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KEEPING IT FUN! The adventure down the well.

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Do you remember when you first started gaming. You were almost overwhelmed by all of your choices. Would you go left or go right, attack or retreat, open the lock or kick in the door. You were in control but every decision was fraught with possibly dangerous consequences. More importantly, you didn't know the game so you didn't know what you could or couldn't do, you didn't what was possible and what wasn't and that meant everything was. In short, you were immersed in a grand but mysterious experience.

And you loved it. Hence you're here.

Now if you were lucky you made guesses, some right, some wrong and some wildly off base. If you were really lucky, your game master listened to some of your guesses and went with them. The classic version of this leads to the adventure down the well.

A group of characters are exploring a location, usually underground. The game master describes a a well or underground lake, stream, pond. They players look about, find what's to be found and are about to leave when one of them perks up and says, "I look down the well". The game master, tells them that they don't see anything, thinking the party's about to move on.

"I'm going to secure a rope and take a closer look." He does and after a through search, again finds nothing.

Ready to move on? Not a chance.

"I shuck my armor and climb down into the water. I take my (waterproof light source) and swim down, carefully searching."

At this point the GM recognizes that the other players are watching intently, not bored but rather anxiously waiting to see if their comrade has guessed right. Ten to twenty minutes of game time have been taken up by this venture and it is now part of the campaign. So he decides that there is something there; an extra piece of treasure, a skeleton (animated or unanimated), a passage to some subterranean lair or ruin. The adventure grows and the players feel heroic.

It doesn't really matter what it is, the players have again been immersed in the endless possibilities that the game allows. Their sense of wonder renewed. It doesn't matter that the GM planned none of this, the players don't know that and they feel a sense of pride out having outfoxed the God behind the screen. Next time, they pay more attention to what he says, looking for secrets and wonders that the GM has laid before them.

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Updated 08-19-2014 at 08:42 PM by Nightfalcon

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  1. Nightfalcon's Avatar
    This is my first Blog entry. I'm not sure what I'm doing or where I'm going. As more entries are posted, I hope to explore GMing and the things that make gaming fun, share some old war stories and maybe talk about some of my games.

  2. DMMike's Avatar
    Nice post. You're off to a good start, since my internet ADD didn't kick in until I finished reading.

    The situation you described made me want to be the evil GM in a horror-game:

    "Sure. You climb down the well." Then I address the other players. "There's a flash in the water, as something seems to have disturbed the light source. Then a few bubbles come up. So, what's next?"

    PS - I think you left a word out of "I look down well."
  3. Nightfalcon's Avatar
    PS - I think you left a word out of "I look down well."[/QUOTE]

    I was quoting a player.


    Trust me.

    Would I lie to you?

    Yeah, I missed that one.

    I'm glad I could hold your ADD off for most of the article.

    My Bad.