Sunday 14 August 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 Ian Livingstone gamebook Island of the Lizard King. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Brag Slytherin.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!
Brad: Drawing your sword, you charge round the corner to gain the initiative. Both of the Lizard Men are standing with their back to you as you run at them. You are able to slay one before they realise they are being attacked, but you must fight the other.
The Lizard Man lends you his 3DS and you get a migraine.
Rob: Arrrrgh! You have to hold it at a particular angle!
You eBay his 3DS.
Rob: Ha! People still want to buy it!
You deride his taste in corn snacks.
Brag: Supermarket own brand tortillas? Really?!

He hits you on the head with a stale bap.
You put his house up for sale.
Lizard Man is defeated.
Brad: You quickly search the bodies of the Lizard Men. In one of their pockets you find three iron keys which you put in your own pocket.
***BRAG SLYTHERIN has acquired IRON KEY***
***BRAG SLYTHERIN has acquired IRON KEY***
***BRAG SLYTHERIN has acquired IRON KEY***

Rob: Wouldn't it have been quicker to just put 'keys'?
Brad: Cut and paste, bitch. Not wasting any more time, you run off to find the slave mines.
Rob: Hey, you wasted the time using Ctrl+V!
Brad: Behind the huts, a path leads through the trees to the rocky face of a steep hill. In the centre of the rock-face you see the square shape of a mine entrance leading into the hill. There are many footprints leading in and out of the mine.
Rob: See, I'm playing Fallout: New Vegas now, so mines are something I'm familiar with.
Brad: You step carefully inside, keeping close to the wall. The tunnel is lit by torches which cast eerie shadows all around. You sense that you are walking downhill, and soon arrive at a junction.
Rob: Hmmm...On the one hand, I could...Left!
Brad: The tunnel continues straight ahead until you arrive at the edge of a vertical downward shaft. A wooden ladder is secured to the side of it, but you cannot see down to the bottom.
Rob: Climb down the ladder.
Brad: Stepping carefully down the ladder, you eventually reach the bottom of the shaft. In the dim light you see a new tunnel, from which you hear the faint sound of singing. As you walk down the tunnel, the singing grows louder and you also hear the sound of stone being hammered. Suddenly, you hear footsteps behind you.

Brag: Omer?
Rob: I turn to face whoever is approaching!
Brad: Walking down the tunnel towards you is a Lizard Man carrying a pail. It looks surprised to see you and drops its pail to the ground.
Rob: ...Bucket!
Brad: With a guttural cry it runs forward to attack you with its scimitar.
You drop the bucket over its head.
You play a drum-beat on it.
You hit it with another bucket.
Hilarity ensues.
Lizard Man is defeated.
Brad: You pick up the Lizard Man's pail as it contains water which you imagine would be very welcome to the thirsty slaves.
Rob: As long as it is water...
Brad: You walk in until the tunnel opens out into a chamber. What you see inside the chamber fills you with rage. Six Dwarfs stripped to the waist and chained together like animals are toiling with hammers at a rock face. An armoured Lizard Man urges them to work faster, occasionaly lashing one of them across the back with its bullwhip.
Brag: Oh, my God...*sniggers* I'm so angry at this...

Brad: This is eerily like the porn we found in Brian's desk, isn't it?
Rob: To the point where I now think he wrote this book.
Brad: You put the pail down and run forward to attack the Lizard Man.
The Lizard Man whips a dwarf to spite you.
You definitely do not get turned on.
Brag: Now...I'm...*chuckle*...pissed.
Brad: The Dwarfs, suddently encouraged by the possibilty of freedom, turn to help you slay the guard with their hammers. The Lizard Man falls to the ground under a barrage of blows and the Dwarfs begin to cheer. They smash open their shackles and gathe round to thank you and quench their thirst with the water in the pail. Why didn't they just do that earlier?
Brag: Please, don't thank me; this is quite creepy. Like 'someone takes a photo and I'm a beardy paedo' creepy.
Brad: You tell them of your quest to kill the Lizard King and they all offer to help.
Brag: Hey, shorties, where are the....tallies?
Wheezy the Dwarf: They are working in other chambers deeper in the mine.
Brag: I've always wanted to say this. Take me there as fast as your little legs will carry you!

