So we met on Saturday at Dice Age Game Emporium. It was kind of a slow start, as the group slowly trickled in. Eventually the entire group was there.
For some reason, Sue brought a monstrosity.
Evidently, there is a thing. I don’t know what it is, but I associate it with the same thing that brought President Trump into power, where people bake macaroni and cheese on a bed of crushed Ritz crackers. That may be OK. Boxed Mac and Cheese on a crunchy base, well, probably a soggy base.
But then Sue went full on Republican lunacy, and added marshmallows. Now anyone who has been reading my blog, or knows me, knows for a fact that marshmallows come from Satan’s Anus.
I am not making any comments good or bad about Satan, well. actually, Satan stands for things that I don’t agree with, but nothing should ever be eaten that comes from an entity’s anus. Simple.
Last week, someone brought a package of Peep candy and tried to leave it in front of me. I simply took the package and put it straight in the trash. Peeps are awful. The difference between peeps, marshmallows in a bag and marshmallows in a bottle are just variations in how the shit is packaged.
Peeps involve Satan being artistic and moving his butt around as he forms the peeps. Marshmallows in a bag are where Satan cuts the stream of shitty marshmallow goop as he poops them out. Marshmallow creme (in the bottle) is where Satan had diarrhea and could not control his crap, and just filled up bottles.
So what does this have to do with a bunch of friends getting together to have a good time?
Funny you should ask. Normally “friends” getting together would involve “friends” being “nice” to each other, not having one particular “friend” poke at the bear, by providing some monstrosity of southern pride cooking as a joke.
To be fair, boxed mac and cheese on Ritz crackers, alone might be OK Boxed mac and cheese just has a salty presence, and needs something to make it palatable. I usually cover mine with a good hot sauce, or maybe some salsa to give it a decent taste. I can see the potential of a base of Ritz crackers being good, kind of like how cheesecake has a crust of crushed graham crackers.
But the marshmallow thing. I can’t begin to tell you about how marshmallow is the most revolting thing in the world.
My brother loves marshmallows. No, I don’t hate marshmallows because of my brother. My brother is a really decent guy, and I love him. But the marshmallow….
He used to eat the snow balls, you know, the pink coconut nasty crap piles..
He also would eat some other Hostess shit pile, where it came with two slices of chocolate cake with a layer of marshmallow between. He would also eat peanut butter sandwiches with the shit from the bottle. The most disgusting thing was when he would add marshmallow creme to ice cream.
Now, Sue has said things to me like “He protests too much”, implying that I was making up my disgust for marshmallow, and actually, I like marshmallow.
Trust me, this is nothing made up. I despise marshmallow. It causes me to have a truly visceral reaction. I am not a fan of anything that is frothed or foamy. The feel of that type of thing in my mouth is repulsive. I won’t eat meringue, whipped cream, and really don’t like root beer floats because of the foam at the top. When I get a beer, I wait until the foamy head has gone away before I drink the beer. I like beer, but I don’t like foam.
A few years ago, there was a big cooking trend, where everything had foam in haute couture cooking. Every cooking show had some guest chef finding ways to add foam to any form of sweet or savory dish. I could not understand why people would want this type of mouth feel.
Now, even though I don’t like this type of thing, marshmallow is the king of nastiness. I can’t put my finger on it, but marshmallow is uber nasty.
So many of the people thought it was funny to laugh at my responses to the “comfort food” that Sue brought. I took notes, your characters will all die painful deaths, in every game, forever.
For some reason, this made Collin excited, as demonstrated in the following video:
We also discussed the things which were actually said in the previous gaming session, but were reported with a fair and balanced approach. Several people at the table were happy that I used discretion about reporting about what was said, as compared to what was actually said.
That is the benefit of writing a blog as opposed to being a news writer. A news writer has a moral obligation to report the truth. As a blog writer, similar to a talking head who needs to spew out 2 hours of venom and trash on cable TV or an AM radio station has no obligation to be truthful. The only obligation is to make sure that you are entertaining the people who are reading or listening, or watching the filth that you are spewing. When people get bored, then you need to shift your views or say something even more vile and hateful to keep the minds of the audience interested. IF no one is interested, then you can’t sell advertising.
