• Lianodel@ttrpg.network
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    6 months ago

    My potentially controversial take is that metagaming is neither good nor bad. A metagaming problem is really just some other problem that rears its head through metagaming.

    You can metagame and be a good player. It’s like doing improv with dramatic irony. If you’re prioritizing the gameplay and everyone’s enjoyment, it’s a useful tool.

    If you’re using it for the personal advantage of your character, though… that can also be fine. Some old-school games, especially dungeon crawls, are like strategy games testing the players as well as their characters.

    It’s when there’s a disconnect between how people are playing the game that you get problems. If someone wants to play a strategy game while others want to play improv, and they’re not thinking about what kind of approach is appropriate and when, that you get issues.

          • AngryCommieKender@lemmy.world
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            6 months ago

            Ok so I haven’t seen that show in over 20 years, so I’m going off of hazy memories here, but as much as I like the guy, I don’t think he was aligned good. He’s kinda stupid, and would get talked into doing some pretty heinous shit when Arthur wasn’t there to act as his voice of reason. I’d say he’s either True Neutral, or Chaotic Neutral. Arthur is Lawful Good

            • Maxxus@sh.itjust.works
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              6 months ago

              I don’t think being dumb or gullible precludes you from being good. His heart is in the right place. In a fictional world of super heroes and villains, I’m unsure if he’s operating within vigilante laws. I think he’s dumb enough to not know what they are and attempt to follow them. If he was willfully ignorant of the law it’d push him toward chaotic. So I’d say he’s definitely neutral.

            • littleblue✨@lemmy.world
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              6 months ago

              He’s clearly Chaotic Good with a low wisdom and low intelligence, and I strongly urge you to refresh your memory with the comics first. 🤗

        • Anti-Face Weapon@lemmy.world
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          6 months ago

          I’m amazed anyone bothered reading my comment after I made two major typos. I really should read it once before posting.

    • DoomsdaySprocket@lemmy.ca
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      6 months ago

      All RPG player archetypes are valid when they fit with the overall play style of the group.

      Whole group is meta gaming together? Positive collective experience. Whole group is hardcore RP? Awesomesauce.

      One jackass is meta gaming in an RP group and pissing them off? Trade off that player ASAP.

    • entropicdrift@lemmy.sdf.org
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      6 months ago

      Metagaming Bob is implied to be a player who metagames, so they intentionally use game knowledge to improve their odds of winning. If for instance they were to fail an insight check, they would choose to break character and act suspicious of the person who they failed insight on, even if their character should have no reason to suspect them.

      • Norgur@kbin.social
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        6 months ago

        So they’ll end up with a inconsistent mess of a character whose illogical scrapheap of descisions had “win the thing I wanna do” as their sole background?

            • Rai@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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              6 months ago

              One of the characters from the DnD-esque storytelling podcast “The Adventure Zone.” He metagames the whole time and fudges the heck out of his rolls.

              I really enjoyed the podcast (the first section, Balance) but on a relisten, they’re definitely not actually playing and he fudges tons of rolls.

                • Rai@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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                  6 months ago

                  It’s weird, there’s four of them and they’re mostly remote. So nobody sees his rolls.

                  It’s honestly an excellent story, I really loved it. But it’s so tough to listen to again after realizing this, it’s very distracting.

      • Mango@lemmy.world
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        6 months ago

        Ooohhhh, so not seeing their own roll they just get into that doesn’t indicate if they failed?

        • ericbomb@lemmy.world
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          6 months ago

          Also for charm/illusion spells.

          If he knows he got a 2 on a wisdom saving throw, then something crazy happens, he will probably assume it’s an illusion or something.

      • Lev_Astov@lemmy.world
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        6 months ago

        Put that way, it sounds like blind rolls are the only way that sort of thing should be done. I like it!

    • Tolookah
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      6 months ago

      When a metagamer knows if the bluff is a bluff, they tend to act like the PC knows it’s a bluff, even if it wasn’t. (As an Example)

  • Tarcion@sh.itjust.works
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    6 months ago

    I think this is a totally fine method tbh.

    This is one of those things I love about PF2. There is the Secret trait on quite a few different checks, which means the GM rolls in secret.

