The Great San Diego Barbecue Explosion Of 1978

… doofus + too much charcoal lighter + lid on kettle grill = BOOM!

The Doclopedia #832

Random Tables In Search Of An RPG: Annoying Animal List

1: Yappy Fox

2: Horny Buffalo

3: Insane Cat

4: Flatulent Horse

5: Inquisitive Hippo

6: Excitable Dog

7: Itchy Lion

8: Insecure Gorilla

9: Paranoid Cow

10: Ornery Goose

11: Helpful Porcupine

12: Needy Tiger

13: Jumpy Elephant

14: Chatterbox Parrot

15: Butt Sniffing Wolverine

16: Easily Offended Baboon

17: Lonely Skunk

18: OCD Goat

19: Incontinent Zebra

20: Hyperactive Pig

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The Doclopedia #833

Random Tables In Search Of An RPG: Potentially Important Clues List

1: Four fingered handprint

2: A trail of underwear

3: A half finished glass of yak milk

4: An unlocked chastity bely

5: Uneaten chocolate chip cookies

6: Spilled beer

7: An ornithopter

8: Scattered dirty socks

9: An unfinishjed letter to “Larry”

10: The stereo is still warm

11: Fingerprints on the dildo

12: A glass ear

13: Footprints on the ceiling

14: A letter from “Mrs. Fromsky”

15: An empty bag of redwood mulch

16: A plate of half eated artichokes

17: A matchbook from the Cobalt Club

18: A dog who did not bark or really give much of a rat’s ass about the whole affair

19: Mud on the gloves

20: A suspicious kettle of fish

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The Doclopedia #834

Random Tables In Search Of An RPG: Moment Of Decision List

1: Cake or Pie?

2: Sex or Free Beer?

3: Fight or Flight?

4: Witty Repartee or Punch ‘Em In The Face?

5: Horse or Mule?

6: Swords or Sorcery?

7: Red Wire or White Wire?

8: Truth Serum or a Red Hot Poker?

9: Hamburger or Hotdog?

10: Money or Sex?

11: Weasels or Snakes?

12: Shotgun or Chainsaw?

13: Blond, Brunette or Redhead?

14: Shaken or Stirred?

15: Jump Off or Turn And Fight?

16: Radioactive Spider or Gamma Rays?

17: Dog or Cat?

18: Deep Dish or Thin Crust?

19: Modified Ebola Virus or Modified Bird Flu?

20: Revolver or Automatic?

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The Rare And Beautiful Gong Cows Of Potawango Island

…they don’t moo, they gong

 

Today, we end the Weights & Measures theme and begin the Random Tables In Search Of An RPG  theme. Enjoy!

 

The Doclopedia #827

Weights & Measures: 4,000 Pounds

Yep, that there is a full growed Blue Herffle. She weighs in at 4,000 pounds, which is pretty much average, bub. See the way both tails curl up over her back? That means she’s ready for breedin’. You put her in a breedin’ ring with one of them big 5,500 pound males and he’ll get the job done right fast. Now, you do have to watch that he doesn’t break one of her horns when he grabs onto her with his breedin’ claws. That happens now and again and it fair pisses them females off. Can’t say as I’d blame them.

Oh yeah, we have the Brown and Yellow Herffles, too, but they don’t grow up as fast or as big as the Blues do. For my money, they taste better, too. A Blue Herffle steak is a damned tasty meal, bub. Now, how many head were you thinkin’ of buyin’?

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To my Non-Gaming readers: Many traditional roleplaying games, especially Dungeons & Dragons, have charts and tables for various random things. In this series of posts, I’m just putting up some random tables with the hopes that one of my crazy gamer friends will build a roleplaying game around them. Yes, it’s all very screwy.

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The Doclopedia #828

Random Tables In Search Of An RPG: Body Parts List

1: Fat Ass

2: Crooked Toes

3: “Funny Looking” Genitals

4: Big Nose

5: Skinny Ass

6: Long Legs

7: Beer Belly

8: “Gene Simmons” Tongue

9: Muscular Arms

10: Long Fingers

11: Small Ears

12: Flat Feet

13: Rock Hard Abs

14: Big Breasts (females) or Muscular Chest (males)

15: Big Hands

16: No Appreciable Ass

17: Crooked Nose

18: Big Ears

19: Wide Mouth

20: Petite Nose

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The Doclopedia #829

Random Tables In Search Of An RPG: Materials List #1

1: Felt Sheets

2: Titanium Wire

3: Balsa Wood

4: Colored Paper

5: Rabbit Fur

6: Copper Pipes

7: Adobe Mud

8: Quartz Crystals

9: Silk Rope

10: Concrete (3 yards)

11: Oak Planks

12: Glass Bricks

13: Steel Rods

14: Plastic Tubing

15: Stone Slabs (3′ X 3′)

16: Aluminum Foil (heavy)

17: Redwood Beams (10′)

