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Rhiannon87
2009-07-06, 03:08 PM
Something has come up recently in one of our games that has me a bit confused. Our DM-- a great guy who's running an awesomely fun, if high-stress game-- has recently accused us, the players, of metagaming.

The first accusation was kind of indirect; he was complaining that he needed to come up with a villain the party couldn't metagame. I took this to be a reference to the last big villain we fought, a bounty hunter who we killed with some clever use of spells, a pendant that granted fire immunity, and a necklace of fireballs. As I'm the player who came up with the plan, I don't feel like this was metagaming... the character is highly paranoid, had gotten some scary information about the bounty hunter, and had a few days of down time to come up with a plan. The DM seems to disagree.

The second time came during game. We'd just fled Waterdeep, narrowly avoiding arrest for crimes we haven't committed. The DM said that while we were walking, we heard horses coming up fast behind us. Again, keep in mind, we've been on the run for months, hunted by assassins and bounty hunters. So we get off the road, and one of the players suggests that he get into disguise while the rest of us hide in our treasure chest (with extradimensional space). We agree that this sounds like a good plan; the DM goes "way to metagame it, guys." We remind him of the being hunted/chased from the city thing; he says "that was hours ago." So we say oh, we didn't know how much time had passed, we'll just... hide in the underbrush and wait for the horses to pass. It's very clearly a patrol sweep going by, and they appear to be looking for people, so we retreat into the woods and set up camp.

From where I'm standing, neither instance really seems to be metagaming. The DM has complained about us doing that before, but I've usually felt like we're behaving in character and using knowledge they'd have. I plan on trying to talk to the DM at some point to try and figure out what his definition of metagaming is, but in the meantime, do you guys think that either of these instances were metagaming? How would you define it? And how, as players, do you avoid it?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-07-06, 03:11 PM
"Hey, remember those cops that chased us while we knocked over that liquor store two hours ago? Think that could be them?"

"Nah, bro, no way! That was like ages ago!"

Ent
2009-07-06, 03:12 PM
Unless you were just paging through magic items looking for a "plan", no.

Rhiannon87
2009-07-06, 03:18 PM
Unless you were just paging through magic items looking for a "plan", no.

I was looking at our general inventory, realized we had the fire-proof pendant and the necklace of fireballs, and had what I thought to be a brilliant insight. The party also thought it was pretty cool. The DM seemed to disagree somewhat.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-07-06, 03:21 PM
Unless you hadn't been told that the items were fireproof/fire causing and simply found that out through your books, then it's not metagaming.

mikeejimbo
2009-07-06, 03:21 PM
Are you playing a character who tends to forget what's in their pockets?

Hawriel
2009-07-06, 03:22 PM
So you narrowly escape town guards who try to arrest you. After having a history of being hunted by peaple who wanted to do you harm. So when you hear a number of horses moving fast coming up behind you, you deside to hide. Yeah total metagaming. :smallamused:

Ent
2009-07-06, 03:23 PM
I was looking at our general inventory, realized we had the fire-proof pendant and the necklace of fireballs, and had what I thought to be a brilliant insight. The party also thought it was pretty cool. The DM seemed to disagree somewhat.

No that's just being resourceful.

averagejoe
2009-07-06, 03:23 PM
I would guess that he's upset that you easily bypassed/avoided what he had planned to be difficult encounters, and so is acting out his frustration on you guys, blaming you instead of taking responsibility. I really can't see how either of those is metagaming at all.

valadil
2009-07-06, 03:24 PM
I was looking at our general inventory, realized we had the fire-proof pendant and the necklace of fireballs, and had what I thought to be a brilliant insight. The party also thought it was pretty cool. The DM seemed to disagree somewhat.

I'm still not sure what part of that could be considered metagaming. As far as I'm aware, surviving fire is the point of anything with fire proofing. If you saw the GM's notes and learned that the enemy was vulnerable to fire and then came up with this plan, that would be metagaming.

I think your GM doesn't know what metagaming is.

Haven
2009-07-06, 03:29 PM
I'm not sure what exactly happened in the first one--I'm guessing you went out to confront the bounty hunter wearing the pendant and then used a spell to shatter all the beads in the necklace at once? If I were DMing, I would have only allowed the pendant and the necklace in the game (or really, just the pendant on its own) on the assumption that a player would one day put them together like that.
Anyway, that doesn't sound like metagaming at all.

Neither is the second one. I mean, why would you only continue to be worried about pursuit immediately afterwards? And why would he give the clue "you hear horses coming up behind you" if he didn't intend to allow you to work out that clue?

I think your DM is annoyed at you in a way that he can only express with the word metagaming, but it's not appropriate. Unless I'm missing something, both of those are completely in-character solutions using in-character knowledge.

Tukka
2009-07-06, 03:30 PM
Sounds like your DM is oversensitive to this "problem," unless you're leaving out some important info. Generally metagaming isn't that big of a deal anyway, and aggressively trying to squash it or be hyper-aware of it all times does more to damage immersion and make the game less fun than metagaming itself.

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-06, 03:32 PM
Regular Gaming:
Wait a minute, if I fire a lightning spell into the water, it'll zap all of them! Zzzzot!


Meta Gaming:
That yellow glow... wait! I read this in the monster manual. It means it's an Acid Kuriboh. No one touch it or you'll take some serious damage!


Your DM is a silly person.

Zincorium
2009-07-06, 03:33 PM
It's only metagaming if you came up with something that would only work in a game, *because* of it being a game. Metagame knowledge, likewise, is knowledge that could not be learned by the character, but only by a player.

Personally, I've never seen a true case of what I'd consider 'metagaming' (even my personal maps/notes don't have 'secret door here' or 'weakness is fire' type stuff written down, so I'm possibly cutting it off at the source).

Gnaeus
2009-07-06, 03:35 PM
Metagaming is using out of character information to guide in character actions. Examples of metagaming might be:

(In Dragonlance): Hey, I just found this blue staff! Lets go hit a black dragon with it and then head for icewall to get the dragonlance out of the glacier.

or

I kill the party rogue because he pocketed that gem which he discovered in the dungeon when no one was looking.

Using clever strategies is not metagaming, unless your characters are stupid, or you have some bit of information that the characters lacked (Like if the DM got drunk the night before and told you that the bad guy was scared of fire, or if his roommate got on his computer and emailed you his notes before the game.)

Being paranoid is not metagaming, unless you are playing in some system where you took a flaw that keeps you from doing it.

The grey area is if you have information and you aren't sure if your character would know it or not. You might think that burning the fallen troll is common knowledge, but your DM might think of it as metagaming. This should get a warning. Otherwise, metagaming is cheating, and your DM shouldn't accuse you of it without a better reason than you gave.

Totally Guy
2009-07-06, 03:36 PM
I was accused of metagaming by my little brothers yesterday. They must not know what it means either. We were playing a board game and I won with a clever move near the end. I'd apparently used the system to my advantage by being better at the game than they were.

Rhiannon87
2009-07-06, 03:36 PM
Unless you hadn't been told that the items were fireproof/fire causing and simply found that out through your books, then it's not metagaming.

Nope, our wizard told us it was via identify, and we'd used the item in a couple instances before. We knew nothing about this bounty hunter, and I just came up with the "omg kill it with fire" plan as something that would cover 90% of things that would hit us. For the other 10% of things that are immune to fire, I had a backup plan. It involved potions of fly and running like sissies.


Are you playing a character who tends to forget what's in their pockets?

I'm playing the party treasurer (since I'm the party treasurer as a player, it's just been decided that my character also carries the Handy Haversack and the money). So, no, not really. There was one time I forgot she had poison in her pockets and then fell down a stone tunnel and poisoned herself... but that's a terribly humiliating story that belongs in the PC Stupidity Thread, not here.

Jayabalard
2009-07-06, 03:37 PM
Regular Gaming:
Wait a minute, if I fire a lightning spell into the water, it'll zap all of them! Zzzzot!It's borderline metagame knowledge (which side of the border and how far from it depends on the game, system, and campaign setting)

Gnaeus
2009-07-06, 03:47 PM
I was accused of metagaming by my little brothers yesterday. They must not know what it means either. We were playing a board game and I won with a clever move near the end. I'd apparently used the system to my advantage by being better at the game than they were.

It is nearly impossible to metagame in most boardgames. If you don't have "in character" knowledge, you can't metagame.

Advance Strat..
2009-07-06, 03:48 PM
It's borderline metagame knowledge (which side of the border and how far from it depends on the game, system, and campaign setting)

And how is that borderline metagame? Anyone that paid attention during a science class, or heck, watched a couple episodes of pokemon would know that electricity would do that.

Dhavaer
2009-07-06, 03:52 PM
And how is that borderline metagame? Anyone that paid attention during a science class, or heck, watched a couple episodes of pokemon would know that electricity would do that.

But D&D doesn't have pokemon, and probably doesn't have science classes.

Gnaeus
2009-07-06, 03:52 PM
The borderline part is that in the typical fantasy game, the Characters never attended science class, and never heard of Pokemon. Those things are player knowledge.

Ninjas!

mikeejimbo
2009-07-06, 03:53 PM
And how is that borderline metagame? Anyone that paid attention during a science class, or heck, watched a couple episodes of pokemon would know that electricity would do that.

But neither science classes nor Pokemon exist in some settings.

Double ninjas!

MCerberus
2009-07-06, 03:59 PM
Although someone that can shoot lightning with any regularity might notice a reaction with water.

AslanCross
2009-07-06, 04:03 PM
No that's just being resourceful.

This. I've had metagaming in my party before, and this isn't it. If anything I'm actually happy when my PCs use the resources I give them, because I always make sure that the magic items I give them have potential for weird and creative solutions to problems.

I think your DM may be suffering from burnout, and that he's tired of you walking all over his plans. As you've mentioned, it is a high-stress game.

It might be a good idea for you guys to talk to him and ask for if he doesn't appreciate his plans getting frustrated. The game shouldn't disintegrate into a DM vs player conflict.

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-06, 04:05 PM
Fun fact: zapping the water (or the pile of copper coins) to zap everyone in it wouldn't really work very well because water and copper are such good conductors. The electricity would travel through the water and spread out harmlessly, pretty much.

Gralamin
2009-07-06, 04:07 PM
Fun fact: zapping the water (or the pile of copper coins) to zap everyone in it wouldn't really work very well because water and copper are such good conductors. The electricity would travel through the water and spread out harmlessly, pretty much.

Water is actually an extremely poor conductor. Its all the waste materials, salts, and other objects in water that make it conductive.

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-06, 04:11 PM
Water is actually an extremely poor conductor. Its all the waste materials, salts, and other objects in water that make it conductive.

Yes yes, pure distilled water is an insulator and you need to let it ionise (such as, say... subjecting it to electricity for a while) or put impurities into it.

Pure distilled wtaer never occurs in nature so I fail to see why this is a concern. :P

VirOath
2009-07-06, 04:12 PM
The grey area is if you have information and you aren't sure if your character would know it or not. You might think that burning the fallen troll is common knowledge, but your DM might think of it as metagaming. This should get a warning. Otherwise, metagaming is cheating, and your DM shouldn't accuse you of it without a better reason than you gave.

The easy way of know is if the start of the encounter is:

"You hear a thunderous smash to the north, a tree splinters as something massive is pushing it down. You see the Troll Bearing down on you, raising his club to strike."

That gives the impression that you know enough about a monster to know it's name at a glace, then you should know some general information on it. Nothing like it's total HP, but what would be common weapons against it.

But if it was described as "A huge humanoid frame, it's face having a thick brow and an elongated nose that reaches his chin. The foul stench from it is almost sickening." Then it would be safe to assume that your character doesn't know.

Even then, Knowledge checks can provide insight, and you only have to make them once. And even lacking that, if you see the wounds healing on what you are attacking before your eyes, you are going to change tactics.

And somewhere on every successful adventurers list is "Burn it with fire!" And "Drop it in a Vat of Acid." And the -if all else fails- "Shove it through a portal to the negative/positive energy (Or any other) plane!"


But some DMs are really sensitive to thinking things are metagaming when they aren't. I mean, against skeletons, my fighter wasn't allowed to change to a warhammer for 5 rounds because "How would you know skeletons took less damage from slashing weapons?"

How about "It's common sense, why use a flesh rending weapon on something that is all bones?!" In an undead heavy campaign too. After an undeath wave hit the land, making them a common occurrence.


Edit:

And to the Water + electricity = Borderline Metagaming comment, it isn't. Three common classes that get the ability to do that. Wizard, Sorc, and Druid.

Wizards study magic and the world. They LEARNED magic from 'science' class. Int is a requirement. Magic to them is literally formula's and measured. Saying that they wouldn't know is very far fetched. Most have the skill, knowledge arcana as well.

Sorcs are all about creativity. Magic is a natural part of them and many seek to explore this part of them, learning how to use it was a fighter learns to use a sword. Saying that they had no clue how lightning and water would react is like saying that the fighter had no idea he could shield bash or do a backhand swing of a sword, or make more than one attack a round when he reached 6th level.

And druids... If you are going to tell me that a druid has no idea how a part of nature will react to a part of nature, then... /sigh, Wild fire in the forest FFS.

Sewercop
2009-07-06, 04:21 PM
I do not see any metagaming in what you have written.
Just creative use of gear.
You should be applauded for a good idea in a stressful situation.

