TOP O’THE WORLD, MA!
Ever wondered what its like being a competitor at the M:TG World Championships? Yeah – so have I! But given I’ve got as much chance of attending as a DOLPHIN has of climbing Mount Everest in a Tu-tu, I thought I’d fantasize for a bit. Unfortunately, they won’t publish that, so here’s the whole adventure in the form of a Fighting Fantasy ™ module.
As the hero of this adventure, there are several attributes that you need to keep track of – these are: BODY – the total amount of damage you can take before the game is over; DAMAGE – the amount of damage you deal to other characters if caught in a fight; and TOHIT – the number you need to roll on or over to hit something in combat. You start with a DAMAGE value of d6 (rolled when you successfully hit something), a BODY value of 10, and a TOHIT value of 4 (ie. 4, 5, or 6 will hit).
Information about a monster’s BODY, DAMAGE, and TOHIT information are provided ‘when you encounter them’ eg. RANDY BUEHLER (Body=30, Damage=1, TOHIT=4); if the monster has a special ability then this will be described also eg. RANDY BUEHLER (Body=30, Damage=1, TOHIT=4; If RANDY hits with a 6, he throws a PORK PIE at you with a TOHIT=5, if it is successful you take 5 DAMAGE).
During combat, you must follow this sequence of events:
a. Roll for initiative – both you and each monster should roll a d6; the order of resolving combat is determined by the highest number down to the lowest number – if there is a tie between a monster and a player, the player always gets in first! You only do this at the start of combat!
b. The priority player rolls for his attack – a hit is determined by the attack value (which should be equaled or exceeded by a d6 roll); if the hit is successful, follow the monster/players instructions for damage dealing etc. Continue with rolls for each subsequent monster/player, depending upon whether that person IS STILL ALIVE ie. their BODY total has not been reduced to ZERO or less!
You meet RANDY BUEHLER (Body=30, Damage=1, TOHIT=4; special PORK PIE attack)
Step 1. Roll for initiative – you roll 4, RANDY rolls 5
Step 2. RANDY rolls a TOHIT of 2 and misses. Your turn.
Step 3. You roll a TOHIT of 5 and hit! Your damage roll is 4 – RANDY is at 26 BODY
Step 4. RANDY rolls a TOHIT of 6, which does 1 damage but also brings his special PORK PIE attack into play – he rolls a 5 which means the PIE HITS and you take another 5 DAMAGE – ouch!!! etc etc
At various points in the adventure, you may discover treasures and objects that will help you on your quest. Note these on your character sheet when requested, and you may use them whenever you see fit ie. to boost a TOHIT roll or whatever (it all depends on the special ability of the item).
Whenever you are required to play a duel, you may play one of your AW tokens (if you have any) to give yourself an automatic win (*gasp* this isn’t rocket science, is it?) – simply follow the ‘Win’ path, as instructed.
1. "Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrringggggggggggggggg!" You are woken by the sound of your alarm clock; it is the day of the Magic: The Gathering World Championships and you, Bill Anonymous, have somehow managed to qualify (maybe representing the Faro Island National Team was a bit of an easy ticket, eh?). You have a shoulder bag stuffed with decks, sandwiches, and ‘art’ magazines (for those late, lonely evenings). What do you want to do?
a. Shower, shave, and get dressed? Go to 10
b. Get dressed and go down for breakfast? Go to 20
c. Jump out of the Hotel window? Go to 30
d. Stay in bed for an extra 10 minutes? Go to 14.
2. Being a combo deck, it’s all about getting the cards to ‘go off’. Roll a d6 eight times; rolling an ODD number means you win the match, rolling an EVEN number means you lost a match. Record your final score on your character sheet. Go to 17.
3. Wow! You have never felt do free in your life! The air conditioning in the room blasts pleasant breezes across your exposed flesh – you find it strangely stimulating. Go to 16.
