Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know GEEKGOLD CONTEST
Joe Gola
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Redding
Connecticut
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THE BACKGROUND
Two facts about me: I like board games and I like writing. I've been a user on BGG for eleven years, and during that time I've had lots of fun writing various session reports, reviews, geeklists, and general smart-ass remarks. I've received a lot of kind encouragement over the years regarding the stuff that I write from the smart and friendly BGG community, and I can honestly say that that encouragement gave me the extra push I needed to undertake a certain project and achieve a lifelong goal…

THE CELEBRATION!
In October of this year I completed a full-length weird fiction novel entitled THE SATANIC BRIDEGROOM. The story involves lust, madness, and submarines. You can find info, links and samples here. To celebrate and also thank the BGG community for its coolness and generosity, I'm going to give away a few stacks of my precious, hard-earned geekgold. Sweet, glittering geekgold! But you gotta work for it!


THE CHALLENGE!
To enter the contest, you need to do two things:
1. Thumb the geeklist (just so it stays near the top of the list)
2. Add a GL entry below in which you describe a terrifying, H.P. Lovecraft-type secret that would destroy men's minds if only they fully comprehended the terrible implications. Ancient temples buried by desert sands…portals to benighted dimensions ripped open by the Hadron collider…Bed Bath and Beyond a secret tool for economic manipulation by the Icelandic elf conspiracy…tell us the awful truth! We'll keep the secrets to ourselves, right? The normals must never know…

For the game itself you can add your favorite game of the moment, or something Lovecraft-related, or a game that has a picture with someone's girlfriend leaning way over the board. If all else fails, I suggest using the board game with the most terrifying history of all, the board game so laden with otherworldly secrets that all known copies were locked in a fireproof basement by the NSA—BGG game entry #5658. To even type its name is to invite scrutiny from intelligences from beyond the construct we call time…

THE FABULOUS PRIZES!
Prizes to be drawn at random one week from today using the BGG die roll widget or whatever electrically unpredictable method people suggest.

Grand prize: 100 geekgold!
Semi-grand prize: bag 50 geekgold! bag
Still pretty great prize: thumbsup 25 geekgold! thumbsup

plus lavish discretionary tipping if your secret is particularly awesome and horrifying.


THE FINE PRINT
Just so there aren't any concerns about hanky-panky, my current geekbuddies are not eligible to win the three main prizes. However, since my geekbuddies tend to be hilarious and awesome, I do encourage them to add entries, and it is very likely that I will throw fistfuls of GG at them just because.

Please note that the owners and administrators of boardgamegeek.com are not liable for any loss of life or sanity due to the divulging of the secrets herein; read at your own risk. Report all abductions to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

AND BUT ALSO
Check out the novel if you're into the whole reading thing, and tell me how you like it!
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1. Board Game: The Dinosaur's Journey to High Self-Esteem [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joe Gola
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Connecticut
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Here's one to get the ball rolling:

The Belgians have a secret dinosaur zoo in the Old City, out beyond the gasworks and the slums, hidden by warehouses and junkyards. It is a zoo proper, with a wide colorful sign and ticket booth, balloon vendors and a clarinet band, but it is on no map or guide, and one only finds it by accident, when lost or in flight. Despite the excitement—dinosaurs! for real!—there is a strangely soporific quality to the place, as though the air were not quite right and the sunlight strangely filtered. The zooworkers assiduously attend to their tasks, twirling cotton candy and guarding turnstiles, and yet their eyes are dead and sightless, their clothes rumpled and slept in.

You walk past the cages and walls, breathless, looking down at mighty leaf-eaters with spiked backs and duck bills, getting not too close to see the towering chartreuse-and-violet monster with the stunted arms and knife teeth, entering the great dome that houses the fliers with their huge shadowy wings. Because of the strange sleepiness of the day it strikes you only dimly that the dinosaurs do not paw and pace like restless caged animas; they do not eat or growl or stir at all, in fact, but instead they simply watch, perhaps watching you in particular, their eyes swiveling soundlessly while you pass beneath. Some of the bipeds hold strange instruments, scratched metal boxes with large rubber knobs and glowing lights, ancient and welded shut. They never touch the buttons, however…or at least not when you are watching.

When you are finally invited inside the gleaming metal door to the educational presentation by the eight-foot doctor in his white lab coat, "for science," your drugged mind realizes only too late that the hands that clutch the clipboard are green and leathery, and that the human face is only a grinning pink rubber mask…
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2. RPG Item: Evil Dead: Swallow This! [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Aloha!
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
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Every year the Watsons enjoyed a family outing to Dearborn, Michigan. Paul wasn't sure why Dearborn, but they always seemed to have such a lovely time and it was a solid week each year he didn't hear a single Sherlock Holmes joke. His children acted up every year before they left. Their howls and protestations were now just a part of the annual event. This behavior was extremely odd as they were equally upset when it came time to return home.

