Friday, 15 April 2011

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 Joe Dever gamebook Highway Holocaust. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Brag Phoenix.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!
Brad: Most, especially the women, are horrified at the thought of having to share the bus with a smelly, flea-ridden hermit, and angrily they voice their protest. Not until they have heard how he can help to get the bus moving again to they change their minds.
Cutter: Where is this depot?
Mountain Goat: [eager to appear helpful] It's six miles west o'here.
Cutter: Good. At first light, Brag can drive us there and you can help locate the part we need.
Mountain Goat: [hesitant] Mmmm...okay.
Brag: Woah woah woah, he's only getting in the passenger seat of this car as long as he soils himself on the upholstery.
Mountain Goat: But first I think there's something y'all should know.
Brag: You're rigged to explode?
Mountain Goat: Strawn is held by a gang o' renegades.
Brad: He looks west along the freeway in the direction of the town.

Mountain Goat: There's 'bout forty of them. They was kicked out o' San Angelo six months ago after they tried to take over the Angelo clan from Mekong Mike. He sure womped 'em real good. Those that got away came north an' settled here. They're known as "the Skulls" on account o' their shaved heads, an' their leader is a real mean dude called Alcatraz.
Brag: Oh fuck. I know that name...
Mountain Goat: He an' his gang have got Strawn sewn up like a genuine fortress, just in case Mekong Mike should ever get the idea to come an' pay 'em a surprise visit.
MCSPINDLE: You do? Which one?
Brag: Alcatraz...Why do I know that name?
MCSPINDLE: It's an awesome Eddie Izzard sketch.
Brag: Bollocks, did he go to San Angelo Junior School?
MCSPINDLE: There's...a lack of evidence to the contrary.
Brag: He won't be pleased to see me.
MCSPINDLE: So, how do you know this Alcatraz customer?
Brag: I don't want to talk about it really. Sufficed to say, we didn't get along.
Cutter: I don't remember an "Alcatraz" back at the colony.
Brag: You wouldn't do, this was years ago.
MCSPINDLE: Can we do twenty questions? If so, did that count as the first question?
Cutter: This is technically the third now, right?
Brag: No, look, if you really want to know, we'll talk about it during the journey.
Brad: Dangerous though it would be, a raid on Strawn must be attempted. Cutter proposes that you and he should be the ones to go: he can identify the part that is needed, and you are by far the fittest and sexiest member of the colony. You swallow your fear and agree to go with him at first light.
Despite your anxiety you manage to get a few hours sleep before dawn. As the sky brightens, Uncle Jonas voices his fear that the vehicles are far too exposed out on the highway, where they can easily be spotted and will be sure to attract another raid like the one you endured last night at Santo. Cutter agrees, so before you set off for Strawn he fixes a line to the back of the tanker and tows the bus into a nearby gully.
Brag: It's a fair point. That was rapey.

Brad: There, Uncle Jonas and the others set to work dismantling the broken steering linkage, while Mountain Goat draws a map of Strawn, showing the location of the truck depot. He hands the sketch to Cutter and you and he check your equipment and bid farewell to the others before setting off. Two hours later you catch sight of the fortified town.
Brag: Fuck, he's going to be well angry.
MCSPINDLE: Why?
Brag: He's hated me for years.
Brad: It is perched on a ridge of high ground and enjoys an unobstructed view over the surrounding land.
MCSPINDLE: Is it because of the penis thing?
Brag: Not...exactly...
MCSPINDLE: Ah, so there is a penis thing?
Brad: You note its perimeter wall, constructed of rubble and old cars, and the crudely buily watchtowers that command its freeway approaches.
Brag: Not as such, no. But he is angry at me...and it sort of involves...well...there was this party...Anyway, isn't this a lovingly constructed perimeter wall?
Brad: It seems to you that it would be impossible for a large group, or even a single vehicle to approach this town undetected, yet the rocky terrain that surrounds it enables you and Cutter to crawl to within a few hundred yards of the perimeter wall without being seen.
Cutter: So...this party?
Brad: Patiently you observe the inhabitants of Strawn while waiting for night to fall. You identify two weak links in the defensive wall: one is an alley that services an old shopping mall; the other is a chain-link fence that surrounds a derelict amusement park at the edge of town.

