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 your...horse?"
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: "Unless....you 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:

ROSCOE'S, THE OLD ESTABLISHMENT

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."
BRAGGART: "Ergh."

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!

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