Thursday, June 3, 2010

RPG.NET rant #4 The God Trip

RPG.NET rant #4
The God Trip

originally posted to on 08-30-2002 11:08 PM:

I had sworn off role-playing but found myself back at the table nonetheless. My only other group of friends only wanted to spend their nights at Strip Clubs. After a few evenings of that activity I realized that no matter which group of friends I was with I was going to go home frustrated and full of self-loathing.
At least gaming was cheaper.

We were at the apartment of a fellow by the name of Nolan Void, he was a computer programmer/performance artist. He was famous for creating brilliant RPG campaigns that were rich in detail and populated with interesting characters. Sadly most of these games lasted for 2 sessions if you were lucky. Nolan was a tad mercurial.

So there we were at Nolan Void's apartment, it was El Disgusto, Deviant Boy, Weasly Crusher and Johnny Tangent. Psycho Dave was unavailable, due in part to that whole stalking William Shatner phase he was going through. Cheating Bastard was off playing in a Warhammer tournament-not because he liked it but because he lived to make wargamers cry.

El Disgusto: "I still don't see why we had to come over here when we could have used my basement."

Me: "We will never use your basement again, at least not until a HAZMAT team gets in there."

El Disgusto: "What are you my Mom?"

Me: "Were you smothered in your sleep?"

El Disgusto: "No."

Me: "Then I'm not your Mom."

Johnny Tangent: "You know I still think they should never have canceled Manimal."

Weasly Crusher: "It was a national tragedy."

Deviant Boy: "Ursula Andress was in the pilot. What a hottie."

El Disgusto: "Manimal sucked. Just like Ab3's car."

Weasly Crusher: "Yeah that show was highly overrated."

Nolan Void: "OK now, let's everyone get ready for the game. I am sure you will find it very-"

Me: "Hold on a second here? You're dissing my car?"

El Disgusto: "Your car is a rusted hunk of crap. You got a problem with that?"

Me: "I drove you here in that car because you don't have a car."

El Disgusto: "So?"

Me: "So how can you criticize my car when you don't even have one of your own?"

El Disgusto: "Because when my Grandma does buy me a car it will be a lot better than your
piece of crap."

Johnny Tangent: "Actually if we converted Ab3's car to Car Wars stats you might find it very impressive."

Nolan Void: "OK then on to the game. You will all be playing yourselves..."

Deviant Boy: "Can you repeat that?"

My God he had guts. Not only were we playing ourselves but the system was essentially diceless. The very thought panicked some of the guys at the table but Nolan was a convincing guy. Pretty soon everyone's enthusiasm level was back up and play began...

Nolan Void: "OK then, it's just another day for you guys. What are your characters, which are you, doing?"

Me: "Uhhhh... what day is it in the game?"

Nolan Void: "A Sunday."

Me: "I guess I'm at work."

Deviant Boy: "I'm sure I'm waking up in the bed of some lovely lady."

Weasly Crusher: "I'm in church."

El Disgusto: "I'm buying comics."

Johnny Tangent: "Perhaps I'm finally learning how to play the bassoon."

Nolan Void: "OK then. Each of you at exactly the same time are approached by a dark figure in a silver trenchcoat. He addresses you by name and says that he has a message for you."

El Disgusto: "What's the message that David Bowie is having a garage sale?

Me: "I ask what the message is."

Weasly Crusher: "I yell loudly to Jesus? What's the percentage for God call in this game?"

Deviant Boy: "I get dressed quickly but make sure to let this strange visitor get a look at my huge dong so that he might know despair."

Johnny Tangent: "I look around for TARDISes."

Nolan Void then went on to tell us that this mysterious figure told each of us that we had a special destiny and that we need to be awakened. This being nearly a decade before THE MATRIX we were confused and dubious. Still though when he reached into his pocket and withdrew a strange glowing cube we all went along with it, with one exception...

El Disgusto: "I attack!"

Nolan Void: "OK then... you fail."

El Disgusto: "What? What?"

Nolan Void: "The guy is too fast for you."

El Disgusto: "No he's not!"

Me: "What's the big deal?"

