It’s All Fun & Games Until Somebody Wakes Up The Golem

…and then you can’t find the right rabbi

The Doclopedia #817

It’s In The Bag!: The Silk Pouch

You…you’re Sally Smithfield? Heh…I thought you’d be taller. Huh, what? Oh, Conrad…Orville Conrad. But..*cough, cough*…that’s not important. No, not enough time for an ambulance. Those Nazi bastards got me good. Now you listen, Sally. You’ve gotta…*cough, cough, cough*…get this to Doc Tempest. Nazis want it real bad…came from a dig in Turkey…Dr. Jones said Doc would know about it. Be careful…*cough,cough*…Germany has spies all over…really want what’s in that little bag…it’s really strange, ya know? Ya look at it…and…kinda get all dreamy. *cough, cough* Hope Dr. Jones is ok. Sally, could you tell…wife…Virginia…that I love her…and…BEHIND YOU!”

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The Doclopedia #818

It’s In The Bag!: The Suede Dice Bag

Yes, it’s the real deal, the dice bag that belonged to the King of Dice, the greatest roleplaying gamer ever! No, doofus, I’m not talking about fucking computer RPGs, which aren’t really roleplaying games, I’m talking about sit at the table and roll dice roleplaying games”

You’ve never heard of the King of Dice? Christ, where have you been? He was the guy who could make the dice do everything but sing & dance. Chris and I were there at UltraCon when he rolled SIX critical hits in a row USING THE GM’S OWN DICE! Remember that, Chris? Shit, man, it was the talk of the gaming world for, like, six months. Caused a huge flame war in the fanzines.”

Well, they say that really early in the hobby, the King got screwed over by the guys at SRT Games and decided that someday he get revenge. He wasn’t the King then, just some gamer that submitted a series of adventures to SRT and ended up getting them stolen by them. He had no copies or anything, so he could never prove it, but the company was known to buy freelance stuff really cheaply and not credit the authors when it got published.”

So the King spends like, two or three years just rolling dice and memorizing rules, so he can come back and make a big splash. What? No, I don’t think anybody ever knew his real name. Wally said the King completely changed how he looked and shit. New ID, moved to another state, the whole deal.”

Anyway, when the King did turn up, it was at WizardCon and he and his crew won 3 different RPG tournaments. They hit about a con a month for the next 5 years, building up a legend. Dude, people would go to cons just to watch him and his crew kick ass on the toughest & most creative Game Masters out there. I heard he even made Walter “The Warlord” Paulson cry after they shot through his “Dungeon of Certain Doom” in two hours flat with only minimal wounds.”

Now, after five years of this stuff and gamers talking shit about how great the King is, it comes down to DiceCon 1994 and a showdown between George Gervin, the Grandfather of RPGs and the King. But see, Gervin and SRT try to rig the game. The King has to use the dice they provide and his dungeoneeering party will be made up of five random gamers chosen by the luck of the draw. You’d think this might suck, but the King was cool with it.”

The game started at noon with an 8 hour run and only three bathroom/food breaks of 10 minutes each. It was a totally killer three level dungeon and the King lost two characters from his party in the first hour. After that, the King started quoting old, but never rescinded rules, which is pushing Gervin’s buttons pretty effectively. All the while, the King is rolling great numbers like he’s on fire. Better yet, he must have given some quick pointers to his team, because they’re rolling well, too.”

But finally, it comes down to the king and one other player, both of their character’s badly wounded. They’re on the third level, final room and this huge sleeping demon is about to wake up and destroy the world. Between him and the King is like, 300 screaming Death Trolls. The King’s only chance is to hit that demon with an Arrow Blessed By The Gods and it’s like a 700 foot shot. Gervin is sweating like a pig, because his cred as the baddest GM around is slipping away. The crowd is afraid top breath, but the King is just smiling, even though his Fire Arrow skill has 9 penalty points on it and the game will stop in 2 minutes!”

That’s when the King says that his character is pulling out several magical items, all SRT approved for this game, and he quotes one of Gervin’s famous proclamations about how certain magical items can enhance each other and next thing you know, he has a plus 5 BONUS to his Fire Arrow skill! Then he rolls the dice with TEN FREAKING SECONDS TO GO and it’s a critical hit!”

Gervin and the SRT team just got up and left, but the entire con went nuts! After he signed about 300 autographs, the kid pours out his dice bag, gives a couple of dice to each of his players, tosses the rest out into the crowd and tells a guy from the charity auction to sell it. Then he walked right out of the con and nobody ever saw him or his crew again.”

I bought the dice bag off of zBay for a big wad of dough, but dude, it was worth it. Oh, and here’s where the story gets interesting. Two days later, at the con, the SRT folks are going to announce how Dungeoneering & Dragonfire will have a new, totally cool second edition coming out. They needed it, since the company was in deep financial crap. They spent big bucks on all the promo and told us it would be out by Xmas. They even took pre-orders and had mock up pages for us to look at. Problem is, they never put out that great edition. Instead, they put out a very rushed version that was total shit. Why? Well, rumor has it that during the Gervin VS King battle, somebody broke into their offices and stole all the computer files, artwork, fucking everything needed to get the second edition out. So yeah, the rushed version blew and there were lawsuits and returns and company infighting and by the next year, almost everyone was fired and the company was sold to some guys from California. Gervin sort of became a recluse and I heard the the main Brand Manager is now managing a Taco Bell in Lansing, Michigan.”

But the final cool part? That company that bought SRT? They released a new edition of the game just three months later! Layout and art were different and things were worded differently, but it was that same great edition we all saw in 1994. They said they had found the allegedly stolen files in a broom closet, but you know, there are a whole bunch of gamers who remember that the King’s regular gaming crew were nowhere at the con during the Great Battle.”

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