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Top Ten Things You Would Do In A Game But Not In Real Life

How likely are you to merry a princess? Or a prince. Kill six rats or pledge your soul? Once or twice a week, you say? Well, in a game, perhaps. But who knows? All of these things are possible in both worlds, not things you wouldn't do because you can't.
Steve Dean on what you would do in a game and never in life
Photo: Sam Kolder / Pexel

Hello! This list is, of necessity, personal and based on the possibly erroneous premise that I’m a normal individual living in a relatively wealthy and stable society. (Yes, I mean the UK.) To retain any meaningful comparison, all of these things are possible in both worlds, not things you wouldn’t do because you can’t, like barbecue a unicorn, make a dragon skin iPhone cover or create world peace.

10. Jump From a High Place

Whether this a cliff, a tower, or the back of a flying thing, you’re confident the ring on your left hand is a ring of feather-falling, and you will simply float gently to the ground, landing on two feet with your modesty and leg bones intact. What’s more, you are now safe from the thing that caused you to jump in the first place, which is still somewhere above you yelling in frustration and shaking its fist, or bodily equivalent.

9. Kill Six Rats

SF and Fantasy worlds often have an inflated economy when it comes to small animals. It’s not always rats, it could be mice, birds, insects, or similar members of the verminous kind. The number also varies, but six is a popular choice. A random and probably jolly fellow will offer you gold coins, a hearty meal and a wide smile in exchange for the carcases of the aforementioned creatures. And the next day, Earth time, he’ll do it again.

8. Start a Bar Fight

Taking part in a bar fight is a bit lame, but starting one is cool, and will almost certainly annoy the Game Master, who will desperately try to stop it happening because it ruins his carefully planned plans. If the dwarf, almost always it’s the dwarf, keeps pushing, the Game Master will have no choice but to retaliate, and a drunken brawl will ensue. The next morning, the elf, almost always it’s the elf, will go to the local jail and pay the fines and get the party released.

7. Marry a Princess

In most game worlds, the princess is going to be a very attractive young blonde, slim but curvy, with a mind of her own, a matched pair of fine swords, a large fortune and a taste for scruffy, poor, and probably scarred, adventurers. She’ll hate you, of course, to start with, but you’ll win her heart with a combination of daring-do, a love of animals and an enormous weapon. There’ll be a simple ceremony in front of the whole town, and then you’ll be king. Huzzah! And no paparazzi in sight.

6. Enter a Dark Cave With a Small Torch and Unreliable Companions

It might be the most humble of starts, but you just know that despite the low headroom and the ankle-deep guano, this cave will soon open up into a spectacular cavern filled with lost temples, deadly but mostly beatable creatures and cults who worship the largest ruby you’ve ever seen. There’ll be lots of battles, adventure and all kinds of treasure and magic weapons. And right at the end, when you think it’s all over, you’ll find a mysterious scroll that turns out to be a map to the location of another cave.

5. Assassinate a Royal Personage

For some reason, this one pops up a lot in role-playing games of all kinds. Whether it’s a king, queen, emperor, cult leader or grand moff, at some point, some one will ask you to take one out, and I don’t mean to a restaurant followed by a show of their choice. My advice would be to say no, as these things always end in tears. It will turn out the guy you kill will be a decoy, or the whole thing was arranged by the very king/queen/moff you were sent to murder, just to test your loyalty. (You failed, by the way). And forget getting paid.

4. Fight a Huge Beast with Huge Claws and Teeth

Halfway across a large open area, a huge beast will appear out of nowhere. It will be very large, have claws like swords and teeth like cucumbers, but obviously sharper, although they could still be green. The creature will eventually launch itself at the heavily armoured individual in front of it. Combat will be joined, and the brave hero will spot the creature’s weakness, the missing scale, the soft underbelly, the allergy to sharp pointy things. The hero will exploit this weakness but be flung through the air by the creature’s last attack before it dies in dramatic fashion. The hero, of course, survives.

3. Engulf a Group of Cultists in Fiery Death

No matter your weapon of choice, be it a petrol bomb, the classic fireball spell, or simply the bar-the-doors-and-pile-up-the-dry-logs skit, there’s nothing better than taking out a whole mob of foaming fanatics with no more danger to yourself than a leisurely stroll. Grab anything that will burn, maybe a clay pot of oil for dramatic effect, and whoosh! up go the cultists.

2. Pledge Your Soul To A Mysterious Being

Pledging your soul to anyone rarely ends well, but doing it to someone you don’t really know is guaranteed to end in all kinds of bad. Despite knowing this is a blatant attempt by the Game Master to set the party up for a moral dilemma, it still happens on a daily basis, with characters pledging their hearts, souls and other body parts to gain the smallest of boons. It will turn out to be the bad-guy-who’s-not the-actual-bad-guy, but will nevertheless put the party in a tight spot, like a sumo wrestler in a phone box.

1. Risk Everything on A Dice Throw

And so, after many trials and several years, you and your team stand before the mighty black mage As’df, emperor of all black mages. He’s so thoroughly bad, even his clothes are evil. There’s a huge fight, one by one your team fall beneath his relentless evilness, until only you remain standing. The black mage is almost dead, but so are you. You have one last spell, one last roll of the dice. Everything you’ve worked for your entire life comes down to this moment. You roll the dice…

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