4. You’re not taking this seriously, are you? Well – just for that lose an Auto-Win Token! Now…go back to 29!
5. The waiter admires your fragrant presence and offers you a seat next to a table of young, blond supermodels (staying at the Hotel during a topless beach shoot for a well-known tire manufacturer – that’s modeling topless, not a strange sort of beach without a top to it, of course). Several of them look over at you, smile, and pass you their room numbers! Add the attribute PULLED to your character sheet. What do you want to do?
a. Go and sit with the ladies at their table? Go to 35
b. Eat some breakfast and then go to the Tournament Registration? Go to 39
c. Remove your clothes while standing on the table and singing ‘I Want to Break Free’ by Queen? Go to 3.
d. Pick a fight with the Head Waiter? Go to 28
6. You are about to open the first booster of Pod 2 – the table is adorned with top players of the top-most, Professional, and super-dooper kind. Do you have the NOHOPER attribute?
a. Yes? Go to 33
b. No? Go to 19
7. Sorry, but you didn’t make it to Day Two of the Championships. Go to 50.
8. Not surprisingly, you don’t see the Bouncer come round again. You switch to Green/White with a splash of blue for the ‘Taker – confident, but messy. Go to 47.
9. You finish up going 6-2 – Islands are soooooooo broken! Allocate yourself an Auto-Win Token and go to 17.
10. The shower is deeply-refreshing (add 1 to your BODY attribute). You scrub yourself all over with a moisturizing gel; dry off; apply a subtle, alcohol-free after shave. Then you put on some smart slacks, a SEPULTURA t-shirt, and a wrist-band given to you by the team you left behind (it simply says TEAM BLUBBER). Add the attribute WASHED to your character sheet.
What do you want to do now?
a. Have another shower? Go to 44.
b. Go back to bed? Go to 14
c. Jump out of the Hotel window? Go to 35
d. Go down for breakfast? Go to 20
11. You are doing great! Add an Auto-Win Token to your character sheet and go to 6
12. You lie! No-one can withstand the mighty power of O’MAHONEY-SCHWARTZ! Go to 60
13. You decide to drop and play in a side-event – which one do you choose?
a. "Magic: Starter (Glint In The Milkman’s Eye Edition)" Pre-Release – the new set for getting players who aren’t even born yet into the game! Go to 26
b. "The Richard Garfield Challenge" – go to 36
c. Random Type 2 mini-tournament? Go to 58
d. "The Best Birthmark Shaped Like a Magic: The Gathering character" Competition? Go to 49
14. You take the opportunity for a quick ‘booster draft’, then fall asleep. Go to 40.
15. The waiter is somewhat repulsed by the organic odour that emanates from your be-sweated body. He shows you to a table in the dark, dusty corner OF A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT HOTEL. No one seems to want to serve you, so what do you want to do?
a. Go on to the Tournament Registration a little earlier than planned? Go to 39
b. Pick a fight with the Head Waiter? Go to 28.
16. Being strangely-stimulated in a public place has just got you into a lot of trouble. Your citizenship is revoked by the local Embassy, and you are forced to spend the rest of your life as a prostitute in the scum-ridden, flea-infested part of town. GAME OVER!
17. And so the first eight rounds are over. If you have a score of 4-4 or better, then go to 29. otherwise go to 7.
18. By ending up HERE, it’s obvious that you’ve been cheating as there’s no actual path to this point anywhere in the game! Consider yourself spanked, and go back to the start (that’s number 1 for the hard of thinking among you).
19. Things are heating up as you open your second booster, this time from NEMESIS; which of the following cards would you pick?
20. The Head Waiter greets you as you enter the restaurant – the wondrous smells of bacon, sausage, egg, beans, black pudding, and rat greet your sensitive nose. You start to salivate at the sheer calorific value of it all. If you have the attribute WASHED then go to 5, otherwise go to 15.
21. However, you are now the official consort of at least four supermodels, so who needs cardboard anyway ? GAME OVER (and how!)
22. Creature removal is great, isn’t it? You end up pulling some reasonable black with a solid second colour (it doesn’t matter what it is, just go with the concept – ok?) – give yourself an extra Auto-Win token if you only have ONE at the moment. Go to 47.
23. WEBELS is cool, but still not matching up vs the combo monstrosities – you meet very little BLUE, which is a pain, so end up going 4-4. Go to 17.
