Monday, November 12, 2012

Kingdom of Loathing The Home Game Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Kingdom of Loathing browser game is difficult to sum up. One part Legend of the Red Dragon, one part Pyroto Mountain, one part Bored of the Rings... it does to MMORPGs what "Cow Clicker" did for casual games. This immense and long-running (9 years so far!) online RPG has gotten far farther than it ought to have, with its weird humour, meat-based economy, and stick-man illustrations. Really, I'm just jealous I didn't spend my 20s enriching its bizarre and splendid ecology.
To help promote the game, every year since 2006 they have distributed a KoL-themed gamebook at the San Diego Comic Con in splendidly-focused target marketing. It's great, but mostly you only get to "play" if you get a copy of the 'zine at the Con or want to hunt around through the PDF some fan invariably throws together. Let's get rigorous: here's all the text, all the illustrations, and functional links. Some other wingnut converted the first one from 2006 -- this one I've just done is number 2, from 2007. Now it's a computer game, promoting a different computer game! It's true that the entire thing is an ad for a commercial enterprise, but I have no qualms with lending these glorious weirdos my endorsement.
. . .
An Adventurer Is You!
Kingdom of Loathing The Home Game*
*Or, more likely, The While You're Standing In Line At Comic-Con Game. We basically had that discussion last time, though.
Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
NEW! Now with readable font-size! (In case you left your magnifying glass at home.)
Your head pounds like the largest and most arrhythmic hippy drum circle ever as you slowly regain consciousness. You're lying in a puddle of vomit in a sleazy back alley somewhere.
For some reason, your first thought as your mind clears is "Oh no, not again."
But you don't know why you thought that, or if that's your vomit you're lying in.... in fact, you're not sure of much of anything, up to and including where you are or how you got here. That's not unusual, given your penchant for mainlining tequila, but this time you're not even sure -- dun dun duuuuun! -- who you are!
As you lie there pondering your fate, a half-orc hobo shuffles up to you. "Oh, it's you," he says. "Got amnesia again?"
"I don't know," you say. "I may or may not remember something like this happening to me before. I'm just not sure."
He sighs and sits down next to you, swigging from a wine bottle labeled MAD TRAIN. "Okay," he says. "You're in the Sleazy Back Alley in the Seaside Town. An adventurer is you, and where you adventure is The Kingdom of Loathing. It's a fantasy world full of orcs, gnolls, swashbuckling, and booze. We don't use bills or coins for money, we use meat. On a related note, got any spare meat?"
"Uh..." you search your pockets, but come up empty. "Sorry, but I don't --"
"Don't remember whether you had any meat and if you did, you don't have any now." he sighs. "Got it. Well, there's no point in you hanging around here, then. You should probably go see the Council of Loathing."
"Sure," you say, and shakily get to your feet. "Uh..."
"You don't remember which way it was. Of course. It's over there, in Section 54."
. . .
1
You ponder all of the battle tactics you can remember. It doesn't take very long, what with you having almost complete amnesia. You vaguely recall someone starting a war by dumping a bunch of tea into a harbor, and another war that started because someone assassinated Franz Ferdinand, and one that started because people thought God wanted them to fight. It's a limited set of options, admittedly, but there are a limited number of pages in this book.
Adapting your war-starting tactics to the current situation leads you to consider the following options



. . .
2
You follow a stream of hippy cadets into a yurt marked "Army of One Love™". There, you see the hippies clustered around a map of the Island (hand-carved from driftwood, clay beads, and found objects). They're trying to strategize, but since they don't believe in authority, inequality, or rank (except in the olfactory sense), they're not getting very far. You approach and ask what the problem is.
"We have to take back Gardenburger Hill, man!" an older hippy in a bathrobe says. "The frat boys took it over and you won't believe what they re-named it! It's the highest point on the island, man, and it's so totally strategically vital, man. But we can't decide how to do it. We're lovers, man, not fighters. I mean, war! What is it good for?"
"Just leave it to me, man," you say, "I feel like it's my...uh...path right now."
The older hippy's eyes get misty. "I totally appreciate your sacrifice of your good karma on this cycle of birth and rebirth, man," he says. "If you're re-incarnated as a dung beetle, I promise not to step on you."
So, since you got us into this mess by volunteering, you have to figure out how to take Gardenburger Hill.
. . .
3
You ponder all of the battle tactics you can remember. It doesn't take very long, what with you having almost complete amnesia. You vaguely recall someone starting a war by dumping a bunch of tea into a harbor, and another war that started because someone assassinated Franz Ferdinand, and one that started because people thought God wanted them to fight. It's a limited set of options, admittedly, but there are a limited number of pages in this book.
Adapting your war-starting tactics to the current situation leads you to consider the following options:
. . .
4
You walk back into the Army yurt and see the old hippy sitting against a wall, listening to the most boring music in the world, and staring at his hands. You politely wait until the 10-minute guitar solo is over, then clear your throat.
"I don't know what you told those kids, man," he says, "but you totally helped guide them back onto their path."
"No problem," you say. "So, how's the war going?"
"We've almost claimed total victory, man!" the hippy says. "We've taken over the frat house and are trying to convert it into a peaceful commune, but the frat boys are resisting. We still need to win over their hearts and minds -- once we've done that, man, we can all join together in brotherhood and love."
You sigh. "I assume that by 'we need to win over...' you mean 'me?'"
So how will you win those hearts and minds? And are you sure the frat boys have either one?
. . .
5
"It's weird," you say, "I see a guy in tight pants with silver buckles up the sides, and he's wearing a sombrero with a lot of silver braid on it, and he's getting ready to strangle me."
"Ah!" a councilmember says. "You do remember! The mariachi was angry because you stole his accordion! You're an Accordion Thief!"
"So I...steal accordions for a living?"
"No, you're an adventurer. You adventure for a living. But your spirit, your internal being... your overall theme, if you will, is that of a moxious Accordion Thief." You nod, nonplussed. The councilman continues, "Anyway, we have a quest that we want you to undertake. That's what adventurers do. Also, they run errands for us and give our wives foot massages -- okay, kidding about that last one. Do you want to hear about the quest?"
. . .
6
You round up a ragtag bunch of hippies (technically known as a "funk" of hippies) and sneakily and stealthily approach Gardenburger Hill. The battlefield is covered in mist -- battlefields always seem to be misty, since it helps obscure the parts that haven't loaded yet -- and you plan to execute some guerilla maneuvers in the mist.
