Spread betting explained: How does spread betting work

ELI5:how does the point spread work in betting on football games.

I watch a lot of football and don't gamble so I've never paid too much attention to the "point spread" or covering our the under. Mostly because I dont understand it. So how does it work?
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How to be Wrong and Still Make Money: A comprehensive guide to selling credit spreads

So I first dipped my toes into options trading a few years ago. I had previously been swing trading stocks so I had a couple years of experience before that, but the leverage and potential returns that options provided really piqued my interest. After it was all said and done, I lost almost $20,000 buying options. After realizing that someone was getting all of this money I was losing, I learned about option selling and haven’t looked back since.
I recently posted my YTD performance here, and received a lot of questions about how I did it. My strategy changed over time, but I first started with credit spreads, which may be applicable to more people since it’s a strategy that works with smaller accounts too. I got a lot of questions about how I played credit spreads and it’s tough to completely explain what I do through a comment here and a comment there so I created this guide explaining my exact approach to trading credit spreads. Here you go:
This is a wall of text, so if you're a more visual learner, here's a link to videos explaining all four parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Part One: The Basics

So what is a spread? A high level conceptual explanation is that you’re essentially betting on a stock to finish above or below a certain price upon expiration. One of the advantages here is that you can set this number out of the money, so if a stock is trading at $100, you can bet that it’ll remain below $110 by a certain date. This is a bearish position, so if you’re correct and it goes down, you’ll make max profit. The catch though is that even if you’re wrong, you basically have a 10% upward cushion before you start to lose any money. So the easiest way to describe it is a strategy that lets you make money if you’re right, but also make money if you’re slightly off.
How does it work? So in the above example, if we were bearish on a stock we would open what’s called a call credit spread. We could set it up where we sell a 110c for a credit of $1.50, and buy a 115c for a debit of $0.50. This means that in this transaction we receive $1.50, and pay $0.50 for a net credit of $1. That credit is your max profit on the play. If you’re familiar with options you’ll know that if the stock finishes at or below $110 upon expiration, both of these calls will be worthless. That’s great news for us because the long leg we bought (115c) for 0.50 will be a loss, but we’ll get to keep the full $1.50 from the short leg (110c) that we sold, resulting in us realizing our max gain on the trade of $1.
Why not just sell the 110c and collect the full $1.50? While it cuts into our profits, the reason we buy the 115c in this example for $0.50 isn’t to cut into our profits when we’re correct, but rather protect us when we’re wrong. If the stock in the example stays below $110, we’re good to go and we’ll hit max profit. But what if it goes to $120, $150, or something crazy happens and it hits $200. If the stock hits $150 upon expiration, that 110c that we sold for $1.50 will be worth $40, meaning that we’ll incur a $3,875 loss in pursuit of a $150 gain. We’ve seen crazy run ups from the likes of TSLA and ZM lately, and people who sold what we call “naked options” got absolutely killed. With our spread, yes our 110c will be worth $40 meaning we’re down $4,000 on that position, but the 115c we bought behind it will be worth $35 meaning we’re up $3,500 there for a net loss of $500. Additionally, we get to keep that $1.00 credit we received up front no matter what, so our loss with this spread is actually $500-$100=$400 as opposed to the $3,875 loss that we would’ve seen had we sold the 110c by itself. THAT is the value in selling a spread as opposed to a naked option.
Why are you multiplying everything by 100? Each options contract is worth 100 shares, so a contract that is trading for $1.50 actually costs $150 to purchase.
Another high level point I like to make is that there are really 5 different things that can happen when you make a play. Let’s say you think a stock will go up. It can (1) go up a ton and you’d be correct, (2) go up a little and you’d be correct, (3) trade flat and you’d be incorrect, (4), go down a little and you’d be incorrect, or (5) go down a lot and you’d be incorrect. With a bullish spread, you’d hit max profit on 4/5 , or 80% of the possible outcomes, whereas if you bought stock or purchased an option you’d only be profitable on (1) or (2). Obviously the actual outcomes are a little more complex, but for a base-level understanding of the advantages a spread provides, I think this is a good way to look at it.
So that’s the value of a spread. A lot of traders are introduced to option selling and are scared of the prospect of incurring a huge loss like we mentioned above, but using credit spreads is a great way of receiving the benefits that selling has to offer while limiting a lot of the risks. So let’s move onto actually opening a spread.

Part Two: Making the Trade

So for actually opening a spread up, we have a four-step approach we take: Pick a Stock Pick a Direction Pick a Strike Price Execute the Trade
1: Picking a Stock:
One of the most important things I tell people is to trade what you know. I have a watchlist of 25-30 stocks that I watch and get familiar with during the day. That way if I recognize a good opportunity, I’ll have a decent base of knowledge to rely on to make what I feel is a smart play. It’s super easy to get caught up in the “stock of the week” and try to jump in on a play because a ticker is in the news. If you’re not familiar with a stock, don’t trade it.
For this example (the one used in the video), Wayfair was trading in a 195-210 range for a little bit and then had a big day where it broke up out of that range and up towards $220. This was an unusual move that I noticed since it was on my watchlist, so I decided to make a play.
STOCK: WAYFAIR
2: Picking a direction:
So if we look at Wayfair’s YTD chart, it has exploded this year. A clear upward trend, but a recent trend that I noticed from following the stock was that every time it broke out like this, there would be a little bit of a pullback afterwards. Additionally, I felt the stock was overvalued on a fundamental basis (had a negative book value at the time of the trade) so I wanted to play this stock back down. This is probably the quickest and easiest step of the four, since you’ll likely already have an opinion on most of the stocks that you follow.
DIRECTION: DOWN
3:Picking a Strike Price:
So we know that we’re going to be playing Wayfair back down, but now the question is what spread are we going to set up to do that. In this example Wayfair was trading at $218.42 at the time that we decided to make this trade. In the video we illustrate a trading channel that Wayfair was at the top of. It was also approaching the ATH of $221.54. A lot of the time that will act as resistance for a stock, meaning it’ll bounce down off of it. So in order to give ourselves a bit of a cushion we decided to set our short leg at 222.50, meaning that we’re playing the stock to stay below $222.50 by the end of that week.
So with this play it means in plain English that if we’re correct and the stock goes down, we hit max profit. But if we’re wrong and it goes up, we still have a $4.08 cushion before we’re not hitting max profit anymore. So we could be a little wrong, have the stock go up a few dollars, and still walk away with max profit.
STRIKE PRICE OF SHORT LEG: $222.50
4: Executing the Trade:
I’ll be the first to tell you that when I started trading spreads I didn’t realize you could open both legs of the spread at once. I was stupid. I would like to think I’m at least a little bit smarter now. If you look at the options screen for most brokers, you’ll just see single legs. Switching over to “vertical” allows you to set up the entire spread in one trade. If you use something like RH, there’s a feature that allows you to select multiple options, so you’ll select the one you wish to sell (short leg) and the one you wish to buy (long leg).
In this example we selected the 222.5/227.5c spread, meaning that we sold the short leg of 222.5 and the long leg of 227.5. The net credit was 1.45, which is our max gain on the trade. A wider spread gives a larger credit but also increases max loss. This is a $5 wide spread but we could have made it a tighter spread with a $2.5 width. Typically the best risk to reward ratio is on the tightest spreads, but a slightly wider spread will raise your breakeven price and studies have shown that it actually results in better expected value long term.
Circling back to the credit we received of $1.45, this means that our max profit was $145 and our max loss was $355 for each spread that we sold. We know that because our broker tells us that, but a quick way to calculate it is the width of the spread minus the credit. A $1.45 credit on $5 wide spread means a $5-$1.45=$3.55 max loss.
When I evaluate trades like this I look for a max profit to max loss ratio of 1:2 to 1:4. Based on different scanners I’ve seen, the best expected values tend to fall on spreads within that risk/reward ratio. The ratio on this trade is 1:2.44.
So we put our order in for a credit of $1.45, it filled, and now we get to sit back and watch. Sometimes your order won’t fill right away. In fact, most of the time it won’t fill right away. It’s important to be patient with your fill price and not chase it downwards. We want the highest credit possible. So if the credit on these spreads dropped to 1.30 when I was trying to place an order, it usually isn’t a great idea to drop my order price down to 1.30 just to get a fill. The only time I would recommend that is if you’re trying to open a spread right before the market closes. Otherwise, hang tight. Patience pays.

Part 3: Managing the Trade

So now that we’ve made the trade, it’s time to manage it. In my opinion one of the best parts about trading spreads is that they don’t require active management. You get to sit back and watch the price. Once the trade has been opened, which is also quick, it takes very little effort.
So with the Wayfair example we used, our analysis turned out perfectly, as Wayfair touched the ATH and dipped back down to end the week safely at $214. We hit max profit on that trade, but what if the trade goes against us? That’s what we’ll take a look at in this section.
One thing we didn’t address in part two is when to open the trade. We like opening spreads on Mondays and Tuesdays, and monitoring them during the week. This is the part of my strategy that is a little bit controversial, as there is a (legitimate) school of thought that selling spreads about 45 DTE is better value. I like that idea and if you would rather do that then absolutely go for it. It’s important to trade what you’re comfortable with. All of the lessons in here still apply to that strategy. With that said though, I stick with the weekly strategy of opening them at the beginning of the week and look to close them throughout the week.
The way I see it, your % of max profit should be the metric you’re looking at when deciding what to do with a spread. Divided up equally, that means if you progressed through the week to max profit in a linear fashion, you would be at 20% of max profit on Monday, 40% on Tuesday, and so forth. A good rule of thumb I use is that if you’re ever on the fence about whether or not to close something out, do so if your return exceeds the linear return for that day of the week. The market can move quickly and I’ve had several times where I have regretted not closing a spread out. It’s important to take profit.
Another thing I’ll add to this is that this weekly strategy gets a little risky on Thursday afternoon headed into Friday. If your spread is remotely close to being in the money on Thursday afternoon, close it out. Now that I type that out I realize that may all sound a little convoluted, but it’s better visualized in the video I’ve linked for this section.
Now let's get into what happens if a trade really starts to move against you. With the strategy we use there are really two options: (1) Close the trade for a loss and move on, or (2) Roll the strikes higher.
The first option is pretty self explanatory, but a quick note I want to add here is that you can have a stock move way against you but still be able to close the trade for less than max loss. The example I use in my video is I played FB earnings, thought it would go down, but it shot way above my spread and well into max loss territory. We opened a 245/247.5c spread for a credit of $0.54. FB was reporting earnings on a Thursday night and we sold this spread that expired the following day, so there wasn’t a ton of time to manage it. Long story short, FB killed earnings and shot up to $256 that morning. Really not a prayer that it would come back down to the spread I opened by the end of the day. But despite the fact that this trade went way against us and we had almost no time to manage it since it was a Friday play, we were still able to close out for a debit of $1.90. Yes that’s a loss of $1.36 per spread, but we SAVED an additional $0.60 cent loss by avoiding a max loss debit of $2.50. That’s another benefit of spreads.
Let’s talk about option two. This is the best option to use if you’re confident that you’re correct about the ultimate price action on a stock, but you need a little extra wiggle room on the trade. For this example we’ll look at a TSLA call spread that I opened. TSLA was trading at $1542 after an incredible run, so I figured I would play it below 1600 with a 1600/1610c spread that offered a credit of $2.52. As is the theme with this section, TSLA exploded the following morning (Tuesday) and went all the way up to $1794 at one point. My spread was literally almost $200 out of the money. One of the biggest possible moves against myself that I had ever seen. Despite this crazy move, it was only Tuesday and we were able to close the first spread for a debit of only $5.25 (as opposed to a $10 max debit). We opened 6 of these off the bat so this was a loss of $1638. From there we “rolled” our strikes higher, opening 10 1750/1760c spreads for a credit of $3.45. So the closing and subsequent opening of a spread like we did here is what we are referring to when we say we “rolled the strikes higher”.
By the end of the week TSLA had finally crashed a bit and it finished at $1506. This meant the second of spreads we opened were easily max profit. And while we lost $1,638 on the first set of spreads we opened here, we profited $3,450 on the second set of spreads so we were able to still finish the week with a $1,812 profit on TSLA. The funny thing with this one is that the original spread would have hit max profit since it dropped all the way back down to 1500, but we would have had the same result had TSLA finished anywhere below 1750.
Rolling the strikes higher gave me extra breathing room and turned a potential disaster into a profitable trade. One thing I’ll add though is that with this method you do run the risk of increasing your potential max loss. Because of that, I’ll only roll my strikes higher ONCE. Anything past that is chasing a losing trade. If I roll my strikes higher and it’s still going against me, I’m at the point where I need to accept the fact that I don’t fundamentally understand a stock as well as I thought I did and move on. There is always another trade out there.
The final point I’ll add to this is ALWAYS CLOSE OUT YOUR SPREADS. The only time I’ll let a spread expire worthless is if my spread is OTM by a crazy amount and it would quite literally take a historic after-hours move on Friday to take me back ITM. Other than that, close your spreads out. Even if it’s just for a $0.05 debit. It may seem annoying but I’ll tell you why in the following section.

