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# /r/Peloton Pre-TDF Survey 2020

Gentlemen, Ladies and those otherwise addressed - we know you've been waiting for a good thing, and the survey results are finally ready!
The answers were collected from you all during August 2020 with 1428 unique replies. That's a participation of 0.5% of all subscribers! That's really not too bad, when you keep in mind how popular these kind of surveys are. But we here at /peloton want to show you that this is all about presenting the information in the subreddit to cater better to our audience!
Updated after a few hours to include some more historical data the final edit that for some reason wasn't copied properly
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Results 2013-06-12 2014-06-25 2015-08-07 2016-11-17 2018-03-06 2018-08-20 2019-07-22 2020-10-12
Replies 351 598 1395 892 630 928 986 1428
Without further ado, let's get cracking on the response

You and Cycling

1. Where do you live?

Country 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
USA 32% 28.3% 22.84% 25.32% 20.23% 24.59%
UK 18.6% 17.6% 14.70% 20.13% 15.48% 14.80%
Netherlands 6.4% 9.4% 11.50% 11.58% 10.01% 11.01%
Germany 3.73% 3.4% 4.95% 6.39% 7.84% 6.65%
Denmark 3.9% 3.6% 4.31% 3.79% 7.64% 5.79%
Belgium 3.8% 2.7% 8.15% 3.57% 5.78% 5.36%
France 2.01% 1.08% 2.88% 2.27% 5.26% 3.50%
Canada 4.9% 7% 6.39% 4.22% 4.95% 4.50%
Australia 5.2% 4.7% 3.83% 4.00% 4.33% 3.93%
Slovenia 0.73% 0.32% 1.30% 1.14% 2.14%
Norway 2.58% 1.8% 1.60% 1.95% 2.58% 1.86%
Sweden 1.08% 1.09% 1.44% 1.41% 1.75% 1.43%
Ireland 1.00% 1.09% 1.44% 1.19% 0.72% 1.36%
Portugal 1.65% 1.8% 2.40% 1.52% 1.34% 1.14%
Italy 1.45% 1.44% 0.65% 1.03% 1.07%
Largely the same picture as ever, with the US leading the way, the UK in second and then a sliding scale of Europeans countries. Slovenia continues to pick its way up the pile for obvious reasons!
World Map to demonstrate

2. What's your age?

u17 17-19 20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51+ Total
2015 2.22% 12.04% 41.51% 24.66% 10.68% 4.87% 2.94% 1.08% 1395
2016 1.5% 8.9% 40.8% 24% 12% 5.4% 5.2% 2% 887
2018 Mar 1% 7.1% 33.5% 27.4% 16.2% 7% 5.7% 2.1% 617
2018 Aug 1.7% 9% 33.9% 26.4% 15.5% 7% 5% 1.5% 905
2019 1.5% 6.6% 33.2% 27.5% 16.4% 7.1% 5.8% 2% 972
2020 1.3% 6.8% 31.7% 28% 16.6% 7.2% 5% 2.5% 1420
Pretty much the same as last year, with the usual reddit demographics of majority 20 somethings dominating.

3. What's your gender?

'13 '14 '15 '16 '18 (1) '18 (2) '19 '20
Male 97.2% 97% 94.9% 93.4% 93.3% 93.6% 95.1% 94.9%
Female 2.8% 2.7% 4.8% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4% 3.7% 4.8%
Other - 0.33% 0.29% 0.78% 0.76% - -
Non-Binary - - - - 0.64% 0.99% 1.2% 0.4%
More normality here for reddit.

4. How much of the men's season do you watch/follow?

Type March '18 (%) August '18 (%) 2019 (%) 2020 (%)
Grand Tours 84.7 92.0 90.2 87.3
Monuments 79.1 74.9 79 75.9
WT Stage races 67.4 62.4 70.5 71.7
WT One day races 73.3 59.8 62.3 60.7
Non WT Stage races 32.6 16.7 17.4 25
Non WT One day races 34.8 13.7 17.4 20.7
Literally everything I can consume 35.9 18.1 21.1 27.1
Whilst GT following may be down (somehow), all the lower level stuff is up, which makes sense considering how desperate we have been for any racing during the season shutdown.

5. Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing?

Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing? '19 '20
Yes 49.8 49.2
No 50.2 50.8
Still very much a half/half interest in women's cycling on the subreddit.

6. How much of the women's season do you follow?

The following is true for the half of you that follows womens cycling.
How Much %
Just the biggest televised events 63.15%
Most of the live televised/delayed coverage stuff 29.08%
All televised racing 5.09%
Down to .Pro & beyond 2.69%

7. How long have you been watching cycling?

How Long %
Under a year 2,95%
1-3 years 19,50%
4-6 years 19,85%
7-9 years 14,10%
10-12 years 13,81%
13-15 years 7,15%
15-20 years 10,73%
20-25 years 6,17%
25 years + 5,75%
Simplified the years a little this time, but whilst we have a fair number of newbies, most people have picked the sport up since around 2013/14.

Sporting Favourites

8. Do you have like/dislike feelings about WT teams?

Once more, 14.4% of people really don't have feelings on the subject.
Of those that do:
AG2R Astana Bahrain Bora CCC Cofidis Quick-Step EF FDJ
Like 352 213 127 770 156 116 847 724 423
Meh 775 620 773 415 889 896 310 448 700
Dislike 52 356 263 31 112 141 71 37 53
Karma 300 -143 -70 739 44 -25 776 677 370
Israel Lotto Michelton Movistar NTT Ineos Jumbo Sunweb Trek UAE
Like 135 364 517 231 101 304 925 279 383 118
Meh 740 764 626 646 931 414 282 805 765 734
Dislike 302 40 52 326 121 562 53 97 42 331
Karma -167 324 465 -95 -20 -258 872 182 341 -213
So, the most popular team this year is Jumbo-Visma, followed by Quick-Step & Bora-hansgrohe. Least popular are Ineos & UAE.
As per usual, no one cares about NTT & CCC, with nearly 81% of users rating NTT as meh. Pretty damning stuff.
Lastly, we have the usual historical comparison of how teams have fared over time, normalised to respondents to that question on the survey.
Things to note then, firstly that the Astana redemption arc is over, seeing them back in the negative, maybe Fulgsangs spring issues helped aid that? The petrodollar teams of UAE & Bahrain are stubbornly negative too, with Israel keeping up the Katusha negative streak. Meanwhile, at the top end, EF & Jumbo go from strength to strength, whilst some others like Sunweb are sliding over time - their transfer policies no doubt helping that.

10. Do you ride a bike regularly?

Answer 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
For fun 61.5% 63.4% 59.9% 62.9%
For fitness 59.3% 59.6% 54.8% 59.8%
For commuting 46% 46% 45.6% 40%
For racing 20.6% 20.6% 15.9% 17.7%
No, I don't 14.2% 12.9% 14.8% 13.6%
Still a fairly small group of racers out of all of us

11. Out of the sports you practice, is cycling your favourite?

Yes No
58,29% 41,71%
A new addition to the survey prompted by a good point last time, just over half of us rate cycling as the favourite sport we actually do.

12. What other sports do you follow?

Sport #
Association Football / Soccer 50.78%
Formula 1 35.81%
American Football 26.27%
Basketball 22.46%
Track & Field 17.58%
Esports (yes, this includes DotA) 17.30%
Rugby 14.27%
Skiing 14.12%
Ice Hockey 13.63%
Baseball 12.15%
Motorsports (Not including F1) 10.59%
Cricket 10.52%
Tennis 9.53%
Chess 8.97%
Triathlon 8.69%
Biathlon 8.12%
Snooker 7.06%
Golf 6.92%
Swimming 6.85%
Ski Jumping 6.78%
Climbing 5.72%
Martial Arts 5.65%
Handball 5.44%
Darts 5.01%
Speed Skating 5.01%
Football always tops the charts, and Formula 1 continues to rank extremely highly among our userbase. Those who have a little following below 5% include Sailing, Fencing, Surfing, Boxing & Ultra-Running.
Other cycling disciplines
Sport #
Cyclocross 22.10%
Track Cycling 14.34%
MTB 8.97%
BMX 1.20%

13. Out of the sports you follow, is cycling your favourite sport?

Yes No
61.79% 38,21%
Good. Makes sense if you hang out here.

Subreddit stats

14. How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race?

2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
I always participate in Race Threads during races 2.8% 2% 2.2% 4% 2.5% 3%
I follow Race Threads during races 41.7% 36.7% 38.1% 42.1% 42.5% 38.9%
I often participate in Race Threads during races 16.8% 19% 16.5% 18.9% 15.2% 13%
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races 38.7% 41.3% 43.1% 35% 39.8% 45.1%
Slightly less invested than before, reverting back to an older trade.

15. How do you watch Races?

Method 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
Pirate Streams 62% 46.5% 50.2% 47.9%
Free Local TV 55.7% 64.5% 59.6% 53.9%
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights 37.9% 30.2% 28.2% 24.9%
Paid Streaming services 32.3% 35.4% 38.3% 46.3%
Year on year, paid streaming services go up - the increasing availability of live content legally continues to improve, and so do the numbers on the survey.

16. Where else do you follow races live (in addition to watching them)?

Type 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
/Peloton race threads 86.2% 83.4% 80.2% 76.9%
Twitter 30.5% 34.7% 33.3% 38.3%
PCS Liveticker - - 30.2% 32%
Official tracker (if available) 24%
The Cyclingnews liveticker 26% 23.5% 21.5% 18.9%
Sporza (site/ticker) 1.89% 9.5% 10.8% 10.8%
NOS Liveblog - 6.8% 7% 9.2%
Steephill 0.52% 13.5% 10.2% 8.2%
/Peloton discord 6.5% 5.4% 7.5% 7.2%
Other cycling forums 15.1% 8.1% 7.6% 7%
feltet.dk - 2.2% 5.4% 5.2%
Facebook 3.8% 5.4% 4% 4.2%
BBC Ticker - 3.5% 2.1% 4.1%
DirectVelo - 1.3% 1.6% 1.8%
Non Cycling Forums - 1.3% 1.2% 1.2%
/cyc/ - 1.3% 1% 0.6%
/peloton IRC ~0 0.8% 0.4% 0.5%
The PCS liveticker continues to have a strong following, whilst the cyclingnews ticker slowly slides into less usage over time.

17. Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?

Type 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Classic 75.1% 67.2% 46.2%
Redesign 24.9% 32.8% 53.8%
Time to abandon ship. The end has come.

18. With what version of reddit do you browse the sub?

Version 2019 2020
Official App 17.9 31.1
Desktop Classic 37.8 25.8
3rd Party App 18.3 17.2
Mobile Web 12.4 14.7
Desktop Redesign 13.7 11.2
Phone browsing is very much in vogue.

