We face a dilemma like nothing we've encountered before. We have fought dragons, nearly thrown ourselves at gelatinous cubes, and almost killed each other several times, but now it is serious. The brains of our party are either sitting in the GM's chair or absent, how are we to make any progress!

It may sound a melodramatic claim but it certainly seems like some of us are consistently better at finding sensible and suitable solutions to problems, whereas the rest of us have trouble with basic maths sometimes. Never the less, we try not to be daunted by having no guiding hand to help us and press on.

We have uncovered information about where robotics are being delivered and have travelled there to investigate. Admittedly, it was those absent who successfully gathered the information about this location in the first place, but surely the hard work is done and all that's left is a big fight. If only that were that simple.

The location turns out to be a bookshop, the tradesman's entrance leading in to the shop's stockroom. All looks normal. One of us thinks that there must be a secret room hidden behind a bookcase and starts tugging at books in the 'robotics' section to find the trigger that will swivel the bookcase around, but only succeeds in pulling a big pile of heavy books down on himself.

I decide to question one of the assistants to find out where the deliveries get dropped off. 'In the stockroom', I am told. Right, thanks. The stockroom still looks completely normal.

Another thinks that we should hang around until a really nerdy worker turns up, as he will no doubt be the one assembling the parts in to celebrity-replacing robots, until we point out that we are in a bookshop and just about everyone looks like a nerd.

Our final party member asks the assistant if anyone else works here, trying to uncover the nefarious head of whatever organisation is using the bookshop as a front, but this cunning scheme falters when the assistant, looking rather nonplussed, points to the woman working on the till next to him.

It seems all is lost, we have exhausted our problem-solving capabilities and end up scratching our heads about what to do next. It is only fifteen minutes in to the session that I realise one particularly obvious path has not been explored, although it almost feels like clutching at straws after all the ingenious yet failed ideas so far. 'I search the stockroom.'

'During your search you move a trolley holding some books to reveal a trapdoor.'

I really hope we don't have many more absences like this of certain group members, it's embarrassing for the rest of us.

Comments are closed.