Mature content warning:
alcohol and fuckwords
2020 has been a year of bullshit.
Be honest—did you have a good year?
No. Of course you didn’t. No one did.
Because 2020 has been a year of bullshit.
In future history books, 2020 will get its own extended chapter, and it will be every student’s favorite chapter because everything in it will read like some kind of absurdist chronicle of a dystopian madhouse.
… a dystopian madhouse where everything is bullshit.
When confronting bovine rectal discharge of this magnitude, we face a portentous decision, one that Dr. Ira Clark deftly explained (15 years ago) in his Theory and Practice of Comedy course.
“You can either laugh about it or cry about it,” he said. “I’m not going to cry about it.”
It’s the only sane stance to take in 2020. And as this towering trash inferno of a year finally burns low, The Storm Crow has a clever remedy that delivers the much-needed cleansing power of derisive laughter.
Behold the d2020, its faces inscribed with the full breadth and depth of the insanity we’ve endured on this last trek around our sun. Some of it’s weird, some of it’s sad, some of it’s rage-inducing, but all of it’s memorable.
The die also comes with a fill-in-the-blank word game and a table of random shots that will give you all the excuse you need to roll your d2020.
Dice. Documents. Drinking.
Did you seriously think I wasn’t going to write something about this?
This is not your standard d20. It’s big, and it’s heavy—big and heavy enough to kill someone if you chuck it at their skull. But for the non-murderhobos out there, the weight will forever remind us of the emotional manure carts we’ve dragged around for the past 12 months, and the size ensures you’ll be able to read the fine print on each face.
And what faces they are. This epic icosahedron features the kaleidoscopic wonderland of weirdness that has defined 2020: murder hornets, meth gators, World War 3, X Æ A-12, and 16 others.
The d2020 includes a pair of blank triangular stickers you can use to efface and repress a couple of the year’s more unsavory elements. Actually, they’re included so you can update your die with whatever 2020 throws at us in its waning weeks. (Monoliths, anyone?)
The die comes in a little red drawstring pouch. The bag itself will keep your die safe and clean. The color will remind you of all the rage you’ve bottled up over the past year. When you feel that ire welling inside you, dump out your d2020, glue it to the end of a chain, and use it as a flail.
Or just use it in the pair of games it’s packaged with.
“Last Sunday” is a short narrative containing 12 blank spaces—one for each bullshit month—that you fill in with your die rolls. The output is some odd vignettes reminiscent of the more lighthearted Bizarro fiction that’s oozed out of Portland over the past couple decades.
One of my malformed narrative creations featured hand sanitizer sleeping at the foot of the protagonist’s bed. Is this some cheeky Millenneologism imputing a vital characteristic to a nonliving object? Or in the strange hellscape of 2020, is hand sanitizer actually alive?
Regardless, the protagonist prepared Market Crash for breakfast and thought it tasted like Online Education. Then Market Crash knocked at his door, and as Australian Bushfires crashed through the window, his final regret was not having Online Education for breakfast.
Yeah. It gets weird. But it’s good for a laugh, and you can undoubtedly stretch your mileage by pairing “Last Sunday” with the d2020 Random Shots Table on the sheet’s reverse side.
Many, many hours of this past year were devoted to libations. And forevermore, 2020 will compel us to drink. Roll your d2020, mix the shot matching the result, and then lament. (You should be used to it by now.)
But heed this warning: much like 2020, this menu can get vicious.
Some of these shots are comedic masterpieces in their own right:
- Autonomous Zone—Starbucks and flaming rum
- Market Crash—Cristal and Goldschlager
- Recession—boxed wine (any brand; you can’t afford to be picky)
Some are outright mean:
- Tiger King—Bud Light and White Claw
- Zoom Happy Hour—a shot of non-alcoholic beer
- COVID-19—melon liqueur and absinthe
And some are going to hurt like hell:
- World War 3—Jack and Tabasco
- Bleach Injection—2 esophagus ravaging, brain-cell-killing ounces of straight Everclear
My personal favorite is Riots—Jaeger and Monster Energy Drink. A shot of that will drive anyone to burn and break stuff all night.
Whatever you roll and shoot, though, you can be sure of two things: it’s going to taste like 2020, and you’re going to hate the world just as much when you wake up the next morning.
Like Acid Off a Duck’s Back
The d2020 is many things. It’s a novelty. It’s a show piece. It’s an elegy to one of the weirdest damned years on record. And it’s a monument to all of us who, for 365 too-long days, dragged our bedraggled carcasses out of bed one more fucking time to face whatever savage, random bullshit Fate’s cruel die had in store for us.
Grab your own d2020 online at the Storm Crow Shoppe or in person at Storm Crow Alehouse (Vancouver) and Storm Crow Manor (Toronto). Tell ’em Liber Ludorum sent you. They won’t know what that means, but tell ’em anyway.
Apologies to Harry Frankfurt for grossly misusing the term bullshit. It’s one more travesty of 2020.
Reflections on a DIY game of cutting, pasting, endings, beginnings … and adorable druids
But you’ll wish you had one in Chris Bissette’s Freelance RPG
And other cogent, coherent observations