Does your GM ignore your immunities?


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How often does your GM totally ignore your immunities? That is, he has an enemy use a different ability on you or targets someone else; presumably due to the immunity your foe is not necessarily even aware of at the time.

It may be a deliberate act on the GM's part, or perhaps a subconscious decision, but in my experience it nevertheless happens ALL THE TIME. I'm curious to see if this phenomenon is unique to our group or not.

In my games, the GM used to throw Will save effects at us all the time, but the moment my paladin gained Aura of Resolve, she was never again targeted by charm effects. Coincidence?

A related example might be of a GM who is playing a villain known for murdering armored knights. Nevertheless, when he encounters the party, he goes around the party's armored tank (which he would need a natural 20 to hit) and instead focuses on those softer targets that he can hurt.

I can understand changes in tactics when it warrants. After all, if you can't seem to hit the tank or charm a character after a few tries, or if you are aware of the party's abilities and immunities in advance, then it makes total sense to change it up. Most enemies aren't mindless automatons. This isn't that though, what I'm referring to is essentially metagaming.


I played under a guy who loved having giants grapple people and use them as bludgeons and missile weapons based on their high bonuses (this was before Pathfinder. Once my warrior got a feat that gave him an attack of opportunity against such things (even bypassing improved grab and similar effects, and as an added bonus adding all damage dealt to the check) he was never again targeted by such an attack (never used the feat even once). The group still comments on it.


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Yes, that's a symptom of a bad DM. Sure, enemies that scry you or study you, or have encountered you before, they might have foreknowledge of your immunities.

But ones you haven't? No, they should never metagame like that. As a DM I'll throw fireballs at my fire immune sorc player frequently, and then the enemy will blubber in surprise at why it didn't work and the sorc didn't even try to dodge.

What's the point of a player getting an immunity if it never shows up? That's, in a word, b!@@~+**.


Happened to me with Side Step too.

Liberty's Edge

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I built a tanky character that, as soon as he achieved his ability to return an attack every time he was attacked in melee - was hardly ever attacked in melee, anymore. It had taken me 4-5 feats to set it up just right, and magic items, to boot. I still fought well, but it sucked that the GM decided I didn't deserve to shine.


Yep, sounds like a bad DM to me. Especially since there are in game ways to get around just ignoring the immunities including scrying spells, crystal balls, invisible minions, animal spies, and of course that one little goblin that managed to run away and warn his master that the sorcerer's charm spell didn't seem to work on the paladin.
What I'm seeing is either bad or just plain lazy DMing. Of course these are things that the players, if they are smart and clever may be able to figure out.


RD it's not only your group. I had a character in Kingmaker get the Step Up and Strike feat chain. Enemies stopped trying to 5'step even when there was little to no way that they had ever seen my character in combat and I hadn't used it in the combat yet. Unfortunately it is difficult for my DM to separate DM knowledge and NPC knowledge. As soon as the villains exceed a certain level of Power, Intelligence or Experience (or the PIE level as I call it) they all become paranoid, super tactical geniuses and dangerously genre savvy.


I did that once to one of my players recently. Androids are immune to addiction, but the Numerian Fluid mechanic was just too cool to simply have it be ignored. I asked the player if it was ok, and he said yes. So he gained a very slight addiction to it that was gone by the next time he leveled up (they were level 2 at the time).

Haven't done it since (intentionally), and I never do it without my player's permission.

I have done it quite a few times accidentally, and if my players call me on it within the same combat, then I try to do something to make up for it. If they call me on it right away, then it is immediately ret-conned. If they call me on it after it no longer matters, then I apologize and try to remember not to do it again, and ask them to remember to call me on it if I do it again.

Sovereign Court

Not unless the enemy has some reason to know a PC is strong or immune against certain tactics. Sometimes the best way to get to the paladin is through their allies. So unless the character knows or has good reason to go around the PC, no my GMs do not ignore immunities.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Happened to me with Side Step too.

