South Park: The Gaslands Sessions
After Action Report #1: 'Qualifiers'
When the harvest is done and you have nothing but the long winter ahead, you appreciate what you have. The snap of cold air, the beauty of the pure virgin snow, the biting winds, and the weeks upon weeks of isolation. Yes, life is tough on a Colorado farm, and it breeds a different kind of person. A self-reliant soul independent of civilization, living off the bounty of the land, an island of one, needing no one...
"Randy, what the hell are you talking about?"
Sharon's terse demand snapped Randy back to reality. He didn't detect Sharon's sharp attitude while he leaned over the kitchen sink, staring out into his fallow, snow-covered pot fields. His mind was, for a time elsewhere. In a way it still was, leaving little room for anything else.
Especially Sharon's growing displeasure.
"Oh, nothing. Just thinking about the natural tranquility of wintertime on a Colorado farm. Isn't it just wonderful, Sharon?"
"Yes, it's wonderful being trapped in the middle of nowhere and snowed in for days at a time. Seriously Randy when are we going back to our real lives and ending this..."
"But we're not alone, Sharon." Randy's obliviousness continued, "We have nature. Can't you hear the sound of the trees and the animals..."
"That's a pack of wolves tearing one of Carl Denkin's cows apart."
"...and we have great neighbors too! And isn't that what it's all about? Relying on your neighbors to take on the challenges of a Colorado farm, including finding ways to spend the long winter days..."
Sharon rolled her eyes and huffed. "Then maybe you should do something about the wolves?"
"Now Sharon, if they're not ruining our weed then it's not our problem."
Sharon let an exhalation of disgust escape her throat, plain on her face how fed up she was with Randy's hypocrisy.
Still oblivious, Randy continued, "Besides, we go into town all the time, and the kids see their friends at school. Not to mention Stan brings his little friends over."
"Well, it beats spending all his time playing death metal in the barn. Oh well, at least this new board game obsession is a lot healthier."
"Yeah, well back in my day a kid was happy if he had monopoly and checkers. Now it's all 'Twilight Imperium' this, and 'Kickstarter exclusive' that. Board games were so much simpler back in my day..."
Sharon was already tuning out Randy's rambling when Shelly clambered down the stairs. Unlike her mother she didn't bother with even the gossamer thin veiling of disgust her mother took for granted. She yelled through her raspy lisp. "DAD! Can you tell the turds to keep it down?" Shelly flung the fridge open and rummaged around. "Why can't I have any friends over? And where's the soda?!"
"Now Shelly, Stan is allowed to have his little friends over once a month, and if you had friends who aren't juvenile delinquents or boys five years older than you then you can have them over too. Just ignore the boys while you go downstairs and bring up more soda."
"AHHHH! I HATE YOU!"
"That's nice honey, now could you bring up a bottle of the 2017 merlot and a gram of the Christmas Special while you're at it?"
Shelly stormed into the basement, cutting off the laughter of the boys sitting around their gaming table. She zeroed in on her little brother Stan, dumping him out of his folding chair in a heap. As Stan sat up, Shelly folded up the chair, grabbed the legs in her two hands, and slammed the flat, folded surface in Stan's face. The force propelled Stan into a stack of storage boxes. Dropping the folding chair on a downed and groaning Stan, she walked to the fridge, taking out a bottle of soda and the 2017 merlot.
"And I don't wanna hear any of you through the vents tonight, got it TURDS?!"
Not waiting for a response from the boys, Shelly marched up the stairs and out the basement, slamming the door on her way out.
"Jeez, someone's on the rag." Cartman commented while reaching for the Cheesy Poofs.
"Yeah, no kidding." Stan picked himself up, unfolded his chair, and took his place at the table, nonchalant despite having his ass kicked by his older sister moments ago.
"Dude, what does that mean, on the rag?" Kyle asked, a look of skepticism aimed at Cartman and his claim to more worldly knowledge.
Unashamed of his ignorance, he answered, "I dunno. Something about not feeling so fresh."
"Mrhts whren mrh ghirrhl hrets mrh merhiod." Kenny piped up.
"Like what, at the end of a sentence?" Asked Stan.
