Why Do Player Characters Wander Off

We talk about this all the time, the idea that player characters like to go off the map, make a choice that sends the GM scrambling for what to do – they want to get off the Sean Train and take a tour of the forested hills “Over there, that spot on the map…”  Why do we, as Players, do this?


Virtual Gamehole Con event registration and badges available now.

Session one of Delta Green: Music from a Darkened Room kicks off on August 13, 8pm on Twitch, then on Youtube.

Random Encounter

Mike leaves us a voicemail.

Mike H. poses a question on our forums on Dungeon Crawls

As I was listening to episode 303 I would think of the new game group I am in. I think most of them would be good with a little home brewed dungeon crawl. However we have that one guy that “only” will play pre-published adventures (sorry Sean). So thinking of the episode and thinking it would be fun to try and find a small dungeon pre-published adventure, I get on adventurelookup.com and start putting in the credentials and get a couple hundred results. Before I start diving through all of these does anyone have a favorite? And according to Brett my life is a dungeon crawl wink wink.

Thanks again for another entertaining and thought provoking episode.


OldSchoolDM comments on Dungeon Crawls

There’s a lot of definition gymnastics in this episode –

“A house is a dungeon” for example.

Let me make up a quote citing the formula from The Sphinx (Mystery men)

“If every house is a dungeon, you make every dungeon your house!”

Seriously tho, refining the term dungeon crawl to be the exploration of an enclosed environment is pretty dang squishy. We have other words for that definition already, such as “adventure” and “encounter area” and …


Dungeon crawl

A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinth environment (a “dungeon”), battling various monsters, avoiding traps, solving puzzles, and looting any treasure they may find. Video games which predominantly feature dungeon crawl elements are considered to be a genre. The first computer-based dungeon crawl was pedit5, developed in 1975 by Rusty Rutherford on the PLATO interactive education system based in Urbana, Illinois. Although this gam…

Also, the crawl nature of the phrase was instantly translated to the derogatory slog in the episode as well, with Brett saying (late in the episode) that if it’s a slog “you’re doing it wrong.” :warning: That always sets off my alarms. :warning:

To me, crawl doesn’t mean boring, it means massive and seemingly endless (as a specific design feature – to evoke a specific feelings from the players, such as hopelessness and urgency.)

Traveling the jungles of Chult in Tomb of Annihilation contains a massive jungle crawl with the nasty Death Curse as a timer, it also includes at least one major dungeon crawl.

The episode was fine in trying to share how to make crawls more interesting, but it got distracted by the semantic flubbery trying to make everything a dungeon. Not every limited-choice environment is a dungeon.


The Sphinx: Do not go there, my son! When you doubt your powers, you give power to your doubts.

Mr. Furious: Okay. Am I the only one who finds these sayings just a bit formulaic? “If you wanna put something down, you gotta pick it up”. “If you wanna go left, you gotta go right”.

Die Roll

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About the Author
The 'S' of Gaming and BS podcast. Besides producing and hosting the show, Sean enjoys long walks on the beach, running rpg's, and killing player...characters.