Monday 28 April 2014

E14 Presents: The Crazy Train! Episode 23 - Enjoy A Cold Glucoraid!

On iTunes
The Crazy Train Page on E14

In this episode:

We talk a little about our short absence.
Omer talks about his birthday and Vikings.
We enthuse about science and such.
We talk about museums as a whole.
We talk a bit about Twitter.
Rob talks a little about McDonald's.
We talk a bit about one of Omer's arsey customers.

Starring: Omer Ibrahim, Blake Harmer, Rob Wade
Editing: Rob Wade
Facebook: or Search "Emotionally Fourteen"

Saturday 26 April 2014

Claymore Division Presents: Stop Mucking Around - A Painting Guide!

Omer doesn't like it when people over-complicate miniature painting, and he's here to show you how he bodges together a half-decent result.

Shot on a phone in wobbly-vision!

If you like the video, check out the Claymore Division Facebook Group!

Friday 25 April 2014

Dickass DM - The Adventures Of Hercule Braggart: Trouble At The Track - Part 5

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 a classic Sherlock Holmes gamebook. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Hercule Braggart.

When last we left our hero, Braggart was trying to get a client list, and had decided on a way to distract a man, using an unfortunate patsy, also known as John.

Catch up with Part 1 Here
Catch up with Part 2 Here
Catch up with Part 3 Here
Catch up with Part 4 Here

BRAGGART: "Watson, act dazed when I bump int-THINK FAST!"
Brad: You immediately trip and bang into the doctor. He crashes theatrically into a chair next to Roscoe's table and falls to the ground as if injured. He is such a fucking drama queen. As you bend over the list, Roscoe grabs your shoulder and yells.
ROSCOE: "Just what do you think you're doing, mate?"
BRAGGART: "Just browsing."
ROSCOE: "Now get away from this or I'll teach you what snoops get!"
Brad: He shakes his big fist in your face.
Rob : I leave. No sense getting into a fight unnecessarily.
Brad: Sensing that you have all the information you can gather, you stroll to the tables to talk to Colonel Stuart and his employees. A groom walking a horse tells you which barn to go to. The Colonel greets you affably, although he is still obviously agitated.

COL. STUART: "I hope you learned something. My men are waiting to talk to you."
Brad: You and Colonel Stuart have a small barn to yourselves; the only visible stall is Irish Star's. The barn appears old and worn, although there are signs that the owners of the track have been working to repair it. Colonel Stuart notices you studying it and laughs.
COL. STUART: "It may not be the best barn here, but they let me have it for nought as it is being repaired. We shall be here for a week only, and like my Scots ancestors, I'll save a penny wherever I can."
Rob : I question his men.
Brad: Colonel Stuart leads you to other stables. Here, he rents two stalls, both of which are clean and well-tended. A neat tack room holds a cot, where the groom sleeps. Stuart's two men are waiting for your arrival. Henry Raines, the trainer, is a thin, dried out man with a sharp nose and narrow eyes. He has the air of a man who knows his business. Beside him stands John Oliver, the groom, dressed in work clothes.

