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Subject: Frankenmeeple - A Halloween Tale rss

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Paul DeStefano
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"Ygor, he is almost done. The creation of a lifetime. The culmination of all man's dreams. The pinnacle of human existance. The apex of hyperbole."

Thunder cracked through the night air as The Doctor hurried around the lab. Dice, glass stones, chits, cards and numerous maps littered the tables that were ringed with careless coffee mug stains.

The experiments had the locals speaking in hushed tones. Rumors and horrible whispers followed The Doctor as he went on his monthly visits to the tiny hamlet at the base of the hill. Having no church and no game store, it was a small and easily forgotten place where someone could simply get lost and never be heard from again.

And the townsfolk would cower at the tales. Images of the mad Doctor, laughing madly over a torn copy of Die Macher, a burned husk of Dune, were oft repeated stories around the campfires on All Hallows Eve. Children would point at him and his odd mutterings as he picked up packages from the local Post Stop and tore off the plain brown wrappers with savage glee.

Unholy things in those packages. Or they were once The Doctor got them. He would run to the library late at night to the large tables, too excited to trek the weary road back to his lab. And there is where people first saw his madness.

HeroScape terrain used to play Uno. Bang cards replacing the colored deck in CandyLand. Advanced Squad Leader battles on Gipf boards.

Unholy madness brought into horrible clarity.

And if the townsfolk knew that what they had seen were but a glimpse, a sliver of the psychotic ramblings of a mad game designer, they would run home, bolt their doors and hold tight their pictures of Knizia.

"Yes, Ygor, the fusion is almost complete. Almost there. A storm of this magnitudee can only help us now. Fetch me a D20!" The Doctor cackled as lighting ignited the night sky.

"BattleLore be damned!" he cried as he tore a rulebook asunder. "It is I that shall bring forth the greatest of all games! Cthulhu himself is but a mosquito compared to the power I shall wield. It is I that shall give rise to THE FRANKENMEEPLE!"

Upon the table, a seven foot yellow box in the shape of an iconic meeple lay, filled with the oddest assortment of gaming odds and ends Ygor had ever seen.

"Yes, Ygor, I know. Difficult to envision it, isn't it? The ultimate of all gaming brought together in one glorious combination. Wargames? Defeated! Eurogames? Auctioned away! Ameritrash? Randomly discarded! The best of each I take, the best of each..."

As so often happened, The Doctor's cries trailed off as he set about his work, carefully carving sheets of plexiglass with a cruel knife.

Sweat gathered on his forehead. Fine spittle flecked from his trembling lips. Fingers twitched in anticipation.

"It is done, Ygor. It is done. Theme enwrapped tightly to gameplay. Sliced from the efforts of Fantasy Flight. Scalability without sacrificing playability from solitaire to 31 players by merging Ambush, Werewolf and Fluxx without any random factors. Beautiful bits, a collusion of HeroScape, GMT, and cherry pie. The abstract wonder of Go and the perfect dash of random chance of Can't Stop wrapped in the simple Ra like auctions. They laughed when I said the dexterity of Carabande could not be melded with Hammer Of The Scots for the ultimate area control party game! The insulted me when I told them a CCG could be affordable! The kicked sand in my face when I said I could bring all gamers together around one grand table of unity!"

"Now, Ygor, Frankenmeeple awaits. He awaits his new life as the greatest game ever, by which the pale light of Puerto Rico will whither into but a single resource cube. Bring me... THE RULES!"

The Doctor struck a dramatic pose and waited in vain for the matching splash of lightning.

"All right, this ain't Hollywood, just go get the rules."

Ygor limped faithfully off to the library. The books here were not bound by normal covers, no. But in a more twisted moment of abject cruelty, these books were bound in the boxes and boards of thrift store children's games.

But, as for some reason mad geniuses are lead to do, The Doctor had hired Ygor on the cheap. He was not the best of help. He never asked customers what they wanted. He closed the doors before the clock struck 9. He would spend his days with a pizza across his lap, playing online fantasy games while half heartedly answering the phone and attempting to sort his Magic The Gathering cards. Yes, for some reason The Doctor had thought the irony in hiring from the available pool of Game Store Clerks would somehow pay off.

Ironically, in his sense of irony that the truly ironic it was ironed out.

For as Ygor grabbed the rules that The Doctor had so painstakingly hand illustrated for the past several rounds, his eye was suddenly caught by a flyer advertising a Hasbro 2-for-1 sale at Toys R Us. In his excitement, he tore the rules.

The Doctor would be furious. He looked about for a suitable replacement and ran.

There, strapped to the gaming table - Frankenmeeple. The Doctor caressed his creation in a way that made Ygor uncomfortable. He grabbed the rules from Ygor without looking and placed them within.

"The shrinkwrap, Ygor! The shrinkwrap!"

The laughter echoed through the halls and to the town below. Lighting crossed the darkened sky on cue this time. The townsfolk screamed as they knew The Doctor had finally gone too far.

In the morning, a cold sunlight poured through the windows into The Doctor's lab.

"I... I... don't understand," The Doctor sobbed. "What has happened... This game... My Frankenmeeple... it... it... isn't fun."

Frankenmeeple lumbered about the room in circles. Unaware, blissful in its new existance of total ignorance. A trail of dice dripped from one tremendous meeple leg, but it didn't seem to notice. It just drooled and chuckled to itself, a demented child grown overlarge.

"Ygor... Ygor... What went wrong? What happened? So many years..."

Ygor watched the monstrosity of Frankenmeeple lurch about, stepping on Railroad Tycoon boxes and shattering Settlers 3D trunks in gleeful abandon. The Doctor hurried about, looking through his notes. The ultimate game was here! This was it! What could have been the mistake?

He ran to the library, fury, fear and utter disappointment clouding his vision.

"Nooooo!" he shrieked. It was a really good "Noooo" shriek, not that cheesy Darth Vader kind.

There, on the floor of the library, the torn corner of his rules. He picked it up and sniffed it. Lavender scented. Just the way it was intended.

"Ygor. Ygor! YGOR! Get in here! Now! You! Yes, you! What is this? What have you done? What did I put into Frankenmeeple?"

Ygor looked to the floor. He shook his head and slowly lifted his finger to point.

There, upon the shelf, the sight that took The Doctor's last remaining shred of sanity. He collapsed to the floor as Frankenmeeple continued to bash about in random circles through the rest of the lab.

Slightly askew to the other tomes and boxes, there lay the grandest horror to tear through The Doctor's nightmares. The top gently pried open, and the rules clearly removed from their place lay The Doctor's time worn copy... of Monopoly.
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Robert M
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Geosphere wrote:
of Monopoly.


I was sure you were going to put "Dominate the States" here. Of course that probably wouldn't make sense if this is found next year
 
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Paul DeStefano
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No, it had to be a tale of classic horror, not this newfangled stuff.
 
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Will Watts
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Great tale, destined to be a Halloween classic about the hubris of man. I enjoyed it very much.
 
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