Sunday, June 6, 2010

RPG.NET rant #6 Monty Python Mishaps In The Deepest Pit Of Homebrew Hell

RPG.NET rant #6
Monty Python Mishaps In The Deepest Pit Of Homebrew Hell

originally posted to on 09-18-2002 02:06 AM:


The state mental health facility realized Psycho Dave partly because he had agreed to stay at least 500 yards away from William Shatner and partly because they realized that he had somehow organized all the patients in the facility into some weird kind of STAR TREK LARP. We celebrated his return to the outside world by gathering at El Disgusto's basement for a game.

Psycho Dave: "It was the most intense gaming of my life. I almost wish I'd done something worse so we could have continued the game."

Weasly Crusher: "I wish I could have been there."

El Disgusto: "Yeah well I'm glad your back so we can get some normal gaming done again."

Me: "The basement looks great. Did your parents remodel?"

El Disgusto: "Kinda, they found this toxic mold growing all over the walls and ceiling."

Me: "What? I thought they just repainted."

El Disgusto: "Nahhh these are the original colors. The mold just kind of covered everything.

Me: "My God... we're been playing here for over a year..."

El Disgusto: "Yeah, I guess they couldn't believe how much of it there was. They sent over some scientists from the university to look at it."

Weasly Crusher: "Wow."

El Disgusto: "Then I had to administer a Stick of Pain beatdown to one of them when I caught one of them eyeing my ELEMENTALS SEX SPECIAL."

Psycho Dave: "That's justifiable."

El Disgusto: "It gets better once I hit this old fart he goes falling back into my table of just painted minis. I was ready to kill- if my Mom hadn't-"

Me: "Old fart? You hit an old man?"

El Disgusto: "He had a fair chance to defend himself, he had a cane!"

Weasly Crusher: "Could we have gotten high from eating the toxic mold?"

The basement door creaked open and Cheating Bastard came in carrying three milk crates stuffed with ring binders. Since we all had bad feelings regarding D&D, Lords of Creation and Call of Cthulhu Cheating Bastard had volunteered to run us through the homebew rpg system and world he had been working on since the Early Eighties. I might have been a little worried if I hadn't noticed that Biff Bam was helping him carry milk crates five through eight.

Me: "What the Hell is he doing here?"

Psycho Dave: "I invited him."

Me: "Why?"

Psycho Dave: "We're old friends. We got thrown out of basic training together."

Weasly Crusher: "He's the one that kept wrestling us to the ground!"

Me: "He brutalized us!"

Psycho Dave: "Calm down. He'll behave. He probably did realize what a bunch of sissies you guys can be."

Weasly Crusher: "He threw me to the ground so hard that it made it hurt when I pee."

El Disgusto: "What are you guys talking about? I was there and none of this happen."

Me: "What are we talking about? You were right there. He made us strip to the waist! He pinned you to the floor!"

El Disgusto: "Never happened."

Me: "Boy I wish I could edit my life for content."

Cheating Bastard: "OK I hope you guys are ready for an awesome gaming experience!"

Me: "It looks impressive."

Cheating Bastard: "Yeah I haven't run this game since Lance Stargrove's gaming group left town."

Weasly Crusher: "Wasn't that the gaming group that went crazy all of a sudden, set fire to their gaming supplies and joined some weird space cult?"

Cheating Bastard: "I think they're called Heaven's Gate or something."

Psycho Dave: "That was a great movie. Highly underrated."

Biff Bam: "Ok I'll be helping with character crEEPation, did you all bring an algebraHAic calculators?"

And so it began, our decent into a nightmare of randomly generated attributes and higher maths began. First you rolled for your date of birth and your land of birth, then you rolled for your race. The book of races was over 200 pages and ranged from 'Dwarf Gnome' to 'Minor Robotic Godling (Insane)'. These three rolls were then factored in to compute a number that was added to the roll you made to determine your family background. Each of these societal, familial and locational factors were then averaged out and computed into a set of modifiers that you used when you rolled up your character's statistics and personal appearance factors. Psycho Dave ended up creating a Berserker Space Elf, Weasly Crusher was a Mountain Ogre Cleric, Biff Bam was a Human Paladin, I ended up with a telekinetic farmer with exhibitionist tendencies and El Disgusto rolled up... a Ninja.
I found that profoundly disturbing.
Then we began equipping our characters and I then realized the depth of Cheating Bastard's madness. He had an entire binder full of different sorts of equipment and then another binder full of randomly generated backgrounds for the equipment you bought. That way you knew if your sword was actually an heirloom from an empire long dead, if the food you bought was about to go bad and if your pack mule had anger management issues. It was around this point that I began to feel faint.

Cheating Bastard: "See now you've got characters you know from top to bottom."

Me: "How long have we been doing this? Who's president now?"

Weasly Crusher: "So my Ogre used to be a solider but after he was visited by his God on a battlefield on an alien planet he become a cleric?"

Cheating Bastard: "Don't forget that you were on that alien battlefield searching for your long lost brother. That gave you an Emotional Wisdom modifier of +x(3/Y)."

Weasly Crusher: "Oh yeah."

El Disgusto: "What's the velocity modifier on a 70 year old katana that's been well taken care of?"

Biff Bam: "You take the standard weapon statistic and factor it with the age, metal pERity and pommel modifiers."

El Disgusto: "I think I need another pencil."

Me: "This system of yours... its interesting."

Cheating Bastard: "It's Rolemaster without if Rolemaster hadn't been dumbed down for the masses."

Biff Bam: "It's manly role-playing."

Weasly Crusher: "So why did you guys get thrown out of basic training?"

