In all of gaming, there is no phrase more sobering than, “Are you sure?” It’s what GMs ask when you’re about to poke your head into the statue’s mouth for a quick look around. Or when you’re about to kick the dragon to prove he’s only an illusion. Or when you’re about to push the big red button marked “do not push.” It’s a freebie from that smug tyrant behind the screen, a second chance at wriggling out of your own mess and living to fight another day. Or is it?

Being a smug tyrant who spends entirely too much time behind a GM screen, there is nothing I like better than interjecting the odd, “Are you sure?” into innocuous situations. Suppose, for example, that an adventurer is about to open a nondescript door. Now I could simply allow the action, describe the monster on the other side, and roll for initiative. But with the addition of an “Are you sure?” I get so much more entertainment! Trust me guys, there is no better fun to be had in any dungeon than watching those wheels turn in the players’ heads. Did the thief fail at her check for traps roll? Should I maybe open this door with a 10 ft. pole? Is it better to push or pull the door? Can I hear anything from the other side? But wait a minute… Is the GM trying to trick me into not doing something awesome? Is it worth risking my character’s life over this? What if overthinking is itself the trap?

But for serious guys, you probably shouldn’t fire yourself out of a catapult. Or should you?