19. How did you find the sub?

How %
Through other forms of reddit, f.e. /bicycling 48.33%
Too long - can't remember 38.65%
Google search 9,11%
My friend told me 2,28%
I wanted to talk about my exercise bike 0.78%
Twitter 0.5%
Lantern Rouge Youtube 0.28%

Other bits and bobs

20. Did you think back in March we would see any more racing this year?

Yes No
52,81% 47,19%
Despite the threat, we have seen racing again

21. Will we manage to fulfill the rest of the UCI calendar without further Covid-19 issues postponing more races?

Yes No
25.3% 74.7%
Sorry to you 25%, Amstel, Roubaix & a bunch of other races have falled foul of COVID-19 related cancellations.

22. When did you become aware of Alexander Foliforov?

When %
Before the 2016 Giro 3,25%
22nd May, 2016 15,55%
On /pelotonmemes in 2020 21,13%
Who? 60,07%
If you didn't know of the man, watching him demolish the Giro field in 2016 on the stage 15 ITT should help to gain understanding

23. Who will win the 2020 Tour de France?

Rider %
Roglic 52,12%
Bernal 16,57%
Pinot 9,24%
Dumoulin 7,9%
N.Quintana 2,82%
Pogacar 1,41%
Richie Porte 0,35%
We can safely say that most of us were wrong about this one.
That's not a lot of confidence in Richie Porte either, the man who was to finish on the third spot of the podium. Alexander Foliforov (0,23%) had just a tiny number of votes less, and that man wasn't even in the race.

24. What for you was the defining cycling moment of the previous decade?

We had a lot of brilliant suggestions, but these were the clear five favourites when we tabulated the results.
Honorable mentions go to the Giro 2018, which had Tom Dumoulin winning, and of almost identical fascination to many of you - Tom Dumoulin going on someones porta-potty in the middle of the stage.
Little bit of recency bias perhaps, but that's better than ignoring that this was for the last decade and firmly insisting Tom Boonens 2005 WC win was the biggest thing. Special shoutout to almost all the Danes present in /peloton who voted for Mads Pedersens WC win last year. It's an understandable reaction.

25. Any suggestions for the Survey?

New Questions
We promise to feature one of these suggestions in the next survey
Suggestions
We will try to implement this. But it will also skew results.
About the Survey
The subscribers are torn on Women's cycling, nearly a 50/50 split there as the survey showed - The moderators at /peloton are firmly in the "more cycling is better" basket, and we will continue to get as good coverage of womens cycling as possible.
Are you trying to give the moderators PTSD? Because this is how you give the moderators PTSD.

26. Any suggestions for the sub?

ALSJFLKAJSLDKJAØLSJKD:M:CSAM)=#/()=#=/")¤=/)! - Your moderator seems to be out of function. Please stand by while we find you a new moderator
The Weekly threads are great for these types of questions, where several people can contribute and build up once it is understood which information is relevant.
Our experience is that "limited" will never be so, if we're going to moderate it fairly. Moderating is not a popularity contest, but believe it or not, we're actually trying to be as fair as possible. and for that, we need rules that are not subjective. Unless you have a stationary exercise bike.
All of these are good suggestions, but remember that all of you can also contribute - The mods are sometimes stretched thin, specially in the middle of hectic race schedules. It's easier if one of you has a way to contact a rider or a person of interest and can facilitate the initial communication.
We've worked on this! The Official Standard is now as follows: [Race Thread] 202x Race Name – Stage X (Class)
This sounds as a nice community project for the after-season, and hopefully many of you subscribers can contribute.
Come with suggestions on how to tidy it up!
We have chastised all the mods. They are now perfectly trained in gender-neutral pronouns. Be well, fellow being.
If we can implement this for hard liquor, you know we will.
The spoiler rule is one that is discussed frequently - in general - some users absolutely hate it, but a majority love it. Perhaps we'll include a question in the next survey to see how this divide is exactly.
We actually do - whenever there is a matter of life or death, we think public information is more important than a spoiler rule. But at the same time, we try to collect all the different posts into one main thread, so to keep things focused and letting very speculative posts meet with hard evidence from other sources.
This is a tough ask of the internet. While we can agree that voting should be done accordingly to what insights they bring, not subjective opinions, it is very hard to turn that type of thinking around. We can ask of you, our subscribers, that you please think twice about hitting that downvote button, and only do so because of you think a post is factually incorrect, not because it differs with your own subjective opinion.
That's the primary analysis of the survey! Feel free to contribute with how you experience things here!
submitted by PelotonMod to peloton [link] [comments]

The 2020 Wreddit Census RESULTS!

Hey everyone!
We are excited to share the results of the 2020 Wreddit Census. 8,837 users took the time to submit their answers and we have been able to find some interesting statistics. Thank you to those who took the time to submit your response.
If you want to use the data yourself to draw your own findings or analysis, here is a link to the data as promised. There are some tabs on the bottom that look at specific factors that we found interesting.

1. Demographics

Gender
Gender 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Male 90.9% 91.4% -0.5% 0.54% decrease
Female 6.0% 6.3% -0.3% 4.7% decrease
Non-Binary 2% 1.5% +0.5% 33.3% increase
Prefer not to Say 0.7 0.6% +0.1% 16.6% increase
Ethnicity
Ethnicity 2020 2019 Change +/-
White 78.6% N/A N/A
Hispanic/Latino 9.9% N/A N/A
Asian 7.4% N/A N/A
Black/African-American 4.7% N/A N/A
Middle Eastern/North African 1.3% N/A N/A
American Indian or Alaskan Native 1.2% N/A N/A
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.4% N/A N/A
Other 1.9% N/A N/A
Prefer not to say 1% N/A N/A
Age
Average Age 2020 2019 Change +/-
Age 28.9 N/A N/A
The vast majority of users are in their late 20s and 30s.
Residence

Country do you reside in?

Country 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
United States 59.9% 60.9% -1.0% 1.64% decrease
UK 13.8% 13.2% +0.6% 4.5% increase
Canada 7% 6.7% +0.3% 4.47% increase
Australia 3.7% 4.2% -0.5% 11.9% decrease
Note: all other countries under 2%
Living Situation (for users 25 and older)
Household 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Married and live with my spouse 28% N/A N/A N/A
I live alone 20% N/A N/A N/A
I am not married but I live with a significant other 18% N/A N/A N/A
I live with my parents 16% N/A N/A N/A
I live with Roommates 13% N/A N/A N/A
I live in a multigenerational setting 5% N/A N/A N/A
NOTE: We have a large number of teens and early 20 year olds on this sub. As a result, we felt it was best to eliminate everyone under the age of 25 for this measure as it would skew the data heavily due to the number of kids and college students.
Income Level USD (for non-married and non-living with significant other) (for users 25 and older)
Income 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Income $49,850/year N/A N/A N/A
NOTE: We have a large number of teens and early 20 year olds on this sub. As a result, we felt it was best to eliminate everyone under the age of 25 for this measure as it would skew the data heavily due to the number of kids and college students.

