A former roommate of mine and a friend of his from back in his home state of Illinois came up with an RPG of their own called Wasted World. The game was brutal. The setting was fierce. Characters died left and right, and it was rare to go through less than three characters in a night. This wasn’t much of a big deal because it took all of 8 minutes flat to create a new character and jump back into the action. The first few times I died, I lamented the loss of the characters and the loving backgrounds I had constructed in my head, but had not yet had time to write down. Then I realized that the characters were nothing more than a set of stats, some armor and a gun or three to use against everyone else, including the other characters.
I distinctly remember a particular purple d20 the GM would pull out when he needed a 20. In the game system, if you wanted to make a called shot, you had to roll a natural 20. Fair enough. Called shots to the head were almost always killing blows. When a particular character was really whipping up on the Bad Guys, the GM would pull out his special purple d20, declare the called shot to the head and roll in front of everyone. Nine out of ten times he’d roll a 20. Damn.
After a while, I decided that it would be cool to publish Wasted World. It was the ultimate post-apocalyptic, hack-and-slash game I had ever come across. I haggled with the GM, and bought the game, and his damn d20, for a grand total of $25. A few months later, he decided he wanted to run the game for some other friends and asked to borrow Wasted World (there was a single copy in existence, and still is as far as I know) to run. I got stupid and loaned him the game never to see it again. He soon afterwards moved back to Illinois with the game. Damn.
That’s OK. I still have his d20 and I use it for Paranoia these days. Muahahahaah.