Friday 13 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!
Brad: Your car keys are in your pocket.
Rob: I head over there. If she's in on it, I'll rat her out to the med...awww.
Brad: You take the most direct route to the Ship Hotel and pull up in the car park behind the building half an hour later. You enter through a revolving door and find yourself busy lobby full of guests and luggage, so you are able to make your way up the staircase unnoticed. You run up two flights of stairs to the second floor, nearly knocking over two tall men in black suits who seem to be in just as much of a hurry to get down.
Rob: Uh...oh...
Brad: You find room 209 with ease, and knock sharply.
Rob: She's just had her mind wiped if one of those was Will Smith.
Brad: No answer. You try the handle, and the door swings open. But what you see inside makes you wish you'd never made that call.
McSpindle: Did you ever meet anybody you didn't kill?
Terry Braggables: She's fucking dead?!
Brad: The body of a young woman is hanging from the neck by the light fitting in the centre of the room.
Rob: Yeah, funnily enough I expected that.

McSpindle: Well, this campaign has taken a turn for the dark.
Terry Braggables: "Campaign"?
McSpindle: Season.
Terry Braggables: What are you talking...Look, let's focus.
Brad: Her hands are tied behind her back and you can't see her face as her head has been covered with a pillowcase. The room is a mess: all the drawers have been emptied onto the bed, and the power pack for her laptop has been wrenched out of the wall. The laptop has gone.
Rob: Of course, they're generally worth a fair bit for spares. I search the room for clues.
Brad: You begin sifting through the piles of paper on the bed.
McSpindle: I'm going for a piss.
Brad: Most of it is junk, empty files, old newspapers. You look under the bed, behind the chest of drawers, you even stand on a chair to look on top of the wardrobes, but whoever was here before you did a very thorough job. Be careful not to touch anything that might leave fingerprints.
Rob: Yeah, good call. For all I know, CSI: Hardwick is awesome. I think we should leave.
McSpindle: You scared that she's going to come to life or something?
Terry Braggables: No, I'm more worried that I'll look slightly suspicious if the police turn up. Let's go out the window.
Brad: The bathroom window opens on to the car park, and it's wide enough for you to squeeze through.
Rob: Glad I slimmed down.
McSpindle: I'm coming too!
Brad: You are able to scramble down a thick growth of ivy on the outside wall, and jump to safety at the bottom. Better get away from here before you have a heart attack.
Rob: I don't like that implied threat...
Brad: There is such a commotion outside the front of the hotel that you are able to leave unnoticed.
Rob: Superb, they're not looking for Batman...
Brad: You jump in your car and head back to the safety of Hardwick City FC. Your mobile rings on the way back to the ground, so you pull over into a lay-by to answer.

Familiar Voice: [on phone] I'm sorry to bother you at the weekend. This is DCI Higson.
Terry Braggables: That's okay, Charlie.
DCI Higson: [on phone] I'm calling to check if you've heard anything further about Daniel Knox's disappearance.
Brad: Has he been watching you? What does he know? Your mind is racing.
Terry Braggables: I have no further clues at this time, but I shall be sure to inform you if that changes. Now, if you don't mind, I have a hooker and only four minutes left of my hour!
DCI Higson: [on phone] Of course you will.
Brad: His voice is always the same, and you can never tell what he's thinking.
Terry Braggables: Have you been doing any detective stuff, or have you just been relying on me to come up with stuff?
DCI Higson: [on phone] I don't have anything else at this moment.
Brad: You feel particularly lonely as you end the call, and you sit for a few minutes staring out at the passing cars and wondering if anyone will ever see Danny again.
Maybe you left McSpindle at the hotel.
===Monday 24th===
Brad: You arrive at your office before your players are due to turn up for training, and spend an hour or so drinking coffee and reading the press.
That sounds like my working day.
Rob: You don't want to get those two mixed up.
Brad: This used to be such a quiet city. Now the headlines are full of things like "SureTech Phones: Share Price Tumbles", "Reporter Found Dead In Hotel Room - Police Suspect Foul Play" and "Pet Shop Trashed By Furious Monkeys". Is there any good news these days.

McSpindle: I actually quite like the sound of the monkey one.
Terry Braggables: I keep thinking the word 'Newsfalsh' and I don't know why...
Brad: With a sigh you turn your attention to next Saturday's home fixture against Papplewick Town. But before you have time to think about your strategy, you hear shouting from the locker room.
You run to the locker room and fling open the door.
Terry Braggables: All right, if this is about the best musical, I swear to God I will flip my shit!
Brad: All the players have arrived and are getting changed. They are laughing and jeering at Carlos de Carvalho, who is running around wearing one red boot and a worried look.
McSpindle: Oh, get dressed properly.
de Carvalho: [shouting] Ma shoe, I cannot play without ma shoe!
Will Frost: [helpfully, above the laughter] He hasn't seen it for two weeks.
Brad: So, de Carvalho has lost his lucky boot.
McSpindle: Can't you just wear the one you had on last Saturday?
de Carvalho: Don't be crazy. They away shoes.
Terry Braggables: Wait, why is that not sensible?
de Carvalho: This home shoe!
Brad: Trust fashion-concious Carlos to have home and away boots.
Terry Braggables: Find yourself a fucking boot, or my boot will find a home up your arse!
Brad: But superstition can be a powerful thing with some athletes. You explain that you haven't seen his lucky boot, but that it must be in here somewhere. But no amount of searching reveals it.
Terry Braggables: Well it can't be anywhere but at home, that'd be stupid!