Psycho Dave: "The usual, insubordination, setting fires and bedwetting. I thought that kind of thing would get me on the fast track to Special Forces."

Biff Bam "Let's just say that I was a little too manly for the Army. They were intimidDIMated by me."

Psycho Dave: "I thought it was your weight."

Biff Bam: "No! You see that's a common mistake. I'm not fat this is just untoned muscle. I'm actually as PSYCHICally strong as your average Olympic Weightlifter... I'm just not as toned."

Cheating Bastard: "To Hell with them anyway, we're forming our own militia."

Biff Bam: "I'm desginIMINing the logo for our berets."

Me: "It has been five hours can we please start the game soon?"

El Disgusto: "Wuss."

Me: "So help me I'm going to beat your skull until candy comes out."

El Disgusto: "Try it and I'll saw you in half and count your rings."

Me: "Uhhhhh...."

Finally the game began, Cheating Bastard had promised a game that was new and different. A game world that encompassed everything from science fantasy to high fantasy. But somehow we ended up at a tavern at the edge of a swamp waiting for a mysterious stranger to ask us to do something. We spent a little time role playing and negotiating with the mysterious stranger about our quest. Apparently he had stolen some mystical do-dad from the Spider Elves and he wanted us to bring it to a certain place by a certain time.
However in a surprising turn of events a squad of Spider Elves stormed the tavern looking for the mysterious stranger and combat broke out. Combat the likes of which no man was ever meant to endure. Miniatures slide rules and compasses were used to generate the necessary to hit algorithms. Two hours later the first round of combat was over and I was beginning to suspect that Jack Chick may have had a point after all.

Cheating Bastard: "Too bad. You might have hit if not for the inverse drag coefficient of the blood coating your blade."

El Disgusto: "Damnit!"

Biff Bam: "I hate it when that happens."

Me: "Is that the sun coming up?"

Psycho Dave: "So everyone got away except the Ninja."

Weasly Crusher: "Shouldn't we go back and rescue him?"

Me: "What would take longer? More combat or rolling up another PC?"

(Lots of dice roll)

Cheating Bastard: "The surviving Spider Elves knock the blade from your hands. They hold you by gabbing on to each of your arms and stretching you out."

El Disgusto: "I try to break free Ninja style."

Cheating Bastard: "That would be a back flip and a double mule kick. Biff get me the third volume of the combat maneuvers book."

(A d20, d30 and d4 roll later)

El Disgusto: "Shit!"

Cheating Bastard: "As they hold you there a dark figure in a golden codpiece approaches. The other Spider Elves defer to him and call him 'Most Holy'. "

El Disgusto: "I call him Most Assholy!"

Cheating Bastard: "The Most Holy of the Spider Elves smiles thinly and approaches and says that you will not be harmed and he has his men release you."

El Disgusto: "I attack him!"

(More dice are rolled in combination with non-Euclidean maths)

Cheating Bastard: "Ok the Spider Elves grab you by the arms again, but this time they're holding you up."

El Disgusto: "I try to escape Ninja-Style."

Cheating Bastard: "Ok but don't forget to factor in wounds and exhaustion."

(More math and dice)

El Disgusto: "DAMN IT!"

Cheating Bastard: "The Most Holy of the Spider Elves says he just needs to speak to you and then you can go free he tells you-"

El Disgusto: "I curse him and challenge him to a duel!"

Cheating Bastard: "He explains that he doesn't want to fight you, he just needs to speak to you because he needs-"

El Disgusto: "I kick him! I try to bite him if he gets too close!"

Me: "Maybe you should just have your character listen to what this guy has to say."

El Disgusto: "Maybe you should just put on a dress and pick daisies!"

Cheating Bastard: "Most Holy draws the weapon from the scabbard at his side. You see it is a stellar blade, a sword that can tear through solid steel."

El Disgusto: "I tell him that he can eat it! Eat it raw!"

Cheating Bastard: "He tells his minions to hold you tightly, drawing your arms out taut from you body. He tells you that if you don't shut up and listen he will cut off your arm."

El Disgusto: "I spit a ninja loogie into his face."

(Lots of dice are rolled)

Cheating Bastard: "He swings the blade down and severs your arm."

El Disgusto! "Perfect! Since I'm free on one side I use the momentum to swing and head butt Mister Most Holy!"

Cheating Bastard: "No you don't! You're in agony!"

El Disgusto: "A ninja does not feel pain! I attack!"

(A few heated words and harsh calculations later)

Cheating Bastard: "Ok now your character has lost both his arms."

El Disgusto: "I attack again."

Biff Bam: "My God we're in a MONTHly Python skit."

Cheating Bastard: "How? How are you going to attack?"

Me: "You know he has a point... your ninja has been totally disarmed."

Our laughter only made Cheating Bastard and El Disgusto more angry. Another hour passed an in that hour El Disgusto's Ninja lost both his legs. The remainder of the party was killed when Weasly's Mountain Ogre fumbled using his racial ability and summoned an entire mountain on top of the swamp. Apparently mountains fall from the sky pretty regularly on this world.

By then of course I had left. I had to be to work that morning.


  1. "Miniatures slide rules and compasses were used to generate the necessary to hit algorithms. Two hours later the first round of combat was over and I was beginning to suspect that Jack Chick may have had a point after all."

    Do... Do I even want to know?

  2. Jack Chick is a famous fundamentalist Christian pamphleteer; he's made several "tracts" (pamphlets/mini comics) about how D&D is Satanist and leads to Satanism.

  3. Cheating Bastard and Biff Bam went on to design FATAL? The combat here sounds an awful lot like the complaints about that one's system and these guys certainly seem perverted enough.