Is This "Quest" a Scam?
Explore a land of fantasy flim-flams.
Today’s quest will test your ability to sniff-out the suss. We’re gonna expose some cons in Table Talk, plus a rad looking tabletop RPG, and an update on Psychic Applebees. Tally ho!
Your adventuring party enters the Hoodwink Tavern. It's the only bar in all of Deceiptville, a town on the outskirts of Liar's County. As you enter with your four fellow out-of-town heroes-for-hire, you cannot help but feel the stares of the shifty locals. They lick their lips, crack their knuckles, and thumb through their copies of The Pocket Guide to Thieving and Other Deceits.
"Suckers! I mean, heroes!" shouts a cue bald man with a snazzy eye patch. "I'm Deceiptville's quest recruitment specialist. I have a few well-paying missions you might find of interest."
As the leader of this nearly broke band of adventuring vagrants, you take it upon yourself to review and accept the bald man's offers. After all, you're far too clever to be tricked by some bald rando!
Your group has 10 gold pieces. (1 gp ≈ $15 USD in D&D land)
Click on (3) quests to accept. Earn as much gold as you can, but be careful. Some of these quests are scams...
"Start your own blacksmith shoppe. No apprenticing required."
"Purchase a magic map to uncover gold buried in the outer hills."
"Complete a trial to become guardians of the local treasure bank."
"Local wizard wants a bullywug for anatomical study. Must be alive."
"Chase ancient spirits from a decaying castle for a handsome reward.”
Note: You can never have less than 0 gold. (Unlike in real life...)
Bonus: Donate to any pro-choice organization this week and you can accept an additional (2) quests. One charity I gave to was the Abortion Care Network.
When your quest is complete, it’s time to debrief. Join your fellow adventurers at the virtual D&D table we call the comments section. Just don’t look at what happens behind the Dungeon Master screen. It’s private!
Discuss one (or all) of today’s topics:
🏆 How much gold did you earn? Can I borrow some?
🧙♂️ What’s a memorable D&D quest you went on?
💸 Have you ever encountered a scam before? I got a call once from my phone carrier saying that I was eligible for a discount on my mobile plan, because I was such a good customer. Folks, I’m a sucker for discounts. In this case, quite literally. (Hit the red button for the full story.)
Share your thoughts in the comments (or email a reply if you’re shy).
GOIN’ ON A PITCRAWL
I backed an Indiegogo campaign that I’m super excited about. Pitcrawler is a two player tabletop RPG modeled after classic 1980s gamebook series like Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy. It has the same inspiration as Adventure Snack, but Pitcrawler’s creators chose a different path: translating choice-based mechanics into a lighthearted, rules-light game where player one is on a quest and player two is “the book” controlling what happens. I love the “thumb” mechanic, inspired by gamebooks, that lets the player go backwards a move or two. Fell into a trap door with spikes at the bottom? Thumbs away!
Pitcrawler funded in a day and now they’re racking up stretch goals. This is a campaign I’d definitely check out.
PSYCHIC APPLEBEES: SNEAK PEEK
The first beta for Use Your Psychic Powers at Applebee’s is being prepped in the kitchen. It won’t be long now until you can take a juicy bite of this +7,000 word interactive fiction game.
Everyone at Applebee’s has a story. When you can read their minds, it’s a horror story…
This beta will be for Adventure Snack subscribers only. If you know someone who’d like Adventure Snack, share the newsletter with them, so they get access to this exclusive release.
FIRST TIME HERE?
Adventure Snack is a game series I email to subscribers. Play Adventure Snack for free and turn your inbox into an adventure!
I’m a narrative designer for video games. I’ve written for Capcom, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and indie studios around the world. Follow me @geoffreygolden on Twitter.
This is my most recent scam story. I got a call from an "AT&T customer care representative" saying that because I was a longtime customer, I was eligible for a discount on my plan. All I had to do was confirm some information. I should've been skeptical, but I am a longtime AT&T customer, and damn it, don't I DESERVE a discount for my loyalty?!
As I'm rattling off my name, address, phone number, email address, I start to think about how no one from AT&T has ever called me before. Ever. Maybe this is weird? And when they ask for my social to confirm my account, I hang-up in a panic. When I Googled it, apparently it was a telemarketing scheme at the time. I took some security precautions afterward. So when I hear about someone who fell for a scam, I always think that it can happen to anyone. Present company included!
I ended up with 250 gold...hooray! I’m happy the other assassins were at MurderCon for the weekend. 😁
Getting scam voicemails always gives me a good chuckle. Usually I’m referred to as “Mr. Deeming” or on occasion something very far out there like “Mr. Peming.” I received a voicemail a few days ago...can’t remember what the guy said it was for exactly...but he very politely asked for my social security number. 🤣