Sunday, 8 May 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 Tom Sheldon gamebook Big Match Manager. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Terry Braggables.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!
===Monday 17th===
Brad: You've got an away match coming up in a few days against Oxton Wanderers. You must decide how best to spend your time.
Rob: Spend time with the players, we still need a win.
Brad: They say a week's a long time in football...is that true? Do they say that?...and that's nearly how long you've got. What do you want to concentrate on this week?
Rob: To answer your first question, a week is considered a long time, mainly because fixture congestion means that often teams could play as many as three games in a seven day period.
Brad: Poor bastards. That's four and a half hours week work. I think they're underpaid, now I know that.
Rob: I know, the dears...
I think we should concentrate on overall fitness.
McSpindle: There's no "I" in "Hardwick City".
Terry Braggables: There are tw...never mind.
Brad: If your team were stronger and fitter, they would recover better from injuries. You decide to spend the week concentrating on circuit training and gym-work.
===Saturday 22nd===
Brad: It's the day of your first away match of the season. Your players are in a raucous mood as they board the team bus - they always enjoy travelling.
Rob: Those craaaaazy kids...
Brad: You climb aboard last and greet your regular driver, Clank.

Clank: Don't s'pose you've got the map have you, guv? It wasn't in the usual place.
Brad: The missing route map - you'd forgotten all about it!
Terry Braggables: Shouldn't we have had this conversation yesterday?
Brad: It's a serious fuck up on the designer's part. You give the map to Clank, who seems pleased to have his crumpled, coffee-stained map back; but as you go to your seat, he calls you back.
Clank: Careful chief - you forgot this.
Brad: He hands you a slip of paper.
Clank: It fell out of the map when I opened it.
Rob: And that didn't show up when I read the map why?
Brad: It's a small scrap of lined notebook paper with writing on it.
Terry Braggables: Retcon fail. I know, I realise.
Brad: I know, right? This is like being GMd by a four year old kid who keeps adding extra bits. I'm half expecting Voltron to be the referee for the next match.
The writing is not yours.
09
IP HOTEL
0 TAYLOR ST.
Rob: Ip Hotel? Sounds like a Kung-fu movie.
Brad: You place it carefully in your pocket.
Rob: Is that still part of the address?
Brad: There will be time to have another look at it later, but for now there's a football match to think about.
Rob: My keen sense of detection skills have come up with a theory for later..
Brad: Time to select your team!
Rob: Right.

Rose
Fry - Bobak - Neville - Carvalho
Bostock - Wehnert - Hurley
Parker - Leslie
Wood

Brad: Oxton have a reputation - some say an unfair one - for playing boring football. Their strikers are certainly less than flamboyant and their defence is rock solid. Manager Jack Tatchell seems to consider winning less important than not losing.
Terry Braggables: Pussy.
Brad: Pheeep! The shrill whistle sounds and the ball is kicked for the first time. The Wanderers' stadium is packed with the distinctive blue and black of their supporters, but your fans are out in force too and singing away merrily behind the Oxton Goal. What type of manager are you?
Rob: Is this a trick question?
Brad: Are you one who strides up and down the touchline shouting orders, or one who sits quietly, letting the players get on with the job?
McSpindle: If I know you, you can't stop interfering, can you?
Terry Braggables: That's why I've got an assistant. On you go.
McSpindle: Ugh.
Oi! You lot! Phwoar! Yeah! Off the top and over the defences! You can't punch a wallaby like that, you'll be out for a banjo! Kick it! Pass it up the midfield flank!
Terry Braggables: Never mind, I'll do it myself.
Brad: You stand at the edge of your dugout, flapping your arms around and shouting at the players to press forward, pass the ball and use their common sense. But you're putting off the linesman, and a couple of minutes in the match you're outraged when he completely ignores a clear foul on your wing back.
Terry Braggables: You son of a motherfucker!
Rob: I'm going to tell him what I think.
Brad: You suggest to the linesman that he might have certain optical requirements. This really annoys him.
Terry Braggables: Gouge them out then, you prick! YOu're not using them!
Brad: The first time you score a goal in this match, it won't count as he will rule it offside. These are the match officials! Keep your temper in check!
Rob: What the hell? You can't just change the rules because you're having a man's period!
First Half

00:00
00:15
00:30
Oxton Wanderers score!
Rob: Cunts.
Oxton Wanderers 1 - Hardwick City 0
Hardwick City score!
Brad: The linesman rules it offside and the goal is disallowed.
Terry Braggables: You absolute fucking horrorcunt!
Hardwick City Score!
Oxton Wanderers 1 - Hardwick City 1
Terry Braggables: Stitch that you bastards!
Hardwick City are awarded a Corner
The excellent defense from Oxton Wanderers prevents them from capitalising on it, though.
Oxton Wanderers are awarded a corner
They fail to capitalise on it.
00:45
Half Time
Oxton Wanderers 1 - Hardwick City 1

