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 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. The 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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A Total Sex Monkey

…oddly, it was not an insult

If It’s Sunday, It Must Be D&D Day!

After many years of playing RPGs only at cons, last August I started playing in a D&D 5th edition game run by Jessica Miller, a local DM. So far, we have played one multi-month series that ended when we either died or became free of curses by traveling through time. It was a satisfying and proper ending.

The next series was a pirate based one, but after about a dozen sessions, Jessie admitted that she was having a hard time getting a handle on it, so we created new characters for what is pretty much a “you are hired to explore…” scenario. So far, it has been fun, partially because one of our characters speaks in an Elvis voice and my fighter sounds like Clint Eastwood before he got old and yelled at chairs.

We play every other Sunday from 4 pm until 8 pm.

But, I also wanted to run a D&D 5E series, too. I have a pretty cool setting, a 3,000 mile long, 3 mile wide trade route that spans a continent that, topographically, looks much like North America before Europeans got here. It can be used in three different eras. First Era is 5 years after the Great Road opens, when things are new and shiny. The player characters are Road Patrol cops, preserving law & order along a section of the Road that spans about 50 miles.

Second Era takes place 150 years later, when empires have arisen along the Road. In that one, the PCs would play secret agents of an empire spying on and stopping the machinations of other empires and their agents.

Third Era is 200 years after Second Era and 150 years after a continent spanning series of wars, zombie uprisings and magical storms. PCs in this era have been hired to explore the long abandoned Great Road.

It took me MONTHS (like 10 months) to get players and schedules together to start a series set in First Era. I ran about 5 introductory adventures fro about a dozen different players, but now have 3 regulars and possibly 2 or 3 more about sign on. So far, things are going well and they haven’t even reached their assigned duty station yet. But they did make it to second level!

We play every other Sunday from noon to four, but not on the same Sundays as the game I play in. Thus, every Sunday is now D&D Sunday for me. I’m pretty happy with that and my roleplaying plate is pretty full.

So why am I thinking of running a twice weekly Play By Post game online?

 

 

 

The Doclopedia #1,296

Strange Bandanas: The Red One With White Polka Dots

I own hundreds of bandanas. Many of them have strange stories connected to them. Here is one…

Of the several polka dotted bandanas I own, this one is by far the most dangerous, for it is possessed by a demon. His name is Traskadar and, if he is to be believed, he came into this particular bandana when the budding serial killed he possessed at the time fell into the cutting machine that cut the material into bandana sized chunks.

The first drop of blood spilled drew Traskadar into the square of cloth that became my bandana. This also forced him into a short period of dormancy, which prevented him from jumping into the poor people that packed the bandanas into boxes, the shipping employees and the end vendor. Since I bought the bandana less than 15 minutes after it was unpacked, I was the first person Traskadar tried to possess. Unfortunately for him, it turns out that I am near impossible to possess for any length of time. Neither of us can explain this and while I am very glad of it, Traskadar REALLY hates it.

Notice that I said near impossible to possess. Traskadar has possessed me twice. The first time was just after I bought the bandana and he had partial control of me for about 10 minutes. He ratcheted up my anger and tried to get me to drive somewhere and give the bandana to somebody else. Fortunately, I was so far out in the boonies that ever driving at 90 miles an hour failed to get me close enough to civilization before my demonic enemy faded away.

The second possession came when I was shitfaced drunk. This meant that within seconds of taking control, Traskadar was shitfaced too. He really couldn’t get me coordinated enough to kill or anything, so instead we just sang old doo wop songs really loud, which pissed off my roommates and neighbors.

I have since placed this bandana into a special metal box that Sasha tells me will slowly extract the demon out of the bandana and into the box itself. When that happens, we will send the box to Demon Earth 2, where Traskadar can be released safely.

Support this blog on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DocCross

 

The Hugely Important, Yet Totally Silly, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Robot Fish

…co-starring her cousin Myrtle, who only has 8 toes

 

Dog Con 7

 

Day 1: In which we start off in Canada, learn more about snowshoes than we thought possible, have free food & beer and have a Humans vs Critters gaming throwdown.

5:30 am

It is just after sun up and we are finished up with breakfast. Our trip starts in the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, Canada. Why here, you say? Partly because we had to start somewhere and partly because they have a Snowshoe Museum.

(Flash: My excitement knows no bounds. Snowshoes? Really?)

(Sadie: Humans are pretty damned odd.)

(Sasha: Could be worse. Could be an underwear museum.)

(Daisy: Hush! You might give Dad ideas.)

But since the museum doesn’t open for a bit, we’re all going for a walk in the newly opened Forest Room here on the bus. More blogging soon.

4:00 pm

The walk in the Forest Room was fun, especially for the critters, because there are squirrels in there. We pretty much had to drag Lulu & Flash out of their.