You crawl silently toward the frat boys, preparing to tie their shoes together and beat them once they're on the ground. If you can just avoid breaking a twig or anything, you'll... *snap*
Aw, snap, you just got the crap beaten out of you.
. . .
7
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though. The camp smells almost -- pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion. They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
8
Uh, we were just kidding about that one. It's a pretty old joke; man, you really must have amnesia.
. . .
9
You wander through the frat house looking for Franz Ferdinand. Since you don't know anything about him -- he could be a politician, or he could be a musician, for all you know -- the search goes poorly. Finally you stop a pledge in the hallway and say, "Tell me where Franz Ferdinand is, or you won't be able to sit down for a week!"
"He's in there! He's in there!" the pledge says, pointing down the hallway. You open the door at the end and see an aquarium with a goldfish swimming frantically around in it. A little nametag stuck to the aquarium says "Franz Ferdinand, Mascot."
You stick your hand into the aquarium, but the little guy's swimming around so wildly that you can't get a hold of him, and the goldfish is acting pretty weird, too. You eventually admit defeat.
Make a new plan, Stan.
. . .
10
You wander down a dark sidewalk in a dystopian megalopolis. Greasy rain pours unceasingly from the sky as taxicabs drive by on the road and fly by overhead. Neon and LED signs blink at you everywhere, advertising all the familiar brands, as well as urging you to try life in an off-world colony.
A mad scientist type with wild, grey hair approaches you, waving his arms and shouting, "Marty! Marty! Biff used the sports almanac to start a company that makes androids! Some of the androids have gone rogue and you have to hunt them down!" He stops and regards you suspiciously. "Wait... did he get to you already? Are you an android? Quick, fold me an origami unicorn so I can be sure."
. . .
11
You walk out of the yurt and into the yurt just across the way. One of the punk kids you just lectured is standing there, with what can politely be described as a gosh-darned hand cannon. Did I forget to tell you about that? Must have slipped my mind. Anyway, he shouts something we can't print in a family publication and fires six shots at you, wildly, from about ten feet away. You quickly knock him out, then look around you.
Not one of the bullets hit you! That was divine intervention! Do you know what divine intervention is? You should be dead right now, my friend! You just witnessed a miracle, and I want you to acknowledge that!
Did you acknowledge it? Good, then we can move on. Of course, there's always the possibility that the bullet did actually hit you, and now the only person who can see you is a creepy little kid. You never know.
. . .
12
The old hippy directs you to a yurt from which you can hear the sounds of horrible music that mixes rap and metal. You put on your best authority-figure face and walk in.
"All right, you crazy kids, with your hippity hoppity music and your backwards baseball caps and your twenty-three skidoo," you say. "Have you thought about what you're doing to your mothers and fathers? You need to shape up, get off my lawn, and learn to respect your elders."
The responses you get are less than polite (and less than printable), so you try a different tack. You pick up a large, heavy driftwood branch. "Okay, you snot-nosed punks," you say, "you wanna be like frat boys? Well, frat boys paddle each other." You take a practice swing, destroying a nearby glass 'sculpture.' "Okay, who's first?"
The fratstafarians all run out of the tent screaming, ripping off their frat accoutrements as they do so. Within a few hours, the hippy camp's funk has been restored.
Go you! What now?
. . .
13
You follow a stream of hippy (space) cadets into a yurt marked "Army of One Love™." There, you see the hippies clustered around a map of the Island (hand-carved from driftwood, clay beads, and found objects). They're trying to strategize, but since they don't believe in authority, inequality, or rank (except in the olfactory sense), they're not getting very far. You approach and ask what the problem is.
"We have to take back Gardenburger Hill, man!" an older hippy in a bathrobe says. "The frat boys took it over and you won't believe what they re-named it! It's the highest point on the island, man, and it's so totally strategically vital, man. But we can't decide how to do it. I mean, war, man! What is it good for?"
"Just leave it to me, man," you say, "I feel like it's my...uh...path right now."
The older hippy's eyes get misty. "I totally appreciate your sacrifice of your good karma on this cycle of birth and rebirth, man," he says. "If you're re-incarnated as a dung beetle, I promise not to step on you."
So, since you got us into this mess by volunteering, you have to figure out how to take Gardenburger Hill.
. . .
14
You walk back into the Army yurt and see the old hippy sitting against a wall, listening to the most boring music in the world, and staring at his hands. You politely wait until the 10-minute guitar solo is over, then clear your throat.
"I don't know what you told those kids, man," he says, "but you totally helped guide them back onto their path."
"No problem," you say. "So, how's the war going?"
"We've almost claimed total victory, man!" the hippy says. "We've taken over the frat house and are trying to convert it into a peaceful commune, but the frat boys are resisting. We still need to win over their hearts and minds -- once we've done that, man, we can all join together in brotherhood and love."
You sigh. "I assume that by 'we need to win over...' you mean 'me?'"
So how will you win those hearts and minds? And are you sure the frat boys have either one?
. . .
15
"Okay," you tell the old hippy, "I think the best way to win the frat boys over to your -- I mean, our side is to feed them. Let's just invite them all over for dinner."
"That's a great idea," the old hippy says. "I'll round up some tofu burgers, tofu dogs, tofu nuggets, tofu chow mein, tofu French fries, and some delicious diet tofu soda."
"But -- but, why would French fries need to be made out of tofu... you know what, never mind. If you try and feed that cra -- er, cruelty-free, delicious food to the frat boys, there's going to be a bloodbath. And I'll probably start it. I'll figure something else out."
Best get to figurin'.
. . .
16
You follow a stream of hippy (space) cadets into a yurt marked "Army of One Love™". There, you see the hippies clustered around a map of the Island (hand-carved from driftwood, clay beads, and found objects). They're trying to strategize, but since they don't believe in authority, inequality, or rank (except in the olfactory sense), they're not getting very far. You approach and ask what the problem is.
"We have to take back Gardenburger Hill, man!" an older hippy in a bathrobe says. "The frat boys took it over and you won't believe what they re-named it! It's the highest point on the island, man, and it's so totally strategically vital, man. But we can't decide how to do it. I mean, war, man! What is it good for?"
"Just leave it to me, man," you say, "I feel like it's my...uh...path right now."
