By Grant Howitt on at

This week, the Dungeoncrawl is going OLD SCHOOL. Expect Dragons. Expect Dungeons. Expect those two things to interact somehow. Maybe the Dragon will own the Dungeon. Maybe it's just renting. We don't know. What we do know is that thrilling (trans: text-based) adventure awaits you and all the other participants in this week's Gizmodo Twitter Dungeoncrawl! So make ready your sword, strengthen your shield arm, slap on your wizard hat, and grab every magic wand you can find.

As ever, it’ll run like an old-timey adventure game played through Twitter — you type stuff to the @GizmodoUK Twitter feed like “ATTACK ROBOT with LASER PISTOL” or “UNSCREW every VALVE in the AIRLOCK SECTION” or “BOTHER KLINGON” and I’ll respond appropriately, acting as a sort of mysterious Dungeonmaster.

Also as ever, there will be a winner, and the winner will be the person who either a) tries the hardest or b) makes me laugh the hardest.

There’s another winner’s spot for anyone who can convince a famous person to take part; I reckon the ‘crawl could do with a little glitz and glamour, so let’s try and class it up a bit. I can’t offer FABULOUS PRIZES, but I will write the word “fabulous prizes” in all caps, just to grab your attention. That’s the sort of guy I am.

Anyway; if you want to play, and you should, keep your scary-eyes on the @GizmodoUK Twitter feed at noon, and respond to the opening tweet. Then strap yourselves in for the next hour, because it looks like things are going to get wild.*

*and by “wild” I mean “distinctly text-based.”

It’s the most basic form of MMO possible, and one of the least efficient. Just rock up on Twitter, respond to my question, then tell me what your character does in the unfolding situation. It is chaotic. It is stupid. It is fun (I am assured).

But maybe you’ve got some questions about the Twitter Dungeoncrawl. Maybe I have some answers to those questions:


Have you done this sort of thing before?

Yes! I’ve been a gamesmaster for bloody ages, and I’ve run Twitter Dungeoncrawls before. You can read Dog Tied to a TreeMoonstabber, and SPACE ADVENTURE on my blog, if you’d like, to get an idea of what’s in store.


Why’s it called a “Dungeoncrawl?” What’s that?

It’s traditional Dungeons and Dragons parlance for a slog through an underground location in search of monsters to duff up. You can, of course, do what you want once you’re in the game. One guy found the monsters and sold them psychotropic moss and started a minigolf enterprise. One woman played Pokemon. Another went to Hogwarts. I’m not here to judge you.

Note that it might not even take place in a Dungeon; it could be a chasm, for example. Or a castle. Or a forest. Or Space. Or a shopping mall full of zombies. “Dungeon” is inaccurate shorthand for “any dangerous but explorable environment that I can make up.”


How are you going to respond to everyone?

I’ll try to, but I can’t promise anything if we have a lot of players. Here’s some useful advice if you want to take part:

Be fast! I can only really cater to the first twenty players or so, and after that it quickly becomes unmanageable. Get in as soon after noon as you can.

Be part of a team! Bring some friends along for the ride through @ responses and form an adventuring party. It’s much quicker for me to respond to three or four people with one tweet, which means more content for you!

Be interesting! Bit of a dick move, this, but the more interesting you are the more I’ll have to play off. So do stupid stuff and make stupid characters and generally act the fool; I tend to pay attention.


Do I need to know anything about text adventures to play?

Not at all, although it helps. Just capitalise nouns and verbs and other important-sounding words until your response looks funny. That’s what I do.


Are you going to spam out my feed with responses?

I’ll try not to, but if there’s something that I feel all players should know about, I’ll post it publicly. Tell me to shut up if I’m getting on your nerves.


Who are you?

I’m Grant Howitt — a freelance games journo and, now, suddenly, a freelance gamesmaster. I wrote that thing about the Toughpad you might have read. And that one where I gatecrashed Nintendo’s girls’ gamer event.


Will this be recorded anywhere?

Yes! I’ll be collating all the best responses into a sort of story using Storify, and plonking it on the Giz site the morning after every Dungeoncrawl.

Okay! That’s it! See you later.

Image Credit: Mik is a creative designer, happy to take on design work for any worthwhile or charitable causes.