El Disgusto: "6 months of Tae Kwon Do! Do you hear me? 6 months of Tae Kwon Do to make black belt! I'm a white ninja do you hear me? A LIVING WEAPON!"

Later investigations proved that this was technically true El Disgusto had been discharged from Harvey Whitstien's Martial Arts Emporium with a black belt. Of course the rest of El Disgusto's karate gi was equally black. He just let it fester in his locker between classes. Sensei Harvey discharged El Disgusto because no one could stand the stench any more. This may have solved all the Emporium's problems but this 'early graduation' had twisted El Disgusto's mind even further and now he insisted the reason he had a black belt was because he was the reincarnation of a long dead ninja named 'Shinobi'.

Still though no one, not even Nintendo's lawyers, called him on it because he would then challenge you to a fight. His fighting style was a combination of slaps and groin kicks punctuated by Bruce Lee-like yells and no one wanted any part of that.

Nolan Void: Though you battle the stranger valiantly he still manages to draw the strange cube from his jacket and he-"

El Disgusto: "I smash it! I smash it!"

Nolan Void: "Just touching it makes your mind explode at a million miles an hour."

El Disgusto: "I don't scream! Not matter how bad it is I don't scream!"

Nolan Void: "The same thing happens to all of you. The very universe seems to melt around you. Your screams are swallowed up by the roaring chaos that consumes you."

Johnny Tangent: "I curl into a ball and try to avoid being noticed by the Hounds of Tinados."

Me: "I scream."

El Disgusto: "Wussy!"

Deviant Boy: "I close my eyes and use what could be my last moments to fantasize about Christine McGlade."

Weasly Crusher: "Who?"

Deviant Boy: "Christine McGlade from You Can't Do That On Television."

Johnny Tangent: "Moose?"

Deviant Boy: "God yes."

Weasly Crusher: "That's your ultimate babe?"

Deviant Boy: "And my first sexual experience."

Me: "You can stop now."

Deviant Boy: "I was fifteen years old and in one of the episodes she was lost her clothes and had to hide her nakedness behind a cue card."

Me: "I said you can stop now."

Deviant Boy: "It was amazing, it wasn't even like you could see anything but I still had this amazing spontaneous ejaculation..."

Me: "Oh for God's sake!"

I probably wouldn't have been as upset if he hadn't had the exact same first sexual experience as I had...

Once we got past all that Nolan described the strange place our characters found ourselves in.

Nolan Void: "OK then, you each wake up to find yourselves wearing white robes and-"

Johnny Tangent: "To-ga! To-ga!"

Nolan Void: "-in the center of the room is a giant dome-"

Johnny Tangent: "Filled with colored brains! 50 Quatloos on the newcomer!"

Nolan Void: "- and you can see entire galaxies swirling with in it. The-"

Johnny Tangent: "My God's it's full of stars!"

Nolan Void: "-they look to be human and they are dressed in black and sliver. The leader, the one that approached you first steps forward to say-"

Johnny Tangent: "You will bow down before me Jor-El! You wi- IIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Nolan's savage attack surprised all of us, we didn't think he had it in him, but then again no Game Master likes to be heckled. When Nolan began speaking again Johnny was lolling dazed in his chair, a dice bag stuffed in his mouth.

Nolan Void: "OK then the man informs you that they are the last of the Lords of Reality and that the very universe is dying."

Me: "Intriguing."

El Disgusto: "Cut to the chase. Who do we have to whack?"

Nolan Void: "The Lord of Reality informs you that your quest is not one of destruction but of preservation. He needs you to save all of creation by finding a way restore the energy stores at its heart."

Weasly Crusher: "We have to change the batteries of the universe?"

Deviant Boy: "Why do we have to save the universe? What's in it for us?"

Johnny Tangent: "Mmmph! Mmmph!"

Me: "He has a point. I ask the Lords of Reality why they can't do this for themselves?"

Nolan Void: "They explain that if they left their posts reality would break down in a matter of minutes."

Weasly Crusher: "How are we supposed to change the batteries of the universe? We have no powers, we don't even have a spaceship."