That was supposed to say Step Up.


I'm kind of a 'don't break character' GM so if someone has step up it will work at least once vs someone that hasn't seen you do it and has an INT or WIS score above 6. Although sometime players try to get full Juggernaut AC because I won't make enemies just ignore the dangerous block of iron so I start making them start targeting that guy differently. I actively will do this if they fight a recurring villain though.


That reminds me of a thread and Kestral and I discussing why my tank kensai wouldn't be good because his ac was so high they wouldn't try to hit him.

My response was he's a guy in cloth throwing lightning. Why wouldn't you TRY to hit him at least for a round? Which is...tanking.

Same deal.


Valandil Ancalime wrote:

RD it's not only your group. I had a character in Kingmaker get the Step Up and Strike feat chain. Enemies stopped trying to 5'step even when there was little to no way that they had ever seen my character in combat and I hadn't used it in the combat yet. Unfortunately it is difficult for my DM to separate DM knowledge and NPC knowledge. As soon as the villains exceed a certain level of Power, Intelligence or Experience (or the PIE level as I call it) they all become paranoid, super tactical geniuses and dangerously genre savvy.

The archvillain and direct underlings I expect to have an understanding of the PC's abilities, even ones that don't get used much. Once the PC's get a certain level of fame, certain things do become general knowledge (Ignia the Ever-Burning Flame is someone who most people would expect to use fire magic), but I never expect new abilities that have never been used once to be known to every random encounter.

Sovereign Court

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The problem the OP has may have something to do with playstyle. If you want the GM to fight with kid gloves on, have you considered whether or not you're wearing them yet? It's not cool for the players to use and abuse the game mechanics to their advantage while expecting the GM not to.

I generally agree with the sentiments above about "bad GMing" when the monsters/NPCs use the GM's OOC knowledge ICly. That does not extend, however, to groups where roleplaying is subservient to the rules/mechanics. You don't get it both ways... if you want to use and abuse the rules to your greatest advantage, you don't get to demand fluffball treatment from the GM.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Expecting the GM to not ignore what you're trying to build your character into is not expecting them to use kid gloves. If I wanted to play a pyromancer character, took nothing but fire spells and abilities to enhance using said fire spells, I would be pissed if the GM started throwing nothing but fire immune creatures. Sometimes, it would be appropriate and I would have to find a new way to deal with them, but when suddenly they are all immune, to where there's not a white dragon, troll, or even a basic goblin left in the world, it's a problem

Sovereign Court

Val'bryn2 wrote:
Expecting the GM to not ignore what you're trying to build your character into is not expecting them to use kid gloves. If I wanted to play a pyromancer character, took nothing but fire spells and abilities to enhance using said fire spells, I would be pissed if the GM started throwing nothing but fire immune creatures. Sometimes, it would be appropriate and I would have to find a new way to deal with them, but when suddenly they are all immune, to where there's not a white dragon, troll, or even a basic goblin left in the world, it's a problem

As I said, with most groups, I'd agree with you. However with some groups, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.


I usually have the fighter targeted by spellcasters with will saves. I leave it up to the player to decide if he is going to make adjustments...

DM should use typical information, unless the PCs are well known....depends on their level...


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Seems like the immunities are doing their job fairly well :p

In our groups, we usually see minor forms of this, with wasted actions now and then. But we generally prefer more interesting combats than facerolls, which tend to happen when all those wasted actions happen.


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Firstly, I'm firmly against choosing targets based on imperceptible things like energy resistances, etc. That said, there are some nonsense complaints in this thread about not targeting heavily armored PCs.

Certain amounts of this is expected by any intelligent enemy-- anything with an intelligence of 2 or higher should be going after the unarmored caster types before the turtled-out enemies, especially in a setting where magic is commonplace. Furthermore, predatorial animals in reality target the weakest and sickest members of a pack of prey, so if a few wolves go after the caster instead of the fighter wearing a bathtub, that's completely understandable-- in fact, it could be argued that is in the BEST interest of maintaining versimillitude.

