Friday 12 February 2010

Dickass DM

Remember good old-fashioned gamebooks? They promised all the fun of a role-playing game, with none of the social interaction - what more could an teenage boy desire? The thing is, that while the gamebook became a great gaming experience in its own right, the only RPG it could possibly have simulated was one being GM'd by Satan himself. 90% of decisions led to certain death, and combat was often fatal.

Satan wasn't available, so Brad will be GMing Rob through an RPG based on the classic Keith Martin Fighting Fantasy gamebook Vault of the Vampire.

Brad is the GM, and Rob plays his character, Abraham Van Bragging.

Previously on Dickass DM: Whilst travelling through the village of Mortvania, the fearless adventurer Abraham Van Bragging learnt of a supposedly vampire infested castle, and the hot yet relatively trampy babe the evil Reiner Heydrich had recently captured. Journeying to the castle in a coach drawn by a headless horseman, Van Bragging began to uncover the mysteries within...

Read Part One

Brad: Drifting into the chamber from a grille set into the floor is a smoky, apparitional figure radiating a hideous chilly malice - a Wraith! The Wraith shrinks back from you, its wispy clawed arms scrabbling at the air close to your face, but your faith protects you!

Van Bragging: Ha, I believe in Christ. Cock off!

Brad: Now you see a wooden spiral staircase leading upwards in this bare and dusty chamber. You could easily escape the Wraith that way; however, since it is an evil thing, you would prefer to destroy it. You have heard, though, that only a magical weapon can harm a wraith, so as you don't have one it could be dangerous to attack it.
Rob: Where's my damn +1 Skill Helmet when I need one? I ascend the staircase.
Brad: You ascend the narrow, steeply sloping wooden stairs until you come to a landing before a wooden door which is barred and decorated with warding glyphs of amber and silver. Something is scratching on the other side of the door. There is a distinctly unpleasant charnel smell here.
Rob: I'm going to open the door. I fear no bad smells.
Brad: You open the door and gaze into a low-ceilinged room with some narrow stone steps visible on the other side.

Van Bragging: *gazes*

Brad: Bones and horrifying, bloodied lumps of flesh and gristle lie around the room, and the occupant - a huge Ghoul - intends that you should be his next feast!

Van Bragging: Bollocks.

Brad: The monstrosly large ghoul backs away from you, spittle drooling over its blackened stumps of teeth.
Rob: I go up the stairs. Fuck you, Ghoul. Not scared of ou. You pussy.
Brad: You climb the stone steps, cobwebbed and filthy, past growths of mould and fungus on the walls, and ascend to the top of the tower. Moonlight streams into the circular chamber through tinted glass, and it seems almost as if the shadows in this place are skulking and watching. Opposite you, bathed in moonlight, is a young girl sprawled across a chair, bound by her wrists and ankles with a mesh of fine cobwebs - but they could be a lot stronger than they look, perhaps even magical.
Rob: She hot?
Brad: She is very pretty indeed, with long curly auburn hair and a fine, smooth complexion.
Rob: What are the tits like?
Brad: They're both present.
Rob: That's a relief, those "Past" tits are a nightmare
Brad: You sense both a strong good and a strong evil in this chamber, but you aren't certain which impression comes from which area. We've moved on from the tits, there, by the way.
Rob: Thanks for clearing that up.
Brad: Did you want to try waking her up?
Rob: This "waking her up" much penis is involved?
Brad:'re the hero dude.
Rob: Oh, yeah. Try waking her up sans penis
Brad: Which one is "sans" again?
Rob: "Without", dude, "without". Avec is with. Con in spanish.
Brad: You try saying something, even shaking the girl, but she does not awaken. You're going to try kissing her awake, aren't you?
Rob: Kissing her is almost penis-slapping
Brad: Suddenly the girl stands upright, arms out-stretched, with her head thrown back. She screams!

Van Bragging: I never touched you, stop screaming!

Brad: You are now fighting a dire undead creature, and the Baobhan Sith casts a spell at you! You strike her and spoil her spell.

Van Bragging: Good old trusty Wang of Judgement!

Brad: The evil magic-wielder smiles as she draws a razor-sharp dagger, its blue crystalline blade set into a silver handle. She is very nimble and swift and dodges your blows; she will not be easy to overcome.

