Hot answers tagged

56

I'm going to make one critical assumption about your gaming group. If it's untrue, I don't know if my answer will be helpful: The friendship of the people at the table is more important than the game you're playing. Going forward I'm assuming you're all friends foremost, and you play games as a form of mutual recreation. Now, on to my answer. TL;DR: This is ...


53

There are so many ways to enjoy roleplaying games that we sometimes — often, actually — forget that fact and just assume that how we play is the way. Unsurprisingly, this results in unpleasant things when different ways to play collide and nobody notices that hey, maybe these are different and don't mix well! What you (personally or as a group) need to do ...


38

metagaming was the worst thing that could happen in role-playing Well, this is just plain wrong; not having fun is the worst thing that can happen. It sounds like you're finding this out. I think you recognise that there is no right way to role-play or, more precisely, there are as many wrong ways as there are gaming groups because no group is consistent ...


36

Talk with your players Your players are here, presumably, to play a game. They aren't out to get you. Remember that it takes two players to make a conspiracy. Politely ask them not to send whispers containing relevant in-game information. They probably aren't doing this to be malicious or trying to trick you - they maybe just don't see why it's such a big ...


28

What you're running into is the difference between social costs and economic costs. Typically, the 'cost' for metagaming is a social one. When you metagame in a group that doesn't like metagaming, your friends get disappointed in you, and you feel embarrassed and ashamed for ruining other people's experience. What you've done is effectively replaced that ...


22

Yes, the name/class/level relationship was originally an in-game term depicting a level of power and social status. Some in-game effects of this were the limitations on level advancement for AD&D(1e) Monks and Druids (details below), or prohibitions against Assassins (Blackmoor) having followers. Originally, the Name Level threshold opened up new ...


21

"Please Don't Do That." Players are not born with the knowledge that meta-gaming is [often considered to be] harmful. Not all of them, anyway. But I've found that the vast majority of players, once asked or coached gently a few times ("How exactly does your character know that?") are perfectly capable of performing the mental fire-walling necessary to ...


20

On @Ahriman good answer, I want to add a third method. Split the party, not in space, but in time. When you have separate players, and the knowledge obtained by some can influence the rest, but not so much the other way around, you can make first play the latter, and then the former. In your example, you play first with the buried player. You ask him ...


16

I see two easy ways to handle this. Both have their advantages & disadvantages. Trust your players and just play out the scenario with everybody around the table. Keeping the actions of the trapped player unclear can help greatly (he doesn't hear the bell, but something else happens in the coffin). Meanwhile the party above ground has to locate the ...


15

The traditional answer to this is, "Write it down and pass a note." In the 21st century, I might change that to, "Send a text." Of course, nothing prevents your players from passing the note around amongst themselves, or reading it aloud. In some circumstances, "Take one player aside and talk to him or her." However, I think you might be asking two or ...


12

What you're asking about is meta-gaming, when a player uses information the character does not have. There are a few different ways you can approach it. Prevent It When the characters split up, the players split up. If one group of characters is doing something the other characters should not be privy to, make the other players leave the room. This works ...


11

The closest would be OD&D and AD&D 1st edition and level titles. Particularly at 9th to 12th level at what was called "Name level" where the game gave explicit support for making the character a leader of his profession. The various level titles are evocative of various positions in the profession that the class represent, and are generally arranged ...


10

Don't mind that they find out the reference Think of it as watching a movie where some random bypassers enter in a room, and get killed by a huge monster hidden in the shadows. Then come the heroes, and they are also eaten by the same monster because this is what would made sense, since they didn't knew about the monster. That would be a very boring movie. ...


9

"Hi Pete and welcome to our group. We play differently here and metagaming is encouraged here. I hope you won't have much problem with it. I am sorry if this is not what you were looking for, but I'd encourage you to give it a try anyway"


9

It's a game table emulation, not a game table As the DM, you need to both recognize and accept that it's a different game/gaming experience when played in the Roll20 (or similar) venue. The DM and the players lose the synergy and intimacy of the table top experience and the in person experience. (From a personal experiential level, this is what I miss ...