24. This is it! These are the deciding rounds! Play this as if it were a knockout – lose to any of the players and you must go to 13! Treat each game like a combat situation (or play an Auto-Win to go on to your next opponent)
Round 13: GOOD PLAYER (BODY: 8, DAMAGE: 2, TOHIT: 5)
Round 14: VERY GOOD PLAYER (BODY:12, DAMAGE: 2, TOHIT: 4)
Round 15: EXTRAORDINARY PLAYER (BODY: 16, DAMAGE: 3, TOHIT: 5; Special Ability: When he hits you, roll d6 – if ODD, then lose ALL Auto-Win tokens remaining)
Round 16: THE PROBABLE WORLD CHAMPION (BODY: 20, DAMAGE: 3, TOHIT: 4; Special Ability: When he hits you, roll d6 – if ODD, poop your pants with terror and take an extra 1 DAMAGE)
Which player did you lose to?
a. GOOD PLAYER? You get a box of boosters and a kiss from Cindy Crawford dressed up as Urza. Go to 13
b. VERY GOOD PLAYER? You get a box of boosters, a Cindy Crawford/Urza kiss, and a swivel chair with the Magic logo on the back (cool!). Go to 13
c. EXTRAORDINARY PLAYER? Box o’boosters, Cindy/Urza snog, Swivel Chair, and half a blancmage shaped into the likeness of Richard Garfield’s butt. Go to 13
d. THE PROBABLE WORLD CHAMPION? Boosters, Cindy/Urza kiss, Chair (Swivel), Blancmange butt, and $2000 in dimes. Go to 48
e. None of them! I beat them all! Go to 55
25. After such an auspicious start, it’s unlikely that you’ll pull anything great out of the fire. But (and this is a big but), you get passed three more PALE MOONS during the draft – so that’s the set! Trade folder ahoy! You decide to drop after such bottom- clenchingly good luck! Go to 13
26. The game is so simplistic that you win, even after you’d fallen into a boredom-induced coma. Go to 41.
27. You are unlikely to get in the prizes, what do you want to do now?
a. Drop and play a side-event? Go to 13
b. Pull out your chainsaw and go on a blood-lettin’ frenzy? Go to 46
c. Play on – after all, a refusal to face the truth of the situation is what made this country great! Add the NOHOPE attribute to your character sheet and go to 6.
28. You stride back into the restaurant and confront the head waiter by poking him in the eye with a comedy phallus. The waiter feels honour-bound to retaliate: HEAD WAITER (BODY: 6, DAMAGE: 1 TOHIT: 5). If you win, get yourself registered and go to 39, otherwise go to 60.
29. Allocate yourself ONE Auto-Win Token. The next 4 rounds will be the first of two pods of Mercadian Masques booster drafting. After sitting down, you open your first pack revealing the following cards of note – which one do you pick?
30. You open the window and throw yourself out. You hit the ground with a sickening thud, but you were actually in a basement room and fell upwards. Go to 37.
31. Boy, are you clean! In fact, you have rubbed your body red-raw and the plug-hole is blocked by great handfuls of wet skin! Unfortunately, you now need urgent medical assistance to steep the flow of body fluids, and will consequently miss registration. Go to 50.
32. Being a combo deck, its all about getting the cards to ‘go off’. Roll a d6 eight times; rolling an ODD number means you win the match, rolling an EVEN number means you lost a match. Record your final score on your character sheet. Go to 17.
33. The other players immediately realise that you haven’t a hope in hell of winning diddley and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh until one of them poops himself. What do you do?
a. Drop and go play a side-event? Go to 13
b. Do the decent thing and go on a rampage with your chainsaw and sex? Go to 46
c. Join in the laughter, thinking they’re ridiculing someone else with a warty face at the next table? Go to 43
34. This should help a lot with those pesky creature stand-offs. Add an Auto-Win Token to your character sheet and go to 24.
35. After a succulent breakfast punctuated by light, but intelligent, conversation, you retire to the [this section has been edited due it’s lengthy and explicit sexual content, suffice it to say that you end up in a Hotel room – not your own – with several blond supermodels] until you are spent! Go to 40.
36. "The Richard Garfield Challenge" – where you must develop a CCG based on any theme of your choice and sell as much product as possible before being sued by Mr G under the terms of this world-dominating Patent! GAME OVER!
37. Spend the next four years explaining what happened to a group of puzzled Physicists in a top-secret lab in Alabama (while your gonads are wired into the National Grid). GAME OVER!
38. The blue you get is cool, and so is the white – give yourself an extra Auto-Win token (if you only have ONE). Go to 47.
39. You are now officially registered! Yahoo! The first 8 rounds will be STANDARD format, what will you do?
a. Pick a deck at random from your bag – roll d6; if it is 1 or 2, play REPLENISH; if it is 3 or 4 play ACCELERATED BLUE; if it is 5, play SABRE BARGAIN; and if it is a 6, play WEBELS; if you roll any other number go to 37.
b. Play REPLENISH? Go to 2.
c. Play ACCELERATED BLUE? Go to 9.
d. Play SABRE BARGAIN? Go to 32.
e. Play WEBELS? Go to 23.
f. Play a POKEMON deck and hope no-one notices? Go to 50.