    We play virtually so players initiate the roll but the result is blindly sent to the GM. Great example of this is stealth checks - there’s no “oh, I rolled poorly so just kidding I actually only barely move”.

    • Lumilias@pawb.social
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      6 months ago

      Agreed, we’ve been playing AV and secret checks have been great. Using a recall knowledge check and crit failing is fun, because you get fake information and have to work with that knowledge.

    • Neato@ttrpg.network
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      6 months ago

      Isn’t the secret trait on most skill checks for knowledge? I love that critical fails on those have the GM give plausible but wrong information.

      • Tarcion@sh.itjust.works
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        6 months ago

        It is! Though I’ve ignored that in my games because I feel like recall knowledge is a little limited. I allow one attempt out of combat to recall knowledge, allow repeated checks in combat to identify creatures, and don’t don’t give incorrect information on a crit fail. The last bit is why I don’t bother making the rolls secret.

  • Mikina@programming.dev
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    6 months ago

    My first experience with Pen&Papers was on a summer camp, where a bunch of older guys were mastering RPGs for us. They didn’t use any kind of rules system, and just told us to describe what we’re trying to do and they would roll a D10 and just kind of improvise from there.

    I’m really glad they did that, because it made us, teens having their first experience with Pen&Paper, focus much more on roleplaying rather than rules and numbers. And even when I later switched to rule-based systems, this experience has stuck with me, and all of my friends who played there too, and even though we did have rules and numbers now, we still kept focusing on the RP side and never really paid them much attention.

    I’ve once played with a new group of people at my new job, who were obviously used to playing with rules, and it was such a massive difference in how they approached the game. They usually thought and talked about numbers first, and then figured out some kind of RP to go with it, but it should be the other way around! The game felt so bland, most of the talk was OOC, and it just felt more like a board game than a Pen&Paper.

    So, in my opinion, as much rolls as possible should just be done by the GM without the knowledge of the player. It just makes the experience a lot better. Even though I’m actively trying to pay no mind to the dice rolls when playing, and have no problem with separating IC and OOC knowledge, playing to entertain and not to win, just seeing that failed perception/WP roll will nag you and influence you, no matter how you try to avoid it. It’s better to just not know. If it would be feasible, I’d preffer for the DM to do all rolls in secret, and handle each players rules, just asking them for reaction if it’s appropriate. But that would be almost impossible and put a lot of strain on the already busy GM.

    But, if you’ve never tried it, try running a session with no rules, and GM just rolling D10 and improvising of the number he gets, based on the action you’re describing. It’s a lot more fun, and especially for new players, it teaches them an important aspect of the Pen & Paper RPGs - the rules and numbers are there as an afterthought, you are not supposed to think about them. You are supposed to live and roleplay the character, describe his actions, and cooperate with others to build a nice and immersive story. And if it turns out that what you just described is something your character is bad at? Who cares, it’s going to be fun.

    • muzzle@lemm.ee
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      6 months ago

      This is basically the idea behind lasers&feelings and all of its hacks. The setting is a well known TV (or book) universe, and the rules are stripped down to the bone (the whole game fits in one page).

      It really puts the role playingback into role playing games.

      • Mikina@programming.dev
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        6 months ago

        Its such a different experience compared to rules-heavy RPGs. Everyone should try it at least once, just to get a glimpse of what RPGs should be about, especially when starting. Its really sad when i play with players who spent most of the game talking about numbers and action names, and almost never RP.

        Im not saying that its not possible to RP with a rules heavy game, and ive met a lot of amazing players who still put RP first, but for a lot of new players it can be hard to get used to it, and the rules and numbers take away the focus from it, to the point where they tend to play it as a regular board game, not realizing thats not what it is about.

    • jjjalljs@ttrpg.network
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      6 months ago

      This requires a lot more trust than I usually have for the other players. I especially don’t trust that the average GM is going to be consistent and agreeable.

      The rules feel like they came out of resolving “you hit me” “no you didn’t” playground games.

      There are rules light games like Fate Accelerated, or lighter ones I don’t know, that can be fun without it being entirely the DM says stuff.

