Friday, 16 July 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 a 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 Ian Livingstone Fighting Fantasy gamebook Armies of Death.

Previously on Armies of Death: Rich and stupid adventurer General Braggart has raised an army to march forward and destroy the forces of Shagglax the Shadow SDemon. After roaming the sewers for a while, hiring a bunch of swordsmen lead by a top-heavy mercenary with a man's name, and being gifted a sword by a chronically masturbating innkeeper, General Braggart and his men march into the Forest of Fiends.

Read Part One Here
Read Part Two Here
Read Part Three Here
Read Part Four Here

Brad: As you penetrate deeper, the trees become very dense and it is slow work threading the army between them.
Rob: Send a scout.
Brad: An hour later the scout returns to tell you that to the south he has spotted a village of wooden huts almost hidden by overgrowing vegetation. He also tells you the trees are less dense that way. You immediately turn the army south until it is possible to head east without too much difficulty, when the scout tells you that the village is further to the south.
Rob: I take a party of ten men and go to the village.
Brad: The group of you walk into the village with swords drawn and come upon the gruesome remains of a number of Wood Elves who have been brutally massacred, no doubt by the servants of Shagglax.

General Braggart: Motherfuckers.
Omer: This is no mine.
General Braggart: This isn't yours, no.
Omer: This is a tomb.

Brad: Looking around, you notice a small bronze statue standing on a wooden plinth in front of the largest hut in the village. You could take the statue, or go back to your army. I know what the wisest course of action probably is - but I've played Call of Cthulhu before.
Rob: Take the statue; my character's never played Call of Cthulhu.

Sir McSpindle: *facepalm*

Brad: As you pick the statue up, you hear a click. A dagger with a needle sharp point is released from a coiled spring inside the plinth and flies towards your chest.

General Braggart: Bollo-

Brad: The dagger strikes the hilt of your sword which is tucked in your belt and falls harmlessly to the ground.

General Braggart: -cks.

Brad: You suddenly realise that it would have been foolish to have taken the statue if the Wood Elves' attackers had left it alone. But you are alive and the statue is yours.
Rob: Sweet as.
Brad: Finding nothing else of interest, you decide to return to your army. You hear a rustling sound coming from behind some thick bushes and suddenly ten huge Goblin-like creatures jump out wielding axes and cleavers. Well over eight feet tall, the brown skinned Garks rush forward to attack.

General Braggart: What the fu-

Brad: Your small party easily dispatches the Garks.

General Braggart: -ck.

Brad: The Garks' sacks that were tied to their belt are full of worthless trinkets. You soon rejoin your army and press on deeper into the forest.

Sir McSpindle: This could be going much worse.
General Braggart: And will!

Brad: You pass by a stagnant pool above which the air is thick with hovering insects.

Sir McSpindle: I do like to drink strange water...
General Braggart: You're not serious...On second thoughts, I hate your face. Go nuts.

Brad: In the middle of the pool you can see the corner of a wooden box sticking out of the weed-covered water. You could wade into the pool to retrieve the box, or march on.
Rob: Wade into the pool.
Brad: Good call. "Wade" is your middle name! Well, not really...
You are bitten by dozens of insects as you wade out to the box. You pull the box out of the thick, clinging mud and then climb back out of the pool. You prise the box open - and find that it is full of bones which are no use to you at all. You hurl the box back into the pool and then suddenly you feel quite dizzy. You are forced to sit down, and you break out into a sweat.
Your temperature rises and you are trembling with fever.
Rob: I don't like where this is going...
Brad: A mosquito has infected you with a virulent form of malaria.
Rob: Oh, dear.
Brad: Time passes by as you slip in and out of consciousness. But at last your temperature falls and you slowly recover. When you finally feel strong enough, you set off once again. You come to a wide clearing in the forest in which there is a large boulder.

Omer: Do you think someone else should make the decisions for a while, sir? Only, since you've gotten back, you've been shot with a dagger, attacked by Garks and contracted malaria.
General Braggart: Eh? What?

Brad: The clearing is strewn with bones and the boulder is spattered with dried blood.

General Braggart: Oh, Bob Marley, I'm glad it's you. I've been hallucinating, any advice?
Sir McSpindle: I have a bad feeling about this.

Rob: I order everyone to wait on the edge of the clearing to see if anyone or anything will come back.
Brad: Half an hour later, you see some figures walk into the clearing opposite you. Two dwarfs, their hands bound behind their backs and their necks held by a pole forked at both ends, are being pushed towards the boulder by a group of Hobgoblins. You count fifteen of them in total.

General Braggart: Pish, they outnumber us a mere 3 to 2.
Sir McSpindle: Sire? I think there are about two hundred and fifty of us.
General Braggart: Oh yeah, I forgot we have a large army.

