Previously: Frequently Asked Questions Vol. IX.
And just like that, we’re looking at the tenth — tenth! — edition of the Most Dangerous Games’ FAQ. We’ve covered a lot of ground in the three years we’ve been running this feature (yes, three years; the first edition was published at the beginning of March in 2015), but there’s still plenty more we haven’t gotten to yet; although volume 10 is something of a milestone, we’re certainly not done yet.
Interestingly, all of the questions from the past few months are game-specific — that is, while I was going through the comments and archives, I didn’t find any new General/Miscellaneous questions to add to the mix. I think it’s too soon to say whether we’ve handled all of the big picture stuff that might fall under General/Miscellaneous; however, I think it’s still worth noting. I’ll be interested to see if this marks a bigger shift in how the FAQ unfolds.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
As always, I’ll update the Master FAQ with everything in this edition as soon as I can. And keep those questions coming — whenever you’ve got one that hasn’t been answered before, feel free to leave it as a comment on the game to which it pertains. Knowledge is power, after all!
Is this game safe to play with friends?
Nope. The second step is to clear the house of all other living creatures besides yourself — that includes humans. This game must be played alone.
What should you pray to if you’re not religious?
Do you have a non-religious life philosophy or an ethical code you try to follow as you live your life? Pray to that. That’s what’s meant in the introduction as “any of your own personal beliefs, whether they’re religious, spiritual, or simply moral or ethical,” and as “whatever deity, being, concept, or principle in which you believe” within the rules themselves.
Can you write down the numbers that you see or are you forced to just remember them?
Rely on your memory. The rules say specifically that you must remember them — not that you should write them down. Plus, I would be wary of bringing any objects into the game you intend to use directly for the purposes of playing it that aren’t in the rules; it could cause something to go wrong. And lastly, the act of writing something down in the middle of the game could also result in something going wrong — you might get distracted from what the rules say you should be doing, for example, which could have disastrous consequences.
What happens if you forget the numbers?
See: Waking Up, Step 1, “If the television is off.” Pay particular attention to this section of the rules: “Do not lose sight of the date revealed to you on the television screen. Your clock is counting down. Should you reach the end without having made the necessary adjustments to live a good and just life, whatever may or may not come for you after death will be… unpleasant.”
If you forget the numbers, that means you’ll have forgotten the date — which, in turn, means you’ll have dramatically decreased the chances of your reaching said date without having made the “necessary adjustments to live a good and just life.” And if you haven’t lived a good and just life by the time the date arrives… you’re in trouble.
Don’t forget the numbers.
If something goes wrong and I need to destroy the television, can I stay in my home after that or should I leave? If I must leave, is it safe to come back even after the sun has fully risen?
I would leave, wait until the sun rises, return home, and destroy and dispose of the television, in that order. If you have to leave, you must leave immediately, and it’s only “safe” (well, safe-ish) to return after the sun is up. At that point, the television is in as neutral a state as it’s likely to be in, so that would be the best time to destroy it and remove it from your home. After that, your home should be safe.
Can you just wish to not die if you lose?
I mean, you can, but if you lose, then your wish won’t be granted — so if you’re making the wish specifically to guarantee your safety while playing the game, then it won’t work. Your wish only comes true if you win the game.
What if I’m lights out and then the power goes out? Do I still lose?
Yes, you still lose. Electrical failure due to power outage will result in an automatic losing condition, regardless as to which player has been assigned to which light status.
If it looks like I’m going to lose, could I just forcibly hold he nearest light switch in the “on” position until 4am?
That would be cheating.
Could I purposefully play in an Arena prone to power outages during a thunder storm and choose lights out in hopes of a power outage?
That would also be cheating.
Don’t try to rig the game in your own favor before beginning.
It won’t end well for you.
If I were to block off a door leading to a room, will it still count as a room?
If a space meets the conditions laid out in Additional Notes — that is, if it is “an enclosed space within the Arena with at least four walls, a floor, a ceiling, a means of entering and exiting, and a light source” — then it counts as a room, whether or not the door is readily accessible. Blocking off the door doesn’t eliminate the door; the door still exists — you’ve just made it harder to get to.