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-06, 04:22 PM
You should be applauded for a good idea in a stressful situation.

Honestly, sometimes this could be considered metagaming. Coming up with perfectly logical plans in the middle of combat isn't always feasible!

In fact it's very often not feasible - the average combat in D&D lasts for less than a minute, not six twenty-two minute episodes.

Devils_Advocate
2009-07-06, 04:24 PM
Like everyone else, I don't see how Rhiannon87's examples could be seen as metagaming. There's no use of out-of-character knowledge there, which is required for metagaming.

So, yeah, maybe that DM doesn't understand what "metagaming" means. And has some sort of very odd expectations about how players ought to behave. :smallconfused:


Wait a minute, if I fire a lightning spell into the water, it'll zap all of them! Zzzzot!
"The game world works according to my dubious understanding of real-world physics, and therefore I get to do a ludicrous amount of damage!" is, even if not metagaming per se... not good.

The appropriate DM response is of course simply "No, that doesn't happen."

Random832
2009-07-06, 04:28 PM
The appropriate DM response is of course simply "No, that doesn't happen."

Right, but that doesn't stop the character from trying and wasting their action.

Sewercop
2009-07-06, 04:40 PM
Honestly, sometimes this could be considered metagaming. Coming up with perfectly logical plans in the middle of combat isn't always feasible!

In fact it's very often not feasible - the average combat in D&D lasts for less than a minute, not six twenty-two minute episodes.


I see your point. And i agree that sometimes it will be metagaming. I just don`t see this example to be metagaming.

Zeful
2009-07-06, 04:42 PM
From where I'm standing, neither instance really seems to be metagaming. The DM has complained about us doing that before, but I've usually felt like we're behaving in character and using knowledge they'd have. I plan on trying to talk to the DM at some point to try and figure out what his definition of metagaming is, but in the meantime, do you guys think that either of these instances were metagaming? How would you define it? And how, as players, do you avoid it?

Metagaming, which you weren't doing by the way, is when you use knowledge your character can't have to solve a problem. The issue that comes up is what exactly does your character know? VirOath points out the DMs side of it. It's a show vs. tell thing. If the DMs "shows" you something, you need an appropriate Knowledge check to identify it. If he "tells" you something, then you already know it well enough to recognize it by name.

The hard part though, is the level of general knowledge assumed to the setting. For example, I doubt any wizard, ever, knows anything about atoms, despite being part of our middle-school science classes, thus nuclear physics should never come into play. But he would know that lightning transmits well through water and metal? Yes. What you think your character would know is very different from what the DM thinks your character should know. So your going to have to talk to him about that.

VirOath
2009-07-06, 05:10 PM
Honestly, sometimes this could be considered metagaming. Coming up with perfectly logical plans in the middle of combat isn't always feasible!

In fact it's very often not feasible - the average combat in D&D lasts for less than a minute, not six twenty-two minute episodes.

And if the DM has a problem with people thinking about it, then put on time restrictions to combat turns for each player. You get like a minute to respond, then move on. You miss your turn, too bad.

Personally, I have no RL combat training, but I've been in a number of very close calls. And my experience in those situations was thought and reaction flowing together, even at a few points time seeming to slow and distort.

And of course panic comes after all of that, same with shock. But my point is that six seconds, though evenly measured on paper, isn't evenly experienced in life.

Even so, I will more than agree that some of the very detailed plans that has been put together in the heat of combat wouldn't be possible in real conditions. Then again, are you going to restrict people talking to eachother in combat unless they are right next to each other? Are you going to cost the cleric rounds of time to determine how hurt a person is, or refuse to let players know how much damage another has taken? Are you even going to let players know what happened at the start of the round before stating what they are doing, because things would be moving to fast for the actions of others to influence their own actions?

There is a line between Real Life, Games, and Metagaming. Even Video Games, ones most dependent on being played in real time, have a pause button.

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-06, 05:21 PM
I actually encourage planning, strategy and even metagaming when it comes to combat - I'm a "gamist" at heart. If I want to roleplay, I'll do freeform.

-Cor-
2009-07-06, 05:23 PM
And if the DM has a problem with people thinking about it, then put on time restrictions to combat turns for each player. You get like a minute to respond, then move on. You miss your turn, too bad.

I had a DM once who did this... he called out numbers for initiative starting with the highest initiative rolled and counting down by one... if you weren't prepared with what you were going to do when he called out the initiative number you rolled, you lost your turn...

I didn't like that game very much... but it was pretty hardcore and combat took considerably less time...

This is the same DM who said players could never tell anyone else their current hit point total, max hit points, or how much damage they had taken... which makes a weird kind of sense... but still...

Kurald Galain
2009-07-06, 06:01 PM
Something has come up recently in one of our games that has me a bit confused. Our DM-- a great guy who's running an awesomely fun, if high-stress game-- has recently accused us, the players, of metagaming.

Sounds to me like the DM was just upset that you ruined his clever plans (if it weren't for those meddling kids...) and so picked the most straightfoward gaming-related pejorative term he thought of.

AvatarZero
2009-07-06, 06:26 PM
I think your DM is annoyed at you in a way that he can only express with the word metagaming, but it's not appropriate. Unless I'm missing something, both of those are completely in-character solutions using in-character knowledge.

Seconded.

Which makes the more important issue the fact that your DM is getting frustrated instead of enjoying [him/her]self. It sounds like at both times they had a dramatic/cool/different idea for how a scene was going to go and you managed to out-think the situation. I'm not sure what the best way to resolve that issue is. Probably just talking it out.

Incidentally, congratulations on having a DM who is willing to let a player do something they weren't expecting instead of dropping DM fiat on you. ("He evades the fireballs!" [He suddenly has two levels in rogue!] "The riders have already seen you!" [They got close to you thanks to their new stealth horses!]) Such a friend is to be treasured.

erikun
2009-07-06, 06:40 PM
I plan on trying to talk to the DM at some point to try and figure out what his definition of metagaming is, but in the meantime, do you guys think that either of these instances were metagaming? How would you define it? And how, as players, do you avoid it?
Talk to your DM, preferably. Find out just what knowledge he thinks is metagaming, so you have some idea where he is coming from. Trying to defend yourself by saying your character always knew she had an amulet of fire protection looks kind of silly when your DM considers the problem as buying an amulet of fireballs, for example.

I can honestly see the potential-metagame angle in your two examples. I can also see the non-metagame angle in both. Honestly, I don't see either as metagaming, at least not beyond what is reasonable for a D&D party. (PCs do not immediately shove bags of holding into each other, despite the characters having no reason to avoid doing so.) If it makes you feel better, I think your party's ideas are just fine and in-character. :smallwink: However, you'll need to know your DM's position before you can reach an agreement.

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-06, 07:35 PM
Anyone that paid attention during a science class, or heck, watched a couple episodes of pokemon would know that electricity would do that.
May I shove that into my signature? It's not every day someone gets to note what Pokemon and Science Class have in common.


For example, I doubt any wizard, ever, knows anything about atoms, despite being part of our middle-school science classes, thus nuclear physics should never come into play. But he would know that lightning transmits well through water and metal? Yes.
You know, I wouldn't just limit that to Wizards, but I think Sorcerors (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shockingGrasp.htm) and Psionics (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/energyRay.htm) might know about that fact, too. At least as far as Metal is concerned.

I was thinking maybe the "metagaming" was possibly setting off the whole necklace at once with a spell, but seeing as how it was identified by Identify, I think maybe the DM might sorta be kind of trying to say "Derailing" when he says "Metagaming." Both can be negative when the DM isn't ready to handle either.

woodenbandman
2009-07-06, 07:40 PM
If you want to get technical, anything that deals with the effect of items given to a player is metagaming. Hell, OoC chatter is metagaming.

ResplendentFire
2009-07-06, 08:24 PM
The borderline part is that in the typical fantasy game, the Characters never attended science class, and never heard of Pokemon. Those things are player knowledge.

Ninjas!

But at the same time, they can generate lightning under controlled settings and observe the effects.

So I would be surprised if electricity's properties in water are a mystery to mages. I would expect it to be pretty standard magical theory.

TMC
2009-07-06, 08:38 PM
But at the same time, they can generate lightning under controlled settings and observe the effects.

So I would be surprised if electricity's properties in water are a mystery to mages. I would expect it to be pretty standard magical theory.

Yeah. If it's a Sorcerer, maybe, but a Wizard? I think that in the course of Learning magic, you'll figure it out. And if you're over 40, I think at SOME point you realized that water and electicity go together.

FinalJustice
2009-07-06, 08:41 PM
Yeah. If it's a Sorcerer, maybe, but a Wizard? I think that in the course of Learning magic, you'll figure it out. And if you're over 40, I think at SOME point you realized that water and electicity go together.

But, barred flavor issues, every Sorcerer worth his salt has a least a minimum of Knowledge: Arcana and Spellcraft...

To me, it's just picky and annoying to call metagame on a staple like 'lightning on the water does cool stuff'.

Zeful
2009-07-06, 09:00 PM
You know, I wouldn't just limit that to Wizards, but I think Sorcerors (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shockingGrasp.htm) and Psionics (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/energyRay.htm) might know about that fact, too. At least as far as Metal is concerned.

Wizards are the recognizable high Int lightning wielders.

Devils_Advocate
2009-07-06, 09:09 PM
There's nothing about lightning behaving differently in the underwater rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm#aquaticTerrain) that I'm aware of. I'd say that it works just like it does in air in D&D, in accordance with the Catgirl Protection Act.

Rhiannon87
2009-07-06, 10:11 PM
Seconded.

Which makes the more important issue the fact that your DM is getting frustrated instead of enjoying [him/her]self. It sounds like at both times they had a dramatic/cool/different idea for how a scene was going to go and you managed to out-think the situation. I'm not sure what the best way to resolve that issue is. Probably just talking it out.

Incidentally, congratulations on having a DM who is willing to let a player do something they weren't expecting instead of dropping DM fiat on you. ("He evades the fireballs!" [He suddenly has two levels in rogue!] "The riders have already seen you!" [They got close to you thanks to their new stealth horses!]) Such a friend is to be treasured.

Yeah, our DM is generally pretty awesome. He does tend to get burned out sometimes, and I think we might be hitting that point... I do plan on talking to him about what he thinks metagaming is, and why he thinks these particular incidents fell under that definition. It could've just been frustration on his part... the bounty hunter was a 15th-level character that we took out in, like, three rounds. I think he punished us somewhat by charging us 45,000 gp for replacing the boat that we were on when we set off the necklaces of fireballs-- with another fireball, incidentally. 59d6 of fire damage is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

ericgrau
2009-07-06, 10:18 PM
+1 cool plans are not meta-gaming, and I encourage more of them for more fun & interesting game-play.

Meta-gaming is using info your character shouldn't know. But in terms of his own items and abilities, if anything your character should know more than you do.

EDIT: I do have a couple quick anti-meta-gaming stories. Once I was a futuristic ranger in a party of government dictatorship agents. I botched a survival roll and the DM gave me an obviously bogus answer. So my team-mate said "Well, we're not doing that" and I said, "Do you doubt my wilderness expertise?!" Another time I was a sorcerer about to chuck a fireball at some baddies and I said, "Oh, I don't know that my invisible team-mate is there, he's gonna get hit too." Cue evil DM laugh. But then I asked if I could hear him, the DM said yeah his clanking armor is obvious, and I said okay I won't toss the fireball then. Another member said, "Why not?" I said because I might hit the guy I can't see and I know he's somewhere near where I want to fire (and I can't exclude his exact position w/o meta-gaming).

Stormageddon
2009-07-06, 10:26 PM
I think your DM has the idea that clever plan = Metagaming. Wait are you all playing characters with 3 INT?

elliott20
2009-07-06, 10:34 PM
for me, metagaming itself is not quite a problem for me. So what if say, the party sees a troll and instantly thinks "fire"? If a troll is a common enough creature that such things are pretty much well known or at least well known among adventurers, it makes sense for the party to immediately pull out the torches.

on the flip side, you can always have a troll who is aware of his own weaknesses and actually prepare accordingly. (i.e. have the troll secure an amulet that reduces fire damage)

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-06, 10:44 PM
Wizards are the recognizable high Int lightning wielders.
I'm just saying, when you've got Shocking Grasp or Electricity Ray, it gets a bonus to hit on things wearing metal, and it looks a whole lot like miniature lightning, at least where I'm thinking things through, it doesn't sound like a high Int job to take a guess at what happens. Undoubtedly, Int would help the process along, though.

Part of me also thinks that might work on the other end of the battlefield: a heavily-armored (Insert melee class here) sees that the above tricks are hitting him more than the lightly-armored (other party member). Of course, combat targetting usually doesn't happen that way, nobody likes removing armor in combat, and that's what Energy Immunity/Resistance is for, but hey, that's almost role playing if someone actually thinks like that. Bonus points if the character thinks that instead of attracting electricity because it's metal, it's because the armor is cursed. Extra bonus points if instead of thinking the armor is cursed, the character somehow thinks it's a blessing without absorbing the damage.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-07-06, 10:48 PM
Armor should act as a Faraday cage, protecting the wearer from electricity... this, of course, means that DnD's magical electricity isn't the same as electricity made of electrons.

