Fantasy Games

By Allen Kitchen
all rights reserved...

Has anyone ever wondered what furrys would do for recreation?

"My Blue-collar laborer throws the trash can through the
windshield of the BMW."

"Okay, roll a 20 sided die to hit. You'll need at least a 15."

"15? But I am right there!"

"Shatter resistant glass, and an aluminum can. Go on, make
your roll."

"Okay then. And don't forget, I get plus 2 on the roll due to
race."

"Yeah, I forgot about that. Go ahead then."

Paul swished his tail as he rolled the 20 sided die. "Aha, 13
plus 2 is 15!" the snowy white wolf howled. "I shattered the
windshield with the trashcan!"

"Okay Paul," Richard said. His Lupine eyes just peered over his
GameMaster shield, staring at Paul. Nobody could see him grinning.
Only the gray fur of his forehead and his eyes were visible. "The
windshield shatters into a thousand pieces. The alarm goes off, but
of course nobody cares. Just one thing though. The car is owned by
a lawyer. And I noticed that you didn't check for witnesses first,
so..."

"Oh damn," Paul interrupted. His white tail was no longer
swishing. "the lawyer is in a window, isn't he? Allen, can your
gangster shoot him out real fast?"

Allen studied the map on the table with concern, a black paw
on his black wolf muzzle. "Well, I am in a good position, but I don't
know which window to aim at. My gangster draws his uzi anyway,
smelling trouble." Allen always did take his games seriously.

Richard's gray tail was now wagging intensely. "Paul, make a
save versus lawsuit roll. You need to beat a 65."

"Hey! Wait a minute." Paul spoke up. "How can he be suing us?
There aren't even any police here yet!"

"Make the roll." Richard repeated.

Paul sighed, and took out a pair of 10 sided dice. Without his
usual flourish, he tossed them into the middle of the table. The dice
bounced around, and finally settled out. 43 was the final roll.

"Oh dear." Richard laughed, tail still wagging. "You failed to
save versus lawsuit, so the lawyer will be serving your laborer with
a summons very soon."

Allen stood up. "Richard, that doesn't make any sense! We are
not talking about something like a teleport here, something that can
be done anyplace at anytime. Even a 25th level lawyer can't just sue
someone with a telephone call. Hell, the lawyer doesn't even know
who we are!"

Paul stood up too. "That's right. There have to be police
reports, depositions, and witnesses. It says so right in the Lawyer
Player's Handbook." Suddenly smiling, he turned to Allen. "And if we
run away now, he won't have any of that."

Allen grinned back at his packbrother. "Cool." he craftily said
as he sat back down to the table again. "Dude the gangster runs
north, and puts his uzi away."

Paul sat down too. "Mutt the laborer runs north with Dude." he
said.

Richard didn't give up that easy. His smile was gone. "Well
then, the lawyer pops out of the doorway in the east with a handgun,
and takes aim at ..." Richard rolled a dice. "Dude."

"What race is the lawyer?" Allen asked.

"What do you think?" Richard replied.

"And he has a handgun? Ha, then he can't hit anything." Allen
smirked. " I keep running."

"The lawyer fires his gun!" Richard rolled the 20 sided dice out
front where everyone could see it. 2.

"Dude keeps running." Allen chuckled.

"Mutt keeps running too," Paul chimed in. "and he lets out a
nasty laugh about such lousy shooting. Sorry Rich, but we aren't
going to let you sucker us into a firefight that will land both of us in
jail, just so you can cast your lawsuit later on. Give it up wolfen, we
are on to you..."

Allen nodded.

Richard sighed. The game had certainly gone awry tonight. He
wasn't going to catch the pair in the lawsuit like he had planned to.
All of the campaign that was laid out had hinged on nailing them
with it too. If Richard couldn't pull that off, then he had no way of
continuing his scenario. He began to collect his dice and his maps,
and he closed the GameMaster shield.

"Okay guys," Richard said, a tone of resignation in his voice. "I
guess that is about as good a stopping point as we are going to get.
Let's call it a night, and break out the brew."

He then placed the GameMaster tome and the dice in a leather
case on the floor. To save their campaign, he would have to think of
something other than the lawsuit to get things rolling again.

Paul grinned, his lupine eyes shining brightly. "I think you are
just pissed off that we ruined your plans for the night."

Richard shook his head back while eyeing his friend. "It does
complicate my life a little bit, Paul. But I will find a way around it. I
always do. And no guys, I am not ticked off. A little irritated
perhaps..."

Allen pulled Paul's tail as it swished next to him. Surprised,
Paul turned to face him.

"Remember grasshopper." Allen began with the worst far-
eastern accent any of them had ever heard. " 'He who annoys the
GameMaster, soon finds himself to be kibble'!"