Brad: One of the dwarfs is cut free of his neck pole and is then forced to his knees; his head is pushed down on to the boulder as another Hobgoblin approaches with a two-headed axe. To halt the execution, you run into the clearing with twenty-five of your warriors. You rapen them easily.
Rob: Hardly surprising.
Brad: You free the captured Dwarfs and hear how they had been ambushed in the forest while looking for caves to explore for gems. For saving their lives, they offer to enlist in your army and arm themselves with weapons from the Hobgoblins. A search of the Hobgoblins' bodies yields a gold necklace and a war-banner that was tied to a spear. Its emblem is a red dragon holding a curved sword, against a white background inside a gold circle. You pack away the necklace and banner and give the order to march on through the clearing. You come across a path that has been cut through the undergrowth. It runs north and south.
Rob: Go north.
Brad: Sure?
Rob: Shouldn't I go north?
Brad: Yeah, I don't know what I said that. You hear a loud thrashing sound in the bushes off the path to your left.

Omer: Obigee?
General Braggart: Obladah?
Sir McSpindle: Goo goo g'joob?

Rob: I investigate.
Brad: You part the bushes and immediately come face to face with a Giant Lizard. Over twenty feet long, the gape-jawed monster lunges at you.

Running Combat:

Rob: Twenty feet? Jesus, that is giant.

The Giant Lizard punts you in the gonads.
You stab it in the kidney.

General Braggart: Renal Failure, bitch!

Clank passes Omer the popcorn
The Giant Lizard hacks your MySpace.

General Braggart: Bastard, don't touch my pictures!

Brad: Nearby dwarfs run to help you and quickly slay the reptilian monster.
Rob: Seriously? Awesome.
Brad: Wondering what other dangers await you in the forest, you march along the path. Through a gap in the bushes, you notice the entrance to a small cave not far from the path.
Rob: Look inside the cave.

Sir McSpindle: Why?
General Braggart: We're on a roll!

Brad: As you step into the half-light of the cave, your leg brushes against some sticky threads.

General Braggart: Obigee?
Sir McSpindle: When I'm Sixty-Four?

Brad: As if an alarm had been sounded, a huge hairy spider crawls out from the depths of the cave to ensnare the prey that has stumbled into its lair. You must fight for your life!

Sir McSpindle: Ooooh! Get some more popcorn on!

Running Combat:

General Braggart: Save me some?

You get a giant glass tumbler ready.
You place the giant tumbler over the spider.
You slide a thick piece of card under the tumbler, being careful not to catch its legs.
You gently evict the spider. Into McSpindle's sleeping bag.
You take a look around the cave.

Rob: Yeah, I do.
Brad: Hidden among a pile of debris, you find a silver box with a shooting star etched onto its lid.
Rob: Nice.
Brad: The box rattles when you shake it.
Rob: Snaaaake! Open it!

Omer: Front...Toward...Something?

Brad: You lift the lid of the box and see nothing but brilliant white light inside. Pain fills your eyes and they feel as if they are burning. You blink several times but can see nothing but white light.
Rob: That'll be the after-image.
Brad: Why would a giant spider want a Silmaril? Oh, no...wait...
Rob: Nice.
Brad: You have lost your vision to the Blinding Stone.
Rob: Fuck! Are you serious? Holy shit, that's dark. No pun intended.
Brad: You stumble back to your troops and call on Omer to act as your eyes and guide.
Rob: I'm sure he'll love that. Can I have Max as guide tits?
Brad: Yeah, why not? Despite this tragedy, you are determined to go on and shout out the order to march.

Sir McSpindle: So, a Blinding Stone, huh? That's a stone built for the express purpose of blinding people, huh? I didn't know they made those, did you?
General Braggart: Nope. I had no idea.

Brad: The path finally ends at a clearing. The trees are less dense beyond the clearing, making it possible to go east again. You are told.
Rob: Cute.
Brad: You come to a long, deep chasm which is too steep to climb down and too wide to jump across.
Rob: Follow it north. Does it have a rope railing?
Brad: Possibly.
Brad: Up ahead a wooden bridge spans the chasm but you see that it is guarded by five knights on hourseback.
Rob: What do these knights say?
Brad: When the knights see you, two of them dismount and walk to the bridge, each carrying an axe. Poised to cut the securing ropes, they stand with their axes raised above their heads. The other three Knights, still mounted, raise their visors and say in turn from left to right:

Sir Pierce: I am Sir Pierce.
Sir Dean: I am Sir Dean.
Sir Trevor: I am Sir Trevor.
General Braggart: Sir Funny-Hat Preece?
Sir Pierce: Close, it's just spelt and pronounced differently.
General Braggart: That's fine, then.
Sir Dean: We are the guardians of the Twisted Bridge. If you wish to cross it, you must answer a question.
General Braggart: Ask your question!
Sir Dean: We are the White Knights and we fight on the side of order. If you are to prove to us that you are also aligned to order and are worthy of our help, you must answer this question. Which of the three star pupils who trained at the school of the Grand Wizard of Yore was the son of a priest from Salamonis?
General Braggart: What?...

