Cheat Your Own Adventure: GCL Mafia Edition
Jim Parkin
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Stow
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Welcome to Cheat Your Own Adventure: THE SWAMP OF MISERY!

This specific PbF session is reserved for members of GameChatLeague Mafia --> Microbadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."

To check out the rules, look here.

Quick rules, if you don't want to read the link:

This game requires some limited use of the GeekRoller. 2d6 are rolled for Stamina checks, which happen during each time the game progresses. Stamina starts at 1 and the game ends when it reaches 12. Stamina increases with each successful addition to the geeklist.



1. The narrator writes a short piece of second-person fiction as a geeklist item.

2. The other players will present options as comments to the geeklist item.

3. After 24 hours, the narrator will choose an option.

4. The writer of the chosen option will create a new geeklist item for their Stamina roll and narration. If the Stamina roll is a success, go to Step 1.

5. If the Stamina roll fails, the original narrator will choose a second option. The writer of that option will create a new geeklist item and assume control of the narrative, returning to Step 1.

6. After your turn as narrator is complete, please add links to the new geeklist options that follow from your section so that others can easily follow the game. To do this, click on the number by the geeklist entry, then look at the url. You embed the list item number from the url in your text by including [ listitem=XXXX ][ b ]page ??[/b][/listitem] (without the spaces). I recommend using the strikethrough option ([ - ][/-], again without the spaces) to show how we cheated our way past any failures!



Don't forget to subscribe to this geeklist and thumb posts once you've read them.

The main list comments at the bottom of the page will serve as the OOC thread for the game.



Stamina Target: 12
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1. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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MIND. BLOWN.
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Microbadge: I love random tables!Microbadge: Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist: While you were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!Microbadge: Dice (d6) fanMicrobadge: Oh No! I forgot to post to my PbF!Microbadge: Dreams about board games
Page 1

External image

Your grandfather always told you stories about the time he spent in the bayou. You never believed he was talking about a real place, what with how creepy and bizarre his descriptions were. But then you found the map in a trunk of his after his passing, and there it was, clear as day, "THE SWAMP OF MISERY."

Curious marginalia is scrawled on the map in an unsteady hand--was your grandfather alright when he handled this map? Jagged arrows point to something that looks like a hut or cabin on the eastern part of the swamp. Multiple asterisks and star-marks dot the rest of the map. It's unclear if they are points of interest or signs of madness.

Regardless of your understanding of the map, you buy a plane ticket to New Orleans and start your trek to the distant tributary of the Atchafalaya River noted on the map. This is beyond a bayou, it's a spooky wasteland of dark colors, sticky moss, and a thousand ambient sounds you've never heard. The punt boat you rented doesn't seem well suited to these marshy streams, and you feel lots of bumps and scrapes under the hull. It looks like there are a few flickering lights in the distance.



Those star-marks look interesting, and if you are judging the map correctly there's one not far from you. Probably worth checking out. Turn to page 12.
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2. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Chris Ferejohn
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Page 12

Why rush headlong into the farthest, darkest corner of the swamp immediately? Some of these other marks on the map might give you some kind of clue what you are getting into. You pole the canoe north towards the nearest star on the map, and you are relieved to discover that the water deepens a bit and you find yourself in something of a channel, allowing for fairly swift progress. As the channel widens, the smell improves considerably, and you can even see a couple of flowers blooming on nearby trees.

Just as you are feeling almost comfortable, you put your pole in the water and stumble forward as suddenly it cannot reach the bottom. As you reach out to steady yourself, suddenly something jerks the pole out of your hand. Almost simultaneously, you feel a sharp bump, and suddenly the boat is being pushed forward, like something you cannot see is towing you. You grab the oar out of the bottom of the boat, but then hesitate - you don’t want to lose that too.

External image


Wheeling to see where you are being taken, you see that you are being dragged into the center of a small lake, a few hundred feet across, out of the center of which rises a massive, gnarled tree. Squinting into the gloom, it appears that you are headed for a massive opening in the trunk.



