True using this information would be metagaming and poor, and I'm not
preventing my player from reading VtR, but it feels to me a bit like
telling them things that might allow more metagaming.
- If you trust your players, then trust your players
- there is little point trusting your players not to meta and allowing them to read the books, but then going out of your way to make it harder for them to get information they have accesses to in the books you are happy for them to read.
- Your players have plenty of opportunity to encounter the rules.
You might want to, if say you intend to use a published adventure, warn the players off reading it, in advance.
If you are going to change the rules to stop metagaming (or for other reasons):
- keep a list written down.
- make sure the players are all aware that you are playing Xenoterracide Edition. Which is not quiet the same as in the books
- I find that this is generally a good idea anyway, so that any disputes over interpretation (or you making up some fluff/rules on the spot to cover a gap in your knowledge) is justerfied simply by saying "This isn't a cannon game. This is my variation on that setting."
- Some players will like the shakeup, or the particular houseruling others won't.
Lets use a metaphor from the business world.
In this metaphor:
- Sales Staff == Players
- Accounting Staff == GMs
- Bank Balances == Rule Books
Lets say there was a folder, which contained some marginally private data -- Banking Balances.
The balances weren't secret to employees of the company, but it was generally intended only for members of the Accounting department.
The company didn't really want to keep the data secure, but it didn't want to broadly distribute it to everyone, so the folder was password protected.
But the password was kept in a text file, in commonly assessable space. Everyone knew the password was there.
Plus sometimes work got done a bit better in general if Sales people made them selves familiar with the Bank Accounts.
- Some of the Sales staff got familar because they had done plent of queries for customers of balances etc (Ie the Players had played this game before)
- Some went out of their way to become familar and used the password the read the Bank Balances (Ie Players went and got the book and read it themselves)
- Some had moved into Sales from Accounts and still remember all the important details of the Bank Balances.
- You are asking if a Sales person is a bit curious about something on the Bank Balance, should a Accounts Staff answer them?
- Basically yes. The company honestly doesn't care if Sale Staff know.
- Why waste company time, by not responding, and still allowing the Sales Staff member to go look it up?
- The company trusts all of its staff not use this information improperly (Ie not to metagame)
Of course, oneday a new Accounts Manager Arrived.
He saw all this and thought it was basically stupid. In particular he found that some of the crucial Bank Balances kept being leaked to compeditors (Ie people were metagaming)
So he decided to really shake things up.
He moved all the Long Term Investments from Fixed Term Accounts, to Volatile Shares. He has the Accounting Department keep a second set of records secret from Sales (Ie a Private list of House Rules). The old accounts were still around, and periodically Sales Staff would look at them.
Eventually the Sales Staff notice that things don't quiet line up. The way things are going in the company is not reflected in the Bank Balances they are used to using. They confront the Accounts Manager and he says "Yes, I moved things into the Volatile Shares."
The Sales Staff were at first a bit shocked,
and some were worried "The company is long used to our Fix Term deposits. They are reliable. Volatile Shares are Untested."
The Account Manager said "Look Volatile Shares are pretty cool. Plus there was a Leak -- someone was miss using their access to the Bank Balances Folder. This fixed the Leak. When I was hired to be Accounts Manager, everyone in the company including Sales Staff saw the contract and so should have known that it was within my rights to change how we invest our long term savings"
- Some really liked the Volatile Shares, others missed the traditional Fixed Term Bonds
- Some Staff left, they felt there trust had been broken
- If everyone had read the contract though they wouldn't have felt this way
- Some new Staff joined, because they heard the company was a dynamic place with innovations all the time. They were excited to never know what was next.
I hope this allegory is illuminating.