Sunday, November 27, 2011


Here are the PCs from of one of our (my wife's and my) Annual Halloween Games.  This particular one was inspired by those awful SyFy Original Pictures that we never watch, and it was about college students in the Australian Outback who met up with a lycanthropy victim who turned into a native wild dog.

The game was titled "Mandingo".

It was diceless, and the characters were described like this:


"Oh-my-GOD.  This is like so- totally-lame.  I want my money back from the manager of Australia."

You are better than everyone else -- either they can't tell because they're so stupid or they won't admit it because...because they're so stupid.  You drive a Hummer, for chrissakes.  With an MP3 player and OnStar.  This folklore class is just a damn elective that stands between you and your MRS degree, and you're only here in the Outback or whatever because you're keeping your eye on The Smart Jock.  God, couldn't the damn class just go study, like, beach anthropology?  Or something?

î         Cheering
î         Acrobatics
î         "Acting"

î         Noticing obvious things
î         Taking directions
î         Doing anything more complex than your hair


" 'A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet'.  Kind of like when the Colts traded Edgerrin James to the Cardinals and he rushed for 94 yards and one touchdown."

Dude, you've totally gotta ace this class or Coach will boot your ass off the team.  But no sweat, though, no sweat -- you totally get how, like, anthropology is distinguished from other social-science disciplines by its emphasis on cultural relativity, in-depth examination of context, and cross-cultural comparisons.  Plus, after this trip, you can say you've been to Australia, and you might get to lay some transatlantic pipe with The Cheerleader while you're here.  Also, it'd be good to collect your own notes on Aboriginal oral traditions related to Dreamtime, and you might get to meet Crocodile Dundee.

î         Athletics
î         Playing drums on things that aren't really drums
î         Knowing, like, folklore shit

î         Shutting up at the appropriate moment
î         Keeping your cool when things go bad
î         Forming interpersonal relationships which do not involve slapping somebody's ass


"Remember, people, just because these folks don't have a Starbucks doesn't mean they're savages; it just means they pay less for coffee."

The Peoples of the Earth -- that's your passion.  Knowing, learning and sharing your knowledge of the varied cultures of the world is the noblest goal you could ever set for yourself.  Well, that, and Department Chair.  The research you gather on this trip will prove invaluable for your thesis, and these students will help you get it while they gain valuable real-world experience.  It's win/win!  You might even list them in a footnote. 

î         Soulless, ivory-tower Academia
î         Persuasion
î         Being the center of attention

î         Violence (barbaric!)
î         Respecting someone else's opinion
î         Understanding the Jock's sports references


"This might just be another class trip for you, but for me, it's another opportunity for achievement.  That's really good, I should write that down."

You don't really hate the other students.  No, it's nothing like that.  You're just -- they're just not in the same place as you, really -- that's what it is.  They're here to pass the class but you're here to make a mark, to improve, to expand, to exceed.  They mistake your studiousness and focus for standoffishness and alienation; plus, they don't share your love of The Cure.  Therefore, you're willing to sacrifice social mingling for excellence.  And anyway, it's not like you have anything really in common with the Jock, and frankly, nothing you say to The Cheerleader is going to get her pants off. 

î         Having Brilliant Ideas (given enough time to agonize over options)
î         Taking notes
î         Retreating in order to consider all avenues of -- okay, okay, hiding

î         Making friends with people your age
î         Breaking concentration long enough to, you know, eat and sleep
î         Mackin' on the ladies


"Out here, mate, ya got yer monitor lizards, yer saltwater crocs, yer dingoes and yer kookaburras. 'And I got a 30-06 Browning 1922 to cark 'em all like a piece of piss."

[Personality?  Motivation?  Goals?  Whatever.  You're Crocodile Dundee meets Eugene Tackleberry from the Police Academy movies.  That's all you get and, frankly, that's all you really need.]

î         Survival (Outback)
î         Area Knowledge (Outback)
î         Killing Stuff (Outback)
î         Complex concepts
î         Shutting up when you really ought to
î         Anything remotely girly (like, say, not killing)