2. Watching Habits

How long have you watched wrestling?
Years 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Years 17 years N/A N/A N/A
What Cable TV/Streaming Services that you have?
Service 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Netflix 72.3% 84.4% -12.1 14.3% decrease
Amazon Prime 56.5% 57.4% -0.9 1.5% decrease
Disney Plus 39.5% N/A N/A N/A
Paid TV service 32.1% 45% -12.9 28.6% decrease
Hulu 34.1% 41% -6.9 16.8% decrease
HBO Max 13.8% N/A N/A N/A
none 10% N/A N/A N/A
Youtube TV 7.1% N/A N/A N/A
Sling TV 3.8% N/A N/A N/A
Hours of wrestling watched each week
Hours per Week 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Hours 4.06 N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch Monday Night Raw?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No, I don't watch Raw regularly, but I do try to keep up with storylines and news 54.3% 49.3% +5 10.1% increase
No. I don't watch or follow Raw 17.5% 8.9% +8.6 96.6% increase
Yes I watch it weekly 16.1% 27.8% -11.7 42.08% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it 12% 13.9% -1.9 13.6% decrease
How do you watch Raw (This question was ONLY asked of the respondents that said they watched Raw in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it LIVE through my cable TV provider 33.9% 45.6% -11.7 25.65% decrease
Through an unpaid stream or video website 22.9% 24.6% -1.7 6.9% decrease
I watch it LATER through DVR or OnDemand with my cable TV provider 13.9% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 12% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER on DVR or OnDemand through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 8% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 3.5% 16.6% -13.1% N/A
I wait a month and watch it on the WWE Network 0.7% 0.3% +0.4 133% increase
Note: More options were added this year, so the comparisons to 2019 may be flawed
Do you regularly watch Smackdown?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No, I don't watch Smackdown regularly, but I do try to keep up with storylines and news 53.1% 41.5% +11.6 27.9% increase
No. I don't watch or follow Smackdown 18.6% 8.3% +10.3 124.1% increase
Yes I watch it weekly 14.3% 31% -16.7 53.9% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it 14% 19.2% -5.2 27.1% decrease
How do you watch Smackdown? (This question was ONLY asked of the respondents that said they watched Smackdown in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it LIVE through my cable TV provider 35.3% 42.5% -7.2 16.9% decrease
Through an unpaid stream or video website 22.2% 25.8% -5.6 21.7% decrease
I watch it LATER through DVR or OnDemand with my cable TV provider 15.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 8.8% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER on DVR or OnDemand through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 7.8% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5.7% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 4.3% 18.1 -13.7 75.7% decrease
I wait a month and watch it on the WWE Network 0.8% 0.3% +0.5 166.6% increase
Note: More options were added this year, so the comparisons to 2019 may be flawed
Do you regularly watch WWE Main Roster PPVs?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes I regularly watch them live 27% 44% -17 38.6% decrease
Yes I sometimes watch them live but sometimes I watch them later 23.7% 24.7% -1 4% decrease
Yes but I watch them later, not live 12.8% 12.1% +0.7 5.8% increase
No I do not watch them regularly but I try to keep up with storylines 25.3% 15% +10.3 68.7% increase
No I do not watch them regularly 11.1% 4.2% 6.9 164.3% increase
How do you watch WWE Main Roster PPVs? (This question was ONLY asked of the respondents that said they watched Main Roster PPVs in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through their personal WWE Network streaming service 62.2% 69% -6.8 9.9% decrease
Through an unpaid stream 21.2% 15.5% +5.7% 36.8% increase
Through a friend’s WWE Network streaming service 9.1% 8.6% +0.5% 5.8% increase
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 2.2% N/A N/A N/A
I watch is some other way not listed here 2% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it through my cable provider 1.7% N/A N/A N/A
I live in a country that doesn't have the WWE Network streaming accounts, but I have one through a VPN or other loophole 0.6% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch the NXT weekly TV (non-UK)?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch NXT regularly, but I do keep up with news and storylines 42.9% 35% +7.9 22.6% increase
No. I don't watch or follow NXT 19% 25.1% -6.1 24.3% decrease
Yes, but I watch it later. Not as it airs 18.7% 17.6% +1.1 6.3% increase
Yes I occasionally watch it as it airs, but sometimes I watch it later 10.5% 13.2% -2.7 20.5 decrease
Yes I regularly watch it every week as it airs 8.8% 9.2% -0.4 4.3% decrease
How do you watch NXT weekly TV (This is ONLY asked of respondents that say they watched NXT Weekly TV in some capacity)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it through an unpaid stream or video website 22.3% 11.1% +11.2 101% increase
I wait and watch it when it's available on the WWE network 20.1% 72% -51.9 72.1% decrease
I watch it LIVE through my cable TV provider 19% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER through DVR or OnDemand with my cable TV provider 13.6% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 9.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (like Sling TV or Youtube TV) 8% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 4.4% N/A N/A N/A
I watch is some other way not listed here 3.6% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch NXT UK?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch or follow NXT UK 73.4% 60.6% +12.8 21.1% increase
No. I don't watch NXT UK regularly, but I do keep up with news and storylines 21.6% 26.6% +5.0 18.8% increase
Yes, but I watch it later. Not as it airs 3.2% 7.1% *-3.9% 55% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it as it airs, but sometimes I watch it later 1.2% 3.4% -2.2 64.7% decrease
Yes I regularly watch it every week as it airs 0.7% 2.3% -1.6 69.6% decrease
How do you watch NXT UK? (ONLY asked of people that say they watch NXT UK)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
watch using their WWE Networks streaming service 68.6% 78.8% -10.2 12.9% decrease
use unpaid streaming 11.4% 8.8% +2.6 29.5% increase
Through my cable/TV provider (some countries have NXT UK air on their cable package) 8% 1.1% +6.9 627.3% increase
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 4.9% N/A N/A N/A
use another friend’s WWE network account 4.2% 6.5% -2.3 35.4% decrease
I watch it some other way not listed here 2.9% 3.6% -0.7 19.4% decrease
Do you regularly watch NXT Takeovers?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes, I regularly watch them live 28.8% 44.2% -15.4 34.8% decrease
No I don’t watch them regularly but I keep up with storylines 20.2% 9.4% +10.8 114.9% increase
Yes, I occasionally watch them live but sometimes I watch them later 19.1% 20.1% -1.0 5% decrease
Yes, but I watch them later 16.6% 14.8% +1.8 12.2% increase
No I don’t watch them regularly 15.2% 11.5% +3.7 32.2% increase
When you watch NXT Takeovers, how do you watch them? (ONLY asked to people that said they watched NXT Takeover)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through their personal WWE Network streaming service 60% 68.7% -8.7 12.7% decrease
Through an unpaid stream 23% 15.9% +7.1 44.7% increase
Through a friend’s WWE Network streaming service 9.4% 9.1% +0.3 3.3% increase
I watch is some other way not listed here 3.3% 3.3% No Change No Change
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 2.8% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it through my cable provider 1.1% 1.0% +0.1 10% increase
I live in a country that doesn't have the WWE Network streaming accounts, but I have one through a VPN or other loophole 0.5% 0.6% -0.1 16.7% decrease
Do you regularly watch 205 Live?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch or follow 205 Live 81.5% 67.7% +13.8 20.4% increase
No. I don't watch 205 Live regularly, but I do keep up with news and storylines 14.9% 22.7% -7.8 34.4% decrease
Yes, but I watch it later. Not as it airs 2.1% 4.9% -2.8 57.1% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it as it airs, but sometimes I watch it later 0.9% 3% -2.1 70% decrease
Yes I regularly watch it every week as it airs 0.7% 1.7% -1.0 58.8% decrease
When you watch 205 Live, how do you watch it? (ONLY asked for people that said they watched 205 Live)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
watch using their WWE Networks streaming service 73.7% 74.7% -1.0 1.3% decrease
use unpaid streaming service 11.3% 10.7% +0.6 5.6% increase
use another friend’s WWE network account 5.3% 5.5% -0.2 3.6% decrease
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5% N/A N/A N/A
I watch is some other way not listed here 3.8% 4.9% -1.1 22.4% decrease
Through my cable/TV provider (some countries have NXT UK air on their cable package) 0.9% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch AEW Dynamite?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes. I regularly watch it every week as it airs 28% N/A N/A N/A
No. I don't watch them regularly, but I do keep up with storylines and news 27.6% N/A N/A N/A
Yes. I occasionally watch them as they air, but sometimes I watch them later 16.2% N/A N/A N/A
Yes. but I watch them later, not as they are airing. 16.2% N/A N/A N/A
No I don't watch or follow AEW Dynamite 12% N/A N/A N/A
When you watch AEW Dynamite, how do you usually watch it? (ONLY asked for people that said they watched Dynamite)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it LIVE through my TV provider 28.1% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it through an unpaid stream *25.6% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LIVE through a stand alone paid streaming service (Like AEW Plus or Sling TV) 20.4% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER via DVR or OnDemand through my TV provider 10.7% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it LATER via DVR or OnDemand though a paid streaming service (Like AEW Plus or Sling TV) 8.3% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 3.6% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clip, and "streamables" 3.3 N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch AEW PPVs?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Yes, I regularly watch them live 31.6% N/A N/A N/A
No I don’t watch them regularly but I keep up with storylines 24.1% N/A N/A N/A
Yes, but I watch them later 15.7% N/A N/A N/A
No I don’t watch them regularly 14.6% N/A N/A N/A
Yes, I occasionally watch them live but sometimes I watch them later 14% N/A N/A N/A
When you watch AEW PPVs, how do you usually watch it? (ONLY asked for people that said they watched AEW PPVs)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch through an unpaid stream 43.4% N/A N/A N/A
I pay for the PPVs through BR Live 21.7% N/A N/A N/A
I pay for the PPVs through FITE TV 17.3% N/A N/A N/A
I pay for the PPVs through my cable provider 6.4% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here 6.4% N/A N/A N/A
I only watch highlights, clips, and "streamables 4.8% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch New Japan Pro Wrestling?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No, I do not watch them regularly 39.1% 39.6% -0.5 1.3% decrease
No, I don’t watch them regularly, but I keep up with storylines and news 27.7% 29.8% -2.1 7% decrease
Yes, but I watch them later, not as they’re airing 15.9% 13.9% +2.0 14.4% increase
Yes, I occasionally watch them live, but I usually watch them later 11.5% 11.8% -0.3 2.5% decrease
Yes, I regularly watch NJPW shows live. 5.8% 4.9% +0.9 18.4% increase
When you watch NJPW, how do you usually watch it (ONLY asked to the people that said they watched NJPW)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through their personally NJPWWorld subscription. 55.4% 48.1% +7.3 15.2% increase
Through an unpaid stream 27.1% 27.1% No Change No Change
I only watch highlights, clips, or "Streamables" 5.8% N/A N/A N/A
I use a friend's NJPW World Streaming Service subscription 5.7% N/A N/A N/A
I watch it some other way not listed here. 3.2% 7.8% -4.6 59% decrease
I watch LIVE shows through my cable provider IN JAPAN 0.3 N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch Ring of Honor weekly TV?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No. I don't watch or follow Ring of Honor 84.6% 74.2% +10.4 14% increase
No. I don't watch Ring of Honor TV regularly, but I do keep up with storylines and news. 12.1% 20.5% -8.4 41% decrease
I occasionally watch it 2.7% 4.1% -1.4 34.1% decrease
I regularly watch it. 0.6% 1.2% -0.6 50% decrease
How do you watch Ring of Honor? (ONLY asked to the people that said they regularly watch it)
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
Through my TV provider 42.1% 33.7% +8.4 24.9% increase
Through Fite.tv 16.8% 22.6% -5.8 25.7% decrease
On the ROH website 13% 15.7% -2.7 17.2% decrease
through an illegal stream 10.3% 12.4% -2.1 16.9% decrease
Some other way not listed 6.5% 12.9% -6.4 50% decrease
Through my cable TV provider's legitimate stream 5.8% 2.7% +3.1 114.8% increase
I only watch highlights, clips, or "streamables" 5.5% N/A N/A N/A
Do you regularly watch Impact Wrestling?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
No I do not regularly follow it 71.7% 68.6% +3.1 4.5% increase
No I do not regualrly follow it, but I keep up with news and storylines. 20.4% 22.2% -1.8 8.1% decrease
Yes I occasionally watch it 5.7% 6.8% -1.1 16.2% decrease
Yes I watch it weekly. 2.3% 2.3% no change no change
How do you watch Impact Wrestling?
Response 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
I watch it on Twitch 37% 49.9% -12.9 25.9% decrease
Through cable provider 29.2% 20.4% +8.8 43.1% increase
through an illegal stream 14.1% 14.2% -0.1 0.7% decrease
some other way listed 7.8% 13.4% -5.6 41.8% decrease
I only watch highlights, clips or "Streamables" 6% N/A N/A N/A
Through my cable provider's legitimate stream 5.8% 2% +3.8 190% increase
Top TEN Most Watched Wrestling Promotions/Shows
Rank Promotion/Show 2019 Rank Rank Change +/- % of users watching 2020 % of users watching 2019
#1 AEW Dynamite N/A N/A 64% N/A
#2 NXT #3 +1 46.1% 56%
#3 WWE Monday Night Raw #2 -1 40.3% 61.8%
#4 WWE Smackdown Live #1 -3 38.4% 66.4%
#5 New Japan Pro Wrestling #4 -1 30.4% 32.3%
#6 AEW Dark N/A N/A 28.7% N/A
#7 NWA Powerrrr N/A N/A 8.9% N/A
#8 Impact #8 no change 7.5% 8.6
#9 STARDOM #12 +3 5.6% 4.4%
#10 Game Changer Wrestling #29 +19 4.8% 0.6%
Note: 10.8% selected NONE

3. Online Habits

Is Wreddit your most frequent source of news related to wrestling?
  • 85.6% YES
  • 14.4% No
Where do you go for wrestling news? (asked of people that DON’T have Wreddit as their #1 source)
  • 32.8% - A news site that focuses exclusively on wrestling news
  • 23.5% - Twitter
  • 17.2% - A paid subscriber newsletter
  • 8.3% - Another user-based wrestling forum
  • 3.8% - A more general sports-based news site
  • 2.2% - Facebook
  • 2% - Chat Applications like Discord or Skype
  • 1.9% - /woo/ or other imageboard
  • 1.6% - Instagram
If you didn’t use Wreddit for your news, where do you think you would go? (asked of people that DO have Wreddit as their #1 news source)
  • 32% - Twitter
  • 25.3% - a news site that focuses exclusively on wrestling
  • 14.5% - I wouldn't go out of my way to look up wrestling news
  • 7.1% - a paid subscriber newsletter
  • 7% - Another user-based wrestling forum
  • 3.6% - A more general sports-based news site
  • 3.4% - Instagram
  • 2.8% - Facebook
  • 2.6% /woo/ or other imageboard
  • 1.8% Chat applications like Discord or Skype
Are you a Subscriber to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
No, I’m not interested in subscribing 65.4% 65.4% No Change
No, but I might subscribe in the future 17.9% 20.1% +2.2
No, but I have subscribed before 7.4% 6.6% +0.8
Yes I’m a regular subscriber 4.9% 5.2% -0.3
No, I don't know what that is 3.8% 1.9 +1.9
Yes, but I’m a fairly new subscriber 0.5% 0.8% -0.3
News sites visited regularly
  • 56% - NONE
  • 17.1% - F4WOnline
  • 16.6% PWInsider
  • 9.6% Fightful
  • 9.1% 411Mania
  • 7.9% WrestlingInc
  • 7% WrestleZone
  • 6.8% Ringside News
  • 6.6% ProWrestling Sheet
  • 6% PWTorch
  • 5% ProWrestling.Net
  • 3.1% SEScoops

