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How to deal with Meta-Gamers. A guide / Q&A


D&D 3.5/d20/OGL

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Taldor

Dealing with Meta-Gamers and players trying to get away with murder.

Meta Gamer – A player who uses rules knowledge or OOC (Out of Character) knowledge to try to drive game play situations.

I'd like to put a Q&A together for common and not so common DM annoyances do to meta gaming, rules lawyers, and just messed up players. Try to keep the posts in a consistent format for ease of use. Basically if you have a player problem, post what they are trying to pull off and us learned GMs will try to post a appropriate answer. If you have a common issue and answer post it as:

Joe player: "I XXX to YYY for ZZZ.”

Joe DM Says “Dude, your not there! You’re inside getting drunk!”

--------------------------------

Joe Player: “Hey, I saw this wheel of cheese in Waterdeep for 2 gold a wheel, its only 2 silver up here in Icewind Dale! I’m going to buy 100 and put it in my bag of holding and go to Waterdeep.

Joe DM: “So, you want to retire the character and have him become a merchant. Ok, re-roll and make an ADVENTURER.”

This response also works for:
Joe Player: “I have 3 ranks in profession prostitute.”

--------------------------------

Joe Player: “I Detect traps on this 5’ square… I take 1 step, I Detect traps on this 5’ square…ect”

Joe DM: “You pull out your thieves tools and pull out the pressure rod, drag the rod…..” This explanation should be long drawn out and boring. Indicating that this level of paranoia would drive even the most devout rogue insane.

--------------------------------

Joe Player: I cast Grease over there, next round I light the grease on fire burning them all.”

Joe DM: “Grease may be flammable but it is beyond the scale of this spell. Mayhaps it’s not literally grease, just a grease like substance.”

This response also works for:
“I cast whirlwind/hurricane/tornado (Or whatever) and I throw caltrops into the wind to cut our enemy to bits.”

--------------------------------

Joe Player: “I pull wand and cast mage shield because the DM just rolled the die/asked me to roll a die”

Joe DM: You should roll the die for no reason and ask the players to every now and again. If your party warrior starts this, have the enemies start getting the sunder weapon feat for free.

--------------------------------

Joe Player: “Hey guys, come over here and roll spot because I failed mine”

Joe DM: There are many rolls the DM can make for the player. The player simply doesn’t know when they make or fail some rolls. Spot, Listen, Appraise, Search (Find trap). One of my favorite responses to Find Traps is “You don’t THINK you find any traps”

This response also works for:
Joe Player: “I rolled a 3 on my appraise, I’m not going to sell this till someone else appraises it for me.”

--------------------------------

Joe Player: “The rogue sees treasure? I go over there.”

Joe DM: “Really? The rogue told you he sees treasure? You have cast Mind Vision on him? You have no clue he sees treasure, put your mini back next to the spike trap, roll reflex.”

--------------------------------

Joe Player: “I wanna stick my XXX in the YYY to ZZZ”

DM rule 0. “No, I say so.” Try not to rely on this rule too often, but it is there.

--------------------------------

What else am I missing?

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Most of these are Blatant Common Sense.

A couple are 'No cool ideas for you!'

I dub thee Sir Wally of Fnordshire, sir.

Taldor

I really don't want to shoot down cool ideas. I as a player and a DM pull off some silly stuff, but I have read 3 or 4 posts in the last few days concerning "My players are trying xxx to yyy to zzz." I have personally broken campaigns doin this stuff and I've had a couple players try the "Light grease on fire" thing. It gets out of control when a low level spell starts doing way more than its suppose to or you start getting too much gold in the party. A lot of the ones I posted are common sense to even partially seasoned GMs, but not all. I am looking for some harder situations to find answers for issues other GMs are havening

IE:

The Diplomacy Skill

My Players Just Dont Care

Dealing With A Too Smart Player

Conversion Rate For Souls To GP

What If They Just Fly There

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:


This response also works for:
“I cast whirlwind/hurricane/tornado (Or whatever) and I throw caltrops into the wind to cut our enemy to bits.”

Nice idea, but sounds like a double edged sword. Throw something into a fan blade and see if it goes exactly where you want it to. I'm sure the rest of the party appreciates it.

Taldor

TriOmegaZero wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:


This response also works for:
“I cast whirlwind/hurricane/tornado (Or whatever) and I throw caltrops into the wind to cut our enemy to bits.”

Nice idea, but sounds like a double edged sword. Throw something into a fan blade and see if it goes exactly where you want it to. I'm sure the rest of the party appreciates it.

I had a GM allow it from another player. Killed the Big Bad End Guy in 2 rounds. Very anti climactic.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:
I had a GM allow it from another player. Killed the Big Bad End Guy in 2 rounds. Very anti climactic.

What the hell level was this? Caltrops only do 1d4 a bag, last I heard.


I agree that metagamers can be incredibly annoying and hard to deal with. I think the right DM tactics can sometimes help teach a bad gamer how to think in-character by explaining the consequences of their actions. Rule 0 is an important fall back, but I think there are other ways to show the foolishness of a supposedly rational person acting in apparently insane ways.

SterlingEdge wrote:

Dealing with Meta-Gamers and players trying to get away with murder.

Joe Player: “Hey, I saw this wheel of cheese in Waterdeep for 2 gold a wheel, its only 2 silver up here in Icewind Dale! I’m going to buy 100 and put it in my bag of holding and go to Waterdeep.

Joe DM: “So, you want to retire the character and have him become a merchant. Ok, re-roll and make an ADVENTURER.”

Why not allow it? Imagine the difficulties you could face as a caravan master or merchant captain? As long as there is an in-character reason for needing some cash and the time to spend doing it this sounds like a very reasonable thing for a person to do.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: “I Detect traps on this 5’ square… I take 1 step, I Detect traps on this 5’ square…ect”

Joe DM: “You pull out your thieves tools and pull out the pressure rod, drag the rod…..” This explanation should be long drawn out and boring. Indicating that this level of paranoia would drive even the most devout rogue insane.

Do you know what would bug me if I was a rogue? Getting hit in the head with a guillotine pendulum. It takes time to search for traps - that is penalty enough. To prevent the real world time drag of individual roles figure out a way to roll multiple dice, one check for multiple squares, or some such tactic.

SterlingEdge wrote:


This response also works for:
“I cast whirlwind/hurricane/tornado (Or whatever) and I throw caltrops into the wind to cut our enemy to bits.”

Why punish creativity? If there was some kind of magical hurricane wouldn't it do what normal hurricanes do? Just remember that the players control their actions but *you* decide on the consequences of said actions.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: “Hey guys, come over here and roll spot because I failed mine”

Make them explain it in character. A good group I played with explained a player rolling their own checks thus; you are a professional. A hero. Someone way above and beyond the normal person. You probably have a good idea of how well you are performing on a given day. Bad roll = fumbling with the probe / eyes just having trouble focusing / having a crappy day. Of course what the DC is is up to you, and they have no idea of that.

