Sunday, 4 December 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 Freeway Warrior II: Mountain Run. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Brag Phoenix.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!

Brad: You step away from the clansman's body and run to where Kate is standing.

Brag: Get clear of them! I'm on a roll!

Brad: She looks a little shell-shocked but is otherwise unharmed, and together you return to the front of the service area in time to see the sole surviving Detroit Lion making a speedy escape back along the freeway. Sgt Haskell and his men cheer his retreat, then conduct a search of those who did not get away. Although few personal possessions are found, they do recover some weapons and ammo and you are offered a choice from the following:

Machine Pistol
12 x 99 mm ammo
2 x 7.62 mm ammo
5 x 12 gauge ammo
+2 Knife

Brad: You want any of that?
Rob: Nope.
Brad: While the sergeatna and his men dispose of the bodies...

Sgt Haskell: Nom-nom-nom...

Brad: return to the gasolene storage tank and set to work on cracking its security code.
Rob: I do *not* like my chances.
Brad: You examine the three dials that are set into the top of the security valve. Each is divided into three segments, and each segment displays a number. One of the segments on the third dial has numbers which can be altered by hand. Carefully you consider the numbers and soon realise that they are part of a coded combination lock.
Rob: No shit.
Brad: By turning the adjustable numbers on the third dial to the correct total, you will release the lock and open the valve. Consider the following numbers carefully. When you think you know what the missing number is...let me know.
Rob: Okay.
Brad: Man, you're good. What's the solution?
Rob: Every lock combination has a pattern. Each number goes 2:1, 1:1, 4:1. The only number that's not represented is thirteen.
Brad: The valve clicks open and the tell-tale aroma of gasolene rises from the tank to greet your nostrils.
Rob: The sweet smell of success. It's only success when it stings the nostrils.
Brad: A fuel gauge on the inside edge of the valve shows you that the tank contains 125 gallons of premium unleaded gasolene, more than sufficient for your needs.
Rob: Hoo-rah.
Brad: When the others come to inspect your handiwork they congratulate you unstintingly. After filling the tank of the BragWagon, Sgt Haskell and his men set about destroying the remainder of the fuel to prevent it from falling into the hands of Mad Dog Michigan's clansmen. Then, with a view of the station ablaze in your driving mirror, you set off west along Freeway 10 to keep your rendezvous with the convoy. It feels good to be able to drive once more at a speed that is faster than the brisk walking pace to which you have limited yourself over the past twenty-five fuel-concious miles.

MCSPINDLE: Yes, because lower gears consume less fuel...

Brad: It is also a great relief not to have to walk the fifty or so miles to Kent, for they are mostly uphill, as the freeway passes through the ruined town of Borgado and traverses the northern slopes of the Davis Mountains.

MCSPINDLE: You could have saved even more fuel by getting out and pushing me!

Brad: You reach Kent shortly after noon, a day ahead of your planned time of rendezvous with the convoy. The highway and surrounding area show no sign of their having arrived before you, so you decide to try to relax here and recoup your strength while you wait for the convoy to show. You rise at dawn and spend the morngin servicing the BragWagon's engine, while Sgt Haskell and Marine Knott take it in turns to act as lookout from the room of a Baptist church, the tallest building still standing in Kent. It is two hours before noon when you hear a faint buzzing noise, high in the sky twoards the north-west.

Brag: Vibrators?

Brad: You search the cloudless expanse and your hopes soar as you see Rickenbacker's motorised hang-glider circling above the town. He comes down and makes a low pass, waving his arms excitedly as he flies directly above the BragWagon.

MCSPINDLE: I knew it was a bad idea for him to put a Wii in that thing.

Rob: Maybe my memory is hazy, but who the fuck is Rickenbacker?
Rob: Ahhhhh.
Brad: Then he is gone, rising above the surrounding peaks and returning the way he came. An hour passes before Knott sights a cloud of dust on the eastern horizon. You are all gathered in the town, wiating expectantly for the convoy to arrive, but he cannot be sure that it is the convoy that is coming. At such a distance it could be a gang of marauding clansmen.

Brag: It might just be a cloud of dust, have we considered that?
Knott: [sighting the convoy of vehicles heading towards Kent] It's them!
Brag: The dust cloud men?! Please?...

Brad: Led by Pete Tyler's tow truck, the convoy pulls into the town with all horns blaring and everyone shouting their relief and delight that the rendezvous has been accomplished. It is a joyous reunion, made especially happy by the return of Kate to the colony. After the excitement has abated, you settle down to discuss the more serious matters at hand. From his vantage place in the sky, Rickenbacker has been able to track the movements of Amex Gold and his Maverick clansmen. A large contingent have been shadowing the convoy and are now in ambush somewhere in the mountains ahead.
Also, Pop Ewell has monitored by radio the movements of a large Mexican clan, who have crossed the border in search of fuel and food. And, to make matters even worse, Mad Dog Michigan has linked up with the 'Saints', the clan from New Orleans, and now they too are somewhere in the vicinity.

Cutter: Looks like we're surrounded by enemies.
Brag: Yeah, by which you mean 'there are a lot of them'? Brilliant, searing insight yet again.
Cutter: Seem's to me we've got to keep movin' if we're to stand a cat's chance o' gettin' to El Paso in one piece.
Brag: How much chance does a cat have? I can't believe I almost let you get away with that statement!
MCSPINDLE: Sorry..."Seem's"? We're letting that one go, are we?

Brad: His opinions are shared by the majority, and so it is decided to leave Kent this afternoon and press on to El Paso without delay.

MCSPINDLE: Win! I love their tacos!

Brad: It takes an hour to refuel the convoy vehicles and prepare for the next stage of your journey. You are to take over as scout now that the colony is about to push deeper into the mountains.

MCSPINDLE: Yay...we're hardly ever scouts...
Brag: I know right? Seems like I should have got some BADGES by now...hint hint...

Brad: The increasing altitude and the unpredictable thermal air currents here make it too dangerous for Rickenbacker to continue in his role as air scout.

Brag: I bet Rickenbacker gets badges...
MCSPINDLE: it too dangerous for your little plane to go scouting in, Mister Scoutyman? Never mind, we'll take care of it while you sit and home and play with your toys...would you like a juice box?
Brag: Ooh, we've got juice boxes?

Brad: Five miles out from Kent, you cross a dry watercourse once known as the Salt Draw and begin a slow climb into the Apache mountains.

Brag: Sounds like a great place to have run out of water...

Brad: To your left you can see a high ridge, known locally as the Black Peak, and it is here that you sight something that makes you suspicious. A glint of sunlight is reflecting repeatedly at a point near the crest of this ridge.

Brag: Seems like a signal. Hopefully from a travelling Evian salesman.

Brad: You radio back to the convoy that you have sighted something suspicious in the hills to the south. You bring your The BragWagon to a halt, and, as the conoy draws closer, Cutter disembarks and comes running forward to find out more.
Rob: Reflex Clothesline!

MCSPINDLE: Yay! Here comes Captain Apostrophe! This'll be relevant and not at all bleeding obvious.

Brad: You point out the place on the ridge where you saw the reflections, and he scans the area with his powerful binoculars.

Cutter: Whatever was up there has gone now, Brag. If it was clan scouts you saw then we'd better keep on movin' before they rustle up enough of their kin to bushwhack us.
Brag: Or hiding from you...

Brad: You keep a watchful eye on the ridge as you lead the convoy along this section of the freeway.
Rob: Who's watching the road then?

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