The older hippy's eyes get misty. "I totally appreciate your sacrifice of your good karma on this cycle of birth and rebirth, man," he says. "If you're re-incarnated as a dung beetle, I promise not to step on you."
So, since you got us into this mess by volunteering, you have to figure out how to take Gardenburger Hill.
. . .
17
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though. The camp smells almost -- pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion. They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
18
You stand before the council, practically dislocating your shoulder patting yourself on the back. It took all of your ingenuity, courage, and pluck, but you started the hippy/frat boy war, and you brought it to a quick and decisive end. Peace reigns in the Kingdom, and it's all thanks to you!
"Well, adventurer," the center councilman says, "I suppose we should be thanking you. You did start the war, and you did end it. But now that you've eliminated the frat boys, the hippies have converted 95% of the Island into a nature preserve. There will be no tourists, no safaris, no hunting parties -- in fact, you've done far more to destroy our interests than to save them. We're going to have to send in a team just to restart the frat boy civilization again - at least they could talk sense from time to time. I'll tell you what: if you leave right now, we won't arrest you."
"Arrest me?!" you shout. "You guys are out of your minds! I did the work, and I demand a reward! You razzin-fracking, dollar sign pound sign asterisk ampersand --" You continue to shout, too loud even to hear the guard sneaking up behind you, and certainly too loud to hear his truncheon swish through the air behind your head.
The resounding THWAP as it hits your skull -- well, that, you hear. But you don't hear your body go thump as you fall, unconscious, to the floor.
  • To complete the most awesome joke ever, turn to the Prologue.
  • If you're done reading for now, why not try playing Kingdom of Loathing online! It's free, just like this booklet, and it's more interactive, less likely to give you papercuts, and harder to set on fire! Try it at http://www.kingdomofloathing.com, and thanks for playing!

















. . .
19
You sneak around to the back of the frat house, ignoring the loud thwap of paddles and the groaning of pledges that emanates from the house itself. Man, these guys are creepy.
Behind the frat house, you see a recently-delivered shipment of beer kegs, guarded by two nervous-looking pledges. You sneak up behind them, steal each of their pledge pins, and throw the pins as hard as you can. They clatter off into the gloaming, and the pledges run off to find them; God only knows what horrible, kinky things the senior frat brothers would do if the pledges showed up without those pins.
You roll the kegs of beer down to the shore and into the harbor, then sneak back to the frat house to watch the ensuing ruckus. The ruckus could be described as a bunch of frat boys finding out they're out of beer, deducing that the hippies must have dumped the beer, and vowing to go to war. Congratulations, you moxious son-of-a-gun! Begun, this frat war has.
. . .
20
You hang out in the alley, marveling at the many strange sights you may or may not have seen before. You see a giant bowling ball roll by, searching for some pins to knock down, then ten magically animated bowling pins using black paint to disguise themselves as penguins (pinguins?). You see a little plaque dedicated to somebody named K. "Sleazy Back" Alley, for whom this little side-street is named.
Just as you're about to rummage through a nearby Dumpster, a giant spider leaps in front of you! He's soon joined by an entirely different spider, and they advance upon you, mandibles clicking ominously. Fortunately, before they can attack, the stress of balancing a spider career with a personal life becomes too much for them, and their web spinners quit working. They scuttle away, ashamed.
. . .
21
You sit in the hippy camp, racking your brains about how you might best shock and awe the frat boys. As you cradle your head in your hands, a hippy spy walks in. "Hey, man," he says, "the frat boys are all listening to this new kind of music, man. Like, instead of rap and heavy metal together, and all heavy and angry, it's guys with bad haircuts screaming and crying about how sensitive they are. Weird, man."
Eureka! You conjure up some dry noodles and arrange them on your head, so it looks a little like bedhead and a little like a haystack. You stride up Gardenburger Hill, pull a guitar out of your back pocket (how'd you fit that in there? You never cease to amaze me), and start to sing. Well, start to scream a little and cry a little. "You stubbed my toe when you walked out on me," you sing. "You stubbed my soul and you don't even care... you don't even care..." then you break down in tears.
The frat boys start crying with you. "It's so true, bra!" one of them sobs. "My girlfriend left just because I was cheating on her, bra! I don't think she even thought about how that makes me feel!" The frat boys share a group hug, then go off to find some chicks to impress with how sensitive they are.
Congratulations! Now don't ever sing like that again.
. . .
22
You walk slowly up to Gardenburger Hill, keeping your hands visible and a smile on your face. The frat boys regard you suspiciously, their paddlin' hands twitching inches from their holstered weapons.
"What's up, bra?" you say. "I heard this awesome joke; do you want to hear it?"
"Sure, bra," a frat boy replies, "but if we don't think the joke's funny, we'll beat the crap out of you."
"Okay, okay," you say, "what's orange and looks good on a hippy? Anyone? Huh? FIRE!"
"We've heard that before." The frat boys unholster their paddles and advance toward you.
"Not the way I tell it," you say, and whip a flamethrower out of your pocket (I bet you forgot that was in there... you wacky amnesiacs). You quickly turn the top of Gardenburger Hill into a bonfire. As you rest beside the fire, catching your breath, you see a black sail appear on the horizon to the South. Interesting.
. . .
24
Now you're just messing with me. There's no such thing as a Radish Dancer, as well you know. Your options are: 1) someone who tames the world's most placid animals, 2) someone who steals unwieldy, nerdy musical instruments, and 3) someone who makes spells out of Italian food.
A Radish Dancer would be silly.
I say again:
. . .
25
"I don't know if this makes sense," you say, "but I see myself slowly and steadily bashing a monster, using a carved stone turtle on a stick."
"Ah!" a councilmember says. "You do remember! You were using your Mace of the Tortoise to lay down some smack. You're a Turtle Tamer!"
"How can you tell when a turtle is tamed?" you ask. "They're pretty mellow."
"Hardly anyone can tell," the councilman replies, "but you can. You don't tame turtles for a living, though -- it's more like your essence, your spirit self, embodies the patient tenacity and strength of a turtle. So, we have a quest that we want you to undertake. That's what adventurers do. Also, they run errands for us and give our wives foot massages -- okay, kidding about that last one. Do you want to hear about the quest?"
. . .
26
You remember that there are two things children love: shiny objects, and magic tricks. You remember a trick your uncle did when you were a kid, and since your uncle was always good with kids (or, at least his Parole Officer said he was), you decide to give it a try. You just need to find a shiny object...
