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Ranger Five

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About Ranger Five

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    NSW, Australia
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  1. I've decided to go without the narrative for now, but Dungeons and Deadlifts has been posted here. Thanks everyone for the support!
  2. Hi guys. I've been laying low and recovering after my leg injury caused a subsequent loss of motivation in my challenges, and the narrative associated with them. For that reason, I won't be doing a narrative this challenge; the jury is still out on whether or not to change my username. (If I do, it'll be to Callanthar, my World of Warcraft character, who happens to be a hunter, the WoW equivalent of a ranger.) For this challenge, I'll be channeling the various abilities of a D&D party, emulating the various strengths that make them so successful. And of course, absorbing the strength of an entire party of adventurers in a single person is exactly what we Rangers at Nerd Fitness like to do! Here's our party: Goal One: The Fighter. The fighter relies purely on his skill of arms and armor to protect him from foes. In a world of magic and supernatural creatures, only the fighter's training and martial prowess save him from being a dragon's lunch. A fighter must be ridiculously strong in order to protect his friends and battle his foes. To emulate the Fighter, I'll be doing strength workouts thrice per week. I'll be using the Stronglifts program, but I'll be adding chin-ups to Workout B, and replacing barbell rows with chin-ups in Workout A. I really want to get better at chin-ups. Survived the adventure: 6 workouts. Quest complete: 9 workouts. Natural 20: 12 workouts. Goal Two: The Ranger. The ranger acts as the party's scout, travelling farther and faster than anyone else in order to protect the party from ambushes, and let them know what lies ahead, in any terrain. A ranger must be swift, versatile, and untiring. To emulate the Ranger, I'll be doing cardio at least thrice per week. At least one workout must be on my bike, and at least one must be on foot, running if possible. (Things look good so far, but I'm not going to tie myself down to running if I feel the leg is going to play up again) Survived the adventure: 6 workouts, 2+ of each. Quest complete: 9 workouts, 3+ of each. Natural 20: 12 workouts, 4+ of each. Goal Three: The Monk. The monk can perform one of several roles, depending on their specialisation. A monk lives an ascetic lifestyle, and must remain in peak mental and physical form to accomplish their incredible feats of athleticism and focus. Their fists and self-discipline are both hard as iron. To emulate the Monk, I'll be working to lose weight. I'll be tracking my calories needed, calories eaten, and calories burnt through exercise over the course of the challenge. Survived the adventure: 8,000 net calories burned (~300 per day). Quest complete: 11,000 calories burnt (~400 per day) Natural 20: 14,000 calories burnt (~500 per day) Goal Four: The Wizard. While the rest of the group relies on their bodies to perform their tasks, a wizard relies solely on their mind. By understanding the world on a deep level, they can perform feats that would otherwise be impossible. Theirs is a life of intense study, minds grappling with the nature of the cosmos. To emulate the Wizard, I'll be working on my programming. I'll be studying an hour per day, working through the game-making books at inventwithpython.com, but I'll also be translating the programs featured within into Java, since that's the language taught at my university. Survived the adventure: 14 hours studied. Quest complete: 21 hours studied. Natural 20: 28 hours studied. Completing the quest: In order to complete the quest, all four party members must complete it. Should a party member survive, but fail their quest, a natural 20 from another member can prop them up. Success means the party earns 500 gp, and a magic item worth up to 1,200 gp. 10 gp = 1 Australian dollar, so that translates to 50 dollars to spend on whatever I like, and up to 120 to spend on equipment. Should the party fail their quest, but everyone survives, they manage to earn 250 gp for their efforts regardless. In the event that a party member dies, all funds acquired must be spent on the Raise Dead spell, giving the party no reward for their attempts. Let the adventure begin!