      • Mikina@programming.dev
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        6 months ago

        It is difficult for the GM, that’s for sure. I was never competitive, so I didn’t mind just loosing for the sake of story or wasn’t invested in my character performing well - quite the contrary, I’ve always enjoyed underpowered RP characters more than all-powerful warriors, and just having one D10 to worry about introduced just enough randomness for it to still be interressting with critical misses, while also letting the GM to give us an experience that would be fun and enjoyable, because there are no rules that would say “you can’t do this”. And from my experience GMing one such game (on the same summer camp, once I was older), it’s surprisingly intuitive experience - I never really had to think about “Ok, how much for this skill check?”, but always just let them describe the action, roll, and then have a pretty clear gut feeling on whether it was enough or not. I was pretty nervous during that game, since it was one of my first time GMing and for people I didn’t know, and without a rule system to hide my decisions behind, but it just worked well and everyone enjoyed it.

        But you are right, I now much more prefer some rules-light systems that give you and the GM at least some base to go on. Or Dread. Dread is the best system I’ve ever used, and to this day is one of my most favorite examples of unique and really clever game design.

    • Rolando@lemmy.world
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      6 months ago

      try running a session with no rules, and GM just rolling D10

      When my cousin was a kid, we’d do this while going on walks. We’d do “rock paper scissors” instead of rolling dice.

  • Troy@lemmy.ca
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    6 months ago

    I more or less do this for stealth or deception checks. I get the players to tell me their modifier, and then roll behind the screen. And then I’ll give them a description like “try as you might, you can’t seem to make your armor stop squeaking” or “to the best of your knowledge, you are quiet and unseen” or whatever. But I don’t actually tell them what they rolled, and let the scenario play out.

    My players seem to actually prefer this, since it allows them to blissfully ignore the metagaming elements.

    • Nutney@feddit.ch
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      6 months ago

      My favorite response is a consistent “you believe you are hidden” for every stealth check.

      • Troy@lemmy.ca
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        6 months ago

        Gotta work on your poker face with that one, as DM. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh, so I deliver…

        (They roll a 2) you believe you are hidden but are in fact betraying your position – you’re the equivalent of clown shoes sticking out from under the barrel. How would you describe this?

        A good roleplayer leans into this and hijinx abound.

    • TheHarpyEagle@lemmy.world
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      6 months ago

      I honestly love when our DM makes a roll and just says “… okay”. Especially when it happens in response to a seemingly innocuous action.

      • PeriodicallyPedantic@lemmy.ca
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        6 months ago

        I know critical failures aren’t a thing outside attack rolls, but when someone rolls a 1 I just can’t help but adding flavor.

        Player rolls 1 perception looking into an empty room with a cat in it:

        You see a dragon

        Actually funnier when they DO see their roll. Gotta put in the work roleplaying 🤣

  • Kichae@lemmy.ca
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    6 months ago

    You know what’s fun? If you have perception and stealth related stats for the PCs on your GM screen, you don’t even need to inform them that they’re making checks. And when they hear the dice roll, they’ll reflexively assume you’re rolling for other, unseen creatures in the area.

    Gets em good and paranoid.

    • jounniy@ttrpg.network
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      6 months ago

      I really don’t like that. Its not taking agency away from the players most of the time, but they:

      • Sometimes have situational bonuses you might not know about
      • Rerolls/temporary bonuses they may like to use (Like Inspiration, oder lucky)
      • Might feel cheated should they ever find out, since you kind of used their character without informing them
      • Generally like rolling the dices themselves, as it creates a feeling of excitement and ,action".
  • smeg@feddit.uk
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    6 months ago

    Fortunately Metagaming Bob isn’t at my table, but we are going to try this out with death saves

    • Grenade Salad@ttrpg.network
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      6 months ago

      It’s amazingly nerve-wracking and I love it. The dying process feels less mechanistic and far scarier, leads to players respecting the threat it poses.

    • Xraygoggles@lemmy.world
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      6 months ago

      Mothership does something similar, when someone goes down you roll in the dice in a cup and turn it over so no one knows the result unless they spend a turn doing triage. The drama is so intense since the situations are usually really frantic.

  • TheMinions@lemmy.world
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    6 months ago

    This is cool in theory, but kind of annoying if you are trying to modify the roll with something like Favored by the Gods from Divine Soul Sorcerer that specifically can activate if you fail the roll.

    You add an additional 2d4 to your attack/save that fails.

