This is not exactly a normal blog post. :) If you are familiar with the game "Munchkin", then there's a good chance you will love this. If you know Munchkin and you've met my wife (I'm looking at you, P-Ziddy!), then there's a good chance you'll snork uncontrollably and embarrass yourself.
However, if you don't know Munchkin but still enjoy a story where I fail miserably (I'm looking at you, LadyPatsFan!), then there's a chance you'll like this story anyway.
I asked for (and received) "Munchkin Deluxe" as a Christmas present. I love this game. My wife has never played it. We sat down so I could show her how to play.
"There are hundreds of rules to the game," I explained. I got a frowny face in reply. "Don't worry, I'm here to help."
I placed a Teddy Bear on the table across from us so we'd have three players. "Really?," my wife asked. "Hey, we're dealing all the cards face up right now. It'll be fine." Three players, no fuss.
Round 1. I had a Dwarf card. "I'm a dwarf!", I told my wife. "Just like in Lord of the Rings." She looked skeptical.
The rest of my cards were a special kind of suck. I had monster cards. I had a +3 bonus to run away. I had curse cards. What I did not have was ANY card whatsoever that would enhance my character, or that could be used in combat.
In other words, I was a true level 1 with no hope of beating any monster in the game. I drew a "Level 4 Undead Horse".
I used the "+3 to Run Away" card. Teddy got a monster he couldn't beat, penalty was to lose 2 levels. But you can't go below level 1, so nothing happened. My wife drew a "Lose 1 level" curse card, but you can't go below level 1... so nothing happened.
"Well," I said. "Round 1, none of us moved. That was useless." The look on my wife's face said that she agreed.
Round 2. I drew a monster card. It was a "Level 1 Potted Plant".
This made my wife giggle. "A potted plant? You're supposed to fight a potted plant?"
"Oh, it gets better than that," I had to confess. "You have to be higher level than the monster to win. I have no modifiers, and no cards I can use in combat. I'm level 1, I tie the monster, therefore I lose."
"Wait. You mean you're fighting a potted plant... and you're losing?"
There was a pause, then a small grin. "This game's not so bad."
Around this time something amazing started to happen. My wife kept drawing complimentary cards. She got two "1-handed" swords, and then the special "Singing Dancing Sword" that doesn't require a hand to be useful. Therefore, she actually had three swords that she could use at the same time. She got the "Boots of Butt-Kicking". The "Spiky Knees". The "Wizard's Hat" (and she was a wizard). The "Really Impressive Title". The bonuses just kept coming.
By the time she was at level 5, her effective combat level was 22. "The toughest monster in this deck is level 20," I told her. "You can beat anything."
She grinned, faster this time. "I kinda like this game."
Naturally, she blasted her way up to level 10 and won the game. Teddy was at 6. I was at 2. "Do we keep going to see who gets second place?," she asked. "Sure, why not?" My wife took over playing for Teddy.
My luck finally turned. I marched up the board. Eventually, I was at level 9, and Teddy was level 8. Victory was in reach!
Teddy got the "Steal a Level" card. "Arg," I carefully explained. Teddy goes up to level 9, Jeff goes down to level 8.
My wife thought this was hilarious.
My next turn, nothing gained. But at Teddy's next turn...
He got the "Divine Intervention" card. It specifically says that all "Cleric" characters go up a level. It specifically states that if a cleric is level 9, he can win the game with this card.
Naturally, Teddy was a Cleric.
Even better, the last bit of text on the card says "If you win the game with this card, you are entitled to mercilessly mock the other players."
My wife picked up Teddy like a ventriloquist's dummy. She rocked his little head back and forth as if he was laughing at me. Then, she supplied a Teddy with a squeaky, cartoon-y voice.
"Ha! You suck!"
Later, when the mocking had died down a bit, my wife said "I like this game. Can we play again?"
She won the second game, too. *sigh*