Van Bragging pushes the Baobhan Sith back with his shield.
Van Bragging catches her dress with his sword, but causes no real damage.

Rob: Catch it with my sword? She's taken it off?!

The Baobhan Sith's slash causes Van Bragging to stagger back, and he stumbles over a table.
Van Bragging leaps back to his feet quickly.
With an almighty swing, Van Bragging decapitates the evil creature!

Brad: Good news!
Rob: Go on.
Brad: Now this bitch is gone, you only have ninety-nine problems!
Rob: Awesome.
Brad: You search the room. Checking carefully, you find a small secret door in one wall; it conceals a wall alcove, from which you draw out a white shield and a red cross.

**Rob acquired Shield of Faith**
**Faith increases to 11**

Rob: +1 Faith Shield FTW.
Brad: You leave the tower, go to the entrance hall, and open the door there. You push open the north door in the entrance hall and see a brightly lit corridor stretching out before you. The floor is tiled, and there are small water-colour paintings hung on the walls. Before you, there is a door on the east wall, and further along one on the west wall; between the two, there is a side-passage to the east. There is also a door facing you at the (north) end of the corridor. Draw a map if you want.
Rob: Dude, it's me.
Brad: Good point.
Rob: I open the door at the north end.
Brad: The door has a small silvered lock. You can't use this door...yet.
Rob: Hunh. Okay, I'll try the door in the west wall.
Brad: You open the door into a large and plushly decorated dining-room. A huge, centrally placed mahogany table is flanked by chairs; it groans under a weight of silver cutlery, utensils and crystalware, laid out on lace cloths. Heavy drapes are drawn across the windows to the west, there is a large tigerskin rug stretched out by the north wall; just past this is a half-open door.
Rob: I'm going to have to fight the rug or something, I know it.
Brad: Deciding to investigate the room beyond, you walk past the rug, but you hear a growl and a snarl, then the thing rises to its feet and its eyes gaze at you with hostility. Snarling fangs and claws and fur are about to fly at you, so you must fight this unusual enemy!


Rob: That's...uncanny.

Van Bragging slices the Tigerskin Rug's tail off, but that just seems to annoy it.
The Tigerskin Rug's claws rake Van Bragging's bollocks.
Van Bragging kicks the Tigerskin Rug where its spine used to be.
Van Bragging calls the Tigerskin Rug's mother fat.
With several furious blows, the Tigerskin Rug collapses, apparently dead.

Van Bragging: Shake N' Vac, bitch!

Brad: You pike some of the silverware. Don't forget, eating a provision restores 4 Stamina.
Rob: Lunch does sound good, actually.
Brad: Are you eating one, then?
Rob: Me personally? Not right this second, it's a bit late. Van Bragging can have lunch, though.
Brad: You look round the door to peer into the next room. You look into a very snug room evidently used by diners who have had too much to eat and drink...Isn't that called a vomitorium?
Rob: I suppose so.
Brad: Among the armchairs, footstools and cushions you spy two objects of note. First, there is a decanter of what smells like brandy. I'm beginning to suspect this adventure been put together using the old props and sets from House of Hell, you know.
Rob: Maybe. I didn't notice a door knocker though, so it should be all right.
Brad: Although there are only two large measures left in the decanter, each one will restore 4 lost Stamina points.You can drink one or both now, or save the brandy for later.
Rob: Hmmm...
Brad: Later, yeah?
Rob: Yeah.
Brad: You can drink the brandy at any time, except during combat.
Rob: No problem.
Brad: There is also a small drape across one corner of the room, and when you draw this back you find a small silver mirror on a table. Do you want to take it?
Rob: Yes.

Van Bragging: Looty, looty...

