XCrawl: Dungeonbattle Brooklyn
The characters have the honor of participating in the very first Division-IV contest to go Full Lethal. Full Lethal is the Xcrawl designation for Division III and up.
It means that players use live steel and real arrows. It means that the monsters are free to chew, rip, mangle, petrify, and otherwise destroy.
Division-IV contests are normally nonlethal. Players are amateurs, weekend warriors, and college athletes using padded boffer weapons and nonlethal spells. The “monsters” are typically professional monster actors, using the same simulated armor and weapons that the players use.
Traditionally, serious injury is fairly rare, and everyone goes home afterwards.
This year, tradition has been tossed out. For the very first time, your team plays for blood. Vivat hilaritas et Xcrawl!
HOW THIS HAPPENED
Three months before the finals were scheduled, Xcrawl Commissioner Bradley Leibrock, surrounded by his traditional retinue of sycophants and suck-ups in his penthouse apartment, spent a long evening complaining about the poor ratings and advertising revenue for Division-IV contests in general and the finals in particular.
“What’s the point?” he asked no one in particular.
“Either the players go on to play real Xcrawl in Division III, or they quit and go back to their farms and factory jobs. Either way, no one cares enough to tune in. Division IV is absolutely
necessary—it’s where the majority of talent is discovered, where crawlers find out if they have the nerve or not. But nobody is watching. We lose money on the finals every year, and
yet I can’t cancel the event or we lose new Division III players. It pisses me off.”
There was silence for a moment while everyone sipped their wine. Finally, the intoxicated young Earl of Flatbush spoke up. “Why not make the finals Full Lethal? At that level, the body
count would be stupendous. Everybody would tune in just to watch a bunch of no-talent newbies get their heads torn off.”
Everyone turned to him, shocked faces slowly turning to excited grins.
Leibrock was so excited that he called a press conference the very next day to make the announcement: the Division-IV finals would go Full Lethal, and as such, would have a commensurate increase in treasure.
Leibrock was afraid that the news would trigger massive team dropouts, and many did quit. But for every dropout team, a dozen others clamored for a chance to participate in this historic event.
In Dungeonbattle Brooklyn, the players take the roles of young, untested Xcrawl players united by their hopes to go on to participate in Division III. Success in the 2003 Division Finals is a first step towards recognition, glory, and riches. The team can be a collegiate team, an established professional Division-IV squad, a group of rank newcomers eager for their first taste at the games, or some combination of the above.
The dungeon is held in the Brooklyn Academy of Letters Athletic Complex, located in central Brooklyn Heights. The Academy is a very old and exclusive institution that offers non-matriculated degrees in Latin, rhetoric, poetics, theater, and the history of theater. The school is utterly exclusive, with a student body entirely composed of the sons and daughters of aristocrats, career military personnel, and the well-to-do. It is Commissioner Leibrock’s alma mater, and he pulled quite a few strings to get use of their entire athletic complex to hold the contest. The infrastructure upgrades needed to hold this contest cost several million gold pieces, but Leibrock is confident that it is money well spent. This time, he means to see the Division-IV finals turn a profit!
A total of 12 teams have been chosen to participate. The dungeon is one level. After a team runs through it, the Crawl staff has two hours to reset the rooms, add traps, and bring in new monsters as necessary.
The DJ (Dungeon Judge) is a first-time designer who won the dungeon design contest Leibrock created to promote this event. DJ Seymour Blood is actually 14-year-old Jeffery Dunn, a Brooklyn high school student who started playing tabletop Dungeonbattle at age six. His design wasn’t the most impressive, nor did it possess the greatest potential lethality. Instead, Leibrock chose Dunn because he is a Brooklyn native, in the hopes that having a local designer would stir up even more excitement at the venue.
The game takes place in November, in the middle of a terrible blizzard. The players are responsible for their own accommodations. Many have traveled a long way to participate and are staying with volunteers in the city.
The ride to the Crawl is a cold, slow affair over a slick road. Hundreds of fans and supporters mob the outside of the building, and security guards have to whisk the players in past cheering crowds, reporters, rubberneckers, and belligerent New Yorkers who are just mad at the traffic tie-up.
The PC team is the fifth scheduled to run the dungeon, which makes them the first team to play on day two of the contest.