You grab at your pocket knife and call out to the opening in the tree. "Hello? Is anyone there?" Turn to page 40.
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3. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Grace P.
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California
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Page 40

You hear some shuffling from within the tree. Then muffled giggling. Or maybe it's coughing. It's hard to tell.

"Hello?" you call out again.

"Turn away," responds a voice.

"Who's there?" you ask, barely puffing the words out as you clutching your knife in your hand and attempt to steel yourself.

A shadowed figure steps forward a little from the tree. It is hard to see features. Maybe those were hands? How many? Was that a glint of an eye? It looks like there are a dozen strips of fabric flowing about.



Stand tall and speak fear into this unknown foe. Turn to page 17.
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4. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Travis Dean
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Stamina Check v3 2d6 = (3 + 6) = 9

Page 17

You don't know where the sudden surge of bravery comes from, but as your boat nears, you boast, "I demand that you show yourself. I do not fear you. Reveal yourself or I will be forced to come forward!"

You think you hear the sound of a mild hissing noise coming from near the tree. It sounds more frightened than anything. This fear you hear gives you strength. You stand taller, reaching straight out with the knife.

Your boat crashes into something under the lake, perhaps the land is shallower just next to the tree. It makes a loud screeching noise and the sudden jerk hurls you forward. You trip over the front end of the boat and fall forward into the murky water. Fortunately, it is very shallow and you're able to stand up.

It must have looked like you were lunging, because whatever it was that you were talking with seems to be running away from you now. You can hardly make out any features over the water splashing high as it runs along. You guess about 4 or 5 feet, but it's hunched over pretty far.

Looking back at the tree, you see what appears to be a hole around the roots. Some of the lake water spills down each time the water hits the lip. You think you can see some light. And was that a shadow down there that just moved? This must have been where the person, or thing, came out of...



You call out to the creature. "Wait! Who are you?" You begin to chase after it. Turn to page 68.
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5. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Stamina check 1d6 + 1d6 = (2) + (2) = 4
(Ignore the first die roll on this item.)

Page 68

The creature looks back at you and motions, waving you to follow. As you walk into the hollow of the tree, you start to descend down a spiral ramp. The lake fades into the background as you walk downward, around and around.

You hear the creature make a noise and barely see its hand shoot up, halting you in your steps. As you squint into the dark, you see the flickering of lights ahead of you. You hear voices call out in unison, "Welcome. We've been waiting for you."



You aggressively question the marital fidelity of the halting creature's mother. Turn to page 112.
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Video Game: Leisure Suit Larry III: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals
Jim Parkin
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Stow
Ohio
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Page 112

Stamina (5) -- 2d6 = (5 + 4) = 9

You smack the creature's hand away from you and crouch down in a defiant gesture. Drawing up all of the gusto available in your kohones, you bellow loudly at the thing in the darkness and, by association, all of the creatures behind it.

"Why'd you lead me down this dark, nasty hole? This reminds me of your mom. Is that why you all stay down here, too? Something about how wet and wide open this place is remind you of her? There were a lot of stars on my map... is that where she meets all the other guys in this swamp?"

The creatures recoil from you and start chittering to each other in harsh tones. The voices get angrier in their tenor, but many of them flee into the shadows while still others take a few strong steps towards you.



In for a penny, in for a pound, you pull the hunting knife from your belt and lunge at the nearest creature. Turn to page 8

You gasp in surprise at your outburst and quickly clap your hand over your mouth. You begin to apologize. Turn to page 28.
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7. Board Game: Presidential Knife Fight [Average Rating:5.80 Unranked]
Board Game: Presidential Knife Fight
Chris Ferejohn
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Mountain View
California
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Stamina 6 – 1d6 + 1d6 = (4) + (1) = 5

You lunge forward desperately and feel a satisfying impact as your knife slams into the shoulder of one of the creatures. You hear the all the creatures scream as grey-green ichor spurts from the wound and into your eyes. You stagger backwards and wipe your face, but when you open your eye again you find that you are standing in the midway of a small carnival and the inhuman screams of the creatures have turned to very human screams of people – men, women, and children – panicking and running. You look down at your hand and are horrified to see not grey-green slime, but bright red blood dripping from your knife blade and a security guard on the ground in front of you clutching his shoulder and screaming "What the fuck is wrong with you!?".