4. Subscription Services

Which Streaming subscription services do you pay for?
Streaming Service 2020 2019 Change +/- Percent Change
WWE Network 46.3% 64% -17.7 27.7% decrease
NONE 38.4% 26.3% +12.1 46% increase
NJPWWorld 19.9% 19.4% +0.5 2.6% increase
AEW Plus 5.9% N/A N/A N/A
Fite Network 2.6% 2.1% +0.5 23.8% increase
IWTV 2.4% 0.1% +2.3 2300% increase
StardomWorld 2% 2.2% -0.2 9% increase
Everything else is less than 2%.
Which WWE Network programming do you watch regularly? (only asked of respondents with a WWE Network subscription)
Programming 2020
Live or recent PPVs 87%
Old PPVs 65%
24 documentary series 56%
NXT 54%
Undertaker: The Last Ride 40%
Old WCW PPVs 37%
Old ECW PPVs 34%
Table for 3 32%
WWE 365 32%
Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions 30%
RAW/SD episodes (classic or recent) 29%
Ridealong 21%
WWE Ruthless Aggression 21%
Chronicle 21%
WCW Nitro 21%
Monday Night War 20%
Edge & Christian Show 19%
Breaking Ground13% WWE Untold|12% WWE: The Day Of|12% NXT UK|10% The Best of WWE|9% World's Collide|8% UUDD Plays|7% WWE Story Time|7% WWE Photoshoot|7%
In the last year, have you paid for a non-AEW PPV, iPPV, or other non-subscription based show?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
NO 86.9% N/A N/A
YES 13.1% N/A N/A
Do you plan to purchase ANY PPV or iPPV non-subscription based show within the next year?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
NO 58.3% 57.2% +1.1
YES 41.7% 42.8% -1.1
You said you have no plans to purchase an upcoming non-subscription based PPV. Do you have plans to take advantage of an unpaid stream of one? (This was ONLY asked to the people that said they have no interest in purchasing a PPV in the next year)
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
NO 50.8% 55.1% -4.3
YES 49.2% 44.9% +4.3
Do you listen to Podcasts?
Responses 2020 2019 Change +/-
YES 64.9% 67% -2.1
NO 35.1% 33% +2.1
Top 10 Podcasts
  • 1- Talk is Jericho - 42%
  • 2- AEW Unrestricted - 25.2%
  • 3 - Cultaholic - 20.3%
  • 4 - The Steve Austin Show - 19%
  • 5 - The New Day: Feel the Power - 16.4%
  • 6 - Edge and CHristian's Pod of Awesomeness - 16.2%
  • 7 - Wrestling with Wregret - 16.2%
  • 8 - Wrestling Observer Radio - 16.2%
  • 9 - Jim Cornette Experience - 15.2%
  • 10 - Byan and Vinny - 14.3%
Note: 12.5% of respondents pay for extra content on Patreon for at least one podcast

5. Spending Habits

How much do you spend on Merch in a year?
  • Average annual spend on merch: $51.84
Have you attended a wrestling show in the last 12 months?
  • 35.2% Yes
  • 64.8% No
Note: average number of shows attended per year is 3 (for those who have attended at least 1)

6. Bonus Round

Who is your favorite wrestler?
Ranking Wrestler Votes
1 Kenny Omega 695
2 Orange Cassidy 558
3 Adam Page 488
4 Keith Lee 357
5 AJ Styles 351
6 Jon Moxley 345
7 Chris Jericho 338
8 Asuka 291
9 Daniel Bryan 284
10 Bray Wyatt 208
11 Adam Cole 205
12 Kazuchika Okada 193
13 Drew McIntyre 163
14 Kevin Owens 157
15 Seth Rollins 153
16 Aleister Black 139
17 Hiromu Takahashi 138
18 Tetsuya Naito 127
19 Sasha Banks 121
20 Io Shirai 92
Full list of /SquaredCircle's favorite wrestlers here
When you watch wrestling, who do you watch it with? Select all that apply.
Response 2020
I regularly watch wrestling alone 68%
I regularly watch wrestling alone, but discuss it live with others on a chat application or forum 32%
I regularly watch wrestling with a friend or group of friends in-person 21%
I regularly watch wrestling with a sibling (or siblings) 7%
I regularly watch wrestling with a parent(s) or guardian(s) 5%
I regularly watch wrestling with my child (or children) 4%
I regularly watch wrestling with other family members 10%
I watch wrestling with my dog (or cat) 17%
How have your viewing habits changed due to/during the Coronavirus pandemic? Select all that apply.
Response 2020
I have been watching new promotions 10%
I have been watching more of the promotions I already watch 21%
I have been learning about new wrestlers or wrestling characters that I enjoy 17%
I have been watching wrestling in the same way as before 40%
I have been watching less wrestling during the Coronavirus pandemic 33%
submitted by WredditMod to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

Seekers Beyond the Shroud -- Review and Thoughts

Seekers Beyond the Shroud is a Solo modern day occult RPG, written by Alex T. for Blackoath Entertainment. I first stumbled upon it on Kickstarter in October of 2019, and immediately backed it. There are few deliberately designed Solo RPG's, and its promise of solo rules, robust system, and setting was irresistible. I received my print copy this summer, but haven't had a chance until recently to play it. Now that I have, I wanted to do a quick review of the game, based on both my reading of it as well as the couple of sessions I've been able to play. While most of the review will be discussing the book itself, I'll include some notes on my play experience in spoilers.
Layout and Design
The book itself is solid. The cover image is cool and evocative--and the art in general is very well done. I only backed at the softcover level, but it's a solid and well designed layout. Actually, better than some of the recent games I've bought from more established companies.
Setting
It's modern day London. Your character has gone through some traumatic and horrifying experience that awakened them to the greater supernatural world. After much searching, you have come to the Omphalos, a secret town populated by mystics, monsters, and other...things. There, you begin your journey of both personal enlightenment and personal power.
Character Creation
Seekers uses the 6 classic attributes--Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, and Charisma, with Will replacing Wisdom. The scale is from 1-20, with all starting at 10. You then get an additional 20 points to further customize your character.
I ended up putting my points into Dexterity, Will, Intelligence, and Charisma. I figured Will and Intelligence are key to any aspiring wizard, and--desiring to do something different than a rogue bad ass--I was hoping that Dexterity and Charisma would give me options to solve issues with something other than direct violence. This would become an issue later on.
Next, you have "Secondary Attributes"--Hit Points (Con x10) or Sanity (Int x10) and the like. Then, you have Skills. They're pretty much what you would expect, a mix of combat and non-combat. You have 250 points to spend on the skills, but are limited to no more than 50 in any skill at creation. Some skills have a base value derived from your attributes (for example, One-Handed Melee starts with a value equal to your Str+Dex, while Persuade starts with a value equal to your Charisma X2), while other skills--the mystical ones--begin at 0 and can only be increased through gameplay. If you use a skill 5 times, you can make a Skill-Up roll. If you roll above the current value (i.e.: fail), you add 1 point to the skill.
Given that I had a decent Dex, my combat skills were decent to begin with. I wanted to play an "ordinary joe" kind of character, so I spend my points on skills like Technology, Linguistics, and Persuade. I finally caved to my min/maxing tendencies though, and ended up boosting Parry and Sneak as high as I could, with a smattering of points in other combat skills. I had quite a few in the mid-40's, so my "mild mannered accountant" was surprisingly dangerous. Or so I thought.
Backgrounds
After the basics are done, you roll a d10 for your Background. Each provides and in-depth backstory for your character, and details the traumatic and often horrific moment that set you on the path of magic. Each also provides various penalties and bonuses that further modify your character.
I rolled the "Near Death Experience"--my PC was a workaholic who almost dies of a heart attack. While "dead," he encounter a horrific spirit that he just barely managed to evade. Upon waking, he through aside his career and sought out some explanation for what he had seen. He has a bonus to Psychic Combat--which is used in the Astral Plane--but a penalty to his Constitution and Charisma. I had left my Con at 10, so it dropped to 9, and my Hit Points also dropped from 100 to 90. I wasn't worried though, as I had intended to be more sneaky and charming than tough.
He said foreshadowingly.
Combat
Combat is relatively simple. As you approach a foe, you make an Initiative roll on a d20. Each foe has a static Initiative value; if you beat it, you go first and if not, then they do. If you beat them on the first turn, you have a chance to surprise or avoid them entirely. All combat rolls are done by the player. If an enemy attacks, you need to make a defensive roll (Parry, Dodge, or Find Cover) to avoid their attack, and you make your offensive roll (like One Handed Melee) to hit them. Certain foes are Veterans, and apply penalties to these rolls. Different types of weapons do different amounts of damage--like 2d10+10 for a pistol. In the intro adventure, the PC gains a "talent" that grants them a flat +25 to their damage from then on. Most foes have roughly 100-130 Hit Points, so even with the player bonus, it can take quite a few rounds to get through even minor enemies.
The Mystical World
The next few sections are some of the most interesting, describing the Astral World, Magic, Summoning and Binding Spirits, and the like. I haven't had a chance to really dig into this aspect of the game, however.
The Omphalos and Scenarios
The core of the game is the Omphalos, a hub of trade, commerce, knowledge and intrigue. Here the PC can buy and sell gear, learn new knowledge, encounter the strange denizens of this world, and get missions for various factions. There are four listed in the book, each with their own agendas and philosophy. Each has constant need for "foot soldiers" to do various unsavory tasks for them, and as you gain Favor with each, they provide various bonuses and spells and other benefits.
>! So, I finished the intro scenario, had some knowledge of the greater world, and had been introduced to the Omphalos. Time for the first "real" adventure! First, I roll on the Emphalos Daily Event table and got "quiet day"--things are calm today, and prices are low. I have only a few obols (the currency of the magical realm), so any discount is nice. Then I roll for Encounters, and get "pickpocket." There's no roll to avoid this, so my PC loses 100 obols. This is more than I have, so I am no broke. Desperate for work, I see who is hiring. There are 4 factions, and each might have a represented in town that day, based on a roll of 7+ on a D10. I roll for each, and only one is present, the Causa Scientiae a particularly rational and Order focused faction. I then roll for the Scenario--I get "recover." One of their artifacts has fallen into mortal hands and is in a museum. They want me to recover it for them. Given the setup, there will only be mortal guards--which is nice--and they don't want me to kill anyone. In fact, each guard I kill will cost me the possible Favor reward with the faction. Works for me--I don't want to kill anyone either.!<
I could refuse job, but risk losing Favor with them. Given that they are the only ones hiring today, I'm loathe to refuse. Plus the job seems up my alley--no magics needed (and I have none), and I should avoid all combat. Since other types of mission are "kill everything on site" or "kill everything and cast a really tough ritual" I figure I'm unlikely to get a better mission.
Next I go to the scenario design. There are a number of possible locations, and each has a unique setup, Events, and Discoveries. This is probably my favorite part of the game. I roll some dice, get a list of rooms and locations, and then create a simple map for my explorations. I know given the setup that the artifact in question will be discovered in the 16th room. But, a roleplayer is gonna roleplay, so I decide my PC will make a beeline for the Archives, assuming that the object surely must be there. And, if not, it will have the necessary paperwork showing where the object is.
Each room has unique odds for three different types of encounters--Enemies, Events, and Discoveries. I begin at the Entrance, and have no enemies but an Event reveals Drug Fueled Goons--apparently the guards here are all high as hell, and have a bonus of 20 to their Hit Points, but a -10 to combat. So, tougher to kill, but easier to hit and avoid.
The next room I enter is the Lobby, and there's a guard present. The guard rules state that they will attack on site. I could use an alternate rule that lets you talk past human-type foes but, well, I am breaking in and they are all drugged the hell up, so I stick with the basic rules. Still, I try to avoid them but fail in my starting initiative roll. The battle begins, and the dice are on my side. It's a running gun battle, but I'm able to kill the guard. When he's wounded, he calls for backup, and the dice gods are still smiling at me, and I make it through that battle without any injuries. I'm upset at my failure to avoid combat--and losing Favor with my client--but after some nasty battles in the intro adventure, I start to think I'm getting things sorted out.
I continue exploring and even manage to successfully sneak past a guard. As I'm exploring one of the administration offices, I run into another one. This time I can't avoid him, and another fight ensues. This time, the dice don't roll so well. He quickly gets the better of me, and I end up taking a lot damage. And with only 90 Hit Points, it's far more than I'm comfortable with. I decide to run.
To run away, you need to roll a D20 and, like initiative, and beat their Dexterity but even still they get a free attack on you. Not that it matters, as I fail to disengage. After two rounds spent trying to run away, my PC is shot dead on some secretaries desk and my game came to a close.
Concluding Thoughts
Seekers Beyond the Shroud is a very interesting game. Obviously, a ton of thought, love, and work has been poured into this game. And there is a lot I love about it--the world, the discussions on magic and spirits, the mission setup system--all top notch. But, there are some things that didn't quite work for me.
I'll probably give the game another shot. But, instead of playing an average guy awakening to a wider world, I'll probably go with a more "badass" character and hope he can survive the first few missions. In Seekers, knowing ancient languages is nice, but real mages know how to use a Glock.
TLDR
Seekers Beyond the Shroud is an interesting Solo RPG of modern occult shenanigans. it has a lot of very interesting and fun mechanics to bring the game to life, but suffers from some bad editing (make sure you play through the intro scenario or you WILL miss a key "PC Bonus") and an unforgiving system. Still, worth checking out for any Solo gamer interested in more contemporary game.
submitted by Talmor to Solo_Roleplaying [link] [comments]