I don't want to rain on your rant too much. Metagamers bug the hell out of me as well. Particular annoyances are the evil acting CG clerics, the avaricious paladins, and anybody that refuses to do engage in any non-crunch behaviour. Sadly I know of no way to deal with the quasi legal munch-crunch characters we all run into occasionally.

Taldor

Razic wrote:

I agree that metagamers can be incredibly annoying and hard to deal with. I think the right DM tactics can sometimes help teach a bad gamer how to think in-character by explaining the consequences of their actions. Rule 0 is an important fall back, but I think there are other ways to show the foolishness of a supposedly rational person acting in apparently insane ways.

SterlingEdge wrote:

Dealing with Meta-Gamers and players trying to get away with murder.

Joe Player: “Hey, I saw this wheel of cheese in Waterdeep for 2 gold a wheel, its only 2 silver up here in Icewind Dale! I’m going to buy 100 and put it in my bag of holding and go to Waterdeep.

Joe DM: “So, you want to retire the character and have him become a merchant. Ok, re-roll and make an ADVENTURER.”

Why not allow it? Imagine the difficulties you could face as a caravan master or merchant captain? As long as there is an in-character reason for needing some cash and the time to spend doing it this sounds like a very reasonable thing for a person to do.

Thats another way to deal with the situation. Same outcome. Your letting the player know its boring to be a merchant.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:


Thats another way to deal with the situation. Same outcome. Your letting the player know its boring to be a merchant.

Boring to you that is. Maybe the player wants to deal with the difficulties of knowing the markets, surviving the hardships of the roads, and beating the cutthroat competition. Caravans have guards for a reason.

Taldor

Caravan goes north, caravan goes south, caravan goes north, caravan goes south.... Most boring campaign EVER.

C'mon, Im looking to help ppl to keep from overloading there groups with gold, and keeping the game challenging and in line with the heart of the game. Not abusing loopholes and exploits.

I'm not trying to staunch creativity or punish it. I want to have a exciting and fun session. I dont think I have to explain why letting players have a way to earn 50,000 gold by lvl 2, or letting the players walk into every house in a city, cast sleep, and rob the place blind with no effort over and over and over again is a bad thing.

I want to help other GMs learn to curb the metagamer/exploit happy ppl and get to adventuring.

Taldor

TriOmegaZero wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:


Thats another way to deal with the situation. Same outcome. Your letting the player know its boring to be a merchant.
Boring to you that is. Maybe the player wants to deal with the difficulties of knowing the markets, surviving the hardships of the roads, and beating the cutthroat competition. Caravans have guards for a reason.

Yes, having to deal with an underhanded adversary in the trade business can prove amusing. But I'm not talking about putting down an intrigue filled run, I'm talking about being a merchant. I buy/make cheese. I sell cheese at market. This is DnD (or whatever) not Papers and Paychecks.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:

Caravan goes north, caravan goes south, caravan goes north, caravan goes south.... Most boring campaign EVER.

C'mon, Im looking to help ppl to keep from overloading there groups with gold, and keeping the game challenging and in line with the heart of the game. Not finding loopholes and exploits.

I'm not trying to staunch creativity or punish it. I want to have a exciting and fun session. I dont think I have to explain why letting players have a way to earn 50,000 gold by lvl 2, or letting the players walk into every house in a city, cast sleep, and rob the place blind with no effort over and over and over.

I want to help other GMs learn to curb the metagamer/exploit happy ppl and get to adventuring.

Caravan goes north, gets snowed in the mountains, has to survive a few days with dwindling supplies, caravan goes south, gets attacked by orc raiders, loses half their personnel, caravan goes north, has to navigate landslide and avalance-prone mountain passes, caravan goes south, ends up with an oversupply of stock as the value of said stock plummets due to market fluctuations...

If your players TRULY want to play, and not just earn easy cash because they think you'll had it all to them without a challenge, they will enjoy this. Otherwise, they'll go back to the get-rich-quick life of adventuring.

And if they get too much wealth, take a page from Order of the Stick and blow up the inn/vault/extradimensional storage space where they're hoarding their treasure. Rust monsters and etherel flichers are in the Monster Manual for a reason. ;-)

Taldor

TriOmegaZero wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:
I had a GM allow it from another player. Killed the Big Bad End Guy in 2 rounds. Very anti climactic.
What the hell level was this? Caltrops only do 1d4 a bag, last I heard.

High lvl, 2nd ed, each caltrop did 1 or 2 dmge each by there interpretation. Many caltrops in a bag.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:


Yes, having to deal with an underhanded adversary in the trade business can prove amusing. But I'm not talking about putting down an intrigue filled run, I'm talking about being a merchant. I buy/make cheese. I sell cheese at market. This is DnD (or whatever) not Papers and Paychecks.

How do you see a 2nd level character making a 50,000 GP fortune selling cheese for a few silver each? Trust me, your players would get bored running a cheese shop for a handful of gold per week. Especially if you roleplayed each day, instead of skipping from month to month. And the age penalties that would accrue!

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:
I had a GM allow it from another player. Killed the Big Bad End Guy in 2 rounds. Very anti climactic.
What the hell level was this? Caltrops only do 1d4 a bag, last I heard.
High lvl, 2nd ed, each caltrop did 1 or 2 dmge each by there interpretation. Many caltrops in a bag.

Ah, never played 2nd. Still, the BBEG was magnetic? Funny thing about whirlwing shrapnel, there's no way to direct it.

Anyway, I'm derailing with this. My apologies.

My experience with the party defending a city against advancing hordes. (Red Hand of Doom)

PC: We can build seige weaponry and throw Greek fire at them!

DM: So how many ranks in Knowledge (Engineer) and Profession (Seige Engineer) DO you have?

PC: None, but I'm a dwarf, all dwarves know seige weapons!

DM: Okay.

*proceed to battle*

DM: *rolls percents* Okay, one of the three you managed to build doesn't work, one throws it's 'Greek fire' into a city grain warehouse, and the third actually manages to get outside the city. Doesn't hurt any of the enemy. And that third one just got burned to tinder by enemy dragonbreath.

Taldor

I think Ill have to let this thread die and start it again tomorrow. There has been tons of responses, most argumentative and not helpful.

