Review: Tequendria

TL/DR: Glad I bought it, but I doubt I’ll play it.

Tequendria is a roleplaying game written by Scott Malthouse and published by Trollish Delver Games. It is billed as “a fantastical roleplaying game inspired by the works of Lord Dunsany”, but one can see the influence of Lovecraft, Bierce, and Chambers as well. I picked this game up on a whim… I had a Lulu coupon (one of those buy 4 for the price of 3 deals) and was, quite frankly, taken in by the cover by Ivan Bilibin. (Note, the electronic version at RPGNow appears to have a different cover than the printed copy.) Tequendria  is a 77 page, softbound book. About two-thirds of it is devoted to the actual game rules; the last 24 pages contain three stories by Lord Dunsany.

Tequendria uses the Unbelievably Simple Role-playing system (USR), published by Trollish Delver Games. It’s only a buck at RPGNow, so if you want a look it won’t break the bank. Characters are defined by three attributes and an archetype. The attributes are Action (anything physical, strength, agility), Wit (mental things like intelligence, perception) and Ego (social things, persuade, charisma). Players have 1D6, 1D8 and 1D10 to assign to these attributes. The higher the die, the more competent your character is. What really makes Tequendria cool is the archetypes. You don’t play a warrior or a wizard in this game. Instead, you play a Moonblade or a Bathraka Cloudmind.  Each archetype has three specialties (think skills) and a singular ability that sets it apart from the others. For example, a Necronaut may travel to the “Hollow” and speak to the dead. All of them look really interesting to play and the author has conveniently included a table so your players can randomly generate an archetype instead of agonizing over what to choose.

Apparently, all characters in this game are capable of casting spells. There is a list of serviceable spells included in the game, but I didn’t see any rules for choosing how many your character knows at the start of the game, or how to learn more. It could be that everyone just knows them. Spells are powered by a characters life force (i.e., hit points).  Tequendria has a level-based system for advancement. Characters will gain more hits and can improve existing or learn new skills. I’m not a fan of increasing hit points with level, so I’d probably need to house rule something for this and for spell casting…

The USR game system is (not surprisingly) pretty simple. If there is a task, you figure out what attribute makes the most sense, roll the die, add any bonuses you might get from a specialty, combat advantage, etc. and attempt to beat a target number. When facing a foe, both characters roll their attribute die and the winner of the contest succeeds. I didn’t see any rule for a tie in this situation. I guess you can fall back on the “defender” wins or the contest must go another round or something. For static contests like climbing a wall or picking a lock, there is a table of difficulties. The only quibble I have with this system is that the target numbers don’t progress in a mathematical fashion. You’ll need to memorize or refer to the table in play. Overall, the system seems robust and should be entertaining for a “one-shot” or short campaign. There’s enough “meat” here to make me happy and it only needs a few tweaks or clarifications to run easily.

There are excellent chapters on the world and the creatures that inhabit it. I would love for this to be fleshed out even more. Tequendria looks like a fascinating world, but we get only the barest glimpse of its many lands and cultures.

The book ends with three stories by Lord Dunsany. I’ve never read any of his works before. Let me warn you, the prose takes some getting used to. I found “Idle Days on the Yann” to be a complete snooze fest. It’s basically a travelogue of the weird and fantastic places the author journeys too. It was a hard slog to get through it since nothing exciting ever happens. The other two tales were more engaging and better examples of how one could structure an adventure in this world.

Tequendria is not an easy game to get into. The author has stated that this is a game about the worlds of Lord Dunsany, but he offers little advice on how to run such a game. There are no sample adventures. The snippets about abandoned towers and underground caverns sound like standard dungeon crawling to me. We do have some stories to read to “get the feel” of the world, but I think I’d need to read a lot more Dunsany to convey the world to my players. The game certainly is evocative and has a lot of cool ideas I’d purloin for other “weird fantasy” games. I’m happy I picked this game up, but I’m not sure I will ever run it.

Tequendria is available at RPGnow and Lulu.


Review: Hunter’s Song

TL/DR: Give it a read.

Hunter’s Song is the debut novel from William Rutter. I recall when it was announced on Daniel James Hanley’s excellent The Engine of Oracles blog last fall. I dropped it on my Amazon wishlist and promptly forgot about it… I sure wish I’d ordered sooner!

The novel centers around a young English gentlewoman named Lila Davenport. The sole child of a wealthy banker, Lila’s only ambition is to marry the man she loves – her childhood sweetheart Richard Fairfax. Unfortunately, Fairfax has been ensnared by dark powers. His actions drag Lila into hidden terror. Disowned by her friends and family, she must fend for herself in a world where monsters are very real. Rather than give in, Lila takes up arms to fight against the creatures who stalk the night. She finds a mentor who teaches her to become the hunter instead of the hunted.

I really enjoyed this book and I am all the more impressed that it is the author’s first novel. Lila is engaging. From the first chapter, you can see the iron in her character. Here is a woman who “had it all”. Not only did her world fall apart when she was disowned by her family, but it was also turned on its head when she realized that what she heretofore took to be superstitious nonsense is actually very real. A lesser woman would have given up, but Lila strikes back, taking revenge for the wrongs she has suffered, only to become the target of revenge herself.

