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Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:30 am
by Will Lestrange
Now that summer is gone and fall is here, it's time to get back into our #quidditch pickups! The first pickup of the season will be on Sunday, October 1 at 9 PM HOL at the usual place, #quidditch!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:32 am
by Will Lestrange
We had our first pickup on October 1, and although we didn't have the largest crowd, we still had an exciting time!

First, at the request of Katelin, we played a round of Quodpot on the Cascade set. The bot was still set on the Quidditch World Cup teams, so it was Ireland vs Bulgaria for one last time. Then, I fell off of my broom and had to switch to a toy broom. That made the next game of the day, Creaothceann, very interesting!

The following people showed up: Blade J. Johnson, Katelin Ross, and Will Lestrange!

Let's have another pickup session next week, meeting in #quidditch at a weeknight this time...
Thursday, October 12 at 3:30 AM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:21 am
by Will Lestrange
We had our second pickup of the season last night; it came complete with all sorts of exciting randomness!

We began by playing two games of Xany... on the Cascade set. (Because Xany recognizes first through third place and Cascade randomly chooses an answer out of many, you might not know that you typed the 'right' answer for a few seconds after typing it.) After that, we divided into Arithmancy-inspired teams for four rounds of Quodpot: two on the regular question set and two on the Cascade set. Three of the four matches were decided by a single point, with both teams winning two of the matches.

The following people showed up: Katelin Ross, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Tarma Amelica Black, and Will Lestrange!

We'll meet again in a week and a half in #quidditch, returning to an 'old' weekend timeslot...
Saturday, October 21 at 10 PM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:11 am
by Will Lestrange
Our third pickup last afternoon had the best turnout yet!

We began with an old favorite, strapping cauldrons to our head for Creaothceann. On the final question, I wondered "why does it always take half an hour to get between any two points in the castle?" But then it was time to form teams: we were all asked to name spells of our own choosing. Some chose incantations, some chose spell names, and some even chose potions. But the way we divided our teams was whether or not we chose words ending in A or not; the teams were "EndsInA" and "EndsInOther". Once teams were chosen, the Bludgers came out for two exciting rounds of Bludger Dodgeball! EndsInA comfortably won the first game on the regular set, but when the Cascade came out, EndsInOther took over. Props go to Shiloh Adlar for being the only person to win both games!

The following people showed up: Alexander Brighton, Kaitlyn Nightingale, Limine Snidget, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

We'll meet again in a week and a half in #quidditch, taking advantage of our 'weeknight' timeslot...
Thursday, November 2 at 3:30 AM HOL! (Wednesday evening in US timeslots)

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:22 am
by Will Lestrange
Last evening was our fourth pickup of the season, and a good time was had by all!

We began with two quick rounds of Xany (designed to allow three people to get points for any given question). After that, out came the Quods and the special cauldron for a few rounds of Quodpot. We divided our teams based on weather; dividing into "wet" and "dry" teams. (I must note that it was very hard for me to play AGAINST "Team W"!) First we played a game with the regular question set, in which the dry team won. But rain and snow carried the rest of the day: when we switched out the regular question set for one with shorter answers (designed for faster gameplay) for the next two games, the wet team soaked the dry team for both of the next two matches. Even switching to the Cascade set didn't change things out: the wet team won before anyone on dry could even score a point! We finished the evening with one last round of Xany... on the Cascade set.

The following people showed up: Blade J. Johnson, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

We'll meet again in a week and a half in #quidditch, but we don't want to conflict with league matches. Therefore, we'll be meeting a day AFTER the first match of the season, on...
Sunday, November 12 at 10 PM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:31 am
by Will Lestrange
Last afternoon was probably the most exciting pickup of the season; with eight people showing up, it was our best turnout yet!

Just as last time, we began with two quick rounds of Xany. Based on a suggestion from Sky Alton, we divided the teams based on our coffee preferences: those of us who had the good sense to prefer chocolaty drinks on one side, those who somehow prefer less chocolaty beverages on the other.

First we lined up against each other in the one-on-one random dueling style known as "CAB", in which the chocolate lovers barely came out on top, 30-28. Then, as usual, out came the Quods for three exploding games: first one with the regular set and then two more with the infamous "Cascade" set. The chocolate-avoiders won the first and the last of the three games, and I must admit I always got out in or near the very first question (looks like we need a new Quod!)

The following people showed up: Blade J. Johnson, Katelin Ross, Limine Snidget, Shadow Gaunt, Shiloh Adlar, Sirius Fudge, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

We'll meet again in a week and a half in #quidditch, but we don't want to conflict with the worst of Thanksgiving travel. Therefore, we'll be meeting in a bit over a week, on...
Wednesday, November 22 at 3:30 AM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:18 pm
by Will Lestrange
Last evening's pickups gave us our second best turnout of the season with seven people (even if only two houses were represented).

This was actually a themed night of play with two separate themes: "Goblet of Fire" (in honor of our readalong) and "Thanksgiving Travel" for team placement!

Just like last time, we began with two rounds of Xany... using a question set for the night that only asked questions from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. We then grouped into teams based on which direction people were traveling for Thanksgiving (or their next trip after Thanksgiving). Since as many people were headed northwards as not, we made that our divide into two teams.

