When last we left our little Lone Wolf, he was deciding on where to go in the exciting town of Port Bax. You might think, having struggled so long to get here, we’d be in for some neat town with tons of adventure. After all, our first adventure in a town was fairly exciting, with skullduggery amongst pirates and houses of ill repute.
Apparently, though, Port Bax is like the Scranton of this fantasy world, a place where very little happens except meaningless paper work. For instance, our last thrilling choice was whether or not to go to City Hall. I know when I was a kid, I’d lay awake for hours dreaming of the chance to go to someplace as mystical and exciting as City Hall, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that childhood fantasy.
Seriously? This is an actual decision point, whether or not to ask a clerk for directions? My god, why not have pages dedicated to whether or not to blink, or to step out with the left or right foot first? I fondly recall reading “Lord of the Rings”, when we were treated to three hundred pages of Frodo having to file some forms in Hobbiton relating to his purchase of Bag End.
Look, it’s bad enough that in my actual, real, non-book-length, I-don’t-get-to-choose-my-own-adventure life, I have to go to the DMV and waste an entire morning. I don’t want to have to deal with this crap in my adventure gaming. If you’re in the middle of an exciting RPG and suddenly you find yourself having to navigate multiple layers of bureaucracy, then something has gone seriously awry with your RPG. No one wants to roleplay Bob, the Second Assistant Filing Clerk at City Hall as he trundles his way through various permit applications.
I went ahead and figured out the fastest way through the red tape in front of us here, and it takes five steps, five decision points, five written-out pages, just to get to our consulate so we can continue the actual story. That’s insane. Far be it from me to question the plotting expertise of Mr. Joe Dever, but folks, this is “stab yourself in the eyeballs” level of ridiculosity here.
So I’m going to save you the tedium of slogging through five pages of turgid prose that has no other purpose than to inflame your blood with the illicit and pulse-pounding thrill of bureaucracy, and instead will skip ahead to the good part. You can thank me later.
Finally, a good meal and some healing! It took five pages of bureaucratic red tape for this?! Why not just send us here directly upon reaching Port Bax? Aaaarggh!
Anyway, I got a “7” on the random chart, so it’s off to page 254 we go.
Hey, what do you know, swords and enemies and choices that might actually matter! Suddenly, in the midst of IRS Form 1056-EZ we found ourselves a fantasy adventure, boys and girls!
Since we don’t have Sixth Sense (“We see dead Giaks and run away from them!”), we either fight or flee. So what’ll it be?