Well, due to the difficulty of posting documents on Facebook, I've decided to post the script for the pilot episode of "Tales from the Forgotten Wastes." I don't think ther're any spoilers, but read with caution!
Carl- Thendorr the Impenetrable—Barbarian
Sal- Brillock the Wise—Mage
Scene one: Exterior, day. This is not the real world. It is a poorly computer-animated prairie, with a mountain in the background. Three characters appear: A hugely muscled Barbarian, a scantily-clad Thief, and a Mage in brilliant robes.
VO: In the Realms of Neldak, chaos reigns supreme. The only thing keeping the chaos at bay is a group of daring adventurers. But who are these adventurers, and how do they keep their world from ending?
The scene slowly zooms out to reveal that the animated portion is on a TV screen.
VO: YOU decide! Create your characters, set your campaign, and save the realms! When you’re done, submit your campaign, and YOU could win a chance to have your campaign turned into an official module, and YOU can come to work for our design team, designing insane new adventures for players the world over!
A logo displays on screen, followed by copy.
VO: The Realms of Neldak! An official campaign setting for Gaols and Goblins, a product of Warlocks of the Shore, a division of Hirschbros.!
Cut to interior of Ralph’s room. It is a nerd den. He is staring slack-jawed at the screen.
Ralph: I can do this…
He begins to type.
We see four characters, all in their rooms: Sal, in a fairly normal room with signs of nerdiness; he is playing a ‘90s style hard-core CRPG. Vanessa, in a rather girly room, is playing a cross between a JRPG and a visual novel. There is little action, and a lot of story. Carl is in a cool/jock room, playing a Halo rip-off. Lastly, Ralph is using a variety of programs to build a campaign. This will go on for a while, alternating between all four. At some point, Ralph will finish, dial a phone, then the montage will switch to the others, getting calls. They all then get ready to leave; not sure what will happen yet, but it should reveal some of their personalities. The final shot will be of Ralph, looking forlornly at the ad for “The Realms of Neldak” right before he sighs, flips off a light, and the screen goes black.
Scene 3: interior, daytime, Ralph’s dining room. Everyone but Ralph is sitting around the table, staring at a large sheet with something under it.
Ralph enters, carrying a plethora of gaming materials. He sits.
Ralph: Okay, so here we are gathered; let’s begin, shall we?
Van: Um, no. First I want to know why we’re here.
R: What do you mean, ‘why we’re here?’
V: I mean, why did you call us to come here? You said there was going to be a party and fun games; I see neither.
R: No, I believe what I said was that I wanted you to join a game, it would be fun, and it would be like a party.
C: Okay, I’ll buy that. But where’s the game?
Sal: Obviously under the sheet.
R: Thank you.
S: And based on what I believe the game to be, I have to mirror Vanessa question: Why are we here?
R: Okay, well… I thought it might be fun to get to know some people at school a little better, and it said on your Mugtomes that you all liked gaming, so I thought you might be interested in joining me.
S: So where’s your usual group?
R: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
V: Me neither; I’m leaving.
She gets up to leave. Ralph reaches out to her.
R: No, no, please… please stay.
V: No, I really think I’ll leave; I’m almost done with Dream Fantasy 7.
R: No, no, no, no… See, that’s what I mean! You like games, games that vaguely involve role-playing!
During this exchange, C and S roll their eyes.
V (sighs): You’ve got ten minutes.
R: Okay, well, I don’t know how many of you have heard of Gaols and—
S: My question still stands.
C: What was it again?
R: Okay, look; they’re gone, alright? Some moved away, one went to college, one went to a new church were they think RPG’s are Satan’s playthings, alright?
S: So we’re not your first choice for this; we’re your desperation squid.
R: Don’t you mean squad?
S: Said squid, meant squid.
R: Yeah… Anyway, that’s not true; I’ve already explained, I know you all like gaming—
S: You just couldn’t get anyone to play your little campaign.
R: Well, if what they guys down at Mini-World say is true, you don’t have much experience in being invited to games!
There is silence; Sal looks hurt.
V: Nine minutes.
R: I’m sorry, okay? Look can we just start?
C: No, this is hilarious.
R: Okay! Yes, we start!
He pulls back a corner of the cloth, showing a model of a small room with some crude tables and figures. He then passes out the character sheets.
