Tuesday, June 15, 2010

RPG.NET rant #15 The Wrong Room In Ryleh

RPG.NET rant #15
The Wrong Room In Ryleh

originally posted on 09-13-2003 at 06:31 PM

In regard to gaming I was like one of the orange blobs in a lava lamp, for a time I would gain buoyancy and float away but again and again I would lose heat and find myself sinking back down to the gaming table. The last few months of my life had seen much dating, in fact I had been torn between a very pretty and level headed brunette and a deeply disturbed redhead. For a time I couldn't decide which of the two I was date exclusively.
Like most men I went with the crazy redhead and it ended in disaster. A very sexy disaster but a disaster nonetheless.
My ego wounded I retreated to the world of bloodthirsty orks and shifty-eyed gnomes. I returned to Deviant Boy's apartment.

ME: "Wow what a surprise to find you two being roommates."
DEVIANT BOY: "I couldn't make the rent on this place by myself."
EL DISGUSTO: "Well I had to get the Hell out of my parents' basement... they had a court order."
ME: "I see."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "But isn't it kind of awkward?"
DEVIANT BOY: "Why would it be?"
JOHNNY TANGENT: "You know this reminds me of an interesting story about parakeet mirrors..."
BLOBERT SMITH: "I think Weasly is curious as to why you are no longer disturbed or upset by the fact that your beloved Asenath once impaled herself on El Disgusto's flaming manpole."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "What? I thought is was just his penis."
EL DISGUSTO: "I think we are mature enough to move beyond that."
DEVIANT BOY: "If anything the whole incident has made us closer."
ME: "When I tell my therapist about you guys he just doesn't believe me."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "...and no one knows how Peaches died. Was it natural causes or did the mirror trigger a kind of budgie-buliema?"
BLOBERT SMITH: "Well enough about such tawdry matters. Here is my RIFTS character, he is a Werewolf Glitterboy with self esteem issues and a degree in cosmetology."
DEVIANT BOY: "Actually there won't be a RIFTS game tonight."
ME: "What? We'd been planning this all week!"
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Maybe its just as well, I heard playing RIFTS causes eye injuries."
DEVIANT BOY: "Well I'm sorry but I was bar hopping a lot last week and didn't get a chance to plan anything."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "You know I found this game on the web that combines Vampire LARPing with Karaoke..."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "What's the web?"
JOHNNY TANGENT: "The world wide web."
ME: "Oh you mean that Internet thing I've read about."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Yeah, the Internet... millions of computers talking to each other and exchanging information."
BLOBERT SMITH: "I don't think much of that. It'll probably all get shut down in a storm of gnashing teeth and lawsuits."
ME: "So let me get this straight. You didn't do an ounce of planning for your game because you were too busy trying to get laid?"
DEVIANT BOY: "In a word, yes."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "How did it go? I'd really like to hear how- Oh look! Something shiny!"
DEVIANT BOY: "I'm not having much luck lately bringing ladies home. I think a lot of girls are intimidated by a big dick."
ME: "Well you don't have to introduce them to El Disgusto."
EL DISGUSTO: "You're lucky the Stick Of Pain is propping up a window."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "So what are we supposed to do now? We're all diced up with no place to go."
DEVIANT BOY: "Well luckily El Disgusto has been working on a D&D campaign."
ME: "El Disgusto wants to run?"
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Now I want to run."
EL DISGUSTO: "I got a great idea for a scenario guys."
BLOBERT SMITH: "I lack enthusiasm. Our last scenario involved his holding some Ninja NPCs scabbard while he fought Raistlin."
EL DISGUSTO: "It was all about your characters proving you were worthy to hold Shinobi's scabbard. People have died for that honor. Besides this scenario will be very different."
ME: "You know 'different' isn't the same as 'better'."
DEVIANT BOY: "Oh come on. We're all here right? We might as well play right?"
ME: "Fine. Let me have a copy of the Player's Handbook and I'll make a character."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "Player's Handbook? I thought we were playing RIFTS!"

