Category Archives: RPG Corner

Wherein we all die, every week


I'm not feeling our last Choose Your Own Adventure outing, I don't know why. Maybe after the glory of a stuffed bunny zombie apocalypse and a cool super-hero outing, I just need a break. So that's what we're going to do!

I've long wanted to do something writing-related here, and now we will. I'll write up the start of an adventure. You write what happens next. I'll pick the one I like best, and next week we'll repeat -- I'll post my beginning, the next installment, and we'll go again.

We've done something sort of similar before, but it petered out. My theory is that it was partly because of a voting component, so now I'm going all Kim Jong-il and just running the show. Ha!

So here goes (taken from College Humor, but we'll end up in a place totally different, I'm sure):

It’s another boring day at your stupid office. You spent most of the morning catching up on all the Internet you missed while sleeping and now you’re behind. Your stomach is growling because the banana you bought had a weird brown lump on it. You know you should get back to work, but you also know that you’re hungry and don’t care about your job at all.
What do you do?

  • SEARCH FOR FOOD in the drawer that you haven’t used since you started here 2 years ago.
  • CHECK EMAIL to see if your boss sent any super-long emails you can read to pass the time.

Your job now is to write up the results of both of those actions in the comments below, one of which results in our death and the other which continues the adventure and presents us with two choices for going on. For instance, the College Humor folks have this as the result of "Search for food", which would be the "continue" installment:

You open the mysterious drawer and are greeted with a cornucopia of disappointment!
What do you eat?

  • A BUNCH OF THUMBTACKS that definitely aren’t food and shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • ADDERALL PILLS that you bought off a high school kid who said his name was “Wolfgod.”

And this might be the deadly result of the other choice:

You pop open Outlook and sure enough, Dear Leader has sent out a company-wide message. "FORWARD THIS OR RISK DEATH!" it's headlined, and recounts a storied history of people who sent it along to their friends and families to find prosperity, and those who didn't who are now dead. Hogwash! Wasting time is great, but chain letters are a tool of Satan. You sneeringly hit "Delete", upon which a short circuit in the keyboard fries your white-collared head to a cinder. Your office adventure is over."

Next week I'll go through all the comments and pick two -- one I like best that continues the adventure and one that results in our untimely death. You can go for humorous, serious, or nonsensical. You can introduce vampires or super heroes or aliens or your mom. Knock yourself out, but keep them clean (PG-13 at most).

To recap, your job now is to write up the results of both choices in the opening paragraph above, one of which ends in death and the other of which continues the adventure by offering up two more choices.

Have fun!

A new adventure!

We bid a fond farewell to the stuffed-bunny-zombie and super-hero hijinks of the last few sessions, and embark today on a brand new adventure. This time, we're going ... ABOVE THE WAVES!

Above The Waves by Zachary Carango

Terror of the Skies
Even after decades, the dreaded pirate known only as Kurtz still terrorizes travelers on the southern sea. An unknown for most of his life, Kurtz exploded onto the scene when he turned to a life of murder. Using a modified military-grade aircraft, Kurtz has robbed and killed thousands. Though pirates have always been common, Kurtz's daring and brutality sets him apart from the multitude. Unlike other bandits, who rely on sheer force of numbers, Kurtz flies only with a small band of devoted followers. Thanks to this limited membership, along with the fact that he only attacks at night, Kurtz has evaded capture. The world has chugged along despite his efforts, but Kurtz remains a very real threat. The blood he's spilt could stain the very ocean, and more lives are claimed every month. Even as his death toll rises, many search for Kurtz. Whether for bounty, justice, or fame, these brave souls search for a true demon.

Your Background is your history up to the start of the adventure. Select one of the three choices below:

The Debtor - You have never shied from a challenge nor let an opportunity slip by. As a result of your drive, you have taken loans from some less than reputable characters. If you could only make one big score, those debts would disappear.

The Vendetta - Your pride has earned you some powerful enemies. Maybe once you have earned the respect of the world these grudges will be forgiven.

The Wanderer - You have drifted for most of your life. Only travel can soothe your restless heart. The world may be your oyster, but at the moment you haven't a penny to your name.

Quick, simple, easy, just the way I was in high school. What could be better?!

The Final Thrusts

When last we left our alien-suited Cosmic Guardian, we were deciding whether to give our suit to Dale the Purple Mucus or to try and take out the planet-destroying Second Tower in Space ourselves. By a narrow three vote margin (!), we opted for the latter. And thus:

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Chip on our shoulder or Dale in our pants?

When last we left our Thrust of Justice (that sounds awful), we were deciding whether to follow Dale's plan on attacking the super cockroach duplicate guy or not. We opted to go with it, and thus:

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Warehouse? There! There house!

When last we left our Cosmic Guardian, we were considering which of two targets to take, a warehouse with five life forms or a yacht in the harbor with just one. Feeling muy macho, we opted for the warehouse, hoping it's five henchmen and not the Legion of Doom.