BRAGGART: "So you're Raines, who does the reins? And you do all of the cleaning, Oliver?"
Brad: He has an open, red face and seems a very ordinary sort of working man.
COL. STUART: "This gentleman is a detective. It is obvious that something was done to slow Irish Star today, and I have hired him to investigate the matter."
RAINES: "Investigate? [eyes flashing] Does that mean you think we did owt to the horse, sir?"
COL. STUART: "No, no. I shall explain. [to you] You had better start with Oliver."
Brad: At a nod, John Oliver follows you into an empty stall.
BRAGGART: "Sorry, I know very little of horses and the work that goes into making them raceworthy. I seek only the truth behind the matter of Irish Star."
OLIVER: [eager] "Sure thing, guv. I'm always glad to help the gentry. Just shoot your questions and I'll tell you anything you need to know."
BRAGGART: "Can you tell me what exactly you do here?"
OLIVER: "I do what you might expect, guv."
BRAGGART: "Yeah...I don't know what that is."
OLIVER: "I muck out the stall and lay own fresh straw in the morning. I feed the horse and I cools him out sometimes. Now, on race days like today, Mr Raines has a boy of his who walks him after the race, so I can have everything shipshape when he comes back to his stall. And, o'course, I groom him couple times a day, keep the big boy pretty as a picture, I do."
BRAGGART: "Gor Blimey trousers, guv'nor, and no mistake! I know an Oliver, actually. A Tom Oliver, who works at a local club. Any relation?"
OLIVER: Tom? Now why do you bring him up, I wonder? Well, it makes no difference - he's my brother. Strange you should meet us both on the same day, eh?"
BRAGGART: "Indeed...Did you mention the horse to your brother at all?"

Brad: The groom recoils from the question, as if struck a blow.
OLIVER: "Tom said I talked down Irish Star?"
Brad: His mouth is wide open in astonishment.
OLIVER: "Why, that fool got me advice turned straight around, guv - I told him to bet his all on the horse. I'd never talk down me own master's horse, guv; it'd cost me my job and all chance of getting another one."
BRAGGART: "Very interesting. A lot of people seem shocked that Irish Star ran badly, and Colonel Stuart suspects foul play. Do you know why the horse struggled?"
OLIVER: [surprised] "Me, guv? Why, if I knew what made a horse run good some days and bad others, I'd be making a better living than I gets for mucking out stables."
BRAGGART: "Indeed."
OLIVER: "Even the best horse is unpredictable as the weather. Why, there's men what say there's fifty ways a horse can lose a race, or more! So, the Colonel's just grasping at straws when he claims that somethin' was done to the horse."
Brad: Rocking on his heels, Oliver pauses, expecting a reply.
BRAGGART: *stares*

Brad: There is an awkward pause before Oliver continues.
OLIVER: "Yessir, I think it was just a bad day for the horse. Shook me, cause he trained well for the race, but it happens to the best of 'em sometimes. [winks] Before you spends too much time detecting, just remember that the Colonel ain't all that good at paying his bills, right?"
Brad: Gazing out the open door, you consider further questions for John Oliver.
BRAGGART: "Who did you see near the stable?"
Brad: Oliver thinks for a moment, squinting his beady eyes, then nods.
OLIVER: "I seen a couple of gents named Bowser and Fitzhugh, what bets a lot. But then, them two hangs around the stables all the time, lookin' for a word to guide their wagerin', if you gets my drift. Course it would cost a man his job and a beating on top of it if he was to tip off a couple of touts like that."
BRAGGART: "Naturally. Do you say useful things, or just more like this?"
Brad: Satisfied that you have gotten all the information possible from John Oliver, you dismiss him.
BRAGGART: "You're fired."
Brad: The groom takes a bucket and goes out after water. As Colonel Stuart has calmed down Henry Raines, the trainer is now willing to talk to you. Up close, the man shows the quiet self-confidence of the true professional. You search for just the right question to ask Raines.

BRAGGART: "Do you know why the horse ran badly?"
Brad: Raines hesitates for a moment, then shakes his head.
RAINES: "I really don't, unless Colonel Stuart is right, and someone drugged the horse. I was certain, as sure as I ever have been, that my horse was going to win. I swear."
BRAGGART: "Why were you so sure?"
RAINES: "I'm one of the best in the country at training winning horses - I know when a horse is ready to win!"
BRAGGART: "Well, you seem sure. Or arrogant, I can't tell."
RAINES: "Ah, I told the Colonel it'd be a waste of time to talk to the likes of you. Good day."

Brad: Angry, Raines walks away, leaving you in his wake. Colonel Stuart approaches you.
COL. STUART: "I trust you have all the information my men can give you. Is there anything else you wish to do in the stable? I have an appointment."
BRAGGART: "Can I search them?"
Brad: The Colonel looks surprised, then nods.
COL. STUART: "Well, if you think it's necessary...Hope you like horse shit."
BRAGGART: "Thanks. Love it."

