Thursday, June 24, 2010

RPG.NET rant#22 The Last Straw Trilogy Part One: Warhammer The Spoilers Generation

RPG.NET rant#22
The Last Straw Trilogy Part One:
Warhammer The Spoilers Generation

originally posted to on 7-04-2008, 04:59 PM


Guido’s phone number was still in my wallet but I hadn’t used it. There was something about calling up a relative stranger to ask to be invited to their role playing game that just made me uncomfortable. For me it seemed akin to standing on a street corner and asking each of the women that passed you by for a lap dance. Sure, you might get what you were looking for but the odds were you were going to get something a lot worse.
Better the game you knew than the game you didn’t know.
Besides, I had to admit that I was intrigued. Weasly Crusher was running this game, and none of us had ever known him to run anything. I was curious to see what he could do, I mean he had to have learned something from all those years of being brutalized and sidelined.
My only worry was that he had chosen to run Warhammer Fantasy Role- play. Now don’t get me wrong it was a damn good game but it also boasted what had to be the second most dark and brutal game world I had ever seen.
And for the record the most dark and brutal game world I had ever seen was a D&D campaign that Psycho Dave had run many years ago. For this game he had created a hybrid damage system that combined the standard D&D hit point system with the Arduin Grimoire critical hit chart and the infamous Rolemaster critical damage tables. And he used this table for any kind of injury whatsoever for players and NPCs alike. In doing so he created a desolate, blood soaked ruin of a world where carpenters died from complications of bruising their thumbs, people picking at hangnails had their flesh suddenly fall away from their bones in wet red strips and mothers in childbirth frequently detonated.
Anyway there I was another game, another basement but this time it was the basement of the Smith family. I sat on the comfortable futon admiring the clean well decorated room.

Me: “Wow nice place.”
Blobert Smith: “Thank you, for some time my parents used this as a recreation room but their advanced age and weak knees have forced them to secede the basement to me much in the same way a freshman girl must secede her pink chiffon dress during the drive home from the senior prom.”
Collateral Darren: “Proms are nothing more than the result of tuxedo rental stores conspiring with the local school districts to boost their revenue before the summer wedding season.”
Me: “You know I was going to burst out laughing but then I realized you really believe that. You are insane.”
Collateral Darren: “Mock me all you want but you know that my mother works for the local paper right? She’s seen the stories about this but the newspapers suppress them for substantial kickbacks from the Tuxedo Illuminati.”
Me: “Yeah. Right. Hey Blobert, you were supposed to show me that trophy you won at the poetry slam.”
Blobert Smith: “Ah yes but it is on my mother’s bureau. She was so very proud, I feel I have redeemed myself in her eyes after she caught me pilfering her unmentionables for my performance art piece ‘Gulf War Granny Panties’. However I think this must wait for a different time to view said trophy because once my parents are asleep and I am loathe to rouse them from their little dress rehearsals for death.”
Me: “Oh sure I totally understand.”
Collateral Darren: “I wonder where everyone else is.”
Blobert Smith: “Weasly called to inform me that he was going over a few last minute notes for his game. El Disgusto should be making his way here from work now but he has many buses and transfers ahead of him. Cheating Bastard is also at work and Deviant Boy is just making his way back from his Saturday afternoon ritual of standing on the street corner and asking random women for lap dances.”
Me: “Why would he have to do that? He told me that last week he scored a threesome with two co-eds.”

There was a knock at the door, Blobert headed upstairs to answer it. When he returned El Disgusto was with him.

