Sunday 1 May 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 Tom Sheldon gamebook Big Match Manager. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Terry Braggables.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!
===Saturday 15th===
Brad: It's the day of the big match against Lowdham Athletic. You drive straight to your home ground to make final decisions on your team and prepare a pre-match talk.
McSpindle: Those are always good for a laugh.
Terry Braggables: You're doing the talk today.
Brad: Better not tell them about last night - they're shaken up enough by Danny's disappearance. It's time to select your eleven players for the match. You must pick at least one goalie, and at least two players from every other position.
McSpindle: Who do we want today, Cheif?
Terry Braggables: All right, here's my final team. If you weren't picked, it's because I am bitterly disappointed in you.
McSpindle: As are we all.
Fitzgerald - Bobak - Neville - Carvalho
Frost - Hurley - Bostock - Hoggart
Parker - Stevens

Brad: Isn't Ben Parker Spider-Man's Uncle?
Rob: You know, I think it is.
Brad: Lowdham Athletic sometimes let themselves down by sloppy passing, but this is balanced out by sheer pace and goal-scoring ability. Unbeaten in five matches, their morale is high and club manager Bill Drubble reckons they're in with a real chance this season.
It's 2:30pm in the dressing room and the roar of your home fans is deafening. The noise seems to have lifted the spirits of your team, and it remains only for you to send them out with a common purpose. McSpindle is wearing his best neon-yellow tracksuit, and has a speech prepared.
McSpindle: All we're concerned about is making a good show of ourselves and trying to get a result. This one is going to be hard.
Terry Braggables: Wa-hey!
McSpindle: It will be an uphill grind, but we have to make sure we're solid and brave, while we're also going to need spirit, heart and guts. Mister Braggables has a few words for you now.
Terry Braggables: Play a passing game, try to contain the opposition, and keep possession. And I want a repeat of last night's groupie-banging that I can actually watch this time!
McSpindle: What he said. With words and such.
Running Match
Half Time: Hardwick City 0 - Lowdham Athletic 0
Rob: Wow.
Brad: Half-time in a home game, and you feel you ought to be winning. This wasn't the plan; your players look tired, and their morale is beginning to wane.
Rob: I'll give them a half-time pep talk.

McSpindle: Or I could give them a pummelling.
Terry Braggables: Right, boys and girls - Yes, I said girls - I won't even go so far as to call that an abominable performance, because in order for that to have happened then the performance would need to possess some sort of corporeal form. As it is, that performance was literally nothing, to the point where I think you should line up in front of each fan and allow them to spit in your eye one after the other.
Now, go out there and fucking do something!
Brad: Do you want to make any substitutions?
Rob: Yeah, one. Bring on Toby Wood for Jed Stevens.
Second Half
Rob: Wehnert in for Hurley.
Full Time: Hardwick City 0 - Lowdham Athletic 0
Brad: In the dying seconds of the game, a Lowdham Midfielder picks out their man on the wing with a looping cross. Steve Fitzgerald is alert and has it covered, but there is a duel in the air for possession and a clash of heads. The linesman is well placed, his flag goes up and a free kick is awarded to Lowdham.
Steve is incensed at the decision and storms over to the ref to protest.
Terry Braggables: Don't do it Steve, he's bigger than you!
Brad: Stupid boy - he's earned himself a yellow card for complaining.
Everyone knows you don't talk back to the man in black; but here's one of your own men, earning a fortune on the field and still having tantrums! The free kick is taken but your strong defence crowds out the attack in the box. Finally a poorly-sliced half-volley goes well wide of the back post. This is to the obvious relief of your home fans who express themselves with colourful adjectives and arms held wide. Seconds after the restart, the ref blows the whistle to wind up the match.
Back in the dressing room after the match, Fitzgerald is still red-faced and fuming.
How will you deal with this?
McSpindle: I'll get the waterboard ready.

Rob: Ignore it. He's fucking massive.
Brad: The trouble is, he expected you to have a go at him - and when you didn't he thought that meant his behaviour was justified.
Rob: Shit.
Brad: Bad move: sometimes you have to take the role of disciplinarian with these players.
Rob: I need to grow some balls before next match.
'You have unlocked the 'Turn Defender into a complete prick' perk.'
Brad: Since Danny's disappearance, every sports reporter and their dog has been wanting to interview.
McSpindle: The dogs leave the weirdest voicemails.
Brad: It would be a full-time job talking to them all, so a press conference has been arranged for after today's match in one of the club's many meeting rooms. You could do without this...But maybe it will shut them up and stop the back-page speculation for a while.
You push open the door and enter.
Rob: Wa-hey!
Brad: As soon as you step into the hot, crowded room, all attention is turned to you and the flash bulbs start popping like machine gun fire. You sit down behind the desk at the front, and reluctantly pull the microphone towards you. The questions are predictable and immediate.
Journalist #1: Could you comment on Danny's disappearance?
Terry Braggables: I could comment, but I'm not going to. I could also learn to play the bugle, but it'd be largely pointless in a footballing context.
Journalist #2: Have you heard anything?
Terry Braggables: I've heard lots of things, but mostly it's been retarded questions from some smarmy little yuppies for the last five minutes or so.
Journalist #3: Is it true you're having a nervous breakdown?
Terry Braggables: Who told you that? Was it my psychiatrist? In your face! That guy was a tramp I paid from the bus station bench! I knew you'd fall for it!
Right boys, if you're going to ask such inane questions, at least have the decency to throw them at me one after another please? K? K.
Brad: A dozen hands shoot upwards from the sea of familiar faces in the crowd.

