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TheThan
2013-11-25, 03:09 AM
Meta gaming is something that Iíve been thinking about lately. There are a lot of things in DnD 3.5 (Iím also assuming other versions or systems as well) that allow the players to freely meta game. Things like entitled search checks (Iím looking at you elf), saving throws vs spells that the players arenít aware are being cast at them (scrying as an example).

Now there are a few easy ways around most of this stuff, such as rolling dice for the players (in the two above examples) works well. They wonít know whatís happening, and if they succeed, then they succeed (Now the Dm needs to have copies of the players sheets for this to work, something I heartily advocate.) and then you simply move on, if they fail, then they fail and you move on. Itís nice and neat.

I donít really like how these mechanics can be used to gain OOC knowledge about the current situation. But then, no system is perfect. Now Iím not saying that the Dm should be keeping secrets, or that I have a DM VS Players mentality. Itís just that sometimes something happens that gives the players knowledge they otherwise wouldnít or shouldnít have. Iím not saying that people who meta-game are bad, Iím saying that meta-gaming is generally bad for the game.

So Iím wondering what sorts of meta-gaming situations have you as a player or Dm come across? Find a way to get around a particular problem? need some advice on a situation?

Rhynn
2013-11-25, 03:19 AM
Just last night, playing ACKS, I made probably a hundred rolls for detecting traps, listening at doors, and finding secret doors etc. (Also dozens for wandering monsters.) The players would say they're looking, listening, or searching, and I'd roll. Simple as anything. (That much simpler when they had no thief and it was all 18+ or 14+ on d20, depending on whether this was before or after the dwarves got killed.)

On the other hand, I just told them what AC they're trying to hit when they attack, because it's not big enough of a deal.

Actana
2013-11-25, 03:38 AM
Metagaming is an interesting concept for RPGs. Because quite frankly, everyone metagames at all times when playing. But metagaming itself isn't good or bad; it's how you use it. Most RPGs decidedly ignore the good ways of metagaming to emphasize the negative and what not to do.

The line between secret and public rolls and results is a hazy one, to be honest. Generally speaking though, if the PCs ask for the roll I give it to them. If they don't actively ask for a check or anything, I use a passive score of 10+modifier without a roll, which makes perception checks a lot simpler. For 3.5 saves I roll them when needed, but don't tell the results if they're not obvious, though do hint at some sort of tingling feeling for Will saves for example. This is all for D&D, and some systems do metagaming differently entirely.

Take Fate, for example. It thrives on metagaming concepts, but it uses them to its benefit rather than detriment. It actively makes players choose things for a narrative effect, things that aren't in the PC's area of decision. This is technically metagaming, but it's not the bad kind as it helps make an exciting game.


I might have a lot more to say on the topic, but would require me to gather my thoughts on the matter, and a lot more time to write than I have at the immediate moment.

Rhynn
2013-11-25, 03:45 AM
Metagaming is an interesting concept for RPGs. Because quite frankly, everyone metagames at all times when playing. But metagaming itself isn't good or bad; it's how you use it. Most RPGs decidedly ignore the good ways of metagaming to emphasize the negative and what not to do.

Yeah, metagaming is basically "playing the game, not the character," and is inevitable. Good metagaming and bad metagaming can be distinguished.

Really, many highly-praised RPGs, like Burning Wheel, are heavy on the metagaming, and that's their shtick.

Sir Chuckles
2013-11-25, 04:00 AM
I keep a mini composition book or legal pad on hand, with a page for each of my players of their Spot, Listen, Saves, and anything else that might be relevant to the particular planned situations.

I make a real life Sleight of Hand to roll on the pad (So they don't notice I'm rolling) when something comes up. I do this to prevent a preemptive metagame. I've had some prevalent issues with one of my players metagaming the hell out almost everything, to the point where everyone except one player (Who is extremely non-confrontational, he won't even stay in the room if we start talking about one of our players who rage-quit) was debating kicking him for his munchkining. I don't let him roll without a witness and I always secretary his characters (especially since he demands to use his phone for a virtual sheet).
A good example of the bad kind of metagame, the kind that secret rolls are meant to prevent.

BWR
2013-11-25, 04:14 AM
I don't have problems with the bad sort of metagaming in my groups. Even if someone understands what's really going on - e.g. hidden doors or that someone is trying to deceive them, if the PCs don't have any reason to be suspicious the players play that, even if it leads them into unpleasant situations.

