Friday 24 June 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 Joe Dever gamebook Highway Holocaust. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Brag Phoenix.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!
Brad: When you reach it, she could thrown the containers to you, and then help you with them when you climb back out. The idea does not impress her.
Kate: It's been so long, I can't remember the last time I took a dip in some real water. I'm sick o' washin' in sand. If you think I'm gonna hang around up here while you splash about down there, you've got another think comin', buster!
Brad: With that she grabs two of the plastic containers and lowers herself over the edge.
Brag: Feisty...I like that...
MCSPINDLE: You're going to try and bang her, arent' you?
Brag: She doesn't know, but I've already tried twice.
Brad: Seconds later you hear her scream and you rush forward to see her tumbling head-over-heels towards the lake. She hits the water with a loud splash and disappears from view. Briefly she surfaces, thrashing her arms and shouting.
Kate: Help, Brag! I can't swim!
Brag: Why the fuck did you come down here with me?!
Brad: You drop your containers and slide down the slope, riding the loose shale feet first. As you near the bottom you dig in your heels, using the speed of your descent to lever you forwards into a perfect dive. You reach Kate in a matter of seconds, but she is struggling so fiercely that it takes many minutes before you are able to get hold of her and swim towards the shallows.
Brag: Stop struggling, you stupid bitch!
Brad: Eventually, breathless and bedraggled, you crawl out of the water and collapse side by side on the muddy shore.
MCSPINDLE: So...that's meatbag courtship, is it?
Brag: It's usually a bit less wet. A bit. Looks like you got your bath sooner than you expected! Bitch!

Brad: You gently brush aside a few tangled strands of blonde hair that are hanging down in front of her face.
Kate: That's the second time you've saved my life. It's getting to be a habit.
Brag: What, this? I suppose I can make you a nun outfit, it was going to be a jumper.
Brad: She smiles, holding you with her eyes as she kisses her own hand and touches it to your cheek. You feel drawn towards her and, as your lips meet and you feel the tenderness of her touch, it is as if nothing else in the world exists.
MCSPINDLE: Wa-hey!!!!
Brag: Leave it out!
Brad: The illusion of peace is shattered by a burst of gunfire.
Brag: I swear it's not usually that fast.
Brad: You jump up as bullets slap the water and punch a line of holes along the muddy shore.
Kate: Clansmen!

Brad: She points across the lake at two figures silhoutted against the cloudless sky. Quickly you grab her by the arm and run towards the cover of some rocks topped with thorny foliage, growing less than twenty yards away. The clansmen snigger as they raise their machine pistols to fire at your fleeing forms.
Rob: Why do they snigger? Are they five?
Brad: You seen Kate dive safely into cover and are about to follow her when suddenly the dust erupts around your feet and you feel a sharp pain cut across the back of your right calf. You hobble the last few yards to cover, your wound making you grit your teeth.
Rob: Have I got any medkits?
Brad: No. Another burst of fire cuts through the bushes within inches of your skull. Fear blocks out the pain, making you concentrate on finding a way out of the ambush. Carefully, you raise your head and peer through the foliage. One of the clansmen is beginning to move around the edge of the hollow while his partner kneels and waits to give covering fire.
Your fear turns to indignation when you realise that he is going after your car.
Rob: Use the pistol. Nobody touches the car.
Brad: You keep your eyes focused on the clansman as you unshoulder your weapon.
Rob: It's over my shoulder? That seems inefficient.
Brad: He is now less than 100 yards from the roadster and drawing closer with every passing second. You take aim at the widest part of the clansman's torso, and hold your breath as you get ready to fire. Your bullet hits the clansman in the chest and knocks him clean off his feet.
Rob: Ouch, so his feet are just attached to stumps?
Brad: As he disappears from sight, his partner unleashes a long burst of fire that powders the screen behind you. When the firing stops, you raise your head and peer through the bushes, expecting to see your enemy reloading. Instead he discards his empty magazine and turns to run away. He has exhausted his ammunition and has decided to make his escape before you have a chance to return fire. As soon as you are sure that the coast is clear, you rise cautiously and help Kate to her feet.
The sound of a motorcycle riding away into the distance reassures you that your ambusher has fled, and confidently you scramble up the slope and go to examine the body of the one who did not get away. You turn out the pockets of the dead clansman and empty the leather satchel that he carried over his shoulder. Among his person effects you discover the following items:
9mm pistol
9mm Machine Pistol
+2 Knife
Two meals
Water Canteen
1/2 pint of drinking water
5 Medi-kits
Cigarette lighter
HE Grenade
Gold Nugget
Rob: Fucking hell.
Brad: Do you want to take any of those?
Rob: I'll take the meals, the water, the knife, the medi kits. Ooh, and the lighter could be handy.
Brad: Anything else?
Rob: Gold nugget!
Brad: Anything else? You'll need to start dropping items if you want to take anything else.
Rob: I'll leave it there.
Brad: You are sifting through his possessions, trying to decide which ones to keep, when you hear Kate calling to you to come and look at the dead man's motorcycle.
Brag: Is it awesome?

