H.G.: And welcome back viewers, for more tongue action, live from the House of Monte. We're following the cleanup crew in the Arteeteetee'o'ee'ee as they search for the elusive fire temple, and it's all action here, I can tell you. For starters, the crew had a vicious fight with the mother of all spiders right at the entrance to the dungeon. Then they were confronted by a gray ooze, and just a few minutes ago, I'm told that they had another fight with some wandering creepy-crawlies.
Roy: Deepmantles, according to this note. It's some newfangled aberration introduced in 3rd Edition. Personally, I miss those piercers from 1st Edition. Incredible penetrating power for their size. When they penetrated you, you knew you'd been penetrated, all right.
H.G.: Vermin, oozes, aberrations -- do you see a pattern in all this, Roy?
Roy: I'm definitely seeing a pattern, H.G., and if there's one thing I've got to say, it's this: this dungeon really needs a good spring clean. I've seen some dungeons in my time, and none of them even come close to this one in terms of lack of hygiene. It's absolutely disgusting. You can't get anywhere without tripping over some filth, and if it isn't spiders, it's slimes and oozes.
H.G.: Speaking of slimes, don't forget those pools of green slime lying on the floor at the water temple, right where anyone could fall into them. These people obviously don't know the first thing about keeping a tidy dungeon.
Roy.: I had to personally fight off several ochre jellies who attacked me on my way to the studio today. Of course, they didn't succeed, because I'd learned a thing or two in my rugby league days about fighting off someone trying to slime you -- that's the great thing about rugby league, it teaches you all sorts of life skills. But it's the principle of the thing. And you know, there's only one word to describe a dungeon like this, H.G.
H.G.: I think I know what that word is, Roy.
Both: [simultaneously] This dungeon is a TOILET.
H.G.: It's ATLANTA ALL OVER AGAIN! It's a disgrace.
Roy: It is. In fact, I think that Atlanta -- yes, even Atlanta -- wasn't as bad as this dungeon.
H.G.: Is that so?
Roy: For one thing, you weren't liable to get attacked by 20-foot-wide monstrous spiders on your way to the swimming.
H.G.: True, but there was that business with the bomb....
Roy: Well, that's Americans for you, always blowing up each other for one reason or another. Someone probably took a few too many of the little blue pills that morning.
H.G.: Yes, too much blowing going on for my liking. Here we go, Roy, the cleanup crew have made their way around to the southern part of the dungeon, and now they've come to the pit where those pit fights take place. They're talking to the gargoyle in charge... it looks like they're laying down the law. They're here to clean the dungeon out, and the gargoyle can be cleaned out with the rest, or he can leave.
Roy: The gargoyle isn't just going to bend over and say aunty, I hope.
H.G.: No, definitely not... he's challenged Padma to a duel! If he wins, they have to leave the dungeon. If she wins, he'll leave, and he'll even answer some questions for them. What can Padma do here?
Roy: Well, she won't be bouncing her way out of this one, that's for sure. I mean, she's hopeless. A complete joke. She completely forgot to use her Smite ability last time, and of course, she made a complete goose of herself at the water temple. She should have stayed outside the dungeon and guarded the horses. Or maybe they should be guarding her, she's that bad.
H.G.: The duel starts... Padma's bumbling around like an idiot... the gargoyle closes in... Padma lands the first hit! She somehow manages to point the sharp end of her sword at the gargoyle, and sticks him for 16 points of damage! Now it's the gargoyle's turn... he claws her twice, for 10 points! Oh, it's too painful to watch.
Roy: She's a joke! A complete joke! Get her off before she kills herself!
H.G.: And now she's almost tripped over herself! The gargoyle's so busy laughing, he's let his guard down! She scores a CRITICAL HIT WITH A SMITE! The gargoyle FALLS ON HER SWORD FOR 39 POINTS OF DAMAGE!!
Roy: The gargoyle's saying aunty, and I can't blame him. If they kept this up, he would have died of laughter!
H.G.: They're questioning the gargoyle closely... he's drawn them a map of the fire temple. That should come in handy, Roy. But wait, I spoke too soon... the cleanup crew looks confused. From the sounds of it, none of the features of the map match what they've seen so far.
