GM: Welcome. Most other networks and news outlets are concerned with how the political candidates fair in debate or at town hall meetings, but here we don’t care about any of that. At the NYRD we believe that there is only one true test of leadership and teamwork, and that is why we have asked the top 5 presidential hopefuls -and Jeb Bush- here to play a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons. Now, let’s meet our adventuring party. Please introduce yourself and tell use something about the character you created.
TRUMP: I think I will go first. I have made a great character, absolutely the best and most creative here. I’m a financial wizard so I figured let’s make it official and just become an actual wizard. I’m human, because of course I am, look at me. My character’s name is Trump the Best, which is a very imaginative name. I don’t know where I come up with these things. I am also the richest character here. What can I say, I like the gold.
CRUZ: I think I am going to go next. Now, I respect the Wizard Trump…
TRUMP: He’s the best…
CRUZ: I respect him, but we all know that wizards are pagans. I am a God-fearing citizen and that is why I chose to play a priest today. I like the sound of that. I am also a 6’5″ human male that weighs a strapping 200 pounds. My character, Father Thor Cruz, is very muscular, just like ripped all the way down his stomach. He has great hair and a chiseled attractive jawline. All the women of the surrounding villages want to be with him, but of course he is devoted to the Lord and does not partake in the pleasures of the flesh.
GM: Senator, I can’t read your handwriting. What god is your character worshiping?
CRUZ: Why the Lord Jesus Christ, of course.
GM: Because it looks like you wrote Lesus.
CRUZ: I didn’t. I wrote Jesus.
GM: There is no Christianity in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.
CRUZ: Not yet. That is all the more reason why the work of Father Thor Cruz is needed in this heathen world.
GM: Fine… but I’m writing your god down as Lesus.
CARSON: I’m going to go next.
GM: Oh, I’m sorry Dr. Carson. I thought you were asleep over there.
CARSON: No, just resting my eyes. I want to roll the dice and buy some property.
GM: No, Dr. Carson, this is not Monopoly. Just tell us what you wrote down on the character sheet in front of you, please.
CARSON: Oh, of course. I am a human rogue, because everyone knows how good I am with knives. We all know the story of the time I stabbed someone. If you do not believe it, you may ask my mother. It also says here that my name is Dr. Benjamin son of Car, because he is also a trained doctor. He’s very skilled at things like doctoring and foreign policy.
GM: Dr. Carson, you put none of your skill points into healing? How are you claiming your character is also a trained a doctor?
CARSON: Oh you know. He’s just very good with people. Now before we start I need some of those letter tiles that we all get.
GM: Again, Dr. Carson, this is Dungeons and Dragons, not Scrabble… oh forget it. Governor Bush, please go next… Governor?
BUSH: Oh, yeah, sure. I am a human bard. My name is Turtle.
GM: Is that it? You don’t want to make some kind of profound or borderline narcissistic statement?
BUSH: No, I’m good.
GM: Okay. It is also worth pointing out that the game so far consists of four human males, but I guess no one should really be surprised by that. However that will change as we move across the table to our two remaining players. Secretary Clinton, would you like to start and bring some gender diversity to the group?
CLINTON: Actually I chose to make my character a male human as well.
CLINTON: I did a survey on Twitter and most of my supporters put more faith in the reliability and leadership of male fantasy characters like Harry Plotter or that man from Lord of the Ring, uh… Viggo something. See, people like to think that I’m not hip and “with” the times, but I also enjoy popular entertainment, just like the youths of today.
GM: Wouldn’t it be better if you played a strong female fantasy character, like Hermoine or Lady Galadriel?
CLINTON: You’re right, but do you think that would play well in Middle America?
GM: I don’t think anything we are doing here today is going to play well in Middle America.
CLINTON: Oh what the heck. I am a female, and I am proud that I am can be chosen as your first female adventurer on this party. In fact, I am going to Tweet this out, but if people disagree can I change my character’s gender later?
CRUZ: You cannot change the gender of your character once the game starts. The Lord made you a man or a woman and that is his will. To change your gender after the game has begun is to defy that holy will…
GM: …I would need to check the core rulebook…
CRUZ: The only core rulebook any of us need is the Bible.
GM: And I just realized I don’t actually care… Secretary Clinton, what is your class?
CLINTON: According to Facebook, I am a human barbarian named Clintina of the Hill.
GM: My head hurts all of a sudden. Senator Sanders, what is your name.
SANDERS: I’m Bernie.
GM: No Senator, what is the name you wrote on your character sheet?
SANDERS: Don’t patronize. I’m not an old man you know. My character’s name is Bernie. He’s a ranger and a damn good one too. I am also Elvis.
GM: I think you mean to say that you are also an elf.