  3. I've been doing some thought about the core of D&D and how much of it could be presented through an NF thread. So far, my best idea is a choose-your-own-adventure style fantasy narrative. Except instead of the results of your choice being predetermined by the author, there'll sometimes be dice rolls that determine the outcome. A rather abridged, generic example: A group of bandits ambush you on the road. Do you wish to surrender your valuables, intimidate the bandits, fight, or something else? HP: 8/8. Gold: 25 ----------------------- You attempt to intimidate the bandits. [+4 Intimidation. Difficulty: 15] [5. Critical failure!] As you step forward, raising your sword threateningly, you trip over your own feet, and fall flat on your face in the dirt, knocking you out cold. [1d4 (1) bludgeoning damage] When you awake, your valuables are gone. (-25 gold) You get the feeling that it will be much harder to intimidate any bandits in the area from now on. Suitably embarrassed, you continue on your journey. HP: 7/8. Gold: 0 I did actually roll for this, and got a 1 on a 20-sided die; a critical failure where something goes horribly wrong. A regular failure would have had you fail to intimidate the bandits, and then the second most popular audience choice would occur. Either surrendering, fighting, or a custom idea that someone posted (e.g, lie and say you have no money). A 15 or higher (requiring an 11 on the 20-sided die, since the character had +4 to any rolls to intimidate people) meant you'd get them to leave you be. Rolling a 20 on the die (24 total) might mean that they'd be so scared that they'd give you money not to kill them; a critical success. For such an idea, I'm thinking of throwing out the "party" idea and going with a single hero. Such a story would be far more focused on the adventures surrounding the hero rather than the hero themselves, as the hero would just be a vehicle for the audience to express their own preferences. Whereas Ranger Five had his own attitude, which changed over time. A lot of stuff is still to be determined, and I wouldn't be surprised if the structure changed somewhat from month to month for a bit if this goes ahead.
  4. That's a valid concern, but I don't think it'll be too much work if I plan for it. One idea I'm toying with is running a fairly minimalist setup for the D&D elements. No need for anything fancy. In any case, combats are the only thing that would take any appreciable amount of time after the characters are built, and there'd only be a couple of them in any given adventure. As for the writing itself, I don't think the idea will be as much work as Ranger Five. The frequency will be twice a week instead of thrice, and the plot will be both simpler and directed by the readers. I just have to come up with an overall arc, then write the story as directed. And there are plenty of ways to generate an idea for a D&D adventure quickly. That said, if I do conclude it's impractical or more work than I'd like, I'll scrap it and just go with the D&D theme, sans narrative.
  5. A quick OOC update, since people suggested I keep the challenge going in an OOC capacity. I've decided, for the time being, to switch to cycling for cardio. It's low-impact, and it's a lot more practical than running as well. My gym is 10 km away, so if I get to the point where I can ride 20 km (12.5 miles) at an easy pace without it affecting my workouts much, I can cycle to the gym and back for cardio exercise. Saves petrol money, and saves time as well, since I would have had to exercise anyway. I've also been thinking about what I might do for my next challenge. I've come up with an idea that could work with a month-to-month narrative that doesn't lock me into anything particular like this one. The idea would be to make it D&D themed. Here's what I've been brainstorming. Each member of the party represents one goal I have, and gains XP that way. There'd be a Fighter (who gains XP through strength training), a Ranger (who gains XP through endurance training), a Cleric (who gains XP through good diet/recovery) and a Wizard. (who gains XP through study and academic pursuits) The story, if there is one, would be run loosely within the D&D rules. It could even be run as an adventure for the readers, where I would post a couple of times a week and gave the readers choices on where to go next. For example, the group might run into a gang of bandits, and the readers would decide whether to attempt to negotiate, or whether to attack, with choices in bold. I'd then write out the choice, including the necessary rolls to see what happens. Adventures could be self-contained, meaning they'd be run and done within a month. One way to add more detail to the responses might be to have each responder roll a d20 (20-sided die). The highest roll on the winning side determines how to proceed. For instance, if 3 people wanted to negotiate, and 2 people wanted to attack, the highest roll on the negotiation side could decide how to go about it, if they wrote a suggestion in their post. (E.g, "threaten them with our superior force", or "give them some gold to leave us alone".) XP for the party would translate to levels, according to the D&D rules. The way I'd like it to work is that XP is gained from quests, but without training, it doesn't do anything. Combat is what allows the training of the characters to bear fruit. Training gives "potential XP", and combat makes it real. For instance, let's say in a challenge, my strength training goes well. I earn 50 XP per workout, and I've done 10 workouts, so I have 500 potential XP for the Fighter. But I slacked off on cycling, and only rode 6 times. I have 300 potential XP for the Ranger. At the end of the month, the party succeeds at their objective, gaining 400 XP each. The Fighter gets the full 400, and carries over 100 potential XP. The Ranger only had 300 potential XP though. He didn't train hard enough, and he only earns 300 XP from the combat, emptying his potential XP pool to do so. So, lots to think about there. Suggestions are welcome; I'm still trying to figure out the best way to go about this. Especially if reader participation is involved, it'd be good to know what the readers would like. And of course, the challenge would be called Dungeons and Deadlifts. How could it not?