My hope is we will see more novels set in the world of “A Ghastly Affair”. I sure won’t let the next one sit on my wishlist for months!

You can purchase this novel at DriveThru Fiction or Amazon.

Postscript –

Mr. Hanley, my wife loved the cover of the book.

Transcript (excerpt) from Official Inquiry into the July 23, 2218 Death of Capt. Minh Kowalski, Shipmaster of Esther CSS-1434.

Proceedings September 9, 2218, Court of Inquiry, 61 Cygni, Leyland-Okuda Corporation District HQ


Cmdr. Shapiro (CS): Will Lt. Commander James Lakhshmikantapur, Second Officer, please take the stand. (Is administered the oath for sworn testimony.) Cmdr James Lakhshmikantapur, can you for the record…

Lt. Cmdr. Lakhshmikantapur (Lakh): ….call me Jimmy. Nobody calls me “James.”

CS: ….please describe your relationship with Captain Kowalski.

Lakh: I’m second officer on Esther, so I’m usually on the bridge at the helm, doing maintenance on sensors, tracking down system errors, that kind of stuff. Minh, I mean Cap, was a sorta…quiet guy. Private. I don’t know…I guess I didn’t really know him that well. Did he have a family?

CS: Did you ever observe Capt. Kowalski to act erratically? Any cause to be concerned for his mental state?

Lakh: …no, not on duty. Never. He was steady. Sometimes he got real hyper for inspections, but… I mean, I…

CS: …please continue, Commander.

Lakh: …I guess I had heard that he used to have a skyscraper problem. But it was years ago. He kicked it.

CS: You’re referring to the synthetic stimulant and hallucinogen called “skyscraper?”

Lakh: Yeah, either that or it was snakebite or skyballs. I can’t remember… but I never saw him act…

CS: So you had no idea that Capt. Kowalski was an addict? That he was using up to 75 micrograms per day of “skyscraper?”

Lakh: …uh, no, not at the time. Really. But like I said I didn’t really know him that well. I wouldn’t necessarily…if I had known, I would have definitely…

CS: Tell me about the Captain’s last shift.

Lakh: OK. So I’m on solo night watch on the bridge and Heff starts buzzing about …

CS: “Heff?”

Lakh:…Esther’s computer, HFB-8300. I call him Heff. He’s a pretty normal guy for an AI….what? OK. So, Heff starts squealing about a manual alarm pulled down in companionway A3…right down from Cap’s cabin.

CS: A crew member had pulled the alarm?

Lakh: Yeah, so I dispatched a tech and a marine to go see what…

CS: And they found?

Lakh: Shira laid out in the hallway by the alarm, deep scratches on her face, he tore out her eyeballs. The Captain dead in his cabin….what a freakin’ mess…

CS: You refer to First Officer Shira Yoshiru? The captain had bled to death from self-inflicted wounds, with shattered durasteel mirror shards?

Lakh: Yeah, exactly. So we treated Shira the best we could. Marine searched her cabin and found the rest of the skyscraper. She was selling to a chunk of the crew…Cap had a relapse…it’s because of LO quotas, you know? Leyland-Okuda pushes us, squeezes us so hard. Some people just break…

CS: But not you, Commander. You assumed command of Esther for the remainder of the run? I understand you’ve efficiently served through the deaths of three captains now? You are to be commended for your…

Lakh: Yeah, a cakewalk through the inner system…no big deal. Technically not three dead skippers. Two. Pia was first mate, acting captain. It was labeled “android glitch”, not death. I want to talk more about the quotas from LO…

CS: Thank you for your candid testimony Commander, that will be all at this time…


Lt. Commander Lakhshmikantapur was promoted to full Commander and reassigned as First Officer aboard Llama, CSS-7316.

Transcript (partial) from Court Martial of Cmdr. James “Jimmy” Lakhshmikantapur, 1st Officer of Llama CSS-7316, April 13, 2220.

Lt. Greenwald (LG): Good morning, Commander. Please describe your movements during the final hours of Llama, before she was completely destroyed at the cost of sixteen lives and of its cargo of approximately six million tons of high grade ores.

Cmdr. Lakhshmikantapur (CL): I was on the bridge, at the conn. The Captain was getting rack time. I was playing games with Harry and…

LG: For the record, who is Harry?

CL: That’s our computer. I call him Harry, easier than HFB-9000. He plays a mean game and his music archives are huge. He also knows a lot of jokes, like the one where the sloth and the priest walk into…

LG: …So your attention to Llama’s course was distracted by the game of chess you were playing?

CL:…checkers, actually, I really suck at chess, never could remember how all those guys move.

LG: Ok, then, so you weren’t really focusing on your duties, monitoring the ship’s course because of the checkers game. So when Llama began exhibiting problems, you didn’t immediately take actions to correct it?

CL: Well, the thing is, we were hauling rock from the outer Trojans back to Luna, so like a three week burn, with nothing in the way and no reason to watch every second. Harry does that for us, that’s why he’s there.

LG: But in this case HFB-9000 became erratic and so as first officer and pilot you should have stepped in to take manual command of the vessel?

CL: Well….yeah. But it started off no big deal when Harry reported an anomaly…

LG: What sort of anomaly?

