This is one of my favorite stories. It's long, detailed, and geeky (insert wang joke here). You have been warned.
I have been playing Dungeons & Dragons in all it's incarnations since . . . '97? maybe '98, definitely before 2000, as I started in AD&D. One way our friends would find each other would be to yell "What's a THAC0!?" But, I digress. (watch out, these parenthesis, and tangents things happen a lot.)
With my very fist gaming group, Mjerk, Jjerk, FeetRcold, and a couple others (nicknames are be covered in another blog, don't worry) I rolled a Bard named Ran Dansin. Mjerk, was the DM and this was a Alice in Wonderland-centric game. We ended off in a Battle of wits against the American McGee's version of the Mad Hatter, and through our exploits, my bard acquired a Mad Hatter Hat. This hat was awesome because not only could our gnome walk its brim like a turret(magically, of course) we could dangle him into the hat and had a 65% chance to pull out any mundane item, 23% chance to pull out any uncommon item, 10% chance to pull out any truly rare items, and 2% for anything ridiculously rare, but there had to be more than like 2 of it in the universe.
Fast forward about four years, I begin gaming with The Blave, Epyon_Avenger, Jubbles, and a couple others and The Blave is our DM. I ask if I can resurrect my bard and more importantly his signature hat. The Blave approves, but because he is a stickler for rules and our group was full of power gamers, he "neutered" or more precisely set rules for the hat with random tables. I blindly agreed, thrilled my hat would make it into the game (we started fairly low level and this was effectively a wondrous item) little did I know what horrors this item would visit upon us. The two most common items we pulled out of the Hat were shards of broken glass, which dealt about 1d4 damage to your hands, and really smelly cheese, which would cause -1d4 temporary charisma damage. Mundane annoyances weren't the only things we pulled out of the hat, to The Blave's credit, over the course of a nine month campaign, I pulled out two wee genie's which helped me meet the preq's to be a duelist(these were mostly to accommodate my lack of power building skills and allow me to be more useful in combat) as well as a jackalope named Plot Point who was originally our sorcerer's new familiar, but became this unmitigated ball of dragoon brokenness run by The Blave as his harbinger of doom in his game world. Later, I would pull out a flock of giant, cat sized mosquito's that literally killed me(I have been constantly reminded by The Blave how because I was his favorite character he was constantly smudging damage to keep me alive. great, I was his personal stress ball). As well as lesser jackalopes, males, so that Plot Point could defeat them in single combat and then devour their glands(this was how he leveled) and female jackalopes, so that he could mate with them, defeat them in single combat, and eat their glands, you see the pattern? Apparently this increased his charisma, whatever.
At one point, as I was reaching into the hat, something grabbed me and pulled me into the hat, I was terrified, after all the things I had pulled out, this was not a good idea. Turns out, a giant version of me in another dimension pulled me out of HIS hat. I stood there in shock, and he stared at me for a few seconds, and said, "I wish for a plus two keen, fiery rapier." I replied, "That sounds awesome, but get Vicious and keen if you've got a healer." To which he replied, "No, you're a wee genie and you're gonna grant me a wish, although you look really familiar." Me,"sorry dude, but I have a hat on the other side and you pulled me, I can't grant wishes." Him, "you have a hat too? Isn't it great, wee genies and gold all the time? and a healing jackalope? I pull out the genies all the time!" Me, "really? all I keep pulling out is crap!" He seemed to take pity on me at this point, so he sent me off with a copper piece, which to me was about five feet in diameter, we lugged that thing around till we found a forge to break it down. It was miserable.
Later on, it became a tradition between some of the more screwball members of the group (it fluctuated from he original 5 up to a total of fourteen, technically, over the summer, and everywhere in between) that any new members of the group were greeted with "It's Time for everybody's favorite initiation! WHATS?! IN THE HAT!?!?!?" One of the more memorable initiations was -Brad Again-'s warrior. Not the sharpest shovel in the drawer(yes, I know) he actually managed to pull out a cockatrice, which is an undead chicken that can turn things to stone. Fortunately this warrior was too dumb to be turned to stone, so he pulled it out of the hat, made his fort save and the chicken crowed "bwuahhah!" Me, "what is it?" Jubbles moved his pointer finger through a ring of his other fingers and made a squeaking noise, "his name is herbert." me, " if it wasn't before, it is now." and coincidentally, that's how my rubber chicken got his name. Herbert became the warriors drinking buddy, and one morning after a night of too many ales, the war grabbed the cockatrice and yelled "HOW DID YOU SLEEP CHICKEN!?!?" too which it replied, "KROAWAH!!"
So, there you have it, since the H47 sits on my head, you're reaching your hand right in, be careful, you could get stinky cheese, or hopefully, wee genies.