Playing Michael's 'Roll Play' RPG

Playing Michael's 'Roll Play' RPG

2022-Jun-06 09:15 AEST

For the 12th Kajam, Mike K submitted RPRPG, the Roll Play Role Playing Game System, 'a roleplaying system that uses bowling to resolve actions'. I'm using this system to play a single-player campaign with the goal of getting a character based on myself from Brisbane Australia to Michigan USA to slap Mike for making such a punny game.

Lacking a bowling alley, I will be using MSDOS bowling game 'KING PIN' to cover the bowling minigame.

Phase 1: Character Creation

RPRPG characters have three stats, Physique, Intellect, Nimbleness ('PIN', another slappable pun), and their values are determined by bowling a frame for each. A quick websearch tells me that a frame is 'two bowls', unless you hit all the pins over on the first bowl.

Phase 2: Coming to America

My character begins in Brisbane, Australia. To reach the target in a reasonable timeframe, he needs to get to the airport and catch a flight. I grab my passport and decide to take a taxi to the airport. Reaching the destination, the driver wants $100 for the ride. I try to escape without paying, using my NIMBLENESS to dash away from the driver and escape into the busy airport. This is about a 6 in difficulty. I roll:

With a result of 5 I have failed in my attempt and am grabbed by the driver. He smacks me and takes my wallet, leaving me at the airport without any money.

Undeterred, I make my way to the ticket desk and attempt to blag a free ticket to the USA. This is going to take considerable smarts, so I determine it is an Intellect test of difficulty 9. RPRPG lets me spend points from my stat pool before rolling, so I decide to blow my entire Intellect budget of 8 points. This means I only need to knock down a single pin!

I manage a 9, for a total of 17. I dazzle the ticket salesdesk with a sparkling tale of misadventure, barely exaggerating . They are so enthralled that they offer me a free first class ticket on the next flight to Michigan.

The majority of the flight passes uneventfully. I luxuriate in the ample leg room that I imagine first class provides and restore my stat pool. But then, disaster! As we begin our approach to Michigan, bad weather has caused a diversion to some other state that someone with a more thorough knowledge of the Midwestern United States could easily identify. I resolve to wrench open the aeroplane door and throw myself out into the void, but a trio of Nuns misinterpret this as a suicide attempt and attempt to stop me with physical force. The Nuns, though learned and wise are somewhat old and frail and individually represent a difficulty level of 2, but combined they form a phalanx of difficulty 6, which at this point I'm not confident I can bowl, so I allocate 2 points from my Phyisque pool, leaving 4 in reserve.

Rolling a 9, I smash through the three Nuns like a bowling ball through so many pins, and operate the emergency exit. The pressure difference immediately evacuates me into the frigid high altitude air, and the aeroplane flies safely on to it's new destination.

As hinted at previously, my geographical knowledge of Michigan is extremely limited, but I am confident that it is at least 90% lake. I carefully aim myself at a deep body of water and attempt to execute a dive to survive my fall. As the water rushes up to meet me, I determine this is a difficulty 10 Nimbleness test, and allocate 5 of my points to the attempt.

With the stat allocation, I manage an 11, pulling off an olympic-qualifying flip into the pool that generates only the smallest splash. An easy swim to the shore and I know it is only a matter of minutes before I will confront my nemesis. Increasingly confident in my bowling abilities, I decide not to seek out an opportunity to rest and walk, dripping wet, to a nearby gas station.

Entering the station, I look for a map to guide me on my way. The clerk informs me that no-one uses physical maps in the age of GPS and smartphones. Instead I ask if they know where I might find Michael, but they are hesitant to reveal what they know. I attempt to deceive them with an Intellect test difficulty 8 and roll..

an 8, narrowly managing to convince the clerk that I am Michael's long lost Australian cousin, here to congratulate him on the release of his recent TTRPG system. They produce a pamphlet showing local theme park locations, and dominating the map is a large 'Michael K Estate and Funland'. I hail a cab and am quickly delivered to the edge of a spawling park of vast, opulent gardens set around a large manor house. Before I can leave the cab, the driver grabs my wrist and says "Hashtag Taxi on social media has been reporting a new trend where passengers just to run off without paying. You'll be paying me before going anywhere, my friend!". I ignore the driver and attempt to exit the vehicle with him attached to my wrist. A challenge of the Physique, difficulty 8.

I roll a 9 and drag the driver out of the taxi and along the path to the estate, like a petulant child refusing to walk another step being dragged along by an uninterested parent. I turn to ask him how long he plans to hold on, when suddenly his eyes widen in fear at the sight of something behind me, and he scampers back to the car and drives away at high speed.

Phase 3: The Final Showdown

"I'm impressed that you made it this far",

a low voice growls behind me. I spin to come face to face with Michael himself.

"But your inconsistent frame scores show that the bowling game is essentially a random number generator for you. You don't even know how to reliably apply spin!".

This stings, but is too true to argue with. He continues:

"I suppose you're here to physically assault me? Not a very imaginative scenario!".

I consider explaining that I've been up since 2AM and am too tired to be more creative, but before I can respond, Michael proposes a final challenge:

"Finish your final frame with a 10 or be forever banned from future DOS GAME JAMS!"

Too stunned to speak, I simply bowl.

And fail. Michael turns away from me in mild revulsion. I delete KING PIN bowling from my computer and never speak of this shame again. To this day, his cheek remains unslapped.