R: Alright, I’m going to start you out on this just a little bit controlling, just to get the story started, then I’ll set you free. Okay. Okay… On the back of your Character sheets, you’ll find some background information and some conversation starters. When I give you the signal, go around, introduce yourselves, and start talking.
Carl raises his hand.
R: Yeas, Carl.
C: Yeah, um… when do we kill things?
C: I know a little about G&G. You just go and kill monsters, right?
S (snorts): typical.
R: Um, no… killing is actually only a small part of the action. The real game is a free-flowing, spontaneous story-telling experience that—
R: Starts in a tavern on a stormy night!
Scene Four: Interior, night. A dark and murky Tavern. We get a shot-for-shot recreation of the Cantina scene, complete with fantasy-appropriate music. Cut to a door. The door opens and three ragged travelers enter. One is a wizard, wearing a long robe; the other a thief in light armor and cape. The third is a hulking barbarian in furs with lots of weapons. They walk to a table and sit down.
A bartender, clearly Ralph in costume, walks up.
R: And how are all of you this fine evening? Beast of a storm out there, dreadful terrible. I’m the owner of this here Inn, and I like to know all them that stays here. Can I get you’re names then, maybe a bit about what you do?
V: There’s not much to say about me sir, I’m just a person about, as you might say. Shendara’s the name; I like to do me a bit of odd work.
S: Yes, the less said the better. I’m Brillock, some call me the wise, wizard extraordinaire!
C: Name: Thenddor the impenetrable, Class: Barbarian. Level, One.
R: Right… So, can I get you all anything to drink?
R: (sighing) I’m sorry, good sir, but I don’t think you should have—
C: Hey man, this is a story that we make up, right? I say vodka.
R: No, this is a story that—(snorts in frustration) You know what? Why don’t you check your menus, eh?
He points to the character sheets, which have followed the characters into the tavern.
V: Whoa. It’s got recommended drinks for us? You’re thorough.
R: (shrugs) what you choose to drink says a lot about your character. The recommendations tell you where you start out, but what you choose is the first step towards character customization.
V: Hmmm… I’ll take the cider then, and mix it with the hard liquor from my hip flask.
R: Ah, you found the inventory; excellent. (turns to Sal/Brillock) and you, oh venerable one?
S: I think I’ll have… The Vodka.
C: Hey, whoa, no! How come he gets Vodka?
R: Because his character class is the type that might find Vodka agreeable.
C: Well, I do to!
V: It doesn’t matter what you like, it’s about what your character likes. It’s called a roll-playing game; you play rolls.
C: Well, I play the roll of an ax-happy barbarian! Hragh!
He jumps up, spilling the table and producing an ax. He quickly kills Brillock and Veronica’s character, then sets to work on the patrons.
Cut back to the real world. Ralph slams his hand down on a pile of dice in front of Carl and takes them back to himself, then glares at Carl.
R: Okay, we haven’t actually started yet, so I’ll pretend that didn’t happen.
Back in game. Try to get a direct correlation to above shot.
C: So what can I have?
R: Very good. Now, I’ll go get your orders, and you three just relax yourselves here. You look like you’ve had a hard journey. Am I right?
V: Oh, yes. We’ve been traveling along the road from the great city of Zwick, trying to get away from the pogroms committed by the king’s men. It’s been a hard time for all who live on the fringes of society…
R: Oh, it’s always hard on the fringes… But I’ve heard tell that it isn’t the king who’s doing this…
S: Oh, yes, the rumors that the king’s been killed. I’ve heard that—But no, I don’t trust you enough yet.
R: How’s about a free drink?
S: Well… it’s said that the princess’s future husband may be trying to seize the kingdom a bit early, as it’were.
They all look at Carl, who is adding a moustache to his character sheet. He looks up with a moustache of his own.
V: You’re next.
C: Next at what?
V: At the script! We’re trying to get through this first little encounter so we can get of into the game!
C: Oh, right, right. Mmmm… oh. (Clearly reads the following) Heard Rumors- Princess’s husband power mad? King dead? Princess exiled or worse? Lie. We are getting away to be safe from reign of terror. Are really joining rebels. If success, Ex-Pee plus 20.
There’s no sound for a while.
R: Right… I’ll just go get your drinks, then.
V: Wow, Carl, I don’t think he believed you.
C: Believed me about what?