The good sort of metagaming, where players will sometimes tone down the "but it's what my character would/wouldn't do" in order to not royally mess things up for the DM or the other players, is more common.

When it comes to 'secret' rolls, most DMs I've come across just keep scores like Spot/Listen/Perception/Stealth/Sense Motive, saving throws etc. on a seperate list and roll in secret when necessary. To save time and avoid tipping off players I keep a list of pre-rolled d20 scores handy so I can just look at a piece of paper and determine the roll without putting my players on guard.
Also, when scripting an encounter I will make any relevant Sense Motive, Spot/Listen etc. rolls while writing it so I don't have to waste time or suspence later.

SiuiS
2013-11-25, 04:18 AM
Meta gaming is something that Iíve been thinking about lately. There are a lot of things in DnD 3.5 (Iím also assuming other versions or systems as well) that allow the players to freely meta game. Things like entitled search checks (Iím looking at you elf), saving throws vs spells that the players arenít aware are being cast at them (scrying as an example).


Huh. That second example, that's a good one. Unfortunately, you should tell them about it even if you roll it; a character is 100% aware when they succeed at a saving throw directly.


I donít really like how these mechanics can be used to gain OOC knowledge about the current situation. But then, no system is perfect. Now Iím not saying that the Dm should be keeping secrets, or that I have a DM VS Players mentality. Itís just that sometimes something happens that gives the players knowledge they otherwise wouldnít or shouldnít have. Iím not saying that people who meta-game are bad, Iím saying that meta-gaming is generally bad for the game.

So Iím wondering what sorts of meta-gaming situations have you as a player or Dm come across? Find a way to get around a particular problem? need some advice on a situation?

First: why is this bad? Metagaming is playing at an abstraction level higher than the rules interface intends. It's basically like counting cards at poker or thinking multiple moves ahead in chess. You'll notice in poker it's frowned upon but in chess, it's required.

Dungeons and dragons is a game that lends itself to metagaming. In fact, that is why it is as popular as it is! In dungeons and dragons, you can say "I roll a 14 against the left Orc for 8 damage", or you can say "Ragnar roars his anger and cleaves at the Orc ferociously, trying to hew into it's flesh and armor!" Or something, and it works either way. That's good for pickup. In fact, from recent experiences, this is good Ė some games require maintaining focus at a different intensity and after a while it gets exhausting or boring.

The problem comes when metagaming is used in a duplicitous or manipulative manner.

Let us say there is a gaming group. The DM likes to use surprises, likes to use disguise, and likes to use fake-out scares first. The most experienced players in the group know this. Tell me, in this situation, which of these outcomes is okay?

Ė the characters brace for a fight, open the door, and bats fly out! But they are harmless. Inside is a prisoner, chained to the wall. The party frees him, and as they turn to regroup, the enemy demon drops his prisoner disguise and costs the entire group in a fireball!
Ė the characters brace for a fight, open the door and bats fly out. After everything is calm,the party tanks have everyone else stay back, because there may still be danger. They free the prisoner, and get fireballs but everyone else is at full HP.
- the characters brace for a fight, open the door and bats fly out. After everything is calm, the party tanks have everyone else stay back, because the DM likes to fake out the party with a scare before a fight. They free the prisoner, and get fireballs but everyone else is at full HP.
- the characters brace for a fight, open the door and bats fly out. After everything is calm, the party tanks have everyone else stay back, because there may still be danger. They enter the room, and coup-de-grace the prisoner, because they're paranoid after months under ground besieged by enemy tricks and their nerves are shot. They tell the party he was dead when they got there.
- the characters brace for a fight, open the door and bats fly out. After everything is calm, the party tanks have everyone else stay back, because there may still be danger. They enter the room, and coup-de-grace the prisoner, because they know the DM likes to be deceptive and have threats show up after a scare, and in disguise, and they could justify it if they had to in-character.
- the PCs open the door, and bats fly out! Knowing the DM likes jump scares before a fight, the entire party unloads wands of fire/acid/electric/holy/axiomatic blasts into the room, and the. Tell the DM they search it for loot.

In my experience, only the last two are "bad", and of those last two, the first one is just poor immersion and terrible communication; there is an in character reason, they just didn't lead with it.


Just last night, playing ACKS, I made probably a hundred rolls for detecting traps, listening at doors, and finding secret doors etc. (Also dozens for wandering monsters.) The players would say they're looking, listening, or searching, and I'd roll. Simple as anything. (That much simpler when they had no thief and it was all 18+ or 14+ on d20, depending on whether this was before or after the dwarves got killed.)