-----------------------------------------

"I really don't want to shoot down cool ideas. I as a player and a DM pull off some silly stuff, but I have read 3 or 4 posts in the last few days concerning "My players are trying xxx to yyy to zzz." I have personally broken campaigns doin this stuff and I've had a couple players try the "Light grease on fire" thing. It gets out of control when a low level spell starts doing way more than its suppose to or you start getting too much gold in the party. A lot of the ones I posted are common sense to even partially seasoned GMs, but not all. I am looking for some harder situations to find answers for issues other GMs are havening"

"C'mon, Im looking to help ppl to keep from overloading there groups with gold, and keeping the game challenging and in line with the heart of the game. Not abusing loopholes and exploits."

"I want to help other GMs learn to curb the metagamer/exploit happy ppl and get to adventuring."

"IE:

The Diplomacy Skill

My Players Just Dont Care

Dealing With A Too Smart Player

Conversion Rate For Souls To GP

What If They Just Fly There"

-------------------------------

People want the help. Lets Help the GMs. Mine is not the only opinion, I'd like to see what other GMs do in these type of situations. Make my DMing better/less restrictive, but keep the game on course at the same time without getting exploited.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Caravan goes north, gets snowed in the mountains, has to survive a few days with dwindling supplies, caravan goes south, gets attacked by orc raiders, loses half their personnel, caravan goes north, has to navigate landslide and avalance-prone mountain passes, caravan goes south, ends up with an oversupply of stock as the value of said stock plummets due to market fluctuations...

What he said. I have played couple of merchants over the time who for business reasons did encounter things like zombies, gigantic rats (that one in Cyberpunk 2020, btw) and lots of p###ed-off guards.

I have also played a character with several ranks in Profession(courtesan). Very useful skill in special circumstances (at least if you are playing more intrigue-based campaign and less dungeon crawls).

The criticism would be fitting if the character would put all his skill ranks to Craft(cheese) and then stay put in one place, making cheese and selling it.


I don't think anyone's being argumentative, just discussing ways of handling the situation.

Re: Cheese merchant. My first reaction would be to say: "Don't be silly. Would you rather track cheese or fight monsters?" and if he insisted on the bag of holding route, have all the cheese go bad, break up, be the wrong kind of cheese to sell in that area, get him attacked by assassins sent by the local cheese-makers guild etc etc

Qadira RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

My 8-year-old son's 13th level Knight has a caravan and a shipping company operating out of is keep. We use the rules for profits and losses written by Gary Gygax in a very early Dragon. We do the math in between adventures.

He rarely gets directly involved in the shipping company but recently his most expensive ship disappeared and only one NPC survived (took the Boat of Folding that ship uses as a life raft). That NPC tells a tale of an island shrouded in mist from which can be heard the roaring of horrific beasts.

He's thinking of going after that ship.

I hope he does.

Andoran

magdalena thiriet wrote:
The criticism would be fitting if the character would put all his skill ranks to Craft(cheese) and then stay put in one place, making cheese and selling it.

What about Kraft(cheese)?

runs off


SterlingEdge, the intent behind your thread is excellent - a single place to examine metagaming or otherwise potentially irritating player behavior.

My question to you is: in your original post, did you wish feedback and suggestions regarding the situations posited therein?

And here is an excellent metagame set up (hopefully) in the spirit of the thread:

Generic Player: "It's ok if this character dies, my next one will be even worse than this one, you'll see!"

Generic GM: "It's ok if your next character is even worse, since you're not starting out with cherry-picked magic items. The other characters will have to equip you from the items they have at hand. What? They sold everything? Oops." I think this is where the suggestions/responses might need to go from other posters. I've not come up with a good, reasoned, non-emotional response to this statement from a player yet. Well, other than the one above.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

SterlingEdge wrote:
I think Ill have to let this thread die and start it again tomorrow. There has been tons of responses, most argumentative and not helpful.

Some of your examples are quite good. Otheres, however, consist of the GM being a jerk back to the players. If the rogue wants to take 20 on every square of the dungeon, he is allowed to do that. The rules allow him to. There is already an in-game penalty for this, notable the loss of time and the fact that giving the monsters time to organize and surround you is bad. It's not metagaming after the thrid time or so a trap almost kills your rogue. That kind of paranoia is justified. This one really does sound like the DM being pretty that his awesome trap didn't get to work.

Similarly, with the mages who start buffing themselves every time they hear a die rolled, there is already a cost: the loss of the spell/scroll/wand charge. The solution for the DM is just to roll dice when nothing is happening, so it ceases to be 'because the player knows something' and starts being 'for no good reason'. I don't see why you need to punish fighter-types for drawing their weapons. If I was a fighter in a dungeon, I'd have my sword out all the time except when I was actively using my hands for something else.

Being a merchant can be plenty exciting. It's just not the adventure prepared for that day.


Turin the Mad wrote:


Generic Player: "It's ok if this character dies, my next one will be even worse than this one, you'll see!"

Generic GM: "It's ok if your next character is even worse, since you're not starting out with cherry-picked magic items. The other characters will have to equip you from the items they have at hand. What? They sold everything? Oops." I think this is where the suggestions/responses might need to go from other posters. I've not come up with a good, reasoned, non-emotional response to this statement from a player yet. Well, other than the one above.

How about not gaming with vindictive players?

On the other hand I had a friend name a new character in a ridiculous manor in protest of a favored character and campaign being shelved for a while. The result was interesting - the name became a fun sort of hook for the character to build off.

Perhaps the new character will actually have some human faults like every good PC does. Maybe he likes to burn things for the hell of it or randomly scream obscenities at authority figures. It could be a way to show a munchkin that there is more to role playing than rolling dice and "beating" the dungeon.

My own scenario: One metagamer puts two PCs get in a situation where they would end up parting ways or killing each other if properly role played. This has happened to me and I resentfully guided my PC to not slitting the other's neck in the night. Bad for real world friendships. What would you do if you were the other player or DM in this situation?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Barbarian Player: I defile the corpses!
Cleric player: No healing for you.
Barbarian player: Fine. I'll be good, Mr. 'My God is better than you'.
DM: Thank you.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:


--------------------------------

Joe Player: “Hey, I saw this wheel of cheese in Waterdeep for 2 gold a wheel, its only 2 silver up here in Icewind Dale! I’m going to buy 100 and put it in my bag of holding and go to Waterdeep.

Joe DM: “So, you want to retire the character and have him become a merchant. Ok, re-roll and make an ADVENTURER.”

This response also works for:
Joe Player: “I have 3 ranks in profession prostitute.”

I have had this exact thing (different locations though) happen: I let them do it, and the cheese merchant they tried to sell it to laughed in their face that he was a vendor of good cheese, not barracks quality cheese good for only pigs and offered them 3 copper a peice for them (they did buy them at a barracks...)


SterlingEdge wrote:


Meta Gamer – A player who uses rules knowledge or OOC (Out of Character) knowledge to try to drive game play situations.