  6. I'll have to think about it; thanks for the support.
  7. I've thought about it, and elected not to continue with the narrative. Due to the injury that's making itself felt again, and the steady decoupling of the story from my fitness goals (while the story is still shackled by the requirements I originally had for it, when it did shadow my fitness goals, getting the worst of both worlds) I've lost a lot of motivation to tell it, and it's become work rather than fun. I'll be taking a break from NF for the rest of the challenge. If I'm back next challenge it probably won't be a narrative one, but I may do short 1-2 challenge narratives in future. We'll see. Sorry to everyone who enjoyed the story, but it's better than leaving you hanging for an update that never comes, or worse, writing steadily more sporadic and worse updates, and letting the story die only after it's no longer any good. A short description on what I had planned for the rest of the plot:
  8. Had a ton of university work, so Week 1 hasn't gone so well on the "writing posts" front. I have decided to quit being a baby though, and I started the cut two days ago. Plan is still to cut til about Christmas, then refuel in preparation for the finale. Now that my assignment's done, I should be able to get another story post in tomorrow, but I've unfortunately learnt to make no promises. We shall see!
  9. In out-of-character news, I think I'll need to start cutting weight soon. For one, I'm starting to feel fat. For another, any extra kilos I can shed will be a massive advantage at the end of the year, and I definitely want my running to peak at that time. That's when Ranger Five's story reaches it's conclusion, and the final mission's going to happen. Naturally, I definitely want to succeed at that! I'm currently thinking 22:30 is a good final challenge goal, but to get there I'd definitely need to lose some weight. According to a calculator on the internet, every extra kilo of fat makes your 5k time 23 seconds slower. So if I can lose 5 kg of fat, that's almost 2 minutes cut down right there, if the calculator is accurate. These are all excellent arguments in the "Pros" pile. On the "Cons" pile, cutting is miserable, I hate it, and I'm a wuss. It'll also interfere with my strength building, but to be honest, I think a lot of my objection comes from the first bit. What I may end up doing is trying to add a lot more walking to my exercise regime. Walking 5 km actually burns as many calories as running 5 km, though obviously you can run faster than you can walk, and thus burn more calories per hour. But walking is so low-impact and low-stress that I can basically do it forever. If I walk 5 km on the days I'm not running, I could get a 300 calorie deficit while eating at maintenance. Then I'd only need to cut 200 calories worth of food instead of 500. Or I could cut 500 and make the cut last less time. Or some combination of the above; perhaps starting conservative and getting more aggressive if the numbers aren't working out after a month or so. Something for me to think about. October would be a good moment to start; I could cut until Christmas or so, then go back to maintenance for a week while tapering for Ranger Five's final mission. So I have a few days to work out an approach and decide if I'll do it.