Fortunately, hippies keep ferrets, and ferrets hoard shiny things. In one of their cages, you find a small gold medallion with a skull stamped into the middle of it. You pocket it and approach the yurt full of rebellious fratstafarians.
"Hey kids, watch this!" you say, and step closer to one of the little brats. "What's that? You can't hear me? Is it because you have something in your ear?" You palm the medallion, then pretend to pull it out of the kid's ear. Oh, sorry if I spoiled that trick for you.
As you hold up the medallion, a strange glow passes over it and you hear a sonorous BOOM from outside. The kids run out, shouting "He's a sorcerer! Screw this, I'm going to go smoke some herbs! Let's go put on some reodorant!" and things of that nature.
You step outside the tent and see that the pirate ship that was on the horizon is now making berth in the Obligatory Pirate's Cove. Oooo... shiny.
. . .
27
You spend the better part of a day making flyers to drop over the frat house. You use all the classic imagery: a hammer and sickle, fresh-faced youth toiling in the fields, an out-of-focus picture of a guy in a beret, the works. You approach the old hippy with a thick sheaf of flyers.
"Okay, I made all these flyers, and we just need to drop them over the frat house. Crap. Do you guys have an air force?"
The old hippy nods and shows you a squadron of trained ferrets with biplanes strapped to them. You hand the ferrets the flyers, then sneak over to the frat house to see how it goes.
The frat boys pick up the fliers, scan them, and toss them away. You hear one say "Hey, bra, I already have the poster with that out-of-focus guy on it. Who is he, anyway?"
You walk away as a particularly thick frat boy tosses a flyer aside, saying "This paper has words on it. Words suck."
You are the weakest outdated catchphrase. Goodbye!
. . .
28
You march down the main street of the Seaside Town, ticker-tape and confetti raining down on you, at the head of a parade in your honor. You stride into the Council building, and the councilmen beam at you, wildly applauding. "Congratulations, adventurer!" the middle councilman says. "You've gone above and beyond what we asked you to do. Now the island is safe from both the odoriferous communism of the hippies and the sleazy jackanapery of the frat boys. The pirates have returned and are setting up a theme park ride that will bring thousands of meat flowing into our coffers. We're not sure why you'd want a nine-hour-long ride, but the pirates seem to think people will dig it."
He stands up and approaches you, a big shiny medal in his hands. "This is the highest honor the council can convey: the Order of the Silver Wossname," he says. "Wear it with pride. Truly, An Adventurer is You!™"
Man, you've got to find out how people make that little ™ when they talk. It's so cool.
Congratulations! You've found the best possible ending to this book. If you just thought "Heh, any ending is the best possible ending to this book, am I right?" then you're exactly the kind of person who should come play Kingdom of Loathing online! It's a lot like this, only far bigger, more interactive, and harder to set on fire (on the other hand, it's harder to play while using the restroom). And it's as free as something that doesn't cost any money! Come see us at http://www.kingdomofloathing.com.
. . .
29
The old hippy directs you to a yurt from which you can hear the sounds of horrible music that mixes rap and metal. You see a dozen or so suspiciously clean hippy kids busily cribbing off each other's papers (which is weird, since they're not in school), slipping clay beads into each other's drinks, and trying to make paddles out of driftwood sculptures.
"All right, look," you say, "I'm not going to even try and talk like you guys, because that's unbearably lame. I just want to tell you something. When I was your age, I rebelled against my parents and everything they stood for. I did, basically, exactly what you're doing now. And you know what? Nothing bad happened to me. I turned out fine. So go ahead, rebel."
"Man," a fratstafarian says, disgusted, "now it's not any fun anymore."
"Yeah, screw this. This baseball cap is squishing my dreadlocks, anyway."
Well, now -- that was pretty devious, you moxious so-and-so.
. . .
30
You march up Gardenburger Hill. It's not that impressive, so far as hills go. It doesn't even seem to be alive -- you don't hear any music. It does have eyes, though, and those eyes are stuck in the heads of a couple dozen frat boys, who are looking at you incredulously.
You grab the biggest stick you can find and charge, bellowing at the top of your lungs. You swing wildly, throwing rocks, flailing, making as much sound and fury as you possibly can. It seems to be working -- at least, the frat boys are laughing too hard to attack you -- but then your legs slide out from under you and you fall to the ground. I guess your shock and awe was shockingly awful.
Quite unexpectedly, and in a manner completely out of character, the frat boys paddle you like a canoe.
Do. Or do not. There is no "try again". Oh wait, yes there is:
. . .
31
You hold your nose, 'cause here goes the cold water -- wait, that's not it. You hold your nose because there appears to be a shortage of cold water in the hippy camp. The stench of unwashed bodies, burning incense to mask the stench of unwashed bodies, and liberally applied patchouli oil combines to form a funk so thick you could poke it with a spork. Pork it with a spoke?
You cover yourself in mud, pick up a few tree branches, and stride into the drum circle in the middle of the hippy camp, moaning as spookily as you can. "Ooooooooo..." you say. "I am the spirit of Mother Eaaaaaarth.... I want you to go to waaaaar with the fraaaaat booooys..."
"Man," one of the hippies says, "Gaia would never tell us to engage in violence with our fellow travelers on Spaceship Earth. Your negative energy is totally harshing the vibrations of our drum circle. Get out of here, or I'll hug you."
I'm not saying you're a failure, I'm just saying you failed this time.
. . .
32
The council collectively winces. "We hate to tell you this," the middle councilman says, "but it was actually you who killed your wife; you accidentally gave her an overdose of her medication. But that's not relevant. Why don't you concentrate and try again?"
. . .
33
You decide to solve this problem in the ancient tradition of colonizing forces everywhere. You borrow a handful of brightly colored beads from the hippies (it's not difficult to borrow things from communists), and make your way to Gardenburger Hill.
It's not so impressive, as hills go. It's not alive with the sound of music, and doesn't have eyes. The frat boys, though -- they're impressive. There's a couple dozen of them, and they don't look friendly. Or nice. Or smart.
You walk up and address them, speaking loudly and slowly as you hold out the beads. "We come to take your hill!" you say. "We give you beads, you give us hill! These beads...this hill! You understand?"
As you lie on the ground getting kicked in the ribs, you remember that colonizing forces who popularized this method of dealing with people had fairly large armies to back up the shiny beads. Whoops.
