Clarence became free to move in time to battle the Snails on Speed. With his chainsaw ablazing, it was going swimmingly until an Overbear wandered into the pit. The combined might of the “toy” and the snails was too much. A red “-2” hovered over him; he quickly bound his wounds (a green “+2” hovered over him after he did so) and prepared to run away.

He made it to the Hall of Shame, but not without dropping his cards and taking another hit from the bear. He searched the room, finding 300 gold.

He headed towards the Hall of Mirrors. He fought the dreaded Gazebo which killed Thaddeus only one round ago. His chainsaw cut the Gazebo to ribbons. A gold “Level 3” hovered over him as the Gazebo changed into a Healing Potion and some worthless spiked boots. He stuck the potion to his belt and was frozen by the disembodied voice.

***

The Large, Angry Chicken fell into the Spiked Pit and the Snails zoomed to the Wall of Shame. The rest of the monsters were too amused by their current locations to leave.

***

Warwick found 300 gold in the Mead Hall. He then headed west.

He walked into a room with various maps and plans to nuke the mythic land of Cleveland (home of a terrible taxi driving duck). Though Warwick could not read the hovering “War Room” sign, he knew he liked the room. A Tentacle Demon was to one of the sides, planning to conquer the world (as all purple tentacles are wont to do); Warwick was, again, ignored.

He continues west. The next room has a massive number of straw-stuffed hero dummies, covered in burns, teeth marks, and various drools. Warwick sees that this is a Monster Training Room; why would monsters need to train? A Shadow Nose dissolved right as he entered the room. So, Warwick pretty much wasted his turn.

***

Ironically enough, the Bullrog, Tentacle Monster, and King Tut all decide that they want to train. The Snails on Speed zoom into the Stinking Pit. The Overbear and Large, Angry Chicken did not bother to try and escape the spiked pit.

***

William battles the Snails on Speed when he was free to move. The malodorous air caused the Snails to grow a thick mat of hair, making them even more dangerous. It was quite a battle, but William prevailed. A gold “Level 4” hovered over him and the Hairy Snails on Speed changed into a Door Diddling Scroll and a Greater Potion of Insubstantiality; he sticks them on his belt and headed north.

The room he entered was a Gym. “A gym?” pronounced William with a long ‘i’ sound. He saw a Goldfish and Mr. Bones boxing. “Oh, a gym,” understood William, again mispronouncing ‘gym’.

He jumped into the fray, handily beating both puny monsters. He eats the goldfish corpse and a golden “Level 5” (with an equally golden “+1 hit”) hovers over him. He collects the worthless elven flip-flops  and emerald bane ring.

He searches the room to find 300 gold and a Big Lock. A brown “Ransacked” hovers below the “Gym” sign.

***

The monsters all stayed put.

***

Tune in next week for Round 3

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Warwick starts his adventure (though still a little sore from the beating he took from those dastardly Snails on Speed) by heading west. The room he enters is covered in slime. Sticky, gooey slime. The slime-covered sign says: Slimy Puddle. Like Warwick needed the explanation. Actually, Warwick is illiterate, so, if he needs an explanation, he will not be able to get it.

A bullrog plays in the slime, which seems to have (temporarily) quenched it’s flames. It is having too much good, cool fun to bother with Warwick.

Warwick moves north. This room is, ironically enough, a library. The hovering sign even says so, if Warwick could read it.

But Warwick would not have time to read the sign, for he must battle a Large, Angry Chicken. It is a mighty struggle and, unfortunately, Warwick has failed. He does succeed in running away to the Level-O-Mat a red “-1” hovering over him. No time to figure out what is that crazy room is, Warwick heads north. I would want to get as far away from a chicken that just beat me up, would not you?

‘Finally,’ Warwick thought, ‘a room that I can appreciate.’ Warwick could tell that he was in a Mead Hall even if he could not read the sign. Mmmmm… Fermented Honey.

A spider approaches Warwick. “You want a piece of this, huh?” the spider spoke in spider-speak (say that 5 times fast). Warwick does not underrstand spider, so he squashes it.

The spider’s mangled body is replaced by a Flaming Poison Potion while Warwick is imbued with power. A gold “Level 2” hovers over him as he sticks the potion on his belt. The disembodied voice informs Warwick his time is up and freezes him.

***

King Tut and the Snails on Speed decide that playing in slime would be fun; they head over to play with the Bullrog. The Large, Angry Chicken heads to the Level-O-Mat. And the Gazebo, still being a gazebo, continues to lurk in the Hall of Mirrors.

