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Writing Number 2

And we continue with more of Zalam’s impressions of his companions:

 

Zalam was not disappointed. Meeting more of the soon to be Gala’s guests has been a special pleasure for Zalam. He wonders at just what individual can bring together such a disparate group. He looks forward to meeting Claudius Giovanni.

First, there is the Local. He has all the bearings of the these moldy country lords, while likely not exactly one of them himself. Zalam cares little for this little lord. But his friend? The one that we shall refer to as the HIdden?

At first, the HIdden seemed like a run of the mill, foreign noble. But to Zalam’s surprise, his mask was jarred loose by another of the guests, the Roman.  During the evenings festivities, the Roman told a captivating story of a fallen noble, one whose heart matched Zalam’s. The Hidden reacted poorly to this tale. It seems the Roman was sharing with others the tale of the Hidden’s past.  The hidden was quick to denounce and attempt to extricate himself from this portrait of the Roman’s, but if it proves truthful, Zalam should like to make the Hidden’s aquaintance.

The Roman. A man who seemed more interesting than he turned out to be. Zalam thought initially that the Roman might prove to be something of a kindred spirit or at least a potential ally. But who should think that when he was revealing the HIdden, he revealed himself to be upright, boring, and utterly uninteresting. At least there is the Slave.

The Slave harkens from Zalam’s home state. Zalam seems this one as dangerous. If this one truly was one of the devout, how could he coexist with this group of miscreants? Especially the Entertainment. Should the Slave recognize the not so hidden Entertainment, Zalam could find himself on the losing end. He must occupy this Slave’s sight. He must serve to hide his companions.  Otherwise this Slave might prove troublesome.

It is with this in mind that Zalam helped the Entertainment pursue his fiendish pleasures. It is with this in mind that he kept the Slaves attention on himself rather than any of his other companions. And it is with this in mind that his eyes secretly follow the Slave.

Writing Number 1

I have been slacking in that I have not posted my writings like I said I would. Here is the first writing:

The night was cold and damp. For Zalam, away from his creature comforts and servants, it was a time to reflect on his purpose for accepting the invitation of Claudius Giovanni.  Why accept this invitation to go to the middle of nowhere and risk his life for a ridiculous part in the middle of nowhere? After all, Zalam is not stupid. He has heard of the horrors that await an unwary traveler on the roads in this moldy, old country.

But Zalam was nothing if not ambitious. He holds high hopes of becoming something far greater than a criminal, even one high up on the food chain in the criminal world. Earthy pleasures and comforts were close to meaningless to him. They served more to establish an image in other’s eyes rather than for his amusement. So why accept this invitation?

In a word, intuition. Zalam has attempted to cultivate his understanding of the shrouded occult. And when an opportunity comes knocking, one that tickles his deepest pursuit, he will not be found wanting. And then there are his “companions” on the journey. They have cemented his belief in the fact that this journey is beyond the pale and not a simple debauched party.

There is the Dealer in antiquities that shows a devout exterior. He passes off forgeries and blasphemies to those that know no better. Even though the dealer believes himself to be hidden and above reproach, to Zalam his tricks are obvious and entertaining. Surely this dealer doesn’t think that he has been invited because he has some legitimate reliquaries for sale? After all, if Zalam sees through him he thinks it likely that others, like their host, will as well.

Then there is the Entertainment. With Zalam’s past, it is easy for him to recognize a true killer, especially one that does little to hide his nature.  And he is also a guest invited to this gala. Zalam sees in this one a kindred soul to a certain degree. And he also sees one who is experienced with death as he is, one who has caressed the dying to see their last breath up close. What observations he must have! He will use this one to further his own understanding.

And then there is Lothar Giovanni, the one that invited them. His mask is easy to penetrate. He is no less a killer than the Entertainment or Zalam. One like this serves a master who in turn had invited this group of miscreants. Why should Zalam not be intruiged?

Gamma World – Man down

We met for Gamma World again, though we were down a man, so I had to quickly throw something together. I had this idea (it was a really one note idea) that if needed I could run as a session when one of the players disappeared.  With that background, I tossed something together for Mae Lyn and Krunk Mayhem.