  10. "There they are." Runner Four said, We'd been running at a steady pace for about four klicks, just as intended. Once Runner Four pointed it out, I could see them too; three small figures outlined in the morning sun, jogging towards us. We continued for another minute or so, before the groups stopped a few meters from each other, in mutual agreement. New Canton's delegation consisted of two soldiers, and a woman in the middle. The soldiers both wore army fatigues, carried rifles, and had the same expression on their face. The same that professional soldiers learned the world over. It was an expression of slight boredom, bland neutrality, and the implied threat of violence should the situation call for it. In the middle was a short dark-skinned woman, who couldn't have been an inch over five feet. She carried a medical bag, which I saw as she took a step forward to speak. "Greetings, Abel. My name is Doctor Lobatse, of New Canton." "Ranger Five, Ambassador of Abel Township." I replied. She made no move to introduce her escort, so I made no move to introduce mine. "Do you have the agreed-upon supplies?" she asked. "We do." I said. I removed the backpack and opened it, revealing the assault rifle parts. One of the soldiers leaned forward to inspect them, and nodded. I closed the bag, and put it back on. "I suppose this is where we part ways." I said. "Best of luck." Ranger Nine nodded, and in an unspoken signal, Lobatse and I both walked past each other, swapping places. I was now flanked by New Canton's people, and she was flanked by Abel's. With one last wave, I turned and began jogging towards New Canton. The soldiers followed, matching my pace. "The transition's gone fine, if you're wondering." Sam said, after about half a kilometer. "We're near the end of Abel's comm ranges. New Canton'll be using channel 13 on your headset radio, Five. Go ahead and switch over." I reached up to the dial while still jogging, and turned the dial six steps to the right. "New Canton, this is Ranger Five, Ambassador of Abel Township. Do you read me?" "We read you, Ranger Five." An unfamiliar female voice spoke. "Status?" "About three and a half klicks out. ETA twenty-two minutes." I said. "Roger that." the voice replied. The trip to the northern border of New Canton passed without incident. New Canton's wall was very plain, but effective at holding back zombies. Or people, for that matter. The wall looked like a regular wooden fence like a house might have, but with barbed wire at the top. There were no fancy guard towers or anything of the kind, but I suppose there was no need for them. Looking to the left and right, I spotted the fence extending outwards a bit near the coasts, with some small holes in them at head height. The fence looked a lot like a keyboard bracket: [ From the top and bottom (in this case east and west) of the "bracket", one could look out the holes and see the entire fence, making for easy patrols. A gate blocked off the road as we approached, and two guards watched as we approached, everything below the waist covered by the fence. The barbed wire that covered the rest of the fence was absent here. As we approached, one of the soldiers exchanged pleasantries with the sentries, explaining who I was, who they were, and showing what was probably some form of ID. The guards left their platforms, and a few seconds later, the gate was pulled open for us. I took the lead of the soldiers escorting me, and followed them as I jogged through the gate. As I'd previously observed on Abel's map of New Canton, we still had a couple of k's to go before reaching the outskirts, and likely another one or two after that to reach the city center. Thus, I was presently surprised when the guards walked over to a group of half a dozen bikes. "That one's yours, for as long as you're in New Canton." one of the soldiers said, pointing out a smaller bike. "You know how to ride, I assume?" "It's been a while, but they say you never forget." I said. I looked over the bike briefly before I hopped on. It wasn't a high-end bike by any means, but it was definitely better than a bike from Big W or one of the other department stores. This had come from a bike shop, which meant it was probably a cut above the average, all things considered. I hopped on, and we started riding slowly. For the first couple of minutes I was quite slow and hesitant, but it came back quite swiftly, and I felt myself getting back into the groove as we turned right onto what I assumed was the main street of New Canton. After a few short minutes, much faster than running, we turned left once more before stopping at a large building. The soldiers locked up their bikes at a slightly rusty bike rack, this time with many more bikes already there. One of them (always the same one, presumably the senior of the two) handed me a bike lock, and told me the combination. I locked it up, and we headed into what was once an RSL club. Based on the painted signs, it looked like it had been repurposed as a government building. The senior guard again identified himself and I, and was waved through by a secretary. The poker machines sat inert, signs of a different age. Following my guides, we headed downstairs, where a sign pointed towards King Thomas's office. We took seats in the corridor that had been repurposed as a waiting room, and waited. The chairs in the corridor had been taken from the restaurant's seating area, repurposed for the building's new function. Nobody else was there, but after a few minutes, another man in combat fatigues entered and sat. We didn't speak. Another five minutes or so later, a woman left the room I presumed was Thomas's office. "Next!" a voice echoed throughout the waiting room. I looked at the senior guard, and he nodded. I stood, and the guards made no move to stand with me. Clearly, this was an appointment I was expected to attend alone. With a deep breath, I walked forward, opened the door, and prepared to meet the ruler of New Canton.