CL: Harry thought he saw a drive plume for a second and then when it blinked off, with a residual heat signature, he said it must be a pirate trying to blindside us. But we were just outside the Mars line and there hasn’t been a pirate raid anywhere near there in like 40 or 50 years…so I kind of blew it off as a sensor error.

LG: But HFB-9000 insisted that a dark ship was on an intercept course?

CL: Yeah, and then a minute later all hell broke loose. No warning, Harry fired up an evasive 5-G burn, alarms blaring, stuff flying all over the bridge. On that Trojan run, we just never do high-G maneuvers, so people get pretty lax about unsecured gear…I tried to confirm his pirate ship but the manual scopes couldn’t find anything. Nothing out there except some random rocks.

LG: So, Commander, why didn’t you assume the helm and correct the situation?

CL: Harry locked me out. Locked everyone out. I ordered Pat down in engineering to ditch the core, but she couldn’t get through his firewall. Plus the 5-G burn sort of made it impossible to get up and go pull his plug, even if I could find it…the Captain wasn’t responding, probably knocked out by the burn or killed right away by debris….after like 15 or 20 minutes of this the proximity warning appeared.

LG: And that was from?

CL: That big freaking rock that Harry was steering us at. He wouldn’t alter course, said the pirates were still in pursuit and talking nonsense about his creator, Professor Irving Culus at University of Titan or some crap like that. We were headed right for it, so I ordered all hands to escape pods. Some couldn’t get to them I guess….

LG: Llama was completely destroyed, so no logs or computer fragments exist to verify your account. How do you respond to this?

CL: Pat made it out and she can tell you how it all went down. Let me tell you, I will never set foot on another boat that has a HFB unit on board, unless there’s a great big kill switch right on the bridge.


Commander Lakhshmikantapur was found not guilty of any wrongdoing in the Llama matter.

Gamma World 19: All’s Well That Ends Well

Hi everybody. Wouldzee the owl here and I want to talk about wrapping things up. I don’t mean the kind of wrapping up like when you get shot in the tentacle and its gushing blood and John says, “You really ought to wrap that up or you’ll probably bleed to death.” I mean like wrapping up all of our great adventures into what is bound to be a weak and disappointing final entry in my journal.

Anyhoo, those robots are total douche-nozzles. So we go to all this trouble to make sure they can fire their giant laser gun at the comet that is going to destroy the earth and we fight a whole bunch of people and monsters and zombies and pig-man bikers and bat-shit crazy knights of genetic purity and we soak up enough radiation to make me think I’ve spent at least two hours in a tanning bed and I am sure I’ll never regrow all of my feathers and if I have any kids I’ll be lucky if they have only two heads, although having two heads might be kind of neat – that is if the other head was cool, if it wasn’t it would really suck – oh yeah, those robot douchebags… So we go through all this stuff and then they fire only a couple of the lasers and we’re all like, “What’s going on? Only a couple lasers are firing. Do we need to go kick someone’s butt?” And they’re all like, “No, it’s cool.” And we’re like, “Technically it’ll be cool because we’ll likely experience a major ice age after the impact with all the dust is in the atmosphere, but we really think blasting that comet is important.” And they’re like, “Don’t worry about it.” And finally John sciences it out and figures out that they are directing the comet to crash into another part of the world! So we’re totally freaking out now and decide we totally have to stop these guys.

So General Wilson, who you’ll remember is the robot guy who makes all these pronouncements for the AI and gave us the mission to make sure the lasers would fire, is in Prairie Dog Town and that’s miles and miles away and we’ve crashed the flying car we used to have and we’re not sure what to do to get to there, when I say to myself, “Wouldzee, those railroad tracks lead right to Prairie Dog Town and there’s this big train pulling cars of diesel fuel idling right in front of you and John can surely figure out how to drive it and I still have some matches in case we should just blow it up instead…” So we totally hop on the train and John is trying to figure out how to run it and Sally is giggling and tells him to push some buttons and then giggles some more and then she releases the brake and tells me to keep my beak shut and I totally do, because it is really fun to pull one over on John. So Sally secretly drives the train, but she makes John think he is really driving it and as we pull away, a bunch of robots climb on the fuel cars and start shooting at us.

Well, we’re not having any of that and we start blasting away at the robots, but they are crawling along the sides of the cars and getting closer and stuff and we’re still pretty beat up from our last fight, so Sally starts hacking at the coupling hitch and eventually we get the tanker cars released and John waits like 30 seconds and blasts them with his plasma rifle and they totally went KA-BOOM and flaming robot parts were flying everywhere and some of my feathers got singed and Beyoh was burning and yelling at John to use his fire extinguisher, but it was totally awesome!

Anyhoo, we went chugging down the track and we came to that village of coyotes and Sally took a couple of potshots at them and I am not exactly sure what is going on with her and those guys, but we all figured we’d better stay out of her way since she was still coming down from her last psycho bender and you do not want to mess with her when she gets in one of her moods. John thought we’d better get in touch with that Colonel Forbin guy to meet us at Prairie Dog Town with reinforcements, and healing potions and Sally wanted some more psycho since she only had a dozen hits left. Colonel Forbin said he could never get his army to Prairie Dog Town in time, but he sent some guys to meet us with some healing potions and more psycho for Sally and some Rad-Away since we’d been chugging through a radioactive desert and we were all throwing up a lot.

