Extra, Extra! Strange Occurences in Dunw... aw, f**k it!
I recently moved to a new city for a job. I’m in the middle of a four-day weekend. I’d been wearing my housecoat all day and had just eaten a dozen chocolate-chip cookies for supper while watching re-runs of Tenacious D on HBO on Demand. Good god, I’m bored.
Wait, I know! It’s been two months since I cracked open a board game… I should solo a game of Arkham Horror! And, great idea upon great idea, I should take notes and write up my first deliciously witty session report! (Never mind the fact that I can’t tell a story to save my life.)
So that was my stupid idea last night. I’m not going to follow through with my session report. I gave up on that idea during the game. Instead, here’s a session report about a guy who’s too lazy and unimaginative to write a session report.
The players: Kate Winthrop, the sexy scientist, and Darrell Simmons, the sexy photographer. Shub-Niggurath, the sexy floating red mouths, has come to make their lives considerably more difficult.
So, setup, I grab the investigators’ items. Ho, ho!! Darrell has drawn a Press Pass. How perfect! This story is writing itself! And… some dynamite. Uhh… I’ll figure out how to spin that later.
At this point, I still have no idea how I’m supposed to go about writing one of these things. From what perspective should a session report be told? Kate’s? Darrell’s? Shub’s?
I draw the first Mythos card to get this lonely party started for reals: “Headline: Help Wanted.” The newspaper is offering a retainer to the first investigator to take the time during an interdimensional crisis to gain secondary employment. Awesome! Now Kate and Darrell are both working for the paper. I can write this sucker from the perspective of the editor! I watched about 20 minutes of Spider-Man 3 between episodes of D, so I can channel that J Jonah vibe. This is too easy!
two rounds later, both investigators lose their retainers in the upkeep phase
two rounds later
At this point, I look back at my notes to see the phrase “nothing interesting happens” about a half-dozen times already. I mean, there was stuff happening – like Darrell diving off a bridge to avoid some drunk college douches in a Model T, or Kate buying a motorcycle out of a stranger’s car trunk (?) – but I didn’t want to have to tie everything together. I wanted a tight, concise story (you know, the exact opposite of what I’m doing now). I was having trouble deciding what was worth using and what was superfluous.
twenty rounds later
All right, lots of tangible stuff for a clever storyteller to weave a tale with now!
The Southside Strangler struck, eventually killing three of my allies. On the same Mythos card, a Maniac was added to the board, who Kate later killed without use of a weapon. (Note: I’ll have to write that one as by strangulation since everyone loves such ironic twists.) Later on, a Zombie appears where the Maniac was previously killed. Perfect! It can be the Strangler risen from the dead! Kate kills the Zombie without a weapon. (Note: I’ll have to write that one as by strangul… wait, how do you kill a zombie without a weapon?) Kate was later arrested for impersonating a customer at Ye Olde Magick Shoppe. (Good thing she wasn’t caught choking a man to death in the streets in front of the police station earlier on or her fine might have been greater than $2.)
Meanwhile, Darrell’s collecting clues with his press pass (wait, wasn’t this prick fired like five minutes into the game?) and sealing open gates like a motherhumper. He also bought a .45 Automatic, which I think was the only weapon either of them had throughout the game, apart from Darrell’s dynamite he started with, that I guess his employer at the newspaper must have supplied him with:
“Simmons! We need some shots of that floaty mouth thing for the front page! But it’s pretty hairy out there. Better take this.”
“Yeah, to keep you safe.”
“To keep me safe? You’re giving me dynamite to keep me safe?”
“Yeah, and if you want to keep pocketing that $2 retainer, you’ll go and get me those shots! If you don’t think you can handle it, there’s plenty of sexy scientists in this town who would kill – literally strangle a man – for $2. In fact, “Help Wanted”… that’ll be our first headline!”
Apart from that, Darrell’s journey was relatively uneventful, despite the fact that he was the only one doing anything actually directed towards winning the bloody game. So I could write a slightly intriguing story about Kate doing much ado about nothing, or I could write a slightly dull story about Dynamite Darrell’s other-wordly adventures. Either option sounded like a lot of work on my part, and I had enough work ahead of me putting this mammoth bastard of a game back in the box at 1:00AM when I was finished.
At about this time, I realized I didn’t have it in me to be a session reporter and I stopped taking notes. Too bad, really, because what an ending! Shub finally devoured Kate, defeating me with just one doom token left on the track! (She had a great combination of spells by this point that gave her a strong attack without costing her sanity.)
A satisfying end to a great game, and an abrupt end to a meandering blog entry.