Our session started with the trio surveying the carnage wrought by the leviathan in the wake of the battle of the bros. That escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. Our heroes, if we can call them heroes at this point, stood in awe of the great beast, when a beam of light descended and sucked Sports Authority into the air, like in Fire in the Sky or Whitley Strieber’s Communion, which I was incorrectly attributing to Ridley Scott the entire time. Whatever, it is all aliens.

Surveying the landscape, a now winged Mae Lyn (yay, alpha flux!) started to sing A Whole New World From Aladdin after rolling very poorly. Krunk Mayhem fared better and saw a crashed saucer in a nearby building.  Could it be connected? Of course it is. Off they went.

Inside the saucer they met a little gray alien by the name of Probeulon15783754EXC, though he told them they could call him Probeulon15783754 for short. Attempts to refer to him as Probe-y or Probeulon were rebuffed. And thus began the theme of the session: One long “joke” about aliens probing rectums. I am hilarious and clever.

Eventually coming to terms with ol’ Probe-y, the now dynamic duo were about to be sent into orbit aboard the alien mothership to locate Sports Authority. They acquired some guns that would allow them unlimited ranged shooting aboard the craft (because science reasons, and because there hasn’t been much gunplay in the game). A side mission was to find cleaning fluid for all of Probeulon’s various probes, which he had run out of on account of his gratuitous probing. Another side mission was to kick some ass on the mothership because, “Those guys are all dicks.”

With a good enough reason in hand, the party was teleported away.  Boarding the alien craft, they wandered the hallways, finding some aliens with which to do battle. This was a hard fought encounter, particularly for Mae Lyn. It was very close at several points and swung wildly back and forth. Encounter design for two players is a pretty dicey proposition. With worse rolls from the enemies the player’s would have steam rolled it. If a couple other rolls had gone in favor of the baddies, the party would have wiped. Battling against lasers and probes and laser probes, it was rough.

After the fight some spectacularly bad rolls resulted in them disabling gravity on the ship. A roll of 1 followed by another 1 trying to fix the first failed roll. They bounced around the ship, finding cells holding other prisoners, who they released. The prisoners led our duo to the probing room, where they hoped to find Sports Authority. Entering the facility, another fight broke out. And by broke out, I mean they walked into the room, rolled initiative, and were promptly dropped in two hits by Rocket Drones. Those things are insanely overpowered for level 3. Glass cannons. Since the drones won initiative on a roll of 20 and they have a blast recharge power it was a hilariously lopsided battle.

Gravity restored, Mae Lyn and Krunk Mayhem awoke on the probing table. Mae Lyn used her new dominate Alpha mutation power to great effect, while Krunk Mayhem rolled another 1 and hurt himself struggling against the restraints. Mae Lyn charged the now reduced in strength enemies, but also rolled 1 and smacked her head on some probing equipment.  The rolling was very uneven this session.

Luckily the rocket drones could no longer roll a hit so this encounter was a steamroll in the opposite direction. The dice giveth and the dice taketh away.

Finally rounding up some aliens who were unarmed, and with a solid science check, our heroes could communicate with the aliens. They told Mae and Krunk a story of how none of them really wanted to be there and they were just doing this job for the benefits and how no one liked Dave, which was Probeulon’s real name. Inquiring about Sports Authority, the aliens confessed that Sports Authority had begun eating them as soon as he came on board, so they locked him in the room with the abduction beam and called it good.

Reunited (and it feels so good?)  our newly reforged trio grabbed the probe disinfectant jelly and headed to the transporter room. The aliens, all battered and bruised by the party as they ravaged the ship, were happy to see the PCs depart. Sports Authority continued chewing on an alien the entire time.

Back in Tempeh and talking to Probeulon, our heroes agreed to go after the cult operating out of Sun Devil Stadium who had stolen the gigantic probe intended for use on the leviathan. A drawing of the probe firing mechanism resulted in something looking like the Navigator from Alien. At this point the alien offered the heroes some of the leathery eggs he had collected from an intergalactic hunting craft, and we reached peaked pop culture references for this session and called it done.

It was weird, it was wild. It was Gamma World.

