Monday 12 September 2016


BEST OF FIGHTERS: ELITE, the expansion and semi-sequel to Japanese combat simulator BEST OF FIGHTERS, was a source of much controversy among the game's small but devoted fanbase. Almost everyone appreciated its massive expansion of the roster, but its rebalancing of several key characters drove a rift through the community, with a small but vocal minority demanding that Finnegan the leprechaun (broadly considered too powerful, and popularly nicknamed "Win-again") be restored to his former glory. The merits of the story mode, with its bewildering array of subplots and mandatory dating-sim sections, were hotly debated. Accusations of racial insensitivity abounded and the removal of certain elements from the American edition - two costumes, three stages, one piece of background music and one entire character - occasioned howls of derision from all the usual suspects. It remains to be seen if the holdouts will be won over and ELITE will gain as much respect as its beloved predecessor.
  1. VIVI. Classmate of Haruto's. Punk rocker. Fights with spiked chains wrapped around her fists. Secretly from a wealthy family and terrified people will find out. In love with Mako.
  2. ICHIRO. Classmate of Haruto's. Baseball player who fights with bat in hand. Ultimate move involves pitching a fastball that breaks the sound barrier. In love with Vivi.
  3. SAGA. Classmate of Haruto's. Master of calligraphy. Fights with a paintbrush as long as an oar. Can paint temporary walls in the air. Likes to draw moustaches on defeated foes. In love with Ichiro.
  4. KONCHU. Classmate of Haruto's. President of the science club. Accidentally fused with a praying mantis in an experiment gone wrong. Left arm replaced by lethal claw. In love with Saga.
  5. SHAOSHI. Master of Shaolin who is masquerading as an English teacher in order to keep an eye on the previous four characters. Does not speak English.
  6. YIJIN. Former disciple of Shaoshi's, expelled from the monastery for studying the Eleven Forbidden Techniques that if practiced wrongly could unhinge nature itself. Posing as the school janitor for reasons yet unknown.
  7. ARRIBA. A matador who plants bright-coloured barbs in the flesh of her opponents, dancing out of the way as they slowly bleed out before stepping in for the killing blow. Got bored of bulls and decided to graduate to a more dangerous prey.
  8. YASHVI. A wealthy Indian princess who wields a pair of antique punch daggers once used by her great-grandfather to disembowel a British general. Hunts tigers with them on her private game reserve, accompanied only by her faithful butler.
  9. MARCEL. An international assassin with a day job as a Parisian street mime. A master of savate, he dispenses his lethal flying kicks in total silence. Can compel people to accept his performance as reality, bouncing off his invisible walls and becoming entangled in his invisible ropes.
  10. FALSETTO. Holographic idol singer who is programmed to know every kind of martial art. Beloved by millions. Unclear how she actually hits people.
  11. BLANC. Cartoon rabbit who escaped from the world of animation into our reality. Can turn into a spring, pull enormous hammers from nowhere, etc. In love with Falsetto.
  12. HOTEI. A sumo wrestler in a Santa hat and red loincloth. Hits people with an enormous sack of toys. Big booming belly laugh. Loved by children everywhere.
  13. GUAN. A stork carrying a human baby. The baby seems happy and comfortable, even when it is being used as a blunt weapon. Nobody knows who taught the stork kung fu.
  14. CAPET. A clockwork automaton built for Louis XVI by an anonymous Oriental craftsman, who secretly imbued it with lost Shaolin knowledge. Lost during the revolution, it was abandoned in a warehouse for two hundred years before a curious peasant girl discovered it and thought to turn the huge key protruding from its back. Now on the run from both the British Museum, who want to collect it, and the Shaolin Elders, who view its existence as an abomination, it seeks refuge in the world's most elite martial arts tournament. Incredibly fast but has to stop every so often to wind itself up.
