Jeff Rients recently wrote two posts regarding the wild and zany antics the boys in Lake Geneva got up to back in the early years of this hobby. Inspired by those anecdotes, I wanted to share one of my favorite old war stories from years gone by. This one was recounted by Roger E. Moore in an editorial on fear that appeared in Dragon #156 (April 1990)
I was in a GAMMA WORLD game that Jim Ward ran a few years ago. It scared me to death. Jim has a habit of rolling huge numbers of dice of damage at the snap of a laser, and his campaign was full of amusing things such as Cthulhu-size lake monsters and deathray satellites that diced up ground targets with impunity. But his most famous creation was the subtly named Death Machine, a nice little military relic of the Social Wars of the game’s background.
What’s a Death Machine, some of you may ask. Here’s a story: A few years ago, when I was in the Army, I told everyone in my gaming group to each pick his or her favorite deity from the AD&D® game, and prepare to role-play that deity in a special scenario I had developed. The next hour was spent in feverish excitement as a large assortment of gods and supermonsters met on a deserted plain and awaited their opponents. Suddenly a huge space-time warp opened up in front of the incredible assembly . . . and out of the alien warp came three brand-new, fully armed, fully powered Death Machines on random programming.
Two gods died in the first 10 seconds of combat, each taking over 700 hp of damage. A third god died before the minute-long fight was over, and two other gods (including Demogorgon) fled the battlefield in utter panic. All the rest of the deities were pounded with atomic missiles, lasers, bombs, rockets, shells, bullets, force fields, and death rays. Thor bent the nose of one Death Machine with Mjolnir but took a nuke in return. If I had not used random attacks, all of the gods would have died in 30 seconds, no sweat. It was wonderful.
I think we need more of this sort of thing. Thank goodness there are still referees who indulge in these sort of antics and keep the wild and wooly days of yore alive.