View Full Version : Gamer Tales Most MetaGame-y moment ever?

Tough Butter
2016-09-24, 08:27 AM
Listen, I've got an awesome group. Everyone on it plays fantastically and etc. etc.

But there have been lapses in one player, who recently pulled this:

Me: A smirking red, black and yellow tornado emerges from the road, obliterating buildings and killing citizens. From it, emerges the 40 foot tall demon that is HellSpawn (Superhero Campaign). He roars and shoots a continuous spray of ragged lasers into a skyscraper and looks at you guys. What will you do.

*Fighting insues*

Player: Do I know what the portal is

Me: *rolls* you can assume it's a portal to the underworld, or hell. Anyone who enters will be instantly destroyed.

Player: Guys! Let's all jump in! He won't kill us all for something like this!

Me: No, I will kill you all. I have several ideas for new campaigns and if you die, you die.

Can anyone else relate? Got any stories yourself?

2016-09-24, 09:05 AM
Not sure if it's THE most, but it sits vividly in my memory.

Online roleplaying, there was a tense and dramatic finale of a story arc during which mine and one other player's characters have seemingly died in a heroic sacrifice. But actually they survived, and we arranged with the game master that they'd return in a week or so.

Everyone's characters are appropriately sad but for one player that sadness leaks into OOC. He keeps pestering me telling me how depressed he is about what happened. So I cave in and give him a hint that the characters might actually return.

I check the board where we post for the game and see that player's character immediately going "you know, I have a feeling X and Y might not be really dead..."

The same player tried to shake off the finale boss's attack, a supernatural paralysis that overwhelmed everyone present, with... being the (in his mind) main character and yelling really loudly, I guess. I don't play with him anymore.

2016-09-24, 11:09 AM
The most meta I've ever had in a game happened about 6 years back when I started roleplaying. A friend of mine was play-testing a system and setting of his own creation. In game one of the Gods was messing with us till our GM started describing our out of game surroundings. It took five minutes of confusion before he dropped the hint that our characters where now playing us.

So to iterate we're playing a fantasy character that is now playing us who in turn is playing that character. Ow.

After that our characters returned back to the game world once we successfully role played out the scenario. Of course there was one thing left out that we the players never thought. We could have asked for anything within the game since we where talking to "God".

2016-09-24, 11:31 AM
For the most part, my players haven't been too bad on the metagaming front. The only time I can really think of is when we were doing a Pokémon Tabletop game, with some homebrewed monsters so that they'd have to use trial and error, and descriptions to learn typing... and then they just bypassed it all based on whether or not the damage I rolled for certain moves had STAB bonus or not. :smallannoyed:

2016-09-24, 12:06 PM
I had one player who kept insisting that the group had to do things to follow the GM's plot, despite repeated assurances that no, they didn't, and there wasn't a plot to begin with. It was an attempt to be helpful, bit still mildly irritating.

It also ended when a different player decided to take the entire group half way across the world to flee the city every session before that had been set in, because it was getting a little too dangerous. I rolled with it, the game continued, and the first player realized that I wasn't kidding when I said that I improvised everything that might be called plot and actually could handle the group doing all sorts of things.

2016-09-24, 12:15 PM
Well, there was that time I jokingly rolled to disbelieve the fourth wall, and I got a Natural 20. Does that count? :smalltongue:

Kid Jake
2016-09-25, 09:57 AM
Most metagamey moment at my table came from me actually. It was in my M&M game and the PCs (a girl that could turn into diamond and a therapist guy that could make you believe anything he said) had just disarmed a supergenius of his powerstaff.

Now the staff was the most powerful thing statted in the campaign by a large margin and the villain was completely defenseless without it. Diamond girl suggests they use it to finish the guy off, but the other PC responds with "I didn't graduate medical school by pressing random buttons."

I don't want to lose one of my favorite villains so easily, so I turned to the girl (who I know from experience is incapable of ignoring temptation) and said "Darn, now I guess you'll never see all the cool things it can do."

Before the other player can finish shouting "He's playing you dammit!" she's clotheslined his PC off his feet, and in the ensuing chaos, the villain just retrieved his staff and teleported away.

Ares B
2016-09-25, 10:32 AM
"It can't be a real black dragon, we're only 1st level! I disbelieve!"

It was a stuffed dragon carcass that was animated. Chomp.