40. Unfortunately, you re-awaken in the afternoon – way passed the registration time for the Championships. Go to 50.
41. You return home after an eventful Championships – older, wiser, and more sexually aware. No-one can be bothered to welcome you as you land, so you go and get a burger and meet up with your team-mates for some beer. GAME OVER!
43. Look. They’re laughing at YOU…YOU are the target of their mockery and mirth? How much more obvious do I need to make it?
a. "A little more obvious, please; I’m not the brightest bulb in the Christmas Tree!" Go to 59
b. "No more! I’ll drop and play a side event!" Go to 13
44. If you have WASHED more than five times on your character sheet, go to 31, otherwise go to 10.
45. You jammy b*st*rd! You lucky get! Still, mana screw could be a big problem, eh? Go to 24
46. Decrease your TOHIT by 1 point and replace your current stats with the following: CHAINSAW-WIELDING PSYCHOPATH (BODY: 12, DAMAGE: d6+2, TOHIT: [current Value]). You must now face FOUR opponents, as follows:
BILLY JUSTHEREFORTHETRADING (BODY: 4, DAMAGE: 2, TOHIT:6)
MIKEY STRONGERTHANHELOOKS (BODY:8, DAMAGE: 2, TOHIT: 4)
LEVEL 3 JUDGE DILBERT McNASTY (BODY: 12, DAMAGE: d6, TOHIT:4; Special ability: RULES LAWYERING – when DILBERT HITS, roll d6 – if the roll > 4 then take 2 DAMAGE for each unused Auto-Win Token you possess!)
STEVEN O’MAHONEY-SCHWARTZ (BODY: 20, DAMAGE: 0, TOHIT: 5; Special Ability: SITTING-ON-YOU – if Steven hits, roll d6 – on a 6 he sits on you and does 10 damage)
Did you kill them all and manage to stay alive?
a. Yes! Go to 12
b. No! Go to 60
47. For each of the first 4 rounds either play an Auto-Win token (and get 3 pts), or treat the duel with your opponent as if it were combat, with OPPONENT (BODY: 8, DAMAGE: 2, TOHIT: 7 minus the Round Number. What was your score after the four rounds?
a. 12 pts? Go to 11
b. 9 pts? Go to 6
c. 6 pts? Go to 27
d. 3 pts? Go to 13
48. You lost to world champion. Never mind. Have a diet cola and eat some pies. GAME OVER!
49. Despite wandering round for an hour, you are unable to find the registration table for this side-event – try looking over at 57.
50. You have shamed both yourself and the Faro Islands – you slope home and are greeted by showers of rotten eggs, rancid tomatoes, and mouldy sheep droppings. You are unable to play competitive Magic ever again. If you have the attribute PULLED, then go to 21, otherwise GAME OVER!
51. Go to 56.
52. Caught in a space/time loop – go to 54.
53. The loop you are caught in is a space/time one – go to 52
54. Still caught in a space/time loop – go to 53
55. You did it! You are the WORLD CHAMPION! Hoorah! Hoorah! Hoorah! Now, return home in glory to be revered and worshiped for – ooh, I don’t know – about five minutes? GAME OVER!
56. Blatant space filler – start over and go to 13.
57. Nope! Someone was registering something here, but all that remains are a few unwanted common cards from Masques, and a Pepsi can with (possibly) urine in it! Go to 51.
58. If you have any Auto-Win tokens left then you win the mini-tourney and a box of FALLEN EMPIRES (!). Go to 41
59. *Sigh* Listen, bud – they’re all laughing at you – that’s YOU, pal – because YOU are a joke to them! YOU are nothing but doggy-doo on their heels! They hate you because you are a scrub with dreams – dreams of one day making something of yourself – but you don’t count fer nuthin, scrub. YOU don’t amount to a hill o’ beans in this crazy CCG – so face up to it, dumpster! You’re an M:TG MUPPET! Go play somewhere else! You’re not wanted here!!! Go to 13.
60. You arrive at the Pearly Gates and are greeted by a solemn-looking St Peter: "I’m very sorry, Mr. Anonymous", says he, " – but playing CCGs is satanic after all and we’ll be sending you downstairs for all eternity". Bummer, eh?
BTW, the answers to the E.M.D-G Quiz are available at my website: