When is metagaming GOOD metagaming?


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Silver Crusade

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I have thought about this several times in the past, and the topic was touched upon in one of the other threads.

When is it GOOD and POSITIVE to metagame in an RPG?

One example given by another person here was the often-seen situation of having a new PC join the group, either because a player was added or an existing player needed to bring in a new character for any one of a variety of reasons. Sure, it might be more "realistic" for the other characters to be extremely suspicious, distrusting, or even outright hostile to the new PC. But it is more fun if the characters can find a way to work together.

Here is another example from personal experience. Our group was delving a pretty typical dungeon. The GM had drawn out the map before-hand and we (players) could clearly see the entire layout of two levels of the dungeon. This was really no big deal; all of the players were experienced players, and we had a standing delving policy of taking the left choice whenever presented with two or more options. So we did a good job of not metagaming when deciding where to explore the dungeon.

Then, our rogue triggered a trap which separated him from the rest of the group. Our PCs all clearly saw that the rogue was dropped into the level below us, with no visible way to get to him. All they knew was that they need to descend to reach him.

On the other hand, as players, we could see exactly where he was. In character, the PCs began to argue back and forth over which way to go every time a decision needed to be made. Each time, we allowed even the weakest of reasoning to push our characters to make the correct decision for the shortest path to our wayward rogue.

Eventually, after some encounters without the rogue, and with the rogue succeeding on many stealth checks to avoid solo encounters on his own, our party was reunited.

We were most certainly metagaming through that entire session. But it was also tons of fun. All of the players had fun, the rogue got to use a primary class feature and scouted out much of the lower level before finding us, and the rest of us had some great encounters while we were a man down. The trap did what it was supposed to do, so the GM got to run a scenario that he had clearly anticipated.

I invite you to share similar stories of metagaming gone RIGHT. :)


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The Fox wrote:

I have thought about this several times in the past, and the topic was touched upon in one of the other threads.

When is it GOOD and POSITIVE to metagame in an RPG?

One example given by another person here was the often-seen situation of having a new PC join the group, either because a player was added or an existing player needed to bring in a new character for any one of a variety of reasons. Sure, it might be more "realistic" for the other characters to be extremely suspicious, distrusting, or even outright hostile to the new PC. But it is more fun if the characters can find a way to work together.

..

This is a good one, and also why a DM should not try to pull one over by allowing a traitor PC into the party.

There is also "genre savvy" Hrun the barbarian sez it best: "You find chokeapples under a chokeapple tree. You find treasure under altars." Experienced adventurers should be allowed some level of this.


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1)Well at one game originally there were two groups that adventured at the same time.(Merged later because of players dropping out.) But we were responsible for forming out the team. So knowing this OOC I suggested IC something in the vein of "Would you not agree that at this point group of this size would be diminishing returns? Why don't we split into two groups with some agreement of cooperation or at least non hindurance between them." Total metagame since 12 people when going into demon infested area is hardly overkill, but the premise was two groups. Also some of the characters that would be more selfish downplayed that aspect to get about the same strength teams.

2)Picking up adventure hooks, so even if the character you are playing would not really be that much on board on pursuing what ever the quest is, it is better to just play along since that is what the GM has prepared. Of coarse exceptions apply if the character would actually be opposed to doing anything of the sort and would feel strongly enough about it.

3) Now from the GM POV, sometimes it's good to not play the opposition to their full potential. This could be because of inexperienced players or because sometimes it would result in some characters mostly sitting out the encounter. One good reason is that it would make the encounter boring, for example enemies with half decent stealth cababilities just using hit and run tactics over and over, mind you that has it's place but if every goblin in the tribe and such each encounter in the whole adventure is doing it, time to mix it up.

4) Another from the GM chair. Loot, okay perhaps it doesn't make that much sense for the enemies X to have item Y that character Z happens to use in it's loot, but if buying that item is not an option it's okay to put it there.


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I'm of the opinion that limited metagaming is ok if you are playing a character of significant intellect or wisdom. These characters would be able to connect clues more quickly, realize things even some of the smartest real people never would. I'm talking characters of Int or Wis 20 or more. Just enough metagaming to get suspicions on less evidence.


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Anytime it saves the GM work rather than take away from the fun adn challenge of the game.

I tend to let a lot of things slide in terms of common knowledge. Things like "skeletons have to be bashed in, not cut or pierced" just reeks of common sense rather than metagaming. Things of that nature.


What exactly is meta-gaming?


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Having your character act based on things you know as a player, but not in character. That's my definition anyway.


Sounds fair enough. I know that it is extremely hard for some players I have gamed with. Those are some great examples of it going right, but I feel that it is unfortunately not so well in most cases.


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I'm new to the game. My female Sorc Darsadi Callinova saw the Big Evil Guy about to behead several women. Me the guy player put brains in neutral said to have Darsadi take her quarterstaff and hit the BEG for damage. The guys at the table blinked, they asked me my AC and my HP, and I realized I'd dun screwed up. :p GM asked me what my class was. "Sorc." "And what does a Sorc do?" "Cast spells." He was gentle about it, and respectful, and he told me it is my character and I can do what I want, but that Darsadi's HP could drop to 0 within two rounds. Then he asked me what I wanted to do, and it was totally my call.

I'm very glad to be with a class-act PFS group, and that is where some meta-gaming hand-holding help a n00b like me remember I'm playing to the class and the character.


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If it enhances the game, and especially the fun for everyone at the table, it's good.

If it decreases either it's bad.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:

If it enhances the game, and especially the fun for everyone at the table, it's good.

If it decreases either it's bad.

This is my view. I think one should be particularly careful that it's not enhancing just the metagamer's fun.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Fox wrote:

I have thought about this several times in the past, and the topic was touched upon in one of the other threads.

When is it GOOD and POSITIVE to metagame in an RPG?

1) Party building. It makes things easier if the characters' backstories already have connections that can explain why they became adventurers together. Also, making sure the party has the breadth of capabilities to do well (they can do damage at range and in melee, have a way of buffing party members, have a way of controlling the battlefield, can heal after combats, etc.). Replacement PCs should also be designed with the same considerations. It's "more realistic" that the PCs are "thrown together by events" and have to "work things out as they go," but that makes it harder to run a coherent campaign with long-term continuity of PCs.

2) Use the rules. To an extent, optimization is a form of metagaming. Yes, it's a role-playing game; however, it's still a game in which system mechanics define success and failure. Basically, if you want a character to be good at something, then you should design the character's abilities in the rules system so that they are good at it "mechanically." On the flip side, be aware that you may not be able to be good at everything (or as good as you want) immediately or in all circumstances; also, if you design the character so that they're bad in something you feel they should be good at, don't blame the system for your poor design.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just last night I had one of my players specifically advise the other players not to spend their thousands of gold in town. Why? Because they were near leveling up, and he was about to take Leadership and bring in a crafting cohort that could effectively double their wealth.

I called shenanigans saying that it would be metagaming for the characters to act on knowledge they couldn't possibly have.

They then described to me how the cohort was being sent to them via their benefactors specifically to assist in better equipping them for their future missions, and that it made perfect sense for the characters to have foreknowledge of the cohort's eventual arrival and capabilities (since said benefactors had messaged ahead about the arrangement).

...players. *rolls eyes*


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When the PCs get into a situation where it would be a real option to go on some far away journey, but the players use their metagame knowledge that this isn't planned as part of the adventure and the GM has nothing prepared for it, so they decide against it. That's the kind of good metagaming that's happening the whole time.


DrDeth wrote:
The Fox wrote:


One example given by another person here was the often-seen situation of having a new PC join the group, either because a player was added or an existing player needed to bring in a new character for any one of a variety of reasons. Sure, it might be more "realistic" for the other characters to be extremely suspicious, distrusting, or even outright hostile to the new PC. But it is more fun if the characters can find a way to work together...
This is a good one, and also why a DM should not try to pull one over by allowing a traitor PC into the party.

Do you mean traitor NPC? How would a DM be pulling something if the PC who was to be a traitor? Maybe you meant for DMs to allow PCs to be traitors?

Regardless, it's a really tricky issue to deal with, and have noticed the same thing happen in games I've played. If we'd be suspicious of NPCs joining the party, why wouldn't we be suspicious of PCs doing the same?

Overall, I think a good way to justify certain good metagaming is by the fact that this is a heroic tale with a sort of predefined destiny, meaning events that take place aren't necessarily what would be the most likely, but rather the most fortuitous to cause the party substantial success and/or interesting scenarios.

Silver Crusade

Yora wrote:
When the PCs get into a situation where it would be a real option to go on some far away journey, but the players use their metagame knowledge that this isn't planned as part of the adventure and the GM has nothing prepared for it, so they decide against it. That's the kind of good metagaming that's happening the whole time.

Ah, yes.

Last week I was running a game wherein the PCs began exploring a tunnel that had been barred off. I asked them for a Knowledge (dungeoneering) check, which they succeeded.

"The tunnel descends deeper and deeper underground, probably destined to reach the Darklands. (and possibly beyond the scope of this adventure.)"

The PC who made his check said, "I think this tunnel descends into the Darklands. We should not go down there, for the dangers are many and are the stuff of nightmares." Everyone agreed.


Yora wrote:
When the PCs get into a situation where it would be a real option to go on some far away journey, but the players use their metagame knowledge that this isn't planned as part of the adventure and the GM has nothing prepared for it, so they decide against it. That's the kind of good metagaming that's happening the whole time.

Sometimes the players don't know but when they do know it is nice, especially for newer GM's, who may not be used to making up something on the fly.


Some of the things being talked about are less "metagaming" and more just glossing over details to further the session and the story. I would define metagaming as abusing OOC knowledge to the player's advantage such as using knowledge you read from the Beastiary to instantly know a foe's weaknesses and exploit them or reading ahead in the AP to intentionally avoid traps and ambushes.

There's a difference between suspending disbelief and moving things along to enhance the story and the group's enjoyment and using OOC to exploit things and for personal gain.

It's just bad form.

Sovereign Court

I'd classify ignoring faux plot hooks that the GM is hoping you won't bite on as good metagaming - they're there to add color, but please don't lose sight of the current plot, pleeeeaaase...

Also: making a new character that will fit in nicely with the existing group; that's a good example of good metagame.

Also: being just a bit more accommodating to the random stranger that's now travelling with your group (the new PC), rather than distrusting him and excluding him from all important conversation for the next five sessions.

Silver Crusade

kmal2t wrote:

Some of the things being talked about are less "metagaming" and more just glossing over details to further the session and the story. I would define metagaming as abusing OOC knowledge to the player's advantage such as using knowledge you read from the Beastiary to instantly know a foe's weaknesses and exploit them or reading ahead in the AP to intentionally avoid traps and ambushes.

There's a difference between suspending disbelief and moving things along to enhance the story and the group's enjoyment and using OOC to exploit things and for personal gain.

It's just bad form.

Okay.

I think that most people use "metagaming" to mean "using out of character knowledge to direct the in character actions" without any qualifiers on it.

The question posed is this: Do you have any examples to share when you or other players in your group have done this in a way that advances the story and increases the enjoyment of the game for everyone at the table?

I gave my examples. I'm asking people to share theirs.

I realize that I asked when is metagaming GOOD? That was what is known as a rhetorical question. (Pro tip: how do you recognize a rhetorical question? The asker answers it or otherwise uses it as a segue into other related discussions.)


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The Fox wrote:
(Pro tip: how do you recognize a rhetorical question? The asker answers it or otherwise uses it as a segue into other related discussions.)

A rhetorical question is one which is used for the purpose of rhetorical effect (humor, thought provoking, pathos, etc.) and no answer is actually expected.

You actually want to know when metagaming is good.

Knowing the Jeorge the Bard is being played by your friend Jeff so you more readily accept him into the adventuring party is both metagaming and good: i.e. good metagaming.

Standard scenarios...
1. Not splitting the party because it means too much time where one or more players are doing nothing
2. Party composition in relation to the campaign the DM is presenting as well as in relation to other party members

Controversial scenarios...
1. Discussing HP so that you don't want have awkward "my healing powers can heal the typical villager after he has been wounded by an ankheg; does that describe the severity of your current injuries?"
2. Bending a bit on behavior when it clashes too much with another character... I can see some level of this being acceptable, but I have seen too many posts about people with undead-commanding necromancers and paladins in the same party or people who conveniently look away when their fellows are performing atrocities their characters shouldn't stand for


Ascalaphus wrote:
I'd classify ignoring faux plot hooks that the GM is hoping you won't bite on as good metagaming - they're there to add color, but please don't lose sight of the current plot, pleeeeaaase...