"Nrowh, nhot mhifa shentenph." Excited to explain, Kenny launched into description. The boys eyes bulge in shock, then in disgust."Iht's mrhen ah ghirhhl mheh mrhest hramhps. Mhren mrehr meeingh bhluhd, ahndh mrhey shrrrv trhmphons mrup mrehr mmhssy trrh mrhk iht ssrrhop, ahnd mrehn thur trhmphons fhlls uhf whiph bhluhd, ahnd mren trrh dhggg..."
Stan held his mouth, feeling vomit come up his throat.
Kyle begged, "Dude, weak! Just stop! Gross!"
"Yeah, let's forget about and get started." He gulped back the last feeling of nausea. "Everyone pick their cars?"
"Yeah!" They said in unison, their toy hot wheel cars in hand.
Stan cleared his voice and spoke in the gravelly tones of the post-apocalyptic carnival barker...
"WELCOME TO THE WASTELAND, MAGGOTS!" Yelled out the Post-Apocalyptic Announcer out of uneven, yellowed teeth, his jaundiced, weathered face looking out at the racers, his rat skull-adorned swagger panning the crowd. "I am your host with the most boast, the one and only Dino Rex. And you worthless pieces of scrap are here for the Gaslands Qualifiers! Some of you may ride to glory. Some of you may even go to MARS! But for most of you your road ends in DEATH! Fiery death! Bullet-ridden death! Crushed under tires death! Smashed to pieces and drowning in gasoline and radiator fluid death! So which will it be for you!?"
"Laying it on a little thick, aren't you?" Ribbed the bulky racer in the red racing coveralls. "Dude, this guy's totally lame."
"Shut up, fatass!" Shouted the racer in the green racing suit.
"WELL!" Dino Rex flipped the alligator skull helmet away from his eyes. He strode, stumbling but with purpose, to the racers and pointed his walking stick towards them. "Looks like fatty over here's the first to announce his team. Give me your name and your navigator, tubbs!"
The fat racer in red adjusted his blue and yellow tuque, drew a pair of mirrored shades out of his pocket, slipped the shades on, and announced with authority, "I am..."
The boys erupted in laughter.
"What?" Cartman let go of his mirror shades.
"It's the shades, Fatass!" Kyle said, "Did you really bring those with you?"
"What? It makes me look kkkkeeeewwwlllll..."
"Mrhpf mafeess ohu mrook mryife mrah Vrhrhige Peefloh!" Kenny mumbled to the uproarious laughter of the rest.
"Ok, ok! Enough of that." Stan put an end to the laughter before Cartman's volatile temper would get the better of him. "Ok, You are 'The Chief', and your navigator?"
"Ok.. Artemis CliveMax. And you'll be racing the..."
Stan facepalmed himself. "Not this again..."
Dino Rex removed his withered hand from his forhead and shouted aloud to the crowd. "The Chief and Artemis CliveMax will be racing the Red Rocket, an '86 Honda CRX Hatchback! And what about the racers next to him?"
Confidently, two racers approached, in Green coveralls. "Greetings everyone! I am Ryo Kondo, and this is my navigator, Aoi Sakazaki, and we are..."
"Japanese Jews?" Cartman interjected.
Kyle said with annoyance, "Dude, they're from Japan. Doesn't mean they're Jewish."
Kenny mumbled, "Wheeajews! Heh heh heh!"
"No they're not weeajews! They're Ryo Kondo and Aoi Sakazaki, and they are driving... what are they driving?" Kyle flips over the green truck/car hybrid in his hand. "A... Holden Ute? What's a Holden Ute?"
"Mrft loofphs liphe mrh khrshins' Mhel Khaminoh."
"Ok, so it look like one of those. Ummm... uhhh..."
"...I...shall it... 'El Truckino'."
The Announcer blinks twice, taken aback by the underwhelming name. "Ok then!" He launches back into bombast. "It's Ryo Kondo and Aoi Sakazaki in the EL TRUCKERINO!'
"El Truckerino! And next up we have..."
Two men approached. Each were dressed in the same black leather straps and loincloth, curled feathers springing from the shoulderpads and waist. Their hockey masks, stained with dirt, oil, and blood, hide their the majority of their scarred, hideous faces. One of the men hands Dino Rex a piece of paper. Cautiously, the old announcer takes the paper and unfolds it. He reads, "And in the '73 Firebird known as the Butcher Bird, we have..."