Oh, and I forgot to mention Bearclap, you remember that biker guy that gave us a hard time early on, called and was all worried that the robots were enslaving all his customers and he wasn’t selling enough drugs or something and I was thinking that he probably couldn’t keep up with Sally’s demand even if he started a third shift at his crack house. And I guess that he found Buddy, that robot guy who used to tell all those jokes I didn’t understand, and now Buddy is working for him and that’s probably not going to turn out well because a couple of people died the last time they took the psycho that Buddy made… But, Bearclap said he was driving over to Prairie Dog Town to see what he could do to break his customers out and we’re like, “Great idea and I really hope you don’t get shot by one of us during the battle because it’d totally be an accident!”

So we got to Prairie Dog Town and we look it over and we see there is a fight going on in the streets and it looks like the lizard guys have switched sides and the prisoners are revolting and I think some of our friends from Liberty are down there and Sally is starting to shoot up and then she rams the throttle to full speed and we jump out of the train before it crashes into the gates of the town and it explodes and was so frickin’ awesome, but it killed some of the good guys and that made me a little sad. Anyhoo, we went charging into Prairie Dog Town and we’re all blasting anything that looks at us cross-eyed and we finally hack our way to this little fort in the middle of the town and John scienced out the fact that General Wilson had to be inside and he started shooting down the guard towers with his plasma gun, while Beyoh and I tried to sneak in and Sally was just hacking her way through the gate and buildings and stuff. I ended up screwing around looking through a building for a long time so I am not exactly sure what the other guys were up to, but I could hear Sally screaming a lot, so that was reassuring. Finally, I came out and we had this big fight with General Wilson and he was shooting lasers out of his head and that really sucked, but we eventually beat him down and he surrendered and told us the story.

So these robot guys are not the only robot guys in the world. There is this other AI computer guy on the other side of the planet, John said it was even farther away than Canada, and apparently the AI General Wilson works for wanted to kill the other one for some reason and was going to drop the comet on top of him to do it. What a dick! So we convinced General Wilson’s boss that this was a bad idea by telling him we’d totally come and unplug his ass if he kept it up. Then he whines that he doesn’t have enough lasers to destroy the comet and he is pissing and moaning about having to work with the other AI to save the earth and stuff, but he finally gives in and ZAP they totally blow it up.

Anyhoo, thanks to us the earth is totally safe. Or at least it is safe until some other maniac decides to start a new reign of terror. I’m sure it’ll be a month or two before anything like that happens though…

This is Wouldzee the Owl signing off!

Gamma World 15-18: Saving the World through Interpretive Dance

Hi everybody! Wouldzee the Owl here. Did you ever have a lot to do at work and then go on vacation and then come back from work and have even more work to do because nobody did any of your stuff while you were gone and even when you brought a computer and tried to catch up on e-mail you still felt super swamped and it was almost more work to go on vacation than to just stay home and work because you had to make up all that extra work that didn’t get done and then you really didn’t feel like updating your blog because like three people read it and you are pretty sure there are more people in your gaming group than that even? Yeah… Never happens to me either…

Anyhoo, we’ve done so much stuff in the past couple of days that I am having trouble remembering it all. It’s like it’s taken over a month or something to do all this stuff and it’s super hard to remember all the details now.

Gramps has missed the last three games. I think Fridge made it to one of them. Bayou missed last week.

The GM’s son joined us last week. Poser Nutjob is a mutated goat with flaming horns and wings. It’s no wonder people think RPGs are affiliated with Satan…

So we drove our hover tank back to the Yew and didn’t kill any Coyotes on the way and we somehow found Sally and John had her read the Helping Friendly Book to him while he drove and it was cool, but it kind of went on and on and on about a lot of stuff and I am not sure I remember anything important from it other than it talked a bit about how the world got all blowed up and stuff and some of the history of the place we were in and it kind of contradicted all the stuff my Dad told me, when I was a fledgling, about people getting mad at the Canadians because they kept calling ham, bacon and it really wasn’t bacon, because bacon was a lot better and I’d better shut up and eat my mouse and be thankful for it… Or something like that…

Anyhow, we got back to the Yew and we called up Dr. Arrow and she wasn’t happy to hear from us, but Sally convinced her to come out to see us and she fixed up all our broken stuff and enhanced John’s Quantum Bazooka to do even more weird stuff. Then we got someone to kind of fix the tank so we could fire the gun and Sally figured out how to do that, but couldn’t figure out how to drive it or nothing and then we waited for the robots to attack. So they attacked and we blasted a few of them and then I noticed that they weren’t really combat robots and suddenly these drop ships flew over us and they dropped a nuke on the Lab Rats building and I was totally like, “Good thing you came out to help us Dr. Arrow or you’d totally be glowing now,” but she wasn’t nearby and it is probably not polite to gloat so we drove our tank over to the Lab Rats building and started blasting while all these drop ships landed and were setting up equipment and stuff. Finally, our tank got sunk and we lost Sally for a while because she was swimming around underwater attacking robots and John and Beyoh and I were flying around shooting them and stuff.