Part 4: Additional Risks and Considerations

I will start this section by saying I’ve never been impacted by any of the following risks, but it’s important to be aware of 100% of the possible outcomes of your trade before you enter it. They’re infrequent but this really wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if I omitted them. They are as follows: (1) Early Assignment, (2) Dividend Risk, (3) Pin Risk.
1: Early Assignment:
The best way to start this section is by talking about why your max loss is actually your max loss. We know it’s quickly calculated as the width of your spread minus the credit, but why is that?
Let’s use a 110/115c spread as an example. We’ll say we received a credit of $1. We know that if the stock finishes anywhere below 110 then both legs are worthless and we’ll hold onto that $1 credit. But what happens if we’re in a max loss position. Let’s say the stock finishes at $120.
In this situation the short leg (110c) we sold would be worth $10 (120-110), meaning that we would owe $1,000 on that position. The long leg we bought would be worth $5 (120-115), meaning we are holding a position worth $500. The net effect is a $500 loss, but remember that’s netted against the $100 credit you received, so it’s a max loss of $400. That math checks out as the width of the spread is $5, the credit is $1, so the max loss is 5-1=$4*100=$400.
So that’s how it works upon expiration. But lets say this position moved against you, you still have a few days until expiration, but the stock is at $120. Since there are a few days left, you probably could close the contract for a debit of $3.50 rather than the max loss debit of $5. However, since your short leg is ITM the person you sold the option to may choose to exercise their option. As a result, that would require you to take on a short position of $110*100=$11,000 per contract sold. You may not be able to afford to cover that, or your broker may not let you hold that position. So what happens is your long leg gets exercised as well resulting in you taking a max loss early. So while on paper you received a credit of $1 that could have been closed for a debit of $3.50 and your loss was only $2.50, early assignment results in you prematurely taking a max loss.
When does this happen? It typically doesn’t, since it requires the buyer sacrificing the remaining extrinsic value on the option, but it’s more likely with certain stocks. There are three different classifications of a stock that relate to it’s borrowing ability: Easy to Borrow (ETB), Hard to Borrow (HTB), and Not Available to Borrow (NTB). The harder a stock is to borrow, the more likely it is that a call is exercised early because it gives the buyer a way to acquire a stock which may not be available to them through their broker. So if you’re selling call spreads that are close to being ITM, make sure to check out the borrowing status of the stock.
2: Dividend Risk:
This risk relates to the first one discussed, as it’s just another way you risk early assignment. If a company is announcing a dividend, there will be something known as an “ex-div” date, which means that all shareholders as of that date are entitled to receive the divident, which will be distributed usually at a later date. Because of this, call buyers may exercise an out of the money call option in an effort to acquire those shares.
Remembering that exercising an option means that you sacrifice all remaining extrinsic value, another reason a buyer may exercise a call option before an ex-dividend date is that the value of the dividend announced is greater than the extrinsic value remaining in the option. Say a 100c is trading at $2 and the underlying (stock) is currently at 101. The extrinsic value is the value of the option in excess of what it would be worth upon expiration. So the extrinsic value in this situation is $1, since the 100c trading for $2 is just $1 in excess of the current strike price. If the company in question here announced a $2 dividend, an option buyer would likely exercise their call option because the $2 dividend is greater than the $1 of extrinsic value.
3: Pin Risk:
We know that if your spread finishes out of the money it’s a max gain and if both legs of your spread finish in the money it’s a max loss. But what happens when the price of a stock finishes between the two legs of your spread? Let’s take a look.
So using a 100/110c spread as an example, let’s say that the stock finishes at 105. Your long leg, which is there to protect you, is worthless so you wouldn’t exercise it. However the short leg at 100 that you sold will be exercised by the buyer since it’s ITM. As a result, you’re now short 100 shares at a price of 100 and you’ll be holding that position over the weekend. This can go both ways from here, but since we’re focused on risk let’s say that this stock you’re now short shoots up over the weekend and some sort of news/event brings it up to $120.
With this short position of 100 shares at $100 you’re borrowing $10,000 worth of stock. Now that the stock is worth $120 this position is now worth $12,000. Over the weekend you’ve sustained a $2,000 loss. If we received a credit of $3 when we opened this spread, we may have thought that our max loss was 10-3=$7*100=$700. Since we failed to close the spread out, this position has now resulted in a $2,000 loss net of the $300 credit that you received when you opened the position. So on a trade where you thought you could lose at most $700, you’re now down almost $2k.
I can’t repeat it enough, but THIS IS WHY WE CLOSE OUT SPREADS BEFORE EXPIRATION. That is the single most important takeaway I can give you here. Spreads are great since they’re defined risk and defined gain. When you’re buying options you have a defined loss but a potentially infinite gain. This can make it really easy to get greedy and I’ve seen countless traders lose big profits because they keep holding out for more. When you have a defined gain and defined loss it makes it easier to make smart decisions, take profits, and continuously build on those profits over time.
That was an enormous wall of text but I hope it helps explain, from a base level, what spreads are and how they work. Switching from buying options to selling options has dramatically changed my performance in the market so I hope sharing this can do the same for someone else. If you have any questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.
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[Game Preview] Week 4 - Philadelphia Eagles(0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
The Eagles are off to their worst start since 1999 when Eagles coach Doug Pederson was the starting QB for the Eagles in Andy Reid’s first season; where the Eagles started 0-3 and finished 5-11. The Eagles look to be on a similar trajectory this season with their 0-2-1 start following an embarrassing tie to the Bengals last week. The Eagles have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL this season and the Eagles look like a bad football team. There really isn’t any other description of this team. They are bad on every level and it starts from the top. The team has played undisciplined and the offensive and defensive play-calling has been atrocious and has lacked identity. It seems like the game-planning this season has been phoned in with the coaches running the same vanilla offense and defense week in and week out and expecting the players to win it for them which they haven’t. Carson Wentz has regressed to the point he is unrecognizable and is making mistakes from his rookie season. His coaches don’t seem interested in helping him with fix those mistakes either as Doug Pederson and Press Taylor have failed to recognize Carson’s breakdowns in his mechanics. Their gameplans have done him no favors either utilizing a large number of 5 and 7 step drops despite having a multitude of injuries on the offensive line and at the wide receiver position. If the Eagles have any hope of salvaging their season they will need to pull out a win on Sunday night football against the 49ers and their strong defense. The 49ers are dealing with some injuries of their own with Bosa and Sherman on the IR on the defensive side and Jimmy G and Mosert most likely missing the game on offense. The San Fran defense is still tough with an impressive defensive line and speed all over the field. If Doug cares about Carson at all he will move the pocket and rely on Miles Sanders on the ground to keep the pass rush honest. On the defensive side, Schwartz will need to continue to mix it up with blitzes like he did against the Bengals, but he will need to pull his out of his ass in the secondary and learn that his CBs should not be playing 8-10 yards off the ball when playing man coverage. If Schwartz does a lot of the same in the secondary it could be a long day because Shanahan’s offense will exploit it and lead to another Eagles loss, this time in Prime Time. The Eagles will need to figure out how to get a win this week, or this streak of 3 straight playoff appearances will come to an end. Go Birds!
General Information
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Score Prediction Contest
Date
Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Game Time Game Location
8:20 PM - Eastern Levi’s Stadium
7:20 PM - Central 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way
6:20 PM - Mountain Santa Clara, CA 95054
5:20 PM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 74°F
Feels Like: 74°F
Forecast: Clear. Clear throughout the day
Chance of Precipitation: 0%
Cloud Coverage: 1%
Wind: West-Northwest 6 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: 49ers -7
OveUnder: 46
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 0-3, San Francisco 2-1
Where to Watch on TV
NBC* will broadcast Sunday’s game to a national audience. Al Michaels will handle the play-by-play duties and Chris Collinsworth will provide analysis and Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines.
TV Map - Week 4 TV Coverage Map
Radio Streams
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (44th season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo and Bill Kulik will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
49ers Radio
49ers Radio Greg Papa will handle play-by-play and Tim Ryan will provide analysis for the game.
National Radio
Westwood One will broadcast the game nationally with Ryan Radtke handling the play by play and Terrell Davis will provide analysis.
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel 49ers Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 81 (Streaming 825) SIRI 83 (Streaming 827)
XM Radio XM 226 (Streaming 825) 225 (Streaming 827)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 226 (Streaming 825) SXM 225 (Streaming 827)
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NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Football Team 1-2 .333 1-0 0-2 1-0 1-1 62 81 -19 2L
Cowboys 1-2 .333 1-0 0-2 0-0 1-2 88 97 -9 1L
Eagles 0-2-1 .167 0-1-1 0-1 0-1 0-2 59 87 -28 0
Giants 0-3 .000 0-2 0-1 0-0 0-2 38 79 -41 3L
Series Information
Rhe San Francisco 49ers lead the Philadelphia Eagles(San Francisco 49ers lead series, 19-13-1)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 6th, 1951 at Shibe Park, Philadelphia, PA . Philadelphia Eagles 21 - San Francisco 49ers 14.
Points Leader
Philadelphia Eagles lead San Francisco 49ers (749-733)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 1-0 against the 49ers
Kyle Shanahan: 0-1 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Kyle Shanahan: Pederson leads 1-0
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against 49ers: 1-0
Jimmy Garapolo: Against Eagles: 0-0
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz v Jimmy Garapolo: First meeting between QBs.
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead 49ers: 3-2
Record @ Levi’s Stadium: 49ers lead Eagles 1-0
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 26 - 49ers No. 12
Record
Eagles: 0-2-1
49ers: 2-1
Last Meeting
Sunday, October 29th, 2017
Eagles 34 - 49ers 10
The Eagles looked to win their 6th game in a row against the winless San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles got off to a slow start, only leading 3–0 after the first quarter. Late in the second quarter, the Eagles blew the game open. Carson Wentz found tight end Zach Ertz for a 1-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone off of a bootleg pass, and Jalen Mills intercepted rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers appeared to have some life in the third quarter, following a Carson Wentz interception, leading to a Matt Breida 22 yard touchdown reception. However, the Eagles responded, with Wentz connecting with Alshon Jeffery for a 53-yard touchdown, putting the game out of reach. The Eagles went on to win 33–10 and advanced to 7–1 on the season. Despite the win, the Eagles played a sloppy game on a rainy afternoon in Philadelphia.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
10/29/2017 Eagles 49ers 33-10
9/28/2014 49ers Eagles 26-21
10/2/2011 49ers Eagles 24-23
10/10/2010 Eagles 49ers 27-24
12/20/2009 Eagles 49ers 27-13
10/12/2008 Eagles 49ers 40-26
9/24/2006 Eagles 49ers 38--24
9/18/2005 Eagles 49ers 42-3
12/21/2003 49ers Eagles 31-28
11/25/2002 Eagles 49ers 38-17 
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
49ers 49ers
2020 “Expert” Picks
Week 4 - "Expert" Picks
2020 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
49ers Season Stats
2020 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 79 132 59.85% 737 3 6 63.9
Garoppolo 33 49 67.35% 390 4 0 118.6
Mullens 33 47 70.21% 414 4 1 95.5
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Sanders 38 190 95 5.0 1
Mosert 23 148 74.0 6.4 1
Mckinnon 20 139 46.3 7.0 2
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Ertz 15 130 43.3 8.7 1
Reed 11 85 28.3 7.7 2
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 3.0 12
Hyder 2.0 5
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Gerry 25 12 13 0.0
Warner 28 17 11 0.0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
N/A 0 0
Tartt/Warner 1 2
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
Johnston 13 673 62 51.8 45.5 7 1 0
Wishnowsky 8 377 59 47.1 43.6 5 1 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 7 6 85.7% 54 5/5
Gould 7 6 85.7% 52 9/9
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Scott 3 61 20.3 25 0
McKinnon 4 87 21.8 29 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Ward 3 10 3.3 8 0 3
Taylor 2 21 10.5 12 0 1
League Rankings 2020
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank 49ers Stat 49ers Rank
Total Offense 336.3 24th 381.7 14th
Rush Offense 117.7 17th 132.7 12th
Pass Offense 218.7 24th 249.0 15th
Points Per Game 19.7 27th 29.0 T-11th
3rd-Down Offense 46.8% 9th 47.2 8th
4th-Down Offense 0.0% T-28th 0.0 T-28th
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 57.1% T-20th 61.5% T-16th
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank 49ers Stat 49ers Rank
Total Defense 330.7 5th 304.0 3rd
Rush Defense 106.3 9th 116.7 16th
Pass Defense 224.3 7th 187.3 2nd
Points Per Game 29.0 23rd 15.3 2nd
3rd-Down Defense 34.9% 5th 42.1% 14th
4th-Down Defense 66.7% 21st 25.0% T-6th
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 69.2% 21st 50.0% T-6th
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank 49ers Stat 49ers Rank
Turnover Diff. -7 32nd +3 T-5th
Total Penalties 19 19th 16 T-11th
Total Penalty Yards 143 16th 157 18th
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles - The Eagles welcomed the Cincinnati Bengals to Lincoln Financial Field seeking their first win over Cincinnati since 2000. After a scoreless first quarter, the two teams traded field goals in the second, before the Bengals took a 10-6 lead on a touchdown reception by Tee Higgins. Wentz responded on the ensuing drive, as he threw his 100th career touchdown pass to Greg Ward to put the Eagles in front 13-10 at halftime. After the Eagles added another Jake Elliott field goal, the Bengals reclaimed a one-point lead with Higgins' second touchdown of the afternoon. Cincinnati would pad its lead to seven points with two fourth-quarter field goals. Trailing 23-16 with just over 3 minutes left in regulation, Philadelphia drove down the field to score the game-tying touchdown on a 7-yard run for Wentz. In overtime, both defenses held strong, with neither team being able to get into field goal range until the final drive, when the Eagles got to the Bengals' 41. However, a costly false start on Matt Pryor brought Philadelphia out of field goal range. The Eagles punted the ball, and the game ended on the following play with the Bengals at their own 20. Despite his milestone, Wentz's struggles continued as he also threw two interceptions for the third straight game and finished the game with a 62.8 passer rating. Philadelphia improved to 0-2-1 with the tie, but failed to snap their winless streak against Cincinnati and fell to 0-3-2 in their last five against the Bengals, including an 0-2-1 mark at Lincoln Financial Field. This marked the Eagles' first tie since 2008, which was also against the Bengals.
49ers - The way the San Francisco 49ers played, missing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and a slew of starters wasn't an issue against the woeful and winless New York Giants, who were also missing their best player in Saquan Barkley. 49ers backup Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards and a touchdown and the Niners controlled the ball on offense, took it away on defense and had another easy day on the East Coast in a 36-9 win at MetLife Stadium Sunday. San Francisco scored on seven of its first eight possessions. It would have been all eight but a snap-hold problem led to Gould missing a 55-yarder. He connected from 52, 32 and 26 yards. The Niners' ninth possession ended the game.
Connections
49ers Practice Squad LB Joe Walker played 3 seasons for the Eagles from 2016-2018.
49ers Offensive Quality Control Coach Miles Austin played one season for the Eagles in 2015.
49ers Inside LB coach Demeco Ryans played 4 seasons for the Eagles from 2012-2015.
49ers Assistant Special Teams coach Michael Clay was a Defensive Special Assistant (2014) and Assistant Special Teams coach(2015) from 2014-2015.
49ers RB Raheem Mosert was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and was placed on their practice squad before he was signed off the practice squad by the Miami Dolphins.
Eagles Special Teams coach Dave Fipp worked as the Assistant special teams coach for the 49ers from 2008-2010.
Eagles Senior Offensive Assistant Rich Scangarello worked as the QB coach for the 49ers from 2017-2018.
Eagles Senior Offensive Assistant Marty Mornhinweg worked for the 49ers as Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach from 1997-2000.
Eagles WR Marquise Goodwin played 3 seasons for the 49ers from 2017-2019.
2020 Pro Bowlers
Eagles 49ers
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) FB Kyle Juszczyk (Starter)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) TE George Kittle (Starter)
C Jason Kelce (Starter) DE Nick Bosa (Starter)
LS Rick Lovato (Starter) CB Richard Sherman(Starter)
TE Zach Ertz
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
General
Referee: Bill Vinovich
Dating back to 2005, Philadelphia has won 6 of its last 8 games vs. San Francisco. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Eagles defeated the 49ers, 33-10, at Lincoln Financial Field.
Additionally, Philadelphia has captured 4 of its previous 5 road games against San Francisco since 2002.
The Eagles defense, which collected a season-high 8.0 sacks in Week 3 vs. Cincinnati, is tied for the 3rd-most sacks (12.0) in the NFL, behind Pittsburgh (15.0) and Washington (13.0).
Brandon Graham is tied for the 5th-most sacks (team-high 3.0) in the NFL this season. He needs only 1.0 sack to surpass Hugh Douglas (54.5, 1998-2002, ‘04) for the 4th-most sacks in team history, trailing only Reggie White (124.0, 1985-92), Trent Cole (85.5, 2005-14) and Clyde Simmons (76.0, 1986-93).
Miles Sanders has produced the 7th-most rushing yards (190) in the NFL since Week 2 (95 rushing yards each against the Rams and Bengals). Sanders has also totaled 100+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his last 5 regular-season games.
Draft Picks
Eagles 49ers
WR Jalen Raegor DT Javon Kinlaw
QB Jalen Hurts WR Brandon Aiyuk
LB Davion Taylor OT Colton McKivitz
S K’Von Wallace TE Charlie Woerner
OT Jack Driscoll WR Jauan Jennings
WR John Hightower
LB Shaun Bradley
WR Quez Watkins
OT Prince Tega Wanogho
LB/DE Casey Toohill
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles 49ers
S Will Parks OT Trent Williams
DT Javon Hargrave WR Mohamed Sanu
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman DT Kerry Hyder
CB Darius Slay C Hroniss Grasu
WR Tavon Austin
TE Jordan Reed
DE Dion Jordan
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles 49ers
S Malcom Jenkins OT Joe Staley
CB Ronald Darby DT Deforest Buckner
RB Jordan Howard WR Emmanuel Sanders
WR Nelson Agholor WR Marquise Goodwin
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai DT Sheldon Day
LB Kamu Grugler-Hill RG Mike Person
RB Darren Sproles TE Garret Celek
DT Timmy Jernigan
LB Nigel Bradham
Milestones
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6397) needs 68 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list all-time passing WR *Mike Quick
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles DE Brandon Graham (54) needs 1 sack to move to 4th on the Eagles all-time sack list passing DE Hugh Douglas
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (49) needs 1.5 sacks to move up to 6th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Greg Brown
Eagles DE Vinny Curry (27.5) needs 2 sacks to move up to 18th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DT Jerome Brown
49ers DE Arik Armstead(20) needs 2 sacks to move up to 20th on the 49ers all-time sack list passing OLB Parys Haralson.
Stats to Know
Receiving RBs
What if I told you the Niners have two of the league’s best receiving Running Backs? (Yes, one is hurt). What if I also told you the Eagles’ defenders are presently poop covering RBs against the pass? That about sums it up. Mr. McKinnon should have a fun day.
Matchups to Watch
Carson Wentz
This is the only real battle that matters since it's extremely difficult to win in the NFL with poor QB play. Wentz is among the worst QBs in the league to start the season and it could be a significant amount of time before he changes course. Even the most stalwart Wentz supporters must admit he is also a problem with this team right now. With that said, in order to win this game, and any game moving forward, the Eagles need Carson Wentz to improve. Philly can't use the injury excuse in this particular matchup as the Niners are one of the only teams to be in a similar or worse injury predicament than the Eagles. Even with the injuries, the Niners are able to show up and show out on a weekly basis... They are a great team. Wentz has had issues in all areas pertaining to play. He needs to be more precise, smarter, and more relaxed. This team sucks; it's likely no amount of heroism if going to pull this team from the depths of the league this season. The only thing Carson Wentz can do is his job. He's not responsible for coaching blunders, other injuries, or a GM that can't get anything right. Just get better and when he does, this team can actually be competitive.
Kyle Shanahan and his offensive genius vs Jim Schwartz and the LBs and Safeties
It should be no surprise the Eagles LBs and Safeties struggle in coverage as they did nothing in the offseason to add players that can cover. Plain and simple. This is a defense with a great defensive line, a great CB1, and that's it. They struggle to play consistent run defense now with the mediocre talent in the second and third levels. Kyle Shanahan is one of the most innovative offensive minds in the NFL; if you thought the thumping Sean McVay gave us was painful, wait until we see what's in store from the guy who mentored McVay. Shanahan lives for finding your weakest links in the LB and Safety rooms and exploiting that deficiency mercilessly. Nate Gerry is about to have his worst game ever - and that says something. George Kittle should return for this contest which is a tremendous mismatch that the Niners will exploit. Even the best cover guys in the league struggle against Kittle as he's just a monster. Shanahan will use all kinds of motion, misdirection, and play action that will cause this defense to struggle mightily absent some sort of miracle where they learn to play. I have faith that the defensive line can play well, but as we saw in week 2, all the motion, misdirection, and play action teams use can neutralize a pass rush. Lastly, can Schwartz even put his guys in better positions? Yeah, probably not.
Doug Pederson’s Offensive Game Plan vs the Niners Defense
I tried to have a more nuanced look at this matchup but it is difficult. The Eagles offense is marred by underachieving talent and injuries to start the season. Furthermore, they weren't given enough to work with by the front office but that is an entirely different discussion. Point blank: the offensive coaching staff, led by Doug Pederson, has struggled to consistently put its players in successful situations to start the season. It's not all Doug's fault but a large part of it is. There wasn't a real identity to this offense to start and that's only gotten worse 4 weeks in. This roster isn't going to suddenly improve overnight, if at all this season, so it's up to the coaching staff to help the offense succeed. There are a lot of new cooks involved in creating the offensive game plan but not enough overall direction from the man in charge. The Niners defense has plenty of injuries to key players as well; can they design a function offense built on spare parts to put up a fight? Or will they punt?
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
submitted by Rsubs33 to eagles [link] [comments]

