Countertop Gameing

You have been brought here today by destiny, my friends.

I hope that’s not too familiar a greeting, but by the time our journey is done, some of us will share a bond stronger than friendship. We will be family. Some of you will not pass the trials that have been arranged for you. This is how you know that they are meaningful. Failure. Success. Here, these things are just two sides of the same shift. I trust you all received the email outlining what is expected of you this afternoon?

Excellent. Well, I’ve wasted enough of your time already. Let’s begin.

Ronald McDonald has a mission for you. Maybe “mission” is the wrong word. After all, Ronald has no official power in the civic, judicial or military structure of McDonaldland. He’s the not the mayor. He’s not the chief of police. He’s something more important than that — he’s a citizen. Ronald McDonald is just a man, but without title or tradition he is a man who has earned your respect, and the adulation of the entire world. And this noble clown wants you, my friends, to provide the ultimate customer experience to everyone who brightens the doors of this beautiful restaurant. Now, we shall find out if you are up to the task.

Please turn over your character sheets.

Being a crew member at this franchise location — hell, any franchise location — requires you to be flexible, but also to be capable of playing a role. If you can’t excel in the class assigned to you, then I cannot rely on you to excel across a multitude of different responsibilities, across a multitude of different lives. Every trainee learns from their mistakes, but remember; each mistake could be your last.

Fry Guy.

Your increased heat resistance and proximity to oil enables you to lubricate any social encounter. You’re tough but charming, and your unique mix of constitution and charisma makes you a force to be reckoned with.

Mr. Flippers.

Meet the meat magician. You take the building blocks of the world and make wonders with them. The menu is your grimoire. The spatula is your wand. You live behind the veil of reality, seldom seen but uniquely responsible for every moment of delicious delight. Intelligence. Dexterity. These are your domains.

The Goldkeeper.

You are the face of the fellowship. You take dreams and half-remembered wishes and spin them into reality. Your study of human culture allows you to communicate with almost anyone, even the nightwalkers under the influence of their reality-augmenting elixirs. You are wisdom. You are willpower. You are the live wire sparking against the people to jumpstart their restaurant experience.

The Field Agent.

The tentacle of the octopus. You’re out there in the world. Making what is old new again, both on the tabletops and in the customer-only facilities. You can sense a disturbance in the natural order of happiness before anyone so much as frowns. Your gifts are perception, and strength.

Your fellowship has received a letter. The wax seal on the back is fresh, and in the shape of Ronald McDonald’s face. You open it.

“My fellow citizens. The Grimace has turned evil again. He used to be evil but then he turned good if you didn’t know, but now he’s evil again. Anyway, he’s opened a rival restaurant chain with bad service and terrible food, and people are flocking to it. We need to remind them of the importance of great, affordable meals combined with an outstanding customer experience. Are you up to the task?”

It’s so great to hear such enthusiasm from all of you! I feel really good about this group. OK. We begin our story on a regular Tuesday afternoon. The breakfast menu has concluded for the day. A woman enters the restaurant with two small children in tow. Field Agent, would you like to make a perception check?

It’s…well it’s basically when you roll your dice and if you score high enough you may notice something important about the customer that can help you better discern their wants and needs. It’s OK. I’m happy to explain some basic concepts about how the game works but there’s nothing worse than a DM trying to play their own campaign, right!? Haha. Anyway, this woman approaches the counter. Or is it the encounter!? Goldkeeper, roll for initiative!

Well, you’re on the till so you should be greeting them, and it puts you in an advantageous position if you’re at the top of the order. That means you get to go first. Otherwise you’re always on the back foot, you know, reacting. Imagine if you came in to the restaurant and the Goldkee — the cashier — didn’t say anything or acknowledge you and you had to speak first to make your order. Look, I just really suggest you roll your dice here and then I can talk you all through the next steps.

No, I didn’t give you any dice. You were supposed to bring them with you, like everyone else did. Right?

Ah, OK.

I see what’s happening here. None of you appear to have brought any dice. It was specifically mentioned in the email you all received, and there are a couple of great, friendly places quite close to this location where you could have bought a set quite easily. Hell, you could have swiped a d6 from one of the children’s games in the coffee shop across the street.

At least that would have been trying.

I’m sorry for raising my voice. I really saw such big things for this group but it appears that I was foolish to get my hopes up so prematurely. I’m sorry to say that none of you have passed this group interview, and you will not be joining us as crew members at this franchise location. Thank you for your time.

You’ve all let Ronald down. Goodbye.

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