Friday 27 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!
Brad: Your midfielders are in position around the centre circle, and they begin passing the ball around in your half of the field. Within seconds, a poorly timed pass back to your goalkeeper leaves the ball dangerously unattended and it is charged down by a Bridgford centre-forward. The Bridgford player is in plenty of space and makes a beeline for goal. Two Hardwick defenders are racing towards him for all they're worth, but it's too late and your keeper knows it. He rushes of his line to close the angle and meet the attacker head on.
Rob: Oh, I have this bad feeling about this...
Brad: Your goalie flings himself at the feet of the forward as he brings back his boot to kick the ball.
Rob: Yeah, here it comes...
Brad: It is smothered before he can connect, and his momentum takes him harmlessly over the top of your prone goalkeeper who is hugging the ball close. Brave keeping, and he's saved some red faces after that defensive error.
Rob: Oh.
McSpindle: Shutout, bitch!
Second Half
Bridgford City score!
Hardwick City 4 - Bridgford City 4
Rob: Damn it!

Hardwick City score!
Hardwick City 5 - Bridgford City 4
Hardwick City score!
Hardwick City 6 - Bridgford City 4
Terry Braggables: Come on you fuckers, don't throw this away!
Full time!
Hardwick City 6 - Bridgford City 4
Brad: Another day, another match notched up. You stick around to thank your players for their hard work today and to make sure the place is in order.
Terry Braggables: Yeah, cheers for that.
McSpindle: Yeah, it's not like it's your jobs or anything.
Brad: The rest of the staff are away and all the executives seem to have long gone. You're alone in your own club - just the way you like it.
McSpindle: A-hem!
Brad: You return to your office before locking up and heading home for the rest of the weekend.
===Monday 14th===
You awake brightly after a peaceful weekend, ready for the start of the sixth week of the league. You are first to arrive at the club, but your players soon begin filling the place with their usual noisy enthusiasm. You can hear them in the dressing room from your office, and you smile to yourself as you consider how best to channel your football expertise into their brains and boots. What do you intend to do during the build up towards your weekend fixture against Gunthorpe?
Rob: I think we should build upon tackling, containment and pressing manoeuvres.
McSpindle: There I was, thinking I'd get a time to shine while you were off playing Sherlock Holmes. Cock.

Brad: Your players are all ears and you address them in a loud voice.
Terry Braggables: Right boys, your opponents have taken a the arse. Rest assured, they'll be fully cocked by the time they meet us.
Will Frost: We can have 'em!
Salvatore Duce: For every goal they get, I get due goal!
Terry Braggables: They'll be expecting that...
McSpindle: I like you Sal, but you've got mutton heads where your cod and chips should be. This is an away game, so you can expect Gunthorpe to be playing at how's-your-father like Stephen Fry in a particularly venomous hedge. They're not going to be selling copies of White Dwarf from a tray around their necks, and no mistake. They're going to be out, loud, proud, up front and personal with a weasel teaching algebra to the French - and I want you guys ready with the hoover, you got me?
Brad: As the training week progresses, you watch as your defensive unit really tightens up. Your focus on defence should really pay off in an away fixture.
===Friday 18th===
Brad: It's the day before your next away fixture. You don't want to risk injuring any of your players, so you instruct your training staff to give them a day of light fitness work and a long warm-down. While they're working, you spend the afternoon in your office catching up with the latest moves in the transfer markets and getting some paperwork out of the way. Your phone rings and you answer absent-mindedly, assuming it's your secretary telling you they players have finished. It's not.
Pete Stoneman [on phone]: It's Pete, boss. Something's happened you ought to know about.
Brad: Pete Stoneman is your best talent scout, and is responsible for having found many of your youth players in the first place.

Pete Stoneman [on phone - guarded voice]: I've been down the Woodborough ground to have a look at Jose Torrego's men, see if there's anyone we could use if they came on the market.
Terry Braggables: Right...
Pete Stoneman [on phone]: Thing is, there's no-one there - not training anyway. Place is swarming with cop cars - bomb squad mainly, there was a tip-off this morning.
Terry Braggables: Right....So who's good in their squad?
Pete Stoneman [on phone]: Apparently some of the players got letters telling them to stay away today and not play tomorrow either. There are loads of rumours going around but one of the hacks was pretty sure Torrego's been threatened too. He's going to find it hard to get a team together for their match tomorrow.
Brad: A chill that started at the bottom of your spine has spread to your neck.
Terry Braggables: Shut that fucking door!
All right, cheers Pete. I'll catch you at the lap dancing club, and this time I'll try to micromanage the dancers less.
Brad: Danny Knox might have been at the start of this terror campaign, but he certainly wasn't their only target. Poor Jose - you know exactly how he feels.
McSpindle: Warm, spongy and Spanish.
Brad: If you ever had reason to suspect him in Danny's abduction before, you can be pretty sure now he isn't involved.
McSpindle: Yes, because there is no such thing as a double-bluff.
Brad: You lock up securely for the night.
===Saturday 19th===
Brad: Early on the morning of your match you drive to the club, where the team will soon be congregating.
McSpindle: I fucking hope so, anyway. Remember that one time?
Terry Braggables: That was knackering.