  15. POD. A carnivorous plant. Can't move around the battlefield, as it must stay rooted in its pot, though it can belch acid and lash out with thorn-tipped vines. A difficult character to learn, but rewarding for those who have mastered it.
  16. PICANTE. A South American dictator. Unsatisfied with his status as Supreme Ruler and Generalissimo over the tiny landlocked country of El Caliente, he sees no reason why he should not also triumph in the world's most elite martial arts tournament. Can control fire, for some inadequately explained reason.
  17. SARMOTI. A white tiger. Trained by the Las Vegas showmen Sven and Ricardo, it savagely turned on them halfway through a performance, ripping out Sven's throat before carving a bloody trail across the Sunset Strip. How it got invited to participate in the world's most elite martial arts tournament is unknown.
  18. MEKONG. Abandoned as a child in the swamps of Southeast Asia, this Muay Thai fighter was raised until the age of thirteen by Siamese fighting fish, and still retains many of their lethal instincts. She also dresses like one.
  19. TRUTH MAN. A patriotic American newspaper mogul who dons a striped mask and blue three-piece suit to become an anonymous crimefighter and defender of the innocent. Solves mysteries with the help of his faithful valet. Currently solving the mystery of who is the world's greatest martial artist.
  20. SCIPIO. Truth Man's faithful valet. Dresses all in black, with a chauffeur's cap. An expert in something that looks suspiciously like Wing Chun.
  21. BEDLAM. A madman confined to a straightjacket. Fights using only his legs and teeth.
  22. HACHI. A swarm of bees. Can shape itself into axes, whips, revolvers, etc. Ultimate attack involves taking the form of a nuclear bomb. Initially planned to be the character who copies other fighters, but the animation proved too difficult for the budget.
  23. MOLA. A princess from the lost city of Atlantis. Wants to return the seven Tide Jewels to their rightful place at the bottom of the sea, where no man can access their power. Wields a shark as a club.
  24. ZWAX. African-American rap legend who faked his own death in order to assume his rightful place as leader of the Illuminati. Wears gilded brass knuckles and a huge golden necklace shaped like the Eye of Providence. Wants the seven Tide Jewels for himself, to cement his place as secret ruler of the globe.
  25. BRUTUS. Legbreaker for the Italian Mafia, sent to collect the seven Tide Jewels before the Illuminati can get their hands on them. Dresses as a gladiator. Fights with a trident and a weighted net.
  26. IGNATZ. Jesuit monster hunter, dispatched by the Catholic Church to gain control of the seven Tide Jewels. Fights with a huge spiked silver thurible he swings like a mace.
  27. O-53. British superspy, impeccably dressed in bespoke suit and laser wristwatch. Real name unknown. Supplements kung fu with range of interesting gadgets developed for him by MI6 boffins. Wants the Tide Jewels in order to restore Britannia's mastery of the waves.
  28. SHALOM. Kung-fu rabbi and Mossad agent. Also after the Tide Jewels. Possesses a black belt in Krav Maga and a seemingly infinite supply of six-pointed throwing stars. Constantly chasing after Fatima.
  29. FATIMA. This character's absence from the American edition elicited complaints of censorship from thousands of aggrieved fans. A so-called "sexy suicide bomber", she sashays onto the battlefield in a full-body burqa, which is torn off at half health to reveal an explosive-belt bikini. She seeks the Tide Jewels for Al-Quaeda, and is in possession of a surprisingly complex and tragic backstory.