(Lulu: Drag? You overrode my systems and walked me out against my will! And why am I just normal dog powered in that room?)

(Sasha: Same reason you are normal powered all over the bus, genius, TO KEEP YOU FROM DESTROYING THINGS!)

(Flash: There must have been a hundred squirrels in there!)

(Leon: Chipmunks, too! They laughed at us!)

(Daisy: Those bushy tailed little bastards!)

(Sadie: I’ll bet they are still laughing!)

(Silky: Are they always like this about rodents?)

(Jazz: Yeah, pretty much.)

(Roxy: Jeez, it’s not like it was mice.)

We left the critters on the bus when we went to the museum.

(Sadie: We played board games.)

(Flash: I unleashed my mad skillz at “Kill Doctor Lucky”.)

Folks, being a guy from California, I never knew there were so many types of snowshoes. Hell, even those among us from colder climates (Everybody but Grace & I) were amazed by the variety. The old guy who lead us through the museum had a pretty complete knowledge of the history of the snowshoe and his dad founded the museum in 1916. He told us he gets thousands of visitors every year. The latest snowshoes were some high tech things that could actually convert into sorta kinda skis.

They did not sell fridge magnets, but they did have bumper stickers and t-shirts, so we got those. Of course, our actual bumpers have not been visible since 2011, so we now just put the bumper stickers on the back of the bus. We figure in about 2 years, we’ll have to think of where else to start putting them.

After the Great Snowshoe Adventure, we wandered around town for a bit, then got back on the bus and started heading south into Quebec. As I drove along, I chatted with Brian, Mary and Avis about the great scenery and what was up in our lives. Mary & Spike are the parents of a newly minted adult who also graduated from high school, so there were stories there. Brian had some stories from being a doctor. Avis talked about a con she went to not long ago. Me, I have no shortage of strange stories, given my household.

We were barely over the border into Quebec when we entered the small town of St. Fromage and saw a sign saying “Annual Beer Festival” (translated for me by our French speaking contingent). If you placed a bet that I’d pass up a beer fest, you do not know me. We pulled over and found out that the townsfolk were throwing a hell of a shindig which included music, games and free beer and food!

(Sasha: If you ever want to lure Daddy into a death trap, put up a sign saying “Free beer & food”)

(Lulu: “Free games” would work for Dad and Spike and Brian, too.)

(Leon: The free food or games might work on most anybody.)

Well, folks, we spent about two hours there, eating food, drinking beer (those of us who do drink beer), playing games, getting petted & tummy rubbed (those of us with more than 2 legs), singing songs in French (or faking it) and generally having a fine old time. I was somewhat impaired for driving, so we had Data (our autopilot) take the wheel when we left.

(Daisy: That was some tasty chow!)

(Roxy: Mmm…gravy!)

(Silky: Those folks were very nice.)

(Sadie: We Canadians are known for being nice. Well, except for some of our politicians. Of course, the Native People have a different viewpoint.)

(Lulu: Native People everywhere have a different point of view.)

(Jazz: Well, they certainly knew how to treat a cat. My tummy is full of salmon.)

After an hour of napping, during which the SmartBots sprayed those of us who had consumed alcohol with some stuff Sasha created…

(Sasha: Sobervix aerosol. I buy it on GalacticAmazon.)

…that completely sobered us up, we decided to do some gaming. We got out a shitload of board & card games and also fired up the X Boxes. Then it was Critters vs Humans.

On the video game front, Brian & I played Civilization 9: Cats vs Dogs against Leon & Flash. We set the timer for two hours and it was intense. I played a Doberman culture and Brian played the more scientific Border Collie culture.

(Sasha: The Dobies are a good race to play. Fast, smart and military.)

Flash played a Northern Cat culture and Leon chose the Jungle Cat culture. For most of the game, we just expanded our territories. In the last 25 minutes, it was time for war. Things got intense.

(Flash: We cats were doing well in battle, grabbing up cities & stuff. Then those damned Border Collies developed airplanes & tanks and we were screwed.)

(Leon: Yeah, we had fuck all for air defense.)

While we waged war, Grace, Ginie, & Avis played “Ticket to Ride: Middle Earth” vs Jazz, Sadie & Daisy. In the end, Daisy barely won.

Mary, Caroline & Lauren went up against Sasha, Roxy & Lulu in the card game “Love Letters”. After many hands, the humans triumphed by 3 wins.

(Lulu: That’s a nice card game.)

(Roxy: These mechanical hands are kind of cool.)

(Sasha: I like Otto better. He has tactile receptors and much better dexterity.)

Lacking enough critters to go around, Spike & Miranda played “Super Dario: Deathmatch” on another X Box. I believe Miranda won that one, since she was dancing about calling her dad a loser.


