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For context, I'm running a Feywild campaign where I was told by one of my players (who I've noted metagames often) that pixies are evil. Turns out, they aren't, and I've already made it so my party is heading for a pixie camp. I've considered some ideas, but I want it to not feel forced. How would I do so?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Has the party already interacted with the evil pixies? Does your campaign now require that the pixie camp they are heading for is evil? Is there any issue with just NOT having the pixies be evil? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 17:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no direct issue, the players just have a preconception of pixies. \$\endgroup\$
    – Playmaker
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you yourself directly tell you players that pixies are evil or are they just assuming (because that one player announced it aloud for example)? I have two answers in mind but this decides which one to go with. \$\endgroup\$
    – AnnaAG
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 9:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's the latter \$\endgroup\$
    – Playmaker
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 12:23

1 Answer 1

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It should “feel forced”

Mistakes happen. The clearest, best way to resolve them is to just state unequivocally, out of character, that a mistake was made, and what the correct thing is. If necessary, discuss what ret-cons feel appropriate to you with the group (those weren’t pixies you fought, or pixies can be good or evil, or whatever). Make sure everyone is on the same page about what their characters do or don’t know about pixies.

Attempting to handle this out-of-character issue in-character, subtly, to make it not “feel forced,” is a mistake. That risks confusion and possibly even hurt feelings, for no real benefit. Maintaining immersion or consistency are decidedly secondary concerns to making sure everyone is clear on things. Concerns about metagaming are even less important: this is a metagame issue to begin with. If the characters were able to know or learn that pixies are evil, they were equally capable of learning or knowing they are good. (And even if they learned this out of character and were expected not to use this information in-character, you trusted them when you said they were evil so you should trust them not to metagame with the information that they’re good.)

The only other option you really have, if you want to avoid ret-cons, is to change your future plans. In your world, pixies are evil—doesn’t matter what the books say. In your campaign, the good folks of the upcoming village are not pixies—doesn’t matter what the module says. Up to you if the mental load of detailing these not-pixies and evil “pixies” and remembering things are different from the books is worth avoiding the out-of-character discussion and ret-cons.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The "almost always [alignment] species" isn't a great look anyway (other than devils and angels and such who are literal embodiments of their alignment). I would think "this particular group of pixies is wicked" wouldn't raise any eyebrows. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ How about vampire pixies? \$\endgroup\$
    – barbecue
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 2:11

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