Thursday 8 September 2016


This is the cast of the fighting game that we would be making if we were Japanese and a video game company. It is called BEST OF FIGHTERS. The rest should be obvious.
  1. HARUTO. Ordinary high schooler who has accidentally entered the world's most elite martial arts tournament.
  2. YUI. Haruto's best friend. Entered the tournament to support him, against his protestations. Clumsy and extremely kawaii. Fights by falling over and hitting things with her schoolbag. Runs on stage with toast in her mouth.
  3. TAKUMI. Big fat neckbeard otaku who learnt martial arts from watching too much anime.
  4. MAKO. Gender ambiguous. Super cool, wears sunglasses. School captain and secret heir to ninja clan.
  5. KOGA-SENPAI. Math teacher of previous four characters. Secret ninja assassin from rival clan to Mako.
  6. MONJU. A Buddhist deity who was cast down from Heaven for reasons unknown and now wanders the Earth. Sits in lotus position atop a blue lion, wielding a lotus flower and a sword that can cut ignorance.
  7. LI'L TUT. An American featherweight boxer who dresses as an Egyptian mummy and wears a golden death mask. Real identity unknown.
  8. FRANK. The result of a secret American military experiment. Body parts from deceased members of every Special Forces branch, Frankensteined together into a hideous undead supersoldier. Left arm of a Green Beret, right leg of a Navy Seal, head of a Delta Force guy.
  9. MONTY. British archaeologist. Pith helmet and safari suit. Fights with artefacts looted from various pre-industrial cultures - boomerang, blowgun, tomahawk, etc. Ultimate move involves marble statues falling from the sky, is called Fall Of Rome.
  10. OTTO. Circus strongman with striped leotard and handlebar moustache. Has a projectile move where he throws dwarves at people.
  11. PONGO. Orangutan with boxing gloves. Otto's nemesis.
  12. WAYANG. Evil animated Javanese puppet. It stands downstage, attacking with its shadow, which is projected onto the main plane of combat.
  13. KING KAMA. Hawai'ian surfer in board shorts and lei. Board is possessed by the spirit of an ancient Hawai'ian king and moves on its own, acting as weapon, shield and vehicle. Ultimate move involves riding a summoned tsunami.
  14. WU XING. Shanghai alchemist. Can adopt five different elemental forms - fire, water, wood, metal, earth.
  15. ITAMAE. Master sushi chef. Fights with the kitchen knives of her ancestors.
  16. TAKO. An octopus with its head in a fishbowl. Constantly on the run from Itamae.
  17. HARRY FAN. Film noir detective from 1930s Hong Kong, brought forward in time by the machinations of an evil sorcerer. Backs up his kung fu with a snubnose revolver.
  18. SHINOBU. Tattooed yakuza guy who has replaced his severed pinky with a tiny gun.
  19. FINNEGAN. A leprechaun. Always dancing a jig. Half the size of the other characters. Rides rainbows across the stage and bleeds gold coins when hit.
  20. TENGU. A master thief that wears a tengu mask and balances on one-toothed wooden sandals. Flamboyant and roguish. Famous for committing impossible heists.
  21. EMET. A golem molded from malleable clay that can take the form of any other fighter.
  22. MAGOG. A caveman preserved in a Siberian glacier for a hundred thousand years. Literally the first thing he did on being unfrozen was to seek out the world's most elite martial arts tournament.
  23. YAGA. A tiny Russian witch whose legs are chicken legs. Jumps super high. Disembowels foes with razor-sharp talons.
  24. WELLS. A scientist who was accidentally turned invisible in an experiment gone wrong. Can throw off her hat and trenchcoat to become just a white-painted face and a pair of hands floating in mid-air, making her moves hard to read.
  25. BEM. A thrill-seeking space alien who has come to Earth in order to compete in the world's most elite martial arts tournament, which is unmatched anywhere in the galaxy. Has no understanding of this Earth concept called "fairness" and will gleefully attempt to disintegrate foes with its laser rifle.
  26. PHUONG. A street urchin who has trained her monkey to distract people while she picks their pockets. Got into the tournament by pretending to be the daughter of a legendary kung fu master.
  27. QUAN. A very old woman who is always drunk. Master of drunken-style kung fu, poetry and the baking of excellent moon cakes.
  28. KADRU. CEO of N.A.G.A., the megacorporation that sponsors the world's most elite martial arts tournament. Actually an immortal dragon that lost a bet with her sister, Vinata, and as a result was confined to human form. Plans to use the tournament to obtain the seven Tide Jewels and become a dragon again, drowning the world in the process.
  29. TAI. Kadru's daughter and henchperson. Pan's identical twin. Snake tattoo on her left arm. Poisons people with punches.
  30. PAN. Kadru's daughter and henchperson. Tai's identical twin. Snake tattoo on her right leg. Poisons people with kicks.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

