Spell of Spelunking – Chapter 7, Act 2, Strip 26

Well, I think I’m beginning to see that gnome wizard’s point…there is a drawback to a party of adventurers reacting to their environment in a rational, coolly calculating way. Namely, that they don’t get any actual adventuring done, and instead hide out in a cave. >_>

That’s really one of the major plotholes in the premise of that old D&D cartoon show, and many similar “RPG-turned-real” premises: A group of teenagers playing a pen-and-paper RPG might willingly follow the DM’s guidance into a world of peril and adventures, but that’s mostly because they know it’s a game. If you create some plot mechanism by which that game becomes real for the players, that acute lack of self-preservation instincts shouldn’t really persist. I do get that time restraints meant that the writers on that old show hadn’t much other choice than to skip the five stages of grief, tentative acceptance and gradual adaptation parts…but I remember I found it pretty jarring, even when seeing that show as a kid, that those five teenagers get ripped away from everything they’ve ever known and loved, thrown into a completely unknown world full of unaccountable magic and lethal threats, barely escape an attack by a five-headed dragon … and are up-and-running as a fully (dys)functional team of adventures about 3 minutes of screen-time later.

Anyway, I felt I couldn’t really make the Professor and his team react the same way. They might actually be a seasoned team of adventurers, in a way, but they’re also canonically capable of rational thought. Confronted with all of the unaccountable changes and the chaotic and unpredictable nature of their new environment, combined with the presence of insanely dangerous “animals”, the only really rational course of action open to them would be hiding in a cave. A well-established tactic with a great track-record, dating from the dawn of humanity (or earlier). Realistically, I’d think that the teenagers from that old show shouldn’t have been expected to do any better…in fact, some sobbing and shivering on top of it would have seemed appropriate.

And, yeah, spending the rest of their lives in that cave is a bit anti-climactic, from a plot perspective…but Mopey’s got a point. A few matching throw-pillows here and there, to pull the whole cave together a bit, and they might soon feel like they’ve found their forever home there. Throw-pillows are magic like that, I learned that from Martha Stewart.

More on Thurs…uh, Monday.

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