Stan deadpans, "...Harry Balzac."
Kenny was the first to fall to a fit of giggles, rolling on the floor and laughing like mad. The others joined in, Cartman with the same enthusiasm, and Kyle with a hesitant chuckle.
Stan resisted the urge to laugh with them. "And his twin brother... Curly Balzac."
The racers were laughing. The crowds were laughing. Even the pit crew and the mutants coming out of the toxic radiation puddles were laughing.
All except the Balzac brothers, who impassively looked on... to remember faces.
As the laughter died down, a man dressed in blue coveralls stepped forward, full of swagger and confidence. "LISTEN UP! I don't know what the rest of you are laughing about, because you're on my track, and I'm gonna take the win today. I'm Dex Domino, this is my partner Mia Sanchez, and we're driving the big blue '65 Jaguar E-Type over there. And the rest of you chumps can pull over right now because by the time I'm done, you'll all be gone in sixty seconds."
"Dude, really?" Kyle asked sarcastically.
"Yeah, really." Stan picked up the rulebook. "I'm the game master, so I get to own the track."
"No, I mean the 'Gone in Sixty Seconds' thing. Wasn't that like, Fast and Furious's off brand knock-off?"
Cartman added, "No, I think it was Nic Cage's excuse to trash a Mustang."
"He needed an excuse? I thought that was Nic Cage being himself and some dudes followed him around with a camera."
"No, that's Jason Statham in Crank." Cartman corrected. "Or you're thinking about Nic Cage in Ghost Rider."
"No way. Nic Cage would have to light his skull on fire."
"What makes you think he didn't?"
"Because he's still making movies... and his skull doesn't look like it was set on fire!"
Stan interrupted, "It was definitely Statham. Nic Cage was the one that got a basket of bees stuck on his head and they made an entire crappy movie about it."
"Oh yeah. That makes more sense." Kyle said, and Cartman nodded in agreement.
"Anyways, the scenario will be..."
"...A STREET RACE, ladies and gentlemen!" Dino Rex panned his swagger stick over the onlooking track, a dirt and stone. In the distance, flags were placed, and on the furthest end of the dirt and gravel track was the ruined and partially submerged remains of a statue of Buddha. Throughout the track were piles of stones, and driftwood from the dried lake bed which the track now makes its home. "You will drive a loop around the track, going through each successive Gate until you make it to the finish line. Your weapons will activate once you drive through Gate 1. Then you'll proceed through Gate 2 near the Buddha's statue, loop around to Gate 3 by the cave, then make your way to the finish line for the VICTORY!"
The sickly old announcer thrust his arm out to the burned out wrecks of past contestants, their busted vehicles towed off the track and heaped to the side. "Not everyone survives! You'll shoot and be shot, smash and be smashed, crash and be crashed! This track's claimed many lives... and if you don't count as one of them, the sponsors will pick YOU to join their team in the Gaslands Racing League!"
"...Wait, what's a sponsor?" Kyle asked.
Stan explained, "A sponsor gives your team special abilities and rules to set you apart. You've got drift racers like Maxxine and Miyazaki, cars with gadgets and gimmicks like Mishkin and Verney, police cars with the Highway Patrol, army guys like the Rutherford, quarter mile racers like Idris, Mad Max warriors with Team Slime, spooky goth kids with Beverly, or you could be like my Uncle Jimbo and go with Rusty's Bootleggers."
"You mean like huntin' and killin'?"
"Yeah, that and drunk driving."
Cartman had a faraway look behind the mirrored shades. "You mean... I can be Highway Patrol... and people will have to... respect mah authoritah?"
"Then I want to be Highway Patrol."
"You can, but for now we're sticking to regular cars and no sponsors. That way we can learn the rules. We'll pick sponsors and make our own vehicles later. For now, everyone take a d6 and roll off for pole position."
Each of the boys rolled their dice. Kenny cheered as he rolled a six. Cartman rolled 4, Kyle a 2, and Stan a 1. Stan explained, "Alright, Kenny's first, he has pole position, which means he moves first in this turn. Then it'll go Cartman, Kyle, then me. Once we finish all the gear phases, we move pole position to the right. Each turn has up to six gear phases, with each gear phase having a movement, attack, and wipeout phase. How many gear phases you get to play are how many your car can do."
