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As the Tower Turns
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ddicerc
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:48 pm GMT    Post subject: As the Tower Turns Reply with quote

Chuck was in a hurry as he exited the elevator for his penthouse office. The producers of the latest "Chill Wind" movie would be in his office in fifteen minutes, and Joe's flight from Colorado Springs had been delayed due to an unseasonable snowstorm in Colorado. That meant he would have to either bluff his way through the preproduction meeting, or bring Steve in off the Impressions account meeting. Normally that would be an easy decision, but with the 12th edition starters set for worldwide release in just three days, getting the distribution flow just right was imperative.

He strode into his office, past his two secretaries, and barked orders. "Get me the GenCon office on the phone now," he demanded. "Then check on Delta flight 437. See if Joiner can hook up a holographic netmeeting through the sattelite hookup on his laptop. And tell Braun I need to see him now!" He slammed the office door nehind him.

Chuck flung his Armani overcoat into a leather chair by the door, the settled himself down behind his desk. As always in the morning, it was perfectly clean and neat-a situation that wouldn't last more than a few minutes this morning, he noted glumly. Maybe I should have taken Pat's advice and booked that cruise this week, he thought, before dismissing it with a sigh. This week was just too important for the president to miss.

His intercom buzzed. "Sir, Rev. Braun is here," his secretary announced.

"Send him in," Chuck replied, as he glanced at the clock over the door. Eight minutes until the meeting.

Steve stormed into the office. "This had better be important," he huffed. "I've got the entire SFR retail network on hold while we hash out the details with Aldo. We can't leave 20,000 stores waiting on us, not this week!"

Chuck waved him toward a chair. "Just relax," he said. He knew Steve's bark was worse than his bite. Although it wasn't worse than his wardrobe; Chuck still couldn't handle the bright yellow suit and orange shirt Steve habitually wore. Why does he have to like Dwarves? Chuck thought. If only he preferred the Angellos-blue and white would be so much better...

Just then his intercom sounded again. "GenCon office on line 5," announced the secretary.

Chuck picked up the phone. "Hello, Mike?" Chuck asked. "Great! Listen, we need some help on the Impressions account. We're doing the release at GenCon Philly this weekend, but I need Steve to give me a hand with the Hollywood gang. Yes, he's in the sales office-8301. Thanks, Mike. Steve'll be down ASAP."

He had barely set the phone in its cradle when the intercom sounded. "Sir, Mr. Spielberg is here."

It was going to be a long morning...
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:02 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh...

Dear...

Lord...

God help us all... Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:18 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

...thought Chuck, as Spielberg and the production team walked into the office. He forced a smile. "Mr. Spielberg! It's a pleasure to see you again."

"Please, just call me Steve," the famed director replied. "After all, the Chill Wind franchise has been a gold mine for both of us." Spielberg glanced around the room. "Where's Joe?'

"Stuck in the snow in Springs," Chuck replied. "We're working on a holoconference. But I've asked Steve to sit in on the meeting with us."

Steve rose form his chair to shake Steve's hand. "It's a pleasure to see you again, Steve," he said.

Steve responded, "Of course, Steve. I haven't forgotten how your editing bailed us out on the last film."

"No biggie," Steve shrugged. "I've been reading Joe's stuff for..well, let's just say it's been a while. But I'm sure you'd rather have him here, Steve."

Steve answered, "Well, Steve, we'll just have to make do."

At that moment Chuck's intercom buzzed. "Mr. Pint? We have a connection with Mr. Joiner."

Chuck pressed a button on his desk, and a holoprojection unit emerged from behind the wall. The figure of Joe Joiner-well, at least Joe's head-emerged from the computer. "Hey, guys! Sorry I can't be there. This spring weather in Springs springs up without warning sometimes."

"No problem, Joe," Steve (Spielberg, not Braun) chuckled. "I'll catch you up at your lodge in Aspen next week. We're still on, right?"

"Yep," Joe answered. "I'll have Paula whip up her famous lasagna for you."

