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The Joy of Mad Libs

Because they never get old ...

Our younger son has gone on a Mad Lib tear lately, where he and I are doing 3 or 4 a day. I had forgotten how much fun these can be. It's not just the liberal replacement of bodily functions for ordinary verbs. It's the whole ridiculous, co-creative process. There's an art to picking Mad Lib words for maximum absurd comedy. You want randomness, of course. But the more specific your words can be, the funnier the result. If you pick "foot" when you're asked for a noun, you might get something funny. But if you pick "my brother's big toe knuckle" for that noun, I can almost guarantee a laugh.


Just for fun (and because we were running out of Mad Libs), I decided to try my hand at authoring a Mad Lib. It's really just an exercise in flash fiction scene writing. You get an idea for a quick scene that will be told almost entirely as exposition; then just remove certain key words. You don't want to overdue the number of blank words or else the underlying story concept will get lost. But you also want to give plenty of opportunities for hillarity. Since our younger son has also been getting into Dungeons & Dragons lately, I decided I'd meld the two interests into the first (of hopefully several) Mad Libs centered around a fantasy roleplaying adventure game that sort-of-kind-of parodies the classic D&D. 


He had a ball when I read the responses! So in the interest of spreading the fun, here, good reader, is the D&D-ish Mad Lib yours truly created. Try it out with a friend or family member and enjoy!



a Role-playing Game Fill-in-the-Blank

that has nothing whatsoever to do with Dungeons & Dragons or Mad Libs

by Matthew C. Lucas



It's Friday ____________________ [time of day], which means it's time for your favorite weekly ____________________ [noun], Castles & Carnivores. You and three of your ________________________ [adjective] friends have gathered at the Castle Master's, ____________________ [someone's name], house to start a new C&C adventure! There's plenty of ________________________ [food] and ______________________ [drink]. Everyone's got their dice, their character sheets, and their ____________________ [plural noun].  Your three friends already have their characters, a warrior, a wizard, and a thief. Now it's your turn to _________________________ [verb] a character of your own.


First, of course, you have to come up with a name for your ____________________ [adjective] adventurer. After ____________________ [verb ending in -ing] long and hard about it, you settle on ______________________________ [ridiculous, made-up name].


Next, you need to roll __________ [number], __________ [different number]-sided dice to determine your character's traits. You roll the dice and write down the scores on your character sheet. Your strength score is pretty good; but your intelligence score is downright __________________________ [adjective]. Your dexterity, constitution, and charisma scores are all __________________________ [adjective]. What a/an __________________________ [adjective] combination of traits! 


Now you have to decide your character's class. What do you want to be? A gallivanting bard who sings magic into being, a holy cleric who can summon the gods? Or perhaps a _________________________ [adjective] ____________________________ [job or occupation] who can _______________________________ [verb]?  After talking it over with the CM and your fellow adventurers, you decide that _____________________________ [same ridiculous, made-up name] will be a _____________________________ [job or occupation]. That's just what your party needs to explore the ___________________________________ [adjective] dangers and discover the hidden __________________________________ [plural noun] of the world of C&C.


Last of all, you need to outfit __________________________________ [same ridiculous, made-up name] with some ___________________________________ [adjective] adventuring gear for your first C&C adventure. After rolling a single, __________ [number]-sided die, your CM informs you that you have _____________ [number] pieces of _________________________________ [kind of metal] to buy gear with. You study the list of what's available and buy your character a cloak and a set of boots, __________ [number] feet of rope, a dagger, some torches, a/an ___________________________ [noun], a/an ________________________ [noun], and, most important of all, a polished steel _______________________________ [weapon].  Now you and your party are ready for your first C&C adventure!


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