These are just the worst. I really want to start this blog out In Media Res, so let's try that:
...Willingham leaned in and said, "So this large, orange and white striped barnyard cat comes trotting over to you..."
Ray, evidently bored silly with the pace of the game, blurted out, "I disintegrate it."
Willingham's mouth opened and closed, like he did sometimes when he was struck dumb for a response, which, if you know Willingham, is hardly ever. To be fair, all the rest of us were staring at Ray, our collective pie holes agape.
Ray sensed he'd stepped in it, but he also didn't know anyone at the playtest, and so he felt he had nothing to lose. He croaked out again, "Disintegrate."
Willingham sighed, and picked up a handful of dice. "Okay, if you're sure you want to do that..."
Weldon, Brad and I found our voice, and a howl of disapproval went up, but it was too late. The die was cast, and that barnyard cat vanished in a plume of smoke and fur.
Willingham shook his head. "The field mouse says, 'You--You just killed our sheriff!"
We all wearily reached for our dice. The game had come completely off the rails.
FIFTEEN YEARS EARLIER...
My step-father brought home a game one night. It came in a small box, not like a board game. The cover was striking: a red dragon, atop a pile of treasure, was making the snarly-face at a wizard, complete with pointy hat, and a warrior in plate mail with a bow and arrow. Across the top, in circus-display letter, was the name Dungeons and Dragons. It was the 1977 Blue Box. And it changed everything.
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