Back on the horse

Recently I made the grave decision I know I will soon come to regret of getting back into miniatures gaming. Not content to constrain my folly to a single game line, I have opted to start in on Infinity and Warhammer 40,000. I do this because I am a masochist to some degree. That or I hate money. One of the two. Possibly both.

I call this back on the horse and not back in the saddle because this is plastic heroin. I’m not bravely setting out on some journey of self discovery, I’m retreating back into a hobby that I know will end in rapidly escalating competitiveness, hard as nails lists, hurt feelings, massive blow ups of friendships, and finally dumping all of my collected figures either into the attic or on ebay. There is no other path.

One could argue restraint would win the day, but I am incapable of it. Already since making this decision I have spent:

$70 on an Infinity starter set
$65 on Warhammer Kill Team
$150 on  Death Masque
$50 on Codex Deathwatch
$40 on Codex Necrons
$50 on paints (and this is a fraction of what I actually need)

I started this back up last Friday and I am already $425 into this pit and showing no signs of slowing down, let alone stopping. I’ve got a list of stuff I want for my Deathwatch Kill Team and Necron army that easily doubles that number. It gets worse when I consider I’m flirting with the idea of buying a Flesh Eater Courts starter box for Age of Sigmar and heading down that path to depravity as well.

I’m not writing this because I want sympathy. I don’t want anyone to stop me. I just want to serve as a warning to others. Teach your kids about the dangers of miniatures gaming before someone else does. Or get them into it because they won’t have money for drugs.

And now some red meat: Pictures!

 

Rogue 1.5

Having seen the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise, I think we can all agree it was better than the lackluster rehash that was The Force Awakens, and vastly superior to execrable prequels. Having said that, viewing it in the larger context of the Star Wars whole does complicate matters. Rather than a by the numbers review, I thought I would address these points by adding on a post credits sequence that I think would have really cleared things up.

Oh, EXTREME SPOILERS for Rogue One, by the way.

I’m not even kidding. Here there be spoilers.

Spoilers, yo!

Ok, you were warned enough. Here we go.

**************************************************

INT – PALPATINE’S THRONE ROOM

Emperor Palpatine is seated on his throne. Beside him is Darth Vader, breathing like an asthmatic trying to do chin ups. In front of them stands an Imperial actuary in a smart uniform with a clipboard.

ACTUARY
And so you can see, we achieved a 300% increase in combat effectiveness with the use of simple hand grenades…

PALPATINE
No grenades.

ACTUARY
Why no grenades? Literally every main character, er, rebel agent of any import was killed by a grenade or an explosion of some sort during that last skirmish.

PALPATINE
I don’t like them. I have already gotten the rebels to agree to no grenades. No grenades.

ACTUARY
If you will forgive me, your highness, they were very effective. Ridiculously, stupidly effective. The rebels probably can’t even afford that many grenades, which is why they’d be eager to agree to such terms. Meanwhile we’ve been blowing our budget on ineffective plastic armor for the Stormtroopers.

PALPATINE
I am done talking about this.

ACTUARY
Very well. That brings us to the matter of Galen Erso. I understand we murdered his wife in front of him.

PALPATINE laughing darkly
Yesssssssssss.

ACTUARY
Was anyone at all concerned about this? How it might affect the quality of his work?

PALPATINE
Not really.

ACTUARY
Do we have something on this guy? Are we blackmailing him with information that would ensure compliance? Like… Does he eat people? Because that would be great to know. He really wouldn’t want that getting out. Being a cannibal.

PALPATINE
No. That is a completely different show.

ACTUARY
Did we at least have people peer review what he was doing? Any oversight on his transmissions?

PALPATINE
No. You have to trust your people, you know. It is what good leaders do. Delegate.

ACTUARY
Look, there is delegation, then their abdicating your responsibility to ensure the safety and security of…

Vader begins force choking the Actuary.  The Actuary gags and gasps until Emperor Palpatine waves his hand and releases the man.

PALPATINE
How did you like that, eh?

ACTUARY
I… I didn’t.

PALPATINE
I bet not. We’ve got more where that came from, you know.

ACTUARY
Can I just… Is that like a sexual thing for you guys? Does it turn you on?

VADER, defensively
No! I just choke people. And then my heart rate increases and my breathing gets faster and my blood pressure goes up.

ACTUARY
You are describing arousal…

VADER
And then little Vader gets excited and stands up to look around and see what is going on…

ACTUARY
Still describing arousal…

PALPATINE
Enough of this. Did you have further questions, or must you insist on wasting the time of this august body?

ACTUARY
Of course. My apologies.I’d like to talk about Eadu if we may.

PALPATINE
Of course.

ACTUARY
Am I to understand we had a shield that covered the entire planet and made it immune to penetration by both weapons systems and ships?

PALPATINE
Yes. It is an impressive piece of technology and we did not steal the idea from the movie Space Balls.

ACTUARY
Of course not. And are we putting this same shield on your… Death Star?

PALPATINE
No.

ACTUARY
Can I ask why not? It seems like that would be an excellent precautionary measure.

PALPATINE
That shit won’t work.

ACTUARY
But why? It…

Vader begins force choking the Actuary again. The Actuary gags and chokes, falling to his knees.

PALPATINE
Oh my God! You were right! He totally has an erection right now!

Vader loses his concentration, dropping the force choke. The Actuary stands back up.

VADER
Wait, what?

PALPATINE
Oh, when I was rebuilding you I had them put in a bunch of sensors so I could monitor your… you know what? Never mind.

Pause.

ACTUARY
Awkward… Moving along. Now the data the rebels stole. I understand they transmitted from the surface using an imperial dish. Do we know what they transmitted?

PALPATINE
Not a clue.

ACTUARY
None of ships picked up the blast of data from the planet’s surface…

PALPATINE
Our shit didn’t work.

ACTUARY
You know, our technology seems incredibly fickle, like it only works in a very specific set of circumstances that… Whatever. Fine. I understand Tarkin gave the order to fire on the facility. Is that correct?

PALPATINE
Correct.

ACTUARY
And he did this despite the fact that the rebels were fleeing and we could have examined the missing drive to determine what was transmitted, or reviewed the outbound logs for the planet, which Director Krennic alluded to them keeping, to determine what was sent?

PALPATINE
I mean, I guess so.

ACTUARY
Do you have any idea how damaging it is to troop morale to fire on your own people? Please tell me you fired him.

PALPATINE
No. I put him in charge of the Death Star. Forever.

ACTUARY
Of course you did. Great. That’s great. And that brings us to you, Lord Vader. I understand you chased the rebel holding the plans at a brisk walk.

VADER
Correct.

ACTUARY
And cornered said rebel, who slid the plans through the door.

VADER
Correct.

ACTUARY
And at no point did it occur to you to rip the plans from his hand with your force powers, even though we saw you do that seconds before with the rebels’ blaster weapons, or to throw your lightsaber, or force choke him into submission, or anything?

VADER
Uh… I forgot.

ACTUARY
You forgot.

VADER
I forgot I could do that stuff. Yes.

ACTUARY
And where are Tarkin and this Death Star headed now?

PALPATINE
Alderaan.

ACTUARY
And why are they going to Alderaan?

PALPATINE
So that when we capture Princess Leia we can demonstrate the power of this fully armed and operation battlestation!

ACTUARY
Right. And you need to demonstrate this to her despite the fact she watched you use your super weapon on Eadu and will would likely mention something to that effect?

PALPATINE
Oh, she won’t do that.

ACTUARY
Really? Because that seems kind of important. Like she’d at least bring that up…

PALPATINE
Won’t happen.

ACTUARY
You know what? Fine. Final question. Given that you are seemingly unconcerned with collateral damage or the damage to morale caused by firing on your own troops, can you explain why you had to go through this convoluted effort to build not one, but two secret armies to wage war against each other so you could destroy the Jedi and take over the republic when you could have just as easily waited to finish building the Death Star and fired directly on the Jedi Temple, killing them all in one go? I mean, it is not like they’d have seen it coming given they were standing right next to you multiple times and could not tell you are a Sith lord.

PALPATINE
Well, I, that is… actually a way better plan.

Palpatine begins using force lighnting the Actuary. The man writhes and screams as bolts of blue electricity arc through his body

PALPATINE
Oh my God! I have the biggest boner right now!