    I’m not sure if ANY other dice modifications work after knowing failure, but I know this one does. I know when I play divine souls I always like to save it for those random Int/Wis saves that’ll get ya.

    • milkisklim@lemm.ee
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      6 months ago

      It might work like how my table handles the shield spell but in reverse. For example…


      DM rolls attack against Pat’s Tiefling Wizard named Tim.

      DM: I am rolling the goblin’s attack. Pat, what’s Tim’s AC?

      Pat: 15.

      DM rolls a 16. Does not tell anyone.

      DM: Okay, the goblin hits you. I know you have at least one possible reaction, what does Tim do?

      Pat: Tim casts shield! His AC is now 20.

      DM: The attack misses!

      DM then describes to the Party how the goblin arrow slings towards Tim, stopping only when it gets stuck in a last second distortion of abjuration magics.


      • TheMinions@lemmy.world
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        6 months ago

        The ability Favored by the Gods can ONLY activate if you fail the save/attack roll. Here’s the RAW.

        Starting at 1st level, divine power guards your destiny. If you fail a saving throw or miss with an attack roll, you can roll 2d4 and add it to the total, possibly changing the outcome.

        So I get that yes I wouldn’t know the number I would fail by (rolling a 2 vs DC 20 or rolling a 15 vs DC20) but this ability would never be useful for Wis saves. Which feels bad.

        I do like that shield method, and have used it for shield and counterspell in past games.

          • jounniy@ttrpg.network
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            6 months ago

            Still worse, since you don’t know how low you rolled. If you get a 11 on an attack and miss, but you have a bardic inspiration and you know a 14 hit last round, you can safely assume that your chance of success is reasonable, while the inspiration would be wasted if you rolled 7. It just takes away from the strategic nature of the game.

            • sirblastalot@ttrpg.network
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              6 months ago

              Well, yes, more precise information is always going to make your decisions easier, so of course less makes it harder. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though; perhaps your DM is just running the kind of game where you need to make those calls based off something diagetic to the game, like their combat descriptions (“You shoot the orc square in the chest but the arrow shatters harmlessly on his armor!”) or monster research or something. Or perhaps it’s the kind of game that thrives on drama, and you just gotta take your shots sometimes and let the dice fall where they may.

              And yeah, theoretically it feels bad to waste a buff on an enemy you’d never be able to actually hit, but because you don’t know the numbers, you don’t know you could never hit. You’re faced with a big scary monster, you try to hit it and can’t, you run away. The arc of that encounter is the same regardless of which abilities you used. It only becomes relevant if the DM decides to hit you with another encounter, which presumably they only do if they think your lacking-that-ability would make for another exciting narrative moment. In which case, you’d only be screwing yourself out of that dramatic moment if you’d conserved your ability. It all just depends on what kind of game you’re at, whether it prioritizes the gamist mechanical rewards or the narratavist dramatic rewards.

              Likewise, sometimes you’re going to “waste” your buff on some overkill, but you won’t know that either; you’ll simply be told “Bardman McBardo’s inspiring music gives you the vigor you need to waste that guy” and get to feel good about winning your encounter. The emotions average out.

              • jounniy@ttrpg.network
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                6 months ago

                Yeah. But I’m really not a big fan of that. The strategic nature is a part of DnD. If you remove that you end up making it less engaging, since you just shoot sh*t into the abyss, hoping it might do something, or not. Thats not particularly fun to me. Not knowing things is interesting, because you can figure them out, or have to plan and think to work around what you know and don’t know.

                It just feels… pointless if you never understand what’s going on and also have no way of figuring it out. You just go somewhere vague, do something vague and accomplish something vague.

                That may be fun for some people but its not what DnD was designed for or what I hope to get out of my games. Thats why I also don’t recommend using it in every game as a general rule.

                • sirblastalot@ttrpg.network
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                  6 months ago

                  Different strokes for different folks. And I’d be very careful about using assumptions of “what DnD was designed for” as a guide for how everyone ought to play now. To quote Terry Pratchett by way of Captain Carrot, “Gold and muck come out of the same shaft.” It’s more important to understand what kinds of fun your game can deliver on, and how, so that you can tune it for the maximum enjoyment of your table, than it is to determine in the abstract how it “should” be played.

