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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Game Store: The Day The Monsters Blew Away



The Day The Monsters Blew Away


That's the question on the lips of every hired sword/gun/blaster in town. It might be considered a good thing in the cities, but out here in the edge-lands, on the wild and woolly borders of civilisation, it's something of a mixed blessing. Farmers and prospectors and outdoorsy working-folk are A-OK with it, but the economy doesn't turn around subsistence, hoo no. Round these parts, the big money is in the summer's adventuring season... and this year, there's nothing out there to kill.

All anyone remembers is the storm; the unseasonal winds that lashed the land for a hundred miles around, the rain that fell like a million tiny hammer blows and drove all but the most foolhardy indoors. When the sun finally came up, on or about day three, even the smallest of dire rodents and overgrown household pets had gone for a Burton, let alone anything at which a seasoned and moneyed veteran of the sword-and-sausage brigade might take a swing.

In a moment's desperation, one local landowner turns to rather desperate measures, encouraging the adventurers to turn their equipment on one another (and before you laugh, this is how some Britons deal with our ban on hunting with dogs), hiring some to assume contrived (and dangerous) monster costumes and be targets of others. One or two local loonies get the wrong end of the stick, of course, whether accidentally or on purpose: the result is a bizarre, colourfully-costumed massacre, and a fourth group of adventurers/law enforcement semi-professionals are drafted in to bring them down. Not, of course, that they can necessarily tell the difference between the groups... after all, a lunatic in a costume becomes quite hard to spot if they just put on a different costume. Things come to a head when someone seriously proposes that a disliked local figurehead should put on an outfit of their own - after all, what are monsters without a boss fight?

In the end, the search is on for whoever took the monsters away, and here's where things get interesting. God did. Or the gods did. Or, if you've decided that this gonzoid mess is fit only for Paranoia, Friend Computer decided to withdraw the provision of monstrous threats from Outside on the grounds that Communism comes from Outside and therefore stage-managing intrusions from Outside could propogate Commie propaganda.

The point is, we've been asking for the monsters to go away for so long that someone finally noticed. It wasn't until they went that we realised how much we expect them to be there, and how strange our stories turn when they're gone.

Resolution? Perhaps there isn't one. Perhaps the divine must be petitioned to return the offending articles. Perhaps it's a thirty-days-and-thirty-nights kind of deal to teach us a lesson?

This Session Brought To You By: A slow news week, half of Berkshire being underwater, and a terrible day's teaching.

Recommended Systems: particularly bizarre one-off D&D, Advanced Fighting Fantasy, Savage Worlds etc.; possibly Deadlands, with a Western twist that the monsters have been yanked back out of the world by some metaphysical twist; Paranoia, obviously, because ordering four teams of Troubleshooters to respectively stage, thwart, misinterpret and shut down a monstrous incursion, with a briefing issued by a higher-grade officer's cat, is just par for the course in that game.

2 comments:

Chaplain Tim said...

I miss Paranoia- "Nobody knows the trouble I've shot"

Von said...

So do I. It's a great one for random/unknown groups since it's SUPPOSED to fall apart into a mess of cross purposes, mutual mistrust, betrayal and frag-happy nonsense. Takes the weight off my mind as the usual Designated GM...

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