Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol VII.
Here we go again! The usual caveats apply for this round of The Most Dangerous Games: Frequently Asked Questions — I’m not an expert; these answers are often just my best guesses based on knowledge of the rules of the games, additional research, etc.; I tend to err on the side of caution, so if you’re a little more daring than I am, your mileage may vary; and so on and so forth. I’ll add all these to the Master FAQ in short order.
And, hey, if you like what you read here at The Ghost In My Machine, consider supporting me on Patreon! Doing so will enable me to post more content, more frequently, and to keep making the site better and better — and give you access to behind-the-scenes and other bonus content.
What if two or more groups or individuals call upon the same entity from the same game at the exact same time in different locations?
You know all those stipulations in the rules for various games that note how you can tell if a ritual has failed? This might be one of the reasons why — the entity in question might be occupied elsewhere.
That’s just conjecture, though. Honestly, we don’t really know.
Is there any way to “force abort” any game? Like, if you’re in too deep and get cold feet?
Sometimes the rules for specific games provide information on what to do if you encounter a red flag or an indication that you shouldn’t proceed; however, it’s not recommended that you abandon any ritual midway through if you can help it, and certainly not if it’s just because you got part of the way through and decided you didn’t want to finish it. Make damn sure that you want to play a game through to completion before you begin — because even if you manage to close out a game after encountering a red flag, doing so has a habit of letting some things… linger.
Why can’t you wrap your hands around the person’s neck? Will it simulate them choking on a rope and then dying?
It’s just a basic, common sense safety precaution. Don’t wrap your hands around someone’s neck; you might actually strangle them by accident.
What if you see a color besides the ones listed?
I actually think that’s pretty unlikely; gradations in shades will still mostly fall under one of the overall color categories listed. Teal might be blue or green, for example — go with whichever color it leans toward the most. The only exception might be pink, but even that, I might file under red; historically, pink was considered to be light red (so, Donut in Red vs. Blue was actually correct about his uniform color).
But hey, if you’d rather believe that you’re immortal, go for it. Just know that immortality probably not all it’s cracked up to be.
Can I wish for love from my crush?
You can, although I wouldn’t recommend it. Would you be content knowing that the only reason the object of your affection loved you is because you basically forced them to do so?
What’s a good hiding place?
That depends on your specific location. Only you know your space well enough to be able to determine what its best hiding places are. Generally, though, I’d recommend going for the last place anyone would think to look for you.
Does the hiding place have to be in a different room than the biggest room in my house?
Not necessarily, although it’s recommended. He knows the rules, too, so he’ll know that you spent the waiting period in the biggest room in your house — which means that’ll be the first place he’ll look.
Would it be better to have more people?
That’s… a complicated question. I mean, on one level, the bigger the Herd, the more people the Apex will have to hunt, which means that your individual chances of survival might increase (if the Apex is occupied by tons of other people, it might be easier for you to slip by unnoticed). However, it’s often much easier to hunt a bigger Herd than a smaller one — they’re just generally much more visible, as well as likely to make much more noise — so it might not give you quite the edge you were hoping for. Plus, a bigger Herd means you’ll likely be responsible for the deaths of more people — people whom, presumably, you care about — especially if you choose the incorrect answer to the ranger’s question.
Would you be able to live with yourself if you did that?
Could you use a digital picture of the person? If so, would you just have to delete the photo or would you have to burn the device it’s on?
I wouldn’t. Technology poking its head where it shouldn’t be has a tendency to muck up the works somewhat. Plus, the ritual is very specific in stating that the photograph itself must be destroyed by fire — so I don’t think deleting it will work (that ignores the fire instruction), nor do I think that burning the device would work (you’re burning the device, not the photo). The details matter.
Do I have to use regular salt or can I use Epsom salts?
I don’t think Epsom salts would work. They’ve got a different chemical makeup; sea salt and table salt are made up of sodium and chloride, while Epsom salts are made up of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. These differences matter.
What if you make a circle of both salt and pepper?
That would just dilute the salt, making it much less likely to protect you. Don’t do it. This isn’t a cooking experiment.
Can you use older blood? For example, blood you gathered a week ago?
Nope. The blood has to be fresh, and it has to be drawn during the ritual itself.
What happens if you turn the lights on and blow out your candles before 3:33am?
Don’t do it. That’s a surefire way to get caught by the Midnight Man.
In The Main Event, Step 8, what does it mean by tearing the picture of your home but not letting it fall to pieces? Do you just make tears in the picture while leaving it whole as opposed to tearing it up?
Yep — think of it as tearing notches in the photo, rather than tearing pieces off the photo.
Can we play this game in broad daylight with all windows open and sunlight coming in?
Yep. The rules say you can begin at any time and in any place, so broad daylight is fine.