Cutter: I suggest that we enter Strawn seperately in order to minimise the risk of being seen, then meet at the depot. Which way are you taking?
Brag: I'll take the shopping mall. Meeting Alcatraz at the funfair would only make the tension worse.
Brad: Cutter pats you on the shoulder: it is the signal to move. Silently, like a snake, you crawl across the open ground on your stomach, inching your way nearer to the entrance of the alley which is sandwiched between two mounds of stinking garbage. A clansman appears from the shadows and you freeze in your tracks.
Rob: Better than crapping in my shorts.
Brad: With bated breath you watch as he dumps a sack of rubbish onto one of the mounds before turning around and disappearing back into the dark. By the time you reach the alley it is deserted. Cautiously you advance along it, your knife held ready just in case you are forced to silence one of the town's inhabitants. The alley ends near the centre of the mall, where the remains of a huge marble fountain lie scattered across the tile floor. The shop-lined avenues appear empty, so you enter the mall and make your way towards the truck depot.
You have just turned a corner when you see a patrol of four Skull Clansmen.
Brag: I think I can take them.
Brad: Instantly, you dive through the doorway of a store to your right and crouch in the shadows. The patrol swaggers past the store without noticing you, and soon their footfalls have passed out of earshot.
Rob: I search the store.
Brad: Looty looty.
Rob: Indeed. Got to replace the items the game fucked me over on.
Brad: Moonlight pours in through a large hole in the roof, illuminating the interior of the store. Juding by the nature of the debris littering the floor, this place was once a liquor store.
Rob: Cha-ching!
Brad: Most of its stock was consumed by the Skulls when they first took over the town, but after a careful search, you discover a bottle of bourbon, still intact.
Brag: Mmmmm, Bourbon...I take that.

***BRAG PHOENIX has acquired BOURBON SO VILE NOT EVEN LOOTING POST-APOCALYPTIC THUGS WANTED IT***
Rob: Sweet.
Brad: You leave the store. You manage to avoid two more patrols before escaping from the mall and meeting up with Cutter at the truck depot. You are both relieved to discover the place empty and unguarded, and quickly you make your way to the stores building. You find the records office, but without electricity you cannot access the computer files to pinpoint the exact location of the spare you need.
Rob: I invent electricity!
Brad: You don'...can't...no!
With mounting fear you realise that in order to find a new steering linkage you will have to search every one of the 1,600 storage bays that occupy the building.
Brag: I'm going to be here for fucking ages. I wish I had a board game.
Cutter: I guess you're right. But...I think I know a quicker way of finding what we need. Follow me.
Brag: Where did you come from, by the way? Was Alcatraz at the funfair?
Cutter: I don't know. What does he look like?
Brag: Intrigued by Cutter's idea, you follow him out of the stores building, acorss a parking lot and into another section of the depot that is marked:
ZONE 3: MUNICIPAL VEHICLE SERVICING
Brag: Continually pissed off, especially around the fun fair.
Brad: After searching four of the dozen service bays, finally he discovers what he is looking for: a school bus.
Cutter: Brag, you keep y'eyes open while I strip the linkage out o' this baby. Give me an hour an' we'll be on our way.
Brad: Nervously you stand guard at the door to the service bay while Cutter works.
Brag: I have to keep watch for an hour?! I wish I'd brought a board game.