The long car trip was torment, as all long car trips with children are. It was comforting to see the bright green Welcome to Dearborn sign. Traffic even seemed a bit more orderly and they settled in behind a green sedan and a powder blue mini-van. It was that moment the nagging sense of deja vu hit Paul and it felt as if he had driven in this exact same position with these exact same cars for each of the three years they had made this journey.

The screams began shortly after that moment. How could he forget what had happened every year? But forget they would and they would keep coming back and staying behind piece by piece every year.
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3. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2543]
Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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"I looked at my hands, I understood that one fine day, one fine evening to be precise, they would no longer be hands but some other awful thing." —Jack Kerouac
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It's not a pretty thing when the Mask slips—not the small "m" masks, like how under lacklight all American money has the common misspelling "God" as a shadow of the four-space anagram for "daGon". And to say aloud that twerking is a ritual and Miley Cyrus the high priestess of something unsavory only serves to flash your laughable ignorance of truer things—and to get you invited to the dinner party where the culmination of the orgy of food and orifices is the meticulously exploded view of yourself, photographed the next day by queasy CSI folks who fail to don their sunglasses for the one-liner out of fear of loosing breakfasts barely contained.

This, this is the pool you will be drowned in should you dare to dip your toes.

Still, you push on, beyond magic bullets and lizard people and the Bilderberg Group (who really do maintain Hitler's brain in a robot body, but only for laughs), daring the world to bare its face.

When the Hand of Fate finally tugs the strap the wink that greets you is the fact that your mother was a fraud and death is inevitable only for those possessed of sitcom morality.

We speak now of things beyond mere nihilism and meaninglessness—if only it all meant nothing—and delve into the endless synapse-melting meaning of the Universe. Answers, you do not want—for what is an answer other than the openhanded slap that ends all questing? Ask and ask and ask—

Why can unease be scribed in oils?

Why is sleep mandatory?

Why are mummies?


These are just three of the snakes in the writhing bag that is THE SATANIC BRIDEGROOM. Read it and then we can talk. Over dinner, at my place.

Come alone.
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4. Board Game: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night [Average Rating:4.86 Unranked]
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
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"It was a dark and stormy night..."

er, no, wait:

"In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson..."

man, this is hard. strike that:

"TRUE! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am"

bah. OK:

"First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys."

doggone it! how about:

"Call me Ishmael."

Crap. No, hold on:

"In a hole in the ground there lived...."


...never mind.
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5. Board Game: The Unnamed Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Mike West
United Kingdom
GUILDFORD
SURREY
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The rain lashes down, the handles of the bags digging into your wet hands. Why do you always leave buying Christmas presents until the last minute? Even now the last of the shops are closing, their lights flicking off as the shutters are pulled down, the owners going home to be with their loved ones. You still need one more present, a game for the family to play, something to get you all together at the table. Then you notice the one shop on the street still with a light on, the old Hobart Thrift Store.

Peering through the grimy window, you try the door, it creaks open on hinges rusty from lack of use. Inside a strong musty smell assaults your senses, damp with a salty hint of the sea... There is nothing for you here, you turn to leave.

'Hello Dearie, looking for anything in particular?'

A strange, old lady shuffles out from a back room, bent double, her features almost toad-like, she regards you with an unblinking stare.

'Err, well, i was just looking for a boardgame, you know, to play with the kids.. I don't think you'll have anything, thanks though..', as you turn to leave, she chuckles, 'Oh, i think we have something perfect for you, let me just find it.'

'No no, it's fine, i don't want to be any bother.'

'No bother dearie, i'll be right back.'

With a sigh, you turn back into the shop and expect her to return with a water damaged copy of Risk, or a taped up copy of Scrabble with half the letters missing.. Minutes later she returns, clutching a dirty cardboard box.

'Here it is', she says, smiling a toothless smile, placing the box on the counter.

The letters on the box are worn away, the colours faded, and the corners although undamaged, don't seem quite right. They twist at unnatural angles, and yet the lid fits perfectly. It unsettles you, but something compels you to put down your shopping and open it.

As you lift the lid, a sense of foreboding grips you but you cannot look away... The mishappen pieces within, cast from an unknown metal strike fear into your heart, idols to long forgotten gods perhaps. The cards with garish colours and strange writing that twists and turns upon them as you watch transfixed. And in the centre, a strange six sided object with runes on each side, you feel the power emanating from within it, willing you to pick it up, to determine your fate....

An ancient stench floods from within, making you recoil in horror, dropping the lid which lands upon the box, knocking it to the floor and scattering the pieces to the ground. The hold over you broken, you turn and flee, leaving your shopping behind and burst out the door to the world outside.