That is where a blog is awesome. I don’t need to keep the minds of the people reading this interested. This is my fucking blog. I will prattle on about whatever I fucking want to. Nobody is paying me through advertising. I just keep the poor reader hooked, hoping that at some point in my diatribe, that I will actually say something related to the plot hook that is called the “blog title”.
There, I said it, I circled around so that after reading 1,000 words of twaddle about marshmallows and “friends” who think they are funny (You know who you are… ok, to be very clear Sue.).
I have a friend who reads this blog, but does not play with our Saturday group. We play on Thursday evenings. She was not aware of how I determine how long to prattle on before talking about the gaming. Eric filled Loren in last Thursday, and explained that the amount of prattle is directly related to how long it takes for the Saturday group to go from sitting at the table to actually beginning to play.
You see, the Saturday group is a group of people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company, so we spend time annoying the rest of the customers at Dice Age Game Emporium by talking about everything and anything prior to playing. We also tend to spend time during the game, talking about things that are not relevant to the game, but are relevant to a group of friends having a good time, where the game is simply a construct or a reason for us to get together. We could probably also go to a bar and sit around and drink and have a good time.
Come to think about it, it might be cheaper if we all just went to a bar and got drunk every week. Even though drinking at a bar is expensive, it could not be anywhere as expensive as the gaming hobby.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, Sue brought marshmallow casserole, Collin was expressing his joy, and it was Jen’s birthday. Jen tried the casserole. She took one bite, and didn’t go back for another.
Mike tried the casserole, and didn’t go back for another. In the end, Mike decided that the chickens in his back yard would like the casserole.
We also talked about the week in politics. Our national leaders have managed to squander their abilities again, and were successful in shitting err shutting the government down on Friday night. They had one job.
This is the problem that I have with many politicians, probably most if not all. In general, on a good election cycle, about half the registered voters bother to get off their butts and vote. And, when they tally the votes, it ends up that the parties get elected to office by slim margins, as in 53% to 47% or so.
Then the elected officials go into office saying that they have a mandate of the people to do X. Really, you got about 1/4 of the voting population to agree to vote for you, and you need to only listen to the loudest constituents who you happen to agree with, or paid you the most money?
So the president sets the stage, saying at first, “I will sign any bill that comes to my desk…”, quickly changing his message multiple times, ending up with “I will only sign a bill that agrees with the particular whims that I have when it gets to my desk, understanding that my whims may change at least 45 times during the short time between when it arrives on my desk until I ink the last letter on my signature of the bill, or steve, or tom, or whatever this thing I am scrawling on is”
After writing the previous paragraph, I now understand why the porn star was paid $130,000 to spank Donald Trump with a Forbes magazine while watching three hours Shark Week. I mean, if you had to spend three hours with him, you would want a sizable pile of money too. I can just hear The Donald saying “Forbes, no, National Geographic with the naked titties on it, no, Time, no, the Wall Street Journal with the naked titties, no, Penthouse, no, Highlights with Goofus and Gallant oogling the naked titties, no, Boys Life… the one with the Norman Rockwell’s naked titties picture on it, no Forbes, no I got it, I want Sunset Magazine – with the naked titties…”
So we have a group of people who are elected by about 1/4 of their constituents who are busy trying to change the world to meet their particular view of how things should be done, without regard to the rest of the people who didn’t vote for them, and without regard for the humanity that they are serving.
Look at the DACA thing. Regardless of how the children in DACA got here, they were brought here by their parents, and they lived their lives growing up here in America. Through no fault of their own, they are here.
They are human beings.
Let that sink in.
The people that are being threatened to be thrown out of this country are human beings.
Does that fit in with your moral system?
Human Beings who were brought to this great country by their parents, need to be kicked out. What does that say about your values, if you agree with this?
After all, we all know that is is only furriners that cause havoc for this country.
They are human beings.
I am here through no fault of my own also. I happen to have been born here in this country. I didn’t do anything other than exist, and have all of the benefits of living in a 1st world country with benefits which should be available to all people.
So, a group of people come to this country, to have a better life than they had in their old country. By some measure, they survive and hopefully thrive. Their kids live the American kids life to some measure.
