Friday 18 October 2013

Dickass DM - The Next Generation! - Under The Wire: Part 2

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 gamebook Under The Wire. Brad is the DM, and Rob plays his character, Alistair Braggart.

When last we left our intrepid hero (which can be found here, Braggart wasn't really doing much. Let's change that, shall we?

LOUDSPEAKER: Scramble, scramble...Scramble, scramble...
BRAGGART: "Over-easy! I said OVER EASY! This new chef is *bollocks*!"
Brad: Automatically you rise to your feet, donning your kit as you spring towards your waiting Spitfire in Red Wing. In minutes you are in the air, flying high over the green fields of southern England, in search of unwanted visitors...
CONTROL: [over radio] Hello, Red Leader, Control here. Bandits crossing coast over Dover.
BRAGGART: "Hello, Control."
CONTROL: [over radio] Vector 62.
BRAGGART: "Ok...I've never understood what that means."
RED LEADER: [over radio] Roger.
BRAGGART: "No, Alistair."
Brad: Old ones are the best.

RED LEADER: [over radio] Red Leader calling Squadron Six-Two. Climb to 20,000, V formation.
BRAGGART: "You want me to blow up Parliament with Natalie Portman?"
RED LEADER: [over radio] Keep the R/T clear please, gentlemen.
YELLOW LEADER: [over radio] Yellow Leader calling Red Leader. Bandits at two o'clock below.
BRAGGART: "We've got ages then, it's not even midday!"
RED LEADER: [over radio] Red Leader here, message understood. Control - one hundred plus bandits, half Dorniers, half Messerschmidts, six miles out, moving north-north-west. Making attack now.
BRAGGART: "Have fun."

RED LEADER: [over radio] Red Leader to squadron. Formation attack. Choose your own targets, gentlemen.
BRAGGART: "Shit, I'm squadron aren't I? I bloody knew it."
Brad: Ahead and below is a stream of German aircraft.

  1. Engage the fighter escort
  2. Head for the bombers

Rob : Engage the fighter escorts.
Brad: Coming out of your dive towards the fighters, a lone Me109 glides gracefully past you at over 350 mph. Banking around, you attempt to follow.
Rob : At that speed? I must be mental. Oh wait, I'm a Braggart. Of *course* I'm mental.
Brad: Raking the fuselage of the Me109 from above, you see a spurt of flame leap out as it begins to plummet towards the ground far below. First kill of the day!
Rob : First of many!
Brad: In a matter of minutes the Germans have lost nearly forty aircraft. You cannot make a guess as to your own side's losses.
Rob : Let's just hope they're all enemies this time.
Brad: However, there are still plenty of targets and the Germans are not calling it a day yet.
Rob : They call it "ein tag".
RADIO: Bandit on your tail, Braggart.
Brad: Instinctively, you glance back, but see nothing.
BRAGGART: "I haven't got a tai...oh right, it's a phrase."

Brad: You feel the Spitfire shake as an Me109 fires into your tail. Diving violently away to the left, you hope that someone is behind him. The answer to your prayer comes quickly.
Rob : Wow, that was all it took to summon God? A couple of douches, a gamebook and a pizza place?

DICK: [on radio] Got him, Braggart. He's a flamer.
BRAGGART: "Bit homophobic, but thanks."
DICK: [on radio] That's gratitude! You owe me a drink.
BRAGGART: "Alright, but no reacharound this time."
Brad: The Germans are turning for now, their formation in tatters.