Collateral Darren: “And do you know why he scored with those two co-eds? Practice. Manliness is like a bow and arrow, practice is critical.”
El Disgusto: “Wrong metal head. Manliness is like a katana and you’ve got to hone it to a razor keen edge.”
Blobert Smith: “I have always felt manliness was a dark, cold spring that you can bathe in but never frolic. God save you if you frolic.”
Me: “You’re here sooner then we expected.”
El Disgusto: “That’s because I quit my job.”
Collateral Darren: “Hello unemployment office.”
El Disgusto: “It gives me time to concentrate on myself and more importantly my gaming.”
Me: “Did you ever consider that maybe you might not be in a state of constant financial chaos if you just found a job you liked and worked at it until you got a raise? Would a stable career path be such a bad thing?”
El Disgusto: “Let me ask you a question- how many great player characters have been on stable career paths? If given the choice between high adventure or a 401k what would Conan do? Besides if I need money I can just sell that Bob Kane original artwork of mine.”
Me: “You would sell that? The artwork Bob Kane gave you when you were a boy and he was your neighbor? I would think that sentimental value would keep you from doing something like that.”
El Disgusto: “For now it stays in my safety deposit box.”
Me: “I’d love to see it one day.”
Cheating Bastard “Greetings one and all.”
Blobert Smith: “I didn’t hear you knock.”
Cheating Bastard: “The door was locked so I broke in.”
Collateral Darren: “I totally respect that.”
Blobert Smith: “As always your ability to subvert the presuppositions of property law are only matched by your ability to roll 9 natural 20’s in a row.”
Cheating Bastard: “Where’s Weasly? I can’t wait to get started.”
El Disgusto: “Who cares? The game is gonna suck. There are no ninjas.”
Blobert Smith: “A ninja would by out as out of place in the Moorcockian kakotopia of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play as a kill floor in a day care center.”
El Disgusto: “Well I’ve been calling him every day this week to try and wear him down. I have to admit he’s got more willpower than I thought, but the fact remains no ninjas equals a sucky game.”
Me: “Then why are you here?
El Disgusto: “No. Why are you here?”
Me: “No? Why are you here?”
El Disgusto: “No! Why are you here?”
Me: “No, Why are you here?”
El Disgusto: “No. Why. Are. You. Here?”
Blobert Smith: “It’s like the Special Olympics version of ‘Waiting for Godot’. And me without my camcorder.”
Deviant Boy: “Oh yeah. I’ve got to get that back to you. I’m almost done making my… movie.”

We all looked up to see Deviant Boy heading down the stairs.

Blobert Smith: “Ah you’re here. Now all we need is our gamemaster for the evening.”
Collateral Darren: “Well I’ve already done my part. I brought liquid refreshments.”
Me: “Booze? You brought booze to a role playing game? That’s an invitation to disaster, it’s like… that’s like… help me out here Blobert…”
Blobert Smith: “Like opening an adult bookstore in Iran?”
Cheating Bastard: “Damn he’s good at that.”
Collateral Darren: “These alcoholic beverages are to aid in the role playing experience. For each hit point of damage you take to the body you do a shot of Jägermeister, for each point of damage you take to the head you take a shot of Wild Turkey.”
Me: “That’s nuts.”
Collateral Darren: “That’s how they do it in the midnight D&D tournament at Gen Con.”
Me: “Really?”
Collateral Darren: “Of course! Haven’t you even been to Gen Con? Or any kind of a Con?”
Me: “I got beaten up on the way in to The Council of the Five Nations.”
Deviant Boy: “Well that’s not really a convention but what happened?”
Me: “Some other geek heard me making disparaging comments about Galactica 1980 and jumped me. He beat me with a bag full of dice.”
El Disgusto: “Sap.”
Me: “What did you call me?”
El Disgusto: “A bag of dice or rocks used as a weapon is called a sap. I was just trying to help.”
Me: “Oh.”

About ten minutes later Weasly Crusher arrived, carrying a milk crate overflowing with game books and binders. He quickly got set up and had us roll up our characters. Everything was pretty much random generation, from stats to careers.