It was then time for the Quods to come out! The first round was extremely explosion-intensive, with the last explosion ending the game in a 2-2 tie. The next two games were decided in favor of the North team, but still had their full complement of explosions. Finally, it was time for the last game of the night: Quodpot with the infamous Cascade set. When the last person on the North team exploded, North clung to a narrow 11-8 lead, with only Blade representing the Other team. He managed to bring the game to 11-10, but got no further before it was his turn to meet the exploding Quod.

The following people showed up: Amy Lupin, Blade J. Johnson, Cody Lewis, Katelin Ross, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

We'll meet again in a week and a half in #quidditch back to our 'standard' weekend slot...

Saturday, December 2 at 10 PM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:55 am
by Will Lestrange
Today was another fun round of pickups, with turnout equally balanced between three houses!

We began by getting out our cauldrons for two rounds of Creaothceann: first with the regular question set and then with our special "Cascade" set. Then it came time for exploding Quods: our team selection was based on everyone choosing their favorite Quidditch fouls. Those whose chosen foul contained a double letter (like "Stooging" or "Quaffle-pocking"); those who chose a foul with only single letters (my favorite, for example, was Snitchnip because I secretly dream of Chasing and Seeking simultaneously) formed the other team. And the question set? Each game started with the Cascade set and moved to the regular set when people weren't exploding fast enough.

Both matches started out the same way: the Single letter team started out jumping off to a large lead (9-0 in the first match; 11-0 in the second) until all or almost all their players exploded, letting the Double letter team try to catch up. The first game had the Double team exploded out with only two points scored, but in the second match, Katelin scored the final two points to put the Double team out in front... so each team won one of the two matches.

The following people showed up: Darcey Goode, Katelin Ross, Kendra Givens, Shadow Gaunt, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

We'll meet again in a week and a half in #quidditch at our usual weeknight slot...

Thursday, December 14 at 3:30 AM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:37 am
by Will Lestrange
This night provided some very exciting Quidditch play!

We started with a few rounds of Xany: with both the regular question set and our "Cascade" question set. Then, as has become customary, it was time to choose teams for Quodpot: this time we chose magical creatures to determine teams. Everyone whose creature was rated with 1-3 X's was placed on "Safe" and everyone whose creature was rated 4-5 X's was placed on "Dangerous". Most likely anyone who chose 'winged horse' would be stretched onto both teams!

At first, the "Safe" team dominated (both on the regular set and on the Cascade set)... and then suddenly Bowtruckles were declared as "Dangerous" despite only being rated XX. Even so, it took two games with the rejiggered teams before the "Dangerous" team finally won a game! In the end, "Safe" won 3 games; "Dangerous" won one.

The following people showed up: Arielle Lemoyne, Gail Allen, Katelin Ross, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

Dancing around the holidays, we'll meet in TWO weeks at our normal weekday timeslot...

Thursday, December 28 at 3:30 AM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:58 am
by Will Lestrange
The last pickups of 2017 were the most exciting and popular of the year, with plenty of new faces returning!

We began with a quick round of Creaothceann, but then we threw off our cauldrons in favor of the notorious exploding Quod. Team selection was done in honor of the first person to ever write about Quidditch, Gertie Keddle, and her three weather reports: "hot", "wet", and "windy". Everyone was asked to choose their favorite type of weather and, based on their answer, was assigned to either the Hot team or the WetWindy team. As people entered and left the pitch, the standards for what became "hot" got relaxed all the way down to 60 degrees (if it's 18 degrees and feels like 6 in Virginia, surely 60 is hot by comparison ;)).

On the regular set, the WetWindy team drenched the Hot team, 12-4, with half of their players still standing. Then the Cascade set came out (we introduced the set with a nice game of Xany... Xany under the Cascade set is almost as chaotic as Quodpot with that set!) and the second game started out great for the Hot team: scoring the first ten points of the match followed by seeing a WetWindy player exploded first. But the Hot team would only score one of the last sixteen points of the night, and see all of their players exploded while every remaining WetWindy player stayed on.

As the third game got underway, WetWindy proceeded to score nine unanswered points for a 9-1 lead. It looked like it would be another drenching; even after Elena exploded for WetWindy, this was shortly followed by two consecutive Hot explosions (first me, then Tarma). But nearly immediately after that came two consecutive WetWindy explosions (Cody, then Scarlet) and the WetWindy team was down to its last player, and down 10-2. But ultimately, Hot would score the last fourteen points of the match, even if their rally was interrupted by Katelin exploding and ended by Aly exploding... Pat then exploded on the final question of the game to make the score 16-10.

The last question was the biggest rout of the night for WetWindy: Hot never led after the second question and lost 18-7 with two WetWindy players still standing. Apparently the Quod hates heat as much as I hate cold!

The following people showed up: Allyson Celestra, Cody Lewis, Elena Galatas, Katelin Ross, Kendra Givens, Patrick James, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The first pickup of 2018 takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Saturday, January 6 at 10 PM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:21 am
by Will Lestrange
It was a cold, bright afternoon in January - which was actually perfect for the first Quidditch pickups of 2018!