"Can we get this meeting going," Chuck muttered. So much to do, so little time."
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:10 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I be in this?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:22 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pelter_Boy wrote:
Can I be in this?
And so the gullible go down. I'm sure Pelter_Boy does not know where the phrase "Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks." comes from, but for some strange reason that phrase came to mind after reading his reply. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:08 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can I be in this?


The booming bass voice stopped everyone, except of course Steve, who was immune to it after years of listening. Still it persisted. "Come on, Dad! I was in the first five movies!"

Steve glanced up at the 7'2" behemoth in front of him. "Don't you think you're getting a little tall to play a Pelter?" he grumbled.

Chuck rolled his eyes. He knew this intern wouldn't take "no" for an answer, not even from his dad. Of course, Steve had no sway over the movie production, but for some strange reason Spielberg had found the whole "Pelter Boy" phenomenon so humorous that he kept casting Robert as an Undead Pelter; no spoken lines or credits, mind you, but he was seen in every Chill Wind movie made. Still, Chuck was sure that, even with the miracle of modern CGI and special effects magic, it was going to be hard to make Robert look as small as a goblin.

Spielberg cut in. "I was looking for you, Pelter Boy," he said. (He never, ever called Robert by his real name. In fact, no one was certain that Spielberg even knew he had a first name.) "I have an idea for your character in this installment. Let's talk about it."

The eager intern followed the director, as his father let out a sigh. "I wonder if he'd adopt him," he mused.

Chuck chuckled. "Not with the food bill he runs up-not to mention that musical instrument collection. Still, it'll keep him out of our hair for the morning."

"Agreed," smiled Steve brightly. "Guess I'll get back to the sales meeting, and let Mike get back to planning this month's GenCon." He strode off to the elevator. "Oh, and I'd better e-mail 'Pelter Boy' about being home tonight on time. His mother was a little peeved at his missing dinner last night, not to mention her rehearsal."

As the elevator doors closed behind Steve, Chuck thought to himself, Why did I EVER hire that boy? After seeing his father in action, I should have known what to expect...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:21 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And so the gullible go down. I'm sure Pelter_Boy does not know where the phrase "Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks." comes from, but for some strange reason that phrase came to mind after reading his reply.


Steve spun around from reading Robert's e-mail to face Joe, who looked surprisingly tan for a guy who had been trapped in a Colorado snowstorm. "He really thinks he's going to be a star. I guess some day I should tell him that Spielberg just thinks it's a hoot..." He paused a moment, then added. "But not today."

Joe laughed. "Well, he deserves it. This whole 'Pelter' thing has gone a bit too far, if you ask me. Then again, I thought it had gone too far back in '06, and look at all the good that did."

Steve joined in the merriment. "Well, as long as they keep paying you to churn out novels and scripts, I don't suppose you should be complaining. Pretty soon you'll be able to give up this daily grind and retire to your ski lodge."

"What, and miss out on all the R&D and insider info?" Joe protested. "It took me a long time to get on the board, and they're not getting me off that easy."

Steve walked over to the window and looked out. "Well, I suppose that 25 foot statue of Thrag over in the park will make it hard to forget your work here," he noted.

Joe got out of the recliner and joined his friend at the window. "Since that's only the entrance to 'Chill Wind: The Experience,' I suppose not. It's only the most popular theme park outside of Orlando."

"Not to mention the source of a dollar or two in our pockets each year," Steve added. He turned to Joe. "Since you're up to speed now on the movie production, what are your plans for the rest of the day?"

"Since I'm here, I may as well get started on the 'Cyrean Encyclopedia,'" he replied. "The publishers want it in time for the Christmas selling season, so they want the full manuscript in hand by April 1st."

"Which means," Steve said, "they'll have it by Sept. 1st if they're lucky." He ducked Joe's backhand, laughing. "Have fun! I have to get back to notifying the retail network about the post-GenCon push on the new starters."