That's a pretty good definition, but most of your examples aren't metagaming. They simply players not following what you want them to do.

SterlingEdge wrote:

I'd like to put a Q&A together for common and not so common DM annoyances do to meta gaming, rules lawyers, and just messed up players. Try to keep the posts in a consistent format for ease of use. Basically if you have a player problem, post what they are trying to pull off and us learned GMs will try to post a appropriate answer. If you have a common issue and answer post it as:

You post offering help, but maybe you need to be open to accepting help.

I believe a DM should follow the first rule of Improv: Don't deny. A player tells me what they are doing, not the result. I let them attempt to do it.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe player: "I XXX to YYY for ZZZ.”
Joe DM Says “Dude, your not there! You’re inside getting drunk!”

I don't understand this.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: “Hey, I saw this wheel of cheese in Waterdeep for 2 gold a wheel, its only 2 silver up here in Icewind Dale! I’m going to buy 100 and put it in my bag of holding and go to Waterdeep.
Joe DM: “So, you want to retire the character and have him become a merchant. Ok, re-roll and make an ADVENTURER.”

Who's metagaming here? Not the PC. The PC is using information he knows from buying cheese in two different locales to try to make a profit. Play on.

You're the one talking about rolling characters. Ugh.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: “I Detect traps on this 5’ square… I take 1 step, I Detect traps on this 5’ square…ect”
Joe DM: “You pull out your thieves tools and pull out the pressure rod, drag the rod…..” This explanation should be long drawn out and boring. Indicating that this level of paranoia would drive even the most devout rogue insane.

I think this has been discussed enough on this thread.

I do draw out my explanation a little when a player takes 20, mostly though just on the rogue who's terrible at opening locks and then only a little to make a point.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: I cast Grease over there, next round I light the grease on fire burning them all.”

Joe DM: “Grease may be flammable but it is beyond the scale of this spell. Mayhaps it’s not literally grease, just a grease like substance.”

Again with the DM metagame response. How about:

DM: "Okay. As you stick the tindertwig on the slippery area of the floor, your defenses are lowered and the Kobold takes a swing. You feel the bite of his spear (take 3 hp damage). Depsite your best efforts the slippery area does not light. The Kobold jabs you again and hits you in your shoulder (take 4 hp damage). What do you want to do now?"

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: “I pull wand and cast mage shield because the DM just rolled...

This is the metagaming I have a problem with. I would ask them to give me an in-game reason why they're casting a spell if they said this out loud, but it's usually not a problem because I also fake roll all night long. Mostly because I like rolling.

SterlingEdge wrote:

Joe Player: “Hey guys, come over here and roll spot because I failed mine”

Joe DM: There are many rolls the DM can make for the player. The player simply doesn’t know when they make or fail some rolls. Spot, Listen, Appraise, Search (Find trap). One of my favorite responses to Find Traps is “You don’t THINK you find any traps”

Borderline. I've considered taking the die rolls away from the players but discarded it. Die rolling is fun. I don't buy that a PC would know he failed to see something, but I don't think this affects the game very much. After all if there's no time penalty (approaching monsters) who cares? He could be taking 20 anyway.

"You don't find any traps" is no different than "You don't think you find any traps" in my games.

SterlingEdge wrote:


This response also works for:
Joe Player: “I rolled a 3 on my appraise, I’m not going to sell this till someone else appraises it for me.”

Again, I hate to take die rolls away from the players. Let 'em find someone else to appraise if they want. The value may or may not change depending on my mood. It might even go down with a higher appraise, regardless of the value I had assigned to it before the PC found it. But I won't SAY that to the players.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: “The rogue sees treasure? I go over there.”
Joe DM: “Really? The rogue told you he sees treasure? You have cast Mind Vision on him? You have no clue he sees treasure, put your mini back next to the spike trap, roll reflex.”

Well, I'm sure your players love you.

Make them roll play. They have to Spot the rogue. Roll a Sense Motive. If no go, the PC will have to give me a good motivation for wanting to move over there.

SterlingEdge wrote:


Joe Player: “I wanna stick my XXX in the YYY to ZZZ”

DM: "Ok. Roll a reflex save." I do that whether there's something in the YYY or not.

SterlingEdge wrote:


What else am I missing?

Don't deny.

Don't metagame yourself, out loud. Meta behind the screen all you want.
Expect the same from my players.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Some people just aren't happy if they haven't "beaten" the scenario in some way. Their successes are triumphs of clever planning and unorthodox thinking, not hard-fought victories. To their minds, an adventure should go off like a commando operation with few, if any, losses and dozens of bewildered, slaughtered foes.

When your players pull some sort of bizarre, devious scheme out of their hat, don't let it "throw" you. If they make a tough situation into a cakewalk, that's the reward for ingenuity. If they make a tough situation into a disaster with misplaced ingenuity, they have no one to blame but themselves.

I remember a game I ran back in 1978, where the party managed to burn down the Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, then summoned elementals to divert a nearby river into the chief's basement levels. They decimated the giants, but left themselves without a clue about what to do next. It was a good example of PCs that ended up punishing themselves with their own success.

When one of your players first proposes an offbeat idea, I recommend that you sidetrack the game, buying yourself time to think. Be straightforward with them, telling the party "I didn't expect something like that; could we break for a minute while I consider what would happen?" Don't worry about the adventure path: After they have gone off track, you can often steer them back.

At the end of a game session, I'll ask my players what they plan to do next, so I can plan for their zany digressions from the main adventure framework. If they come up with something unexpected in the middle of an adventure, I pull out a few extra encounters (often ripped off from other adventures) and improvise for a while. I enjoy improvising, although I've had players do things like interrogate every member of a dwarvish village just to test my creativity (That one was my fault; the villagers spoke with corny Swedish accents and my players were forcing me to do the voices...)

As a DM, you need to communicate with your players and discover what their PCs plan to do. They have an obligation to let you do your job as DM, following the "plot wagon" when it makes sense for their characters. If they tell you they intend to investigate the goblin-infested ruins, then head in the other direction without good reason, either improvise an adventure or break out your copy of Munchkin or Betrayal at Hill House and play board games instead.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

SterlingEdge wrote:
Joe Player: “I Detect traps on this 5’ square… I take 1 step, I Detect traps on this 5’ square…ect”

As DM, I'd enforce the rules for food, water, encumbrance, and the like. They can search as slowly as they want, as long as their supplies hold out. Since they're moving at a glacial pace, the villains in an "active" dungeon setting may place additional traps in areas they've already "cleared".

SterlingEdge wrote:

“I cast whirlwind/hurricane/tornado (Or whatever) and I throw caltrops into the wind to cut our enemy to bits.”

