Another Olympic season saw the world enraptured by the exploits of athletes in over 300 events. Every Olympics seems to have a few new “sports” which causes some tongue wagging about whether it belongs in the Olympics. So I thought, why not role-playing? Some would argue that it’s not a sport. I wonder if these same people argue that golf, baseball, and surfing are sports? Maybe they would, but how about chess and bridge damn near making the cut for the next Olympics? Uhm, actually, chess is already recognized as a sport by the IOC (that link I just posted, 2016). It’s high time that role-playing got its time in the limelight. However, in order to make it an Olympic event, it will have to be broken up into pieces, preferably ones that make good television. To fast track the process, I humbly submit for your consideration: 5 Olympic Events ideally suited to Dungeons and Dragons Gamers. I’ll admit they are not flattering, but they certainly would be entertaining. I know some of us have already been practicing.
1- RULES LAWYERING
Athletes listen to an area or event description read by a DM. Points are awarded for discovering flaws in the description and bonus points for making unnecessarily long justifications for why they are right. These will be timed by atomic clock. Answers must be made in the ‘uhm, actually’ format. Rulebooks are not allowed, so athletes must commit the information to memory and cannot repeat themselves. What separates medal contenders from the rest of the athletes at this event is the ability to provide page numbers to the DM, clearly demonstrating their mastery over the rules.
“Uhm, actually according to the rules [insert idea that stretches limits of credulity here]…”
Athletes participate in a 4-per-table game run by Olympic committee DMs, and their lackeys. Each game runs for 45 minutes. Points are scored for every whine and complaint players have over what happens to their character, or who gets what share of treasure. Bonus points are awarded for flair, creative tantrums, and talking over your competitors. Watch out for sneaky, passive aggressive players who will agree to let their competitors take the easy treasure discovered first, only to make their big push later on when the more illustrious treasure appears. Some of the best are able to railroad almost the entirety of the 45 minutes into a side quest for their character.
“Well, you got the +1 sword from the last room, so I should get the +3 enchanted full plate armor of wishes”
Athletes are placed in weight categories. Points are awarded equally for most food consumed in a 3- hour gaming session, as well as for net weight gained at the end of the session. Of course, this will help make sense of why McDonald’s seems to always be the title sponsor of the Olympics; this would be their marquee event. Players will superficially engage in role-playing, but their real focus here is on eating. This event gets messy, as players crunch and rustle plastic wrappers, chew with their mouth open, and talk to the DM and each other with mouths full of high-calorie treats.
“<Rustle, crunch, slop slop slop, mmmm, belch”
Athletes are asked a series of questions/terms to which they probably know jack-shit. Their job is to act like they know what they are talking about, and convince the judges of the veracity of their claims. It is a round-robin ranking system with gamers going head to head against each other until final rankings are sorted. It’s like balderdash, except nobody actually knows the right answer. Insufferable know-it-alls shine in this event, as do jackasses, and if you know the difference between those two, then you’ve clearly played D&D for a long time.
Athletes of course will be screened due to state-sponsored entitlement
5- TALKING OFF TOPIC
Athletes are randomly assigned to gaming groups who are actually trying to have a legitimate gaming session. The athletes must engage the players at the table, trying to get them off topic, by any means short of physically engaging them. Some strategies include: befriending players and talking about interests unrelated to gaming, getting drunk and blabbering on about how awesome their previous player characters were, or getting your character centrally involved in the plot, only to duck out for a 30-minute bathroom break. Bonus points are awarded when the athlete talks simultaneously with the DM, thereby causing other players to miss important information.
Do you have what it takes to be an Olympian?
Dustinopolis, blah blah blah. Twitter plug (@dustinople). Blah, blah, clever comment, blah.
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