Eventually, Sally ran into this team or six Seals and they told us they were going into the Lab Rats compound to try and get those robots out and we thought it’d be a good idea to help them out and maybe look for some better guns in the ruins of their complex and Sally had seen the robots trying to attach some cables to the reactor that the Lab Rats have under the lake and so we took the elevator down and had to blast our way through a ton of robots. Anyhoo, the robots eventually called for a cease fire with us and tried to explain what they were doing and apparently this giant snowball in outer space is going to crash into the earth and essentially destroy it all and they are building this big ray gun to blast it out of the sky. I’m totally thinking this is a line of BS, but John takes all their papers and does some science and he’s like “this is legit” and so the robots are actually trying to be good, but just going about it in a totally dick way.

So the robots and people from the Yew call a cease fire and then the robots tell us that they want us to go and talk to Colonel Forbin, who is that robot guy who left a bunch of weapons in an underground bunker under the Yew and had that talking bird and was going to “rescue” us way after the time we needed his help. Turns out that Forbin is not too far away and he is squatting on one of the locations that the robots need to build their giant ray gun and they send us up there to talk to them. So we fly up there and Colonel Forbin was willing to talk with us since we had his talking bird and stuff and he totally didn’t believe that the world was going to end, but Sally did an interpretive dance of the end of the world and if he wasn’t a robot I am sure he would have been crying and he got one of his science guys to talk to John and look over the calculations and stuff and he was totally on board with helping us out as long as he could blast the robots as soon as they’d saved the earth and we were all ok with that too.

Anyhoo, Colonel Forbin and his army left and then the robots came and starting building their ray gun and then the chief robot, who’s name is W1L, but likes to be called General Wilson, called us and told us that the hippies were attacking the refinery where another one of the ray guns was getting installed, so we got into the drop ship and flew over there to talk to them. As we was flying over there, we see this huge army of those radioactive zombies shambling towards the robots and the hippies and we also see this flaming goat getting pursued by the army, so we mow down some of the zombies and pick him up and he seems like a decent guy even though he looks like a demon from the fiery pits of hell.

We eventually go and talk to the hippies and explain that the robots are trying to save the earth and they should stop fighting and worry about the thousands of zombies heading towards them. The hippies totally wanted to run, but we talked them into staying and said we’d do our best to deal with the zombies because John still had a tactical nuke and he was itching to use it and Sally was all like “nuke ’em” and even the goat boy was into it. So we flew back over to where the zombies were and in the middle of the horde we see these priest-guys in a force field and we dive bomb them and drop the nuke right on top of them and it’s like…


…and our drop ship starts making a funny noise, and John passes out and there are all these red, flashing lights and goat boy grabs John and bails out and so I grab Sally and bail out only Sally weighs a lot more than I can carry (but don’t tell her I said that because I think she is sensitive about her figure) and we plummet to the ground and Sally shoots up with something just as I drop her and then she smashes the into ground and gets up and hits it with her powered sledge and then goes screaming at those priests because you knew that they’d survive that nuke, didn’t you? Anyhoo, we fought them and shot and stabbed and slashed and at one time, one of them stole a mini-nuke off John and they blew it up and we were all super glad we’d taken a bunch of Rad-X because I’ve seriously gotten worse sunburns when they lit it off. Their leader was totally impossible to hurt because he had this protective field that John and I have, only he was a lot better looking than John or I so we couldn’t punch through it and then Sally got the bright idea to jab him with a few doses of Psycho and that totally uglified him and then we tore him up but good.

So we were all pretty beat up from the fight, even if John had done more damage to himself when his bazooka backfired than the priests did to him. We watched the robots finish off their ray gun thing and then…


…it totally blasted into the sky and so I guess the world is saved now, but I sure would have given a lot to see that giant snowball explode. That would’ve been cool.

Gamma World 12-14: Wouldzee Plays Catch Up

Real life has intervened so I will try to catch up the last 3 games with this post.

GW 12: Fridge, Gramps and Beyoh missed the game.
GW 13: Gramps and Sally missed the game.
GW 14: Fridge, Gramps and Sally missed the game.

Hi everybody! Wouldzee the owl here. Do you ever get behind? I don’t mean behind like when the food vendor who sells BBQ Rat on-a-stick has a sale and like a million cat people jump in front of you and you start to worry that you will never get to taste that perfect mix of sweet and savory sauce on your favorite rodent… Boy, I’m hungry now.

Hi everybody! I’m back and now I will try to catch up on what we’ve been doing since I got way behind. Boy, that rat was good. I should…focus Wouldzee…

Anyhoo, after we searched around the hippie camp and figured almost everybody had died and stuff, we came back into the Yew and talked with Cassini, that gangster guy who kind of runs the place. He was super worried that those robots were going to come back and take a bunch of people for slaves and stuff and I totally agreed that that would suck. Cassini told us a story about some other robots who’d come to the Yew like 50 years ago or something and they helped clean it up and were generally decent robots and he figured they might still be kicking around and willing to give us a hand with the bad robots. So he told us there was a way to contact the good robots and it was this mechanical bird and it was buried below the city in some kind of underground bunker and he figured we could go down there and get it for him and in exchange he’d give us his truck. Sally wanted more drugs instead of the truck, but we eventually came to an arrangement with him.