  11. "I'll do it." I said. The Major, Big John, and myself were in the war council room, lit up by the early morning sun. "Are you certain, Five?" the Major said. "The truth is, we don't know how long New Canton will want to hold on to you, or how long it'll take us to find another doctor. You might not return to Abel for quite some time. And we cannot rule out the possibility that New Canton will double-cross us in some way." "Abel needs me, Major." I said. "I'm willing to take the chance." "I knew you would say that." the Major sighed. "However, I did have to give you the choice. That said, we won't be sending you in unequipped. John?" John reached behind him, and brought out a very old, dusty, ragged backpack. I raised an eyebrow, and John laughed, a deep, booming sound. "Doesn't look like much, does it? That's all part of the plan, ya see. We give ya a pack so shit, New Canton'll never want to take it. But inside..." John said, and opened the bag. He pointed to a nearly invisible line of stitching. I had to peer closely into the bag to even see it. "This stitching is shit too, so you can undo it with bare hands if you've got the time. A knife's faster, of course. Anyway, we've made a secret compartment. Ranger Eight's portable radio's in there. Emily's said she'll get to work on the comms, and should have it working at New Canton range quick smart." John continued. "Once that happens, we should be able to talk to ya, even if you're in New Canton proper." "Thanks." I said. "I appreciate it; I know that's one of the best comms items we have." "We'll give ya some other stuff, too. Knife, gun, noisemaker...but New Canton might want to take that stuff off ya if they have hostile intentions...or even if they're just greedy pricks." John said. "You'll have to bring the assault rifle with ya too, as part of the trade deal the Major made with 'em." I nodded. "Right." "I'm giving you the title of Ambassador of Abel Township." the Major said. "It's a title I created yesterday just for this mission, but Mullins doesn't know that. You can use that to grease the wheels at Mullins. It also made New Canton more willing to go through with the deal, when I told them you were our ambassador." I grinned. "I didn't think that was your style, Major." "Desperate times call for desperate measures, Ranger Five." the Major said. "We'll be arranging the exchange about halfway between New Canton and Abel Township. Three people on each side. Ranger Nine and Runner Four will go with you. You leave in approximately an hour in order to make the time set. You may wish to take this time to say your goodbyes, while we make the final arrangements. We'll meet you at the gates." I nodded again, and left. I only had one person that I wanted to say goodbye to that wouldn't already know about the plan. * * * "You've got to be joking!" Sam said. "You're heading to New Canton? For how long? Why? New Canton never even talks to us, how in the blazes did you even arrange to go there? What's going on?" "To sum it up..." I said. "We need a new doctor, after what happened to Janine. New Canton can provide one. We need to contact Mullins ASAP if we want more supplies, which Abel desperately needs. New Canton can make that happen. They've found red zoms near their borders. They want the guy who's killed one. That guy would be me." "Five, this is crazy. We can find another doctor. Maybe Brunswick'll lend us one. We can get by on first aid for a while. Mullins'll get contacted through RoffleNet somehow...we don't even know anything about New Canton! Did I not tell you about how suspicious the whole thing was?" Sam said. "Sam, Abel needs me to do this." I said. "I don't have a choice." "You always have a choice, Five, always!" Sam said, standing from his chair. "Why do you feel the need to keep doing this? You ran into that hospital when you first arrived. You went after a killer, alone. And now you're going to New Canton! Do you have some kind of death wish?" "There's dozens of people here, Sam. Dozens!" I said. "And if I don't do this, we'll all suffer." "And if you DO do this, you could die. Or worse, be held captive by New Canton, and now you're a liability!" Sam said. "Five, it's not your responsibility to do this for us! You've done enough! You've done more than enough!" "Yes, it is!" I shouted. "Because I'm the only one who can! Life isn't some cosmic balance of doing enough, and so then you can just let people suffer when you could have stopped it, because karma-wise, you're in the black. Life's not fair like that. It wasn't before the