Terry Braggables: Lord Ganesha, I'll come to you after these other four people! And for your sake, one hand only please!
Brad: One belongs to young woman, Anna Wheezy, She's one of your favourites: an ambitious journalist who sometimes asks tricky questions, but whose reporting is always professional and fair.
You point to her.
McSpindle: With. Your. Hand...
Anna: This must be a very difficult time for you and your players. Would you say that today's result was affected by Danny Knox's abscence?
Terry Braggables: A 0-0 draw is rubbish, but it's not the end of the...wait, do you mean Danny? If I could be serious for a minute...I'd be a far better public speaker.
Danny is a valuable member of the squad, and we'll need more time to get used to his absence. So you've got to expect the occasional disappointment.
Brad: She makes a note in her book, and continues with an innocent smile.
Anna: There are a lot of conspiracy theories around at the moment.
Terry Braggables: It was the CIA who killed Kennedy.
Anna: Do you think someone you know might be behind this?
Terry Braggables: I have no idea, and I wouldn't tell you if I did, sugar-tits!
Brad: You stare at her and she stares right back, eyebrows raised.
McSpindle: Scooby's First Rule of Detection indicates that she did it!
Brad: Questions from other reporters follow thick and fast.
Rob: Thick's certainly right...
Brad: You answer them as best you can, ending the meeting half an hour later.
Rob: I head back to the office. Maybe Danny will find a chance to call us back.
Brad: After the press conference you walk to your office, tired from the pressure and the excitement of the football. Antek Bobak and Jed Stevens pass you in the corridor.
Terry Braggables: All right?
Stevens: It's been ages since Danny went missing. Is there any news?
Terry Braggables: Not yet, but hey: This is the police we're talking about! Have you ever watched CSI? They'll have this wrapped up within an hour, including adverts!

Brad: You feel bad lying to your players, but you don't tell them about the phone call last night. You just can't risk it.
Rob: They might be in on it!
Brad: In your office, there is a message waiting for you on your answerphone. You press play, and the braying voice of your club chairman addresses you.
Rob: He's a horse? I'm intrigued, tell me about this guy.
Victor Sinkowski
Victor is your boss - a wealthy businessman for whom success and money come before football. He keeps a close eye on how the club is run, but takes a back seat in all footballing decisions. Victor's clever investments and financial experitise have helped make Hardwick City wealthy, but you sometimes wonder if he even knows what offside means...Still, he holds all the cards when it comes to the club's finances and is certainly not a man to cross.
Message: Victor here. It's Saturday morning. Come and see me after the match, please.
Brad: You are well aware of how important the upcoming week is, and must decide how to spend your time before the next fixture.
Rob: I need to go and see the chairman. Is he actually a chair? That'd be awesome.
Brad: You climb the stairs to the executive floor, knock on the heavy oak door marked "Chairman" and enter the plush office. Victor's leather-topped desk is at one end, and a fat cigar with a wet, chewed end is burning in the ashtray.
If he's not going to smoke them properly, I don't think he should be allowed to have any.
Rob: No, definitely not. Go on, you tell him.
Brad: If you're not going to smoke them properly, I don't think you should be allowed to have any.
Terry Braggables: Who the fuck are you?!
Brad: What? I thought you told me to tell him? Look, Omer's allowed in these things - why aren't I?
Terry Braggables: Fine, whoever Omer is, I suppose you must have a point.

Brad: Man, we really need to get that wall fixed.
Rob: The fourth one? Yeah, I called a guy.
Brad: The chairman can't be too far away.
Rob: I take a quick search of the office.
Brad: The first place you look is his desk drawer, and in there is the very thing you have been missing: your driver's route map. And someone's added a strange diagram to one of the top corners.
This book has never mentioned that the map's missing before has it?
Rob: Not that I can recall. Two seconds. Nope.
Brad: Why did Victor take it from your office without asking? Do you want to take the map?
Rob: Take it.
Brad: You hurriedly stuff the map in your jacket, as the door is opening. Victor opens the door and waddles in. He is a large man in his mid-fifties, and his bald head glistens with sweat from climbing the stairs.
Terry Braggables: Hi, Vic, your door was open so I thought I'd wait for you in your off-licence. What's the happy-haps?
Victor: [uncertainly] Oh, just checking up, you know, looking after the troops. Terrible thing about Danny, dreadful. Heard anything?
Brad: He fixed you with a stare. The air is sickly yellow with cigar smoke.
Terry Braggables: Nope, nothing yet. I reckon Detective Higson will be in touch after he finishes his next book.
Victor: Let the police do their job and we'll do ours, eh? Best way. Good. Fine. Thank you. Good night.
Brad: You let yourself out.

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