First Contact - Chapter 321 (The War)

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The city was overcast, as was most of the planet, the rain thick with uptake from the orbital bombardments, the atomic weaponry, the directed nuclear weapons, and, as always, the fires. It coated heat sinks, sensors, visors, armor, buildings, and the dead alike. The sun was barely visible, unable to warm up the landscape or the day despite it having been summer before it had all began.
In orbit the Precursor Autonomous War Machines had brought in reinforcements, obviously intending on dedicating the amount of metal needed to take the system away from the Lanaktallan Unified Council, the people who lived on it, and deny the Confederate military any semblance of victory.
The PAWM's had announced their next wave of reinforcements by simply Helljumping straight into the system and going guns clear.
With a hundred Goliath class Haverster vessels.
More than had been seen in any one place the entire war.
Their new tactic, of making directly for the planets, not bothering to secure control of the system first, was resulted in debris slowly spreading out from the system as the Confederate Space Force Naval Vessels had engaged them at ranges they could not answer.
Hundreds of millions had died already.
But there were billions left to fight for.
Vuxten was riding on the back of one of 3rd Armor's medium tanks. He had dialed down the psychic shielding until he could hear the screams again after the first two attempted ambushes. He could hear it, the steady screaming from up ahead and had jumped up on the back of Captain Lee's tank, a member of 8/68 "The Warsteel Dukes", to let her know that he could hear it. He was crouched down slightly, using the turret for cover while he knelt on the back of the medium tank.
Medium. It weighs nearly eight hundred tons, half of that is armor, Vuxten thought to himself. His visor gave a pop of sparks and the rain and debris cleared off.
"Drones out," Captain Lee said from where she was half out of the tank commander's hatch. She wasn't wearing her helmet and Vuxten kept having to restrain himself from yelling at her to put her helmet on.
He could see the three red rounded end bars stacked at the base of her skull.
The two tanks from 8/68 and the one from the Great Herd sat idling, the Terran tank's engines rumbling and the Lanaktallan tanks hoverfans howling.
Thankfully Vuxten's armor automatically edited out those sounds.
After a moment she put her hand on the datalink on her left temple and cursed. "Give me a spiral search pattern, let's see if that's a pattern."
"What?" Vuxten asked over the channel.
"Here, look. We've got a problem," Captain Lee said. She made a tossing motion and Vuxten 'caught' the data packet, opening it up and putting it on his visor with zero transparency.
The building was largely gutted, small and medium Precursor Autonomous War Machines inside. There was one of the big ones in there, heavy tracks and the armored surface covered with guns.
Strapped around the guns were civilians. Lanaktallan and neo-sapients both. Vuxten could see where the cabling had been run through their bodies, woven around them, then sloppily welded to the hull. Some of them were screaming, others were weakly crying out, still others were just slumped against the hull of the war machine.
He counted fifty total just on one side.
"Shit," he said.
--what-- 471 asked from where he was keeping an eye on Vuxten's heat.
"Look," Vuxten passed the data to his little green battle buddy.
--shit-- 471 agreed.
Captain Lee put her hand to her temple again and Vuxten could tell she was subvocalizing, talking to someone. After a minute she looked around.
"All non-Terran units are to pull out of the city," she said. She gave a heaving breath. "3rd Armor and 8th Infantry will be handling this," she turned and looked at Vuxten. "That includes First Telkan. Get your men out."
Vuxten frowned and opened his mouth to object then closed it.
The Battle Tactical Network was already updating.
"Let's go, men," Vuxten said, jumping down off the back deck.
"What, we're leaving?" Nultek asked.
"Yes, Lance Corporal, we're leaving," Vuxten said. He began jogging down the torn up asphalt road. Behind him he could hear the sound of the Lanaktallan hover tank turning around, the graviton generators howling as they balanced the weight. "Fall back to Log Base Tau."
----------------
Vuxten could tell everyone was angry. Non-Terran units had gone to the nearest Log Base, meaning 1/1 of 1st Armored Scout Division was present, all of Second Telkan Marine Division, and close to two hundred of the Lanaktallan hover tanks.
A lot of people wanted to know what was going on and even more were mad at the perceived slight of being pulled out of the city.
Colonel O'Malley, in charge of Vuxten's 1st Assault Regiment, was hurrying over to him, Lieutenant Colonel N'gatu right behind her. Vuxten altered direction to meet up with her between two of the five hundred ton Lanaktallan battle wagons.
"Your men out?" she asked.
"First Platoon's all accounted for, ma'am," Vuxten said. "All Telkan elements have fallen back to the log bases."
She turned her visor clear and nodded. "Trucker called everyone back who isn't 3rd Armor or 8th Infantry. He doesn't want any non-Terrans to clear that city."
"Why?" Vuxten asked, following her into the 'Main Gate' tunnel and moving through the ten meter thick wall.
"General Vandu wants to order First Telkan back into the city but General Ko'Draka overrode her," the Terran Colonel said. She paused when they left the tunnel, looking at the few blocky buildings that were more or less blocks of armor with a few doors cut into it to access the inner spaces. She reached out and touched Vuxten's helmet and he saw the "PRIVATE CHANNEL" icon flash.
"I'm bringing you because you're the highest ranking Telkan. If you survive, someday you'll take my place, so you need to see what kind of shit show you can walk into through no fault of your own," she said.
"Yes, ma'am," Vuxten said.
He suddenly wished he was anywhere else.
Preferably being shot at.
They moved into the bigger armored block, O'Malley moving down the center of the corridor. Troops in adaptive camouflage and light armor called out "Make way!" or "Make a hole!" as she approached and moved against the wall. The only exception was six enlisted carrying a long loop of armored fiber optic cable.
Vuxten and O'Malley both pressed against the wall to let the work detail get by.
Finally they reached the command center, or at least what was passing for one. Four days was a lot, especially when backed by nanoforges and troops who had decades or centuries of experience, but everything was pretty much ad-hoc still.
The holotank was pretty much just the tank itself, with enough of a flat surface around it to hold the datascreens for individual dataslates, the chairs were missing or had only the bases installed, and cabling still hung down from the walls, the plating that was supposed to cover it either missing completely or leaned against the affixed plate next to it.
Vuxten's armor immediately pinged the holograms and living beings in the room.
Colonel Kalnek, Commander of Log Base Tau was physically present, as was General Vandu. Trucker and Kilkatrikak were visible from the waist up. Vuxten saw Trucker spit as his arms and upper body shook and knew the big Terran was engaged in combat. Kilkatrikak had a cigarette in his mouth and obviously jogging. General Papatonis, in charge of combined armor operations, was present physically, his face tired looking and the blackish tinge of propellant residue on his face. Planetary Armor Great Most High A'armo'o was physically present, leaning against the wall and injecting a stim-cone into his forearm.
General Kilkatrikak's face and upper torso, armored all in black, suddenly lit up, reflecting rapid flashes. Around him little bubbles reading "DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA" floated up in the hologram.
"The Treana'ad Infantry Hordes are still engaged," O'Malley whispered.
General Ko'Draka and General Ullmunka were present virtually, Ko'Draka with a cigarette in his mandibles and Ullmunka sitting in a comfortable chair, her grayish-green hands folded over her adaptive camouflage covered knee.
"Colonel O'Malley, welcome," General Ko'Draka said, taking a drink from a plastic bottle. "This should be enough."
"Moment," Trucker's hologram said. "GODDAMN IT, FLE-" his hologram cut out speech.
"Just listen, Trucker," Ko'Draka said. "Pay attention to your fight. I'll 'tach you the transcript."
"Roger! TWO O'CLOCK, PANAMA PAM! YOUR OTHER TWO O'CLOCK, YOU MORON!" Trucker said.
Ko'Draka made a motion and the sound from Trucker was muted.
"All right, we're here to discuss my obviously unpopular decision," General Ko'Draka said, folding his hands and crossing his bladearms.
"You pulled a fifth of my power armor troops out of that city," General Vandu snarled. "They're needed to sweep the buildings."
Ko'Draka nodded slowly. "In normal circumstances, yes."
"You pulled 9th Warborg Division in to take their place, completely disrupting my war plan," Vandu added.
"You still have eighty percent of your power armor troops. 9th Warborg can easily fill the gap. They've got the most experience at city fighting against Precursor Autonomous War Machines out of every unit in Task Force Angry Duck," Ko'Draka said.
"Except First Telkan," she shot back.
Vuxten was tempted to tell her not to bring him into it.
"General, do you understand why I pulled all non Confederate forces out of that city?" General Ko'Draka asked.
She shook her head.
"I do," A'armo'o said, pushing himself off the wall and trotted up by the half-completed tactical holotank.
General Vandu turned, opening her mouth, then shut it.
"The Type Three Autonomous War Machines have attached civilians to their heavy armored vehicles in hopes that it will make any who face them pause for the critical milliseconds for them to get the upper hand," A'armo'o said. He shook out his arm he'd injected the stim-cone into. "Lanaktallan and neo-sapients obviously taken prisoner from the city's population that have not yet been placed into what is being called a 'screaming array' by the troops."
"The power armor troops can go in to free them," Vandu said.
A'armo'o laughed, a sound like a gorilla jumping up and down on bagpipes. "And when they rush in they can wave their magic wands and turn all of the Precursor machines into soap bubbles so that they don't have to fight against dozens, scores of Precursor machines and hope that the hostages don't get injured."
"How dare you!" Vandu started to say.
"He's right," O'Malley added. "Standard procedure for the big ones is to fire off their anti-personnel strips if power armor troops get close, which would turn those hostages into..."
"Did I ask for your opinion, Colonel?" Vandu asked, turning and glaring at the lower ranking woman.
O'Malley shut her mouth and stepped backwards to stand next to Vuxten.
"The fact that Lanaktallan troops are working next to Confederate troops is politically charged enough, but when, not if, when it got out that Lanaktallan troops took part in what is going to be a slaughter, there would be reprisals by allied species troops as well as civilians," A'armo'o said. He undid his canteen, a Space Force version, not a Lanaktallan one, and took a drink. "Recalling First Armored Scout Division as well as Telkan First Marine Division, that ensures that the only ones taking part in the fighting in the city are Confederate forces."
Vandu pointed at Vuxten. "His people are part of the Confederacy."
"His people were neo-sapients less than three years ago, deemed unsuited even for cannon fodder and not even trusted with weapons," A'armo'o said. He looked at Vuxten. "No offense."
"None taken," Vuxten said, blocking 471's profane emoji.
"All anyone will see, is rather than fight a difficult battle, the Confederacy sent in what the inhabitants of this planet will see as Unified Military Council forces if my own forces, General Ekert, or the Telkan Marines are sent in," A'armo'o said.
"So you're just going to force 3rd Armor and 8th Infantry to wade through gore?" Vandu asked.
A'armo'o shrugged. "I am unbothered by it either way. I have spent centuries inside a tank. I no longer even see what is in my gunsight beyond a target," he took another swallow off his canteen. "Tying hostages to equipment is standard procedure in the fights I have been part of."
He moved back to the wall and leaned against it. "Nothing convinces local guerillas not to shoot at your tanks like tying their mates and young to the hull."
"Space Force doesn't do that," General Ko'Draka said.
"Any more," A'armo'o shrugged. "You outgrew something that we still routinely practice. It is why I am comfortable following your orders."
There was an uncomfortable silence.
"So, it's OK to have the Terrans wade through blood," Vandu started again.
"General, compose yourself," Ko'Draka said, lighting another cigarette. "I realize that things are difficult with the SUDS issue, but attempt to comport yourself as an officer."
Vuxten managed to keep from snickering.
"And to answer your question, yes. It is acceptable for the Confederate Space Force to fight their way through even though there are civilians attached to the vehicles," Ko'Draka said. "Which is why I'm having 108th Military Intelligence pin-point the houses that ambushes are waiting and using artillery to destroy them and damage the ambushers. A high impulse thermobaric pulse round from a Poohawk Missile System should be acceptable to ensure those poor bastards don't feel any pain."
Vandu clenched her jaw.
"We can't send anyone in, the lesser machines will rip them up. We can't send forces against them, just firing the weapons near them will severely injure them or kill them," Ko'Draka leaned into his hologram. "They're already dead."
Vandu turned her head away.
-------------
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
I've managed to get some of the records from Second Telkan untangled.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
AKLTAK FREE FLIGHT
What's wrong with the data?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
The data's timestamps are messed up. Apparently there's temporal warfare going on out there. Looks like someone keeps making the forces out there relived the same events over and over, trying to change the outcomes.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TNVARU GRIPPING HANDS
Will that work? Keep refighting the same day over and over until you win?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
No.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
BAH! Where did you come from?
Ok, now I sound like Treana'ad.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TNVARU GRIPPING HANDS
Why doesn't it?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
Because Terrans don't do the same thing over and over. There's... anomalies. There is always anomalies. Someone who remembers each day, someone who does something different. It then causes a butterfly effect.
The best bet is to rewind the day for you so you have fresh troops, but leave the enemy troops still in same linear time stream, so they're damaged and have casualties.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
AKLTAK FREE FLIGHT
Except that won't work on Terrans. Nanoforges and clone banks mean you just rearm, refit, and reinforce.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
That's one of the reasons we have those protocols.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TNVARU GRIPPING HANDS
Wait, could that be what's happening to the SUDS?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOLMIL
Who knows.
The SUDS is a cludged together hodgepodge that's been half blown out a dozen times so far.
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOL
What ever happened to the SUDS is more than just temporal warfare. The SUDS system is built to handle that due to the Second Temporal War, so there has to be something else that effected the SUDS to cause it to red-dot.
////////
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
The Second what?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOL
What?
/////////
TELKAN FORGE WORLDS
What do you mean what?
---NOTHING FOLLOWS---
TERRASOL
Sorry, time lag. Temporal resonance issues. Can't understand you.
////////
MANTID FREE WORLDS
You get used to that.
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submitted by Ralts_Bloodthorne to HFY [link] [comments]

Wizard Tournament: Chapter 10

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      The crowd gave a whoop of delight when Peter dropped dead. Most of them did anyway. Sylnya jumped up and booed loudly. “Go fuck yourself, Korack!” she shouted.
      The bell chimed high in the stands from the judge’s stand. “Peter is dead,” Maeve announced. “Korack wins.
      “You can’t really say you didn’t expect that,” Draevin told Sylnya when she returned to her seat.
      “No, but he could’ve at least brought his damn scroll with him,” she said.
      On the arena floor below Korack waved his arms excitedly to his fans and blew out a gout of flames from his mouth. It made a showy flash and the small pocket of lizard-kin who’d made the long trip from Kreet started a chant of, “Kᴏ-Ʀᴀᴄᴋ! Kᴏ-Ʀᴀᴄᴋ!” that rippled around the arena and was adopted by all but the stubborn group of humans way in the back.
      Another pair of white-robed medical wizards marched on stage to haul off Peter’s body, but this time none of the engineering acolytes even bothered to show up since the battleground had been completely undamaged by the brief attack. With a final wave to the crowd, Korack stepped off the stage.
      The bell chimed from the judge’s stand. Again.
      All the cheering from the crowd stopped and a buzz of conversation broke out. “The hell was that?” Sylnya asked.
      “I don’t know. I’ve never heard it chime twice. I thought it was magically tuned to the arena.”
      “Quiet down,” Maeve announced. For once everyone listened. “It seems… Korack has left the arena boundary. He is eliminated. We ask that Peter reveal himself and make his way to the judge’s stand. In the meantime, please stand by while the judges deliberate their ruling.
      When Maeve finished her speech, Peter suddenly appeared. He was lying on the ground in the dirt right where he’d stepped out of his box. In the same moment he appeared, the nearby medical wizards carting his “body” away disappeared. Peter stood up and dusted himself off. He tried to give a wave to the crowd, but as soon as everyone realized he wasn’t really dead the shouting started. A low-pitched roar of disapproval resounded from all around and a few of the lizard-kin in the crowd even tried to rush the field. They were held back by purple-robed Guild acolytes, while a pair of guards approached Peter to march him off-stage.
      “What just happened?” Draevin asked. “Are you seeing this?”
      “I have no idea,” Sylnya answered. “That looked like high-level sensomancy to me though.”
      “Senso—” Draevin sputtered. “Is he secretly an illusionist? How is that possible!”
      “I don’t have a fuckin’ clue, Drae. He never said anything to me.”
      Peter and his escort were just reaching the higher level where an elected judge from each of the major nations sat; a dwarf from Kundreil, a lizard-kin from Kreet, an elf from Caldenia, a dryad from Setsya and an eldrin from Eldesia. Though they normally each sat on well-spaced chairs they now crowded around Peter in a huddle. Korack came storming up the stairs after them huffing smoke out of his nose. Draevin was too far away to hear, but if he knew anything about Korack he knew he was probably shouting profanities in Kreetish by now.
      “Hahaha! Just look at him!” Draevin said in abject glee. “He can’t believe it!”
      “I can’t either. Do you think they’ll rescind his elimination?”
      Draevin’s smile froze on his face. “They better not. With Korack out, I’ve got a clean shot of reaching the finals this year.”
      Out in the stands the crowd was getting riled up; ambient conversations were starting to approach the volume of a shout. The meeting between Peter and the judges reached a fever pitch up in the judge’s stand as well. Draevin spotted the lizard-kin judge grab Peter by his shirt and yell in his face. “That doesn’t look very professional,” he commented.
      Sylnya didn’t have a chance to reply. A high pitched ringing suddenly ripped through the air accompanied by an earthquake of some kind that shook the stands. All around the arena onlookers were falling to their knees and clutching at their ears. Draevin couldn’t help but join them. It felt like someone had put his head in a vice. Just when he thought he was going to start bleeding out his ears it stopped as suddenly as it had started.
      “Whatthefuckwasthat?” Sylnya blurted too fast to make out any individual words. She was rubbing the side of her face, though she had managed to stay in her seat, unlike Draevin.
      Draevin pulled himself off the ground and looked around the field. Spectators were coming to their feet everywhere. “That felt like a sonamancy attack,” Draevin answered. “Was that Maeve?”
      “I don’t know,” Sylnya replied. “I didn’t think she was that powerful. But if she was trying to calm down the crowd that definitely did the trick.”
      “Attention ladies and gentlemen,” Maeve announced into the calm that followed. “The judges have made a ruling. Neither contestant will be allowed to advance. However, as a concession to Peter for having not been eliminated he will be allowed to continue competing as an alternate for Drant’ro. The schedule will be updated accordingly.
      This news got the crowd buzzing again, though at a more subdued volume this time.
      “I’ve never heard a ruling like that,” Draevin told Sylnya. “Sounds like a fair compromise though.”
      “Fair?” Sylnya objected in a voice too loud for Draevin’s suddenly-sensitive ears. “Peter’s going to have to compete in round one twice after beating last year’s champion! How is that fair?”
      “Well he wasn’t disqualified,” Draevin pointed out. “Considering that was on the table I think he can count himself lucky.”
      “May I have your attention,” Maeve announced once more. “There seems to be some confusion regarding the results of that last match. While Peter did not advance he is still considered to be the victor for betting purposes.
      “Nᴏᴏᴏᴏ!” Sylnya shouted into the air. She clenched her fists and shook them at the sky. “How could they do this to me!”
      “What? Don’t tell me you bet on Korack. You’d make better money digging through trash cans with those odds.”
      “That’s not it,” Sylnya pouted. “I just realized I could have paid off all my debts! Those odds were insane!”
      Draevin just chuckled. “Can we talk about Peter now?”
      “What about him?”
      “The fact that he clearly used magic!” Draevin kicked Peter’s leather satchel and it jangled with all the empty glass bottles inside. “And now I’m thinking he must’ve drank all the empty mana potions in his bag. Is he a wizard?”
      “I mean this is a wizard tournament, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me. What makes you think I would know though? He never once brought up the topic of his own strategy.”
      “And you never asked?”
      “You want to know so bad? You ask him! He might even tell you if you weren’t such an insufferable prick to him for once.”
      “I’m not a—”
      “Oh come on Drae, you barely give the kid the time of day. I distinctly remember you celebrating when he went off to his match because you thought you were finally done with him.”
      “Well that’s because I thought he was just a useless human. I didn’t know he was a wizard.”
      “The next match between Dwyra and Pellanrae will begin shortly as normal,” Maeve announced while they waited for Peter to return.
      “By the way,” Draevin added, “did you see Peter cast a spell before Korack hit him?”
      “No.”
      “Hmmm,” Draevin pondered that thought with some concern. He hadn’t either. He didn’t want to admit it, but the evidence seemed to suggest that not only was Peter capable of magic—something humans weren’t supposed to be capable of—but that he was… “You don’t think it’s possible he’s a master illusionist, do you Syl?”
      “I mean he told me he was twenty six years old. Didn’t it take you more than a century to master cryomancy?”
      “What? It wasn’t that long!” Draevin said defensively. If he only tallied up the hours he spent practicing and not the total days it was far less than a century. He found the thought that Peter might have accomplished the feat faster than him disquieting.
      Peter quietly slid inside the booth a moment later. “What took you so long?” Sylnya asked him right away.
      “I had to talk to… someone about a… thing,” he answered evasively.
      “That was a neat trick with Korack,” Sylnya told him cheerfully.
      Peter’s face went hard. He sat down in his seat rougher than strictly necessary and glared at his notepad without actually opening it. “For nothing! All that and they just make me fight in round one a second time!”
      Draevin saw an opportunity to ingratiate himself with this new human wizard. “I was actually impressed,” he said. “Whatever else happens, you managed to eliminate Korack. That’s something even I can’t do.” He was actually pretty sure his new wand would have done the trick, but he knew ingratiation required at least the outward appearance of humility.
      Peter looked up from his glowering with a confused look on his face. Sylnya actually smirked. Draevin made sure to move in before she could make a snide comment and undermine his compliment. “So, does this mean you were secretly a master illusionist this whole time?” He reached out and touched Peter’s ears. They felt round. “You’re not really a half-elf or something, are you?”
      Peter batted his hand away. “No, just a regular human. But…” He trailed off and seemed to consider his next words carefully. “I am a master illusionist. I thought it would give me an edge if nobody knew what I could do, but I guess the secret is out now. It was just a one-time trick, but I was hoping it would get me past the first round.”
      “What was that trick exactly?” Draevin asked.
      Peter self-consciously fiddled with his glasses while he answered. “Just Invisibility coupled with a Mirror Image. The judges got mad because I tricked them into ringing the bell with an illusion up in their stand. Maeve’s first announcement was just a bonus.”
      Draevin was delighted with himself. Sylnya was right, all he needed to do was be a bit nicer and the human was suddenly telling him everything. “So,” Draevin added next, “you going to tell us how it is you’re able to cast magic in the first place? I was under the impression humans weren’t capable.”
      “Have you ever tried to teach one?” Peter snapped. There was a hint of hostility in his voice.
      “Well no. But you don’t have a mana pool, and from what I’ve heard you people can’t even feel mana.”
      “Sure,” Peter agreed. “But someone deaf can learn to sing can’t they? It just takes more work is all.”
      “But the mana!” Draevin pointed out.
      Peter looked him in the eye. If he was trying for gravitas the effect was somewhat diminished when he had to push his glasses back up his nose. “What makes you think humans don’t have any mana?”
      “Because you don’t,” he answered simply. “I saw you at The Pot this morning. It went right through you.”
      “Can you not put mana in a scroll? A potion? Just because our bodies can’t hold very much doesn’t mean they can’t hold any.”
      That actually did make a bit of sense. “So is that why you’re an illusionist then?” Draevin asked. “Because illusions use such a small amount of mana?”
      Peter shrugged. “It’s my natural harmonic,” he said easily. “That it’s cheap to cast is just a happy coincidence.”
      Draevin had so many more questions. How did he learn magic? How did he become a master so quickly? He would have to save his questions for later. The crowd was quieting down for the next match.
      Sylnya playfully slugged Draevin in the arm. “I had almost given up on you,” she said. “Maybe I can make a decent person out of you yet.”
      “Very funny Syl.”
      Down on the field the next two contestants were taking their positions. Draevin pointed to the red, speckled one. “So is Dwyra a dryad or not?” He asked Sylnya. After the mix up with Grrbraa earlier he figured it would be safer just to ask.
      “Oh-my-gods Draevin, do you live under a rock? How do you not know about Dwyra? She’s Setsyan royalty! Of course she’s a dryad!”
      “Well you can’t expect me to follow all your weird politics, and she’s some kind of mushroom, not... wait a second. Setsya doesn’t have a monarchy!”
      “Ex-royalty,” Sylnya corrected. She then shushed Draevin with an upheld finger.
      “Dwyra is a dryad fungomancer representing the Setsya’s rightful ruling Monarchy,” Maeve said with her enhanced voice. Draevin was glad to hear a bit of muttering from the crowd at this announcement. At least he wasn’t the only one confused. ”She is carrying High Cleric Grendel’s Censer of Gentle Mists and her wish if she wins this year’s tournament is to permanently kill Necro-King Brorn and return the land he stole to the Setsyan Federation. Dwyra wants everyone to know that Brornia’s spread has gone on long enough. She hopes that Necro-King Brorn watches her match closely before he considers another incursion into her territory.” Dwyra’s red-speckled form held up a small metal incense burner on the end of a chain that looped around her neck. The censer. It was a famous artifact, but not one that Draevin had ever seen used in combat.
      “You dryad’s okay with her going around calling your nation hers like that?” Draevin asked.
      Sylnya shrugged. “I don’t have a problem with it. Dwyra’s a badass, just you wait and see!”
      Dwyra’s opponent was announced next. “Pellanrae is a dwarf metallurgist representing the Kundreil Weaponry Company. She is carrying a supply of adamantine sand and her wish is to turn the disputed territory of Trenal into a non-magical zone so Caldenia and Eldesia can settle their conflict without spilling wizard blood. Pellanrae wants everyone to ‘Remember, you can’t spell dwarf without war,’ and to pick up an authentic dwarf-forged axe or breastplate today! All axes are 25% off until the 25th!” The announcer, Maeve, managed to make a cheerful voice while reading this sales pitch, unlike she had with Peter’s sponsor. The large burlap sack that the stout little dwarf woman hoisted over her shoulder didn’t look very impressive, but indestructible metal sand was a powerful tool in the hands of a metallurgist.
      “What does that item Dwyra has do?” Peter asked Sylnya just before the match started.
      Sylnya was focused intensely on the field and didn’t spare Peter a moment’s glance when she answered. “It makes healing mists, shhh! I have money riding on this match!”
      Draevin chuckled to himself. Of course she did. The bell chimed and the next match began.
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Special Author’s Note in the comment section.
submitted by JDFister to HFY [link] [comments]