**Van Bragging has acquired Silver Mirror**

Brad: You leave and go back to the corridor. From the east door opposite, you hear a loud slamming sound and a shout. Perhaps something has been discovered, or someone has been alerted!
Rob: I head down the eastern side-passage.
Brad: After progressing some ten feet, you come level with a door on the north side of the passage, and then the dimly lit, tiled corridor continues to a door at the end.
Rob: I duck through the door on the north side of the passage.
Brad: Purely arbitrary reasons?
Rob: Have I been through that one before then?
Brad: No, just curious as to why you picked that one.
Rob: No reason.
Brad: Jolly good. You open the door and enter a shrine of some kind; the room is unlit; and you need a light-source to see by.
Rob: I have that lantern right?
Brad: Yep.
Rob: Well, I use that, then. I'm not retarded.
Brad: There are white and yellow cloths on tables, wall-hangings decorating the room, small stools and a writing-table. There is also a book lying on a chair which attracts your attention, so you pick it up.
Rob: "You must now fight the book!"
Brad: It is a history of the lives of some famous holy men and healers, and it has a signature on the flyleaf, that of Gunthar Heydrich. Itchy...tasty...You can take the book with you if you wish?
Rob: Take it, yeah. Of course. Why wouldn't I steal stuff on a dungeon crawl?

**Van Bragging has acquired Book of Healers**

Brad: There is a spy hole in the east wall, and you stand on stool to look through it. Beyond, you can see a bare chamber with a pair of zombies standing motionless on guard, holding fearsome halberds. Aren't those guys the doormen at the E14 office?
Rob: We have an office and you didn't tell me? Fuck's sake...
Brad: Would you bother to turn up if I did?
Rob: I suppose technically we'll have two offices once I'm on the tenancy here.
Brad: By that logic, we can also include Blake's place.
Rob: So we'll have two offices in the same town?
Brad: You kid, but I've seen it done.
Rob: I don't doubt it, to be honest.
Brad: Behind them is a half-open door leading. There doesn't seem to be any way of getting into the zombie chamber from here, so you leave and head for the door at the end of the eastern side-passage outside. You notice there is a plaque on the door, with the inscription "Doktor Karl Adenaur". You knock politely.

Wavering, but sharp voice: Come!

Brad: You step in, and see a grey-haired, middle-aged man in robes sitting at a desk covered with papers neatly stacked up in piles. The room is chock full of books and papers, and the man peers at you over a crystal ball mounted on a dragon's foot which stands on his desk.

Doktor: Doktor Adenaur, young man. Sage in the employ of Count Reiner Heydrich; wretched man, never gives me enough money for my research. These important books cost a fortune.
Van Bragging: What about the less important books?

Brad: He indicates a wall full of bookcases with a sweep of his hand.

Doktor: Those are my "to eBay" pile.

Brad: He looks grumpy, but he isn't hostile. At least, he doesn't seem to be.
Rob: I try and engage him further in conversation.
Brad: You are wondering what to say, but the Sage talks freely of his own accord. Mostly he goes on about how mean the Count is, and how he - the Sage - needs more money for books. You realise that you're going to have to pay for information, and it isn't going to come cheap.
Rob: Is there any way to give him something, like...tenure?
Brad: While you're wondering how much to offer, and how to do this politely the sage suddenly announces:

Doktor: Of course, for a goodly sum in gold I could get you into the library. Who knows what you might find in there?

Brad: You can ask the sage about various matters, but you'll have to pay him for each answer you get. He will accept Gold Pieces, or any treasure items of equal value. You can choose what you want to ask about from the following list, but you MUST pay for each answer you get. The Sage demands payment in advance, and he doesn't haggle! You have 7GP worth of treasure by my reckoning, right?
Rob: I make it four...Sorry, my mistake, seven.
Brad: Okay, here are the options:

Doktor Adenaur's Menu of Shallowness and Rumours

Getting into the library (6GP)
Where the Count can be found (3GP)
Relatives of the Count in the Castle (3GP)
Nastassia, the missing village girl (2GP)
What's in the crypt (2GP)

Brad: Or, obviously, none.
Rob: On the one hand, I can find out how to get into the library, there might be loads of useful information in there. On the other hand, I can find out like...three other things.
Brad: Indeed. These games sure are educational.
Rob: Yup.
Brad: If more people had played these as teenagers, there'd be no Credit Crunch.
Rob: I can't disprove that.
Brad: What are you going with?
Rob: Getting to the library.
Brad: That'd be both your items of treasure spent.
Rob: Yeah. I can always loot more swag and come back.
Brad: The Sage whips out a Silver Key from a waistcoat pocket after taking your fee. You notice that the key has the number 378 engraved on it.

