Friday, September 19, 2008

2) Wil and the Lucky 20 Sider

Ladies and Gentlemen, as previously mentioned, I would be telling the true story behind each item on the 10 Unknown Facts about Wil Wheaton that I shared two days ago. I don't have to go to work today, so on we move to item #2.

2) Wil Wheaton won Gary Gygax's lucky 20 sider when the D&D (co)creator bet him he couldn't fit an entire 3rd edition Monster's Manual (vol.1) in his mouth. Wil fit the first four volumes.

This was, oh, about a year ago if memory serves me correctly. Wil was at a gaming con. Don't bother asking which. It's a secret invitation-only convention for geeky and gamer celebrities. (I wasn't there. I guess my invite got lost in the mail). Stephen Colbert had just finished running Tomb of Horrors in 5th Edition D&D* Wil's first cleric died, but since most deaths were instant, he figured the party didn't really need a straight healer, so he played a palladin instead. Vin Diesel lost two perfectly good fighters thanks to a couple of botched Search for Trap rolls by Paris Hilton (though she'll never admit she was there), but ultimately was the one to drop the lich. I digress.

Afterward, Wil and Gary were at the hotel bar--never mind which hotel, it's underground and they don't tell the location of the secret entrance to just anyone (they must have forgotten to tell me how to find the place)--kicking back a post slaughter Guinness. Gary was quite impressed at Wil's Rules Lawyering during the game and so he asked him how he managed to fit all of that information in his head. Or at least, he meant to say head. You see, Gary died in the room with all of the columns and figured he wouldn't have time to make a new character before the game ended (only Colbert bothered to bring a 5th ed Player's Guide), and as such, he'd gotten quite the headstart on Wil when it came to the drinking. So while he meant to say, "Say Wil, how do you fit all of that information in your head?" he actually said, "Wil, howdya fit alla that information in your mouth?"

Wil, being one to roll with the punches, quipped back. "My mouth? Well, Gary. I'm part python, so I can dislocate my jaw to swallow live small animals whole."

By this point, a seriously schnockered Gary was easily sidetracked, and thus completely forgot the original question. "Really?"

Wil nodded smarmily, like a kid trying to convince someone that the Nolan Ryan rookie card wasn't worth anything because it was old, and that he'd generously give them a dollar for it.

Gary looked around the room for something big. Seeing a stack of old D&D books, he grabbed a Monster's Manual. "Swallow this!"

"Nah. Gotta save room for the beer," Wil replied.

"C'mon. I'll give ya my lucky twenny sider if ya do it."

Wil couldn't have Gary call his bluff like that. He'd lose too much face in front of someone he so greatly respected. Plus, the Guinness was doing a lot of the thinking, and that was a damn sweet polyhedron. "I'll do you three better," said Wil, grabbing the next few volumes from the stack.

"What the hell are you doing" Wil asked himself silently.

"Shut up! I want that die!" said Prove To Everyone That Getting Drunk With Gary Gygax Wasn't A Mistake.

Wil looked around with worry, but the sight of goggles on the other side of the room calmed his shaken nerves. "I'll be right back."

He leapt from his bar stool and ran to the booth in the corner. Doctor Horrible was nursing a strawberry daqueri and lamenting his loss to Klaus Tuebler in yet another round of Werewolf. "Dammit. Just because I'm an evil genius doesn't automatically make me the werewolf," he muttered into his fruity drink, angrilly stabbing the cherry with his tiny umbrella.

"Doc, I need a favor."

"I'm a villain. I don't give favors. I take them and then never repay them."

"I need to borrow your shrink ray."

Doctor Horrible's terrifying eyes stared incredulously from behind his glass of pink creamy goodness.

"I'll help you get that laundry girl you're always talking about."

In a blink, Wil found himself holding the shrink ray as an eager mastermind begged, "When? When?"

"Uhhh... later?"

The doctor continued to beg for specifics, but Wil was already back at the bar with a now much smaller stack of Monster Manuals. Gary gawked in disbelief as, one by one, Wil placed them into his mouth."Howdja do that?" asked the befuddled game designer.

"Magic," said Wil.

Gary shrugged, reached into his pocket, and gave Wil the die.

At least, that's the way I heard it. I wasn't there. Never got an invite. Just as well. I was probably busy with other stuff that week anyway.

*They've already made eight editions, and they've been releasing them slowly over the years to maximize profits. Granted, only seven editions were written at the time of the event. Even so, Colbert has always been an old school gamer, and thus stuck with 5th ed because though the multiclassing is a little wonky, the damage system is just so much more elegant than the newer editions. Expect 5th ed. in 2012.

You have been informed.

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