. . .
34
"If only we had a Kingdom Alliance uniform..." you muse, pacing the yurt.
"Hold on," the old hippy says. Then he takes off his bathrobe, removes the uniform underneath it, and hands you the uniform. Man, you really didn't need to see that.
You put on the uniform, stride purposefully up to the frat house, and pound on the door. When a frat boy answers, you declare, in martial tones: "Attention, frat boys! The Kingdom Alliance demands the immediate cessation of all hostilities and your complete surrender to the Army of One Love™."
"Okay," the frat boy says, "and what if we don't?"
"Then I'll come back again, and I'll be carrying a very strongly worded letter," you say, "and we'll pass a resolution that you're a bunch of meany-heads."
"We'll take our chances, bra," the frat boy says, chuckling, and slams the door in your face.
Wow, what were you doing with a door in your face?
. . .
35
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though: the hippy camp smells almost pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion.
They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
36
You hold your nose as you walk into the stinky interior of the hippy camp. It kind of works, except now you can faintly taste the odor of unwashed bodies, mixed with the patchouli and incense that unsuccessfully try to cover the odor of unwashed bodies.
"Okay," you say to yourself. "Gotta be godlike. Gotta be mystical." As you try and clear your mind to meditate, a passing hippy exhales sweet-smelling smoke in your face. Instantly, you're in touch with the cosmos, and you remember how to do magic.
You summon two giant meatballs from the æther, hold them up like equally giant eyes, and surround yourself with mystic, floating, undulating strands of spaghetti. You stride into the middle of the hippies' drum circle, moaning spookily.
"I am... uh... the Hovering Pasta Monster!" you say. "I command you to go to war with the frat boys! Do my bidding, or I shall disalign your chakras, give a noogie to your karma, and... uh... wash your hair!"
The hippies fearfully and ferociously begin to prepare for war. You let the noodles and meatballs re-absorb into the æther and walk away whistling.
Begun in earnest, this frat war has. Earnest goes to war.
  • To make an important choice, go to Section 62.
  • To make a mess, spill your soda on this page.
. . .
37
"Oh, Helga," Lars said, laying his giant barbarian gun-blade aside and fumbling with the hooks that held his loincloth together.
"Oh, Lars, my barbarian prince," Helga said.
"Do you -- uh, do you mind if my wisecracking robot companion watches?" Lars said, tenderly, tossing his fur-lined cape to Frobot, who caught it in one caliper and whistled appreciatively.
"But of course not, my darling," she said, "so long as my miniature winged unicorn may watch as well." Helga let her nightgown fall open just far enough to show her cybernetic enhancements and her tribal tattoos. "Come to me, my love!"
The roaring of a motorcycle interrupted the two as they came together in a passionate embrace. Gunther sped into the room atop his faithful chopper, Mercurious. "Helga!" he shouted in the shocked silence after he killed the bike's engine. His katana rang against its sheath as he drew it, and he threw back his ninja mask revealing a face clouded with rage -- a strangely familiar face. "Helga, how could you cheat on me with my own clone?"
Wait a minute -- where are you? How did you get here? I suspect foul play.
  • You should back away slowly -- let's say to, oh, Section 44 -- and tell no one what you saw here.
. . .
38
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though. The camp smells almost -- pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion.
They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
39
You sneakily and stealthily approach Gardenburger Hill. The battlefield is covered in mist -- battlefields always seem to be misty, since it helps obscure the parts that haven't loaded yet -- and you plan to execute some guerilla maneuvers in the mist.
You crawl on your belly up Gardenburger Hill -- man, you're going to be pulling thistles out of places you don't want thistles to be -- and manage to sneak into the frat boys' camp unseen. They're all sitting around a keg, drinking horrible, cheap beer and having a belching contest. You make your way around the circle, unseen like the wind, tie all of their shoelaces together (completely unlike the wind), then you break like the wind, stand up, and shout "BOO!"
The frat boys jump up, run at you, and fall over in a satisfyingly comic fashion. You head back to the hippy camp, the sounds of hilarious bone-breaking and amusing eye-gouging echoing in your ears.
Nicely done! Highbrow humor is always the best, isn't it?
. . .
40
The old hippy directs you to a yurt from which you can hear the sounds of horrible music that mixes rap and metal. You put on your best authority-figure face and walk in.
"All right, you crazy kids, with your hippity hoppity music and your backwards baseball caps and your twenty-three skidoo," you say. "Have you thought about what you're doing to your mothers and fathers? You need to shape up, get off my lawn, and learn to respect your elders."
One of the kids sneers at you. "Screw you, I won't do what you tell me," he says.
"Yeah," another says. "We're gonna do things my way, my way, my way or the highway."
Darn whippersnappers.
. . .
41
You sneak around to the back of the frat house, ignoring the loud thwap of paddles and the groaning of pledges that emanates from the house itself. Man, these guys are creepy.
Behind the frat house, you see a recently-delivered shipment of beer kegs, guarded by two nervous-looking pledges. You approach them confidently. "All right, maggots!" you say. "The Pledgemaster told me to replace you. You may go clean the bathrooms with a toothbrush."
The pledges look at you suspiciously. "Hey," one says, "you're not a frat brother! You're the only person below a pledge in the paddling order -- a non-frat affiliated adventurer!"
What happens next is embarrassing, icky, and painful in equal proportions.
Try again. Try harder.
. . .
42
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though. The camp smells almost -- pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion. They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
43
You walk back into the Army yurt and see the old hippy sitting against a wall, listening to the most boring music in the world, and staring at his hands. You politely wait until the 10-minute guitar solo is over, then clear your throat.
"I don't know what you told those kids, man," he says, "but you totally helped guide them back onto their path."
"No problem," you say. "So, how's the war going?"
"We've almost claimed total victory, man!" the hippy says. "We've taken over the frat house and are trying to convert it into a peaceful commune, but the frat boys are resisting. We still need to win over their hearts and minds, man."
You sigh. "I assume that by 'we need to win over...' you mean 'me?'"
So how will you win those hearts and minds? And are you sure the frat boys have either one?
. . .
44
Look, I really hate to keep harping on this, but what class are you again? I promise, this is the last time I'll ask. Man, I've really got to lay off the barbiturate-flavored schnapps.
. . .
