Steve: You walk into the next room. I'll just read from the book: "This is a thirty-foot-long spinning cylinder, apparently made of some light metal. It is ten feet in diameter, and spins counter-clockwise at about eight miles an hour. The entire inner surface is covered with slippery oil and painted with a dizzying black-and-white spiral pattern."
Zack: Hm, spinning, greased cylinders painted with spirals. I think I've read about this terrain feature in my spelunking guide.
Steve: Before you say it, you've run out of turning into gas spells.
Zack: Dwarves are naturally grease-proficient. Ol' Buddy Jones is going to run at the spinning tunnel and try to surf it all the way to the end.
Steve: You run into the tunnel and your plan is working perfectly and then all of the sudden this dude pops up at the end and shoots a flaming arrow at the oil. It and you explode into flames. You're on fire!
Zack: My least favorite thing to be on! I stop, drop, and roll.
Steve: You drop down in the burning oil and roll around but you're only burning more. You take ten damage.
Zack: I can see the only way this battle is going to be won is through attrition. I roll around some more in the oil hoping to catch it all on fire as quickly as possible.
Steve: The whole tunnel is burning! You take ten more damage.Zack: No problem, I have thousands of damage points left.
Steve: Ten more damage! The fires seem to be going down, but you're almost dead.
Zack: I'm going to point my finger at myself and cast ray of frost.
Steve: Finally the fire is extinguished. The dude who shot the arrow at the oil is climbing into the tunnel and he has a sword and a look of belligerence on his face.
Zack: I'm going to summon a skeleton behind this guy and tell it to grab him and hold him.
Steve: He's surprised and the skeleton grabs him.
Zack: "You're lucky I'm a pacifist," I say. Then I tell the skeleton to throw the guy into the boiling lake of mud and I continue on.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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.