Brad: a) Yaztromo, B) Nicodemus, c) Pen Ty Kora

Max: We could ask the audience?
General Braggart: What, Omer and McS?
Max: You have a better plan?
General Braggart: Tits. Out.
Max: Why, Blindy?
General Braggart: I just would like to know.
Max: Fine, they're out.
General Braggart: Sweet.
Sir Dean: Ahem.
General Braggart: Oh right, yeah, that question. I reckon Nicodemus. And pliers.
Sir Dean: You are wrong. Go back whence you came.
General Braggart: Okay.

Rob: We turn around and march south.
Brad: A rope bridge spans the chasm up ahead. You order a man across the bridge to make sure that it wil bear his weight. He clambers across to the other side and turns to await your instructions.
Rob: Send the army across.
Brad: Twenty warriors cross safely before you step onto the bridge yourself.
Rob: I don't like where this is heading...
Brad: You are about halfway across when suddenly a rope snaps, sending everybody on their bridge plummeting to their deaths at the bottom of the chasm.

The End

Brad: Wow. I'll get the next one ready.
Rob: Fuck. Really?
Brad: Yeah.
Rob: Fuck.
Brad: Right, I'll send you the cover art for the next one I have planned. Let me know if this says "Emotionally Fourteen" to you.
Rob: Okay, deal.


Rob: Oh God, please let's do that one.
Brad: Ready for the opening line of the blurb?
Rob: Go on.
Brad: "What would you do if you were a rancher on a distant planet, using robots to herd vicious dinosaurs?". I think if we play this, there is every change we'll go through puberty backwards. Shall I roll up a character for you?
Rob: Yeah, go for it!
Brad: Hunh. You start with a sword as well...
Rob: Winwinwinwinwinwinwinwin...WIN! WIN!

Dickass DM returns with Robot Commando on Friday 30th June...




Described by the Independent Film Quarterly as "Goodfellas meets Chinatown...[a] modern gangter masterpiece", The Perfect Sleep, the directorial debut feature from Jeremy Alter, is a stylish contemporary film noir that owes as much to Shakespeare (references to Hamlet, Othello and King Lear abound) as it does to the works of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. A co-producer of Inland Empire, director Alter also wears his Lynchian influences on his sleeve as he presents star and scriptwriter Anton Pardoe's (himself a location assistant on Lost Highway) hard-boiled, noirish world of ruthless gangsters, femme fatales and morally unsound detectives as a dark and vivid dreamscape full of tormented characters.

In a timeless, unidentified city (which may or may not be Los Angeles), a man with no name returns to the violent, brutal doman of gangsters and assassins he left ten years before, back whenthey dubbed him The Mad Monk for his disregard for his own life and his intense devotion to one woman, Porphyria.

The girl he grew up with and the love of his life, Porphyria is now a beautiful woman - the only thing he has ever wanted and the one thing he can never have. She, alone, is the reason for his return. Her life now in danger, he is the only man who can save her. But waiting for him are several killers who would like nothing more that to see him die a painful death, while standing at their forefront is the formidable Nikolai, the man who raised him and just might be his father. To protect Porphyria, this unnamed man myst revisit his former life of torment and torture and confront the father figure he turned his back on so many years ago.

The Perfect Sleep is a dreamy, often nightmarish, film noir enhanced by stunning cinematography, ethereal locations and a cool, atmospheric musical score by Dave Vanian (The Damned).

Thanks to our friends at Icon Home Entertainment, we've got three copies of The Perfect Sleep to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to perfectsleepgiveaway@yahoo.co.uk with your name and postal address before midday on Friday 23rd July (UK time). The first three names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy!



If The Twilight Saga, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries are driving you bonkers, then 20th Century Fox may have the perfect antidote when Vampires Suck hits UK cinemas on 15th October.

A spoof of vampire-themed movies, Vampires Suck finds teenager Becca torn between two boys. As she and her friends wrestle with a number of different dramas, everything comes to a head at their prom.



Looks a bit of a car wreck to us, so far. There's obvious gags, stupid for the sake of stupid gags, and you can't help but wonder if limiting the spoofing range to just The Twilight Saga could be their undoing. Sure, members of the anti-Twilight brigade may get a couple of cheap laughs - but, from here, it looks like it could be a case of "must try harder".

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