On the other hand, I just told them what AC they're trying to hit when they attack, because it's not big enough of a deal.

Aye. You get players who are willing to respect the story, and walk into bad situations "because my character would" by trusting them. If the paladin decides to give himself fire resistance and then walk into the room anyway, knowing the demon of fire is probably there, then his charavter's actions have greater narrative weight. The flip side, of walking in with no knowledge gets him killed (which serves no greater purpose than wounding, by the way) and could also disrupt the table when everyone else saw it coming and are mad at him the player for being stupid, rather than at the character.

TheOOB
2013-11-25, 04:49 AM
The first thing to remember about metagaming is you can't not metagame, and you can't stop it. The second thing to remember is that metagaming isn't inherently bad, nor is it inherently good.

The most common example of meta gaming I see is when players use the rolling of dice, or lack there of, to tell when there is something interesting to search or look at. In other mediums, we use cues outside of the narrative of the world presented to tell us things all the time. Dramatic music playing means the monster is coming near, for example, and that's the same for RPGs. You can use the mechanics of the game to control tension and lead the players where you want them to go.

Yes this makes it hard to keep things hidden from the player, but is hiding 200 gold under a loose floor tile unless the players specifically search it, or having an important secret door have to be found by a random roll, or having the player get hit by a trap because they had the audacity to open a door without checking it first good game mechanics? I would contend no, they are not. Rewards and punishments shouldn't be random or require the players to be obsessive to find/avoid, they should be something that requires good play, or taking risks, or clever solutions.

Basically, I find the problems with metagaming to more often than not be problems with the system or adventure design more than metagaming itself.

Killer Angel
2013-11-25, 07:15 AM
saving throws vs spells that the players arenít aware are being cast at them (scrying as an example).


That can be fun.
"roll a dice"
"for what?"
"don't worry, roll a dice. Let me take a look at your character's sheet... ah, interesting".

Paranoia ensues. :smallbiggrin:

Morithias
2013-11-25, 09:34 AM
That can be fun.
"roll a dice"
"for what?"
"don't worry, roll a dice. Let me take a look at your character's sheet... ah, interesting".

Paranoia ensues. :smallbiggrin:
{Scrubbed}

Actana
2013-11-25, 09:53 AM
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I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty sure that if I were to start fearing for my life because of a player I would stop inviting said person to play with me. Preferably before it happens. :smallconfused:

Morithias
2013-11-25, 09:59 AM
{Scrubbed}

Stasgard
2013-11-25, 10:06 AM
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There is a pretty large gulf of difference between keeping information that could and will lead to paranoia from a player as a Dungeon Master and a player being actually, physically violent.

Actana
2013-11-25, 10:12 AM
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Right. I really don't want to get further into this topic, as it veers into uncomfortable territory, and I don't feel I'm exactly qualified to talk about the subject. I'm going to explain my stance then bow out of this particular subject, I hope you understand.

But my point still stands: If I'm going to feel that my life is threatened by someone, I am not going to spend leisure time with that person. I like to trust my players, and likewise like that my players trust me. If I feel that a player could pull a gun on me, why on earth would I play with that person? I'm not trying to berate anyone here, but really, pulling a gun on someone? That's a pretty major thing.

That said, I tend to prefer running my games with a fair amount of mystery in them, and the players won't always know what's going on at all times. This requires me to keep secrets, including rolls. What rolls are public and what private is something (among other things) I often poll my group on before the game starts, to get a consensus of how these things are handled and everyone is comfortable with them. However, I have my requirements, and if someone comes up to me and tells me they might shoot me while I'm running a game, I don't think I'd like to play with that person. My life is more important to me than someone's desire to play in my game. Heck, it wouldn't even require a gun, even getting punched (as in, seriously punched with the intent of physically harming the other) is enough to make me not want to play with that person.


