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  1. #1
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    I want to tell you something...but I won't.

    Sometimes the players are missing something that the DM thinks its obvious.

    He asks them to roll a Wisdom/Intelligence check, and if they roll above lets say 5, or 10 he tells them the obvious thing.

    It gets weird for the DM if they all roll below 5.

    Then if it is something so obvious that the players had figured it out already, and they just kept silent about it, it feels like the DM just stole their idea.

    However there is no point to have the game stall for 1 hour until the players notice the obvious. And if a char with 18 wis/int is in the game, it is reasonable that the char should be smarter than the player.

    I try to just tell the players the obvious things ("So you want to search for tracks in case someone left by foot, and you want to ask the victim some questions" - it is kinda implied that one could also teleport out etc) and have them roll for obscure details there is no way they would notice at a much higher DC.

    How you handle situations where you want to tell your players something, but you feel you shouldn't?

    Or you feel it is ok just telling?

    How would you feel about your DM doing that?

 

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    Defender (Lvl 8)

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    If it's that obvious then just tell them.
    I'm not asking for characters to be lawful stupid. I want characters who care, who want to be heroes, aren't scared of doing the right thing, and players who try to help make the campaign more heroic.

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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    If we're talking about information that the pcs have that the players are overlooking, then I tell them.

    If we're talking about actions that they should obviously take but aren't, it's not my place as dm to interfere with their decisions (or lack thereof) except in the context of "You've stood arguing in front of the cave for twenty minutes, and now the bear comes out to eat your face".
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonLancer View Post
    If it's that obvious then just tell them.
    Under the don't be a tool freedom of information act, the obvious should be explicitly stated.

    Save the dice rolls for obscure bits of info that might be useful to have but won't bring the adventure to a halt if it isn't discovered.
    Death is for amateurs -Charlie Sheen

  • #5
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester View Post
    If we're talking about actions that they should obviously take but aren't, it's not my place as dm to interfere with their decisions (or lack thereof) except in the context of "You've stood arguing in front of the cave for twenty minutes, and now the bear comes out to eat your face".
    No, not about the actions they take. That is very different, and kinda depends on the player. (For example a rogue that forgets to SA!)

    The reason I ask is because recently I found annoying as a player that the DM was telling us *very* obvious things, and I am kinda wondering if there is a way to avoid doing this when I DM after all I can't know what the players think.

    (I found that mentioning things works well enough, but I expect that someone else here probably has a better way)

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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    Quote Originally Posted by anest1s View Post
    No, not about the actions they take.
    This bit of the OP is what made me qualify that:

    I try to just tell the players the obvious things ("So you want to search for tracks in case someone left by foot, and you want to ask the victim some questions" - it is kinda implied that one could also teleport out etc)
    I would never tell the pcs that they want to search for tracks or question someone (unless I was roleplaying an npc telling them to do so). Not my role. If they can't figure that out, maybe they move on to a different adventure or get bushwacked or... whatever.
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  • #7
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester View Post
    I would never tell the pcs that they want to search for tracks or question someone (unless I was roleplaying an npc telling them to do so). Not my role. If they can't figure that out, maybe they move on to a different adventure or get bushwacked or... whatever.
    Ah no, my mistake. Usually everyone tells me what they want to do, then I repeat it back to make sure I got it right (and to get some time to decide who I should start with!)

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    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)

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    If the players are having a hard time putting two and two together in a situation where this wasn't intended to be an actual challenge, I'll sometimes check to see which character has a high passive Insight and then give them... well, an insight!

    "Sir Suave, as you listen to the wounded guard describe the monster that attacked him, you realize that it sounds exactly like the monster you saw the Fell Wizard of Doom summon to kill the princess!"

    If I intended the description of the monster to obviously be the same but the players aren't getting it, I'll give the information to whichever character seems to be the most likely to "get it" in-game. Maybe that's someone who's good at a relevant skill (Nature, Arcana, History) or maybe I default to Insight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExploderWizard View Post
    Under the don't be a tool freedom of information act, the obvious should be explicitly stated.

    Save the dice rolls for obscure bits of info that might be useful to have but won't bring the adventure to a halt if it isn't discovered.
    this is good. You should also consider how to handle obvious, non-facts.

    The OP"s example of "So you want to..." shouldn't be done. Never tell the players what their PC wants to do. it's bad phrasing that can set players off because you are telling them what their PC wants to do.

    However @the Jester's statement troubles me:
    If we're talking about actions that they should obviously take but aren't, it's not my place as dm to interfere with their decisions (or lack thereof)
    I understand his reasoning, but it leads to a pitfall. If the players are stuck and not doing something you think is obvious, it is probably because they are missing a piece of information that should be obvious.

    The missing information could even be "obvious actions you can take here"

    It may not be considered that the NPC could have teleported out
    It may not be considered that a search for tracks would yield anything

    If the players do not even think of either of those points, they could sit there being stuck over an obvious detail that is action oriented, and thus barred from GM discussion.

    If the players are truly missing the obvious actions they could take, pointing out the facts of the obvious choice seems just as valid as pointing out obvious details.

    One method that might work is to phrase things in the form of questions. Thus, you are not forcing anything on the players, merely opening their minds to consider things. "Would you guys like the search the area for clues?" or "Why haven't you guys searched the area for clues?"

    If nothing else, you may get an explanation of their thinking, which may explain why they didn't consider searching. They may have stated a similar intent previously but in a way that you did not parse to mean the same thing, and thus gave them a negative result. As such, they thought they already did it and you said it didn't work.

  • #10
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    if the players are being argumentative with one another, then i would say, "Roll for initiative." to get their attention. even throw in an encounter if they really are bad.

    However, if they are trying, but the dice are just being hateful ( such as searching for secret doors ) I might offer a suggestion: You feel a draft of fresh air to yuor left.
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