If you're playing a tank, put the enemies in situations where they HAVE to go through you. Sure, the ooze won't get this, but if a goblin wants to put sharp things in squishy bits and you don't appear to have any of those, it's a short step to stabbing the Wizard instead.


100% anyone facing an NPC capable of step up should be immediately aware.

It is a matter of conducting yourself that gives that ability. No one with step up rests their weight on their heels.


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Cranefist wrote:

100% anyone facing an NPC capable of step up should be immediately aware.

It is a matter of conducting yourself that gives that ability. No one with step up rests their weight on their heels.

Get a lot of wizards studying feet in combat do ya?


This behavior really sucks, because it really just punishes your allies. If you become immune to fire, suddenly it means all the other characters are getting disproportionately hit by fire attacks. I think the only thing worse is when the GM stops using something altogether - cutting out any enemies that use fire.

Sovereign Court

LeesusFreak wrote:
Certain amounts of this is expected by any intelligent enemy-- anything with an intelligence of 2 or higher should be going after the unarmored caster types before the turtled-out enemies, especially in a setting where magic is commonplace.

That makes the tanky monk even better! (Yes - my monk does wear a pointy hat with stars & moons on it. :P) It'll work even better next level when he starts opening fights with a blast of Scorching Ray.


Derek Vande Brake wrote:
This behavior really sucks, because it really just punishes your allies. If you become immune to fire, suddenly it means all the other characters are getting disproportionately hit by fire attacks. I think the only thing worse is when the GM stops using something altogether - cutting out any enemies that use fire.

Well only after the first volley when the enemy realizes what's going on and they have no other attack options. I think it's totally legit that if the fire does nothing continuing to do it is insane. Just kill that guy so he doesn't come back with a new tactic then repeat with the next victims. Although I've had goblins futilely attack the tank because he was in front and they're kind of dumb. I do wish there was a 'jump on him and try to grab for his eyes, kind of attack for situations like this. like swarm rules for small sized creatures. Right now I just make them all aid another and pool it into one attack.


Cranefist wrote:

100% anyone facing an NPC capable of step up should be immediately aware.

It is a matter of conducting yourself that gives that ability. No one with step up rests their weight on their heels.

But I doubt the Dm would say, "By the way this monster/npc/whatever conducts itself you would say it has x/y/z feats." I have never heard a DM say that.

Dark Archive

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I have had this happen to me before when I played, but only once. When I DM I have the monsters roll knowledge checks if they have them to determine the opponents abilities and give them the same rough working knowledge that I give to PC's that make knowledge checks. I use knowledge(local) if the PC's have been around the area for more than a week. I assign each class a knowledge skill to understand stuff about them(this applies to my players as well)

Examples of information given: class/archetypes, max spell level, bloodlines, arcane school, etc. based on the knowledge rules

Knowledge(arcana) = Arcane Casters

Knowledge(religion) = Cleric/Inquisitor/Paladin/Oracle [must worship a god]

Knowledge(nature) = Druid/Ranger/Hunter

Knowledge(planes) = Summoner/Cleric/Inquisitor/Paladin/Oracle [worship an angel/demon or doesn't worship anything in summoner/oracle's case]

Knowledge(engineering) = Gunslinger/any class with a tech archetype

Knowledge(geography) = Regional feats/traits/fighting styles[lets you identify all classes, but the DC tends to be higher as it is a much wider berth of knowledge)


Some GMs don't want the PCs to feel "cool", I've seen this happen multiple times as a player. It's strange. Once in a while, when PCs are high enough level, and they are in a new location, I will have them attacked by low level bandits or thugs or whatever so they have the opportunity to show off and scare the hell out them. (My players often aren't "obviously" high level and keep the "bling" to a minimum, and keep their bling hidden away, so it makes sense.) But then I will give them level appropriate challenges too.