We began "normally": with a game of Xany on the regular set, and then formed teams for the usual explosive games on the pitch. This time, we decided to mix two previous methods of team selection: people were asked to name their favorite creature and then were assigned a team based on which country from George Orwell's "1984" was closer to their creature's preferred habitat. The teams were therefore "Oceania" and "Eurasia", though we ended up having to move Airstrip One/the United Kingdom to Eurasia for balanced teams!

The first match was brutal, with literally half of the questions leading to explosions. After eight questions, the last Eurasian exploded and Oceania won 4-3. The next match wasn't nearly as explosive: Eurasia jumped off to a quick 6-1 lead, but with another explosion ensuing, Oceania came back to win 25-15.

Then, it was time for the Cascade set to come into play... we divided into teams for CAB (where the bot randomly chooses one person from each team) for each question... and then one last round of Quodpot (Oceania won both, 17-9 and 14-8).

But the pickups weren't over yet... Cody had modified the Bludger Dodgeball game slightly so that every question had at least a 10% chance of turning into a Bludger! The first match was really exciting: Oceania jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead but that was cut quickly by Will being Bludgered to death. Eurasia scored the next six points to get within one, but that was as close as they'd get... when Cody was bludgered with the score 14-12 in Oceania's favor (Tarma had been Bludgered the question before), Eurasia had only Katelin left. She lasted three questions before she herself fell, with Oceania winning 17-15.

The last game was an absolute rout in Eurasia's favor: although Will got the first question right to get a 1-0 lead for Oceania, he was immediately eliminated - and this would be the last lead Oceania ever had that game. In fact, Oceania would only get one of the next twenty-eight questions right - during which Eurasia would dodge no fewer than eleven consecutive bludgers, bringing them to a 56-2 lead. Scarlet got the next question to cut the gap to 'only' 56-4, but succumbed herself to the bludger. Three questions later, Tarma got the fourth question of the match for Oceania, but fell herself to the Bludger - with the final score 59-7 to Eurasia. More tellingly, Eurasia dodged every single Bludger that came their way... while Oceania got hit by every Bludger that came theirs. This was a very satisfying win for the Eurasian side, though it did raise some interesting questions about the future of Bludger Dodgeball (spoiler: it has the potential to become even more exciting in the future!)

The following people showed up: Cody Lewis, Darcey Goode, Emma Borg, Katelin Ross, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Thursday, January 18 at 3:30 AM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:55 am
by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
Oceania was SQUISHED by Eurasia!


But we all still had fun. :lol:

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:11 am
by Will Lestrange
Today featured the longest, most exciting pickup session of the season!

We began by putting on our cauldrons for Creaothceann: first with the regular set and then with the special, random Cascade set. Then it was time to separate into teams... the deciding factor was how people reacted to bludgers. Since people's first instincts were to dodge, I gave them specific instructions to do something OTHER than dodge. When that was taken off the table, people's options fell into two categories: "Fight" and "Flight".

Once teams were established, it was time to bring out a ball that hadn't been seen in pickups in nearly a year: the Quaffle! (And I flew onto the refbot in honor of the occasion). Almost immediately, Tarma scored to give "Fight" a 10-0 lead... but the game ended up being a back-and-forth defensive duel for a long time (tied at 20).
Finally, Shiloh scored three last goals for Team Flight, giving them the win... 50-20.

We had already been playing for an hour, but - by popular demand - there was still more fun to be had. The people had spoken, and popular demand really wanted to see me exploded! So out came the Quod (and I joined Team Fight due to my particularly brutal response to rogue bludgers coming my way.)

Team Flight won the first match, 19-16, but the match was much less close than it looked (not a single Team Flight person got exploded, though everyone from Team Fight did). The second match looked like Team Fight was going to run away with the match, building up a 20-1 lead (Team Fight had Elena and me left; Team Flight had Kaitlyn and Katelin left)... until Elena and me exploded on consecutive questions. There was actually another explosion 3 questions later, but no one was there to see it. Two questions after that, an exploding Quod caught Katelin (when the score was 20-2). Katelin managed to narrow the lead all the way to 20-16 before the Quod finally exploded in her face, giving the match to Fight.

One last match needed to be played to finally resolve the question of "fight or flight?" Team Fight built up a 9-3 lead when Tarma (the last survivor of Team Fight) exploded... it would be up to Kaitlyn to save the day for Team Flight, which she did... scoring the final seven points of the match to edge out Team Fight, 10-9.

The following people showed up: Elena Galatas, Kaitlyn Nightingale, Katelin Ross, Kendra Givens, Shadow Gaunt, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Sunday, January 28 at 10 PM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:21 am
by Will Lestrange
This past evening featured, possibly, the best pickup of the season!

As people kept on trickling in and out, we decided to play not one... not two... but THREE rounds of Xany. First came a round on the "short" question set (all questions could be answered with three or fewer words)... as exciting as it was, it overwhelmed the bot (to the point that Cody had to jumpstart it multiple times). Part of the excitement was "will the bot come back or won't it?" Often we had to wait for the bot to answer a question that it had never asked; nevertheless, though, we survived the round. Then came a straightforward round on the full question set, and finally a crazier round on the "cascade" question set.