Brad: You always like to travel to these away fixtures in the official bus with the players themselves, to create a feeling of solidarity. Your chairman, however - when he goes at all, that is - prefers the comfortable isolation of his Jaguar. He's just leaving as you arrive, and your cars pass in the wide gateway of the club grounds.
Terry Braggables: Victor, you off to the game?
Victor: Not today. I'm away for the weekend.
Terry Braggables: They don't just play when you feel like it you know...
Brad: Typical to be skipping a match - he generally prefers a long game of golf followed by an even longer gin and tonic. But odd that he tried to slip away without telling you.
Terry Braggables: Drunks and golf are a dangerous mix...
McSpindle: He makes my Scooby-Doo sense tingle.
Brad: You turn to wish him a safe journey, but his dark window is already up, and anyway the players are starting to arrive.
Terry Braggables: Fine, fuck you then.
Rob Rose: Beautiful morning, chief!
Ian Leslie: All right, boss?
Terry Braggables: One at a time!
Brad: The players all file on the bus, and when the kit bags and McSpindle have been stowed, you board and begin the two hour commute to Gunthorpe. On the way you study the form of the opposition.
Gunthorpe United FC
Gunthorpe have won three out of five this season, and with Jake Tapper preaching from the front the team is in fearless mood. But technically they are an average side, and if your players keep their heads and combine well together, the better team should win on the day.
Bobak - Fitzgerald - Fry.
Bostock - Frost - Duval - Hoggart
Wood - Suda

Radio: Welcome to another feast of football. We're live at Gunthorpe, where title hopefuls Hardwick City are about to get us underway at what promises to be a thrilling fixture.
First Half
Gunthorpe United have been awarded a corner.
They fail to capitalise on it.
Gunthorpe United score!
Gunthorpe United 1 - Hardwick City 0
Hardwick City score!
Gunthorpe United 1 - Hardwick City 1
Gunthorpe United score!
Gunthorpe United 2 - Hardwick City 1
Gunthorpe United score!
Gunthorpe United 3 - Hardwick City 1
Half time
Gunthorpe United 3 - Hardwick City 1
Second Half
Gunthorpe United score!
Gunthorpe United 4 - Hardwick City 1
Rob: For fuck's sake!

Brad: It's the 76th minute and the game is running smoothly after a period of calm.
But Gunthorpe have been fighting hard for territory, and Hoggart loses a midfield tussle with the Gunthorpe centre-back - who slots through a clever little pass to their attacking midfielder. The home crowd are on their feet and for a moment Gunthorpe look to be in with a chance as their players press forward in numbers. But the roar suddenly dies away as the ball is expertly collected in the box by Antek Bobak, who darts forward and whips a cross out wide to John Hoggart on the right wing. Gunthorpe left gaping holes in their defence when they powered forward for their last attack, and Toby Wood is quick to capitalise as he makes a single-minded run down the centre of the pitch.
Terry Braggables: Score three, somehow!
Brad: A sole defender is useless when a counter-measure like this is employed correctly, and Hoggart and Wood are stride for stride now. Hoggart cuts in from the right and the two have the Gunthorpe defender in a pincer. He stands his ground to head off John Hoggart, but your midfield has his wits about him. A perfectly well-timed pass sees the ball at the feet of Toby Wood who is in the box with only the keeper to beat.
Terry Braggables: Give him Wood!
Brad: Woody's been here a million times before - like every night when he falls asleep - and he wastes no time in drilling the ball past the shipwrecked keeper and into the waiting goal.
McSpindle: What a goal!
Brad: That was worth the season-ticket price alone.
Gunthorpe United 4 - Hardwick City 2
Brad: The three men at the source of the attack run to the visitor's stand to celebrate in front of 2000 admirers. Has that clinched the match for you?
Or was it too little too late? Either way, there's some time left on the clock...
Gunthorpe United score!
Gunthorpe United 5 - Hardwick City 2
Full Time

Terry Braggables: God-damn it!
Brad: You might not be out of the woods just yet, but you're still in the hat for a chance of winning this league. Keep your eyes focused on the job ahead, because there's still work to do - there's the small matter of trying to get Danny Knox back safe and sound for a start! Now get back on the coach and talk over the match with your players as you make your way back to Hardwick City FC. On the journey home the team bus gets stuck in traffic. You've finished going through the notes you made onyour player performances, and the players are dozing and chatting quietly to each other behind you.
You stare out of the window at that large houses, and realise you've been here once before - when you were offered the job, Victor had invited you round to his house for dinner. Wasn't that round here somewhere? Do you have a good reason to go there again?
Rob: Not really.
Brad: You decide to spend the rest of your weekend at home.
McSpindle: Yeah, lounging around at home, solving the case from your armchair. I bet that's what all the great detectives do.
Terry Braggables: Well, maybe I'll be struck by inspiration, like House.
McSpindle: You'll get struck by something, young man.
Terry Braggables: Stop calling your penis 'Something'.
McSpindle: Well, I've got to call it...something.
Brad: Unfortunately, there was information hidden at Victor's house that you need; without it, Danny will never make it out alive and his body will be found floating in the river a month from now. You adventure is over.
Rob: Goddamnit.
Brad: That is the fucking darkest ending to one of these ever.
Dickass DM returns on Friday 10th June, as we rejoin Brag Phoenix and MCSPINDLE in Freeway Warrior!


Supers! is a game all about playing costumed heroes - the kinds of hero you see in good, old-fashioned comic books.

These heroes are larger-than-life; they have high ideals and they know right from wrong. Their world is black-and-white; they are good and the villains are bad. There are no real grey areas. Their cause is justice, liberty and freedom. They seek to protect the weak and defend the common man. Most are loved by all; some are misunderstood and don't get the adoration they feel they deserve. But regardless, they strive to do the right thing and aim to make a difference.

This is a straightforward but fun role-playing game, with quick character generation and easy-to-understand rules. You can pick up a few dice and be playing Supers! within minutes.

Thanks to our friends at Cubicle 7, we've got a copy of Supers!to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name to before midday on Friday 3rd June, making sure to put "Supers!" as the subject. The first entry out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Supers!" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Supers! is available now, priced £16.99.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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