Me: “Hmmm an alchemist’s apprentice. Kind of like a magic user in training. I guess I name him ‘Addlebert’.”
Cheating Bastard: “A noble! I shall call him ‘Lord Flashheart’!”
Collateral Darren: “I’ve got a pit fighter, so I’m sure somewhere in heaven Jean Claude Van Damme is smiling.”
Me: “I don’t think he’s dead.”
Collateral Darren: “After STREET FIGHTER he’s dead to me. But I think I’ll name my pit fighter ‘Nitro’.”
Blobert Smith: “I have an elven ranger. I shall call him ‘The Flaming Cliché’ and he will spend his every hour trying to find a hapless dwarf fighter to condescend to.”
Deviant Boy: “And I will be that dwarf! I have a dwarven Bawd named Ralphus.”
Me: “Is a Bawd what I think it is?”
Deviant Boy: “I think the more important question here is does a ball-gag count as a helm?”
Blobert Smith: “My ranger has become a Midnight Cowboy. How sublime.”
El Disgusto: “I’m a ratcatcher? A ratcatcher? Doesn’t this craptastic gameworld have traps for that?”
Weasly Crusher: “Well these are only your starting careers as you gain experience you can change careers or upgrade.”
El Disgusto: “Upgrade, from a ratcatcher? What would that be? Flyswatter? Roachstomper? Possumfucker?”
Collateral Darren: “Weasly you’re shaking, maybe you should have a drink or two before you start.”
Weasly Crusher: “No, no, I’m ok. Let’s get started.”
Me: “Great.”

Weasly then took a few minutes to describe the world of the Empire to us, to give us an overview of the politics, races and culture. Then he dropped us into that old role playing game standby, the Inn.

Weasly Crusher: “Each of your characters has been making their way to Altdorf where a call has been sent out for adventurers and mercenaries and dwarves in bodystockings…”
Deviant Boy: “Awesome!”
Weasly Crusher: “You find yourselves spending the night at the inn. In the morning a coach will take you –”
El Disgusto: “My character decides to randomly pick fights.”
Weasly Crusher: “Buh?”
El Disgusto: “In fact my character loudly declares he can lick any man in the house.”
Deviant Boy: “Well he’s got my interest.”
Weasly Crusher: “What… why are you doing this?”
El Disgusto: “Because I hate this character and I want him to die.”
Me: “Then just roll up another one.”
El Disgusto: “Not good enough. The ratcatcher must die.”
Cheating Bastard: “My character loudly jokes how much he likes these new-style jesters and throws a handful of coins at the ratcatcher.”
Deviant Boy: “Me too.”
Weasly Crusher: “And then everyone is doing it. They applaud your performance and give you money.”
El Disgusto: “Fine. Then I go to the bar and buy as many drinks as I can. Hope you have rules for alcohol poisoning monkey boy.”
Weasly Crusher: “I don’t…”
Collateral Darren: “Waiting for a coach ride to Altdorf? This reminds me of the scenario where the players end up finding a dead noble who is a dead ringer for one of the PCs.”
Weasly Crusher: “You… played that one?”
Collateral Darren: “No but I read it in the game store.”
El Disgusto: “No way. No way am I playing in a scenario one of the other players has read. That’s like… that’s like… a little help here?”
Blobert Smith: “…trying to quietly fart in an elevator full of blind men?”
El Disgusto: “Close enough.”
Weasly Crusher: “Well… ok… just give me a minute.”

I watched Weasly flip through a handful of notes, all the while chewing his lip. He checked through several game books and then started again. Our characters did take the last coach to Altdorf and despite the ratcatcher’s repeated attempts to throw himself under the wheels we made good time.

Me: “My alchemist’s apprentice casts a concerned glance the ratcatcher’s way and asks him his name.”
El Disgusto: “He doesn’t have a name he sold it to buy cheese.”
Me: “Could you at least try to roleplay? Or is this how you pay back Weasly for all the work he’s done for this game?”
Cheating Bastard: “Since the ranger and I are riding alongside the coach on our steeds we go and scout ahead.”
Blobert Smith: “Capital idea!”
Weasly Crusher: “All right you ride ahead and you see… just a moment … I had the page bookmarked…”
El Disgusto: “You expect me to role play this shit? A ratcatcher? You do realize that every day not playing a ninja is a day wasted.”
Me: “You know if you just try to play something other than a psychotic prick you might find yourself having a good time. You might, you know start role playing.”
El Disgusto: “Oh you wanna see role playing do you? I’ll show the some role playing spazzbury doughboy.”