So we went underground and we fought some zombies and we found out like half the place was totally flooded with water and stuff, but Sally can breath water now, so she scouted around for John and I. We ran into this guy who was just called “Fish Guy” and he was hurt pretty bad and we asked him what was going on and he said he ran into this monster and it took a piece out of him and he was hiding down here. So I’m going to call the monster Guckgace, but I am only doing it because my niece, who is just barely older than a fledgling, sometimes reads this and I don’t want her to see his real name, but if you replace the G’s with F’s you’ll totally get it. Anyhow, we totally found that monster and kicked it’s slimy tail and we fought some more zombies too. We found a lot of guns and ammo and stuff that would have been really useful in a fight if they hadn’t been submerged in water for the past 50 years. We did find some cool stuff, like a power hammer that Sally took and a chainsaw that Sally was totally going to take, but I made her give it to Beyoh instead and John found some nukes and he seemed pretty happy with them. I found that bird and it was cool and we used it to call for reinforcements and they said they’d be here in a fortnight, whatever the heck that is, but John told us it is way less time than when them evil robots were going to come for slaves.

We tried to think up a plan and John decided we should try to lure the Knights of Genetic Purity into a battle with those bad robots to kind of kill two douchebags with one stone (you’ll notice I said “douchebags” instead of “birds” since I am a bird myself, that saying has always ruffled my tail feathers. Oh, I totally forgot that we found out that most of the hippies had actually escaped being killed before and I was pretty happy about that. And they’d also found Fridge and nobody really knows how or anything, but they opened up an old refrigerator and there he was. I’m not sure if he was really happy to see us again… Anyhow, we took that truck that Cassini gave us since we couldn’t figure out how to steal his nicer truck and drove off.

So I was really excited because John let me drive and we drove back to where we figured those knights would be and this time we paid the coyotes to cross their bridge instead of shooting them and I was glad that Sally had stayed back in the Yew to nurse her hangover instead of some along with us, since she may have started blasting them again. Anyhoo, we stopped at the Forge and got some more ethanol and talked to our friends and then I pretended to be Sally and called up the knights and I made a complete hash of it and went off on them calling them all kinds of names and stuff and they said they were going to kill us and I was like, “You and what army?” And he was like, “The army with the hover tank about 50 miles away!” And I totally remembered that and so I was like “Over and out.”

Anyhoo, we found the knights and they were camped in a valley and we drove our truck to the top of the valley and shined our lights on them and started calling them bad names and stuff and they sent two trucks after us and we were really hoping for more, so we got into this huge fight and totally took them out and got ourselves a much better truck. Then we called them on the radio and were taunting them and stuff and that guy Clasp, who we call “Dickhead, father of Douchebag” said there was no way he was coming out of his safe warm valley to chase us and he said he’d kill us again and John was nonplussed and I’ve always wanted to use that word and we weren’t sure what to do when suddenly we heard explosions and stuff and people shouting, “They’re inside the perimeter.”

So I snuck down the valley and only got shot twice and I found Tara, the dandelion lady, was totally kicking ass along with a bunch of our friends from Liberty and I so wanted to help them out. I snuck back up the hill and only got shot once and told John and Beyoh about it and they were on board for helping out and so I drove our new truck down into the camp as fast as it would go, and I was steering with my tentacles so I could shoot out the window and John was shooting things with his bazooka and Beyoh was firing his pistols, which is kind of weird since he doesn’t have eyes to, but now that I think about how often he actually hits anything I guess that makes sense.

Anyhoo, we caused a lot of mayhem and I am sure I ran over dozens of people while I was swerving around and we eventually ran into this halftrack with a big gun and it was not too far from the hover tank, so we decided to “trade up” and took out the guys in the halftrack and I was totally thinking we could blast that tank with the big gun, but John and I couldn’t figure it out, but I did notice a weak spot on the tank, were the turret and main body meet and I took a grenade and flew over and wedged it in there and it didn’t do a heck of a lot and John had broken his bazooka, so he was blasting it with his plasma gun and he finally threw me his vibroblade and I jammed it in the hole and cut up a bunch of wires and crap and it stopped rotating, but it still shot the halftrack and blew it up totally. So John and Beyoh and I all managed to get up to the turret and John got it open and we jumped inside and fought Dickhead father of Douchebag and a bunch of other knights and we just barely made it out of there alive, but we killed them all and I am not too said about it since these guys are terrible people.

I totally passed out after the fight because I’d pulled a Sally and taken way too many drugs. John took f-o-r-e-v-e-r figuring out how the tank worked and it got banged up pretty bad and then he drove around the camp smashing a lot more people with it. Finally, Tara told him to knock it off and they would “clean up” so we thought we’d better get back to the Yew and Tara said they would come to help out if they could find enough working trucks and stuff to get there in time.

Wouldzee does Math

“Since Beyoh is not coming along and Fridge is still dead-dead, that means I’ve got only a one-in-three chance of being blasted when you screw up with that bazooka, John. I like those odds!”

“Wouldzee, you know that one-third is bigger than one-fourth, right?”

“You can’t trick me John, I totally know that four is more than three. See?” Wouldzee demonstrates by waving his tentacles around.

A long conversation follows. John sketches a lot of pie charts in the dirt with his BBQ fork while Wouldzee watches.

“I don’t get it John.”

Another conversation ensues. More diagrams are sketched. After a few minutes John purchases a pair of apples from a local vendor. One is cut into three pieces and the other into four. Wouldzee is pretty intrigued and is very happy when John lets him eat the apples.

“Math sucks John.”