On Spells and Society, or how 5e spells completely change everyone's lives.

Today i have a confession to make: i'm a little bit of a minmaxer. And honestly, i think that's a pretty desirable trait in a DM. The minmaxer knows the rules, and exploits them to maximum efficiency.
"But wait, what does that have to do with spell use in society?" - someone, probably.
Well, the thing is that humans are absolutely all about minmaxing. There's a rule in the universe that reads "gas expands when hot", and suddenly we have steam engines (or something like that, i'm a political scientist not an engineer). A rule says 1+1 = 2, and suddenly we have calculus, computers and all kinds of digital stuff that runs on math. Sound is energy? Let's convert that shit into electricity, run it through a wire and turn it back into sound on the other side.
Bruh. Science is just minmaxing the laws of nature. Humanity in real life is just a big bunch of munchkins, and it should be no different in your setting.
And that is why minmaxing magic usage is something societies as a whole would do, specially with some notable spells. Today i will go in depth on how and why each of these notable mentions has a huge impact on a fantasy society.
We'll go from lowest level to highest, keeping in mind that the lower level a spell the more common it should be to find someone who has it, so often a level 2-3 spell will have more impact than a level 9 spell.

Mending (cantrip).
Repair anything in one minute. Your axe lost its edge? Tore your shirt? Just have someone Mend it.
Someone out there is crying "but wait! Not every village has a wizard!" and while that is true, keep in mind any High Elf knows a cantrip, as can any Variant Human.
A single "mender" could replace a lot of the work a smith, woodworker or seamstress does, freeing their time to only work on making new things rather than repair old ones.

Prestidigitation (cantrip).
Clean anything in six seconds. Committed axe murders until the axe got blunt, and now there's blood everywhere? Dog shit on your pillow out of spite? Someone walked all over the living room with muddy boots? Just Prestidigitate it away.
This may look like a small thing, but its actually huge when you apply it to laundry. Before washing machines were a thing housewives had to spend several hours a week washing them manually, and with Prestidigitation you can just hire someone to get it done in a few minutes.
A single "magic cleaner" can attend to several dozen homes, if not hundreds, thus freeing several hours of the time of dozens of women.
Fun fact: there's an interesting theory that says feminism only existed because of laundry machines and similar devices. Women found themselves having more free time, which they used to read and socialize. Educated women with more contacts made for easy organization of political movements, and the fact men were now able to do "the women's work" by pushing a button meant men were less opposed to losing their housewives' labor. Having specialized menders and magic cleaners could cause a comparable revolution in a fantasy setting, and help explain why women have a similar standing to men even in combat occupations such as adventuring.

Healing in general (1st-2nd level).
This one is fairly obvious. A commoner has 4 hit points, that means just about any spell is a full heal to the average person. That means most cuts, stab wounds, etc. can be solved by the resident cleric. Even broken bones that would leave you in bed for months can be solved in a matter of seconds as soon as the holy man arrives.
But that's nothing compared to the ability to cure diseases. While the only spell that can cure diseases is Lesser Restoration, which is second level, a paladin can do it much more easily with just a Lay on Hands. This means if one or two people catch a disease it can just be eradicated with a touch.
However doing that comes with a cost. If everyone is instantly expunged of illness, the populace does not build up their immune systems. Regular disease becomes less common, sure, but whenever it is reintroduced (by, say, immigrants or contact with less civilized humanoids) it can spread like wildfire, afflicting people so fast that no amount of healers will have the magic juice to deal with it.
Diseases become rare, plagues become common.

Continual Flame (2nd).
Ok, this one is a topic i love and could easily be its own post.
There's an article called "Why the Falling Cost of Light Matters", which goes in detail about how man went from chopping wood for fire, to using animal fat for candles, then other oils, whale oil, kerosene, then finally incandescent light bulbs, and more recently LED lights. Each of these leaps is orders of grandeur more efficient than the previous one, to the point that the cost of light today is about 500,000 times cheaper than it was for for a caveman. And until the early 1900s the only way mankind knew of making light was to set things on fire.
Continual Flame on the other hand allows you to turn 50gp worth of rubies and a 2nd level spell slot into a torch that burns forever. In a society that spends 60 hours of labor to be able to generate 140 minutes of light, this is a huge game changer.
This single spell, which i am 99% sure was just created as an excuse for why the dungeon is lit despite going for centuries without maintenance, allows you to have things like public lighting. Even if you only add a new "torchpost" every other week or month sooner or later you'll be left with a neatly lit city, specially if the city has had thousands of years in which to gather the rubies and light them up.
And because the demand of rubies becomes so important, consider how governments would react. Lighting the streets is a public service, if its strategically relevant to make the city safer at night, would that not warrant some restrictions on ruby sales? Perhaps even banning the use of rubies in jewelry?
Trivia: John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in history, gained his wealth selling kerosene. Kerosene at the time was used to light lamps. Gasoline was invented much later, when Rockefeller tasked a bunch of scientists to come up with a use for some byproducts of the kerosene production. This illustrates how much money is to be had in the lighting industry, and you could even have your own Rockefeller ruby baron in your game. I shall call him... Dohn J. Stonebreaker. Perfect name for a mining entrepreneur.
Whether the ruby trade ends up a monopoly under the direct supervision of the king or a free market, do keep in mind that Continual Flame is by far the most efficient way of creating light.

Gentle Repose (2nd).
Cast it on a corpse, and it stays preserved for 10 days.
This has many potential uses, from preserving foodstuffs (hey, some rare meats are expensive enough to warrant it) to keeping the bodies of old rulers preserved. Even if a ruler died of old age and cannot be resurrected, the body could be kept "fresh" out of respect/ceremony. Besides, it keeps the corpse from becoming undead.

Skywrite (2nd).
Ok, this one is mostly a gag. While the spell can be used by officials to make official announcements to the populace, such as new laws or important news, i like to just use it for spam. I mean, its a ritual spell that writes a message on the sky; what else would people use it for?
Imagine you show up in a city, and there's half a dozen clouds reading "buy at X, we have what you need", "get your farming supplies over at Joe's store" or "vote Y for the city council".
The possibilities are endless, and there's no way the players can expect it. Just keep in mind that by RAW the spell can only do words, meaning no images. No Patrick, "8===D" is not a word.

Zone of Truth (2nd).
This one is too obvious. Put all suspects of a crime into a ZoT, wait a couple minutes to make sure they fail the save, then ask each one if he did it. Sure its not a perfect system, things like the Ring of Mind Shielding still exist, but it's got a better chance of getting the right guy than most medieval justice systems. And probably more than a few contemporary ones. All while taking only a fraction of the time.
More importantly, with all the average crimes being handled instantly, the guards and investigators have more time to properly investigate the more unusual crimes that might actually involve a Thought Shield, Ring of Mind Shielding or a level 17 Mastermind.
There is a human rights argument against messing with people's minds in any way, which is why this may not be practiced in every kingdom. But there are definitely some more lawful societies that would use ZoT on just about every crime.
Why swear to speak the truth and nothing but the truth when you can just stand in a zone of truth?
Another interesting use for ZoT is oaths. When someone is appointed into an office, gets to a high rank in the military or a guild, just put them in a ZoT while they make their oath to stand for the organization's values and yadda yadda. Of course they can be corrupted later on, but at least you make sure they're honest when they are sworn in.

Sending (3rd).
Sending is busted in so many ways.
The more "vanilla" use of it is to just communicate over long distances. We all know that information is important, and that sometimes getting information a whole day ahead can lead to a 40% return on a massive two-year investment. Being able to know of invasions, monsters, disasters, etc. without waiting days or weeks for a courier can be vital for the survival of a nation. Another notable example is that one dude who ran super fast for a while to be the first to tell his side of a recent event.
But the real broken thing here is... Sending can Send to any creature, on any plane; the only restriction being "with which you are familiar". In D&D dead people just get sent to one of the afterlife planes, meaning that talking to your dead grandfather would be as simple as Sending to him. Settling inheritance disputes was never easier!
Before moving on to the next point let me ask you something: Is a cleric familiar with his god? Is a warlock familiar with his patron?

