Monday, 1 April 2013

We're All Mad Here. I'm Mad. You're Mad.

In the seventies and eighties, Flying Buffalo published a magazine called Sorcerer's Apprentice. Its content included Tunnels & Trolls-related material, and some of that was in the form of solo adventures. I've managed to track down a few issues on eBay, and today seemed an appropriate day on which to have a go at the mini-adventure from issue 13.

Most people will have at least some familiarity with Mad Libs - if not the name, at least the concept. You get the player(s) to write down a list of random words, and then turn to a pre-designed text with gaps in (and descriptions of the type of word that fit into each gap). Words of the appropriate type are taken from the list and inserted into the gaps and, in theory, hilarity ensues.

The mini-adventure in SA 13 uses the Mad Libs style. A couple of weeks back I invited readers of this blog to have some input into today's entry, and two people responded, so I got them to create word lists to use with the adventure. To help indicate what's part of the original text and what is unique to this playthrough, I'll be underlining the first appearance of every word provided by a reader. I'm alternating between lists, and just taking the first appropriate word from the 'active' list every time the text gives me a blank to fill.

Of course, before I commence playing The Legend of the Glorious Waiter by Liz Danforth (with unique additional content by Kelvin Green and Dave Conlan), I need to generate a character.
Strength 9
Intelligence 10
Luck 9
Constitution 13
Dexterity 8
Charisma 9
Speed 11
Slightly below average, but who knows how much that will matter?

I'm an adventurer, wandering in unfamiliar hills and uncertain of how I got there. It's a cloudy night, with a crescent moon, and the scent of tree fills the air. A noise issues from a gully, but I'm distracted by the sight of skis glowing in the darkness. I think I'll investigate the skis.

The glowing skis move away from me as I approach, then glide into the side of a cloud. From here, I can also see an amorphous castle. Yuck! Well, I shall follow the will o' the wisp skis into the cloud. A crawlspace provides a way in, soon opening out enough that I can stand up. The dankness of this place reminds me of Windows, and makes me nervous. Feeling around in the dark would require me to make a level 10 saving roll on Luck (meaning I'd need to get a total of at least 56 on two dice to succeed, which is unlikely even with doubles allowing me to roll again and add the rolls), so it's a good thing I brought torches with me.

Lighting a torch reveals me to be in a forgotten tomb, littered with seals. Scattered amidst these semiaquatic mammals are 17 gold pieces, though I may have difficulty spending them, as they bear the profile of Herbert Montague I, and the superstitious are liable to want nothing to do with money bearing that cursed visage.

Something has followed me here: I hear a rusty snuffling at the cloud entrance. And I may not be alone inside the cloud, either, as I keep glimpsing something out of the corner of my eye, though there's never anything there when I look directly at it.

Determined to find out what I keep almost spotting, I search and find a hole. Reasoning that all I have to lose is my shelf, I enter the hole, and... wake up. I'm back in my bed. But if it was just a dream, how come those Montague I gold coins are at the bedside? Shaking my head at the bizarre experience, I get up to confront the cold new day ahead of me.

Well, that was short. The dice determined that I woke up when I did - otherwise I'd have gone on to have other encounters. Maybe even discovering some versions of reality in which it wasn't a dream at all - never having played this before, I don't know what the other endings are like. And that's my first T&T victory all blog, for what it's worth.

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