Then, we decided to form our teams in the most Muggle way that we ever have: we asked everyone for their favorite color and sorted people on teams based on the Muggle-style breakdown of their colors into the base colors of red, green, and blue. People with green in this breakdown (e.g. orange is a mixture of red and yellow, and yellow is a mixture of red and green, so orange has green in its breakdown) formed the "Greenish" team; those without green (e.g. purple is a mixture of red and blue with no green) formed the NoGreen team.

The first two games featured the full question set: the Greenish team started out getting the first six points and then, after I exploded, the NoGreen team scored the next twenty-two points. After the last two NoGreen players, Kendra and Vanessa, exploded in a 3 question period, only Shadow remained for Greenish, with Greenish trailing 26-8. Fortunately for us, Shadow has Arithmantic skills that rivals anyone on the pitch - patiently waiting out unfavorable questions. Eight minutes, nineteen questions and twenty-one points later, Shadow's final correct answer, "Holyhead Harpies", gave the Greenish team a 29-26 win! The second match started out even better for Greenish, with that team scoring the first seventeen points of the match. Indeed, they had made it up to a 23-4 lead before a NoGreen run started with 4 points from Tarma and an explosion from me two questions later. By the time the 20-3 run ended, NoGreen had pulled to within 26-24, but then it was Kaitlyn's turn to shine: two well-placed answers extended NoGreen's lead to 33-24, and then Alex, the last NoGreen, correctly answered the last question... only to learn that it was an exploding question. Final score: 33-24, NoGreen!

Then we switched to the Cascade set for the final two matches of the night: while the first match started out with the teams battling 4-4 tie, that was as close as NoGreen would ever get. It was 26-6 to Greenish when Cody (of Greenish) exploded, and still 34-14 to Greenish when I (of Greenish) exploded nine questions later (Tarma of NoGreen had exploded in between). The next three questions featured three more explosions, which caught Scarlet and Alex. It was up to the newest NoGreen, Emma, to save the day for her team. Could she pull off what Shadow had done two games earlier? The answer turned out to be no: four questions later the Quod got her too, with her team down 34-19.

It was time for one last match, though I was thrown off my broom a few times and we had to switch bots from Quiz to Bulgaria's training bot from the summer, Jasper. Would Jasper turn out to be more favorable to the NoGreens than Quiz was... extending the Bulgarian tradition of doing well against teams wearing green? We had to play the match to find out... Greenish went out to a quick 6-0 lead, but then I did something I had never done in a long time - answering a Question 5 with the correct answer and exploding! (Ironically, that made no difference in the match as the next question, "Potterwatch codenames", was one where no one got "Rapier" but the Quod exploded anyway... so I would have gotten out on that question with no extra points for Greenish). Greenish had only one member left, Kaitlyn, who exploded on her next question (though Greenish was still up 6-3 at this time). Tarma then answered the next three questions to put NoGreen up 9-6 with every member of their team still standing, giving them the final match of the night.

The following people showed up: Cody Lewis, Emma Borg, Gail Allen, Kaitlyn Nightingale, Kendra Givens, Maxim Trevelyan, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shadow Gaunt, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, Vanessa Tilley, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Thursday, February 8 at 3:30 AM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:48 am
by Will Lestrange
Last night's pickups were some of the best-attended and most exciting pickups of the entire season, with some people coming out of retirement to join the party!

Not everyone had brought their cauldrons to start the evening's antics, but luckily I had enough spares to cover everyone. With cauldrons atop our heads, we began with a quick round of Creaothceann. Then we went for the most random of the individual games: Xany (the first three people to answer get points) under the Cascade set!
The defining feature of this pairing is that because of the randomness of answers, you don't know you got the answer right even if you DID... until two other people give the same answer later.

But the night was getting later and everyone was hungry or thirsty for a midnight snack, so everyone was asked to name something delicious that they wanted to eat or drink. While plenty of foods could have gone either way, ultimately we were able to split into reasonable-looking teams based on whether our foods were more solid or liquid. With everyone claiming their tasty preferences, it was time to unleash the Quod for an exciting battle of Solids vs Liquids!

The first game, under the regular question set, was a rout for the Solid side, who scored the first seventeen points and then ended up winning 18-3. As a second game started, we watched as Cody flew into the arena with a scrumptious-looking Wendy's Frosty, which was ruled to be 'liquid' (to cancel out Cosmo's spaghetti). And sure enough, Liquid scored the first point of the game! Nevertheless, the Solid side still won comfortably, 22-11.

It was time to switch to the Cascade set, but in the interest of balance I ended up making the ultimate sacrifice by melting my chocolate and converting it into liquid form (normally I consider hot chocolate a waste of perfectly good chocolate, but when broom games are involved...) Sure enough, Liquid started out with a comfortable 11-4 lead, but after Tarma's coffee joined my chocolate and Cody's Frosty in the "exploded" pile, Solid scored the final eleven points of the match to win 15-11 (the tie was broken when Shadow, bearing a cookie, identified Troll as a failing OWL grade).