Liberty's Edge

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

I often make a point of not avoiding them, if the opponent in question has no reason to know how the PC fights. I think it adds to the verisimilitude, if bad guys waste actions or attacks sometimes, the same way PCs sometimes do. (And do they ever... I remember once running a game for several players I didn't know very well. They were ambushed by two sorcerers, one of whom was an elf. One of the PCs, playing a slumber witch, announced she would use her hex on the elf. I stared, then finally asked, "Are you sure?" And she said yes, and the elf of course ignored the hex because it was an elf. Players, man, I tell ya...) If PCs sometimes get overconfident, make mistakes or simply take reasonable-seeming actions that turn out to be bad ideas because of things they couldn't know, I don't see why NPCs wouldn't do the same things sometimes.


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Not immunities, but Sense Motive.

I see this so often with new GMs. "What do you mean you are entitled to a roll every time an NPC lies to you? Isn't that what the roleplaying part is for, to see if you believe my NPC?"

Very frustrating when you are sitting on a double digit sense motive score in a social scenario.


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Robert Carter 58 wrote:
Some GMs don't want the PCs to feel "cool", I've seen this happen multiple times as a player. It's strange.

I think part of this stems from the old GM vs. PC attitude, where the GM starts feeling like he needs to compete with the players or sees it as his job to "beat" the party.

Which I've always found a bit silly, given that the GM really wants to win they can just have a level 20 lich teleport into the party's camp and cast Wail of the Banshee.


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Gregory Connolly wrote:

Not immunities, but Sense Motive.

I see this so often with new GMs. "What do you mean you are entitled to a roll every time an NPC lies to you? Isn't that what the roleplaying part is for, to see if you believe my NPC?"

Very frustrating when you are sitting on a double digit sense motive score in a social scenario.

"Yes, my Dwarven Inquisitor gets a roll. Yes, I'm sure that's the bonus. No, I don't think I'd like to take his word for it."


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If you buy an umbrella, it should not rain any less.

If you use an umbrella, it should not wind any more.

Sometimes, the story will be about how you had to chase your umbrella when the wind took it away.

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deusvult wrote:

The problem the OP has may have something to do with playstyle. If you want the GM to fight with kid gloves on, have you considered whether or not you're wearing them yet? It's not cool for the players to use and abuse the game mechanics to their advantage while expecting the GM not to.

I generally agree with the sentiments above about "bad GMing" when the monsters/NPCs use the GM's OOC knowledge ICly. That does not extend, however, to groups where roleplaying is subservient to the rules/mechanics. You don't get it both ways... if you want to use and abuse the rules to your greatest advantage, you don't get to demand fluffball treatment from the GM.

If not for the first sentence of your second paragraph, I seriously would have thought you had gotten your browser tabs mixed up and replied to the wrong thread, because replying to "GM is dodging class features via metagaming" with a list of a bunch of unrelated things you don't like is just totally coming out of nowhere. What was the connection there?

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

Anyway, back on topic: yes, this practice of metagaming GMs is unsettlingly common (especially considering how many of the same GMs will quickly pounce on a player who dodges a monster's immunity/DR/whatever without a Knowledge check). Never seems to get called "metagaming", though.


This actually happened to me with my Winter Witch.. I Was playing a Winter/Artic Based game and so, I made a Winter Witch (class)/Winter Witch (prestige Class). Well you get immune to cold pretty fast and don't suffer effects from Cold weather early on. Well when Winter Witch finally started to kick in, We just "happened" to find a underground lava pit where the evil mage retreated too... because reasons..


I'll juggle monster attacks around to make things difficult for my PCs but I still give them opportunities where their immunities/resistances work well for them. As the GM, one has the responsibility to challenge the players.


Gregory Connolly wrote:

Not immunities, but Sense Motive.