S: Wow. I thought it was just an act at first, but I think maybe you really are that stupid. He’s probably going to get the guards right now.
C: Hey, you never now, he might’ve believed me. I have the intimidate skill; it means people will believe me.
S: Not when you blatantly tell them things. You saw him! He didn’t even roll the dice! Instant loss!
R: (VO) please no mechanics in game, thank you!
V: Sorry. Anyway, I think we’re in trouble here. Rebels in places like these are never treated well by guards. Don’t trust anyone; they could be a spy. Especially anyone who asks specific questions about the royalty.
VMH: Did I just hear you talking about the royalty?
She appears behind them and frightens everyone.
V: No, no. Hah! Nothing about no royalty, never could abide them, let them keep themselves to themselves and all that!
S: What we say is of no importance to you, old woman. Leave us!
C: What’re you talking about guys? We were talking about the princess…
VMH: You lot better follow me; saw the innkeeper getting the guards, truly did. I can help you away and maybe… to find the rebels, eh?
They all three stare at her, then glance to the innkeeper who is whispering to a guard and pointing at them. Vanessa motions to the others, and they huddle.
V: It’s a trap. I don’t trust her; she reeks of secret-police.
S: No, she reeks of ham-handed plot progression.
V: Carl, what do you say?
He looks at the VMH, then at the guards coming towards them. Back to the VMH.
C: I say this vile mustachioed hag is a decoy to keep us distracted while the guards get us.
Repeat of earlier scene, although this time, he lops off the head of the VMH.
The guards attack, and they fight back.
R: as innkeeper: Wow, ten minutes into the campaign and you screw it up. I worked for over a month on this and you just screw it up.
S: Hah! I was right!
V: (While fighting guard): well, just say it didn’t happen!
R: No, I think I’m going to let you reap the rewards of your miss-deed.
V: Then I’ll just leave.
R: (crouching over the corpse of the VMH.) fine, I’ll try to fix it.
C: Hurry up! I’m running out of HP! Man, this barbarian sucks!
R: MM, okay. Brillock, you try to heal her.
S: Dang it, GM, I’m a wizard, not a doctor!
The guards close in on the little group, although the Innkeeper doesn’t seem to be interested in all this.
R: Well, I didn’t want to do this yet, but… Yeah, it’ll still work, plot-wise…
A figure in a dark cloak (seen in Cantina homage) suddenly leaps over the guards and proceeds to quickly kill them. He then leans over the hag and dribbles some magic potion of sorts on her. There’s a flash of light, and she’s whole. She’s also snoring. The cloaked figure nods, then stands up and removes it’s hood. It’s the GM.
S: Wow, a GM NPC who can save us all; what a surprise.
H: Well, you fools, do you think you can do any more damage? How do you expect to be of service to the princess when you’re dead?
V: (looting through the bodies of fallen guards): You speak, and act as if you’re a rebel.
H: (Smiling rakishly) Some have called me that, yes. I’m Hrothmeir, the werewolf. Hero, thief, lover, destroyer of all those I deem worthy of the honor. (The smile now disappears). Now hurry! The other patrons have probably alerted the city watch by now! If you’re serious about joining the rebels and helping the Princess, then you need to escape now! I can show you part of the way, at least.
C: No! We stay and fight!
S: (Using staff to cast spells over himself) Yeah, cause that worked so well last time.
V: Tell us, oh mighty werewolf, where is it we must go to help the princess?
H: Follow me, then, out the back door and away from the city!
C: Oh, wait, I saw something about this on the back. (He rummages under corpses until he finds his character sheet.) Okay, yeah: (Not as clearly read as before, but he’s definitely not fluid about adlibbing) We can’t go there… It’s not safe. There’s no civilization out that way for hundreds of miles…
All the characters stare at him in some amazement.
V: You actually role-played; I’m impressed.
Brillock walks over and snatches the character sheet.
S: except you role-played a cowardly wizard.
H: It doesn’t matter; your friend is right, there is no civilization that way. Civilization is no friend to the rebels, and for the moment, it is no friend to you. (he walks to a small door and prepares to open it) For now, you must travel with me (he throws the door open, and screen fades to white) –into the forgotten wastes!
Screen fades to black.
S: It’s forgotten cause you forgot to build them, huh?
R: We were supposed to be in the tavern for another three gaming sessions…
© 2011 Hezekiah Bennetts