Brad: All is quiet until, forty minutes later, you see something moving among the vehicles on the far side of the parking lot: it is a drunken clansman.
Isn't that the bar in Family Guy?
Rob: That's 'The Drunken Clam'.
Brad: Slowly he stagger nearer, taking alternating gulps from the bottles clutched in either hand. He is about to pass on his way when Cutter drops a spanner.
Brag: What did you drop me for?!
Brad: The ringing noise pierces his drunken stupor and prompts him to investigate.
Brag: Cutter, unkdray on your ixsay!
Brad: Your warning is too late. A moment later, the clansman comes lurching through the open door, brandishing his bottles like clubs.
Rob: I bribe him with the bourbon he'd probably vetoed already!
Brad: He sees you and screams an oath as he gets ready to launch his attack!
RUNNING COMBAT:
You fill his mind with Rush Trivia.
Rob: I do know my Rush.
You tell him that he's just a character in a gamebook.
He is defeated.
Rob: Wow, that's all it takes?
Brad: Cutter helps you to hide the Clansman's body in the trunk before returning to the front of the bus to finish his work. Meawhile, you search inside and find an old tool bag that looks ideal for transporting the heavy linkage. Cutter completes the job and stows the linkage in the bag.
Rob: Superb.
Brag: Thieving FTW.

Brad: Together you carry it out of the service bay and across the parking lot towards the exit. Weighed down by the heavy load, you find it impossible to move quickly and your escape from Strawn takes several hours to accomplish. You manage to avoid the Skull clan's perimeter patrols, but it is not until mid-morning of the following day that eventually you arrive back at the colony.
Rob: This must be a serously heavy linkage.
Brad: What is linkage again?
Rob: The guy from Legend of Zelda I think.
Brad: Ah, the thing for the bus. I remember. The success of your daring night raid is applauded by the colony. Mountain Goat is especially pleased that you found the part needed to fix the bus, and he is quick to remind everyone that without his help the mission would not have been possible.
MCSPINDLE: I am so glad you're back. I was about to run him over.
Brad: After a few hours' rest, you help Cutter and Uncle Jonas install the new steering linkage. Then you fill your roadster's fuel tank with gasolene piped from the tanker and prepare to lead the convoy on the next stage of the long journey west. You leave Freeway 20 and travel cross-country in order to bypass Strawn. Later in the afternoon you rejoin the highway as it approaced Lake Leon and the town of Eastland. You are two miles from Eastland when you spot an obstruction in the far distance that appears to be blocking the entire road.
However, you are aware that the constant heat haze can play strange tricks on your vision, so you signal to the convoy to halt while you scout ahead.
Rob: I'm always scouting ahead...is everyone else a complete ponce or something?
MCSPINDLE: You know what? I think they might be. They're also all borderline insane with no respect for grammar.
Brag: So it's not just me who noticed?!
MCSPINDLE: No. They get worse when you're not around, if anything. Sometimes I swear they're just spitting apostrophes.
Brag: Jesus.
Highway Holocaust will continue on Sunday 29th May...join us again on the 29th April for an ALL NEW Dickass DM, in which Terry Braggables attempts to lead his football team to glory...and solve a mysterious crime...

DOBERMANN GIVEAWAY

Starring the cooler-than-thou French husband and wife team Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci, Dobermann is Jan Kounen's stylish, ultra-hip and supremely violent action movie.

Charismatic villain Dobermann leads a gang of depraved henchmen in a world of crime, drugs and endless voilence. The gang boldly pulls off a blood-soaked Paris bank heist in broad daylight under the noses of the police. One renegade cop takes the law into his own hands and makes it his mission to stop Dobermann by any means necessary.

With its seedy, psychotic characters, beautifully choreographed explosive action sequences and high octane violence, Dobermann is the dogs proverbials.

Thanks to our friends at Second Sight Films, we've got two copies of Dobermann on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to emotionally14@hotmail.co.uk before midday on Friday 22nd April, making sure to put "Dobermann" as the subject. The first three entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Dobermann" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

dobermann is available on DVD from Monday 25th April, priced £15.99.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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