Octavius the wizard plays host for the fantasy realm’s equivalent of Dungeons and Dragons: Boardrooms and Boredom.
Fun fact: all the die rolls were completely random. The story was written around them.
It’s six in the morning; all your alarm clocks start to buzz. Everyone roll a constitution check to see if you’re able to get out of bed.”
It was Octavius’s turn to be the CEO for the monthly game of Boardrooms and Boredom. He and several other denizens of the fantasy realm started playing the game at the suggestion of Ug the Ork two years ago; it turned out to be a relaxing distraction from the day-to-day drudgery of clearing kobolds from the dungeons and ensuring various objects of power stayed out of the wrong hands.
“Me roll a one and a two.” said Ug. He had chosen to play as Timothy the intern.
“You groan and lurch but somehow make it out of the bed.” said Octavius. “After a minute of stretching you feel awake and ready to take on the day. What did you roll, Astley?”
“I rolled 17.” responded Astley the werewolf, panting with excitement. His character, Steve from Accounting, was eyeing a promotion and he knew he had a good chance now.
“Morning proves no obstacle to you as you jump out of bed and prepare to attack the day. And you, Wizzle? What did you roll?”
The IT department’s arch-magicbluesmokeromancer, Wizzle, gave the table a toothy grin. “I rolled a natural 20.” Everyone around the table gasped in awe. Ted the salesman was definitely going to have a good day.
“I don’t know how or why, but you were awake and dressed before the alarm went. While everyone else was getting dressed you were already brushing your teeth. And lastly, Gigantor….”
All eyes turned to the hill giant crammed into the corner of the room, then rose upward to meet his face. “I ROLLED A 1.”
“Oh dear…. You sleep through the alarm. It’s very likely you’ll get dragged into the boss’s office for a performance review once you show up.” Jerry from payroll was not going to have a good day.
“CRUD.” said Gigantor as everyone covered their ears.
“All right, everyone, what is your next move?” asked Octavius. Octavius couldn’t wait to get this campaign going further, he’d planned an exciting day of meetings and misfiled documents for everyone. It was guaranteed to be a hit.
“Me get on bicycle and ride to work.” said Ug.
“As you ride down the street people scream; in your rush out the door you forgot to get dressed.”
“I put on my unenchanted suit of monotony and my +1 necktie of constriction, quickly grab a bran bar on my way out the door and hop in my car.” said Astley.
Wizzle took a moment to consider his options. “I brush my teeth with +3 toothpaste of whitening and don my pinstripe suit before grabbing a cup of coffee and heading for the bus.”
“And you, Gigantor,” said Octavius, “you wake from your restful slumber and glance at the clock. It reads 7:45. Work starts in 15 minutes.”
“‘OH NO!’ I YELL. I SCRAMBLE TO PUT ON THE FIRST CLOTHING I CAN FIND AND RUN OUT THE DOOR WHILE TYING MY SHOES.”
“Everyone but Jerry from payroll arrives at the office at 8:00. So far it seems to be a normal Tuesday morning. Timothy, you arrive to find a mountain of envelopes in the mailroom. Your boss tells you you have exactly nine minutes to deliver them all. Roll save vs panic attack please.”
“Me rolled 8.”
“Your heart races, your anus clenches, you sweat from every pore and let out a squeak. After a moment of near-hyperventilating, you get it under control. Steve, your boss is freaking out because three cents are missing from the general ledger and you have an audit in two hours. What’s your tabulation at?”
“I’m a journeyman tabulator.” said Astley.
Octavius rolled a die and scribbled something on a piece of paper. “Okay, that seems to be enough. You’ll probably finish with a few minutes to spare. Ted, you have a big client coming in today. Your job is to bend over backwards to make them happy. Roll a charisma check please.”
Wizzle dropped the die on the table. “Another 20.” he grinned. Ted was on fire today!
“Well, this will be very interesting.” said Octavius.
“Hold on a minute,” interrupted Astley, “isn’t Timothy the intern still naked? How come nobody’s mentioned that?”
“It intern class ability. Almost totally unvisible to coworkers.” said Ug.
“It’s true.” said Octavius. “Only the most perceptive employees might notice him, such as someone from HR or a master gossip. But on that note, Timothy, you should probably make it a priority to cover yourself before anyone does notice.”
“But what about Timothy’s boss?! He talked right at him!”
“Timothy’s boss never actually saw him. He was on the other side of the mountain of envelopes.”
“WHAT ABOUT ME? HAVE I MADE IT TO WORK YET?”
“Almost, Gigantor, we’ll get to you in a few minutes. Astley, we’ll deal with the naked intern issue shortly. I promise.”
“Me have idea!” shouted Ug. Octavius would normally be vexed by yet another interruption but orcish flashes of insight were rare and ephemeral so he said nothing. “Me fashion outfit from nearby office supplies! What available?”
“Let me see….” Octavius checked the map of the mail room. “In easy reach are three staplers, a half-eaten bagel, several stacks of sticky notes and a tape dispenser.”
“Me have another idea!” Apparently Ug was on fire too. “Me fashion clothes from sticky notes and tape.”
Octavius subscribed to the “anything is possible if the dice allow it” school of CEOing so he called on Ug to roll a dexterity check.
“Me rolled a six….” moaned Ug.
“Using the supplies at hand you fashion… something…. Whatever you’re wearing leaves little to the imagination but you probably won’t get arrested for public indecency anymore.”
“Good enough!” said Ug triumphantly. “Me deliver the mail now! Me rolled a one and a four!”
“Somehow all the mail is delivered on time and the legend of a rustling wind doing so is born at the water cooler.”
Astley muttered a curse under his breath. Although none of this was technically against the rules he still felt Octavius was taking too many liberties in his interpretation of them.
Octavius turned to Astley, blissfully unaware of what his employee thought of the CEO. “All right, Steve… as you look over the general ledger you spot an unbalanced transaction, but it’s out by eight cents!”
“Okay,” said Astley, panting even harder, “what time is it now? How long do I have till the audit?”
Octavius rolled another die. “It’s 9:30. The auditor will be there in half an hour.”
Astley rolled a pencil around on the table while he checked his inventory. “Ah ha!” he yelled. “I take my employee of the month mug to the lunchroom and fill it with a potion of quickening! Coffee! I mean I fill it with coffee!”
“Cream or sugar?”
“No, thank you. Black is fine. Wait, why is that relevant?”
“It’s not, but details like that build atmosphere. Anyway, you now have 20 minutes to complete your review of the general ledger.”
“I down the coffee as quickly as I can without burning myself and get to work on the papers.”
“All right,” said Octavius, “roll an intelligence check.”
“I rolled a one!”
“The papers spontaneously combust. The auditor is not going to be happy with this.”
“Oh no! My promotion!”
“Yes, that prospect is not looking so good anymore….”
“WHAT ABOUT ME? AM I AT WORK NOW?”
“Yes, Gigantor, in fact you are. The time is now 9:42. As you walk into the office you are greeted by the scornful look of several coworkers. Today is payday and you’re the guy writing the checks.”
“I APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY AND RUN TO MY OFFICE.”