Noah (angelbob) wrote,

Starting (checks the time) very, very soon, I'm going to have more spare time. My workplace shuts down for the holidays, which means I'm approximately at loose ends (read: scheduled somewhat less tightly).

One thing I find myself really missing is a rousing game of Baron Munchausen, a fine drinking and storytelling game that many of you may be approximately acquainted with.

Is there anybody who would especially be interested in participating in a gathering to play?

The Rules
The old and respected game of Baron Munchausen is based on a Terry Gilliam film which I recovered from the wilds of Borneo just last Saturday. That being an inconvenient time for the film to be released, I hopped into my time machine before realizing that it was out of its fuel — a rare anise-and-leaf-mulch liqueur which could only be acquired in southern Spain...

Baron Munchausen is a drinking and storytelling game. The concept is that one player, as the Baron, related his extraordinary and improbable adventures to the other players, at great length. The other players then poke holes in the story (or invent reasons for it to be even more improbable), drinking all the while.

The actual mechanics are as follows. The players sit in a circle, each with some sort of intoxicating potable. One player gets a bit of inspiration and turns to another. "Baron!" quotes the asking player, "tell us about the time you were caught in the Congo without your bidet-brush and captured by the Miskiniganni tribe," or "Baron! Tell us about the time you invented the tomato," or "Baron, tell us about how you became a member of the tribe of bloodsucking nomads of the Kalahari!".

With this question posed, the second player leaps into action. He immediately begins regaling the assembled players with the story in question, pausing to elaborate at great length on many occasions. At any point, another player may find (or invent) a hole in his story. For instance, "but Baron, however did you find water in the Kalahari for such a long trip?", or "but Baron, if you were attacked by Gouda cheese, why did your cheese-based armor have any effect? Why would cheese block other cheese?" or "but Baron, didn't the Giant Bloodsucking Chimpanzees of Borneo try to sue you for patent infringement when you tried that maneuver?". The asking player then takes a drink — he'll have depleted his creativity in making the request, and alcohol has been shown to be a creativity supplement in lab rats.

A Baron of pride, honor and inventiveness will have no trouble fielding the request and explaining how the water was found, the cheese was bribed, the lawsuit sidestepped or whatever may have occurred in the situation in question. A Baron who is deep in his dregs may have forgotten, and be forced to invent. A Baron who lacks the requisite creativity may simply be unable, and may instead take a drink and insult the challenger. The insult should be unquestionably creative, preferably biting and especially long-winded.

The challenger may then, optionally, take a drink and insult right back, which the Baron may counter in kind, and the exchange may continue for so long as the Baron and challenger feel inclined, or until one of them decides a much-needed passing-out is appropriate.

The Baron, if not interrupted, would likely come to the end of his tale rather quickly. If interrupted constantly, the tale might never come to its end. Since a skilled Baron need never drink during his own turn and his challengers are required to drink at every challenge, a skilled Baron should, after a long and highly entertaining story, leave behind him a circle of near-incomprehensible inebriates. It's rather like the time I convinced the Chinese that silk was made from a rare breed of toxic mushroom's tongue...


A game of Baron Munchausen may trivially be altered to another theme (such as piracy, monkeydom, jello wrestling, the French or Things That Happen Only In Gazebos) by simply declaring that any of the storyteller's exploits much be on that topic — and by choosing an identity for the storyteller other than the Baron, who has an acute fear of gazebos.

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