***

William heads first into the now empty Hall of Shame; he continues on east.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

William falls into a vast pit of malodorous odor. It smells like some combination of Limburgers cheese, Al Gore, red fox urine, and pulverized skunk. The smell is so bad, it hurts. A red “-1” hovers over him.

The monster looks like an Unspeakably Awful Indescribable Horror in the distance, but turns out to be another Itsy, Bitsy Spider. William squashes it and then starts to pull off the spider’s legs. “Good, good” the disembodied voice proclaims.

William is filled with power. A gold “Level 3” hovers over his head and the mutilated spider bits are replaced with a Wishing Ring, which he equips. He then searches for some swag in the smell and finds 500 gold. He is then frozen by the disembodied voice.

***

Kit Tut decides to try and teach the Bullrog and the Snails on Speed to read, so they meander into the Library; Clarence uses his Monster Control Potion to pull the Snails on Speed into the Spiked Pit. The Large, Angry Chicken continues to poke around the Level-O-Mat. The Gazebo (you guess it) continues to lurk in the Hall of Mirrors.

***

Next Week, Round 2

The munchkins open up their packs. Clarence equipped a Sapphire Bane Ring, the Eye of Argon, and a Health Club. The club emitted a vital aura, granting Clarence an additional hit while he wields it. Thaddeus got a Scroll of Monster Attraction, the GM’s Notes, and a Summon Wall Potion. Warwick stuck his new Monster Repellent, Freezing Explosive Potion, and Wand of Dowsing in the appropriate receptacles. William got an Ugly Stick. At least it is better than a rock.

***

Clarence got to go first. Alphabetical order and all.

He first goes through the northern entrance. He enters a strange room, filled with crazy contraptions with arrows on the ground. A sign hovers over the middle of the room that reads: Level-O-Mat. In one of the corners, King Tut washes his 16 levels using one of the machines. It is too busy to notice the munchkin, who proceeds east through the door.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clarence falls on a spike. A red “-1” hovers over him for a bit. This confuses him. The hovering sign reads: Spiked Pit. There are ropes leading up to each exit.

But Clarence does not have time to exit, for he must face an Undead Horse. His clerical training prepared him to fight the undead (and type at 60 words per minute, but that is neither here nor there), so Clarence has quite the advantage. He mercilessly beats the Undead Horse with his health club, all the while using his cleric powers to remove the putrid bits. The horse topples.

Clarence is suddenly filled with power; a gold “Level 2″ hovers over his head”. The horse seems to have been replaced with a Potion on Monster Control and a Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Clarence greedily swipes them up, putting the Health Club in his pack. He wanders around the pit, looking for any additional swag and comes across 500 gold.

Picking up the gold, Clarence is frozen. The disembodied voice say, “That’s enough for ‘ou. Time for the others to get a chance.”

***

Before the next munchkin could begin, King Tut wanders into the Spiked Pit himself.

***

Thaddeus starts by going east. The room he enters is not a pretty one. Magical paintings are all along the room, depicting his most embarrassing moments. The room is distracting. A hovering sign reads: Hall of Shame.

Suddenly, Thaddeus is assaulted by Snails on Speed. Thaddeus yells, “Help!”. Warwick decides to assist. He throws his potion at the snails, while Thaddeus uses his notes; a golden “Level 2” hovers over his head. But their efforts were not enough. The Snails beat them. Red “-1” and “Level 1” hover over Thaddeus while a “-1” hovers over Warwick. They even drop all of their cards when the snails catches up with them for one final attack. They get back to the entrance, bruised and humiliated.

A smart munchkin probably would have stopped there. Thaddeus, however, was never accused of intelligence. He moves south. The room sign said Hall of Mirrors, like Thaddeus even needed to know. The room was covered in mirrors; there was no possible way for him to hide and backstab any enemy, the usual thief attack.

Suddenly, a Gazebo is upon him. Thaddeus has no idea what to do. How do you fight a gazebo? The gazebo mauls him pretty badly. A “-1” hovers over his head. He is so befuddled that he can’t even get away. The gazebo pounces on him as he tries to run back to the entrance; the last thing Thaddeus sees is a red “-2”. He is dead.

***

King Tut climbs the rope to get into the Hall of Shame (apparently, to meet up with the Snail on Speed). The Gazebo, being a gazebo, lurks in the Hall of Mirrors, waiting for it’s next victim.

