzzle, time to keep him safe.  He trained me for this!  Distract!  I have been taught things for this.  Goblin comes!  I run around and lead him away for others to kill.  I do good job.  Oh no!  Limb zombie snuck up on me!  Luckily armor protected me!  I can take one more hit!  I distract limb zombie and get out of way.  It still goes to Janus though!  So I get in the way.  He attacks and I do the thing.  I be not where the sword is!  I be on the other side of it.  I do this to annoy him!  I lead him away.  Far away.  Then I run fast back to Janus.  But voice appears.  Bark at it.  Bark at it away from Janus.  Go far away.  Distract.  Oh, Janus is done.  Time to go!”

Cressida: I make other people stab monsters for me all the time so acting as bait is a Cressida approved strategy!

Cimone: good use of armor, and solid questing choice of luring problems over somewhere others can stab it for you.  

Our final entry this week is from HelperPink! and DaniDanger:

“HelperPink uses the legs to defend, cover my ears, fight, and wrap up the limb zombie until it gives up.”

Cimone: Tentacle earmuffs, solid idea for handling the mystery voice.  Seems like Helper Pink’s many tentacles help them with multitasking as well.  

Cressida: HelperPink is truly ready for any and every challenge! Securing the limb zombie with one tentacle, while another one earmuffs DaniDanger, and yet another attacks the Goblin... I need to get me more arms. 

We were very impressed by the competitors' various and clever approaches to dealing with a variety of challenging enemies! They all displayed great strength and we are excited to see how they continue to tackle these challenges. Now that you’ve seen this week’s challenge responses tell us what you think in the Facebook comments. How would you deal with these fierce enemies? Will you try yelling at your enemies in the future? Let us know!

Next week come back for the Surprise Challenge!