Brad: Taking the Lizard Man's cloak to disguise yourself, you form the Dwarfs into a line so that it appears that you are a guard in charge of a chain gang of slaves.
When did this make the leap from "Dungeons & Dragons Campaign" to "Laurel and Hardy Film"?
You crack the whip with a smile and set off down the tunnel. You follow the Dwarfs down endless tunnels, deeper and deeper into the mine.
Rob: I can't help but think of myself as Indiana Jones now.
Brad: As you pass by another tunnel branch, you see a Lizard Man walking down it towards you.
Rob: Cracking whips with a smile...I give him a cheeky nod and whip the little shits into shape.
Brad: The approaching Lizard Man calls out to you, asking where you are heading. You cannot hope to impersonate a Lizard Man at close range and are forced to draw your sword.
Rob: Damnit.
Brad: This has gotten combat heavy.
Rob: I was going to try and impersonate a Lizard Man via MSN.
Brad: Yeah, that worked so well with the Tusken Raider noise.
Rob: Huuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh, Hurgh hurgh Huuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrghhhh.
You beat him over the head with some of Brian's S&M Dwarf Porn.
The Dwarfs run to help you and the Lizard Man is soon overpowered.
Brad: You line up the Dwarfs again, and set off along the tunnel.
The Dwarfs walk quickly through the tunnels, their knowledge of the complex network acquired through months of slavery. They finally come to a halt and one of them whispers to you that another group of prisoners is working around the next bend. You hear the dull sounds of picks and hammers hitting rock and tell the Dwarfs that they walk on and that you will signal to them the moment they should attack the prisoners guards.

Brag: It's handy that you dwarfs know all these tunnels. Next time though, can we go through the full-size ones instead? Only, my neck is killing me.
Brad: They walk round the bend and you see a group of men and Elves chained together working at a rock face, like something from a irritating accountant's porno stash.
Rob: Men and Elvis? Sorry, misread that.
Brad: Two Orc Guards are yelling at them to work faster. They look surprised to see you but do not see through your disguise until you are almost alongside them. They scream a battle cry and draw their swords.
Rob: Why do they see me when I'm almost alongside them?
Brad: Reptiles aren't know for their eyesight.
Rob: Says you. I've never seen one at the optician.
Brad: One of the Orcs swings at you with its sword and you must fight it.
You ask him how come he's stuck doing this piece of shit, rather than being in the new The Hobbit movie.
You stick a cocktail stick up his nose.
He sticks a cocktail stick up your noise...with the pickled onion still on!
Brag: Oooooh, that's stingy!
The Dwarfs wonder how come they're in this piece of shit, rather than being in the new The Hobbit movie.
Orc Guard is defeated.
Rob: Hey, this is about Series Thirteen of Dickass DM! Fuck those primadonnas.
Brad: The Elves and men cheer when the second Orc is slain. The Dwarfs break their chains and now you have fourteen friends to help you finish your quest. One of them is from Oyster Bay, and despite his joy at the prospect of freedom, he is saddened by the news of Mungo Redshirt's death.

Brag: He died doing what he loved. Yelling incoherently while a Giant Crab pummelled him to death.
Brad: Armed with their owntools of slavery, the prisoners ask you to lead them to attack the stone fort used as the prison camp where the Lizard King still resides, protected by his mutant slaves and elite guards.
Brag: Yeah, why not?
Brad: You set off again through the tunnels to release the rest of the slave miners.
Brag: Why bother? They're underage!
Brad: You are now the leader of sixty-three dedicated followers, eager for revenge.
Rob: Fuckin' Yeeeeeeeeah....
Words: Brad Harmer & Robert Wade
You can become Brad's "friend" on Facebook, or you can "follow" him on Twitter. Depends how creepy you want to sound really.
This is intended as a loving tribute to Ian Livingstone, the Fighting Fantasy series, Island of the Lizard King, and all other gamebooks of yesteryear.

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