Stay tuned to E14 for the next thrilling edition of Dickass DM, coming May 2nd!

Monday 21 April 2014

Dickass DM - The Adventures Of Hercule Braggart: Trouble At The Track - Part 4

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 a classic Sherlock Holmes gamebook. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Hercule Braggart.

When last we left our hero, Holmes had just been given a request to investigate a matter of great importance involving horses and drugs. Friday night. Made.

Catch up with Part 1 Here
Catch up with Part 2 Here
Catch up with Part 3 Here

Brad: Holmes' chill warms, slightly.
HOLMES: "I did notice something amiss."
BRAGGART: "Really? What gave it away?"
HOLMES: "I will admit that it might be an interesting investigation. However, I must catch a train tonight, and I fear I have no time for any other case until I return. You might try Dr Watson's nephew here. Mr Hercule Braggart."
COL. STUART: "Do you recommend him?"
BRAGGART: "I don't like where this is heading..."
HOLMES: "He is young at the trade, but he is no more blind and foolish than the police detectives. You could do worse."
WATSON: "Yeah, he's *alright*."
BRAGGART: "...Thank you?"
Brad: Colonel Stuart offers you the job.
BRAGGART: "Yeah, all right. I could do worse than cutting my teeth on a horse."

Brad: You quickly begin to question him.
BRAGGART: "Whodidyouletseethehorses? Wherewerethehorses? AREYOUAHORSE?!"
COL. STUART: "What? Who? No?"
BRAGGART: "Who takes care of the horses when you're not there?"
COL. STUART: I employ Henry Raines as a trainer."
BRAGGART: "Raines?"
COL. STUART: "He is a well-known man in the field and trains horses for several owners. He is one of the most respected men in the field. The heavy work is done by my groom, John Oliver."
BRAGGART: "Oliver?"
COL. STUART: He's been with me for two years and has been loyal even when I've been a trifle slow with the pay. Sorry, are you just repeating the last word of every sentence as a question?"
BRAGGART: "Question?"
Brad: Oh, for fuck's sake.
Rob : Fine, I'll behave.
BRAGGART: "Behave?"
Rob : What just happened?
Brad: I have no idea.

BRAGGART: "Can you think of anyone who might have wanted to hurt"
COL. STUART: "Why, of course not!"
BRAGGART: "You say that, but it's literally just happened."
COL. STUART: "If I did, I would have confronted him and not come chasing after Mr Holmes."
BRAGGART: " suspected Holmes."
HOLMES: "What?!"
COL. STUART: "Most likely some blackguard did it to make a profit on another horse."
Brad: Holmes whistles sharply, and a rather grubby looking youth in his early teens runs up and snaps to a dubious imitation of attention.
HOLMES: "Young Stanley here is one of my irregulars."
BRAGGART: "I'll say, what's that growth on his neck?"
HOLMES: "His head. He practically lives with the horses and knows everyone and everything that happens in and around the track. Assign him to watch one of your suspects, and you will be able to cover more ground."
BRAGGART: "Follow Oliver. I have a suspicion about him."
HOLMES: "Well, you seem settled into the case."

Brad: He looks at his watch.
HOLMES: "Be careful in this matter."
BRAGGART: "You off? Happy hour at Madame Cocaine's?"
HOLMES: "Do not make any charges or draw undue attention to what happened until you obtain solid evidence."
BRAGGART: "Sounds sensible."
HOLMES: "Hints of a charge in a case like this are every bit as bad for the reputations involved as a conviction itself. Unless you can force the guilty to confess, I suggest that you merely assemble the evidence and present me with your conclusions when I return to London. I will send you a note when I get back to Baker Street."
BRAGGART: "Do a doodle on it."
HOLMES: "Watson, meet me on the train platform, if you please. Good luck."
Brad: The detective turns away, then swings back, as one last thought strikes him.
HOLMES: "Remember the dog who didn't bark in the night."
WATSON: "What do you mean, Holmes?"
BRAGGART: "Yeah, what the fuck?"
HOLMES: "It occurred to me, Watson, that whoever arranged for Irish Star to lose may not have intended Maiwand to win."