Did you die in the swamp that day or was the rest of your life a Jacob's ladder nightmare of trials, prison, and increasingly desperate psychotherapy? In the end, does it really matter?

THE END

Oh shoot, that's not what I meant to do. Turn back to the last entry.
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8. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Grace P.
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Stamina 1d6 + 1d6 = (5) + (2) = 7

Page 28

You quickly spurt out a string of apologies. The creature looks at you, tilting its head. You aren't quite sure if accepts your apology or wondering what the nonsensical sounds mean. Nonetheless, the motions you forward.

You move into something akin to an atrium. You see similar creatures to the one leading you all around. The lights are dim, so it is unclear exactly what form these creatures are taking.

As you are led forward, you see a table of food ahead. Delicacies that you aren't familiar with are ahead of you. The smell makes your mouth water. Your guide also points you toward what looks like a hallway with rooms. You hear murmurs from the others as you assume they are watching you intently.



"I know you can speak English. What is down there? Why do you want me to go there?" Turn to page 56.
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9. Board Game: Broken English [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
From gallery of cferejohn
Chris Ferejohn
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California
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Stamina 8 – 1d6 + 1d6 = (4) + (6) = 10

The creatures seem to speak in unison.

"YYYooouuUUU aRReee tHHeee seekkKKKeerrr. wEEE aReeE TThhHhE kEePPPPpppeeEErs. yyOOu hHhHaAAAAvvveEEE tttTThhhhEeEe mmmAAApppp. iiiTTT wwwIIIllLLllLLl GGgggUUUiiiiDDDeEeEE yyOOUUU"

You pull your grandfathers map from your back pocket and are amazed to see that the drawing of the swamp has almost entirely faded, but the various stars, lines, and what appeared to be random squiggles have begun to faintly glow. The area of the map closest to the dim corridor lights up most brightly, and that remains true even as you rotate the map.

That food still smells good though.




In gasp in surprise at the map and drop it. "What in the shit?!" you yell at the creatures. Turn to page 50.

To marvel at the map, then nod to the creature and make your way to the dim corridor, turn to page 44.

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10. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Stamina check 1d6 + 1d6 = (6) + (1) = 7

Page 50

The creatures scramble to grab at the map. It continues to glow. Is it getting brighter?

Every time a creature paws at the parchment, it seems as though their hands are pushed back, like trying to push together identical magnetic poles.

You look pointedly at the "lead" creature who guided you down here. Your eyes demand an answer. Your heart is going to leap out of your throat.

"You are our sacrifice," he croaks. The rest of the creature leap on you. Their hands are cold and shriveled. At the end of each digit are talon-like points. They claw at you. The last thing you see is the fading light of the map. You really should have listened closer to Grandpa's stories.

THE END.
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11. RPG Item: Lair of the Cat Magus (AKA Crazy Cat Lady) [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Lair of the Cat Magus (AKA Crazy Cat Lady)
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
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multi-auto-pass!

Page 44

Slinking down the corridor, you sense your surroundings getting darker but the map glowing more brightly. Is it a trick of the eyes? Perhaps you are just getting adjusted to the dark... but something tells you there is more going on here than you thought.

Turning a corner, you hear an add moaning or purring sound coming from a far room. Opening the door, you recoil. Some large cat-like beast is sprawled out on a huge table made of smooth wood, eating what looks like a large metal pan of some kind of pasta bake. None of this makes sense, but the strangeness is accelerated when the cat-things turns and addresses you in Latin.

You realize that your grandfather's map is basically gleaming at this point.



"Ello-hey at-cay. At-whey e-they uck-fey is-way oing-gay on-way?" Turn to page 91.

Stamina 10


Consult the map for any additional clues. Turn to page 66.