Allen, Richard, and Paul all broke out laughing at the humorous
spin placed on the oldest line in the "Porsches and Paychecks" game.
'Though shalt not annoy the GameMaster...'

A few minutes later the three of them were sitting around the
now cleared off table, drinking beer and talking. Every Thursday
night for the past 4 months, they had gotten together to play the
game. "Porsches and Paychecks" had become a favorite among
gameplayers almost overnight, with it's fantastic premise and
incredible creatures.

The premise was hard to believe. For one thing, in the game,
there was only the one world. There were no colonies to run to, and
no teleport arches to send you there. There was only the single
known planet, which meant no real escape route existed. You either
stood your ground, or you got run over. It made for interesting
scenarios.

For another, there was no magic, although it was widely known
that magic existed everywhere in the universe.

And yet another thing that added to the popularity were the
bizarre creatures that populated that world. For example, there were
lawyers that could stop even the most expensive projects with a
piece of paper, gangsters that terrorized the streets at night, and
police that despised the both of them. Each had their strengths and
weaknesses. All of them spawned from one master species. There
were several different races, but only a small amount of difference
between them, really just variations on the same weird species.
They had no fur or tails at all. And fangs? Forget about it.

Whereas in real life, all the races were very different indeed.
And what race you were in determined what you could do in life.
Some races such as wolves were fairly high on the pecking order,
where others like mice were pretty close to the bottom. No security
outfit would ever hire a mouse to be a security guard, for example.
No one would be afraid of a mouse. At the same time, nobody would
hire a wolf to probe inside walls for termites either.

Every race had its place in the real world, but they weren't all
that equal. In the game, there was no real race, no set place in life,
no real differences, and no discrimination. The game was about
having no limits...

All three of the wolves were now drinking, laughing, and
discussing the game.

"I think the idealism is what I like about it the most." Paul said.
"Imagine a world where there are no interspecies conflicts. A world
where all the races are essentially identical. No arguments or
protests. It is a wonderful idea."

He took a swig of his beer, and wiped his white muzzle on his
sleeve. "Too bad it can't exist in real life."

"Well, I like the fantasy aspect myself." Allen remarked,
nursing his brew. "In the game, there are no magic spells, and no
sorcery. Only technology. If you can build it, then you can do it. No
limitations. I like that sense of freedom which lets the imagination
run wild. How about you Richard? What do you enjoy most about
the game?"

Richard smiled. "I just like making you two miserable." he said,
then took another drink of his beer.

Paul set down his bottle on the table. "Yeah joker! We still
owe you for that!" he fumed. "Why didn't you tell us that the
vehicles in that world only run for a short period of time? That thing
cost us a fortune, and now it won't work!"

Allen frowned also. "As many as we see on the roads in the
game, I think there is something that we haven't discovered yet.
Something to make the car run longer. Some kind of non-magical
recharge spell or the like."

Richard kept smiling. "You'll figure it out eventually."

Allen nodded. Both Paul and Richard looked at each other.
They knew that Allen would go to the bookdealer tomorrow to study
the Vehicles and Midlevel Technology tome, now that the gauntlet
had been thrown.

The writers of the game were always putting out new volumes
to cover some detail or another about the game. Right now, there
were 148 tomes in all. Only the most ardent gameplayer had every
one. Very few could even afford them all. The tomes were not
cheap.

Most gameplayers had only enough funds to purchase the bare
minimum needed to run their game. Players such as Allen, Paul, and
Richard. They often went to the bookdealer and referred to the
guides they didn't own when there was a particular point they
needed to study. The bookdealers usually didn't mind, because if
someone had to keep coming back for that tome, eventually the
person would just buy it in order to save a trip.

Besides, when gamers came in to study a manual, they usually
found some other fantasy book on the shelves that they just had to
have. So the gaming tomes acted as lures, attracting customers
inside. And the dealers allowed the gamers to refer to them, within
reason.

"So anyway Richard," Paul said. "Did you see the news the
other day? About that massacre on the eastern coast?"

Both Richard and Allen winced. "Yeah, I saw the pictures."
Richard replied quietly. "Pretty awful stuff, wasting an entire town
of beavers like that. It doesn't make a lot of sense why someone
would do such a thing."

"From what I have heard, it was a bunch of cougars that did it."
Allen spoke up. "Seems the beavers ran the local construction firm.
The firm laid off a group of cougars. The cougars got stinking drunk,
and decided to get some payback last night. So they killed everyone
in the village, right down to the women and children."

Paul rocked back in his chair, shocked. "I didn't hear about
that part! The women and children too? Oh god. And the
authorities caught the bastards that did it?"

Allen nodded his head.