I heard the sound of dice rolling and looked up to see Weasly Customer setting out some minis.

Weasly Crusher: “Now the elf and the noble spy some goblin raiders and the goblin raiders spy you guys as well. What do you do?”
Cheating Bastard: “We retreat back to the coach.”
Blobert Smith: “I call out ‘To arms! To arms!’”

And so began my first taste of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play’s combat system. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, or maybe it was simply that the coach gave us partial cover. The end result was we made quick work of the goblins with minimal damage.

Collateral Darren: “My pit fighter roars with triumph as he stands over the bodies of his vanquished foes.”
Weasly Crusher: “Well it looks like Ab3’s character has dislocated his knee.”
Collateral Darren: “Then here’s your shot.”
Me: “I’m not drinking and gaming, I’m just not.”
Cheating Bastard: “Don’t be a wussy Ab3.”
Weasly Crusher: “When the combat is over the coach driver stops in the nearby town of Bogenhafen so he can make repairs. You guys have a few hours to kill and as luck would have it their annual festival the Schaffenfest is going on so you will have plenty to do.”
Collateral Darren: “Is this the one where we chase the three legged goblin into the sewers?”
Weasly Crusher: “Oh my god.”
El Disgusto: “What the Hell kind of GM are you Weasly? Son of a bitch!”
Me: “Maybe we could just soldier on.”
Collateral Darren: “I only think I’ve like memorized half the maps …”
El Disgusto: “No. I am not going to game with one hand behind my back.”
Weasly Crusher: “Ok… Ok… just a minute here… I can just move ahead a little.”
Me: “How much of the Warhammer FRP scenario material have you read anyway?”
Collateral Darren: “All of it.”
Deviant Boy: “I didn’t know you were interested in running the system.”
Collateral Darren: “I’m not. I would never run a role playing game. I just like to read scenarios and wonder what might happen if I played them.”
Weasly Crusher: “I don’t know what to do.”
Me: “That’s all right Weasly we don’t need to-”
El Disgusto: “Screw that. I quit my job to be here so we damn well better game. Besides, I’ve really got a handle on who this ratcatcher guy is now. I can’t wait to role play him.”
Blobert Smith: “Why not simply use the existing material you have in new and surprising ways… something similar happened to me when I attempted to turn ‘The Soft Machine’ into a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book.”
Me: “Blobert, I don’t think your signals have ever decoded properly.”
Blobert Smith: “Indeed.”
Weasly Crusher: “Sure, I can do this. Just let me have a Jägermeister or two.”
Collateral Darren: “All right.”

Two drinks and a notebook later and the adventure was off again. Our characters left Bogenhafen and its suddenly lifeless Schaffenfest and pressed on. Weasly was rolling dice and scribbling franticly in his notebooks between sips of alcohol.

El Disgusto: “How long are we just going to be toddling along in this damn wagon?”
Me: “Will you just give him a chance?”
El Disgusto: “But I’m just role playing my character’s impatience. See? Roleplaying.”
Deviant Boy: “At least my character picked up an amazing array of sausages at the last town. I can’t wait to try them out.”
Cheating Bastard: “My noble asks the coachman how much further we have to go.”
Weasly Crusher: “He replies that they could make better time if they took a more direct route but doing so would take the party deep into bandit country.”
Cheating Bastard: “Bandits? I suggest our party go due east.”
Me: “Due East? That’s off the road and at a right angle to where we are headed.”
Cheating Bastard: “Yeah but it might be a good shortcut. Maybe we could find a path. The elf and I will ride out to check.”
Blobert Smith: “I spur my steed on into the wilderness of random encounters and savage improvisation.”