There was still one game left to go, though: would this be the time for the cream rising to the top to be liquid cream? Solid jumped off to a quick 3-0 lead on the first two questions but the next two questions gave Liquid the lead back, 7-3. The next question asked us to give XXXX rated creatures, but it was a Question 5, so instead we spammed XXX and XXXXX rated creatures so the Quod exploded harmlessly behind us. I got exploded on the next question for having the nerve to identify "goat" as a Patronus form. Three of the next four questions went Liquid's way, extending their lead to 11-5; unfortunately, the last of those questions was an exploding Question 4: Tarma's coffee went 'splat' with the help of Marauder Sirius Black! After the next three questions, Liquid had an 14-8 lead but the next two questions were left behind. The best of those was the exploding Question 5 where we were asked to name Quidditch captains; instead of naming canon captains, we celebrated the impending explosion by spamming the names of all the current HOL Quidditch captains and co-captains (for those playing the home game, these are Arielle Lemoyne, Darcey Goode, Jenny Lupin, Marcie Hobber, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange.) Sure enough, the trigger word for Quod explosion, "Montague", was left unsaid. The next question took out Cody based on his visit to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, and the next question made THREE straight explosions (but no one else was claimed). No one realized it at the time, but Liquid would not score another point in the game. Would the 14 they currently have be enough? The Solid team went on a run, but they were about to start joining the explosion party. When Cosmo's spaghetti exploded, it was 14-10. When Shadow's cookie exploded? 14-12. That left only Scarlet and her chocolate chip cookie facing off against Aurelia and her ice cream (Sophia's beer had already left the arena)! Scarlet answered the next two questions correct; the first brought the score to 14-13, and the second question (triggered by Aragog) exploded Scarlet, ending the game at 14-13 in Liquid's favor.

The following people played: Aurelia West, Cody Lewis, Cosmo B. Mott, Kendra Givens, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shadow Gaunt, Sophia Manasa, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Sunday, February 18 at 10 PM HOL!
And of course, I get to finish the night with not one; not two... but THREE of the delicious foods mentioned in tonight's game!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:45 am
by Will Lestrange
Today's pickups, on a cool, bright evening in February, might have been the most thrilling ones of the year, thanks to a thrilling invention from Cody Lewis!

We gathered together in our usual place when Cody had a special announcement: he wanted to test out a new game; a game so cool, so new, and so fresh that it didn't even had a name yet. But because we hadn't yet sorted out into teams for the day, we started with something different... a quick round of Creaothceann.

After that, we all sorted into teams based on the days of the week (somehow 7 people managed to choose all 7 different days without any coordination from our part. And I resisted the choice of something beginning with "W", no matter how tempting it was!) The reasonable split was "Tuesday - Friday" vs "Sat/Sun/Mon", which somehow got divided into a 4 vs 4 setup as Fairies vs Vampires.

"But," you may be wondering, "how does this game even work?" Basically, at any point there are two balls in play: the Quaffle and the Bludger. It works as closely to canon Quidditch as any game we've ever tried in HOL. The Beater is easiest to explain: at any point there's a Bludger question between all beaters. Once a beater gets TWO questions, they get to choose an opposing player to knock out for 30 seconds (and they can't knock out the same player twice in a row).
While all this is going on, the Quaffle goes into play: the opening question is a Chaser tossup as you may expect from regular Quidditch, after which the winning team gets possession. The standard 'possession' question is "Possessing Team's Chasers vs Defending Team's Chasers and Keepers". If the defending team gets it right, possession switches. But if the possessing team gets it right, then the Chaser who answered the question goes on a 1-on-1 vs the opposing Keeper for a standard shot on goal! (If everyone misses a question it goes to all Chasers; after a 1-on-1 is scored or blocked, the defending team gets possession. This little bit is identical to standard Quaffle Quidditch here in HOL!)

The game is particularly thrilling because of the speed: Chasers who are used to taking a break after their score may be shocked to know that they're now asked to go on defense for the very next question! And with two questions up in the air at any given point, Chasers and Keepers are well advised not to answer Bludger questions as if they are Beaters!

The Quaffle and Bludger were released and the game started out going amazingly well for the Fairies: getting out to three straight goals AND winning the first Bludger. But that was only a practice round: the real game ended up being much more thrilling and exciting (except for the thirty seconds I had to wait out under the influence of a Bludger.) There were many ties, but only two lead changes. In the end, the Fairies were up by the slimmest possible margin, 90-to-80, when the 10-minute timer ended.

But pickups still weren't over: after all, I hadn't gotten exploded yet (just temporarily stunned). So there was a quick round of Quodpot on the Cascade set, designed for the benefit of those who liked seeing Exploding Snape (or Exploding Quidditch Players as Substitutes for Snape). It really looked like the Vampires would have their moment in the sun, but ultimately, with the Vampires within 1 (score: 10-9) and artfully dodging two exploding Quods, the Quod finally dissipated harmlessly into thin air, ending the game at "Faeries 10; Vampyres 9".

The following people showed up: Aurelia West, Blade J. Johnson, Cody Lewis, Emma Borg, Katelin Ross, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shadow Gaunt, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Thursday, March 1 at 3:30 AM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:39 am
by Will Lestrange
There may not have been an enormous number of people at last night's pickups... but that doesn't mean that it wasn't an exciting time on the pitch anyway! (After all, as we will explain later, so many fascinating new things were tested out successfully!)