2016-09-25, 02:16 PM
The start of every campaign:

"Hey guys, can you all come down so we can make a group of characters with compatible skillsets and motivations to adventure that all happen to be in this one location?"

2016-09-25, 07:50 PM
Not really a metagame thing but definitely a cheating moment from me.

So I had this DM a few years back. Great world builder, but terrible DM. Adhered to a DM vs Players mindset and I had a personal grudge against him for throwing one of my first characters (with extended backstory and all that jazz) and accompanying party into a literal no-win situation with no way out. Also he couldn't improve worth a darn but insisted he was awesome.

*Waves hands* Anyway, near the tail end of one of his campaigns, he presents us with, I kid you not, a Deck of Many Things. To assist in this, someone produced a deck of cards (either tarot cards or normal playing cards). So everyone goes around and is like "Well I draw three", "I draw two", etc.. He gets to me. "I draw twenty two."

I proceed to draw good cards for the first few pulls and then, literally with him there watching me, I start stacking the deck. Mostly just clever shuffling when his attention was elsewhere for a moment but I ended up with a random amount of good stuff and 22 wishes to burn.

2016-09-25, 08:45 PM
Not sure if this counts....I ran a game based heavily on the old Planescape module Tales from the Infinite Staircase, which centers around stopping a creativity-sapping malaise called the Iron Shadow, which is a sort of corrupted form of elemental Order. People afflicted by it either become mindless drones that make non-rogue Modrons look like David Bowie in comparison, become horribly violent, both, or (IIRC) just lay down and die. It can spread easily and quickly through individual contact and through portals between worlds, and if not stopped while it's in its initial stages (and can thus still be counteracted), would spread to the entirety of the multiverse, destroying the Outer Planes (which function on belief, after all) and leaving a sterile, soulless world behind, without art, song, conscious thought, or afterlife for those few empty shells that might survive.

Thing is, there's no clear explanation of where it comes from in the module. So I came up with one, and modified both the module and the Planescape setting to run with it.

I posted something up about it in one of the "Things I May No Longer Do While Playing" threads quite a while back, so I'll be lazy and repost that here instead of rewording it:

*The Discworld principle of Narrative Causality does not exist in Planescape.
**The villain of the "Tales From The Infinite Staircase" campaign is not The Hero With A Thousand Faces, driven mad by awareness of his serial reincarnation and the memories of a billion lives, going back so far that he remembers when the very concept of gods was first imagined, fire was first tamed, stone tools were first developed, and magic was first discovered, and in several cases being the one responsible.
***The creativity-sapping malaise called the Iron Shadow that the module in its original form revolves around is not to be revealed as the Hero's attempt to kill myths and stories so that he can finally die.
****The gods will not be revealed as frauds formed by the beliefs of their followers, having created nothing, and who falsely take credit for the Prime worlds that formed through natural processes, the planes that formed through the beliefs and energies of mortal souls, and species that evolved "naturally" (taking into account influence from the effects of naturally-occurring magical energies) or as a result of Narrative Causality.
*****The final confrontation will not take place in the true center of the multiverse, the site of which corresponds exactly to the location of the Spire when a map of a particular Prime world and a map of the Outlands are overlaid in a way that aligns terrain features.
******The location is not the ruins of the Temple of the Frog in Blackmoor (the first published adventure in TTRPG history), which the long-dead frog cultists unknowingly built upon the very spot where the multiverse first sprang into being.
*******The Hero With A Thousand Faces will not be an anti-climax boss who doesn't put up a fight once he learns he won't be reincarnating this time, thanking the party for an ending, once and for all.
********The Hero's death will not result in the disappearance of Narrative Causality, and thus the end of fate; the disappearance of any divination magic that can predict the future; the fading of bardic music; the sudden collapse of numerous otherwise-inexplicable dungeons, organizations, and locations into disarray and chaos; the end of Medieval Stasis; the gradual but drastic reduction of monster population to what can adequately be supported by the local environs; the eventual extinction of several species of monster with no plausible ecological niche (nor any adequately-explained origin, "mad wizard" being adequate enough) aside from "story requirements;" the nerfing of any ostensibly-mortal NPC stronger than a Level 20 PC down to PC level--specifically the PC level they would have based on their own actual experience without the benefit of such trope-y contrivances such as Plot Armor, New Powers As The Plot Demands, and the like; the end of the guarantee of long-run status quo between Good, Neutrality, and Evil; and the end of any other various and sundry other gamist or narrativist contrivances not otherwise specified, since "the story" is gone from the nature of the multiverse for good.
*********To compensate for the anticlimactic confrontation with the Hero With A Thousand Faces, may not throw in a fight with The Dragon (the beast of the Chaoskampf) at the party, though appearing without all of the accumulated powers of myths, legends, or later draconic evolution, and thus having stats derived (updated for balance where necessary) from White Box rather than the edition we're playing.
**********May not get that meta again.