Travis' item will auto-pass, then Stamina will bump up to 11.
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12. Board Game: Latin Intervention [Average Rating:5.70 Unranked]
Board Game: Latin Intervention
Chris Ferejohn
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California
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Page 91b

Stamina Check (10) – 1d6 + 1d6 = (5) + (2) = 7

The cat cocks its head at you quizzically and rapidly starts speaking in a bunch of different languages. You pick out Spanish, French, German, and Japanese, but you hear many that you don't recognize, and a few that you're pretty sure are not human.

External image


Finally it starts speaking English. Or maybe you are just hearing English. Somehow it's hard to tell.

"I'm afraid to say you've done no better than your grandfather."

As it speaks you stare into it's double-pupiled eyes and they grow larger and larger until they are the whole world. It's now-massive tongue darts out and pulls you down it's throat. Everything goes black...

THE END
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13. Board Game: Felicity: The Cat in the Sack [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1371]
Board Game: Felicity: The Cat in the Sack
Travis Dean
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Page 66

Stamina Check (10) – 1d6 + 1d6 = 13 - Success!

Confused by the Latin, you look to your map for clues. But what could this mesh of stars do for you? That's when you realize your map is glowing. It's blinding to look at it.

"Lorem Ipsum Dolor. Lorem Ipsum Dolor." You hear the cat chant over and over.

Your head aches as the light burns into your sockets. Your vision blurs.

"Lorem Ipsum..."

What is the cat saying? Why is my map glowing? Your head throbs, your veins pulse.

"Dolor. Lorem"

You can feel your own heartbeat. It's pounding, faster and faster. You lift your map up. You can't see anything but blinding light now. The latin, it sounds different.

"Tabula Uti. Tabula Uti"

What? Why is the cat changing what it is saying? Your heart, pounding, so fast now. Are you going to have a heart attack?

"Tabula Use."

Huh? What's he saying? What's that feeling? Everything is starting to feel calm. The glowing, it's fading. Your vision is starting to return. Your heart, it's calming too. You listen. *thump* Your eyes return to focus. The map goes dull. *thump* Yes, your heartbeat is back to normal. *thump* No, slower than normal.

"the Map"

Everything definitely feels slower than normal. You're feeling *thump* hyperaware. Yes. You can hear the trickling of the swamp water dripping *thump* into the other room.

"Use the"

The map! It's different. *thump* The stars are gone. And wait, you realize, the cat is still speaking Latin. But you understand it! You do!

"map."

The cat suddenly stops talking. Seeming to understand that you heard, that you understood. As you look around, the dim lighting in the room doesn't seem to bother you anymore. You can see clearly. There are a few paths to take. One, though you can't remember which now, surely returns you to the space under the tree.

As you lift your map, you see it's different. It no longer depicts a swamp, but almost a sort of labyrinth. There's some scribbled notes that you don't understand. SHOUT THORN STEW. What could that mean?

You look back to the cat for more answers, but it's returned to eating its pasta bake. You call out for help, for guidance. But the cat just drops the pan, now empty, and walks down the furthest corridor.

You look back at the new labyrinth on the map. It looks so simple. But what does it mean?

+-+-+
| | | SHOUT
+-*-+ THORN
| | | STEW
+-+-+





You follow the cat down the corridor. If that feline can speak Latin to you and you suddenly understand it, it's probably best to stay with him. Turn to page 1330.

You draw on your advanced degree in Cryptography and confidently set off Southward. Turn to page 1331.
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14. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Microbadge: Muffin loverMicrobadge: I like tacosMicrobadge: GatePlay.comMicrobadge: ProfessorMicrobadge: GameChat League - Mafia Division: "A mob is forming."
Stamina check 1d6 + 1d6 = (5) + (4) = 9

Page 1330

You follow a talking cat down a corridor because it speaks Latin to you? What has your life become?

As you walk down the corridor, you take many twists and turns. The lights are dim and it becomes increasingly difficult to follow the sway of the tail in front of you.

This continues for several minutes. How long is this corridor? You call out to the cat and squint harder to see where he went. You keep walking.