Coidzor
2009-07-06, 10:49 PM
on the flip side, you can always have a troll who is aware of his own weaknesses and actually prepare accordingly. (i.e. have the troll secure an amulet that reduces fire damage)

Yes, the best thing that ever happened to our party about having the DM roll the treasure after the fight rather than before we encountered it was that we encountered a pair of trolls which had a ring of fire resistance 10. And neither of them were wearing it.

We all had a laugh about that after we found it.

mistformsquirrl
2009-07-06, 10:51 PM
This is definitely not, from the sound of it, meta-gaming; not by a long shot.

Metagaming would be something like -

"Okay, Drow have Spell Resistance and the abilitity to Levitate; so make sure you only prepare spells that don't allow SR and we'll get some items that let us fly before we go down there." - Said by a party who's only vaguely know the Drow exist and has not, in-game, been given any opportunity to research them.

Or -

"That dragon is white... hit it with Fire!."

Etc...

Basically metagaming, in every sense I've ever heard the term used; is -

A) Using knowledge your characters simply do not have access to

or

B) Doing something that only works because it's a game

---

The assumption of D&D is that magic isn't that uncommon. Stuff like the Fireproof amulet and Fireball pendant combination makes perfect sense to someone who lives in Faerun for example - at least someone who's been adventuring for a bit.

The other - getting off the road and hiding - makes absolutely perfect sense.

I mean, thinking this through - even if it was "hours ago" - why does that matter? The guard could send patrols after you out to a pretty good distance - depending on how much they want you, perhaps up to several days away. Just because it's been hours doesn't mean someone isn't trying to kill you >.<

<. .> I personally give you a +1 for actually using your heads honestly.

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-06, 11:22 PM
Armor should act as a Faraday cage, protecting the wearer from electricity...
*Searches Wikipedia*
*Searches Google*

Dang it, why the heck didn't they teach me this awesome stuff in school!? They told me specifically not to do this! The system lied to me!

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-07-06, 11:33 PM
"That dragon is white... hit it with Fire!."Maybe, maybe not. It depends IMHO whether or not you've seen it's breath weapon or faced dragons before. If you know fire-breathers are weak against ice, then you might suspect ice-breathers are weak against fire, even without enough Knowlege to get that fact.

VirOath
2009-07-06, 11:57 PM
"That dragon is white... hit it with Fire!."


I agree with most of it, but not this. Very simply put, White dragons are creatures of winter. That is, you'll find them in snowy peaks, Arctic environments and Ice caves. Right from the surroundings, you should have a good idea not to use cold on it if you have an Int or Wis above 5. Hey, you could argue 3 on this: "Ugh saw Flying Lizard in Ice Cave. Lizard was White Like Ice. Fire bash ice good. Ugh use fire stick."

And any argument goes out the window after the first breath weapon attack. If it breaths it, is should be obvious that it doesn't hurt.

Another good example is Mummies. Though they are in a Hot, Arid environment, they are covered in dusty wrappings, and fire is often proclaimed by the best weapon against undead (I mean, the Sun is the ultimate symbol of undeath destruction. A ball of fire in the sky.)

Or knowing that you do not want to get close to a gaint ooze/anything with tentacles for fear of being grappled. It's not knowing the entry, it's making guesses at exactly what the monster is good at by the tools that -nature- provided.

Now, knowing that Ice trolls wouldn't regen cold damage without ever meeting them or researching them? That's meta-gaming. Then again, most players wouldn't think of that, being as they were made by an insane wizard.

Often the thoughts that players have can be seen as the thoughts of their character, as long as they do not go back into "I remember this monster entry in the MM, it's weak to... and has X HD..."


@Yuki_Akuma: Glad you do, and wasn't pointing to otherwise :smallsmile:
Just continuing the debating point. Those are quite hardcore, but not something that is for everyone.

Shosuro Ishii
2009-07-07, 01:34 AM
"That dragon is white... hit it with Fire!."



You see, this doesn't strike me as pure meta-gaming. At least in the games I run, after about level 3, my players have reached the point where adventuring is more or less their career. And it's a career where not knowing what you're doing is tantimount to commiting suicide.

Let's say trolls. If you have ever heard of trolls (from your mentor, a bard, reading in a book) you should know of their traditional weakness to fire. Sure, a lot of things are really obscure and not covered in this, but a knowledge DC of 0 is roughly where I set 'trolls don't like fire' when your survival is based around knowing these things.

Anyone with formal training should know these things. A paladin should be taught more than how to pray and smite. A warrior should be informed of the kinds of things he may one day have to kill.

Saying the troll has 2 attacks at +7 is metagaming.
Knowing that you shouldn't hit a big propeller looking bug with your magic sword is a sign of good training.

Cedrass
2009-07-07, 01:50 AM
Maybe, maybe not. It depends IMHO whether or not you've seen it's breath weapon or faced dragons before. If you know fire-breathers are weak against ice, then you might suspect ice-breathers are weak against fire, even without enough Knowlege to get that fact.

On something as infamous as Dragons, I don't know. It seems to me it would be common fact among adventurers.

Now if they randomly start casting Move Earth every turn against a Clay Golem, this I call metagaming. I'd even call metagaming is the party Wizard suddenly stopped casting spells against it, I mean hey, your character would try it.

Long story short; using the weaknesses of "famous" creatures isn't metagaming but hitting on the weakness of an obscure monster is.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-07-07, 01:58 AM
On something as infamous as Dragons, I don't know. It seems to me it would be common fact among adventurers.

Now if they randomly start casting Move Earth every turn against a Clay Golem, this I call metagaming. I'd even call metagaming is the party Wizard suddenly stopped casting spells against it, I mean hey, your character would try it.


"My wizard, smarter than the smartest human being to have ever lived, has not only heard about golems, but has also noticed that his spells are completely ineffective against it."

Saph
2009-07-07, 02:01 AM
Well, in that particular case I'd say "heard about golems" would be covered by a Knowledge: Arcana check. Which the wizard is almost guaranteed to have, so it's not exactly penalising him much.

Knowing exactly which spell to hit it with would require a fairly high DC, though.

- Saph

VirOath
2009-07-07, 03:16 AM
10+HD to be the check. Before Advancement, -1 to -5 for common, +1 to +5 for rare.
And it shouldn't be messed. If it becomes an auto-success, then guess what? They are experienced enough to know and handle it.

Arcana for Aberrations, Golems and such.
Planes for Outsiders
Religion for Undead
Dungeoneering for underground stalkers.
Local for the regional threats.

And feel free to overlap, or have +2 bonuses for having multiple skills that the monster type can be derived from.

Killer Angel
2009-07-07, 03:36 AM
On something as infamous as Dragons, I don't know. It seems to me it would be common fact among adventurers.

Now if they randomly start casting Move Earth every turn against a Clay Golem, this I call metagaming. I'd even call metagaming is the party Wizard suddenly stopped casting spells against it, I mean hey, your character would try it.

Long story short; using the weaknesses of "famous" creatures isn't metagaming but hitting on the weakness of an obscure monster is.


I agree: you (as the Player) sometimes know things, and you cannot forget them. It's how you use such knowledge, that determines the matagaming.

Last session we were going to face a Kython: i knew that this demon has DR silver OR good, so for my ranger using both silversheen and potion of bless weapon, was a waste.
I asked the DM a knowledge check (i have Planes): I "metagamed" the question, but then i followed the answer given by my DM (who gives me the right answer only 'couse i did exactly a DC 25 check).
Otherwise, I would have used both my potions, "to be sure".

Kurald Galain
2009-07-07, 03:41 AM
It strikes me as funny that older Monster Manuals have several monsters who appear to be purely written to counter metagaming players.

For instance, there's the Wolfwere. Which looks pretty much like a werewolf, except that it's immune to silver.

Also, there's nasty tricks that appear in some adventures, like the albino red dragon...

Killer Angel
2009-07-07, 03:51 AM
Also, there's nasty tricks that appear in some adventures, like the albino red dragon...


whooo! I love this one.
(thinking how to insert it in an adventure :smallbiggrin:)

huttj509
2009-07-07, 04:06 AM
*Searches Wikipedia*
*Searches Google*

Dang it, why the heck didn't they teach me this awesome stuff in school!? They told me specifically not to do this! The system lied to me!

Note: If experimenting, be very careful. The idea of a grounding wire (or lightining rod) to provide an easy path for electricity may protect you from getting shocked (unless it goes through your body on the way to the wire), but that metal path can get REALLY hot REALLY fast if you're dealing with decent amounts of electricity.

Sorry for the derail, all sorts of "don't try this at home!" lights were going off in my head. Then again, my brother's friend built a bit of a taser with a massive capacitor in high school. He got suspicious when told to "touch these two exposed wires. Only, um, touch them with 2 fingers on the same hand so it doesn't cross your heart." The wires melted to a piece of metal they touched them to. Warning, the prior example was attempted by experienced geeks who were very aware of the potential dangers involved.

But yes, with conventional electricity the metal armor would provide an easy conduction path around the person, and would generally be better than the person getting hit unarmored. But conventional electricity is not easily controlled to travel in a straight line to its target, now is it?

MickJay
2009-07-07, 04:39 AM
I just have to ask about it, 45.000 gold for a boat? Was it a luxury, 60-foot long, gold-plated yacht with water organs and a group of exotic dancers on board? I mean, a rowboat would probably cost some 10 or 20 gold to make, if you had to pay for everything (could be less). A river barge would be a few hundred gold, and a good, sea-going ship wouldn't cost more than a few thousand...

Shpadoinkle
2009-07-07, 05:34 AM
Seems like your DM is confusing the term 'metagaming' with 'PCs not walking stupidly and blindly headlong into almost certain death.' Some DMs hate that.

mr. Tentacles
2009-07-07, 06:58 AM
I just have to ask about it, 45.000 gold for a boat? Was it a luxury, 60-foot long, gold-plated yacht with water organs and a group of exotic dancers on board? I mean, a rowboat would probably cost some 10 or 20 gold to make, if you had to pay for everything (could be less). A river barge would be a few hundred gold, and a good, sea-going ship wouldn't cost more than a few thousand...

According to the SRD a galley costs 30.000 gp, most expensive boat in the PHB, but it's not that far off (hmm, 50%, maybe it was a bit luxury, and there's also things like cargo etc.).

Hiding from the guard or cleverly using some magic items doesn't sound like metagaming to me, but then again I'm used to a group of horrible metagamers (one has memorized the entire MM :smallannoyed:).

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-07, 07:52 AM
Knowing exactly which spell to hit it with would require a fairly high DC, though.


It's made of dirt. Surely the anti-dirt spell would be a good choice for an INT 18 wizard?

Rhiannon87
2009-07-07, 08:01 AM
I just have to ask about it, 45.000 gold for a boat? Was it a luxury, 60-foot long, gold-plated yacht with water organs and a group of exotic dancers on board? I mean, a rowboat would probably cost some 10 or 20 gold to make, if you had to pay for everything (could be less). A river barge would be a few hundred gold, and a good, sea-going ship wouldn't cost more than a few thousand...

It was a merchant ship, about galley size, and it was loaded with cargo. We were extra passengers taken on at the last minute. We were able to pay the guy, because the bounty hunter had been carrying some shiny rubies on his person. Our wizard detected "broken" divination magic on the rubies, but couldn't figure out anything else. So in a moment of utter NON-metagaming, I figured "okay, these are worth 10,000 gp each, he needs money, here, have 5 of these gems".

Only later did we learn that the gems act like compasses that point in the direction of different party members. And they managed to fall into the hands of the Zhentariam, one of the groups that's hunting us. Sigh. Fortunately they haven't sent any new assassins after us... yet...

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-07, 08:03 AM
It's made of dirt. Surely the anti-dirt spell would be a good choice for an INT 18 wizard?

I'm going to start taking Craft Construct with all of my wizards, just so I can say "Hey, I know magic doesn't work on golems, okay?!"

Saph
2009-07-07, 08:14 AM
It's made of dirt. Surely the anti-dirt spell would be a good choice for an INT 18 wizard?

Okay, now this is a good example of metagaming. You can't say that your character is high-Int and use that as an excuse for any out-of-character knowledge you want. Especially when the reasoning doesn't particularly make sense. Move Earth doesn't destroy dirt, it shifts it very very slowly, and it normally takes ages to cast. In a combat against pretty much every monster in existence except Clay Golems, it's useless.

I've had players try stuff like this on me in the past, and it really annoys me. It usually ends with them throwing a temper tantrum when they discover that the monster's stats aren't what they expect.

- Saph

Random832
2009-07-07, 08:32 AM
Especially when the reasoning doesn't particularly make sense.

Obviously it does make sense or it wouldn't be in there. Clearly, in-game-world, there is something fundamental about how the spell works that makes it interact that way.

If you don't like it, then allow a knowledge check. And set the DC fairly. Saying just "You don't know that" without a roll is even worse than a character saying they do know it, since clearly there is a reason it works, and it's perfectly reasonable for a wizard to have come across it in their studies.


I've had players try stuff like this on me in the past, and it really annoys me. It usually ends with them throwing a temper tantrum when they discover that the monster's stats aren't what they expect.

Changing the monster's stats on the fly because you don't like the players' strategy is about as justifiable as bumping up their AC on the fly because you don't like the players' lucky rolls. Which is to say, yes, it's "legitimate" because you're the DM and what you say goes, but if you're doing it you've clearly screwed up somewhere along the line.

