The one when a riot interrupted the game!


So lets go back to the early nineties. I had been playing with a particular friend from school for many years. We had participated in many weekend long sessions and had played all manner of Role Playing games together. One day he asked me if I would consider Dungeon Mastering for he and a few other friends he had made in a different social circle. Always eager to run games for new groups I happily accepted so the following week I found myself pulling up on my motor cycle outside the town apartment for one of the new group. My friend had already arrived, and he introduced me to the group. The apartment belonged to a couple (who were both playing) and other than my friend there were two others. He had a huge black board table top, so we used miniatures for this campaign, and drew the floor plans with chalk as we went. The games ran every Friday evening and I have fond memories of listening to “The Blues Brothers” and the “Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band” in the background as we ran through our table top adventures.

Weeks of play had gone by and here we all were on yet another Friday evening. My group were eagerly wading through a mob of Orcs when we heard helicopters flying over head. Thinking nothing of this we continued play, but the helicopters seemed to keep returning and spending a lot of time directly overhead of the apartments in which we were playing. We decided to look out of the window, and were able to see the police helicopter circling around a parking lot not to far from the building we were in. We could see a group of local yobbo’s gathering in the parking lot and they seemed to be a little high spirited. They were yelling up at the police helicopter and I am sure they were using colorful language and probably not asking directions.  They continued their verbal assault for several minutes, and a few even attempted to hurl rocks up at the helicopter (which was at an altitude far to high to be at risk from the stone projectiles).

It was not long after that, when an East Sussex police van pulled up. Several of the local Bobbies piled out of the back and we could see they were wearing riot gear and carrying riot shields. By now our game had come to a complete halt as the adventure going on outside was far to entertaining. The police began to form a line, but what happended told us they had clearly lost the initiative roll. The local thugs charged with extreme vigor directly into the police line and we saw the police pushed back behind a building, and beyond our scope of vision (much to our dismay). We could hear the yelling and hollering but could not see what turmoil was in fact occurring.  Suddenly the gang of thugs came back into view, and were back pedaling and hurling rocks as they did so. The police had clearly instigated a Bull rush maneuver and were pushing the gang back. It reminded me of the scene in Star Wars when Han Solo charges the group of Storm Troopers down the corridor, only to come running back with them blasting at him a moment later. Now at a range of some thirty feet, the gang continued to hurl projectiles at the police (to no avail due to the additional Armor Class the shields afforded them). The gang at this point realized that they were being forced back towards a brick wall, that had a chain link fence on top of it. Clearly not a favorable position for them to be in. At this point (as if some hive mind was at work) they all scattered in different directions. The boys in blue gave chase and soon they were dodging through parked cars, diving through hedge rows and scaling fences all over the place. We watched as several of the thugs were apprehended in the initial melee, but several had clearly evaded capture.

Soon there was really nothing to watch outside the window, so we tuned into the police scanner that our host owned and listened to the police coordinating their efforts to apprehend the rest of the thugs, on the private police band radio “COUGH”. The helicopter continued to make random passes over head, but by ten O’clock, all was quiet. The police scanner kept us informed of the goings on but by eleven O’clock they had called it quits and the regular weekend chatter of arresting the drunkards or responding to break ins was all that was left to entertain us.

Needless to say very little gaming was done that evening, and the Orcs they were fighting before all the real world excitement kicked in, probably breathed a sigh of relief and crept off into the darkness……….


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