Doktor: That'll get you in; back down the corridor to the west, turn right, and open the north door with this.

Brad: You leave the Sage to his dusty old books and manuscripts. You follow his directions. The door has a small silvered lock. Use the key?
Rob: Thank fuck I don't have to remember directions. Yeah, I use the key.
Brad: You enter a library lit by a golden glow of soft magical light, hanging in the air. There are hundreds of books on the bookshelves, but one particular shelf is full of work concerned with the history of Mortvania and the Heydrich family, and you look quickly through some of them. You read of the time when Siegfried was Count and the land flourished, until Siegfried disappeared mysteriously and Reiner became Count. Since that time, misery and fear have been the people's lot. It seems that many Heydrichs have been cruel and despotic tyrants; of Reiner's great-great-grandfather Eckhart you read a small text which states that "the folke saye he is a vampyre".

Van Bragging: Grammar obviously wasn't part of the people's lot...

Brad: On the frontispiece is written in elegant, sloping writing, "And now I have attained that blessed state". Since Reiner Heydrich's signiature is on the flyleaf, you know what this means! Just as you feel that you have spent too much time here, you come across a small, untitled book with many illustrations of weapons. One page, page 188, hs a slight magical glow which draws you to it. This leaf of the book is a beautiful illuminated etching of a sword, covered in runes and held to the sky by a powerful, muscular bronzed arm. Hunh. ManOWar have been around for longer than you'd think.
Rob: Apparently so.
Brad: You take this book.

**Van Bragging acquired Book of Swords**

Brad: Now, you leave and you search in the Eastern side-passage for the stairs that will lead you to the floor above. After careful searching, you find a secret door in the passage on the north wall, some ten feet from the door at the end of the passage. You open it and enter a bare chamber with a half-open door in the east wall.
Rob: Fuck, a bear chamber?!
Brad: Standing here are two Zombies bearing polearms - your Faith will not protect you against these mindless but thoroughly trained guards!

Van Bragging: I thought I had it bad with the rug! Fuck faith, taste blade!

Brad: That sounds like the worst Marvel/Buffy slash fiction ever. Or, possibly, the best.

The first zombie steps up to the plate.
Van Bragging strikes valiantly at the zombie.
Van Bragging's sword glances from the zombie's halberd.
Van Bragging cuts the zombie's arm off.
Van Bragging cuts the zombies head off, and it drops dead.
The second zombie advances.
Van Bragging performs a Hadouken.
Van Bragging cuts the zombie's cock off.
Van Bragging removes the zombie's appenix.

Van Bragging: Massive damage!

Van Bragging fiddles the zombie's expenses.
Van Bragging waters down the zombie's cordial.

Van Bragging: That's...unnecessary.

Van Bragging badly Photoshops the zombie fellating a velociraptor.
The zombie is defeated.

Rob: I'll say.
Brad: You search the zombies, but they have nothing of value. You pass through the half-open door in the east wall and enter another bare chamber. Here there is a flight of stone steps leading up, and the walls are lit with torches in sconces. You climb the steps, and when you get to the top you are standing under a shaft of moonlight from a tiny circular window high on the North wall. There are two doors in this bare chamber, so you decide to open one of them. Will it be the door in the south corner of the west wall, or the silver-handled door in the middle of the south wall?
Rob: I try the door in the south corner.
Brad: Opening the west door, you see a corridor stretching out towards the west before you. It is well lit, and a thick piled crimson carpet runs along the centre of the tiled floor. This sounds like the bit from Knightmare where the saw blades shot out of the walls.
Rob: It does, this is true...
Brad: There is a door close by you on the north wall, and another a little further along; you can also see that there is a door facing you at the end of the corridor, and that the corridor also turns south at that point.
Rob: I'm going to go back to the Silver Handled Door.
Brad: You enter a lounge where nondescript carpets and plain wooden furniture litter the scene. You notice wall-hangings displaying a bewildering variety of herbs and other plants, and an open door to the west. Why the wall hangings would display a door, I don't know. From the doorway a man enters; he looks absent-mindedly at you.

Van Bragging: Hello, simpleton!


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