45
You approach the frat boy camp, eager to join their war effort and help them overcome the hippy threat. As you draw near, a frat boy spots you and brandishes his perforated battle paddle. "Dammit, pledge, you were not permitted to leave the grounds until you cleaned the whole frat house with your tongue!" he shouts. You try to explain that you're not a pledge, but it does you no good.
After a half an hour of "thank you sir, may I have another," you finally get away. You know what? Screw those frat boys. You're better off helping the hippies anyway -- their method of dealing with intruders is to feed them brownies and organic, cruelty-free soy milk.
. . .
46
"Okay," you say to yourself, "think, think, think. What do frat boys like?"
A little light bulb appears over your head, which is somewhat bizarre and disconcerting.
You toss it into your pocket and head over to the frat house.
The scene inside isn't pretty. The frat boys have tied up their hippy peacekeepers, which is probably to be expected, but you're sure the Geneva Convention doesn't specify stripping the prisoners naked and covering them in bacon grease. Man, what is it with these guys?
"Okay, guys," you say to the frat boys, "you've been focused for way too long on the differences between you and the hippies. But you have one important thing in common: the herbs that calm the mind, quiet the spirit, and make you hungry. They unite all of us -- frat boy, hippy, gangsta rapper, and glaucoma sufferer. Can you not put aside your differences and just enjoy some herbs together?"
"But, bra," a frat boy says, "they take the herbs and then listen to boring, stupid music. We take the herbs and watch movies about other people taking the herbs, and they're hilarious because we're on the herbs too."
You sigh. "Okay, then. Listen. Hippies are sensitive, enlightened, friends to the earth and to the animals. Chicks dig men who are sensitive, enlightened, friends to the earth and to the animals. If you were all hippies, you'd be getting action non-stop."
"Woah, bra!" a frat boy says, as they all start rubbing dread wax on their hair, "we never thought of it that way. Thanks, bra! I mean -- thanks, man. Far out!"
Feel free to hum the victory music from your favorite RPG, if you're in an appropriate venue for doing so. I recommend the Final Fantasy fanfare, myself.
. . .
47
You borrow some cloth from the hippies (it's pretty easy to borrow things from communists), and paint a giant peace sign on it, then hang it from a long stick.
You stride confidently up Gardenburger Hill, waving the banner back and forth. The frat boys watch you suspiciously, their hands inches from their paddles.
"Right." you say, sticking the end of your stick into the ground. "This hill belongs to the hippies."
"No way, bra!" a frat boy says. "We stole it fair and square."
"Do you have a flag?" you say. The frat boys shake their heads, confused. "No flag, no hill," you say. "You can't have one. Those are the rules I've just made up." You brandish your Mace of the Tortoise and flex your biceps. "And I'm backing it up with this Mace and these guns."
"That sucks, bra!" a frat boy says. "You're just like my nazi parents. I'm going to go listen to angry music and break stuff. Come on, brothers." The frat boys walk off, heads hung low.
Sweet, sweet nectar of success!




























.
. . .
48
You follow the map to the southeast shore of the Kingdom. You scavenge around on the seashore until you find some dingy planks, which are so dirty they're watertight, and you lash them together into a dingy dinghy, which is a joke few people get. You see, "dingy" has a soft 'g' like "giraffe," while dinghy is a hard 'g'... you know what? Never mind.
From the bluffs on the north of the Island, you can see the frat house, a giant mansion oozing entitlement, and the hippy camp, obscured by aromatic smoke and less aromatic funk. Directly to the south, near what your map calls the Sonofa Beach, is a conspicuous lack of pirates.
Now, how will you start the war? Wait, sorry, I think I've got amnesia. Which class are you, again? If you don't remember, you'll have to go back to the council in Section A and ask them.
. . .
49
You wander through, looking for Franz Ferdinand. Since you don't know anything about him -- he could be a politician, or he could be a musician, for all you know -- the search goes poorly. Finally you stop a pledge in the hallway, grab his shoulders, and say "Tell me where Franz Ferdinand is, or you won't be able to sit down for a week!"
"He's in there! He's in there!" the pledge says, pointing down the hallway. You open the door at the end and see an aquarium with a goldfish swimming frantically around in it. A little nametag stuck to the aquarium says "Franz Ferdinand, Mascot."
Well, a goldfish isn't exactly a turtle, but you manage to tame it enough so you can reach in, grab it, and toss it up in the air to swallow it. As Franz Ferdinand arcs through the air, a senior frat boy walks in and spots you, but he's too late; you gulp down the goldfish.
"You -- you killed Franz Ferdinand, bra!" the frat boy says. "No true frat boy would touch our sacred mascot. You must be a hippy in disguise! This means WAR, bra!"
You shove the frat boy aside and beat feet out of the frat house. Mission accomplished.
Well, since the war just started, the mission isn't so much accomplished, but you're on your way.
. . .
50
You walk back into the Army yurt and see the old hippy sitting against a wall, listening to the most boring music in the world, and staring at his hands. You politely wait until the 10-minute guitar solo is over, then clear your throat.
"I don't know what you told those kids, man," he says, "but you totally helped guide them back onto their path."
"No problem," you say. "So, how's the war going?"
"We've almost claimed total victory, man!" the hippy says. "We've taken over the frat house and are trying to convert it into a peaceful commune, but the frat boys are resisting. We still need to win over their hearts and minds, man.
You sigh. "I assume that by 'we need to win over...' you mean 'me?'"
So how will you win those hearts and minds? And are you sure the frat boys have either one?
. . .
51
"Okay," you say, "you guys are going to think I'm nuts, but I see this thing attacking me, and then before it can hit me, it's suddenly covered in fettuccine, wrapped up tighter than Roy Orbison in cling-film."
"Ah!" a councilmember says. "You do remember!
You cast a spell called 'Entangling Noodles.' You're a Pastamancer!"
"A what?"
"A Pastamancer: a magician who uses wheat flour and olive oil instead of bone dust and eye of newt. You could kill a man with your lasagna," the councilman says, visibly excited.
"So could my mom, but she was just a really lousy cook."
The councilman rolls his eyes. "Anyway, we have a quest that we want you to undertake. That's what adventurers do. Also, they run errands for us and give our wives foot massages -- okay, kidding about that last one. Do you want to hear about the quest?"
. . .
52
"If only we had a Kingdom Alliance uniform..." you muse, pacing the yurt.