Completing the 2020 Bingo Challenge: Short Story Edition

Completing the 2020 Bingo Challenge: Short Story Edition
Completing the 2020 Bingo Challenge: Short Story Edition
One of the rules of the Fantasy Bingo Reading Challenge is that you can read an anthology or collection for any of the squares. I’ve always been a fan of short fiction, so I’ve occasionally used this rule to complete my Bingo Card (I used three collections outside of the Five Short Stories square last year, for example). When planning my card for the 2020 Bingo, I noticed that several of the squares fit quite well for some of the collections and anthologies I had (a Star Trek anthology for Exploration, books with colors or numbers in their names, etc.). “What if…” I wondered, “…I can do it for every square?”
Thus, my project is born: Complete my Bingo card using only books of short stories, following all the other rules of Bingo. I did not repeat a single author from one square to another, and I even made sure not to repeat editors, either.
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
A brief aside before we start, some terms I use that some may not be familiar to some:
  • Anthology: A book of short stories by multiple authors, usually assembled by an editor whose name is attached to the book (i.e. The Book of Dragons edited by Jonathan Strahan)
  • Collection: A book of short stories by a single author (i.e. Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor)
  • Short Story Cycle: A book of short stories that has its own narrative (i.e. Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood). Some similarities with “interlinked collection,” “mosaic novel,” and “fix-up novel” (The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury being a famous example of the latter).
  • Reprint and Original: Many anthologies/collections reprint stories published previously (reprint) vs. originally written for the book in question (original). Some collections will mix it up (such as a reprint collection with one original story to encourage readers who have read the others to pick up the new book).
Why? What did I hope to accomplish by doing this particular short fiction challenge? Some of my friends will complain about the Five Short Stories square (especially the hard mode requirement to read a book), and I wanted to spite them a little bit and also demonstrate that there’s a lot of different and interesting books out there to read in that format!
Planning: The hardest thing about this was the original planning, as several books I thought would be an easy match for the square didn’t work because another anthology I planned to use already included that author, so I had to dig a bit deeper to find something that didn’t repeat any authors. Also, in past Bingo Challenges, my cards are usually quite fluid as I shift books around throughout the year. Because of all the authors I was juggling, I couldn’t easily do that (though it was vastly easier to do with collections instead of anthologies, for obvious reasons).
Numbers: For this card, I officially read 32 books for the 25 squares: One of those books was quite short, so I read an additional three to meet the length requirement. For the original Five Short Stories square, I decided to be obnoxious and read five collections. These 32 books included 1 short novel (included in one of the collections), 8 novellas, 106 novelettes, 498 short stories, and 3 poems for a total of at least 2,739,975 words (the rough equivalent of reading the first nine novels of The Wheel of Time). I read 189 different authors. In addition to the 32 books above, I read 15 “pre-Bingo” books—books I felt I needed to read to be able to read the anthology or collection I actually used for my Bingo Card. Fifteen of the 32 books were ones I already owned. Nine books I checked out from the library. Five books I bought specific for Bingo, and three books were free (gifts or free online).
1. Novel Translated from Its Original Language:
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (reprint collection)
  • Reason: I couldn’t read my first choice so I looked through my TBR list to find another SF/F collection I thought would be a translation. It also won the 2010 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection.
  • Favorite Story: “My Love” as I really liked how the characters grew apart and then back together again.
  • Recommended: Only if you like short depressing literary fiction that mostly hinge on dreams and ghosts.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, Pretrushevskaya is a woman.
  • Other Options: I really wanted to read Xia Jia’s A Summer Beyond Your Reach, but she had a story in another anthology I read. I also considered one of Ken Liu’s Chinese SF/F anthologies (Invisible Planets or Broken Stars). I read Jurado & Lara’s Spanish Women of Wonder last year. Etgar Keret’s Fly Already, Kenji Miyazawa’s Once and Forever, or Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge also looked promising.
2. Setting Featuring Snow, Ice, or Cold:
Frozen Fairy Tales edited by Kate Wolford (original anthology)
  • Reason: I literally searched snow and anthology and this was one of the early options.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “The Stolen Heart” by Christina Ruth Johnson and “Death in Winter” by Lissa Sloan; the first just felt great, and the second has this haunting feel I loved.
  • Recommended: Yes; a good selection of fairy tale-inspired stories. Read during the summer, though, it felt really cold.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, every story is in a snowy or cold setting.
  • Other Options: I’m kind of mad that I didn’t come across Snowpocalypse: Tales of the End of the World (edited by Clint Collins and Scott Woodward) until after I read my original choice. I like silly titles.
3. Optimistic Spec Fic:
Ingathering: The Complete People Stories by Zenna Henderson (short story cycle, 1 original to this book)
  • Reason: I’ve had a copy of this book for a couple years, and I needed an excuse to read it. It’s actually an omnibus of Henderson’s two People collections plus some previously uncollected stories. I’ve read the first People collection (Pilgrimage) several times people).
  • Favorite Story: I’ll say “Ararat” here, but the first six stories (the original Pilgrimage collection) are amazingly wonderful and heartwarming.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. Zenna Henderson deserves more attention.
  • Hard Mode: Yes. <3
  • Other Options: If Henderson’s book hadn’t worked out, I considered Heiroglyph (edited by Ed Finn & Kathryn Cramer) and Salena Ulibarri’s two Glass and Gardens anthologies (Solarpunk Summers and Solarpunk Winters), but that would’ve required juggling my card.
4. Novel Featuring Necromancy:
The Book of the Dead edited by Jared Shurin (original anthology)
  • Reason: I asked Jared Shurin (pornokitsch) if he knew of any anthologies with a necromantic theme, and he rattled off five or six options before remembering that he himself had edited an anthology about mummies. I don’t know how you forget something like that.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “Old Souls” by David Thomas Moore and “Three Memories of Death” by Will Hill (non-SF/F)
  • Recommended: Yes, but it’s out of print! Several of the stories were reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Mammoth Book of the Mummy, including “Three Memories of Death.”
  • Hard Mode: No, through several do have mummies as protagonists.
  • Other Options: I was considering Brian McNaughton’s The Throne of Bones since the description seemed rather death-magicky. At this point, the Paula Guran anthology above would probably be a good choice.
5. Ace/Aro Spec Fic:
Life Within Parole, Volume 1 by RoAnna Sylver (collection, mix of reprint and original)
  • Reason: A friend found this on Claudie Arseneault’s asexual recommendations website, which was good, but I felt I needed to read her novel Chameleon Moon first to understand the collection. I’m glad I did.
  • Favorite Story: Reluctantly “Phoenix Down” as it felt the most self-contained.
  • Recommended: Only if you loved Chameleon Moon, which I only recommend if you like a sample of the writing. It’s amazingly diverse in representation, but my frustrations with the novel related more towards its pacing and worldbuilding. Plus I don’t like superheroes.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, half the stories have an asexual or aromantic protagaonist.
  • Other Options: My original choice was Common Bonds: An Aromantic Speculative Anthology edited by Claudie Arseneault, C.T. Callahan, B.R. Sanders, and RoAnna Sylver, a Kickstarter-funded book. However, due to the pandemic, the publication was pushed back, and I didn't want to wait any longer. I also seriously considered Chuck Tingle’s Not Pounded in the Butt.
6. Novel Featuring a Ghost:
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James (collection, mix of reprint and original)
  • Reason: I just searched ghost anthology, and this was a top result. I have actually never heard of M. R. James before this year, but I gather he’s a huge influence since he’s written so many ghost stories.
  • Favorite Story: “The Mezzotint” as it was the one that creeped me out the most.
  • Recommended: Yes, but only if you realize that it’s got an older style to them (since this book came out in 1904), and that most of these stories won’t creep you out in the year 2020.
  • Hard Mode: No, the ghosts are either antagonists or obstacles.
  • Other Options: I actually don’t know, I stopped searching after I found the book. M. R. James does have 3 more collections of ghost stories, though (all of 4 of which have been gathered in Collected Ghost Stories by M. R. James).
7. Novel Featuring Exploration:
No Limits edited by Peter David (original anthology)
  • Reason: I read the first few Star Trek: New Frontier novels back in the late 1990s, but never finished it, so I got all the books for a personal readthrough. Star Trek is by definition perfect for the exploration square, so I read the books. However, I was reading them in publication order, so I had to read the first 14 books before I could get to the anthology!
  • Favorite Story: “Waiting for G’Doh, or, How I Learned to Stop Moving” is a rather funny story about the security officer Zak Kebron at the beginning of his career.
  • Recommended: Yes, but only if you’ve read at least the first six Star Trek: New Frontier novels (all the stories are set before the first book, but most of the characters aren’t really established until you’ve read the first four).
  • Hard Mode: Maybe, nearly all the stories feature exploration, but the plots are often about backstories for the main characters of the series.
  • Other Options: I considered James Alan Gardner’s Gravity Wells (his novel Expendable is a perfect exploration book, so I was hoping the collection would work). Past anthologies that would probably work is Federations edited by John Joseph Adams, Galactic Empires edited by Neil Clarke, and maybe Alastair Reynolds’s Deep Navigation or Galactic North.
8. Climate Fiction:
Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction edited by Manjana Milkoreit, Meredith Martinez, & Joey Eschrich (original anthology)