Roy: Don't tell me the gargoyle's trying to double-cross them? You can't have villains going back on their word! That's just not on!
H.G.: Hang on, Padma's just realised she's been reading the map upside-down.
Roy: Typical. What a bloody joke!
H.G.: The cleanup crew continues on their way... you know, Roy, I think they were being extraordinarily civil in that encounter. Would you agree?
Roy: Totally, H.G. If it was me, I'd have been rolling for initiative as soon as I saw that gargoyle.
H.G.: Just to let our viewers know, Roy and I are from the old school of gaming. In our day, you knew what a dungeon was, and you knew what your job was: to die. If you were a player and you went into a dungeon, you knew you wouldn't be coming out on your own two feet. And if you were a DM, you measured how good your dungeons were by the body counts. On a good day, you could rack up a century before lunch! That's how it was done!
Roy.: Yes, H.G. But see, that's the great thing about modern gamers. The game is so different from our days, when basically all you did was kill things and find treasure. It didn't really matter exactly how six dragons managed to fit into a 10-foot room. The important thing is that you kicked the door in, and you killed everything in sight. Today's gamers want more than that. They demand consistent worlds. They want believable characters, characters who aren't perfect. They want a milieu -- there's some more vigorous tonguing for our Gary -- in which their actions make sense, and enemies who are even more despicable because they're human.
Roy: What I'm saying is that instead of senseless violence, today's gamers want carefully crafted, intelligent, sensitive violence. And that's a good thing.
H.G.: Speaking of carefully crafted, sensitive violence, Roy, the cleanup crew have come to a door... they can hear voices on the other side.
Roy: Can they understand it?
H.G.: It seems not. So they're falling back on plan B, which is to kick the door in and kill everything in sight.
Roy: Oh, good. If there's one thing I like to see, it's a spot of biffo.
H.G.: Here they go... the fighters break the door down! Brat, the angry necromancer, casts a scintillating sphere into the room! But hang on, they're kuo-toa, and they're resistant to electrical damage! They laugh off the scintillating sphere! The monsters are doing a lot of laughing lately, Roy.
Roy: They are, H.G. And the brown trousers are coming out again for the cleanup crew.
H.G.: Padma the joke trips over her own feet, and tumbles into the room... Duff the D*ckhead and Kondara follow... Duncan the ninja, I mean Night Knife, slips on his ring of invisibility. That's a good move... but what's this? The kuo-toa have detected something! Ah, I'm told that they can see invisible creatures! Duncan obviously didn't know that, and now they're surrounding him!
Roy: He isn't surrounded, H.G., he's in an XP-rich environment.
H.G.: You could say that, Roy. And now BRAT'S CHARGING THE ENEMY AGAIN! Yes, the necromancer on angry pills is showing everybody how it's done. The crowd loves it, here at the House of Monte. The rest of the cleanup crew aren't going to let him show them up either. They're lining up now; Brat hands off to Jayse the wizard, who passes a slick one to the joke... I can't believe this, the kuo-toa are reeling! The wizards gang up on one of them, and he goes down.
Roy: Clubbed to death by a wizard; how humiliating. He'll never hear the end of it in the change rooms.
H.G.: The joke almost stabs herself with her sword, but manages to turn the pointy end around in time to take down another... Duncan and the sorceress with huge Charisma finish off two more. And there's just the fullback to beat! A kuo-toa cleric appears and casts a hold person spell! But it fails miserably; that's what happens when everyone has at least a +5 bonus on their Will saves. He's quickly surrounded, and GOES DOWN!
Roy: A marvellous bit of teamwork there from the cleanup crew, H.G. I thought that Duncan was pizza when the kuo-toa surrounded him, to be honest. Positive thinking is always good, but even ninjas have their limits. But Brat came charging in like, oh, like a necromancer on angry pills, and took the kuo-toa completely by surprise. Because there's some things that you just never expect, and one of them is a crazy wizard charging you with a club.
H.G.: Yes indeed, Roy. It looks like they've picked up some good treasure from that encounter too. Where will they go from here? To find out, join us after the break, here at the House of Monte!
[to be continued]
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