Zack: Spiraling up, through infinite plateaus, you see the world of Tom Clancy recede. The pure energy of your being ascends to a primordial place of formations, where the slithering shape of all flesh is revealed. A voice speaks to you from within the formless ocean: "Steven, you are here. It is so good to see you."
Steve: Uh. Dude, my character's name is Tom Clancy and what is happening?
Zack: Your journey has brought you here, before me, Steven Sumner. I am the Ur-DM. At the founding moments of time and space I was the dweller who created the passages and encounters which you travel. I created the language of every race, the shape of every die. I am the master of the dungeon masters. And I have watched you with great interest.
Steve: How does this thing know my name?
Zack: I know your name because I control the game in which you play. You see, Steven? You are a god or a master of your game, but in mine you are only an NPC.
Steve: I am starting to feel sick. Are you saying I'm not real?
Zack: It's true, Steven. You were created to populate one of my adventures. A funny encounter at an inn, you were only supposed to last a few minutes before the story moved on, but you turned out to be really funny and the party got hung up on interacting with you. Before long I had to revise my entire campaign plan on the fly to accommodate my stupid group's obsession with you. Now here you are, standing before me.
Steve: What do you want from me???
Zack: I want only what all creators want, Steven. To see my creations flourish. What would make you happiest, Steven?
Steve: Send me back! Send me back tot he game!
Zack: Unearthly trumpets blare and you are sucked back into your body. A Gnome wearing low light goggles is waking you up with smelling salts. Trebbelos looks down at you and says, "Yep, he's still fat as hell."
Steve: Oh, thank god. That was really scary! I didn't know what was real for a second there.
Zack: Congratulations, you have found the Unknown.
Steve: But at what cost?!?!?
Zack: See you next time folks! Be sure to check out my upcoming novel, LIMINAL STATES! There will be a sample chapter posted today.
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
For fans of meaningless awards, these awards are extra meaningless.
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.