I see this so often with new GMs. "What do you mean you are entitled to a roll every time an NPC lies to you? Isn't that what the roleplaying part is for, to see if you believe my NPC?"

Very frustrating when you are sitting on a double digit sense motive score in a social scenario.

Ha. My players go the other way with this one. They seem to get annoyed when the NPC says something, they Sense Motive, and the NPC is being absolutely honest.

Which I suppose might be an example in and of itself, but he doesn't have any reason to lie.

As a GM I avoid this as much as possible, though enemies will learn from their mistakes. 'Course, that would require them to last long enough to do so. Sometimes that happens, mostly it doesn't.


kestral287 wrote:
Ha. My players go the other way with this one. They seem to get annoyed when the NPC says something, they Sense Motive, and the NPC is being absolutely honest.

Yeah, this gets tricky, because players learn that when you ask for a check, the NPC isn't being honest. So you can always ask, which bogs down the game, or never ask, in which case players complain that you never gave them a sense motive roll.


In some of these instances, the GM should be making secret rolls for sense motive.

Silver Crusade

Nope. I'm pretty lucky. Our group has two GMs that alternate; I am one of them. We both try to make sure that all of the PCs abilities are useful more often than not. The game is more fun that way, when players feel like the choices they are making are worthwhile.

When a player gives his character a high AC, he wants to be attacked and have many of those attacks miss. When a player gives his character options that provide resistance to a particular form of energy, his character should get hit with that energy, so that he feels like that was a useful choice.

There are exceptions of course. When the other GM was running us through book 2 of Iron Gods, we had to go around town and make names for ourselves before facing the BBEG. We weren't surprised at all when we met the BBEG and he knew all of our strengths and weaknesses. We had been pretty overt regarding our abilities. It was actually nice to see that the NPCs took notice. That's what that story was about.

But later, when facing robots that had never heard of us, it was super awesome when they were firing lasers at the ifrit in our party, not recognizing that ifrits are resistant to fire damage. It validated for all of us the choice to have an ifrit character in the party.

It is Chekhov's Gun for RPGs. Don't give your players a +2 undead bane greatsword if there aren't going to be any undead in the game. Likewise, if your players invest in feats and other abilities, make sure they are rewarded for making those choices.


Just make a 'passive' check that's a constant'take ten' and use that unless they want to actively roll.

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I don't think DMs do this intentionally to antagonize their players, it's just difficult to shove aside meta-knowledge to do something you know will be useless. Like not instantly looking for a source of fire/acid damage when fighting trolls, even if you don't have that in-game knowledge.


Valandil Ancalime wrote:
RD it's not only your group. I had a character in Kingmaker get the Step Up and Strike feat chain. Enemies stopped trying to 5'step even when there was little to no way that they had ever seen my character in combat and I hadn't used it in the combat yet. Unfortunately it is difficult for my DM to separate DM knowledge and NPC knowledge...
Malwing wrote:
I'm kind of a 'don't break character' GM so if someone has step up it will work at least once vs someone that hasn't seen you do it and has an INT or WIS score above 6...

I am like Malwing. I give the NPC spellcaster one chance to see that the PC has Step Up and then take that into account.

Once that backfired. In a module the boss wizard had a wizard minion a few levels lower than him, but still a significant danger. The party's rogue had Step Up and decided to get in the face of the minion wizard. The wizard backed up his five-foot step to cast a spell, the rogue moved along with him, and the wizard attacked with his dagger instead. He lacked Combat Casting and similar concentration-enhancing feats, so did not try casting defensively.

The next round, the minion wizard took an attack of opportunity for a regular move action to get farther from the rogue, and the rogue still followed. The rogue had leveled up a few times and had taken more feats to follow farther. I hadn't realized that. I was too busy playing the boss wizard to think up a good strategy for the minion wizard, so the poor minion panicked, screamed, and tried running away a lot. It was hilarious.

