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Eric and the Gazebo

I know everyone's already seen this, but I'm adding things to my memories that I think will be hard to find later. This took a little digging, there were several broken links.

Eric and the Gazebo

The Dread Gazebo has earned its place in the canon of gaming legend, along with Phil Foglio's Phil & Dixie strips and Gary Gygax's dice probability charts. So here it is, reprinted with permission (the exact words used were, "use it with my blessing, live long and prosper.")
The Tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo
by Richard Aronson [aronson@sierratel.com]

In the early seventies, Ed Whitchurch ran "his game", and one of the participants was Eric Sorenson. Eric plays something like a computer. When he games, he methodically considers each possibility before choosing his preferred option. If given time, he will invariably pick the optimal solution. It has been known to take weeks. He is otherwise, in all respects, a superior gamer.
Eric was playing a Neutral Paladin in Ed's game. He was on some lord's lands when the following exchange occurred:
ED: You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.
ERIC: A gazebo? What color is it?
ED: [pause] It's white, Eric.
ERIC: How far away is it?
ED: About 50 yards.
ERIC: How big is it?
ED: [pause] It's about 30 ft across, 15 ft high, with a pointed top.
ERIC: I use my sword to detect good on it.
ED: It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo.
ERIC: [pause] I call out to it.
ED: It won't answer. It's a gazebo.
ERIC: [pause] I sheathe my sword and draw my bow and arrows. Does it respond in any way?
ED: No, Eric, it's a gazebo!
ERIC: I shoot it with my bow. [roll to hit] What happened?
ED: There is now a gazebo with an arrow sticking out of it.
ERIC: [pause] Wasn't it wounded?
ERIC: [whimper] But that was a +3 arrow!
ED: It's a gazebo, Eric, a GAZEBO! If you really want to try to destroy it, you could try to chop it with an axe, I suppose, or you could try to burn it, but I don't know why anybody would even try. It's a @#$%!! gazebo!
ERIC: [long pause. He has no axe or fire spells.] I run away.
ED: [thoroughly frustrated] It's too late. You've awakened the gazebo. It catches you and eats you.
ERIC: [reaching for his dice] Maybe I'll roll up a fire-using mage so I can avenge my Paladin.

At this point, the increasingly amused fellow party members restored a modicum of order by explaining to Eric what a gazebo is. Thus ends the tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo. It could have been worse; at least the gazebo wasn't on a grassy gnoll. Thus ends the tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo. A little vocabulary is a dangerous thing.
The above is Copyright © 1989 by Richard Aronson. Reprinted with permission. The author grants permission to reprint as long as all copyright notices remain with the text.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2004 08:53 am (UTC)
Oh. Dear. Gods. ::dies laughing::

(Now I REALLY need an amused icon)
Jan. 25th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
Not related to the gazebo.
I just noticed your "My Little 'Sapphire' Pony" that you "hid" behind your link frame. :)

My lit-tle Po-ny, Sap-phi-re Po-ny.
la la la laaaa la la la laaaa...

*remembers making up twisted lyrics to the jingle from the commercials*
Jan. 26th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)
Re: Not related to the gazebo.
It's not at all hidden if you go to my main journal page ^_^
Jan. 25th, 2004 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...this fellow should also watch out for the Oaken Credenza...I hear those have sharp teeth and a bad attitude also...
Jan. 26th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)
*laughs* Yea! And those Chaise Lounges? WHOO BOY!
Jan. 26th, 2004 05:33 pm (UTC)
However, if you can find the Oak Rocker Paladin, all will be well in the world...I heard he has a Coat Rack for a squire...

"Hi, I'm an eight-level fighter and a third-level brave little toaster...it was the best prestige class I could find..."
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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