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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Colbert's Homage to D&D

Many thanks to my man The Gnome for pointing out Stephen Colbert's homage to D&D, which I have transcribed here:

Earlier this week marked the introduction of Dungeons and Dragons: Stormreach, a new, online version of the popular swords-and-sorcery game. I myself played a lot of the D&D way back when. Actually, I once met Len Lakofka at Gencon 10. I'll never forget when I lost Ferrenith, my 21st level lawful good Paladin. I know, that's redundant. He was on a campaign searching for Tenser, wizard of the circle of light. En route from the Sheldomar Valley to the Thilronian peninsula, he got cornered by a displacer beast and a mind flayer and he failed to save against psionic attack. See, he had already lost a lot of hit points battling a beholder and the cleric in the party couldn't regenerate enough hit points with his heal light wounds spell. All-in-all, a sad day in Badabaskor.

But I gave up D&D in 1984 - my parents were concerned I was being possessed by demons. So one summer they sent me to an exorcism day camp. Eight weeks of sailing, casting out the devils within me and making laniards did the trick. Oh, and I also got a girlfriend.

Anyway, it is the end of an era, and as the cyber-elves and the e-wizards log on to the digital dungeon, I sadly place on my shelf these now-obsolete polyhedral dice. The good news is with D&D now available on the Internet, the social outcasts of today's junior high schools are relieved of the agony of any human contact. Enjoy your magnificent isolation! Don't forget to bathe.

Let me point out that this was a pretty well-researched little rant! Thilronian Peninsula, Sheldomar Valley and Badabaskor are all canonical references from the Greyhawk setting. But there are a two pretty obvious blunders: first, "Heal" Light Wounds was no Cleric spell I ever heard of and second, "save versus psionic attack"? That one's absurd. Every old-school AD&D geek knows that the first edition psionic system was a complete system unto itself that relied on combining attribute scores and would never stoop to reuse a mechanic used elsewhere in the game. Universal mechanics are so 1990's.

But this is what happens when the mundanes try to speak geek. It just grates on the ear of those for whom it is a native tongue.

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Comments on Colbert's Homage to D&D
  Comment from Blogger gnome at Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:28:00 PM
Impressive! Most impressive!

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.