Speak With Dead (3rd).
Much like Sending, this lets you easily settle disputes. Is the senate/council arguing over a controversial topic? Just ask the beloved hero or ruler from 200 years ago what he thinks on the subject. As long his skeleton still has a jaw (or if he has been kept in Gentle Repose), he can answer.
This can also be used to ask people who killed them, except murderers also know this. Plan on killing someone? Accidentally killed someone? Make sure to inutilize the jaw. Its either that, being so stealthy the victim can't identify you, or being caught.

Note on spell availability.
Oh boy. No world-altering 4th level spells for some reason, and suddenly we're playing with the big boys now.
Spells up to 3rd level are what I'd consider "somewhat accessible", and can be arranged for a fee even for regular citizens. For instance the vanilla Priest statblock (MM348) is a 5th level cleric, and the standard vanilla Druid (MM346) a 4th level druid.
Spells of 5th level onward will be considered something only the top 1% is able to afford, or large organizations such as guilds, temples or government.

Dream (5th).
I was originally going to put Dream along with Sending and Telepathy as "long range communication", but decided against it due to each of them having unique uses.
And when it comes to Dream, it has the unique ability of allowing you to put your 8 hours of sleep to good use. A tutor could hire someone to cast Dream on him, thus allowing him to teach his student for 8 hours at any distance. This is a way you could even access hermits that live in the middle of nowhere or in secluded monasteries. Very wealthy families or rulers would be willing to pay a good amount of money to make sure their heirs get that extra bit of education.
Its like online classes, but while you sleep!
Another interesting use is for cheating. Know a princess or queen you like? She likes you back? Her dad put 400 trained soldiers between you? No problemo! Just find a 9th level Bard, Warlock or Wizard, but who am i kidding, of course it'll be a bard. And that bard is probably you. Now you have 8 hours to do whatever you want, and no physical evidence will be left.

Raise Dead (5th).
Few things matter more in life than death. And the ability to resurrect people has a huge impact on society. The impact is so huge that this topic needs topics of its own.
First, diamond monopoly. Remember what i said about how Continual Flame would lead to controlled ruby sales due to its strategic value? This is the same principle, but a hundred times stronger. Resurrection is a huge strategic resource. It makes assassinations harder, can be used to bring back your officials or highest level soldiers over and over during a war, etc. This means more authoritarian regimes would do everything within their power to control the supply and stock of diamonds. Which in turn means if anyone wants to have someone resurrected, even in times of peace, they'll need to call in a favor, do a quest, grease some hands...
Second, resurrection insurance. People hate risks. That's why insurance is such a huge industry, taking up about 15% of the US GDP. People insure their cars, houses... even their lives. Resurrection just means "life insurance" is taken more literally. This makes even more sense when you consider how expensive resurrection is: nobody can afford it in one go, but if you pay a little every month or year you can save up enough to have it done when the need arises.
This is generally incompatible with the idea of a State-run monopoly over diamonds, but that just means different countries within a setting can take different approaches.
To make things easier, i even used some microeconomics to make a sheet in my personal random generators to calculate the price of such a service. Just head to the "Insurance" tab and fill in the information relative to your setting.
With actual life insurance resurrection can cost as little as 5gp a year for humans or 8sp a year for elves, making resurrection way more affordable than it looks.
Also, do you know why pirates wore a single gold earring? It was so that if your body washes up on the shore whoever finds it can use the money to arrange a proper burial. Sure there's a risk of the finder taking it and walking away, but the pirates did it anyway. With resurrection in play, might as well just wear a diamond earring instead and hope the finder is nice enough to bring you back.
I got so carried away with the whole insurance thing i almost forgot: the possibility of resurrection also changes how murders are committed.
If you want someone dead but resurrection exists, you have to remove the vital organs. Decapitation would be far more common. Sure resurrection is still possible, but it requires higher level spells or Reincarnate, which has... quirks.
As a result it should be very obvious when someone was killed by accident or an overreaction, and when someone was specifically out to kill the victim.

Scrying (5th).
This one is somewhat obvious, in that everyone and their mother knows it helps finding people. But who needs finding? Well, that would be those who are hiding.
The main use i see for this spell, by far, is locating escaped criminals. Just collect a sample of hair or blood when arresting someone (or shipping them to hard labor which is way smarter), and if they escape you'll be almost guaranteed to successfully scry on them.
A similar concept to this is seen in the Dragon Age series. If you're a mage the paladins keep a sample of your blood in something called a phylactery, and that can be used to track you down. There's even a quest or two about mages trying to destroy their phylacteries before escaping.
Similarly, if you plan a jailbreak it would be highly beneficial to destroy the blood/hair sample first. As a matter of fact i can even see a thieves guild hiring a low level party to take out the sample while the professional infiltrators get the prisoner out. Keep in mind both events must be done at the same time, otherwise the guards will just collect a new sample or would have already taken it to the wizard.
But guards aren't the only ones with resources. A loan shark could keep blood samples of his debtors, a mobster can keep one of those who owe him favors, etc. And the blood is ceremoniously returned only when the debt is fully paid.

Teleportation Circle (5th), Transport Via Plants (6th).
In other words, long range teleportation. This is such a huge thing that it is hard to properly explain how important it is.
Teleportation Circle creates a 10ft. circle, and everyone has one round to get in and appear on the target location. Assuming 30ft. movement that means you can get 192 people through, which is a lot of potential merchants going across any distance. Or 672 people dashing.
Math note: A 30ft radius square around a 10ft. diameter square, minus the 4 original squares. Or [(6*2+2)^2]-4 squares of 5ft. each. Hence 192 people.
Getting hundreds of merchants, workers, soldiers, etc. across any distance is nothing to scoff at. In fact, it could help explain why PHB item prices are so standardized: Arbitrage is so easy and cheap that price differences across multiple markets become negligible. Unless of course countries start setting up tax collectors outside of the permanent teleportation circles in order to charge tariffs.
Transport Via Plants does something very similar but it requires 5ft of movement to go through, which means less people can be teleported. On the other hand it doesn't burn 50gp and can take you to any tree the druid is familiar with, making it nearly impossible for tax collectors to be waiting on the other side. Unfortunately druids tend to be a lot less willing to aid smugglers, so your best bet might be a bard using spells that don't belong to his list.
With these methods of long range teleportation not only does trade get easier, but it also becomes possible to colonize or inhabit far away places. For instance if someone finds a gold mine in the antarctic you could set up a mine and bring food and other supplies via teleportation.

Major Image (6th level slot).
Major Image is a 3rd level spell that creates an illusion over a 20ft cube, complete with image, sound, smell and temperature. When cast with a 6th level slot or higher, it lasts indefinitely.
That my friends, is a huge spell. Why get the world's best painter to decorate the ceiling of your cathedral when you can just get an illusion made in six seconds?
The uses for decorating large buildings is already good, but remember: we're not restricted to sight.
Cast this on a room and it'll always be cool and smell nice. Inns would love that, as would anyone who always sleeps or works in the same room. Desert cities have never been so chill.
You can even use an illusion to make the front of your shop seem flashier, while hollering on loop to bring customers in.
The only limit to this spell is your imagination, though I'm pretty sure it was originally made just to hide secret passages.
Trivia: the ki-rin (VGM163) can cast Major Image as a 6th level spell, at will. It's probably meant to give them fabulous lairs yet all it takes is someone doing the holy horsey a big favor, and it could enchant the whole city in a few hours. Shiniest city on the planet, always at a nice temperature and with a fragrance of lilac, gooseberries or whatever you want.

Simulacrum (7th).
Spend 12 hours and 1500gp worth of ruby dust, and get a clone of yourself. Notably, each caster can only have one simulacrum, regardless of who the person he cloned is.
How this changes the world? By allowing the rich and powerful to be in two places at once. Kings now have a perfect impersonator who thinks just like them. A wealthy banker can run two branches of his company. Etc.
This makes life much easier, but also competes with Continual Flame over resources.
It also gives "go fuck yourself" a whole new meaning, making the sentence a valid Suggestion.

Clone (8th).
If there's one spell i despise, its Clone.
Wizard-only preemptive resurrection. Touch spell, costs 1.000gp worth of diamonds each time, takes 120 days to come into effect, and creates a copy of the creature that the soul occupies if the original dies. Oh, and the copy can be made younger.
Why is it so despicable? Because it makes people effectively immortal. Accidents and assassinations just get you sent to the clone, and old age can be forever delayed because you keep going back to younger versions of yourself. Being a touch spell means the wizard can cast it on anyone he wants.
In other words: high level wizards, and only wizards, get to make anyone immortal.
That means wizards will inevitably rule any world in which this spell exists.
Think about it. Rulers want to live forever. Wizards can make you live forever. Wizards want other stuff, which you must give them if you want to continue being Cloned. Rulers who refuse this deal eventually die, rulers who accept stick around forever. Natural selection makes it so that eventually the only rulers left are those who sold their soul to wizards. Figuratively, i hope.
The fact that there are only a handful of wizards out there who are high enough level to cast the spell means its easier for them organize and/or form a cartel or union (cartels/unions are easier to maintain the fewer suppliers are involved).
This leads to a dystopian scenario where mages rule, kings are authoritarian pawns and nobody else has a say in anything. Honestly it would make for a fun campaign in and of itself, but unless that's specifically what you're going for it'll just derail everything else.
Oh, and Clone also means any and all liches are absolute idiots. Liches are people who turned themselves into undead abominations in order to gain eternal life at the cost of having to feed on souls. They're all able to cast 9th level wizard spells, so why not just cast an 8th level one and keep undeath away? Saves you the trouble of going after souls, and you keep the ability to enjoy food or a day in the sun.

Demiplane (8th).
Your own 30ft. room of nothingness. Perfect place for storage and a DM's nightmare given how once players have access to it they'll just start looting furniture and such. Oh the horror.
But alas, infinite storage is not the reason this is a broken spell. No sir.
Remember: you can access someone else's demiplane. That means a caster in city 1 can put things into a demiplane, and a caster in city 2 can pull them out of any surface.
But wait, there's more! There's nothing anywhere saying you can't have two doors to the same demiplane open at once. Now you're effectively opening a portal between two places, which stays open for a whole hour.
But wait, there's even more! Anyone from any plane can open a door to your neat little demiplane. Now we can get multiple casters from multiple planes connecting all of those places, for one hour. Sure this is a very expensive thing to do since you're having to coordinate multiple high level individuals in different planes, but the payoff is just as high. We're talking about potential integration between the most varied markets imaginable, few things in the multiverse are more valuable or profitable. Its a do-it-yourself Sigil.
One little plot hook i like about demiplanes is abandoned/inactive ones. Old wizard/warlock died, and nobody knows how to access his demiplanes. Because he's at least level 15 you just know there's some good stuff in there, but nobody can get to it. Now the players have to find a journal, diary, stored memory or any other way of knowing enough about the demiplane to access it.

True Polymorph (9th).
True Polymorph. The spell that can turn any race into any other race, or object. And vice-versa. You can go full fairy godmother and turn mice into horses. For a spell that can change anything about one's body it would not be an unusual ruling to say it can change one's sex. At the very least it can turn a man into a chair, and the chair into a woman (or vice-versa of course).
But honestly, that's just the tip of the True Polymorph iceberg. Just read this more carefully:
> You transform the creature into a different creature, the creature into a nonmagical object, or the object into a creature
This means you can turn a rock or twig into a human. A fully functional human with, as far as the rules go, a soul. You can create life.
But wait, there's more! Nothing there says you have to turn the target into a known creature on an existing creature. The narcissist bard wants to create a whole race of people who look like him? True Polymorph. A player wants to play a weird ass homebrew race and you have no idea how it would fit into the setting? True Polymorph. Wizard needs a way to quickly populate a kingdom and doesn't want to wait decades for the subjects to grow up? True Polymorph. Warlock must provide his patron 100 souls in order to free his own? True Polymorph. The sorcerer wants to do something cool? Fuck that guy, sorcerers don't get any of the fun high level spells; True Poly is available to literally every arcane caster but the sorcerer.
Note: what good is Twinned Spell if all the high level twinnable spells have been specifically made unavailable to sorcerers?
Do keep in mind however that this brings a whole new discussion on human rights. Does a table have rights? Does it have rights after being turned into a living thing? If it had an owner, is it now a slave? Your country will need so many new laws, just to deal with this one spell.
People often say that high level wizards are deities for all intents and purposes. This is the utmost proof of that. Clerics don't get to create life out of thin air, wizards do. The cleric worships a deity, the wizard is the deity.

Conclusion.
Intelligent creatures not only can game the system, but it is entirely in character for them to do so. I'll even argue that if humanoids don't use magic to improve their lives when it's available, you're pushing the suspension of disbelief.
With this post i hope to have helped you make more complex and realistic societies, as well as provide a few interesting and unusual plot hooks
Lastly, as much as i hate comment begging i must admit i am eager to see what spells other players think can completely change the world. Because at the end of the day we all know that extra d6 damage is not what causes empires to rise and fall, its the utility spells that make the best stories.

Edit: Added spell level to all spells, and would like to thank u/kaul_field for helping with finishing touches and being overall a great mod.
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This Week At Bungie 9/10/2020

Source: https://www.bungie.net/en/News/Article/49553
This week at Bungie, we’re consuming stacks of Light.
Within Destiny 2, the exodus of Io, Titan, Mercury, and Mars continues. Zavala has tasked you with spreading word of impending Darkness and keeping our beloved vendors up to speed. There are still a few more loose ends to tie up on these destinations, so get to it.
Along your quest, you’ll have some final chances to earn unique loot and fill out your collections before access to various strikes is impeded by the Darkness.
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While the Traveler may have chosen you, it’s almost time to go beyond the Light. Don’t forget where you came from, though, as we’re celebrating Destiny’s almost-seventh birthday this week! Yeah, we know, it’s been six years. But seven is darker.
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If you haven’t snagged the sweet wallpapers or seen our Stasis deep dives, head on over to our fresh blog article covering the fun! While we're celebrating the past, we're also getting ready for the future.
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Whether you’re a veteran of Destiny or have just been rez’d in the Cosmodrome, thank you for playing, and thank you for being a part of our community.