The old lady remains...'How rude' she says... 'I thought everyone liked Monopoly, although I think Mr Tibbles might have soiled the box.'
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6. Board Game: Cat's Pajamas [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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I don't expect many people to understand this. None of this information is new, which is why you're probably physiologically incapable of understanding it. Mostly this is to explain, in case someone gets it.

Life cycles. Everyone gets this. My parents started off as babies; they grew up to be adults, got married, and had babies of their own. One of those babies was me; I grew up, got married, and had babies. They'll

OK, obviously, bad example. Let's start smaller. Fleas: they lay eggs, the eggs hatch into larvae, the larvae grow into adults, who lay more eggs. If you want to break the cycle, you can't just kill all the adults, because there are still eggs & larvae, hidden, waiting to grow into their place and continue the cycle.

OK, now let's go smaller. Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii. Look it up. It's a germ which lives in cats' stomachs. I'm copying from the CDC's web page here--I don't understand all the specific words but you get the point: "The only known definitive hosts for Toxoplasma gondii are members of family Felidae (domestic cats and their relatives). Unsporulated oocysts are shed in the cat's feces. Although oocysts are usually only shed for 1-2 weeks, large numbers may be shed. Oocysts take 1-5 days to sporulate in the environment and become infective. Intermediate hosts in nature (including birds and rodents) become infected after ingesting soil, water or plant material contaminated with oocysts. Oocysts transform into tachyzoites shortly after ingestion. These tachyzoites localize in neural and muscle tissue and develop into tissue cyst bradyzoites. Cats become infected after consuming intermediate hosts harboring tissue cysts."

So what that means is, these germs live in cats' stomachs; the cat shits out microscopic "oocysts"; a rat eats those; another cat eats the the rat; and the germs grow up in the cat's stomach. That's a life cycle.

Now here's where it gets weird. That underlined part means they move to the rats' brains. And infected rats have been shown to have altered behavior--"While uninfected mice and rats will generally avoid areas marked with cat urine or with cat body odor, this avoidance is reduced or eliminated in infected animals. Moreover, some evidence suggests this loss of aversion may be specific to feline odors: when given a choice between two predator odors (cat or mink), infected rodents show a significantly stronger preference to cat odors than do uninfected controls."

So infected rats prefer cat piss. They prefer the scent of a predator which will kill them, because the germs infecting their brains make them. The germs are driving them to take the germs home, to their new host.

That Wikipedia page says the infection may have spread to one third of the humans on earth. And you figure that one third has to be concentrated in countries where people have infected cats in their homes, scratching in litter boxes and then walking across kitchen counters where food is being prepared. One third infected with tachyzoites in their brains which dozens of studies have linked with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, suicide, "impaired psychomotor performance, enhanced risk-taking personality profiles, and higher incidence of automobile accidents."

If you're one of them, then you can't understand why I had to break the cycle. You can't even understand what I had to protect my family from, because the germs won't let you.

I gathered the cats together--I did it quick--they didn't suffer or feel any pain. But when I tried to explain to Sarah, she was horrified at what I'd done; she screamed that I was crazy. I understood then what I should've known all along; it was with tears running down my cheeks that I had to break the cycle in her, too. Even worse was that night, when I tried to explain it to the kids.

The others who came later--the neighbors, the first police--none of them would understand either. Obviously the ones outside now are infected too, or taking their orders from ones who are. I bet that "one third of all humans" number is low; you can see the germs had grown bold when they tried to test me, when they made the cat pee in my pajamas.
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7. Board Game: Button Men [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2995] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Andrew W.
United States
Monessen
Pennsylvania
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Taoist, Pittsburgh Sports fan, and welcoming to people who are kind, from any walk of life.
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I have been playing games since the Atari 2600, Candy Land, Chuttes and Ladders, Go Fish, & the Apple ii. Supporting "the Geek" since 2006
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"Are you certain the Earthlings will suspect nothing?" the General rasped as he tried to catch a deeper breath.

"Earthlings have a unusual willingness to make great and sustained efforts when given the perception that their efforts are being made easier than previously experienced." the very certain Field Commander replied. "It is almost as though they couldn't care less about any other thing over maximizing the time they spend on their desires in comparison to the time they spend on their duties."

"So they will do this unwittingly? And long enough to save our breed? It will take decades."

"Almost certainly, they will. They need know nothing, and as long as they perceive bliss, they will continue until the stars themselves blink out."

"Then carry out your plan, Field Commander, and know that your people will laud you as a hero until you leave mortality and for the following centuries to come."

"But what shall we call the artificial breeders, General?"

