Friday, 1 November 2013

Dickass DM - The Next Generation! - Under The Wire: Part 3

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 gamebook Under The Wire. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Alistair Braggart.

Catch up with The Story So Far

When last we left our intrepid hero, he had been captured by the Nazi forces, and had just arrived in Calais. Following the captain, he jumps off the boat and heads into the crowd..


BRAGGART: "Hier. Deine blankey back."
BLANKEY NAZI: "Danke".
Brad: Close behind you follows a second member of the crew.
OFFICER: "Halt die Klappe!"
BRAGGART: "That's Herr Klappe to you, Kraut."

Brad: After a few minutes walk you arrive at the E-boat command HQ and are ushered into the commander's office for interrogation. A bald, portly man of indefinable rank sits at a desk, partially hidden by mounds of paperwork. As you enter, he sits up.
BRAGGART: "Don't get up, tubby. Wouldn't want you rupturing a chin."
BALD PORTLY MAN OF INDEFINABLE RANK: "Ah, RAF?"
BRAGGART: "Sure."
BALD PORTLY MAN OF INDEFINABLE RANK: "Your name, rank and serial number?"
BRAGGART: "Red Four...Red...Four."
BALD PORTLY MAN OF INDEFINABLE RANK: "You were seen shooting at a German pilot who had bailed out, Flight Officer Redfour. What do you have to say for yourself?"
BRAGGART: "Sorry I missed?"
Brad:

  1. Repeat your name, rank and serial number
  2. Deny it, and give an account of your actions over the Channel.

BRAGGART: "Red Four...Red...Four."
BALD PORTLY MAN OF INDEFINABLE RANK: "You have nothing further to say?"
Brad: You stand silently at attention as he looks at you.
BRAGGART: "Nein...Wait, I mean Four."
BALD PORTLY MAN OF INDEFINABLE RANK: "I have no alternative but to hand you over to the Gestapo for interrogation. I am sorry."
BRAGGART: "No you're not."
Brad: Realising that you must speak quickly or else risk being handed over to the secret police, you recount your actions over the Channel.
BRAGGART: "If there's one thing I won't tolerate, it's liars in Nazi uniforms."
Brad: As you finish, he clears his throat and says:
BALD PORTLY MAN OF INDEFINABLE RANK: "I am glad that you have chosen to co-operate, Braggart. I see no need for any further unpleasantness."
BRAGGART: "I do. You fat fuck."

BALD PORTLY MAN OF INDEFINABLE RANK: "You will be taken to Luftwaffe headquarters - they are responsible for downed RAF pilots. Goodbye."
Brad: A Kubelwagon staff car is parked outside with three armed men in it and you are swiftly driven away to Luftwaffe HQ. The town is full of soldiers.
Rob : Kubelwagon? Why would they be delivering Jewish pudding? Surely that's the total opposite of what Nazis would do.
Brad: It's like a jeep.
Rob : Ah.
Brad: The Germans seem to have preparations well under way for their invasion of England. You wish you were still in the skies defending your homeland against them and you curse yourself for the mistake which has brought you here. Presently, you arrive at Luftwaffe HQ and are locked in a cell for the night. At daybreak a guard arrives with a bowl of food and a mug of coffee; he does not speak English.

  1. Try and talk to him
  2. Stay quiet and eat, hoping for an opportunity to get away later
Rob : Try and talk to him.
Brad: He does not understand your stumbling German and shrugs before turning to leave.
Brad:
  1. Attack him
  2. Wait for a better chance later
Rob : Wait for a better chance. Seems pointless to attack *everyone* I meet this early on.
Brad: Several minutes pass; then the guard returns and gestures for you to follow him outside.
Brad: The yard at the rear of the Headquarters is deserted save for a truck with its engine running and two German soldiers standing sentry at the rear of the vehicle.
Brad: Walking closer, you see the the truck is half full of British servicemen, all waiting to be driven to the POW camp.
Brad: You climb aboard and introduce yourselves.
BRAGGART: "Red Four, chaps! Introducing myself and all that, there's a good lad."