Nolan Void: "The Lords of Reality say they will give you the power to do what needs to be done. They will make you gods."

There was an audible hush. It was one of those moments that I know well as a GM it is the moment before a game becomes really great or goes terribly wrong.

Johnny Tangent: "Mphl?"

Nolan Void: "Yes gods."

El Disgusto: "Gods gods?"

Nolan Void: "They tell you 'You will have the power to create and control matter but with that power comes a terrible responsibility.'"

Weasly Crusher: "Yeah but we'll be gods right?"

Nolan Void: "'Yes.' They say, "But the use of those godlike powers actually drains the life-force of the universe so wield it with caution."

Deviant Boy: "But we'll be gods right?"

Nolan Void:

El Disgusto: "We'll take it."

And so the Lords of Reality made us into gods using something they called 'the Apotheosis Device'. During the process our bodies were picked apart molecule by molecule and put back together again. Nolan even provided laminated illustrations of the experience and played Emerson, Lake and Palmer in the background to enhance the experience.

Nolan Void: "OK then, when you emerge from the glowing red crystal you feel enhanced. Your physical form shimmers. If you pause you can sense the passage of atoms, the secrets of the universe bubble unbidden to the surface of your mind."

Weasly Crusher: "Are we gods yet?"

Nolan Void: "Yes."

Me: "I ask the-"

Johnny Tangent: "I fly faster than the speed of light."

Weasly Crusher: "I travel to the surface of the sun and walk around!"

El Disgusto: "I teleport to Stonehenge!"

Deviant Boy: "I turn Mars into a perfect duplicate of Gor and begin enslaving supermodels."

Me: "Guys I don't think-"

Nolan Void: "This isn't-"

Deviant Boy: "I make myself into a perfect duplicate of Ron Jeremy sculpted in molten silver!"

Weasly Crusher: "Oh yeah? Well I make myself look like an angel if Axyl Rose were an angel... with purple eyes."

Johnny Tangent: "Shape of.... Donny Osmond!"

El Disgusto: "I shrink Stonehenge down and consume it. Then I find every holy place in the world and consume it."

Nolan Void: "OK then your power may-"

El Disgusto: "Then I raise Ryleh from beneath the sea and drain Cthulhu's life force."

Deviant Boy: "I bring all the Disney Cartoon hotties to life and take them one by one! All of them- Ariel, Belle, Snow White, Bambi..."

Me: "Bambi was male."

Deviant Boy: "Yeah right who is gonna name a stripper after a male deer?"

Weasly Crusher: "I bring all my D&D characters to life and take them to Denny's to apologize for the terrible rolls I make."

Johnny Tangent: "I make them put a new Manimal series on the air and have Josh Wheaton write it. I star in it."

El Disgusto: "Now I create a Stick of Pain out of Strange Matter. Then I force the elves to make me a mithral ninja suit."

Nolan Void: "There... there are no elves in this game...."

El Disgusto: "Then I create some elves and make them do what I say!"

Deviant Boy: "Now I take Christine McGlade and make her my queen! Together will rule the New Gor."

El Disgusto: "With my new and improved Stick of Pain and my mithral ninja suit I teleport back to where we started and give Ab3 a COSMIC NINJA SMACKDOWN!"

Me: "What?"

El Disgusto: "You heard me! There can be only one- BITCH! What do I roll to attack? Hey Nolan I... where did he go?"

But Nolan had locked himself in the bathroom and he refused to come out. He never ran a role-playing game again but some of the other guys say they've seen a character bearing his name on Everquest wandering the edges of the game world grumbling to anyone who might listen about strange conspiracies involving ninjas and the Osmonds.

I left an enraged El Disgusto at the bus stop with Deviant Boy and Weasly Crusher. Johnny Tangent and I headed to the Booby Hatch, a local strip club, after all the night was still young.

1 comment:

  1. This diceless God roleplay sounds very much like the coolective quest threads on 1d4chan.
    What a pity Nolan Void no longer GMs. From the brief description you gave me, the man sounds like an ARTIST.
    It was meant to be a thinking-man's roleplay session. What a pity he had those douchebags on his hands.