It's basically Chekhov's Gun in action ... the mindset that the DM wouldn't mention this person/object unless it was important. I witnessed this in the first part of RotRL. When the mayor said 'Even Lars is here', half the party immediately started talking to him and ... not quite interrogating, but figuring he had to have some important tidbit to share. He didn't, and after a bit, the DM just said, 'The Lars bit was just a little flavor, it's not really plot-relevant.'

Dark Archive

Zhayne wrote:
It's basically Chekhov's Gun in action ... the mindset that the DM wouldn't mention this person/object unless it was important.

[tangent]

Yeah, this can be a bugger when you're GMing. I mentioned once the same kind of trivial background detail twice at different points during an adventure (forgetting that I'd already used that bit of 'flavor' before), and a player picked up on it and assumed that there must be a connection between totally unrelated story elements...

Massive derail. Oy. Genre-savvy players, who've seen and / or read a lot of horror, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. can be slippery fish!
[/tangent]


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The Fox wrote:

The question posed is this: Do you have any examples to share when you or other players in your group have done this in a way that advances the story and increases the enjoyment of the game for everyone at the table?

I once played a character that had an Int score below that of a child's, several times throughout the campaign the party would run into puzzles/challenges that the other PC's could not figure out (including characters with Intelligence scores that would make Einstein look like a blathering fool). Since I knew the answers, i came up with ways to have my character reveal them to the rest of the party.

One such example is when there was an idol sitting on a pedestal that would teleport us to the next area. As the rest of the party scrambled around the room trying to find hidden passages and such, I had my character play with the "pretty doll" that someone left behind...


kikidmonkey wrote:

I once played a character that had an Int score below that of a child's, several times throughout the campaign the party would run into puzzles/challenges that the other PC's could not figure out (including characters with Intelligence scores that would make Einstein look like a blathering fool). Since I knew the answers, i came up with ways to have my character reveal them to the rest of the party.

One such example is when there was an idol sitting on a pedestal that would teleport us to the next area. As the rest of the party scrambled around the room trying to find hidden passages and such, I had my character play with the "pretty doll" that someone left behind...

"Which way is the school bus going?"

Sometimes children (or, in this case, slow-witted adult PCs) have an entirely different way of viewing things that make them better equipped to answer certain questions or resolve certain problems than adults.

See also "Let the air out of the tires," and "The Emperor is naked."


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Antimony wrote:


"Which way is the school bus going?"

Sometimes children (or, in this case, slow-witted adult PCs) have an entirely different way of viewing things that make them better equipped to answer certain questions or resolve certain problems than adults.

See also "Let the air out of the tires," and "The Emperor is naked."

I agree, that was just my most memorable and obvious example of using OoC knowledge, most other times it usually involved the other PCs arguing about what to do and my character more or less going "Bored now!" and running off in the direction of the campaign.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This is certainly an interesting topic. Definitely dotted.

I don't usually have an issue with splitting the party, but I make sure everyone gets equal screen time. I think one common metagaming(?) aspect is no stealing treasure. It's something I see often. If that counts.


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Set wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
It's basically Chekhov's Gun in action ... the mindset that the DM wouldn't mention this person/object unless it was important.

[tangent]

Yeah, this can be a bugger when you're GMing. I mentioned once the same kind of trivial background detail twice at different points during an adventure (forgetting that I'd already used that bit of 'flavor' before), and a player picked up on it and assumed that there must be a connection between totally unrelated story elements...

Massive derail. Oy. Genre-savvy players, who've seen and / or read a lot of horror, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. can be slippery fish!
[/tangent]

i.e. IT'S JUST A GAZEEBO!


Avoid meta-g, and discourage it in your players. This is a good course.

They need to understand, they are playing a character, not themselves, and they are in a totally different context to the player.

Rather than metagame, try to rp their in-game world knowledge, it is far more immersive, very useful, and makes a good game, not just a meta-game discussion.


kikidmonkey wrote:
Antimony wrote:


"Which way is the school bus going?"

Sometimes children (or, in this case, slow-witted adult PCs) have an entirely different way of viewing things that make them better equipped to answer certain questions or resolve certain problems than adults.

See also "Let the air out of the tires," and "The Emperor is naked."