If you lose as Player One and become Player Two, and you win in another game, does that mean you’re free to be with the “living?”
Unknown. Remember, it hasn’t been proven that Player Ones who lose do, in fact, become Player Twos.
But if that were to be proven to be the case… well, maybe. It certainly would give Player Two incentive to win.
When it says you must turn your mobile phone off, does this mean you turn it off completely and then turn it back on again?
Nope. Turn it off, and then keep it off.
If it rings while it’s off, then you know the ritual worked — because it shouldn’t be able to ring, and yet it is.
What happens if you are asleep at the time of the last phone call?
Don’t fall asleep while playing this game.
Generally speaking, unless the rules specify that you should go to sleep, or that you should go about your daily routine as usual (which would, by extension, include your bedtime), it is NOT recommended that you fall asleep while playing any of these games. It’s not usually safe to do so.
If I decide I want to abort this game, can I just not answer his call?
I don’t think he would like that very much. You’re the one who called him first, after all; he probably won’t take kindly to being bothered if you’re not planning on following through.
If you’re at all on the fence about playing this one, then it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and not begin it in the first place.
How big does the crossroads need to be? One big enough for vehicles to pass (asphalt road, etc.), or can it be any road/path intersecting one another (dirt path, stepping stones, etc.)?
The size of the crossroads or what it’s made of doesn’t matter. As long as it’s a crossroads, it satisfies the requirements.
My home is next to a crossroads. Can I play the game there?
Sure. Any crossroads will work.
How much does your location factor in the success of this ritual? The rules state that this game can be played anywhere, but I’d think that it wouldn’t really work “properly” if you played it in crowded areas. Are the odds of being found by some strange entity better in places where there’s less traffic by humans?
Maybe. But maybe not. The game can be payed at any crossroads, in any environment. That’s all we need to know.
In The Summoning: Step 8, by “stranger,” should we take this to mean a supernatural entity of some kind?
Maybe. But maybe not. The stranger is someone on whom you have never before laid eyes. Ever. That’s all we need to know.
In The Summoning: Step 8, define “someone you know.”
Any person you’re familiar with and can identify on sight. It could be someone you know personally, someone you’ve seen but not met, a public figure, etc. If you’ve seen them before in any way, shape, or form — in person, on television, in a photograph, etc. — then they’re “someone you know.”
Can I do this while walking my dog, or will that endanger her?
It probably won’t endanger her, but it will probably make the whole thing much harder to do. Trying to keep your face covered while wrangling a dog seems like it would be tough. If you want to ensure success, I wouldn’t add in any unpredictable elements that don’t need to be there; it seems like it would be making it unnecessarily difficult for yourself.
Also, even if it doesn’t endanger your dog, it might endanger you. If you fail to keep your face covered because you’re distracted by your dog… it’s not going to end well.
How do you know if the stranger is gone if you’re covering your face?
You’ll know. You’ll be able to sense it, the same way you can tell when someone or something has either entered or left a room that you’re in, even if you weren’t watching the door when it happened.
Will this work instead with like, a best friend, or a family member? Like a dad/mom or a sister/brother, or someone you have an unshakable bond with that you aren’t with romantically?
My gut says no — the point of the game is to test a romantic relationship — but I suppose you could always give it a shot and find out. If you do, report back and let us know how it went.
Though the Other can’t physically harm Participant 2, can they intervene or stop Participant 2 from going back to their partner? Like locking them in the room, etc.? Or, can the Other mess with the time-keeping device and/or clocks in Participant 2’s house?
The thing to bear in mind about this whole game is that the Other is trying to convince Participant 2 to stay with them. In order for the Other to win, Participant 2 must actively choose to stay with the Other, rather than returning to their partner (Participant 1).
The Other’s goal is to persuade Participant 2 to make that choice. The choice cannot be made under duress.
If you are Participant 2, can you sleep at any time during the 24 hours, or do you have to stay awake?
You can sleep. During those 24 hours, you’ll be living your life the same way you normally would; you’ll just have to resist the temptations of the Other while you’re doing it.