Suit up

A few TWAB’s ago, Luke Smith took some time to run through changes to our philosophy in doling out rewards through the various activities of Destiny 2. Hit the article again if you’d like a refresher on vanity, cosmetics, and more. Today, we’ll be focusing on core playlist rewards (strikes, Gambit, and Crucible).
To quote the article, here’s what you can expect on November 10:
  • We are adding a new set of Armor for the core playlists (strikes, Gambit, and Crucible).
  • This armor shares a set of new geometry, with decals and shaders specific to the activity.
  • We will create new sets like this each Year (e.g., Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, etc.)
  • This set will arrive alongside the next expansion.
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This armor can be earned by completing activities or through vendor rank-ups. Weekly challenges are also being updated to offer avenues for players to earn higher-stat packages for these armor sets.
Additionally, Year 4 will see the return of pursuit weapons. For those of you who may have joined our community in the last Season or two, these weapons have static perks, but allow for some customization. The final two perk columns have multiple perks to choose from, so you can tailor your weapon to your desired playstyle. Our eagle-eyed Guardians may recognize this beauty from a recent Stasis trailer….
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Our goal is to have a pursuit weapon available per Season, earned through a focused quest. Banshee will give you a choice between Strikes, Crucible, or Gambit to earn the base model. Make sure you take a moment to think about how you want to earn the weapon, as you'll be locked in to specific objectives for whichever activity you pick.
Once you finish the main quest, Commander Zavala, Lord Shaxx, and the Drifter will offer you an additional quest which will reward you with weapon ornaments to the theme of their respective activities. If you’re omnivorous and enjoy all three offerings, all three will be available to you.
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So, now that we've caught your eye with some fancy armor and a new sniper, let's take a quick look at how things are changing for core activities as you launch into your new adventures on November 10. Strike, Gambit, and Crucible playlists are being streamlined.
Crucible
Starting in Season 12, the Director will be updated to reduce the number of playlists available at a given time.
  • Featured Modes:
    • Control
    • Elimination
    • Rumble
    • Survival
      • Both Survival and Survival: Freelance will be available
    • Weekly rotator:
      • Clash, Mayhem, and Showdown
    • Private matches
    • Limited Availability
      • Iron Banner
      • Iron Banner: Freelance will make its debut in Season 12.
        • Similar to Competitive, this will be a smaller node next to Iron Banner when the playlist is available.
    • Weekend Availability
      • Trials of Osiris
      • Note: Adept weapons, rewarded to those reaching the Lighthouse, return to Trials of Osiris in Season 12. (More details on functionality to come in a Sandbox preview, currently planned for October.)
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Strikes
  • Vanguard strikes and Nightfall: The Ordeal will be your two playlist options.
    • Each playlist will continue to offer weekly challenges for Powerful loot.
    • Nightfall: The Ordeal will continue to feature matchmaking at lower difficulties, and increased rewards for higher difficulty options.
    • Note: We’re also looking to add Adept weapons to strikes in a future Season. We’ll have updates closer to Season 13 on what to expect.
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Gambit
As covered last week, Gambit and Gambit Prime will be consolidated into a single mode. We have some additional details on specific rule changes, as well as development notes from the team on how things are changing, and the goals behind them.
Hi Gambiteers! We wanted to give you an explanations of rules changes coming to Gambit in November, as well as a key update from last week.
First, some goals we wrote down before we started:
  • Build a more approachable Gambit Prime, keeping the one-round format with a longer round, but without the Gambit Prime armor perks.
  • Rebalance the motes phase to last 2/3 of each match, rather than half of the match.
  • Speed up the Primeval fight (compared to Gambit Prime) to give more of the feeling of a ‘boss rush.’
We started with the Gambit Prime encounters, full stop. However, without the Reaper buffs, the Large bosses that come in enemy waves were too tanky – so we pulled them all down to miniboss or elite. The pacing should feel like how Gambit feels for a pickup group, or how Prime feels for a fully kitted team.
We also playtested the “having the motes” phase target a score of 150, and/or have a heavier mote drain, but this allowed organized teams to steamroll even more effectively – not less. So, we pulled back to the current Gambit Prime mote target and drain.
We started with the Gambit Prime Blockers, but pulled the Taken Captain from the Blocker lineup, as he proved a little too potent for a 10-mote Blocker. We replaced him with the Phalanx, who can be tough to kill, but not as lethal. Since we don’t have the armor perks, we also had to remove the 20-mote Giant Blocker.
We kept the invasions during mote phases at three – just like Gambit Prime – but pulled back the minimum time between invasions during mote phases from 10 seconds to 20 seconds. It never feels good to get invaded back-to-back.
For the boss fight, we started with the Gambit Primeval fight, removed the timed Slayer buffs, increased the Primeval health and potency of the slayer buff given by when killing envoys. We respawn the envoys every 40% damage done to the Primeval – so if you get invaded and the Primeval is healed a lot, you have the opportunity to get more Slayer buffs and catch up. The fight length ends up somewhere in between the original Gambit and Gambit Prime, so we adjusted the invasion timer during the Primeval phase to match – right in between Gambit and Gambit Prime timing.
So, overall this mode will be a little quicker than Gambit Prime – mostly due to shortening of the boss phase and the removal of the larger bosses from the fronts, but one that still gives that great Gambit feeling that you all love.
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We see you’re hungry for info, and we’re excited to bring the heat. As we approach Beyond Light, we’ll have more details on how your weekly rituals are changing. Economy, Eververse, Sandbox, and more. We’re looking forward to talking about things like solo queue Iron Banner, but we have a few things left to tie up as we approach launch.
Stay tuned…

Triumph Trackers

Last week, we announced some changes coming to Triumphs in November. Various Triumphs and Seals will soon become unavailable, leaving you to figure out which things to prioritize before the end of the Season. Partnering with some community API creators, there are now multiple options for you to create a checklist of sorts. Here’s a quick list in no particular order. They’re all amazing, and we hope you find one that suits you best!
Many thanks to these creators, and we’re excited to see how their portals and communities grow as we begin another year of Destiny content.

The noble quest to vanquish all bugs

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Destiny 2 Update 2.9.2 shipped this Tuesday, and the Player Support team has been prowling the #Help forum in search of fresh bugs to smash. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like there are any major issues cropping up!
This is their report.
COMPANION APP
Early last week, Bungie.net and the Destiny API underwent maintenance. As a result of that maintenance, item transfer performance using the Companion App or third-party apps became roughly 10x faster for most players. The Companion app can be used by all Destiny 2 players on any platform, console or PC.
CONTACT FORMS
Last week, we were investigating an issue with our Contact Forms on Bungie.net. This issue has now been resolved, and players can now use the various contact form to submit help requests on help.bungie.net.
RESOLVED ISSUES
Below is a list of issues that have been resolved with Update 2.9.2 on September 8. The full patch notes for Update 2.9.2 can be viewed here.
  • Players will no longer freeze when respawning in Gambit.
  • Enemies will no longer stop spawning in Hexahedron area in the Prophecy Dungeon, blocking players from progressing.
  • Players who completed Tommy's Matchbook catalyst pursuit will no longer be re-awarded it.
  • Redrix’s Broadsword will now be available to reclaim from Collections.
  • Players will no longer block quest progress by acquiring Calcified Light without the quest active.
CURRENT KNOWN ISSUES
While we continue investigating various known issues, here is a list of the latest issues that were reported to us in our #Help Forum:
  • Player badge counts will sometimes not update when the Season of Arrivals Collections badge is completed.
  • The Tribute Hall’s Completionist triumph doesn’t count Season Collections badges.
  • Players need to complete the Exodus: Preparation quest before they can begin the Exodus: Evacuation quest for Traveler’s Chosen.
  • The Artifact is sometimes enabled in Iron Banner.
  • Bounties/progress is sometimes not counted in Iron Banner.
For a full list of emergent issues in Destiny 2, players can review our Known Issues article. Players who observe other issues should report them to our #Help forum.

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks on Stacks

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Have you consumed your daily dose of Light, yet? No? Well, go grab your Traveler’s Chosen and have a stack! I heard it goes well with popcorn, a soda, and a relaxing MOTW.
Movie of the Week: Legends Never Die
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Honorable Mention: Thread the Needle
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Honorable Mention: Wait, that’s illegal!
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Want a chance at the MOTW emblem? Head over to the Creations page and submit your stuff! As a heads up, we’ll be getting a new emblem to hand out for MOTW in Season 12, so shoot your shot before the current offering is gone. More on that in a future TWAB.
It’s weird to think, six years ago I was sitting in my friend’s garage, wrapped in a blanket, playing through Destiny for the first time after calling out “sick” from work. I think my initial character was a Hunter. The cloaks were cool, and the Golden Gun shown in the trailers caught my eye. I had no clue what Rampage was, why Suros was considered good, or why anyone would care about an Exotic Rocket Launcher.
Fast forward to now, we have a massive community with multiple expansions, Exotics, weapons, subclasses, and more under our belts. You’ve fought back the Darkness, lost your Light, met a Wizard that came from the Moon, and more. And now – in only a few months – after looking at beautiful concept art since 2014, we’ll finally sink our boots in the snows of Europa. We’ll also be embracing Darkness abilities for the first time.
I know I’ve said “we’re just getting started” a few times since starting on the Community team… but every release gives us a chance to set off on a new path. Fresh experiences with a sense of wonder, challenges that push you and grow your skill, and opportunities to make new friends along the way. Thanks for joining us on this wild ride.
Now, it’s time for me to hop into Iron Banner as I hunt for a few different rolls on my weaponry. I’ve heard whispers from our Sandbox folk on upcoming changes to 110 Hand Cannons. Might be fun to snag a few random rolls to try out when Beyond Light ships. That conversation is for another time, though. How about next month? We’ll see if this little tease makes it through editorial. If it does, I bet you 200,000 Glimmer that someone makes a five-minute YouTube video about it.
Happy hunting.
Cheers,
-dmg04
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A Comprehensive Guide to Trading Credit Spreads-- A follow-up to my original theta gains post

I was hesitant to post this here at first because my gains post I submitted received some criticism about whether or not my approach to spreads was a true "theta gang" strategy. That point is probably still a little bit contentious but I get a lot of questions about my strategy from readers in this sub so I figured I would post it here. I will offer the disclaimer that this is a little risker of an approach to spreads due to my timeframe, but I think the advice it offers (regardless of timeframe) is helpful. I will also add that this is only 50% of the complete strategy I run, so I'll try to throw together another in-depth post about the other half of my strategy if it gets enough interest.
So I first dipped my toes into options trading a few years ago. I had previously been swing trading stocks so I had a couple years of experience before that, but the leverage and potential returns that options provided really piqued my interest. After it was all said and done, I lost almost $20,000 buying options. After realizing that someone was getting all of this money I was losing, I learned about option selling and haven’t looked back since.
I recently posted my YTD performance here, and received a lot of questions about how I did it. My strategy changed over time, but I first started with credit spreads, which may be applicable to more people since it’s a strategy that works with smaller accounts too. I got a lot of questions about how I played credit spreads and it’s tough to completely explain what I do through a comment here and a comment there so I created this guide explaining my exact approach to trading credit spreads. Here you go:
This is a wall of text, so if you're a more visual learner, here's a link to videos explaining all four parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Part One: The Basics

So what is a spread? A high level conceptual explanation is that you’re essentially betting on a stock to finish above or below a certain price upon expiration. One of the advantages here is that you can set this number out of the money, so if a stock is trading at $100, you can bet that it’ll remain below $110 by a certain date. This is a bearish position, so if you’re correct and it goes down, you’ll make max profit. The catch though is that even if you’re wrong, you basically have a 10% upward cushion before you start to lose any money. So the easiest way to describe it is a strategy that lets you make money if you’re right, but also make money if you’re slightly off.
How does it work? So in the above example, if we were bearish on a stock we would open what’s called a call credit spread. We could set it up where we sell a 110c for a credit of $1.50, and buy a 115c for a debit of $0.50. This means that in this transaction we receive $1.50, and pay $0.50 for a net credit of $1. That credit is your max profit on the play. If you’re familiar with options you’ll know that if the stock finishes at or below $110 upon expiration, both of these calls will be worthless. That’s great news for us because the long leg we bought (115c) for 0.50 will be a loss, but we’ll get to keep the full $1.50 from the short leg (110c) that we sold, resulting in us realizing our max gain on the trade of $1.
Why not just sell the 110c and collect the full $1.50? While it cuts into our profits, the reason we buy the 115c in this example for $0.50 isn’t to cut into our profits when we’re correct, but rather protect us when we’re wrong. If the stock in the example stays below $110, we’re good to go and we’ll hit max profit. But what if it goes to $120, $150, or something crazy happens and it hits $200. If the stock hits $150 upon expiration, that 110c that we sold for $1.50 will be worth $40, meaning that we’ll incur a $3,875 loss in pursuit of a $150 gain. We’ve seen crazy run ups from the likes of TSLA and ZM lately, and people who sold what we call “naked options” got absolutely killed. With our spread, yes our 110c will be worth $40 meaning we’re down $4,000 on that position, but the 115c we bought behind it will be worth $35 meaning we’re up $3,500 there for a net loss of $500. Additionally, we get to keep that $1.00 credit we received up front no matter what, so our loss with this spread is actually $500-$100=$400 as opposed to the $3,875 loss that we would’ve seen had we sold the 110c by itself. THAT is the value in selling a spread as opposed to a naked option.
Why are you multiplying everything by 100? Each options contract is worth 100 shares, so a contract that is trading for $1.50 actually costs $150 to purchase.
Another high level point I like to make is that there are really 5 different things that can happen when you make a play. Let’s say you think a stock will go up. It can (1) go up a ton and you’d be correct, (2) go up a little and you’d be correct, (3) trade flat and you’d be incorrect, (4), go down a little and you’d be incorrect, or (5) go down a lot and you’d be incorrect. With a bullish spread, you’d hit max profit on 4/5 , or 80% of the possible outcomes, whereas if you bought stock or purchased an option you’d only be profitable on (1) or (2). Obviously the actual outcomes are a little more complex, but for a base-level understanding of the advantages a spread provides, I think this is a good way to look at it.
So that’s the value of a spread. A lot of traders are introduced to option selling and are scared of the prospect of incurring a huge loss like we mentioned above, but using credit spreads is a great way of receiving the benefits that selling has to offer while limiting a lot of the risks. So let’s move onto actually opening a spread.