Edit (because I don't feel like making another post on the subject): There's a large difference between being uncomfortable with something and the chance of pulling a gun out on someone for it.
"I don't like rolling secretly" is a fine opinion. If one of my players said that to me, I'd poll the rest of them (anonymously, and without telling who brought it up in the first place) to see if nobody has a serious problem with it, and then adjust the expectations accordingly.
"I have a serious problem with rolling secretly" is likewise perfectly fine. In this case, depending on how many people would vehemently disagree with all public rolls, I would veto the disagreements and enforce all rolls to be public (which would mostly be on my end anyway, so I would have the largest say as the GM). Again, no problem.
"I might pull out a gun if you roll secretly" is not okay. No, not even then. Not now, not ever, and I would not want to play with a person who does this. Not even if I did roll everything publicly, because if I knew this might happen from secret rolls, how would I know it couldn't happen from something else? I want to trust my players, and I can't trust a player who said they could shoot me because of a game. That's just not going to fly.

obryn
2013-11-25, 10:14 AM
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Last I checked, this degree of diagnosed mental illness disqualifies you from a gun permit, at least in the US.

And quite seriously - with the tenor of the last few posts, I personally would absolutely exclude a potentially dangerous, mentally ill, armed person who can't differentiate fantasy from reality from coming over to my house where my wife and children are. Period, not just for fun elfgame time. If "roll dice ... hmm, interesting" is enough to invite physical threats of gun violence ... no. No way.

-O

Kazyan
2013-11-25, 10:23 AM
Secret rolls and inviting "paranoia" runs on the assumption that the players are not actually paranoid. If someone has triggers, they obviously shouldn't be stepped on. This is a basic thing for friendship, not just that which occurs over pretendy funtime dice rolling.

obryn
2013-11-25, 10:30 AM
Secret rolls and inviting "paranoia" runs on the assumption that the players are not actually paranoid. If someone has triggers, they obviously shouldn't be stepped on. This is a basic thing for friendship, not just that which occurs over pretendy funtime dice rolling.
No, I agree with this. Myself, I'm making a more general statement involving personal and family safety. I'd play with that individual over skype/google hangouts no problem, or in a public place or whatever, because then the safety threat is minimal. Personal triggers should absolutely be respected. But I'm not going to take risks with my childrens' lives, at the same time, and "gun + can't distinguish fantasy from reality" is a mixture I'm not prepared to expose them to.

Kazyan
2013-11-25, 10:32 AM
I was not responding to you specifically; just chiming in. *nod*

supermonkeyjoe
2013-11-25, 10:49 AM
Metagaming can be dealt with in two ways

1. have decent understanding players who either don't metagame or to whom you can tell not to metagame and they won't.

2. Understand the metagaming and mitigate or counter it

If the players are using dice rolls to detect danger, start rolling dice randomly

Mix up your sessions, if you are becoming as predictable as using the same themes over and over then subvert it a few times, then the PCs won't be able to metagame without trying to second-guess you.

Mess with the monsters, alter the stats, advance, template and describe oddly until a skeleton rushing the party could have any number of weaknesses or resistances (of course, in-game knowledge could beat this)

Souhiro
2013-11-25, 11:00 AM
You can do something fun: Put FAKES.

"Hey Dave. Make me a Spot Listen"
"Why"
"Just roll"
"Err... a two. Can I Take 20 and search this room?"
"Well, sure. What are you looking for?"
"Traps"
" 'Kay. You spent half an hour, you find... NOTHING (http://half-decent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/DP-2013-06-26-00-55-29-88.bmp)!!"
"Er... I take 20 looking for hidden doors"
" 'Kay again. Guys, you spent another half an hour watching dave looking for hidden doors, and then... he finds NOTHING (http://half-decent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/DP-2013-06-26-00-55-29-88.bmp)!"
" Hidden treasures, then"
"You find... BLACKEST PRESENT, FOR THE MOST BRUTAL SEEKER (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZShYFc6rlWg)! Guys, you have lost 90 minutes of your life watching Dave's Rogue doing... things"

Keep doing two or three times, and your rogues (http://s3.gamefreaks.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/deadpool-2.jpg) will stop metagaming.

Tanuki Tales
2013-11-25, 11:21 AM
This thread took a very bad turn, very quickly, with no apparent provocation. :smallconfused:

Just wanted to chime in there and now I'm "Nope!"-ing out of here before it can potentially get worse. Still lurking though.

Kalmageddon
2013-11-25, 11:37 AM
Right. I really don't want to get further into this topic, as it veers into uncomfortable territory, and I don't feel I'm exactly qualified to talk about the subject. I'm going to explain my stance then bow out of this particular subject, I hope you understand.

But my point still stands: If I'm going to feel that my life is threatened by someone, I am not going to spend leisure time with that person. I like to trust my players, and likewise like that my players trust me. If I feel that a player could pull a gun on me, why on earth would I play with that person? I'm not trying to berate anyone here, but really, pulling a gun on someone? That's a pretty major thing.