d20 Traps

  1. A crown floating on a jet of water. Taking the crown allows the jet of water to hit the ceiling, where it brings to life a dehydrated and carnivorous fungus.
  2. A bar of silver held between the mouths of two copper dragons. A powerful electric current flows through the silver. Taking it will force the current to instead flow through the copper chains that hang like a curtain over the room's door.
  3. A room with a ruby on a pedestal in the centre. Every second wall is mirrored. The ruby acts as a lens for a blinding white light emitted by a fleck of rare metal in the pedestal, making it redder and darker. Removing the ruby will blind everyone. Replacing the ruby with an emerald will reveal secret messages written on the walls.
  4. An urn in a stone alcove. The top of the alcove is flush with the top of the urn, acting as a stopper and sealing inside a powerful djinn. The djinn is the bored djinn from this story, and has decided just to kill you.
  5. An ankle-deep pool of clear water. From one side, you can see the floor through it. From the other side, it reflects the sky from the window above the opposite door, which is too bright to see through. Once you've crossed from the first side, the floor slides away and the water becomes ten feet deep with piranhas in it.
  6. An ogre chained to the wall. A sword stuck in a plinth, out of reach of the ogre. The blade of the sword passes through the links of the chains, holding them in place. If it's removed the ogre will be freed.
  7. A wall-sized painting depicting an impressionistic parlour scene of a distraught, howling figure. The painting is actually a framed sheet of glass that makes anything behind it look like a painting. Behind it is a drawing-room and a ghoul standing very still with its mouth open.
  8. A pleasant grassy clearing with small trees, blackberry bushes and a couple of birds. Actually a pool of cow shit abandoned by a negligent farmer. Anything heavier than a child walking across it will break the crust and drown. There's no air within a foot of the pool's surface, as cow shit swallows oxygen.
  9. A river of quicksilver with a thin layer of flammable oil floating on top. Lighting the braziers in the walls also lights a fuse that conducts flame to the oil, which burns away and allows lethal quicksilver fumes to flood the room.
  10. Razortoothed rats in the walls that emerge in their thousands if even a drop of blood is spilt. A very fat woman sitting on a treasure chest who demands an extravagant sum before she'll move and let you open it. She will make sure you know about the rats. She has a crossbow. Its bolts are blunted, stunning but not wounding.
  11. A vampire nailed to the wall with ruby-tipped silver spikes. Its palms continually bleed. It pretends to be a normal person who has only been there a few hours, but its clothes are dusty and it won't let you see its teeth.
  12. A bone whistle on a glass pedestal. The walls of the room are strangely curved, echoing and amplifying any sound made within. The resonant frequency of the pedestal is such that, if anyone blows the whistle in the room, it will shatter and explode into a thousand flying shards of glass.
  13. An old dusty book, expensively bound and illuminated with gold leaf. Contains several hundred years of parish records. Infested with tiny black worms that are experts at mimicking letters and live to sow strife and discord. If undetected they will crawl into the wizard's spellbook and riddle it with tiny punctuation errors, meaning the next spell she memorises will go horribly wrong when she tries to cast it.
  14. A rack of venison roasting on a metal spit. A big carving knife with a metal handle standing in a block of wood. An electric current runs through the spit, which bulges inside the meat so that if you try to carve it you will probably make contact with the metal and be electrocuted.
  15. On the floor, a trompe-l'oeil painting of a spiked pit. Perception save to realise it's only a painting. It is made of canvas, which will tear if you walk over it and drop you into a spiked pit.
  16. Spring of fresh water with a faint reddish tinge and metallic tang. Testing for poison reveals a high but harmless concentration of iron. In the next room there is a giant magnet that will pin anyone who drank it to the wall by their stomach.
  17. Spiral staircase that is actually a spring. When you turn the doorhandle at the top it releases a latch at the bottom and the staircase collapses upward, crushing you between its coils.
  18. Mushrooms emit a curious light that makes it impossible to distinguish between humans and statues. The room they illuminate contains ninety-nine statues and one blind assassin.
  19. Swarm of mummified macaques. Big flaming torch on the wall beside you. If you set them on fire you'll swiftly discover they're stuffed with gunpowder and shrapnel.
  20. Floor is covered with pyramids, from the base of the door you walk in through to the far wall. On top of each pyramid is balanced a small green egg. Ten thousand starlings stare at you politely from the walls. If you manage to get to the other side without disturbing any eggs you'll find out that the door to the next room opens inwards.
BONUS: An abandoned drawing-room with rats scurrying across the floor and a spiral staircase in the centre. The stairs get bigger as you go down, as do the tapestries and torches. At the bottom is an exact duplicate of the first drawing-room only much larger and with giant rats in it. We wanted to put this in the list but it turns out it's just funny, not a trap.

BONUS TWO: Worm in a bottle of alcohol. If the worm is ever not submerged in alcohol it will rapidly grow to problematic size. Nico insists that this is an item and not a trap.

surely you know what oglaf is
(it has naked pictures! beware!!)