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I’ve hosted 1 successful RPG session in my life. It was in high school.. I spent weeks getting ready for it. Learning all the rules for Vampire - The masquerade, it’s elaborate history and lore, planning and writing a story. Teaching my friends how to play, getting them to create characters, and finally getting them all over to my house. After all that, the big day had come! It was time for me to unfold my elaborate tale of deception and intrigue.. but lo, the best laid plans of mice and men. They didn’t even make it out of the hotel.

It all started when one of my fledgling vampires decided he wanted a soda. This was the first action of the first player, at the start of the first RPG any of us had ever played.. so just for fun, I had him roll for it. (To kind of set the tone, and get things started). He completely botched the roll, so I had the vending machine eat his money. Ha! Take that! You just failed at buying a soda. A baptism by fire. Welcome to the wonderful world of role playing. I could see the storm brewing in his eyes.. the gravity of his actions and the harsh consequences of an unjust world coming to bear. His fate hanging in the balance as each dice roll cascaded across the table. The bitterness of one bad roll, leaving a foul taste in his mouth that he could never wash out.. especially not now. For all the change in his new life as a vampire.. He didn’t have enough change left for a drink.

Let me set the stage for you. All 5 players had been abducted from their normal lives and had been changed into vampires against their will. They had just woken up in a scummy hotel room, with 4 other seemingly random strangers and a massive stockpile of guns. It appears they were the makings of some slap dash, expendable, enforcer squad that had been created to waylay into some major conflict.. Only their creators got pinched in the making leaving our would-be hero’s.. or terrorists depending on your perspective, in the metaphorical lurch.

Here starts our scene. Unsure as to the very nature of your existence, wrapped in mystery, caught in conflict, and involved in a war where you weren’t even sure what side you were on.. But what is life, if not a side quest. My friend, was on a mission. He was also a Malkavian.. which if you don’t know anything about the game.. basically just means “bat shit crazy”. He must have been hearing voices, because he would not let it go. “Make 7, up yours” they must have whispered.. Because no one gave two fucks about my story at this point. There was vengeance to be wrought.. And what my friend lacked in quarters and other common cents, he more than made up for in inhuman strength and 9mm bullets.

This particular vending machine however would prove Kyle’s greatest foe. It must have been stocked and maintained by a Leprechauns or something because Kyle the crazy Malkavian botched every single roll he made against it. I’ve never seen so many 1’s rolled in my life. First he tried to rip the vending machine apart, but instead ended up pulling it on top of himself. After making a few saving rolls and nearly crushing himself in the process, the rest of the guys finally showed up to see what all the ruckus was about.

They were just in time to see a crazed and wounded Malkavian brandishing an Uzi and screaming at a downed vending machine. The mighty Malkavian cried Havoc, and unleashed a hail of 9mm bullets, sending led flying in every direction.. Including back at the players after he botched yet another roll. Teamwork fell to the wayside and all hell broke loose as players scattered in every direction.

Somewhere in Africa, a butterfly flapped its wings, and before the dust had settled... soda cans lay strewn across the floor, the vending machine lay in ruins, and a single brick was soaring through the air like some majestic bird of prey. “Nothing calms someone down like a brick to the head” thought another player as he winged a brick of sedation through the air the rambunctious Malkavian causing a scene. Possibly an ill-conceived plan, for Kyle, still hounded by karma from his former life, botched yet another roll, slipped on a soda while trying to dodge, got brained with a brick, and fell backwards to his death, the vending machine finishing what it had started as Kyle cracked his head on it as he fell. In the end mighty vending machine proved too great a foe, and their epic struggle concluded with them both lying dead on the floor. A soft smile playing on Kyle's lips as he closed his eyes, clutching his hard won soda to his chest, as he succumbed to his injuries.

Everyone died that day. The police showed up not long after and surrounded the building. It was an epic struggle.. that lasted until morning, and then in a burst of light.. It was over.

 

And so ends our tale of crushed cans, and crushed dreams.
Soda-pressing.