  1. Catch them up
  2. Keep a respectful distance
Rob : Keep a respectful distance. While constantly mocking them in a broken German accent.
BRAGGART: "Ja! Is broken! Just like ze bones of your fallen sqvadmates!"
Brad: The German bombers are slowly pulling away from you, their remaining fighter escort desperately trying to fend off the pursuing Spitfires.
RADIO: Red Leader, Red Leader, new formation of bandits heading our way. Estimate fifty - all fighters!
BRAGGART: "Well yeah, they're hardly going to be azaleas."
RED LEADER: [on radio] Red Leader here. Wings Yellow and Green, stay on your targets. Red and Blue, follow me to 20,000.
BRAGGART: "This is....Red Braggart. At that speed, I'll have a problem keeping my plane near your plane, as we're known to say in the classic lingo."
RED LEADER: [on radio] See what you can do, Red Four.
BRAGGART: "Oh, I'm Red Four. Thanks. You'd never said."
Brad: Gradually, you make the climb to 20,000 feet. About a mile away you see the new formation of ME109s peel away from their tight grouping and fall on green and yellow wings.
BRAGGART: "In a year."
Brad: Checking your controls cautiously, you prepare to attack.
RED LEADER: [on radio] Red Leader, here. Green and Yellow wings, break now. Red and Blue, tally ho!
BRAGGART: "Tally indeed, but I won't stand for name calling! Besides, everyone knows we tally bro *before* we tally ho."
Brad: The sky is thick with aircraft bombers, fighters, British and German. Many of the aircraft trail plumes of black smoke as they head for their final resting places in the Channel, and the sky is littered with the white blossoms of parachutes floating downwards. Your squadron is badly outnumbered and as two Focke Wulf fighters climb towards you, you have seconds in which to react.
Rob : I react...

Brad: The two aircraft zoom towards you and before you can act they have riddled your fuselage with cannon fire. The Spitfire shakes with the impact and great tongues of flame pour from your engine. Desperately, you rip back the canopy, knowing you must bail out or fry.
Rob : I'm not having Fry bail out before me!
Brad: As you heave yourself out of the cockpit of your burning Spitfire, the sudden blast of air whips you out and away from the aircraft. You count as you fall, then pull the ripcord of your parachute.
Rob : "One! Ah-ah-ah!"
Brad: The oil from the fire has covered your goggles and you push them up onto your forehead after the chute has opened. You are still rubbing your eyes as you hit the water. The channel is calm and not too cold.
Rob : That's helpful.

Brad: You unharness your chute and kick off your heavy flying boots.
Rob : "Why *do* I wear these?"
Brad: Struggling free of the lines of the chute you get your rubber dinghy inflated and, exhausted, heave yourself into it.
Brad: You bob about in the dinghy for what seems like hours.
Rob : It's eight minutes.
Brad: The sky by now is empty and all you can see are the gulls circling above you.
Rob : "Wait, those look a lot like vult...shit."
Brad: Darkness is closing in and you prepare yourself for a very uncomfortable night in the Channel. As darkness descends, you hear the sound of a motor - not an aircraft, a ship! Out of the darkness, a shape looms...

Rob : "Cthulhu?"
Brad: It is a patrol boat.
Rob : "Ah. That's...somehow worse."
Brad: But as it comes closer and the searchlights mounted on its deck pick you out, you see to your horror that it is German, not English! There is little you can do. You are about to become a prisoner of war.
Rob : Opening credits.
Brad: As the E-boat pulls alongside your dinghy you see your enemy at close quaters for the first time. One German mans the heavy machine-gun at the rear of the boat, pointing it at you; three others stand ready to haul you aboard.
Rob : "Sheißelhoff."
BRAGGART: "Ja, ein *bißchen*..."
Brad: You are finished; for now, anyway. With the help of the Germans you struggle aboard and are given a blankey and a steaming mug of coffee.
Rob : A blankey? Surely not the book's wording there?
Brad: No, but it's funnier to say it is. You settle down in the relative warmth of the forward cabin and almost at once fall asleep.
Rob : All snuggly-buggly, I take it...
Brad: I like the idea of one of the Nazis coming and seeing you, slapping his hands to his shocked face and squeaking "Ach! Mein blankey! Der Englander haßt mein blankey!"

Brad: You awake as the boat pulls into Calais harbour. The scars of the bitter struggle for this town only a few months ago are still obvious.'s just France. It always looks like that. Shithole of Europe.
Rob : Calais has that Cité Europe though, that's not bad.
Brad: Europe contains Belgium. Just saying. The docks are littered with half-submerged ships, blocking channels and denying the Germans the full use of the harbour. The wharves are alive with activity.
Rob : Fucking Klingons, always busy...
Brad: Dock workers are busy unloading cargo while German soldiers stand guard in impassive ranks and staff cars roar up and down the quayside. Presently, the boat's crew throw lines to the shore and soon the boat is tied up. Boxes of ammunition and stores are strewn carelessly about. What you would give for a bomber squadron attach here. The E-boat captain gestures for you to rise and reluctantly you drag yourself to your feet. Following the captain, you jump off the boat and head into the crowd...

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