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From the Game Master's diary. Escape room Game Masters about their most crazy, funny or crigny stories

From the Game Master's diary. Escape room Game Masters about their most crazy, funny or crigny stories

Anna Kryśkow |

Escape room is a fantastic game and incredible adventure for most players. But for some, like Game Masters it’s a job and these people look on Clients’ behavior in totally different ways. This time, as a former escape room worker, I would like to present some stories from the Game Masters points of view from all over the world.

Sometimes it’s funny, stories are also cringy or totally devastating. Read it carefully, maybe you will find your story here!

It’s time to date!

It’s common to have a date in an escape room. That sounds romantic but things are not always going well.

We had a woman coming into the escape room and was like "so and so is playing, I'm late for my game". Sure we get her the ticket and she goes into the room. Fight ensues. Turns out the guy was cheating on her and playing a game with his date. Wife found out somehow and caught them in the act.
Javi, owner/GM from Portsmouth Escape Room, USA

A guy grabbing this girl every time the room went pitch black, so the rest of the team wouldn't notice. I obviously saw everything on the infrared cam. She was clearly not happy about it. Total jerk.
Eva, GM from Netherlands

Remember, we - Game Masters, see more than you think. Please, do not act inappropriately!

Against the rules… accidentally

When designing escape rooms, builders have some idea how the game should be played and the puzzles should be solved. But sometimes escapers have completely different modus operandi than assumed.

I’ve been a manager for nearly 2 years and one that sticks out to me is a guy playing an escape room for the first time. I made it clear that this is a matter of brains and not brawn - no external force is needed to open a padlock. Before COVID we had tools that were used as theming for a killers garage. The person started handling the tools which I thought was normal at first. They then proceeded to try and unscrew the lock to dismantle it, obviously trying to cheat the game. I immediately stopped the action, saying that padlocks can open with codes and his response to it was ‘oh, sorry… Scouts initiative’
Lee, GM from UK

Sometimes even hints can't help groups to find out how to solve a riddle.

I worked as a game master for about 2 and a half years at several different locations in Texas! Some stories were small and funny, like the time I tried saying "what does an owl say?" to help a group guess a 4 letter word lock. A college girl in the group immediately brightened and went, "Beep!", and was promptly disappointed when it didn't work.
Rebekkah, GM from USA

A group of teen girls came to play Pirate's Plunder, for many of them it was their first escape room.  It certainly wasn't my first time running it… The girls got to a point where they needed to complete a ropes puzzle to move on.  It stumped them as to what order the puzzle played in. Four ropes, different lengths, different amount of knots in each… So as a clue, I came over the microphone and told them to stretch the ropes out.  They chose to do so in a circle...which inspired me to start singing "Ring around the Rosey" over the mic.  They started singing along...one girl stopped them all and said, "He's probably just messing with us..." I was, but I needed time to get my phone to video so I could record them, and told them, "Am I???".  They began dancing and singing…
George, owner Ready Set Escape from USA

And another story which may make you wonder how old are you if you know te “old” radio technology.

We've been open for five weeks and already have many great stories. We have a standard FM radio in the room as part of a ghost hunter's equipment. This is firstly quite interesting as younger groups have no idea what it is or what it does and secondly when they tune it to a radio station and either attempt to decipher a random radio advert or rock out to a song.
Dan, GM from UK

The story of Australian Project Immersive is too long to write about here, but Damian, Game Master from Australia wrote the story as a Facebook post on his escape room’s fanpage. It may explain why people sometimes act so weird and try to solve puzzles in such a crazy way. Have a good read of a ‘Latent Energy' story!

Big mouth

Do you know these people who always talk too much? Game Masters do. But some of them are great at dealing with big mouths. Check out how!