plague, and it sure as hell isn't now. You know that, Sam. Why are you so against me going?" "Because I don't want to lose anyone else!" Sam said. "Anyone...else?" I said. "...Did you know you're not even my first Ranger Five?" Sam said. "You're my fourth." "Christ." I said. "And do you know how they all died?" Sam asked. "They reached too far. I told them not to, but there was always that one extra box of supplies, that one group of zoms they could outrun, that one time they had to stay just a little bit longer. If they'd been a bit more cautious, they'd still be alive. This world kills people who try and be heroes. After the first few people died, I told myself I wouldn't befriend anyone else. But I don't know...you reminded me of the old Runner Five. Before she got turned, in that same hospital you visited on your first day. You had that same look. She was terrified of the zoms, you know. The best runner we had, and she was scared every time. But she always went back out there. It never stopped her, and I got that same vibe from you." "And you talked back. People don't usually want to talk back much. Too busy running, you see. Always out of breath; not many runners have the trick of going slow, of keeping something left in reserve..." Sam said. "But now you're heading to New Canton. That place is like a black hole. Information never comes out. We've never had a single refugee from New Canton, and that place is huge. The whole place screams bad news, and you're going right into the heart of it. What if you don't come back? We might never even know what happened to you." "I'll come back, Sam." I said. "New Canton wouldn't trade one of their doctors for me unless they actually needed me. You'll see that chopper come in from Mullins in a day or two, and you'll know I made it there fine. You'll have medical supplies again, and you'll have enough power to turn the game systems back on. New Canton won't want me for long. A week or two maybe, to teach people about the red zoms, maybe do a few runs for them. The Major'll e-mail Brunswick, probably get a doctor from them. Then I'll be back, no problems." "I hope so, Five. You're not allowed to die on me, got it?" Sam said. "I'll be on comms for the exchange no matter what. It's four k's out, and the comms'll hold for five." "Wouldn't have it any other way." I said, and headed towards the gates of Abel Township. I took a good look at the buildings of Abel as I walked past. Despite what I said to Sam, it seemed proper. To be honest, I lied to him, because he was making good points. New Canton's dangerous. I'm putting myself in danger, and I could very well be in serious trouble as soon as I get there, if they have nefarious intentions. Nobody from Abel has any idea what they want. The truth is, Sam's right. Once I enter New Canton, there's a chance I'll never see the outside of it again.
  12. While I've yet to write it here, as of a few hours ago, I succeeded in the 5x5 body weight squat! So it's technically not in advance Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the end of Chapter 2, and glad you're following this one!
  13. Workout details: Wednesday: Easy pace. Ran 5.08 km (3.16 mi) in 31:07. Pace: 6:07 min/km, 9:51 min/mile I've decided to begin writing out my workout details out of character rather than in character. Ranger Five's going to continue with his workout regime, but as the story begins to heat up, real time begins to decouple from Ranger Five's time. For instance, I wrote a post yesterday, and I'll write a post tomorrow. That's 2 days between them, but only one day will have passed for Ranger Five. He was told to make his decision by tomorrow, not in two days. Then Five's going to have to go to New Canton, familiarise himself with the situation, and so on. That's probably going to be two or more posts that all take place in the same day. All-in-all, I expect a week in Ranger Five's time to often take more than a week's worth of writing to tell from now on. And it's only going to get worse as the story continues. I've got big plans for the story, but as the story speeds up, it takes longer to write a day or a week in Ranger Five's world, because more stuff happens. Thus, I'll try to start writing OOC posts 2-3 times a week, going back to Chapter 1 levels, and I can include my workouts in them. This frees me up to let the story progress on it's own timeline.
  14. There are probably online calculators to do the same thing which work on any operating system. This is one possibility.
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