Brad: He turns and walks off with his characteristic long stride.
Rob : I join Dr Watson as he collects his winnings. This may prove explicit.
Brad: After telling Colonel Stuart that you will join him at his stable in a few minutes, you accompany Dr. Watson as he walks to the tables to collect his winnings. One or two men are seated at each table, with big ledgers in front of them. They make various marks in their books as they accept winning tickets from their successful customers, few in number as far as you can see. One table, protected by an awning, sports a large sign that reads:


BRAGGART: "This may prove useful."
Brad: Watson hurries towards Roscoe's booth, stopping to speak to a man who hurries from table to table, collecting from each. Watson taps him on the shoulder.
WATSON: [teasingly] "You should be paying out, Roscoe, not collecting! Roscoe, this is my cousin."
BRAGGART: "Hi. Did I win money?"
ROSCOE: [booming laugh] "Glad to meet the doctor's family, for he's one of my best customers!"
Brad: Roscoe is powerfully built, though running to fat, and wears a rough brown coat and derby hat.
ROSCOE: "Well, doctor, I'm always glad to see you though I'm just as happy that your friend Holmes isn't with you."
BRAGGART: "Why's that?"
ROSCOE: "That bloke makes me fair nervous - he seems to know every wicked thought that comes in me head before I think it myself."
BRAGGART: "How did you do winnings-wise? I must say, I'm somewhat surprised that you dabble in the wager side of things in both directions, and with your competitors no less."
ROSCOE: "I just laid the money, you see, like any man in my trade would."

Brad: Pushing Roscoe further might lead to trouble, you sense. Your conversation brings you to Roscoe's booth, just as a very distinguished-looking man comes up. Roscoe hurries behind the table to deal with him personally, accepting a ticket and handing over a handful of money.
ROSCOE: [grinning nervously] "There you are, Lord Hampton. Five pounds at eight to one will give you forty-five pounds back. Surprised you didn't back him more heavily, him being your own nag."
BRAGGART: "Mmmmmm?"
Brad: Lord Hampton stuffs the money into his pocket, chuckling.
LORD HAMPTON: "Don't tell my people, Roscoe, but I didn't have much faith in my horse. Just two days ago, Irish Star ran against my champion, Queensland, in a workout and matched him stride for stride. Since Queensland is much faster than Maiwand, I didn't think he had a chance, so I just bet a little for form's sake. If I'd known Irish Star was so off his feed, I'd have bet my all."
BRAGGART: "Yes. Of course...If you'd known..."
Brad: Tipping his hat, Lord Hampton strides gracefully away. You notice two men collecting eighteen pounds from the clerk, while Roscoe is paying off Doctor Watson. You realise that the two men collecting their winning are Bowser and Fitzhugh, and find it interesting that the two notorious gamblers had bet so little. As various people collect money from Roscoe and the clerk, you notice that the clerk puts a mark on a sheet of paper every time someone is paid. You guess that it must be a list of those who wagered on the race.
Rob : I try and get a look at the list. Worst case scenario, he kills me where I stand.
Brad: Yeah, I don't think it'll be that kind of an advenELEMENTAL!

Stay tuned to E14 for the next thrilling edition of Dickass DM, coming April 25th!

Friday 11 April 2014

Dickass DM - The Adventures Of Hercule Braggart: Trouble At The Track - 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 a classic Sherlock Holmes gamebook. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Hercule Braggart.

When last we left our heroes, Holmes' face had just hardened at the racetrack. We're still not sure what that entails, but presumably it's impervious to most types of damage.