END SCENE

Gamma World 4e

Gamma World Returns!

The update no one demanded. I forgot my notes, which turned out to be slightly less of a problem for reasons we will get into later. We leveled up to level 3, taking a new utility power and some extra hit points. This installment finds our intrepid heroes delving into the ruins of ASU. Only they are not really ruins. Surprisingly well maintained, actually. Robot servitors keeping the grounds and the Science and Technology Department in near perfect shape, save for an ominous Omega symbol spray painted on the front.

Sports Authority, Krunk Mayhem, and Mae Lyn entered the building, making their way to the lab. There they found a young man in a lab coat going by the name of AlBro-t Einstein. He explained his theory of Broletivity and introduced them to his peer: Erwin Broedinger, who told them about his box that contained a cat. If the cat was alive, you had to take a drink. If the cat was dead, you had to take two drinks. Opening the box the cat was very dead, leading Broedinger to lament a lack of airholes. Moving on, they met ABroham Lincoln and Broseph Stalin. Then on to the special projects division, where Robert Broppenheimer and Neils Bro-hr were working on their doomsday weapon: the Jager Bomb. Explaining their need for nuclear material to arm the devices, they lamented all of that was taken by “the nerds” who they had stolen the building from. They also mentioned having broken the nerds’ robot EVA by hitting it with a whiskey bottle, instilling the robot with a hatred of humanity and sending it out into the wastes.

Things got a little meta at this point, and the conversation veered several times. Eventually the trio agreed to go look for the nerds and return the nuclear material. Setting out for South Mountain, they took a detour to scope out the Fry’s Electronics. Inside of Fry’s, they found a quartet of cyber zombies, dead humans merged with the technology they used to sell. They were only marginally less apathetic and useless than living Fry’s employees, though they did hunger for human flesh. Wielding keyboards, they attacked our “heroes”. The fight started rather by the numbers, with zombies swinging and missing, and the player’s connecting some solid hits. A zombie made a wild swing, but rolled a 1 and instead performed a dainty pirouette, followed by a gentlemanly bow at the end. Combat continued. Then one of the zombies dropped. This triggered an electric reaction from one of the survivors, who let loose with force lightning on Sports Authority and dealt a massive amount of damage. Some handy Omega tech blunted to worst of it, but it was clear things were going to get worse. Shortly after, Krunk Mayhem got flanked by a pair of zombies. Two big hits landed, the first zombie smashing him in the face, right into a savage blow from behind by the second. From full hit points to one hit point in the space of two attacks. A new utility power was used, teleporting everyone out of harms way and allowing the players to regroup.

It was much more by the numbers from this point onward, with the player’s eventually triumphing, and scouring the ruins. Mae Lyn and Sports Authority found omega tech. Krunk Mayhem found a vacuum cleaner and a returns desk. Krunk returned a piece of omega tech he was not using for a new card. Everyone seemed satisfied. On to South Mountain!

Running short on time, we skipped the planned encounters (that were with my missing notes anyway) and fast forwarded to meeting with the nerds. The players negotiated an agreement with Doctor Parker to clear the frat bros out from ASU and give them back control of the lab. They learned the professors had retreated to South Mountain after having been ousted by the frat bros to work on a doomsday weapon. A pulse wired into one of the towers that would make being stupid painful, with the idea that they could cleanse the wastes of dumb people by forcing them to commit suicide or flee. The group agreed to send the bros packing, and headed back to ASU.

At ASU they gathered the bros for a presentation, with the intent of sending them after Baws Hawg, the guy Mayor Cluck Cluck had hired them to kill to begin with. Sports Authority expended his hypnosis ray, and Krunik Mayhem rolled a natural 20. Whipping the bros into a steroid fueled frenzy, their implements of destruction hit the streets, chanting and raging. Unfortunately, no one gave them a route to take, and bros chose the quickest path to the airport, taking the bridge over Tempeh Town Lake, home of the leviathan. A massive aquatic beast arose and began slaughtering the bros, who ripped their Tap Out shirts, screamed “Come at me, bro!”, and charged the beast. They, of course, met grisly deaths. It was a gruesome blood bath, which was watched by cheering mermaids and our trio.

