When I came into work today, I noticed a binder on Greg's chair with the words "DEATH by POISONS"' written in large, unfriendly letters on the cover.
I always thought I would be the only one in the office with a DEATH by POISONS binder, but now I realize it's commonplace. Nevertheless, the title DEATH by POISONS gave me an idea for one of the most improbable segues in recent memory. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to announce the newest RPG I just made up, The Blades of Stenchtar IV: DEATH by POISONS!
For years, the ending of The Blades of Stenchtar II was the most universally despised game conclusion ever conceived, but it has since been worsted by the ending of its own sequel, The Blades of Stenchtar III. Letters have been pouring in from incensed fans around the globe who refuse to accept that Oinktoast the Meticulous could have been killed at the conclusion of TBOSIII.
"I've got a message for whoever came up with that ending: I'm going to bury you with a shovel, then bury the shovel, then bury the guy that buried the shovel."'
Stuff like that.
Well you know it's funny, really, because all this uproar is over nothing. Oinktoast never died at the end of TBOSIII! That was just a translation error from the original Esperanto. The word for 'die' was confused with the word for 'take a very long nap that lasts until the sequel.' Oinktoast Lives!
But as much as its ending was criticized, it was the gameplay in TBOSIII that really steamed our fans' rice. Reviews were scathing.
"I used to be against nuclear weapons, but after playing the mini-games in TBOSIII, now I'm not so sure."'
Stuff like that.
It's clear to me that fans don't want something new. They don't want something different. They want the Same, Same, Same every Game, Game, Game. Hey, that's fine by me. I'm just doing this for the money. TBOSIV is all about getting back to basics, back to the funner, simpler games of yesteryear (aka 2004).
So I studied all the great games of the past for inspiration. What do all the most beloved role-playing games have in common? Game designers the world over have racked their respective brains for the single most fantastic, compelling event that could ever be experienced in a fantasy world, and the response has been near unanimous: rat attacks.
Nothing can be so certain to leave an indelible impression on the player's consciousness as bloodthirsty rats. As such, TBOSIV consists of an ever increasing series of epic rat battles. They will come at you in waves of 2, 5, 10... until eventually you're fighting more rats in a single battle than have ever existed in the universe combined.
All this is done with the tried-and-true fight-or-flee turn-based-combat system. Each turn you have two choices, fight or flee. If you fight, you will attack the nearest rat. If you flee, you will lose. This cuts down on the huge numbers of menus that you must navigate to complete even the simplest encounter.
Like I said, simple and fun.
Oh, and did I mention... these are POISONOUS rats? Five out of five game designers agree: nothing is more exhilarating than watching your character lose a few hit points every single turn because you've been POISONED. It's just plain fun!