NEVER AGAIN. That was a crap-ton of die rolling. Basically I sketched out what a game of Hokum would look like as a series of contested rolls between the players, modified by their INT, WIS, CHA, character level, and playstyle. As the series of challenges went on, player scores went up and down and eventually started dropping to zero (elimination) as we got into the later portion of the game (which was more about subtracting from scores than adding to them).
In-character, everyone who isn't a player in the tournament gets booted out of the Thistlemarch Hotel for the duration of the contest. Out in the street, it's an all-day party, with much hooting and hollering each time a player reveals their elimination by stepping out the front door into the street (usually to be bought a few drinks). The tournament lasted about six hours, all told, between the two rounds. We ended up with four PCs participating in the tournament proper.
RESULTS OF THE HOKUM TOURNAMENT
Right Reverend Ornibus Jones, snake-priest (PC)
Prince Zandal of Khelibesh, turbaned gentleman with prehensile moustache
Three-Legs Hoolihan, mercenary
Hexley, Lord Chuffington, tuxedoed snobgoblin
Argyle Mac Argyle, minotaur in a kilt
Prince Zandal and Lord Chuffington take an early lead and continue to hold onto it despite other players' best efforts to winnow them down. All five players survive the early part of the game, but Reverend Jones is barely hanging on to any chips, and as soon as the Monster (Dealer) is eliminated, the other players casually eliminate Jones. As the backstabbing continues, Hoolihan and Argyle fall out, leaving Zandal and Chuffington to trade blows for a good long time before finally Hexley, Lord Chuffington is the final victor.
ROUND WINNER: Hexley, Lord Chuffington
Horvendile Early, gentleman-adventurer (PC)
Erasmus Muddypaws, a well-heeled dog
Dancing-Tiger, barbarian prince of the Cloud Rabbit tribe
Engleton Peacock, tittering fop
Crazy Willie Barstow, talks to a hand-mirror
The early portion of the game is tightly-contended as the patient players size each other up; but once the Dealer is eliminated, all hell breaks loose. Crazy Willie is eliminated almost immediately, and Mr. Peacock soon after. Then comes a long slog of attack and counterattack; each player has some impressive moves and tricks up their sleeve, but at the end of the match, the canine Mr. Muddypaws stands victorious when Mr. Early and Dancing-Tiger are both eliminated during the same amazing hand of Hokum.
ROUND WINNER: Erasmus Muddypaws
The Magnificent Montranto, famous wizard and raconteur
Elegant Fart Doodle, exotic cloudfolk warrior-woman
"Backfire" Templeton, flatulent sideshow star
Ruphus Flounder, hard-drinking fish-man
Ahab Wanderer, umm...wanderer (PC)
After several unusual hands in a row, Mr. Templeton is eliminated before the players even assault the Dealer! Play continues, with Mr. Flounder and Mr. Montranto racking up impressive stacks of chips quickly. However, luck does not stay with the flamboyant sorceror, and Montranto is knocked out, followed by Ms. Elegant Fart Doodle. Mr. Flounder and Mr. Wanderer swing at each other for a few hands, but Mr. Flounder is victorious.
ROUND WINNER: Ruphus Flounder
Miss Almandine Pryce, debutante
Captain Pinkbelly, The Happy Pirate
Grammy Witherspoon, cackling hag
Volgar Beseltov, bearded big game hunter
Old Man Hut-Tep, a curmudgeonly mummy
Play proceeds in textbook fashion for a number of rounds, then as the late-stage game approaches, Mr. Beseltov acts decisively to eliminate a seemingly-distracted Grammy Witherspoon. This is followed by a panicked dogpile of the other players on the aggressive Mr. Beseltov, and they knock him out. By the end of the game, only Captain Pinkbelly remains.
ROUND WINNER: Captain Pinkbelly
Mr. Tandoor Chapatty, rotund gentleman with a wood-stove in his belly
Shamgaster Blinkle, shifty-eyed sailor
Frandish Bell, lumberworks heir, more money than sense
Gustav the Belligerent, angrier than most (PC)
Gleeb Toorp, an orange slime
Jabs are traded back and forth constantly - not only within the game, but outside of it. Table Five may not be the most famous assemblage of gamblers, but they are certainly among the loudest, as Mr. Gustav won't keep his trap shut. If it was some sort of psychological strategy, it seems to have worked, as once the late-game begins, the emotionally-sensitive slime Mr. Toorp practically throws his cards away and is eliminated. Mr. Chapatty takes it upon himself to strike at Mr. Gustav over and over, but he can't seem to take all of Mr. Gustav's chips, and Chapatty is sunk by a clever attack from Blinkle. The three remaining players circle one another for several hands, then finally, with a string of unprintable curses, Mr. Gustav wins the day.
ROUND WINNER: Gustav the Belligerent
Gustav the Belligerent
Hexley, Lord Chuffington
All players who managed to scrape out a win in the previous round, this table doesn't waste any time - with $10,000 at stake, everyone comes out swinging. Captain Pinkbelly, perhaps of a temperament too kind for this sort of game, is knocked out early. Mr. Gustav is the next to fall (and he had something colorful to say about it, as well). Mr. Muddypaws walked out looking dejected, shaking his little furry head. It's down to Flounder and Hexley, and they look about evenly matched in terms of chips. After a few exchanges, Hexley wears the fish-man down and is finally victorious.
TOURNAMENT WINNER: Hexley, Lord Chuffington
I'm a little sad more PCs didn't make it to the final round, but it was up to the dice at that point. I am, however, a little excited to see Lord Chuffington now flush with cash, as I really enjoy doing that NPC's voice. It's the little things that get you through the day, y'know?
Now we'll see what the PCs end up doing...
|Mr. Erasmus Muddypaws struts confidently into the Hokum Tournament. Sadly, it was not meant to be. After losing, Mr. Muddypaws scooted his rump up and down Main Street for hours, sobbing.|