Why don't MY players ever consider doing something that dumb?

SterlingEdge wrote:
“I pull wand and cast mage shield because the DM just rolled...

"Fake" rolls take care of that. I'll also set up "false alarms" (The creatures that they heard were local children following the party or the like)

SterlingEdge wrote:
Joe Player: “Hey guys, come over here and roll spot because I failed mine”

I'll have the PC's "pre-roll" some spot, listen, and search checks, so they don't know when their check is going to matter.

SterlingEdge wrote:
“The rogue sees treasure? I go over there.”

I'll go with what the player says here, but when he says he was watching the doorway for approaching enemies, I'll politely remind him that he was searching for treasure with the rogue... Too bad about that surprise round.


Razic wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:


Generic Player: "It's ok if this character dies, my next one will be even worse than this one, you'll see!"

Generic GM: "It's ok if your next character is even worse, since you're not starting out with cherry-picked magic items. The other characters will have to equip you from the items they have at hand. What? They sold everything? Oops." I think this is where the suggestions/responses might need to go from other posters. I've not come up with a good, reasoned, non-emotional response to this statement from a player yet. Well, other than the one above.

How about not gaming with vindictive players?

On the other hand I had a friend name a new character in a ridiculous manor in protest of a favored character and campaign being shelved for a while. The result was interesting - the name became a fun sort of hook for the character to build off.

Perhaps the new character will actually have some human faults like every good PC does. Maybe he likes to burn things for the hell of it or randomly scream obscenities at authority figures. It could be a way to show a munchkin that there is more to role playing than rolling dice and "beating" the dungeon.

My own scenario: One metagamer puts two PCs get in a situation where they would end up parting ways or killing each other if properly role played. This has happened to me and I resentfully guided my PC to not slitting the other's neck in the night. Bad for real world friendships. What would you do if you were the other player or DM in this situation?

Sir Razic: I would love for their characters to have some personality to them - I actually do not overall enjoy character deaths, but bad guys are bad guys, and if they can frag those who wish to kill them and take their stuff, they will often do so. I believe that the vindictive elements that crop up from time to time are a result of a competitive streak coming to the forefront - within the framework of the rules of the game, can Generic Player keep generic character alive despite Generic GM's baddies' desires to the contrary? Therein lies at least some of the appeal of the game, imo.

Sir Razic's Metagamer Scenario: I am surprised that the character interaction - albiet metagamed - would lead to a furor between the players, yourself seemingly one of the players. I would like to think as a GM in that scenario, if I picked up on it as a metagamer deliberately placing two PC's into a confrontational situation wherein the logical conclusion is either a character death or a character departing the group (and possibly the player as well), that it would be possible to defuse the situation and get things straightened out.

Ideally the resolution would be by way of civilized dialog - although a metagaming guiding hand coming to light in the course of the 'in character' reasoning behind it would understandably ruffle at least a few feathers, as either the GM or the offended player.

To be frank, as the player who was metagamed into such a confrontation, my actions in-character would be highly dependant upon the specifics. While I fully appreciate and understand the desire to retain a group's cohesion, it strikes me as likely that I probably would have given him the Bitter Stevil treatment and looted his character's corpse in the aftermath. Once in a while a 'character fight' can be interesting and educational - often to the detriment of the bad guys later in the campaign...

Osirion

Ross Byers wrote:
Some of your examples are quite good. Others, however, consist of the GM being a jerk back to the players.

This is the problem I see. All-too-often 'advice' to a player being a jerk is that the DM should be an even bigger douchebag. Gosh, that's productive...

Instead, these sorts of things should be dealt with out of game. The Rogue wants to search every square foot of the 600 ft. corridor? Fine, wave hands and say, 'You don't find any traps.' If a player wants to do something boring, breeze past it, rather than punishing the rest of the players by making them sit through it.

If a player wants to do something like set Grease on fire, tell them it's a magical zero-coefficient field and not flammable, that they should try a Web spell, which *is* flammable. If he wants to throw a bag of caltrops into a whirlwind, have them fly everywhere and not do any significant damage (nor clustering in a way that would make traversing the area on foot dangerous, since they are all over the room, sticking in walls, flung out doors, in corners, under furnishings, etc.).

If they want to do something creative that is *cool,* and not abusive, then allow it and describe it colorfully. Reward creativity. Don't punish abuses (since that suggests picking fights with people who are supposed to be your friends), but just don't reward them.

D&D is supposed to be fun, for everyone, including the DM. If it's just a pissing contest between one of the players and the DM, attempting to one-up each other, then they should just whip out a ruler, unzip and settle their issues the old-fashioned way, rather than inflict this sort of nonsense on the rest of the people who came to play a game for fun.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Set wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Some of your examples are quite good. Others, however, consist of the GM being a jerk back to the players.
This is the problem I see. All-too-often 'advice' to a player being a jerk is that the DM should be an even bigger douchebag. Gosh, that's productive...

Which would be the basis of my first response, as well. It seems less a 'here's how to settle trouble with problem players' set of suggestions, and more about how to do the equivalent of pushing the other guy so he swings first in a bar fight.

On the whirlwind: the DM who ruled that it slaughtered the BBEG either thought it was a Really Cool Idea or has never encountered any kind of whirlwind in his life. Those caltrops should, by all rights, have sprayed everywhere and done a few points of damage to everyone outside the whirlwind's eye.

On the Grease spell: fire doesn't exactly do much damage anyhow; I've never had a problem with the Grease spell lighting up, if you take the time to set it aflame (no stray sparks ala the Web spell) for a field of fire that does 1D4/round to anything moving through it. My monsters would just withdraw a bit to keep the PCs from shooting them and wait for it to burn itself out, if it were a stone area, and there'd be a risk of the surroundings going up if the material is wooden. Plus the spell's duration would be a lot shorter - halved or less.

Cheese merchant: Boring to run a merchant caravan? Perhaps, if it's as 'safe' as our modern 'caravans', but if you consider that, with the best possible time, a caravan of wagons is only going to cover 20 miles or so in a day, and the distance between cities, there's plenty of room for attacks by raiders and bandits, having the animals panic and break loose of the harness, dealing with insubordination among the hired guards (and even if one is an adventurer, not hiring guards is absurd; you can't protect an entire wagon train by yourself), and so on. Plus there's the fact that just because 'a wheel of cheese' is cheaper in one location than the other doesn't mean they're the same kind of cheese; indeed, in a world without mass production, they won't be, and that higher-cost cheese wheel is probably a gourmet cheese, and the cheaper wheel is either low-quality or an ill form, which limits the profits until the characters starts to get creative about it.