That said, I tend to prefer running my games with a fair amount of mystery in them, and the players won't always know what's going on at all times. This requires me to keep secrets, including rolls. What rolls are public and what private is something (among other things) I often poll my group on before the game starts, to get a consensus of how these things are handled and everyone is comfortable with them. However, I have my requirements, and if someone comes up to me and tells me they might shoot me while I'm running a game, I don't think I'd like to play with that person. My life is more important to me than someone's desire to play in my game. Heck, it wouldn't even require a gun, even getting punched (as in, seriously punched with the intent of physically harming the other) is enough to make me not want to play with that person.

Indeed.
I wholeheartedly agree.


This thread took a very bad turn, very quickly, with no apparent provocation. :smallconfused:

Just wanted to chime in there and now I'm "Nope!"-ing out of here before it can potentially get worse. Still lurking though.

Right? I think I'm going to do the same thing.
Also, there is a strange recognizable pattern in the last few threads that made me "nope!".

valadil
2013-11-25, 12:16 PM
I try not to worry about it. The people who try to take advantage of stuff like this are usually obnoxious enough that I don't want to game with them to begin with. Or they're subtle enough about it that I can't see through it. As long as I abide by my rule of "don't game with jerks" this isn't a problem.

(Apologies if I offended anyone. My experience is anecdotal and my sample size is tiny. When I come up with someone who behaves this way AND is fun to play with, I'll alter my policy.)

Rhynn
2013-11-25, 01:44 PM
Keep in mind I'm not threatening you. I'm just pointing out that abusing your player's trust, especially in the case of a mentally ill player, is a VERY bad idea.

Yeah, trust me, nobody's feeling threatened by you, but if someone is so mentally ill they can't play a game, they probably shouldn't play a game and should be in treatment instead.

So good luck with that, and maybe stop redirecting threads to talk about your issues and talk about them to a professional instead?

erikun
2013-11-25, 02:10 PM
Meta gaming is something that Iíve been thinking about lately. There are a lot of things in DnD 3.5 (Iím also assuming other versions or systems as well) that allow the players to freely meta game. Things like entitled search checks (Iím looking at you elf), saving throws vs spells that the players arenít aware are being cast at them (scrying as an example).

Now there are a few easy ways around most of this stuff, such as rolling dice for the players (in the two above examples) works well. They wonít know whatís happening, and if they succeed, then they succeed (Now the Dm needs to have copies of the players sheets for this to work, something I heartily advocate.) and then you simply move on, if they fail, then they fail and you move on. Itís nice and neat.

I donít really like how these mechanics can be used to gain OOC knowledge about the current situation. But then, no system is perfect. Now Iím not saying that the Dm should be keeping secrets, or that I have a DM VS Players mentality. Itís just that sometimes something happens that gives the players knowledge they otherwise wouldnít or shouldnít have. Iím not saying that people who meta-game are bad, Iím saying that meta-gaming is generally bad for the game.

So Iím wondering what sorts of meta-gaming situations have you as a player or Dm come across? Find a way to get around a particular problem? need some advice on a situation?
It doesn't sound like you are talking about metagaming as much as transparency and non-transparency in a system. That is, the amount of information that the players have access to.

A transparent system gives players a very clear idea of what they can accomplish, and a very good idea of what is currently happening at the table, such as through open dice rolls. D&D3e insists on a lot of transparency. A non-transparent system is one that keeps information from the players, generally target numbers or even rolls, and so leaves the players wondering about success or failure. AD&D tended more towards this system, with dice rolls behind the DM screen and target numbers frequently not announced.

The "problem", of course, is that neither system prevents metagaming. If players are aware that rolls vs. scrying happen without their knowledge, then they will take the time to make themselves immune to scrying. If players are aware that search checks vs. secret doors happen without their knowledge, then they take the time to get magic items that can locate secret doors. And by "take the time", I mean take the time in-game. As in, waste your time with their in-character preparations to ensure that they have the ability to know what is going on. You also see issues like what SiuiS is talking about, where PCs butcher every NPC in every dungeon because they've become familiar with the "demon disguised as a prisoner" trope from decades of such gaming.

Of course, metagaming is not necessarily a bad thing. Deciding to have a character unlock the prisoner and offer them safe passage can be metagaming itself if the player is disinclined to do so, but thinks it will be a more interesting situation if they do. There is not always some "metagaming vs in character response" conflict, where it has to be one or the other. In fact, one false assumption is that there is a single "in character response" for any situation; quite frequently, the appropriate response is whatever the player feels the want to have happen.