Dino Rex was leafing through his clipboard as he explained in the blandest monotone ever, "...And now we go to your car's stats. Your standard car has 10 hull points, a handling of 3 skid dice, with a max gear of 5..."
"Oh my god, this is soooooooooo boring." The Chief mumbled to himself.
"What's a 'skid dice'." Ryo asked.
Both Balzac Brothers shrugged their feathered, leathered up shoulders.
"...and each car has a front facing machine gun with 2d6 damage, while the crew each has a handgun capable of doing 1d6 damage. You cannot operate the machine gun and your pistol at the same time, pick one or the other..."
"...to move, you have your movement templates, which means..."
"Smrhew it! Mrhets Mrhace!" Kenny set his '73 Firebird on the start line.
"Or we can learn the rules as we play." Stan conceded, setting down his Jaguar. "Ok, everyone in position at the start gate. We'll get ready in..."
The engines rev, the smell of burned gasoline and salt flat dust choking the throats of the racers and the audience. Throaty V-8s roar next to the high pitched squeal of the Japanese import, and the whine of European muscle.
Rex is about to lower the race flag until a thought occurs to him. "Wait! I have to explain the movement turn order..."
"Ok, we're all at gear 1." Stan explained, "You can start moving. Pick a move template that matches with the gear we're in, then you can roll skid dice equal to your handling."
Kenny picks up one of the movement templates. Stan continued. "Good, you have the medium straight. Since the movement is trivial at this gear you get an extra shift result with your skid dice. You use shift results to cancel out hazard tokens or dice rolls you don't want. You also need a shift dice result to shift into your next gear. You need to shift to a higher gear to do anything in that gear phase. Gear 2 to do 2 gear phases, gear 3 for three gear phases, so on and so forth. Roll your dice."
Kenny rolls, and gets two shift dice and a slide. "Mrhots a Slhide dooh?"
"You just add the slide template to the notch at the end of your move template, and line your car up to the side of it. You may not want to do it now, a slide or a spin result adds a hazard token. Get six hazard tokens, and you wipe out, and that would suck right now."
"Mrhkay... I sprmend shfrift trkens mruh mreht mreid of mah spmrind dhie mrend shrift mears."
"Ok, you move forward. No hazard tokens collected."
"Mrehdn I hrt three mrannounsher!"
"...and I have to explain how gearshiftingworksohgodno!"
The Butcher Bird rocketed forth as Harry Balzac shifted into second gear. Rex wasn't fast enough to jump out of the way, his leg is caught by the Firebird's bumper. The force of the muscle car tears Rex's leg off as the bumper catches Rex's hip, rolling him over the hood, windshield, and bouncing him off the tailgate and into the mud and smoke of Butcher Bird's wake.
The other cars propel forth, except for the Red Rocket, whom at the starting line began to spin out!
"Wha'dya'mean I can't use that template?" Cartman bellowed vehemently.
Stan explained, "You picked the long straight template."
"So you can't use it on any gear except five and six. That's why there's only a couple templates that work in gear five and six. It's to show how fast you're going and how hard it is to control your vehicle. You're still in gear one, so you can't pick it."
"Alright, I'll pick another one." Cartman's hand hovers over the move templates, "I'll pick..."
"You can't. Once you pick up a template you have to use it. And if you pick up a template you're not allowed to use in your gear... the person to your left picks a template for you."
Cartman looks over to his left, to a smiling, all too pleased with himself Kyle.
"THAT'S BULLSHIT!" Cartman declared.
"That's the rules so people like you can't keep changing your mind.." Stan replied. "Now roll your skid dice and if you want to get back in the race you need to shift to gear 2."
"And I choose the gentle turn template." Kyle placed the template down with authority. "That means one free shift dice..."
"Sweet." Cartman reaches for the dice.
"...but Cartman can't roll any dice."
Stan explained, "You can't. It's in the rules. But you still have one shift, you can use it to get into gear 2. Which you need to do if you want to move next gear phase. Or else you'll spend your entire movement phase not moving at all and get really far behind."
"Ok, I'll do that."
"Ok. Now move."
