Sharing Information


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Have you ever seen a player refuse to share plot-relevant information? Like, their PC is the only one who witnessed the thing, the next phase of the campaign assumes that the party acts on that information, but the PC chooses to sit on the info? Is it a mistake on a GM's part to give that kind of insight to a single player rather than the whole group, or is it good form for a player to share knowledge?

Comic for illustrative purposes.


I've seen similar things. My suggestion would be for the DM to find alternative methods of giving this information to the party, if it is actually necessary to move the story forward. For comparison, what would you do if a PC found out some crucial information and then immediately died before telling the party?


I've seen it a lot at tables I've played at, but none at one I'm running. I do not tolerate that kind of nonsense without good reason.

Characters can keep secrets from each other. That can lead to an interesting narrative. But when a player is determined to prove their agency in the easiest, most uninspired and selfish way possible--by simply saying "no"--I don't have time for that.
I tell all my groups the same thing at Session 0. We're here to tell a story. Let's make it a good one. One where stuff happens. Cool stuff.

I never hesitate to question a character's motives to justify a player's decisions. You ignore the plot hook/drag the story to a halt? I thought you were this honorable/bloodthirsty/vengeful/greedy/curious ADVENTURER. Why does your character feel unmotivated to engage the situation before them?
And hey. Maybe, for literally the first time ever, you actually have a good point. Maybe your character could conceivably have semi-plausible motivation not to do X.
...but can you, the player, maybe see how that's a total jerk move and you're holding up the game and essentially looking at my hours of labor and going "ummm...pass"? Because if you can, then please knock it off. And if you can't, go find a table where they, for some inane reason, tolerate your tomfoolery.

(I know it's not always quite so deliberate. Sometimes, a GM genuinely fails to hook a PC. Sometimes, a player really just doesn't get it. But once explained, it should be easily resolved. If not, see above: go find some other table. Your friends may be smart, but your players are idiots.)


It depends on the situation. In the campaigns I run I expect the adventuring party to be a team, at least at the lower levels. At the higher levels I expect the individual characters to become more involved in the game world/multiverse and its politics. In this scenario the characters could have divergent motives and secrets. But, this is mostly out of session as each high level character has one or more adventuring parties that they sponsor and task.

If the party is a team then they should absolutely share the information.


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DRD1812 wrote:

Have you ever seen a player refuse to share plot-relevant information? Like, their PC is the only one who witnessed the thing, the next phase of the campaign assumes that the party acts on that information, but the PC chooses to sit on the info? Is it a mistake on a GM's part to give that kind of insight to a single player rather than the whole group, or is it good form for a player to share knowledge?

Comic for illustrative purposes.

what you mean like in any semi-dramatic book ever writen? (Bilbo finding the one ring, any of Harry Potter books end of book revolution etc etc).

when that happen in my games without a good in-game reason i make sure that the first consequence to hit the party hit the one who hid the secret.

"why didn't he tell us the mayor was a mad alchemist?!?"


zza ni wrote:
DRD1812 wrote:
"why didn't he tell us the mayor was a mad alchemist?!?"

"Welp, he won't be telling anyone much of anything now. Not with his head all melty-like."


In my experience, the super important information is being withheld because the player didn't think it was important, didn't understand it, or forgot it. The next tier down is mostly characters making sure a difficult character doesn't know about something that will complicate things.

No, the paladin doesn't need to know that the wolves you were hired to exterminate are as intelligent as they are delicious. Not till after dinner anyway.


Quixote wrote:

I've seen it a lot at tables I've played at, but none at one I'm running. I do not tolerate that kind of nonsense without good reason.

It's the motivation question that really bugs me, you know? Like... Why would you decide to do that? Is it just trying to hog the spotlight? Derail for no good reason?

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