The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen
A Game of Playing Rôles
IT WAS TRULY SAID, by the King of the Moon-people, upon the multiple occasions that we happened to converse, that those happy junctures between good friends, good stories, and good wine were the best times of his life. I could not help but agree, of course, with the sole addition that my own game of rôle-play was the only absent ingredient in his recipe.
Perhaps you have never heard of my game or my innumerable exploits, in which case, you are undoubtedly either a plebeian or an American, which is at least as bad. My adventures are as well known as the fact that the Earth is flat (which I proved to the Royal Geographical College in 17—) or the Frenchman’s aversion to bathing.
Fortunately for you, all hope for the ennobling of your soul and the betterment of your nature is not yet behind you. For I, Baron Alexandyr Grigoriyev Munchausen, have partnered with my dear friend and scrivener James Wallis and the fine purveyors of games at Fantasy Flight Games to create a Third Edition of my game: The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, told, as before, in a new style of game termed “Rôle-Play.”
Part the First: In Which the Baron’s Game Is Described
AS I AM A MAN who is known as much for his scrupulous honesty in the retelling of his tales as for his amazing adventures around, across, and in some case through the circumference of the globe, I have been asked by my friends why I should wish to put my name—an old and most distinguished name: according to the family records, there was a Munchausen stowed away upon the Ark—to a game for the telling of extraordinary tales and unlikely anecdotes. My answer is—but, wait.
My oaf of an editor (a so-called Writer of Markets and undoubtedly Polish, by his unnatural thinness and small, malformed nose) is telling me that all of this is already included in my book, and I should simply focus on explaining the major “selling points” of my game. I, for one, refuse to sully my game with such notes of commerce, as despicable as the paper money that has begun to gain popularity in less civilized parts of the world. After all, sirrah, there may be ladies reading, and if you would have me impugn their honor with such crass talk, I’ll show you the skills of the man who successfully dueled the entire regiment of the King’s 12th Hussars, not once, but twice.
Having asserted my superior intellect over the Writer in the Market and sent him in search of another bottle, I shall continue in my own way while he is so helpfully disposed. So, to continue the discussion of my game, which I do hereby dedicate to the two people most important in its development, viz. myself and the Empress of Russia.
The play of my game is simple, and you need nothing more than three or four stout friends, preferably of noble or at least gentle birth; several chairs; a copious supply of drinks from the finest cellar; and some coins to serve as your stakes and to pay the reckoning when all is done. Simply told, you and your friends shall take it in turn to ask each other the story behind some of the most grand and thrilling of your adventures. For instance, the lovely Contessa currently sitting to my left may turn to me, and say, “Dear Baron, we all know of your great adventures, yet there is one of which the full story has always eluded me. Won’t you tell our company of how you righted the Leaning Tower of Pisa?”
To the gracious speech of my most beautiful companion, I immediately respond, “Yes, of course, it’s one of my most famous stories.” And, taking a long draught from my glass, solely to loosen my throat, you see, I immediately launch into the tale. Of course, throughout the story, my companions will interrupt me, each attempting to villainously introduce rogue elements to my story for me to accept or turn aside at my pleasure. But wait again; this d—ned Market Writer is telling me that I cannot simply lay everything out in clear and simple terms. Some things must be saved for what he terms “pre-views,” and he suggests that I save this business of Interruptions and Objections for a future date.
Part the Second: In Which the Most Recent Expansions and Additions to the Baron’s Game Are Elucidated
STILL, THERE IS MUCH ELSE to cover, including the unique new additions and expansions introduced in this edition of my game. Within this book, I truly show the generosity that saved me from the ravenous Wolf-men of Cathay (well, that and a small wooden stool)—for you, dear Reader, receive not merely one, but three volumes, each filled with the most fantastic and instructive rules and variations for my game.
Volume I is primarily devoted to the classic and truest form of my game—a game that can be enjoyed throughout the ages, for any audience, provided they be noble of spirit if not of blood. The second volume introduces the variant proposed by my compatriot and fellow adventurer, Es-Sindibad, well known throughout Araby for his seven voyages. Here, you will also find a variant of my own devisings, termed “My Uncle the Baron,” a simpler version of my original game intended for children, the inbred, and those who are very drunk.
Finally, Volume III (an entirely new adjunct to this edition, I may add), offers a dozen variations for you to play the original game with utterly unique settings and characters—though still all based on my true and accurate adventures, of course. Stories which I particularly recommend include my battle with the Tentacled God of R’lyeh and my adventures in a galaxy both far away and ancient. I would share more, but my editor is worriedly counting his words and hurrying me along.
Part the Third: The Baron Calls for Cognac
G–D, THIS WRITING IS THISTY WORK. I am a nobleman, sir, and I am not to be trifled with. Now pass the cognac. No, clockwise, you oaf.
Part the Fourth: Some Quotes from Those Ignobly Born, Provided Here Despite the Baron’s Best Wishes
THOUGH I HAVE ALREADY made my protestations clear, the Market Writer insists that some people may wish to hear from the peasants and plebeians listed below, though for myself, I cannot imagine why. Surely the aforewritten testimony of a nobleman, one of G–d’s finest creations, holds infinitely more weight. I fear I shall be forced to duel this young jackanapes and give him such a drubbing that will so bruise his legs and a—e that he will be incapable of either standing up or sitting down, and will therefore be forced to spend a month spinning in the air like a top, a foot above the ground. Consider that a warning.
“One of the most insanely fun roleplaying experiences I have ever had.”
“Utter brilliance in RPG form!”
“Really, really, really funny.”
–Shut Up & Sit Down
“The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen by James Wallis is the best drinking RPG of all time and the vanguard of the modern indie movement, a pinnacle of design.”
Part the Fifth: A Conclusion, Of Sorts
THE MARKET WRITER INFORMS me that my book shall become available in the fourth quarter of this year, and utterly refuses to answer my questions as to whether that means October, November, December, or the Thirteenth Month which I discovered in the temples of Anatolia. He is truly a most vexing boy.