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I'm writing up this story, both here and on TTV partly as an amusing anecdote, and partly as...erm...a cry for help? I suppose I could stick this in General Discussion instead, seeing as it's less a typical BZPower comedy, and more like one of those RPG stories you might occasionally dig up from 4chan. But at its core, it is indeed a fan fiction of Bionicle. It just has writers contributing aside from myself, that's all. Okay, so here's how it is: Every week, me and a bunch of old friends from uni meet up over Discord and have ourselves a Dungeons and Dragons session. Eventually, the head GM feels it's time to give himself a rest, maybe let someone else run a session while he turns off his brain, and yours truly decides to step up to the plate. I decided that I'd have a go at running a game in the world of my childhood obsession, and not only that, but I'd use the canon storyline, from the prequels onwards, as the campaign itself! I'm a fan of comics like Darths and Droids and stories of real life RPGs going off the rails, so I my intention was to take a bunch of unruly DnD players- with varying knowledge of Bionicle itself -drop them off at the start of the canon story and see what direction they would take it in. With that in mind, I set out to choose a system. In the end, I went with the Doronai Nui ruleset by Red Star Gaming, as it was the most complete and thought-through system I could find. Works well enough, given its DnD base, though I have to say there were some points I struggled with the clearly beta-version rules and some fight mechanics that seem to have been changed for the sake of change. But I'm not here to give a review of an RPG system, I'm here to talk about the story I laid out, and the three numpties who became its central cast. I thought I was prepared. I was sorely mistaken. Session One: So Far, So Good My story opened much like the actual Legends of Metru Nui, with Toa Lhikan visiting the chosen matoran one by one and gifting them their Toa Stones. Except in this new reality, we got a very different crop of matoran. First off, there was Makihu, an Akaku-wearing Le-Matoran. Makihu's player was the last to arrive and sign up, and of all the players, he knew next to nothing about Bionicle going in. Still, with the setting explained, he signed up as a spy-class matoran currently wandering around, looking for work. Suddenly, Lhikan appears to offer him a job, probably the most important job of his life, then jets off on his hoverboard as quick as he appeared. Makihu watches him go, and mutters to himself "I will never be as cool as him." Next, we cut over to Daxiehl, a Miru-wearing Po-Matoran and techno-tourist. His player was the usual GM, and he'd been a fan of Bionicle in the past, though he dropped out around 2004, so no worries about spoilers for him. He also decided to give his character the most hilariously awful Brooklyn/Boston accent that Makihu's player would swear sounded a lot like Bob Fossil off the Mighty Boosh. Anyways, we find him at a Ta-Metru shop, purchasing a suspiciously cheap Mask Maker Drone. As he exits, Lhikan approaches him and offers something of decidedly greater value. Once more, Lhikan gives him a stone, hops onto his board and flies away. Daxiehl watches him go and remarks "What an eccentric performance." Finally, we have Tarahna, a Hau-wearing Ta-Matoran blacksmith, currently hard at work in his forge. His player is much more familiar with Bionicle than the rest. Maybe not as deep in the fandom as a hyper-fan like me, but he'd certainly seen all the movies, and a lot of his dialogue mimicked phrases from the Bionicle 2, albeit not half as wimpy and angsty as Vakama was. Anyways, Lhikan drops by with the Toa Stone, then of course the Dark Hunters catch up with him, and we actually get to see Tarahna realise that Nidhiki was once on Lhikan's team. When the fight starts happening, Tarahna objects to the intrusion on his forge and chucks a couple hammers at Nidhiki (again, not half so wimpy as the official Ta-Matoran) but apart from that, the scene ends up playing out pretty much exactly as it did in the film, right down to Tarahna getting struck by a vision. (I figured with how much his player knew about the storyline, I could excuse any accidental future references as remnants of future visions.) As Turaga Dume broadcasts the sad news of Lhikan's disappearance across the city, Tarahna retrieves his Toa Stone from his wrecked forge, currently being searched by Vahki. He and the other two head over to the Temple, where we meet our main three NPCs. They got rolled up almost at random from the different character roles and remaining Mata masks, but since a couple of the results lined up with the appearances of canon characters, I decided to give them their names and dub them reimaginings. First off is Kai, Kakama-wearing Ga-Matoran, who in this new AU is an art teacher with a sensitive spiritual nature. Then there's Midak, Pakari-wearing Onu-Matoran, an archivist with dreams of leaving the dark of the archives and becoming...an investment banker. Finally, there's Bogaku, the sole original character, a Kaukau-wearing Ko-Matoran and former career criminal who just got released on parole. As they first meet, their stones light up, as do the lights on the suva. After some dawdling and a bit of prompting required, they all insert their stones and get zapped into Toa. They're still assessing the situation when right on cue, Tarahna gets his vision to find the Great Disks (I make up a few ways the Toa are connected with the Metru-Matoran. Kai basically takes Nokama's place in this story). Bogaku acts skeptical, until Daxiehl points out that someone having a prophetic vision is the least weird thing to happen to them today. So they all decide to follow Tarahna's lead, read up on the mural giving clues to the disk's locations, and then gather up their weapons and equipment to set off. Daxiehl's equipment includes a Firework Revolver and a grappling hook. This will be important later. Together, the team heads over to Vhisola's house, have a brief chat with the neighbour, then bust in to search for clues. All present are suitably creeped out by Yandere Vhisola's shrine inside, and offer their condolences to Kai. They're met with the puzzle inside taken directly from the Toa Nokama CD-Rom. It takes some prompting for Makihu to figure out the obvious solution, at which point he almost doesn't want to do it just to be awkward. (I've promised them puzzles that respect their intelligence a little more later down the line.) The party has just discovered the safe full of clues when they overhear the neighbour alerting the Vahki outside. One "Oh crud, it's the fuzz!" later, and the party needs to take action. It's at this point that someone or other has the idea of prying the safe right out of the wall and taking it with them while the entire party makes a dash for it. Yakety Sax is put on for the background music as the entire party blunders its way through the squadron of Vahki outside. In amidst the confusion, Midak gets brainwashed by the Vahki and restrains Bogaku, while Daxiehl tries and fails to use the Firework Revolver to launch the grappling hook up a building. Nevertheless, by the time we wrap up the session, four out of the six characters have made their escape, with Kai and Tarahna separately diving into the canal, and Makihu and Daxeihl rushing off carrying a safe between the two of them. I'll end the post here for now, with the team getting slightly but not irreparably off the rails, to see what anyone else thinks of this story. If there's an interest, I'll drop by again to tell you about the second session we had together, and also give that cry for help I mentioned at the start of this post. Because let me tell you...the real chaos is yet to come.