Nov 04 2010

Awesome = Do-It-Yourself Game Handouts

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Lepus Magnus, drawn by SirfoxI have, as I may have mentioned from time to time, a lot of very cool friends. One of these is Josh, a.k.a. “Sirfox,” who is a fellow artist and is also a member of my gaming group.

I mentioned in my Gamma World review that the intro scenario in the game was woefully short on background material, not even providing the “boss” at the bottom of the dungeon (so to speak) a name. In the firm belief that this is a piss-poor way to write an adventure, I fleshed out the character a bit in a between-sessions handout, which in turn inspired Sirfy to provide his own illustration! Here’s the scene I wrote (forgive the ALL CAPS parts … Gamma World is an over-the-top game, and calls for an over-the-top writing style):

“BEHOLD!” said Jack, known to some as ‘Wild-Eyed Jack,’ leader of the gang known as ‘The Rippers.’ “We can move this enormous … mechanical … thing … using only THE POWER OF OUR MIND!” Jack was a “hoop,” a man-sized humanoid rabbit, as were all of the ‘senior management’ (as they called themselves) of the gang. Upon Jack’s head was a cybernetic ‘crown’ with cables running to the factory’s central computer — the wounds around his skull from where it had forcibly inserted implants when he’d first put it on had at least stopped bleeding, but still looked nasty. Across from him, a robotic armature some thirty feet across lurched and swung around, dancing to the strange rhythms in the hoop’s head.

“Yeah, Jack,” said Gutter, another member of the gang, “thrilling. But can we get serious a minute? We’ve been in this stupid factory for days now and we’ve got nothing to show for it but some tubs of glowy purple goo and a bunch of self-destructed robot parts.”

“Jack? JACK? We told you, we are no longer JACK! We are LEPUS MAGNUS THE FIRST! As for what we have to show for it, what do you call THAT?” He pointed at the wildly-swinging robot arm, and its clanking, grasping claw. “For too long, we sat quiet, dormant, damaged, and dark! But soon, SOON we shall have a MASSIVE ROBOT ARMY at our command! And with it, we shall SWEEP ACROSS THE WORLD! All shall fear our power and majesty!”

“Eh, Jack…” said Gutter. “I’m worried about you. I think those things may have hit some important parts when they drilled into your skull. Maybe you should … y’know … take it off now?”

“Take it off?” said Jack, voice rising to a wild shriek. “TAKE IT OFF? Infidel! Defiler! You would STRIP US of our POWER!”

Gutter backed away, raising his hands in an attempt at a calming gesture. “Whoa, Jack, Jack! Don’t — GAACK!” Suddenly, the hoop was hoisted into the air by the mechanical arm, his own arms and legs flailing wildly. “Jack! Jaaaaaack!”

“We are not JACK!” shrieked the gang leader, his eyes bulging and bloodshot. “We are LEPUS MAGNUS! And you shall DIE for your TREASON!” The mechanical arm released Gutter abruptly; he plunged into one of the vats of squirming nano, which quickly climbed up his arms, legs, and face, engulfing him.

“Jaaaaaaaaack–!” howled Gutter, until his voice was cut off by a squishy gurgle.

“Does anyone ELSE doubt us?” demanded Lepus Magnus, formerly Wild-Eyed Jack. The rest of the congregation of hoops around him looked back and forth nervously, then almost as a body they knelt before their new king.

Now, isn’t that much more interesting than “Iron King, Level XX Controller”? I think Josh captured the character pretty well, don’t you?

-The Gneech

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