Thus ended Gamma World for this week. Tune in next week where we find out… whatever we find out. I have no idea what is going to happen in this game anymore. I barely understood what we were doing this session.

Giovanni Chronicles begins again!

This will mark the second time I have played in Giovanni Chronicles. The first was one of the finest games I have ever played in and spawned my favorite character that I have ever had the opportunity to play in Enescu.

I will introduce you into the character I have created for the new game. Much like the previous Giovanni Chronicles, we have made human characters with no knowledge of what, if any, clan we would become. Without further ado, I give you Zalam!

Born as a by product of rape from a crusader and a muslim girl, Ibrahim Damascus was orphaned from birth.  Given his name by the Islamic orphanage that took him in Damascus, Syria, he grew up learning the lessons that those without power frequently learn in the most dire of situations. He was a constant victim of abuse (sexual, emotional, and physical) and racism stemming from his mixed heritage.  He was one of many such youngsters used by a corrupt head of the orphanage for various criminal acts, both committed by the children and to the children.

At the age of 11, in an instant of clarity and rage, Ibrahim stuck back against one of those who abused him, a patron of the orphanage’s “services”,  with a dull kitchen knife.  He fled the orphanage and entered the street.  At first, he struggled to survive. But gradually, his ruthlessness began to frighten those around him and he managed to carve out an existence.  By the age of fifteen, he was a hardened thug who had began to learn a criminal trade beyond thievery and murder. A quick study, he began to understand the underground world of organized crime.

But Ibrahim had not forgotten the circumstances of his youth. He was still tormented by nightmares of his past. In what ended up becoming known as a night of infamy, he snuck back into the orphanage and proceeded to silently murder the head of the orphanage.  The head’s body was discovered the morning after, tortured almost beyond recognition and various blasphemies carved into the dead flesh. For Ibrahim, that night was a transformative one. He entered the orphanage Ibrahim, the tortured young lad. He exited Zalam, birthed in the rage and pain and darkness. This transformation was more than just a change in name. For Zalam, it marked the entrance into a new world, the occult.

After the orphanage, his ties to Damascus were no more. He decided to head east and carve out a new life. He ended up in Budapest by the age of twenty. An intelligent and capable criminal, he quickly worked his way up the criminal food chain in Budapest. He now controls a large portion of the Opium in the city along with maintaining various opium dens. But Zalam had not forgotten that feeling that was with him on his night of revenge. He began to study any and all occultism around death.

Zalam also began taking opium in the desire to expand his consciousness. Further, he began to experiment with all the ready subjects around him. It did not matter if it was a ruthless gang killing or a quiet overdose in an opium den, Zalam would use those chances to attempt to connect with the feeling he had all those years ago. He is convinced that there in lies a secret to a transformation more powerful than any and all the benefits touted by any of the fake religions around him.

Description:  Zalam stands a few inches shy of 6 feet. His face has been pocked with any and all conditions that stemmed from extreme poverty.  He also has  a jagged scar that runs from his temple to his chin. This scar matches plenty of others that lie on his body. He seems raggedly thin, but upon closer inspection his body is a lot of lean muscle. The most unsettling thing about his appearance is his gaze. He does not view others as anything other than a commodity or a chance at enlightenment. His cold, blue eyes reflect that on a subconscious level. It is all to common to see a person shiver after they meet his gaze.

How to be a Bad Ass DM

All right, listen up fools. I’m about to drop some truth into your head holes about how to be a bad ass dungeon master, hence forth referred to as Dungeon Mastuh or DM, ‘cuz that is how a bad ass talks. They don’t have time for proper pronunciation or sounding things out in full. We have better things to do. like sneering or conditioning our leather jackets. Yeah. That is a sweet lookin’ jacket.

First up: Candles. Candle the shit out of your play space, but not so many as to actually allow people to read what is on their sheet. If the player can’t read their sheet/dice, they can’t argue with you when you tell them than no, they actually failed that save and now they are a statue. A bad ass DM doesn’t take back talk from the players. You want your gaming area to look like a medieval tavern where the owner doesn’t have enough coin for torches, despite the fact you are actually at your kitchen table in the suburbs and have proper light sources that would actually allow you to see what is going on. Ambiance, suckas.

