Monday, July 11, 2011

Bugman's Best and Saves vs. Death

So usually I do a 2-hour stint of OD&D Tower of Gygax DMing at GenCon, but this year I somehow forgot to check the yahoo group that schedules it and I missed my window, so no running Tower of Gygax at GenCon for me this year.  However, to allieviate my need to declare "SAVE OR DIE!" at least three times a year, I decided to delay continuing our regular Warhammer RP game and put my players through some of the old OD&D Tower of Gygax rooms I still had leftover from yesteryear.

For this one-shot game of OD&D, I included the option to buy an "explorer's kit" for a paltry 15gp from the local tavern owner/ex-adventurer Mung the Befuddler, and it contained a list of things like rope, candles, hammer and pitons, etc. in an apparent attempt to speed up the equipment selection portion character generation (as they would be making multiple characters throughout the session).  Mung also threw in one sealed pint of Bugman's Best Stout into every explorer's kit (yes that's a Warhammer reference and we were playing OD&D, but whatever).

After the first extremely deadly room was over where, among other things, the magic-user was slaughtered by a magically-confused dwarf (but he got his one spell off!) and while traveling through the Hallway of Endless Dooms, they came to an intersection and had to choose a direction.  There was much discussion about proper dungeon passage-choosing, when the cleric player finally said he's going to sit down for a minute and drink his pint of complementary Bugman's Best and think about which way to go. At this point I revealed the surprise: that I had actual bottles of Bugman's Best Stout from the Brandodojo Brewery in Cedar Rapids, IA!  As you may know, Brando is a brewer of award-winning ales in our neighboring state of Iowa.  I poured everyone a glass and we all drank hearty Dwarvish stout in honor of our Iowan counterparts who play Warhammer 40k RPG.  There was much rejoicing.

As soon as everyone finished their 6.5% Irish Dry Stout (and I snapped this picture), I immediately threw a complex riddle at them that required fairly significant levels of cognitive language-interpretation capacity to solve, as the floor started to fall out from underneath them.  Then I laughed heartily.

We probably won't be playing OD&D again for a while after that, but I gotta say, sometimes I really love how old-school D&D and being a jerk DM seem to go so well together.
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