The DM has to follow the rules too. Otherwise there is a point where it's no less legitimate to go the easier way of "Roll d%, if it's 63 or more the players win the encounter, otherwise they lose".

kamikasei
2009-07-07, 08:39 AM
If you don't like it, then allow a knowledge check. And set the DC fairly.

Saph specifically said that the spell to use would be turned up by a knowledge check, with a higher DC than required to know that the golem is immune to most spells (which seems perfectly fair to me). The counterargument then was that simply by having a high int the wizard should be able to bypass that check and just know.


Changing the monster's stats on the fly because you don't like the players' strategy...

If the player really thought their character should, in character, have known whatever detail they're relying on then they should be willing to roll the knowledge check for it. If they're just assuming that because their character is smart that the monster their facing will have all the stats and weaknesses that they, the player, have memorized from the MM, they're not using a strategy, they're just metagaming.

Knowledge checks are the mechanism by which players can discover what their character knows about aspects of the game world not already encountered, and if you bypass them then you shouldn't be surprised to find yourself surprised.

Saph
2009-07-07, 08:44 AM
Obviously it does make sense or it wouldn't be in there.

Yup. D&D rules always make complete sense.


Changing the monster's stats on the fly because you don't like the players' strategy is about as justifiable as bumping up their AC on the fly because you don't like the players' lucky rolls. Which is to say, yes, it's "legitimate" because you're the DM and what you say goes, but if you're doing it you've clearly screwed up somewhere along the line.

Who said I was changing the monster's stats? :smallamused:

Me: "The monster fires another round of tail spikes at you."
Player: "Manticores can't do that!"
Me: "It just did."
Player: "No it can't!" *pulls out Monster Manual*
Me: *blinks* "Are you serious?"
Player: "It's used all its shots up! It can't do any more!"
Me: "Uh, when did I say anything about how many spikes it could fire?"
Player: "It's in the Monster Manual!"

Yes, this actually happened in a game. Particularly amusing because:

a) I hadn't said the creature was a manticore,
b) even if it was, there's nothing stopping one manticore from being different from the norm,
c) and even if it wasn't, the player had miscounted the number of shots the manticore had taken anyway.

This is the kind of metagaming you want to avoid, because, frankly, it just makes you look stupid.

Anyway, this is all a sideline. It doesn't apply to the OP's point - the actions the character took there made perfect sense.

- Saph

Gnaeus
2009-07-07, 09:06 AM
The White Wolf Camarilla live action chronicle used to have the rule that unless a particular type of knowledge was on your sheet, you would know nothing about it. So even if werewolves attacked your vampire gathering last week, if you didn't learn enough to get approval for werewolf lore, you would forget everything you learned. You were assumed not to believe that any other supernatural creatures existed until you saw them in game (even if your character had been alive for hundreds of years), and lines of reasoning like "I go to blockbuster, rent 10 werewolf movies, and decide that a silver weapon is a good idea" were regarded as metagaming. (Of course, this was a typical overreaction to rampant metagaming, where PCs would regularly spout information from back pages of sourcebooks about rare creatures).

In a "realistic" D&D world, what sadistic wizard mentor, during the years when he was teaching his apprentice cantrips, wouldn't say "Hey kid, there are these things called constructs or golems, and most magic doesn't work on them". Personally, I would think that your spellbook would include common applications for the spells in it, like "Note: this spell works great against clay golems or earth elementals". Certainly, the merchant hawking his scrolls is going to be trying to sell you the various reasons why you might want to buy them.

But as with everything else involving gaming + logic, you are best off figuring out your best arguments, explaining them to the DM, asking his opinion and accepting his ruling.

Saph
2009-07-07, 09:11 AM
In a "realistic" D&D world, what sadistic wizard mentor, during the years when he was teaching his apprentice cantrips, wouldn't say "Hey kid, there are these things called constructs or golems, and most magic doesn't work on them". Personally, I would think that your spellbook would include common applications for the spells in it, like "Note: this spell works great against clay golems or earth elementals". Certainly, the merchant hawking his scrolls is going to be trying to sell you the various reasons why you might want to buy them.

Isn't that exactly what skills like Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) are supposed to represent? Details you've learned in your studies and apprenticeship?

- Saph

kamikasei
2009-07-07, 09:20 AM
In a "realistic" D&D world, what sadistic wizard mentor, during the years when he was teaching his apprentice cantrips, wouldn't say "Hey kid, there are these things called constructs or golems, and most magic doesn't work on them".

Really, this points to a basic failure of the Knowledge skill mechanics. It's fine to say "DC 10+HD to identify, plus one piece of useful information for every five points you exceed the check", but it a) doesn't tell you want constitutes a piece of useful information, b) is kind of crap when you have to be five levels higher just to know one extra detail about a given monster, and c) takes no account of how specific details about specific monsters might be abnormally well-known. As you say, you'd expect every wizard to be taught that an entire class of entity is largely immune to magic. Similarly, a rust monster's ability to destroy metal, or a troll's vulnerability to fire, are the sort of things that you would DEFINITELY know if you know anything whatsoever about the creature, never mind that they'd also make the creatures themselves better-known for those remarkable properties than the base check would suggest.

(That's all leaving aside, of course, the idea that it makes any kind of sense for the biggest and meanest creatures to be the hardest to identify. Later 3.5 had the right idea with the tables showing exactly what various knowledge checks would get you about various creatures or classes, but the concept could have stood to be more in-depth.)

Random832
2009-07-07, 09:27 AM
Yup. D&D rules always make complete sense.

If they didn't make sense in the game universe they wouldn't exist.



(snip amusing story)

This is the kind of metagaming you want to avoid, because, frankly, it just makes you look stupid.

Making complaints is not metagaming, since it's not using the knowledge in character. There is a difference between not allowing metagaming and 'you just don't like being questioned', and this story is clearly on the other side of that line.

Anyway, "Golems are immune to spells" ought to have a DC of about two, and "Clay golems are vulnerable to Move Earth and Earthquake" is ten at the most.

hewhosaysfish
2009-07-07, 09:31 AM
I've had players try stuff like this on me in the past, and it really annoys me. It usually ends with them throwing a temper tantrum when they discover that the monster's stats aren't what they expect.

I am reminded of one game system (I think it's Feng Shui...) where the rules explicitly state that the GM should increase any monster stat the players think they know...

"Hmm... it's a vampire so it should have an AV of around 13.. No, it will have gone up to 14 now that I've said that. No, 15! 16! Aaarghh!"

Random832
2009-07-07, 09:35 AM
"Hmm... it's a vampire so it should have an AV of around 13.. No, it will have gone up to 14 now that I've said that. No, 15! 16! Aaarghh!"

Crank it up to TPK levels, do this every time, until the DM agrees to discard the stupid rule.

kamikasei
2009-07-07, 09:38 AM
If they didn't make sense in the game universe they wouldn't exist.

If the fact that a clay golem is vulnerable to move earth makes in-game sense for some in-game reason having to do with the intricacies of magic, then that fact has no reason to be obvious to anyone who can't make the relevant Knowledge (arcana) check at whatever DC the DM deems suitable. If the sense of it isn't something that can be readily explained out of game, but has to be abstracted away as "something something arcana mumbo-jumbo something", then why should the check be low?


Making complaints is not metagaming, since it's not using the knowledge in character. There is a difference between not allowing metagaming and 'you just don't like being questioned', and this story is clearly on the other side of that line.

The player was metagaming. He hadn't taken any action based on his metagaming yet, but he was metagaming nonetheless.


Anyway, "Golems are immune to spells" ought to have a DC of about two, and "Clay golems are vulnerable to Move Earth and Earthquake" is ten at the most.

Why? I can see no reason why move earth and earthquake are intuitively obviously the best spells to use against a magical construct of baked clay, compared to, say, stone to mud or any sonic effect. The DC for such knowledge has no reason to be other than in line with the DC for any other piece of information about a monster - 10+HD+(n*5), though as mentioned earlier I think that system should be reworked anyway. Even something like "golems are immune to spells", though, would hardly be less than DC 10 common knowledge.

Kemper Boyd
2009-07-07, 09:42 AM
Crank it up to TPK levels, do this every time, until the DM agrees to discard the stupid rule.

Knowing the rules is treason, citizen!

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-07, 09:44 AM
Really, this points to a basic failure of the Knowledge skill mechanics. It's fine to say "DC 10+HD to identify, plus one piece of useful information for every five points you exceed the check", but it a) doesn't tell you want constitutes a piece of useful information


On saturday, my GM threw a gelatinous cube at us.

I made my knowledge check.

He said to me "You know they're normally 15 feet wide" as he placed a 20 ft cube on the battlefield. Gee, thanks. I know how big it isn't. Note that it's size never became relevant, except for the fact that a 20 foot cube was exactly enough to completely block the tunnel. A fact that everyone could see.

That's pretty much typical of my Knowledge checks.

There's also the ridiculous idiocy of Knowledge being a skill that you get better at as your character matures. While at first it sounds plausible that someone with a 40 year adventuring career knows more than someone fresh out of the academy, we hit the whole scenario of "I have just left Hogwarts, fresh in my studies of everything arcane, and, accordingly, know absolutely nothing about Golems, a magical construct that only Wizards can make. Still, I'm sure once I explode a few dragons I'll be more knowledgeable."




The player was metagaming. He hadn't taken any action based on his metagaming yet, but he was metagaming nonetheless.


It isn't metagaming until you *use* the information. If having the information without using it to change any character's actions in any way is metagaming, then everyone is guilty of it every time.

It's metagaming when he says "All right! It's out of bullets! Everyone charge!"

Xenogears
2009-07-07, 09:45 AM
The player was metagaming. He hadn't taken any action based on his metagaming yet, but he was metagaming nonetheless.

I'm fairly certain that metagamin is using player knowledge to make In-character decisions. It seems to me that he used player knowledge to make Out of character decisions. Namely to complain. Needlessly expecting the DM to follow the books to the letter but still not metagaming.

Jayabalard
2009-07-07, 09:47 AM
I just have to ask about it, 45.000 gold for a boat? Was it a luxury, 60-foot long, gold-plated yacht with water organs and a group of exotic dancers on board? I mean, a rowboat would probably cost some 10 or 20 gold to make, if you had to pay for everything (could be less). A river barge would be a few hundred gold, and a good, sea-going ship wouldn't cost more than a few thousand...Ships have historically been expensive to build. Ex: The USS Constitution cost $302,718 (1797 US dollars); the price of gold in 1800 was $19.3939 per troy ounce. That's 15609 ounces of gold.

D&D gold pieces are notorious for being undervalued compared what they were in the real world if you go with the 10 coins to a pound idea. Many people wind up changing that weight conversion to something a little more reasonable, so 45000 D&D GP doesn't seem like that much of a stretch to me.


Very simply put, White dragons are creatures of winter.So are polar bears, but fire isn't remarkably better against them than it is against non-winter animals.


In a "realistic" D&D world, what sadistic wizard mentor, during the years when he was teaching his apprentice cantrips, wouldn't say "Hey kid, there are these things called constructs or golems, and most magic doesn't work on them".One that doesn't know about them himself; depending on how rare they are in that particular world, it's quite possible that the Player hasn't met anyone who would know about them.


Certainly, the merchant hawking his scrolls is going to be trying to sell you the various reasons why you might want to buy them.This is only a valid assumption in certain kinds of campaigns; there might not be very many (or any) merchants hawking scrolls in a given world.


If you don't like it, then allow a knowledge check. And set the DC fairly. Saying just "You don't know that" without a roll is even worse than a character saying they do know it, since clearly there is a reason it works, and it's perfectly reasonable for a wizard to have come across it in their studies.You're assuming that it's reasonable for a wizard to have come across it at all, which may not be the case... and if so, it's completely reasonable to just say that they don't know it.


Changing the monster's stats on the fly I don't think that's what Saph was suggesting.

Random832
2009-07-07, 09:51 AM
If the fact that a clay golem is vulnerable to move earth makes in-game sense for some in-game reason having to do with the intricacies of magic, then that fact has no reason to be obvious to anyone who can't make the relevant Knowledge (arcana) check at whatever DC the DM deems suitable.

On the other hand, if the wizard already had Move Earth prepared / it was one of only up to three 6th-level spells the sorcerer knows, and given it sounds halfway relevant (it's made of earth, I want to move it, why not), are you just going to not let them cast it? Someone had to be first to discover it, after all.

Heck - it's not in the spell description, but that doesn't mean it wasn't covered when they learned the spell - I'd at least give them a circumstance bonus to the knowledge check for knowing the spell.


D&D gold pieces are notorious for being undervalued compared what they were in the real world if you go with the 10 coins to a pound idea. Many people wind up changing that weight conversion to something a little more reasonable, so 45000 D&D GP doesn't seem like that much of a stretch to me.

For one thing, it's 50 coins to a pound. It hasn't been ten since first edition. For another thing, gold is worth* a lot more now than it was historically - and 50 silver coins to a pound ends up being actually reasonable. It ends up being about $4, or $40 for a GP, which isn't that unrealistic, considering that "$20 for a GP" was the standard conversion factor used to set prices back in the 70s.

*No, I'm not talking about inflation. It's actually worth more. As in, you can buy more food with it.