The noble and elf headed off and a few rounds later came riding back with a group of bandits hot on their heels. We had time to stop the coach and scramble out with our weapons. The noble and the elf had the best of it, wading through the fray on their steeds; their swords raining death down on the bandits and in one unfortunate case the coach driver. The pit fighter did a lot of damage as well but since Collateral Darren felt it was ‘in character’ for Nitro to flex and pose after each kill he didn’t really get a high body count. Deviant Boy may have caused less overall physical damage to our enemies but he was just glad that the sight of a dwarf in a mesh bodystocking wielding a length of link sausages like a set of nunchaku left so many of the bandits staring in stunned confusion that they were easily picked off by the ratcatcher. The only real load on the party during the whole fight was unfortunately my alchemist’s apprentice who spent most the combat trying either trying to hit bandits or trying to get away from them.

El Disgusto: “My ratcatcher is as giggly as a schoolgirl after that battle. He decides to record a few choice memories in his journal.”
Me: “A ratcatcher with a journal... ok.”
Collateral Darren: “Nitro the pit fighter mocks the appalling lack of manliness the alchemist displayed.”
Me: “He’s alchemist’s apprentice, not a fighter.”
Weasly Crusher: “What about the coach driver’s body?”
Deviant Boy: “Did someone remember to check his pockets?”

After a quick vote my character was put in charge of driving the coach and we headed on. Things went pretty well aside from the fact that Weasly’s speech was becoming slurred and he was drooping in his seat. I had tried to tell him that downing a finger of bourbon for each dead NPC wasn’t a good idea but he was determined to do the Gen Con way. Slowly we began to see the city of Altdorf resolve itself on the horizon. The noble and the elf rode ahead to scout for trouble and once again found it.

El Disgusto: “Trolls? You’re leading a bunch of trolls back here now?”
Blobert Smith: “I am sure you will agree that in a situation like this there is safety in numbers.”
Deviant Boy: “Well I think you should fight your own damn trolls. The only reason they’re after us is because you went looking for them.”
Weasly Crusher: “No. They were a random encounter. It just happens that the noble and the elf rode ahead.”
El Disgusto: “Wrong. If we had all arrived at the random encounter ourselves then it would be our encounter and I’d be happy about it. But that’s not what happened. What happened is they rode ahead, created a random encounter and then ran back to us with it hot on their tails. This is not our encounter.”
Blobert Smith: “I was not aware that Professor Schrödinger wrote the random encounter rules for this game.”