We each rolled up a character and got to playing. El Disgusto didn't railroad as much as shame the players into the scenario. If any of the players suggested a course of action that differed from what he had planned he would sneer and roll his eyes until you stopped trying.
Soon enough we had charted a boat on a course to adventure and humiliation.
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Sure was lucky the way we all met in that tavern."
ME: "Yeah..."
BLOBERT SMITH: "It was especially fortuitous that we met that grizzled old man with his map."
ME: "Yeah... especially the way he has hired us to raid the treasures from some high priests temple on an island in the middle of nowhere."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "This whole premise reminds me of every fantasy movie I have ever seen yet it reminds me of none of them."
ME: "That's D&D for you."
DEVIANT BOY: "My character pays the cabin boy to keep his silence and then walks to the front of the ship to inhale the fresh sea air."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "I wish we could have found a different ship to charter."
BLOBERT SMITH: "Why? This seems to be a very capable crew."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "I just don't understand why this gameworld has sailing vessels where the entire crew are S&M and Leather fetishists."
EL DISGUSTO: "I got the idea from that guy I work with."
DEVIANT BOY: "That Goodkind guy?"
EL DISGUSTO: "Yeah, Terry."
DEVIANT BOY: "He's got issues you know."
EL DISGUSTO: "Big time."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Sigh. Can we get back to the game please?"
DEVIANT BOY: "After he's cleared his pallet my character sniffs his finger."
ME: "I just don't get you. You do nothing but make disparaging remarks about gays, you refused to let a new player join the group because you thought he might be gay."
ME: "So then you go and role-play a character with homosexual tendencies."
EL DISGUSTO: "Hang on a minute Ab3! Deviant Boy's character-Korman of the Gilded Codpiece-is many things but he is NOT gay!"
DEVIANT BOY: "But thank God the cabin boy is."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Are we there yet?"

The sea journey was fraught with combat and the occasional random spanking. As we drew closer the island that was our goal were suffered our most devastating assault and too our first casualty...

ME: "Aqua-Ninjas?"
EL DISGUSTO: "The scourge of the seven seas."
ME: "Aqua-Ninjas riding on the back of a whale?"
EL DISGUSTO: "They demand you surrender and prepare to be boarded."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Does this ship even have booty?"
BLOBERT SMITH: "Does the cabin boy count?"
DEVIANT BOY: "Only to ten."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "My character puts on his platemail armor and leaps off the ship. What are my chances to kill the whale with one blow?"
ME: "You do know were playing D&D right?"
EL DISGUSTO: "Your character sinks to the bottom of the ocean like a rock wrapped in another rock."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "But I have 18/00 strength! Oh wait, that was the game I played in high school. Oh well..."
(Dice are rolled)
ME: "Finally they're all dead."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Is there a cleric on board?"
DEVIANT BOY: "Just put salt water in the wounds."
BLOBERT SMITH: "Ordinarily I wouldn't loot the bodies of the dead but since they're evil alignment and I'm good it's OK."
EL DISGUSTO: "When you pull of their lime green ninja cowls you see each of them has a face like this!"
ME: "Uh... that's an Erol Otus drawing of a deep one."
EL DISGUSTO: "And that's what they look like."
ME: "OK then."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "To the island!"
JOHNNY TANGENT: "What about my character?"
EL DISGUSTO: "He's dead and fish are eating his eyes."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "Oh. Is it OK if I play your playstation and read some comics while listening to your Night Ranger albums?"
EL DISGUSTO: "Sure whatever. Your dead to me now."