Cartman moved his car along the movement template, which placed Cartman's car on a collision course with the third gate marker!
"I'll get you for this... WEEAJEW!"
El Truckino sped past, their drivers thrusting their hands out the windows and flipping their middle fingers.
Sakazaki and Kondo had their eyes on the Red Rocket clipping the third gate marker, crumpling its corner and caving in its passenger side door as it scraped past the unyielding concrete pillar.
El Trukino's driver wasn't paying attention to the Butcher Bird's rear bumper. They both collide in a crunch of metal and plastic. Sakazaki hits the brakes and steers to avoid the hit, but the dirt and gravel and his oversteering make his vehicle slide precariously.
A rear end collision from the Red Rocket was all it took for El Truckino to lose control and slide into a large boulder, crumpling its driver side.
While the other races were jostling for position, the Big Cat pulled away almost from the start. Left alone, Dex Domino laughed as he passed through gate 1. He heard a clunk as the safety was released on his forward facing machine gun. His weapons were hot, his engine was revving fast, and he had nothing but straightaway until gate 2.
"Heh... this race is gonna be easy..."
"Oh man, this race is gonna suck for some of us in a minute." Stan rolled his dice and moved his vehicle forward. "Alright, I'm in the lead, with Kenny in second, Cartman in third, and Kyle in fourth. We've gone through all our gear phases this turn, and now we're onto the second. I'm the only one with guns active, but Cartman and Kenny should have guns active by their next move. Kyle, you missed some movement when you wiped out, but you should be able to catch up. We now move pole position to... Cartman. You're first!"
Cartman stood up from his chair to do a celebratory dance. "Ha ha ha ha haaaa... I go before Kyle! Kyle eats my dust! Ha ha ha ha ha!" Cartman placed the move template down and rolled his dice. "Alright! One hazard token... unlike Kyle! Weeajews can't drive! Ha haha ha ha!"
As Cartman moved his car forward, he used the spin dice to maneuver his car pointing towards Stan's blue Jaguar. "And now that my guns are active, I can shoot you. One handgun and one machine gun. Take that!"
Stan announced, "Alright, roll 4d6, hits on four and fives, two hits on sixes."
"What the...?" Dex Domino ducked when he heard the crack of bullets flying past. Then there was the metallic thunk of bullets perforating his car's metal sides and the shattering of his rear windshield. "Dammit! I can't turn around and shoot the machine gun. Mia, shoot that fat prick!"
"I can't! Our pistols can't hit him that far away!" She leans out of the passenger side window and takes Dex's pistol and her own. Wrapping her leg around the rollcage, she takes aim, action movie style, at her nearest target. "But I can hit a couple of Balzacs!"
Both her pistols blaze at the Firebird, with only one bullet thunking into the muscle car's radiator grille, blinding the Balzac Brothers in steam and oil. Both brothers leaned their seething, masked faces, and their pistols, out from their side windshields. The Butcher Bird's machine gun flashed tracers after the Big Cat, shooting muddy track and little else. Curly Balzac's pistol had better luck, a 9mm slug struck Artemis CliveMax in the shoulder.
"CLIVEMAX! NNNNNOOOOOOooooo nooooooo noooo..."
The Chief's oversteering on Red Rocket causes him to skid out of control, just short of passing gate. As the Butcher Bird and the Big Cat skid around the Buddha statue...
"...Dude, that's just your Stan's Dad's incense holder."
"Hey! I'm having a moment for the dearly departed Artemis CliveMax."
"He's not dead you know." Stan explained, "Your car got hit. Not your driver. And because of all the gunfire and your previous collisions you're down to four hull points. Because your last movement brought you to over six hazard tokens, it causes you to wipe out. Roll a d6 for results."
Cartman rolled the dice. "A six! That's good, right?"
"It means you're not on your roof, so that's fine. But you are back down to gear 1 and have no more moves for this movement phase."
"Man, that sucks! Well I unbuckle my seat belt, and cradle CliveMax in my arms, and I yell, NNNNNOOOOOOooooo nooooooo noooo..."
"Good thing you unbuckled, 'cause I got past gate 1 and my weapons are hot!" Kyle announced, dice in hand, taking glee in his advantageous position. "Time to die, fatboy!"