2016-09-26, 03:22 AM
Best one I know of, I did not bear witness to, but was told of years ago by a coworker/ subordinate.

Said coworker was DMing AD&D 2E; in a dungeon he put his PCs thru, he included a trap- a large statue of a pair of red lips on a pedestal, complete with inscription: "Touch the Ruby Lips of Death to die". A PC touched them (apparently thinking the DM couldn't possibly be serious). He died. :smallsigh:

Sometime later, in a completely different dungeon, the Ruby Lips appeared again. Same player (his PC having been resurrected after his first misadventure with the Lips), thinking there was no way the DM would reuse the exact same trap he'd gotten them with before, touched the Lips. :smallannoyed:

Anyone care to place wagers on what happened? :smallamused:

Most egregious example I can remember personally experiencing was also 2nd Ed- my friend was DMing a 2E/ Mystara module called "Night of the Vampire". It's been too long ago for me to remember all the events and wherefores of how we got to this point... I just distinctly remember a conversation happening where the other players were frantically trying to caution me against having my claymore-wielding ranger go somewhere/ do something, and I responded "whyever not?" :smallconfused:
Me: "What vampire?" :smallannoyed:
Them: "We're playing 'Night of the Vampire'! It's right there on the cover!"
Me ( :smallsigh: ) : "The [I]characters don't know that."
Them: :smalleek: "Say whaaaaaat!?"

To this point, we had just found ourselves at an aristocrat's estate where a major holiday was being celebrated, there'd not been a single murder or unexplained death, nothing at all untoward had happened, the only action to have occurred was my ranger having an axe-throwing contest (and then a sparring match) with the aristocrat's chief huntsman... not one NPC had so much as said the word "vampire"... IOW, the only indication we had there might be a vampire involved was the title on the cover. We had to stop the adventure right there to explain to the other players (who weren't completely new to gaming, just to AD&D) about separating PC knowledge from player knowledge. It just hadn't, for whatever reason, occurred to them their PCs wouldn't have any idea they were fictional characters in a game. :smallconfused: :smallsigh:

2016-09-26, 07:23 AM
I posted something up about it in one of the "Things I May No Longer Do While Playing" threads quite a while back, so I'll be lazy and repost that here instead of rewording it:
...and by "my no longer do while playing," you mean "must do constantly because they're ****ing awesome?"

2016-09-26, 08:42 AM
...and by "my no longer do while playing," you mean "must do constantly because they're ****ing awesome?"

It didn't work quite so well in practice. The loads of exposition needed to set everything up rather got in the way of the actual gaming part...and afterward a lot of the things to do with the consequences/aftermath, like the gradual decline of monsters to ecologically-stable levels and whatnot, didn't really get played out all that much, since they would happen on too long of a timescale, so they got sort of infodumped.

I might have another go at it one day, if I can figure out a way to effectively show rather than tell more of it.

2016-09-27, 07:20 AM
It just hadn't, for whatever reason, occurred to them their PCs wouldn't have any idea they were fictional characters in a game. :smallconfused: :smallsigh:It is an idea that doesn't really apply to other types of games. Also makes me want to do a thread about "things people don't understand about role-playing games". Like the one player who didn't realize you didn't have to role-play murder-hobo. To be fair they put effort into actually role-playing that.

It didn't work quite so well in practice.Aren't that always the way.

Personally, I find I often have to resort to metagaming when putting the party together. So many things have to come together to get the party together, and if even one of them doesn't... sometimes you just have to let it slide to get the game going.

2016-09-27, 08:04 AM
DM: So guys, since we never get together and game anymore... new campaign... *lots of awesome plot hooks, back story, NPCs, etc*

Me to other players: All. Lawful. PCs. *snicker* When was the last time we had even one?

Party consists of 1 LN, and 3 LG all of whom grew up in the starting location and have been tight since adolescence with loads of local tie ins.

DM: "So guard captain X mentioned to you that Timmy fell down a well... (Actually hadn't returned from looking for neat stuff at a near by ruin.)