Brad: Sometimes you feel like the tired parent of eleven children.
McSpindle: Ahem. Twelve.
Rob: All of whom seem to have some sort of learning difficulties.
Brad: This week's training session is a mess!
Terry Braggables: I said step, pause, step, kick!
Brad: Your attackers can't find the crosses, your goalies fumble every ball, and the midfielders are falling over each other.
Rob: I tell the goalies to stop being flirts! I tell the attackers to focus on the noughts! I tell the midfielders to...stop being gimps!
McSpindle: Hurley! Pick up the stepladder runs or we'll all be going home in a jamboree bag! There's no place for hot air ballooners on my picnic to Mars, you get me?
Terry Braggables: Nope.
Brad: Sometimes even the best managers can't perform miracles.
===Saturday 29th===
Brad: You never get tired of that special buzz when you wake up on a Saturday morning, knowing that today you're leading your team into a crucial head-to-head with quality opposition!
Rob: Awww man, quality?
Brad: A small knot of home supporters is already queueing outside the gates as you arrive, and they cheer as you sweep past security and into the ground. You go and meet the players in the dressing room. Here's what you're up against this week.
Papplewick Town FC
Sam Shaughnessy's tactic is to overload the midfield to stifle the opposition. Papplewick are not the strongest team, however, and a recognised counter-measure is to fight fire with fire. Sam says he knows what he's doing.
Brad: Half an hour until kick-off, and you're back where you belong. A pity Danny Knox isn't.
Rob: Yeah, the prick.
Brad: Nothing would thrill your fans more than if he were to lead your team to glory this afternoon.

McSpindle: Is he still "missing" or is he now "missing, presumed dead"?
Brad: But nothing new has come to light all week.
McSpindle: Apart from that dead journalist we seem to have forgotten all about.
Terry Braggables: We don't talk about that!
Right, boys and that nancy with the two pairs of boots. We're up against Papplewick town today, and you know what that means: If you go out there and treat those mincing wankers with even so much as an iota of respect, so help me God, I will see to it that you get relegated to cleaning the divots of mud and dog shit out of the bits between their boots. Now hop the fuck to it!
Jamie Coates: [grinning wryly] Anything else, boss?
Terry Braggables: Yeah, you can polish my car if you give the ball away once, smart-arse. And by car, I mean balls.
Brad: Pick your team
Fitzgerald - Bobak - Fry - Neville
Frost - Hurley - Wehnert - Bostock - Duval

First Half
Hardwick City Score!
Hardwick City 1 - Papplewick Town 0
Rob: Yay! Sucks to be them!
Brad: The Papplewick midfield is much stronger than you'd expected today. Wherever your players put the ball, there always seems to be a winger or half-centre ready with a tackle.
Rob: Those dastards!
Brad: Any advantage you have is being cancelled out by the strength of the oppositiion in the midfield.
Rob: I think the scoreline begs to differ...Replace a defender. Neville with Duval.
Brad: The continuity of this book is so bad it's giving my unconceived children cancer, so I'm going to say "fine".

Hardwick City is awarded a Free Kick
They fail to score.
Half Time
Second Half
Hardwick City scores!
Hardwick City 2 - Papplewick Town 0
Rob: Wa-hey!
Terry Braggables: Hey, O'Shaughnessy! Suck my nuts!
Hardwick City are awarded a corner.
Hardwick City score!
Hardwick City 3 - Papplewick Town 0
Full Time
Hardwick City 3 - Papplewick Town 0
Rob: Wow, that was a buttfucking sans lube.
Brad: The fourth official raises his electronic signboard. Four added minutes of injury time! Where on earth did that come from?
Terry Braggables: It's a fix!
Brad: In such a finely-balanced match, anything could happen!
Rob: Finely balanced, eh?
Brad: It's been a tiring game but you are impressed with your men as they push forward yet again.
Rob: Four!
Brad: Some calm, confident passing in the midfield opens up a gap down the right flank and Duval is able to make a run into their danger zone.
Rob: Four!
Brad: He is charged down by their left-back, but not before he whips a lofted ball into the box and the referee plays the advantage. And just as you'd practiced, you have a man making a run in at the far post. You are on your feet now, and you have a perfect view as he is body-checked by a beefy Papplewick defender and goes sprawling to the floor.
Terry Braggables: Get up, you pansy!
McSpindle: Penalty!
Brad: Man, I hate football. Hockey FTW.
Terry Braggables: Do you even know what a penalty is?
Brad: The referee agrees it's a penalty.
Rob: From outside the box?! Oh wait, it's the guy at the far post.
Brad: It certainly is a funny old game, but there's nothing the Papplewick men can do about that as they surround the ref in protest, who shoos them away like flies and calmly points to the spot.
Rob: Forget I said anything.
Brad: Who do you want to take the spot kick?
Rob: Wood.
McSpindle: Wa-hey!

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