Sunday 25 September 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 Freeway Warrior II: Mountain Run. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Brag Phoenix.

Catch up with previous Dickass DM installments here!
You move his iPod cable when he's not looking, leaving him unable to listen to his latest purchases.
Brag: Hah! I bet that's enraging!
You replace his iPod with a Zune.
Clansman is defeated.
Brag: For fuck's sake, it's not that bad!
Brad: You identify the brightly dressed clansman as Alcatraz.
Brag: Uh....heh heh....hi.

Brad: ...for his tanned and moustached face bears a long-horned steer skull tattooed across the forehead. The other man, who is dressed in a black, wide-shouldered leather jacket, can be none other than Mad Dog Michigan himself. He looks older than you had imagined him, his receding hair greying slightly at the temples, yet despite his age there is no doubting the unmistakable aura of power that surrounds him. For a moment you stare into his cold grey eyes and glimpse the vengeful evil that lurks there. Then you remember the danger of your situation.
Brag: Alcatraz is here!
Brad: Alcatraz has drawn his pistol, but before he can fire, you rush forward and whip his wrist with the barrel of your gun. He yelps in pain and drops the Beretta auto to the floor, but there is a blade in his other hand and it is flashing towards your chest.
Brag: Hah! Whipped you like...actually, never mind.
Alcatraz: I'll never forgive you for that day at the funfair, Phoenix!
MCSPINDLE: Turn the Gain up! I really want to hear this!
Brag: I can explain!
Brad: Desperately you turn it aside. You have lost the advantage of surprise, however, and Alcatraz seizes the initiative!
Brag: Are you going to give me a chance to explain?!
You get him into a headlock and ruffle his hair as you attempt to explain.

Brag: Right, now...Technically, yes, I did finger your sister.
You pull off a surprisingly good German Suplex.
Brag: I can't deny that. I also can't deny that it was on the teacups.
You pull your arm back and swing forward with a massive right hook.
Alcatraz stumbles backwards and crashes straight through the window to the ground outside!
Brad: As he falls, he calls out:
Alcatraz: I didn't mean that funfair!
Brag: ...What?
MCSPINDLE: I missed that. It sounded like he said "crashtinklearrghthud".
Brag: Uh...Yeah, that's what he said. I thought it was weird too.
Brad: A loud cheer fills the stadium. Ricky Riot, the top Angelinos rider, has just crossed the line and won the motorcycle race. You suddenly realise that Mad Dog Michigan is watching you from the opposite side of the map table.
Brag: Uh...hi!
Brad: He finishes speaking into a radio handset and then, with a cruel sneer, levels his pistol, taking deliberate aim at your head. He is about to squeeze the trigger when Kate appears behind him with a wooden stool clutched unsteadily in her hands. With one fell stroke she smashes it upon his head, leaving him sprawled unconcious on the floor.
Brag: Thank, God! You whittled that just in the nick of time!

Brad: You rush forward to take Kate
Brad: in your arms and she yields to your embrace with a kiss that is warm and passionate.
Kate: [voice trembling and tearful] I thought I'd never see you again, Brag.
Brag: I knew I'd see you, so I didn't masturbate. As much.
Kate: They told me you were dead.
Brag: Who did?
Kate: The guys you just killed and accidentally defenestrated.
Brad: The sound of running feet alerts you both to approaching danger. Before Kate knocked him out, Mad Dog radioed his men and reported your presence in the observation block. Now a dozen of his toughest clansmen are racing along the corridor in answer to his call.
Brag: Bugger.
Kate: Let's get out of here, Brag!
Brad: She starts to run towards a fire escape door.
Brag: I dunno, should we? Of course let's fucking get out of here!
Brad: You follow her, pausing briefly to snatch the map that the two clan leaders were studying when you burst into the room.
**BRAG PHOENIX has acquired MAD DOG MAP**

