A few weeks ago, I made the latest stop on the Game Night on the Web blog tour, at Ian Sturrock’s Live Journal. Ian’s a roleplaying writer of some repute, with the works on his CV including the Conan RPG from Mongoose Publishing, so I was very pleased to stop there.
Ian did first an interview and then a drabble competition to win a copy of Game Night, and if you’re wondering what a drabble is, I explained all about it here. (But the summary is that they had to write a story of exactly 100 words on the theme of roleplaying humour).
I was tasked with judging the winners. It was quite a hard job, because all the entries were good, so I eventually split the competition into two categories, one for the story that demonstrated the best writing (while still being funny), and one for the one that demonstrated the best roleplaying humour (while still being well written).
Ian announced the winners on his blog last week, but I wanted to say something about it here, and also give people a second chance to read all the entries. I’m going to post them all here, with links to the original post for the entry – so if you want to comment on a particular entry you can go straight there.
(Warning: If you’re not a logged in Live Journal user, you will be required to click to confirm that you are an adult before being allowed to view any of the Ian’s blog).
So with that, here they are:
Best Writing Winner
King Conan looked down from the Eagle Throne, his brow furrowed.
‘What is it this time?’he asked his fawning vizier.
‘A delegation of Zingarans, eager to parlay.’
‘Send them in,’said the King, waving his hand dismissively – a hand that had strangled snake-gods, climbed the Mountains of Forever, fondled dusky maidens on the altars of evil temples, now reduced to signalling to courtiers. The Zingarans approached. On a signal from their leader, two women threw themselves to the ground and set off a terrible wailing.
‘Why?’ thought Conan, ‘why did I ever mention the lamentations of the women?’
Best Roleplaying Humour Winner
GM: Sorry, you can’t use this character.
Player: Why not?
GM: Because this is a pirate adventure, and he’s a 13-year-old Chinese boy, in the Caribbean in the 17th-Century. How did he get there?
Player: He’s on a journey of learning and spiritual self-discovery in preparation to becoming a Shaolin monk.
GM: Of course he is. But how did he get there?
Player: He decided he should go see this “New World” he’d heard of, and got captured.
GM: So now he’s a 13-year-old Chinese boy captured by pirates! He’s gonna get passed around like rum.
Player: Oh…GM: Yeah.
The priest was tied up, while the three investigators stood around .
Joe said, “strip him naked, with a stick of dynamite between his legs, he’ll soon talk”.
Why is it every time we capture someone, you decide that you’re going to strip and torture them, said Claire.
Dan chipped in, “why don’t you just stick that dynamite where the sun don’t shine and be done with it”.
Will, put his pencil down, “I’m supposed to be insane”.
You have a fear of the dark and convinced your being stalked by a rabbit, not obsessed with stripping everyone, replied Dan.
Chris: “A square table…c’mon I thought we were gonna share the story.”
John: “What’s wrong with the table?”
Chris: “The square table is a fascist piece of furniture. You’ll set at the head and then everyone will fight to sit next to you.”
John: “I suppose you’re a roundie. Great, you want me to sit around the table and get nothing done. How are gonna run a game when you don’t have a leader?”
Chris: “We could sit on the floor.”
John: “I’m not some peasant. I’m a knight of the sixth order.”
Chris: “I guess it’s game over then.”
137 suspects, including 13 boys, have been arrested in a bizarre case of arson and murder. Police report that the suspects all claim to have been secretly tracking one of the other suspects, on behalf of one of 5 self-styled “investigators” of American origin. A small explosion destroyed one house and killed 4 local men. The sole survivor claims that he was also hired by one of the “mad investigators” to follow another “investigator”, and that the 5 of them were fighting over books and statuettes at the time of the explosion. The whereabouts of the 5 foreigners is unknown.
GM: As you approach the dock, you see the distant figure of Fingers Arbuthnot, rowing out towards the black galleon.
Paladin: We’ll never catch him! And he’s got the Hellkey!
Mage: Don’t worry, a fireball across his bows will soon make him turn round.
Paladin: Careful now.
GM: Hm, it’s dark and he’s 90 yards away, roll for accuracy. Just don’t roll a …
Mage: 1, I got 1.
GM: There is a distant explosion and you are engulfed in a cloud of burning row boat and lightly charred thief.
Paladin: You’re only supposed to blow the bloody oars off!
Lucy’s Omniscope: or Real Observers in Fictional Worlds
Lucy was thinking about the her new Quantum Omniscope when Carla came in. “They’re plotting downstairs: lotteries; horseracing; making money out of your new crystal ball. Where do you get your ideas?”
“This was your idea” Lucy answered. “Remember ‘God the Storyteller’?”
“Last night…” Carla stopped. “You invented this to find God?”
“Theism is unprovable. So I looked for the story.”
“He’s a lazy storyteller. Remember Schrödinger’s Cat? Almost everything is unobserved, undetermined, like the cat. I saved everything observed in this file.”
Carla frowned. “Only 656 bytes? How big a story would that make?
“Oh, about 100 words.”
That’s all. Hope you liked them. And thanks again to everyone who took part.