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-07, 09:53 AM
One that doesn't know about them himself; depending on how rare they are in that particular world, it's quite possible that the Player hasn't met anyone who would know about them.


This is only a valid assumption in certain kinds of campaigns; there might not be very many (or any) merchants hawking scrolls in a given world.


One that doesn't know about them himself; depending on how rare they are in that particular world, it's quite possible that the Player hasn't met anyone who would know about them.


This is only a valid assumption in certain kinds of campaigns; there might not be very many (or any) merchants hawking scrolls in a given world.


This appears to be a double post that never actually split into two posts. It's like that thing on Ripley's Believe Or Not where that guy was supposed to be twins but pre-birth he absorbed the other twin and so he has bits of bone and tissue floating around in his gut.

Kurald Galain
2009-07-07, 09:53 AM
Why? I can see no reason why move earth and earthquake are intuitively obviously the best spells to use against a magical construct of baked clay

I see your Earth Golem and raise you a Prismatic Wall. Honestly, I have no idea what the designer of that particular spell was smoking when he decided on the countermeasures (back in 1E).

Saph
2009-07-07, 09:57 AM
If they didn't make sense in the game universe they wouldn't exist.

Mm-hm. Ask around about drowning rules in 3.5, insist that they make sense, and see what kind of answers you get.


Anyway, "Golems are immune to spells" ought to have a DC of about two, and "Clay golems are vulnerable to Move Earth and Earthquake" is ten at the most.

Let me quote you the SRD on knowledge checks.



Check
Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).

In many cases, you can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monsterís HD. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster.

For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information.

A Clay Golem has 11 HD. Identifying one thus has a base DC of 21.

Now, what was it you said a few posts ago? Something along the lines of "The DM has to follow the rules too"? It doesn't seem as though that particular principle of yours lasted very long. :P

- Saph

kamikasei
2009-07-07, 09:59 AM
That's pretty much typical of my Knowledge checks.

Well, to be honest, that just sounds like your DM screwing with you.


There's also the ridiculous idiocy of Knowledge being a skill that you get better at as your character matures... "Still, I'm sure once I explode a few dragons I'll be more knowledgeable."

And that's just an unfortunate side-effect of the abstract level-based skill system in general.


It isn't metagaming until you *use* the information. If having the information without using it to change any character's actions in any way is metagaming, then everyone is guilty of it every time.

It's metagaming when he says "All right! It's out of bullets! Everyone charge!"


I'm fairly certain that metagamin is using player knowledge to make In-character decisions. It seems to me that he used player knowledge to make Out of character decisions. Namely to complain. Needlessly expecting the DM to follow the books to the letter but still not metagaming.

The way I would put it is that he's engaging in metagame thinking, but hasn't taken any actions based on that thinking yet. Engaging in metagame thinking is different to just knowing something out-of-character. For one thing, it means assuming the in-character facts line up with your out-of-character knowledge.

In this case, I don't see it as just complaining or thinking the DM's made a mistake. It's thinking that something you have no good reason to think is true in character is so just because it's what the MM says, and refusing to take events at their in-character face value. If that's not metagaming, then it's a very close and equally irritating cousin.


One that doesn't know about them himself; depending on how rare they are in that particular world, it's quite possible that the Player hasn't met anyone who would know about them.

This is another important point about Knowledge checks - they should be much more adjustable depending on how common a creature or knowledge about the creature is in the world. An annoying example of setting/campaign details being built in to the core rules.

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-07, 10:07 AM
Well, to be honest, that just sounds like your DM screwing with you.



Except that it's happened with four or five different DMs.

I'm thinking it's less a matter of "Hey lets mess with shadow" and more a matter of "MUST. THINK. OF. FACT. UUHH. UMMM. I KNOW! I WILL GRAB SOMETHING FROM THE STAT LIST. IT'S GRAPPLE MODIFIER IS SEVENTEEN."

It's a nasty shock to realize that suddenly you have to surrender a bit of information with the player; it's a very human instinct to never give them the one sentence that will make your carefully planned encounter much easier.

Random832
2009-07-07, 10:10 AM
If you really don't let them use the spell, then you should boost the CR of the monster (and therefor the XP award for beating it without it), since it effectively lacks that vulnerability.

kamikasei
2009-07-07, 10:11 AM
Except that it's happened with four or five different DMs.

I'm thinking it's less a matter of "Hey lets mess with shadow" and more a matter of "MUST. THINK. OF. FACT. UUHH. UMMM. I KNOW! I WILL GRAB SOMETHING FROM THE STAT LIST. IT'S GRAPPLE MODIFIER IS SEVENTEEN."

It's a nasty shock to realize that suddenly you have to surrender a bit of information with the player; it's a very human instinct to never give them the one sentence that will make your carefully planned encounter much easier.

Well then that just sounds like bad DMing. To be fair to the individual DMs concerned, it may just be a common weak point of the role. No encounter intended for a party with two knowledge skills to rub together should rely for its power on their being ignorant of some standard feature of the creatures involved. If it happens so often to you, your best bet is probably to inform DMs when you start with them that you do ask for knowledge checks on a regular basis so that they won't be caught totally flat-footed when it happens.


If you really don't let them use the spell, then you should boost the CR of the monster (and therefor the XP award for beating it without it), since it effectively lacks that vulnerability.

I'm inclined to say this was just a crappy example to start with, since it implies the party have move earth available to cast for some reason before being surprised by the clay golem. I doubt Saph would refuse to allow the spell to be cast at all in that circumstance. If for some reason it's the only earth-themed spell in the wizard's spellbook and the rogue scouts out the presence of the golem and gives them time to formulate a plan / fill empty spell slots, it's reasonable in character to prepare that spell. If, say, the wizard instead is caught unprepared and wants to use a limited wish to emulate the appropriate spell, you'd be justified in asking what made him think of move earth.

Random832
2009-07-07, 10:15 AM
Mm-hm. Ask around about drowning rules in 3.5, insist that they make sense, and see what kind of answers you get.

What exactly is the problem with the drowning rules, other than "drown to heal from negative HP" lawyering that is not actually supported by the text? (the term "falls" unconscious implies that HP is not increased to 0 if it was already negative - and there aren't actually rules for intentionally failing checks)

Kurald Galain
2009-07-07, 10:24 AM
What exactly is the problem with the drowning rules, other than "drown to heal from negative HP" lawyering that is not actually supported by the text? (the term "falls" unconscious implies that HP is not increased to 0 if it was already negative - and there aren't actually rules for intentionally failing checks)

Ah, do you want to change this thread into a list of D&D rules that don't make sense? Because we've got quite a number of them, and healing-by-drowning is just the tip of the waterberg.

Just to name one, the scrawny str-10 wizard will beat the bulky muscular str-18 fighter at arm wrestling, about one time out of five.

Killer Angel
2009-07-07, 10:31 AM
Let me quote you the SRD on knowledge checks.

(snip)

A Clay Golem has 11 HD. Identifying one thus has a base DC of 21.

- Saph


I agree with your pow.
Normally, in my group, the players can make question using metagaming knowledge.
They know that clay golems are vulnerable to move earth, so they ask directly what kind of spell is useful against the clay golem.
The DC is 10+HD+5 (so, 26).
You (as a player) have the knowledge, but you can use such knowledge only after a (successful) check.

Maybe it's not perfect, but it works.

Coplantor
2009-07-07, 11:00 AM
Ah, do you want to change this thread into a list of D&D rules that don't make sense? Because we've got quite a number of them, and healing-by-drowning is just the tip of the waterberg.

Just to name one, the scrawny str-10 wizard will beat the bulky muscular str-18 fighter at arm wrestling, about one time out of five.

ADnD Second Edition Player's Options had a way to deal with this, it used a very similar example "The str 16 fighter tries to push a boulder to unblock a passage, he rolls a d20 and the result is a 19, he fails (in 2nd ed, ability rolls were made and you had roll equal to or less than your ability score in order to succeed), then, a thief with a score of 12 tries to push the rock and he rolls a 4, effectively pushing the boulder"

The solution? Characters with high scores were able to roll more than once, and if any of those rolls was a success, then the action succeeded. (I think you got a second roll if your score was 14 - 17 and a third roll with a 18+)

Talon Sky
2009-07-07, 11:07 AM
Me: "The monster fires another round of tail spikes at you."
Player: "Manticores can't do that!"
Me: "It just did."
Player: "No it can't!" *pulls out Monster Manual*
Me: *blinks* "Are you serious?"
Player: "It's used all its shots up! It can't do any more!"
Me: "Uh, when did I say anything about how many spikes it could fire?"
Player: "It's in the Monster Manual!"


See, this is exactly why I don't just copy/paste monsters from the MM. To me, all monster entries are simply basic, standard templates....that group of goblins you encountered last week will be different from the group this week. The group you're encountering this week might have raided a dwarven keep and hence are equipped with better weapons/armor, or on the other hand might have just fought another tribe of goblins and are almost all at half-health.

And I never thought about an albino white dragon. *evil grin*

Kurald Galain
2009-07-07, 11:10 AM
The solution? Characters with high scores were able to roll more than once, and if any of those rolls was a success, then the action succeeded. (I think you got a second roll if your score was 14 - 17 and a third roll with a 18+)

I'm afraid that doesn't actually solve the problem, if you do the math.

Coplantor
2009-07-07, 11:17 AM
I'm afraid that doesn't actually solve the problem, if you do the math.

Of course it wont solve the problem, but it'll make situations like the one of the example far more rare.

magellan
2009-07-07, 11:18 AM
This discussion shows me two things:
1) D&D did not take the first step in the wrong direction when they turned THAC0 around, it was when they introduced non weapon proficiencies
2) Metagaming is a completely arbitary term and therefor meaningless. I recall a discussion somewhere else on this board where someone said something like "A bucket of water versus a witch? Thats silly. They should have brought some swords and stuff"
It totally depends on what you have been exposed too if its "totally obvious" or a "huge metagaming leap no character could have made without outside knowledge"

Random832
2009-07-07, 11:19 AM
I'm afraid that doesn't actually solve the problem, if you do the math.

I'm not sure what the rules are for arm wrestling, but since you didn't mention con or size, i'll just assume it's an opposed str check.

+4 bonus vs 0 bonus, +4 gets best of 3 attempts, wins 90% of the time - vs 66% of the time without the best of 3 rule.

You seem to want it to be 100% - so no-one ever gets a cramp?

Talon Sky
2009-07-07, 11:21 AM
ADnD Second Edition Player's Options had a way to deal with this, it used a very similar example "The str 16 fighter tries to push a boulder to unblock a passage, he rolls a d20 and the result is a 19, he fails (in 2nd ed, ability rolls were made and you had roll equal to or less than your ability score in order to succeed), then, a thief with a score of 12 tries to push the rock and he rolls a 4, effectively pushing the boulder"


You know what I say to that?

Thief: wOOt! I pushed over the boulder!
Fighter: Well I loosened it!

Why, just because the fighter failed, does it have to mean his attempt didn't do anything at all?

Jayabalard
2009-07-07, 11:26 AM
This is another important point about Knowledge checks - they should be much more adjustable depending on how common a creature or knowledge about the creature is in the world. An annoying example of setting/campaign details being built in to the core rules.Personally, I've always taken it as a given that those are just guidelines for the DM... and that the DM is responsible for using some sense when they set the actual DC's.

Coplantor
2009-07-07, 11:35 AM
You know what I say to that?

Thief: wOOt! I pushed over the boulder!
Fighter: Well I loosened it!

Why, just because the fighter failed, does it have to mean his attempt didn't do anything at all?

Haha, yeah, it sounds righ.
But the real problem would be when a 10 str character armwrestles the tarasque (dont ask me how) and wins because the tarasque rolled a 1.

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-07, 11:41 AM
Haha, yeah, it sounds righ.
But the real problem would be when a 10 str character armwrestles the tarasque (dont ask me how) and wins because the tarasque rolled a 1.

Ability checks don't auto-fail on a 1. Only attack rolls and saving throws.

Coplantor
2009-07-07, 11:45 AM
Ability checks don't auto-fail on a 1. Only attack rolls and saving throws.

I've been playing it wrong for so much time!:smalleek:
...
I think I'll ritual kill myself with the sharp corners of the dungeon master guide...

Adumbration
2009-07-07, 11:48 AM
Is hiding from riders coming down the road becouse they might be someone that is hunting you metagaming? No.

Is staying on the road - becouse you'll get good XPs from defeating the encounter - metagaming? Yes.

Seriously, someone has things slightly upsidedown in my opinion.

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-07, 11:53 AM
Well... "We'll fight them, we'll get XP!" isn't always metagaming. Combat does make you better at combat. It would make sense for a "I must get stronger by defeating all opponents!" type to do that/

Rhiannon87
2009-07-07, 11:59 AM
Well... "We'll fight them, we'll get XP!" isn't always metagaming. Combat does make you better at combat. It would make sense for a "I must get stronger by defeating all opponents!" type to do that/

Yeah. The only person in our party who might do that is our LN fighter, but she was too busy having a massive moral crisis because she helped us escape from being lawfully arrested, and thus was easily herded off the road and into the shrubbery.