Joe picked up his L.L. Bean parka and headed for the door. "Catch you later!" he called as he left.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:48 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't respond or my dad will make another installment.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:46 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cliff puzzled over the message from "Pelter Boy." Why wouldn't he want his dad to make another installment-after all, Steve was paying off Robert's debt from buying out the entire run of 8th edition "Classic" starters so he could make sure no one else got any of the new Pelters. So Cliff decided to respond...heck, why not wait until Monday? The first wave shipment of the new starters would be out of the warehouse by Friday, and he and Tiffany were leaving their seven kids at Grandma's and heading to Vegas for the weekend.

"Yo, Adrian!" he called down to the foreman. "If anyone needs me, I'll be at lunch.'

"OK, boss!" the foreman replied.

Cliff grabbed his lunch and headed down to the ground floor. He walked in the back entrance to the "Dragon Diceā„¢ Hall of Fame and Museum." Down a short, dark corridor, then out into the Oklahoma display. There, still intact if somewhat battered from the years, was his original SFR storage shed. There were no prying eyes at the moment, so Cliff stepped up to the doorway of the shed.

He gently rolled aside the display that made it look, at least to the museum patrons, like the overstuffed debacle it had been back in '07 when the 2nd edition starters arrived. It was all a show, of course, but the customers loved it. He stepped into the shed and pushed the display back into place.

Here was his place to relax a little while at the Tower. He had furnished a small but comfortable private office in the old shed. Only a select few knew about it, so he was never disturbed while here-not the least because he had neglected to install a phone/intercom. He could sit back in the recliner, catch up on the noon stock reports, have lunch, and not have to worry about shipping glitches and noisy alarms for an hour.

Cliff checked out his lunch. The Italian delivery had been good lately, so he had chosen veal parm and fettucine. He pulled up one of the trays inlaid with a mosaic of the first army cards Jim Rayborn had done for SFR, laid out his lunch, and started eating. It was a busy day, but at least he'd get a chance to relax for a few minutes.

PS-Cliff and Tiffany, enjoy your weekend!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:48 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on, I can't be the only one doing this...
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:09 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

...Brad shouted into his cell phone. He knew then chances of persuading Chuck to send down one of the board members was slim, but running a Novice event by himself was a logistical nightmare. OK, he had Jake and Jonathan helping, but he had to field all the questions about the nuances of the 11th edition rules, and his head was still full of the new 12th edition ones-but they wouldn't be legal until GenCon Seattle in three months. Sometimes being the Dragon Diceā„¢ Rulemaster was truly a pain in the neck. Fortunately, this one had a very small turnout.

Chuck did relent. In fact, Brad would be able to provide this group with a special treat. He announced to the 246 players present, "Hey, everyone, in a few minutes the President of SFR will be here himself to answer your questions!"

Despite being in the midst of some compelling games, many contestants scrambled for their Starter boxes and Sharpies. Autographs from "The Grand Poobah" (as Chuck was known on the SFR Forum) were not easy to come by, and this group wanted to make sure they could get one. Of course, that would mean a lot of signed Starter boxes on eBay next week, but Chuck was usually fairly gracious (or at least fairly gracious for him) about signing. He didn't want to do anything to lose a potential cash cow- er, a new customer.

Chuck soon made his appearance. GenCon Philly was running smoothly, and sales were huge this weekend, at least by this GenCon's standards. It was turning out to be a very profitable weekend for SFR and all its subdivisions, so a little diversion was in order for the president. "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Chuck Pint!" Brad announced. At this the games stopped, but Chuck intevened. "Keep going-you only have 15 minutes left for your games," he commanded. "I'll be happy to sign autographs for anyone between rounds."

A hand shot up at a nearby table. "Mr. Pint?" asked a teenage boy. "How does the SAI Cat's Claws interact with a Muck Flow spell?"

Chuck looked stern. "Remember, you're playing by the Introductory rules here," he reminded the young man. "Cat's Claw only counts as standard melee hits, not special rips. So Muck Flow won't affect it."

The teen looked a bit sheepish, realizing he had been caught showing off more expertise than usually seen in a Novice tournament. "Thanks, Mr. Pint," he said. "I've been learning the rules, and I guess I got carried away here."

