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Hack For More

WEEK 24: 09/15/04

by Edward McEneely
Sep 28,2004


Hack For More

WEEK 24: 09/15/04

Well, we met on Battle of Britain Day, and that alone was an auspicious portent of the session to follow.

I realized that my problem was that I was getting away from what made gaming fun, and, worse than that, I was letting you, my ever-dwindling readership, down. So I took Steps.

First off, I asked Erich to take over as GM temporarily while I got back on my feet. He's had a HackMaster adventure just idling around for months now, and I was determined to get back to the column's original reason for being. Erich even had a few pregenerated characters ready for Seth and me, and since Laura was out with a migraine, we each assumed control of two PCs. How old school is that?

Seth had a multi-classed Ranger/Druid, combining my two least favorite classes in one character. He also had a halfling thief who talked eerily like a stereotypical Brooklynite. I got a Paladin and a pixie-faerie cleric. I didn't really have a handle on either character, but Erich demanded we do different voices for each PC, so he knew who was doing what. I decided the Paladin sounded---and acted---like Strong Bad of comedy website Homestarrunner.com, and it was only logical that the Cleric talk like Strong Bad's long-time sidekick The Cheat. Perhaps caught up in the moment, Erich decided to voice the party's one-armed ogre hireling (the staggeringly low-Int Brother Bung) as Strong Mad of the same website.

I like to think this really gave me an angle on my character, although it probably ended any real hope of the game being a serious one. Of course, I'm not trying to write a serious column, so I guess I'm good.

We began with the party wandering along through a deserted wasteland and bemoaning the lack of iron rations or meat on pixie faeries when we came upon a desolate village of six squalid huts sitting in the middle of a ravine. With careless abandon, Seth and I plummeted down the slopes and into the miserable town, much improved by the presence of the glorious Paladin Sir Gus, DD, BA, MBE, KCB, FRS, Defender of the Faith, etc.

The vacous townsfolk approached us, claiming that the land was dying around them. Gus suggested they needed a king, for the king and the land were one.

Seth's Druid agreed, adding helpfully that only the blood of a king could restore the soil. Gus, seeing the evils of republican socialism looming on the horizon, retracted his suggestion quickly. Seeking a way of restoring the land that involved bloodshed a little less closer to home, the party investigated further and learned that the town's children had disappeared after being sent down into the well to investigate the lack of water.

We decided this was an eminently sensible course of action, and ordered our hireling to jump down there and see if there was any water. There wasn't.

Miraculously, the 0-level Brother Bung survived and Seth and I dickered on how best to descend into the inky depths of the well. Apparently, I couldn't ride my horse down. Erich can take the rules way too literally sometimes. I'm sure it would've worked.

Erich's pigheadedness regardless, we sloooowly slid down a magic rope Seth had hanging around (pun not intended) and rejoined Brother Bung. After a bit of truding down right-angled corridors (Erich is hemmed in by the limitations of graph paper. I wish hex paper was easier to find) we came to a colossal dam being worked on by half a dozen skeletons. We swiftly engaged them in combat, and as several were armed with nothing more dangerous than paint brushes, easily defeated them. I even managed to tuck one's head into its pelvis.

Further investigation revealed another corridor, which lead to several well-appointed suites in the process of being drywalled by more skeletons. We caulked these hapless undead monsters to the floor and went on our way. Soon we came to a finished bedroom and came across a brilliant bit of flavor text on Erich's part: one of the mattresses had a dead cat beneath it, stuffed full of goosefeathers; obviously it had wandered into the way of the skeletons. I'm a sucker for stuff like that.

We also discovered a secret door leading to a room with a gnome (who teleported away when he saw us) as well as a massive stash of rare romance novels. We stacked them up by the door and sallied deeper into this mysterious and terrifying dungeon, incidentally rescuing a catatonic little girl trapped in an armoire.

By then, it was time for Seth to go, and so we said our goodbyes and agreed to continue next week. Not just for ourselves, but for you guys: the fans.

Yeah, that's right. You. Give yourself a big hug, you big lug, you.

Hey The Quote List Was Taken By Me And I was Really Freakin' Busy:

Ed (in a Strong Bad voice): Brother Bung, you take point. It's, uh, Ecumenical training. And I'm sure there's lots of Ecumens around.

Seth (on Brother Bung): What the hell am I doing with a half-ogre sidekick? Making sure he doesn't step on too many trees?

Ed (again, as SB): I'll take point, 'cos I'm more heavily armored and, uh, I don't want another alignment infraction.

Seth: No guns? I quit!

Ed (scores a critical hit on a skellington): I used to be a drummer, bitch!

Erich (going over the very short quote list): Hey, maybe next week, I'll get to say something funny.

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