Personally I didn’t know what to think of the argument, but then again it was the 1990’s – Aggro and Leroy Jenkins hadn’t been invented yet. Our characters tried to outrun the troll horde but we found ourselves surrounded. The first casualty of the battle was the coach, it ended up flipping onto its side, pinning my character Addlebert beneath it with a broken leg. My character spent the entire combat trying to get free while friend and foe alike trampled over him.
Our resident Dwarf, Ralphus charged into battle, eager to face one of his peoples’ natural enemies. Deviant Boy let us know that Ralphus had been saving a particularly large and stale sausage for just such and occasion.
Collateral Darren kept his pit fighter in the thick of things and managed to kill two trolls before Nitro’s sword arm was sliced off by one of the curved, cruel-looking weapons the trolls were using.
Blobert Smith and Cheating Bastard had their steeds cut out from under them by a few well-timed troll attacks. Their horses gone, the Flaming Cliché and Lord Flashheart suddenly found themselves on the defensive, they climbed on top of the upended coach and prepared to make a desperate last stand, ignoring Addlbert’s screams of agony all the while.
The real surprise of this combat however was the ratcatcher; the dice were truly with El Disgusto as his character killed twice as many trolls on his own as the rest of the party did together.
Weasly Crusher: “Another kill! Good going El Disgusto! Are you sure you’re not using Cheating Bastard’s lucky dice?”
El Disgusto: “It’s all skill pally, all skill.”
Blobert Smith: “We shall tell the trolls that death is here and his name is… what was your character’s name again?”
El Disgusto: “You never asked.”
Blobert Smith: “And yet here you are fighting alongside us. Truly we have been through the desert on a coach with no name.”
Weasly Crusher: “Sorry Deviant Boy but Ralphus’ weapon of choice breaks.”
Deviant Boy: “Stormwiener no!”
Cheating Bastard: “How many more trolls are left?”
Weasly Crusher: “Seven trolls surround you.”
Me: “We can’t take that many. We’re too wounded.”
Cheating Bastard: “Well maybe if you weren’t just lying there… like… like… Blobert?”
Blobert Smith: “…like a wealthy man with a faulty toupee and a bad back on his wedding night?”
Deviant Boy: “Wow.”
Me: “It’s uncanny.”
El Disgusto: “How many trolls have we killed?”
Weasly Crusher: “Six.”
Collateral Darren: “I’ll just pour your bourbon into this convenient novelty glass.”
Me: “Once again let me say that not only do I think its pretty damn sad that we’ve combined drinking and roleplaying but then to be drinking from Muppet Baby glasses… is this really what we should be doing with our lives?”
El Disgusto: “You have a better idea? Maybe we could watch you spend all night striking out with goth girls at the QE2? Or we could help you write some of the stories that no one will ever print. Or we could watch some of those crappy movies that only you seem to rent. Who was the last one directed by? Peter Jackson? That guy will never work again!”
Me: “You know you really missed your calling as a suicide prevention line operator.”

As we argued Weasly Crusher downed his bourbon in a series of convulsive gulps and then started GMing again. His eyes became more and more glassy as the adventure continued.

Weasly Crusher: “The trolls surround you but suddenly there is a flash and a series of lightning bolts reduce your enemies to ashes.”
Deviant Boy: “Saved!”
Cheating Bastard: “Do those still count as our kills for experience purposes?”
Collateral Darren: “Nitro turns to see who has saved the party.”
Me: “You know Darren, Nitro might want to do something about that spurting wound where his arm used to be and I don’t know maybe-get this damn coach off my character!!!!”
Weasly Crusher: “An elf walks out of the forest. He has short, dark hair and wears a blue tunic tucked into a pair of black breeches and leather boots.”
Blobert Smith: “The Flaming Cliché hails him as a fellow elf.”
Weasly Crusher: “He speaks a dialect of elvish you can barely understand.”
Blobert Smith: “My character explains to the rest of the party that this stranger speaks a dialect of elvish that can barely be understood.”
El Disgusto: “Ask him how he saved us, is he a magic user?”
Blobert Smith: “My character asks the stranger how he saved us and if he is a magic user.”
Weasly Crusher: “The stranger tells your character that he is a scientist.”
Blobert Smith: “The Flaming Cliché tells the rest of the party that their rescuer is a scientist.”
Weasly Crusher: “When the stranger sees how badly injured the rest of the party is he pulls a small gold and black object from his belt and whispers into it.”
Blobert Smith: “He has pulled a small metal-”
Deviant Boy: “Ok we can take it from here Blobert.”
Weasly Crusher: “Two humans stride out of the woods, one is dressed in a very similar fashion to the elf, the other wears a gold tunic instead of a blue one.”
Collateral Darren: “This is familiar but I can’t recall which Warhammer supplement it’s in.”
Weasly Crusher: “The human in the gold tunic pulls a kind of wand slash crossbow thing from his belt and fires it at the coach. A kind of lightning shoots out and turns the coach into ashes.”
Me: “Uh… ok?”
Weasly Crusher: “Then the human in the blue tunic walks up to you and waves a wand over your shattered leg. The wound miraculously heals.”
Me: “But how… I didn’t think magic worked that way in this game.”

The rest of the party began asking the strangers for their own wounds to be healed. The human and the elf did all the work while the man in the gold tunic observed with an impossibly smug expression on his face.

