Just a Game

Only a Game

It's just a game. Right?


Just a Game

by Erin Halfelven

"How long we been doing this?"

"It's only nine p.m., if we'd get started on time..."

"I don't mean tonight, I mean, you know, in years?"

"Forty years."


"Close to it."

"The Game hasn't even been around for thirty years yet!"

"Of course it has."

"I was fifteen when I started playing, in 1980."

"Hey, you got your laptop open, look it up and see how long it's been around."

"Goddam internet ruins more good arguments...."


"See what I mean, we could have argued about that all night."

"We're supposed to be playing the Game."

"We never play the Game anymore. We just get together to argue and drink Scotch and eat stuff our wives won't let us eat anymore."

"When did you start playing?"

"Seventy six."

"It was Dr. Pepper back then."

"Mountain Dew in our group."

"Phht. Short timer. Mountain Dew hadn't been invented yet when we started playing in the seventies."

"Had to."

"Look it up."

"Who the fuck cares!"

"What is that?"

"Unsweetened chocolate, goes great with Scotch."

"Uck! Yeah, if you drink enough Scotch."

"Why does it come in a two pound bar?"

"It's for baking."

"Are we going to play the Game tonight?"

"Nobody bakes that much."

"There's a new book out."

"There's always a new book out, we don't use the stuff in half the books we got."

"Let's play the damned Game."

"It's called 'Extraplanar Allies and Enemies'."


"It's pretty cool."

"Are you going to use it?"

"Got any new classes in it?"

"Feats? New feats?"

"Yeah, I'm thinking of using it tonight. You guys could use some extraplanar help."

"Well, I think I better bring my Paladin if we're dealing with extraplanars...."

"Okay, bring her. Your Fighter/Cleric/Mechanic is a frigging wimp, anyway."

"You realize that if you replace Mr. Godwrench with Lady duLac, we'll have an all female party?"


"Okay guys, figures on the table. What level is duLac?"


"Okay she doesn't change the level of the party then, so that's good."

"Wow, that's a nice figure."

"Thank you."

"His wife paints them."

"Your wife paints figures for you? You know I have to agree to go to a chick flick with my wife for every weekend night we spend in the Game?"

"Sucks to be you."

"Should have married an artist instead of a shark."

"Hey. We're nerds. We're all lucky we got married at all."

"We're not nerds."

"More like geeks?"

"I meant, we're not all nerds. You're definitely a nerd."


"Figures on the table, guys. I'm bringing one of my characters tonight since you don't have a true Cleric now. I already figured her into the rating of monsters and treasure but she'll only take a half-share cause she's a GMPC."

"Yeah, yeah. Whosit?"

"Reverend Judy of Bob. Seventh level."

"Is that the cleric who worships the GM?"

"Yeah. I can't run her in anyone else's game; she'd just be a heretic."

"Oh, that's funny."

"Still an all female party."

"Hey! A girl who does whatever you want her to do is the essence of fantasy."

"Got that right."

"This is going to be an extraplanar adventure to introduce the enemies and allies of the new book."


"Shut up. You'll each get a free feat from the extraplanar list, besides EPs and loot. Spell users will get the chance to add extraplanar spells to their books and there are some neat weapons and tools for the Fighters and Mechanics."

"Anything a Barbarian can use?"

"Yeah, Barbarians can use most Fighter weapons; besides you're split class, you've got two levels of Noble."

"A Barbarian is just a Fighter with B.O."

"Princess Amethysta does not have B.O. She's got a Charm of 75."

"Isn't she a half-orc?"

"Orcblood. Elfblood, too."

"Oh, one of those."

"Oh, yeah, the naked, purple chick with the big...."


"Yeah. That's what I was going to say."

"Makes it easy to paint the figure."

"Okay, Bob. It's nine-thirty. You're the GM, get us on the way."

"Okay, which figure is whose? DuLac is the sheet metal monger; Amethysta is the naked purple set of tits; Judy is mine; who's this?"

"Shady Gwen, my Death Ranger."

"Should never allowed that class."

"Hey, I can't play her except in a mixed party--her alignment is Neutral Evil."

"No Lawful Goods tonight? Oop, we got duLac, the paladin."

"DuLac is presently working out her Atonement for offing that Unicorn Priest; she doesn't have her anti-evil powers."

"Still got the cup I made from his horn, too."

"What about Judy?"

"She's Neutral Good."

"See? Pain in the ass to play an evil character in this group."

"How many Deathstrokes you get?"

"Two, at twenty percent."


"Last character. Who's this unpainted figure represent?"

"That's me. Silverstring. Archer/Bard/Rogue."

"Triple-classing always sucks."

"Geeze, imagine an Archer/Death Ranger."

"Death Rangers can't multi-class without losing their Deathstroke."

"Good thing."

"Guys, guys. Let's get it going. I've got some color text to read, then Judy will open the Gate into Otherness...."


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Originally posted: 2006-11-17

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