So I guess it’s time I explained the Achievements Board to Delta and Eryk, something I have been putting off for a very long time.

“So I guess it’s time I explain the Achievements Board to you two,” I say. “This is something I have been putting off for a very long time.”

“No shit,” Delta says.

“It has never proven to be incredibly relevant… Until now, I guess.”

The three of us are still taking a hot mineral bath together in the Yuletide Lounge, a hot spring that overlooks a magnificent vineyard termed the Great Grape Gardens. It is the single greatest moment of my time in Paso Robles so far, and I am enjoying it with great stride.

“So what is it?” Francis asks. He’s still cuddling up to Delta, who currently has her arm around his shoulder. “What exactly is the achievement system in your, uh, system?”

“The Achievements Board is a list of one hundred different tasks that grant rewards when completed,” I explain. “These rewards are often trivial or silly, such as weapons that are usually outdated, or ceremonial trinkets. Sometimes the rewards can be greater, but it is unknown what will be rewarded until you trigger the achievement, because the exact reward varies depending on your rank, level, and race.”

“So it’s a dynamically scaling loot system, essentially…” Francis seems absorbed in thought, like he has pondered this very design even longer than I have.

“It’s really no big deal,” I say. “It’s one of the many minor features of the Destiny Deck System that I have mostly deemed unnecessary.”

“Features you haven’t told us anything about until it’s convenient?” Delta asks.

“Well… I’m sorry. I should have given a more thorough explanation of my entire system. It would be easier if I were simply able to find a Sorting Scepter and bring it to Earth to grant the two of you the ability to choose your own class, though. You’d gain access to the system and would quickly understand everything that I already do.”

“And we’d be tied to the whole Life Points thing that will slowly kill us,” she adds.

“Well… Yes.”

“But wait, you just got an achievement for… what?” Francis asks. “Soaking in the hot springs?”

“Yes, apparently,” I say. “I cannot see all one hundred achievements; the only ones visible to me are those I have completed, and those adjacent to the completed. This one I succeeded at all on its own: ‘Soak in fifteen hot springs.’”

“What a weirdly specific achievement.”

“That’s the fun of it,” I tell him. “The whole Achievements Board is a bonus to help ease new users into the Destiny Deck System, by giving them concrete and sometimes lofty goals to reach for. Each board is geared towards its specific class, and so my [Adventurer] board is filled with tasks to help me succeed at exploring, fighting monsters, and trying new things.”

“Can we… see it?”

“Uh, not that I know of. But I guess I can list the whole board to you…?”

Well, here it goes:

Level up for the first time.✓Join the Adventuer’s Guild.✓Draw a Rank 8 card.   Eat a food with a Quality Rating of at least 850.   
Obtain your first map.✓Duel another System user.Sleep at 10 inns.✓Customize your HUD. Pray to The Goddess every day for a week.(Progress: 0/7)Gain 10 DP in one day.✓Unlock and use the Costume Changer.  
Complete the tutorial software.✓Travel over 100,000 miles.(Progress: 65%)Sleep at 125 inns.(Progress: 44%) Defeat a member of royalty in battle.Kill your first monster.✓Fight a B Rank opponent.   
Defeat the boss of an Apex Lair.Uncover buried treasure.Adjust the System Personality settings.✓Use the Wedding function and marry another System user.Become drunk to the point of passing out. Keep going.Draw a Rank 5 card.✓Frighten a goblin away from its gold.Perform a stunt so impressive that a bystander shouts “Superb!”  
Kiss someone while underneath a waterfall.Reach E Rank.✓Access your Sorting Scepter to assess your options.  Reach the Top 16 of the Grand Tournament.Sail over 10,000 miles. (Progress: 92%)Soak at 15 hot springs.✓Rescue a damsel in distress. 
 Reach C Rank.     Defeat a [Toxin.]Make love under the twilight moon.✓ 
        Obtain six Inventory Slot cards. 
       Perform a triple jump.Discover a new location for the first time.✓Figure out a terrifying secret.
    Obtain a Dragon skull.   Defeat 100 enemies in a single day. 
   Draw 1000 cards.(Progress: 65%)Draw 100 cards.✓Draw 10,000 cards.(Progress: 6.5%)    

“That really is a lot of achievements,” Delta says. “Some of those aren’t even possible to complete on Earth, either. Most of them maybe.”

“Your system has a personality?” Francis asks.

“I turned it off,” I say. “Trust me. It was not something you would want on all the time. It can speak out loud all on its own…”

“But it’d be a new friend! We’d be a team of four interesting quirky folk, not just three!”

“I really have to agree with Eryk on this one,” says Delta. “Please never turn this system personality thing back on.”

So next for me is to claim the reward for achieving the hot springs achievement. I wonder what it could be?

Here it goes…


[+3 DP.]

[51 DP total.]

“I heard a ding!” Francis shouts.

“Yes, and by The Goddess’s name was it a ding!” I exclaim. “Three Destiny Points awarded to me. Wow.”

“So we’ve been sitting on a possible Destiny Points goldmine this whole time and you never even told us,” Francis says. “On one hand that makes me mad at you and we’re going to talk after this. On the other, holy crap, we have a whole new set of tasks to strive for!”

“Indeed, indeed,” I say. I don’t want Francis to be mad at me, though… I really should have told him about some of the features the system gives me, it’s just… I never really thought about some of them. The most the Achievements Board has given me is a single gold bar for reaching E Rank back in the day. There wasn’t even an achievement for reaching D Rank, for some reason…

Well, anyway, for now we can continue relaxing in the bath with absolutely zero interr—

Knock knock.

“Hello, Mr. Bacall and party?” a voice asks, one belonging to the woman from the front desk who put me at a noticeable unease. We don’t answer immediately, but she doesn’t hesitate to continue. “There is one Pablo out here asking to join you in the bath. He is quite nice. Shall I let him in?”

Pablo Rosas is here…