The surviving characters got to the island and set off to find this great treasure for the mysterious old man. As far as I was concerned we should have just kept the treasure for ourselves but the old man had promised to give us The Graven Eye of Timor for our troubles and what Role-Player worth his salt wouldn't want one of those?
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Boy the buildings here are weird looking."
BLOBERT SMITH: "Yes it is almost as thought the architects are not constrained by the laws of our world."
ME: "I've got a bad feeling about this."
DEVIANT BOY: "My character is ready for anything."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "With a codpiece like that I'm not surprised."
JOHNNY TANGENT: "Why do they call it a codpiece? There are no fish in it."
EL DISGUSTO: "Your goal is in sight. The Great Repository stands apart from all the other strange buildings yet it blends in as well. Kind of like a ninja in Amish country. The Great Repository is 100 feet tall and shaped kind of like the Roman Coliseum but its made from greenish rock.
ME: "We draw closer."
EL DISGUSTO: "The ground is soft and swampy..."
DEVIANT BOY: "Like my ex-girlfriends nether regions!"
EL DISGUSTO: "Good one."
BLOBERT SMITH: "Why are you two constantly disparaging Asenath? Her only crime was loving too much. How can you so loathe a woman that once surrendered her body to budding insistence of your manhoods?"
ME: "...must cram dice in ears..."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "But he has a point, why do you guys hate her now?"
DEVIANT BOY: "She's a 12th level slut and she can turn undead for all I care."
EL DISGUSTO: "Yeah she'd sleep with anyone... even Ab3."
ME: "Hey!"
BLOBERT SMITH: "It is curious though, why is it that when a man has many sexual partners he is considered a stud but when a woman has a sexual past she is a slut?"
ME: "Greater men then you have considered that question."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Like Kevin Smith."
DEVIANT BOY: "Look I was just done with her OK?"
EL DISGUSTO: "Besides a man is like a crossbow and a woman is like a target. A target doesn't need to practice."
ME: "So what should you little archers practice on?"
JOHNNY TANGENT: "The Cabin Boy?"
ME: "What?"
JOHNNY TANGENT: "That was a great movie."

A few random combat encounters later our characters reached the Great Receptacle. There were no entrances, windows or secret doors so we got our ropes and grapples. And scaled the walls.

EL DISGUSTO: "Suddenly a great roar fills the air. The swampy stench gets worse."
ME: "I look around to see what it is."
EL DISGUSTO: "Suddenly you see this 300 foot tall figure climbing out of one of the strange towers."
ME: "That's an Erol Otus drawing of a Cthulhu!"
WEASLY CRUSHER: "We're on Ryleh?"
BLOBERT SMITH: "That explains the lime green ninjas. It all makes sense now."
ME: "No it doesn't. So let me get this straight-you're using the first edition DEITIES AND DEMIGODS as a monster manual?"
DEVIANT BOY: "And we're just hanging here 50 feet in the air like a string of meaty benwa balls!"
ME: "And Lovecraft thought he knew soul blasting horror..."
DEVIANT BOY: "We climb faster!"
(Desperate and angry die rolls follow)

WEASLY CRUSHER: "How did earwax get on my d20?"

EL DISGUSTO: "You all reach the top. The rim of the Great Receptacle is about then feet across. The interior is hallowed out and murky."
ME: "Like your skull?"
EL DISGUSTO: "Careful or you'll have to save Vs slap!"
WEASLY CRUSHER: "He's plodding closer."
BLOBERT SMITH: "What are we going to do?"
EL DISGUSTO: "Plod. Plod. Plod. Plod. Plod."
DEVIANT BOY: "We must climb down into the interior of the building."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "I anchor the rope and start climbing!"
EL DISGUSTO: "You each reach the bottom before he can see you. You find yourselves ankle deep in filthy water."
BLOBERT SMITH: "My dwarf weeps with relief."
EL DISGUSTO: "Plod. Plod. Plod. Plod. Plod. The floor shakes under your feet. A black shadow falls across the bowl-shaped building."
WEASLY CRUSHER: "Quick hide."
ME: "Did you say bowl-shaped?"
DEVIANT BOY: "What's wrong Ab3? You're trembling."
EL DISGUSTO: "The darkness deepens throwing the great old one's body into silhouette. Cthulhu is right above you now."
ME: "My God... you've outdone yourself El Disgusto."
BLOBERT SMITH: "What in the name of Timothy Bradstreet is going on here?"
ME: "We're in his toilet. We're in Cthulhu's toilet."
EL DISGUSTO: "Great Cthulhu's gelatinous green buttocks cover the rim of the Great Receptacle. You hear a nasty slopping sound."

I cannot describe what happened next such things cannot be described. There is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contractions of play balance, gaming etiquette and cosmic order. Lets just say I never want to hear or read the term 'Flying Polyps' again.
The next week we all played RIFTS, and just in case we wore protective goggles.


  1. JOHNNY TANGENT: "Why do they call it a codpiece? There are no fish in it."


  2. I lol'd. Also, Flying Polyps.

    Wait Ab3... hold on there, put the shotgun down, you don't wanna do this man!!!