Paul shook his. "Wow. That is unreal. Killing over 50 beavers
just because someone got canned. That is sick." Paul then reached
over and took out another beer.

Richard whistled low. "I wouldn't give a quart of owl's piss to
be in their shoes right now. When the bards get finished with those
cougars... Did you hear why they got fired to begin with by any
chance?"

Allen shook his head this time. "No, people are being pretty
tightlipped about it Richard. Probably the usual though... eating
customers and such."

"You never kill a customer." Richard agreed. Paul nodded too.

All 3 of them sat there for a moment, and stared at a leftover
20 sided die still sitting on the table.

"If only this game were real." Allen sighed. "That would be so
cool. Technological societies don't have any of these problems."

"Oh they have problems all right." Richard replied. "You just
aren't seeing most of them in the game. I'm sure there would be all
number of problems to deal with, if such a place truly existed."

"Yeah, true." Allen said, more heartfelt this time. "But nothing
like this wholescale massacre. The problems of a technological world
would be nothing compared to the problems of this one."

Richard ruffled his neck fur. "I don't know why you think that
Allen. There would be problems there that we can't even imagine.
Why do you think they have police in the game? For show? How
many people has your Gangster killed again?"

Allen spread his arms wide. "Yeah, but those were all adults.
They played their parts Richard. But you don't see women and
children killed in the game, now do you?"

Paul set his beer down with a thud. "Damn! I don't know why
you two are going on like this! Your world is here, whether you like
it or not! Wishing that you could be in some fantasy universe is not
going to miraculously get you there. You have to deal with the here
and now gents. The game isn't real, and both of you know it!"

The other two wolves stared at Paul as he lifted up his beer
again. "Besides," he grinned at the two of them. "There is no possible
way that a technological society could ever really work in the first
place..."

Richard took his own beer into his paws. "What do you mean
Paul?" he asked, then took a drink himself.

Paul finished swallowing, and looked back and forth between
the gray and the black wolf. "What I mean is that no such
civilization could truly ever exist. Not without the mages to make
things run smoothly. Not without bards to teach and enforce the law.
Not without the warriors to ensure peace in the land. What do they
have to secure peace? Not a damned thing, that's what. And boxes
that can do anything, depending on what disc you put into them?
Rubbish."

Paul then chuckled out loud. "It makes for a good game, and a
good reason to hang out with you two. But don't ever think that a
technological world could ever truly exist. It can't. There would be
anarchy, and it would collapse in weeks."

Allen took a deeper drink this time, then looked at the bottle
thoughtfully. "Yeah Paul, I suppose you are right. But it is nice to
dream of a better world from time to time."

Richard stretched, and stood up from the table. "Well guys, it is
getting late. I have a very large buffalo scheduled for tomorrow, so I
had better pack it in."

"Are you going to need any help with it Rich?" Allen asked, also
getting up. "You know that I am looking for some temporary work."

"Actually, I probably could use some help. These old-timers
never go down easy. Come on by the office in the morning, and we
will get you on the payroll for the day, okay?"

Allen nodded, and started to collect the empty bottles sitting
around the table. He put them into the Refuse box in the corner. In
the morning, the recycler would pick them up and take them to be
sent back to their original factory, where they would be cleaned and
reused. And the broken glass in the bottom of the box would be
melted and reblown by the glassmakers.

"What are your plans for tomorrow night Paul?" Richard asked.

Paul shrugged. "I dunno. I thought I would run down to the
watering hole for a while, and see if some of the ladies wanted to
howl. How about you guys? Do either of you have any plans?"

Allen and Richard both shook their heads.

"Hey, great! We can all go out together then. We'll pick up a
couple of babes, and make a party out of the night. I've got some
hard stuff in the cabinet we can bring along. We'll be the hounds
from hell!"

Richard laughed out loud. "Okay Paul. But this time, keep your
paws on your own date. Alright?" He then turned to the black wolf
saying "Well how about it Allen? Are you coming with us?"

Allen chuckled. "Sure, why not? You guys don't mind if I bring
Sheila as my date, do you?"

"Sheesh, Allen. Are you still dating that vixen?" Richard asked.
"Why can't you find a nice lady wolf to go out with, huh? Are you
too good for your own species or something?"

Allen slyly grinned, and winked. "Let's just say that Sheila can
be very... athletic. And I don't have to worry about little black paws
running around in a few months, if you get my meaning. Fair
enough?"

Richard and Paul both smiled back. "Fair enough." Richard
replied.

Paul then stood up and shook paws with Richard and Allen. "It
was very nice having you two over again. We'll do it again next
Thursday night. It was fun. Shall we all meet here before heading
out tomorrow evening?"

Everybody nodded.

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