Chuck just turned to the next inquirer. Brad certainly had been busy, even with this small event. Maybe I should have sent Steve down, Chuck thought. Then he realized that the Sales Director much preferred to run the biggest event of the weekend. It was a long-standing tradition, and even the president didn't want to mess around with that. He prepared to enjoy the challenge himself.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:28 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, Steve, Steve...

When are you ever going to get the new rules right? Muck Flow does effect Cat's Claws but only during the Ethereal Combat on the ivory/gold d20 terrain die.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:07 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I thought I had too much time on my hands...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:38 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should make bigger dice.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:53 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Steve, Steve, Steve...

When are you ever going to get the new rules right? Muck Flow does effect Cat's Claws but only during the Ethereal Combat on the ivory/gold d20 terrain die.


Steve chuckled. "That would be true, except you put off the production of the second wave of d20 terrains until September at GenCon Houston. So that won't be true until November for tournments."

Chuck smiled. "Well, my merchandising maven thought it would be a good move to wait until the 12th edition starters had a little traction first. So it's your fault."

In a few minutes, both men would be busy with the Novice Extravaganza- a GenCon event that was always a big highlight of any weekend. Steve thought back to the days when he had walked unawares into that famous GenCon Indy 2006 Novice event with an unheard of 18 players. Since that time, it had been a tradition for him to run the biggest Novice event at any con he attended. This one would be pretty easy-there were only 906 signed up, although with the walk-ins they might possibly hit 1000. Still, it was a far cry from the record 2112 that had played in the NE at GenCon Indy last year. That had been fun-not to mention very profitable, although the demand had forced them to get the 12th edition out about six months earlier than expected.

Steve took a swig of his Triple Gulp Diet Coke. "Guess so. Still, with the pre-release sales figures it looks like I hit it on the head. And that will allow us a little breathing room before we release the Centurion kickers."

"Have the final proofs of the 3rd edition Esfah RPG come back yet?" Chuck asked.

"I think Joe got the first copy today, but I should have mine by Monday," Steve replied. "I think we may need some extra artwork, so I dropped Jim Rayborn an e-mail before I came down. He'll get his staff working on it ASAP."

Chuck relaxed ever so slightly. "That means we should hit our Indy release date. I hate having a GenCon roll around without some sort of new release."

"Me too," said Steve. "I can't imagine what our customers would do without their monthly fix."

"Well, some might breathe a sigh of relief," answered Chuck. "Especially the Retro Dragon Diceā„¢ group. Then again, they don't play anything released after '08 anyway, so they're the least of our worries."

"They allegedly don't play anything from after '08," Steve corrected. "But have you ever seen some of their dice boxes? There's more in there than meets the eye."

Chuck grinned. "I suppose since you handle the big Retro event at DexCon, you would know. It amazes me that those guys try to avoid the GenCon series. But Vinny's happy that we help keep his con afloat."

Just then the doors opened and the crowd flowed in. "Time to sell some dice-I mean, play some games," Steve said.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:58 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And I thought I had too much time on my hands...


exclaimed Outside Director John Koslow at Billy the Janitor. "I've been able to enjoy a life of leisure through my investments here, but you're supposed to be working for living! Just what is all this?" He gestured toward the table.

The janitor gulped as he looked over the polyhedral lumps. "Uh, it's part-part of my-my hobby. I like handcrafting, uh, new, uh, concept dice for Dragon Diceā„¢," he stammered out.

John snorted. "I really doubt that R&D would be able to find much use for these." He picked up one of the misshapen lumps. "I don't think the world is ready for the 19-sider, especially one this counterweighted." He flung it back onto the table, where it landed with a sickly plop.

Billy jumped. "Hey, be careful! Those are..are...fragile!" he exclaimed.

"Yeah, right," John said. "You have enough work to keep you busy. Maybe after I finish this month's audit I should have a chat with our chief building engineer."

"No, please!" Billy said. "I'll get right to work, and these will al be gone before I go home tonight."

"Make it so!" John said, as he strode out the door.