And on the subject of Knowledge checks, I feel like that if handled well, they're one of the best defenses against metagaming. It's fairly common in our group to have the following exchange occur:

DM: You see X creature coming towards you.
Player: Oh, that's a thus-and-such! Can I roll a knowledge check to see if I know what it is?
DM: Go for it.
Player: ::rolls!::
DM: Yeah, you know it's an X, and you also know these fun facts about it!

Or, if they fail: Nope, you have no idea, sorry.
Player: Aww. ::pouts::

And the player then usually makes an effort to try and not use their out-of-game knowledge to dictate their character's actions. Luckily, for monsters, it's usually our wizard making those rolls, and she has a +24 on her knowledge arcana and planes checks.

Of course, for this to all work, the players have to have the ability to split player knowledge and character knowledge, and the DM has to be able to hand out good information based on rolls and set appropriate DCs.

MickJay
2009-07-07, 03:23 PM
About the ship, can anyone make a calculation of how much a large ship would cost? Things to consider are: price of cubic metre of wood (can be 1,5x, it needs to be impregnated) and how much wood would be needed, labour (specialists) [I have no info on how much time building would take IRL] and additional equipment? In any case, most of things in D&D that have listed prices are grossly overpriced when compared to actual costs of making the goods (based also on D&D sourcebooks).

Darkfire
2009-07-07, 03:44 PM
when we set off the necklaces of fireballs-- with another fireball, incidentally. 59d6 of fire damage is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I suspect that this is the bit that your DM was unhappy with. Unless you had the specific knowledge that the necklace of fireballs would detonate when hit with a fireball* (either through experience, a relevant knowledge check or other means) then you were metagaming when you decided to do this. This particular item's volatility when exposed to magical fire is not unique (Helm of Brilliance is the only other one that immediately occurs to me but I'm sure there are others) but it is unusual for a magical item. Most only take damage after failing a save if the carrier rolls a natural 1 and the object itself then fails to save assuming you make it that far down the list of things affected (see here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#itemsSurvivingafteraSavingTh row) (d20srd.org)).

Even if the information was known, if the fire-proof individual waded into melee and deliberately failed their Reflex save in order to achieve detonation then your DM was right: definitely metagaming.

The second incident may have been more about choosing a fairly convoluted means of hiding that avoided the need of making a skill check rather than the sensible (if a little paranoid) suggestion that the riders may have been hostile. Hiding in that situation makes sense, deliberately exposing one disguised party member strikes me as a little foolhardy but not unreasonable as it gives you a better chance of finding out who the riders are and the opportunity to feed pursuers false information.

As for the knowledge checks for creatures, I stumbled upon this the other day and promptly bookmarked it: Monster Lore Compendium (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=685278) (gleemax.com). DCs and appropriate information to provide for Knowledge checks. I hope you find it of use.

*the description does indicate that it must be worn or carried in order for this to happen but, to be fair, it's reasonable to expect the same behaviour when it's unattended.

Random832
2009-07-07, 03:51 PM
The second incident may have been more about choosing a fairly convoluted means of hiding that avoided the need of making a skill check

Requires a disguise check (made when he got into disguise, I guess, but if these are new people they get a new spot check to oppose), and a bluff check if they interact. How does that avoid the need of making a skill check? It sounds to me like the DM wanted them to fight them, and was frustrated at that not happening

Sallera
2009-07-07, 03:55 PM
That depends on how you view "deliberately failing a Reflex save." Given that this was a pre-planned move, it would be something like holding the necklace in their hand and casting a fireball directly at it. They're not going to try and avoid the resulting explosion, since they know they're protected against it. One would assume that this equates to deliberately failing the save, but I wouldn't say it involves metagaming.

Devils_Advocate
2009-07-07, 04:18 PM
D&D did not take the first step in the wrong direction when they turned THAC0 around
Well, obviously. Making to-hit rolls work forwards was a good step.


Metagaming is a completely arbitary term and therefor meaningless.
No, it's not.


It totally depends on what you have been exposed too if its "totally obvious" or a "huge metagaming leap no character could have made without outside knowledge"
Um, yeah. Yeah, it does. Whether you're using out-of-character knowledge depends on whether you know something in-character. Duh.

And whether you know something in-character depends on your character's background, the campaign world, skill checks, ability scores, and/or whatever. It shouldn't be a matter of just saying "My character retroactively always knew that, because that will help me with this encounter." That's ridiculously cheap.

And that's why d20 has Knowledge rolls built right in. That way character knowledge doesn't need to be a matter of DM fiat nor player fiat. It's resolved semi-randomly based on character ability, just like other important things like attacks, stealth, acrobatics, etc.

Edit: Maybe in the situations Rhiannon87 describes, her DM should have called for Knowledge (arcana) and Disguise rolls.

AstralFire
2009-07-07, 04:35 PM
If it means anything, by far my weakest aspect of knowledge in 3.5 is the prebuilt monsters. I have never bought any of the Monster Manuals, even. (This causes EXTREME consternation for new players in my games who min-max. They're almost always facing player races who have been kitted out fairly well with equipment; when I use monsters, I've often built them from scratch by using a humanoid as a benchmark.) I prefer mostly humanoid enemies.

When someone said 'clay golem', the first four spells that came to my mind, in order, were:
- Disintegrate
- Earthquake
- Transmute Mud to Rock
- Move Earth

Considering I had absolutely no idea of the Clay Golem's stats other than my general knowledge of 'disintegrate > constructs", it doesn't feel very metagamey to me. You can POSSIBLY blame Earthquake on my love of Pokemon... but if I'm trying to stay the heck away from something made of dirt, I'm gonna try to use a spell that controls dirt.

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-07, 06:00 PM
I suspect that this is the bit that your DM was unhappy with. Unless you had the specific knowledge that the necklace of fireballs would detonate when hit with a fireball* (either through experience, a relevant knowledge check or other means) then you were metagaming when you decided to do this.
According to Rhiannon87, the Wizard casted Identify on the necklace, so at the very least, the wizard achieved that knowledge through the "or other means" clause. Now, there might be a window that the Wizard didn't relay that specific information on to the players before the plan was hatched, but that's another can of worms on its own.

Rhiannon87
2009-07-07, 07:55 PM
According to Rhiannon87, the Wizard casted Identify on the necklace, so at the very least, the wizard achieved that knowledge through the "or other means" clause. Now, there might be a window that the Wizard didn't relay that specific information on to the players before the plan was hatched, but that's another can of worms on its own.

We had been carrying around both these items for some time, and the wizard had made the relevant checks in-game to learn about the items. The DM was the one who pointed out (to the wizard so she could relay the info) that if I was carrying the necklace of fireballs, I needed to keep it someplace fireproof, or else the next time I got hit with a fire spell I might go boom. Hence my purchasing a Handy Haversack.

I don't think that intentionally failing a reflex save is metagaming. Fort is the only save you can't control; a reflex save means diving out of the way, and a will save means fighting off something mentally. You can choose not to do either of those things. So saying "Not making my reflex save" means you stand your ground and let the fireball detonate on you. I've intentionally had characters fail will saves before (letting zone of truth take effect without a will save when it was imperative that people believe I was telling the truth, for instance), and I don't think that's metagaming either. Why would intentionally forgoing a reflex save be any different?

Claudius Maximus
2009-07-07, 10:48 PM
Actually, you can voluntarily fail a fortitude save, although I agree that it makes almost zero sense.

mistformsquirrl
2009-07-07, 11:25 PM
Maybe, maybe not. It depends IMHO whether or not you've seen it's breath weapon or faced dragons before. If you know fire-breathers are weak against ice, then you might suspect ice-breathers are weak against fire, even without enough Knowlege to get that fact.

I disagree - let me explain why though:

While I could wholeheartedly support players saying "Don't use Ice on the white dragon!" - if they've seen it's breath weapon...

I do not see why that would indicate Fire would be 'extra effective'.

White dragons aren't made of Ice - it's not like with a Fire elemental where you can plainly see "It's made of fire, so logically hitting it with water (cold) will help put it out"

It's a big white lizard that shoots ice.

To someone who does not have any kind of Knowledge of the subject (be it learned in-game or via knowledge ranks) a Dragon is just a big lizard. You *might* know they're intelligent, like treasure, and have breath weapons - but without some kind of research or ranks; I have a tough time buying that a character would be aware of stuff like a White Dragon's vulnerability to Fire.

I tend to think of Knowledge skills as covering "Specialized" knowledge, essentially. Stuff that Joe Commoner has absolutely no reason to know.

The PC's can get away with a slightly greater level of innate knowledge than Joe Commoner due to their upbringings and training... but even so; that's a pretty specific level of knowledge; the kind that I'd expect to be represented my Knowledge skills or in-game research.

Keeping in mind, Dragons in most settings are not particularly common critters. You still need a Knowledge (Nature) check to figure out some of the more complex aspects of common animals.

A white dragons vulnerability to fire is only obvious from a player's standpoint - gaming has taught us to expect that if something shoots Ice, to hit it with Fire; but that doesn't mean it's necessarily make it a logical conclusion for a character, especially a creature that isn't particularly common nor made of the substance it's shooting.

I would of course argue Bardic Knowledge could reveal this - bards traffic in the legendary; and legends are full of monster's weaknesses (though you may have to do a little mental sifting.)

---

Course all that's kind of tangential anyway.

The real point I'm trying to make is simply that, if your character has no reason to know a creature's weakness, but uses it right out of the gate - that's metagaming. Using knowledge you as a player have that your character simply does not have any reason to know.

(With the exception of course of a character who commonly opens with an attack that just happens to be a foe's weakness. Like a Fire attack against a White Dragon - you may not know it's effective, but if Fireball is your common opener; you'll figure it out real fast.)

Dragons were probably a bit of a bad example though - as they tend to not be incidental enemies. Generally if you face a dragon (in my experience at least) - it's either a BBEG who you've had time to research...

Or it's not the final battle yet and this is just a dramatic reveal; and other than a couple parting shots, you probably aren't going to be killing the dragon here.

(Sorry if I'm rambling - nasty headache; but want to explain my position so people see where I'm coming from, even if they don't agree)

mistformsquirrl
2009-07-07, 11:29 PM
You see, this doesn't strike me as pure meta-gaming. At least in the games I run, after about level 3, my players have reached the point where adventuring is more or less their career. And it's a career where not knowing what you're doing is tantimount to commiting suicide.

Let's say trolls. If you have ever heard of trolls (from your mentor, a bard, reading in a book) you should know of their traditional weakness to fire. Sure, a lot of things are really obscure and not covered in this, but a knowledge DC of 0 is roughly where I set 'trolls don't like fire' when your survival is based around knowing these things.

Anyone with formal training should know these things. A paladin should be taught more than how to pray and smite. A warrior should be informed of the kinds of things he may one day have to kill.

Saying the troll has 2 attacks at +7 is metagaming.
Knowing that you shouldn't hit a big propeller looking bug with your magic sword is a sign of good training.

These are all things I'd expect to come either:

A) From encountering the creature in question

B) Finding out in-game from an NPC

C) Knowledge checks - Which represent that training you mention above.

Obviously this varies by campaign setting a bit. Sometimes these creatures are much more common than typical; and perhaps then a roll for Knowledge isn't needed.

But at least to me, the more out there the creature, the less common it is, and the less likely the Knowledge is to be had without a knowledge check. Adventurer or no, that doesn't mean you just automatically know 'adventurer stuff'. (If you did, a lot of knowledge checks would fly out the window)

AstralFire
2009-07-07, 11:32 PM
Mist, recall that games picked up the idea of elemental weaknesses from mythology to begin with. Again, I think that's a perfectly logical conclusion to draw, especially if you write any sort of formalized philosophy in-game for how elements work and make it common knowledge. The biggest example in this thread of something that I DO have trouble seeing someone figure out spontaneously is Prismatic Wall/Sphere. What the hell?

mistformsquirrl
2009-07-07, 11:38 PM
>.> I'm going to admit some ignorance here:

What myths include elemental weaknesses?

The ones I'm familiar with don't, to my memory - but I'm definitely not saying that none do (I am hardly omnipotent <@_@>).

The only one I can think of that's even close is the whole Hercules and the Hydra thing - but that's not so much a weakness to fire (I don't think shooting the Hydra with a fireball for instance would have made a bit of difference); but rather that to keep the heads from regrowing you had to seal them with fire.

I guess kinda like a Troll in that respect.

Other than that I'm drawing a blank.

--- Err, that's kind of a tangent anyway; but you've got me curious >.>

Even so; I have doubts that people would be aware of every myth and legend even in their own time. We - 20th century geeks with access to a great deal of free time and the Internet (probably the single fastest source of information ever) - could theoretically know it; but these are people relying on poets and bards; and general folklore.

(Which is why I say a Bardic Knowledge check makes some sense)

<. .> (Not arguing just to argue of course; this is just my perspective is all)

Tukka
2009-07-08, 02:02 AM
I try not to make a really big deal of metagaming in my games, because in general, I don't think it adds much. Or rather, I have a pretty high threshold for what I consider to be metagaming, and tolerate it a little (or else just compensate for it by planting traps that only a metagamer would fall into). Still, I think those Knowledge skills are there for a reason, and should be used.

