Tim and his friends find out the hard way that you shouldn’t question the game master, and you shouldn’t make fun of his cape.
One minute, they’re drinking away the dreariness of their lives, escaping into a fantasy game and laughing their asses off. The next minute, they’re in a horse-drawn cart surrounded by soldiers pointing crossbows at them.
Tim now has the voice and physique of a prepubescent girl. Dave finds that while he lost a foot or two in height, he somehow acquired a suit of armor and a badass beard. Julian’s ears have grown ridiculously long and pointy. And Cooper… well Cooper has gotten himself a set of tusks, a pair of clawed hands, and a bad case of the shits. He also finds that he’s carrying a bag with a human head in it – a head that he had chopped off when they were still just playing a game.
Shit just got real, and if they want to survive, these four friends are going to have to tap into some baser instincts they didn’t even know existed in their fast-food and pizza delivery world.
It’s fight, flight, or try to convince the people who are trying to kill them that they don’t really exist.
Meanwhile, a sadistic game master sits back in the real world eating their fried chicken. – Goodreads Synopsis
Critical Failures Review
Critical Failures is full of crude and rude and downright disgusting. It’s also positively hilarious at times, and the puns come out of nowhere and leave you snickering. It’s also got a smattering of entirely horrible innuendos in it, and while none of the characters are particularly charismatic (even if they did have a high die roll on that), they’re just real enough to find yourself rooting for them even as you want to slap them upside the head.
Whilst I’ve never actually played any of the tabletop role-playing games, the idea of the mechanics and the stories that could come from the game have fascinated me. The way the author, Robert Bevan, handles it is perfect. Yes, he could have tried to turn it into a serious adventure, but instead what you get is an adventure sure to delight every geek – at least that has a sense of humor – in existence. The Cavern Master that starts all of this is the stereotypical never-got-laid, physically unattractive, with the thinnest skin around kid that we all knew in high school. Except this one’s grown up and has no excuse for being a fussyface. Makes it much easier to hate him with a passion.
Not one I’d recommend to let young kids read due to the more adult nature of some of the gags, but definitely one I’d recommend to gamers in general, Critical Failures is a highly amusing romp which is sure to endear you or gross you out, or both. I actually think I fall along the “both” line, because some of the snotting in here is absolutely disgusting. Anyways, definitely highly recommend it, and it’s the first book of a series, too!