"The Weeajews! C'mon CliveMax, we gotta get outta here!"
The Chief fights to unbuckle CliveMax from the car. Panic wells inside him, his fingers have a hard time finding the release.
And the big green Holden Ute is barreling down on the flipped Honda CRX, the crew of El Truckino nose the vehicle, aiming the machine gun at the Honda's exposed fuel tank.
"FAAAAAKYU DOLPHIN AND WHAAAALLLEEE!"
"NNNNNOOOOOOooooo nooooooo noooo..."
The Chief leaves the bleeding and unconscious Artemis CliveMax in the Red Rocket, climbing out of its smashed window to scramble for his life.
El Truckino's machine gun, and Sakazaki's pistol, pump bullets into the Red Rocket's exposed bottom. The fuel tank punctures, a bullet's ricochet lights sparks and detonates the fuel.
True to its name, the Red Rocket ignites a fiery exit, hurling jagged, flaming metal all over the arena. Ryo, while making a hairpin turn around the statue of Buddha, flinches when Red Rocket's muffler punches through the windshield, right between driver and navigator. Flaming debris and fire wash over El Truckino, blinding the crew and causing the driver to lose control of his vehicle...
"Alright Cartman, the Red Rocket is down to zero hull points. You are now a wreck. You failed the dice roll to prevent an explosion, and Kyle takes two hull damage." Stan couldn't help but smile at the results. Kyle, though facing another wipeout, looked at the carnage and the reversals of fortune with glee. Cartman, normally one to complain about rules not working in his favor, hammed up his performance as The Chief. And Kenny, practically chaos on the raceway, was giggling at the carnage he caused.
The Dice Studz school gaming club collapsed when the Board Girlz took over. Dice Studz lost its fun when it was just Stan, Cartman, and a girl named Heather. The atmosphere was so rotten Stan walked away. Since he couldn't join Board Girlz, he didn't play for months.
Now, presiding over the carnage of a post-apocalyptic racetrack, Stan allowed himself to smile, if slightly.
He was genuinely enjoying himself.
And so was everyone else.
Cartman's loud voice brought Stan back to reality. "Then I yell up to the sky, for all the cruel and indifferent mutants, wasteland marauders, and weeajews to listen, and I say..."
"Mark my words, Weeajews! I'll have my revenge! I'll avenge Artemis CliveMax and you'll RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!"
The Chief was distracted by the crunch of metal. He sought the source of the noise, and found it as El-Truckino side swiped into one of the track's barriers.
"Heh heh..." The Chief chuckled. "Weeajews still can't drive."
"Well Kyle, you have no more gears in this move phase since you wiped out, but on the bright side you're not dead like Cartman."
"HEY!" Cartman didn't show the same appreciation for Stan's wisecrack as everyone else, who were already laughing. "I'm not dead. I'm gonna get my revenge! You'll see!"
When the laughter died down, Stan continued, "That leaves Kenny and Me at gear four, and just past the third gate..."
"...and there's only one thing I can do to win this."
Dex Domino wiped the sweat off his bald head, and the sweat off his hand on his sleeveless shirt, and put the hand back on his gear shift.
Mia was quick to spot what Dex was about to do. "Are you crazy? Shift gears now and you risk losing control of the car. We'll crash and burn, Dex! We're already ahead. Don't do anything stupid!"
They felt another thunk of a bullet hitting their Jaguar's metal hull. Looking behind their shattered windshield, they saw the masked psychotics of the Balzac Brothers, firing away with pistols and machine guns, laughing maniacally over roaring gunfire and howling V8 madness.
"And if we don't do it they'll gun us down! WE GOTTA PUSH IT!"
"I'm gonna punch it!" Stan declares, grabbing the dice. "I'll shift to gear 5, that's one hazard, and I'll use the medium straight token to compensate. I will roll my three shift dice to try and clear my three hazard tokens." Stan rolled the dice. A spin, a slide, and a hazard symbol, the worst roll to get. "I'll push it and re-roll those dice, taking one hazard." He rolled again. A shift, and two hazards. "Damn... that brings me up to five hazard tokens."
Dex struggles with the wheel when his tire hits a fist, sized rock, but through his determination , and under the gunfire of the Balzac Brothers, he manages to keep his car straight towards the finish line...