Pex
2013-11-25, 02:18 PM
You can do something fun: Put FAKES.

"Hey Dave. Make me a Spot Listen"
"Why"
"Just roll"
"Err... a two. Can I Take 20 and search this room?"
"Well, sure. What are you looking for?"
"Traps"
" 'Kay. You spent half an hour, you find... NOTHING (http://half-decent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/DP-2013-06-26-00-55-29-88.bmp)!!"
"Er... I take 20 looking for hidden doors"
" 'Kay again. Guys, you spent another half an hour watching dave looking for hidden doors, and then... he finds NOTHING (http://half-decent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/DP-2013-06-26-00-55-29-88.bmp)!"
" Hidden treasures, then"
"You find... BLACKEST PRESENT, FOR THE MOST BRUTAL SEEKER (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZShYFc6rlWg)! Guys, you have lost 90 minutes of your life watching Dave's Rogue doing... things"

Keep doing two or three times, and your rogues (http://s3.gamefreaks.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/deadpool-2.jpg) will stop metagaming.

Take 20 is two minutes, not thirty.

If you're going to instill paranoia in players then it is highly insulting to blame them for acting paranoid.

It is not metagame for the rogue to search for traps and secret doors. It might be impractical to do it for every room in a dungeon, but given you as DM like to fake out players, ha ha those patsies, then searching every room for traps and secret doors is very prudent because the players know the one time they don't or forget, that is when the trap gets them.

Slipperychicken
2013-11-25, 03:29 PM
If the players are going to metagame, just have them give you their modifiers for those things (i.e. Perception, stealth, sense motive, will saves) and roll it yourself. Maybe have a sheet with those modifiers on it and make it the players' job to remind you to update it.

Have you tried shaming/asking them to cut it out? I know that my current group is pretty quick to call out any obvious metagaming.

Need_A_Life
2013-11-25, 03:43 PM
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Whatever the reason or excuses, if someone turns violent over something that happened in a game, I will cease spending time with them and call the police to have them charged with assault.

If you really can't handle the anxiety of not knowing the result of a die roll, you wouldn't have fun at my table anyway.
And firearms at the table? Like a lot of things, I will not play at or host at any table that has that. If I find that you do, of sound mental health or not, I will pick up my things and leave.

Jay R
2013-11-25, 04:23 PM
Huh. That second example, that's a good one. Unfortunately, you should tell them about it even if you roll it; a character is 100% aware when they succeed at a saving throw directly.

I've only played 2E and earlier versions. I don't assume that somebody knows when he or she has failed a saving throw, or illusions would be worthless.

If you see archers in the bushes, you shouldn't automatically know if you made a spot check or missed a saving throw against an illusion. Similarly, if you don't see them, you shouldn't know if you failed a spot check or made a saving throw.

One of the reasons I don't like having a single mechanic is that in my games, you have to roll under your wisdom to spot something. If you roll low, you shouldn't know if you made a spot check or failed a saving throw.


I'm just pointing out, if you don't like the paranoia card being played on you, don't play it on other people, it is hypocritical at best.

I don't create situations with unknown dangers for people. I create situations with unknown dangers for their characters in a game. That's my job, as a DM.

And for the record, one of my friends has an irrational fear of spiders. I do not use spiders as monsters when she's playing.

Morithias
2013-11-25, 04:50 PM
And for the record, one of my friends has an irrational fear of spiders. I do not use spiders as monsters when she's playing.

Okay maybe my example was a bit extreme, but that's kind of my point.

Different people require different things. You can't just go "I roll your dice in secret and will never show you them." to a lot of people, especially in play-by-post, because to be blunt....they don't trust you.

Jay R
2013-11-25, 05:02 PM
Okay maybe my example was a bit extreme, but that's kind of my point.

Different people require different things. You can't just go "I roll your dice in secret and will never show you them." to a lot of people, especially in play-by-post, because to be blunt....they don't trust you.

I know this happens all the time, but I just don't get it. Why would I play with a DM I don't trust?

[I understand the idea of playing with strangers, although I've never had a campaign with people I didn't already know. But If I did, I'd assume that they were trustworthy. If it ever happened that I no longer trusted them, I'd quit playing.]

I simply have no interest in playing with a DM I have to protect myself against. It can't work; the DM is too powerful.