  • Reason: A friend recommended to me as this theme was getting difficult for me to find, as all my other options included stories by authors I had to read for other squares. This book was produced from a short story contest run by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University and judged in part by Kim Stanley Robinson.
  • Favorite Story: “On Darwin Tides” by Shauna O’Meara, which follows a “sea gypsy” in Malaysia as she struggles in this new dystopian future.
  • Recommended: Only if the topic appeals to you—because it was a contest, the stories are mostly from amateur writers and the quality mostly shows. It’s free online, though, and there’s a second book, Everything Change II, which I’ve been told is better.
  • Hard Mode: No, most of them are apocalyptic or post-apocalypse.
  • Other Options: My original choice was Drowned Worlds edited by Jonathan Strahan, but there’s also Loosed upon the World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction edited by John Joseph Adams, and I imagine a lot of solarpunk-themed books could work for this, too.
9. Novel with a Color in the Title:
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (original collection)
  • Reason: I already had it (it’s available on Project Gutenberg)
  • Favorite Story: “In the Court of the Dragon” which felt like one of the creepier stories to me.
  • Recommended: Honestly, no. Only half the stories are SF/F, the other half are all stories about bohemian artists in Paris. This book is known for the stories involving “The King in Yellow” play, but they didn’t really work for me.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: I considered using Judith Tarr’s Nine White Horses, the anthology Blackguards, Jack Vance’s Wild Thyme, Green Magic, Walter Jon Williams’s The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories, Black Feathers edited by Ellen Datlow, or How Long ‘til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin.
10. Any Fantasy Book Club Book of the Month OR Fantasy Readalong Book:
Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker (reprint collection, 1 original to this book)
  • Reason: The Goodreads Book of the Month club picked it for June this year. I did own or read all the other options that were available at the time.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “And Then There Were (N-One)” and “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind”
  • Recommended: Yes! There’s only one story I would rate less than 4 stars in this book.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, I actually led the discussion for the book in June.
  • Other Options: We don’t read very many collections or anthologies for the Fantasy book clubs, so my only choices were Fritz Leiber’s Sword and Deviltry (Classics club, November 2017), Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin’s anthology The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories (RAB, May 2018), and we currently have Daniel M. Lavery’s The Merry Spinster for FIF (September 2020). There’s also the Dresden Files read-along which did two of Butcher’s collections, and the Uncanny Magazine Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction/Fantasy read-along (those would’ve been rereads for me, though).
11. Self-Published Novel:
In the Stars I'll Find You & Other Tales of Futures Fantastic by Bradley P. Beaulieu (mostly reprint collection)
  • Reason: I already owned this, it was basically the oldest self-published collection I had.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “Flashed Forward” and “No Viviremos Como Presos” – both dealing with a lot of emotions.
  • Recommended: Yes, the only other stories by Beaulieu I’ve read were 2 co-written novellas, and I felt this collection was better. I haven’t read his novels so I can’t compare.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, at the time of this post, it has 18 ratings on Goodreads.
  • Other Options: There are hundreds of options, but I could’ve read Lawrence M. Schoen’s recent collection The Rule of Three and Other Stories (his other collection, Buffalito Bundle, has stories featuring The Amazing Conroy and are lots of fun.)
12. Novel with Chapter Epigraphs:
Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson (short story cycle)
  • Reason: This was another difficult square, as I knew a short story cycle had the best chance of having epigraphs before every story. I finally found this book by Kate Atkinson. (Ironically, I realized later that my Politics choice also had epigraphs.)
  • Favorite Story: “The Cat Lover,” I guess.
  • Recommended: No, unless you like literary magical realism where stories just kind of end.
  • Hard Mode: No, all of the epigraphs are quotes from Latin or Shakespeare.
  • Other Options: Apparently, Retief! by Keith Laumer would’ve worked from my options. It really is a difficult thing because in a collection some authors might have an epigraph for a story, but not all or most of them.
13. Novel Published in 2020:
Shadows & Tall Trees 8 edited by Michael Kelly (original anthology)
  • Reason: I picked this off Locus Magazine’s forthcoming books list and bought it.
  • Favorite Story: tie between “The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell” by Brian Evenson and “Child of Shower and Gleam” by Rebecca Campbell – the first is creepy as hell, and the second is strange and lovely.
  • Recommended: Yes, if you’re comfortable with weird or darker fantasy stories.
  • Hard Mode: No, Michael Kelly has edited several anthologies before.
  • Other Options: I had planned to use The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu, but I needed Liu for another square. I also considered A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell, and I had three anthologies from Joshua Palmatier I could’ve used (Apocalyptic, Galactic Stew, and My Battery is Low and It is Getting Dark) but I needed another Palmatier anthology for another square. Any of the various “Best Science Fiction or Fantasy of the Year” type anthologies that came out in 2020 would’ve been appropriate as well (Jonathan Strahan, Neil Clarke, Rich Horton, Paula Guran, Ellen Datlow, Bogi Takács, and Jared Shurin all edit “Year’s Best” or “Best of Year”-style anthologies).
14. Novel Set in a School or University:
Sideways Stories from Wayside School; Wayside School is Falling Down; Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger; and Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar (short story cycles)
  • Reason: Strangely, one of the first books I thought of for this square. Plus, the most recent book had come out. I decided to read all four as each book is really short (only about 20,000 words per book). Only the first one or two was a reread.
  • Favorite Story: None, they’re all funny and good.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. Maybe better for kids, but I smiled a lot while reading these.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: Witch High edited by Denise Little would’ve been good, but included a story by Esther M. Friesner whom I needed for another square. A Kickstarter-funded anthology, Schoolbooks & Sorcery edited by Michael M. Jones, would’ve worked, but it’s not out yet.
15. Book About Books:
Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore edited by Paula Guran (reprint anthology)
  • Reason: This was another difficult square because did you know that searching “book anthology” does not narrow things down at all?? I finally hit upon just searching “library anthology” which did the trick, but this one anthology predetermined at least 3 other squares because of its authors (I couldn’t use Ken Liu, Xia Jia, Amal El-Mohtar, and others because they were all in here).
  • Favorite Story: tie between “In the House of the Seven Librarians” by Ellen Klages and “Summer Reading” by Ken Liu. Klages’s story about “feral librarians raising a child” is just wonderful, and Liu’s is very, very sweet.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. This also contains Scott Lynch’s excellent “In the Stacks” and I will never not say no to Kage Baker.
  • Hard Mode: No, libraries are an integral part of most of the stories.
  • Other Options: *gestures wildly* I don’t know!
16. A Book That Made You Laugh:
Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories by Alex Shvartsman (mostly reprint collection)
  • Reason: Alex Shvartsman edits an annual humorous SF/F anthology series called Unidentified Funny Objects (the 8th volume is out this fall), but even though I have them all, they all shared authors with other squares until I remember that I had two collections from Shvartsman, and this was one of them.
  • Favorite Story: “Things We Leave Behind” is a semiautobiographical story about books. Absolutely lovely.
  • Recommended: Yes, but I understand most won’t share his sense of humor. He also tends to write very short stories, so don’t read these for immersion.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: Books making you laugh is so subjective, so any author you like probably has something that could work (you only need one story to make you laugh after all). John Scalzi has a couple collections that could work, Connie Willis has a great sense of humor.
17. Five Short Stories:
  • Reason: To be obnoxious I decided to read five collections for this square (instead of just five short stories). I decided to read 5 that I already owned by women/non-binary people. I picked semi-randomly (Hand and McHugh), by older ones I owned (Wurts), and by a couple new ones I was excited about (Datt Sharma and Slatter).
Not for Use in Navigation: Thirteen Stories by Iona Datt Sharma (reprint collection)
  • Favorite Story: “Quarter Days” is a full third of this book, and it’s an interesting post-WWI setting with magic.
  • Recommended: Yes, they have an interesting outlook, and one of the stories has an Indian wedding in space.
Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand (reprint collection, 1 original)
  • Favorite Story: “The Least Trumps” should appeal to the booklover in every single one of us.
  • Recommended: These are definitely interesting stories, but I’d only recommend for “The Least Trumps” and “Cleopatra Brimstone.” She’s got a poetic style here that didn't always work for me.
After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHugh (reprint collection, 2 original)
  • Favorite Story: “Special Economics” which follows a Chinese girl trapped into working at a factory.
  • Recommended: Yes, though it’s also one of the few themed collections (versus themed anthologies) that I’ve seen, with every story dealing with apocalypse in some way.
Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter (mostly original collection/short story cycle)
  • Favorite Story: “Gallowberries” which features Patience from the Tor.com novella Of Sorrow and Such as a young woman.
  • Recommended: Yes, absolutely. Every story is in the same setting, and they all interconnect with each other. I can’t wait to read more from Slatter (I already have The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings).
That Ways Lies Camelot by Janny Wurts (mostly reprint collection)
  • Favorite Story: tie between “Wayfinder” and “That Way Lies Camelot” – both are great stories, the first a coming of age, and the other is bittersweet.
  • Recommended: Yes, definitely. In addition to the above, “Dreambridge” is also awesome. I wasn’t as fond of the three ElfQuest stories, but it was interesting to read Wurts’s 4 Fleet stories as I never realized she ever wrote anything close to straight science fiction.

