Unwinnable Weekly Issue Thirty-Eight

This is a reprint of the letter from the editor in Unwinnable Weekly Issue Thirty-Eight – check out the excerpts at the end of the post. You can buy Issue Thirty-Eight individually now, or purchase a one-month subscription to make sure you never miss an issue!


You are standing in the third floor hallway of a Jersey City apartment building. In front of you is the door to Apartment 3R. There is a sign that says “Welcome, Friends.”


You wait a little while, but no one comes to the door.

>Try the doorknob

It is locked.

>Knock open the door with my shoulder

You grab the doorknob and ram your shoulder against the door. The door frame shudders and with a loud bang gives way. The door swings open. You are pretty sure no one downstairs could hear the sound over the jazz the person in Apartment 2L is playing.

In front of you is a small dining room and a kitchen. On the counter is a cheap television, an Apple laptop of some kind and a few other miscellaneous electronic devices.

>Check Inventory

You have: An unknown motive, A bit of plaster dust on your right shoulder.

>Go to bedroom

You are in the bedroom at the front of the apartment. To your right is a closet. To your left is a large bed. There are two dressers, both of which have a jewelry box on top. Directly inside the door is a night stand with a watch on top. A bit of laundry lies on the floor in front of the closet.

>Open closet

There are women’s clothes hanging in the closet and a good number of shoes neatly lined on the floor. Deep in the recess of the closet, you see a pile of bags.

>Examine bags

There’s two pieces of luggage, a couple hand bags, a laundry bag and a duffel bag.

>Examine duffle bag.

It has old socks and tights in it.

>Dump out half the socks and tights.

Wait, seriously? Why not just dump all of them?

>Just do it.

You have: a duffle bag half full of old socks and tights

>Open closest jewelry box

There are some gold bracelets, some silver bracelets, a pair of sapphire earrings, a gold necklace and earring set decorated with various small stones and a gold pendant.

> Take gold, take one silver bracelet

You don’t want the sapphires?

> Nope

You have: two gold bracelets, a gold necklace and earring set, a silver bracelet, a gold pendant

>Check other jewelry box

Inside the box is a silver bracelet, a watch that looks broken and various inexpensive earrings.

>Take watch

OK, but –

>Shut the fuck up.

OK, OK. You have: a broken watch.

>Take watch on night stand

You have: a cheap watch.

>Leave bedroom

You are in a sitting room.

>Does anything look valuable?

There are some books that –

>I’ll take that as a no. Leave sitting room.

You are in a mixed purpose room. There is a desk here to the right. Next to that is a record player and several shelves of records. To the left, two stools stand in front of a dark cubby. Hanging on the wall nearby is an old printer’s tray full of knickknacks.

>Examine printer’s tray

There are some bottle caps, little plastic toys, bottle of essential oils, a 1924 silver dollar and a pin with a picture of James Joyce on it, among other things.

>Take silver dollar.

Man, that is cold. You have: a 1924 silver dollar that probably belonged to someone’s granny.

>Look in cubby.

You awkwardly lean over the stools and peer into the shadowy nook. There looks like there might be a laptop and an iPad sitting down there in the gloom.

>Take iPad and laptop.

You have: a first generation iPad, a laptop in a black laptop case

>Go to kitchen counter

There is a MacBook. It is plugged into something that looks like a projector and a set of speakers. More cords dangle down.

>Look at the cords

There are several in the plug, one for the computer, one for the-

>Fuck it, too complicated. I need to get out of here. Anything else that might be valuable?

There is a change dish by the door.

>Take change dish

You have: a bowl of pennies and bottle caps, a rape whistle, a mace spray keychain, a spare car key.

>Leave apartment

Congratulations! You burglarized Daisy’s apartment! You are an asshole and Stu wants to hit you in the head with a hammer repeatedly.

* * *

Sorry for the lack of an issue last week. Life, as you probably can tell, got in the way.

This week, our cover story isn’t so much a story as it is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure. Seriously. You should run it for your friends. It is a slightly re-worked version of a game I ran over three sessions with my group. As these things go, it was probably one of the more challenging things I’ve put this group through, so I thought, why not put other unsuspecting players through it to? Let me know how it goes if you do.

Big shout-out to Paul from Amber Keep Art for delivering the gnarly illustration for our faux-D&D module cover this week. Check his stuff out!

We also have a brief piece from Matt Marrone, explaining his absence in Issue Thirty-Seven. He will be back next week with a full Rookie of the Year. We also have Mitch Bowman’s second column, in which we learn all about the wide world of DIY split EPs. Awesome!

See y’all next week! Get me at stuhorvath@unwinnable.com if you need me.

Stu Horvath,
Kearny, New Jersey
March 30, 2015

Story Excerpts

As I head to the clinic to visit a family member who recently tried to kill himself, this passage is a punch in the gut.

“Leonard Cohen’s Guitar Teacher,” by Matt Marrone

Punk has a history of being about collectivism and community, and the idea of collaborating to releasing a record with another band in your scene is very much an extension of that. There have even been splits where both bands play on each other’s tracks, turning the whole thing into a truly collaborative effort.

“Skramz Splits,” by Mitch Bowman

Centuries ago, the noble house of Csintalan collapsed, leaving their hereditary lands in chaos. Already remote, the region became a backwater haunted by bandits and monsters. By far, the worst was a covey of hags who were not content to merely steal or kill – they delighted in sowing terror. People would snap and murder their spouses, or find their children turned into livestock. Sometimes, a person would get up in the middle of the night and wander into the woods, never to be seen again. Sometimes, though, they would come back. It was never good when they came back.

“The Hags of Black Woods,” by Stu Horvath

Ad Free, Games, Unwinnable Monthly