The 'Dude, you're drunk' section: I'm sorry, but anyone who plays with a group like the one depicted by the Dead Alewives cannot be helped. There will be magic missiles at the darkness, demands for Cheetos, and a desire to get drunk and 'do any girls' on hand. The only thing you can hope is that eventually the players get a bit more mature and willing to actually play something besides CN characters and go on dungeon crawls, or else try to find a new group.

Paranoid rogue: Fine by me; I want to know what the other PCs are doing while the cautious one is doing this, and I'll be using his time to figure out how the local inhabitants are dealing with him; also, I'll determine the amount of time needed to search an entire given room and inform him, to see if he wants to take that long on it. Repercussions are already built into the game, there is no need to have an attitude on top of it unless it destroys the fun for everyone else. There *is* a reason the venerable ten foot pole used to be a popular adventuring item.

Missed spot rolls: as has previously been mentioned, most people who do something for a living can tell when they're having an off day. If they can justify an IC reason for having someone else check for them, then fine by me. If not, then oh well. Prerolling a few checks will solve this problem as well, or not telling them what the check is on (Hey, having the pertinent information handy as a DM? What an idea!)

Character buffing every time the DM rolls a die: false die rolls, false alarms, and the already present cost of the character using up his resources are enough to cover this already.

Someone else found treasure: Seeing if the other player told him or said something is fine. Having him reroll against the trap because he put his mini back after you determined he didn't move in-game because of not having a reason to move is just being a jerk, and the players would be justified in getting ticked off at you. If the players need to justify their actions, so do you, and unless the trap is a timed one (and wouldn't the rogue have figured that out?) there's no call for it to go off again.

Two of those linked threads are the same guy, dealing with a combination of 'these are my friends' and 'we wanna be Winnars!!!!' issues, neither of which is really addressed by any of your suggestions. The Souls/GP guy already know how to handle it, he just wanted to guesstimate the market value of the souls. He already has repercussions in mind if the group seriously pursues this course of action. Honestly, the OP gave 'advice' that came across with an attitude that there's a contest of some kind between the DM and the players, even if he didn't intend for it to seem that way. There are *always* ways to handle situations that don't end up a pissing contest.


I'll try to be Dr Frankenstien and revive this monster.

Evalute these scenarios and comment:

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The players are 3rd level and encounter a troll (for the first time). No player has made a knowledge nature check to know anything about trolls. This is assuming that fire is not their standard attack.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The players encounter a magical item. From the description one of the players says "Oh thats a (insert item name)! OOC of course".

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Oh and a common one: "I'll just jump. The fall can't kill me. It is only going to be Xd6 damage." Says smug player.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Please comment and add your own commonly seen metagaming.


SterlingEdge wrote:
I think Ill have to let this thread die and start it again tomorrow. There has been tons of responses, most argumentative and not helpful.

I don't really see that this sort of a general response thread really works. If it takes off then we have every problem all stashed in a really long thread so its hard to find the specific issue.

The other benefit of individual threads that are along the lines of 'hey guys I have problem X - can you help?' is that the answers are not stock.

In some ways this thread presumes that there is actually a correct way of dealing with problem X. Someone posts the problem and some one else posts the solution. But its not really like that, an answer thats good at your game table might not be good for mine. This can be because we have a different style of play (if I don't manage to kill at least one player in an adventure I consider it a personal failure and vow to do better next time - some DMs are secretly rooting for the players and actually want them to live!, strange but true) or we are in different social circumstances, i.e. different levels of power in the DMs hands, which can vary anywhere between the players are allowing the DM to run the game and he has to make sure their having fun or he'll be voted out of the DM chair too the players should consider themselves privileged to be allowed to play in the DMs game and they will show her the respect and deference her station demands.

What we normally get is a poster putting up problem X and 5-15 posters putting out answers and arguing with each other about why the answers are good or not. The OP can then go and pick and choose from among the answers, hopefully coming upon one thats just perfect for the specific situation he finds himself in.

Thus I think we should leave well enough alone and allow posters with various issues to create a thread dealing with their specific problem and the membership can answer on that specific thread instead of going for a one size fits all solution.

Taldor

ArchLich wrote:

I'll try to be Dr Frankenstien and revive this monster.

Evalute these scenarios and comment:

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The players are 3rd level and encounter a troll (for the first time). No player has made a knowledge nature check to know anything about trolls. This is assuming that fire is not their standard attack.

Sometimes players need to know when to run. A good point to run would be when they kill the troll to the point its disabled and can't provide chase.

Salvatore had one of his adventurers spontaneously figure out to burn them.

If a player just simply states "Oh, its a troll, burn it" call for a knowledge roll, if they fail it, they don't know this fun fact.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

ArchLich wrote:


The players encounter a magical item. From the description one of the players says "Oh thats a (insert item name)! OOC of course".

I've had this happen a few times. They may know what it is, but that doesn't allow them to use it. Or, change the item all together.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

ArchLich wrote:


Oh and a common one: "I'll just jump. The fall can't kill me. It is only going to be Xd6 damage." Says smug player.

I had a player try this one. Yes he survived. But the other players didn't follow suit after I very descriptively explained bones protruding from flesh, coughing up blood, and the like, that the player endured from jumping. Yes you would survive, but its no fun to get hurt.

Andoran

SterlingEdge wrote:
havening

What the hell? Funny, but what is it?

Andoran

Razic wrote:

YOU HAS MY AVATAR!

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SterlingEdge wrote:
ArchLich wrote:
The players are 3rd level and encounter a troll (for the first time). No player has made a knowledge nature check to know anything about trolls. This is assuming that fire is not their standard attack.

Sometimes players need to know when to run. A good point to run would be when they kill the troll to the point its disabled and can't provide chase.

Salvatore had one of his adventurers spontaneously figure out to burn them.

If a player just simply states "Oh, its a troll, burn it" call for a knowledge roll, if they fail it, they don't know this fun fact.

Or, as DM, introduce this knowledge in-game sooner than the encounter. Maybe the nearby towns have all their guards pack long poles with the latter half coated in flammable pitch, and have long-burning torches affixed closely around the town walls to ward off the trolls.

Or call for a D20 roll before the session begins, and when it shows up use those results to determine what a given player knows about trolls, and inform that player of his or her knowledge.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

SterlingEdge wrote:
ArchLich wrote:


The players encounter a magical item. From the description one of the players says "Oh thats a (insert item name)! OOC of course".
I've had this happen a few times. They may know what it is, but that doesn't allow them to use it. Or, change the item all together.

