Last week, Steve and Zack delved into D&D Module B1: In Search of the Unknown. Zack was DMing the adventure into Joe Rogan and the Unknown's dungeon for Steve's third level gypsy (based on the dwarf class) Tom Clancy, who was accompanied by three trainee wizards from the nearby magic school. The one with the name everyone forgot was killed by some skeletons. Nickar and Trebbelos, the baby wizard, are trapped with Tom Clancy in a gate trap in the middle of the hallway. As we resume, the party has been languishing inside the cage for more than a day. A passing black widow spider proved no help.
Zack: You water supply is exhausted and you are still trapped in the cage in the hallway.
Steve: If death seems inevitable I am going to ask the wizards to devise a way to blow us up with a suicide spell.
Zack: Death is inevitable, Steve. It might take many years, but Tom Clancy will die.Steve: So long as he provides a satisfying conclusion to the Net Force Explorers series for kids, I can accept fate.
Zack: No! He will never revisit the series and die mid-conference-call describing what the plot for H.A.W.X. 3 needs to be to the team of Clancy writers at Ubisoft.
Zack: Unless, that is, you can your wizard companions can escape from the trap.
Steve: Fine! I am going to start kicking the bars and screaming at them.
Zack: You exhaust yourself ineffectively trying to smash open the cage. As you lie slumped against the bars you hear a shuffling sound in the hallway beyond.
Steve: I shout out "Help! Adventurers caught in trap! We could use some help here!"
Zack: Three figures shuffle into view. They appear to be humans dressed in ragged adventuring gear. Their skin is gray and their eyes are white. Their mouths hang open. They groan mindlessly as they approach.
Zack: Probably, although they could be single issue voters. To your surprise the nearest zombie speaks. "We heard their was a super fat gypsy stuck in a cage with two dead sexy wizards. Can you confirm this?"
Steve: Your ventriloquism won't fool me, Nikka. I drank all the ESP potions so I knew you were going to do that.
Zack: The zombies approach the cage and reach inside, trying to grab at you and tear off your body parts.
Steve: Which body parts?
Zack: Your favorites.Steve: I have to think like Tom Clancy. What would Tom Clancy do in this situation if he were a gypsy trapped in a dungeon with two wizards and being pawed at by zombies?
Zack: Coincidentally, the exact plot of H.A.W.X. 3.
Steve: Alright, I am going to tell Nikka to use his ventriloquism to make the zombies think the bars on the other side of the gate are taunting them. Then, when they bust through the gate, we'll double-tap them and continue on with the mission.
Zack: Nikka reluctantly uses his magic to make the other side of the cage taunt the zombies. "Hey, senor stink, I bet you can't get your big fat rot balls around these lean metal bars. Ooooo, I'm so scared of you!" The zombies become very agitated and start beating the bars.
Steve: Yes! It's working!
Zack: One of the zombies hits the bars so hard that his arm tears off. The other zombies begin to thrash themselves to pieces as well. Before you know it you are facing down a twitching, limbless heap of zombies.Steve: We're doomed.
Zack: The zombie heap is still twitching when you hear footsteps approaching down the hall. It's a goblin!
Steve: Gypsies speak goblin.
Zack: "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry," says the goblin in goblinese. "I'm the dungeon's maintenance goblin. This trap was supposed to be turned off but I just got sucked into this House marathon they were running and here we are. Let me get you out of there." He starts clearing away the zombies and unlocking the gates.Steve: I ask him if he knows where the best treasure in the dungeon can be found and also, I guess, where the Unknown is.
Zack: "Oh, sure, no problem. I'll mark the treasure room on your map. Let me just get you out of here..." He opens the gate and as soon as he does Nikka and Trebbelos leap out and begin howling and stabbing him with daggers.
Steve: No! I try to stop them!
Zack: Their bloodlust cannot be stopped. As neutral characters every good deed they do must be counterbalanced by a senseless act of evil.Steve: Fine, I am going through the door to the room we were originally trying to enter.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.