Monthly Archives: November 2018

Blacktip Island Role Players Create Durgons and Dragons Game

durgons and dragons

The common black durgon is a major danger in the new Durgons and Dragons role-playing game developed by a group of Blacktip Island scuba-diving gaming aficionados. (photo courtesy of NOAA)

A group of Blacktip Island underwater role-playing game enthusiasts this week played their first rounds of their newly-developed Durgons and Dragons on Jawfish Reef to celebrate the upcoming end of hurricane. season.

“It’s a riff on Dungeons and Dragons, played underwater,” game developer Lee Helm said. “The Dive Master walks players through underwater adventures, usually quests to find treasure or explore sunken pirate ships or caves.

“There’s no magic per se, but the in-game reef is way different than the real reef,” Helm said. “Sharks and orcas and krakens are the obvious dangers. But all the normal reef fish can be deadly, too.”

As in Dungeons and Dragons, players must navigate dangers and defeat monsters.

“Parrotfish, triggerfish, nurse sharks, even other divers can kill you,” gamer Edwin Chub said. “And you have to watch for swarms of brown chomises. Chromii. Whatever.

“The real terrors, though, are the leafy sea dragons and black durgons,” Chub said. “Just yesterday a durgon chewed through 10 player characters. We’re still recovering from that.”

With players on scuba, game time is limited by air consumption.

“When you’re out of air, the game’s over. Heavy breathers put the entire team at risk,” said player Harry Blenny. “You’re basically playing against game hazards, other players and time. People meditate beforehand to save air.

“It gets vicious. Light breathers try to kill off the air hogs’ characters so the game will last longer,” Blenny said. “And the air-suckers gang up on other players to get those characters killed off. We had plans for surface-supplied air to avoid all that, but decompression sickness issues scotched that since there’s no barometric chamber on the island.”

Some residents remained unimpressed.

“I really don’t get it, but I guess I don’t have to,” cook Jessie Catahoula said. “It’s goofy, but at least it keeps Lee and his buddies out of sight and away from me.”

Players emphasized the game’s positive aspects.

“It teaches people to work together as a team, not knowing if one of the characters is a Random Bad Diver,” Helm said. “When an RBD starts flailing there’s a 20 percent chance the character closest to him drowns.

“Just this morning my 39th-level heliox diver got bent on a rogue upwelling because of a Baddie,” Helm said. “I had to start over with a character that’s barely nitrox certified.”

Others touted the game’s growing popularity.

“There’s already Durgons and Dragons clubs on other islands,” Blenny said. “We’re gonnna have a D and D tournament over the holidays, too. As word spreads, our ultimate goal is to have some women join us. Or talk to us.”

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Blacktip Island Ballot Box Stolen; Mayoral Election On Hold

election hacked

The theft of Blacktip Island’s ballot box Thursday has put the election on hold and left the small Caribbean island leaderless. (photo courtesy of Rama)

The 2018 Blacktip Island mayor’s election was stymied Thursday when a supporter of one candidate stole the island’s sole ballot box in an attempt to forestall that candidate’s defeat.

“As always, Jack Cobia was set to win by double digits, this time over political newcomer Val Schrader,” Elections Supervisor Belinda Graysby said. “Then Dermott Bottoms decided to weigh in. He got a snoot full of rum, grabbed the ballot box and ran.

“It was more personal than political,” Graysby said. “Dermott’s always had a thing for Val. Nearest we can guess, he stole the election so she’d notice him. He’s holed up in the church now, howling her name and claiming sanctuary or some such nonsense.”

Both candidates condemned Bottoms’ actions.

“This was a planned political op from the get go,” incumbent Jack Cobia said. “Val knew the only way she’d win was by cheating. And that Dermott’d do anything for her. He’s probably tearing up ballots as we speak. Or eating them. Dermott’s not bright, but he has a certain low cunning.

“Bottom line is, until there’s official, verified results, I’m still the mayor,” Cobia said. “There’s got to be continuity of leadership, for the island’s sake, and I’m the one to provide it.”

Schrader refuted Cobia’s claims.

“I never I encouraged Dermott. About anything,” Schrader said. “He’s just bat-shit crazy. Always has been. I’m trying to lead the island, not deal with some cow-eyed drunk.

“Jack pulled every dirty trick in the book to rig this election, and I wouldn’t put it past him to have put Dermott up to this,” Schrader said. “But that doesn’t make stealing ballots right Win or lose, this isn’t how democracy works.”

The stolen votes have thrown island politics into a tailspin.

“Jack’s term expired midnight. Period,” resident Frank Maples said. “With the votes uncounted, technically Blacktip has no mayor. Jack can bluster all he wants, but he has no legal authority. And Blacktip’s mayor-less.

“Rafe Marquette’s trying to talk Dermott into giving up the box, but Dermott’s having none of it,” Maples said. “Jerrod and Gage snuck in and tried to steal it, but they got whacked up pretty bad. Dermott’s an unholy terror when he’s riled. And drinking. All indications are he’s got into the Communion wine.”

Other leaders focused on more pragmatic goals.

“Our aim’s to get Dermott out of the church so he’ll stop ringing those damn bells non stop and screaming, ‘Val!’ from the rooftop,” B.C. Flote said. “Rafe Marquette popped him with a couple of tranquilizer darts, but Dermott seemed to enjoy them. I guess he’s built up a resistance to pretty much everything. Except misplaced emotions.”

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