I agree, that was just my most memorable and obvious example of using OoC knowledge, most other times it usually involved the other PCs arguing about what to do and my character more or less going "Bored now!" and running off in the direction of the campaign.

Nice. Some players, like crafters, can get s!+#ty when you do that, but for the game it is the best thing.

"But but, I'd almost planned all our crafting and slot filling, we have 312 gp left!"

"While that is fascinating, I... must... save the kingdom!" *Runs off to adventure and away from meta-gaming stuff crafting of the accounting chronicles: extra boring edition*


Of course, that sometimes led to encounters like the time i went to pet a hell hound...


Who loves a scratch? Yes you do!


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Wikipedia on Metagaming and Metagaming in Roleplaying Games.

kmal2t wrote:
Some of the things being talked about are less "metagaming" and more just glossing over details to further the session and the story. I would define metagaming as abusing OOC knowledge to the player's advantage such as using knowledge you read from the Beastiary to instantly know a foe's weaknesses and exploit them or reading ahead in the AP to intentionally avoid traps and ambushes.
kmal2t wrote:
Metagaming is usually used as a pejorative term.

"Metagaming" has one primary definition, but very different connotations in different circumstances and communities. Kma12t is using the definition I first heard in regards to D&D twenty years ago, and by his definition, he's right; metagaming is bad. (I recall a day in which every PC over 8th level carried a blessed crossbow bolt in their backpack, even though nobody in the group owned a crossbow. Why? Because the only way to kill a rakshasa was with a blessed crossbow bolt.) That was old-school metagaming, and it was almost universally a bad thing.

The term "metagame" has grown since then, and has different uses in different kinds of games. In D&D/Pathfinder, it is legitimate to say that "good metagaming" includes things like:

  • Following the GM's main plot hook, and bringing along all of the PCs, even that shifty guy who doesn't look trustworthy. Just because Tom chose to play a half-orc rogue with a low charisma, doesn't mean he shouldn't get to play!

  • Taking out-of-character tactical suggestions from other players. No, the sorcerer isn't in the room, but when the sorcerer's player reminds you that your Boots of Haste grant +30 base speed, enabling your character to run back to the group before getting eaten by the Jabberwocky, that's not cheating. It's a player helping another player get his character's decisions right. We only play these games a few hours per week, and we don't live in the game world, so we're going to make dumb mistakes that our characters never would. (If I owned rocket-boots, wore them around every day, and frequently turned them on, I wouldn't just forget I was wearing them!)

  • Attacking monsters who simply appear threatening. What do you do when you see a naga for the first time, and your GM makes you roll initiative? You attack! In real life, if I saw a strange looking foreigner or animal, I'd talk to them, not start by shooting arrows. In Pathfinder, we all know that initiative starts combat, and waiting for every single new monster to prove it has bad intentions by letting it act first is nigh suicidal.

In live action games (LARP), a higher degree of metagaming is considered appropriate, even necessary. When you have 40 players who all came out to play a 8-hour game, you don't kill anyone in the first 15 minutes, or they'll have nothing to do for the rest of the day. You treat people appropriately as players, even when your characters might not. (e.g. I'm male. I don't touch female players in game, even if we are playing a couple.) If your character has a secret they want to keep, you should probably tell it to someone, otherwise there really won't be a plot about your past. (You could "win" by sitting in a corner and keeping your mouth shut, but then why did you come out to play?)

Certain Scandinavian RPGs known as "Jeepform" games require even more metagaming. They use devices like playing out the same scene multiple times, or having players switch characters depending who is talking. In jeepform, the definitions of player v character and game v reality can even change to such an extent that there's no way to draw a distinction between gaming and metagaming.

Because I've operated at different times in different realms, I prefer to say "good metagaming", "bad metagaming", or something similarly clear. And, yes, I believe that much of the metagaming that goes on in Pathfinder is of the "good" variety.


When trying to explain the benefits of PFS play, the players in the 3.5e group I was learning from complained, "Well, every time we used a canned campaign, 'our group' derails it so the DM has to improvise everything anyway, so why not improvise everything?"

It would not make a good diplomacy check to point out their 'improvise everything' kinda sucks compared to the PFS games we have been enjoying. But with PFS games, we know we are there for the 'brass ring': +1 XP +2 Prestige Points. That is some serious meta-game info that keeps the game on track.