Catch up with Part 1 Here
Catch up with Part 2 Here

HOLMES: "[mutters] I'm surprised those men are allowed anywhere near a stable..."
BRAGGART: "Who do you mean? Is it the men over there who look shifty, or the small children playing in the puddles?"
Brad: Holmes points out two men in the crowd.
HOLMES: "Those two men there."
BRAGGART: "I thought it would be those, but I can never tell with you."
Brad: One is dressed in the elegance of the upper classes, while the other wears the loud clothes of the sporting toff.
BRAGGART: "Is this like Trading Places or something?"
HOLMES: "The men I saw are gamblers."
BRAGGART: "Well, it's not hard to see which one's better at it."
HOLMES: "They've been implicated in one or two races that had odd results, though no charges could be proven in court. I wasn't asked to look into the cases, as it happens. But even if it were impossible for the club to warn them off the turf entirely, I'm surprised anyone would allow them near the horses."
BRAGGART: "Maybe they're on the pull. They look the type."
HOLMES: "The gentlemanly one is named Fitzhugh, while his partner is called Bowser."
BRAGGART: "Surely not...Oh, you *don't* mean the giant fucking green lizard?"

Brad: Watson leads the way to one of the low hills between stables and track and shakes out a blanket for the three of you to sit on.
WATSON: "I always sit here."
HOLMES: "[sardonically] A lucky seat?"
Brad: Holmes sits down. Watson tries to wither Holmes with a look.
Rob : "Yeah, best of luck with that. He's not a plant."
WATSON: "Luck has nothing to do with it, Holmes. This gives us a good view as the horses warm up and is convenient to the wagering tables."
Brad: The truth of this observation is proven during the early races. Watson takes full advantage of the convenient location, with a success that has him crowing in delight.
BRAGGART: "Who does your bets then Watson? Losey McLose of Losertown?"
WATSON: "I always bet with Roscoe."
Brad: Holmes seems to stiffen a bit at that name.
Rob : Wa-hey!
BRAGGART: "Roscoe O' Bastard? Why?"
HOLMES: "Doesn't the man's reputation concern you a little, Watson? There's been mention of Roscoe benefiting from some of the major upsets."
WATSON: "Oh, there's that sort of talk about every such chap. I know that Roscoe is honest with his customers."
BRAGGART: "Only the ones he respects."
WATSON: "He always has the cash on hand to pay me when I win, and one cannot say that of all his rivals. And he has booths at every track, which I find convenient. Also, you often get better odds from a man who does a good deal of trade."

Brad: Watson's really pissy in this, isn't he?
Rob : He really is.
Brad: This gamebook is making them out to be even more of a gay couple than Doyle does.
Rob : He lays it on a bit thick, no doubt. His characters though, he's allowed.
Brad: Searching your memory of crime news, you remember the name "Roscoe".
BRAGGART: "Roscoe P. Coltrane!"
Brad: There had been reports in the sporting press that he had unusual luck in anticipating the failure of some highly-touted horses and made large profits as a result. All the evidence indicated, however, that his profits came from purchasing information from stable employees rather than from actually fixing a race. Watson looks at his watch.
WATSON: "Come along, Holmes. Let's place our wagers before the horses for the main event are brought out."
BRAGGART: "It's generally better to bet before the race."
WATSON: "There's no sense waiting when we know which horse we want to back."
Brad: The two men walk toward the wagering tables, leaving you unattended. Awaiting their return, you overhear two men talking behind you mention "Irish Star", causing you to look at them. One is Phillips, the grain dealer pointed out to you earlier. From his massive size and leather apron, the other man appears to be a smith. Phillips is doing the talking.
You decide to try and sneak close to them and overhear their conversation.
BRAGGART: "Excuse me, did you say Irish Stew? Is this a raid?"