Brag: I can use this as a jizzrag, worst case scenario.
Brad: You race to catch up with Kate as she runs along the gantry that lies on the other side of the door. A burst of machine pistol fire echoes in your wake as the first of Mad Dog's men enter the observation room. Bullets begin to scream past on either side of you. Twenty yards along the iron gantry you come under additional fire from clansmen in the stadium below.
Brag: How did they get bullets to make sounds?!
Brad: Bullets are slamming into the gantry from all sides but a combination of luck and speed saves you from being hit. At the far end is a covered staircase leading down to an internal thoroughfare, one of many that honey comb the vast area below the stadium tiers. This wide corridor is empty at present, but the sound of running footsteps is growing louder with each passing second, and it will not be very long before the area is teeming with clansmen. Kate points to a service hatch, almost invisible against the dirt-encrusted wall, and suggests you hide there.
Brag: Well, smart-arse, this was your bright idea.
Brad: You nod your agreement and help her to prise it open.
Brag: Murderer!
MCSPINDLE: Sorry? I can't hear you over that fruity little pinny you're wearing!

Brad: On the other side of the hatch you discover an electrical cable duct that is just large enough to accomodate both of you in some discomfort. You enter first, then Kate squeezes in, closing the hatch behind her. It is now pitch black and very claustrophobic. Outside you can hear the angry screams and pounding feet of the clansmen as determinedly they try to track you down.
Brag: I apologise in advance if I fart. Should not have had nachos for lunch, but they taste so good...
Brad: The new of Alcatraz's defenestration has been broken to the Angelinos and you have heard more than one of them vow that they will kill you when they find you.
Brag: IF YOU FIND ME! I mean...whirrrrrrrrrr....
Brad: The only escape route open to you now is to descend the rusty rungs of the iron service ladder on which you stand. Forty rungs later you reach the bottom of the shaft. You can feel the walls of a tunnel leading away to your right but it is too dark for you to see where it leads or what it contains.
Rob: I throw Kate down it.
Brad: Without illumination progress is painfully slow, and gradually the fear that you are becoming hopelessly lost saps your confidence. After a short while, you see a glimmer of light shining through a crack in the ceiling.It is very faint, but it is sufficient for you to be able to discern the outline of a ladder ascending towards it.
Rob: Continue along the service shaft. I sense a double-bluff.
Brad: By feeling your way along the thick cables that festoon the walls of the tunnel, you are able to make reasonable progress in the dark. More than half an hour later you reach a wider section where a faint light seeps down from glass bricks embedded in the ceiling around a circular steel hatch.
Brad: A ladder ascends to the hatch and Kate suggest that it could be worth investigating.

Brag: Well, you managed a successful idea so far...
Brad: You lift up the heavy steel cover carefully and look out. Kate was right: the sight that greets you is the entrance gate to the Reagan Memorial Stadium.
Rob: Whogan?
Brad: After waiting until there is little clan activity in the immediate area, you emerge from the shaft and make your way quickly into the ruins of the southern central sector of the San Angelo stronghold. For the next hour, you wind your way through the ruined city, crawling over the rubble and sprinting across every open area to minimise the risk of being seen.
Rob: I burp babies? Oh, you mean wind pronounced "wined"?
Brad: At length you reach a place that overlooks the southern perimeter wall. There you stop to settle your nerves and catch your breath. In a hushed voice, you tell Kate the wereabouts of your roadster, just in case you do not make it out of San Angelo.
Brag: Tell him he's a murderer. He'll miss being told he's a murderer if I'm not about.
Kate: Don't talk like that, Brag. [grips your hand] It scares me.
Brag: Lower.
Kate: [bass voice] Don't talk like that, Brag. It scares me.
Brag: No, I mean...never mind.


In most stories we get the perspective of the hero, the ordinary, the everyman, but we are all the hero of our own tale, and so it must be true for legions of monsters, from Lucifer to Mordred, from child-thieving fairies to Frankenstein's monster and the Wicked Witch of the West. From our point of view, they may very well be horrible, terrifying monstrosities, but of course they won't see themselves in the same light, and their point of view is what concerns us in these tales. Demons and goblins, dark gods and aliens, creatures of myth and legend, lurkers in darkness and beasts in human clothing ...these are the subjects of The Monster's Corner.

Thanks to our friends at Piatkus Books, we've got five copies of The Monster's Corner to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Friday 7th October, making sure to put "Monster's Corner" as the subject. The first five entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a copy of this awesome book!

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

The Monster's Corner is available from 27th September, courtesy of Piatkus Books.

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

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