The Exchange

Ravingdork wrote:

How often does your GM totally ignore your immunities? That is, he has an enemy use a different ability on you or targets someone else; presumably due to the immunity your foe is not necessarily even aware of at the time.

It may be a deliberate act on the GM's part, or perhaps a subconscious decision, but in my experience it nevertheless happens ALL THE TIME. I'm curious to see if this phenomenon is unique to our group or not....

I've experienced this phenomenon quite a lot: I consider it very sloppy GMing, since the one person who's supposed to be able to keep player and character knowledge separate is deliberately conflating them. In truth I usually put it down to a lack of experience or talent.

I strongly counsel GMs to avoid this.

Exceptions: If your enemy has previously gathered information (gained by divination, or quizzing creatures the PCs have fought before, or having studied under the same Ancient Master, or whatever) then abilities/defenses the PCs used regularly are probably known. If your NPC is Grand Admiral Thrawn or Sherlock Holmes, and you can point to "Int 23, maxed Sense Motive, has Inspiration Pool" on the stat-block, then you can feel justified in doing an end-run around strong points sometimes, but not constantly.

In either case, it's a good idea to say to your players afterwards, "By the way, I'm not surprised you had trouble. This guy has had spies reporting your tactics for three weeks / was college roommates with the owner of your favorite Magic Shoppe / can see through time." This will make them prouder of winning, or at least reduce the sting of defeat.


Isn't this title actually a misnomer? Not only are these GMs not "ignoring" your immunities, but they are very much paying lots of attention to them...

As a GM I consciously try not to make this mistake. When I remember that a PC has an immunity, I ask myself what information the creature has, and what is its intelligence? I often do an intelligence roll (roll d20, rolling their Intelligence or under is a success), but before doing that the creature must have a basis for concluding the PC has that immunity.

Conversely, I will run intelligent spellcasters with scrying, or any intelligent foe who is crafty enough to gather information, to have round-by-round plans of what to do to foil the party, anticipate their strengths, and get around their defenses.


I like how my GM does it we keep track of our own drs and immunities. And we keep track of it. So kik if I'm immune to fire and he lunches a fireball at me and I forget and take the damage well thats my fault I should have said something it works out because often times our GM forgets such things and sometimes we do to but it also forces us to really know our characters


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I have primarily GMed for the past 20 years--I think I've PCed in less than a dozen games that lasted more than 2 or 3 sessions, and of those, only two so far has lasted more than 10. So, I haven't really experienced this phenomenon as a player.

In fact, in the game I PCed in the longest, I was an unbelievably untouchable tank-gish. It was 3rd edition, so, I was a Monk/Sorcerer/Paladin/Spellthief/Abjurant Champion/Swiftblade, which gave me Charisma to saves and AC (Ascetic Mage, how I miss thee), evasion, and I had a spell list full of extremely long duration buffs adding to my AC, Saves, miss chance, speed, etc., which, thanks to a Spellthief trick had an extremely high caster level, so they also couldn't be realistically dispelled.

I was no slouch landing blows, but that wasn't my focus--I left damage mostly to the Divine Metamagic Cleric and the absolute buzzsaw of a Jade Phoenix Blade and focused more on drawing the attention of as many bad guys as possible (ideally, they'd surround me, giving my allies a flank from any position) and either picking on the spellcasters with my magebane blade or Wings of Flurrying to appear threatening and worth hitting.

The GM actually considered it a challenge to hit me--he'd throw wave after wave at me, just trying to land a blow. Rarely, he'd get a high attack, get through the layers of miss chance and mirror images, and finally land a blow...only to hear my favorite words and his most frustrating: "Wings of Cover." I wasn't hit once from level 12 to 16 when the campaign ended, and it was awesome. Everyone actually had lots of fun with it, too--nobody cared that, realistically, if any of these guys turned to hit them, they'd be an instant smear...