Liberty's Edge

kmal2t wrote:
Some of the things being talked about are less "metagaming" and more just glossing over details to further the session and the story.

I would disagree but that comes down to us having different definitions of meta-gaming, I just use the term to mean using out of game knowledge to make in game decisions.

kmal2t wrote:
I would define metagaming as abusing OOC knowledge to the player's advantage such as using knowledge you read from the Beastiary to instantly know a foe's weaknesses and exploit them or reading ahead in the AP to intentionally avoid traps and ambushes.

Yep, different definitions.

The trouble is, when the term meta-gaming is used only to describe the bad forms of it, some people come to think that they should never use out of character knowledge to make in character decisions (whether the result is beneficial or not) - and that can lead to games involving less fun.

In the worse cases the attitude that all metagaming is bad can lead to the situations where someone tries to use "But I'm only doing what my character would do" to excuse being a jerk, e.g. stealing from the party, not including all players in discussion over plans, not allowing a new PC to join the party, actively trying to prevent a PC achieving their faction goal in PFS etc.


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I am surprised that nobody mentioned the dramatic potential of good metagaming yet.
If your friend makes a character who is skittish around women you will do the player a favor ( in the role play oriented games I play in, at least) if you 'coincidentally' draft him for guard duty with the pretty sorceress for three nights in a row.

Most players make secrets and dramatic character traits because they want to act out on them, escalate them or 'heal' them. Good metagaming is giving them the opportunity to do that by manipulating scenes so that their triggers come up in play.

Silver Crusade

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TarkXT wrote:
Things like "skeletons have to be bashed in, not cut or pierced" just reeks of common sense rather than metagaming. Things of that nature.

Responding to this in particular because, provided one is in a region that has this particular bush phenomenon, it's pretty easy to test this in real life. Suffice to say, you (TarkXT) are right. You can even demonstrate this to people with equivalent objects and they will quickly get the point.

Imagine yourself being confronted with a tumbleweed, and given any random melee weapon (it can even be a broomstick) you like to get rid of said tumbleweed. Are you going to try thrusting attacks on it? Probably not... and why not? Because it's composed of several rigid branches with gaps between them (edit: much like a skeleton). It's very likely your thrust would just pass through harmlessly, or only hit a small number of branches. Put more simply, you're doing reduced damage to the tumbleweed. Wide swings instead hit much more of it, and if you destroy one dry branch you're likely to carry through and hit more branches at the same time. Most people either know that right away, or figure it out after just one thrust versus one swing.

This is something even modern people can intuitively determine; rigid target with lots of gaps means using swinging attacks or you're wasting your time. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with adventurers, who fight for a living, knowing this stuff right away without a Knowledge roll!


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DigitalMage wrote:
In the worse cases the attitude that all metagaming is bad can lead to the situations where someone tries to use "But I'm only doing what my character would do" to excuse being a jerk. . .

Yes! It irritates me so much when someone plays their character in an obviously jerky (self serving, manipulative, greedy, etc.) way and uses "It's what my character would do" as an excuse. It's like when somebody launches an insult then says, "I was just kidding, geez, can't she take a joke?"

Liberty's Edge

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Blueluck wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:
In the worse cases the attitude that all metagaming is bad can lead to the situations where someone tries to use "But I'm only doing what my character would do" to excuse being a jerk. . .
Yes! It irritates me so much when someone plays their character in an obviously jerky (self serving, manipulative, greedy, etc.) way and uses "It's what my character would do" as an excuse. It's like when somebody launches an insult then says, "I was just kidding, geez, can't she take a joke?"

Yep, and this is where good meta-gaming should be used; if an action that in-character makes sense, but that out-of-game would make the game less fun then the player needs to meta-game and come up with a different course of action for his character, even if it makes less sense than the original course.

Shadow Lodge

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It's been touched on, but I would add to the list "anything that keeps the game in genre". Stuff like finding work in a tavern, killing and looting everyone you come into conflict with, and parties containing both Paladins and Rogues. That's all good stuff.


Ravingdork wrote:

Just last night I had one of my players specifically advise the other players not to spend their thousands of gold in town. Why? Because they were near leveling up, and he was about to take Leadership and bring in a crafting cohort that could effectively double their wealth.