There are some problems by strictly ruling that DC 10 + HD guideline. It can scale somewhat unfairly, for one (CR might be a better basis for the check). Also, it can be pretty nonsensical. If I can identify a white dragon wyrmling, I should be able to identify an ancient white wyrm just as easily (if not moreso), unless it is somehow disguised or somehow different from typical white dragons. A higher DC check is called for to know some of the details that are particular to aged dragons, though (including spellcasting capability or spell-like abilities). Since fire vulnerability, cold breath, cold immunity and icewalking are traits common to all white dragons, it wouldn't take a very high check to know (or at least, guess) that an older white has those traits.

If it's disguised, then determining that would be handled by a spot check.

If the dragon is uncommon for its kind, that would probably modify the DC for identifying the monster, depending on how dramatic or misleading the difference is.

Take the example of the albino red dragon. I'd say that's a pretty misleading difference, modifying the identify DC by +10 or so. For the base DC of that check, however, I'd probably utilize the lowest HD version of the monster (DC 17, in this case), so a DC 27 Knowledge (arcana) check to properly identify the dragon as a red.

As for vulnerabilities and such, that's also a bit of a judgment call. I certainly wouldn't make my players succeed on a DC 27 Knowledge (nature) to identify a troll hunter and know that it is vulnerable to acid and fire. Just identifying the monster as a troll (DC 16 check) would be sufficient to reveal such a famed vulnerability, in my book. Stuff like that, and the fact that all dragons have a breath weapon, would qualify as common knowledge to me (though you'd still have to make a successful check to recognize the creature for what it is).

It's a fair point that maybe those famed qualities aren't common knowledge in the game world, or to say that the folklore about trolls and similar beasts is wrong as often as it is right, so the characters wouldn't think to try them at first. Still, this is one of those instances where a strict no-metagaming policy can really become too burdensome and may drag down the session in a decidedly un-fun way.

If every player knows what trick would make the encounter go much more smoothly, but can't capitalize on that knowledge because the wizard rolled a 1 and failed to recognize that the multi-headed reptile in the swamp is a hydra (let alone figure out how the stumps can be sealed), you're put in a situation where everyone is sitting around trying to figure out or rationalize when and how the characters can take advantage of the vulnerability that everyone is aware of. That's just not good for immersion, IMO, and it's pretty frustrating from a gamist perspective too.

Better to make the knowledge checks for the stuff that all players know reasonably easy, or allow a little bit of metagaming, or else use more obscure/homebrewed/nonstandard monsters so that things like that are rarely an issue.

Oh, and using move earth on a clay golem without the requisite Knowledge check is pure metagaming, in my book. That's a very specific susceptibility, and I wouldn't allow it in my game, unless the player has a demonstrated history of taking those kinds of "shots in the dark" in the past -- if he's cycling through a list of ineffective spells that (according to common sense, but not the monster entry) might affect a clay golem, that's fine. If he's used move earth to good effect against a burrowing earth elemental in the past, then I'd probably allow its use against a clay golem too. But "oh, I have an 18 Int so of course I should be able to guess that move earth is effective" purely out of the blue -- that wouldn't fly with me.

Yuki Akuma
2009-07-08, 05:13 AM
>.> I'm going to admit some ignorance here:

What myths include elemental weaknesses?

All myths about dragons in the D&D world.

Totally Guy
2009-07-08, 06:39 AM
I remember playing Icewind dale and being completely stuck on how you're supposed to kill the damned trolls. I thought that my party shoul have known something like that to clue me in as a player.

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-08, 06:46 AM
You guys this stopped being a problem a couple pages ago when someone posted this http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=685278 Lore Compendium which actually gives values for things like knowing that Ice Dragons are weak against Fire.

Adeptus
2009-07-08, 07:45 AM
The GM is complaining about sour grapes. If anything he/she seems like a bad sport, and doesn't like the characters being quick on their feet. Bah.

Kurald Galain
2009-07-08, 07:53 AM
I remember playing Icewind dale and being completely stuck on how you're supposed to kill the damned trolls. I thought that my party shoul have known something like that to clue me in as a player.

That is also a good point. I do expect to be able to ask my DM "does my character know this?" in those situations where the character has certain knowledge skills that I, as a player, don't have.

Sebastian
2009-07-08, 07:53 AM
Armor should act as a Faraday cage, protecting the wearer from electricity... this, of course, means that DnD's magical electricity isn't the same as electricity made of electrons.

IIRC 2nd edition arms and equipment had rules where you get bonus to the saving thorw against electrical based spell if you are in full armor. also bonus agaiisnt sound and vision based charm-like spells (i.e. hipnotic pattern) if you wear a full helm, because it limited your hearing and vision.

AstralFire
2009-07-08, 07:59 AM
>.> I'm going to admit some ignorance here:

What myths include elemental weaknesses?

The ones I'm familiar with don't, to my memory - but I'm definitely not saying that none do (I am hardly omnipotent <@_@>).

The ones involving elementals. :3 Both Greek and Chinese, at least.

Lamech
2009-07-08, 09:24 AM
One why is something immune to fire because it is made of fire? I'm not immune to flesh and bone based attacks, such as being punched in the face. Hence, unless kids are raised on stories of fire elementals being hurt by ice then the characters wouldn't know.

Two, clay golem: I would say that a wizard would know what his spell can do. He would know about the shortened casting time on clay golems. Well, I would say he knows about the shortened casting time if the DM decides that it has a short casting time. And that might clue him into the fact that it does something. Anyway, its really badly thought out because: IT DOESNT HAVE A CASTING TIME.

Three: I think a DM should always feel free to refluff stuff. For example make black dragons breathe fire, red dragons ice and white dragons acid. Also a blaster wizard probably wants to kill everything with fire.

Kurald Galain
2009-07-08, 09:28 AM
One why is something immune to fire because it is made of fire?

Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight everything with fire!

- Jaya Ballard

Jayabalard
2009-07-08, 10:03 AM
Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight everything with fire!

- Jaya BallardSo very very true.

Some have said there is no subtlety to destruction. You know what? They're dead.

valadil
2009-07-08, 10:37 AM
To someone who does not have any kind of Knowledge of the subject (be it learned in-game or via knowledge ranks) a Dragon is just a big lizard. You *might* know they're intelligent, like treasure, and have breath weapons - but without some kind of research or ranks; I have a tough time buying that a character would be aware of stuff like a White Dragon's vulnerability to Fire.

I tend to think of Knowledge skills as covering "Specialized" knowledge, essentially. Stuff that Joe Commoner has absolutely no reason to know.


I'm of the opinion that a setting with chromatic dragons would also be a setting with relevant folklore. In most of the games I play in, using fire against trolls is standard knowledge because it's the sort of information that would get passed around.

That said, it all depends on your setting. If you're playing in a game where the last dragons died out a thousand years ago, but oh look, now they're back, that kind of knowledge might not be available anymore. The folklore in a setting is up to the GM, and it is the responsibility of the GM to make the players aware of what does and doesn't fall under the category of common knowledge. Or just stick it to 'em with an albino red dragon.

Talon Sky
2009-07-08, 10:56 AM
Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight everything with fire!

- Jaya Ballard

And, plus....fire pretty!

Kylarra
2009-07-08, 11:37 AM
Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight everything with fire!

- Jaya Ballard
That's nuclear dan (http://agc.deskslave.org/comic_viewer.html?goNumber=61)'s motto too!

mistformsquirrl
2009-07-08, 03:35 PM
I'm of the opinion that a setting with chromatic dragons would also be a setting with relevant folklore. In most of the games I play in, using fire against trolls is standard knowledge because it's the sort of information that would get passed around.

That said, it all depends on your setting. If you're playing in a game where the last dragons died out a thousand years ago, but oh look, now they're back, that kind of knowledge might not be available anymore. The folklore in a setting is up to the GM, and it is the responsibility of the GM to make the players aware of what does and doesn't fall under the category of common knowledge. Or just stick it to 'em with an albino red dragon.

See - the problem here is the assumption that the information will be readily available even in a typical D&D setting though.

Remember - there is no internet here; and common people aren't often sent to school. The things we take for granted simply don't apply.

There might be rumors of course - but who's to say they're accurate?

That's why you need the knowledge check.

Now according to the post Shadow_Archmagi; the DC is 12 - that'd mean that it's not particularly uncommon; but something that not everyone knows. I could believe that pretty handily.

Obviously setting will be a factor of course. If dragons are more active amongst humanoid populations (think President Dunklezhan from Shadowrun for instance) - information like this probably wouldn't require a check of any kind.

But most D&D settings, at least from everything I've read, indicate that while dragons are certainly known - they aren't common and tend to live in rather isolated areas. (Unless of course it's convienent for the DM to be otherwise >.>)

----

@Yuki_Akuma - I was actually referring to RL myths, which is what was mentioned hehe

@Astral_Fire - To be totally honest: I've never heard of any myths involving elementals >_<; Obviously I shall have to do more research. (Like I said; I don't claim to know everything, not by a long shot hehe >.<)

Still though, elementals are a bit different from dragons ya know? I mean, an elemental is made up of it's element - pouring water on a fire elemental seems pretty straightforward since it's basically an animated bonfire coming your way >.>

A dragon though is just a color-coded lizard that shoots various types of things out it's mouth.


@Lamech - Actually I think it's fairly logical.

Think of it like this: What happens if you use a flamethrower on an already burning building?

You're going to spread/add fire to it.*

Same principle for elementals I think - they're literally made up of the stuff.

Keep in mind, the flesh and bone example doesn't work because it'd be like saying an Earth Elemental is immune to being hit upside the head with a big rock... which I don't think it is. There's a difference between utilizing an energy (Fire, Cold, Electricity) and a physical object (A rock, a bone weapon).

To use Ice as an example (since it can go either way) - if I hit an Ice Elemental with a frozen boulder; I'd expect it to take damage. On the other hand if I hit it with a Cone of Cold spell, it's just going to absorb that cold into it's being, because the cold has no matter or physical weight and force to it; and the creature is made up of ice.

*That said it's possible to blow out a fire with an explosion - but that's because of the expanding gases sending away the oxygen - much like blowing out a candle. Most explosions aren't really incendiary. Noted purely for completeness.

---

/ramble ramble ramble

<. .> I am hungry now.

AstralFire
2009-07-08, 04:34 PM
...Elementals are not classically sentient blobs of magma or rock, mist.

Darkfire
2009-07-08, 05:39 PM
Requires a disguise check (made when he got into disguise, I guess, but if these are new people they get a new spot check to oppose), and a bluff check if they interact. How does that avoid the need of making a skill check? It sounds to me like the DM wanted them to fight them, and was frustrated at that not happening
Sorry, I wasn't clear: The characters who were going to hide in the chest wouldn't have needed to make a skill check.


We had been carrying around both these items for some time, and the wizard had made the relevant checks in-game to learn about the items. The DM was the one who pointed out (to the wizard so she could relay the info) that if I was carrying the necklace of fireballs, I needed to keep it someplace fireproof, or else the next time I got hit with a fire spell I might go boom. Hence my purchasing a Handy Haversack.
Emphasis mine. Your character had no idea it would work for certain but you used your knowledge of the game's mechanics to ensure that it would. Had you thrown one of the beads at point blank range and got caught in the blast or attempted to plant the necklace on (or merely near to) the bounty hunter and then tried to trigger it from a safe distance, I doubt he would have objected. Well, he may still have been annoyed but you can't have everything.

Random832
2009-07-08, 10:56 PM
Sorry, I wasn't clear: The characters who were going to hide in the chest wouldn't have needed to make a skill check.

Lots of things don't require skill checks. Is there a rule that you have to solve situations with skill checks?

Why not roll everything up into one big "Play D&D" skill, that's a class skill for the gamer class, and just make opposed rolls against the DM all evening long?

DM Feat: "Deny metagaming" - 4+Level/2+WIS bonus times per day, deny one player their synergy bonus to Play D&D from the Knowledge (D&D Rules) and Knowledge (Greyhawk) skills. Duration 10 minutes/level.

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-09, 04:54 AM
Your character had no idea it would work for certain but you used your knowledge of the game's mechanics to ensure that it would. Had you thrown one of the beads at point blank range and got caught in the blast or attempted to plant the necklace on (or merely near to) the bounty hunter and then tried to trigger it from a safe distance, I doubt he would have objected. Well, he may still have been annoyed but you can't have everything.
I don't see where you're going with this. The character had an idea that this necklace, when exposed to magical fire, might explode (this is a method of activating the item, which would be revealed by Identify). That's the same kind of might as in "A fighter might hit a target by attacking it." A Wizard "might" get distracted trying to cast a spell, but that "might" never stops them from doing what they're designed to do. Knowing how to activate the item, the character did as much as possible to activate it.

The item description says that the whole super explosion thing often has regrettable results, but this actually implies that there are a few situations in which this has favorable results. This is one of them. Yes, there might be an issue that the player intentionally failed the reflex save, which apparently you can't do by RAW, but evidently the DM said that one may intentionally fail this save. Which really brings up the question, "If the DM doesn't like it, why did the DM change the rules to let it happen?" I'm really getting mixed messages now, and I'm really thinking the issue is that the DM and the Players weren't 100% exactly, absolutely, and flawlessly perfect on all of the rules of everything involved. There might also be other things that happened that session which the DM considered foul play, but hasn't vocally complained about. But if it's something along the lines of everyone involved honestly thinking you can voluntarily fail a reflex save, that's not metagaming, that's misunderstanding the rules.

