Friday 18 December 2009

Dickass DM

A few months ago, Brad and Rob began an experiment that they referred to as The Dickass DM, in which Rob would attempt to play through the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Starship Traveller as if it were an actual table-top RPG.

Read Part One Here
Read Part Two Here
Read Part Three Here
Read Part Four Here

Previously on Dickass DM: After solving the mystery of The Rain Lord, the crew of the Starship Traveller landed on a strange planet, that resulted in an airborne virus polluting the ship. Medical Officer Wheezy (who may or may not have appeared in the series before) is the latest casualty.

Captain Braggart: Dingle, you've got one of those Home Learning certificates for Medicine right?
Dingle: I only know pigeons, guv.
Captain Braggart: Congratulations, you've been promoted!

Brad: You give the instruction to evacuate all the air from the affected area, after instructing all the crew to wear EVA suits. The air is pumped out into space, and half an hour or so later, a fresh supply is introduced.

McSpindle: This air appears to be poison free, sir. In addition, the vacuum appears to have hoovered the carpets remarkably well.
Brad: Wheezy drifts slowly past the windshield.

Captain Braggart: Wheezy, you were a good medical officer right up until you fucked up that antidote to a basic airborne toxin.
McSpindle: How many people under your command have you killed so far, my Liege?
Captain Braggart: Me personally? None. HA! Learn to phrase your questions properly, Dick-beak.
McSpindle: ...ass.
Captain Braggart: Shouldn't you be re-ordering our Shake N' Vac? Or just generally...fucking off?
McSpindle: We have three potential destinations, sir. A large red planet, which I have named Crosby. A medium-sized blue planet, which I have named Stills. And a fast moving object showing signs of life that I have named Palmer.
Captain Braggart: Where's Young?
McSpindle: I imagine he's in a more successful sci-fi comedy series, sir.
Captain Braggart: Sci-fi what what?
McSpindle: What, sir?
Captain Braggart: We've seen a lot of red, we need a varied palette. Stills it is.

Brad: You approach the blue planet and take up an orbit position. Scanners indicate that the planet is inhabited, and that there is considerable development of the planet surface by some intelligent life-form, suggesting a well-orgainsed social structure. You try various radio frequencies and, after some time, an alien face appears on the screen. Dressed in a uniform of some kind, this creature is humanoid, but thin, with a large, bulbous head and bony fingers. He announces himself as First Officer I-Abail of the National Government of Jolsen 3.

Captain Braggart: All right?

Brad: He invites you, and only you, to beam down to his office.
Captain Braggart: ...Do you think he's gay?
McSpindle: Are you?
Captain Braggart: Well, it has been three years since I touched a that wasn't really consensual in the "traditional" sense. I'm beaming down.
McSpindle: We'll keep the engine running, sir.
Captain Braggart: Please.

Brad: As you appear in his office, I-Abail comes forward to greet you. From his surroundings, you deduce that his society is indeed sophisticated, with a technology far more advanced than your own. The surface of his desk floats in the air, and he sits behind it, apprently on thin air.

Captain Braggart: Where do I sit? Hopefully not on your penis! *nervous laugh* Not that there's anything wrong with that sort of thing...

Brad: Cautiously you sit as he has done and some unseen force takes your weight. Around the walls are moving holograms, positioned as an Earth executive may have works of art hanging in his office. To the side of his desk is a screen which he talks into. Moments later, another alien arrives with a tray of what you assume are refreshments. I-Abail introduces this newcomer and offers you food and drink. Are you having House of Hell flashbacks?

Captain Braggart: Thanks very much. Oh, this glass is fabulous! I mean...this glass is all right. Boy, Elton John is a talented songwriter.

Brad: The offerings have a somewhat synthetic taste and texture, but are not unpleasant, and you begin to talk to the First Officer about your own world, while he tells you about Jolsen-3. A short time later, you begin to feel drowsy, which is very strange as you are not due a rest for several hours. Your eyelids get heavy and you must fight to remain concious.
Rob: What do I roll against for fighting unconsciousness? Can I shoot unconsciousness with my phaser?
Brad: Spot Rohypnol. Too late you realise that your food was drugged! As you drift off into sleep, you hear...

I-Abail: Let us take our visitor to the portal lab.
Captain Braggart: Second...Worst...Date...Ever...

Brad: You awake and try to move. You struggle, but some invisible force holds your limbs. You are in a clean, white room with various machines and computer terminals on hover-tables around the walls. I-Abail stands before you.

I-Abail: Stranger, you have a priveliged opportunity to aid our technological development.
Captain Braggart: Why does my rectum hurt?
I-Abail: Our technicians have developed a space-time portal which acts as a doorway between our universe and your own. We have chose you as our first experimental subject!