Weasly Crusher: “And the man in the gold tunic observes it all with an impossibly smug expression on his face.”
Me: “My character thanks the strangers and asks them their names. My character tells them his name is Addlebert.”
Deviant Boy: “My dwarf curtsies and tells them he is Ralphus.”
Cheating Bastard: “My noble introduces himself as Lord Flashheart and explains to them that if they are ever in his vaguely outlined but far away fiefdom they are more than welcome to visit.”
Blobert Smith: “The Flaming Cliché thanks them the only way he knows how, with a framed lithograph of his nipple-pint.”
El Disgusto: “My ratcatcher walks up to them and says ‘Hi! My name is Ab3 and I love the taste of failure!’”
Me: “That’s it you’re DEAD!”
El Disgusto: “What? I’m roleplaying motherfucker!”
Me: “You smelly SOCIOPATH!”
Blobert Smith: “No! There will be No fighting in this basement. This basement is sacred ground. Dreams were born and died in this basement. It was here that I first made love to Asenath, on that futon right there.”
Me: “Hey, who wants to trade seats?”
Blobert Smith: “And it was there, on that tearstained patch of carpet that I begged her not to break up with me but alas it was too late. The damage was done.”
Me: “Anyone at all?”
Deviant Boy: “Not that I care, because I don’t, I just don’t, why did she break up with you?”
Blobert Smith: “Merely because once in the throws of passion I cried Peter Murphy’s name instead of hers. A common enough mistake for anyone that has listened to a single Bauhaus album.”
Me: “Look I’ll give someone cash money to swap with me. Cash money!”
Weasly Crusher: “The strangers offer to take you with them to their ship.”
Collateral Darren: “Sounds tempting.”
Me: “Ship? Is there a river near here?”
El Disgusto: “Oh my God. How stupid are you?”
Me: “Possibly stupid enough to have just gotten crabs from a futon.”
Cheating Bastard: “Come on Ab3, think about it.”
Weasly Crusher: “Are we gaming are not? Are you guys gonna go to the ship, join their crew and fight the troll menace where ever they are found?”
Me: “I have no idea what is going on here anymore.”
Deviant Boy: “Look, one pointy eared elf, two humans, strange ‘magic’, gold and blue shirts.”
Me: “Oh my God. We’re having a Star Trek crossover? With Warhammer?”
Blobert Smith: “Make it so.”
Me: “Weasly how drunk are you?”
Weasly Crusher: “Drunk enough, I’m feelin’ the modifiers baby.”
Me: “I think we should just call it a night guys. He has no idea what he’s doing.”
Collateral Darren: “Oh no. We are going to keep gaming until my character gets a phaser.”
Cheating Bastard: “Word.”
Deviant Boy: “So… Asenath’s single again?”
Weasly Crusher: “Look are you losers beaming up or not? The Captain wants to know.”
El Disgusto: “Ab3 the ratcatcher is going, if only because he hopes the strange science of these people can cure his terminal lameness.”
Blobert Smith: “My character swoons at the possibility of making his own journey to the Ring of Soshern.”
Deviant Boy: “What’s the Ring of Soshern?”
Blobert Smith: “Perhaps it is a place our characters could explore together.”
Me: “Guys. This is insane and Weasly is so drunk that he won’t even remember this.”
Collateral Darren: “But we’ll still have our phasers.”
Cheating Bastard: “And he’ll have to deal with it.”
Weasly Crusher: “So everyone is beaming up but Ab3’s character?”
Me: “I am trying to make a stand here.”
Weasly Crusher: “Fine. The rest of the party beams up on to the Enterprise with the strangers. Addlebert waits behind.”
Me: “Good then maybe…”
Weasly Crusher: “But then magical Leprechaun appears next to your character.”
Me: “A what? A leprechaun?” There aren’t any leprechauns in Warhammer fantasy roleplay are there?”
Weasly Crusher: “Insulted by your statements the leprechaun pulls out a Rambo knife and stabs your character in the groin and again and again and again until…”

I can only assume that the leprechaun stabbing would have been fatal for my character because that was when Weasly started throwing up into his milk crate full of gaming supplies.

