Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Zocchi roars back from the edge of the abyss -- A Lost Worlds Session

Lou Zocchi is one of the most legendary figures in the wargame hobby, one of its founding members, in fact. He was active enough in the earliest days of Avalon Hill gaming to have a river named after him the the game Blitzkrieg. He established one of the first independent wargame companies and over the years became famous for his quality dice, particularly of the mutli-side sort. Indeed, without Zocchi's ground breaking dice (which included a 100-sided die!) , Dungeons & Dragons probably would have developed quite differently.

Meanwhile, I had eyed the Lost Worlds combat books for a long time, being a fan of the Ace of Aces series, but never taking the plunge -- until I spotted a Lost Worlds book starring Zocchi at the WBCa couple of years ago! That broke my resistance and I took the plunge into the game system with Zocchi: Magician With Dice Bag and Azlana Darque: Sorceress With Broadsword as his his first opponent.

I knew that Zocchi was an accomplished showman, which was clear from his famous videos about dice, but it wasn't until I got this book that I realized that he's also evidently an accomplished magician was well. The Zocchi Lost Worlds book might have started as a little vanity press project, but it resulted in an interesting and amusing Lost Worlds character.

So here our favorite magician (played by your truly) encounters Kharis the Royal Mummy (played by Young General):

Zocchi the Magnificent considered the probabilities. He could take his chances with this accursed cursed mummy or cut his losses with a time consuming retreat. Bah! He plucked an exploding die from his bag and wound up to toss it at his foe.

In a flash the Mummy was on him and Zocchi the Great saw stars, heard whistles and chirps and felt himself on the knife's edge of consciousness as the mummy landed an extremely powerful body blow on the legendary prestidigitator. (-11 hit! Just 1 Body point left!).

Zocchi the Stupendous perceived through the fog of pain that he'd be unable to perform the intricate movements required to cast spells -- it would all come down to the dice! Zocchi was, however, a luckmaster, of course, and the mummy's blow was luckily so hard that the mummy lost his grip on his magical mace and was disarmed!

The nearly dead magician and the undead corpse dodged and weaved around as the mummy kept trying to retrieve his mace and Zocchi tossed exploding dice in his direction. None of the dice landed true, but the mummy never got his mace back into his grasp. With a roar the frustrated mummy tried to head-butt Zocchi the Fantastic, but the white-haired wonder had anticipated the move and whapped the mummy with his magic dice bag. A terrifying screech signalled success. (-8 hit).

Expecting the mummy to retreat for a moment, Zocchi the Wondrous hopped back as well and took a swig from his Healing Herb potion (+5 body restored). He wasn't fully fit, but he was at least healthier than the undead guy! (Zocchi had 6 left, Kharis had 4).

Abandoning his attempts to recover the mace, the mummy charged headfirst at Zocchi the Splendorous, right into a strong swipe by the deadly dice bag. (-8 hit, leaving Kharis at -4 and KO'd).

Zocchi the Chastened staggered away, satisfied that his dice luck had held once again, but vowing to be a little less complacent next time.

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