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“Mogworld” by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw

“To Blizzard Entertainment, for the 3 months of my life I will never get back.”

“Expecting to wake up fresh and ready to go after being dead for awhile would be a bit optimistic.”

“Well, yes, expecting to wake up at ALL would have been a bit optimistic.”

“Hey, don’t take it out on me, I was only trying to help”

Jim (last name unknown) dies when his school gets invaded by a loose alliance of student fighters from the warrior schools just over the border in Stroganoff. He finds himself floating away in heaven, surrounded by light and angels, having “passed on from life, from the world of struggles and hardship and big fat women with annoying laughs and entering into a glorious new existence of utter peace, joy, and love…”

…and then is pulled back down to break out of his own crypt, sans nose, some skin, and a little bit of hair, with a whole bunch of other newly reanimated “acquaintances.”  “The whole effect was rather like the aftermath of an explosion at a high-class dinner party.”

Ends up this group was resurrected by the Lord Deadgrave to act as his undead horde- but he never counted on any of them having free will. Dammit. Oh well…  on to the Fortress of Darkness where each undead is registered and given an occupation. Hey, you have to maintain some order and good management skills if you’re going to keep an undead horde faithful to you. And Jim rises to Chief of Rat Pit Maintenance, until the fortress and Deadgrave and every undead minion minus Jim, Meryl, and the “I can’t really wrap my head around being holy AND undead at the same time so I’m just going to be in denial and call you heathen ponds of scum the entire time” priest get “Deleted”: brilliant green light, poof, gone, no trace.

Which leaves Jim, Meryl, and the priest to fend for themselves and make sense of things in Mogworld.

The usual things happen: they’re burned by an angry mob, there are arguments, fights, long journeys, quests, pillaging, plundering, starting a riot…

The unusual happens: there’s a Syndrome that turn some adventurers into adventuring robots that just stand there, gyrate their hips, and make the same 2 slashing moves over and over again; white faceless beings roam around that like to erase everything out of existence and sometimes can speak to you in what you know should be meaningful gibberish; you have a catatonic adventurer in a wheelbarrow as your traveling companion; and money gets enthusiastically thrown at them when all they had to do was write down 100s in the “points” column by their name.

Basically, this is Yahtzee as the Douglas Adams of the RPG world. The Douglas Adams for the Internet.

Anyone who has ever played an RPG, or has seen his reviews on “Zero Punctuation”  will appreciate Yahtzee’s take on the world of adventurers, quests, and how ridiculous it all is.  Even if you’ve never heard of a Zero Punctuation, a Yahtzee, or an RPG (but seriously, would you really be on this website if you didn’t know at least one of those?), you’ll appreciate it for being hilariously witty.

Some of my favorite insights are:

“As a general rule of thumb, the likelihood of someone being an adventurer was directly proportional to the amount of exposed flesh on their person. This was with the exception of magic users, in which case it was directly proportional to the width of their sleeves.”

“…the battle mage in the party, a swarthy, well-built human with one of those tragic black goatees that people grow when they have some kind of grudge against their own chins.”

“This was the second time I’d been asked to justify being afraid of gnolls, and I still couldn’t fathom why. It was like being asked to explain why old people should wear clothing.”

He also answers a lot of questions one would have in an RPG, such as: Why don’t mages hands turn into blacked stumps after they cast a lightening bolt? What exactly IS the economy system here with the quests and points and stuff?

It’s original, it’s hilarious, it’s Yahtzee, it’s something you need to read right now and think really hard on. You never know: it could save the day, or save the world, sometime.

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