      • jounniy@ttrpg.network
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        6 months ago

        I really don’t like this, since it makes shield a blind shot, for the chance of making an attack miss. Wich is not a big deal for characters with high AC (since +5 is enough to make almost all attacks, that would otherwise hit, miss instead), but for characters with low AC it is. So the nerf doesn’t really work well.

        Besides: It makes it even harder to do something I really like: figure out things about the monster by ,reading" their roles and thus adapting my characters strategy.

        And lastly it makes the PCs feel… babysitted, since the DM does not seem to trust them and just plays the whole thing for them. (Why even bother rolling any check yourself if the DM can just do it all the time?)

    • ...m...@ttrpg.network
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      6 months ago

      …there are many feature + ability mechanics contingent upon open rolls…the game’s designed around that assumption: rolls are open, modifiers can be kept secret as the DM determines success or failure…

      …if DMs want to roll secret checks for events beyond characters’ perception, the proper approach is to invert the roll and do a passive check instead…

      • jounniy@ttrpg.network
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        6 months ago

        Only problem I can see with that is, that passive scores take away from the randomness attributed to DnD but I generally agree with you. I also don’t like rolling checks for my players.

        • ...m...@ttrpg.network
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          6 months ago

          …nonono, passive scores shouldn’t be automatic success or failure: you invert the roll

          …say you want to know whether a party detects traps as they prowl through the dungeon: you subtract twelve from the trap DC, use that as its modifier, and add it to a secret D20 roll which you compare with everyone’s passive perception to determine whether the trap successfully avoids detection…

          …as long as you properly account for all applicable modifiers, you can do the same thing for any secret ability check or saving throw, or for a single roll to circumvent the party dogpiling a group check…

          • jounniy@ttrpg.network
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            6 months ago

            Hm. That could work. But it would be quite tedious.

            Also: why 12 and not 8? Doesn’t a DC calculate 8+prof+ability?

            • ...m...@ttrpg.network
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              6 months ago

              …subtracting twelve maintains the same odds with ties ‘succeeding’ for the rolling adversary; some DMs instead subtract eleven and flip ties for the PC to always win, which is mathematically identical, but then you have to keep track of flipping tie-resolution back-and-forth depending upon who’s rolling…

              Perception +6, Trap DC 14 = Passive Perception 16, Trap +2
              (both have the same 65% chance of detection, 35% chance of staying hidden)

              …it becomes a pretty trivial exercise to invert any roll after you’ve done it once or twice…

    • Swedneck
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      6 months ago

      i mean, can’t the DM just tell you it failed and apply that?

      • TheMinions@lemmy.world
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        6 months ago

        Nah. The whole point of the bottle method is so the player doesn’t know if it failed or succeeded.

  • 🇰 🔵 🇱 🇦 🇳 🇦 🇰 ℹ️@yiffit.net
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    6 months ago

    The only time I experienced meta gaming that was shitty was when, due to everyone else asking me to, I played my evil cleric character. The one guy who absolutely loves my character more than even I do made a paladin and spent the entire campaign trying to prove my character was evil.

    He didn’t succeed, which made it hilarious, but it was still kinda annoying that every time I did anything I had to beat his fucking sense motive checks, and he would often try to claim he snuck around to watch me recast my daily rituals (because I basically kept Undetectable Alignment on 24/7) to try and glipse my aura.

  • Sylvartas@lemmy.world
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    6 months ago

    I would be so down for that. I think metagaming kind of sucks a lot of the fun out of the roleplay so I try not to do it, but when I roll 2 on a wisdom check and the DM goes “this looks like a perfectly normal weapon” it obviously feels suspect.

  • phase@lemmy.8th.world
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    6 months ago

    I had such player at my table but it was more that they could ignore what they knew. So they still were doing perception checks and I was still responding but randomly, without saying it.

    Once, for a critical failure on a perception check, I said they saw the lord was too bright, too clean, and wait are those scales? Could be a dragonborn or even more? They spend the full enquiry rejecting the possibility to have a dragon in disguise. Sad for them.

    • smeg@feddit.uk
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      6 months ago

      Metagaming for self-destruction instead of self-interest is still metagaming!

  • MouseKeyboard@ttrpg.network
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    6 months ago

    If you’re going to be so openly hostile to a player just kick them because you’re burning bridges to any hope of having a friendly table atmosphere again.