You know, RD, it’s simple enough to say that Cohorts can’t take crafting feats. Very common, altho there’s not much harm in Brew Potion or Scribe scroll. Just say no. And in fact the Devs here have said a crafting cohort won’t effect party WBL.


kikidmonkey wrote:

I once played a character that had an Int score below that of a child's, several times throughout the campaign the party would run into puzzles/challenges that the other PC's could not figure out (including characters with Intelligence scores that would make Einstein look like a blathering fool). Since I knew the answers, i came up with ways to have my character reveal them to the rest of the party.

One such example is when there was an idol sitting on a pedestal that would teleport us to the next area. As the rest of the party scrambled around the room trying to find hidden passages and such, I had my character play with the "pretty doll" that someone left behind...

That’s just poor roleplaying and turning your stat dumping, which should be a disadvantage to an advantage. Borderline cheating. Not “good metagaming”.


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DigitalMage wrote:
Blueluck wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:
In the worse cases the attitude that all metagaming is bad can lead to the situations where someone tries to use "But I'm only doing what my character would do" to excuse being a jerk. . .
Yes! It irritates me so much when someone plays their character in an obviously jerky (self serving, manipulative, greedy, etc.) way and uses "It's what my character would do" as an excuse. It's like when somebody launches an insult then says, "I was just kidding, geez, can't she take a joke?"
Yep, and this is where good meta-gaming should be used; if an action that in-character makes sense, but that out-of-game would make the game less fun then the player needs to meta-game and come up with a different course of action for his character, even if it makes less sense than the original course.

At origins this year, I sat down last for a 4th level adventure. The party was well rounded so I made a wizard and gave him about every utility spell from 1-2 level. Sure enough, I guessed right, and was able to bypass 2-3 encounters. The adventure was heavily geared for "clever" which sometimes means having a wizard along.

So we get into a fight with 7 or so bandits and the party has to spend a full round running up to them. I had sleep in my spell book and could have wacked half of them in the first round, but instead cast Expeditious Retreat on the two weapon fighter so that he could do something.

I don't LIKE doing that because it breaks whatever immersion I'm feeling. On the other hand, I don't feel like a prick either.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:
That’s just poor roleplaying and turning your stat dumping, which should be a disadvantage to an advantage. Borderline cheating. Not “good metagaming”.

Because the party dunce never accidentally knocks the right (or wrong) thing over and finds the hidden secret?

Cranefist wrote:
At origins this year, I sat down last for a 4th level adventure...

Ah, sorry I missed you. If it was organized play, I think I know which adventure you played. :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:


Cranefist wrote:
At origins this year, I sat down last for a 4th level adventure...
Ah, sorry I missed you. If it was organized play, I think I know which adventure you played. :)

All good. It was a last minute trip. One of my players canceled at the last minute, "sorry, I'm at Origins." Which tipped me off on what to do with my Saturday night.

It was the Night March of So and So. It was actually the first time I ever had fun at a PFS event. It was really good.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Cranefist wrote:
It was the Night March of So and So. It was actually the first time I ever had fun at a PFS event. It was really good.

I ran that in the 1:30 slot, and I had been looking forward to it for awhile. It's one of the best recent scenarios I can think of.

Liberty's Edge

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DrDeth wrote:
kikidmonkey wrote:

I once played a character that had an Int score below that of a child's, several times throughout the campaign the party would run into puzzles/challenges that the other PC's could not figure out (including characters with Intelligence scores that would make Einstein look like a blathering fool). Since I knew the answers, i came up with ways to have my character reveal them to the rest of the party.

One such example is when there was an idol sitting on a pedestal that would teleport us to the next area. As the rest of the party scrambled around the room trying to find hidden passages and such, I had my character play with the "pretty doll" that someone left behind...

That’s just poor roleplaying and turning your stat dumping, which should be a disadvantage to an advantage. Borderline cheating. Not “good metagaming”.

It depends, if the other players had had a fair crack at the puzzle but were struggling then it was potentially good meta-gaming as the alternative could have been the adventure stalling and players getting bored.

This is especially true if you have a pixel-b#*!+ing GM who isn't ensuring the game keeps going by giving hints, Intelligence checks to figure the puzzle out, or simply other alternatives that don't require the puzzle to be solved.

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