This continues for several hours. Certainly you must almost be there.

This continues for several days. Have you lost track of time?

This continues.

THE END.
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15. Board Game: Cryptograms [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Cryptograms
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
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Pitying fools as hard as I can...
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Microbadge: I am related to Monkeys!Microbadge: I speak CalifornianMicrobadge: University of California - BerkeleyMicrobadge: PastafarianMicrobadge: Somebody get this freakin' duck away from me!
Stamina Check – Multipass

Using the glowing compass rose in the corner of the map you set out southward into the gloom. You are relieved to find you start to slope gently upwards, and soon the darkness begins to lift. You are surprised to find as the darkness lifts you are no longer inside, but walking along a forest path, with the darkness lifting as the trees slowly thin out. Eventually you come to a T-intersection where a sign points in 3 directions:

The way you came: "Garfield"
Left: "Holland"
Right: "McGuire"




You run. You run so far away. You just run. You run all night and day. Turn to page 4.

To Go Dennis, turn to page grue 666

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16. RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1636]
RPG Item: Cheat Your Own Adventure
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Stamina check 1d6 + 1d6 = (3) + (6) = 9

Page 4

Eventually you tire from exhaustion. You pass out on at the brink of the woods, right off a country highway. You're picked up by a trucker named Oats. You're not sure if that's his first, last, or nickname. He speaks very little English, but regales you of what you can only imagine are wondrous tales in what sounds like a Slavic language of some kind. You stay with him. This is your life now.

(Cue next story. I just put some CYA in your CYA.)

THE END.
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17. Board Game Designer: Donald G. Dennis
RPG Designer: Donald G. Dennis
Travis Dean
United States
Escondido
CA
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No one expects the Spanish penguin!
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Page grue 666

Stamina Check (12) – 1d6 + 1d6 = 1 13 - Success!

You mouth the directions to yourself, "Garfield, Holland, McGuire." You've always wanted to see Holland. You definitely don't want to chase Garfield down. But you wonder where McGuire leads off to?

You look down at your map, looking for any new insight at this new crossroads. To your horror, the map is blank! You look back up in terror. You can feel the anxiety taking over. None of this has made any sense since you arrived, and now your one dependable guide on this whole trip is useless!

In a flurry of panic and frustration, you roll up your map and swing it against the sign. As you take your third swing, you hear a loud snap as the sign breaks and falls to the ground.

You watch the few planks fall to the ground and clatter. And more boards clatter on top, and more. You look back up, and the sign is falling again and again. It was just a few planks, but how can it keep falling and piling up? Where are all of these boards coming from?

Before long, you realize the pile of boards has fallen into the structure of a small cabin. Above the door to the cabin the original sign falls once more, revealing a single plank pointing inside. The plank has written on it clearly "DENNiS".

Now, more confused then ever, you walk into the cabin. Before you is an elderly man. He's turned away from you, so you can't quite make out what he's doing. His hair is white, short, and unkempt. There's a shiny bald spot on the top of his head. You hear the man mumbling to himself, and it looks like he's seated on a stool over some sort of artist workbench. You slowly walk around to the front of the old man, and as you do so, you recognize him. Those familiar features, those wrinkles, and yes! Those hazel eyes.

"Grandpa?" You ask quizzically. You'd never been so confused as this, not even when a cat was talking to you in Latin. "Grandpa? Is that you?"

Startled, the old man drops his stencil and stiffens in his seat. He turns rather swiftly to face you, and a large grin passes over his face.

"My boy! You used the map, didn't you? I wasn't sure you'd find your way here, but I'm so glad that you did. You see, I've been trying to map these swamps out for decades. I have a few more trees to explore, I marked those on.. the map! Did you? Yes, you brought it! Good boy. This was so hard to recreate from scratch, this will be a tremendous help in mapping out the rest of the swamp. Say, I haven't been gone from home too long this time, have I? I sure hope nobody assumes I've died. That would be a hoot! Anyways, c'mere my boy. Let's take a look at that map and find our next route."


THE END
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