Brad: As you mingle with the people near Phillips and the smith, Phillips notices you.
PHILLIPS: [looking around] "No, Bench, I think we'd better talk this over later, when we can be a little more private."
Brad: With a nod of agreement, the two men separate. Wow. Victorian London was *really* gay, wasn't it?
Rob : I'm amazed English people are still around. I can't imagine people were having kids, considering all the gayness.

Brad: It's not just me, is it? This is *really* gay.
Rob : At least it's not a zombie carrot, dude.
Brad: Holmes and Watson return from placing their bets...which probably involved some sort of hand job...still continuing their earlier very gay argument about the horses.
Rob : It's about dick measuring I take it?
Brad: As they settle comfortably on the grass, trumpets sound for the horses to enter the track, and outriders lead the thoroughbreds onto the track. Doctor Watson rises eagerly.
Rob : Wa-hey!

WATSON: "[mincing] There they come, Holmes! Irish Star is the handsome gray under the yellow and blue silks."
HOLMES: "Oh, fabulous."
WATSON: "Maiwand is the black: his rider wears brown. Do you see them, duckie?"
BRAGGART: "Yes..."
Brad: See if you can spot when I'm gaying up the text and when I'm not. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Rob : I never shrink from a challenge.
WATSON: "Irish Star is a fabulous looking horse."
Rob : Not gayed up.

Brad: But as he runs through a patter of admiration (even though he didn't bet on the horse), it seems to you that Irish Star looks dull and heavy-footed, as if he is sleep-walking. Watson appears to be watching Irish Star in a very gay way, perhaps hoping to notice some flaw that will prove the wisdom of his choice.
WATSON: "Why, the jockey's feeding something to Irish Star! This is a funny time for that, I should think?"
BRAGGART: "Might be crack. Can't help when the shakes come."
Brad: After the horses warm up, the starter quickly gets them lined up at the white chalk and gives the signal for the start. The horses break, but Irish Star erupts more slowly than the others and doesn't respond when his rider whips him. The heavy favourite is running well behind the field, and the two or three leaders seem intent on building their advantage, apparently afraid that the grey's superiority will still emerge. Under the jockey's constant whipping, Irish Star tries to respond, but the big grey doesn't run well.
Rob : You said "grey". Do you mean "gay"?
Brad: Three horses cross the finish line in a bunch, and Watson's girlish squeal of delight reveals that Maiwand might have been the winner.

BRAGGART: "You're awfully quiet, Holmes."
Brad: Irish Star finishes ten lengths back, looking tired and almost bored by the effort.
WATSON: "So much for science, Holmes. [laughing] This will make my leg-ache feel better on rainy days."
Brad: Holmes' eyes hold something of disdain as he looks back at the doctor.
HOLMES: "Indeed, Watson? Has the bullet moved from your shoulder to your leg again? I should think it would be obvious even to your prejudiced view that something was very wrong with the running of that race."
BRAGGART: "Do you mean to say that Watson is a racist?"
HOLMES: "Without doubt! If you consider yourself a detective, it should be obvious to you that something was very wrong with Irish Star. Your question surprises me. But it doesn't matter. It's good for Watson to score off of me on occasion, and I have no time to look into the case before my train leaves."
Brad: Holmes turns away, unwilling to go into any detail. He's a dick.
BRAGGART: "He scored from you? I thought you kept the good stuff for yourself."

Brad: For a time, there is little talk, as you wait for the signal that the race results are official. As you stand waiting, a tall, heavy man hurries up to you.
BRAGGART: "Oh,'s the family?"
Brad: He looks like the stereotype of a former Army officer (which is handy for the writer), ramrod-backed, with a red face set-off by a greying moustache.
COL. STUART: [to Holmes] "Mr Sherlock Holmes?"
Brad: Holmes nods.
COL. STUART: "I thought I recognised you. I am Colonel Ian Stuart, owner of Irish Star. As you may be aware, he was the heavy favourite for the race today."
HOLMES: "I am aware of that fact. I lost a pound on him, as it happens."
BRAGGART: "He bet on him. Touchy subject."
Rob : A pound?! What's the problem?
Brad: I think that's a significant amount of money in the 1880s. That's probably like £200. Possibly more.
Rob : Christ, what's he betting £200 on a lethargic horse for?
Brad: He's Sherlock Holmes. He'd only waste it on enough drugs to stun Keith Moon, anyway.
COL. STUART: "Then if you know racing, sir, you know that something was done to my horse today. I should like you to investigate the matter."

