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Hack For More

WEEK 18: 07/15/04

by Edward McEneely
Jul 20,2004


Hack For More

WEEK 18: 07/15/04

Today was long and exhausting, and we almost didn't game, but in the end: gaming! This owes more to the fact that Erich is a much better man than I, and didn't murder me for unconscionable rudeness early on in the evening. After many, many sidetracks, we got back to where we were, the dreaded Plane of the Apes.

Somewhere over the weekend, I had realized that this idea was horribly, dreadfully lame. I haven't even SEEN the original movies (or the remake), so there was no way I could pull this off well. Plus, I had no stats for apes, or at least, no stats for apes that wouldn't clean the players' clocks. Fortunately, Hackmaster left a powerful weapon at my disposal, the ultimate weapon of the lame, the plot device that is to plot devices what Rush songs are to real music, the "it was all an illusion" bit.

Yeah, I suck. Cheer up. Nobody's forcing you to read this column, but I'm me 24/7. It's a rough life.

The players disbelieved in time to realize that they were the victims of an elaborate Loviatarian shell game and that their menagerie had become Central Casting's latest extras in a buffet sequence.

Right about then, Erich went a little crazy and began to think that hey, not only was Darth Vader Lawful Good, but his character, being Lawful Good, was also Darth Vader. 0-level NPCs and an illusionist have like no chance against furious PCs, so the first few cultists went quickly, falling as fodder to the furiously flashing blade of Erich.

Wow. That was a lot of alliteration, something I don't normally approve of. It's been a long week, though.

At any rate, a sort of Keystone Kops-esque fight sequence ensued as hapless cultists charged to their doom up a massive spiral staircase that oscillated out of the floor and towards the ceiling like something out of a bad H. Rider Haggard pastiche. When all seemed lost for the cultists, they revealed their secret allegiance to, of all deities, Lloth (the only one that sprang immediately to mind), and unleashed a plague of Driders upon the players, who destroyed one using the last few charges in Erich's wand and another with the potion miscibility table before beating feet out of the infested ziggurat and back to the town proper. In the process, Erich and Laura clambered up the EP ladder, each gaining a level, much to their mutual joy.

Tiny victory dances were danced.

It was eleven by this point, so we left off with a brief discussion of possibly running a Rifts mini-campaign, the awfulness of F.A.T.A.L. (and the glory of Darren MacLennan's 49-page review thereof), and the preponderance of mediocre superhero games.

I've never really run across a superhero game that I out-and-out loved; Champions 5th Edition reads like a bulkier Advanced Squad Leader; I couldn't begin to comprehend Godlike's arcane system but it still makes it on its merits as a superhero alternate history sourcebook); the MEGS in Underground, BoH, and the old DC RPG is wayyy too much for me; GURPS I love but it breaks at high power levels; the new Marvel game is way too little, too late; Erich loves Fuzion (and now you know who that guy bought the Fuzion champion rules was), and loathes WEG's D6 system (I retain a nostalgic fondness for it as an amazing introductory system), and Seth, improbably enough, loves the old AD&D engine. I suppose if I were feeling overly philosophical, I'd suggest that the reason superhero RPGs fail is because the try to explicitly state what we already know to be true: that the PCs are exceptional and out-of-the-ordinary.

Unless it's Bunnies and Burrows.

Hey, We Really Like The Ferret/Hedgehog Joke In The Forum, That Rocked:

Erich (about his upstairs neighbors): I swear, they wear clogs in the shower!
Seth: Maybe they're Dutch?

Ed: About that time, the ol' Duke boys suffered an alignment change.

Seth: Great. The babushka door.

Ed (dissing an escape plan): Congratulations. You just tried to fit through an elf-hole.

Laura (about Ed's Transformer shirt): If you turn it upside down, it's happy Galactus!

Erich: Prince is neither black nor white... Ed: But rather, a huge martini olive. We're not bigoted against martini olives, though.
Erich: Quite the contrary, in fact!

Ed (after a discussion of real-world railguns and their melon-destruction applications): Mega-damage life is melon-based.

Erich (on the SCA): I'd like a rattan arqebus.

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What do you think?

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