The other game is ongoing (and Pathfinder, so a bit more relevant), and I just became immune to charm/compulsions and will be immune to all mind affecting effects at 15th (Shattered Psyche Oracle Curse). I fully intend to take Oracle's Vessel by that point, too, so, I should have some very nice trials for your theory. Targeting the caster with will saves isn't usually smart anyway, but I'll get to see if the bad guys specifically avoid targeting whoever I share my immunity with, too.

Meanwhile, when I GM, the NPCs act within their knowledge and ideally, I've created their abilities before I even know what the party is or will be capable of (it helps that I prefer running E6/E8 sandboxes, so, I can make everything ahead of time and it will always work).

Case in point, in my current game, there have been now three occasions where the Bard's ability to Countersong has completely shut down the enemies threat level (and weirdly once even where Distraction saved the day), and when I conceived of these potential encounters, I didn't know there would even be a Bard.

In other words, I value fidelity first, when it comes to GMing--NPCs should act the way they would act--even before making the game a specific amount of challenging.

Sczarni

I can understand if the group is all in one region that certain player abilities may become known like the pc who happens to be a paladin is immune to fear. But this is a case where enough NPCs would had to witness said paladin get hit by a fear spell and not even batter an eye as if possibly effected. Only other real explication is if bad guy targets you two or so times, realizes the tactic is not effective, and move on.

In most cases, this is a dick move. As an average gm in most regards, I do play bad guys according to tactics on a primary basis. If a bad guy has personally seen the party in action or makes the required check (detect good on pally for paladin strength for example) the bad guy knows not to target that pc with x, y, and z.If bad guy does not know such things, it still has to make an attack before having any idea and one or two more attacks to verify.

Sovereign Court

Jiggy wrote:
deusvult wrote:
...I generally agree with the sentiments above about "bad GMing" when the monsters/NPCs use the GM's OOC knowledge ICly....
If not for the first sentence of your second paragraph, I seriously would have thought you had gotten your browser tabs mixed up and replied to the wrong thread, because replying to "GM is dodging class features via metagaming" with a list of a bunch of unrelated things you don't like is just totally coming out of nowhere. What was the connection there?

I was saying that I agree that for the most part it's shoddy GMing to fail to seperate OOC and IC knowledge. However, there are certainly times it's appropriate to, as the OP put it, "ignore the immunities".

If the PCs are optimized/munchkins, it may not be inappropriate for the GM to use optimized/munchkin tactics. Some people like games where players try their hardest to see how badly they can "break" the game. If the group's idea of fun is to beat encounters as quickly as possible and with as little risk as possible, then they shouldn't mind the GM using that same mindset to challenge the players at their own game. When players game the system they are literally asking to be challenged to the utmost.

Having the monsters act on OOC knowledge is just another option for challenging over-the-top PCs if dice fudging or throwing encounters far beyond APL aren't the group's idea of fun.

I think it's actually a swell idea in another case: when the monster has superhuman or godlike smarts. As the GM I'm only a human. How do I do justice to determining the life or death decisions for something smarter than I will ever be? Sometimes a great way to approximate superhuman intuition/mentalism/deduction/smarts is using OOC knowledge ICly.


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I make a conscious effort not to do this. I'll have an enemy try an attack or effect that won't work as long as it has no reason to know that. This lets the player feel cool for having the immunity.

The demon gloats: "soon, you shall serve me" and begins to summon magical power. Of course, due to your immunity, nothing happens. The demon is astounded. "How is this possible, no mortal can resist my power!"


Yes it's bad when the GM uses "well everybody knows the fighter would be susceptible to mind affecting spells, but sorry about the TPK because the BBEG used Charm Person on the fighter in the first round and he killed the wizard using his full attack, then killed the cleric in the second round, then..."

I prefer to randomize the targets sometimes. If the bad guys don't know who they're dealing with, sometimes instead of simply picking the weaker looking one or stronger looking one, they just pick one based on a roll of the die.

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