Second: Mirror shades. Wear ’em. “But Adam, with the low light from the candles I can’t see a thing!” First off, who told you that you could speak to me? Second, you don’t need to see anything if you have ‘tude. You are a bad ass. You are making this shit up as you go along. If the lighting is bad enough, it doesn’t matter. The players can’t see a damn thing either. If you really need to catch a peek at something, you can always stare down at your players in disgust from over the top of your shades. That is what cool guys do.

Third: Fingerless gloves. Wear ’em. Also, spike your hair. That is what cool people do. If you don’t look like the villain from an 1980’s vampire flick, you are doing it wrong. Try again. Got leather pants/skirt and a mesh shirt? Even better. “But Adam, now my legs are dumping sweat and my torso is freezing!” Deal with it, cry baby. Let your players learn to avert their eyes from your dagger like nipples.

Fourth: Random acts of violence. Hit your players. They deserve it. “But Adam, battery is illegal, besides, these are my friends!” WRONG. Players are the enemy. They deserve a smack. Light ’em up. They need to FEAR you.

Fifth: Music. Crank that shit. This plays into the candle thing. If it is loud enough, the players can’t argue that you said you rolled a 19 vs their AC rather than a 20, which would hit. Oh, you couldn’t hear me over Cradle of Filth? Boo hoo. Too bad. I guess your Gnome Enchanter is DEAD. Roll up a REAL character this time, like a wandering Drow outcast suffering from depression.

Sixth: Swords. Fucking. EVERYWHERE. Got a wall? Throw a sword up on there as decoration. Or an axe. Or a shield with two swords. Basically your house better look like a weapons museum. Got kids? Too bad. They’ll learn not be touching that stuff eventually. You know, once they bleed a few times or end up short a couple digits.

Seventh: Proper session prep and story. You don’t need ’em. You are flying by the seat of your (leather) pants. You can make something up. If they players don’t like it, pretend you said something else or they weren’t listening. Or hit them. You’ve got options, is my main point.

And that, friends, is how you be a bad ass DM. Of course, if you actually want to be a GOOD DM, then you can throw all this advice out the window, because it kind of sucks. Now if you will excuse me, I need to peel myself out of these stupid pants and hope I don’t accidentally walk into a wall along the way.

Gamma World the 3rd

This is officially the session where everything went bug fuck crazy, so bear with me as I try to recall the sequence of events.

First, Sports Authority started off with butchering one of the pig men killed last session for meat. Meat which he began cooking. This attracted attention of the frog men in Golfland/Sunsplash. After much discussion about the ethics of eating other sentient creatures and the need for a pair of GODDAMN BINOCULARS, the party packed it up, and moved on to their primary objective: The warlord Baby Eater. Binoculars and ethics turned into a theme for the session.

Making their way to Fiesta Mall, they group took stock of their surroundings. Deciding a direct approach was imprudent, they used the wiles of Mae Lin and some choice cuts of pig man to lure out a couple of raiders from the mall. Killing one and capturing the other, they took their quarry to the ruins of Eyeglass World.

Sports Authority busied himself butchering the dead raider ( henceforth known as Glenn), while Mae and Krunk Mayhem interrogated the surviving raider, Don. What followed was easily a half hour exploration into the moral quandary of surviving a post apocalyptic wasteland, the ethics of serving a warlord named Baby Eater, the merits of cannibalism, why a retirement plan is important, and where to find some goddamn binoculars. It was a strange and often hilarious conversation.

Look, I’m not going to lie. There was a table playing Pathfinder behind us, and a couple of them started starring at us like we were the spawn of the devil. Like… the literal devil. As though we might start eating other gamers at the store. It was sort of great.

After deciding that maybe they were not so different after all, the party told Don they wanted to join the raider group. He told them that was great news, and happily escorted them to the Ass O Shop (Bass Pro Shop), a hunting/fishing store taken over by a group of militant right wing rednecks. The trip there was uneventful, and our intrepid “heroes?” found themselves face to face with a survivor calling himself Jeff Gordon, devotee of the Left hand path (go fast and turn left), and servant of Nasc-Ar, his cruel and ambivalent God. Jeff was willing to bargain with the group, and they offered him their bags of concrete to assist in building a racing track in exchange for whatever they wanted from the Ass O Shop.

