Look before you leap? But you just told me yesterday to open the damn door and move forward! Now you’re telling me to wait and make sure everything is okay before moving? Will you make up your mind!
Okay, okay, calm down. If you read my entire post, I mentioned at the end that you should be aware of your surroundings. If you are flying at 30,000 ft, or floating around in the ISS, you want to be very sure of yourself before opening doors.
So there is more to yesterday’s D&D story, as my wife reminded me yesterday evening.
Picture, if you can, 30 or so level 1 adventurers creeping down a dungeon hallway. The DM says that there is water in the hallway blocking our path.
One guy, a friend of mine named Dan, immediately states that he dives into the water. Not steps. Not jumps feet first. Dives. Head first.
The water turned out to be nothing more than a puddle, just a few inches deep. My friend broke his neck, and he didn’t even find any treasure for the rest of us to loot. Sad.
So, what’s the difference between Dan diving into a puddle, and you opening a door? You weren’t ready for that minotaur. And anything could have come through.
The difference is that the exact spot everyone was standing in the room makes no difference. If I was the one who opened the door, then I would have been hit by the minotaur no matter what, and then it would have died. If you don’t know, combat in D&D is pretty much turn based. Anything coming through that door could attack once, and then everyone in my group would have a chance to attack it before it could attack again. And if something came through that door that was strong enough to wipe out the entire group, then again, it wouldn’t have mattered where people were standing when they died.
But Dan could have done some very simple things before deciding to dive headfirst into the unknown. He could have tested the water with a sword or a staff. He could have told the DM that he would look to see how deep the water was. He could have been more aware of his surroundings, in a way that could have had a major impact on the outcome.
While you shouldn’t wait until everything is perfect and you know everything before moving forward (because things will never be perfect and you will never know everything), that doesn’t mean you can’t look around you, learn something about your situation, be prepared for what you think might happen.
So open the door. Move forward. Don’t be so afraid of the unknown that you don’t keep moving forward. But keep your eyes and ears open. Look, listen, and learn. Be prepared for what you can. Just because something is unknown now doesn’t mean you can’t learn something about before rushing headlong into it.
look before you leap
blind leading the blind leads
one over a cliff