This is overall a good call, although bardic knowledge, an appropriate knowledge roll, or one of several other methods could let them identify it in-game as well as out of game. I've never had this happen, mainly because I don't use standardized magic item descriptions nless they're common in my game.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

SterlingEdge wrote:
ArchLich wrote:


Oh and a common one: "I'll just jump. The fall can't kill me. It is only going to be Xd6 damage." Says smug player.
I had a player try this one. Yes he survived. But the other players didn't follow suit after I very descriptively explained bones protruding from flesh, coughing up blood, and the like, that the player endured from jumping. Yes you would survive, but its no fun to get hurt.

So did you inflict some kind of damaged condition on him? Cut his movement speed, inflict a penalty to his saves, and the like, since he was clearly so badly mangled? If it was a monk, who gets a safe fall ability, would he still get mangled? How about if they made a Tumble check to avoid/reduce the damage? Or were you merely being sadistic due to the player metagaming?

There is no correct answer to this, overall; it depends on the situation in question. Is the player leaping down to try to cut off the BBEG's minions as they try to escape? I'll let him run with it - he can jump, take the damage, and possibly get a circumstance modifier against his foes for the display of bravado. Is he doing it to get down to an unexplored section of some dungeon? Pretty stupid, leaping into unknown territory like that. What if he lands on a pit trap with some spikes, or the floor he saw turns out to be painted glass/heavily dust-coated spiderwebs/etc? Someone sufficiently metagaming is unlikely to be impressed by a description of how badly someone gets hurt jumping off; if the rules let it happen, they'll do it, and probably accuse you of cheating if you rule on the spot that something else happens.

The existence of Rule Zero may have some use dealing with munchkins, metagamers, rules lawyers, and powergamers, but it is a bloody nightmare when one of those types (along with the Railroad DM type) get their hands on it.


The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:

YOU HAS MY AVATAR!

Since we're on the subject...


ArchLich wrote:
Oh and a common one: "I'll just jump. The fall can't kill me. It is only going to be Xd6 damage." Says smug player.

HP is one of those mechanics which is difficult to justify but nearly impossible to do away with. Some argument can be made for folks getting hardier as time goes on, but a fall is a fall. You can fall out of an airplane and live. You can fall out of bed and dye.

I have been thinking of redesigning fall mechanics on a percentile system. Fall height, ground material, and perhaps encumbrance would give negative modifiers. Skills and circumstance give positive modifiers. 100+ = death regardless of HP. 0 = not a scratch.

As for the question posed, my answer would be context dependent. If it's a small fall and conceivable that someone might under the circumstance attempt the jump I would try to make it possible. If thy are jumping off a 100 foot cliff they be deadified.

Taldor

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:
havening
What the hell? Funny, but what is it?

havening is a semi unknown peice of netspeak, I link it to show I'm mispelling it on purpose. 2nd ticket down explains havening. If you work in computer tech support this is extremely funny stuff.

As per the fall, the PC lost more than 80% of his health. I imposed no penalties because the cleric was standing close by and fixed him right up. Now in some situations this could prove amusing role playing. A 20 foot drop and a impatient dwarf.


Razic wrote:
My own scenario: One metagamer puts two PCs get in a situation where they would end up parting ways or killing each other if properly role played. This has happened to me and I resentfully guided my PC to not slitting the other's neck in the night. Bad for real world friendships. What would you do if you were the other player or DM in this situation?

This would be one of those "works on my table, possibly not in yours", but PCs killing PCs does happen occasionally (and sometimes it's me who is the target and sometimes it's me who is killer). And it's fine.

I haven't played with too vindictive people, and players do explain what is the motivation for their PCs to attack, and sometimes kill, other PCs.

Many people I play with do consider metagaming very seriously and phrase "I know this is really stupid, but this is what my character would do" does get uttered in our table. Which means that several situations coming up in original post never come up, but which also means that PCs are known to ignore prepared adventures, part company "because he doesn't want to do this anymore" or kill other PCs. It's part of the gaming style, players regulating themselves in gaming but forcing the DM think harder for motivations.


The Paizo monster has eaten my post about 4 times now... Let's hope the 5th can find avoid its Swallow ability.

Now then, to the OP. I read most of the original scenarios as sheer inginuity that was handled wrong by the DM. Caltrops in the whirlwind? Great idea! But handled, quite literally, in the worst way by the DM. Not the players' fault.

Fire and Grease? Awesome! But it only does 1d4 fire per round while you're in it, which even at lower levels isn't all that devastating. Plus, Grease only lasts for a couple rounds.

As for the new situations:
Troll?
I'd base my ruling off of what the PCs' classes were and their general backgrounds. Local ranger? Perfect. Boozer from town that just left the city for the first time ever? Not so much...

Magic item?
This one's actually pretty hard to work with. Who here hasn't memorized a few (term used lightly) items from different books? When it first came out, I'd read through the Magic Item Compendium for fun. Either make it clear to the players that their PCs don't know what the item is, or alter/change it in some way, shape, or form.

Jumping off a cliff?
The above compound fracture example is a beautiful way to handle that PC. But it's only a start. Don't just stop with the description. Have him take the damage, then PERMANENTLY subtract 10 points or so from his HP, drop 5 or 10' off his movement speed, give him a -5 on all jump/climb checks, and finally, award his PC a paralyzing fear of heights which you as DM determine when to take effect. Let's see him or anyone else from that party jump now.

This example is meta-gaming at its core. Just because I know that a fall won't kill me, doesn't mean my PC would. If I ever have a player do this, they'll either suffer the above penalties (more or less depending on the situation) or just land on their neck and die regardless of HP, no save. This is nothing more than a DM meta-gaming a meta-gamer, sounds fair to me.

-Kurocyn


Kurocyn wrote:


This example is meta-gaming at its core. Just because I know that a fall won't kill me, doesn't mean my PC would. If I ever have a player do this, they'll either suffer the above penalties (more or less depending on the situation) or just land on their neck and die regardless of HP, no save. This is nothing more than a DM meta-gaming a meta-gamer, sounds fair to me.

Eh. Not a big deal for me.

I see it as the equivalent as looking off a big cliff and saying to myself, "I could jump off this and get hurt, or get really really hurt, but I don't think I'll die." Which, thank god, I've never experienced without already having a rope tied around me.

As others have stated, the hp system is perhaps the least believable (*cough* realistic) system in the game, this is just a play on that.

They're okay losing xd6 hp, next time I'll make the cliff even higher!

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been working on an idea for the next time this issue comes up. I based it off of one of the sidebars in the Rules Compendium.

Basically, each d6 rolled for the fall does not represent HP, but the percentage of HP you lose. 1-6% for 10 feet, 10-60% for 100 feet. Plus, every 6 rolled gave a chance of a broken limb, be it arm, leg, or neck. This way it doesn't matter what level you are, you have an equal chance of injury or death.

Andoran

JDinkum wrote:
As others have stated, the hp system is perhaps the least believable (*cough* realistic) system in the game, this is just a play on that.