"Hold on," the old hippy says. Then he takes off his bathrobe, removes the uniform underneath it, and hands you the uniform. Man, you really didn't need to see that.
You put on the uniform and knock on the front door of the frat house. It's pretty much a madhouse, a madhouse inside -- there's a small cadre of hippy peacekeepers, but they're tied up and being paddled.
"Okay, you guys," you say, "I am ordering you to cease hostilities and accept hippy rule by the authority of the Kingdom Alliance."
"How about we just beat the crap out of you and send you back to the K.A. naked, covered in grease, and sealed in a plastic bag?" a frat boy answers.
You grin the particularly dangerous grin of a snapping turtle who is just about to snap, then slowly reach for your Mace. "You know," you say, "I really think you should try it."
The ensuing carnage ends with you standing, the frat boys mostly on their backs, and a glorious peace reigning over the frat house.
If it's at all practical for you, go ahead and hum the victory music from the Role-Playing Game of your choice. We'll wait.
. . .
53
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though. The camp smells almost -- pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion.
They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
54
You arrive at the Town Hall, a domed building decorated with friezes of adventurers getting killed in various entertaining ways. You walk up the steps and into the hall where the Council sits.
You stifle a scream as you see them: there are five men, all missing their entire bodies from the navel down, all fused to a table with a banner that says "Loathing" on it. What kind of freakish twist of fate left these poor men in such a state?
Before you can say anything, though, your perspective adjusts to the artwork and you see they're actually five completely whole men, merely seated behind a table. Whew!
You approach with trepidation, then set down the trepidation and wait for the Councilmen to speak. The one in the middle addresses you:
"Ah, I see by your blank expression and the giant lump on your head that you're another adventurer with amnesia," he says, and sighs. "Let us help you remember what class of adventurer you are. Search deep inside yourself: vague as it might be, what is the last thing you remember? What do you see in your mind's eye?"
. . .
55
You decide you've had enough of subtlety and finesse, even if you haven't displayed any subtlety or finesse thus far.
You stride over to the frat house and kick the door in. The frat boys have tied up the cadre of hippy peacekeepers, and have also stripped them naked and covered them in petroleum jelly. What is the deal with these guys? "All right," you say, "I've come here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of bubblegum."
"It's cool, bra, I can give you some gum --"
"THAT'S IT!" you shout, and begin to wade through the frat boys, throwing punches left and right, racking up combos and special moves.
"FREEZE, DOUCHEBAG!"
You turn towards the shout and see a frat boy pointing a gun at you. "Ha! You guys are even dumber than you look, if that's possible," you say. "That's a flare gun, genius." You leap forward and wrestle it out of his hand, then walk outside with it and fire it into the sky. "See?"
You see flashes of light coming from the pirate's cove, then hear the booms of cannon fire. You duck and cover as cannonballs come whistling in. The last thing you see before you black out is an airship with a skull and crossbones flag, hovering over the island, dropping wave after wave of flaming death. It looks like you accidentally called in an Arrrr Strike.
When you come to, you survey the wreckage of the island. The hippy and frat camps have both been bombed back to the stone age -- in fact, you can see one of the hippies inventing the wheel to spin pottery on, and one of the frat boys discovering fire and using it to light his flatulence.
Woah.
. . .
56
You ponder all of the battle tactics you can remember. It doesn't take very long, what with you having almost complete amnesia. You vaguely recall someone starting a war by dumping a bunch of tea into a harbor, and another war that started because someone assassinated Franz Ferdinand, and one that started because people thought God wanted them to fight. It's a limited set of options, admittedly, but there are a limited number of pages in this book.
Adapting your war-starting tactics to the current situation leads you to consider the following options








. . .
57
The old hippy directs you to a yurt from which you can hear the sounds of horrible music that mixes rap and metal. As you walk in, a dozen sullen kids in frat-boy gear studiously avoid your eyes.
"Okay," you say, "I thought we might try a little word-association game, to help me better understand where you're coming from. When I say a word, you say the first thing that comes to mind. Okay?"
"Copacetic."
"No, we haven't started."
"Begun."
"No, no, no!"
"Denied, denied, denied!"
"You're a bunch of smart-ass kids."
"Goats."
Well, that didn't work. Now what are you going to do?
. . .
58
"Okay," the middle councilman says, "I'll make this brief: the frat boys and hippies are at the point of all-out war. It's so bad that the pirates packed up and sailed away. Frankly, we're sick of the frat boys and hippies in equal proportions. We want you to go over there, make sure the war does start, and make sure it ends quickly."
"Hippies? Frat boys? Pirates? WHAT?" you say.
"Okay. I'll make this somewhat less brief. There's an island to the southeast that's inhabited by three distinct populations: a fraternity house of sleazy frat boys, a camp of stinky hippies, and a cove where the obligatory pirates make anchor. The frat boys and hippies don't get along. The pirates are kind of chaotic-neutral. We want the war -- and whoever loses, we win." He hands you a map of the Kingdom with the Mysterious Island of Mystery highlighted. "I'm sure you'll pick it up as you go along. Now get over to that island and start some mayhem!"
. . .
59
The old hippy directs you to a yurt from which you can hear the sounds of horrible music that mixes rap and metal. You see a dozen or so suspiciously clean hippy kids busily cribbing off each other's papers (which is weird, since they're not in school), slipping clay beads into each other's drinks, and trying to make paddles out of driftwood sculptures.
"Okay, homies," you say, "the 411 is that you're not down with your groovy hippy roots anymore. I think that's totally wack, and you should too -- it's not tubular or awesome to diss your culture, yo."
"OMG u talk funny," one of the kids says. "U hav so many xtra letrs in ur words. How do u do that?"
Their stilted speech is so painful that you have to flee the tent. Man, people who talk like that are obnoxious, aren't they?
. . .
60
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though - the camp smells almost -- almost pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion.
They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
61
    3 fresh mint sprigs
    2 tsp sugar
    3 tbsp fresh lime juice
    1 1/2 oz light rum
    club soda
In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with chilled club soda or seltzer. Add a lime slice and the remaining mint, and serve.
. . .
62
Now that you've started the war, it's your job to end it. So now you must choose which side you'll fight for. Uh, for which side you'll fight, sorry. Do you want to help out the violent, bullying, greedy, sleazy, roofie-slipping, paper-cheating, pledge-paddling frat boys? Or do you want to help the hippies?
. . .