Gamma World 11: The Belle of the Ball Loses it!

Hi everybody. Wouldzee the owl here and I am so pissed off at those robot guys. They totally did a dick move on the hippies and even though some people might argue that the hippies totally brought it on themselves for bombing the robots’ train with explosive seed pods and stuff, still they didn’t have to go so far.

We got back from the Lab Rats complex and even though we were all totally beat up and stuff we decided that we’d join the big party that was going on. Sally entered this dance competition and she was in this dance-off with all the best dancers in town and one of the gangster leader’s bodyguards was this amazing dancer and I thought that was  a little weird because you think you’d hire a body guard to be a good fighter and not for his ability to cut a rug, but anyhoo the whole competition was really between those two and Sally was downing drugs like she was eating candy, but it totally paid off because she won the competition and she got a sash and this tiara and one of the judges, named Simon Cowbell, said some not mean things about her and that was kind of cool because he was sort of a dick to everyone else.

Anyhoo, while we were at the competition, the robot healer guy from the hippies came up to me and he said those evil robots from Prairie Dog Town were coming and he thought they’d totally turn him against his friends or something and that we should take all their maps and plans and stuff and then he ran off really quick. Suddenly, the loud speakers shrieked and that annoying robot guy starts broadcasting that they are attacking the Yew and that everybody better not do anything about it or they’d totally attack them too and we were like,  “No way, we’re totally going to stop you!” And we jumped on a water bug and paddled over as fast as we could.

So we see these flying robot drones, like the one I shot out of the sky a while back, and this big flying truck thing and these robots sliding down ropes and attacking the hippies and the truck and the drones were shooting fire everywhere and the forest was burning down and I thought about my matches again, but then I focused and was like, “John, we’ve got this new ice thing, can we use that on the fire?” And John started telling us everything it could do, like strengthen armor and weaken armor and it had this bazooka setting and we’re all like, “Why didn’t you start with bazooka? Bazooka, bazooka, BAZOOKA!” And John started shooting at the big, flying truck with it and I think maybe the bazooka makes time go slower around John because it seemed like he was doing a lot of different things at once. Anyhoo, one of the drones flew at us, and Gramps pegged it with an arrow, so I popped a goofball and flew at it and my rifle jammed and it set me on fire and then John shot me with his bazooka and I think I died and Beyoh rescued me then Sally injected me with some healing drugs. Then Sally died and John healed her and for some reason he had an extra arm now and I imagine that will come in handy for an ordinary kind of guy like him. Then Sally ate like half of the bag of drugs she got from that mobster and started going totally ape-shit, she was throwing her weapons around and then pulling out new ones and beating the crap out of anything that came near her and she was screaming something about breathing water and I was a little scared, but she eventually collapsed into a ball after we killed all the robots.

The Yew was totally on fire and John was trying to use his fire extinguisher to put it out, but it was pretty pointless by this time and we were all really beat up and Sally was throwing up a lot and Beyoh was not going anywhere near the fire and I think Gramps had fallen asleep or something. There were a lot of dead robots and a dead hippies and I felt pretty bad about all that and the big, giant Yew tree is totally burned down and Beyoh felt pretty bad about that and we never saw the grasshopper guy or any of our other friends among the dead people and I hope they are all ok, even the guy that can’t grow dreds. One thing is for sure though and that is those robots are total dicks and we need to deal with them and it is going to be really dangerous and I am still worried about those Knights of Genetic Purity attacking our friends in the Forge because those knights are total dicks too and we just need to decide which of them is the biggest threat and go and let them have it with the ice bazooka and hope we don’t get killed by John again.

Gamma World 10: The Drug Dealer’s Daughter in Distress

Gramps’ & Fridge’s players were not able to make it.

Hi, I’m Wouldzee the owl and I am always happy when we can do someone a good turn because, to be honest, we’ve done a fair amount of bad turns, like Sally shooting those coyotes and nobody ever said any kind words over Fridge when we stuffed him back into the refrigerator and we never gave Bear Trap his motorcycle back, though I don’t feel too bad about that one because he was planning to screw us over and totally would have if Sally hadn’t freaked him out. So anyhoo, while we were in the Yew, Sally was looking for some psycho and we met these guys who said they could hook her up and they seemed like the real deal (according to John’s robot parrot), so we went to this tattoo parlor and met this guy and he turned out to be the mob boss who sort or maintains the balance of power in the city and he has a really bumpy head. He told us how he’d sent his daughter to follow that Knight of Genetic Purity whose name is Craw, but we call him “Douchebag, son of Dickhead” and I was wondering why a parent would do something like that because the reason we call him “Douchebag” is because he is a total douchebag and probably would have less compunction about killing people than Sally does when she’s gotten into some bad psycho. I was totally right because his daughter went missing and she actually did die  (like you’ll find out later, but don’t worry because there is a happy ending). He wanted to hire us to find her and I thought we should just help out to “balance the scales”, but Sally asked for a bunch of drugs and he gave her them and we needed to figure out a plan because the last time anyone saw his daughter she had gone over to the island where the Lab Rats are holed up and apparently nobody has ever come back from that place. He said we could probably get a giant water bug to take us over to the island if we asked the hippies and since we hadn’t seen those guys in a long time and Craw had talked to them too it sounded like a good idea.