Weasly Crusher: “Blargh!”
Me: “Oh nice going Darren, is this how they do it at Gen Con too?”
Weasly Crusher: “Blaarrgghh!”
Cheating Bastard: “Ha! Yeah Gen Con right. Maybe we should be drinking out of a poetry slam trophy.”
Deviant Boy: “While – snicker- while reading some Bob Kane artwork?”
Weasly Crusher: “Blaaarrrggghhh!”
El Disgusto: “With some co-eds?”
Me: “What are you idiots talking about?”
Blobert Smith: “I must confess that you have been part of a social experiment put forth by El Disgusto.”
Weasly Crusher: “Blaaaarrrrgggghhhh!”
Me: “Social experiment?”
El Disgusto: “Well I realized after I made a joke about having Bob Kane artwork that you believed me and then we all realized you actually believed stuff we told you.”
Me: “But why would you lie to me?”
El Disgusto: “Because it’s funny!”
Weasly Crusher: “Blaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!”
Deviant Boy: “And some of the stuff you shared with us is priceless.”
Me: “Priceless?”
Collateral Darren: “Like when you told Blobert how you reacted when the chief editor of Simon and Schuster sent you a personal letter detailing why your novel would never ever be published? I mean crying is one thing but hiding under your desk for an hour?”
Me: “But it hurt…”
Cheating Bastard: “Or when you told El Disgusto your great-grandmother used to call you Chicken-scratches? Hysterical!”
Weasly Crusher: “Blaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!”
Me: “I told you this stuff because you guys supposed to be my friends.”
Blobert Smith: “We are not friends sadly we are gamers, unloved and unwanted we rattle our dice against the crushing din of our own failure and self-loathing. And the tale you told Darren about meeting one of your favorite authors only to have him call you a miserable little suck up in front of a laughing crowd? That is the stuff that dream ballets are made of.”
Me: “Look this is a really shitty way to treat a person guys. If you are kidding around with me lets drop it now before my feelings get hurt.”
El Disgusto: “Oh always with the feelings Ab3, always with the feelings.”
Me: “You mean none of the stuff you guys told me is true?”
El Disgusto: “I never met Bob Kane.”
Weasly Crusher: “Blaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!”
Collateral Darren: “I’ve never been to Gen Con. I legally can’t leave the state for a few more years.”
Blobert Smith: “And never entered a poetry slam contest much less won a trophy.”
Me: “But Deviant Boy what about the co-eds?”
Deviant Boy: “Well technically they were co-eds… in the early 1950’s.”
El Disgusto: “Ewwwww.”
Deviant Boy: “I tell you they don’t call them ‘hot flashes’ for nothing.”
Me: “But what about what I told you? That was kind of private…”
Weasly Crusher: “Blaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh!”
Deviant Boy: “You mean the thing about you masturbating into your socks?”
El Disgusto: “Ab3 you’ve given a whole new meaning to the term ‘doing the laundry’.”

Of course I stormed out of Blobert’s house at that point but as I have said before there is no dignified way to leave the gaming table with tears in your eyes. I told myself on the drive home that I would have to be an idiot to hang out with these guys again but I guess I still hadn’t learned my lesson. When I got back to my place I couldn’t sleep so I finished the chores I had been putting off. The bathroom floor was finally mopped, my bookshelves finally got dusted and yes I did finish my laundry but don’t worry I left out the whitener.


  1. No one is perfect. And I am sad to say that staying with these grade-A lifeless losers was, in hindsight, a mistake.
    Except Westley Crusher. He's an OK-guy and a decent GM.

  2. As usual I howled in laughter.
    Except for the sadder parts about yourself... :'(

  3. Ah, if only Peter Jackson *hadn't* done anything else, the world would be such a happier place...