While I was trying to find my way back from a holiday party, everyone waited for the festivities on the pitch to begin. But first, it turned out that one of our classic broom games, Creaothceann, has been reconfigured to make it more exciting. Apparently, without further coaxing, the rocks tend to favour some cauldrons and avoid others... so Cody had discovered a special incantation to make sure that no rock stayed in the same cauldron twice!

(What does this mean to the casual Creaothceann player? The first rock is played as normal: everyone races to position themselves for the first rock by answering a question - and the first two people to answer the question then compete with another question to land the rock into their cauldron. But if you were one of the 'first two' for ONE rock... the next rock will be repelled from your cauldron so completely that none of your answers to any questions for that rock will be recognized!)

Eventually I made it back to my broom and the games could begin in earnest! We had two rounds of this improved form of Creaothceann: first on the regular question set and then on the Cascade set. We stayed on the Cascade set as we formed teams for Quodpot.

In honor of various holiday celebrations at surprising times of year, everyone playing was asked to choose a holiday for themselves. Some of those holidays, like Labor Day, moved around on the calendar from year to year and therefore had variable positions on the calendar. Others held the same position on the calendar year after year in a fixed position. Based on the nature of their chosen holiday, people would be on either Team Fixed or Team Variable. Actually, we could have called the resulting teams "Hufflepuff versus Slytherin" (and the 'earth' vs 'water' element of the representative houses matched the 'fixed' and 'variable' nature of the chosen holidays perfectly)... but that's entirely beside the point ;)

It was only a two on two pickup at this stage, but the games were still incredibly exciting! After Tarma got the first point for Team Fixed, Scarlet exploded on the next question, leaving me as the only person on Team Variable. Seven questions later, with Team Variable working its way up to an 8-4 lead, "Fallen Warrior" (a Chapter 5 title) lived up to its name by causing the Quod to explode in my hands, knocking me down to the ground. Four questions later (including an explosion completely avoided), Tarma broke an 8-8 tie with occlumency (the Chapter 24 title; not the mental art) to cause Team Fixed to win the game, 12-8 (both Katelin and Tarma, the Team Fixed members, remained).

There was still time for another match... would Team Variable have its revenge - and would anyone escape the wrath of the exploding Quod this time? The answers turned out to be 'yes' and 'no', in that order. On the fourth question, with Team Variable up 4-2, I exploded in London (a Gladrags location). Tarma answered the next question to get Team Fixed within one, but that was as close as they would ever come. Two correct answers by Scarlet made it 9-3; while Tarma would answer the next question correctly, it would cause a pewter explosion (pewter was a cauldron metal from Diagon Alley) to knock her out. Katelin Avada Kedavra'd her way to a point (it was an Unforgivable incantation)... but it was now Scarlet's time to shine. Of the next five questions, three were hers and two were unanswered (one of the unanswered ones was an explosion) and Team Variable would be up 16-4. After two explosions were completely avoided, Scarlet answered the next three questions too. Unfortunately for her, Remus Lupin (a Marauder) proved to be her undoing as it was in his name that the Quaffle exploded on Scarlet. Katelin was the last person standing on the pitch, but did she have enough time to erase a 19-4 lead? Seven questions later, we had our answer... Grawp (the Chapter 30 title, not the giant) caused the Quod to explode in Katelin's hands, taking out the last person on the pitch! Final score: Team Variable 19, Team Fixed 6.

At the end, we were treated to another new exciting development: Cody had figured out a way to capture broom games for posterity and combine them with his own commentary! If you want to see the Quodpot games presented in such a way, you can find them at the following link...

The following people showed up: Cody Lewis, Katelin Ross, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shadow Gaunt, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Sunday, March 11 at 10 PM HOL!

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:01 am
by Will Lestrange
This evening's pickups may have started out a bit slowly, but enough people flew onto the pitch to make it a night to remember!

No cauldrons were strapped on heads today; instead, we started the festivities with two rounds of Xany (remember, that's the game where the first 3 to answer correctly get points): one on the regular question set and then one on the Cascade set. I may have fallen off my broom during one of the games, but it only took three more questions for me to find my bearings!

Then it was time to choose teams; we followed Shadow's suggestion of asking players to choose school subjects (Muggle or Wizard). Ultimately, most of our players chose science-related subjects so we had to find a different way to choose teams: was the work for the subject done primarily in the Lab (team L) or mainly with Pencil and Paper (team P)?

With that in mind, we all headed out to the Quodpot arena. The first three questions all went to the Pencil and Paper players, but Aurelia made a risky gambit on question 4 to narrow the gap to 6-4, and then Tarma made an even riskier gambit, ending in an explosion! Two questions later, it was my turn to explode (on the iridescent, pearly scales of an Antipodean Opaleye), and three questions later it was Scarlet's turn (she exploded inside Harry Potter's school trunk). Cody got the next 3 questions for Pencil and Paper; a streak interrupted by Vanessa of Labs exploding on Rubeus Hagrid, with the Pencil and Paper team holding a 16-4 lead. Three questions later it was Cody's turn to explode; after two 'safe' questions there were three explosions in a row to end the game. The first exploded harmlessly, but the second got Emma on "Gryffindor are Losers" and the third got Aurelia on "that old git". Since Emma and Aurelia were the last two standing on the Labs team, Pencil and Paper ended the match with a 17-8 win.