So, yeah, about that ...

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Twenty five or Six Two Four. Or One. Five. Whatever.

The HeroMachine Justice Crusader and Teetotaler Society has chosen to forego the allure of the bottle and a hearty party with our slime-covered super buddy in favor of trying to actually fight crime. It's an outrage! Or entirely appropriate, I can't decide which.

Regardless, off we go into the wild blue yonder! If this was the mid-Eighties at Marvel we might be going into the wild Beyonder instead, which isn't nearly as much fun. Unless you're Spider-Man and come out of it with new duds.

Is it just me or am I particularly random today?

Ah yes, how well we all know the seductive allure of the temptation to fight evil. Can you blame us for giving in to that sweet, violence-filled calling? Sure you can! This is a blame-first society, get real, people.

Our choice is to take on a warehouse full of five foes or a just one. Now, profiling is wrong, but let's do it anyway, because who's going to stop us when we're carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on our backs, and I don't mean Dale the Drunken Slime Reporter. You might be tempted to think "Let's start out slow and go for the singular guy". I know you might be tempted to think that because it's right there in the text of the poll. The only way you would NOT be tempted to think that is if you cannot read, in which case explain how you know what these words say! HA, busted, fake illiterate!

Where was I? Oh yes, the problem with thinking the singular target would be easier is that Godzilla also works alone. As does Galactus, Fin Fang Foom, Mr. Megapixel (the extra-dimensional Superman foe who magically causes chaos with his digital SLR camera), and a bevy of other high-powered, butt-kicking foes.

On the other hand, a group of bad guys in super hero comics are usually thugs. And since they're in a warehouse in New York, odds are good they're with the Mob, so they might actually offer better target practice. Nothing like beating up on henchmen to get the blood flowing.

Of course they could be Teamsters instead, in which case we'd be in for a whoopin', alien super suit or no.

So what'll it be, folks, safety (or death) in numbers, or a mano-a-mano ... well, technically a duo mano-a-singular-mono ... when did we start talking about mono? I didn't kiss anyone, did you?! Look, just make a choice already, and tell us why in the comments!

(All text is ©2012 by Matt Youngmark and Chooseomatic Books from the excellent "Thrusts of Justice", which you should totally go buy your own copy of since we're only scratching the surface of the hilarity enshrined in these pages).

How best to tie one on?

Shockingly, in our guise as the Cosmic Guardian we opted NOT to shoot our annoying neighbor in the face last time. In this Modern Age of Post-Modern Super Heroing, I'd say that qualifies us for inclusion in the Heroic Hall of Fame right there. While personally I might be disappointed in our upright behavior, it nonetheless has led us to a bar, and for that I think we can all be thankful.

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Chippendale's or Go For Blow?

In our last installment, we were standing befuddled in our apartment in the high-tech alien embrace of our new super suit deciding whether to potentially blow our nosy neighbor to smithereens or beat a hasty retreat. You'll never guess, but we decided to run!

I love that our alien super suit doesn't have a built in wifi decoder ring. They should follow the example of Jeff Goldblum from "Independence Day" and just get an Apple computer, since apparently the Mac OS has a universal translator and can hack anything anywhere, even if it's from an alien tech base.

I think Dale's one of our reporter friends, isn't he? Maybe he'll be Lois Lane to our Clark. Or maybe he'll be the Kim Basinger to our Michael Keaton and expose our secret identity! On the other other hand, it's possible he followed one of the other heroes and got bitten by a radioactive chipmunk and is now the living embodiment of Disney's Chip (of Chip 'N' Dale, before they sold out and started a male stripper business).

By the way, now's a good time to announce that Disney will be doing a live-action version of Chip 'N' Dale's "Rescue Rangers" next year.

Admit it, you can't tell whether that's a joke or not. This is how low Hollywood's creativity has ebbed, thank you very much "Battleship".

So what'll it be, kids?

(All text is ©2012 by Matt Youngmark and Chooseomatic Books from the excellent "Thrusts of Justice", which you should totally go buy your own copy of since we're only scratching the surface of the hilarity enshrined in these pages).

Nosy neighbors

In our last chapter or "Thrusts of Justice", we had just been given a warm and very intimate hug by the dying Cosmic Guardian's alien cyber suit and were deciding what to do (as chronicled in the excellent Chooseomatic book "Thrusts of Justice", which you should totally go buy your own copy of since we're only scratching the surface of the hilarity enshrined in these pages). We opted to head out and do some research on the history of the suit rather than chasing after the super-villain Ox.

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To Boldly Go or To the Library We Go?

When last we left our potential future super-powered individual (as chronicled in the excellent Chooseomatic book "Thrusts of Justice", which you should totally go buy your own copy of since we're only scratching the surface of the hilarity enshrined in these pages), we were trying to decide which established character we should pursue. And we went with ... The Cosmic Guardian!

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