18: Rubber Mats

19: Wool

20: Wrought Iron Fencing (20′)

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The Doclopedia #830

Random Tables In Search Of An RPG: Materials List #2

1: Human Skin

2: Dog Hair

3: Cow Teeth

4: Horse Hide

5: Parrot Feathers

6: Clam Shells

7: Snake Skin

8: Moose Antlers

9: Monkey Bones

10: Goat Hooves

11: Boar Tusks

12: Human Bones

13: Rhinoceros Hide

14: Lion Teeth

15: Cat Hair

16: Turtle Shells

17: Bear Claws

18: Chicken Feet

19: Opossum Fur

20: Human Teeth

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The Doclopedia #831

Random Tables In Search Of An RPG: Weapon List

1: Sword

2: Plastic Milk Jug Full Of Marbles

3: Weasel Tied To A Stick

4: Axe

5: Bullwhip

6: Bag Full Of Rocks

7: Frying Pan

8: Big Angry Snake

9: Flamethrower

10: Tea Kettle Full Of Boiling Water

11: Ball Peen Hammer

12: Mace

13: Pitchfork

14: Bottle Of Sulphuric Acid

15: Shotgun

16: Hacksaw

17: Cinder Block On A Rope

18: Wooden Spoon

19: Baseball Bat

20: Spear

Would You Care For A Feel Good Cookie?

…and maybe a glass of happy milk?

 

The Doclopedia #824

Weights & Measures: 8,471 Miles

Yes, folks, 8,471 miles is the length of the Mysterious Yellow Stripe thay appeared during the night in Canada, the United States & Mexico. This meandering strip of what appears to be paint of some sort, starts in Northern Alberta and makes it’s way about a third of the way into Mexico. The 6 foot wide stripe mostly, but not always, follows roads and bridges. As far as we have found, it is unbroken the entirity of it’s length.

Attempts to remove the stripe have been unsuccessful, since it will release a large electrical shock. The Armies of all three countries are investigating this strange phenomenon.

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The Doclopedia #825

Weights & Measures: 1 Liter

This is how much poison Professor Von Lichter extracted from the poison glands of the prehistoric serpent that emerged from a mine shaft in Wales last month. Once the monster snake had been killed by the Army, the eminent German herpetologist was called in to examine it. He has since announced that is was of a species not seen on our world in 87 million years and was from the interior world of Kelludon. The Prime Minister has ordered that the mine be collapsed using explosives, so as to prevent other interior world creatures from reaching the surface.

In related news, Professor Clive Clonius has taken samples from the serpent for use in his “cellular regeneration” experiments.

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The Doclopedia #826

Weights & Measures: 1 Cubic Foot

Is the size of the chunk of gold that Doc Tempest recieves every year from the Motombo tribe in Africa. This gold is taken from ancient mines and is given to Doc as thanks for his great grandfather warning the tribe about the Europeans who would soon come to rob and enslave them. Armed with that knowledge and modern weapons, the Motombo tribe rallied many other African peoples to resist the Europeans, which they did with great success.

The gold is used by the Tempest Foundation to fund many humanitarian projects.

Dog Rice: The Perfect Food?

…for dogs!

 

The Doclopedia #821

Weights & Measures: 56.75 Pounds

16.75 pounds is the weight of the dead alien that was pulled from a small spacecraft that crashed onto the field during Superbowl XXXIV. Given that tens of millions of people from around the world witnessed the event, which killed 5 players and injured 4 more, the US government did not try to cover it up. It turned out that despite his small size, the alien was very similar to a human being. Even more surprising was that when his DNA was analyzed, it was found to be exactly as compatible with human DNA as is the DNA of chimpanzees. This finding pretty much turned science on it’s ear, as did the discovery that the alien ship could go faster than the speed of light.

After much study, it was learned that the alien had come from a solar system much like our own, but 2,900 light years away. He was almost certainly a biologist and probably one of several scientists sent to study our planet. Efforts to send a message to his homeworld using the comm link from his ship are ongoing.

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The Doclopedia #822

Weights & Measures: 1 Foot, 9 Inches

Yes, that was the size of the footprints old man Joon found up there in the hills. You see those two big boulders? Well, it was just behind them. The foot prints lead down to the pond over there, then went back up the way they came. Miss Park saw the creature as it was drinking from the pond. She says it was as tall as that small tree, which would make it nearly 8 feet tall. Yes, yes, very hairy, but otherwise quite human looking. She was not sure of the sex, but she thinks it was female. Oh yes, we have hair samples and I think we may have found a spot where it urinated. Yes, we will leave now that the others are ready to go. Let us hope that we can find the Korean Bigfoot, or at least find more evidence that it exists.”

