1 For this poem you will need:
2 one d6* and a pencil and paper.
3 You can use the paper on this page, or,
4 if you prefer to keep your page pristine,
5 make a copy of it (Or several –
6 You might want to play the poem more than once).
7 First, roll your die and note the number.
8 That’s your Health Points. Health Points:
9 Don’t let them run out if you can help it:
10 if they run out,
11 you die
12 (in the poem). But you can always start again.
13 Now roll again and note the number.
14 That’s how much gold you’ve got. Gold:
15 Okay. Ready? If you’re ready, go to line 17
17 You find yourself in a forest clearing.
18 In the centre of the clearing is an oak stump.
19 Beyond the oak stump is a path that leads between two charred trees.
21 If you decide to check out the oak stump, go to line 24
22 but if you choose to go straight onto the path, go to line 37
24 Nothing to see here.
25 Or is there? Just as you turn your head,
26 out of the corner of your eye,
27 you catch a glint of light. So you look closer,
28 and you can hardly believe your eyes!
29 Almost entirely concealed
30 in the tangled roots of the oak
31 is a mighty sword. As you pull it from the tree,
32 Every part of it still gleams. It must be enchanted.
33 What a find! Add Enchanted Sword to your inventory. Weapons:
34 Now go to 37 to continue
35 through the burnt trees onto the path.
37 You are not far along the blackened path
38 when you encounter a terrifying dragon! 🐉
39 Do you have an enchanted sword?
40 If not, go to line 42. If you do, go straight to 48.
42 Oh dear. You are no match for a dragon
43 without some kind of magical weapon.
44 The creature immolates you in one breath.
45 Perhaps you will have better luck next time.
46 When you’re ready, start again from line 1.
48 Amazing! The enchanted sword has a combat quotient of 1.
49 That means that every time you fight a round of combat;
50 if you roll above a 1 on your d6,
51 you do that amount of damage to the enemy –
52 – but if you roll exactly 1,
53 you lose that round,
54 and you lose one Health Point, too.
55 The dragon starts with 20 Health Points. Dragon’s HP: 20
56 Get rolling, and good luck.
57 If you beat the dragon, add its hoard to your inventory:
58 10,000 gold, a sly grin and a burnt acre.
59 if the dragon beats you,
60 go to 44.
*d6: a six-sided die.
die: singular of dice.
Now you know.
Wes Viola is a pen name of Wes White. He is an Elder Bard of Glastonbury and his creative work is frequently inspired by the various strange magics of that old English town. Other examples of his work have recently appeared in Bear Creek Gazette, Obsessed with Pipework, Visual Verse, Bog, Dreich, and Eunoia Review – find all of this and more via http://linktr.ee/wesviola