Can there be other people around in the place where this ritual is taking place?
Yep. Again, anytime and anyplace are fine; there are also no instructions to clear the area of anyone who’s not playing, so other folks can be around.
What happens if more than one participant has their call answered?
I don’t think this is likely to happen. There’s a reason this game is called “The Answer Man,” not “The Answer Men.”
Would there ever be a chance that the Answer Man hangs up on you, not vice versa?
His goal is to keep you on the line, so I think it’s highly, highly unlikely that he would ever hang up on you unless you’ve reached the end of the game.
What if he asks us a question we don’t know the answer to?
Make your best guess and hope you’re right.
Is “I don’t know” an acceptable answer if it’s the truth?
That’s a good question; I’m actually not totally sure. I suspect, though, that it’s not. According to the rules, answers must be honest, truthful, and correct — and while answering “I don’t know” might be honest and truthful, in most circumstances, it isn’t correct. Two of three isn’t enough; your answers need to have all three qualities.
Can I play this game alone?
The rules state that at least two participants are required, so if you tried with only one, I don’t think it would work.
What happens if not everyone gets permission to enter or leave the game?
Keep asking until everyone has permission. You don’t want to know what happens if you try to enter or leave the game without it.
What happens if the prepared book only contains the word “yes?” Will that change whether the ritual succeeds?
Well, the book shouldn’t really be prepared; chosen, yes, but not prepared. I also imagine that, if you wanted to use a book that had only the word “yes” in it, you’d likely have to make that book yourself specifically so you could use it for this purpose (do you know of a book that’s actually in print that consists of nothing but the word “yes?” I sure as heck don’t, but maybe that’s just me) — and honestly, that sounds a little like cheating to me. I wouldn’t do it; trying to stack the deck in your favor during these kinds of games usually ends up hurting you more than it helps.
When you ask for permission or an answer to a question from the spirits, you have to keep your eyes closed. Do the other participants have to keep their eyes closed, too?
I don’t think they do, actually. The rules don’t specify that anyone other than the person doing the asking has to keep their eyes closed, so I think it’s probably safe for others to keep their eyes open. The same is true if someone else is asking for permission or for an answer to a question — if you’re not doing the asking, I think you can keep your eyes open.
I have a seven-year-old sister. If I tried this with her, do you think Charlotte would be happier because she’s the same age or what?
I… wouldn’t bring a kid into this one. Or into any games or rituals, for that matter. None of them are safe — not even the ones that seem less dangerous than the others — so I can’t in good conscience recommend that children be included among the participants. Consenting adults is one thing; children, especially very small ones, is something else.
What if your bathtub is not in a bathroom? My bathtub is in a basement separate from my bathroom. Does that matter?
I mean, honestly, I’d argue that any room with a bathtub in it is a bathroom, even if the room doesn’t also contain a toilet, a sink, etc. (It’s a room in which you bathe, right? Ergo, it’s a bathroom.) As long as there’s a door you can close somewhere in the vicinity — that is, as long as the bathtub is in a space such that you can get out of the tub, drain it, leave the area, and close a door behind you when you leave — then it’s a bathroom, and it will work for this game.
Will a combination bath/shower work? It has both the tub faucet and the shower faucet and it has tub walls.
Yep, that should be fine. Most homes these days have those kinds of tubs, anyway. If it’s a bathtub with a faucet, it’ll work.
Why can’t you just wake up the next morning and do the “kitta” command then?
She might not be close enough for it to work. Remember, you have to have her in your gaze in order for the command to work — but, as the rules state, it’s likely that when you turn to look you’ll see nothing. She’ll only occasionally be visible; she’s very good at being sneaky. You have to catch her in the act in order for the command to succeed.
Would it be possible to play this game with a non-alcoholic beverage (like water or juice or something)?
I mean, you could try, but it might not work (and, indeed, might result in making the other player kind of angry). The requirements ask for wine; water and juice aren’t wine.
Can your hiding spot be outside?
I don’t think so; that’s more like leaving the premises than hiding. Plus, you probably won’t be able to hear the music if you’re outside.
Can you carry a paper with the instructions into the hiding spot?
That should be fine.
Can you show a friend or family member the recording?
If you performed the first coda, sure; if you performed the second coda, nope. Also, reminder: No matter which coda you performed, don’t upload the recording to the internet.
If your partner had to come into the room to end the ritual, should they also avoid looking into the mirrors?
Probably. That seems like the safest choice.
What would happen if you purposely broke the mirrors? Say, combined this ritual with the Dark Reflection Ritual?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Three Kings and the Dark Reflection Ritual are both high-risk games, so I feel like it would be really unsafe to combine the two of them.
[Photo via Tim Pierce/Flickr]