Again, I know that it happens all the time. I just don't get it.

MonochromeTiger
2013-11-25, 05:11 PM
I know this happens all the time, but I just don't get it. Why would I play with a DM I don't trust?

[I understand the idea of playing with strangers, although I've never had a campaign with people I didn't already know. But If I did, I'd assume that they were trustworthy. If it ever happened that I no longer trusted them, I'd quit playing.]

I simply have no interest in playing with a DM I have to protect myself against. It can't work; the DM is too powerful.

Again, I know that it happens all the time. I just don't get it.

differences in personal experience, as you mentioned playing with someone you don't really know happens all the time. sometimes the only option you have to get into a game is a random group and there might not be any clear information on how they act or play in a game until you see it yourself.

I think one issue is that sometimes a DM can be accustomed to hidden rolls because that's simply what they've seen since getting into the game and they really don't get how it might be unnerving for some. occasionally there are the DMs who really are out to get the group and give no warning about it other than behavior a paranoid individual (such as myself) would find suspicious. really if you haven't had the misfortune of playing with a sadistic or unfair DM it's hard to think of one when your only experience is with reasonable or at least passable DMs, similarly if you've suffered through the mind games of an intentionally spiteful DM it's relatively hard to look at even slightly secretive behavior without distrust.

The Fury
2013-11-25, 05:30 PM
Yeah, saving the paranoia-fuel for the players that can actually take it is the way to go. Some players can take it, I can take it though I can appreciate that not everyone can. I think as a player I have a pretty thick skin, maybe this is why my characters often end up being the butt of jokes.

But yeah, metagaming-- like was mentioned earlier, metagaming isn't always bad. In my group it's not too uncommon for my character to dislike or mistrust someone else in the party, now I could work against my team mate because of this and easily justify it as "That's what my character would do!" Heck, I actually did this earlier in my roleplaying career. The thing is, I couldn't blame the other player for having some hurt feelings about me sabotaging their character, whether I have in-character justification for it or not. Nowadays I never work against another player character-- regardless of how my character might feel about them.

Zrak
2013-11-25, 05:45 PM
I tend to operate on a sort of vague guideline of self-awareness when it comes to some rolls. Basically, if a character couldn't tell how well they performed a task, I'll roll for them. Generally, you probably know how good you are at, say, sneaking, and can at least sort of tell how much noise you're making; similarly, I think you can often tell as soon as you say something whether or not it came out right or sounded convincing. As such, I don't see a problem with a player rolling poorly on a move silently check and acting differently because of that; I mean, if a character accidentally knocks a metal bucket down a flight of stairs, that character is probably as aware they messed up as the player is that they rolled a one.

Stuff like sense motive checks, on the other hand, I'm more likely to roll secretly, since the players shouldn't really know how well they read somebody's poker face. I guess maybe they could be aware of they were or weren't paying extremely close attention or scrutinizing the target intensely, but that seems a little iffy, to me ó I wouldn't rule it out, but I'd have to be convinced. Basically, if you can give me a pretty good reason why the character would be as aware of how well s/he performed the task in question, I don't see any problem with knowing the results of the roll and basing their actions on those results.

Cikomyr
2013-11-25, 06:02 PM
Someone may tell me why secret rolls are a bad thing?

I like to randomly roll dices, once in a while, just to keep my players on edge and/or make them blase about me secretly rolling dices. The whole point is to avoid metagaming; then they shouldn't take special notice when I am secretly rolling them.

Also, I always secretly roll my monster's dice. Because I may want to fudge things a little bit at times when the game is not going the way I like. But that's only because I personally never see the game as a "Me vs. the players", but instead "Me giving a good story to play for my players".

I never fudge my dice to make my players die/lose bad. But they know I am ruthless enough to kill them if they don't run away when things seems hopeless :smallcool:

As for the "metagaming" thing; I approach it squarely:

"Come on, man. It's such an immersion-breaking thing you just did there, do you think you may refrain from doing it again? If you don't like something I do that forces you to metagame, please tell me and I'll do my best to improve as a GM".

I reward players who RP and actually do negative things to their character DESPITE their metagame knowledge. Because when you have 2-3 players buying into their role and actually playing the story, it creates a great immersive momentum in the game and less-RP players have an easier time buying into the story.

Brookshw
2013-11-25, 06:05 PM
Indeed.
I wholeheartedly agree.



Right? I think I'm going to do the same thing.