Besides, if we're not allowed to use game mechanics to ensure results, then "taking 10" and "taking 20" are what needs fixin' in 3.5- not [insert everything else that is wrong with 3.5, such as polymorph, here].

Okay, yeah, here's one for the stupid rule topic: planting the necklace "Near to" the Bounty Hunter wouldn't work. The detonation thing appears to activate only if the item is worn or carried. If you're reaching out to it and your finger is exactly one thousandth of an inch away from the necklace when a Meteor Swarm goes off centered on the necklace, it evidently has no chance of ever setting off a string of fireballs. :smallconfused:

Random832
2009-07-09, 07:35 AM
intentionally failed the reflex save, which apparently you can't do by RAW,

RAW lets you intentionally not take any save against any spell.

Rhiannon87
2009-07-09, 07:44 AM
Okay, yeah, here's one for the stupid rule topic: planting the necklace "Near to" the Bounty Hunter wouldn't work. The detonation thing appears to activate only if the item is worn or carried. If you're reaching out to it and your finger is exactly one thousandth of an inch away from the necklace when a Meteor Swarm goes off centered on the necklace, it evidently has no chance of ever setting off a string of fireballs. :smallconfused:

The fighter was holding the necklace of fireballs (had it wrapped around her wrist, iirc) and wearing the pendant of fire proof-ness while grappling the bounty hunter. So that wasn't an issue at all.

The not-being-100%-clear on the rules is a distinct possibility, I think. I've been looking back over my handbooks and such since bringing this up, and I think that both myself and the DM might have missed a few things... but if neither of us remembered the rule, it isn't really anyone's fault. We've had that happen in the past a couple times, where the players accidentally broke a rule and it worked in our favor, but none of us, DM included, remembered the rule at the time. So he just let it go.

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-09, 11:44 AM
RAW lets you intentionally not take any save against any spell.
'Kay. I was trying to find the rules saying you could do that earlier, but couldn't find them, so I was just going off of the "Can fail a fortitude save" mentioned earlier in the topic. I now see that you're right, you can fail any save you want to, just only against spells, and that's why that rule is in "Spell Descriptions" instead of "Combat Statistics".
I guess the remaining issue on that point, though, is: In what situations can you voluntarily throw a saving throw without it being metagaming?


The not-being-100%-clear on the rules is a distinct possibility, I think. I've been looking back over my handbooks and such since bringing this up, and I think that both myself and the DM might have missed a few things... but if neither of us remembered the rule, it isn't really anyone's fault.
Speaking of, I'm just curious... Was the fighter naked outside of wearing the fireproof amulet? 'Cause I mean, if that's one of those amulets that only protect the wearer and not the wearer's possessions, then... Well, she could be naked now. And if it was supposed to protect the wearer's possessions, yeah, both sides missed out on a pretty big detail. :smallwink:

Zeful
2009-07-09, 12:15 PM
In what situations can you voluntarily throw a saving throw without it being metagaming?
Every time a healing spell is cast on you.

Xenogears
2009-07-09, 12:30 PM
In what situations can you voluntarily throw a saving throw without it being metagaming?


Well if you want to make an impression? I mean which is more impressive: If you shoot lightning at someone and they dodge out of the way or if you shoot lightning at someone and they just stand there and laugh at you completely unharmed. To me the answer is obvious and that is a non-metagaming voluntarily failed reflex save. You don't feel the need to dodge since it wont work for you so you just take the blow and laugh at the puny useless attmept on your life.

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-09, 12:49 PM
Every time a healing spell is cast on you.
Look, that was just going off of what Darkfire said, and I generally disagree with the blanket statement:

Your character had no idea it would work for certain but you used your knowledge of the game's mechanics to ensure that it would.

Because, using this example... Voluntarily choosing to fail the saving throw would actually be metagaming in most circumstances. In order for it to not be metagaming, you'd have to first identify the spell being cast. Otherwise, you're using the game mechanics to ensure an outcome that your character knows nothing about. You couldn't even just have the Cleric say "Hey, I'm going to do good stuff to you, so don't resist my magic," because the Cleric might be lying, the Cleric might be mind-controlled, the Cleric might be an impostor, etc.


Well if you want to make an impression? I mean which is more impressive: If you shoot lightning at someone and they dodge out of the way or if you shoot lightning at someone and they just stand there and laugh at you completely unharmed. To me the answer is obvious and that is a non-metagaming voluntarily failed reflex save. You don't feel the need to dodge since it wont work for you so you just take the blow and laugh at the puny useless attmept on your life.
Here's the problem with that example: If you've made an impression, you've successfully used game mechanics to achieve a result. Now, unless your character has read the minds of everybody in sight, your character doesn't necessarily know for certain that getting struck by lightning and not taking any damage will impress anyone. If we strictly follow Darkfire's words, that's metagaming. And I really don't like the concept that playing by the rules is a bad thing.
Also, I, for one, would find someone dodging lightning to be quite impressive, even though I know the game mechanics say it'd be more impressive to take the hit and not take damage. I mean, it's lightning. It moves at the speed of light for crying out loud, those are some mad reflexes.

Xenogears
2009-07-09, 12:59 PM
Here's the problem with that example: If you've made an impression, you've successfully used game mechanics to achieve a result. Now, unless your character has read the minds of everybody in sight, your character doesn't necessarily know for certain that getting struck by lightning and not taking any damage will impress anyone. If we strictly follow Darkfire's words, that's metagaming. And I really don't like the concept that playing by the rules is a bad thing.
Also, I, for one, would find someone dodging lightning to be quite impressive, even though I know the game mechanics say it'd be more impressive to take the hit and not take damage. I mean, it's lightning. It moves at the speed of light for crying out loud, those are some mad reflexes.

No he might not know for certain but when is the last time you knew ANYTHING for certain? I am almost never certain about anything so I don't see why we should require this hypothetical character to be certain. They had an idea that it would work and tried it. Seeing as how thats what real people do about 95% of the time I don't see what kind of logic says we should hold the characters to a higher standard.

Besides unless the character has evasion he narrowly dodges the attack and still gets hit a little bit so its more like the character gets hit in the arm instead of the chest. Doesn't sound as impressive to me. Especially since a lightning bolt in DnD doesn't move at the speed of light.

Random832
2009-07-09, 01:02 PM
Here's the problem with that example: If you've made an impression, you've successfully used game mechanics to achieve a result. Now, unless your character has read the minds of everybody in sight, your character doesn't necessarily know for certain that getting struck by lightning and not taking any damage will impress anyone. If we strictly follow Darkfire's words, that's metagaming. And I really don't like the concept that playing by the rules is a bad thing.

The game mechanics don't actually say that - it's a question of whether you feel (based on your imperfect knowledge - which is just as imperfect OOC as IC - of the character you're trying to impress) whether they'll be more impressed at quick reactions or toughness.

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-09, 01:28 PM
No he might not know for certain but when is the last time you knew ANYTHING for certain? I am almost never certain about anything so I don't see why we should require this hypothetical character to be certain.
I don't, either. Darkfire was the one that brought it up. Am I correct in thinking that we are agreeing that this isn't a particularly good criterion, then? Because that's the point I'm trying to get at.

Xenogears
2009-07-09, 01:34 PM
I don't, either. Darkfire was the one that brought it up. Am I correct in thinking that we are agreeing that this isn't a particularly good criterion, then? Because that's the point I'm trying to get at.

Yes I do believe we both agree on that. Apparently I misunderstood you since I thought you were defending his claim...

Milskidasith
2009-07-09, 01:39 PM
Because, using this example... Voluntarily choosing to fail the saving throw would actually be metagaming in most circumstances. In order for it to not be metagaming, you'd have to first identify the spell being cast. Otherwise, you're using the game mechanics to ensure an outcome that your character knows nothing about. You couldn't even just have the Cleric say "Hey, I'm going to do good stuff to you, so don't resist my magic," because the Cleric might be lying, the Cleric might be mind-controlled, the Cleric might be an impostor, etc.

So wait; you are claiming it is a bad thing to let a cleric heal you because you can't trust him, even if there was absolutely no reason for any of the situations to have happened and your in game knowledge can probably trust him considering he just helped you kill the BBEGs minions? I mean, seriously, are you saying we should have to make spellcraft checks every time the cleric tries to heal us because being a bit trusting is metagaming?

Honestly, being irrationally paranoid about your Cleric is probably what I would call metagaming, because expecting him to be mind controlled all the time is something that most sane people don't think about (unless you have the character trait; Paranoia, in which case it might be good roleplaying).

OracleofWuffing
2009-07-09, 02:14 PM
So wait; you are claiming it is a bad thing to let a cleric heal you because you can't trust him, even if there was absolutely no reason for any of the situations to have happened and your in game knowledge can probably trust him considering he just helped you kill the BBEGs minions?
No.

Darkfire says metagaming happens when a player's character has no idea that a certain result will happen, but said player uses game mechanics to ensure that the result will hapen. I said that I didn't like this idea.

Later, after I was certain of the rules, I asked under what circumstances one might choose to fail a saving throw, without it being considered metagaming. I am applying Darkfire's criteria to the results. In that sense, I am saying that allowing a cleric to heal you is a bad thing if you subscribe to Darkfire's definition of metagaming. Which I do not.

Darkfire
2009-07-09, 05:56 PM
Darkfire says metagaming happens when a player's character has no idea that a certain result will happen, but said player uses game mechanics to ensure that the result will hapen. I said that I didn't like this idea.
I also don't like how that particular object works :smalltongue:: You can pass a reflex save against a CL5 Fireball and still take 5d6/2 damage without it detonating but fail the save against a CL1 Burning Hands taking (potentially) just 1 damage and it's enough to set it off.

The out of character knowledge is specifically that the necklace can detonate if the carrying character fails a reflex save against a magical fire attack. The in character knowledge was merely that it could detonate if hit by magical fire while it's being worn or carried. Combined with the amulet of fire-immunity, you can get to the point where a character may be 'comfortable' (i.e. confident that they're not going to be turned into a charred corpse) holding the necklace when it detonates.

To arrive at the point where they're comfortable going into melee solo against an opponent they were worried about facing as a party with a plan that wouldn't necessarily work first time or possibly at all is a bit of a stretch. Was there a plan B or was it a case of "We'll hit you with fireballs until it does go off. Fight your natural instinct to dive out of the way when they're about to hit and try not to die in the meantime"?

Anyway, it's a moot point: As someone pointed out earlier, the amulet of fire-immunity should've prevented it from happening at all as it would've extended it's protection to all carried equipment (like resist energy) but kudos to Rhiannon87 for coming up with the idea in the first place.

***

Lots of things don't require skill checks. Is there a rule that you have to solve situations with skill checks?
No, of course not. I was just answering your earlier question.

The way I'm imagining that second situation is along these lines (a gross over-simplification I'm sure but humour me a moment):
PC with best listen check: "I hear riders."
Justifiably paranoid PC #1: "They might be after us."
Justifiably paranoid PC #2: "Let's get off the road and into the woods."
Metagaming PC: "I know: I'll get into disguise and go back for a look. You guys hide in the chest."
DM: :smallconfused: Why on earth would anyone do that?
Rest of party: "Great idea! Let's do it."
DM: :smallconfused: Why on earth would everyone to agree to do that?! They won't even be able to know if MPC gets found out! There's obviously some advantage to doing that over just hiding that I can't think of... I know! It's the fact that they don't need to worry about any of them getting a really bad hide roll and being spotted! :smallfurious: The metagaming gits!

It's the sort of suggestion that you have to immediately justify in character or your DM will start thinking the worst.

Random832
2009-07-09, 06:35 PM
The way I'm imagining that second situation is along these lines (a gross over-simplification I'm sure but humour me a moment):
PC with best listen check: "I hear riders."
Justifiably paranoid PC #1: "They might be after us."
Justifiably paranoid PC #2: "Let's get off the road and into the woods."
Metagaming PC: "I know: I'll get into disguise and go back for a look. You guys hide in the chest."
DM: :smallconfused: Why on earth would anyone do that?


Because it is an attempt to throw them off the trail entirely rather than risking starting a chase scene if they're spotted.


Rest of party: "Great idea! Let's do it."
DM: :smallconfused: Why on earth would everyone to agree to do that?! They won't even be able to know if MPC gets found out! There's obviously some advantage to doing that over just hiding that I can't think of... I know! It's the fact that they don't need to worry about any of them getting a really bad hide roll and being spotted! :smallfurious: The metagaming gits!

Even if that is the reason... being worried about your ability to hide effectively and so choosing a place that naturally offers better concealment =/= metagaming.

Think of it in real life: The cops are looking for you; you go into an alley. Between hiding in a pile of trash* or in a dumpster, which do you choose? It's a matter of effective concealment.

Arranging one's situation to avoid the risks associated with screwing up (low skill score) or being unlucky (bad die roll) is something that someone would obviously choose in-character. Just because there are numbers (skill check modifiers and dice) involved does not mean there aren't in-character fact that those numbers model that the characters would be aware of.

Any way you break it down, it all comes back to the DM saying "I'm so frustrated that I wasted all this time making stats for these characters I planned for them to fight and they go and avoid getting into the fight." And that is metagaming. :smallcool:

*I picked a pile of trash so that the dumpster wouldn't be an obviously worse choice due to being in trash, since this concern would not apply to a container that is not for trash.