  • Hard Mode: … Yes?
  • Other Options: This is the most open-ended square for this particular Bingo Card, especially since at the time of this post, I own 121 unread anthologies and collections.
18. Big Dumb Object:
Alien Artifacts edited by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray (original anthology)
  • Reason: This was one of the books that made me realize I could do an all-short-story card. I thought the anthology’s theme would perfectly encapsulate the square.
  • Favorite Story: “Me and Alice” by Angela Penrose – a kid finds a strange artifact while digging at a site.
  • Recommended: Yes, though a few stories weren’t to my taste.
  • Hard Mode: No, while the classical BDO is present in several stories, most would fall in the wider definition being used for Bingo.
  • Other Options: I’m at a loss here, as I never looked for more after I found this.
19. Feminist Novel:
Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson (collection, mix of reprint and original)
  • Reason: I owned this already from a Humble Bundle.
  • Favorite Story: “And the Lillies-Them A-Blow” – a woman is inspired to reconsider her life.
  • Recommended: Yes.
  • Hard Mode: Yes, Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born Canadian.
  • Other Options: I had a few other books from the same Humble Bundle called Women of SFF. Most of them would’ve worked.
20. Novel by a Canadian Author:
The Very Best of Charles de Lint by Charles de Lint (reprint collection)
  • Reason: It appears I picked this up in 2014 for some reason (I’ve never read de Lint before this year). But he’s Canadian!
  • Favorite Story: There are honestly too many to say, but I’ll say “In the Pines” for now.
  • Recommended: Yes, yes, yes. I basically added everything he’s written to my TBR.
  • Hard Mode: Maybe, it was originally published in 2010 with Tachyon Publications, but in 2014 it was reprinted by de Lint’s Triskell Press (which is the copy I have), which would count.
  • Other Options: A friend sent me an anthology edited by Dominik Parisien called Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction, though I would’ve had to juggle square to get it to work. Nalo Hopkinson is Canadian, so Skin Folk would’ve worked, too. Jo Walton has a collection called Starlings.
21. Novel with a Number in the Title:
Nine White Horses: Nine Tales of Horses and Magic by Judith Tarr (reprint collection)
  • Reason: At the time, the only collection I had with a number that I could use.
  • Favorite Story: “Classical Horses” – an absolutely lovely story that mixes real life and fantasy, and appeals to my Classics nerd background.
  • Recommended: Yes! Tarr is a wonderful writer.
  • Hard Mode: Yes.
  • Other Options: I could’ve used The Golem of Deneb Seven and Other Stories by Alex Shvartsman, Nine Hundred Grandmothers by R. A. Lafferty, and The Rule of Three and Other Stories by Lawrence M. Schoen.
22. Romantic Fantasy/Paranormal Romance:
Once Upon a Kiss: 17 Romantic Faerie Tales published by Anthea Sharp (original anthology)
  • Reason: My original first choice was a bust when I realized quickly that the stories involved love, but were not romance stories. This was an emergency backup as I was nearing the end of reading for this Bingo Challenge.
  • Favorite Story: “The Bakers Grimm” by Hailey Edwards, which is a sweet little story about baking under pressure.
  • Recommended: No. 99% of the stories are direct appeals to try to get you to buy their books. Many of the stories don’t even really feel like short stories. I had a friend who only read urban fantasy who was adamant that she hated reading short stories and I couldn’t figure out why. Now I do. Many of these read more like vignettes than proper short stories.
  • Hard Mode: No, the HEA Club hasn’t done any anthologies or collections for me to participate in.
  • Other Options: My backup would’ve been to find some paranormal romance series and look for a collection or anthology in that world, but it would’ve involved more prep reading.
23. Novel with a Magical Pet:
No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey (original anthology)
  • Reason: Valdemar is an easy setting to choose for this square, and even though I had stopped reading the yearly anthologies (they’re up to 13 or 14 now), I decided to grab the 8th anthology from the library.
  • Favorite Story: “A Dream Reborn” by Dylan Birtolo, a beggar girl with a gift grows a conscience.
  • Recommended: Only if you’re a Valdemar fan and you literally can’t get enough of the world (I’d recommend sticking with the novels up until the Collegium Chronicles).
  • Hard Mode: Yes, Companions can usually speak telepathically with their Heralds and a select few others.
  • Other Options: I’m sure there’s a themed anthology perfect for this, but I honestly don’t know offhand if there is one, since this was an easy choice for me.
24. Graphic Novel (at least 1 volume) OR Audiobook/Audiodrama:
Eerie Archives, Volume 1 edited by Archie Goodwin (original comic book anthology)
  • Reason: I searched “comics anthology” into my library’s digital catalog. This showed up.
  • Favorite Story: No real favorite, but I guess “Flame Fiend” by Eando Binder, about a man desperate to avoid fire.
  • Recommended: Yes, if you’re interested in 1960s horror comics anthology magazines. Each story is about 6-10 pages long, but many felt like cheesy horror to my modern eyes.
  • Hard Mode: Maybe, each story is standalone, but this book contained the first 5 issues of Eerie comics. I’m going with No because Eerie is a running series.
  • Other Options: I considered The Escapist (inspired from Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), a Mouse Guard comics anthology, and Thrilling Adventure Hour before finding Eerie. I also though the Eisner Awards were a good source of finding potential comics anthologies, since that's a category.
25. Novel Featuring Politics:
Retief! by Keith Laumer (reprint collection)
  • Reason: I knew the main character was a problem-solving diplomat, so this was an easy pick.
  • Favorite Story: “Diplomat-at-Arms” which is a great story of following an experienced old man on a mission, and “Cultural Exchange,” a really funny bureaucratic tale (and this one is free on Project Gutenberg).
  • Recommended: Yes, with reservations. They’re all stories from the 1960s, they’re bureaucratic galactic pulp fiction where Retief always knows better than his bumbling superiors and women only show up in secretarial or minor support roles. The stories also feel a bit repetitive as a whole, so if you read these, space it out.
  • Hard Mode: No, several of the stories feature royalty.
  • Other Options: I felt like this was a nebulous category, but offhand, I’d suggest Do Not Go Quietly: An Anthology of Victory in Defiance edited by Jason Sizemore & Lesley Conner and Resist: Tales from a Future Worth Fighting Against edited by Gary Whitta, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey for two explicitly political anthologies, and maybe something like Harry Turtledove’s interlinked collection Agent of Byzantium for an alternate history take on a Byzantine special agent.
Favorites
  • Favorite collections: The Very Best of Charles de Lint by Charles de Lint, Ingathering: The Complete People Stories by Zenna Henderson, Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker, Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter, and Nine White Horses by Judith Tarr
  • Favorite anthologies: Ex Libris edited by Paula Guran and The Book of the Dead edited by Jared Shurin
  • Favorite overall short stories: In addition to my favorite stories in the books above, I’d also give a special place to The Very Best of Charles de Lint (“In the Pines,” “In the House of My Enemy,” “A Wish Named Arnold,” “Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery,” “Pixel Pixies,” “The Badger in the Bag,” “Timeskip,” “Into the Green,” “Birds,” and “Pal o' Mine”) and to Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea (“And Then There Were (N-One),” “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” “Our Lady of the Open Road,” “Wind Will Rove,” and “A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide”).
  • An Aside: My father died suddenly in the middle of my reading for this challenge. The books I read from Zenna Henderson and Charles de Lint really helped me during this time, with de Lint’s book making me cry multiple times (in a good way).
The End
Sometime last year after touting one short story or another to my friends, I said, “Oh, I don’t think I read *that* much short fiction,” and they all looked at me funny for some reason.
Oh. Never mind. I get it now.
All joking aside, I’ve read SF/F magazines off and on growing up, and I always enjoyed the occasional Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology from Gardner Dozois, and Robert Silverberg’s Legends anthologies were rather formative to my growth as a fantasy reader (that’s where I read George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb for the first time). Some of my favorite writers have done amazing short stories (in fact, I think I like Alastair Reynolds better at the short length than the novel; witness my love for his story “Zima Blue”!). Even if you don’t read more than the usual five short stories for the Bingo Challenge, please consider branching out! I hope I’ve shown with my own card how much variety is out there.
If you’re not sure where to start, your favorite author may have some short stories of their own, either in an anthology or one of their own collections. Mary Robinette Kowal is one of my favorites, and I loved her collection Word Puppets. If they’re prolific enough, they may have a “Best of” book, like The Best of Connie Willis or The Very Best of Kate Elliott. Trying one of the Year’s Best anthologies I mention under #13, Published in 2020, is also a fun way to explore short fiction.
And even though I didn’t read any for my Bingo Challenge, there are tons of SF/F magazines out there to read from on a daily, weekly, monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly schedule. My personal recommendation is for Asimov’s SF, FIYAH, and Fantasy & Science Fiction for subscription-only options, and places like Clarkesworld, Uncanny, Fireside, and Tor.com for free online stories. There are also some great magazines/sites like Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Daily Science Fiction.
Looking at award lists is a fun way to get started, as most of the major awards also have short fiction categories. Find out where they were published and try out a magazine issue or an anthology.
I’ll end this with the following:
  • an interview by our own tctippens with Jonathan Strahan over at the Fantasy Inn Podcast where they discuss not only his new anthology The Book of Dragons, but reading short fiction in general.
  • Editor Jared Shurin ( pornokitsch ) just came out with The Best of British Fantasy 2019 this past June: check it out!
  • One of my favorite short story writers is John Wiswell, and I’d like to link two of his wonderful stories: "Tank!" follows a sentient tank attending its first SF convention, and "Open House on Haunted Hill" is a very sweet story about a haunted house trying to get sold to a new family. Both stories are quite short and you can read each in just a few minutes.
  • And finally… this is what the internet should be: Naomi Kritzer's "Cat Pictures Please"
submitted by FarragutCircle to Fantasy [link] [comments]

Ethereum on ARM. New Eth2.0 Raspberry Pi 4 image for joining the Medalla multi-client testnet. Step-by-step guide for installing and activating a validator (Prysm, Teku, Lighthouse and Nimbus clients included)

TL;DR: Flash your Raspberry Pi 4, plug in an ethernet cable, connect the SSD disk and power up the device to join the Eth2.0 medalla testnet.
The image takes care of all the necessary steps to join the Eth2.0 Medalla multi-client testnet [1], from setting up the environment and formatting the SSD disk to installing, managing and running the Eth1.0 and Eth2.0 clients.
You will only need to choose an Eth2.0 client, start the beacon chain service and activate / run the validator.
Note: this is an update for our previous Raspberry Pi 4 Eth2 image [2] so some of the instructions are directly taken from there.