And somehow, these kids who were brought here need to be kicked out of this country like trash, because why? They are immigrants. My family came from immigrants.
Irish, English German, Polish, Scottish, and probably a bunch of other groups which were not well received when they came to this country in the early 1900’s. I am a northern European mutt. I remember stories about how my great grandfather (of English descent) was very upset that my grandmother married a German.
People need to get over themselves, and look at the fundamental tenants of the world’s major religions. They all come down to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
I could go on.
I will leave this after saying …
The government in Washington appears to have devolved to a bunch of two year olds who are only able to view the world from their immature self centered perspective. Unable to reach compromise, which is apparently defined as “if you don’t do what I want, you are a poopyhead and I don’t like you anymore”, they would rather sulk or have a tantrum than actually provide what they were elected in office for.
Please note that I am not calling out any particular individual, party or group. I believe that the entire group of elected officials in DC fit the paragraph above.
Grow the fuck up.
You have read through almost 2,200 words of twaddle about marshmallows and politics to get to the game.
The players started out where they left off last week. All regretting Sue’s decision to bring a marshmallow shit pie. Err, I mean realizing that things were dire.
You see, I am not a mean or petty man. But when my “friends” hoot and holler about the marshmallow shit pie for any amount of time over 10 seconds, it just registers that they need to be taught a lesson. That lesson involves pain, horrible pain…
I mean, the party made it through the night, quietly thinking their own private thoughts about why and how they got to this planet. Hoping that they at least crash landed on Volturnus. I mean, if anyone is going to send out a rescue party, it would be to the planet where they were supposed to be going, right?
Star Frontiers has a set of rules associated with space travel. Astrogation is one skill that must be rolled against. It is possible that the pilot made a bad astrogation roll, and they ended up several hundred light years away from where they intended to go. Or maybe, things went swimmingly. Who is to know? I am sure that it will all work out, or it won’t. In any event, it should be interesting.
It is important to note that whetever planet they are on, the party has not found any marshmallows yet.
I read the following to the players several times. It takes quite a few times of repeating the text to get focused on the game.
Mike appears to be hallucinating. He is having trouble focusing on anything that is going on. He keeps looking for the proper pair of dice to roll. Sue has three sets of D10 dice, all of them are swirly pretty dice. Mike keeps reaching over and looking for the ones that roll well. First he tries the purple / green swirly ones, then the red / green swirly ones, then settles on the silver / purple swirly ones.
Sue seems to realize that Mike is reacting to eating the marshmallow shit pile, and takes pity on him, saying things like “I know it hurts, I am so sorry for doing this to you, but I told you before we walked in to not to try the shitpile”. Collin, Bill, Shari and Eric are all happy that they allowed Mike to try eating the marshmallow shit pile first, and then observed him for any ill effects prior to trying it themselves. Sometimes, it pays to risk not getting food, just to make sure that you won’t have excruciating pain and potential brain damage.
Jen tried a bite of the marshmallow shit pile, then left quickly with an entourage to have her stomach pumped. She came back later, looking pale and a little green at the gills.
Everyone thought it was a great joke when Sue brought it in. I was the only one laughing in the end. I knew, not to eat the marshmallow shit pile.
The party trudged on in the desert. I gave the players a hex map, and Bill chose to be the mapmaker. Each hex was 8 KM across. They could cross two hexes per day in the desert.
Bill’s character was very interested in mapping out the area, and determined that given their water and food on hand, they could to to a specific radius from the crash site before not being able to get back.
Around the party about every 500 feet was a strange Lilly pad type of plant on a long skinny stalk. Collin cut the stalk, to see if there was water inside. They found a thick viscous fluid in the stalk that ran out. The part of the stalk between the cut and the ground quickly lost all of its gooey liquid and collapsed to the desert floor.
Mike tasted the gooey fluid. It was the most awful combination of sweet, spicy and sour, and it coated his mouth with its foul flavor. Nothing would remove the horrible flavor and cloying texture. Yes, the texture was cloying. Mike drank a bunch of water, and found that didn’t help.