After a shopping spree, the group finally had several binoculars, along with fishing gear, some extra ammo, a filet knife (so Sports Authority can butcher people more efficiently), a hat, camo netting, and other assorted goodies.

They made their way back toward the Fiesta Mall, and were attacked by a Parn, a massive insect creature with spikes and blades and all manner of nasty surprises.  Omega tech and alpha mutations were spent, and the Parn defeated.  Our troupe collected it’s head as an offering to Baby Eater.

Don invited the group into mall, introducing them to Baby Eater, the warlord. They talked with him for a bit, eventually agreeing to his terms. His accent kept shifting, because I’m a shitty Games Master and can’t keep track of what I’m doing.

401k discussions occurred, the party looked for gear, and Mae Lin found the captives of Baby Eater. The team entered into discussions about how best to off the warlord, eventually deciding on a doppelganger suicide bomb. Achieving amazing success on turning their five gallons of fuel into a bomb, a plot was hatched. The Parn head was retrieved, and turned into a bomb to lay low the vile warlord.

Baby Eater was blown up spectacularly, though he stumbled from the inferno before fully collapsing. Krunk Mayhem seized the opportunity to take command of the raider group, trying to rip off the head of their once leader. Failing that, he cut it free with Sports Authority’s Filet Knife and attempted to intimate the surviving raiders… and rolled a one.

Holding the head aloft, he proclaimed himself… SHIT! He dropped the head. It bounced around and chased after it, trying to aggrandize himself poorly. Mae Lin and Sports Authority started playing hype men, and managed to undo the catastrophic head bouncing  scenario. Krunk Mayhem booted the head into the distance and declared himself the leader of the gang.

Next we entered the bookkeeping and environment building segment. The people of Ookmans would be used as indentured labor, as would the “brides” of Baby Eater, though they would be left relatively free in their own homesteading at Eyeglass World. A plan for dominating the wastes of Feenix was hatched, and the party left to continue their adventure, leaving Don in charge with dire warnings not to double cross them.

The party surveyed Golfland/Sunplash, vowing to return later and defeat the frog men led by Frogespierre.

Finally, they ventured into Tem-peh, spying a carnival at Tem-peh Marketplace. They surrendered their weapons and entered. Wandering the grounds, Sports Authority was drawn in by the games, while Mae Lin and Krunk Mayhem sensed something more sinister. They met with The Ringmaster, an AI from Area 52 tasked with maximizing human pleasure and enjoyment. The entire carnival appeared to be a diabolical trap to draw increasing numbers of victims into the web of a rampant AI, an AI designed to placate and pacify human enemies of a United States government long since gone in the wake of the Big Mistake. The group left the Marketplace, vowing to return, but not before telling the AI of a concentration of humans at Skyharbor Airport.

I missed my chance. . .

Shadowsworn Adam has been narrating our crazy adventures in the post apocalyptic land of metro Phoenix. The game is gonzo and insane. Like anything goes insane. I’m not going to waste your time and mine providing a recap that Adam has already done. Instead, I’m going to lament my missed opportunity.

First, don’t misunderstand. I like Sports Authority. The character is crazy and outlandish and fits perfectly with the setting. But after last session, it occurs to me that I missed a golden opportunity. During our last session, we spoke to a nerd that had survived the apocalypse and had assumed the identity of Aragorn.

Honestly, this blew my mind. I realized I had missed a golden opportunity. And do you know what that opportunity was? I could have played as Elric! That’s right, the White Wolf of Melnibone. Sure, maybe he’s just a mutant from our earth that has assumed (intentionally or otherwise) that fictional identity. Or maybe he’s a creation of the infinity earths that had created the singular event that caused the apocalypse. Either way, I missed the opportunity.

I could have been carrying a singing black sword that acted on its own (psychic powers from being a mutant easily translate to witchcraft thematically if I want it to). I could have been an albino at the end of time. Mistake noted. If Sports Authority dies, I know what I’m going to play next.