We are now pulling into a campground for the night. After dinner, it’s Movie Night. Our new “Double Feature Select-O-Mat” program will choose the two flicks we watch. More blogging tomorrow.

Destination Sign when we started: The Underdark


Destination Sign when we stopped: Toad Hall

Music: Heavy Metal Swing

Dogs Makiing Milkshakes, Cats Frying French Fries, Mice Flipping Burgers

…it’s an animal land IN N OUT franchise

A Few Words On Future LJ Experiments

I know I ended the Dungeon Delving game, but be of good cheer, Dear Readers…more experiments are on the way! Now, none of them will be designed for a long haul, but some will involve group storytelling/roleplaying. Others will be along the “Take this poll” line, while others will be somethiing entirely different. This blog has been getting too damned boring and predictable lately, so it’s time for me to shake things up.

But right now, I’m gonna do my daily webcomic sweep, then hit the sack.

The Very Creepy, Yet Surprisingly Romantic, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Halloween House

…costarring her worst enemy, Almost Yellow Yolanda

Doc Update

1: The game room is coming along nicely. Pix to come on Sunday or Monday.

2: The Giant Hawaiian Gourd seeds I planted have resulted in two smallish gourd vines and one humongous vine. How humongous, you ask? Try 73 feet from the tip of one vine to the tip of another. It looks like the Vine That Ate Sacramento. And yes, it has lots of little gourdlets forming along the vines.

3: Grace is fully involved in her two online classes for this semester. Both are some techie stuff that I don’t recall the names of. In October, she will also be attending an 8 week on site class. Me, I self educate. Last night, I read half of a book on milk goats.

4: The Lord Dog willing and the creek don’t rise, I may have reviews of Esoterrorists and Fear Itself posted here by tonight.

5: This weekend (for me) will be all about House Cleaning, writing robot games and gardening. Oh, I might go see Shoot ‘Em Up on Saturday.

6: The saving of money towards Daisy’s cyst removal operation is going well. I’m about 1/3 of the way towards the total. With any luck, she’ll go under the knife by the end of the month.

And now, I’m off to work.

The Nine Ways To Catch A Hippo

…using only a net, some old socks and a pie

Stuff-O-Rama

1: Watched The Dresden Files on Sci Fi Channel. Pretty good adaptation, despite a couple of slightly jarring changes from the books. The actor playing Harry does a fine job.

2: I went and bought tea and spices from the herb/spice lady at the farmers market inside Denio’s Flea Market. As we were talking, it dawned on me that I’ve been buying stuff from her for just a tad shy of 30 years now. Kinda cool, that.

3: Taking the girls to the dog park on the weekends is a good idea, since it means tired out hounds when we get back. Sorta like letting kids wear themselves out at a playground so they’ll go to bed early…which I used to do with my nieces & nephews when they’d visit me.

4: We had a one day respite from overnight freezes, but tonight it’s supposed to get back down in the mid-20’s. Man, will my poor wee plants be lovin’ the comin’ a’ spring.

5: I submitted a game for Conquest Sac. The fact that they extended their “GM a game, get a pair of personalized dice” offer tells me they are probably needing GM’s. My game will be a Pulp Era adventure titled The Monster Maker.

6: Heroes returns tomorrow night! Huzzah!

Time to put the girls to bed. More blogishness soon.

Harry Potter And The Dildo Of Fire

…Professor Snape better watch out!

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

Grace and I saw it this morning. In my opinion, it’s a good movie, but not a great one. The acting was fine and the fx were well done, it’s just that the whole story was…not different enough. I’ve seen too many movies that covered similar ground. Maybe I would have liked it more if I’d ever read any of the books. I will say that the much bitched about (in fannish circles) religious aspect was not only toned down, it was no big deal. Worth seeing, but maybe not worth re-seeing.

Oh, by the way, before the flick, we saw the trailer for “Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest”. It looks to be great.

In Other News

My friend, smalley_smoot, sent me his printed out PDF version of “Savage Worlds”. For that, I thank him profusely and I shall soon dive into reading it whilst sipping on a tall glass of Pete’s Wicked Ale.

Today was a pretty lazy day, with the major high points being us seeing the Narnia flick and then finding out that even when I’m REALLY hungry, I can’t polish off the 1 pound hamburger at Fuddruckers.

It has been rainy and nasty all day, hence the aforementioned laziness. I hold out little hope for tomorrow seeing a change in either the weather or the laziness factor.

Just a note to remind you, Gentle Reader, that there is still time for you to choose your favorite Subject Line from my 2005 LJ entries. Those picked will be singled out for special treatment in my All Singing All Dancing 2006 Subject Line Review.

And now, it is time for ale. Alas, there are no whores to go with it, but that is probably all for the better.