But don’t neglect to wake up in time to get back to place where you left Participant 1.
What if Participant 2 decides to go with the Other, but then regrets their decision and tries to free Participant 1?
Too late. Once the decision has been made, it cannot be unmade.
If you are Participant 2, think carefully before you make your decision.
In Step 7, “If you win,” what if I don’t draw blood?
Then you’ve failed to meet one of the necessary conditions to reap the rewards. The Gambler won’t be able to claim his prize — he lost, after all — but neither will you receive the gift of being able to win any gamble.
What if you were to keep something like a cart from inside the building with you through the whole thing? Would she say you cheated because you used a weapon even if you got it DURING the game?
Unless the cart was already present in the building before you decided to use it as your playing space — that is, if you put it in the building specifically so that it would be there for you to use while playing the game — then it’s cheating. If it was already there before you decided to use the building as your playing space — that is, if the cart belongs to the building itself — then it’s fair game to use as you see fit while playing.
Remember, however, that the list of cheating behaviors described in the rules include the caveat that they are “included, but not limited to.” Just because a cheating behavior isn’t listed doesn’t mean that it’s not cheating.
Any attempt to rig the game in your favor may be considered cheating.
It won’t help you.
In fact, it will probably hurt you.
What will happen if you play the Ouija board during this game?
I wouldn’t. Ouija boards generally require players to be stationary in order to be used — but if you don’t keep moving, the Midnight Man will likely catch you.
If my friends play the game and I’m in the same house, can I make a salt circle before even starting the game and just stay there the whole time?
I mean, you could… but the safest thing to do would just be to leave before the game begins. Remember, there are no bystanders in this one — anyone who’s in the house at the time the game commences is playing, whether they like it or not.
What happens after the seven days are up at the end of the game?
You’ll return to the state you were in before you began playing the game. Whatever worry, grief, or woe you were suffering beforehand will return at the same intensity you experienced it before. The game is a temporary salve, not a permanent fix.
Can the photograph be of yourself?
It could… but then you’d just be offering yourself up to the Stranger. If you value your life, then don’t use a photograph of yourself.
What if you are filming the ritual with a camera? Can you look at the Stranger through the camera?
Nope. Even if you’re looking at the Stranger through a camera, you’re still looking at him, which you’re expressly not supposed to do. Don’t do it.
I also wouldn’t bring any electronic devices into a ritual unless they’re a Requirement, but that’s just me.
Would this be considered a good “beginner” ritual?
I wouldn’t do this one until you’re more experienced. Although it’s less complicated than some of the other games we’ve looked at here at TGIMM, anything with red flags ups the danger factor, and this one has a lot of them. I’d consider it kind of a mid-level game. If you’re looking for a beginner game, try something like Concentrate or the Doors Of Your Mind instead.
When you stab the doll, could you use something other than a knife or scissors? Would a toothpick be a safer bet for first-time players?
Given that you need to use the sharp edge to cut open the doll such that you make an opening big enough to allow you to remove the stuffing, and use it to cut the tread… well, I don’t think a toothpick would work for that.
Do you have to keep the water in the tub?
Step 7 of the Prelude specifies, “do not drain the tub.” So, yes — you have to keep the water in the tub for the duration of the game.
Can you leave your house during Act II?
Sure. In fact, if you performed Act I in your house, then you must necessarily leave, re: Act I, Step 6. Otherwise, though, your only goal during Act II is to survive; exactly how you go about surviving is up to you.
How much do I pay the Hooded Man when the ride is finished?
You don’t. Pay him, I mean. Just thank him for the ride, and follow the rest of the rules. That should be enough.
When you return to the biggest room in your house at 3:00am, do you have to hide while going there, or is it safe to be out in the open?
Be careful while you’re making your way to the room; he’ll stick around until you tell him that he’s no longer welcome. Once you get into the room, close the door, and speak the words in The Farewell, however, there is no need to remain hidden.
Can you wish for a winning lottery ticket or something like that?
I don’t see why not. Essentially, you’re wishing for good fortune.
[Photo via Tim Pierce/Flickr]