Brad: He points to one corner of the room, where a free standing frame, something like a door-frame, stands. Looking through the frame you can see nothing. Two technicians pull you to your feet and hold you in front of the frame. Another presses a button on a small gadget and, with a faint buzz, your hand and feet are free. You try to break the grip of your captors, but as you do so, they push you forwards through the frame.

Captain Braggart: Why am I considerably less worried about my anus all of a sudden?

Brad: As you pass through the frame you fall forwards. You panic, but then you realise you are not really falling, but rather floating, downwards through empty space. Gradually, your surroundings become lighter and you can see that you are coming to a sort of pathway, seemingly made of a non-material energy. As you alight on it you look around. The path twists and turns, forks and converges ahead of you like a spider's web set in a black void. The path appears to be able to support your weight, but all around is empty blackness. Cautiously, you proceed along the path, feeling your way with your feet. Ahead of you the path forks.
Rob: Right. Going right.
Brad: The path continues ahead and a short distance on forks again.
Rob: Fucking hell...Left fork.
Brad: The path bends to the right and then forks again.
Rob: Left fork. I have this feeling I'm gonna end up back in that room, with him looking decidedly confused.
Brad: You arrive at a four-way junction where two paths converge and two further paths branch off to left and right.
Rob: Right fork.
Brad: The path twists on ahead, and you soon arrive at another fork. You're drawing a map, right?
Rob: Pffft. No.
Brad: Which way are you going?
Rob: Left fork.
Brad: You arrive at a four-way junction where two paths converge and two further paths branch off to left and right.
Rob: Left fork.
Brad: The path continues ahead and a short distance on forks again.
Rob: Left.
Brad: The path bends to the right and then forks again.
Rob: Right fork.
Brad: The path twists and you arrive at another fork.
Rob: Left.
Brad: The path twists and turns in space and you follow it to its end. There is no way forwards except by stepping off the path into space.
Rob: I step off the path.
Brad: You step into space and, to your surprise, your foot touches something solid which bears your weight. Moving forwards, you hear an electrical buzz and a flash of light blinds you momentarily. When you open your eyes and find yourself back in the portal lab, with I-Abail and his technicians watching you.

Captain Braggart: I've just had the most incredible dream...I was living in Salzburg with the local bell-ringer. Talk about an Odd Couple.

Brad: "Then I dreamt I hit this old man with my car, and went to use the phone at this creepy old house. The doorbell was a bit rapey."
Rob: Don't fucking remind me.
Brad: They rush forward to congratulate you. Their experiment has been successful! As I-Abail takes you from the lab back to his office, he explains that they were able to monitor your activities with their instruments and that the experiment has answered several of the unknowns that they had come across in their investigations.

Captain Braggart: That's nice...what?

Brad: However, although their portal may transport your crew back to your own universe, they would be stranded without the ship. The ship would need a much bigger portal, but their investigations indicate that such a portal will occur naturally at a certain time in the vicinity of a black hole in sector 159. I-Abail shows you, on a star chart, where Sector 159 is; you ask about other planets in the galaxy. He in unable to give details, but suggests you head for Malini, a mining planet several light years away. You contact the ship and beam back aboard.

Leaving orbit around Jolsen-3 you search the area for life-supporting planets with your scanners. A small yellow planet is picked up as the nearest.

Rob: Head for the Yellow Planet.
Brad: You take up orbit position around a small planet circling a large red star.
Rob: A literal red star? Like the communist one?

McSpindle: Scanners indicate the planet is probably devoid of all life, my douche.
Captain Braggart: Beam down to the surface, I like the sound of that "probably". Red Shirt #1 and're with me on the away team.

Brad: The three of you head for the transmatter unit. You leave the ship and reappear on the surface of the planet. The heat is tremendous and the cooling systems within your EVA suits must work at maximum. The surface of the planet is volcanic and small eruptions in the ground around you spray out molten lava.

Captain Braggart: Scan this planet for signs of life, it seems deader than....Bela Lugosi?

Brad: The extreme temperature on the planet prevents your scanner from functioning properly. There is no way of telling whether or not life exists here.

Captain Braggart: Let's explore a little more.
Cripps: We're doomed.
Captain Braggart: I wish I could switch you off, Goldenrod.

Brad: Your party approaches the rim of a large crater. Looking cautiosly over the edge, you peer down into a pool of molten rock. The heat is unbearable.

Redshirt #1: Scanners report that this heat is not a bear, Captain.

Brad: Suddenly, the ground behind you ruptures and the rock under your feet crumbles, causing you all to lose your balance.

Captain Braggat: Bollocks.

