Goons In The Tool Shed

…we never knew how they got in.

The Doclopedia #1,370

Assorted Characters: The King Of Dice

The true name of the King of Dice, along with his whereabouts after the Great Dungeon Delve, may never be known. Rumor has it that he was the actual author of 2nd Edition Monsters & Mayhem. The story goes that he submitted a manuscript of over 350,000 words to the First Game Master, all in hopes that some small portion of it might be used to expand 1st Edition M&M. Sadly, he only had the one copy and it “got lost in the mail” according to the Office Manager at Monstrous Mayhem Games. At the age of 16, the King of Dice was crushed by this news. At the age of 19, he was outraged to read a copy of 2nd Edition and see much of his manuscript in it, credited to the former Office Manager, now Lead Designer for the company. The King knew he could not fight them in court, so he began plotting a different revenge.

Jump ahead 10 years and it’s the 25th anniversary of M.M. Games and the First Game Master is at MonsterCon to GM a delve into his famous “Dungeon of the Hell Dragon”. Three teams of 6 characters enter the massive dungeon from three points, all trying to get to the third level and kill the Hell Dragon. The GM is trying to stop them.

The whole event is televised to 27 countries and a $100,000.00 prize goes to any survivors when either the 6 hour clock runs out or the Hell Dragon is dead. The GM’s notes are checked by a private team of experts and no changes are allowed. The same goes for the 18 players and their characters. All official rules for the game are in effect.

The live audience at the con is packed with gaming luminaries, including the newly appointed CEO of the company, the former Lead Designer. He is accompanied by several potential investors, all of whom he hopes will invest money after they see the new 4th Edition rules. This will hopefully get the company back on stable ground after the disaster that was 3rd edition rules.

The game begins and the King of Dice quickly reveals how he got his name. Years spent developing the right hand and arm moves to allows him to roll whatever he needs 80% of the time pay off as his team first kills one of the other teams and then hauls ass through the dungeon grabbing loot.

In the arena, many bets are made on the King beating the First GM.

Finally, the King’s elven archer, a human druid, a half troll barbarian and an elven mage are in the last room, facing the Hell Dragon. The players are sweating, the GM is sweating and every one of the 10,000 spectators has fallen silent. Initiative is rolled and the King gets to go first, but the Hell Dragon goes second. If the Kings arrow doesn’t pull off some sort of miracle strike, the party is almost certainly doomed.

The bowman lets fly an arrow previously soaked in an elixir the druid had mixed up and the mage had cast True Flight upon. The King rolls his dice…

…and scores a direct hit to the dragon’s mouth!

The damage is rolled. 9 points, not even a scratch. The GM is about to roll versus poison when the King asks for a rules check.

That was an elixir of wattleberries. I had them in my pack and they were approved before we entered the dungeon. Could the judges please read from page 67 of the “MAYHEM!” magazine from June of 1980?”

After a short search, the judge read “wattleberries are tasty indeed, but it is also known that when made into an elixir by a druid of 7th level or higher, said elixir will paralyze any dragon, regardless of size, for 7 turns if introduced into their bloodstream.”

Everyone in the place knew two things at that moment: (1) that bit of throwaway text, written by the First GM himself, was an official rule, and (2) the King was about to win.

Short work was made of the dragon, the King’s team was victorious, the crowd went nuts and the newly minted CEO was out 50,000 large due to a bet.

Hoping to get past that debacle, the CEO took the investors up to his suite to show them the new rules and the business plan for the next 5 years. Sadly, when he got there he found all of his paperwork, mock ups and his laptop gone. In a panic, he called the home office only to find out that the couriers he had called to tell them about 4 hours ago had come and gotten everything in his office two hours ago. Except he had never called them about couriers at all.

The King of Dice spent the rest of the convention drinking and eating on other gamer’s nickel. When the con closed, he drove off with the youngest daughter of the First GM, a young lady who had often listened to the Line Manager/vice President/CEO discuss his plans for the future. Neither of them was ever seen again. At least, not with those faces.

A day later, a group of professional thieves gladly accepted a sum of money for all of the CEO’s stuff. The middleman who paid them later sold the stuff to an up and coming game company. That company later produced a game that everyone agreed was the New Hotness.

The CEO lost his job in a rather swift board meeting. A few months later, he was managing a Beefy Burger in Omaha. The  game company took 4 years to even partially recover.

The First GM spent the rest of his days writing his memoirs and being a guest at up to 15 conventions a year. It took him 10 years before he would speak about “That Day” as he called it.

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