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The Doclopedia #823

Weights & Measures: .5 Ounces

Be it known, student of the Mystic Arts, that the 19 Stones of Yettark all weigh exactly half an ounce each and bi-colored. Know also that they will glow slightly when viewed by anyone possessing the Talent. Possession of one Stone will increase your ability to successfully cast spells, but the more you possess, the more powerful you and your spells become. It is said that the Grand Wizard Keelohondorak had seven of the stones on him when he was killed by the King of Demons. Of course, his Death Curse was so powerful that we now live in a Demon free world and the Stones teleported away once life left Keelohondorak’s body.

You may seek out all of the 19 Stones of Yettark, but do not seek out the 20th Stone, for that would cause the others to bind to it and then Magic would leave our world for 10,000 years.

Chapter 577: In Which Our Hero, Assisted By Ted The Basset Hound And A Halfwitted American, Breaks Into The Church Bank And Steals A Ton Of Gold

…the American was of little use, actually.

 

The Doclopedia #819

Weights & Measures: 1.25 Cups

This is the volume of the Great Protoplasmic Blob when it was initially created by Professor Kimbly on May 3rd, 1883, just 21 days before it destroyed London. At first, the GPB was kind of cute, in a blobby sort of way, but then it ate Griff and Ned, the lab assistants and added 345 pounds to it’s weight and greatly increased it’s size. After that, there was almost no stopping it.

How fortunate, then, that several members of the Royal Junior Science League figured out a way to stop the digestive processes of the GPB, thus causing it to burn off massive quantities of itself every time it moved. In the end, it was smaller than your pinky and was destroyed in a blast furnace.

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The Doclopedia #820

Weights & Measures: 15 Meters

That was the height of the giant Orflortus, who came down from the high mountains to terrorize the villages in northern Ispedalia. He was a terrible being to behold and could not be reasoned with. He crushed houses and barns, ate livestock and tossed handfuls of humans into the River Hoza.

Eventually, the king sent 1,000 of his best troops to slay the giant. They were steely eyed veterans and armed to the teeth. They rode well trained war horses and had the finest weapons and armor. Sadly, Orflortus had summoned 100 of his giant friends and they wiped out 996 of the King’s One Thousand.

And that is why what used to be northern Ispedalia is now known as Giantland.

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.”

Primitive Peonies Polluted My Poppies

…now my poppies must try to live with that

 

The Doclopedia #816

It’s In The Bag!: The Burlap Sack

Lem! Lem! Oh Lordy, Lem, you gotta see this! It’s a piece off one of them outer space ships like they write about in them magazines down at Foster’s Store! I seen the ship an’ the little gray fellers what was in it, Lem, gospel truth!”

Alright, alright. Let me catch my breath, Lem, an’ I’ll tell ya the way it happened. Whew! I done run here clean from Swampy Bottom, where I seen it all. Whew! Thanks, cousin, I am right parched after that run.”

Well, ya see, I was down there in Swampy Bottom lookin’ fer reeds that Grandma can use fer weavin’ an’ I come around that big old boulder on the north side an’ I seen this shiny silvery thing that looks like a giant pie tin turned upside down. It musta been pert near 75 feet across an’ a good 15 feet high at the center. There was lights blinkin’ an’ it was makin’ a soft hummin’ sound kinda like a cat purrin’. There was pieces of it layin’ hither an’ yon an’ them little gray fellers was workin’ busy as bees tryin’ to put it back together. Them little fellers wasn’t more’n 4 feet tall an’ they was bald headed smooth as an egg an’ had big ol’ eyes like a bug. Their arms an’ legs was real skinny an’ their fingers was too long to look proper. At first, I thought they was nekkid as jaybirds, but if that was so, it woulda meant they didn’t have nothin’ , you know, down there. Turn out they was wearin’ real tight pajama things.”

So I’m standin’ there, so skeered I cain’t move an’ my ol’ heart is fittin’ ta bust clean outta my chest, an one o’ them spacemen turns an’ sees me! He gives out this screechy noise an’ I yell an’ then another o’ them points a hunk o’ pipe at me an’ I fall over on my back, stiff as a board. I could see an’ breath and hear an’ such, but I could nary wiggle a toe! Then they all come over an’ looked at me an’ talked in some buzzyquacky noise an’ then they all run off an’ a few minutes later that spaceship lifted up in the air an’ it was all a’glowin’ an’ then it took off straight up faster’n anythin’ I ever did see. Right ’round a minute later, I could move agin’.”

Well sir, I jumped up an thanked the Lord an’ started runnin’ but I tripped over this here piece of that spaceship. I reckoned I oughtta bring it back, lest y’all think I had gone plumb crazy, so I tossed it in this here sack and started in to runnin’. So now you’ve seen it, so we both know I ain’t makin’ up stories. Ain’t it somethin’ to see? Lookit them blinkin’ little lights. Yeah, it does seem awful light for it’s size, for sure. I reckon them spaceships need to be real light to go that fast.”

Nope, got no idea what I’ll do with it. Reckon I could try to sell… Well, hey there, Jody! Come on over here an’ take a look at… What? Army fellers down near Swampy Bottom? Oh, good lord, this ain’t gonna go well fer me.”