Brad: It seems that the seven others in the truck were all picked up in the early houts of the morning from the local jails.
BRAGGART: "Why would you hide in their jails?!"
Brad: Five of the prisoners are the surviving members of a Blenheim crew - Flight Lieutenant Clank, Flight Sergeant Wheezy and their flight crew, McDonald, Robinson and Common.
Rob : Common?
Brad: I think he's a rapper. The other two are fighter pilots like yourself - Parkinson and Cowie. Before long, the truck is ready to move off. Three Germans sit in the cab at the front and a further two join you in the rear.
MCSPINDLE: "Wa-hey!"

Brad: Both soldiers are young and nervous - one has a machine-gun, the other a rifle. Cautiously, you study both of them.
BRAGGART: "They look young...and nervous..."
Brad: It seems best to wait until you are in the countryside before trying anything.
BRAGGART: "Shit, I shouldn't have said that out loud."
YOUNG NERVOUS NAZI: "Wo ist meinen blankey?"
Rob : "Deinen blankey? Shei├če."
Brad: The truck follows the road to Lille. Every mile is clogged with German equipment heading for the coast.
Rob : "Saxophones? You've gotta fucking be kidding me!"
Brad: You seem to be the only ones going inland. Presently, the lorry stops at the side of the road in a small wood and the two guards jump out before gesturing to you all to follow them and stretch your legs. Wait...
Rob : Alright...
Brad: Isn't this how Skyrim starts?
Rob : Now that you mention it, I did decide my stats and choose my gender...
Brad: This could be your opportunity to escape.
Brad:

  1. Try to wander off on your own
  2. Stay with the main group and see what they decide to do
Rob : Stay with the main group.
Rob : I remember too well what happened the first time I was alone in Skyrim.
Brad: The three other guards have not appeared - presumably they have wandered off into the undergrowth to relieve themselves. There are eight of you prisoners and only two guards.
  1. Decide to make the first move
  2. Wait for someone else to do it
Rob : Wait for someone else to move. This will be a good way to gauge my chances.
Brad: Clank is talking earnestly to Wheezy. Suddenly, as you watch, they begin fighting. The two guards move quickly towards them to stop the fight. As they approach the stuggling pair, the other five men rush them.
Rob : See? Worth me holding off.
Brad: After a flurry of blows and echoing gunshots, the scene clears to reveal three RAF men lying inert on the ground and one of the guards rubbing a bruised arm. Both Germans are extremely angry and one screams at you to rejoin the group.
NAZI: "Rejoinen das gruppe!"
BRAGGART: "Mit blankey oder ohne?"

Brad: Moving carefully in order not to alarm them, you do as they wish. The three other Germans emerge hurriedly from the undergrowth and help to drag the bodies away. The remaining six of you are herded back aboard the truck. The German mood of anger and increased caution does not change. Indeed, when you reach the next stop at a local jail to pick up two more prisoners, they handcuff you to the wooden slatted seats in the truck. It seems you will be seeing Eastern France and probably Germany after all.
Rob : Damn.
Brad: The rest of the journey is largely uneventful.
Rob : I hate Eastern France the most.
Brad: Why?
Rob : I don't really. I have no real opinion on anywhere except Valence, Lyon and Paris.

Brad: Each night, your guards lock you up in a local jail and by day they handcuff you to the seats in the truck. Eventually, you arrive late one afternoon at Stalag Luft 14, near Wiesbaden in Germany. The soldiers from the truck hand you over to the prison guards before driving away. The camp seems well-established. As you pass through the first gate you see that it is covered by a tall tower with a machine gun post at the top. Once inside, you stand in an enclosed parade area which you will soon now as the "Vorlager".
Rob : Should I be making notes?
Brad: Do you ever?
Rob : No. That wasn't the question though.
Brad: If you need to re-read any of this...just scroll up.
Rob : That goes for you too, readers. *Thumbs up*

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