Me: Oh no! Not little Timmy.

Other player: Timmy, I used to date his sister.

Everyone: We must go see what is taking him so long. Aunt Ginny must be so worried. Concerned citizens are we!

DM: I actually have lots of other-

Other Player: Dude, you just told 4 local do gooder busy bodies that a Mcguffin is missing. We don't need anything else. Do you want a spot check or should we just roll initiative?

At this point we didn't need anything other than the company of friends, the hilarity of fumbles, and the thrill of a well planned combat encounter.

But you know. Meta as hell.

2016-09-27, 08:58 AM
Aren't that always the way.
Yep. It wasn't an outright disaster; it went okay, but it bogged down quite a bit in the exposition. I've since concluded that I DM better when I keep things simpler, even cliché, on a conceptual level and let the interesting bits come from interactions with NPCs (including villains) and things like dungeon design, the investigation process, encounters, etc.

2016-09-28, 09:25 AM
More of a meta-gamy campaign than moment: the Oriental-anthropomorphic-rodents campaign where, at a certain moment, the PCs managed to escape their world, finding out it was running as a MMORPG hosted on a modern-day Hong Kong server. We killed the lead programmer. After returning to our world, in the end we managed to solve the plot by causing some sort of infinite-loop error. Good times.

And, lately: campaign based on an 'alien abduction' plot. At a certain point, the PCs were legitimately wondering whether their perceived histories/personalities were actually 'real', or just something merely concocted by said aliens, who were hiding somewhere behind the stars.

2016-09-28, 09:35 AM
In character dialog : Olin my friend you are living in a fantasy world.

It was said in reference to his making a nonsensical statment but needless to say we all broke for a moment.

2016-09-28, 09:56 AM
In character dialog : Olin my friend you are living in a fantasy world.

It was said in reference to his making a nonsensical statment but needless to say we all broke for a moment.


2016-09-29, 10:25 AM
The most notable one for me is when I threatened to have my character nuke Europe if the Storyteller wouldn't give us a clue to the BBEG's location in a high level Mage game. We knew he was somewhere in Europe, and I was willing to take it all out to stop him. Yes, my character could get it done, and yes we got the clue.

2016-09-29, 01:13 PM
The most notable one for me is when I threatened to have my character nuke Europe if the Storyteller wouldn't give us a clue to the BBEG's location in a high level Mage game. We knew he was somewhere in Europe, and I was willing to take it all out to stop him. Yes, my character could get it done, and yes we got the clue.

In such a situation you first nuke Europe, watch the GM try to find a way out of this mess for ten minutes, then wait for him to offer a clue if you take back that action. Same results but you look less manipulative. :smalltongue:

2016-09-29, 01:30 PM
On the "PC's know that they're in a game" front, I've only had that happen once, in a game of Paranoia, and it was a hallucination caused by overdosing on Attitude Correction Supplements.

I once was hoist by my own Metagaming petard. It was a mystery/investigation campaign, where we did a lot of building the world as we went. I accidentally created some NPC's with an offhanded comment about hiring some goblins to burn down a warehouse (At the time, my main PC was kidnapped, so I was playing his brother, who was in the Orcish Mafia). The DM took a shine to them, and they kept showing up over the course of the Arc.

it turns out, the DM already HAD two NPCs that fit perfectly into the goblin-shaped hole in the world that I had created with my offhanded comment. They were the culprits that arc, but we never considered them because I assumed I had created them after the Arc had already begun.

Martimus Prime
2016-10-12, 02:32 AM
I was once in a party with a player who had played Castle Ravenloft (3.5) before, and tried to use the knowledge to his advantage in the current game. This was particularly galling not only because of the fact that his character would have precisely zero reason to know that the location we were looking for existed beforehand, but because Castle Ravenloft explicitly resists such attempts, leaving the DM to sit and sputter as the party was led into fruitlessly exploring a completely innocuous house over the course of thirty minutes IRL time.

For those of you who don't know, the Castle Ravenloft 3.5 module has a gimmick where the locations of three powerful artifacts are predicted in riddles by a tarot-reading psychic. In truth, the cards she draws actually sets a number of dungeon parameters themselves rather than merely describing preset locations for events, meaning that the OoC knowledge this character was using held no bearing on how the module was arranged in that moment. I've never seen a more blatant metagame moment in my entire D&D career.