Part Two: Making the Trade

So for actually opening a spread up, we have a four-step approach we take: Pick a Stock Pick a Direction Pick a Strike Price Execute the Trade
1: Picking a Stock:
One of the most important things I tell people is to trade what you know. I have a watchlist of 25-30 stocks that I watch and get familiar with during the day. That way if I recognize a good opportunity, I’ll have a decent base of knowledge to rely on to make what I feel is a smart play. It’s super easy to get caught up in the “stock of the week” and try to jump in on a play because a ticker is in the news. If you’re not familiar with a stock, don’t trade it.
For this example (the one used in the video), Wayfair was trading in a 195-210 range for a little bit and then had a big day where it broke up out of that range and up towards $220. This was an unusual move that I noticed since it was on my watchlist, so I decided to make a play.
STOCK: WAYFAIR
2: Picking a direction:
So if we look at Wayfair’s YTD chart, it has exploded this year. A clear upward trend, but a recent trend that I noticed from following the stock was that every time it broke out like this, there would be a little bit of a pullback afterwards. Additionally, I felt the stock was overvalued on a fundamental basis (had a negative book value at the time of the trade) so I wanted to play this stock back down. This is probably the quickest and easiest step of the four, since you’ll likely already have an opinion on most of the stocks that you follow.
DIRECTION: DOWN
3:Picking a Strike Price:
So we know that we’re going to be playing Wayfair back down, but now the question is what spread are we going to set up to do that. In this example Wayfair was trading at $218.42 at the time that we decided to make this trade. In the video we illustrate a trading channel that Wayfair was at the top of. It was also approaching the ATH of $221.54. A lot of the time that will act as resistance for a stock, meaning it’ll bounce down off of it. So in order to give ourselves a bit of a cushion we decided to set our short leg at 222.50, meaning that we’re playing the stock to stay below $222.50 by the end of that week.
So with this play it means in plain English that if we’re correct and the stock goes down, we hit max profit. But if we’re wrong and it goes up, we still have a $4.08 cushion before we’re not hitting max profit anymore. So we could be a little wrong, have the stock go up a few dollars, and still walk away with max profit.
STRIKE PRICE OF SHORT LEG: $222.50
4: Executing the Trade:
I’ll be the first to tell you that when I started trading spreads I didn’t realize you could open both legs of the spread at was. I was stupid. I would like to think I’m at least a little bit smarter now. If you look at the options screen for most brokers, you’ll just see single legs. Switching over to “vertical” allows you to set up the entire spread in one trade. If you use something like RH, there’s a feature that allows you to select multiple options, so you’ll select the one you wish to sell (short leg) and the one you wish to buy (long leg).
In this example we selected the 222.5/227.5c spread, meaning that we sold the short leg of 222.5 and the long leg of 227.5. The net credit was 1.45, which is our max gain on the trade. A wider spread gives a larger credit but also increases max loss. This is a $5 wide spread but we could have made it a tighter spread with a $2.5 width. Typically the best risk to reward ratio is on the tightest spreads, but a slightly wider spread will raise your breakeven price and studies have shown that it actually results in better expected value long term.
Circling back to the credit we received of $1.45, this means that our max profit was $145 and our max loss was $355 for each spread that we sold. We know that because our broker tells us that, but a quick way to calculate it is the width of the spread minus the credit. A $1.45 credit on $5 wide spread means a $5-$1.45=$3.55 max loss.
When I evaluate trades like this I look for a max profit to max loss ratio of 1:2 to 1:4. Based on different scanners I’ve seen, the best expected values tend to fall on spreads within that risk/reward ratio. The ratio on this trade is 1:2.44.
So we put our order in for a credit of $1.45, it filled, and now we get to sit back and watch. Sometimes your order won’t fill right away. In fact, most of the time it won’t fill right away. It’s important to be patient with your fill price and not chase it downwards. We want the highest credit possible. So if the credit on these spreads dropped to 1.30 when I was trying to place an order, it usually isn’t a great idea to drop my order price down to 1.30 just to get a fill. The only time I would recommend that is if you’re trying to open a spread right before the market closes. Otherwise, hang tight. Patience pays.

Part 3: Managing the Trade

So now that we’ve made the trade, it’s time to manage it. In my opinion one of the best parts about trading spreads is that they don’t require active management. You get to sit back and watch the price. Once the trade has been opened, which is also quick, it takes very little effort.
So with the Wayfair example we used, our analysis turned out perfectly, as Wayfair touched the ATH and dipped back down to end the week safely at $214. We hit max profit on that trade, but what if the trade goes against us? That’s what we’ll take a look at in this section.
One thing we didn’t address in part two is when to open the trade. We like opening spreads on Mondays and Tuesdays, and monitoring them during the week. This is the part of my strategy that is a little bit controversial, as there is a (legitimate) school of thought that selling spreads about 45 DTE is better value. I like that idea and if you would rather do that then absolutely go for it. It’s important to trade what you’re comfortable with. All of the lessons in here still apply to that strategy. With that said though, I stick with the weekly strategy of opening them at the beginning of the week and look to close them throughout the week.
The way I see it, your % of max profit should be the metric you’re looking at when deciding what to do with a spread. Divided up equally, that means if you progressed through the week to max profit in a linear fashion, you would be at 20% of max profit on Monday, 40% on Tuesday, and so forth. A good rule of thumb I use is that if you’re ever on the fence about whether or not to close something out, do so if your return exceeds the linear return for that day of the week. The market can move quickly and I’ve had several times where I have regretted not closing a spread out. It’s important to take profit.
Another thing I’ll add to this is that this weekly strategy gets a little risky on Thursday afternoon headed into Friday. If your spread is remotely close to being in the money on Thursday afternoon, close it out. Now that I type that out I realize that may all sound a little convoluted, but it’s better visualized in the video I’ve linked for this section.
Now let's get into what happens if a trade really starts to move against you. With the strategy we use there are really two options: (1) Close the trade for a loss and move on, or (2) Roll the strikes higher.
The first option is pretty self explanatory, but a quick note I want to add here is that you can have a stock move way against you but still be able to close the trade for less than max loss. The example I use in my video is I played FB earnings, thought it would go down, but it shot way above my spread and well into max loss territory. We opened a 245/247.5c spread for a credit of $0.54. FB was reporting earnings on a Thursday night and we sold this spread that expired the following day, so there wasn’t a ton of time to manage it. Long story short, FB killed earnings and shot up to $256 that morning. Really not a prayer that it would come back down to the spread I opened by the end of the day. But despite the fact that this trade went way against us and we had almost no time to manage it since it was a Friday play, we were still able to close out for a debit of $1.90. Yes that’s a loss of $1.36 per spread, but we SAVED an additional $0.60 cent loss by avoiding a max loss debit of $2.50. That’s another benefit of spreads.
Let’s talk about option two. This is the best option to use if you’re confident that you’re correct about the ultimate price action on a stock, but you need a little extra wiggle room on the trade. For this example we’ll look at a TSLA call spread that I opened. TSLA was trading at $1542 after an incredible run, so I figured I would play it below 1600 with a 1600/1610c spread that offered a credit of $2.52. As is the theme with this section, TSLA exploded the following morning (Tuesday) and went all the way up to $1794 at one point. My spread was literally almost $200 out of the money. One of the biggest possible moves against myself that I had ever seen. Despite this crazy move, it was only Tuesday and we were able to close the first spread for a debit of only $5.25 (as opposed to a $10 max debit). We opened 6 of these off the bat so this was a loss of $1638. From there we “rolled” our strikes higher, opening 10 1750/1760c spreads for a credit of $3.45. So the closing and subsequent opening of a spread like we did here is what we are referring to when we say we “rolled the strikes higher”.
By the end of the week TSLA had finally crashed a bit and it finished at $1506. This meant the second of spreads we opened were easily max profit. And while we lost $1,638 on the first set of spreads we opened here, we profited $3,450 on the second set of spreads so we were able to still finish the week with a $1,812 profit on TSLA. The funny thing with this one is that the original spread would have hit max profit since it dropped all the way back down to 1500, but we would have had the same result had TSLA finished anywhere below 1750.
Rolling the strikes higher gave me extra breathing room and turned a potential disaster into a profitable trade. One thing I’ll add though is that with this method you do run the risk of increasing your potential max loss. Because of that, I’ll only roll my strikes higher ONCE. Anything past that is chasing a losing trade. If I roll my strikes higher and it’s still going against me, I’m at the point where I need to accept the fact that I don’t fundamentally understand a stock as well as I thought I did and move on. There is always another trade out there.
The final point I’ll add to this is ALWAYS CLOSE OUT YOUR SPREADS. The only time I’ll let a spread expire worthless is if my spread is OTM by a crazy amount and it would quite literally take a historic after-hours move on Friday to take me back ITM. Other than that, close your spreads out. Even if it’s just for a $0.05 debit. It may seem annoying but I’ll tell you why in the following section.

Part 4: Additional Risks and Considerations

I will start this section by saying I’ve never been impacted by any of the following risks, but it’s important to be aware of 100% of the possible outcomes of your trade before you enter it. They’re infrequent but this really wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if I omitted them. They are as follows: (1) Early Assignment, (2) Dividend Risk, (3) Pin Risk.
1: Early Assignment:
The best way to start this section is by talking about why your max loss is actually your max loss. We know it’s quickly calculated as the width of your spread minus the credit, but why is that?
Let’s use a 110/115c spread as an example. We’ll say we received a credit of $1. We know that if the stock finishes anywhere below 110 then both legs are worthless and we’ll hold onto that $1 credit. But what happens if we’re in a max loss position. Let’s say the stock finishes at $120.
In this situation the short leg (110c) we sold would be worth $10 (120-110), meaning that we would owe $1,000 on that position. The long leg we bought would be worth $5 (120-115), meaning we are holding a position worth $500. The net effect is a $500 loss, but remember that’s netted against the $100 credit you received, so it’s a max loss of $400. That math checks out as the width of the spread is $5, the credit is $1, so the max loss is 5-1=$4*100=$400.
So that’s how it works upon expiration. But lets say this position moved against you, you still have a few days until expiration, but the stock is at $120. Since there are a few days left, you probably could close the contract for a debit of $3.50 rather than the max loss debit of $5. However, since your short leg is ITM the person you sold the option to may choose to exercise their option. As a result, that would require you to take on a short position of $110*100=$11,000 per contract sold. You may not be able to afford to cover that, or your broker may not let you hold that position. So what happens is your long leg gets exercised as well resulting in you taking a max loss early. So while on paper you received a credit of $1 that could have been closed for a debit of $3.50 and your loss was only $2.50, early assignment results in you prematurely taking a max loss.
When does this happen? It typically doesn’t, since it requires the buyer sacrificing the remaining extrinsic value on the option, but it’s more likely with certain stocks. There are three different classifications of a stock that relate to it’s borrowing ability: Easy to Borrow (ETB), Hard to Borrow (HTB), and Not Available to Borrow (NTB). The harder a stock is to borrow, the more likely it is that a call is exercised early because it gives the buyer a way to acquire a stock which may not be available to them through their broker. So if you’re selling call spreads that are close to being ITM, make sure to check out the borrowing status of the stock.
2: Dividend Risk:
This risk relates to the first one discussed, as it’s just another way you risk early assignment. If a company is announcing a dividend, there will be something known as an “ex-div” date, which means that all shareholders as of that date are entitled to receive the divident, which will be distributed usually at a later date. Because of this, call buyers may exercise an out of the money call option in an effort to acquire those shares.
Remembering that exercising an option means that you sacrifice all remaining extrinsic value, another reason a buyer may exercise a call option before an ex-dividend date is that the value of the dividend announced is greater than the extrinsic value remaining in the option. Say a 100c is trading at $2 and the underlying (stock) is currently at 101. The extrinsic value is the value of the option in excess of what it would be worth upon expiration. So the extrinsic value in this situation is $1, since the 100c trading for $2 is just $1 in excess of the current strike price. If the company in question here announced a $2 dividend, an option buyer would likely exercise their call option because the $2 dividend is greater than the $1 of extrinsic value.
3: Pin Risk:
We know that if your spread finishes out of the money it’s a max gain and if both legs of your spread finish in the money it’s a max loss. But what happens when the price of a stock finishes between the two legs of your spread? Let’s take a look.
So using a 100/110c spread as an example, let’s say that the stock finishes at 105. Your long leg, which is there to protect you, is worthless so you wouldn’t exercise it. However the short leg at 100 that you sold will be exercised by the buyer since it’s ITM. As a result, you’re now short 100 shares at a price of 100 and you’ll be holding that position over the weekend. This can go both ways from here, but since we’re focused on risk let’s say that this stock you’re now short shoots up over the weekend and some sort of news/event brings it up to $120.
With this short position of 100 shares at $100 you’re borrowing $10,000 worth of stock. Now that the stock is worth $120 this position is now worth $12,000. Over the weekend you’ve sustained a $2,000 loss. If we received a credit of $3 when we opened this spread, we may have thought that our max loss was 10-3=$7*100=$700. Since we failed to close the spread out, this position has now resulted in a $2,000 loss net of the $300 credit that you received when you opened the position. So on a trade where you thought you could lose at most $700, you’re now down almost $2k.
I can’t repeat it enough, but THIS IS WHY WE CLOSE OUT SPREADS BEFORE EXPIRATION. That is the single most important takeaway I can give you here. Spreads are great since they’re defined risk and defined gain. When you’re buying options you have a defined loss but a potentially infinite gain. This can make it really easy to get greedy and I’ve seen countless traders lose big profits because they keep holding out for more. When you have a defined gain and defined loss it makes it easier to make smart decisions, take profits, and continuously build on those profits over time.
That was an enormous wall of text but I hope it helps explain, from a base level, what spreads are and how they work. Switching from buying options to selling options has dramatically changed my performance in the market so I hope sharing this can do the same for someone else. If you have any questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.
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