mazes and monologues

This entry is part 15 of 34 in the series Mazes and Monsters

We’re in the last scene of Mazes and Monsters! In a week or so I’ll be preparing a free PDF of the complete rules. For now, let’s finish up the movie.

Last time, Tom Hanks’ friends found an insane Tom Hanks about to jump off the World Trade center and saved him by DM fiat.

Some time afterwards, the friends pile in a car to visit him at his parent’s house. They’ve heard he’s “doing better” and are excited to see him. They exchange news about their own lives: Kate, for instance, has gotten over her writer’s block! Oh yeah, she’s a writer, and she had writer’s block. I remember that from all the times that came up.

They find Hanks sitting under a tree out behind his house. They’re thrilled to see him! He quickly demonstrates, though, that he hasn’t recovered; he still thinks he’s Pardieux. That’s the bad news. The good news, though, is that his role-playing has never been better! He delivers a magnificent in-character monologue that generations of Mazes and Monsters players would do well to study and imitate, for both style and content. I present it here, with rules annotations in a right-hand column. Aspiring actors, I strongly recommend you memorize this piece for future audition work.

TOM HANKS: Frelich, aren’t you dead? Didn’t you die when you leaped into the pit? It is you, Frelich, you have been restored to the living! Whoever did that is a great Holy Man. A greater Holy Man even than I. First of all, it seems like Tom Hanks never had enough points to cast Raise the Dead, even at maximum. I’d assumed that whenever Hanks “didn’t have enough points” to cast a spell, it was because he’d already spent some. Apparently, though, raising the dead is beyond Tom, even when he’s relaxing under a tree at his parents’ house.

Of course, it could also be that Hanks could Raise a recently-dead comrade, but not one who had been as long dead as Frelich. That might take, say, a level 10 Holy Man.

Oh, Glacia. Nible too. Perhaps you are preparing for yet another quest? I guess each adventure is officially called a “quest.” For exactly what constitutes a quest, we should look at the opening narration of each game session, which refreshes everyone on exactly what their objectives are. “There’s a maze ruled by the evil X; it contains treasure Y. Shall ye enter?”

A quest consists of a mission to enter a maze, beat monster X, and get treasure Y. If you do so, you get experience (Ex).

We should tweak our Experience rules to make sure that a good portion of the Ex comes from quest completion.

Glacia, has someone placed a spell of forgetfulness on you?
Spell of Forgetfulness (Level 7): The caster causes the subject to forget one object, person, or event. This spell is permanent. If the subject comes in contact with the forgotten item, the subject becomes Mazed. If the Mazed state is successfully overcome, the spell of forgetfulness is broken.

I am Pardieux! I’ve had many strange encounters since last we met. A great dragon; a gorville. This is a good place to stay. Warm, very clean. The food is good and plentiful. Oh, Frelik, i have something you might be interested in. I have an eternally renewing coin. Every night I give it to my innkeeper’s wife to pay for my lodging and every morning when i awake it is in my pouch again.
Frenetic: Frenetics are very curious and interested in magical trinkets of all kinds: especially those that they can use to trick others.

Magically renewing coin: A single gold coin (2 P of T). While its owner is living, it cannot be given away. Every midnight, it teleports from its current location to its owner’s purse. After its owner dies, whoever takes it next becomes its new owner.

Well, shall we not begin the quest? This lake is enchanted and beyond there you see the great forest.
Enchanted lake: No known effect.

Now the innkeeper and his wife fear the forest and they warn me to stay away. I feel that there may be some evil force that has waken within it. If we were to vanquish it, the innkeeper and his wife could live happily and in peace. You know of this forest?

BLONDIE: Yes… I am the Maze Controller. There is a… (chokes on tears)

JJ: …kingdom of the evil Voracians ruled by the wicked Ack Oga! Within this forest lies terrible danger but also a wondrous treasure. Shall ye enter?

ALL: (with varying degrees of enthusiasm) Aye!

HANKS: Follow me, I know the way! i can see the spirits dance in this lake in the evening.

Spirits: Gentle nature beings who frolic in enchanted natural places.

They sing a song not unlike yours, Frelik, not unlike the sprites.
Spirits: Spirits sing songs not unlike those of the sprites.
Sprites: Sprites sing songs.
I haven’t been beyond this ridge but the paths to the forest are clearly marked.

Then Kate narrates a closing voiceover. (Was she the narrator this entire time? Is she the main character? Nice of the movie to tell us.)

KATE: And so we played the game one last time. it didn’t matter that there were no maps or dice or no monsters.

Really? No monsters? Sounds like a kind of crappy game of Mazes and Monsters to me. Were there mazes at least?

wanted signGood or bad, it’s Tom Hanks’ valedictory Mazes and Monsters game with his uptight friends, who won’t play any further games with him just because he is totally insane. Although, to be fair, they did make the rules clear up front: NEITHER FLUNK OUT OR FREAK OUT. I think that killing a guy, trying to jump off the World Trade Center, and retreating forever into your game persona probably counts as a freak-out.

And that’s the end of the Mazes and Monsters movie! I hope you enjoyed it. Before we leave it forever, I just have one final word I need to say:


Next time: Polishing up the rules!

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4 Responses to “mazes and monologues”

  1. It also sounds like the default setting is much more Arthurian and fairy-tale like than sword & sorcery.

  2. […] watching the Mazes and Monsters movie, we've managed to glean a lot of the rules: adventure structure (a maze with a single end boss), a spell system (spell points), and a handful […]

  3. Strill says:

    It says “FINK OUT” not “FREAK OUT”

  4. Grey Wizard says:

    This blog is Worthy.

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