63
Un hombre camina por la calle con un pingüino. Se encuentra con un amigo y éste le pregunta:
–¿Dónde vas con ese pingüino?
El otro hombre le explica:
– Es que me lo han regalado y no sé qué hacer con él.
– Pues llévalo al Zoo.
– ¡Buena idea!
Al día siguiente se vuelven a encontrar y el hombre sigue con el animal.
–¿Pero no te dije que lo llevaras al Zoo?
– Ayer lo llevé al Zoo y hoy lo llevo al cine.
(Si usted no habla español y has tomando el tiempo de traducir este chiste terrible, lo siento).
  • You should probably go to Section 43 before someone asks you where the library is.
. . .
64
You stroll back into the hippy camp, flush with success. You sense a disturbance in the Force almost immediately, though. The camp smells almost -- pleasant. You wonder what the crap is going on.
"Hey guys, what the crap is going on?" you say as you enter the Army yurt. "I took the hill back, so everything's cool, right?"
"We may be winning the war, man," the old hippy says, "but we're losing the war at home. The young hippies are starting to adopt the frat boys' ways as a sign of rebellion.
They're...they're bathing, man! They're applying harsh chemicals to their underarms! They're even washing their hair, and with non-biodegradable shampoo!" he slumps forward, defeated. "This is the end, beautiful friend. The end."
"We will get by," you say. "Uh, don't stop believin'." I'm sure some hippies listen to Journey.
So what's your approach, here?
. . .
65
You walk back into the Army yurt and see the old hippy sitting against a wall, listening to the most boring music in the world, and staring at his hands. You politely wait until the 10-minute guitar solo is over, then clear your throat.
"I don't know what you told those kids, man," he says, "but you totally helped guide them back onto their path."
"No problem," you say. "So, how's the war going?"
"We've almost claimed total victory, man!" the hippy says. "We've taken over the frat house and are trying to convert it into a peaceful commune, but the frat boys are resisting. We still need to win over their hearts and minds -- once we've done that, man, we can all join together in brotherhood and love."
You sigh. "I assume that by 'we need to win over...' you mean 'me?'"
So how will you win those hearts and minds? And are you sure the frat boys have either one?
. . .
66
"Okay," you tell the old hippy, "I think the best way to win the frat boys over to your -- I mean, our side is to feed them. Let's just invite them all over for dinner."
"That's a great idea," the old hippy says. "I'll round up some tofu burgers, tofu dogs, tofu nuggets, tofu chow mein, tofu French fries, and some delicious diet tofu soda."
"That sounds, uh, tasty," you say, diplomatically, "but I'm a Pastamancer. I can pull food directly out of the æther. That way no innocent soy beans will have to lose their lives to feed us."
"Okay, man," the hippy says. "But is magically-generated food organic and cruelty-free?"
"Absolutely." You whip up a big pot of fettuccine, then get one of your Sauceror friends (who you just remembered you had, and who can do for sauce what you do with noodles) to make a giant vat of alfredo sauce.
The frat boys come over for the meal, approaching warily, but their suspicions melt when they see your magic food. They stuff themselves, then take a break, then stuff themselves again, until one by one they fall off their chairs into a deep, restful, food coma.
"Awww..." you say, "they're angels when they're sleeping. Okay guys, before the frat boys wake up, dress them like hippies.
They're used to not knowing where they are or what they did before they passed out, and they'll assume they lost the war."
Go ahead and do a little victory dance if you want to. Dance, magic, dance!
. . .
67
You walk back into the Army yurt and see the old hippy sitting against a wall, listening to the most boring music in the world, and staring at his hands. You politely wait until the 10-minute guitar solo is over, then clear your throat.
"I don't know what you told those kids, man," he says, "but you totally helped guide them back onto their path."
"No problem," you say. "So, how's the war going?"
"We've almost claimed total victory, man!" the hippy says. "We've taken over the frat house and are trying to convert it into a peaceful commune, but the frat boys are resisting. We still need to win over their hearts and minds, man."
You sigh. "I assume that by 'we need to win over...' you mean 'me?'"
So how will you win those hearts and minds? And are you sure the frat boys have either one?
. . .
68
The old hippy directs you to a yurt from which you can hear the sounds of horrible music that mixes rap and metal. The fratstafarians look up from their paddle-carving session and stare sullenly at you.
"Okay, kids," you say, in your most soothing voice. "We're going to try some art therapy, so we can all express our feelings. Everyone gather 'round and take out some crayons."
There's a general chorus of "No way," "Crayons are lame," and "Screw you, hippy" from the kids.
"Okay then," you say, "we're going to do a little trust exercise." You conjure up a giant pot of boiling macaroni, then grab the nearest kid by his popped collar and hold him over it. "You're going to trust that I won't drown you in this boiling pot, and I'll trust that you'll knock off this rebellious, angsty crap."
After a few hours, the kids are back to the filthy hippies they once were. See, who says you can't reason with children?
We left a couple pages blank here at the back, so you'd have somewhere to get autographs and sketches and such while you're at Comic-Con.
That's totally the reason, and not because the book ended up being an awkward length. I mean, come on, we're professionals.
Seriously.
If you've enjoyed this book, why not try out our free online game?
http://www.kingdomofloathing.com
It's pretty much the same, except there's a whole lot more of it, and we used some amazing Web 2.0 gif technology to make the really important pictures move a little bit. Awesome!
Plus, it's got various numbers that you can make bigger! Making numbers bigger is an important part of the online game experience, we're told.
Visit us at Comic-Con at Booth #1016, and get a free Comic-Con Exclusive in-game item! It's free! Just like the game!
To report a bug in this book, please fill out the following form with the specific problem you experienced, then return it along with the unused portion of the booklet and a $2.95 processing fee to:
Asymmetric Publications, LLC
P.O. Box 41774
Mesa, AZ 85274-1774
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Bugged Section:
Nature of Bug: (be brief but thorough):
Gross Domestic Product of Lichtenstein (2001):
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Writing: Josh "Mr. Skullhead" Nite
Artwork: Zack "Jick" Johnson
Editing, Layout, & Cover: Nathan "Riff" Conner
All content copyright © 2007,
Asymmetric Publications, LLC
If you missed last year's booklet, you can get a copy of it at
http://images.kingdomofloathing.com/KoLCYOA.pdf
or http://images.kingdomofloathing.com/CYOAspreads.pdf
(The second one is formatted for printing out.)

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