Harry Balzac, seeing the Big Cat's lead grow, shifts to fifth gear, and growls, "Hold on Brother! We're gonna..."
"...Theebhag sheeze brasterhs!" Kenny also uses the medium straight template, matching Butcher Bird's movements with Big Cat's. Kenny rolled the shift dice, all his hazard tokens clearing and in line to shoot the Big Cat down.
Stan began to sweat. The Big Cat was down to three out of ten hull points. One burst from the Butcher Bird's guns could take Stan out of the race for good.
It was all coming down to Kenny's three d6's of damage.
"Come on... come on..."
Kenny picked up the damage dice, shook them in his hand, dropped them into the dice tower, the dice clacking as they tumbled down and disgorged.
Misses. Every dice missed!
The boys cheered at the close result. With no damage taken, there was nothing to stop the Big Cat from making it past the finish line...
"We made it past the finish line!" Mia Sanchez spoke with astonishment. "We won!"
Dex quipped, "So, you trust me now?"
Mia's eyes caught the Butcher Bird in the rearview mirror. As the Big Cat slowed down, the Butcher Bird wasn't reducing its speed.
"THEY'RE COMING RIGHT FOR US!"
"Mrahm grrnnah friher ahnyhwayhs." Kenny finished his gear 5 movement, once again his dice luck on his side.
It caught the others off guard, Stan most of all. "Oh! Ummm... well... you don't get anything out of killing me after I won the race, and it's not like Kyle's gonna catch up and take second."
"Mmrrraaahhhh..." Kenny outstretched hand moved away from the dice, his dejection seen by the rest of the table.
"But because of the Rule of Carnage, I'm gonna say it's ok."
"Mrhrwat's thrrr Hruhl hoh Hrarnage?"
"In short, when in doubt if it's destructive and cool you should do it. Go ahead. Light 'em up."
"Hrrrooohhooooo!" Kenny snatched up the damage dice and rolled them on the table. He fell into an apoplectic fit when he saw the results.
Three sixes. Three critical hits.
"Whoa dude." Kyle said, looking down at the results. "I think you're like... super dead."
"Roll to evade and..." Stan rolled five d6's, the same as his gear shift, for evasion, "Snake eyes, a two, and a three. Yeah dude... super dead."
Mia and Dex leaped out of the decelerating car screaming, rolling in the dirt and tucking themselves in.
The Balzac Brothers, howling with laughter, fired wildly at the finish line.
And the Big Cat, black smoke billowing out of its perforated engine block, flipped over its side and tumbled into the winner's podium, smashing into the post-apocalyptic race girls in the process.
Stray bullets sprayed the onlooking crowds of wasteland warriors and mutants, turning the concession stands and the pit crews into an execution ground.
Dino Rex, finally able to bring himself up despite a shattered leg and more internal injuries than he cared to think about, took a machine gun bullet through his forehead, the last sight of his life was the passing Butcher Bird, the last sound the cackling laughter of the Balzac Brothers.
Spitting out mud and water, Dex Domino looked up from the mud puddle where he landed.
"Man... I'm gonna need a new ten second car..."
The end results had the boys chuckling with each escalation of the graphic violence. Two hours of manoeuvring toy cars on a sheet of painter's tarp, decorated with rocks, toys, and lizard terrarium supplies weaved its own little story.
Stan was happy with the results.
"Alright, so here are the results guys. In last place, we got Cartman and the Red Rocket. You'll need to brush up on the rules and not crash into so much stuff, but you were a threat while you were on the track and you had the most spectacular explosion. Pretty awesome, dude."
Cartman, normally the sore loser, appeared mollified. "Yeah, that explosion was hella cool."
"In third, we have Kyle and the El Truckino. You're a decent racer, that is when you're not skidding out of control. The dice weren't in your favor most of the night, with one exception. And speaking of, congratulations on getting the first kill."
"Thanks dude!" Kyle took the criticism well, which annoyed Cartman.
"And in second was... that's a tough one." Stan check his Gaslands Refuelled rulebook. "Technically I won because I was the first over the finish line. However Kenny's Butcher Bird..."
Stan sighed, rolling his eyes. "Ok, Harry and Curly Balzac in the Butcher Bird sort of machine gunned my car to death. And the audience. And the announcer. So technically there's nobody to announce a winner."