So we met a guy in town who could take us to see the hippies and we brought along a bunch of pizza and beer because we’re smart enough to know that we’d get the munchies later if we spent any time with those guys and we wanted to be good guests too. We saw our old friend the medical robot and we met the grasshopper that Beyoh saw in his vision and he was cool and wanted to help us out and told us that he’d had the three-legged guy (the one trying to grow dreadlocks) following Craw and he saw the crime lord’s daughter get attacked on that island where the Lab Rats live and she might be dead, but he figured that Craw was still there and so we decided we’d better get over there and see what was going on. Then we partied a little too much and Sally and I came up with a plan and I think John was too high to think of something better because he just kept giggling and eating pizza. Oh, the grasshopper had a map (and I spilled sauce all over it) and he wanted to attack this big gas refinery that was 180 miles away and he figured that’d put an end to those evil robot guys and we said we’d totally be on board with it, but we needed to deal with Douchebag son of Dickhead first and maybe take on an army of those knights and he was cool with it and gave us some exploding seed pods to help us out.

Anyhoo, we went back to town with one of these giant water bugs that can walk on water and are kind of creepy-looking and make you wonder how they can actually walk on water when they are so big and all. John said something about surface tension and I was thinking that I was tense down to my hollow bones and couldn’t walk on water so I didn’t get it. Our plan was to try and talk with this lady named Dr. Arrow, because it sounded like she was the Lab Rats representative or something and we figured Sally could talk her into helping us find the gangster’s daughter and maybe she’d be convinced that Craw was a terrible person and would work against him or at least not help him out. So, Sally and I made this big banner and I gave John my chemistry kit and we went out into the lake in front of the Lab Rats island and started doing some science because we figured that they  would surely want to talk to a scientist of John’s caliber, except John made a total hash of it and dropped one of my test tubes in the lake and I don’t think any of the Lab Rats really thought that adding orange food coloring to vinegar and baking soda to make a volcano was that impressive, but this little drone did fly out to us and told us to push off or they’d open up on us with machineguns or lasers or something since we were carrying a nuke so we decided we’d better come back later because this big party was starting up and it’d be easier to sneak around when that was happening.

We came back at night and we were trying to figure out what to do when this little drone thing flew out to us again and told us that all of the security systems were turned off and we could sneak into the dock. So we did and we left Buddy to watch the bug and I think that Buddy was pretty nervous that we’d push him into the lake because he hadn’t told one joke for the whole ride. We found these elevators and I figured they’d keep prisoners in the dungeon so we went to the bottom floor, which was way at the bottom of the lake, and I was totally wrong because there were no prisoners down there and we screwed around going to random floors below ground and not finding anything and the elevator was playing “Girl from Ipanema” and it is kind of catchy and I thought I would totally whistle this if I had lips instead of a beak. Then we went to the roof and didn’t find any prisoners either, but  when we went to the fourth floor we finally found the gangster’s daughter and I forgot to tell you her name was Lucy and she had a bumpy head like her Dad and she was in this weird container and there was this scientist and she was a bee and she was totally clueless because I asked her to release Lucy and she just gave me this weird look and I tried a few more times to explain why she had to let her go and then I lost it and pulled my Mauser and started swearing at her and she started freaking out so I finally just tied her up with duct tape and John scienced Lucy out. Then John started talking some gibberish about being her “father from the future” and she looked a little weirded out and I thought he might be hitting on her and I felt pretty awkward because he was making such a hash of it. Anyhoo, she had like died or something because she had this huge wound and I thought about how Gramps seemed to die sometimes and of course Fridge had been dead for like 500 years or something and I kind of missed those guys, especially Gramps, because he is pretty handy in a fight.

Anyhoo, we went down to the third floor and while John was sneaking around he saw this big metal wolf with glowing red eyes and the wolf totally saw him and went for his throat and we got in this huge fight with it and then Douchebag son of Dickhead came out and he had this vibrosword and he was hacking at us and he also had a black ray gun of death and I recall my Dad telling me about those things when I was a fledgling, but he said they’d totally kill you, but I got shot like twice and I only died once, so either Dad was wrong or they’ve lost juice over the years, but I can tell you getting hit by it hurt like the bejeezus and I sure hope my feathers grow back ok and that wolf kept dying and coming back alive again just like that robot we fought back in the Forge only it was even more annoying and Beyoh was flailing around with his yield sign, but he was only damaging the drywall and Sally took psycho and was smashing at the guy, but she got some insulation wrapped around the end of her hammer and wasn’t doing much damage and I thought we were all going to die a few times, but we eventually killed them both.

So after that, we got to talk to Dr. Arrow and she seemed nice, in a kind of “she’d probably be just as happy dissecting you as talking to you” kind of way, but we learned what ice was and she had invented it and it sounds super cool (literally, it is like absolute zero) and she made it a weapon and John convinced her that we could do some “field tests” for her and tell her the results and so she is letting us use it to put the smack down on those Knights of Genetic Purity and their hover tank. That ought to be something, huh? We eventually got back to the city and we reunited Lucy and her dad and he was really happy about that and Sally got a pile of drugs and she was really happy about that and I felt pretty good about the whole thing because the only real bad thing we did was duct tape that bee scientist up, but it’s not like we were blasting coyotes or anything.