Eric chose to try tasting it, after all, a bug may find things taste different than a puny human. Eric found that it tasted like the traditional wedding feast food that the Vrusk eat. Now, that is not a good thing. The Vrusk wedding feast is intended to provide the most foul and inedible food possible to the happy couple. The intent is to let the couple know that no matter how bad things are in their marriage, they are never going to be as bad as the wedding feast. This simple tradition has made it so that Vrusk never marry more than once. Never. The food is so foul that it usually hospitalizes the Vrusk couple for several weeks with dysentery like symptoms for several weeks, if not months. If the couple is strong enough to survive the shit fest, then they can have children. This is all part of the Vrusk method of only letting the strong mate and pass on their genes.
While Eric found this to be disgusting, he also realized that there might be a money making opportunity here.
The party tried to see if they could turn the cut stalk with the leaf into an umbrella, but found that once the gooey ooze gushed out that the stalk and leaf became limp.
When the party looked around, they found that they could see everything in their hex, and into the next hex. The only nearby hex that seemed to have anything was to the east, where they saw a short stack of rocks.
Now, this area is like the nullarbor plain in South Australia. It is so flat, that you can see the curvature of the earth if you stand on the hood of your car. It is dry, flat, and dry, and more dry.
The party moves out toward the stack of rocks, and finds that it is a cairn with a fibrous mat lashed to it. Not terribly unlike this:
Only, there is no Omar Sharif coming to save the party. Nor are there any Huwaytat tribe that will offer the protagonist any relief.
As they party moves closer to the stone cairn, they are attacked by the Star Frontiers equivalent of a Sarlac (note that I am misspelling it, to only include on C, instead of the two C’s to avoid litigation from Disney who now owns the Sarlacc). The ground opens up beneath them, and Collin and Sue are attacked by psuedopods.
Now, not withstanding the idea that Disney will hopefully turn the Sarlacc into a Disney princess. the Sarlac (1 C) grabs Collin and Sue, and starts pulling them into the gaping maw.
Things go badly. We play the rules wrongly. Then we retcon it and play it properly. You know, it helps if you are going to play a game to do it right. But then, I blame it on the marshmallow shit pile sitting in the middle of the table. I mean who can concentrate with this staring at you?
In fact, that marshmallow shitpile may need to become a new monster that the party will fight. Let’s see. Stats.
CR 15, Damage Resistance 200, 3,000 hit points, Requires will save versus nausea, retching and vomiting. It acts like an ooze, where cutting it in two simply makes two horrors instead of 1. The only weakness is ingestion by the party members who spend the next 4 to 12 months in the ICU on life support.
But where were we?
Oh yeah, the Sarlac (which looks remarkably like the marshmallow shit pile, gives up slowly. It snatches the characters, pulling Eric and Collin into the pit of despair. The party decides it is a good time to drop some grenades into the monster. Mike tries to drop a doze grenade in, and fails. I mean he is standing right next to it, and just has to roll the grenade into the maw. Nope, he rolls poorly. He chose the wrong dice from Sue. I decided that the grenade is on the lips of the Sarlac, but he forgot to pull the pin. Mike tried the same thing with a tangler grenade, and rolled poorly again.
Now, this seems to be a thing with this group. When the roll needs to be high, they roll low. when the roll needs to be low, they roll high. When that fails, they just roll just outside the target number’s requirements. It doesn’t seem to matter how awesome their characters are, what the game system is, or whether or not the roll must be successful, they just roll poorly.
I mean watching the party, you would think that out of 100 rolls, at least half would be above 51, and half would be 50 or less. Not this group. They roll so many botched rolls in a row, it is painful to watch.
Where were we?
Oh yeah, the party shoots into the Sarlac, causing it to get really pissed off. I mean when you have 200 stamina, and someone shoots 5 SEU hand laser fire in it, and it does 5d10 damage, it is no surprise that the Sarlac beats the crap out of anything that it can reach with its tentacles.
The party finally manages to throw a couple of doze grenades and a tangler grenade into it. This pisses the critter off, a lot. The third tangler grenade, plus the 50 + stamina damage cause the critter to stop fighting. However, the doze grenades cause Mike and Collin to be zonked out, sleeping like a baby.