Billy made sure he was really gone. That was close, he thought. I'd better get these someplace safe for now. I'm not quite ready for the world to see my grand design. He gathered them gently into an old Frogmen shipping case, and placed them in his locker. Then he grabbed his key ring and pushed the cleaning cart out of the maintenance closet.

Time to clean up the mess around here, he thought grimly as he headed to the service elevator.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:14 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We should make bigger dice.


Joe told Chuck. Joe had stuck around long enough to take a quick tour of the new "Pirates of the Shining Sea" attraction in Chill Wind: The Experience. "Especially with the crossover between the Vikings and the Pirates expansion. I think the ID icons really need to stand out."

Chuck grimaced. "The contractor told me that anything over 20 feet would add another month before we could open. I'd really like to have this ready for this season. Even as it is, we won't be able to open this ride until June 15th at the earliest. Our customers deserve something big and new this year."

"True," agreed Joe. "I suppose with the price increase we should provide something that makes it seem worthwhile."

"Don't get me started on that," Chuck groused. "Even though we made a decent profit on the park last year, these gas price increases are killing both our operating costs and our attendance."

Joe nodded. "By the way, how is the 'Cyrean Carnival' concept coming along? If we can't get people to come to the park, hopefully we can take the park to them."

"Noy bad, not bad," Chuck answered, "but it's still at least two years away from being operable. Hopefully Dragon Diceā„¢ and Chill Wind will be popular that long."

Joe laughed. "Hey, when we have our own categories on Jeopardy-make that two-I think we're firmly ensconced in the popular culture for the time being. Disney didn't have any problems starting with a mouse." He checked his watch. "Hey, gotta catch the limo for the airport. I should be back up here in a couple of weeks, before I head out to LA for the start of Spielberg's shoot."

"Say hi to Paula and the kids for me," said Chuck, as Joe climbed into the stretch limo parked nearby.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:25 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the limo drives away.....
Meanwhile in the shadowy darkness on a street corner,
a tattered ragged figure emerged,
much to the likeness of the Minor Death....
watching all that had just transpired.

Then as though blending back into the night, it was gone.....
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:33 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could this could be a foreshadowing on the UnEarthy?
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ddicerc
rare
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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
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Location: East Brunswick, NJ, USA

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:20 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As the limo drives away.....
Meanwhile in the shadowy darkness on a street corner,
a tattered ragged figure emerged,
much to the likeness of the Minor Death....
watching all that had just transpired.

Then as though blending back into the night, it was gone.....


Curious, thought Chuck. I could've sworn it looked dark over there, but it's only 3:30 in the afternoon. Better get someone to check the lights and doors over there.

He headed back to The Tower, and got into the elevator. The normal Muzak had been replaced by some of the new songs for the soundtrack of the next Chill Wind movie by the German electro-punk-bluegrass artist Deeghter.. While many thought that SFR had just hopped onto the techno-country bandwagon, Deeghter had been chosen primarily because he was a fanatical Dragon Diceā„¢ fan-that, and he was willing to work cheap. A few cases of kickers always brought a song or two SFR's way.

Chuck got out at his office, and walked slowly back to the office. It had been a hectic day, but at least everything seemed to be falling into place. Maybe he'd take off a little early tonight. Even though Steve was heading to Philly to represent the company there (and to oversee the SFR, Inc. display, which took up about 2/3 of the existing floor space), Chuck knew the weekend would probably mean a phone call or two. Fortunately, Steve had been invited to throw out the first pitch at the Phillies game on Friday, so he wouldn't be calling until Saturday afternoon at the earliest.

After an hour of paper shuffling, Chuck looked at the clock: 4:25. He got up, walked out of his office, told the secretaries "The usual," and headed for the elevator.

On the way down, he remembered the dark spot from the afternoon. He pulled out his intercom/phone/Blackberry/communicator, and punched in the number for Building Engineering. "This is Mr. Pint," he said. "How about having Billy check out the area over near the Chill Wind entrance? I think there was something wrong over there today-a light out, a door open, something. Thanks!"

The elevator opened. Chuck strode out of the building and into his waiting limo.
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(Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...)
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