Realistic? THAT WORD IS BLASPHEMY!

/crusade

Andoran

SterlingEdge wrote:
The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
SterlingEdge wrote:
havening
What the hell? Funny, but what is it?
havening is a semi unknown peice of netspeak, I link it to show I'm mispelling it on purpose. 2nd ticket down explains havening. If you work in computer tech support this is extremely funny stuff.

OK. I get it now. (I just had to read more). I work with computers all day, so it basically made my intestines implode. I just wasn't sure what exactly it was for a while.

Cheliax

magdalena thiriet wrote:

This would be one of those "works on my table, possibly not in yours", but PCs killing PCs does happen occasionally (and sometimes it's me who is the target and sometimes it's me who is killer). And it's fine.

I haven't played with too vindictive people, and players do explain what is the motivation for their PCs to attack, and sometimes kill, other PCs.

Many people I play with do consider metagaming very seriously and phrase "I know this is really stupid, but this is what my character would do" does get uttered in our table. Which means that several situations coming up in original post never come up, but which also means that PCs are known to ignore prepared adventures, part company "because he doesn't want to do this anymore" or kill other PCs. It's part of the gaming style, players regulating themselves in gaming but forcing the DM think harder for motivations.

I think this is very much a YMMV situation. I used to feel much the same way that you do, until I started playing with a group that habitually created characters which, though they may not have been specifically designed to create party tension, would obviously lead there within the first couple of sessions. These weren't situations of well thought out characters coming to blows over strongly-held convictions, it was more a case of certain players making the same kinds of disruptive characters over and over, without regard to their effect on the game. It didn't lead to very much bad blood outside the game (in fact, it was more the other way around, with certain players using their Mary Sue PCs to attack one another for out-of-game slights), but it did change the entire focus of some of our campaigns and made things much less fun overall.

When I GM'ed for that group, I flat out banned PvP, and I thought things went much better. Now that I'm starting up a new group, I'm putting certain restrictions in place to try to minimize these sorts of problems, until we all know one another better and I can determine that in-character conflict will be handled maturely.

As for advice for Razic, I would say that it really depends on your players. If they are genuinely trying to play their characters' reactions, something as simple as magdalena's group's disclaimer ("This is dumb, but my character would think it was right") could be a good solution. However, if the players tend to use their characters more as self-insertion into a fantasy world, fights in game are probably going to bleed over into real life, and it might be a better idea to restrict or eliminate them.

I have a few situations which I consider to be some pretty flagrant metagaming on which I'm curious to hear some opinions:

1.) A PC kills an NPC on the grounds that he was a murderer. OOC, the DM had admitted that he was guilty. In game, however, another man had lost a trial by combat and therefore been proven guilty of the same crime, and the only evidence the PC had that the man she killed was guilty was that his alibi didn't hold up. After the PC does the deed, she claims that it was a moral position for her character to take.

2.) The DM sets up a situation for the same PC in which her character's father is planning a rebellion against the Lord to whom he has sworn his sword. The player, who, when using one word to describe the character during generation, picked "naive," had the character make her decision solely based on who she thought would be more likely to win in a struggle, along with her knowledge of the series of novels on which the campaign was based (she chooses the stronger nobleman and allows her father to be summarily executed, then allied with the most powerful nobles from the novel series, whom her character had actually never met).

Is there any way to “fix” situations like this? Should they just be chalked up to “that’s just the way this player wants to play the game?”


PulpCruciFiction wrote:

I have a few situations which I consider to be some pretty flagrant metagaming on which I'm curious to hear some opinions:

1.) A PC kills an NPC on the grounds that he was a murderer. OOC, the DM had admitted that he was guilty. In game, however, another man had lost a trial by combat and therefore been proven guilty of the same crime, and the only evidence the PC had that the man she killed was guilty was that his alibi didn't hold up. After the PC does the deed, she claims that it was a moral position for her character to take.

2.) The DM sets up a situation for the same PC in which her character's father is planning a rebellion against the Lord to whom he has sworn his sword. The player, who, when using one word to describe the character during generation, picked "naive," had the character make her decision solely based on who she thought would be more likely to win in a struggle, along with her knowledge of the series of novels on which the campaign was based (she chooses the stronger nobleman and allows her father to be summarily executed, then allied with the most powerful nobles from the novel series, whom her character had actually never met).

Is there any way to “fix” situations like this? Should they just be chalked up to “that’s just the way this player wants to play the game?”

1) If any locals or authority finds out there should be a trail. And if it is a medieval/french justice system the defendant will have to prove themselves innocent. In other words the PC would have to prove the NPCs guilt.

Also if the character had no reasonable knowledge of the persons guilt... At the very least a very chaotic act and probably a very evil act.
"I'm not sure if he is guilty but my gut tells me so... so I'll just kill him to make sure."

2)For me a flat out no. If they can not provide a reasonable (in the DMs view) explanation of why their character would both betray their father and align themselves with a lord they don't know, well too bad.
If you don't like "rewinding" the game you can have their character poisoned to death, thrown in a dungeon, sent on suicidal missions or simply have the chosen lord say:
"I'm sorry but I do not accept your offer of service. I would not have a person in my service who would not lift a finger to help their father. Your sense of loyalty is weak and I do not trust naives such as yourself. Leave my lands." (Harsh but very expected if the lord isn't ignorant a dumb.)

To me, it is well within your rights to tell the PC to retire their character or you will retire the character for them. You can explain that their character is on a evil path and that they are heavily metagaming which was a betrayal of your trust (getting extra story info OOC and using it in character) and is not fair to other players or fun.


ArchLich wrote:
The players are 3rd level and encounter a troll (for the first time). No player has made a knowledge nature check to know anything about trolls. This is assuming that fire is not their standard attack.

Meh. In this specific case, trolls can be considered such a strong part of legend that I’d allow a PC to have heard stories of how trolls can heal from anything but fire. In a general sense, though, this is the gamble that comes from using the off-the-shelf monsters. In some cases, changing the name or description of the beast (while using the same stats) might throw off your players for a bit.

ArchLich wrote:
The players encounter a magical item. From the description one of the players says "Oh thats a (insert item name)! OOC of course".

Lord, I hate this one. “I put on the ring. Can you see me? I try jumping. I try looking through a wall. I try…”

My solution has been, and this may not work for everyone, is to severely limit magic items that aren’t being used by someone. Not only does it not make sense that these things would just be sitting in a vault waiting for the PCs, but it gives the players a greater chance of seeing the item in use and having an in-character excuse to try it out.
In the end, though, I want my players to know what the magic items are so I’m not going to cheat them of finding out. I just don’t want them to pull out a piece of parchment with all the ring types on it and try them out one-by-one.

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