"Name them after yourself. You deserve no less honor than that, Field Commander Button. Every time an Earthling puts pressure on a surface and releases our spores into their electrified and fertilizing atmosphere -- and eventually beyond it when it saturates -- They should carry the idea that touching a Button is the most desirable thing they can imagine foremostly in their minds."
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8. Board Game: Starsky and Hutch Detective Game [Average Rating:4.14 Unranked]
Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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"I looked at my hands, I understood that one fine day, one fine evening to be precise, they would no longer be hands but some other awful thing." —Jack Kerouac
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Panda bears are the deformed extrusions into three-space of a pitched battle at the very core of Creation—and while one day soon a victor will emerge, we have long ago forgotten which side—black or white—we're rooting for.
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9. Board Game: Starsky and Hutch Detective Game [Average Rating:4.14 Unranked]
Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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"I looked at my hands, I understood that one fine day, one fine evening to be precise, they would no longer be hands but some other awful thing." —Jack Kerouac
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YOUR TONGUE IS THE TAIL OF A PARASITE
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10. Board Game: Create-a-picture [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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During harvest, the Pigafetta's Relatione del reame del Congo improvement lets you turn one of any player's family members into 3 food.
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11. Board Game: Into a Bear Trap: The Battle for Grozny, January 1995 [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:7906]
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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When I was young my friend Glenn and I would explore the forest in our neighborhood. We discovered a flattish boulder that we could lift; not enough to flip over, but just enough to lift and drag aside. We were so excited to see a tunnel leading down below it! I was scared that bears lived in there, but Glenn made fun of me and said bears wouldn't have moved the rock around to cover up the entrance to their den, so that was stupid. I still wouldn't go in there, it was too creepy. Glenn said he would if he had a flashlight, so we went back to get one. Glenn shone the light down and saw the tunnel turn a corner. He crawled on in! After he rounded the bend I couldn't see him any more. Then he started shouting something. Maybe he found something cool? Or scary? Like maybe there were bears in there, and he woke them up? I don't know, but I was pretty scared, so I pushed the rock back over the tunnel and ran home as fast as I could.

Once I had time to calm down and think about it, I realized he was probably right about the bears. But I never did like Glenn much anyway.
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12. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:140]
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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Originally, the players in Imperial represented Great Old Ones; instead of money, the currency was human suffering, and instead of bonds, the investments were influence or subtle control of various human institutions. The "Great War profiteers" theme was pasted on after playtesters found the original theme too cynical and dispiriting. (That was also when Mac Gerdts stopped going by "Walther"; one of the playtest groups figured out whose name "WALTHER GERDTS" was an anagram of, and made an attempt on his life which ended in multiple suicides.)

Also, according to an interview with the artist who did the cover--the publisher was unable to overcome their revulsion at the original theme, but they were obligated to print the game (either by contract, or by some unnamed fear--he didn't say), so they were very clear that the cover art should make the game as unappealing as possible, without being too obvious about it.
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13. Board Game: True Colours [Average Rating:4.20 Unranked]
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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"Double Settle."
"Inplore, Develop."
"Did you say Explore?"
"No, Inplore. Phase 0, before Explore."
"Is that an expansion thing? Remember, I said I took out all the expansions."
"No, it's on all the cards, in the same color as Queer worlds."
"What?"
"Don't you see--ohhhh. Uhh, double Develop, I meant."
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14. Board Game: God Dice [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:5630]
Avri
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that immediately after creating the universe, God ceased to exist.

What is not so well known is that in the moment between creation and extinction he pocketed the users' guide.

And the antidote.
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15. Board Game: Treasure Chest [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Joe Gola
United States
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Well, we only got a smattering of secrets, but I think we accomplished enough to land ourselves on the secret NSA watch list…and of course by "NSA" I mean the Nihilist Sorcerer Assassins, and by "watch list" I mean they will actually open a magic portal and watch you, so no more peeing in the shower, gentlemen.

And the winners are…

100 gold: 1custom3{cold_fuzion;Gothnak;Redbeardin84} -> ( Redbeardin84) -> ( Redbeardin84)
50 gold: 1custom2{cold_fusion;Gothnak} -> ( Gothnak) -> ( Gothnak)
25 gold: 1custom1{cold_fuzion} -> ( cold_fuzion) -> ( cold_fuzion)

Woo! Thanks for playing! And bounteous geekgold for everyone! Sweet, wonderful geekgold! Powerful, tantalizing, corrupting geekgold…all it will cost you is your everlasting soul…
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  • [+] Dice rolls
  • [+]
  • 484104. Gola
  • 1custom3{cold_fuzion;Gothnak;Redbeardin84} =
  • ( Redbeardin84) =
  • ( Redbeardin84)
  • Thu Jan 9, 2014 5:41 pm
  • [+]
  • 484110. Gola
  • 1custom2{cold_fusion;Gothnak} =
  • ( Gothnak) =
  • ( Gothnak)
  • Thu Jan 9, 2014 5:50 pm
  • [+]
  • 484112. Gola
  • 1custom1{cold_fuzion} =
  • ( cold_fuzion) =
  • ( cold_fuzion)
  • Thu Jan 9, 2014 5:51 pm
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