Well, it was a little more complicated than that. The tentacles beat the crap out of everyone but Shari, who bravely stood back waiting for her opportune time to fight, and Bill, who spent his time cataloging the flora and fauna of this planet.
Sue helps out the players several times by hitting them with stim shots, and other medicine that could help them. Mike bravely jumped into the Sarlac pit and stabilized Eric during the middle of the fight.
In the end, Sue managed to perform surgery on herself, gaining extra health / stamina back, but she was unable to help anyone else.
The party investigates the stone cairn, and finds that it is a well. They restock their water. and trudge on.
Now, the module rules say that you need to roll for wandering monsters once per 12 hour period. On a 1 or a 2, you get a wandering monster. And I keep rolling 1’s and 2’s on a d10 for wandering monsters. Bwoooohahahahaahahahahaha, I mean wow, that sucks for the party.
After a day’s travel from the well, the party is once again in the dark. As they move on, they begin to smell carrion. Rotting meat. They ask “Can we see anything flying above, like a vulture?” I say “no” without making a roll. It is pitch dark after all, how would they see a carrion flying critter in the dark, where there is no moon?
As they continue forward, the stench becomes stronger, and they hear whining, as in animals whining, crying. Mike moves forward, and sees a lump on the ground ahead of him. The lump has an abrupt end on one side, and on the other side, the lump gently tapers down to the ground, and in the middle of the lump are several short spiky things poking out of it. It is dark, and Mike doesn’t want to get too close.
Mike goes back to the party and reports what he found. Bill takes copious notes. Eric is convinced that they should continue moving on, since he has all of one hit point left.
As the party are discussing the situation, Sue feels something lightly tugging at her backpack, she whirls around and finds a large lizard has stolen a ration pack from her pack and is consuming it. Sue says “the food that I kept at the *bottom* of the pack?” I reply, yes, and your pack is now completely shredded, and all of your equipment is spread around the ground.
The lizard critters stand about 4-ft tall, and now think of Mike as their mom. They walk in front of mike like a lovesick puppy, tripping him with love.
Sue is unhappy. But then, I randomly rolled who would fall in the Sarlac pit, and Sue was one of the beneficiaries. I randomly rolled to see who would have their pack rifled through, and it was Sue.
Honestly. 6 players. I roll a d6 to see who is the one attacked, etc. Sue kept coming up in the random die roll. It had nothing to do with the marshmallow shit pile. I start with Mike next to me as 1, and count counterclockwise.
- one person to the left of Mike
No, really I roll randomly.
I kept rolling 2’s. I felt badly, so I decided to go the other way, counterclockwise from Share, to the left. I kept rolling 5’s then.
So the party is moving on. As they continue their Frodolike journey to Mordor, I mean to wherever this long trudge will take them, the two lizards all of a sudden dispensary, running as fast as possible from the party. Then out of the sand a giant mouth full of teeth grabs.. you guessed it, Sue (randomly rolled) and another grabs Collin.
The teeth hurt. They do some pretty massive damage The teeth chew up most of the party in one bite or another. Someone I think it was Bill decides to dangle their tangler grenade above the ground, holding it by the pin, while Shari jumps in and out of the area with the grenade, to try to get one of the sand sharks to bite the grenade. Shari is lucky, as the summoned the shark right at the grenade. The grenade goes off, and the sand shark can not get back under the sand again. Bill ties a rope around the critter, and they heave it out of the sand. It is trying to hack out the tangler grenade like a cat with a huge hairball.
The other sand shark runs away after the party kills off the first sand shark.
By this time, just about everyone was a very low hit points, except for Shari and Bill. They are pretty much unscathed. Everyone else is looking up the rules trying to figure out when their characters are “dead’ as opposed to just unconscious.
Star Frontiers is a pretty brutal game. It assumes that the players have access to a hospital, and presumably the funds to pay for the hospital, because in this future world, there is no government health care. Natural healing takes a long time, as in 1 stamina point per day of complete rest.
If you have a surgeon, you can heal faster, if your surgeon / medic is good or lucky. So far, Sue, the medic has shown that she is lucky at healing herself and performing surgery on herself, but not so much for the other players.
More to follow.