SANDERS: Oh, is that what that says. I don’t have the right glasses on. I thought it was odd that I got to pick to be Elvis, not that I minded. You know I loved his music growing up as a poor kid in Brooklyn. I used to sit in my room at night…
GM: …Moving on… All six of you find yourself sitting in a tavern known as the Plow and Pundit. It is located in the center of a village called Washing Town, DC. The smells and noises are almost overwhelming, stale liquor with the earthy scent of soil and a long day’s work. People would normally be drinking, laughing, and celebrating the end of the harvest season, but you all notice that tonight is a melancholy one. There has been a murder in town, the beloved mayor, Lord Barry the Just, has died under mysterious circumstances. The powers that sent you to this town believe that foul play is afoot and have tasked you with solving the mystery surrounding the death of Lord Barry.
TRUMP: Let me just stop you right there. Are there any mosques located in this town? I bet it was terrorism. Boom, I’m a genius. I win this game.
GM: No one person wins Dungeons and Dragons. You need to play as a group… And there are no mosques in the city…. That’s unnecessarily racist and inflammatory.
CARSON: I bet the murder was committed by Colonel Mustard.
GM: Dr. Carson, we are not playing Clue.
SANDERS: Tell me this, what are the economic policies of Washing Town? Is there a large gap between the wealthy land owners and the minimum wage earners? What does the stable boy make an hour? What’s going on here?
GM: That’s almost a good question, Senator. What you all know is that Washing Town is a farming community and there is a large social disconnect from those in power and the men and women who live in the village itself. Washing Town is run by the Lord Mayor who is the wealthiest land owner. In fact, in order to even be elected as mayor it almost unnervingly traditional that you be the one with the most money and the most backing of the other rich land owners and special interest groups.
TRUMP: Boom. I’m the new mayor. Trump the Best is by far the best wizard and the richest man in this little crappy village. I mean come on. Who else would it be?
GM: Mr. Trump, you currently have 30 gold. That does not make you the richest man.
TRUMP: Do you know how much gold is actually worth?
CLINTON: Who do all the people think committed the murder. I bet it’s going to be just like the time Darth Vader killed Benjamin Kenobi in Star Wars.
GM: That is an oddly out of context reference, but actually a good question, Secretary Clinton. You can roll your dice to make a Gather Information check to spend an hour to talk to the people around town and get their impression of the situation, but I should tell you that as a barbarian you do not have the best of Charisma…
CLINTON: Oh, what else can I do as a barbarian?
GM: You are mostly a fighter. You have a rage ability that let’s you gain extra strength and hit points in battle when you get angry.
CLINTON: Oh, I never get angry, unless other people think it is appropriate that I do so.
GM: Rage just one of the barbarian’s abilities. It doesn’t mean you have to be angry…
CLINTON: Can we change the name of it to Restrained and Appropriate Anger. Rage sounds like it would not play well on the East coast.
CLINTON: But I am still going to poll the people about what is going on. <Rolls a d20> I got a 14. Is that good?
GM: It’s good enough.
CLINTON: Good, because I also want to ask the people if they feel as if they can trust me and what would help them see me as more trustworthy.
GM: Clintina of the Hill wanders off and starts talking with people around the tavern, asking them information on the death of Lord Barry and also if they think they can trust her and what she can do make them trust her more. That will take an hour, so what is everyone else doing during that time. Governor Bush?
BUSH: I’m a bard, so I have a guitar or something, right?
BUSH: I just want to sit there and pluck at it.
GM: Okay, so the Governor is fiddling as Rome burns around him.
SANDERS: I go up and talk with the woman waiting on tables.
GM (Bar Wench): Hello sir, what can I get you, roast mutton, honey mead?
SANDERS: “Noble waitress. I am Bernie son of Eli, and I want to ask you about how much money you make by working here?”
GM (Bar Wench): “Uhh… The owner let’s me take a loaf of the day old bread with a little gravy every night.”
SANDERS: “That is outrageous. Simply outrageous. What about healthcare and pension benefits?”
GM (Bar Wench): “I got sick once with the black cough and I got to leave for an hour to go see the local healer, but Mr. Dorrsman only gave me a half of loaf for the day.”
SANDERS: This truly astounding. It’s like we’re living in medieval times.
SANDERS: I turn to address everyone else sitting in the tavern. “Noble people,” I say. “Noble people you toil and work in the fields and the shops and the taverns of this town every day and what do you get for it? A half a loaf of bread and a bit of gravy? This is unacceptable. The minimum wage of everyone in this town needs to be raised. How can people expect to raise a family on a single loaf of bread and a bit of gravy. It should be two loaves and a slab of lamb. 99% of you are breaking your backs and are starving, while 1% gets to keep all the gold and lamb meat for themselves. This is not how societies are meant to work and this is not how it will work as long as Bernie the Ranger is in town.”
GM: …Uhhh, roll your Diplomacy, I guess.
SANDERS: Where is this dice thing? <Rolls the D20> What does it say. I can’t see it.
GM: You rolled a 16 with an additional bonus of 3 from you Diplomacy skill makes it a 19. As you talk to the crowd more and more people begin to listen to what you are saying. Some even begin cheering and shouting in agreement.