I'll duck out right after throwing out something unexpected from last nights game. I, the dm, actively encouraged my players to metagame, something that I haven't done in over 20 years of running games. Why? Because over the course of the year we had been on the campaign several people had to duck out for work, school etc reasons and the new players that joined hadn't been there long enough to feel invested in the main arc of the campaign. So I very bluntly told a few of the players (those from the beginning) how to bee-line to the end so we could move on to a new campaign where all could feel invested. Sometimes metagaming is a good thing.

If you haven't noticed there are a lot of very wrong things that seem to go on with these posts. Best to avoid engaging as far as I'm concerned though I hope the professional is told the same info that's posted.

MonochromeTiger
2013-11-25, 06:09 PM
Someone may tell me why secret rolls are a bad thing?


it's a trust thing like a few people have mentioned earlier. for some it's not a problem, for others it's the gnawing belief that each roll is a step closer to inevitably spiting the players.



I reward players who RP and actually do negative things to their character DESPITE their metagame knowledge. Because when you have 2-3 players buying into their role and actually playing the story, it creates a great immersive momentum in the game and less-RP players have an easier time buying into the story.

possibly the best way to look at it, really if a player gets it into their head that the only way they can have fun is through metagaming they will keep doing so no matter what the DM does up to and including kicking them out. if the group and DM can all trust each other to respect the results of a roll however it leads to an interesting and fun test of everyone's roleplaying skills.

Knaight
2013-11-25, 06:30 PM
As far as metagaming goes: I'm all for it. There are a lot of ways that characters could react to things if they are at all three dimensional, and metagaming is a good method to select between them. Deciding to take the option which the group as a whole will find more enjoyable is metagaming. Deciding to take the option which keeps the game moving instead of getting bogged down in some irrelevant detail is metagaming. Keeping the game as a whole in mind when deciding how things work between various options is metagaming, and I find the game works a lot better when everyone does it.

Rhynn
2013-11-25, 06:36 PM
As far as metagaming goes: I'm all for it. There are a lot of ways that characters could react to things if they are at all three dimensional, and metagaming is a good method to select between them. Deciding to take the option which the group as a whole will find more enjoyable is metagaming. Deciding to take the option which keeps the game moving instead of getting bogged down in some irrelevant detail is metagaming. Keeping the game as a whole in mind when deciding how things work between various options is metagaming, and I find the game works a lot better when everyone does it.

This is wise and also reminds me of something I read (http://www.giantitp.com/articles/tll307KmEm4H9k6efFP.html). :smallcool:

Weezer
2013-11-25, 06:40 PM
it's a trust thing like a few people have mentioned earlier. for some it's not a problem, for others it's the gnawing belief that each roll is a step closer to inevitably spiting the players.





If the DM is out to spite you, they'll do it with or without secret rolls. If you cant trust someone who literally has all the power to not use it to screw you over, how can you ever enjoy the game. It doesn't matter if you see every role, a DM can screw you over either obviously or not obviously regardless of secret rolls, and you must be able to summon some modicum of trust or why bother playing? If you go into a game thinking its you vs the DM, your session/group is failed from the start.

MonochromeTiger
2013-11-25, 06:48 PM
If the DM is out to spite you, they'll do it with or without secret rolls. If you cant trust someone who literally has all the power to not use it to screw you over, how can you ever enjoy the game. It doesn't matter if you see every role, a DM can screw you over either obviously or not obviously regardless of secret rolls, and you must be able to summon some modicum of trust or why bother playing? If you go into a game thinking its you vs the DM, your session/group is failed from the start.

I didn't say it was entirely logical, there's a reason the term "paranoid" is so often used to discredit someone's suspicions or fears. the issue is they're still there and there are people who are mentally or biologically incapable of escaping those beliefs, by rolling publicly the DM can at least lessen some of the possible effects suffered by players with trust or involvement issues. it doesn't solve the problem in favor of one side or the other but it can at least go a little way towards making it more manageable.

as for not being able to trust someone but still playing...sometimes people have reasons, simple as that. sometimes they'll stick through a game run by someone they outright don't like because their friends invited them and it's one of their best chances just to hang out. sometimes they really want to learn so that they don't drag down a game with someone they want to play with when they join and a game with people they don't know is the only one available.

Roland St. Jude
2013-11-25, 06:52 PM
This thread took a very bad turn, very quickly, with no apparent provocation. :smallconfused:...
Sheriff: Indeed. Thread locked.