I ran a room on the weekends to help save up for a down payment on a house. Did that for about 6 months before buying a house and moving away. During those six months I got a few good stories. The room I ran was about being kidnapped. So the guest started out handcuffed and blindfolded. Had a cop come by and play. She wanted to make a bet that she handcuffed more people than me. I asked her how many people she handcuffs in a week, she said about 8. I said, lady, I do that in an hour, although mine are more willing than yours. I had another group come in and a guy was talking to me while I was handcuffing him. He said, "So you are kinda a freak for getting paid to blindfold and handcuff people, huh?" I replied, “I guess so, but the irony is that you are the one paying me to do it.”
Daniel, GM form USA

It’s for family!

Escape rooms are not only for groups of young people. It is an excellent idea for families. Why? Escape rooms could strengthen the relations between parents and children. ANd that’s beautiful! Here you have some touching heart story.

3yr owner of a mobile ER .... one of my favorite stories is a part time father/cowboy had his preteen daughter, she really wanted to play, but I told her dad who didn't want to have anything to do with "escaping", that he had to play with her because its no fun alone and being a preteen I couldn't have her play without an adult. So he begrudgingly went into the room, within 3 minutes he started getting into it and really played it. Upon exiting it was heard from him to his daughter..."That was pretty cool"
Michelle, ER owner form USA

Meticulousness is a key

It’s extremely important to be meticulous. Sometimes it;s better to double check then miss something or misconstrue, especially in the case of word puzzles. It is so easy to make a mistake. Here is a story about how important it is to focus on the words and on the reading clues.

Oh buddy I got some good ones for you! I've been a game master with my current company, but I'm switching to a different one next week. *Spoiler alert* A personal favorite of mine was in our Al Capone themed room we have. We are only taking public games right now unless the group books out the room completely (8 spots). So I go out to get my group and it's 2 teams playing together, a family of 4 and a couple (6 people total). Now Capone is our easiest room that we have, so I had assumed between the 6 of them this would be a breeze. How wrong I was. You see, the couple had done many escape rooms all over the country. The family of 4 had not. The 2 kids and parents were running around and grabbing everything in sight, not really accomplishing anything. Meanwhile, the couple is single handedly carrying the group and solving everything. Anyway, they get to the last puzzle. They have to look at dates on the pictures on the wall and look them up in a finance journal. This gives them 3 names and an amount listed next to each one. The names are authors, the dollar amount is the page, and the cent is the word they need to count to. If done correctly, this gives you the words (OPPOSITE OF FUTURE). PAST unlocks the last box in the room. Now this sometimes stumps people because the words can blend together and it's hard to keep count. So they all agree to a clue, and I send them the 3 words they need. The mom goes to read it to everyone, but she reads it as OPPOSITE OF FURNITURE! Of course everyone is confused and wants to double check the clue, but she's insisting that it says furniture. So they spend the next 10 minutes looking at everything in the room that isn't furniture, including the floor, thinking that something will magically show up. Finally the man from the couple goes and checks the clue again, and realizes what it actually said. He goes to the box, puts in the past, and they're out within 2 minutes.
Cassie, GM from USA

Ridiculous mistake 

Sometimes people are a little bit crazy and their stories are so funny… But mostly not for them, but for bystanders, like Game Masters. Have you ever had a situation like this one spoken below?

I remember a situation when a group came to us. After asking them if they had already played other sooms we had, they said “Yes, in a room with a cabin”. We said that we have only 1 room with a cabin… and it was exactly this one they made a reservation for that day.
Kuba, GM from Poland

And that's it for today! There are a lot of funny, disturbing and even annoying stories from escape rooms that Game Masters from all over the world sent me. If you like articles like this and want to read a second part of From the Game Master's diary, let me know in the comment!

Anna Kryśkow

Anna Kryśkow

Editor-in-chief

Journalist and indologist by profession. Writer, marketer, tarantulas keeper and urbex explorer by heart. In the meantime I’m playing escape rooms and board games, and wondering how I can find time to sleep (still dunno). I was born to write - my favourite forms of expression are extensive articles preceded by a long research, and horror stories (for some it’s the same).

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