Stay tuned to E14 for the next thrilling edition of Dickass DM, coming April 18th!

Friday 4 April 2014

Dickass DM - The Adventures Of Hercule Braggart: Trouble At The Track - Part 2

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 a classic Sherlock Holmes gamebook. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Hercule Braggart.

When last we left our intrepid hero, Braggart had just noticed Holmes' expression change. Not very exciting, I know, but it's only part 1. Catch up with it Here!

Brad: From Holmes' expression you see that his mind is drifting away towards some other problem. As quickly as politeness permits, you bid them good day and leave. Some small matters delay you on Friday, and Holmes and Watson are boarding their cab as you run up Baker Street to meet them. The driver is busy piling their luggage on top of the groaner.
Rob : They sound like 1890s hooker names.
WATSON: "You almost missed us. It should be an interesting afternoon. Holmes is certain he already knows the winner in the feature and mocks my choice. Get in, and let's be off."
BRAGGART: "That's not all he mocks, I've heard him. I've even heard the phrase 'gimpy walk' used."
Brad: You do not need a second invitation, and soon the three of you are rattling through the streets, where most of the populace is concerned with far more serious business than a day at the races. You pay little attention to the London crowds, though, given a rare chance to talk with the world's greatest consulting detective.
HOLMES: "How is your education progressing?"
BRAGGART: "Oh, Auntie Sherlock, I'm too smart for conventional education, you know that very well! I'm good enough at the evidence bit, but I struggle to narrow the field down to one suspect like you can. I suspect I'm a long way off. And there's this bloke at school who keeps trying to shove me in a locker. The strange thing is that he almost always tries to follow me in on the occasions where he comes close to success. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that if two people want to engage in such things, but it's not for me."

HOLMES: "It is a lifetime's study..."
BRAGGART: "What, homosexuality?"
HOLMES: "...and even then, there will be more than one time when you prove yourself a fool. That has happened to me, as Watson has told the world in his tales."
BRAGGART: "I understood it was some careful application and the right pressu...let's not talk about this. Oh yeah! You got totally humbled by that American bird."
HOLMES: "But one thing to consider - wherever you are and whatever you happen to be doing, keep your eyes open for things that might lead to crime. My greatest successes have come in matters where I have had an idea in advance that something was going to happen, and have been able to take steps to prevent the crime or catch the perpetrator in the act. That was how Watson and I saved Dr Roylott's stepdaughter from his evil designs and solved other cases."
WATSON: "Surely you downgrade your genius, Holmes."
BRAGGART: "Does that bring down the price?"
WATSON: "You make the most difficult tasks seem simple, you know."
HOLMES: "Not at all. But if you know a wealthy man has an heir desperate for money, you can prevent a crime by a word in the heir's ear. Or if we should see a notorious gambler bet heavily on a long shot today, we would protect the purity of the turf with a word to the stewards."
BRAGGART: "'Fucking Stop it!'?"