TRUMP: This is stupid. This whole thing is stupid. I want to turn to the crowd and say, “Listen. Some people are just rich and successful because they are better than other people. I mean look at me. I started out with practically nothing. My millionaire father did very little to help me get where I am today, very little. Now look at me. I’m a successful wizard with gold in his pocket.”
GM: Roll your Bluff.
GM: I am pretty sure most of what you just said was a lie.
TRUMP: <rolls the D20> Bang, I got a 4.
GM: You failed the roll.
TRUMP: Isn’t this like golf? Incidentally, I own a lot of golf courses.
GM: The crowd starts to get angry at Trump the Best. They look ready to take their rage out on you, Mr. Trump, and the rest of your group.
TRUMP: “Listen, all I’m saying is that I’m better than you all and you need people like that. I mean think about it. Without people like me who’d protect you from…” What are things that happen in this little make-believe world of yours?
CLINTON: Oh, I know this because I know how to connect with the young voters. It’s Christopher Lee and that big eyeball.
TRUMP: “Right who would protect you rabble of peasants from the Christopher Lees of the world and floating eyeballs and those green guys with the axes…”
TRUMP: “Yeah Orca. Orca are your real problem here, not the rich. Aren’t you tired of Orca coming in a stealing your money and taking your jobs? They’re the real enemy. They’re the real people you should be mad at. I bet they were the ones that killed this mayor fellow of yours. I say we round up all the Orca we can find and ship them back to Orc Mexico or where ever it is they come from.” There and I’ll roll again. <Rolls a d20>
GM: You got a 20. That’s a critical success.
TRUMP: See, the only reason I rolled so low in the first place was because you never explained that this game wasn’t like golf.
GM: Part of the the crowd begins to nod and cheer at what you’re saying, and many of them start to break bottles and look for weapons.
TRUMP: Now these are some smart villagers, that’s what I say. I tell them, “Now you should go find some Orca and we’ll deport them back to where they came from.”
GM: Half of the crowd exits the tavern in a frenzy of shouting and cursing, looking more like a lynch mob than a thoughtful party of engaged citizens.
TRUMP: There. Problem solved. I win again.
GM: The small remainder of the crowd is still standing by Bernie the Elf talking about starting a parchment-writing campaign to get the minimum wage of the village raised.
CRUZ: Now this is all well and good, but I think we are losing the essence of why it is we came here.
GM: I can’t believe I am saying this, but you are right, Senator Cruz.
CRUZ: We need to teach the people of this village good Godly values, and Father Thor Cruz is just the one to do it, what with his large biceps and rugged good looks.
CARSON: Maybe we should, like examine the body of the dead man. I am a doctor, you know. I can pull those pieces out of him without touching the sides.
GM: That’s Operation, and I have to believe you’re doing this on purpose now? You can’t possibly be this unaware of how things work by this point in the game?
CARSON: I have been coming in and out, but I say never underestimate a person. That is why I am going to go find the body of the dead mayor and perform an autopsy.
GM: Once again, Dr. Carson, I feel the need to remind you that your character has no points in any skills that come close to being useful for doing anything like that.
CARSON: It’s fine. I have my knives.
GM: Is anyone else going to go with Dr. Benjamin son of Car?
SANDERS: I want to stay here and help the townspeople organize a petition to invoke some real economic change in their lives.
GM: Okay… Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz, Governor Bush?
TRUMP: Sure it might be worth a laugh.
CRUZ: I would like to go out into the town and perform some missionary work as well as see if any of the ladies would like to commune with Father Thor Cruz.
GM: I thought you said your priest was celibate?
CRUZ: I am and it drives the ladies wild, just like my toned and tanned buttocks.
GM: Governor Bush?
BUSH: I guess.
GM: Governor, I need to ask, do you even want to be here? It kind of seems like your not even trying? In fact, for the majority of the time most of us have barely even registered that you’re here at all. I think you need to ask yourself, “Is doing this really what you want from life?”
BUSH: I mean, sure I want to be here. My father and brother said I should try and I definitely like the idea of being in the game, but you know I never thought about it like that before… Is this really what I want to be doing? I mean playing this game is hard, and if I were to be honest I am only doing it because it seems like a family tradition, but I don’t know… I think I am going to wander off and spend some time alone to think. <Gets up from the table.>
GM: Okay, Turtle the Bard wanders out of the tavern to find a quiet place to think and Governor Bush has walked out of the room…
CLINTON (from the next room): Can I go see the body too?
GM: No, you are still gathering information.
CLINTON (from the next room): Can I meet them there when I’m done?
GM: Fine. Whatever, and what are you doing in our kitchen?
CLINTON (from the next room): According to a survey on BuzzFeed you need snacks when you play these sorts of games. I am getting a bag of Doritos and a bottle of something called Sierra Mist. Does anyone else want any?
GM: Secretary Clinton please come and sit down… and bring in the Doritos.
CLINTON: <She takes her seat.> Well I think we are having a good and a suitably humanizing time.