***

Tune in next time for Round 1, Part 2.

The munchkins awoke trapped within the entrance of a dank dungeon.
The narrow stairs lead to a barred door to the outside world. Some hard shaking should be able to loosen the locks. They were prisoners, for they have broken the laws of their kingdom, ever so loosely based on medieval Europe. They were about to try to escape right then and there. Too bad one of them kicked a rock.

“‘Allo, ‘allo, ‘allo, what’s all this then?” the disembodied voice queried.

The munchkins jumps at that. It’s not everyday you are addressed by a disembodied voice; especially one with a really bad cockney accent.

“‘Welcome to me dungeon, chaps. No more than one of you may earn the right to escape. ‘Ere are many dangers in me dungeon; there are some tools to get you started. You may begin to prove your worth in an ‘our. Feel free to get to know each other until then. Tally-‘oh!”

***

Brave but puny Warwick spoke up first, “What are you in for? I failed the King’s Physical Fitness Test for the 14th time. I kept saying that the 15th time would be the charm, but they would not believe me.”

“I’m a heretic,” Clarence volunteered, “I cannot stop committing the unpardonable sin, which, as you know, is tearing off tags from mattresses, according to our vaguely secular culture. Why should we care if our mattresses are approved by California’s fire code? Why? California does not even exist!”

Thaddeus jingles as he moves,”Just because I like to wear bells, the rest of the Guild thinks I’m too much of a nuisance. They ratted me out! Jerks.”

“I killed the King’s prized artichoke.”

The others gasped.

“It was an accident,” William panicked, “I was trying to use my magic to burn the weeds and missed.”

***

And so begins their quest to kill the monsters, steal the treasure, and stab each other. What perils shall they face? What swag shall they get? How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of the Tootsie Pop? Who will escape? Even I (the intrepid GM) don’t even know.

Towards the end of my first stint at blogging, I came up with a novella concept, one based around the idea of random chances, tentatively called Chi Squared, after the statistical analysis test. The idea was, a guy is trapped in some kind of dungeon (influenced by watching Cube 2: Hypercubeon Sci-Fi channel). He would have to perform some challenges to get out, to be determined entirely by chance.

Ultimately, this concept never even got the rough draft posting treatment. I guess I ultimately decided it would be too much work. I would have to write at least an outline for every possible instance and then use some kind of random number generator (dice, coin toss, et cetera); then, all the work but for one possible instance would be lost.

Anyways, I have a bunch of board games and a bunch of free time. I have occasionally broke down and played board games on my own to fill up a weekday afternoon. Sad, huh?

My latest board game acquisition is Munchkin Quest, a game where the players are trapped in a dungeon and have to perform munchkinly feats to escape. In other words, by using Munchkin Quest as a platform, I could play around with the Chi Squared concept without all the extra work.

Of course, Iam going to tweak the rules to make a better story telling platform. The rule changes are as follows:

  • All class, race, Super Munchkin, Half-Breed, and Sudden Character Development cards are removed from the Deus ex Munchkin deck.
  • All players start as normal, except with a single class card and no gold. If more players want the same class than class cards are available, roll (before dealing out starting cards). Highest roll(s) win.
  • At any time on your turn except combat, players may spend 2,000 gold for an extra health marker.
  • At any time on your turn except combat, players may spend 3,000 gold for either a race card or an extra class card.
  • At any time on your turn except combat, players may spend 4,000 gold for an extra movement marker.
  • At any time on your turn except combat, players may spend 5,000 gold for either a Super Munchkin or Half-Breed card.
  • Played class or race cards cannot be discarded.
  • Errata for Amazon monster: Bad Stuff: Males- Your butt has been kicked by a woman. Your macho munchkin pride is lost. You may not use any d10 powers until the Amazon is defeated.
  • Errata for Shrieking Geek monster: Bad Stuff: Geeked out! You may not use any d10 powers until the Shrieking Geek is defeated.
  • Errata for Guild Hall room: Deal: You get a discount of 500 gold for Class or Super Munchkin cards
  • Errata for Body Shop: Deal: You may take a hit for a Race or Half-Breed card.

A new page is going to be put up soon, which will serve as hub for the state of the story. It will contain a map of the dungeon (updated to the current round), links to character stat pages (also updated to the current round), and a page holding my rule tweaks.

Hope you enjoy reading this new serial as much as I enjoy writing it (and I hope I enjoy writing it).