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(TFT) I keep digging.

I Keep digging

     So one activities day, Glen is absent from school.  Keith Griffin a.k.a.
Moonie is a player, and not Gming this day.  Here is the story of what he

     I knew this fellow who had this thing he used to do to any Game Master he
could talk into letting him play in their campaign. He would make a character
normally enough.  He seemed very amicable and intelligent.  But then when the
Game Master finally asked him what he did, or what he was going to do for an
action, he always had the same answer.

     ``I start digging. what do I find?``

     Immediately everyone knew that if they let him find gold, all of the
players would start digging and the Game Master would have completely lost
control of the adventure from the start.  So they would try to deflect his
action.  How they did this was more telling about what kind of a Game Master
he was than it served to dissuade the fellow from digging.

     I saw Game Masters who would let the fellow find something, like a copper
ring, thinking that it would satisfy him but he would say.

     ``I dig faster. what do I find?!``

     I saw game masters who would honestly think and try to figure out what he
could possibly uncover and say that the character found a broken bottle, or a
bear tab, or some other type of useless garbage.  What was the fellows

     ``I keep digging. what do I find?!``

     I sawGame Masters who would try to curb this behavior; with negative
reinforcement.  ``Your fingers start bleeding as you rake the dirt and start
uncovering rocks and gravel.``  He had an answer for that.

     ``I keep digging. what do I find?``

     I saw game masters who wouldn't even try to curb this behavior, they just
wanted it to stop.  ``You find... An umber hulk and it attacks you.``  Now
this move did cause him to fight, and everyone else jumped in too.  But then,
when it was over...

     ``I keep digging. what do I find?``

     And then there were the rest of the game masters who dropped all
pretenses of handling this fellow in the context of the game and tried to deal
with him as a player.  ``Why are you doing this?``  ``Do you want to play or
what?``  ``Nothing; O.K.  You're going to find nothing, so give it up.``  But
unfortunately this response was exactly what  he was looking for, and he would
get a big smile on his face and everyone would know that he got the best of
the Game Master because the actions of his character had broken the continuity
of the game.

     Fortunately I had a chance to witness this behavior before I was
inflicted with it.  I clarified exactly where he was digging, as though the
location mattered.  He insisted he didn't care and that he was just digging.
I gave everyone else a turn.  I asked his action and then told him how deep he
had dug.  I gave everyone else a turn and they sensed that they could still
get an adventure out of me, so they struck off out of town.  I asked his
action and then told him how deep he had dug.  I gave everyone else a turn and
rolled for random encounters.  None.  I asked his action and then told him how
deep he had dug.  Anyway, the reader should get the idea by now.  As hard as
it is to do, one should not ignore or reward such behavior because such
behavior could in fact, exist.
     It is up to the Game Master to maintain the reality of their story by
allowing such seemingly strange actions when they arise.  It means that the
Game Master now has the rare opportunity to show exactly how fair and
impartial they can be.  The only other time when a Game Master has a chance to
be obviously fair and impartial is when two player characters try to kill each
other and the Game Master lets them.  He checks their character sheets to make
sure that the weapons they are using are actually written down, and they
aren't trying to cheat.
    Incidentally, did you know that it could be justifiably argued that
behavior like this is what allows dungeons to exist in the first place?
     Someone has to do all that digging.

      David Michael Grouchy II
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