Brad: Cripps tumbles into his death!

Cripps: My only regret is that no character from Star Wars, however minor, was ever badly burned by lava, thereby making a joke impossible!
Redshirt #1: I didn't see that coming, did you?
Captain Braggart: Jump in after him!
Redshirt #1: Aye-aye captain! *frazzling sound*

Brad: Your communicator bursts into life!


Brad: You beam back aboard before anyone else dies horribly. You return to the bridge.

McSpindle: Just you, me and drinky left, huh?
Captain Braggart: I didn't think Red Shirt #1 would actually follow orders. Though in hindsight that's based on the actions of every other crew member.

Brad: Your nearest destination is a large grey planet some 2.3 light years ahead.

Captain Braggart: Grey can't be dangerous.

Brad: You set course and enter warp speed, dropping out again a short distance from the planet. Sensors indicate that you are travelling past a large spaceport to starboard. If your ship is damaged, you may wish to dock for repairs.

Captain Braggart: Let's dock the ship.
Shimmering Blue Cripps: That's no's a space station.
Captain Braggart: Let's hope they have an Exorcist.
McSpindle: I'll get us some new fluffy dice, captain.
Captain Braggart: Can you make sure they're not pink this time?

Brad: As you approach the spaceport, you receive a confused message warning you not to dock.
You try again to contact the spaceport, but receive no reply.
Rob: As in the message is confusing, or the person giving it seems confused? "Dave's not here, man".

Captain Braggart: On second thought, I'm not sure that I like the sound of a confused message.
McSpindle: On second thoughts, let us not go aboard The Event Horizon. It is a silly place.
Captain Braggart: You our new quotes man then, Mac?

Brad: You take up orbit position round the large grey planet and scan the surface. There are positive signs of intelligent life and you transfer it to the screen. A grey-coloured alien with a tinyround mouth and flattened nose introduces himself as K'tait of the Malini Mining Outpost. You introduce yourself and tell him of your mission. You learn that Malini is a mining planet, mining malinite, a valubale mineral ore.
Rob: Makes sense. It wouldn't make much sense if Malini was the world's primary quarry of Jeffstone.
Brad: He invites you down to the planet and suggests your crew may well be interested in a visit as the "Contests", sporting events arranged for the entertainment of the miners, are in full-swing. He gives you co-ordinates for beaming down but interference distorts the message and you cannot be certain whether he gave you 223.473.85 or 223.473.83.
Rob: Try the co-ordinates ending in "3".

Clank: Wouldn't it makes sense to try point eight four?
McSpindle: Quiet, you!
Captain Braggart: I considered it, but this strange feeling gave me the impression that it wasn't an option.

Brad: What two crew members do you want to take?
Rob: McSpindle and Assistant Security Officer Grimace.

Brad: As you materialise on the planets surface, you are greeted by K'tait. He invites you into his office and tell you more about the planet. You explain you feel that the only way back to your own universe is to travel back through a black hole, and ask whether anyone on the planet is likely to be able to help. He thinks this likely. A bleeper on his desk summons him to "The Arena". He makes his apologies and leaves. You await his return. You wait for perhaps an hour, but K'tait does not return. The door opens and a hover robot enters the room. It stops abruptly as it sense you and various whirrings indicate it is contacting its central processor.

Captain Braggart: Hello...
McSpindle: We're gonna die. I'm impressed we've made it this far.

Brad: It speaks to you, telling you to follows it.

Captain Braggart: We've been told to wait... (whispers to Grimace and McSpindle) Phasers to 'frazzle' from 'pirouette'.

Brad: The hover robot one again contacts its central processor. Again, it tells you to follow, but again you refuse. Without warning, a stun ray comes from one of its limbs, knocking you, and the others, unconcious to the floor. You awake later in a different room.
Rob: I'm not sure what the point of asking us to follow it was...if the backup plan was 'make them follow you'.
Brad: Well, exactly. These books make for really shitty DMs, don't they? The walls of the room you are in are bare and there appears to be no door in the doorway. The boot which you toss at the doorway bounces back, confirming your suspcision that you are held in the room by some kind of energy sheet.

McSpindle: Can I have my boot back now, please?
Captain Braggart: To blazes with your infernal requests, you can have a cold foot!

Brad: Some time later, guards return with a supervisor who asks whether you are going in for the contests.

Captain Braggart: Will they listen to us if I kill a random person?
McSpindle: Am I included in the sample?
Captain Braggart: That wouldn't be fair, plus they're not that much more likely to listen to me if they think I'm the kind of prick who murders one of my mates.
McSpindle: Best not mention the track record then.


1 comment:

  1. Fantastic! I honestly cannot believe that Rob is still alive!