MAIN FEATURES

SOFTWARE INCLUDED

INSTALLATION GUIDE AND USAGE

RECOMMENDED HARDWARE AND SETUP
STORAGE
You will need an SSD to run the Ethereum clients (without an SSD drive there’s absolutely no chance of syncing the Ethereum blockchain). There are 2 options:
Use an USB portable SSD disk such as the Samsung T5 Portable SSD.
Use an USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Case with a SSD Disk. In our case we used a Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure FE2011. Make sure to buy a case with an UASP compliant chip, particularly, one of these: JMicron (JMS567 or JMS578) or ASMedia (ASM1153E).
In both cases, avoid getting low quality SSD disks as it is a key component of your node and it can drastically affect the performance (and sync times). Keep in mind that you need to plug the disk to an USB 3.0 port (in blue).
IMAGE DOWNLOAD AND INSTALLATION
1.- Download the image:
http://www.ethraspbian.com/downloads/ubuntu-20.04.1-preinstalled-server-arm64+raspi-eth2-medalla.img.zip
SHA256 149cb9b020d1c49fcf75c00449c74c6f38364df1700534b5e87f970080597d87
2.- Flash the image
Insert the microSD in your Desktop / Laptop and download the file.
Note: If you are not comfortable with command line or if you are running Windows, you can use Etcher [10]
Open a terminal and check your MicroSD device name running:
sudo fdisk -l
You should see a device named mmcblk0 or sdd. Unzip and flash the image:
unzip ubuntu-20.04.1-preinstalled-server-arm64+raspi-eth2-medalla.img.zip
sudo dd bs=1M if=ubuntu-20.04.1-preinstalled-server-arm64+raspi.img of=/dev/mmcblk0 conv=fdatasync status=progress
3.- Insert de MicroSD into the Raspberry Pi 4. Connect an Ethernet cable and attach the USB SSD disk (make sure you are using a blue port).
4.- Power on the device
The Ubuntu OS will boot up in less than one minute but you will need to wait approximately 7-8 minutes in order to allow the script to perform the necessary tasks to install the Medalla setup (it will reboot again)
5.- Log in
You can log in through SSH or using the console (if you have a monitor and keyboard attached)
User: ethereum Password: ethereum 
You will be prompted to change the password on first login, so you will need to log in twice.
6.- Forward 30303 port in your router (both UDP and TCP). If you don’t know how to do this, google “port forwarding” followed by your router model. You will need to open additional ports as well depending on the Eth2.0 client you’ve chosen.
7.- Getting console output
You can see what’s happening in the background by typing:
sudo tail -f /valog/syslog
8.- Grafana Dashboards
There are 5 Grafana dashboards available to monitor the Medalla node (see section “Grafana Dashboards” below).

The Medalla Eth2.0 multi-client testnet

Medalla is the official Eth2.0 multi-client testnet according to the latest official specification for Eth2.0, the v0.12.2 [11] release (which is aimed to be the final) [12].
In order to run a Medalla Eth 2.0 node you will need 3 components:
The image takes care of the Eth1.0 setup. So, once flashed (and after a first reboot), Geth (Eth1.0 client) starts to sync the Goerli testnet.
Follow these steps to enable your Eth2.0 Ethereum node:
CREATE THE VALIDATOR KEYS AND MAKE THE DEPOSIT
We need to get 32 Goerli ETH (fake ETH) ir order to make the deposit in the Eth2.0 contract and run the validator. The easiest way of getting ETH is by joining Prysm Discord's channel.
Open Metamask [14], select the Goerli Network (top of the window) and copy your ETH Address. Go to:
https://discord.com/invite/YMVYzv6
And open the “request-goerli-eth” channel (on the left)
Type:
!send $YOUR_ETH_ADDRESS (replace it with the one copied on Metamask)
You will receive enough ETH to run 1 validator.
Now it is time to create your validator keys and the deposit information. For your convenience we’ve packaged the official Eth2 launchpad tool [4]. Go to the EF Eth2.0 launchpad site:
https://medalla.launchpad.ethereum.org/
And click “Get started”
Read and accept all warnings. In the next screen, select 1 validator and go to your Raspberry Pi console. Under the ethereum account run:
cd && deposit --num_validators 1 --chain medalla
Choose your mnemonic language and type a password for keeping your keys safe. Write down your mnemonic password, press any key and type it again as requested.
Now you have 2 Json files under the validator_keys directory. A deposit data file for sending the 32 ETH along with your validator public key to the Eth1 chain (goerli testnet) and a keystore file with your validator keys.
Back to the Launchpad website, check "I am keeping my keys safe and have written down my mnemonic phrase" and click "Continue".
It is time to send the 32 ETH deposit to the Eth1 chain. You need the deposit file (located in your Raspberry Pi). You can, either copy and paste the file content and save it as a new file in your desktop or copy the file from the Raspberry to your desktop through SSH.
1.- Copy and paste: Connected through SSH to your Raspberry Pi, type:
cat validator_keys/deposit_data-$FILE-ID.json (replace $FILE-ID with yours)
Copy the content (the text in square brackets), go back to your desktop, paste it into your favourite editor and save it as a json file.
Or
2.- Ssh: From your desktop, copy the file:
scp [email protected]$YOUR_RASPBERRYPI_IP:/home/ethereum/validator_keys/deposit_data-$FILE_ID.json /tmp
Replace the variables with your data. This will copy the file to your desktop /tmp directory.
Upload the deposit file
Now, back to the Launchpad website, upload the deposit_data file and select Metamask, click continue and check all warnings. Continue and click “Initiate the Transaction”. Confirm the transaction in Metamask and wait for the confirmation (a notification will pop up shortly).
The Beacon Chain (which is connected to the Eth1 chain) will detect this deposit (that includes the validator public key) and the Validator will be enabled.
Congrats!, you just started your validator activation process.
CHOOSE AN ETH2.0 CLIENT
Time to choose your Eth2.0 client. We encourage you to run Lighthouse, Teku or Nimbus as Prysm is the most used client by far and diversity is key to achieve a resilient and healthy Eth2.0 network.
Once you have decided which client to run (as said, try to run one with low network usage), you need to set up the clients and start both, the beacon chain and the validator.
These are the instructions for enabling each client (Remember, choose just one Eth2.0 client out of 4):
LIGHTHOUSE ETH2.0 CLIENT
1.- Port forwarding
You need to open the 9000 port in your router (both UDP and TCP)
2.- Start the beacon chain
Under the ethereum account, run:
sudo systemctl enable lighthouse-beacon
sudo systemctl start lighthouse-beacon
3.- Start de validator
We need to import the validator keys. Run under the ethereum account:
lighthouse account validator import --directory=/home/ethereum/validator_keys
Then, type your previously defined password and run:
sudo systemctl enable lighthouse-validator
sudo systemctl start lighthouse-validator
The Lighthouse beacon chain and validator are now enabled

PRYSM ETH2.0 CLIENT
1.- Port forwarding
You need to open the 13000 and 12000 ports in your router (both UDP and TCP)
2.- Start the beacon chain
Under the ethereum account, run:
sudo systemctl enable prysm-beacon
sudo systemctl start prysm-beacon
3.- Start de validator
We need to import the validator keys. Run under the ethereum account:
validator accounts-v2 import --keys-dir=/home/ethereum/validator_keys
Accept the default wallet path and enter a password for your wallet. Now enter the password previously defined.
Lastly, set up your password and start the client:
echo "$YOUR_PASSWORD" > /home/ethereum/validator_keys/prysm-password.txt
sudo systemctl enable prysm-validator
sudo systemctl start prysm-validator
The Prysm beacon chain and the validator are now enabled.

TEKU ETH2.0 CLIENT
1.- Port forwarding
You need to open the 9151 port (both UDP and TCP)
2.- Start the Beacon Chain and the Validator
Under the Ethereum account, check the name of your keystore file:
ls /home/ethereum/validator_keys/keystore*
Set the keystore file name in the teku config file (replace the $KEYSTORE_FILE variable with the file listed above)
sudo sed -i 's/changeme/$KEYSTORE_FILE/' /etc/ethereum/teku.conf
Set the password previously entered:
echo "yourpassword" > validator_keys/teku-password.txt
Start the beacon chain and the validator:
sudo systemctl enable teku
sudo systemctl start teku
The Teku beacon chain and validator are now enabled.

NIMBUS ETH2.0 CLIENT
1.- Port forwarding
You need to open the 19000 port (both UDP and TCP)
2.- Start the Beacon Chain and the Validator
We need to import the validator keys. Run under the ethereum account:
beacon_node deposits import /home/ethereum/validator_keys --data-dir=/home/ethereum/.nimbus --log-file=/home/ethereum/.nimbus/nimbus.log
Enter the password previously defined and run:
sudo systemctl enable nimbus
sudo systemctl start nimbus
The Nimbus beacon chain and validator are now enabled.

WHAT's NEXT
Now you need to wait for the Eth1 blockchain and the beacon chain to get synced. In a few hours the validator will get enabled and put into a queue. These are the validator status that you will see until its final activation:
Finally, it will get activated and the staking process will start.
Congratulations!, you join the Medalla Eth2.0 multiclient testnet!

Grafana Dashboards

We configured 5 Grafana Dashboards to let users monitor both Eth1.0 and Eth2.0 clients. To access the dashboards just open your browser and type your Raspberry IP followed by the 3000 port:
http://replace_with_your_IP:3000 user: admin passwd: ethereum 
There are 5 dashboards available:
Lots of info here. You can see for example if Geth is in sync by checking (in the Blockchain section) if Headers, Receipts and Blocks fields are aligned or find Eth2.0 chain info.

Updating the software

We will be keeping the Eth2.0 clients updated through Debian packages in order to keep up with the testnet progress. Basically, you need to update the repo and install the packages through the apt command. For instance, in order to update all packages you would run:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install geth teku nimbus prysm-beacon prysm-validator lighthouse-beacon lighthouse-validator
Please follow us on Twitter in order to get regular updates and install instructions.
https://twitter.com/EthereumOnARM

References

  1. https://github.com/goerli/medalla/tree/mastemedalla
  2. https://www.reddit.com/ethereum/comments/hhvi2ethereum_on_arm_new_eth20_raspberry_pi_4_image/
  3. https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum/releases/tag/v1.9.20
  4. https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-deposit-cli/releases
  5. https://github.com/prysmaticlabs/prysm/releases/tag/v1.0.0-alpha.23
  6. https://github.com/PegaSysEng/teku
  7. https://github.com/sigp/lighthouse/releases/tag/v0.2.8
  8. https://github.com/status-im/nim-beacon-chain
  9. https://grafana.com
  10. https://www.balena.io/etcher
  11. https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-specs/releases/tag/v0.12.2
  12. https://blog.ethereum.org/2020/08/03/eth2-quick-update-no-14
  13. https://goerli.net
  14. https://metamask.io
submitted by diglos76 to ethereum [link] [comments]

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