"So who won?"
"About that..." Stan switched over to his gravelly Dex Domino voice...
The Butcher Bird hairpin turned to face Dex and Mia, still struggling on the ground after their epic escape from death. They heard, roaring close, El Truckino making it to the finish line. And further in the distance, The Chief was running and shouting between labored pants of breath. All had guns aimed at Dex Domino and Mia Sanchez, all ready to fire.
Then Dex saw, in the rigor mortis clutched hand of the dead announcer Dino Rex, a clipboard with a pen and papers.
"WHOA! HOLD UP!" Dex snatched the clipboard, holding it high above his head, "You see what we have here? Gaslands Racing League qualification forms! Instead of shooting me dead right here and now, why don't I give all of you sheet and forge Rex's signature? We all join the league, we all keep our mouths shut, and nobody dies today."
"Ok, nobody ELSE dies today. Now are we cool?"
Engines revved down, drivers stepped out of their vehicles, and leaving their guns, machetes, and explosives in their cars, they each take a qualification form.
"Looks like we're cool." Mia Sanchez commented.
"Yeah." Dex looked onto the horizon, past the ravaged racetrack and at the expansive wasteland. "At least until the next race."
"So, what did you guys think?"
"Dude, that was pretty sweet!" Cartman, slow to praise and a habitual sore loser, surprised Stan with his praise. "When's the next game?"
"I actually agree with Cartman." Kyle added. "It was pretty fun!"
"Cahm mreh phflay aehgan?" Asked Kenny.
Stan ran his first Gaslands game and his friends liked it! Stan let himself smile. Success! "Sure, I can set up another game. Maybe not tonight, but next time we want to get together I can start a campaign. I'll be the game master, and the rest of you will make your own teams and pick your own sponsors. I'll see who else wants to play as well. Only two thing."
"Mrrhat ish hit?"
"One, you all have to make your own cars. Fifty gas cans worth, what you see is what you get. If you paint them up, I'll give you extra points to go towards your score. Person with the highest score wins the season."
"I like winning." Cartman blurted out. "What's the second thing?"
He knew the laziness of his players, especially Cartman, when it came to learning the rules of a game. So he took it upon himself to teach them while learning himself.
Gaslands Refuelled was easy enough to get into, but to master it would take time. Time to get good, time to create the best campaign, one everyone would want a chance to play.
Stan, the best Game Master in South Park Elementary.
Only then could he make a case to get in with the Board Girlz.
"Bros... we have to re-boot Dice Studz..."
To Be Continued...
HEY THERE! And welcome to the first episode of South Park: Gaslands!
As a huge fan of tabletop gaming and of raunchy adult cartoons, I love the chance to combine the best of both worlds as I kick off this new series, bringing together Matt & Trey's animated series with Mike Hutchinson's post-apocalyptic vehicular combat game published by Osprey Games.
At first it seems like two totally random things to cross over (though I've seen stranger on fanfiction forums), it's more natural than you think. Matt Stone & Trey Parker are big boardgame fans, and in the second episode of season 23, 'Band in China', we see Stan's room with a shelf full of games, including a copy of Gaslands Refuelled.
Want to bet Stan and the boys played a round or two? I'm sure they did, and if so I figured this is what it'd be like.
It also gave me the opportunity to play the game myself. Due to Covid-19 restrictions I couldn't go out to the local gaming store and play a round or two with some friends, not to mention my apartment would present the same problem. So until we're all free to live again, which should be some time in the fall of 2021, I had to learn the rules by playing against myself.
That's fine! Most the fun in Gaslands is building terrain, gathering gaming materials, and customizing your racing team's appearance anyways. This gave me the perfect excuse.
The story would get pretty dry if it got too much into the rule descriptions, so if a thing or two is a bit off that's on me. Sadly, I can't provide pictures. Fandom story forums like this aren't really good for that sort of thing. I hope you got the general idea!
So the format should be simple. Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman make their teams and race a full Gaslands campaign. Each week should have a guest racer from the South Park universe. And it gets me off my lazy but to simulate the matches on the tabletop and paint some cars. All while putting up some more fan fiction content. Win win!
I look forward to writing this series and I hope you look forward to reading it!