HOLMES: "A man who would make a career of detection must always have his eyes open to everything around him. It is the only way to do one's job."
WATSON: "Oh, enough talk of detection, Holmes! Why don't you tell my cousin about the race this afternoon?"
BRAGGART: "I already know there's a race... See? I learn..."
WATSON: "Explain to him why your logical and scientific approach to handicapping will do better than my foolish 'hunch'."
Brad: Watson laughs merrily, even as Holmes frowns.
HOLMES: "Watson, you should know better than to mock logic. You must admit that your attempts at picking winning horses have cost you half your pension."
WATSON: "Now, now, Holmes; I've done better than that."
BRAGGART: "So, Holmes, which filly do you like the look of? Not that I mean girl, oh my no! Not in this context, anyway. Not that I'm suggesting you don't like...I...So. Horses. Which one? Please."
HOLMES: "I am going to bet on Irish Star. He is a very strong horse and runs consistently well. He doesn't belong on the same track with the rest of the field - it is only an odd quirk in the conditions that allow him to run. From every point of past performance and current condition, there is simply no way that the horse can fail to win."

BRAGGART: "What do you mean he doesn't belong on the track with the rest? Is he a greyhound? Watson, why won't you put your money on him? Are you scared? Worried a greyhound on the track might upset your precious status quo?"
HOLMES: "Doctor Watson intends to bet on a horse called Maiwand, because it is named for the battle where he was wounded. He considers it a lucky omen, I believe."
Brad: Watson squirms slightly, although his usual bulldog expression indicates he will not change his mind.
BRAGGART: "Considering you were wounded there, I doubt that. Is Irish Star a bad omen for you? Were you wounded by some Protestant Shuriken?"
WATSON: "Well, what Holmes doesn't understand is that a horse doesn't always run true to form, and I have heard that Irish Star isn't going to run well today. And if you eliminate Irish Star, why, Maiwand is quite as good as any other horse in the race. Whatever Holmes thinks of me, I'm not fool enough to bet a bad horse just because I like his name."
Brad: As Watson chuckles, Holmes remains aloof and unresponsive to his teasing.

BRAGGART: "So your argument to Irish Star, so yes to any other horse? Who told you Irish Star wouldn't run well? Maiwand? Is there a conspiracy?"
WATSON: "Oh, Tom Oliver, a waiter at my club. When he saw me looking over the entries this morning, he warned me about the horse."
BRAGGART: "Is he a horse?"
HOLMES: "A waiter at your club, Watson? But if he is so expert on form surely he wouldn't have to spend his days at such menial labour."
WATSON: "The man has connections at the track, nonetheless."
BRAGGART: "I ask again: Is. He. A. Horse?"
WATSON: "Holmes, you must admit you have found sources in more unlikely places many a time."
Brad: This riposte leads Holmes to a discussion of some of the more unlikely witnesses he has encountered over the years.
BRAGGART: "Remember that story where you interviewed a postage stamp?"

Brad: Holmes fills the rest of your trip to the track with stories from his past investigations, recounting many of the odd sources of information which have yielded clues. You sit, drinking it in, hoping you can use some of his ploys when faced with similar problems yourself. Finally, you reach the Thameside Racing Grounds. It is a simple place, for races are run here only a few weeks in the year.
Rob : Seems wasteful.
Brad: Low hills near the track provide alternative seating to the small grandstand and also shield the stables from some of the noise raised by the stands and the nearby railroad. Fresh paint on the stands and fences as well as the excellent condition of the turf show that the groundskeepers have made every effort to get the oval track ready for the races. As you pass through the gates, Holmes glances around him, following his habitual pattern of seemingly observing everything.
WATSON: "Anything interesting, Holmes? I hope we shan't have to give up these pleasures to pursue some rogue."

Brad: Watson laughs. Holmes smiles thinly.
HOLMES: "No rogues, but there's a man who once crossed the line."
Brad: He indicates a plump little man dressed in tweeds who is giving directions to a wagon driver.
HOLMES: "His name is Phillips. At his wit's end, he was about to steal from an Uncle to get the money to go into business. I warned his uncle, who listened to his plans and lent him the money. Now he supplies grain and hay to half the racing stables in the south of England."
Brad: Suddenly, Holmes' face hardens.
BRAGGART: "What the hell just happened to your face?"

Stay tuned to E14 for the next thrilling edition of Dickass DM, coming April 11th!