Brad: Its fuel tank bears the same lion's head symbol as those two scouts you encountered on the freeway, but it is what Kate has found inside the saddle-bag that is of greater interest. Carefully, Kate examines a package she has removed from the saddle-bag. It is about the size on a man's shoe, covered with a shiny black plastic wrapping, and has a keypad and time attached to the side.
Kate: Well, it looks like we got ourselves one mighty big fire-cracker, here.
Brad: She passes it to you.
Brag: I don't just take gifts from people who can't swim, what is this?
Kate: About seven pounds of military grade Zevatec explosive; enough to make a hole the size of this lake.
Brag: Zevatec? Who wrote this shit?
Kate: Don't worry, it's safe.
Brag: Like swimming?
Brad: She takes the explosive back.
Kate: I saw the Lions use this stuff in Oklhama. It's as stable as clay until you prime and time it, then...boom! I think I'll hang on to it. It could come in useful.
Brad: She slips the Zevatec into her bag and then walks back towards the lake.
Brag: All right, as long as you carry it. My inventory's fit to burst.
Kate: C'mon, Brag. We'd better hustle that water. When that scout gets back to the Lions, Mad Dog's gonna be hot on our heels.
MCSPINDLE: And Alcatraz.
Brag: Don't remind me.
Brad: You fill the containers and hurry back to Sweetwaters.
Kate: What's the story with you and Alcatraz, anyway?
Brag: Not while there's a lady present.
Brad: When you tell Uncle Jonas what has happened at the lake, he cancels the food search and recalls everyone to the bus. As soon as all are safely aboard, you head back on to the freeway and begin the sixty-six mile journey to Big Spring. As you cruise along the deserted freeway you glance frequently to the north, on the lookout for a dust cloud that would herald the arrival of the Detroit Lions. But no matter how hard you try to concentrate on your role as convoy scout, you cannot seem to think of anything but your growing affection for Kate.
Brag: It's the pleats. On the pants.
MCSPINDLE: Brag's got a girlfriend! Brag's got a girlfriend!
Brag: Gay off, murderer!
MCSPINDLE: I took a bullet through that memory. I couldn't care less, now.
Brag: How do you know what I'm talking about then?

Brad: An hour later, as you reach Colorado City, your romantic day-dreaming is brought to an abrupt end as a serious problem looms into view.
Rob: How can a loom be a problem?
Brad: The apex of the bridge that carries Freeway 20 across the Colorado River has collapsed, leaving a gap nearly eight feet wide. You stop the convoy and Cutter examines the damage. He returns to report that the bridge is not beyond repair.
Cutter: It's gonna take at least three hours, maybe four, to rig a ramp across that gap strong enough to support the tanker.
Brag: How the fuck were you even fathoming that?
Brad: At length it is decided that you should scout along the river for another place to cross, while the colovy sets to work building a ramp.
MCSPINDLE: Oh, what a fucking surprise.
Brag: I'm starting to think we should go travelling without them, McS. We pretty much are, except this way my sense of grammar wouldn't be getting raped every other hour.
Brad: Then, if your search proves fruitless, at least the repair of the bridge will be well under way.
Rob: I scout along the river to the south.
Brad: You follow the Colorado River as it wends its torturous course south. The level of the water is very low, but the sheer banks dash all hope of fording this once-mighty river. All the smaller bridge south of Colorado City are no longer standing. An hour slips past, and you are just about to turn around and rejoin the others, when you happen upon a section of the bank that slopes gently towards the river. You stop the car and start walking towards it, hopefully.
Standing at the water's edge, you see that the river is unusually dark. You decide to test its depth and begin to wade across, but you have taken less than a dozen steps and the water is already up to your chin. Sadly, you return to the bank. As you emerge from the water, you notice that your boots are covered with mud and you stop to scrape them clean.
Brag: Wait, that's not mud!
Brad: Unfortunately, you are standing directly in front of a nest of scorpions, and it is not until you are stooping to pick up a stick that you spot the danger. Swiftly you withdraw your hand just in time to save yourself from their deadly sting. You climb back into the BragWagon and return to the convoy. On your arrival at Colorado City you discover that the colony has been busy during your absence. Using materials salvaged from the ruins of nearby factories, they have managed to put down a platform that spans the gap in the middle of the bridge.
Now Cutter is supervising the strengthening of this platform to ensure that it will withstand the weight of the loaded tanker, the heaviest of the convoy vehicles.
Rob: If it doesn't and they drop, this is the biggest fucking anticlimax ever.
Brad: You tell everyone that you were unable to find an alternative way across the tiver, expecting the news to be met with disappointment.
Brag: Go the other way!
Brad: But most of the colony greets your scouting report with a nod of approval, a reaction that baffles you until Kate offers an explanation.
Kate: That explosive we found at Lake Sweetwater is now under the bridge.
Brad: She points to the newly laid platform.
Kate: Once we're all on the other side, I'll trigger the timer and two minutes later...boom! No bridge! It might not stop the Lions chasing us but it should keep 'em off our backs until we reach Big Spring.
Brag: Your timing is okay, right? Only I don't want to be falling suddenly and cursing your face.


Five strangers face the unthinkable when they wake up and find themselves trapped. With no idea how they got there they frantically try to figure out how to escape. The disoriented group quickly realise the truth about their situation when they discover another room containing enough water to survive for 30 days... and a razor sharp surgical knife.

The intention becomes quite clear. Whoever put them in this place wants to see just how long it will take before the hunger makes them commit unspeakable acts and cross a very deadly line.

Thanks to our friends at Lions Gate Home Entertainment, we've got two copies of Hunger on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name to before midday on Friday 1st July, making sure to put "Hunger" as the subject. The first two entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

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

Hunger is out on DVD on June 27, courtesy of Lions Gate Home Entertainment

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

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