Then we switched to the Cascade set for another game... would the result change? The first four questions were split between the two teams, but due to Ron Weasley exploding Scarlet, Pencil and Paper started out with a comfortable 5-1 lead. A three-question run for Pencil and Paper (by three different players, no less) extended that to 11-1. Then Labs got the next two, but one was a Question 5 on the Black Sisters, so Narcissa Black ended up exploding Shiloh. (Since it was a Question 5, I decided to use people of that surname at HOL: I had typed Tarma and was getting to Polaris before the explosion.) In fact, there would be two more explosions in the four questions to follow, both landing on Pencil and Paper players (the Tutshill Tornados exploded Shadow, and Harry Potter exploded me). At that time, the score was 13-6 to Pencil and Paper. Two more questions passed uneventfully, but then two Lab players exploded on consecutive questions: Tarma (sucked in by the Unknowable Room) and then Emma (who really should have kept off the Dirigible Plums). Cody got 4 of the next 5 questions correct (and the one in between: "no one remembered the Kneazle") padding Pencil and Paper's lead to 22-6, but the last question was a Question 5 where Parvati and Padma Patil joined to explode Cody (meanwhile I was guessing HOL 'siblings' instead.) Three questions later, Hope got out on a Puking Pastille, leading to a 12-question run where Aurelia was the only person to answer any question. She exploded on Ginny (a Weasley), but not before scoring seventeen points, giving Labs the first lead of the evening at 23-22. Vanessa then made it 24-22 with Ancient Runes on the next question, before exploding two questions later on Hermione's Secret. There was only one player remaining, Alex, who promptly answered the final two questions of the game, ending the match at 25-24 in favor of Pencil and Paper.

There was still time for one more match, though I needed to switch to a much weaker broom for the occasion. The two teams split the first four questions, but while both of the Lab questions resulted in points, both of the Pencil and Paper questions led to explosions (Ron Weasley got Hope; Gregorovitch got Cody) giving Labs a 3-0 lead they would never relinquish. Labs got the next three questions to extend it to 9-0 before the Quod exploded harmlessly next to a sopophorous bean. Three more questions in a row went to the Labs, the last of which was The Hearing that exploded Tarma. Then it was time for Pencil and Paper to answer correctly; unfortunately, Terence Higgs decided to explode me (maybe he thought I was after his position ;)). Aurelia was exploded on the very next question with the help of Andrew Kirke (did Andrew think Aure was gunning for his position? They're not even in the same house!) but two questions later Alex finally earned Pencil and Paper their first points of the match with a ring. The score at that point was 13-2. Then came a six question, 13-0 run with a harmless explosion in the middle... extending that lead to 26-2 before Vanessa exploded on Flight of the Fat Lady. Shiloh exploded on the very next question thanks to Quirinus Quirrell, segueing into a run by Scarlet. After she answered four questions in a row, the bot asked for Quiddtich teams in the British and Irish league... Cody, Scarlet, and I paid the question its proper respect with Continental European teams as the Quod exploded the entire Magpies side, far away from us. Then came a harmless explosion of Luna Lovegood, a correct answer by Scarlet, an unanswered question, and finally... Scarlet exploded on the Double Eight Loop (one of her favorite tactics as Keeper, ironically enough). At this point, Alex was the last person standing, but he had to erase a 37-2 lead if he wanted to come back. Could he do it? Four questions later, we learned the answer: NO! He exploded in a sea of yellow Fwooper feathers, but the Lab team had finally won: 37-7.

The following people showed up: Alexander Brighton, Aurelia West, Cody Lewis, Emma Borg, Hope Stark, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shiloh Adlar, Shadow Gaunt, Tarma Amelia Black, Vanessa Tilley, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Thursday, March 22 at 2:30 AM HOL!
(NOTE: This was moved half an hour earlier from a previous announcement to accommodate for a snitch match shortly thereafter.)

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:05 am
by Will Lestrange
Despite the weird timing of the pickups - changed at the last minute to accommodate something else, there was still a solid turnout - complete with a promising new face on the pitch! (Keep your eyes out for Astaria Rivers on the pitch; I have a feeling she will do great things there!)

We began with Cody's improved version of Creaothceann (where people who score are ineligible to answer the next question). After that, we went to a quick round of Xany on the special Cascade set. Unfortunately we all were so good at spamming that we needed to resuscitate the bot multiple times! Eventually we made it to the round and had the chance to choose teams.

In honor of my vacation 36 hours away, we all decided to choose our favorite vacation spots. Some people preferred to go to the peaks of mountaintops; they formed Team P as in Peak. Others preferred flatter or cavernous locales; they formed Team T as in Trough.

The first five questions were answered by either Scarlet or me (both of Team Trough), giving Team Trough a 4-0 lead. Why only 4-0? Because I exploded on the second question and Scarlet succumbed to the exploding Quod three questions later! The next three questions were answered by either Tarma or Asta (both of Team Peak), giving Team Peak a 6-4 lead. After two unanswered questions (the second featuring an exploding Quod), the Quod exploded for the second question in a row... on Tarma. After three more unanswered questions, it was Katelin's turn to explode (of Team Trough). Asta answered the next three questions in a row, extending the lead to 9-4 before exploding. At that point, each team had only one person left. The next eight questions featured four answers by Shadow, the last person on Team Peak,
(BJ, the last person on Team Trough, didn't answer) and four explosions... the last of which caught Shadow, but not before extending the lead to 13-4. Could BJ make up the difference? Four questions later, in the town of Great Hangleton, we had our answer... YES! Final score: Trough 14, Peak 13.

