Friday 8 July 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: You land on the boarding platform and manage to grab the handrails to prevent yourself from falling backwards out the door. Which would have been both humiliating and hilarious.
Rob: Would've put me in mind of Dickass DM: Suspects
Brad: Then you pull yourself up the short flight of steps towards the driver's seat, where Cutter is locked in a vicious struggle with a blond-haired Maverick, who is trying desperately to wrestle the wheel from his hands. As you approach, the Maverick releases Cutter, spins around and tries to grab you by the throat!
Running Combat
He knees you in the balls.
Brag: Fal-setto!
You convince him to start a blog on the grounds that it won't ever take over his whole life or anything.
You fight the rest of the fight with a terrible "Comparethe" accent.
Brag: I keel you! Simples!
You push a hoover into his nose.
Maverick warrior is defeated.
Brag: CompareTheCadaver.Com!

Brad: You step over the dead body of your enemy and rush along the centre aisle to help defeat the other three Mavericks who are aboard. Your arrival inspires the colony, and swiftly they help you to overcome these brutal bikers. You are helping to carry their bodies towards the door of the bus when you notice an orange light flickering outside the rear window. You decide to take a closer look and, when you peer through the glass, you are horrified to see that one of the Mavericks is holding a Molotov cocktail!
The rag is burning and, as he brings his motorcycle alongside the bus, he gets ready to hurl the bottle through the window!
Brag: It's not even in the evening, you drunk!
Rob: I pull my rifle out!
Brad: You scream at your people to get away from the window as hurriedly you load, raise and then aim your rifle at the rider's chest. You have aimed too high and, as the window disintegrates, your gunfire passes harmlessly over the head of the Maverick rider.
Brag: Balls!
Brad: He hurls the fire-bomb, and screams of terror fill your ears as your people scramble across the seats in a desperate attempt to escape the blast. You hear a sharp crack as the bottle strikes the edge of a seat, then there is a brilliant flash of orange and yellow light as it smashes and bursts into flames. Instinctively, you turn your back to the blast and cover your face and hands.
Rob: As opposed to running? Fuck. I deserve to die.
Brad: The burning liquid splashes your leather jacket and sets it alight, but you are able to extinguish the flames before your back is badly burnt. All those whose clothes have been set alight by splashes of the burning gasolene and oil mixture are dragged away from the blaze and smothere with blankets. Miraculously, nobody is seriously burnt, but the bus itself is still ablaze and the flames and fumes are beginning to spread rapidly towards the front. You grab a blanket and Gryphon forward to fight the blaze.
Rob: Gryphon?
Brad: Sorry, that should be "Rush".
Rob: Gotcha.
Brad: Several of the colony follow your example and, although you suffer from burns and toxic smoke, you manage eventually to quash the flames.
Cutter: Yahoo! There she is!
Brad: He is pointing excitedly at a fortified settlement that has just appeared in the distance.

Cutter: Big Spring! We've made it!
Brag: With only our main mode of transportation as a casualty!
Brad: All the hardships that have been suffered en route are instantly forgotten when the members of the colony look upon their destination. Suddenly the bus is filled with laughing, crying, cheering people as everyone reaffirms their hope that this journey is the first step towards the civilisation that they once new. A green flare climbs into the darkening sky and bursts over the town, signalling that the Big Spring colony has seen you approaching. Pop Ewell makes radio contact, and passes on their welcome.
Pop Ewell: They say the freeway gate is open. All we got t'do is drive straight in.
Brag: Sounds a little too good to be true.
Brad: The Mavericks seemed to give up the chase as soon as they saw the flare, and now the freeway looks deserted. You join Cutter at the front of the bus and scan the landscape for some sign of the BragWagon, but the only other vehicle you can see is the tanker, trundling along a few hundred yards ahead. A few minutes later you see Kate and MCSPINDLE in the distance, parked at the side of the freeway. As you draw nearer you get ready to wave to Kate. Your heart almost stops when, with horror, you see that two motorcycles are parked alongside, and Kate is embroiled in a desperate hand-to-hand struggle with their riders.
Brag: Cutter! Stop the bu...wait, I'll have to translate. The cotton pickin' bus is goin' a-too-fast!
Brad: Cutter slows the bus and you leap out on to the freeway and run towards Kate.
Kate: Help me, Brag!
Brag: Am I your only hope?
Brad: She screams as the Mavericks try to bundle her, kicking and punching, into a sidecar attached to one of their machines. A blow to the back of her head with the stock of a machine pistol brings an end to her resistance. Then, as you approach, the biker turns and fires a long burst from the hip.
Brag: If it didn't come from the gun, I'm not concerned.

Brad: You throw yourself forward and your swift reflexes save you from being cut in half by a swathe of bullets. As you rise to your feet onece more, the shooting stops with a dull click, a sound that tells you that the gun is now empty.
Rob: Use my gun!
Brad: You draw your gun, take aim and kill the Maverick machine-gunner with a shot to the head. You know what makes me sad?
Rob: How bad-ass I am with a gun?
Brad: Kids today are happy with Twilight and Harry Potter. This is what I was reading when I was their age.
As he falls, you turn your weapon on the remaining biker, but he is using Kate as a shield and you dare not fire for fear of hitting her. With anger and fear welling up inside you, you reluctantly lower your gun.
Brag: You're lucky I suffer from Gender Blindness.
Brad: Seething with anger you watch as the remaining biker climbs astride his machine and kicks it into life. You Tool forward in a brave but hopeless attempt to save Kate from being abducted: the Maverick clansman accelerates away before you can even get near. As you watch his fleeing form disappear into the night, you promise yourself that you will get Kate back, no matter what it takes. You run towards the BragWagon, determined to follow him and rescue Kate, but your plans are frustrated when the bus pulls up close by and Cutter shouts a warning.
Brag: I know: she might be a dude!
Cutter: There's a whole mess o'lights headin' this way, Brag.
Brag: Aurora Borealis?
Cutter: I'm sure it's the Lions. We've got to move now of they'll catch us before we get inside Big Spring.
Brad: Reluctantly, you agree with Cutter. It would be madness to drive alone into the Detroit Lions. The convoy enters the fortified gates of Big Spring and receives a rapturous welcome from the colonists of the settlement. The mood is celebratory, for your arrival marks the start of an alliance that is destined to grow stronger over the forthcoming months. You have completed the first stage of your difficult journey and, although your achievement is overshadowed by Kate's abduction, your mission is a success.

Cutter: When we find Alcatraz and that Maverick, we'll contact you.
MCSPINDLE: I'll meet you at the rendezvous point at Big Spring.
Brag: That's my line!
Cutter: Brag, we'll find Kate. I promise.
Brag: All right.
MCSPINDLE: You're not that bothered, are you?
Brag: Meh.
MCSPINDLE: I take your point. I mean, in a nuclear wasteland like this, there have to be positively thousands of hot women your age.
Brag: Shouldn't you be mourning your bloodlust?
MCSPINDLE: Bloodlust?
Brag: Yeah, those people you killed.
Dickass DM returns with a brand new series on Friday 22nd JulyWords: Brad Harmer & Robert Wade
You can become Brad's "friend" on Facebook, or you can "follow" him on Twitter. Depends how creepy you want to sound really.
This is intended as a loving tribute to Joe Dever, the Freeway Warrior series, Highway Holocaust, and all other gamebooks of yesteryear.

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