Brad: Tension is high between the players as they march back to the dressing rooms at half time. The Oxton goalkeeper makes a rude comment about Ian Leslie's mum which he takes very personally, and before you can step in a full-scale fight has broken out in the tunnel!
So much for the beautiful game.
Rob: Is that word for word?
Brad: Yes. Sometimes it's funnier than anything I could possibly come up with.
Rob: I wait until the fight settles down.
I'm not intervening in case Captain Catarracts disallows my earlier goal because his subscription to Take A Break was cancelled.
Brad: Unfortunately the players aren't showing any signs of backing down, and several punches are thrown before the match officials can intervene.
Rob: Let's hope my team got the better of the exchange.
Brad: Antek Bobak has been injured in the fight and must be substituted in the second half.
Rob: Shite. My other option is Commander Punchhappy.
Brad: One of the Wanderer's players is injured.
Rob: Wa-hey!
Brad: You can use someone who isn't a defender, but they have a -2 skill penalty.
Rob: Fitzgerald it is. Damn.
Brad: Of course, you have the minimum number of defenders required, so you can just put another midfielder out, I guess. Or any other position. I think you're only allowed one goalie.
Rob: Yeah, that makes sense.
Brad: In hockey you can take the goalie off if you want. But that's just a generally more entertaining sport. Sticking with Fitzgerald?
Brad: You spend the interval re-focusing the team and calming their nerves.
Second Half
00:45
01:00
01:15
Hardwick City are awarded a penalty kick by Referee Voltron.
Rob: Nice!
Hardwick City Scores!
Oxton Wanderer 1 - Hardwick City 2
The whistle blows for full time!

Rob: Win!
Brad: What a result! And away from home! Those are three priceless points!
Rob: I get it. A good result.
Brad: So much for their legendary defence; you're obviously a natural manager!
On the bus on your way back home, you tell your player's you're very disappointed with their behaviour in the tunnel.
Ricky Neville: They started it!
Klaus Wehnert: Everybody is having to grow up!
Terry Braggables: Klaus, why is that a bad...oh, you're having a grammar fail.
Carlos de Carvalho: But if it's your family name it is personal!
Terry Braggables: Look, let's everyone stop being so bloody foreign about this!
McSpindle: Stick to the footbal! Do you want to win this league or not? You're all a terrible shade of builder's souffle, and I've had it up to the crash barrier with the lot of you! Pull your pants up and buckle on your headgear, because we've got to show to all the over rutting stags that we've got the strongest antlers - get me?
I think I'm getting quite good at this football talk, you know.
Terry Braggables: I...yeah...so we won!
Brad: As the players joke and tease each other, your mind is already on other things.
Rob: I go and investigate The Ship Hotel, 130 Taylor Street. Room 209.
Brad: Back in your office, you place together the scrap of paper you found in the kidnapper's wallet and the one that fell out of the map. Together they make a complete page!
Rob: It's got to have been a weird cut for that to happen.
McSpindle: Thank god for exposition. I don't think any off us could possibly have figured that two piece jigsaw puzzle out otherwise.
Brad: But why was one of them in Victor's office?
Terry Braggables: One of his off-license customers is dodgy...
Brad: You decide to investigate, and look up the address on the Internet. There is it: The Ship Hotel, Taylor Street.
Rob: Is my striker pictured in the ad?
Brad: It's about thirty minutes from here by car, but maybe you should telephone first.
Rob: ...Why?
Brad: You can dial the number or forget the whole thing. I can honestly say that this book is the Dickassiest DM ever.

Terry Braggables: Hello there, I don't suppose you're involved in a kidnapping plot...Hello?
Brad: You punch the number into the phone,
McSpindle: Why are you doing that? It's a rotary phone!
Terry Braggables: It has to learn who's boss. None of this 'number not recognised' bollocks.
Brad: After three rings, a receptionist answers.
Receptionist: The Ship Hotel. Can I help you?
Terry Braggables: Can I speak to room 209 please? I've been phoned regarding a hooker and a pizza, and need clarification.
Brad: There is a brief pause while you are connected, then the phone begins to ring again. You are startled at how quickly it is answered, and the voice on the other end is female.
Voice: Yes?
Terry Braggables: Are you a lesbian pizza-eater? That'd be awesome...Seriously, what do I call such a magical thing?
Voice: Is that Newsdesk?
Brad: You realise you must be speaking to a reporter.
Terry Braggables: Uh...yes?
Rob: Claim to be an editor. The best relationships are built on lies.
Brad: I know. Your girlfriend still thinks you're a comedy writer, right?
Rob: Exactly.
Terry Braggables: Yes...it's...Sam. I'm phoning to see if you have any information on Danny Knox.
Voice: Sam? Sam who? I don't know you.
Terry Braggables: Sam Bodyisgoingtogettheirarsekickediftheydon'tcoughupthetruth.
Voice: If you're from Newsdesk then you'll know the code I gave you.

Brad: Do you know the code?
Rob: Unlikely, I would've thought, but let's have a look back through...Nope, though I can identify where I'd have probably got it.
Terry Braggables: Look, I don't know it. I mean, I've forgotten.
Voice: Who is this?
Rob: I explain the mistake. I know who's on the other end of this phone.
Terry Braggables: Look, you don't know me...I'm Terry Braggables. I'm the manager at Hardwick City. There have been some strange things happening here since Danny disappeared and I came across this address.
Rob: She does know me.
Brad: There is a long, chilling, pause.
Voice: I do know you actually. This is Anna Wheezy - I interviewed you last Saturday after the match, remember?
Terry Braggables: I remember you; why's your hotel room number come up in all this?
Anna: I think I'm onto something about Danny Knox. [whisper] But they must have found me...This line might be bugged. And anyway, how do I know you're who you say you are?
Terry Braggables: Great. Just like that time with the sex scandal. Why don't we meet somewhere?
Anna: Okay, but hurry. We may not have much time. And come alone.
Terry Braggables: I always do. It's why I'm not married.
TO BE CONTINUED...

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