9

I typically use non-combat mapping to help show the relative distances between things and the players. This is typically done using a "You are here" dot for the players and simple lines for relevant features. I even use notations on the map to denote distances given the map is often "not to scale". This means that I still build for a combat, but the players ...


7

It sounds like you have a problem with players metagaming (acting on information the player has, but his character doesn't), and you're fixing that by having the players explicitly inform each other. This usually works fine as long as players don't have to do it too often – but if you're requiring them to relay the info to the group every time they ...


7

The game mechanics that have the most benefit are incentives. Reward the player that plays with role-playing as their focus. Give an indication or hint as to why the reward is being added. "As character X has made this decision, he/she finds X reward as a result." As a result you have encouraged good role-playing instead of decisions based on gaming. ...


7

Usually the right answer is to not let the players split the party. Splitting the party means that all the players whose characters aren't in the scene will be bored. They might disconnect from the game, start checking their phones, et cetera. You, as the DM, are part of every scene, so you might not realize how boring this is for the players whose ...


6

It just shows how bad of a punishment XP loss is. There are some groups where that would work, but more often than not it doesn't. I would have done the same: if you can buy (or share with a friend) a vital info for your XP, why not go for it. It's likely that by taking away their XP you didn't show they can't do it, you just showed they can, for XP. Not to ...


5

This is world specific, and not really a RAW or RAI question. The answer depends on the world the DM has built. Specifically: How common are elves in your world? If they are common it is more likely that more people know about it. How Common are magic casters? If magic is rare in your world, than it would be less likely to have come up, and even the elves ...


5

If one of my players where to say "Do I believe him?" I would say "I don't know, that's up to you (or your character)." If they asked "Does he look like he's lying?" Then I would say "Roll an Insight check." To do it properly, I would roll an Insight check on their behalf and report the result. If they succeeded, I would say "You detect this or that sign ...


4

Have the one-shot be a story told to the current PCs This is a tool I've used in the past to great effect. The key is, you have to leave one character alive (whether it be a PC or a NPC) to tell others what happened (because what big bad doesn't love being feared by everyone who hears of his victories?). Then, in the future, the character (as an NPC) can ...


4

It's very important to remember, above all, IT IS A GAME. The worst possible thing you could every do is take "totally fun and awesome Friday night game night" and turn it into "forced, no fun, role play night" First explain that in this group meta-gaming is part of the fun. You want to throw cheesie-poofs, laugh out loud, and make silly decisions based on ...


3

I will give one bad way (in my experience) to handle it, so you are not tempted to try it: Separate the players based on player character location. This sort of meta-gaming used to bother me a lot more than it does now, and I would fret about it and try to prevent it by calling players to the side or even into another room for extended stretches. It ...


3

Two players are giving hints to others even when their characters aren't around. As this is cheating for me, they have been losing some EXP for it You haven't mentioned what the nature of the "hints" are, so I'm making some assumptions here. If they're things that those players' characters know and have had no opportunity to communicate to the other ...


3

Premise: I absoultely agree with the solutions promoted by BESW (currently ahead) and with several others. Talking with the players and solving the problem out of the game is king. I will however show you two other possible ways to mitigate or prevent the problem. The first is just marginally better than yours. It only works with minor metagaming ("Since ...


3

Use confusion! The player in the coffin needs not to know where he is. He could be buried in a coffin, but he could as well be in a coffin that has been locked (but is otherwise still above earth). You have to make that very unclear to him and its important that he does not know, nor can reasonably guess. The group on the outside finds two coffins: One in ...


3

It depends on the group. I've been taking a brief respite from my usual role as a GM by actually playing in a couple games, and it's been interesting to see what happens. One of the things that I've really noticed quite quickly is that my GM, who is quite clever and loves riddles and puzzles, has really inspired some terror in my usual gaming group, who are ...


2

I recommend getting Paizos "Flip-Mat." They're $14 and can be used with dry erase or wet erase. Other similar products also exist, such as Battlemat by Chessex. You can also make your own using a sheet of acrylic from the hardware store and the patience to draw a 1" grid on it (on the underside, so you can draw scenes on the other). Ask the players to state ...



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