We switched to the Cascade set and two people (Katelin and Tarma) flew off the pitch to prepare for another event... but there was enough time to complete the match with seven questions to spare! The first explosion happened five questions into the match (with Team Trough leading 7-3): BJ, the only person to survive the last match, was the first person to die - at the hands of Hostage!Hermione Granger, of all people. The next question, Fred Weasley (GQTer in Book 5) took out Asta, and four questions later, Sirius Black (in his Animagus form) took out Shadow, the final remaining Peak players. Since Team Trough had a 13-3 lead at the time, that was the final score of the night.

After that, everyone abandoned the Quod to stare at a different ball... the Golden Snitch! (On the other side of the pitch, two prominent Seekers, Shiloh Adlar and Cody Lewis, were about to meet for the third time this calendar year.)

The following people showed up: Astaria Rivers, Bull J. Johnson, Gail Allen, Katelin Ross, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shadow Gaunt, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Sunday, April 1 at 10 PM HOL!
(NOTE: HOL time will have moved to summer time by April 1, so HOL time will be 5 hours ahead of East Coast time and 8 hours ahead of West Coast time in the US again.)

Re: Quidditch Pickups... the 2017-18 Edition

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:43 am
by Will Lestrange
On the first day in April, we celebrated by meeting on the pitch for another fun round of pickups!

We began with three quick individual rounds: a game of Xany on the regular set followed by two games on the Cascade set (the first was Cody's improved version of Creaothceann; the second was another round of Xany).

In fact, as soon as we switched to the Cascade set, we never left it: guessing the position of the next obstacle on the course was simply too fun to give up! When it was time to choose teams, we all chose our favorite fruits. About half of us decided to go with some type of berry - and the other half chose non-berry fruits; they formed Team B and Team N, respectively.

The first game started out very explosive; in fact, Emma's blueberries exploded on the very first question (due to her own house and team color, silver). Four questions later, it was my avocado's turn to explode with the help of The Wandmaker (the Chapter 24 title), but not before giving Team N a 4-0 lead. Shiloh's strawberries exploded the very next question thanks to examinations (had she been allowed to take a few drops of Felix Felicis, they would have been saved), and after five unanswered questions there were two explosions in a row, the last of which caught Scarlet's clementines (it was an elm wand that did her in). Tarma's blueberries were the last fruit remaining... could she erase the 4-0 deficit on behalf of her team? Three questions later we had our answer... the dragon heartstring core found in so many Ollivander wands paired with blueberries to give a 6-4 lead to her team!

But then Cody flew onto the pitch bearing the exotic tropical fruit known as the mango... just in time for the next game! And mangoes turned out to be just what the NonBerry side needed that day: after the first fifteen questions, the only player exploded was Tarma with her blueberries (on the second question, thanks to a silver doe) and the NonBerry team had a 26-0 lead. But then it was time for the Quod to change its course a bit: Cody's mango, failing to abide by CONSTANT VIGILANCE, was executed by Alastor Moody, followed by my own avocado two questions later (infected by the rare avocado tapeworm). Although Shiloh was able to get her team on the board, it wouldn't be enough for the berries: Emma's blueberries met their match at the hands of Golgomath the giant five questions later, followed by Shiloh's strawberries two questions after that at the hands of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Since Shiloh was the last berry-bearer that day, the final score ended up being 29-4.

There was time for one last game, and Alexander was about to bring his own blueberries onto the pitch! The game began similarly to the last one: eight questions in, the NonBerry side jumped out to a 16-0 lead, followed by two explosions of Cody's mango (due to Flesh, Blood, and Bone) and Scarlet's clementine (thanks to those Fitchburg Finches) on successive turns. Five questions later, with the lead now at 26-0, Alexander's blueberries lost to the Quidditch captain Oliver Wood. Three questions later, it was Neville Longbottom's turn to knock off my avocado (I shouldn't have been surprised; he has a history of vanquishing snakes after all). With Emma's blueberries being burned by a Chinese Fireball, we had a nearly identical situation to the first game: Tarma's blueberries were the only thing standing between the NonBerry side and a shutout victory. But could she pull off the comeback a second time? After getting the next two questions thanks to Cat, Rat, and Dog next to the Rat himself: Peter Pettigrew... Tarma decided to play conservatively, choosing to pass on the next three questions out of fear of explosion (letting Golgomath, elections, and Percy and Padfoot pass her by) with the score 29-3. Three questions later, though, it would be Hokey the House-Elf who vanquished her, with the final score 29-4 in favor of the Non-Berry side.

The following people showed up: Alexander Brighton, Cody Lewis, Emma Borg, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shadow Gaunt, Shiloh Adlar, Tarma Amelia Black, and Will Lestrange!

The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on...

Thursday, April 11 at 3:30 AM HOL!